Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Daily Run in Photos

Hey guys!

I'm trying to keep the blog alive during my Boston 2014 training! I have fun training and stay really motivated so I thought I'd pass some of my daily grind on to you.

I'm at about 85-90 miles a week now. I'm in week 2 of my formal marathon training. So I've added a speed workout and a more technical long run. I'll update that in another post. This is just pics : )


pure showing off 2%-5% for 10 miles
Um, sorry..that's all folks. I thought I had more…slacking! 
Later Taters!

It puts the spoon in the almond butter, NOT in Aunt Kathy's grease-o-role.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year My Fast Friends!

I feel this post is a borderline PSA. Dearest ones, I keep seeing and hearing it. People complaining about eating poorly and gaining weight during the holidays. Okay, here's my response to that: WTF???! Seriously, I just don't get it. I'm trying to, really. And I'm probably preaching to the choir but I have to vent and share some healthy alternatives.

I know most of my followers and friends bust their asses to keep in shape. Not only for races and fitness, but for life in general. For happiness. For Peace. So you don't kill your kids and kick your dog. I'm so proud of you!! I get giddy when I hear of your accomplishments.

But then, I see (some of) you bellying up to the buffet pouring butter on butter with sides of slop. I want to rush over and intervene. Yes, it's holiday time. Joy, joy. But hello!! This is your body. Your body for life. The little vessel that will carry your happy little self through your 80+ years on earth. TAKE CARE OF IT! I don't even need to point out what this indulging does to your fitness. I'm sure the culprits know it well.

So, I want to help! Here are some of my personal favorites that will make your belly happy and keep your body on the roads!! Mangia Mangia!! And PS Formatting on this website is nearly impossible so some stuff may have flip flopped.

Gluten free, NSA, Organic Heaven

And for dinner:

And more easy good stuff:
45 seconds in the microwave, do it!

Steam that shit!

Dust off that juicer!

when you want FAT get some Almond butter yo.

Sugar free whole wheat banana nut bread

Try this stuff out. That chocolate has been a huge hit. No guilt. And because dark cacao is loaded with caffeine you can eat that shit before your tempo and stride happy and FAST!

Have a great long run tomorrow!! Happy Running!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

How I plan to beat my 2:58 marathon PR

Happy Sunday everyone!

We are just about to enter the precious 18 week time frame before the Boston Marathon 2014! I have done the best I can bringing myself out of an injury and getting in the some good base. I've been lingering around 75-82 mile weeks for a few months now. No specific runs. Long on Sunday and trying my best to keep it hilly.

This training cycle I am going to push against the line. The line that marks the most we can eek out of ourselves physically yet not crash and burn. I have no interest in being conservative. Yet I don't want to crash and burn. So, I have been thinking about how I can tweak my last marathon training so I can get every last drop of athleticism out of myself. Mentally and physically.

I am bringing to the table a little more of an edge than I have in the past. This will be my 3rd marathon. In Eugene 2012 my goal was to finish. In Boston 2013 I wanted 2:59:59. This time, I feel I'm familiar with the training and running that far. I really want to throw the hammer across the room, and through a window.

As far as specifics:

*I want to continue to train on hills. Ideally getting my marathon pace on hills.
*Keep my obsession with a proper runner's diet in check.
*Add 1-2 doubles to increase mileage and clear the lactic acid of my morning run.
*Core 5-6 days a week
*a few really long runs.
* Peak out at 100 miles.

But honestly, I can crunch all I want. Lay out the miles methodically. But what I really want to bottle up is the passion I have for this sport. Whatever it is that gets me up at 5am 7 days a week with excitement. Whatever it is that keeps me happy mile after mile. I love that I go to sleep on Saturday night dreaming of long run routes for Sunday.

I am this way because of you. I see your training, attitude and strife. Your 20 milers at 4am. Your exhilaration when you succeed. Your pain when you are out.  In Australia, Africa or down the street. We will probably never meet but you still inspire me to be the best I can be. Please continue to rock on!!


