The Run Down - The RunVermont Blog

Recently I’ve had some people tell me that they could never run because its too hard. I believe that almost anyone can start running with the right motivation. Take this photo for example:

Anyway, it has been a long 2.5 weeks of no running. It feels silly to blog about training for the marathon when I can’t run right now, but I have found other ways to train. After feeling sorry for myself I decided that if there was any chance of me still running the marathon I better re-open my gym membership at the Woolen Mill Health club in Winooski. I like this gym because there are no frills and no fuss. They have a great selection of machines, weights, and stretchy bands, have flexible hours and make it easy and affordable to join.

My first day back at the gym I wasn’t sure I would be able to get a good work-out, I’m not usually a gym person. I prefer to run, bike, and ski to maintain my fitness. My physical therapist told me I could try out the elliptical trainer and stationary bike. I was a little hesitant at first and was afraid of falling off the machine. I may mountain bike and ski but something about gym machines scares me! But, I hadn’t done cardio in a week and was really feeling antsy so I forced myself to get started. I was able to do two rigorous miles while listening to Flo Rida. I know, 2 miles doesn’t sound like much, but for those of you who saw me hobbling around, 2 miles was a lot on that thing, and after some weight lifting and stretching, I felt like a million bucks!

I was able to go back to the gym a few more times this past week, each time alternating between the stationary bike and the elliptical as tolerated and even went for two road bike rides in the beautiful weather. Biking doesn’t seem to bother my foot at all and I can tell my foot is improving, its just moving slowly. With the added component of doing more upper body strength training I feel strong and can’t wait to see how it affects my running. Tomorrow I plan to test out a light jog.

The marathon is very quickly approaching. If I can’t heal in enough time to increase my mileage and do my taper I will defer this year’s marathon, I just don’t feel like I’m quite at that point yet.  According to the PT, cuboid syndrome is very painful at first and then tends to just “go away.” The annoying thing is that it can linger 6 weeks or more, so its hard to know what will happen for sure.

I’m remaining optimistic and trying to do as much as I can to stay in shape in the meantime. Happy running.


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“Crazy K” Came Out to Play

While I have had a number of challenges over the past 13 weeks, I ear-marked three major ones on the schedule:
1)    Running 18-miles
2)    Running 20-miles
3)    Spandex


Mountainous Marathon Training…

I have officially overcome two of the aforementioned hurdles. 20 miles is on the horizon – in two weeks – and yes, I’m terrified… almost as terrified as I was of spandex before I learned its the best thing ever (especially fluorescent spandex).

I have the most tolerant loving parents in the world. They were willing to turn Easter brunch into a later Easter lunch in order to accommodate my run, and daddy even helped me map it. We mapped a gorgeous there-and-back from my parents’ cabin on the Green River Reservoir to Craftsbury. It was a stunning bluebird day, the road had very little traffic (Northeast Kingdom classic), and the temperature danced around 45 degrees. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions.

Please note, I will NEVER do that run again. I’ve included a screenshot of the elevation analysis to garner your sympathy and so that you can all validate that it was completely silly-stupid-hard…

Some things I discovered myself doing in order to get through the run:
1)    I pictured incredibly attractive, single, fit young men who were ready for me to impress them with my unhindered pace and incredible determination. I did this with every car that passed me during the run, which was about seven (Yay N.E.K.!).
2)    I created elaborate scenarios in my mind:
•    How I would outrun or wrestle a moose/bear?
•    How I would take on a raccoon? If it had rabies? If it had an uncommonly high level of intelligence? Intelligence and rabies?
•    What I would do if an axe murderer pulled up on this abandoned road looking to dump a body?
•    How I would communicate with aliens if and when they wandered out of the woods?
•    How do we rid the world of McDonalds and Miller Lite? (such a pretty run with such ugly garbage)
3)    I named my RunKeeper “audio cue” Karen and thanked her for the time and distance updates (I turned off pace – F that).
4)    And then, towards the end of the run, I began to beg Karen for an update; I wanted her to reveal the little amount of distance I had left. What was more disconcerting was when I imagined her response: “Kiersten, do you really need know how far you’ve come? You know you’re nearly there. Now, keep it up! Get it done! Moveit!Moveit!Moveit!”
5)    As I approached my last hill, I shouted at it, “Hey, Hill! I’m totally gonna kick your ass.” Unfortunately, the hill responded in my head, “Nope, definitely gonna kick yours.” (P.S. I kicked its ass.)

