musings on running, life, and everything in between

Ankling anyone? And a long run with some awesome women

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Happy Monday folks. Hope you had some good racing and long runs this past weekend. I know racing season is up and going since I knew a bunch of women from my running group who raced this weekend–a half marathon (April, Corey, and Emily–who PR’ed by 16 minutes!), full marathon (Kazue, her first!), and half Ironman (Deanna). I chatted briefly with Kazue, so I know she was disappointed in her time, but I thought it was a fantastic time! Especially since it was warmish, super humid, and a bit misty/rainy on and off that morning.

I actually went on a run that morning at a local trail, Waterfall Glen, that’s a pretty hilly not-quite-10-mile loop. I woke up extra early without my alarm clock because I was so excited about the run for a couple reasons: 1) I hadn’t had a chance to run Waterfall Glen since late last summer and 2) I hadn’t run with both these girls in probably close to a year. All winter/spring of 2014, I had run with Kirstin, Corinna, and Jenny in preparation for our marathon in Manitowoc, WI. We jokingly called it the early train because we created these convoluted routes where we ran to each others’ houses and got “on” and “off” the train depending on our running needs. Kirstin got injured shortly after last year’s Ragnar (she ran the crazy 6-person ultra team), and Corinna wasn’t interested in doing another marathon last year so it’s been awhile since we’ve all been together. Kirstin finally was able to start running again just a few months ago after struggling with lingering inflammation and pain for months and months.

It was magical! Ok, maybe not quite that, but it was awesome running with these two women again. We commiserated on Jenny’s injury and lamented our not-quite-complete group, but we were excited to be back on the way to being reunited. It was also awesome running Waterfall Glen. Everything was so green, and although it was humid, the light on-and-off misting of rain felt good. The hills also kicked our butts! Seriously, I don’t know if it was a combo of the yoga from the previous day or just the severe lack of hills in my daily running, but I’m feeling a little sore/tight today! We saw some deer and some lovely birds we don’t often see around the neighborhood. My favorite are these bright yellow ones, finches maybe?

I realized, though, that I had made a very very good choice not signing up for the Schaumburg marathon (that Kazue did). I was tired and the 10 miles felt challenging enough. The idea of running 1.5 more loops of that run was unfathomable (yes, Jen, you were right in telling me to not sign up for another marathon). I’m not sure why my recovery from the Champaign marathon has been so much harder than any of my races from last year. And, of course, being a typical woman/Korean, I’m beating myself up about it, thinking that I didn’t train hard enough, that I did something wrong, etc., etc. When, really, the truth of the matter is that conventional running wisdom says you generally shouldn’t do more than 2 marathons a year, so maybe last year was more of a fluke rather than the norm. Either way, I need to make my peace with it and move on. It’s not “normal” to expect your body to be able to run 2 (or 3 as the case last fall) marathons back to back.

So…I’m going to focus on getting stronger all around. And really making things more about quality and not quantity. With that said, I came across a video the other day about “ankling” drills. They are to help with form and foot speed/power. I had never seen/heard of such a thing, although there are a plethora of articles and videos online about them. They look really goofy–kind of like a tiny, reverse moon walk. But I tried them out (in the privacy of my backyard) and they are HARD! Take a look and let me know what you think. If you need more description, this article has some written description.

Kirstin, Corinna, and I had talked about really trying to work harder on cross training and doing more strength stuff. Kirstin has been biking and rowing like a mad woman to try to keep up her cardio while she’s on her way back to full running recovery. We talked about taking a bike ride (gasp!) out west on the Prairie Path and doing a longer ride for fun. I was also playing soccer with my 5 y,o. (whose at just about the right level of skill for me, ha) and thinking what a great workout it was. I’ve heard that soccer players run miles during the course of a game. I am contemplating putting together a casual soccer game as cross training with some friends. I am such a horror in terms of coordination that I’m not sure I want to play with anyone beyond the age of 5, though. Still, it would be fun if we don’t take ourselves too seriously (a challenge for me ha).

Anyhow, happy Monday folks. Hope you get out and moving today. Seems like summer really might be here–heat and humidity and all.

Author: runNerdier

Marathoner. Academic. Mom of 2 ankle-biters.

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