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Training and Recovery Log Sept. 30th

Training and Recovery Log Sept. 30th

I’m not training (at least technically not yet) for anything, but last week marked a huge jump in recovery for me. My previous training log was a bunch of rambling that was barely coherent. When I wrote it, I was waiting to hear if I had some sort of pelvic stress fracture. Like anyone, I was nervous and had played back why it “definitely was” and why “it couldn’t possibly be”.

With my history of bone injury and no relief in 2 weeks, I knew it was time to get an MRI. Would I have a femoral head, pelvis, or sacrum stress fracture? I even went so far as to think a herniated disk could be a possibility (which my dad likes to remind me happened when he was also 29).

Anyway, it was none of those things, which is surprising. My MRI came back and said I had no suspicious bone injuries and no stress reactions or stress fractures. Truthfully, I would be more bummed to have a bone injury than to miss a race. I had A LOT of bone injuries in my early twenties.  I’ve worked hard the last few years to listen to my body and take extra rest when I need it.  Due to my form, I stress my metatarsals so I’ve become very mindful of that.

Plus bone injuries in your pelvis and above the knee are usually a sign of something more serious.

Moving forward, my MRI showed it is not bone-related. With a lot of Active Release Therapy with Dr. Craig from Dr.Kemenosh, I’ve recovered pretty well. It felt like the first 2 weeks; I made no recovery and this week the stars are aligning and I feel almost completely better.

So Where Does This Take Me?

I do believe there is time to “salvage” my running season but I’m not going to stress about it.  I am signed up for another fall marathon and I’ll do a mini buildup. I will disclose that race sometime today or tomorrow. Like my previous goal with Big Cottonwood, my goal will be to start and finish healthy. The older I get, the more that becomes my goal. Do I want to PR? Of course, but I’m realistic that I’m not in the same shape I was in 2018.

Anyway the training of the training log-

Monday: 3000-meter swim
Tuesday: 3000-meter swim
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 30-minute run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 30-minute run
Sunday: 6 Mile Hike in the Pinelands

My hamstring and butt feel better. I would say I’m about 95% back to feeling better. My running last week was more like plodding. While I only took about 2.5 weeks off, I feel like I took months. I’m just plodding along, happy I can run.

I also know not to be a dummy and jump back into the same mileage I was doing (even when I was starting to taper), then I will end up with a stress fracture.

I’ve been hiking a lot more recently. Even when I couldn’t run a step, hiking has never felt painful. It feels good to continue to do that.  Between that and swimming, the cross-training has kept some fitness.

This training log was a bit more enjoyable to write than last week.

Posts from the week:

New Balance Fuelcell 5280 Shoe Review

Aftershokz Aeropex Headphone Review

Hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you ever dealt with hamstring tendinitis? 

Are you training for anything? 

 

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Recovery Log Week 2

Recovery Log Week 2

This marks the second complete week of no running. I thought I would feel a lot better than I do.  Since I haven’t felt better enough with time and active release that been I was able to get an MRI. (I’m waiting for those results). The waiting game for any medical diagnosis makes you question everything.

Truthfully, I’m worried it’s been two weeks and I don’t have any relief it could be bone related in the hip, femur, or sacrum. It could still be a nasty case of piriformis syndrome, but only time will tell.

While I haven’t had a stress fracture in a few years, due to my form I know I’m prone to them.

I don’t think I increased my running mileage too quickly, but you never know.

That being said, it doesn’t hurt all of the time, just running. Usually, stress fractures hurt all of the time.  I can walk, hike, swim pain-free.  The moment I try and run, it’s painful down my hamstring. I don’t eat perfectly, but I eat a balanced diet and I know I was getting enough calories while running.

You can see, I could see this issue going either way.  I’m not looking for advice, but I try and keep it as transparent as possible.  I try and blog both the positive and negative, the highs and lows of running. It was low having to back out of the race I trained all summer. I’m still low with not feeling any better.

One thing that is important to me, is to keep blogging through injury (it always has been). With social media, you often see the highlight reel, the PRs, the good times, but you don’t see the low times as much. Many runners have gone through some sort of injury or low period.

So anyway, enough rambling, I’m waiting for the results of that. I’ll be more devastated if something is broken because I’ve worked hard to listen to myself, not run myself into the ground. No one is perfect, but after learning the stress fracture lesson the hard way (more than once), I don’t run when something feels off. You can’t outrun injury. I don’t try too (anymore).

