6 weeks to go!

So it has now come down to about 6 weeks until Badwater. This means I have about 4 weeks to actually train hard so that I can have a nice two week taper before the race. To be honest, the past two weeks have been a bit rough for me and caused me to really stress out over it last week. After running the Bishop 50 mile, my foot kind of started hurting again. All of the soft sand on the course probably wasn’t the best thing for it since it was a pretty unstable surface. Then to top it off I got the flu. At that point, however, I wasn’t too worried. I figured that a few days off after a hard 50 mile would probably do me some good and would allow my foot to calm down. Mark and I also had plans to go up to Western States Training Camp the following weekend, where we would be running 70 miles over 3 days and so I would still get some kick ass training in over the weekend.

Then Friday came and as Mark and I drove up to camp I felt horrible. I slept in the car almost the whole 7 hour drive up, but was still trying to be optimistic about being able to run the next day. I had been sick since Monday, so figured that by Saturday it just HAD to be gone! So I woke up Saturday morning at 4am and got myself all ready for a 32 mile run. I felt really groggy and pretty crappy, but figured it was from waking up at FOUR IN THE MORNING! However, during the drive to the start at Foresthill, I wasn’t feeling any better and running 30+ miles sounded absolutely horrible. I have done the run 3 or so times before and knew that it wasn’t an easy 30 miles either and just didn’t think that I had the energy to even make it up Devil’s Thumb (a 1.5ish mile hill that is literally straight up) and so I ended up just dropping Mark off and went back to the hotel to sleep. A couple hours later I woke back up, ate breakfast and watched who knows how many episodes of Arrested Development on TV. Around noon though I just couldn’t take it anymore. We had driven SEVEN HOURS to do this totally awesome run on the Western States course and it was a gorgeous day out and there I was sitting in the hotel watching TV. How lame is that!? So even though I still felt shitty, I put my running clothes on (well actually they were still on from the morning) and headed back up to Foresthill. The run was point to point and so runners were bussed up the mountain to Robinson’s Flat (Mile 30sih during the Western States run) and then would finish back at Foresthill. I figured Mark should only have a few miles left and so I decided to head up the trail in the opposite direction the the runners were coming from until I found him and then would turn back and run it in with him. So, Im not sure how one manages to get lost on the Western States trail (its a very well marked trail with signs all over the place!) but of course Mark managed to get lost. However the second that he got back on course was when I had caught up to him. Had I had been there 30 seconds earlier, I would have not seen him.. weird. Luckily I found him and we ran/hiked the last few miles in together. So I got in about 7 miles for the day. Even though it was something, it wasn’t what I had wanted to do at all and I was jealous that Mark got to run 30+ miles and I didn’t 😦

Sunday morning I woke up feeling a lot better, with only a stuffy nose remaining and so was determined to run the 19 miles that day. My legs felt really strong and 19 miles felt like a piece of cake, but my dang foot hurt! Seriously, so annoying. By Monday (memorial day), Mark was trashed and I didn’t want to aggravate my foot anymore, so we ended up skipping the last day and headed back home.

On Tuesday, my foot was still bad and my positive attitude was starting to fade. Luckily though, my massage therapist, Jess, was able to see me and do some graston work on it to help loosen it up and break up some of the scar tissue, which was probably a result from the surgery I just had on it. So I missed another day of running and did some CrossFit with lots of squats instead.

Wednesday, foot still hurt. Felt slightly better, but not good enough to run. I originally had wanted to do 30-35 miles of hills on the bike, but my legs were so torn up from squatting the day before, so I cut my ride down to 22 miles and even that wiped me out.

Thursday, again foot was not good enough to run and so I did intervals on the rower and still had myself a good workout, but it wasn’t putting in miles on the road like I knew I should be doing at this point with the race less than two months away. UGH!

Friday, came the day that I lost it. I went to physical therapy and on the drive home just started crying. I felt like I hadn’t gotten in any long workouts in 2 whole (even though I had just done a 50 mile and 19 miles the following weekend… sometimes I can be a bit overdramatic and emotional maybe?) and barely any running on the road like I should have been doing. Road running is really critical to do before a race like Badwater. You’re legs take so much of a beating from all the pounding on the road compared to trail. I was majorly stressed out about how I was going to still get in good enough shape to run BADWATER, when my foot was still hurting and I couldn’t even run. So I went home and laid on the couch and watched a movie feeling sorry for myself, but of course texting with Traci who always knows exactly what to say to cheer me up. So after talking with her and calming down a bit, I decided to get my ass to the gym and still get a good workout in. Of course, workouts when you’re pissed off are always the best, and this one was no different. I did intervals on the airdyne bike and then “The Seven,” which is a CF workout that consists of 7 rounds of 7 reps of 7 different movements. I was pretty much dead by round 3 but persevered on to finish all the damn rounds.

