I Thought I was Injured

Something weird happened to me Saturday and I’m sort of hoping wondering if this has ever happened to you.

Have you ever felt relief when you thought you had a running injury? | Mom vs. Matahon

First, the normal stuff: I went for an hour-long run around the lake near my house (pictured above) on Saturday. Nothing to write home about. I kept my pace in the 10s, I tackled the big hills twice and I ran into a neighbor on my way home with 5.75 miles to add to the week. No weird pains or tightness.

Now, the rest of the day: We had a meeting/party/dog club thing to go to on Saturday about an hour away from our house. I got back from my run a little later than planned and had to rush to get ready. I did not have time to stretch much, but did a few anyway.

In a rare moment of “I should dress nice,” I put on my favorite pair of red ballet flats. They have no arch support whatsoever, but are super cute with a silver buckle and everything.

The dog club party/meeting was longer than I thought it would be. And I was on my feet more than I thought I’d be.

It was a few hours into the meeting when I noticed it: a deep, bone-jarring, shooting pain in my right shin when I bent down to help my son dry off from the pool. Hmmm. What is that? Maybe just a random spasm? What did I do to myself.

But the pain kept zapping me as the day went on. By the time our hour-long ride home was over that night, the pain was shooting up into my knee, and down through my ankle into my arch.

And it continued to get worse the later it got. It was bad enough that I didn’t want to put any pressure on my leg, and I had to limp around. It was bad enough that I resorted to Ibuprofin and bed.

It was bad enough that I thought I was done running…for good. I did it again. Fractured myself. I pictured myself in a boot, but tried to shake that out of my mind because those things do not look fun.

I can’t run. My running “career” is over. I texted a couple friends because I thought it might make me feel better to say it “out loud.” But here’s the weird thing: I actually didn’t feel that bad about not being able to run.

The most overwhelming feeling I had when I thought I was injured was relief.

RELIEF? How is that even possible? I love running. And I’ve just gotten excited to run long again! Why relief?

Has this ever happened to you?

(PS: I’ll let you know what I think the pain was and why I think I felt relief at the thought of being injured in my next post. Mom duties beckon.)

Stickin’ it to the Van: How Many Stickers is Too Many?

How many running stickers is appropriate on your vehicle?

The other day, I saw someone with “13.1,” “26.2,” “50K,” “50M” and “70.3” stickers on their car. I think there were more, but the stoplight wasn’t long enough to read them all. Overkill much? I get it, you’re an endurance freak! Fine. I’m jealous of you!

Speaking of freaks, I totally cried when I traded in my ’04 Odyssey for a newer one on Sunday. When the dealer drove my old minivan off into the sunset (literally, we were there till 9 p.m.), he also took my “13.1,” “Nuun” and “I <3 to tri” stickers with it.

Luckily, my “26.2” is a magnet (thanks, Mel!). I slapped that sucker on my new van right away and, I must say, it looks pretty damn slick.

I won’t replace the “tri” sticker because clearly I don’t love to tri or I would have done more than one of them in two years. I’ve been driving a lie! I like to tri. I would-do-it-more-if-I-wasn’t-such-a-chicken to tri. Do they have that sticker somewhere?

But the “13.1” sticker is sort of a tricky one. I don’t know if I need to replace it. What do you think?

I’ve run a bunch of half marathons. Enough that I don’t know how many. But, I mean, it seems obvious I’ve run 13.1 since one must cover that many miles in order to get to 26.2. But I’m no math wizard…

Likewise with 50K and 50 miles. If I ever run those distances, should I take my 26.2 off?

These are the things that keep me up at night. Well, these and When is the melatonin going to kick in? And, If it flooded, could I use my bed as a boat?

Lady Runners: Don’t Get the Bob Haircut

There are two things all ladies should know.

One is don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.

Two is don’t get the bob haircut. Especially if you’re a runner.

The thing is impossible. There is no way to keep it from tickling your face while you run…unless you use 100 bobby pins. And, do NOT tell me that the “bob” in “bobby pins” did not come from a woman trying to pin back her hair for a run. Totally makes sense, right?

There are two things that sorta work for the bob while running (and neither is great): 1) a hat, which is fine when it’s cool and rainy, but SUCKS in the heat of the summer; and 2) tiny pigtails and a huge-ass headband.

I tried running sans anything, just letting my bob fly au natural. I didn’t like it one bit. First of all, it made me slower. Yep. Pretty sure. Second, my head was all sweaty so the flyaway hairs stuck to my cheeks and stuff. Gross. And it totally distracted me from looking at my watch every 30 seconds.

Well, ladies, today marked a very special day. I ran without a hat, pigtails or a headband!

