20 milers are better with company

IMG_20170708_143002_732

20 miles done! 🙌 Today was the first time I’ve ever run in public with just a sports bra on. 🙈☀️ I ran 12 miles on my own and then came back to get the stroller (because my husband had a tennis match 🎾) and took the opportunity to take off my shirt while I could hide behind the stroller. 😂 I kept my heart rate around zone 2 for the whole hot hilly run and I love how much stronger and more consistent I felt all the way to the end with heart rate monitoring! . . . Unfortunately, I had a pretty crappy ending to the run in which a man yelled at me around mile 18 and wouldn’t step to the side of the sidewalk. I don’t understand why people can be so rude, especially when sleeping babies in strollers are involved. 😖 . . . #motherrunner #thuleurbanglide #strollerrunning #bestlittletrainingbuddy #21monthsold #longrundone #20miler #marathontraining #womensrunningcommunity #womenrunning #runbeyondpace #milestonepod #sauconyzealot #runyourworld #honeystinger #radrabbit

I just finished my second 20 miler for this training cycle, and I’m so glad to have a little bit of a base going into my marathon. The plan that I had been following was very low mileage and high intensity. Since I cut out the intensity, I feel much more comfortable going into the race with a little volume under my belt.

This run felt much stronger than my last 20 miler in Hilton Head, and I ran faster, on more hills, and with more miles with the stroller. This heart rate tracking is really great! I have no idea what to expect going into the San Francisco marathon. I’d love to be able to run fast, but the hills in SF are so much bigger than anything I’ve encountered here.

My shins are not hurting, but I’m aware of tightness in my soleus.  I also have a little tightness in my hamstring. So, I’m rolling a bunch to be preventative. I have been using Rock Tape for my shins, and it seems to make a big difference. I know that there could be some placebo effect there, but I did not run with tape yesterday, and I definitely felt my shins and calf more on that 3.5 mile run than I did today on my 20 mile run.  Here’s an interesting article explaining different sides of using tape. Most proponents will claim that kinesiology tape is useful to improve healing, lymphatic drainage and stability.  Rock Tape is one of the stickier brands, which helps it be more effective (although it’s more expensive).

How many long runs do you do leading up to a marathon? This training cycle is only 7 weeks for me, and my shin scare has made it a bit unconventional!

(No) Shin Pain, a 20 miler, and the Heat of Hilton Head

 

IMG_20170629_131307_981

That time I decided to run a 20 miler in the late morning of a Hilton Head summer, finishing the last five miles with a stroller… 😂😌💦🌞A lot can happen in 20 miles! I found a dirt trail and went off road for a bit🏞️, got back on the road and got lost🤔, ran out of water and had to ask a nice construction worker for a refill💧, met up with my husband and picked up a sleeping beauty to finish out the run👶. Thank you @thrunningwife and @katyhaytay for the pep talk last night! 😘 #longrundone #motherrunner #strollermiles #strollerrunning #thuleurbanglide #motherrunner #marathontraining #womensrunningcommunity #womenrunning #hshive #honeystinger #radrabbit #runinrabbit

I often have more to say on instagram than I think anyone will want to read while scrolling, so I thought I’d try adding to the blog to see how it goes.

We are in Hilton Head for the rest of the week, and I’m so happy to be on vacation with my family! My shins started giving me concerning pain about a week ago, so I’ve been incorporating more cross training on the bike and on the stair climber to help the inflammation. My doctor suggested that I decrease volume by 50% and roll my calves like crazy. My PT agreed, and said that tight calves are the cause to my pain. So I cross trained for several days to give my leg a better shot at running over this vacation. I’ll be back on the bike when I get home.

I’m currently training for the San Francisco Marathon, but my training has been a bit curtailed by this injury.  My traininig plan for the last year has been low volume, high intensity, with a ton of strength work. Given how my shins feel, I plan to go back to a more volume based training style and stop beating my body up so much. I haven’t just gone out for a normal run in so long, and this is a welcome change!

