Oktoberfest Half Recap

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Ready to run!

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And we’re off!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, another half marathon is in the books. I ran it with my running partner, Matt. Even though he didn’t PR , we had a great race and it was a perfect day. Better yet, my knee help up!

For those of you that aren’t up to date – I ran the Oktoberfest Half in Pennypack Park in the Northeast. If you live in Philly and have a car, you should go to Pennypack Park immediately.

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The course looped around the entire park. We ran up the main bike path for about 6.5 miles, and then onto a flat trail for 2.5 miles which looped back to the bike path at mile 9 and we retraced our steps (and hills) for the last 4 miles.

 

The first 6.5 miles were super smooth sailing. We kept between an 11:00 and 11:30 pace, trying to be pretty conservative and tackling the hills in the first 3 miles without any major difficulty. My sister came to see us at mile 6 also, since that was the only other place you could drive to besides the beginning. It was good to see her there, and she took a couple great shots!!

 

 

 

Half way point!

Half way point!

At mile 6.5, we got onto a trail section that lasted 2.5 miles. It was flat and relatively easy to run. Not a ton of rocks of branches. There was one big tree down in the middle of the path at one point, but nothing crazy. It was absolutely gorgeous! I lost Matt a bit on this part. It was hard to run together, so I went ahead and then stopped to stretch to my knee while he caught up.

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The trail portion

 

 

At mile 9, we reached the trail back where we had started. We managed to make it back up and down all of the hills (those hills from the beginning seemed a lot harder the second time around.) We ended up walking a good portion of the last 2 miles. Matt was flagging and having some weird numbness stuff. I think he felt bad, but I set out to run the whole thing with him, and I didn’t really mind. At this point, my knee hurt. Not unbearably, but it hurt. So walking wasn’t so bad.

Most of the race, there was a couple from Virginia doing a run 3, walk 1 method right in front or behind us. When we rounded the last corner, the guy from that couple had come back (after he finished) to finish running the race with us! It was something that would never have happened in a large race – but when there’s only 450 people racing 13.1 miles with you, the atmosphere and camaraderie is different. His energy certainly helped get Matt across that finish line looking strong.

Of course, after the race you get german potato salad, brats, and sauerkraut. And we had plenty of Oktoberfest beers back at Matt’s to celebrate.

 

This week I have taken off from all intense exercise. I went to yoga on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and will go to a yoga class this evening. Next week, I’m going to attempt to get back to Ranger Training and do a run or two, but I want to be sure to give my knee/IT Band enough time to heal. I am trying to be kind to my body, and to give it time to heal and rest when necessary. It’s sort of a new thing for me.

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Finishers with our cheerleaders – Morgan and Jess\

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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!

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?

 

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.

10 Day Challenge: Day 9

Today is Day 9! I’m excited to have a beer on Friday – don’t get me wrong – but I have discovered that I haven’t really missed wheat or dairy at all. I remember feeling a bit more deprived the first time around doing something similar to this. I will post a complete recap of the 10 Day Challenge when it’s over; however, I thought I’d share some photos today to highlight some things from the past few days.

Food I Ate  (and Didn’t Eat)

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I made Thai red curry with chicken and vegetables last night for dinner/lunches this week.  I added a little water to it, and I think I shouldn’t have – it turned out a little watery than normal. I made this huge pot of it (this picture was taken before the tofu was added), and it will last for at least 5 meals. It’s dairy free (and meat free for that matter), and I have been eating it over a cup of brown rice – that are pre-cooked and packaged in ziplock bags in my freezer. You just microwave it for 2 minutes. It’s genius really, just be sure to package it up when it’s still warm to lock in moisture.

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I spent some time with Ingela and her family this weekend. They were super supportive in our no dairy/no wheat efforts. We would have made do, but they re-did their menu for us!  For dinner on Saturday, we had vegetable skewers and sausages. I found this recipe for banana boats for “Paleo” campfire treats, and they were absolutely delicious. We cut open a banana and stuffed it with a little peanut butter, some dark chocolate chips, and topped it with some almonds. Wrap it up in foil, put it in the fire for awhile, and enjoy. Brunch the next day was eggs with veggies and watermelon. Perfect.

