Running Isn’t Everything

Running Isn’t Everything

This week, my “on this day app” showed me seven years ago, I had my official diagnosis of a tibia stress fracture.  It was my first real running injury.  The diagnosis came a month after the actual break.  I think the original diagnosis (with a clean X-Ray) was tendinitis.

Stress fractures rarely show up on X-Rays.  In fact, I’ve never had a stress fracture that did show up within the first weeks of the break..  I tell people that X-rays are the gateway to MRI’s.

I know exactly how I caused what caused my tibia to break and it was by running my runs to fast all of the time.  I ran between 7-7:10 pace every day.  You can read about my running history in my running about page, so I’ll spare you all of those details.

In summary, at the time my PRS were much slower. I was always tired, and my training was dumb.  I was a new runner (I had been running off and on for about a year), so I didn’t know the importance of easy runs.

Most runners go through the phase of running in cheap shoes, running all their runs to fast, and then get injured.

On that day 7 years ago, I sat in the doctor’s office, crying my eyes out as they read the results.  My dad was sitting there, probably rolling his eyes.

He looked me square in my 21-year-old face and said: “Hollie, it’s just running, get ahold of yourself.”

I’ll never forget that statement because at the end of the day it is…just running.  Races, events, and running will always be there.  I don’t regret the injury, and I don’t regret any of my injuries because they have all taught me something.

This is my 21st birthday when the reality was I had a broken tibia.  The doctor told me it was “tendinitis” so didn’t boot it for a while longer.  My youngest brother seems thrilled to celebrate my birthday. 

In 2011, my tibial stress fracture taught me not to train like a moron.

In 2014, my second metatarsal fracture taught me I can’t outrun injury.  Nipping things in the bud is essential.  If I rested a week, I wouldn’t have sat out 2+ months.  You will never outrun a stress reaction, and they turn into a fracture.

In 2016, my ankle fracture taught me I have a lot more hobbies than running.  I like to run, and I blog about running but I like a lot of other things including hiking and just being active.  I mean one of my first “real” hiking adventures and I was doing yoga.  JK…yoga is not my thing.

That being said, of course, there were hard times and tears shed but running isn’t everything.

I’ve had multiple doctors visits to make sure my body is healthy, and it is.  I have the right amount of calcium, vitamin D, and I get my period every month.  My injuries have been either overuse or form.  I stress my metatarsals with how I run, so I need to be overly cautious in changing shoes as well as running too much.  It took me a long time to realize that but better late than never.

So that leads me to where the post is actually going.

I don’t rely a lot on paces and for the most part train for time versus pace.  I’ll never be a runner who cares about an 8:30 mile versus 8:33.

rabbit running me

I’m not a data nerd and don’t even log into my Garmin app very often. Strava doesn’t interest me for many reasons including safety, but I also don’t care enough for the data portion.  I don’t need head pats and likes to get me out of the door.  I do it because I like it.

It’s another reason I don’t see the point to log pace and lose sleep over an of an easy run.

(Since my tibia break, I’ve never had the issue of going to fast for recovery and easy). I want to know that data for races or workouts, but I just listen to my body on easy run or recovery runs.

To tell you the type of runner and person I am, this morning I finished a run with my friend Alexis and she asked: what does your watch read?  I said 9.95 and she asked if I wanted to get to 10…I just shrugged and said it didn’t matter.  One of my most significant personal accomplishments for my anxiety is not to sweat the small things.  Will I remember next week I ran 9.95 versus 10.01…no.

I’m not lazy, and I do work hard.  I don’t feel like I have to prove that to anyone because I know it for myself.  If you cut corners in your training, you are only hurting yourself.  I’m not hurting “X the Instagrammer” because I’m lying about workouts, runs, or races…I’m just hurting me.

Originally, this was written in more of a diary format and I wasn’t going to post it.  Sometimes it’s just cathartic to get information out there.

Then I was told, and I also realized, I have been lazy with my training logs because I don’t really know who reads them.  I don’t care if I get 10 comments or none but if no one ever comments, how on earth would I even know someone is reading? So I figured people weren’t reading my blog anymore.  That is totally fine and I never expect anyone to read anything I write.  In fact, I’ll tell personal friends stories and they’ll say: oh I read that on your blog.  I never think anyone reads anything. It’s fun when people do, and the commentary is fun but I don’t expect it.  Bloggers aren’t celebrities and having the most followers is like having monopoly money…when you log off the computer…no one cares.

So where am I with Running Now?

This summer I have been running easy and doing workouts when I can.

