Small Successes

We all want to see success in our lives, in our fitness routines, in our diets. But what happens when you get to a point, where for some reason or another, things seem to plateau? It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel like your hard work is getting you nowhere, especially if you’re someone starting out on a new routine or a new challenge.

But the truth is, in the world of health and fitness, big successes are often few and far between. It’s the daily grind, the tiny baby steps that bring us to our bigger goals, and those need to be celebrated just like the larger goals, or it can be difficult to realize that you are making progress, no matter how small.

This happens to all of us though — not only those who are just starting out on their fitness journey. For example, my workouts lately have been a little bit sub par for what I expect of myself. Work and life stresses, and a few random viruses here and there have meant that some of my training has taken a step back. My deadlift right now is not at my best, and I’m doing pull-ups in sets of 4 instead of 6-8. I went for a run last weekend that made me feel like I hadn’t run in years.

I could use these as reasons to hang my head and get discouraged, or I can decide to look at the whole picture and find the positives in all of this. The small successes that are bringing me back toward my goals after a little bit of an off time.

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This is one of my favorite graphics because it is SO true. Very rarely, if ever, does real life let you get to your goals in one straight shot! 

So what are the small successes that I’ve had lately in my training?

  • I pulled 185 on my deadlifts last week for sets of 3, sans lifting belt. Why is this a success when my 1RM is/was 235? Well, after not doing a ton of heavy lifting all summer, singles at 175 were really tough for me coming back in the fall. 185 is now starting to feel much easier, and although I’m not up to where I want to be in terms of strength, I am seeing progress and that’s what really matters right now.
  • I completed multiple sets of 4 pull-ups. Again, when I’ve done sets of 8 in the not-so-recent past, I could get discouraged with only 4. But pull-ups are something that I’ve found tend to decrease if you don’t do them very regularly, and I let myself slack on them big time this summer. A couple of months ago, I was struggling to complete multiple sets of 2, but now 4 comes pretty easily. I’ll be back in the higher rep range before I know it!
  • A great 5-mile run on Sunday. I’ve been running most Sundays recently, and while some days are certainly better than others, I tend to stick to around 4 miles. Yesterday, I went out with the intention of running my usual 4, but got to 4 and felt so great that I kept going to 5.3. I honestly felt like I could have easily run 6 or 7, but didn’t have time as I had to get to work. To my surprise, when I looked at my splits, mile 5 was my fastest mile! I’m no speed demon, but when I haven’t run 5 miles since last spring, I’ll take a great negative split, especially when I was running into a good amount of headwind. Small success yes, but for me, great runs like that are exactly what I need to motivate me to keep moving forward.

Runkeeper Splits

Mile 5 my fastest full mile? I’ll take it! 

None of these are groundbreaking. None of these will put me in the elite class of any type of fitness category. But they’re all successes for me, right now, and that’s what matters the most. Even if you just improve by 1 rep or 1 lb, that’s still 1 rep or 1 lb more than you could move last week. Small successes may not be flashy or get you a lot of outside attention, but they are the building blocks to get you to where you want to be. Recognizing these can keep you motivated to move toward those bigger goals, even when they feel so far away. Because every little step gets you closer, and before you know it, you’re exactly where you want to be.

Readers: What are some small successes you’ve enjoyed lately? Do you take time to recognize the small successes in your life or are you more focused on the bigger goals? How do you keep yourself motivated during times of plateau? 

Run For The Hills

During the summer months, I tend to do a LOT of hill training. Even when I’m not training for anything in particular, I love to run hills, and this summer is no different. I was excited to learn that our new neighborhood is extremely hilly — but that excitement turned to dread the first time I actually went out for a run around here.

Hills are a strange phenomenon — as much as I love them, I also hate them while I’m running them, because I’m pretty sure they’re one of the worst kinds of torture. But although tougher workouts don’t always mean better workouts, hills offer a whole lot of good and very little bad. So, why do I have such a love/hate relationship with hills, and why do I think you should be running them too?

Hill Training_Everyone's Doing it(And

First things first, let’s talk time commitment here:

Hills are efficient. 

You can get just as much work in during 20 minutes of hill repeats as you can in a 30-40 minute run, depending on the pace and elevation of your run. Since we all seem to have way less time than we actually need, replacing a steady state run with some hill repeats or hill sprints can cut your workout time in half while still giving you an incredible workout, both for your lower body and for your cardiovascular system.

