800 and Counting…

800

Well folks, it happened. I hit my Runsolution goal of running 800 miles. (and the crowd goes wild)

I was a little worried about actually making the goal because at the end of November I took a two week running hiatus (hence no blog updates). My body was feeling run down and I realized that I was dreading my morning runs. It took every ounce of will power to get myself out of bed to run. I had a hard time completing my “easy” for mile runs, the long runs were just torturous. I wondered if I had hit a wall. It made me sad to think that I didn’t enjoy running any more. I started to look for reasons why my mentality had shifted.

I had just finished up a strenuous 3 months. It was jam packed with work events, coaching, family obligations, fun weekend trips and adjusting to married life. At the end of November, this left me feeling exhausted. Was I really exhausted? Or was I just being lazy?

I decided to listen to my body. If I felt like I needed extra sleep instead of a run, I slept. If I woke up with some extra energy, I went for a run. Throughout that two week period I only ran twice. It was about 6-8 miles total, definitely nothing to write home about. The tiger mom that lives in my head was going a little crazy.

“What if you don’t make your 800 mile goal?”

“You’re so lazy for sleeping in!”

I decided to just ignore the slave driver/goal oriented monster in my head. After two weeks, I would try and resume a normal running schedule and if I still wasn’t enjoying it, that probably meant that I needed more time off.

Last week, I laced up my shoes and with my phone (MapMyRun!) in hand I hit the ground running (punny? okay, no). Much to my relief, I enjoyed that week of runs – which made all the time off well worth it. I definitely felt the two weeks off though. I ran a couple of shorter runs and one long-ish run of 6 miles. The six miler was killer. It felt like I’d never run that long ever. As I huffed, puffed and took walking breaks to finish, I questioned the fact that I am a marathon finisher. While that six mile run scared me a bit, the following week was back to normal. I guess that rough week was enough for the muscle memory to kick in. Not sure if anyone’s found themselves in a similar position to me. This is the first time I’ve experienced training fatigue since I started running consistently three years ago. Just wanted to encourage people to listen to their bodies and that taking time off is not the end of the world as we know it 🙂

800 miles… CHECK.

(And with a week and a half to spare!)

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I (will) eat hills for breakfast

My husband and I signed up for the San Francisco Rock n Roll Half Marathon next March. We made sure to register before the price increase! No procrastination here (for once)! My husband also was pleased to see that this race has a pretty generous refund policy which includes  injury, illness, and unexpected travel delays. Brownie points to the race directors at the Rock n Roll, I like how you think.

I am a big fan of the Rock n Roll series. I’ve raced in the half marathon in San Jose and full marathon in San Diego. The races are always well organized, high energy and really fun to be a part of. I believe the San Francisco location has only been around for 2-3 years. Last year, I was interested in signing up but one tiny little thing stood in my way.

Actually make that three 300 foot gargantuan things.

The hills are alive with the sound of San Francisco. Call me a baby, but I avoid hills like the plague. And even though it’s always one of those things that I know I should do, I just can never bring myself to add hill training to my workouts.

So. Much. Pain.

But there is that old saying, no pain, no gain right and by signing up for this half marathon I will HAVE to train hills. Hill training conjures up feelings of anxiety and dread. I will have to remind myself that this was a voluntary assignment. I have no one to blame but myself.

Speaking of The Hills, I can’t think of a better way to accentuate a post on hill training than with some gifs from my friends Lauren, Whitney and Audrina. Let’s be honest, life is better with a little Lauren Conrad thrown into it. My not so guilty reality TV pleasure will precisely illustrate all of my current feels:

To answer the question, why am I doing this?
sacrifice wins

I guess I am sort of a glutton for punishment
glutton for punishment

To inspire myself during my inevitable hill workouts:
hills-worse

What I hope to look like after hill workouts:
hills-yay

What I’ll actually look like:
hills-sad

Okay hills, let’s go.

Confessions of A Yoga Noob

After my last blog post, I had some very helpful suggestions from Pscapp and Kristin to try yoga as a possible remedy to my ITBS struggles. I’m willing to try anything if there’s a slight possibility I’ll be able to run pain free.

