05 Feb 2012
in Running Experiences, Training Schedule
Tags: ankle sleeve, appointment, arch, arch trainer, avoid, birthday, bumming around, compression socks, confident, course, Dana-Farber, doctor, elliptical, emotions, exhausted, Foam Roller, foods, foot, gatorade, Greater Boston Running Company, hip, hot bath, ibuprofen, improving, injuries, journey, Lexington, long run, loops, marathon, mental, moderately flat, nutrition, outside, party, physical therapist, pizza, pretzels, PT, run, runner, sodium, sole, speed workout, Superfeet, training, treadmill, Tufts track, water, water bottle, workout
10 weeks to go!!! Getting so close to the actual Marathon, it is becoming too real.
My week’s workout ended up being pretty decent, despite having some pain in my right leg.
Wednesday after work I went to the Greater Boston Running Club in Lexington and got fitted for the superfeet inserts (which helped raise the arch in my foot and create a harder sole), an ankle sleeve, and compression socks. I’ve been wearing the compression socks faithfully almost all week after I run and at night when I’m sleeping. The superfeet inserts seem to be helping by eliminating my right foot turning in while I am running (that I noticed last week). I also wore the ankle brace a couple of times this week at the gym. Trying to see how all these things work and if they are improving how I feel or not. Overall, seems to be helping (not sure how much of it is mental).
SUPERFEET – I like the name of it!
Pro-Tech Ankle Sleeve – please note, these are NOT my feet and I do shave my legs
CEP Compression Socks – expensive, but make a HUGE difference
I had a doctor’s appointment Thursday morning in hopes to get a referral to a physical therapist. The nurse practitioner said she could definitely feel some “popping” in my right hip and encouraged me to keep switching from heat to ice on my right leg where there was any pain. I’ve also kept up with the foam roller. I’m hoping the PT can help give me some tips on how to help ease the hip pain. I’ve never been to a PT before, so my appointment this upcoming Tuesday should be interesting. The PT I am going to is one that a fellow runner from Dana-Farber had recommended to me when she had similar hip injuries.
Here is a wrap up of this week’s workouts:
Monday: 8 mile run outside. I posted about my experience earlier in the week. Not feeling the best during my run, but got it done.
Tuesday: 2 miles of speed workout on the Tufts track – leg started hurting, so continued workout with 45 minutes on the elliptical
Wednesday: 3.1 miles (5k) on the treadmill, stretching, weight training. I tried the ankle sleeve which seemed to help support my leg a bit better during the short run.
Thursday: 5 mile run outside and tried the ankle sleeve again. It was my first run in the dark in a while. I was training primarily on the treadmill during the week the past couple months. My hip was bothering me a bit, but I felt ok.
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 45 minutes (sweating bullets) on the cybrex arch trainer. I went to a birthday party earlier in the day and ate WAY too much pizza. Tried to burn as many calories as possible so I could eat at the next party I had that evening. I also did some stretching/ foam roller
Sunday: I was honestly not sure how I was going to feel today. I let myself sleep in (I’ve been exhausted all week) and when I woke up I felt like I was bumming around trying to avoid my long run. I took 3 ibuprofen and wore my compression socks before my run. I wanted to get in around 15 miles since I am going to be away next weekend and probably won’t be able to run as much. I told myself I would see how I felt and made sure the course was a series of loops so I could turn back if I had to. After just under 2 hours and 30 minutes, I made it to 18 miles! My 2nd longest run ever. The course was moderately flat around the Charles River. My hip was the only thing really bothering me, but the ibuprofen and compressions socks seemed to help. I took two gu packets during my run and switched to Gatorade (instead of water) in my water bottle. I felt like I should have eaten a little more before I went for a run, but I left around noon time, so I didn’t want to eat too much. I am still trying to figure out nutrition wise what the best foods are to eat…any pointers from runners out there on what to eat before long runs? Right when I got home I took a short walk around the block and took a hot bath. I haven’t taken a bath in years, but it seemed to help A LOT. Note to self: take hot baths after long runs. I actually kept the compression socks on in the tub and am still wearing them now. Before I hopped in the bath I noticed my face had a white salty look to it – which reminded me that I was probably lacking sodium. I even tried eating pretzels this morning!
Total mileage for the week: 36 miles.
