Monday, October 27, 2008

In need of some lube and other fun tales.

I have a love/hate relationship with my knees. They are girl knees and therefore do not get along with my German bred girl hips (read wide and apparently made for birthin' babies). The awkward hip to knee ratio puts undo stress on my knees, at an angle that was not meant to be placed on such delicate pink, knobby things. Because of this, my knees yell at me frequently - especially my right knee. (To preface, I've had two surgeries - one on each knee, with the right knee surgery removing the most damaged cartilage). Well, as we all know, cartilage is the lube of the knee world. Less cartilage means less lube. Less lube means friction which equals inflammation. Inflammation equals cranky knees. Got it?

So, I run (no pun intended...OK - maybe intended just a bit) a fine line with any training program from overtraining to undertraining. I really cannot run every day. Even five days a week is pushing it for me. So, I alter most training programs to work around my knees and I have to listen to them when they're angry at me. This weekend they were furious with me.

I think the knee inflammation was mostly because of the weather change. We have a cold front moving in and ole righty tends to let me know ahead of time. Whew - I was in some serious pain this weekend. So, as I always have to do, I adhere to the age old RICE method for a couple of days. And as usual, the ole cranky fart has calmed down. Righty isn't screaming at me so much any more - which is good news. The bad news is - no running this weekend. None. No 18 miler. Ack! So, I'm going to do a slow and easy three today and then try for my 18 miler tomorrow. The cold front should drop the temps down into the 30s and 40s tomorrow. Perfect weather for a long run! The other good news is it's TAPER TIME!! YEEHHAAAWWW!!!

Well - I also found out this weekend that my WHOLE family is coming to San Antonio for the race. We're going to do an early Thanksgiving thing on Saturday afternoon and then they're going to cheer me on Sunday. So, now the pressure is really on. I'm doing this thing! It's for real! People are traveling in to see me run!!! Oh...My...God.

I'm excited and nervous and nauseated and anxious and scared out of my wits all at the same time. I'm starting to have marathon dreams now!!! Like I had one of me running and stopping at different stations during the race last night.

OK - so two questions for today. I read that Deena Castor has a mantra that she repeats to herself during races. I thought that would be a good idea. So, I need mantra suggestions. Second, I read in the race info that they will have plenty of stations with water, electrolyte drinks and goo, etc. Should I still carry some goo for myself during the race?

Today I LOVE: that it's officially Cranky Co-worker day! I have an excuse for the Mondays today.


Marlene said...

That is SO exciting that your fam is coming out to support you. I'm telling you, there is NOTHING like seeing some familair faces during a marathon and especially at the end.

As for mantras, I like "Pain is temporary, pride is permanant." That, and "JUST KEEP RUNNING!"

BeachRunner said...

Dang, I need a mantra. Happy tapering. Hope your knees feel great. It sure helps to have the family support. That is awesome. You will do great.

Sarah said...

You are so going to laugh, but whenever I start struggling in the later miles and I think the wheels are about to come off the bus, I have to think of part of the P.O.D. song "Boom" where they say, "Is that all you got? Ha Ha, take your best shot." You should listen to that song. It's good. I just have to get mad to finish. :)

I wouldn't stress too much about getting that 18-miler in. You don't need it at this point. I would tell you to save your knees. You've so got this race!!

Oh, and your second question- I would carry some sort of replacement for whatever you use. In Nashville (also a rock and roll marathon) they only had powerade goo at a certain spot. I brought my own Sharkies and never had any problems. I would hate for them to use something your tummy is not used to and then a tummy ache. That's the worst. In Nashville they did have certain markers with apples, bananas, and oranges.

Anyway, I'm so pumped for you that you're family is coming! That is so awesome. People will be cheering you on and keeping you going. Don't have bad dreams about it, you're going to do so great! I promise! The adrenaline is so amazing.

Tater said...

I understand the knee thingy. Haven't had surgery but my "Lefty" is the one that usually acts up. Left knee and right foot ... then I end up running like Igor *SIGH*!

How cool is it that your family is going!!! Have doubts about how many of mine will show for the half IM. They are always shaking their heads and rolling their eyes when I talk about what I have been up to. Although my Mom did make a couple of positive things this weekend which made me wonder where the pod was LOL.

I don't really have a mantra. I do find myself chanting "Don't quit" over and over sometimes with a few choice expletives in the middle. I also sometimes find myself listing body parts that aren't hurting as a way of trying to distract ,yself from those that are .. but doesn't really work that great. I sing "Bohemian Rhapsody" in my head and I also seem to always sing "Hooked on a Feeling" I think because I like the OOGA CHUCKA (sp?) part. The other thing I usually sing is the just put one foot in front of the other song that I think was from Santa Claus is Coming to Town classic ... now I am shaking head at myself *SIGH*!

Let us know what mantra you choose!!!

Willie said...

You never fail to impress me, do you know that? Do you know how many people tell me they can't run because they have knee problems? A lot! You've had surgery and you are still running a marathon!! You go girl, You're my new poster child for hardcore obstacle-overcoming runners!

Be sure they are offering a gel and drink that you've trained with or your stomach will revolt. I know you have tummy trouble like me so it's probably best to bring your own. Be careful of the electrolyte drinks on the course. They sometimes mix it in different consistencies so it can mess you up too.

As for a mantra, I don't have one. My secret is to go to sleep mentally for most of the race. I know it sounds weird but I try NOT to think for most of the marathon. I spend the 1st 3 miles getting settled in a pace and then get lost in la-la land until about mile 20. Then it's game on and I get into race mode where I concentrate on pace and the finish.

With that said, I have had some marathons where I couldn't get in that mode and I struggled to find my happy place. In the Andy Payne race, I never could lose myself and I spent the race thinking way too much. I guess what I'm saying is try not to think too much. I find it's best to lose yourself for awhile. In San Francisco I spent the first 13 miles lost in the crowds and the scenery. I don't even remember running, I only remember looking for the Golden Gate Bridge and how cool it was to run up to and over it. Get lost in the event down in San Antonio! It sounds like it's going to be a blast and you should have plenty of distractions. Don't think!!! Just enjoy; the running will just happen.

Girl on Top said...

That's so awesome that you have family coming in to see you! That would be stressful cause then you actually have a reason to try to run a good race. :)

I would definitely bring some goo just in case everyone gets stuck at the station trying to get the goo and just in case they don't have your flavor.

Also mantras I like:

This too shall pass.

I have trained too hard, too long and too many early/late nights to stop trying hard now.

I also visualize myself as a professional runner and I'm running really hard and I'm going to win this, I got to win this...It's lame, but that helps me a lot! Visualization...