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Posts Tagged ‘painful knee’

It’s been too long since my last post!  Ever since I ran the half marathon, it feels like I just have not been able to catch up.  My runs became shorter or not at all. Work was busier, I was tired, it was very hot, too hungry, too tired, too dark outside, or just couldn’t get my ass outside to run.  I have not done a long run since my half marathon. All my runs have been anywhere from four to ten miles.  I don’t know if it’s because I experienced my most difficult run at the half marathon and feared that it would be worse or if I just did not have the mental energy to continue.  My time was limited to very early mornings at 5:30am or very late evenings after 9:00pm because of the heat wave we have been experiencing.  Work hours increased because it is now my busiest time of the year with events.  It is now 16 days before I have to run 26 miles. Ah!!!!!

I started asking myself why am I doing this?  What am I trying to prove?  What is my goal?  Am I doubting myself? I’ve never been a quitter but reality started hitting and my training schedule had fallen apart. So I kept running whenever I could but my runs had changed. I was out of breath a lot, my muscles were always tight, and I was too tired to run too long.  William motivated as much as he was able to but I think this was something that I had to figure out on my own. I had hit a brick wall and did not know how to break it down.

I just came back after a one week trip from Alexandria, Virginia.  I went with my mom to visit my brother and his wonderful family.  They live right by Mt. Vernon and if you know Mt. Vernon, you will know that there is a beautiful scenic trail along the Potomac River.  The weekend that I was there was my weekend to run 20 miles.  I only managed to do somewhere between 8-9 because I had to turn back and go to the bathroom.  Yup it still happens!

I was disappointed at myself for being this behind in my training. William always tells me that I beat myself up too much. I couldn’t help it. I felt so triumphant after my half marathon and somehow I felt I began to fail right after it.  Being in Virginia and visiting my brother, his wife and his 22 month old son made me think about a lot of stuff.  I looked at my brother’s life and how he has spent about 17 years of his life in the ARMY and observing the end results: a beautiful family, great home, visits from the grandparents…I can imagine they are pretty happy.  And then there is my mom who struggles each day with her life at home but yet her happiness is seeing her children happy.  I look at my life and see how I live in a fast-pace world full of chaos.  So yes, my mind was in different directions and I guess I was just trying to figure out how to get back on my feet and find out why I got myself in this situation.

Before I had left to Virginia, William had shoved a book to read in my suitcase. It’s the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. William warned me how this book was going to change my life and especially my motivation about running. So I started reading this book on the way back to Los Angeles in the airplane. I was hooked immediately. It has been a while since I’ve read a good book and this was perfect.  I recommend everyone to read this even if you are not a runner.  It’s basically about the Tarahumara Indians and a man knows as Caballo Blanco (white horse) and their running skills. The Tarahumara Indians, which I grew up hearing about since I was child, are a tribe that live in one of the most hidden and lowest parts of the Earth in the Copper Canyons of Chihuahua, Mexico.  They are known for their running. They can run all day any day.  They live simple, eat pinole and drink chia water. There were also other people in the book like Caballo Blanco and Ann Trason that can run 30 miles in day as if it was an hour workout.  I know this is not what I am trying to do but reading this book started to put things in perspective for me.

When I first decided to run a marathon, I did it because it was on my “Health/Fitness” category to accomplish some day.  I also like to inspire people. But inspire them to do what exactly?  I like to help people not give up.  I am where I am today because I don’t like to take no for an answer.  One of the reasons why I don’t get a long with my old-fashioned-traditionalist father is because I don’t listen to him or his unrealistic ways.  I don’t like to be stopped. I like to explore, I like to live my life at my fullest, I like to help and encourage other people.  This marathon is a part of that.  It’s a way of saying “you can do anything if you put your mind to it. ”  Fuck the challenges.  They will always be there trying to pull me down but my mind is a lot stronger than that. I know it.  All of a sudden I have my mental strength back.  Yup, a book did it for me.  It was a reminder to me that there is always going to be something trying to stop you, but at the end of the race, it takes yourself to cross that finish line. I began to envision myself running in Maui. Power walk up the hills and pace my run during the flat surfaces. The Tarahumara is in me. We all need one. Yes, I know I have not practiced my long runs at all and it’s 16 days away. But it’s not about my physical strength anymore, it’s what I can do with my mind, like it’s always been. I’ve always had the faith that I can get through anything so why stop now?

