Blood, Sweat and Pain

For those of you who follow me on social media, you may have seen me post about the fact that I’ve been dealing with what I thought were anterior shin splints during my marathon training.  Over the past few weeks, I have seen my orthopedist for X-rays and an MRI.  The good news is I don’t have shin splints! Nor do I have any form of strain, sprain, or stress fracture. Woohoo! I can keep training.

So at this point, you are probably wondering what the heck is wrong with me then.  It appears that the bone marrow in my left leg has increased its production of red blood cells to increase my O2 max. The doctor says that this is normal as my body is trying to keep up with the oxygen being expended by the increase in my training.  Normally when this occurs, people feel pain in their arm and it’s not as severe.  However since I’m also using my leg to run (duh), I’m really feeling the pain. I don't know smile

My orthopedist compared me to athletes who blood dope illegally.  They withdraw oxygen rich blood and then inject it back into themselves before an intense athletic effort.  My body is naturally increasing the amount of oxygen rich blood that I have available when I train.  Pretty cool to know how adaptive my body is. Before my hysterectomy I was always anemic so it’s kind of cool to see my body producing red blood cells en masse instead of bleeding them out.

bone structure and function

Here’s a bit more information about the importance of bone marrow from Science Daily.

Bone marrow is the tissue that makes up the center of large bones and is the place where new blood cells are produced.  There are two types of bone marrow: red marrow (also known as myeloid tissue) and yellow marrow.  Red blood cells, platelets and most white blood cells come from red marrow; some white blood cells develop in yellow marrow.

Red marrow is found mainly in the flat bones such as hip bone, breast bone, skull, ribs, vertebrae and shoulder blades, and in the "spongy" material at the ends of the long bones femur and humerus.

In cases of severe blood loss, the body can convert yellow marrow back to red marrow in order to increase blood cell production.

So basically, the yellow marrow in my tibia is being converted by my body back to red marrow.  As my body adapts to the increases in my training and O2 needs, the need for the increased blood cell production will subside and so will the pain.  In the meanwhile, I am taking a slow release long acting NSAID on an as needed basis to deal with the pain.  I am also able to KEEP TRAINING!!!

Have you ever had an injury during training? How do you stay focused as you heal or adapt to your body’s changes during training? How is your running going?

T minus 2 months until MY FIRST MARATHON!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to dedicate consistent time to this blog.  This summer has been rewarding and busy.  My family even had the chance of a lifetime to visit Rome and embark on a Mediterranean Cruise.  We came back just in time to prepare to go back to school this week.  However, despite the busy-ness, I have been maintaining my training plan for the Marine Corps Marathon. 

Today marks exactly TWO MONTHS until I #RunWithTheMarines! I am so excited and scared at the same time. Over the past few months, I’ve been dealing with a weird pain in my shin area.  It turns out that I have an anterior shin splint.  I’ve been evaluated by an Orthopedist and so far I can still run.  We are working on a plan to keep me running without serious injury.  One good thing is that I already use the Galloway Run/Walk method and was using his training plan as well.  In the plan, after a high mileage long run (18+ miles) the following two long runs are shorter distances (6-8 miles max).  So your body gets time to recover before you increase the mileage again.  I’m already up to 20 miles which is where some training plans max out.  I won’t be attempting 22 for a few weeks.

Here I am after I completed 20 miles on the NCR trail. I turned around at the 10 mile mark for an out and back.

Here I am after I completed 20 miles on the NCR trail. I turned around at the 10 mile mark for an out and back.

I am looking forward to being able to call myself a Marathon Mama in 2 months!  Crosstraining and listening to my body will allow me to do that.

How has your training gone this summer? Have you been able to maintain your fitness? Did you get some vacation time?

Psalm 26.2

Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk (run) continually in your truth. – Psalm 26.2-3

psalm 26_2_3

Marathon training is more than a test of physical endurance.  There is definitely a mental, emotional, and spiritual test as well.  Each run is a chance to be alone with one’s thoughts and to take time to consider God’s love.

How will you walk (run) in God’s truth on your next run?

Marathon Training–Week 1

mcmheader

I have been maintaining 15-20 miles per week since the Marine Corps 17.75K in April.  However, this past week marked the beginning of official Marathon training.  I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon on October 26th with my fellow Hysterrunner, Joy.  We are doing the Galloway method which builds in long runs and recovery weeks and peaks at 26 miles before the taper.  The belief is that by tackling 26 miles before race day it is less likely that you will hit the wall at mile 20-21.

This week’s long slow run distance was 13 miles. The weather was perfect – 62 degrees at the start.  We’re running along a tree-lined trail early on Saturday mornings to beat the heat.  As we both have several half marathons under our belt, this should have been a piece of cake.  However, we realized that without the crowd support it isn’t.  We did it though! As one of my Facebook friends posted afterwards – “Like a BOSS!” LOL!

Next week is a recovery long run – 5 miles – but I’m nervous about the 15 miler scheduled for the week after.  That will be the furthest I have ever run.  I’m sure that we will get through this training cycle one week at a time.

There will be days when I don’t know if I can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime knowing that I have – Unknown

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15th, 2013
Aiming for a PR!