Showing posts with label running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label running. Show all posts

July 12, 2018

Berlin Marathon Training Recap #1 (Weeks 1-5)

My Fall Marathon Plans

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know that I've been training for the Berlin Marathon for the past 5 weeks. SURPRISE! 

I entered the lottery on a whim because I've never been to Germany, and my new bucket list item after running the Boston Marathon is to run all 6 of the World Marathon Majors (a series of 6 of the biggest and most "renowned" marathons in the world). Also spending days after a marathon drinking beer in Germany sounds fabulous. Yes, I've already been warned by multiple people that the beer the race has at the finish is non-alcoholic! To my surprise, I actually got picked via the lottery! 

For months it was this thing I might be doing, but once May hit I knew I had to start training soon so I either had to book flights and make it real or not. I planned on taking a big trip in celebration of graduating from my M.S. program so this is it, just a bit belated. I ended up booking flights and a couple hotel rooms in June, followed by having a panic attack that I rooms were already getting booked up and that I knew nothing about Germany. 

Committing to the race was stressful because of the unknown timeline of my passing my occupational therapy board exams and finding a full-time job (which I am still searching for). The job search along with some other things in my personal life have been extra anxiety-inducing lately, so I still feel like I'm not shouting it from the rooftops that I'm running the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Some travel plans are to be determined, so I may even be making the trip alone-which honestly scares me. 

I've already run the Chicago Marathon 3x, the Boston Marathon, and now tentatively the Berlin Marathon which would be 3 of the 6 World Marathon Majors. Also can we talk about how this will be my 7th marathon?!

world-marathon-majors-boston-2018-expo
2 down, 4 to go for the World Marathon Majors

I trained for the 2018 Boston Marathon conservatively out of fear of getting injured plus wanting to run it for fun. After the race, I took the time to recover and slowly get back into running in May. I am ready to have a full, more challenging training cycle for Berlin, but my race goals are still to be determined. I am following basically my training plan for the 2016 Chicago Marathon but am listening to my body and have been adding extra rest days as needed. #NeverNotScaredOfGettingInjured



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Berlin Marathon Training Weeks 1-5 Recap

While my mileage was already in the 30s by this time in the plan in 2016, for the past 5 weeks I have been hovering around 29-30 miles a week which is low to many but is okay for me right now. The past couple weeks have not been quality training weeks due to distractions, but I'm ready to take Week 6 of training and get back into. 

My plan basically has one full rest day, long run (a couple of which I've had to split into 2 runs with a short break in between due to my coaching groups, which is less than ideal), a tempo run, a speed or hills workout, and some easy runs and cross-training days including November Project-Baltimore at least once a week.


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I have been switching my runs and workouts around to fit my schedule but think I've been a little too easygoing the past few weeks and need to get into a stricter routine. The heat and humidity has also made many of my runs feel crummy. Two weeks ago when there was a heat wave (you know, real feel in the high 90s and 100 degrees) I had a 16 mile long run that ended particularly terribly and included multiple water stops including a stop at 711. I really felt out of it for most of the day afterwards. Heat exhaustion and dehydration is no joke, everyone. 

Despite the heat I really like marathon training in the summer better than the winter. It may be the comfort of having trained for all my marathons except Boston in the summer or the fact that I need to get my long runs out of the way in the AM due to the heat. It may just be despite terrible hazy temperatures and thick, humid air that your girl just loves warm weather over cold weather any day. 

Here is your daily reminder to go drink some water if like me sometimes you forget to keep your water bottle next to you and end up dehydrated. Also here's my reminder to continue to do my pre-run warm-ups, hip and glute resistance band exercises, as well as foam-roll religiously this training cycle. 


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After one of my awesome-feeling tempo runs!
In conclusion, I am definitely marathon training again and will be posting more regular training updates. 
Follow along on social media with my hashtag #breathedeeplyandrunberlin . I also seriously considered making my hashtag #willrunforpretzelsandbeer, because that is the truth. So let's call it the unofficial hashtag (and maybe of my life?). 

