DAMN MARIE! Back at it again with the plantar fasciitis

The week after the race, I was really achy and sore. My knees hurt and my left hamstring was tight and tender for several days. The area right behind my left knee was also hurting again. And my heels hurt. The right one was only mildly uncomfortable but the left one was in agony. I felt like I was falling apart you guys. A steep price to pay for a sub-2:00 half that wasn’t even a goal race.


So I took last week to recover. I did a lot of stretching and icing and foam rolling. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I did some light lifting. I only ran as far and as fast as I wanted.

Tuesday: 5 @ 9:39
Wednesday: 3 @ 9:28
Thursday: 4 @ 9:49
Saturday: 5 @ 9:54
Total: 17 miles

This week, I feel a lot more like myself. I’ve done some harder miles and speed work but I’ll probably hold off on a double-digit long run this week and instead do 10 the week before the race, like I did last time. That strategy seemed to work well for me because it gave me a little extra recovery time (mentally as well as physically) but still allowed me that confidence-boosting longish run before heading back into race week.


The only lingering pain is in my left heel, which bothers me pretty much all the time. And standing barefoot on a hard floor (like when I’m cooking) really aggravates it. Ice helps and also feels excruciating at the same time. (But in the long run seems to help.)

The only time it doesn’t hurt, oddly, is when I’m running. It takes me about a mile or so to warm up and then the pain goes away completely and doesn’t bother me again until later on. My guess is plantar fasciitis, which I had years ago, and is consistent with what I’m experiencing now. I really haven’t done anything about it yet but I’ll start doing some PT and if it doesn’t feel better next week, maybe even – gasp – see the sports physician.

I did buy some new shoes– another pair of liquidation Kinvara 6s. The Kinvara 7s have been out a while but they’re still around 100 bucks and that shit is not happening. I refuse to pay full price for running shoes. I can’t.


But it was difficult to find my size in the 6s since they’ve been out of circulation for so long. The cheapest ($49) were only available in like, sizes 5 and 11, but I finally found some for $65 at jet.com. It’s more than I paid the first time I bought Kinvara 6s, but it’ll have to do.

Aaaaand I got a half-size larger. I went up half a size after Kenzie was born (for anyone who doesn’t know how much babies fuck up your body, being pregnant actually makes your FEET longer. I know.) and they were fine if I wore thin socks (which I prefer anyway), but the 8.5s feel so much better and I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I also feel like something changed with the Kinvara 6 because my Kinvara 5s don’t feel nearly as snug in the toe. I could wear any thickness of sock with the 5s and I never had issues.

Anyway. My next race – the actual goal race – is November 5. I run the Monumental over and over again because even though it’s a pretty large race (probably close to 20K now), it’s incredibly well organized and the course is fantastic: wide roads, a lot of nice local landmarks and scenery, and it’s flat and fast. It’s also pretty damn cheap– I paid 50 bucks by signing up on New Year’s Day. (And the full marathon was only $60!)

Indianapolis Half Marathon


I raced a half marathon on Saturday, one I told myself I wasn’t going to race.


We all know where this is going.

But I’ll be damned if I didn’t feel amazing for like, the first 10 miles. The weather was right, my stomach was right, and everything just fell into place for once. It wasn’t until the last two miles (after a hill that lasted damn near a mile) that I really fell apart. I finished in 1:59:33, 443rd overall, 29/125 in my division and 139 out of 700 women.

The last mile sucked, it was my slowest by far. BUUUUUT for the most part I got the nice race that I wanted. It wasn’t a PR (close though), but I didn’t think I’d even come close on this course so I’m pretty pleased.

The Indianapolis Half takes place at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park on the east side of Indy, and it is the perfect time of year for racing through a forest. The leaves are just starting to change and the mornings are crisp, but not uncomfortably cold yet. This race is also nice because the whole thing is paved so you get the speed of a road race with the scenery of a trail race.

This race is known for being hilly, but it’s really not that bad. (The rest of Indianapolis is just that flat.) There are only two tough sections, around miles three and 10.


