Tuesday, September 24, 2013

my training last week + a Partiots game

Last week was probably one of the best weeks of training I have had so far.  It was one of those weeks where every workout felt great and reminded me why I love running so much.  After a couple of weeks struggling with a minor injury, last week was just what I needed to get my confidence back up.  The timing is great since I am now just under 3 weeks away from the marathon (holy crap!).

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 10 x 1min on, 1 min off @ 10k pace w/ warm up and cool down.  My paces were between 7:50 and 8:00.  It's been hard for me not to just sprint when running these types of workouts, but I think I'm finally learning how to do a better job of controlling my paces.

Wednesday: 35 min easy after work

Thursday: 7 x 800 @ 7:50-8:00 pace w/ 90 sec rest in between and warm up/cool down.  These were supposed to be done at half marathon pace.  My half PR pace is closer to 8:10, so these were a little fast.  Everything about this workout just felt so right though.  I went up to the track and was the only one there, which rarely ever happens.  There were a couple of people working on the football field in the middle of the track.  The day was absolutely beautiful.  Low 70's, not a cloud in the sky.  For the first time ever I listened to music while doing a track workout.  I was focused and felt great.  I probably ran all 7 800's with a silly grin on my face.  It was perfect.

Friday: rest

Saturday: 20 miles w/ last 20 min @ marathon pace.  The last and only time I have ever ran 20 miles was 6 years ago.  I was a little nervous for this run, but excited at the same time.  After having a great week of running, I felt ready to go.  I ran with a friend who is also training for a marathon.  We kept the pace pretty slow but I was ok with that.  I knew I'd be happy if I could get through the miles without walking.  My coach, Stephanie, said to do the best I could with the last 20 min at marathon pace.  If I felt good, I could go for it, but if not that was ok.  I didn't end up getting quite to marathon pace (my goal is under 9 min miles) and the last 20 min were just over 9 min/mile.  Even though I didn't quite hit my paces, I was really happy with this run.  For the first time I wasn't scared that I still had to run X amount of miles to complete the marathon.  I felt like I could run another 6.2 and was pretty damn excited about it.

Sunday: 42 min easy w/ 4 x 100m strides.

I woke up early on Sunday to get this run in before we had to leave at 7am to head down to the Patriots game.  My boyfriend and his band, Small Town Stranded, had the amazing opportunity to place inside Patriots Place before the start of the game.  We got to the go to the game as well and even got to go out on the field before it started!  I was so happy for them and they did a great job!

You can check out a clip of it HERE.

Small Town Stranded

On the field! 

the boys + me 

Sweet seats!

Coming off the high from last week, I am ready to (hopefully) have another great week.  Everything is starting to feel like it's falling in to place.  I'm happy with where I'm at and looking forward to the next 3 weeks!      

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Injury Update

The fast few weeks I have been dealing with some annoying hip pain, which I briefly mentioned in this post.  Throughout my running career, I have been extremely lucky with injuries (knocks on wood).  So, this injury came as a bit of a surprise, and a lot of frustration.  Thankfully, I didn't have to adjust my plan too much, with the exception of a couple of extra rest days.  I did a lot in between the runs to try to heal as quickly as possible.

#1 ICE!
Icing is an amazing thing.  It's funny because I used to think icing was silly.  Now I love it.  You'll often find me sitting on the couch with bags of ice on my legs even if they don't really hurt.  I am a huge advocate for icing.  I iced my hip/side pain like crazy.  At home I stuck bags of ice in the top of my pants and went along with my business.  At work I did the same with small ice packs.  Scrubs are great for hiding things.

#2 Foam Rolling
I enjoy foam rolling, but I definitely don't do it enough.  I did however make sure to foam roll my hip/side/back/bum area a lot over the past couple of weeks.   I managed to get myself in to some very interesting positions.  I need to be better about foam rolling all the time, not just when something hurts.  

hurts so good

#3 Stretching 
I made sure to stretch my hip/side every chance I got.  I'm sure I got many questionable looks from people.  Don't care.  It felt good, so I did it.

