Kaitlyn's Recovery and Running Log (Comments welcome!)

michigandergirl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Late to the party! I am also a shin splint/stress reaction sufferer, so I can relate to everything you've been going through. I found your dietician's steps helpful - I would like to lose about 5-10 pounds, but I also have a sweet tooth, so it's been difficult. :-)
 

KaitlynJ

Officially a marathoner!
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Super mini race report from Princess - it was awesome!!! I was originally registered for the 5K and the Fairy Tale Challenge. After a couple of minor training setbacks (and the medal reveal... I honestly don't even know who Elena is!) I made the tough decision to skip the 5K. I wanted that extra bling, but it just wasn't worth risking the challenge.

For the 10K, I ran with my husband as Aurora and Prince Philip. He was a champ! It was his very first 10K and he trained super hard for it. I felt bad because my fear of re-injuring myself held us back a little, but he was a trooper anyway. We did 4:1 intervals until we got into Epcot, after that we basically just took the character stops as walk breaks. No leg pain whatsoever!!! We stopped for Elvis Stitch, Aladdin (Jasmine was on a break), Marie, baseball Goofy, and Spaceship Earth, and after the race we got one with Snow White.

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The half also went off without a hitch! I shockingly wasn't sore at all from the 10K + being in the parks all day. And my friend was MUCH better trained this year (although she did decide in the future she'd rather do the 10K). Thanks to her new POT this year, we were in E, and got there early enough to be in the first wave. We got a picture with Anna before the race, and stopped for the princes, Belle and Gaston, the villains, and the Incredibles. After the race we got Jasmine and Elsa. We started with 4:1 intervals and decreased them as my friend got more fatigued (3:2, then 2:3, then 1:4). Minimal pain during the race (just a random twinge here and there, nothing lasting). And we stayed well ahead of the balloon ladies!

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I'm taking a little time off to rest my leg up a little extra (although I haven't had any residual pain or soreness at all post-race!) and then will be ramping up for Grandma's Half Marathon in June. My PT put together a training program for me that starts in two weeks. Until then I'm just going to take it easy and run when I feel like it.
 
  • KaitlynJ

    Officially a marathoner!
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2018
    It's officially training time for Grandma's Half Marathon! My PT suggested a very straightforward beginner plan (even though I'm not a beginner, she thought it would be best to start simple given my injury), which we also slightly modified since I've also re-joined Orange Theory. Up this week, we have:

    Sunday: Rest (check)
    Monday: 1 mile (check)
    Tuesday: Rest/PT homework
    Wednesday: 1 mile
    Thursday: Rest/PT homework
    Friday: 2 miles or Orange Theory
    Saturday: 2.5 miles

    My 1 miler yesterday went really well. I took it fairly easy, with a one minute walk break in the middle, and still had a decent-for-me pace (10:29). My shins got a tiny bit angry, but I'm chalking that up to running on the concrete sidewalk (which I try to avoid except for super short runs) and being a little lax on my PT homework lately. I'm going to be better about staying on top of it going forward.

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    KaitlynJ

    Officially a marathoner!
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2018
    Wow I had no idea how long it had been since I've updated this! I haven't been on much since I've been more focused on some non-Disney races.

    I finished Grandma's Half Marathon, but really struggled. Between dealing with a job change and some other life stress, I really wasn't able to give training my all. I got the miles done on race day, but was really frustrated with my pace and walked basically the entire last mile. That was the impetus I needed to fully commit to marathon training though.

    The week after Grandma's, I started training for the Twin Cities Marathon. My plan was to do intervals for all of my long runs. I had to do some troubleshooting but eventually found that 1:00/0:30 was my most comfortable interval, which gave me a decent-for-me pace of 12:15-13:15/mile once I got into the longer distances (10+). This past Saturday, I did my last long run before race day (I'll have 3 weeks of tapering, which will include Disneyland Paris races - I'm going to take them VERY easy). My plan had me doing my longest run as 20 miles, but I wasn't back to my car yet so I decided to keep going and ended up making it to 21. I'm really hoping the race day adrenaline/energy helps me pick up the pace, because my average for that run was 13:20 (only 25 seconds faster than the minimum race pace).

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    KaitlynJ

    Officially a marathoner!
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2018
    Only 5 days till marathon day!!! I could not be more nervous, especially since my coworker decided that yesterday would be a good time to tell me about her friend who fully trained for a marathon (including a 20 miler) but got swept at mile 7 on race day. 🤦🏽‍♀️ I’m trying hard to not let my anxiety get the best of me, though.

    Last night I was supposed to do 7 miles, but a bad thunderstorm hit at about mile 4.5, so I decided to head home and call it a night. I’m pretty pleased with my pace, it was a really easy effort even though when I started it was 81 degrees (and dew point of 67). So that made me a little more confident about race day at least. I’ll do 3 miles on Wednesday and 2 miles on Saturday, and do my best to get a decent night’s sleep.

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    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    Only 5 days till marathon day!!! I could not be more nervous, especially since my coworker decided that yesterday would be a good time to tell me about her friend who fully trained for a marathon (including a 20 miler) but got swept at mile 7 on race day. 🤦🏽‍♀️ I’m trying hard to not let my anxiety get the best of me, though.
    You've got this! That other person's experience has no bearing on your ability to do it. Believe in yourself and stay positive throughout!
     
