Hard to Get

I’m playing Hard to Get with running fast right now. Pretending that I don’t want it…. When in reality I probably want it more than anything else… but don’t tell anyone. 

I’m starting to have more good days than bad days. Supplements are definitely starting to work. I forgot them once and felt TERRIBLE so they are obviously working, but I’m obviously dependent on them pretty badly. Just been doing low easy mileage to keep myself afloat for a while hoping that something will click sometime soon. I just don’t feel smooth or in a rhythm EVER. I always feel like I’m pulling dead weight… and that makes the whole idea of going out for a run quite sucky. It was never like this before. I used to just be able to go for a run and even when it was hurting it was not because I had cinderblocks for feet, it was usually a pain that I pushed myself to BECAUSE it was so easy otherwise. This weight is something I start with– and unfortunately finish with.


Anyway, I didn’t race after the 12 weeks for two reasons 1. Anemia was not part of the plan, 2. I didn’t want to turn down the $$ to photograph a wedding… so I did that instead. I’ve had a wedding every weekend this month. Busy, busy! 

Here are my weeks anyway… In order from where I left off. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


That’s a total of 255ish miles in 8 weeks… Aye has nearly run that in this month. She would have done that if she didn’t get sick this month. She’s a crazy bitch though! 😉 

Anyway, I’m just going to keep plugging along minding my own business and playing Hard to Get… and maybe something will spark soon. 

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Week 5


Week 6 


I’m not going to get into too much detail on each individual day here… It is what it is.

After being diagnosed with Anemia, I got supplements and started reading more on Iron absorption. It’s still blowing my mind that I’m low on Iron. I have so SO many Iron rich foods. But Matthew has done some research for me, and we are quite sure I have something wrong with the way I absorb the nutrients from plants. He even wrote a great blog post on some of his findings. It’s possible I lack the probiotics and the digestive enzyme to break them down since my diet was so poor for a while… my body has changed and not always for the better. So I have to build my gut back up… at least that’s what we think for now. I should get more answers on Thursday when I have my blood work looked over by someone other than a primary care doc.

So in the meantime I’ve just been trying not to hammer myself into the ground with workouts that I can barely complete. I’m mildly depressed that I’ve had literally the WORST string of training ever for nearly 3 years now. Every time I start to piece something together, something new goes wrong. Matt and I talk about this a lot… and that I’ve never been the same since the adrenal burnout…. so frustrating.


Week 5 was 30 minutes every other day. I felt better having time off, but still only averaging 8:30 pace or slower. I got in some yoga and rock climbing though for core work. I admit it was fun to take a break from running.

Week 6 I was still on the 30 minute plan until Wednesday and then increased 5 minutes thursday, and 5 more minutes friday. I took saturday off so I could feel mildly fresh for a fundraising event on Sunday for Autism. All my work friends were going to be there, and I wanted to at least win. I didn’t beat every boy like I did the years past, but 12th place is okay. I just devout so much of my off time from work to running, it would have been embarrassing to not be able to win a dinky 5k. It was fun… and I was happy with 19:36 this time around… even though it was the same time that I ran on the track, I felt way more in control.

What’s next? 

I still have not been put on supplements I feel confident about. My doctor never spoke to me directly, never asked me my symptoms, never asked about my diet. How does he know that simply taking more iron will help me? The chiropractor my boyfriend goes to also does a supplement protocol as a service. He said if I wasn’t absorbing properly, I could take Iron all day and it’s not going to change my blood results much. They faxed the blood work to him today, and on Thursday we meet to get me on something completely tailored to my needs. He’s looking into the adrenal glands as well.

Will this be the light at the end of the tunnel, or just another mirage? Only time will tell… But i’m serious– If I don’t get better soon, I’m taking up rock climbing.

So Epic! 

