Friday, July 29, 2016

Race for the Bacon 5K Recap

Last night I ran the Race for the Bacon.  Little did I know that one actually does race for bacon.

My net time for this race was 19:49.  I was pleased to be back on this side of 20 for this race after having had no running for a month and then the light running I have been doing for the past two weeks.

The race start was 6:30 pm.  I packed a bag before I left the house and planned on driving to the race straight from work.  I did not check the weather, which of course is never a good idea!

I arrived to the start an hour early to get my race packet and it was cold.  I had only brought my race singlet and shorts to run in - nothing extra - so I did a shirt switcheroo in my car and put my race t-shirt on to do my warm up in.  I did 2 miles, with 2x2:00 at a quicker pace, which was my warm up for earlier 5Ks.  I felt good during the warm up and it really did warm me up in the cool weather.

I was lucky to find some people that I am friends on social media with, as well as a fellow Oiselle bird before the race.  It is always fun meeting people in the flesh!! Then it was time to start.  I had done my warm up too early and I was already starting to get a little cool again prior to the start.

I was going to try doing race mantras for this race.  I read about these in a number of places and practiced doing two of them during my 4 miler earlier this week.

Mile 1
I had been listening to the NPR link to Ryan Adams concert at Newport Folk Festival and "Let it Ride" was part of the set list.  I had previously written down a line from this song - 'let it ride, let it ride easy down the road' - down in my bullet journal.  I had practiced using this during the beginning of my easy four miler earlier this week.  I figured this was a good mantra for me since I have a tendency to start out too fast, particularly since coming back from injury.  I'm just so excited to run.  After listening to this song all day at work, I had that burned into my head for mile 1 of the race, where my goal was to start easy.

I started off and felt good.  I saw the mile 1 mark and my watch beeped at 6:15.  Better than my 5K effort two weeks ago, but still a little fast, but I felt good.  I still backed off a little so that I wasn't dying during the last mile.

Mile 2
Even though I had written down a mile 2 mantra, I spent most of mile 2 thinking, "Shit! What the hell was my mile 2 mantra?!".  (It was 'chop the wood, carry the water' which I stole from Kate Grace and practiced, but originally I had assigned this to Mile 3 and made a last minute switch that I didn't remember during the race.)
At the mile and a half mark, they had a bacon station. Now, I love bacon, but the smell of bacon while running was a little much.  Regardless I made it through mile 2 feeling good.  My watch beeped at 6:26.

Mile 3
The mantra I assigned to mile 3 was "Fly fast to the finish, then rest" which I took from a postcard Oiselle included with a recent order.  Of course, I didn't call on this until the last 0.5 miles because I was using "chop the wood..." for the first part of this mile.  At around mile 0.5 a woman cheering yelled at me to go catch the first woman.  She was a good distance ahead of me though and I was just trying to finish strong and hold on to my #2 position.  Mile 3 beeped at 6:26 as well.

Finish!
I finished at 19:49 as the second woman.  I was really happy with my experience.  I ran hard and strong and my foot didn't hurt!  Bring on the bacon!

The post-race party included a ham and bacon sandwich, a brownie with bacon and a chocolate chip cookie bacon sandwich.   When it came time for awards, the first three male and first three female finishers all went home with a cooler full of pork products including 7 packs of bacon!  WOAH!  I had a great time even if I was really cold during the post-race party.  The lead singer of the band serenaded me with Hit Me Baby One More Time which was another first for me!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Brief Update

After a week of 3 milers every other day, I was given the go-ahead by my coach to try upping that to 4 milers this week.  The plan this week is to run 3-4 4 mile runs and a 5 mile run this weekend.  If all goes well (i.e., no pain, no aches in foot), I'm back to training next week!

Of course I am battling a cold/sinus thing...AGAIN. (Thank you germ-carrying, dirty 2 yo...whom I love, of course ;).)  On the bright side, my foot still does not hurt.  YAY!

I have a race tonight - a 5k, Another race that I signed up for at the beginning of the summer, pre-injury.  I'm told to "be smart" about this. It's likely going to rain, potentially thunderstorm.  Hoping it doesn't get canceled, at least before I get to eat my bacon! ha ha ha


Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Links...in honor of Lauren Fleshman

Lauren Fleshman is my homegirl.

Oiselle used to have an amazing shirt with this phrase and I have long wanted one.  Perhaps given today's news of her retirement from professional running, they will do a reprint.

