Why do I think stupid $h!t when running?

Today, after six days off from running (and, really, any kind of exercise) I decided it was time to head out for a run and see how my body was feeling after my race.

I didn’t have a pace goal, as I’m not training for anything right now, I really just wanted to get out and do something good for my body.

Before my run I also picked up two pairs of training shoes (not running shoes for once!). SportCheck was offering buy one get one 50% off so I picked up two pairs of shoes to use for my strength training workouts. (Canadians, this deal is on until Tuesday, so if you’re in need of some reduced price shoes, hit it up!).

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Aren’t they pretty?! The black ones are Asics Gel Craze Trainers and the pink ones are Reebok Pink Ribbon Zigtech shoes.

Before heading out for my run, I put my shoes, yoga mat and water out so I could easily transition to the cross training I’ve been skipping out on.

photo (79) Okay, so back to my run.

It was on a run I decided to sign up and start training for a marathon, so it seems logical that on a another run, I’d also have crazy thoughts, like running more marathons.

Right now I’m tentatively planning on running the Calgary Marathon in May. This is about 10 weeks after my half marathon in February, so I should have time to recover and train for this race. I’m also pretty confident that if training and the race go well, I can run a sub-4 hour marathon. So, this thinking lead me to thinking about Boston. A BQ for my age group is a 3:35:00 marathon. Knowing that people needed to be within 1:37 of their qualifying standard to run the Boston 2014 race, this brings my marathon time down to roughly a 3:30:00 marathon.

So, my thought pattern is now considering running to quality for Boston 2016.

Which is, well, crazy. Insane.

Is it doable? I really have no idea. But I do know I can be faster than I was, so I’m going to keep this nugget in my back pocket and see how my next marathon goes.

What’s the craziest thought you’ve ever had while running?

Marathon Recap

So I maybe kinda, sorta procrastinated a bit in writing and posting this recap.

I could waffle and say something silly, like I was waiting for the race photos to be available (they were posted Tuesday) but that would only kind of be true. The main reason is there were a lot of feels (a lot!) in this race, and sharing what I went through during 32km to 38km was a bit scary because I was going to need to make myself very vulnerable. But, if I’m going to write about running, I’m going to write about running: the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Before

The marathon start was scheduled for 7:15, so I set my alarm for 6am knowing we planned on leaving around 6:30. I even went to the trouble to set my alarm to go off to ROAR. Best! Decision! Ever!

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I had a small drink of water, brushed my teeth (because I didn’t need morning breath adding to my marathon stench) and decided to throw my hair back in two french braids for the race.

I gathered up all my running goods and went downstairs to eat. As mentioned before, I don’t eat much before a race, I had my Stroopwaffel and mixed my Vega Pre-Exercise Energizer with Beta-Alanine to take with me in the car. We arrived at the race site shortly after 7am, which was perfect for me. As the race was relatively small, I had more than enough time to check my bag and head over to the corral.

I set myself up just behind the 4:15 pace group, figuring I’d run with them for the first half or so, and then evaluate the last bit depending on pace.

Right before the national anthem I ate a Gu Espresso flavoured gel and tossed my jacket to my dad and started my pre-race jitters routine. This mainly involves not smiling, shifting my weight back and forth and running through everything I wanted to remember to do (number one was start SLOW!).

The During (start)

After the anthem we had a short countdown and then we were off. I watched the gun time when I went over the timing pad and noted I started 0:50 after the gun, so I knew my time would be just under a minute off when I came through at the finish. I had a bit of trouble zipping up my phone in my fuel belt (I wanted to run with RunKeeper for the race) but it really didn’t affect me too much.

Right as I was exiting on to the main street I hear cheering for me: two friends I met while training for my first half marathon were making their way to the start of the half and seeing them really lifted my spirits (thanks Jenn and Cory!!).

I knew adrenaline would make my first bit of the race a little quick, so I really focussed on slowing my pace and making sure my breathing was steady, as I wanted to make sure I had some gas in the tank for the end of the race.

The During (0-10km)

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I felt really good during the first quarter of the race. I worked hard at reminding myself to keep my pace in check and not push too hard as I still had a long way to go until the finish.

I ate my first gel at the 7km mark and also took off my gloves as my hands were sufficiently warm by that point. I’d arranged to have my sister meet me at the half way point in case I needed more gels and I planned on tossing my gear to her then, if I decided I was too warm. I just tucked my gloves into the waistband of my pants and carried on.

Around 8km in I realized I had to pee. Dangit.

