I have pretty much fallen of the face of the Blog world since my vacation started almost 2 weeks ago! But we are home and slowly resuming a routine, so hopefully a more routine blogging schedule will resume.
SO much has happened in the last 12 days, where to start....
Penny came up and we ran the Jacksonville Bank Half Marathon.
I missed a new PR by 16 seconds, and finished 1:58:58 but considering I was literally numb from the cold and not really trained I will not complain one bit. I am actually anxious to see what kind of PR I can set with some real training behind me.
It was without a doubt the coldest run I have ever done. I dressed as it would get a few degrees warmer as we ran. Well it got 10 degrees colder and started to rain- needless to say we didn't stick around for the awards ceremony.
We went to Atlanta to celebrate Christmas with my Dad's side of the family. It was loads of fun, a little crazy, and I am beyond lucky and literally received my entire Christmas list in boxes.
We spent Christmas Eve here in Jacksonville with my Mom's family. Lots of food and time with people we don't see very often.
Christmas day I got in a short run (like 1/3 the length I had planned) and then spent the next 2 days with all of John's huge family. It is so much fun when they all get together- how can it not be fun with a family that that big!
We also went to the Jags/Redskins game on Sunday- it was the coldest I have ever been in my life. It was 37* with 20mph winds, and it snowed before we left the house!!! I do not know how you northerners do it, I was so cold!
John and I have been back in Jacksonville for about a day and half now. We have managed to take down the Christmas decorations, put aways tons of clean laundry, all the presents, and clean the house. I have had some errands to attend to since we got back also that have slowed my to-do list, but it has been so much fun!
We have 2 more day trips planned before returning to work next week, and I am so thankful to be able to get back to my routine. My running has been pretty slack since we have been on vacation, I have always seemed to have something else to do, but I think when we get back to the day-to-day it will fall back into place.
I have a super-fun and super-exciting announcement coming tomorrow, as well as a 2010 recap and 2011 goals, it should be a busy week!
Happy Christmas break day everyone. Today is our last day on campus before our winter break begins, I am so thankful to have time off for the holidays without having to guilty, like at my last job!
I am a super busy girl today trying to get everything wrapped up before heading out this afternoon, so here is a quick running update.
Yesterday I decided to try a double, didn't get in nearly the mileage I had wanted because, get this, I was sore from my massage??? She told me that would probably happen, but I thought massages were supposed to relax the soreness, not cause it...Oh well, I am supposed to take today off, but spent some quality time with the arc trainer.
Yesterday AM run: 3.5 miles, 31:29 or 9:00 pace.
PM Track workout: 4x1000 (supposed to be 5x1000- stupid soreness)
1 Mile warm-up- 9:25
4x1000- 4:56 (7:53p), 5:01 (8:03p), 4:52 (7:47p), 4:44 (7:26p)
With the recoveries and cool down I got in another 4.5 miles to make 8 for the day. I find the 1000 distance awkward, I think because it is not a full lap, you have to add in an extra half a lap, and sometimes I think of it as a long 800 and sometimes I think of it like a short 1200, so my pacing tends to waiver back and forth between 1200 pace or 800 pace. I was supposed to take them relatively easy since we are all racing on Sunday, but once I fell back into my rhythm after the 2nd one, I was good to go. I was supposed to be doing 5x1000 but when I said my hip was sore, my coach made me drop the last one, especially when he found out I already ran that morning :) I was instructed to rest today to make sure I was feeling good going into this weekend, here's hoping it works.
Has a massage ever left you sore or tight the next day? This is a first for me, but I have heard that getting really deep into the muscles can do that.
Hello all! I have been a MAJOR blog slacker, I kept trying to get some fun stuff up, but I have been slammed at work this week, although I can't complain since Thursday is my last day until January 3rd... don't you all wish you worked in the fabulous world of post-secondary education where everyone's goal is to work as little as possible :)
So onto my confessions, there are definitely a lot of things I have been avoiding, so it's time I came clean:
1. I ran twice on Saturday. My normal long run days are back, and I sure did miss them. Saturday morning I went and met my group to do a "long run", it really wasn't long, only 8 miles- 1:13:40 (9:13 pace). I also raced that night, hehe! Per instructions I was supposed to run at 10k-15k pace and not truly race, since A, I have a much more important race this weekend, and B, it was my first week back to normal post-injury.
5k Race - 26:55, 8:27 pace course was long 3.20
2. I learned something at this litte 5k race- I am a mean person when I race! This was a cute little race- actually not little like 3000 people, but a cute race. It is called the Festival of Lights 5k and you run all through the historic (and expensive) neighborhoods along the river at night and it is all lit up by luminaries- fun right! Well since it is so cute and fun, it is heavily family/stroller/stupid-people friendly. Despite the director saying for 20 minutes pre-race that anyone who was walking, with kids, or with a stroller needed to go to the back, they all ignored him and lined up right next to me (only 10 yards from the start line). I have never experienced the cluster* that people talk about at big races and taking forever to get up to speed... I finally get it. There were so many people walking within .1 miles of the start, people who dressed up all Christmas like somehow dropped all their stuff while run/walking and decided to stop in the middle of the course to re-dress themselves- I literally almost ran over a small child, and then yelled at her mom, and no I don't feel bad about it. I was SO angry in the first mile trying to dodge all the non-racers who had started at the front, and kept me stuck in the 8:45 pace range since I couldn't break free, that my last mile and half were at killer paces, and my last 1/2 mile was sub-8:00 pace....
Yeah, as much as I told myself since I couldn't PR, I would just run for fun, apparently I can't do this- I guess I am a bad person- or at least a bad racer.
3. My next marathon is 60 days away. That's it, 60...and the furthest I have run since the last one is 13 miles, and even that was a struggle. I have some serious work ahead of me if I plan to still run that race, and I find my motivation to be wavering some. Maybe because I wasn't able to jump in and follow my training as originally planned, but I have some serious work to do and not so much time to do it in. Any advise from those of you who have done a fly-by marathon training???