July 6, 2018

Things That Made Me Happy This Week #1

Hi, it's been a minute since I've typed a post. Honestly I've been going through a rough patch in life, and haven't felt like blogging and/or don't know what to blog about. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I'm  marathon training again (more on that in an upcoming post!). I'm switching things up as one does when things feel stale. Instead of Five Friday Favorites I'm changing this series to "Things That Made Me Happy This Week" inspired by a segment on one of my favorite podcasts Pop Culture Happy Hour on NPR. So despite the sad/mad/frustrating/blah in my life, here is what is making me happy this week: 


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1. Lake Street Dive's new album Free Yourself Up

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This is my favorite song on the album.
I have been obsessed with this album from Lake Street Dive, a band with a killer lead singer making a mix of pop, soul, and folk rock music. I was SO happy to get to see them at WTMD's free concert series First Thursdays at Canton Waterfront Park. Lake Street Dive put on an amazing performance! 

2. Ice cream and freezy treats

June 14, 2018

5 Reasons to Train with a Running Group {at Charm City Run}



This post was originally published on the Charm City Run blog. Head over there to check out more great blog posts talking about running shoes and gear, training tips, inspiration, and stories from the running community in Maryland.

With the arrival of summer, comes the start of training for fall race season. Training through a hot and humid summer in Baltimore takes guts, and some days it can be tough to get out the door for a run. Charm City Run offers many training groups throughout the summer from 5K to full marathon and beyond. In the age of the internet when anyone can google a training plan for any distance, I think that in-person training groups offer so much more than a plan. Here are 5 reasons why YOU should train with Charm City Run.


5 Reasons to Train with a Running Group {at Charm City Run}


1. ACCOUNTABILITY.

For some people, paying money for a group alone makes them more accountable to showing up and committing to the plan. It is also easier to get dressed and out of bed before 7:00am on a Saturday morning knowing you have a group of people waiting for you to run together. Aside from the sign-in sheet, everyone notices when someone hasn’t shown up to a workout. The group becomes a tribe or family of runners, especially with longer distance groups.

2. OTHER RUNNERS WILL PUSH YOU.

When running by yourself, it can be harder to push or pace yourself. Running with other people allows you to challenge yourself to finish tough workouts that may seem scary at the start. Running with people in your training group also allows you to stick with others of a similar pace which usually helps you learn to pace yourself more evenly. I also find I will push my pace a little more when completing workouts with others which allows me to become a better runner. And, if your running group buddy says they are running X distance, you’ll probably try to stick with them and run X distance as well even if you weren’t feeling great at the start of the run

June 6, 2018

Global Running Day 2018 Discounts and Baltimore Events

Happy Global Running Day! 




As a runner, I love spreading the run love. I love encouraging others to find that sweet spot of doing things that are healthy and make them happy (and are FUN!). 
What is Global Running Day you ask?

{Source}


 Of course I started my morning with a workout with my November Project Baltimore crew. It was still part of the week-long Summer School workout series (free workouts every day of the week instead of just Wed and Fri) so there was some geography, pencil sharpening, and memorization in the workout-all before I had any coffee this AM. 
Doesn't this look like a fun group of people to workout with?
There are lots of fun events and sales (including race discounts!) happening in honor of Global Running Day so I'm sharing them here for you to check out. 

Take time today to maybe join a group run, workout with a new crew, treat yourself to some new gear, sign up for a new challenge, or do whatever gets YOU moving and having fun. 

May 8, 2018

The 2018 Boston Marathon: Miserable yet Amazing


Every one of my friends who I talk to asks me “How was Boston?” and my response has been “::sigh:: Miserable and amazing”. That’s the truth.

Settle in for my big Boston Marathon race recap. I thought about shortening it, but I like having all of these thoughts down on the interwebs to look back on. You’ll get expo and logistics thoughts in a following post!

Boston Marathon 2018 Race Recap


PRE-RACE

The week of the marathon the weather forecast was not looking good. Eventually 3 or 4 days before the race the forecast was saying 100% rain. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. Where in the eff do you ever hear a weather forecast saying 100%?!?! The weather was forecasted to be raw with temperatures around 40 degrees (real feel colder), rain all day, and 20 mph E/SE winds (that’s a headwind). People talked online about how it rained in 2015 when they ran it and how it wasn’t so bad. I wanted to hope that the forecast would change or at least it wouldn’t be so bad. My parents were in town for the race and literally only came to one other half marathon ever-where it also poured rain (are they unlucky?Just saying.) My mom overheard someone in her hotel grabbing shower caps to cover her shoes so I did the same. The concierge said he thought they were out but luckily found a couple for me (#runnerprobs).

