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Confession Time, Part II

Hi everyone! For those of you who actually came back yesterday looking for another update, I thank you. And I apologize. I got distracted by the train wreck that was The Bachelor finale…and the subsequent After the Final Rose episode. Meaning, I wasted three hours in front of the TV, but it was a great reminder that my life isn’t nearly as crazy as it could be.

See, that show serves a purpose, Mom!

And for all you other Bachelor lovers who also love HIMYM, here’s a beautiful thing found via Pinterest (where else would I find it?)

Source

Second, I want to thank all of you who left comments and sent words of encouragement after my last post. It really, truly means a lot to me.

Now, let’s pick things up where we left off on Sunday.

I headed to Central Park for a long run after taking many days off. And when I say days off, I mean complete rest. Only walking to and from work. The rest of the time, I was simply stretching, icing, compressing and taking naproxen. I thought I was going batty from a lack of sweat.

It takes about 20-30 minutes to get to CP from my apartment on the weekend, and as I rode the train, I thought a lot about this run. No matter how much I tried to envision myself cranking out 15 miles with ease, I just couldn’t do it. For some reason, I knew that it just wasn’t going to happen. Chalk it up to a big dose of reality setting in? I have no idea. But, as cheesy as it sounds, I knew I had to try. Otherwise I’d drive myself bonkers wondering if I would’ve been able to do it.

Once again, the first few miles were fine. I went at an easy pace, and strapped my watch on so that it was difficult to check my pace. I just wanted to run. Shortly after two miles, I realized I had made a rookie mistake: I overdressed. I knew it was going to be shorts and a tank weather, or shorts and a long-sleeved shirt at the most, but I let Dustin psych me out when he went out for bagels in the morning and said it was pretty chilly. Nervous about being too cold, I put on crops and a long-sleeved shirt. After two miles, the sleeves were rolled and I was cursing Dustin justalittlebit (NOTE: Do not listen to your non-runner boyfriend when he tells you about the weather. His views are very different from yours).

I pushed on, moving with the rolling hills and thinking about Nashville again. And then out of nowhere, my knee gave out. No slow, building pain that comes and goes like normal, it just plain gave out. I looked at my watch, saw seven miles and decided to stop. I walked for a bit and the pain only came back a little, but I still decided to stop. Call me crazy, but I made the conscious decision to have a good day.

And I’m so proud of myself for that moment.

I realized something. I’m so tired of having crappy weekends because of all the bad long runs I’ve been having. It’s one thing to have a bad run here or there. But to have one on every single weekend for at least a month? That’s not right. Heck, it’s probably a sign from the running gods trying to tell me that this is not my race. So finally, my stubborn head decided to listen. I was (am?) ready to agree: this is not my race to conquer 26.2.

As much as I want it to be, it just isn’t. Like I said in part I, I don’t want to finish my first marathon limping, in pain and hating every single moment. I want to conquer each and every one of those miles, feeling strong, confident, powerful. I want to feel like I’m a badass, not like I got my ass kicked fifteen times over.

But most of all, I don’t want my first 26.2 to be my last. I’m only 22 and I just started running a little over a year ago. I have a lot of miles left in me. Sure, I have a torn meniscus, a reconstructed ACL and a blood disorder that slightly complicates things, but who doesn’t have problems? Everyone has hurdles to jump over; these are mine. There’s no reason to add another one.

If I ran the full 26.2, I’m scared that I would end my running  career prematurely.I remember what it’s like to not be able to run for over three months. It’s NOT FUN. It’s mentally demoralizing and if I can avoid it, I’m sure as hell going to do everything in my power to do so. I suppose I’ll finally start believing what others have been telling me: there are other marathons waiting for me.

So am I done with Nashville? Not quite. My family is still there, my dad still hasn’t seen me race, and I’ve already coughed up the money, so I’m still headin’ South come April 27. I’m just going to run the half-marathon. My new plan is still in development, but in general, I’m going to throw myself into physical therapy, focus on strength training and speed work, and aim to PR the sh*t out of that half.

My plans for this weekend’s St. Paddy’s Day National Half? Come back tomorrow!

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Workout Windup: Marathon Training Push

Good evening, friends! I hope you all had a great President’s Day yesterday. If you had the day off, I hope you enjoyed the long weekend and got some extra much-needed rest (it was much-needed for me, anyway). If you didn’t, I hope you were able to be super productive and knock a bunch of stuff off of your to-do list.

I’ve been knocking workouts off my to-do list left and right, pushing through marathon training to get to that fabulous day in Nashville. It’s sneaking up on me quickly and I am so excited. I love feeling my body get stronger and watching myself improve. It’s still crazy to think I’ll be able to run 26.2 miles in a little over 2 months, but it feels great to just let go and trust the process.