To boost my confidence, I decided to run a 20 miler today while we were in Hilton Head. Most marathon training plans contain several 20 mile runs, but my plan did/does not.  It’s been a while since I headed out for a long run! Today I ran the first ~15ish miles solo, and then I met up with my husband and took the stroller for the final 5 miles. Whew! The stroller is pretty easy to push on mile 1, but by 15, I was struggling.  Overall, it was a hot, thirsty, great run with no shin pain.  I found a dirt path at mile 4 and enjoyed an easier terrain for my legs. Then I got a little lost and had to ask a construction worker for more water before gps-ing my way back to our condo.

One thing that I added to make this more than just a plain ol’ long run were strides every two miles. I only did 20 seconds of strides, and I kept the frequency lower because I want to protect my shins. Here’s a really helpful article about strides.  I plan to decrease the number of intervals that I run in training and increase the strides that I add. We’ll see how it goes!

IMG_20170629_144931_540

If you’ve been following me over the last couple of days, you know that I have had shin pain that’s scared me onto the bike for cross training and changed the way that I’m approaching my upcoming marathon. 🚴‍♀️ One thing that’s been extremely helpful for me to know myself better as a runner and determine if the shin pain is related to my gait is the @milestone_pod. 👟🤔It tells a fun little story and makes me a better runner. 🙌 I didn’t have any shin pain on my run today, thankfully! I still have one little spot that’s tender to the touch, so I’m not out of the woods yet. 😊 #gobeyondpace #milestonepod #motherrunner #strollerrunning #thuleurbanglide #womensrunningcommunity #womenrunning #marathontraining #hiltonheadisland #runyourworld #sauconyzealot

I love using the Milestone Pod to track my metrics.

IMG_20170629_145540_517

Hope you are having a good week! I keep forgetting that it’s not the weekend. 🙂 Do you like to run on vacation or take a break on vacation?

Unstructured training (break) between training

I’ve been enjoying a little unstructured time since my last race, and it’s been great to get extra sleep and decide how I’m feeling in the morning to determine what kind of workout or run I want to do. Cadence still does not sleep through the night at 19 months, and I feel like I’ll be digging myself out of this sleep deprivation hole until she graduates from high school.

My favorite runs have been with Cadence in the stroller, and I forgot how challenging that can be!  It’s so fun, but we haven’t done any high mileage together, and I think Cadence is at an age where she’s not about to fall asleep and risk the chance of missing anything. We ran 13 miles together on Saturday, which I managed to extend from our usual hour by bribing her with Cliff bar bites throughout the run.

I’ve been getting at least 45-60 min of cardio a day, as well as 3x upper body and 3x lower body strength work each week.  My legs don’t feel quite as fresh and fast as I’d like for them to be, but I have no goals this month that require for me to push hard, so I’m enjoying a little less speed and a little more baby time.

I plan to keep May unstructured and move back into training in June/July for non-goal races.  I am signed up for the Peachtree Road Race 10k on July 4, and I’m also running the San Francisco Marathon (as an elite!) on July 23.  Neither of these races are A goal races, but I want to perform well and have a good time.  There are a couple of other races that I’m considering, but nothing else on the calendar.

I will most definitely be focusing on road racing for a bit now that Gorge Waterfalls 100k is behind me.  I just don’t have the bandwidth to run on trails enough to be competitive on the technical stuff.  Plus, I really like road racing.

Based on my last race at Gorge, and my future goals, my two main areas of focus are 1. getting stronger on the hills (San Fransisco!) and 2. being mentally tough and confident.  I felt so strong for my sub 3 hour marathon in January, but it all kind of unraveled for me when I got out on the course of Gorge. But that’s how you grow. 🙂

There’s a quote by Alan Webb that I love: “Experience is something that you gain… after you need it so much.” So true, huh?

IMG_20170430_102828

What are you working on right now?

