2017 week 12 recap-> 4 weeks until Boston Marathon

2017 week 12 recap-> 4 weeks until Boston Marathon

Happy Monday! I am in such a good mood this morning, especially compared to the grump I was last week.  It’s dark and drizzly here, but getting my runs in this weekend and looking forward to a couple tough speed days this week has me amped!

Here is my weekly Recap

Monday-Unscheduled Rest Day

Last Monday, I was still working on the img_2698ankle.  I was pretty confident I could run a little bit but followed the guidance of my Physical Therapist and patiently waited one more day.

On Monday morning, I got a little gift from my secret pal at work, we call them “eagle pals”.  I was shocked, someone in my building is extremely thoughtful and they even took the time to personalize it with my Bib number.  I absolutely love it!

Tuesday- 2 miles at 7:29 pace, total time 14:52

 I started this test run out really easy, probably 9 minutes per mile and picked it up a little each lap.  I just wanted to test out how it felt.  When I first started it kind of felt awkward, like I was learning to run again.  Very quickly, I was comfortable and chatting it up without much worry.

Wednesday-6.02 miles at 7:41 total time 46:13

 Ready to run! Spent some time in physical therapy doing some hopping and skipping tests, tried out some running at different speeds and got the green light to go for a run.  Felt great and I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to run.  After my run, I took my four year old daughter to track practice with me, she tells me she wants to jump the “gurdles” when she’s big.  You know, the “girl hurdles.” Ha Ha!

img_2734Thursday- 8.13 miles at 7:46 pace, total time 1:03:10

Another beautiful day to run.  I felt so smooth and easy, I didn’t want to stop.  I could probably have happily squeezed in a twenty miler.





Friday-6.17 miles at 7:57 pace, total time 49:02

 It rained all afternoon and we had lightening during track practice.  I was certain I was going to be stuck on the dreadmill for this run.  I was happily surprised that just as practice ended, so did the rain and I got some really pretty views along the lake.



Saturday- 19 miles at 6:53 pace, total time 2:10:43

 Prescribed workout- 4 miles at 7:15 pace, 4 miles at 7:00 pace, 4 miles at 6:45 pace, 4 miles at 6:30 pace and 2 miles at 6:15 pace.  I added on a cool down mile.img_2737

Workout long run!  I love these types of run/workouts.  I would vote for
long runs workouts over easy long runs.  I found the 6:30 pace to be the hardest.  Not because the actual pace was harder, but because I knew I still had 2 miles at a faster speed to do after.  Once I got to the 6:15, I knew I was almost done.  Running is such a mind game.  I felt good during the run, but had some embarrassing tummy issues when the run was over.  Spent some extra time in the porta-potty.

Sunday-4.05 miles at 7:55 pace, total time 32:02

               4.12 miles at 8:16 pace, total time 34:04

A friend and I went out to watch a local 10k race that some friends were racing in.  We got the first 4 miles in before the race and then another 4 miles as they were racing.

I guess it’s kind of taper time, now. I will be getting in some extra speed sessions and keeping my long run this week.  I can’t say I am feeling as confident as I would like too.  This training cycle has felt like a roller coaster ride of  good and bad.   That’s probably normal, though.  I am definitely thinking a lot more about goal times and beginning to wonder what race day weather will bring. 3 more weeks!

Thanks for reading!

Dumb things people have said to me, during Boston Marathon Training. 

I am super lucky to have so many supportive people cheering me on as I train for my first Boston Marathon.  I have had a lot of great conversations with my non-runner friends.  I have also had some really silly ones.  Here are the most memorable ones. I bet a lot of you can relate.

  • “Are you going to win?”-Um, no.  I’m not going to be anywhere close to the winner.  I get asked this one a lot, surprisingly.  People will comment how I won (another previous, local race) so why not try to win at Boston.  I’ll be trying, believe me, but it would take an act of god for me to win.
  • “Are you afraid you’ll poop your pants?”-I can’t believe more than one person has asked me this.  Is this what non-runners think marathon runners do? Run and poop their pants? poop
  • “What is your fastest mile?”- I guess when someone isn’t a runner, maybe a mile seems like a long distance run to them?  I have lots of people who will ask me what my fastest mile is, when talking about the marathon.


