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 0

John Mayer or Queen both have appropriate lyrics

Runfession: I’ve been much more worried about my Achilles than I’ve let on, especially when I started to feel some thickening. I made the decision that I’d go see a doctor after the Half, and that day finally came this past Monday. The reason for my concern? While it wasn’t getting worse, it also wasn’t getting better. I first felt the strain when I was in Florida and blamed it on two 15Ks in four days, but it didn’t make sense as my Florida route was pancake flat.

Cari's adventures with physical therapy Click To Tweet

Luckily I work in a large-ish office with many of us on the same insurance plan, so finding a podiatrist was a fairly smooth process. I was able to get in the same day and she was amazing. She listened to my symptoms, did an exam and x-rays and confirmed what I’d been thinking: achilles tendonosis. Course of treatment? Physical therapy to improve my ankle strength and break up the scar tissue. Their office had in-house PT, but not one that I was in network for, but I had a quick referral to one who was able to see me Tuesday.

You know those words that stick with you because their name makes them so memorable? Dactylography, Triskaidekaphobia. Dorsiflexion.

The latter joined that collection when I met with the PT team who said that, among other things,  I have limited dorsiflexion in my ankle. Sounds like I should spot a dorsal fin and be a dolphin! Things I learned from one day’s session:

  • My 2019 goal of not getting injured is intact – I was already injured! Boo. From their initial assessment, my bouts with plantar fasciitis are connected with this achilles injury, both stemming from my flat as a pancake feet.
  • On the plus side, I don’t need to stop running or change my plans to run any of the 2019 races I have planned.
  • There’s an app for that. PT in 2019 is much better than 1997 and 2008 (both for my knee) where I had bad xeroxes of the home exercises. The app with my daily exercises includes a video that demonstrates them too.
  • When the PT is using some tool on the achilles itself that you can’t see since you’re on your stomach and facing away, it crunches and feels a little like a pizza cutter

(as an aside, WordPress’ spell check is the worst. Those three words may kill it)

I see PT like I did Invisalign — it’s very different when you’re paying for it as an adult. I have been very good about wearing my retainer and will be compliant with my PT. The top photo is actually a resistance tube from the gym, but they gave me my own strap so I have no excuses. It’s too early to tell, of course, but I like the stretches and am optimistic.

My appointments over the next three weeks are at 7 or 7:30 AM. When I (hopefully) graduate from PT the plan is to keep getting up that early and either go for a run, or get to the gym.

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly Michelle after a slightly worried DM to Wendy about whether this recap was running enough for the Wrap:

  • Monday: 5K row between podiatrist and Monday Night Magic. Such a fun show, and dinner was Pommes Frites. How can you go wrong with any of that?
  • Tuesday: beautiful day, nearly 60 in NYC. I had my first PT session and then headed to the gym for a short elliptical session before walking home. Can’t skip a gorgeous weather interlude when snow is on the horizon.
  • Wednesday: off. Did not even get step goal. Not achilles related, more at work until 8 PM related.
new kicks!
  • Thursday: office run group didn’t happen due to schedules. I thought we were happening so only brought outdoor pants (tights) which were more than a little warm in the gym. The shoes look white, but they’re more an ice blue with a coral/pink accent. This was only a short run as I didn’t want to push the Achilles-treadmill bothers it more. Shoes feel good and I’m antsy to take them out for a longer run once I know they’re a good option.
so this is why I’ll never be a home owner?
matching for cross training, apparently illegal
  • Friday: I’m not technically a millennial, but the avocado toast/real estate thing always makes me laugh. Love me some good avocado toast but rarely get it for lunch. I’m back on MealPal for February and it popped up today at ‘Tisserie. So good! After work, headed to the gym for a 5K row and my PT stretches. It’s too soon to have any real impact, but I love feeling the stretches in my calves. Another lovely feeling this week-I don’t “need” to go to the gym. I filed for the reimbursement and the next six month window doesn’t start until March 1, but I wanted to go. It feels weird not to go on days like Wednesday. That said, next week is crazy and I’m going to miss it more than I make it.
trying out new Lotta Breeze capri skirt
  • Saturday: I wanted to run. I did not want to run outside with a wind chill of 20 when I had not prepaid and didn’t have to. But I wanted to run. Oh the arguments with ourselves. So I layered up and headed to the gym where I could give the new shoes another go and try out my new Lotta Breeze capris. They are definitely my favorite capri model. Best thing? No pain and went just a little longer than Thursday. Followed it with a short row and long stretch followed by some well bundled errands.
yep, those are icicles!
  • Sunday: it was marginally warmer (less wind) and I really wanted to go outside. After a l-a-a-z-y morning with my book & coffee, I headed out to do some errands via the long way around. Shoes are definitely a keeper and legs felt good, although that was assisted by a conscious decision to avoid the hills. Still feel good after two days in a row, and cautiously optimistic for the Half. Hardest part was errands after in running clothes. Brrr

