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You know those people who run marathons or other races “just to finish?” Certainly nothing wrong with that, but I’m definitely not one of those people. I have a plan and multiple time goals for every race, and each training run has a specific purpose. My plan for a training run may be to zone out and take it easy, or it may be to hit a very specific pace for a certain number of miles – either way, when I put on my running shoes, I know what I intend to do and if necessary I can adjust along the way.

Now let’s cut to my last two long runs – today’s 18 miler and last weekend’s 20 miler (which I ran with NYRR, in their Training Run #1). Remember when I said, waaaaay back in training week number 4 (I know, I’ve been a very bad blogger lately) that I hoped my first strong training week in ages wasn’t a fluke? Yeah, about that…

I was feeling great up until the following week, after a gnarly but awesome hill session. I had told myself that it was time to finally start training in earnest for my Colorado trail race (Aug. 19th), and I guess I got a little too excited. I was just having so much fun with this incredible treadmill at my gym that goes up to 30% incline (!!!!) and goes downhill too. The next day, I felt a hint of pain in my right hip – the first time I’ve had pain in that area for at least 8 months. I had a pretty bad hip injury last summer that completely derailed my Portland training, so as you can imagine I started to freak out slightly. I took a few days off, ran a slow 10M with my team since I had to coach that weekend, and the pain got worse. I took another few days off, which was followed by an extremely nasty cold which set me back a full week – and then it was time for my 20 miler. I was still sick but feeling a bit better,  and E had just arrived the day before and was planning on running the NYRR training run too, so I really didn’t want to skip it. Probably not the smartest move, but – I finished.

And that really does sum up that run. I finished. I had already adjusted my plan for the day – I wanted to run 9ish pace (nice and easy!) with the last few miles at MP. Not too hard, right? HA. E and I ran the first 5M together, and then I took off since I was feeling good and wanted to run 8:45ish. By mile 9/10, I was really starting to struggle. The humidity was pretty intense and despite having my usual pre-race breakfast, taking gels regularly and drinking plenty of water, I was completely zapped of energy. Not too surprising given I still had a cold I guess! (Note to my Gilda’s runners – if you happen to be reading this, do as your coach SAYS, not what she does! 🙂 ) My pace started to slow down, particularly after mile 15ish (was running closer to 10 than 9 by that point) and I nearly quit around mile 16 before the last 4M loop – but forced myself to keep going. “Just finish,” I kept telling myself. That was my only goal. Not “finish strong,” but just finish. And I did. And I was happy. I even managed a nice “sprint” at the end! Surprisingly, my average pace wasn’t all that bad – 9:15 – although I’m sure my garmin was off slightly. Here’s the route if you’re curious.

Today, the weather was far more brutal – I didn’t think it was possible to be more humid than last week, but it was, and very hot. The run was a bit shorter – I was going for 18M including my run to the subway (so 17.5 in the park) – and I finally shook my cold, but I felt just as crappy as I did last weekend. Once again, I had a plan as I jogged to the subway – run 9-9:30ish with my running buddy and then the last 6M or so around 8:45. And once again, that plan went right out the window! At the last Gilda’s Club meeting, several of my runners had expressed concern over their extremely slow paces in this weather and I assured them that it’s just the weather and not to worry about it. You have to adjust to conditions. I really should just show them my garmin details for today’s run – my average pace (10:16) says it all!

What felt like 9-9:30 in effort level was actually 10-11ish on my watch. Within a few minutes of starting, I was already trying to bargain with myself – “maybe I’ll just do a shorter run today and run long next weekend” which my running buddy immediately helped me squash. That’s when my new “just finish” mentality took over. And finish I did. I’m not sure it was a good thing that I finished, given how horrible I felt by the end, but I did finish! I took FIVE gels – I normally take 3, maybe 4 – because I was struggling so much. I only happened to have 5 because I was practicing running with my gel belt (E brought a lifetime supply of our UK gels back with him, so my mission to find a new US gel that I don’t hate has been abandoned for the time being). When I stopped, I got very dizzy, then felt sick to my stomach, and my hip started to hurt again. So yeah – not my best run. I know it’s hard to have a great run in these conditions, but it’s still frustrating to feel this crappy. And here I thought I had finally adjusted to training in NYC summer weather! Clearly I have to change something – perhaps my nutrition/hydration – and I need to sort out my hip. Just when I was finally starting to feel strong again…

