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Hi, remember me? A lot has happened in the two months since Boston, and I’m excited to kick off summer on a fresh, positive note– in life and in running.

First, I’m excited to share that I accepted a new job offer and begin tomorrow (!!!) While I’ve been kinda vague and will continue to keep things brief here, I lost my job back in November due to restructuring at my old company. It caught me completely off guard, but ended up being one of the greatest gifts. While being unemployed is never easy, I viewed it as a much-needed break to focus on the things that make me happy.

The largest part of this “journey”, if you will, was figuring out what I wanted to do next career-wise. I loved what I did at my old job for so long, but took a forced step back to examine what I liked and didn’t like. Which projects did I jump to tackle right away with ease, and which projects did I try to push off ’til the end of the day? I found I gravitated more towards branding strategy versus straight public relations, and I’m excited to have finally found the right fit at a fantastic agency. The new role allows me to shift my career path a bit, focused in the new direction I want to take. I’m nervous but excited for a new challenge and the next chapter!

The last 7+ months have gone by slowly and quickly at the same time. I’m so thankful to have had such an extended ‘pause’ to reset and refocus. This type of time off will (hopefully..) never happen again in my life, and I feel very, very fortunate that I had built up solid savings to enable me to enjoy the time without added financial stress.

Back in November, I spent a week in California with my sister and family for Thanksgiving before traveling to Thailand and Cambodia for 2.5 weeks in December with friends who were also laid off.

#nofilter

#nofilter

Excuse the cheese, but we did a lot of soul-searching on our trip. I credit our introspective conversations to really shaping and developing how I’ve directed my journey these last few months.

While in Thailand, I finished healing from a stress fracture and then got tendinitis in February. I ran the Boston marathon in April. I spent a long weekend in Austin TX. I escaped the polar vortex for another week in LA & Palm Springs. I  slept for 8+ hours more nights than I have since college. I tried mid-day BodyPump, pilates and hot yoga classes. I enjoyed grocery shopping when Fairway was near-empty in the early afternoon. I discovered how to be extra frugal at Starbucks by ordering a (free) cup of hot water and bringing my own tea bags, while using their wi-fi. I cooked … a lot. I binged on Netflix.

I took advantage of actually making it to the start of happy hours! I celebrated turning 27. I started dating my boyfriend James and we took our first vacation to San Francisco and Sonoma together last month. I reunited with Karen and Kara (above) in San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend and picked up right where we left off.

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Through it all, I tried to say “yes” to as much as possible: staying out later, going to comedy shows, concerts, new restaurants, new neighborhoods, new experiences. I don’t have many regrets or things I’d change about the last few months, though perhaps I wish I traveled more. I’ll always want to travel more… :)

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In addition to the great news above, I’ve officially kicked off Chicago Marathon training!

I only took about 1.5 weeks off from running and exercise after the Boston Marathon, which is the least amount of time I’ve ever taken after a race. Since I wasn’t able to run much leading up to Boston and wasn’t burn out, I didn’t really need a long mental or physical break like I usually do. I eased back into running slowly and gradually worked to build my mileage back up with easy base-building runs for the last 7 weeks before starting my training plan this past week.

I’m taking a slightly different approach to training this cycle, working with a new coach that put together a training plain tailored to my goal of sub-3:00 at Chicago. My friend/old teammate Ellen recommended him after he put together her plan for Chicago last year (with a 2:49 marathon debut), and I really like his coaching philosophy. I’ll share more as I get deeper into training, but it’s basically comprised of two workouts a week: one on tuesdays, and one folded into my Saturday long run.

I wanted to shift away from two workouts a week on Tues/Thurs + long run Sat, as I think it may have just been a bit too much for my body… hence my chronic injuries over the last two years. I love marathon-pace tempos and longer runs, so I’m really looking forward to making my 2nd workout of the week part of my long run. I hope it’ll play on my strengths and give me a ton of confidence going into race day.

I’m still running for CPTC but am just taking my training in a slightly different direction than the team-prescribed workouts. Aligning my plan so that I could still run with my friends most days of the week was very important to me! While I’ll likely be doing the bulk of my actual workouts alone, I hope to be able to sync up my easy days and portions of workouts where it makes sense.

What’s that quote, “if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got”? After being injured so frequently over the last 2 years and not running well, I figured it can’t hurt to try a different approach. Who knows— maybe I’ll still get injured or totally blow up during the race.. but it can’t hurt to try. I’m really excited to follow a plan that’s been specifically tailored to peak for my race, versus doing workouts and runs a bit more haphazardly as I have been..