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: PT; crosstrain as I’m not running three days in a row
  • Tuesday: off, book signing after work
  • Wednesday: gym following after work event. Run or crosstrain TBD
  • Thursday: office run group?
  • Friday: fly to Florida; shakeout?
  • Saturday: short run to beach?
  • Sunday: Fort Lauderdale Half

Planning through pain

It’s better to be ten miles undertrained than one mile overtrained

This was twice-repeated at Monday’s NYRR event and it’s so true and so fitting for my training. I think my feet/knees are a reasonable alarm clock when I’m erring toward that one mile. While frustrating, this two week time has been educational too. What can I do when I can’t run, especially when I need to burn off energy.

I realized I still do love rowing, my OG exercise, and need to make more of an effort to do it regularly. Even peak resolutionist season, the rowers are often empty.

I also spent the week weather stalking since winter decided to take all of the cold and snow and pack it into one week for the mid Atlantic/northeast. Stay safe everyone! At the course strategy session (yes, I know better. I still went anyway) Friday they were predicting maybe 10% chance the race would go as planned, but way more likely it would be a fun run or cancelled outright. I’ll be honest, if it had been turned into a fun run, I might have opted out. There’s nothing fun for me about running in an icy rain if it doesn’t count for anything.

Weekly wrap with Wendy and Holly :

  • Monday: two miles on the LateralX, which I realized is a way longer mile than the standard elliptical. No pain. Lots of rolling, stretching
  • Tuesday: treadmill test of new shoes. No pain. Long stretch after.
  • Wednesday: off. I took my gym bag to department holiday party but it was after 9 by the time we wrapped and I was way too tired.
  • Thursday: office run group, aka major test of new shoes as it involved Central Park hills. We decided to do the longer loop to 102nd St. vs. cutting over on the reservoir track since dark and muddy is a bad combination. This meant we’d have the West Side rollers as well as Cat Hill and, to be honest, I was slightly nervous. Outside of needing to stop twice in the first mile to tie my shoes, it was a success. We got to talking and the five miles went quickly. No pain, just slightly sore Friday morning. Verdict? Bad shoes.
  • Friday: NYRR course strategy wherein I countered the voice psyching myself out with the one reminded me I could do this because I had done this. Followed by gym, 1M LateralX, 2500 meter row (forearm was oddly sore) and long stretch and roll.
pre race tradition
  • Saturday: off. When I thought the race might be called, I planned to run Saturday but around 11a, they said due to the weather shift it was a go. Didn’t even leave the apartment until 5P when I realized I needed to get to LPQ before 7P closure to get my pre-long race meal and remembered I had no chews. So Jackrabbit, Modells and LPQ. Freebie was their organic honey lemon ginger drink and while I feared it might be too sweet, it was delicious.
layers, trash bags, rain coats, heat shields
Done!
  • Sunday: Ice would have turned me off running this, but I found myself wishing for snow because while I’ve done a half marathon in the rain, I haven’t done one in cold January rain. This was better though than the original forecast of 8F. Spoiler: I finished, and hit my goals. More on Tuesday. ETA: recap here.

January, Gyms and Fred Lebow

Winner winner chicken dinner: Run Like Duck winner is the wonderful Wendy!
I emailed you via the address that showed. If you didn’t get it, DM me on twitter/IG with an email.

Gyms and January are a hot topic. Blink is a place where the crowds don’t ebb and flow drastically, at least not the two locations I typically go to. While it’s not a Planet Fitness, it’s not one with extensive equipment which tends to cut down on some of the nonsense. I had my first personal encounter with resolutionist shamers and it just made me laugh. Apparently unpacking a new sports bra and taking off the tags in the locker room is a heinous crime worthy of comment. I resisted the urge to invite them to access a print out of my visits, but really it shouldn’t matter.

Lebow Hat 2019

It’s crazy to realize Fred Lebow is next week. I also just realized that with New Years Day a Tuesday, MLK is a week later and whee, I have Monday off after the Half. Although walking around was good recovery last year, it’s going to be a push to do my stairs when I don’t have to for work.