Here were my scheduled workouts for the last week, and how they all played out:

  • Meet with coach Abby for light work/evaluation on Monday
  • SoulCycle on Tuesday at 7 a.m., strength train at 6:30 p.m.
  • 4-mile tempo run on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m., hot power yoga at 6 p.m.
  • Rest Thursday
  • Run 1 mile, maintenance and upper body exercises on Friday at 6 p.m.
  • Run 14 miles on Saturday Run 10 miles
  • Run 3 miles on Sunday Rest

I skipped my upper body exercises on Friday because I’ve been fighting a cold this week and my body just didn’t want to do anymore. If I kept going, I would’ve half-assed the moves and I didn’t want to do that. So I saved them for another day, which ended up being Monday.

I had a really crappy run on Saturday and couldn’t get in a good groove for multiple reasons. My body couldn’t push out any more than 10 miles, and after beating myself up over it for a while, my run coach helped me chill out when she wasn’t pissed at me. My knee gave me a lot of trouble too, so I took Sunday as a rest day to elevate, ice, stretch and foam roll. My main goal for this week is to make sure I get in my Sunday run so my body starts getting used to running on fatigued legs.

Speaking of goals, here’s what I have lined up this week:

  • Run 4 miles and upper body exercises on Monday at 10 a.m. (woohoo, day off!)
  • Cross-train and lift on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
  • Run 1 mile warm-up, 4×800’s (with 400m jog in between) on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m.
  • Rest Thursday
  • Run 1 mile, maintenance and upper body exercises on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
  • Run 12 miles on Saturday + showing family all over NYC
  • Run 4 miles on Sunday + showing family all over NYC

Here’s to another great week of workouts!

What workout are you most looking forward to this week?

Workout Windup: Super Bowl Sadness + Running Success

Welp, I clearly went way too long since blogging last. Sorry! Work’s been pretty crazy and obviously I’m trying to fit all of my workouts in while maintaining some sort of social life. Clearly blogging fell by the wayside last week, but I’m ready to pick right back off where we left off. No excuses, right? (Now I sound like The Biggest Loser…)

By now basically everyone in America knows that the Giants won the Super Bowl against the Patriots. While I live in New York City, I am not a Giants fan. Nor do I like the Yankees. Quite the opposite actually. I’m a huge Patriots and Red Sox fan. My family is from New England and I just love both teams. It usually leaves me a little stranded when it comes to talking about sports at work, but such is life. At least I’m always game for a friendly wager, which clearly I lost this time around. I went from a happy, excited fan at the beginning of the game…

To a very sad fan by the end.

This was after the twenty or so heart attacks I thought I was having throughout the fourth quarter. No matter what team you root for, if you watched the game, you have to admit that it was excellent. By far the best Super Bowl I’ve seen in a while. And forget all you haters, I loved the Madonna half-time show. She has my heart forever. #likeaprayer

We had some yummy eats too, none of which were healthy. We whipped up a healthy chili in the crock pot, but didn’t want it by the time it was ready. Left overs! It’ll give me lunch at work for the rest of the week. #score (Clearly I’m on a hashtag kick right now. Please forgive me).

Anyway, we ended up munching on cheesy salsa bread that Dustin made and salsa dip that I whipped up. Again, not healthy. But do I regret it? Not even a little bit.

Yum.

Besides all the eating, lots of sweating happened this week. Not necessarily on Super Bowl Sunday, but still. Here’s how it all went down:

  • SoulCycle on Monday at 7 a.m.
  • Run 3 miles on Tuesday at 7 a.m.
  • Hot yoga at Yoga to the People on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Rest
  • Run 4-6 miles on Thursday at 6:30 a.m., strength train at 6:30 p.m. Run 5 miles
  • Rest on Friday Elliptical 23 minutes, strength train
  • Run 11 miles on Saturday Run 9 miles
  • Yoga DVD on Sunday Rest

So I failed on the yoga front, but did pretty good with everything else! I obviously modified things, but I fit everything in. And I’m fine with only nabbing 9 miles on Saturday. I worked hard for each mile and I had already increased my weekly mileage a decent amount. I’ll tackle a longer run on Saturday.

Speaking of, here’s what I have lined up this week. It’s another crazy week and I have a wedding to attend upstate on Saturday, so a hilly long run will be quite interesting. But it’s all about the positive thinking, right?

  • Rest on Monday
  • Run 6 miles on Tuesday at 7 or 8 p.m.
  • Yoga DVD on Wednesday at 7 a.m.
  • Run 4 miles on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
  • Rest on Friday
  • Run 12 miles Saturday morning, dance the night away at Cayla’s wedding
  • Yoga DVD on Sunday or Rest

I know I’ve already knocked out Monday and Tuesday’s workouts, and it’s time for me to hit the hay so I can get in tomorrow’s. Good night!

