Monday, March 31, 2014

Boston Training: Bye Bye March

3 Weeks out now, that's pretty insane. This week was one of the better ones I have had for running since this whole injury thing started. I feel like I am in 'survival mode' right now, just get me through the next few weeks with whatever runs/workouts I can get in between now and then. The fact that I was able to get back to back runs in Tuesday/Wednesday and get 20 in Friday was good confidence booster. Either my pain tolerance is going up, or the problem is getting better. Fingers crossed its the latter. 

PM: 10 min warm-up on bike (2.75 Miles), 15 Minutes Core work, 1400 yd Swim
PM:10 TM miles (7:54 pace)
PM: 8 TM miles (7:42 pace)
PM: 45 Minutes Bike (14.8 Miles), 750 yd swim
PM: 20.13 Miles (7:42 pace) [2.13 Outside, 18 on TM]
--Rest/Walking around Toronto--

Total Running Miles: 38.1 Miles
Total Biking Miles: 17.6 Miles
Total Swim Distance: 1.2 Miles
Total Strength Training/Cross Training Time: 15 Minutes (womp. womp)

All in all this week was pretty good, I did end up with 2 rest days which wasn't planned but well...that's life. I did majority of my running on treadmill this week, some part due to weather and others to convenience. My core work and strength training has really taken a hit the last few weeks. The time I normally spent doing that, has been reallocated to the 'stretching/icing/PT' side of things for my right leg.

Saturday we slept in (that 20 after work kicked my rear), and then hit the road for our mini getaway to Toronto for the day/night. Photo proof I own clothes other than running clothes, and that I am capable of doing something with my hair other than a ponytail or hat for running.

We did  lots of walking around, and even more eating. Three words for rib poutine. A great meal, some cocktails and then seeing Chicago (the musical) Saturday night. Honestly a weekend away with J, with no cell service...was fabulous. Some time to unplug and spend time together without interruptions.

Sunday's drive home was much quicker (we left earlier to avoid border traffic), but came home to LOTS of snow. So maybe we didn't go away somewhere to the beach, but it didn't snow in Toronto and it did at home...that's a winning mini vacation in my book. I was tired when we got back and ended up laying in bed from 2 pm on with a migraine. Cue the Netflix marathon, sweats, and laziness. I had hoped I'd get in a bike ride or something, but the bed won over and I'm okay with that.

As for this coming week- well I have some thoughts about what I'd like to have happen (potentially another long run), but nothing set in stone. I'm not 100% healthy, heck with my leg and other things I don't even think I am 80%, I need to change that. So if that means taking it easy on more days to try and figure out whats going on with my leg, or means laying in bed with a migraine and resting to avoid getting sick... so be it.  My goals for the year extend beyond Boston, so now really isn't the time for me to play hero.

So time to buckle down and get through this last real week of training before taper. This is the home stretch, I may not be where I would like to be at this point but I am far from giving up :) End of February and all of March was spent being injured and changing everything for it- I can't say I am sad for it to be over. I think that April is going to be a much better month, and things are going to start looking up around here. Plenty of things to look forward to:)

What are you looking forward to in April?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

3 Years Marathoning: From First to Favorite

1st Marathon
God I look young. No wonder
Swifty wrote a song about being 22.
Three years ago today I completed my first marathon, it's crazy to look back at that day. Yes I am the nerd who also remembers the date. I honestly don't remember a ton about it, it WAS memorable but maybe I'm just getting old and forgetful.

I remember standing at the start not even realizing what was about to happen. I remember unpinning my bib, holding it (and the pins) in my mouth while taking off my long sleeve and proceeding to re-pin onto my tank top(all while running). I remember stopping to tie my shoe and falling over. I remember crossing the finish line, and not knowing how to feel. It all seemed surreal, like it went by so fast and then boom, DONE.

After my first I wasn't sure if I would run another, and I wasn't in any frame of mind to think about it (I was in the frame of mind to eat....all the food). Obviously I didn't stop there, I ran #2 & 3 within 6-8 months later. [Can read about 1-5 in--->this post]

Cleveland (#5) was a new race experience for me last year, it was my first marathon without a BQ goal. Although it was a super hot day, and I was 4 minutes slower than my PR I still loved it. It kind of sat with me for a few months, 'hey I really like the marathon'.

