Starting back up! (26.8M)

Sunday, December 30th
2 Trinity Park Trails loops + 3 strides in the morning (gravel)
Big 12 + 43' bike in the afternoon (plan was 60 minutes, but it hurt my knee too badly)
*Each loop is about 230m longer than 2 miles. First loop took 16:20, second took 15:38. Total run averaged around 7:26 pace. I'm definitely out of shape though because I have no control over pace right now. I run what I can run, get tired, slow down, pick back up, get tired, slow down, etc. Nothing wrong with that though... Gotta start somewhere! :)

Monday, December 31st
35' aqua jog during lunch
5M progression run after work (pavement) + core routine 1M with Jake (pavement)
*Started getting bad stomach pains and cramping just before it was time to run. Got worse during the run and ended up having to call it a day after the first mile.

Tuesday, January 1st
5M progression run early in the morning (pavement)
*Woke super early to get this in before leaving for Jake's race. Kind of messed up pacing plans by poor math, but I corrected it halfway through. I'm not terribly upset by that though because it was harder than you would think even at the paces I ran. 7:58, 7:42, 7:06, 6:56, 6:39 for a 7:16 average. Stomach pains returned mid morning and actually got to an excruciating point in the afternoon. Low food intake for the day, needless to say.

Wednesday, January 2nd
Still getting over the cramping and stomach pains. Residual aching and still a few cramps, but nothing at all like yesterday. Hoping that tomorrow I'll be good to get in my workout. No core for a couple more days though.

Thursday, January 3rd
2M easy + 4 x 3:00 hard uphill, easy recovery down (pavement)
*Finally feeling good and ready to run. My calves are still sore and got really tight while running, but we'll save that mystery for another day. I enjoyed this workout and made it a little bit farther with each rep. For the first three I got to where I was breathing hard and tired, but nothing crazy. The last one I actually had some lactate build up about halfway through, so I'm considering it a successful moderate workout. Taking things slow and really trying not to rush fitness this time around. 

Friday, January 4th
4M + 3 strides (treadmill)
*Ran on the treadmill today because it's been raining too much for soft surfaces and I don't want any more pavement this week if I can help it. Before the run, I got in a good bit of wake up drills and then spent 5 minutes or so with a foam roller. I started at 10:00 pace and worked down to the last 1.25 miles at 7:24 pace... Ended up finishing the run in 32:00 on the nose (entirely unplanned). The sad thing is how tired I was doing it. Felt like I was out for a hard run, not a nice casual run! I did my strides outside on the sidewalk, in case you were wondering how I did them on the treadmill. :) I planned to also aqua jog 35 minutes today but I had a follow up doctor appointment during my lunch hour and couldn't go.

Saturday, January 5th
3 and half Trinity Park Trails Loops in the morning (gravel)
15' bike + light strength work in the afternoon
*Felt absolutely terrible on this run... My legs felt like I was working at tempo effort from the very start. I couldn't have had a quicker turnover if I had to. Also, about halfway through I started getting a pain on the outside of my right foot, fairly close to the toe. Just something to keep an eye on. Still need to figure out this random leg soreness too. What crazy week back! At least it's in the books now!

Total Weekly Mileage: 26.8M, 90' cross training


Resting with a plan! (7M, 16M)

Going to finish out my seven day rest of no cross training or running and start back with one or the other on Wednesday morning. Hopefully this gives my body the chance it needs to start over healthy! We thought about scrapping the Woodlands Half Marathon in March so I wouldn't have to rush getting fit again, but decided a short build up is best for me, even if that means not being in great shape. I need to work on finished a half before I try putting in 20 weeks for a killer time. :) With that being said, Jake made me an eight or nine week plan that picks up the first week of January, so my goal is to be healthy enough to start back solid when that time comes. Even if that means sitting on my butt until then!! :) I'll keep doing the core and rehab this week, and starting Wednesday I'll add in cross training and maybe short light runs.

Sunday, December 16th
Big 12 (push ups/reverse crunch) ladder + rehab
*This simple core and PT combination of work took me a full hour without any idle time, so I think I'm going to try to budget 1 hour each morning this week to go to the gym and get it in before the day starts. That way if I do get confident enough to try cross training, I have time to do it later in the day. 

Monday, December 17th
Core routine 3 sets of 30" reps + foam rolling before work
20' aqua jog during lunch

Tuesday, December 18th
Med ball routine 3 sets of 30" reps
35' aqua jog during lunch

Wednesday, December 19th
27' easy run at night
*I caved on this one. Wanted to not run all the way until Saturday, but I felt really sick and didn't want to get in the pool.. an easy run was the best alternative I could think of. Plus, I saw the doctor today and he said as a doctor he has no reason to tell me not to run (I won't do long term damage) and I've had a full 7 days of no running. Unfortunately, as nice as it was to be running, shin, ankle, knee, and hip were the same as before. Definitely was like heaven just to run so lacsidasically though. :)

Thursday, December 20th
30' aqua jog at lunch

Friday, December 21st
Big 12 (push ups/reverse crunches/glute bridges/sit ups) ladder before work
4M easy run after work
*My ankle bothered me the whole run but my knee did not start until about 1.75 miles.

Saturday, December 22nd
18M bike with Jake at the lake (hard!)

Sunday, December 23rd
4M easy run on the track in Hull

Monday, December 24th
4M easy run at Herman Park in Houston

Tuesday, December 25th
rest day

Wednesday, December 26th
35' aqua jog during lunch
4M easy run with Jake after work (pavement)

Thursday, December 27th
35' aqua jog during lunch

Friday, December 28th
4M run during lunch (half pavement, half gravel)
40' aqua jog after work

Saturday, December 29th
45' aqua jog in the afternoon


Santa's Speedy Helper Race & a break! (7M)

I made it through the relay... now it's time to take a step back and get healthy! :) No need for a thorough recap of my running this morning as it was pretty embarrassingly terrible. I'm just glad I finished and we had four other incredibly fast ladies to pull my weight and secure a win!! :)

Here's a picture of (most) of the girls on my team. They were so sweet and a lot of fun to compete and hang out with! I'm definitely looking forward to more runs with them once I'm back to real training again!

Sunday, December 9th
scattered warm-up, 4.4M race, scattered cool down

Monday, December 10th
Jake's new core routine + 10' jump rope (tried biking but it was extremely painful for my left knee)

Tuesday, December 11th
Jake's new med ball routine + 15' easy run (left knee, right ankle, and right shin were painful)

Wednesday, December 12th
10' bike, 5' elliptical, 5' kicking on side of pool (left knee hurt on bike, right ankle hurt on elliptical)
Big 12 (push-up/reverse crunch) ladder + rehab

Thursday, December 13th
Jake's core routine

Friday, December 14th 

Saturday, December 15th 
Jake's med ball routine 


One week to go! (21M)

The relay is almost here... I'm really excited about it too! I haven't run "with" a team in a long time and I'm definitely looking forward to the thrill of that race day pressure. It's an entirely different game when others are counting on you compared to when you toe the line solo. Lots of doctor visits this week as well, so hopefully we can starting putting the puzzle pieces together.

Sunday, December 2nd
30' with Jake on the Katy Trail around noon (no Garmin) + 8 x 20" strides, 40" rest
COMMENTS: Nothing new really to share on this one. I definitely didn't feel as spry on this run as I have the past two days, but I think running in 80 degree sunlight with wind has a little bit to do with that. :) My leg was a bit of pain, but decided to try some strides anyways since I hadn't dropped pace in a week and a half or so. Probably about a 1/2 mile worth of strides before I called it.

Monday, December 3rd
Squats, pushups, and abs before work
30' with Jake in the neighborhood during lunch (no Garmin)
Cortisone shot after work
COMMENTS: Ran for the FIFTH straight day today! Woohoo! :) I had to stop about a mile and half in to stretch, but managed to finish out the full run anyways. Nothing fancy or fast today, just a plain jane run... nothing wrong with that though! Visited my orthopaedic doctor this afternoon to reevaluate my pain. He says the place I'm complaining of pain is actually where the lateral meniscus is (or something like that), so I'm getting an MRI tomorrow just to be sure everything is okay. I also went ahead and got a cortisone shot. I know what I can and can't do as far as running goes right now, so masking pain for a few weeks won't cause me to do further damage... hopefully all it does is makes the race on Sunday feel better! :)

Tuesday, December 4th
Rest day

Wednesday, December 5th
4.5M with Jake in the neighorhood during lunch (no Garmin)
COMMENTS: Ran with Jake during lunch again. I'm really excited by the amount of pressure the cortisone shot has taken off my knee. I still have a good bit of pain as I mentioned to Jake before we started, but it's more like a 4 compared to an 8 now!! ;) My ankle is now more of an issue than my knee, but I had that checked today and he does not think it is anything serious. We're doing a few more images to see if we can "prove" any specific problems, but it will probably come down to a cortisone shot for that one as well.

Thursday, December 6th
5M with Jake in the neighorhood during lunch (no Garmin)
COMMENTS: Took until 1.5 for my knee to get to me today... I'll take that! We started too fast for my liking and that combined with some emotional stresses early in the run made for some rough breathing. Because of that I skipped out on the 30",30"s I had wanted to do. Jake and I timed our fourth mile based on where we usually hit the mile mark and it was 6:26, so I would not be surprised if all five were sub 7:00. I don't think we really picked it up at any point, just started quick so it took a while to get used to the pace and settle in.