My experience with yoga is limited to just classes of Bikram Yoga. The first class was a double date. Is there really a better place for a double date than a place where you will sweat out enough liquid to solve California’s drought problem? No, there isn’t. An hour and a half of hot yoga is no joke. I have never sweat that much in my entire life. It was like my skin was just one giant faucet. 

After my first two classes I never went back as the bikram in my area is a little pricey. But with the recommendations to try yoga, I wanted to give it another chance. Life is a tad busy at the moment with work at its busiest season with work events galore and coaching a high school gymnastics team, so going and paying for a class is out of the question. So where do you turn? YouTube!

My most favorite ab workout is on there, why not stream a yoga video?

I quickly realized that I know nothing about yoga and spent a few minutes doing a quick google search about the different types of yoga.

I attempted this power yoga video from Bryan Jones. It was only 30 minutes, which was perfect for my Tuesday morning. I think I may need something shorter, like 15 minutes, but not sure if I’ll get the benefits I’m looking for with a shorter time. It was a good workout, I even started to sweat a bit. One thing I know for sure, running has made my muscles so tight. As a former gymnast, my body and muscles were quite flexible. I’ve noticed that the more that I run, the tighter my muscles become. I held the downward dog position and my muscles screamed at me. Conclusion: I need to stretch more.

Even though yoga may not be my thing, I’m going to keep at it for a while. I’m going to commit to two-three days a week for at least 15 minutes for two months.

The IT Band Saga

This is how I feel about my current IT band issues:

IT Band Wizard Angst

That’s right, IT band syndrome wizard angst.

I was happily closing the chapter on the ITBS chapter of my running life, but much to my displeasure the chapter is dragging on and on. Actually it’s not even a chapter any more, it’s 5,000 page novel. Some may even call it a saga. You know the type of book that is so long that they turn it into a two part movie (but let’s be real here, two part movies is an easy peasy way for Hollywood to make double the money off of you).

I’ve been going to a physical therapist  for my ITBS. He has been using the graston technique, a metal bar that grinds into your tissues. I grit my teeth and use all of my will power not to kick him in the face as he digs that little metal stick into my leg. The old saying “no pain no gain” rings true, because as much pain as it causes during my sessions, it has been surprisingly effective in healing my ITBS. I was able to go back to four days a week of running, I added street running back into the routine, I took less walking breaks. The pain I had dealt with the past year was magically gone.

Or so I thought…

The week before the Disneyland half marathon, my ITBS started flaring up again and it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t just the small pain that you can run through. It was a crippling possibly doing permanent damage type of pain. I made an emergency appointment right before the half marathon with my physical therapist. I believe that helped me get through the race without too much pain.

I went to see him this week again and asked him what the reason could be for the flare up. Everything was going so well. I just didn’t understand. His answer? “It’s just an overuse injury, so things like this will just happen.”

So you’re telling me even though I come here weekly, spend an hour and a half in your office each visit, shell out $100 a session, let you dig a metal bar into my leg, do my strength exercises at home, that this issue will continue to just flare up every once in a while?

Great news. I’m thrilled. In keeping with the Harry Potter themed gifs this post. This thoroughly portrays my enthusiasm:

lemoneyeroll

I guess it’s back to my own remedy of not running on consecutive days, sticking to softer surfaces and keeping up with my foam rolling and hip/leg strengthening exercises. I’ll continue going to the PT but a little less regularly as I’ve been paying out of pocket.

And the saga continues…

No Thank You.

I did some light shopping (and by light I mean, light damage. Walked out of Kate Spade having spent only $34 when they were having a 50% off sale. If that isn’t discipline, I don’t know what is) on Saturday and towards the end of the day I had a nagging pain in my foot. The pain was on the top of my foot closer to my ankle. I iced it, but still felt the same pain on Sunday. The pain was less than the day before, but still noticeable.

I took the day off from running today and rode the bike instead. If I walk too much I start noticing the pain.

I did a quick google search of stress fracture. That is not the business.

I’m really hoping it’s not something serious and will just go away with a little bit of rest and ice. But maybe I’m just in denial.

denail-jack

 

 

 

 

Injury, you are not welcome here. Please go home.