Half Marathon Training

So, I’ve mentioned it a few times, I guess, but I certainly haven’t talked about it too much.  I’m running a half marathon in 4 DAYS. No big deal, right?  This isn’t my first long distance race. I’ve run the Broad St Run 3 times and have run 2 half marathons – the Philly Half in 2008 and the Oktoberfest Half in 2012. I’m doing the Oktoberfest Half again this year. It’s a great little race, like 500 people – all run in Pennypack Park in the Northeast. Most of the race is on a paved bike/running path, with 2 miles on a flat trail in the middle. I’m excited for the race. My training has been fine, but certainly not stellar. I kept up with a couple shorter runs during the week, in addition to my other strength/bootcamp workouts. I got long runs in on most weekends, with a few exceptions. My long runs felt strong, and things were going awesome. It certainly wasn’t the hardest training I’ve ever done, but I never really had a goal for the race other than just wanting to have fun. Can I tell you that just training for something to have fun is the most refreshing experience?!?! Since when does running have to be so freakin’ serious?

Then, a few weeks ago (during Week 9 below), my IT band starting bothering me. I foam rolled, stretched, and it seemed okay. Until it wasn’t. I rested a few days, and I was planning on a long run that weekend. Well, I woke up that day about two weeks ago, and I realized that I most definitely could not run 9 miles that day. So, I continued to rest. That’s what everyone says you should do. But I could not go two weeks without running!  At that point, my longest run had been 8.6 miles. Yikes.

I took almost a week off from running (Week 10-11), and ran 2 miles last Wednesday. I followed it immediately by a yoga class. There was no pain but definite tightness. The next day, I ran 3 miles and followed that by a yoga class. Similar feelings – not pain, but not great. Saturday, I ran 10 miles (after I took 3 ibuprofen). It actually went really well. It wasn’t fast, but a good steady pace. I had some tightness on the inside and back of my knee. (It seems that IT problems usually present themselves on the outside of the knee). I went to yoga the next day. Monday, I ran 4 miles. It was a good run, with a little more tightness than before but still okay. Tuesday I rested. Yesterday, I ran 3 miles – my last run until Sunday. By the end, my knee hurt. Not a lot of pain but not just tightness like before. Today, I fit in 40 minutes of yoga and am getting ready to do a little foam rolling. My IT Band is a little achy right now. My half is on Sunday. I just have to hold it together until then. Between now and Sunday, I am going to do a little swimming, a gentle yoga class, some other yoga on my own, and a lot of rest.

Wish me luck.

 

If you are interested, here was my *actual* training. Real runs, not planned runs. You can see that my mileage never got crazy high. However, those low-ish numbers can be pretty deceiving. So, I added in how many cross training workouts I did as well, since I do a lot of those. They range from Ranger Cross Training (Strength), Ranger Training Bootcamp, Lithe Method, and yoga.

Week 1 (7): Wed – 4 miles, Thurs – 3 miles +  (5 Cross)

Week 2 (12.5): Mon – 4.5 miles, Wed – 3 miles, Sun – 5 miles + (3 Cross)

Week 3 (12.5): Wed – 3 miles, Sat – 2.5 miles, Sun – 7 miles + (3 Cross)

Week 4 (3): Wed – 3 miles + (5 Cross)

Week 5 (14): Tues-  3 miles, Thurs – 3 miles, Sat – 8 miles + (4 Cross)

Week 6 (14): Tues – 2 miles, Fri – 4 miles, Sun – 8 miles + (3 Cross)

Week 7 (12): Tues – 2.5 miles, Wed – 3 miles, Sun – 6.5 miles + (3 Cross)

Week 8 (7): Fri – 3 miles, Sun – 4 miles + (4 Cross)

Week 9 (16.5): Tues – 4 miles, Thurs – 4 miles, Sun – 8.5 miles + (2 Cross)

Week 10 (3): Tues – 3 miles + (4 Cross)

Week 11 (15): Wed – 2 miles, Thurs – 3 miles, Sat – 10 miles + (4 Cross – 3 were yoga!)

