Week 12 - Chicago Marathon Training

Last week's training went great from a running perspective (didn't get in as much yoga as I wanted to)! I ran pretty relaxed and easy paced as planned, but I had minimal pain and hit my mileage goal (34 miles total). The Nike Run Club run on Saturday was a lot of fun and I met some awesome new runners and ran in a new place, and I got to meet a fellow Pro Compression and Garmin Ambassador at the Long Beach Marathon Fun Run on Thursday. Overall, a stellar week in training and running.

I got to meet Ivie! She's a pro compression and Garmin ambassador too!

I got to meet Ivie! She's a pro compression and Garmin ambassador too!

I say I ran with minimal pain because while my ankle felt so much better, my back got a weird tweak in it while I was lifting weights on Wednesday after my run. I was supposed to do a kettle bell workout, but decided to lift some free weights and stretch after my 7 miler. As I was doing a single leg dead lift (a great move to not only strengthen your hammies, but your ankles), I felt a pain to the left of my spine. My back is usually a little sore and my muscles are tight because I sit in an office chair all day, but it felt weird. I applied a heat pack that night and some Salonpas, but strangely it felt like my bone was hurt instead of my muscle. I thought it might be a displaced disk, so I took it really easy at the run on Thursday night. Afterwards, I slathered on more Salonpas. While the pain was gone on Friday when I woke up, I thought it was a good idea to take a rest day. I'm heading to the PT today and will ask her to give me some exercises to help alleviate and avoid this again.

Thursday night fun run with the Grvl Crew!

Thursday night fun run with the Grvl Crew!

As I was putting together my schedule for Week 12 last night, I struggled with how to begin incorporating speed back into my workouts. Getting back into speed work is the most difficult part of every training cycle for me because it's hard, painful, and sometimes discouraging. To be doing it after an injury is even more difficult because I'm scared. So here's how I'm easing back into it:

Week 12 Schedule:

Monday: 4 miles + Strides + Kettle Bell
Tuesday: 8 mile progression (2 @ 8:30, 2 @ 8:00, 2 @ 7:45, 2 @ 7:30) + Yoga
Wednesday: 6 recovery + Kettle Bell
Thursday: 7 aerobic (8:30 pace) + Strides + Yoga
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 14 miles
Sunday: Cross train (Spin or Yoga)

If the 8 mile progression run on Tuesday goes well, I'll plan on doing a 14 mile progression run on Saturday. If the 8 miler tears me up, I'll do the 14 miler at a steady aerobic pace. I'm looking forward to amping up training and taking all of the things I've learned over the last few weeks on my own and through my physical therapy sessions to make this training cycle successful. I'll plan on sharing some awesome stretches and recovery work with you all over the next few weeks too.

J

Wrigley River Run 10K Race Recap 2016

Racing back to back weekends + traveling has set me back on getting my race recaps up, but better late than never, right? The Wrigley River Run is such a great local Long Beach race. It's one of my personal favorites because I won 1st overall female when I ran it for the first time in 2015. I also love seeing so many people from the local running community, including all of my GRVL runners.

Wrigley River Run

After the Rock N' Roll San Diego Half, I had a tough time recovering. I probably should've taken a few days off, but instead, I jumped into my normal training the next day and didn't have a day off scheduled before Wrigley. I wasn't too concerned considering it was just a 10K (yes, after running marathons I think it's okay to say that), plus I wasn't going into the race assuming I would win again.

When I woke up in the morning, I didn't want to race because I knew my legs weren't ready for another all out run. I gave my all in SD, and I knew my body hadn't recovered enough to put my all into this race. When Ricky and I got to the start line, it was overcast, which made for nice racing weather. I found the GRVL runners near the start/finish line and spent some time chatting with everyone before the 10K start. Everyone kept asking me if I was going to win again and that really got my nerves going and my expectations high, as if what my body was telling me might be overridden by how amped my mind was on the possibility of taking home a win again.

Photo courtesy of Wrigley river run

Photo courtesy of Wrigley river run

When we lined up at the start, I was in the second row of people. I have a tendency to start fast in shorter races and today was no different. As soon as the blow horn went off, I got way too aggressive and struggled to get around the guys in front of me. I was in the front with one other guy when we rounded the first corner at the quarter mile mark. I looked at my watch and I was doing a 4:07 pace! So ridiculous. Finally I pulled back a bit and quite a few people passed me, including the girl who would finish not just in first female, but as first overall with a 36:00 finish. She's competed in the Olympic Trials and has run with Kara Goucher and Des Linden, so clearly there is no shame in giving up first place to her!

Wrigley River Run

Around the first mile, another girl caught up to me and tons of men had already passed. I kept pushing through the first 2 miles, but by mile 3, I was spent and my legs were yelling at me. My goal at this point was just to not let another female pass me so I could take home 3rd place. I pushed through the next 3 miles feeling defeated as my pace slowed to 7:09 at mile 4, somehow pulled off a 6:53 at mile 5, and an even 7:00 at mile 6. I came into the finish shoot looking disappointed and beat. I knew I didn't PR and my time was much worse than last year. 

Photo courtesy of Wrigley river run

Photo courtesy of Wrigley river run

I met up with Ricky and he told me that the woman came in first overall. That made me super happy (girl power!). We waited and cheered on all of the GRVL runners as they came into the finish. After Peter came in, we went to check our official times. Mine was 43:11 with a 6:56 pace, but it said that I came in 4th overall female. When Peter looked up his bib, it said he was a 60 year old female who finished in 1:36:10 (he finished in 59:56). I figured something was wrong with the timing chips. I couldn't remember another woman passing me, and assumed I was third female. At this point, it didn't matter because I was still feeling disappointed in my body and my mind for dropping out on me. I keep thinking my body will jump back quickly, but based on the recent developments with my hurt ankle and the excessive racing I've done over the last year, it's clear that's not how it works anymore. That's had a affect on my attitude and ability to keep my mind focused sometimes.

Ricky and I went home shortly after checking the finish times. Cong let me know later that day that I came in 3rd female and he had my award (a nice pint glass) which was a nice surprise. While a bit of an uneventful race, I'm coming to realize again that not every race can be a PR and to accept that not every day is going to be my day.

J