Friday, December 7th
10' run on the trail at DBU
COMMENTS: Felt more pain than I've had for weeks on this run and decided it was not worth prolonging it with the race on Sunday. As much as I really, really hate cutting a run short, I have to be smart right now. The pain was across the top of my knee, smack dab in the center of my thigh, in my groin, and in my hip. Not pleasant at all... Kind of like a bunch of hinges that need to be greased and then jamming a square leg into a round hip hole.

Saturday, December 8th
25' of 90" run, 30" walk in the morning
COMMENTS: I wanted more than 15 minutes of moving and being outside, so instead of just running two miles sluggishly (I ran right after waking up), I decided to mix it up and do a run/ walk mix. It worked pretty well and kept my heart rate elevated for the full time without me running extra miles. Still quite a bit of pain in my leg this morning, but I am more than confident in myself to finish my leg of the relay strong tomorrow. The power of running for a team is amazing! I will say that as soon as this is over, I'm going to have to change something...


Back on track?! (24.5M)

Rough week last week. I'll be making some phone calls in the morning to try to get into a doctor soon and then I'll have some decisions to make. I absolutely hate giving in on a fight before it knocks me out entirely. I'd rather run on a fractured bone right up until it breaks in two than stop early on. A big part of this is because I've had some very painful injuries in the past that went un-diagnosed and I got tired of people not believing me when I said how bad they were. Once an injury knocks you flat out, there's no denying that it was bad. But, at the same time, I think sometimes you have to swallow your wants and your pride and do what's best for your body. It would be so much easier for me to make a call if I was no longer fit or if I could not complete runs anymore, but every time I get ready to throw in the towel, I go sneak in a solid run. I'm still surprised that after three weeks of no running and then a month and a half of ten to 25 mile weeks I can still walk out and run three miles in sub 6:00 pace. I really, really, really want to hang in there for two more weeks so I can run a relay with some of the ladies in Dallas on December 9th, but I also don't want to jeopardize their record by not going into it fully fit or healthy enough to finish. If people are counting on me, I have to make the most responsible decision I know to make.

Sunday, November 25th
Core + 30' walk in the morning, finished with a half mile jog
4M: 2M easy, 2M of 32", 32" in the afternoon (7:17 AP)
COMMENTS: The pain on this run was pretty significant in the first mile but then eased up a bit in the second, so I decided if I was going to keep running I might as well throw some quality into it. My watch timer was set to beep every 32 seconds, so I started the timer and just alternated hard, easy. Mile splits were 8:43, 7:38, 6:28, 6:22. Definitely all that I needed to do today in terms of my leg, but I'm pleased with that. If I can string together two more weeks of this, that's the same thing I've been doing up until now and it's worked fairly well. No sense in getting greedy!

Monday, November 26th
Rehab exercises + core before work
4M naturally progressive during lunch (7:12 AP)
COMMENTS: I started the run with Jake and then decided to stop after a mile because it was too painful. After going inside to get a core mat and coming back out, I realized the pain had already released significantly so I decided to get in the rest of my run. Waited for Jake to come through his second mile and then jumped back in with him for his last two, finishing my fourth mile solo. Mile splits were 8:15, 7:10, 6:55, 6:30.

Tuesday, November 27th
4M easy with Jake (no Garmin)
COMMENTS: No Garmin or workout today; it was actually an unplanned run. I was supposed to get some groceries during lunch and take today off, but Jake wanted company and I've got to be able to run more than 3 days at a time eventually, right?! It felt like a normal run to me, but Jake said he thought it was one of the best runs we've had together... maybe it was faster than I thought. Who knows!

Wednesday, November 28th
Rest day. Core & rehab exercises only.

Thursday, November 29th
Core workout before work
4M with Jake during lunch (no Garmin)
COMMENTS: Ran on the gravel loop at DBU with Jake. Lots of pain on this run, maybe just because of the unstable surface? We started relatively easy but got to rolling pretty good by the end.

Friday, November 30th
Core workout before work
4.6M with Jake on the streets in Grand Prairie (no Garmin)
COMMENTS: Very good run if it weren't for the bad knee pain. I felt so fresh and strong - probably because I'm running so little these days and I haven't done a quality workout this week since I'm running with Jake on his doubles. I may try to slip in some 30/30's or cut down miles tomorrow. Anyways, not sure the total distance or pace today but we ran just shy of 33 minutes and the last bit was probably sub 6:30 pace for me.

Saturday, December 1st
30' with Jake at Prayer Mountain trails (no Garmin)
COMMENTS: Tolerated the trails much better than I expected... pain really wasn't any different than on a normal run. Only big difference from what I've been doing is the slower pace from frequent turns and watching roots.

**Update: I'm much more confident after this week in the relay! I have no doubts that I'll be able to get in a good warm up and complete ~4+ miles at a good pace. Just have to be tough mentally! :)


It's the week of giving thanks! (19M)

Sunday, November 18th
rest day. 2 sets of push ups, bicycle kicks, superman, 60" dynamic plank

Monday, November 19th
20' HIIT bike + 2 x strength circuit before work
4M: 2M easy, 2M progressive during lunch
dry needle session after work
COMMENTS: Almost stopped before I finished the first mile today as I had a lot of pain in my right ankle and still in my left groin, thigh, and knee. I decided I've already messed it up, though, so I might as well get some work in?! 2M easy in 15:50 followed by 2M progressive uptempo in 6:29 and 6:13.

Tuesday, November 20th
5M easy Last minute decision to travel to The Woodlands when I got off work... no chance to run.

Wednesday, November 21st
4M easy with 30", 90" for the last ten minutes
COMMENTS: Didn't have too bad of pain in my leg until I got to mile 2 and then it kicked in pretty bad. Finished out the run with my 30" surges and felt much less tired after those than when I started run. 

Thursday, November 22nd
2.3M of easy running to warm up
5M turkey trot race --- 3M turkey trot
COMMENTS: I knew when I started my warm up that I had an uphill battle ahead of me. It was extremely painful... I haven't run in the morning since all of this started and I think that was a big part of it. I told Jake before the start that I didn't know if I could run, but we decided I would line up and try. I came thru mile 1 at 5:59 - Perfect. Mile 2, 5:54 - Even better (goal was to avg 6:00 pace for the full 5 miles). Turned a corner, and bam, a sharp pain in my hip and knee that I'm all too familiar with now. I knew I was running perfectly pace wise and I was surrounded by other people that I figured could pull me to a great run, so I decided to give it a chance to fizzle out. At 2.5 it was getting worse and I was having to alter my stride quite a bit. I looked down and saw I was averaging 6:14 pace. At that point I knew I was in a lose-lose situation. There were 6+ ladies in front of me (no way I was going to place), I was well off PR pace (no chance of bettering my running resume), and I was in serious pain. I decided that I would finish out mile 3 at a good effort and call it a day. Came through mile 3 in 18:01 and stepped to the side. I walked for quite a bit and then got restless about the pain of walking and how far I had left to get back, so I tried to "trot" back - That's when I knew without a doubt I made the right choice. Oh well - no loss with trying. Got in 3 miles harder than I would've if I went out for a five mile run, so surely it did something good for me.

Friday, November 23rd
Rest day... too much pain to run on.

Saturday, November 24th
30' easy with Jake at the soccer fields
COMMENTS: Felt just fine physically, but terrible pain from step one. Made for a pretty miserable experience. :( Hopefully Monday's treatment will help some. :(


Pressing on... (25M)

I'm going to try running three days on, one off this week. My knee is holding steady (thank you!!) but my ankle is getting progressively worse, particularly in the early mornings. I'm hoping to get it checked out again this week.

Sunday, November 11th
4M run with Jake in the neighborhood (7:26 AP)
COMMENTS: Nothing fancy on this one... I felt terrible (stomach-wise) so it made the run feel pretty crummy, BUT it was my first time to run three days straight so I'm pleased with that! I tried to do a couple of Jake's form drills with him after the run but my ankle wasn't allowing it. I tried to push off for a high knee and nope, not happening. So then I tried a butt kick and no, that wasn't happening either. Ouch. It's so strange because when I was resting for those first few weeks after my knee blew up, high knees and butt kicks were two of my staple keep busy and moving exercises.

Monday, November 12th
rest day. 5' jump rope + 2 sets of a strength circuit

Tuesday, November 13th
20' bike with 7 x 30" sprint, 90" recovery before work
5M: 2M easy, 3M of 30", 30" fartlek in the neighborhood during lunch (6:55AP)
COMMENTS: I am likely off on the AP for this run as I didn't have a Garmin to use. Very good quality regardless; I am guessing around 6:30 pace for the first mile of the fartlek portion, cutting down slightly from there. Not much pain during the run itself, only before and after. :)

Wednesday, November 14th
10' bike + 2 sets of same strength circuit as Monday... very good mix of exercises
5M: 2M easy, 3M time trial in the neighborhood during lunch (6:47 AP)
COMMENTS: Made a last minute decision (as in at 9:40 in the morning while eating a second bowl of oatmeal and drinking coffee) that I would time trial a 5k during lunch. Ran two miles easy with Jake and then we set out for the 5k. Very glad he was out there because his twig like body at least resembled (in my mind) some form of protection from the wind every time we got to the long uphill stretch. :) Warm up averaged 8:05 pace, then ran the 3 miles in 5:54, 5:56, 5:55. Did not run 5K as my late and large breakfast was not thrilled about the intensity level and I did not want to taste breakfast twice... three miles was close enough for me. :) As I am writing, however, my leg is killing me. Ice and advil have already been started.