I was prepared for the hills in that I knew they were going to be there, but I didn’t actually run any hills to prepare for this race. However, I’ve been doing a lot of heavy lifting at the gym and doing that consistently has definitely had a positive impact. (Addendum: however, three days after writing that, I am still sore in a couple of spots and I’m having some heel problems that I’m going to need to look into. So…I’m not the badass I thought I was. Still, strength training. Never a bad thing.)


I left my house for Ft. Ben (about a 40 minute drive) at 6:30 in the morning, heeding the warnings from the race organization than drivers would need to park before the road closures at 7:30 (an hour before the start). It turned out that the closures would not have impacted me, but I was there at 7:15 anyway, sitting in my car drinking coffee and watching the clock. At 7:45 I met up with two friends and we stood in line for the bathrooms together, shivering and wishing we’d brought gloves. We jogged/walked the half mile or so from the parking lot to warm up. (I was planning to do a little bit of a longer warm-up but the bathroom line was too long.)

My friends and I stood together at the start, but they were both planning to run an easier pace that day (one is running marathon next month) so I knew we wouldn’t stay together.(Even though I am totally not racing this lol!)

I ate a honey stinger waffle. I could see the 2:00 pace group one corral ahead and I decided to try to catch up with them.

I’m racing!

Miles 1-2 (8:38, 8:45)

The start was a little congested, so I had to do some dodging and weaving. We took a main road straight through the park and then exited and ran around the perimeter. I was remembering how I started out at this pace at my last half marathon and how poorly THAT turned out for me, so I tried to take it easy, but I wanted to catch that 2:00 pace group because arbitrary goals are important to me.

Mile 3-6 (9:07, 8:34, 8:55, 8:42)

The first big climb started around mile 3. I was running with the 2:00 pace group and I wanted to get past them. (Nothing against pacers, but they were talking loudly and yelling things at the group and I found it a bit distracting. I just wanted to enjoy the woods.) After the mile 4 aid station I left them behind.

Mile 7-9 (8:41, 8:58, 8:56)

Mile 7 was flat and fast. We headed up a smaller paved road and then turned around and headed back into the park. We cut back along a section of that main road in the park before veering off into a more remote area where the path became narrower and hillier. It was really pretty and there weren’t a lot of runners around me so I had a chance to enjoy the scenery and the solitude…and to anticipate the last big section of hills I knew was coming.

Miles 10-13 (9:00, 9:16, 9:24, 9:55!!! UGH)

The hill starts around mile 10 and then there’s a brief downhill before going steeply up again all the way to 11. I kept a pretty decent pace on the hills but my legs were trashed after that. I had one gel left and I opened it around mile 11 but I couldn’t finish it. I was starting to feel just a little queasy and I took a couple small nips at the gel before tossing it in the trash at the mile 12 aid station and opting for Gatorade instead.

And then that freaking 2:00 pace group passed me! I could hear them approaching but I couldn’t do anything about it and it made me so mad. In the last mile, they left me in the dust. (But since I started in the corral behind them, I still managed to finish under two hours.)

Last .32: (8:40)

Seeing 13.1 click past on my Garmin when I still had almost a quarter-mile to go was kind of a buzzkill, but finally spotting the finish line gave me one last boost and I hauled ass as much as I could to the end. I had started my Garmin slightly before we crossed the timing mats at the start, so I didn’t know I’d finished sub-2 until I checked the official results later on at home. After that sad last mile, it brightened my day to see a 1:59 by my name.


This was before the race but you get the idea.

So I think I did a pretty decent job given the hills. This race gave me confidence that if I stay healthy, I can probably squeak by with a PR in November. I’m taking it easy this week. I have done a few short, slow runs and a lot of extra conditioning and foam-rolling. No hard running whatsoever.

Oh, and I probably need a new pair of shoes.😦 I love having new shoes, I just hate paying for them.

Race week thoughts

So it’s race week! Again!

To repeat something I’ve been saying for a while, I’m ordinarily not one for doing races as training runs. I really can’t afford to enter a lot of races so I have trouble treating a race as anything other than a Very Big Deal. (Here’s a poorly researched and hastily written piece from the archives about running on a budget!)