Once you get into these longer runs, they really become epic adventures across towns and sites. I should probably secure a buddy in the future, eh? Things get a little too weird when I am left to my own devices.

This past Friday, I popped into Green Mountain Rehab to buy some more Clif Gel Shots in preparation for the big run, and Andy was there closing up for the weekend. He asked me if I had a post-run food plan as well. “Eat everything?” I said with a devious smile – because that’s pretty much what I did. Clearly I hadn’t taken this aspect of my run as seriously as the “during dining.” What I didn’t know at the time was that Andy has psychic abilities, and he was reading my imminent running future (Disclaimer: Andy has not claimed to have any kind of psychic abilities)

Easter Mimosas with Mom, about 45 minutes before disaster struck; aw, I look so happy and carefree...

Easter Mimosas with Mom, about 45 minutes before disaster struck; aw, I look so happy and carefree…

After my big run, I did my usual long stretch session, and then jumped into my parent’s hot tub with a mimosa. After the hot tubbing, I took a tiny cat-nap in the sun, and then woke up looking to eat. I proceeded to gorge on a chocolate Easter bunny, jelly beans, some brie with apples and crackers, that spinach and artichoke dip that is clinically addicting from Costco (you know the one; and guess what?! It no longer lists MSG as an ingredient – yay!), and those also-addicting chocolate-covered pomegranate candies. It was halfway through Easter luncheon that it hit me – overwhelming nausea. For what must be the first time in my entire life, I left half the food on my plate and said I had to go lie down.

The nausea was terrible, the worst. I laid still, breathed carefully and deeply, and quite honestly, I burped non-stop praying it wouldn’t evolve into something ugly. I hit the runners’ discussion boards online to see what I could dig up. Some discussed dehydration, but running-consultant-Sam-Davis had me all over that issue very early on in my training. I made sure to drink plenty of water the night before, drank a little prior to the run, and wore my Camelbak during for sips every thirty minutes and gulps-and-swishing with the Clik Gels (yep – staying dead sexy). Salts and electrolytes were discussed, but I assume those Clif Gels are packed with that stuff. And then there was something about how during long runs, essential blood flow is diverted from important functions (i.e. digestion) to deliver oxygen to the muscles during and after the run, and this can cause severe nausea up to an hour or two after finishing; other runners suggested going easy on the system until you know you’re in the clear.

Was 18 miles my ceiling? Did I have to “eat carefully” when I run those kinds of distances? That would pretty much be the worst news ever…

For a second, I considered giving Sam Davis a late afternoon “Happy Easter! Please verify that this online crap I just found by Googling “Post-long run nausea” is total BS” phone call. And then, when considering the conversation, hypothetical Sam Davis responded in my head (because Crazy K was still driving, apparently):
Sam: “So Kiersten, you’re telling me that you woke up at 8am, ate nothing but Clif Gels from 8:30am – 11:15am, downed a mimosa in a hot tub, and then binged on 100 different things after a quick and insufficient nap? And you’re asking me if we should be concerned about your post-run nausea?”
Me: “Yeah… Well, when you say it like that Sam, I feel kind of like a stupid Rookie.” Sam: “Yeah…”

The nausea didn’t subside until around 9pm Sunday evening (10 hours after the run). My mom texted to see how I was feeling and I assured her that Easter-lunch-round-#2 was in the microwave. (It was a total success, by the way – I know you were concerned)

‘The 18-miler experience’ was a bit of a wake up call. I won’t lie, 18 miles did have me worried and intimidated, but I was determined to play it down – act like it was no big deal. I mean, I still have a 20 miler left and then the actual MARATHON.

