Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Mileage Recap and Random Musings

It's the end of June! Time for a mileage recap, which is not as fun as my other mileage recaps of 2016 have been.

June mileage total: 42.58 miles.

SAD.

My last day of running this month was June 19.  Even though June of 2015 was only 61.77 miles, this is the first month of 2016 where I did not surpass 2015 mileage.

SAD.

Someone posted the following on Facebook today and it resonated so I am sharing here:


In some fairytale land of make believe in my mind, I keep thinking that the 5K on July 16 could still happen.  I rationalize this by saying that I COULD have gone to the doctor that week (July 11-15) and I COULD have gotten clearance to run but the doc is on vacation this week so my appointment is July 19.  I realize this is dumb.  But a small part of me still goes there.

This morning I was in a meeting, with several doctors, and they all said, "Runners are the worst patients.  They never listen to advice."  Looks like I am falling into this generalization!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Boot Countdown: 21 More Days

21 more days of wearing "the boot".  I have tried very hard to have the boot on during all of my waking hours but admit that I don't wear it right away in the morning if I am just hanging out at home.  It feels good to have some ankle motility!  Thankfully during these boot-free sessions, I can already tell that my foot is healing.   It is not nearly as painful as it was a week ago to walk.

So far, I haven't been too dismayed about this setback.  We have had an insanely busy calendar these past few weeks and it was kind of nice not to have to think about how I was going to fit my workouts into that mix.  Truthfully, it has been a relief not to worry about running and pace and setting alarms and getting the kids to bed so that I can run. I can't run so that is one less thing to think about in a day.  I hadn't realized how much anxiety I have about getting workouts in until this past week and a half.  All signs point to trying to do morning workouts when I get back to running as then I won't have to think about my workout all day long.  I'm not very nice when I am anxious.

On the flip side, it is Olympic trials season.   Track trials start this week and, just like the marathon trials, I know I will be itching to don my running shoes and get out there after watching.  I was addicted to refreshing my Twitter feed on Saturday following the Western States 100.  (Devon Yanko's recap brought me to tears.)  My Instagram feed, which is comprised of 80% running related accounts is a little sad to look at at times.  I went to a ladies running event last Friday evening at a local running store.  I didn't really have the desire to try on any new running clothes while wearing the boot, although I was grateful for the swag.  (ALWAYS grateful for the swag!)  I had ordered some running clothes before injury and of course they arrived post-boot. (I've slowly been replacing my O-L-D running gear.) It is hard opening packages of new running clothes when you can't take them out for a spin!

The Oiselle Volee ladies received a letter from Kara Goucher today.  She is also dealing with an injury and I liked this line:  "That's the beauty of running, there is always another race to get ready for."

While I am surprised at how much I am enjoying this downtime, I will be excited to get back to it.

21 more days.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Links!

Well I have a lot more time on my hands now (even though it certainly doesn't feel like it - CRAZY week), so time to hit the books!  Here are some links:

The Western States 100 mile endurance run is this weekend.  More and more I am curious/fascinated by 100 mile runs, sparked by Running on Om podcasts with both Devon Yanko and Magda Boulet. Here is Devon's blog prologue to the race:
http://www.devonyanko.com/news/2016/6/22/ws-100-prologueretrospective
and the Oiselle write up:
http://www.oiselle.com/blog/woman-qa-devon-yanko-pre-western-states-100

Speaking of Woman Up, Sheryl Sandberg's new initiative promotes women helping women, which is also a theme of this book that I am currently reading.  Jump on the bandwagon ladies!
http://www.lennyletter.com/work/news/a448/the-lenny-interview-sheryl-sandberg/

The 5K, Not the Marathon is the Ideal Race (I get it, but I'm not entirely sold)
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-5k-not-the-marathon-is-the-ideal-race/

Olympic Trials Q&A with Stephanie Bruce - SO SO EXCITED FOR THE TRIALS!
https://freeplaymagazine.com/freeplay-rio-r/

And finally, The Gratitude Essay.  "Gratitude, even in grumpiness."
https://sneezingcow.com/2016/06/22/the-gratitude-essay/

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

No running for me for the next month

I kinda sorta have a stress fracture.

Went to podiatrist today.  Took X-rays.  Looked at x-rays and thought - the 2nd metatarsal looks a little fishy.

Did clinical exam where he tortured both of my feet.

1.  Likely early stress injury in the 2nd metatarsal.  Thinks that I may be vitamin D and calcium deficient given I don't really meet any of the other risk profiles of having a metatarsal stress fracture.

