*Weekly mileage ~ Aug. 15-21*

Mileage for the week of August 15th – August 21st

Total weekly mileage: 45

Total August mileage: 130.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 837.5

Run review:

8/15      No run/rest day

8/16     41:53 min./4 mi./10:27 pace

8/17     59:07 min./7 mi./8:27 pace

8/18     50:26 min./6 mi./8:24 pace

8/19     40:40 min./5 mi./8:07 pace

43:55 min./5 mi./8:46 pace

8/20     44:24 min./5 mi./8:52 pace

8/21     1:54:07 min./13 mi./8:47 pace

All-in-all, despite high temps, the start of school, and my bum knee yesterday, last weeks training wasn’t terrible. Not what I was hoping for, exactly, but if I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that not every week is going to be a flawless execution in the training department. I’m grateful for the random weeks here and there that are full of rainbows and unicorns but it’s not the norm and I recognize that.

I’m happy to report that my knee, while still tender, sore to the touch, and slightly swollen is feeling a lot better. I tested it out with a short walk this morning for coffee with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking and later walked to work. It seemed to improve as the day went on. Woo!

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Strollin’ through the hood.

Since today was my prescribed rest day, the timing of a day off was about perfect. If it feels as good as it does now in the morning, the next phase of testing will be a short run in the morning and I’ll proceed with planning my training week from there. Fingers crossed!

*Know when to hold ’em…*

Know when to fold ’em.

This week was a transition week as we adjusted to the start of school. My mileage and training were not quite where I wanted it to be with the changes to our household schedule and a bit of a heatwave early on. No biggie. I’m exercising my flexibility muscle and trying to adapt to the little life challenges that come my way without letting them throw my completely off course.

At any rate, as is typical, my mileage ramped up the closer the weekend got. About three days ago, I started experiencing some tightness in my left quad so I played the precaution card and tried to make sure I was stretching a bit more and practiced extra mindfulness when I was running as to not aggravate it. That said, I was feeling really well prepared for my long run this morning. Adequately fueled, hydrated, mentally prepared and optimistic that I’d feel better than I did last week.

I ventured out about 6:10 this morning. The air cool, the streets still fairly quiet, the sun tucked behind the hills to the east. The plan was to run a 9.5 mile loop that would bring me back home to meet Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking who would run the last 6.5-ish miles with me. All was going according to plan when at around mile 7, I became plagued with a tightness above my right knee. RIGHT (not left) knee. I stretched and massaged it at every intersection that insisted that I wait to cross and pushed forward.

Somewhere in the 12-mile zone, we came upon a hill that forced me to change my stride. The tightness increased and things fell apart soon after. The discomfort migrated into my knee and I was forced to stop multiple times in an effort to stretch it out. I kept pushing forward, on the verge of tears, knowing that I was ultimately doing more harm than good. My pace dropped and I was limping. I told Mr. WJTWT that I’d run to 13 but then I was done.

I cried out of frustration, more than pain, for a few blocks and then walk/limped toward home, which at that point was about three miles away. We formulated a plan. My mister would run back home as I made my way to the Starbucks a few blocks away and then he’d come back and pick me up. I can’t recall, in all the years that I’ve been running, that I was forced to fetch a ride home because I couldn’t continue. But then and there, it was the most brilliant remedy to the situation.

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Long run cut short and I end up at Starbucks icing my knee.

While I waited for him to return, I iced my knee while drinking my latte and silently cursed at every person that ran by. (I know, not nice.)

He came with ibuprofen in hand. I’m such a lucky girl!

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Pity flowers. A total score at $2.49 for the bunch!

We sloooooowly walked over to the grocery store. It wasn’t pretty. I was feeling a ton of discomfort and pissed in general. In addition to dinner (and school lunch) provisions, I bought myself pity flowers and a bag of ice. (There may have been a very large bottle of champagne in the cart too.)

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Once home, I filled the tub about halfway with cool water, got in and added three pounds of ice. I’m not sure if the ibuprofen kicked in or it was the ice bath itself, but I could barely walk just a couple of hours earlier and while I could still feel the tightness and soreness to the touch, I was able to walk without limping not long after I got out. What a difference a few hours makes.

The moral of my story is this: know when to hole ’em, know when to fold ’em.