Getting ready for the #FredLebowHalf to kick off my @nyrr running in 2019 Click To Tweet

So with it a week out, goals:

  • Finish strong. This is really about pacing myself. I know I’m undertrained and my achilles/calf is still a slight issue. If this means walking up Harlem Hills so I finish, I need to do this. I want to finish, yes, but I’d prefer it not be a limping crawl over the finish.
  • Have fun. Yep. This really is number one. I want to enjoy this day. Lebow was my first and I hope it’s just as magical the second time around.
  • 2:45? 2:50? Yeah, that’s not a PR but I’ve done minimal hill work and I think I’m going to regret it. 2:41:09 was this course, 2:50:08 was Ft. Pancake/Flat Lauderdale where I walked a lot due to heat, gel queasy. Honestly? I don’t care. I just want to finish this feeling good about the run. I was injured last year too so not sure extent to which that’s a deciding factor.

My regrets about the training cycle? No Mile High and not changing shoes sooner (more on that below). Lesson learned. Both within my control vs. November’s challenges.

Monday is D-Day. Err, M-Day. It’s the first day I can claim my guaranteed entry for NYC Marathon. I think I’m going to be smart and wait until next Sunday to be sure my leg is OK. I’m 99% sure it is and I’ll be fine, but I want to be cautious. It’s the same logic I used after last year’s Lebow and before Fort Lauderdale.

In the mean time, weekly wrap with Wendy and Holly Kim. Subtitle? All the cross training:

  • never miss a Monday: I’ve really enjoyed the Monday routine I re-established in December and wanted to keep it up although I needed a running off day. So I rowed for the first time in about a month and the first long row in nearly two. That’s not a six minute fall off in ability, but rather fidding with YouTube buffering because I cannot get through rowing without a “soundtrack” and for some reason it was being a toad. Oh well. I then had a good, long stretch and roll.
Hi calluses. Calli?
  • Tuesday: I tested the achilles on the treadmill and it started to be annoying, so I decided on another cross train day. 15M on the LateralX almost a year to the day after I first tried it and another 5K row. Between a flare of winter hands and two days in a row of rowing, I’m glad I’m not a hand model.
  • Wednesday: off. Didn’t even get step goal. Start of cold coming on and thought a full off day smart to rest achilles ahead of Thursday’s Central Park hills. Decided the best way to heal is not chase pointless steps.
  • Thursday: office run group expanded to three on one of our coldest runs so far. With an additional person the pace picked up and I was surprisingly able to keep up even on Cat Hill. But going up that hill was also a doozy on my left foot and calf. When we finished, I gathered my stuff from the office and headed to NYRR to collect my bib and hat. Came to love last year’s, but think I like this one even more. I stopped in at the New Balance store to see if the staff thought my shoes were the issue, which I was beginning to think. The staff person did the scan, but surprisingly for that store’s staff, wasn’t helpful so I headed to the Jack Rabbit at Time Warner where I got a little more help. Unfortunately she thought it was probably just that the shoes ran out of miles early. She suggested I stick with my backups and then come in when Lebow is done and “we’ll play” which I think is a good one.
  • Friday: felt like something was pulling at the outside of my ankle, although it wasn’t painful. Luckily I have a flexible offices and sneakers will occasionally fly. Decided to be smart and not run two days in a row. I rowed 5K and then stretched and rolled. Rowing actually made the calf or whatever this is feel really good. Iced when I got home as I’ve done most nights. The frozen roller from my first PF flare is a godsend as the size/shape is perfect.
  • Saturday: I woke, no pain. I dreaded going for a run -not because the wind chill was in the 20s – but because I was worried the shoes weren’t going to fix everything. I finally went out with a plan to run along the water which, when I avoid the ferry stairs, is almost flat. My feet didn’t feel great at 1.25 miles so I doubled back and finished at about 25m. But it was better than Thursday and I think I’ll be OK even if I only run Thursday. Cross train has been good.
  • Sunday: no pain! I still played it smart and didn’t run. I did a mile on the elliptical since the branch open Sunday doesn’t have a LateralX, 2K row, and a long roll and stretch. Officially cautiously optimistic.

Spring 2019 Half Marathon Mileage: 86.13

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off, after-work event
  • Tuesday: run or cross train
  • Wednesday: off or cross train
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: cross train
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: Fred Lebow Half Marathon.

