November Recap

November Recap

Can you believe it’s December? Have I posted “can you believe it’s X month,” every month?

November brought a big race, lots of downtime, and then a smaller race. I’m still getting back into fitness, while not trying to push the envelope too much.

Miles Run: Around 130
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Longest Run: New York City Marathon 
Workouts: 0
Rest Days: 16
Races:
New York City Marathon (3:07.15)
Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Thoughts:

Most of the running month revolved around the New York City Marathon. I have had a tough time typing this out, but I recovered rather rapidly from the marathon. I’ve had many 13.1s that it’s taken me longer to feel better.

View this post on Instagram

Some days are just made for running. 🌞 🏃‍♀️

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

I knew taking 2 weeks off was the right call.  The other component is I never felt like I got into peak shape for the marathon.  When I ran, it almost felt like a tough workout versus a tough race. My legs fatigued towards the end, but there was never a time that I felt “in the hole or twilight zone.”  That’s very different from my previous marathon experiences when I haven’t wanted or felt up to running for at least a month.

Now that I’m a month out, I feel like I’m getting “back into shape again.”  I’m starting around where I started over the summer.  A 20:24 5k, and 1:30 range half. Over the winter and Spring, I want to build more speed and hopefully get back into sub 19 shape as well as at least 1:25 half marathon shape.

If the weather holds up, I plan to race most weekends in December. It will be a fun way to build fitness and keep me going strong.

Posts from the Month:

Running Related: 
Why Use Compression Socks
Marathon Recovery
Brooks Ghost 11 Shoe Review

Hiking:
Exploring Sandy Hook

Questions for you:
How was your month of December?
Do you have any goals for the rest of the year?

Base Building Week 2 and a Half Marathon

Base Building Week 2 and a Half Marathon

Last week was about putting one foot in front of the other, being smart about it, and getting miles in.  My husband and I ended up going to Baltimore and racing (I ran the 13.1, he did the 5k).  I didn’t have expectations for the race, which ended up being a good thing due to a messy morning.

Training though, last week was good.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Off
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Race 13.1 (1:30.58)/1 mile cool down
Sunday: Easy 45 minutes

Thoughts:

It was a lot of easy and boring running. Most people know, but I don’t use a GPS watch for most of my runs. I normally just run 45 minutes and guestimate I run about 9-10 min miles for my pace. Over the last few years, I’ve found that it works for me.  I’ve never been to one really push an easy run, but by not using a GPS watch I’m not married to any pace and just going by effort.

On Wednesday, I planned to do a workout. Around that time, my husband and I had also contemplated going down to Baltimore to run the races.  When thinking about it, I realized while I could probably do a speed workout, it wasn’t smart to go from no speed to a speed workout and a long race. It would be the time I would get injured. So I ran easy.

Race 13.1 (1:30.58)

The race 13.1 race was a good speed workout in Baltimore. I’m thankful, it was just that and nothing. From start to finish, it was one of the most disorganized races I’ve ever done (and I don’t use that lightly). Would I choose this race for a goal race? No.

During the race, the half marathoners crossed paths with the 5 and 10kers early into the race. This meant, people such as myself were running and weaving around walkers.  It was impossible to run any tangents, and I found myself weaving, trying not to hit anyone, and missing water stops because there were so many people.  Another danger, factor was the race also runs around the harbor.  Due to race the night before, the boards were slick. Plus running around that many turns on a crowded course,  it was very easy to just fall into the harbor and you never got any rhythm or momentum. I watched someone slip and fall (they were ok), as well as 2 runners collide when the 10k/half were together. The race was dangerous.  Anyway, I don’t regret doing it and my husband and I had an enjoyable time in Baltimore.

Regarding my effort, I ran the first 11 miles well below 7 min miles (around 6:50).  Then, my body seemed to lock up around mile 11, and I ran the last 2 miles in 7:22 (over 30 seconds slower than every other mile).  I’m happy with my overall effort for where I am running wise. I seem to be hovering at a 1:28-1:31 half marathon block right now and I hope the next one will be faster.