Now, let’s talk about YOU:

Hills make everyone a sprinter.

Sprinting, true sprinting, is not for everyone. It can be dangerous for someone who is undertrained or over-fatigued, and many of us are just not trained to create that level of force and power in our lower extremities. Yes, we can all run “hard”, but true sprinting is not for the faint of heart (or your beginner fitness client).  Hill sprints, on the other hand, can be done by anyone. Because of the incline, the potential speed and power is much less, decreasing the chance of muscle strain or other type of injury for someone who is not a professional athlete.

On those same lines…

Hills equal less stress.

Yes, the stress on your lungs and the burn in your legs might feel impossibly hard, but the truth is, when running on an incline, the stresses to your knees, ankles and feet are much less. The incline leads to less forces at the point of impact when compared to flat surface running. Dealing with achy joints when you go out for a 4-5 mile run? Try a few hills instead (and also pair them with some strength training — it’ll help, just as long as you’ve been cleared and do not have a serious musculoskeletal injury.)

And for those of us who are feeling a bit lazy…

Hill training includes breaks.

Yes, you heard me right. When you are running hills, whether it is just repeats or sprints, I highly encourage you to take a specific rest time in between each rep. The idea is to let your muscles recover enough so that you can put full effort into the next hill run. And you know what? If you stick with this, over time, you won’t need those breaks to be as long. But remember to always listen to your body — there are some days when I can fly with only 15 second breaks in between sprints, and sometimes I need a full 30 seconds to a minute. Remember that we are not robots, we are humans, and our physical performance is influenced by so many factors in our lives.

So who’s ready to run some hills? Here’s a couple of sample hill workout that I do near my house. The hills that I run these on are pretty long, about a quarter of a mile up and back. Find a hill near you that fits your fitness level and your goals, and go! (And if you happen to live in an area without any hills — that is so foreign to me — these can always be done on a treadmill as well. Although the scenery won’t be quite as good!)

Basic Hill Repeats:

This one’s not too tough to figure out. Run up the hill at a challenging pace, though not a sprint, and jog back down. I tend to take about 10 seconds at the bottom before heading back up again. Do as many reps as you can — your last hill should be extremely challenging but you should still be able to complete it. Last time I ran the hill near my house that is about .3 miles up and back, I did 6 reps, or about 2 miles of repeats.

Pseudo-Sprints:

Find a long hill near you. Run as hard as you can for 30s, then without pausing, keep walking to the top of the hill. As your fitness improves, you’ll be able to get a little bit farther in those 30s, and you can increase the time to 35s or 40s as 30 gets easier.

Sprint Ladder:

This is one of my favorite ways to do hill runs. Run 6-8 reps at a “hard” pace, but not a sprint. Jog/walk back to the bottom, and recover for about 30s between each one. Then, over a shorter distance, sprint for 15s, repeat for an additional 6-8 times. You might be thinking “15 seconds? That’s too easy!” Well, give yourself a good enough hill, and those 15 seconds at a full sprint are all you need. Recover for about 45 seconds between these.

One of the main reasons I love running hills is because it’s really easy to see progress — can you do an extra rep? Is your speed better at the top of the hill? And I don’t know about you, but progress is what motivates me, and what makes me hungry for more. Do any of you do hill runs/sprints regularly in your workouts?

Finding Motivation: Marathon Monday

Yesterday was Marathon Monday, truly one of, if not the best day of the year in Boston. The city comes alive with such energy and love on this day every year, and this has only been amplified since the horrific bombings two years ago.

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Before the rain… getting ready to cheer on the runners from Mile 24!

In my 15 years in Boston, I’ve missed the Marathon only a handful of times due to work. I’ve been a medical volunteer at the finish line, and I’ve cheered my butt off for the runners along the route both at the finish line and a few miles out. Every year, I’m amazed at the perseverance it takes for people to reach these points. How do you run 24 miles and then push yourself to run 2.6 more when your legs are screaming and you’re having pain in places you didn’t even know existed? These are the types of things I may never know, but I love watching it all the same.

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This year’s marathon was a rainy, dreary, chilly day, but this didn’t stop thousands of runners from crossing that finish line. And that is the reason that the people of Boston and visitors from around the world were still out there cheering, still holding signs and ringing cow-bells. Because if these people, after training through the worst winter in history, could run 26.2 in pretty miserable weather — well, we could cheer in that same weather.

And the wonderful thing is that the rain may have soaked the city and every one in it, but it didn’t dampen the spirit of the day in any way. 

