Monday, November 30, 2020

Not-Sure-What-I'm-Doing November

November 2020 in review!

Total mileage for the month:  144.5
  • Nov. 2-8:  7.1
  • Nov. 9-15:  27
  • Nov. 16-22:  42.8
  • Nov. 23-29:  58.5
Put this in the bad race pics file!
I also can't look at it without laughing.
This was our marathon day.

  • Nov. 21:  5k pick up within a 10.2 mile run.
  • Nov. 28:  6 x 0.1 pick ups within the second half of my long run (pick up paces of 6:08, 5:56, 5:52, 5:57, 5:48, 6:03).  I like little workouts like this a lot during base building because I always feel better during/after the pick ups than I did in the first half of the run!  They really perk up my legs.
  • Strides:  Nov. 25, 30.
  • Elliptigoing:  I learned that the "real" ElliptigGO riders call this GOing.  I did mileage of 130.8, 10.4, 25, 23.6 - clearly there is an inverse relationship with my running mileage, and my training volume was also affected by illness Nov. 12-17.  Workout-wise I did 10 x 0.5ish hill reps on the ElliptiGO on Nov. 5, and on Nov. 7 I did some pushes within my long ride.
  • Strength Training:  weekly totals of 2:00, 2:40, 3:02, 3:13 - this is not counting the extensive amounts of time I spent standing on one leg to work on my balance and proprioception!
  • Yoga:  I cut out yoga after learning that while it may make my hip feel better in the short term, it may be making it worse in the long term!  I did a little stretching after nearly all runs but nothing crazy and avoided the couch stretch, pigeon, and similar positions that may make my hip too mobile.  I am learning that I need to pick strength over stretching always.

I love my ElliptiGO but running
will always be my top love

We run-stalked Rebecca on her birthday morning

Long Runs:
  • Nov. 7 - 35 miles on the ElliptiGO, which was an ElliptiGO distance PR and probably like running about half that distance.  The weather was beautiful and I just went out thinking I'd ride whatever I felt like, and I felt really good until about 31 then I headed home.
  • Nov.  21 - 10.2 miles with a 5k pick up at 6:43, 7:07 (uphill), 6:41.  This was a nice little intro to running faster than 7:30-8:30 pace like my other runs were, but nothing crazy.
  • Nov. 28 -  14 miles with 0.1 pick-ups each mile of the second half, described in workouts.  I ran with Casey, Abby, Missy, Rebecca, and Claudio, and we ran a route we'd never done before, going through MSU, Drury, and OTC campuses, which was fun.

Wet long run
Running Highlights:
  • Just running is a highlight.  I want to train hard, I want to run high mileage, I want to run killer workouts, I want to be competitive, and I want to PR-chase - but more than any of that I want to run every day (6 days a week would be acceptable and is what I'm trying for as long as I can restrain myself).
  • My running group had nice outdoor brunch after our November 21 run.
Missy placed 3rd OA female at Bass
Pro, but as her bib shows she is really #1

Several of my training buddies after Bass Pro


Life Highlights:
  • COVID testing is not a highlight, but it sure is memorable.  I was 99% sure I had bronchitis, which is about all I ever get (although I get it every year, since about age 6), but the doctor wanted to be safe and test me due to my occupation.  I had bronchitis. It was nice to have a confirmed negative though!  I had an asymptomatic test at work a few months ago so I knew what I was in for and it was much worse the second time because I knew what I was in for.  I may only be saying this because I'm not in top race shape, but I'd rather not race than do that 3 COVID tests in the week before a race thing!
  • Thanksgiving was a much smaller affair than usual, but we hosted my parents at our house.  I made several traditional sides and Jon smoked ribs and brisket in place of turkey (his idea, but I was all about it because I didn't want to cook a turkey, although my mom ended up bringing one anyway!).
I took a lot of pictures of my cats this month

The ketchup bottle contains homemade BBQ sauce, &
the largest dish is spaghetti squash...not sure what these
things say about us!

Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, & blackberry
cobbler all made with produce we grew

Forced selfie

Albani has outgrown family photos

Guess this will have to do for our 2020
Christmas cards, hah!

More forced photos

Nugget loves his grandma

Matching pjs!

  • Monogamy by Sue Miller
  • Still Me by Jojo Moyes
  • Listen to the Marriage by John Jay Osborn Jr.
  • When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley
  • Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice by Bryan Stevenson
  • Lou in Lockdown by Jojo Moyes
  • Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby
  • 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
  • The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
  • The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Piccoult
  • The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft
  • No Happy Endings by Nora McInerny Purmort (I almost waited until December to finish this one just so I could conclude the final month of the year with it, since that seemed fitting)
Theme for the month:
One day at a time.  Overall I'd say I began the month catastrophizing in regards to my hip and ended it stable.
Quote that I agree with:  "And the worst thing about being young is not being able to appreciate that you're young because you aren't old enough to know better." - 28 Summers

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Hip Impingement Help

I wish I'd have found a list of advice like this when I initially found out I had hip impingement, so in case anyone else is struggling with this issue, I wanted to share:

*Stop running anytime you have pain. With this issue, pain begins before any damage occurs (our bodies are that smart!), so I have never had any injury to my labrum or hip cartridge because I have not run through pain.

*Stop sleeping on your side, which sounds so simple yet is challenging if you love your side sleeping like I do! I have changed to a back sleeper, although occasionally if I wake up a little before my alarm I'll give myself the treat of sleeping on my side for an hour or less.

*Start working on your proprioception by learning to stand on one leg with your eyes closed. I can stand on one leg all day with my eyes open, but when I first started working on this just a couple of seconds with my eyes closed was game over. I am now up to about 30 seconds on my weak side and 60 seconds on my strong side on good trials, but I want to get more predictably consistent.

Single leg balance!

*Start doing traction with a band to "pull" your femur bone away from your pelvis. This is kind of hard to explain, but see photo blow and feel free to comment with questions.  Lateral hip distraction with a band has also been helpful, and you can easily find videos of how to do it online.


*Strengthen your psoas and adductor muscles, as well as the internal and external rotators of your hips. Learning exercises to isolate these areas seemed to be a game changer for me.

*Hit single leg strength, balance exercises, and core work hard - I was already doing these but I think we can all do better on extras like this! The more running-specific the better.

*Stop yoga. I think yoga was helping my hip in the short-term but hurting it in the long run (same with stretching my hip flexors aggressively).  My yoga time seems to be better spent on strength training, which is unfortunate since I like yoga better.

*Use a standing desk - I was already doing this often but have been more vigilant about it.

*Stop holding tight to running goals (this is a nicer way of saying "give up"). The first time I got over this hurdle I'd acquiesced that I would not be able to really run again & I was training for a century bike ride. This time I gave up real quick & decided I'd train to ride my ElliptiGO 100 miles. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I really do think that giving up was helpful to me on this journey.  This may not be the case for everyone though!

I doubt my story with this issue is over, but I am thrilled about how much I have learned about it and that I am currently running (after just 2.5 weeks off this time) - researching it was seriously my part-time job for about 10 days! I hope that my work can help someone else who feels hopeless about having weird hip bones.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Odd October

October 2020 in review!

Total mileage for the month:  220.2
  • Sep. 28-Oct. 4:  67.8
  • Oct. 5-11:  81.1
  • Oct. 12-18:  69.1
  • Oct. 19-25:  21.8 
  • Oct. 26-Nov. 1:  (it was a pain-free mile - I'm just being super cautious and waiting until Monday, Nov. 2 to truly try to start back because I cannot need 4 months off again)
Yes, I look odd and don't care!