Well, time to get on with my Sunday. Big day tomorrow! Thanks for hangin’ in here amidst my sparse updates, but I hope to share more frequent updates as I dive deeper into the first few weeks of training. 111 days to go…

celebratory new job dinner out!

last night’s celebratory new job dinner!

It’s taken me a bit to reflect on this race and summarize the experience, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find the right words. Simply put, Boston marathon weekend was the experience of a lifetime. You just had to be there, and I’m so thankful that I was.

After my ongoing saga of injuries, I knew the race wasn’t going to be a PR attempt or even close to it. In fact, I kind of preferred it that way. It allowed me to soak in the entire weekend as I wanted, without the inevitable pit of nerves in my stomach and serious anxiety that hits before most major races. I felt happy, free, go-with-the-flow.

The Boston Marathon has held a special place in my heart since I first ran it in 2012, despite the ‘speed can kill’ heatwave. That was the first marathon I ran without a specific time goal– the first time I just allowed myself to relax and enjoy the experience. It was amazing. After this year, that space in my heart has grown even larger.

2012 -> 2014 Clearly, one of us got slower...

2012 -> 2014 Clearly, one of us got slower…

I didn’t truly have a specific time goal going in, but knew that if I was able to handle 20 miles at 8:00 pace the week before, I could probably run that pace for a full 26.2. 3:30– an arbitrary goal– sounded reasonable. I didn’t have a specific plan except to start conservatively and monitor my foot to be sure the tendinitis didn’t creep back in.

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I made the rookie mistake of wearing this new pair of sneakers for the race. I know, I know ….what was I thinking?!? But I really, really loved the limited edition New Balance Boston 890v4, and knew the 890v3 had worked for me in the past. Unfortunately, they took about 2 weeks to ship, meaning I only received them the Wednesday before the race, without much time to break in. Well, turns out I hate the 890v4s and they tore up my feet with massive blisters the size of a silver dollar on my arches, and I’ve now lost a toenail (which has never happened to me before…surprisingly.) Needless to say, I’ve returned them and my feet are just now starting to forgive me.

So, onto the race!

The entire morning was so well-executed considering the heightened security and new baggage/gear-check rules. The volunteers were incredibly friendly, and loading onto the buses went seamlessly. We hung out in the starting village for a while, pretty much living on the loooong portapotty lines. Before we knew it, it was time to head to the start. I knew it was going to be a warm day, as I stripped all my throwaway layers on the walk to the corrals. Unfortunately we underestimated how long it’d take to get to the start, and pee one last time, and I found myself jogging into my corral as they counted down 10 seconds to start. Whoops!

Honestly, I thought the start of the race may have been more somber or emotional. Instead, everyone was full of energy and enthusiasm! We were running the Boston Marathon. We were doing this!

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It’s tough for me to give a mile-by-mile recap of the race since I wasn’t really executing any specific race strategy, so I’ll let the splits above tell the story.

My pace was a bit faster than I’d like at the start, due to the rolling downhills and energy of the crowds. The beginning miles are one of my favorite parts of the course. Everyone is still packed up and you can see the crowds of people ahead of you as the hills roll up and down. The crowds are high-fiving and screaming, making you feel like a rockstar. You’re still feeling good enough to appreciate their energy. I couldn’t help myself from laughing at this point as I took it all in.

When I felt settled around miles 7 or 8, I consciously tried to reign my pace back from consistent 7:30s (or faster), into more comfortable 7:40s. I wanted to relax, feel good, and keep a steady pace. Once I hit the halfway mark in 1:40:33, I realized I felt good. So good. While my quads were starting to go a bit, my foot felt good and I was very comfortable aerobically. I knew I was well ahead of my “goal”, and started to get a bit competitive with myself…as I always do. My half time indicated I was on pace for a 3:21. Time was irrelevant for me, but I sure love outdoing my arbitrary goals. With that, I decided to pay a bit more attention to my effort and pace, dropping it a bit if I could. And so, I worked to get things down a bit.

YAY FOR RUNNING

YAY FOR RUNNING!

