Leaping into March

I know February is the shortest month and all that jazz, but wow, I blinked and missed it.

it’s not too late to save! LEAP50 for half off including new styles
Lotta Breeze, Lotta Pink Lotta Miles

I actually LEAPED into the sale as soon as they announced it. Spring should be for skirt shopping, but I couldn’t pass up the Lotta Breeze Capri in fuschia/black. How can I resist pink? More on the run and the outfit below. Did you buy anything with the sale? Today is the last chance. I won’t lie, I wish I was still in Bermuda. Too many layers.

Who else got sucked into the Trials on Saturday afternoon? Once I turned them on, I was glued to the couch throughout. So many great stories but my personal favorites were Abdirahman at 43! and Molly Seidel (Go Irish!) in her first ever marathon. I won’t lie, I want one of Tuliamuk’s beanies. And it was awesome to track Lauren Floris aka The Foodie Runner. So cool to “know” someone running the trials.

In other news, I had a kind of anticlimactic graduation from PT. I found out over the weekend that my insurance didn’t approve any more visits, so my PT asked if I was OK going DIY or whether I wanted to self pay. As I mentioned before Bermuda, I think I’m ready. He’s given me the tools & the app is invaluable for reminding me how to do the exercises. When I was first injured & diagnosed I noted that I wasn’t worried-I have a great orthopedist and insurance and if I need to go back to PT, I will, but I’d love for my IT Band to be quiet for a while.

 

not a new exhibit, but an old favorite adjacent to the new British Galleries at the Met

In work news, it was a week full of museum field trips aka an active Instagram. I can’t remember the last time I was local and posted 3x/week. This week involved: the Met, MoMA, Cooper Hewitt and New-York Historical Society. Amazing rush of exhibits opening ahead of Armory Week.

Stunning Oscar de la Renta piece for Cooper Hewitt’s Contemporary Muslim Fashions
Women’s March at New-York Historical Society

Oh right, this is a running blog not a museum blog. *Giggle* on to the weekly run down with Kim and Deborah, which I realized is celebrating it’s one year anniversary! Happy birthday “new” LinkUp:

not at all a Manic Monday
playing with my new watch face

 

  • never miss a Monday: I’d actually missed a few of late with travel, PT and other schedule issues, but it’s great to start the week off moving. Elizabeth and I met at 7:30 for a reservoir loop on the last nice day of the week. With running to and from, it’s about four miles. I’ve never done a watch face before because I only wear my Garmin for running, but I couldn’t resist this one.
  • Tuesday: Donald Judd and Dorothea Lange at MoMA. Had plans to go to the gym after work, but ended up with a meeting near my apartment, and we know how that always ends. Was nice to be home at a reasonable hour.
  • Wednesday: one of those late nights at work.
  • Thursday: museums before work and the gym after. In whichever order, that makes for a good day. I had layers and could have run outside, but the wind was atrocious and physically uncomfortable. After a half mile warm up, I did a mile of 300m repeats and 100m recovery. I love that workout, but the knee wasn’t having it, so I called it after a mile. Post cooldown, I did the full set of PT exercises.
  • Friday: gym was a possibility. Getting home at a reasonable hour was a better one.
hi my old friend Pulaski
life isn’t complete without an outtake
destination run!
  • Saturday: I didn’t have plans for this run. At one point I was seriously contemplating moving the long run to Sunday and just doing the mile and a half I needed for 60 miles on the month. But then I remembered it was Leap Day and life’s too short to be boring. The last twenty mile run took us past Wegmans the week before it opened and I planned to run there as a marathon recovery/Ted Corbitt training run. Well life, injury and everything else happened and I hadn’t done it – suddenly I knew my long run for the day. When I do this again I’d leave earlier in the day as the road by the Navy Yard is seriously rutted and wasn’t fun without good light. The headwind on Kent was just ferocious, although the views made it worth it. Wegmans? The end of a run is the wrong time to want to explore. I could have had dinner there but wasn’t yet hungry, and had my heart set on sushi. I need to go back — maybe I’ll train there and run home. I love Wegmans, but to me it’s a Rochester thing. I’ve only been to the one near-ish mom’s once since it opened. Maybe if I was more of a grocery shopper. But I still love that there’s one here. Nice to know too I live 7.96 miles as the shoes run from the nearest Wegmans. The walk to the subway after? Brutal in the cold wind. Tried to run to get it over with, but they were cold/sore. Speaking of cold, sore. Dressing for a wind chill in the 20s is *hard* LBC, two shirts was fine. I knew the New Balance jacket wasn’t great for running as it traps sweat, but I thought it would be OK since it was so cold. It probably was until I “warmed up” in Wegmans. It was a clammy ride home. I sized down in the LBCs (yay!), and was pleased that they fit perfectly.
  • Sunday: gym for PT when I get off the couch. Saturday night I was super sore, but I think that was because I sat on the train coming back and then at the sushi bar. Today seems less bad.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: morning run?
  • Tuesday: off?
  • Wednesday: run
  • Thursday: off
  • Friday: off?
  • Saturday/Sunday: 9 miles? There’s a NYRR group run Sunday for 5m, so may run to and from it.

GoTheDist February

  • 457,115 steps
  • 203 miles run/walked (my first ever round number total!?)
  • 66.47 miles run

The decision to stop obsessing about steps and heal has been great. This is by far the most I’ve run since marathon month and I’d be happy with 60-70 mile months as a base. It was also a huge increase on February 2019, and not just because it was Leap Year. Although I’ve graduated from PT, I’m going to continue not focusing on steps and just go by feel. I want to fully heal. I’m still thinking on my goal, but have set a soft one. I’m actually surprised I’ve run twelve miles more than last year YTD, with one fewer half marathon.

PT Week 5: PT is Like Dieting

I’ve come to the realization that PT is like a diet. You may lose 5 lbs or have the sore muscle stop hurting, but there’s lots of long term adjustments. I don’t say that to knock PT. I love my PT, but one of the changes in PT as an adult is I realize it’s a lifelong thing. A good PT (which Greg absolutely is) teaches that these are long time changes. I am determined to keep the exercises up, and graduate with a better running form and less propensity for frustrating injuries.

