Running

Dismal Swamp 5k (19:45)

Sometimes posts get lost in the mix.  During my wedding weekend I also ran an Inaugural 5k at the Dismal Swamp.  The 5k was a straight, out and back course.  Brittany, Heather and I ran the 5k while Laura cheered and ran 10 miles.  It was a lot of fun.  Given any other weekend this recap would have gotten precedence.

My girls

My girls

We got to the race with about half an hour to spare.  We all ran about 20 minutes together and by the time we finished it was time to race.

dismal swamp 5k 1

I was trying to motion #bumbutt but it looks like I just have a wedgie

 

The 5k started at 8:05, while the half marathon started 5 minutes before at 8am.  Once they were off they called us up.  Within a few minutes, we were off.  I was lucky to chat to Marie, a great friend of mine.

I immediately took off, not knowing what to expect. Since my hip is definitely not 100%, if anything hurt I would just stop.

The first mile felt like it took forever.  I went from 3rd woman to 1st by the end of the first mile and found myself alone with no men or women near.  I began passing half marathoners towards the end of the first mile.  At first I thought it was strange to have half marathoners go 5 mins in front of 5kers.  We would catch a lot and it would be crowded but I ended up liking it a lot.  I was able to see some of my local friends like Allie and Jenny!  I hit the first mile in 6:22.  I was excited because it gave me hope to run a sub 20 (which I have not been able to do lately at all).

The second mile was similar to the first.  I saw a lot of friends running the half.  I also saw Laura who was cheering loudly.  The lead cyclist made the u turn and headed back with the leader of the race.  The lead cyclist actually told me to get out of the way.  That irritated me a little bit because there weren’t a lot of places to go.  I wasn’t going to run into the half marathoners on the other side of the road and I wasn’t purposely in the leader’s way.  When I made the turn and headed back I side fived everyone including my dad and two brothers (both of whom were riding the pain train after going to T’s Bachelor party).   I hit the second mile in 6:22 too (hashtag twinning).

During the third mile I thought there was a chance to break 20 minutes.  My hip was a little bit sore but nothing crazy (I do believe if I raced a 10k, it would have been inhibiting).  I began trying to push but similar to most of my 5ks, that is next to impossible.  The last mile of a 5k is always painful whether I’m running a PR or PW.  I hit the third mile in 6:27 so I didn’t slow down too much.

All of a sudden I found myself approaching the finish line and they had a tape for me to break!  That doesn’t happen often so I was really excited.  I threw my hands up (like I think you are supposed to do) and went through.

dismal swamp win

Then to add more perfection to the day, Heather took second woman and Brittany took third.  We actually took a 1,2,3!  This race wasn’t close to a PR for anyone but it is a nice step towards running more short races.  I’m very happy I made the last minute decision to race and have no regrets.

dismal swamp 5k 2

My hip felt the same as if I had run easy so that was a bit of confidence too.  The weather conditions were perfect and the course was flat (probably the main reasons I had a solid race).  This race gave me a bit of confidence that I could begin racing 5ks again…anything more is going to currently bother my hip.  In summary it was a solid race for me and I have no complaints.  I am looking to race a lot more short races for a while.  My hip didn’t bother me during the 5k and I think it’s a logical step.

Questions for you:

What is your 5k strategy?

What was the last race you did with friends?

Saucony Triumph ISO Review

The Saucony Triumph has been a shoe I have wanted to try since its release a few months ago.  Since I was having such good luck staying injury free during marathon training I didn’t want to try anything new.  This meant waiting to try new shoes, new training methods, etc…I knew what worked and I stuck with it.

After I started running again I decided to take the plunge and try the new Saucony Triumph ISO.  Before actually running in them, I tried them on and walked around several times at work.  I knew by all the updates Saucony had done on this shoe I wanted to eventually try running in them.

