Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bye Bye February!

And good riddance!

I was due for a tough month, I know. February filled the role nicely.

I already wrote about my nasty cold keeping me home from work and slowing down my runs and my first race since the Houston Marathon. Well, last Saturday I got a nice urinary tract infection to top off the week and the month. Luckily (?), when I realized I was coming down with this bug, I happened to be in the emergency room already with my daughter, who had a mysterious throat ailment that fortunately turned out to be nothing. Having established that Ruthie was OK, they admitted me, gave me the necessary test....and here I sit, on antibiotics. I'm very glad that they caught the thing before it had a chance to turn into a kidney infection, as happened last summer.

In light of all of this, I decided to modify my training schedule for this week and treat it as a recovery week in more than one sense of the term. I had a nice easy 6 miles on Monday, a toned-down fartlek workout yesterday (5 2-minute intervals instead of 7 3-minute ones) and a 30-minute run this morning that felt pretty glacial and therefore served mostly to take the edge off my exercise craving. I'm hoping that next week I can return to my full-on schedule. That half-marathon in April isn't going to run itself.

On the other fronts.....My Lenten pledge to eliminate sugary treats has gone much better than my training. Colds and antibiotics both cut my appetite, so the cravings (though still there) are blunted. I allowed myself my usual Sunday treat (Cadbury eggs last weekend!), and this week's abstention is going fine. (Mostly. Today someone brought some scrumptious-looking apple turnovers to work and left them on the table in the break room that I call the trough....that was the first really tough challenge I've faced.....first-world problem, big-time, right? :^) )

Perhaps because the sweets are gone, eating smart in other ways has been easier. Lots and lots of fruit, Mario Lopez's chicken enchiladas (one my favorites in his book because they are tasty and easy), chicken noodle soup, non-fat plain Greek yogurt (I had been eating too much of the fruity kinds) and greens are back on the menu.

My back and hamstrings are still hurting, and despite some dire reports on dry needling that I've read on other blogs I'm looking forward to getting started with it and any other physical therapy that's prescribed at my appointment next Tuesday, March 6. I'm also looking forward to the insurance-covered massages!

I definitely recommend the MYRTL routine (see video below--it's the first in the series), which my doctor told me I should do after every run. I've been pretty good about this (I don't always do it after the super easy ones, but even after those I do at least try to do part of it). Created by Coach Jay Johnson here in Boulder, it's the first core routine, combined with dynamic moves to keep your hip girdle happy, that I've been able to do without increasing my back pain. And as you'll see if you visit the link, you can progress to more difficult versions that include leg work as well (I'm not there yet; I'm sticking with the moves in the first video until I see the physical therapist next week).

Running Times: Part 1 from CoachJayJohnson on Vimeo.

Finally (and I apologize for this long post), I think I fixed the problem that was preventing many of you from commenting! Please let me know if that's not the case!