Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two New Marathons for Minn-eh-soh-tah!

Yesterday I FINALLY got a run in. I was kind of disappointed with it though. I only made it 3 miles and then had to hop on the eliptical. I can't explain why, but it was just really a struggle to keep running. I was hoping to get a 6 miler in. Maybe by the end of this week or next week when the holidays die down.

Oh...and it turns out that I missed some really big news. Minnesota is gaining 2 new marathons! For those of you who don't know--we currently host 2 major ones right now--Grandma's in Duluth and the Twin Cities Marathon. We will be adding on one more in Stillwater (a beautiful tourist city where I ran my half marathon in August) and another one in Minneapolis. Read here.

I think I still will be running only the Twin Cities Marathon but it might be nice to partake in the half marathon or 5k of one of these races.

Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 GOALS!

Okay so I still have little to report about on the running front. Before announcing my 2009 goals...I have to point out one strange thing that happened last week. I went for a run on the treadmill after doing a killer eliptical workout. I was expecting a bit of a struggle since I haven't gotten alot of running in lately. Instead...I found that I was going pretty steady at a 10 min/mile pace. Not a rocket or anything...but still alright...about the same pace I was at with knee pain. SWEET!

Anyways...here is my big goal for 2009:

To participate in the Twin Cities Marathon. Ideally...I will be running the full and not the 10 miler. But I'm going to test out the old knee in the next few weeks and attempt to predict the future before registration start in January!!!

I hope to see as many of you as I can for this one! Sue, I hope you will be running it?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Miss Busy Bee

That would be me. I have had little time to run and thus I've had absouletly nothing to blog about. And you could argue that today would be the same but I decided that perhaps blogging will somehow kickstart further motivation to run.

When most people say, "I don't have the time to run." Theoretically they do have the time somewhere- albeit getting rid of their favorite shows, they have time. But honestly, I have no time. I do watch one show on Tuesday nights yet I am always completing some sort of other task at the same time-homework and visiting with the boyfriend. For instance, look at one of my day's this week:

6 am- wake up
6:45 am- Leave for full time job
7:30 am-Arrive at full time job
4:00 pm-Leave full time job
4-5 pm- Eat, drive, prepare for 2nd job
5 pm-10 pm- work seasonal 2nd job
10 pm- Drive home
10:40 pm- Sleep

Theoretically, I could somehow wake up at 4 am and run. Or maybe run from 11 pm-12 midnight. But I assure you, I am not superwoman.

BUT...the good news. Class is done with, at least for a few weeks. And the seasonal job will be done when all of the jingle bells stop ringing.

So yay. I am now preparing for a "Get fit January". And this is not because it is January. I really do hate the popularness of getting fit in January. It creates an awfully stuff gym full of people with no commitment. I merely have no time until that point. And I will be mainly pre-training for the next marathon, if I decide to go that route. Which I no doubt probably will.

Anyways, I hope all of you are having a jolly holiday season.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Short run

Run Time: 30 minutes. Run Distance: 3 miles. Eliptical time :15 minutes. Weight Lifting to consist of abductors and adductors

Yes...I made it to the gym yesterday. I was quite jealous this morning though to read Chris's report on his half marathon. It is freeeeezing cold here today. In the teens this morning. Last night it was so cold I swear it was the middle of the winter. My hands are dried out and cracking. And somehow Chris ran a race down in his neck of the woods. So jealous! Although, I won't say we don't have maniacs who run races in the winter here...we do. I'm just not one of them. Check this one out...Frozen 5k and Half Marathon. Last year I walked by these crazy heads while I went inside for a car show. If you really want to be a tough runner...let's see you run in Minnesota's coldest month with negatives in the teens, twenties, and sometimes thirties. Yikes! No thanks! Actually one of my mom's friends was training for a marthon in this coldness and slipped on ice, broke her leg. Not worth it to me.

Anyways, I ran inside in my nice warm gym yesterday. I made it to 3 miles and was totally comfortable for once. The last few runs I've had have been nothing but a struggle. The side stitches were coming back with a vengeance again. Mainly because I wasn't able to get to the gym but 1-2 times a week. This time...I had less time between my "non-gym" time and the side stitches stayed away. My body seems to be coming back...finally. I think I should be able to manage to get a few more workouts in this week and next week due to the fact that I have fewer hours at the 2nd job. Working 60 hours on top of school....not suggested. Seriously. If you ever get the loony idea in your head...remember Rachel told you not to.

And now...I have a shameless plug. I started an additional blog for the deep writer in me. Actually, really I want to write a book someday and I figured I'd start with a place to write about stuff that isn't related to running. You can view Rose-Colored Crooked Toes. The few posts that are on there still need some editing but it is a start.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

I've been awarded

I recently acquired that second job that I was telling you about and so therefore I don't have a lot of time on my plate. I haven't really gotten much running in lately, really. I will hopefully be running tonight before I go in for training for Job 2.

Anyways, I wanted to say a big thanks to Jill for the "Kreativ Blogger Award". Her blog has really been a great resource throughout my training and her comments have provided great inspiration during hard times. I would pass this award back on to her if I could. Now I must write about 6 things that make me happy and pass this award on to 6 more people.

1. Sunny warm summer days. I will say that these days are long gone from Minnesota now for awhile, but I do love the summer.

2. When my boyfriend, Andy, tells me funny jokes. I love to laugh with him and see his dimples through his smile.

3. When Duke, Andy's dog, runs up to me full force when I get to their house.

4. Finishing a big task and knowing that it is completed.

5. Spending time with friends.

6. Spending time with my family, playing games, laughing, teasing each other.

And I am now passing the award on to the following people:

1) Chris- He has truly been there from the start of my blog. He has provided some great info and has maintained a great running blog through many struggles with injuries. He has made an amazing comeback from his knee injuries and is a great inspiration.

2) Alien- What an honor to be a fellow blogger! He has provided great feedback in all of my blogs and is really a team player. He has provided us with techno-savvy posts and tales of great races. He also has introduced cycling into his workouts and it is of great interest to those of us who would like to pick it up one day.

3) Jen- She had her doubts, and I think she even worried some bloggers during her training, but she finished her first marathon! It was great to read about how happy she was throughout her marathon and after (she got engaged!) She always makes me laugh and I love her blog.

4) Steve- Another great blog to make you laugh. Steve has many, many followers because of his totally crazy stunts at races. I have yet to go to a race where he is present, but the pictures are proof that he provides a good laugh.

5) Irish Cream- Her blog really is a great read. She has some amazing stories to tell about apartment fiascos with bird seed and still manages to get a good run in. She also donated to my cause, which gives her extra kudos from me.

6) Nic- He is a fellow NF runner who just finished the Fall 50. I could never imagine running that long and it amazes me that he has set goals that are higher than I could ever dream and accomplished them! His story is one that amazes me and I enjoy following it through his blog.

I know, there are a few more people that I would LOVE to give this award to...but I could only choose 6. I'll get you the next time around. Oh, and Jen, I will be filling my obligation with your tag soon as well...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Not enough time

So I did manage to get a workout in yesterday. I did 32 minutes on the eliptical and then hit the treadmill for a good 20 minutes. I managed to get 2 miles of running in. I know 2 miles seems so measly right now, but for some reason it is a battle to run lately. I have an interview for a 2nd job today. It is at a retail store kind of like a "Macy's" called Herbergers up here. I haven't really worked in such an environment since high school but the University isn't paying me enough to survive the holidays. So, not only will I be pursuing my Masters degree at night, I may also be working a 2nd job. YUCK! This is going to make my workout sessions even harder to fit in. Seriously...I wish I could just win the lottery and then I could run all day if I wanted...

Back to reality.

Monday, November 3, 2008


So I don't have a lot of runs to report. I have found myself super busy since crossing that finish line. My classes are getting heavier and it seems that I never have time to actually get to the gym. I did, however, make it to the gym on Thursday. It turned out to be a very disappointing trip. I made it to about 1.5 miles when my feet (yea, feet?!) started hurting and my knees were crying. I cranked the speed down a bit and pushed through to 3 miles. I never thought I'd say "pushed through to 3 miles" again but that is what I did. I think that little break from running did more harm than good. Soooo...hopefully sometime this week I'll be trying to work in some extra mileage. It is 70 something degrees here today-shocking!! November in Minnesota and people are wearing shorts. I love it. However, I wish I were outdoors! Unfortunately I have a huge amount of homework to do when I get home so I don't know that I will be able to run. Yuck. We'll see what happens.

I was reading through my News Years Goals for 2008 and realized I surpassed my goal of running a half marathon by running my marathon! My next goal was to try a new sport. I have yet to do that...if any of you have some suggestions, let me know!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Post Marathon Workout and Goals

I took Sunday, Monday, AND Tuesday off from working out even though I knew I should do some sort of activity. Wednesday I decided to return to the gym. I took it easy and stayed on the eliptical and the bike. Well it turns out...I have somehow further inhibited a post-marathon injury....

Ugly toes. Yes...you may be thinking, how is this an injury?? Well...it is greater than the regular "black toes" that marathoners get. I not only have black toes but my toes are also swollen AND they have this little sac of something right near the quick. And it's not a blister...more like...a red puffy something. I think it was amped up after my little workout because it now hurts to walk. I called the nurseline last night and they told me to go to Urgent Care. I have a hard time believing that ugly toes warranted an urgent care visit so I'm trying to see if it will go away. The nurse's rationale was that it has been 6 days and my toes are far from my heart and thus more susceptible to infection.