Posts from the Week:

Why Use Compression?

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Questions for you:

What is the most dangerous race you’ve done?

Are you training for anything? 

Why use compression sleeves or socks?

Why use compression sleeves or socks?

Many people have asked, if “compression socks or sleeves really work”?

The short answer is yes and no.

Before the running boom, compression socks were used by diabetics and airplane pilots.  Now, you can’t go to a race without seeing runners of all abilities wearing them (myself included!).Why use compression running

So if “everyone” is wearing them, there must benefits, right?

Most of the benefits in studies have been mental versus fitness gain.  Running is 80% mental anyway. Personally, while wearing compression my legs feel better during and after runs.

So what are some benefits of Compression? 

Recover Faster:

Compression promotes blood flow and in turn accelerates the removal of metabolic waste.  In short, it encourages blood flow with oxygen and nutrients to muscles faster.  As someone who deals a lot of with calve tightness, I’ve found that compression helps to speed up recovery after a hard workout or race. 

Stabilize:

If you’ve ever had issues with needing stabilization (for instance a rolled ankle), compression can help stabilize tendons and ligaments.  A few years ago, when I rolled my ankle, I used the CEP compression ankle sleeve. 

What to Keep in Mind:

There are a few things to keep in mind though, and not every compression sock brand is the same.  Some are just glorified tube socks.  The average quality set of compression sleeves cost about $40, while the average sock is about $60.  I personally have had the most success with CEP compression (they aren’t paying me to tell you that).

Socks or Sleeves?

If you aren’t having foot pain and issues, I highly recommend the sleeves versus socks. It can be tough to get a perfect fit between a calf size and foot size. For instance, my feet don’t match up because my calves are size 3 and my feet are women’s size 10-11!  Plus with the sleeves, you can use your own socks or if you feel like you need a pair of compression socks, purchase the right foot size. 

Look for Medical Grade:

You want to look for a brand that uses “Medical Grade Compression.” Medical Grade Compression is designed to promote and target blood flow. Typically colors are more boring and aren’t on sale every 10 minutes.

Medical grade compression comes in several different levels of compression:

  • Mild (8-15 mmHg)
  • Medium (15-20 mmHg)
  • Firm (20-30 mmHg)
  • X-Firm (30-40 mmHg)

Most runners don’t need anything more than medium or firm.

Get Measured:

The last thing to remember is to get measured. If you need a size 11 and are wearing a size IV, then you probably won’t feel much of the benefit. You want to measure the widest part of your calve.  Keep in mind to measure both, as many people’s calves (and feet) are two different sizes. Compression socks should fit snug. They should be tight enough to leave small impressions from the fabric, but they shouldn’t ever be painful.  The first time you put a pair on, it should challenge you.

Finally, When to Wear Them:

There are no rules about when to wear compression socks. Many runners like myself, wear them while running to increase circulation. Others use compression after a workout or run. If you are having shin and calve issues, wear them during a run or workout, as well as after.  (Don’t wear them 24-7 though, your feet need time to breath). If you’re using them for recovery, use them post run.  The beauty is, you can experiment is figure out when feels the best to you.

underarmour killington 25k

Question for you: Do you wear compression?  Socks or sleeves?

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Every year, the Medford Lakes Turkey Trot is one of my favorite races. I always enjoy the sense of community with local friends on Thanksgiving morning. The race itself is well put together and in one of my favorite areas which is why I continue to choose to run each year. This year was my slowest time by about 90 seconds but I had just as much fun as usual.

I knew the morning of, the race wasn’t going to be my best.  My husband and I walked over 10 miles around NYC the few days prior and my legs felt like garbage. Not in the garbage that they would magically get better but like garbage. Plus it was 23 degrees with a feels like temperature much lower.