Speaking of graduating, I’m actually not going to PT this coming week due to my schedule and that of my PT, but I feel confident that I can do the exercises and am hoping the week “off” will tell us whether I’m close to graduating or not. I’ve packed a set of my bands and have Deborah’s wonderful post as my “to-do” list around sightseeing and running in Bermuda. I have not packed anything but bands and the sunscreen I just bought. Oops. This week was a wonderful kind of crazy, which is also why I got nowhere near done with my race recaps for last weekend. Maybe time to add in the Manhattan 7.

I can safely say I’m not running the NYC Marathon in 2020. It was tempting for half a second. I have guaranteed entry via 9+1 and the idea of running the 50th intrigued me — but I don’t feel it in my heart and marathon training was hard enough when I was excited for my first. This was confirmed when I spent Wednesday at the NYRR Charity Managers Forum. Marathon mania was all around and I love their anniversary campaign, but I’m content to spectate it and help “my” runners with their marathon journey.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

Mickey, sporting MIckey. What, you didn’t sport a grunge Care Bear look at 20?

 

  • never miss a Monday: surprisingly after two days running five+ miles apiece I wasn’t too sore. The knee was tender, but no worse than any other morning. After PT on the other hand? It’s unnerving to watch the quad shake as it works. And it worked. Split Squats. Banded semi circles. Stork. Balance Board. Step ups on a Bosu. OUCH. But definitely hurts so good. Today would have been Dad’s 81st birthday. Like too many, gone way too young. I had fun chasing my step goal home in the form of finding Dots, his favorite candy. Miss you, Dad.
  • Tuesday: ridiculously warm for February so I headed into the Park after work for our “office run group” route. I didn’t have my vest with me as I hadn’t planned to run outside, so used my lighted slap bracelet to be sure I was visible. The run felt good.
  • Wednesday: I spent the day at the Harmonie Club, a fascinating space. I wasn’t there for the architecture though, but to learn the best practices for managing a team of charity runners for the marathon. I have a great job and I love what I do, but I have a feeling this is going to be one of my favorite projects. I expected to be out of place with my legal steno pad, but yay, the giveaway was a new notebook. The day culminated in a “group run”. Yeah, I couldn’t keep up, but I enjoyed getting to know some of the other charity managers and learn about their teams. All great causes, but the “winner” in my book was Guiding Eyes who brought two puppies under training.
  • Thursday: evening PT, which was just weird for my routine. A lot of the same exercises as Monday with Greg giving me leeway to suggest ones I wanted to work on. Side plank clamshells will never be a favorite.
  • Friday: I wanted to run commute home when it cleared, but it was a long day at the office. Great long day, but way too late to run or walk home.
  • Saturday: much needed mental health day off. Just to the gym for PT and some errands and a haircut.
Just a few thousand friends
  • Sunday: a cold, but beautiful day in Central Park and a real test for Bermuda. Between the race’s seven miles and the 1.5+ to the start, I ran nearly nine. The race itself was a run/walk due to the hills and wanting to spend it with a dear running buddy, and I felt strong. I’m not going to drop to the 10K – the cushion is such that I shouldn’t be swept. And if I am? Well that’s a great story to tell.  I’m not sure a race recap for this will happen given vacation and general busy-ness so for now I’ll just say I’d run it again, and February > original August date.

Plan for the week:

I don’t have one. Get in my PT exercises and running. Enjoy Bermuda. Finish smiling. See some caves. Take lots of pics. Life is good.

PT 2020 Week 2: Runners are the Best People

subtitle prior to Saturday: making time for all the things, which is also true.

Blogger Meet Up!

A few weeks ago, Deborah mentioned that she’d be in New York and I had a bad feeling that I wouldn’t be — while Darlene and I almost always catch up when she’s here, I’ve missed blogger visits all too often when I’m out of town myself. The stars aligned this time and we met for drinks on a snowy Saturday afternoon.

We had such an amazing time. I’m pretty sure we didn’t shut up once and would still be nibbling on popcorn if we didn’t need to get to other evening plans. Runners really are the best people.  While I always do better in very small groups or one on one, I never even got nervous thinking about this-mainly because I felt like I already knew Deborah from nearly two years of reading each other’s blogs and social media. Yep, Cherry Blossom marks two years of starting to meet most of you. WOW.

As an aside, while we did manage to run together last week, Darlene and I have not run together way more than we’ve run together lately. #RunnersNotRunning really is or should be a thing. This is also pretty much why I’d default to Friends v. Running Friends.  We all may have met through running, but there are so many amazing people here that I dare say we’d be friends no matter what we were doing.

Runner Bingo

This was making the rounds in some of the running Facebook groups and I had to laugh. Here’s my board

There was a runner who had a game and BINGO was her name-o

I guess I could claim a DNF in my DNSes, but to me that’s different. Of the ones I didn’t get I’d say it’s a mix of possible: costume, DNF, lose a key and an impossible/not likely: stroller, dog, Disney, Boston, winning age group, streaking. And let’s just say I hope I never poop my pants, but I wouldn’t be the first or the last runner to do so.

Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

  • never miss a Monday: while I was eager to run to PT with my knew running backpack, I was not about to run three days in a row. PT was a mix of balance and strength training. The balance work really needs to be an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos, but my main PT swears I’m getting better. I definitely feel like the strength training is helping. I went to the gym after work to get in some of the stretches and other exercises that there just isn’t time for during a one hour session, especially when some time is spent working on my IT band.
Quack Quack!
  • Tuesday: well technically another chapter of running friends, although it wasn’t the ducks. I was just fascinated by them all sleeping in a near straight line. I had a late start to work due to an exhibit preview in Queens (go see Kubrick at Moving Image!) so Elizabeth and I met up to run the reservoir. We were too tired & forgot to take a photo, but the run and miles happened. I swear 😀
  • Wednesday: one of the days that lead to this post’s original subtitles. PT, a luncheon, some training, a metric ton of email. A good chunk of the PT session was her working on the hip/knee/tendon as it was tender to the touch putting on leggings and a little swollen. Her work helped and walking wasn’t sore the rest of the day – which was good because I had a meeting in a location where the trains didn’t really help. You can do many things in Manhattan – going diagonal isn’t easy.
Yep, 1980s crop
  • Thursday: had all the things to run outside after work, but the temperatures were dropping and I had a feeling it wouldn’t be a good workout, so after stopping by NYRR to get Darlene’s Lebow bib and checking out the spring “fashion”, I headed to the gym. Knee was feeling better, but the treadmill pounding wasn’t, so I headed to the elliptical for 25m. I really really love that evil workout. Followed this with a full set of PT.
  • Friday: another late night at the office. But I got through the inbox ahead of the weekend. No step goal. No gym. Although there are always days like these, it overall feels good to be active again. The two weeks of running combined with the general sedentary element of the suburbs were hard.
Runkeeper is a meanie
  • Saturday: snowy snowy Saturday. I’d take the hit for it, but it was already snowing when I opted to wear the wonderful Brooks shirt. I had a late start due to a real feel of 16F and headed to the gym. The original thought was a semi-long run, but the reality was two miles of speed work since I wanted to be sure I had time to do my stretches to keep the hip from tightening up. I alternated 5.5 and 5.8 for .2 / .1 / .15 intervals and it felt good overall. Hard, because I’ve done no speed in a month, but a good hard. The time felt familiar and it was about twenty seconds faster than my July time trial. On the down side, treadmill is more climate controlled, but on the plus side, I’ve done virtually no speed work since the marathon and coming off injury. So it’s neither an improvement nor a fall off. Nice to see I can hit these paces when the runs of late have deliberately been jogs to heal. I forgot to tell Runkeeper I deferred. Not to worry, it told me.
Gorgeous day in Central Park
Not running it, but silly fun still mandatory
  • Sunday: Elizabeth and I cheered on Darlene and the other Lebow runners. I love having the chance to do this and still be a part of my favorite race. It was a beautiful January day. Followed it with PT and some overdue sushi

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: office closed; run to and from PT?
  • Tuesday: off/cross
  • Wednesday: run to PT before my flight?
  • Thursday – Sunday: fun in the sun. No race, but there will be some beach runs. I already sent my foam roller on ahead with mom’s husband who drove down and am packing my bands to keep up the PT.

PT 2020 Week 1: “I Like Hard”

This week marked my third running anniversary. With it falling on a weekday and my not running that day due to PT, I didn’t mark it in any special way. I will… just haven’t decided the form it will take. I’m the worst at doing things on the actual day anyway.

I officially deferred Fort Lauderdale. The deadline to do so was January 15 and I figured rushing back up and/or doing this undertrained was a recipe for further issues. I’m completely fine with this decision and am on to Bermuda. In the interim I look forward to the Frozen Penguin (! yay, my favorite) and Gridiron on Super Bowl weekend.

With morning PT appointments again, I look forward to run commuting there as a warmup. Yes, somehow in the last year I’ve become a morning person. I look forward to building back sustainably. Because I’m giving up Lauderdale, I’m pretty sure I’m going to do Cherry Blossom. Yes, the Amtrak 40% coupon helped with that.

Linking up with Kim and Deborah for a Weekly Run Down with more running than in the last few weeks:

  • never miss a Monday was back, with my PT intake appointment. I love Greg, Spear and the PT student who was working with him to assess me. There were no surprises. I have some tightness and imbalances, but my flexibility is better than it was a year ago. This is part of why I wanted to go back to the same one – he knew my normal. Even better, they gave me the all clear to run if it doesn’t hurt, and she’s determined to get me into a Prayer Squat, which I haven’t been able to do since I caught softball in high school. This was followed by a wonderful dinner with Darlene and Elizabeth.
  • Tuesday: PT encouraged me to run and who am I to disagree with my PT? A gorgeous East River runrise that felt really good.
  • Wednesday: first full PT session, and the inspiration for this post title. Wall sits and single legged squats are a bitch, but I want to be stronger, not just fix the pain. My glute at one point was wiggling with fatigue. Ever grateful for Skirt hiding that from general view.
we must do what the JackRabbit sign says!
Glow worm! (c) Darlene
  • Thursday: in an anti-preview for what was to come at the weekend, it was FREEZING. Neither this nor our respective injuries kept Darlene and I from run/walking the lower loop in Central Park. First use of my light vest in a while and was pleasantly surprised how well the batteries held out. Post-run was some retail therapy. Shoes for her, the beautifully ugly Brooks Run Merry ugly shirt for me.
  • Friday: off. Headed to Mom’s after work.
my happy place
  • Saturday: not much time for running since I slept in a little (7), but there was no way I was missing out 60s in January. A quick two mile shakeout before a quick trip to Albany to see my niece for her 2nd birthday. I focused hard on my PT so I didn’t tighten up due to four hours in the car and an hour on the train, and while I was a little stiff it wasn’t bad.
Hi Fred!
Hi Ducks!
Hi Ms. Silly
  • Sunday: 66 degrees + January = Central Park. I headed to the reservoir for the relatively flat terrain, but did some wiggling. I didn’t have an exact mileage plan, just to see how it felt. Ended up about 5.5 miles and I was happy with that. Early on I had to pause some to stretch, but knee never felt worse. And no, I wasn’t remotely cold in the Skirt and tee, even walking home after coffee. And yes, I was wearing a buff and hat in the same park on Thursday. Could I have gone longer? Sure. Was it smart to stop? I think so. No reason to exacerbate this.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: PT
  • Tuesday: run
  • Wednesday: PT
  • Thursday: run?
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: run? Mischief with friends
  • Sunday: run? depending on Saturday.

