Back At It!

After a brief hiatus and injury scare, I’m back to running! Leading up to the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon my left hip really started to bother me. I took a few days off of running in the beginning of the week in favor of cross training, and decided that while it might hurt during my half, I would deal with the ramifications afterwards. The race obviously went well, but the pain only increased as the week went on. crap, crap, crap.

A week after the half, I was setting out for a 15 mile run when my hip was hurting so much that I decided to cut it off at mile 8. Luckily I felt strong throughout those 8 miles, but the pain was so bad that I knew I needed to pump the breaks. I knew it was the right decision, but I felt deflated going into a long weekend in North Carolina for Foxy’s college roommate’s wedding weekend. So, I made the decision, to take a full week off and ice the #$&! out of my hip. The decision to rest didn’t come easily, and over that week I felt exhausted and just plain depressed. I started having nightmares of last year’s Chicago marathon training cycle that ended before it could ever get off the ground, mostly because my PT was too cautious and held me back for so long that when I got back into training I was way too far behind. It was a tough week, full of QT with Aleve, ice bags and frozen veggie bags and than I have experienced in a long time. Hello Ice, it’s been fun, but I think I’m ready to say goodbye.

Luckily, Lizzy put me in touch with her amazing PT, and he cleared me to run, the very day after my appointment. I was actually so surprised that I almost thought he was joking with me.ย The diagnosis? Mild hip bursitis and an extremely tight IT Band. If I played it safe, I would be back in no time. All of a sudden “crap, crap, crap” turned into “YES, YES, YES!”

Leaving the appointment I felt a sense of relief and empowerment which was a stark departure from the feelings of the 7 days leading up to that day. Yes! I will 100% run 26.2 miles on 7/31, and I am going to have an amazing time while I’m at it. Tomorrow morning I head to my PT for the second time, in hopes that I am cleared to run double digit mileage.

Thank you to Lizzy for putting me in touch with the miracle man & all of my friends for helping me keep the faith! I’m definitely not out of the woods yet, but I will be foam rolling, icing, stretching and ice bathing (for the first time…I need your help on this!) until July 31st.

Since I was able to get back on the road over Memorial Day Weekend, I thought I would share a beach photo from my beloved beach at my family’s house Cape Cod. This summer marks the 50th year that the house has been in my family, and it is the year of many, many improvements that I can’t wait to share. Most of all, there is one thing that really can never be improved, and will always be my sanctuary…

How do you cop with injuries? I end up taking them too hard and hiding from the blogging world from a bit, which is something I vow to change!!

2011 Race list (Thus Far)

I have a lot of races coming up, so I thought it might be fun to put them all in one place!

Doyle’s Pub Emerald Necklace 5 Miler

5 Miles Jamaica Plain, MA 4/10/11

From what I’ve heard this is a great 5 mile course along the Emerald Necklace in Jamaica Plain. It’s complete with a great free race T-Shirt & free beer, how can you beat that?

BAA 5k

5k Boston, MA 4/17/11

A fun & popular 5k that takes place the day before the marathon. It’s officially the most expensive 5k I have ever registered for, but the awesome t-shirt, medal, fast field & finishing under the official Boston Marathon finish line makes it worth it.

Jamestown Bridge 10k

10k Jamestown, RI 4/23/11

This race is apparently very hilly and challenging and weaves throughout scenic Jamestown and Newport, RI. I definitely need the hill race experience so this is a no-brainer in my book. Plus Katy & I will be running this one together!

Boston Marine Corps Honor Run

5k South Boston, MA 5/7/11

Walking distance from my apartment and a fun way to kick off an old fashioned day drinking party, the Kentucky Derby. I’m looking forward to getting a lot of friends involved in this fun and flat 5k.

Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon

Half Marathon Newton, MA 5/15/11

Oh Heartbreak, we meet again. Remember that time I vowed to never run you again? Well, those emotions were fleeting and I’m hungry and ready for more! I’m looking forward to improving upon last year’s time which given my awful race, won’t be terribly difficult

JP Morgan Corporate Challenge

3.5 Miles Boston, MA 6/2/11

One of my favorite spring/summer events in Boston! It starts and ends at Boston Common, and it’s a great chance to get out of the office with coworkers and get your sweat on followed by a few celebratory brews afterwards.

Yarmouth Run for the Arts 5k

5k Bass River, MA 6/18/11

This race is in the neighborhood of my family’s house on the cape, and it also happens to be on my Birthday! Plus, I can convince Foxy to run with me ๐Ÿ™‚

Nantucket Triathlon

Sprint Tri Nantucket Island, MA 7/23/11

I’m pretty excited for this one, it’s a great excuse to get to Nantucket during the peak summer months and spend time with friends! This is the weekend before SF so I will be keeping this fun and avoiding ruining my taper.