Watching a marathon is truly a magical experience if you pay attention. There are people of all ages, all sizes, all skill levels all completing the same goal. The elites are awe-inspiring to watch because of their grace, speed, and efficiency.  But the people at the back of the pack are just as inspiring, because they have put in just as much of a grind to get to that point.

Pushing yourself beyond what you previously thought your body is capable of — that’s inspiring. Running the course in fatigues and combat boots– that’s inspiring. Trekking through the wind, cold, and driving rain to reach your goal? That is inspiring. Pushing someone in a wheelchair who wouldn’t be able to complete that course on their own — that’s beyond inspiring.

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The lead women’s pack at about Mile 24. Love that there is 1/6 feet on the ground here! 

The truth is, even as someone who may never run a marathon in her life (I’ll never say never, but it’s pretty unlikely I’ll admit), watching a marathon is one thing that motivates me the most to be better. It doesn’t even necessarily motivate me to run more, as I’ve found a pretty great balance between running and lifting over the past couple of years. It just acts as a reminder that sometimes there are goals that seem bigger than us, goals that seem insurmountable, that we can reach if we just push beyond our comfort zone.

BostonMarathon.Lead

One of the lead males. The stride is amazing! 

The marathon is a reminder that we all have a little bit more in us when we feel like we have nothing left. It’s a reminder that heartbreak (hill) is not a reason to stop, but a reason to push further. It’s a reminder that we all can come together for a common goal, in support of each other, and find motivation from thousands of strangers.

And now for my favorite shots of the day…

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Hometown hero Shalane Flanagan… Photo credit here goes to my good friend Todd!

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Meb! Winner of last year’s Marathon. Had a tough race this year but finished with his head and hands held high! 

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Uzo Aduba.. AKA Crazy Eyes from Orange Is The New Black! Yes, I was tracking her, Yes, we screamed her name, and YES, she waved at us 🙂 

Perspective

Yesterday I decided to take my workout outside, since it was one of the nicest fall days we’ve had around here in a while. I walked up to the park near my house with the intention of walking my four mile loop that I ran quite often this summer. Once I got going though, the nice day got the best of me and I decided to do some jogging intervals with my walk. Since my injury, I haven’t run a lot, and higher intensity running still makes my headache pretty bad. So I took it easy and decided not to push too much, but just to run as much as I wanted without pressure.

I ended up running about half of the 4.5 miles, which felt great! It had been quite some time since I ran outside, and although  it wasn’t my most impressive “run”, it still felt wonderful. When I reached the entrance to the park at the tail end of my loop, I decided to keep the workout going with some moderate body weight exercises. I did some box jumps, elevated push ups, and rear-foot elevated split squats. During this, I was kind of upset that this is the level of intensity that I’m at right now — it’s frustrating to be so far away from where I was just months ago.

workout pic

At one point, after a set of box jumps, I turned around and saw an older couple who was in the middle of a walk. As I turned in their direction, the man started pumping his fist in the air, and yelled to me “You’re doing great! Keep up the great work!”. I smiled and waved, and then as I got into position to do some split squats, I overheard him say to his wife “Do you think you can do that?”

I then turned, and saw his wife, who must have been in her 60s at least, try some hops onto a smaller stone slab nearby. As I watched, smiling, the man started doing them too! Here they were, two people at probably retirement age, congratulating me on doing this workout and then giving it a go themselves.  I gave them a round of applause as the man exclaimed that they were “harder than they look!” and they went on their way.

It was such a funny moment, as just before then I had been frustrated with where I’m at. In my own eyes, I was doing less than I wanted to be, but in their eyes, I was strong and inspired them to try something new.

It’s all about perspective.

You may not be where you want to be in terms of your health and fitness, but to someone else, you are an inspiration. You may not have reached your goals yet, but that doesn’t mean that what you’re doing is unimportant. I’m not going to be where I want to be for a while, and I’m just going to have to learn to be okay with that. I need to ditch the ideas of what I “should” be doing, and the goals that I “should” be reaching, and accept that things might move a little slower than originally planned.

Happy Monday everyone! Have you ever had a funny fitness interaction when working out outside? 

What Am I?

I like to put myself into neat little categories. In fact, I like to put everything into categories. Ever since I was little, I’ve been putting things into lists (no joke, one of my favorite pass times when I was little was writing lists… ask my mom), into compartments, separating things.