Getting to the race and parking is always easy. My husband and I warmed up and then sat in our car until 8:28 am. It was 23 degrees, and I was cold. Not the best prerace strategy but my body was not ready for the dip in temperature.  I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve raced in both pants and long sleeves.

We arrived at the start, and I chatted for a couple of people. Then we were off! Turkey Trots are always fun because people go out fast. For some, it’s their only race of the year. There are also lots of young kids, who run fast and then realize it’ more than a half mile race. Like usual that’s what happened. Around then, I found myself as second woman overall because I also took it out too fast for my fitness right now.

I hit the first mile in 6:30 and my calves were tight. They weren’t engaging and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold that pace. It’s hard not to compare considering I have run half marathons faster, but I was the opposite of tapered.

The next mile was lonely, and I was passed by a few friends and women. My second mile was 6:47 and one of my slowest 5k miles in a long time. At the end of mile 2, I was the fourth woman.

The last mile was just a struggle bus to get to the end. I wasn’t sad, but just stiff. I knew it wasn’t my day.

We pass the local school around 2.75. After running for a few years, it’s always that point I want to be done.

We rounded the corner and I crossed the finish in 20:24. My personal turkey trot worst but still an enjoyable time.

me medford turkey trot running

After not running for 2 weeks, then walking in NY, I didn’t expect it to be in the 18:30-19:05 range where I’ve been previous years.

I’m happy to get shorter stuff on my legs and looking forward to getting back into running after the marathon.

Questions for you:

Did you run a Turkey Trot?

What is the coldest you’ve run in?

Training: Base Building

Training: Base Building

Last week began my “comeback” to running.  While I’m still not sure what I’m training for, I probably won’t make any decisions until 2019.  The rest of the year will be just consistently getting mileage in.  I hope I’ll be able to race more, but it will be weather dependent. I’ll race in the cold, but I won’t in icy conditions (something we definitely got last winter).

Monday: 10ish mile walk around New York City
Tuesday: 60 minute run in Central Park/Walking Around NYC
Wednesday: 6 mile run easy/ART with Dr. Trish
Thursday: Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24) Total miles: 8ish
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 10 miles with 6 at 7:11

As mentioned, the goal for the next few weeks is consistency.  I plan to do workouts and race, but I don’t have any “big goals” right now. While I enjoyed marathon training more than I have previously, I have running missed shorter distances.  I want to consistently get back under 19 minutes in a 5k.

On Tuesday I got to run in Central Park. I’ve never run in Central Park outside of the marathon so it was cool to run in the park for a relaxing run.  I knew it was hilly, but I didn’t realize it was that hilly!

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot: 20:24

While it’s a Turkey Trot personal worst, I had a lot of fun. After getting active release the day before, my legs were sore.  I knew they weren’t going to be magically better while racing and it was what it was.  Combined with walking more than I have in a long time, I just felt stiff.  Immediately into the race, I knew it wasn’t my day.  I ended up finishing 4th woman and in 20:24.  While I know my legs can move faster, Thanksgiving wasn’t the day.  It was nice to get a shorter race in though and enjoy Thanksgiving morning with friends.

Friday and Saturday were both easy.

Sunday Tempo: 10 miles with 7 averaging 7:11

The goal was to go out for a longer run and see how my legs felt.  I didn’t have a specific time goal in mind for the tempo, just to get some faster miles in. The tempo itself didn’t feel like I was overexerting myself, but it did feel challenging.  I’m looking forward to consistently getting more tempos in.  They have been my favorite workout for a while, and I always appreciate how strong I feel afterward.

It’s hard to remember what it was like doing these runs both longer and faster but that is the beauty of fitness. I’m just glad to get back into it.

Posts from the Week:

Exploring Sandy Hook

Questions for you:

Do you prefer shorter or longer distances?

How did you celebrate Thanksgiving?

%d bloggers like this: