Tag Archives: injury

Injury Free + Back to Training

I’m finally injury free!  While I never took any total time off, I did back down significantly from hard workouts and specific exercises.  Last week I incorporated some of the things I had been avoiding back into my routine with success.  My glute wasn’t extra sore, my gait was totally normal and everything felt good.

My transition back into real training started Monday with an OK Murph.  For those not familiar it’s a Memorial Day tradition performed in honor of Lt Michael Murphy that includes a one mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and a final one mile run.  Wanting to save my energy for the challenging workout I failed to warm up as much as I should have.  My glute gave me some trouble through the first mile but settled in with the squats.  The second mile was an improvement.injury free

Tuesday my legs were, not surprisingly, beat up.  A few easy miles helped them freshen up and again, I had no pain with a totally normal gait after warming up properly.  Yay!  Wednesday was also a few easy miles but this time in I also had the pleasure of being pouring rained on.  My shoes were finally dry by Sunday.

Thursday it was an attempt at the long run.  The humidity Thursday morning was a doozey but I felt good about getting the run done.  I started easy then picked up the pace as the sun rose to burn it off.  With my last few miles at marathon pace, I finished with negative splits.  It was a great first long run back and I couldn’t have been happier.

Friday my legs felt like lead and I took the day off.  Saturday was mile repeats that weren’t exactly on my previous pace but solid for coming off an injury.  Sunday I was back in the gym for strength training.  All in all it was a good welcome back week.  My glute held up without any pain or strain and left my feeling positive about how the rest of my summer will go.

My next race is the Allen Stone Memorial 5k.  I’m not expecting a spectacular performance but want to run well.  I have six weeks to prepare and am looking forward to working hard again. 

Meredith

How do you celebrate being injury free?  Sign up for a race?  A long run?

2017 Elizabeth River Run 10k

Well, my first post injury race is in the can and it was definitely a learning experience.  Saturday’s Elizabeth River Run 10k far from one of my next runs but could have been worse. 

Going into race morning I was concerned about how my glute would hold up.  It’s taken me a while to get warmed up lately and I didn’t want to run for 30 minutes before I ‘raced’.  I spent several workouts last week trying to determine the best way to get going as fast as possible and planned on a 2 mile warm up with two longer pick-ups and some hard strides.

That didn’t happen.  Race morning got hot.  Fast.  Because it was so warm and I actually felt pretty good, I cut the warm-up down to 1.5 miles.  I lined up and fought through some light traffic at the start.  Around Mile 2 I noticed the temperature had gone up about 15 degrees and there wasn’t much a breeze as we circled through the city.  There was at least a decent amount of shade in sections.  I walked leisurely through the water stops and took a breather at the 5k mark to rest my glute.  It had been a long time since I ran reasonably hard for three plus miles and didn’t want to irritate it.elizabeth river run 10k

After that rest stop, my glute was doing well and the heat became more of an issue in the race’s second half.  When I was running I wasn’t too far off my warm weather 10k pace and it felt good.  Unfortunately the weather really got to me.  My heart rate was sky high and not enough water stops didn’t help me bring it down.  The stagnant air and humidity were no help either.  Coming into the last mile I wanted to pick things up a bit.

I increased my pace but had some discomfort in my right leg.  Not in the mood to re-injure myself, I slowed things back down.  I crossed the finish line in 48:12 feeling pretty good.  My biggest issue now is getting used to being uncomfortable again.  My glute seems to be 98% healed and my fear of straining it again is unreasonable.  I didn’t strain it running in the first place.  I’ve spent so much time playing it safe that I’m a bit of rut.  It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable again.

Meredith

Have you run the Elizabeth River Run 10k?  How do you come back from injury?

 

EquiKids 5k + Still Not There

I raced one of my favorite events of the year last weekend, the EquiKids 5k.  Not only do I love volunteering at the farm, racing through the trails each year is always fun.  The cross country 5k is preceded by a 1 Mile Run with the Hounds that Jordy was more than happy to participate in before hamming it up for the camera.equikids 5k

It’s the only cross country course I’m guaranteed to run every time it comes around and I usually don’t perform well.  Maybe it’s because I don’t train on trails very much if at all or because I get too distracted by all of the adorable kids, dogs and horses.  Any way you slice it, I was looking to turn my history of EquiKids 5k performances around this year.  I didn’t.

In spite of finishing as third overall female, it wasn’t a good race or even the race I wanted to run.  Due to some serious rain my schedule got a little screwy in the days before the race.  My final workout was hours later than it should have been.  I definitely could have been fresher at the start line but I also could have been less injured.