On Saturday, I woke up and started to see some light at the end of the tunnel. My foot actually didn’t hurt THAT bad! I was scheduled to a long run on Sunday and still wanted to possibly make that happen and so I decided to go out on a run to test out my foot and see if it would hold up for the next day. It ached a little for the first couple miles, but once I got going I didn’t notice it all that much. I ended up doing 8 miles with a good hill climb that I was able to run hard all the way up. This put me in a MUCH better mood and allowed me to chill out a little bit. THANK GOODNESS!

On Sunday, my goal was to get in 4 hours or 25 miles, whichever came first and was just praying to God that my foot would hold up. I seriously have the best mom ever and she agreed to crew me on my run through Santiago Canyon, my favorite local spot to get some good, hard road miles in. The canyon is 12-13 miles long, with very minimal flat miles. I would start at one end and run to the other end and see how far I could make it back. Now there are some pretty good grades on this road and it always kicks my butt, but despite not getting in too much road training I felt phenomenal. Like the best I had ever felt on that course. I was having a glorious time running and had a great time with my mom. She would leap frog ahead of me about 2-3 miles and then I would spend a few moments with her while I drank some Vitargo and Mila and she refilled my water bottle and cooled me off with a wet towel. The whole time I was moving at a pretty good pace, which didn’t even feel that hard and didn’t even start to fatigue at all until about 20 miles in. I have also been taking this new supplement called, Extreme Endurance, and I think that has been helping a little with my endurance as well and combined with Vitargo… how could I not feel great?! In 4 hours I hit 23.5 miles and it was plenty good enough for me and so we called it a day. The run was a HUGE confidence booster. Ok, maybe I still am in shape and maybe rest DOES do some good sometimes (who woulda thought?) My foot ached a little but felt way better than it did the weekend before. A couple more sessions of acupuncture, massage and PT and I know things will be just fine.

So now comes the heat training in June. Mark and I have plans to run in Palm Springs this weekend and will be going to Cabo is just about 2 weeks for some heat training as well… Ugh, what a rough life! Maybe I’ll even get in the sauna a few times, but I would rather just go out and run in the heat. Every time I go in the sauna its filled with old, fat, hairy dudes and it grosses me out. Plus, I really just think its more efficient training to just run when its really damn hot out. Ha, random but I remember even as a high schooler wanting to go run outside when it was like 90-100 degrees out and my mom telling me no. I guess that back fired on her as now she gets to be there with me when Im running in that kind of heat! June is also time to start getting all my stuff together for the race. I got a HUGE shipment of socks and gear from Injinji this week for my crew and myself for the race (thank you!) and wanna start thinking about making some shirts for my team. I want like a cool team name for our shirts.. any suggestions??!

So point of today’s blog… if I start freaking the f**k out over the next month, remind me to breathe, calm down and to not be such a nut job. Everything will be ok! So let the countdown begin… 6 weeks! Ahh so excited for this again!!!

Bishop High Sierra 50 Mile

Saturday, I ran the Bishop 50 mile for the 3rd year in a row. It was a super last minute decision as I decided to run the race last Sunday since my 50k the day before ended up going well. However, since I only decided to run only a week before, I unfortunately could not find anyone to go up with. Mark would be running the Grand Canyon only a few days before and would be too trashed to do another long drive and run (and we normally don’t do the crewing/pacing thing for each other) so he was out. All my running friends were either out of town or couldn’t get off work and my Mom was also out of town. So, I decided to be a big girl and have an adventure and make the 5 hour drive up to Bishop, camp and run the race al by myself.