Which brings me to my current Chicago goals. I’m wrapping up week 7 right now – that’s nearly the halfway point  – and I certainly am not where I had hoped to be fitness wise at this stage. I believe that I can get a PR if the weather cooperates – but sub 3:35? Not so sure. School and everything else going on in my life right now have made it really hard to focus my energy on training properly – and clearly my body isn’t coping as well as I had hoped that it would. The stress of school has really taken a lot out of me. There’s still time – I’m certainly not going to be running Chicago “just to finish” no matter what happens – but I also want to be realistic and admit to myself that BQ-ing, as badly as I want it to happen, isn’t at the top of my list of priorities right now and may simply not be possible. It makes me slightly angry to verbalize this because I feel like this is similar to what happened last summer with Portland, and in the last year and a half, I’ve had so many unmet running goals. We’ll see though – I’ve been taking my training week by week so far and I’ll continue to do so.

In more positive news, E is finally here! Although we still don’t have the apartment set up at all, it’s been so wonderful to finally be together. Currently, we just have an amazing bed and an awesome TV – the essentials, clearly! As a result, we’ve been sitting on the floor quite a bit for meals and to watch the Olympics. After running 18 or 20 miles, I can assure you that this really isn’t pleasant! Hopefully we will have everything sorted with furniture in the next week or so. I’m really looking forward to our new place feeling like a real home.

My second summer session has been a bit tough – motivation is at an all time low – but thankfully I only have a week to go. My final exams are next week and I CANNOT WAIT to be done! Hopefully I won’t be such a delinquent blogger after that. I’ll leave you with a few photos of my recent meals on the floor – it’s been really nice having someone else to cook for! I’m far more motivated to make pretty, yummy things when it’s not just me. Oh, and don’t be fooled – I really don’t eat this healthy all the time but hey, I’m a nutrition student so I guess it’s no surprise that most of my meals look something like this (plus some meat and fish a few times a week – just realized I’ve been vegetarian quite a bit recently!). Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

          

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Ah, New York. We meet again. It’s only day four, and our love-hate relationship feels stronger than ever.

I’ve lived in big cities for most of my adult life – including three years in Manhattan – and I’ve visited NYC nearly every year since I left in 2006. However, visiting and living here are two very different things, and acclimatizing to my new surroundings has been a bit harder than I expected. I suppose London is a bit more chilled out, or at least greener and less claustrophobic, and I did spend much of the last four months in small town California. It’s only natural that going from the warmth, solitude, space, quiet and nature of Santa Cruz to NEW YORK INSANITY, living in a shoebox on a major avenue and 18 degree weather would lead to a bit of freaking out! Everything in this city feels very familiar, but just not like home. However, I know that will change with time.

The sublet I decided to take for three months is cute – certainly not new or modern, but a nicely decorated and cozy one bedroom third floor walkup with plenty of storage space in Grammercy. It has its challenges – the kitchenette is very “ette” and I wasn’t able to bring any of my own kitchen things (except for a few essentials – a french press, a silicon baking dish and my salad dressing emulsifier), but I’m trying to be creative and will do my best to keep up my cooking. It should help that I can now actually use appliances in the kitchen, such as the tea kettle I bought (can’t live without a tea kettle). The only plug is across the sink and around the corner, but I solved that by using scotch tape and an extension cord. Voila!

Gotta love New York.

There were a few other things I had to adjust – for instance, there is no chair, just a sofa, so I bought a cheap folding chair which makes the tiny end table somewhat acceptable for studying.