Physical Therapy 2020: Week 0

I was working on a post to closeout 2019 and share my 2020 goals, when a wonderful thing happened. I realized I could run a little!

Linking up with Deborah and Kim to share this week.

New Years Eats

Had an amazing weekend in the Rochester area with my college roommate and her kids. We share an obsession with all things buffalo so the food to accompany endless board games were: buffalo chicken dip, a keto BLT dip that was my hands-down favorite and dessert was a Keto cookie dough dip. The latter was much better the next day once we doctored it a bit with more cream cheese – the called for sweetener was way too much.

I brought my PT bands and a small roller ball to Rochester. Having a large space (aka house in the suburbs sized living room) to do the four pages of knee/hip exercises was wonderful. My college roommate’s kitchen counter was the perfect height for the calf stretches that go back to my Achilles PT. By week’s end it was starting to feel better and I was curious whether that was seven days of PT exercises, or generally walking way less (and way fewer stairs) than when at home.

gorgeous approach into NYC
and over the Rockaways

Those two and an aerial view of the marathon route were my welcome home. Although my knee was sore from sitting (you don’t sit much when spending time with an eight and three year old), the commute back from the airport on Thursday wasn’t bad. I noticed on Friday that my leg/hip was tightening up as I sat at work all day. While I got out briefly for lunch, I didn’t go far so made the decision to walk to the gym after work.

As I was in the middle of an amazing book – seriously, loved Scott Fauble & Ben Rosario’s writing about Fauble’s 2018 NYC Marathon training – I was curious to see if I could cycle without pain. Victory! I followed that with the full complement of PT exercises including the ever indecent ball squeeze.

face of someone happy that running wasn’t too painful

I had a slow start on Saturday as I was tired and much as I wanted to run, I was afraid it was going to hurt. I finally got out the door around one and decided to run in the direction of the gym as I wanted to do PT anyway and this route had buses if it went pear shaped. I mixed walking and running as up/down hills felt worse, but it was overall OK. After most of the PT (didn’t bring band for clamshells as there’s a limit to Skirt pockets) and a short cycle, I ran back home. It was a busier road so I had many light breaks, but no walks. This felt great, mentally.

Sunday I expected the knee to be sore, and it was, but nowhere near as bad as it had been before the PT exercises. I had some errands, including Urban Athletics’ going out of business sale, and then went back to the gym for the PT. Yes, gym is the easiest place for PT as I just do not have the room at home (bucket list, Deborah’s in-home yoga space and the space for one!) It felt so good to purposefully walk at a speed that felt closer to exercise, even if I didn’t get step goal. Baby steps!

Plan for the week:

  • PT consult Monday. Run when I can, strength train when I can’t.

#UnitedNYCHalf Recovery Week

I knew this was going to be a light week even without recovery from the half. We have our Global Summit/Annual Meeting and there’s just a lot going on. While I do chase steps in general, as Judy and I discussed on her post, I’ve learned through this injury cycle to take some true rest days. While I got in good steps doing errands and commuting, I had three days this workweek without meeting my step goal. Very unusual for me.

If you missed it, my race recap is here.

not running related, but I almost never wear dresses and really love this one

Physical Therapy:

PT exercises for a healthy achilles

After winding down to one visit per week, I officially graduated PT after about six weeks. Beyond fixing the current Achilles issues, I learned a lot about dem bones or to be more precise, dem tendons, ligaments and muscles. I also finished with a much better understanding of what to do at the gym vs. mindless stretching and rolling which I think will help me build a stronger base. Maybe one day I’ll actually do the free trainer session that comes with my gym membership. Maybe.

I look forward to maintaining that routine as I hopefully stay healthy through spring in the head up to the next training cycle. There’s also a lot I can do in the course of normal day to day activity such as the arch lifts.

 

PT for a healthy achilles

 

With my PT’s permission I’m sharing the ones he has me doing. This does not include some of the gym specific ones like the heel raises on a leg press or Stork, which I detailed below

Half Recovery:

I actually felt really good after the Half and probably could have run Tuesday if the schedule stars aligned. I can’t believe how long it took me to realize that PT really was strength training in disguise. That was definitely a part of my three minute time improvement as the course was way hillier than Fort Lauderdale.

While I don’t have anything double digits on the calendar until summer, look forward to working on my long runs.

Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

aggressive non-matching is especially prevalent on a cross training day. In that new Shamrock tee
  • Monday: PT graduation. After a nice, long calf and hip/TFL/glute massage, he just asked me what I wanted to do and there were two exercises I wanted him to show me again. No, neither of those were Dead Bug. I will finish PT without being an insect. Hip Hike, and The Stork (albeit with a ball). Graduation gift is a tee-shirt so I guess PT has become a literal example of been there, done that, got the tee shirt.
aforementioned tee shirt
  • Tuesday: off. Was at the office until nearly 8PM.
oh what a beautiful morning!
  • Wednesday: our Annual Meeting whose program runs until 6 with a reception to follow. Knowing I wouldn’t get to the gym after, I used the first day of having the PT window free for a sunrise run. Chilly, but absolutely gorgeous. Legs felt good and I was so happy to have the run in since I didn’t leave the reception until almost eight and I was on sore feet. I love how I feel after a morning run. Also, this was the last good weather so glad I got to play outside.
  • Thursday: closing reception for the global summit. Awesome venue in Lucky Strike but it’s out near the Intrepid & the Hudson River, which at least meant steps walking from the subway in an icy rain. I didn’t bowl or play pool, but it was a great way to unwind. We’re not going to talk about the food choices. Tracked and moved on.
Spri Xerdisc for President!
  • Friday: an evening that was my own. I wanted to run outside and it had finally stopped raining, but wasn’t sure that was going to hold, so I went to the gym. Two miles on the treadmill as follows: 5.5 for .25, 5.6 for .5, 6.0 for .5, 5.6 for .5 and 5.5 for .25. I didn’t really have a plan, but didn’t want to do too much too quickly even though I’m feeling good. Followed the run with a good roll and some PT exercises as I try to work though how to best combine the two on a non cross train day. I really, really love the Xerdiscs for balance work, much easier than Bosu. I really need to remember to pack my resistance bands in my gym bag though.
  • Saturday: was supposed to be a long run, but turned into mental & physical day off which was sorely needed. I put on my run clothes and ran to get dinner. Don’t regret a single non step.
Hi friend! Are you a red-tailed hawk?
  • Sunday: long run short shakeout and hopefully a sorely needed haircut.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: cross train. Conscious choice not to use my PT time for a run as I don’t want to run three of four days. May walk to work
  • Tuesday: off, book talk & signing. Anyone else read Linda Fairstein?
  • Wednesday: run
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off, show tickets
  • Saturday/Sunday: long run TBD based on schedule. Friends in town