4. Despite the fact that I am a native Southerner and Floridian, I am actually really loving the freezing cold weather we are having, like literally freezing
Our highs have been in the 40's and lows in the 26-32 range. Nothing at all like I am used to, but it makes me run fast, and I don't get all gross or over-heated, I really think there may be something to this whole running in the cold thing. Not to mention all the cute sweaters and coats that haven't been touched in a while are getting put to good use these last 2 weeks, and maybe we will actually have a Christmas this year where I won't be wearing flip-flops...
5. The downside to the cold is it makes it almost impossible to get out of bed in the mornings to go run. I even have a hard time convincing the dog that she needs to emerge from the cocoon she has built herself to get a treat
And really who would want to get out from underneath that big bundle of snuggliness!
6. Yesterday I skipped my run in favor a massage instead. My it band and hip/glutes were all so much better than my last visit, and hopefully all the deep work will pay off in my race this weekend. And since I skipped yesterday's run, I am doing a double today...3 days before a race, oops! Looking a double digit day which is actually kind of exciting I miss doing double digits during the week, I used to feel so accomplished when I would run 10 miles and then go to work like it was nothing.
7. I am drastically behind on my Christmas shopping, like embarrasingly behind. My house has been decorated for 3 weeks, and there is not a thing wrapped under my tree yet, this could be a problem. I am hoping to tackle a lot of it this weekend, so here's hoping that works out. I think the biggest problem is I have no idea what to buy for all the men in my life, they all buy everything they want anyways, so what does that leave me????
So that is enough embarrasing stories for today, back tomorrow with a track recap:)
Woohoo for the weekend! I have a ton on my plate for the next 72 hours, but it should be lots of fun:)
I was planning to get up and run yesterday morning like I usually do, but when the alarm went off less than 12 hours after my speedy track workout I could feel how tight adn tired my legs still were, so I decided to do some weights and a little cross-training and give my legs some more time. Since the weather is actually nicer in the afternoons than in the morning it was easy to swap my schedule and run after work- something I haven't done in a while!
This was the first chance I have had in weeks to head out solo and do my own run on my own terms. Well apparently my own terms were quite quick:
So yeah, that was great! Once I saw the first mile split I decided I wanted to try and do this like a tempo- except without the warm-up/cool-down, so just a fast run. While it may be a long shot, I am going to try for a new PR in my half next week, and that will require a sub-9:00 average, so I wanted to see how 5 miles at/near that goal pace would feel. Answer: it wasn't too bad! My lungs burned some, but I mostly blame the cold for that... still only 48* at 5:30PM! But another great run in the books, and the leg is still holding up.
My biggest thing when building back up this week was being able to run consecutive days. I feel like that is one of the most helpful things for me because it gets me used to running on tired legs. My goal was to get back to my pre-marathon schedule of running Monday-Thursday, Saturday, and cross-training Sunday. While I wanted to get in 30 miles this week (and I will) it was more important to be able to run every day with no pain or issues, I can always build the mileage back over time, but I really needed to be able to feel good running for 4 or 5 days in a row- so I think that turned out to be a major success!
I do have a couple runs planned for this weekend, as well as a long bike-ride, starting my Christmas shopping (and hopefully finishing it), a fun date night, and plenty else to keep my busy! Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Happy Thursday, we are beginning to get away from our arctic temperatures today and will actually see a high of 55* today- a little rediculous that 55* is warm now!
I have been enjoying the cold weather this week, and am kind of sad that it will be warming up to normal (68/45) this weekend. Don't worry, we are getting our arctic temps back on Monday with lows back in the 20's and highs in the 40s, lets pray the 40's stick around for my half next weekend.
After another successful and painfree run on Tuesday I knew that I needed to throw myself back into my normal routine to make sure my IT band could handle the higher intensity of training that it is literally about to be thrown back into. So yesterday (Wednesday) I got up, went to the gym to weights (including legs) and some time on the arc trainer and stair climber (which I have avoided like the plague since the ITB thing). I felt great, put in a hard effort, and was left still nervous and excited to go to the track after work.
I hadn't been to the track in 3 weeks, so I knew no matter how my knee felt that I would be dying out there from the effort. Since everyone in my group is racing either this weekend, next weekend, or both, he kept the workouts relatively light: 1600,1200, 800, 2x400, expected times (8:05, 6:00, 3:58, 1:53, 1:50)
I was planning to get there early to get in a few extra miles before we started, but I left my Garmin at home :( John was so wonderful and brought it to me at the track. Since I wouldn't have time to get in the extra miles I needed to hit 6 for the day I opted to just swap today's 4 mile run for the 6 and do 6 today.
The weather was perfect, 48*, a little windy and dark, I am really going to miss the cold weather come summer, it seems so conducive to my speed. The workout went down like this:
First of all, I love how fast this actually makes me look, but I'm really not. I was surprised how easy the warm-up felt, I just kept getting faster, and was under 9:00 for the last half mile of it, maybe it was the cold, but I felt good. Since it had been a few weeks and we didn't know how my knee would feel, my coach wanted me to take it easy until I saw how my knee felt, so he told me to start at about 8:05 and then drop about 5 seconds per mile for each interval.
With the 1600 I was determined to make it in under 8:00, that is my standard, and as hard as it was and as much as my lungs were burning, I paced it well to finish just under 8:00. The 1200 was tough I felt like I started to quick and so when I back off it lap 2 it made it too hard to get my speed back in the last lap, but I still dropped my pace some and that is ultimately the goal. By the time we got to the 800, I was ready to start dropping the paces, my knee felt good, and I wanted to start trying to hit my normal times. The last time I did this workout (2 weeks PRE-marathon) my 800 time was 3:49. Boom 3:49 like cake, I probably should have pushed more at the end, but 7:40 pace was my aim, and I hit it.
When we started the 400's I was told to try and hit 7:10 for the first and 7:00 for the 2nd. 1st 400- 6:58 pace, and it felt good. After my coach saw the 1:43 he told me to try to hit 6:40 pace for the last one, I took off with one of the faster guys who pretty much pushed me the whole lap, he was great, and even though I totally was dying in the last 100m I hit 6:38 and was elated! My knee felt great and I was hitting my pre-marathon track times after a 3 week hiatus, so refreshing!