Monday, December 2, 2013

An overdue post! I am back and so very grateful!

a view on my 6am run.
Hey Guys!!!

I hope everyone is doing well! I haven't been reading or keeping up in the blogosphere out here. I hate not knowing how everyone is doing. I hope your running is going well. FINALLY, mine is!! I'm in blog catch up mode now.  I can't wait to read up on you! Thanks for being patient.

I'm about to start Boston 2014 training with some awesome base and major fire! Of course I have to share or what's the point?

I know as runners we're usually not content for long after crossing the finish line. There is that moment of joy and then we're on looking for another shot to kill another goal. I've had many months to ponder how I'm going to get to the next level of the marathon. For me, that's shaving some time off my 2:58:34 in Boston this year. Right now my goal is 2:55. However, secretly I want more : ). Shhhh!

As you know, I've always focused on adding to my training. Adding miles, workouts, weights, hills, nutrition etc. This is all very helpful but at the same time taxing on my body. During my last fury of this a few months ago I put myself into a tailspin. I was fighting tooth and nail to get out of an injury. Only to stagnate seemingly forever.

Enter, John Stiner.
I was contacted by John, a massage therapist in Durham, NC. Basically, he said I've read your blog.  I've seen your photos. I know what is wrong. I bet you have X,Y and Z and are sore here and there etc etc.

As a self proclaimed professional patient of running related injuries I blew him off. I thought I knew everything. I've had 3 stress fractures, and loads of soft tissue injuries. But what he said was right on. I was confused/intrigued.  A few weeks went by. I cry-blogged some more and cross trained my butt off.  John contacted again. He said he couldn't watch me go down the tubes any more. And that he could help. He said I would feel significantly better after one visit. I agreed. I was at the end of my rope. I expected a Massage Envy experience at best.

When I first saw John 3 months ago I could not run. I had ankle tendonitis. I could not walk without limping. I was a mess. My initial visit was several hours. The first half was spent doing strength tests and assessing every fiber of my being. He said and I quote, "you will not have tendonitis after today." I thought, oh great. I'm glad he's confident but I've been in physical therapy for months 2x a week for this ankle and nothing has improved.

The next day I ran. I ran without pain. I didn't limp. Is this guy for real? I have continued to run every day since that day without any tendon issues or pain. I'm leveling out my base training at 75-80 miles a week. Running like I'm a kid on the playground. I'm still blown away but have been reluctant to give him credit until now. I thought it would come back. I was just in disbelief. I spent so much money and time trying to get my ankle right and he comes in with one visit and BOOM?! Yes.

So now, I feel it's in my best interest as a semi competitive marathoner to take care of my body with more of a preventative approach. I have seen John every other week since. He can always tell what is off before I say anything. Whether it's sore calves, a tight back I know that it will be gone when I leave. In fact, I usually trash my legs the morning before an appointment so he can facilitate my recovery.

As a former 2:3x marathoner, John understands runners. He knows what we go through. But it's his almost photographic knowledge of everything running related that is impressive. He is more in tune with the human body than most doctors I have met. And that is an understatement. He has decades of massage experience. He's worked on Kara Goucher and Galen Rupp. He's been published in Running Times. He definitely has some major bling to his CV.

The bottom line is that he is exceptionally skilled and cares. I feel lucky and blessed to have John on my side for my next shot at Boston!!! I can't wait to ROLL!!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

a quick check in!

Hello My Little Pretties!

I am super happy to report that I'm feeling 2 bazillion times better!! I'm having severe guilt about not updating my blog during the last few weeks. However, I can proudly say it's because I'm running and swimming myself into a fit little nubbin.

I will catch up this weekend.

Happy Running!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

still hobby jogging in Humbleville...

Hey Guys!

I swear that I will never bitch about weather, conditions, inaccurate timing companies, Garmin malfunctions, fucking wild life or rude cyclists again. Promise!