I am a high mileage runner and I thrive on high mileage and racing all of the time but I absolutely can’t do that year round.  I’ll injure myself or burn myself out. I’ve learned that lesson too many times. This summer I put the brakes on and while I’m running 45-60 minutes and longer runs a couple of days a week I’m not hitting double digits every day.  I will do that again, hopefully in the fall, but I won’t that mistake of doing that year round and hurting myself.  Sure it’s boring because I’m not racing every weekend, and I could put more effort into my training logs.

That being said, I am in shape but I’m not in peak shape, and your body can’t be year round.  If you asked me to race a half marathon right now, I think I could run somewhere around 1:30 but my PR is 1:22.  To get to 1:22, I do have to up training and mileage.  I have to run hard, fine-tune fitness, and train for a goal.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

Right now I’m running the Under Armour 25k trail race in Killington, this weekend.  A completely different goal than a PRing half marathon or having any road goal.  My goal is literally to finish healthy.  I do plan to train for a goal (road) race in the fall, but the other component is I’m often at the mercy of my husband’s schedule.  We have a few more things to sort out, but I do plan to train for a fall goal race.   Once I have a decision and bib for a race, the blogging world will be the first to know (well maybe my parents).

This is one of my longest posts about life, running, and everything in between so thank you for staying with me if you did.  I never really anticipated posting it but the timing just seemed right. 

Training: 7 States, 6 Days

Training: 7 States, 6 Days

Last week was spent recovering from the Under Armour 25k, as it should be!  As most people know through ole’ Instagram by now, I’ve spent the last 10 days out of my house either traveling to Colorado, seeing family or Virginia, or this weekend going to the Taylor Swift Concert in North Jersey.  I won’t lie, it has been one of the best and most fun weeks I’ve had all year. However, my focus hasn’t been running.

This was a great week to have a running down week, since I needed it anyway, after the trail race.  I do firmly believe taking both the previous Sunday and Monday off and not doing any workouts (minus the long run), has kept me healthy.  I have recovered well from it and so far no issues.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Easy 30 minutes
Wednesday: Easy run with my husband/father in law (Charlottesville)
Thursday: Easy run with my husband/father in law (Charlottesville)
Friday: Easy 60 min run at my house
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes at Overpeck Park (North Jersey)
Sunday: 15 miles/7 miles fast finish
Total:  

Thoughts:

I always enjoy going to visit my husband’s grandparents in the Charlottesville area.  The time there was both relaxed and peaceful.  I was lucky to share two runs with my husband and father in law which was nice.  I am always thankful I can share runs with a lot of my family (father, father in law, brother, husband).

After Charlottesville, we stayed back in South Jersey and headed to North Jersey for the Taylor Swift concert.  It was a great concert, and she performs live well, but I only got 6 hours of sleep into Saturday.  I know, not sleeping is a weak point of mine, and I don’t function well without it.  Lack of sleep can be a huge trigger for both my anxiety or migraines (not the only one but it can be).  Despite not getting much sleep, we ended up running at Overpeck park (where the Irish Festival 5k was last month) and having a good run.

Later in the day, we walked over the George Washington Bridge!  I’ve run over several of the NYC Bridges during the marathon but I’ve never walked over the George Washington.

From Saturday to Sunday, I got nearly 11 hours of sleep which was perfect.  I was needed it and felt much more recharged!

The last 10 days have been incredible, but I know the next few weeks will be busy.  I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine!

Posts from the Week:

Copper Mountain 25k

Brooks Glycerin 16 Shoe Review

Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

Questions for you:

Do you workout while traveling?

Do you prefer to workout alone or with someone? 

Happy Global Running Day

Happy Global Running Day

Today is Global Running Day.

Get out there and celebrate.

Whether it’s going for a run, hanging out with running friends, or thinking of running, do something to celebrate the sport.
me running rabbit

The beauty of running is it doesn’t matter your pace, speed or ability.  If you treat yourself well, running will be there for you.

Are you running today?  

If not, that is fine too!  Typically in May and June, I find myself burned out or injured, so this is one of the few Global Running Days I feel excited to run!

 

Adrenaline Run 5k (18:29)

Adrenaline Run 5k (18:29)

Last weekend I ran two races. Initially, I didn’t plan to do both. However, it just worked out. I needed to stay in New Jersey until Saturday, and at that point, I was in town for my local running stores biggest 5k of the year: The Adrenaline Run 5k. Before my plans changed to stay in New Jersey, I had already signed up for the Shamrock Half.

My new goal was to run as hard as possible at the Adrenaline and then just pick up the pieces at the Shamrock. I know I’m in good shape, but in short, Adrenaline didn’t show that. I had reasons I needed to stay in NJ, and I underestimated how busy I would be the week before.

