Category Archives: soreness

Feel the Burn

No, this isn’t a political post even if I’m from Vermont and Bernie Sanders was in fact a bit of a track star.  This is about that burn that we all chase as endurance athletes, the one that part of us shrinks from and the other part of us reaches for.

It’s not that I can’t get good lung burn when I run but I’ve been doing it long enough that it’s rare for me to really hurt during most workouts. On Saturday, however, I remembered what it’s like to suffer. I started the day by skiing. In a normal year, I ski most days of the winter and besides the first couple days, I’m generally happy except on the steepest of hills. Thanks to surgery this winter, however, I’ve only been on my skis a handful of times. As such, I put myself in a bit of an exhausted hole by the end of the races on Saturday morning. Then I head out to run on my snowshoes. I wanted to try it before the race and with another melt on the way, it seemed like Saturday was my best bet. I set off at a good clip (read: in motion) across the fields at MMU with the plan of running our new XC course a couple of times. By the time I had climbed the first big hill, I was gasping for air and looked down at my watch: 4 minutes. Shit. As the run went on, I got more efficient and learned how to run hills without totally going into oxygen debt but one thing is for sure: snowshoe running is no joke. I’ll be thrilled if I run 11 minute miles next weekend.

And this wasn't even deep snow!!

And this wasn’t even deep snow!!

On the way home, I was invigorated in a way I haven’t been after a run in a long time. Yes, I was humbled and exhausted, but I was also so excited to be challenged and to find a new way to expand my fitness.

What activity have you done lately that humbled you? What’s your surefire way to make your lungs burn?

Week in Review 3/30/15 to 4/5/15

I survived my first week in Lewiston and on “the wards.” The schedule has taken some getting used to and my legs are thrashed from a week of a lot more walking and standing than normal but I made it. I also somehow made it to taper for the 4 miler, so I’m excited to see how that goes next Saturday.

Monday: 7 miles of loops around Bates Campus plus striders.

As seen on my run...the benefits of running with my phone?

As seen on my run…the benefits of running with my phone?

Tuesday: Gear Changing workout. Added bonus of trying to find somewhere 1) safe 2) flat enough 3) long enough. 5 minutes at T pace, 1 minute rest, 2 by 800 at I pace with 3:00 rest, 400, 300, 300, 200 at R pace with full recovery. 8 miles total. Lifted legs after at the hospital gym.

Wednesday: Insane, insane day at the clinic. Went for a walk while on the phone with my mom instead.

Thursday: 8 mile run with legs that felt just plain horrible. Didn’t realize how hilly it is around here until this run.

Friday: 6 by 300 at R pace for a total of 7 miles. Feeling clunky. Arms after.

Saturday: 5 mile recovery run.

Sunday: 7.2 mile “long run.” Thanks taper! Actually found a lovely place to run north of town so that was nice. Legs feeling a little better.

Total Miles 42.2

Total Miles for March: 217

For this week, I’m going to try to get my runs in before clinic and see how my legs feel. I do have a night shift this week which will mess everything up but I’m hoping I can get my legs to feel a little better before Saturday.

Week in Review: 10.27.14 to 11.2.14

Monday: 6 miles easy.

Tuesday: Workout! 2 by 6 minutes at T pace, 3 by 3 minutes at I pace and a mile of 200 ins/out plus a leg lift at the gym.

Wednesday: Prorated off day, 7 miles. Ridiculously sore.

Thursday: 4.5 mile stagger through Burlington.

Friday: 9.5 mile run with Annie. Much colder than I anticipated!

Saturday: 7 mile run with Will in the sleety-cold.

Sunday: 11 mile run with 15 at T pace in the wind.

Total: 47 miles.

October Total: 146 miles.

Post-marathon progress is slow! I’m working to balance needing to get quality work in for Vegas (and for whatever I do in the winter) and respecting my body’s continuing recovery. It’s not easy! I’m still fighting a cold (sure sign that my immune system is still down from the marathon) and dealt with serious soreness this week after lifting for the first time since taper started. I’m also dealing a bit with the “blahs.” Somehow picking running routes and getting out the door is really challenging for me recently. I’m luck to have running friends to rope into going with me but it’s still a struggle.

Anyone else struggling to get their mojo back post marathon?