Wineglass (#6) was definitely a great experience. Huge PR, but more than anything I was happy to see my experience paying off. I was happy to see the lessons I have learned put to good use. At this point, I knew it was officially my favorite distance.

Deciding to run CIM 9 weeks after Wineglass, well...there was many reasons behind this. My love of the distance plus you all know how bad I wanted my 3:15, but the other reason was: I have changed.

Let me elaborate: In high school and college I was the about the power and speed, short distances and jumps were my thing. When I first started road races a few years ago, I got decent (by my standards) relatively quick at the 5k's and shorter distances. When I added longer distances in, the progress didn't come as quick but the experiences and lessons learned certainly did. Somewhere along the way I became a distance runner, something I swore I would never do. Somewhere along the way I became happier running 20 milers than going out and chasing 5k times.
1st Marathon done, not quite in love yet.
Here I am, training for my first Boston and finding myself more emotional about something that happened 3 years ago. No I didn't love the marathon after my first, hell I'm not even sure how much I liked it. But I am grateful for that first, because had I not taken that chance and done it- I wouldn't be where I am now.

 I am proud of the way running has changed my life(in so many ways) the last few years. Is it all because I ran a marathon (and then a few more)? No, running a marathon doesn't define you as a runner; but falling in love with the distance certainly has changed me. Doing what you love, yeah...that changes you. For some people that's 5k's, some it's half marathons, some it's marathons, and some it's not running at all. We all prefer different distances, and that doesn't make one runner better than another. Part of me ran my first marathon to prove something, I thought I needed to in order to be a 'real' runner. I can tell you for a fact that's false, distance doesn't define you. Making the choice to go out and run, that makes you a runner. I've learned a lot through all of the distances I have ran, marathons just stick with me the most.

Marathons have left me proud, humbled, defeated, happy, excited, driven, broken, and some of those all in the same race. I've had the good ones and the bad ones and still come back for more. Either I really love it, or I am a sadist. I'll vote for the former.

Marathoners: Do you remember much about your first?

How do you define yourself as a runner?

What distance do you just love? 
For me: Marathons, and then 2nd place is tie between halves and 5 Mile

Monday, March 24, 2014

Boston Training: Still on the Roller Coaster

Another week down, and all of the sudden we are 4 weeks away from the big day. I think the excitement is building, but so is the mental battle I have going on of "what am I really going to be capable of?". I have no idea what the next few weeks will bring with training and this 'injury' so its' hard to anticipate anything about that weekend.

Overall this week wasn't high distance or time on anything, but I was happy for what I DID get done. Focusing on what DIDN'T happen is only going to frustrate me more so I am trying to avoid that. Still some solid training as I technically got 2 workouts in (10 mile tempo, and 13.1 mile run @ faster than MP). Also got in the pool twice, which is well...a miracle.
PM: 60 Minutes Bike (17.6 Miles), 2000m Swim
PM: 10 Mile Tempo Run (7:14 average pace)
AM: 60 Minutes Strength & Stability (w/PT)
PM: 4.38 Mile run (7:59 pace)
PM: 35 Minutes Elliptical (4.8 Miles), 1600m swim
PM: 3.73 Mile test run (8:03 pace)
AM: Syracuse Half-Marathon

Total Running Miles: 31.2 Miles
Total Biking Miles: 17.6 Miles
Total Swim Distance: 3600m/2.2 Miles
Total Elliptical Miles: 4.8 Miles
Total Strength Training Time: 60 Minutes

This week was humbling but it also had some really positive things as well (still on that damn roller coaster). Monday was my first time in the pool in MONTHS. It felt good to be in there, regardless of my distaste for swimming laps. Before I knew it, I had swam the half iron distance, and even swam it faster than my Musselman swim time last year. Tuesday's tempo wasn't bad, and actually left me feeling relatively confident that MAYBE my leg was getting better. Not a bad way to start the week.
Scenes from the high portions of the week--Monday swim outside and Tuesday muddy tempo on the canal...also my new perfect spring headband I won from SCB :) I'd show you stuff from the rest of the week but the lows aren't as fun to capture on film. (read: I look stupid when I cry.)
Here's the humbling part- Wednesday was the first time(since being injured) that I actually had to cut a run short because of my leg. It was the first time the pain didn't get better as I went, and everything simply hurt...bad. Maybe it was just an off day, maybe my legs were beat up from the mornings PT session- I don't know but it left me very defeated and down on a lot of things. (I'm human!)