Monday: Swim 3000 meters
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Swim 3000 meters
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Swim 3000 meters
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Hike Stokes Forest

There isn’t much more to say, swimming is swimming. I’m still enjoying swimming which is important right now.

I’ll have a full recap of hiking Stokes State Park soon. It was awesome and also pain-free.

Posts from the Week:

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Hiking Splitrock Reservoir

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

 

a DNS

a DNS

Today’s training log was supposed to an exciting log about how I ran the Big Cottonwood Marathon…but I never made it there.

Admittedly, I chose not to go and I chose not to start the race. It was a conversation I had in my head weighing both the pros and the cons. I’m sure the events would have played out differently for many but at the end of the day, it wasn’t worth it to me to start a race when the risk of a more serious injury was high.

It isn’t my first DNS, and it probably won’t be last. On the day my flight was supposed to leave, I could barely walk. Traveling was a literal pain in the ass. Sitting for long periods…hurt, walking…hurt. Running last Wednesday was laughable. In fact, today, Monday, after a week of not running, it’s laughable (but moving in the right direction).

So what led me to a DNS?

I ran a few short runs after the 18.12 mile challenge with no issues. I felt fine. My gait felt fine. I felt fine. Nothing in my running life would lead me to believe I wouldn’t run my marathon. Somewhere around 7-10 days out from my marathon, my hamstring and butt started to hurt. Not just a phantom taper pain hurt, but something was wrong. I delayed saying anything, hoping it would be a quick fix. Truthfully, I also didn’t want unsolicited internet advice about it would be fine and it was just “taper pain”. It wasn’t me exaggerating; I was in pain.

Dr. Craig from Dr. Kemenosh worked on my legs and butt the last few days using active release. I was also able to make an appointment with Dr. Lisko.

There just wasn’t the time to get me back to running a marathon. I could have probably run. I might have been able to run the entire marathon, but there was a greater chance I would have to stop and walk due to my hamstring. There was also a chance, 26.2 miles of downhill running would lead to a torn hamstring. I knew the chance of me leaving the race, having not finished, something torn, or limping, was far greater than me finishing healthy.

What’s the point? Why put myself through 26.2 miles of pain? The marathon would be miserable, I wouldn’t run well, and I would take longer to recover. I would be out for months. So while the weekend wasn’t “the best ever”, I don’t have any regrets about skipping the marathon.

When I decided to forgo the Big Cottonwood Marathon, the race I spent 16 weeks training for, I didn’t take it lightly. It’s hard not to show up. To not feel like a failure.

Throughout my running and especially in my early twenties, I’ve been injured multiple times with many different injuries. This is the closest I’ve come to being injured race day without it happening during a race. (I broke my tibia during the Allen Stone-Run-Swim-Run in 2011).

The older I get, the more I realize running isn’t everything and never will be. I’m a big proponent of having other hobbies. Other hobbies that don’t relate to running or your “central hobby.”

If all you do is eat, breath, sleep, running, and suddenly it’s taken away from you, you have nothing. The same can be said about anything. If all you do is eat, breath, sleep, sewing…and it’s taken away from you, you have nothing. (and no, social media doesn’t count).

That is why you see more and more professional athletes having other hobbies. Steph Bruce and Lauren Fleshman make Picky Bars. Des Linden brews coffee. You need an outside hobby that doesn’t have you mindlessly scrolling social media, comparing and wishing it was you.

Last Wednesday was my final decision day, and when it came, my decision was easy. It was a no. An easy no. Not a tearful no. Just a no. A not worth it to go no. A do what’s best for me, no.

It’s funny, because I haven’t cried people have mistaken that as “not caring”. I am sad I didn’t race but I know it’s not the end of the world. There are more important issues in the world than not running a marathon.  Do I feel like I wasted the summer training? Not really, I would have still run. I wouldn’t have done 15+ mile long runs, but I would have still run.

After coming to terms with it, my day went on. I felt like I was in a fog, but I had other things to keep me busy.

By the time I knew it, I went to bed and moved on. Thursday and Friday were challenging, and my phone notified me I had missed my flight. I felt a quick sadness but moved on from that too. As the weekend progressed, I tried to stay busy. I went on a date with my husband and enjoyed a walk in Wissahickon.

Sometimes, you have to make hard decisions. Do I want to be injured for a couple of weeks or a couple of years? Would I feel satisfaction in running a 5-hour marathon, when two weeks ago I was in shape to run a 3:15?

So where does this leave me running wise?

