Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week in Review

0 Miles
7 days off
1 Weight Lifting Session
2 Ab sessions
18 miles hiked
0 Cross Training
3 days in Phoenix

Garrett couldn’t have arrived at a better time, right when I really needed a PT to look me over and tell me and to do. Unfortunately, Garrett said we need tools that he doesn't have - like dry needling and patches and laser. So instead, I joined the YMCA so that I can start water running in January when I get back.  By Thursday, we made our way from California to Phoenix so that I could celebrate my birthday with my family and friends Matt, Nick, Allie, Merry and Michelle.  It was a great weekend, even if I had to stay back at the house when all the girls set off for a long run on Saturday.   We hiked on Saturday morning and went out to dinner, with high hopes of going out dancing later.  Instead, we stayed in a did a puzzle of cows doing yoga.  Yes, that's right, I started my 30s by doing a puzzle.  Sounds perfect to me.  Tomorrow Garrett and I fly back to Durham and I'm really excited to have some time where I don't have to be anywhere and I don't have to do anything, besides try to see some medical professionals. :

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week in Review

2.6 Miles
6 days off
1 Massage
2 Weight lifting sessions

At the beginning of this week, I truly thought that I was on the road to recovery.  For the first time in three weeks, I couldn't even feel my achilles during my normal day-to-day activities.  As I read through my daily running log, the positivity is almost contagious and I smile thinking about how I was really trying to use positive energy to nip this injury in the bud.    Things were going so well that I actually thought I could try for a run.  Well, that didn't work out quite as I had hoped.  After 1.3 miles of pure bliss and no feeling in the achilles, all went to hell.  The tightness came back and I resorted to running a tiny bit more before walking. 

At this point, all my positivity had run its course and now I was just wondering what the hell to do next.  I made several appointments with my PT in Durham and my chiro in Charlotte.  I bought a boot.  I walked 10 miles in San Francisco.  I still am not cross training.  Most people think that I'm crazy for not doing any cross training, but I had a similar injury in 2005 back at Wake Forest, and I cross trained my ass off, but my achilles stayed swollen for those 8 weeks.  Finally, the trainer shut me down completely, put me in a boot and we waited it out.  After another 4-5 weeks, I was finally ready to start my comeback to running, albeit very slowly.  I decided not to cross train in hopes that it would fast-track my healing so I would only be out for like  4-5 weeks instead of 12-13.  At this rate, I don't know when I'll  be back running.

Other noteworthy news this week include that I officially finished my MBA(!!!!!!!).  The injury, combined with the fact that I didn't even get to give my classmates a high five in person, made me feel really sad about everything.  First world problems, I know.  But it was so anti-climatic to finish the Duke Cross Continent MBA program without my classmates close by to be like, damn we did it.  After 18 months, 5 countries, 16 classes, 50,000 miles flown, 100 new friends, I should feel like I really accomplished something, but instead it just feels like I literally just put down a book I really liked.  I feel like a part of my identity is gone.  What to do with my extra time?  I can't run, so I should I start doing Pure Barre?  Where should I volunteer my time?  Should I learn Spanish?  Should I just start working overtime, because, well, why not?  Who am I?  Who do I want to be?   How do I make friends in California?  These are all the thoughts running through my head, and I hope I get some clarity in 2016.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

(Still Injured) Week in Review

0 runs
7 days off
2 Lift Days
10M Bike Ride in 39 minutes

...So I'm still injured.  I hate tendon injuries, and somehow that's the only injury that likes to haunt me.  I hate tendon injuries because you just never know when they will heal.  Bone injuries are much more predictable and formulaic:  stress fracture? Take 4-6 weeks off and you're 99% going to be healed at the end.  Fortunately, I've only been injured three times in my 16-year running career, which is pretty damn good if you ask me.

I'll admit that I'm doing my best to keep a positive outlook.  The thing that's bugging me the most though is just that I know there are so many friends and family members coming to the Trials.  And because of that, I want to be able to run for them.  They've supported me since I had the goal to run at the Trials back in 2010, and I don't want to let them down.  And I know this is silly, because each and every one of my supporters would completely understand if I couldn't run.  Obviously, that's worse case scenario, and I don't think it will get to that.  My hope is that I can start running again on December 15th, which would be about 4 weeks off at that point.  Completely off, no cross training, unless I pick that up next week.