It was all sunshine and rainbows until I hit the wave of hills. Maybe I was delusional due to the heat in 2012, but I did NOT remember the hills being as bad as they felt this go around. They just kept coming and coming. Each time I crested the top of one, I swore it was the end of Heartbreak Hill. Sure fooled me. I tried to keep my effort steady up the hills, but my quads were really fading at this point and I just couldn’t make up the time going down the hills as I usually can. With an 8:14 mile split on Heartbreak Hill, I thought the worst was over. I just had to cruise on home and soak in the crowds!

…But I was wrong. Those damn aforementioned shoes were starting to kill my feet. The bottom of my soles felt like they were on FIRE. The final three miles, they felt like they had gone numb. Like blocks. Pain with every step. I actually wanted to cry they hurt so badly, but I’m also a wimp. I felt fine aerobically still, but just couldn’t will my legs to go any faster because my shoes were not cooperating.

And then I reminded myself that I really didn’t care about my time. I did, but I didn’t. It’d be around 20 minutes off my PR, so there was no point in pushing things. In retrospect, I’m kinda mad at myself because the last few miles of the course were the ones I wanted to enjoy the most. Instead, I found myself cursing my shoes and wishing away the last 2 miles. 1000 meters to go felt like an eternity. And that damn incline after the underpass…

This is the face of someone who wants this race to end.

This is my ‘my feet are on fire’ face

And then we turned right on Hereford, Left on Boylston, and all was right in the world. I could see the finish.

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I took some time to remind myself about all the effort I put in to make it to this point over the past year. I reminded myself that today was a celebration of strength, unity, resilience, and more. I won’t ever be able to identify with the experience of the Boston bombing victims and their families, and I wasn’t even there in 2013. I cannot begin to empathize with those who were. There aren’t words or actions that will ever fix or change what happened last year. Finishing the race is just a small act. And there I was, medal draped around my neck at last.

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But first, lemme take a selfie.

But first, lemme take a selfie.

Thankfully, I found my friend Meredith right at the finish and we hobbled back to Boston Common together. First, I untied those damn shoes to relieve some pressure on my feet. The walk seemed looooong but finally I reunited with friends. All in all, the race was hot– particularly after training through the polar vortex. The hills all seemed harder than we last recalled. We were all just happy to be done.

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And so, we celebrated!

CPTC post-race

CPTC post-race

2012 -> 2014

2012 -> 2014

Here is the mile-by-mile playback, too. I always race marathons with autolap turned off, so I manually split by watch at every mile marker. It drives me NUTS to hear the beep before I hit the mile mark, and I only missed one marker around 4/5.

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Overall, I’m really, really happy with how it went. 3:23:41 is 20 minutes and 4 seconds off of my PR, and my second slowest marathon ever (but not far behind my slowest of 3:24 at Big Sur.) I was just happy to be out there.

In the month of March, I only ran 7 times– averaging 12 and 25 miles the weeks that I ran.  April wasn’t much better, with only 11 runs before the race and a long run of 20 miles only 9 days before the race. Reverse taper? I also did no speedwork or tempos of any type. But my foot felt amazing and I’m pretty sure the tendinitis is finally at bay. Considering that lack of training coming off the injury, I’m really happy knowing that 3:23 is a pretty ‘baseline’ marathon time. That leaves me motivated and encouraged to get in consistent training this summer to take a crack at sub-3:00 again this fall in Chicago.

Beyond times, the weekend was just perfect. I can’t even describe the crowds and energy of the race. There was never a dull moment. The signs were amazing, and I’m pretty sure I high-fived at least a hundred kids on the sidelines. The screaming girls at Wellesley were even better than I remembered and I high-fived nearly each and every one of them with a smile plastered on my face. The crowds at BC after Heartbreak Hill still made you feel like a rockstar. I remember seeing a sign saying “MEB WON! YES, REALLY!” and getting an extra boost. I still stand firm that the crowds at Boston are like no other, even better than NYC. Families cheering in their front yards is authentic, homey, all-American.

The only time I teared up a bit was after the finish, as we exited the chute to walk towards Boston Common. A man was shaking the hands of everyone that exited, saying firmly, ‘Thank YOU for running today.’ It was so genuine and emotional. Boston needed this race to go on, and being a part of it was something I will always remember.

#BostonStrong

April 15th, 2014 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (2 Comments)

After the Boston bombing took place a year ago today, I vowed to do whatever it takes to be a part of the event in 2014. While I wasn’t there in 2013, the 2012 race holds such a place in my marathon-loving heart. Despite the heat, I discovered a new way to love the marathon. It wasn’t about PRs or executing the perfect race strategy– it was about enjoying the experience and soaking it all in. The city of Boston was alive that day and I’ll never forget it.