It feels so good to be able to run hard and fast again, and hopefully even with only 2 weeks back at my normal level, it will be enough to bring good things for my upcoming races. In the interest of staying healthy through my training I have another massage scheduled for next week a few days before my half to make sure everything is in working order and to break up any lingering scar tissue before jumping back into my longer runs the following week. I am excited to get back to the 18 and 20 milers, I have missed my long weekend runs! It seems there has been a lot of rebounding on the injury front this week amongst many runners, and I am so very happy that everyone is getting back to healthy and running, myself included!
My Tuesday is shaping up quite nicely, hopefully yours is too! I started my day with another balmy 5 Mile run. It was 34* today, felt like 25* and 15mph winds. I seriously almost ditched my mom to go to the gym, but I am not that mean!
Since I have been taking so much time off to try and rest the IT band thing, I have realized what I really missed the most were my Tuesday/Thursday solo runs. Now don't get me wrong, I love my group and the push that they give me, but I have really missed going out with my ipod and my thoughts and not having anything else to worry about. I was hoping today I would get my chance to fly solo, but my mom is leaving town for the rest of the week tomorrow, and hasn't run in a few weeks and since she refuses to run alone (no idea why, it is so fabulous!) I decided I would be a nice person and sacrifice 1 more run for the greater good, and I am praying to get in that solo and fabulous run on Thursday.
So today 5 miles-48:28. I did the first 3 miles with my mom, and then was on my own for the last 2.
Splits were 10:04, 9:58, 9:53 and then 9:22, 9:11. When I am with my mom I usually run up ahead of her a bit and then turn around and come back and meet up with her. That way I get in a bit more mileage and don't sacrifice my pace too much. I was REALLY wanting to do some fast miles today, but I will have to save it for another day. I was pleased with my last 2 miles considering I wasn't really trying to push since the first 3 had been so slow.
I seemed to have again hit the perfect balance of "enough clothes to keep you from literally turning blue, and not so many that you die from heat stroke" it is a very thin line! My knee held up today, no pain, but some IT band talking. I think it was mad that I made it take really hard about-face turns so many times, but the fact that it never actually hurt was nice. The last 2 miles were actually flawless, so proof that running faster really is easier on your ITB, haha! After the run I went to the gym to defrost get in some core work and weights. Well Even though I brought a light shirt to change into, I was dying walking around our 75* gym in my tights, so I only managed to get in the core work and some stretch/rolling action before heading home. I am planning to head back tonight to get in the weights and such.
Do you prefer running solo or with a group?? I think it really depends on the workout for me, I love being with the group for speed workouts, but long runs and easy runs I really do prefer to do alone!
Hello and Happy Monday everyone! I trust everyone had a nice weekend, mine was jam-packed full of a whole lot of everything!
Saturday I went to help my mom with her annual Christmas party most of the day, and didn't get home and in bed until after midnight, I was SO tired!
Yesterday I woke up at 7am with a zillion things I wanted to get done. The to-do list looked something like this:
-Do Laundry :)
-Put away laundry :(
-Prep food for the week
-Clean out closet/dresser
-Re-organize closet so John can actually put his shoes in there :)
-Clean off the counter
-Organzie china cabinet
-Throw out old magazines/organize others
-Clean out office closet
-Goodwill trip (clothes/old electronics)
-Weed out old toiletries under bathroom sink
-Clean out pantry
Now even for me, this is a pretty lofty list for one weekend, let alone one day. There were certainly priorities, but I somehow managed to cross everything off that massive list EXCEPT Miss Peach's bath- although technically John does that, so I win again, I crossed everything off MY part of the list ;)
I felt so unbelievable accomplished when I went to bed last night, my house was spotless, all my clothes were clean, my closet looked great, I was ready for the week, had gotten to watch Love Actually while cooking, and I also tacked on 1 extra fun project. All my bibs and medals were cluttering up my jewelry stand, so I decided with as many as there are now, they probably needed their own space, so here is what I threw together
Ideally I would like to get something else for all my medals, but I had an extra cork board lying around, and a little extra time on my hands, plus I am impatient, and once I want something done, it has to be done right that instant or else I will turn to dust!
So now we are to Monday, and what I have been waiting for, my first day back to running. I was beyond excited all day yesterday, I was so ready to be able to get up and go run like normal, I have felt so naked without it the last few weeks. I actually planned out what I would wear last night and got everything ready, pathetic, a little, but in my defense I was also having to prepare for something I had never done before: 36* run! Now I will say that last winter I did 2 runs in under 45*, but both were during the day when the sun was out- my Floridian blood was about to attempt an all dark 36* run + wind, very scary!
I don't own real running tights because well, I live in Florida and that seemed rediculous. Although for some reason I have also convinced myself that owning 4 peacoats when you live in Florida is completely rational;) I have some imitation running tights that are dry fit and tight, but they are really baselayer spandex to wear when you go skiing, but with 36* feels like 28* on my phone this morning I decided faux-tights were better than capris, and I will say it was a good choice. I also layered up with a cold-gear mock tutleneck, another long-sleeved shirt over it, gloves and a fleece headband for my ears. I ALMOST took my wind-breaker, but ditched it at the last seconds, and over all I ended up feeling comfortable on the run- Big Win for me, I ALWAYS overdress!!! Needless to say, I will be needing to go and apprehend some real winter running gear tonight, the lows through the weekend range from 28*-36*!
