The half before the full

Still pain free!!! I was super nervous for my long run this past weekend it was going to be the run to really test if I was going to truly be able to come back from being injured for the past month. Now the run was 13 so obviously I ran for 13.1 because who is going to stop that much short of a half marathon.

The weather was good it was cool in the mid 70s but the humidity was just a little bit high. Actually it was so high that at one point, about at mile 4, I started karate chopping the air as I ran with my running partner. I thought it was quite amusing. I will admit the first six was tough and I needed silly little musings like that to get through.

And then the cursed gumball happened… it was half way through the run, only 100ft from my water stop, when I landed my heel on a gumball (those spikey things that come from gumball trees) and my ankle rolled… And to make things even better it was my right foot. The foot that had me in a boot for a month just one week earlier.

  
 Instant profanities began to spew from my mouth as it rolled. Refusing to be hurt again I kept going with only a couple weird feeling steps and luckily the soreness went away. Crisis adverted!

I got to my car for a water stop and my first gue… It was a terrible experience. I mean terrible. I am so glad I tried it out before the marathon because the gue actually caused me to throw up ( I simply couldn’t do the texture). 

  
So I will be having to either practice more and suck it up or carrying chews for the run. Either way I need to figure it out before the marathon!

The remainder of the run was tough I was nervous about my foot/ankle and I simply got mentally stuck. I pushed on though and after mile 11 I found a new gear and finished my last two miles at a 9:30 pace! My overall average pace was 10:00 flat and for me its not where I wanted to be at this point in my training. But after being injured I am so happy with that pace and if I can hold that for my marathon amazing!

  
As you can see the wall hit me hard at mile 11! And the amazingly strong head wind didn’t help! But I was very happy with my finish.

Post run I got to have a nice cool down play time chasing my dog Goose all over the dog park!  

Ps I always run in a hat! I can’t run in sunglasses because I feel like my face sweats way too much!

Coming Back

 Good News! No Stress Fracture! The MRI showed only minor tendonopathy, which is simply small damage to a tendon in my foot. I started working with a physical therapist who has been a god send. I have ran 4 times since last week and no pain! Other than the terrible pain that is called foam rolling. 

  
It is my new nightly ritual and it hurts so good. I have also thrown in some hip strengthening moves due to the fact my physical therapist tested my hip strength and my right hip (the same side as my injured foot) is significantly less strong than my left hip. Sadly this was not new news to me I knew it was weaker which is why I try to focus on core strength and pilates in my extra workouts. What I didn’t realize is how significantly weaker it is meaning it is 50% the strength of my left hip. So lunch hour and nightly routines have been all about the hips.

One thing I want to talk about is running after an injury. Its a major confidence shaker. The hardest part for me is being hyper aware of my foot with each and every step. This is not good at all for running and it can mess with your stride and with your head. I did 5 miles Sunday and the whole run I could not get comfortable and settle in to the run like I normally do. So I took the advice of a good friend and joined him for sprints! Now I know what you are thinking sprints!? after an injury isn’t that too much? Well yes it can be if you push too hard. What we did was at about 75% effort. So Monday we took it simple and did timed miles trying to keep it under 8min we only did 2 but I managed at a 7:40 and a 8 flat. It was tough, but I was working so hard I didn’t have time to think about my feet, I just ran. Wednesday we did a series of 400 repeats which I managed to keep all about 1:30. It was just what I needed, the sprints, while tough and I hate doing them, give me such relief and confidence when I am done. The best part is now I am not worried about getting out there to tackle the 6miles I need to do today or the 13 planned for the weekend.

Things are looking up with the Marathon only 30 days away, however, it is so important for me to remember that I will not know till the day of if I will still run or not. It is going to be a tough call and every piece of me wants to run, but I am going to have to listen to my body and know there will be other marathons. But for now I am going to focus on all things positive and how far I really have come!

  

  
Luckily I have my two cheerleaders always by my side. Nothing fixes stress like running and dog park visit for me ūüôā

  

Ring in the Summer 10k

My first race!! Surprisingly enough, before now, I had never actually run a race before. I have been training for my marathon for 3 months now and running some what for 5 years. Some how I have just never done one before. It was awesome! So I thought I would give you my breakdown:

545- Woke up. Got dressed in my new balance¬†compression shorts 6″ ( I have chaffing issues on some¬†runs these babies are perfect they say in place¬†and my thighs don’t get rubbed raw), my brooks pure flow 3s, my RWB eagle shirt, and my nike running cap. I was pumped and ready to go!

 

600- Got some last minute advice from my better half. He told me that the first mile is going to be tough because my heart and adrenaline are going to be pumping. So I have to make sure not to push too hard on that first mile and burn my self out. Getting a little nervous at this point but ready to get out there are run!