Nagging, deep down, I know that something out of my control could jump in and ruin this for me – a rolled ankle, my re-built ACLs failing when pushed further than they’ve ever been pushed, hyper-intelligent-rabid raccoons, etc. I wanted to believe that if I just played things down a bit – not take it too seriously, sailed along on my humor and care-free attitude, I could potentially skip/twirl across that finish line on May 25th.

Part of me is still determined to do just that, however, I realize it might require at least a wholesome meal between the run and the mimosas/hot tub. Thanks for the pep-talk, imaginary-Sam-Davis.

Keepin’ it a Little Crazy*,

I would like to point out that Real-Sam-Davis and I will be running the Rollin’ Irish together next weekend, so I WILL have a very qualified buddy at my side – not licensed psychologist-qualified as far as I know, but it should still help keep the Crazy K at bay a bit.

*synonyms for crazy include “interesting, fun, intriguing” (No, I do not have a citable/legitimate source for this, but it’s true… I “pinky swear cite it.” That’s a thing, right?)

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Rookie Shane – Boston Strong

April 21, 2014

April 15, 2013 is a day that changed the lives of many people, mine included. This day of course was the day of the Boston Marathon bombings. I remember that day quite well, as I’m sure many people do- runners and non-runners alike. I was driving home from the school I work at (school gets [...]

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Meet the Ready, Set, Run Leaders- Shelburne Community School

April 17, 2014

Sarah Tuff Dunn, Zynnia Seidita, Jane Kunin, Catherine Collette and Monika Rodgers Now in it’s fourth year Ready, Set, Run began as as program called Many Milers years ago.  This year there are over 500 participants, 18 Tracking Groups and 38 volunteer leaders!  Tracking Groups are spread from Vergennes to Fairfax and Burlington to Montpelier.   [...]

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Giveaway Thursday!

April 17, 2014

Congratulations to last week’s Giveaway Winner Melissa Isaacson! She won a LL Bean Adventure Bag, courtesy of MVP Health Care. This week we will be talking about everyone’s favorite topic; FOOD! The wonderful folks at Hannaford are such a great resource so they want to offer you the ability to access their on staff nutritionist [...]

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You’re Training For the Miles, But Are You Training for Optimal Nutrition?

April 17, 2014

MVP Health Care presents Dr. Paul Arciero Dr. Paul is a leading nutrition and exercise research scientist and holds a doctorate in physiology of exercise and a master’s degree in nutritional sciences. You are six weeks away from the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon and you’ve been putting in the mileage to get your body [...]

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Introducing Ready, Set, Run and the Amazing Group Leaders

April 16, 2014

Ready, Set, Run is a RunVermont program.  Children age 4-12 in the Ready, Set, Run program learn about and practice fitness, good nutrition, citizenship, and goal setting, all while having fun and being safe. We welcome children to participate in Ready, Set, Run as part of a “Tracking Group” or as Individual with a helping [...]

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The AlterG Treadmill

April 16, 2014

The AlterG treadmill As we get closer to the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon and the miles are piling up from week to week the aches and pains are piling up as well.  Hopefully most of you are experiencing the usual feelings of stiffness and soreness that you would expect after your long runs or [...]

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Boston Hopeful Lili – Always Go with your Gut

April 15, 2014

The Marathon is in 40 days. Can you believe it? My foot has not healed enough to run…yet. For those who didn’t read my last post, my doctor, under the impression that I probably had a stress fracture, told me that I had to wear the “booty” for 3 weeks. That is NOT what a [...]

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Rookie Kiersten – Did Aslan Finally Come to Burlington?

April 14, 2014

You know how I’ve mentioned that my brain tends to process different kinds of food I could totally eat at that very moment? Well, thank goodness for sunshine and running buddies because my most recent “long run” processed something along the following: 1)    Thus far, I’ve completed 12 weeks of marathon training. 2)    That’s four [...]

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