Training: Sickness and Cut Back Week

Another week of training down.  This week is different from usual because I picked up a virus on Thursday.  This meant a lot of R&R and sleep.  I miss two runs and a workout, but that’s how life goes.

Monday: Easy Run
Tuesday: Easy Run
Wednesday: 6X1 miles (average 6:19)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Long Run with Julie

Summary: 

Easy runs were just that, easy.  I ran early.  It was great except I got caught in the pouring rain during the last mile on both Monday and Tuesday.  I thought I had beaten the storm, but sadly, I did not.

Workout Wednesday: 6×1 mile hill repeats with 90 seconds rest (average 6:19)

This is my fastest mile average by 13 seconds.  It felt like a hard workout, but I do feel as if I’m building a lot of fitness.  It was rainy and windy, but I had a great workout.  Sometimes I loathe hill repeats, and sometimes I’m excited to get back to them.  It depends on my mood of the week.  Last week I was excited to run fast, and I had my best mile repeat workout in a while.

mile repeats

On Thursday, I needed a rest day.   Around 2 pm, I found myself exhausted and getting sick.  It felt as if I woke up from a long run for three days straight.  Honestly, it was awful and the worst sickness I’ve had in a long time.  On Saturday, I felt better but not enough to run.  It was an unexpected rest/cut back week.

I promised my friends and coworkers; I would run with them on Sunday, and luckily I felt good enough to do that.  To be honest, I had been looking forward to the run all week, so I was glad I felt better.  She had a workout for her marathon of 3-mile warmup and 11 miles at race pace.  We crushed the goal even with wind and hills. We had a good run and after feeling exhausted and lethargic for a few days, it was nice to get out there.  I felt a lot better after running.

via instagram
via Instagram

Thoughts:

This week was not what we planned but looking at my training log; it’s okay.  I haven’t had a cutback week since before Carlsbad half marathon (shame on me).  I haven’t rested that long for a while, and my body needed it.  It’s actually perfect timing for my Spring races because I still have three weeks until Shamrock half marathon.  To be honest, once I get back into the routine, it probably won’t affect me.  Will I remember this 3-day break in a month?  The answer is no.

I can’t say I’m starting next week 100% fresh because I still feel under the weather but hopefully in a few more days I will feel better. My guess is I’ll feel back to my awkward self by Wednesday.

Questions for you:
Do you workout when you’re sick?
I usually don’t because I’m miserable, and I just want to nap.
What was your favorite workout of the week?

Deep Tissue Massages

Blog Challenge 4: Reasons Why I Always Make Time for Deep Tissue Massages

Should you get a deep tissue massage

It’s not a thought provoking or “change your life” post, but deep tissue massages are something I make time in my schedule as well as the budget for each month. Deep Tissue Massages keep my muscles healthier and my body recovering from workouts, races and training faster.

I’ve been injured several times in my running career. Most of my injuries are bone related but like any runner I’ve suffered from sore or tight muscles.

So why get deep tissue massages?

The scientific answer: A Massage works to lengthen muscles and restore the range of motion, relieve muscle tightness as well as improve circulation.

First, anyone can foam roll and improve circulation, but if you are like me, then you never get deep enough into your muscles.  Deep tissue massages are done by a professional who knows how to find trigger points, adhesions or tight muscles that are specific to you.

Deep tissue massages will leave you sore at first. They break down scar tissue and muscle adhesions and then flush them out of your system. Personally, when I receive a deep tissue massage, I am sorer for 48 hours and then feel significantly better.

It’s important to tell the masseuse what is sore and what gets the most sore.  Every person and runner is different and a massage is tailored to your needs.  You will get the most benefit by being vocal of what you need.

When should you get a deep tissue massage? 

The timing of a deep tissue massage is necessary. Similar to a workout, it’s important not to get a massage right before a goal race. My personal rule is 3-5 days before.  It allows your muscles to recover.

Your message will also not be as beneficial if you get it the same day after a race. The masseuse will not be able to go as deep into your muscles because they are already swollen. My rule of thumb is waiting 1-2 days afterwards.

I am just speaking from personal experience with deep tissue massages. I’ve found they keep the majority of my muscles injury free and keep my running well too.

For anyone in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area, Dr. Kemenosh has just added deep tissue massages back into the list of methods they utilize over there.  (Dr. Kemenosh and his team fixed my glute, hamstring and butt issue injury after my marathon).   I can’t say enough positive things about their team!

Here are more articles I found interesting as well:
When Should Runners Get a Deep Tissue Massage?
The Pros and Cons of Massages for Runners

Questions for you:
Have you ever gotten a deep tissue or any massage?

