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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? 

 

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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?

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York…New York.

This recap will be long. It hasn’t been a secret after my last marathon I said I was tired of them and had no interest in marathoning. So for over 3 years, I didn’t. Then the opportunity to run New York in the sub-elite corral presented itself, and I knew I would kick myself for not taking it. I was nervous, and I knew, and I would be the slowest person in the corral, but I decided to go for it. Spoiler, I have no regrets.

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It moved me because I’m here.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

The morning itself was just as great as the marathon, if not better. I got to be around the best of the best. We boarded the bus and were off to Ocean Breeze. Initially, I thought being at the Ocean Breeze track would be ideal because if it rained or was inclement weather, I would stay drier. The weather was beautiful, and I spent about 3 hours just hanging out and watching elites and other sub-elites warm up. Not every person warmed up, and I was on the team no warmups (Running 26.2 miles is enough for me).  It was very relaxed and peaceful which made it hard to think…I’m going to run my 3rd marathon soon.

Since many people asked, I ate a waffle at 5 am, and then a bagel around 8 am. I get hungry in the morning and starting a race at 9:50, I knew it was the best option for me.  It’s probably a lot of food for most people, but I don’t like running on an empty stomach.

When I went to go pin on my bib, I realized OMG my pins had fallen out of my bag.  So like a goon, I had a race bib but no pins. I hung my head in shame and asked one of the volunteers (who was actually talking to Jared Ward) if they had any and they were able to get me some.

By 9:20, we were off to the Verazzano Bridge. We got back on the bus, and when we got off, I felt like I had entered a whirlwind. People were shouting, get to the bridge, drop your stuff off now.  NOW! The excitement finally dawned on me, that yes I was about to run 26.2 miles.

The professional men stood in front of us, then us, then about 30 feet behind corral 1. Since I was the slowest person in the corral, I stood at the back. It felt kind of cool to say; I am the slowest one here.  I chatted with several other women, many of whom, were going to attempt a sub 3. I knew that could be me someday, but New York was not that day.

All of a sudden, they were filming us, and the gun went off.  The first mile is up over the Verazanno Bridge. It’s 100% uphill because you are climbing a bridge. I ran a 7:28.  Many people from the first corral were flying by me, which was fine. I just stayed in a straight line and did my thing. I don’t really ever feel pressure anymore when people run by.  They do them…I do me…

The second mile was my fastest, as it was down the bridge, and I ran a 6:36. I knew it was downhill but seeing a 6:36 made me feel a bit better.  I didn’t have a time goal and I knew with the constant climbs, my miles would be everywhere.

New York City Marathon me running

For the next few miles, I settled into a groove. My goal was to make make it to mile 8. I knew that was where I had the highest chance of seeing friends, although I didn’t.  The next several miles of New York are also the flattest. I averaged between 6:45-6:55.  I could see the 3: 00-hour pacer up ahead but I knew I wouldn’t be running 6:50s up the Queensboro Bridge and in Central Park. I briefly thought about joining the group, but then ultimately decided it would probably cause me to blow up.

So I just kind of trecked along. I took my first Maurten Gel around mile 5. I have a stomach of steel, so most gels do the same thing for me. I felt the same as if I had taken a Gu. I didn’t need a gel at mile 5, but I planned to take them every 5 miles which seems to have worked for me.

Around mile 6, I felt my shoe untie a bit. I also had to use the bathroom, and some people will pee on themselves, but that is not me. I decided when my shoe finally came untied I would tie it.

When I hit mile 8, I saw no one I knew. I wasn’t really surprised, but the crowds gave me life.  I wasn’t bad, and I maintained miles in the 6:50s.

Somewhere around mile 9, my shoe came untied, even though I had double knotted it. I am a clumsy bafoon, and I won’t run any race with an untied shoe and hurt myself. I found an opening on the side and tied it. It took me a little longer than I had hoped because the double knot got wedged in there but I told myself, the more you “panic”, the longer it will take.  I dropped my gloves as well.