Yesterday was a very busy day at work. It was my second day back at work and still trying to catch up. William and I were supposed to go to the beach after work to run but by the time I got out, it was late.  So we headed home and ran in my neighborhood. My run was different. There were some knee pains I had but my mind was calm and I was in the zone. I stopped focusing on my body and was just thinking of keeping my mind at peace.  We ran a little over four miles because it was dark and I did not want to trip and fall again.  It was a good run.  I am not going to worry about it anymore. I’m just going to try my best and forget the rest.

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Getting injured during training can be very frustrating.  After I ate it on June 12th, the training became a little difficult.  The next day after my knees were badly bruised, my body was very sore and especially my back. I think it’s because I hit my left side of my body against a wall as I was falling down.  I felt like I had been in a car accident. Luckily it was my rest day and I had also made an appointment with my chiropractor. I went to the appointment after work and I described to my chiropractor my fall and she said that I had been whiplashed.  I receive a 50 minute massage well needed!  At one point I fell asleep and snored a little. It was relaxing. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a massage.

The following day on Thursday was my my 4-mile run.  I thought I was going to be ok with it but it was very painful on my knees. They were very swollen and it caused me to stop a lot and walk instead. I still managed to finish the run in 42 minutes.  On Friday I went to work and my knees hurt the whole day.  Friday was supposed to be a 3-mile run. After work I decided to instead take a walk instead of a run. What I did not want to do was to baby my knees too much but I also knew that they needed to heal. At this point my left knee had a huge scab that cause my skin to tighten up. It hurt every time I had to straighten my leg or bend it.  I was able to walk to Fresh and Easy which was about a total of two miles.  It was the first run I’ve had to skip since I started my 16-week training. I was bummed about it and worried that I was not able to run over the weekend.  Fortunately Saturday was a rest day and relaxed the whole day.

Sunday the 17th was my first seven mile run!  William and I wanted to run it in the morning and not wait around. We had oatmeal in the morning and by the time we got out of the house it was about 10:30am.  The day was clear and sunny with a nice California breeze.  Immediately when I started the run, I felt very heavy and tired. It wasn’t necessarily my knees that were hurting, it was just very difficult to run.  I wasn’t even lasting a mile without stopping! William was way ahead of me and did not seem to be having the same challenges I was having. I didn’t know why it was so difficult. I was so tired.  Then it started getting hot and felt that this run was taking forever!   The run was towards San Pascual and instead of stopping by the trail, this time we had to run to Arroyo Blvd and stop at Madeline Drive and come back. I didn’t realize that Arroyo Blvd was an uphill.  I was in hell!  This has been the worst run ever.  My body was rejecting every second of my run!  William was not being soft on me either. He kept pushing me (which I think helped me finish it) not to stop.  On the way back, probably on my fourth mile, I got very emotional and teary-eyed.  Too many emotions started running through my head and felt very frustrated and restrained from everything.  What a painful run.  My knees also began to hurt and felt like they were very swollen.  I don’t know how I made it back home but finally did. I didn’t even complete the seven miles. I only accomplished  6.23 miles. I don’t know what went wrong this time. Was it the time of day? I’ve been running only in the evenings after work. This one was my first morning run in a long run. Maybe I didn’t have that much energy in the morning, but I had my oatmeal!  Maybe it was the heat getting me tired.  I don’t know. I just know that it was awful! I was very disappointed with myself.

My fourth week of training started on Tuesday the 19th.  My knees were still bothering but I felt I did not feel I had room to slow down, especially about going through that dreadful run on Sunday.  It was only 3 miles on Tuesday and knees did begin to hurt by the end of the run. It was very had to run downhill.  My knees were getting pounded on the downhills and I don’t think it was helping the healing.  Wednesday was rest day and Thursday was five miles that I did a lot better.  I still had to stop to rest my knees from the pain but did manage to finish 5 miles. My running has been looking good now!