After running my first half while needing to pee the whole time I rationalized that taking 30 seconds out of a 4 hour long race to pee wouldn’t be that bad, so just after the 9km mark I found a portapotty and did my thang. (as noted by the slow split at the 10km mark).

I have a tendancy to overthink things (ha! Surprising, right?!) so I was also working hard at this point to just take things as they came and not worry too much about anything.

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10km split time: 59:12 (pace5:55/km)

The During (11-21km)

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Right at the 10km mark for both the full and half marathons we run by the finish line, except we don’t get to stop, we have to keep going. I really thought that was going to mess with my focus, but I was so focused on my race that it (surprisingly) didn’t phase me much. Hooray!

Around the 12km mark I noticed my left glute was not a happy camper. This was something my bff massage therapist and I had worked on for my previous two sessions and I was really hoping it wouldn’t be an issue during the race. I managed to find a stop sign to use as leverage in an attempt to stretch out my glute. It worked for a while……Unfortunately this section of the course had a lot of left turns and every time I turned left it would put more weight on my glute and cause it to cramp again.

I ended up stopping at 12km, 15km and 18km to stretch out my glute as it was not a happy camper.

At the 20km mark I shed my ear warmers and arm warmers, knowing I’d be seeing my sister soon for my gels and I wanted to ditch my gear.

Except…..I didn’t see her.

I think she ended up mixing up what side of the park to meet me at, but no big deal, I fired off a text to her asking her to meet me at the 30km marker and carried on my way.

15km

21.1km split; 2:05:34. (pace 5:55/km)

This was actually a full two minutes faster than I ran the half marathon last year.

The During (22-31km)

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Aftering successfully texting my sis, I mentally planned when I wanted to increase my pace and when I wanted to start injesting my remaining gels. I decided to take them roughly every 45 minutes, knowing that would give me a gel almost exactly when I saw my sister.

Since moving to the other section of the course my glute wasn’t bothering me near as much, so I focused on my stride and breathing and tried not to think about how much further I had to go!

My average pace for this section was still under 6:00/km, which would put me at coming in under 4:15 for the race (yes, I’d attempt to do the math as I was running) but I really didn’t want to focus too much on pace. I knew 6:03/km was a 4:15 race and 5:47/km was a 4:00 race, and just went from there.

Right before the 30km mark I saw my sister’s dog Mazada, asked for 2 gels, quickly grabbed them and carried on my way. I knew if I stopped to give her a hug I might not convince my legs to start moving again 🙂

30km 30km3 30km2I even remembered to look at the camera and attempt to smile for these pictures!

The During (32-42.2km)

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As you can see, just from looking at the splits, this is where life got really, really difficult for me.

I knew crossing into the last loop I was tired, but I also knew I could 100% finish this race.

Enter: my butt.

Yup, after being perfectly nice for 10km, it reared its ugly head, and oh man, was it ever painful! Seriously. It was the worst!

Instead of stretching 3 times like the previous time, I think I stopped every 5 minutes or so to stretch and then it took a lot for me to get running again.

At one point (I think right after the 35km mat) there were tears. I was frustrated with my butt, I was emotional because of everything that brought me to this point. I don’t like to say (or really even think) this, but if it weren’t for my separation I wouldn’t have even considered running a marathon. Truly. And so I was parts thankful (because MARATHON) and sad becase, well, I think you know why.

I walked through the remaining three water stations, taking water and willing myself to run again. My glute wasn’t bothering me much when walking, but I really wanted to run as much of the race as possible.

Around the 36km point, I seriously thought about walking in. I hurt, I was tired, I was scared of disappointing people because my race wasn’t as awesome as I’d hoped it would be. I even considered texting a friend for support, but I decided to stop pitying myself and push through as much as possible.

35km split: 3:32:48 (pace 6:05/km)

hurting hurting2 gyro3 gyro2I don’t look especially happy in most of the pictures above.

Once I hit the 37km mark, I knew I only had just over 5km to go. I kept telling myself I could run 5km. I was 100% capable of running 5km.

By this point I had pretty much perfected the marathon shuffle and was shuffle running my way to the finish. I’d managed to calm the tears and was stopped as needed to stretch (even though it frustrated the crap out of me to do that!).

At the 40.5km mark there’s a hard left turn onto a pathway for the final stretch of the race. My bum was very not pleased with that. I’m pretty sure I said, “ow” and then found a post to stretch on. Hrmph.

