Three Weeks?!?

THREE WEEKS? Is that REALLY all I have left before I have to run 13.1 miles…in a row? That sounds like a sick joke if I ever heard one.

I started training for the Shamrock’n half marathon back in January with a running group through fleet feet. The training time seemed extremely short in my mind but I figured, if a whole group of people can do it and the experts claim it’s enough time, then I can definitely do it. I trained for my last half in about 12 weeks and according to this schedule I only have about 9. My training was coming along pretty well until the giant trampoline incident… Yes, you read that right. My niece and nephew have a big trampoline in their backyard and when they asked me to play with them I jumped right in and forgot that I’m not 12 years old anymore. So I jumped and jumped until my legs were so tired that I landed sideways on my left ankle. It hurt, so I took a few minutes off from jumping and then got right back up again, still forgetting I am not 12 years old.

The next day I met with my training group for a 7 mile run. This was the longest run since my last half in October and it felt great. I hadn’t felt that good on my feet in a long time. I had energy and felt like I could continue for miles. During the run I felt a little pain each time I stepped down on my left foot, but I told myself, “Mind over matter. It’s just a little foot pain, you’re fine.”

Well, I wasn’t fine. When I got home and took off my shoes I almost fell over in pain when I tried to step down on my left foot and then the pain continued to get worse and worse. The following week I was limping at work and trying to ice it and stay off of it as much as possible, which meant I was going to be a week behind in my training schedule. I used the RICE method as much I could and hoped for the best. Over the weekend I was in San Diego working at a major event, which I attempted to wear heels to. The heels lasted about 20 minutes until I switched into my flat boots because I could barely move my foot. Running around for the night made for even worse foot/ankle pain on Monday. I then had to take another week off of training which put me even further behind the group.

I was starting to feel depressed, angry, disappointed. I was so looking forward to this race and my body was getting stronger and stronger and all of a sudden, it was all gone. I started to understand (on a very very small scale of course) what professional athletes must feel when they get injured. All I wanted to do was run, and that is the one thing I absolutely couldn’t do. I was getting so stressed about the race. I spent a lot of money on the training and the race and I was even working on getting special shirts made for our team. I’d told all of my friends and family about this race and was not looking forward to telling them I had to back out. But most important, I wanted to do the race for myself. I was going to be disappointed that I worked so hard and then had to just give up.

So, I told myself that as soon as my foot started to feel a little better, I’d get back out there no matter how behind I was. Last Sunday was my first attempt at working out since the “deadly trampoline” (exaggeration? Nah…). I put on a foot brace and went out for a jog. It was awful. The foot brace was so tight that it hurt even more than before and I could only make it 3 miles. I was supposed to run 9 that weekend. Discouraged, I went home and iced my foot. The next morning I woke up and it felt much better, so I decided…I’m going to run this 9 miles if it kills me. Of course if my foot hurt as bad as it did the day before I would stop, but it helped to tell myself that I was going to complete it no matter what. So, I left the brace at home and went out for the run with my friend Lindsey. We ran slow and steady and took a break after every 3 miles for a little water, stretching, Cliff Bloks, and an evaluation of my ankle pain. Each time I felt okay so we kept going until eventually we finished 9 miles. That may have been the hardest run I’ve ever done…but we did it. This weekend our group will be running 11 miles and after completing 9, as hard as it was, I feel much more confident that I can do it. After this weekend we taper off with shorter runs until the big day. IN. 3. WEEKS. That time frame still scares the crap out of me but I try to tell myself, if I did it once before, I can do it again. Right?

Right. I CAN do it and I WILL do it. See you at the finish line.

Have you ever had an injury that derailed your training? Or have you been behind in your training and still made it through on race day?

Run Run Run

So I started my second half-training yesterday and I am so excited for the next few months. Yesterday we met at the local fleet feet and went for a fun run (3 miles) with some of the group and met some of the coaches. Then we came back to the store, did some stretching and picked up our training schedule and goodies. I trained for about 3 months for my last half and at the time, I couldn’t imagine training in less than 12 weeks. I needed every last minute of those weeks.  But, here I am, training again but with only 2 months between now and the race.  How am I going to do it? Well I am counting on muscle memory to help make up for the time off  and the motivation and encouragement (and accountability) of a structured running group. I was also very excited because my friend Lindsey who I trained with for my last half decided to come run the fun run with me. She was signed up for the Shamrock’n half but opted out of the training group. UNTIL- she had so much fun running with the group that she decided to join :) So now we can train for this one together too. After our run on Sunday we went to coffee and decided this will be our Saturday ritual. The long runs will take place all over Sacramento and now we can carpool and get coffee or breakfast afterwards. I’m so happy to have a friend doing the training with me! It always helps to have someone there with you.

