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.


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? 

More Recovery Update 3

It has been another week of recovering and running…

To update you I believe I’m slowly getting better from my issues.  This is from a number of factors including aggressively going to a chiropractor, stretching and getting deep tissues massages on my leg.  I’m not going to sit and let my muscles fester with injury.

I’ve been told “just resting” is not going to solely allow me to recover…so I’m not going to “just rest”.  I’m going to actively try and solve the problem. (ETA: I wasn’t told by someone I’m actually getting work done with, so I know they weren’t telling me to overdo deep tissue massages and chiro sessions to pay more…)

If you live in South Jersey and need a chiropractor or deep tissue masseuse, don’t hesitate to send me an email.  I can give you the information of the people I’ve been seeing.  Both are great and without them I would still be hobbling around.

A few updates since last week:

  • I think the slope road has been irritating my hip. I stopped running in that location.
  • I also think my running shoes wore quicker than normal. Both have been replaced and I’m currently running in the Saucony triumphs and the Asics Nimbus 17.  Both I like and both I’ll have reviews on when I have at least 100 miles of running in them.
  • My injury has left my adductor muscle and hamstring. It is now very localized in my hip as well as piriformis muscle.  I feel like it’s very sore at the attachment sites
  • I’ve gone to the chiropractor once since last week. I am really hoping the reason my piriformis is so sore is because she worked a little bit on that muscle.  Only time will tell!

Where is my running headed?

I have no goal races for a while.  With my wedding coming up in 3 weeks, my energy goes towards that.  It will make me a boring running blogger to follow but there are plenty of runners training for Boston if you are in need of a fix…

I’ll still be racing and participating in road races but I’m not actively training for anything.  I am not magically better but I am taking care of underlying issues.  Muscle injuries are the worst because you never know when they will get better.

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Have you ever gotten trigger point?  How sore were you afterwards?

February Training (208 miles)

February was a unique month for me.

As I said in January, my plan was to get in mileage for two weeks and then taper the second two weeks for the Phoenix marathon.   I did about that.  I did what I wanted mileage wise and felt decent during the entire thing.

Mileage: 208

Range of paces: 6:40-11 mins-untimed

Favorite training run: My 21 mile long run with an average of 7:41 pace.  It made me feel very strong and ready for the race.


Feel the Love 5k (20:12)

feel the love 5k 1

Phoenix Full Marathon (3:14.59) Short recap and long recap to come…

Best Race:

Both races were not perfect by any means but Phoenix Full Marathon had many more positives.


I trained extremely well for the first two weeks of February.  I felt ready for my first goal race of 2015, the Phoenix marathon.  I didn’t have concrete goals but I made an effort to get the training in.  The cold weather was both shocking and often times hard to train through.  There were several runs I did not feel motivated or excited to do because it was so cold.

For the second half of the month I tapered.  I was having muscle soreness in my hamstring that I was monitoring.  I didn’t effect my gait but it was noticeable.  I was hoping that it would dissolve with 2 deep tissue massages, rest and tapering.  It died down enough that I felt okay to run Phoenix.  The marathon distance caused my issue to become legitimate concern during the marathon (I’ve never really had experience with this) and during the final miles of the marathon my hip, butt and hamstring hurt.

My plan for now is to rest and recover as well as getting a deep tissue massage.  I had planned not to run for 10-14 days already but now this is much more important to me.  I have no “looming races” that I need to train for.

I don’t have a big plan for March. I will be at Shamrock weekend since I will be in the area taking care of last minute wedding stuff.

 I do know I won’t be logging miles for a while.  I’ll have a full Phoenix recap soon (I should have plenty of time right?)

Questions for you:

Have you ever had hamstring or hip issues?

How was your February Training?

Week 12: The Best Week (73 miles)

It’s hard to believe there are two weeks until the Phoenix marathon.  Last week proved to me that I’m as ready as I’ll be for this race.  After my short back injury last week, I was extremely nervous going into this week and for the race in general.

My goal for the week was to get one long run and workout in.   

Monday: 10.65 miles easy
Tuesday: 20.16 miles (7:40 pace)
Wednesday: 5 miles extremely easy
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 10 miles easy
Saturday: AM: 5 miles easy
PM: Feel the Love 5k (20:05)
Sunday: 15 miles easy
Total:  73 miles


This week was exactly what I wanted.