Knowing I was so close to the finish kept me going even though I hurt, but you know what – I was finishing my first marathon I was actually going to do it! There really was a point where I honestly thought I wasn’t going to finish, so to have made it, upright (and I didn’t puke!) was pretty freaking awesome.

gyro finish finish2I tried to push as hard as possible to the finish and my dad and sister were standing at the fence cheering me on to the end.

Overall time; 4:25:27 (pace 6:19/km)

(I’ll let you do the math on how long the last 7.2km took me to run).

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The After

As soon as I had my medal around my neck and my water bottle in hand, I went straight to the bag check to grab my stuff and tossed a banana, apple and other goodies into my bag.

Thankfully my sister was easy to spot as all I needed to look for was her dog. Once we were all together, I walked with my sister to her car, except…..she wasn’t 100% sure where she had parked. At this point if someone had offered me a ride on one of those scooter wheelchair things I would have gladly accepted. Seriously. I’m pretty sure I was walking at about the same pace as an 80-year old grandma.

I was freaking thrilled to find my sister’s car and plant my butt in a seat for the drive to my dad’s.

Proof that I actually did it!

Proof that I actually did it!

I was really happy to be sitting in this picture!

Closing Thoughts

The wall sucks. Hitting it was harder than I had expected. I’d hit it a few times at the 15km mark in half marathons, but this was far harder. I’m really, really happy I pushed through and ran it, even if it was really slow. I still did it.

There were some course changes this year and I was really pleased with them. This year a narrow footbridge was eliminated and I was so, so happy not to have to dodge people, as the bridge was really, really narrow.

Although I really struggled through some parts of my marathon, I would absolutely, 100% do another one. Right now my focus will be on 1) resting for the next few weeks and 2) training for my half marathon in February, but once I’m done with that, I’ll start planning my next full.

Marathon Recovery

The day after running my marathon, my body was slightly sore, but I was able to move up and down stairs without issue. Forty-eight hours after running my marathon I had some mild muscle soreness, mostly just some calf tightness, but if forced, I probably could have gone for a short (and slow!) run.

So, how is it that I’m functioning like a normal human being (or, as close to normal as I’m able) so soon after a marathon? Here are a few key things I think helped with my recovery.

  • Immediately after finishing, I didn’t stop moving. Yes, I wanted to plan my arse on the ground, but I walked to grab my medal and water, picked up my bag from bag check, tossed in some food and found my dad and sister so we could begin our walk to the car. I knew if I stopped moving I probably wouldn’t be able to start again.
  • I drank my Vega Recovery Accelerator as soon as possible after finishing. As I swapped my shoes for sandals (best idea ever!) my dad mixed up my Vega drink so I could drink it on the way back to the car.
  • I didn’t wimp out and plant my butt on the couch afterwards. Yes, I wanted to plant my butt on the couch, but as much as possible, I made myself go up and down the stairs (oof!) and move about during the day to keep my muscles lose.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Right after my shower I downed my Vega Performance Protein Shake and made myself a nuun drink to restore myself with electrolytes and water!
  • I put my ProCompression calf sleeves on after my shower and wore them for about six hours before peeling them off.
  • Anytime I was sitting down, I tried to have my legs elevated to reduce any unnecessary swelling and help my muscles heal.
  • Rolled my muscles with my recently purchased Tiger Tail. Even my dad (who doesn’t do massage or foam rolling) used my Tiger Tail and loved it!
  • I took it really easy on Sunday and Monday. Sunday I really just chilled at my dad’s and ate turkey and pumpkin pie (pumpkin pie helps heal muscles. Fact). Monday I attempted to go for a walk with my dad but really only made it about 1km before I needed to turn back and have a nap. My body wanted a nap and a nap it what it received!
  • Most importantly, I trained well. My body will always be sore and creaky after a run, but I know following my training plan (and taking care of my body during training) prepared me really well for the marathon and has helped my body to recover well over the past few days.

My plan for the rest of the week is more rest, healthy food, lots of stretching, lots of water and some light exercising. I plan on heading to a yin yoga class to help with the relaxation and stretching tonight and plan on brining in some cross training over the weekend, provided my body feels up to it.

The Thursday Runs: Tapering

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So, be honest, how many of your runners just groaned and shuddered when you saw the word taper. Gross, right?!

So, what is a taper?

Everyone’s performance can benefit from a good taper, which is a carefully planned period of reduced training. This gradual easing up allows your body to disperse the residual fatigue products that have been carried from one workout to another. The extra recovery and regeneration that can occur during a taper result in what is called peaking.