All links are dedicated to this piece of news.  The only reason I ever heard of Oiselle is because of Lauren Fleshman.  I distinctly remember her responding to one of my tweets on how to pronounce "Oiselle" (It's WAH-Zelle).   And since joining the Oiselle Volee over a year ago, I have felt like I finally have a running tribe which has renewed my dedication and motivation to running and improving my running beyond the recreational.  I am currently reading The Power of Habit and just finished a section on belief and community.  I wrote down this quote in my bullet journal: "Belief is easier when it occurs within a community."  It has been infinitely easier to believe in my running due to the Oiselle Volee community and I have LF to thank for that.

In her own words
http://asklaurenfleshman.com/2016/07/on-retiring-from-professional-racing/

NY Times piece available online, in papers Sunday:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/24/sports/olympics/lauren-fleshman-retires-but-her-mission-goes-on.html?ref=sports&_r=0

10 Reasons the 5K is Freaking Awesome by LF
http://www.runnersworld.com/5k/10-reasons-the-5k-is-freaking-awesome

How to run the perfect 5K
http://asklaurenfleshman.com/2014/08/how-to-run-the-perfect-5k/

Any of the ROO Podcasts entitled "Ask Lauren Fleshman" are great.  Here is a link to the most recent:
http://runningonom.com/2016/06/20/roo-208-ask-lauren-fleshman-on-finding-your-role-models-and-overcoming-mental-barriers/

Running is Ritual by LF
http://www.oiselle.com/blog/running-ritual





Thursday, July 21, 2016

Short Term Running Plan

This week and next week I get to run every other day for 2-3 miles.  No more.

I am grateful to be running.  I am grateful to be running.  I am grateful to be running.

Wednesday morning I ran 2.26 miles (to offset the fact that I ran 4 miles on Monday, which I felt a little guilty about after getting the above recommendation from my coach).   This was my first run in my modified Superfeet and it felt great!  I was really surprised at how much of a difference I felt.  The foam that the doctor applied to them seemed very slim and I was thinking, "What is that even going to do?!"

I also made an appointment for the gait analysis!  I read about this first on Keep Running MKE and then a colleague of mine did one and raved about it.  My gait analysis will be next Friday, July 29.  Here's what to expect:

"First, the physical therapist will take the runner’s subjective history including past or present injuries, training regimen and goals. Next, the therapist conducts a brief assessment of the runner’s strength, range of motion and balance. Lastly, the runners gait is recorded on a treadmill for about five to 10 minutes. The therapist will review the recording and analyze the findings with the runner. The therapist relies on information from all three portions of the evaluation to prepare an individualized plan and exercise program for the runner. Each runner should expect several tips to improve his or her running form as well as a few exercises to improve or prevent injuries." ~Keep Running MKE

My half-marathon target race is 15 weeks from Sunday.  The group training runs for it start this weekend and the distance is 3 miles.  Feeling relieved that I will not be starting at too much of a disadvantage given that I currently can run 3 miles.  I think it is still possible for me to PR in the half marathon with this race, which might be dumb but for now, I'm still hopeful.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Guess Who's Back?!?!

I have been given the ok to being running again.  (Good thing since I took it upon myself to start 3 days ago!)

Had my follow-up doctor appointment this morning.  It went well.  I remembered to bring my running shoes.  Took more x-rays.  The 2nd metatarsal had more callous formation indicating the bone is healing a stress injury, but I have no pain upon manipulation so he said I could begin running again, cautiously.  [I am to stop if I have any amount of pain and he actually recommended going back in the boot for two weeks if that happens.  UGH.]

I brought in two pairs of running shoes.  My current pair, Adidas Energy Boost 3, and a brand new pair that I ran in yesterday for the first time - Mizuno Sayonara 3.  I had my pink superfeet inserts in the Adidas pair so he took those out to examine them.

I have always had trouble with callus formation on the outer side of the ball of my foot (bunion territory) as well as the outer side of my big toes, on both feet.  Upon seeing the calluses, and the insole wear pattern, he began manipulating my foot some to see how my big toe "fires".  He suspects that my second metatarsal area takes the brunt of the force upon landing (thus potentially the reason for the stress injury) and then my foot rolls to the side instead of pushing off from the first metatarsal and big toe (thus my ever present enormous calluses).  He manipulated my Super Feet to see if that would help things while running - essentially adding foam cushioning to the area under my 2-5th metatarsals and sawing (with a buzz saw!) a portion of the plastic part of the insole along the arch off.  While my stress injury was to my left foot, the right foot still hurt upon manipulation during my first visit.

