Marathon Recovery

Marathon Recovery

It’s been 10 days since NYCM. I haven’t run.  I won’t say I’ve focused every ounce of energy on recovery because that isn’t the case, but I have made recovery a primary concern.  I feel good, in the fact that I know I’m healthy and could run, but I strongly believe everyone needs at least 2 weeks of rest sometime during the year.

Most long-term readers know but I’m injury prone, so I can’t get away with not taking rest. At this point, I don’t even try too.

My old college coach told me that days off save seasons and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. Not only do I apply this with injuries, but also now with resting after a race.  There are some people that could get away from running

Here are a Few Ways I’ve Been Personally Recovering:

Active Release Technique:
I’m a big fan of active release. It flushes out acid from your legs and muscles quicker and you recover faster. I’ve always recovered faster when I opted to get a deep tissue massage or ART.

Active Release is a hands-on approach to injuries of the muscles, tendons, fascia, nerves, and the surrounding tissues. This manipulation softens and stretches the scar tissue which can result in an increased range of motion and improved circulation.  Both optimize healing.

If you are local, I highly recommend Dr. Kemenosh and his staff (and no they aren’t paying me to tell you that and I pay the same price as every other person who goes). They have helped me in multiple situations from fixing my hip/piriformis after my last marathon to loosening up my calves, and even feet.

active release technique

Compression:
There are so many different brands of compression out there. Many brands are just glorified tube socks.  I personally use CEP and have for most of my running journey.  CEP uses medical grade compression and forces blood to appropriate places.

Compression helps to enhance performance and recovery through the targeted compression which improves blood circulation and speeds up lactate metabolism.

Cross Training:
I’ve done a couple of short walks and I think I’ll do a hike this weekend.  Even though I could have done “a lot more” this week, I have walked as cross training. It feels good to get blood pumping through my legs.  I’ve been walking about 20-30 minutes which has been fun. I haven’t felt the urge to go further.

Take Mental Break:
Running can be exhausting.  For me thinking about adding a long run into the weekend, or workouts during the week can be mentally tiresome. Taking a mental break is one of the most important things I personally do.  Right now I’m not planning “the next big thing.”

Sleep:
This is an obvious one, but more sleep allows muscles to repair. We know sleep is important, but there are so many distractions that make it difficult to get to bed. I try and log off the internet around 9 pm. Sometimes I read, sometimes I go straight to bed.  I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to the time change. Has it really been nearly 2 weeks?

Recovery from anything, whether it’s a race or hard training cycle takes time. Just like training, there is no secret that does it all at once.

Questions for you:

How do you recover?  

How long do you take off after a big race? 

 

Training: Resting

Training: Resting

Another week of training down.  By training, I mean resting. I haven’t run a single step after crossing the finish line of the New York City Marathon.

Not running has been great and I actually do feel like I’ve recovered very well from the race, almost too well.  I’m not sore at all but I know it’s important to take time away both physically and mentally.

I did get outside twice for 2 short and easy strolls.  It felt nice to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.  It wasn’t tough, rigorous, or anything faster than a casual stroll.  It was nice to just be out and enjoy the day.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 20 minute walk
Thursday: OFF/Active Release with Dr. Craig
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 30-minute walk
Sunday: 15-minute walk

 

Next week will be the same.  I’ll get outside for more casual strolls but I’m not going to push anything. I could 100% run right now if I wanted.

On Thursday, I got active release with Dr. Craig.  Active release is similar to a massage but a hands-on therapy breaks up adhesions and knots. It helps release muscles.  I’ve been going to the entire team since my second marathon and they originally helped to release muscles in my hamstring and glute that were not getting better.

It feels great to say that I made it through the training cycle strong, and healthy.  Does that mean I could have run the marathon faster? Maybe but maybe not.  I gave it my all for the day.

Anyway, next week will be about the same. I do plan to go for a hike towards the end of the week.

Posts from the Week:

New York City Marathon Race Recap

Collagen: Protein without the Protein Powder

Questions for you:

Do you take time off after a big race?

Is there fall foliage near you?

Running Isn’t Everything

Running Isn’t Everything

This week, my “on this day app” showed me seven years ago, I had my official diagnosis of a tibia stress fracture.  It was my first real running injury.  The diagnosis came a month after the actual break.  I think the original diagnosis (with a clean X-Ray) was tendinitis.

