Forgive the length, this is what happens when I don't blog for a few weeks!!! ;-)
Since our marathon a few weeks ago, I've had a couple rough patches. The following weekend we were supposed to run 20 on Saturday and 14 on Sunday (I know!!, crazy!) I was still on a high from my PR. I noticed a twinge in both my hamstrings on the shorter runs during the week but I was like obviously you can't run your fastest marathon time ever and then not be sore. Normally we would have taken at least a few days off then a bunch of short runs but since we are in the middle of 50K training no rest for the weary. Anyway on Saturday's 20 miler. I started off right away with some pain in my left hamstring. So I kept the pace down and kept going. I was feeling sore and slow but not unexpected. Around mile 16 I began having sharp pains in my low back and left hip. It became debilitating. AHHHHH I was so frustrated!! I ended up walk/running the rest of the run. I made my 20 miles (mostly because otherwise I would have been stuck in the middle of the trail) I knew it didn't look good for Sunday but I wanted to at least try. Emir convinced me to at least just use the treadmill so that way if I had a problem I could easily just stop. Sunday was also Easter so I woke up super early to try to get the run in before church. I woke up a few times during the night because it actually hurt my left hip to lay on it :-( I took a few slow run steps on the treadmill and couldn't take it. I also knew that it was most likely in my best interest to not run Sunday and have my off day Monday to hopefully overcome this. At first I was really disappointed to be missing this run completely. I was just excited to run so many miles in the last few weeks but I got over it. (BTW even with missing this run, 200 miles for March!!! My highest ever in one month) Then I began to really start to worry about how bad my hip hurt. We have two more marathons and our 50K coming up. I didn't want to be sidelined now! So I took action. I foam rolled the crap out of my legs and iced my hip many many times over that week. I stretched many many times that week and I began a glut and hip abd strengthening program. Yes of course I know how important these muscles are and that yes I should be doing strengthening exercises a couple times a week buuuuut what can I do sometimes??? I am a working mom of two young kids. We have been logging a solid 45-50 miles a week for a while now which some weeks can be challenging just to get our runs in. One of us will literally run in the house as the other one is running out. Then run back in barely get a shower and off we go to whatever we have that day. I'm not complaining. I love running, love my kids, my husband but sometimes something has to give and usually that's any other physical activity other than our runs. Anyway lucky for me I was only still a little sore come Tuesday so I was able to get back on my schedule and complete all my runs. By the following week, my hip and back were pain free, THANK GOODNESS!! :-)
Last weekend we went to our shore house for a 3 day weekend since they were forecasting beautiful weather, for once they were right. We had a few wonderful runs down there. There's nothing like running on the boardwalk, sea wall and ocean drive in the beaming sun reflecting off the sand and ocean. I had some instep soreness on my longer run but I was wearing my Altra Torins which I don't tend to wear all the time. They also aside from the Zero Drop don't have any instep support the way all my other shoes do. I think I need to stick to shorter runs for those unless I decide to gradually work them in so that I can do long runs in them. Today I did my 16 miler in my Saucony Viratta's which also are 0mm offset however I never have an instep problem with them, I'm guessing they have more support in that area. I just want to say how much I freakin love my Virrata's. I'm not one to obsess over gear, shoes, etc but I have fallen madly in love with these shoes. They are light, comfy and I ALWAYS run fast in them. Of course they were what I was wearing for my 3:59 marathon. While on this topic of running gear, I wanted to take a minute to discuss something. Like I said I'm not really a "gear freak" per say but at this point I do have a ton of it. I'm lucky enough to have an awesome running connection. My sister-in-law is the Fitness Editor for Fitness Magazine ( @FitnessJenna ) She not only gives me the latest and greatest gear for birthdays, Christmas and just because occasions but she has also hooked me up with some gear testing opportunities, hence the 6 pair of running shoe rotation I have going on right now. Honestly, if it wasn't for her I would still be running in cotton t-shirts, mesh shorts and the cheapest running sneakers that I would prob wear for 600 miles +. One of the reasons I got into running in the first place was because it was affordable. I didn't need to belong to a gym or a pool to get my workouts in. I didn't need tons of equipment or gear to work out. And if I wanted to do a race, it's not hard to find reasonably priced events locally. However lately the running gear/shoe market has been booming and going CRAZY!!! I mean I did realize that for marathon/ultra distance training/racing it is necessary to have a few "running" pieces of apparel for the longer runs. I learned that the hard way with some MAJOR shafing episodes. I also know that you really do need a pair of shoes that suits your running style and yes I do admit they can't last forever or you will get injured. But is it really necessary to spend SO MUCH on this stuff? Before Jenna was able to start supplying me ;-) I would find extremely reasonably priced running things at Kohl's and Target that weren't usually any "special" brand. I never really had any problems with any of this stuff. Now that I have the higher end name brand things, yes it usually looks nice and feels nice but is it really that much better? Is it worth the money? I don't really know the answer. I do know however that the last couple of weeks I have been testing sports bras for Fitness Magazine. They are all higher end running bras. 3 of the 4 bras are in the $30-40 range. The 4th is actually $75. Can you believe that?!? I would NEVER spend that on a sports bra but maybe I'm just a cheapskate ;-) Anyway I've been pretty happy with most of them. However would you believe that the $75 bra has shafed my back pretty bad TWICE!?! So it just proves my point that "name" and cost don't always mean better. Ok end rant ;-)
Blue Ridge Marathon. Blue Ridge has over 7200 feet in elevations over 3 mountains (yikes!!) It has been deemed America's Toughest Road Marathon so it's no joke. Today's run was nothing compared to this marathon but I hadn't really done any hill work in a while so I had really been questioning what it would feel like. It actually felt pretty good and I enjoyed it. I think at this point with all the miles and miles that we have been putting in, our legs have a pretty good base. We aren't going to break any records but I feel confident that we can do it. I'm also feeling pretty good since we just got a huge package from Tailwind Nutrition to help fuel us up those mountains! :-) LOVE THAT STUFF!