Saturday I decided on a test run on the treadmill- and to my didn't hurt. Well, it wasn't 100% but it was certainly improved (mainly just tight calves). Maybe Wednesday's run was the "it has to get worse before it gets better?". The half Sunday wasn't my fastest but certainly still a good time for me, I'll recap that later this week.

This week I have some planned runs & workouts but as I have been for the last few weeks, I will readjust as needed. I am getting a massage by someone who specializes in athletes with injuries on Tuesday- I think my legs really need the work on them so fingers crossed that it helps.

The next 2 weeks are really important for training- no matter what my goals are for Boston. It's going to require some creativity with the issues I am dealing with, but you bet I'll find ways to push myself. Good news, as the race gets closer the motivation gets stronger. Obviously I wish I had more than 4 weeks left for training but then again, in 4 weeks I get to spend a few days in Boston with my man, our friends and some family--that is something to be pumped about. I assume over the next few weeks, the excitement will only grow for the race and that weekend more and more each day.

When do you start getting really excited for your big race?

When was the last time you really surprised yourself with a run or workout?
That 2000m swim Monday after months out of the pool really surprised me, in a good way :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Johnny's 5-Mile Race

This was my second time running this race, and the course that actually held my PR (well, I guess it still does since I broke that time this weekend... aw, well there's your spoiler.) I did this race 2 years ago and ran it in 32:58, which stayed my PR for the last 24 months.

A few things about the race
1. It's a local favorite, they typically get over 1500 runners and it's always on the same day as the parade.

2. It's kind of considered the "spring breakout" race around here- typically get a fast showing, and you can kind of see who spent the winter training. Had I not decided to do the Freezeroo series, or been coerced into Lake effect this probably would have been my first race of the year (I'm glad it wasn't though).

3. It's an out and back course, fast and flat for most part.

4. The start is notoriously a royal pain. Bottleneck start, and lots of people who don't normally race and start where they shouldn't. I'll explain more with a picture. This really is the only thing about this race that I don't like.
Bottleneck race start. The crowds cover both sides of the street but they always only have one timing mat so it creates a cluster at the start, every.single.year. (yes I have only done it twice but I have been told this is reoccurring problem)

Okay, moving on.

The Race
I dilly dallied getting ready at home, this tends to happen when the race is close by. But John and I still got there with plenty of time to spare and time for me to warm up. I knew that I needed to get at least a mile and a half in to give my shin time to loosen up.

I got to the start, saw a bunch of people I knew as expected. Chatted with Carrie & Joe for a few minutes while we waited. Finally it was time, and as per the usual I took my first steps walking across the start line and then immediately darted to the side to get around people. Like that man walking in the gray pants. I look angry but I was really just focused on getting around the crowd.

I spent the first half mile bobbing and weaving before I got into a groove. Mile 1 was roughly 6:18 according to my Garmin, but I was beeping before each mile marker so I know that my splits are off (maybe I should learn tangents?)

Mile 2 I just kind of kicked in autopilot and kept my speed in check because I needed to wait until the turnaround to pick it up. Mile 2 was roughly 6:33. I had been going back and forth with a few people during this time and just tried to hold that place, I knew I could see what place I was in once the leaders started coming back at us. 

Once leaders started coming back, I was counting women but then lost count when I was cheering and high fiving some of my speedy friends. Hit the 180 degree turnaround and gave myself the green light. I saw there were quite a few girls within striking distance of me and made it my goal not to let any of them pass me. The way back was fun as I knew it would be, seeing all of my friends and other local runners. I really don't mind out and back races for this reason- the people are awesome, another reason why I really liked Lake effect half a few weeks ago.

Mile 3 & 4 were both roughly 6:25-6:30. Once mile 5 hit the girl who I was behind for the majority of the race started fading a little and I decided to go for it. Mile 5 was my fastest, and ended up passing the girl to seal the deal for 7th female.

This was on the home stretch, not the most flattering picture but, hey it happens.

