Week 14 (Oct.26-Nov. 1) and Week 15 (Nov.2-8) Self Doubt No More.

With the excitement of becoming an Aunt I have been Pintersting (I think that is a word) ideas of how I will spoil my Nephew.  While doing so I came across Narnia themed baby decor, and various other baby related items. This brought back memories of my own childhood, where my sister, brother and I cuddled in bed with our mom while she read us books. One in particular was the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. With Narnia on my mind I started to look into the book and reread the story. It has been at least 15 years since we sat on my moms bed listening to the words of Alsan. I came across a quote which really stood out to me, Alsan states,  “You Doubt Your Value, Don’t Run From Who You Are”.  In the context of the books the character Lucy is doubting her self and is accompanied by low self esteem.  I believe the quote is telling her to have confidence in herself and to believe in what she is doing and becoming.  When it comes to my life and goals, when the journey gets a little bumpy I tend to get a bit depressed and question my ability, choices and sacrifices. Do I keep going? Do I see another Doctor, Physical Therapist, Trainer, and so forth? Is it all worth it or am I going down a dead end road? The answer, is Yes! It is worth it. And No, it is not a dead end road. I shall not run away from the person I am. Or the pursuit I have been chasing. The plan is always to get back up and try again.

So what is going on with my running… Well… The leg pain as returned. The week of the 25th. I was able to run again for a few days with no pain. The knee pain had subsided and I decided to tackle a workout. I completed a 2×2 mile workout with 3 minutes recovery, completing the first 2 mile interval in 12:04 and the seconds one in 11:57. It was a decent workout. Something I had been wanting to do for a while, but always lack the confidence in actually doing the workouts. However, while running the intervals I felt a bit of a tugging/ pressure sensation in my right leg. This is the pain I get often. I decided to take it easy after the workout and run based on feel for the next few days. The workout was completed on the 28th. Over the next two days I did not really find any pain, until the 30th. As soon as I finished there was intense pressure around my lower leg, I decided it was best to just take off and cross train as well as rest till I can get the pressure under control. I know  most of the pain is due to an imbalance in my hips.  By the end of the week I only completed 33 Miles. Those miles were all great miles. I just have lofty goals and believe one week off now is far better than 12 weeks off later. Which brings me to the week of November 2. Everyday this week I cross trained pretty hard, doing 2 workouts most days, Spin bike in the mornings followed by strength and core routines in the afternoons. By Saturday November 7th, my leg was feeling quite a bit better, So I went out on a test run. 3 miles. With foot pain and lower leg pain that faded as the 3 miles came to an end. Sunday, November 8th, 6 miles with the same sensation as the day before. As both runs ended I completed a routine of rehab exercises and stretches from the current PT and Doctor. I believe I am on the right track. I have seen a new Doctor who is really motivated in fixing my imbalances instead of covering them up with manipulation treatments. The combination of Him, a PT and a Trainer are collaborating to help me develop strength to prolong my running career.

I have a team of people on my side, so there is no need for self doubt. I will just keep trekking along in the pursuit of my destiny.

Stay tuned… I am running more and have a few races on my mind in the near future. Being smart is the goal!

Week 13: October 19-25 (My knee is starting to heal)

It really has been a journey these past few weeks. I have tried to keep training through this knee pain. Heck, I even did a race. I mentioned last week that after I completed the half marathon as soon as I finished my knee flooded with pain and swelled up all over again. I have had the most success with spinning instead of using the elliptical. I did not want to take a day off after the race. I am training, and needed to pull through this minor hiccup. So here is a look at this past weeks training.

Monday, October 19: In the afternoon I hopped on a spin bike and rode for 60 minutes. After completing the ride, I did exercises which are suppose to help with patella femoral tendon issues. I have a nice little circuit I complete. It takes about 15 minutes. After the circuit. I pick up with my typical weight and core routines.

Tuesday, October 20: Once again I went to the gym and rode the spin bike for 60 minutes. I also included the Patella exercises and a different core/weight routine.

Wednesday, October 21: I wanted to test out me knee. My legs were getting a bit itchy. They wanted to run. I figured I could do a nice shake out run with the women’s cross country team. They had a 5 mile progression run. The girls had a head start, but I managed to work my way to them and finished the run with one of the runners. It felt really good to get my legs running again. The knee pain was minimal. I felt it mainly when I was running down hills. The run ended with a total of 634 miles in a time of 47:17 averaging 7:20 per mile.

Thursday, October 22: I went to bed Wednesday night unsure of whether or not I would run on Thursday. The plan was to wait and see how my knee felt in the morning. There was a little bit of tightness in my knee, I foam rolled my IT band, quads, and hamstrings prior to the run. The run felt a little sluggish. I probably slept too much. Since I was just using this week to test the knee I tried not to be too concern with pacing. I ran by feel and only looked at my watch at the end of the run. Putting in head phones and tuning out everything else, helps me to just run! Sometimes, we get to carried away with how fast we ran. I know this for sure. I am 100% guilty of feeling like this quite often. Once the run was finished I saw I completed 7 miles in 54:55 for ana average of 7:44 per mile.

