Thursday, March 24, 2011

Run 5, Walk 1, Run 5, Walk 1...

Elizabeth is still out and couldn't join us for our long run. Here's hoping her lung/rib is feeling better very soon! We tried something different this time around. Instead of running the entire 18 miles, we did a run/walk method that supposedly helps you keep your pace steady during your entire run. For the entire time we were out there we would run for 5 minutes and then walk for 1 minute. It was an interesting experiment. We finished in 3 hours and 10 minutes -- a pace of 10:33 per mile. That is a good pace for us for that long. There's something about all that walking that makes me feel like we are cheating, but still, we covered the same amount of miles - possibly in less time than if we had run the entire 18 miles. When I ran the pig in 2007 I was at a pace of 10:54 when I hit the 19 milemark, so this was a bit faster. My legs were sore, but not unbearably so, and I felt happy that we were averageing in the tens the entire time. I know Pam enjoyed being able to breathe better, and I'm not going to lie - I started really looking forward to our watch beeping every 5 minutes! (thank you Amy!) And poor Julie - her legs started cramping up toward the end. We are chalking it up to dehydration. Speaking of Amy, she joined us for the first 8-1/2 miles, and it was grand for us to have the company. Of course, we did have to hear all about the cruise she was leaving on the next day. But we're so happy for her to be enjoying the sunshine while we enjoy beautiful March Cincinnati weather (cold, gray, SNOW!!!) I can't remember if anything else exciting happened on our run. We ran from the Countryside Y past Loveland by a mile and then back to the Monkey Bar. Same scenery most of the time - trees, bushes, the Little Miami River, a bridge here and there, and finally some greenery :).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Long But Happy 17

Wow! Shorts-running weather today after the snow covered run attempt yesterday.

The bike trail was filled with runners and bikers, couples out walking, families enjoying our, I mean the, beautiful bike trail. It was nice to have other people around, since it was just me and Pam running. Any diversion helped (except for the two women that passed us going sooooo much faster than we were). Rude!

Once again, hydration was an issue. We ran 4 miles toward Loveland and planned on getting water at the Running Spot. Unfortunately they don't open until 10am, and we got there around 9:45. So we ran another two miles -- actually 2-1/4 because we didn't see the right mark to turn -- and then headed back to the Running Spot that was now open. That means we didn't drink anything for the first 6-1/4 miles. We then had to go another 4 miles to where we had water and gatorade near our cars. Poor Pam started getting really light-headed so we kept the gatorade with us, and tried a new running technique - run for 3-5 min and then walk a minute. It seemed to help Pam out a lot, and it sure made me feel stronger during our running as well. We also had more water hidden, 2-1/2 miles down the road, so that helped too.

The last 2-1/2 miles were so much easier than miles 6-15. Not sure why -- the water, the run/walk method or what. But felt great, and we ended up running 17-1/4 miles. I felt great afterwards. Not stiff or sore at all.

The Long Run That Wasn't

It started out as as a 16-miler, and ended up with Elizabeth doing 6-1/2, Pam going 2-1/2 and Julie and I going 5. ...Huh? Elizabeth was in a time crunch so did her first 4 without us on her treadmill. We then met at the Loveland Bike Trail and headed out. After 2-1/2 miles we came upon this: (Julie, insert photo here!)

Elizabeth suggested we just turn around and run in the other direction -- a perfectly acceptable thing to do, but the rest of us thought we could easily get around this mess. Patrice -- not known for being particularly graceful -- somehow made it through pretty easily -- without a scratch, in fact. Then poor Elizabeth slipped on a snow covered branch and fell in to a very sharp, very large tree trunk. It had broken off and come to a point, and that is where Elizabeth's side hit. She was immediately out of breath and in a good deal of pain. Luckily it was another gray, cold day here in Cincinnati, so she had several layers of clothing on -- so no puncture and no blood, however, we were very concerned about a cracked rib or punctured lung since she was in so much pain.

Pam offered to call 911, but E didn't want us to do that. So Pam & Elizabeth started walking back toward our cars, while Julie and I sprinted (yes, I did say SPRINTED) the 2-1/2 miles back so we could drive back to pick them up. And do you know what we figured out -- even sprinting, it takes longer than 10-15 minutes for us to run 2-1/2 miles. It seemed to take forever!

Finally made it to my car, and now the fun begins -- driving down the bike trail, which is not really meant for vehicles of the 4-wheel variety. After squeezing across the bridge, we were off, with both of us wondering how I was going to turn the car around once we got to them, as there was a sharp, drop off to the right (all the way down to the Little Miami River) and soggy, soft ground and a ton of bushes and trees to the left.

Pam directed me on the turn around and after driving forward and backward and turning and creeping forward (way too close to the drop off for my liking), I was finally facing the right direction. Here we are, ready to get going! Even in tragedy and injury, we manage to see the fun in what we are doing!

Off to Urgent Care we went to get Elizabeth looked at. Of course she had no identification or insurance card with her! After calling Tom a dozen times so he could fax the info in, he finally answered his phone -- not too happy that we were interrupting his meeting, until he heard the reason why.

At this point Elizabeth was still in a lot of pain and was shaking while waiting for the doctor. You can only imagine how thrilled the doctor was to walk in and find our sweaty little group waiting for him. X-rays showed no cracked ribs (yay!), but a black area that could possibly be a ********** which is fancy talk for a punctured lung. Although it may fix itself on its own, the doctor strongly advised that she needed to get a CT Scan to see it more clearly and determine what should happen next. So, off to Arrow Springs hospital to get that taken care of. We were a motley looking group, and we hoped our appearance might get us in and out of there quickly, but that was not the case. We helped Elizabeth fill out her paperwork, and she willingly signed anything we put in front of her. Finally they called her in, injected her with the dye, and took the CT Scan. Then more waiting for the results.

Tom finally showed up at this point, so Pam, Julie & I left them to wait for the results, which were, happily negative. The puncture had most likely fixed itself with her normal breathing, but she left the hospital armed with muscle relaxers and pain killers.

Julie and I ended our adventure with lunch at Tabby's, while Nurse Pam went back to work. Elizabeth and Tom, who were supposed to leave for Chicago at 11:00 missed that deadline by several hours, but luckily they found a ride for Nicole with another family. I hear they caught up with her later that evening. :)

Four busy schedules make it impossible for us to run a long run together in the next few days, so Pam and I are running Saturday and Julie by herself on Sunday. Hopefully Elizabeth will be able to run very soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The entry in which I complain

I am tired of ankles so sore that when I wake up in the morning, the only way I can get down the steps is the go sideways, step-by-step.

I am tired of watching what I eat. I love food. I love the Unos pizza Montana and I had over the weekend.

I am tired of putting on layers of clothes to run.

I am tired of gray days.

I am just plain tired!

Did I mention my ankles? I am worried about what I am doing to them. And hoping that they don't give up on me before the marathon.