Speaking of cross training, I finally had this burning desire to get my heart rate going again - you know, to actually use my heart for exercise - so I hopped on my new Specialized Ariel Sport Disc and pushed through 10 miles around Baylands.  It was a beautiful, sunny day with temps in the low 60s and I just felt freed - to feel the air in my lungs and to hear my steady, labored breaths as I pedaled.  It was fantastic!  This is why I love exercise - it makes you feel euphoric and you completely forget whatever the hell happened in the day that pissed you off. But after the ride, I could tell my achilles responded negatively to the effort and I was bummed out because I really was hoping to be able to run this weekend.  So that's when I made my new goal - to start running on December 15th!  Baby steps....the ultimate goal is that I can run a decent time at the Trials. :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week in Review

0 Miles
2 Lift Days
21 Miles hiked
2 days in Monterey, CA
5 days with Garrett
10 days off in October
15 days off in November

I may not be logging miles on the road, but I did log a solid 20 mile hike this week at Big Sur. Sure, Coach probably sighed to himself, wondering how I could hike up 3000 feet in elevation gain and then 2800 feet on the way back but not run 4 miles on flat pavement.  Somehow, my achilles held up quite nicely.  Of course I felt it, but I wasn't going to say no to a hike the day before Thanksgiving with my brother and my husband. I've made choices in the past to pass up on other things because of running, but today was not that day.  On Tuesday, Joey, Garrett and I headed over to Monterey.  We checked out the aquarium on Tuesday and then hiked to the Sykes Hot Springs on Wednesday.  I was so sore from the hike immediately afterwards, probably because I'm not conditioned to be running 20 miles right now, let along walking 20 miles!  To be safe, I did pass up on a possible hike at Big Basin north of Santa Cruz because my hamstrings were just too tight.  I'm pretty sure Garrett was super bummed, but he understood that I didn't want to risk tearing my achilles or something crazy.  I still would like to at least try to finish the Olympic Trials in a couple of months!

Then, we enjoyed a nice vegan Thanksgiving meal at my house in mountain view.  It was super chill and relaxed, and I was so happy that I got to spend it with not only Garrett, but with Joey too!  I said goodbye to my guests on Friday, which really just made me miss Garrett a lot more and kind of question what the hell I'm doing by living on the opposite coast of my husband.  I was doing so good at just being the badass wife who was being so strong being so far away from her best friend, but saying bye to him on Friday and reflecting on how much fun we had was definitely tough.  I'm almost done with my MBA, so after I finish those classes up in the next couple of weeks, I'll need to find something else to really keep my mind off of how awesome Garrett is and how much I'm potentially missing out on by not being in Durham!
Having G in California was just what I needed

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week in Review

10 miles
2 runs
5 days off
24 hours in Boston
2 Lift Days

In an effort to accelerate my comeback as much as possible, I had a 90 minute massage with Josh at SMI on Tuesday.  I noticed as the week progressed that what I thought was an achilles injury, actually felt very much like a peroneal injury.  Josh spent a solid 30 minutes on the area, and I was definitely sore from the body work afterwards, which is just what I needed.  However, after I attempted a run again on Friday and then again on Saturday, the creaky sensation in my achilles came back.  My achilles feels like the entire sheath doesn't want to move.  Honestly, the whole thing is quite puzzling because I feel my peroneal when I walk around or when I massage it, but then when I run, the pain is centered around the achilles.  Ironically, I've never really gotten injured on the right side, so I'm guessing that since I'm approaching 30, my body decided to switch it up on me and go get injured on the other side.  :)

On the bright side, Garrett and I were reunited today, and he was able to do some functional movement screen tests on me to see what weaknesses could be causing the issue.  My very own physical therapist in training discovered that my right side is weaker than my left and added two new activities to my lifting regime.  Ironically enough, he said my squat, ankle mobility and other things have improved dramatically and that I'm really strong where I used to be weak.  I retorted back quite quickly "And yet I'm still injured..."

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week in Review

45 miles
1 day off
2 weight lift sessions
1 sleepover with Meagan

Thirteen.  That's the number of consecutive days I ran until I felt another injury find its way to my body.

Things were going so great early in the week, too.  I ran 8 miles at the Strava Track Club practice.   I had a wonderfully painful massage with Josh at Sports Medicine Institute, followed by an ice bath that took my breath away.  I had the privilege of running with my bestie Meagan for not one, but TWO runs.  I seriously was so grateful that I wasn't injured when she was here, because it would have meant less time for me to spend with her.

Then Saturday came along.  I drove to the southernmost part of the peninsula to run with Laura and Connor.  it was a beautiful day, with great company but during the first mile, I knew something wasn't right.  Out of nowhere, my right achilles was aching, super tight.  I finished the run because it was manageable but knew right away that it was not good.  I drove home and contemplated what probably happened - my left knee and left calf got tight and then I started overcompensating and it all migrated on over to my right side like a virus.  I attempted a run on Sunday morning in the rain, and the achilles was too tight to push it.

I was pretty bummed because by day 11, I was really beginning to feel optimistic about my buildup back to getting into shape.  I felt confident that all the mobility drills, strengthening exercises, and soft tissue work were finally starting to pay off and help me heal.  I'm really glad that Garrett gets here in one week so that he can give me some more exercises to focus on to help correct this.

