Saturday, September 28, 2013

Progress, Pitfalls + What gets me FIRED UP.

Why am I smiling here? 

Because I am thinking to myself...
a) "Ah, It feels good to be a runner again!
b)  "I can't touch my toes. All of this yoga and I can't touch my toes still." 
c) "I just made it around a 400M loop 20 times and only tripped over a root once, narrowly avoiding a face-plant. 
d) all of the above
         (See answer below.*)

Stretching out post-run makes me smile~ even when a snail could pace me.

Considering where I was only a couple of months ago- zero running for 8 weeks, the last few weeks I've seen some real improvement. I am starting (finally) to feel like a runner again! After 4 failed attempts to return to running, only to have PF bring it to a halt in the second week, I am now up to running consecutive days and 6 milers.
This isn't marathon training, and not even close to the mileage I was running in February, but it's forward progress.

To get back into running, I have relied on a schedule that gradually increases my time running each day.   (See "Rule of Two" Article ► HERE )
 "This system of starting with a 10 minute run and increasing by two-minute increments may seem slow at first, but it builds quickly if your body is truly healthy and ready for the progression.  A runner rebuilding with four runs per week will be running 42 minutes after only four weeks. If the body isn’t readyits better find out earlier by paying attention to pain clues, otherwise potential setbacks are much larger." 
This is THE MOST CAUTIOUS running return I have ever made. 
It is not my style.... trust me.

If I had my way, I would have shot out the door after my layoff and ran a 20 miler the first week back. (I think I did that once ..but a much shorter layoff and a race was on the line =D .)

       I'm sure you are curious.. so here are some recent run details:
-My longest run since returning has been 62 minutes, and a little over 6 miles.
-Most of the runs have been timed, but ran with only heart rate and total time showing, (my goal being to run for time and under 139 heart rate--my personal, easy pace top-end)
-Most runs have been on gravel and fairly flat, the remainder were on pavement, a bark trail and once a week I get on grass for 20 minutes +/- .
 For the data nerds.
Go ahead and laugh... Just don't tell me O_o .

-Although my pace has improved (at or under 139 HR), I feel like I am dragging bricks. A little speedwork would feel nice, and experience shows it would certainly eliminate that dragging feeling....
-Stretching daily is now a focus, whereas before I would brush it off or do the minimum. I still would rather run than stretch, which leads me to another topic.. 
Running a local gravel road

Running Traps and Temptations
There is a point I get to when I am base building, where I get absolutely BORED with running just easy pace. And there is a little voice in the back of my head that says.."You would feel much better on all your runs if you just did a little bit of speed today."

Unfortunately, it happens to be the worst time to hear that voice... Just as I am leaving the injury zone.

Revisiting PF is not on my bucket list. And there is the long haul to look at... the longer I spend base building, (within reason), the better a base I will have for speed work, races, etc...It is injury protection in the bank- or it should be, if you are a "normal" runner. (Not saying I am normal.)
Q: Do you face any Running Temptations or Traps?
Truthfully, I would be in a poor spot to race right now.

But, I might entertain the idea of wearing a bib and running with a group on a trail somewhere.
                              No pressure...
               Just to say I HAVE ran a race in 2013. It's tempting.

Photo from a trail we hiked in Eugene. 


Finally: What has me fired up?

This story, from NBC.

Perhaps you have already heard? 
A woman enters a half marathon....
During the race she takes a wrong turn, asks race organizers permission to change to the full marathon (mid-race!). She gets permission and goes on to place 1st female and also Boston Qualify.
I hope this is not going to set the stage for future road races in the US.

Am I being too harsh? Perhaps I am too competitive, and think racers should stay on their race course.
You can read my comment to NBCSports here, and add your own. Or, leave your thoughts here in the comment section.
Q: How do you feel about racers being allowed to change their distance in the middle of a race?  
*If you answered d) you are correct!

49 comments:

  1. That's incredibly strange. No, you can't change distances mid race... with one exception I guess -- we have 'combined 3/5k' track races and it's OK to switch mid race.

