Another successful week, although writing this right now I am quite sore! But lots of recovery planned to get myself through week 9! This week was my school vacation, and although I have more time on my hands, in many ways Vacations tend to be the hardest for me to fit in a run. Even if I don't go anywhere (which, I never do....) I fall off my schedule and that makes it a little easier to get a bit lazy. Also, Matt planned his work trips around my vacations because we work really hard to have the kids with one of us as much as possible. As a result, when I have a stretch of days off, he has to make up for work he didn't get done because he was home with the girls. It's nice that one of us has a flexible schedule! I surprised myself a lot this week... I can't believe how much I'm progressing with still only 4 days per week. Next week will be a real test as I we will be adding a run into the week. Hopefully I am able to stay in one piece.
Monday: Matt was home today as he is most Mondays. I think he met someone for something in the morning and when he came home I did 45 minutes on the bike. After that I spent most of the afternoon being lazy with the girls. I love our lazy days! They still love to snuggle and so do I! Especially the day after a 16 miler! Later on I met my friend Chrissy for yoga at Metrowest. This yoga class is really helping me. It is becoming more apparent to me that a lot of my pain is related to alignment because I feel significantly better after yoga. When I got home we all ate and then Matt and I tag teamed bed time. I took an Epsom Salt bath after.
Tuesday 8 Miles: Matt had a meeting for work that went longer than it was supposed to. I had PT at 1:30 but I had planned on running before PT so I could be evaluated on fatigued muscles (it takes about an hour for my leg to really start bothering me) but unfortunately I wasn't able to do my run before. It was mid 60's today so I was really itching to get out! PT eval went well. I had a lot of really obvious weaknesses... I just hope it works! (Note: I've had a lot of requests to share my PT exercises. I'm hoping to make a video soon, but I'm very busy! I'll do my best to get to it! I just simply don't have time today since I'm returning to work tomorrow. I will post on my instagram story and profile when it is done) When I finished at Physical Therapy, I headed right over to my favorite place to run! The West Boylston Railtrail! I knew there was a good chance there was still some ice and snow on it, but I thought it was worth the risk! It wasn't horrible, but definitely enough to slow me down. I had an 8 mile run and it took forever. I was also bonking pretty bad since I wasn't planning to run after PT and didn't have enough to eat. I thought a lot about how lucky I am to have Matt. I was away from the kids for 3 consecutive hours between the PT and the run, and it doesn't phase him at all. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I should have no free time to myself, but I think my girls are very lucky to have equal relationship with their mother and their father. We truly are a team and we truly share roles and each have 100% involvement in the decisions for the girls and in their lives. (Although, I do have the added responsibility of breastfeeding and pumping, Matt takes care of the diaper genie 100% of the time to make up for it!)
Wednesday: Workout: 2 (4x800) 10 miles total. My prescribed pace was 7:00 and dropping to 6:30 the fastest... Well I did this on a track without proper markings so I couldn't tell what pace I was going and I hit 6:30 pace right out of the gate with a 3:15 800. Oops. So I tried slowing down the next time. Fail: 3:13. These were feeling really easy. At this point I had a sense of the track and slowed down to a 3:22. Now I was back on pace for what I was supposed to do for that interval. 3:19 for the last repeat of the first set. The second set I was supposed to get progressively faster. I was naturally so far ahead of pace that for these next 4 I ran conservatively but made sure to get faster with each interval. 3:14, 3:12, 3:09. 3:06... This was easy. I was surprised it was so easy. 10 miles total with Warm up and Cool down. Matt left for Colorado when I arrived home. I took the girls out in the yard for some fresh air and did some raking. It was so warm!
Thursday: 60 minutes on the bike. This was a crazy day. Especially after a crazy night (see text message with husband below.... Lots of typos, it was late and I was frazzled!)
It was a long night of cleaning the bathroom and trying to convince Maebel that it was still bedtime even though Raea was up earlier. I was tired the next morning, my sister lives about 1:40 from me, and my mom and I planned to visit her and my 5 month old Neice. I spent all morning packing Raea and Maebel up and getting them ready to go (I thought they'd sleep in because of the late night.... #fail). Just as I head out the door we notice it's icing out. It's also supposed to snow.... We cancel our plans with Mary but I still had to go to the bank because I needed a temporary card. My debit card had some fraudulent charges (they were returned) I needed to get some food! Since Matt was gone I had to take both girls to the bank, this was not easy! But they waited so nicely! Then we visited my mom for lunch and headed home. I stopped at the chiropractor and brought the girls in with me for the first time. Maebel is in the carseat still so she's easy, but Raea I worried about. She sat so nicely and just waited! Knowing I can easily get through an appointment with the two of them ensures I can continue to get adjusted 2 x per week even if Matt is gone. We had a nice dinner and then I got on the bike once they were sleeping.