On the bright side, I haven't been injured in over ten years.  I'm fortunate to have the privilege to run and am so grateful for how much more sane it makes me feel.  If anything, this injury is the sort of thing that makes me appreciate all the opportunities that running has opened up for me.  Hopefully I'm  back, and healthy, by December 15th.

night out with meagan!

ice bath at Sports Medicine Institute

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week in Review

43 miles
8 mile "long run"
0 days off
1 Massage
2 Lift days

After a minor set back with my calf last week, Terry and I decided to keep the daily mileage under 8 miles this week.  Reflecting on this past week, I'm feeling pretty good about the progress (meaning that I don't have tightness worsening in my calf yet).  I know that the true test will come in the early days next week as I try to run back-to-back days of 8 miles.  Now some of you may think that I'm having a nervous breakdown because I can't run.  This would have definitely been the case in college, or even three years ago.  Obviously, it's not ideal to be somewhat injured 13 weeks out from the Trials, but it could be a lot worse.  Emotionally I am actually very impressed with myself because I've been very rationale with my options and the scenarios that could play out.  Further, I've had time to do other things that I enjoy, like cooking.  The most annoying part about all of this is just that it has prevented me from being able to run with new people, thwarting my attempts to meet more friends through the running community.

The highlight of the week was the Strava Track Club potluck that Coach Dena hosted at her house. I've been very grateful for her generosity and for the warm welcome into the running community.  I also attended the Strava Track Club practice on Tuesday at the Stanford track.  It was the first time I was really fired up to run since this calf injury started.  Nothing can stop the magic of that track from permeating throughout my whole body.  My spirits were uplifted just seeing the lights on at the track.  So many great memories from college at that track!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Week in Review (Calf Setback)

47 Miles
12 Mile MLR
1 day off

I take one step forward and two steps back.  Change one word and you have a nice Paula Abdul song.  Well, that's how I feel right now.  I was feeling optimistic about my calf tightness going away until it came back after 8 consecutive days of running.  I'd been enjoying the runs with some friendly folks here in my new town (mainly Jenna Boren) and then my calf gave me the middle finger. After a 12 miler on Saturday, the calf tightened up again, so I went into emergency mode.  I called Garrett, looked up all sorts of ankle mobility drills and began a strict regime of foam rolling, lacrosse ball massage and KB massage before and after all runs.   I took Sunday off as an extra precautionary measure, in hopes that next week will prove to be more successful.

I really just want to know if I'm healthy or not. I hate this middle ground and that is probably the most frustrating.  I've talked with Terry and at least have a plan, with several options depending on how my calf holds up to mileage through the rest of the month.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week in Review

27 Miles
3 Days off
2 Lift Days
8.5M MLR
6 miles of hiking

hey-oh! Look who's back!  After a shut-down of ten days with no running, I was itching to get going again.  Back in California uninterrupted until Christmas, I'm ready to start running again so I can meet new people with similar interests to me. I'm telling you that if I'm not running, it's 100x harder for me to meet friends because I actually get quite shy.  I am happy to report that I was able to run 4 days without the calf getting any tighter.  I'm hopeful for next week, but know that I need to do my part and continue lifting.  What's interesting is that it's not a calf strength issue - my calves are really strong - but it's definitely a glute strength issue. Fortunately Garrett is a PT in training, and also happens to be super connected with some of the best sports med professionals in the field, so he's been a huge help for me, even if he is across the country!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week in Review

10 miles
2 runs
Lots of Cupping Therapy
4 Days in NC
Too much wedding cake

I'm still injured! Nothing has changed from last week.  I did run on Monday, but my calf got much worse (went from a 2 to a 5), so I decided to take four more days off.  This was a big bummer because I was excited to run with my Charlotte friends, since I was in town for John's wedding.  I did enough cupping therapy on myself that I was able to muster a 6-mile run on Saturday with the groom and some other close friends.  While my calf went from a 1 to a 2 on the pain scale, the tightness worsened after the run so I made the decision to continue taking time off.  Terry and I decided that I need to take off until at least Thursday of next week to let my calf calm down to ensure that I can start fully training for the Trials on November 15th.  This decision wasn't nearly as difficult as you may think it should have been for me.  Mentally, I welcomed the break, so I knew this was the right thing to do. I'm probably overworked from the move to the West coast, from school and from losing all my friends on the East Coast.

Instead of running this week, I ate lots of cake...lots and lots of cake.  I also focused on schoolwork, stretching and friends.  I headed to Charlotte Thursday night and got to spend the weekend with the old Wilmore crew at John and Taylor's wedding.  It was a total blast!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

(I moved across the country and got injured) Week in Review

48 Miles
0 workouts
18 miles, with 6 mile limping home
2,800 miles moved from Durham, NC to Mountain View, CA

This week started off so good.  A nice run in Durham with my friends, with the sun shining for the first time in thirteen days.  I said goodbye to my cat Cicero and my husband, and boarded a one-way flight to San Jose, California with only two bags to my name.  Yes somehow all of my personal possessions fit into two large suitcases and the trunk of my Honda Accord that was shipped across the country for me.  Ain't nobody got time for that (driving across the country, that is).

