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Making it to the Boston Marathon 2014

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JoyceVT, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Hi Joyce, I hope the marathon went well for you. Let us know!

    I haven't posted as much lately. I've been very busy in my new business, working very long hours and focusing on rest, fun, family on my days off. I've still been training and it's been going well so I thought I'd report in. Most of my pains are either completely gone or so small that it doesn't keep me from running or biking. In fact I ran 5K in a very hilly race and finished 2nd in my age group. That was really great!

    I've been mostly running and biking with a HR monitor and making it a priority to not exceed an aerobic state. IT was difficult at first because I had to slow down and even walk to get my HR down. I'm used to it now and have been walking less and less. Still need to on the hills, but my goal is to not have to do that. I've been just trying to re-build my aerobic system which really took a toll during the 6 months that I took off due to the pain I had. My goal is to build up my speed and distance at an aerobic heart rate over the next 3 to 4 months and then start adding 1 or 2 speed sessions into the mix. My swimming has been absent because my shoulder is still acting up. I think it's TMS, but the doubt that exists in my mind is keeping me from really getting rid of the pain. I still have those voices in my head that the shoulder heals slowly, which is what one of my swim coaches told me. I don't want to believe that, but the pain is still there.. it's that pain cycle.

    I'm still meditating and up to 10 minutes per day. I really believe that's been of great help to me as it is building up my ability to be "present" and not let my thoughts run wild. I think it's this practice that is helping me to move in the direction of healing. I think the other aspect of my personal journey is that I'm following my dream of owning my own business. Although I'm working a lot, I'm really very happy. There's stress and I'm having to get out of my comfort zone quite a bit, but because I'm doing what I want to do and I don't have a boss, I'm really enjoying life again.

    Anyway, let us know how the race went!!

  2. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    Hi Enrique – thanks for posting! And sorry it took me a few days to write about my marathon which went very well.

    It’s sounds like you are doing well with your business and training. And you seem to have a good grip on your TMS with the running and biking! I do understand about your shoulder and swimming! It’s always so hard believing 100%! If you haven’t swam in a while and your shoulder is still acting up, perhaps that is a good indication it is TMS. But like I said I totally understand and I would probably be questioning my arm/should too if it acted up.

    One question for you. Do you like where you swim? I hate the pools where we have a membership (they are murky, dirty and old). But last night I treated myself to a beautiful pool in Stowe Vermont where I learned to swim a couple years ago. It’s clear, pristine and has huge window views of Stowe (Mt Mansfield). It’s truly a great pool. I’m going to switch back my membership there in Feb even though it’s pricy. I’m just happier swimming there. And I wonder if the place we choose to swim can affect the balance of TMS and happiness. Just a thought after a good swim last night.

    So my race went very well in spite of a few TMS “hic ups” a couple weeks before the marathon. My forefoot was still a little sore to walk on even the day before the marathon but it wasn’t bad. At that point I wasn’t really worrying too much about it. I was going to run no matter what! The funny thing about this little TMS problem is that it’s OK to run but I feel it before and sometimes after a run! And it’s been plaguing me for almost 3 weeks now!

    I did a warm up run of almost a mile before the race start on Sunday morning and everything felt good. No TMS bothering me which has been the case for my races. By the time I get to the day of my race, any TMS symptoms usually are gone or subside and my race goes well.

    My goal was to beat my previous PR (personal record) from last year which was a 3:09:09. With a rough couple weeks before the marathon I was going to be happy with anything between a 3:07 and a low 3:08. My net time was 3:07:56 and the gun time (used for awards) was 3:08:07. But the first time is the official one! I was 4th overall out of 493 women and a top master woman (I’m 43) so I was thrilled about that. I didn’t even expect a top 10.