So my coach told me to keep it easy to do and do 4-5 miles, I started the first mile with the group of girls I had normally done the bridges with, but after the first mile I was ready to speed up so I just took off on my own. My knee and IT Band felt good I was able to settle into a comfortable pace, and I was really surprised that after so much time off I wasn't feeling winded finding my normal pace, especially since I was able to maintain it on all the bridge climbs. I was really concious to keep my downhills in check since I knew that could be where my ITB would flare up, and I didn't even notice it until the very last downhill in the last mile where I started to feel a slight soreness come from my actual IT band in the middle of my leg. I rememebered everything I read and have felt the last couple weeks and decided that picking it up rather than staying slow on the downhill would probably be better in the long run, so I did- 5 miles, no knee pain ;)
5 Miles- 47:24, 9:28 average pace
Mile 1- 9:50
Mile 2- 9:28
Mile 3- 9:44 (tackling the big beast)
Mile 4- 9:26
Mile 5- 8:56
I was so happy that I still felt so good despite everything. I know that running a lot of hills while trying to build back up is not the best way to keep my ITBS in check, but I wanted to at least get out there this morning with the group. Over the 5 miles we ran 4 ambitious uphills with the accompanying downhills, and each had their own mile so I was glad to see the efforts I put in on each incline. I stretched and foam rolled like a pro when I got home, I am hoping to stay on top of this thing as much as I can. I also iced my knee once at work, again proactive is better. I am *hoping* to get back to my normal 5 days of running this week, even though the mileage will be lower than usual (~30 this week), it is about getting my body (and IT band) used to the 4 days in a row pattern again, and then I can increase mileage from there if it holds up! I am still being cautious, both mentally and physically, while I realize I did everything I could to try and disolve this problem, I still need to be prepared it may show up again.
Thanks to everyone for sticking through my 10 day hiatus, I aprpeciate all the support! It certainly was boring, and I never realized how much I would miss just being able to go run.
Only 4 more days until I can run again...Thank God!!!!!!!!!!
Like seriously I am irritable, feel bored, lost, confused, lazy, boring, annoyed, etc. I can definitely tell there is something missing in my life right now, so I am happy to get back to my running obsessed schedule, oh that and use all of the cute new running gear I practically stole from Dick's during last week's Black Friday Sales!!!
So when I don't run I feel like there isn't much to talk about, but I will regale you with the fun tales of my week. Monday and Tuesday I slaved away on the arc-trainer, the only faux-running machine that doesn't aggrevate my knee (or brain) and it leaves me sweating and gasping for breath, so I guess I can't complain.
Yesterday I went to my favorite Wednesday night 5:30 spin class. I haven't been since long before the marathon since my track workouts are usually Wednesday nights, but since I'm not running, no excuses. Well there was a new instructor teaching 5:30 spin, and I can't think of anything else to say other than that she reminds me of a jack-rabbit!!
Honestly, during class when I was sucking wind and wondering why on earth I subjected myself to this torture, I thought that this instructor and this class is probably exactly what hungryrunnergirl's spin classes are like- super bubbly and super quick, so I just imagined her as the instructor and it made not want to throw my waterbottle anymore ;) At one point she told us she was born in 1976, and that we were going to do 76 - 2 second consecutive jumps, umm yeah, that hurt!
So despite the lack of running I have gotten in some quality workouts since my half last week, and a week off so far, has left my knee/IT band feeling good. I have focused a lot on getting in some strength exercises so that all my weak muscles are no longer weak when I get back to it next week.
All local runners are still safe, I have not taken any further action into my plan to stone the local running groups on their morning jaunts, but now that our winter is officially here, 54/37* today (yes that is winter in the FL) I am starting to get a little resentful again of all the people running in the cool weather, it will probably be back up to 80* by the time I get back out there next week.
Being December 2nd now, I should probably start my Christmas shopping, but I find it difficult to buy presents for the people in my life who go out and buy everything they want, what is left after that???? Any good ideas for brothers, sisters, moms and dads???
All none of the running variety, oh if only my life could be that simple to only have to buy for runners, I would have been done weeks ago!
So Thanksgiving is over and now it's Christmas, which is really scary to think that this year is over already.
Thanksgiving morning I woke up bright and early for Jacksonville's "Turkey Trot" the Outback Distance Classic- Nothing like running a half marathon to really earn your dinner!
This was without a doubt probably one of the worst races I have had- I seriously almost quit like 17 times during the race. I was given the ok to go out at a 9 minute pace which would have put my finish time at 1:58 and I was content with that. I managed to stay on that pace for the first 5 miles, and then just fell apart, my hip was already aching and there were rolling hills on the course and lots of turns and I wasn't being super careful. Combine all that with the fact that I don't really feel like I'm in shape from taking so much time off and you get a really crappy race. I mentally was not in it the way I needed to be, and it's hard to be mentally sharp when you have no control over your body and it could fail you at any minute.
John came out to take lots of pictures, which will have to wait for another post because they are at home, and I am not. I really think if he wasn't there I would have stopped somewhere along the way and made someone take me home, but I stuck it out, and finished in 2:05:06, a lot faster than my half last weekend, but still not up to my standards. I have never had a bad race like this, where I literally wanted to quit, I love to race, I am not fast but I can execute a race plan to a T and that is why I think I love races because I always nail the plan, and I guess I did nothing I would normally do during this race, I felt reckless out there with no strategy. Oh well, onward and upward, the next race will be better.
I am now currently on day 4 of a running hiatus, I have another massage booked for later this week, and I have lots of cross-training plans, but truth be told I get very angry when I walk into the gym and see people running on the treadmills. I get even more angry at the people I see running outside. The goal is to go back out on Monday feeling back to normal and get back to my normal running, so here's hoping, not just for my sake and sanity, but for the fellow runners who now all have targets on their backs if my plan does not go well.
Happy Thanksgiving Eve to everyone! J and I both had the day off today and spent the day running errands and wasting time, it felt nice to not have any real obligations and just enjoy our day off.
A few things we did accomplish... Costco and Whole Foods. Somehow I have managed to eat an entire pound of Spinach in just 2 1/2 days, probably because I have been eating these like it's my job...
I guess since the temperature has headed back into the upper 70s I have been craving smoothies. I basically make my standard smoothies (strawberry, orange, banana) and add 2 huge handfuls of spinach- looks awful, tastes amazing!!!
I also had to pick up my packet for tomorrow's race, and while at the running store I picked up something for my tree....
I always get a new ornament every year, and I thought what better than to remind me of what I spent so much of this year focused on. I also picked up a 13.1 ornament for my mom, she has gotten to be quite the racer.