Thursday, November 15th
4M run with Jake during lunch (~7:30 AP)
COMMENTS: Very painful knee, hip, and groin today, but other than that, felt very good. No garmin... we ran on the gravel trail at DBU... first time off the Capella Park paved loop! Woohoo!

Friday, November 16th
rest day. 30' interval bike before work + 10' warm up and strength circuit during lunch

Saturday, November 17th
7+M with Jake on Trinity River Corridor (~7:15 AP)

Total Weekly Mileage: 25M


The blind training continues! (22M)

It looks like we've now made it to week 4 of training without any idea whether or not I'll be able to finish a day's run. And, so far, there have only been a handful where I wasn't able to! Wow! I won't say any of them felt good or that I am pain free during the daytime now, but, I am at least able to run an average of 4 miles at a time before I have to call it a day (which I consider worthwhile)! I figure if I can keep stringing together 20 mile weeks with half the mileage at AT pace, then I'm at least going to come out of this ready to train when my leg can handle it. Keeping things simple and short again while we try to figure out how to get me healthy enough to KNOW I can finish my runs when I set out for the day! :)

Sunday, November 4th
5M: 2M easy, 3M steady at noon (7:01 AP)
18M bike around the lake while Jake ran
COMMENTS: Once again, the effort level was controlled, comfortable, but still a run; unfortunately, the legs/ ankle weren't being very amicable today. Mile splits were 8:01, 7:34, 6:37, 6:34, 6:24.

Monday, November 5th
Rest day. Didn't cross train at all; only did core exercises. Trying to "really" give my leg a break when I don't run.

Tuesday, November 6th
35' stationary bike with 15 x 30" hard, 90" easy
4M naturally progressive with Jake at noon (7:23 AP)
COMMENTS: Definitely still having a lot of pain in my hip, along my IT band, down my inner thigh, and in my right ankle. It's driving me crazy because I'm used to injuries that you can run through feeling better after some down time and this doesn't seem to do that. Everyone keeps telling me that IT bands take a really, really long time to heal though, so I just have to be patient! :/ Anyway, our mile splits today were 8:04, 7:30, 7:10, 6:50. I was glad I got to run with Jake and have some time to catch up about our days, but unless my daily runs drop to about 30" faster this will probably be the last one we do together! It was just perfect for me though... Hard enough effort at the end to make it worth the run, but not so hard I'm huffing and puffing or tight after we're done.  

Wednesday, November 7th
5M: 2M easy, 2M of 30" quick, 30" recovery, 1M easy (7:08 AP)
30' bike after work
COMMENTS: I did not expect to run today as I had a lot of pain all morning, but every mile I felt like it would hold up for one more so I just kept going! So thankful!! :) I've been going into the 30"/30" workouts with more anxiety than the steady or naturally progressive runs (I suppose because I don't know what will happen when I try to run hard?), but they've all gone surprisingly quick and have been really enjoyable. Mile splits today were 8:36, 7:49, 6:18, 6:06, 6:55. If nothing else, I can at least encouraged that all of my workouts have improved every time I've repeated them. 

Thursday, November 8th
20' bike
Still in a lot of pain, so really not motivated to workout.. I feel like I'm halfway doing things because I don't want to be "hurting" myself and I'm still not convinced that that's not what I'm doing.

Fridaay, November 9th
20' walk & rehab exercises before work
4M: 2M easy, 2M steady at noon (7:21 AP)
COMMENTS: Went by the trainer's office at DBU today before I ran to see what they thought about my ankle. They said where it hurts is where two bones meet, but that since I can turn my ankle without pain that I probably don't need to be concerned. I still have significant pain with walking or any weight on it though, ESPECIALLY in the mornings, so I'm not sure what I need to do. I ended up running after all and got in four on the treadmill before getting back to work. 8:40: 7:39, 6:38, 6:30. Weird to do this on the treadmill and not running on land without knowing pace!

Saturday, November 10th
4M naturally progressive on the treadmill (7:37 AP) + core & rehab exercises
COMMENTS: Got it in again... I'll let you guess the rest of the details. :) Mile splits today were 8:20, 7:55, 7:25, 6:50. Again, very hard to do this on the treadmill... takes a lot more patience and self control!!

Total Weekly Mileage: 22M


Guess and check (20.5M)

Each run has become a sort of "guess and check" system. Guess how much my leg can handle and then give it a try. Sometimes I'll be able to sneak in an extra half mile, sometimes I have to cut it short. Hoping to see some improvements from the PT this week. I'm backing off of the cross training as I am no longer mid season or with a possible race coming up, and I hate doing just to do it... no motivation. As long as I'm getting in 30+ minutes of physical activity each day, I'm going to be happy with that and let things be.

Sunday, October 28th
4M progressive through the neighborhood in the afternoon (7:27 AP)
COMMENTS: We ran in the afternoon so both of our stomachs were upset! The plan was 8:30, 8:00, 7:30, 7:00, but we had trouble feeling out the pace. We still progressed and kept things comfortable so mission accomplished regardless. 8:14, 7:30, 7:21, 6:45 for the miles. My hip and leg were sore before started and particularly painful and different points, but when I got to about 3.25 I was back at the point of wondering if it would hold me the next step. Not a big fan of this guessing game lately. 6' of pedestal routine afterwards.

Monday, October 29th
40' bike with 20' of 30",30" in the morning
4M: 1M easy, 2M of diagonals, 1M easy during lunch (7:17 AP)
PT session at night
COMMENTS: Worst hip, knee pain today that I've had in quite a while  :( Really, really painful. I got in the run though, and tomorrow is my day off, so I'm just going to pray and trust that it's ready to go again on Wednesday. I didn't want to do diagonals on the track like planned because I was afraid of all the turning I'd have to do, so I stuck to my same neighborhood loop I've been using and just did a 30", 30" fartlek. I'm convinced that if my leg were not hurting right now, I'd be able to have some great workout because everything feels so good and easy. Miles today were 8:47, 6:36, 6:16, 7:16.

Tuesday, October 30th
Rest day. I originally planned to bike today, but was in so much pain that I felt it was smarter to take off completely.

Wednesday, October 31st
4.5M: 2M easy, 2M @ 6:45 pace, .5M easy during lunch (7:40 AP)
rehab exercises and core + 15' stair master after work
COMMENTS: I am still in pain sitting around and walking, so I was not expecting to get in a run today, but surprisingly my leg really wasn't much worse running than it was sitting/ walking around! Taking advantage of it, I tacked on a 1/2 mile easy after the planned 4 mile workout. I was supposed to run 2 easy and then 2 at 6:45 pace; ended up with paces of 9:13, 8:23, 6:41, 6:37, 7:18 which is really right where he wanted me. Felt great too, physically! I almost didn't pick up the pace after 2 miles because I was just so grateful to be able to run I didn't want to ruin it, but I decided to at least give it a try. Thankfully it still was tolerable and the pace actually felt very comfortable. Very, very appreciative! Checking back in after my evening workout.. pretty strong groin pain today so I cut the cross training short. :/

Thursday, November 1st
20' HIIT bike (30" all out, 90" recovery) + 15' steady elliptical + 20 push ups in the morning
4M progressive through the neighborhood at lunch (7:19 AP)
COMMENTS: This is the absolute worst my knee has been since day 1 of no running. I can barely bend my knee (writing this an hour after my run today) and am in so much pain. :) I knew it would be bad when I stopped and I thought about stopping early, but knowing how painful it would be after running, I decided it was best to get home running instead of walking. Definitely glad I have PT today. :/ At any rate, aside from my leg I felt wonderful on my run again. Clicking off the miles and cutting down the pace like nothing... just so comfortable! Mile splits were 8:12, 7:25, 7:02, 6:39.

Friday, November 2nd
45' bike through the neighborhood + 5' jump rope
COMMENTS: Very concerned about the pain in my leg still, so I put this off until the last minute (not expecting to do anything). Decided to try biking the neighborhood once to see how it felt and ended up not having pain doing some easy biking so I just kept going. jumping (rope) isn't bad either because I don't have to bend my knee, so I jumped 500 jumps with the jump rope before calling it a day.

Saturday, November 3rd
4M: 2M easy, 2M of 30" quick, 30" recovery at noon (7:30 AP)
45' bike in the evening
COMMENTS: Wow. I cannot tell you how shocked I was (and THANKFUL) that I was able to do this entire run. And honestly with much less pain than some of my other runs this week! I accidentally messed up and did two easy before starting the "diagonals" (which I'm doing as a fartlek for now), but I think the only ill effect of that mistake was slowing down my overall time and pace a bit since my second mile was not as fast as it would have been if I ran easy after doing the surge miles. At any rate, mile splits today were 9:11, 8:08, 6:21, 6:15. I finished off the day with a 45 minute bike since that's what I needed to hit 5 and half hours of cardio for the week.