Things were going great - I unpacked, got settled in and even got to run with a couple of people.  I created my standard Facebook group to connect runners throughout the Bay Area together and was pumped to find out that two other folks were doing a long run on Friday. I got it cleared with Terry to do the long run with them, and departed my house with high hopes.  We got through 12 miles and then, out of absolutely nowhere, my calf got tight.  Really, really tight.  Like, I-may-have-just-strained-my-calf tight.  As in, "did I just get shot?" tight.

And I was 6 miles from my house.

So I stopped.  I tried walking.  Then ran again. I tried asking a LinkedIn employee to take me home.  They said no.  And then asked if I had any friends to call.  I almost burst into tears.  I literally have no friends.  They're all everywhere but here...and I don't have their phone numbers memorized.  Just Garrett and my mom and dad.  My favorite part was when the LinkedIn employee suggested I go to the Google security guard to ask for help.  Not the LinkedIn security guard.

I made a (dumb) decision to run the rest of the way home.  Three hours and 18 miles later, I made it home...and could barely walk. I was limping.  I went into emergency mode.  Started contacting as many massage places as possible.  I literally could. not. walk.  I got in to a Thai Massage place less than half a mile from my house, but I couldn't even walk there because it was too bad. I felt lame to have to drive there.

The Thai massage helped tremendously in that I could walk with much less of a limp, but I could tell I needed some time for my calf to settle down.

The best news was that my sister came into town the next day so I didn't have any time to mope about how I almost pulled my calf muscle.  Instead, I focused on hanging out with her and Athena so that we could have the best possible weekend together!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

(Duke Residency) Week 2 Week in Review

Week of September 28th:
64 miles
1 day off
19.5 Mile Long Run
12 miles with 4 x mile repeats
36 hours of classes
7 days at Duke

My last week of residency classes for my Duke Cross Continent MBA! I went out for the first time this residency and did it with a bang.  We went to karaoke and had an absolute blast.  There's no wonder why I took the next day off, especially since we had class the following morning at 8AM.

It's been stressful because of the workload in our negotiations class and because of the stuff I need to get ready for my big move to California.  I've basically had zero time to prepare for the move and to start packing.  I'm proud of my mileage during this week and especially enjoyed the long run and the brunch with my Durham runner peeps, who sent me off in style, even if I had a cold.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

(Duke Residency) Week 1 in Review

Week of September 21st
70 miles
16M Long Run solo
0 Doubles
36 hours of class
7 days at Duke

My first week of my last residency for Duke MBA!  Wow - it was so great to see all of my classmates.  It's definitely been a long year with work, Duke classes and running, but it was all made possible with the support and friendship from my classmates.  I'm taking market intelligence and marketing strategy this week and I'm really enjoying the classes so far.  Katie and I are getting in lots of miles together, which has helped tremendously since it's been raining the entire last half of the week.

I feel really good about this week of mileage, given the full schedule at Duke!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week in Review

67 Miles
12.6M MLR
10M Fartlek
12.3M with 8x1000m repeats

This was my last reading period I'll ever have to do again for my MBA! WOOHOO!!! I can't believe that Term 1 has started.  It's been such a great ride, but I'm relieved that the end is in sight.  Can't wait to get my diploma in December.

I had a lot of stuff going on this week, with Katie and Claire staying with my before the start of residency and then also trying to work at the Bank, while also finishing up some final pre-work for my classes.

I felt really good about the workouts this week and am so ready for the weather to finally cool down.  It's still been ridiculously hot and humid for the time of year, which is just annoying!  My knee is still slightly bothering me, but not a lot and all the doctors said I can still run on it.  :)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Crappy Rust Buster: Labor Day Five Miler

Run as close to 27:45 as possible
Top 2

2.7 mile warmup solo
5 miles in 29:12
2.7 mile cool down with Sarah Powell and another guy

Saturday, May 30th, 2015.  98 days ago.  The last time I raced.  Seriously?  That's a really long time ago.

I'm pretty sure that's the longest stint of not racing that I've ever had...Those 98 days extended into a long break from racing that included two weeks in Turkey, one and a half terms of MBA classes, two weeks of sickness, six work trips, a trip to the beach, a decision to move long-distance from my husband to California, a trip to the Midwest to see family, and lots of hours at work.  Even though I haven't been busy racing, I've been busy in about every other aspect of my life.

Back to the race. I laced up my Skechers GOrun 4's for the Labor Day Five Miler in Columbia, SC.  With a small prize purse of $200, $100, $50 for 1-2-3, it seemed like a decent place to test my summer training.  But what really attracted me to the race back in June was the site that boasted a bonus prize purse of an additional $500 for breaking 27:45 and then another $500 for breaking $500.  I knew that best case scenario I could break 27:45, but that I was not in shape for sub-27:00.  After all, I only did that once back in 2013 at the Main Street Crit, two weeks before I PR'ed at the Cal International Marathon.