Friday: Operation visit Mary part 2, 4 miles. My mom said she would watch the girls for an hour before we headed to visit my sister Mary since there was no snow today. My mother goes to church with my Grandmother every Friday so at the last minute she changed plans and wanted to bring my Grandmother up to New Hampshire, this meant I had to put off my run until after the visit. When you need help getting your run in, you have to be willing to be flexible around everyone else's schedule. We had a lot of fun visiting Mary, and on my way home it started raining and so I thought I should check the weather for my long run on Sunday. Freezing rain. Two weeks ago I really struggled with the freezing rain and Saturday looked so warm I texted my coach to switch days. Since I hadn't run yet, he shortened my run to 4 miles instead of 8 and agreed a Saturday long run was better. I was actually excited to have a (short) run in the rain so I could try out my new On running jacket. Yes, my husband works for the company, but bias aside, this is the best hood I've ever worn. You really need to check it out!
Saturday: 18 miles with alternating 1, 2, 3 minute pickups at the start of each mile from 6-18. This was crazy. I was supposed to meet a friend but probably better she wasn't feeling well and couldn't come. It took some of the pressure off with the logistics. I planned to run the Boston course on Sunday after Matt was home but switching to Saturday made more sense with the weather but not necessarily more sense with Matts schedule. Here's how it went down:
8:30-Matts flight lands in Boson, ma, I begin getting girls ready and myself ready to go.
9:30-Sunglass on, Girls and I leave and head for Ashland, Matt picks me up gel at a store in Boston and heads for Ashland
10:45-Matt and I meet at a playground just next to the course in Ashland. I get my fuel ready in my brand new Nathan belt for myself and hydration stuff ready for him while he lets Raea play. We vaguely plan out what parts of the course he should stop for me.
11:15-I pump and prep bottles for Maebel. Raea continues to play (she will be in the car for most of my run so we wanted her to get lots of play time in)
12:00- (Mile 4ish of my run) Matt give me my first water
12:30- (Mile 8ish) Matt give me my second water and reminds me to stay on Rt 16 in Wellesley. Totally would have screwed that up! Matt goes to Whole Foods in Wellesley with Raea and Maebel for lunch. It's right on the course.
1:20ish?-Matt makes sure I don't miss the turn at the Fire station in Newton (I may be dumb, but that is the one part of the course I felt confident about...) But I was really happy to see him drive by when I was crossing highways... I was a bit concerned I missed something. Wellesley was so packed I could have lost.
A little later... I have no concept of time at this point: Matt attempts to take a picture of me at the top of heartbreak hill... but my phone was wet under the case so #fail.
A little later, I make it to BC!
After I finished Matt picked me up and brought me right over to Brookline Marathon Sports. I was able to Roll out and he could make sure the store didn't need anything for him and check in to see how the shoes are doing there etc. (that's basically what is job is, visit specialty running stores and talk about shoes) I fed Maebel while there.
Right next to the store is a vegan smoothie place so Matt got me some food and we drove back to Ashland.
From Ashland we drove in separate cars home. I stopped to pick up a couple bags of ice and pints of ice cream. Pulled into the driveway at 5:00pm. Long day, Long Run, #worthit
I have lots to do for school today. I plan to take an Epsom Salt bath and do some yoga at home. Maybe 30 minutes or so.... I also plan to eat a LOT of food!
