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#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.
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  • 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…

Thanks to those who entertained my ridiculous ramblings on improving my hill running and provided suggestions. Bottom line, it seems like running hills and practicing form is the only way to really improve at them– surprise! I also acknowledge that half the battle is mental, with hill running and running in general. The mind controls the body, and I’ve certainly experienced times mid-race when I let negative thoughts get the best of me for no reason, slowing my stride and becoming defeated. Conversely, the best races and runs are often the ones where I’ve been so positive, optimistic, hopeful, and worry-free. Maybe I need to stop thinking about it too much to avoid selling myself short, since it can often be amazing what the body can achieve when the mind doesn’t place limitations.

Anyway, this past week was a good one– complete with MORE hills and a fun little tempo/race at the Cherry Tree 10 Miler.

Week of 2/10:

  • M: Easy 8 with Veronica + BodyPump class at NYSC
  • T: Morning hill workout 6 x Central Park West side hill (86th to 92nd) + warmup/cooldown
    • The prescribed workout on tap was 6 repeats of a bowl-shaped hill workout, starting at 86th street in Central Park and heading north to 92nd street (right around entrance to tennis courts, around .36 mi), recovering around .17 mi, and then doing that same stretch in the opposite direction.
    • I actually preferred this hill workout vs. Cat Hill or Harlem Hill repeats because each interval contained a bit of uphill and bit of downhill, like you’re running a U-shaped bowl. I liked that they were slightly longer and better mimic Boston’s rolling hills. Yes, I still lagged behind the group but tried to work on my form and getting each repeat faster. Going north, my pace dropped from 6:38 to 6:32, and going south my pace dropped from 6:58 to 6:49. Could be better, but we also started at like 6am and it was 17 feels like 4 degrees out. Brr.
  • W: Easy 7 solo on Randall’s Island & East River path
  • R:  Off, skipped team tempo to rest up for Sunday
  • F: Easy 7.25 with Alex & Jacy. It had snowed, sleeted, rained, thunderstormed, etc. on Thursday so we were a bit unsure how the footing in Central Park would be early Friday morning, but we decided to brave it and be crazy together. Getting to and from the park was a total slushfest, but the packed snow made for easy footing and it was quite peaceful to run against the sunrise and fresh snow in the near-empty park.
  • S: Off, and I didn’t change out of spandex all day watching Olympics & Millrose Games
  • S: Cherry Tree 10 Mile Race in 1:12:33 (recap below) + warmup/cooldown

Total: 48.75 miles, pretty consistent with last week before hopping up to 50+ this week.

Source: NYCRunningSource

Source: NYCRunningSource

On Sunday, I headed to Prospect Park for the PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Miler. I did this race two years ago when training for Boston (sigh, I miss being in quicker shape…and wearing shorts) and enjoyed the low-key atmosphere and change of scenery. And, it was only $25 which is a cheap compared to ever-increasing entry fees for other races. While many other CPTC teammates signed up for the relay option they have too, my friends Alex, Meredith and I decided to be crazy enough to tackle the whole 10.

I didn’t really have any expectations leading into this race besides using it as a long tempo effort and keeping the pace steady but not full out racing. I knew there would be no way I’d come close to the 1:06 I ran in 2012, so it was nice to not really have pressure against a time goal. As you can see above, the never-ending snow and freezing temperatures made for less than ideal conditions in the park. While not terribly icy (thank goodness!) the residual snow and patchiness made for a very sloppy course and I never felt fully confident with my footing or smoothly settled into a groove. But I sure was thankful that this year’s race souvenir was a neck warmer–I would have paid a good $25 for that alone! It was around 20ish degrees and there were actually frozen ice chunks in mine after the race. Yuck.

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3 loops of Prospect Park elevation

Prospect Park overall is pretty forgiving– the uphill is far longer and more gradual than any hill in Central Park but certainly not as steep. However, it’s complimented by a nice downhill that evens things out in my opinion. Three loops of the park was pretty mind-numbing, but thankfully Meredith and I ran together the majority of the race which was great. She pulled away on the last uphill and really motivated me to hang on and finish the last mile strong to keep her in sight. As always, running with friends always helps the miles fly and pushes me to keep pace. I may have joined the dozens of kids happily sledding in the snow otherwise…

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The first loop was a bit quicker than intended, so we just tried to settle in to find a steady pace. The paces are a bit inconsistent given the rolling up and down terrain, but I felt the effort was pretty consistent throughout. Unfortunately, I had to stop on the 6th mile to tie my shoelace and lost a few seconds there– whoops! I was definitely feeling beat towards the end and was just happy to get my last mile under 7.

cherrytree2

Source: NYCRunningSource Also, slipping on this icy snow was not the most fun way to finish.

We had planned to run a longer cool down back into Manhattan via the bridges, but the sidewalks seemed a bit too treacherous and icy so we stuck to (yet another) loop of the park and called it a day. Since I’m not quite ready to tackle anything too long, it was still perfect for me and I ended the day with a bit over 16 miles.