  • “Aren’t marathon runners tall? Or Your legs are too short”-It surprises people when I tell them that most elite runners aren’t super tall. I think people imagine super skinny basketball players.


  • “Have you heard about the guy who died (insert race here)”-This just isn’t nice.  We have had an unlucky event or two in our local races and people want to tell me about it.  That’s just mean.

marathon meme

  • “Marathons are bad for your (knees, heart, health..)”-Ugh, not this again.  I am sure that soda and chips you had for lunch and sedentary life style is a much healthier option.


  • “I ran a 5k marathon once, how long is the Boston Marathon?”- This one usually makes me giggle.  Many non-runners seem to think marathon is a catch all phrase for road races.  One person thought I was joking when I said a marathon was 26.2, I still am not sure if she ever realized I was serious.

5k marathon

  • “Don’t you get tired”-Well duh! I usally feel sick, and everything hurts.  I can’t decide if I want to nap, shower, eat or vomit after I finish.  I’m trying to figure out how to manage all four at once when I return to my hotel.


  • “How far is the bike portion of the marathon”- Triathlons are pretty cool, but its an entirely different sport.


  • Wanna race?-  This is mostly my middle school students.  I get asked almost daily if I am ready to race.  It usually stops when track starts and they realize the tiny science teacher can run them all into the ground and call it a warm up.  ha!race me

Hopefully, you were able to laugh at one or two of these.  I know I did.  What are some funny things people have said to you about running?

Quit googling your injuries!

Admit it, you are guilty.  You feel a pain and you head to the Google, to find out what is wrong and how to fix it.  STAHP IT!   I am totally guilty myself.  I know better, but sometimes I don’t want to admit something is wrong, so I look for ways to self-remedy. This does me no good, usually only delaying my recovery.  It can be kind of confusing, sometimes.  Training for long distance races comes with some assumed mild discomfort, the question is how much and what type.

In my mini-series Runners for Dummies, I wrote a chapter on taking care of your sick or injured runner.  This article included a great, easy to use guide in trying to determine whether you have an injury or regular muscle soreness.


If you are looking at the chart and thinking you have a relatively minor injury, go ahead and give yourself a small break now before the problem gets worse.  You may be able to continue to run at a decreased pace and distance.  This is where working closely with a coach can really help.

My rule for seeking medical advice, when in doubt check it out.  No matter how detailed you are when you are searching online, you cannot be diagnosed by strangers on the internet.  The worst part is the horrible stories and extreme cases that almost always pop up.  When I was struggling with basic shin splits, by the time I was done with the internet, I was convinced I had a stress fracture and was about to spend six months to a year in a boot. A week of treatment and I was running pain free.  The other issue with searching online, the conflicting medical advice you can find.  Anyone can have a website or post videos to youtube.  There is no screening process.  Doing the wrong things can further injure your and delay recovery.

So you have an injury, how long should you rest before seeking treatment.  Well, that depends. I rolled my ankle last week, it swelled up immediately and had a bunch of bruising to go along with it. I know the basics, RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation).  I went through the process, multiple times that evening.  I still woke up with a big fat, bruised cankle.    Normally, I would give myself a week or two.  I played soccer for years, through high school and college.  This wasn’t my first cankle.  However, I am only weeks away from my goal race. I wanted to ensure I did not have a more severe injury and that I was being as proactive as I could in returning to running.  I got in to see a physical therapist the very next day.  So timing of the injury, can impact how I long I will let the issue resolve itself.

Many running injuries are not sudden injuries due to an accident. Instead running injuries are most often overuse injuries.  When I suspect this type of injury, I will try to decrease my mileage and pace for a few days.  If I continue to have issues, I will take the next step and take some time off.  Most overuse injuries will improve after 1-2 weeks of rest.  If after that time I am still having issues, I will get checked out by a doctor of physical therapist.

Whether your pain resolves itself within a few days of easier mileage or you decide to seek treatment.  You need to address not only the symptoms, but the cause.  Increasing speed or mileage too quickly is a common error for runners.  Be sure to resume training gradually, so you don’t wind up sidelined again.  Respect the recovery process.  Slow down your easy days, take time to stretch and foam roll.  Warm up and cool down appropriately for your speed workouts.  Adding in strength training can also be a big help in preventing injuries.

