The Sole Sisters are a group of friends, business women, and mothers who are training with the Clarksville Area YMCA for their first half marathon, the Go Commando Half Marathon on Saturday, October 20, 2012. Below they share their experiences in training, what they’ve learned and how they’re growing through this endeavor.
by Kelli Faerber,posted Aug 28 2012 11:29AM
I haven't run in two weeks. Why does it feel like two years...or an eternity? For someone who has never really been active in her life, I cannot believe that I am so hooked on running.
As I mentioned in my previous blogs, I have been injured. When we first started running it was my shins. Then after running in brand new, never broken in stabilizing shoes and compression sleeves it was my knees. I honestly felt like I just couldn't win. Then I had to make the very tough decision to skip our 8 mile group run. I think what made me most nervous about that was that it was such a big milestone that I would be missing. Would I be behind? Would I have to start over? I wasn't sure. Whatever the case was I knew I was going to continue running, but first I had to give myself some time off. I took almost two whole weeks off. I didn't do any training runs during the week, not because I didn't want to, but because I was still hurting and I didn't want to make it worse. To give you an idea of how bad the pain was, I had difficulty going up and down the stairs, and even just walking without a limp was a challenge.
Needless to say I was very nervous Friday night. I'd planned to run in Savannah with my Sole Sisters. They had all run 8 miles the week before, and I won't lie, I felt like I was behind the 8 ball in my training. Everything was getting me down and I really just had a bad attitude. I was very cranky...ask anyone. I had a really hard time sleeping Friday night because my thoughts kept getting the best of me. I woke up a lot, and just didn't get a good night's sleep.
Saturday morning we met at Katie's house, and I was surprised to learn that my Sole Sisters were all pretty anxious about our 9 mile run we had planned for the morning. I thought it was just me, but I couldn't have been more wrong! We were all unsure and nervous. We headed into Savannah, and when we were done with our 5 minute walk warm up we began to run, and there was my knee pain again. Almost instantly I started doubting whether or not I could do this, and really began to feel defeated. As we were running, Katie said that it looked like I was speed walking. I just couldn't open my stride because my leg hurt so much. After about a mile the pain began to subside, and I was able to run easier. After mile two my knee pain was completely gone. I did have a little pain in my inner calves, but I think that was part of getting used to the shoes because that is where they stabilize me.
Before long we were at 4 miles. I couldn't believe that I had even made it this far. It was now time for a gel and a salt tab. I could tell that I needed the sugar and electrolytes. It was getting hot, and I didn't carb load well enough in the days leading up to the run. It's amazing once the gel hits your system it's like you're so much more awake! My personal favorite gels are Honey Stinger. They're made of honey and fortified with electrolytes and some even have caffeine if you want that. I also think they taste better than the others, and they don't tend to upset my stomach the way other gels do.
I was feeling great and then as we completed mile 7 I started feeling really tired. I downed another gel, a salt tab and some water. I got a small boost of energy, but my body was just plain tired. Mile 8 was the worst. As I was running I could hear my feet pounding onto the ground. I no longer felt like I had running shoes on. I seriously felt like I had cinderblocks for feet! My legs and feet have never felt so heavy in my life! I had to laugh because I kept thinking about what my coworker Ryan said, "Be a ninja, Kelli. Don't let people hear you when you're running. Don't pound your feet onto the road." There was NO ninja Kelli in mile 9. I may as well have been Godzilla I was making so much noise! Just as I thought that Katie said, "I feel like I have blocks for feet!" Again, I was not alone! We were all tired, cinderblock footed Godzillas at that point. :)
Shortly after that, my MapMyRun+ app went off in my ear, "Distance, 9 miles." I was so thrilled. 9 miles! I did it and I didn't have to stop! I threw my arms up and started dancing. I was so happy.
When we got back to Katie's house and began stretching I felt like my legs were radiating and on fire. It wasn't bad, but I knew I had to do something to help my recovery.
When I got home, I followed instructions our coach had given us about taking an ice bath. Never in my life did I ever think that such a thing was a good idea, but after my 9 miler I knew I had to.
I put a couple inches of lukewarm water in the tub and hopped in, running clothes and all. Then I turned the water completely cold and threw in the ice. Sheer relief I tell you! I sat there sipping some hot tea, almost instantly feeling better and wondering why I hadn't done this before. It was nowhere near as brutal as I thought it would be. Honestly though, I think you just have to be mentally prepared for it, oh and a cup of hot tea or coffee sure does help.
I did learn something from all the silly mistakes I've made over the past couple weeks, which is why I decided against doing the Pub Run 5K in downtown Clarksville on Sunday, as much as I might have liked to. I knew that I really just needed to give myself time to recover, and I am so glad I did. Today is Monday, and while I am still a little stiff, I haven't experienced any pain post run this time. NONE! The shoes are amazing. I didn't have any shin splints at all. They're really doing the trick. I am so thrilled about that I cannot even begin to tell you. Huge thanks to Dustin and everyone at The Runner's Hub who got me on the right track with the shoes. They've made a world of difference for me!
This week I am going to continue to take it easy. I may only run once or twice during the work week, and then once this weekend. If I continue to feel better I will continue my training runs throughout the following week leading up to our next group run after the holiday. I need to ease back into this so I don't suffer another injury. I am so excited about the next step in this journey. 10 miles. 13.1 doesn't seem out of reach any more.