But I couldn’t resist signing up for a few fall half marathons this year because A) work schedules and child care are allowing me to do this for the first time in years and B) I got in on some great early bird deals so I only paid 40, 50 and 50 bucks (which is about as much as I’m willing to pay for a half marathon).

As I’ve ALSO already mentioned, September’s half was a TOTAL FUCKING BUMMER so I’m hoping for better weather this week and not to forget important things like all of my gels.

Last week’s runs

I’ve had a few good confidence-boosting runs recently so I’m feeling pretty positive. (Although my kids have been sick and I know I’m going to start my period any day now so…we’ll see.) I’m a couple weeks behind on training posts, but none of them were all that great anyway, so I’ll just stick with last week.

Monday: Weights + 2 @ 9:57
Tuesday: 5.7 @ 9:22 (warmup; 4 @ 9:12, 9:13, 9:07, 9:06; cool down)
Wednesday: 3.1 @ 8:40 (I usually lift on Wednesdays but I wasn’t feeling it and the weather was gorgeous so I did some half-ass lifting and then went outside to run.)
Thursday: 6 @ 9:04 (2×2 – which I have discovered that I LOVE – warmup; 2 @ 8:45, 8:39; one recovery mile; 2 @ 8:40, 8:50 and I skipped the cool down because FUCK THE POLICE).
Friday: Weights
Saturday: 10 @ 9:32 (I did 2 on/2 off:  2 @ warmup pace; 2 @ 9:00, 9:11; 2 @ recovery pace; 2 @ 8:56, 8:49; 2 @ cool down)
Total: 27 miles

It was a heavier week for me. I’ve been averaging closer to 20 miles a week and I’ve been inconsistent with speed work and harder running. Last week I skipped the 400s in favor of more miles at/around HMP. (I think it goes without saying that I really have no idea what I’m doing but it felt right to me.)

My aim for this race is really just to have a nice race. Even though I’m not RACE-racing, I SHOULD be able to finish in two hours without killing myself.


Last week and the week before that

So it only takes me one lame race to get really down on myself and start doubting my ability as a runner. Even just as a below-average runner. And just in general, I’ve been beating myself up lately about how slow I am. I’ve been thinking about how I used to be soooo much faster, and maybe I’m not remembering 2013 accurately, but it all seemed so effortless. It was this brief, magical period of time when I was running 30 or 40 or 50 miles a week and I was PRing in like, every race. It’s hard to believe I am even the same person who once ran 7 miles at an 8:00 pace (6.9 miles @ 7:59 actually, but who’s counting?!) I can’t even run a 5k at that pace now. And that was only three years ago!

I mean, I do have two kids now and I don’t sleep much and I’m 10 pounds heavier and I’m just not putting up the mileage that I used to. So I get it, kind of. But really? Really??! AND I WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING. It’s not like I regret having more kids! But it’s a little discouraging to know I’ll pretty much never be that fast again.


This post brought to you by Buzz Killington.

Anyway, miles. I didn’t really do a planned taper during race week except that I didn’t run Thursday and I just did an easy 2 mile shakeout on Friday.


Monday (Sept 5 sooo like 2 weeks ago, sorry and thanks for reading I really do love you): 5 @ 9:51. This was a failed progression run. 9:55, 10:03, 9:40, 9:52, 9:42. As I recall it was hot as balls that day.
Tuesday: I can’t remember but I either lifted weights or did nothing.
Wednesday: 6 @ 9:57. A sort of a tempo. (10:32, 9:58, 9:42, 9:33, 9:37, 10:21)
Thursday: weights
Friday: 2 @ 10:13. Shakeout
Saturday: Hendricks County Half Marathon – 13.1 @ 9:42. You can read the miserable race report here.
Sunday: 4 @ 10:11. Miraculously (or perhaps not so miraculously), I felt pretty great the day after the race and went out for an easy jog.
Total: 30 miles