Yes, my hair has finally grown out  enough for a ponytail after a whole year plus one stupid “trim” that basically put me back at square one of bob-growing-out-ness. And I don’t need a hat to keep the front and sides tamed. I only need to separate the front of my hair into three sections, then braid and add some more hair to each section when it’s in front and then stick it with like three bobby pins.

It wasn’t as easy as it sounds since I didn’t know really how to braid the front of my hair till like three days ago. And I’ve never been able to French braid. French bread. Yes. I’ve actually made it. French braid. No.

Luckily there is this thing called practice, and guess what? Totally works. Proof:


But it would be so much easier if I could just pull the whole thing back in one swift ponytail motion.

So, ladies, remember:

No cowboys.

No bobs.

Now, go run.


(PS: If you want to know about my workout, check it out on DailyMile. Today’s AM run was hills. PM run was with coworkers. It’s boring me to death to write about every one.)

It Was a Dark and Stormy Run with Coyotes

It Was a Dark and Stormy Run

Coyotes, he said.

So today I made the mistake of checking Facebook before I left for my early morning run. A neighbor warned pet owners he’d seen coyotes “roaming freely” down the main street in our neighborhood about 30 minutes before.

Sweet. I LOVE coyotes…said nobody ever, especially not people who are already sort of afraid to run in the dark.

But I went anyway. Because I’m training myself to become fearless. Well, not completely fearless, but at least not afraid of stupid coyotes.

I did bring my pepper spray. Not sure if that’d be useful against coyotes. My sister said she throws rocks at them and that usually scares them away. I don’t usually bring rocks, but I might be able to fit one or two in my iFitness belt.

The Workout

My schedule called for just a normal no-coyote run between 30-50 minutes, keeping the pace between 9:45 and 11ish. I felt GREAT since I took yesterday off due to the fact that I was dead tired (like seriously what a zombie would feel like if zombies could have feelings). I went to bed at 9 p.m. AND I took a melatonin tablet–didn’t wake up once till my alarm clock made me!

BTW: Getting almost 8 hours of sleep is amazebollocks. (That’s my new American/English slang word I just made up–my coworker from England taught me what bollocks means today. Think it may catch on.) It makes a HUGE difference. I have to put HUGE in all-caps. It’s like impossible not to.

It rained overnight and was still sprinkling when I went out to run. It was cooler than it’s been, but not cold. It was refreshing after some 95+ degree days. But all I could think about was coyotes.

I ran in and out of cul-de-sacs again. I hope I can get brave enough to try some new routes soon. Pretty boring. At least I have a good podcast to listen to (Talk Ultra again).

I ran 2.88 miles in 30 minutes. That’s a 10:26 average pace. I mostly ran by feel and my splits are pretty consistent (10:33, 10:19, 10:25). So, yay me.

I had no problems with this workout except being on high alert for coyotes. What was that?! *swivels head around* Oh wait, I think it was just my shoe landing on the surface of the street.

Tomorrow’s workout: It’ll probably be a double because my coworkers want me to run with them. I am pretty sure they are using me for my Garmin. But, my morning workout will be: hill repeats – 10-15 x 30 seconds at 1500m-3K pace (7:09-7:31 mile pace) with 60-90 seconds of rest. Warm up and cool down of course. Let’s hope the coyotes sleep in.

The Run Where I Got Chased By A Cat

Super Moon Run

Maybe it was the Super Moon, but I saw two black cats this morning.

One just sat in its yard and watched me run by on the sidewalk. The other one, I saw up ahead of me, across the street. In the middle of a tempo mile, I sped up even more so it wouldn’t cross in front of me. Can’t having black cats crossing my path. I have been on a serious Uno winning streak at home and want to keep it up.

As I got closer, it crossed the street toward me at a trot. Aw, maybe he wants to be petted. But, as it got closer, it started running at me! Ohmygod! It’s going to bite me!I sprinted away, realizing I just got chased by a freaking cat. I had my pepper spray, too. All I’m saying is that cat got lucky.

Today’s Workout

Okay, here’s the problem. I want to build up my base, but I still sort of want to PR the 5K. I think there’s one on my birthday weekend–exactly six weeks from now. And the book I’m reading has a sweet 6-week 5K plan in it.

Buuuut, if I train specifically for the 5K, then I might mess up my training for the 15K at Point Defiance that’s just a couple weeks after that.

I’m not totally sure what to do. I went with the 5K plan today: 2×10-minutes at tempo pace (8:16).

I started with 10 minutes at easy pace: 11:14 for .92 miles

Then I did 10 minutes at tempo: 8:26 pace for 1.19 miles (this was hard; I felt like I was still trying to wake up)

3 minutes walking, jogging.

Then I did my second 10-minute tempo: 8:14 pace for 1.22

Then, jogged/walked home: 10:21 pace for .62 mile (should’ve been slower, but I was worried I was going to be late for work)

Total mileage for the morning: 3.95 — basically 4, okay.