Side Note: I’m always hesitant to do running shoe reviews because what works (or doesn’t) for me, won’t always be the same for others.  I like a lot of cushion and am a neutral runner.  This means that shoes such like the Saucony Triumph are a good option for me.  This also means I don’t care for minimalist shoes but to each their own.  Another thing to keep in mind is that I’m not a techy person.  Either the shoe feels good to me or it doesn’t and I’ll explain why.  I don’t care so much about the technical side of a shoe so I won’t review that part.  Plus, there are much better blog posts that review that anyways…I just give my personal experience with the shoe.  (And no Saucony is not paying me to review their shoe).

Price: $150

I like a lot of cushion and cushioned shoes are more expensive.  This price is compare able to the Asics Nimbus (150) or the Brooks Glycerin (150).  Honestly, cushion keeps me healthy so I stay cushioned.   Since I run a lot of high mileage, this is the best option for me too.

The Fit:

As a company Saucony generally runs a little bit wider.  It’s not wide but it is wider.  In my opinion, the New Triumph ISO is one of the more narrow models Saucony has created.  In most brands, I wear a 9.5 wide.  In most Saucony shoes I wear a 9.5.  In the Saucony Triumph I still need to go wider into a 9.5 wide.  The toe box is wider but it is also has a wider heal.  For me I wish the heel was a little bit narrower but it still fits well.

An important piece of the shoe is the ISO.  This is the new update that makes the upper of the shoe more glove like.  It certainly hugs the metatarsals (without constricting).  I have a high instep so I was surprised it could accommodate my feet well.

The Feel:

The shoe is more of a firm than I am used too.  For the last 4 months I was training exclusively in the Nimbus.  The Saucony Triumph is much more light weight and also lower to the ground.   The major reason I like this shoe is that it’s got a lot of cushion but is light weight (like the Hoka Clifton).

Instead of the 12 millimeter drop there is an 8.  Does this really matter?  It provides less heel to toe drop and will probably make your calves a little bit tighter for the first few runs.

When I actually went for my first run my calves were sore.  That could be since it was my first run post marathon or because of the different heel to toe drop from the Nimbus.  Either way they were sore.  I have been running every run (alternating with the Nimbus).   I actually don’t mind at all and really enjoy the feeling.  Since I naturally run and walk on my toes, it feels good to have a shoe that supports that.

Overall thoughts:

I really like the Saucony Triumph ISO.  For now I will continue it in my rotation of running shoes.

It’s a great light weight running shoe while still providing a lot of cushion.  Working at a running store I can say it was one of the best shoe updates that a company has made for 2015.  For me personally, I think it fits well and provides a lot of cushion.

Edit to add: I have put roughly 100 miles on this shoe.

Questions or you:

Have you run in the Saucony Triumph ISO?

Do you prefer light weight or heavier shoes?

I prefer to train in heavy shoes.  While they do slow down my pace, they provide cushion that allows me to keep healthier.

The #bumbutt Week 4

To begin this post, it’s all over the place.  I think my brain exploded into Microsoft word and the baby was this post.

Was this worth it...I don't know at this point...

Was this worth it…I don’t know at this point…

To be honest the longer my butt issues are prolonged, the more frustrated I get.  Last week was not enjoyable.  I am doing everything the sports doctor has said but it seems like nothing is working.  Part of the problem is that I need to find out the problem.  I am not 100% convinced that my only issue stems from the hip.  Often times with the body the pain manifests itself one place but is actually coming from somewhere else.

So physically my bum butt pain is still there.  The pain does not affect my gait or stride but it’s noticeable and unenjoyable.

Mentally: 

I have questioned a lot about myself and running lately (but it in all seriousness who doesn’t when they are injured?)

I don’t think the marathon was worth the struggle I’m having right now.  I didn’t particularly enjoy the marathon more than another event (At this point, it’s safe to say I did a lot of damage).

To be honest if I didn’t have my wedding to look forward too, I would be down on myself.  I would be down on running and I would be more upset.  I alluding to this last week but I haven’t had the training or enjoyment out of running that I once had.

Is it because I’m not doing well?