2.  I have high arches - have been told this by more than one health professional.  Both of my lisfranc joints were sore upon torture, although left hurt more.  Thinks I have arthritis.  Recommends getting custom orthotics as the super feet that I have been using since last foot injury are not providing enough support to the arch area of my feet.

3.  Likely the top of my shoe is rubbing on the nerve atop my foot.  Next appt bringing shoes in and will likely lace to avoid putting excess pressure on that area.

He asked if I had any events coming up.  My priority has always been the Nov 6 half marathon so that is what I told him.  I did not tell him that I signed up for a 5K in mid-July with a $500 prize to the winner nor the 5K at the end of July.  While I want to do those events, I'm not distraught over having to miss them.

Given this, he recommended being conservative and putting my left foot in a boot for 3-4 weeks and taking time to heal properly now and not make things with regard to (1) worse.  I agreed with him and thus, I'm in a boot.

Of course he is out of town in 3 weeks, so my appt is not until July 19.

Maybe now I'll dedicate more time to my core?!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Eff. My foot STILL hurts.

I have descended into the depths of hell.

In other words, I have been dealing with an injury.  Runners do so well with those, don't we?!

#Crabby

Last week, I completed two of my prescribed four workouts.

Before Injury and After Injury.

In the lovely before injury phase, I needed to get a 4 mile easy run done (check!) and the following track workout:

2 mile warm up with 2 x 2:00 moderate paced sections near the end.  (This simulates my 5K race day warm up.)  3 x 1600m @ 6:18 pace with 2 minute rest in between.  4 x 200 m @ 40-42 seconds with 200 m jog in between, 1 mile cool down.

I headed out for the track workout really late in the evening.  Last Wednesday was A DAY.  I could feel a sinus infection coming on.  My head hurt.

Depending on the route I take, I can make the run to the track in 1.7-2.2 miles.  On my way to the track, I misjudged a puddle on the trail and ended up with two soaking wet feet.  UGH.

I got to the track and was happy I brought music along, which is something I usually only use on long runs.  I plugged into the Avett Brothers and set off.

My first 1600 was way too fast.  5:59.

My second 1600 was still too fast.  6:03

My final 1600 was also a 6:03.

My head was hurting but I obviously didn't feel too bad because I cranked the 1600s out.  I finished out with the 200s at 39, 40, 38, 39 seconds.

The sky was scary looking.  Time to head home.

About 1/2 mile into my cool down, my left foot HURT.   It felt like I had tied my shoes way too tight, which is not something I have ever dealt with.  In my Adidas Boosts, my RIGHT shoe is the finicky one that I have to tie and re-tie just to get it in the zone.  I took my shoe off, REALLY loosened the laces so it felt like my shoe would fly off if I gave it a good kick, and made it home.  My foot was definitely sore.

I thought, "No big deal.  It will feel better in the morning."  That and my head was killing me.  Start the Sudafed train.

Thursday morning came and my foot really hurt.  Luckily it was a planned rest day.  No running.

Friday came and I was going to have to get up early to get my 6 mile + 8 hill sprints in.  My foot still hurt so I opted to skip the workout and try to make it up later in the weekend.

We were away for the weekend with the kids.  I started limping at one point on Saturday.  I skipped the 10 miler.

Yesterday, my coach checked in and I told him all of the above.  His gut said tendonitis.  So I googled.

Extensor Tendonitis is what I am Internet diagnosing myself with for the time being.

He also asked if I had been icing.

DUH.  No I had not been.  We got the kids to bed, I threw a bag of ice on my foot.  It didn't really feel any different post icing for 10 minutes but I thought I was just being a wimp so I put on my running shoes and headed out.

I made it 1.5 miles.

UGH.

Now the plan is no running until Wednesday at the earliest.  Keep icing.  Waiting on the x-ray decision until Wednesday.

I iced this morning on way to work.  Again - the ice is not really making it feel any differently - just cold.   (I am also still on the Sudafed train.  When it rains, it pours!).

