On the last Friday of the month, Marcia hosts a Runfessions link up, where we can all spill our deep, dark running secrets…or you know, just write about running. And every month, almost without fail, I totally forget to join in with my runner friends.
But not this time, baby!
Except… well, there hasn’t been a whole lot of running going on. It’s been a tough month. After a couple of runs late June and early July, I could feel something a little off in my left leg – maybe my hamstring, maybe an adductor? Just a little twinge, though. We went to our cousins’ for 4th of July weekend and on Saturday I did an easy run with some hill repeats in the middle.
I felt great. It was humid and hot out, but I was able to get through six repeats and stretched afterward and all was well with the world.
The next morning, I spent 40 minutes on the spin bike out on the porch, while I watched the kids play and the dogs nap.
Once I was done, I got off and felt a sharp pain in my left leg. It hurt badly the rest of the day. I rested completely for a week, then when I worked out in the week following, it was swimming, yoga, weights and finally I tried out the elliptical for half an hour. No more pain, no problem.
Until I tried to run again.
So my life has been a few attempted runs, followed by a different workout entirely.
This has resulted in a very grumpy motherrunner. Other exercise helps, but it’s no substitute for the mood booster that running is for me. I am snappy and overwhelmed and terrified that every single time for the rest of my life that I try to run, it will hurt.
Also, it DOES NOT HELP that I have an awesome new running stroller and I can’t take it for a proper test drive. It mocks me daily.
JUST KEEP SWIMMING
The good news is this has helped me out with swimming. After I started swimming late in my pregnancy with Baby T, I decided to switch gyms so I could keep it up, since I was enjoying it so much. My first couple of postpartum swims were as slow as when I was 40 weeks pregnant, but as of a week ago I realized something had changed – I felt faster, my stroke felt fluid, I was taking less breaks and for shorter periods. I moved up to the medium-fast lane. No, I’m not thinking about a triathlon (the bike part freaks me out too much). I’m just really enjoying swimming.
FEELING HOT, HOT, HOT
In case you haven’t noticed the awesome tights I’ve been rocking lately, I was selected as a Spandits! ambassador for 2015-2016. I love the company and their product, but since I am carrying extra weight postpartum, I have been sticking to long tights and capris. But holy moly guacamole it’s been hot here in NYC. So I’m actually considering getting some shorts. Not boy shorts (I haven’t lost my mind) but still pretty short. What do you think of these?
I think I’m at the point where I just have to be more comfortable temperature-wise than body image-wise, especially as we head into the dog days of summer. (I love that saying so much, by the way, “dog days of summer”. I have no idea what it means, I just love the sound of it and how evocative it is of moving through warm, soupy air outside and ice melting just as fast as you can clink it into your glass.)
I just finished up writing training plans for not one, but two of my awesome clients to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon in October! One actually already followed a program I wrote for her while I was on maternity leave and ran the Brooklyn Half in May (check out how well she did!) so it’s been fun to re-write her program and tweak it a little to see if she can knock some time off her debut PR!
I’m signed up to run it as well, but of course I’m terrified I will never run again blah blah blah. Yeah, I know. Dramatic.
SO, FOR WHEN I’M REALLY BACK…
I just listened to an interesting podcast on Run to the Top, which is hosted by the lovely and talented Tina Muir – if you remember, she also wrote a guest post for me on the surprising habits of elite runners. Tina interviewed Michele of NYC Running Mama, who is such a lovely woman and talented runner. They discussed the idea of running by effort rather than being tied to your watch for pace and goals. Both of them recently ran PRs in their goal race marathons – Tina ran a 2:41 in London and Michele ran a 3:15 in Boston – and they both did it without looking at their watches or at mile markers for their splits! To me, it seems incredible to be able to trust your body to run to what you know you’re trained for, but something Michele talked about made it a little clearer for me. She said that in previous races or runs, she’d look at her watch and realize she was a little shy of her pace, so she’d speed up a bit, then realize she was going too fast. By the next mile, it meant she had slowed down off her pace even further, resulting in this fast/slow/fast/slow pattern that was exhausting.
Does that sound familiar to you? It describes at least a good chunk of most of my races.
So, I’m going to try out running by effort when I get over this injury and just see what happens. I figure this is the perfect time to experiment with a new technique like this, when I’m not shooting for any specific time goal anyway and I already know I’m not in peak shape.
Of course, old habits die hard and I will still wear a GPS watch to see my splits and pace and all that lovely data.
Anyone else out there sidelined from running?
Have you tried running and racing on effort rather than pace? Advice?
Are those shorts too short?