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One Mistake I’m Glad I Made

Lately, I’ve been in a blogging funk, so I decided to participate in a blogging topic challenge. Many of the blog topics are ones I haven’t discussed in a lot of detail. Most of the posts will relate to my personal experience with running, but there might be exceptions too.

Blog Challenge 1: One mistake I’m glad I made

No one likes to make mistakes.  The feeling of failure can be one of the hardest emotions to come to terms with. However, if you can learn from a mistake, it’s hard to consider the mistake a failure.  We all live, and we all make mistakes.

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I’ve made plenty if mistakes in life, in relationships and of course in running too.  

One of my earliest errors in running was overtraining and receiving my first stress fracture.  

At the time, I wasn’t glad.  In fact, I was miserable and upset but in hindsight, I’m glad I made that mistake. Early into my running career, I was running too hard and too fast for every single run.  I was running every mile between 7-7:15.  My 5k PR was around 20 minutes, and I had never even attempted a half or full marathon.

(To compare now my easy runs are above 8:30 pace or untimed and my 5k PR is 18:22.  Running is also not stressful this way.) 

While I wasn’t running extremely high mileage (in the 40-50s), the constant pounding and hard running lasted about a month.  On July 12, 2011 (also known as my 21st birthday), I ran hard and ultimately ended with a severe tibial stress fracture.  Looking back, it’s fairly obvious the cause was overtraining.  

Since I was new and had no idea, I thought, of course, I was training well.  While injured, I took the time to look back at my training and I learned more about myself and running than I had previously.  I began learning that my body is not invincible.  Little pains can manifest themselves into larger issues. It was a lesson I needed to learn early!

If I had continued down that path of running, it would have been a disaster and honestly, I would be injured with something more serious.

During my two months of rest and recovery, I learned that running isn’t and never will be everything in my life. I also learned that it’s appropriate to listen to cues of injury. Taking a rest day here and there is far easier than taking 8+ weeks off.

My tibial stress fracture shaped my training now that I’m not afraid to run easier miles, cut back mileage or take rest days altogether. Just thinking about back to back 7-minute miles is enough to exhaust me.

Each injury teaches us something about ourselves. Instead of dwelling in the injury, I think it’s important to look back and realize what can be improved.

Questions for you:
What is one mistake you are glad you made?
Has an injury taught you something recently?

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for a lot. I’m thankful for so much and, to be honest; I could probably think and write a 10,000-word post about it…

I’m thankful for:

My family is always supporting me. I’m lucky that my parents and brothers, my in-laws and sisters in law and my entire family help me. They are there for me through thick and thin.

Family

Family

And my new family too <3

And my new family too <3

My husband is always there for me, through the ups and downs. Believe me, in LOLZ life there are many ups and downs.

 

 

 

 

Hard to believe his was two months ago

Always thankful for friends

Always thankful for friends

I’m thankful for a house to live in and a job that pays bills and that I love.

I’m thankful for all of the support from friends and blog readers.

Friends everywhere!

Friends everywhere!

Take a moment today on Thanksgiving to think about what you are thankful for. Life might seem chaotic and the holidays overwhelming, but we are truly lucky to have a place to live and meal to eat.

Question for you: What are you thankful for this Holiday?

Random Thoughts

Something I’ve learned in the last year is most of the time life is boring, and that’s okay. Sometimes there is nothing exciting going on that merits a blog post. I post the majority of days, but most are about running and training and, of course, diner reviews. I haven’t posted about personal life in a few weeks, and that’s because I’ve just been boring.  While I have other interests outside of running, for the most part, it is a running-oriented blog.  I’ve been racing so much that between racing and training posts, half of my blog week is filled!

In thinking out loud, my day consists of I going for a run, going to work and then coming home watching TV and sleeping. Lather, rinse, repeat with a few a diner dates in there too.

Here are a few random blurbs:

Music I’ve been enjoying:
I recently downloaded a Ke$ha remix CD, and I love it. The music is fun to listen to while running.  If you are looking for something fast, slightly vulgar and pop…this is your CD.

kesha remix

Running Shoe Rotation:
I’ve gotten a few questions about my running shoe choices Right now I’m currently running in these:
Saucony Triumph ISO 2 (majority of runs)
Saucony Zealot (warm up and cool downs, occasional weekly run)
Altra Paradigm 1.5 (once a week)
Nike Pegasus (sporadically 1-2X per week…review to come)
Saucony A6 (racing)
That is my current shoe rotation.

Most used shoe wins for photos

Most used shoe wins for photos

TV Shows I’m Watching:
America’s Next Top Model: I’ve watched every season of ANTM, and I’m sad this is supposedly the last season. Now what I will do?
Bar Rescue
Restaurant Impossible

What’s been going on life wise?
Honestly like I said, I’ve just been running, working and getting ready for the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. Not only for myself but with work too. We’ve been a little bit busier with the end of cross country season as well as the end of North East marathon season.

