Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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Weekly Recap

I know, I know… I’ve really been awful at this blogging thing lately.

I’m sorry 😦

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It’s been tough to get excited about blogging when my running has been so hit or miss due to injuries over the last 6 weeks.

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Things were going so well until mid-August, but the last six weeks have just been so frustrating. BUT, getting my final 20 miler in in such great condition really helped.

This week I was released from 2x per week PT!! This week and next week I’ll only go once, to get my hip taped, to use the PENS therapy machine, and to run on the Alter G. It was a huge mental boost to hear that I don’t have to go on Mondays anymore.

Yesterday we were still getting lashed by that coastal storm that’s been wreaking havoc on South Carolina. When I woke up it was 45 degrees, pouring down raining, and super windy, so I decided to skip my 12 miler – no need to risk pneumonia (or getting hit by a car…) this close to the marathon! Instead I did 8 miles on the elliptical while watching Spirit of the Marathon today (a must-watch).

Tuesday will be the first time I’ve gone to the track in 6 weeks. I’m still not allowed to do speed work, but I figure because we’re doing 1600s at 10 sec faster than marathon pace, that’s not really speed work, so I can do it. 🙂 I’ve really missed my Tuesday night track sessions – I think it’ll be good psychologically to get back there, even if it’s just for the last two sessions.

And Saturday will be my last long run! Whoa! Where has the time gone?? It just occurred to me this evening that I should start planning my race-week meals and acquiring the ingredients. Anal retentive, yes, but I’m not leaving anything to chance. I’ve put too much into this to screw it up with something stupid and easy to avoid.

What are your favorite race-week meals or snacks?? 

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PT, Vol. 3

This morning I had my first meeting with my new physical therapist. I so love that they’re so much closer to home.

Today was primarily about them evaluating me and figuring out a house of action. My right hip is (yet again) being a lazy freeloader – and the crux of all of my problems. Even though I’ve been doing all of my old PT exercises continually, it’s just not stabilizing or strengthening up substantially. We’re going to work with a running specialist to see if we can’t figure out why.

She did another poke-and-prod exam and thinks what’s causing my tibia pain is actually the soft tissue that connects to – and pulls on – the tibia; majorly good news, but if left untreated, that kind of tension can cause a stress fracture.

We went over a few exercises that we’re going to work on and that I can incorporate into my workouts at home, and then I got to play on the Alter G! It was only for 15 minutes though, so boo 😦 Unlike the other location, they don’t have a tv in front of the Alter G, so if I’m ever allowed to do a long mid-week run on it, I may need to bring along a fully-loaded iPad… haha.

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After a little time with some ice, I headed on over to Charm City Run to get a new pair of shoes! Hey, if a trained medical expert tells me I need a new pair of shoes, who am I to argue? 😉

Based on the advice of one of the guys there last weekend, I’m giving the Saucony Guide 8s a try – they’re a bit more supportive than my current shoes (which today’s PT said might be worthwhile) and have a higher heel drop (which Saturday’s PT said might be worthwhile). I’ve had mixed luck with Saucony’s in the past (Omni’s were good but too supportive, Triumphs were super comfy, until I ran), but I’m holding out hope for these guys. I was cleared for running tomorrow, assuming I promise to a) not be stupid and b) listen to my body if it sends out any warning signals. Hopefully tomorrow’s 8-10 will both go well in general and with respect to the new shoes (it’s an out and back, so I can’t just switch shoes if things don’t workout).

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My afternoon was capped off with a car ride with my super sweet pups and a nice nap.

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What’s your weekend running looking like?
When was the last time you changed shoes? How did that transition go? 


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Ortho Update

After last week’s hill workout and Saturday’s hilly long run, I had been feeling a bit of pressure in my tibia. I had a similar issue for a hot second last year, but I really didn’t want to mess with it this time seeing as I’m, you know, training for my first marathon.

I decided to take this week easy (e.g. spending a lot of time wearing running shoes while not actually running) and set up an appointment with the ortho just out of paranoid caution. My ortho is kind of a big deal and wasn’t available until the end of next week, so I met with one of her colleagues this morning. He did all of the usual manual tests to see if any of them made me end up on the ceiling, but no dice. He did find an area of tenderness which he’s slightly concerned about, so we had x-rays done to see if there are any underlying injuries to the bone that might just be getting aggravated (for the uninitiated, a new stress fracture won’t show up on an x-ray until it’s well into the healing phase), but nothing there either. Yay!!

On a side note, my calf muscles look seriously amazing in x-ray form. 😉

So he’s about 85-90% confident that it is not a stress fracture, but he can’t completely rule it out just yet because of one of the medications I’m on.

The good doctor then gave me the option of either self-monitoring (because runners are sooo good at self-imposed rest and restraint) or going to a short stint of PT, mainly to use the Alter G. Um, duh – Alter G always wins. I love that thing.

So I start PT this Friday 🙂 They’re probably going to work on loosening some tight muscles and keeping an eye on that area while I log some miles on the Alter G. Unfortunately, my PT is no longer with this group, but fortunately, this group opened up a location with an Alter G half an hour closer to my home. Kinda bummed that I have to get to know a new PT, but I’m super excited about not having to drive allllllll the way downtown twice a week.