Week in Review: 5.12.14 to 5.18.14

You can’t make this shit up: both last week and this week, I ran exactly 57.89 miles. In the past week, summer has arrived in a big way bringing with it a resurgence of my watch tan and lots of hot, sticky runs where I swore I’d get my hydration back under control.

Monday: Easy 8.9 feeling really ploddy.

Tuesday: Easy 9.4 with Annie on trails.

Wednesday: Miserable track workout in 80 degrees and humidity at high noon. Excellent sunburn as a bonus. The goal was 12X400 at 90 seconds with 75 seconds of jogging recovery in between. I timed the first couple but gave up with the headwind/humidity and tractor parked across lanes 1 through 4 and just tried to keep the effort the same. By the end, the lane lines were starting to swirl on me but I survived. 8.5 miles with a heavy leg lift after.

Had to check if the lines were actually blurry or if it was me. It was me.

Had to check if the lines were actually blurry or if it was me. It was me.

Thursday: 6.5 mile recovery run. Legs really cooked which oppressive humidity didn’t help.

Friday: 7.5 miles, some of which was with Collette. Legs started to feel snappy towards the end of the hour. Still wicked humid. Lifted arms at home.

Saturday: 10 miles. I meant to do a long run but then I took a small fall at about 8 miles. And by small fall, I mean stepped in a huge hole and fell on my face. My knee bled for the rest of my run and was pretty sore when it was time to drop Joey off so I used all of my grown-up judgment and stopped. Total Abs routine.

Sunday: 7 mile tempo run. Drills (go me!!), 2 mile warmup, 25 minutes continuous tempo and cooldown. Hip core after. My Garmin was all sorts of pissed off by the trees but my pace for the tempo section was 6:45 pace, which was right on for a tempo effort over 20 minutes.

57.89 miles

2 lifts

2 core sessions

2 workouts

Reflection: This week was rough weather-wise, but committing to Albany really helped my motivation and my focus on doing the “extras.” I’m not tapering for the half next weekend so am looking forward to a workout on Tuesday and lifting throughout the week.

Total Abs Routine

Total Abs Routine

Hip Core Routine: 45 to 60 seconds for each activity


Walking Lunges

Calf Raises


Jane Fonda’s

Single Leg Bridge

How was your week in running? Anyone else fall-prone? What’s your approach to running in humidity?


In Like a Lion

With a high of 14, today felt more like January than March. Since I missed most of the winter, however, I don’t have much room for complaint. Still, I’m ready for slightly warmer weather!

Recovery is going really well (knocks on wood). I’m running about 2 miles at a time continuously, longer if I take some short walk breaks. My ankle feels pretty good, although I’m still rocking an epic cankle. I’m working to get back in the routine of foam rolling twice daily, core and stretching. That’s quite enough to build back in for now but at some point, I have to get fueling dialed back in. Evidently animal crackers and string cheese aren’t optimal fuel?!

The other big (sad) news is that the ski season is over. The team did great at the State Meet with multiple people in the top 10 and some epic relays. My post-states depression is in full swing, though. I’m loving the study time but I miss my daily dose of total, easy happiness courtesy of coaching.

Tomorrow, I’m doing a “workout” with Joey (not to be confused with Joe, who is WAY too fast for me right now). She is training for her first VCM and is doing 800s tomorrow. I’ll join her for warmup and cool down and then alternate 800s if I can manage the pace. The breaks will rest my foot but it will be fun to be real again, even if for a couple repeats on the track.


Scar (and cankle) 9 weeks out



Stretching tight hip flexors



Proud to say I supplied the extras in this photo


Midwinter Levity

Winter running sucks. I can say this officially because I’ve polled all of my training partners and everyone has concluded that they are tired of being partially sick, running in the cold and dark and of ever changing surfaces. Everyone’s peroneal nerves are cranky and we’ve all been plodding for weeks. And the wind. Don’t get me started on the wind. How is it that no matter how you turn on your run in Burlington, the wind is still in your face?

Thankfully, I’m heading south next week for the first of two warm weather training blocks and it couldn’t come at a better time. The chance to run in North Carolina for a week and the promise of shorts or at least knee-pris and no snow couldn’t come at a better time. I’m struggling with soreness, numbness and general ness, but I’m hoping that my 5 days in Chapel Hill will rejuvenate my running.