 

Tomorrow will be my first 8 mile run.  I’m a little nervous and I need to make sure that it’s nothing like last Sunday.  I hope I do better!

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Yesterday was the beginning of my third week of training. I’ve been very excited since I started the 16-week training schedule and proud to be done with two weeks. Yesterday was supposed to be an easy three mile run. I came home late from work yesterday and was not real motivated to run but knew I had to get it out of the way before it became any later.  William decided to run with me and also carry 5 lb weights with him.  The great thing about this point in my training is that my runs are getting easier.  It used to be difficult for me to start a run. My legs would feel heavy and it would take me about ten minutes to adjust. Now when I start a run, I feel great and can easily finish the first hill of my run without any problems.  So the first five minutes of my run yesterday, I was feeling great and pumped up.  My pace was nice and steady.  William realized that it was more difficult than he thought to carry weights with him but managed.  I started to throw punches in the air like Rocky style to  motivate him with his weights and to do something different in my run. I figured why not?  My cardio was steady and I was having fun with it.

I think I have mentioned how uneven the sidewalks are around my neighborhood. There are a lot of trees on the sidewalks causing them to create little stacks of concrete throughout the area or hills.

 So far I’ve been careful not to trip over any but yesterday was different.  As I was throwing punches in the air, William was running right behind me. Then it happened. My foot got locked in one of those cracks and I flew forward.  Everything after that happened so quickly.  I flew forward in full force and started to land. My knees hit the concrete first, then my hands landed on the ground. I didn’t stop there, my body still was going forward so then my left shoulder hit the wall that happened to be there for the house in front of us.  And then my left side of my head hit the wall.  I felt like a church bell where all of of sudden I had been banged up for the seven o’clock hour.  I laid there  shocked and saw William coming towards me with his weights.  Everything hurt and was I was shaking.  Or maybe my head was still vibrating from the crash to the wall. I kind of wanted to cry but I did not want to.  I did not want to be a baby about it but at that moment I did not know how to feel. My knees were pretty banged up and I didn’t want to get up right away.  Immediately William wanted me to go back home to ice my knees. I became angry at the streets!  Stupid streets!  Why were they so uneven! I was already almost up to a mile into the run and then this happened.  So we started to walk back towards the house.  A few minutes into my walk everything started to hurt. William felt really bad for me because he saw everything happened. He described it as being slow motion and saw the order of each body part hitting something and had no time to help me. Not only that but I was loud!  My bones are loud! We remember hearing each body part hitting something.  It was like if somebody had dropped a trash bag full of bones out in the sidewalk. That was me.

William was just happy that it was not worse and I did not have any fractures. It was just bruises and scratches.  We finally made it back home and we iced my knees for a while.

I then felt the pain come afterwards but I know it won’t be that bad.  My head felt better  afterwards.  I was disappointed that I did not get to finish my three miles.   I guess I still cannot throw air punches and run at the same time. Stupid sidewalk.

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The only time I was really tired was right after the Merrel Mud run on Sunday. I took about  a two-hour nap after taking a shower.  Monday I woke up with full energy and stayed home to clean and organize the house. The whole day I was moving around and ended the night by going to to the LA Clippers game!

Today I woke up just fine but was tired by 5pm on the way home from work. I knew I wanted to run because this upcoming week is going to be busy and did not want to get behind like I have in the past.  I’m also having knee pains on my right knee. My knees are a little scratched and bruised from the mud run on Sunday. William gave me some stuff to numb my knee while I ran.

I decided to do a quick three mile run just to be able to do something and aim to run five miles tomorrow after work hoping my knee is not hurting anymore.  So I started my run and played my iNano to some Astronomy by Metallica.  It’s the perfect song to start your run because it starts slow and about a minute into it, the guitars and drums start going crazy and gets my heart pumping.  The knee pain didn’t really go away but I pushed myself to run and the music in my ears was helping.  The last half of the three miles was painful on my knee. I had to walk the last tenth of my last mile because the pain was getting worse.  I ran three miles n 29 minutes. I came home and William put frozen fruit on my knee and here I am blogging on the couch.  Hopefully tomorrow I do better.

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