Category Archives: injury

The Virtual Long run

I’ve seen a few other bloggers (like Megan and Christine) write about what they would discuss if they were out on a long run or a coffee date… and I just had some random things on my mind, so I thought I’d play along.

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If we were on a long run today, I’d share with you that my leg is slowly getting better. In fact, I ran my longest run in a couple months last weekend (8 miles!), and felt like I could just keep going forever that day (Isn’t that the best feeling ever?!). And that’s why today’s long run is still staying about 90 minutes long — I need to slowly and steadily keep my distance increasing. But I’m feeling pretty optimistic that I’m on the mend. I still don’t know what exactly the issue is, but I’m thinking it’s something to do with hip stability.

I’d also tell you how I have been doing some workouts from RunSmart Online — I won a 3 month subscription from #runchat a couple weeks ago. I think they may be improving my core and leg strength. I particularly like the strength days for after an easy run. It’s not just doing squats and lunges like other strengthening programs. I’m enjoying trying some new stuff. If you’re dealing with a running injury, could be worth trying for a little while.

If we were on a long run, I’d probably also mention how I’m starting to work on the job hunt. How strange it is to think about moving somewhere else in the country. Even though I’m excited about the adventure of it, its also kind of scary to be looking for a real job and think about staying somewhere for more long-term. How will I know if it’s the right job or the right location?! There just seems to be so many things to take into account. But, I’m trying to network with lots of people, and just take it one day at a time.

If we were on a long run, I’d also have to talk about the Biggest Loser — it’s one of my favorite TV shows. Did you watch the triathlon last night?! I thought it was so inspiring. I loved how all them talked about how they could never have done this however many weeks ago. It reminds me that we can all do something new if we put our minds to it. And also how emotional it can be to cross a finish line. This is part of why I love racing.

And before our run finished up, I’d share that I’m getting seriously excited about Ragnar FL Keys. I can’t believe its only a week and a half away! Now that I’m feeling more confident about my running, I feel like I can be more excited about it. I’m so thankful to have this opportunity to represent Nuun for this race too. And really, more than the running, I think I’m just excited to get to have a fun weekend with friends that I don’t get to see very often. Relays are just a moving slumber party with a little running thrown in there, right?

What would you tell me if we were out on a long run?!

Hitting the Pool & Core Values

Lately I have been having some issues with my left leg. I’ve taken a few weeks off of running –my last run was on 12/18. I’m not sure if it’s a hip, IT band, hamstring or quad problem — the pain seems to sort of move around, but mostly is sore near my knee (inside) and hip (outside).

Probably the most frustrating part is that I’m not really certain the cause. I’m buckling down this week with a focus on foam rolling some knots out, and hip strengthening. If it’s not feeling much better soon, I think it will be time to head to a physical therapist.

So, in the time I’ve taken off from running, training has been mostly swimming and weights, with a little cycling and yoga thrown into the mix. On the plus side, over the holiday break visiting my parent’s house in upstate NY, I swam my longest swim ever — 3150 meters!

{such a pretty pool! and so big, we swam the width instead of the length!}

Because of this, it’s made it feel hard to plan my next goal race since my motivation to train isn’t there (well, it is there, but I just can’t get out and run!). But, I’m trying to keep positive that I’ll be back at it soon!

At the moment, the next race on my list for this year is Ragnar FL Keys on February 7-8. I’m so excited for this adventure, and I’m doing everything I can to make sure I’m back in action by then.

Otherwise, I’m also joining in on the #corevalues 30 day core challenge by Healthy Strides. I figure working on my core can’t be a bad thing! 5 minutes a day for the month of January. Maybe by the end of the month it’ll stick to being a good habit I continue.

What’s your favorite core exercise?

Ups and downs of the past two weeks

I started to write this post about how my training has been very up and down the last two weeks. And, while it kind of has, starting to write it out made me realize that right now I think things are going alright, and I’m feeling excited about my marathon in less than two weeks. 

After my confidence boosting 20-miler a couple weeks ago, I ran a strong progression run and short marathon pace run before running the Nike Women’s half

Following Nike, my lower leg (which I have been dealing with since rolling my ankle nearly two months ago) was really bothering me for a couple days. I was feeling defeated since I had felt great during the half and the week before. Looking back, I think it was mostly some delayed soreness from running the hills. I haven’t done any major hill training lately, so I’m sure my legs weren’t used to it. 

After taking a few days off running to cross train, I felt good for an easy 6 last Thursday, and a strong marathon pace 15 miler on Saturday morning. 