Overall, feeling a little more confident today than I did in the beginning of the week. It is amazing how many emotions you go through as you are training. I’ve come to realize the journey of training for the marathon is probably just as challenging as the marathon itself.
Now just in time to watch the superbowl…made some Tomato Tortellini. Yummm. Go Pats!
31 Jan 2012
in Running Experiences
Tags: training, runners, Charles River, mapmyrun.com, confidence, home, ankle, knee, foot, leg, doctor, recovery, Physical Therapy, Tufts University, Glenn, Dana-Farber Speed workout, venting, frustrated, humbling, intention, Derry Prep, 14 miles, loops, pavement, ibuprofen, mentally strong, mad, 18 miler, slow, pumped, 200 meter, coaches, conversation, Tyler, piriformis, sports chiropractor, Greater Boston Running Company, observation, Lexington, Speedy recovery
I am frustrated. I will be venting a bit through this post. Sorry in advance… Like I said before this blog isn’t meant to sugar coat anything. If anything writing about some of my frustrations has been a humbling experience.
Yesterday I had the intention to run 14-15 miles. The night before my dad told me I should take it easy because my body is most likely still recovering from the Derry Prep run.
So I went on Mapmyrun.com and mapped out my planned run of 14 miles. It was made up of a couple of loops so I figure if I didn’t feel good I could always turn back. Out of my run I go, already feeling that pain from a couple of weeks before in my right leg. It’s back folks. As I got out on the pavement I wished I took ibuprofen earlier, but I was already a mile into my run…so I keep going. I try to concentrate on my music and just focus on my running, but I couldn’t help but feel like my feet were dragging. I hate how slow I’ve been feeling lately - it is annoying me…frustrating me. I literally want to go faster, but my leg was bothering me that I couldn’t. I am mentally strong – I know this. This is something that I don’t have a problem with (which is probably the opposite for a lot of runners)…but I want my body to get over this. I continued to run along the Charles River…then reach a checkpoint. Do I go and complete the 2nd loop or am I mentally strong enough NOT to run and head back so that I can heal properly. I think big picture (which I often have ignored in the past) and head back home….mad at myself. 8 miles completed when all said and done. Pace was around 9 minutes a mile. UGH. Don’t take me the wrong way – this is a decent pace, but I mean UGH as in my pacing is all messed up from where I should be at this point. I know something isn’t right because when I ran my 18 miler over a month ago I ran at an 8 minute 20 something pace. My last half marathon was about 8 min/mile pace. Even my Derry Prep race I felt slower with an 8 min 50 pace. I know there were hills, but my body is telling me I have to address whatever is bothering me….my pace is just off. This has been a shot to my confidence lately (in terms of running).
Today I went to the Dana-Farber Speed Workout training at Tufts University. I was really pumped to go tonight because I had such a great time last Tuesday. I also met some great people and was hoping some of the same people would be there today. They were…and I met some new friends! Today’s work out: 1 mile warmup. 10 x 800 meter (at 5k-10k pace) with 200 meter recovery in between sets, 1 mile cool down. Glenn, one of the coaches from last week was there again. He remembered my name and our conversation from the week before about how my leg was bothering me. He asked me how it felt and I said ok and that I’d try running. The mile warm up was pretty good, then I did 2 of the 800 meter repeats. After the 2nd repeat, Glenn asked me how I was feeling. I pulled off the track and chatted with Glenn. He noticed my stride looked not as smooth and pointed out some of the other runners to make his point. He encouraged me to workout at the Tufts gym for 45 minutes, instead of completing the speed workout. I knew I could have kept running, it was just a matter of being a smart runner today and listening to my body. I was really frustrated, but he told me that it was better to run healthy at the Boston Marathon then feeling hurt. Convinced, I headed to the gym. I felt like I beat myself up while I was on the elliptical as a mental punishment. I ramped up the resistance. After my workout, I headed back to the track with the other runners, Glenn said by next week he wanted to hear I saw a doctor to just get it checked out just in case.