Friday, October 23… No matter what I know rest days are super important for me. I figured it was time for a day off. I had not rested in over a week. Some great relaxation times was perfect.

Saturday, October 25- My knee was feeling so much better. I really wanted to run a 16 miler today. However, It is not worth it to run too much if I only get set backs. I knew I would have to listen to my body and stop when the pain creeps in. The run went really well. around mile 9-10 my knee stared to feel as if it were tugging. I did not want to push it. I headed back towards my house and did a few extra loops to try to get in 12 miles. The knee was not too bad, it was my blister that was so painful. I took of my shoe and saw a blister along my arch which was about 1 inch in diameter before the run, grew to be about 2.5 inches wide and long. OUCH!!! It was pretty painful. (12.1 miles, 1:27, average 7:10 miles)

Sunday, October 25- It really is crazy how taking it day by day makes all the difference in the world. Most mornings I have no idea how far I will run, I just let my body tell me. I did another 12 mile run. I ran until I started to feel the tugging sensation and then stopped. The knee is feeling so much better. Once again what hurt the most was my dang blister. After the run my husband grabbed some medical grade second skin to cover up my blister. I think I should have done this sooner. Oh well, we live and learn! ( 12 miles, 1:27, 7:15 average)

I am super happy with this weeks running. I was able to run 37.6 miles over 4 days of running. That is right at an average of 9.4 miles per day. Not too bad. The only think I wish I could have done differently was to actually include some sort of workout. Even if it was minor. But like I said earlier. I am taking it day by day until my knee pain is gone. Which it probably will be gone soon as long as I keep doing my exercises and being smart.

Stay tuned!

Week 12: October 12-18 ( Not much training, but I still raced)

Going into this week, I was super nerves and stressed out. I wanted more than anything to race on Sunday. Over the past 3 years since I decided to start running again, I have had the goal of running half marathons, setting new records for myself, and shooting for the Olympic Trials Qualifying Standard. Through the first 2.5 years I suffered from about 6 stress fractures. Not all at once, but throughout the entire 2.5 year. My last stress fracture consisted of 2 fractures at both ends of my right tibia. I stopped running this past February. The spring was an eventful time for my husband and I with our move back to the Midwest. I decided to finish up my time devoted to my students. I cross trained as well as rested my body till May. Since we were going to be on the road and bouncing around till the middle of July, I decided I would start slowly adding running back into my days once we get more settled. I ran throughout the summer, but only managed to run about 20-30 miles per week. Just enough to keep me sane. By the end of the summer I knew I was running out of time. If I wanted any shot at all towards the Olympic trials, I needed to start running again. In fear of failure, I kept putting off actually starting to train. August rolled around and I knew it was time. At that point I only have 5 months to train. Since I am not in great shape this dream was not going to be easy. Especially because I knew I needed to be super conservative with my training to avoid another injury.

Since the beginning of August I have kept my mileage hoovering 45 miles per week. With a few of the weeks closer to 20 miles with supplemental cross training to avoid the onset of an injury. Training was coming around. I still was not getting in very many workouts. Why? Well that’s easy, because I am scared. I know, crazy stupid!!! Especially since I have intimidating goals. I decided to start racing to help encourage me to train a bit harder. Also the races could serve a purpose as a hard “workout”. I ran one 5k, and two 10ks. They were fun. But also racing the shorter distances is within my comfort zone. They say success lies outside your comfort zone. With that in mind I knew I needed to run something that would test my limits. A Half Marathon is the next step.

Last week I started suffering from what seems to be patella femoral tendinitis. My knee is constantly swollen and has been for the past two weeks. After taking last Saturday and Sunday Off, I needed to start cross training. The swelling had subsided greatly due to my Mother In Law and her magically hands. Monday I rode the bike for 35 minutes just to test the waters as well as weight and circuit training. I also included exercises for my knee. Tuesday my knee was starting to feel a bit better, So I extended my time on the machine and cross trained for 75 minutes with weights and circuit work, along with knee exercises. Wednesday rolls around, My knee feels about 85% better. I still had my eyes on a half marathon for Sunday, therefore, I needed to run a bit to make sure I do not feel sluggish. I went out for a 6 mile run that morning, I felt pretty good. Averaging 7:18 pace for a total time of 43:54. I felt a bit sluggish, but was just going to wait and see how my knee responded before making my next move. I woke up Thursday Morning, my knee was a tad sore, but not too swollen. I decided to do a moderate workout. Something to get my legs moving at race pace, but nothing that would irritate my knee too much. I chose to do a mini fartleck. My favorite one, I think I do this every other week. It is my safety workout. It consists of 30 minutes alternating 1 minute at race pace and once minute at regular run pace. Since I did not want to aggravate my knee too much I decided to aim for half marathon pace instead of 5k pace. I tried to keep the fast portion of the run around 6:00 pace, but ended up hitting 5:40 pace. I ended up running 8 miles in a time of 54:29 for an average pace of 6:48. With a mini workout under my belt I figured if I still wanted to race on Sunday I should take it easy on Friday. Friday came and I biked for 60 minutes, as well as spent time working on knee exercises as well as stretching. Saturday I decided to do a little shake out run which was only 3.5 miles (7:18 pace, 25:34 total time). I followed the run with the dreaded foam roller and ample stretching.