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This week was a huge improvement from last week.Last week was full of disappointment and this week was quite the opposite. I think I'm in this state where I feel very much like the underdog of my former self, and it's taking some of the pressure off. Sometimes, especially if you are entrenched in the world of social media, it feels like training should just trend upwards all the time if you're consistent, and do all the right things; the truth is it doesn't. Sometimes there are two steps forward, one step back, or in my case I feel like it's been had 3 steps forward, 5 steps back, 2 steps forward, 2 steps back, 5 steps forward, 4 steps back... and this week maybe another 2 steps forward.... I'm just making all that up, but the point is I've had almost as many setbacks as I've had breakthroughs, but you know what? With nearly all the set backs I've gained more knowledge about my postpartum body and that has propelled me forward. Most of my blog posts are obviously highlighting my training for Boston. My goal is to break 3 hours at Boston, but I realize a lot needs to come together at the perfect time for that to happen. I will only be 8 months postpartum, and with the very slow recovery I've had from this pregnancy, it wouldn't be wise to tether my happiness to Boston or measure my success in this sport to that one race. Instead, I'm going to just continue to focus on a gradual upward trend (which may involve some dips in there) and hope that come April 16th, I'm where I want to be (and that all those other annoying Boston Variables play to my favor... like the weather... 40 degrees and overcast, please!!! Also, does anyone know the rules on breast pumps? With my mastitis history I need to pump as close to the start as possible). Boston is a benchmark to a bigger goal, so everything I do is to support THE goal which is to hit the Olympic Trials Standard of 2:44 (shooting for 2:43 to be safe!). Some of you may be following my blog to learn more about my training, some of you to just see if I do this, others to make fun of me in my attempt. I get it, I've been all of those people... but I've especially been the hater. It's easier to sit back and watch people fail than it is to fail yourself.... but I'm not afraid to fail anymore... When I look into the eyes of my daughters, I know I already have everything I need in life, but I want to demonstrate for them what it's like to really go after something.... even if you come up short. This was a quiet goal of mine long before I had kids... and it's been sitting on the back burner for too long. So if I should fail in Boston, I fail forward... and if you fail forward enough times, you just might make it.
Monday: Yoga went really well last week, so I did it again this week. I went to the slightly "easier" class, but in actuality it wasn't easier at all. Last week I went to a class called "stronger flow" and we spent the whole time preparing for headstand, but the Headstand part itself took up a significant part of the class and it was a lot of sitting and learning and experimenting. This class was flowing the whole time (75 minutes) which challenge me more cardiovascularly than I expected. Also, it was packed wall to wall to wall to wall of yoga mats. I don't think I've ever poured so much sweat... this includes Bikram classes I've gone to. My mom, brother, and his girlfriend were all there, which made it fun. We were spread out and arrived at different times but it was still cool to experience with family members. The class had a good energy, but I was hesitant about doing any deep adductor stretches, and I also modified side planks. I've avoided a lot of drills that I have been doing for weeks just because I'm not 100% sure why my hip seems to be improving, but I'm not going to add any extra stress to it. I felt incredibly balanced after this class both physically and mentally so I'm going to stick with this as long as my wallet and husbands schedule allows.
Tuesday: 7 Mile Morning Run (8:13/mi) As much as I wanted to explore some of the roads I'm not super familiar with, last week was not good so I stuck with a boring out and back course. There's not much snow on the ground, but lots of black ice from the melting and refreezing... because of that I hit the main road. Keep in mind, I live in the sticks, so the main road isn't even traveled that much. Mostly just buses and some commuters. It was hilly... because where I live it is literally impossible to not be climbing... from where I sit right now, I barely remember how I felt which I think is a good thing. Having a run that isn't memorable means nothing when wrong. I do remember at one point I was running next to a bus for about a mile and kids were cheering for me. The bus stopped nearly every other house and every time it stopped I'd catch up and pull ahead and we went back and fourth for about 5 or 6 stops. Needless to say, that was my fastest mile. Other than that, nothing memorable which means my hip felt fine.
Wednesday: WORKOUT! Last week when I did faster intervals, I could barely walk for the rest of the day and I was panicked about the state of my hips postpartum. It literally felt like I was less than a month out from having Maebel... there's no way to describe to someone that has never had a baby what your pelvis feels like after having one.... but its not good... and to be blasted back that far really freaked me out. I took the paces I was given very seriously this time and checked my watch frequently for guidance as opposed to running blind and checking data later like I did last time (not like that really helped most of the time... I seemed to check my watch whenever it was reading something really glitchy like "10:30/mi" or "4:50/mi"... Obviously, NO) This weeks workout was 2 mile warm up, 6 x 5:00 @ 7:15 dropping down 5 seconds each interval. Obviously without a track you can't know for sure what pace you are going, so I did the math based on mileage and figured I was a little under 6;50 after the first repeat. I spent the next 3 trying to slow down (and it went by so fast because I was calculating mileage and pace while I ran. I can't add, but I can do elapsed time no problem!) Once I got back to the pace I was supposed to run I just ran off of feel and tried to get a sense for what it felt like to speed up each interval. I don't want to train my body to slow down at the end, so I didn't want to get *too* caught up in hitting the paces, but I also wanted to run cautiously (especially in the beginning with so much of the work in front of me) for the sake of my hip. Once I felt confident in it I relinquished a little control and checked the watch a lot less. My actual paces were 6:48, 6:59, 7:06, 6:39, 6:39, 6:33 with quite a bit of incline on the way out and decline on the way back (which is harder for my pelvis). I got to run this mid-day because I had a training that got out early and it was simply beautiful out! Totally felt renewed in my goals after this run. I also had 2 hours of driving today to listen to Beyond Grit and really get my mind in a good place.
