I just signed up for one more trail race in 2014 and I am super excited! A group of people from the South Bend Adventure Club will be heading out to run either the 5k or the 10k in about two weeks (I’ll be doing the 10k). Although trail races tend to be quite a bit slower than road, they are still tons of fun, if not more fun. However, it is important to adjust expectations to the race you are running. If you know there will be hills and lots of turns, you will run a substantially slower race. A few months ago I ran the crazy hilly Knobstone Trail 10k in 1:07, which is close to 15 minutes slower than my PR on road. So what are my goals for this race? I’m not sure yet, but I think I’ll just go for breaking 1 hour. Here’s to hoping for no snow on the trails! 🙂
The snow melted and it is currently 52 F outside. Unfortunately, I am not able to enjoy the warmer weather for my long run. While on a rather short and easy run last week, I started feeling the old IT band pain. So, with that, plans changed and I didn’t go for my long run sunday. As disappointing as it is, I would much rather just handle it now, back off a bit and get it feeling good than to battle with it like I have in the past. Luckily, it was just a twinge. My goal is to keep it under wraps with some light training this week. Running on a treadmill doesn’t usually hurt me, so I will start with that.
Monday (MY BIRTHDAY!): rest – give it another day off
Tuesday: If it is feeling good – 3 slow miles on the treadmill. Otherwise, rest.
Wednesday: Backpacking in Smoky Mountain National Park
Thursday: Backpacking in Smoky Mountain National Park
Friday: Backpacking in Smoky Mountain National Park
Saturday: Backpacking in Smoky Mountain National Park
Sunday: If I am feeling good – 5 slow miles. Otherwise, rest.
Total: Maybe 8 miles
There you have it. I am listening to my body and doing what it asks…backing off. Hopefully next week I will be better and can go for my long run then. It’ll be nice to concentrate my energies on walking instead of running. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your holiday plans!
When I am done with a run, I like to spend some time stretching to alleviate any residual tightness. I have found that consistent stretching of the hips and hamstrings helps my body remain injury free. The sequence below takes about 5 minutes and does a good job getting into some of the most tight areas for runners.
Start in low lunge (photos below) with the right foot forward. Make sure that your front foot is all the way forward between your hands and that you can feel a stretch in the front and outer hip. Your hands can remain on blocks or stacked books so that your upper back remains straight.
On your inhale, lengthen your front leg to straight, moving into a hamstring stretch (picture below). Your hands can remain on your blocks.
On your exhale, come back to your low lunge. Repeat this for about 10 breaths. Once you are done, remain in your hamstring stretch, with your front leg straight for 3-5 breaths. Then, on an exhale, come back to your low lunge. Remain in low lunge for another 3-5 breaths.
Walk your front foot outside of your hands (so if you are on the right side, you are walking it over to the right). Roll the palm of your foot up so that you only have the outer edge and pinky toe on the ground. Allow your knee to fall out to the side. You should feel this stretch in the outer hip. Remain here for 7-8 breaths. When you are finished, go ahead and repeat this sequence on the other side.
You can use this sequence for a post-run stretch. If you foam roll, you can do that as soon as you are done with these stretches. I usually like to end with a short period laying on my back to let the benefits sink in a little and to just calm the body after my run. I hope you find this sequence useful and incorporate it into your own practice.
Training has been going well this week. I made sure to take a good rest on Monday after the Yoga Journal Conference. With all of that deep stretching and hard work, my muscles were feeling very overworked, which for me, is a precursor to injury. I followed up my rest day with two pretty easy runs to get myself back to my normal intensity. I still have some speed work to do friday (10 min warm up and cool down along with 30 min of intervals). I’ll finish up my week with my long run or 7 miles. Hopefully it’ll be warmer than 12 F (that’s what it was for my Tuesday run).
Tuesday: 4 miles at 9:47 pace
Wednesday: 4 miles with running group at 9:21
Friday: 10 min warm up – 30 min speed work – 10 min cool down
Saturday: Hiking & Yoga
Sunday: 7 miles at long run pace & yoga
Total: 20 miles!
I have been very slowly bringing up my milage to the milage I held prior to my IT band troubles. The first 20 mile week is a real milestone. I really attribute my good health to lots of stretching and strengthening though yoga. Hopefully next week goes just as well. I am going to be in the Smokey Mountains National Park on a backpacking trip with my husband where we’ll be covering tons of miles! It’ll be a chill week for running though, but I’ll get some in. 😉
This weekend I had the pleasure to be in South Florida for the Yoga Journal Conference, which was awesome! I snuck out for my long run Sunday between yoga classes. It was hot out. When I say hot, I mean really really hot. My body hurt so much. The run was only 6 miles, but it could have been 100 for the amount that I suffered. I grew up in South Florida, and when I lived there, my body was acclimated to the hot and humid days. However, after five years in the freezing temps of South Bend, Indiana, my body has forgotten how hot 85 F with 70% humidity can be (arguably, that is cold in Florida for the middle of the day).
It was beautiful scenery but when I got dehydrated, I knew I was going to have to find water or I’d be in trouble. Running along the beach is not only hot, but kind of salty, which makes you thirstier than normal (and of course, I didn’t bring any water with me). About 30 minutes into my run, I was considering going up to a restaurant to ask for some water and then I remembered the showers along the beach. After people get all sandy, they like to rinse off before heading into their cars. This was a life saver. I ran over to the shower, drank some water and rinsed my face off a little. Suddenly, I had new life in me. I was running faster and with so much less effort. I even finished with negative splits! This run got me thinking… Am I in over my head for the A1A Half Marathon? I will be training in South Bend, in the coldest part of the year. I figured (actually hoped), that my Florida upbringing would protect me from the crazy change in temperature I would experience between my training and the race. I also kind of figured hot yoga could keep me slightly more acclimated to high temps and humidity. I don’t know though. I had a vision of finishing in under 2 hours, but now I’m just hoping to finish.
Winter has started but that doesn’t mean my training stops. I am running my first half marathon in mid-February in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, my home town. The course runs along the beach and should be pretty fun!
Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 4 miles easy + yoga
Wednesday: 3.1 miles + yoga
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: yoga all day! (Yoga journal conference)
Sunday: 6 miles + yoga all day
Tot: 18 miles & lots of yoga!!
I head down to Florida for the Yoga Journal Conference tomorrow. I am pretty excited to be there and have an opportunity to run in the hot weather. I’m a little worried about going from the freezing cold temperatures in South Bend, IN to the tropics in Florida for my race in February. I’m hoping this weekend will be a good test.
As a runner, I often forget how useful my knowledge of yoga and anatomy can be to prevent injury. This became a big problem when I found myself sidelined for two weeks from IT band syndrome. I had been training hard for a trail race in Southern Indiana, but after the race I became enamored with running two half marathons a few weeks later. Instead of backing off and recovering from a very hilly trail race, I instead upped my training immediately, and injured myself in the process. Needless to say, the half marathons were off the table. I was barely able to bend my knee (so I was walking pretty funny). I gotta say though, everything I’ve ever learned in any yoga class should have helped me prevent this. You hear in classes about listening to your body (I didn’t) and not letting the ego get the best of you (oh, that so happened). I learned a valuable lesson. Yoga is found both on the mat, off the mat, and in your training plan. Now I don’t mean yoga, like let’s touch our toes (although that helps too). I mean yoga, like set an intention to listen, be mindful and don’t let your ego dictate what your body does. Luckily, my lesson only required a two week hiatus from running. It could have been so much worse. So, during my current training cycle, my intention is non-harming. I listen to my body and make sure that I am doing what is best for it, regardless of what my ego may want.