Now to Sunday…( sorry for the long novel)

Saturday afternoon I still was unsure if it was smart to actually run the half. If I were my old self from 2005 I would run through it. My more recent self, backs out at the smallest ounce of discomfort in fear I will ruin myself pertinently and never be able to run again. I do not like the self I have turned in to. The whole point of running is to push your limits. Yes!! I have to be smart. But I also know I am most likely dealing with tendinitis. This type of injury tends to just be a nagging pain. I can run though this. I will just Ice and cross train for a few days. In the first week of November I get to see an osteopath, who will help realign my body. That’s only 2.5 weeks from now. If I have to I will just run every other day till then. I will do whatever it takes to run this half marathon. No more quitting or backing out in fear of failure. It is time to take what I get and move on!

IMG_4386(can you tell which one is swollen)

I stepped out onto the starting line of the Rock’n Roll Half Marathon in St. Louis, MO. The temperature was about 37 degrees. There was a slight chill in the air, but I knew by mile 5 I would feel warm. I made it. I actually made it to the starting line of a half marathon. It has been just 3 months shy of 10 years since the last time I stepped onto a starting line like this one. 10 years ago, I ran the 2006 3M half marathon in Austin, Texas. At 18 years old I crossed the finish line in 1 hour and 16 minutes. Today, a much more difficult course, and many ups and downs later I finished as the first women, 8th overall finisher, in a time of 1 hour and 19 minutes. I was exactly 3 minutes slower than I was when I was 18 years old. My goal going into the run was to hit 6 minute miles the entire way, I ended up averaging 6:05 miles. Just a few seconds off each mile. I wish I was faster, but it has been a tough few weeks. If I can get my knee feeling better, I would love to attempt another half in the first week of December. I am proud I raced. I have a new starting line. 1:19 now, and lets just wait and see what time will tell…IMG_4378 The calculator predictors suggest I should be able to IMG_4377run 2:46, for a full marathon. In order to qualify I need to be under 2:43!

Stay tuned!

Week 11 (October 5-11) A rough week…

This week did not turn out as I had expected. I was really hopping to get in 2 really solid workouts and then take the following week easy before the half marathon which is suppose to be ran on October 18th. On Monday I went about my normal routine. Which includes an easy run of about 6-8 miles. Since I started substitute teaching, I am having to move some of my runs to the afternoons since the days are getting shorter. I do not feel super comfortable running in the dark. Safety first! I ran a very relaxing run with some of the girls on the College Cross country team.  It was a great start to the week, getting to run with them since I usually run alone a majority of the time. After the run I went home to cook dinner and resume my typical life, when I noticed a significant amount of pain in my right knee. I was not too concerned at first since Tuesdays are cross training days, I figured I will just cross train and I will be just fine to  complete my workout on Wednesday like I had planned. However, Wednesday came and there was no way I would be able to run an interval workout. I decided to cross train lightly and rest on Thursday in order to let my knee fully recover. I also went to a massage therapist to see if we could work out the tightness in my hamstrings and quads. This helped quite a bit. I felt well enough to do a modified workout on Friday. On another note, I started feeling a bit under the weather as well. So taking a little of time off to recover was needed. When Friday came I decided to not run a super fast interval workout like 400 or 600 repeats like I had planned but to run mile repeats hoping it would keep my knee from flaring up too much. I was very pleased with this workout. I ran 5 x1miles with 2 minutes recovery. I did this same workout 7 weeks ago. The only difference between this workout and the one I ran 7 weeks ago, was that I was feeling great then and I also had a longer recovery of 3 minutes.

Week 4 (3 minutes rest) Week 11 (2 minutes rest)
6:06 5:56
6:01 6:04
5:59 5:54
6:12 6:14
6:13 5:56

One modification I would like to make is to actually run my mile repeats on a track to see how much faster I would be. I have noticed running on dirt trails and grass is much harder, but better for recovery purposes. The total run consisted of 10 miles when you include the warm up and cool down portions of the run. I pretty solid workout for feeling sickish and dealing with a mildly inflamed knee.  After the run my husband and I had to drive down to Tulsa for my brother in laws wedding. Sitting in a car for 6 hours was probably not ideal for my knee situation. The knee had really swelled up over the weekend and became very painful. Walking was painful! I knew I had to be smart and just enjoy the weeding weekend and put my running on hold. The goal is still to run a half marathon on the 18th at just slightly faster than marathon pace. I am so blessed to have such a great mother-in-law who spent a lot of time treating my knee while I was in Tulsa. Unfortunately I only ran a total of 18 miles this week. Much of the week was spent either cross training or resting trying to get the inflammation out of the knee. Since my mother- in- law worked on my I am feeling much better, but the knee is still swollen, but not near as painful. Fingers crossed I can still run the half!