Running with a jogging stroller: the perfect little pacer

Running with Cadence in the jogging stroller is one of my absolute favorite things to do.  It combines two of the things that I love the most–my baby and running!  (Add my husband and the dog, and I’m in heaven!)  Here are some of the guidelines and experiences I have had with stroller running:

Our stroller, the Thule Urban Glide: My husband and I chose the Thule Urban Glide as our jogging stroller after I read that Steph Rothstein liked it.  We went to REI and walked around the store with a couple of brands.  The decision was between the Bob and the Thule, and the Thule won because it is lighter by a couple of pounds, and it is more compact and easier to maneuver.  We’ve had a great experience with the brand.  We actually had to exchange our original stroller because the wheel was wobbly at fast speeds (we read reviews that all jogging strollers can have this defect), and Thule was fantastic to replace our original stroller with a brand new one.

When I started running with Cadence: Cadence was born at the end of September, and she was a smaller baby.  Our pediatrician said that her head control would be fine to run with her at 3-4 months, but since it was winter anyways, we decided to wait until she was a little bigger.  In February (about 4.5 months), we took her for a run in the jogger, but she still needed to be in the car seat with the adapter because she was still pretty small.  I LOVED every minute of it!  Running with the car seat adds weight, and it makes the stroller a bit top heavy, but nothing is better than looking at your baby the whole time that you run!  I got all kinds of baby smiles and peaceful sleeping views.

How far I’ve run with Cadence: The longest I’ve run with Cadence is 13 miles so far, but I think I could run with her much longer.  She’s really content in the stroller and I feel like my endurance could handle longer distances.  When I was training for Boston, I needed to get in a 20 mile run, but my husband had an early morning event on Saturday, so I ran 7 miles on my own, and came back for Cadence to finish my 20 mile training.  Having a baby has definitely changed the way that I approach training!

How much does it affect my speed: This is actually one of my favorite things about running with Cadence.  Running with the jogging stroller forces me to slow down.  I have to make stops to make sure that everything is ok up front.  I like to talk to Cadence while we run.  I have to go slower on steep downhills and watch the curves.  As every runner knows, we can beat ourselves up over the numbers, but running with Cadence takes all of that away.  It’s also a really great workout!  With the carseat attachment, I was pushing about 50 pounds.  Now that C is bigger, the stroller is about 23 lbs and she is about 17 lbs = ~40 lbs.

 

Now back to the speed.  I estimate that I am about 30 sec to a minute slower with the stroller, but I also choose to run with the stroller on my easier runs when I don’t intend to push it.  Uphills are obviously  a little slower, and I also have to hold back on the downhills.  My neighborhood is really hilly, so it is a great workout! My average easy run with the stroller is typically about an 8:30 pace. I did my first tempo run the other night with the stroller, and I was surprised at how easily I was able to maintain a faster speed even though I had the stroller.  I was easily running low 7s around my neighborhood for the tempo, and Cadence was fine.  It ended up being a great way for C to get a nap and for me to get in a little added resistance.

How does Cadence do? So far, Cadence has been a great running buddy!  We started walking with her in the stroller from the start of her little life, and she seems pretty used to it.  Every night my husband and I walk with Cadence and our golden retriever around the neighborhood, so the jogger is pretty routine for her, whether running or walking.  For my runs, Cadence normally looks around and “talks” to me in the beginning, and then she falls asleep.  I don’t count on it always being that easy, but I’ll take it while it lasts!

IMG_20160630_191316

A few things that I don’t leave the house without: Sunscreen slathered all over Cadence in the summer and a hat! The sun can still peak through the stroller canopy, and her little feet are exposed. (We bundled her up when we ran with her in the winter.)  We normally have a spare bottle of water in the stroller just in case the adults need it, but we don’t really worry about much else.  I’m not about to change a diaper on the sidewalk, so if there is an emergency, I’d just run home.  So far, we haven’t had any reasons to have to run home for anything (other than a pit stop breastfeeding session). In the winter, we added little lights to the stroller, but we haven’t had to use them in the summer.

I’m sure that I will have more things to learn as Cadence gets bigger and her development changes.  I can’t wait to see how my little running buddy continues to grow and share things with me.

Do you run with your baby?  Any tips as they get bigger?