I don’t know what the next few hours, or next few days, will bring but I’m certain that my decision to stop when things fell apart was the first smart choice I made this morning, no matter how frustrating and disappointing it was to cut my training run short. The second was icing as soon as possible and following that up with an ice bath once I returned home, not to mention the ibuprofen. (I rarely take ibuprofen or pain relievers but in this case, I could feel the inflammation and knew I needed something to help relieve it.) The third smart choice was the champagne. Just kidding. It is the recovery techniques that I’m diligent about following to aid in recovery… a post-run recovery meal, compression sleeves, a topical muscle pain/soreness ointment (I use Tiger Balm), legs up, rest, etc.

I’m moving cautiously but optimistic that because I chose to “fold ’em”, along with a chill afternoon and complete rest day tomorrow, I’ll be feeling good as new by Tuesday and ready for another week of training.

*Weekly mileage ~ Aug. 8-14*

Mileage for the week of August 8th – August 14th

Total weekly mileage: 51.5

Total August mileage: 85.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 792.5

Run review:

8/8       No run/rest day

8/9       33:11 min./4 mi./8:18 pace

24:49 min./3 mi./8:15 pace

8/10     55:57 min./7 mi./8:00 pace

8/11     50:53 min./6.25 mi./8:09 pace

8/12     45:26 min./5.5 mi./8:16 pace

16:51 min./2 mi./8:23 pace

16:49 min./2 mi./8:22 pace

8/13     29:14 min./3.75 mi./7:48 pace

25:26 min./3 mi./8:29 pace

8/14     2:11:42 min./15 mi./8:47 pace

I’m incredibly proud of what I accomplished last week. Like, holy shit! I nailed the workouts on my training plan, ran more than 50 miles, and left my comfort zone to attend a running group which proved to be a really great decision. All this while in the midst of a week filled with frustration thanks to miscellaneous life crap. BOOM!

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This. Magic! (Venice, California)

This coming week brings a new set of challenges (school starts tomorrow…Boo!) but after some rest following my long run yesterday (which was awful, btw), a super awesome evening on the beach with my boys, a recovery day today that included sleeping in and a slow start, and a new week on the horizon, I believe anything is possible!

*Leap of faith*

I had a shitty week. Which you already know if you follow me on Instagram because within five minutes of leaving work yesterday evening, I was on a bar stool at a restaurant just a few doors down…

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There have been multiple reasons for my gloomy disposition but one of them, I realized yesterday, is how much I’m missing community. In every sense of the word.

Moving away from the small town where I grew up, started my family, and where much of our family still lives has been an interesting change. It’s been a good change, don’t get me wrong, but city life has, at times, left me feeling a bit alienated. I’ve found myself missing things I took for granted such as calling my child’s school and being greeted by someone who knows me by first name and takes the time to ask how my parents are doing.

What I have missed most, though, is my real-life running community. (I love the online running community too, fyi!) Running with others who share your love of the sport is one of the reasons I love running. It was the reason I co-founded a running club and for a solid couple of years spent every possible Saturday morning in rain, snow, freezing temps, and sometimes, if lucky, sunshine, to lead a small group of kindred runners on a short course with an optional post-run coffee stop at Starbucks.

I guess, to be honest, I haven’t tried very hard.

When we began making plans to move, I remember sitting at my computer one night doing an online search for running stores in hopes that I would find one nearby that offered group runs. I vowed that as soon as possible, I’d attend and become an active participant in such groups. After we settled where we are, I discovered that there are two specialty running stores within four miles of where I live and at least one other group that meets weekly at a pizza place about a mile away. Beyond that, there are probably another 20 groups that meet around the greater Los Angeles area each week. (I will note that the primary reason I have not attended any of the offered group runs is because the majority of them are held later in the evening and I’m not much of an evening runner.)

Then, last week, in an attempt to clean my handheld water bottle, I damaged the seal that keeps the contents inside. During my 14-mile run last Sunday I’m certain I wore more watermelon flavored Nuun than I drank. Time for a new bottle! While I was researching my options yesterday, I discovered that one of the two nearby running stores offers Saturday morning group runs! Even better is that they finish at a Starbucks a few blocks from the store!