So, what happened in the race, you ask?

It was crap.

It was hot.

My time was slow.

I ran practically the same pace for my marathon two years ago.  I ran faster than this pace in a 4 mile tempo on Thursday of this week.  I ran my 2014 half marathon PR approximately 10 seconds faster per mile than I did today for five miles.

I'm done ranting.

Important to consider though is that I did put myself out there. I race to test my fitness and my mental fortitude; I use this to understand what to tweak in my training. This race was not an accurate indicator of my true fitness, but I do believe that it was an accurate indicator of my mental tenacity.  It's not where it needs to be. I've been worrying too much about little aches and pains, about my weight, and about my upcoming move.  It's time to really refocus my attention to all the small things that make a huge difference when it's comes to a giant goal race like the Olympic Trials.  With so many upcoming changes, it will be critical for me to focus my energy in the right places, in the positive places, so that that I can be as successful as possible.

Photo courtesy of Alex McDonald

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Week in Review

70 miles
8 Runs / 1 Double
12 x 300m Repeats at 52-58 for 10.5 Miles total
4 mile tempo at 552 - 604 for 12 miles total
3 Days in Illinois

I was in the sweltering heat and humidity of Southern Illinois for the first three days of this week, visiting my family.  It was hotter there than in NC, and I paid for it on all of my morning runs.  It was a struggle to get out of the door, but I got in the work and felt crappy doing it.  We drove on Tuesday 6 hours to Cincinnati to see my nephew Eli. It was definitely the highlight of the trip.  He's such a sweetie.  At 16 months, he's such a snuggler.  When I would try to put him back down after holding him, his legs would just grip my waist like he didn't want to ever let go. My heart melted 100x over, again and again and again.

I spent the rest of the week in NC doing a tempo run with Billy before beginning a very light taper for a 5 miler race that I'm doing on Labor Day.  My knee is still bothering me when I walk, or sit a certain way, but so far it hasn't affected my runs this week.

Also, to be clear, I've always known that I'm bigger than most distance runners.  In college, I used to let this get to me.  However, as a post-collegiate athlete I realized that it's dumb for me to compare myself to other body types. I've had the same body type and weight since I was 21 years old.  I decided to focus instead on what I have to work with - and that is a lean, muscular build that I can use to my strength.

Unfortunately, this past week I digressed in my own body image.

I came home to Durham to realize that I weigh about 5 pounds over my race weight.  I have been lifting more, but just twice a week so I don't think that it's muscle.  At the same time, I impulsively tried on all my tightest skinny jeans and they all fit the exact same way as before...I'm not sure what it's about but I definitely need to take a close look at my diet and determine how to optimize my performance through an improved diet. Last time I met with a dietitian, she told me that I'm not eating enough calories so basically I'm slowing down my metabolism.  Ironically, in April, upon my return from India, I weighed 125, which is SUPER light for me.  I had just come off a diet of lentils, stir fried vegetables, brown rice and whole wheat naan. Perhaps I need to eat more lentils and naan. :)

I need to make sure that I feel confident that my own body type will propel me to greatness at the Olympic Trials, so this is a focus item for me over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week in Review

62 Miles
7 Runs / 1 Double
1 Day off
16 Miles Solo Long Run in 7:00 pace
4 x mile repeats 548,546,543,540 with 60s jog rest
4 days in Illinois

I had hoped that this week would be a solid week of 80+ miles, but my knee started acting up on runs so I wanted to play it safe.  Plus, I was in Chicago and didn't feel like waking up early before our train to my Grandma's house.  Turns out we missed our Amtrak train and had to rent a one-way car rental instead, but how was I supposed to predict that would happen?

Looking past the lower mileage week and minor hiccup with the knee, the week actually was still pretty solid from a quality perspective. I got in some good mile repeats at the greenway on Tuesday with my guys Billy and Gene.  Then I posted a solid long run, where I had zero company.  Let me repeat that.  I ran 16 miles without any friends by my side.  Write this down in the record books, because I'm quite certain that the last time I did a long run by myself was in 2010 in San Francisco.  Yes, it's that rare for me to run solo long runs that I actually remember the last time it happened.

But I digress.  Outside of running, the focus for this week was to hang out with my parents and siblings to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday.  She's doing great and I am so excited to have shared in the celebrations with her.  She's a gem.  She even kept this quite endearing thank you note from me:

Who knew I could be such a comedian?
Runs with dad won't always be possible, so I cherish these runs!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Week in Review

83 Miles
9 runs / 2 Doubles
20 Miles long Run in 6:55 pace
11.4M MLR
8x800m repeats
2 Days in Boston for work

Fresh off finishing my fifth MBA term, Coach and I decided this would be a good week for higher mileage.  The highlight of the running this week was definitely my 20 miler.  I have crushed all of the last four long runs and it gives me a lot of confidence that I'm building up the strength for marathon endurance.  My workouts are turning the corner as well, but it's the fact that the long runs are so enjoyable that really gets me pumped up for the fall season.  I've still been having some minor issues with my knee (it hurts to go down stairs), but it hasn't been affecting my run as I don't feel discomfort while running.

