It has been four weeks since my half marathon and my training has begun to pick up a bit. The first two weeks after the half I ran every other day, spent the non-running days cross training and had the chance to try a Barre class for the first time. Since then I’ve increased my mileage but not by much: the last two weeks I’ve run 30 miles each week. The past two weeks have looked like this:
Each run has been at an easy pace and I have yet to do any speed work or tempo paces. I did push the pace at the end of one of my runs and finished the last four miles of an eight miler in the low 7′s but that is as close as I have come to picking up the pace. I had a great ten miler yesterday. The weather was less than ideal but once I was out there the miles felt easy, even with the hills, and I just cruised along…or at least it felt that way;)
The Plan: For the forseable future I don’t have a specific plan simply because I don’t have a goal race in mind. My goal for December is to begin to build my base mileage back up to where it was over the summer 45-50 mile per week. In mid-December my running club will begin indoor track workouts. I’m looking forward to those, but I’ll have to finagle some babysitting since they happen in the middle of the day.
Races: I ran a Jingle Bell 5K last weekend pushing Sophia in the stroller. It was a fun local race and it kick-started our girls day out. I dressed up for a race for the first time ever. I’m not one for sparkly things and costumes, but it was fun to wear my Sparkle Skirt again (I received the sparkle skirt when I ran Hood to Coast with Nuun Hydration)…it paired so nicely with my ugly Christmas sweater. We ended up finishing the 7th woman/women and placed third in my age group in a time of 22:48. Sophia spent the rest of the day together, it was a fabulous time!
Right now I don’t have any races planned. I’d like to run a spring marathon, but I haven’t made any moves towards a specific race. As for the winter, I know I’d like to try a snowshoe race. There is a whole series of races here in NH. I’m not sure I want to commit to the whole series but I may try the closest race, which falls mid-February.
Motivation: It is a bit harder for me to get out of bed in the morning to run when I’m not training for a specific race. And the colder, wetter weather doesn’t help. I’ve done a few of my recent runs on the treadmill at nap time, which has worked out fine, but I don’t like leaving the run for later in the day. I like running in the morning because it gives me time to think about and mentally prepare for what lays ahead. On some mornings that is enough to get me out of bed and head out in the dark: knowing I’ll have some alone time.
With that said…I have this nagging tightness in my left leg. It’s been there since August and I’ve been stretching through it but it hasn’t completely gone away. The tough part is that the tightness is at the top of the group of hamstring muscles, up underneath the gluteus maximus muscle. It is an impossible area to foam roll because it is so deep in that muscle group. I’ve tried the stick, the Tiger Tail, foam rolling, sitting on a tennis ball, sitting on a FootRubz ball, foam rolling with a PVC pipe, massage and chiropractic. All these things alleviate the tightness for a time but anytime I run and there are hills involved (which is pretty much every run, since I live on the side of a hill) it feels like it winds back up and is tight again. The only way I’ve been able to get at the tight area specifically is if I bend over and jab my thumb deep into the tissue of at the base of my butt. Super attractive. Even my husband gives me the “what-the-heck-is-going-on-over-there” look.
I think that the only way to help the situation is with rest, more stretching, more massage, more chiropractic. I took only a day off after this last half marathon and I think to let this heal I need quite a bit more off than a day or two. So this coming week I may be avoiding running completely. I’d rather do it now before I start ramping up the mileage, than try to run through it an derail any hard work later on down the road. So this week I’ll be focusing on the cross training, do a little yoga and maybe take another Barre class.
We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We spent the weekend with family in the Poconos and it was an all-too-quick blur of driving, eating and sleeping.
We did manage to take detour through Staten Island on the way home and I had a chance to finally meet up with my sweet friend Michele, from NYCRunningMama.com. We became friends through our pregnancies with our sons: Jack (mine) and Ryan (Michele’s) are only nine days apart. Originally we were due a day apart in September, the 26 and 27th and followed each other’s pregnancies closely. Michele is an incredibly inspiring mother-runner, who has completed an Ironman. I’m always inspired and motivated by her training. It was great to finally meet and our kids had a great time playing together. It was well-worth the trip!
How was your thanksgiving? Are you training for any winter races?
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