Happy Monday, runners & readers-
One month of training is complete! This is both exciting and overwhelming- May 26th seems like forever into the future and we have a lot of miles to run before then. Speaking (typing) of, congratulations to those who were picked in the relay lottery. For the folks who weren’t chosen, check out this post to find relay teams that are up for sale or looking for additional members. I was super bummed last year when I was not chosen for a 2-person relay, but found out about RunVermont’s Miles for a Mission program. Through this, I was able to fund raise for a great cause and participate in the 2-person relay. There are 13 wonderful organizations represented by this program that, I imagine, would be thrilled to have you on board.
While I wasn’t able to attend Marathon 101 class this week, I was able to make it over to the Green Mountain Rehab & Green Mountain Running Medicine Shop for a running analysis and injury screening. What a great place. Good vibes and nice, knowledgeable humans. Turns out, Andy, Eric and I are from the same neck of the Massachusetts woods and went to rival high schools. Go Western Mass! Woooo.
Andy pulled some fancy run doctor moves, and I really appreciated his tips. He was encouraging and supportive, letting me know that the shop has my back throughout the entire training process. If you are considering seeking some type of physical assistance or guidance as you train, I would very much recommend stopping in to see these folks.
I even put a few things that I learned to use during my long run this week. Andy let me know that while my overall flexibility is great, my neck extension is not so beautiful. He encouraged me to shorten my stride, and said that this would help to decrease my bouncy tendencies, therefore lessening the impact of hitting the ground. He commented (kindly) on my T-Rex running arms and let me know that I should be shooting for a 90-degree angle. Andy’s eyes widened when he got his hands on my right ankle.
Now, if you know me, you may know that I can be a hot mess of klutziness. While some may attribute this to moving too fast or my high energy, I’d like to place the blame on my ankles. Those little brats. Years of tossing my body around in flipping motion and many-a-sprain have left those suckers barely hanging on. I do believe that running has improved my ankle strength over the past year, and that’s great news for my general composure and ability to stand upright. Andy was hesitant to say anything that would jinx my ability to run, and after totally pulling my ankle out of its socket by basically touching it, he decided to show me a few strengthening exercises.
We talked hydration, nutrition, and ultra running moon shoes. He let me try a pair on, and I bounced around the shop for a minute. Thanks for the tips, Andy! I will definitely visit the shop again…even though you are a Lancer (Go Falcons).
Cross training this week took form as a gorgeous Saturday riding and playing at Smuggler’s Notch with some fine humans. Graduate school and marathon training have made it challenging to get to the mountain and ksschhhh kscchhh (that’s the noise snow makes when I ski/ride), so I was psyched to get my fourth day in. Lot of laughs, lot of fun.
And that brings us to the main event, the long training run of the week. To set the scene- it was Sunday, and it was cold.
My friend Emma and I had planned on running a 9 mile loop down North Ave, and swinging around on the path by 127. Things got wild, Emma forgot her phone, I decided to exclude my brain from the conversation, and we ended up on the beltline. Yep, on it. To the cars that beeped aggressively at us, we are sorry. When we recognized what a silly (and prohibited) situation we had gotten ourselves into, we turned around and began on the bike path towards Colchester. We flirted with the idea of heading through Winooski and back into Burlington, but my puppies were barking. So, beltline it was.
We ran about a mile on the side of the highway and spotted the actual path we had hoped for across the road. In order to get there, we kept the frowned-upon activities going and hopped a fence. Hooligans! Gahh, I’m rolling my eyes at myself as I write this. But, I suppose there are worse ways to disobey street signs…
Alright, so there was snow, there was sharp wire on a fence, there was the hill of black ice doom. I’m certain that it was the company that kept me moving forward. Emma and I hadn’t seen one another in a long time, and it was great to catch up. She, come to find out, rarely chats while she runs. But she put her music away and gave it a shot; I think it went great. We ended up running over ten miles, and it wasn’t even the worst thing in the universe! I have some lingering embarrassment chills from foolish behavior, a blister on my left arch, and sore legs to show for this entertaining Sunday afternoon experience. I’d say we ended up with a big “W”. Thanks for the company and the laughs, Emma.
My stomach was confused for a few hours after the run; I’m a bit (okay, actually very) nervous to see how my GI tract reacts to all of this body moving and shaking. It felt a little like my innards were playing magic tricks on me, and I’m curious to see how this plays out as the miles increase. Before leaving on the run, I had an English muffin with some PB….alright, I ate a handful of Cadbury Mini Eggs too. Easter candy, you kill me. When I returned, I sucked down a shower smoothie (Greek yogurt, frozen berries, spinach, OJ) and was a tired monster. I’m wondering if the post-run dairy is goofing with my stomach. Any tips for my tummy?
So there you have it, folks. Week four in the bag, and things are looking pretty good. I pulled a BTV running woopsie, managed to avoid hurting myself, ran too far, and caught up with a special friend. Bring it, week five.
Thanks for reading & respect your body!
P.S. Stay off the beltline until race day.