Why training for Shorter Distances will you make you a Better Distance Runner

Why training for Shorter Distances will you make you a Distance Runner

Why training for shorter races will make you a better distance runner

Let’s face it, we all have our favorite distance.  For some people that’s a 55-meter sprint and for some it’s an ultra marathon.  Everyone has their favorite distance.

Personally, I enjoy the half marathon the most.  It’s short enough not to feel the fatigue of a marathon or the delusion but long enough that I don’t feel like I’m all out sprinting.

Sometimes we get stuck in the same race distance rut. We train for the same distance year round. Not only can it get repetitive on your body but it can also cause over use injuries and be mentally exhausting.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and our running is to take a break and train for another distance.

But why?

Training for various distances can benefit any runner in a few ways. 

First: A mental break:

running5k

Sometimes going through countless weekend long runs can be tiring, boring and downright unenjoyable. The feeling of high mileage can even become annoying, repetitive or mentally challenging.  Focusing at different distances throughout the year allows your brain a mental break.  There isn’t a need to run a 20-mile long run while training for 5ks, in fact, it’s counter-intuitive.

Sometimes lowering mileage and training for a shorter race can break you free of that training rut. Doing faster runs with more “action”, can bring excitement back to your running. To be honest,  I felt bored and tired after Phoenix.

My training the last six months have shifted to multiple speed workouts, races, and runs filled with action. That change broke me out of the LSD (long, slow distance) rut I had been in for months.

Long Runs also take a lot of time.  It’s not the three hours of actual running but the recovery period, as well as are the “are you going to want to be productive the rest of the day” mindset after a long run.  Most of my 20 mile long run days were spent relaxing at home and being as lazy as humanly possible.

Second: Running Shorter distances builds different muscles: 

Obviously running any distance uses muscles in your legs but each distance affects your muscles in a different way.

5ks use more fast-twitch muscles while longer races use more slow twitch muscles.  Building both can benefit your running in every distance.

Hidden Bonus: More racing

ok5k

Generally a half or full marathon costs upwards of 100 dollars.  Now you can do at least 3, sometimes many more 5ks for that same price.  So yes you are paying $25-30 per 5k, but you are racing more often.

You also recover much faster from races, so you have the ability to run more races while still recovering appropriately.

Here are some more research based articles:

The Risks and Benefits of Distance Running

Why You Should Drop the Marathon for 5ks

Tweet: Why training for Shorter Distances will you make you a better Distance Runner http://ctt.ec/Q36q3+ CC @fueledbyLOLZ

Questions for you:
Do you have a favorite distance to run?
What is your favorite type of workout?

Training: 73 Miles and 10 Milers

Last week was a bit of a blur.  To be honest, the cold weather broke me but luckily my work schedule was more flexible so I could run later in the day.  This was the first real week of winter we’ve had.

Monday: Easy run
Tuesday: 11.55 mile run with Liz
Wednesday: 6X1 mile repeats (6:31 pace)
Thursday: Easy Run
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Easy Run
Sunday: Icicle 10 miler (1:05.33)
Total:  73 miles

On Tuesday, I stepped outside and was immediately freezing.  Luckily I had the day off from work and Liz, and I ran later in the day.  It was 7 degrees with the windchill.  I’ve run in that weather before, but this was a shock to the system.

Workout Wednesday: 6×1 Hill mile repeats (average 6:31 pace)

This was my fastest I’ve been able to do this workout. After feeling sluggish the last few days, it was the workout I needed.

The rest of my runs were easy and uneventful. On Friday, my body was exhausted, and I needed a rest day. My quads felt fatigued this week. They haven’t been injury sore but just tired, so I’ve been foam rolling a lot more. That is not normally an issue for me.

The Icicle 10 Miler yesterday was a shock to me.  I ran the Icicle 10 miler last year in a time of 1:07.36.  I tapered and it was my first strong race after my stress fracture.  This year I ran it two minutes faster on a harder day.  It was raining and my mileage this week was anything but a taper.

icicle 10 miler 1

My goal was to have a quality training week and with mileage and workouts then to run the race on tired legs and see how I ran.  The course is hilly and it ends with a steep incline. Icicle 10 mile elevation chart

In summary, I ran the first half in 33:17 and the second half in 32:14.  I had a good race and it was even 6 seconds (I originally said 3, but I realized it was 6 seconds) faster than my Broad Street race in May. It definitely showed me I’m getting into peak fitness.

Next week:

I’ll be tapering and going on vacation out to San Diego. My husband and I booked a vacation out there a while ago and then realized the Carlsbad half marathon is the same weekend. Our primary reasoning for going out is a vacation, but the half will be a lot of fun!

