Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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My First 20 Miler!!

Yesterday was about as perfect of a day for a run as one could hope for in late August. It was 58 when I got out of my car with low humidity. I was nervous about this run and it was making my stomach a bit upset, which made me even more nervous, but at least I didn’t have to worry about the conditions.

We ran in the neighborhood near the store, which was a blessing and a curse. It’s great because there are many places in which to rack up miles and is hilly, which is great prep for Baltimore, but it can also get monotonous. Our first loop ended up being nearly 14 miles. My right calf was tight through the first 3 miles, which caused my right foot to fall asleep on the uphills, but it worked itself out. Around mile 8 I noticed that my left knee was feeling a little weak laterally, but nothing earth-shattering. Near that same time one of the women I was running with was dealing with some hip tightness while another was dealing with abductor tightness, so we took a stretch break which helped us all.

When we returned to the store to fill up on water, I tried a new fuel, the Clif pouch of Sweet Potato with Sea Salt. In theory it’s a pretty good idea, given how sweet most fuels are, but it took 10 minutes and half a bottle of water just to get down half of the pouch. And the taste left something to be desired. A lot, really. The volume of the fuel plus the water made my stomach feel all sorts of off, and I ended up having to walk for .25 mi to let my stomach settle. For about a minute I thought I was going to throw up along a rather busy major road…

Once I got through that I actually felt pretty good. We only had 5 miles to get through at that point. Totally doable, but also some of the hardest 5 miles I’ve ever run. We purposefully took a hilly route (Baltimore is basically straight uphill from mile 15-20), which was challenging but I think successful for all of us. It wasn’t until about mile 18.5 that the wheels kinda came off the cart. My left thigh starting aching and then hurting. I knew stopping wasn’t an option. I also knew that the direct route I was on wasn’t going to get me to 20 miles. So I ran in circles to get closer to 20, even running in a broad circle while the girl I was with stopped to get a drink. When we finally made it back to the store, my Garmin read 19.93 – and you’re damn straight I ran around the parking lot until it turned over.

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489 is not 5 miles

I immediately cleaned up and changed into dry clothes and made a bee-line for the bagel table and chatted with some people for a bit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t actually hungry, so I took the bagel to go.

The only thing standing between me an that amazing 20 mile bagel was the long trek across the kitchen to get a knife from that drawer....

The only thing standing between me an that amazing 20 mile bagel was the long trek across the kitchen to get a knife from that drawer…. #thestruggleisreal

Although it didn’t hurt that bad during the run, my left leg was killing me by this point. I needed to lean on something just to use my left leg; stairs were nearly impossible. For only the second time ever, I took an ice bath. Things didn’t turn out well last time. 

Thanks, mom....

Thanks, mom….

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Later last night I spent nearly an hour in the hot tub, which really helped my right leg. Honestly, my right leg feels so great today I could run another 10 miles if both legs felt that good. My left leg, however…. feels like it was repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat.

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This morning I substitute coached my mom’s 5k/10k group with another girl from my group, and then met Aaron and Katie afterwards. I warned him I might not be able to walk, but i tried – I only made it .25 mi out before I had to turn around. 😦 The poor dog seemed horribly frustrated to be walking so slowly haha

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I’m not really sure how to analyze yesterday’s run.

It was a success because a) I RAN 20 MILES, b) I ran it faster than I expected to, c) I felt physically and mentally strong throughout nearly the whole run, and d) I learned that the Zealots are keepers.

It was less than stellar because a) I tried a new fuel halfway through which made me have to walk and b) I could barely put weight on my left leg afterwards. I still can barely walk.

The biggest takeaway is that I RAN 20 MILES!!!! Mentally that’s a HUGE hurdle. I’m still nervous about that extra 10k that I’ll have to run to finish the marathon, but that’s another issue for another day.

The biggest problem is that I’m not even sure what exactly I injured or how I injured it, but my left leg and knee are not happy with me. At all.

I already had the PT on the schedule for tomorrow morning, but I may be calling the ortho for a proper injury eval. Not words I wanted to utter this late in training.

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Running in the Rain

It’s funny how something so simple can completely change your day.

Yesterday was a shitty day, for a whole host of reasons. I’ll spare the details (they’re really not all that interesting), but it ended wonderfully.

