I Run For Jordyn. Who Inspires you?

I Run For Jordyn. Who Inspires you?

Who do you run for??

Last year a friend shared some information about an organization called IR4, or I Run 4. Runners are paired with people who are unable to run. The organization started with a runner named Tim Boyle and a named Michael who was physically unable to run, and he told Tim he could run anyday for him! Tim found a whole new inspiration to run and started IR4 as a way to connect and inspire runners by friends who are physically unable to run. Each runner keeps in contact with their buddy via the designated Facebook groups. There are also branch organizations, called Kerri On: I Run 4 Remembrance and IR4 Siblings: The Unsung Heroes.  It’s about more than miles; it’s about building relationships and bolstering support systems.

I decided to join the IR4 Siblings: The Unsung Heroes support group. I was quickly paired with a sweet little girl Jordyn, whose sister already participated in IR4 and had a runner through the group. Jordyn’s mom helps us to keep in touch weekly and it’s fun to be able to share my workouts and runs with her and have her cheer me on as well, as well as send silly pictures back and forth during the week.

If you already run and would love some additional inspiration, you can sign up here to have a match made for you!

I recently ran the a 6k Brew Dash at the National Whitewater Center. If you are looking for races for a great cause or local events in general, check out EventBrite’s page for finding existing events or for planning your own non profit event!

Running in the USA is also a great resource for finding local races, you can sort by location, date, distance, etc.

My next race is TBD – I am looking to run two more this summer before my first Ragnar Relay Ultra in October! Any tips appreciated from previous RR!!

 

My first marathon experience, mysteries of the metatarsals and will I do it again?

My first marathon experience, mysteries of the metatarsals and will I do it again?

March 4th was my first ever full marathon, the Myrtle Beach Marathon! I’ve ran 4 other half marathons over the years; my 4th one being in December and then I carried on the long distance running from that point.  So many fun yet painful memories in that weekend. Two good friends joined me and ran the half marathon, and it was an awesome girls weekend in Myrtle Beach (apart from the running, haha). I am able to walk unassisted now, thankfully! I don’t know what I would have done without them helping in so many ways after the race!

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So those dang metatarsals. I think the race would have been much less painful had I been able to train the last 4 weeks leading up to the race. I got sidelined on a 15 mile run 4 weeks before the marathon, my right foot started hurting during the run. I was able to finish, I presumed it would settle down in a day or two, but 2 days later it hurt worse and I was limping just walking, couldn’t consider running. After another day or two where it wasn’t getting better I saw a podiatrist. Xrays were fine, it was an inflammation of the tissue around the 6th metatarsal. He prescribed a topical cream, an icing regimen and said to see how it felt. After a week, it seemed to be doing better and I was able to run a few miles on it. It seemed ok, but it wasn’t healed and it continued with the same sort of consistent dull pain that concerned me that I would be doing more damage.  I also have a pinched nerve in both feet around the 4th metatarsal bone, which acts up on a regular basis. I addressed this with the doctor as well. He told me there is no easy fix, it is from the nerve being pinched, and to make sure my shoes aren’t too tight. The treatment is either to put a shot in the nerve or to kill the nerve off.  Umm…sounds painful. So yeah, never mind about that nerve!

After another failed run (tried to do a 10 miler 2 weeks before the race, had to stop at mile 2 because it kept hurting) – I took to google. I know. But, in this case it worked out.  I researched the whole pinched nerve issue, stumbled upon some article (which I can’t find now, who knows what search term I used in my desperation…) which indicated that the foot pain I was having could be related to the nerve pain. Constant and regular nerve pain/damage can radiate to the rest of the foot, causing inflammation. It just so happened that the right nerve had really been twinging a LOT lately. The article mentioned that toe spacers could help, because it kept the metatarsal bones separated, therefore the nerve wouldn’t be pinched. What a ridiculously easy thought, and that certainly wouldn’t be my solution, I thought to myself. But I wound some toilet paper between my toes, like is done sometimes when you get a pedicure. And wow, foot pain was pretty much instantly gone. Nerve pain and the rest of my foot felt great!  I found some toe foam bandages at Walmart that acted as toe separators and that wouldn’t irritate my feet while running, practiced walking in them a few days before the race, as well as started doing ice baths for my foot at night and didn’t run at all on it the week and a half before the race.

I also picked up some Dr. Schol’s active inserts at Walmart for my running shoes, I figured it couldn’t hurt. They are wonderful by the way. Why have I never used orthopedics/inserts before?? So the foot was grand for the race. It didn’t hurt one bit. The legs on the other hand…I had done some lower body strength workouts, some elliptical and some stationary bike workouts, but it definitely wasn’t enough. I started feeling the legs at mile 8. MILE EIGHT. Are you kidding me?? I was able to push through it and keep up the pace (3:45 finish pace) until the half marathon point. And then my legs completely cramped up. They felt better every time I ate or drank anything, so I pretty much ate everything I had by mile 16, and then started double fisting drinks and eating anything they had at the hydration stations. I had a few banana pieces and lots of amino type drink and water. It would help my legs for about 1/4 mile after the station and then go back to a very very tight sensation. It didn’t even really help to walk, it just took longer. So I kept going, just slower and slower as my legs weren’t allowing much. I ended up finishing in 4:28. Yes, I added 45 minutes onto my time just in the second half of the race. Kind of crazy, but my lack of training the weeks before the race plus not realizing the hydration I would need definitely added to that (it wasn’t even hot out.  It was 40’s, very nice running weather!).