Review: The Plant Based Runner

On Reading

Yay, I can start a Weekly Run Down post with something other than PT, although I am still in and loving PT. This week I wanted to share my review of Jonathan Cairns’ The Plant Based Runner. Note: I received a copy of this book for review, but all opinions are my own.

Running, reading and relaxing in the lead up to the #NYCHalf Click To Tweet

Two main takeaways I loved from this book:

  • Know your why
  • Change the plan, don’t change the goal

Cairns is an overweight, divorced father turned wannabe vegan ultra runner. This book explores his journey between those points.  Although I don’t subscribe to the full extent of his beliefs and dietary choices, I really appreciate the path he took to them. He read a lot and read the information presented with a critical lens to arrive at the place that worked best for him and his progress as an athlete. He’s 100% correct, there’s information out there to support whichever side you wish to follow, you need to know your body and your why. And realize that nothing will change until you do.

I’m still surprised at how I ended up virtually giving up soda almost accidentally. We got more seltzer in the office and I found so long as I had the fizz, I’d drink. You can still pry the diet root beer from my cold, dead hands. I’ve mentioned a couple of times here that what I eat definitely has an impact on how I feel/run, but I’m not yet compelled to give up sugar, dairy and meat. I did love his advantage of Irish (or at least not American-English) slang for this poetry when it comes to refined sugar: white is shite.

Changing the plan vs. goal has been a huge part of this half marathon training cycle for me. I wanted to run three in three months (well really eight weeks!) and while the achilles injury changed the training plan, the goal is on track. The larger goal of the marathon remains on track.

While I have no desire to or interest in running an ultra, I enjoyed following his journey and the interspersed quotes and race recaps. Read more from the author on his blog or enjoy his amazing Instagram photos.

Physical Therapy

When I spoke with my PT about the hip pain on Monday morning, he decided to work on that first and decided it’s not the hip flexor, but rather the TFL. Per google (and LIz who was quicker than I was, “Tensor fascia latae“. Per my PT, it’s common in compensating for stability issues. This whole Achilles issue is similar to when I had a knee injury back in high school. Back, hip. We really are all connected like that old childhood song: leg bone connected to the foot bone. Not to mention all the muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Monday night he gave me the homework of working on breathing, activating my core and pressing my back into the floor. We’re working toward the Dead Bug and since I know I have the coordination of a dead bug, that isn’t going to end well. But we’ll get some laughs in as I try. Monster Walks on my toes are my new favorite.

That said, I still feel like I’m making progress and the Achilles is in a good place for the NYC Half, which is somehow less than two weeks away. It will be a week away by the time this posts. Plan is & remains to have fun and enjoy every step.

NYC Half Goals:

  • Have fun
  • Don’t re injure the Achilles
  • Finish smiling

Yep, that’s literally it. No time goal other than finishing. I may be one and done without some lottery luck, so want to make the most of it.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

  • Monday: snow day PT and a museum press event. The snow was a complete non event, but I’ll take the work from home day to review some documents that are hard to get to in busy open plan office. Capped it off with a lovely sunset walk with Darlene. When we could see the Verrazano Bridge it was surreal to think that in almost eight months exactly we’d be standing on the far side ready to run the city. Fitbit calls this 9.46 miles, I call it: never miss a Monday complete.
  • Tuesday: Darlene and I decided to meet and test our injuries. While it was too cold for a selfie, we got another gorgeous sunset. The weekend’s snow had done a number on the non-paved parts of the park and neither of our legs were doing well with the cold and hills so we took it easy in a three mile run/walk. Slow and steady better than crash and burn ahead of the NYC Half.
  • Wednesday: PT and talk about graduating out after the Half. More work on core and trying to figure out whether I can do Dead Bug. No formal exercise, dinner with friends.
#nevermatch, and proud of it
  • Thursday: as I dressed for our Office Run Group, a friend/colleague mentioned her admiration for my aggressive non-matching. This wasn’t even intentionally bad-I wanted a shirt with thumbholes and the black one is too hard to find sometimes in the dark of my closet and these tights were on top. What’s not pictured as much is the bright orange buff from Liz and neon yellow base layer. Beheaded to get full effect of colors without skin autocorrect. I’m a fan of comfort over matching, but this was some next level nonsense. Alas my coral shoes aren’t running shoes. On the actual run, it was a nice rebound from Tuesday. What I love about running with this group is that it pushes the pace. I know I give up on pace too early when I’m running solo, so this is a nice way to push it. He doesn’t push me beyond what he knows I can do, especially with the injury. Even slowing up as we crossed the pot-holed reservoir track, we had a good time and although I was sore after, I think that was the bitter cold. Post-run was a quick zip to the last open Payless in Manhattan to acquire a backup pair of the Mary Janes I love so much.
  • Friday: plan was to workout before a meeting, but meeting got moved earlier so this was replaced with a quick row and abbreviated PT exercises after work and before seeing a show. Patricia Kalember as Gloria Steinem is amazing and a behind-the-scenes tour of NYPL was pure magic. It’s rare that I see a piece of theater twice in a short window, but this was magic and resonant.
heaven is a place on earth
“A dream is like a river ever changing as it flows and a dreamer’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes.”
  • Saturday: that thing I said about what I eat impacting how I run? Yeah. It was a planned off day but the weather was remarkably decent and I wanted to go out so decided on a riverside shake out. I could not figure out why I had absolutely nothing in the tank. I’ve fueled many a run on cheerios and coffee. Why not this one? Oh self? You had a brownie for dinner last night. Turned this into a walk and some outdoor PT.
Happy drowned rat in Sidewinder Lotta Breeze capris
NYRR goodie bag
present to myself
  • Sunday: NYRR/New Balance hosting a shakeout run ahead of the NYC Half. Also a shakeout for my new capris which I want to wear for the Half. PURPLE! The weather was horrid and we lost an hour of sleep due to the clock change? What do I do? Play hopscotch to avoid puddles and had a blast for ~4.5 miles. It was windy too and sometimes wasn’t clear whether we were being hit with rain or river spray! We set off in 5M increments and I quickly realized the one I set off with wasn’t happening so ran on my own for most of miles two and three before dropping back to run with a duo of coach and runner who had run DC yesterday! and were moving way more my “speed”. Proud of myself for approaching strangers in the group run and we had a fun chat. Could I have finished faster? Absolutely. Was it more fun not to be alone? Yes. The ponchos I bought ahead of FLL were perfect and other than the neck area where rain got in because I couldn’t keep the hood up in the rain, I was dry. Was so glad for dry socks and shoes back at the Run Center though. Also awaiting us there was a free goodie bag that included the mug, fuel above and a 20% off coupon with which I treated myself to a hat. It’s purple! I never thought about a running hat as I so rarely wear ballcaps but the Yankee one I wore for Lebow and FLL is too hot for summer and gets gross, so curious to give this moisture wicking, performance one a go. Especially if I follow my current whim and wack my hair off in a few weeks.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off, dinner with a friend
  • Tuesday: run?
  • Wednesday: PT
  • Thursday: run
  • Friday: volunteer at the Expo, maybe cross train. Finally saw the shirt & medal. I like the medal, and think I like the shirt color. Since I didn’t like the one for Poland Spring and won’t wear it on race day, I likely will not be wearing green for St. Pats.
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: NYC Half Marathon