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I woke up in Cambridge at my Airbnb Monday morning feeling anxious. Part positively, part negatively. I woke up to the wind howling and rain beating down outside the bedroom window. Yikes. I layered up my outfit and ate a Honey Stinger salted caramel waffle and banana along with some Nuun. I cut holes in my trash bag poncho. I packed my little Athlete’s Village bag with my headphones, gels, extra Honey Stinger waffles, old race heat sheet, gloves, and an extra trash bag.
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Garbage bag chic with shower caps on shoes as an accessory

April 26, 2018

Post- Boston Marathon Recovery Tips

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Fizzique through a campaign with Fit Approach. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 



I’m still finishing up my big Boston Marathon race recap (so much rain/wind/cold! so many thoughts!) but have really been focusing on my recovery since the race over a week ago. I talked about how my marathon training has been different since my injury , but I’ve also been more conscientious of my recovery as well. With travelling to Boston and an out-of-state wedding right after I haven’t been doing any foam-rolling or exercising. Now that I’m over a week out I’m focusing on getting myself recovered and reverse tapering back into running. I’ve talked on my blog about some broader post-marathon tips, but today I’ll share what I’m focusing on this week specifically for recovery!  

boston-marathon-recovery-tips

REST

I’m still trying to get plenty of actual sleep during the week, especially the couple days post-race. With the weather conditions along with regular hills on the Boston course, I read from some others that they felt they needed more rest after this race than previous ones. It is important to give your body proper time to fully recover, even if you are feeling better a few days after. This article from Runners Connect  talks about the physiological changes in your body after a marathon including how it takes your muscles about 2 weeks post-marathon to return to full strength. 

After the Philadelphia Marathon I really didn’t run except for a couple miles while coaching for 2 weeks and am doing the same after the Boston Marathon, especially because I had some foot pain the last few miles.

April 11, 2018

Why the Boston Marathon is My Victory Lap

If you've followed me or read my Boston Marathon acceptance post you know a little bit about my marathon journey. 

Today I'm over on the Momentum Jewelry blog sharing why the 2018 Boston Marathon is my victory lap, and how much running has changed my life. Honestly with the marathon mere days away, I've spent a lot of time in the past couple of weeks reflecting on my running journey. I was even getting teary-eyed getting all my thoughts together for my blog post. Running has become a huge part of my life and not just the exercise part. It's changed how I view myself, opened doors to so many unique opportunities, and allowed me to meet and become friends with so many amazing people. 

Here's a sneak peak: 

Running has shown me that putting myself out there is less scary than I think it is. Running has given me opportunities and excuses to travel across the country and internationally to fulfill some of my wanderlust. My main goal for the 2018 Boston Marathon is to enjoy every mile. It’s a victory lap for my running accomplishments and it's also a celebration of running and what it's done for me. Five years after my first marathon, I’ll be on the starting line of the Boston Marathon, and I'll know that all of the strength I need for anything that comes my way is inside me.

March 14, 2018

3 Tips to Prepare for Running & Racing This Spring

This post was originally published on the Charm City Run blog. Check out their blog for more great posts and explore the Charm City Run website for information on fun upcoming events and training groups 😊

A taste of warmer weather in Maryland the past couple of weeks means runners are getting excited for the spring race season. If you can believe it, the 2018 B3 Distance Series kicks off in a mere 2 weeks with the Under Armour KELLY St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K on March 11. Maybe you are just dusting off your running shoes and getting back to running after a winter break. Maybe you have been training for a few weeks and are gearing up for all the races you signed up for months ago. Below are some tips to prepare you for a strong and healthy season of spring running and racing.

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1. RUN WITH OTHERS

When the weather is unpredictable or if you are getting back into the swing of running regularly, it can be difficult to get out the door to run alone. Find a group to run with, make a running date with some friends, or join a training group. Running with others can help you stick to your training plan, and make those longer runs more enjoyable. Charm City Run has great training groups for new runners and seasoned marathoners alike which offer accountability, fun, and everything you need to get to the start line strong. You can also look for free fun runs near you.

