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 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 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' 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 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, 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 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 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!!