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Support Lanni, Canadian Marathoner

Hello All. While cclark has been holding down the fort with ACTUAL running, I have just been using this blog to bump other people’s successes (which right now, is okay by me). I actually was in a car wreck a couple days ago, which has set my recovery back (I got rear ended twice by a little old lady, who was going 30-40 mph, my car was stopped at a red light — more on this, not so interesting stuff later).

Right now lets talk Canadian Women’s Distance Running. Lanni Marchant was a 3L at my law college, when I was a 1L, and I ran with her on and off when we both were on the same running schedule. While Lanni is a ton faster than I am, she’s one of the most positive people I know. After graduating, she became a lawyer (like most law students do), only unlike most lawyers, she was training at high intensity to run a marathon. Lanni recently ran 2:31 at the Rotterdam marathon, a good five minutes below the Olympic Standard,  but anyone who is familiar with Canadian running knows that the Canadian standard is set at 2:29. Everyone who supports Lanni is asking people to take steps to affect change for Canadian Women marathoners.

The stringent standard makes it difficult for Canada to develop young female distance runners because they feel that even if they make the Olympic Standard, they still are not good enough to represent their country (even though we should check where 2:31 would have finished in the last Olympics). Setting the standard at 2:29 is not just bad for Lanni, it is bad for the future of distance runners, and as distance runners (even if I am American), I feel we are all on the same team to want to see our sport develop. Lanni is the fastest Canadian female marathoner in the past 6 years, and no female marathoner has met the Canadian standard in over a generation!

If you want to say that you are behind Lanni and her petition to the Canadian Olympic Committee to lower the standard and let her run to represent Canada like her facebook page. AND you can help by Emailing Martin Goulet mgoulet@athletics.ca Chief High Performance Officer and let him know you want him to let Lanni Run!

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Week 4: Somethings Wrong


Monday: Off. This was a tough start to the week. I started taking B12 supplements right away knowing there was something wrong with me. Like I said in my last post– the track doesn’t lie– There is something wrong. 

Tuesday: -6.5 miles w/9×1:00 on 1:30 off 50 minutes total- I was hoping that with a few days of the B supplement I’d feel a little better, but not so much. I felt horrible. Was sucking wind, and just kept telling myself “just get through it in whatever way you can” 

Wednesday: 7.07 in 59:00, 8:20/mi- Walk ran this. I was running most of the time, but occasionally I’d just be super tired and stop to walk 3 steps and continue running… It was really… REALLY… embarrassing and hard. I started thinking “well I was much better last week…. what changed” I had my period today, and then started thinking B12 wasn’t the problem, it might be iron. Scheduled a blood test. 

Thursday: Off- Cried like a baby for having to take this day off… but I was a mess and needed to rest. 

Friday: 3.26 miles 30:00 minutes/9:12- I ran this after getting the blood test. For the first time I felt… Okay. What I mean by that is I felt like a weight had been lifted and I could stop thinking and analyzing what was wrong and I could just run… as slow as I wanted… knowing there was something wrong. 

I’m anemic. 

My Hemoglobin is 10.0, Iron count 33, Ferritin- 5… an endurance athlete feels symptoms of anemia before dropping below the “Normal” range… and I’m well below normal. Here I was thinking I was a wimp, and it turns out I was actually tough. My coach changed my workouts to 30 minutes every other day for 10 days. 

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 30:00 with AYEDUBBS! Still shortness of breath, only been taking Iron for a little bit. Still tired, still have headaches… and the supplements make me feel nauseous but SO HAPPY to run with Aye! Image


Still going to keep the week count. Mike Griffin said I should feel mostly normal in 30 days, but will always need the supplements. I probably should have been taking them all along. I feel stupid for working so hard on my diet and such a simple oversight has caused a really bad decline in my performance… BUT the work I’ve done the past 4 weeks is still there, and now I just need to maintain that for a few weeks while I get my levels in the normal range, and then I can push it again. 