So Friday morning after coaching a few Crossfit classes, I packed my Jeep with all my running and camping gear as well as 18 tubs of Vitargo that Genr8 graciously donated to the 1-3 male/female winners of the 50k, 50mi and 100k events. The whole back of my Jeep was packed full (its amazing/kind of ridiculous how much stuff is needed just to run!). I left a little before 11 and then made the drive up the 395, getting up to Bishop in great time. Now don’t laugh, but the part of this who solo trip that I was stressed the most about was not the drive and not the run, but actually being able to put up a tent all by myself. I don’t camp all that often so haven’t had that much practice. I ended up getting the tent up all by myself, however it was the cover that gave me issues. I probably spent like 20-30 minutes trying to figure out which direction that damn cover fit over the tent. Im sure all my camp mates found it quite amusing.

After I settled in to my campsite, I ate dinner (which I forgot a fork for so had to resort to fingers, which again I’m sure people thought was either amusing or were probably disgusted by). Then I headed down into town for the pre race dinner meeting (I don’t do pasta so I just ate on my own). While there I saw several friends, including my friend Meredith, who I met at last years race and we pretty much laughed non stop through the whole dinner. It was a good time! Then it was back up to camp and off to bed. Btw, I’m pretty sure the worst thing about the camping/racing combo is trying to hydrate enough for the race but then having to wake up in the middle of the night and have to walk ALL THE WAY in the cold to the bathrooms. UGH.

The race started at 6am the following morning and I made it to the start line just in for the “3, 2, 1 Go!” At the start I felt really good about the day I had ahead of me, even though I knew that I would probably get my ass kicked by this course just like the other two times. I had ice cold Vitargo laying in each one of my drop bags, waiting for me at all the major aid stations, plus my magic powder at mile 32. I knew the first half would be tough, but if I could just through it, then I would be able to pick up the pace and hopefully make up some time on the second half.

The race starts out around 7,000ft and the first 17 miles are a very slow, steady climb, in soft sand. I was able to run the first 5-6 miles or so but then had to start alternating walking and running. I always have such a hard time moving in sandy terrain and throw in altitude and uphill and then I really can’t move. The only really good thing about this section in my opinion is the views that you get of the High Sierras. Its breathtaking.

I reached the 17ish mile aid station in a little over 3.5 hours, which is pretty slow. This is the aid station where the 50k runners get to turn around and honestly, I kind of felt like turning around as well. My legs just weren’t feeling as good as I hoped they would. However, I grabbed my bottle of Vitargo from my drop bag and forged on, hoping that they would feel better in the later miles.

So after already having gone uphill for 17 or so miles, we now got to do some more climbing for another 2-3 miles to where the race peaks out at 9,400ft. This was mostly a hike for me. The altitude was making me feel a bit weird. I couldn’t even run for minute at a time on the sections that flattened out a little. Although the scenery was probably the best out of the whole race once we hit the top, I was very relieved to be able to then head back down into the previous aid station.

I refueled with some more Vitargo back at the aid station and then headed back out for another 13 mile out and back deal and guess what.. we had more climbing!!! This next section we ran, definitely was not my favorite part of the race, but I knew that once I got done with the “out” part, the way back would be primarily downhill for the rest of the race.

MORE UP!!!

MORE UP!!!

I continued to move at a pretty slow pace. It was now getting to be pretty warm and my legs just did not want to climb at all anymore. However, even though my legs didn’t feel all that great, I was still having a really good time. Mentally I was strong and knew that I would come out of the low my body was feeling and so I kept moving the best I could. And actually the instant that I hit the turn around point, about 6.5 miles later, I instantly got a little more spring in my step knowing that I would now be on my way back to the finish line, with “only” 20 more miles to go!

3 miles later, I hit another aid station and was so excited because here I had a drop bag containing a bottle of Vitargo and my “magic powder.” As soon as I drank my special formula I perked up even more and was running pretty strong. I finished the out and back and came into that main aid station right at 8 hours and now only had 15 miles left in the race. From there, I had about 2.5 miles of some rolling hills, which I power walked the ups and ran the flats and downs and then it was pretty much all downhill from then on. I hauled ass for another 4-5 miles, thinking that when I reached the next aid station I would have only 8 miles or less to go. If I could get there in under the 9 hr mark, I MAYBE could have a chance at beating my time from last year (10:29). Unfortunately, even with pushing really hard, I got there a little past the 9 hour mark and it was about 9 miles to go instead of 8. I still kept pushing the pace after I left the aid station, but forgot about some rolling hills that were after that and I slowed down a bit. My foot also started to not like all the soft sand and was bugging a bit and so decided to slow it down a bit since it didn’t seem like I would beat my time or catch up to anyone of the women in front of me.