I had planned to use the bathroom too but there wasn’t one so I just continued on and never did.  With my stop, I logged a 7:22 mile. I asked NYRR to pause the clock for me while I tied my shoe…but they didn’t so I didn’t pause my Garmin either.

New York City Marathon me running

I hit mile 10 in just over 1:10. The next two miles, were two of the quietest from the crowds. I took another gel around mile 10. I grabbed Gatorade at every mile I didn’t take a gel, and water when I did.  I was mentally struggling for the next two miles, thinking about how far I needed to run.

Around mile 12, I snapped out of it because I knew the half mark was coming up soon. I reached 13.1 in 1:32 which was only a minute slower than the Air Force half marathon. I knew I wasn’t going to negative split and I would probably struggle to run another 1:32. I decided that maybe somewhere between 3:05-3:10 was probably doable. It would be a PR, but also it would be on a much more difficult course than my PR in Pheonix.

New York City Marathon me running

After 13.1, I began mentally prepping myself for the Queensboro Bridge. I stand by the thought that during my first marathon, mile 15 was one of the hardest miles I’ve ever run in my life. I needed to mentally prep myself to know, it would hurt.

Mile 14 clicked off in 6:55 and then I saw the Queensboro Bridge ready to be conquered. Ok…here we go.  Mentally in mind, I just blocked off the Queensboro Bridge as being “almost done”.  My mind just thought, when I was there, I was essentially done…which is dumb because after you still have 10 more miles.

New York City marathon me running

We began climbing…and climbing. It was quiet because there are no crowds on the bridge. Suddenly, I looked around and realized I had begun passing people.  It reminded me of when Des Linden said about the Boston Marathon: Well I wasn’t feeling great, but no one probably was, and I was feeling better than other people.  It was true, and I passed a lot of people up the bridge.  I hit ran the mile in about 7:30 which I was pleased with.

As we came down on 1st avenue, the crowds were incredible. During the downhill, I felt my inner thighs and quads locking up. It reminded me of my first marathon, but also my second. I never really felt good during either after mile 16. Was this it? Was I done?

But as I continued, I realized I felt decent.  Both miles 17 and 18 were relatively flat, and I saw Danielle who was motivating. I ran both in 6:52 and 6:56.

From then on, I began mentally counting down. First I counted down to mile 20. I reached mile 20 and said: “just a 10k to go”.  I knew last time, it was a very long 10k.

This time I didn’t feel as bad. The next couple of miles went without much note. I didn’t feel awful, but I didn’t feel like the beginning of the race either.

Somewhere around mile 22, I saw some friends including Hayley.  I waved and it’s where this photo was taken.

One of the prouder moment is that I was able to see and wave to so many friends from 20 onward. I couldn’t do that and in fact, I don’t remember the last 10k of the race from 2013. I guess I had tunnel vision.

When I reached 24, I thought, just another 5k to go.  Hollie you like 5ks.  Although one of the hardest and longest climbs comes around mile 24 and I ran a 7:27.  I knew friends would be between miles 25 to the finish, so I gazed along Central Park looking.  My legs burned as the neverending climb in central park continued.

I saw my dad around mile 25 and even waved to him too.  I’ve never been that coherent to wave to someone at mile 25 so I felt good about it.

New York City Marathon me running

The last mile felt as though it took forever.  It was my slowest mile, and I ran a 7:34.  I saw the sign “800 to go” and began sprinting (or what I thought mentally was).  I passed a man who was wearing too short of shorts which weren’t covering…anything. :O

New York City Marathon me running

OMG, that is two laps around a track.  I begin powering through.  Then 400 to go.  Then I crossed and averaged a 6:34 last .2.

New York City Marathon me running

I crossed in 3:07.15 which is my fastest marathon by over 7 minutes.  It’s 10 minutes faster than the last time I ran New York.  I’m proud of it.  A few days later, I’m not all that sore and I feel like I was sorer after both of the trail races I did this summer.

New York City marathon me running

Now that I’ve run a marathon and I had a positive experience, I do believe I could run faster at some point.  I don’t foresee myself running another marathon soon, but I do know eventually I’ll run another one. Yes, I have qualified for Boston and I don’t take that for granted, but that isn’t a race that interests me right now. I can barely plan 2 months ahead, let alone a year and a half.

