Sunday, August 31, 2014

Long Bike. Trying to use runner lingo on the bike feels awkward.

Happy Sunday Guys!

Today was not a run day. My soleus is still cranky. So I got on my bike. It was in the high 70's, low 80's so I was secretly happy that I wasn't running. I had a breeeeeeze!

The cool thing about the bike on a weekend is that I can pretty much go anywhere, do anything. Ya know, like reading rainbow. haha Please say you got that, lol.

So I rode from my house to the greenway and then out a county. 51 miles total.

Here are some pictures from my ride:

This was a great day! Oh, so I'm clearly bored after hours on the bike so I decided to make a video while riding. It was hysterical. I was dying. I couldn't wait to upload up it. But then, I edited it incorrectly and butchered it. I'll try again to kick some bike humor over this way. 


So hang tight guys. Injury doesn't last forever. Let's make the most of it. Have a great Labor Day!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Not so fast killa!

Hey Guys, Lovers, Haters and The Occasional Creeper!

I was hopeful that I would be thumping out 6:30 pace this morning. I have zero pain when walking or digging at my leg so I figured I would be good to go. I got up at 5am. Downed a gallon of coffee and headed out the door.

I took 10 strides and lunged back up the hill to my house.  I still get a zap in my mid leg. But the toe off is beautiful. Before that hurt too. So I feel that I'm almost there. I just have zero patience.

So I ripped off the booty shorts and threw them on the kitchen floor in protest and put on the dreaded bike shorts. Instant buzz kill. Paint me ugly. There is no feeling of stealth in those things. Sigh. But I'm doing what needs to be done.

Every year I get on the bike and my fear fades a little. Today I was hauling on the downhills. I think I got to 29.5mph. Which is about the top of my comfort zone on country roads with traffic. So dare I say it's kinda fun out there.

So I rode for as long as it took for my mind to unwind. Which was cut short by my aching ass. Sigh.

Mile 35ish

41 Miles
16 mph avg
1611 feet of elevation
Time on bike: 2 HOURS 33 Mins.

Tomorrow if I'm on the bike I am going to try to hit 30mph on the downhill if physics will be so kind. I'm not sure if a 100lb person can pull that off. Any skinnies out there have success with that?

Thanks for listening. Hopefully my blog will turn around soon. But seriously, I google my fingers off looking for people in situations like mine. I hope this helps someone else.


Friday, August 29, 2014

I thought I broke my leg. That sucked!

Hey My Dears!

What a crazy week! It ends well but a tad bit stressful for a girl mid marathon training for a sub 2:55. Here are some views from my week-o-shit:
Running and Cycle gear explosion

This is for realz. I can't do this anymore!

Insert tears

The stairs. Kinda Badass. Try and beat that, seriously. It's hard!

It's broken, it's not, Close to 7 experts weighed in. 6 voted not broken. The tribe has spoken.

So, long story short. I killed myself on my last long run. I dehydrated. I ran way too early. Up and down 1000 feet in the pitch dark. Somewhere in there I must have twisted my ankle. It happens but usually doesn't effect me. But given the extreme heat and humidity that day I took a beating. I had a horrible pulling mid way up my outer calf. I had an X-ray done to rule out that I wasn't tugging on a stress fracture. My Ortho said I had a very low ankle stress fx all the way through the fibula. I cried and cried. But it didn't make sense. I didn't have pain there. And that was the site of an old stress fracture and clearly well healed.

So I figured maybe he had some beers at lunch and was confused. I gave my films to a few Orthos I know and asked for some opinions. They all independently agreed that I didn't not have any fracture. GREAT! But I still had a bum leg. It felt like a severe strain/sprain. So if you've been reading my blog long enough you know what that means!:

Monday: off

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: 1 hour of strength and stairs at the gym followed by Bike 1: 20 miles at 15mph. Then, Bike 2: 27 miles at 17.1 mph. Collaspe.

Thursday: 1 hour at the gym. Stairs, core and arms followed by 20 miles on the bike.

Friday: A little over an hour at the gym including the stairs, core, ball, arms, glutes. Then 31 miles on the bike on hills. 

