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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…

Also known as the race where I got a little more than just a medal at the finishing line.

But before we get there, here’s a spoiler: I ran a comfortable BQ with a 3:19:43, my first race in nearly 1.5 years. Hooray!

Last week, I wrote about my recent confidence-boosting workouts and plans for the race. While training had been going awesome, and I’ve experienced no back pain since the bike accident, I started feeling a slight twinge in my left shin on Friday morning following a tough workout on Thursday night. I wasn’t sure what to make of it: a normal soreness from training, or something more? Following my 14-miler on Saturday, I decided it was still just there and took off from running on Sunday and Monday. I decided to get my legs moving with a morning workout on Tuesday, and felt pretty crappy. But worse, my shin pain was pretty bad when I finished.

I’ve had two consecutive stress fractures before in high school, first in my right tibia and then in my left. I’m now pretty aware of what they feel like, and had no doubt in my mind that the pain was the start of a stress fracture. Enter race-week panic mode!

I weighed the pros and cons of both options:

  • Scrap the Lehigh Valley Marathon: Safer, more sane route for my health but total fail on the marathon front. If I took the next 5 weeks to cross-train, maybe the mild stress fracture would subside and I could still race Chicago? Unlikely and only time would tell. Even more depressing, I wouldn’t have a qualifying time to be able to run Boston ’14. Then, I’d be scrapping Lehigh, probably Chicago, and definitely Boston.
  • Run the Lehigh Valley Marathon: Run on a possible stress fracture and turn it into a definite stress fracture over the course of 26.2 miles. Drop out if my leg is about to snap in half. Get the BQ time and be able to race Boston ’14! See how things go, but most likely not be able to run Chicago.

Obviously, I went with the later and probably need to get my head checked out. I know everyone might not have made the same decision, but I was okay with potentially scrapping Chicago ’13. While I have been gaining confidence in my fitness, there is a slim chance I’d get minutes within my PR at Chicago, let alone under it. Running Boston ’14 will not only be awesome for all the #BostonStrong reasons we all love, but personally it’ll allow me more time to get back into PR shape and go for that sub-3:00 that still alludes me.

My pre-race prep was anything but normal. I had a stressful and off-schedule week leading up to the race due to work, staying way late and even working at the office overnight (I don’t know how night shift workers do this.) Pretty sure my diet of nothing but pizza, sour gummy candies and way too much coffee didn’t help, but I wasn’t too concerned because I love my job and at least the craziness took my mind off of the race and shin pain.

After a relaxing haircut and a nice long sleep on Friday night, I drove out Saturday afternoon with my friends Noelle and Veronica who were kind enough to accompany me on this crazy journey. We headed straight to the expo to get my bib (#999!), checked into our hotel, and had enough Italian food to feed a family of at least six.

I woke up race morning around 5 a.m., which was definitely not early enough to digest my pre-race oatmeal, banana and coffee for a 7 a.m. start, but I had no desire to set my alarm for the 4 a.m. hour. They drove me to the start, but traffic at the exit meant I was hopping out of the car at 6:45 a.m. and running on the highway offramp to make it to the start. Ooops!

Half asleep on the highway

I ran into Meg (hi, Meg! You had an awesome race!) and my teammate Audrey at the start, and easily hopped into the crowds a few minutes before race time. One perk of a small race= no strict corrals that make you feel like you’re going to war.

The gun went off and I tried my best to settle into an easy pace. My goal was to run around 8:00 pace, then settle into 7:50s for the bulk of the race, and then drop it to 7:40s or under the last few miles. Considering most of my training and long runs hover between 7:55-8:15 pace, I figured this was doable and would feel comfortable for 26.2 miles.

But of course, race day comes around and the adrenaline flows! My times early on were faster than I wanted, and I tried to reign it in but decided to go where the day took me. I even had to stop and tie my shoes, twice. My leg was feeling mediocre and after a few miles of pavement through neighborhoods and parks, I welcomed a soft trail.

I’d guesstimate about 75% of the race was on a light packed dirt trail along the canal, which was absolutely beautiful and scenic. If I lived closer, I’d love to do long runs there! I settled in, made a new friend named Greg who was also aiming around/under 3:25, and waited until mile 11 where my friends were waiting to hop in with me. The trails were great, but got very narrow at times where we had to run single file and that drove me a bit nutty.

Noelle ran with us for a few miles before hopping out around the half-way mark to get the car and drive to the finish, while Veronica did the rest of the race with me as the end of her long run (which was mighty speedy, it turns out!) I was capable of running the entire thing solo, but having a friend to keep me company was SO helpful! I felt incredibly strong and the miles just kept ticking off.

Look at how much fun we’re having?! I hate myself on camera.Running is flattering on nobody.

Things got a bit tougher mentally around mile 21, especially once my shin decided it had nearly had enough. Each step felt like a slightly painful jab, but I decided it wasn’t debilitating. Plus, I’m pretty stubborn and I wanted to finish the race since I had come so far.

With two miles to go, I realized if I kept around a 7:30 pace, I could break 3:20. I never entered this race gunning for time except a BQ with a cushion, but my competitive side kicked in and I decided to focus a little more on the last mile to get it.