So I'm still going to wait.

I have also been mulling over that idea of running Twin Cities next year. I think there is a pretty good chance it will happen. In the mean time, during the winter, I have some goals to accomplish to make the next marathon so much better.

1. Find some more running buddies in my area (join a running club)
2. Lose about 15 lbs. I know I'm not hugely overweight or anything but 15 lbs would get me to more median "normal". The BMI charts say I am high on the "normal" range but I'd like to get more to the middle of the normal range. And yes...I realize that the BMI charts are highly disputed and not really a good way of finding "normal". Anyhow, losing some weight might help the knee problem some as well.
3. Reduce the calories. This has been the hardest thing to do post marathon. It seems as if I'm always hungry and always tired. My body is still used to needing insane amounts of calories to sustain long runs and now it doesn't quite know how to go back. I'm working on telling my stomach to stop growling at me. (Funny story--it did this during a meeting yesterday really loud and my boss glanced over at me...yikes!)

Anywho, Good luck to my fellow blogger Jen this weekend!!! I know you'll have a GREAT marathon!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kansas City Marathon 2008 (WITH Pictures!)

Gather around folks...here is the story of my first marathon :-) I will upload more photos later to this post when I have access to them! This one was only at mile 4 or so...

Friday morning, my parents came to our apartment to pick my roommate Amanda and I up for the trek to Kansas City. I hadn't really slept much the night before because I was so worked up about running this marathon. We loaded our stuff in the car, took a "car ride" photo and endured 8 hours in my parents' Ford Explorer headed to Kansas City.

We got to Kansas City around 4:00 PM and went straight to Crown Center where the expo was held. Little did we know, that the expo was really at "Hyatt Crown Center" and not just "Crown Center". We found a nice lady to direct us through lots of hallways and skyways before we finally found our way to the expo. We picked up lots of free goodies, our chips, and a cotton T shirt that said "Kansas City Marathon" on it. Amanda thought this would be our only Tshirt and was a little upset that it was cotton...but we'll get to more on that later. I was trying to figure outa solution to carrying my gels during the race as well. Amanda and I both bought a spibelt for $20.00 to carry our gels and other items.

We left the expo and headed over to my Aunt Ellen and Uncle Jim's house where we would be staying. As we walked through the dining room, I spotted a cake on the table--it said "Happy Birthday Rachel!" It was very sweet that they had baked a cake for me considering I had not gotten one on my birthday. They also made a great big pasta dinner with breadsticks and a beautiful salad.

After dinner, I printed off some photos of my grandmother and uncle to attach to my back the next day. I also showered so that I wouldn't have to do that the next morning. Amanda and I headed to bed about 9:00 pm but definetly didn't sleep much at all. As hard as I tried, I could not really get to sleep. I woke up before my alarm even went off at 4:45 AM. Actually, correction, Amanda's alarm went off because mine had mistankenly been set for the wrong day.

Anyway, I hopped out of bed and ate a quick bagel and banana and attempted to hydrate up. I threw on my running skirt and then contemplated whether I wanted to wear a normal black nike running shirt or my NF shirt. I took both of these shirts on and off multiple times before finally settling with my NF shirt. I really didn't like the color on the NF shirt (green) but I figured it was what I should do. Since it was only 40 degrees outside when the race started, I knew I would need a jacket. The only one I brought was pink and blue, so I ended up looking a bit like a parrot in the beginning due to the contrast in colors.

Anyways, after creating my parrot costume...we headed out the door. 6 of us crammed into my Aunt Ellen's car and headed out into the dark Kansas City morning. We arrived at the Crown Center at 6:00 AM. We then took off into the Crown Center to do the neccesary things like use the restroom, stretch the IT band, etc. (Dad got a photo of me stretching my IT band that I'll add later). Anyways, around 6:30, we headed over to the start line. Amanda really wanted to finish in 4 Hrs 30 Min and I thought that this was feasible so we got behind the 4 hr 30 min pacer and said our final goodbyes to the cheering crowd.

The National Anthem was sung and the hairs on my arm stuck up in realization that I would be running within moments. The anthem ended, then gun went off, and we were moving. First, we took off with a little bit of a crowded jog and I was suprised we were above a "walking" pace but that quickly changed with a "car wreck" like effect. Everyone in front of us halted very quickly and we collided with the people in front of us. This happened about 3 times before finally we were at a regular walking pace towards the start line. Once we crossed the start line, we were off. I quickly realized that I had made a giant mistake by loading my brand new spibelt full of gels. It was bouncing around like crazy (and my number was attached). I was getting so annoyed by the whole thing and couldn't wait to use my first gel...it finally went away when I did.

Amanda stuck with me for the first 3 miles. She had to go to the bathroom right away and so she looked out for a port-o-pottie while I tried to determine whether I really wanted to stop. We found one shortly after our first really large hill up to the Liberty Memorial. I decided to be nice and stop with her even though there was a really long line. This was my first mistake. I should never have stopped for a bathroom that I didn't need to use. Anyways, Amanda and I continued on. We hit a few more up hills and then it was nothing but downhill for awhile. My knees really don't do well with down hill. They were starting to hurt so I started to slow down a little. This is where Amanda and I seperated. I think we may have been at mile 4. This is the reason why I seriously think I shouldn't have stopped at that porto-pottie.

Anyways, I caught back up to Amanda briefly about 10 minutes later and then she was gone again. I refocused my energy to try to stay focused on my run and on finishing. My knees were already hurting and I was starting to get really warm with the jacket on. I wanted to see the "support clan" so badly so I could throw my jacket at them. Finally around mile 6, I heard "Rachel! Rachel!". I veered from the center of the course and quickly threw my jacket at my aunt then headed back on course.

The next 6 or 7 miles kind of went by in a blur. Lots of uphills and downhills, and listening to the people around me. Actually, they put our name on our number tags so there were quite a few people cheering my name. That was pretty cool. There were lots of people on the sidelines to cheer the runners on which was really nice. The water stops were alright. My first few water stops I ended up with the quarter filled cups again. By the third water stop I took two glasses of water to make sure I could rinse my gel down. I don't know what mile I was at, but at one point I could see the 4:30 pacer ahead of me and since I knew that they stop at all of the water stops, I picked up a cup and took a run for it. It didn't really help in my favor because it happened to be the one water stop where they filled my entire cup with ice water (actual ice cubes in it). Yea, ice water and running at the same time do not mix at all. It made my breathing a lot harder and I ended up dropping the full cup and splashing everyone around me. I lost the 4:30 pacer even more in this endeavor.

Around the half marathon mark, there was an "out and back" loop. This is where I discovered that I was still somewhere between the 4:30 and 4:40 pacer because I saw the 4:40 pacer headed "out" while I was headed "back". That was pretty exciting. There were three girls in front of me running their first marathon who had also seen the same thing. They were equally as excited as I was.

I was in front of the 4:40 pacer all the way up until right before Mile 20. By then, my knees were killing me and I had to go to the bathroom so bad because my stomach was hurting. I stopped at a port-o-pottie again to wait in line. There were two Team-In-Training girls waiting for their friend in the John when we saw the 4:40 pacer run by. At this point, I had a bit of a panick. The girls around me were yelling at their friend to get out of the bathroom so they could catch up. I went into the port-o-pottie and realized that many, many people had stopped here before me. There was actually brown stuff splattered all over the toilet seat. Not a good sight to see when your legs are already so tired. I tried as hard as I could to keep my legs from falling on that seat. Yuck! I quickly made it out of the port-o-pottie and was on my way again.

My cheering team saw me somewhere around mile 20. My knees were killing me as I walked through the water stop. My mom asked me how I was doing and I said "knees hurt". My Aunt, not really having a lot of familiarity with marathons, said "Maybe you should sit down." This made me pick up the pace and take off. I told them I was fine, put on a smile and ran. I hit mile 20 and kept going. At mile 21, I walked a bit, gritted my teeth and kept going. Every one of the volunteers could see the pain on my face by this point. One woman who was shouting out free advice shouted at me as I passed, "Knees, yes knees hurt. I've been there. Knees hurt." At this point I could do nothing but laugh. Gee...I'd never heard of that sort of a cheer. Anyways, I trudged on. I kept thinking about my uncle and grandmother who couldn't run and why I was running. I thought about my support team and how they had chased me around the whole day and woken up at the crack of dawn to support me. I thought about all of the volunteers on the course, the National Guard, the police men.

At one point, I was struggling pretty hard. There were fewer and fewer cheer teams on the course, the bands seemed to be concentrated more in the beginning half than the last half, and there were fewer runners around me. I was hoping for one of those "runner comes along side you and tells you to keep moving" moments. But that didn't really happen. Instead, we were running through a little bit of a more economically challenged part of Kansas City. I saw two guys who an ordinary person might have thought of as "thugsters" standing along the course. They were high fiving everyone. They got a great bit smile on their faces and high fived me as I passed them. I'm not really entirely sure what their position was in their community, but I felt like they may have been youth advocates. Regardless, it gave me a new boost of energy to see someone on the side of the course in this particular area of Kansas City and to think that they took out a part of their day to do so.

