Author: Lauren

B.A.A. Half Marathon & Distance Medley

Yesterday, I completed my 2-in-1 goal of finishing the B.A.A. Half Marathon and Distance Medley. I finished the half in 2:02, which was a small PR for me (my best before this was 2:05). I was actually surprised that I was able to finish in this time, as most of my training runs were slow and felt difficult for me to complete. I was running 10:00-10:30 all summer and could not believe the splits on my watch throughout the race. I think part of this was mental – I have been working for 2 years to recover from an injury and was afraid of pushing too hard during the training runs. Official Results from the B.A.A. Official Time: 2:03:01 Overall: 2943/6205 In Gender: 1212/3416 In Division: 294/838 Checkpoint at 5 miles: 48:45 Checkpoint at 10 miles: 1:33:57 Warning – this post is pretty long, but if you’re thinking about running the B.A.A. half or are curious about how a beginner can prepare for a half marathon, hopefully, you’ll find some of this information useful! I’ve …

Half Marathon Training: Weeks 1 & 2

I’m now on week 2 of my half marathon training plan, so I figured I would share what I’ve done so far. I’ve been using the Strava Half Marathon Training Plan (Created by McMillan Running) to get in mileage. I’ve added some strength training, cross training, yoga, and am continuing to keep up with my physical therapy. I chose the Strava plan because it recommends running a range of minutes per workout (e.g. 40-60 minutes) which provides some flexibility. While training for my first half, I grew impatient with my runs and tried to complete them faster as part of an effort to get them over with. This time around, I want to build the mental strength necessary to get myself through the race. Because I don’t have control over the recommended amount of time, I can’t rush through the workout. By focusing on time rather than miles, I’m forced to listen to my body and adjust my form and speed as appropriate. If my body isn’t feeling right, I stay on the lower end …

The Season of No Excuses, Ever Again

“Don’t let fatigue make a coward of you.” –Steve Prefontaine “We all know those runners that have better excuses than results. It just never seems to be their day. The real racer takes charge of what they can. They put in the work. They get fit. They race the legs they brought. We’ve noticed it seems to work out better for those runners.” –Tracksmith *waves* It’s taken me longer than what is probably normal to figure out my injury and put in the appropriate amount of work to treat it. I spent a couple of years whining and giving PT about 50% of my best effort, but this year, I finally got fed up with being on the sidelines and not being able to give 100% during races. So I put in the work. I passed my PT evaluation. I ran a 10K. I’m healed. I’m signed up for a fall half. I’ve been running regularly for about a month. I’m ready. Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of my official half training schedule. And …

Rethinking Injuries

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve been battling an injury. What started as a hamstring pull has evolved into a hip imbalance, posterior tibial tendonitis, you name it. I’m getting tired of writing about how I’ve almost healed, only to get sidelined again after a few months. Each time I start training for another race, I’m set back quickly by something that does not feel right and I return to PT.  It’s frustrating to feel aerobically in shape but feel physically restrained from going the distance. Running has been my lifeblood since I tried track and field in middle school —  it has been a constant source of joy in my life, even when times have been rough. For the past couple of years, however, it’s been the main source of my frustration. Running is the only sport I truly love. Growing up, I tried so many of them, but I’ve only ever enjoyed the feeling that comes with pushing myself to the limit on the track or until the trail’s end. Recently, I …

Winter Running Survival Guide

I usually dread winter, especially winter running, but I’m taking a different approach this year. I recently read an article, which talks about how the Norwegians handle the longer nights and cold temperatures. Instead of complaining about getting through the season, they focus on spending time with family and friends, and making every experience as cozy as possible. Norwegians keep their homes decorated for the holidays throughout the winter, cook meals with friends, and spend evenings snuggled up in soft blankets. To keep a long story short, they simply have a different outlook on winter than the rest of us. Lately I’ve been appreciating the importance of changing my mindset. Being mindful throughout the winter season is just another way to turn things around. But what does this have to do with running? I am still working at getting back on the running wagon. I’ve been diligent enough with my PT that my hamstring is hardly giving me trouble anymore, which is encouraging. Things are finally getting back to normal, and winter could not be …

Finally! Hamstring Injury Recovery

Yes, you read that correctly. I am almost back on the running horse! It’s been a very frustrating two years. Back in 2013, I began training for my first half marathon and pushed myself to the point that my hamstring gave out. I did not realize the seriousness of the injury, ran through the half, and continued running after that. Before long the pain was so unbearable that even walking was difficult. I began a pattern of taking time off of running in hopes that the injury would heal, followed by getting sidelined because the injury was actually chronic. Two doctors, and two physical therapists later — I’m getting ready to run long distance again. My injury was difficult for me to understand because the pain would move up and down my right leg. Sometimes my glutes hurt, sometimes I had knee pain, and other times my hamstring felt so tight it would rip. The inconsistency of the pain made it almost impossible for me to understand that I had a chronic injury. That, and it did …