I’m an athletic trainer. I’m a Mainer. I’m a Northeastern Husky (Husky pride!) I’m an Emerson Lion (Rawr). I’m an athlete. I’m a blonde. I’m a 30-something. I’m a wife. I’m a daughter.

I get frustrated when I can’t put myself into a category, like realizing that I fall somewhere in the middle of being introverted and extroverted. Why don’t I fit neatly into one or the other?

I’m a weight lifter.

I’m a runner. (*cough, cough*)

But I can’t really be both, can I?

I’ve been lifting weights seriously for about 4-5 years now, and I love it. I love everything about it, from the anticipation of a big lift to the feeling after completing a dead lift PR. I love the weight room, the strength progress, and the powerful feeling that comes from lifting almost twice my body weight from the ground. I love the feeling of the barbell in my hands, the weight of a heavy set of dumbbells. This summer, as I was running and training for Falmouth, I missed the weight room dearly. I was able to do some strength workouts with the equipment that we have at home (Kettlebells, pull up bar, rings, sand bag), but it just wasn’t the same as hitting the weight room.

And then this month I finally got back in there. I eased in with some upper body and full body lift days, nothing too heavy as I was getting closer to my race and needed everything in me to finish seven miles. Last weekend I finally put the bar across my back for some extremely light barbell squats, and I could hardly walk the next day. The pain was both exciting and humbling, as I was finally lifting again, but my work sets were done with a weight that is less than 50% of my max. (Yikes).

And then what did I do the next day? I went for a run. I am no longer training for a race; I no longer have to run during my free time on the weekends. Yet this past Sunday, I woke up and headed out for a 4 mile run, because it just felt natural and felt like what I should be doing. What I had been doing all summer. I’ve realized that I kind of like running, to a certain extent. I like getting out there on a beautiful day to run 3-4 miles. I find it calming and energizing at the same time, which is pretty awesome. I’ve developed a new appreciation for it — maybe that will last, and maybe it won’t, but for now I’m enjoying runs every now and again.

And then this week at stadiums, I crushed my PR for a full-stadium run by almost 3 minutes. That was all due to the run training I’ve been doing all summer. I feel lighter, I feel faster, and I feel good. But I don’t necessarily feel strong right now, and I miss that.

This has all left me with a bit of a fitness-identity crisis. I’m not quite sure where I fit in, or where I want to fit in. I know very well that distance running takes away from muscle and strength gains, an I don’t want that.  But I also know that going back to just weight room workouts (which I pretty much need to do if I want to train for a powerlifting meet) may leave me feeling slow and labored at stadium runs, and I don’t want that either. So there’s got to be somewhere in the middle, but I’ve spent so long on the strength training end of the spectrum, it’s difficult for me to creep back toward the middle.

I’m never going to be a distance runner, training for marathons and casually going out for 10 mile runs, but as a weight lifter/future power lifter, is it ok if I occasionally want to go out and run 3 or 4 miles? I know that it’s okay, that there are no rules governing what I do for my workout, but this is a different mind set than I’ve had for the past few years. For me, running has been hill sprints and stadiums, that’s it. And I do love both of those, but I’ve had some fun adding in traditional running as well.

And as I said before — this feeling may not even last, not when the roads turn icy and my safest option is the treadmill. At that point, 4 miles probably won’t seem quite so appealing.  So while I’m not really sure what exactly I want to do at this point, I know that what I don’t want to do is pigeon-hole myself into one category just for the sake of it. I am a weight lifter. I also enjoy running sometimes. And until one severely takes away from the other, I think I’m ok with being somewhere in the middle.

I’m a fitness enthusiast. I’m a strong woman. I’m competitor.

One of these days, I may compete as a power lifter. And at that time, I might have to stop running to compete at my highest level. Then again, maybe next summer I’ll train for Falmouth again, and lean more toward the running end of the spectrum. I’m okay with leaving things up in the air, because in the end I think the most important part of fitness is doing what makes you happy. Doing whatever feeds my hunger for competition and success is what I will stick with. For now, that’s a combination of strength training and running. And that’s ok.

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts: Race Edition

Well here we are, finally at the weekend of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race! I never thought I would say that I’m excited to run a seven mile race, but I really am. After dedicating myself to training for the past 8 weeks, I’m excited to see how much my hard work will pay off. Do I expect it to be easy? No, I know it’s hilly and probably has little shade, but I feel ready and that’s all I can ask for, right? It’s supposed to be a beautiful day, if not a little on the warm side, so I’ll do my best to stay hydrated and keep from over heating. My goal is not to run super fast — because that would just be ridiculous — my goal is to run and enjoy it, plain and simple.  With my excitement for race day though, I do have a lot of random thoughts running through my head (some totally unrelated to the race itself). Read on for a glimpse into my brain:

One day doesn’t matter.