The biggest complaint I get about tapering is that people often feel extremely restless during this period they feel like they should be doing more. Don’t. The beginning of the taper period signifies the end of training and the beginning of competition preparation and any hard training done during this period will do more to hurt your performance than help it because you won’t recover fast enough. A good taper will make you feel like a horse in the gate at the start of the race for the few days before your event. It is the feeling of peak fitness; use it to your advantage.

(From John Stanton’s marathon training program)

So, right now I’m kinda sorta running, but not really and it’s driving me crazy!

I’m definitely experiencing the restlessness and have a major itch to go out and run but I also know resting my body will allow it to perform better on race day.

PS – race day is in three days. THREE!!!!!!

When I was a competitive swimming, I also hated the taper. I hated it. But, I’m weird. I was the one who would go to meet right after hell week and pull out a PR in an event. That said, my body performs exceptionally well under stress, so I usually keep my taper to 1-2 weeks and not the recommended 3 because my body likes stress.

This is probably a great example not doing what I do. I’ve been competitive for a while and know what my body likes. That said, a marathon is a completely different beast, so I’m not sure how my taper will work for my race. I do know I’ve trained well and have done all I can do up to this point.

Remember, nothing you do in the final week will help you, but everything you do can hinder your performance.

How do you handle your taper?

Do you hate tapering as much as I do?

Intro

Tempo

Hills

LSD

Speed

Rest

How I get my butt out the door

I like to think that Janae and I posted about running motivation around the same time because we’re totally destined to be BFF’s. Right?!

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The above picture was taken from my office building (but sadly, not my office, I do not yet have a window office. Yet!) before the rain moved north to our building, but move it did. Around 3pm on Tuesday I was strongly debating my 10k run I had on the schedule: 1) I’m a wimpy wimp who doesn’t always like hates rain and 2) it’s taper week, so does it really matter?! 

Spoiler: I took the night off yesterday, instead I packed my bag to run at lunch today. I could tell I needed the rest because I went to bed at 10pm and slept straight through until my alarm went off.

Through training for my half marathon and now my marathon (count down: four freaking days. FOUR!) I’ve found some tricks that usually work to get my butt out the door.

1. Schedule it

Sure, you have a training plan, but is it visible at all times?

I have my training plan on my blog (Aug half, full, rest and Feb half) and in my awesome Erin Condren planner.

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At any given time, all I need to do is flip open my planner, or click the appropriate link on my blog and my training plan is there. After seeing it again and again, I always knew what I had coming up in the week.

2. Make it easy

For runs I did in the AM (long runs) or at lunch (when I have something scheduled after work) I make it as easy as possible to get out the door.

Before going to bed I’ll pack my gym bag (if running and lunch) or will lay out my clothes (this isn’t as neat as it sounds; it usually involves me tossing them on the floor in my living room) and gathering  together all my supplements so I don’t waste time looking for them.

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3. Reflect

Reflecting on past runs and how far I’ve come in a few short months shows me that all this hard work is paying off and getting my lazy bum out the door will make a difference.

I’m a visual person and I love data. Seriously, I love it. This is why using RunKeeper has been so awesome for me. It’s easy for me to compare previous runs and RunKeeper will instantly alert me when I’ve hit a new milestone: longest run, fastest at a certain distance, calories burned, etc.

Really, who doesn’t love some instant gratification?!

4. Take a break

Sometimes life is overwhelming and we need a break. With five runs per week on my training plan, I ran 4x/week 70% of the time and sometimes I even only ran 3x/week.

Guess what?

That’s okay.

Rest heals the body so it can run father and faster. On the days where I’m really bagged and can barely keep my eyes open, I’ll make a date with my couch instead. If I’m able, I’ll just swap a rest day for a run day, but if that isn’t possible I’ll have the best rest day ever and be ready to run the following day.

5. Get creative

Earlier this month I was feeling bogged down about all the 30km runs I had yet to do and instead of letting that cloud my thoughts, I made myself a running bucket list. This helped remind me that running is more than just running a race for time, it can be about exploring a new city. making new friends, and hanging out with family.

6. Bribes

When all else fails, I can usually get my butt out the door with a bribe. (If a bribe doesn’t even seem enticing, then I know it’s time for some rest). Although I don’t personally count calories, I do still really try to eat balanced and healthy, so food is normally my main motivator.

Get outside and you can have some extra ice cream for dessert.

Pumpkin pasta? Dang that sure sounds good. Get yer butt outside for a run and it’s pumpkin pasta time!

I’m not above bribes and I’ll probably never be above bribes. Chances are if it works on a small child, it’ll also work on me.