Is it because I’m running distances I don’t even enjoy?

I don’t know but probably.  Why do something you don’t enjoy?

I’ve mentioned this a lot lately but the next few weeks are going to be a nice break that I need from running but also blogging and social media.

Yes I could take a break from social media at any time (LOL, no one is forcing me to blog) but this is largely a running blog.

If I’m not running, what am I blogging about?

I need to figure out what I want to do with my running and where I want to go.  I’m obviously all over the place and honestly don’t have an answer for what I want to do.

Do I want to completely take off time from running?  Maybe…

Do I want to cross train or even get back into the pool?  That also crossed my mind.

Do I want to train for shorter races and bypass a marathon this year?   I think that is a very strong contender.  I don’t enjoy marathoning (there I said it).

I feel like a broken record the last year about back to back injuries.  It’s been a hard year both physically and mentally (running wise…life has been great!).  I am looking forward to having better races soon.

Since this is a lot to follow and makes sense to me (but probably not people who aren’t in my mind).  Basically I am frustrated.  I am beginning to exhaust all of my options to figure out my #bumbutt.   Once we pin point the exact muscle location of injury, we can fix it but until then the frustration continues.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite race distance?

How was your weekend?

 

Marching to the Beat of My Own Drum

Is March already over?

I always dread writing training month recaps when I’m injured or had a rough training month.  Who likes reading about the #bumbutt.  It’s important to be  honest and consistent so I keep writing recap posts.  Anyways…March taught me a lot.

Since Phoenix marathon was February 28th, that obviously effected my entire month of March.

Phoenix Marathon

After NYCM 20 months ago, I wondered how people recovered from a marathon so quickly.

After Phoenix in February, I still wonder how people recover so quickly.  Marathon maniacs are really maniacs…I have come to the conclusion I will be a 1 maybe 2 (per year) marathon person.  That distance is humbling and the recovery…is more humbling.

Some people recover from marathons well…I’m not one of those people.

Total miles: 122

Average pace: 6:41-mostly untimed

Races: Shamrock Half marathon  (1:33.06)

shamrock 3

Best Training Run:

Quite honestly, none of my training runs have been that stellar.  With my nagging #bumbutt, nothing feels like I could run for miles.  That is how it goes though…my runs later in the month have been better than the first few.  Hopefully April brings complete injury free miles.

Thoughts:

The month of March has been strictly recovery and figuring out my butt pain.  While I haven’t 100% figured out everything I think I’m getting close.  It’s also been a frustrating month…not every month can be great.  Since I ran about half the miles as I normally have, this recap is about half the length.  As I said on Monday, I’m going to make be taking most of April for wedding related things and a honeymoon.  Training can wait…

Next Month:

I’m getting married and going on a honeymoon.  I will still run and actively try to figure out my butt but it will not be a priority.  Honesty is the best policy right?

Questions for you:

How was your month of March? 

Does anyone have a big race in April?

I know here in NJ, the Long Branch half marathon is at the end of the month.  One of my favorite races, the Atlantic City half marathon, is next weekend too.

Where am I running to?

I’ve been talking about my injury and marathon recovery for the last four weeks…I guess I should I consolidate my thoughts and figure out what I’m doing with my running.  I don’t know where I want to take my running in the next month or even the rest of 2015.

Phoenix Marathon

It’s not a secret I’m getting married in a couple of weeks.  While I’m not stressed about it, I’m not planning to “train” for anything before then.  A two week training cycle makes no sense and I’m not going to stick to any set routine or plan before the wedding.  Why on Earth would I rush to train for a race before (or even just after) the wedding?  Plus duh, I’m still working on that small injury.

After the wedding I’ll be going on a honeymoon.  I won’t really be training for anything then either.  I won’t be training, blogging or doing a whole heck of a lot.  Yes I will still run and workout…but will it count?  Anything without internet proof never happened…

In reality, if I’m healthy I won’t begin any plan or routine until early May.  I don’t have an exact plan, routine or schedule since I have a lot going on in the next month,  There is a lot of uncertainty before May.  Will I be healthy?   I would like to think I’ll be healthy before the wedding but that would be a wedding miracle.

