Guest Hosting the Weekly Wrap!

Happy Sunday and welcome to the Weekly Wrap!

I am so excited to be this week’s guest host while Holly and Tricia enjoy some time off from hosting duties this summer. Weekly Wrap brings together such a great group of active women supporting each other, and I am honored to be guest hosting.

If you’ve never joined the Weekly Wrap, I encourage you to dive right in! The rules are pretty simple. Visit and comment on as many blogs as you can, including the host blog. Please don’t just link and leave – let’s support each other! It’s a great way to discover new blogs and make new friends!

If you were here for my last Wrap, then you may remember I skipped last week’s long run, as my lack of quality sleep had left me totally drained. Well, what I didn’t share was that my left ankle was feeling super tight and my upper calf was sore, and I think even if I’d had the best of sleep the ankle would have kept me from hitting the road.

So, how did this week shake out?

Monday: I wasn’t taking any chances with the ankle, so I headed to my PT/chiro. The verdict? Ankle immobility was affecting my fibula head – I’ve been here before and had to fess up to lagging on any of my ankle exercises. So you can guess what my homework was!

Tuesday: After checking in with my RC coaches, we were in agreement to skip the speed work and cross train instead. So, I made a long-overdue return to my gym and hit the Arc Trainer. 40 minutes of cross-training done!

Wednesday: Yoga  – keeping to this month’s goal of at least one weekly session.

Thursday: Strength day including ankle work.

Friday: I was so hoping to run, and while the ankle felt better, it didn’t feel great. Back to the Arc Trainer I went for another round of cross-training, followed by foam rolling and more ankle work.

By the way, if you missed my post about the benefits of the Arc Trainer, you can read it here.

Saturday: Rest day filled with shopping and errands, and yes, more ankle work (are you sensing a theme?)

Sunday:  5-mile run! Babying my ankle all week paid off with a glorious morning run. OK – it was ridiculously humid, but I was running so I didn’t care. My pace was solid, and best of all the ankle stayed quiet until the last half mile – I’m calling that a win! Nice to end the week on a high note.

This week also brought some fun stuff in the mail, including these beauties:

One of my birthday presents from my hubby – Saucony Zealot 3

And, the August StrideBox arrived!

I have really been enjoying these StrideBoxes! It’s been a great way to discover some new products. This month’s box includes items from Bakery on Main, Eboost, Hungry Buddha, Vital 4U, Zealios, No Sweat, and Gear Well – all of which are new to me. Can’t wait to try them all! Huge thanks to the nice folks at StrideBox for the goodies.

So that’s my week, and now I’m off to enjoy some lazing on the deck 🙂

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Recovery – Week 1 Done!

Keep Calm Injury

Hi all! Just a quick check-in from my couch.

Hard to believe it’s already been a week since the surgery. I’m happy to say that things went well, I had great nurses and was sprung and home by Thursday afternoon.

Since then, I’ve been developing a mean game of Mario Kart vs. my son, moving from a shuffle to a walk….and resting as much as my body demands.

Of course the real trick will be in keep “resting” from turning into “restless” – but at least for now, my recovery is off to a good start 🙂

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My “no running” week

“You need to take this week off from running.” – never the words you want to hear from a doctor. But that’s exactly what I was told last week.

no running

Let me back up a bit… a week ago Saturday I went out for a run with my hubs J. Despite the fact that it was a rare cool morning, with low humidity I struggled to get my breathing under control – something was clearly off. And, truthfully, I’ve been feeling off for a bit…really tired, low energy, laboring through my runs. This couldn’t all be about lack of running mojo, motivation or just the heat and humidity.

So I went to the doctor and insisted on a work up – and believe me I had to get pushy! But I got a full blood work-up and an EKG. The results – all is good except for iron deficiency anemia. My counts were very low thanks to my crazy irregular cycle and heavy periods – of the joys of perimenopause (not!) As my doctor explained, it looks like my body’s been “coping” for a while, but now has reach a point where it can’t cope any more. And, eating iron-rich foods alone are not going to do the trick – I need the boost from iron supplements. So I was told to start the iron pills and lay off the running to give my body a few days to start to bounce back. Not ideal, but at least I have an answer and a plan.

OK so here comes my public service announcement – if you’re feeling really “off,” don’t be quick to just chalking it up to a lack of motivation, the weather, etc. – listen to your body! If you do think you’re anemic, it’s best not to just start taking iron pills on your own – go see you doctor first! And, don’t take “well everybody’s tired”as an answer – Advocate for yourself!

After spending last week focusing only on planks and some low-key core and strength work, I’m itching to get back to running and hoping I get cleared to go this week.

Have you ever an iron deficiency?

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Time to fold ’em

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run…”

This is not the training update I wanted to be writing…but, I’ve reached a decision – it is time for me to fold ’em on this training cycle. I have been giving everything I can to try to get through my training plan for Philly but the reality is you can either focus on getting 100% healthy or you can train – you can’t do both. Or at least I know I can not.

When I learned that I’m anemic I was relieved to have an answer to my energy woes. My first thought was “I still have time – just change the diet and I’ll be back on track.” The reality is for me this has not been a quick bounce back and yet I have continued to push my body – push the distances, push the speedwork. There have been some really solid workouts, but they’ve taken a toll on me later in the day. Honestly my comfort zone is 6 – 7 miles…after that things get really hard – like short-of-breath, headache-inducing hard.

Of course, I’m disappointed – Philly was a goal race in a year of very little racing. I’m not interested in going and struggling or worrying about how under-trained I am or if I’ll hold up on the course. Feeling healthy and strong again is so much more important – there will be other races (you should see what I’m planning for 2015!).

walk away

Once I made the decision and discussed it with J and Coach Bennett, I felt a great sense of relief. You see, the other thing that was happening is that running had stopped being my stress release – it had become something to stress about. Oh so no bueno! This is just one race — time to know when to walk away…this is not the time to run.

Have you ever walked away from a goal race?

 

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Another Aha Moment

And the Aha Moments just keep coming….

lightbulb moment

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have had my ups and downs this training cycle.

While I have tried hard to accept whatever my body will give me on any given day, the truth is I’ve been struggling. Paces that were once manageable have felt like work…and when I have managed to have really good runs, I’m toast afterwards. I have talked about the fact that a shift in attitude and how I approach my runs has helped…running is a mental game after all! But, something was still missing….something has just felt off. My body was trying to tell me something. So I finally made the rare trip to my doctor’s office…and after some tests, turns out I’m anemic.

Ah – well that goes a long way to explaining my energy levels. I was starting to think it was all in my head … or perhaps my advanced running age catching up with me 😉 So for now the prescribed course of action is a daily multi-vitamin (I’ve been wildly inconsistent with my supplements) and changes to my diet to include more iron-rich foods. This will force me to get back to meal planning and weekend meal prep which has been lagging a little. I’m glad to have an answer for what’s going on…just wish I hadn’t dragged my feet on heading to my doc.

Are you quick to head to the doctor’s office?

What’s your favorite iron-rich snack?

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Friday Five: Running Unplugged

DC_linkupI’m joining Courtney, Mar and Cynthia again for the Friday Five, and this week’s theme is “5 Things I Love about….”

So I want to highlight some benefits of running tech-free – aka running “naked.”  During  the past coupe of weeks I have been really struggling with my pacing. I’ve been getting most of my mileage in, but every time I look down at my Garmin during a run I’ve been feeling very defeated as the number staring back at me has not been close to what I was aiming for – cue the negative self-talk!

So at Coach Bennett’s suggestion, I’ve put the watch away for a bit and am running by effort. I’ve actually taken it a step further this week and left the headphones behind as well – no devices of any kind (except my phone in my belt in case my kids needed me!).

unplugged

Travel Light — There’s definitely something to be said for feeling lighter without all the tech stuff. No cords to manage, no satellites to find.

Less Anxiety — Knowing that I wasn’t going to have my pace reflected back at me, immediately took the pressure out of the run. I don’t think I realized how much having a number (pace) hanging over my head was upping my anxiety level.

Letting My Body Lead — There are lots of variables that can affect a run on any given day (sleep, nutrition, the previous day’s workout, etc.). Running by feel vs. my watch gives my body a better chance to adjust to those variables.

Listening to My Feet — No music means I can tune into my footfall. Is it soft and light? Am I scuffing my feet? When I hear scuffing, I know my form’s starting to fall apart.

Enjoy My Surroundings — Running tech-free not only gives me the chance to tune into my body, but to tune into my surroundings as well.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready to give up my running gadgets – they do provide a lot of useful feedback and motivation. But more and more I’m seeing the importance of taking a tech-break.

Do you ever run naked?

 

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Back to the Chiro I go

alignmentSo my right hip has not been cooperating…in fact it’s been downright cranky. During the course of all of our vacation adventures I threw something out of whack – I’m pretty sure it was while scaling the Dunns River Falls. I knew something felt a little off towards the end of the trip…and by the time I got off the airplane I was flat out uncomfortable.

I stretched and rolled like it was my job last week…but continued to workout (you see where this is going, right?) Pilates and T25 was fine, but when it came to my runs not so much. The hip was ok (but not great) as long as I stuck to an LSD pace…and even then, 4 miles taxing (and I could start to feel my ITB talking). This was not boding well for Sunday’s 10K. After a quick chat with Coach Bennett, I knew I would not be racing this weekend – it just wasn’t worth it to risk doing damage for a race I’d signed up for on a whim…not with fall training starting in a couple of weeks.

I’m determined to go charging into my fall training…not limping in. So, I didn’t  give the race a second thought, had a great weekend, and am now wholly focused on doing everything I need to to get on top of this.  I’ll be heading back to the chiro this weekend…he’s been my miracle worker in the past so hopefully he can help me get back in balance fast!