Thursday: Bike Not much to report here. I didn't want to do this because we had a guest over for dinner and I was so tired and knew I had to get up and run in the early morning... but I got it done anyway with the help of the Ali on the Run show. Her episode with Emma Coburn got me through the whole hour. Although, I checked how much more to go an exceptionally large amount of time.
Friday: Morning Miles 8.7 Slow and pissed off. It's pathetic to be mad at a 6 month old, but I was. Happy 6 month sleep regression! Maebel was particularly a pain in the ass, or more like a pain in the boob(s) Thursday night. At one point I keeled over sobbing (and swearing...) to my husband that I simply couldn't do it. I was too tired and sore to feed her (Ouch, teeth!) and he kindly told me I was putting too much pressure on myself and I'm sure I barked some mean response back. He offered to feed her the bottle but this happened to be the first day I really under produced during the day since she ate so much more than usual and I only pumped 12 oz (which usually is what she takes when I'm at work and then she clusters when I get home to make up for it. She's never been 100% comfortable with the bottle) so I was almost 10 short for the day and the thought of having him feed her with the bottle didn't help because I was just going to have to pump anyway. The thing was she wasn't hungry. I kept trying to nurse her to get her to sleep, but she was just latching and biting and laughing at me. and I was yelling "What the fuck child! You're so fucking cute but this isn't fucking funny!" (yes, all those F-bombs and more at my 6 month old, myself, and my husband... I think this is where I should say, you'd have to know me. I have exaggerated ways of expressing myself) I'm not sure if I was laughing or crying at one point when she smiled and laughed and looked at me with an adorable "I own your life" smirk. NOT. FAIR! Then I spent the whole night in and out of dosing trying to get her to nurse in the bed and she was biting, kicking and playing. My husband got up for the bathroom and I asked him what time is was... I knew it had to be close to when I was waking up, but was hoping I had 30 minutes since she was sleeping now. He said "5:30" I was like No! Fuck NO, NO NO NO NO! My alarm went off seconds later and I threw the covers and yelled "I'm leaving" Meanwhile, Maebel woke up laughing just as she had been all night. I should have run much longer than the 1:17 that I ran, but I had to get to work. I was feeling relieved to have it done because only a day of work between me and my vacation... and I had a hunch my students were going to earn a movie for the afternoon. I wanted them to earn that movie more than anyone else, but it was one of those days where they were off the walls too, and finding something to reward was not easy! TGIF!!!!!
Saturday: OFF Raea fell asleep on the floor at the same time Maebel fell asleep in my arms... so I fell asleep, too. Glorious 1.5 hour nap on the couch with the Incredibles in the background. I spent Friday night looking for information on the Obterator Internus and how to treat it by myself at home. I'm 90-99% sure that it is the source of my problems. This blog I found helpful and he has a video on youtube. I incorporated these drills into my day. Fingers crossed they help! After the random and much needed nap time, I hit up the playground with the girls before the snow came back.
Sunday: 16 Miles, 7:45/mi with 2:00 pick ups Matt and I were planning to run together Wednesday for Valentines Day, but Raea had a tiny fever so I didn't want to call a babysitter just in case it got worse (it never got over 99, this happens often when she refuses to poop... weirdo). So, we did our Run Date today and it was beautiful out. It snowed about 7 inches over night but the temps are supposed to hit 60's in the next few days and already started to rise before our run. There's nothing more beautiful than a run in the sun with the sparkling snow! On our way to my mothers house we dropped waters and a gatorade (not my drink of choice, but it is what Boston uses, so I think it's important to keep it in my rotation... lemon lime, the taste of the marathon....) and then we dropped off the girls. I practiced fuel and hydration every 30-35 minutes per recommendation of my coach. I usually fuel every 40-45, but last week with the really cold rain I bonked a little bit since I spent so much energy keeping my body warm. This run I had more in the tank... at least another mile or two. Even my hip handled it well. I struggled a bit with the downhill pick-ups at the end, but I have been doing this loop purposefully because of the downhill finish. Boston is net downhill but the back half has a reputation of chewing up peoples quads, so I'm working on getting my body ready for this in every way possible. My pick-ups were 7:06, 6:47, 6:35, 6:05, 6:00, 6:06/mi pace. I was very pleased with this because it felt easy. I'm looking forward to seeing what next week will bring!