The REAL problem – and this is partly why I’m struggling so much – is that the city that never sleeps is doing so right outside my window. I realize NYC is loud, but this is by far the loudest place I’ve ever lived. The apartment faces first avenue and the noise is relentless. I should’ve expected this but given that everything else was so convenient, I decided to go for it. I’m hoping that I will adjust, but so far it’s been pretty tough. Last night was a slight improvement, after I turned a fan on high, used ear plugs, put my white noise app on full volume and placed a pillow over my head. However, that of course doesn’t help when I’m simply trying to relax or read in the living room. It’s still comfy and it certainly is a luxury having my own space, but I’m used to home being an escape from the outside world. The walls are so thin, I may as well be suspended over the traffic lights. Perhaps after a few weeks the noise will fade into the background? I certainly hope so. If not, I guess it’s temporary, and I can always spend more time in libraries.

On a more positive note, my neighborhood is a wonderful new running home! I’m a mere three minutes from the East river park, including an awesome all weather outdoor 400m track only 1M from my doorstep. It’s nice to keep to my London running roots and live near a river (Central Park isn’t too far away either by bus or train). I’m also SO happy to finally be able to do proper speed workouts! I’ve always had to do intervals and tempo runs on the treadmill because I didn’t have a track nearby that I could use.

So far, I’ve gone running three times. I ran four bitterly cold miles on my first morning in NYC (it was 18 degrees but felt much colder) at marathon pace simply so I could get home faster. I seriously thought I was going to freeze to death – I was also somewhat delirious from sleep deprivation. Monday’s 7M run was slightly warmer – by a few degrees! I ran with a friend at least so that kept me distracted. For once I might actually NEED new running gear. I have some cold weather clothing, but clearly not enough. I bought ten pairs of hand warmers so that should help in the meantime!

Today I tried out the track. It was my first real speed session in months, and my first track workout in who knows how long (I honestly can’t remember). Shameful! Technically I’m in training for the NYC half, which is only 8 weeks away, although I haven’t made a training plan or set any goals quite yet. Through my somewhat aimless training in California, I’m currently farther along in my long runs than I should be, and completely behind in my speedwork. I decided to get back into the game with a ladder/pyramid session – I ran 1M easy to the track, then 400m, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1000, 800, 600 and 400, all with 200m jogging breaks in between and then 1M easy back home. The total came to 8 miles.

It was very challenging and I had been dreading it all morning, so I’m pleased I pushed through. I was aiming for 10k perceived effort level rather than a number since I’m not quite sure where I’m at right now race pace wise. My average pace was a bit inconsistent, partially due to the strong winds (which kicked up more towards the end) but mainly from starting too quickly and subsequent fatigue. However, I’m not sure how much I trust my Garmin – when you compare the times of the corresponding distances they’re not THAT different. Either way, it was a start and I’m proud of myself for sticking with it – I can only improve!

I spent the rest of the day hanging out with a friend in Carroll Gardens. It was wonderful to catch up and also take a break from Manhattan for the afternoon! We had a lovely lunch at Frankie’s, wandered up Court Street and hung out in her (relatively peaceful) apartment. It made me wish I lived in Brooklyn too. I’m sure I will sometime soon, but I know that living closer to campus was the right move for my first few months here. The noise REALLY bothers me, but the location is convenient. Union square, including a Trader Joes, is only a ten minute walk away, and campus is a 20-25 minute walk away. My favorite bagel shop in town – Ess-a-Bagel – is a block away, and my other favorite bagel/smoked fish shop – Russ & Daughters – isn’t too far either. Gotta have my bagels (I’ve actually had a bagel every day so far…naughty). It’s awesome to be able to walk everywhere – cheaper and healthier, not to mention liberating after driving around so much in California.

Most importantly, however, I have some wonderful friends in my area or only a short ride away, which is extremely comforting. I was welcomed on my first day by several close friends, who helped me pull through a few (mostly sleep-deprivation induced) meltdowns. My family and E have also been providing tons of support over the phone. NYC can be a very lonely place – I remember from my early years here how easy it is to feel lost at times, even when you’re surrounded by friends – so I really want to make sure I don’t isolate myself once things get really busy and instead take advantage of having so many friends close by.