Have you ever worked with a chiropractor?

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Friday Five – Ways to beat the heat!

We’ve seen temps in upper 80s and even 90 degrees this week and with the heat has come the humidity. Now while I promised after surviving the polar vortex nightmare that was this past winter that I wouldn’t complain when summer arrived, I just have to say that I’m not a fan of running in heat and humidity. Yes I know…a challenge given how much I like the fall racing season!

So I’m joining Cynthia, Mar and Courtney and sharing some reminders for how to “beat the heat!” dog_days

Hit the road early —  Quite simply, temperatures are much lower earlier in the day so why not get out before the sun’s rays become too intense. This one is a must do for me!

Get acclimated — As you make the adjustment to running in warmer temps, this is not the time to get hung-up on hitting target paces. Take those first hot runs slowly, focusing more on effort than pace. Your body will adjust within a couple of weeks.

Stay hydrated – While participating in a recent #Runchat on Twitter, I was surprised by the number of runners who proclaimed not to carry any fluids with them when they run regardless of the distance. For long runs,  I get that not everyone loves carrying a handheld water bottle but there are other options – a camelbak, fuel belt or just strategically stashing water along your route. For shorter runs, at least make sure you hydrate well before and after your run. Drink according to thirst!

Avoid cotton — I’ve said it for winter running and the same holds true for summer – avoid running in cotton clothing! All cotton does is trap sweat, stay wet and potentially cause chaffing (which of course always begs the question why any race shirt is cotton?!). Stick to light-colored, tech apparel…and don’t forget sunglasses and a hat or visor.

Be willing to head indoors — That’s right…I said it! Sometimes, it’s going to be just too dang hot to run – so be willing to switch things up. Either hit the treadmill or opt to make it a cross-training day — great days to head to an air-conditioned gym, yoga or Pilates studio, right? And if you’ve got access to a pool – lucky you!

Above all I think the biggest key to managing your workouts in the summer heat is to listen to you body! You can never go wrong with that approach, right?

How do you manage summer running?

For other tips, be sure to check out the DC Trifecta’s link up!

DC_linkup

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Trying to avoid a DNS pity party

frustration

 

Completely frustrated right now!

I’m sick. I think I may have a touch of the same virus my youngest son had just a week or so ago. The minute I started to feel lousy I should have listened to my body and taken a rest day (or two) – this thing has quietly been brewing for a bit. But I wanted to keep my training on the right track so I pushed.

And now my body’s rebelling big time. I tried to manage things as best I could, hoping I could get ahead of it. Well it wasn’t enough because I landed in bed Thursday barely able to get my head off the pillow and with almost no voice 🙁

So, (barring a miracle recovery) the reality that I’m probably not going to be running Newport on Sunday is setting in, and I’m trying really hard to avoid having a big ole pity party. This will be my 2nd DNS this year. I was really looking forward to running Newport – it is a beautiful course, and while I wasn’t planning to “race” it, I had wanted to go and put in a solid training run with some RP miles. Now, given how I feel I doubt I could muster an LSD pace for that distance. And I know how miserable it is to run a race sick – (not to mention the hour-long drive to and from the race). BTDT…no thanks.

I’m just feeling really frustrated right now cause every time it seems that I’m starting to get on a bit of a roll, my body decides it doesn’t want to cooperate.

Ever had to DNS a race you were really looking forward to? Would you rather a DNS or a DNF?

 

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First race and a Tweeked Knee

heart-medal1My quest for #14in2014 got underway this weekend. My training plan called for some race pace miles for Saturday’s long run so it seemed like a perfect time to put some of those miles towards the Stop Stroke Shuffle 5K. I had so wanted to do this run on the road but after taking a quick trip in my car to survey the roads there was just too much ice.

So I headed to the gym – not to self NEVER go to the gym on a Saturday at 9! I finally got a treadmill, did a quick warm up  and then got started. It was a fairly uneventful run until the final half mile or so – that was when I felt the first twinge in my left knee. It was soon followed by another that lasted longer than the first. Not good….and I knew by the time I finished my knee was really unhappy. I still had miles left to do but when I tried a cool down run it was pretty clear that I just needed to pack it in.

Since then there’s been a lot of ice, a compression knee sleeve and rest. I passed on Sunday’s recovery run in favor of more shoveling as cross training.

Race #2 is just two weeks away and at this moment I’m not feeling very confident about making it to the starting line – it’s a 10 miler and thanks to cutting Saturday’s run short, the longest run I’ve logged so far is just 6.5 miles. While it’s not a goal race, I’m not loving the idea of heading into a race under-trained….on the other hand, I’m not crazy about passing up the chance to run this 10-miler. I’ll be checking in with Coach Bennett this morning to get his take on it.

WWYD – Would you run or sit this one out?

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