Working with a coach can help you avoid injuries.  If you have found yourself with a string of injuries, one after another.  A coach can really help you train smarter and help you get out of that negative cycle.  A coach can give you strength and stretches that will compliment your training program.  Coming off and injury, working with a coach can help ensure that you return to running at a safe rate.

Injuries suck! Don’t rely on internet advice to get you back to running.

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2017 week 11 recap- 5 weeks until Boston Marathon

               I was so excited for this week. I was going to make this a super, running week.  I had plans to really focus on recovery and strength training.  Spending my spring break doing all the little extra things so that I could finish my last couple weeks strong.  Well, things didn’t go as planned. I ended up hurt and laying around most of the weekend. Here is my super short, weekly recap

Monday-Scheduled rest day

Tuesday- Double Dip       

               Morning run 4.00 miles at 8:00 pace, total time 32:00

               Afternoon run 8.36 miles at 7:49 pace, total time 1:05:23

I felt great today and was really pumped to get some bonus mileage in with a friend.  It was pretty cold, but I was looking forward to the nice weather coming in.

Wednesday- 2.49 miles at 7:35 pace, total time 18:49

Since we are on spring break, I was able to go to our local store group run. I love joining this group.  A few miles into the run I got my feet tangled up with another runner and went down.  I ended up rolling my ankle cause a sprain.  I was glad I had people along, and that I was able to get a ride back to the store and ice on my ankle quickly.  Unfortunately, it still swelled up pretty quickly. I put on a compression sock and headed home.

Thursday- Unscheduled rest day

I woke up and my ankle was HUGE, this terrified me that I had done something bad.  I could barely put weight on it.  I laid up on the couch and ice pretty much all da.

Friday-Unscheduled rest day

 I was able to get in to see my favorite physical therapist.  We weren’t able to do much, because it was still so swollen and I was still not able to put much weight on it.  We did some non-weight bearing movements and more ice.

Saturday- Unscheduled rest day

The swelling went down a lot today and I was beginning to move around a lot better.  I was hopeful that I could run Sunday, but my physical therapist wanted me to wait another day.

Sunday-Unscheduled rest day

Most of the swelling was gone and my ankle just looked sort of discolored.  I was able to walk pretty normal.

I am getting some running in this week and am optimistic that I will be back to regular training this weekend.  I know that less than a week off of running, wont impact my fitness much, but it hard not to feel like you are getting slower and slower by the day.  Runners need to run.  It keeps us sane. 

Invitation for Guest Bloggers

Runcanvas is growing, and I love it.  I want to offer a wider variety of knowledge and expertise to readers. That’s why I am ready to open up to guest bloggers.  If you are interested, check out the details below.

What kind of articles is Runcanvas looking for?

  • High quality original content, not published elsewhere
  • Approximately 750-1250 words in length. Length driven more by content and less by word count
  • Content related to running. I would really love to reach bloggers with niches that are related to running, such as; physical therapy, coaching, weightloss, yoga, nutrition, strength training and anything entertaining or funny.  It must be complimentary to running and endurance training
  • Someone who will be available for comments after post is published. This is typically 3-7 days in length.  You can post through runcanvas, but it is better to post from your own blog site that way the readers can identify you and follow up on your site if they like the content

Benefits for you, the guest blogger

  • Share content with a new audience.
  • Exposure-Quality content will drive readers to your blog
  • Build and expand your writing portfolio.