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Qualifying for the 2014 race meant running a marathon on a stress fracture, since it had been a while since I last raced and I needed a BQ time. With an abbreviated time period to train for this race once I got out of the boot, I knew I likely wouldn’t be in PR shape and just focused on getting in what training I could. Then, I got tendinitis and couldn’t run for a few weeks, and have been rehabbing my foot pretty intensely to make it to the starting line healthy. In my personal running bubble, it’s been a frustrating process getting here, but next Monday will put everything in perspective.

Mom & I in 2012

Mom & me in 2012

Races can be selfish when you’re gunning for a PR, even when running with a team. But this year, my Boston race isn’t about me. I’m running to join in a community that means so much to me. I want to give back to that community and celebrate our strength and resilience the best way we know how: running. To prove we are strong and can’t be stopped. I’m thankful to be healthy enough to be able to run the entire race, something I wasn’t sure would be possible just a month ago. I’m so excited to get up to Boston and be a part of the atmosphere I’ve been looking forward to for nearly a year.

I don’t think I’m fully prepared for what the weekend and race day will bring, but know it will be deeply emotional. Being here in NYC, it’s easy to feel a little disconnected from those in Boston who have been training with such a deep sense of rallying purpose. The last few days, and today in particular, I’ve read through stories of the survivors and those deceased, watched tributes and recaps and it’s starting to feel a bit more real. I cannot begin to imagine what Marathon Monday will be like, but it’s going to be one to remember. My heart and soul is ready to soak it all in.

I’m heading up Friday morning and will stay through Tuesday morning. Thankfully my last long run went really, really well. Following a reverse taper plan of sorts, I had a great 15 mile run on 4/5 and a final 20 mile run this past Saturday. I had friends to keep me company the entire 20 miles and it was a beautiful spring day. My pace averaged at 8:00, which felt really relaxed and comfortable. It was a confidence booster that I’m not completely out of shape after barely running for the last month.

My legs are surprisingly feeling pretty good this week, but I’ve been focusing on resting, icing, stretching and keeping up with my PT exercises. I haven’t felt any pain in my foot at all since I’ve returned to running, and I’m not concerned with not being as ‘fresh’ as usual considering I’m not racing. Whether I run 3:15 (lolz..) or 4:15, I will be happy with my race if I enjoy the day fully and my foot doesn’t hurt.

Good luck to everyone else running, I can’t wait to be a part of this day with you!

Progress & A Plan

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (4 Comments)

I wanted to wait at least a week or two to post until I was sure, but, I’M BACK TO RUNNING! I’m still not 100% confident to say the tendinitis is healed completely, because I’m afraid it’ll come back at any time if I’m not careful. So I’ve been easing in gently, paying attention to any signs of tenderness and soreness, continuing to see doctors regularly for treatment, icing, stretching, foam rolling, and the works.

On March 18th, my foot had been absent of pain for a few days. I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the next day, and wanted to test it out on a short run so I could at least report back on progress, pain-free or not.

I headed to the East River Path for a super windy, sloooooow 3 mile run. Unsurprisingly, I lost a ton of fitness after 3 weeks of no running and minimal cross-training. Surprisingly, my foot felt great. I couldn’t wait to get to the doctor and share the good news!

So, I’ve been alternating days of easy running with cross-training for about 2 weeks now and my foot is still feeling good. My doctor advised I stick to regular mileage and nix any speed work, tempos, or specific hill work as they may re-aggravate the tendinitis faster.

Blocked out my address, don't stalk me please

Blocked out my address, don’t stalk me please

Since we’re now less than 3 weeks out from Boston, I have a loose plan to get me to the starting and finish lines healthy and with a bit more endurance. One of my doctors, Marisa, asked me what I’d like to complete as a long run pre-Boston in my “dream world”. Prior to this injury, I had only gotten up to a long run of 17 with a weekly mileage of 53, and it sounds scary but I really wanted to be able to get in a 20 miler for a mental and physical confidence boost. However, I would rather stay healthy and out of shape than re-injured after running too much.

My goals for Boston are to enjoy the day, have fun, and to complete the race without pain and without re-injuring myself. I don’t care about my time, and am actually excited to be able to take in the day’s atmosphere more than I would if I were gunning for a PR, similar to my race in 2012.