New York City Marathon me running

I still like the half marathon and 5k better, but I am glad to have started and finished a marathon training cycle healthy and with a PR.

Questions for you:

Have you run New York before?

What is your favorite race distance?

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Last week was a good week.

Because it was the week of the marathon, which I Pred. I’ll write an entire recap later, for the most part, I’m happy with the week of training and tapering itself.

For the last two weeks, I’ve dealt with a lot of calve tightness.  Nothing injury-wise, but my legs have felt very stiff.  It isn’t something taper “made better”, and they were still stiff before the race. I will say, they felt the best they’ve felt in the last two weeks.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 10 miles
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Easy 30 minutes
Friday: Off
Sat: Easy 20 minutes
Sunday: NYCM 26.2 miles (3:07.15)

Thoughts:

All of my runs were easy and without a watch. It might have been a little overboard to run 10, the Tuesday before New York but it was fun to chat with Skip, and it didn’t feel bad.

After Tuesday, I kept repeating to myself you can only do too much but to be honest, it wasn’t that hard to even cut mileage. Between work and life, I didn’t have a lot of extra time to squeeze running in. Sure I could wake up at 4 am to run more miles, but I would rather sleep and taper more.

My legs seem to loosen up more as the week went on. After the Atlantic City half two weeks ago, I felt great. The few days after, it didn’t feel as though I had even raced a half marathon. Then my calves just felt like they locked up. It was like no amount of stretching could loosen them up.  I wasn’t “worried” because I knew I wasn’t injured, it was just frustrating because I didn’t want to feel stiff.

NYCM: 3:07.15

My last marathon Phoenix was a 3:14.59 and my first marathon, NYCM in 2013 was a 3:17. So it was a PR. I’ve always been more proud of my race at NY, but that is neither here nor there.

On race day, my calves felt better than they had the week before. I didn’t feel great, but I felt as great as I could be. I have a lot of thoughts about my fitness going into NY and I know I’m not in the same fitness as when I ran a 1:22 this winter.

The race itself was amazing. I will probably have my longest race recap yet about it. Essentially, the miles clicked by pretty effortlessly.  I had to stop and tie my shoe (which I did double knot) around mile 9 but other than that I felt good the entire race.

Since I was in the sub-elite corral, I spent about the first half of the race being passed by hundreds of people. It’s kind of funny to just have people consistently whirling by you like you’re standing still but I ran my own race. Starting out too fast is usually not a problem I have in races anymore…my mentality is you do you…I do me…

The first 8 miles were just focused on getting to mile 8. That is where I knew the highest chance of me seeing someone I knew spectating was…but I didn’t see anyone. After that, I just kept trucking along.

Around mile 9, my shoe came untied, so I pulled over to the side and tied it. I’ve always found in those situations if you stress and panic it takes more time. I wasn’t really panicked but it took me nearly 30 seconds. I don’t think it was entirely lost time because I caught a lot of people I was running with.

I hit the halfway point in 1:32.15.

The next goal was to make it to the Queensboro bridge around mile 15-16. In 2013, the Queensboro bridge destroyed me, and I honestly wondered how I would ever run 10 more miles. This year, I was ready, and it became the turning point of the race of when I started passing people.

As we came down, I passed even more people. I still was slowing down, but not as much as many. As I started to pass more people, I became more confident.  The next miles just counted down until the finish. I was smiling, waving, and sidefiving all of my friends. In fact, every photo people caught of me was after mile 20.

The last 10k was difficult, and the hill in Central Park was no joke.  In fact, since I was hurting so bad last time, I don’t even remember it.  I saw my dad around mile 25 and just powered through. I’ve never run a marathon where I’ve been able to raise my arms and wave at mile 25. In fact until yesterday, I don’t like I’ve run a marathon I could wave at mile 18.

me nycm marathon

I crossed in 3:07.15 and felt good. I never felt like I overexerted myself and I finished smiling, happy, and strong. That isn’t something I can say after any other marathon.