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Week 3: The Track Doesn’t Lie

Monday: OFF– Spent most of this day thinking about how crappy things actually were on Sunday. I went back and fourth with the 19:48. “Really Caitlyn? 19:48?”… Even after an hour run prior to the race, it still didn’t make much sense to me. I felt really tired the whole run, pre-race, race, and post race. Something that inspired me to do this race was the long run I had done the week before… That run was much longer and I closed the last 3 miles in nearly the same pace as the 5k. Granted the 5k was hilly and my long run the week before was flat, but things weren’t adding up. It was a frustrating day.

Tuesday: 9.4, 1:15:00, 7:58/mi- Prior to this run I text messaged Matt. “Taking nap, I’m Dangerously tired.” I was falling asleep driving home from work… so I set my alarm for 5:00 and figured I could fit in an hour nap then fit in an hour run without losing daylight completely. I was so out of it when I started running that I didn’t start my watch. I got to the playground at mile 1ish and took off a layer and that’s when I realized I did’t start my watch. So from there I thought “I’ll just run out and back for 30 minutes” so I could get in a whole hour. Obviously I ended up getting a lot further for the 30 minutes than I ever had and I was thinking “wow, I might as well do the loop instead of Out and back. I’m practically halfway and haven’t hit 30 minutes yet”… I totally forgot that I started my watch a mile from home… so obviously things weren’t matching up and it seemed like I was flying! But on my return trip I was thinking “wow, I’m still far from home, I must have slowed down a bunch.” My watch read 58:57 when I got back to the playground and thats when I realized what I screwed up. I was seriously out of it.

Wednesday: 20 minute warm up, 3 x 2:00, 3 x 90, 3 x 1:00 w/equal recovery, 20 minute cool down; 7.5/1:04 total. What a crappy workout. This may go down in history as the worst workout I have ever…. “completed.” I was dreading it yesterday (because I thought I had to do it yesterday), but dreaded it just the same today. I ran to the back of the Wire Village school and thought I’d do these on the roughly 600m walking path. The first interval I felt TERRIBLE. Really, really, really bad. I tried to shake it off and thought “eh, it was the wind” but the second interval I considered quitting. I literally said out loud “I can’t F’ing do this!” then just as I said that another voice in my head said “just one more 2:00, and then the intervals get shorter… 12 weeks of consistency, Caitlyn”… but the third interval was just as bad as the first two except worse because my feet were cramping and burning. I wasn’t really even doing 2:00 hard anyway. It was more like one minute hard where I tried to convince myself I could do it, 30 seconds where I physically and mentally crapped out and went through the motions, 20 more seconds of pushing hard again trying not to succumb to my negativity, and then 10 seconds of “packing it in”… Bad, bad, bad. For the 90 seconds I decided I hated my sneakers and everything in my running went wrong the day I stopped training in racing flats. I never liked the PureConnected. I only got them because Matt put them aside for me to try, I didn’t have to pay for them, and I left my shoes at home one weekend where I had a long run. (The weekend I fell and nearly split my patella, of course). They have always felt too stiff… SO I did the 90 second pick ups barefoot in the grass… those were sucky too, but how fast can you run when you are barefoot and the grass is not well groomed and the wind is 100% debilitating. I just went through the motions. Then it suddenly got freezing and started raining. I put my shoes back on tying them much looser and just went through the motions. Feet cramped, calves fatigued, wind blew. I jogged home hating myself. Then I went to check the weather for the weekend forecast and found out they had issued a warning in my town because the wind was 45 MPH and may knock down trees. I forgave myself for the really bad workout after that… but still was pissed I felt so terrible, and still hated my shoes.

Thursday: 6.5 miles 49:02/7:32. I knew I could not run alone after the week I had so far. Scheduled a run with Roary in Haverhill after work. I had to drive for an hour first, so that sucked. Roary was killing me, dragging me around the whole place… but I just kept blaming it on the drive and tight hips. I just kept pushing though because I figure things will eventually click.