I learned a lot about running shoes in the process, as well as things to watch out for with both of my shoes.

I still think that part of the issue is likely my attempt at running 4 miles while mid-foot striking while wearing the Brooks Pure Flow 3s.

I am on a high deductible health insurance plan.  If I meet my deductible this year, I may try custom orthotics if this insole manipulation works.  (The orthotics would basically be free if I meet my deductible versus $600 out of pocket now.)

All of this makes me think I really need to do that injury prevention screen that a local sports medicine place offers.  I am sure my lack of strength training, weak core, weak hips are also throwing my foot mechanics off.   During my off period, I have worked some with the routines outlined in Hit Reset.  I am really terrible at making these types of things a habit.  Any tips?

Also, after doing a lot of reading about stress injuries, and after the doctor mentioned low calcium and vitamin D levels as a potential cause of injury at my first appointment, I am very curious about my vitamin D and calcium levels.  I started taking Vitamin D after my last appointment and then reading about a bunch of running bloggers results with Inside Tracker, I became even MORE curious. I have been on a low dairy/no dairy diet for about 6 months and wonder if I am getting enough calcium through other food sources as I do not take a multivitamin.

Ok, so that is a lot of mishmash in one post.  Good news - I'm back to running.  I'm guessing it will be a while before I'm back doing speed workouts at the track, though :(

Monday, July 18, 2016

I ran a 5K

So.

I gave into temptation on Saturday and ran the 5K I had registered for way back when.  I adjusted my expectations for the race.  I originally signed up for this when I was healthy and fast.  The winner of this race gets $500 and my original goal was to win it.

I did not win the race.  I came in 4th.  I probably could have came in second, if I had been a lot smarter throughout the race.

My time was 20:38.  Not my worst 5K, but far from my 18:53 earlier this year!

Now for the the details.

All last week I struggled with the decision to run this race or not.  Friday night Nate asked me if I was going to run it and after that conversation, I thought I might as well try it since I had signed up.  We also made plans to do some things in the area, which is about an hour drive from our house, so it wouldn't feel like a total wash.

Saturday morning we were up at 6 and had to leave no later than 6:30 - and 6:30 was going to be pushing it for time.  The race started at 8 AM but you had to take a shuttle to the start.  I was pretty excited to be opening my running clothes drawers for the first time in a month.  We scrambled to get out to the car and on the road.  The kids had Picky Bars for breakfast.  As I said on my Instagram - #BestMomEver.

We had to negotiate some construction but made it to the parking.  The race material said that packet pickup would be offered in the parking area.  There was no packet pick up to be found.  Then I started getting nervous that I was going to miss the race.  Thankfully someone else mentioned that they had moved packet pick up to the start area.  We boarded the school bus to the start - my kids were PUMPED to be able to ride a school bus.

We arrived at the start area, I got my packet and headed straight to a porta potty.  At this point, it was 7:45.  I had decided that I was not going to do a warm up because I had no idea how my foot would feel and I didn't really want to run any more miles than the race.

I headed into the starting corral and the gun went off.   You can't teach an old dog new tricks.  I of course started way too fast and ended up in the lead group of women.  After running some initial steps on road, we veered into some groomed paths through the woods.  Full of tree roots and uneven ground.  I cursed myself for doing this - not exactly the topography one would want with a foot injury.   I tried to pay attention to the ground so that I wouldn't stumble.  My first mile was 6:06.

Well that should have been a sign to adjust my pace, but I tried to stay with the lead woman because I am competitive and dumb.   I was totally struggling - not with my foot but my legs and breathing were heavy.  Our second mile was around 6:30.   So far this was not that far off of my most recent 5K pacing...that I ran, while training.

Then came the 3rd mile.  I sorta kinda gave up.  I was hot and my legs were tired and even though I wore my "Never Give Up" Momentum Jewelry bracelet.  I stopped to gather my breath.  We approached a hill with about 0.4 miles left and I walked up it some.  Two women passed me.  I didn't care.  I got out of my funk enough to start running again and crossed the finish line.  20:38.  My 3rd mile was something like 7:25.   The female winner ran it in 19:51.

I was really happy my foot did not hurt at any point during the race.  My pride hurt a little, but that was my own damn fault for not adjusting my pace appropriately.

I ended up first in my age group.  Woohoo.  Not sure if there was an award, because we left quickly after to get going on other events for the day.