    My race went well until about mile 18 where my quads got sore a bit too early in the race. I was actually feeling the normal soreness at mile 12 which was very early and that had me concerned. It was probably because I missed out on some key training due to my TMS a couple weeks before the marathon. My legs felt great for the half marathon in September where I ran much faster for 13.1 miles. So it didn’t make sense for my legs to feel sore after only 12 miles at a slower pace. So the last 8 miles were tough but I held it together pretty well. It was the last 1.43 miles which had some hills and cost me an extra minute. I went from running a pace between 7:00 to 7:09 for 25 miles to a pace of 7:44 at the end. I have never suffered so much in a race during the last few miles. But I dug deep and managed to make my goal. After I crossed the finish line I collapsed to the ground from stopping too fast or too soon. While it was a rough ending, I’m still happy with my race since I left everything I had on the course. I gave it my all and couldn’t have run any faster that day. When I look at my Garmin stats, my HR was maxed out the last couple miles. So I really gave the race everthing! And I’m really happy about that. The good news is that I know I can run fast at the end of marathons since I did it in Philly and my first marathon here in VT. So with more work this winter, I hope to finish Boston strong and not fall apart at the end. I know I can do it! :)

    So that’s the story! No major TMS problems which is great. It was my quads that weren’t strong enough at the end. No injuries or TMS problems after the marathon. Just the usual soreness from running a marathon. Today I can walk up and down stairs much better! Tomorrow I might ride my bike to work if it’s not snowing (I’m serious about the snow!).

    I still have a sore left forefoot that is on and off but I know that is TMS. It didn’t get worse from running the marathon and I know it will eventually fade away. The more I pay attention to it the more I feel it so I need to just forget about it!! My TMS is not quite ready to give up!

    Now it’s time to rest, do fun things, and start to run again in a few more days. I don’t have to start up Boston training until December so I have some time to dust off my mountain bike, do some trail running and maybe even hike up one of our amazing mountains.

    And after a few days off from meditating, I plan to get back to it tonight!

    Crushercat and Forest like this.
  3. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Wow! Congrats!! I don't have time for anything but a quick post right now, but just wanted to say I'm very happy for you!
    JoyceVT and Forest like this.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Congratulations to both of you! I've always dreamed of starting my own business, so I admire your courage. I tend to think of starting one's own business as one of the hardest things you can do. The fact that you are able to keep things in balance and enjoy yourself is an inspiration.

    And speaking of inspiration, the fact that you didn't let the foot pain scare you and accomplished your goal, leaving it all out there, that takes some real heart. I'm happy for you, too.
    JoyceVT likes this.
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just some replies as well:
    I think that that is something that meditation is really good at... helping us be aware of our thoughts and keep them going in healthy directions.
    That's what it is all about... enjoying life!
    What a great observation, Joyce. How can something be physical if it starts before the run? Emotional stress is what is highest before the run (and after the run, too, as big events signal change and change is stressful - I think that this is why some people get TMS on vacations. Also, after the stress is over, you can finally let it all out a bit).
    And, of course, wow... I'd be happy just to make the first mile... :)
    JoyceVT likes this.
  6. Georgie

    Georgie Physiotherapist

    Firstly, congratulations to you both. It is so inspiring to read about how you have both continued to face and overcome any challenges in your determination to succeed. Recognising, as you have done, that the symptoms are not to be feared, but just your body expressing any inner turmoil/fears, allows you to acknowledge them, but persist and overcome them.

    It's great to hear you have started your own business too Enrique, congratulations. I would agree, it's not the easy option at all, but when you have a calling, it can be so rewarding on a personal level. You've probably already come cross this, but if not, do watch this TED talk about how to make stress your friend and reduce the risk of health problems related to stress.