Monday and Tuesday: I did nothing. I didn’t plan it that way, but I had some shit going on plus a couple nights of very little sleep and I realized I could use the break.
Wednesday: 7:5 @ 9:54. I did 2.5 miles with Codie in the stroller (10:31, 10:22) BECAUSE IT IS FINALLY NOT 85 DEGREES IN THE MORNING. And then another 5 miles by myself (10:01, 9:50, 9:34, 9:40, 9:36)
Thursday:  Weights + 2 @ 10:11
Friday: 5 @ 9:20. Finally nailed that progression, barely. (9:31, 9:24, 9:21, 9:21, 8:56).
Saturday: 6 @ 9:50. And another one (10:12, 10:02, 10:06, 9:45, 9:39, 9:13).
Total: 20 miles

Twenty miles. Twenty miles of slow running that for some reason felt like 30 miles of hard running. BUT the weather is getting cooler. I’m hoping to start seeing some improvement soon when I can run in the 60s instead of the 80s. I mentioned last week that I would really love to start doing some hills at least once a week, but it’s difficult to pull that off without having to pay for child care. I could add some hill repeats to my Saturday long run, but that would require driving somewhere and I like to hurry up and get back so I can spend the day with my family.


Question: What do you like to do to revitalize when you’re feeling like a piece of hot garbage? 

Spoiler alert! This race sucked.

Saturday I ran my first half marathon of the fall season, and it had the makings (can you see where this is going?) of a perfect race: low cost, very small field, country roads with beautiful scenery and gently rolling hills (okay maybe not the hills), and it took place just 10 minutes from home.

Unfortunately torrential rain and my own stupidity ruined all that. If I hadn’t paid to run, I might have just stayed home. I don’t mind running in the rain, but running for the better part of 13.1 miles in a downpour is not my idea of a good time.


I finished in 2:08:06, about 10 minutes slower than my PR, 4th of nine in my age group, 76/123 overall and 37th of 64 females which means if I’d been on top of my game, I probably could have placed. (A race with 123 runners is the only chance I’ll ever have to place.)

Anywhoozles, I showed up around 6:45, just as it was starting to sprinkle. The hourly forecast showed like a 30% chance of rain by 8 a.m. despite a massive front on the radar. I knew the hourly was wrong but I tried to lie to myself and pretend it wasn’t going to rain much. So I was thinking about all that and I was sitting in my car in the dark going through my bag and I somehow forgot to grab my gels.


I did a slow mile to warm up and it was still only sprinkling. The real serious stuff started coming down as we gathered at the start. I snapped a photo as it began to pour because I have an Android phone and it’s waterproof af.


Face-palm guy is all of us.

Miles 1-3 (9:07, 8:54, 8:56)

I wasn’t really going to RACE-race (I told myself) since I am signed up for a couple other half marathons this fall, but I did want to do a solid run at around two hours. I maintained that pace for the first few miles before things started going downhill. It was somewhere around mile 2 or 3 that I realized my gels were still in the car.


Mile 4 (9:15)

I wasn’t dressed for heavy rain (IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO RAIN) and my tempo shorts and tank were saturated and dripping. I yanked off my bib and reattached it to my flipbelt and then pulled my top up over my head and wore it around my shoulders.

Like this, but without the chiseled abs.

Like this, but with a sports bra and love handles and a c-section scar. Also…are chicks supposed to be into a veiny pelvis and nobody told me??

Mile 5 (8:56)

I felt better as soon as the shirt was off but I was already kinda spent, working way too hard for just a 9:00 pace.

Miles 6-8 (9:22, 9:41, 9:31)

I was running in a small group of men and women and I started falling farther and farther behind. A few people passed me. A couple others walked and I passed them. I honestly just wanted to pack it in at that point but since we were out in the country, there wasn’t anywhere to pack it in TO. During mile 7 a giant wet Saint Bernard ran with me for a while and that made me momentarily happy. He seemed baffled that there were a bunch of humans outside running around in this mess.


This is the only picture I got of the dog because of course as soon as I got my phone out he stopped running with me.

At the mile 8 aid station a volunteer yelled that we were almost done and that it was downhill all the way to the finish. That was right before we approached a long hill and another one and another one.


Mile 9 (10:14)

By then the rain had let up but I was depleted and thirsty and needed a drink in the worst way. I had been taking water or Gatorade at every aid station but it wasn’t keeping up and I was dismayed to find the mile 9 aid station deserted. There was a porta-potty and a mile marker and a folding table with some gallon jugs of Gatorade sitting underneath it. But no people. I briefly considered grabbing one of the jugs and just drinking straight from it, but I refrained. Only because there were other runners around.