My glute injury is feeling much better.  It has had some unexpected side effects, however.  The different, more powerful, movement in my right leg has been leading to extra work for my right Achilles.  That has caused some definite stress on the tendon as it strengthens.  I ran a one mile warm up before toeing the starting line but failed to warm up as completely as I usually do because I was feeling fatigued.  Little did I know I’d pay for it.  About halfway through the race that right side felt like it was about to snap.  No, thanks.  I paused to rub it for five seconds then continued on.  It was a scary moment but felt fine the last 3k.

It was disappointing to realize I’m not where I thought I was in terms of bouncing back.  I understand the lumpy, muddy, ankle working course probably made things a little bit worse in that ankle.  That doesn’t make it feel any better.  The EquiKids 5k curse continues and I’m looking toward next year already.

Meredith

How often do you race on trails?  Love it or hate it?

Slowly Coming Back+ Time to Adjust

Training rolled on last week after another round of physical therapy.  I’m definitely feeling better and can tell a difference in my gait.  A solid, positive one.  Of course, if hopping right into race shape for this Saturday’s EquiKids Cross Country 5k was that easy, none of us would be very concerned about injuries in the first place.  But it’s not.  And nature has it out for me.  It’s like coming back from an injury wasn’t bad enough, so the heat got turned on last week.

I really want to race well this weekend.  It’s one of my favorite events and I usually don’t put in a great performance on the dirt trail course.  There’s something to be said for actually practicing.  I do 95% of my running on roads since that’s where I race, except for once a year but maybe one of these times I’ll get it together.  My biggest concern, however, isn’t the race’s surface.  It’s my grumpy right glute and staying calm (easy pace) enough to not get re-injured.coming back

I did some speed work last week, keeping myself in check and staying within 30 seconds of half marathon pace for anything over 800M.  I definitely feel more out of shape than I am and don’t expect coming back to take too long.  Except that it’s 90 degrees out with 90% humidity and barely a breeze.  Talk about a double whammy!

It could be worse.  I could be 100% healthy and trying to prep for a fast 5k in rough training weather.  Luckily coming back from injury is helping me keep things slower and safer in the warmth.  Eventually I’m going to have to adjust to the summer’s heat and humidity.  It might as well be right now. 

Meredith

How do you handle coming back after an injury?

Physical Therapy + Feeling Crummy

My training lately has been a mess.  I took downtime then dove back in only to strain my glute and get pushed right back to the sidelines.  After my DNF at the Big Blue 5k I decided to get some help.  Even though I wasn’t in a ton of pain and most of my regular activities weren’t in danger, I definitely could not run through it.  And that’s pretty much all I wanted to do.

When I knew I couldn’t run I got a little bit lost.  I wasn’t sure the best way to heal my type of muscle pull or even if it was the muscle I thought it was.  So, off I went to physical therapy.  I had no idea what to expect since my injury wasn’t very severe.  After a few hip strength tests my therapist started going through a variety of exercises designed to balance out my right and left sides.  Here I am doing my ‘homework’!  After five days of not running I eased back at the end of last week with an easy 30 minute jog.  My glute felt good physical therapyand it seems the physical therapy is paying off.

Surprisingly, I actually enjoy it.  It’s supposed to be tough, and it is, but my therapist is awesome.  We do exercises that really challenge my balance and hip stability.  It’s fun to do something totally out of my regular routine. But even though my injury is feeling much better I’m still on the sidelines.

As if an injury and a lack of miles weren’t already enough to put my training back a few weeks, I’ve come down with some kind of junk in my chest.  It’s not only giving my abs an extra workout with all the coughing but sucking my motivation away, too.  I’m getting lots of sleep and taking it easy while it works itself out.  One of my favorite races, the EquiKids Cross Country 5k, is in less than two weeks.  I never perform well at it and was really looking forward to improving this year.  Unfortunately, that might not be the case.  Either way, I”ll head into race day as healthy as I can be.

Meredith

Have you ever gone to physical therapy?  What for?

Stuffed Up for 10k Race Day

Tomorrow is race day.  I have the Heart of Ghent 10k and am hoping to PR.  Unfortunately, it’s not looking too good.  Yes, the weather should be great and my legs are feeling fresh.  My head, however, is all stuffed up.  After a rough weekend of travel and little sleep in Morgantown I woke up earlier this week with my usual sore throat and ear ache.