#4 Rest
This was the hardest for me to do.  Don't get me wrong, I love rest days.  I have two every week.  My body needs them, and I do a lot better with two a week.  However, additional rest days on top of those two?  UGH.  But I knew I needed them.  I would rather take a couple of extra rest days, than be forced to take weeks or months off.  I have a marathon to run next month, I certainly don't have time for that.  When the pain was at its worst, I cut a couple of workouts short, and gave myself 2 extra days of rest.  I'm really trying to do that whole listen to your body thing.  

While I am not a doctor, I am happy to report that these 4 things worked for me.  I am even happier to report that after almost 3 weeks of pain that ranged from mild to moderate at times, it seems to be gone completely! 

On Sunday I ran 18 miles.  18 beautiful, pain-free miles.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Applecrest Half Marathon

This morning I ran the Applecrest Half Marathon.  It was a perfect fall day for a race.  The course started and finished at Applecrest Farm, which was beautiful.  I am so excited fall is here.  It's my favorite season by far.

goofy face. trying to pin my number on.
one of the hardest parts of racing.


Where's waldo? 

Honestly, I didn't have much of a plan for this race.  I didn't have a goal time in mind.  I didn't have paces running through my head I wanted to see.  I just wanted to run the race for the experience and to enjoy it.  I have been racing a lot lately, including a hilly 10 miler last weekend.  I was hoping my legs would be recovered enough for what I thought was a flat course.  I guess I missed this on the website:

"The course is moderately hilly but doable for just about any runner or walker."  ooops!  No clue where I got the idea that this course was flat.  I was in for a rude awakening when I started running.

What I looked at on the website and thought...that doesn't look bad.

What I should have looked at.  Good old New England. 

Had I expected a hilly course I would have approached the race a little differently.  My small goal was to keep a consistent pace and not crash at the end.  Spoiler alert, I crashed on the last 3 miles.  Usually, no matter how much I struggle during a race, I am able to push for the last half mile or so for a strong finish.  The finish line for this course was at the top of a very unwelcomed hill.  There was no pushing.  Only dragging my feet.  BUT I did better than my last disaster of a half marathon, which was also a small goal for today, so I have to be happy with that.

I know I have said this a few times before, but this all is really still very much a learning process for me.  I have been able to take something good away from every race, even if the race itself wasn't the best.  Today I learned that my legs aren't ready to handle two hilly distance races two weekends in a row.  I felt the best I have felt in a long time during last weekend's 10 miler.  However, this weekend was a different story.  My legs just weren't having it after 8 miles.

Official time: 1:53:57.  

Not close to a PR, but not close to my worst either.  It was a beautiful day, a beautiful course, and I have a lot to take away and think about from today.  I'd say that's a win in my mind.  

love me some pumpkins

Friday, September 6, 2013

updates and ramblings

Lots of fun...and not so fun things going on this week.


Running has again been pretty up and down.  Yes, I consider this fun even though it hasn't all been perfect.  I had a couple good runs on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then came Thursday.  I had a 4 mile tempo run on the schedule with 6 x 30sec on and 1min off after w/ 15 min warm up and 10 min cool down.  It was a struggle to get through those 4 miles for some reason.  All week I have been exhausted and haven't had much energy.  That doesn't really go well with running, and I'm sure contributed to my not so stellar run.  I am running a half marathon on Sunday, the Applecrest Half in NH.  I'm looking forward to a fall race with hopefully fall temps.  It's looking good so far.  Depending on how I'm feeling, I'm hoping to repeat what happened in my race last weekend.  Don't go out too fast, and maintain a steady pace.  I think finding consistency is the most important thing for me right now.

Race photo from last weekend's 10 miler

Not so fun:

I've been in some sort of a serious funk lately.  I've been having a lot of ongoing GI problems and like I said above have been super tired lately.  I've experienced both of these things for quite some time now, but since I didn't have insurance I never really got it checked out.  It's been wearing on me a lot lately physically and mentally.  I finally have insurance, so I finally made a doctor appointment.  Hopefully I can get this figured out and work towards fixing it.  I am so sick of feeling like crap most of the time.