Agreements between Runcanvas and Guest bloggers

  • Runcanvas has the right to oversee all posts on Runcanvas including; amending typos and requesting revisions. This is not an attempt to control your writing voice, but to uphold the quality of content that Runcanvas wishes to create. Runcanvas will respect your writing and creativity while maintaining my vision for the growth of Runcanvas blog
  • Your post become a part of Runcanvas, written and published only on Runcanvas
  • Runcanvas and Guest Blogger will both promote post on Social Media
  • Links- Feel free to include links promoting your own website and content. You may do so with in the text, as long as it fits the topic, and/or promote your blog at the end of the post. No irrelevant links or affiliate links will be allowed
  • Guest blogger will include picture and brief introductory paragraph on all guest posts. This helps the readers identify guest blogger and get to know more about you. This can be helpful in driving traffic to your blog. I believe it’s also important in giving credit to the author

Last Day for submissions is Wednesday February 22

If you are interested please fill out the information below

My favorite part of my recovery routine, is Epsom Salt Baths

img_2661 Growth is made during your recovery.  You work out hard, tearing your muscles down and your body rebuilds, stronger than before.  You should treat the recovery process with as much respect as your speed workouts and long runs.  The better you recover, the more you can push yourself during subsequent training sessions.  Since most of us are NOT professional athletes, waddling around the workplace like a duck because of soreness, is less than ideal. I rely on Epsom salt bath multiple times a week, to help me push through training and recover faster.


  • Epsom Salt contains magnesium, the second most abundant element in your cells. Magnesium offers our body many benefits including; aiding in muscle control, energy production and helping flush toxin from cells which can help alleviate muscle soreness.
  • Stress Relief- A warm soak can be great for relaxing the mind and body. Taking a warm evening soak can be very helpful in getting a good nights rest.
  • Relieving muscle soreness and increasing flexibility. This is the main reason I take frequent soaks.

*There isn’t definitive research proving/disproving the efficacy of Epsom Salt baths.  Anecdotally, I have found Epsom salt baths to be extremely relaxing and very helpful in improving flexibility and aiding in relieving general muscle soreness.  If the benefits are only a placebo effect, it isn’t harmful.


               All the time! Ha. I like to take an Epsom salt bath the evening before my long runs and after any run that I felt was taxing.  This is usually two to three times a week, sometime more during especially draining weeks.  If, however, I have any visible swelling or inflammation, I will skip the warm baths.  I don’t want to do anything that would increase swelling.  Sometimes I will replace with a ice bath, but mostly I will just ice the specific area, in a moving/massaging motion.



               The directions on the packages vary, so I have played around and do what seems to work for me.  I will put four cups on Epsom salt into a tub and fill the bath with the warmest water that I can tolerate.  I will relax and soak for ten to fifteen minutes first and then start gently stretching in the bath for five to ten minutes. I will spend twenty to thirty minutes in the soak total. Afterwards I like to foam roll while my muscles are warmed up from the bath. This is an important step in maintaining the benefit I get from the Epsom salt soak.



img_2655 I have two brands of Epsom Salts that I really like.  The first brand is Dr. Teals Epsom Salt.  I like to use the unscented kind and add in a variety of essential oils.  I have used this brand for the last year and a half, I started when I was training for my first marathon.   For general soreness, this is a great product that I would recommend.  It’s easily found locally and often on sale.




My new favorite brand is Epsoak, by S.F Salt img_2657Company.  I was participating in a twitter chat, for BibRave and was selected to receive a free product.  I chose the “energizing” eucalyptus and peppermint scented.   The first time I tried it, I didn’t seem to notice much difference between this brand and others.  The main differences I noticed at the time were the very strong smell (which I liked) and the smaller than usual salt grains which helped it dissolve faster.   A few weeks later I was feeling especially run down and I used the product again, and it was magical.  It relieved my soreness and achiness, so much better. When I was running with a head cold and feeling drained, I felt like the Epsoak really helped alleviate the symptoms and allow me to continue training.  So for general soaks, and soreness the two products seemed to perform similar, but when I am really achy and run down, the Epsoak gives an additional level of comfort and relief.  It does cost more, and I haven’t found it in stores.  I totally think the product is worth it, to order and have available.

Have you tried Epsom Salt baths?  What is your favorite part of your recovery routine?

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2017 Week 10 Recap-6 week before Boston Marathon!


This was a tough week.  Not because of the workouts, or mileage.  It was tough because it took me the whole week to recover from last week’s 10k race.  I shouldn’t be terribly surprised, I seem to recover slower than most of my running buddies. The fatigue and soreness will hang around an extra day or two.  I got a bit overly excited after my 10k PR, I couldn’t wait to race again.  So after the race I reached out to my coach and asked him if we could fit in an upcoming race this Saturday. I got the green light, and he suggested I stick to the 5k.  (There was a 5k and 12K option) So glad he did, because it was a struggle.