Friday: 7.25 miles 56:00/7:43. Ran with Matt in the morning. Felt good at times, bad at times… but overall a big improvement upon what I had experienced earlier in the week. I talked a lot about my dislike for my shoes and the Saturday track race. I seeded myself with a conservative 19:10, but I should be able to run 30-40 seconds faster on the track and with spikes… Or so I thought

Saturday: 2+ mile warm up, 5k in 19:32, Too depressed to cool down. Part of me wants to pretend this day never happened, but another part of me knows I needed to do this. The track doesn’t lie. I’m tired of people telling me that mid to high 19’s is not bad. I just want to rudely say: “It’s not bad FOR YOU“… I’m sorry people. Just because I beat more than half the field, doesn’t mean I am not allowed to be upset for SUCKINGGGGGGG.

The road race last week is one thing… there were a lot of variables that kept me from believing it was AWEFUL, but this was a competitive track race and I was being lapped by a girl running significantly slower than my best. I can’t remember the last time I did not break 18:40 on the track. 2005 maybe? I think I ran 19:13? The last time I didn’t break 19:30 on the track? I’m not sure that’s ever happened… that’s just… SLOW! The last time I ran a 5k on the track I broke 18… Not a whole lot of training was done for that, either…  I remember everything sucking back then, too.  Yesterday however, wasn’t just a sucking, and it wasn’t just a disaster; this was like the apocalypse of my running career!

My splits were all over the place, 46, 90, 92, 93, 93, 94, 95, 96, 94, 97, 96, 94, 85. It’s hard to explain the way I felt. I planned on going out in 47 and running a very conservative first mile… exactly the split I wanted for the first mile… what I wasn’t expecting was feeling like I had run out of gas in lap 3 and faking it the rest of the way. I expected to pick it up each mile and close in 5:50’s or lower. WRONG! Each time I heard my splits I was confused because each lap I thought I had put in more effort, I thought I was turning things around, but it didn’t amount to anything. By the third mile I had realized that there is something just not right with my body and I really and truly almost dropped out of my first race… But despite my incredibly poor performance, I’m tougher than that. I realized “I’m in 4th place, just get 4th place… you came to compete, not for time… so compete DAMNIT and take what very, very, VERY little positive you can get out of this race” What sucked is that I was constantly being reminded that I was being chased by a pack of 3, and so I really did have to compete, and I was like a car trying to drive without an engine. I didn’t run out of gas, there was literally no engine! I needed to trick the college kids into thinking I was stronger than I actually was. I seemed to only have enough energy to pick it up for a 200 without having to regroup for another 200… so I would try to be at my strongest on the straightaways where they were in hot pursuit, and relax a bit on the turns… I absolutely could not allow them within 5 strides of me… because then they would know I was dead… In the last lap I was being gunned down really bad, so I just did what I could. It’s weird I was able to get an 85 out after all that… It’s hard to explain how I felt, but it was as if there were two forces fighting over control of my body, and for short bursts I had control and I’d try to bring the pace back to something respectable, and then for the other parts something else was in control.. and it was this terrible back and fourth. The most agonizing feeling was running by the clock at 18:0x and realizing I still had a lap. How depressing…

Sunday: OFF. After hearing about my race, Joe wanted me to take two days off in a row


To summarize this week: The track doesn’t lie. I could come up with excuses on the roads, and in the half marathon, and in all those stupid little pick up races I’ve done this year… but the track doesn’t lie. If something is not right, the track will let you know. The only good thing about running THIS bad is that it is GLARINGLY OBVIOUS that there is something going on out of my control. I asked Tom Derderian about it when I finished because he has seen me at my best… and now at my worst… and since my coach wasn’t there he was the next best thing. He though dehydration or iron… and suggested a blood test. I agreed I needed to get checked out…. but had a hard time believing it to be iron when I drink 2 green smoothies a day PACKED with iron. Finally I got in touch with my coach… before I even told him my time he said “It sounds like Iron or B12, but considering your diet, it’s probably B12.” Right when he said it Matthew and I both had our eyes light up. The ONE run I can remember doing this year that felt normal was my long run in Week 1. I jokingly remember saying to Matt a few weeks ago “I ran awesome today and I had sugar last night. Maybe I should eat sugar again!”… and for a second after my race I thought that was a possibility. I actually brought up that long run again to Matt on the car ride to get some food and I told him “If I’m running slow because I don’t eat sugar, I’m just going to quit competing. I never want to go back to eating sugar”… Matt swore that it was a coincidence and that I just had a good day for that run. However, when my coach said B12, Matt and I both remembered that I couldn’t sleep the night I had sugar, and Matt always has trouble sleeping if he doesn’t take his B12 supplement… so he gave me one that night. It wasn’t the sugar that made me run faster, it was the B12!