I don’t think it is something serious, but I need to address it so I can get back into the groove. When I was running yesterday I felt like my right foot was turning in a bit. I think I’m flat-footed and it’s affecting my hip (piriformis) which radiates down the side of my leg, into my knee, further bothering my hamstrings/calf muscle and down through the top of my foot/ankle. It is only my right leg, but it is all of my right leg. It is hard to explain because sometimes my hip hurts more than my ankle/foot or vice versa. So I keep conjuring up new things that I think it is. BUT enough is enough. Time to go to the doctor and get it checked out. Glenn said it could be as simple as needing some physical therapy or sports chiropractor to work on it. Another runner that I met tonight sounded like she experienced something very similar last year and said a couple visits with a local physical therapist did the trick. I am hoping this is the same for me. When I came back to the track after my gym workout, many of the other runners asked how I was feeling. I know everyone was just trying to be nice, but I hate being that person that has the injury. I tried to brush it off because I know it is going to be better - I don’t want it to be a focus of conversation. Again, it’s a confidence thing. When I was talking to Glenn, a fellow Dana-Farber marathon runner, Tyler, overheard us talking and asked me where I was feeling pain. Tyler is a staff member for the Greater Boston Running Company (http://www.greaterbostonrunningcompany.com/Site/Home.html) which I later found out after he gave so much advice about how my feet were formed. He pinched a nerve at the top of my foot which was excruciating and he immediately pulled out orthotics that he had me try. Anyway, long story short, they seemed to straighten my foot out (please note my observation earlier that my foot felt like it was turning in on my 8 mile run). I am planning to stop by their store in Lexington tomorrow after work to see if he could help me.
So this week I will continue focusing on cross-training (double UGH) and will make a doctor’s appointment STAT.
I am going to get better! Either way I know I can keep running - it’s just a matter of running and feeling like myself and 100%. I can’t settle for feeling frustrated anymore with this. Speedy recovery soon. Icing my leg right now, calling the doctor first thing tomorrow morning!
08 Jan 2012
in Running Experiences
Tags: ankle, challenging, Dana-Farber activities, distance, donation, foal roller, fundraising, generous, holidays, January, long run, miles, october, pace, pain, stretching, weekend, working out
I took it easy today and ran 5 miles…slower pace and shorter distance than I normal weekend long run. My normal loop took me 4 minutes longer than it usually does when I run it. A little bit disappointed with time, but the goal of today’s run was to get through it. I was happy I could get back on my feet without as much pain in my ankle. I did still feel some discomfort when running, but not nearly as bad as it was last week. Right when I got home I did about 20 minutes of stretching/foam roller. I think this helped, since my legs feel ok now and I can be out and about with the rest of my plans for today. Last weekend after my long run the only thing I wanted to do was stay on the couch and ice my leg…I had to cancel any plans that I had that evening because I could simply not move. Hope this week I can get a few more runs in and then get back to my marathon training schedule.
I am also going to get back into working out in the morning. Last week was so hard to get up in the morning because I was off a few days for the holidays. Everyday next week I have something after work…doesn’t take long to get busy even now that school is done.
I also emailed a number of my friends yesterday to request donations. I was holding off for a while because I know how tight everyone is with money before the holidays – I was too! A few of my friends have already been so generous and have donated to the cause this past day. I am really blessed with how supportive people are…and I will never forget it. Right now my donations total $4,669.00. So close to my goal for $5,000.00 for January!
I’ve posted every day since October, but I am going to start posting an update at least once a week with all the training for that week and then post throughout the week if something interesting comes up that has to do with training, fundraising, or Dana-Farber activities. It’s been a little challenging updating every day, but I want to make sure I keep you all updated!
01 Jan 2012
in Running Experiences
Tags: 12 miles, 2012, ankle, Boston Marathon, breathing, bucket list, bummed, cardiovascular, cheering, confidence, cross-train, crowd, doctor, endurance, foot, goals, heel bone, ipod, lesson learned, long run, MapMyRun, muscles, music, new years resolutions, plantar fasciitis, self-diagnose, shoe, strain, stretching, tendonitis, tissue, toes
After a week of “taking it easy” I ran 12 miles outside today. I ran at about an 8 minute 12 sec pace per mile. My mom told me growing up that whatever you do on the first of the year is a reflection of how the rest of your year is going to be. So I tried to be productive. I went to church first thing this morning and thought about the things I want to do in 2012… I am still working on a list of new years resolutions. They might be more like goals/bucket list items or things I want to improve on myself.