I’m excited to how I’ve progressed since the Philadelphia half marathon (1:25.00). Not only was I was not feeling the best that day, but I’ve also made significant fitness gains in the last two months.

Questions for you:
Is it cold in your region?
Have you been to San Diego or LA? Any recommendations on what to do or where to go?

Running When Injured is Stupid

Running when injured is stupid.

The doctor told me yesterday at my first follow up appointment that I was healing appropriately.  In fact, X-rays also confirmed I had a small stress fracture and it was healing.  My stress fracture appeared on the X-ray!  The doctor had to squint a few times through his glasses but it was there.  Personally, I couldn’t see anything except that I had a foot and that is had been x-rayed …but once again that is a reason I’m not a doctor.

He said if everything heals appropriately then I could be running in early October (Roughly 6 weeks after the initial “break”).  I jokingly said I would go run today, rebreak my foot or worse (and a high possibility )shatter the bone.  Then in two weeks I could confuse him more when I came in and my foot was more broken and required surgery.

Just kidding, I have no interest to do that and running while injured is not worth it to me.  I said this yesterday but I have nothing to train for.  My race schedule is as cleared as someone who doesn’t run.  I don’t need (or want) to run injured and force a fast recovery only to get more injured later on.

Call me old fashioned, just plain old, or paranoid but I see no benefits to running in pain and running while injured anymore.  (Working hard pain is different…but that’s really not fun either)

First, you are not going to enjoy running when you are in a lot of pain.  I do not enjoy anything when every step is painful.  How on earth is that fun?  You are forced to think about the pain you are in, not how much you are enjoying the run.

Second, you are probably slowing your pace if you are running while nursing an injury.  You can’t run your normal pace when you are in pain.  So is the run helping you the way a pain free run is?  No…you probably aren’t preserving that much fitness.

Third, the more you run on an injury (especially a stress fracture) the worse it will probably get.  A small stress fracture (as I have now) will only get worse if you run mediocre and painful runs on it.  You are running in pain, slow as molasses while not preserving much fitness and causing your body to require more time to heal.  If you don’t slowly make the injury worse by running on it, you run the risk of shattering the bone.

So an injury that takes a month to heal (in my case) would now take 6+ months and possible surgery.

So say you need surgery to get a shattered bone fixed?  Wouldn’t you still have to take around a month off of absolutely everything in the end anyways?  So taking a month off now and not worrying about it, would save about 5 months of painful running (that’s my logic).

Running while injured is stupid and pointless.  It has taken me a few tries (tries of being injured?) to get to this point but I’m here.  When I was in college, I believed the collegiate races at the end of season were going to define me…they haven’t.  Not showing up to Wineglass because I’m two days recovered from a stress fracture won’t define me.  In fact, no athletics can truly define you because your life is not a one race definition.

Unless you are in the highest tier of elite athletes (or a college scholarship athlete), the chances are you aren’t getting paid to run.  Running doesn’t your bills and not running isn’t going to cause you to be unable to survive in the real world.  The world moves on while you rest and recover from an injury.  You move on while you rest and recover.  Once you are recovered, you begin training again and in a couple of months (or faster) you are back to training regularly.

Maybe I’ve become a paranoid old woman but I enjoy this rest time.  I enjoy finding hobbies that don’t lead to surgery.

Question for you: Do you train while injured? If you don’t train through injuries, what do you spend your time doing? 

August Training

I feel like the past 3 months I have written the month of training didn’t go as planned. This month was no exception. Another reason I’ve accepted I’m injured is because I haven’t had any solid months that I’m happy with.  You know what they say…if at first you don’t succeed…try againor change…or just get injured and rest.

That being said I’ll still continue to document my training and plans. My month started out really well. I got over my arch injury from July and began to slowly up my miles. I was running solid base miles again and slowly progressing into longer runs. I had cross trained so I started with 20 miles and then hovered between 30-40. I felt fine and running completely injury free.

Paces: All untimed except my 5:50 mile.

I
I

Longest runs: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Shortest run: 1 mile

I did one race the entire month of August and that was a mile race. To be honest, I felt slow and like I hadn’t raced in a while (which was 100% true and 100% fine). In August all my runs were injury free.  I had so many glimmers of hope to actually run my fall marathon.  Then on August 22, I woke up with serious pain in my foot, My foot was swollen and bruised. It was the weirdest thing and still is the weirdest thing. Needless to say from August 22-for at least 5 weeks, I will not be running.

After getting several tests done, I was diagnosed with a minor stress fracture in my foot. It’s a little bit worse than a stress reaction but not quite a “full blown” stress fracture.  Not the absolute worst news but still a big deal.