I hit the second to last aid station with 3.6 miles left in the race, right after the 10 hour mark.  I barely had any water left and was feeling pretty overheated and like my back side was getting majorly sunburned, however once I got there I was asked if I wanted a popsicle! Um, duh!!!! Popsicles are my favorite thing ever during hot races. So I ate my popsicle while jogging the last few miles of the race in at a comfortable 10 minute pace and ended up finishing the race in 10:38.

It definitely was not my best race on that course (my PR out there is 9:59) but nevertheless, despite my legs feeling pretty beaten up all day, I really had a good time. I also didn’t have any stomach issues which I was majorly happy about! The past two years I felt like vomiting the last 10 miles, which was a pretty horrible feeling! My time was also good enough for an age group win and 5th female overall, so not as bad as I thought that I did. I guess I also can’t be too upset or expect really great results when I really didn’t train for this race at all. I did one 50k (a week ago) and other than that, just have been trying to get back in shape after surgery. So all in all it was a good, not great, day, but well worth the trip, especially since this was also the last year the RD, Marie Boyd, will be putting on the race. Hopefully the race will be continued in the hands of someone else because even though very challenging, it is a spectacular race.

Whoo’s In El Moro Race Recap (and win!!)

Yesterday I ran the Whoo’s in El Moro 50k for my fourth year in a row. Going into the race, I had no intention of racing it. I just started running again about three weeks ago now after having foot surgery and my longest run in months was 12 miles, which I did last week. So I was honestly kind of nervous about just being able to complete the distance, let alone try and push the pace and be competitive. My goal was basically to just go out to enjoy some good trail running and be able to finish the distance. Coach Lisa’s goal for me was pretty much the same… complete the distance, walk if I felt like I needed to, but NO hard running.

Mark and I got to the race about 30 minutes prior to the start, picked up our bibs and all our stuff together for the race start. I also met up with my friend, Gisele right before the race as well. I had convinced her to run the 25k event about a week before. A couple minutes before the start, we toed the starting line and I was talking to a couple of runners who I use to run with right when I started getting back into trail running when I was 19. They were laughing (but not in a mean way) about how I could barely do a 6 mile trail run without dying. Ha, so funny… 

Anyways, so the race started at 6:30am. The course consists of two 25k loops, with the second loop just being the reverse loop of the first. Since this was my fourth year running the race and I have helped mark the course for the past two years and I run El Moro a lot in my own training, I know the course well. I know where all the hills are and which ones to push and which ones to walk. I know that it always gets pretty hot during the second loop and also that people always go out way too hard during the first half (pretty much like any other race).

The first big hill comes into the race after the first mile and it lasts for 1.2 miles I think. People always run this hill pretty hard, which I think is kind of dumb. It starts off a bit gradual, but steepens towards the top, so after maybe the first third of it, I power walked the rest of the way up. As we were going up though I realized that there were only guys ahead of me, which was weird. I didn’t feel like I was going fast at all and I am not use to leading races. However at about the 3 mile mark, a woman came flying past me. I let her go happily and just continued on doing my own thing.

During that first 25k loop, I was really surprised at how great my legs were feeling. I kept power walking all the big climbs and running at my own pace on the flats and downs, which I guess didn’t end up being that slow, but it felt good for me. I went back and forth with a couple of the men but never felt the urge to try and keep up with them if they did pass me. I had my music on and was just having a really good time. Right before the mile 11 aid station, I caught back up with Mark and we ran for a few minutes together, but then he took off again. When I hit the aid station, the volunteers told me that the first place woman was probably only about 4 minutes ahead of me. Even though I was still feeling great at this point, it was still fairly early in the race and I didn’t want to push too hard with 20 miles left to go still. Plus I had to remind myself I wasn’t racing this and I knew that I would need to save energy for the second loop. So I just left the aid station and went on my merry way.

I love that this race runs the second 25k loop in the opposite direction because you can see exactly who is in front of you and by how much and also who is close behind you. As I was coming into the aid station, I saw the first place female who had just left and gone back out. She couldn’t have been more than 2-3 minutes ahead of me. I came into the half way aid station in a little over 2:20 and dumped a pre-made bottle of Vitargo with Mila into my hand held bottle and then went back out in less than a minute. On my way back out I also saw a few other women that were pretty close behind.

