Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Work In Progress

With teammate Chelsea. We were both very
happy to just FINISH. 
The road to success is never a straight line. Yep. That's me. The OC 1/2 Marathon on May 1 was going to be my comeback race. A relatively easy course where PRs are shattered and dreams are achieved. A race that can lift spirits and reduce doubts. The best laid plans...

I ran my slowest 1/2 marathon in over 3 years. Actually, 4 years and 3 months. And I'm okay with it. 

As you all know, I was on track with my training and working with my physical therapist to turn my lazy glutes into ass-kicking glutes. I was working on my core, taking pilates classes, strength training and bending my way through the Jasyoga library.

And *BOOM*. I was hit with a series of non-running related injuries that not only prevented me from running but I also had to stop all activity for a bit spending my days icing injured body parts and catching up on House of Cards
My total mileage for the whole month of April was 10 miles. My last long run before the race was 15 miles. On March 27. I felt really good after it too. In the week following, I sprained my ankle, injured my rib and hurt my back. 

With Dana (now part of the Oiselle Volée!)
and Dani at the finish line.
My longest run in April was 3.7 miles the Thursday before the race. I didn't experience any pain on that run and some other {shorter} runs during the week.

I'm A-OK with my race result because I ran pain free! My slow time was 100% due to my lack of fitness and I know through past experience that I can build it back up. 

My plan for the next couple of months is to become stronger and fitter through slowly building up my mileage, running for fun (!), continuing with strength training (including core and glutes), taking fitness classes--->all so I'm ready to start training again on June 20th for the Santa Rosa 1/2 Marathon (August 28) and in August for CIM (December 4). 

I've also decided to change my training focus on becoming marathon-strong as opposed to half marathon fast. More on that in the future.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

{weeks 9 & 10} It's race week!

Just a quick update...and dealing with 3 non-running related injuries. Or in other words, I've unintentionally tapered for 4 weeks for a half-marathon on Sunday, May 1st. In this break, I finally got smart and last week stopped ALL exercise/activity (even my glute exercises!) for a week--not just running. 

I've started back running this week with low miles (no ankle pain!) and on Sunday I will run not race the OC 1/2 Marathon. Ten or so years ago I used to run one 1/2 marathon a year without training for it. I wasn't a runner and it was a challenge to myself. 

After this race, my goal is to get as strong and healthy as I can so when I start serious marathon training in August I'll be good go!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

{weeks 7 and 8} at this point I just want to be able to run

At the Foothill 5k finish line
It's now been 9 days and counting since I've been able to run {sad trombone}. I was looking forward to last week because it was a scheduled recovery week with lower mileage and scaled-back hard runs. It has ended up becoming a week on NO RUNNING.

Earlier in the month, I was walking down the stairs at home (in the dark) and missed the last step. I landed hard with my right foot. Although shaken, I didn't feel an injury so I carried on with my activities. As the week progressed, especially after Thursday's 10 mile run with tempo intervals, I really started to feel something (bruised heel? sprained ankle? broken bone?). The pain was localized on the inner part of my side heel. Hmm...

Then Friday, April 1st (joke's on me) happened and my husband tried to pick me up in an awkward way. We heard a CRACK (snap). It didn't hurt at the time, but slowly the pain built and I started suspecting a bruised/broken rib on my left side. I immediately googled "running with a bruised/broken rib" and found out it is possible to continue running as long as your form doesn't change. However, it will be difficult to take deep breaths. Easy running is okay; sprinting/racing will be hard. Hmm...

On to Sunday's Carlsbad 5000. I was looking to this race and meeting up with my Oiselle Volée friends. No way was I missing this. So I raced. I had to stop at the midway water stop to catch my breath. I never stop or even get water during a 5k. Also, my heel/ankle really started bothering me. I finished in 24:29 which is slower than I wanted but it is faster than my most recent 5k a couple of weeks ago. After I finished, it hurt to walk and breathe. 

Carlsbad 5000-the last time
I ran this month

On Monday, I went to the doctor. Both my chest and foot x-rays were negative. It turns out I don't have a broken rib, but have torn rib cartilage. Apparently, it's treated the same as a broken rib. Same pain. Same length of recovery (6 weeks). Same treatment (Motrin and ice). Sigh. But what really bugs me is my "sprained ankle" (for lack of a better diagnosis). I could run easy with my rib thing. Can't run at all with my foot thing. 

View from the Foothill 5k trail

This past Sunday, I joined some Oiselle Volée team mates for the Foothill Challenge 5k. It was meant to be my entry into trail racing, but I ended up walking it in about an hour. Although it was depressing to not be able to run, it was great having my friends wait for me to cheer me in at the finish line. 

To end on a better note, I went to physical therapy last week and my glutes and legs are strong! My single-leg squats on an upside down BOSU are getting closer to perfection! I've also been going to a sports chiropractor for ART on my tight IT bands. My legs have been feeling a lot better. I feel like my legs and glutes are primed and will be ready to go once I can start running again. I need to re-assess my goals for the OC 1/2 marathon, but I'm okay with that. I just want to be able to run. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

