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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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!