I started thinking about going and then kind of forgot about it until I woke up this morning. Then I remembered that I still needed a new bottle and would have to go at some point today anyway. I tried talking myself out of it at least three times with a variety of excuses… I might not have enough time to get ready… I might get there too late and they’ve already left… I might be the only one that shows up…

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When I arrived, I was greeted by a small group of runners and the owner of the Fleet Feet Burbank store hosting the run who asked me if I was the person that had called yesterday. I replied “No. I took a leap of faith and just showed up.”

I took a leap of faith this morning and after a nice 3-mile run, I was sitting at a table at Starbucks with community. If felt really, really good!

P.S.  I’m the proud owner of a new water bottle. (And a new Oiselle tank. Shh…)

P.P.S  I used Uber to get home.

*Weekly mileage ~ August 1-7*

Mileage for the week of August 1st – August 7th

Total weekly mileage: 34

Total August mileage: 34

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 741

Run review:

8/1     29:16 min./3 mi./9:44 pace

8/2     No run/travel day

8/3     27:48 min./3 mi./9:16 pace

8/4     32:35 min./4 mi./8:08 pace

8/5     40:49 min./5 mi./8:09 pace

8/6    40:19 min./5 mi./8:03 pace

8/7     2:02:38 min./14 mi./8:46 pace

Last week was a bit of a transition week as we wrapped up a visit to Oregon, made our way back to life in Los Angeles, dove back into work and projects, and started the beginning phases of getting ready to start another school year. (Why school starts so early here is beyond me!)

Amidst the whirlwind, I managed to string together a few decent runs! Not only that, it was a pivotal point in deciding how I wanted to proceed, as far as training goes, for the upcoming Portland Marathon. I was already committed and registered but I figured it would come down to one of two possible scenarios: continue to train as I had been (half-ass) and run the marathon without any desired outcome other than to enjoy it and have fun (both VERY respectable marathon goals, fyi!) OR raise the bar a bit, set some intentions, and get to work. I chose the latter. (I wrote a brief marathon training update post which you can find HERE.)

I know I’m in good company as there are many awesome fall marathons on the horizon. Time to get to business, friends! Happy training!

*Marathon training update – 9 weeks to go*

The countdown is on! Like, for realz!

The Portland Marathon is exactly 9 weeks from today and after a lackluster start to training (if you can even call it training) I’m feeling that itch… the itch to dive deep into training and start hustling towards something more. Something bigger than my current level of ability at least.

July was a busy but fun month full of some backcountry adventures and travel. The result was that my training was a bit wonky, to say the least. It didn’t feel like training at all, but rather maintenance. The bare-minimum if you will.

I took some time this weekend to plan out what the next two months worth of training will look like, breaking it down into 7-day blocks. Each week will include one rest day, a tempo run, a long run, a speed or hill repeat run, and a few easy runs in between. I’ll also continue to strength train at least four times a week and am going to try my damnedest to do at least 10 minutes of yoga/stretching per day in addition to eating clean and doing all of the other self-care rituals that come with high-intensity training.

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My high-tech system for creating training plans.

I dove back in today and tackled my 14-mile long run which went well and I’m feeling pretty stoked about getting back on track. I was skimming through my Believe Training Journal today and read this on the final pages:

“Let the benefits of being engaged and committed to your passion increase your self-esteem, deepen your joy, and raise the quality of your life!”

It pretty much sums up how I feel about running and training. I’m looking forward not only to the marathon on October 9th but every single day between now and then to be fully engaged and committed to my passion.

*Weekly mileage ~ July 25-31*

Mileage for the week of July 25th – July 31st

Total weekly mileage: 22.5

Total July mileage: 122.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 707

Run review:

7/25     No run/rest day

7/26     33:35 min./4 mi./8:29 pace

7/27     1:11:01 min./8 mi./8:52 pace

7/28     33:17 min./4 mi./8:18 pace

7/29     34:11 min./3.5 mi./9:46 pace

7/30     No run

7/31     27:06 min./3 mi./9:00 pace

The past two weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind full of fun summer adventures. Just the way I like it!!! But as a result of my escapades, my training has suffered a little. Now that I’m home, we are getting ready for school to start, and no outings are currently planned until I head back to Portland for the Portland Marathon, it’s time to buckle down again.

I need to spend some time going over my training plan and make a few minor adjustments but with limited mileage the past few weeks, I’m feeling fresh and ready to step up my effort and complete this training cycle!

Good thing, because I just realized the marathon is 67 days away!