Blue Ridge Marathon: T minus 2 months

Apparently, we are two months out from the marathon!  How did that happen?  Since I’m following a training plan that I have mostly done before, I don’t feel like there are any big surprises for me right now – at least as far as the plan goes.

One thing that I have done is add in a lot more cross-training and I’m really seeing the benefits!  I try to do a light stretching program on Monday, swim or HIIT on Wednesdays, and boot camp or spin class on Fridays.  I think just moving my legs in a different direction is such a nice change for them!

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I’m becoming rather fond of the Fitness Blender couple.

The one “surprise” that we received is we found out that my BRF/training partner will not be able to join me at Blue Ridge due to a family commitment.  While we are both super disappointed, she found another marathon for the next week so we can keep training together (I can’t imagine trying to run at 4:00 am on a Tuesday without her!) The biggest problem is we’ll both be doing our marathons solo.  Not ideal.

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#perspective

Thankfully, the Blue Ridge Marathon has a ton of super friendly supporters.  I have literally never seen such awesome aid stations in a relatively small race!  Also, most of the participants are not trying to burn up the road (at least not where I run!) so it’s easy to strike up a conversation.  Still.  She’ll be missed.

In other “fun” news, I took my first fall in almost 4 years on our long run on Sunday.  At mile 7 we were commenting on how fast we were going and wondering what our average pace was so I decided to check it on my watch and BAM!  Down I went.  My elbow took the brunt of it, with just road rash and a super nasty bruise on my legs.  After I got cleaned up, we still pulled of two fast miles back to the start.  I managed to destroy my water bottle in the fall so I couldn’t finish the entire run but I was starting to feel it so was happy to stop at 9 miles.

 

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We raced the last two miles to try to catch the sunrise but didn’t quite make it.

After that little adventure, my family and I went to a local ski resort for the weekend so my poor kid would finally see some snow.  45 minutes of “ice skating” (more like swimming, it was 70!) and two hours snow tubing killed me. image1 (3).JPG

We won’t talk about the water park the next day…

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Good thing LR was willing to be my seeing eye kid because I couldn’t see a damn thing!

And so we soldier on!  Various work and school issues are creating some need for creative scheduling in the next few months but, we’ll figure it out.

If you’re training, how is it going?  Just logging the miles or are you mixing things up?  How do you keep it fresh?

I’m participating in a link-up with other Blue Ridge Marathon Ambassadors!  Check them out! (I’ll update the list as more post, because I’m an idiot and can’t figure out how to do it automatically via the link-up)

Meandering Echoes

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The Hips Don’t Lie

So, what’s going on with my hips and my lack of running (spoiler alert, I waited to write this after I had a successful run and knew I wouldn’t be sidelines for the foreseeable future)?

I’ve had problems with my left hip since … huh, a while.  I had dry needling done on it regularly before Blue Ridge and it hadn’t bothered me since then.  Huzzah, I’m cured!  Not so fast.  Three weeks ago, I got a little over-exuberant with my extra cross training time and did tire flips and a tire carry and felt something …give… a bit.  Two days later, I ran a somewhat fast 9 miles.  Two hours later, I could hardly walk.  So, I did the logical thing and rested. For a day. And then tried to run 8 miles on my treadmill (made it just over 7. So stupid).

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Why do we do this?

Okay, I thought, I’ll rest a bit more.  Three days, this time!  Look at me resting! Tried to run four miles on Saturday and felt pain with the first step but pushed on for 1.5 miles, to keep a friend company (again, stupid).  I then came home and lost my shit on my running group’s message board.  Thankfully, someone worked somewhere that had Saturday hours and a physical therapist could see me if I got there by noon.  You can bet your ass I was sitting in the office at 11:45!

The physical therapist tried to assess me but I was so inflamed, she couldn’t do all of the motions.  She did say that nothing was torn or broken (whew!) and it seemed to be a problem with my hip flexor and a lazy ass glute.  I told her that I worked on that quite a bit and I showed her what I did.  Which, apparently, was all wrong.  I was using my back and every other muscle than what I was supposed to use.  She then prescribed a regimen of clam shells, glute bridges, hip flexor stretches, and foam rolling.  Thankfully, she said I could use the elliptical and swim, as long as it didn’t hurt (but no running until I was down to 0 pain – which was not a problem because I couldn’t even roll over in bed without the pain waking me up).

So, I did my exercises and learned to love the elliptical.  I saw the PT a week later and she finished her assessment and confirmed that I was moving in the right direction but still no running 😦  She also had me show her my squats and they were atrocious.  I mean, I was embarrassed by them!  When did they get so bad?!  I also learned that I can’t tell when my pelvis is square and that I keep dropping my hip and rotating and that is causing the problems.  So, I now have some squats and single leg balancing to add to my list of exercises.  And more elliptical.

These are all the exercises that I have been doing:

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Clamshell, with theraband
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Straight leg lifts, with theraband
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Donkey Kicks
side kick
Fire Hydrant
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Glute Bridge (not using my shoulders!)
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Hip Drops
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Standing around on one leg

This morning, I decided to do a test run of a mile.  My pain has been very moderate and I would call it more of a tight feeling than true pain.  I’m also seeing my coach tonight to see if we can salvage my Marine Corps Marathon plan (I hope so, I’ve been working hard to keep my base intact!) and I wanted to be able to tell her honestly if I could run.  The first mile felt good at 11:13 so I decided to pick it up just a smidge and keep going. Mile two was 11:05, still okay.  Mile 3 was 10:59 and then I ran 2/10th of a mile at 8:00!  Again, no pain, just a bit of tightness.  I then did all of my PT exercises and declared it a win!  Now to figure out what to do with my training (I’m glad I have a coach to help with this!)

Coincidentally, this was today’s post from Another Mother Runner.  I plan on adding those BOSU exercises, plus some daily plank work, plus yoga once a week (because I’m as flexible as a metal rod) to my rotation.  It will be a lot of work but I think it will keep me in running form!

 

What’s next??

I’ll admit, I’m having problems coming to terms with the race being over.  It was such a looming event for so long, I’m a little lost without it.  Truth be told, I feel like I have PMS x a billion.  I’ve been grumpy and snapping at everyone, my skin is all broken out, and I want to eat all the food.  I’m a real treat, I tell you!  Thank goodness I was able to run 3 miles on Thursday, to take the edge off!

My next race isn’t until the Marine Corps Marathon (3rd time!)  at the end of October so I’m treading water until mid-July.  I need a plan, though.  I think I’ll lose my ever loving mind if I don’t have some sort of plan for the next three months.

I really want to focus on strength training and building more lean mass (by dropping fat 😉 ).  Right now, my “plan” is to run three days a week – 1 shorter, 1 speed or hills, 1 longer (up to 10-12) and do some sort of weight-based exercises 3 days a week.

Little Runner and I went to the playground on Wednesday and had a (mostly) body weight workout.  You can do a lot with swings!  He challenged me to a leg lift competition and my lower abs are still sore 😮  He’s loving my increased availability so I am going to keep our “Wednesdays at the park” in play for as long as I can.  I also did a four station circuit workout this morning (with some kettlebell swings and a couple of sled pushes thrown in for good measure).  While I’m definitely sore from that, I really need to figure out a progressive, consistent plan.  I feel like I’m in danger of half-assing my down time and not being as strong in July as I’d like.

As usual, I’m a work in progress!

no plan
So dangerous!