TSFM Half Marathon Training Begins, and How I Injured Myself: The Truth

Happy Friday runners!

I am just over half way through my first week of training for The San Francisco Marathon! I will be running the First Half of the race this year, and this will be my FIRST race since last July! After injuring myself in October, I took a long hiatus from running. I have to say, after much rest, patience, PT and strength training-IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BACK!

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View from the top of Bernal Heights #seenonmyrun

To prepare for this race, I am using a fairly traditional plan for training: Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Half Marathon training program. I am running 4 times a week, combined with 2-3 classes at Burn Pilates in SF. Burn is a fusion workout studio that combines Pilates, weight training and HIIT drills in one, 55 minute workout. I have to say, my cardio is ON POINT right now, which I will credit to the high intensity training. So, don’t neglect your cross-training!

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Spring has been lovely to us in SF!

I don’t have any concrete goals for this race just yet, besides STAYING HEALTHY. That means getting plenty of rest, proper nutrition, general maintenance (warming-up, foam rolling, icing, and the works), and listening to my body. The truth is, the real reason I injured myself so badly, is that I pushed through an emerging injury. I had noticed an unusual pain in my right foot while running, and I did rest for a week. When I tried to run again, the pain returned and I rested from running again. However, I took a jiu-jitsu class and during the warmup, I ran barefooted around the room. During that first jog around the mats, I felt a shooting pain through my foot and up my leg. The stubborn marathoner in me took over, and I simply pushed through the pain! It was my first time taking jiu-jitsu, and my pride took over and I didn’t want to remove myself from the class. I regrettably kept training for an hour and a half in pain, and after that one class I could barely walk and needed months of rest!

We endurance athletes are taught to push through all kinds of uncomfortable situations, but there is a great difference between being tough and being stupidly stubborn. Lesson learned! Or, so I hope😀

-J

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey Back from Injury

Blog, how I have missed you! I took an unintentional hiatus from writing, perhaps it was the nagging tendon injury that sidelined me for two months, the taking on of a second job that has cause my work/life balance to completely fall out of whack, or just run blogger’s block (it’s a thing); but excuses aside, in just TWO shorts weeks I will begin my training for the San Francisco Marathon! With the running and writing juices flowing, I’ll be tracking my training here once again.

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Promo shot for TSFM (I’m in the front row😀 )

This is my 5th year participating in TSFM events, and I have decided that I will run the First Half Marathon. I was once again selected as an ambassador for the race, and you can meet all of the rest of The Team here!

About that injury…In October, I suffered a severe tendon strain in my right foot. Healing a tendon is no joke: it took weeks of doing nothing on my feet just to stop limping. Once I could walk properly again, I started slowly rebuilding the strength in my leg. I began taking yoga at my gym, and worked up to 3-4 classes a week. The difference in strength between my right and left leg was immense at first, and my balance was completely off. However, slowly but surely I regained strength.

I also began to supplement my cardio training on the stationary bike. I almost died from boredom (no joke), so I never peddled for more than a half hour at a time, but it was good a start. Just after the New Year, I started to run/walk again. At the advice of an Athletic Trainer, I began running on a treadmill rather than outside. SO! I worked my way up to running about 20 minutes on the hamster wheel. Then, it was finally time to take my runs to the streets again!

I always side with caution, and steadily increased my run/walk mileage over the course of two months. I am now capable of running for miles again without walking breaks, but it was quite a journey to get to where I am now. Thus far I remained uninjured, and I am SUPER stoked to get my training underway!

-J

 

 

The San Francisco Marathon 2016 Race Ambassador!

I am so happy to announce that I am returning as an ambassador this year for The San Francisco Marathon! This is my FAVORITE running event, and it is such an honor to represent such a world class (and fun!) race!

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TSFM will be held on July 31, 2016 and offers multiple races distances-a full marathon, TWO half marathons, a 5K and even an ULTRA marathon. As an ambassador, I am able to offer registrants a discount: Use TSFM2016JAMIE to save $10 off the full marathon or either half marathon, and TSFM2016JAMIE5K for $5 off the 5K.

I want to help motivate as many as people as possible to line up with me on race day! I personally haven’t settled on which distance I will run, but right now I am leaning toward the First Half Marathon for several reasons.