My coach didn’t even want me to get a blood test. He told me to just get the B12 take Sunday and Monday off, and in 10 days he’s sure I’ll feel better. B12 is a supplement most vegetarians and vegans NEED to take. I’m not vegetarian or vegan so I never thought of it… but I don’t gravitate towards a meat eating diet, so I don’t often get B12. Some from yogurt, and some from kombucha… But not even close to enough.

I’m starting to feel stupid for eating healthier. At times it feels like more trouble than it’s worth… but for the most part, I never, ever, ever crave sugar, even with Easter cakes and candy… I felt sick looking at the colorful cakes. I rarely crave or want meat (and if I do– I eat it… and I usually suffer from a terrible stomach ache after), I get excited to go home and cut up some carrots for a late snack.

Hopefully the B12 supplement will solve the problem, because I’m happy with my diet otherwise. I’m still getting the training in, and I’m not sore or injured in any way. My coach says the miles wont go to waste even with the deficiency. So hopefully week 4 will feel a bit more natural. That’s what has been lacking every day. Every step feels forced, and running was never like that before.

Here Comes the Comeback… I hope! (catchy song! Love this guy!)

“Well, maybe it’s the common curse
Maybe things get bad before they get worse
I don’t wanna become someone
Who can’t live up to what already done

Don’t keep it just to figure it out
When it rains and pours, and then it runs out
I was crying on the bathroom floor
And just when I thought I could take no more

Well, here comes a comeback
The kid is back, is back on track”

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365 Days Later…

Well, tomorrow it will be exactly 365 days since I got injured, and stopped training…my longest hiatus by 360 days ever from training. Two days ago I ran my first run since my second, and hopefully, last surgery. What’s the plan now? Since it has been exactly one year, I suppose I could just pretend like nothing ever happened, and just continue training right where I left off…maybe that is what I will pretend to do.

Because I have only been running for two days it’s difficult to tell how well I am healing, but I certainly feel different. I am hoping and praying that this last surgery really was the last surgery.

Despite all the strengthening, my right glute is still a ton weaker than the left, and gets tired a lot quicker, but the good news is: it’s firing again! On my run this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to feel it firing normally.

I feel obligated to give this small update, but I have nothing else much to say because, like I said, after just 2 days of running I can’t for sure say I am on the path to healing (though I am trying to think positive and believe that), but (on the bright side), I also cannot say that I am still injured.

I have nothing planned yet for my comeback that I am ready to commit to writing (or typing), though in my last update, I was contemplating a fall race. I am still am looking forward to a fall race back, but for now I am trying to focus on just running, and finishing this semester of law school. So, I will leave you with my friend’s link to her donation page for the Special Olympics. She is running the Boston Marathon for charity, and still needs to raise $1k more dollars. So, if anyone likes this charity, maybe they can donate. I will be making the flight from Michigan to  Boston to cheer on all the runners. Here’s the link. Thank you to all who help her cause, and everyone who has helped out already!

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Week 2: Just Keep Running

Monday: OFF As always, Monday was off. I like having Monday off… I knew this was going to be a REALLY busy and crazy week so I just needed to make sure to get the work in. The weather was cold again, so this was going to be tougher than last week.