She put together a plan that focuses on long runs, since that’ll be key for getting in some endurance prior to the marathon to ensure that 26.2 miles isn’t a complete shock to my body. It’s a bit more aggressive than I’d probably choose myself, but I trust her and think it’s reasonable in the limited time I have before the race.

Basically, I can run easy every other day (3-6ish miles) with a long run on Saturdays– starting at 10 miles this past Saturday, 15 miles this upcoming Saturday, and 20 miles on the following. I should stick to cross-training or rest on the days I don’t run.

I’ve been continuing to go to BodyPump at NYSC once or twice a week and love the difference I’ve noticed in my overall strength and ability to increase weights. Last week, I took advantage of Soul Cycle’s free community rides on Tuesday and Thursday for my cross-training. Since I can’t afford to pay $35 for a class now (or ever, really…) these have been a nice treat while I have the flexibility in my schedule to head over to the West Village studio at noon. Even the shoe rental is free! I totally missed signups for this week, so maybe I’ll try again next week. I find I can’t motivate myself to get in a good workout while biking on my own, so a class is really helpful for me.

In non-running related news, I turned 27 on the first day of spring and had a great birthday week celebration with friends and family.

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Judging by the color of my tongue, I certainly enjoyed our wine

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A dance-filled birthday fiesta

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And a tasty lunch at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY with my mom

26 was my year of injuries, so I’m hoping 27 is my year of getting back to consistent training. And, if I’m lucky, perhaps it’ll bring a shiny new PR on October 12th.

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3rd year registering, hopefully my 1st time to start the race!

 

Sidenote: I see the above but still haven’t received any official confirmation email. Did anyone else think submitting a time qualifier separately from the application via email was extremely convoluted?

Hopefully I’ll be back with continued good news on the running front following this weekend’s 15. Need all the positive vibes I can get!

 

 

Injury Update & No NYC Half

March 15th, 2014 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (2 Comments)

I’m a bit glad I was too lazy to write this post until today, because now I’m actually feeling pretty optimistic about the state of my posterior tibial tendinitis. If I had written this on Wednesday or earlier, my frustration at lack-of-improvement would have made for a pretty whiny post.

 

Now, I’m still frustrated as I haven’t run in 18 days and am unsure of when I can officially ease back in, but Thursday was the first day I actually felt a noticeable improvement in level of pain (!!!!!) Most noticeably, I can now walk kind of normally without sharp pain or compensating to avoid putting weight evenly on my left foot. There is still dull pain in the tendon and my plantar, but it’s definitely not excruciating like before.

I’m not out of the clear yet, but I am hopeful that it’s moving in the right direction. For about two weeks, there were zero signs of improvement– sometimes even worsening– despite not running, constant icing, stretching, ART/Graston, and trying to stay off it as much as possible. My frustration was beginning to turn into a bit of despair at not knowing how long this was going to take– another week? Another month? Another four months? I still don’t know how long it’ll take to fully heal, but this drastic improvement helps the light at the end of the tunnel seem a little closer.

So, needless to say I won’t be racing the NYC Half Marathon tomorrow as anticipated…for the second year in a row due to injuries. It’s depressing to total how much money I’ve spent on entry fees for races I haven’t run (Chicago ’12 and ’13, NYC Half ’13 and ’14, Philly Rock ‘N Roll Half ’12 and ’13…the list goes on) My collection of t-shirts for races I haven’t run is growing quite impressive! And let’s not get started on the doctor and PT co-pays. Since I’m currently funemployed, this one stings a bit more.

However, I love to run and compete. It keeps me motivated and feeling most like myself after all these years. There are bound to be ups and downs. I wouldn’t say frequent injuries are typical for me, because I’ve never been this chronically injured my entire running career, but I’m unfortunately in a ‘down’ phase now. If getting back to the ‘up’ means spending $$ to get healthy, it’s worth it to me.

Since I’m hoping to be healthy for Boston on 4/21, I’ve been trying to treat this injury pretty aggressively and give it the rest it needs. I don’t care if I am completely out of shape and undertrained, I want to be able to run (not race) Boston pain-free and experience the day on the course. I think I’ll be majorly, majorly bummed if it turns out I’m stuck on the sidelines.

So I’ve been seeing Dr. Levine for ART & Graston twice a week (highly recommend!), and just started to see a new-to-me PT, Marisa at Dash PT. Along with wanting to kick this tendinitis, I decided I’d like to get to the root of why I continue to get injured so frequently lately. I don’t think I’ve been able to run more than 3 months consecutively over the last 1.5 years; I’d really like to figure this out so I can finally stay out of the doctor’s office and stay on the roads. 