It's now Friday night and I feel better. I hate that there is so much drama involved when I go out but timing is everything. And this timing was stressful. I may take tomorrow off and then start up again. Or maybe trot about and see how I feel. Or do a Century ride. Screw it! A special shout out to my cycling friends who know they will get a call when my Garmin runs stop posting. Missed you!

They say you learn a lot about yourself via the marathon. I think you learn more when that's taken away, even if for a few days. I learned a few things about myself this week:

*Crying is allowed for 30 minutes in your Ortho's parking lot. That is it. Move on.
*What's done is done. Deal with it.
*Everyone has an opinion as to how you wrecked yourself. Ignore them.
* Focus on what's ahead. Keep your mind and fitness well.
*If you're not my Coach, back off! I don't want any negativity. I'm on a mission. 
* I will succeed.
*I'm not a quitter.
*I have wonderful people in my life. 
*I have the most supportive Coach who is very talented at feeding my crazy even if we thought it was broken.
*My butt hurts from the bike, bad.
*Being out of commission feeds the fire. I'm gunning. For the mailbox, the street, 26.2.
*I hate pity.
*I'm grateful for all of you. 

Cheers to running again! 

Laura XO

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another close call, gulp

Hey Everyone!

I'm sure you're wondering why I'm going blog-a-palooza lately. I guess I've missed sharing the good and the bad with you guys. Thankfully, it's been very good lately. I'm doing some marathon training that is unlike anything I've ever done before. Massive training blocks, hills, sprints, miles, doubles…It's so much fun that I feel like I should be doing more work. I've harassed my coach on several occasions for more mileage to which I have been shut down. haha. More on him later, I promise! It's good stuff!

But this post is more about recovery. I had a little scare that I ripped my own legs off, again. But my situation went from tragedy to triumph in less than a day. First here's how I ripped my calves off:

Saturday: 23 miles solo at 7:04 pace in high humidity and heat.
Sunday: 20 min warm up 3x60 meter hill strides, 4x4 minute hill repeats, 20 min cool down.
Monday: Off
Tuesday: 20 min warm up, 2x100 stride, 4x2 min hard hill, 5 min recovery, 10 min tempo at 6:15 pace, 20 min cool down. Wait for it….Double! 1 mile warm up at 7:24 pace, 3 miles sub marathon pace @ 6:25, 6:36, 6:24 and 1 cool down at 6:58 pace. It was 90 degrees at 2pm when I ran.

So I'm doing my happy dance by now! I feel strong, excited! I nailed distance and some sub marathon paces. Golden!

Then I woke up.

I woke up Wednesday hobbling. My calves were balls of steel. Most likely due to the fact I ran in a 4mm drop shoe for the fast double instead of the typical 14mm Adidas I normally use for speed. Ugh. I did my recovery run, a 7-miler and winced almost every footstep. I was sore, very sore. It was the slowest training run I've EVER done in my life. 8:50 pace.

So I contacted my LMBT, John Stiner. I said something to the effect of, "It's bad. I need help. I can't toe off." Like an Orca that just spotted a fat seal I think he was excited. He enjoys fixing people. I was in his studio later that day.
John Stiner, LMBT

Long story short. He worked on my calves and legs for close to 2 hours. Fiber by fiber unwinding the mess I made. I left feeling great. But I'm a skeptic. The truth would be the next day. My alarm went off. I still felt great. I headed out for my 6am run and it was like nothing ever happened. BRAND NEW legs. I was swearing in the dark of my cul de sac. Screaming thank you!!  Unbelievable, nothing less.

I've been fortunate to receive treatment by John for the last year. I was first floored when he took me from a hobbling walker to a runner in 24 hours here. You may remember he contacted me saying, "I read your blog. Get in here. I can fix you."  I've been hooked on maintenance ever since.

You guys know by now I only talk about product or service if I really believe in it. I'm not one to push product your way for the sake of a free water bottle from some random company. I perseverate, evaluate and really put thought into the companies and services promote. Which are like none, because I'm never happy. haha

But because I want all my running friends to have a similar story to mine I wanted to get this on my blog. I know there are so many people that say, "Oh, I have a LMT. It's great." NO, no and no! Not all LMBT's are created equal.