I am lucky.  Despite the fact that I have been running since age 14 (21 years), I don't have vast experience with injury.  My inclination would be that icing SHOULD be alleviating the pain some if it was tendonitis, right?

oh-my-god-please-don't-tell-me-I-have-a-stress-fracture

stay tuned.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Links with a side of Top O' The Foot Pain

I started running home post-track workout on Wednesday evening and the top of my foot suddenly hurt.  It felt like my shoe was way too tight.  I loosened the laces but it didn't seem to help.  I got home and thought it would go away in the morning.  Here I am, mid-Friday morning and the top of my foot still hurts!  Going to try doing an alternative lacing that I read about here:
http://running.competitor.com/2014/03/injury-prevention/injuries-that-arent-injuries_72338/3

Athletes, Others Who Raise Doping Concerns in Sports Often Left Whistling in the Wind
http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/16209580

Catching Up with Desiree Linden
http://therunnerdad.com/catching-up-with-desiree-linden/

52 Reasons Why I Run - In Six Words or Less
http://anothermotherrunner.com/2016/06/15/why-i-run-reasons/

Doubt Yourself Before a Race? Read This
http://tinamuir.com/taper-madness/

Hit Reset is one of my new favorite books.  Here is Lauren Fleshman's process for reading it.
http://asklaurenfleshman.com/2016/06/18-days-with-erin-taylors-hit-reset/

Happy Reading and Happy Weekend!




Monday, June 13, 2016

Crazy Week!

Last week I fell off my perfect attendance training log a bit.

I missed a track workout.  #RunnerProblems

Typically my training plan has workouts for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.  It was thrown off a bit last week because my hard track workout that usually falls on a Tuesday was on a Wednesday due to my race on the Sunday before.  Tuesday last week was an easy four miles.

I thought it was the perfect day to try out a pair of new shoes I had gotten - Brooks Pure Flow 3s.  These are a pair of 0 mm ramp shoes.  I could definitely tell this when I tried them on - they felt different but for the most part, my thoughts were that they felt good.  They also were on clearance, and since I have been curious about this type of shoe, I went for it.

The sales person recommended easing into them.  I thought an easy 4 miles was easing into them.

The second I started running in them, they felt weird.  Again, I didn't equate weird with bad - just different.  I actually liked how light they felt in comparison to my more traditional 10 mm ramp shoe.  By the end of the four miles though, my calves were feeling it.

I woke up on Wednesday morning and yikes.  My right Achilles was SORE.  I had my monthly book club meeting that evening so if I was going to get the track workout in that day, it was going to have to be in the morning.  I didn't really feel like pushing my leg in a hard workout while it was sore, so I pushed it back to Thursday.

Ok, so Thursday arrived.  I tried to get up early, but a glass of wine threw off my sleep on Wednesday night.  I hit snooze on my early morning alarm, rationalizing that I could get it in that evening.

Evening came and the general contractor that we have been trying to get a hold of for months was going to stop by.  Ok, I'll do the track workout after he leaves.   Unfortunately, he didn't leave until close to 9 PM.  Track is no longer open.

I made the decision on Friday to stick with the original plan and that the track workout was a wash.  6 easy miles with hill sprints for Friday early morning was done.

The only workout left in the plan was 10 miles, with the last 4 miles at 6:50 pace.

I went to a concert Friday evening, and despite the fact that I had zero alcohol, the 5 hours of sleep that I ended up getting that night took a toll.  (Hello, I'M GETTING OLDER!)  Feeling so tired combined with the 90+ degree temps plus humidity led me to, once again, delay the workout.

Yesterday ended up being much cooler.  It was 64 degrees at 7 PM when I left my house.  I had my music on, I had no expectations for the run - I didn't even know if I would go the whole ten miles.  It was one of the those runs where everything clicked.  I felt in control, at ease and was in the mile I was running without having a panic attack about how many miles I had left to go.  My first 6 mile splits were:

7:21
7:25
7:33
7:30
7:18
7:24

Then I had to pick it up.  I had mistakenly thought my goal pace for the last 4 miles was 6:40, not 6:50 so when Mile 7 was 6:42, I felt that I was right on.  Mile 8 was 6:46 and I over compensated for the slow down with a 6:31 Mile 9.  But I felt good and a great song came on my iPod so I went with it and pushed myself to have a fast final mile.  It worked - 6:24.  Overall, ten miles done in 1:10:56 which is a 7:05 avg pace.  This is faster avg pace than my half-marathon PR (a 7:06 avg pace).

Upcoming races
The next 5K I am registered for is the Race for the Bacon on July 28.  My long goal is the Milwaukee Running Festival half marathon on November 6, where I hope to have a half-marathon PR.
I am taking this 10 miler as a good sign that my goal is not too far fetched, along with the fact that I do not have very many half-marathons under my belt.  My current PR was set last September after a pitiful training summer.