What makes me more excited is that the past two days I have been feeling great. My soreness isn’t excessive, and I am solidly into my taper now. 

So while the last couple weeks didn’t quite go as planned (or the last couple months for that matter), I have been hanging on and getting in some solid long runs. After thinking about it, I realized that even though I missed a few run days and some quality speed sessions, I didn’t have to just sit and do nothing. I’ve enjoyed doing cross training with spin and yoga. I’m coming out of this fairly healthy and ready to run the marathon I’ve been training for so long! I guess sometimes when you’re in the midst of it, the frustration can bring you down mentally. Smart training and listening to my body have helped me get through it.

Now that you know how things have been going I’m going to just forget about those frustrating days and focus on the strong long runs I have had. My right leg is still not 100%, but in the next 11 days, I will be stretching, and rolling as much as I can. I am ready.

OBX Marathon Training Week 13: Getting back in the game

Week 13 was a mix of rest and getting back into running. My ankle and lower leg has been starting to feel more back to normal, so I was hoping to get in my long run on Saturday. I still rested a little more than usual, and skipped my Tuesday run. Throughout the week, I also really focused in on ankle strengthening exercises. I think these have been instrumental to my recovery and gaining strength back in my lower leg muscles to support my ankle.

Monday: stretch

Tuesday: 2 mile walk + stretch

Wednesday: P90x legs

Thursday: run 3.1 miles easy

Friday: rest

Saturday: 16 mile long run
On my training plan, I had a 20 mile long run scheduled for Saturday. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure how far I would be able to go, or whether my ankle would give me a hard time. After taking two weeks with hardly any running, I was hoping for something good.

Usually for my long runs, I run on a paved bike path. I like to run half the distance in one direction, and then turn around and come back. On Saturday, I decided to aim for a 10 mile out and back first (5 miles in each direction), then see how I felt to do another. After 11 miles when I took a quick bathroom & water break, I noticed that my ankle was feeling tired, but it didn’t hurt. At that point I knew I wasn’t going to make it 20 miles, but would shoot for 17-18. When I was 3 miles from my start point (13 miles in), I saw Ryan and he encouraged me to just turn around now and cut it to 16. I agreed — no reason to push it.

Afterward, I actually felt pretty good. My ankle was tired, but still not hurting. It just felt like I had done a hard run. After some legs up the wall and relaxing, I was feeling pretty good. In the evening, Ryan and I went to San Francisco to visit a friend. We probably walked about 2-3 miles over the course of the evening around town. Good to move the legs around for some recovery.

Sunday: 3 mile walk + stretch
Legs felt pretty good, but it was nice to take a walk for extra recovery. It was also beautiful outside, so we had to get out and take advantage of it!

This coming week I am going to try to get back on my official schedule with 3 days of running, some yoga, and strength…and fewer rest days. I will also be running the San Jose Rock n Roll half marathon on Sunday!

Some Random Things

Random stuff today… just go with it. 🙂

1. My ankle and leg are doing ok. Some days feel better than others. Sometimes it just feels tired. Today I am going to try going for a run with the hopes that it feels good this evening and tomorrow, and that I will be ready for a long run on Saturday or Sunday. Thank you all for your encouragement and support! I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how it goes.

2. Today is the first day of the fall quarter. Every year it feels so weird to have the huge influx of students again after the quiet summer months on campus. However, I’m really loving the fall weather that is here at the moment. Riding my bike in the morning with a chilly wind in my face feels wonderful. I’m sure we will have a few more warms days at some point, but right now I’m loving the cooler ones.

3. Over the weekend, I went to Target and tried on this great hat. Happy early Thanksgiving! I didn’t buy it because it didn’t really stay on and it’s too early for Thanksgiving things!

4. I also wanted to announce the winner of my recent giveaway for an Endorphin Warrior bracelet! Congratulations to Riri, who wants a BELIEVE bracelet. I’ll be sending you an email soon!

Hope you all have a great weekend! I will leave you with two funny videos I saw this week from Jimmy Fallon that have been going around, in case you haven’t seen them yet. Enjoy!

Hashtag: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dzaMaouXA
Lip sync competition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4ajQ-foj2Q

OBX Marathon Training: Week 12

So, remember last week how I mentioned that I rolled my ankle during my long run, but it was feeling a little better? Well, this week it never really seemed to get back to normal, so I spent the week working on rehab and a little bit of cross training instead of my usual running schedule. I only ran 2 miles this week! 