Because I hate when my watch auto-laps/beeps ahead of mile markers in races, I typically manually lap split at the mile markers during races. I was too scatterbrained to remember to do this before the race, and then I missed some markers throughout, so the splits below don’t make sense in spots.

It’s also the first time I have ever negative split a marathon? I’m guesstimating around 7:42 pace for the first half, 7:31 for the second. I felt really, really good, and am really happy that I was able to hit a 3:19 relatively comfortably on just over 3 months of semi-consistent training. While my body might be a bit broken right now, I’m pretty impressed that I was able to bounce back after a rough winter and spring and get that BQ time with tons of wiggle room. You go, body. Sorry I fractured you.

Veronica, me, Noelle

After the race, I was so happy to finish but needed ice immediately. I met up with friends, grabbed a beer, and immediately hobbled over to the grass to sit and ice. Once we walked back to the car to head back to the hotel and hit the road, I noticed that I could barely put any weight on my right leg. The pain was so excruciating I couldn’t help but keep laughing because it was so ridiculous and stupid that I just ran a marathon on it.

Coincidentally, I had a regular doctor’s appointment scheduled for Monday morning at 9 a.m. so I was able to get my leg checked out and get an air cast boot to help alleviate the pressure when walking. I have a referral for a bone scan that I intend to get this week pending some doctor/insurance stuff, but I am 95% sure it’s a stress fracture so I’m looking forward to seeing the recommended healing time and how long I’ll have to be off of it.

In my experience, it’s about 6-8 weeks, which is just in time for base building…

So, there’s the good and the bad. I have a few things in mind that might have contributed to the injury but for my sanity, I don’t want to get hung up on them too much: I switched to a new model of lighter shoes for all my training runs about a month ago, and even though I was pretty cautious about building my mileage slowly, I increased the intensity of my workouts and long runs kinda quickly, etc. The reality is that sometimes these things happen, and I’m just adding it to the list of weirdo injuries that have plagued 2013 thus far.

And of course I get the bone scan results next week, all of the above is pure speculation based off my prior experience and how I feel. Until then, I’ll be taking a hiatus from the bridle and sporting these kicks, just in time for New York Fashion Week.

Back to the Bridle

July 4th, 2013 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

This might be the first positive post I’ve written in 2013! After a weird knee injury and getting hit by a cab, January through May were pretty bleak. For the bike accident not being too serious, I was surprised and humbled by how long it took my back to heal. I did zero activity for a good month, which was kinda awesome. I love running, but I also love extra sleep.

Finally, on May 19th, this happened:

It was a great (albeit rainy) day. I eased in gradually, and it even took a few weeks until my mileage was high enough to make it to Central Park, do a short bridle loop, and go home. I’m a big believer in coming back from time off very slowly and cautiously. Three weeks into running consistently, 6 miles was a ‘long’ run for me. I officially started keeping a log of my training the w/o 6/10– marking the 4 month count down to the Chicago Marathon– which you can view and/or stalk here.

It makes me so happy to be back into the routine of morning runs in Central Park with friends, which helps the miles fly by and get me out there before the temps rise (though, this recent humidity is a different story.)

Not taken while running.

Whether I’m running with friends or going solo, my morning run is easily one of the best parts of my day. It’s early and I’m half asleep most days, but it’s relaxed, peaceful and selfish ‘me’ time. After not being able to run too consistently for nearly a year, I love being able to create that time to do something good for myself most days. No distractions or stress, just time for good conversation while our feet hit the bridle (and, drip in sweat– ugh, summer running.) It makes me happy to kick the day off with something that I love and brings out the good in me. It might be cheesy, but it motivates me to get up each morning, knowing my mood and sanity will benefit from it. Plus, it feels good to get in a routine and work towards some goals again.

Speaking of goals… I’m still figuring them out. While I’d love nothing more than to PR or break 3:00 in Chicago this fall, I’m trying to be realistic and easy on myself. While I’ve said many, many times in the past that the competitive spirit in me hates racing unless I’m going to PR, I acknowledge I’m in a different mental and physical state right now and that’s okay. It’s been over a year since I’ve done Boston 2 Big Sur, and I just need to get back to racing… whatever form that takes.

So, I’m just trying to enjoy the journey and see where this summer takes me. It’s incredibly difficult and humbling to get back into shape, but it’s also a rewarding process that I like seeing unfold. My workouts so far have been incredibly slow (for me), but I know that I just need to keep putting in the work– no matter the pace– and it’ll slowly get easier and better. It can be frustrating to see the paces and think about where I used to be or where I should be, but I also know I don’t respond well to unnecessarily stressing out or over-thinking it and don’t want to hit a breaking point like last summer. Re-reading that post reminds me of the stress and sad funk I got myself into.

Life is slowly but surely getting in a better place. More focus and support at work, less travel and more time with friends and family, more time to relax and destress, better sleep throughout most nights, and more days running than not. While I’ve got a long road ahead of me ’til Chicago, it’ll be a different journey I’m looking forward to.

And now, I’m off to hang and enjoy beautiful NYC this fourth of July– happy running, all!