I decided I would take two weeks completely off from running. That was my plan after the marathon anyway. Why not start it a week ago? I can walk with minimal to no pain, but the moment I try and run my right hamstring/glute says no. Sitting for long periods also hurts.

I’m still planning to take another week off from running and see where it takes me. If I’m 100% healthy with two weeks off, I’ll find something to salvage my season. (I’m not going to jump into high mileage again…). If I’m not 100% healthy with two weeks off, I’ll give it whatever time it needs to be 100% healthy. Plus, probably get an X-ray to cover my bases.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out, it does mean a lot.

Questions for you:

Have you ever DNS a race?

Has anyone else had hamstring issues?

A History of Injuries

A History of Injuries

One of the most requested posts is about my history with injuries.

I haven’t always stayed injury free, and I have several injuries throughout the years. Before recently, my blog could have alternative names such as fueledbyInjuries or InjuriesNlolz.

Many of my injuries were because I overtrained or ran easy runs too fast.

Over time, I’ve learned that you can’t outrun an injury. Life doesn’t work like that. If you are worried, rest. Resting a few days often saves you from resting a few weeks, months, or even years. You don’t gain fitness in a day and you definitely don’t lose it either.

When I first started running in 2010, I had many years of haphazard running.  It took a lot of trial and error and learning from experience to determine what works best for me. As with anything, I learn best when I do something and make mistakes along the way.

You can read my full running story here (or in one of the headings above).

In summary, I began running in July 2010.  I ran off and on and was still a member of on my collegiate swim team.  Swim season lasted from September until late February, so there was no running during that time.  During the off-season, we were allowed to work out as we pleased, so eventually, I picked up running.

run for the hill of it

Here is my History with Injuries:

My first serious running injury:

Tibial Stress Fracture (July 2011-September 2011)

How it happened:
I ran every day for an hour on the treadmill.  I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to train fast every single day.  I thought to race faster you must train faster.  So every day I made the goal to beat the previous day’s mileage for 1 hour.  I never ran for more than an hour, but I ran seven days a week. I was running between 7-7:15 pace for an hour.

Ultimately I was far more exhausted from running 50 miles then I am now.  My body broke at a road race on my 21st birthday. Midway through a run-swim-run race, my body broke, My tibia fractured and I was done.

I learned more about myself than any other injury.  To be honest, I needed that injury to realize that training was idiotic and not right.  My tibial stress fracture shaped my training to include a lot more easy miles. I don’t time my easy runs anymore, and I don’t GAF whether the pace is 10 minutes or 8 minutes.

Happy 21st birthday to me with my non detected tibia SF

Cyst: August 2012-October 2012:

How it happened:
During September 2012, I developed a cyst in the arch of my foot.  The doctors still don’t know exactly how it formed it could have developed anywhere in my body (I’m so thankful it wasn’t my brain).

They don’t believe it was running related, but it prevented me from running.  I was able to run with minimal pain until the cyst became large enough to rip the muscle from my bone. After tearing the muscle off my metatarsal, it halted running completely.

After recovering for two months and a shot to reduce the swelling, I came back and ran my fastest college cross country race.

 

Fractured Elbow (August 2013):

How it happened: 

While cooling down at a road race in August 2013, I was hit by a cyclist.  I was knocked to the ground, and it fractured my elbow.  I was devastated, but after a week, I was able to run slowly.

I decreased mileage, but it ended up being the most nonserious elbow fracture I could have.  At the time, the decline in mileage was terrifying because I was training for my first marathon, NYCM.

It taught me; you have to roll with the punches. A few days of rest does not impact fitness.

When I got my sling off

Second Metatarsal Fracture (August 2014)

How it happened:
Fast forward to moving to Texas and then New Jersey. In August of 2014, I got a second metatarsal fracture. In hindsight, I believe I upped my mileage too quickly.  Even though I was running easy, I think my mileage went up too fast.  At the time, I was training for my second marathon, Wineglass.  I healed by race day, but it would have been dumb to run a marathon on a newly recovered stress fracture.  To be honest, I don’t think my heart was ready to race another marathon, and it was a good out.