Week 12: Mon – 4 miles, Wed – 3 miles, SUN – 13.1!

 

Be sure to go to my running partner’s blog and wish him luck! I’m going to run with him and pace him – and he’s going to *KILL* his last year’s record!

Chicken Salad and Beets!

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Roasted beets with balsamic and feta (eaten cold. Inspired by Rottiseur). Chicken salad – poached chicken, eggless reduced fat mayo, curry powder, spinach, tomatoes.

Delicious! Oh, and I ran 2 miles today. It went okay. Went to yoga immediately after which was amazing. Going to try a couple more tomorrow.

IT Band Woes

This week, I’ve been getting to know a certain member of my body that I hadn’t had the pleasure of taking notice of before. I think he was starting to feel left out, so wanted to be sure that I noticed him. (Yes, it’s a he.)

Let me introduce you to my right IT Band. Let’s just say that it hurts.

I haven’t run since last Tuesday – though, I was doing other exercise.  It started bothering me two weeks ago, but went away a bit after the shorter run. I ran again two days later with no pain at all. I did some foam rolling and stretching, and ran that 8.5 miles that Sunday, and it hurt a bit around mile 8, but nothing serious. I dutifully foam rolled Wednesday and Friday when I was at Sgt Nate, but Sunday morning, I woke up and it wasn’t feeling right. I was supposed to run 10 miles, but well – I decided not to.  I went to a Lithe Method class called Watershed, where you essentially roll around on a hard spiky ball. It helped, but good thing I didn’t run, because it was sore just from walking around. Monday, instead of running, I decided to go swimming and to a gentle yoga class…. but again, it was sore from walking around. Those do seem to have helped, though, as it’s not hurting as much today. I’m resting completely today, and I’m going to try to run tomorrow.

My half marathon is in a week and a half. I’m certainly going to try not to injure myself more than I am, but I still want to try and run it……    I’ll keep you updated.

 

Anyone with experience with ITB issues two weeks pre-race? What did you do?

 

This Week’s Reasons Why Life Good

I am acutely aware that I am long overdue for a good “Life is Good” post. This week seems particularly good timing for one since I’ve been feeling a little stressed about my cat’s urinary problems, and overall just a little worn out.  However – without further ado:

Did I use “ado” correctly? Is that actually a thing?

 

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1.  I have been making some *AWESOME* smoothies lately. My lovely roommate, Natalie, has a Vitamix. It finally came home to live with us, and I’m ecstatic. This picture was of my first attempt, but I’m very pleased with my daily smoothies each and every day. For my green smoothies, I’ve been doing a bag of spinach,  a cucumber, water or almond milk or a combo, an apple, maybe a pear or banana or both. I often add an avocado, maybe some peanut butter. We have chia seeds that I haven’t tried. I made an amazing pumpkin, banana, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond milk smoothie last night. I could drink that every day of my life. I make a lot, and it’s enough for Natalie and I or for me for 2 days if she’s not around . Love them.

2. I have *officially* decided to stop trying to lose 10 more pounds. My body is protesting, and who says I need to lose 10 more pounds? I have been at this weight for a year and a half, and I’m happy at it. I can easily maintain it, and can focus on being fit and happy and not skinny and hungry. Sounds like a good trade to me. So, I have *NO* idea how many calories are in the smoothies, and I don’t care. They are good for me, and that’s enough. That said – I’ve been eating sort of crappy these past few days (but really, not that bad. Though I am craving a burger or hoagie right now something fierce). I’m chalking it up to PMS and will be back on the no carbs/dairy during the week train again next week.

3. My 34, yes – count them, 34 – fifth graders have pretty much fallen in line at school. Sure, it’s a ton of kids, and sure – they would certainly get more attention if there were less of them, but there is definite teaching and learning going on, and that’s all I’m going to ask for right now.

4. I rejoined OkCupid, and even though I think dating is a pain, I realize it’s something I probably should do. So, yeah. that’s happening. I’ll keep you updated.

