Wednesday, September 13, 2006

History, part 2

I ran on and off for several years. I ended up becoming very sedentary because of my job, and gained a lot of weight... after realizing my gain, and working to lose it, I started becoming interested in running again. After my daugher was born in 2001, I decided to do a whirlwind 4 month training program to run the Dallas White Rock Marathon. Dumb idea. I went from not running at all, to running 40 miles a week within 4 weeks - plus, made the mistake of doing most of my running on a treadmill, thinking it was better for my bones and joints. I did something weird to my knee, and it swelled up and caused me problems for the rest of my training (and I stupidly ran through it, not wanting to let another injury thwart me). I also got stress fractures in my shins from ramping up too quickly. I ran through my injuries for 3 months, ramping up my long run, and running the Dallas Half marathon (poorly). After The Half, my knee no longer cooperated - normally I could warm it up in 10-15 minutes of running to run without pain. After The Half I would run with knee pain constantly, and shin pain for about 1 mile. I tried cross training by riding a bike and swimming, but nothing seemed to work. I gave up on the marathon 2-3 weeks before the race, and didn't run for about 6 months. I had attained a speed of about 7:30-8:00 minute miles for a 10k.

That 6 months worked great for me... it gave my body a chance to heal up, and reminded me that I needed to be smarter about my training. When I came back, I started by being over conservative. I ran 1 mile a day for a week.. even though I was SURE I could do more, I wanted to be careful. I then stepped it up to 1.25 miles a day the second week, 1.5 the 3rd, and 1.75 the 4th. Everything was going well, so I worked up a little quicker to 3-4 miles a day (alternating) I was training 15-20 miles a week, and lifting weights and playing basketball. This was my routine for a little over 1 year. During the summer of 2003, I tore my ACL playing basketball. This was an injury that really messed up my right leg. After sugery, the muscles atrophy and shrink as a protective mechanism.

I was VERY motivated to work hard and get back to where I was before I hurt my knee. The typical recovery back to 100% takes 6 months, and mine took 4. The first month was the hardest, since my knee was sore, swollen, and had very little strength. Once I received clearance from my surgeon to start running again, I took it easy. With basketball no longer in my routine, I started focusing more on running. My work director was a captain for my company's corporate Track team and encouraged me to try out for the track team, or run in our company's city corporate challenge 5k. In 2004, I ran the corporate challenge 5k, and ran a 19:45 5k. I ran a small 5k in a neighboring city and came in 2nd with a low 19 5k.

By 2005, I was feeling more confident with my fitness, and listened to my director and tried out for the team. Although I was not really a competitive corporate 5k runner, because of being in a weak age division, my company took me along for the trip to the San Ramon, CA Corporate Track meet. I ran the 5k and 10k for my company, and managed an ok 5k time of 18:27. Encouraged by this, I ran the city Corporate Challenge 5k again, and came in 2nd place for my team. I ran the same small 5k I had the previous year and won in a time of 17:42. I continued training and was part of my company's record-breaking corporate Dallas Marathon relay team.

By early 2006, my base training was 60-65 miles a week. My surgically reconstructed knee started bothering me in February, forcing me to take 2 months off, and only doing cross training. I stepped it up in May, since I was training for my company's Corporate Track team again. Running at some Dallas track meets, I set post-High School personal records in the 800 and 1 mile of 2:13 and 4:59 respectively.

I made the Corporate Track team, and our national meet with other companies was in Golden, CO. Because of my training focus, I did not run 5k and 10k, but was part of 3 different types of relays, running an 800 meter for each, my fastest being a 2:11.

After that, I took off some time from training to train for climbing some 14ers in Colorado (Mount Elbert and Longs Peak), and just got back into training again 2 weeks ago.


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