So needless to say I took an entire week off. I joined a pool to actually swim only to find out the pool was closed the week I joined. So I’ll end up attempting to swim today (attempting being the key word…if you don’t see a post tomorrow you know why😉

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really upset I have a stress fracture but there are worse things in life.  I have other hobbies and activities that don’t include running and I can catch up on them.

I’ve actually kept relatively busy between working and hanging out with friends.  The less I’m in the house right now, the better I seem to be.  So I’m always willing to hang out or grab dinner or something.

So what are my goals for September?

To continue to recover. I’ll swim when I find the time but I’m also working a lot so I won’t have a lot of extra time (or energy). I’m very happy about working a lot honestly, I would rather work and stay busy doing other things. My fitness is something that can be gained back when I am healthy, however, pushing it too quickly is going to further injure me.

The month of September will be a “down” month for me while I recover. I plan to do some strength training, swimming and whatever doesn’t hurt (when I have time).  So in reality I’m setting myself up for success and having a good month of training.  I’m not doing anything painful or any “serious” workouts but I am finding nonstrenuousness activity to eat up a little bit of my time.

Finally, thank you to my two blog sponsors Injinji and Mike (from Fitness Pal). Both are great products that I use regularly (before they sponsored LOLZ).  They both allow me to blog freely without paying for a domain and upgraded wordpress, ect.   I’m glad I found two products that I personally use that are willing to sponsor LOLZ, that’s like hitting the lottery.

Questions for you:
How was your month of August?
What are your plans for Labor Day today?

The Easiest Training Week Ever

Last week I posted about having a possible stress fracture.  I was pretty postive due to the nature of the feeling and my doctor’s remarks that I had a stress fracture.   His remarks were: Although it hasn’t shown up on the X-ray, I’m confident you have a stress fracture so we will do more tests.

Since I woke up in this pain (I never felt any pain while running) I had some sort of hope it was just a bruise.  On a side note I really did wake up on the wrong side of the bed last Friday.

My X-ray last week came out clean.  No abnormalities.  My doctor and I were still confident that I had a stress fracture so he ordered some more tests.  It was more difficult since I had just had both an X-ray and an MRI on my other foot.

Long introduction short after getting some more indepth tests done, I do have a second metatarsal stress fracture.  I thought I was being careful coming back from my arch problem last month (other foot).  I didn’t start running until I felt good so I wasn’t overcompensating.  I didn’t up my miles to fast and the only speed work I did in the last two months was a 1 mile road race.

Last Friday was the first day I felt the pain my foot. I literally just woke up in a lot of pain. My previous run on Thursday felt fine. At work the previous day I told my coworker I planned to race in a Labor Day 5k since I was injury free.

But I do have a minor stress fracture and no amount of questioning is going to heal my bones any faster.  (but a bone stimulator will…hint hint…)

I have deffered my fall marathon.  I don’t plan to do any fall marathons.  I don’t know if I plan to do any spring marathons.  The only one I would really consider would be Shamrock in VA Beach…but who knows my recovery rate.

Or maybe I’ll wait even longer, marathons are abundant and I like the half marathon better.

Shockingly, I didn’t cry when the doctor told me “You have a stress fracture”.  I thought I would.  I don’t really even feel sorry for myself.  I don’t really know how to feel.  I feel like when you are too shocked to really know what to think. Almost like when a relationship is ended so abruptly you are still in the processing phase.

If I was having a great training cycle, I would feel more mental pain.  The fact is I wasn’t having a confident cycle and my body probably just needed more rest and time away from running.  I never had any terrible runs but since April I haven’t had any runs that really stuck out to me either.  It was just meh.

Being injured stinks and I’m not happy about it (at all) but at the same time my life is not over and I will keep moving on.  In November and December, (knock on wood) I should be running again.  Hopefully I’ll be running happy and with a new found (from my long lost) passion.  While I’m upset I’m not devestated.  It’s more obnoxious because it’s harder to walk (at the pace I would like too).

So what is my recovery timeline looking like?

I’m currently 10 days into recovery. If I heal appropriately it will be between 4-6 weeks to heal. It’s not a full break, in fact it’s not bad break at all. Two days ago I stopped taking any pain meds. I could be running again by early to mid October (running being a mile or two). I won’t be running any sort of consistent mileage until November. This is all reliant on healing appropriately though.

Finally, what has my training been like since being injured? (The point of this post…)

Since Sunday’s are my normal training post this is easy enough: I haven’t done anything since last Friday.  I joined a pool only to find out the pool was closed for rennovations until next week.  I’ll get into the pool next week. I guess I could have just written that paragraph and had the shortest “training” post ever.

Questions for you:

Have you ever had a second metatarsal stress fracture?  Or stress fracture in general?  What are your healing secrets?

What is an activity you like to do outside of working out?