Next Up: Space Coast Half Marathon

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As I continue to make my triumphant return to running, I have my next big goal coming up next weekend – the Space Coast Half Marathon.

This will be my sixth year running this race, and I always look forward to a weekend of spending time with friends, running a great race, and getting into the Christmas spirit.

This year’s race is big for a couple of reasons.  It’s my first half marathon of the year.  I haven’t raced a half marathon since last year’s Space Coast (and technically, I had to walk the last chunk of it because I pulled my soleus).  So this is sort of the last big hurdle in my recovery.

Am I ready?  You bet.  I’ve been doing a ton of PT, and my coach made me run a 13 mile training run, so I know I can cover the distance.  Will it be fast?  Nope.  Though it probably won’t be my slowest Space Coast either – that honor goes to the first year I ran it, when I woke up with a crushing headache but refused to not at least try.  But I’m not letting myself look back at my previous race times.  I don’t want to know how much slower I’ve gotten because it doesn’t matter.  I don’t want that to be on my mind while I run – I just want to have fun.

Do I have a race plan?  Basically, don’t get hurt and have fun.  I think my sister may run with me, and I may also end up with some friends.  I’m certainly not planning to push myself.  The course has a time limit such that I could get lost, have a picnic, get back on the course, and still finish with time to spare, so it’s nice to not have that worry.

I am really hoping to end the year on a high note, since this time last year, I was struggling with hip pain and it was a frustrating way to end the season.  But really, finishing at all will be a win in my book.  And I’m confident I can accomplish that.  It’s been a long road to get here, but it’s been worth all the work.

 

 

Coeur Team 2019!

As many of you have probably seen on my social media, I’m super excited to be back on the Coeur Ambassador Team for the fifth year!

This team has truly become a family to me.  I love all of these ladies and I’m excited to get to know all the new members on the team as well.  Every single one of these people is amazing, and if you see any of us out there training or racing, don’t hesitate to say hi.  Need advice?  Just ask?  Just need a friendly face?  You’ve got it.

Seriously, just knowing these people has made me a better athlete and a better person.  They’ve helped me push out of my comfort zone and do things I never thought I could.  They supported me through my frustrating recovery, and I’d like to think I was able to support some of my fellow team members in the same way.

This is always a tough time of year when triathlon teams are announced, as there is excitement and hurt feelings all at once.  It’s so tough when a friend doesn’t make a team they were hoping to join.  I’ve definitely had my fair share of rejections over the years.

But the thing is, there are great groups out there.  So many great groups.  Awesome Facebook groups, various forums online, and groups like The Collective Beat, which is Coeur’s community team.  I joined this team last year and met so many awesome ladies, and will be joining up again for 2019.  Definitely check it out and see if it’s right for you.  It’s filled with very uplifting ladies who have created a phenomenal community.

If you prefer in person, check out your local triathlon club or clubs.  Can’t find one?  Make one!  Or at least see if you can’t find some local folks to bike or run with.  Create a Facebook run event and see who shows up.  It sounds intimidating, but it’s really super easy, and who knows who you might meet!

October Mileage Recap

I’d say I’m officially back to running.  With the Army Ten Miler under my belt and some more double digit runs on the way, it feels good to finally be able to train again.  I’m still working to bring the speed back as well and I am so stiff the day after a long run, but that will all improve with time.

I’m also starting to think about my 2019 race season.  I’m still going to be doing quite a bit of rebuilding, but I’m hoping for some big things come mid-year.  I’m not sure that I’ve mentioned it here, but next year, I’m tackling 70.3 Ohio!  I haven’t done a 70.3 since 2016, so this is going to be real test of my recovery.   Mostly, I’m just excited to race with a whole bunch of friends and do a bunch of stupidly long training rides.

October
Swim: 3.8 miles
Bike: 117 miles
Run: 54 miles

Not too shabby!  Considering I had a choir concert in there with a ton of hours of rehearsal, this is some pretty decent mileage.  Of course, as it’s getting cold, it’s getting harder and harder to go to the pool in the mornings.  I read somewhere that even Olympic swimmers loathe the moment they have to get into the pool on a cold winter morning, so it’s good to know that feeling’s never gonna fade.

2018 Totals
Swim: 52.1 miles
Bike: 1430 miles
Run: 209 miles

Why you shouldn’t run streak

madzArt / Pixabay

You see people posting all the time about their run streaks – they make it a goal to run at least a mile every single day.  They tally their running streaks – aiming for 100 days or 1000 days or simply aiming to never break their streak.  Now, in a perfect world, this would be fine.

I hate to break it to you, but we don’t live in a perfect world.  Life happens.  We get sick.  We get injured.  And you know what you should do when you’re sick or injured? Rest.

And yet people proudly proclaim how even though their knee really hurt or they had a fever of 102 degrees, they still managed to keep up their run streak.  This is not something to be proud of.  I’ve seen people talking about running through major injury, against doctor’s orders.  Just because they want to keep up their streak.

For some, the argument is “If I break my streak, it’s over and I won’t go back out for a run.”  And on some level I understand that.  But maybe it’s time to find something different to motivate you.  Maybe instead of a run streak, you make it a goal to do something active every day. If you have a sick day or an injured day, maybe you do some easy stretching or some very gentle yoga.  You’re moving your body but not putting yourself at risk.

On Twitter, you will see the hashtag #restdaybrags.  I love this hashtag.  It was created to counter the run streak and to emphasize that rest days are good.  Resting is good for your body. Recovery is a huge element in training, one I think too many people ignore.

I admit, I don’t love when I miss a workout either because I’m sick or injured or plain exhausted.  But listening to my body is a hugely important part of my racing plan.

I’m sure a number of my friends will disagree with this post.  I’m sure that there are plenty of people who have seen quality results from run streaking.  But there are plenty of people who have run through illness and injury as well.

While I think everyone should take rest days, if you’re absolutely stuck on the run streak, maybe you shorten the interval.  Instead of just going for the maximum number of days, how about a 10 day run streak?  You aim to accumulate 10 day run streaks.  So the 11th day starts a new streak.  Or maybe you take a rest day and start over.  This way, if on day 4, you’re sick in bed, no big deal, just take a rest day and start the ten day streak over.  You can still count the streaks.  “I’ve done 50 10 day run streaks!”  But you are also allowing yourself to listen to your body.

I think most runners have heard from non-runners “Why do you do that? You’re going to destroy your body.”  And we all deny that and talk about how running has made us healthier.  But if we don’t listen to our bodies, those non-runners are going to be right.

September Mileage Update

September was an amazing month mileage wise.  So much so that I even went back and double checked the numbers.  This was a pretty big month, training wise.  Not only was I pushing towards Giant Acorn, but I also needed to get my mileage up for this weekend’s Army Ten Miler.

I can’t say that I felt like I was putting in a lot of miles. I was just making sure to put in the time and get in my workouts.  Clearly those small things add up.

September Totals:
Swim – 8.3 miles
Bike – 124 miles
Run – 63 miles

63 miles on the run!  That’s insane!  That’s higher mileage than I’ve had in so long.  I used to aim for 50 mile months, so 63 miles feels crazy.  I did go through a bit of a struggle where my quad started to knot up again, but that has been pretty easily resolved with some regular work on the foam roller.  Almost every day, I spend about 20-30 minutes on the foam roller, focusing only on my lower body and mainly on my left side.  It’s my excuse to play on my phone.

2018 Totals:
Swim – 48.3 miles
Bike – 1313 miles
Run – 155 miles