Training Update and Thanksgiving

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:

11.18 training

11.25 training

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;)

No matter the weather, the terrain, the distance or the pace there is beauty in every run. You just have to be willing to see them.

No matter the weather, the terrain, the distance or the pace there is beauty in every run. You just have to be willing to see them.

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!

IMG_8796

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.

Growling at the bears in the hotel lobby.

Growling at the bears in the hotel lobby.

Breakfast with cousins!

Breakfast with cousins!

Visiting the fire trucks thanks to Uncle Steve. Jack is impressed.

Visiting the fire trucks thanks to Uncle Steve. Jack is impressed.

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!

Finally got to spend some "real life" time with my sweet friend!

Finally got to spend some “real life” time with my sweet friend!

Crazy kids. Snapped seven pics and not a single one without blur.

Crazy kids. Snapped seven pics and not a single one without blur.

My champion of a husband navigated us home through traffic. And the kids somehow managed to stay quiet and sleep most of the drive back to NH.

My champion of a husband navigated us home through traffic. And the kids somehow managed to stay quiet and sleep most of the drive back to NH.

 How was your thanksgiving? Are you training for any winter races?

–Sarah

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Comments

    • scanney says

      Thanks so much! I think building a base is so important and after fall racing it’s nice to take some time off before jumping right back into the hard training.

  1. says

    I have this SAME exact nag in my left leg! It desn’t bother me much when I am running, except I think it’s effecting my IT band. I should stretch more :-/

    • scanney says

      It’s so bothersome because a couple days off and I don’t feel a thing and then one hilly run and it flares up. Usually I’m super flexible can bend over/touch ground with ease but my left leg has reduced flexibility. Not exactly sure what to do.

    • scanney says

      Thanks:) Kind of fun to meet for the first time and already feel like you’re old friends! Fun to make a connection through writing.

    • scanney says

      I love that about blogging. It is something I never expected! But it’s so fun to connect and form friendships!

  2. says

    keep us posted with that sore hamstring! I’m having the same pain, and it’s so annoying! I find sitting on a heating pad before stretching, foam rolling, running, etc helps to loosen it up a little. Still just a temp relief, but has helped me some. I have a half-marathon this weekend, so I’m telling myself that I’m cutting back on the running after that to rest up too.

    Oh, and I totally just tried that bend over and jab my thumb into my butt move…and you’re right, it works. :)

    • scanney says

      Ahhaha! I’m glad you tried the totally-awkward-butt-stretch. Nice move! That’s what I told myself after my half in November, but running that half didn’t cause it to flare up too much so and I felt great after the race so I jumped right back into running a couple days after. Now I wish I had taken that a full week off the week after the race. I might be in different shape at this point if I had. Good luck in your race and listen to your body after;)

  3. says

    It’s fun to read about your plans! Congrats on a great 5k!! And, really cool you met up with Michele! Really neat. I hope your hamstring feels better soon.

    • scanney says

      Thanks for your advice about the hamstring issue. Hopefully I’ll still be doing that snowshoe race this winter! Its actually making me look forward to snow!

  4. Sarah Hussey says

    Well, it looks like a lot of us are in the same boat with that sore spot… That’s where my tight muscle is too… Must be all of our buns of steel :) And yes, I just tried the totally-awkward-but-stretch too… Felt good, but, well, awkward :) LOL!!! That is so exciting you got to meet Michele. I follow her blog too, but only just recently! You two look fabulous! I love your running outfit from the Jingle Bell 5k :) You look adorable! Hope to run with you again soon!! I’m going to be taking some time off from running after my Jingle Bell Half on the 14th to let my butt muscle loosen up too, and then kick off again for my 3rd half in April :) I would really be interested in the snowshoe race you mentioned!!! Could you send me some info??? That sounds awesome :)

  5. says

    You both have such adorable kids! That is so cool you got to finally meet up in real life. I’m with you on the getting up in colder weather. It’s really hard. And you are absolutely right, there is beauty in every run no matter where that might be.
    I have my first marathon next weekend so I will be done with serious training after that. Then a half middle of January!
    Hope your leg starts to feel better. I know that can be really frustrating!

  6. says

    SO fun that you and Michele got to meet up!! And that picture of all the kids on the couch is super cute! I hope that your hamstring feels better soon. That’s a tough one and I hope that you are able to find some relief.

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