Celebrating two years of running with a book giveaway

I’m weird.

This is not news to those of you who know me.

I can be one of those people who needs to start a book series at book 1, or I can be a total free spirit-often in the same sentence. My inner wild child came out on Tuesday when I decided to celebrate my two-year running anniversary five days early. That isn’t the non-sequitur it appears,I’m celebrating my running anniversary with a book giveaway. See details below.

Book giveaway: Early birds get the worm, and many run early, ergo runners make excellent bookworms! Click To Tweet

We had a campaign in 2009 called 9 in ’09 tied in with a new book that was out. For some reason I remembered that and was planning a variation on that to mark 2019. January 1 dawned sunny and beautiful with temperatures in the mid 50s so I headed to Central Park. I actually missed the Park as I hadn’t run there since early December’s 15K as I was avoiding hills when I was actually running locally. It was so wonderfully crowded for January given the weather.

About two-three miles into the run, I was thinking about how I wanted to mark Sunday’s anniversary. I knew the weather wasn’t supposed to be as good and the odds of my going long on a treadmill aren’t always good. (Last year’s 7.77 on the treadmill is probably still a length record.) I wanted to go long to mark the growth in the last two years, so I began to think about just moving the anniversary run, while still running Sunday.

At about 45 minutes into the run I wondered if I had the focus to go two hours. It’s long but not that long compared to my 15K/10M times. Turtle Power! It was beautiful, and I thought I did. I also realized that while I’ve done 15Kish a few times solo, I’ve never done a double digit run outside a race. I had my goals.

When I finished one lap of Central Park just north of the Met where I always enter, I turned around and ran the direction I only run during the Women’s Mini. This had the benefit of not doing Cat Hill twice, which I thought was smart with niggling aches. And yes, the run down to the bottom of the park feels much longer than the distance I’d just run north.

checking in with Fred

 

At the bottom of the park, I turned onto the Bridle Path to give my feet a break. I realized the run would come in between ten and eleven miles depending on whether I ran all the way home or ended it in the Park. When I turned south at the top of the reservoir, I realized I knew my ending point: Lebow. And I knew what distance I’d finish on. Thanks to some cold, fat fingers I hit 2:00:20 instead of ’19 but it was a great run. The 12s don’t bother me, I was getting tired and didn’t fuel beyond coffee and cheerios before going out. But this run told me I’ll be able to finish Lebow, despite being undertrained, which I knew.

This was most definitely a celebration of all I’ve achieved since that day two years ago when I hadn’t run a step since high school and it took me 12m to run/walk .61 mile. As a colleague in our office run group frequently says, movement is a privilege.

I just stumbled on a collection of running routes on NYRR’s page and can’t wait to explore more of these.

In honor of my two-year running anniversary, I’m giving away a signed copy of one of the books about running I’ve enjoyed the most, Mark Atkinson’s Run Like Duck. To enter, leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday. It was perfect timing how many of you had “read more” as a 2019 goal.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly: at 19.25 miles, a solid start to the year

