Tag Archives | Running

Race Training for the Injured

As a long-time athlete, I’ve learned a lot about my body. For the most part, I can tell when I should sit something out, and when I can push myself. I’ve trained and competed while injured many times of the years. Broken collarbones {gymnastics}, dislocated shoulders {volleyball}, and spinal injuries {diving} haven’t done much to slow me down over the years. But what they have done is taught me how to listen to my body and how to train smarter instead of longer/harder.

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Leggings & Tank – Fabletics

Active Colorblock Windbreaker – Forever 21

Sneakers – Saucony

Here are a few things that I’ve learned to apply to my programming over the years:

  1. Rest when needed – No matter how careful you are with training, you will hit a wall at some point. You need to learn to listen to your body and realize when fatigue can’t be pushed through.
  2. Recovery is vital – Giving your body time to recover is important, but you also need to think about the foods that you put in your body which also impact your recovery.
  3. Fuel is everything – How you fuel your body before, during, and after training is imperative for keeping your body in top condition. All of your hard work will be wasted if you try to keep yourself going on Hot Pockets and Coke.
  4. Invest in your equipment – Whether that means a bike or running shoes, you want to research what will work best for your needs. Quality equipment can stave off injury as well as help you heal.

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So how have I applied these to my own training? With back and feet injuries, I realized that following a traditional half marathon training schedule wasn’t feasible. Attempting 2-3 runs a week left me in so much pain that I couldn’t get through all the runs and my cross-training.

What works for me is, like I spoke about in my Workout Schedule: Weight Training & Race Prep post, is one run a week. I do either a longer, somewhat slower run, or a shorter, faster run. From a cardiovascular standpoint I’m capable of running 13 miles if I manage my pace, so training is much more about preparing my body to take the intense physical beating. 3-7 miles once a week does just that – My joints and muscles stay in top shape, without being overworked to the point of increasing my pain levels.

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{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

I’m sure by now some of you are thinking – Why do you keep running?

Because I love it!

I started running in my 20’s to get outside when I became utterly sick of the gym, and I quickly became addicted. And I just LOVE racing. I may not be fast, but the excitement and fun and rush of race day is a total blast.

I’d love to try a half triathlon in the future, but for now I’m stick to a few foot races a year. In the past year I ran five – The Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile Race, the San Francisco Half Marathon, the Women’s Health 10k to benefit the Feed Project, the Golden Gate Half Marathon, and the Kaiser Half Marathon.

Have YOU ever trained for a race or competition while injured? Any tips?

Reminder: I’m not a doctor and I don’t have background on your specific injury/injuries. Please do not take this post as a personal recommendation to you for race training – Please speak to your doctor about what would work best for you.

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Kaiser Half Marathon

I was excited to kick of 2017 on a healthy note by running the Kaiser Half Marathon on February 5th.

After getting the bug last year, I ended up running four races in 2016: The Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile Run, The San Francisco Half Marathon, the Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10, and the Golden Gate Half Marathon.

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Read on to see what I thought of this one and how it compared to last year’s races!

  • Course: I haven’t had a chance to do much running in Golden Gate Park {other than crossing the San Francisco Half Marathon’s finish line}, so it was really fun to get a change of scenery for this race. The first half of the course was around the park and then there was a stretch on the Great Highway with really breathtaking views. And – Bonus – This was without a doubt the flattest course I’ve ever run!
  • Organization: Very well run – No pun intended. Tons of staff to answer questions and hand out water cups and cheer for runners. And, I have to say, this is the first finisher shirt that I’m actually keeping. Usually the sleeves or the torso are too short, but this long-sleeved tee is perfect!
  • Race Day Vibes: It was a big crowd and everyone was packed in to hear the introduction and watch the 5K runners take off. The Half Marathon started with lots of excitement and the course was great since it offered a chance to see the leaders head back towards the finish line. It kept me going to see the top runners push themselves and getting cheered forward!
  • Personal Performance: Between the Golden Gate Half Marathon and this race, I moved from Telegraph Hill to South Beach. Which means that I started running exclusively on flat roads – Virtually no hills or trails. I was very curious to see how (or if) that would impact my race time. Luckily, there was only a little elevation for this race, so I was able to take nearly 10 minutes off my time.

Side note: I didn’t do extensive training to shave time off, I was just feeling the race day vibes at the start and kept pushing myself. When you’re running you need to be sure that you’re listening to your body and not pushing beyond your capabilities. Your body can take a lot of punishment, but you don’t want to cause injuries.

What’s YOUR first goal for 2017? What’s on the calendar for you this year?

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Running the Golden Gate Half Marathon

Last weekend I was excited to participate in my second Half Marathon race – The Golden Gate Half Marathon.

2016 has, unexpectedly, turned into the year of racing for me. The first race I signed up for was The Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile Race earlier this year which was really fun and got me hooked. After that I ran The SF Half Marathon followed by doing the Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10 charity 10K race.

So how did the Golden Gate Half compare?