So I know that I said that I went into this race without the intention of racing, but I 100% did not expect to feel good at all. I thought my legs would pretty much be aching from basically no long runs in months, but they weren’t. I felt great so my strategy kind of changed a bit. Since first place was only a couple minutes ahead of me and there were several women only a few minutes behind, I picked up the pace a bit. The way back up to the previous aid station was primarily all up hill, so although I wanted to run faster, I still didn’t want to run too hard on the up and then blow up. I ended up alternating running and walking, but at a good pace. When I got to the aid station, the volunteers now said that I was maybe only 1-2 minutes behind first. I knew that from that aid station to the next was only 3 miles of mostly flat and downhill and so I started running hard. With maybe a quarter mile until the mile 22 aid station, I saw Mark again and then right in front of Mark, I saw the first place woman. I ran with Mark for a minute or two and strategized in my head what I was going to do for the last few miles of the race.

I ended up passing the first female maybe about a quarter mile after the aid station. The three mile section to the last aid station I knew was going to be hot and very hilly, but I reminded myself that I train in heat and hills all the time and this was where a lot of other people would fade. If I could get a bit lead during this section, I probably could win.  When I got to the big hills, instead of power walking the entire hill, I started to run hard a minute and then I would power walk a minute and try and control my breathing. I was still kind of afraid of being passed again and every couple minutes I would look back to see if anyone was behind me (even though I HATE doing that!). The first two times I did, I could see Mark and her, but after that I didn’t see anyone.

I got to the last aid station in 4:05 and knew I only had 5 miles left of some slightly uphill single track, some slight rolling hills, a long downhill and then flat to the finish. There were no more major climbs and so I ran as hard as I could those last 5 miles and even passed a few of the men. At this point not only was I still trying to keep a hold of my first place, but I wanted to beat my time from last year (4:49). With about 3 miles to go though, I could feel my calves and my left quad were on the verge of majorly cramping up. On any slight incline I could feel them starting to tighten up. However, luckily, when they started to get really bad, which was fortunately only a mile left in the race, Mark caught back up with me and he had some salt. He told me that there was no way any women were going to catch back up to me and that I could take it easy the last mile, but I told him I still wanted to break 4:49. So we ran the last mile in together and I ended up with my first 50k win in a time of 4:44.

I was seriously so happy. I felt like I ran a super smart race, which paid off. I realized at the finish that I even ran exactly even splits, which I was very proud of. This was a huge confidence booster for me knowing that I still am in good shape, maybe even better than I was last year at this point in Badwater training. Looks like not only did the foot surgery pay off (knock on wood) but the down time from running allowed by body to recover as well. I also must say that all the crossfit that I have been doing helped to keep me super strong.

To make a perfect race day even better, I saw my friend, Gisele at the finish line and turned out that she won the 25k! Since Oakley is the major sponsor of the race, we both got hooked up with some Oakley gear including some RadarLock Edge sun glasses, which are my FAVORITE! I already have them in white and now I have black/pink!

If you live in So Cal runner, I would definitely encourage you to try out this race. The race director, Molly, now is having the race 2x a year in May and October. She does an incredible job with it and has very well stocked aid stations, which are perfectly spaced out from each other and she has TK burgers at the finish line. The volunteers are also great, the whole atmosphere of the race is super fun and the proceeds of the race go towards the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Also, if you are a road racer trying to get into trail racing, I think this is the perfect race. Although there is a good amount of climbing, its not too technical at all.

Thank you always to all my sponsors… Injinji and Hoka for super happy feet (no blisters!!) and Vitargo and Mila for fueling me! And Chica bands for making the best non slip head bands 🙂

Back in the Badwater Game

Recovery from foot surgery went much more smoothly than I had expected it to be. My surgery had been on Monday, April 1st and by that Thursday I was back in the gym able to  do sprints on the airdyne bike and some upper body weights. By that Saturday I actually felt so good that I made the decision to still compete in a CrossFit competition that I had signed up for prior to surgery. There was no running involved or max out lifts and box jumps could be substituted for step ups so I figured it would be ok. My foot held up great through all three events and I ended up taking 5th in my division!

Pullups during the first WOD

Pullups during the first WOD

Hanging out at the Genr8 booth with Anthony between workouts

Hanging out at the Genr8 booth with Anthony between workouts

The whole gang of Crossfit Anaerobic NLI competitors!