Overall, I’m happy with this effort and pace but just wish it didn’t feel so hard. I’d like 7:15 pace to feel a little more casual tempo at this point in training, but that’s okay. It was a bit slower than the 10 Mile Run to the Brewery I did about a month ago, but that race was also pancake flat, a tad warmer, and not slushy. Even though I’ve got a month of training and workouts under my belt now, it’s tough not to compare since I felt pretty strong that day. While every workout or run might not be the best, I need to remind myself that progress is a slow road. I’m glad I did the ‘race’, and it’s one step closer to building fitness.

CPTC post-race

CPTC post-race

While this week brought more snow yesterday (whyyyyy!) I’m excited for milder temperatures to roll through for this weekend’s long run! There’s still a bit of lingering soreness in my legs and calves from Sunday that I’m trying to kick so I can have a strong 8 mile tempo tomorrow and finally crack the 50 mile/week barrier. T-how many days until Spring?

Uphill Battle

February 12th, 2014 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (7 Comments)

Lately, I’ve found myself googling (among other ridiculous things) “Are certain people worse at running uphill?” “Why am I bad at running uphill?” “Will I ever get better at running uphill?” Shocker, none of these searches returned any sort of new-to-me information or gave me answers to why it seems I’m incapable of running well on hills.

Hills have always been my weakness for as long as I can remember. In high school cross country, I used to power down the bowl at the Holmdel course but find myself moving in slow motion, getting passed, on the short but steep uphill. In college, we sometimes did hill repeats towards the end of easy runs and I was always. dead. last. and totally out of breath.

I mean, I know running uphill likely sucks for every runner and nobody particularly enjoys it, but I have to say that not only do I loathe it, I am exceptionally bad at it. Like really bad. It’s like I’m missing something in my legs that makes it possible to power up a hill. I am actually pretty decent at running downhill, which I have learned is a strength in itself. Friends who can tackle hills and not slow to a crawl, want to trade?

Unfortunately for me, ‘they’ say Boston training should incorporate hill training. Fortunately, hills are a regular part of our runs in Central Park, going up either Harlem Hills and/or Cat Hills nearly every day. Our CPTC coach has been prescribing hill repeats for our Tuesday workouts as of late, which is actually a nice change from speedy intervals, particularly on cold winter mornings.

With each workout I’m reminded of how bad I am, despite remaining mentally positive and trying to lean into the uphill, keep my gaze ahead, pump my arms, etc. I just can’t get with it, but I’m hoping that with continued, repeated practice, it can start to suck a little less. I’ve also started to incorporate more leg strength work at the gym, like squats and lunges, that I’m hoping will make my muscles nice and strong to carry me through Boston’s rolling hills.

And with that rant (and invitation to share your hill running tips!), is last week’s training in review:

Week of 2/3: 

  • M: Easy 7 mile run in the snow + 55 min BodyPump @ NYSC
    • The snow was coming down pretty hard and the outer drive of Central Park hadn’t been plowed, but thankfully the fresh snow packed well and it wasn’t too bad to run on. I left a change of dry clothes at the gym before my run so I could go to a BodyPump class afterwards, and enjoyed lots of aforementioned squats and lunges.
  • T: 6x Cat Hill Repeats + warmup/cooldown = 8.3 miles
    • With the previous snowfall, most of Central Park was pretty icy and unstable to run on. Thankfully, the car lane of Cat Hill was plowed relatively well and we could do 6 repeats up Cat Hill (~.25 mile), running downhill for the recovery. This workout sparked my above frustrations with hill running, as I just couldn’t get in a groove and fell behind my group. My repeats varied around ~7:22-7:34 pace which (for me) …uh… could be better. The sunrise and the fresh snow was really pretty though?
  • W: Off
  • R: 4.05 mile counter clockwise loop, ~3 min recovery, 2 mile lower loop + warmup/cooldown = 11.7 miles
    • 4.05 miles in 28:18, averaging 7:00 pace (7:07, 6:49, 7:13, 6:48)
    • 2 miles in 14:00, averaging 7:00 pace (6:57, 7:03)
    • This workout was pretty challenging for me, as I felt alright on the first 4 mile loop but couldn’t pick up the pace as prescribed on the 2 mile interval. Welp, at least it wasn’t slower.
  • F: Easy 6.8 miles solo around Randall’s Island for a change of scenery + 15 min weights
    • Legs felt incredibly dead on this run and I struggled to maintain an easy 8:30 pace and not walk
  • S: 14 mile long run, averaged 7:53 pace
    • I stayed out later at a friend’s going away party on Friday night, so I opted to skip the early group run in favor of extra sleep. I finally dragged myself out the door around 1 p.m. to do two big outer loops, one counter clockwise and one clockwise. I felt better than expected after the previous day’s slogfest, and didn’t bore myself to death while running alone. I even picked up the last few miles in the 7:30s/7:40s, so this was pretty okay as far as solo long runs go.
  • S: Off

Total: 47.7 miles

And so far, this week has been full of more freezing runs avoiding the snow and trying to conquer my nemesis of uphill running. But hey, Boston’s course is net downhill, so that’s net in my favor, right? :)

Source: http://www.boston.com/sports/marathon/course/elevations/

ETA: Because the blog world is ever full of criticism, I thought it might be worth noting that this post isn’t meant to evoke pity or self-deprecate in that annoying, compliment-seeking way that people often do. While I acknowledge I have many strengths in running, going quickly and smoothly uphill is just not one of them. And that’s okay! Working on it, one hill at a time. I’d love your input on how I can get better!