Anyways, the last few miles were pretty tough. My knees and ankles were shot. Yes I say knees. It wasn't just my right knee by this point. OH! And then whole entire race, my elbow got this tingly sensation, and my arm eventually went numb. So I was dealing with that as well and trying to shake my arms out. The last few miles were all down hill. Amanda later told me that she was so excited to hear the news. I, unfortunately, was quite the opposite. I walked down pretty much every hill until the end. The down hills were killing me, even to walk them. By the time I hit mile 25, I was almost in tears. I walked a good portion of the last mile, knowing that I would finish before 5 hours no matter what. I just wanted to finish. I ran a portion of it because I saw a guy running while dragging his foot and figured if he could do that, then I could run as well. I kept looking for the finish line. We made two turns and I still kept watching for it. Finally, finally...I could see it. The finish line was ahead of me. 26.2 was ahead of me. I took off running as fast as my legs would take me. I don't even know where the energy came from but it was there. I ran, looking at the clock, trying to make sure my time was before 5 hours. I finished in 4 hours 53 minutes chip time.

I crossed the finish line, my parents, aunts, and Amanda were all there waiting. They took two photos in front of the finish line and then I wanted so badly to keep walking. My dad pleaded with me to stay there so he could take some more photos and I told him I had to keep moving. He tried to argue with me one more time and I just started crying. I couldn't handle the pain anymore. Finally they let me go and I meandered through the finish line spectacle. A lady ran up to me and asked me if I needed to go to the medical tent and I said no, that I would be fine. They threw a medal around me and said "you earned this". Then I was shoved through the "runner's food court" as they advertised in the race material. This consisted of bananas and oranges by the time I made it through...oh and some yogurt. I wanted a piece of bread so badly. I guess they had cookies and rolls earlier that were gone by that time. I was a little disappointed at this part of the race. BUT...they did hand me a nice "finisher" shirt that was moisture wicking and New Balance.

Anyways, I shoved through and meandered

around looking for my lost family for a good 10 minutes. Finally my aunt found me, and I tried so hard not to cry again but I couldn't help it. I broke down again. She took me over to the medical tent and runners cleared the way for me to get there. A lady ran up to me with a clipboard and asked me what was wrong. I think my dad told her that my legs were cramping, which wasn't quite the case. But they sat me down on a cot while they waited for a massaging table to get cleared. At this point I became hypothermic because we were no longer in the heat. I started to shake uncontrollably and tried hard to stay warm under the space blanket. About 10 minutes went by and finally my massaging guy came over and took me to the table. I had a hard time getting up but explained the IT band problem I had been having. My knees wouldn't move at all and it hurt extremely bad. He said he would focus on it. I started to shake pretty bad on the table and he piled more and more blankets on me. I kept on shaking while he massaged my body. He did it very lightly and so it didn't really feel like it did a whole lot to be honest. But it was good to rest for a little bit. When he was finished, he instructed my supporters to keep me warm and make sure I drink fluids because I was dehydrated and hypothermic.

We went out into the sun and I was a thousand times better. I looked for some sort of "food court" as they had advertised in the booklet and realized that the oranges and bananas was their idea of a food court. Interesting.

Anyways, after a bit of searching, we left. I called Andy to tell him that I made it. We headed home, the supporters crashed and I stayed up and talked to my aunt about the race.

We planned on going to the "After party" because it was also advertised that their would be food entertainment, and awards there. Well, there were awards but none of the other. It was another disappointment. Instead, we went to City Tavern, because we had gotten a $25 gift certificate in our race packets to go there. I made the mistake of ordering crab legs for $29.95 and finding out that it was a very meager dish for the price. There was probably less than half a pound of crab legs on the dish and far more of my side dish (fries). The crab was not cooked well either, it was really dry.

But anyway, all in all...it was a great time. I finished!! Now...you may ask...will I do it again??

I think I may run Twin Cities next year...

Monday, October 13, 2008

For every good run...

There is always a bad one. I was so excited after my 20 miler. Actually elated. Then it changed. I actually thought that the knee was totally healed but I think I was wrong. I will be completely honest, I didn't want to run my 8 miler this weekend. But I got out of bed, got dressed and figured that once I got out there I'd be fine. It was in the 70's, the leaves are beautiful, and for the first few steps I was actually doing alright. But then I turned my I-Pod on and it seems that every song that was playing was just annoying the crap out of me. I think I was just easily irritated and would have preferred no music but I had already started the darn thing with music. Right before midpoint, my knee started acting up. I decided to readjust my knee band by tightening it up a little. Bad idea. My knee was hurting worse. So then I stopped and loosened the thing. My knee still hurt but not as bad as it did when it was tight. I trudged on. Made it halfway, turned around, and the wind was something fierce. My pace slowed down alot. Running out there I was at about a 9:10 min/mile. Running back I was 10:10. I walked a few times, yelled at my knee and the wind, and kept going. Somehow I made it back with an average pace of 10:00 min/mil.

Anyways, my knee feels kind of icky today but not near as bad as it used to after a brutal long run. So at least I have that going for me. Today I'm doing a 4 miler with Amanda and then after that I think I just have a 3 and 2 miler...then I'm done tapering. I can't believe my marathon is already this weekend...scary!

One good thing to take out of all of this...today is my birthday. And it's warm outside, albeit rainy and gross, but warm.

Monday, October 6, 2008

20 MILES! Bring on the Taper!

Run Distance: 20 Miles Run Time: 3 Hours 20 min. WOOHOO!

Awesome, spectacular, GREAT news to report! I finished my 20 miler on Saturday and my knee did not hurt very much at all. I got a few faint pain shocks but nothing serious. I only had one mistake that lead to a bit of pain in the knee...and that was forgetting to take my knee strap off before I started doing quad stretches. YIKES! My knee hurt for a good five minutes or so pretty bad but then it went away. And guess what? It didn't come back! Yes...that's right...I was walking up and down the stairs the next day!! I think I did have some trouble for the following hour after my run and I was a bit stiff in class after...but nothing really bad. Normally I am limping and avoiding stairs for at least 2 days after a long run. But yesterday I was a new person. I will also have to say that those energy shots really do help. I hadn't really taken them until my run last week. They really helped with my run on Saturday. I used the Power Gels and although they are really kind of gross to consume, I had energy during my entire run. Andy (the bf) was a little shocked when I came back and I didn't look totally drained. Actually I had alotted 5 hours to finish this run just in case anything happened and he was suprised to see me back early.

Congrats to all of those who conquered Twin Cities this weekend! I'm kind of glad that I didn't make it in that one with all of the weather issues that were going on (I hate wet and cold!). Now I just hope Kansas City gives me some nice weather in less than 2 weeks!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Strap and the Knee

Run Distance: 5 miles

So, I ran 5 miles yesterday--on the treadmill because I needed those gym points once again. Anyways, when I first hopped on the treadmill, I forgot to put my strap on. I didn't really feel like getting back off to dig through my bag to look for it--so I kept running. Well, not even a mile into my run, my knee was doing this really odd locking sort of pain. So, now I'm worried that my improvements now rely on the strap. I mean, before the strap, I was able to run at least to 4 miles without knee pain or at least a gradual pain. I mean...yea it is GREAT that I can run painless...but tied to the strap?! I don't know...that is so less glorifying. It is like saying you can walk...but with crutches. Okay, maybe not that extreme...but seriously! Oh well, if it gets me through my marathon-then bring it on.

Anyways, today I am dreading my run. It is only 10 miles. But a 10 mile run on a weekday can make things hectic. I preferred the 5 and 6ers. One of the main reasons I can't wait for this marathon to be done--I can go back to my lovely "little" runs. They really weren't "little" back in the day. 6 is a nice number. But when you've ran 18...it looks like a "little" number. Oh boy...the waters that I swam into.

So...20 miler on the horizon...not sure which day I'm fitting that one into. My mom's bday is on Saturday but I also have a 4 hour class on Saturday. So I think I'll either run Saturday morning or Sunday morning and then just visit the parents on Sunday. Oh how I can't wait to have time back in my day! 2 more weeks!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

More than Ready

5 miles on Friday- fast and feeling great.

Finished 13 miles yesterday with essentially low pain. I had 14 on the agenda but it started to get dark outside and so I phoned the good ol' bf and had him come pick me up. What a sweetie.

Anyways, the knee hurts today so I'll probably end up doing a little cross training today and taking it easy. I finally got the go-ahead to ice after my long runs so I guess I'll start doing that with only one more long run to go. Crazy.

Tried out the sport beans during my run. They didn't do any harm on the stomach and I finished my run without feeling completely drained. Next I will try out the Clifshot on my 20 miler. Then...I'll be tapering...finally! I can't wait to get this marathon done...bring it on!

Oh and...the hills! I did hills this weekend and didn't stop once! Woohoo!!!

Anyways, I've got a lot to do so this blog has to be short. Good luck on your runs!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Run Distance: 9 miles, Run Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

Good news to report...finally!! Yesterday I went for a nice 9 mile run. The weather was perfect, nice and cool, sunny, and beautiful. The leaves are turning colors and for once I was actually not taking that as "winter is coming, winter is coming, oh no!".