Tomorrow, my first day of orientation begins, which includes a new grad student networking event. I’m nervous, but excited! My textbooks are beginning to arrive in the mail and I already have some reading assignments to complete. I also just found out that the lab for my Food & Food Science lecture course is actually a full-on cooking class. The syllabus sounds pretty intense – I need to purchase a chef’s uniform and knife and will be tested on things like my knife skills, food safety, and the taste and presentation of what I cook, among other things. I can’t wait! I like to think I am a decent cook, but it’s always good to get back to basics. You can be sure I’ll be blogging all about it!

As for running, I plan to do a 12M run early Saturday morning and create an actual training schedule for myself for the next 8 weeks. Oh, and I’ll also officially announce that I plan to register for the Chicago marathon when it opens on Feb. 1st. I’m still undecided as to whether or not I’ll enter the NYC lottery (the price is outrageous – not good for student budgets!). I don’t plan to run a Spring marathon, but to compensate, E and I MAY run our first ultramarathon in December – TNF Endurance Challenge 50k in SF on December 1st. We’ll see if my body will cooperate!

It’s very late – so much for getting over my jet lag. Hopefully I can get some sleep tonight and enjoy whatever adventures day five has in store for me…

There’s no question that NYC is one of the greatest cities in the world and that a part of me is excited to be back. My inner New Yorker seems to still be in hibernation, but hopefully within a week or two, it will have made a fierce comeback!

Today is my last day in London. It took some time to adjust to being back after nearly three months away, but now I feel like I never left.

My “real” departure was in late August, when I quit my job and flew back to California to meet my newborn niece, run the Portland marathon, qualify as a running coach and apply to MS/DPD programs in Clinical Nutrition. I expected to feel overwhelmed with emotion as my plane took off for San Francisco to begin this new chapter of my life. However, with my November London visit already planned, I felt like I was embarking on an extended trip home rather than permanently moving countries.

Now it’s time for my final preparations and goodbyes. I have changed my pounds to dollars, closed various accounts, prepared all my things to be shipped (okay, still working on that…) and have no clue when I’ll next be in London. Probably won’t be for quite awhile, although you never know!

I’m incredibly grateful to have had these two weeks, as well as some time away from London before returning to wrap things up. It has made this transition so much smoother. Aside from dealing with all the boring and annoying aspects of moving, which are far easier to do in person, I caught up with friends, wandered all over town, ate many of my favorite foods and ran along all my usual routes. It’s given me some closure as well as time to reflect on the four years I spent living here.

My long run on Saturday certainly presented itself as a great opportunity for reflection…

I had grand plans for my last long run of this mini training cycle. I had hoped to go to Hampstead Heath or elsewhere further afield in the early morning to run on some hilly terrain and avoid the crowds. However, E and I planned a last-minute weekend getaway and thus running along the river to Battersea Park and back was the fastest way to fit in 14 miles before we needed to catch our train.

It was a crisp, sunny day. I donned my new Nike running top once again, this time carrying two gels and my iPod (I usually don’t listen to music but needed some extra inspiration). I also decided to try out my new ING NYC marathon arm sleeves. I already had a pair in black (I wore them for the 2010 race) so when I saw that they carried them in orange this year, I snatched them up. Purple and orange are my colors, after all! Plus, there’s something about wearing arm sleeves that gets me extra psyched to run.

It’s business time!

After my run, E and I hopped on a train to Southampton and headed to Hotel Terravina, a lovely 11-room B&B right on the edge of the New Forest (not too far from where I raced last July). They happened to have a cancellation that morning, which was great news for us as we were struggling to find somewhere to stay before E called them.

We arrived to find this little dog on the bed, with a collar that said “Too tired to get up.” Yeah, that pretty much summed things up!!

We relaxed inside for a bit, but it was such a beautiful day out that we decided to go for a sunset stroll…at 3:30pm. Ah, winter in the UK. Gotta love it.

The hotel offered wellies for guests to wear – my size just happened to come in colorful stripes.

We walked along this trail for about an hour – it was very quiet and peaceful, exactly what we needed. This was also our running route the next day. We only ran four miles, but it was far enough to explore other nice parts of the forest. We even saw some wild horses, although thankfully this time they didn’t try to run us down!

