Sunday, March 08, 2009

Put me out of my misery already

I mentioned a bit back that I was training for a half marathon in April. As of today, that is exactly seven weeks from now, which means I have completed ten weeks of training. The training consists of a short run, about 5km, mid-week and a run on Sunday, alternating long and short (3 or 4 miles) every other week. The long ones keep getting longer, building me up to the race distance of 13 miles.

Last week, I ran the longest distance I have ever run in my life. I completed 8 miles or 12.8km. Less than half way, my thought to myself was, "today, this is going to hurt".

Self fulfilling prophecy? Maybe. Or my body being brutally honest with me?

I wanted to quit so bad but knew that I couldn't. I have to do the distances laid out in my training schedule or I won't be prepared for the race. And 13 miles, without properly preparing....well let's just say that I ain't seen nothing yet if I thought it hurt last week.

So I did it. I finished. I didn't worry about my time. My goal for the race is to finish it. The time is irrelevant.

But the problem is that since I finished last Sunday I have had a perpetual headache. I am not prone to headaches. I normally get one or two a year. I have been popping the drugs left right and center. Don't worry, they are legal.

And tired. Have I mentioned how tired I am? I have been sleeping fine. I normally get eight to eight and half hours every night. And I need that much, trust me. If I don't get my sleep I turn into something from Night of the Living Dead. It isn't pretty, take my word for it. Or anyone who knows me, really.

My work has gotten obscenely busy in the last couple of weeks so the stress levels are up. It happens but once a year and it is a good time to put some money in the bank, or pay my taxes, whatever.

So what is it? The running or the stress?

I am eating enough to fuel a small army and still I am tired. And the headache, while I get some relief, keeps coming back.

Is this my body testing me? Is it testing me physically because mentally I am committed and not wavering from my goal?

For now I will keep going, trying to listen to my body the best I can and take it easy on the short runs. Like today, I was scheduled to do 4 miles. By 2.5 my body was screaming NO. I quit at 3 and quickly sought the approval of my adviser of all things running. Thanks Cheryl, I needed confirmation that I do need to listen to my body. It is smart, it knows its limits.

I will keep going. My goal, it is still attainable so long as I eat right, drink lots of water and rest when I should rest.

And I know this pain, this physical and emotional stress I am feeling, is so much less than some have to endure. And so I do this in honour of them.

If you need me, I'll be downing a side of beef with a protein shake chaser.



Angella said...

Yes! Listen to your body!

Sorry about the headaches. I have had more of them than normal lately and I don;t know why...

Threeboys1mommy said...

Mmmmmmmmm BEEF! Lucky duck, Mmmmmmm duck!

Cheryl said...

Put that last run OUT of your mind, focus is on this week! Watch your sodium.. it is hidden in the least expected foods!

The fact that you are 100% committed to this goal with your busy schedule is inspiring. Never forget that

Lori said...

good luck with the rest of your training. As for the head ache it could be your body fighting the excess exertion on your muscles. Keep hydrated (hope you are drinking Gatorade or an equivalent before and after your run and lots of water during). Try Excedrin if the nothing is touching your headache... it works on knocking off my migraines if I take it before they get bad. It the only thing I take for a headache now

Ed said...

So I went to my doc and he says you need to take this pill in the morning with 3 glasses of water. Take this pill at noon with 4 glasses of water and this pill at dinner with another 4 glasses of water. And I say what's wrong doc, am I sick? And he says....

No. You're not getting enough water!

Rest is good--off the top of my head I'd have to say drink more water.

Cammie said...

since I dont run. ever. I have no idea.

BeachMama said...

I haven't been working out like you and I have been getting headaches too! Perhaps it is the water thing or it could just be the change in weather. Either way you are rockin' it.

And it is so wonderful for you dedicate your run to Isaac's family. I have no words for the post I just read.

LVGurl said...

YES, listen to your body. Taking a break isn't going to impact your training.