I did eat a ton of chips and salsa this weekend – which isn’t the best, and not the worst thing. Technically fits with no wheat/no dairy, but *not* with the “real food rules“. Jess and I went to our baby cousin’s first birthday party, and while I did eat some potato chips, I did not eat any cake. It wasn’t that big of a sacrifice. Cake is not the thing I would eat if it were my last meal on Earth.

Things I Did

8 mile run on Saturday morning! Pace was great, weather was great, and Tamika came along with Matt, Jess, and I!  We did an out and back on Kelly Drive.

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We are seriously the happiest people I’ve ever met post-run.

My knee started to bother me during the last mile. I’ve never had knee problems, so I decided it was time for new sneakers. Honestly, it’s been time for a few months. Philadelphia Runner had a cool Beer and Gear event (in which I did *not* partake in the beer), and I had a $25 gift card from a Body Cycle giveaway last spring, so I ventured over to actually spend some money on decent sneakers. Look how pretty they are? (Saucony Ride 6 for those who care).

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I wore them yesterday and today and love them. Yesterday, I ran 2 miles over the Schuylkill for Ranger Training and then wore them for class – stairs, wall squats, crab walks, power step ups, etc etc etc. Then I wore them today for Kettlebell class. Love them.

Also, I want to leave you with my article of the week. Fitspiration is getting a little out of hand. Yes, it can be inspiring, but it can also be down right damaging, which I didn’t fully realize until reading this. He’s pretty spot on with a lot of this. I strive to be *healthy*. I work out hard, and too much according to some people – but I take days off each week, eat plenty to fuel myself, and listen to my body. Last Friday, my body said “don’t you dare go do a kettlebell class and expect me to run 8 miles tomorrow.” So I went to yoga. It’s important to make the distinction between killing yourself in the gym and training hard. Read this. It’s important.

My Week in Exercise

Here’s a rundown of the exercise I did this week, and how I feel about it. I’ve been doing a significant amount of drinking and eating this week …. so it was important for me to get moving this week. BUT – it was a bit of a slow week exercise wise with all the work I did the past couple of days.

Monday: I went to noon Ranger Training Bootcamp with Sgt Nate. The class was a little brutal, but no awful. FIrst, we started with a warm up run, followed by 10-20-30-40 flying burpees. (Think: burpee, 180 degree jump turn, repeat). Then, we did 20 frog hops down the field, lunge walking (in reverse) back. We continued with 5 bear crawls and 10 pushups (the “5 and Dime”) down the field, and sprinted back – 4 times. There may have been something else that I’m blocking out.

Tuesday: I was supposed to get up for yoga, but I didn’t. I instead came to Lithe and took Twiggy. It’s a non stop class with a ton of cardio cheer at the beginning, at least the first half. Then, you alternate some standing arm and leg work with more cardio for the last half of class. I was dripping sweat, in a good way.  That evening, I took another Lithe class called Waspie. Waspie is a slower more sculpting class that uses the blue bands, which always make my arms hurt. My legs were super tight on Wednesday from all of the standing leg work we did!

Wednesday: Morning 3 mile slow run with Matt and Jess. Read about it here. I also had an ultimate frisbee game that night. I played a decent amount – and definitely got some sprints/speed work in! We won – 3-0 now! – and I scored a touchdown/goal and threw a touchdown pass also! I’m definitely getting better on offense!

Thursday/Friday: Rest days due to work and going to the beach today!

Saturday: Planning on some kind of bootcamp type workout at the beach. I’ll be sure to post about it! It will likely be something similar to this workout from the Be Well Philly Blog.

Sunday: 7 mile slow run with Matt. Actually looking forward to it! I only ran 5 miles last week, but I’m not too worried about the distance. Working our way up to 13.1!

Summary: 2 runs (1 short, 1 long), 1 Ranger Training, 2 Lithe classes, 1 DYI bootcamp, 1 ultimate frisbee game

Next week is my last full week off before school starts, so I’m going to kick it up a notch in anticipation of my nutrition challenge in September. Stay tuned.