2. OPTIMIZE NUTRITION & HYDRATION


March 2, 2018

Take an Active International Vacation with STRIVE Trips


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by STRIVE Trips who offered me a discount for their programs. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve found that a great way to satisfy your sense of wanderlust is by taking race-cations. I’ve ran some races and planned some trips around the country and Canada in the past few years including the Seawheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver, Ragnar Las Vegas, and the Chicago Marathon (multiple times!).  

Ragnar Las Vegas home stretch!
This year and the next I think it’s time to add some more stamps to my passport and get out of North America. I was excited to recently be connected with this awesome company STRIVE Trips which organizes trips for adults featuring a balance of cultural immersion, active exploration and sightseeing, as well as daily options for athletic training (a.k.a RUNNING!). Don’t worry, if you aren’t a runner you can choose to walk or bike these excursions (or even skip out to spend time as you please).
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For 2018, STRIVE Trips is offering two adult programs-one to Kenya and one to Peru. 

Let’s be honest, a mix of running, eating amazing food and travelling to a new country sounds like a perfect vacation to me! It’s pretty much what I do anyways, although a bit more heavy on the food and less so on the running part. Planning an international trip can be intimidating so it’s awesome that STRIVE Trips takes care of all the planning and also provides 24-hour-a-day support on the ground in the country and from the US based staff.

November 22, 2017

10 Awesome Holiday Gifts for Runners (Under $50) 2017

Disclosure: I am Lily Trotters and Momentum Jewelry ambassadors and receive complimentary & discounted merchandise from both brands. I love both brands and did not receive any compensation for inclusion in this post. I also am a coach at Charm City Run. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. 

So I've got lots to update the interwebs on, like how I ran the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday. Say what?! This week on the agenda I just have some rest, recovery, Thanksgiving and leftovers eating, and of course holiday shopping. Can you believe it's already that time of year again? I have been resisting getting into the holiday spirit, but really we only have 5 weekends until Christmas so the time is now! Here's 10 awesome holiday gifts under $50 for the runners in your life (::hint::hint:: to all the special people in my life). 

10 Awesome Holiday Gifts for Runners (Under $50) 2017

10 Awesome Holiday Gifts Under $50 For Runners

1. Runner X4 Pint Glass ($10) and 6-pack of beer (recommended: Union Craft Brewing Duckpin Ale, price varies)

Union Craft Brewing Duckpin Ale

This is a perfect gift for that fellow runner and beer-lover in your life. Grab this super cool pint glass for $10 (that I was lucky enough to receive during the RW Half weekend) and a 6-pack of your favorite local beer. 

2. Pair of Lily Trotters compression socks ($48)

October 31, 2017

10 Favorite Things from the Runner's World Half Festival 2017

So I've been stalling writing any blog posts about the Runner's World Half Festival because I had such an amazing time and there is so much to say. It was an absolute honor and pleasure to be invited as part of the RW Half Run Crew. I left with sore legs, sweet bling, and new running friends! Since I love lists, I figured I'd start out my post-race weekend recap the way I blogged about what I was most excited about pre-RW Half Festival! Spoiler alert: some of the things I was excited about beforehand DID turn out to be amazing.
10 Favorite Things from the Runner's World Half Festival 2017

My Top 10 Favorite Things from the RW Half Festival Weekend (not in order!) 

1.  The people: The RW Half Run Crew and all the Runner's World employees I met were so nice (Oh and RUNNING WITH RYAN HALL WAS PRETTY FREAKING COOL TOO). We had a such a great group of people in the RW Half Run Crew. 


RW Half Run Crew with Ryan Hall

2. Meeting Ryan Hall: See above re:running with Ryan Hall. It was great to hear him talk about his kids and biggest tip about marathoning is to relax! He said he races best when he is relaxed. 

September 28, 2017

So I'm Boston Bound-Hello Boston Marathon 2018!


So my goal of getting accepted to run the Boston Marathon is becoming a reality. I received an email in my inbox last Sunday night that looked like this: 


boston-marathon-bound-2018-acceptance


I saw the subject line in my inbox and was like HOLY SH#&! 