    Good to hear your progression is going well. Yes, must be tempting to introduce some speedwork, but I'd keep going with the easy running and build the base to a strong one. I think with the speedwork (when you do start) you need to be equally careful, doing something like the 2 minutes extra each day. Start with 1 x 100m easy stride and gradually build up to what you want to do over many weeks. Perhaps slower paced speedwork would be best too -- short reps at 10k race pace, that sort of thing. Anyway, good luck and enjoy the cooler temperatures!

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    1. Interesting about the 3k/5k there! Maybe on the track it's OK. I just never heard of it in a road race. I thought it would get you DQ'd to leave the course you were registered for.
      Thanks for the tips, Ewen! I am on the fence about adding in speed yet, but strides is where I would start,

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  2. Good for you for taking it easy! I have made the mistake of doing too much too soon after injury many times and paid the price! I am much more cautious these days--finally learned my lesson!

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    1. Thanks for your comment here, Amy! Sometimes it takes a while.. This time is different for me, but I think I've learned my lesson too :)

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  3. Raina you sound SO happy! I'm thrilled you are building back, even slow.The speed will return, I'm sure. We learn no many lessons thru our hardships. That pic of the trail is stunning.
    I've never heard of switching distances mid-race. Lots of times you can't even do it beforehand. Crazy win!

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    1. Thank you, Marcia! Glad you like the shot :)
      Yes- definitely a "crazy" win. Wonder if it will stand...

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  4. Glad you are running again and you are so smart to take it easy. Very soon all the troubles will only be far memories. You run in a wonderful place! Great photos.

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    1. Thanks Stefano! I always appreciate your kind words. Have a great weekend!

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  5. Awesome to see you are back at it! Loved all the pictures too.

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    1. Glad you like the pics :) Thanks so much for the encouraging comment!

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  6. Glad you can finally get back to what you are passionate about. Tc and best wishes

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  7. So happy to read that things are progressing well with the running. Consistency wins, right? You seem very happy! You are building a strong base that it going to allow your body to absorb the speedwork when you are ready for it.

    As far as the win, I don't see an issue with it, because the RD agreed with it. In my view, the RD sets the rules for any race, and if he agreed in this particular situation, then her win is valid! Also, she simply made a mistake, took the wrong turn (maybe course not well marked?), she did not just decide to run the full.

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    1. You always make a good argument, AM. I think you could convince me of almost anything! lol. OK. ..I guess I just don't want to be in a race where people can arbitrarily change distances because it sounds disorganized. But.. in a small race, if I could change up if I felt good- I would definitely do it. I can just imagine myself trying to do the pace math in my head.."am I on track for a PR?" "Is there anyone ahead? No? I'm going for it!" So maybe the problem is that I am too calculating, not her :)
      I always appreciate your thoughts, AM. ♥ I hope you are running well, friend.

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  8. Smart lady you are!!!!! PF is the WORST! And yes, slow running, at times, feels like the worst too. I'm telling you... I nearly lost my mind doing that MAF training trying to clear up my PF. After 9 weeks of it, I actually gave it up, however, I am still taking it easy, essential doing a glacial pace the days after my long run and my tempo work. My tempo work has only consisted of either 2 X1 or 3 X 1 mile repeats that are still fairly easy. Even with that, I can definitely feel foot tenderness the day following those workouts.

    I have a whole new appreciation for mobility (i.e. stretching) too. I bought a copy of "Anatomy for Runners" and have been religious about the mobility work he advocates in there. It has helped A LOT! I highly recommend that book.

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    1. You have me laughing so hard about the MAF. It is so hard to keep running slow when you know a little speed will break up the monotony!! I like your schedule. Starting to think that just a little speed does me just fine (When I get back to speed)..
      Sorry about your foot still being tender :/ The book sounds like a great resource! Going to check it out. Thanks for your comment, Allison!!