Here's hoping that the upcoming week goes a little more smoothly in terms of getting the workouts in!


Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Links: On Pain

Hurt so bad
More than I expected that it would
Worse than that
It seems to be lasting just a little 
Longer than it should
~Morning Song, Avett Brothers

I am afraid of pain.

Thus, I try to avoid it if I can.  Sometimes, I get really pumped up and can lean into it while running, but mostly once it starts to hurt, I back off a bit.  

I had an "Aha!" moment earlier this week while reading the quote below from an interview with Kate Grace:  

"Also, I guess realizing that it doesn't get easier.  Training, I mean.  Normal runs do feel good if you're in shape.  But a hard workout or a fast run, that will always hurt.  I used to think that at one point a switch would flip, and I'd feel smooth and great on everything.  Feel how Dibaba looks...effortless.  I learned that if I was feeling that way in workouts, it probably meant that I wasn't trying hard enough. Improvement comes when it hurts.  I've learned to chase after that feeling.  Even if it can be a bit scary in the moment."  ~Kate Grace via this interview.

This really resonated with me.  YES!  I have been waiting for that same switch to flip.  In a run where I am feeling good and everything is perfectly aligned, I can roll with a little hurt.  (See Run Tosa Run 5K - 18:53).  But during a run where things aren't exactly perfect, I struggle so much with the hurt.  (Exhibit B: Sunday's 19:17 5K).

Why leave the comfort zone, right?

Wrong.

I feel like I can really drive down my 5K time but am inhibited by this fear of pain.  A 5K shouldn't be an easy run, although I often treat it as such.  I need to start practicing leaning into the hurt a bit more.  Thus, my goal for my hard workouts is to embrace the pain "...to keep going as if the pain of the race is an uninvited guest at my birthday party" ~Alexi Pappas via this interview I love this visualization because if you know me, I LOVE my birthday.  And if someone showed up at my birthday party, I would be pumped - the more the merrier.  

In the weird way that sometimes happen, embrace the pain was a mantra that frequently appeared in my extracurricular reading this week.  In addition to the two interviews linked above, the Mile Markers post was "On Suffering".  I finished Boston Bound by Elizabeth Clor in which I identified a lot with her type-A personality and how my mental side wimps out a lot. 

And I registered for my next 5K race - The Race for the Bacon.  I'm going to make it hurt and then I'm going to eat all the bacon. :)

(Thanks for indulging my love for the Avett Brothers.  Going to see them in concert tonight!!)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Whole30 Reintroduction + 5K = Eek

19:17

That was my 5K time yesterday, good enough for 2nd place.

Unfortunately I was not feeling great during this race, and to explain, I have to back up a few days.

Last Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day, was the first day of my Whole30 Reintroduction plan.  I ate a bunch of legumes for the first time in over a month.  It did NOT go well.   I was scheduled to do a 4x1200 track workout, which I did, but my stomach did not love.   That night, I looked about 25 weeks pregnant.  My husband was even like, "WOAH".  Wednesday and Thursday were back to Whole30 eating and by the end of Thursday I was feeling ok.  Friday called for the introduction of non-gluten grains.  This was the day I was going to get to eat popcorn and tortilla chips!  On Thursday night, Nate asked if I would eat popcorn.  I said sure, even though it TECHNICALLY wasn't Friday.

I had popcorn on Thursday night sans butter, with a little nutritional yeast on it.  I had several handfuls, but I just wasn't feeling it.  I didn't even eat the whole portion that he made for me, which I EASILY would have taken down pre-Whole30.  (Pre-Whole30 it would have had butter on it so that might have made a difference, ha ha ha).  I went to bed.

I slept like CRAP Thursday night.  Night sweats.

Woke up with a headache on Friday morning.  Had some quinoa for breakfast with eggs and spinach.  Tasted good but I was not feeling great.  All day I had a headache (not common for me) and my stomach was off.  I had some GF corn chips with dinner and a cob of sweet corn.  Friday night I was toast.  I was supposed to do an easy 4 miles and could not even stomach that.

Saturday morning I woke up and returned to Whole30 but I still wasn't feeling great.  I did an easy 3 miles and strideouts per my plan.  Then we were off to my company employee appreciation event at the zoo which included lunch.  I did my best to stay true to Whole30 there but, like eating out, you don't know EVERYTHING that goes into the food.   By Saturday night I was feeling ok and my husband was eating some corn chips while watching tv.  I joined him.  BIG MISTAKE.