Ice Packs: EVERY DAY!
Epsom Salt: 2x
Obterator Internus Drills: 2x
Some of the things I use that you can get on Amazon! Big thanks to those of you who purchased last week! I made my goal of filling my gas tank! Lets keep this going! Every little bit helps and if it's something useful to you anyway, your purchase here supports my blog. Note: I fully control what you see on this blog and never post anything that I don't believe in!
Some Blog Posts you may have missed:
This was my hardest week yet, and not because of intensity or mileage. My emotions got the best of me and I sank into a negative thinking pattern. As I write this, I am in a more positive state of mind than I was for the majority of this week. I've divulged into habits that are going to keep me positive during the weeks to come that may or may not lead me to Boston this year. I've tried to adopt a 90/10 where the general idea is to spend 90% of your time focused on the process to achieving your big goal and 10% of your time focusing on the goal itself. When the big goal becomes stressful and starts to overwhelm or cloud your process goals, you should know that it is not productive to be thinking about the big goal in that very moment. I adopted this way of thinking from one of the early chapters of a book I am listening to right now called "Beyond Grit" I like to have the copy to listen to while I drive and while I do mundane tasks like ride the bike or run on the treadmill, but I also really enjoy a hard copy so that I can visually see what I'm working on and go back to helpful sections at any time. If you are interested in this book, purchasing from one of my amazon links also supports this blog, Thanks in advance!
Anyway.... The big BIG goal is to qualify for the Olympic Trials, but I do have a stepping stone or benchmark goal in there which is to break 3:00hrs and I'd like to do it in Boston. I have 9 (or is it 8?) weeks. When I think about that goal, especially when coupled with this weeks setbacks (yes, MORE setbacks) I get stressed. SO what do I do? I think about the process. I focus on what I can control every day. I master the things I can and leave everything else in the hands of God. When I think about the fact that I can't control everything it actually eases my anxiety. There's less to worry about when it's out of my hands. So I focus on the day to day. The drills, the stretching, the runs themselves. The hydration, the sleep, the diet (and weight loss.... which is a small part of it, but I'm still close to 20lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight)... Then there are the family things which just add another layer to the cake (yeah, my training is a multi-layered cake that is going to taste SO DAMN GOOD when it's done!) I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I'm willing to fold on the Boston Goal in order to obtain the Olympic Trials goal.... and this week I thought "there's just no way" but from where I sit now, I don't actually know... and right now don't care. One day at a time.
Monday: I had a staff meeting today. They are scheduled until 5:00 but sometimes we get out early and I'm able to make a 4:30 yoga class. Yoga was my cross training goal today but I missed the class I planned to take. I called my husband who is home most Mondays, and asked him if he cared if I went to a later class, and like the amazing and supportive teammate he is, he said it was totally fine and I should go. Note: he missed his run because of this. He planned to rest today, but there was an outside chance he'd be able to get out if I got home in time.... but with the decision to let me do yoga, he let his run fly out the window. After many years of my body being sacrificed for our family, he's been insanely supportive putting my running goals first. What a guy! Yoga was AWESOME! I was so worried because it' is called Strong Flow... and I"m over here like "On a good day I can touch my toes" and literally the first sentence out of the instructors mouth was "we're going to spend today's practice preparing for headstand"... yup. Okay. See ya!.... But I stayed, and I did it! and it was awesome! If you're in the Central Massachusetts area, you should check out Metrowest Yoga. I haven't had an instructor that I didn't like yet, but now that I'm not pregnant, these more challenging classes are going to be fun!