I've had my fair share of stress fractures and little things here and there that require a comeback. However, none are anywhere near as difficult as trying to comeback after a jacked up spine. It is mind numbing in every imaginable way. So let me name some:

1. Initially, not understanding why I was hobbling.
2. Time off not making any difference. Runner nightmare.
3. Massive cross training doing nothing but killing my hair.
4. The inability to say "I'm going for a run" because after 2 steps I'm back in the car.
5. Not being able to run 1 mile with my running partner who I used to drop in a heartbeat (ok, slight exaggeration)
6. Running a pace that feels horrible in the hopes it gets better but never does.
7. Driving around with a bike rack on my car.
8. Running 8 miles on a Sunday.

That was last month and some of this. Now I have a bazillion spine, pelvic and core strengthening exercises to do daily. They are working though. I don't hobble. I'm slowing getting my comfy pace back down under 7:30. But seriously, it's like I'm out of shape.

I've gone from the boot to running 7 flat in a few weeks. It's not happening as easily this time. I see why though...this injury needs a little more attention. Here is one of my hypotheses as to why my back became crooked seemingly overnight.

Swimming obsessively and breathing on one side. That's gotta be it. I would rotate my torso hundreds of times a swim to get air on one side. Now suddenly I'm lopsided?? Well, I cut that out and learned to bilateral breathe. That is in addition to the Chiro and the rest of my dream team I'm making advances.

Now, I'll get one killer day and then 2 meh days. It's an improvement! I'm being patient as best I can.

Because I like statistics here is my mileage of late:

August weekly totals: 45, 70, 60, 12
September totals: 16, 24, 47 and 56 this week.
I'm still just about at 3000 for the year.

My pace started out around 8 and now is closer to 7:30. Both of which are not my usual and feel weird.

Of course there is bike, swim and endless hours in the gym in there but who cares.

So, I don't like talking about it but clearly Chicago is out of the cards. I have comped entry for Philly late November but even if that were possible it would force me to train back to back marathons with BOSTON 2014! So my common sense says chill now and then ramp it up for a killer Boston and a few half's in-between.

My short term goal is to pace my daughter in the Monster Dash next month. It's 1 mile. It's not Chicago but hey, all in due time. And please don't ask for my Chicago bib. A few people have and I don't feel it's appropriate to give away that seed. And it would bar me from future Chicago's if I was busted.

As Diana Nyad would say Onward!!! I will continue to lace up every morning and get out there. One of these days it will get better. And when it does all hell is going to break loose!!

 Thanks for listening to my rant. See you out there!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nothing like spine x-rays to make you feel like a bent up piece of shit!

Hello My Dears!!

I wanted to update my blog once I had some GOOD news instead of whining and crying on your screen.  Well, it took a freakin' while to get back on the road and make some good news!

Basically, I swam and cycled my ass off and took off another 5 days of running. I couldn't figure out why I hurt EVERYWHERE. People kept saying suck it up, get out there. I needed answers. What was wrong??!

So I went to my trusted Chiropractor that I usually see just for Graston Technique. I asked her to check my back. She sent me to Raleigh Radiology for lumber and thoracic x-rays. I went there on a walk-in basis and didn't leave until I had my reports and films. I went back to the Chiro.


lower back and top of hips


Just a cool x-ray. Not bad
So, my problem clearly was that my hips were uneven causing my gait to clop around. Basically, the good 'ol one leg shorter diagnosis. I googled my fingers off and found some controversy on the topic. Some think it's a crap dx. Or that we all are uneven and it's not a big deal. Well, I can tell you this explained WHY I was clopping. I was UNEVEN! But don't cry for me (Argentina!)

So, I had my first ever adjustment with the wussy gun because I can't handle the thought of manual manipulation. I walked out fine. I rested the next day and ran the following. I ran EVENLY! No clopping! I ran the next, the next, the next and the next day. No clopping. I had a second adjustment. I'm about a week into daily running 7-10 milers. About 7:30 pace.