Marisa noticed I have pretty narrow feet with high arches– something I have never been told before. I’m not sure if this is the whole injury picture, but it is likely a large piece of the pie. I’ve been running in custom orthotics since I was 17, which I get re-cast every few years. The orthotics, combined with my not-narrow-enough shoes, weren’t supporting my arch enough. From how I understand it, when the arch is unsupported, it puts more strain on the tendons around it and your bones, muscles, etc. This likely led to my tendinitis and probably my stress fracture in the fall, too. (Note: clearly I’m not a doctor or PT, but this is generally how I’ve understood what she’s told me! I could be totally misinterpreting it…oops)

I’m not sure why my custom orthotics weren’t supporting enough, but I last had them cast in 2011 (I think?) so perhaps things have just changed over time. An easy fix is to insert in one or two of these stick-in arch supports atop the orthotic. Also, I should wear sneakers in a narrow (2A) width versus regular (B) width. She explained that most female runners with smaller figures probably need to be in a narrow shoe more often than not, so it’s worth getting checked out if you feel your foot isn’t getting the stability/support it needs if the shoe is too wide. Until I get my shoes, she showed me how to lace up my current sneakers to provide a bit more support– they just go up a bit higher into those loops that nobody typically uses.

photo 1 (2)She’s also helped to tape me up a bit to provide more support for my arch and the tendon, which has really helped the severity of the pain while walking!

Lastly, she gave me the green light to try cross-training if it didn’t hurt my foot. For the first 12 days or so, I hadn’t even attempted to cross-train because I was too scared to make it worse. I’ve found that easy biking doesn’t hurt, and today I was finally able to elliptical without feeling anything. Hooray! I’m not doing it frequently or long enough to maintain or gain fitness, just enough to break some sort of sweat more often than not. 40 minutes seems to be my mental max before I want to gauge my eyes out when cross-training.

So, I’m hoping for continued improvement. Unsure when I’ll be back on the bridle, but it’s beginning to feel like a near possibility. For tomorrow, I’m excited to cheer on my friends and teammates running the Half! I’m planning to be around 34th street on the WSH– near mile 8.5. Good luck to everyone racing, it should be a beautiful day!

Up, up, up! and down…

February 27th, 2014 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (5 Comments)

Last week wrapped up a solid week of training aided by a milder weekend, resulting in my first 50+ mile week (!!) this cycle. After Thursday’s workout and Saturday’s long run, I welcomed back the familiar heaviness in my legs that come from putting in tough miles. While I’m still a ways away from where I’d ideally like to be, I started to feel like I was getting my legs under me and feeling strong. High fives for last week!

And then it seemed to all go wrong this week as I now need to take a week (or more) off with posterior tibial tendinitis. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I feel like every time I get a glimpse of progress and healthiness, something happens and I’m taking two steps back. But before we get to the potential bad news, let’s take a look at the good.

:)

Week of 2/17:

  • M: Easy 8.5, legs a bit tired after yesterday’s Cherry Tree 10 Miler but went to BodyPump afterwards to get in some strength training
  • T: “Hills” + warmup/cooldown = 8.25 total
    • Morning hill workout with the gang, we thought the snow would still be light but there was quite a layer at 6:30am! We stuck to repeats of Cat Hill, and I only did 4 instead of 6 because my calves were still really, really tight and I wanted to give them more time to recover and not overwork trying to slip up hill.
  • W: Off- foam rolled the heck out of my calves which really helped me feel fresh for Thursday night’s workout
  • R: 8(.09) Mile tempo (continuous 4 miles at marathon pace and 4 miles at half-marathon pace) + warmup/cooldown
    • This is one of my favorite CPTC workouts, since it’s pretty mentally grueling but such a confidence booster if completed correctly. I honestly have no idea what I’d consider my marathon and half-marathon pace right now, so I just tried to stick with the group and ensure I had enough reserves to negative split the 2nd loop.

