Have I really been
running returning to running for three months already? It’s hard to believe. I thought I’d be further at this point than I currently am, but I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t constantly battling little bumps along the way. Continuing last week’s trend, things are still progressing forward.
I didn’t do a lot of working out this week. After three hours of CrossFit last week, plus getting busier with the holidays, and feeling a little tired — I put fitness on the back burner. I like that I’m able to do this around the holidays. It’s probably why I haven’t, and won’t, attempt to pick a race that puts me in the thick of training around this time of year.
I took Monday and Tuesday off. Monday, J and I celebrated our two year anniversary at one of my favorite restaurants (the best lobster ravioli). Tuesday, we had a wake to attend. Unless I wanted to run or CrossFit before work, nothing was happening these days. Considering how tired I’ve been waking up at 7:45am for work (I used to wake up at 6:30!), I knew I wasn’t waking up early.
Wednesday – Tempo (36:00)
I was planning to meet up for a run specific session with one of the coaches at CrossFit during my half day, but the really ugly flu hit him hard. Instead he suggested I go out for three miles and see how things went. Things went poorly. I was tired so I had a scoop of Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer (no sponsorship here, I honestly love their products) and took the drive to Delaware Park for some new scenery.
My warm-up and cool down consisted of walking, .21 and .31 miles, respectively. When I started to run, I hit my first mile quicker than I wanted for an easy run (9:41) and decided to put some speed under my legs. I have no reason to add speed into my routine yet, but sometimes it’s fun to push and be humbled. I progressively got faster in the next two miles (9:07, 8:28). As per usual, the 2.5 mile point came around and my left ankle started to get cranky in the very distinct posterior tibialis tendonitis fashion. Uhhh, no thanks.
I massaged out my ankle and did two rounds of icing, but it was still stiff and possibly a little swollen when it was time for bed. One sleep in my CEP compression socks made everything better, though. By the time Thursday morning rolled around, it was as though I didn’t run at all.
Thursday – PT exercises/Stretching
I did a little walking (my second half day of work this week) to the store for my final Christmas gift and promptly crashed at home. I was feeling really tired all day without a good reason for it. On the bright side, my little pick-me-up arrived: Believe I Am journal and another pair of Saucony Virratas from Running Wearhouse (for $27!)
I wasn’t going to buy another journal; I track online via three different platforms and I didn’t even use my last one after a month due to injury. But I’m a sucker for a nice journal and this is made much better than last year’s by a landslide. I also don’t need another pair of sneakers yet, but when they are working for me and they’re on sale, I stock up.
After waking up from my crash, I took some time to do PT exercises including mini band walks, bridges, single leg RDLs, and squats. I’m trying to make this a twice weekly event.
Friday and Saturday – Rest
I woke up feeling like an IV of coffee wouldn’t help. I felt like I slept terribly, despite my Sleep Cycle app telling me I was approaching 90% quality. I felt run down, post-nasal drippy, and gross. Totally not okay when I have my friend’s charity party later. The smart person says to everyone who was planning to go, “Hey, I’m not feeling great. I won’t be coming tonight.” The Brittany says, “Take me to Wegmans and I’ll get something to make me feel better.” Some Emergen-C, a nap after work, and plenty of Gin & Tonics were the cure for the night… and the cause of my hangover the next day.
I spent Saturday recovering. I woke up ridiculously early for a girl out until 1am and then couldn’t go back to sleep. That’s the worst part of a hangover, in my opinion. If I could sleep solidly for ten hours, I’d always wake up with sunshine and rainbows coming out of my ass. But I can’t. I end up waking up with chills, dry mouth, nausea, and a feeling of “what did I do last night?” even when I remember the entire night. The holidays are fun, but the aftermath of meeting up with all your old friends at bars for a few weekends straight is not.
Sunday – Tempo (37:00), Yoga (20:00)
Finally, a night of great sleep came my way. I expected to see 100% quality via Sleep Cycle, but She told me otherwise (82%) – not a chance! I ended up heading to Delaware Park again, meeting up with one of the CF coaches for a three miler, because despite wanting to go further, I wasn’t risking it. He’s a lot more cardiovascularly fit than I am currently, plus he’s a man, so there’s a good chance at my fastest, he’s still faster. I told him my target pace was easy anywhere from 9:30-10:30. Target pace did not happen.
We walked for a couple minutes before taking off: 8:42/8:52/8:43
Ouch. My lungs burned. But… My ankles did not hurt. Chris was able to run behind me or watch me from the side a few times, asking questions and offering suggestions. Apparently my arms are crossing my body, wasting energy. I always thought they moved in straight lines but as soon as I adjusted my arms and brought my elbows in, I noticed a difference. It feels unnatural to change, but when I did, the rest of my body felt like it had to at least attempt to follow suit.
I run a little heavier than ideal. Think of your feet just kissing the ground. I always thought I was a light runner, especially as compared to J, but I guess I’m not as light as I thought. It’s a really hard concept to grasp for me. I try to anticipate the ground and just let me heels “kiss” it, but then I end up running on my toes and we all know what that did to me after the Turkey Trot in 2013. My knees were brushing together, too. I didn’t notice until it was pointed out and then it was blatantly obvious. I’m assuming this is a one off because I’ve never chafed and I’m guessing I’d chafe hard if that happened every run.
Next up was of course, the wonky leg. I know it’s wonky, I try to focus on it. I try to fix it. When I do, my knee points left, along with my hip, and it doesn’t feel like I’m centered. It feels like I’m doing more harm than good, but nobody’s ever really advised me on how to fix it and I didn’t know what it was really called enough to research on my own. Femoral control: I don’t have it.
Despite the pain I felt from pushing internally, my body felt fine externally. My arches feel tired during and after the run, but not painful… nothing a little golf ball action can’t fix. I’m completely happy with everything and I love having feedback for specific things to think about next time.
I completed another video of Runner’s Yoga from Fiji McAlpine. I love everything about her videos; her voice is soothing, yet flowing, and I don’t have to look up to see what she’s doing often because she describes it so well.
This week was a solid rest week, despite running more miles than last week. My RunningAhead log makes it look like I increased too much because of the walking warm-ups and cool-downs, so I think I might start separating those events for better tracking on my end. I haven’t decided.
Including the walking, I ran just under 73 minutes this week and did only 20 minutes of yoga, with no CrossFit. My goal last week was 77-80 minutes of running, but considering each mile was anywhere from 30 seconds to 1:00 faster than anticipated, that would easily put me in the right realm. I traversed 6 miles last week and 7.1 this week.
Next week my goals are smaller due to the holiday. I’m planning to cover 80 minutes (about 8 miles including the walks), two sessions of PT exercises, and two sessions of yoga. Normally, I’d like like to take this week as a cutback because I’ve increased mileage for three consecutive weeks, but since I didn’t do any CrossFit this week and probably won’t next week (depending on Christmas Eve plans), I feel confident that increasing isn’t a horrendous idea. We’ll see what the legs think about that.
I wish everyone a happy and healthy holidays with your friends and family!