620- Grabbed my powerade for post run chug and some pre run sips. Kissed my puppies Goose and Olive goodbye and got in the car. The drive to base was a breeze who new the traffic would be so much better at 6 vs 7!

morning

640- Rolled up to the starting point and met up with the two other RWB members that came out for the run. We chatted while the sky spit out some rain and the daunting storm cell was coming in from the south with some pretty menacing thunder. The Race coordinator told us that it was up to us if we wanted to do the run or not so we decided to risk it and try to beat out the storm.

700- Race time!! There is nothing quite like lining up on the start line with all these people around you with one hand on there phone or watch all ready to press start as¬†soon as it is time to go. I use Runkeeper on my runs and I now use spotify running to pair with it. My next post is¬†going¬†to be about¬†running with music and the big debate as to whether matching your tempo¬†of your run and music up actually helps.¬†That’s a whole¬†other post so I won’t get in to¬†that right now. I do love both apps¬†they are great and a great less expensive choice to breaking¬†down and getting a¬†GPS watch… so now for the race breakdown

Mile 1 (8:24) Super glad I made conscious effort to attempt running at pace for my first mile. Everyone is so fast and I could not get control of my breathing and my heart rate because of all the adrenalin. It sucked letting people pass me. My competitive side was itching each time some one pulled in front of me. But I held the pace I wanted and bowed my head and just thought to my self they will burn out and I will catch them later.

Mile 2 (8:47) Head wind and Mile 2 my least favorite things. For some reason mile two is always one of my slowest. Its the mile where my body feels everything and my mind is not in its happy running place yet. The head wind on the flight line in this case was not so helpful either.

Mile 3 (8:35) There was a 12 year old who passed me at mile 1 that I made note of. I was not about to get beat by a 12 year old girl. She had been ahead of me by 200m or so up until now and in my head I just kept telling myself that she had to burn out soon (really it was wishful thinking). I was starting to close the gap but she¬†was still booking it. By the way at this point I was super happy with my pace. My goal for this¬†run was to run at a 9 min pace¬†so I was pleasantly surprised each mile that I was beating that by a good amount. However, I still had a 12 year old girl beating me so not good enough…

Mile 4 (8:31) My opportunity arrived. The little girl stopped I have no idea why but I saw my opportunity and I took it. I kicked it up and then of course she started running again… But I pushed and managed to pass her. Mission accomplished in my mind! Until I saw the man in front of me who also passed me 300 or so meters ahead. New challenge.

Mile 5 (8:53) Unfortunately kicking it up a notch resulted in me getting just a terrible splitting side cramp. Every breath was a struggle. I tried some of the tricks that I have heard from runners about getting rid of them. Take it from me hitting yourself in the side where your cramp is, well it is not helpful in the slightest. I did some strides with my hands on my head, no help. Eventually I just started taking short smaller breathes. I made a mental note to myself to do some more research on battling the side cramp. So I should probably do that later.

Mile 6 (8:09) This was supposed to be a 10k right? So I was thinking sweet basically last mile plus .2 time to push and step it out. Well that’s what I did I pushed and I closed the gap between me and the guy ahead of me. Then I had the awkward moment every runner knows. The moment you have to make the decision to pass or not to pass? If I pass him that means I can’t let him pass me back… So really passing at this point was a decision to push harder and basically sprint the last stretch. Even though my legs and my mind were saying aw hell no I passed him.

The last .7 (4:30) Dear lord my legs didn’t plan on having to keep this passing pace for an extra half mile… But I could here footsteps behind me. I was not about to be passed. This last .7 was exhausting but the moment it was over and I finished (ahead of the guy I passed) it¬†was such a good feeling.11391515_965565316811340_3914980380788443676_n

Over all the race was great. It was raining but not too hard so it helped keep me cool all run. I really enjoyed this run and running in the morning. I am not a morning workout person but there was something very satisfying about it being 8am and already being done with me work out for they day.

So I officially have my first race under my belt!! And as of today there is just 103 days until the Air Force Marathon! training is going to start kicking up here pretty soon I have 8 miles to do today and morning workouts official start tomorrow so that I can start beating the heat!

 

26.2 Sticker

This week I am focusing on getting my weekly mileage back up to what it should be for my training. The last two weeks I haven’t been doing to great due to the speed focus my work outs took me. So this week is about the miles.

Monday I had running group and a 4 mile run planned. Running group¬†was a timed mile. I guess my speed workouts¬†paid off because¬†I ran my fastest mile¬†yet. I ran a 6:40;¬†I was pumped about my time¬†and I thought about rewarding my self¬†for the accomplishment and skipping my 4 miles.¬†That’s when I remembered I am not training to run a¬†mile. I am training to¬†be able to¬†put that 26.2 bumper sticker on my car.¬†So¬†instead of¬†walking back to my car from the track I put my head phones back in and started on my four miles. They were tough but I was happy that I got out there and ran. Sometimes that really is the greatest of accomplishments.

Tuesday I had a 5 mile run planned. I went to knock it out at lunch; the weather was just perfect overcast and mid 60s it was a runners dream! I ended up doing 6.7 instead of 5miles (due to the fact I forgot to turn around at the half way mark. Whoops!) My pace was 8:46 which was just awesome for me.  This was a good run which are such a blessing and a great reminder that not all runs are bad runs.