After our walk, we had a wonderful three-course meal, which I particularly appreciated after my active day. One of the owners of the hotel is a French man who won Best Sommelier in the World in 2010 among other titles, so as you can imagine, the food and wine were very good. Here I am enjoying a glass of red…

The rest of the weekend was very relaxing – we were a bit sad to have to return to the craziness of London and face all the things we both had to do before leaving for Boston!

This pizza dinner, however, made our Monday blues disappear very quickly. I couldn’t leave London without going back to Pizza Metro in Clapham. The pizza is not only amazing, made with delicious, fresh ingredients, but it also comes by the meter! I’ve never gone with more than one other person and have always wanted to order one of the gigantic four-person pizzas, so I recruited some friends and this was the result:

Pure. Heaven. There wasn’t a crumb left on the tray. It certainly was an appropriate way to kick off Thanksgiving week!

So that brings me back to today. I’ve been procrastinating all morning and it’s time to get my things done. Finish packing my boxes. Pack my suitcases. Do laundry. Itemize everything. Go for a run. Return emails. Say more goodbyes…

It’s a bit sad, and I will miss living here as well as the frequent travel opportunities, but I am eager to move on. I’ve been such a nomad during my twenties and particularly throughout these recent transitional months that I actually feel ready to stay in one place for awhile, wherever my new home will be.

I’m also very excited to spend Thanksgiving in the US for the first time since 2007. I am celebrating it with E’s family in New Hampshire, which is why my next destination is Boston before I head back home to California next week.

Farewell London! Hello America…

Today is my last day in London (as a resident, at least) before moving back to California bright and early tomorrow morning (7:55am one-way flight to SFO – through O’Hare – fun). By some miracle, I’m actually pretty much packed and ready to go. Okay, perhaps “ready” isn’t quite the word – I’m still very much in denial and am pretty sure I’ll have a total meltdown on the plane (kinda like going to summer camp as a kid – totally flipped out when I moved to London, and will probably do the same as I leave too) – but tomorrow has been circled in my calendar for quite some time and I simply want to take the leap. It’s a big, scary and somewhat sad leap – but also an incredibly exciting and wonderful one – so let’s do this!

Miracle, however, is the right word, because this used to be what (a small fraction of) my stuff looked like yesterday:

And just a few moments ago, I managed to organize what I don’t need into boxes and fit most of what I do need (before I return in November) into these bags:

Now let’s play a game – what percentage of my suitcases contain running gear?! I don’t actually know the answer, but it’s quite a lot. I’m not as much of a gear whore as E but I’m catching up, quickly. 🙂 And of course, my carry-on bag – which contains my valuables (laptop, jewelry, oboe etc.) – also contains my race day outfit and several gels. I’m such a nerd!

Aside from packing, I’ve been enjoying/lamenting many “London lasts” recently. For instance, my last night in my flat (before temporarily invading E’s space); last day at work (yippee!); last run along the Thames (I will not be missing the tourists); last travel adventure (Iceland); last time seeing various friends (aka my London family); last Borough market visit; last dinner at my local gastropub…the list goes on and on!

But there have also been a few running/exercise-related firsts – or at least firsts in awhile – this past week that I wanted to share. In Iceland, I ran my first destination 10k (I have only raced Mornington Chaser’s 10k series in London over the last two years), so it was fun to spice things up and a nice way to get back into racing after many weeks of injury. I also ran my first long run yesterday (just over 10 miles) since the New Forest 10 miler in early July! I can’t say it was 100% pain-free, but it was a solid run (8:50 average pace) and I was just SO happy to get back out there on a Sunday morning. Of course, what made me even happier was enjoying a big stack of my Triple B pancakes post-run! And today, I had an awesome private swim lesson with an ex-Olympic swimmer – my first private lesson as well as any real attempt to learn to swim properly in about twenty years (back at that summer camp I mentioned earlier…). It was tough to get the technique down – and it was hard not to get frustrated with myself at times for not getting everything right immediately (so much multi-tasking) – but I definitely made tons of progress even within an hour. I have to remind myself that it takes time to get the hang of a new sport, and if I start practicing the drills he gave me on a regular basis in my pool back at home, everything will soon feel more natural, just like with running! I’m excited to learn and swim for exercise (as opposed to splashing around randomly when on vacation, in between sunbathing), and can’t wait to enter my first triathlon.