Total weekly mileage: 20.5 miles averaging 7:27 pace. I'LL TAKE IT WITH A SMILE!!! :)


Pennies in my penny bank (18M)

Right now I'm managing an average of twenty minutes on runs before my leg gets too tight and starts to give out. Twenty minutes is not much, but it does keep me in the running motion and it's a daily reminder of why I want to be healthy again. I love the feeling so much that I have a renewed desire to get back at it every time I get a small taste. This will be my first full week of PT and steroid stim treatment, so maybe by the time I blog next week it'll be thirty minutes that I'm averaging. :)

I agreed to do a relay on December 9th with some other ladies in the Dallas area, so I do want to be working towards gaining "running" fitness again; even with the barrier my IT band is putting up right now. Jake wrote me out a cross training/ running/ strength plan to try this week, so I'm going to put my body to the test and see how things go. It will be much more time consuming than what I've been doing, but I suppose when you're not able to log miles on foot, you have to make a few other sacrifices.

Sunday, October 21st
10 mile bike with Jake at the lake + 2.7 mile run at Norbuck Park
30' rehab exercises at night
COMMENTS: I was hoping to get in four this morning, but my leg just wasn't putting up with it. Not sure if it was the surface, the PT work I've been doing, or something else, but I didn't have a choice to push through this one. Called it about 20 minutes in and counting it as a few more pennies in my bank. It'll add up one day.

Monday, October 22nd
PT in the morning
3M hard at lunch (6:55 AP)
45' cross training (HR avg 173) + upper body strength in the evening
COMMENTS: PT was much better this week than last. Not much work physically, but an eye opener to some very poor balancing skills and an awesome knee massage. My three miles were very solid, and probably way too hard. First mile 8:16, then 6:20, then 6:09. For not having warmed up and doing no drills or stretching, it's no wonder I felt like it was a full on race! I did the run through our neighborhood and capped it off with a 1/2 mile recovery jog to get my breath back! I noticed my leg in the first mile and in the recovery, but not much during those two hard miles. Did 10' elliptical (had to stop because it hurt my inner thigh/hip/pelvic bone on the left leg), 10' rowing, 25' biking. HR% was about 70 for the elliptical and bike, then 75-80 for the bike. It was extremely hard work to get it up and keep it up! Thirty seconds of recovery biking would drop it straight back to 130! 

Tuesday, October 23rd
60' bike (HR avg 143) + 5' core in the morning
30' rehab exercises and lower body strength during lunch
PT session after work
COMMENTS: It is seriously SO hard to get your heart rate up on the bike! And once it is up, it's very hard to keep it there; especially for 60 minutes! I don't think there is a such thing as an "easy" bike when going by HR! :) But I'm excited to know I'm actually getting work in! Legs were shaky after strength workout during lunch. Also, the therapist had me stop halfway through our exercises because of where and how my knee was catching/popping. Said it was characteristic of meniscus problems and wanted me to have my doctor get the MRI film instead of just the results. I'm guessing it's nothing big though.

Wednesday, October 24th
3M run (HR avg 164) with Jake in the morning + 3 x 15" strides
COMMENTS: Felt like trash my run this morning and when I looked down about five minutes in my HR was at 188! In fact, my Garmin says it picked up a max HR of 210! I think I figured out part of the problem during the day though since I felt worse and worse as time went on. Sore throat, headache, earache, and what felt like a fever. Bleh. Skipped the 45' cross training and strength workout at night.

Thursday, October 25th
PT session, 3.5M treadmill run (HR avg 163), 30' bike (HR avg 145)
COMMENTS: Very long day today. Had to be downtown by 7AM for some testing, felt nauseous all day afterwards because of what I had to drink so I couldn't workout at lunch. Went to the gym after PT and got in what I could up until 8:30 and then called it quits to go fix dinner and get some rest (so no, I did not get in the full 60' cross training that was scheduled). Ran the first mile at 8:15 pace, second at 7:30 pace, last 1.5 at 6:58 pace.. felt okay aside from my stomach. Leg was starting to get bad during the last half mile so I couldn't have slipped in one more half. Considering PT as my lower body strength work for today.

Friday, October 26th
1M run + 3 x 15" strides during lunch
4M run (HR avg 168) after work in 30:20
COMMENTS: Went out in the cold during lunch to try and get in my run but my leg was having none of it. Locked up for good .75M in, so I stretched a bit and luckily was able to run back. Stretched a good while afterwards and in between each 15" stride. Got in my run on the treadmill at night. I was able to finish without it locking up, but was in major major pain for the run. Really starting to wonder if I trust this doctor's "you can run through this" statement...

Saturday, October 27th
45' very casual bike alongside Jake while he ran


A glimmer of hope (18M)

I began last week not expecting to run at all, but looking forward to being active again thanks to Jake's strength circuits. God, however, had a different plan and I am so grateful. I got in four runs that were about a mile long or more, and one of them had almost a full mile at 6:40 pace (I'm not a slow, completely-out-of-shape slob yet!!)! Each run was painful, and there were a couple days where I tried, but just couldn't eek out the run without being dangerous with my bio-mechanics and stride, but it was "doable" for those four runs!

I see the orthopedic doctor tomorrow afternoon and will hopefully get some more answers then, so I'm going to wait until then before I write out my plans for this week.

Sunday, October 14th
20' run with 3 pick-ups at the end + lower body strength circuit

Monday, October 15th
20' run with last half up-tempo + upper body strength circuit
COMMENTS: Least discomfort and pain I have had yet while running, up until the end! Anytime I was running downhill, my knee and hip would lock up and I would lose form, but level ground and uphill running was fine! I think I pulled something in my back doing the upper body workout though, haha. :)

Tuesday, October 16th
20' run + 10' bike; 60' rehab exercises & foam rolling in the evening
COMMENTS: I met with my Orthopedic doctor today and found out it's only ITBS. Definitely a relief, but the hard part is figuring out how to heal it. ITBS takes an average of 6 to 9 months to heal, so if we aren't smart I could be out for a while. I'm going to do rehab exercises/foam rolling every other day and he found some AlterG treadmills in Dallas that I can try to get use on as well. I'm also going to continue running whatever my body allows. Jake's good coaching friends says that ITBS is something you may as well run on until it doesn't let you because the movement increases blood flow and promotes healing. I'm not sure I agree 100%, but I do think it will be beneficial to continue light, short runs as much as possible. Mostly I'm just thankful to have an answer!

Wednesday, October 17th
30' run
COMMENTS: Got it in! Every step I take, I take it wondering if I'll be able to take one more. I try to stay as close to where I started as possible so I don't have too far of a walk back, but so far I've been able to tough it out for the full runs. I'm just hoping this is helping and not delaying the healing process. I'm going to keep doing rehab every other day, but not sure where the balance is with my running.

Thursday, October 18th
Full body circuit

Friday, October 19th
20' run (5' easy, 5' medium, 5' of 30" fast, 30" easy, 5' hard) + rehab
COMMENTS: I am getting tired just aimlessly running for whatever amount of time my body lets me, so I snuck out during my lunch break for a quick "structured" run. I spent 5 minutes running easy, then picked up pretty good for 5 more. After that, I went straight into 5 minutes of 30" fast, 30" recovery, and then finished it up with 5 minutes hard. Let's just say I was BEAT by the time I finished!! :) As embarrassingly short as 20 minutes is, I'm very thankful for this run today!

Saturday, October 20th
4M run + rehab
COMMENTS: I went to out to Kiest park for this one; I've been doing all runs since I started back in the neighborhood, so I thought I would try getting to a softer surface where I didn't have to turn every 100m. It ended up being a bitter sweet choice. I got in four miles (longest run yet) and actually ran them pretty quick to finish in 29:35, but it was also my most painful run yet. I was in pain from the start, but not sure how to get back to the car without finishing the loops! Regardless, I got in 30 minutes of running and can rest it up to be ready for tomorrow!


Nothing new, really. (6M)

Still no diagnosis (no doctor appointment yet) and still unable to run.

Jake is writing me some circuit workouts to keep me busy and active and they're working GREAT. I cannot even put it into words how sore I am today!! :)

At any rate, if I hear anything from a doctor this week or if I manage to get back to running some, I'll post an update. If not, I'll see you all next week. :)

I've done some light running this week. I am still in steady pain (both running and not running), but my leg does not give out at any point, which is honestly the reason I had to stop running to begin with. I see an orthopedic doctor on Monday, so until then I'm going to stick to 10 to 20 minute shakeouts for as long as I can. I'm trying not to get too excited or eager because it's so painful still (definitely don't think I could make it past 3 miles if I had to), but anything is better than nothing!! :)

Tuesday - 8' shuffle
Thursday - 15' easy run
Friday - 15' with last 6 minutes at 6:40 pace
Saturday - 3' shuffle (hurt too bad to continue)


Me and my fragile body... (1.5M)

To catch everyone up to speed, I began having minor knee pain about two weeks ago following a pretty hilly 10k race I ran. I recall several runs where I complained about my knee and considered dropping the workout or cutting my run short; but, confident that it was not a bone injury, I pressed on. I'm not familiar with knee injuries or knee pain, so I really had nothing to compare it to. All I knew is it hurt, but it did not affect my stride... there was no limping necessary! :) I completed the full week of training (with some pretty awesome workouts) and then knocked out a great 9M steady run the next Saturday without knee pain; only some minor hip flexor pain which had actually started the same time as my knee pain.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, however, got progressively worse. On Tuesday, I joined the DBU girls for some sub-pace work on the grass track. I planned to stop if at any point the pain forced me to alter my stride, but rep after rep, I finished feeling completely normal. The recovery jogs, though, were absolutely brutal! I felt significant pain during those. After my last rep, I was told to get in 7' easy for a cool down... I eeked out 5' but was limping by the end of the first lap (for some reason easy running made everything more magnified). Ever since then, I've been completely unable to run. I can do jumping jacks, partial squats, and knee lifts, just fine, but ask me to start running or walk downhill or down stairs and it gives out entirely. My left knee and hip are the two pain points keeping from running right now, but the time off has shown me how little my right ankle has healed since spraining it. The worst pain is when I first wake in the morning, but it really doesn't get much better during the day. Just lucked out that it doesn't stop me from running properly.

