Saturday, August 24, 2013

Off Track...For a Long While...

I have been blogging about my running journey for over a year now.  I started out investigating the barefoot running style, which I am definitely an advocate of, despite an early injury.  I later moved on to distance running and it quickly became a passion.

Both of those running interests came to a screeching two weeks ago on the streets of Paris.  More specifically on three small stone steps going down to a street in Paris. While vacationing with my daughter, I slipped and broke my ankle in two places.  Two days before we were supposed to return to the U.S.  The same day we had climbed hundreds of steps when we visited the Eiffel Tower.

Breaking my ankle was bad.  Taking a taxi to the hospital was worse.  Being told I had to have surgery the next day to put a plate and a pin into my ankle was devastating.  I was very, very afraid that I would not be able to run anymore.

Even more afraid when I returned home and went directly from the airport to my own orthopedic surgeon.  I'm a strong woman, but admit that I burst into tears when she told me I needed a second surgery to basically finish what the French surgeon didn't do. That was not what I was expecting to hear at all.  My surgery was done on Monday and my follow up appt was Friday.  The surgery went well and my ankle looks like it should at this stage of the game.

What I know for certain is Sept's Half Marathon is not going to happen and Oct's 10-miler is not going to happen.  My surgeon said I can't even think about running for three months.  It's not the end of the world, but three months without training would take a toll on my abilities regardless of the reason.  Hopefully, only back to Square One, which to me means being able to run 1.5 miles comfortably.

It's the "comfortably" part that keeps bringing tears to my eyes.  What if running hurts now?

I'm not talking about hurts in the "I'm tired, but just have to push through this" way.  Or in the "I really should have stretched last night" way.  Or even in the "Yup, I definitely have shin splints" way.  What if...what if the physical action of running does not agree with my new metal hardware and just hurts?  I have to live with this fear for three or more months...and that is making me feel kind of sick.

My doc assures me that pain free running is in my future...with the caveats that a third surgery to remove the plate may be necessary, and that every 5 years or so I may need a "scope" of my ankle to clean up any debris that accumulates.  Neither of those sound like fun, but worth it if I can run.

For the record, my 17 year old daughter has been amazing throughout this whole ordeal.  She had to find us a new apartment to stay in and move our stuff herself.  She had to contact my job and our family to share what happened.  She had to sign papers saying she was responsible for her mother's medical decisions in the event I couldn't decide for myself. She had to watch her mother being wheeled off to surgery in a foreign country.

This is us in the Jardin du Luxembourg.  While I was hospitalized, she was metro-ing and taxi-ing back and forth from the apartment to the hospital like she was born in Paris.  Shopping for her own food, taking in some additional sights, taking care of herself...and me...  Definitely not what either of us had in mind for our vacation, but am so extremely proud of the way she stepped up to the challenge.

Looking forward to the time when we can laugh about it together and hoping that will be soon...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Importance of Rest

As a running blogger, I peruse other running blogs from time to time.  There are a few I really enjoy...Jen's This Runner's Trials and Jason's Barefoot Running University and Naomi's The Tao of Me

And a few that I don't.  For example, I just read a blog where the running Mom has something pretty intense scheduled every day of the week...and she's a fairly new runner working up to her first marathon.  Her schedule made me cringe a bit...especially because her only "rest" day included a 7 mile walk.

Here are a few things that I've learned over the past year...
  • Running can be addictive - I enjoy my runs like I never have before
  • Running is time consuming - especially if you're training for 10 miles or more
  • Running makes you hungry - REALLY hungry
  • Rest is important

From my perspective it's pretty simple.  We are on our feet a lot.  Running makes life harder on your feet.  For your feet to sustain your new obsession, YOU HAVE TO REST!

I have had some minor injuries in my barefoot running journey...because I was doing too much too soon.  Running too far, too often, not allowing my feet enough time to get used to the new activity.  Same thing when I decided to add mileage and train for my first Half marathon...the usual tendonitis and shin splints popped up...your basic over use injuries.

The foot doctor prescribed solution for both injuries?  REST!

Image Source:  Nice Day Designs blog

If you are serious about running as a life long way to stay healthy and fit and sane, you must work rest into your schedule.  There are plenty of marathon training schedules out there with only 3 running may take longer to get to your goal, but in the long run (yeah, I said it...) it's the only way to go.

Don't just take my word for it, this Runner's World article emphasizes the same does this article from marathoner Carol Bedard and this more scientific article from

Bottom Line:  Be nice to your feet and legs by giving them a break now and then.  In return they will carry you where ever you want to go for a very long time.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Why aren't YOU blogging??

When people are passionate about, or at least very interested in, a topic...they talk about it, sometimes to anyone who will listen...that's blogging in a nutshell.

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You're probably asking "why would I do that?"  Honestly, there are as many reasons to blog as there are people who do it...
  • Just to "talk"
  • To educate
  • To stir up debate
  • To hold yourself accountable in a public way
  • To brag
  • To document a journey (real or metaphorical)
  • To air your annoyance with a pet peeve (some pretend this is educational...)
  • To promote your small business
Of course large corporations and government agencies blog too, but that's not the point of this post.  That being said, if you have not read the TSA blog (yup, the airport security guys) you are missing out, informative and entertaining...

For the undecided, I think blogging is a great experience.  It makes you think, collect those thoughts and share them in a (at least we hope) somewhat interesting way.

Yes, it would be a greater experience if more people actually read my blog...but I'm documenting a personal running journey and am not really comfortable promoting that (which may have more to do with me being a New Englander than anything else).

But still, it would be amazing to hear from a stranger who said, "your post on [fill in the blank] spoke to me and I started running today..."

So, what is it that you are excited about doing? Or learning? Or discovering? Or teaching? Or pondering?  Whatever that "thing" is, consider blogging about it...just like 31 million or so other people in America (mostly using Wordpress by the way).  More stats can be found in this great infographic on 2012 Blogging Statistics from

Of course, blog in a safe addresses, specifics about future travel or currently being out of town, pics/details about your children (or you if you're in the Witness Protection Program or have similar security concerns!).  A good rule of thumb is don't discuss anything you wouldn't share with a stranger, and another is don't talk trash about people in your life.  You may not use your real name on your blog, but if it is linked to any other social media accounts...someone can find out who and where you are.

With reasonable security precautions, what have you got to lose?  A little time, maybe, but you're creating a visual and permanent record of an important part of your life...and that's kind of cool...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thinking Thoughts While I Run...

