Last update before Boston

The Boston Marathon is in less than two weeks.  Usually at this point in training I’m gearing down and moving into taper mode. That is not the case right now. I recently reviewed my training journal and in early January I had such high hopes for Boston.  I still have high hopes, just in a different way, one that doesn’t involve a time goal.  This is a bit hard for me to say because I have a nice little marathon PR streak going that is about to end, but I’ve received so many questions that it’s better just to get it out there. Boston will not be a PR race for me…not even close.  My coach and I have reviewed how far behind my calf strain set me and put together a race plan that will involve maximizing the experience, minimizing my injury risk, and setting me up for a potentially great Summer & Fall. It is what it is and I’m going to enjoy it even though it may not be exactly what I had envisioned when I dreamed about racing Boston with a capital F in front of my bib number.

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I saw the above quote at a Seussical the Musical event and it stuck with me mostly because I get that value. I have never been the type to feel unappreciative of moments or events and I cherish memories. The Mr. always teases me because “You love everything!” or “Every day is your best day ever!” I admit it’s true. I honestly love life! I love experiences and I love memories. Life is too short not too. Half the reason I love the marathon so much is its so full of ups & downs and raw emotion. I’ve had enough bad days to fully appreciate the good ones. So while at Boston I won’t be setting some massive PR or qualifying for the Olympic Trials, but I will be making some memories and valuing them, because this is not something I can recreate, nor is this something I want to pass by. So basically, I’m flattered if you say you will track me, but please don’t or if you do, don’t worry if you see very weird paces 😉 I’m following a plan. I have some great friends running there…too many to name that I can’t wait to cheer for and I’m also rooming with Michele, which I am really excited about. I think its funny that most Moms like to do spa weekends but she and I are running 26.2 miles instead.  There are a few exciting events I’ll be attending there too so I will share all of that with you.

Training has been going fantastic. (I just need the B.A.A. to postpone the Boston Marathon 8 weeks and I’d be all set!!) It took awhile but after cross-training and visiting an Active Release Specialist a few times, I can say that the calf pain has been entirely gone.  This week is spring break in Virginia Beach so I have a little workout partner who paces me on the bike. He tells me things mid-run that have me cramp up laughing like, “At school my friends and I say P.E. class stands for “Pointless Exercise Class” or “Let’s add an extra “E” to P.E. Get it? PEE!”   Ha! I love the spanish moss in this trail view but I love the bike pacer best-

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Today the workout was 10 miles, with 2 by 2 miles “strong” thrown in there. All my paces are done on feel right now depending on day, sleep, etc.. Today “strong” felt like 6:24 pace so I averaged 6:50 for the entire run. Thursday I will have another day with some harder miles thrown in then I’ll finish the week off with a long run of 18 miles.  The biggest change in my workouts have been the strength portions, which I believe I’ve mentioned before. I’ve always done some strength but nothing monumental like the last two months. Of course monumental is relative but there are days where I see what I have to do in my assigned workouts and think “Surely he didn’t mean 5 sets!?!?”  He did.  Those sets are making a big difference in my hips though.

A physical therapist has told me that all of my injuries have sprouted from my hips. I gave birth to 3 babies in 17 months! Years later I’m still dealing with that. (totally worth it of course) so the billion extra lunges and assigned hip exercises are needed. I can tell a huge difference the next day when I take the time to do them. Below is a stretch I do all day, everyday. I don’t have a name for it. The ART specialist said “Do this.” so I do, and I notice a difference.  It opens up the hips and works on that important hip extension that tends to disappear with the “marathoners shuffle”. If I do not do this stretch than my right side is noticeably off. Also, lift your arms in the air and just rotate. You’ll feel it. I’m kicking myself for not starting this stretch 4 years ago. Forgive how confused I look. That looks comes standard with me.

The compression socks are new for me. They are not new in the running world but I’ve always avoided them. Am I the only one who thinks they are awful? I know they help though so I’m wearing them for every single workout and hoping I grow to love them.

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After my workout today the Fed Ex man dropped off a box. Inside was an incredible gift for me and my kids- The new Boston Marathon Limited Edition Brooks Launch 2s.  They have a Lobster design and real wooden lace toggles to represent the Lobster fishermens nets of Boston.  I LOVE these shoes! They are available for purchase now. Thank you Brooks!! My kids are getting a big kick out of THE CLAW!

unnamedThank you all for reading and please let me know if you have any questions.  I am bib #F32 for Boston. Can’t wait to get my claws on that bib! (get it? Lobster claws?! I’m almost as funny as my 8 year old!) I most likely won’t post again before Patriots day but I’m pretty active on Instagram and Twitter.  Can’t wait to see some of you in Boston!  Also, wishing all the Cherry Blossom runners lots of fun and luck!

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21 thoughts on “Last update before Boston

  1. Kris, I love reading your blog. You are so inspirational and make the best of every situation. I love it! Looking forward to reading all about Boston, go Kris!

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  2. Oh, that hip stretch. I know it well. Good luck at Boston and most of all have fun! I ran it for fun the one time I ran it and it was insane – so many people, and such a runner’s race. Loved it.

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  3. I have to start strengthening my hips as well. It’s funny you mention that (not that I’ve given birth) but I think a lot of my injuries and issues have come from the hips as well. So the Pt wants me to strengthen that and the bumbutt.

    Anyways, I’m glad your training is finally starting to kick it up. I’m really excited for you. I like the Brooks shoes a lot too, I think they are so cute!