Needless to say, I'm a mess right now. I need my left hip, left knee, and right ankle all doctored up, but there's always one pain over-powering the rest so each doctor only treats one of them. (AKA, I can't get them all taken care of in one appointment and I don't need to miss work or pay for three separate MRI's and doctor appointments, so I'm really up a creek!)

This week I will hopefully get some good news from my knee MRI, but that's about all I can expect. Most likely there won't be any running, lower body strength, or cross training for the week, so I won't be writing the days out unless something changes.

Best wishes to those of you training right now! It's the BEST weather you'll get all year! :)

**Got in a light shuffle on Thursday morning and again with Jake in Chicago... very painful, but nice to run. Only 5 to 10 minutes each.


Still kicking! (17M)

So, despite the myriad of seemingly disconnected aches and pains I'm dealing with right now, I would consider last week very successful. If the hard-easy rule is accurate, I will be just fine. :) Last week I basically only ran 4 days and got in 43 miles; that's almost 11 miles per day. Furthermore, about 23 of those 43 were quality (~7:00 pace down to 6:00 pace). That's a solid week, in my opinion.

If I can get this ankle/foot/knee/glute/hip flexor stuff to stop fighting me so much, things just might work out perfectly. Although, knowing me that's a pretty big if. :) Since I got in quite a bit of "longer" hard work these last two weeks, we're mixing things up with some shorter faster work this week. It'll be good to keep my training as well rounded as we can while still salvaging my health. :) I feel pretty comfortable in the 6:30 range and I am feeling more comfortable about the distance as well, but dropping to anything sub half marathon pace (6:10ish), especially for an extended period of time, still knocks me down pretty good.

With 6 weeks remaining until race day, I know I have plenty of time and am not really concerned, but it's crazy to think about how fitness changes so quickly. If my race were next week it'd be pitiful, but for some reason I have full confidence that in 6 weeks it can be extremely successful. Amazing how our bodies work.

Sunday, September 23rd
40' easy on soft surfaces
COMMENTS: Very glad I did my run this morning... I ran into Sarah (one of Jake's college athletes) when I got to the gravel travel and spent most of my run with her. Went by so fast! My knee wasn't as bad today, but my right ankle and my left quad and hip flexor were pretty bad. Icing now and hoping it all eases up soon. Other than the aches, I felt great this morning. No soreness or fatigue from yesterday.

Monday, September 24th
40' easy on soft surfaces + 6 uphill sprints
COMMENTS: Ran to DBU and then spent most of my run on the trail and grass track. I ran into Sarah and Glynis today and Jake joined us after a couple minutes as well. It was definitely a slow run for me, but I needed it as my knee, hip flexor, and ankle are very painful. I almost stopped at several points, but without knowing what I'm dealing with, it's hard to convince myself the benefit of stopping. If I don't feel better after 24 hours off or anything, then it doesn't seem to make sense to skip an easy run? I don't know... may have to rest everything one day later this week though. We'll see! Got the strides in on a slight hill in front of our house... 20" hard up, 40" easy down.

Tuesday, September 25th
20' easy, 2x400, 4x1200, 2x400, 5' easy
COMMENTS: Nearly skipped this one again because of my knee pain (it has extended to my hip and runs along the IT band as well now, so I definitely need to try stretches and such), but decided missing 3 Tuesday workouts in a 5 week period was not a very good idea.. :) At any rate, I started way too fast for the first 400 because I expected them to be so hard - which they were, but maybe they would have been a little easier if I hadn't dug a hole for myself with the first one! :) I had the DBU girls to run with for the 1200's and then finished off my last 400's in spikes to test them out. I don't know if it was the crazy high humidity, windy, or soggy grass, but something about today's workout was off and it was twice as hard as expected. Regardless, we got it in and another day is in the books! Here are the splits based on grass track cones- 74, 79, 4:31, 4:27, 4:23, 4:25, 80, 78 (5:44 AP) and based on my Garmin 73, 76, 4:16, 4:14, 4:09, 4:12, 76, 74 (5:28 AP). I'll call it in the middle and say it was 4 miles averaging 5:36 pace.

Wednesday, September 26th
rest day. anesthesia for some testing... basically a bed rest day.

Thursday, September 27th
12 miles with 8-11 hard
I'm still out of it from the anesthesia. And my day completely off didn't help the knee either. I tried running this morning but couldn't go 10 meters. Walking down hills or down stairs is absolutely the worse. Saw the school's trainer and he said it's my meniscus. Trying to get a doctor appointment now, but the trainer said I'll need an MRI so it'll probably be awhile before we get answers.

Friday, September 28th
40' easy + strides or pre-race
Today marks missed run #2. I think it would be interesting (if I heal and get back to training before my Half) to see how many days of running I had to miss during this training season due to injury. Slight improvement to my knee... definitely still not runnable as I still have pain walking around and bending it, but still a noticeable improvement! My doctor called back this morning and is going to put in a request for an MRI and get me referred to a local Orthopedic doctor she knows.

Saturday, September 29th
4x2M repeats or 6k race 
 Alright, so I haven't run, cross trained, or lifted weights for 4 full days now. Definitely not liking the looks of this. If I were biking or something I would at least feel like there was some hope left for me to pick back up in a week or two without losing much... Not seeing that as the case right now.. :( MRI of left knee today.

Total Weekly Mileage: 17M


Settling is not an option (43M)

Not that it ever was an option, but, after this weekend I am even more aware of how important it is to maintain focus. Maintaining focus does not mean hammering day in and day out, nor does not settling mean never resting. What it does mean, though, is not giving up on your goal no matter what gets thrown at you. Be it an injury, a hilly course, strong competition, poor weather, etc, you do not settle for less than what you set out for. I set out this summer to run a fall half marathon in sub 6:10 pace. Since then I have run into a few injuries, I've seen portions of the course that I know will be challenging on race day, I've raced against some of my competition, and though I could take those things as excuses to just to finish the race in a respectable time, I will not. I am no elite runner. I'm not the best in Dallas, I'm not even the best within a five mile radius of my house, but I made a goal, I have a coach who is preparing me to accomplish that goal, and if I can maintain focus it is definitely achievable.

I had a wake up call on Saturday morning to something I've been neglecting in training... hills. In light of my experience, I'm going to try and throw a few more hills into my training over the next seven weeks. This week will be about recovering/healing a bum ankle and foot while still getting in a solid long run and a couple race specific sessions.

Sunday, September 16th
Rest day - 2 hour bike with Jake at the lake
Strength session in the evening
*pain on top of left foot in between 1st & 2nd metatarsal (near middle of foot, not near toes) as well as pain on right ankle... resting both in effort to save the pounding for a higher quality day. 

Monday, September 17th
Core session during lunch
40' easy run on the grass track + 6 uphill steep strides in the evening 
COMMENTS: By the time I ran this evening my left foot had eased up to a barely noticeable ache and only my ankle was causing me decent pain. Don't get me wrong, I am BEYOND thankful for getting in this run and the strides, but I seriously felt like poop. Twelve minutes into the run I looked down to check the time because my joints were aching and my arms and legs felt like lead, haha. Needless to say I mentally struggled through a very slow run tonight! :) Hoping the soft surface and relaxed effort will have me ready to roll for tomorrow's barn burner!! 

Tuesday, September 18th
2M easy, 3M @ HMP, 3' rest, 2M @ HMP, 2' rest, 1M @ HMP, .5M easy on hilly route
COMMENTS: This was by far the hardest workout I've done since starting back up. In fact my stomach felt more like a mid/end-race stomach than it has in my races so far once we got about half way in! I definitely had to work and there were some points were I know I gave up for a portion, but Jake was (thankfully) pacing me and reminded me to take control make things up when I was on a downhill or with the wind. We did the first 3M on a super hilly loop and the 2M, 1M reps on a moderately hilly loop, both into some rough wind and in the sun, so I definitely got a taste of less-than-ideal conditions, haha. All in all, I'm very pleased with this workout. I wanted to quit after each rep, but Jake challenged me every time to fight through it. The first 1200 of each rep felt very good for the pace, but after that I definitely struggled. I also noticed that the uphill (whether gradual or steep) was more of a challenge for me than the wind. Paces were 6:05 (3M), 6:07 (2M), 5:55 (1M) with about a 1/2 mile shuffle between each. As far as injuries go, I still have left knee pain and right ankle pain, but my left foot is good to go! :)

Wednesday, September 19th
Rest day 
Walk/ short jog in the morning + core and stretching during lunch
Thursday, September 20th 
14M progressive on the grass track
COMMENTS: So pumped to have this run in. I want to get in several 14+ milers and that means every week's long run is key from here on out! Unfortunately my first four miles were so slow that the overall run was nothing stellar, but the last third or so was spot on and I'm pumped about that! I didn't get in any pre-run fuel, but had a GU (tri-berry... disgusting!) at 7 miles with a few swigs of water. Went down fine but definitely didn't like it. Also, my left knee and right ankle are really bothering me still but I'm going to give it a week and hope it passes. Miles today were 9:34, 8:24, 8:17, 8:07, 7:44, 7:32, 7:21, 7:09, 6:56, 6:52, 6:47, 6:44, 6:34, 6:26. Just wish I hadn't slogged thru the first four so much so it'd really be a solid run, but the AP ended up being 7:28.