Today was a long run day...7 miles at a comfortable 9:34 pace.  For me running is a reflective quiet time - just me and whatever is going on in my head...with my body rudely chiming in with complaints from time to time.

I think of a ton of great ideas during this time, most of which I promptly forget as I attach my Garmin to my laptop to review the details of my run.  One of the things I thought about today (and remembered) was how great it would be if there was a light, small and hands free way to record our thoughts.  Certainly something easier to manage than this 1930's model...

FOR THE RECORD - If anyone does create the "Portable Thought Recorder", I fully expect some sort of compensation for coming up with the concept!  Uh, patent pending???  Yeah...sure...

Well, other than that moment of genius, I ponder the same important topics that everyone else thinks about in a moment to themselves:  work, kids, relationships, what I'm having for lunch...will Brad and Angelina ever tie the knot?

One serious issue I would encourage runners to think about is their safety.     As in, can you describe the person you just ran by?  If they were running toward you, did you make eye contact?  Did you greet each other?  If you passed them, were they working hard or taking it easy?  Did they fall behind or keep pace with you now that you're ahead?  Basically what could you say about them to the police if they tried to mug you...while you're the woods/path/park/trail?

There are any number of details that you should be alert to for the critical reason of keeping yourself safe.  And for God's sake, DO NOT wear both ear buds in with the volume turned up.  Don't get me wrong, I find music motivating too, but I only use one ear bud.  Why would you voluntarily deprive yourself of one of your key warning senses?

Not to be overly dramatic, but people do get attacked when they are running/walking and it's not only women.

Just this past May a Virginia Beach man was attacked while jogging near his neighborhood...stabbed multiple times for no good reason.  Everyone knows runners don't carry large amounts of cash on them.

Not exactly where I imagined this post going when I started, but it's definitely food for thought...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Speed Drill Day - Not SOOOO Bad

Got up early to run yesterday...this is how I felt BEFORE the alarm went off...

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This is how I felt AFTER the alarm went off...

Image Source:                     My Next Race blog

Truthfully, it was a beautiful morning, birds chirping, sun gently brightening the sky, no one outside except me.  Would have been a perfect zen moment, except for the fact that I was dreading my first day of speed drills.

Plan:  At least one 60 second "blast" in each mile of today's 5K, dropping back to a recovery pace, without stopping.  Mission accomplished.  And, I have to say, immediately after the run I felt pretty good.

According to my trusty Garmin Forerunner the entire run was 27:50...only 30ish seconds off my last 5K race...which surprised me.  I expected to be slower overall figuring the burst of not-quite-lightening-fast speed would be overcome by the pretending-I'm-running-when-I'm-actually-shuffling recovery pace.

No next day aches or strains, which I take as a good sign.  Conventional wisdom says ease into speed drills, so no more until Monday or sometime next week.

So far, so good...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hitting Goals By Accident

OK...if you read my July 4th post, you know I set a goal and missed it for my most recent 5K.  I even told people before the run that I wanted to finish in less than 27 mins...and I don't usually share before.  All in all, not the most motivating thing I've ever done, but not the end of the world either.

Well today I went outside for a run in a new place...I had walked the route a couple of days ago to make sure I could get 3+ miles out of it.  I got up early, it was gorgeous outside, and I ran.

I didn't check my pace,  instead I just ran for the feel good pleasure of running.  Some inclines - nothing too heinous.  Some other runners and bikers - but no need to weave or adjust.

Just me, my sneakers, some music and a good mood...resulting in a one minute improvement and one of my best 5Ks in about 15 years!

June 23rd 5K - 27:04
July 4th 5K - 27:23
Today's No Pressure 5K - 26:22

Image Source:  One Step at a Time blog

Have no idea why really, so the only take away for me is this:

Set goals, but don't worry if you miss them, there's always next time.

So, until next time...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Run For Freedom 5K or I Feel The Need For Speed!

Full Disclosure - I'm kind of a lazy runner.  I hate breathing hard and I don't like it when my muscles start to scream.

I ran my first 5K race (in a while) last week and got very close to my goal of 27 mins. What this tells me is if I had pushed a little harder, I could have achieved that benchmark.

Today - Happy Independence Day, by the way! - I ran another 5K, fully intending to bring it in under 27 mins.  My official time was 27:23...20 seconds SLOWER...and I have to say I'm pretty disappointed.  I had to do some serious weaving at the beginning and all the racing strategy articles tell you not to do that because it wastes energy.  But I gambled that it was worth it because 5Ks don't leave a lot of time to stretch out the pack and fall into your pace group.

Let's compare the two races:
  • Today's race had long gentle inclines, my last race had over a mile of fairly challenging hills
  • This race had great weather, my last race had a huge downpour for at least the last 2 miles
  • This race had ice cream at the end, my last race just had bananas
Looking at this data objectively, you would reasonably conclude that today's race would have been much better.  What happened?  Not really sure...but here's the worst part...I felt like I was running harder.

Honestly, some days I feel like this guy...
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But the reality is that feeling speedy and clocking fast(er) times are not the same thing. Obviously the faster times are not going to happen without some work on my part...some hard breathing, and some muscles aching.

So, I found this article on speed drills (which I hate) and have decided that it is time.

The article says adding even one speed drill per week is going to make a difference. Speed drills are not rocket science, but I encourage you to read the article for some good tips.  The basic plan is to run fast, then run at a recovery pace - alternating until you've gone as far as you planned for that day.  

Pre-loading my excuse here, but I do have a crazy schedule coming up for the next couple weeks that will make it a challenge to just get my runs in...but if I want to get better, I have to work harder.  

I'll let you know how it goes...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Should You Join a Run Club?

YES!!  That being said, I'm not going to lie...initially the thought of joining a group of "serious" runners was a little daunting.  What if they run farther?  Or faster?  Well, it happens, but that is no reason to miss out on a great motivator and accountability tool for your training.

I joined my running club about 3 months ago, long before I was comfortable calling myself a runner.  I was lucky enough to be introduced my group by a friend.  Some people do run farther and many run faster than I do.  But that's not the primary focus of this group.  The run starts and ends at a sports bar, so the social aspect is just as important as the running part.  It's a well organized club, the people are great and it fits my running schedule...what's not to love?  I've made some new friends, look forward to 3 miles every week, and have expanded my non-running social circle as well.