    As for your shoulder Enrique, as a Physio I used to hate treating shoulders because they are so complicated anatomically and there seemed to be so many different treatments for every single one of the numerous different diagnoses that can be given. I learned to love treating them when I began using a complementary therapy called Bowen therapy (because the same treatment, with occasional variations, usually worked successfully for all) but the results are even better now I don't use hands on at all! :)

    In order to gain a deeper understanding of what might be going on with your shoulder, firstly; did you have an actual injury with enough force to cause damage? Were you doing something you usually do without any problem? Are there any visible signs of inflammation? Has the pain been going on for more than about 6-12 weeks, yet is still persisting (even if you do believe you injured it in the first place)? Remember, if any more serious tissue-damaging disorder has been ruled out and a symptom persists longer than tissue would need to heal, then it will be TMS/PPD. Also in my experience as a Physio, shoulders take no longer to heal than any other part of the body, unless of course you believe they do! ;)

    Joyce, what a time, that's amazing, congratulations! I hate to say this but it's not that much longer than the time it took me to do a half marathon! :( I also found that my knee's old skiing 'injury' tried to return at about mile 8, which I realised was a result of the inner conflict due to getting tired and bored, but refusing to allow myself to walk at all. Interestingly it disappeared when we passed a band or I got into conversation with someone else, until I managed to overcome it mentally. Interestingly, on the way back in the bus there were at least half a dozen people who were saying they had to walk from about mile 8 because they had 'damaged' their knee or foot and the pain caused them to stop running. Those were clearly stress-induced symptoms because none had fallen and the pain had just appeared.

    Anyway, congratulations again to you both and all the best with the training and your business Enrique.

    All the best, Georgie
    JoyceVT and Forest like this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Joyce, try to think about something else and not the shin splint coming back.
    I'm not a runner, but friends who do seem to love it for a physical-emotional high it gives them.
    Maybe try to focus on that and not worry about anything.
    JoyceVT likes this.
  8. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    Hi everyone and thanks for the thoughtful posts. Much appreciated and lots of food for thought.

    It's been about 11 days since the marathon and things are going pretty well. No major hurts after the marathon. Last year I tore a foot tendon and had more shin problems (TMS) after the Philadelphia Marathon. This time almost everything feels fine.

    Oddly enough I STILL have that minor soreness (off and on) on the left bottom of my forefoot when I walk. It's still fine when I run. Good news it is a little better than before the marathon which didn't seem to bother it at all. And there are not many things that are harder on the body than a marathon! So it really does make sense that my foot is just another TMS symptom. I still hate my job. I still have all my issues :)

    Luckily I don't have to start a structured training plan for the Boston Marathon until December. So hopefully this break will bring back some balance in my life!

    Today I signed up for my first half ironman distance triathlon for next September. Looking forward to more swimming, cycling as well as the running next spring and summer!
    Enrique likes this.
  9. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is so inspirational, thank you Joyce VT for showing us courage and perseverance.
    I am so proud for you. I have to admit your a tough person no doubts there.
    Thanks for being a person we can look up to. You keep life shining in our hearts
    Bless you
    Enrique likes this.
  10. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    Thanks for your kind words Eric. It means a lot to me.

    I just hope that I am a good example. Sometimes I’m not so sure since I can’t seem to get rid of my TMS once and for all. I trained 6 months for my last marathon with all kinds of TMS symptoms coming and going. Some longer than others. It’s different every day sometimes. I think I need to work a little harder at battling my TMS now that I have some down time from training. I’d love to start training for the Boston Marathon with minimal aches and pains.