First, I ran the Second Half Marathon last year, and running the First Half this year would qualify me for the Half It All Challenge medal. Additionally, if I then participate in the Berkeley Half Marathon in November, I will have completed the SF/Berkeley Challenge, which I missed out on in 2015. So more medals=better, amIright?

Second reason: the course runs over the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Need I say more?

Lastly, Irish coffee at the finish line! Yes, this IS a motivating factor for me. I found that the mix of whiskey and caffeine give sore legs at the end of a race a much needed nudge to get you where you’re going! (A celebratory brunch? A nap? Both perhaps??).

But I haven’t fully committed to this specific race just yet, as each of the distances has something to offer. For instance, the Second Half Marathon is much less hilly and faster if you are itching for a PR! I’ve participated in TSFM every year since 2012, and have a collection of race reviews for anyone interested in more details about individual events:

TSFM Second Half 2015

TSFM Full Marathon 2014

TSFM First Half 2013

TSFM First Half 2012

If you live in the Bay Area and already consider yourself a runner, this event is a must! If you do not live in the Bay Area, San Francisco is a fantastic venue for a runcation, offering up a stunning and challenging backdrop for a run! Don’t consider yourself a runner yet? My debut race was at TSFM in 2012! As you are planning your race schedule, or working on your list of New Year’s resolutions, keep July 31st on your calendar; The San Francisco Marathon is an experience I promise you will not forget!

So, who is running with me??

-J

Happy New Year!

Has it really been over a month since I published a blog post?! There have been some BIG changes in my life, primarily, I quit my job. But more on this another time.  Also, though I haven’t been able to run since October due to an injury, things are finally looking up for me. This week I was able to run/walk a total of 2 miles without any pain in my foot. 2! II! TWO WHOLE MILES, THANK THE RUNNING GODS! I’m still not ready to resume a full training schedule just yet, but I have been abysmally keeping up my cardio on the stationary bike and elliptical. I’m also taking yoga and Pilates classes about 4 times a week, so my chi is chill and I’m ready to start a new year!

Instead of going through a lengthy recap of my holiday season, I would like to just share my favorite photos from a few big events in the last month of 2015!

 

Fall of the House of Usher at the San Francisco Opera

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Pivot fashion show in Santa Cruz

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2015Modeling

Wedding Shower for my bestie

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Christmas Day!

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Tickets to Disney World!

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New Years Eve

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Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe on New Year’s Day

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Hello 2016!

-J

Turkey Trotting 2015

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! To my local running buddies in the states, and to my comrades across the borders and abroad, I am thankful the sport of running has brought us together!

I personally had a fantastic holiday. My day started off in the wee hours of the morn’, 5 AM to be exact! Getting out of bed at 5 AM on a holiday does not typically classify as “fantastic” imo, but if ever there is a good reason to rise and shine before the sun, it would be for a run! I did not run, as I am still healing from a tendon injury, but I volunteered to pass out medals with the Berkeley Half Marathon at the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot! The two races partnered up this year for a special challenge: those that completed the Berkeley Half Marathon, 10K or 5K on November 22nd, AND participated in the Turkey Trot, would receive a special medal for their achievements.

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SO! I spent the morning in cozy 35 degree weather (damn you, the inventor of ankle pants!), handing out the special bling to proud runners. While it is a super bummer that I cannot run right now, being around all the positive energy was infectious and rewarding. It made my day to see people thrilled to earn their medal! I finished working at the race around 11:30 AM, and made the hour drive back to SF to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

It is always hard to be away from family on a holiday, but I was at least able to have phone chats with my mom, dad and brother. Luckily, I will be seeing all of them soon for a holiday visit to Arizona!

Rich and I spent Thanksgiving evening in the East Bay with some of his extended family. I met a couple new people and enjoyed good food and wine, great conversation and plenty of pumpkin pie! Even though they are not technically my family, I was welcomed warmly as part of their own!

When we made it home that night, I fell in to the deepest food and exhaustion coma of my life! Tiring though it was, Thanksgiving this year was a day well spent.

How was your Thanksgiving? Any turkey trotters??

-J

What To Do When I Can’t Run??

It has been 7 weeks since I strained the peroneal tendon in my right foot, and I still am not able to run. What do you do when you can’t run?