Last month, Oiselle speedster and Haute Volee member Betsy Flood, posted 30 days of Oiselle.  She posted a picture of herself a day for 30 days wearing different Oiselle threads.  On the last day Oiselle  asked who's next?! 

Since I love a good challenge as much as I love Oiselle, I figured I'd give it a go.  Why not?

DAY 1! Feather Trials Hoodie

Not so fun:

Yesterday I had to say good bye to the sweetest, most beautiful boxer.  This is the second dog I have had to say good bye to this year.  It's probably one of the hardest things, and never gets any easier.  Kaylee was a dog I got with an ex-boyfriend.  I saw her in a pet store and basically said I am not leaving here without her.  Side note: I do not support pet fact I hate them dearly.  I will never buy another dog from a pet store.  But on that day, in that pet store, I could not put her back in that cage.  I didn't care about anything else, except that she was coming home with us.  

could you say no to this face?! 

When my ex and I broke up he got custody of Kaylee and I got the equally as cute pug in the background.  While Kaylee has not been a part of my every day life for several years now, I still thought about her often.  A couple of years ago we found out she had cancer.  The details aren't necessary.  She fought a tough battle and held on as long as she could.  She made a lot of people very happy along the way and I know she enjoyed the time she had here very much, right up until the end.  She will always have a very special place in my heart, and will be missed by many.

forever in my heart <3

Sunday, September 1, 2013

6 weeks

Six weeks baby....SIX WEEKS!! (F.R.I.E.N.D.S anyone?!).  I have 6 little weeks left until I will run my second full marathon in Newport, RI on Oct 13.  I'm starting to freak out a little.  Ok, a lot.

This past week has been full of it's share of ups and downs.  I developed some hip problem that doesn't seem to want to go away.  It started the week before some time, but I can't really pinpoint exactly when.  It's not really my hip either I guess, it's more right above it.  I've been stretching and icing like crazy.  It's been a rather large pain in my ass.

Here's how the past week went.

Monday Rest

Tuesday I was supposed to do 10-12 x 100 on, 100 off 5K pace.  I got through 10, but this was probably the worst day for my hip.  It just didn't want to cooperate, so I threw in the towel.

Wednesday Should have been 35-40 min easy.  My hip was still bothering me, so I decided I should probably listen to my body and take another rest day.

Thursday 5-6 x mile @ MP w/ 1 min rest.  My hip felt a little bit better today.  I did 5 @ MP.  I wanted to do 6 and felt like I could, but since my hip was still a little sore I figured I should stop at 5.

Friday Rest

Saturday I ran the NH 10 miler.  I had 15 miles on the schedule, so I ran 2 before the race and 3 after.  My big goal for this race was to try to run smart.  I've been going out way to fast recently and crashing after only a few miles.  I was determined not to let that happen during this race.  I started out right around MP and felt comfortable throughout the entire race.  It was a super hilly course, and humid as hell, but it was probably the best I have felt during a race in a long time.  My last mile was my fastest one (7:20).  Serious runner's high going on after that race.  My final time was 1:23:01 for 4th in my age group.

NH 10 miler elevation.  Serious butt workout.
The girl who placed 1st in my age group was the 1st place female,
so I'm listed as number 3 for awards.  Fine by me! 

Sunday I was supposed to do 40-45 min easy today.  I thought my hip was feeling better.  It didn't hurt to walk like it had been.  I got ready to go for a run, put on my hokas, and went out the door.  Unfortunately I didn't get very far.  My hip started hurting on the first few steps, so I turned around and went back home.

I am super bummed.  But I'm hoping by giving it another day I'll be ready to go for next week.  Monday is a scheduled rest day for me, so I'll have 2 days off in a row by taking today off, which should help.  I'm thinking a bag of ice will be my bff for the next couple of days.