Remember a couple weeks ago when I said I had a struggle of a 6 mile run when I was getting sick? Well the weekend following that, I ran a heavenly seven miles, and it was the closest thing to a runners high I’ve ever accomplished. The run felt like a breeze, my legs were light and springy, and I felt like I could have gone on for days. Talk about a confidence booster for race day! Then the next week, following a 500 mile drive the day before, I once again ran seven miles. This time it was hot. This time it was tough. This time I finished, but five minutes slower.

But you know what? It was that day that I realized that one day really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. One day’s run could be thrown off by sleeping too little the night before, not eating well the day before, mental stress, dehydration, over heating — the point is, there are so many factors that can affect one day of training. It’s so easy to beat yourself up about one bad day, but the truth is that it’s just one day. And when it comes down to it, the outcome of my race isn’t going to rest on that one bad training day, it’s going to depend on the 8 weeks of training that I’ve put in. So despite my tough run last week, my confidence is high going into this weekend, and I only hope I get that springy feeling back on Sunday morning!

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I’m so excited for this gorgeous finish! [Source]

I need some crickets.

Yep, you read that right. I recently heard a story on NPR about companies that are making products (cookies, protein bars, etc.) out of cricket flour. As in ground up crickets. At first it sounds really gross, but I really think as long as I’m not seeing them in “cricket” form, I would be totally okay with eating these products. There were a couple of companies mentioned (Exo is the only one I can remember off hand)who make these products, and I really want to get my hands on some. Cricket flour is apparently a very high quality protein source, and it just seems like something that you, readers of my blog might be curious  about, no? I’m more than willing to be a guinea pig and eat some cricket flour cookies if it means introducing you all to some new, healthy (and crazy) foods!

I’m running with Meb!

Ok, so I’m not really running with Meb, because he runs approximately 10x faster than I do, but it’s pretty cool to be running a race with some of the world’s most elite runners, even if I’ll never see them. 🙂 Especially after Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon this year, the fact that he’s here to run the Falmouth Road Race is pretty awesome. Despite not being a marathon, this race attracts some of the best runners from all around the world, and I’m excited to be a part of it! I may not be  as fast as Meb, but maybe running in his (super fast) footsteps will give me a little bit of race magic.

Meb

Here’s Meb about a mile away from winning the 2014 Boston Marathon! 

I guess I should stop saying I’m not a “real” runner.

Because if I’m not real, and this race isn’t real, than all of this training has been for nothing, right? Running may not be my passion, but I really have gained an appreciation for it through my training this summer. And I guess that running 3-4 times per week for the past 8 weeks means that this summer, I have actually kind of become a runner. I am anxious to get back in the weight room, but I have really enjoyed training and proving to myself that I can do something that I never thought I’d be able to do. I may not run marathons or even half marathons, but after all of the miles I’ve logged this summer, and the fact that I’m heading into a seven mile race means that I think I can actually start calling myself a runner. Temporarily at least. 😉

Readers: Are any of you heading to Falmouth this weekend? Have you ever/would you ever try a food made out of cricket flour? 

 

Training For The Falmouth Road Race

Hi All! Man, it feels good to be back on track and actually have some blogging energy in my brain!

I’ve mentioned previously that I’m running the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on August 17th. It’s a 7 mile course on Cape Cod, and although I’ve never run it before, I’ve heard that it’s an absolutely gorgeous, yet difficult, course. When New Balance first approached me about entering this race, I was hesitant, to say the least. After all, it’s pretty well known around here that I don’t consider myself a runner in any sense of the word. I took about a week and a half to think about it, and went for some runs during that time to gauge how I felt. First and foremost, I wanted to be sure that if I did decide to do this, that I would be able to safely train for 7 (hilly) miles.

If it were a 5k, I wouldn’t have thought twice, but 7 miles is a stretch for me. I’ve run a full 7 miles exactly once in my life, on a treadmill. And I’ve run a 10k exactly once in my life (well, before I started training this time around), about 5 years ago.  So to say that 7 miles scares me is a gigantic understatement.