The big news: A 9 mile run with no knee pain while running. Now, the problem comes with the fact that I changed 3 variables during this run and any number of them could have attributed to the lack of knee pain.
Variable #1:
I purchased a Pro-Tech band from the Running Warehouse and wore it during my run yesterday.

Variable #2:
I purchased new Nike Pegasus shoes and wore those during my run yesterday.

Variable #3:
My physical therapist changed the angle of attack and started working on my hip and IT band instead of my entire leg.
Perhaps all three aided in my great painless run...but either way I was loving it. Finally, I was hitting 9 min/mile splits through a good portion of my run. I haven't done that since before my half marathon! How exciting!!
Today...my knee is in a little bit of pain. I'm thinking I just need to do some extra stretching.

Now here are some quick reviews of the products I purchased:

Nike+ Women's Pegasus 25th Anniversary Edition

I bought these grand shoes from the Running Room again. It was their 20th or something anniversary as well so I got my shoes with a 15% discount which I loved. But anyway, the newer, bluer edition of the Nike Pegasus--seem to be alright thus far. I started out the run with a bit of pain in the toe box. My toes actually started to go numb. I attributed it to the fact that maybe my shoe laces are just too darn short (I accidently left the longer ones at the store). Anyway, I tried to loosen my shoes up a bit and the pain went away a couple of miles in to my run. The shoes felt great--much like previous pair of Pegasus. I have read some reviews that also say the toe box is too narrow. I'm not entirely sure whether that was the problem or not (I may have just tied them too tight?!) But anyway, if that is the case, I would be suprised. My feet are pretty small as it is and definetly not unordinarily wide. So, if the toe box is too narrow, it could be cutting in to alot of "normal" footed people. Anyways, the cushion appears to be perfect, felt like I was riding on air--much like my old Pegasus.

Protec Patella Tendon Strap

The strap goes on pretty easy with velcro. It had a small little pouch cushion that goes directly under your knee. As I said before, I don't know if this attributed to my pain-free run, but I'm sure it might have helped. It didn't slide up and down during my run and was easily adjustable. Time will well if it really helps my knee on those long runs!

Today, I have scheduled a 5 miler on the treadmill. It is supposed to rain and it is kind of chilly here today (plus I need the gym time for my insurance rebate!).

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Mental Challenge

So yes, some of you may have read about my fall during my 18 miler (read previous post). But let me tell you, with all of this pain in my knee, that was half the struggle. I kept thinking in my head "Why in the world did you sign up for a marathon?" And then...the greatest..."Rachel, you are running 18 miles. This isn't 26.2 with hills. You still have 8 more miles with hills in your marathon." I know...take it one chunk at a time. But seriously, what was I thinking?! I asked Amanda this as my brain started to sidetrack from the main goal and she said , "It will be much better when your knee isn't hurting." Well, given the fact that my knee is hurting, I think I'm stuck with biting the jaw (which you should soon look for a trip to the doc for "jaw pain" as I have been biting it pretty hard) and running through it. Well, Amanda then said something along the lines of "it is fun and we can do it." I don't remember exactly what was said...but I was so frustrated with my knee and feeling sick that I said "We are crazy." Officially crazy. Who runs 26.2 miles for fun?! And especially when your knee feels like it should be sawed off!? Oh yes...this crazy one here. Yep...I'm not stopping.

And yes...I went to the doctor last week because my physical therapist was sick and decided to use the time wisely. The doctor took a look at my knee and said, "Yep, you are still okay to run, you just have chronic tendonitis" and then he mumbled something about how he could shoot cortizone in my IT band and it might help but that he couldn't do anything for the pain in the front of my knee. So I chose to opt out of the cortizone and continue through the pain. Which as you read, was pretty much pain-less until the tail end of my 18 miler. But when the pain sets in...it isn't like a gradual pain. It is more like...bite your jaw as hard as you can pain. Actually, I don't know where the jaw thing started. I never used to bite down hard on my jaw but I guess I've never really experienced anything like this. The doctor did tell me to scale back on my miles, but I don't think he realized I only have a month left. And I'm already scaled back quite a bit. So I guess I'll just trudge on. And come to really dread that 20-miler creeping up in a few weeks...

But nonetheless...I will be happy when it is all done.

If I can still stand.

I sound like such a drama queen and honestly...I'm not. I'm just chronicling my journey and figure that someday when I run completely pain free--I can be extremely grateful.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

18 miles...and a faceplant

Amanda (roomie) and I went for an 18 miler yesterday. We used her Nike+ system and we think it was a little off as it said we only ran 16.8 when we came in but that had to be wrong. We ran around Lake Calhoun as the sun was setting and it was beautiful. My knee didn't bug me too badly until the last few miles whenever we stopped and started again. I was starting to really lose energy towards the end and was starting to feel kind of sick.

We were on our last when it happened. My foot somehow hit one of the cracks in the sidewalk. I was too tired to think about what I should do. I knew I was going to go down but I couldn't even think about how to land. I think I may have put my arms out. Both of my arms hit the ground and my head hit lightly too. My neck hurt, my left knee was scraped up and my hands stung. I sat there for a little while before getting up. I had to make Amanda walk for awhile after that because it hurt too bad to start running again. But it hurt really bad to walk too. After about 1/4 of a mile, I decided I needed to run because it hurt way too bad to walk. We ran and eventually my knee felt better.

When we returned, I felt pretty sick to my stomach. I tried to force some water down thinking I was dehydrated but I'm not real sure what was going on. I got light headed every time I stood up. Anyways, a lot better today. I'll blog more later when I have time...more about the thoughts that were going through my head as I ran..."Why the heck did I sign up for a marathon?!!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just call me Rollercoaster Rachel

I don't have a run to report because unfortunately I was really really busy yesterday. But I do have some good news. My knee doesn't hurt anymore (thanks to those 2 rest days!). I spoke with the physical therapist today and explained the extreme pain I was having. He told me that I might need to go back to the doctor to have them do an MRI and/or inject me with cortizone. I told him that I would like to avoid that at all cost because I've heard horrible things about pain and cortizone shots in the knee. I told him that I think that if I just back off on those runs that follow my long run, and just deal with the pain, that I could do it. He agreed. He did push on my knee a bit and said it was definetly tissue that is sore so evidently that is good news? If tissue gets as sore as I was on Sunday, I'd hate to know the kind of pain associated with bone or cartilage damage!

Anyways, he wrapped my knee up this time, pulling it slightly to the left to try to help alleviate pain on the right side of my knee. Hopefully this helps. I'm also going to look into getting some new shoes next weekend because I think I'm probably due.

Thanks so much for all of your advice! I know that really it seems as though quitting would be the safest option right now, but honestly I think I can push through this. My knee pain is the most severe after my long runs and then goes away after a few days. The reason why I absolutely HAVE to finish this marathon?? Check here. http://firstgiving.com/rachelheiman. My grandmother and uncle can't run this race because NF took their lives. If I have to walk a part of it...then I will. But I'm alive so that I can finish...for them...and those who have it today. Knee pain is nothing when you think about the pain that my grandmother went through...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Not Gonna Lie...

I'm in a great deal of pain. And to think...in the beginning of my training, I actually believed all those "Runner-hyped" articles that denied the fact that runners are prone to knee problems. I think it is one of those things that runners are stamped with so often that they really do try to hide it at all costs. But honestly...it hurts...so bad. I never had knee pain until I started picking up the mileage in my running. Never before I ran. Never until I hit the 12 mile range. And now...I'm quite frustrated. My physical therapist doesn't seem too concerned yet this was supposed to be our last week. And I'm in the worst pain yet. Let me explain how I got to this point...

Yesterday Amanda (roommate) and I decided to head out at 7pm for a 12 miler. In the rain. Well, it was more like misting...but definetly wet...and cold. My knee wasn't responding too well to this cold weather. I was feeling it almost immediately but decided to run through the pain. Well, the pain only got worse and I had to make Amanda stop a few times. It sucked.

I did get a 5 miler in earlier this week too--one that was supposed to be an 8 miler and had to be cut short due to pain. And even yet earlier in the week-- I ran a 5 miler with no pain.

Anyways, my options do not include "not running this marathon". I will be walking it if I have to but I will be there. I'm just hoping a miracle happens between now and then so I don't have to walk it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

16 Miles!!!

I did it...back on schedule! 16 miles! Woohoo! That is the longest run on my schedule that I have missed and my longest run ever! Now...I will fully admit...I probably shouldn't have...but I really really wanted to get back on track.

The first 11 miles were gravy. The weather was super cool and so I didn't get all hot and gross. It was amazing how much more energy I had in the cooler temps. I knew that the only thing that was really going to hold me back was my legs. My lungs and heart were feeling great. The last 5 miles were okay as long as I kept moving. The instant I stopped to tie my shoes or stop at a stoplight, I could feel the pain. The last 2 miles I started to feel it while running and at that point I knew I really should have been walking but I wanted that distance so I kept on. Now my knees hurt pretty bad. I did some stretching and I'm really hoping it helps. I couldn't walk down the stairs on my right knee again. I'm hoping my physical therapist sees past the obvious problems and is happy I achieved 16 miles...lol

Anyways, some cool things about my 16 miles:

1) I ran clear to Uptown from Hopkins. To drive between these areas would take 20 minutes (w/o rush hour traffic!) and I just ran it. I could tell when I hit the city though--ran in to some not so happy people when I accidently migrated into a newly formed "bikes only" lane.