  • Monday: oh hi weird Monday in the middle of the holidays, some attendant time off. I’ve really come to appreciate the value of a Monday workout setting the tone so amid some procrastinating, don’t wanna and other issues I finally dragged myself out for a mile and a half to close out 2018. I did not do the NYRR Midnight Run as it was pouring and nope. Never registered so this wasn’t a DNS.
  • Tuesday: the anniversary run detailed above, 10.32 miles
  • Wednesday: stretch and roll. My lower legs were a little sore from Tuesday’s run and the gym foam roller is bigger than mine. I also did a short kettlebell circuit and some planking. Alas, no plankie this time.
  • Thursday: office run group took December off due to schedules, vacation, and a soaking wet day. We returned in earnest the first Thursday in January and this run was harder than I expected. Definitely our slowest. I don’t think my legs were fully rested after Tuesday’s miles and while it was warm for December, it was dry and the lack of humidity made breathing harder. I so rarely run with others, that it’s not always easy to tell what a conversational pace is. I guess I could call this a tempo run? One of the many reasons I love this group is the pacing. I no doubt would have backed off left to my own devices, but after Cat Hill killed me as it always does, we rebounded with a mile that was a minute faster.
  • Friday: off. Stretch and roll at the gym
Nyack’s Resolution Run
  • Saturday: was supposed to be an off day with a day trip up to Albany but earlier this week Mom & Bob mentioned a fundraiser in Nyack. They were more interested in the hot cocoa bar, but oh twist my arm to go for a run before spending two hours in a car and then two and a half on a train coming back. I could get used to suburban runs. Get dropped off, sign waiver & wait inside church hall where it’s warm & dry (although capris and a windbreaker in January is nothing to complain about!). When I looked online Friday night there were 88 registered participants and I’d say about half of that turned up to run. The rain kept some away and others I think just wrote a check to support vs. planning to run. Net result, more cops watching the intersections than runners. We headed out of the church hall to the banner across a street and were off. Untimed and the road open but there really isn’t much traffic in this area especially not on a rainy January morning.
  • There was a lot of puddle hopping and moving between sidewalk and side of road but it was a fun run that was an out and back to the Hook. At the turnaround at about mile 2 (this race was billed at 3M, 4M, and 4K – Garmin eventually said 3.81) there was a water tent-I was so happy for the volunteers to have a tent as it was pouring down at this point. I got to talking to two people who had been just ahead of me who of course knew mom. Small town, for the win. We ran the last half together, which made it go a lot faster. Approaching two people is way easier than a group. I ducked into the church hall to get some paper towel to drip dry a little before heading out to meet mom and head to Albany. Whether I needed a shower before heading out was a valid question. This old Kohl’s windbreaker is what got me through Brooklyn and other than the top where I wasn’t fully zipped, my shirts were dry. My legs and feet on the other hand. Splish Splash! So fun though.
why do we do this? Oh yeah, that medal
  • Sunday: happy runniversary to me! Although the weather dawned much better than I expected, I decided to go with my plan of celebrating running by literally running errands. This was also assisted by a late start-I was tired after a busy couple of weeks. Most of the runs were untimed as there were lights and stops, but two important ones were timed:
January 6, 2019
  • Why that distance? It’s so random!
My first run, January 6, 2017
  • That .61 miles went just a little more quickly this time. I followed that up with a run commute home from the gym for twelve minutes. No Runkeeper photo since the GPS rounding had it off, but here’s one from Strava which is off but less so
Glow bug!
  • Yep, twelve minutes took me almost twice as far even without the enforced consistency of the treadmill. It’s impossible to tell, but the  base layer shirt is from 2017 Frozen Penguin, dig your roots!

Thank you, running, for introducing me to a stronger me. Here’s to the next two or twenty years and beyond.

2019 Spring Half Marathon Training Mileage:80.62

2019 Race Calendar:

as much for my own planning as anything else

GoTheDist 2018 closeout

all the data

I knew December was going to be tight. It was last year too. When I got home mid-day on New Years’ Eve after a weekend away, I entered my steps to realize I was a hair more than 12K away from 400K for December. What’s my daily step goal? 12K. So it’s a two year streak of 400K and a solid year.

Gym Visits: 8 in December, 38 for September-February Cycle

2018, you were amazing

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever. Neil Gaiman

There’s a reason that’s been a version of my New Years’ resolution, or as close as I come to one, for three years running. It’s so true.

I don’t do any of the word linkups, but if I had to identify one for 2018, it would be: CONSISTENCY and I’m so proud of that

I ran 680.91 miles in 2018, an average of 56.74 miles/month. I logged (an under count, since I didn’t lot if I just ran without a watch) 193 running days. How did those months shake out?

    • January: 56.50; 15 running days
    • February: 50.54; 14 running days
    • March: 62.68; 16 running days
    • April: 62.34 ; 15 running days
    • May: 52.84; 16 running days (proud of this, a lot of travel, sitll ran)
    • June: 59.82 (doh!); 17 running days
    • July: 45.2; 18 running days. Kept the distances down due to PF flare, didn’t stop running. Win
    • August: 56.84; 16 running days
    • September: 69.22; 18 running days
    • October: 50.96; 17 running days
    • November: 52.59; 14 running days
    • December:61.37; 17 running days

WOW.

680.91 wasn’t the 700 I’d hoped for, but is a 208.5 mile increase over 2017’s 472.41 miles.

WOW!

I’m not fast, and I’ll probably never be high mileage in an effort to avoid injury but I’ll take consistency all day any day.

GoTheDist:

Will update this when I log today’s steps, but I’m coming in around 5.5m steps and just shy of 2,500 miles run/walked on the year. I’m thrilled with and proud of pushing through a challenging December, which seems like a theme.