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  4. So excited for you my friend. I hope you realize how brave that is that you are sharing your inner thoughts with us. That right there shows your strength, shows your toughness, and shows how good your mindset is right now. You are being realistic, but you are still doing EVERYTHING you can to be ready for success. No matter what happens we will support and love you the same, but I think your body will remember what it is doing when you get out there, and if you are focused on enjoying it, you will feel better than you think 🙂

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  5. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It has been a pleasure and has helped me and I’m sure many others. You are a true CHAMPION in so many ways. So happy to see that you will come to Boston and celebrate your present fitness. My coach Susan Loken and I had our own personal goals for Boston, but like you, injury has changed that. I feel we could replace your name with ours in your blog. She too is elite(I am not) and you both have faced the setbacks with maturity and positivity. You both inspire me to accept the challenges and move forward. Thank you again and thank you for celebrating running with us here in Boston! Susan and I are resetting our goals and will look forward to running Chicago!!! Perhaps you should consider this race as well. Susan is training to qualify for the trials as well with the Sonoran Distance Project. You might even want to follow them online. They offer great inspiration! Best wishes to you! Wear that F number proudly! You are elite in every sense of the word!

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    • Thank you for commenting Kelly! I’m going to check out your blogs now since we are in the same boat. Wishing you a great build up for Chicago and an even better race day!! I have thought about Chicago but I think I am leaning towards a different full since I’ve already run Chicago twice. Love it but not sure I need to run it again.

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  6. I hope you have a wonderful time in Boston. I know it’s not going to be the race you dreamed of but you did earn that F in front of your number! Anyway, heard Boston is getting snow again today so maybe conditions won’t be ideal for fast marathoning – ha! Saw those special edition Launches a few days ago and thought, “I must have those.” So cute. I wear compression socks a lot – sure they look nerdy but I really do find they help with the calf issues. That stretch is one that I do a lot after biking, as that’s notorious for shortening hip flexors – in fact, must go do it NOW. 🙂

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  7. So happy to read your update and hear that your training is progressing and you have kicked that calf pain to the curb! That’s awesome. I know it’s got to be a great feeling to be getting back to some hard workouts without worrying about what it will do to the calf. Pumped for you to continue your training and reap the benefits come Summer/Fall. I’m excited for you to get to experience Boston as an elite and can’t wait to see all the photos from that! You’ll have some great memories – I’m sure!! Can I ask about the compression socks? I’ve been wearing them for a year or so now but just for recovery post-run. Are you wearing in them during your runs now? To support the calf/lower leg in general? The research I’ve read in the past shows that there is data to back up the fact that they improve recovery, but not enough data to prove that they provide much benefit during exercise. But it could be that I’ve missed some research! Would love to know your thoughts.

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    • I have read the same thing about the compression socks. I don’t know if they are necessary during runs if you are healthy but for myself, my calfs are always a mess so I would rather play it safe than risk it. I’m also wearing them post run for a few hours. I’ve gotten a few pairs so I’m not hanging out in sweaty stinky ones! 😉

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      • I totally get that! I’ll wear them for my recovery runs on occasion in addition to hanging around the house in them. 🙂 A lot of pros wear them and I figure they must feel that they help as well. I’m with you – certainly can’t hurt!! 🙂

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  8. I do that very same stretch… it really helps my hips as well, even if my shuffle is a 5K/10K and not a marathon shuffle :). Glad your hips are doing better and the ART helped along with the PT.

    As far as Boston goes, I say enjoy being there and enjoy racing pressure-free. I’m sure that’s hard to do because… BOSTON… but think about how hard you’ll be training in the summer and setting yourself up for faster races, so enjoy this with other goals before the real speedy goals start, maybe? My first race-post injury last July was a 5K and while it was my slowest that whole year (as expected), I set a goal to take a good race picture and accomplished it, still one of my best race pics yet. You ARE an elite even if you don’t PR or run a certain time- just like everything, running is full of ups and downs and you will get back. All your readers here are rooting for ya :).

    Love those lobster shoes! I’ve thought about trying the Launch myself, looks like you like them too.

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    • Thank you Amy! That is exactly what I am going to do, enjoy this race and set myself up for a good summer. Hopefully this will be the momentum I need to spring board a successful 2015. Happy training!!

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  9. Wishing you the absolute best in Boston Kris!!! I know it will be a special memory PR or not and even though this will not be a PR effort you are still an inspiration and such a positive soul. Your work ethic has motivated me big time in staying focused on my goal of a sub-20 5K. You are going about your recovery from injury so smart and I KNOW it will bring you a MONSTER PR coning down the road. Compression stocking are our friends. I didn’t used to use them either but now I use them for about 60-70% of my runs. And speaking of hips … I think mine were my demise in this recent injury I’m finally almost completely over and I don’t have three kiddo’s in 17 months to blame. So I added strength exercises for hip abductors to my regular routine now. Once again, best wishes in Boston, it’ll be epic no matter what and your positive attitude on life is the key 🙂

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  10. Was is Shakria that said, you hips don’t lie?! Seems like the root of most running injuries stems from the hips. I learned that stretch a while back and love it.
    You are going to have so much fun. I too was injured before Boston and just ran it for fun and absolutely love it! Obv it would be better to race, but play the hand your dealt right?! You’ll kill the summer/fall season. I LOVE following you along your journey and hope I can have kids soon and chase in your footsteps!

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  11. Great post! Glad you’re gonna be able to run at Boston! I have a few friends who’s winters didn’t go as planned and will be running Boston as long training runs rather than all out races now, but the experience will deliver as always I’m sure. Best of luck in the training and at Boston!

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