Tuesday’s run was the best and the most motivating of the entire training cycle.  I don’t run a lot of miles at a harder pace but I wanted to get a a final long run in. I ran two loops around my area (it was boring but I was easily able to get fuel halfway through). My legs felt good and I felt strong.  I don’t think I could run another 5.1 miles at that pace (hopefully taper allows me too) but I am proud of how it went.

Then on Wednesday-Friday, I took it easy. My run on Friday was one of the most miserable runs I’ve had in a very long time.  It was extremely cold and by mile 3, the wind hit me like a train.  The first few miles weren’t as cold but once the wind hit, it truly felt like the -1 that the weather channel had been talking about.  If I had known how cold it was I would have run inside, no questions asked.  I got to work and was frozen the rest of the day.

Tim got back on Thursday and we signed up to do a team “Feel the Love” 5k on Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t know if I would be able to do this race due to my work schedule but thankfully they were really nice and allowed me too.  The race started at the random time 3:30 pm.  I woke up on Saturday knowing that my legs weren’t feeling that great (I would hope not after my workout earlier in the week).  I gave it my best and had a great time along the way.  I ran a 20:05 5k on a tough course.  It had so many turns it was like running on an indoor track (not an exaggeration because it had 12 turns).

Tim and I’s team name was “Planes and Pancakes”.  HA!

feel the love 5k

Sunday was also extremely cold.  I’m to the point that I’m not going to force myself to be miserable while running.  If it feels like -5 outside, I see no problems running inside.  I ran inside and caught up on news and trashy TV.

Cliff notes:

This week was exactly what I wanted and needed for my training cycle.  I got my last long run and workout in.  I got a smaller speed workout and in and I felt good (not injury free).  It’s time to start relaxing and tapering for the next two weeks.

Questions for you:

How do you taper for marathons?

What was your best workout of the week?

January Training

January was a great month of training for me.  As I enter February, I am feeling more confident with my training and for my marathon.

My primary goals for December and January were building base and mileage.  I built some strong mileage and maintained staying healthy and injury free (knock on wood). I’m building up mileage for the Phoenix marathon at the end of the month.

Total miles: 265 miles:

Range of Paces: 6:09-10:15-untimed

Shortest run: 1.23 mile warm up

Longest run: 21.17 mile long run


December 31st: Beat the Ball 5k (19:50) This seems like forever ago!

January 1st: Hair of the Dog 5k (19:59)

This yellow top

January 10th: Icicle 10 miler (1:07.35 6:40 pace)

Favorite race: It was definitely the Icicle 10 miler.  I felt so strong and I feel like I could have finished a half marathon at that pace.  It was a challenging course and it was motivating to see my hard work paying off.   In fact the Icicle ten miler was my favorite race since May.  It gave me a lot of motivation for where my fitness level is.

running 3

Favorite training run:  My 21 miler last week.  It was my first test of long run speed and I finished feeling satisfied.  I ran the first half easy and the second ranging from a 7:30-7:45 pace.

Overall thoughts:

From a whole picture this month could not have gone any better.  Each month brings small challenges but I had no major issues.  I increased mileage and felt strong throughout the month.  It’s nice to start my 2015 injury free and strong.

Injury wise: To answer questions about my metatarsal, I haven’t felt pain or any issue since beginning to ramp up mileage again.  My recovery process last fall was a lot slower then I would have liked but it allowed me to be healthy now.  I haven’t been having aches and pains with my foot at all (knock on wood).

Next month goals:

February will be different for training.  I will spend the first two weeks training and the second two weeks tapering for the Phoenix Marathon (Reasons I chose Phoenix).  I’m becoming more excited to race and to be strong.

To be honest, last fall I did not have the same excitement for the Wineglass marathon. For the Phoenix marathon, I’m excited to race. I don’t have a time goal but I do want to finish my marathon injury free and strong.  Judging from my training, I stand a chance of running a similar time to my marathon PR (3:17).

I’ve only run one marathon and I already realized its a tricky race to train for and run. Anything can happen during the race but as long as I finish injury free, I’ll be happy.

Questions for you:

How as your first month of 2015?

What is the next race on your schedule? 


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