December

  •  400,780 steps
  •  181.26 miles run/walked
  •  61.37 miles run

Q4

  •   1,258,616 steps
  •   559.43 miles run/walked
  •   164.92 miles run

2018

  •  5,570,525 steps
  •  2445.64 miles run/walked
  • 680.91 miles run

I’m really happy with this. It’s not exactly my goals, but it’s close enough. Added up to an amazing year.

Other:

  • 104 books read. No reading time this weekend
  • 1,117 days in a row food logging which is probably why I lost 6.2 lbs on the year. Great? No. But way better than gaining. Baby steps.

I’m very proud of the year I had. Consistency was a huge part of that. At this time a year ago, I was a nervous wreck about my first half marathon. Today? Nervous about that same half marathon, but I know I can do it.

Here’s to an amazing 2019

How was your year? Would you do anything differently?

Weekly turned yearly wrap with Wendy and Holly and Year of Running with Eat, Pray, Run.

Socks, Lights and bands oh my!

Santa running-ish haul

I am a fun socks person, so that’s a given from Santa (and the ish part of running-ish) so they were a nice complement to running socks, an Angelrox band and a SlapLit bracelet. I can’t be the only 80s child who adores these for nostalgia, can I?

and coffee.. all the coffee

Coffee is kind of like a running gift, right? Santa good to everyone?

Also posted this week: 2019 Goals. Still to come, 2018 wrap. Hoping to get some more miles in tomorrow, plus I’m not at my computer. In the mean time, weekly wrap with Wendy and Holly:

  • Monday: got in a quick couple of miles between work and heading out of town for Christmas Eve dinner.
  • Tuesday: off, prepping for dinner for 21. We’re not a religious family, but Christmas dinner/giftmas is A Thing. I got in some minimal steps going up and down the stairs and chasing my niece and nephew, but no real exercise.
  • Wednesday: I woke up with enough time to run which was good because mom made baked french toast and I needed some exercise to undo with that amazing and worth every bite breakfast. My knee was a little tender after Monday’s run, but glad to see it wasn’t an issue Wednesday.
new kind of key stash
all the stairs!
getting a hang of Garmin shots. Matching? Not so much
  • Thursday: a much needed lazy day. When I finally went out, I was rewarded with a beautiful reflected sunset. I decided to wrap my knee as it felt tender, but luckily wasn’t an issue while running. I decided to be smart and call it a run before the ferry stairs as that seemed to be pressing things a bit much. I have enough stairs in my apartment, TYVM. Love running outdoors in December.
  • Friday: late start, so cross train plan turned into gym stretch and roll.
  • Saturday: finally, my beloved Rockland Lake which I hadn’t run properly since last November. Just as beautiful even with the leaves off. Plan was 1-3 laps depending on how knee/achilles felt. End result was two, for ~10K. Felt good and stretched hard after.
They did.
  • Sunday: off. Wedding-ing. Barely any steps.

Spring 2019 Half Marathon Training Mileage: 61.37

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: Mom miles?
  • Tuesday: midnight run or other run
  • Wednesday: back to work. Cross train or off?
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: run or off
  • Saturday: off, Albany
  • Sunday: long run to celebrate my two-year running anniversary

Wrapping up 2018

As has been the case with recent Monday runs, this week’s was powered by an episode of The Morning Shakeout. This week’s? Kara Goucher. I chose this episode from my backlog when I read Jessie’s post earlier this month about Goucher’s new book. The book has piqued my curiosity, but it’s not yet available for Kindle and I really need to cull some dead tree books before buying any new ones. I really loved what she said about not giving up on dreams, but not letting dreams define your happiness. I’m still not a huge podcast person, but I’m a big fan of Morning Shakeout.

Goals are good, but they shouldn't define your happiness #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

I needed to hear that because Thursday’s Funky Fun Run really frustrated me. I know I’m past the point of beginner gains and regular PRs, but doing worse bothered me even though I know rationally it’s because I eased off when the Achilles started talking to me. I really do enjoy running and I don’t want to let the numbers take away from that joy.

I was also excited by the news that Mile High Running Club’s Upper East Side location is open. I don’t dare try it right now while I’m still building back up, even though I know it was what helped me get through the Central Park hills in Lebow. I can’t wait until I’m fully healthy to try out a class in the new location. So much closer to home.

In the mean time, Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly. Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating, hope everyone else at least enjoys a day off.

