Monthly Archives: February 2012

Week 11 + “ice” bath

Saturday’s run was crazy – here is the good and the bad.

The good:

-I’ve recently started a new tradition that before my long runs I’ll go to Panera Bread and buy a pre-run bagel and a post-run bagel. My pre-run bagel is relatively simple, a whole grain bagel with regular cream cheese. My post-run bagel (and my motivation during some of those hard miles) is a cinnamon raisin swirl (or french toast bagel in this weeks case) with hazelnut cream cheese (or icing, as Matt calls it). It is literally like eating a delicious dessert. A-MA-ZING.

-It was about 56 degrees and beautiful outside! I was in shorts and short sleeves and my sunglasses.

-Two of the Gus I used (of the 4 total) were my favorite, Chocolate Outrage!! I won’t get into that, since I’ve talked about it a lot already so you should know by now how much I love it.

-That night I got to hang out with Matt, his youngest sister Jenna, and their cousin Sarah who was in town. The girls made delicious chicken tacos, homemade salsa AND guacamole. Mmmmm, it was heaven!

The bad:

-I was dragging the first 5-6 miles, I felt sooo heavy. I realized that the Gu I took before the run (Peanut Butter) doesn’t have any caffeine in it, and I need that caffeine beforehand!

-Since I was at UVA and part of my run goes by the basketball arena, I somehow managed to time it so that I was running through crowds arriving TO the game at the start of my run (mile 1-2), and then on my way BACK there were people overflowing the sidewalks and streets leaving the game (mile 10-11), it became sort of an obstacle course trying to get through! Next time I should check to make sure there aren’t any major sporting events I’ll have to run through, haha.

-Running by a Wendy’s around mile 16 – made me want to gag. I don’t ever eat fast food, but it smells ESPECIALLY bad when you’ve been running for 3 hours. People were sitting in their car eating their artery-clogging burgers and staring at me like I was an exotic animal they had never seen as I ran by. Some people are amazed/confused/amused(?) by me running with all my gear and intensity! 😉

…and the next category, the new:

Don't let the lack of ice cubes fool you, it was freezing...

Ice bath! Even though it was only one mile more than my longest run last week, my ankles were feeling especially tired. I told Matt I felt like I had baby ankles – I guess that means my bones are still forming and are hard to walk on and I would’ve rather been crawling – a bit of post-run genius right there. I knew that putting some bags of ice on them just wasn’t going to be enough, so I decided, for the first time I would try an ice bath. I did some googling of ice bath criteria and rules as Matt started filling the tub was luke-cold (his word, not mine) water. I went in to check the temperature and immediately made it colder because I’m a champion like that. One of things I read was that some runners like to sip hot chocolate or hot tea while in the ice bath to make it feel not as bad. So by the time the tub was all full of icy cold water, Matt started heating some water for tea. I was literally pacing around being all nervous as I waited for my tea and as the ice bath waited for me. Finally, I decided I need to JUST DO IT and get it over with. I did it with my clothes on to provide some (small amount of) warmth, so Matt came in as I stepped in and lowered myself into the tub while yelling things such as “IT IS SOO COLD, OH NO, SO COLD,” and the like. As I was all the way in, sitting up with my legs straight, the water was up a little past my waist and my legs extended straight out. Within about 15 seconds I realized it didn’t feel bad anymore. But it didn’t feel GOOD per say. It just felt strange. I could rotate my ankles in the water and they didn’t hurt at all like they did outside the water.

Matt started the timer (10 minutes) and went to get my tea for me. The ice bath was definitely a super strange feeling and I never really felt like I was the happiest child on the planet, but it did feel relaxing, I can’t deny that! After adding some ice cubes, sipping on some hot tea (great idea by the way!) and asking Matt “how much longer do I have?”, I finally finished my 10 minutes and slowly stood up. My legs were red, but they felt good, they felt totally cooled off right through the muscle. All in all, a great, great idea that I will definitely be doing again after my long runs, when frozen peas are just not going to cut it.

Oh, and one more thing to add to “the good,” I didn’t have work today so I got to stay with Matt another night AND it snowed yesterday in Charlottesville, beautiful! 🙂

47 more days till the big day! I am getting SO excited!


Week 10 + 5k race

I had a good week, but a great weekend! On Friday, I got to have dinner with my lovely friend Emily, and then we hung out with our buddies Cody, Dan, and Ted – these are friends from high school, some things just never change! Then on Saturday, I ventured out to run 17 miles. I was nervous… I had skipped my 13.1 miles last weekend because of my injury, so I didn’t know how that would effect me, but luckily, I was still able to just bust it out. Did some pre- and post-run Panera bagel again (mmmm!) and also alternated with Peanut Butter Gu and Chocolate Outrage Gu. The Peanut Butter is a new flavor and apparently people were going NUTS for it so I thought I’d love it, but I wasn’t that into it! Luckily I only bought two packets and not an entire box (like I did with the chocolate, which is still my favorite!) My pacing has actually gotten a lot better than it was just recently. I was able to stop being so excited about running for hours and hours (HA!) and slowed it down to make sure I wouldn’t burn out before the end. So the pace I did, 11:17 min/mile, which is still a liiiiittle quick for this long run (which you run slower than the runs during the week), is much closer to how I should be training. 🙂 And yes, I ran for over THREE HOURS, woah! I could’ve watched all of Titanic in that time, sheesh!