The whole gang of Crossfit Anaerobic NLI competitors!

After the first week, I actually got out on my bike for the first time in a while and had some really good rides through my favorite riding spot, Santiago Canyon. I also spent a lot of time in the gym doing some super random CF workouts. One day I would do a CF Football Wod with one of the other coaches, Kevin, another I would focus on my Olympic Lifting and other days I would do our gyms workout of the day. It was really fun to mix it up and all I really cared about was getting in a good workout. I actually kind of enjoyed the break from running somewhat and liked doing different workouts everyday, however was still anxious to get back into running knowing that Badwater is only a little over two months away now.

I had originally been told that I would have to take at least 28 days off of running, but last Wednesday (2.5 weeks post surgery), I went back to see my podiatrist for my second follow up and since I was experiencing no pain and had no swelling in my foot (only some slight bruising still), I was given the ok to run! Although people keep telling me that I heal fast because I’m young (which I know does play a role in recovery), I think an even bigger factor in my fast recovery was that I do my best to take super good care of my body. I am a huge believer that what you put into your mouth plays a huge role on recovery, etc.. and although I have a healthy diet on a normal basis (no bread, pasta, gluten, very limited dairy and sugar) I made sure to be even more strict pre and post surgery. I had no cheats (except for some red wine maybe twice) and made sure to take my Mila chia seeds 2x daily. During the first two weeks my doctor had not wanted me to take any sort of anti-inflammatory or even ice and just wanted my body to go through the healing process on its own and so I 100% believe that it healed so fast because I didn’t put any crap into my body which can increase inflammation.

So my first run was last Friday in Ohio (Mark and I were visiting his family for the weekend). We had spent all morning watching updates on CNN regarding the hunt for the Boston bomber and also waiting for the weather to warm up a bit, which it didn’t. Eventually we were left with about an hour and a half until we had to check out of our hotel, which left us only 40 minutes to run, which kind of sucked. Therefore I suggested that we do 4x800m repeats so we could get in somewhat of a good workout in in the short amount of time that we had. We ran on a bike path close to the hotel and it was so cold out and the huge gusts of wind did not help. Anyways, during my first mile warmup I felt pretty stickin good, like I had never taken any time off. Even my first 800 repeat wasn’t all that bad and I was able to stay under 7 min pace despite running into the wind. But after that it pretty much all went downhill. We would jog an 800 recovery in-between repeats and by the 3rd and 4th ones, my hard 800s were barely faster than my recovery 800s. It was pretty pathetic.

Tabata pushups after the run... try them! 8 rounds of 20 seconds of pushups then 10 seconds rest. Harder than it looks, trust me!

Tabata pushups after the run… try them! 8 rounds of 20 seconds of pushups then 10 seconds rest. Harder than it looks, trust me!

Mark and I ended up taking Saturday off of running since it was snowing outside and all he had brought to run in in Ohio were shorts and a singlet, but it turned out to be a good thing because my legs were so sore. I could not believe how sore they were actually from 4 800s. Never have I been that sore from a speed workout! It was like I did a million reps on the good girl/bad girl machines at the gym (the adductor/abductor machines). Im wondering if the freezing cold weather had something to do with it though. Like my muscles were tightening up or something when I was running. Has that happened to anyone before? Anyways, Sundays run turned out to be a bit better. We ran on the Tow Path trail by his moms house which was lovely and not as cold. I got in a whole whopping 10 miles.

Isn't it beautiful!?

Isn’t it beautiful!?

So as you can see Im off to a great start for Badwater (said in the most sarcastic voice ever). Actually in reality, I’m not really THAT nervous about it even though Im probably no where close to where everyone else is mileage wise this close to the race. I feel REALLY strong right now and I know that my running legs will come back in no time. Also, I am lucky to have the guidance of Lisa Smith Batchen again to make sure I don’t do anything stupid in my training, like running a 50 miler this weekend that I had signed up for…

To finish up this blog post, would like to hear from any of you ultra runners who have come back off of a major injury. How did you feel once you started running again and whats the fastest you have ever ramped up to a race after taking a break from running? Also did your body feel more recovered in the “long run” after the rest and were you able to perform better?

