Monday, June 30, 2014

Marathon Week 2

Two weeks down, sixteen weeks to go!

This past week actually went really well. The biggest obstacles that I encountered were the heat and humidity and when I remember how cold it was this winter, they don't seem quite so terrible. My legs were pain free and I felt like I even had a few more miles in me.  I'm looking forward to upping my mileage this coming week!

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3.04 miles
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 4.02 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 3.0 miles
Sunday: 6.3 miles

Total miles:16.36 miles

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Marathon Week 1

My first week of marathon training is done, just 17 weeks to go. I sort of have mixed feelings about this first week of training. On the one hand I have been able to finish every run without any serious injury-related pain. On the other hand all of my runs have felt slow and difficult. This definitely isn't where I thought I would be during my first week of marathon training.

Today's run was particularly worrisome. Less than a half mile into the run I started feeling some mild pain in my foot. I stopped to adjust my shoe and decided that if the pain was still there after a half mile, I need to cut this run short. At a half mile the pain was still there. I turned around while Mr. Shoe continued his run. I fought back tears of frustration while I ran back towards the car. But I am so glad that I kept running because the pain was completely gone before I reached the car. Must have just been weird phantom pain. I was able to get in the rest of my 4 mile run without any more pain. 

Monday: 2.56 mile run [very slow, lots of walking breaks, my legs were killing me]
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 3.1 mile run [just two walking breaks, legs were sore, but not awful]
Thursday: rest
Friday: 3.5 mile run [ran the whole time]
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 4.08 mile run [phantom pain in the first mile, felt a bit less difficult than the earlier runs this week]

Total miles: 13.24

It is so frustrating to see that number be so low. I was expecting my first week of marathon training to have 26 miles. My Sunday run was supposed to be 10 miles, not 4! I can't even call 4 miles a long run! I know if I would have tried to jump right back into training I would likely end up injured. So I know taking it slow is the smart way to proceed. I just hope my 3 weeks off won't set me up for a miserable marathon.

Mr. Shoe basically had the same week of training that I did. Except he didn't take any walk breaks and all of his runs were much faster than mine. This was his first week of training for his first half marathon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Injury Update 2

My first run post bone lesion went really well. I was pain free for the entire run. After the race, I thought I might have felt a tiny bit of discomfort in my foot/ankle, but it was very minimal. If it even existed. Every time I thought "Was that pain? Did I start running too soon?" and tried to track down the pain, I couldn't find it. I think I was just being hyper aware of my foot.

While my run did not aggravate my injury, the rest of me did not fare so well. During the run I could tell that my lungs were working hard during the second half of the race. The day after the run my calves felt knotted and my hamstrings felt tight. The pain persisted through Monday's run. Tonight's run was a bit better but there was still some lingering tightness in my right hamstring.

I am aiming for a 13 mile week, which is slightly more than half of my pre-injury mileage (20-25 mpw). I think dropping to about 50% sounds reasonable after 3 weeks off. Based on the soreness I felt after the race, I've decided to start with alternating running and walking as needed for the first week. Hopefully week 2 will be solid running.

Assuming this first week goes as planned, I am hoping to add 3 miles a week for the next four weeks, followed by one cut back week. From that point forward I plan to return to my original marathon training schedule of two weeks of increasing 10% followed by a cut back week. Of course this is just a tentative plan. If I notice any pain in my foot, I will be changing my plan immediately.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

2014 Run 2 Save Our Youth Race Recap

Put another race in the books this morning at the 8th Annual Run 2 Save Our Youth 5k! It was very sunny but relatively cool for a 9:00 am start. Since the race was pretty close to home, we didn't even have to get up early to make it to packet pickup before the race.

It was weird lining up for the race a ways behind Mr. Shoe, since I am a bit faster. Or at least I am a bit faster for now. I think these days are numbered! Mr. Shoe always runs without a watch but had still set a goal for himself of sub 25:00. Since the race was a down and back, he figured out what song on his playlist needed to playing when he hit the turn around.

I didn't wear a watch because I didn't want any pressure to try for a certain pace. I wanted my running to be completely dictated by how I felt. No goals, no pressure, just a fun run. Once the race started and I settled into a comfortable pace, I realized I was actually feeling pretty good. I started scanning the rest of the runners to see how far ahead Mr. Shoe was. Since he is tall he was pretty easy to spot. I figured he was only about 45 seconds in front of me. I told myself that it wasn't worth trying catching up. If I pushed it now, I didn't know if my foot would hold up for the entire race.

At the turnaround, Mr. Shoe realized he was actually ahead of his pace, which meant I was running faster than anticipated. I just didn't know it. When we passed each other, Mr. Shoe was worried that I was pushing it too hard. It is kind of funny, he knew how fast we were running and thought I was too fast. I didn't know how fast we were moving, and I thought he was too slow. Without a clock I apparently can not gauge pace correctly. I stopped for water shortly after the turn around so I could evaluate how my foot was feeling (pain free!).