My chip time was 32:15, which makes it a 43 second PR. I talked to some people at the finish line then John and I walked back a ways to cheer on other runners coming in. I was bad and didn't do a cool down (my calves proceeded to be really mad at me for this later). I threw some warmer clothes on, cheered and then went inside to wait for awards. I knew I was 7th female (John counted) but I wasn't sure about age group awards right away. Very pleased with  top 10 females and AG win, especially for this race.
Obviously I am happy with this PR and the race itself. My shin held up once I was warmed up and didn't give me any problems during the race. I do think I am going to have to continue running in compression sleeves, maybe once it's warmer out I won't have to wear them all the time. I'm grateful I haven't had to stop training all together with this shin issue, and grateful I can still race because racing is my happy place. 

I've learned I really like the 5 mile distance, anyone else?

Do you repeat past races to try and better your time?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Boston Training: Onward & Upward

Last week was a whirlwind with time change, snow storm and everything else. I'm certainly glad it's over but looking back I'm happy with how it went on the training front (for the most part). It ended up being a a relatively (for me) light week all around but hey, I'm still improving so there is a method to my madness

PM: 4 Miles (7:54 Pace)
PM: 10 Miles Total (7:05 average pace) with 10x800m (3:11 Average)
PM: 30 Minutes Strength Training, 45 Minutes Bike (14.3 Miles)
PM: 3 Mile walk
AM: 1.66 Mile warm-up (7:50 pace), 5 Mile race
AM: 17 Mile Long run (7:44 pace)

Total Running Miles: 37.7 Miles
Total Biking Miles: 14.3 Miles (womp womp)
Total Strength/Core Training Time: 30 Minutes (womp womp, again)

Monday was the return to running after a few days off. To be honest, it felt like hell. My shin was sore, as was everything else. I can tell that my form as been altered trying to overcompensate. Not to mention I was fighting muddy flooded sidewalks, lets just say it wasn't a happy running reunion.

Tuesday was the day I needed. Although my shin didn't feel 100%, it felt really good to get a hard workout in. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do all the intervals, but once I got going it just felt better.

Faster feels better right now, so I revamped my training plan to better suit my needs. This also relieved some of the stress about all of the numbers. Quality over quantity.

The weekend ended up being a strong weekend of running, something that I needed. 5 mile PR (recap this week), and a solid long run on Sunday. I'm feeling more confident going into the final weeks of training right now. I am not 100% and I know that I won't be as prepared as possible, but doing the best I can working through the shin problems. Once the race gets closer and get the next few weeks of training under my belt, I'll re-evaluate my goals and expectations for Boston.

I'm disappointed with my lack of biking, strength training and cross training this week, but it isn't the end of the world. I'll get back in the saddle this week (literally). I spent a LOT of time stretching a rolling this week so if that's what took place of my core work I can't really complain as I knew it was beneficial. I think some down time this week was actually what I needed, and allowed me to let my shin recover more. I think 'down' weeks have their purpose and sometimes it's to remind us to step back when we wouldn't normally.

This week should be pretty good, a few more running miles(but nothing crazy), back at it with biking and strength training- and also getting my butt back into pool this week as it has been far too long. I'm excited to run Syracuse half-marathon this coming weekend, I think it will be a good gauge of where I am at for Boston. Also excited because I get to see some awesome people in 'Cuse :)

Anyone else running Syracuse Half this weekend?

What are you training for right now?
 Will you do tune-up races before the big day?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Weather, Training, Boston & aren't pregnant?

Well, for your reading pleasure some completely random things to catch up on.

1. This week I feel like I got hit by a train. Daylight savings punched me in the face Monday AND Tuesday mornings (I am obviously not so good at adjusting to losing an hour). Wednesday, sure lets throw in snowmaggedon. Thursday, snowed in driveway complete with stuck car and arrived at work to find the heat wasn't working. Seriously? I kind of have to to laugh about it all at this point. Winter, you suck and I'd prefer you leave. Next year I am going to be a bear and hibernate. Who wants to drink Guinness and sleep in a cave with me for a few months?