My leg was still in a little bit of pain today, but it was extremely warm and beautiful out …especially it being the 1st of January. I was feeling bummed not running all week…it actually makes me a little depressed not being able to do what I love most. I mapped out 12 miles on Mapmyrun and went for nice steady jog. My leg didn’t bother me much while I was running, actually my knees hurt more than my ankle/foot area that has been bothering me when I am not running. I noticed my shoe was untied and stopped quickly to tie it and felt some pain shoot up my leg when I stopped.
A couple of things to note about the run: 1) My cardiovascular endurance is stronger than ever. I don’t feel tired breathing during my long runs anymore. My running muscles are also very use to running longer distances. I feel strong. If anything, it is my joints that are feeling the pain when I run. 2) I didn’t run with an iPod today, mainly because I need to find my charger in my room. I also want to get use to running without music because it would be ideal not to run with music in my ears while I run the marathon. I want to soak up the entire experience and hear the crowd roaring while I run Boston. At first it was somewhat difficult because music pumps me up while I run, but I actually paid way more attention to my running form and breathing without music today. I noticed my form and my posture better and would straighten up as I felt my shoulders “drag” and listened to my feet hit the pavement to make sure I wasn’t “pounding” too much.
I got home and was feeling great after my long run. Took a shower and came downstairs and used the foam roller. 1/2 hour after icing my legs, I got up and felt a sharp pain shoot up my leg. Any pressure on my heel or ball of my foot evokes pain. Yikes. I walked upstairs and it felt horrible. I laid in bed and got pretty upset at myself for pushing it today. I thought I felt fine, but I spoke too soon. I called my parents to express my frustration… It kills me not to run, but my dad suggested to stay off it for 2 weeks. He thinks I am over-doing it. And frankly I agree with him now…sometimes I am stubborn and think I know my body better than I do. I also have a 16 mile race Jan 22nd, so hopefully it heals by then. I am not going to work out tomorrow other than some stretching. My dad said once I do add some running to only for 2-3 miles and only every other day. I thought reducing my mileage today from 14 to 12 miles would help…not smart. I know I can do the mileage, but I don’t want to push myself so hard that I injure myself. I don’t really know what’s bothering me…I think it might even be plantar fasciitis instead of the tendonitis that I originally thought it might be.
According to what I read plantar fasciitis is the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. If you strain this, your heel or bottom of your foot hurts when you stand, walk or run. It can occur if your feet roll inward too much when you walk (which I think might) or if you have flat feet (which I kind of do) or if you have tight calf muscles (which the trainer alluded to during our training session). I guess I can’t really self-diagnose myself as to what I have so I think I will set up a doctor’s appointment just to make sure it isn’t anything too serious.
Lesson learned: cross-train more in 2012. Have more confidence in my abilities and don’t push myself too hard. I did get 12 miles in on the first day of 2012, hope this means I will keep running well the rest of the year.
10 Dec 2011
in Running Experiences, Uncategorized
Tags: Cancer, Charles River, chilly, Christmas, cleaning, Dana-Farber, dark, dreading, gu, half marathon, icing, laundry, longest, loop, loved ones, mapmyrun.com, poster, re-engergize, run, stretch, water, windy
Today I accomplished the longest run I’ve ever run in my life – 13.77 miles (before was a half marathon). I planned to run 11-13 miles today, but mapped my run when I got back and it turned out to be longer than I thought. I love mapmyrun.com – it is so easy and you can share your runs with other people….Description of run below from the website:
DESCRIPTION OF THIS RUN: This is a 13.77 mi Run in Waltham, MA. The Run has a total ascent of 164.04 ft and has a maximum elevation of 104.99 ft.
The route I took was a loop around the Charles River – 2 x and then a loop around Bentley College – 1 x. I finished the run in 1 hour 51 min 46 seconds – so about 8 min 7 sec miles. It was super windy/chilly out which made it pretty challenging, but I felt pretty good considering my hips/knees were hurting yesterday. As I am typing this post, I am icing my legs and I should make sure I stretch more when I finish this.
The only thing that would have made me feel a little strong is if I stopped 1/2 way and re-energized with some water/gu, but I went straight through since it was getting pretty dark out, quickly.