2) I saw a cat poop on a hill in Uptown.

3) I saw a clan of kids on bikes.

4) I saw many many pretty flowers.

5) I witnessed rush hour traffic from a bridge that I ran over and laughed because for once I was not stuck in it.

Okay I thought I had more cool things but I guess I don't. That's my wonderful 16 mile run...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cleared for the Long Run

Run Distance: 4 miles (Tuesday)
Run Distance: 8 miles Run Time: Unrecorded but a speed of 6.6 on TM (Wednesday)

I went to the physical therapist yesterday and he gave me some glorious news (semi-glorious). He told me that I could attempt a long run this weekend. Although, his idea of a long run was only 10 miles but he said that if I felt like I could keep running--then by all means--RUN! He also told me that I should probably do this after my ASTYM treatment on Friday. So Friday will be my long run day...and I'm sooo excited! I adjusted my schedule a bit to accomodate the change in long run day...so today I am going to take off.

Yesterday I completed 8 miles. My quads are a bit sore today but absolutely no knee pain. Now that is good news.

Thanks to everyone for their support through all of this! Hopefully I will be back on track again soon.

Oh and btw...for all of you "summer go away" wishers...you should come visit Minnesota. You would definetly get your wish-- as my very nice warm weather has been traded for some brrr! freezing mornings and afternoons. It was a mere 50-some degrees this morning!!!! For most people...they would be excited to embrace the beautiful fall weather--but I am now terrified of what follows fall--a very long cold winter. And lots of treadmill time. I've had enough of the TM with this injury...I so don't look forward to it in the winter.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stressed, Frazzled, and All of the Above

I got a run in this weekend, which met my 4 run goal for the Virtual Run Club but definetly didn't quite meet my training schedule. I was hoping to get at least a 15 miler in to try to get back on schedule. My physical therapist thought otherwise. I told him about the way my knee reacted post run (hurt going down stairs) and he told me that I needed to keep my runs around 6-8 for now so that I'm not going backwards on my healing. So on Sunday I headed out with the intention to really just get a run done. I was in the hilly region of St.Michael and I knew that I couldn't expect to get a super long run in. I was feeling good though and finally found a road with minimal hills. My I-Pod wasn't charged so I was running without the ability to know how far I'd gone. Andy and I calculated it with the car later and found that I'd almost ran 7 miles! Not the 15 I was supposed to do but at least my knee is still in tact and not in too much pain.

So where does all the stress come from? Well...I'm not at 15! And my marathon is really creeping up here. It is already September. I hate to say it, but I think I should have put this marathon off a little longer. But I can't back out now. So...I'm left with nothing but worry until this knee heals.

And school is starting this weekend so that means I will have less time. And on top of that...I've discovered that somehow I've spent way too much money lately. And I really would like to figure out a way of getting more income--meaning maybe another job. But that would leave me with literally NO time. Blah. Plus Amanda and I are looking to move. So Rachel is very stressed. If only I COULD run 15 miles to vent all this stuff!

Anyways...that's my life right now. Physical therapist tomm. Hopefully he can fix me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

8 Miles...Almost Pain Free!

Run Distance: 8 Miles, Run Time: 1:15

Yes I completed my 8 miler...almost free of pain. I had a little bit of some pain at about mile 6-7ish but nothing horrid and I ran through it with no problem. Unfortunately though, my knee hurts to go downstairs today. And the strange thing the physical therapist told me was "Only stop if it hurts after." Hmm...well first...how do you know you are causing "after pain" if you are trudging through the "during pain" to be able to stop? And to what degree does "after pain" have to be? I think I'm just going to use some good ol' common sense here and keep running because it is not like it hurts to the point of avoiding all stairs yet. Plus I only have a 4 miler today and then I see him again tomm. So maybe he can explain this whole "keeping going through pain unless it hurts after your run thing".

But yay for almost painless runs!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And it works...

Run Distance: 4 Miles, Run Time: 39 minutes

Just call me Running Rachel. Yea I ran...4 miles...no pain. WOOHOO! Granted it was only 4 miles but a scheduled 4 miles nonetheless. The real test will be when my longer distances come into play later in the week. I think the physical therapists crazy plastic thing may have done some good. I don't really feel any pain today. Normally I've been at least having it when I walk around a bit too. Anyways, I'm hoping for a nice solid week...we'll see.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Run Through the Pain?

So I went to my first physical therapist session today. Whereas my doctor was telling me to not even run at all until I started physical therapy, my physical therapist told me that I should be running through the pain. Interesting. He looked at my running schedule and said "hmm we're going to have some catching up to do." Yikes! Anyways, he did the "astym" procedure on my knee. It included pushing these strange plastic objects around my entire leg to break up the fibrosis areas. "Fibrosis" for those of you who aren't familiar with the term like I wasn't...is an area that has lots of scar tissue from working out. When he ran the instrument over an area with fibrosis, it was a bit uncomfortable and felt bumpy. The areas with healthy tissue were smooth. Anyway, I have to do this twice a week and do lots of stretching. I'm also supposed to keep up my running. So hopefully we'll see a long run this week??! I don't know about this running through the pain stuff though. My knee hurt pretty back the last time and was snapping. But I guess I might as well give it a try...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Trudging Ahead

Run1- 3 miles
Run 2- 4.5 miles
Run 3- 6.5 miles

So last week I ran even though the doc told me not to. I'm not entirely sure I'm doing more harm to my knee though. I run until it hurts and my mileage seems to be creeping back up. I made it 6.5 before I felt major pain yesterday. I'm not so sure this is the way to do it...but I really can't keep from running. I go to physical therapy tomm. We will see what happens from that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cross Training

Yes I listened to the doctor this time. I attempted to run this weekend with Andy's dog and only made it a few steps before my knee was hurting. So, Monday I paid attention and cross trained.

I did 30 minutes on the bike...which is pretty impressive for me. I HATE the bike. It's just too boring for me. But I've heard it is really good for your knees. Let's just say my legs were not accustomed to that thing because after getting off--my knee hurt worse. But I'm guessing it was because it was strengthening the muscles because I'm all good now. It was extremely tough though to make it that far because to the right of the bike is the nice row of treadmills. And who is on treadmills? Runners! I was so incredibly jealous...

Anyways, following the bike, I hit up a bit of weight lifting and some crunches then hit the eliptical. Half an hour on the eliptical, then some great stretches and I was outta there.

Tonight I'm going to see the Twins play and then tomm I'm hoping and praying I might be able to run.

I will leave you with a picture from this weekend--my friend's bachelorette party. (Last bar of the night)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Doctor Says...

Physical Therapy. Evidently I have some fancy word for "Runner's Knee". He was slightly concerned that he thought my pelvis might be uneven causing some issues. But then he didn't really say much more about that so I don't know whether that is truly a concern. Either way he uttered the words I was fearing. "Do not run." YUCK! He told me to cross train until I begin physical therapy at which point I can run. But I really don't want to miss another week of running...so I plan on sneaking some runs in and stopping if it really is painful.

I don't think I'm ever running a mostly downhill race again. EEEKS!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Distance: 4 miles with some walking

All I have to say is...I hope to not see any more runners on the streets running today. It makes me very very jealous. You see...yesterday I set out to do 7 miles. Yes my knee is still recovering from my half marathon but I figured I was good to go. I was able to run on it yesterday with pain only in the last mile. I had some very wishful thinking and thought I was ready to go. Well...I guess that wasn't the case.

My first 3 miles...were awesome. But at the 3.25 mark...the pain set in. I walked a bit and then decided "hey I should try running again". Took off running and was just getting into a zone when "snap!". Followed by pain of course. What is wierd though...when I started walking...the pain was only faint. So I finished off my 4 miles, hopped off the treadmill and called it a day. But now I guess I probably have to take a rest day so that I can at least get those longer runs in later. There is nothing harder than taking running away from someone who is training for a marathon. And I have to finish that marathon. There isn't another option.

Nonetheless, I'm debating on whether I should go to the Sports Medicine doc again. I don't want to be told I should stay off of it. But I also don't want to incur further injury and not be able to run at all. That and I think that if I take a rest day or two it might get better. But then if I don't go see the doc in that time, then I will be waisting even more time. But who wants to see the doc if it doesn't appear to cause agonizing pain?? It is more of like a warning flash when I hit over 3 miles. And why 3 miles? Why couldn't my knee just give me a little bit more mileage? I mean...3...come on! Hopefully though...this will be resolved soon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back at It

Run Distance: 3 miles, Run Time: 30 min

Took this run pretty easy because of the knee pain the past few days. It actually went well though. I had a bit of pain in the last mile but nothing too bad. I'm supposed to run 7 tonight and I'm hoping that I can actually make it to 7. We'll see.

Super tired today too. Don't know what it is but it's been so hard to wake up lately!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Gopher to Badger Pictures

As promised, here are the photos. Make sure you check out the race report on the previous blog.

Before the race, ran to grab my i-pod.

Start Line
Starting the race.
Coming in to Finish

Exhausted and not wanting to talk.