  • I'm pretty sure 2020 is going to remain the year that I ran only one actual race (the bronchitis Houston Marathon in January).  Let's move on!
  • October 2:  3 x 3k with 2:00 recoveries in 11:23, 11:18, 1:18 (2 warm up, 1.2 cool down).  Paces for 1.86 for those who think in miles (this workout drove my husband crazy; I told him that the next time he ran with us we would run 3 x 2 mile instead, hah):  6:05/6:08, 6:02/6:06, 6:02/6:05.  The target pace range was 6:11-6:19 and Christian and I swore we were starting at 6:19, but we both felt good, we ran a fast course, and the weather was spectacular.  Each time we came through the mile too fast we said we were backing off but didn't slow down much for the second half.  6:02-6:05 sure felt like 6:15 on this one!  I'm filing that away for another day when 6:30 feels like 6:15, since we all know that will happen too.
  • October 6:  2 x 20:00 at marathon effort with 4:00 jog between, in a 13.1 mile run.  The marathon effort paces were 6:33, 6:34, 6:32, 6:30, 6:36 (incline), 6:24 (decline), and based on my heart rate it was really good pacing.  The course we ran had light rollers the whole the way.  Christian and I ran this together, which probably made it feel easier, but we were also planning to work together in the marathon.
  • October 13:  2 x 2 mile tempo, 2 x 800 m faster, 2 mile tempo, all with 2:00 recoveries in 6:18, 6:18, 6:15, 6:21, 3:03, 3:04, 6:26, 6:24 (2.2 warm up, 2.7 cool down).  This one was a doozy!  My target tempo pace was 6:20 and my 800s were supposed to be sub-6:00.  I succeeded on the tempo with 6:20 average on the nose, but I couldn't find that faster gear for the 800s.  I felt strong but not fast on this one.  Christian, Sean, and Casey ran part of the workout with me, and we all decided we should have run it on a flatter course!  I was totally shot after the 800s and the others all stopped by that point, so I ran the last tempo with my heart (but also feeling like I was tanking to 6:50!) and was pleasantly surprised I managed to stay in the 6:20s while dead.  The workout course we recently switched to is a good 10+ seconds/mile slower than our fast workout course (we did the fast one on October 2), so it's not quite the same confidence boost but there is probably more benefit.
  • October 17:  18 with a 15 mile progression run, dropping 10 seconds/mile.  Christian had a 10 mile progression run scheduled for Thursday but I told her if she did it within her long run I'd run it with her since I had a progressive fast finish scheduled (although not this much).  She was in, and we planned to do 5 easy then 10 progression (then 3 cool down for me), but I realized that if we started at 8:40 we could do a 15 mile progression.  Our splits were 8:33, 8:22, 8:08, 7:47 (lots of downhill), 7:47 (likewise), 7:45, 7:13 (more downhill), 7:20, 7:16, 7:05, 6:55, 6:40, 6:34, 6:41 (incline and headwind), 6:29 (incline).  As you can see, we did not select the best route for this, but we ran miles 9.5-23.5 on the Bass Pro marathon course so this is just what we got!  It was reminder that long stretch down Jefferson from about 22-24 is always against the wind.  I am not sure exactly where the corresponding uphill was to the early downhill, but I am sure I will find it the next time I run that course.  My cool down miles were 7:27, 7:26, 7:32, so it was nice to not be totally dead (my cool downs are usually in the 8s).
  • October 20:  4 x 1 mile tempo with 2:00 jog, 6 x 200 m w/ 200 m jog, 1 mile tempo in 6:15, 6:21, 6:21, 6:33, 0:40, 0:42, 0:41, 0:42, 0:42, 0:46, 6:21 (2.1 warm up, 2.2 cool down).  I think I was still tired from the October 17 workout for this one - I told my coach she could tell me "That's why you should stick to your schedule and not run someone else's workout" (hindsight is also 20/20)!  I struggled some on the fourth tempo mile, which also had a lot of incline/uphill, and then on 200 m rep 5 my hip started hurting so I eased back on the last 200 m.  This wasn't exactly what I wanted (goal pace on the tempo was 6:20 and I would have liked all of the 200s to be 39-40, although Garmin isn't terribly accurate for that short of a repeat anyway), but I chose to run on the rolling hill route over the easier workout loop again, so I was proud of myself for that because I think it produced greater gains but made it harder to hit my paces.
  • Doubles on Oct. 1, 5, 12, 14, 19.
  • Strides on Oct. 1, 5, 8, 14.
  • Elliptigo:  as a double on Oct. 4, 8, and 18, and as a workout most days from Oct. 21-31.
  • Strength Training:  weekly totals of 1:35, 1:50, 1:10, 1:00, 1:35.
  • Yoga: weekly totals of 2:50, 2:45, 2:35, 2:15, 0:25 (I'm stopping yoga at this point because my hip may actually be too loose).
After a successful workout