Here are all my splits via my Garmin so take it with a grain of salt.

nycm marathon splits

Many people have asked me…now you’ll do lots of marathons and the answer is no. I still like 5ks and half marathons better, but I do like the marathon a little more now. I don’t foresee myself traveling to marathons over halves for a while if ever. I’ll do another marathon again, but I don’t know when.  I also don’t have any plans to do Boston anytime soon, because like NY it’s hard to plan for a race a year out.

I’m proud I started and finished the training cycle and healthy.   My PR was just icing on the cake.  Now I’m taking 2 weeks off. I’ll still be around but my body needs time to recover, and my mind does too.

Posts from the Week:

 October Training

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

Questions for you:
How was your week of training?
What body parts gets the most for you, running wise?

For me, it’s always my calves.

October Training

October Training

Wow. October has been here and gone. Every month is the same story, and it feels like months and years are flying by.  I knew October would be very busy and it didn’t disappoint that between races and overall life busy.  Now I’m here just a few short days before my third marathon.

Anyway,

Miles Run: Around 250
Range of Paces: 6:06-10:35-untimed
Longest Run: 20 miles
Shortest Run: 1 mile 
Workouts: 5
Rest Days: 5
Races: 3
Crawlin’ Crab 13.1 (1:30.03)
Heroes to Hero 5k (19:12)
Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

Thoughts:

The month flew by, and it feels like just yesterday I was back home in VA…but it wasn’t it was nearly a month ago. This training cycle has not progressed as I would have liked.

I would have like to be fitter at the end of the month and have logged at least a 1:26 half marathon but that never came. Weather is a factor, but my body just isn’t cooperating with running fast.  My miles were quality miles, and I am happy with my effort level, but like anything, it can be hard not to compare to other years where I’ve run significantly faster by now.

Next month will log a lot of rest days. After NYCM, I don’t know the next time I’ll run again will be. I am taking 2 weeks off, maybe more.  My body will need a good recharge to look towards the next race (I don’t have anything planned). How is that for vague?

In all, I’m happy with my month. You can’t force progression and for me, it’s coming much slower this year.  I’m healthy and that is always my ultimate goal. You can’t progress if you aren’t healthy.

Posts from the Month:

Shoe Reviews:

Nike Pegasus Turbo
Hoka One One Cavu
New Balance 1400 

Running Related:

Are Racing Flats Right For You?
Some Runs are Terrible

Other:

Adding Collegen to Oatmeal
Vital Proteins Gelatin

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

After a big race, how do you recover? 

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

In my quest to find a more cushioned shoe for the marathon I decided to try the On Cloudrush!  Weighing roughly 8.1 ounces, the Cloudrush is a more substantial shoe for workouts and racing than what I’m used too.  As I mentioned during my training, one thing I’ve done to stay healthier is to use shoes with more substance and cushion.

On cloudrush shoe review

On Cloudrush Fit:

On generally run narrow and the Cloudrush is no exception.  Something good (for me anyway), like many racing oriented shoes, is it unisex sizing.   

Fit wise; I’m usually anywhere between a women’s size 10-11 wide. Since they are unisex, I chose the 9.5 and was fine but width and length.

The Cloudrush is almost all mesh.  It’s lightweight and breathable, but at the same time, it allows moisture into the shoe much quicker.  That being said, most people are racing or doing workouts in the shoe so it’s not as if you’ll go run a 30-mile muddy trail race in them.

The lightweight mesh also allows for the shoe to be much lighter and a lot of breathability. Every part of the upper is thin and lightweight, from the toebox to the laces, to the tongue.  The shoe was made to run fast.

On cloudrush shoe review

On Cloudrush Ride:

The On Cloudrush is both responsive and soft. That is a weird thing to type. If you’ve never run in an On shoe, their technology uses small rubber pods on the bottom of the shoe that each adapt to the needs of a runner.

The Cloudrush has 18 pods. Each pod collapses and compress when the runner strikes the pavement. So if you hit more on the heel, the heel pods will compress to your stride. If you strike the forefront, the forefront will collapse more. The pods make for a much more personalized ride.