Now I had put in my application on Friday when it opened up for qualifiers who had a  time over 5 minutes under the qualifying time. I was expecting to hear back on Monday, because silly me assumed people weren't working fast enough to verify results and get a bunch of emails out on Sunday night. So just randomly checking my email Sunday night as dinner was cooking literally really caught me by surprise and I yelled and then got a bit teary. So it was more like omgomgomgomgomogomg


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And then randomly crying on and off. 

I celebrated with some prosecco and supermarket chocolate cake! Okay so really I was planning on having the cake before I got the email, but it was clearly meant to be.


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Running a qualifying time with a big cushion this past year at the Chicago Marathon was really special. Like really FREAKING special. It's been weird since then when I'm talking to people about having another qualifying time with a cushion most likely to get me accepted into the race based on previous years, but not having that official acceptance. I've been saying "well I ran X time, but do not know if I'm officially able to run the race yet." That leads to me explaining that there are only 30,000 spots available for the race with 80% going to qualifiers and the remaining 20% of spots going to charity runners. Therefore in recent years more people apply with qualifying times then there are spots available. This year the cutoff below the qualifying time ended up being 3:23 (more info here). 

July 17, 2017

Be Open with AfterShokz TrekzTitanium Wireless Headphones {Review}

Disclosure: Through my partnership as a SweatPink/FitApproach ambassador, I received a complimentary set of AfterShokz TrekzTitanium wireless headphones from AfterShokz in exchange for my review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I love me some tech-free, music-free runs. However especially as I've had some rough runs lately as I try to rebuild my base mileage or when I've needed to give myself a big pep talk to attempt 3-4 mile runs in this heat and humidity, I've been relying more on my Spotify playlists. I'm also highly annoyed by my headphones staying in my ears and dealing with headphone cords getting stuck to me. I'm a super sweaty person so even the "sweatproof" earbuds" I find myself adjusting and pushing back into my ear throughout a run. I seriously don't know what took me so long to try some wireless headphones. 

I'm super grateful I jumped at the chance to try out the AfterShokz TrekzTitanium bluetooth headphones.  

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On the website you can choose from 4 color combos with black, and pick what measurements you want. It offers a mini size in addition to the regular, based on the length of the space between your ears. It took me 5 minutes to set-up after charging my headphones with a USB cord, mostly involving connecting the Bluetooth on my phone to the AfterShokz. 

I took them on an inaugural sweaty & humid Baltimore summer run and was pleasantly surprised. 

AfterShokz advertises the TrekzTitanium headphones as IP55 sweat resistant. They also use PremiumPitch+™ technology which gives a great sound with nice bass levels. I haven't let them run out of charge yet, but these are advertised as lasting for 6 hours of continuous music and/or calls on a single charge. Any weird blips in your music are related to your Bluetooth connection, not the headphones. 

July 14, 2017

Injury Update #3: Don't Call it a Comeback

In case you missed it, I was diagnosed with a 4th metatarsal stress fracture at the very end of October and survived almost 4 weeks in a boot doing zero exercise of any type. I posted my last injury update in JANUARY about PT and all that fun stuff. 

So I have taken a couple months off of blogging because I finished my last semester of classes for grad school (::woop::woop) and had a month off school completely and working for 2 weeks before starting my clinical rotations. Plus there wasn't much to say. 

I got some longer runs in to run the Love Run Half Marathon in Philadelphia after March which I completely in okay time, but feeling crappy. It was too much too soon. I took a week off afterward because of intermittent soreness in my foot the following week (the foot felt fine during the race and the days after).

This spring was my hardest semester of classes and with being busy it was really hard for me to get into a solid running/workout routine again. I feel like I'd skip/miss workouts and then do a bunch of running, etc. and never get a stable base of 15-20 miles. I'd feel some weird soreness in my healed foot (same feeling of the initial injury almost) every couple of weeks that freaked me out and made me take it easy/off running for a few days (or a week in a couple of cases). I even went back to my ortho in April to talk to him and made him do an X-ray just to try to ease my anxiety.  Yes, he thinks I'm crazy. 

So if you are coming back from an injury, it may not be as straightforward as you think. There will probably be some ups and downs along way. 