After the race my legs were so sore, it was hard to walk fast!  Curbs (stepping up and down) were a REAL challenge. We went to the post race party (not that great) and oohh the steps. Then went out to dinner and more steps. Of course! The soreness continued for the next 2 days at a pretty strong intensity and then got much better. I’m fine now. My one achilles (on the right) is still sore and my LEFT foot (interesting!) at the same spot as the right one was hurt, is still sore. But I’m icing and they are getting better.

So within 2 days after the race…I was already considering doing it again. Being a beginner marathoner, I researched how quickly again one could do another marathon, because my logic was that hey I’m already in pretty solid shape now, maybe I’ll just bang out another one next month! But apparently it takes 3-4 weeks if not longer to fully recover from running a marathon, and you shouldn’t push your body too hard and do hard races too close together, it increases your chance of injury. So…I decided instead to do the same race next year. I need a break from long distance running! I plan on doing some shorter races come summer – I already have the Ultimate Win Run scheduled for June, along with a Brew Dash for June as well. Soccer is getting started for the spring, and I will have that in the fall as well – and then after it’s over I will start marathon training sometime in December. It’s so far away I’m not even going to think about it. But I’ve learned some good things about metatarsals, I already scored some HOKA’s at a GREAT price which should last me through the marathon since I’m not running a large amount of miles and I have the tiniest bit of experience now!  So can go into the race with a better plan than this year. And both my friends are in to do the race again!  Myrtle Beach Girls weekend 2018 is on! mbm2

 

6 weeks until the Myrtle Beach marathon and I’m freaking out.

6 weeks until the Myrtle Beach marathon and I’m freaking out.

A little, or a lot. I’m freaking out because I just looked over my marathon training plan again and realized I’m doing it all wrong! I’m going with the Furman plan which is only 3 days of running per week and allows for lots of cross training.  Which is perfect so I can continue strength training in some capacity, I don’t want to lose all the hard work I’ve put in! I’m using 21 day fix extreme workouts  for my cross training, I love the mix of cardio and strength training.

So the problem is, with the Furman plan you need to do significantly faster training runs. Which I didn’t realize until this week. Based on your 10k time, you need to run about 60-75 seconds slower per mile for your long runs. I’ve been just managing to finish my long runs at a comfortable jog – I usually start out about 9 min miles but end up around 10 minute miles at the end when I am exhausted. Apparently I need to be doing it around 8:30 min pace! Yikes! I’m not close to that.

I finally am starting to practice consuming fuel during the race. Probably part of the reason I am losing steam in my long runs – duh! Tried some Gu gel for my 15 mile run this past weekend – and had to call my husband a mile and a half from my house because I didn’t think I was going to make it (the Gu did not sit well). I think I consumed the second one too soon after the first.

The speed workouts need to be faster than 10k time.  I ran the Charlotte International Airport Runway 5k in October at about 21:21 (such a cool run!) and then the Huntersville half marathon December 10th, which I ran in 1:38:58 (I may be off a few seconds. I forget). So my 5k miles were about 7:07 and half marathon miles 7:32. So maybe my 10k would be about 7:20. I’ve been doing speed workouts at 5k pace, yikes – so around 7 minute miles! And I need to do them at about a 6:30 pace!

airport-5k

Here’s a pic of the Runway 5k. Sign up early and it only costs $10!!  Fast and flat course.

I had really high hopes of pacing at around 8 min miles for the marathon, and now I’m totally doubting that and unsure of how to pace. I have 6 more weeks to try to rectify things, so hopefully can get some faster runs in. I did a 7 miler on Sunday, and tried to keep my pace at 8:30 and could only manage a 9 minute miler. Um, whaaat? How did I possibly run 7:32 miles a month ago but can’t even do faster than 9 minutes now?

There is so much conflicting advice out there about running!  Don’t start out too slow, that’s the mistake most runners make; to don’t start out too fast or you’ll die in the second half of the race and lose a ton of time. I’m thinking I’ll just start out slightly conservative in the beginning for the first 4 miles, increase a bit faster for the first half and then see how it goes for the second half. What’s your marathon running experience??

 

If you wear white “sneakers” you ain’t hip!

If you wear white “sneakers” you ain’t hip!

A friend of a similar age to me (not old but not young) recently shared that the younger, trendier folks at her gym told her that white sneakers are totally out.  You must have a vibrantly colored pair of Nike’s.  And if you wear tube socks, which are IN (ankle socks are out) they also cannot be white. I don’t remember what color they should be, but not white, you loser.

I currently have a picture on my facebook profile background picture thing (You can check it out here, top right) in which I jokingly put on high white socks, thinking I was being comical, along with my yard sale acquired white saucony’s, which I wear to work out.  Then there were a number of comments about the fact that I actually bought and wore yard sale sneakers – which led to a facebook poll – in which it was pointed out that my yard sale sneakers, although a great deal, were worn in by someone else’s feet, not mine, affecting how they fit.

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And, my feet have been bothering me sporadically wearing said shoes, so I stopped in at Run For Your Life in Charlotte to get a sneaker fitting.  They watched me walk and run and measured my foot, told me I pronated slightly (feet rolling in a little) when I ran, and said I was a 9 to a 9 1/2 and should get a stability shoe.  My yard sale shoes were a size 8.  Umm I guess that is why they bothered me, just a little!

Also, not a single pair of white running sneakers was sold at the store.  Not that I wanted white ones, I want to be hip and trendy!  I’m totally cool!   I tried on a pair of Saucony’s, Brooks and New Balance – the New Balance 860v were hands down the most comfortable – so that’s what I went with, in a trendy blue and green color (although these look slightly purple to me since I am color blind).  Voila – fresh kicks – ordered them off the New Balance site so I could say 15% along with free shipping – score.

So, are your shoes hip?  What ones are you sporting to the gym these days?

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