Gopher to Badger Half Marathon Race Report

562 Rachel Heiman 23 F Minnetonka MN 2:16:33 10:26

I should call this one a "What you shouldn't do" report. Rather than a race report. I know I could have done much better. And it is kind of disappointing to know that I finished 562nd out of 685 finishers (I say finishers because it appears that they were announcing 1300 runners and if you add the 5k and the half marathon together that only comes to 906). But anyways, nonetheless...my expected finish wasn't quite what I expected. Here is my story:

The night before the race, I was extremely tired. I actually was starting to think that I had been drugged and was a little worried. I even made Andy check his carbon monoxide alarm. I was exhausted at about 6:00 PM and started to get rather dizzy by about 8:00 PM. Needless to say, I slept well that night. I woke up Saturday morning at 5:00 AM and started the routine feeling refreshed. Got dressed in my NF shirt, put on my running skirt. I was ready. I was more than ready. I knew that this race was technically a training run for my big day so I wasn't too nervous. I woke Andy up and we were on our way.

It is a long drive to Stillwater and Hudson from Andy's house in the northwest suburbs. It gave me plenty of time to choke a blueberry bagel down and drink plenty of water. They had announced that there would not be bathrooms at the start, so I decided I would quit drinking an hour before the race. We were told to go to Hudson (finish line) to register/pick up packets and if you wanted get on a bus to take you to the start. Well I'd already picked up my packet but I decided to go to Hudson anyway to figure out if there was any other need. And there were bathrooms there. The line for the bathrooms was huge. They had both port-o-potties and a beach house with regular restrooms. I chose the beach house. Got in the stall, used the restroom and realized there was no toilet paper. Not good. There was no way I wanted to run 2 hours having not had any toilet paper! I sat there for awhile contemplating my situation and then finally some lady next to me shouted "Hey can someone get me some toilet paper?" At which point I screamed, "Yea me too!". I was relieved that someone else spoke up amid my panick to figure out what I was going to do.

Anyways, after the bathroom fiasco, Andy and I decided to drive to the start line because they had nothing for me to do at the finish. Upon arriving, I had to use the restroom again. Too much water. Luckily, they had broken down and put up port-o-potties at the start. I stood in another long line for about a half hour before the start of the race. After I left the good ol' porto, the race director was trying to call all of the runners to the start. While standing in line for so long, I had noticed that everyone had their I-Pods on. I had originally thought that I'd run it without but after standing in line so long, I had convinced myself otherwise. Ran back to the car, got the I-Pod, Andy took a quick picture, and then headed to the start line.

MISTAKE #1. I was trying to figure out where I should line up. There were no pace groups and I unfortunately have a hard time gauging where the slower runners are and where the faster runners are by just looking at a sea of faces. I chose to stand somewhere in the middle of the pack. I figured that is probably where I was. Middle-of-the-pack right? WRONG. This pack was a speedy pack. The race was started, I was off and so fast that my parents and Andy missed my picture. Actually, Andy got my backside. But anyway, that was probably because there so many runners. So a quarter of a mile into the race, I check my Nike+ and it says my pace is 8:40. I'm pretty sure that is WAY faster than I wanted to be going. That was close to my 5K pace and I had 10 additional miles to run. And even though I was going this fast, there were still huge amounts of runners passing me. I wasn't passing a single runner so I knew that I must have chosen the wrong spot to start. Anyways, I did my best to try to keep my pace low but it is so hard to do that when you are running in a crowd. We had a few hills near the start and after the 2nd mile, I had finally started to keep my 9:30 pace. Everyone around me was still passing me, but I knew I needed to keep pace.

When the course was described as "hilly", I pretty sure they should have said "mostly down-hilly" with a little bit of "up-hilly". I did get a little bit of hill training in prior to the start of this race, but most of it included more up-hills than down-hills. And I think I've said before, I hate down-hills. I'll tell you more on what happened with this later. Anyways, I was trudging along pretty well. It was fairly warm out--the official race report says 75 degrees but I swear it had to be hotter than that. Anyways, I was doing pretty well for the first 5 miles. I even followed behind some interesting runners. I was right in the same pace range as a "Galloway" runner. But she wasn't an ordinary Galloway runner. She did this strange hand cranky thing as she ran. When she ran, she turned her right arm like she was cranking her window down in a car. I passed her a few times on her walks, but she would always pass me during her runs. It was good though because then I knew that I wasn't just being passed.

By the time I hit Mile 7, I swore that we were at least at mile 8 or 9. I was exhausted. The hills and that quick start had really killed me. When I saw mile marker 7, I'm pretty sure I wanted to cry. I thought for sure that we'd been further. I checked my I-Pod and yep...Mile 7. Anyways, that was my one and only breakdown during the race. I stopped, drank the water at the water stop,and continued on my way. Around mile 8 or 9, my legs were hurting a bit so I stopped to stretch. The water stops were pretty efficient. Although I will say it was a bit confusing because they only filled the cups halfway and so you had to grab two as you went through (or I did anyway).

Miles 9-11 flew by fast. I had finally picked my pace back up. (At Mile 7, it dropped to an 11 min/mil (youch!). Anyways, I was flying by around miles 9-11. I was focused on the last leg of the race--the I-94 bridge across the river. I'm not sure if it was before the bridge or after, but at some point we went through a wooded area with a single sidewalk. There was little room for more than one runner and it was all downhill. This is where I believe the worst of my knee pain occured. As we were headed down this hill, my right knee was having a fit. It hurt pretty bad and felt like I could lose control of it at any minute. I decided to walk down the hill. Not a good spot to walk because there were runners coming up behind me, but I didn't have another choice.

I walked to flat ground and then took off running again. The last mile was probably the toughest out of them all. I was more than ready to be done. It was really hot outside by then and my knee was hurting and I wanted to be done. The course crew directed us through a grassy area that led over to the finish line and shouted "follow the cones, almost there!". By this point I was running pretty slow I'm sure. All I wanted to see was the finish line. I could care less about the cowbells. I could care less about the nice people telling me to keep it up. I wanted that finish line. Finally, I could see it ahead of me. One runner who had already finished saw me struggling up the last hill over to the finish line. She shouted "Come on-make it a strong finish!" So I picked up the pace a little and kept going. Andy took my picture, then my parents took my picture, then I heard my name..."Rachel Heiman from Minne--Minnetonka". Getting across the finish line though was half the battle. Immediately upon walking, my chest was thudding faster than I'd ever felt. I was extremely dizzy and my dad was chasing me with a camera screaming "Rachel". I was so dizzy, I didn't know what I needed or wanted but it definetly was not to stop in front of a camera. I continued walking and my family and Andy chased after me. "Water." was all I could muster. They had put the water down the hill and in a tent that was difficult to see. So I walked around for a good 5 minutes saying "water" and feeling like I was going to crash to the ground before we finally found it. And it wasn't bottled water like I'm used to at a finish. It was more half filled cups. I was thinking, these people are crazy! I grabbed two moderately filled cups and then told my fans that I needed to get in line for food because I wasn't sure what my body was saying...but I needed to try to get something in to it. I stood in line for about 3 minutes and then the blood started to rush in my head. I decided that standing might not be the greatest and got out of line. I plopped down in the grass and stretched. Eventually everything seemed to go back to normal (minus my knee which was stuck in pain). We headed to the food line and I filled up on fruit and some crackers. We sat for awhile next to the river watching the people and before we knew it, the race crew was taking everything down. It was time to go home, take a nice long shower, and rest.

My knee hurt really bad going up and down stairs for a few days. Today it is much better but I'm still going to take a rest day. I don't want to aggrivate it any more. Tommorrow I will begin running again as long as my knee wants to cooperate.

Note: I will be posting pictures later tonight. I don't have them on me at the moment.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Run Distance: 3 miles, Run Time: 29 Minutes

I know I had tons of people telling me not to run this one. But I'm kind of stubborn. I was planning on running it at the gym so then I could do some other ab work and whatnot but I forgot my socks. Got home and evidently it had just rained and there were lots of runners out. I couldn't resist going out for a run. My knees felt so much better than they did this morning and I figured I would be okay. It turned out to be a good run. I just really wanted to have that run done because it would have felt really wierd to take 3 rest days rather than 2. I think it probably is more just in my head...but having to rest for 3 days seems a bit long!

Anyways, thank you all for your advice and I hope that those of you with injuries recover soon!

Just a Little Bit Longer

Run Distance: 5 Miles

This was one of those runs where I really didn't care about my time. So I apologize I have no idea what my time was. It was a good run minus the fact that I had to use the restroom really bad for the last mile and in fact jumped off the treadmill at about 4.91 to do so.

But anyways, this morning I woke up refreshed for once. Not tired. So that was pretty exciting. Now the problem I have is entirely different. I'm having a bit of pain in my knee this morning. I'm hoping that I just slept wierd and it will go away by the end of the day.

I get to pick up my packet tomm!! How exciting! I only have a 3 miler tonight and I may be skipping it depending on the knee.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tired...Very Very Tired

Distance: 3.15 miles, Run Time: Somewhere around 28:00 (with warmup and cool down included)

Yesterday's run went pretty well. The past 2 days I've really been dragging. I'm extremely tired and it's odd because I think I've been eating fairly well. Yesterday I was pretty tired when I hit the gym for my lil 3 mile run. I figured that as soon as I got moving I'd be okay. And I was. The run was amazing and the rest of the afternoon I had enough energy left to clean my room. This morning I woke up exhausted again. I made sure I ate a nice big breakfast (per the book I've been reading) but I still feel like I'm dragging. Hopefully this goes away before the big race this weekend!