Mile 10 (11:11)

At the next aid station I stopped completely and drank both a cup of water and a cup of Gatorade and one of the volunteers was laughing in my direction and in my weakened state I thought she was laughing AT me. Maybe she thought I looked funny wearing my top as a backpack? Or maybe I just looked melodramatic and desperate. Either way I did not think anyone should be laughing while I was in so much misery.


Mile 11 (10:45)

At the next aid station I stopped and drank again. The knowledge that I was almost done lifted my spirits a bit and I tried to pick up the pace again. Some women were gaining on me that had been waaaay behind me throughout the race and even though the whole thing had fallen apart, I still didn’t want them to beat me.


Mile 12: (9:54)

Last aid station: the volunteers were firefighters so I didn’t bust their chops, but they didn’t have any drinks poured and they were working the station like they were tending bar. (“What’ll it be?”) Like I said, it was a small race, so I’m not complaining. That’s just never happened before. (If I’d been close to a PR, or not so desperately in need of a drink, I would have just kept running. I mean shit, who even stops at the aid station at mile 12??)

Mile 13 (10:13)

Any energy I had in that mile sort of dissolved again and I crept along at an awkward jog. I could tell my feet had blistered and every foot strike was uncomfortable. One of the women that had been closing in on me finally passed me.


.19 (10:35)

I trudged across the finish line. I was fumbling my phone out of my flipbelt to shut off the runkeeper app when I realized a photographer was right in my face snapping photos. Something about the whir of the camera made me furious and I glared at him and simultaneously tried to disappear. (I haven’t seen any race photos yet but rest assured you will see me in all my horror as soon as they’re made public.)

Of course every day since has been absolutely gorgeous.

Literally every day since.



Meh? I don’t know if I can blame just the lack of fueling for my spectacularly poor finish. I’ve done 12 or 13 miles with only one gel before (and no Gatorade) so I didn’t think it’d make that much of a difference. I think the rain soaking my shoes and socks and the resulting awkward stride had something to do with it too. And maybe not being as prepared as I thought I was? And maybe just a shitty day. I’m trying not to be that disappointed about it, but since I can’t afford to just casually sign up for races whenever I want, it bugs me to waste 40 bucks on a crappy run.

My next half is October 8 and it has the potential to be a beautiful little race through a hilly state park. My plan this month is to maintain mileage and recommit to doing some hills at least once a week.

And stay healthy.


Running last week and the week before that

It’s race week! We camped at a music festival ummm…like two weeks ago? And then it apparently took that long to get my life back together.

This might have had something to do with it.

This might have had something to do with it.

I did run once at the festival. Saturday morning I woke up early (because camping) and I felt pretty good so I scarfed some coffee and a granola bar and ran to the hills.


I’ve been struggling a little since. My knees and heels have been achy and one butt cheek has been sore on and off. I’m not really sure why. I’ve been obediently doing my weightlifting and stretching and conditioning and maintaining around 22-30 miles a week. I should be feeling good.


Anyway since I didn’t get around to blogging last week you get the ultimate treat of two weeks worth of runs.

Week before last

Monday: My usual weights + an easy run, 2 @ 9:47. A little tougher after running 10 the day before. Also, all the 7.5 pound dumbbells in the entire gym were being used so I had to use 10s. Oof.
Tuesday: Fast people: don’t laugh. This is what passes for speedwork when you’re me. 1×2 (9:12, 8:57), 1×1 (8:39), 1×800 (4:04), 1×400 (1:48), 1×200 (:50) for a total of 7. Also in the first mile of the 1×2 I accidentally yanked my earbuds out of my phone and then dropped the phone as I was trying to shove it back into my flipbelt. Let me tell you about blind fury. I screamed “FAAAACK” and probably someone heard me.
Wednesday: Weights? I don’t remember anything about this because it was two weeks ago.
Thursday: 5.5 – I don’t really remember anything about this either except that I ran one mile at 9:08 and still averaged 9:57 so it couldn’t have been that great.
Friday: Nothing. We were busy packing up and taking Kenzie to preschool and then as soon as we got to our campsite I started drinking.
Saturday: 5 @ 9:40 with some moderate hills. I ran out of the camping/music park area and took a farm road a couple of miles out of town. It was humid but not unbearably hot yet, and I always enjoy running in a new place so I had a lot of fun.
Sunday: Nada. We slept in as much as we could and then had to pack up our shit and drive home. I was exhausted and bloated with junk food and beer so I pretty much laid around like a beached whale for the rest of the day.