Sit at home binge-watching episodes of The Voice while moping? Glare at all the stoopid people running around the city when you are stuck in your car at red lights? Definitely NOT not updating your running blog. NO! Because I am a mature adult and that would be incredibly self-loathing.

I’ve been keeping plenty busy in other ways, which hasn’t been too difficult with the holiday season in full swing and my bestie’s upcoming wedding.  For one, my house gets cleaned regularly. I’ve been doing lots of housework and even redecorating! That makes me sound SUPER fun, I know, but it IS nice to get our place ready just before the holidays.

Cooking! With all the time spent NOT running, I have loads more time for making fancy dinners. There will be no grab-n-go dinner salads for me, not whilst I am injured. Instead, I can make homemade pizza (yup, this is fancy to me), made with veggies, chicken sausage, feta cheese, “Rustico” spaghetti sauce and a whole wheat crust (the latter 2 from Trader Joe’s!).

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Before and After cooking mashup

And you can’t forget dessert; a girl has got to live! I made these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies for work on Halloween.

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I replaced the canola oil with olive oil, used dark chocolate chunks (high in antioxidants!), and organic ingredients, including organic whole wheat flower, and they turned out soft, fluffy and amazing!

But I promise I don’t just do housework and gorge on pizza and cookies all day long. I’ve had some pretty amazing goings-on during this running layoff. My boyfriend and I saw Frank Turner at the Fillmore…

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Vibin’

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…And I celebrated my best friend’s upcoming wedding with a bachelorette party in Disneyland!

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Shameless selfie stick-ing. Also, shamelessly drinking champagne before noon.

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We are indeed so happy!

As far as workouts go, I am very limited but giving it my best. I’ve been occasioning the stationary bike at the gym (exhilarating, I know), and doing Pilates as much as I can without irritating my foot. Next up, I will be working at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, representing the Berkeley Half Marathon! So even though I can’t run, I am keeping busy, and my mind engaged. My wise ol’ boyfriend likes to say, “when you can’t exercise your body, exercise your mind.” There are plenty of running mantras, so why not have an injury mantra?

Happy Running! (or not!)

-J

Injury

Well, ladies and gentlemen…I am on the injured list. Boooo.

A few weeks ago I started experiencing pain on the outside of my right foot. The pain would subside with rest, and immediately flare up when I returned to activity. One day, I landed very hard on my right foot, causing severe pain, and I’ve been limping ever since.

My boyfriend, Rich, made an appointment for me with the athletic trainer at his fight gym. The AT is a former triathlete who works with professional UFC martial artists, and the Oakland Raiders. So he knows his athletes. He confirmed what I and Web MD suspected: peroneal tendon strain. The peroneal tendons run along the outside of your feet, and can become irritated with overuse (ehem, long distance running).

The treatment I received was quite interesting. He started with my foot, scraping and massaging the muscles and tendons. Then, he did the same on my lower right leg and calf. It was a bit uncomfortable, but it is a great technique to ease soft tissue.

Then things got a little crazy. After my scraping session, he transitioned to cupping. Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice that uses suctions cups to draw in soft tissues to break up scar tissue and knots, and to promote blood flow and healing. The cups are lit on fire to remove air, which creates a suction. He moved the cups up and down the outside of my leg, and it was quite painful (I’m still slightly bruise!). Then, I received acupuncture down the side of my leg and outside of my right foot. Lastly, he made a little adjustment to my foot, as the strained tendons have essentially tweaked the 5th metatarsal in my right foot slightly of place.

Injury

Things improved quite quickly after treatment, but I’m still not 100% yet. This type of injury requires rest, but unfortunately I work on my feet for long hours so my foot hurts again at the end of a shift. I’m mostly fine with walking, as long as I can sit when I need to, but I can’t sit at work. I’m spending the day today completely off my feet, and I may make a follow up appointment depending on how I feel.

Being injured is a bummer. I can’t run, and up until last week, I could barely put any pressure on my foot, so I’ve had very little physical activity. My projected time off is very little, so I really can’t complain. I will have to modify my race plans in the immediate future (no Berkeley Half Marathon), but beyond that should be out and running before I know it (please!). Ahh, the ups and downs of being an athlete!

-J