If you don't know anyone in a run club, they are fairly easy to find. is a great resource for local groups of any interest level.  Just looked and there are a ton of running groups in my area, of all different flavors.  

Running moms with young kids? Check.  Running for beer? Got that too.  Even readers run as you can see to the left. Going out of town, but still want to find a group?  No problem...although I think I'll be busy doing other things should I find myself in Paris!

Your local gym is another good place to look for a group (even if you don't belong), and an even better place is your local running store.  Another possibility is race coordinators, some, like Zooma, organize training groups specific to their event. Not only do you get to train with a group, you may find a race day buddy as well.

So, clearly I'm a fan of the concept.  However, not all running groups are created equal, and I did have a bad experience with a local club.  They advertised their Thurs night run as an "All Level Fun Run", so I showed up to give it a try.  Apparently "all level" means anyone who runs an 8:00 pace or better, and "fun run" means 7 miles. Not what I was looking for at all.  Nice enough people, just not the group for me.

If you don't find what you're looking for...create your own club.  Get a couple friends to commit to a regular time and run the way that works for you.  Who knows?  You may be just the motivation a friend was looking for to develop a healthier lifestyle or take his or her running to the next level...and that's a very cool thing...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Following the Schedule

If you are training, especially for a new distance, it's important to have a plan.    

There are approximately one zillion plans available for free on the internet.  For those who are just starting out...Couch to 5K.  For those who have been running, but want to step it up a notch...say to a 10K.  Here's where I started when I wanted to do a Half Marathon.  And here's where I found a basic plan.

That being said, rigid adherence to the plan may not be the best approach.  There are many reasons to injury being the most obvious.  Real life is another...sometimes schedules have to adjust to working late or attending school functions or vacations.  Less obvious may be the "wasn't really feeling it" reason.

Today was supposed to be a 7 miler for me.  Why? Because that's what my schedule said.  Went home, got changed, geared up for the longish run, drove out to the lake.

And after all that...I ran 4 miles.  It wasn't an issue of being tired, or fueling or having the right music.  I just wasn't really feeling it today.  It was humid, but not too hot.  I know I could have done it, but didn't.

So, now what?  Beat myself up for not running 7 miles?  Absolutely not.  I ran today and that's a good thing. I can get back on track this weekend.  I have plenty of time until my next Half.  And most importantly, I don't want to make running a miserable experience.  After all, we encounter bad run days all on their own.

For this run, I'll just ignore the schedule, celebrate that I did 4 miles, and call it a good day.
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Run for the Rainforest 5K

Emphasis on "rain".  Today was my first official 5K in about four years.  It was for a good cause, not too expensive, the weather was about 70 degrees, and I was meeting some friends there...seemed like a good idea.

It was humid, but not hot, and a little breezy, so felt like it would be a good run.  My goal was 27:00, which is about 8:45 per mile.  I was also hoping for negative splits.

What I ended up with was rain starting after the first mile and getting progressively heavier.  I was completely soaked by the time I got to the hills.  Yes, hills...from just before mile 2 through mile 3.

I didn't know if I could maintain a sub-9 min pace, but I did!  I finished the race at 27:04. Started out a little too fast (8:04), then each mile got slower.  But still, I'm happy with the results.

This is our group, pre-torrential downpour...that's me top right...

Sometimes it's seems like I'm doing this race thing first Half in May, my first 10K in Jun, this 5K in Jun and another in July...but it's working for me.  If I had done it in reverse, I would have run the risk of psyching myself out if one of my races went badly.  If today's 5K was horrible, I'd know it it was just a bad run...instead of thinking that distance is too challenging, and potentially impacting my mental readiness for the next distance.

Admittedly, I did do some shorter races before the Half, a 4 miler in March, then an 8K in April (about 5 miles), but there is a certain confidence going into a short race knowing you've already conquered longer runs.

Friday, June 21, 2013

You don't have to be Barefoot to Barefoot Run

It's pretty apparent that my focus on distance running since January has slowed my transition to barefoot running, but I'm still moving toward that goal.  Good thing, or I'd have to change the name of my blog.

My current running shoes, Saucony Kinvara 3s, are a transition shoe.  They have a padded heel, but the drop (i.e. difference in height) from heel to toe is only 4mm, which there's not a ton of padding in the heel.  Spoke to a Saucony Rep and the Kinvara 4s maintain the same drop, while improving the durability of the padding in the heel.  The shoe is light and the toe box does not constrict at all, making it very easy to run barefoot style.

The vast majority of my training runs have included some time running barefoot style. However, I can't emphasize this enough, it's not just about the kind of shoe.  It's also about where you land on your foot and stride...

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Some runners use a "run for a while, walk for a little" style for the specific purpose of giving their running muscles a break.  This is supposed to ensure that the runner can continue for the distance of the race.  It may be as simple as walking through the water breaks.

I think that moving back and forth between the barefoot and traditional style might accomplish the same goal.  I previously posted a graphic showing which muscles are doing the work when running barefoot and in a more padded shoe.

With a transition shoe, I believe you can run farther if you move between the two styles as you notice your muscles fatiguing.

Today was an 8 mile day...the first one since the Half in May.  No stops, and  I maintained a reasonable pace of about 10:15 per mile (1:22:03 total run time).  I'm guessing that about a mile of that was done barefoot style.  But I am certain that giving my quads a rest by periodically running barefoot style definitely helped me go the distance.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weight Gain and Running

I'm not an expert in anything weight loss related.  I keep an eye on what I eat, but there have been times when the number on my scale did not make me happy.  To drop the pounds I generally cut calories (Step 1 - NO french fries with lunch!).  Then when I plateaued, as always happens after a quick 5 lb or so loss, I would start working out again.

I haven't tried South Beach or Atkins or Zone.  However, I have paid (too much!) for low calorie meals that were delivered to a gym near my house.  Expensive, but tasty real food that worked for a 10 lb weight loss, but the biggest draw back was that I had to eat dinner at home 5 days a week!  Sometimes I prefer to go when I had to start tossing meals, I dropped the plan.  When I went back to my regular eating, I gained a few pounds back.  This should be no surprise to anyone and is the primary reason diets don't work.  Unless you are changing your eating habits FOR LIFE, you will end up going back to where you started.