I keep waiting to fall apart. It's kind of stressful but it will pass. When I'm not running, I'm stretching every which way I can.

I'm still swimming almost daily after my run. I force taught myself bilateral breathing, instead of one side only. I don't know if that will help but half my back is really tight muscularly. So I'm trying to keep things symmetrical.

So it's not the end of the world. I feel 200% better but I'll be running through Humbleville for a little while longer. I still can't believe that's my back. I don't feel like that person. But I have BIG plans for that cranky back!!! It's getting closer to roll time!

See you guys out there!!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Welcome to my Worst Nightmare!

Seriously, what is a marathoners worst dream? Answer, INCONSISTENT training!! OMG I want to rip my own toenails out. This is the worst marathon build up I've done in my history of marathon training. Yes, all TWO marathons that I've done. haha.

So, I thought I was out of the woods on the last post. But my improvement is, uhhhh...SHIT. I like to be objective so let's talk data:

*I can run
*I don't have a diagnosable injury
*My lower legs are constantly sore. Similar to post marathon sore.
So being the good little grasshopper that I am I have:

*run less mileage 60-70/week
*more doubles to break up the day
*Most easy runs. Only because my legs won't GO. Think tin man.
* I swim almost everyday. Not splish splash pool play, but 1,2,3...GO freestyle. lol

Last week out of no where I was able to do a 5 mile tempo descending to 6:35 on the treadmill and a 16 mile long run at 7:48 pace. The week before 15 miles at nearly 7:52 pace (gasp). And no tempo that week. So, as you can imagine this is runner purgatory to me. I could see if it lasted a week or 2 but it's been a good 3 weeks since my injury resolved (tendinitis).

My chief complaint is sore calves with on and off shin split pain. I've increased slowly, ran slowly, never run in pain, and switched to heavy mizuno's....nothing gives! So clearly, this must be a time thing. I will just wait it out and run what I can until then. The only ball buster is uhhh...the freaking marathon I'm training for! CHICAGO!

So my thoughts on that are:

*I can only do what I can do training wise.
*I believe in miracles!
*I will not give up this soon
*I will be realistic
*I will add humor along the way because hello...I'm not Shalane. It's ok.

I looked for a back up marathon for November/December but I didn't love anything in particular. I really still want Chicago! And that doesn't mean a 3:15 Chicago. Y'all know by now I'm not training for a personal worst. I wouldn't attend a marathon that will set me back a good $800 in travel to "have fun." Crap, not if it were $50. That's not how I roll. Balls to the walls or nothing.

So, in a third person kind of way I'm curious to see how this plays out. There are a few things I have on my side:

*My fitness level is always the same. Once I get back there it doesn't really change. So once my legs have fluidity I have no doubt I will cruise.
*My endurance is probably the best it's ever been. 26.2 doesn't seem far per se.
*I believe in miracles

So the giddy up is hiding right now but I will plug away with my hobby jogger pace until that one fantastic morning I can roll hard again. Hopefully by Wednesday!

Thanks for reading and putting up with my over the top asterisk abuse. You know me, all or nothing!

Party on guys!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Herrrrre, muscle memory, come over here...there ya go. good boy!

Hey Guys!

What a difference a week makes. I am feeling much better. I really underestimated the effects of not running for 13 days. Cardio wise I felt fine. But as I always say, nothing compares to the run. I can cross train my ass off 3 hours a day. But that first week back is tough. It really makes me appreciate my fitness.

So after a few devastating runs in the heat and humidity that left me on the side of the greenway doing air pukes I decided to "fuck that" and go on the treadmill. I completely lost my ability to push through in the heat and humidity. And because cooler weather is coming I don't really care to get it back. So I'm treadmilling it until this cold front come through.

