Training: Half Marathoning and Vacationing

Training: Half Marathoning and Vacationing

Training last week went well. While I’ve been running, each week it seems as though I have a hiccup.  This week was the first in several weeks that I haven’t had any hiccups! Whether it’s an extra rest day, missed workout, or whatever, it’s the reason fitness hasn’t come back as quickly as I hoped.

As most people know, I’ve been vacationing out in California. We didn’t come out “to race” but instead get out of New Jersey during my least favorite month, and check out north of San Diego (When we came in 2016, we stayed almost exclusively in San Diego).

So far it’s been fun and the sunshine has been welcomed.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes with Alexis
Wednesday: 3X1 mile
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes with Jen M.
Friday: Rest and Travel
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes Laguna Beach/3 mile hike
Sunday: Carlsbad Half Marathon: 1:29.47

Thoughts:

It was nice to run with Jen and Alexis last week. Both days were bitter cold, but each run felt more accomplished to get out there.

Wednesday: 3X1 mile (6:07, 6:09, 6:08)

Boy was I running late that day. I slept through my alarm and ended up having an extra 5 minutes to spare before making it to work on time. The workout itself went well, and it’s amazing how fast you can go, when time is not on your side.

I took 1-minute full rest in between to try and push my legs as much as possible.

Carlsbad Half Marathon 1:29.47

I knew going into this race; it wouldn’t be a PR.  My trip to California wasn’t really for a race, in fact, the half was actually out of the way to where we were going (San Fransico).

That being said, I like the race because it’s beautiful and because I’ve PRed. So we decided to tac into our trip.

Due to lack of hydration, I hit a wall during the second half.  After running in 20-30 degrees, 60+ felt like a beautiful sauna, and I wasn’t hydrated appropriately. There also wasn’t a lot of electrolytes on the course which didn’t help. That being said, I’m proud of my ability to muster up some sort of leg speed to break 1:30.  I’m not estatic, nor sad about the time. It’s right in the middle of half times I’ve run in the last few months.

Next week, I’m just enjoying both running and hiking on our trip.

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Trying to catch a sunset and eating hair. Typical.

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Posts from the Week:

Saucony Triumph ISO 5 Shoe Review

A History of Injuries

One Year with Collagen

Questions for you:

What is your favorite spot for vacation?

Any recommendations for San Francisco?

Saucony Triumph ISO 5 Shoe Review

The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is a high cushioned neutral trainer from Saucony. More cushion than the Saucony Ride ISO. I’ve run in several models of the Saucony Triumph ISO, with my favorite being the first.  The Triumph is a high cushioned, but lightweight trainer.

I’ve typically had a version of the Triumph in my rotation but recently moved towards the Ride.  For the last year, the Ride has felt better to me personally. When it was released, I was eager to see how the Triumph felt.

saucony triumph iso 5 shoe review

Fit:

The Saucony Triumph ISO has run short for several versions, but this year it runs true to size. I typically wear a women’s 10-11 wide, and 10.5 has been great.

Like many Saucony shoes, the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 uses Saucony’s ISO Fit upper. What ISO Fit? It helps to lock in your foot while moving and adapting throughout the run. It can also fit more feet; whether you have bunions, narrow feet, or full but don’t worry, the shoe also comes in wide.

The second update to the Triumph upper includes a “Jacquard” engineered mesh. According to Saucony, this helps to accommodate more foot types (with the updated ISO  fit, it does).  The jacquard mesh is basically fancy mesh.

saucony triumph iso 5 shoe review

Ride:

New for this version, Saucony added 2mm of EVERUN Topsole cushioning.   There is supposedly more energy return than ever before. The topsole is on top of the Everrun, so the shoe feels more cushioned and more energetic.

Something to note is the grip is much better than previous versions too.  I’ve run in the downpouring rain, and the traction has been fine.

The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 feels closer the original ISO 1 than ever before. Maybe I’m just reminiscing on the shoe, but it finally feels like Saucony put more into the again. For the past few generations, it’s taken a backseat to the Freedom or even the Ride.

saucony triumph iso 5 shoe review

I’ve run about 100 miles in the shoe (long runs, easy runs, workouts) and for me, it’s best fit as a daily trainer or long run.

Conclusion:

I like the Saucony Triumph, and I think the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is the best it’s been since the first version. I’ll continue running it.

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Brooks Ghost 11, Hoka One One Cavu

Workouts: Nike LT Streak, Nike Zoom Fly

Races: Nike LT Streak

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Questions for you:

What is your current favorite pair of running shoes? 

Have you run in Saucony before? 

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?

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

I’ve got a few new shoe reviews coming out soon.  Some of my favorite shoes have been updated, but I’ve also branched out to try a few new ones as well.

Anyway, I rarely do a running flat review, because they are all basically the same. Lightweight, used for racing.  With the release of the Nike Vaporfly 4% last year, the running flat game has changed.

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

That being said, I’ve been a Nike LT Streak fan since it the first version came out. Something about putting on a brand new pair has always made me feel fast. It’s a lightweight, racing shoe, that has been great for both workouts and races. I’ve done everything from 400s to a half marathon and never had any issues. That being said, it’s so important to work yourself into a flat. Don’t go from a trainer to a half marathon because you will get injured.