In the midst of grumpy running, my friend LT found this great post from Buzzfeed. #5 is my favorite. Any of these 25 resonate with my fellow runners?

Can’t even walk

Hi I’m Tim, I’m stepping in to blog for Sarah for a few months.  I met Sarah this year at a GMAA team race where I finished 3 seconds behind her (net time) at the New Bedford Half Marathon in March.  Going into the Vermont City Marathon we had a friendly match to see who’d beat who and Sarah won again, by 13 seconds.  And even at a fun 5K this summer at the Clarance DeMar, Sarah beat me again by 9 seconds.  So we kinda got a little rivalry going.  Sarah owned me in 2012 but I’m determined to beat her at least once in 2013.  So when I read that she was stepping away from her blog for a while I sent her an email asking if I could sub in with the hope that maybe I could steal some Mojo for 2013.  So here I am.

And this morning I couldn’t walk.  The past two weeks I’ve been teased with a mild pain in my Plantar on my right foot and this morning it was on fire.  It’s humbling to have to put all my effort not to fall over and create a racket as I limped around the house in the early morning, trying not to wake my wife and kids.  Even after the PF has warmed and stretched a bit I can’t walk without pain in every step, which is not good.

But as bummed as I am, given that I’m 9 weeks out from the Hartford marathon, I see these painful steps as my first steps in my new journey with running.  What will happen I can’t predict, but I plan on being optimistic, listening and finding expert help to get me through this and come out stronger.

Cherish your runs everyone, do you realize how lucky you are!!!

Short and Sweet Recap

The good? A 6 minute PR. The bad? A grim last 4 miles.

I haven’t even downloaded my splits from my garmin yet and a race report will come later in the week, but I’m happy, sore and ready to recover so I can get back on the roads.

10th Woman

97th Overall

3:05:36 Gun, 3:05:33 Chip. (Old PR was 3:11:18 in Boston 2011).

Ground 1, Sarah 0

I was visiting friends this weekend and headed out for a run on Sunday, planning to do an easy hour. As soon as I hit the door, it started to pour, which should have been a harbinger of things to come. I plodded along and was feeling pretty good when I came upon a little urban park with trails. I ventured in, found a trail map and was excited to explore trails in a new place. I made it about 400 yards from the map and BAM. I found a rock with my foot and crashed. Hard.

I laid there in the pouring rain, just trying to assess the damage. I was dizzy, my ears were ringing and I’m pretty sure I was saying out loud “owwwwwwwwwww.” Although I didn’t feel like anything was broken, I was so dizzy, I didn’t dare try to walk, so I sat for a while. Finally, I was able to hobble home.

While I don’t remember hitting my head, my mouth had dirt in it and my head was bright red and muddy. I tore clean through my tights and the sleeves of my shirt. My belly button ring was gone and I have a big bruise on my right side. My elbows and knees are grim at best. Stupid runner…

I woke up stiff, sore and bruised yesterday, but not completely immobilized and ran a tentative 3 miles to see how things feel. While my knees are stiff and don’t want to bend, nothing feels broken. I’m going to take it easy this week regardless, focusing on my quality work on Wednesday and 20-miler on Saturday. And try to stay upright.

I’m Not Giving Up My High Heels

After running the Vegas Marathon, my friend Emmy and I wore 5 inch heels out in Vegas. We may have been doing the Steve Martin King Tut walk, but we looked goooood. (The picture below is us before the heels. We were hurting.)

On my first trip with the GMAA team last year, I was mocked (lovingly) for my choice of outfit post race. While everyone else was in running clothes or a tee shirt, I was in a white cashmere sweater. I learned my lesson halfway home when a certain seatmate spilled all over me. Even after that, I am always most likely to be overdressed.

This includes wearing high heels, a huge no-no for someone with calf troubles. Although I don’t wear them as often as I did when I was working a desk job, I do wear them for nights out and special occasions. Without fail, the run the day after wearing high heels is a painful one. As such, it is no surprise that this study found that women who regularly wore heels “used shorter, more forceful strides” and “were perpetually in a pointed-toe position.”

That said, I’m not giving up my heels. I have an impressive collection and they aren’t going to Goodwill. I do wear them more sparingly now and am careful to stretch after wearing them. As the study suggests, the biggest risk of injury is transitioning from heels to running shoes, so I’m going to be careful with afternoon runs.

What running “rules” do you break?