So now I am watching Eat, Pray, Love on Redbox and trying to collect myself for tomorrow's race. I have been given the green light to go out at what I will call conservative half marathon pace, and to pace off another girl until mile 8. If at mile 8 the knee still feels good, I am allowed to really pick it up- here is hoping the plan works! I am planning to do everything as I did on Sunday, and praying my knee responds the same.
Everyone enjoy the start of your Thanksgivings, and I will see you tomorrow with a race recap!
Hello and Happy Monday!I have been a major blog slacker since last week, so this will be a long recap.
So rewinding to Friday, I got up early to test the knee out after my Thursday night massage. The massage went well, she was able to really target where the tension was in my leg, and which muscles were weak and which ones were doing the over compensating. Good to know moving forward so I know what to be targeting. She also showed me how to apply the KT Tape to my leg to try and alleviate the pain while running.
Friday's run I went an easy 3 miles, average pace 9:15, I also wore the knee strap I bought to try and figure out where I like it best. I changed positions for each mile, not sure if any spot was better than the other, but I was able to finish all 3 miles without the stabbing knee pain, another win!
Fast forward to post-work Friday, I made the 3 1/2 hour drive to Tampa for the weekend. I made a super fun playlist for the car trip and it flew by, before I knew it I had arrived at Penny's apartment. After a quick wardrobe change we were headed out for the evening. Since the race wasn't until Sunday, we knew Friday would be our fun night, but I don't think either of us were prepared for the evening ahead.
First stop was to spend some time with Jaime before continuing on elsewhere.
Well after 3 stops and a lot of dancing, Penny and I finally managed to crash at 4:30am Saturday morning. Needless to say, I have not been up that late in I don't know how long, maybe ever, but we had so much fun it was absolutely worth it. A very early wake-up call Saturday morning meant less than 3 hours of sleep, but despite a sluggish start, I managed to have a very productive day and never really felt awful, I was functioning on all Cylinders. Jaime and I hit the expo to get all of our stuff, had lunch, and took and ice/heat bath in her pool and hottub.
I did manage to sneak in about a 90 minute nap before Penny got back from work, and then the three of us headed out for an early dinner. We were in bed early Saturday night, but a 4:30am wake-up call Sunday morning we still only had about 7 1/2 hours of sleep.
Now going into the race, I wasn't sure what my plans were going to be or how my knee was going to be feeling. I had done everything I possibly could to try and ensure my ability to race, but I just didn't know how my knee was going to feel.
We rode down with several of Penny's running friends whom we spent some time with this weekend.
While everyone else went to warm-up, I stayed at the cars knowing I didn't want to waste a possible mile or 2 of the race now. I stretched a lot, got myself loose, moved around some to see how my knee was feeling. I knew with the crazy Friday we had that I was not in prime racing condition, I had been on my feet pretty much since I got to Tampa and that made me nervous. Before I had ever left Jax on Friday I told myself this would be a race morning decision, and I had a few options depending on how everything felt: Don't start, drop down to the 5k, start the half and if the knee flares up before 7 miles take a DNF, start the half and if the knee flares up after 7 miles deal with it and finish, or start the half and do whatever I need to do to finish.
The annoying part about this injury is that you can't tell from the first step how a run is going to end, and that was what made this such a tough call because you couldn't tell if you were making the right one. Well I decided that my leg felt good enough that I was going to give it a shot, and I really didn't want to do the 5k, so I lined up as planned in my corral for the half. I had done everything that morning that I was supposed to: I stretched (a lot!), foam rolled, took some ib profen, I used the KT tape AND the knee strap, I also decided to wear my old shoes instead of the new ones. I knew my old shoes had done me so well that if I had a change to day, it was in a pair of shoes that my muscles were familiar with.
So the race was advertised as flat which I knew was good, but the course map showed a lot of turns which is where I had been having trouble with my knee the last week, so I though if I ran the turns wide rather than really tight that would help from putting to much strain on my knee, I would rather not bother to run the tangents and finish still running than try and turn to tight and have to take a DNF if my knee flared up. So this was my only race plan, that and to keep it pretty easy and not push too hard until the last couple miles if I was still feeling good. Normally I am such a strategy person in a race, I have splits nailed down, fueling plans in place, and have thought of every last detail, I did no such thing for this race because I truly didn't know how I would be feeling physically.
Now this race is heavily walker friendly, so we were put in Corral 1 and I started pretty close to the start line. I crossed pretty quickly and while I tried to keep it under control, my legs were wanting to run what my original planned pace was...
Mile 1- 8:58
Oops, too fast. I kept in check for the next 5 miles, I never pushed, I took the turns wide, and I walked through every water station- mostly due to congestion, but it also gave me a change to break up the running and stretch my knee which I did once up until mile 6 and then at every water station there after. I focused on keeping a short stride and landing more on my heels since that has been the only thing I have noticed over the last few weeks that seems to keep the knee pain away.
Miles 2-6 were all in the 9:20-9:25 range.
After Mile 6, my hip started to get achey, and I got nervous, I told myself that if I could make it to the halfway point before any knee pain started I would finish, but when my hip and it band started to ache at 6 I was a bit nervous as to if I had the mental strength to push through pain for 6+ miles.
My pace took a hit and miles 6-10 were all 9:55-10:07 range. Slower than I had wanted but I was stretching almost every mile and while my hip and IT band were tight/achy the debilitating stabbing pain never started so I just kept on going. At mile 10 I knew I had it in me to finish but it was still a waiting game for the knee.
Mile 11-12 had an uphill I was unaware of and then we ran through the inside of Tropicana field (stadium?) where the Devil Rays play. It was neat to run through the inside of the baseball stadium, but the turf really threw me off and slowed me down. It definitely require me to have to stabilize myself more with each step which sucked because my knee was not needing to be stressed anymore by being asked to stabilize me on rough surface. So my pace here dropped pretty bad, and per everyone's splits, it seemed to be a universal problem.
After we made the final turn to head to the finish line I figured if I had made it this far w/out any pain then I could pick it up until the finish line. I managed to get mile 13 at 9:50 and then the last little bit down to an 8:16 pace. It felt SO good to open up finally and take the long strides I have become accustomed to. It felt good to get back into my normal pace rhythms and I was flying by people in the last 1/2 mile which was also kind of nice.