Stress fractures rarely show up on X-Rays.  In fact, I’ve never had a stress fracture that did show up within the first weeks of the break..  I tell people that X-rays are the gateway to MRI’s.

I know exactly how I caused what caused my tibia to break and it was by running my runs to fast all of the time.  I ran between 7-7:10 pace every day.  You can read about my running history in my running about page, so I’ll spare you all of those details.

In summary, at the time my PRS were much slower. I was always tired, and my training was dumb.  I was a new runner (I had been running off and on for about a year), so I didn’t know the importance of easy runs.

Most runners go through the phase of running in cheap shoes, running all their runs to fast, and then get injured.

On that day 7 years ago, I sat in the doctor’s office, crying my eyes out as they read the results.  My dad was sitting there, probably rolling his eyes.

He looked me square in my 21-year-old face and said: “Hollie, it’s just running, get ahold of yourself.”

I’ll never forget that statement because at the end of the day it is…just running.  Races, events, and running will always be there.  I don’t regret the injury, and I don’t regret any of my injuries because they have all taught me something.

This is my 21st birthday when the reality was I had a broken tibia.  The doctor told me it was “tendinitis” so didn’t boot it for a while longer.  My youngest brother seems thrilled to celebrate my birthday. 

In 2011, my tibial stress fracture taught me not to train like a moron.

In 2014, my second metatarsal fracture taught me I can’t outrun injury.  Nipping things in the bud is essential.  If I rested a week, I wouldn’t have sat out 2+ months.  You will never outrun a stress reaction, and they turn into a fracture.

In 2016, my ankle fracture taught me I have a lot more hobbies than running.  I like to run, and I blog about running but I like a lot of other things including hiking and just being active.  I mean one of my first “real” hiking adventures and I was doing yoga.  JK…yoga is not my thing.

That being said, of course, there were hard times and tears shed but running isn’t everything.

I’ve had multiple doctors visits to make sure my body is healthy, and it is.  I have the right amount of calcium, vitamin D, and I get my period every month.  My injuries have been either overuse or form.  I stress my metatarsals with how I run, so I need to be overly cautious in changing shoes as well as running too much.  It took me a long time to realize that but better late than never.

So that leads me to where the post is actually going.

I don’t rely a lot on paces and for the most part train for time versus pace.  I’ll never be a runner who cares about an 8:30 mile versus 8:33.

rabbit running me

I’m not a data nerd and don’t even log into my Garmin app very often. Strava doesn’t interest me for many reasons including safety, but I also don’t care enough for the data portion.  I don’t need head pats and likes to get me out of the door.  I do it because I like it.

It’s another reason I don’t see the point to log pace and lose sleep over an of an easy run.

(Since my tibia break, I’ve never had the issue of going to fast for recovery and easy). I want to know that data for races or workouts, but I just listen to my body on easy run or recovery runs.

To tell you the type of runner and person I am, this morning I finished a run with my friend Alexis and she asked: what does your watch read?  I said 9.95 and she asked if I wanted to get to 10…I just shrugged and said it didn’t matter.  One of my most significant personal accomplishments for my anxiety is not to sweat the small things.  Will I remember next week I ran 9.95 versus 10.01…no.

I’m not lazy, and I do work hard.  I don’t feel like I have to prove that to anyone because I know it for myself.  If you cut corners in your training, you are only hurting yourself.  I’m not hurting “X the Instagrammer” because I’m lying about workouts, runs, or races…I’m just hurting me.

Originally, this was written in more of a diary format and I wasn’t going to post it.  Sometimes it’s just cathartic to get information out there.

Then I was told, and I also realized, I have been lazy with my training logs because I don’t really know who reads them.  I don’t care if I get 10 comments or none but if no one ever comments, how on earth would I even know someone is reading? So I figured people weren’t reading my blog anymore.  That is totally fine and I never expect anyone to read anything I write.  In fact, I’ll tell personal friends stories and they’ll say: oh I read that on your blog.  I never think anyone reads anything. It’s fun when people do, and the commentary is fun but I don’t expect it.  Bloggers aren’t celebrities and having the most followers is like having monopoly money…when you log off the computer…no one cares.

So where am I with Running Now?

This summer I have been running easy and doing workouts when I can.