All morning I was sort of dreading this run because I knew it would take about 2 hours to finish – and I have a ton of cleaning, laundry, Christmas wrapping to do. But then I opened the door and saw a package from Dana-Farber. Inside was a big poster that we could do anything we wanted with to help promote our fundraising. I knew I wanted to dedicate the poster to the loved ones I am running for (ps if I missed someone please let me know!) Right after I finished writing the names I had the motivation to run the 13 miles I needed to get done today.
26 Nov 2011
in Running Experiences
Tags: 13 miles, Boston Marathon, Cancer, construction worker, CT, Dana-Farber, gu packet, leukemia, long distance, loop, Marathon Day, Massachusetts, mental, schedule, Thanksgiving, training, water
So I thought I better get on this training schedule. I have been a bit lax about serious training since Dana-Farber’s official training program doesn’t really start until 12/12….only a couple weeks away. I told myself since I didn’t get to do the long run a week ago, I had to get one in this weekend.
I’m visiting CT for the weekend – a post-Thanksgiving celebration since I stayed in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving day. I was determined to get a 12-13 mile run in while I was here. I told my mom this morning when I left the house to lock the door and not to let me in until noon (when I thought I would finish my long run). I even placed a water bottle and “gu” pack in the mailbox so that when I finished my first loop, I had to stay outside and finish the 2nd loop…no excuses. I didn’t want to feel lame and come inside the house early.
I have been in a mental struggle getting these longer runs done since I know the official training schedule technically doesn’t start for another few weeks, so my mom reminded me to think about all the people I am running for and all the donors. I actually kept thinking about the names of the people who my donors asked me to honor (I am wearing names of those who have been afflicted by cancer on the back of my jersey on Marathon Day) as I was running. I also thought back to the little girl who is fighting leukemia (my friend sent me a picture of her a month back or so – I wrote a blog on it). I actually felt a little choked up as I was running thinking about how lucky I was to run this for people who can’t – running a long distance does not even compare to battling a terrible disease. I had to remind myself to breathe because I could feel myself getting emotional. It really did help me to keep on going though.
During my first loop I ran past some construction workers and one guy who was directed traffic was holding a flag that signals cars to go. He saw me and as I was nearing him, he put his flag down as if I was about to start a race. As I passed he said, “ready, set, go.” Pretty hilarious.
I passed my parent’s house after my first loop of 8 miles and sucked down the “gu” packet I had waiting for me in the mailbox and took a few gulps of water. It was my first time trying the “gu” which was recommended to me by a few runners. I definitely recommend it. I kinda felt guilty on how much I enjoyed the chocolate outrage flavor.
It was necessary to stay hydrated because it was a beautiful 60 degree day here (even though we are at the end of November!) I feel so spoiled to be training in this weather – for the past few weekends the New England weather has been surprisingly gorgeous. It felt pretty awesome to be listening to Christmas jams in my iPod as I was running despite the snowless ground.
So then after about a few minutes of re-energizing myself I went back out for about a 5 mile loop. I felt pretty good in the beginning after having given my body some nutrients. I turned the corner to see my home and sprinted down to complete a 12-13 mile run. It felt good to be done for my first longer run of training. A picture after my long run, feeling accomplished.
13 Nov 2011
in Running Experiences
Tags: 16 mile, bricks, mile, running, struggle, tight, weight training
I don’t know why but my body felt like a ton of bricks as I was running this morning. I really do not sugar coat any of my training because I want this blog to be a journal of all my experiences – both good and bad.
What is more annoying is today is an absolutely perfect day out for running (considering it is mid-November) – bright and sunny, with a slight breeze! In my mind, I had planned to run two – 5 mile loops (a total of 10 miles) that pass where I live so I could grab water in-between. My first 5 mile loop felt pretty rough just a mile in. I knew something was off since a 5-6 mile run is a standard running distance for me and normally very comfortable. Today I felt like I was lugging around bricks on my feet.
I was also wearing an inappropriate amount of layers, considering how nice outside it was. I quickly took off my long sleeve jacket and wrapped it around my waist. It is a bit annoying carrying extra clothing around while running, but then again I am pretty particular about things like this. After about 3 miles, I had to stop my watch and stretch out my hamstrings and calves on a patch of grass beside the road. I started my watch back up and finished the first 5 mile loop – although it was a mental struggle.
I am pretty disappointed I didn’t do the second loop, but my legs are feeling extra tight today. I have a feeling I over did it on the weight training the past two days. I guess it is a learning experience.
