2015 Running Year in Review

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

2015 was a challenging year for me, running-wise (and otherwise). I was faced with new professional challenges, as well as new kid-rearing hurdles. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that 2015 was a terrible year, it just wasn’t a good one for the first three-quarters. (Stick with me, though—it does get better.)

In January, I set forth 5 relatively modest running goals:

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Did I meet all 5? No. 4? No. 3? No.

2? No. Continue reading

My laziness game is on fleek

It’s nearly August and I think I’ve posted maybe three times this entire summer, which means I’m a shoo-in to win the Laziest Running Blogger Award this year (ah, if only such an award existed!).

I promised myself (and y’all) that I would post at least twice per week and, well, it’s working out to twice per month. I’m sorry, mea culpa, but let’s move on and not look back.

Continue reading

Weekend Update

I don’t know about you, but my favorite Mondays are holidays. Hooray! The office is closed and I’m staying home today with my kids, D and S. Truth be told, I’m still in bed (slacker). I lurrrve federal holidays!

Once again I’m back for another installment of Weekend Update, Tara’s link-up. Please go check out her blog, Running ‘n’ Reading and consider linking up, too!

And, once again, this is another Weekend Update that doesn’t include any running. I went to a chiropractic appointment on Friday evening and asked my chiropractor when she thought I’ll be able to return to running. Her answer? At least 2 weeks. Well, okay. The longest breaks I’ve taken up to now have been about 2 weeks, and I must not have healed fully during those because the cycle of injury continued. I can live with 2 weeks or a little longer if it means I won’t get hurt again. Continue reading

How Not To Be a Blogger

Hi! Remember me? You probably don’t because it’s been eons since I’ve posted here, so let me reintroduce myself.

My name is Molly and I’m a bad blogger. I used to run and write blog posts about 3 times per week.  I thought I was kind of funny and that my blog posts were semi-interesting. I carved time out of my busy days of work and family to type out posts on barely-functional-but-lovable iPad. Continue reading

Running Lately: Marathon Training, Tweaks & Gratitude

If you read my blog last week, you may have caught the post I breathlessly wrote after running 3 miles without incident–as in, no hip flexor pain or tweaks. It was a big deal because I hadn’t been able to run for several weeks except for two quick runs on the AlterG at my physical therapist’s office.

I ended up running 2 more times last week: a hilly 3-miler last Wednesday night (more on that in a separate post) and an easy 5+ mile run in Cupertino on Saturday morning.

20140730-201948-73188703.jpgThe run in Cupertino was a nice change from running at home because the the sidewalks were pristine (the advantage of running in a newer community, versus my older neighborhood, which has bumpy sidewalks) and the route offered unique views.  

On my run, I came upon a couple of things you don’t see every day, at least not in Tacoma.  First, a game of cricket:20140730-202431-73471792.jpg

And the world headquarters of a little business you may have heard of:

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I was very happy with my pace and the fact that felt great for the entire 5.5 mile run (my Garmin said less than that, but that’s because I forgot to un-pause it after waiting at numerous stop lights).  

I felt so good, in fact, that I ran the following morning, Sunday, although I wasn’t able to run as long due to some plans I had with family later that morning.  

20140731-072217-26537997.jpgMy pace was a bit slower but no big deal.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t run Monday morning due to an early (seriously–4:30 a.m.) wake-up call for our flight back home, and I couldn’t run Tuesday morning due to extreme fatigue from the aforementioned wake-up call on Monday. For some reason, as the day progressed on Tuesday I ended up feeling sore at the lower end of my right hamstring, which was where my IT Band problems manifested as referred pain last year. Uh oh.

I went to PT that afternoon and it felt a little worse afterwards, probably because I worked it too hard. Before I could get totally bummed about this latest development, I had a massage that night with Heidi (a.k.a. Miracle Worker) at BeHive. She really focused on the knot behind my knee, working it out. Thankfully, I woke up on Wednesday without any issues, but my doubt remained about how the rest of the summer and fall will progress, running-wise.

With perfect timing, my coach, Kris, ended up texting me on Wednesday, asking me how I was doing. I told her about my mindset, which was similar to how I felt before the Newport Marathon: hyper-aware of my body, experiencing phantom pains, and being generally anxious about being able to run without hurting myself again. She commiserated with me and, after we exchanged a couple more texts, my takeaway was that I won’t be able to train for the Portland Marathon after all.