Are you hydrating enough during your runs? I apologize in advance if I sound like Mama Know-it-all, but be sure to consume about 16-20 ounces of SPORTS DRINK per hour. Also, you need to consume some sort of fuel (gels, sports beans, etc) at least once every 45 minutes to an hour. The distances you're running now, you need to keep your electrolytes in balance and feed your muscles with adequate glucose. It works, really, even if it's gross. I've done enough gagging to know! You will experience steady energy and you will recover faster. A protein recovery drink is necessary after an hour of exertion, and then drink water!

Also, taking scheduled walk breaks during running really helps. There is NO WAY I could cover the distances I have without taking walk breaks. I run four minutes, then walk one minute. My last two 10Ks... one I ran non-stop, the other I did my walk breaks. My walk break 10K time was six minutes faster than the one in which I ran the whole time. I conserve energy and I hurt less. Walking doesn't make you less of a runner... please don't let running purists convince you otherwise!

(If you're already doing all of this, ignore my comment!! ;)


A Crafty Mom said...

I *think* this can be normal and is likely temporary. I have a good friend who has run dozens of 1/2 marathons, and a BIL who ran a full. I was training for a 1/2 two years ago when I got pregnant . . . I was only up to 10K and never ended up running more than that (and wasn't sure I could!). Most people tell me you really can pull it out on the day of the run and go that long distance, even if you're not used to it. I have heard the pain is pretty common at this point (not sure about the headaches though??), and it should pass if you continue - within reason. Don't push yourself too much, obviously.

I'm running a 10k in May and am embarrassed to admit I haven't even run outside yet this season. Time to get off my lazy butt. Best of luck on achieving your goal - I'm sure you will do great!

R Family of 4 said...

I admire your determination, especially in this cold weather, keep up the good work but do listen to your body

Kristin said...

Way to go! Have you seen "Run Fat Boy Run"? It is hilarious and probably more so to a runner. I just watched it this weekend, I would recommend the rental to help you laugh through your pain.

Misty said...

Love you for this.

Elaine A. said...

If you want you could ask Kat at Seeking Sanity about the headaches. I know she mentioned getting them in conjunction with her running too. Do you read her blog?

Anyway, sounds like you are doing great on your training, minus the headaches. And yes, you MUST listen to your body, just as you've told me before. I'm so very proud of you Kam's - you're doing wonderfully! : )

Hannah said...

I agree with the others - listen to your body, make sure you are drinking enough, eating enough, etc. But I'm no fitness expert! I am proud of you and your amazing achievements, and I know you are doing so well with your training. GO GIRL!

nicole said...

You are my hero! I am having a tough time now, with four weeks to go before my race. I need to run 8-9 miles tomorrow and I'm already dreading it. My training program does not have me run the entire distance, I only go up to 10 miles before the race. I've adjusted my schedule a little bit to do my long runs on Tuesdays, instead of Sundays because that just was not working for me or my family. I need to drink more water too, I know I don't get enough.

And i echo the person who says to walk a little bit. I've already decided that it is okay to walk a little bit if it means I can keep going overall. I just want to finish. :)

keep it up!

Leslie said...

I'm so sorry you weren't feeling well, hope you're better now!

Kami said...

You absolutely need to listen to your body. And, remember, you have already accomplished more that most people (raising hand) even attempt to TRY! You are sensational! And you kick ass, too :)

Stacie said...

you impress me.
you inspire me.
keep going.
hang in there...take care of yourself.

LaskiGal said...

"So I did it. I finished." The most beautiful words a runner can ever utter.

Well, besides "I WON!" or "OMG, there's the bathroom!"

You definitely inspire!

mamatucci said...

wow, you are an inspiration!

Natalie said...

wow, look at all of those comments...

okay, i was going to mention H2O but someone else already did. and watch caffeine and sodium levels...that is usually what cause me to have a headache after a hard workout.

and i have heard that raisins are a good mid run snack when you are doing long runs.

listen to your body! and keep up the hard work. if it were easy we would all be doing it!!! :-)

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