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  9. So happy to read your update and see your smile, Raina! I can completely relate to the difficulty in being conservative with a return to running after an injury. I haven't even been cleared to run a single step yet and I'm already plotting my return!! My knee is still bothering me but I'm going to try to run next Tuesday. It is supposed to be 1/4 mile run, 1/4 mile walk and 1/4 mile run. The entire run portion is only 1/2 mile!

    Those trails where you run are breathtaking. I really want to drive down south to run with you one day. How abou a nice, long, lazy trail run when we are both fully recovered?! Xoxo

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    1. I would absolutely LOVE that!!! Let's do! Also- Don't stress that 1/2 mile. I think the first run back I did was less than a mile, but I didn't wear GPS.. It was ten minutes on grass, so it had to be less than a mile at the rate I was running..

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  10. Taking it slow will be so worth it, I promise! I was there last year, and it's been worth it. You sound very healthy, and isn't some running better than none?!

    I wasn't sure how to react to the surprise marathon winner. I guess I'm mostly jealous, shameful as that is to admit. To win an *unplanned* marathon.....wow! She's got quite a future. It would be wonderful to be that talented.

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Terzah! YES. Running- some running- is better than none. Thank you for that reminder.. I've only been back since August- and I already forgot. ha!
      I appreciate your honesty about the surprise winner. You are correct about her talent- is just feel bad for the woman who registered for the full who might have won if the other runner kept to her course.

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  11. so proud :). keep up the patience and persistence! it is going to pay off big time and you will come back even stronger than before!

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    1. Thank you Emily!! I know you are right :) Can't wait to run with you ♥

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  12. You are being smart! I continually fall into the too much too soon trap. Trying not to do that this time...but it is easy to get impatient, as you know too.

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    1. Sounds as though you are doing some serious rebuilding too. It will pay off, Angie! Keep it up.

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  13. thanks for this post. I'll have to remember to be patient when I give running a try in a couple of days. I've not run in 2 weeks,,,longest ever in a very long time. have you tried the night splint? just curious, since I'm considering buying one. Right now I'm mostly just icing, stretching, doing foot domes..

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    1. I haven't tried the night splint.. Is this the strassburg sock, or something else? If you go back to the last 2 posts, I wrote a lot more on PF and got some GREAT comments regarding treatments.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Will!

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    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsefMtyEEDg it's this thing...I'm still debating. I just went out and bought a pair of adidas that I wore last year and didn't give much trouble. finger crossed.

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    3. It is an interesting contraption!
      think it would work similar to the standing calf stretch and achilles stretches that you hold for a minimum of 1 minute, except this does the holding for you overnight.? At least it looks that way to me.
      Good news about the switch in shoes!

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  14. Yay for running again! Kudos to you for holding back!

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    1. Thanks Kristy! Means a lot.. Thinking of you. ♥

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  15. It's so nice to hear you're able to run again! Your trails are so beautiful. You're doing a great job staying disciplined...why is it that the things that are best for us can be so hard to do? Here's hoping you're on the back side of your last injury EVER!

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    1. It is kind of hard...except for today when my calves are so tired I couldn't do anything faster if I wanted :/ .. Thanks for your kind comment Kate!

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  16. So glad to see you back Raina! And as always, you write such a good blog! It is obvious that I'm not the only one who has missed you and still wants to read here... And gorgeous pictures that make me miss Portland/Oregon a bit. I don't really have an opinion either way here with this issue. I'm kind of like that with a lot of running related things these days. Eh, whatever. Ha!

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    1. What i wouldn't give for a nice run through some Asheville trails with you and W! I am super impressed with everything I read about your new location.. It seems to be the trail runner's mecca of the East coast!! Hope to get out there before you leave... Miss you. ♥

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  17. Yay, I answered d! :) So glad you are feeling good and starting to feel like a runner again. I've never had to come back that slowly and it would be so difficult for me. Thanks for modeling how to do it right!