Physical Therapy Week 3

This was the first running week that felt normal-ish since injury. Baby steps forward.

Before I get to this week, I had a very pleasant surprise in my inbox Friday morning: I’ve been selected a Skirt Sports Ambassador! Did not see that coming at all as my social media activity is typically way too low for any ambassadorship.  But pleased to be part of a brand I’ve really come to love wearing in the last few months. My code if you don’t have your own to shop with: 47CarSSA

Skirt Sports Ambassador
Joining the ranks of #SkirtAmbassador and other workout antics this week Click To Tweet

The most exciting thing on the running front this was that I wasn’t dreading runs. Not that I didn’t want to run the last couple of months-I did-but I was dreading the ankle/Achilles pain. For the first week since early December I have almost no pain at all. I have faced the reality that there isn’t going to be a long run in this training cycle, but NYC Half plan was always to have fun, so I’m not too stressed. I’m getting healthy for training.

One thing I’ve known but truly realized throughout the course of PT is how weak my core is. First step is this manageable 14 day plank challenge. One day, when I remember to pull it up at the gym.

The nuttiness of this week, which was somewhat behind Tuesday’s post is clothes volume. I swear they multiply. Last week I went three weeks without laundry, although that was aided by some laundry when down in Florida. This week I had to drop off the laundry with just one week. Hadn’t put away the three week load, and I only ran out of pajama bottoms. I look at my winter closet and probably a third to a half of my shirts are still turned the wrong way on the hanger, aka I haven’t worn them. I just don’t do solids much any more. I really, really need to purge. Poshmark here I come.

Other posts this week: yes, this was a blogging miracle week!

Linking up for the first time with #Riots and the new incarnation of the Weekly Wrap, the Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim.

  • Monday: my hip was sore from Sunday’s sneaky lunges. PT wasn’t surprised, but also worked in a couple hip flexor stretches to improve that. Gym was two miles on the LateralX, which felt strong and solid.
  • Tuesday: I was antsy to try the treadmill and see how the Achilles was responding to the activity that had irritated it the most. I started at 5.5 for the first mile, inched up to 5.6 for the next .75 and then closed out at 6.0. Could I have gone longer? Yes.  Smart to? Probably not. No pain. Followed up with the PT exercises.
  • Wednesday: PT. Mostly more of the same exercises. Sneaky lunges still irritate my hip flexor a little, and he added a weight to the single leg RDLs. Coordination is not my thing, and that was definitely a challenge.
sweatin’ to the oldies? No bad pop & country
  • Thursday: office run group was a schedule casualty, but I really wanted to build off Tuesday to see if I could continue to run without pain. Verdict? Yep. First .25 at 5.5, then .75 at 5.6, one mile at 5.7, .75 at 5.8 and then 6.0 to close out the final .25. It felt hard, but a good hard. Note to self: investigate sweat resistant nose pads for glasses.
matchy matchy! For once in my life
  • Friday: As I mentioned on twitter, I matched! This never happens, but I also really don’t care. I rowed 2,500M (going for 5K, hip was irritated so I stopped) and one mile on the LateralX. This felt good. Followed this up with a limited slate of the PT exercises as I was sore and tired.
Snowy Saturday
  • Saturday: I really wanted an outdoor long run. Alas, this was my morning view. We’ve had more snow in two days of March than all winter. What happens when you want to run outside but are forced inside? A no good, very bad, can’t focus for two seconds half hour on the treadmill. I ran some, I changed speeds, I walked some. Nope. Audiobook? Nope. Podcast? Nope. I bailed at 2.5 miles and went to the elliptical where I could watch an SVU episode on my tablet. Once lost in that, I was good for three miles. So really good workout overall even if my head wasn’t in a treadmill run. I followed this up with the full slate of PT exercises with the exception of the clamshells and side steps as I didn’t have my band with me.
  • Sunday: ouchie! Not from the run/elliptical so much as from PT exercises. My poor hip. Plan was to run outside, now we’ll see and I’ll update this later if I get out. Hoping to at least get in a walk before Mother Nature’s overnight hissy fit. I got out for a run/walk. Really a walk with some bits of running when I got cold and wanted to move faster. Epsom salt bath and chilling on the  couch. PT tomorrow, but we have a snow day so I can come home and nap after.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off, walk the Highline with Darlene
  • Tuesday: run
  • Wednesday: off, dinner with friends
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: cross train
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: New Balance NYC Half Shakeout Run.