Two days later my foot feels fine in regard to the stress injury.  The arches of both of my feet are sore though which builds evidence that I need to get new shoes.  My current shoes are a version of the Adidas Boost.  I trained for Boston in a pair of these and got a second pair right before the marathon.  The second pair has some differences from the first pair and doesn't fit me in the same way.  I have tried to ignore these but I think the time has come to just move these to a secondary pair of running shoes and not my main pair.  Even with the SmartFeet inserts, I don't think they are cutting it.

Doctor appointment tomorrow!



Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Links!

Woot Woot! It's the weekend! Time for some links.

These articles provided some reassurance for me: You can run fast as you age, and you can come back from injury.
http://www.flotrack.org/article/43608-from-injury-to-olympic-team-in-10-weeks-colleen-quigley-s-path-to-trials


This article doesn't exactly provide any new info on Desi, but I love her so sharing it here.
http://www.si.com/edge/2016/07/14/behind-body-desiree-linden-marathon-training-workouts-rio-olympics

The $1600 marathon.  Man, after Boston, that's nothing!  Running gets billed as a "cheap" sport.
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/the-1600-marathon/

Run Mama Run.  A series of videos on Sarah Brown's journey to the Olympics 4 months after giving birth.
http://espn.go.com/espnw/culture/film-video-series/film-fellowship/

Brenda Martinez!
http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/brenda-martinezs-emotional-week-olympic-trials-ends-triumph


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Update. More of the Same.

Ho Hum.

More of the same.

No running.

The good news is that my doctor appointment is less than a week away!  Tuesday at 9:15.  5 more days!!!

More good news is that I have no pain or soreness in my foot walking around as normal.  I haven't worn the boot in over a week.  My boot-induced shin bruise is healing nicely.  I no longer have sore hips and legs at the end of the day from the boot.

...Thus I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tempted to do the 5k race on Saturday.

I am a little sad to think of how much fitness I have lost since June 15.  A month.  Gulp.

I am a little sad to think of how much habit I have lost.  I worked very hard to instill the 4 days a week running habit among working full-time and having two little kids.  It became second nature to head out for a run on my run days.   I am hopeful that it won't be too big of a challenge to get back to that.

...And I am feeling a little recharged after a month off.

My wallet is a little thinner than a month ago.  Those who can't run apparently buy running-related products.

I am hopeful that outside of this Saturday, my race schedule for the rest of the year can remain unchanged:

July 28:  5K Race for the Bacon with Oiselle WI crew
Sept 17: 8K for Children's Hospital of WI
Nov 6: Milwaukee Running Festival Half-Marathon

I think I have to give up PRing again in the 5k.  Let that go.  That is hard for me as I really wanted to get closer to 18:00 in 2016.  Focus on the process, right??

Ok.  That's all of my random thoughts for now.  Back to work.




Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday Links

I have enjoyed watching Track and Field trials over the past week with the hubs - running vicariously through my tv :) Last night he commented, "It's crazy that one race is what decides the Olympic fate even if others ran faster times at a different race."  That's the beauty of Track and Field!  All of these links are related to the Trials.

"I'm Mother F-ing Fast Kate" 
Seriously have the biggest crush on Kate Grace.
http://trackandfieldnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2980
http://www.oiselle.com/blog/new-olympian-kate-grace-going-rio
Here are her race affirmations she posted on Twitter (@fastk8)

I'm also a huge fan of Steeplechase.  This article does a nice job explaning the history, the pain and the glory that is steeplechase
http://www.runnersworld.com/steeplechase/americas-top-olympic-hopefuls-in-the-steeplechase
Even if they didn't hold hands, I love this photo:
http://www.runnersworld.com/olympic-trials/did-these-olympic-trials-steeplechasers-grab-hands-midrace

GREAT story with a terrible headline.  If I ever qualified for an Olympic Trials, I would not want headlines referring to me "crashing" the trials.
http://www.runnersworld.com/olympic-trials/meet-the-mustachioed-beer-drinking-hero-who-crashed-the-trials-10k

I'll be cheering for Kellyn Taylor in the 5000m final!
http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/07/07/kellyn-taylors-olympic-hopes-still-alive-after-2-misses/86832418/



Thursday, July 7, 2016

2017 Boston Marathon - Am I In?

Today the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced the registration dates and times for the 2017 Boston Marathon.  Fastest of the fast (20 mins+ faster than qualifying time) register on Monday September 12 at 10 AM EST.