Here is my weekly recap

Monday- Double Dip 5.04 miles at 8:39 pace, total time 43:35

               4.03 miles at 8:22 pace, total time 33:44

I woke up feeling dead today, legs were super heavy and they did not want to run.  I slogged through both runs.  Nothing terrible or hurting, just no juice left in the legs today.

Tuesday- Double Dip 3.02 miles at 8:32 pace, total time 25:43

               5.05 miles at 7:59 pace, total time 40:20

My morning run, down-right sucked.   Things hurt, and bad. I wasn’t concerned with injury, the soreness had just hit maximum level ouchie. I walked up a hill, by my house. Magically though, the afternoon run felt easier.  The soreness was clearing out but I still felt like I had heavy legs and my breathing labored more than usual at that pace.  I slowed down at the end to keep the run feeling easy.

Wednesday- 10.2 miles at 7:51 pace, total time 1:20:00

                              6×30 second surges through the middle

Coach gave me two options, depending on how my recovery was going.  After seeing how my runs went the last two days, he suggested I take the lighter option.  This allowed me to continue recovering from this weekend’s race and also get some mileage in.  I felt good as the run started, but around mile 7 I felt tired again. I was a beautiful day and I really enjoyed getting small bursts of speed mixed in to my run today.

Thursday-8.01 miles @ 7:52 pace, total time 1:03:03

Almost all of the soreness was gone at this point, just some lingering hamstring tightness.  The legs felt a bit tired before, but nothing out of the norm for a marathon training cycle.

Friday- 4.09 miles @ 8:26 pace, total time 34:26

               4×10 strides at the end

Super easy run, to keep things loose and get ready for my 5k tomorrow. I really blasted out some of the 10 second strides just to help open my stride more.

Saturday- Big 12 5k race

2.25 miles warm-up @8:06 pace (4×10 second strides)

               5k race, finishing time 18:10

               5 miles cool down, 8:00 pace completed on treadmill

  This was a tough race for me. It was freezing and snowy. The course was pretty hilly and my legs still felt heavy. As the race started one of the other female runners, gapped me by a good 20 meters within the first quarter mile. I maintained that distance until the first mile marker.  I picked up the pace and spent most of the second mile trying to close the gap.  I was completely unfamiliar with the course, and was surprised by the mostly uphill third mile.  I manage to keep close to the other girl until the final half quarter mile.  I decided to make a final push as we topped the hill, I didn’t want to wait until the last 100m to try and beat her in a sprint with my legs feeling so dead. During the final push, I felt a sharp pain in the back of my leg, limiting how much I could open up my stride. It was a touch race the whole way, but I am glad I was able to get the overall female for the day, with a finishing time of 18:10.  There was a pretty awesome prize included in this race, $750 in gas cards, and tickets to the Men’s Big 12 Basketball Championship game.  As I walked down with one of the race officials, to get my prize, my leg continued to tighten and became really painful.  I decided to hit the gym nearby, hoping the warmer temperatures would allow me to finish my run and keep my muscles from tightening up if I need to slow down.  I walked about 10 minute and was able to jog after that.  I got in 4 miles before my leg started tightening up again, so I finished out 5 miles and called it a day.

My husband loves basketball and it was a great opportunity to get out and enjoy a child free night, thanks to my mom and sister.  They animg_2617nouced the winners of the race, during one of the commercial breaks and had us receive our prizes on the court.  That was pretty embarrassing for me.


Sunday- 15.1 miles at 7:46 pace, total time 1:56:51

I woke up feeling pretty good.  No fatigue or soreness.  I was almost as if, I didn’t run a race yesterday. I joined a couple of guys on a super flat, gravel trail for some easy miles.


That’s it, no more racing for me until after the marathon.  I’m ready to get in some more long runs and ready to get a couple more solid speed workouts in before coach starts my taper. Boston released our bib numbers and wave/corral assignments.  It’s one more step until race day! Only 5 more weeks to go! HOLY COW


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