I arrived to the Adrenaline Run and didn’t feel as good as I would have hoped. I felt very meh. I warmed up with my friend Shae, arrived to the start, and by the time I knew it, we were off. During the first mile, I was caught in a pack of people and got a slow start. Not only that, but I just felt stale. My legs felt heavy, and my speed wasn’t there.

I hit the first mile in 6:00 and immediately felt defeated. I couldn’t get in a rhythm and I felt like nothing felt easy.

I know I’m in PR shape and possibly in sub 18 shape, but it wasn’t my day. After I realized that, I just moved past my mentality and just wanted to run a strong race.

During the second mile, I was running with a pack of women, many of whom I knew personally and are friends. We went around a few turns and down a small hill. I nearly slipped, and I panicked I had pulled something. Due to my form, running downhill in a race is one of the most likely places I’ll get injured.

I rounded the turn and saw my coworkers at the water stop, and I gave a quick wave and mile. To be honest, seeing all three put me in a better mood (thanks, Shawn, Ralph, and Jeff) and I knew I was halfway. I climbed a hill and hit the second mile in 6:10.me running haddonfield adrenaline 5k

I went from feeling happy back down into a slump. Apparently, I rode a lot of emotions during that race. The last mile felt like I finally woke up and just powered to the finish line. I was still with the pack, and we all powered through. We ran the last mile in 5:47 and I crossed in 18:32 with a chip time of 18:29.

Thank you for the photo Norm

me running adrenaline 5k haddonfield nj

While I’m not exactly satisfied with the race, I do know I didn’t feel good and it wasn’t my day, I had a great time seeing so many of local NJ friends and runners. I was 10th women overall and I believe 106th overall. It is my fastest 5k in the calendar year, despite not the fitness I know I’m in.

Questions for you:

Do you use positive self-talk to get you through races?

Not Every Run is Fun

Not Every Run is Fun

When I first began my journey running, it felt hard.  Today, running still feels hard.

The meaning has changed and what was once difficult is now longer not, however, every training cycle presents itself with new challenges.

Not Every Run is Fun

Every new runner has asked:

Does running ever any easier?  

Do veteran runners always feel good running?

Do elites feel like they are cake walking every mile?

No, no, and also no

I love running, and for the most part, I’ve had a lot of great runs.  I have a running blog and work at a running store.  However, like anyone I’ve also had some terrible runs.  It’s not all the Instagram highlight and picture-perfect reel.  No one lives are!

There have been plenty of times I’ve woken up and thought, “nope, I’m not running today” and gone back to sleep.  This has been enhanced by the recent time change and daylight saving time.

If you have been running for any amount of time, you’ve probably had a time when running felt stale.

It’s boring; there isn’t anything to look forward too, and you’ve lost all of your motivation.  You’ve had several runs you’ve struggled getting through, and it just seems like…ugh why bother.  This happened to me, around this time last year.  I didn’t go through my big burnout until last April. However, I began to feel stale around March.  I firmly believe if I had taken a couple of weeks off last March, I probably wouldn’t have taken four months off in April.

Could have, would have, should have, but I have no regrets.

The truth is, running never really gets much easier.  Every runner new or old struggled with getting out of the door at some point.

Here are a few ideas that can change your mindset and motivation:

Often times, change is the key to breaking out of a rut. 

Find a Running Partner:

Run by anyone you see, but just don’t approach someone because that could get awkward.  But seriously, change up who you are running with. Thinking out loud, it makes the run feel entirely different!  Even running on the same route with someone new makes the run fly by.  Even listening to a new podcast makes it feel like you’re running with someone.

Run different mileage:

Ideas include:

  • Decrease your distance
  • Run two short runs versus one longer run.
  • If you were training for a longer race, train for a shorter run.
  • Add cross training or find a new class

Change where you run
A change of scenery can be a good thing.  Personally, racing in a different location each week keeps me from getting bored. Try running on the trails, different neighborhoods, or even the treadmill.  Sometimes catching up on trashy TV and running on the treadmill is what I want to do.  I wrote a post about not hating the treadmill!  With a rest day, race, running with someone, and workout, I normally only run the same route 1-2X per week.  It keeps things interesting.

Most importantly!

When all else fails and running is just not going well, take a break.  There is plenty more to life than running.  Even if you’re an elite runner, you still probably enjoy a few things outside of moving your feet.

A break never hurts and can help you come back stronger.  At the end of the day, it’s just running.

Question for you: How do you break out of a rut?

%d bloggers like this: