Friday, December 6, 2013

How I Continue to Rock It.

It's no secret that I am a mediocre injury prone runner. And that's why I'll never give any sort of "advice" here on the blog. With a *disappointing* marathon PR of 3:35, half PR of 1:46, and 5k PR of 21:30, I have a lot to learn. I'm not qualified to give advice or "how to" information until I'm a certified coach or until someone is paying me to run races (and I start winning money from them). Not likely to happen, ever.

As the year comes to a close I start reflecting on the previous year to see what I can learn.

This was my first year without significant running related injury. Aka, the longest I've ever gone without injury.

High school: plagued with stress fracture, & other very painful foot problems. Sat out entire 1st season, had a sexy air cast too. Always injured.

2002-2008: undiagnosed stress fracture.

2011: Undiagnosed stress fracture. X-ray later confirmed existence of stress fractures from the past.

Stopping for photos in the later miles of the Miami Marathon 2012 because I was in so much pain from the hip flexor.

2012: Hip flexor strain in which pain lasted 7 months. Started 1/12.

2012: Ankle & ITB pain which lasted 4+ months. Started 9/12.

So what's the differences in 2013 vs 2011-2012? (And prior?)

I hired an incredibly intuitive Coach to save me from myself (and overtraining) during marathon training. Best. Decision. Ever. For the past 2 years I've seen myself accomplish things I never imagined possible in such a short period of time.

I no longer static stretch. I strained my hip flexor while stretching. Lesson learned. Only dynamic stretches from now on.

Religious use of my 4 BFFs (pictured above). I've found a correlation that when my calf gets tight, I start to get shin pain which escalates to other issues.

Rotation of running shoes. And only wearing running shoes for running. This Study says there's a 39% less risk of injury to people who use multiple shoes. For reference Here is my lineup:

Saucony A5- only very fast speed work, races of less than 6 miles.

Mizuno Wave Sayonara- Tempo runs, middle distance runs.

Brooks Pure Cadence- Speed work, racing half marathons.

Newton Distance- Long runs with goal pace mileage. Racing half and full marathons.

Nike Pegasus- Easy runs, of both short and long distance. (Recovery days)

Strength training. I've been very diligent to get in strength sessions 2-3 times a week.

Eating a well balanced diet made from mostly whole foods. (Not much processed shit, never soda) Because of this my body can recover quickly post hard effort, and I rarely ever get sick. And don't forget the beer and wine too! I swear hops cures muscle soreness.

Listening to my body- I know when to stop if I'm feeling something funny going on. There's no shame in taking an unplanned rest day and/or switching to cycling or something else which isn't further aggravating the issue.

CB knows how to rest, we should all take a lesson.

Rest days- I take between 1-3 rest days a week. My body thanks me by being healthy and injury free. This is why you'll never see me do a running "streak." Nothing like an overuse injury to sideline you for the spring and all those races you want to run.

And finally...

A very positive attitude. I really enjoy running and working out and have found when my motivation dips, I get more aches and pains. I run because it is fun.

*The 3:35 marathon is disappointing because It was not indicative of my athletic ability on that day. I know I was capable of much better. I am solely talking about the time on the clock here.

- xaar


  1. Shoot, Work blocked all the photos in this post, make sure i check this again at home!
    All good advice!! Someones it is better to learn through a real progress story to see the difference the advice can make!

    My biggest lesson over the last year- patience. I killed myself in the Summer by peaking early and overdoing it. And always remember try try to have fun, like you mentioned!

    And you forgot to mention, some toasty owl gear is key for your cold weather training!

    1. Oh shoot! I forgot the owl gear and its importance!!! Must remember that for the next post.

      You're right. The only way to truly learn is by making mistakes and figuring out what went cray cray.

      Patience is so important! Gosh that should be added to the list too!!!!!!!! Totes important. :)

  2. Your secret recipe! Honestly, do proud of you this year. It has been so great to be along the sideline watching you grow. You are a rockstar! I think this is the best part about aging, all the learning stuff. All those injuries and experiences are what drives you now and makes you take the more logical approach.

    Keep on keepin on ;)

    1. SHHHHHH on my secret recipe haha. Your comment seriously made my day. I know you are a big part of why I'm still healthy and without injury. :)

  3. I love Britt. I am so happy you found her to be your coach. I hope we see you sometime soon!

    1. She is totes amazing :) Hope to see you and V again.

  4. I love this- it seems like you've found the recipe to take care of yourself and you can tell how great you feel. That's great!

    1. It's been a long road of dumb decisions to get to this point, but youre right. Ive found the recipe of staying healthy :)

  5. Oh my gosh, I can't believe you dealt with so many injuries. And kept going. That part's awesome.

    1. haha thanks. If I didn'tlike running so much I would have thrown in the towwl back in high school. Feel like ive gotten a 2nd chance after going through all of this. :)

  6. I think you are totally qualified to talk about injuries and give advice. Because you have gone through being injured and healthy. And about your marathon time, I don't think you could have done much better - maybe 3:30 if the race went perfect? 3:25 might be possible if your training cycle goes literally perfect.

    I've been off and on injured for 3 years it seems, finally it seems like mid foot striking has got me running healthy for the first time in forever. Ran 6 miles yesterday, zero pain before, during or after. And legs honestly didn't really even feel sore at all.

  7. This is a great post! I'm really impressed by all the different shoes you run in. You have it down to a science. I do all my runs in the same shoes, though I usually only run 3 times a week.

    Here's to another injury-free year of running!