Sunday, September 27, 2009

confidence issues

I haven't been able to figure out how to balance blogging, training, teaching and taking a class 2 nights a week. So, I haven't blogged. Duh, you say.

I have been having SERIOUS hip pain the past couple of weeks. We went for an 8-mile run a few weeks ago and while I finished the run, I could barely walk right after the run and had a really difficult time for the rest of the week. Since then, I've had some significant pain and limited use of my hips, specifically my left hip. My lower back has been very sore and stiff. To make things even better, I have these menstrual type cramps that occur NOT during my cycle, usually associated with some kind of intensive workout or speed work. They ramp up so fast and so bad that sometimes I can't do anything until the wave of pain has passed. Once, I was doing a trail run with a friend of mine and I had to lie down on the trail for a time because I couldn't keep going. Anyway, the cramps get pretty bad and for the past couple of weeks I've had them pretty regularly. So, for the past few weeks, I've been losing confidence in my ability to do the half-ironman.

My thinking has been something like "Well, I can do the swim. They're calling it a 'downhill' swim anyway and I know I can do the distance. Then the bike - I can bike 56 miles anyday. But, the run?! I don't think so. Maybe I can do the first couple of miles but what about the rest? I can probably do the last couple of miles but what about all of those in between the miles? How am I going to manage the pain?"

Today we were supposed to do a triple brick (15 mile bike followed by a 2 mile run - three times). The last time we did this, even though I completed it, I hurt a LOT. My biking was slow and every step I took hurt. So, I wasn't looking forward to the brick today. In fact, I was dreading it.

As chance would have it, it was raining this morning and the rest of the day was planned in such a way that we couldn't reschedule the bricks later in the day so we simply didn't do the triple brick. [We are not as hardcore as some of you out there (and it's a bit of a safety issue).] MFTLP had an idea - let's go out and run 6 miles. Given my recent hip issues and my waning confidence in my running ability, her idea did not thrill me. But, it was a good idea because it was a way to get some practice in my area of least confidence, it had stopped raining (finally), and the temperature was nice and cool. I slathered on some Body Glide, took a big fat dose of ibuprofen and off we went. I was going to shoot for 4 miles but I didn't want to push it. I decided that I would reevaluate after each quarter mile more than 4 miles to see how I felt and if I needed to walk - I could walk. That was helpful because it took the pressure off. Each time, I was able to get to the next quarter mile and by the end I was having less pain in my hips than I've had in weeks. Dude, like wow! Now, we did run slow but it was kind of fun just to have a 'relaxing' pace. During the run, I attributed my ability to continue running to the ibuprofen . And, by the time I got to the end of the run, my hip hurt way less than it had at the beginning - again, no doubt because of the ibuprofen, right?

Well, interestingly enough, my hip hasn't hurt all day. It's so weird. It's far past the time that the ibuprofen should be working. It seems like somebody waved a wand over my hip and all of a sudden it's better.

Today ended up being a confidence builder in a big way rather than the confidence drain that I anticipated. The 6 today could have been 8 miles (ragged 8 miles but still 8 miles) and that helps with anticipation of the 13.1 miles. If I have to - after those 8 miles, I can walk for 2 minutes and then run to the next mile marker then walk 2 minutes and run to the next mile marker. I can do that all day I think.

It's interesting the different level of training commitment and body impact doing this half-ironman is. I love learning all of this stuff - not only about training but about my body and what works.

Today, a thumbs up day in almost every way - especially training!


  1. Yeah for CONFIDENCE!!! Everyone has lows! I've had them...they pass!!! You will do great! And I'm so glad you were able to get a confidence building run in today!!

  2. i know it girl. i've been fighting a hip pain, and I haven't run in 3 weeks! it's killing me. been biking it tons and hitting the elliptical at the gym instead of the treadmill.

  3. I can't believe you didn't mention that we got strollered before we'd even gone a quarter of a mile! :D