Tuesday: 8.3ish miles... Truly unquantifiable. Man, This week was weird. As I recap it altogether it's even more strange than I thought in the moment. I mapped out this great run the night before so that I could run free of the GPS. I don't have the ability to just "not check" the splits as I'm running, so I ran somewhere different with my phone in my flip belt running strava, and my old school timex watch as an insurance policy if the phone died from cold. Worst case scenario I also have a milestone pod which I love for the treadmill but it isn't very accurate when it's hilly (which it really is by me)... anyway... I had a lot of ways to acquire data on my pace later, but none that were easily accessible as I was running. I wanted the freedom to run in the moment and just listen to my body as I watched the sun rise... Well, that sunrise was so pretty I took my phone out to take a picture of it (which doesn't even come close to capturing it). After the photo I thought I'd sneak a quick glance at my pace so far. Well, I was running in the moment alright... because not only was I moving pretty damn slow, somehow I missed a turn... and out where I live, there aren't many more options. I was already 6 miles in and I only really gave myself a "getting lost" or "running slow" buffer of about 15 minutes... so I sought an alternate route. No big deal, I looks like if I take the next left (about a half mile away) and I can cut across to the main road and get back in roughly 10 miles. Now, I mapped a run specifically to avoid the main road because at commuting time it's horrific, but... a girls gotta get to work! I picked up the pace but not for long. I took the left and about another half mile later I came across a sign that said "unmaintained road, travel at your own risk" I pulled up the map. It very clearly goes through to the main road, it can't be much more than a half mile long, and yeah, it was a bit icy, but I could use leave for traction and trees to hold on to... (wrong, wrong, wrong... on all accounts, wrong).... Without getting into too much detail, I will simply say at one point I had no other option but to sit on my bottom and slide down the sheer sheer ice. I was soaked, cold, and had to call my husband to pick me up on the other side. There was no way I could make it to work. What a champion he has been, he packed up two kids in the quickest amount of time and headed out for a rescue mission. He picked me up about a mile from where the unmaintained road ended and 2 miles from home. He gets even more points for taking the girls to work with him since our babysitter cancelled while I was out on my run. I went to the chiropractor after school because although I didn't fall on my butt, the slip sliding and loss of balance had me feeling a little off.
Wednesday: Snow Day! 9 miles and first Quality workout. I will preface this by saying I slept horribly the night before. I spent the whole night before rolling out my quads, glutes, and hamstrings like a maniac to make sure I was well prepared for a faster paced run in the morning. I may have rolled too much because I had trouble sleeping. This was the second time I have done this. At the time I thought the pain was good, but in hindsight, I'm not choosing the right recovery method. My hamstring, hip, adductor, and lower abs were sore. A lot of sore places! But the workout seemed to melt all that soreness away! Truth be told, this was a failed workout. I went way too fast, but I'm in this very confusing stage of running where my fitness is progressing so rapidly, my internal pace clock can't be trusted. Pardon gave me 10 x 2:00 with 90 second recovery starting at 7:20 pace and working down to about 7:00 pace if I felt like I could sustain it. I wore two watches, my timex beeping every 30 seconds (It helps me break up the interval and also makes it so that I don't need to reset my watch for recovery and I can just keep running and focus on counting beeps. Time really flies this way!) and then I had my GPS watch under my sleeve so I couldn't look and I just kept hitting the split button though my jacket so I could record the data for later. I focused on running with a very smooth breathing pattern and I focused on that word "sustainable" and found a pace that meant that to me. It's hilly in my town so I ran back and fourth on a side road that is relatively flat for the entire workout. I felt great until the last mile of my cool down I realized while going downhill that I had some serious hip pain that I had not had since right after I had Maebel. My hips felt really separated, my adductors felt inflamed, my tendon in my lowerab felt like it didn't function. Every part of my right side of my pelvis felt unstable. I was crushed. If I can't handle one workout, a marathon is impossible! It became clear I needed help and that my postpartum body was still very much a postpartum body with postpartum problems. ugh. Cryfest the remainder of the day. Snowday Pity Party.... but truthfully, the I ran too fast even when I was trying not to. The good news is that my lungs handled this workout just fine!
Thursday: 50 minutes bike I spent most of this day researching everything and anything I could on postpartum problems. I went to the chiropractor and he talked to me a bit about my pelvis and lower back needing some retraining and he also said to ice after adjustments, and maybe that contributed to some of the pain. I was able to book two additional appointments, 1 with my OBGYN and see if she can get me some imaging (I'm afraid of having a small sports hernia or having a tear in my groin somewhere, I'd like to rule that out). and one with a PT to see if they can confirm or deny my other theory: external rotating muscles being way too tight (obturator internus, piriformis, etc) and causing my pelvis to rotate out in the wrong direction (and the relaxin hormone not quite helping here) and over stretching my adductor causing a strain. Also, I never did a good job rehabbing my adductor after my knee surgery, so I'm sure it's still pretty lame. One thing is for sure, something I am doing for recovery is not helping and I need to narrow that down, so I've taken out all the drills right now and all the rolling and will add back in one variable at a time and see how my body responds. My first instinct is to keep rolling my glute but not to roll hamstring... so I'll start there. The biking makes me a little hesitant since the majority of my pain is located right where the damn seat is, so I biked with padded shorts and with a blanket folded up and put on the seat. I'm not taking any chances!