Candy? I LOVE candy!

Tell me, what are your tried and true ways for getting your butt out the door?

Marathon Advice from Yer Mom

No. Wait. It’s my mom. Sorry ’bout that……

On Saturday my mom gave me a call as she was driving home from work because she wanted to pass along some advice she received when she was running her first marathon; nine year ago.

Instead of just typing them out for all y’all, I used Recite to make pretty quotes because you can put anything on a pretty background and have it be meaningful 🙂

(Thanks to Carly at Snack Therapy for sharing the awesomeness of Recite!)

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Related, and definitely not from my mom. I’m considering writing this on my marathon bib, because why wouldn’t I?! I mean really, I’m going to be running for four freaking hours, I might as well have fun with it, right?!

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Tell me, what is your best marathon (or race) advice? Please share in the comments!

The Thursday Runs: Rest Days

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As shown in my marathon training plan there are numerous types of runs used to prepare for a race. In this series I’m breaking down the types of runs, what they mean and their purpose, and also talking about other important such running things.

Today’s topic is rest days. Surprisingly, these are in specific places in my marathon training plan and are a super important part of the training process.

That said, I struggle with rest days.

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The illogical part of my brain things I’m being lazy because I’m doing nothing when, in reality, I’m allowing my body to heal so I can keep running.

Rest days help to (source):

  • restock glycogen stores
  • build strength
  • reduce fatigue

Taking 1-2 days off each week won’t result in any detraining, so I’m not losing fitness, and I’m certainly not being a lazy bum (although I may feel like it).

I’ve been working on changing my view around rest days, instead of thinking that I’m doing nothing I’m thinking of rest days as something scheduled into my training program as something I am doing to heal. So, instead of doing nothing I’m actually actively healing my body in preparation for the upcoming week.

Sometimes I really struggle with listening to my body and taking rest days. I made the decision to take today as a rest day for a couple of reasons:

  1. My heart rate felt elevated last night (this can be a sign of over training)
  2. I went for a very intense massage last night and I’m a bit sore
  3. I woke up feeling tired and dehydrated this morning

With only 4 more runs until my race, I know I won’t lose any fitness and, 10 days out (there’s that pesky countdown again!) my number one goal should be keeping my body healthy. That means drinking more water (I’ve been struggling with this lately), sleep (some studies recommend sleeping 8-10 hours when training) and eating healthy foods.

Are you a fan of rest days?

Intro

Tempo

Hills

LSD

Speed

Marathon Playlist

Although I’ve been running and racing since 2010, I only started listening to music on my runs in June of this year. I took pride in not needing music to get through my runs. Then? Enter Songza. As soon as I found out about Songza and started using RunKeeper instead of my beloved Garmin, my runs changed.

I now love listening to music on my runs. There are times when I’ll be in the zone running and two or three songs will go by and I won’t really have heard them, but there are also some songs that just push me to run harder and faster.

Since both Songza and RunKeeper use data and; therefore, battery life on my phone, I’m actually kind of nervous that my battery will die before I finish my marathon in 11 days. (Yes, I’m going to keep counting down until the day arrives. I love countdowns – hence the countdown button in my sidebar. Sorry I’m not sorry).

Enter: the play list.

My goal this weekend is to spend some time making a roughly 4.5 hour playlist for race day (and then cross my fingers I finish in 4:30 or less!).

There are two songs that will be making multiple appearances on list. There may also be dancing while running and listening to these songs.

How can you not want to rock out in your living room while listening to this song?!

I’m a huge Avicii fan. HUGE. I loved this song from the second it was released and the entire album is great.

Never fear – once finished I’ll post my playlist for y’all.

What are your favourite running songs?

Anything I MUST include on my playlist?

October Goals

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Holy moly, friends. Can you believe it’s October?! Wowie. It seems time has flown by since June – it’s unbelievable!

I haven’t set any monthly goals for myself in a long time, but I feel like I’m in a great place lately, so it’s time to start growing and stretching myself.

Embrace the taper

tapering_white I feel like I need a copy of this t-shirt for me. I’m not a big fan of tapering; I find it can start to mess with my mind and I question my physical ability. Tapering starts today, so my goal is to embrace my taper and sick to my training plan.

Enjoy my marathon

While I’ve set some time goals for myself in regards to my race, I really just want to enjoy it and have a great Thanksgiving with my family.

I will finish my race (I will! I will! I will!) and I will enjoy it!

(I’m sure I’ll also enjoy planting my butt on the couch afterwards!)

Cross train!