Now it's July and almost time to start Philadelphia Marathon training which I'm keeping low-key because I've got my eyes on the dream of being healthy for Boston 2018. I still feel not as fast or fit as I was pre-injury, but I've built my mileage up to all 20-24 miles per week in June. I need to do better at my PT exercises, stretching, foam-rolling still (story of my life? most runners' lives?). 

However I feel like I've been really consistent the past month (not working or being in grad school classes/fieldwork, haha) which has been a great reset.  I feel like I'm at a good place where I'm just okay. All my running buddies who I have talked to in the past 6 weeks are like "so you're healed, now?" or "so you're back to normal now?". I'm not feeling that way, but I'm good. I even ran a 6:06 mile on a whim for the Strava #mymile mile PR challenge so I know the speed and fitness is in me-it just needs to be trained and tuned up. I've been doing some fun runs, having good workouts with friends, and re-fueling like a boss (that never stopped!). I'm running and loving life right now.  

Now off to do some resistance band hip and glute exercises...


#5ummit NECS_MA trail race action shot 


May 30, 2017

5 Tips for Surviving #ShackTrackandField {plus class at Rev Cycle Studio beforehand}

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary ride at REV Cycle Studio for hosting a giveaway and sharing about the event. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Last week I was lucky enough to get the chance to take part in the last event in REV Cycle Studio's #REVOutdoors series which happened to be a partnership with Shack Track and Field, Shake Shack's monthly run club. The event involved a 30 minute spin class at REV followed by a short run to Shake Shack where the first beverage was on the house. Now I regularly participate in the Shack Track and Field runs (the second Tuesday of every month starting from Charm City Run) and REV is my favorite place to spin in Baltimore, so this event sounded PERFECT. 

I've run to Shake Shack before but adding in a spin class before a run adds a whole new twist to the mix. Classes were held at both the McHenry Row and Brewer's Hill locations. 

rev-cycle-studio-1

I had an awesome, sweaty, and fun spin class with Sean at McHenry Row where we spun fast and climbed hills for 30 minutes, leaving just enough in the tank for just over 2 miles of running in the beginning of a rainy storm as group. Then that was followed by enjoying a free huge red velvet milkshake at Shake Shack. And buying myself a chicken sandwich for dinner there because #starving. 


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Here are some tips for when you decide to run to Shake Shack or spin AND run to Shake Shack because #shacktrackandfield: 
5-tips-for-surviving-shack-track-and-field1

1. If you are making it a duathlon (spinning and running), leave just a little bit left in the tank during the spin class. If you are completely exhausted, it will feel like a very very long 2-3 miles to Shake Shack. 
tired-gif-glee

May 11, 2017

What to Pack in Your Marathon Gear Check Bag

Disclosure: I received complimentary product from ShowerPill. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own. 


When you cross the finish line of a half or full marathon, the first thing you are thinking is YAY, glad that's over. If you are me next you are thinking where can I get a beer, water, banana, and sit down, PLEASE. If it's a big event or one where you plan on hanging out around for the post-race festivities that so many races have now, it might be a good idea to pack a gear check bag. I find this especially true if you're running a big race where it's going to take you a while to get back to your hotel/lodgings/house or you'll be hanging out in your post-race clothes for a while. 

After the Chicago Marathon the past 3 years the weather has been nice, and I've been feeling good so I hang out with friends, have a couple beers, and listen to the music in Grant Park. 
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Post-Chicago Marathon 2016 with a beer in one hand and my gear check bag beside me
Now, I'm the type of person that is usually cutting it close to getting to a race start or at least isn't giving myself much time beforehand. Even with marathons which are big deal to me, I still feel like maybe I should give myself some more time to get around. This is particularly true if you're running a huge race or one with security checkpoints. 

I usually hope that I have a friend or my boyfriend to carry some stuff for me until I finish. If not then sometimes I'll quickly navigate the pre-race area and drop off a gear check bag, if available. For some of the bigger half marathons and marathons I've run bag check is usually offered, and the process is pretty organized. Races give you a clear plastic bag at packet/bib pick-up (security reasons nowadays!). Then you can drop it off before the race with your bib number attached, and pick it up after finishing the race. It's not recommended to store valuables in there, because it's not like locked-in-a-safe secure. 

what-to-pack-marathon-gear-check-bag-runner

Here are 5 items that I always pack in my gear check bag

1.Clothes

April 14, 2017

Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Race Recap


My recap of this last April's inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon in Walt Disney World 2016 is here, just a week before this year's race. 