Tonight I've got a 5 miler and then tomm is my 3 miler and then 2 rest days...so at least my runs will be short enough to conserve some energy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

5 Days Left

This weekend I only had one addtional run. I set out to get a 3 mile run done on Saturday morning (not even 12 hours after my 12 miler) and discovered that it really wasn't such a great idea. I headed down the stairs of my apartment and immediately felt a little bit of pain in my knees. Thinking about injury before my half marathon, I turned back up the stairs. I got to the top of the stairs and then I thought "Why don't you just see if it will wear off? You are already dressed so you might as well go out." So I headed back down the stairs, only to turn back up and down them 1 more time. I'm pretty sure I probably looked like a lost duck. But anyway, I eventually battled my way outside. My knees were still bugging me when I took off but I figured it would subside eventually. I continued on with the fear of injury looming over me. I was already ahead 3 miles in total mileage for the week due to the double long runs. At about the 1 mile mark, I ended up with some chest pains. Immediately upon getting these, I decided that it would be best if I turned around. I was already over mileage and I really want to do well for my half marathon. Anyways, I don't know if it was just my mind playing games on me or what but that was the extent to my running this weekend. My knees were still bothering me a little so I figured I'd stay off of them until my short run today.

I have a great book to suggest to you guys. I spoke with my aunt (a dietician) on the phone after my 5k a few weeks ago. She suggested that I read Nancy Clark's book, Sports Nutrition. Well, since I work at an academic library, I figured that we just might have it. With my luck, we did and I haven't been able to put it down. It is an excellent tool for figuring out what to use to fuel your body. I'm sure some of you have already read it or the sister book for marathoners, but I think you all should definetly check it out!

Friday, August 1, 2008

A LOVE for the run

Run Distance: 12 miles, Run Time: 2 Hrs, 4 min

So this was my 2nd long run this week. Monday I had to make up for last week's missed long run. Anyways, this run went WAY better than Monday's 11 miler. I was a little afraid that the weather was going to be hot. The weather people said it was going to be 89-90 with some humidity. Well by mid-day they were saying that the evening would be in mid-upper 80's with manageable humidity. I can do heat okay...it is the humidity that kills me. When I heard lower humidity, I was jumping on the outdoor long run bandwagon (I was originally going to attempt to hide from the weather on the 'mill). Anyways, so the weather actually turned out to be awesome. No humidity and a nice breeze. It was warm, but not to the point where you can't breathe. The start of my run was a little awkward because it was my first time out with the new hydration belt. I originally had the bottled resting on my back but then after taking two steps with it that way and realizing that it was impossible to run with it on my back, I decided to move the bottles to my front. I felt a bit odd at first but after awhile it was all good. My pace was about 9:47 through much of the run. I had a few points where I walked so I could drink some water but for the most part I kept a good pace. Not once did I feel extremely sore like I did on Monday. I felt like I probably could have ran another mile or 2 but with my half marathon next week, I knew it was best to do what my plan said. Anyways, it is runs like these that make you love running. I will fully admit that my 11 miler on Monday would have made me say something entirely different. But I love a good run. Anyways, that is the story of my blissful 12 mile run. Now I have 1 week until my half marathon!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hydration Belt and Welcome Amanda!

Run Distance: 7 miles, Run Time: 1 Hour 5 Min

I got a decent tempo run in tonight at the gym. It was kind of warm because there were no fans around me but I told myself that it wasn't near as hot as that fitness center in Daytona and I was fine.

When I got home, my roommate Amanda and I went to the TC Running Company to look for some running gear. I bought my very first hydration belt, the Nathan Speed 2. I was debating between that one and a Fuel belt that only held 16 oz rather than 20. I liked the way the Fuel Belt felt better but the Nathan just held more water. So I settled with the Nathan (after some encouragement from Amanda).

Anyway, big news here! I would like to introduce you all to my roommate, Amanda. She will be running the Kansas City Marathon with me. I highly encourage you to check out her blog at http://wallnerrun.blogspot.com. She is new at blogging and would like to get a good network of runners.

One and a half weeks!

I don't have a run to report because I took yesterday as a rest day. BUT I do have some jitters to report. My race day is only 1.5 weeks away for my half marathon!! While most people would be worried about the race itself and performance, I will tell you that 65% of my worry resides here: http://firstgiving.com/rachelheiman. YIKES! Luckily, the deadline for collecting funds is Oct. 9, 10 days prior to my marathon. BUT...I'd still like to see some more support from those who KNOW how Nuerofibromatosis strikes. (And those with sympathy or even some fellow runners). I want to help find a cure for this bad boy. Anyways...despite being nervous over that whole gig...I am a teeny bit nervous about my performance as well. I'm thinking of this run as halfway to my marathon...but I will tell you somedays I have my doubts (11 mile hellish run earlier this week!). Oh! And Andy probably won't be accompanying me to my marathon because he has to usher a wedding (sad). Now the real challenge will be to stay focused with even one more less in the crowd to watch me...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

11 Miles of Mishaps

Run Distance: 11.3 Miles Run Time: 2 Hours, 12 minutes

Yes it did take me an incredibly long time to finish those 11 miles yesterday. I will contribute it to the following:

1) I misjudged the weather after coming from Florida. What I thought was "manageable weather" really turned out to be 90 degrees and some awful humidity (so really it felt like mid-90s with the stickiness).

2) My runs in Florida were all treadmill. Somehow the pavement back under my feet was not quite agreeing with my legs.

3) Did I mention it was hot?!

4)Pain in Multiple Forms

5) Needing to use the restroom and having no restroom around!

Anyways, so I made it through the first 5.5 miles alright at a decent pace. Probably 9:00 or so. I was too focused to actually check so I can't be accurate on that estimate. It was impressive that I actually even made it that far considering my feet and legs were in pain after mile 2 (quite unusual for me). But I kept on. At Mile 5.5, I decided that maybe taking a little walking break would really help get me through the entire 11. I'd never experienced so much pain through a run before but I was determined to finish. Actually I didn't have a choice...I was 5.5 miles out from home and no cell phone. Oh and prior to this whole walking thing...I had to use the bathroom but there are no restrooms around. I walked for maybe .25 of a mile and then decided that I needed to run again. I ran for probably another half mile before feeling like I really really needed to use the restroom. Stopping for that walk probably was not a good idea. I became very thirsty as well. So not only am I needing a bathroom but I also need some water. (I know...I need to buy a hydration belt). I proceed for the next couple of miles in this condition with a walk/run combo. I started to feel really sick after awhile and ended up with a really long walk until I hit a bathroom at a gas station that was just off my trail. Used the bathroom and then realized I had no money to buy water. So I left in a jiffy and attempted to run the rest of the way home. I ended up with a few more walking pauses but at least I made it...eventually. I got home and seriously felt like puking. It was probably the worst long run I have ever had. I think my mistake began with that first walk. I usually always tell myself I can't walk because it makes it harder to run but I really thought it would help me make it the distance. I don't think I could ever be a Galloway runner. Those walk breaks kill the rest of my run. That and it didn't help that it was so hot outside and I had no water. I think I'm going to attempt to get a hydration belt before my 12 miler on Friday.

OH!! And I ended up with battle wounds! I burned my leg in Florida and it was starting to heal. Well somehow I think my sweat from my run got stuck underneath of my skin or something. I'm not entirely sure what happened. I ended up with bubbles of stuff (sweat?) all over my leg, nothing I have ever seen. And they weren't exactly poppable either. It was quite gross. They seeped out eventually and my leg has returned to normal status but it was pretty sick for awhile.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back to the Grind

Florida was absolutely stellar for the most part. We got in a lot of beach time (but somehow immediately upon arrival in Minnesota...my "tan" went away). I prefer to think it's the lighting...bad lighting up here. j/k! A fair skinned lady such as myself tends to burn alot...so fortunately I left with little redness. While we were there...we hit up the Daytona Speedway (fun but probably not something you need to do twice in your lifetime). We also rented some jetskis and quickly found out that Daytona Beach is probably not the best place to do the jetskis. They have prohibited them from the ocean so you basically have a 2 mile area to jet ski in the river. Not a whole lot of extra scenery to look at for an hour in a 2 mile area. We also went to the Ponce Inlet lighthouse and climbed to the top. Andy was quite frightened (200 ft) up but it was a good time. Anyways, on with what this blog is really about...the runs...and then the reason behind why my long run is missing...(sad)