I will end with some photos from the weekends wedding festivities.IMG_4315IMG_4335 IMG_4331 IMG_4325 IMG_4319

Week 10: September 28- October 4

Time is really flying by this fall. I totally lost track of time, so I am a little late posing week 10’s training log. Since I was coming off a 10K race, I did not want to over do training. I am not strong enough to handle lots of super fast runs. In order to stay healthy I have to be modest with my runs. Hopefully if I can stay healthy long enough I can slowly start increasing intensity. I am not planning on adding too many miles to my week. The plan is to keep my weeks right around the 50 mile per week mark, and slowly add workouts throughout the week. So far so good! Let’s take a look at this past weeks training:

Monday, September 28:

Easy 8.2 mile run followed with 6×75 meter strides. 1:02:06 total time, which is 7:34 average pace.

Tuesday, September 29:

60 minute cross train day with dumbbell complex circuit, upper body weights, and core exercises.

Wednesday, September 30:

Moderate workout day. I ran 2 miles for warm up with the Women’s cross country team. We then proceeded to run 6×800 meter tempo efforts with 3 minute jog recovery. The 800s were ran on a grassy/hilly field. the paces for the 800s were as follows: 3:00, 2:57, 2:57, 2:55, 2:55, 2:53. I was a little tired from the 10K race, so this was a good workout so shake out the legs yet still get a little bit of turn over. After the 800s, I cooled down to finish with a total of 10 miles for the day.

Thursday, October 1:

Easy run on the treadmill, it was super dark out side, so I decided to be safe a stick to the indoors. I started out a bit stiff since it was so early and I have not ran on a treadmill in several years, except for Alter-G treadmills, but those are in a different category. Anyway, I ran 8 miles averaging 7:29 pace for 59 minutes and 50 seconds.

Friday October 2:

Rest Day

Saturday October 3:

Best run all week, I wanted to run 15 miles at a consistent pace. It felt easy the entire time. I finished the miles in 1:45:53 for an average pace of 7:03. As long as I stay healthy I feel like in 2 weeks I will be able to finish a half marathon right around a 6:00 minute pace. So this run today gave me some much needed confidence.

Sunday October 4:

Easy 6.6 mile run, 48:34, pace: 7:21. I finished with 6x 75 meter stride. I felt really good in the middle of the run. I was happy with this run coming off of a long run the previous day.

Summary of the week:

I ended the week with 47.8 miles. I few more miles than last week, which is a good sign. I will probably be taking a down week soon, to let my body recover and keep trekking. Another week in the books. I am happy with my progression thus far.

Stay tuned!!

Week 9: September 21-27… Another race in the books

Lets get this started…

Monday Sept. 21:

6.2 miles 46:03, 7:23 pace, after I did these dumbbell complex exercises, It includes 6 exercises where you do 5- 10 reps at 5 set.

Tuesday Sept. 22

Cross Train day elliptical for an hour followed by upper body weights and some core strength.

Wednesday Sept. 23

Mild workout, I warmed up for 2 miles and then began 15 x 1 minute fast/1 minute easy. I wanted to hit all the 60 seconds sub 5:40 pace and I did obtain that goal. Most intervals where around 5:30 pace except for the last 3 I was hugging 5:40 pace. The run ended up being 9.5 miles total, at a 7:00 average pace (1:06:30). I kept the 4.5 miles where the speed play was around 6:20 pace, this includes the recovery jog.

Thursday Sept. 24

8 miles in 1:00:16 for a pace of 7:32. Just flushing out the workout from the day before!

Friday Sept. 25

Rest Day

Saturday Sept. 26

Race day. I competed in the Roots and Blues 10k here in Columbia. It was a fine race. Nothing like the one I ran in a few weeks ago. First there was a lack of depth


with competition. I pretty much ran miles 2-6 all alone in no mans land. This made it a bit more challenging to keep the pace I planned. What helped were the few people scattered throughout the course directing all the runners as well as cheering us along. It was really fun at the turn around part, because we just back tracked and got to see all the other competitors. They were also very enthusiastic and helped cheer me along my way. They were life savers.  Also I was not prepared for hills. I was told it was going to be a flat course, It was anything but flat. If you are looking for a PR, this is not the race to do, but if you are looking for a good run, that will help you grow as an athlete, this is a great race. Overall a decent race for myself. I am still training through all these races, so I am a little tired going into the races. This one I did win, YAY!! My time was not what I was hoping for, but I will take it. 37:33 for a 6:03 pace, total miles for the day… 12 including warm up and cool down.

Sunday Sept 27

Shake out run after the race. 6.2 miles in 46:52 for a pace of 7:33. I was a little sore in my calf muscles, but other than that I did not feel too bad.