I am a high mileage runner and I thrive on high mileage and racing all of the time but I absolutely can’t do that year round.  I’ll injure myself or burn myself out. I’ve learned that lesson too many times. This summer I put the brakes on and while I’m running 45-60 minutes and longer runs a couple of days a week I’m not hitting double digits every day.  I will do that again, hopefully in the fall, but I won’t that mistake of doing that year round and hurting myself.  Sure it’s boring because I’m not racing every weekend, and I could put more effort into my training logs.

That being said, I am in shape but I’m not in peak shape, and your body can’t be year round.  If you asked me to race a half marathon right now, I think I could run somewhere around 1:30 but my PR is 1:22.  To get to 1:22, I do have to up training and mileage.  I have to run hard, fine-tune fitness, and train for a goal.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

Right now I’m running the Under Armour 25k trail race in Killington, this weekend.  A completely different goal than a PRing half marathon or having any road goal.  My goal is literally to finish healthy.  I do plan to train for a goal (road) race in the fall, but the other component is I’m often at the mercy of my husband’s schedule.  We have a few more things to sort out, but I do plan to train for a fall goal race.   Once I have a decision and bib for a race, the blogging world will be the first to know (well maybe my parents).

This is one of my longest posts about life, running, and everything in between so thank you for staying with me if you did.  I never really anticipated posting it but the timing just seemed right. 

Blogging is Dying.

Blogging is Dying.

Blogging is Dying.

There I said it.

I’ve actually had a document on my computer titled: “blogging is dying” for a couple of months now.  Past that, I haven’t continued the post.  Maybe I was waiting for the best moment to post it, maybe not.  Either way, blogging is slowly dying.

I’ve contemplated writing this post for a while now, but I don’t know where to begin.  It’s probably a mismatched bunch of words that don’t flow together but when is that anything new?

So here we go:

I started blogging in 2010 when blogging was beginning to grow.  Everyone was blogging!

It was the new thing to do instead of writing a Facebook update that was 10 pages long.  I think in 2010, I followed close to 20 blogs.  I was captivated by their writing, and it ranged from runners, to triathletes, to even a chocolate blog (you know).

I followed people with similar interests.  Most people were posting at least a few times a week, if not more.  To be honest, I think most blogs posted daily, which I did too!

2012-2014, continued the trend and blogging continued to grow.  As the years went by, new social media was created.

There were so many new platforms:

Instagram: To take photos of everything you did!

Twitter: To write short burbs and updates about life!

Facebook pages: When one facebook isn’t enough, get two!

Pinterest and more (to save blogs, recipes, and whatever else you’ll read or follow up on!

I remember kicking my feet at getting twitter…ugh another thing, I couldn’t keep up.  I ultimately got most of them, except for Pinterest, because I just pin cat memes.

Then 2013 was a big year for me.  I moved four times: New York to Virginia to Texas to New Jersey.  I ran my first marathon, and moved in with a boyfriend at the time who put a ring on it (yes Tim).  It was the year where I had no idea what I wanted to do.  I lived off of savings, made some money blogging, and just job searched like any early 20 year old.

In 2014, life settled down a little bit (not much, but enough).  My husband and I got engaged, settled in NJ, and I finally set a half marathon PR.  2014 for blogging was probably my “biggest year”.

What does biggest in blogging even mean?

Most page views?  Most engagement?  Most money made?

All three!

blog stats

Then in 2014, a lot of things on the internet changed.  Social media channels began to grow, and many runners turned to Instagram to document and give running advice.  I tried to go that route with long blog post captions but quickly realized I liked Instagram for taking photos of pretty places.  It isn’t my personal preference to write a novel caption about how inspired I was to get out there.

I run and come home.  I don’t have an inspiring story about every run, I just get out there and do it.  I’m just a woman in the Garden State trying to make it look cool. I don’t like to post half-naked photos and don’t like to give advice about running.  I don’t want my account to be running only and don’t want to create a separate Instagram account for my personal life either.

My Instagram is my life whether I have a blog or not.  It isn’t limited to running, because my life isn’t limited to running.  Maybe I’ll never have a niche, but that is fine.  My blog talks more about my training and life, while Instagram is just photos and short captions.  A couple of weeks ago, my husband I celebrated our anniversary. Not running, but part of my life.

View this post on Instagram

Celebrating our 3 year anniversary.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Anyway, with the growth of Instagram and other social media, came the slow fall of blogging.