  • Monday: a rebound run that I touched on above set to the tune of the Kara Goucher podcast. I didn’t have a plan for the day, I just wanted to test my Achilles and go from there. I knew that the pace changing in intervals probably wouldn’t be good for the Achilles so I settled on a progression run: mile one at 5.5, mile two at 5.6, mile three at 5.7 and the final .75 at 5.8 for a total of 3.75 miles in forty minutes. I was really pleased with that. I could have gone longer-sometimes a challenge on the treadmill-but decided not to push it. It also didn’t feel impossible, which I’d heard was an issue with long intervals and was for me coming off a shaky November pushing the pace. This was good and I needed it.
Nature’s Magic Hour
  • Tuesday: no runs, no intentional exercise just a bunch of steps to and from meetings and our office holiday party, including this gorgeous Hudson River sunset.
  • Wednesday: at the office way later than I wanted to be, and then I had some errands. I did make it to the gym for a Monday-ish ladder. One mile at 5.6 and one at 5.7. Achilles was beginning to twinge, so I called it there and had a good long stretch knowing I had a longer run on the books for Thursday. I will go into the Half undertrained if it means uninjured.
  • Thursday: I had two runs planned. Office run club early and Central Park with Darlene when she got off work. And then Mother Nature happened. So I met up with Darlene, we decided to walk the Highline and visit the new Starbucks Roastery with some neon holiday lights on the way. Mischief with friends > runs sometimes.
  • Friday: got to the gym later than I wanted, Achilles was chirping so after a one mile warmup I went to the LateralX listening to Des Linden on Morning Shakeout. Not as good as her first, but still a good segment. So not exactly the workout I wanted, but the smart one. After a long foam roll, the Achilles shut up.
  • Saturday: hometown run. You know how those go if you go back to a small town? Especially at the holidays, too many hellos for a steady pace. Those will happen again this week. I was doing beautiful, if accidental negative splits until I was surprised to see mom’s car. I doubled back to the salon, where she wasn’t, and then her car until I found her in a different salon and decided riding with her to the bakery was more fun than finishing my run. Oops. On the plus side, Achilles felt good. Maybe too much treadmill led to Friday’s chirping?
  • Sunday: ton of holiday errands, quick gym dash for a good stretch. So off ish?

Spring 2019 Half Marathons Mileage: 46.04

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: run
  • Tuesday: off
  • Wednesday: run
  • Thursday: run
  • Friday: crosstrain or off
  • Saturday: hopefully short run
  • Sunday: off, mom’s wedding

Still working on 2019 goals, hope to get them posted before New Year.

It’s better at the beach

what a difference 48 hours makes

 

No Lifeguard on Duty. Nice metaphor for life

OK, that’s running vs. poolside lounging, but the principle applies. Florida is good for the soul all around.

The reason I return to Fort Lauderdale each year is because it’s a place I can completely unwind and disconnect. The only decisions required are which book, beach or pool and within this last two years, where do I want to run? Life is good down there. Five+ books done, which I was happy with. I feel restored.

Where better to run in December than along the Atlantic Ocean? #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly:

my favorite Fort Lauderdale cheerleader
  • Monday: I had a really early wakeup (3 AM), so after cat napping by the pool for a few hours I went for a sunset shakeout along the water. The early part of the week wasn’t typical Florida weather, and the run was just perfect.
such great advice
  • Tuesday: speaking of perfect weather, Tuesday morning dawned “Florida crisp” in the 50s and I decided to move my long run here. I explored Hugh Taylor Birch State Park which I hated during the Fort Lauderdale Half and was curious to see through different eyes.  I did a couple of laps of this beautiful oasis and picked up mileage running to Walgreens. to again stock up on water. The best thing about this park is $2 admission and a gorgeous ~2m loop so it’s perfect escape if you don’t want to run alongside traffic on A1A. To me beach/nature loop is toss up and both have their pluses. Total mileage, a bit more than nine, most of it gorgeous. A1A up by Walgreens is just deadly boring as it’s relatively inland.
Publix sub!
  • Wednesday: planned off day. I walked to Publix for a Florida essential which I read while finishing book 100 on the year. I definitely crowd sourced that decision before landing on The Way of the Runner, which Liz sent me this time last year after she read it. As I said to someone, it wasn’t the perfect book but was the perfect choice for my 100th book. I really should tabulate how many running books I’ve read.
Funky Fun Run, winter edition
  • Thursday: I was excited for the Funky Run Run, which I discovered last visit. I was curious whether my time would have improved. It might have, had Florida weather not returned and my achilles not said hello. It’s not an injury, it was just saying hello and reminding me that 9 miles so soon after Saturday’s 15K probably wasn’t smart, so I eased up. It was still a fun, scenic evening. Later, I was pleased to spot myself in someone’s photo as we waited. Yellow buff for the win! After happy hour I spent a good 30m rolling my legs.
  • Friday: semi-planned off day, but also babying the achilles slightly. It felt mostly good except for a twinge when I walked to Running Wild (drawbridge incline on Sunrise) to pick up the shirt above. Cracks me up that they’re selling a long sleeved one, but Tuesday morning you could definitely ID the locals vs. the snowbirds by the layers. I’m happy to have a long sleeved version of this shirt as no winter ones are great visibility. Also happy to shop local and buy a light as I realized running along the water that the people with one were way more visible than I was. Looking forward to using the light.
  • Saturday: travel/off day for achilles.
oh hai, December.
  • Sunday: welcome home. On the plus side, at least it isn’t snow gear. Was an icy headwind and I just wanted to do a light shakeout as I didn’t have time to go to the gym. Took it easy, left the watch home and achilles felt good.