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    1. Thank you, Laura!! So good to hear from you! :)

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  18. Ugh, I wish I'd taken things as slowly as you did. I'm unhealed/reinjured. Miserable. So you're making the right decision.
    I actually have left the course in a marathon and still placed - twice in fact. Once a course marker was missing and once I straight up got lost. Both times I ran significantly OVER the distance, though, and I didn't actually switch races. Still, I kind of wondered the first time if I would be disqualified. The second time I knew I wouldn't because I had to re-pass 15 or 20 people I'd already passed early in the race and it caused such a sensation everyone knew I'd run way long (a whole mile!)!
    As for actually switching races - I'd assume most races have rules against that! After all, it costs less to run the half. What if everyone registered for the half but ran the full? Confusion and misplaced expenses.

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    1. In fact that makes me wonder - did they make this woman pay the extra???

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    2. I've been wondering the same thing, Gracie. And.. I have also been wondering about prize winnings that might have been gained. I haven't checked on it yet though. This was in Canada- so who knows! I suppose a good RD has the rules about switching distances clearly stated in the entry form. I'm super impressed about your 27.2+ marathon though!!!
      Also- I am so sorry to read that you are re-injured. :( That has to be depressing and frustrating. I kept re-injuring myself and that's what finally led to this approach.
      Sending prayers for you to get some good healing so you can get back to what you love!

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  19. I think if she had done it intentionally then it would have been an issue, but I think it was an honest mistake. At least when she realized she made a mistake she asked for help and forgiveness as soon as she could and didn't wait until the end of the race. I think it's awesome she did so well and I'm sure it's not something that she will repeat.

    Lack of patience is something that so many of us runners suffer from. I think to have the personality to run you have to have a certain amount of that thing in your brain that doesn't let you off the hook for things. But I'm glad you're taking it slow! Way to build your base back up properly, you'll have time for that speed work when you KNOW you are 100%!

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts there, Amy. I agree that it was good she straightened things out with the race officials as soon as she could. I suppose, looking at it now, I was surprised more with their decision than her win. But, she definitely did well!

      "Runner brain" is funny, isn't it? :) I appreciate the encouragement.





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  20. I REALLY need a stretch day too! I try to fit it in after every run and on my rest day but know that my lil legs need it more - way to kick butt girl!

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Katrina :). It's so helpful- but hard to be consistent with.

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  21. Aw, it's SO HARD to come back slowly, but to quote this excellent article on injury (http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013/09/training/so-your-triathlon-season-is-over_84533) “I really wish I’d have rushed my injury recovery a little more,” said no one, ever. It will all pay off!

    I'll have to look at your PF posts because my husband seems to have suddenly acquired PF and it's driving him nuts. He runs very little but it affects his walking/hiking, too, and he's nervous about the upcoming hunting season when he does some very strenuous hiking!

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    1. Sorry to hear about hubby's :( That could hamper the hiking/elk hunting... a lot. I hope you find something that helps him in my last few posts.. Biggest tip is for a trigger point massage from the knees down, and lots of stretching, daily. BTW, hope your hubby is more successful than mine this year!

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  22. glad that you are back at it, I would continue to go slow on the recovery runs, your body will thank you for it later. I'm sort of in that same boat - gradually returning to running over time. And Oregon and Stanford football both look awesome this year, my hope is that both teams are undefeated for the Nov 7 showdown in Palo Alto lol. Another huge game just like last year!

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    1. Thanks Nelly! No doubt it will be an excellent pac12 year for both teams. A game like that would be super- so long as the Ducks win this year :D ... Good to hear from you!

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  23. So happy to see you making great progress! Beautiful pictures!!!! As for the marathon....I thought this was an honest mistake....and that she could not have panned this...well I guess maybe but unlikely..and once she realized she had gone over....she wanted to complete the marathon distance and not waste the extra effort? Idk....

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  24. Also this was not an experienced marathoner...it was her first marathon ..I really think she had no clue that she was winning this thing ...my friends back home said that it was reported that her time will stand for boston because RD said ok to change.

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