I chose this photo because I think I ran a hard track mile and then the next day ran a 20 miler for the marathon. #dumb

Bum Butt (February 2015-March 2015)

How it happened:
I tweaked something running my second marathon and kept running.  Around mile 18, my butt started to throb.  By the end of the marathon, my whole left side was in pain.  Should I have finished the race?  Probably not…Did I PR? Yes…

I didn’t heal as fast as I should have because I continued to run after the marathon.  I took two weeks off (which helped) but then I ran too hard too fast.  Looking back, I made good progress and then threw it all away running again.  This is something I’m 100% kicking myself for…even though I had an excellent time at Shamrock 2015.  If I had taken a month off, I wouldn’t have had two months to deal with the issues.

Ankle Fracture June 2016:

How it Happened:
This was the only injury I’m not entirely sure what I did. Did I tweak my ankle running on trails? Did I run too much? I don’t know. In June of 2016, something felt off. I couldn’t pinpoint it, and it almost felt like plantar fasciitis on the outside of my foot. An X-ray confirmed I had a minor fracture. The fracture healed with time off but it worried something else was not right. Test results found my calcium, vitamin D, and blood levels were fine.

One thing my ankle fracture taught me was I liked hiking. After healing, I spent a good portion of the summer hiking and enjoying the outdoors that way.

There are many times I look back at my training and think: If I had taken a few more days off, or if I had realized that ache was a minor bone pain….but each is a lesson to move on.  I have learned that running in pain isn’t worth it to me.

You cannot outrun injury, and it will catch up to you.

I tell any runner, new or old; there is no shame in rest and easy days. I am to the point in life and running that it will never be my sole purpose in life. Resting and staying healthy is more important to me than running every day.

Question for you: Have you had a running injury before?

Techniques to Help Running Recovery and to Recover Faster:

Techniques to Help Running Recovery and to Recover Faster:

Techniques to Help Running Recovery and to Recover Faster:

Last week was my longest race in a while and I’ve been spending a lot more time on running recovery.  Plus, as I continue to build mileage, I’ve been focusing more on running recovery too.  Most people know but I’m injury-prone, so I can’t get away with not focusing on recovering from running.  At this point, I don’t even try too. Recovery from workouts is important for anyone, whether you are an elite or it’s your first race.

Someone once told me that days off save seasons and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.  I apply that thought process every time I have an injury scare.  Believe me, I’ve gone to my PT convinced I have a stress fracture, only for him to say…no your leg is just tight.

Here are a Few Techniques to Promote Running Recovery and to Help Recover Faster from Running:

Recovering from Workouts with Stretching:

We all know you should recover from workouts with stretching but how many people actually stretch after runs or night.  Probably not many of us. The foam roller can be our best friend post run, intense workout, or training session. I’ve attempted to add foam rolling more into my running recovery routine.

Recovering from Running with Graston/ART:

I’m a big fan of ART.  It flushes out lactic acid and waste product 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.  If you are local, I highly recommend Dr. Kemenosh and his staff (and no they aren’t paying me to tell you that).  They have helped me in multiple situations from fixing my hip/piriformis after my last marathon to loosening up my calves, and even feet. I always have less muscle soreness when I see them.

Recovering from Workouts by Upping Protein:

I’m not saying I have steak every meal but adding extra protein: including more eggs, greek yogurt, and lean meat has helped my muscles recover faster from workouts.  I’m not a nutritionist or dietician and don’t claim to be, I’ve just found it’s been working. I know a lot of people swear by chocolate milk to help with running recovery. I find I am recovering from workouts faster when I have a protein source within 30 minutes of running, especially long runs.

Running Recovery MUST Include Sleep:

This is an obvious one, but more sleep allows the muscles to repair and promotes recovering from workouts. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep has become important to me as well as muscle recovery. 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.

Easy Runs Help Promote Running Recovery:

Running helps promote running recovery? Only if done properly!

This week most of my easy runs have been in the 9-10 minute pace which is fine.  There is no point in racing training runs, that is when injuries are caused.  If you struggle with not being able to run slower, I highly recommend leaving the watch at home.

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.

Recovering from Workouts Might Include Rest Days and Active Recovery: 

Full rest days are needed and you shouldn’t be afraid to use them in your running recovery process. You don’t need to be marathon training to need rest days. I’ve come to learn 7 days a week of running doesn’t work for me, so adding a rest day or active recovery day helps keep me healthy.

Running Recovering is simple and takes a few extra minutes. Recovering from workouts is what keeps most people healthier and able to push through harder and longer workouts. Without running recovery, you will probably end up burned out or injured.

Related Posts:

Quick Core Ideas for Runners

Five Tips for Coming Back after an Injury

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Question for you: What do you focus on for running recovery? Do you have any tips for exercise recovery? 

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