Training Lemons


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The past couple of weeks, I feel like I’ve been given lemons when it comes to my race training.  So, I’m trying to follow the old adage of “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, but I don’t think I like the taste, which is odd cause normally, I really like the taste of lemonade.

It all started after the 39 mile Massanutten training run a few weeks back.  I thought I was fine, but then several days later IT band and glute pain creeped up and started tormenting my every move.  I couldn’t run without pain, biking hurt, even walking and climbing down the stairs was quite uncomfortable.  Then, just as my IT band seemed to be on the mend, my left shoulder, which I have had some issues with in the past, started giving me fits.  So, now “The Burpee Queen” can’t do burpees!?

Last Friday I had a fantastic sports massage.  Immediately I felt relief in my IT band, hammies and hips. He also focused on my shoulder for a few minutes, but unfortunately, I don’t believe it helped all that much.  My IT band definitely is better now that before the massage and I think it allowed me to get in a few miles last weekend, however, Saturday’s miles may not have been the smartest ones I’ve ever logged.

So, like I was saying, Saturday I logged some miles.  Actually, 7 treachorous miles of icy hiking and running up to a peak of around 2334 ft. It was fun and all, but given the toll the few falls I took on the super icy descent had on my butt muscles (still sore), it probably wasn’t worth it. The next day I got up and ran a slow 11 miles.  It was supposed to be a 15 miler, but the IT band was starting to flare, so I cut it short.

Less than two months out from Massanutten and I’m nowhere close to where I should be physically. Admittedly, I’m bummed.  It’s not fun when things aren’t going your way and you really want to run and workout the way that you’re used to.  I keep making adjustments – more time stretching and foam rolling, more icing, more core workouts, more yoga, more short slow runs, jump squats instead of burpees, and I keep trying to smile.  While all this is good and my fitness isn’t horrible, I hope it’s enough to get me to the finish line just under two months.

All my injuries, plus the unrelenting snow, ice, cold, and rain is less than ideal.  Look, I’ve seen the memes about “real runners” getting out there no matter the weather and pushing through.  But you know what, I’m a Southerner.  I’ll take the humidity, mud, summer thunderstorms, and intense heat over this snow every weekend nonsense any day.  I’m ready to hit the trails in fewer than 3 layers.  Call me soft if you want, but I’m just telling the truth.

Alright, enough with my whining. This weekend I’ll be toeing the starting line at the TARC 6 hour race with a goal of logging as many miles as possible without pain.  If IT band pain creeps up, I’ll have to pull out, I’m afraid.  Hoping for the best.  No matter what, it will be a great day on the trails with fellow Trail Animals getting to play in the mud.

Next weekend, Ken and I are heading back down to the Massanutten course for a 26 mile night run.  Will my legs be healthy by then? I hope so.  It should be fun to log those miles with Ken and get some hiking in even if I can’t run as much of the course as I’d like.

Well, let me get back to sipping my too-tart-lemonade and looking out the window wishing for warmer weather to arrive.

Keep running!

❤ Jen


In ~103 Days the Journey Begins

In about 103 days Ken and I will begin our journey to San Antonio, Texas! That’s right, we are departing from the grand Northeast for the big ol’ state of Texas. We are excited about all that awaits us but are definitely going to miss a lot of folks here (I’m especially going to miss all of my Trail Animals Running Club peeps). On our way to TX we are will be making a pit stop in Virginia. We will get to see some good friends who live there (and relax in their hot tub if we’re lucky!) but that’s not the only reason we will be stopping. We will be stopping for a few days so I can run the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 ultra marathon. This will be my second 100 mile race and I’m excited and nervous and I really, really want to kick ass!

Hoping to earn one of these guys in just 103 days at the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100

Hoping to earn one of these guys in just 103 days at the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100

Serious training for the race started last week. In the coming weeks, training is going to be tough: 4-5 days a week of hard training on the bike (long rides and intervals) along with stair workouts, a bit of elliptical, lots of circuit workouts and strength training, Bikram yoga, incline power walking on the treadmill + 1-2 days a week of long, hilly runs + active rest, heat/icing, foam rolling and stretching.  I also have to reign in my nutrition a bit and get my weight down a few pounds because I don’t want to be carrying extra weight for 100+ miles of crazy elevation change.  So, I will probably be using MyFitnessPal again to log all of my food.  I don’t enjoy doing this, but it’s just too easy for me to eat all day since I work from home.  Logging it helps me stay aware of my food intake and reminds me to slow down and consider if I truly am hungry.  Usually I’m not, so I will just sip on some water or hot tea instead.

Here,s the elevation profile. I definitely have my work cut out for me.


I hope to do better than I have in the past updating my blog with info on my training and also my health coaching practice and my move from working in social media to the health and wellness sector. Exciting times, these are!!!