Monday, December 19, 2011

All Time High!

I ran 51 miles last week, and I'm still STANDING! Yesterday's 19-miler officially pushed me into a new PR for weekly mileage. I feel so thankful that my body is holding up.

I don't have time to go into the specifics of each (Christmas guests!!!), but I'll share an overview of the things that I believe have kept me healthy. Over the next couple of weeks, I will break down each category into a more detailed post.

1) SHOES-Ok, this may be the biggest one for me. I've struggled with injuries on and off (mostly hips). I now rotate between 4 pairs and my legs have never felt better.

2) Changing my foot strike-I feel like this has helped me to stay healthy as well + get faster. BUT... this is how I got injured in the first place... I was too aggressive with going from a heel strike to mid-foot strike. My calves were sore for WEEKS (*red flag) and then the rest of my R lower leg broke down. Luckily, I had access to an Alter G and took another 6 weeks rehabbing on it, focusing on my form and changing into a lower heel-drop shoe SAFELY.

I love you, Alter G. You were so good to me.

3) I do my hard days hard and my easy days easy-I run by feel and I don't get hung up on the numbers. Sort of. For example, yesterday I really wanted to see if I could do my 19-miler below a 9 minute mile pace. I consider my long run day a "hard day." That being said, I still wanted to run it at a comfortable pace where I didn't feel out of breath. I also didn't want my body to feel like it was really struggling. I was able to hold a sub-9 pace, but had my body felt rough, I would not have pushed it. Today will be a VERY easy 4-mile recovery. If my Garmin says 10:00 when I look down at it, then so be it. I have spent my post-injury running completely running by FEEL, keeping in mind that the day after a hard workout needs to be gentle. NO TWO HARD DAYS IN A ROW. 

4) Hitting the gym 2-3 times per week-For me, strength training is essential. I consider it a form of insurance. I work my legs/core HARD. I am actually sore most days after my strength training. It's working. My hips/knees/hammies are getting stronger and staying healthy. I have even been lifting the day after my long runs. I was nervous about this at first, but my coach said to go for it.

5) Compression Gear-I feel like it's helping. I've bought some new compression shorts and calf sleeves and I don them after hard workouts. Full review later!

That's it in a nutshell! I'll break the nut down in a bit... Off to get ready for this with the boys and the grandparents:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Relief... and a Race!

I'm slowly making my way back to blogland. My Writing Theory class ended on Friday. WHEW!!! The instructor wasn't kidding when she said it was a 16-week class compressed into 7 weeks. OUCH! Much pain. I have less than a week left in 20th Century American Literature and then I. AM. DONE. Next semester will be my last semester of school EVER. Never say never, but I am pretty sure I will NEVER go back. Ending my academic career with an MA in English is fine by me.

So running... What's going on with that?

I've spent the past few weeks feeling like I'm running in another person's body: a healthy person's body!

I'll save what I've done differently for another post (i.e. I'm dangling a carrot to bring you back to reading my blog. Ha!).

For now, I want to tell you about my 10k this morning! This will be the lamest race report ever because well... it was a lame race.

I've made no bones about the fact that I'm not a huge fan of my town. I don't want to diss Parks and Recreation too badly because, you know, they did a good job today with the resources that they have available. The guy that gave out the medals to the winners is one of the kayaking/fishing dudes that took care of my oldest son at his day camps this past summer. He's a nice guy who does a lot for Parks and Rec., so I don't want to be a turd and make fun of the race.

(But yeah... low rent production, KWIM? Then again, the entry fee was $14. What should I expect?)

Let's interrupt for a quick pre-race photo. Because that's about it for photos. Everyone stayed home and chilled out while I went over to the park (2.54 miles away) to race.

I will tell you all about my Brooks PureFlows in another post. LOVE THEM.

So the race...

I was told by Coach to keep the first 2 miles at a 7:45 pace and if that felt ok, I could turn on my afterburners after that.

I'm entirely too lazy to download my Garmin onto the computer, but if memory serves, Miles 1 and 2 were around a 7:40 pace. I felt great, so I slowly started to pick it up.

With about .5 to go, I laid the smack down because I saw that I was 4th place female. There was no way that I was going to catch #1 or #2, but #3 was right there, and I couldn't help myself. I passed her with probably .03 miles left (it was something ridiculous). She wasn't having any of that, and we ended up crossing the finish line together. Total photo finish.

The good news: I finished in 43:32. That is *technically* a 10K PR for me. My last mile was a 6:36 (or at least when I stopped it at .95... see below). Holy cow!

The bad news: My Garmin read 5.95 miles at the finish line. What happened to the last .25 miles?!? For that reason, I don't feel like I should count this as a new PR.

At any rate, the 5.95 miles in 43:32 comes out to a 7:18 pace. I am stoked by that! I ended up winning my age group (30-39) and taking 3rd place female (along with the other girl). The winning female ran a 43:10, only 22 seconds faster than me. Woot!

Carlsbad Marathon is in 6 weeks. Very excited. I've got a good feeling... Just gotta stay healthy!!