While this isn't a personal worst, it certainly is not far off of it. Do I wish my time had been better, sure, but to be honest, finishing this race in my current injury-ridden condition was a serious accomplishment. I know that I have some time off coming very very soon, and once I give my knee a chance to recover fully, then I will be able to get back to my normal times and setting new PR's, but this was about finishing a fun race with my friends and having a great weekend in Tampa, which I did.
Post-race we hung around for the awards ceremony, and then headed out for breakfast. I hit the road and made it back to Jacksonville before dark. My knee seems to be feeling ok today, a little stiff, but to be expected after the beat-down it took yesterday. I am hoping it recovers quickly as I have one more favor to ask of it before it gets a running hiatus.
Happy Hump Day! Despite an uncertain racing future, I am still super excited to make to Friday and hit the road to spend another race weekend with two of my favorites!
So yesterday after work I had some time and a serious yearning to put my new shoes to good use, so I played it safe and hit the gym for a run on the treadmill. I actually really came to embrace the treadmill and it's functionality over the last year, but for some reason since my marathon I am really loathing the idea of the treadmill, but since I didn't want to be miles from home in the dark if my knee freaked out I decided to keep it safe.
I ran 3 glorious pain free miles on the treadmill before I decided to "quit while you're ahead". I actually feel like I could have probably made it to 5 miles piece of cake, and in hindsight, I kind of wish I had.
3 Miles- 28:59 (9:50,9:40, 9:29)
I kept the run super easy and while I had some tightness in my actual IT band up near my hip, my knee never spoke up, I was thrilled. I knew with a completely different kind of shoe my legs might feel off or tight and they might have a little bit, but to be honest it was the best feeling run I had in over a week so I was quite happy. So there you have it, a win!
Now in hindsight I realize this was probably a pretty dumb move, but I never claimed to be smart. I decided I was going to run again this morning, and my coach ok'ed it as long as I was smart and careful. My original plan was to run this morning, last night's run was kind of impromptu, so I never really thought about moving this run.
The lose: 1.5 miles in to what I had hoped would be an easy 5 miler my knee shut down. after I made a hard turn. I was purposely avoiding uneven or slanted terrain, avoiding hills, but kind of forgot about the planting portion of a hard turn. As soon as I felt that stabbing pain on the outside of my knee I stopped and walked the shortest route home. I am taking off completely the rest of the day and tomorrow. I have a massage (read: torture session) tomorrow and then have been permitted to test the waters on Friday mornig with nothing more than 3 miles, and preferrably on a treadmill.
I bought some KT tape yesterday, I had read really good things about it, and figured tape never hurt anyone. I am taking in to my massage appointment tomorrow, the massage therapist is a Certified Kinesio-Taping practitioner, so I am actually really excited to see what all she has to say. I am kind of at that point now that I hit during the marathon where I have laid out all my options and it is probably time to start re-evaluating my goals. That would certainly be a lot easier if I wasn't already signed up for several races that I am so very excited about, but 2 races now could ruin all of next year and that is just not worth it. A lot of decisions to be made in the next several days.
Hello Bloggies! I have been MIA since last week, I have learned that no running makes for a very boring blog.
So to rewind, Saturday I attempted a long run with Penny, I made it 3 beautiful pain-free and quick miles before my knee freaked out and I had to turn around and walk back- yeah that bad. I vowed right there that I would take the entire upcoming week off from running to see if I could salvage either of my races in the next 10 days.
Saturday football = bad, tailgating was good as always, but football...bad.
Moving forward to Sunday- weights and cross-training. I found a lovely machine called the arc trainer which worked my quads, left my knee pain free and really got my heart rate up, a positive pay-off.
Monday- I sent my coach another discouraged email asking what options we had left to salvage one or both of my races. We talked through EVERY possible problem and scenario and came to 2 conclusions
1. If I want to race, pick one, gut it out, and plan to need another week recovery afterwards- FAIL!
2. Maybe you need new shoes....interesting thought!!!!
My current shoes had exactly 300 miles on them, and while I have always been able to make it to the 400-500 range, the mizunos I have been wearing recently are a much lighter shoe than all my previous pairs- maybe they couldn't handle the same mileage, hmm interesting.
After looking at the bottom of my shoes I noticed something very disturbing, the only wear on them was in the middle of the fore-foot area- I am (was) a very bad pronator with some decent heel striking- but that was not what my shoes were telling me. An hour spent in my local running store having my weight distribution, gait, and arch scrutinized, and trying almost a dozen pairs of shoes we MIGHT have a solution!
For whatever reason my natural stride has completely changed over the last 6 months and I am now running normal with minimal pronation and zero heel strike- so I have been wearing the completely wrong shoes for the last 14 or so weeks. I am still suspicious that the shoes are the culprit since nothing flared up until post-marathon, but either way I do need to be in the right shoes, so time well spent.
I tried to cling to my beloved Mizuno brand since I really did love the pair I have been in most recently, but there was another pair that felt so perfect on my feet. The felt super light and springy despite the fact that they were 2 ounces heavier than the mizunos...
So I know I professed my absolute hatred for Asics after my last pair destroyed my feet, but I could not deny how perfect these shoes felt, I ran outside, on the treadmill, jumped up and down, and did pretty much everything I could to try to find something wrong, so at the end of the day the Asics Gel Cumulus 12 came home with me, but with a promise that if they gave me blisters or any other problems, to bring them back and the would exchange them for a new pair of Mizunos.
I was supposed to give them a test run this morning, but before I even climbed out of bed I could feel my hip was stiff from the strength exerices I did yesterday. I know the route of ITBS is weak hips/glutes so I have been trying to do a little strengthening to get them back up to speed. As much as I wanted to run I knew this was not the day to push it, so they will have to wait for another day.
The last resort which I don't want to try with the new shoes on the first time out is one of those IT band knee straps. Almost everything I have read swears they work, but that many people become dependent on them and can't run without it. I don't want to get to that point so I figure I will save it for the race if I can't get my knee to calm down before then.