John Stiner, LMBT relocated to the NC just over 5 years ago in 2009. He worked with the Oregon Project 2008 in Park City, Utah and Eugene, Oregon. He worked with amazing talent such as Kara Goucher and Galen Rupp. He is a former 1:11/2:42 guy who loves the sport of running. "Loves the sport" is an understatement. He is savant on everything running. You'll get this when you meet him.

He will watch you walk and move for 10 minutes before even touching you. It's like he has X-ray vision and can see the problem. He WILL fix it. And then he'll tell you what to do on your own to stay healthy. His intent is not to see you back on the table but to get that thank you letter. He wants to hear that you feel great and raced well. That is why he's in this business.

He is the reason I'm gearing up for my 2nd marathon this year. I feel indestructible. My muscles are long, soft and healthy from continuous monthly maintenance. It is such a great feeling to know I can mess up like I did and I can be fixed. It's peace of mind.

I recommend putting John in your contacts so if you rip your legs off like me you know there is a solution!!
Facebook Page
Phone number: 919-381-7006

He is located in Durham off I-40. 5 minutes off 540.

Thanks for reading. I want the best for all of us. I have an EPIC weekend on deck that is almost making me nervous! I can't wait!!

As always, happy running!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Happy Wednesday My Dears!

I dictated this post to Siri because I feel we as runners need a little pick me up about now. I touched on it during the winter. See here. But again, I see the vibe on social media. I hear what everyone is saying. I'm here to tell you that you are doing GREAT! Great, despite:

*wretchedly high temps
* high humidity
*sun burns
*feeling sick all day post long run
*swollen feet
*tearful long runs
*feelings of failure

I live in North Carolina. It's sick and nasty for a good 3 months out of the year. We are almost to the end. Fall is near! But I see some of you, and sometimes me, who want to throw in the towel, quit this shit, get your life back, become a cyclist, play softball.  DON'T DO IT!

I do not have the attention span to write or read a long drawn out, paragraph laden post so let's go bullet style on this one.

 You are a ROCKSTAR if you are running with any type of remote consistency during the summer months in the South or similar climate.

When you head out the door every morning remember these things:

*humidity is our altitude. Don't make me google statistics, please. Take it for face value and trust me. If you can survive running is high humidity you are working just as hard as those high in the sky. So like, we've all read before: humidity is the poor man's altitude. Embace the suck.

*Speed. I'm just going to throw out a statistic on my recent study involving N=1. You will suck on your garmin but you really don't suck. I would say a 6:35 pace tempo run will feel like a 6:15 pace. I'm pretty good at judging effort and this seems about right. Even if I'm off a little it's good for your ego. Running is mostly mental, right?! You are a Supa-star darling!

*Keep your mind strong. You did not shit on your spring fitness. You're not a has been. You're not an old man/lady. Your fitness is actually stronger. It's just hiding. As soon as the first cool week comes through we'll all be giselles bouncing through the greenway sans water bottle.

*The hardest part of all of this is not the embarrassing pubic sweat on a group run, but rather it is keeping your MIND strong. It's easy to fade into the land of "I suck" and throw in the towel. But hopefully if you're still running with me you know it's too late now.  You've sacrificed too much. The end is near. We are like Submarine the shark (shark week reference) that can smell the chum in the water 5 miles away. Don't get blinded by the light! Keep going forward and get to your race and kick some fucking ass!!! And then tell me all about it.

Stay strong Honey Badgers!! We have got this!! You have my love and support.

This will turn into…
Your equally insane running friend,
THIS, soon!

Laura XO

Monday, August 18, 2014

In the long run…

Hey Guys!

My wit is about as shitty as the summer weather conditions here in the North Carolina. So, I'm having trouble keeping you entertained! But, when all else fails we can talk about running! Running forever! Long runs!  The "get your ass there or you'll have to explain why you suck on social media" run.

I have changed my training some. This marathon cycle I have a lot more 20+ milers. Before I did 1-2 total pre race. Before it was a big deal to run 20 miles. Now, it's becoming customary every Saturday.

My last 3 long runs were:

8/2: 20 miles. Every 4th at marathon pace. About 6:35-6:45 goal on the fast miles.  My average pace was 6:56 and the last 10k was uphill. A great run!

8/9: 20 miles. 10 hard/10 easy. Avg 6:50 pace. It was pouring rain so hard I have no idea how that one happened. I think the term hard was relative that day.

