Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Happy ‘Tuesday that feels like a Monday’!

It was a great LONG Memorial Day weekend here in the mitten relaxing with friends.

Friday the hubs and I relaxed at home, and Saturday I got up and headed to GR for brunch and yoga with some friends. It was a Soul Pose session, which was outdoors in GR. It was the PERFECT weather for it and a great way to relax and get in some much needed stretching. It was put on by the same company who does the Color Runs, where you wear white and they spray you with color as you run by. Luckily, it was a LOT less messy and they just had bubbles and confetti this time! 🙂 

 We hit up an awesome restaurant on our way out for some fresh pressed juice, called Freshii. I will definitely be heading back the next time I’m in the area and would love to try them out for lunch. It’s a great menu with fresh veggies and clean eating meal options. I opted for the carrot+apple+ginger juice that was pretty amazing. I’m definitely not used to the temperature of the fresh juices, and could have used a little ice. But other than that I would HIGHLY recommend this place. 

    We headed to the beach on Saturday afternoon and played sand volleyball (holy workout!) with a group of friends and then hopped on a boat and cruised down to Saugatuck to Coral Gables for dinner and drinks. 

      I had every intention of running on Sunday until the weather ruined those plans. It was gloomy and rainy all afternoon, so we squeezed in a quick bike ride and laid low the rest of the day.

Monday was not much better weather-wise, but it died down enough toward the end of the day to allow us to head to Riley Trails for a 4-mile trail run. It was SO humid, windy, sandy and HILLY, but a great workout. 

   It felt great to run again for the first time since Riverbank (recap still coming soon!), which was good considering I now only have 145 days until my MARATHON (yes, I just had a panic attack typing that!).  

 Hope you have an amazing day!

Staying Pain Free

You got a chance to read my recap of the Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon the other day and, as I mentioned, I was happy to have finished without the injuries that plagued me during the 1/2 marathons that I ran last year.

Rewind to a few weeks prior to race day.

I had been experiencing some weird hip pain during my training. I noticed that every time I bent down to stretch my right quad my hip would pop in/out of place. Not ideal. Nothing that hurt during running, but it would be sore later that night. It was definitely nothing that I’d experienced before. I took a few weeks to try to understand what was happening, and focused on stretching really well before and after my run to see if it helped. Unfortunately, not such luck.

I had a few friends from work recommend a chiropractor in the area, so I decided to check it out. I had been to my medical doctor a few times last year for IT band, knee and foot pain and the recommendation that I was receiving was basically rest, ice and take some pain killers. Overall it wasn’t terrible advice, but I didn’t want to just keep taking medicine to mask the pain. I decided to try the chiropractor because I figured if I went in for a consultation and didn’t get a good vibe I could just not go back and try out something else.

I went in for my consultation and, after some x-rays, I was told that my hips were out of alignment. What the doctor was saying did match what my medical doctor had told me about a year ago, which was that there was a muscle imbalance between my quads and calves and my knees were taking the brunt of the imbalance. He recommended an 11-week plan of adjustments to re-align my hips. I decided to take a few days to think about it, and had the Gazelle Girl 1/2 on Sunday (my appointment was on a Friday), and wanted to see how I felt after the race.

Post-race my right IT-band did bother me, but it was only right after the race and I woke up the next morning without any problems. As I continued to train for the Riverbank 25k, I had noticed some pain developing in my right calf/shin/Achilles- honestly, I couldn’t really tell where the pain was originating from.

I started to get EXTREMELY frustrated and had a decision to make: either suffer through the summer as I trained for my full marathon in October, or try to be as proactive as possible and give the chiropractor a shot. The thought of training all summer and potentially not being able to cross the finish line (or even make it to the starting line for that matter) was just not an option for me, so I knew what I had to do.

I’m happy to report that my knees have been doing great and other than having really uncomfortable ‘growing pain’ type symptoms in my hips after the first few adjustments things have been going great. He said that my weird leg pain after the 1/2 was probably due to the fact that a) I didn’t train outside all winter and then ran a 13.1 mile hilly course and then b) It was freezing cold at the start and my muscles probably had to work too hard before warming up enough.

I’ll talk a little more about my weird leg pain (technical term) in the coming posts, but I was able to successfully run Riverbank with absolutely NO pain afterward, so there’s a happy ending in sight and my confidence is high that this whole chiropractor thing is working. Obviously, everyone’s body is different, but for me it’s been a great choice thus far.

No pics of the chiropractor yet, but here’s one of me from yesterday. I needed that beautiful green angel-mermaid to get me through the day! 😉

  TGIF!

Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon Recap

Happy Hump Day!

Warning: This is a long one!

I’m really excited to start back up with blogging by sharing my recap of the Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon. It was only a few weeks ago, on April 19th, and I think I honestly still remember every second of that race.

They emailed us our race packets a few days before the race, which was nice because I honestly hate all of the random flyers and junk mail that they stuff into the normal ‘goodie bags’. Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon was a zero waste event, so they try to do everything in the most environmentally responsible way, which I thought was awesome about this race.

Official packet pickup was on Saturday, so a group of us headed downtown and ate lunch and I picked up my bib and XXXS tee-shirt. Okay, it was a medium but who the heck is designing these women’s sizes? My shirt from a few years ago was way too big, and this one was like a belly shirt. What’s going on here? Maybe I’ll model it for you if you’re lucky. 😉

I had my traditional Red Robin feast (which wasn’t too much of a feast because they were pretty skimpy on the fries) and started to develop a KILLER headache. Since it was early spring my sinus/allergies were in full effect and I was starting to really worry about race day. I could barely hold my head up let alone think about running 13.1 miles. After dinner we swung by the drug store to grab some meds and then I crashed hard when I got home.

I woke up Sunday feeling tired but great! No headache in sight, which was a huge relief. I got a good luck text from my bff who couldn’t be there to cheer me on, but it was a MUCH needed confidence boost! 🙂

It was FREEZING cold and I had absolutely no clue what to wear for the race since I am typically a fair weather outdoor runner (I’m ashamed, but it’s true!). I settled on a running skirt, tank, compression socks and a wind breaker jacket over top. I figured I’d wear the jacket there and see how I felt once I had to line up for the race. We got to the start and it was windy as all get out and I was shaking and questioning my sanity. The bathroom lines were SO long, so by the time I made it through for one final pee break it was time to get lined up. I decided on keeping my jacket because the thought of taking it off was unbearable.

The first few miles of the race were slow and painful. My legs were SO tight from the cold weather and it felt like time was standing still. I remember my watch beeping at mile 3 and thinking ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’. Once my body started to warm up it was pretty smooth sailing. I hit mile 6, ate a Gu packet and went through a mental check list of how I was feeling. I was staying hydrated, I wasn’t really in any pain (take that IT bands!), I was feeling good mentally, but I was starting to get HOT. I wish I could have thrown my jacket onto the ground, and definitely would have if it wasn’t a semi-expensive running jacket. Since it was windy the jacket was actually dragging me down and I remember feeling a LOT of resistance at some points during the race. I also mentally kicked myself a few times for not getting out and doing more outdoor runs. I think I did a great job of keeping my cardio up via the DREAD-mill all winter, but I had run a whopping ONE time outside for 6 miles a week before. There were some pretty serious hills throughout the course, so I could have done a much better job of preparing had I actually ran outside a little more. I went out thinking I wanted to run a sub-2:00 race. I really think I could have done it had I trained properly, and I remember realizing around mile 10 that it just wasn’t going to happen this time.

I crossed the finish line still feeling really strong and was overall very happy with my 2:06:05 time. It was only a PR of about 20 seconds (whoop!), but I was okay with it all things considered. 

Some takeaways from the race:

  • If I want to go into a spring race season and finish comfortably, training on the treadmill is A-OK for me. If I want to compete for a strong PR or have some incredibly ambitious time, I will definitely need to work on running outside through the fall and winter. 
  • I think that listening to my body was key and that I took a good amount of time off of running every time I had something bother me knee or leg-wise. 
  • I proved to myself that I can work+go to school+ continue to train! 

Again, I am very happy with how I finished all things considered. Working and going to school was a chore in itself and some days I just plain didn’t feel like running. As I continue to develop and get better (more on this in the coming days!) I am excited to see how my times improve. It wasn’t the sub-2:00 that I hoped for, but I know I’ll get there with hard work and determination. 

Here are some of the very few pics I have from the day:

   
  


They gave out finisher charms instead of metals, pretty cool.   

I highly recommend the Gazelle Girl 1/2 marathon as a first or one of many race. The course was great and the spectators were awesome. I will definitely be running this again next year! 

Hibernation

Hiiiii!

I’m finally out of hibernation (let’s just call it that because laziness sounds a little too negative, eh?)!

It’s been a beyond busy spring and I am really looking forward to summer and the warmer weather and camping/kayaking and RACE SEASON!

Since my last post was back on March 30, I’ve got a lot to fill you in on. I’ll take the next week or so to do that, but I wanted to drop in and say a) I’m still alive! b) I’ve successfully finished the semester and c) I have finished 2 races (mostly) pain free! <— this last one is particularly exciting for me!

I’ve added a new page of  race results here: https://sixfootfit.wordpress.com/race-results/ and hope to add a few more pages of my running/fitness favorites shortly.   

Have an amazing day!