To try and console myself midday, I turned to a shit ton of sugar. Hey, sugar = carbs, right? Just go with it. At least it was fuel for my track session.

judgmental bitch.

judgmental bitch.

I got to the track extra early – the traffic gods were on my side – said hello to everyone (it’s one of the few times the HM and FM groups have been at the same place at the same time this summer), but mostly kept to myself and waited for our session to get underway. It was sunny and hot, but not humid, when I got there. Not too shabby for the first week of August.

Our workout was simple: 2 miles at HM pace, 5 min of recovery, and 2 miles at 10k pace. I ran the first two or so laps with a guy who has been battling injury, which worked out surprisingly well because it kept me from going out too quick. He fell off after the second or third lap, and I ran the rest of the workout by myself. Usually I prefer to run track workouts with someone, but this was the perfect workout and the perfect night to just run by myself and get lost in the zone.

My target for the HM segment was 10:15 pace, and a 9:45 pace for the 10k segment. And dammit if I wasn’t on target! With negative splits, to boot! *happy dance*

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I was feeling damn good at the end of the session, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Throughout the workout, the clouds moved in, providing us a rare bit of shade on an otherwise scorching track. Just as I was finishing up my cool down, I felt a few little drops of rain. Not surprising – they were calling for scattered showers. I walked out from the track to start my easy jog back, and a few more drops came down; then a few giant, cold drops plunked down on my head. Another 20 seconds – the deluge. It was like being at Brooklyn all over again.

For about 7 minutes it poured so hard I had a hard time keeping my eyes open, but I couldn’t help but smile the entire jog back to the car 🙂 The rain came down so hard that the road began flooding – a perfect excuse to aim my brand new shoes for each and every puddle 🙂

It’s amazing how something as simple as an awesome workout, running in the rain, and splashing in puddles can completely turn around an otherwise craptacular day 🙂

Mother Nature was quite accommodating, though – the rain stopped just as I got back to my car.

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Summer Running

Since the weekend, much of the east coast has been slogged in under some miserably hot, humid air. It’s funny how even a slight uptick in the heat and/or humidity – no less both – can make an easy run feel anything but.

Last week was a cutback for me and my group. We had built up for 4 long runs, and the easier week was certainly welcomed by all. Because of the pressure in my tibia, I had taken all last week off. My PT cleared me to run this weekend – if any only if there was no pain. So Saturday morning I woke up at 4:55am, not quite so bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed, and took my new shoes out for a spin. The trail was unusually packed for that time of morning, but I suspect that’s because it was almost exactly 3 months until race day! I’m sure lots of people were starting their 12-week training programs, while others were trying to get in the miles before the temps rose too far.

My marathon group, along with the half marathon group and 12 miler group were there, running all sorts of different distances. I had originally intended to do 10 miles, but Jennie said she was only doing 8, which sounded like a brilliant plan.

The new shoes gave me some troubles in the first few miles, causing an old shin splint to flare up for the first time in several years – but there was no bone pain, so I kept going. We were holding a 10:40-ish pace, which would normally be perfectly comfortable, but the humidity was so oppressive I just couldn’t hold that for the duration. I felt so silly asking Jennie if we can slow down at mile 3, but I just knew there was no way that I could maintain that.

When we got to the first water stop at 3.3 miles, I was soaking wet. We stopped in the shade for a few to grab a drink and cool down a bit, then headed on our way. We stopped again at the same spot on the return trip. I had brought a gu with me but decided against using it. I could’ve used the electrolytes in it, but I also wanted to do a bit of a modified depletion run (modified because I did have a small brekkie before the run). It was definitely one of the tougher runs of my life, averaging only 11:04 and having to walk for a few in mile 6, but we got it done.

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As hot as Saturday was, my friend Lauren was a total beast and ran the New York City Triathlon on Sunday – a day which was probably even hotter and more humid. It was her first triathlon and she totally rocked it!