 As I mentioned in my post on my favorite Disney eats, my sister works at the parks so it was an excuse to visit her. My friend was also running this race as his first half marathon and had a place for me to crash which makes it more enticing because the price tag on this race was $185 which is A LOT for a half marathon, or a race in general. 

There is a 5K and 10K, and half marathon during the race weekend as well as the Dark Side Challenge (10K Saturday, half marathon Sunday).  

inaugural-star-wars-dark-side-half-marathon-recap

Pre-Race

I stayed at the All-Star Disney Resort with my sister the night I got to Florida so getting to the expo was easy-I just caught a bus over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  First there was a huge room where you go and get just your bib. I love when your name is printed on your bibg for races like this one. All of the cast members/employees I encountered were very nice and helpful. 


Next you head over to another giant stadium room where the actual race expo is. They had lots of fun vendors, but it wasn't too crowded when I got there early on Saturday morning. They had some cute things, but I don't really buy anything at most race expos anymore. I did end up getting Sparkly Soul headbands (Star Wars themed)- one for me and one for my sister.


I loved this graphic of the course map hanging up.  Everything in the expo was pretty well-organized. 

April 4, 2017

Mental Challenges When Returning to Running After Injury

So I talked about how to survive being an injured runner and then what I was doing to come back stronger after my metatarsal stress fracture, but I think I'm struggling right now with the return to running more than just being injured. So here's my long discussion to talk about it with all you readers. 

I finished the 6 week conservative return to running plan that my PT gave me with no problems, minus some soreness in my recovering foot a couple weeks. That plan which started with run-walk intervals and finished with 30-40 minute continuous runs had me around 10-15 miles per week, mostly on the treadmill.  After the plan I was trying to build up some longer runs outside so I could successfully finish the Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon for which I was an ambassador. I kept my mileage from 15 building up to just over 20 miles a week with most of mileage come from a longer run on the weekend. I used the progression over consecutive weeks of 7.5 miles, 8 miles, 10 miles, 10 miles, rest, and then the half marathon. 


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Happy just to be outside
Obviously my fitness is not where it should be, and I was not feeling great during the half marathon but I finished in a not too shabby 1:45 and change. My foot had been feeling sore when not working out which brought back to mind signs that I felt when I had a stress fracture that week before the race (not on race day or during the race) so honestly I was mostly focusing on how my foot felt during the race because I was so anxious as well as the fear that I was over-doing it. Yes, I've been dealing with a lot of anxiety about my injury recovery and running in general. 

Running is already a mental challenge but adding in the anxiety and fear of being injured has made it even tougher. There are multiple mental challenges that have made returning from an injury really hard for me. 


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The first challenge is dealing with soreness and discomfort that may be felt in the recovered foot as the bone heals and is reported anecdotally from runners that it can happen for months or years after the injury.  The bone heals and forms a little callus so it should be strong, but how can I tell if it's normal soreness or pain signaling another injury? I also am extra anxious because my PT has me trying to change to landing on my midfoot instead of heel striking so in my mind I'm putting more force on the front of my foot, when actually I'll be putting less force through my foot all over (which he showed me on the fancy treadmill running analysis at PT). I've read all over the Internet, and it seems it's hard to tell, particularly when you are like me and are focused on it and hypersensitive to every feeling in your feet when running. Honestly I have so much fear of re-injury. 

Obviously if it's sharp pain that is bad and a sign of injury. If you have sharp pain, I'd get yourself checked out, just to be safeI can clearly remember when I had my stress fracture for about a week the pain was so sharp and throbbing, it hurt to even walk. There can also be phantom pains, which can be sporadic and vary in intensity in the area of the foot that was injured due to calcium buildup at the site of the bone recovery or just mentally induced kind of like PTSD. The possibility of another stress fracture when my foot was feeling sore last week had me in tears. It's hard for me to listen to my body when I'm so sensitive and hyper-focused on every little feeling in my feet.