Tuesday: 25 min warm up; 2×600 @2:10, 2×400 @85, 2×300 @60, 2×200 @38; 30:00 cool down. 9.5 total. This was harder than I wanted it to be, but I hit my splits. My 600’s were 2:09, 2:08; 400’s 82, 83; 300’s 60, 59; 200’s 36, 36. It was really windy up on the track, but I felt great cooling down. I knew I was going to be up late, and then up early so  I was glad to get in what I could

Wednesday: 8.4 miles, 69 minutes, 8:12/mi. Did this in the morning and I NEVER run in the morning on a weekday… especially after a workout… so I started at probably a 10:00 pace. By the end I was running mid to low 7’s. I actually enjoyed the morning run… but was tired with the kids at work.

Thursday: 7.45 miles, 55 minutes (last 5 hard), 7:22/mi. I took a personal day today since I had Les Miserables in Boston last night (and because I have Matts 30th birthday Party Saturday). Ran before lunch. Started with a quick pace, but since the pace was quicker than I expected, and since I was in Reading, the loop I chose was too short and I had trouble finding a place to add on that wouldn’t involve me cutting across highways during my 5 minute pick up, so I slowed down just to stay somewhere safe for the hard 5 minutes. Ran the hard 5 minutes at 5:46 pace, and then as I ran the 2 minute cool down back to the apartment I rolled my ankle in the driveway. I felt two cracks. Stuck it in an ice bucket and  forgot it happened.

Friday: 6.5 miles, 51 minutes, 7:50/mi. 7 x :45 pick ups (90 second recovery) Lots of driving today, ran after the hour drive to Reading. Broke this workout up into three parts. 20 minute warm up, the pick-ups, then 15 minute cool down. I was tired and even though my ankle didn’t hurt, I felt unstable and I think the issue was related. I kept having this impulse to tie my shoes tighter but then my feet would hurt so I’d loosen them. Overall not bad, though.

Saturday: 5.1 miles, 40 minutes, 7:50/mi. Easy run first thing in the morning. I had so much cooking to do for Matts birthday I had to get things started right away. Just went and got it done. Didn’t really care about pace. I left my metronome at my place on Wednesday so I could feel myself slowing to a different cadence. Tried to keep it going at a decent turnover… but other than that just relaxed. It started snowing. Really? It was 80 degrees last week!

Sunday: 60 minute warm-up, 3.1 mile race, 30 minute cool down. 14 total. I’ve decided to not get attached to results until after a 12 week full training cycle. Ran the race in 19:4x. I got second OVERALL… like one dude beat me… so it wasn’t really a race energy. I didn’t wear my watch so I didn’t get splits… just went off of feeling and I was really tired by the end of the race. It was like my 10th mile so of course I was tired. I made the debut in the new uniforms I got for Matts birthday though. 


I felt great this week and just got the work done. I was REALLLLLLY busy this week and way off my typical schedule, so I was really glad to just keep running and not skip a beat. Of course I wish I could have raced faster… but I’m fearful of that “race feeling” in my gut so my plan is to train hard, not back off, and just race myself into shape. By doing that I need to accept that the results aren’t always going to match my fitness level. I’m in good shape physically… mentally? I’m WAY out of shape… but this is a start.

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Week 1: Training with intention.


Monday: OFF- I always take Mondays off. WHen I stopped taking Mondays off I got hurt and/or sick so until I’ve got 6 days consistently, Mondays will remain OFF

Tuesday: 7.7 miles, 60 minutes, 7:47/mi. Extremely nice weather. Got started immediately after work. Used the metronome and ran on a relatively flat route in Worcester. On flat ground it was easy to maintain 180 strides per minute.Drove home to Spencer and watched the sunset as I did drills. Modified Myrtl, Chi Looseners, PT shoulder drills, Rope stretches. Quads were tight after New Bedford, but other than that I felt like the half marathon was nothing more than a hard training run… and that it was. Maybe not my initial intention, but it is what it is.

