April 01, 2016

Month in Review - March

The majority of this month I have been trying to rehab my hamstring strain. Which made most of the month one big rest "day", with one of the lowest mileage months since I started running. I I really spent a lot of time reflecting on my past running and thought about why I am always getting injured. I have concluded it's because all I ever do is run. I don't lift weights or cross train. I honestly barely even walk, thanks to my sit down job (I did just get a stand-up desk, yay!).  I took a big step in correcting what I believe to be my achilles heel when it comes to running and I am giving personal coaching a try. I received a personal and customized training plan from Jason at Strength Running. With this new training plan, Jason has me incorporating running specific strength workouts into my training. A lot of the strength workouts include strengthening my hips, glutes and abs. I am about 3 weeks into including the strength workouts, but I have been unable to actually start the running part of the plan because of my injury (it is slowly getting better).  They say it takes about 6 weeks to see the effect of strength training, so I hope to be come a stronger, less injury prone runner in the near future. 

Total Miles: 58.2
Peak weekly mileage: 2/29-3/6 (26.2mi)
Longest Run: 8.0mi
Average Pace: 10:30min/mi
Races: 1
Leprechaun Race 5k 3/13/16 (25:43)

Lesson(s) learned:
  • If all you ever do is run and absolutely nothing else, you're bound to get injured.
Plans for April:
My main goal is to continue rehabbing my hamstring and to remain injury free in other areas. I want to be able to start the customized training plan that I got. The training plan is for my goal race this year, The San Francisco Marathon. I will be running the half marathon, more specifically the "2nd half marathon". I will be volunteering for the first time a race and I'm kind of looking forward to giving back.

Upcoming April Races: 0

How did your training go in March?
What are your plans for April?

March 27, 2016

Is running injury free possible?

What is this...a new blog post??? I think this is officially the longest I've gone without a post. I haven't had much to say lately as I have been bit by the injury bug, hard. What do you write on a running blog when you can't run. One of the most frustrating things I've discovered since declaring myself a runner, has been injuries. Since I started running in February 2013, I have had: shin splints, ITBS, a sprained ankle, pulled hamstring (twice), runners knee, and posterior tibial tendinitis. In case you weren't counting, that's 7 injuries in 3 years! That's 2.3333333333 injuries on average per year! That's insane! Each of these injuries have meant time off. Some injuries healed after 2 weeks, others took as long as  months (posterior tibial tendinitis is a nasty thing), and when it comes to running, consistency is key.

My doctor once told me, that he didn't think I was cut out for running. To be honest, I almost believed him. What was I doing wrong, that other runners seemed to be doing right? Didn't Christopher McDougall have this same problem? Do I need to travel to Mexico to find out how to prevent injuries? Inspired by his book Born to Run (but not in the way you think, no barefoot running for me) In November 2014, I set out on my own journey to discover injury free running.

My first stop Phil Maffetone's MAF Training.

I honestly don't know how I came about hearing about this method, I have a couple posts explaining what exactly MAF Training is. Basically, you take 150 minus your age and either add 5 or deduct an additional 5 depending on your running history. This becomes your MAF heart rate and the goal is to never let your heart rate increase over this amount. I devoured the Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing and started drinking the MAF Kool-aid. It was okay, if you don't mind a lot of slow miles. I did decrease my race times across the board and I wasn't injured at all while keeping with the program. However, it gets really (an I mean really) boring training at a slow pace. Not only that, but it was hard always being so dependent on my heart rate monitor. Running wasn't enjoyable anymore. When my heart rate went up running at a slower pace than last week, I would get frustrated, and my heart rate would go up even more. A dog that I couldn't see behind a fence would bark or a car would honk, scaring me, and cause my heart rate to go up. I was honestly kind of miserable.

My next stop was run less. I thought I was victim of the too much, too soon syndrome. I made sure to run every other day to ensure I was rested, if I felt even a small niggle of pain, I would take a few days off. But, it didn't work, because there was always something flaring up, so I was basically always taking days off.

Some time in between, I developed posterior tibial tendinitis, which is just a fancy way of saying my ankle hurt a lot. I couldn't walk or run without pain. I took about 2 months off started in August of 2015 and it wasn't getting any better, so I went to a physical therapist. She worked on it 3x a week for 2 months and suggested I get orthotics and start foam rolling. Well. the orthotics, caused trouble with my knees, and I do believe foam rolling is helpful, it hasn't been helpful enough. Here I am today with another hamstring strain. This one (unlike my previous hamstring strain) wasn't caused by a sudden stopping movement (I was at a full on sprint and came to a stop in one stride), but rather an overuse injury.

So, where is this long post heading to? Well, it's going to what I hope will be my final stop. Even though I've heard this time and time again, I never really believed this piece of advise. I read online once, that runners who only run will eventually get injured. I had tried adding in cycling, and lifting weights a few times a week for a little bit, but I never saw an improvement in race times, so it took a backseat. Well, here I am revisiting it again. Strength training, is going to be my new best friend for this next training cycle. I discovered this website, Strength Running. Now I am a sucker for infomercials, anything I see on TV I swear I need. This may be another one of those, but maybe not. I signed up for a custom training plan by the owner of Strength Running, Jason Fitzgerald, because he specializes in runners who are constantly getting injured. Included in the training plan is a standard core workout and ITB rehab workout. Both of these, like they sound, are all about developing a strong core (abs, glutes, and hips). The plan he made for me is simple. It tells me exactly when to run, exactly what I do to warm up before each run, exactly how fast to run, and exactly what exercises I need to do post-run. Unfortunately, my hamstring started acting up on day one of the training plan, but I have been seeing a PT who thinks I will make a speedy recovery. I am super excited to see if I have finally discovered how to run injury free. I haven't been able to run for more than 2 months injury free since August of 2014. I really want to see my potential, which will only come with running consistently. Fingers Crossed!!!!