Let’s just hope this blip is just that – a blip – and that the rest of the summer will go smoothly! 🍀

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PT update

I was discharged from PT today!!!!!

*happy dance*

I logged a 5k on the AlterG (in 29:54, no less! and that’s including 2 minutes of warm-up walking) at near-full body weight, did my strength and stretching and learned a new exercise and was told I didn’t have to come back!! I need to follow-up with him in a few weeks, but I’m on my own now. Wish me luck!!

There’s a small part of me that says not that I’m healthy I should totally give Philly a shot, but then the other part of me smacks that part back into submission. But that small part is putting up quite a fight.

With this development I now need to think about whether or not I want to do a Turkey Trot and if so, which one… So many decisions… haha


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I Heart the AlterG

Yesterday I had a session with my PT again. My achilles was feeling 98%, so he just did some quick release techniques on the tight part, and then set me up on the AlterG. His words? Get a good workout in. My only guideline was to not let it aggravate anything. Awesome!

I started off at a walk for two minutes, at 65% body weight, then ramped it up to 5.5mph then 6.4mph for the bulk of the workout – my hip flexor was really bugging me again, but the achilles and ankle felt great. My plan was the up the bodyweight 5% each mile, which I did for the first two, but after that I had a hard time getting up to 75% without discomfort/pain. It was around 3 miles that it finally stopped hurting, but was still noticeable. When the PT checked in shortly after, I told him this, and the older gentleman he was working on chimed in, “why on earth would you do three miles if it hurts??” “Because it doesn’t hurt now :-)”

For the remainder of the workout I bounced around from 70% to 78%, mostly hanging out closer to 70% though. It’s frustrating that the rest of me feels so good, yet the hip flexor, of all things, is holding me back.

When the older gentleman left, he asked my PT “how long is she gonna be on that thing??” PT looked at me, looked back at the guy, shrugged, smiled, and said slyly, “I dunno.” I like having a PT who’s a runner 🙂

I ended up getting a good 6.2 miles in – if I could’ve gotten my hands on a packet of Gu and a bottle of water I probably (stubbornly) would’ve gone another hour, but I was just getting too thirsty, tired, and hungry. If I had known I’d be allowed to be on the machine that long I’d’ve brought a granola bar or something!

I had hoped originally that yesterday would’ve been my last session, but with the hip acting up and not being able to comfortably run over 75% bodyweight I’m going to keep going for a few more sessions, if nothing else to get in some time on the AlterG. Since about a week before Army I’ve cut down on daily protein intake, in favor of pre-race carbs, but I think I’m going to start upping the protein content again to help the soft tissue damage heal a bit more. Here’s to hoping another light week will help get me back on the road again.


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Recovery week

I do love recovery week.

Monday I saw my PT and got Grastoned and a good, long massage on both lower legs, followed by some ice.

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And had a good carb-y, protein-y meal.

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Yesterday the full and half training groups met for our post-race celebration.

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And tonight I’m going to do a nice, easy workout on the elliptical.

What do you do the week following your big race?


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Impromptu half marathon!

I know, I haven’t been very good at posting lately. :-[

Last Tuesday was a great speed workout that combined the track, hills, and the road. I felt absolutely amazing during and after and couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Last Wednesday we had a “mentor session” with the group in which our coach goes over what to do in the month before race day and answer questions and concerns people might have about these last few long, long runs as well as the taper process and what goes on on race day. Afterwards a few of us went out for an easy run in the neighborhood. From the first step my achilles was complaining. I thought it just needed some time to warm up, but with every step it yelled at me. Nothing seriously painful, just nagging. Thursday morning I couldn’t walk normally. Friday I went in to PT and got Grastoned.

Feeling somewhat better, I taped up the achilles and went to my long run, knowing full well it wouldn’t be great and I wouldn’t be running 12 miles. I got in a good, if not labored 6 miles. It’s funny – I felt awful (overall) and like I was seriously dragging, but I still averaged an 11:00 pace, with two miles under a 10:08 pace. I also tried out my new Nathan Hydration Pack. Why did I not get one sooner?!? I absolutely loved it! It was a bit heavy, with three bottles worth of water strapped to me, but the pack was amazing.

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My Achilles was still bugging me a bit when I went to PT on Monday, so he did some some active release on both legs – which felt absolutely horrible! Oh my gosh… I know it’ll make a huge difference later, but it is so painful when you’re going through it. He cleared me to run a low-key half marathon this weekend, under the condition I stop if things start hurting too much. I’ve been tossing around the idea of this half for a while because our group is “officially” meeting downtown and I just don’t want to drive down there or run down there. I’m scheduled for 12-14 miles, so 13.1 is right where I need to be! And for $2, even if I have to duck out and DNF, it’s still totally worth it.

The best part? One of the women I train with asked me to pace her!! It’s going to be her first half marathon. Selfishly, it works out really great for me because she runs about 1:00 – 1:30 per mile slower than I do which will force me to keep a slow pace and not push myself unnecessarily. But above all, I’m just so honored she asked me to pace her and help get her to the finish! 🙂 I never thought I’d be the kind of runner that others might look up to or respect. I’m super psyched for this weekend!

treasure every mile