Even after posting about cross training, I’ve been pretty lax about it. While I’m not going to do anything crazy between now and my marathon (in twelve days!) I know I need to start doing way more cross training. For October, I will be doing a 30-day ab challenge. I actually have terrible posture (I stand with a sway back and it’s terrible) and I know working my abs will improve my posture and make me a better runner.

(Ab challenge to be posted later this week).

Rest!

I’m giving myself 3-weeks off from major running and training after the marathon. I’m going to take my rest and once I’m feeling better, I want to hop on the cross training train by way of my Nike+ training workouts and trying out some spin classes at the spin studio a block away from me.

Stay in the green zone for my budget

My awesome budgeting app highlights my spending areas as green (within budget), yellow (approaching the max) and red (over spent) and my goal for October is to keep my spending in the green zone for my budget areas. It’ll take some work, but thinking about my expenses definitely helps me to feel calmer and in control.

What are you hoping to accomplish this October?

The Thursday Runs: Staying Healthy

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As shown in my marathon training plan there are numerous types of runs used to prepare for a race. In this series I’m breaking down the types of runs, what they mean and their purpose, and also talking about other important such running things.

With 24 days to go until my marathon, making sure I stay healthy and injury free is super duper important! There are a few ways I’ve gone about trying to stay healthy and before talking about speedwork (coming next week!) I wanted to touch on health since speedwork is one of the more common ways injuries happen.

On Sunday I logged my furthest run to-date: 30.8km, or a little over 19 miles. My original plan had me running 30km on Saturday, but I woke up with some aches and pains in my right calf and glute and I knew going for a run would be setting myself up for failure; it was unlikely I’d make it the full distance and I was pretty sure I’d just end up hurting more.

I put in a phone call to my favourite chiropractor and was able to get a same day appointment (hooray) in the hopes I’d be able to run on Sunday without issue (nevermind that I was going out with girlfriends on Saturday evening….). A visit to my chiro and some foam rolling put me in good shape to complete my nearly 31km run on Sunday (just 200m shy!).

Chiropractic

When I’m not heavy in training, I see my chiropractor every 4-6 weeks. I’ve been seeing her for nearly five years – I started when I was having huge issues with my back and work and now my visits have progressed to my running injuries. She’s helped me with IT band issues, tight glutes and shin splints. Now that I’m just three weeks out from my race, I’m seeing her ever other week, or when I need to come in, like this weekend.

Massage Therapy

I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with massage therapy. I love massages (getting my hair done and massages are up there in the top two things I love most in the world) but finding a good massage therapist can be a bit of a challenge. Thankfully I found the most wonderful massage therapist this winter and she’s done amazing work on my back and lower body. I’ve even left with bruises on my butt!

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is something every runner knows they should  do, but often don’t. I’m that person. However, I know that foam rolling may hurt for the 60 seconds I’m rolling, but once I’m done the pain is gone. A few weeks ago I downloaded an app (PEAR Training Ingelligence) that has a 13 minute foam rolling exercise (under the flexibility category), so I’ve started doing that after every run and it’s really helped things. I’ll also use a tennis ball for my feet and glutes.

After a run I’ll also lay on my back with my legs straight up in the air for about 5 minutes to help drain the fluid from my legs.

FitSugar has a short article on foam rolling and some how to’s here.

Ice Baths

Ugh.

Cold.

I really really hate being cold.

There’s some conflicting data on whether ice baths actually do help with muscle recovery; however, I believe if it works for you then it won’t do any harm to continue to use them. I buy a bag of ice on my walk home from my long run (I have a teeny freezer) and dump it into my bathtub after raising my legs and completing my foam rolling workout. I’ll hang out in the tub with a cup of coffee (after refueling!) for 15-20 minutes and then reward myself with a nice hot shower.

Cross-Training

Confession. I suck at cross-training. Heck, I’ve even emailed myself an awesome cross-training workout from Runner’s World and haven’t done it once. Bad, bad, bad.

However, the same app that has the foam rolling workout also has a quick (9 minute!) cross training workout that I’ve started to do after my shorter runs (I do nothing after a long run. Nothing. No thank you, I’m tired). It’s so easy, I have zero excuses to not complete the exercises:

  • 60 second plank
  • 60 seconds pushups
  • 60 seconds leg extensions on stability ball
  • 60 seconds lunges x 2 (1 minute each leg)
  • 60 seconds squats

BOOM. No excuses, right?!

What do you do to stay healthy while training?

Intro

Tempo

Hills

LSD

Steady

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