Race Calendar for 2019: finally starting to plug in some of this as my spring/summer calendar settles in. I am not going overboard like I did last June so probably won’t do Achilles.

  • NYC Half Marathon: March 17
  • NYRR Run to Breathe 4M: April 8
  • Italy Run 5M: June 2
  • Women’s Mini 10K: June 8
  • Front Runners’ LGBT Pride Run: June 29
  • TCS New York City Marathon Training Series 18M: September 15

#GoTheDist update:

It’s weird. I’m way less focused on steps especially as I’ve made sure to take some rest days in healing the Achilles, but I still end up stressing over steps. Luckily I just barely squeaked out a better month than February 2018.

  • 409,494 steps
  • 180.7 miles run/walked
  • 47.45 miles run

I am off pace, but as I mentioned I’m feeling healthier & stronger

 

Physical Therapy: Week 2 and Half Marathon Recovery

#RunFTL shirt

One thing I forgot to touch on in either the weekly wrap or the race recap is how much I loved the A1A Half Marathon shirt. Last year’s was cute, but the cut was infuriating and I almost never wore it because I’m forever tugging at it. This year I switched it at the expo for a large (over sizing anxiety) and it fits perfectly. Memo to shirt makers: take note from the mermaid, women have boobs.

I runfess I like to treat myself after achievements like a half marathon. Luckily through #GoTheDist I’ve learned to be more conscious of non food rewards. This week’s damage was two new skirtsport skirts. I’ve enjoyed them, but running in the Lotta Breeze for the Half was just perfection. The cut is cute but the pockets are a game changer. Also, I wore a pair of formerly leggings to PT Friday morning and time to purge what doesn’t look good on me.

Key learning in this week’s physical therapy sessions: ankle stability and balance go hand in hand. I know, DUH! But somehow this never clicked for me. My balance is generally poor – I was laughably bad when Wii Fit was a thing – but better on my left side, normally. Not so much with the whimpering Achilles, but I really love these stability/balance exercises. On the dip into heel raise from a step I really felt the calf shaking with fatigue on the third set.

Speaking of Wii Fit, I wish I still had the board for some of the heel dips and raises as standing on the stairs in my apartment building gets old.

NYRR upgrade

As I work in the cultural world I’m fairly familiar with the membership upgrade offers. Buy now, get x months free; upgrade and get Y benefit. I hadn’t really looked at the NYRR ones beyond basic member until I got an upgrade offer. The cost difference is about $60 and includes a free race registration (value ~$20), but I got to thinking of all that NYRR has given me: the free programming at the RunCenter, the wonderful people I’ve met, the growth of myself as a runner. Because I can afford it, it seems the right thing to do to give back more. Added benefit: it opened up a volunteer opportunity for the NYC Half Expo so I can unlock 9+1 in case I want to do the Marathon again in 2020.

Currently reading: Phil Hewitt’s Outrunning the Demons, barely in time for Runners’ Bookshelf’s February choice. I enjoyed Meb for Mortals and seem to be on a bit of a running kick. That’s helped by the fact that they were pretty much the only books I downloaded to my new Kindle last week.

Also this week: I posted my recap of the A1A Fort Lauderdale Half.

Weekly Wrap: with Wendy and Holly. That this is the last weekly wrap makes me sad. I’ve only done it less than a year. I met some of you who were Cherry Blossom 10M ambassadors when you found my recap, and after Wendy and I met in Runners’ Bookshelf she coaxed me into linking up since I posted my own wraps anyway. I finally joined, and I’m so glad I did. I’ll check out #RIOTS, the new linkup Wendy mentioned and will try to be better about posting in rather than just reading the weekday linkups.

  • Monday: I felt pretty good after the Half, thanks to the swim. Mom and I had some errands to do and I wanted to dip my toe in the ocean for it to be an official Florida visit so we walked to the beach. I felt it in my achilles on the bridge over the intracoastal and by the time we got back to the condo I felt I should ice it. One of the best goodies in the expo bag was a hot/ice pack from Cleveland Clinic. It’s perfect. Overall, felt good and didn’t stiffen too much on flight home.
  • Tuesday: I was off work and took advantage of that with a weekday outdoor run. Yay. The shakeout felt really good and I wasn’t sore at all. I could have gone longer but decided it wasn’t smart to push it if I really want to pull off two long runs ahead of the NYC Half. I decided a much needed mani/pedi was more interesting than steps and didn’t even get my step goal. Funny how much I’m commute dependent on that.
  • Wednesday: hi, winter. So glad I ran outside yesterday because it’s a slip and slide now. 5K row after work. PT in the morning and he was impressed at how my Achilles handled the half marathon but found some huge knots in my calf. I can understand why runners often have massages. Besides the existing, he added:
    • side steps on toes
    • Single leg RDLs
    • “sneaky” lunges on toes. This one was a challenge, I don’t have lunge flexibility
  • Thursday: return of the office run group which in my head just sounded like Eminem’s Slim Shady. Why I thought of that song, who knows?! Our usual lap in quite good time even accounting for a slower mile two on account of the reservoir transverse being a dark, muddy, potholed mess. My achilles felt good as was my breathing through this winter cold.
  • Friday: thrilled to wake up and do my morning commute with absolutely no pain from Thursday night’s run. First in a couple of months. I got a good number of steps in, but took a rest day from the gym because I’m fighting a cold and needed some down time. PT again in the morning. Mine had one of the assistants helping and the assistant asked if I ever did a “single leg RDL” I said I had no idea what that was, but to show me. I had the prior Wednesday, but I don’t quite speak PT acronyms. Those are fun, save for my lack of balance. Added today:
    • Side plank clamshells. Oh those are evil but I kind of loved it
    • Single leg heel drops on a leg press machine.
    • This really complicated one where I bent the plant knee, slid the other foot out to the side and then behind me in a kind of curtsy. It took me about two sets to figure this one out. I’m not sure which is worse, my coordination or my balance.
  • Saturday: complete rest day beyond PT exercises and errands, want to kick this cold to the curb. Could I have run or hit the gym? Absolutely, it’s not a bad cold. But don’t want it to linger. and yes, now do you have to let it linger is an earworm. And then I spotted this Sarah Marie shirt in an eblast. That might have to happen one day. Funny of the day: I was frantically trying to find a charger for my vacuum before my cleaning guy came. I told him there might be an issue. Not to worry, he was coming from another job where the client didn’t own a vacuum (how?!) and he had his on him.
  • PT with a view
kinda like I’m channeling Kim. Did someone say heel drops?
  • Sunday: I wanted to be outside. The weather was overcast but better than forecast. The vague plan was a long run, but I knew that wasn’t happening pretty quickly. I don’t like spitting. I don’t mind it at all when others do it courteously, but I hate the feeling in my throat. What’s one of the side effects of a cold? Crap in the back of your throat that you choke on and… you see where this is going. So I decided to go about a mile and then do my PT laps there. Stretches are fine in my apartment, lunges and side steps not so much. I then jogged back to the stairs for some scenic heel drops. Now time for some quality time with a book and a bath.