I've also ramped up my lifting regime, doing 3 sets of exercises so that I can do as much as possible to stay injury free.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Week in Review

78 Miles
7 Runs / 0 doubles
12x200m at 36-37 with 200m jog for 9.5M total
12.8M MLR
3 x 1.5M repeats with 800m rest for 12M total via 557, 240 (3:43), 5:52, 2:44 (3:30), 5:46, 2:42
18.3M long run in 6:53 average

Super behind - a great week of training under my belt! Super excited about this week.  I've been feeling my knee walking down stairs, but nothing bothering me on runs, so I'm crossing my fingers it doesn't turn into anything worse!

Friday, July 31, 2015

5M Tempo with Billy

5 miles tempo with several options depending on how I feel
1) 630 - 640 pace
2) 630 pace for first mile, and then progression down to 610 for last mile
3) 630 pace for first mile and then 610 pace for rest of run

11 miles total with 5 mile tempo at 609 average
2.7 mile warmup
5 miles via 625, 616, 613, 600, 553
3.3 mile warmup

What a relief to have a successful workout! The goal here wasn't to hit a specific time, but more to finish feeling good about myself. I'm sure that in a couple of weeks I'll be feeling just like my normal self.  This is the main reason why I love running: it's always a process and it challenges me to keep my chin up even when my body isn't responding positively all the time. I'm on the rebound to feel good again in my workouts and I'm predicting this rebound will coincide with the change in temperature as we adjust to the fall season.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

(Unwanted Down) Week in Review

58 Miles
8 x 400m Repeats
2 Races That I bailed out of

This week was a coach-imposed down week.  After struggling through mini-workouts last week, it was time to press the brakes and back off a bit from training. My body was sending every single signal that it needed a break, so I did just that.  I also decided to back out of my one of my favorite races in North Carolina - the Beat the Heat 5k.  It was a tough decision, but I knew I wasn't physically or mentally prepared to dig deep and hurt really hard to compete at my highest level.

This week I basically just ran easy run after attempting a 8 x 400m workout.  It just was too much effort to do anything more than get in 60 minutes of running.  Ultimately, this is definitely the right decision because I don't want to push the limits so much that I end up with the always dreaded Over Training Syndrome.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week in Review

65 Miles
3 Mile Tempo Run Fail
5x800m Repeats

Something is definitely wrong.  I feel like crap on every. single. run.  This is why people have a love / hate relationship with running.  Sometimes a switch is flipped and a streak of great running turns into a streak of days...weeks...(even months!) of really, really shitty running.  And there's nothing you can do about it.  I'm crossing my fingers that it won't last more than a few weeks.  And I'm very fortunate because I'm not actually injured. I'm just exhausted. I'm sure the last three terms of school have caught up to me. It's been four months since I've had more than a week break from schoolwork.

Just to show you how this week was just off:  my 3 mile tempo run was slower than my marathon race pace.  My heart rate was completely off the charts after completing 5 x 800m repeats.  The sickness must have been more serious than I thought and now I'm just feeling it physically.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

(Sick) Week in Review

45 Miles
6x200m repeats at 40
10M "long run" fail

Remember how excited I was about my running last week?  Well that just turned to poo as soon as I stepped back onto US soil.  I felt a tickle in my throat when I was leaving Istanbul and I immediately went into I'll-do-anything-to-not-get-sick mode, which included, but was not limited to:  taking zicam four times a day, drinking what's gotta be at least two gallons of water a day, running slower, running shorter, and sleeping as much as a possible.

It didn't work.

The snot, mucus, sore throat all hit me full force later this week. I thought for sure it would go away, but it's Sunday night and I got 11 hours of sleep last night and somehow there is more junk in my respiratory system than there was two days ago.  I kid you not, I blew about 37 snot rockets on a 45 minute run this weekend.  How is all of that in me?

So yeah.  This week was tough. I was jet lagged. I wasn't used to the time difference.  I had an accounting midterm.  I had Bank of America work to catch up on.  I wanted running to be the one thing that made me feel great. But instead it was just like I was burying myself deeper into my summer cold.

I can only hope that next week will be better, but my guess is that it will take me a little while to get over this thing.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Week in Review (Term 5 Istanbul Residency)

50 Miles
0 Days off
6 Days of classes
9M longest run

Katie, Mike and I are damn proud of ourselves.  And we should be.  We ran every single day this week.  During our academic residency.  Which is freaking hard.  We have class from 8AM - 6PM and then some nights we have additional speakers or forums that run until 9PM.  Remember also that this is business school.  Part of my role is to network with my classmates, so I can't say no to going out every single time, which the introvert in me wants to do 99% of the time. So I did go out one night and I didn't get to bed until 3AM.   I still woke up at 630 to get a run in.  So yes, I repeat: I am freaking proud! All those hamstring issues I felt earlier in June? Total thing of the past.  Running in Istanbul awakened another part of me. I was having fun again.  That week before I took off...I was not having fun.