Another good week in the books, as well as another race. It is really exciting to keep on running. I am super happy with my progress. I have not raced this much since College, and that was 10 years ago. YAY ME!!!

Total miles for the week- 42.1

Week 8 September 14- 20 (recovery week)

I have not raced more than 3 miles since 2006, with that in mind, I contemplated whether or not I should take a few days off after the race… My longest workout prior to the race was only 4 miles worth of intervals, therefore I was not properly trained to run a super fast race. 36:31 is not a walk in the park, but it is also not a time which wins many competitive races. I am proud of my efforts and start to racing again, but I also had to keep in mind that I am training. In order to get better, it is not logical to take complete rest days after every race. There is a fine line to over doing it. I am learning my limits and paying attention to how my body feels and reacts to the intensity of my training.  I decided I was going to treat this weeks training normal unless I started feeling any sort of abnormal pains. With that said, here is a look at my training for the week:

Monday September 14

6.2 miles in a time of 47:57 for an average pace of 7:44. I did not look at my watch till I finished the run. I wanted to let my body recover without taking a complete day off. It felt good to get the lactic acid moving around my sore legs.

Tuesday September 15

8.7 miles in a time of 65:23 for an average pace of 7:29. The last 2 miles of this run I started feeling like my old self. In the afternoon I went to the weight room and did leg work and abs.

Wednesday September 16

Cross train day. I did a Spin routine on the Spin bike which incorporated hills and HIIT training, which stands for high intensity interval training.  In the afternoon I went to Columbia College’s cross country practice. During practice I ran when I thought I was not going to be running. I have no idea how much I actually ran probably just 3 miles. We had the runners doing 4×400 meters on the road after their workout. I was in charge of getting the splits. I ran back and forth trying to catch their splits. I had a head start but I was sprinting trying to get to the mark before the runners. It was a lot of fun for me.  I did this for the boys team and the girls team, and these runners have speed.

Thursday September 17

I decided since I felt so good on Tuesday that doing a workout today was the best decision.  It was not my best workout. I felt heavy legged and tired. Looking back, I probably should not have done such an intense spin workout the day before, Oh well you live and learn. On the agenda for the workout I was going to run on the MKT trail. The workout consisted of 1 mile at tempo pace, 400 recover jog, 1 miles tempo pace, 400 recovery jog. Next I would hit 2×800 with 400 recovery job at a pace just slightly faster than tempo pace, followed by 4×400 with 400 recovery jog at 5:30 pace.  If the workout went as I wanted it to, i should have it the miles at 6:07-6:12, the 800s at around 2:50-2:52 pace, the 400s around 82-83 seconds. This is how the workout actually went:

1 mile: 6:08

1 mile: 6:14

800: 3:00

800: 3:07

400: 91, 87, 83, 85

It was not the worst workout in the books, My legs just did not feel the pop I was expecting them to feel. Overall the run took 1:16:40 at a 7:18 pace for a total of 10.5 miles

Friday September 18

Rest Day,

Saturday September 19

Long run day. I decided to cut my long run a bit shorter today. I have another 10K next week, so I wanted to rest my legs a bit. Last time I had a 15 miler on my legs. So I want to try something a little different. I did run much faster than normal, but I felt great. I think I found the pop in my legs I was expecting to have on Thursday. I ran 12 .12 miles in 1:24:13 for a pace of 6:57.

Sunday September 20

Easy recovery run. I stayed up way too late watching Grey’s Anatomy. Thanks Netflix for giving me a show to binge watch. I always said I was never going to start watching that show since my husband is a doctor, but people always ask me if Grey’s Anatomy is similar to real life.  Anyways, back to the running. I did 8.5 miles in 64:36 for an average pace of 7:35.

Wrapping up the week I ran 46 miles, I have stayed pretty consistent will my miles staying around the mid to upper 40s. That 8 weeks in this range. I always want to add more miles, but I have to be careful to not over do it and stress my body too quickly. Maybe after this next week I will add a few more miles.

Stay tuned to find out…


Week 7: (Race Week) September 7-13

Monday September 7:

Easy day. I needed some recovery from the 15 miler. I ran 6.2 miles. I am getting  the hang of taking easy runs easy and not stressing over each pace I run. It is more important to run healthy! The run was completed in 47:58, for an average pace of 7:40.

Tuesday September 8:

Keeping it easy, 8.2 miles in a time of 1:01:39 for an average pace of 7:31

Wednesday September 9:

Workout Wednesday as everyone these days call it. I really wanted to get on the track. I know some people say that speed is sometimes overrated.  I totally agree, but I needed some sort of confidence booster. Lately I have felt so slow and sluggish. My alarm was set for 6 am. I was totally read to hit the track.When the alarm went of I hit snooze and did not get up. I don’t know how I did that, but you know how it is. I guess I needed my sleep. I ended up waking up at 7am. Frantically I ran out the door hoping the track was empty. As I ran towards the track I could see through the bleacher how packed the track was. Not only was the local high school having cross country practice, they were also having marching band practice. There was no way I was going to be able to do the track workout I had planned. I continued running for about another mile and a half. I decided I would do a longer workout alternating 1 mile hard, 1 miles easy for a total of 6 miles. Then finish with a 3 mile cool down back to my house. In order to gauge my pace and progress on the workout I decided I would run the same mile the entire time. After I finished a mile I immediately turned around and ran back to start the next mile. As I started my first hard mile effort, I felt a bit sluggish, I continued to truck along the pavement with a bit of frustration. My watch beeped at a mile and I glanced down, 5:51 for the first mile. Well… Not bad, but I was hoping to run 5:45 pace. I turned around ran back and refocused my energies. As I started my 2nd hard effort I tried to focus a bit more on not being frustrated. Once I hit the mile mark I held my breath as I looked to see the pace, BAM… 5:45!! Oh thank goodness. Progress. I must have been warmed up. As I ran back to the start of my mile intervals I told myself how I really wanted to push myself and hit a sub 5:40. If I could do that I knew I would have some confidence. I started the mile super focused. I remembered to run tall and lift my knees. I imagined myself running the way I want to run. When the watch beeped I prayed I went under 5:40. I stopped for just a moment as I read 5:31 across my watch. YAHOOOOOO!!! When you put your mind to it, anything is possible. I am super happy with this run, totaling 11.5 miles in a time of 1:20:09 for an average pace of 6:58.

Thursday September 10:

Cross train day, just an easy elliptical. With a weight circuit. I did not want to do the spin bike today since I had a harder effort the day before and I have a race on Sunday. I did not just piddle around on the elliptical, I make sure to make it easy run effort.

Friday September 11:

Easy run again.. And last run till the 10K. I felt really good. Maybe it is the weather. It is starting to feel a lot like fall!! I ran 8.2 miles in a time of 59:17 for an average pace of 7:13.

Saturday September 12:IMG_3985Rest Day

Sunday September 13:

Even though this is a race day I also need to get in a longer run. Yes, Wednesdays workout was longer but it is important to keep training through these training cycles. After the race i ran an additional 6 miles. Overall my total miles for the day were 13. 6.  A little race recap… I went out hard, I wanted to see what I could do and just push myself. My goal going into the race was to be a top 5 finisher in order to win some prize money.  When the race started I noticed at the time 2 lady’s who I knew were going to be faster. It turns out one was a professional runner for Nike and had spent the past few months training and racing in many Diamond League events.  The other had just ran a 2:38 marathon to set an Olympic Trials Qualifying Standard. I was super impressed with their resumes. I am more motivated knowing I was not that far off. I just need to run 10 seconds a mile faster. That doesn’t sound too bad…. Hopefully this 10K is giving me motivation to actually to the longer workouts needed to sustain the paces. My mile splits were as follow,

  1. 5:42IMG_4068
  2. 5:43
  3. 5:53
  4. 5:51
  5. 6:03
  6. 6:01

Total time was 36:31, according to official results. Those last two miles were tougher, which is to be expected when you come through 5k, 5 seconds off your Personal Best. I know I am getting stronger. If I keep putting in the miles one day at a time, my goals will be accomplished!

Overall this week was great. I finally raced a 10k. I have raced 2 others in my life, once when I was in High school and then this past spring, but I was really sick and trying to convince myself I did not have any stress fractures, it turned out I had two, and ran anyways. That was a mistake. I will be racing another 10k in two weeks. Not much time to recover, but I am in training, so I think it will help me get stronger and faster.

Till then, Stay tuned!


Week 6: August 21- September 6

Slowly I am making progress. I am so glad I took off 3 days last week to cross train. This smart choice will hopefully save me and help me make it through this training cycle. Being honest I am running slower than I would like to be running, but at least I am running.  I came across a quote on Twitter by Greg McMillan of McMillan Elite, an Olympic development program based in Flagstaff Arizona.  He stated: ” It is all about stacking successful week after successful week. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Just focus on one week at a time.” Right now, for me personally it is about each individual week. I am focusing on one week at a time. If I start to look down the road at what is ahead it can become very overwhelming and quite discouraging. Right now I have made it through 6 decent weeks of training. LAst week was not ideal with the cross training, but I was able to work on my turnover speed using the spin bike. I did benefit, I may not have ran 70 miles that week, but I was able to successfully focus on other areas to help propel me through my training cycle. With that said focusing on week 6, I would call it another successful week and I will keep piling them up.

Monday, August 31:

Usually I run twice on Mondays, I will do 2 shorter runs. This week since I still want to take it a bit easier to keep my right leg from flaring up I felt it was smart to just sick to one run and see a massage therapist so work out my tight hamstrings and lower leg. I ran 6 miles in a time of 44:19 for an average pace of 7:22 per mile.

Tuesday, September 1:

YAY!!! It is September, My Birthday Month!!! Boy do I love Septembers, it means cooler weather is just around the corner!! Anyways, since I had a massage the day before I did not want to do a workout so I just took and extra day and went easy for a total of 8.1 miles in a time of 59:42 for an average pace of 7:22.