Wednesday: 25 minute warm up, 10 x 300ms (Goal: 60-62), 25 minute cool down, 9 TOTAL. Another perfect day… maybe a bit too warm for March, my body wasn’t acclimated too well, and breathing suffered a bit. Real windy up on David Proutys track. The track is not marked but I used the holes in the turf as a gauge, measured it after and it was actually 310m. Ran 61, 61, 60, 61, 60, 60, 61, 61, 60, 58. Post run I did Myrtl drills, Chi looseners, Back PT, and rope stretching. Hips were tight.


Thursday: 5.6, 45 minute, 8:00/mi- HILLY


Unintentionally did some hill training today. With the metronome it was significantly harder. I went a completely new direction in Spencer, and thought I’d just do an out and back since there was no easy way to loop it without running more than prescribed (not a whole lot of roads out here). I was hoping this new way would be somewhat less hilly than the rest of the routes, but I was met with a giant wall. I tried to keep the 180 strides per minute while climbing the mountains in Spencer… but it was hard. I noticed pain in my back, probably was using my arms more than I should and doing that thing that got me in trouble last year… So I was conservative on the downhills to not hurt my back again. Was really pissed to have back pain… but another beautiful day and Spencer may be hilly, but it sure is pretty!  Did Myrtl, PT, Chi Looseners, rope stretches, and iced my back.

Friday: 7.4, 55:09, 7:27/mi. Another perfect day. Like summer. Drove to Reading for the weekend, ran out and back on Pearl. I need to find more routes in Reading, but Pearl street is my favorite so far. It doesn’t feel like I’m only 20 minutes from Boston because not a lot of cars on this road. Ran with the metronome, had a great groove, but my back was sore and that was concerning. Had plans with Matt almost right after my run so only had time for clams and triple threat for PT… but got an Athletes Recovery Smoothie at Each Peach Cafe later.

Saturday: 7ish from Northeastern Track. I ran very very easy from the Spring Track meet. Only had to do 50 minutes, but just as I was finishing some of my friends from other teams were circling the track and so I joined in for probably a mile or so. Most of us weren’t racing and were just there to support. Matt ran a real steady 10k so it was worth the trip, but I was really upset to get back into the car and still have a sore back. Got some great insight from Worcester native, Tim Ritchie (and some not so great insight… haha!) Went home and did PT drills, (no myrtl today because of my back) and did rope stretches. Matt massaged my back and did some of the stretches Mike had taught me for PT.

Sunday: 11.92, 1:30:05, 7:33/mi. Slept in till 8:00ish… that felt GOOD. Ran solo in Reading. So friggin flat here… it was awesome. Started easy, closed my last 4 miles in 7:00 pace. Got a little turned around in two spots, but overall it was just an easy run. I was in the zone. I ran without the metronome today just so that I didn’t have to be so mechanical everyday. I did however have my watch set to beep every 3 minutes to remind me to check in with my posture and shoulders so I wouldn’t hurt my back. It was tight, but not a real problem. Modified myrtl, PT, Rope stretches, and Kundalini spinal warm-up with lunges. Feel much better than Saturday.


I feel really good about this week. The time change certainly is a bonus. I have so much more time after runs before it’s dark and depressing. I’m really glad the weather was nice this week to get me off to a good start. I just have to keep going, have patience, faith, and get in some races without being afraid. Like I said in my last post, I’m so afraid of failure that I don’t even want to try… But I’ve gotta just put myself out there, start taking training more seriously, and stop taking race results so seriously… at least for now.

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The Trash

Here are some photos, a must see video, and a new reflection on where I’m at post injury… and why it’s taking so long to turn things around.

Mile 3ish

Mile 13ish

The embedded video is a must see if you want to understand what I mean by “Trash”

I think one of the greatest mistakes I have made since making a full (physical) recovery from my back injury is deny myself the right to say that I work hard. I don’t know when I suddenly decided that I don’t work hard, but this mindset is just the type of trash I need to get rid of. When I constantly tell people “I’ll be the first to admit I don’t work as hard as others out there” I instantly give myself an excuse to not work as hard as I should. It’s my running version of Double Jeopardy. I think I started saying this with good intention. I started saying this as a reminder to myself that I could do more… But man did it backfire.