Friday: Another day on the bike, but this could have easily been a running day. Everything feels back to my normal, which I realize now is not normal and needs to be addressed, but it is manageable while I'm waiting for some answers. No sense in putting everything on hold when I don't necessarily need to. I'm taking this one day at a time. I did 45 minutes on the bike listening to Beyond Grit. I could easily have a negative and self defeating attitude in all this, but I'm taking precautions. I know my limits mentally, and I know when I need support, which is why I'm listening to this book and reading weirdo intention cards, I need help staying positive, but the help is working. I'm genuinely okay with this. I realize that this is not happening to me. This is happening for me (I stole that from the book but felt it before I even heard it)... This is all going to help me be a better runner in the end.
Saturday: 4.5/ 7:54 mi. So far Saturdays have been scheduled off, but lets not let this whole week slip away even when it seemed doomed from the very start! I did a GPSless run with my phone in my belt and clocked exactly 4.5 today from my parents house (my mom was watching the girls). I was shocked at the pace because I felt no pain, but I should not surprised. I'm fit. I'm making progress. I'm still working on some areas of weakness, but I have to forgive myself for those areas... they were a necessary part of bringing Maebel into this world and I wouldn't want it any other way. In hindsight it's possible that if I stopped running around 35/36 weeks this wouldn't be a problem, but it's no guarantee. I dwelled on this thought a lot on Wednesday, but I have to stop. It's in the past and that pain was present walking, running, sleeping, and especially driving. There's a good chance I had no control over it and it was just a natural consequence of a bigger than average baby and how she was positioned in my body (8lbs 9oz).
Sunday: 15 Freezing Rain Miles 8:12/mi. Like I keep saying, I can manage my hip pain, but it's still there and will not go away easy. This run it didn't really show up at all until around mile 9.5, and it was really dull until the last 2 miles where I had to run a relatively steep downhill section... In reality my hip was hurting but so was everything else. It was pouring rain and the temp hovered around 36 degrees. For most of my run I wasn't cold... or was only a little cold... the last 4 miles were windy and I wanted nothing more than to just be finished. It was my first 2 hour run so beyond the freezing temps and the lame hip, there was a bit of bonking. It's hard to plan meals pre-run and to fuel appropriately when you are trying to rush two kids out the door in order to meet your mother after her run. I brought along two gels, and had a Ucan packet before I left but I probably should have had more to eat closer to the run. I took the gels every 5 miles... but I was using so much energy to stay warm I could feel it. Also, the urge to pump or feed my baby was strong. I didn't do that as close to my run as I normally do because I had to drive to my moms first. I just wasn't thinking. Anyway, I'm blanketed in ice as I write this, and my hip is better post run today than it was post run Wednesday... so I'm happy with that.
Total: 36.9 Miles
Epsom Salt Bath:2x....
Ice Packs: Daily, I couldn't stomach an icebath this week. TOoOOoOo Cold!
Also, stay tuned for a Hydration Survey coming. I didn't feel like it fit in with this post, but I've started tracking my water intake and working hard on taking in 106oz per day (recommended for my weight, height, and activity level). It's a lot of going to the bathroom! I have my second quality workout this coming week, and I'm going to wear my GPS on the outside and look at it the whole time to run slower! I'm going to be much more careful about my recovery process being a solution not a problem. Stay Tuned!
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What a week! I'm really proud of what I was able to accomplish this week. My coach used a new and different approach to increasing volume that I have never done before and I liked it. It has given me a lot of confidence moving forward. This whole time I've felt really behind in terms of my postpartum comeback and also in terms of training for a sub 3:00 hour Boston Marathon. My pregnant runner peers all surpassed me in their comeback because I had some issues (and am still not totally out of the woods) recovering from pregnancy. Without getting into the postpartum issue I'm still battling, I'm just going to say that it's really hard to maintain confidence in my own training when a lot of people are up to 14 mile long runs for Boston and 60 mile weeks. This week I'm feeling in the game... a tad behind, but in striking range.
So I've been running 5 days a week and the most obvious way to increase volume is to, what? Add a day of running, right? That's not what we did. In fact, we did the exact opposite. I ran higher volume in 4 days of running than I did in any week that had 5 so far. Why? well, I have an extra recovery day! We can push the day to day mileage to be a bit longer without as much risk of injury because I'm getting 3 days of no running. Recover, recover, recover.