Part of the fun was also in learning so much about myself and Islam.  I never learned a lick about Islam.  Not ever in a single class. I even took a religion class at Wake Forest.  The only thing I knew about Islam was limited to like three articles I had my entire life.  Fortunately, I didn't come in with any extreme stereotypes.  Quite frankly, I really didn't know much besides some women wear a hijab or face covering.  That's it.

So...I learned a lot.

A professor set up time for us to talk with an Imam at the Blue Mosque.  He was brilliant. He told us about the Koran, about what it means and the basic foundations of the religion.  He told us that it's a very peaceful religion...and he answered some likely very annoying and ignorant questions from our class about some of the stereotypes that are ingrained by Western media sources.  He was a class act and I was grateful for his time.

I was sad to leave the city on Sunday.  I loved the food, the weather and the people.  I know I'll come back.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rest of June in Review (Turkey!)

Week of June 15
7 days off
7 days of 100 degrees
10 hours on a plane to Turkey!

So what did I do this week? I focused on rolling, stretching and doing all the things my PT told me to do. I made lots of really good meals for Garrett and me. I completed my pre-reading in preparation for Term 5 in Istanbul.  I packed for our trip.  I finally had time to meet Amanda and catch up with her.  I ran into an ex at Whole Foods...I mean it really was an eventful week full of everything it should be.  It was a great break for me mentally.  By Saturday night, Garrett and I landed safely in Istanbul, where the sun was shining but the temps were cooler at 70 degrees!  We reunited with Nick at a hostel and explored the Old City in one day.

Ice baths to keep my legs healthy
Did some face masks with Cicero
Taksim Square

View from our hostel in Old City

Garrett and Nick sharing a moment in our hostel

Week of June 22
28 miles
0 workouts
3 Days in Cappadoccia, Turkey
7 miles longest run

Garrett and I enjoyed our first trip across the Atlantic together as a couple by heading to Cappadoccia, Turkey with Nick.  We stayed in a really awesome hotel built into a cave...a place that had been in a family for hundreds of years.  We hiked a lot, saw caves with early Christian art on the walls, ate delicious Turkish food (lentil soup is my jam) and just relaxed.  I got to ride in a hot air balloon over the valleys of Goreme.  While expensive, it was completely worth it. When we were finally in the air, I couldn't even tell because the lift off was so smooth.  I got to fly above the clouds with several of my classmates and see the shadow of our balloon in the clouds.  Even after we landed, we got to help deflate the balloon by running on it and pushing the air out.  I felt like a little kid all over again and was so elated!  By Thursday night, we were back in Istanbul.  On Friday, I did some more pre-reading while Garrett and Nick did a cruise on the Bosphorous. I was sad to say goodbye to Garrett on Saturday and to start classes, but I did enjoy a nice break leading up to the hectic schedule of Term 5 residency.  With class on Saturday and Sunday, Katie and I both got out of bed every morning to get our runs in so that we could be as alert as possible for our Managerial Accounting and Operations classes.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week in Review

61 Miles
400m, 2M, 200m track workout

While this week looks pretty decent on paper, it was just brutal mentally.  It's been 100 degrees here in feels like it's August and that I'm running in a swamp.  It's been really rough.  To further complicate matters, my hamstring is fairly tight right at the insertion point to my glute.  Even though I had a great workout at the track on Wednesday, I knew my hamstring wasn't right. With coach, we had both decided that it would be best to take time off the week after Beat the Heat 5k in late July.  However, after dealing with my hamstring issues, I decided it was best to just pull the plug and take my week off starting on Sunday of this week.  I typically like taking time off right after a big goal race because I feel like I earned it.  This time around, I feel a little anxiety because the time off felt somewhat forced upon me.  Hopefully I'll get over that real quick.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

(Finals) Week in Review

66 miles
1 day off
1 double
2 workouts
14 mile long run
4 days in Boston
16 hours of finals for two classes

This was a big week, but definitely not from a mileage perspective.  Let's see...What did I do?