Let me clear this up for myself right now: I work hard. Can I work harder? Yes, but it is the ultimate vanity to say that I don’t work hard.

I think I started to feel that mileage is the only positive correlation to hard work, and while it often can go hand in hand, it doesn’t always. I have yet to find a formula that allows me to increase mileage over 50 per week without injury… I think I’m on the right track since seeing a Physical Therapist, but I’m not there yet. Hard work also comes in the intangible, and although I’m slowly working on increasing my mileage, it is the intangible work that I’ve usually been best at… I’ve always done a lot of drills, a lot of meditation, and a lot of visualization to make sure that every step of every mile meant something. There were no meaningless steps. I kid you not, I used to run with a metronome to keep my cadence at 180 steps per minute. Additionally, I would have my watch beep at me every 2 minutes to remind me to check in with posture, form, and breathing.I used to close my eyes for an hour a day and visualize myself running to a hypnotic CD when I had already run that day… but recently that’s been just as hollow and meaningless as the rest of my training.

A seed has been planted in my head and each time I said that I am not a hard worker, I watered the seed until it grew into the gigantic uncontrollable vine it is now. It’s weaving it’s way in between what is real and what is not. This vine of delusion is what protects me from failure. Instead of the champion motto; “you can’t fail if you never give up” my motto has turned into something more like this:

“If you never try, then you can’t fail”

I am physically well passed the injury, but mentally I’m still battling. I had finally stopped identifying myself as a runner and it honestly was a relief. Now, each time I try to become a runner again, I’m a little afraid to get back in the ring because I have a history of being thrown out of it due to injury… I’m afraid to make the sacrifices again; afraid to REALLY try, and then REALLY fail. I used to thrive off of opportunities to look failure in the face and say “not today”… I’m just mentally not there anymore. I literally do not want to feel that “race pain” anymore and every time I start to, I resort to the poisonous delusion that “I don’t work hard”… or that “I don’t care.” This leads me into the thought: “if you never try than you can never fail” and that somehow allows me to justify 1:30.9 instead of the 1:27, 1:28, or 1:29 I could have run… There is NO excuse for not getting those 9 seconds. I checked my watch 100 times in the last mile, I knew very well that I could do it… I just didn’t want to try. I didn’t want to finish knowing that I actually tried hard and still sucked that bad. I DID try… I tried until mile 9. By giving up, I essentially spat on all the effort I put in before mile 9, and I pissed on anyone who passed me in the latter stages of the race. With a 1:30.9 I can tell people “I didn’t try, so you didn’t really beat me…. no big deal”

WHO THE HELL IS THIS PERSON?! And where did this trash come from? There’s WAY too much thinking, way too much fear, way too much over analysis happening while I’m out on the course. I did work hard during training, I had some bad breaks with illness (duh, I teach kindergarten in the black mold basement…), but overall I got out there. Most of the time alone, especially for workouts… but I still did it. (and on a side note: I also gave up sugar so I would stop getting sick. That’s commitment right there… I forget what it even taste like and don’t miss it one bit.) Running everyday and training everyday has been the easy part… It’s training with intention, with purpose, and with focused effort that has been hard… Effort that I know will still land me short of any and all of my goals.

Sometimes you just need your own Socrates. Sometimes you’ve got so much trash that you can’t take it out alone. I truly am grateful for all of you who are following this journey weather it be in the real world alongside me in a race or a training run, or just the virtual world of facebook and blogging… So thanks!

AyeDee… You can come home now please.

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Half Marathon Recap

Here is a screen shot from my running log. Splits and thoughts on todays WAY sub par performance. I probably could have mustered a 1:28… but… I’m over it and moving on to the next cycle of training.

Half Marathon Recap

Here is a recap from my race that I wrote in my running log. Maybe more later.

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