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5. I went to the King of Prussia Beer Fest for free last Saturday with some friends thanks to Yelp! It was a good selection of craft beers and a pretty fun band. Good times were had by all. And get this – a guy came up to my friends and I saying that I looked really familiar. My friend, Greta, went into high gear, suggesting that we become Facebook friends to see if we have mutual friends in common.  Nope. Want to guess how he recognized me? We had been talking on OkCupid. As soon as I saw his profile picture I knew, but it took him until the next morning when he messaged me. Funny how these things happen, isn’t it?

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6. My most recent long run, on Sunday, was 8.6 miles. I ran with Carey and Matt late Sunday morning on the Kelly Dr/West River Drive Loop, ending with running up the Steps! Because, why not? Carey and I stayed together the whole time, stopping here and there to wait for Matt and what not. It was not such a great run for him, but he still pushed it out and that is all that matters. Read about his run here.

Carey and I kept a really solid pace the whole time, and even though it was crazy humid, I thought it went well. I’ve been having some IT Band issues, and my knee hurt a little in the last mile, but I’m doing some foam rolling and all is well.

7. I did two awesome running club runs last week. Tuesday, I ran with the running club portion of Young Involved Philadelphia.  (Run with us! Info here.) It was my first outing with this group, which meets the first Tuesday of every month. You run, and then explore some cool place in Philly. This past week was the Reading Viaduct, that is in the process of raising money to turn it into a park. It was super cool to be up there. They are basically elevated, abandoned railroad tracks. Then, we went to Prohibition Taproom for some food and drinks.  On Thursday, I ran with the infamous Fishtown Beer Runners. They are super nice, and super fun, and like to run and drink beer. How can you go wrong? There’s a group that leaves from 7 and Bainbridge, so we ran 4 miles and ended at LLama Tooth for some beer. The first was free! I had an awesome time and an awesome run. I’m trying to go tomorrow, but the rain might just get in the way! I sure hope not.

8. I got up yesterday at 6am to run with Pam, and I got up today at 6am to go to yoga with Natalie! If not for the rain, Pam and I would be running tomorrow at 6am. I’m positive that these 6am workouts are the only things that got me through my days the past 2 days!  I did end up going to Sgt Nate- Ranger Cross Training tonight, but now I’m completely wiped and not going to my frisbee game. Ah well. I need some rest, and it’s damp and chilly outside.

 

What are some reasons why your life is good this week?

 

Race Recap: Sloppy Cuckoo

 

Sisters Pre-RaceI ran the Sloppy Cuckoo trail race a couple of weeks ago and haven’t posted about it! It was on September 22 and was a 6.55 mille trail race in Pennypack Park. It was a perfect day, couldn’t have asked for better weather. Jess and I ran it along with my running partner, Matt, and “The Captain” from Ranger Training. There was a half marathon at the same time (2 loops of the course I ran), as well as a 12 hour race going on (intense- as many loops as possibly in 12 hours).

The first couple of miles were quick and painless, and then it got REALLY MUDDY. It ended up going straight through the puddles, because it was too tricky to try to go around them.

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Also, it’s just A LOT harder running on a trail! It was absolutely gorgeous though! Right about mile 4, I slowed down a lot. It was a tough mile. I walked down a super steep incline and walked through the water station. After that, it was flatter, but with this crazy switch back path that lasted well over a quarter mile, I think. Maybe a half mile. It just went on forever.

Around mile 5, I sped up, but then I fell on rocks, which hurt, but I was okay. I had some pretty impressive bruises on my shins for a week or two.  The last mile and a half, I chatted with a 12 hour runner behind me, and she really kept me going. I felt WAY better finishing the race than I did at mile 4.

My time wasn’t amazing, but good enough for a trail race, and GET THIS! I won 4th place in my age division (of 11, but still!). And I won a little German weather house! Read Matt’s Recap here.

After the race, we  got to eat brats, sauerkraut, and german potato salad. YUM! Then, we did a pumpkin beer tasting (of 17 beers!) at Matt’s House which was amazing.

I’m running the Oktoberfest Half with these people in a couple of weeks. I did it least year, and it was great! Looking forward to it! This race was definitely a good training race.