It isn’t just blogging that has fallen, and many running publications have ceased too.  For instance, Competitor magazine only exists online.  Runners World was acquired by Hearst.

This post isn’t too bash anything or anyone.  It’s just to briefly explain what I’ve observed in the last several years.  It’s not the only view, and for some their blog has gotten bigger, which is great!

In summary, social media such as Instagram has grown.  People would prefer free advice versus paying, and to be honest, people don’t want or have the time and interest to read blogs anymore.

So How do You Support Blogs?

The easiest way to support any blogger or let them know you’re reading is occasionally comment (and no I’m not begging for comments).  Commenting or sharing posts/articles are two big ways to support bloggers without doing much.

Many people have told me in person, “love your blog” and to be honest I’m shocked they read.  Sure, right now I average about 500 page views a day, but I rarely get more than 1-2 comments per post, so I have no clue who reads, if anyone!  No one is a mind reader.  I don’t expect anyone to read, but it’s always nice to hear from people who are.

I will still blog because I like too.  I’ve stopped blogging every day, but I’ll continue to blog.  This post is not meant to be negative, or put anyone down.  It’s just the trend i’ve noticed throughout several years of blogging (which of course different people notice different things).

Questions for you:

How long have you been blogging? Is blogging dying? Discuss?

Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Shoe Review

Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Shoe Review

Recently, I integrated the Saucony Triumph ISO 4 into my rotation.  It’s one of the few shoes I seem to try each updated model.  In summary, I personally liked the original Triumph ISO the best.  As the shoe is updated more, I’ve found other Saucony shoes that I like better included the Freedom and even the cheaper Saucony Ride 10.

saucony triumph 4 shoe review

Fit:

The fit is different than the Triumph 3 and actually reminds me a lot more of both the original Triumph ISO and the Triumph ISO 2.  The shoe is actually a little longer than the 3, but still narrow.  Throughout the years, I’ve worn anywhere from a 9.5-10.5 wide in the Triumph.  This year, I find the 10 wide to be the best fit for me.

I found an interesting issue, I haven’t had before with the Triumph that the midfoot is much more snug.  Typically, I have liked the Triumph ISO, because it is a wider shoe model.  While there is sufficient room, I did find the updated model to be much narrower (even the wide) in the midfoot region.

Finally, if you have never run in Saucony shoes, the heel counter is much lower than other models.  I’ve never had an issue “running or slipping out of the shoe,” and don’t know anyone who has, but it is something to be aware of!  We have many people that come into work that don’t like the shoe because of the low heel.  It’s also a hard shoe to put orthotics and inserts into.

Ride:

The Saucony ISO 4 has gone through a few significant changes.  One is that the entire bottom is lined with the Everun foam.  Previous models included about half EVA and half Everrun.

Now, it’s full Evverun.

Why does this matter?  It makes the Saucony ISO 4 much firmer than previous models.  It’s has become much more responsive, but still cushioned shoe.  In fact, it’s much more similar to the Saucony Freedom.

Changing to an entire bottom of Everun means the shoe’s dynamic drastically changes.  If you have run in the Saucony  Freedom, it will feel much more similar.  The Triumph ISO 4 feels much less soft and much firmer than the previous Triumph models.

Summary:

  • I do personally like the Saucony Triumph ISO 4.  I’ve put just over 100 miles and not had an issue.  While the midfoot is tighter than previous models, it’s not uncomfortable.
  • The shoe itself does feel drastically different, both in fit as well as ride.  It’s definitely not a model of shoe I would buy blindly online.
  • Sadly, with the integration of the full bottom of Everrun, the retail price of the ISO 4 has gone up to $160.
  • Personally, I’ll continue running in it, and I think it’s one of the better versions Saucony has made in the last two years.  The original ISO was still my favorite.

Keep in mind, these are all personal preferences.  Saucony is not paying me to review their shoes.  What works for me, might not work for you.  All of our feet are different. 

Current Rotation:

Daily Runs: Saucony Triumph ISO 4, Brooks Glycerin 15 and Hoka Clifton 4
Workouts: Altra Escalante, Nike Zoom Fly
Races: Saucony Type A and Saucony Endorphin

Questions for you:
What is your favorite running shoe?
Is there a model, you’ve run through several models?

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