So there you have it, the full knee update- it seems like such a weird case of ITBS that it flared up only during the race and was still just as prominent after a week of complete rest. and another 2 weeks of so little activity, but I guess it doesn't discriminate.
Now it's actually Friday, yay! We are back on the road again this weekend, because we all know I can't sit still!
So to rewind a bit, Wednesday night = track night. I went to the track, updated my coach on the current ITB situation if the day and set out with my group for our warm-up.
I felt great during the warm-up, other than the fact that it was already pitch black at 6pm, I was beginning to think all of the being cautious was paying off.
3 Mile warm-up (27:13- 9:00, 9:09, 9:04)
We did another half mile warm-up once everyone else showed up at the track and then got down to business- on deck 4x1600, 2 1/2 minutes rest.
1st 1600- 7:48
My legs felt good during this first mile, but I was sucking wind like an 80 year old man with emphysema! I knew my legs should feel good, with all the ITB issues keeping me slowed down, I feel so rested, I actually miss that feeling of exhaustion that comes with long hard runs. I guess so much resting has been bad for my speed, but not much we can do there
2nd 1600- turned 800. Somewhere in the middle of the 2nd lap the infamous IT Band seized up and sent my knee and hip into some shooting pain. That was it, I called the workout right there. On pace for 7:55 2nd mile when I stopped, so at least I got something accomplished.
Made for another 5 mile night, I cannot seem to get past the 5 mile barrier, is that the point where my leg just gets angry? I spent a good 20 minutes talking to my coach, stretching, and foam rolling before heading home to ice and foam roll some more.
Yesterday with the day off, I woke up and had to ditch the long run (15 miler) I had planned, I was so mad, it was the perfect setting for it, and I had to scrub my workout because my leg still hurt. I ended up trying the bike, but the whole 'bending my knee repeatedly' seemed to be making it worse, so I just did some weights and went home to again ice/stretch/roll.
I must have spent at least an hour with my foam roller on just that 1 IT band yesterday. This morning, my knee and hip feel great, but I can literally feel knots in 2 spots on my IT band. I had never actually felt anything on the band itself, just the joint pain it was causing. It makes me wonder if all the foam rolling is actually hurting or helping???
I am thinking if I was getting a massage today and she could knead all these knots out I would actually be good to go, but maybe that is just false hope. And I can't decide if I should keep trying to roll out my leg, will it help or will it make something else hurt???
Happy Friday Wednesday! Working in the fabulous education industry has warranted me a nice mid-week holiday tomorrow, and a nice long weekend to look forward to!
Tonight is track night, and my leg is feeling good, so I am hoping I can do something good tonight rather than just flail about like I did last week at the track.
Yesterday I cross-trained...a lot. I could have run, but I have some big runs planned the rest of the week, and a pissed off knee would not have fit into that schedule so I did some spinning, so hand bike action (SO boring btw) and some more spinning, exciting I know. I am a bit nervous to still only be in the 4-5 day a week range with the running and not the 5-6 range, I feel like a February marathon is starting to seem like a long shot right now.
So obviously I have a lot of races scheduled in the coming months, and I would be lying if I said I didn't have specific goals for each of them.
-I am hoping for a half-marathon PR in just 10 short days, and only 7 weeks after setting my last one.
-I also trying to drop 90 seconds off of my 5k PR for seeding purposes for a spring race.
-Lastly, I have a redemption marathon in just 13 weeks that I need to start building back up for, like now!
Even as I type this, I realize how ridiculous this all sounds. I am trying to focus on 3 major goals that are each a daunting task all on their own, and yet I am somehow trying to roll all 3 strategies into 1 condensed training cycle, I might have tried to take on too much. I would rather have 1 or 2 really awesome races with new PR's that 5 or 6 mediocre ones, and I am worried that there is not enough time to really be able to focus on the specific training to achieve each of the goals I have, but I can't bring myself to back off of any of those.
This past fall when I started racing again after a summer of base building and marathon training, I was smashing old PR's left and right, by minutes at a time, and to be honest it was easy. Most of my PR's were from last fall or early spring when I was still considerably slower, my speed had improved enough that a PR was a given, it was just a matter of how much. Unfortunately, I am not in that position anymore. My months of focusing on distance and now recovery I feel like has left me stagnant for the first time since I started running. I think over the last year all I have focused on is increasing my distance, and that is all, the speed just came on it's own. Now that I have reached the maximum distance that at this point I am willing to train for, I am only focused on speed, and I just don't know if I can build the improvements in my speed as quickly as I have been able to improve my ability to run the distance.
I suppose we can call this a post-marathon rut, or possibly being a litte over-whelmed as to how to proceed with all of my goals, or maybe it is injury-paranoia who knows, but I don't seem to have the same focus I did when I was in the thick of marathon training, and to be honest a think a lot of it is because I don't really know what to focus on. Focusing on nothing is certainly not the way to go, but I don't really know where to start. Hopefully starting with today's track workout will provide some guidance.
Happy Monday everyone, back to the routine today! I am currently obsessed with the cold weather, it makes me look feel so fast!
Like I mentioned Friday I was gearing up for my first post-marathon long run this past weekend. I was a bit nervous about how it would go since the IT Band was giving me so much grief last week. I was hoping for 10-12 miles, and ended up doing 11- a nice litte compromise I suppose :)
I ended up doing the first 5.5 alone, and the second 5.5 with a running buddy. The person I was running with was a teeny bit slower and I kind of did that on purpose, I my legs were itching to run far and fast, and while I knew some fast miles were needed, I also needed to exercise some control as to not hurt myself even more. Since I have no self-control in the cold weather, I knew signing up for pacing duty would be a good way to keep it at a moderate pace.
So I was flying for the half I was alone, I felt so good, the temps were perfect, it was 45* and I warmed up so fast that I actually ended up taking my gloves off. It was so nice to be out for a long run again. I was really pleased with how good I felt (including my knee). Kind of bummed that I had to make a short stop to pick up running buddy and refill my water, but it was a quick stop and back out.