Workout 2/20/14

    • This loop starts at 72nd street on the west side, goes across the cutoff, up Cat Hill, across the 102nd street transverse and back down the west side to the statue at 72nd street (aka counter-clockwise) We’ve done this loop clockwise as well (before Boston & before Lehigh below) and I think it’s a little more forgiving that direction.
    • My time of 57:10 means an average pace of 7:04. I’ve done this in 54:42 (6:44 avg) before NYC ’11, 53:11 (6:32 avg) before Boston ’12,  and 55:16 (6:46 avg) before Lehigh ’13 so this was by far my slowest time doing this workout by nearly two minutes, but I’m still really happy because the effort felt hard but controlled and strong! I haven’t felt like I could really push in a workout for a while, so I’ll take it.
  • F:  Easy 6 miles + 15 min. core/arms
  • S: 17 miles, longest run to date!
    • The warm(er) 40 degree temperatures meant running in capri tights, a t-shirt and a new pair of arm warmers. After being confined to the outer loops (miss ya, bridle path!) and doing a ton of hill work lately, we decided it’d be a nice change of scenery to do the full Manhattan loop, down the west side, around the tip of the island and back up the east side. The sun felt good and most miles were around or under 8:00 pace.
    • I have never worn arm warmers before in my life and used to think they looked pretty ridiculous, but I figured it was finally time to stock up on a pair in case I wanted to wear them for the NYC Half or other in-between temperature races. I got this Brooks pair on RunningWarehouse because I loved that it had a gel pocket, thumb hole, and you can pull up the tops to cover your fingers like gloves! How versatile. Bonus– they stayed up all run and there was zero chafing! Score.
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 10.29.52 AM
  • S: Off

Total mileage: 53 

So, now the bad news. It all started with a pretty bad sinus infection earlier this week that I’m still battling. When I woke up on Tuesday morning to meet the group for our morning workout, I had a raging headache and tons of pressure so I decided to go back to sleep. It started to subside in the early afternoon, so I dragged myself out the door to at least get in a few easy miles since fresh air often helps when I’m congested.

About 3 miles in, I felt pretty good so decided to modify the workout to something slightly more digestible when sick and running alone– mile repeats. They ended up not being so bad, except for a weird pain that struck the inside of my left ankle during the last downhill mile and my cooldown home.

I got home and immediately iced, but noticed the pain wasn’t going away and it kinda hurt to put any pressure on it or walk. Red flag! I promptly tried to google diagnose myself as it didn’t seem to be the plantar since it wasn’t in my bottom/heel, and it wasn’t the achilles.

I decided to opt for a rest day on Wednesday (yesterday) when I still felt the pain while walking or even just sitting down. Thankfully, I was able to squeeze into good ol’ Dr. Levine’s office to take a look at it and do some ART before I had to head out for a flight.

As it turns out, it seems to be the posterior tibial tendon.

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00166

After an ART treatment and icing nonstop, it’s starting to feel a tad better but I definitely need to take a few days off of running completely to help the inflammation and pain go away. And just when I started to feel good… my body rebels (again.) Dr. Levine didn’t specify why it could have happened, perhaps just a step the wrong way that strained it or just overuse, etc. Thankfully I didn’t try to run through it except for those few miles home, so I’m hoping it’s not really severe?

Unfortunately/fortunately for me, I’m currently in LA visiting my sister for a little long weekend getaway and I was really looking forward to getting in some sun-soaked miles by running and hiking out here. My pale legs have been waiting to be free in shorts for so long! I’ll just have to find another way to kill my days while she’s at work, like shopping or hanging with the rest of the funemployeds at coffee shops. Pity me, I know.

It’s still way too early to see how this bump in the road pans out, but I am 100% dedicated to taking the rest now to heal it so that I don’t compromise the big picture of running Boston. Since I know I’m not going to PR in April, I’m not too stressed about losing fitness since I just want to get to the starting line healthy and resembling something near “in shape.” If this injury extends into a month or two months, then we’ll have a bigger issue. Let’s not hit the panic button quite yet…

Speaking of injuries, I thought this satirical look at injuries by pro runner Lauren Fleshman was pretty funny and timely: “How to Injure Yourself like a Pro” I do feel like I’ve done a pretty decent job at building up my mileage gradually (but could be doing it wrong considering how injury-prone I’ve been!), and  I am definitely guilty of pairing feeling fit with feeling invincible and putting my idiot hat on. Here’s to a few days of forced rest and hoping I can ease back into things next week…

‘Til then, I’m off to soak up the CA sun before the rain hits this weekend! Bummer, but it sure beats the frigid temps back in NYC. Now here’s to hoping the impending snowstorm delays my flight back on Sunday night and I’m “stuck” here a little longer…