My solution (mentioned in past posts) is "clean eating".  By that I mean staying away from processed foods.  Eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies, organic when it makes sense like with strawberries and cauliflower and not when it doesn't (things that get peeled before you eat them).  I also eat protein - chicken, pork, beef and some carbs, but I don't eat gluten...wheat, barley, or rye.  The no wheat thing is the hardest part, it's in everything! Sauces, pasta, thick soups, beer, meatballs...everything.  After over a year of this, I can tell you, it's definitely worth the effort.  However, that is not the point of this post.

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When I began my Half marathon running journey in January, I was at my Happy Weight (what I weighed in High School).  I assumed that by the time the race came around I would be super lean and lose at least 5 lbs.  It was four months of drastically increased running, how could I not lose weight?

I'll tell you how.  Running makes you hungry...all the time!  Not "oh, I guess I could eat" hungry.  Ravenously in, if I don't eat something right now, my stomach is going to eat a hole in itself and may go on to bore a hole through the earth!  So, I rather quickly gained 5 lbs, much to my annoyance.  Muscle?  Maybe...I was lean and my measurements didn't change, but the number on my scale was going up and that concerned me...just a little...

Image Source:  Woman Around Town blog

Now here it is about a month after my Half.  I am still running, but 1 - 3 times per week instead of 3 times with increasing mileage every week.  Got on the scale last week and to my surprise, the extra 5 pounds were gone...along with one bonus pound.

I worked out less and lost weight?!  How is that possible?  Easy, I lost the "in training" hunger, and am still eating "clean".  Without really noticing, I just started eating less.

So, my non-scientific conclusion is...*drum roll* ...your body needs extra calories when you're training!  Your stomach will get them (and you thought your brain was in charge...) and will store them for later use (like during your race).  But here's the important part...that's perfectly OK.

Don't deny yourself.  Plan for those moments when you're so hungry that you are eyeing small children in the parking lot.  Have healthy snacks on you, and in your desk drawer at the office, and in your fridge at home.  And don't worry about a few pounds on the scale.

I think in this case, your body probably knows what it's doing.  Keep an eye on the quality of the fuel you're providing your body...and just run with it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Still Running, Just Not Posting!

A couple of Half Marathon pics courtesy of my friend, Janice.  The head wrap was a last minute addition to my run gear.  Probably won't make that mistake again...but it did stay on and controlled my desperately-trying-to-revert-back-to-curly hair (due to the early morning drizzle).

Looking so serious...                                              Happy to be done!

Just ran my first 10K on June 1st (Sat)...that one turned out to be closer to 6 miles even due to a race snafu that shortened the course by .2 or .25...  But, my trusty Garmin says I ran 6 miles, and my official race pace was 9:37 per mile. VERY happy with that.  Even  happier that I didn't run it in the brace (cleared that with my foot doc first!)

Here's a picture of the bling I received at the end of the race...not as substantial as the Half Marathon medal, but a little more daily wear friendly.

Have also incorporated 1 mile of barefoot style running in all my training runs since the Half.  Feeling some familiar aches, so stretching and icing and massaging, and staying at 1 mile...for the moment...

My next scheduled race is a Half in Sept, pretty sure I'll have to find another before that. And I plan to work on my speed, and work on increasing my barefoot running distance, and find a good running skirt...and... and ...the list goes on.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Half Marathon? Check!

I planned for it, I trained for it, I ran  It was early and drizzly and humid, but absolutely worth the effort of the previous four months!

As of this afternoon, I feel great.  No ankle issues, no blister issues, no pain issues of any kind...but will definitely be stretching before I go to bed tonight!

Mile 5 was my fastest - 9:07.  Mile 11 was my slowest - my defense that is where Janice and I encountered the dreaded Hospital Hill.  On average my running pace was 11:57.  We missed our goal of 2 hours 30ish minutes, but it was great just to know that I could do it.

Hopefully more pictures soon....

Next up - My first 10K race (a little over 6 miles).  

After that, back to increasing my distance in my Brooks PureConnects.  I saw enough runners in Vibrams, to remind me barefoot running is my ultimate goal.  I really want to be able to run any distance I choose in a minimalist way that is easier on my joints and supposed to be more efficient for my body.

Life is good!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I Can't Wait!!!

Tomorrow is the big day.  I've got a busy Saturday, then I'm headed down to meet Janice tonight.  Getting up at some ridiculous hour to get to the race and then will done with my first Half by 10:00 or so!!!

My last two runs this week were...well, different.

Tues with my Run Club was wonderful....easy three miles with a speedy (for me) 9:30 pace for the last 2 miles.  Yes, I'm supposed to be taking it easy, but it felt amazing.

Thurs was less than smile inducing.  I signed up for a "All Levels Fun Run" with a new (to me) Run Club.  Didn't get my GPS to locate a satellite, so have no accurate idea of distance or time.  Was one of the slowest runners in the group and was planning to go the shortest distance (3 miles).

The leader paired me with a couple of slower runners, which was great.  We ran, we chatted, I struggled to make my iPod work (don't ask).  They led me to the turn around point...and left me.  That was a surprise, so I wasn't 100% sure how to get back.  Got off the trail at the wrong point, no phone, no GPS, but was pretty sure I had run about 3 miles.

Land navigation is not my strong point, but another 10-12 mins of mostly running in what I hoped was the right direction got me back to the starting point, but by that time I was kind of pissed, so I left.  I should have just done a 3-miler at home...

Shaking it off, because there are more important things to think about.  Like taking a moment in remembrance of the tragedy that happened to the Boston Marathoners and spectators.  Like knowing I am about to accomplish something I thought was impossible (and/or crazy) for most of my running life.  Like being a role model for my in you're never too old to take on a challenge.

Image Source:  Google Images (uncredited)

Right now, I'm up and packing for the race!  I'm excited and nervous and excited!! Hoping I don't forget anything too important and knowing that no matter what, as of tomorrow, I will be a "Half Marathoner"

And yes, that 13.1 magnet is definitely going on my car.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Half Marathon Attire

What does one wear to run a half marathon?  I'm a week out and I still haven't decided.  In theory, I'm supposed to have worked that out by the time I started my long runs...but sort of got off the training schedule after 8 miles.  Stupid tendons...

There are some obvious necessities - a sports bra, socks and sneakers, and I do have all of those picked out.  But as I peruse other runner's photos, looks like I have a pretty wide variety of options (all found on Google Images and not copyrighted as far as I can tell!).