So my hands froze during the 2nd half, so bad that I could barely even push the buttons on my Garmin. Other than that, I was pleased that we were able to stay under 9:50 for the first 5. At mile 9 my knee started to hurt all of a sudden, so I promised myself that I would pick it up some for mile 10 and then I would slow it down for the last mile, since 10 was my minimum I didn't feel bad about the last 1 being slow. After I finished mile 10 my knee got pretty right, but the last mile helped loosen it up.
I spent most of Saturday with my knee hurting every time I bent it, not good! But woke up yesterday and it seemed fine- weird? I decided to literally rest all day and sit on the couch watching the NYC Marathon!
This morning I had a run planned with the group to do the bridges as usual on Mondays. Iwas very nervous about my knee after it freaked out at the end of Saturday's run, but it felt good so I told my coach I was feeling Cautiously optimistic.
Other than a slight ache somewhere on the 2nd down hill, it felt really good this morning! We did a total of 4 bridges (uphills) and the accompanying downhills. My times look slow to me, but I know I was doing well up the hills, and kept in check going down since that seems to be where my knee acts up.
Another successful run, and I am ready to start picking it back up. I am also feeling cautiously optimistic about my race in 2 weeks, if everything continues to stay healthy, I think I could really see some big improvements in my running this fall!!!
TGIF everyone! That is not exactly what I am excited about, but it's a nice fact I suppose. Fall, or more importantly winter is finally here in the Sunshine State, woohoo!!!!!!
Temps this AM were 51* at 5am, and predicted 44* for tomorrow's first post-marathon long run! I have honestly forgotten how to dress for this weather- I spent most of last winter sweating to death from being over-dressed for many of my cold yet super-sunny runs. Are shorts appropriate for 44*, I haven't seen a number like that since maybe early February????
Since it is getting to be cold out, I also decided that I needed to make sure my dog was well equipped for winter. While out running errands one night this week, a fuzzy red item caught my eye, and I decided that since my poor Peachie was deprived and did not get to dress up for Halloween, I made sure that she would get to be the cutest ever Christmas pup...
Yeah she pretty much hated this thing, but it is SO cute! It is fur lined AND has a hood, you can't beat that!
So an ITB update, it seems to be doing better I guess. It was making itself heard at the track Wednesday night, but nothing I couldn't handle, I kept bringing my paces down and by the end of each interval it was feeling better, the longer I went the better it felt- weird right???
My coach had my put this stuff along my IT band that I thought was kind of like icy-hot, when I asked if that was what is was, he said kind of, but more just the Hot. I did my entire workout and my leg felt good with no major pain, but the second I finished and climbed in my car, my leg was on FIRE!!!!!!! Again, no pain, so I suppose we could call it a win, but not sure I will be trying that method again.
Wednesday's workout was 5x1000 with 200RI.
Warm-up: 3.15 Miles- 29:14 (9:15, 9:13, 9:21, 1:24 (9:29pace))
I felt good during the warm-up, it was cool out and cloudy, and not once did I feel like I was pushing, maybe the cool weather really does do wonders for your pace!
4x1000: Goal times 4:45-5:30
5:24, 4:51, 5:16, 5:12
So I only did 4 intervals instead of 5, better safe than sorry this week, but my times were all over the place. I started slow because I had no idea how it would feel, and to be honest the first one hurt the most. For #2 I hit the pace I am supposed to for that distance, and toward the end my right hip started to ache, so I decided to back it off for the last 2. I kept it respectable, but didn't try to kill it. The recoveries were perfect, I was ready to go as soon as I hit the start line again, even though most of the other were trying to walk and take a longer break, I guess all the distance training pays of somewhere.
1/2 mile cool down: 4:57 (9:58 pace)
Total 6.5 Miles
Not too awful for the first track workout back, but it was certainly not pretty, actually really ugly, but I feel good about it, I knew a week off would not make everything easy. As intructed I took Thursday off after running 3 days in a row.
I was going to get up and run a few easy miles this morning, but I woke up late, I blame the cold, and getting in everything this AM was just not going to happen. Determined to stick to my strength training schedule I did get in my weights this morning, so that make 3x this week as scheduled, I am so proud of myself that I actually did it! I don't remember the last time I actually lifted 3 days in one week!
I am planning a long run tomorrow 10-12 miles. I am wanting to do 12, but we will see how that pans out, but double digits is a must! I may try to get in some missed miles Sunday, but may just rest since next week is back to the real mileage, I hope the IT band holds up, I have been foam rolling and icing it to death, avoiding, heels, stairs, and anything else that may aggrevate it more. Thanks for all the suggestions, they all seem to be working!
So my first week back to running has not gone as smoothly as I would like. Monday's run went great, and I left feeling fine. Yesterday I had planned to do 6 miles with 2 at hmp, especially since I felt so good Monday and was so energized I was really excited to be able to hop back in.
Well the heavens opened up here in North Florida yesterday and sent me to visit the treadmill. I actually had kind of missed the treadmill, I couldn't even remember our last date, but I would say it had been at least a month. So I get started, set my first mile at 9:31 and feel great, and again almost effortless. I get into mile 2 and my right knee that one that has been showing the ITB stress starts to flare up. I keep going since it is more achy than painful, but during mile 4 it stages a rebellion and forces me to change my stride. While I could have kept running since it wasn't really painful, I knew that since I was running and landing funny that is was a recipe for disaster, so run cut short at 4 miles, boo :(
4 Miles- 37:12, 9:18 average pace
Mile 1- 9:31
Mile 2- 9:29
Mile 3- 8:49
Mile 4- 9:23
Since my run got cut short, I used the extra time to stretch and foam roll, and while it seemed to temporarily offer some relief, I am a little stressed now. Up until today, any knee/ITB pain has been post run or exercise so the fact that it came about while I was running is a little, well, terrifying!!!
This is textbook ITB syndrome, it starts in the knee, but shows lingering tension up my leg to my hip. I have not a clue how to be proactive about this, ITB is not something I have ever dealt with, and everything I read says 3 things: Stretch, Foam Roll, and/or stop running. I have no intentions of taking another week off, so any advice on this matter is requested, and well expected, and if it could before my 6pm track practice that would be even better! If you have dealt with ITB issues, lets hear it, how did you kill them off????