Hope to get back out there this week and do a 10 mile loop to make up for it. Only about 2 months until my 16 mile race in NH.
07 Nov 2011
in Running Experiences
Tags: ascent, Brush Hill, Coach Hastings, Heartbreak HIll, hill workout, reps, running
Today I took a page from Coach Hasting’s playbook. Coach Hastings is my cross-country coach from high school. He was one of the best coaches I have ever encountered. He is genuinely the nicest person; he cared a lot about the girls he coached on his team. He had some great workout plans, one which included “the hill workout.” It entailed running up a steep hill 6-8 times with a slow jog (never stopping) in between. I still remember Coach Hastings at the top of the hill pushing us to keep on running to the top as our legs wanted to give out. He would call out our clock time as we reached the top of the hill. We were suppose to aim for about the same time with each rep..although we’d see the times get a little longer each time around…
Since I was thinking about Heartbreak Hill, I thought I better incorporate hills in my training. So I took the same concept from Coach Hasting’s hill workout and incorporated into my running today. Running around the Boston area is pretty flat, so I am going to have to find some hillier courses to train on.
Today – I ran one of the steeper hills in town – Brush Hill. What is challenging about this hill is that it is rather steep and bit lengthy (about 300-400 meters to the top, ~55 feet ascent). Right when I thought I reached the top, I turned the corner and I just felt like the hill was going up, up, up. Heartbreak hill in comparison is about 600 meters and an 80 foot climb.
Here was my view of the Brush Hill this morning:
As I ran toward the hill, I was debating somewhere between 6-8 reps. As I got to the 4th time running up Brush Hill I was feeling pretty tired. I pictured Coach Hastings encouraging me to keep on going as the lactic acid in my legs started to build up. I got to 6 and I said, alright I am going to go to 8 – no stopping. As I was running down the hill to finish the 8th rep, I said to myself, alright this is the time to push your limits and go to 10 hill repetitions. I didn’t let myself leave until I did 10 straight hills without stopping. It took be about 50 minutes to finish this workout.
I definitely felt tired after the 10 hills, but I was happy I pushed myself to finish them!
31 Oct 2011
in Running Experiences
Tags: 10 mile, 8 mile, Charles River, long run, mile, pace, time, watch
I just got back from what I thought I mapped out to be a 10 mile run. When I go out for long runs, I typically wear a watch to time out my pace. I stopped it when I finished the loop and saw that it took me about 1 hr 7 minutes. So if I ran a 10 mile loop, I would have finished in sub 7 minute pace (my 5k time?). By no means was I running it at race pace. So I came home and mapped out my run again on “Map My Run” (check out the loop I ran today: http://soc.li/8MZFQZB) and realized I really did an 8 mile loop…I cut across one bridge too early. Even though I didn’t go as far as I intended, the jog felt pretty great.
Some highlights: Running next to part of the Charles River… this will become very familiar to me as I train the next couple months…and running through snow and over fallen trees from the snowstorm…felt like an obstacle course. Sun was shining and had my new running gear on!
One “sort of” longer run down…despite the mile mix up.
27 Oct 2011
in Running Experiences
Tags: 5 mile, bikers, burn, Chinese food, cold, puddle, rain, run, runners, training
I just got back from a run outside….Brrrrrrrr.
It is freezing out today! 31 degrees and lots of rain – my legs are burninggggg right now. Yikes! I think I might have gotten a little frostbite, but just took a hot shower so hopefully it will be ok!
Today I ran my normal 5 mile loop around town…no other runners that I could see. A couple of commuter-bikers. I was running with a rain jacket, but it felt sort of bulky. I’m gonna have to hit up a running store and see what they suggest to run in to keep warm and dry…especially since the majority of my training will be in cold weather. I have always been a fan of running outside over the treadmill, so we’ll see.
Highlight of the run: seeing a huge puddle on the road and a car about to drive into it. Yup, it splashed me and I got soaked. But it way too late for me to move out-of-the-way. Felt like I was in a movie. Luckily, I was headed home and only had about a mile left of the run.
I am meeting a couple of people out to dinner and needed to get a quick work out in…otherwise I would have gone for the gym! Not the smartest idea to run outside today. Now off for some Chinese food! Yummmm.