Now that my bags are packed and I’m ready to go, the saddest part of all has arrived. My last night with E. At least I know I’ll be seeing him in a couple weeks – in California, just before my birthday! It will be his first time in Santa Cruz, and my last time enjoying life as a 20-something…

So goodbye for now, London – it’s been a fun and interesting adventure over the last four years! If it weren’t for my time here, I’m not sure I would’ve re-discovered my passion for running, and for that I am eternally grateful.

And on that note, I’m off to the pub!

I have officially moved out of my flat. It was slightly traumatic – emotionally as well as physically (I have SO much stuff) – but I can finally say that I’ve taken my first actual step in enacting a chain of upcoming changes in my life. It’s very unsettling – but equally thrilling to be taking ACTION at last, after talking about these things for so long.

Aside from saying goodbye to my flatmates and thinking back to a variety of experiences – both good and bad – that have happened in that little space that I’ve called home over the years, taking down my “race wall” was a particularly poignant moment for me. I couldn’t bring myself to do it until ten minutes before handing in my keys and heading out the door. Bare walls always make me feel sad, and that compilation of race bibs, medals, photos and other related memorabilia – essentially, my shrine to running – was a very special, deeply personal part of my room. It celebrated my past accomplishments while also symbolizing what I dream of achieving in the future. As E often reminded me, especially in difficult times, that wall wasn’t just about racing – it was about me and what I’m capable of achieving when I want something that badly. Every time I looked at all those numbers, which faced me as I sat in bed, I couldn’t help but feel a great sense of pride. And hope.

I thought it would be appropriate to disassemble my race wall after completing my Sunday morning run, which happened to be a 4.2M interval session. I was feeling strong and pain free – a treasured moment in the midst of my recent injury frustrations – when I finally approached the wall with a folder to carry its broken-down components. One by one, I removed each medal and corresponding number as I remembered the day – how I felt, the weather, the course, my goal, what I achieved, my race companion(s), the post-race meal…and then placed them in a pile with the others. I saved my three most significant races for last – the Royal Parks Half Marathon (October 2009), which was my first half marathon (and still, my fastest) as well as the start of my love of distance running; the Paris Marathon (April 2010), which although not quite a pleasant memory in itself, is still a cherished one as it was my first 26.2 miler and a real battle to the finish; and the ING NY Marathon (November 2010), which I trained my heart out to run and stands out both in terms of athletic performance and overall experience.

These meaningful bits of paper, metal and ribbon are now safely tucked away into the frighteningly huge mountain of STUFF that has taken over E’s flat and does not have a planned route back to the US – yet. Actually, between that, marathon training (I have less than eight weeks left to train, and the longest run I’ve done in recent memory is yesterday’s steady run of 4.5 miles) and applying to programs/studying to become an R.D., I’m pretty much surrounded by mountains right now!

Thankfully, I’m a runner. And what does a runner do when a mountain obstructs her path? Just look at (part of) my race wall for the answer – she attacks it!

Sorry for the recent silence – it’s been an insane week! I wish I could say that a good chunk of the craziness involved running, but as you know that’s not the case for me this time around. Swapping a 30 minute run/walk for a 15-miler is a huge bummer, but at least it leaves me with more time on my hands, and I really need as many extra hours as I can get right now!

