Surviving Injury

 

hike

This guy will hike with you ANY TIME.

Okay, so your doctor has put the final nail in your running coffin and has said those dreaded words, “stop running.” Great. Now what? Well, you have a couple options. You can sulk on the couch while binging on ice cream and Netflix, cursing the running gods for allowing this to happen, or you can make the best of your downtime and become a regular at the gym. Your body, and your friends, will appreciate the latter much more. I’ll lay out your best options below.

Cardio

Can you walk? Then go walk. Hike. Find some steep hills and power your butt up it. Get on the treadmill and crank the incline to 15%. This is especially useful if you have a trail race on the calendar.

Can’t walk? Then bike. Go outside if you aren’t too afraid of crazy-ass drivers and clip-in shoes (like me). Get on the spin bike if you are. Explore the cult of SoulCycle. We are just chasing that endorphin fix, after all. Continue reading

Advertisements

Fifty Miles: a post-mortem.

635851227868643746

One year ago I started this blog to document one of the greatest running events I’ve ever been a part of. I was venturing into the unknown, pushing my limits another 24 miles past what I knew I could achieve. It was magic. On Saturday I competed in the same event for a second time, and it was… anticlimactic. Don’t get me wrong. This was an amazing experience and I was smiling ear to ear for almost all of the nine hours I was moving. Everything went off without a hitch. No nutrition drama. No major falls or injury. I didn’t even get stung by wasps like many others did. The women’s field was so competitive that I had no shot at even placing top 20. And that’s okay. Not every race has to be an epic fight to the finish or record breaker. My body and mind allowed me to cover 50 of the most beautiful miles in all of the world. I got to share my backyard with some of the best ultra runners in the country. I experienced one of the most vibrant sunrises I’ve ever seen. All while doing something I love passionately.

So this won’t be the typical mile-by-mile race report. Think of it more like a post mortem. What worked. What didn’t. What I’d do differently. Why I can’t wait to try this distance again. Continue reading

Headlands 50k training update

Pirates Cove comes just a few miles into the 50k

Pirates Cove comes just a few miles into the 50k

On August 29th I’ll be running my first 50k race. You know what that means? Automatic PR. Yessss! I’ve changed my training fairly significantly for this race, so here’s a little rundown.

After Boston I was burned out big time- mentally and physically. Training for a road marathon with a very specific, aggressive goal is all-consuming for four months. And then when the race doesn’t go exactly like you hoped, there is major disappointment. Looking back now I know I ran the best race I could under really shitty conditions, but I was in a big funk for a while. The remedy for the post-marathon blues took me to the trails. I was so relieved to be back under the redwoods. No concern for hitting 6:50 pace, or taking an extra long water break, or any of the other pressures I put on myself. I was having fun again.

In the months leading up to my next race, the Tamalpa Headlands 50k, I’ve been focusing on three of my weakest areas: strength, hill climbing, and “easy” runs. Continue reading

Tahoe: my favorite place to run.

tahoe5 This photo pretty much sums up the way I feel about running in Tahoe. It’s just… that. much. fun. This weekend I ran a combined 36 miles on the trails and came away sunburned, mosquito bitten, and exhausted. It doesn’t get much better. I was a little nervous about doing such big mileage in Tahoe because of my less than stellar experience at altitude in Flagstaff. But luckily I had no issues at all. That 1,000 feet of elevation makes all the difference. Or my body was just extremely embarrassed of it’s poor showing last weekend and manned up to create some new red blood cells.

Photo Break. AKA catching my breath.

Photo Break. AKA catching my breath.

Saturday’s run was part of the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Miler training weekend, 23 miles with only about 4,400 feet of elevation gain. The kicker was that over 1/3 of that elevation came within the first two miles. We started the run by heading straight up the Diamond Peak ski mountain, ducking in and out of the shadows of the ski lift. It was a great time to practice my power hiking. The hands-on-thighs technique worked pretty well for me, and I actually felt really strong going up and up. I think all my lunges and step ups and squats are finally paying off. It’s exciting to feel progress! The other 21 miles ran along the Tahoe Rim Trail, circled around the Red House Loop, and weaved back down the mountain on this mountain biking trail that was SO FUN. It had wide, banked turns on the switchbacks so naturally I was trying to catch some air. I had my wings spread and kept yelling “weeee!” on the way down. I probably looked like a maniac, but when you are having that much fun, who cares? Continue reading

Ultra Training Camp Recap

happy campers

happy campers

When I was a kid, I never got to experience summer camp because we’d pack up to England for 6 weeks to visit my mom’s family (poor me, right?). If I’ve learned anything from my best running buddy Ally, the camp experience is very special. So when I heard about an Ultra & Trail Running Camp hosted by Greg McMillan, of the McMillan calculator fame, and a few of his coaches (including mine, Emily Harrison), I jumped at the chance. A four day adult camp probably wouldn’t get me the same coming-of-age stories and lifelong friendships, but why not. I quickly forced my boyfriend to sign up with me, and then sat back and anxiously waited two months for camp to start.

Continue reading