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  • Course: Similar to the previous four races, this one also crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. What was a little different, and especially fun for me, was that we do a little off-roading on the Northern side of the bridge. After crossing the bridge we spent about half a mile on trails, and even going up hill, it was fun and had a KILLER view.
  • Organization: Really well executed. The bib pick-up and post-race expo were held in Crissy Field and were organized and efficient. Per usual though, the race shirt is sized for a toddler. Seriously – 4 races this year and so far not a single shirt fits an actual human body.
  • Race Day Vibes: Over 4 thousand people were shuffling around Aquatic Park at 7am on the 6th before taking off up Van Ness to turn on Bay Street and head towards the gym. The mood was excited, and a little sleepy, and determined. I had to remember to pace myself because everyone took off like crazy on that first mile!
  • Personal Performance: I inadvertently deactivated the tracking chip on my bib halfway through the SF Half Marathon so goal #1 this race was to actually get an “official” time. I did, however, pull up my Nike Running App screen shot from July and compare it.
    • SF Half – 2:00:07
    • GG Half – 1:56:22 {which included a bathroom break}

The courses were similar, but I think that the GG Half had a bit more elevation, so I’m pretty thrilled with my time. Hills aren’t my strength so I felt pretty good about being able to stick with my pace time. Even more exciting? When I looked at the splits, I had three 8:10 minute miles, including the last two.

I love a strong finish! 🙂

Do YOU have a favorite race? Have you done a half marathon?

 

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My First 10K Race

This past weekend I joined Women’s Health Magazine and Macy’s to support The Feed Project’s Run 10 Feed 10 – A 10k race to raise money to fight hunger here in the United States.

I was excited for this event for a number of reasons. First – I love getting involved with a great cause! I immediately created a Crowdrise fundraising page to support the charity – Caity’s Race To End Hunger.

Second – I’m a huge and long-time fan of Women’s Health Magazine so I was a little bit starstruck by the idea of running with them. Nervous, yes, but mostly just excited.

And finally – This was my first 10K race. I love running and fell in head-over-heels for racing this year. {Check out my posts on The Guardsmen’s Presidio 10 Mile Race and the San Francisco Half Marathon} So I was looking forward to getting a new distance under my competition belt. I’d heard that a 10k was the perfect length – No real training or stress necessary going into the big day, but a long enough distance to be able to push yourself and set some personal goals.

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Needless to say, I had high hopes going in!

  • Course: I’m starting to get fairly comfortable running this part of the city since both the The Guardsmen’s Presidio 10 Mile Race and the San Francisco Half Marathon followed at least part of this course. And I have to confess, running over the Golden Gate Bridge still hasn’t gotten old. Even in fog and rain – It’s breathtaking.
  • Organization: It was easy to sign up for the race, get bibs picked up, and find the location on the big day – It all went smoothly.
  • Race Day Vibes: Positive & exciting. The “dynamic stretching” courtesy of Barry’s Bootcamp was fun and uplifting, and it was fun to see the announcer – Beth Behrs from 2 Broke Girls.
  • Personal Performance: I’ve never had an “official” 10k race time but that was definitely the fastest 6 miler I’ve ever run. Thanks, mostly, to my great pacer. I was excited to have three people from my office sign up for the race and one of them ended up pacing me the whole time – For a new personal best time of 54:27

Have YOU ever run a 10k? What did YOU think?

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Running Shoe Review: Saucony Guide 9

After a little over a year of foot issues – Read more in The Painful Truth About High Heels – I’ve come to realize just how important my choice of running shoes is for my foot health.

I’ve been rocking not one, but two pairs of Mizuno Wave Inspire 11’s – In mint green and in white – And have enjoyed the brand so far. I’m keeping both pairs, bought in February and in March respectively, since my infrequent running schedule this Spring means they’re still in pretty good shape. I use the white Mizunos for trail running No, I clearly did NOT think that through before my first run, but now they’re basically brown from the red dirt so they’ve been re-purposed and now are ‘officially’ trail shoes. And the minty green pair stay in my office locker for when the mood to run midday strikes.

Saucony Guide 9 Running Shoes Review FitLife Runner San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Saucony Guide 9}

As I’m sure you’ve realized by now, I’m not a girl who is married to a single pair of shoes. I know runners who have one pair of perfectly broken in shoes, and then replace them when they’re too worn. I, on the other hand, like to have different pairs for different activities, distances, or terrains. Not only does this keep the fashion blogger in me happy from an aesthetic standpoint, it also gives me the opportunity to try different brands and styles, as well as making sure I always have enough padding to keep my feet happy.

After completing the San Francisco Half Marathon I rewarded myself with a new pair of Saucony Guide 9’s from a running shop in Marin.

I decided to take September and October as resting and recuperating months with only one run a week. Not only does that give my feet a chance to rest, but I’m also taking the opportunity to try out some new pieces.

So, for my very first running shoe review, I present the Saucony Guide 9!

Saucony Guide 9 Running Shoes Review FitLife Runner San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Pros:

  • Great stability – No ankle rolling or loss of footing during my runs so far
  • Amazing padding – My feet LOVE these babies, I seriously want to wear them every day
  • Durable – I’ve been wearing them 1-2x a week for nearly two months and they still look brand new
  • Cost – I don’t love spending over $100 on running shoes, yet another reason I’ve been a longtime lover of Brooks, but the longevity of these is making them well worth the price tag

Cons:

  • Something about the heel construction results in my socks always getting pushed down and then the back of the shoe rubs on my ankle, so I end up stopping to pull my socks up. But maybe I just need to wear taller socks?
  • I’d LOVE a less flashy version – All black or all white. What can I say? I’m a fashion blogger at heart.

Summary – They’re really comfortable and I wish I’d worn these from day 1 because I swear I wouldn’t have so many foot issues! I can’t stop wearing them.

Have YOU worn Saucony shoes before? Tell me what your favorite running shoe brand is below!

Stay tuned for a Brooks Launch review!

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