{week 6} Five for Friday

In the spirit of posting at least SOMETHING, I bring you the Friday Five

ONE. I will be racing my first true 1/2 marathon (running 1/2 the LA Marathon does not count) of 2016 toeing the line for the OC 1/2 Marathon in exactly ONE month from today. It's also been a year since I raced 13.1 miles. Not nervous yet. 
TWO. I just registered to enter the lottery for the St. George Marathon (October 1, 2016). I will find out if I am lucky enough to race on May 18. The race is capped at 7800 runners. Crossing my fingers! If I do make the cut, I will have to start my training plan on May 30 (Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger).
THREE. I am racing the Carlsbad 5000 this Sunday with some of my fellow Oiselle Volée teammates. I <3 racing 5ks. This is my third since coming back from injury. I plan to beat my most recent time of 24:39 and hope to PR (or come close to my previous fitness) with a time less than 22:44. I'm racing for BEER! Pizza Port is the sponsor and they have crafted two custom beers just for the race. AND each race entry gets TWO FREE beers. 
 FOUR. I missed a step walking down the stairs at home a couple days ago and I bruised or sprained or something to right inner heel. I skipped my planned easy run today and may skip my long run tomorrow. It bums me to miss runs but at least I know I've been working my training plan and getting fitter. I am able to do things (run tempo!) I wasn't able to do so well before last year's injury and I've regained most of my running endurance (although I have not yet run more than 15 miles). 
FIVE. NUUN has finally updated their athletes page. There are a lot of badass nuun athletes out there. I'm on there too. You can see my profile HERE. I use nuun everyday to #stayhydrated. I also use plus for nuun for hard workouts (speed, tempo or long). It has a bit of carbs to give some much need energy. Use it in combination with either nuun active or nuun energy. I find it gives me a needed boost. 
That's all for this week. Looking forward to some fast racing on Sunday! (By the way, I just realized I missed my blogoversary on March 19! I've been blogging (as Perpetually Rungry) for a year! Happy Miles!)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

{week 4} Learning to master 'comfortably hard'

Post-tempo run happy high; I rocked it! 
Before starting this morning's run, I turned to Dana and Dani and said:
For the tempo part of the run you're supposed to run 'comfortably hard' which means you run hard enough that you FEEL like stopping but you don't NEED to stop. It's not an all out effort, it's not a race...it's just hard. The purpose is to learn to comfortably run at faster paces.
And then I added:
 Of course, it sounds like I know what I'm talking about. But I really don't. I suck at tempo runs.
In the past, I've worried too much about hitting the right paces and staying in my pace range. I would set pace alarms on my watch. I think I would run too hard and burn myself out. Run hilly routes and not run by feel. I would psych myself out, thinking I couldn't run tempo pace. I run faster paces in races and yet somehow thought that I wouldn't be able to hit tempo.

To prepare for today's run, I googled 'tips for tempo runs'. All the articles and blog posts I read talked about running 'comfortably hard' and to run by feel. The one tidbit that resonated with me is to not look at my Garmin (or, actually, to not use it--yeah not ready to do that) and really truly go by feel.

And that's what I did. I totally rocked the tempo run. The goal for today was a 40 minute tempo run at 8:10 to 8:27/mile. My average pace was 8:14/mile and I ran 4.8 miles. (I did look at my watch, but only after running a mile or so and I had the display set to avg interval pace, not current pace). I'm nowhere near mastering tempo runs, but it sure feels great to run one that went according to plan!

Overall, training for the OC 1/2 Marathon is going well. This week marks our first recovery week in the plan. Totally needed it because last week I ran a total of 49.4 miles, my highest since Sept 2015 and coming back from injury. 

43 days until my first half-marathon in a year! *knock on wood* I'm feeling strong!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

{week 3} into the groove

Easy runs; long runs; speed 

This week the workout was 6 x 1 mile repeats.

I have the speed; need to work on endurance. Above all, I'm having fun training again. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

{week 2} Getting into the training groove

Week 1 Recap:The first week of training was fun! It included a track workout which I always enjoy. Well, maybe not at the time, but after I'm finished I bask in my sense of accomplishment. Last week's track workout was different. I enjoyed it while I was running it. The goal was to run 10 x 1000 meters at cruise interval pace with a 2 minute recovery jog. These are not all out speed intervals. The goal of the workout is to improve stamina. It's best to be conservative with pace the first few intervals because as your legs get tired the intervals will feel harder. The goal for me per the McMillan pace calculator was to run intervals between 5:02-5:12 minute pace, which works out to an 8:06-8:19 minute/mile pace.

With all that said, I ended up running all my intervals too fast. Even after I made sure to tell Dani and Dana not to run them fast. It's super important to stay in pace zones. Even with the short recovery, I was always ready to go and the intervals didn't feel hard. I ran them comfortably relaxed at paces I could clearly maintain. I even tried to run slower! My glutes wouldn't let me! {hee} I was able to kick it and push the pace on the very last interval (which I like to do on the track). This may be because, for me, my current 1/2 marathon time is based on my comeback-from-injury half-marathon time which is a bit slow {for me}. With the exception of my first and last intervals, all others were within appropriate cruise interval pace range for my pre-injury 1/2 marathon times. *shrug* I asked the Oiselle Volée coordinator, Heather Stephens, about proper pacing for training workouts and she said you are supposed to run at your current pace and ability, not your goal pace. Pacing is confusing sometimes and I still have lot to learn.
  1. 4:28 min (7:11/mile)
  2. 4:50 min (7:47/mile)
  3. 4:53 min (7:52/mile)
  4. 4:57 min (7:58/mile)
  5. 4:55 min (7:55/mile)
  6. 4:53 min (7:52/mile)
  7. 4:54 min (7:53/mile)
  8. 4:49 min (7:45/mile)
  9. 4:49 min (7:45/mile)
  10. 4:15 min (6:50/mile)
The rest of week was good. I ran a total of 37.5 miles. I'm slowly building my weekly base mileage back up to 45 miles. I only ran one run (out of 7 runs) by myself (making good on my 2016 goal of connecting with other runners). I'm including Nani as another runner ;). 

We're training for the OC 1/2 Marathon on May 1. We're following the McMillan Running training plan available as part of Strava Premium membership.