Any time I ever get exhausted it happens.  I get stuffed up in the ears and sore in the throat.  My sinuses are great, my body feels fine, plenty of appetite but my head is filled with cotton balls.  For 30+ years I’ve known to expect the inflammation and tried to prevent it.  I failed this time.  Maybe I stuffed upought to have my tonsils out?  Either way, I’ll live.  It’s just bad timing this round.

As part of my ‘get better’ effort, I took the week’s workouts easy with just light speed work while sucking down chicken noodle soup and ice cream.  My speed work was solid.  My body weight strength workout was good.  I felt very positive about the workouts citing my stuffed up-ness.  I’ve tried hard to get lots of extra sleep and saw an improvement yesterday.  Writing this I’m closer to 80% than 100% and hoping to be at 98% in the morning.

I really want to hammer (PR) this race since it’s my last ‘long’ workout before my goal half marathon.  I’ve worked hard all summer for these next two races and really want them to go well.  My training is there.  Hopefully I’ll be able to give it a chance to show me what it can do and no matter what, I know I’ll give everything I can out on that race course tomorrow.

Meredith

What do you do if you’re stuffed up for a race?

Back in Action and Awards

I’m back in action!  A rough run on Saturday had me staving off more until today but thanks to the weather, things got shuffled around a bit.

After fighting a little with both of my ankles over the weekend I reevaluated my schedule and Sunday night decided my legs were feeling well enough to stick with it.  Until I read the week’s weather forecast.  A predicted high of 27 on Thursday.  While I don’t mind running in frigid temperatures, it would be my first genuinely cold run of the season and I didn’t want my final long run before Rock n Roll Arizona to suffer because of it.  Luckily I was able to adjust my training schedule to accommodate winter.  Here’s what the week will end up looking like:

Monday – Strength training
Tuesday – Rest  Shakeout run with 2x 200M strides
Wednesday – Interval Work
Thursday – Long Run (10 Miles)  Rest
Friday – Shakeout Run  Long run (10 miles)
Saturday – Race Pace Run (4 miles+)
Sunday – Heavy lifting

My legs were beaten up after a heavy dose of front rack walking lunges Monday and the shakeout ended up being exactly what I needed.  It was a day earlier than I had planned on running again but a short jog before heading out let me know my ankle would be fine.

I’m happy to be running pain free again and am even happier to have received some cool awards.  They’re awards I earned in 2014 but I waited to share until they all arrived.

My age group award from the Heart of Ghent 10k print with a plaque commemorating my 10k PR.  It was very hard to photograph with my phone!awardsRock n Roll Series Heavy Medals!  Rock Encore and Triple Crown earned for Rock n Rolls in Nashville, Virginia Beach and Las Vegas.  The Triple Crown is HUGE!
awards

Meredith

What cool awards or medals did you earn in 2014?  How do you decide if you’ve recovered enough to run?

A New Workout + Myrtle Week 3

Myrtle Week 3 isn’t technically finished yet, with Rock n Roll Virginia Beach coming up on Sunday, but since both the race and its expo will get their own reports, I wanted to share myrtle week 3two other exciting things about this week.  1. I overcame a slight injury and 2. I completed an awesome new speed workout on Wednesday.

Let’s start with the injury.  At some point during last week’s GHDs and sit-ups, I strained the transverse abdominal on my right side.  I rested Saturday, did a long run Sunday and a light recovery run Monday which meant I didn’t notice anything more than normal muscle fatigue until I went to strength train on Tuesday.  As soon as I went to powerfully engage my core (tuck jumps) or anteriorly tilt my hips (pull-ups), I knew what I had done.  The Myrtle Week 3 Core Muscle Strain of 2014.  Combine the fact that I hadn’t noticed the strain for three days and the lack of pain when I wasn’t trying to use that muscle, I knew my little injury wasn’t serious and I’d be just fine after resting it.  At least I could still run and do some things in the gym.  I bailed on my planned workout to avoid making things worse and settled for heavy back squats.

When Wednesday morning rolled around, I was excited to take on a new speed workout.  My legs felt pretty good for having an unexpected heavy lifting session Tuesday and  cooler, low humidity weather was on my side for a day.  This is what the as yet unnamed 6.5 mile workout looked like:

1 mile warm up
4 x 400M 5k pace with 200M recovery
1 x 800M 10k pace with 400M recovery
4 x 400M 5k pace with 200M recovery
1 x 800M 10k pace with 400M recovery
1 mile cool down

I was fried by the time I finished but ecstatic with how the session had gone.  My 400M and 800M laps were fast, steady and consistent which made me happy since I hadn’t done a hard track style workout in a over three weeks.  This is a tough one but definitely deserves a try!