The group was $100 to join and some people have said to me- why pay to run when you can run for free? They have a good point, but I am so looking forward to having a group of people there with me throughout my entire training. Having the help of other runners as well as the certified coaches will for sure help me improve my running and my time. Not to mention the accountability of the group. It’s much easier to flake on myself than it is a whole training group (especially one I paid for).

Fleet Feet also gave us a $20 giftcard to the store for signing up so I was able to put that money toward buying myself another good sports bra. I’m telling you, if you need a little extra support up top like I do this is the BEST sports bra you will ever wear. A little pricey at $46 each , but WELL WORTH IT. I now have three of them and am constantly doing laundry so I’m able to wear one each time I run. The straps have velcro so you can adjust them to the perfect fit. I’ll never buy another brand or style of sports bra in my life.

This is the one I have and LOVE. You can find it here and it comes in so many cute colors.

I plan on sharing my training schedule one week at a time, as well as my progress each week. This week I am going to run 4 days for a total of 15 miles.

Here is my schedule:

Monday– Easy 3 miles. I will do this on the treadmill at my gym tonight and then a little strength training as well.

Tuesday– Easy 3 miles. My Tuesday night training runs don’t start until next week so I am going to do the fleet feet fun-run with a few girls from work.

Wednesday– Active Rest. This means no extra strenuous activity, but it doesn’t mean sit on the couch all day. I will probably do a little light cardio at the gym like the elliptical or bike and some weights. Swimming would also be great on these days but it’s too cold!

Thursday – Easy 4 miles. I will do this in the morning before work on the treadmill at my gym. It’s going to be rough waking up that early before work but I have a wedding reception to attend that night and I have to get those miles in! Oh and by the way, when it says “easy” I don’t mean “4 miles is a piece of cake for me and I’ll breeze right through it.” It means take it easy. Run at a slow and steady pace that you are comfortable with. One that you could hold a conversation during without passing out. That’s what I mean by “easy”.

Friday– Active Rest. I will probably make this a complete rest day to prepare for my long run on Saturday. Or possibly do some upper-body weight training as well as some ab workouts. Having strong abdominal muscles (which I do not at the moment) can really help your running and keep you from getting side aches during long runs.

Saturday – Long Run. This week our training group will run for 50 minutes, which for me will be right around (or right under) 5 miles. I am a slow runner but I think running with the group will make me pick up my pace a little. The most I have run since my half marathon is 4.2 miles so this will probably be pretty difficult for me. I’m happy I’ll have so much support!

Sunday– Active Rest. I will probably rest completely this day as I’m sure my body will be very tired!

Happy running everyone!

1/2 Marathon Update 2- It’s Getting Close!

I am slowly working my way toward those 13.1 miles and when I say slowly I mean slowwwwlllly. I just hit 8 miles for the first time last weekend and I plan to do 8-9 this weekend. And I am still asking the question, when does this get easy? I ran 3 miles this morning and although it wasn’t excruciating, it was still hard! The first two miles are always the hardest for me and it usually gets easier around mile 3 or 4. But the important thing I need to keep telling myself is that I’m actually doing it. Never in my life did I think I would be able to survive an 8 mile run. And I wasn’t even sore the next day! I’m not going to sugar coat it, those 8 miles weren’t easy, but I felt amazing once I finished..just like I hope I feel after I cross that half-marathon finish line!

I am very late in posting this month’s training schedule, but here it is! In case you don’t remember from last time, x-train means cross train (work out by doing other activities, bike, swim, weight train, etc.).

I just bought a new armband for my iphone so I can listen to music while I run and never be without my phone.  Even though I always run with a partner, I hate the idea of running long distances without my phone in case of emergency. I picked this one up at target for $20. It was one of the only ones I could find that would tighten enough to fit my ridiculously small arm.

After my Four Bridges Half-Marathon in October, I plan on running the Run to Feed the Hungry 10k. I have done the fun Thanksgiving Day run many times, but always did the 5k and had to run/walk it.  I’m looking forward to running the whole 10k with all those people this year! It is always such a fun race and benefits such a great cause!

This is where I would prefer to run everyday. Where is your favorite place to run?

1/2 Marathon Update

So, I did it. I signed up for the 1/2 Marathon for October 30th. The longest run I have done is 6.2 miles, so I’m a little nervous about doing 13.1. And so far I’ve been kind of slacking on my training. I’ve only been running 3 mile runs the last few weeks and that’s not anywhere near what I should be doing for my training. So, basically… I need to get my sh*t together pretty soon here if I’m going to be ready in October! Here is the training schedule that a friend made for me. I’m going to attempt to follow this as best I can and see how it works out. Wish me luck! 13.1 miles here I come! This is just the training schedule for August, I’ll post the other two months later.

Oh, and I just bought this awesome running shirt by New Balance at my local Marshall’s for $12.99! I already have one just like it in white and I wear it all the time. It’s lightweight and super comfortable so you don’t even notice it while you’re running. And for $12? Such a great deal!