Since my last post, I hosted my flat leaving party, which was exhausting but tons of fun; started packing up years of accumulated stuff (I’ve hardly made a dent in this one…aaaah!); constantly checked on my newborn niece Elisia, who finally went home after five days in the hospital; spent several days watching the news and trying not to get caught up in the London rioting/looting (truly shocking, but finally calming down); and wrote several drafts of my “running story” for my coach’s new book, which still isn’t done and has been taking me AGES to finish because I really want it to be great. Tonight, I have my work leaving drinks – only FOUR DAYS left in the office after today (YAY) – tomorrow work and packing, Saturday packing and moving, Sunday/Monday I have an out of town wedding, Tuesday – Thursday are my last days at work and more packing, Friday – Monday I’ll be in Iceland, Tuesday – Monday is my last week in London (and is already jam packed) and then Tuesday the 30th at an ungodly hour of the morning, back to California I go! And that doesn’t even take into account school applications…or a billion other things I have yet to do…

Holy crap! Deep breath.

But this is primarily a running blog, so let’s get back on topic!

Last week, I got the green light from my physio to start running at last – well, running/walking to be exact – bringing my weekly mileage to just over seven miles! Pathetic yes, but much better than the previous week’s big fat zero.

I was feeling optimistic but also quite frustrated because I’m used to having a running schedule, not being fed one or two runs at a time. I told my physio that I need to be able to see the bigger picture – particularly how my training will unfold leading up to the marathon on October 9th, assuming that my rehab goes well and my injury continues to heal properly. He had been reassuring me that I’d be fine to run 26.2 miles, but I was struggling to understand how I could possibly train in such a short amount of time, particularly taking the taper into account. I wouldn’t be worried if I had a strong running fitness base, as I did before my injury, but I don’t anymore and I need to be mindful of my hip as I actively recover.

Unfortunately, I didn’t hear back from my physio with a longer term running plan until late Sunday night, so I had to do a bit of improvisation that morning. Normally that wouldn’t bother me, but given how much time and money I’ve already invested in treatment, I would obviously prefer to follow his advice than risk making myself worse! I’m so eager to start running again at this stage that I really do need a professional to pull in the reins and force me to take it easy. Then again, I’ve lost so much fitness that even Sunday’s 4 x 5min running intervals left me breathless, so can’t get too ahead of myself even if I wanted to!

I finally met with him yesterday and feel better now that we have a game plan for the next two weeks at least (see below), carrying me through to our next appointment on August 24, when I hope we will complete the schedule. He confirmed that it would be unwise to run a half marathon a week from this Saturday, so I regret to say that I am officially pulling out of the Reykjavik half (E seems to think that forfeiting equals him winning – I beg to differ). I’m hoping that the race officials will let me downgrade to the 10k race that same morning, because at this stage, I simply want to be able to participate. I booked a trip to Iceland to run a race – and thus I would like to run a race! When E gets up early and puts on his running gear, I want to be doing the same. When he walks around with a medal around his neck, I (hopefully) will have one around mine too. I want to share with him that great post-race feeling as we relax and enjoy a nice meal together. Not to say that I wouldn’t be happy to watch his race – but it’s more fun to be able to experience it with him.

This past week, I’ve struggled most with this feeling of being left behind. Of course I miss my early morning solitary runs, and yes it’s a shame that I’m missing out on a PB opportunity in Portland, but I’ve accepted all that. My current focus is simply becoming injury free! Nonetheless, the thought of all my running friends training without me makes me sad. At my flat leaving party, I overheard E talking to my friends (our now mutual friends) about getting together to do a long run the following morning. Of course I don’t mind him running with them, and obviously I want him to train hard for the half marathon I’m no longer running, but it was still devastating to sit there silently as they discussed routes and times. Usually I’m the one gathering everyone together for a social run of some kind! In the end, the run didn’t pan out plus it was POURING all day long, so I didn’t feel too bad about missing a 16-miler…

Anyway, in case you’d like to know what rehabbing from a hip injury looks like, here’s my plan for week 7 (first week back running), week 8 (current) and week 9 (week of Iceland 10k) that my physio helped me create. I’m supposed to do a variety of hip/glute strengthening exercises every day too. Also, just a reminder that I can’t do yoga, elliptical, rowing or swimming at the moment (just so you don’t think I’m in love with the stair master machine or something…). Full Portland Marathon training plan (if you can call it that, with how little running is in there) can be found here.