Wednesday, September 2:

Workout Wednesday as they call it… I did a 2.25 mile warm up as well as cool down. I honestly had no idea what I was going to run today. I contemplated a few ideas the night before and decided once I started running my body would be the indicator of what I should do. I wanted to get in another Tempo run, I had not ran one in several weeks. I also wanted to do something faster like 800 meter repeats. Then there is always the in betweens for example 2 mile repeats or even 1 mile repeats. I knew I was going to do one of the above workouts. My thought process… I probably should not do anything too fast because that tends to flare up my calf. So 800 repeats are out the window this week. Maybe next week.  Ultimately  I am a huge believer in the tempo run. I believe it builds so much strength. I need more strength, so tempo run it is. I did a 4 mile tempo in order to compare it to the one I did about 3 or 4 weeks ago. I did go faster!! YAY!!! My mile splits were as follows: 6:09, 6:14, 6:17 (big hill in this mile), 5:56. Overall time is 24:46 compared to last time I ran 25:03 with splits 6:14, 6:05, 6:21(big hill), 6:19. Oh yeah, I also did 4 x 150 meter strides after the tempo. Total miles ran during my Workout Wednesday 8.50 in a total time of 58:48 average pace: 6:55.

Thursday, September 3:

Cross train day… I started out the morning with a ride on the spin bike. I did not do anything too crazy, just one 5 minutes set of hill climbs and lots of quick turnover work. I rode for 60 minutes. After the spin ride, I did a circuit of arm weights, squats, and stability work using a bosu ball. It was not a hard day, but I will be sore from the weights.

Friday September 4,

Easy run morning run on the usual MKT trail. I typically run on this trail. First reason for this place being my running destination choice is because it is primarily soft surfaces. Only the first and last mile are on the road, the rest is on a nice gravel path. I am hoping this will help keep me healthy. Last fall I ran mostly on the road. I did make it 8 months without an injury. So the goal this time is to make it even longer without an injury. The total run included  8.2 miles averaging a pace of 7:21 for a total time of 1:00:40.

Saturday September 5

I went into my long run knowing two things were going to happen. First I knew I only wanted to run between 12 and 14. Second, I had to pace a runner from the college for a 1 mile time trial. The rest of the run was going to be nice and relaxing. However, I miss judged some distance and ended up running 15 miles. Not much over 14 but it was hot and humid. I was definitely a bit worn out the rest of the day. I felt as if I was a bit dehydrated. Nothing to be worried about, but I did not feel great after the run. I clocked the 15 miler in a total time of 1:51:54, which comes to an average of 7:27 per mile.

Sunday September 6

Rest Day

Overall this week was a success. The pain in my right calf has pretty much subsided. I still feel a little twitch in my right hip/ groin area.  According to the massage therapists, it is just due to tight hamstrings. I am incorporating hamstring exercises and the good ol foam roller. My goals this past week were mainly to keep my leg pain under control. I did not have a mileage goal., because I wanted to keep myself healthy first and foremost. Therefore I am happy to say I did run 5 days this week and totaled 45.9 miles.  I am super excited about this upcoming week. I have a 10k on Sunday…

Stay tuned….

Week 5: August 24- August 30

This week was my down week, I needed to take care of my calf to make sure it does not turn into my 10th stress fracture… Actually I have lost count of how many stress fractures I have had on my right leg. I do know I have had 3 in the past 18 months. So taking care of my pains before they get bad is highly recommended right now.  I am super proud of myself for taking this week easy. When it comes to running miles I have a hard time stopping myself. I won’t lie, on Monday morning when the cross country runners went out  for their run, it took everything in me to stay behind.

This weeks summary is a little lengthy, I hope I don’t bore you to death…

Monday, August 24

60 minute spin. I use to take spin classes, but on a residence salary that will not happen, so luckily at the local gym they have spin bikes you can use freely. Thank goodness I have taken enough spin classes in my life time that I know how to cover 60 minutes on the bike without getting bored. I usually take a bit longer to warm up,( I think I am getting older) so I pedal in different forms for about 15 minutes. Once I have warmed up, I like to get my legs moving faster, so I do a a few sets of a tempo interval. This typically ranges between 1 to 4 minute intervals at a tempo effort. For example, I did 4 sets of 1 minute tempo/ 30 seconds recovery spin. This type of effort prepares me for hills and sprints that are to come later in the workout. Next is my favorite, a hill climb. Here I increase the resistance every 30 seconds until I can no longer pedal. Once I reach that stage I can move into a standing position on the bike. This allows me to keep going, I can even keep increasing the resistance if I want or I can do some sprints at the top of my imaginary hill. After each hard effort, I take a 1-2 minute spin recovery which is when I decrease the resistance and just let my legs spin freely. When I have about 7 minutes left I usually start my cool down, which is when I just relax and let my heart rate come back to normal. When you add all sorts of mini intervals in a workout, it makes the activity go by so much quicker. You can just focus on 4-5 minute segments with 2 minute recovery segments at a time and before you know it you have gone through 5 sets and your workout is almost over.