  • I spent four days in Boston at the offices of an ad agency for some work related projects.  
  • I got to see Coach Terry in person for the very first time since he's been coaching me (which has been for two years now).  He even timed me in a workout on the Charlestown track in the cold, wind and rain.  
  • I went to a runner girls' dinner with Meagan before having a sleepover with one of my favorite training partners.  
  • I reunited with Liz, my college teammate and roommate, since she was in Boston for an interview for a PA job at the hospital.
  • I ran two workouts (down ladded on the track and mile repeats with less than 60s rest)
  • I completed my Decision Models final (it took 12 hours) and I completed my Marketing final (it took four hours).
  • I ran long with over seven people on Sunday and it went by so fast!
  • And I was so tired during every single ounce of this week.  So happy to be done with Term 4 of my MBA!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Week in Review

65 miles
Solo Broken 1200m track workout
NC USATF 8k Championships, 28:45, 1st place

So I had full intentions of running 70-75 miles this week but my legs just didn't have it in them.  I shortened my long run to just 12 miles on Sunday after the Bulls race because I was exhausted.  It was nice to come away with my fifth NC USATF 8k Championship, but boy did it hurt!  I ran as hard as I could today, but I definitely didn't try as hard as I would have if there had been closer competition for me.  I'm reaching the point where I can tell that a break from school, work and running is definitely in order.  Unfortunately, that won't really happen until December when the program is over....

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week in Review

58 Miles
5 x 1000m repeats at 320-325 on Dilworth Speed Loop
Brooklyn Half in 1:16:20, 4th place
No Long Run

The big event this week was the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon.  My mileage dropped down to about 60 miles as I tapered so I would be somewhat more rested for this effort.  The goal leading into the race was the start at 5:50 and then to drop down to 5:45 and 5:40 for the finish.  Long story short: I did not do that.

I started out around 5:45 / 5:50 pace, ran some high 5:55s through the hilly section in Prospect Park, and then when I reached Ocean Blvd, it was all I could do to maintain 5:51.  This was my first race in NYC and I really enjoyed the experience, even though I didn't run what I wanted.  I really would like to do this race again when I know that I'm in better shape!  It's a great course with lots of fast ladies and guys to push me the entire way.

The highlight of the race was definitely around mile 9, when a cyclist cheered for me by calling me by my name.  I thought to myself, who the hell knows me in Brooklyn?  I turned my head to catch a glimpse of this miracle worker.  From the flowing brown hair that is longer than mine, I knew it was Eric Mack who lives in Raleigh.  He cheered for me at a crucial moment in time, where I wanted to stop pushing hard and just slow the pace down.  His familiar face, combined with his shouts of encouragement gave me just what I needed to maintain a decent pace coming in to the finish.  Additionally, a nice man decided to push me to the finish line and even slowed up at the line so that I could finish ahead of him.  There was definitely all sorts of sportsmanship exhibited throughout the course, which is the number one reason why I want to do this race next year.

As I said earlier, even though I was unable to run my goal, I am still very pleased with this effort.  Just 4 weeks ago, I was running in the 108 degrees of sweltering heat in India and attending classes for 10 hours a day.  It's tough to come back from a trip like that and to run hard for thirteen whole miles.  Heading into summer, I am looking forward to focusing on speed by racing at the Running of Bulls 8k on May 30 and at the Beat the Heat 5k on July 25.  Additionally, in just four weeks I'll be heading to Istanbul, Turkey with Garrett for a week and then for classes for nine days.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week in Review

70 miles
3 x 2.5M in 5:43 pace for 14.3M total
11.2M MLR 
13.8M with 4 miles tempo with Billy
3rd wedding 

I just keep on feeling better and better with each step I take.  I feel so fortunate that I did not get sick upon returning from India, as I did when I returned from China.  It's just made the transition back to my normal work and training schedule so much easier!  This week Coach had outlined a pretty tough workout which would help prepare me mentally for the Brooklyn half in just ten days.  I was a bit nervous and my legs were definitely tired, but both Billy and I surprised ourselves and ran faster than we were expecting. It was a great way to start the week and gave me the confidence I need to run a decent time at the Brooklyn half.  Billy and I continued our workout partnership later in the week when we did a 14 miler with a little 4 mile progression thrown in the middle.  It wasn't easy, but it was humid and sticky out and we got it done without quitting.  Overall, I'm right where I want to be with my fitness, especially given my schedule.  I've also been able to hang out with my only non-running friend a bit, as you can see in the selfie below.  This is definitely my strategy to find Kishor a girlfriend.

Enjoying some free snacks from Duke with Kishor

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week in Review

70 Miles
8x800m repeats in 2:48-2:36 with 200m/400m rest
12.3M MLR
15.6M long run with Meagan in the Asheville mountains

It was my first week back with a real workout and I was happy to "crush" it.  Of course, coach had given me pretty loose goals since he didn't know how I would feel after the travel back from India.  I felt confident when I came off the Duke Track and felt like I hadn't lost that much fitness while in India.  That's always a good feeling.  Over the weekend, Garrett and I drove to Asheville for Mark Russell's wedding and we enjoyed the mountain weather and catching up with old Wake Forest teammates.  We especially enjoyed the delicious food and great running trails!

Garrett's swollen lips after eating really hot sauce in Asheville

mountain run in asheville with Meagan

Wake Forest Track at Mark Russell's wedding

Showing off our beautiful bods

May or may not have fed Jared about 5 rose petals during the sendoff

What do you do when the gas station bathroom is closed? Walk on over to the porto-johns across the street of course!