A light shakeout run Thursday helped my tired legs get back on track for this morning’s Race Pace 5k.  The heat had returned and it was definitely not the run I wanted to get in on a sun baked, crowded boardwalk.  I fought through it, knowing that I was paying for going so hard on Tuesday and Wednesday and that I was a little bit dehydrated.  Even though it wasn’t the outing I had hoped for, I’m glad I gutted it out and made myself a little bit stronger.

Tomorrow is a rest day then it’s long run Pace Day on Sunday.  I’m really excited to wrap up Myrtle Week 3 with the 2:15 group and looking forward to meeting lots of awesome runners while hopefully helping them accomplish their PR goals.  I’ll also be at the Expo Saturday until noon at the Pacer Booth, right next to Garmin.  Come visit me!

Meredith

Are you running RnRVB?  Have you tried any new workouts lately?

Training Check In: Six Weeks

It’s Sunday Funday and a long weekend both mean it’s the perfect time for a training check in.  I’ve been feeling really good lately, and this week’s 40 miles are all wrapped up.  It’s also Memorial Day weekend, and while Doug is off playing golf this morning, I’ll be prepping for a few friends and some grub from the grill.check in

I’ve been doing a good job of being flexible with my schedule as I increase my mileage and that was really helpful this week when I suffered my first runjury of this new training program.  As part of my ‘running is fun‘ mantra, I’ve mixed up my training a lot over the first six weeks of base building.  It’s been great.  I’ve started doing new workouts (3200M repeats), workouts I haven’t done in a loooong time (Michigans), gotten back to running in the sand and moving days around without a worry.  No better time to damage yourself then when everything is just fine.  And I’ll admit it could be much worse.

I have been suffering from a pair of matching rubs on my second toes.  No, you don’t want to see a picture.  I got them while running barefoot on the sand at Chick’s Beach Monday evening and they really surprised me.  For the first few miles I thought the sand was unusually firm and rough but shortened my stride and felt good.  Exfoliating, yay!  By Mile 3.5 of 5, I was pretty irritated, so I pulled up and took a look at my sand covered foot.  I didn’t notice anything sticking out of a bloody stab wound and after a splash in the bay’s salt water, I was off again.  Moments later, I had to check in with my foot again.  The pain was getting worse and this time I noticed the bleeding, blistered toe on my right foot.  One mile to go.  I had to get back to the beach access anyway and I was off, running right on the edge of the water so the injured foot would stay on soft, wet, salt water covered sand.  Then my left toe started to do the same thing with bandaidshalf a mile left.  This is not happening.  I powered through the end of my run, hobbled off the beach and took a look at my busted toes.  Great.  Bring on the Band-Aids.

A good rinse and clean in the shower, I left the toes out to air dry and start healing.  A pair  of bandages Tuesday morning and they were bundled up for that day’s 3×2 mile repeats.  I knew I’d have another bloody right sock when I finished, but they actually didn’t hurt much during my workout and there was a lot less red on my white sock than I expected when I was finished.  Winning.  I let my feet see as much sun and fresh air as possible Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, wrapped them up tightly for workouts and felt like they were moving along with the healing process.  After a quick check in, I was sure they were good to go Friday for my long run.  I put on a fresh pair of Band-Aids and, because it was hot, a thinner than usual pair of socks.  Big mistake.  As soon as I started to sweat the right toe protector slipped off and, seconds later, a bloody toe followed.  Long run not complete, I gave the bleeding right toe a bit of TLC while dreading the fact that I would now have to rise and shine at 4am the next morning to get that long run in.  I did go out in the heat with a fresh pair of both Band-Aids and socks for a short speed workout Friday afternoon to at least get some serious miles in.  The toe made it, thanks to the fresh socks.  Bring on the early morning long run.

Yesterday’s long run (13.15) was early.  There was also perfect weather with the benefit of quiet while watching the sunrise over the ocean and toes that didn’t bleed or hurt.  A solid long run left me happy with how Week Six’s running went in spite of the latest runjury and I finished the week with an afternoon strength training dose of deadlifts.  My legs are ready for Week 7’s 42 miles and I’m ready for these toes to finish healing.

Happy Memorial Day!

Meredith

How’s your training going?  Any injuries?  What are your Memorial Day plans?