Anyways moving on to my week of training, in the afternoon I did a weight circuit. IT was a bit different than my usual circuit. I wanted to change it up a bit and try to hit a few different muscles.

Tuesday, August 25

This was a pretty boring day. I hopped on the elliptical for an hour. I did not do anything crazy intense on it. Just glided along at a consistent pace. Afterwards I went through a mini ab circuit as well as did my rehab exercises.

Wednesday, August 26

am: Well this was an exciting day. First thing in the morning I had to wake up to go to cross country practice. I am in charge of helping the women’s team build a bit more strength. In my opinion the best way to build strength is swimming. You can get so much stronger in more ways than one. Being a distance athlete sometimes it is hard to get your heart rate up high enough on an elliptical, so I say jump in the pool and do a few laps. You can really get your lungs and arms burning! Anyways, I watched the lady’s swim for about half an hour before I headed to the gym to get my Spin on. I once again Spinned for an hour. I did not do as many hills in my workout. I focused more on sprints this day. As long at my right leg stays healthy I am planning on racing in a few weeks and I need to get some speed and turnover in these legs.  After I spinned I did a few stretches and rehab exercises.


pm: (lunch time) I was so jealous watching the lady’s swim. I wanted to badly to jump in with them. Therefore I decided to jump in a pool that afternoon. I did a workout that takes roughly 45 minutes and it really makes those lungs burn. I will write a post later this up coming week with some swim workout ideas that I stick to on a regular basis, since this blog is getting  a little long already and I am only on Wednesday.

Thursday August 27.

My plans this week were to cross train for about 2-3 days, and get worked on by a massage therapist before I resume running. Check… and Check! I was pretty eager to get running yesterday, but one more day now is better than 2 weeks off later. The massage I had was by Chris Alvarado. He did a really great job. He had some special training with an osteopath, and was able to get my SI joint back in place and work out the knots in my lower calf, specifically the posterior tibialis muscle. Since I felt normal again I went for a 6 mile jaunt. The run felt great. My legs were able to move more freely and I did not feel twisted. There was a slight pulling sensation in my calf, but I know it is just tight from having my body twisted up for the past several weeks. After the run I used the foam roller and ice on the calf to take extra care of the poor leg. My run really did go well. I ran much faster on my usual course, maybe this is because I was rested from running or maybe it was because I had been adjusted. Who knows, I am just happy to run! ( 6 miles in 43:58 for an average pace of 7:19)

Friday August 28.

Workout day! I really wanted to get on the track and do something fast. I want to feel fast again. However, I am not ready to get on the track, especially this week since i had a little hiccup. So, what is something I can do without upsetting my leg too much… In my opinion, it is a fartlek! My coach back in high school called these workouts “Speed Play”. This is a way to make me feel fast without the pressures of being on a track. I did one of my favorite fartleks. This particular fartlek I use to do in college quite a bit. We ran IMG_3802around the one mile loop and you were suppose to get in just over 4 loops in the 30 minutes. The workout…. 30 minutes alternating 1 minute hard and one minute easy. To me this is equivalent to 15x 300 meter repeats. I definitely get to feel faster do this. the total workout including warm up and cool down was 8.5 miles in a time of 1:01:21 for an average pace of 7:13. I did cover 4.5 miles in the 30 minutes during the fartlek, the mile times for those 4 miles were 6:23, 6:26, 6:51, and 6:37.  I was pretty happy with the effort. the fast part I was able to stay around 5:20-5:30 pace which is what I wanted. Overall, a great workout for the week!

Saturday August 29

Long run day!! Nothing to exciting here, just 14 easy miles. The Columbia College cross country team headed out to some grasslands. This means softer surfaces, slower runs, and saved legs. Basically when you run on grass it is like running on a pillow. My legs do not ache at all after running of fields of grass. However, I do tend to run quite a bit slower. But that is ok. Not every run needs to be blistering fast. Good news my calf did not bother me at all on this 14 miler. I was nervous Friday night because it definitely knotted itself up.  I foam rolled and iced multiple times Friday night as well as after the run on Saturday. Total time was 1:47:42 for a 7:42 pace.

Sunday August 30


Overall miles for the week.. 28.5, I needed a down week and I needed to make sure my calf was healthy to run on. I have to constantly remember what my goals are and how it is not important to rush and just hope that the little nagging sensations will disappear on there own. Looking into the week ahead, I will go by feel. I woulds like to get in mile repeats or a tempo run. As far as mileage, I am not going to set a goal. I see a massage therapist on Monday evening, so that will be a huge indicator of what my week may look like. I will also spin and get in some fast leg turnover work on the bike as well as hop in the pool again. I think the swimming helps my legs feel fresh and revitalized.

Stay tuned….


PS.. I felt pretty pleased with myself by using my aqua jogging belt to block Samson from trying to come up front with me when we are headed to the dog park… Don’t worry mom, I took this picture in my driveway!