"Train hard, Recover Harder"
I've never done things this way before and I was intimidated and scared... but also, this is why I'm training with a new coach... Change is where progress happens. So, what did the week look like?
Monday: 1 hour on the bike: This is a recovery day, but I"m gaining confidence from doing an hour of work since it shows me that I can fit an hour in. Someday this might be an hour of easy running... and I wont have any excuse to not do it because of x,y, and z... I will be able to look back and say "hey, it may have been easy biking... but an hour is an hour... you have time for this"
Tuesday: Morning run, 7.1 miles, 8:27, Hilly and snowy. Good morning snow! I wasn't expecting this! But I spent my whole night prepping for a morning run (getting lunch prepared, laying out running clothes, laying out work clothes, washing pump bottles, etc.... Umm... just going to bed at a reasonable hour is hard! it's amazing how much you need to get ready just to fit in a morning run!) I'll be damned if I let an inch or two of snow get in my way. Peace out homestead, I'm hitting the roads! This run was awesome.
Wednesday: Morning Disaster, still fit in 8 at 8:39/mi. Raea refuses to sleep these days, Maebel keeps me (partially) up all night because she thinks I'm a human pacifier.... and so getting up and having both girls awake made it hard to get out the door, but I knew that I could fit in 70 minutes and still make it to work. I ran really really easy because a 7 miler and an 8 miler is the most consecutive mileage (without a day off) I've done so far so I wanted to listen to my body. My hamstring and groin don't love the run, but my spirit certainly did. God, I might actually start liking morning runs!
Thursday: One hour on the bike. #basic. Not much to report here. Matt was home so I was able to get started before both girls were in bed. I got Maebel down and he took care of Raea. So So NICE! I also started committing to dreamfeeding Maebel at 9:30 and then heading right to bed. The dream feeding seems to buy me more time before her wake up.
Friday: 10 Miles in treacherous snow... but it was beautiful! 9:14/mi. I timed everything perfect. I got up at 5:00 to feed Maebel, then about 5:20 she was done and back to sleep so I started putting on my clothes and then I got a call for a 2 hour delay. I maybe got another 20 minutes of very light sleep until Raea was up. I had time to eat breakfast and wait until it was a bit lighter before I got started. I had mapped a nice back road loop the night before, but the roads were really terrible so I trotted over to the main road (but not busy at commute because I went in the direction of Western Ma, and basically no one travels that way in the morning... and no one lives that way.... It was a lot of effort to run 9:14 pace but it was also really gentle on my body to land in the soft snow, but I cautiously proceeded because we all know those are the famous last words: "very low impact"......
Saturday: Totally OFF! I didn't even have drills today so I literally chilled with the girls most of the day. Then I basically just ran errands all day to prep for the Super Bowl and then took an Epsom Salt bath, and did some light stretching to prep myself for the long run.
Sunday: 13 Miles, 7:50/mi with Fartlek across the last 2 miles: I was supposed to do the fartlek on Friday but that was not happening with the snow so I added it to today. We ran on the rail trail in Hudson which had just enough ice patches to really slow your pace at times, but just few enough ice patches to make you say "maybe the rail trail isn't a good idea"... The first mile was pretty clear the next 6 out and back were rough, then it was clear again. My fartlek sections are in my Garmin Connect data below. I was very surprised to run in the 6:00/'mi range for any amount of time after so many miles in my legs. A good sign for things to come for sure!
Drills: 4x (well, I have to do them during the Superbowl so I will get to 4)
Epsom Salt: 2x
Ice Bath: 1x
Some people were asking about fuel. I typically fuel with Nuun during runs instead and Gen Ucan before (although, truth be told, I don't love the way Ucan tastes, but you might, and I always feel fine with it). Below are some of the products I use. I'm a huge fan of the Huma gels, especially the coconut water infused ones (white). Help support this blog by purchasing anything from the links you see! I'll never add something I don't also use or isn't from a brand I believe in. Thanks for your support!
Welcome to my blog! I blogged my entire pregnancy in 2017 and I had high hopes for where I could take my running after baby number 2, but my body had other plans. At some point I got too discouraged to write and recently realized that it is essential for my personal growth and development to keep putting feelings into coherent(ish) thoughts. I still hope to run sub 2:45 in the marathon one day, but for now I’m trying to focus on the process and I’m learning to enjoy it. You can come along for the ride, apologies in advance for grammatical incorrectness!