Spring Half Marathon Training MIleage: 36.77

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: gym or cross train depending on achilles. Don’t want to go into Half injured so willing to do LateralX if better
  • Tuesday: office holiday party
  • Wednesday: run or cross train
  • Thursday: run
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday/Sunday: TBC based on holiday plans

November, you’re a wrap

Right off the bat, I runfess that I’m going to declare blog amnesty. I want to, and I’m trying, but know I will never catch up on the last few weeks. Our gala is behind us and I can return to my normal. I also runfess that this is a Wrap in name only as there wasn’t a lot of running this week. But linking up with Wendy and Holly unless they throw me out 😉

happy birthday to me! Present from/to myself from Gone For a Run.

This was a good week. I mostly stuck with my plan of trying not to live on caffeine and sugar and it worked. I wasn’t 100% compliant, but I tried to stick with just drip coffee or straight espresso and not sugar bombs and I did not feel as wrecked come Thursday. Exhausted after being awake for 20 hours? Yes. What little running I got in really helped with mental balance, and I had a surprise short run with Darlene who spotted me in the park when I couldn’t say no to a colleague. In his defense, he was absolutely right: the run made me feel good.

Was surprised to get an email from NYRR (that I only saw Saturday) notifying me that I’d been selected for the NYC Half since I had guaranteed entry, but I guess they just put us all in the pile of selected. Time to get serious about that and Lebow (January 20) with Fort Lauderdale between them. I got it off to a good start with 6.5 miles on Saturday. I deliberately covered the watch and ran by feel because I didn’t want to stress. Was funny to see my splits after the fact. Talk about inconsistent!

Speaking of watches, I’m pleasantly surprised that my old TomTom will sell on eBay. I decided to list it mainly to get it out of my house and hopefully cover shipping.

I’m really looking forward to next weekend’s 15K. Last year’s Ted Corbitt was one of my favorites. I’d say I’m not in shape to beat my times (1:48:20 Runkeeper/1:48:13 NYRR), but I was injured then so maybe? I just want to have fun. No other goals. It was wonderful Saturday to run in Central Park without worrying about work, looking forward to that next weekend too as the race starts some PTO.

I wanted to run Sunday, but I was quite sore and there were a ton of wet leaves so I opted to sleep in and do some errands. I needed an off day after the last couple weeks. No regrets.

Official Q1 2019 Half Marathon(s) Training Mileage: 6.5

GoTheDist November 2018

  • 424,152 steps
  • 52.59 Miles run
  • 188.09 miles run/walked

That step total was entirely a result of a 30K day on Thursday when I went for a long mental recovery walk, and later ran a dash. 400K was in serious doubt due to crazy work, the Turkey Trot DNS, root canal and other factors but glad I eked it out.

GoTheDist Q4 To Date 

  • 857,836 steps
  • 103.55 miles run
  • 378.17 miles run/walked

GoTheDist Year to Date

  • 5,169,745 steps
  • 619.54 miles run
  • 2264.38 miles run/walked

So 2,500 miles run/walked and 700 miles run are out the window.  But 5.5m steps is absolutely doable, and I realize I’m 200 miles ahead running wise over 2017 year to date. 2,450 miles might be real. I’m not at all disappointed with 2018.

Gym Visits: 13 for November.  30 for September-February window

December Goal: finish strong. Nothing fancy.