    TMS update: I still have that sore left bottom of forefoot going on. It’s better on some days and a little worse on others. But it isn’t getting worse from running. And I have a new TMS symptom: the beginnings of Plantar Faciitis :eek: on my right bottom of heel! I am a true TMS hypochondriac!! :D I know this is TMS. It’s one of the most common manifestations of TMS for runners. So I’m going to try and not worry about my feet!
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's the spirit, I know you've probably heard this but it bares mentioning again
    When you can just get to the point to where you don't care what the tms try's to do.
    Its sort of like you will no longer feed it any attention, no more thinking is it coming back ya know.
    Then you will really be beating up on the tms in a cool, calm and controlled manner.
    Hope this helps some-
    Thanks for all you do
    Bless you
  12. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    Thanks for this great reminder Eric! I am very guilty of paying full attention to my TMS symptoms and dwelling on them. Even though I acknowledge that the aches and pains are indeed TMS, I still become consumed and apprehensive about the symptoms. I know I need to stop doing this. I wish I had more discipline. :) Yesterday I was better at not paying too much attention to the bottoms of my feet. The good news is that nothing hurts when I run. I didn’t even notice the new TMS symptom in my right heal when running. Felt it afterward walking around but at least I can run!
  13. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are super JoyceVT
    Were all rooting for ya,
    Bless you
    JoyceVT likes this.
  14. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    Thanks Eric :)
  15. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    TMS update: I’ve made some progress with the soreness on the bottom of my left forefoot. There has been noticeable improvement the last week but today it’s a little worse but still better than right before the marathon. This has now been going on for almost 6 weeks now. It’s still OK to run but I feel it mostly in the morning when walking around the house on our hard wood floors. And then I’ll feel it again at home after work. At work I sometimes where my Hokas which are a running shoe I don’t run in as they didn’t work out. They have a huge cushy sole and my foot feels best when I wear them. I know this is totally against the ways of healing from TMS. But when I wear those shoes I focus less on the TMS. Today I biked to work and felt it a few times while pedaling. And I’m feeling it more today at work. I really hate this and I hate TMS. :mad: Part of me wants to have an X-ray and visit with a Doc but then I will be feeding right into the TMS strategy.

    Good news is we’ll be going away for a long 4 day weekend to visit an animal sanctuary in Watkins Glen NY (called the Farm Sanctuary) where we sponsor some animals. I’m really looking forward to this! It’s in the Finger Lakes region and we love it out there. It will be interesting to see how my foot does. We’ll be with like-minded people and get to spend time with the animals. And of course do a little wine tasting as there are hundreds of small vineyards out there. :D

    I’m still running about 22-25 miles a week and won’t start my official training for the Boston Marathon until December. Lately I have done some hiking, still biking to work in the colder temps, swimming and just enjoying not having a hard training schedule right now.
  16. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Been a while since I check the forum. Awesome that you signed up for a Half Ironman!! Woohoo!
  17. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Hey There!

    I've been really busy with my business so I have not made time to stay in touch here. My apologies!!! I have some time today to do whatever I want. I decided to take 4 days off during the Thanksgiving week so I could just relax. I'm sitting at a Starbucks right now listening to Christmas music and catching up on emails. I love this time of year so much. Everyone's so happy, joyful, grateful and generally focused on the good things in life. I'll bet that if we could measure chronic pain symptoms across the world, they would be less during this time of year.

    Training has been a little sporadic lately because of my focus on my business. The nice thing is that I've created such as STRONG habit of exercise in my life that I can't go more than a couple of days before my brain is finding ways to fit in a run or a bike activity. The other day I rigged up my bike with lights so that I could get a ride in after the sun went down which is much too early during this time of year. I also attached a light to my helmet so I could light up whatever I needed to as I rode through the trails out here in Brentwood.

    I've been training lightly, focusing on base building only. I'm following a low HR training regimen which involves only letting my HR reach a certain aerobic level (a la Mark Allen/Phil Maffetone). It allows me to keep in shape and keep the physical stress on myself to low levels. I am going to start adding distance now though. I want to do some half marathons in 2014 again and I want to start adding speed work, probably in the form of fartleks and maybe some track-work.

    The great thing is that my knee and achilles are 100% fine! No issues at all. I've run several 5Ks at an all out effort and a couple of 10Ks. My shoulder feels "weird" for lack of a better way to explain it. I feel a sensation and that sensation isn't painful, but I think it's TMS trying to give me something to focus on. I'm going to look into the Bowen Therapy that Georgie mentions above. I was injured back in July of 2012... well over a year ago. How could I still have any real tissue damage still?! It just screams of being a TMS symptom.

    Wish me luck as I challenge this symptom and get back to regular swim training. Like you, Joyce, I plan to do Half Ironman this next year. It would be my first for that distance!


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