1) Tinkerbell

2) A breast...hmmm, not the look I'm going for...
3)  Red Solo Cup

None of these look particularly aerodynamic...or even comfy for that matter.  I'll have to go with something more traditional.

New running shorts and a cute top...and maybe a hat, and...and...and..!  Yup, this is my favorite part of a new work out challenge, finding the right look.  Sad, but true.

Despite my pending fashion decisions, I manage to get in my last long(ish) run for this race.  And it was good.  Six comfortable miles at a pace I like, no effort to finish at all.

Next week will be a couple of 2 or 3 milers...and then RACE DAY!!!!!  Wish me luck!

Half Marathon Training Progress Report -
  • 6 mile run (10:37 pace)
    • .5 mile barefoot style
  • .25 mile walk
Total Distance - 6.25 miles
Total Time - 1:08:43

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Good Runs Make Everything Better

Work today was a challenge.  But all the irritation faded away as soon as I began to run.  Just ahhhhhhhh....melted away...and that, more than anything else, is the point of running.

I started training about sixteen weeks ago and now I am counting down to the Half! Twelve days to go, although this is not nearly as momentous as counting down the the end of the world, it is still exhilarating!

Image Source:

Yesterday I went to knock out 3 miles with my running club.  I started at a comfortable pace (10:30 pace) and ran the hills (had walked the last couple of times per doc's orders). Miles 2 and 3 were just under 11 mins, but was taking it easy and chatting with my running mates.  The hills felt effortless and I added an extra mile at the end...faster than usual (9:35 pace).  The best part is I really wasn't pushing, it felt great!

Every run like this makes me feel like the Half is going to be cake.  It won't be, but I feel like it will and that mental readiness is essential to this run.

Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Tues) -
  • 4 mile run (10:26 pace)
    • About half a mile done barefoot style
    • Last mile faster than normal
  • 2 min walk
Total Distance - 4.06 miles
    Total Time - 44:22

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    8 Miles...Is It Enough?

    Honestly, I have no idea.  If you remember, in April my last 8 mile run led to a visit with the foot doc and took me off my training program for three weeks.  So I was rather nervous about attempting this distance again...even with a brace.

    Very happy to report that on Sunday I ran eight continuous miles at a slow, but reasonable pace...with hills.  There was an awareness of my tendon last night and today, but no swelling or pain.  I iced last night and stretched really well this a.m.  I'm also taking doc prescribed anti-inflammatories.

    Fueling wasn't quite what I had hoped.  I had water with me and a few Honey Stingers, but even with that the last half mile was a bit of a challenge.  The recommended amount for Honey Stingers is 5 - 10 per hour.  I ate one at the the 2 mile mark, another at the 3 mile mark, and a third at the 5 mile was surprised when 7.5 miles hit and I had to talk myself into running the last half mile.  Clearly, more work to be done in the fueling arena.
    Image Source:

    By the way, I like the Nativas Naturals Power Snacks, but they are a little dense for carrying and eating without water.  So, I keep them in my desk drawer to fend off the hungry horrors just before lunch and late afternoon...I like the Citrus Chia the best.

    Next step, talk to Janice who just completed the Pittsburgh Half Marathon this weekend. Discussing her race strategy will give me a better idea of if I've done enough...if I'm up to the challenge.  Wish me luck!

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Sunday) -
    • .20 mile walk
    • 8 mile run (11:07 pace)
    • .87 mile walk
    Total Distance - 9.07 miles
    Total Time - 1:50:37

    Saturday, May 4, 2013

    Hills!!! Well, Sort Of...

    Thursday was my follow up with my foot doc.  She was pleased with the progress I pain or swelling issues after the 5 mile race last weekend.  So, she gave me permission to start running hills again.  Never thought I'd be so excited about exerting more effort...

    The plan was a couple of loops around Burke Lake, the reality was time to get back on the treadmill...sigh... The good news is I wasn't wearing crazy sneakers like the lady below! Still loving my Saucony Kinvaras.

    Image Source:  Healing Feet blog

    The good part about the treadmill is you can control your pace.  I know I should be running negative splits...i.e., starting out with a relaxed pace and running faster as I go.  So that's what I forced myself to do today, started out at a 12 min mile and ended with a 10 min mile pace.  Added in two "hills" - an incline of 5 - for half a mile each and called it a good day.

    Very alert to the possibility of overdoing it.  I could have gone 8 miles, but felt some mild strain in the tendon I've been having problems the 7 miles I did (without stopping) was just fine for today.  Followed by ibuprofen and ice, of course.

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Thurs) -
    • .25 mile walk
    • 2 mile run (12:00 pace)
      • .5 miles barefoot run (forefoot strike)
    • .5 mile "hill" (12:00 pace) - barefoot style
    • 2 mile run (10:54 pace)
    • .5 mile "hill" (10:54 pace) - barefoot style
    • 2 mile run (10:00 pace)
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 7.5 miles
    Total Time - 1:26:32

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    Can Iron Supplements Really Make a Difference?

    I get annual physicals for my job and my blood test have always shown I am on the low side of normal for my red blood cell count.  Last year and this year, I dipped below "Low normal" to "anemic" according to two different docs.

    Typical signs of anemia are paleness (yup, but that's normal for me), being tired (who isn't?) and low blood pressure (uh, yes...noticeable drop in the last year).  Ordinarily, low blood pressure is a good thing, but this caused my doctor to test my blood.

    Image Source:

    I took iron supplements for a while last year and didn't really notice any difference, so stopped and forgot to go back for a follow up test.  This year, my doc suggested supplements and re-testing in July.  And I am on it.

    I really think it made a difference this time.  About three weeks ago, I was struggling with a 3 mile run.  Two weeks of iron supplements later, I had a very easy 5 mile run.  My average pace wasn't great (10:51), but I was consciously taking it easy to baby my left foot/ankle. But the point is, I felt good throughout the race.

    Today I ran a very comfortable 3 mile race at about a 10:23 pace (that included walking up the hills per foot doctor's orders).  Better, and I definitely had more gas in the tank at the end.  Could be a coincidence, but I don't think so.  Sometimes doctors actually know what they're talking about...

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report -
    • 3 mile run (10:23 pace)
    Total Distance - 3 miles
    Total Time - 31:09

    Monday, April 29, 2013

    Rockstar 8K

    Okay, I have been avoiding blogging because I'm injured and am off my training schedule...way off.  My Half is in 3 weeks and I'm more than a little nervous.