2. This, just THIS. You think I'd be used to this living in NY for 26 years.

3. Training: Well, this is where things get a little confusing. Tuesday I nailed 10 miles with 10x800 for a workout. I averaged 3:11 for the intervals which isn't my fastest but certainly isn't my slowest, also did them on a muddy icy canal path. What? Apparently my shin likes going fast and doesn't yell at me unless I slow down.

A few years ago I had the same weirdness with my IT band, slow hurt and fast was OK. I was able to work through that injury while still training, just less miles and higher quality. New plan until Boston: Quality over quantity. I revamped my entire training plan pulled out extra runs and threw in some more tempo and intervals (keeping long runs of course). Granted I wasn't going to be throwing down any huge mileage to begin with, lowering the mileage doesn't make me less of a runner. I have never been a higher mileage runner, and quality over quantity has worked well for me in the past.

4. Races: Well, tomorrow is supposed to be my first 'goal race' of the year. I have really been looking forward to Johnny's 5 Mile for a while and was aiming for a PR. Right now I'm thinking I am still going to race but we will see, I need to get a long run in as well and obviously need to be careful with my shin. If I do race, I won't rule out a PR (seeing as my shin bothers me less when I go faster) but I certainly won't be disappointed if I don't get one.

As for Syracuse Half Marathon next weekend, I'm definitely doing it... just not sure if I will be shooting for that sub 1:30 I was planning on. I need to be realistic right now, and I also need to make sure I keep my eye on the prize. Although Boston isn't a  PR goal race for me- the goal is still clearly to make it to the start line as healthy and prepared as possible.

5. Today marks 6 weeks without caffeine-->HUH?  No, there isn't a bun in the oven. Can we discuss the fact that a 26 year old girl can't order decaf or a non-alcoholic drink in this day and age without getting the "when are you due?" look. Fact is, I like my sleep and I'm finally averaging over 4 hours a night since I cut it out. Doesn't sound like a lot, but it is wonderful compared to what I was getting.

6. Yesterday the B.A.A. released athlete bib numbers, along with starting waves and corals. This little lady will be rocking the bib with # 9231 on April 21, 2014. Oddly enough, I also ordered my race outfit yesterday- good sign that I did that same day numbers came out! I will be in Wave 2 and the first corral: basically on the darn start line after the first wave goes through. This says a lot about how insanely awesome the field is this year, because from what I understand my time would have put me in wave 1 the last few years. Don't get me wrong though, I'm incredibly pumped to be in front of wave 2!

How has your week been so far?

Quality or Quantity when it comes to miles?

Ever ordered decaf or a non-alcoholic drink and gotten that "oohhhhh" look? Ladies, I know I can't be the only one!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Boston Training: Backing Off

Last week I said I made some changes and did a lot of rehabbing & prehabbing. This week was kind of a continuance of last week, but this week I had another 'turning point' in my training. Unfortunately the turning point where I decided I finally needed to stop running for a few days.

PM: 8.07 mile run (7:47 pace)
AM: 20 Minutes Bike (5.4 Miles), 20 Minutes Core Training
PM: 40 Minutes Elliptical(5.1 Miles), 25 Minute Strength/Core Training
AM: 60 Minutes Strength & Stability Training (with PT)
PM: 11 mile Run (7:34 Pace)
PM: 40 Minutes Strength Training
AM: 80 Minutes Elliptical (10.1 Miles)
AM: 65 Minute Bike (18.2 Miles)
PM: 43 Minutes Elliptical(5.25 Miles), 25 Minutes Strength Training

Total Running Miles: 19.1 Miles
Total Biking Miles: 23.6 Miles
Total Elliptical Miles: 20.5 Miles
Total Strength Training Time: 170 Minutes

Wednesday was the real roller coaster day. All day it was feeling pretty good, until I went to run. It was sore but not horrible during the 11 miles. I came home and mentally had a clear head and was feeling good. Then the downward spiral started. I started feeling pain, I started feeling nauseous and I was pretty much on the verge of chopping my leg off. Some reassuring conversations with friends, a few decisions (i.e. no running for a few days), and a long ice bath later I was finally calming down and sleeping.

No running Thursday & Friday, turned into Saturday & Sunday as well. I did lots of cross training over the weekend. Biking, Elliptical and strength training.  I guess a silver lining of this is that I can start focus on tri-training more now and not feel guilty about it taking time away from running.