I’ll wish everyone a great weekend now, as I’ll most likely be engulfed in packing and other things for the next few days!

Week 7

Monday – 1km easy; Tuesday – 60min spin class, weights; Wednesday – 5min x [30sec run, 30sec walk]; 10min x physio’s pyramid [20sec run, 20sec walk; 30sec run, 30sec walk; 40sec run, 40sec walk; 30sec run, 30sec walk; 20sec run, 20sec walk]; Thursday – 60min spin class, weights; Friday – Same run as on Wed; Saturday – 50min stairmaster; Sunday – 4 x [5min steady run, 3min walk].

Week 8

Monday – 10min x [60sec easy run, 30sec walk], then 15min of physio’s pyramid but running sections hard effort; Tuesday – 50min spin class, weights; Wednesday – 10min x [60sec easy run, 30sec walk], then 20min of pyramid, even harder effort during running intervals; Thursday – 55min spin class, weights (I’m currently here); Friday – 25min easy run (first straight running session – yay!); Saturday – 50min stairmaster; Sunday – 10min x [90sec easy run, 30sec walk], then 20min of pyramid, but instead of walk/fast run, easy run/sprint.

Week 9

Monday – 35min easy run; Tuesday – 45min spin class, weights; Wednesday – 10min easy, 4 x 2min hard (6:39min/mile) with 2min recoveries, 10min easy (first “normal” speed session, like ones I used to do pre-injury); Thursday – 20min easy (might do 10min easy, 5 x 20sec acceleration strides, 5-10min easy); Friday – Rest; Saturday – Reykjavik 10k race; Sunday – Rest (hiking in Iceland, most likely).

Welcome to FFR

Hi, I'm Claire! I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MS, RD, CDN) and a Road Runners Club of America certified coach. This is where I share my latest adventures in running, racing, food & travel! If you'd like to work with me, please visit my professional website, Eat for Endurance.

My PRs

Marathon (Chicago): 3:33:18
Boston Marathon: 3:36:14
Half-Marathon: 1:37:21
10M: 1:14:52
10k: 44:52

My latest photos

This morning's breakfast bowl isn't exactly pretty, but really delicious and filling! Two fried eggs in a pan with black beans (I used 1/2 cup = 1 serving), a little feta, a few spoonfuls of ricotta, some pesto (random but had some leftover and tastes great with eggs), and 1/4 avocado. Cooked all together for a high protein tasty breakfast! Awesome @onepeloton endurance ride earlier today with my buddy @mattwilpers before enjoying some family time outdoors on this beautiful day. Arielle came to visit afterwards and clearly is a big Peloton fan too! Speaking of which, check out the latest episode of the Clip Out (a Peloton fan podcast) - had such a great time talking all things nutrition and Peloton with @clipoutcrystal and Tom, who are hilarious btw! (Link in bio - my segment ~20min in). Wishing everyone a very happy first day of Fall! 🍁🍂 It's my favorite time of year to get out into nature and go for a run. L'Shana Tova to those who celebrate! We started the New Year with some apple picking at @wilkloworchards on our way back to NYC yesterday. Was so much fun, and Arielle was a great little helper! We don't have much food in the house after being away so these crisp local apples with almond butter will be our tasty, healthy snacks today. Getting ready for the loooong drive back to NYC after unplugging in Lake Placid for my bday! Fueling with a bowl of 5% plain Greek yogurt, bananas, peaches, and apple cinnamon granola. Not much of a view from our balcony this morning of Mirror Lake - swipe right for our view yesterday! So beautiful and peaceful here - minus screaming baby, of course. 😂 #Tbt to earlier this week, when one of my awesome @nutritionenergy clients surprised me with a @levainbakery cookie after we talked about them at our last session. I had planned to save half for my husband (those cookies are seriously dense!), but it was so delicious, I changed my mind and had the second half later in the day. Did I feel bad about it afterwards? Did I end up skipping dinner or working out more to compensate? Nope! I had already eaten a healthy balanced lunch, and it's not everyday that I enjoy such a decadent treat (although you will find me having smaller treats quite often 😀).

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