Run 1- 3 Miles

Run 2- 3 Miles

Run 3- 8 miles

Run 4- 3 miles

I was supposed to have an additional 11 mile run in there. But you see...our 5 star condo decided that they would start to slack once they changed management. The fitness center was unbearable. The air conditioner was broken through Wednesday and it was nearly impossible to make it through 3 miles even. They equipment was disgusting. Instead of having a disinfectant spray and paper towels, they told people to wipe machines off with towels. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I was like...yea...I'm going to smear all of my sweat all over this machine for the next person. Great. And I will say that I was sweating...alot. By the end of those 3 mile runs, my machine was drenched. I have rarely ever dropped much on a machine, but that one was coated in Rachel sweat. But anyways, enough of that grossness. So they finally fixed the air conditioner like Wednesday sometime and then I was able to get my 8 mile tempo run in on Thursday. I didn't run on the beach because unfortunately it just appeared way too darn hot for a Minnesota gal. I stepped outside at 8 am every morning and said...Nope just not doing it. But...at least I did get most of my runs done on the treadmill. The 11 miler was pushed for Sunday until we got back so that I didn't have to deal with trying to spend 2 hours of my vacation doing it. Well when I got back...I definetly didn't feel like running 11 miles. So...this is the first time I've skipped a long run. And really I should feel horrible about it...but I'm going to attempt to make it up today and then just have a super hard week this week. I have 12 miler this week as well but I figure if I do it on Friday then I should be alright. I hope anyway.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Leaving...On a Jet Plane

Run Distance: 3 Miles
Run Time: No idea

I DID have the full intention of running my 11 miles yesterday. In fact, I was going to run those 11 miles with my roommate. BUT...it was stormy and humid outside. So I hit the treadmill. AND...I only made it 3 miles on the treadmill before I decided that it would be better to run the 11 miles today. You can blame the hot gym and Belinda, our weather lady. She said it was supposed to be beautiful today with no humidity. So who could pass that up for an 11 mile run? Tonight I will be taking full advantage of the weather before I race back to my apartment to pack up all of my stuff to go to Florida. So...that being said...if you don't hear from me for awhile...it is because I am basking in the sun. I may be able to find a computer terminal to give a quick update here and there but I don't plan on sitting at the computer all day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

3 miler

Run Distance: 3 miles, Run Time: 28:00

Yesterday I was scheduled for a Rest day but took my 3 miler in instead so that I don't have to worry about runs right away when I get to Florida. The 3 miler went well. Followed it up with some weight training and resistance training. I had majorly bad cramps in my legs last night though so I'm not sure how that occured. I only did 3 miles so my legs shouldn't be hurting that bad.

Tonight I have an 11 miler. It is supposed to be really stormy this afternoon so I may be debating on what to do with that one. I'm going to check the forecast and see if any of the upcoming days are better in which I could get a nice solid outdoor run in. If not, then I guess it will be 11 miles on the treadmill. Yuck. AND I forgot my headphones today....oh boy that will make it tough.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

7 Mile Confusion

Run Distance 7 miles, Run Time 1:10:00

So yesterday I was really scheduled to do a 3 miler. But for two reasons I decided to get my 7 miler out of the way:

Reason 1: I was sick of short runs after last week's training week of 5 milers.
Reason 2: My 7 mile run was scheduled for Saturday--the day I fly to Florida. I figured it will be near to impossible to get a run in on that day and so I should move it forward.

Well...I was kind of in a hurry to get my run done with and didn't really pay attention to my schedule other than the number 7 and knowing that it was a speed day. I figured it was probably a 7 mile interval run. I hopped on the treadmill (I'm still battling a cold and it appears to help if I run inside). Anyways...got on the treadmill and did a 1 mile warmup. Then I hit the speed and increased to about a 7:30 min/mile. I then slowed it back down to a normal pace and did this until I was at about 3.5 miles. At that point I had to use the restroom pretty bad so I jumped off the treadmill hurried back and still managed to keep all of my data by the time I got back (and nobody stole my treadmill!!). Anyways, so I did another interval and then I was pretty much shot. I had to quit the interval madness at about 4 miles and just kept up my usual pace for the last 3 miles. It was tough even keeping up my usual pace after all of those intervals.

This morning I checked out my schedule to see what runs I have left. That is when I realized that I really had a 7 mile tempo run scheduled. Which would have not killed me as much!!!

Anyways, tonight I have a measly 3 miler which will be interesting. Then it's my big 11 miler on Wednesday!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lindstrom Loppet Race Report

Friday I got my five miles in and I can't remember the time. This weekend was jam packed.

Friday night we went to my class reunion. I drank a bit too much or I just got tipsy really fast...which really helped with waking up the next morning to run the 5k right?? Not. I had a big migraine but I knew that once I started running I'd be okay.

The race was pretty low key. It is what "Karl Oscar Days" in my little Swedish hometown and packed with festivities. The start time was scheduled for 8 am but we really didn't take off until like 8:30 or so but it was all okay. After much pleading, my dad decided to run it with me but really ended up walking most of it. I was proud that he actually did it though. I charged ahead and couldn't even believe the time they shouted at me during the 1st mile. I completed my first mile at race time of 8:13. My second mile was completed after 16:30. Then I finished in 26:10. I was so excited!! I probably could have finished even quicker had I not had a small side stitch after Mile 1 with a need to slow down. I still managed to pass all of my neighbors who are all runners. I was shocked when I passed them actually because I figured they'd be way up there. But anyway, I was happy with my finish. I also got to test out those chips for my next race because I hadn't ran a race with chips yet.

Anyways, here are some photos. I'd elaborate more on my incredibly busy weekend but I just don't have a lot of time.

Race Done: Getting my chip off.

I'm the one with the pasty white legs and blue skirt.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Yesterday I took a rest day even though I had planned on moving one of my 5 milers over to that day. I didn't make it out of work until late and I just really didn't feel much like running at that point. I had a sore throat the whole day and pretty much knew what was on the way. You see, I sat in a car for 8 hours with my sick father this weekend when we were driving back from Kansas City. He had a cold and was sneezing his germs all over the place. Well now Andy and I are sick and I hear my mother is too. I HATE being sick. There is probably nothing I hate more. So...I'm overdosing on vitamin C and hoping this clears up fast. I'm definetly still running tonight but praying that this stuff stays at bay by then as well. I have a class reunion to attend and I don't want to be all sniffly for it!

UGH! If one more person passes their germs on to me this summer...I think I'm going to go live in a cave all by myself! J/k!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shad Ireland

Read this story http://www.startribune.com/sports/24283979.html?location_refer=Homepage:highlightModules:5 about an amazing athlete. I'm training for 26.2 miles alone with full usage of my kidneys. I can't imagine doing what he is doing!

Running and Blading

Run Distance: 5 miles, Run Time: 45 minutes

Yetersday's run pretty much rocked. I got my pace down to 9:13 on the TM (usually this only happens outside!). I probably could have done better but I was kind of afraid of pushing too far past my normal TM pace and having to slow it down. But I did end up throwing some incline in there in an attempt to do some hill training. I will tell you though, the treadmill does not appear to be a good place to do hill training. My biggest problem is usually trying to go down a hill after I've just climbed up the other side. My legs feel weaker going down after a large steep climb and it makes me a little nervous. You can't really train for the descent on a treadmill. Anyways, the run on the TM rocked yesterday and I probably could have kept running another 5 but I decided to stick to what Runner's World was telling me to do.

After my run yesterday I went home and rollerbladed with my roommate. We rollerbladed 10 miles and it really didn't feel too bad until we were zoning in on the last 3 or so. My feet started to kill me from being in hardshell boots or something. I wish I could take my rollerblades to Florida but I'm afraid that with the new luggage policies--it would probably cost me an arm and a leg to bring unneccary equipment.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The 5 Milers

Run Distance: 5 miles, Run Time: 45 minutes

Yesterday I completed my first of 5-5 mile runs this week. Really odd that my training schedule only has 5 mile runs but I'm guessing that it is a "chill" week before I hit a hard week next week. I kind of like the structure that Runner's World gave me of having this more relaxed weeks right before they increase my mileage, but at the same time, it's so wierd to only run 5 miles every day. Yesterday my body was like "dude, why are we stopping??"

Well...that could be attributed to another reason--the long hiatus I had this weekend. I've decided that I will avoid the whole rescheduling of the schedule in order to have multi-days off again. I'm pretty sure my legs were disciplining me for my actions yesterday. I had major cramps in my right leg all day long. Or maybe not even cramps. It was like shooting pain from my knees to my ankles all day. It stopped after I ran--thank goodness! But that definetly tells me that taking my rest days consecutively like that was not good. Although, my run was great so it didn't really impact that.

Anyways, I do have a small 5k scheduled for this weekend. It is Karl Oscar Days in Lindstrom and so therefore I will be running in my hometown. The bummer part of it though--my class reunion is the night before. So I'm somehow going to have to leave that early enough so that I can arise early enough to get to the race.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Thursday's Run Distance: 6 miles

I returned from Kansas City at approximately 1:30 AM last night (or rather this morning). I am extremely tired as I had to wake up at 5:30 AM because I had some stuff at work to do and had to get there early. So now I am trying my hardest to chug along.

This weekend was alright. It felt really wierd not doing any runs on the weekend as I had strategically finished them all earlier in the week. It was hot and muggy in Kansas City on Sunday so I'm very happy I didn't have a Sunday run there. And in case you are on the edge of your seat wondering--yes I did drive the marathon course to see what it was like. I would say there are 2 major hills and alot of smaller hills. I have climb one hill at approximately the 2 miler mark that looks quite steep. I really am kind of wishing I'd make up my mind sooner and done the Twin Cities right about now. But I'll survive. My family is all prepped and ready to go for my marathon.

I may be postponing my 5 mile run tonight because of the need to do alot of stuff when I get home. But we'll see what happens. Hope you all had a wonderful 4th!