My plan for this week is to use the elliptical for all of the miles I would have run (if I can't run) and if I can run, I will still use elliptical for half of the miles. As for my first goal race of the year on Saturday, I won't decide until Friday. I haven't done any speed work since Lake Effect but still might be able to pull off a decent time(assuming I haven't cut my leg off in the mean time).

Maybe this really is just a speed bump like part of the 6 week curse, or maybe it's something more. Right now all I know is I am sure as hell not going down without a fight.

I apologize now for anything I said or did in the last few weeks, or will do in the coming weeks. The frustration of all of this is sometimes a little much, but I'm lucky I have awesome people around me keeping me sane :)

Enough of being Debbie-Downer...

Tell me something awesome about your training right now

Friday, March 7, 2014

The 6 weeks pre-race curse

Sometimes it's good to look back at past training cycles, old workouts, old posts...helps you see what worked and what didn't. Sometimes it also helps to see how far you have come, and remind you of the things you overcame to get where you are. Right now it's time to focus on moving forward and staying positive despite the setbacks.

This time last year I was training for Cleveland Marathon, and had just run my first race of the year as well as first 20 miler of the year. This year, I have already done 5 races and one 20 miler. So I will call that improvement.

But then there is the 6 week curse I have going for me....

6 Weeks out from Cleveland last year I was dealing with crazy changes and schedules. Still working 2 jobs, trying to train and deal with a million other things going on. Lacking time and motivation, definitely not at my finest.

6 weeks out from Wineglass I was just getting my first speed workout in (after a long break from them), and was dealing with ankle problems, doing a 20 miler, and prepping to go to Virginia Beach for Rock N' Roll Half marathon. Good, bad, and everything in between.

6 Weeks out from CIM, I was dealing with Achilles issues and spent the week doing much more time on the elliptical than running.

Apparently 6 weeks out from race day is a rough time for me. But the thing I see when I put this in writing is that I got through those things. I overcame the stress of being so busy and lacking motivation by reducing mileage (quality over quantity), and getting creative with my training. I overcame ankle & Achilles issues by stepping back and using the elliptical more even when it meant my mileage going down. Wineglass and CIM were back to back PR's, so clearly I did what I needed to do. Granted, this shin issue is more severe than anything I dealt with for any of the 3 marathons last year. It's not going to be as simple, but it's not impossible to work through.

I won't deny this is taking a toll on me mentally, 44 days out from Boston this isn't what I had hoped to be dealing with. Regardless of what my goals are for the race (because I honestly don't know), it's still hard knowing I won't be as prepared as I would like come race day. There have been tears, and angry moments and endless amounts of frustration. This is me being honest, maybe I'm not the biggest bundle of joy right now but I think we ALL know that we are human and things wont always be unicorns & rainbows.

Yup brought me ice and sat next to me while
I tortured myself. He's a keeper.
Maybe this is just the time of the cycle that is meant to remind me to take care of myself. Right now that means, a few days off of running. Perhaps it means 3-4 days, maybe it means a week or more. I honestly can't predict those things right now, and my trusty magic 8 ball isn't helping. Obviously I will still strength train, as well as get my cardio in with biking and the elliptical (possibly the pool, because yeah... I kind of have a few triathlons this year). I think it also means taking some time for myself, we all know the mental battles of being an injured athlete. And yes, I just used the word injured and not issue (that's when you know I mean business).

So now it's focusing on getting healthy and bringing some positive things into my life. I have a wonderful man by my side who loves me and brings me home ice and even sits in the bathroom with me while I cringe through an ice bath. I have awesome friends who have done nothing but cheer me up and support me with the few setbacks I have had lately. I have an awful lot to be grateful for, so tonight (while I am doing the not-running thing) I'll drink a beer and say cheers to the things I am blessed with.

Have you ever looked back and saw a pattern in your training cycles?

What fun plans do you have for the weekend?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Boston Training: Rehabbin' & Prehabbin'

After last weekend's busy weekend racing a 10k and a half-marathon, I had already planned this week to be a little on the lighter side. Unfortunately it ended up being changed around even more due to a needy-whiny-pain-in-the-butt-shin. So this week was all about sending that shin to rehab. It was also about holding interventions for some other needy parts so that we can hopefully prevent them from traveling down the Amy Winehouse path.