What workouts do you have planned this week? And where can I find a dress for this wedding without breaking my bank account?!

The Power of Positive Thinking

Today, I ran 10 miles. Not only did I run those miles, but I owned those puppies completely pain-free! Wahoo!

I’ve been killing it in my workouts this week, dominating my eats, halting the unnecessary snacking, and tuning in to my body. I am on top of my game. I have felt really good all week and any time a scary, negative thought started to creep into my head, I squashed that little bugger.

Squashed it with my new kicks.

Because brighter is better 🙂

I fully believe in the power of positive thinking. Whenever I get down on myself, it becomes so obvious in the rest of my life. I start eating like crap, I’m tired all of the time and I lack productivity. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t solve anything. I’ve been dealing with this pesky little pain problem for the last month and dutifully going to doctor’s appointments to figure out why my body decided to go psycho right as marathon training is about to begin.

I don’t have a full answer yet (MRI is Monday!), but I’m almost there. I’ve ruled out all of the scary stuff, like blood clots and ACL tears, so now I’m waiting for a final diagnosis. In the meantime, I’ve been cautiously pushing myself through  my workouts. And as I’ve done more, the pain has decreased. Especially as I lift more weights and stretch out in yoga. Cross- and strength-training, you are a beautiful thing.

Even though my body has felt pretty baller all week (can you tell I’m on a runner’s high yet?),  I went into today’s scheduled 10-miler optimistic but knowing that I was going to call it quits once the pain kicked in. I kept running along in this gorgeous 45-degree weather, smiling my little face off like a doofus…and no pain came. I was shocked. I was ecstatic.

I’m sure all of my positive thoughts and 11:11 wishes didn’t heal me, but they definitely have made this process a lot easier. So I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and we’ll see what happens on Monday. Fingers crossed for a good outcome, and if you see the clock at 11:11, make a wish for me 😉

Now you tell me: How do you stay positive through a rough patch?

Hilly Miles Are My Friend

I tackled three very, very hilly miles on Saturday, after running six miles on Friday, as part of a recovery run. Smart, right? I thought so.

I knew I wanted to get the miles in while I was away for the weekend and well, I was in the country, which means there was no escape from the miles. Where I was specifically located, there were a lot of rolling hills that looked like this:

Fun! The run was tough, but my legs felt surprisingly strong. I was eager to tackle the hills and although the sun was beating down on me pretty heavily, I pushed hard to overcome those mini mountains.

And then I realized something.

I actually like hills.

….

Say what?!

I know it’s crazy, but it’s true. I like running hills. Yes, I want to scream half of the time, but I get a surge whenever I’m running them and I get a little giddy when I see a hill workout on my training plan. My favorite part of spin class is when the instructor tells me to crank up the resistance, close my eyes and push. For some reason, I love the slow, intense movement and I thrive on the burn in my legs. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

So I pushed myself as hard as possible on Saturday and conquered three miles of constant hills. I finished in 29:15 and was proud of that time. I walked once or twice, but never for very long and very rarely on the uphill.

That’s another quirk about me: I’ve discovered that for me to get through hills, I just need to power through them. I used to mentally quit and walk halfway up, which would annoy me because then it would take even longer to get to the top. Now when I see one coming, I brace myself and run faster. I tell myself, “the faster you run, the quicker it’s done.” When I get to the top, I revel in victory and treat my legs to a nice shakeout on the downhill.

When times get really tough, I remind myself of the benefits I’m getting from a hill workout. My legs are becoming stronger and more prepared for those 26.2 hilly miles I intend to conquer in Nashville in April. Even though it’s a long way off, every little bit helps. When that doesn’t work, I take a second to forget about what I’m doing and just look at what’s surrounding me.

Not a bad view, right?

This is why I love my country roots. You just can’t get this in the city.

In other news…

I finished reading The Help this weekend, and even though I’m probably the last one on the planet to read it, I’m recommending it just in case someone hasn’t. If you’re one of those who hasn’t, go pick it up now! It’s so, so good. I haven’t read a book this good in a while. I got sucked in every time and was constantly irritated when I’d have to put it down. And I was very happy with the ending. Usually I feel like something is left unfinished when I end a book, but this one left me feeling satisfied. All the signs of a good book!

Source

I’m going to see the movie this weekend with Libby and will have a review later! My girl-crush Emma Stone is in a starring role, so my hopes are high!

Do you like or loathe hill workouts? Have you seen and/or read The Help? Let me know what you think of each!