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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Long Run Saturday!

Good morning, sunshine!

Good morning, sunshine!

As if Tuesday’s hill workout wasn’t enough torture, we hit up the reservoir for 14 hilly miles this morning. I love running at the reservoir and was super excited about this – my legs even stopped hurting just in time!

I even rewarded my legs with a squishy new pair of shoes this morning 🙂

Christmas continues

Christmas continues

It wasn’t the easiest run, but it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting. My legs felt heavy but I was able to power through all of the hills (and there were a lot of them!). I’m really enjoying the feeling of strong quads.

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“You want to run through here? That’s nice.”

Immediately after the run I drove back to the store, where they had PTs available for us this morning. My achilles and ankle have been bugging me for a while, even though they’ve been feeling better lately thanks to my mom’s massages, and I just started getting some pressure in my left tibia again this week, so I definitely wanted to make sure I got to see them. They’re concerned with the achilles and ankle because it’s been so persistent and are worried about the pressure in my tibia. I may head back to PT – if nothing else, for the ability to use the AlterG. I am going to be a good girl and take it easy this upcoming week. I’ve already run 57 miles this month 😮 Any rest at this point will only pay off in the long run, not harm me. Last year I had a similar issue with some pressure in my tibia and I took a week or so off, which lead to the discomfort going away. I’m hoping some rest will do the same this year. Wish me luck…


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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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Frustration

Running is easy. It’s being injured that’s hard.

Today I went for a walk on the trail and while I was happy to be out there and see so many other people out, I was honestly kinda resentful towards the runners. I smiled at every one of them, but I was jealous of them. I haven’t run outdoors since Baltimore. I just want to run. No distance goal, no time goal, just go.

I got an achilles brace this past week that seems to be really helping, but it’s not 100% yet and honestly, I’m somewhat afraid to test it out. I’m afraid that while it feels good while standing or walking, running is going to be just jarring enough that it’s one step forward, five steps back.

I’ve decided to pull out of the Philly Half because of this. Admittedly, I’m not okay with this decision, but I know it’s the right one. I know it would be stupid to run a half after not running for nearly a month on a wonky achilles. The risk just isn’t worth the reward. But that doesn’t make it any better.

The crisp fall air and gorgeous leaves are too nice to be wasted indoors. I just want to go for a nice fall run. Why is that asking so much?


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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.