Friday, September 21st
15' shakeout after work
COMMENTS: Had a fasting doctor appointment in downtown Dallas in the morning, so I couldn't run until after work. Felt so terrible when I started (mix of heat and the knee/ankle pain I've been having and unsettled food from an afternoon snack) that I ended up just shuffling for 15 minutes and didn't even do any strides. Waste of a day but probably good for me to at lease loosen up after work.

Saturday, September 22nd
2M easy, 8M @ 6:25-6:30 pace, 2M easy 15k @ 6:25-6:30 pace, 1M easy
COMMENTS: Really, really lucked out with this one! On Thursday night I found this race online and realized there was a $100 cash award for first place. It was not very fast last year, so we figured it was the perfect chance to get in my workout and make some money at the same time! :) I had some serious stomach pain that kept me up all night and had an unsettled stomach during my warmup too (stopped twice to use the restroom during my 2M warm up!!), so I was glad it wasn't a major race day. On the start line I was actually panicking because I had to go so bad but couldn't! At any rate, the plan was to run 6:30's unless I had to race to get the $100. Since it ended up not being competitive, I got to go with plan A! :) Mile paces were 6:29, 6:27, 6:26, 6:25, 6:19, 6:28, 6:28, 6:28, 6:23, 6:16 (last .47M). Averages out to 6:25 pace so I hit the nail on the head! There were a few miles where I looked down after 800m and was either way faster or slower than pace and had to make a drastic change in the second half, but it all evened out nicely. Made a friend with a guy named Dan and ran (talking!) with him for the second and third miles. Very pleased with this run as it was a good lesson learning and I felt strong on it. Also learned Gatorade does NOT settle well on my stomach! Started getting a calf and quad cramp in mile 3 so took Gatorade at the next stop (5M), very, very, very bad choice! Oh well, lesson learned! :)

Total Weekly Mileage: 43M


Back in the swing of things! (49.5M)

I'm so thankful to be running again! Taking a week off was one of the hardest things I've done in a while, but I know that if I hadn't rested I would have lost much more time later. My ankle no longer hurts while running, so I'm excited and ready to attack these last 8 weeks with a vengeance! Carefully, though, of course! :)

This week I'll be racing the Tour de Fleurs 10k on Saturday morning, so we're keeping the front half of the week normal and then backing off a tad for the last couple days going into the race. I'm not at a place in training where I'll be set up for a PR or a fancy time, but this one does have pretty sweet prizes so I'd like to be fifth or so if I'm able. I'm going to aim for sub-6:00 pace and see where that puts me.

As I said earlier, I'm now eight weeks away from my goal race, which means it's time to start looking at switching to race pace (race specific) workouts. Kicking that off with 6 by a mile of HMP down to HMP-15" on Tuesday and then a hard 6 miler (10k race) on Saturday. Over the course the following 7 weeks, Jake has my workouts designed to include lots of HMP or just below HMP work and I'm really looking forward to it. I remember that this is the phase of training last year where I saw the most significant jumps in my fitness, and I believe I'm already more fit going into it than I was last year.

Sunday, September 9th
7M 10M at White Rock Lake w/ light surges for the last 5 miles
Strength super-sets in PM
COMMENTS: This was only supposed to be a 7 mile run, but I adjusted the workout halfway through for a couple reasons. 1. I know I'll be doing short runs for the second half of this week, so there won't be any long or medium long days. 2. The weather was 100% perfect. Light breeze, cool temps.. You just have to take advantage of those days when you train in Texas. 3. I started so incredibly slow that I know the extra miles would not wear me down. When I got to 3.5 miles I was about 8:50 pace so you know it was very pleasant and comfortable. :) After turning around I spent the run back doing light pick ups between the 911 signs on the lake. They're about 150 to 300 meters apart (not equidistant) so it gave me a variation in pace to wake up my legs without me looking at the watch. Miles for the full run were 9:14, 8:54, 8:49, 8:27, 8:09, 7:28, 7:22, 7:10, 7:09, 6:50 (7:58 AP).

Monday, September 10th
40' easy on the grass track + 6 uphill strides
COMMENTS: My ankle was feeling much better today!! I kept things nice and easy on the grass track and then used a small hill on DBU's campus to get in my strides. Nothing exciting about this morning's run, but I got it in. :) My calves and glutes are definitely sore today, though. I assumed it was from yesterday afternoon's strength work since it was a new circuit and left me pretty shakey, but Jake mentioned it could also be delayed soreness from Saturday. Who knows! Sore muscles means stronger muscles one day, so I'm not going to complain! :)

Tuesday, September 11th
20' warm up, 6x1M (HMP to 10k)/300 jog recovery, 1M cool down
COMMENTS: Got it it in and no complaints! I ran in the middle of the DBU ladies for the first four and then was solo on the last two. We used the grass "track" around the soccer field so the miles didn't quite match up with my watch. I felt fine on the first four, crummy and heavy on the fifth one, and then back up to par on the last one, haha. I timed two of the recovery jogs from the finish back to the start and they were about 2:30. Times for the "mile" loops are listed with the mile pace from my Garmin in parenthesis- 6:08 (5:54), 6:06 (5:50), 6:02 (5:46), 6:00 (5:46), 5:57 (5:42), 5:55 (5:38). So I'm happy any way you look at it! Even if the Garmin is off, that's what I measured with last year when I did this workout in flats on the road with Jake setting pace, and yet my Garmin paces are still faster this time. If I go by the grass track measurements, I still ran the paces I needed to and cut down consistently with each rep. Success!

Wednesday, September 12th
Light weights in the AM
Very stressful morning/day and lots of ankle pain. Same extreme fatigue (sleepiness) during the day yesterday.

Thursday, September 13th
7M with 2M uptempo
COMMENTS: Almost went back to bed and pushed the run off to lunch, and probably should have. Ankle still hurt (though no worse to run on) and totally and completely wiped out (exhausted). I though I was moving pretty well on my run but the first two miles were 9:30 and 8:40... yikes! Dropped to 6:41 and 6:21 for the fourth and fifth miles, but quickly bumped back to slower than 8:00 pace after they were over. Rough morning, for sure. Time to eat and SLEEP so I'm ready to roll on Saturday!

Friday, September 14th
16' easy run + 4 strides in the AM
15' easy run in the PM
COMMENTS: Didn't feel good on either run, but that doesn't concern me much. I will say, however, that I REALLY enjoyed going for a 15' shakeout (literally a shuffle) around my neighborhood after work. One of the best ways to shake off the day and get ready for evening. Hope I can start doing that a little more often. I considered skipping one of the runs today because my ankle is really hurting still, but every time I start running I stop noticing the pain. It's like it's magnified when I am walking around or sitting still, but just completely slips my mind while running.

Saturday, September 15th
2 miles easy + .75M of 1' easy, 1' hard
TDF 10k race. Goal - 37:00, Actual- complete failure.
4.5 miles easy
COMMENTS: Started the race with plans to run just behind the leader going out and then see what I could do on the run home. I was warned before the race about the second half, so I wanted to be in a good position going into it, but I also did not want to waste myself in the first three miles by trying to fight the wind too much (yes, the wind was strong going out, but at least it wasn't on the run back!). Becky took off from the gun and I stayed within 3-10m of her for the first half. At about 2.8 or so, we turned to go up the first hill which is just past the Big Thicket. By the time we got to 3.5 miles, Becky was at least 200m ahead... I had completely fallen apart. At about 3.6 miles hit the second long steep hill (up from the Bath House) and I fell back even more. After that I tried to regather myself and use the downhills when I got them, but only downhills and the finishing stretch were run at a noteworthy pace... everything else was pitiful. I'm embarrassed and frustrated and wish my ankle wasn't such a nuisance right now so I could start attacking these next seven weeks immediately. I have A LOT of work to do. Thankfully I have 7 weeks left which is enough time for some serious fitness changes to occur. No time to waste though. Time to start making things burn a few days a week. Paces for today 5:48, 5:54, 6:03, 6:18, 5:59, 6:10, 5:43 (last .31M) (6:01 AP) for a 38' 6.31M race. I was told to run this as a blow-out race (start with the leader, not at your own pace), after today I think I'll go back to my usual method instead. Not proud of the way these splits look.
*Also, threw in a longer easy run after the race to get at least 13.1 in today. I'd like most Saturdays from here on to be race distance or longer to start preparing for that amount of time on my feet.

Total Weekly Mileage: 49.35M


Subtalar joint on the mend... (31M)

Well, after all of the careful attention Jake gave to my training plan and after all of the patience I exercised in controlling intensity and mileage, I have missed a solid week of running. I successfully managed to sprain or jam my subtalar joint while running in the boy scout camp last Monday. After some failed attempts at running on Tuesday, I got it checked out by my doctor who gave me a 6 day steroid pack and told me no running for a full week. I did not cross train for the first two days in order to give my tendons optimum time to recover, and have been lifting or biking since then. Unfortunately, I still have very consistent pain in the area but I'm going to take a chance and see what my body allows this week.