  • KaitlynJ

    Officially a marathoner!
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2018
    The good news: I am officially a marathoner!!! I finished the race and didn't get swept. And the entire thing was COMPLETELY PAIN FREE!!! This is unbelievably huge to me. One year ago, I had JUST gotten out of my walking boot and was having setback after setback in my stress reaction recovery, and yesterday I managed 26.2 pain free miles! And I didn't quit, or even think about quitting, when it got really REALLY hard.

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    The bad news: It was legitimately the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I had to dig so deep from mile 16 on to keep myself moving. And even though I tried really hard to not set any expectations for myself for my time (aside from not getting swept), I secretly had my heart set on less than 5:30. I finished in 5:55:29. I think there were a lot of reasons for this:
    - Pacing. This is by far the biggest factor. I went out WAY too hard on the first half. I was really lacking confidence after my last long run cut it so close to the minimum pace requirement. I've heard a hundred times that trying to bank time is an awful idea, but somehow convinced myself that I needed to anyway. This course is really hard for even experienced runners to run even splits (much less negative splits) because the first half is almost entirely a gradual downhill, while miles 20-24 are straight up hill. It didn't help that literally all of the pace group leaders did the same thing. The 5:00 pace group leader said their goal for the first half was a 10:45/mile pace to bank time for the big hill. So I got it in my head that the farther I could get ahead in the first half the better. And it backfired. I was within about 2 minutes of a half marathon PR for the first half, and then completely tanked. I would have been much better off keeping a consistent 13:00/mile pace the entire race, but was just so afraid of the sweep bus (and for good reason... according to others in the Facebook group for first timers of this particular race, the sweep bus was actually ahead of the cutoff pace during the first half of the race).
    - Training. I missed several runs during my training, including an entire week when I tripped and fell on a run and banged up my knee and hands/wrists and had to give myself some time to recover. While I got all of my long runs in, I missed an important step-back week (between my 18 miler and 21 miler) about a month before the race, and missed a few of my mid-distance runs here and there when life got in the way.
    - Nutrition. I actually think this is more a routine issue than a nutrition issue. I realized AT the start line that I FORGOT TO EAT BREAKFAST. Luckily I got there over an hour early and there was a Starbucks a block away. I was able to get a bagel, but they didn't have peanut butter (bagel with PB or toast with PB is my usual long run breakfast). Would two tablespoons of peanut butter really have made that big of a difference? Probably not, but it was enough to stress me off and throw me off my game early on, which I think contributed to the anxiety, which contributed to the pacing issues.
    - Heat. A minor factor, but I discovered this training cycle that I am very sensitive to warm weather. It was around 62 degrees and very sunny when I finished, which felt HOT. It made the last few miles a lot tougher than if I had been there a couple of hours earlier.
    - Portapotty lines. I still have a lot of trouble balancing being dehydrated vs overhydrated. Here I erred on the side of overhydrated, which meant I needed to go to the bathroom a LOT. I made two very costly portapotty stops on the way, I'd estimate about 10 total minutes. Not only did they add time to the clock, I could feel how stiff my legs got while standing there not moving much in line.

    I'm already excited to do another marathon, but in the future will definitely pick one with a longer cutoff time. Both because I think it will give me more confidence to pace myself appropriately without the fear of the bus, and because I now realize that the Twin Cities Marathon is just not a great race for newbies or slower runners. There were a ton of disappointments related to the back-of-the-pack experience (no finish line photos, no food or Gatorade left at the finish line except for bags of chips, no entertainment or crowd support for the second half of the course and the toughest hill, etc., and semi-related, no women's plus sized official race merchandise at the expo.) I'm very much of the opinion that the last runner to cross the finish line should get the same treatment from the race management as the speedier runners do. They obviously can't control the spectators, but I needed a banana and a Gatorade at the end of that race just as much as the 3 hour marathoners did, and I'm super bummed that I won't have a photo to commemorate the experience because the official race photographer bailed 30+ minutes before the finish line officially closed.

    Sorry this became a rant! As disappointed as I am in the experience, I'm still extremely proud of what I accomplished. I don't have any more big races on the schedule, but I'm looking forward to deciding what my next one will be.
     

    surfde22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2015
    Congrats on your marathon. I ran Twin Cities yesterday too, and while I posted about my issues on the Running Thread, it's surprising how much of a difference an hour makes. I finished in 4:53 and noticed none of the issues you did. I found the crowd and on course entertainment to be pretty good, even if I didn't really want it with how much I was mad at my body for falling apart. I totally get being upset with no finish line photo, and I don't have one either. The one under my bib number is someone from the 10 miler with 27138 but the 2 is covered. Ugh, frustrating. I'm sorry to hear that the finish didn't have anything for you either. They definitely had a good supply and selection of food. They really should keep it up to the end if they say you have a set time limit, it's just wrong to pull it down before then. I noticed they seemed to be cleaning up the Corporate Team Challenge tent early too. I'm sure they are permitted through a certain time, but maybe they should consider extending that permit instead of rushing people out of there. No one moves fast after completing 26.2 miles. And I totally agree the porta-potty situation on course was terrible. I had to pee from the beginning and every time I past a small group of porta-potties the lines were way too long. It wasn't until mile 9 where I finally decided to stop because it looked like the line was short enough, but I was running so well at that point I was ready to just pee myself to prevent time loss. In hindsight, I fell apart so I'm glad I didn't make that choice.