So hypothetically after getting back from my honeymoon, I would like to begin running shorter distances in May, June and July.  I haven’t run many 5ks for the last two years.  I had planned to run more last year but after a slight case of plantar fasciitis last summer,  I wasn’t running at all.

I would love to win another piece of log to decorate my house with.  That was my fastest 5k of the year...

I would love to win another piece of log to decorate my house with. That was my fastest 5k of the year…

I’ve been thinking a lot about my training lately.  What I’m doing is no longer working.  I’ve been been on/off injured the last year.

Is that from being inconsistent?

Is it from running high mileage and it wearing on my body? 

Is it from poor recovery or burning the candle on both ends with wedding planning, life, work and running? 

Is it from focusing on longer races versus shorter races?

I’ve always said races are my “speed work” but lately I haven’t been doing a lot of road races.  I went from running 2-3 each month in 2013, to running 1-2 longer races each month.  That is a drastic change.  I’m not sticking to the very core of my original training.

I guess I can say this about my training:

My major goal is to get healthy.  I’m not going to train for anything until I’m 100% healthy.  I would like to focus on shorter distances this summer and improve my turnover.  Perhaps next fall I’ll work on training for a half or even another full marathon.   The cliff notes version is:

1. Get married and get healthy (injury free).

2. Train for shorter races for a few months

3. Run longer races next fall

Questions for you:

How many races do you do each month?

What are your training plans for the spring and summer? 

 

A Pain in the Butt Week 3

I’ve always said muscle injuries were frustrating.  You know with broken bones you must wait a few months and they heal.  Muscles could take days, weeks, months or years to heal…you can still run through them but it doesn’t feel like rainbow and butterflies.

That’s where I’m at right now.

The evolution of the butt pain went something like this:

First it was half limping through adductor muscle, hip, hamstring, butt and IT band.

Then it went walking normally with residual pain in my adductor (which faded away) but my pain in the hip, and butt were still there. 

Then it was committing to going to a professional who knows what they were doing and working with them.  

My pain is now mostly in the gluteus medius, TFL, piriformis and SI joint. 

Now there is one pinpoint of sharp pain right in SI joint.  With all the work being done everywhere else, my muscles are constantly being forced elsewhere. The pain has been traveling which is a good sign (I guess…because it’s not a stress fracture).  Getting multiple ART sessions is beginning to loosen them up. We are currently working to loosen everything up and go from there.

All of the professionals I’ve been too believe that rest isn’t going to make it better or worse.  The problem lies in the muscles and once the muscles are “fixed”, the issue will be fixed.  So I’ve been running a little bit off and on.  I have to say I do feel better than 2 weeks ago…whether that is from marathon recovery or injury recovery, I am not convinced.

As I mentioned, since last week I’ve decided to go to a very knowledgeable sports doctor in South Jersey.  The team works exclusively with runners and triathletes.  So far the team has done nothing but great work.   I’ve seen two of their staff so far and have another appointment tomorrow.  They have informed me they will be able to get a good gauge of my issues by four sessions.  If I need to be referred to somewhere where I can get an MRI then that will be the next step.  So I am giving them the benefit of the doubt and going at least 4 times.  I cannot imagine it’s anything bone related because I am able to run without a change in gait.

Monday: OFF (recovery from Shamrock)
Tuesday: 6.5 miles easy
Wednesday: 7.13 miles easy
Thursday: Cross training AMT
Friday: 6.5 miles treadmill
Saturday:  8 miles
Sunday:  6.5
Total:  34.5

Nothing hurt any worse or better while running so I kept with that mileage.

In summary:

  • I’m stretching, doing PT and trying to get my butt to feel better.  The pain has migrated and currently seems to centralize in my SI joint.
  • I’m going to see a professional to get help.
  • I’m still running and the pain doesn’t feel worse when I run (but is still there).