My time was 3:31:49 so that would put me in the group that met their qualifying standard by 5 minutes or more that can register on Friday September 17.  I think 8:11 puts me in a safe distance of getting in, particularly since Boston 2016 was a tough race to requalify.  (This is a great blog which is attempting to analyze the time you need to beat to get into Boston 2017.  Currently it is 1 second off of qualifying standard.  Hello HOT spring races!)

I think i was at mile 20 of Boston 2016 (I would have to check with my pal @bx2fitgirl) when we both uttered "NEVER AGAIN" (potentially with a few f-bombs).

One should never trust thoughts or words uttered at mile 20 of a marathon.  AMIRIGHT?! (I went SEVEN YEARS without running a marathon after saying "I AM NEVER RUNNING ANOTHER MARATHON" mid race during Lakefront Marathon 2008.)

A growing part of me wants to return to Boston for a 3rd time.  I don't know that the reasons for this are healthy:  They totally stem from a place of unfinished business.

Another part of me is like "UGH.  Another WI winter spent marathon training."

A third part of me think my husband might divorce me if I utter "marathon training" again.  (Ok, a little dramatic...)

What to do, what to do.

I guess I have 73 days to decide.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This thing needs a new name

I just realized that my blog name and header are a little out of date.

I initially started this blog to keep myself accountable to a goal I had post-second baby:  Qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon.

Once I qualified, I kept up with the posting and tweaked the header to include "Qualifying and TRAINING FOR the 2016 Boston Marathon".

I qualified, I trained and I ran the 2016 Boston Marathon.

Blog's Mission: Complete.

However, I still like blogging about running, so I have kept it up post-marathon.  And I've yet to decide if 2017 Boston Marathon will be in my future (my time from 2016, even though it was a huge disappointment for me, still met qualifying time for 2017).

In the mean time, I need a new header.  My blog address:  http://www.roadbacktoboston.blogspot.com will stay the same.  I have changed blogs a number of times in the past and it just doesn't seem necessary since the five or so readers I have know where to find me :) (THANK YOU READERS!)

What will the new name be? I have to think of something!

Stay Tuned...and send me your suggestions!

#BootLife

I AM SO SICK OF THIS BOOT.

I feel like the boot is giving me more injuries than the initial foot injury.  First there is the height differential.  I was advised to wear a wedge on my right foot to ensure that both of my hips were aligned since the boot gives about 2" of height to my left leg.  Fortunately, two pairs of my work shoes fit the bill perfectly so during the week, it is mostly good.  However, depending on how much I have to walk during the day, my thighs, calves and hips can be quite sore by the end of the day.   Additionally, the boot rubs on my heel and my shin so those feel quite beat up by the day's end. Usually upon getting home from work, I take the boot off and walk around my house barefoot.  The good news is that lately it hasn't been painful at all to do this.

This past Friday and Saturday nights, I went to Summerfest.  Cue: LOTS of walking.  After Friday night, my legs were so sore from that damn boot.  Metatarsal felt fine but everything else hurt. I ended up not wearing the boot at all on Saturday during the day (we were just hanging at home all day) and when it came time to get dressed for the concert I was attending, I cut off the toe of a sock to provide some protection to my heel from the rubbing.  The sock worked well but my shin was not happy with all of that rubbing.

Sunday and Monday were spent at my in-law's lake home.  I made the decision to give myself a break from the boot since I wasn't going to be walking that much anyways.  I made it through both days without limping or feeling pain.  My foot felt a little sore at the day's end but it wasn't painful.  (Full disclosure, I did do one pass at wakeboarding.  I rationalized this by saying that the bindings on the wakeboard were just like my boot's binding.   The wakeboarding did not hurt my legs/feet.  My neck and upper back, however are killing me.  My husband also did one pass on the lake and is feeling it in the same areas.  Gone are the days of wakeboarding all weekend.  #GettingOld)

I am back in the boot today at work and once again, am wondering if I am giving myself a bunch of other injuries by protecting my second metatarsal.

Today is my 12th day in the boot (10th if you do not count this past Sunday and Monday).  Tomorrow will be 3 full weeks of not running (I'm not counting the mile I ran/walked on Father's Day).

Based on all of the above, I did what every one would do:

I Googled.

Somewhere in between the land of "I took 2 weeks off and I was fine" and "It took me 8 months to fully recover" I realized that Googling was a dumb thing for me to do.

So I suppose I will not run.  But I may take more days off from the boot.

I fully realize that I skipped Friday Links last week.  Chalk it up to getting excited about a long holiday weekend!