I understand that I won't lose much in a week, so I'm not in major panic mode, but I am concerned that I don't feel 100% yet. I'm hoping that pain subsides entirely by the end of this week and I can get in a full week of regular training going into next weekend's 10k race. If there is one lesson that I've been reminded while cross training, it's "just start". To put it bluntly, I hate biking. I pretty much detest any kind of cross training there is. That said, it's taken an awful lot of effort to get started the past couple days, but once I've started, I really haven't had a problem finishing. In fact, I often find myself saying "this isn't bad, I'll sneak in five more minutes" and then five minutes later repeating the same statement. I believe this is true with a lot of things in life. Chores, work, anything you want to apply it to, it works. If you'll just start, you'll find that it's over before you know it and you're better off for having gotten it done.

Sunday, September 2nd
24 mile casual bike with Jake at WRL + 3x15 weights in the afternoon

Monday, September 3rd
45' bike with intervals in the AM + 55' bike in the PM

Tuesday, September 4th
24' test run on the grass track + weights in the evening
COMMENTS: Still had pain in my ankle, but it did not get any worse through the course of the run and that gives me plenty of confidence to continue with our plans! I'm back!!! :)

Wednesday, September 5th
Core + 30' run on grass track + 4 strides
COMMENTS: Awesome higher effort run this morning. I was fully awake when I started my run because I did core first, so it did not take any time for me to work down to a solid pace. I was feeling very good and knew I didn't have another workout until Saturday, so I had no problem pushing it. Finished the 4 miles well under 30 minutes. No pain in my ankle while running, but still decent pain level before and after runs.

Thursday, September 6th
7M run with 2M uptempo on the grass track
2x12 strength in the evening (cut off one set because I was already sore and it was so late)
COMMENTS: Another very good run. It's amazing how much quicker you start your runs when you've an entire week off. ;) Mile splits were 8:14, 7:48, 7:42, 6:18, 6:10, 7:28, 7:12 for a total average pace of 7:16. Very pleased with this since I was solo on the grass track and did not do any strides or warm up drills first. Same notes as yesterday regarding my ankle.

Friday, September 7th
40' run on the grass track with Jake + 6 uphill strides
COMMENTS: Definitely not a slow run again. This is four days straight of solid paces on my runs and I'm hoping that doesn't come back to bite me in the butt later. I'll just be taking Sunday and Monday very easy! :) Still have ankle pain before/ after the run and doing strides, but not during the actual run.

Saturday, September 8th
2M easy, 6M steady averaging 6:26 pace, 2M easy
COMMENTS: Great workout today!  The weather was partially cooperative as we had SUCH cooler temperatures, but it was definitely a fight-the-wind kind of day with winds of 20mph.  I had Katie to run with for the warm up and first 3 miles, which was really really nice, and I actually felt very good for the workout. About 4.5 miles in I thought I was about to hit a bit of a wall, but it's because I had dropped the pace too much into the wind and I felt better after turning a corner. Splits were 6:34, 6:31, 6:25, 6:24, 6:23, 6:22. Ankle was worse than usual but definitely not a game-stopper.

Total Weekly Mileage: 31M


Fell on the trails! (8M)

Running is not something we are guaranteed, nor is it something that should be taken for granted. The opportunity to go out for a run, whether easy or hard, fast or slow, comfortable or uncomfortable, solo or with company, is a gift. Never forget this.

I'm due for another down week in terms of mileage, which is perfect timing since I'll be running a 5 mile race this Saturday. I'm hoping that the recovery week allows me to freshen up and get some pep back in my step so I can hammer out a solid race. The goal this time around is to break 6:00 pace, which will require some serious effort, but in my opinion it's very doable. My thought process behind this goal is as follows: It comes three weeks after running a 10K in 6:03 pace, I've had plenty of quality work to get stronger since then, and in another two weeks I'll be looking to run 6:00 pace or better in a major 10K race.

None of these times are terribly impressive, and they are absolutely nothing compared to the workouts some of the people I follow are doing, but for me they're exciting. I'm only four to five months into running after literally sitting on my bottom for seven months. When you're starting from scratch, you certainly don't expect to be nearing a previous year's fitness levels on your first training season back. Hopefully in another six months or so I'll look back at these goals and laugh, but right now, these goals are celebration worthy for me! :)

Sunday, August 26th
easy biking & light running + weights

Monday, August 27th
40' easy run + 6 uphill strides
COMMENTS: Nice relaxed run in the boy scout camp this morning. I fell on the gravel pretty early in and have had a sore ankle and hip since then, but I'm hoping it's just a bruise. I felt very, very good on my uphill strides today, though! Super pumped about that!

Tuesday, August 28th
3M warm up + 5M of 3' @ HMP-10", 2' @ MP+20" + 1M easy 2M failed test run in AM
1M failed test run in PM
COMMENTS: Drove out to WRL, started running and felt great muscularly. As the run went on, my ankle grew more and more painful. After 1 mile I decided to be safe and head back to the care with intentions of taking advil, icing, and running in the evening. Gave it another shot at night but was absolutely no better. I've determined that the pain is not from pressure or weight bearing, but from the movement of my ankle when walking or running.

Wednesday, August 29th
60" failed test run + weights workout in AM (moderate weights, 3x15)
COMMENTS: Thought I'd try an easy run as a warm up to for my weights. Make it less than a minute and realized that was not a good idea. I have an appointment this afternoon with my doctor, but I'm assuming it's a pulled or strained tendon that just needs to heal up. Really frustrated by this since we've been so careful to restrict excessive miles and stay healthy.

Thursday, August 30th
7M with 2M @ HMP in the middle completely off
**Dr. says it's a sprain in my subtaylor joint, gave me a high dose 6 day NSAID, and told me not to run for 7 days. I'm planning to cross train, but since I still have pain during the day without exercise at all, I'm going to give it some total rest before I start up the light exercise. Really bummed about this.

Friday, August 31st
40' easy + 6 strides weights workout (light weights, 100 reps)

Saturday, September 1st
DRC 5M Breakfast Bash Race 90' bike with intervals + core

Weekly Mileage: 8M -- Sprained or jammed my subtalar joint on some trails


Enjoying the journey! (47M)

Last week went surprisingly smooth. Despite the traveling and 4:40 wake up alarms, I really didn't run into any problems getting my workouts in. Running solo at memorial park was such a blessing. On Monday and Friday I didn't even start my watch! I just set out for my two loops and got completely lost in thought! The rest of my runs went well too. A 12 miler goes by so fast when you're on a three mile loop... you run two laps and you're already halfway done! I got in three solid quality days with the 10k race on Sunday in 6:03 pace, 4 miles of fartlek averaging 6:27 pace, and a 6 mile progression averaging 6:39 pace.

I really want to have strong PR's after this year. I feel like the fitness levels I've reached over the past few seasons are so much better than my PRs... that, and most of them are old. The trick is going to be not getting ahead of myself. I keep catching myself comparing this season's training and races to last falls, but I need to stop. I'm racing later in the season and I don't want to end up over training or peaking too soon. Plus, a full season and race without stopping for injuries is bound to be more successful than dropping out halfway through from a broken foot. ;) At any rate, I'm really just zeroing in on consistency for now. I'll let myself get crazy with hard workouts when I'm down to 6 or 7 weeks before race day!

Sunday, August 19th
7M run at WRL + 11M easy bike with Jake
Weights in the evening
COMMENTS: The first half of the run was very slow (even though it felt pretty labored), but then we dropped the pace pretty significantly. It probably helped that at 3.8 miles I stopped to use the restroom! :) Regardless, it was nice to run in cooler weather and to have conversation the whole time. I really enjoyed running with Tom - He's the perfect pace for me and was full of funny stories this morning! Mile splits were 8:27, 7:53, 7:43, 7:42, 7:16, 6:53, 6:47.

Monday, August 20th
40' run in the Boy Scout Camp + 6 x uphill strides
4M easy bike with Jake in the PM
COMMENTS: Ran with some of Jake's guys, Hanna, Molly, and Tawnee for the first 20 minutes, then switched directions and ran solo for the second half. Very good run though... a much more solid pace than I got in last Monday, I'll say that much! :) Strides were good. Felt hard while I was doing them, but it didn't leave me as out of breath afterwards so I'm not sure if 6 is enough (or maybe my 60" downhill recovery was too much!). Foot pain on top of right foot again.

Tuesday, August 21st
3M warm up + 5M of 2' @ 6:00, 1' @ 7:00 + 1M cool down
COMMENTS: I went into this one knowing it would be hard, so I kept the warm up very easy. The recovery segments felt surprisingly good and comfortable, but I really, really had to fight to hit the hard segment paces. I don't think slower recovery would've helped much since I felt pretty good when each of the 2' parts started. It started raining on me and the wind picked up right as I finished my warm up, but I don't think it affected the run. Overall I averaged 6:18 pace for the 5M and my fartlek paces were 6:00, 7:01, 6:02, 6:49, 6:07 (up the spillway), 6:58, 5:59, 6:36, 5:58, 7:08, 5:59, 7:01, 6:01, 6:58, 6:05, 7:26, 6:00, 7:19, 6:12, 6:43 (15" walking rec before 1' segment), 6:00. If I had known how close I was to 5 miles when I started that walking recovery I wouldn't have done it, haha! Still had foot pain during the warm up and considered not running, but figured since tomorrow is off it would be okay. The encouraging part is that my foot aches the same regardless of what part of my stride I'm in - Which makes me think it's just a lingering pain from the old fracture and not anything to be concerned about. Typically a fracture will hurt to push off of more so than when it's in the air.