Day One

So I finally got foot surgery done yesterday. I was suppose to have it done about two weeks ago, but two days before got a second opinion from a doctor who said I didn’t need it and so I went with that. However, things just continued to get worse when I would work out. My foot would ache every time I would run, which made running not fun. So then I went back and forth like a million times in my head about whether I should just still get it done or not. It was driving me crazy and I’m sure my friends and family too! Then about a week ago Saturday I woke up in the morning with such horrible pain that I couldn’t even sleep and was in pretty bad pain and could barely walk half the day, so that was pretty much the last straw and I got the surgery scheduled (again).

So today is day 1 of 28 of no running. Hopefully it wont be that bad. But am bummed that I now wont be doing a Crossfit competition that I had signed up for this weekend nor a 50 mile that I was signed up for at the end of the month. But life goes on. There will always be more races and competitions and the important thing is that I’m healthy. Running through pain (like injury pain) sucks anyways. But if things go really well with recovery then maybe I can head up to do the Bishop 50 mile in May. I love/hate that race so much. Its so hard and feel like I’m dying the whole time from the altitude and soft sand trail, but then I look up at the mountains and I’m like “OMG I love this so much!” and that puts me in a better mood. Or maybe Keys 50. That way I could get to go see my sister/bff Traci. So many choices. But this is all considering I am 100%.

So I’ve mentioned this before, but I started taking this natural food supplement called, Mila, and hoping it will help to speed some of the recovery up. Am also hoping it helps me not gain 20 pounds this month. I probably already gained 10 after Easter. That is an exaggeration. But I kinda feel like it. There was just way too much good food to limit myself. Anyways, so Mila is a special blend of chia seed that does all sorts of rad stuff. The 3 main things I have noticed are that it has helped a bit with recovery and inflammation and also helps me to stay hydrated throughout the day, which Im really bad about doing and finally I have definitely noticed that it keeps me full throughout the day and reduces sugar cravings. I love sweets. Like LOVE! But with Mila I totally have not been craving them as much as I normally do. So thats where the not gaining 20lbs part comes in. In addition to helping with those three things, it also helps to balance blood sugar, eliminate toxins, gives you more energy and fights free radicals. Seriously it’s like the best superfood out there. I have just been mixing into my water 2x a day, but you can also cook with it and it provides a great fat source or after workouts I have also sprinkled it over some fruit and honey and its really good that way too! If you are interested, let me know and I can tell you how to get it.

So that is basically what is going on for now. The next three days Ill be at home on the couch super busy watching the first season of Game of Thrones. And then maybe, MAYBE, if I have enough time I can start The Walking Dead too. So obviously lots of excitement going on around here. Maybe tomorrow I will even blog again! Or start a new book or play a board game with a friend… the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!!

Product Review: Injinji 2.0 line

So it may sound a little weird to get excited over socks, but trust me, the new Injinji 2.0 line is definitely worth getting excited about. Last week, I came home to an unexpected package from Injinji, which contained an assortment of different socks from their new line..

Now let’s go over why these socks are so great…

I’m sure a lot of you just think that they look cool. Well thats a given. If you’ve worn the socks in the past, you also probably thought that they would be great for blister prevention amongst your toes since each one is separated… and that is also true. However, did you also know that the socks not only look cool and prevent blisters, but they also help to properly align your toes, which helps with posture and balance? The body works as a kinetic chain, which means that all your muscles, joints, nerves, etc work together. You’re feet are obviously the first part of the body to make contact with the ground, so having issues with your feet could potentially cause problems to move upwards into your ankle, calves, knee, hips, etc. So be nice to your feet 🙂

Like I said, there are different socks for different purposes in the new 2.0 line. Ill start with the Run Performance 2.0. These socks are a bit more padded then the traditional Injinji socks, which I really like since I normally wear thicker socks when I run long. The heel also has slightly more padding and there is extra support on the arch area and metatarsal area that gives the socks a little more of a snugger fit, which I like as well. In addition, the socks have a mesh top to help your feet breathe better and finally there is a Lycra band with increased compression around the ankle to keep the sock in place and prevent it from sliding down. Seriously, when your socks slide down has to be one of the most annoying things ever. But down worry, these don’t do that! These socks are fantastic. I love them. The new spring/summer colors are really cute too. I have a pair or hot pink and blue ones.

The Trail Performance 2.0 socks have all of the same great qualities as the Run 2.0, however there is a double elastic cuff to go around the ankle to prevent dirt and small annoying rocks from getting in and to also keep your socks in place.