After a successful easy run :-)

Long Runs:
  • October 3:  20.3 miles (7:56) with Christian in Joplin before Albani's cross country meet.  I had to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to make this happen, but it ended up working out nicely and it was fun to run long in a different location.  I have become very fond of the workout Friday plus easy long run Saturday this season!
  • October 10:  23 miles (7:39) that felt great!  Missy and Colin ran the whole way with me, Casey did 14 with us, and it flew by.  It took me 2:56:11 to run this, my goal being for it to be my longest time on feet this season - and it definitely was since I am not running a November 1 marathon as planned.
  • October 17:  18.3 miles (7:24), with a 15 mile progression in 8:33, 8:22, 8:08, 7:47 (lots of downhill), 7:47 (likewise), 7:45, 7:13 (more downhill), 7:20, 7:16, 7:05, 6:55, 6:40, 6:34, 6:41 (incline and headwind), 6:29 (incline), described in workouts above.
23 miles of endorphins

bRUNch post-long run

I want to eat this meal every day

Running Highlights/Lowlights:
  • Hitting 80+ miles again was great!  Since July/August I've been itching to run more miles and bigger workouts nearly every week, but I really held back and listened to my coach...
  • Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything right and things still go wrong.  After limping my cool down after my October 20 workout, I could not comfortably run, and I haven't run since except for a very easy mile with Jon (which was pain-free though!).  I wrote a separate blog on this, but the hip issue I dealt with from February through May is back and I am not running the local marathon I planned to on November 1 nor the local half I'd hoped for on November 21 (it filled up a few days ago, and I wasn't going to register while I was not running).  I am hoping to start back to running on November 2, but TBD.
We call this one Octypus October

Dark o'thirty on Christian's birthday

My running club accidentally tagged
me as a 2:45 half pacer, & the
responses made me laugh & grin

Life Highlights:
  • Albani finished out 7th grade cross country.
  • I became a masters runner on October 26.  I was pretty pumped about this, because in some larger races that I have no chance of finishing on the podium I can hold my own in the old lady category, if my hip allows that is (that really seems like an old lady thing to say!).
  • Halloween - it was the first year Albani has been allowed to dress up at school, and of course the cats enjoyed the day.
7th grade school photo

In the process of passing

Pre-meet team prayer

Post-meet brunch

Latest cross-stitch
Dragon on the shoulder

Dragon wings in back (but I'm not
actually sure what she was...)

Hot dog #1

Hot dog #2

Chiefs fan

  • Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
  • The Beatrice Letters (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • The Glitch by Elisabeth Cohen
  • The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft
  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  • After You by Jojo Moyes
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Theme for the month:
Bipolar.  Just when I felt like I was getting back into pretty good shape and was feeling good about running around 2:52 for a fun local marathon, my hip impingement pain returned with a vengeance.  Being unable to run the marathon was disappointing, but because of the circumstances (a small local event, not being in PR shape) I got [mostly] over it quickly.  Being unable to go out and knock out easy mileage daily and the fear for the future has been much harder on me.  

I was also really sad for my training partner Christian, who got injured and was unable to run Bass Pro, which was set to be her first marathon and would have been a smoking fast debut!  We ran many workouts and long runs together this season, and then we biked/elliptigoed together once we could not run.  No one wants to be in the injured runners club, nor do we want any of our friends to join, but if it has to happen to both of us it's nice that it happened at the same time.  Here's hoping we can both return to running at the same time - we have another marathon picked out if all goes as we pray it will!