Wednesday, August 22nd
Weights in the morning

Thursday, August 23rd
12M in the neighborhood
COMMENTS: I felt absolutely awful from step one today. It took me six miles to break 8 minute pace and even when I did I was having to really work. Hamstrings, quads, calves, everything felt tight and stiff, almost a dehydrated feeling which stinks because it was the perfect weather this morning. I did a harder weights workout yesterday than usual and Tuesday's workout was high effort as well, so I'm sure my body was just ready for a break. Hopefully between today and tomorrow I recoup enough to attack Saturday morning full force! Averaged 7:58 pace this morning for future reference.

Friday, August 24th
40' relaxed run on the grass track & gravel trail at DBU + 6 x strides
COMMENTS: Still very much dragging today, but at least I let myself do it without feeling some pressure to try picking it up. By the time tomorrow rolls around I ought to be feeling like a star after the past few days! Haha! Got in my strides on the grass track after my run and followed them up with some stretches.

Saturday, August 25th
2M w/u + 8M alt pace progression (2M @ 6:30, 2M @ 6:15, 2M @ 6:00 - 7:30 pace in between each)
COMMENTS: Rough workout this morning, but only during the second half. I actually felt very good during the warm up and first three miles... In fact, I was able to slow down the second half of each mile to stay in my pace ranges. The fourth mile (1st 6:15 mile) started right as I turned into the wind and was straight into it the entire time... after that, I pretty much shut down. I fought like crazy to hold pace for the 5th mile, then walked about 20m before starting the recovery mile. I took 800m recovery between my last two miles as well and still didn't quite hit pace. It's not a total failure because I got in 8.5 miles averaging 6:44 pace, but it was definitely not what we wanted. Paces were as follows- 6:30, 6:26, 7:20, 6:15, 6:16, 8:21, 6:05, 800m at 8:18 pace, 6:03. Good hard (very hard) run this morning, but not really a true "alt pace" workout as planned.

Total Weekly Mileage: 48M


10k fitness test & 12 weeks to race day! (50M)

My legs finally started feeling better towards the second half of last week, but right about that same time I caught some sort of funny stomach bug. That or I have an infected, impacted wisdom tooth. I couldn't tell you the last time I took Advil, and yet over the past 72 hours I have been taking it religiously. Anyone who has experience with head pain around the ear, down the neck, and into the shoulder, feel free to offer advice! :)

This week we jumped into a last minute road race to get more practice with race morning simulation. I want as many chances as I can get to go through pre-race fueling trial and error now that I'm on such a restricted diet. The goal was NOT to race, but to practice patience and running half marathon pace. We're still a long ways out from my goal race, so I need to be ready to complete my workout successfully on Tuesday morning and get in all my miles healthily (it's an up week!). I've always had mixed feelings about training through races because if my name goes on the internet next to a poor time, that's never fun to see, but that's all part of the sport. You pick and choose your battles, which in a way allows you to pick and choose your victories. I choose November 4th this year. :)

Sunday, August 12th
2M warm up + 10k Hottest Half race (6:03 AP) + 1.5M cool down
COMMENTS: I felt very sick last night and this morning and was tempted to bail, but I'm so glad I didn't! I wanted to average 6:10 pace and was trying to stay conservative for the first half. It felt so easy going out that I had to make myself relax so I wouldn't get too far below pace. What a great feeling! I kept focusing on trying to get into a good rhythm and pass guys on the way back. Every quarter/half mile or so I would check my pace and as long as it said 6:10 or quicker I didn't care a bit... which it did! Very excited about the progression of my fitness at this point and even more excited that I have 12 weeks left to get stronger! Mile splits were 6:05, 6:02, 6:05, 6:00, 6:04, 6:05, 5:49 (last .4). The course was really long so I don't know my actual "10k" time, but it was 38:42 for the 6.38.

Monday, August 13th
6M easy + 4 x strides + 10' core
COMMENTS: I ran two relaxed loops at Memorial Park this morning, never pushed myself or picked up the pace at all. My muscles felt perfectly normal, but joints and such were really achy, particularly the bottom of my feet and my ankles. I cut the strides short to four just to get them a little less pounding. :) Other than that very good day. I'm going to need to hit the hay MUCH earlier tonight. Two days straight of a 4:40 wake up call is too much... And I still have the rest of the week left! :)

Tuesday, August 14th
3M easy + 4M of 90"/90" tempo fartlek (5:50-6:00/6:50-7:00)
COMMENTS: I definitely slogged through the warm up and felt real creaky and stiff, but made myself attempt the workout anyways. The first half went smoothly but starting about 3 miles in I pretty well fell apart. Paces were 5:55, 6:51, 5:52, 6:54 (long), 5:39 (short), 7:00, 5:56, 6:47, 5:51, 7:09, 5:53, 6:52, 5:56, 7:22, 6:07, 7:27, 5:57, 7:02. I ended up getting in 4 miles averaging 6:27 pace, so another hard, solid run is in the books regardless of the missed paces in that last mile!

Wednesday, August 15th
rest day

Thursday, August 16th
12M easy in the morning in 7:37 AP
Weights in the evening
COMMENTS: Got in 12 miles solo at Memorial Park this morning. Same aches I've had all week (nothing is a bone ache and it's not sore muscles), just achey joints and such. Other than that, it was a VERY relaxed and comfortable run; never got out of breathe or pushed things since Jake told me not to run this like a progression run. Miles were 8:26, 7:48, 7:49, 7:47, 7:44, 7:46, 7:34, 7:31, 7:27, 7:24, 7:20, 7:12.

Friday, August 17th
6M easy + 8 x strides
COMMENTS: Two untimed loops at Memorial Park. Still not feeling fresh or fit or fast by any means, but I'm getting everything in. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll pull out of the "slumps" and start flying. ;) Regardless, I'm super thankful for such a high mileage week (for me) and the soft surfaces!

Saturday, August 18th
2M easy + 6M progressive (7:30::6:15) (7:15::6:00)
COMMENTS: Very slow warm up but awesome workout. Katie and I were shocked by how easy the first three miles were... We just could not get the pace slow enough to match the planned progression. It worked out perfectly, though, as we were able to progress by the same increments anyways! Miles were 7:14, 6:55, 6:36, 6:24, 6:13, 6:02 for a 6:34 average pace. Good day!

Total Weekly Mileage: 50M


13 weeks to race day! (40M)

Last week may have been full of some pretty rotten feeling runs, but all of the miles got in and all of the workouts got in. I'm calling it a success and I'm excited to be starting a new week! :) It's not going to be a true down week, but mileage will be slightly lower due to a pre-race run on Saturday instead of my usual workout.

Sunday, August 5th
7M in 50:45 (7:15 AP) with Jake at White Rock Lake + 10M bike with Jake
Weights in the PM
COMMENTS: We started with the Luke's group so about 3 of our first 3.5 miles were sub 7:00 pace, but that averaged out with the first half mile and the last 3.5 miles turned into a very solid run. I actually felt a little better today than yesterday, but still got pretty tired (probably due to the steady segment that got thrown in so early on!). All in all, a good run!

Monday, August 6th
50' easy run + 8 x 30", 30" strides at the Boy Scout Camp + 5' core
COMMENTS: Enjoyed the company and conversation with my husband this morning. Definitely still feeling a bit lethargic, but I'm also beginning to feel more like a runner. For the most part of this build up I've felt very recreational and out of shape, so I'm encouraged by this new mentality. Slight pain in the top of my right foot again today.

Tuesday, August 7th
30' easy run + 20' fartlek of 10 x 1',1' (6:23 AP) + 5' core
COMMENTS: The first 30' felt surprisingly hard (as in 8:40 pace felt fast!), but we still were able to get the pace down when it was time for the fartlek to start. Jake had asked us to alternate between 5:50-6:00 pace and 6:50-7:00 pace, but on the hills at DBU that was almost impossible. Actual paces were ?, ?, 6:06, 7:09, 5:57, 7:19, 5:55, 7:01, 5:44, 6:35, 5:39, 7:03, 5:43, 7:04, 5:31, 7:33, 5:44, 7:35, 5:47, 6:31 to get in 3.13 miles in 20:00 (6:23 AP). Not a totally failed workout, but we'll want to do several things differently next time.

Wednesday, August 8th
rest day

Thursday, August 9th
10M run in 73:04 (7:18 AP) around the neighborhood + 5' core
Weights in the PM
COMMENTS: Jake joined me this week for the run, which was really nice! I enjoyed the conversation a lot! We started nice and comfortable and finished at a steady effort. My breathing was a tad more labored during the last half; but other than that, the effort didn't pick up much, we simply warmed up as the run went on. Mile paces were 8:39, 7:56, 7:42, 7:42, 7:17, 6:56, 6:47, 6:47, 6:40, 6:43.
**Brutal back and neck massage at night!

Friday, August 10th
40' easy run in the boy scout camp
COMMENTS: Ran with Jake this morning for a nice comfortable run on the trails. Rolled my ankle a few times on the rocks, but no lasting pain from any of them! :) I'm definitely LOVING my new Mizuno Wave Precision!!

Saturday, August 11th
32' easy run + strides through the neighborhood
COMMENTS: Nice conversational run with Jake this morning in my new New Balance 890's. Very different but I like them! I was pretty heavy this morning and still have terrible shoulder/neck/head pain on the right side, but I definitely feel like tomorrow could be a great race!

Total Weekly Mileage: 40M