Saturday night no one in our house got any sleep.  I was up with my son, and my daughter almost all night long.  And I felt like crap.

Sunday morning, I got up and though maybe a coffee would help my headache.  It didn't.  I had a Whole30 breakfast and spent a lot of time in the bathroom.  Then it was time to head to the race!  My husband and kids were joining me at this race as my daughter was running in the kids run.

We barely got to the parking lot and I had to dash off to the bathroom.  UGH.  I took off for my pre-race warm up.  2 miles, with 2 x 2:00 of moderate pace.  I felt ok on this but not great.  I got back and hit up the bathroom again before making my way towards the start.

I saw the woman who won the race last year with a 18:43.  My plan was to stick with her if possible. The gun went off and I took off in a fast, comfortable pace.  I ended up in first place, which is not what I would prefer.  I could hear a woman behind me, and figured it was her.  We made it through Mile 1 in 6:03 according to my Garmin.  This was 2 seconds slower than my 5K last month but felt worse.  We went back and forth as to who was leading mile 2.  Mile 2 was very hilly and I would beat her up the hills, but she would pass me on the downhill.  Mile 2 was also SLOW pace wise - 6:26 - although I didn't know that at the time because after the first mile, I don't look at my watch while racing.  I was spent after mile 2.  My legs felt like jelly and my stomach hurt.  She pulled away from me and I could not keep up.  I rounded the corner to the finish and saw my family cheering and tried to sprint to the finish as I didn't know who was behind me.  My husband later commented that he could tell I was struggling.  I also saw the clock and that it was well past 19 minutes.  UGH.  My official finish 19:17.   First place was 18:58 and third place woman was 20:04.  All three of us are in the 30-39 age group, although I am the oldest :)  I was 13th place overall.

This was my third time doing this race and my fastest time yet, which I am happy about.  
2014    21:16
2015    19:51
2016    19:17
I wish I would have been feeling better because it was a PERFECT day to run - low 60s temps, cloudy.  In other exciting news, I met a newbie to the Oiselle Volee team!

My Whole30 reintroduction continues through this week with dairy today and gluten on Thursday.  I'm preparing for another week of ickiness.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May Mileage and Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!

Happy Global Running Day!  I started my morning with a nice 4.25 mile run, just before it started sprinkling.  #goodtiming

Last night, I had my final run for the month of May and I passed the 100 mile mark!  

Total May miles = 101.85

Since I am obsessed with comparing this year to last, I have to note that this is an 80.2% increase from my May 2015 mileage.  

Total 2016 miles to date = 668.23, a 36.3% increase from Jan-May 2015.  May (post-marathon) is when I started to fall off the consistency wagon last year so I'm hoping to keep up the mileage throughout the summer.  My running plan from High Miles Running is generally between 25-30 miles/week which I think is a good amount.

Now, let's discuss SHOES.

I have been rotating three pairs of shoes for the past two months and one has past its expiration date, and another is quickly approaching which means that it is time for new shoes!  What do you all like to run in?

My favorite shoes are the first pair of Adidas Energy Boost that I did the bulk of my Boston Marathon training in.  I bought another pair about a month before the race, also Adidas Energy Boost, but I do not like these as much.  I took my first pair into the same store and said "I WANT THESE EXACT SAME SHOES" when I bought them, so they must be an updated model.   WHY DO RUNNING SHOE COMPANIES CHANGE THINGS?!?!   The second pair are bothersome on my right foot.  However, since they were almost $200 (gulp), I'm continuing to run in them.  If I move the tongue just so and tie it JUST right (it usually takes me 2-3 attempts), they do not bother me.  

My third pair in the rotation are Mizuno Wave Riders.  I hate these shoes.  Always have.  They are too stiff for me.  I usually use them for low mileage easy runs because I bought them on Zulily - aka non-returnable.  I look forward to the day that they hit that 400 mile mark and I can say SAYONARA!

I generally am always put in a neutral running shoe.  I've gone to several different specialty running stores over the years, in different cities and states, and the gait analysis is always the same: NEUTRAL. The wear pattern on my shoes seems NON-neutral though - the outer heel is more worn down than the inner heel.  I am considering doing a formal running gait analysis through one of the local sports medicine clinics.  A coworker had it done and loved it.  They point out weaknesses and then give you PT-like exercises to work on developing strength in those areas.  Sounds great, right?!