2016-08-27 08.40.29

Country road…something something…

Last week:

Monday: Weights. I was eager to get back to a routine but I still felt achy and bloated so I did a kind of halfass weight workout with some stretching and and floor exercises and that’s about it.
Tuesday: 9×400. I didn’t get out early enough so it was really hot and I couldn’t hit the pace I wanted but I tried some 400s anyway. My best was 1:51, my worst was 2:20. But they were mostly around 2:00.
Wednesday: 3.3 @ 9:34. (9:56, 9:54, 9:01, 9:07). Basically bleh.
Thursday: Weights.
Friday: Meant to do something but I thought Kenzie was getting sick so I stayed home with her. Turns out she was just really whiny that day.
Saturday: 12 @ 9:50. I did 4 tempo miles at 9:05, 8:55, 9:07 and 8:52, which is about what I wanted but it felt harder, I thought, than it should have. This tempo has been a huge confidence builder for me in half marathons past. I did it the week before my best half ever so now I like to do it whenever possible. Oh, and I had a shitting situation in mile 8 but luckily there are a lot of new homes going up in that neighborhood and I found a porta-potty. I was in and out in less than a minute.
Sunday: Nada.

I’ll be doing sort of a mini taper before this weekend’s half marathon. I’m excited! It’s a new race (for me), close to home and if I’m lucky, the weather will not suck too much.

I thought this post could use a picture.

I thought this post could use another picture.

Last week’s running

Last week was pretty light on the mileage since the kids and I were both sick, but I ended up with a couple of decent workouts and don’t feel like the whole week went to waste.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday: Nothing. Not even walking.
Wednesday: 4.85 @ 8:49. Heh, I overdid it a little. I was excited to run again after a few days off and a local running store was holding a group run to let people try new models of Sauconys. I ran from my house to the store and then did three with the group (in the new Kinvara 7s and they were glooooorious!) and then ran home. Bonus: the running store had water, Gatorade, beer, fruit, and sandwiches from Jimmy Johns, AND a couple people I knew were there so it was a good time. (Side note: I’ve lived here for 10 years but it’s hard making friends when you’re in your 30s. Also, I’m something of an introvert so I have to balance my desire to have friends with my aversion to interacting with strangers. Basically, the novelty of running into people I actually know has not worn off yet.)
Thursday: Weights. I spent a while doing my hamstring PT exercises before my workout and then did a nice long slow weight routine. I even sort of enjoyed it.
Friday: weights + 3.3 @ 9:50. I went to the gym with the intention of just lifting but after my workout I impulsively decided to go outside for a quick run. I didn’t have my Garmin so I just ran by feel, which was interesting since I never, ever do that. My pace was pretty much what I thought it would be.
Saturday: I got up at 6 a.m. to run but Codie woke up at 6:15 (after also waking up at 2 and 4:30) and I was really tired so I stayed home with her and pushed my run back to Sunday.
Sunday: 10 @ 9:26. I slept in and headed out for my run at around 7:30 a.m. I was feeling ambitious so I threw in four miles at HMP for good measure (9:04, 8:57, 8:47, 8:58). It was a bit cooler Sunday and I had an absolutely fantastic time. Real hints of fall! SOON.

Total: 18 miles

I have two more weekends before the half but this weekend we are camping at a blues fest (SANS CHILDREN and OMG I am SO EXCITED [obligatory statement about how I love my children]). I want to do some longer runs this week because I know if I run at all this weekend, it’ll be short, and probably hungover. I’d like to do a 12 mile run before the race but this isn’t my goal race so if it doesn’t happen, [shrug]. It might be interesting to see how I hold up in a half with my longest training run only 10 miles.