My best friend, Lauren, and Mr. Shoe
A ways after that I crossed paths with my friend Lauren; she told me that I was currently the 6th woman. I could see that there were 3-4 women that weren't too far out of reach. My lungs were protesting a bit after 3 weeks off, but my legs still felt strong. Once the finish line came into view, Mr. Shoe picked up his pace and managed to pick off the runner that he had slowly been catching. It was great to watch him finish strong. My kick felt really strong and I managed to pass 3 women in the last stretch.

Mr. Shoe hit his goal perfectly finishing in about 24:41, which was good enough for third place in his age group! This was the first time that he has placed in his age group and I am so proud of him! I finished about a minute behind him (25:30), which was good enough to be 3rd Place Overall Female. I really hadn't planned on running that fast. I figured I would finish somewhere between 27-32 minutes.

After the race there was a ton of food available, more than the usual bagels and bananas. There was also sub sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, fruit, brownies, and all sorts of beverages to choose from. We all grabbed a bunch of food and chowed down while we waited for the awards ceremony.  I love this race and I know I will be back next year for the seventh consecutive year!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Favorite 5k

This Saturday Mr. Shoe and I will be running one of my favorite 5ks. The race has undergone a couple of name changes. It started as Run Against Drugs but is now known as Run 2 Save Our Youth. This will be the 6th year that I participate in this race. This is the race that really got me into running.

Race shirts from 2009-2013
In 2009 my best friend asked me to run this 5k with her. She had run it the year before and I am so glad that she asked me to join her. I look forward to this race and spending the day with her every year! To be honest I think I actually walked it the first two years, but the last few years I have been running it and steadily improving my time. In 2012 I got 3rd in my age group. It was the first time that I had ever received an age group award. In 2013 I was the top female finisher.

Overall award and an age group award!
This road race is a down and back course with a couple very small rolling hills and a few twisty turns. It would be a perfect course if there was some shade! The first time I tried to actually run this course I completely died about 2 miles into the race. I was so disappointed after I had trained so hard. I just got to the point where I could not breathe. Later I realized that I am highly allergic to the trees lining the course. My pre-race routine now includes allergy medicine.

Has anyone had to cope with having to take it easy during a race? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that my times won't be competitive this year. I know no one else is going to care, but I just feel embarrassed that my time will probably be 10 minutes slower than my last 5k. Hopefully I can just forget about the clock and focus on having fun with my best friend.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Injury Update

I had my MRI on Wednesday and the nurse called me with the results on Thursday. Good news first: no stress fracture! Hooray! The bad news: I'm not allowed to start running yet.

The MRI showed a benign bone lesion and some swelling in my foot/ankle. The swelling is not noticeable to me, but I am still trying to take of it with regular icing. The nurse described the bone lesion as being damage to the bone, but not a stress fracture. It was recommended that I take another 10-14 days off from running and then start to slowly ease back into training. Since the bone is damaged, if I push it too much before it fully heals, I risk fracturing it.

I am doing my best to be patient, but I am really anxious to start running again. Right now I have been cleared to start walking as much as I want provided there is no pain. I tested my foot out with a nice walk that day and discovered that I was good for about a mile before getting just a tiny bit of pain.

To be honest, realizing I could only manage to walk a mile made me want to cry. How could I resume training in a couple weeks if I couldn't even walk? Mr. Shoe quickly reminded me that in a week I had went from being able to walk about 5 feet without pain to being able to walk a mile, which is a huge improvement! I was able to walk 1.5 miles today without any pain.

While I am healing I am trying to focus on taking care of myself as much as possible. I revamped my diet to include more whole foods and fewer processed foods. At my doctor's recommendation I have upped my calcium intake. She thought that my low calcium intake (I'm lactose intolerant) might be behind my injury. I have been adding in more strength training for my core and upper body (an area I tend to ignore in favor of more running). I have also been doing these IT band exercises, since I have had IT band pain in the past. Hopefully this will get me through this injury and back into running feeling strong.

Mr. Shoe and I (and some friends) are signed up for a 5k race on June 14th. This will be exactly 10 days after my MRI, so I will technically be allowed to start running again. I am still unsure if I will attempt to run it (at a very easy pace) or if I will be walking. I need to see how this next week goes before I make any decisions.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Remember how surprised I was a few weeks ago when I found out that I was the female overall winner at Shanty 2 Short's? Well, I was equally surprised when I found out that it was mentioned in the newspaper the following week!

Straight from the front page of the sports section of The Antrim Review (May 15, 2014)!
I might not be visible in the picture, but I was mentioned in the text of the article as being the top female finisher. This is why I love small town races! Not only am I fast enough to snag a medal, but it is also considered to be a newsworthy event!

On a less happy note, the doctor thinks my left foot pain is a stress fracture. I am still crossing my fingers that it isn't a major injury. I should find out for certain on Wednesday.