The Compression Ex-celerator 2.0 provide the benefits of the Run 2.0, however it seems like maybe slightly less padding, but also adds the benefit of compression. I am a big compression sock wearer. My calves get tight a lot and I’ve had issues with my popiliteous (muscle behind your knee), but found that wearing compression on my calves makes it feel much better. I definitely like 2.0 better than the previous Injinji compression socks. I feel like these ones give slightly more compression than the old ones, however aren’t TOO tight like other brands. Seriously, during races there have been times I can’t even get my compression socks on (or off after!) because they were too tight. Also the older version were just a tad bit too long for me. These ones are perfect and come in more exciting colors than black and white, such as purple, blue and pink 🙂

Finally, there is the Performance Yoga 2.0. These socks are a little bit thinner than the run socks and are also made with a cool, bamboo type of fabric, which makes them really soft. The bottom of the socks also have little grip thingies that help prevent you from slipping when holding your yoga pose. I’m not huge into yoga I’ll admit, but these socks are also great for stretching and for walking around the house in 🙂

If you are a runner, of any distance, I would definitely recommend these socks. They are also great for CrossFitting in as well. I feel more balanced, which is obviously important when lifting heavy! Injinji will have a booth at the following races this year, so if you will be attending any of them be sure to stop by check them out!

April 6: American River 50 Mile
April 12: Boston Marathon
June 1: San Diego RNR Marathon
June 8: San Diego 100 Mile
June 29: Western States 100
September 28: UROC 100k

 

28 Days

So after this Friday… no running or crossfit for TWENTY EIGHT DAYS! Seriously I am not happy about that. I have just finally started to feel in shape again with running and also have been crossfitting very well and now I have to put those two things on hold for a little bit.  However, what I am happy about is that I can get this stupid nagging foot injury finally fixed, which has been bugging me since last May. Over the past  8 or so months, I have been diagnosed with plantar, sinus tarsitis, a heel bruise and a stress reaction. Sometimes the pain is unbearable to run in and other times its really not bad and after my foot is warmed up, I can run without even feeling anything. Lately it hasn’t been horrible for the most part, but since I can still feel it, my podiatrist finally allowed me to get an MRI. Well turns out I do have plantar, severe planter actually, and also have joint effusion and 5 torn ligaments. Turns out to be worse than I thought it would be and I’m pretty surprised I was able to run two 135s and a 100 on that. Probably wasn’t the smartest move, but I had no idea. Anyways, so the podiatrist said that I need surgery or else since I already tore so many ligaments in my foot, the next thing to go is my achilles.. and thats no good.

Luckily, I was able to get surgery scheduled asap, which will be this Friday (which coincidently is also when my mom is having bunion surgery so we get to go together, yay!). Its really not even a surgery. There will be no incision and instead my doctor will use needles and some high tech stuff to repair everything. I was freaking the f**k out at first, because I have Badwater in a few months, but he reassured me that since there is no incision, I will heal quickly and Ill be up and running in a month. Had I only tore 1 ligament, I’d be running in 10 days, but I tore 5. Whoops.

Also, thankfully I will be able to workout a bit after 4 days of the surgery, I will just have to do so wearing a boot. So during the next month, I’m just going to become best friends with the airdyne bike so I can try and maintain some endurance and then do as many weights and core work as I can along as keep my diet absolutely as perfect as can be so that 1.) I don’t get fat and 2.) make sure I recover at top speed! I have started using this product called, Mila, which is a very high quality type of chia seeds that help to bring down inflammation and honestly I have already noticed reduced pain over the past couple weeks! After the 28 days I will be able to start running again. The first week back, I can do up to 25% of what I was doing before, 50% the second week and 100% back to normal the 3rd week.

I’m trying to keep my head up through all of this. Maybe the break from running will even be a good thing. Back in 2011 I remember I had to take at least a month break off running, maybe even 2 months, due to a bad piriformis injury. I started running again in March, PRd my marathon time by 9 min in May, PRd my 50k by almost an hour two weeks after that, placed 3rd in a 50 mile a week after that and then won a 100 miler in June, which was a 5 hour PR. So the rest thing seemed to work well for me so I’m REALLY hoping the same thing happens again for Badwater!

So running and crossfit, I will miss you these next few weeks, but at least I am going to get ripped from all the bench and bicep curls I will be able to do! See, there’s always a silver lining! 🙂