My mom’s new 11k training group also started Sunday and she went out there and totally killed it in conditions that left me sitting indoors all day. Woohoo!!

bikram runningAlthough the temps were technically lower yesterday, it didn’t feel any less oppressive out there. My group was running a ladder workout at a local high school. Unlike our usual track, though, it actually had a little bit of shade on it (hallelujah!). Of course the night we’re supposed to be running specific paces, I left my Garmin at home. Ugh. But it was okay. The distances were set and I just decided to run by perceived effort, which was probably a better idea anyway given the sweltering conditions. It was hard, no doubt, but we did awesome. I can feel it in my glutes today 🙂

In between each ladder segment we ran 400 m recovery – and in between every ladder step and recovery lap I stopped and drank water. I was a little concerned about the dreaded sloshing, but it was so hot I was practically sweating it out before it hit my stomach…

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Luckily last night some storms came through (just after I got into my car!) and cleared out the oppressive humidity – it should be a good week for running! Tonight’s plan is cross training and strength while watching the Tour de France (so sad about Tejay… he was doing so amazingly well), and tomorrow I’m going to take another new pair of shoes (Mizuno Wave Inspire) out for a spin to see if maybe they’ll do the trick.


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A New Day

So this happened.

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It’s really happening! Marathon training starts this Saturday morning and I couldn’t be more excited and terrified. There’s a good mix of first-time marathoners and veterans, as well as people that I know from previous groups as well as newbies. It’s going to be a very challenging summer, that’s for sure, but I am really looking forward to this!

life changing

They say that training for a marathon will change your life, so it seems apt that training starts this week. As those of you who have been following me for a while know, I ended my marriage last summer. Well, yesterday I filed for divorce. (My state requires you to waste a year of your life in limbo before you can even file – for the record, I’m only bitter about this rubbish, not about the divorce itself) It’ll take another couple of months before it’s finalized, but the process has been started. The best part about all of this is that I can devote as much time and energy to training as needed without having to worry about feeling like I’m neglecting anyone. The worst part, though, is that I have no one to massage my achey feet and legs.


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What happens when you miss your long run?

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Yep, pretty much.

Under the advisement of my PT I sat out today’s 11 miler and honestly, I couldn’t have picked a better day to sleep in in the bone chilling air conditioning. I woke up at 8:00am, checked weatherbug and saw that it was 79 degrees with a dew point of 79 (and sunny), rolled back over, and pulled the sheets up over my head and smiled.

He thinks it’s just a stress reaction, but there’s no need to make it worse. And while I sit here under the umbrella on my deck, enjoying the muggy, sunny remnants of summer, enjoying my third donut (don’t judge), I look forward to next weekend’s rejuvenated long run.

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Hydration Systems – Advice Needed!

I currently run with a large handheld water bottle. It’s good enough for most runs, unless it’s really hot or dry out and I run out of water. It has a spot for my phone, key, and a Gu. I’ve been using it for two years now and while it works, I’m interested in exploring other options. Namely, hydration packs. A waist-belt just isn’t an option for me.

I’m strongly considering investing in a Camelbak-like hydration pack at some point – especially if I intend to go through with training for a full marathon next year. Like I said, the handheld has been fine, but when I’m tired it’s just one more thing I have to focus on (namely, not dropping it!) and usually have to fill it up at least once on-course during a half marathon (harder said than done!). I like running with my phone, but have been leaving it behind lately because it’s just added weight on my wrist.

From what I’ve seen online I really like the Nathan packs, but I’ve never run with one or even tried one on. I like that they have a number of pockets for storage which are easily accessible and the bungee on the back for storing jackets on chillier days.

Do you use a hydration pack? If so, which one(s)? What do you like about it and what don’t you like about it? Do they get hot on your back during the summer? 


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Sore Legs Antidote

Summer is peak training time for so many of us runners. Whether you’re adding major mileage or tackling that killer hill you’ve been eyeing up for a while, many of us spend a whole lot of time bellyaching about our aches and pains. 

We’ve earned these aches, no doubt, but sometimes they just need to go away, stat. 

I’m a big fan of the foam roller/the stick and icing to soften the blow, but sometimes that’s just not effective (enough) or we want to switch things up. 

For many of us, food is fuel first, pleasure second. If that fuel can kill two birds with one stone, all the better, right? Well, Competitor has some great ideas on how to double-up the benefits of what you’re putting in you to kick up what you’re putting out on the road

While you’re sitting in your ice bath, why not head on over and give it a read. It should take just about as long to finish as that ice bath should last. 

after the hard workout