    Results of my Doc appt - tendonitis (as expected) and, if that wasn't enough, shin splints.
    • Good news - The Doc didn't tell me to change my shoes or quit training
    • Bad news - Wearing an ugly ankle brace and not allowed to run hills
    • Worse news - The Half is a hilly race with a pretty major hill toward the end
    • Good news - Cutting back on running seems to have helped
    • Bad news - I've been off my program for three weeks and my longest continuous run, as of today, is 6 miles...
    • Good news - After the race I won a 60-min massage!
    • Best news - This felt like an easy run

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (a week ago Tues) -
    • 3 mile run/walking all hills (11:20 pace)
    Total Distance - 3 miles
    Total Time - 34:03

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Yesterday)
    • 5 mile run (10:51 avg pace)
    Total Distance - 5 miles
    Total Time - 54:23

    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Tragedy at the Boston Marathon

    As I write this the consensus is that two bombs exploded today near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the two dead and 22 injured.  I suppose we could be thankful that "only" two people were killed, but I doubt their families feel that way.
    Image Source:

    Whether this was an act by someone affiliated with al Qaida or another group or even domestic terrorism...what could possibly be the point of murdering innocent people? It's the country's oldest outdoor sporting event run by both elite athletes and regular people.  Shame on America because we love to run?

    If there is a political message here, it is stupid, and I am not impressed.  Building bombs...not hard.  Placing bombs in a huge crowd out in a very public place...not hard. Being cowards...not hard.

    Here are some examples of hard things - Creating positive change in the world. Standing up for your beliefs and changing people's minds with facts and reasoning. Raising a family that will contribute to society.  Being a role model for your community. Helping others.  Those acts are impressive and have impact and can change the world.

    Terrorists are disgusting, sniveling, impotent cowards.  The men and women who helped the wounded and dying today - they are heroes and deserving of our respect and our nation's attention.  Not just the police and firefighters (but definitely including them), I'm talking about each and every person who lent a hand or moved some wreckage or just helped someone to the medical tent.  I'm thankful for them, and I celebrate them, and when I think back on this day, I will remember the heroes.

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    Only Six Weeks Until the Big Day

    But I have to make it past Friday first.  I did something to my foot...the left one...the one that was falling asleep...on the treadmill...and then off.  Not good.

    Swollen ankle after Sunday's run.  Sore tendon (I think) on the top of my foot, that area is swollen too.  Right where my foot meets the front of my ankle, labeled "superior extensor retinaculum" in the graphic below.  Feels fine to wear heels, but I can feel the tendon(s) pulling when I'm barefoot.

    My self diagnosis, courtesy of the online Sports Injury Clinic is Extensor Tendonitis.  Has nothing to do with the lacing of my I have been adjusting that and ensuring that my laces have been loose.  May have a lot to do with my training course, with varying inclines and declines.  Adding hills to your run can bring on this condition, but I need to run hills because the Historic Half has a few and one is a killer!  

    Also blamed for this condition is overdoing barefoot style running...that's not me!  I swear!!! Yes, I'm still working on it - but I'm only up to a mile!  I will admit that I attack any hill on the balls of my feet...I always have.  I still think it's less than a mile total, even for Sunday's 8 mile run/walk.

    The general consensus regarding the treatment is Rest, Ice, and Proper shoes.

    Rest - Haven't run since Sunday, but still have to walk around...

    Ice - Have been icing the top of my foot and ankle every night this week.  May add some ibuprofen in tomorrow.

    Proper shoes - No idea, really.

    I have already made an appointment (Friday) with my foot doc for a professional opinion. Hopefully she'll tell me something like, "Just take a week off and buy [insert brand] running shoes."  Not running a step until then.  Wish me luck...

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report -
    • Trying not to aggravate the issue

    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    Fueling...It's Time

    Up until today, all of my runs, have been without additional fuel.  My treadmill runs would have some water, but my outdoor runs did not.  I know I will need some fuel to make it through the Half, but have no idea what kind, when to start, how often, etc.
    Image Source:  Run and Become website

    Trolling the web for info and it looks like I should have started already.  Today's run was 8 miles, with a tiny water break in the middle...not enough.

    According to Runner's World writer, Sarah Bowen Shea, I should be fueling for any run that is over 75 mins.  And according to marathon coach, Jason Fitzgerald, I should be fueling every 30 mins after that. He recommends gels or chews with water, or even just sports drinks (for Halfs and shorter), but not both.

    But I'm eating clean so the chemicals and general non-naturalness (it's a of performance "food" concerns me a bit.  But thanks to my friend, Janice, I may have a solution for that.  She recommended this Natural Race Food article from

    The author suggests:
    • Dates
    • Coconut water
    • Pureed fruits/veggies
    • Sunflower seed butter
    • Frozen grapes
    • Homemade honey/molasses "gel"
    • Watermelon dipped in salt
    • Dehydrated fruit
    • Honey
    • Navitas Power Snacks
    Some of these seem a little messy and/or inconvenient, so I just ordered 2 different flavors of the Power Snacks.
     Image Source:

    The Blueberry Hemp was sold out.  Probably a good thing since my job does random drug testing.  Wouldn't that be fun to try and explain?

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report
    • About .25 mile walk
    • 8 mile Run/Walk (12:44 pace...hence the focus on fuel today)
    • .75 mile walk
    Total Distance - About 9 miles
    Total Run Time - 1:41:55
    Total Time - About 2 hours

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    Another Tough Run

    Except that it really wasn't that hard...3 miles, outdoors, and a route that I've completed easily 3 times before this.  I'm running into a bit of a wall and not sure what to do about it.

    Could be I'm not fueling properly (banana and iced coffee two hours before the run), could be that time of the month, could be dehydration, could be a million stupid and ultimately inconsequential things.

    For now I will just celebrate that I did my run, in spite of the planets clearly being aligned against me - electrical issue at the house, crazy traffic (No, it is NOT OK to go below the speed limit in the fast lane!), forgetting my badge (impacting not just parking, but office access and my ability to get on my computer) and the list goes on.

    Oh, and I will be happy that my feet did not fall asleep...tied my laces a little differently today, but still need to test that out on a long run.  Ultimately, bad run(s) or not...I'm still on track for the Half.

    Half Training Progress Report
    • 3 mile run
    Total Distance - 3 miles (11:15 pace)
    Total Time - 32:57

    Sunday, March 31, 2013

    Danger - Social Butterflying and Half Training Do Not Mix!