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

Fit:

Like any racing flat, the Nike Streak LT fits narrow.  I wear from a women’s 10-11 wide. Since the shoe is unisex, I found the mens 9.5 to fit the best (women’s 11).

New for the Streak LT 4, is a Flymesh upper.  According to Nike, the Flymesh makes the shoe more durable as well as breathable. There are also vents along the forefoot and sides to eliminate hotspots.

I appreciate this year, the overlays that give the shoe more overall structure.  It’s not you’re your foot is just free floating around in a shoe. Of all the versions of the Streak LT, I think the 4th version fits the best. It has the most structure and your feet feel most secure in a flat.

Ride:

The Air Zoom Streak LT 4 is one of the lightest racing flats out there. It’s possibly what drew me to this shoe way back when. Lighter (whether it’s body weight or racing shoe), doesn’t mean faster, especially in distance. The Lt Streak hits a good spot with about the most amount of cushion for the least amount of weight.

So how is it so light? Nike uses a Cushlon LT midsole, aided further by “Zoom Air” in the shoe’s heel. The cushioning is durable for paved roads, track, and trails.  While I personally wouldn’t do a fast workout with them on the treadmill, they should be fine there too.

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

The Air Zoom Streak LT 4 is a 4mm drop.  This is a drastic difference between most trainers so if you’re using them for the first time, take a few weeks or workouts to get used to them. The lower drop allows the foot to move more natural and there isn’t additional support there. You feel more of the road or terrain.

Another important feature to look for in a racing flat: traction without weight. This is one of Nike’s best “bad weather” racing shoe (unless you race in a trainer).  I’ve run races like Shamrock in torrential downpours and slicker conditions and still had traction.  Not every racing flat is great in bad weather and both the Nike Zoom Fly and 4% do not perform well in rain.

Conclusion:

I like the Zoom Streak LT 4 and will continue to use them.  Typically I go through 2 pairs of racing flats a year.  They last 100-200 miles (as most racing flats do before your cushioning is gone).

Nike Streak Lt 4 Shoe Review

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs: Hoka Cavu, Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph ISO 5 (shoe review to come)

Workouts: Nike LT Streak 4, Nike Zoom Fly

Races: Nike LT Streak 4, (I think the Vaporfly will just be a marathon shoe for me and I have no plans to do another one for a while)

Questions for you:

Do you use different racing and training shoes?

What is your favorite racing shoe? 

 

Why Train for Shorter Distances?

Why Train for Shorter Distances?

Let’s face it, we all have our favorite distance for running and racing.  For some people, that’s a 55-meter sprint, and for some, it’s an ultra-marathon.  Everyone has their favorite distance, and that is ok.  That’s the beauty of the sport.

Personally, I enjoy the half marathon the most.  In fact, I’ve run 50 now. It’s short enough not to feel the fatigue of a marathon but long enough that you’re not sprinting the entire race.

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

In 2018, I trained for Many Distances:

In the winter and early Spring, I trained and PRed in a half marathon.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

Mid to late Spring, I ran but didn’t actively train for anything.

In the summer, I trained for two trail races, something I had never done before.under armour copper mountain race me running

Then in the fall, I trained and PRed in a marathon.

New York City Marathon me running

Since 2016, there has been one to PR to allude me: the 5k. I wished I had an opportunity to race a 5k when I was in half marathon shape, but I didn’t.  So now as we enter 2019, I’m looking forward to just building speed and fitness for both 5ks and half marathons.

So anyway, sometimes the best thing we can do for our running is to take a break and train for another distance.

But why?

A Mental Break:

Sometimes going through countless weekend long runs can be tiring, boring, and downright unenjoyable. At the end of the NYCM training cycle, I felt exhausted from long runs and higher mileage. I felt like my life was starting to revolve around when and how I would get the long run in, and that’s not me.  I like to do other things whether it’s seeing friends, hiking, or not just not worrying about a long run.

The feeling of high mileage can be repetitive or mentally challenging.  Many people thrive on that, but many people don’t. 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.  I used to hate speed work, now it’s one of my favorite workouts of the week.

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.

Running Shorter Distances Builds Different Muscles:

Obviously running any distance uses muscles in your legs but each distance affects your muscles differently.

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

Aerobic Capacity

Training for short distance races has big benefits for your aerobic capacity. Recently, I’ve heard a few elite athletes talk about the marathon like “death by 1000 small papercuts”.  The marathon or any long event is a moderate effort over a long sustained, period. When you race shorter, you develop your body to utilize more oxygen in a shorter period of time. (IE: All of the pain of a long race into a shorter one). The more oxygen you can consume, the more physical work you’ll be able to do.

Leg Speed and Turnover Increase:

By running and racing shorter distances, you are able to increase turn over. You’ll become a more efficient runner at both shorter and longer distances.

When I raced my full marathon, I knew I wasn’t in the best shape of my life, because my half marathons and shorter distances were much slower than the Spring. I’ve always done better, when my shorter races are faster too.

More Racing: 

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 can run more races while still recovering appropriately.  Maybe that is my favorite part!

Racing 5ks or a shorter event doesn’t have to be painful or boring. It’s a challenge to train or race for like any other event.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite distance to race?

Do you have any running goals for 2019? 

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