8/16: 23 miles. This was a time on feet run. Personally, I prefer to spend more time on my ass than my feet so it was at 7:04 avg pace. No fast miles. It was 100% humidity and the temps started at 72 and finished at 80 degrees. I think I was stabbing myself in the eye after 2 hours. I dropped my nutrition and had maybe 10oz of water. Certainly, a toughen the *uck up run.
*this day had a 4 mile double at night at 8 pace.

All my runs start no later than 6am and are solo. It's kind of lonely but there aren't many takers who like this distance so early.  I carry a handheld water bottle and 2 gels. No stopping allowed. I try to keep my serious face on for as long as possible. I start each run like there is a starting line. I don't have the patience or personality to shit around for 2+ hours.

I try not to waste ANY energy with emotional junk, crying about humidity, exaggerated arm swing, an unsecured hair bun…I try to get the cadence under control and just move without thinking for as long as I can.

That turns into…Why the hell am I training in the summer?! Can I please get to mile 15?!

Which inevitably turns into: I'm a mother *uc*ing badass, it's time to fuc* this shit up and go! I've never felt crappy the last 5k of a long run. Mostly because I'm so excited to say I DID IT!

This weekend I have a harder 20 miler on deck. I may put out water bottles pre run because my hand and arm kill me after a while. And no, I do not possess the talent to switch hands. Which is why I dropped my gel last weekend. Too fancy for me!

I hope you are all doing well and getting in some distance. Fall in almost here!! Happy Running!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Knock knock, it's me!!

Hello out there!!!!

It's me, your horribly truant blogger!!

I feel terrible for not updating since, uh Boston 2014 pretty much. I think of you guys all the time and tried to will myself to post but in the end I succumbed to: slacker-itis. Also, I became a Master! So maybe I'm just forgetful now? haha

But fear no more. I am going to keep you up to date on my current training, successes and fails. Even if it's short. Because it's good stuff lately!

I know pictures rock so I'll try to go through 4 months in photos.
Start of summer 2014 in North Carolina
YES, it's hot in the Carolina's. I refuse to acclimate. 

I try to beat the heat and get up by 4:30am 7 days a week.

I run hills in the dark at times. THAT sucks!

So I nailed down a little fitness with the help of my new coach. He deserves his own blog post. I hate to throw him in the middle of my sweaty photos so hold tight on that!

I decided after years of not racing anything under a half to throw myself to the dogs. I did 5k's, 10k's, 15k's…track races…I wanted to flush out the fear of the shorter stuff. So I went on a racing binge for 5 weeks. IT. WAS. FUN! 

18:44 July 2014

Hey, it's been YEARS. I didn't get the memo about no iPod in a 5k. lol

My Mum

4th of July. 10k turned 12k. 

Summer running

Then I got on board for probably the BEST race EVA! Boilermaker 2014 in Utica NY. It's the largest 15k road race I believe in the country, if not the world. I think it was close to 14,000 runners. I placed 4th Master, 4th American, 20th female, 200th runner overall. This was the course:

9.3 miles in 58:52. 6:19 pace on a hot and humid day.

Here are some Boilermaker pictures:
Top 4 Masters. Olympian Jen Rines, far left

Fernando Cabada!

No caption needed. The Godfather of Masters Running Kevin Castille.

The start of Boilermaker. I. have. balls.

58 minutes later, the finish is right there! July 2014

So until now, the summer was rocking! But I had to throw in one more race. So I did the USATF Masters Championships 5000 on the track. My first track race ever. It was fun. I did it for the experience more so than the time. I was 6 days off Boilermaker and kinda fried. I ran the same time as my 3 other 5k's in the previous weeks. 18:44. 

I'm in the yellow top with my very own chase pack while in 2nd place before getting my ass handed to me.

And today. After a few months in the heat and humidity I've clearly lost my fashion sense! Oopsie!

So that's my running in a nutshell.  I am training for a fall marathon. I can't wait to get past these wrenched temps and high humidity. I've never trained for or ran a fall marathon and now I understand why! It's hard work and takes absolute dedication. Extreme focus as well. I love it more than I hate it though!

I hope you guys are doing well. I still stalk your blogs and social media to check up on you. 

Peace out yo and happy running!!