I've done a few 8 milers and an 11 today. The pace is dropping nicely. Today I ran what normally would be a fail, yet given the "situation" I'm very pleased. 11 miles. The first hour at 7:30 pace and then the last 3 miles at 6:53 pace. I've never gone that fast on a treadmill. So it was a milestone for sure!

I'm still being very cautious but feel strong and really happy with my progress.

Here are some pictures of the pool.

My running partner and my mom. 

all day every day!

Mum was not pleased with her slouch so we had to redo this one.

There we go, no slouch!
So cross training can be fun! I'll keep plugging away and keep you posted! Happy Running!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

My 13 day injury: GONE!

YES! I made it! I survived my first case of ankle tendonitis. I figured it's worth a post about what I did and didn't do.

I could feel tightness in my lower leg for at least a good week, but when it really got me I could not run. I went from okay one day to limping while I walk the next. Clearly, total devastation mid marathon training.

What it takes to sit on your ass and heal I DON'T have. I can't do it. It's my personality. So, first I went to my ortho to make sure it wasn't a fx or anything serious. He said to chill a few days. So with that I skipped away and for 13 days I...

*took my road bike out 1-3 hours a day
*swam 45 mins to 1 hour a day, sometimes twice a day
*went to the gym a few times
*increased my protein intake and paid extra attn to inflammatory foods and cut them out.

a selfie @ 16mph!
mid solo 50 miler

*saw my PT several times a week
*received Graston Technique to break up my calf scar tissue. LOVE it. It needs it's own post.
*stretched a lot, iced 4-5x a day, NSAIDS, rice.

That sounds PSYCHO. But at the time I was doing what I felt would get me back on the run asap. I limped for a week while walking. Then I could walk normally with minimal pain. I made a rule that I needed 2 days of zero pain and zero limping before I would try to run. I thought I had it a few times but as soon as I'd feel a twinge I'd start the 2 days over.

Finally, I got my 2 days and went out for a 5 miler. It was rough. I didn't have injury pain but my legs were torn up from a 50 mile bike and a lot of strong swimming. I was sore and my legs did not feel fluid.

The next day I ran 8 and then 9 miles today. All of it is slow. 7:40-8:00 pace. Each day I have felt better. I think by Monday I'll be back to my normal self. I'm just being super careful.

Sooooo, this all begs the question: CAN I STILL RUN A 2:55 IN CHICAGO? I've got 9 weeks left. I've done several 18-20 milers. Well, we will find out! I'm not a quitter. I am realistic though. So, we will see how I do the next few weeks. I'm not going to go run 20 this Sunday. I'm going to be smart about this and see where it takes me. I think it's kind of exciting. : )

My back and arms have been SOOO sore so clearly, this calls for a photo check. Holy shit balls! I'm skeered of me. haha That's from freestyle swimming all day errry day.

So, that's about it. Hopefully this post finds some pissed off runner with a sore ankle going WTF is this?? I'll keep you updated as I see where my fitness is.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, August 3, 2013

No news is bad news!

Hey Guys!!

I am sorry for the lack of updates. I *was* stoked to ramp up my mileage and get this Chicago training going. But then my legs started to feel a little tight. I couldn't stride out like I'm used to. I felt weird. Then my ankle started to ache. And ache and then SCREAM!

Laura meet tendonitis. Tendonitis meet Laura. Bitch!

So for 2 weeks I've been off the run. I ran once last Saturday and felt great only to feel beat down on Sunday. Initially, I thought it was a stress fx and waited a good 3 weeks for an X-ray. That was negative and it was acting more like a tendon issue. Perhaps heading into the soleus.

So you know what I've been up to. 25+ miler daily bike rides and a good hour of freestyle swim. Every day. I want to keep my fitness, but more so because I really enjoy the other 2 sports. I never do them unless I'm injured so I'm taking advantage.

Here it is in pictures:

Me happily running a double a week prior to disaster fest. I was on a beach vacation....