Today it still isn’t quite 100% (but getting closer). I think some leg muscles are working extra to keep my ankle stable so I’m having some tightness in my peroneal muscles, hip flexor, and IT band. I am trying to stay positive about it, but I am getting a little frustrated. I am hoping to let go of this week of injury and get back into things this week — slowly of course to keep that injury away. I have a 20-miler planned for next weekend, so hopefully I can be ready.

Monday: 30 mins light yoga

Tuesday: 45 minute spin on the bike trainer plus a few core exercises

Wednesday: rest

Spent the evening celebrating my friend Matt finishing his PhD!

Thursday: 2-mile run to pick up my bike at an easy pace and 2 mile bike home. Did a few leg exercises at home to keep up my hip strength.

Friday: a little stretching, but mostly rest

Saturday: walked a few miles doing trail cleanup in the area I do a lot of long runs. Then went to the gym and swam 1250 yards. 



Sunday: 30 mile bike ride instead of a long run. 
Since my ankle was still feeling a bit funny, I subbed out my long run for a bike ride of similar time. It was a bit chilly, but a beautiful morning. I had to stop a couple times to take photos because it was so awesome. My ankle and lower leg felt good on this ride. I think I am getting close to being ready to run again. **fingers crossed**

As a reminder, there is still time to enter my giveaway for an Endorphin warrior bracelet! Go check it out and enter!

I also just realized that last Friday was my 1- year blogiversary! 🙂 Happy blogiversary to me! Thank you so much for reading and supporting me and keep working to defy your limitations!

Tri for Fun Sprint Triathlon: Race Recap

Saturday morning I completed the Tri for Fun sprint triathlon. Yep, this is the same one I did back in early June! TBF Racing hosts 3 of the same tri over the course of the summer. The great thing about it is that you know how you are improving because it is the same route. One thing I do wish this race had is timing for each sport rather than just overall time. It would be nice to have official times for swim, bike, run and transitions.

Because of my calf strain earlier in the week, my plan for this race was to simply go out and have fun. I have been working on my swimming — trying to feel more comfortable in the water. I told myself that if I got to the run, and my calf hurt I was ok with walking to the finish. Being uninjured is more important than running in this one race.

THE DETAILS
Swim: 0.5 miles ~17 mins (I think…I always forget to look at the clock!)

I am always a little intimidated by the swim start. I am usually a middle of the pack swimmer. The water was really warm, so I did not wear my wet suit. I started out right with the group, but got a little nervous about running into people, so I think I slowed down a bit. My first buoy turn was a little wide, so I think I ended up swimming a little extra. In general, I felt pretty good throughout the swim, and seemed to keep my heart rate under control. I am slowly feeling more confident in the water.

Bike: 16 miles

In my August race, I used my garmin during the bike and run in the multi sport mode. This was really nice, and I was planning to do that again. During T1, however, I forgot to put on the watch. I didn’t realize until I was about a half mile into the bike. Oops! Guess I was going to be biking by feel. I told myself to let my heart rate settle, but get into a comfortably hard pace. Hold it there until the turn around, then hammer it back to transition.

On the bike I passed a few women right away. I wanted to start picking people off. When I approached the turn around, I counted the number of women ahead of me. There were 12. By the time I finished the bike, there were 9. I knew that two were super speedy women from the swim wave after me, and at least one was only 14! The wind was a little against us on the way back. Throughout the bike I ate 3 Clif Bloks, and drank about half my water bottle. I felt good and strong throughout the bike.

 

Run: 3 miles

When I got back to transition for the bike, I decided not to run with my garmin either. I didn’t want to push myself to injury for a certain pace. Going by feel again. My calf felt fairly good…it was little tight at times, but no real pain, so I ran the whole way. I drank a cup or two of water during the run. One woman who I passed during the bike passed me on the run, but she was not in my age group. Otherwise I held my position.

I enjoyed not knowing my pace at the time to keep me from stressing over it. Now I wish I knew what I ran though! Haha.

These are some of the most intense race photos I think I have ever taken! The one on the left with the men chasing after me kind of cracks me up.

Finish: 1:34:53     (11th Overall woman and 3rd in my age group)

The girl next to me on the 2nd place podium stood up to collect awards for a couple of her friends or sisters. She was so excited to be up there.

Overall it was a great day, and I was so excited to get over a 2 minute PR over my June time on the same course. I was also incredibly thankful that my calf felt good and the race didn’t cause any additional issues. Up next is my first olympic distance triathlon this weekend!!

Also, a huge thank you to my friends Matt and Beko for taking all these amazing race photos!!