But I think ultimately, that’s what let me to say yes. It scares the crap out of me, but after mapping out a training plan for myself, I realized that I could train for this safely if I really dedicate myself to it. In fact, I think when I responded to my contact with New Balance, my exact words were “That’s way outside my comfort zone, so I’m pretty sure that means I have to do it!”. I’m all about challenging yourself, and this would be a huge challenge for me. Yes, it would mean some time away from the weight room, and yes, it would definitely mean losing some of my strength because of that (distance running is a muscle wasting activity), but that’s ok. This is a new challenge, and I knew that just 8 weeks of run-training would not completely undo what I’ve done in the weight room. Once I get back in there after the race, I’ll just have to work hard to get back the little bit that I’ve lost. For the time being, I’m ok with that — it’s worth it to challenge myself in other ways.

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I mean… motivation… 

Pre-Training Prep

Like I said, I did have to stop and really figure out if I could train for this distance safely and smartly in 8 weeks. While I’m not a runner, I do weekly stadium runs, and for the few months prior to being invited to participate in this race, had really increased my conditioning workouts by adding in a lot of hill sprints, KB work, and bootcamp classes. Because of this, I wasn’t necessarily in “running” shape, but was at a pretty good cardiovascular starting point compared to just heavy lifting all the time. This is what really helped me out, I think.  Yet I also knew that repeats of 15-30s hill sprints with recovery time in between would never compare to running 7 straight miles of a hilly course, so some serious training was (and still is) needed.

Race Training

**Please note: This is NOT a training plan meant for anyone else. I am not a running coach, and frankly, don’t know the first thing about training for a race or coaching others to do so. I do have enough awareness of my body and sports medicine knowledge to get myself through this, but for a longer distance, I’d definitely follow a defined plan. 

I decided to start out slow and steady, because as an athletic trainer I’d say the majority of running injuries I see come from overuse over time, or simply just from doing too much too quickly. I mapped out a general plan for myself with 3 weekly runs, plus 1 stadium running day and 1-2 strength training sessions per week.

My weeks have generally looked like the following:

Monday – Moderate distance run

Tuesday – Strength training (mostly KB, rings, and bodyweight exercises at home)

Wednesday – Stadium runs – generally about 45 minutes, high intensity

Thursday – Rest or easy pace/short distance run

Friday – Short-Moderate distance run, occasional light strength training session

Saturday – Longer distance, easy pace run

Sunday – Rest

There have been some variations of this, but I’d say that this pretty much captures what my weeks have looked like. When I started, my Monday and Friday runs were 2 miles, and my “longer” run was 3. At this point, my Monday and Friday runs are anywhere from 3-4.5 miles, and my longer run has gotten up to 6 miles last weekend.

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Views from my 6 mile loop last weekend… and my new compression socks! 

How I’ve Been Feeling

When I first started out, I’m not going to lie, it was rough. Back in June, 2 miles was doable, 3 was hard, 4 was unthinkable. At this point though, 3-4 is easy, 5 is doable, and 6 is pushing it. Progress, no? I haven’t really been having any pain, but have had some nagging in my left plantar fascia (underneath my foot) and was having some chronic right calf tightness/soreness that magically disappeared once I got my new compression socks and tried them on my six miler. Yay for compression! The PF soreness I don’t love, but I’ve been faithfully rolling it out and it hasn’t gotten any worse, so that’s a good thing.

I will admit that the 10k that I did on Saturday (6.2 miles) was struggle city. Granted, I was coming down with a cold, and knew within the first mile that it wasn’t going to be a good day. In hindsight, I probably should have just scrapped that run and maybe would have recovered quicker from this virus, but I pushed through and finished — much to the chagrin of my immune system. Needless to say, the past few days since then haven’t been up to par for training. I did a very short run on Tuesday, but realized within 20 min that I still felt lethargic and dizzy, so that one ended quickly. I’ve been trying to rest up and hydrate a good amount, and am finally feeling back to normal, so an easy 3-4 miles is on the schedule for today with a 6-7 mile run on the docket for this weekend. I think after the struggle of last weekend, now that I’m actually feeling better, this weekend will be a better gauge of where I’m at in terms of being ready for this race.

I also just want to make it clear that I am not intending on “racing” this race — I’m smarter than that, especially with my inexperience and lack of long term training! My main goal is just to do it, finish it, and enjoy it. I think that’s doable, right?

Readers: Have you run the Falmouth Road Race before? Are you running this year? Have you ever taken on a new physical challenge that totally scared the crap out of you?