I circled the area that hurt and started texting friends for advice

Surely, ice is the answer...

....uh, help
I could tape and run...for a day

I give up!

This is my first soft tissue running injury. I usually just break the freakin bone and get it done. I feel much, much better and planned on getting a trial run in this weekend. But I'm so afraid of putting on my running gear and taking 2 steps and getting that stabbing pain again. So, I'm erring on the side of caution and I'll probably wait until Monday. Sunday is made for long runs. Not gimpy striders in the driveway. I can't handle that! So Monday it is!

Oddly, I'm not super stressed. I haven't ruled out Chicago. I need to see where this takes me. Right now I'm babysitting my fitness and nerves the best I can. Who knows, I could be fine by Monday or hell I could get hit by a truck. I am going to take the days as they come and enjoy my fitness and hope for the best!

I'm going to update more often to hopefully help another injured runnah...or for comic relief....

Enjoy your long run tomorrow! 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

the inevitable LOSER EFFECT!

Hey there Summa Runnahs'

 I'm now into my second week of marathon training for Chicago and I have noticed my tempo paces are SLOWER than I would like yet feel like I'm working. Hmmmmm. As a mile split junkie this is rather disturbing! And because I've never marathon trained in the summer or really ever put effort in the summer it leaves me feeling like a LOSER.

Instead of my peppy 6:10 tempo pace in 35 degrees and no humidity I am rolling out 6:20-6:30's GASP! But it's 100% humidity everyday here in NC. The temps when I run start in the mid 70's and are low 80's when I finish.

So does the same effort produce results? I hate to think I'm wasting my time with lack luster speed. I read that our body does not know pace but that it knows effort. I'm not sure on that.

What do you guys think???

This photo was after my 18 miler today. 2 easy miles, 3 tempo (6:20's) one hour easy, 3 tempo (6:30's) and 2 cool down. Avg pace 7:18.

I'm actually considering the treadmill for faster stuff...ugh. No, I take that back!

I hope your running is going well!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

LaBella digs deep

Deep thoughts from LaBella..

This is how I feel during my daily run. A nubbin.

This is how I feel 1 second after I hit stop on my Garmin. lol

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Week 1 of Chicago training: bitch slapped!

Or whimsically pushed aside with a limp wrist. haha

Hey guys!!

This is my first time training for a fall marathon. Initially, a "fall marathon" sounded so cute and brisk and a great idea. Well, shit. I needed to back those thoughts up 16 weeks. There is nothing brisk about summers in NC.

It's no longer me vs pace. It's me vs pace + humidity/heat. Double the work. Oddly, it's very rewarding. It's one thing to run tempo in 42 degrees and it's another to do it in the summer. So, in a way it's another level to defeat. I'm all for that! Or at least it sounds good as I type this on the couch in my 73 degree living room. haha

So my weekly is still at 75 miles. Plus 5 gym workouts and also, I've added a few days of freestyle swim.

Monday: 8 recovery on treadmill due to having to run at like 4:30am

Tuesday: 10 @ 7:24 pace

Wednesday: 12 miles. middle 8 tempo-ish. started at 6:50 pace and descended to 6:38 pace. It was my first tempo since Boston. I was shooting for 7 flat and shocked I could move faster. But then pissed it wasn't 6:10 pace. lol

Thursday: 10 @ 7:30 pace

Friday: 10 @ 7:30 pace

Saturday: 7 @ 7:33 pace

Sunday 18 @ 7:04 pace. Goal was: 2 warm up, 6 miles at 7:06 pace, 1 mile at tempo, 5 more at 7:06 and 1 @ tempo then 2 cool down. Some to the 7's were 6's and some of the tempo's sucked but it was sickening out.

I am obsessed with my sweat. sorry. lol

So, party is's time to ROLL!! Chicago is in 15 weeks.

oh ps. I've started using these and Nuun. I feel a huge difference from water alone.
I hope your training is going well. Stay strong!!