Since Matt was coming into town Saturday night for a surprise birthday party of some mutual friends (HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVEN AND BRIAN!), I didn’t have much time to really rest up, relax, and most importantly… nap, after the run. I had to go pick up my race packet for my race the next day (more on that in a minute), shower, paint my toenails since they were looking particularly “runner”-like… So we went to the surprise party at a bar nearby which started at 6pm, and by 8pm I was exhausted. It was so much fun to see all my old college friends again and hang out with them, and also earn back all those calories I burned on my run by eating mozzarella sticks and a chicken club sandwich (yum yum, bar food)!

On Sunday morning, I did a race called Love the Run You’re With 5k, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day! It. Was. Cold. Like much colder than I imagined it was going to be – oh, and windy. (I got there at 8am and the race started at 9am.) BUT, it was a great time, and I also GOT a great time! I got a PR (Personal Record) in the 5k of 26:05 – which is the fastest I’ve EVER gone. To put it in perspective, my previous PR was 29:31 and the first 5k I did back in like August 2010 or something was around 32 minutes, something seconds. So for 3.1 miles, my time has gotten dramatically better! The course was what I’d call flat (others might not, but considering what I’ve been trying to train on for Charlottesville, it was flat), so I was putting forth the amount of effort I do on a hilly route but ended up going much faster since it was so flat and even some downhills (oh, the perks of training on hills). So even though I was skeptical about racing the day after a 17 mile run, it went well for me! I also lucked out and got to meet two online-running buddies in person for the first time, YAY! It was great to meet you guys, Max and Steph, I hope we run into each other again soon at another local race 🙂

The blanket that all of the race participants got, so cute!


As it is Valentine’s Day weekend, it is worth mentioning that I had a great Valentine’s weekend with my boyfriend Matt. Since we live in different cities, we can’t celebrate on Valentine’s Day (but who wants to celebrate on a Tuesday anyways anyways haha), so we celebrated this weekend when he came into town.

In the spirit of Valentine’s day, I present to you a throwback picture (you can click on it to view it larger):

This is Matt and I at a Valentine's date function in college in 2008 when we had just started dating - our first picture together

...And this is Matt and I (in basically the same pose) on this past New Year's, welcoming in 2012!

I normally wouldn’t be lovey-dovey on my running blog, but I will make an exception for Valentine’s Day because I happen to have the sweetest boyfriend in the world – I am seriously one lucky girl. Matt, I love you so much, Happy Valentine’s Day, and here’s to many more to come!

Week 9 – skiing injury

Everything went well this week until I got to the weekend when I was supposed to do a half marathon (I was going to do my own time trial). On Saturday, Matt and I went skiing, so I figured I’d do my run on Sunday. Unfortunately, after a nasty spill on the slopes I wasn’t feeling too hot on Sunday and ended up laying around and popping medicine. I had banged my head pretty hard so I had a little scratch on my forehead and then the back of my neck and shoulders were super sore. Luckily there was a lot of sitting around anyways since it was Super Bowl Sunday! I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive back home Sunday night feeling like I did, so I decided to take Monday off and go to the doctor then, that way I could rest up more before driving home.

My mom drove me to the doctor and after a little evaluation it ends up I have a neck strain, ouch!

The doctor gave me this wonderful manual that looks like it’s straight from the 80’s (first copyright in 1981). It’s both entertaining and informative – what a winner!

Basically I had sort of a “whiplash” experience when my head flung forward and hit the snow/ice and then bounced back, so for now, I can take a prescribed muscle relaxant, Motrin for the pain, apply warm compresses or heating pad on the area, and do neck stretching daily, including laying down after long periods of sitting or standing.

The good news in all of this is that I can still go about running and exercising! Yay! I was nervous this was going to cut into my plan for a few weeks or something. Even though I missed the long run this past week, which is NEVER good… but at least it wasn’t a week where I had an increase in mileage. I am such a planning person that it’s hard for me to miss such an important run like that, that’s 13 less miles I will have run to train for the marathon, but I’m hoping it won’t matter in the end – after all, I probably would’ve done more harm than good if I had tried to tough it out and run with a hurt head, neck, and upper back!

And now, it’s on to week 10, and I plan on running as planned tomorrow. I’m off to go lay down and rest on the heating pad – tough life!