Monthly Archives: September 2016

Rock n Roll Recap… Philly Love

Last Sunday was the Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon. It was my first time running in any of Philly Rock n Roll Half Marathonthe Rock n Roll races.  Live music on the course definitely brings a different flair to a race.  While its always an accomplishment to finish a half marathon (or any race), this one was tough.  The humidity was so high making it unbearable to breathe.  This is an example of how you can’t control everything come race day and sometimes you just have to dig in and push through.

Miles 1-6:  As expected these were the easy miles. We ran through the city which is always motivating as the crowds keep you going. This is what makes me LOVE Philly so much.

Mile 7-8:  I’ve just hit the lesser populated part of the run.  I kept looking at my watch and started to notice how much I was hurting.  The humidity wouldn’t allow me to fully catch my breath.  I still have 5+ miles to go… feeling like this. Uh oh.

Mile 9:  I had the chills.  Not a good sign.  I did a mental calculation to review my hydration over the last few days.  I kept watching for the next water stop. WHERE IS IT?!

Mile 10:  Chills were in full effect.  The medical team had pallets of ice busted open.  THANK GOD!  I grabbed a handful and shoved it down my sports bra.  Held a handful to the back of my neck while running and threw some ice in my mouth.

Miles 11-12:  I started feeling nauseous and held off throwing up as long as possible.  (Yes, I may have vomited slightly in my mouth. It happens!) This time I grabbed some gatorade from the hydration station.

Mile 13 to the end:  Finally… nearing the finish!  A turtle could have passed me I was running so slow, but I made it through.

I was wobbly and cramping at the end.  At one point, I got scared because I couldn’t stop wobbling.  But, I downed a few waters and ate something immediately.  Slowly, I began to feel better and better.

Why do I do this?  There was nothing enjoyable about this race – except the end.  And, even that was disappointing because I missed my goal time by 6 minutes.

I do it for the sense of accomplishment. I do it because its a mental game to see how far I can push it. I am not an elite runner, but crossing that finish line makes me feel like an athlete.  

Yes, I’ve already signed up for next year’s Philly Rock n Roll Half Marathon.

Lesson Learned: Rest When Injured

Knowing when to say when isn’t always that easy – especially when you’re the classic type A person on a mission to accomplish something.

I’ve been training for months for my half marathon. I have a very specific time goal that I want to hit and I’ve been so diligent in my training to do everything I can to hit that goal. I hired a run coach to help me train. I mapped out my 12 week running plan to include hill and speed workout, short and long runs, and incorporated training paces that progressively increased for each segment. I even have my training plan color coded so it gives it more depth and life. Yes, I’m that anal about things. I’m not the fastest runner, but I am a runner who plans, trains, and generally works hard to accomplish her goals.

You can probably guess what happened… I got hurt. I pulled my left hamstring and watched all my training go out the window. Well, maybe its not that dramatic but it certainly put a damper on things.

Rest When Injured

A few weeks ago while I was training and running hills, I felt it… a slight twinge in my hamstring. Like many other stubborn runners, I chose to ignore it and assumed it would just go away. I kept running and running – for weeks. I kept doing speed work and hills. I worked my way up to 10 and 11-mile runs. My half marathon is only a few weeks away. I needed to get my runs in! But, my body just wasn’t cooperating.

The result? I have been benched from running for the last eight days. After my last 11-mile run, I could barely stand up and take a step. Since then, I’ve been foam rolling and working my hamstring back to health. I know this is something I should have done when the pain first happened, but I’m used to approaching things head on and just powering through. This time, the lesson I learned was that I needed to pull back to get ahead. I think we can all relate to that – whether personal or professional.

All that being said, after 8 days of rest, my hamstring is feeling a lot better. Its still sore and I’m going to give it another day or two before testing out a short run. I’m still planning to run my half marathon, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may not hit my race pace goal. I’m actually OK with that because I recently signed up for another half marathon in early December and will continue working towards my race pace goal.

So, what am I doing to work through my slight hamstring pull? Here’s what seems to be working for me:

  1. Ice – I’ve been icing my hamstring multiple times a day. I keep it on for about 20 minutes and reapply a few times. I’ve been taking ice packs to work and doing it throughout the day while at the office.
  2. Foam Rolling – I’ve been carefully foam rolling my hamstring, but also my buttocks, quads and hip area. Because I’ve been limping around, I’m overusing other muscles that I don’t normally use. Foam rolling is helping to keep things loose all around.
  3. Lacrosse Ball Massage – In addition to foam rolling, I’ve become addicted to my lacrosse ball. (Great tip from my run coach!) It’s a little more solid than a tennis ball and larger than a golf ball. I use it as an additional massage to get in there and work my hamstring muscles. I’m very careful not to use too much pressure, but its get to places that my foam roller just can’t reach.
  4. Omega-3s – Finally, I’m taking an extra dose of omega-3s to help with the inflammation in the body.

I’m slowly feeling better and can’t wait to start running again! To be honest, I’m slowly losing my mind not being able to get out there. When I’m not running, I spin. Because this is a hamstring pull, that’s off the table too. I keep telling myself that the rest will help and I’ll be back out there in no time!