On cloudrush shoe review

I like how light the Cloudrush is but that it still provides cushion.  Many true flats have little to no cushion, but I do appreciate the substance of the shoe.  Throughout the last month, I’ve done several runs in the shoe ranging from an easy run to 400s, to a tempo run.  For me, I think they are best suited for a tempo run.  I think I appreciate more cushion for a long race, but I do believe a lot of people would like this the On Cloudrush for either a half or full marathon.

On cloudrush shoe review

On Cloudrush Conclusions

I like the Cloudrush, and I will continue to use it for workouts (at this point after New York).  It’s lightweight and responsive but also well cushioned. For me, it’s an excellent combination for workouts.

It’s definitely a good half to full marathon shoe.

Shoe Rotation:

Easy Runs/Daily Runs: On CloudaceHoka Cavu, Hoka Clifton 5, Brooks Glycerin 16,

Workouts: On Cloudrush, Nike Pegasus Turbo, Nike Fly

Races: Nike Fly

Questions for you:

Marathoners, what is your shoe of choice?

Do you have a favorite shoe? 

Training and Taper

Training and Taper

Last week was fine. It wasn’t a fantastic training week, but it wasn’t bad. It was…meh.

First, it was my first week of taper.  I am not someone who really hates taper.  The rest and relaxation is usually welcomed. This year it most certainly is. I wish I could say I feel “awesome” going into race week but I don’t. The more time and energy, I’ve invested in a marathon training cycle, the more I don’t know if the race distance is for me.

Baring nothing serious (knock on wood), I’ll still toe the line. I’m healthy but I don’t know if my heart is really into marathoning. I wanted to give myself the benefit of the doubt, but a week out from the race I just don’t know.  I can’t put my finger on why I feel this way. It’s almost if I feel like a dull crayon. I can still write, but not as precisely as a sharp one.  I can still run, but not as fast as previous half marathon cycles.

Anyway, my blog is just me and my thoughts.  The closer I get to NYCM, the more I realize it’s here and not going anywhere. I’m excited about the experience, to do the expo, to see friends, but I’m not as excited to run 26.2 miles.

I’m hoping I’m not creeping up on a burnout but I also know after I run 26.2 miles on Sunday…I’m taking a 2 weeks ago or until I want to run.

Anyway:

Monday: Easy 20 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 12 mile run with 6 at
Total:

Thoughts:

Wednesday: 12x400s:

It was hard to get out the door because of how windy it was. Once I did, I felt fine.  I had to remind myself, NYCM is windy and there is no hiding from the wind on those bridges.

Sunday Long Run:

It felt weird “just” doing 12 miles.  I ran 3 miles easy, 6 miles averaging 6:50 pace, then 3 miles easy. As I mentioned on Instagram, I didn’t feel great. Holding that pace for 6 miles while “not feeling great” is a good sign, but the marathon is a few more than 6 miles.

On to Next Week:

I am both excited and not excited to run NY…

I am excited…

Because I have put in hard work to be there.  I know I will have an incredible and unforgettable experience.

I am not excited…

Because right now I feel like garbage.  I know “blah blah blah…taper will make you feel better”, but it’s been mentally difficult to compare myself to the fitness I was in past falls. The past few years I’ve run at least a 1:25 at this point, and it’s been more mentally tough than usual.  My goal has always been to start and finish healthy.

I’m also not excited to go up to the expo on Friday. I live over 90 minutes away from NY, so trains are the best option. I’m not savvy with trains and getting from the train station of NJ to Penn station.

Anyway, not quite the training log I wanted to write.  I’ll probably write another more detailed post about my thoughts of the marathon, as the day looms closer. I know once the gun goes off, I’ll have an incredible time but getting there and feeling good seems both overwhelming and questionable right now.

This coming week, work is busy, and life is busy.  It makes taper come at the perfect time.  For instance, I am going to the expo on Friday, have to be back in NJ Friday night, and then staying in NYC Saturday to Sunday.

Posts from the Week:

Nike Pegasus Turbo 35 Shoe Review

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

Questions of the day:

What is your favorite race distance? 

What was your best workout this week?

Will you be at NY, let me know! 

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