Womp womp.

It’s disappointing, but deep down I knew a month ago that there was no way I could pull off effectively and safely training for the Portland Marathon on October 5. The goal after the Newport Marathon was to try to PR at Portland. That was probably overly ambitious, considering I ran really hard (for me) at Newport, PR’ing by nearly a half hour and qualifying for Boston. My goal post-Newport should have been to try to run Portland but to focus my efforts on getting to the 2015 Boston Marathon healthy and primed to PR.

The latter, conservative goal is now my goal as I head into the fall marathon season. It just turns out I probably won’t run Portland, at least not the full. I plan to still run the upcoming Lululemon SeaWheeze half-marathon in late August if I can pull off at least 2 double-digit long runs between now and then.

My plan this week is to run at least two more times. I would love to run something in the neighborhood of an 8-miler this weekend, especially if I plan to run the SeaWheeze, but I don’t know if that’s feasible with the weird twinges I experienced in my lower hamstring the other day. I’m going to hope for the best and see how I feel running in the lead-up to the weekend. If I experience any symptoms, I’ll take another short break.

So, reality bites, right? I don’t want to complain. Heck–at least I can still run. That is enough for me right now.

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What are your running goals for this fall? Are you training for any fall races?

Like Running on the Moon… Kind of

Injury, shminjury–I’m pretty damn happy right now. Why?

20140716-235951-86391724.jpgWell, yes, pretty sunsets do make me happy, but that’s not it.

Physical therapy is going really, really well.

Joe, my physical therapist, treated me last year for an IT Band issue that put me out of commission for a couple of months. He did a good job rehabbing me last year, so I decided to return to him last week for my hip flexor problem. He has a sports-centered practice and even helps train college athletes at a nearby university. A runner himself, he understands my motivation and need to return to running as soon as possible.

I started PT last week and have been to 3 sessions so far. He’s having me do multiple exercises in the clinic to strengthen my glutes to stabilize my hips, which were abnormally rotated. I’m also doing a few different strengthening exercises at home, like clamshells. So far, so good. Best of all, at out first visit he estimated I would be able to run in a week or 2. Squeee!

Last Friday he let me run on the AlterG treadmill to see how my hip felt running with less gravity and therefore less pressure on my legs and hips. The theory behind the AlterG is that it places less weight on the lower body, and therefore your lower body experiences less impact and, hopefully, less pain.

Here’s a better explanation from the AlterG site about how its treadmill assists withs sports injury rehab:

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Running with 70% of my regular body weight felt incredible–I felt like I was skipping across the surface of the moon.

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I was thrilled enough just to run after about five days of no running, let alone run like I was half-flying. Unfortunately, that bliss was short-lived: I ended up feeling a few twinges in the hip during the run on the ‘mill, and was sore and stiff over the weekend. Womp womp.

At my next PT visit, I didn’t get to run on the treadmill because of the pain I’d experienced after doing it last week. That was somewhat discouraging.

When I returned to PT yesterday, though, Joe examined me and noted my hips weren’t abnormally rotated anymore. [Fist bump!] He also let me run on the AlterG because I hadn’t experienced any hip twinges in a few days. [Double fist bump!]

I ran for 12 minutes at a cautious 10:00 minute/mile pace at 75% of my body weight, with 2 minutes of running on an incline (which had aggravated my hip in the past few weeks)… and I didn’t have any problems. Hooray! Running that scant amount of time put me in a supremely chipper mood for the entire morning yesterday. No joke.

Joe told me that if I’m pain-free today, I can run short, easy tomorrow and over the weekend. I am incredibly excited about trying running again on Friday, and really hope I’m able to resume feeling normal on a run. Despite this happiness, there’s a part of me that still fears my left hip pain will crop up again after few miles. I need to continue to stay positive and not worry myself so much that I convince my body that it’s still injured.

When training for a marathon, you reach a point right before the race where you need to let go of your stress and just trust your training. To not do so could be detrimental.

I need to incorporate that same philosophy to my rehab. I need to let go of the worry and doubts that I’m not getting better, that this injury will hold me down for an unbearable period, and just trust the rest I’ve had and the exercises I’ve faithfully performed over the last week. If my physical therapist believes I’m capable of doing this, I should believe it, too.

I’ve got this.

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