This post is kind of all over the place but long story short I think what I’m doing is beginning to work.  Any injury is frustrating but I still think muscle injuries are the most.

Questions for you:

Have you ever received ART?

What was your best workout of the week? 

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:33.06) 

Running the Shamrock half marathon this year was not one of my better ideas.

I was running three weeks post marathon.
I am working to recover from my bum butt injury.  While my hip and butt are improving, I’m not completely healed.
I knew it wasn’t a smart idea but Shamrock is one of my favorite races.  I didn’t originally travel to Virginia to race Shamrock.  I was in town taking care of wedding things.  I planned to run the race until it hurt too much.  Then I would stop.  Since obviously I finished the race my pain never got out of control.  (ETA: My bum butt was sore the next day though). 
Anyways, we got to the race at 5:45.  Shamrock is tricky because you never know exactly how parking will work out.  My dad, T and his dad, ended up having plenty of time before the race. I am always arriving late so it was a nice change.  We walked and headed to the start.  None of us warmed up and we all stood around chatting.  I never got to make a final bathroom stop because the line was so long (probably close to half an hour) but I figured I could just go at one of the porta potties on course if needed.
At the start I met up with Kris L and Rochelle.  We briefly chatted and by the time I knew it…it was time to go!
shamrock 2
T and I ran the first mile together.  We found ourselves with the 1:35 pacers.  Funny enough, the 1:35 pacers were the same 1:45 pacers at the Harbor Lights Half Marathon.  So my two experiences running with pacers…were with the same pacers.
By mile 2, T had dropped me and I found myself hanging out with the 1:35 pace group.  We talked about random life events, life and New Jersey.
Honestly the next five miles flew by and by the time I knew it, we were at the halfway point.  The pain in my piriformis felt exactly the same as when I started the race.  It was no better or no worse.  It was just a literal pain in the butt.  My bum butt wasn’t causing me too much harm so I just continued.
shamrock 4
The first half of the race averaged a 7:11 pace.  I felt more out of shape than anything (but that didn’t really stop me talking).  I can tell I haven’t raced fast in a while. I decided if I was still feeling good by mile 10, I would attempt to push the pace.
Around mile 9, the famous Kris L strolled by us.  She made us look like we were all standing still.  We chatted for a few minutes and then she continued to run fast and drop us.  The pacers and I laughed for a while and said we felt famous for the few minutes she ran by.  It’s not every day that such a stellar runner runs by you during a race.
By mile 10, I determined I was feeling decent enough to push the pace…so I did. Mile 10 I ran in 6:55.  I didn’t feel great but I also didn’t feel awful either.  I felt the same as if I was running a 7:10 pace so I just rolled with it.
At mile 11, there was beer!  When I ran with the 1:45 pacers at Harbor Lights, they encouraged me to take a Bakers Crust Pie.  This time for 1:35, they encouraged me to take a cup of beer…so I thought…eh why not. I have no regrets.
Mile 12 was a 6:52 mile.  Another person in the pace group and I ran the last mile together until he sprinted to the finish.   We ran mile 13 at 6:41.  I felt more strong during the last few miles then the first few.  My piriformis felt the same as when I started the race.  So my bum butt had no change in injury status,
shamrock 3

This is a prouder race photo I’ve had.

I finished the half in 1:33.06, which is about 10 minutes slower than my PR.  I’m not upset because I know I’m not at a PR fitness level right now.  I’m still recovering from my bum butt issue as well as recovering from a marathon.  It;s not a great time for me but it was a fun time.  I have no regrets running the race.
As I always say, Shamrock is one of the best races I’ve done.  The crowd, the cheering, and the race organization cannot be beat.  It’s a race that I would always recommend.  If you are ever looking for a well put together goal race (8k, half or full) Shamrock is one I highly recommend.
T and I post race.

T and I post race.

Questions for you:
Did you race a St. Patricks Day race?
Have you ever run a race that you felt better at the end versus beginning? 
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