    What other races have you done locally that you would recommend? I'm a big fan of the Run Stillwater series, and think they are pretty well organized, but am definitely looking for other options as not to drive from the SW Metro to the NE Metro for a good race.
     

    KaitlynJ

    Officially a marathoner!
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2018
    Congrats on your marathon. I ran Twin Cities yesterday too, and while I posted about my issues on the Running Thread, it's surprising how much of a difference an hour makes. I finished in 4:53 and noticed none of the issues you did. I found the crowd and on course entertainment to be pretty good, even if I didn't really want it with how much I was mad at my body for falling apart. I totally get being upset with no finish line photo, and I don't have one either. The one under my bib number is someone from the 10 miler with 27138 but the 2 is covered. Ugh, frustrating. I'm sorry to hear that the finish didn't have anything for you either. They definitely had a good supply and selection of food. They really should keep it up to the end if they say you have a set time limit, it's just wrong to pull it down before then. I noticed they seemed to be cleaning up the Corporate Team Challenge tent early too. I'm sure they are permitted through a certain time, but maybe they should consider extending that permit instead of rushing people out of there. No one moves fast after completing 26.2 miles. And I totally agree the porta-potty situation on course was terrible. I had to pee from the beginning and every time I past a small group of porta-potties the lines were way too long. It wasn't until mile 9 where I finally decided to stop because it looked like the line was short enough, but I was running so well at that point I was ready to just pee myself to prevent time loss. In hindsight, I fell apart so I'm glad I didn't make that choice.

    What other races have you done locally that you would recommend? I'm a big fan of the Run Stillwater series, and think they are pretty well organized, but am definitely looking for other options as not to drive from the SW Metro to the NE Metro for a good race.
    I think that hour makes a huge difference - I said yesterday that I think if I could shave an hour off of my time, I think I would run TCM again, but otherwise I think I'll pick a different race with a longer course limit. Also, as much as I appreciate the thought behind free race photos, I feel like I always get better photos in races where you have to pay for them. I'm sure there's some sort of bonus or financial incentive for photographers to get pictures of as many runners as possible (or have as many photos purchased as possible) so I feel like they end up taking more photos and the quality is better. May just be in my head, but there seems to be a correlation there.

    I live in Northeast so my local is a bit farther from you, but a few that wouldn't be too far - I've done the Lake Minnetonka half marathon as a relay, the course is gorgeous. Nowhere near the level of crowd support, obviously a much smaller race, but really beautiful scenery around the lake, gorgeous medals, and full course support and finish line festivities until the end.

    Reindeer Run is just a 10K (and 5K) at Lake Harriet but I really love it. It's always FREEZING but there's just something about the spirit everyone who is willing to do that has! It's like an outdoor football game in the winter - so much energy! And lots of people dress up, I always wear ugly christmas sweaters over my running gear, there are tons of Santas, and usually some random guy in nothing but a pair of short shorts! It's actually my 10K PR (a couple of years ago), turns out -6 degree windchill is quite the motivator. Lol.

    And not really local to either of us, but if you've never done it before - Grandma's definitely lives up to the hype. That's probably my favorite non-Disney race I've done. Absolutely incredible crowd support, beautiful easy course (only one real hill, and it's small!), gorgeous medals, the whole package. I can't speak to the full, obviously, but after how much fun the half was it's certainly on my list (I think it's a 7 hour course limit).

    Also, a little different, but the TC 1 Mile is one of the coolest races I've done! The recreational waves go before the elites, so after you finish you can watch the competitive waves. They're incredibly impressive! And if you're ever interested in the TC 10 Mile, doing the 1 Mile gives you a better chance of getting a spot than the general lottery.
     
  • surfde22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2015
    Grandma's is definitely on my list. As a UMD grad, Grandma's weekend was always one of my favorite weekends in Duluth. Always so much fun. I've looked at the Lake Minnetonka half before, but it is usually in close proximity to the Stillwater Half, though Lake Minnetonka is definitely a lot closer. The Run Stillwater races have a medal series that go together, so if I do one I always want to do them all to get the complete medal series, but maybe I'll have to get over my OCD tendencies in order not to drive all the way out to Stillwater for a half marathon.

    I'm running the Hypothermic Half in Eden Prairie for my winter race. The extreme colds can definitely be a motivator to get a race done. I'm also doing Chanhassen's Turke Trot with my wife and our three year old, hoping to start a new Turkey Day tradition, so I'm not sure adding another race, Reindeer Run, in that time frame is in the cards, but I have definitely heard good things about it. Maybe one of these years I'll get it in.

    Congrats again on your marathon and good luck with your upcoming training and races.
     

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