The 5K plan calls for an optional 20-40 minute second run at easy pace today, but it’s so dang hot (90s) and humid, and I didn’t get great sleep. So I’m opting out.

BTWs, tempo runs are hard in the dark of the morning and before I’ve eaten anything. But I don’t want to get up earlier to eat, so…

My o'dark thirty run pile.
My o’dark thirty run pile.


Running Long, Running Smart

Running Smart
The highest point of my run Saturday. This is the lake just down the trail by my house. On the other side, I’m level with the shore.

I tend to get ahead of myself when it comes to running. I think I can do more than I actually can.

So I am soooo glad I found Pete Magill’s book, “Building Your Running Body.” I feel like now I can run smarter, not harder. Oh don’t worry, on the “hard” days, I will bring it. But not every run should be “hard.”

You know what else is nice? Pete accepted my friend request on FB and I was able to converse with him a little through messaging. Also, he liked my lake picture (above), which is nice.

Friday’s Workout

The schedule I’m following from Pete’s book called for a rest day or an easy run of 30-40 minutes depending on how I felt. I felt like I wanted to run even though I was tired. I was stiff and slow, but YAY, the goal was to run slow (11-12:50ish pace), so it’s all good. I did 2.8 miles in about 31 minutes (10:48 pace). Actually, a little too fast.

Saturday’s Workout

Long run day! I was looking forward to it, actually. The goal was to run for 50-60 minutes between about a 9:45-11 pace. I decided to do two loops around Lake Wilderness (above). It is less than a mile from my house on the trail.

I love running around it because it’s a little trail, a little grass, a little road and some big hills. There’s some single-trail track next to the road even, so I can practice that or decide to keep to the road depending on how I feel. Keeps things interesting. The trip around the lake is about 20 minutes or so. The photo is from the top of the big hill, obvs.

I ran and listened to the Talk Ultra podcast again. It’s almost like having someone to chat with.

I ate half a peanut butter Clif Bar before the run, and half (yummy!) during, and carried a water bottle since it was warm. My average pace was about 10:16 for the hour-long run (5.92 miles) and I felt great pretty much the whole time.

The first time I did the ginormous hill, I ran it. The second time, I power hiked. I will take a picture of it next time because it’s a beast. My splits were not consistent as you can see:


Afterward, I did the Runner 360 workout (HARD) from Pete’s book (it was on the schedule) and did some great static stretching (also from the book) and felt awesome afterward. Not sore, not exhausted. Just felt great!

Sunday’s Workout

None! Taking an absolute rest day…except we did go to the driving range and my son hit his first bucket of balls with a real golf club. I didn’t hit that many, but I should because I’m super rusty.

Looking forward to this week’s workouts!

If you haven’t noticed, I’m getting the bug to run long again. I’m thinking marathon in 2015, then maybe 50K. Eeee! Writing it makes it real.

You Can Lift Weights on a Rest Day, Right?

I consider weights cross training, so when it said rest/XT on my training plan, I thought weights. Got up again at 5 a.m., but was a little slow and didn’t start working out till 5:20ish. I was going to do a Metabolic Effect workout, but Kim from (Just) Trying is for Little Girls sent me a Lift Weights Faster shoulder challenge.

I love the way my shoulders look since I started lifting heavier weights (I started last summer). So gotta keep it up! My favorite shoulder picture from Rainier to Ruston in June:


Here’s the challenge. You have till Saturday to do it!

Pushups 10,8,6,4,2
Dumbbell Renegade Rows 10,8,6,4,2 (total)
Dumbbell Double Push Press 2,4,6,8,10
Dumbbell Front Squat 2,4,6,8,10

I did mine with 20-pound dumbbells in 7:24. (It IS possible to do renegade rows with round DBs, I learned. It’s just more challenging.) Obvs that’s not enough workout for me, so I did two reps of the following:

10 weighted lunges with 20# dumbbells
10 Bulgarian split squats with 20# dumbbells
10 hip flexor raises

(BTW-Consistent running-specific strength and hip-focused stretching seems to be helping my hip flexibility. Key word: consistent.)

Then I had to get ready for work.

Also. I weighed myself again this morning. Down another half of a pound. That’s three down in three days. Now you know why I need to be careful with how many carbs I eat? Especially processed carbs like multigrain chips (those ones from Costco are addictive!) and ahem Cheetos.

Soooo annnnyway, I might switch training plans. I got Pete Magill’s book “Building Your Running Body,” and I love that it combines specific strength and conditioning moves into a running training plan, so I don’t have to do it myself! I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to incorporate strength with my running!

Now, with Pete’s plan, I can just add in two ME or LWF workouts a week (because I really like them and like the way my arms look…it’s all about vanity, baby), and I’m good to go! Here’s a sample routine from the book.

Do you do strength work? What’s your favorite routine?