    It has been almost a week since my last post, because well, I've been out and about enjoying the company of friends. Doesn't sound like a bad thing, right?  In a completely unrelated set of circumstances, I missed one of my runs this week and did my long run today, instead of Saturday.

    Image Source:

    OK, maybe the two issues were related...missing my 5 mile midweek run didn't seem so bad until I tried to run today.  The result was 7 ugly miles at a slower than I want to think about pace...that had a lot to do with 60-90 sec walk breaks starting after mile 3.  Yes, I know I can run 4 and even 6 miles without stopping.  Yes, aerobically it was fine.  The sad truth is my legs were dead today, which I attribute to the skipped run.  Not sure if that really makes sense, but that's how it felt.

    On the good news side of things, the run was completely outdoors!  Varying terrain and mixed running surfaces and wind, so it was a much better training day than any day on the treadmill.

    Also ran into a numb foot issue again, primarily with my left foot.  Will try lacing a little differently for the next run...more on that later.

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Tues) -
    Note - Run Club day, with GPS operator error...
    • Ran about 3 miles
    Total Distance - about 3 miles
    Total Time - about 32 mins

    Barefoot Progress Report (Thurs) -
    • .25 mile walk
    • 1 mile run (10:00 pace)
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 1.5 miles
    Total Time - 19:17

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Today) - 
    • 5 min walk
    • 7 mile run (12:04 pace)
    • .5 mile walk
    Total Distance - about 7.75 miles
    Total Run Time - 1:24:29
    Total Time - 1:38:48

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Numb Foot? Weird...

    Saturday's run was indoors due to chilly weather (defined as anything below 42-degrees).  It was another good run and my first 2 mile jump in the Long Run!

    The strange thing was as I hit mile 4, it started to feel like my left foot was falling asleep.  I tried to alter my gait a bit, but that's kind of difficult on the treadmill.  A little later my lower left calf started to feel the same way...sort of numb, but tingly at the same time.  It wasn't a major issue, just odd.  It cleared up almost immediately when I moved to a barefoot running stride (forefoot strike) for the last .75 miles of my run.  Did I mention it was 6 WHOLE MILES...without stopping?!?!?!

    There is, of course, a whole host of medical things that could cause this - vascular problems, flat foot problems, the ankle equivalent of carpal tunnel syndrome, tight calves issues.  But I'm not ready to run to the doc quite yet.  Some articles say the falling asleep sensation is a common issue for treadmill running.  I imagine that is more likely when the pace and elevation don't really change, which is the way I run indoors.  Other articles say it's not too common, but don't advise an immediate doctor's visit either.  It could be as simple as me tying my sneakers too tight.  Maybe a good foot massage will help...mmmmm...feel better already...
    Image Source:

    So for now, content to just try it again and see what happens during the next indoor run.

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Saturday) -
    • .25 mile walk
    • 6 mile run (10:30 pace)
      • .75 mile barefoot run
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 6.5 miles
    Total Time - 1:12:00

    Note - When my treadmill rolls over to hours and minutes, it no longer has room to track the seconds.

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Today Was A Good Day

    No particular reason...a couple of meetings at work, but they went well.  Lunch out of the office (a rarity) to get caught up with a friend.  A productive, but not insanely busy afternoon...broken up by the occasional text from my lovely daughter and my favorite guy.  Crossed some things off my To Do List, treated myself to some Skittles (definitely not part of my clean eating regimen).  Can't quite put my finger on it, but it all worked.

    Was curious (read: hesitant) about today's 4 mile run.  It was too cold and windy to think about doing it down to the basement I went, and I began to run.  And it was good.  Not my fastest or my farthest run in this training cycle, but just good.  It was my first 4-miler with no stops.  I did have have to slow down a bit during mile 3, but ended with my usual 10 min/mile pace.
    Image Source:  Nurse On The Run blog

    Now I'm sitting on my couch, with Rex the Wonder Dog curled up by my feet and all I can come up with is good...

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report -
    • .25 mile walk
    • 4 mile run (10:20 pace)
      • 1 mile barefoot run
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 4.5 miles
    Total Time - 50:33

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Training While Sick

    I have been feeling sick for about a week now...I won't get into the details, just not myself, exhausted and food has not been my friend.  I skipped yesterday's optional barefoot run, but I did manage to get both my "required" training runs in, Saturday and today.

    Despite feeling not up to par, both my runs had acceptable times.  Sadly, I can only conclude that I am sandbagging when I feel healthy, i.e., not really running to my capability. Not sure what I should do about that...I could intensify my training - pick up the pace in general, start adding speed work (intervals), and resist the walk breaks that I am generally fond of during anything over 3 miles.

    I weighed the Pros and Cons and decided I'm not going to work any harder.  I have a training plan that will accomplish my goal for this keep a (slightly slower) friend company and finish the race.  If I start training harder, I run the risk of injury.  I also run the risk of frustration...thinking I could have run the race faster.  So, the game plan is to just focus on the distance and a training pace between 10:00 and 10:45.

    In June I can plan for the next Half - assuming that sounds like a good idea when I've actually done one!  If that's the case, I can train a little harder and see what I have to offer the Half Marathon gods.

    As far as this past week went, this is how I felt...
    Image Source:

    But this is what I did...

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Saturday) -
    • 4.5 mile run (10:43 pace)
    Total Distance - 4.5 miles, plus unmeasured cool down
    Total Run Time - 47:57

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Today) - 
    • 2.9 mile run (10:32 pace)
    • .1 mile walk
    Total Distance - 3 miles
    Total Run Time - 30:46

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Minutes and Seconds Are Not Always Minutes and Seconds...

    I have been using what I thought was old fashioned, but correct, notation for minutes and seconds on this blog, and pretty much for my entire time-telling life.  Just found out I have been completely wrong.

    Apparently, there are two situations in which 10'30" is correctly read as "ten minutes and thirty seconds."  Specifically:
              1) When you are measuring angles, and
              2) When you are indicating latitude/longitude (which is technically measuring angles).

    The most "famous" use of this notation is not by any mathematician or global explorer, it's by Angelina Jolie as seen below...

    Image Source:

    Angelina used the 10'30" style notation to mark the locations of her children's births (or where they entered her life, I've seen it described both ways).  So, there you have it - purely positional and nothing to do with time.  Who knew?