Yesterday I opted to run a 5k on base instead of doing my “regular” one-mile repeats. I’ve always wanted to get a turkey from a turkey trot and the stars aligned.  I ran a 19:30 and felt completely awful.  I’ll probably do a race recap since it was technically a race but, in summary, it was windy, my legs were still sore from my deep tissue massage, but I still had a good time.

me win turkey

Questions for you:

What has been going on in your life?

What music are you enjoying? 

Lessons Learned from Running

I’ve been running for about five years now. I’m not a professional; I’m not an expert, and I’m certainly not a coach. Throughout my five years, I’ve learned several lessons both the easy way and the hard way.  Lately I’ve had time to reflect on a few lessons I’ve learned.

lessons learned from running

Here are a few more pieces of advice and information I’ve picked up the last few years of running.

The most important rule:

Get the right shoes.

Compared to many other sports, running is not an expensive sport.

However, your shoes will be the most expensive. The majority of people do not need inserts nor is it necessary for a 200 dollar shoe. When being fitted, you should expect to pay between 120-150 for a pair. For your first pair of shoes, it’s important to have a quick and painless gait analysis. Most any local running store can do it. From there they will determine the most appropriate shoes for you. If you look for the cheapest option online, and they don’t work for you, you are not going to be running.

There's a shoe for that...

There’s a shoe for that…

On the same line, there is a shoe for everyone. For example, some people can get away running in Nike Frees. 99.9% of us can’t.

Start Easy

Before I ran, I was a swimmer. Swimming puts a lot less pressure on your bones, joints and body in general. Collegiate swimming had us in the pool every day from 2-4 hours. If you ran 4 hours daily, you would end up with multiple stress fractures and injuries.

Technical Fabric

If you can run in cotton and not chafe, this does not apply to you. Certain fabrics can prevent blisters, chafing and being uncomfortable. These days there are windproof jackets, jackets that light up and glow in the dark and jackets that allow you to run in -30. None of these things you need but if they make you happy…go for it.

So much winter technology...

So much winter technology…

Set small goals and keep a training log:

Reaching smaller goals keeps your motivation strong. If you feel as though you’ve been chasing the same larger goals for months or years…maybe it’s time to set a smaller goal. Similarly, you don’t know what is working if you aren’t recording it.  You cannot make it to the top of the mountain in one step, you have to take a series of steps.

My goal ladder during my first stress fracture.

My goal ladder during my first stress fracture.

Finally: The most Important.”

Everyone is a runner. Whether you are running 4-minute miles or running your first mile ever. You are a runner whether you like it or not.

Runners everywhere!

Runners everywhere!

Question for you:

What are some lessons you have learned about running or life?

If you have any questions, for someone who works at a running store…let me know! 🙂 

 

Training: Recovery & 5ks

I spent most of the previous week recovering from the RnR Half Marathon. To be honest, I’m still recovering from the race as well as whatever sickness I’ve had.  Since the Bone Run, I haven’t had any remarkable runs that I’m particularly happy with.  RnR was a solid effort for how I was feeling at the time.  I came off such a high from racing in October, I hope I don’t spiral into a low for November!

Monday: Easy
Tuesday: Easy run
Wednesday: 4X1 mile with 90 seconds rest (6:44, 6:15, 6:36, 6:13) Core
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy run
Saturday Easy run
Sunday:  5k (19:30)
 Total:  66 miles

As you can see, it was relatively low key and boring week. My calves are sore from last week. My easy runs were uneventful, as they should be.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 mile with 90 seconds rest (6:44, 6:15, 6:36, 6:13)

I plan to continue to do mile repeats until after the Philadelphia Marathon. Then I will be switching it up. My first and third miles are uphill and the second, and fourth miles are down hill. I felt as if I was working a lot harder than I should for these. I was glad that I felt better towards the end, though.

On Sunday, I ran a local 5k.  Long story short, I felt awful, I looked awful, and the race went exactly like that.  However, instead of running a 20+ minute 5k I ran a 19:30…so to be honest I have no complaints.  It’s motivating to see that even when I don’t feel good, my pace is still faster than it was previously.  It served as a great workout and I even negative split and ran (6:11, 6:20, 6:06).

me 5k

At least I won the worlds largest trophy…or something.

I let the other stuff like core and plyo go this week. My legs are sore, and I wanted to promote recovery. I’ll get back into that next week.

Thoughts:

Hopefully by the end of next week I’ll feel a lot better. This week and next are training right through races. I still plan to race. However, I’ll be surprised if they are close to my PR times. I’m currently focusing on Philadelphia half so each race until then will serve as a “speed workout”. If I can consistently run between 19:30-19:45 on tired legs, I’ll be happy.

Questions for you:

What is your next goal race?

Is sickness going around where you are?

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