Monday, November 29, 2010

Recovering from Injury

I went out for a 2 hour stint but wore a pair of old ankle socks that were lower than the heal of my shoe which, as I moved, rubbed on the backs of my heals. I tried to pull my socks up but since there was no real pain, I carried on. It was only when I reached home that I realised how severe the damage caused by constant rubbing was on the backs of my heals. By Sunday I could hardly walk. There was no leverage in my foot.

I planned on going to see the nurse to get the wounds dressed. They were blisters that had rubbed which broke the skin, similar to friction burns. The nurse was horrified and called the doctors who promptly prescribed antibiotics as both wounds had become infected. By Monday both my feet and lower legs were swollen and by Tuesday, the infection had reached my right knee. I guess that by Wednesday, the antibiotics kicked in and I could walk with a limp. I returned to work.

Yesterday was the first day of not covering the wounds as they had scabbed over and were dry. Today they are well and truly better and the skin is looking normal. I should be back to training by the weekend and I can't wait.

Another update to follow shortly.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thinking it Over - What's Next on the Agenda?

Back to it! On Saturday morning, I was on my way home after dropping Luke off for his cricket game, when I spotted Mrs G out for her mornings exercise and so I pulled over for a chat.

"Why don't you join me?" she asked.

We drove back to my house for me to get changed, abandoned my idea of a nice cooked breakfast with Shayne and Josh and we took off for a nice 2 hour walk and a good catch up. I'm telling you, people, it is SO good to get out with a friend for some regular exercise. We only walked but it was great! I'm not sure on how far, Mrs G is going to map it and get back to me.

I have had some ideas about my next physical challenges and I debriefed with my good friend who will support me when ever she can because that's what she does. Here are my thoughts and let me know what you think:
  • There is the Lactic Turkey event coming up in January which I did last year and it was SO HARD. (Refer to January blog for more info). While last year I did the half marathon and it shattered me, this year I thought I'd do the 16km run instead which I did 2 years ago and came in joint 2nd in our section. It is a tough course up through the Waitakeres (off road bush for those not from NZ).
  • Next, the Cathay Pacific half marathon which is in February (I think) and this time I will train with running buddies that will help me build on my speed to get the time that I'm looking for.
  • Then the Rotorua marathon which I have often thought about, on 1 May but this coincides with a team event that my Oxfam team mates are keen to do which brings me to my 4th possibility.
  • The Anaconda Adventure Race which is 24 April in Waihi. This event, if we do it, involves the 4 of us each taking up part of the course. To start will be Philomen, on a 1.6k swim followed by Suzie on a 14k ocean paddle, then I do my bit which is a 14k coastal trail run and then Sharon will do a 27k mountain bike back to all of us and we finish off with a 2k team run to the finish line.

I am pondering but would appreciate your thoughts. For those more local I'll need training buddies and so if you're up for a run, please join me. I always enjoy company.

You should start to see more training runs added to my blog as I get myself into the right frame of mind. I hope to include the tips I pick up from those that I run with and so stay tuned. Don't forget to hit on the link Traxee, a most inspirational website for us girlies that want to run.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mandy's Marathon Video

Here is a snippet of my marathon finish. I can't believe I was smiling and I certainly do not remember shaking the chaps hand...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Auckland Marathon - Done and Dusted

Against a lot of people's better judgement I ran the Auckland Marathon yesterday. Not in my normal well prepared condition, I might add but I did it. My objective for the event was to run for as many ks as I could without stopping and to finish. No matter what, I had to get to the end.

I knew, due to my lack of training, that I was not going to do a good time and so it was head down and concentrate on conserving energy as I ran. Too much to drink before the run meant I desperately needed a toilet stop and hung on until just before the bridge. I queued up for 8 minutes! Not happy I continued on but at least my body felt better. I reached half way in 2hrs 16mins. The second half certainly took its toll but I felt that if I got to Tamaki Drive then I was going to make it.

There was a great deal of support from the by-standers and I found that the run wasn't as lonely as previous events. Shayne's cousin, Donna, met me just up from the Via Duct with refreshments and ran a little with me offering lots of support and a promise to see me at the end. I was feeling great at this point, perhaps better than my previous marathons. Not quite sure how that could be...

At about 25kms into the run my lower back began to ache. My back has been giving me a few problems lately but not enough to deter me from the run. I also had a spasm in my left leg that went from my calf muscle to my foot and my foot went numb. It was an odd sensation and not sure what was going on. I could feel blisters and at least one had popped. I needed distractions to keep my mind off the distance left to go and the pains that were starting to kick in. I sang songs (in my head so as not to scare off the supporters), planned my day off, decorated my house with ideas and that saw me through to the turn around point.

No matter what I had to finish. I was struggling but only had about 9kms to go, a short training run. My strategy here was to think of my best 10km training route and pretend I was running it. This worked until just before Mission Bay. The pain really set in and so I walked and stretched my muscles. I'm not very good at stretching at the best of times and so didn't spend too long at it. I started to run again which was excruciating until I got back into rhythm again and that's when I realised that it was much better to keep running.

Just after Tamaki Drive I was met by my son, Josh, my mother in-law, Karen, and Donna. A welcomed sight and I wanted to cry but deep breathes helped. Donna offered to run with me for the last 2kms. I was desperate to stop. My body! But, my boy was there and I'm all about setting good examples for my boys. He had to see me soldier on and so onwards and upwards, 2 more kms and Donna by my side, encouraging me every step of the way. Two more corners left and supporters cheering. An amazing, emotional feeling came over me. I could see the finish and heard Donna yelling at me, "Go Mandy, go! Give it everything you've got!" We ran across the line together and what an amazing feeling! My whole body was screaming with pain but I was SO happy and grateful to Donna and my family. The second half was done in 2hrs 36mins and so a good 20mins slower than the first half. Total time: 4hrs 52mins which is 47minutes slower than my fastest marathon.

I am a very lucky lady!

Today, the day after, I am having a day off work and as long as I'm moving around I'm good but if I sit for too long and then get up, not good. I have got so much done in my house and have had a very productive day.

And so people, I didn't train for this event and know that I would have done a much better time had I trained, however, I managed to go the distance using experience, strategies and a belief in myself.

It was a stupid thing to do, a marathon with next to no training. I had 4 weeks of good training followed by 2 weeks off due to a bad flu, followed by my friend offering to take my ticket off my hands which meant I no longer had to train, followed by 6 weeks later declining the offer thinking it was for a half marathon, not a full. I couldn't waste the ticket and so prepared myself by going for a few runs BUT NOT NEARLY enough. I watched my diet for the week before the marathon, drank plenty of water and prepared myself mentally for the challenge.

Next time I will stay on track with my training, no matter what. I realise now that staying on track with the training is, in fact, harder than the marathon itself and one shouldn't really go without the other.

That's my story. I hope you enjoyed it and thanks for following me through this time. I have a lot to work on and will continue to add to my blog and so stay tuned.
Until next time,