July 27, 2015

30 thoughts wile getting a deep tissue massage.

Last week, I went in for my first deep tissue massage. I've gotten massages before, but they were always swedish, for deepish swedish. Here are 30 thoughts that went through my head.
  1. It smells very tranquil and relaxy in here.
  2. Let's see, undress to my comfort level, hmmm...I guess I'll bare it all like I do for a swedish.
  3. Aaahhh, now that a comfy bed.
  4. Is this face holder thingy supposed to be comfortable? I feel like my face is slowly leaking through this hole.
  5. I hope my answer of "neck, shoulders, and tight calves" is sufficient enough. I really hope she just focuses on the calves. Those things are hard as rocks
  6. I want firm pressure, that's what a foam roller provides, right?
  7. Did I say firm, maybe I meant light pressure. Ow! No pain, no gain right. This calves aren't work themselves out.
  8. Oh great, I can tell my legs feel super prickley even though I just shaved this morning. Darn goosebumps.
  9. Ok, I get why they call this a "deep" tissues, she's definitely diving deep.
  10. Ow, ow, ow!
  11. Ok, maybe I'm getting used to this. That spot doesn't hurt so bad anymore.
  12. OW! How'd she find that spot?
  13. I think you need more lotion, friction is not a good thing. 
  14. Should I say something about the friction and pain
  15. It's ok, Lynsey, she's just trying to help.
  16. Ok, I really don't like you lady.
  17. How do you keep finding new spots to torture me on.
  18. Suck it up Lynsey, this is good for you.
  19. This is definitely not good. OW!
  20. Dang, I wonder what she is like with bread.
  21. I'm sorry, did you just ask me if I am still awake?
  22. You're saying people actually fall asleep during your assault on their body?
  23. I guess, I'm just being a baby then.
  24. Wait, your done already? There's no way it's been 90 minutes
  25. I guess time flies when your suffering
  26. Never doing that again.
  27. Why, yes I would like some water, it's the least you can do after what you just did to me
  28. Let me do a body check. Ooohhh, my calves feel like actual muscles and not like stone.
  29. And my shoulders feel super relaxed.
  30. Ok, I'm sold, when can I get rubbed down again?

June 29, 2015

On Running By Feel

Last August, when I ran the Reno 10 Miler, I wasn't sure how to approach the race as it was my first time at that distance, and it was quite hilly. I decided to just run and use my watch solely as a guide rather than the law. What I discovered was that I was able to keep a relatively even pace, and finish faster than I could have if I went by watch time. Unfortunately, it has taken me a long time to apply this method in other races.

In May, I did the American Parkway Half. Like every race I do, I planned for this one to be the race. The race I would break my PR. Honestly, it was a dream race for me. Low elevation (I normally train at about 5000ft), pancake flat course, early start. Despite the perfection on paper, this ended up being one of my worst races, and I'm not just talking about time, I'm talking about the way I felt. I was chained to my watch. I had a plan on exactly what pace I would be at on exactly what part of the course. I planned to start off slow and then speed up. It didn't happen that way, I started off slow and got slower. By the time the halfway point came up where I would generally start to speed up, my body felt like it was running on empty. I was mentally and physically drained. When I approached the 10 mile marker, my mind and body where down and trying to shut down. I did what I swore I would never do in a race, I walked.

If anyone has ever read any of my previous posts, they would know my biggest fear in racing is starting out too fast and having nothing left for the end. That happened at the Parkway Half, and you know what, I'm still alive. Yeah it was horrible while it was happening, but it wasn't the end of the world. Now that that has happened to me, I honestly no longer fear it, and since I no longer feel it, for the past 3 races, I have barely even glanced at my watch. I have been running completely by feel.

If my body says lets speed up, I listen. If it says to slow down, I slow down. The only reason I glance at my watch every now and then is just to make sure I'm not terribly off pace, but if I am, no big deal. I feel like the clock is no longer my enemy. Since adopting this new race style, races have become so much less stressful. I have gone in to each race hoping I do well, but not beating myself up if I don't. I just finished a half last weekend, and I PR'd (a race recap post will follow shortly). I looked at my watch a total of 4 times. Mostly I was looking at it to judge when to take my GU.

I used to look at my watch and think "wow, I'm going this slow ad I feel this tired" or "jeez, I still have this far to go". I found that each time I thought those things, I built up a mental block little by little. Imagine 15 of those thoughts during a 5k. The mind is a powerful thing, and whether you think you can or can't, you're right. Ignorance is bliss sometimes, and in the case of running, it is for me.

GPS watches can shake your confidence, your body knows best

I have actually adopted running by effort into my training runs as well. Easy runs and tempo runs are all done by perceived effort. I have to say, I have never been such a consistent pace runner in my life until now. Now, I'm not saying GPS watches aren't helpful, but I think as runners we rely on this data too much, rather than listening to our internal data.

Moral of the story, trust your body, it knows best. Your watch has no clue how your feeling that day, it doesn't know what kind of shape you are in, it doesn't know the weather. But your body does, and it wont lead you astray. I would challenge everyone to give it a try at least once.

Have you ever ran solely by feel?
If so, how was it?
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