AM: 30 Minutes Strength & Stability Training
PM: 65 Minutes Elliptical, 20 Minutes Strength Training
AM: 30 Minutes Strength & Stability Training, 1 Mile TM Test Run (8:16 pace)
PM: 60 Minutes HIIT on Elliptical
PM: 10 Mile TM Progression Run(7:44 pace)
AM: 30 Minutes Core & Stability Training
AM: 20.65 Mile Long run (7:50 pace)
PM: 95 Minute Bike Trainer (27.3 Miles)

Total Running Miles: 31.7 Miles
Total Biking Miles: 27.3 Miles
Total Strength/Cross Training Time: 235 Minutes

While, yes I was not happy to be logging elliptical miles instead of running earlier in the week I knew that it was the smart play. Being driven 100% by numbers is how you end up with more problems than if you take the time when you need it. I used to be extremely concerned with mileage and somewhere along the way I realized that there are other factors that are much more important. To be honest though, I am happy that I had a solid week of training and cross training despite setbacks. I took the time to work on things that I know I could be stronger at.  I've really learned to start trusting myself and my instincts, heck they have gotten me this far...

I was pumped to get my first 20 miler of the year under my belt. I have really learned to love long runs, and know that their benefits are huge. I really liked the route that I planned, and think I will be doing that one again as it has some terrain I need to work on.

A few things I did this week for Rehab/Prehab
1. Didn't run for 3 days (M-W)[I don't really count my 1 mile test run], & not running back to back days.
2. Iced multiple times a day(layer compression sleeves, stick ice pack in between--> perfection)
3. Bought new, tighter compression sleeves--->These ones
4. Did a bajillion calf raises (throughout the day a few here and there): Do 20-30 while brushing your teeth or waiting for microwave to heat up lunch, etc.etc.
5. Ibuprofen, lots.
6. Foam rolled, massaged, and seriously beat the heck out of my muscles.
7. Devoted extra time for stretching each day. Have a TV show you like to watch? Plop your tush on the ground and stretch while you watch instead of sitting on the couch or in bed. I also don't get into bed each night without first doing a few minutes of stretching, those extra few minutes add up.
8. Made Strength & Stability training a priority, I made sure to get those exercises in and I know that I have seen improvement by doing so.
9. Paying attention to what goes into my body. Recovery is significantly impacted by what your fuel & refuel yourself with. I track using My Fitness Pal (which syncs with my fitbit, awesome!) and it really helps to see what things I eat and how they affect me. I've been doing much better with my nutrition lately (with the exception of the gigantic piece of cheesecake I inhaled ate Wednesday night while throwing a pity party).
10. Sought out help. I read MANY articles online as well as my own personal training books for things to do, but also consulted with a few people who are qualified to give me advice. I spoke with my PT as well as a few other PT's at the gym and learned a few new stretches and exercises to help.

~~I know what you are thinking, these are normal things that we need to do. I agree, but I also know that so many of us say we want to do them more and don't. I'm trying to create a routine out of a lot of these and make it a habit.
Morning Strength & Stability session
Side Note...
I do want to say thank you for the kind words I have received regarding not getting the sponsorship I applied for. A lot of people took the time to reach out to me personally, and that means more to me than I can say. I know that while I am a good runner, there are many amazing athletes out there many with better times and more experience than myself. I am obviously disappointed but also know that when the time is right, it WILL happen.

I have been asked 2 questions a LOT since I found out...
1. Are you going to apply for another company? No, I don't want to be sponsored for sake of sponsorship. I am brand loyal and will remain that way. I won't be one of those athletes who is sponsored by a company but constantly promotes its competitors.
2. Do you regret going to California last minute to run CIM to get the sub 3:15 time you needed (even though I found out after the time I needed was changed to 3:05)? No, I don't regret it whatsoever. In fact, I am grateful that I didn't know the standard was going to be changed because I probably wouldn't have tried at the time if I had known. I had the trip of a lifetime with one of my best friends, and ran a 4 minute PR- that is more than enough for me. I worked incredibly hard for that and no one can take that away from me :)

Do you do Prehab exercises?

Thoughts on sponsored athletes who continue to promote competitors?
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