San Francisco Marathon

Full Marathon San Francisco, CA 7/31/11

This is the biggie. I absolutely CAN’T WAIT. I have a good feeling about this one.

Hyannis Sprint II Triathlon

Sprint Triathlon Hyannis, MA 9/10/11

I’m excited to have another sprint triathlon on the schedule that I can go full bore and actually race. It’s helpful that this is close to my family’s house and it’s a great chance to see my mom ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s it for now. I’m considering a few fall Half Marathons, hoping to get a spot on a Reach the Beach Relay team, the Tufts 10k and numerous other races. Decisions, decisions!

What does your race schedule look like? Do you have any suggestions of races I should add?

Oh Heeeey, Heartbreak!

This past Saturday I set out to log my first long run of San Francisco Marathon training. I wasn’t nervous going into this run, but I have to admit, there is a bit of fear and apprehension as I begin this training cycle. ย I’ve had a frustrating past two years when it comes to the 26.2 distance: one heartbreaking Marine Corps marathon where my four months of hard work fell apart in the first few miles, and then an injury a few weeks into training forced me to withdraw from the Chicago marathon.

Earlier this week I made plans to meet Katy on Saturday morning, to run an 8 mile loop starting and ending at the base of Heartbreak Hill. The last time I ran Heartbreak was during the 2010 Heartbreak Hill Half, when I was cursing hills and my lack of hill preparation prior to the race. When I finished the race I told Foxy that I would NEVER run the race again. Well, cue registering for the SF Marathon. It seems to be in my best interest to prepare for a marathon in one of the hilliest cities in the US on one of the hilliest half marathons in the area was probably a good idea. Hill training and avoiding injury are my two goals for SF training, so there is no better place to start than training on Heartbreak!

I met Katy close to 10am, we were supposed to meet at 9:30 but I couldn’t find my favorite running hat and felt a little frazzled (What can you absolutely NOT run without? Mine is a hat!) I found her car, parked and then shortly thereafter, we were on our way.

We started at roughly the 18.5 mile mark of the Boston Marathon course. Comm Ave was absolutely PACKED with people running, so it was a wonderful atmosphere with a lot of fast runners. Katy and I planned to take it at a reasonable pace and just went on our way.

Heartbreak in all of its glory. I definitely struggled through a long story I was telling Katy, but we focused and hammered out the hill. All in all, it wasn’t that bad. When we reached the top, I pointed out the turn that is the half way point in the HBH Half, which is significantly steeper and harder than Heartbreak itself! Luckily we saved that one for another day and ran past Boston College, Katy’s alma mater.

This is continuing down Comm Ave, with the Reservoir on the right. In just a two weeks this area will be lined with people for the Boston Marathon!

When we made our way down Comm Ave to Cleveland Circle, where we popped into a Dunkin’ Donuts to use the restroom and buy waters. Pictured below is 1950 Beacon Street, Katy’s crazy off campus apartment that she lived in Junior year of college. I have a laugh every time I pass this apartment with how many crazy parties we threw there when we were 21. Oh college..

From there we veered off the Marathon route and ran around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, which was extremely windy. Luckily we had each other and kept chatting away.ย This is when we took the turn onto College Road, which cuts through Boston College’s campus. Pictured here is Katy’s dorm from Sophomore year.

We picked up the pace and ran quickly back down Heartbreak and the other hills of Newton. I had to point this porta-potty out, I’ve read about this before, but it was the first time I saw the Saucony Porto in person. Such a creative Out of Home Advertising execution which ACTUALLY adds value to the consumer’s life. Not many other media placements can say that ๐Ÿ™‚

When we finally reached our cars I couldn’t believe we were done. I felt so great that I wanted to keep on going for several more miles. However, in the interest in achieving my goals and avoiding injury, it was definitely best to stop. Some nice people walking by saw me struggling to take an extended arm photo of the two of us and they volunteered to take this photo ๐Ÿ™‚

Afterwards Katy and I decided to head to Blue on Highland to grab some lunch because our friend Zach was working. As you can see from the photo, Blue isn’t exactly a safe haven of sweaty restaurant goers, so we were very happy that it wasn’t particularly busy.

I’m definitely not a food blogger, but I was so hungry and the food was SO delicious I had to share. We split the Chicken Sandwich and we each ate a few of the Parmesan and basil fries w/ a truffle dipping sauce. HOLY MOLY amazing.

Then, we split the spinach-prosciutto pizza with roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, & pine nuts. DELICIOUS.

All in all, it was a fantastic run. We had so much fun chatting that I barely realized that the hills were challenging. This run with Katy was so much fun and it definitely has made me look forward to adhering to my training schedule and staying healthy throughout this training cycle. First week down, 17 more to go!

Heartbreak – Boston College Route 8.56 Miles/9:42 Pace/1:22:57

How to you refuel from long runs? Do you have any long run rituals?