The rest of the week isn’t bad I have sprints today, rest on Thursday, a 10k on Friday, and 8 miles to do this weekend. I just have to remember its all about that bumper sticker. 108 days till the Air Force Marathon!!

262 sticker

 

Oh and I thought I would throw this in for fun, I was forced to do some #dogshaming on olive when I got home on Monday.

11295811_10204341834932051_7971904605353690118_nLook at that fake puppy dog face!

 

Sprints

So my running group is focused on speed, and the sprints are kicking my butt! Here is the break out of the workout on Wednesday with my times:

(1) 400 m = 1:28

(2) 800m = 3:09 , 3:18

(1) 400m = 1:23

Not a long workout compared to my long runs which take around 2 hours. But man this workout is killer. Sprints are simply a different animal compared to long distance runs. I am learning a lot about my self from this type of work out. The biggest thing is learning to dig deeper even when I feel like I have nothing left to give. It hit me in that last 400m sprint. By that time I was exhausted and just had to keep telling my self I just had one more. I knew I didn’t have much left in me but I got on that line and I pushed. The last 100m approached and I didn’t think I had anything left to give. But I pulled a last stitch effort out of thin air and gave it all I had. I ended up running my fastest 400m to date!

¬†Nothing is better post run than this. I have found my self craving it after my workouts. I love it because it isn’t as salty as regular Gatorade and it is just so refreshing. I have started to take the advice of one of my favorite bloggers The Hungery Runner Girl and plan my runs so that I end at a gas station. Nothing is better than those first couple victory chugs.

Over all it was a good day after my post sprint powerade I felt so much better! But the most exciting thing is that I got to rock my RWB eagle shirt that came in the mail the day before!

Check out team RWB’s website to learn more about all the wonderful things this organization does! Click here:¬†Team RWB

Today I take on my timed mile (hoping for a sub 7 min!!!) and then I have 4 miles to do. Gotta get my weekly mileage back up! Until next time!

The Long Runs

“Every step is a new PR!” these were the encouraging words my better half kept reminding me after mile¬†9 of¬†my first¬†12 mile long run this past weekend.¬†I wish I could¬†say¬†I was¬†reveling in my accomplishment and hearing the hum of my cadence saying winner with each step,¬†however that was not the case.¬†I was thinking about my thighs. Dear lord nothing compares to the pain and despair of realizing you are chaffing and you still have¬†3 miles left to run. Needless to say my motivation was pretty low. But, someone¬†once told me, sometimes you just have¬†to think about putting¬†one foot in front of the other. Even though with each stride I felt my thighs get a little more raw, I finished my first 12 mile run¬†at a 10 min pace meaning a nice 1,200 calories burned.¬†The reward was, of course,¬†Arby’s (my cheat day food)¬† roast beef sandwiches and extra large tubs of curly fries.¬†I spent the rest of the day laying on the couch finishing up the first season of True Detective while my legs refused to stay still. You would think that after running for two hours straight your legs would be perfectly content not moving. Mine decide they would like to be moved every 5 seconds.¬†Which¬†didn’t seem to bother these two!goose and olve

The more time passed after the run the more I realized I was starting to romanticize my run. I had thoughts like “That run wasn’t all that bad” ¬†“I was barely chaffing” “I wasn’t that thirsty” “Eh I probably could have run longer”. The funny thing about all these thoughts is how different they are from the inner monologue that goes on in my head during my run. Let me give you a break down by mile with my splits:

Mile 1 (9:17)- I got this! Why because I am so incredibly awesome!

Mile 2 (9:15)- Um I can totally hold this pace this is so easy I’m basically jogging.

Mile 3 (9:38)- I have how much further? Where did this wind come from? I’m pretty sure I am running in place this wind is so strong. Go away wind.

Mile 4 (9:45)- Hey, only 2 miles till I’m halfway done!!!!!!¬†I am¬†killing this run!

Mile 5¬† (10:09)- Water. Must find water. Can’t go on with out water.

Mile 6 (10:43)- Oh dear god I’m only halfway there…..

Mile 7 (10:05)-¬†Why am I even running? I hate running. This is horrible I should stop. No can’t stop won’t stop.

Mile 8 (9:48)- When did my compression shorts turn in to sandpaper?!¬†I’m not going to be able to walk for like a week.

Mile 9 (10:18)- Maybe if I¬†try and run wider¬†my thighs won’t slowly chafe away. Nope I look like a baby¬†camel trying to walk for the first time.

Mile 10 (10:34)- Shut up Shut up Shut up (as my running partner attempts motivation)

Mile 11 (10:39)- This isn’t even a half marathon… what on earth have I gotten myself into.

Mile 12 (10:13)- Ahhhhhh! Oh thank god I’m done. Where’s my Arby’s?

As you can see a very different monologue then my post run thoughts. For some reason, despite the pain and despair during a run, post run nothing really seems like it was that bad. Makes me wonder….meme