    Well, I'm way too lazy to go back and change all my previous posts, but moving forward I will use the correct notation of 10:30.  Proving that you are never too old to learn new things (or unlearn wrong things)!

    On a training note, I ran today and had a less than great run because I've been sick.  I had to slow down twice (no stops), but I still did it.  It clearly impacted my time, but not stopping is more important to my mental training than my speed right now.

    Moving right along...and now that song is once again stuck in my head.  Still, you have to admit there are worse things!

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report -
    • .25 mile walk
    • 3.5 mile run (10:23 pace)
      • 1 mile barefoot run
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 4 miles
    Total Time - 45:37

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Technologically Challenged

    I freely admit it, but not sure today's issue was completely my fault.  Today was my first day with a running club.  We gathered, we ran what was advertised as a 5k distance, and we socialized afterwards.  Fun and friendly people, so I will definitely go again.

    The challenge comes in when I try to see how well I did today.  My Garmin tells me I ran 4.3 miles.  Would be very impressed with myself if that were even close to being true.  Sadly, when I mapped it, the starting point for this run was way off...about a mile...

    Image Source: blog

    So with clearly faulty data, the best I can guess is that I ran about 3 miles in about 30 mins, which is my training pace, so that's a positive.  I did stop twice...once when I thought I had hit the 3 mile mark, and once to wait for a light change so I didn't become roadkill.

    Another positive is that I transitioned back and forth between traditional running and barefoot style running.  I have to say, it is very hard to move back to traditional running after I give my quads a break with the forefoot strike.  I had to make the effort to ensure I didn't overdo the barefoot running this week, so all in all I maybe ran half a mile that way.

    My goal hasn't changed.  In time I will run exclusively barefoot style and eventually get back to my Vibrams.  Until then, I have to be very careful not to overdo it.  I cannot afford an injury until I complete the Half in May.

    Barefoot Progress Report (Monday) -
    • .25 mile walk
    • 1 mile run (10'00" pace)
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 1.5 miles
    Total Time - 19'18"

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Today) -
    • Ran about 3 miles (about a 10'00" pace)
    Total Distance - Not really sure
    Total Time - About 30 mins

    Saturday, March 9, 2013

    First Race!

    The 2013 Four Courts Four Miler is officially history.  My run was too fast in the first half (all downhill) and too slow in the second half (back uphill).  But my goal was to maintain a pace between 10'00 and 11'00 mins per mile and I did exactly that!

    For a minute or maybe two I wasn't sure this race was going to happen for me.  It was kind of a comedy of running partner (also my boyfriend) signed up for a different race accidentally, but, decided to run anyway to help pace me.  Then I was late getting there, because I cut it too close and the metro took FOREVER to show up.  Finally as I was rounding a corner, I bumped into a leprechaun, dropped my iPod (only 3 months old) and the screen shattered!  Those little guys are not so lucky.  Thankfully it still worked, because the thought of running the race without music did not make me happy.

    We actually started the race about 4 mins after everyone else (because I absolutely could not run without a bathroom stop).  My last mile was a challenge and too ugly to even share that split time with you.  It involved hills, too many quick walking breaks, and the determination to not let one particular woman cross the finish line in front of me...which she did not.

    We ended up having a fun "recovery" at the Four Courts Irish Pub and got my iPod fixed while we had lunch.  All in all a great morning.  Hitting today's milestone, especially after my horrible training run, makes me feel like the Half is definitely within reach.  As for this race, it was a lot of fun.  In fact, next year, I might dress up...we'll see...I am Irish after all!
    Image Source:  Swim Bike Run Photography

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report -
    • 4 mile run (10'34 pace)
    Total Distance - 4 miles
    Total Time - 42:13

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    My First Really Crappy Run

    Today I ran 3 miles...a distance I have run before with no problem.  Yet I really struggled to complete the last mile.  This was the first time I've changed the tempo of my run, and the first time I increased the tempo of my run to compensate, and the first time I really had to force myself to finish the prescribed training distance.

    Why?  Could be a thousand reasons.  I woke up with a migraine...but I took my meds and ran in the afternoon.  It's that time of month...but not a bad day.  I had a big lunch...but I waited just over 2 hours before I ran.  This week I increased the incline on my treadmill from 2% to 3%...but surely it's not that much harder.

    If I'm being brutally honest with myself, I think it's because my first Burke Lake run didn't go as well as I hoped.  I think I psyched myself out a little, because I have my first race in two days.

    My reading/research over this past year tells me that sometimes you just have a bad day.  I can accept that.  I wish it wasn't my last run before my race, but I can shake that off.  I did complete my 3 miles today.  I am still excited about the 4 mile race on Saturday...I just have to remind myself...
    Image Source: Elena Aitken's blog, Don't Forget to Breathe

    Bottom Line:  I ran.  I'm still on track for the Half marathon in May...and am now signed up for a 10K "Recovery" race a couple weeks after that.  Hugely optimistic that I won't be crippled after the Half!!!

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Monday) -
    • .25 mile walk
    • 2 mile run (10'00" pace)
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 2.5 miles
    Total Time - 29'18"

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Today)
    • .25 mile walk
    • 3 mile run (varied pace)
      • 1 mile barefoot (10'00" pace)
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 3.5 miles
    Total Time - 39'38" (blah)

    Sunday, March 3, 2013

    Great Article With Transition Tips

    This Running Times article is clearly meant for people who have been distance runners for a while, but has good body mechanics info that is useful for any level runner considering minimalist running.  This graphic demonstrates one of the exercises recommended in the article.

    Image Source:

    My Achilles tendon really gave me trouble last summer when I first attempted to barefoot fun in my Vibram KSOs (i.e., virtually no padding).  Plus, I didn't realize that as a female who routinely wears high heels to work, I needed to concentrate on lengthening the range of motion for that tendon, BEFORE I started to barefoot run.

    My Doc prescribed stretches work my calves, hamstrings and Achilles tendons, so doing them before and during transition attempt #2 has definitely made a difference.  Then again, so has changing to a shoe with some padding (4-mm drop) and slowing the increase in mileage.

    The Image Source link above contains some other stretches that would be helpful to the transition as they target the same areas.  Work them in early and often to help prevent strain later.

    Remember - What you can do aerobically is not a measure of what you can do physically with minimalist shoes!

    Barefoot Progress Report -
    • .25 mile walk
    • 1 mile run (10'00" pace)
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 1.5 miles
    Total Time - 19'17"