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: PT and cross train after work
  • Tuesday: run
  • Wednesday: last? PT or find out whether insurance approves more. Off, after work event
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: crosstrain
  • Saturday/Sunday: long run depending on weather.

Physical Therapy: Week 1

I made a rookie mistake when scheduling my 7/7:30 AM PT sessions. I’ve done early dentist appointments, I can do this, I thought. Crucial difference? At the dentist you don’t have to, really can’t, talk. At PT, you’re supposed to. Note to self: coffee before PT.

I really like the staff in this PT center. They’re attentive, but also listen. They’re also not just treating the tendonitis, but working on the weaknesses that led to it. Trying to maintain the arch in my foot by making those muscles work may well be the death of me, but I’m loving the challenge. I also think the exercises will be helpful to me long term as I sometimes don’t know where to start.

Although I still haven’t made it to a Team MHRC workout, I love the group’s emails. In this week’s is this writeup of the new-new NYC Half course. No Central Park hills makes me very happy, a start in the middle of Prospect Park less so. That’s going to make getting to the start a fun adventure. Yeah, I’m thinking about the NYC Half when I haven’t survived Ft. Lauderdale yet.

Speaking of Lauderdale, the plan as blessed by my PT on Wednesday, is run if I can and walk if I can’t. That works for me. By the time this posts (if scheduled works), I’ll have finished it.

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly:

  • Monday: PT to start. Besides the stretches from last week, PT added
    • Stability board
    • Arch curls
    • Single leg dips
    • Side steps with a band (ouch, my glutes!)
    • Clamshells
      25M on the bike at the gym later as my achilles was pretty tender and there were no rowers available.
Meeting authors is Cozy
  • Tuesday: lots of steps despite the snow.  PT exercises but no formal exercise due to a book signing after work.  I haven’t read COZY yet, but I have read her others. If you’re interested in a new way of seeing the world, the book is probably up your alley. I’m very curious to see how jury duty can be cozy! I have a new Kindle which works with Audible, so I might have learned about this on the plane by the time this is published. Nope, I slept on the plane instead. Maybe on the way back.
  • Wednesday: PT. He videoed me running and it’s just so weird to see, especially in slow motion. He commented that I’m mostly a flat foot striker, my feet slightly flare out but that there isn’t anything in my gait that impacts the achilles. Yay. Beyond the above exercises he added:
    • Laps of heel & toe walking
    • Hip “crunches”. I actually don’t know what to call these. Basically lean up against a foam roller against the wall and move it up and down using my hip motion.

While some of this is driven by the fact that I’ve been running less, I love that the pain is much better and I am optimistic that these exercises will spell a better running future. After an after work event I squeaked in a quick mile and a half at the gym. I usually can’t run after events because I can’t run so soon after eating. Wanting to run is also a good moderation strategy.  Also, was curious to see how legs would “work” after pummeling of PT. They were tender, but distance was constrained by gym closing time, not legs’ ability.

  • Thursday: unplanned off day. Office run group postponed due to schedules and a friend suggested dinner. Haven’t properly caught up with her since September.
iHam, therefore I am
runners’ hide and seek
  • Friday: travel day. Hoped to run after the expo, but the traffic from Fort Lauderdale up to Delray meant we barely got in on time for dinner. The expo was fun, and I acquired some new toys including new bib clips, a suitcase-sized Stick (finally!) and citrus flavored chews since I dare not try the gels in the humidity again. More on the expo if I recap the race Tuesday. PT stretches were wonderful to stretch from plane.
Palm trees and lizards!
Gordon from Loggerhead Marine Life Center
  • Saturday: a quick shakeout to (try) to acclimate to the heat & humidity before exploring the surrounds including this amazing loggerhead rescue center in Juno Beach.  Lots of car time to rest the feet, but also some good walking to de-stiffen from the plane. Some of that was seeking new shorts (I know, I know, nothing new on race day) because I worried black capris would be too warm. Currently undecided on what I’m wearing. We shall see.
  • Sunday: race day! 6 AM start.  I don’t think they have a runner tracker system, but I’ll update twitter or instagram. Plan is to run smart, between the achilles and the heat. ETA: Done! Course PR, I think. I can’t find last year’s results since Garmin & Strava currently not on speaking terms. ETA 2: recap is up.

Week’s plans: active recovery, PT on Wednesday and Friday.