2017 Spring Lake 5 recap

Hi! I had a super busy weekend so I’m just getting a chance to recap my morning at the 2017 Spring Lake 5 miler in Spring Lake, NJ. I spectated this race in 2014 and 2015 and then ran it last year.IMG_0135

Let me just say that after having to DNS 3 races since March I was so happy to finally get to a start line, see my running friends and just feel like my normal “running-life” self.

I was on the road at 6:30am to make my way down to Spring Lake which is about 40 minutes south of Mr. SOTSS’s house.The race doesn’t start until 8:30 but I always try and park by 7:15 since they start to close roads and street parking fills up quickly. Plus, even though they mail you your race bib, you still need to pick up your t-shirt and souvenir glass.

2017 Spring Lake 5

Ready to run

I met up with Lisa and Bill and we walked toward the start area to get our goodies and then drop them back at the car before heading back and meeting up with Jane and Keri and another of their running group friends.

Photo: @Kmandell14

Photo: @Kmandell14

It felt great to finally see Jane because I was supposed to run the Philly Love Run half marathon with her back in March just shortly after she announced her pregnancy but we all know that my injury forced me to miss the race and subsequently miss meeting the baby (bump). Jane is a rockstar momma to be and has already completed a half, 10 miler and now a 5 miler.

The race starts and finishes by the beach and with the weather being absolutely gorgeous we couldn’t resist taking some pics on the sand.

She's only got 9 more weeks until she meets her little one.

She’s only got 9 more weeks until she meets her little one.

Keri just recently opened a yoga studio so I asked her to suggest to me some ways to work toward accomplishing some poses. She blogs over at Yogaswole. She’s an avid runner as well.

I also got to see my friend Elvia who I haven’t seen in a while too! She’s been running Spring Lake for so many years.

With Lisa still working through some hip issues and my toe still being on the mend the plan was to just take it easy and that we did. We kept a pace between 11:00 and 11:30 per mile. Jane and Keri went up ahead and I didn’t think I’d see them again until after the race since, even at 7 months pregnant Jane is faster than me :) But about 4 miles in I saw Keri standing outside a port-a-potty waiting for Jane. Yassss!!!!! This meant that we could all possibly finish the race together!

Somewhere in the last mile.

Somewhere in the last mile. So freakin happy to be doing what I love.

an opportunity to cool off

an opportunity to cool off

Running through the main drag

Running through the main drag

Best feeling to be running again!

Best feeling to be running again!

Keri, Jane and Me crossing the finish (thanks Lisa for the photo)

Keri, Jane and me crossing the finish (thanks Lisa for the photo)

After crossing the finish line I grabbed the most refreshing orange slice…IMG_0130

And then it was off to breakfast because let’s face it….I was way overdue for a post-race breakfast and it didn’t dissappoint! French toast, eggs and bacon.

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This race is really an enjoyable one. It’s a great way to kick off the unofficial start to summer.

The day after the race my toe was a bit angry but with each passing day felt better and better. I’m not sure how my running schedule will look for the next month or two but I do know I’ll be continuing with yoga and hopefully getting to run at least once a week as I keep getting closer and closer to feeling 100 percent.

How was your weekend?

It’s 54 degrees and rainy today. It was close to or over 90 degrees last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I going from air conditioning to heated seats in the car. :)weird weatherSpeaking of heated….i’m loving that the yoga studio is warmed to about 82 degrees during class. I went to class on Saturday and then went for a run. I RAN 4 MILES!!!!

First running (timer-camera) selfie in 8+ weeks!

First running (timer-camera) selfie in 8+ weeks!

It’s been the longest run since before my injury back in Mid-March. And the honeysuckles are emerging and I couldn’t be happier.

honeysuckles are my favorite!

honeysuckles are my favorite!

I RAN 4 MILES!!

I RAN 4 MILES!!

Had I not had this injury I would have been running the Brooklyn Half on Saturday so it was really nice to not only have a great yoga class in its place but to be able to run 4 miles as well. It helped me handle the situation rather well. Although the day before I had a sad moment and handled the situation by giving myself some TLC in the form of a Donut and some weird toe massage thingys.

TLC donut and Flex Tastic toe thingys

TLC donut and Flex Tastic toe thingys

I’m really excited that I’ll FINALLY be able to run a race that I registered for next weekend….the Spring Lake 5 miler. I ran it last year after being injured or just spectating the two years prior.

Last Thursday Mr. SOTSS and I attended a fundraiser event held by the Greenbelt Conservancy here on Staten Island. They are the organization that maintains the trails and organizes the weekly night hikes that I joined earlier this year. They are also now my client which I love.

Had fun in the photo booth with my hiking group and got to ride a carousel too

Had fun in the photo booth with my hiking group and got to ride a carousel too

Other than yoga and running this weekend, we took the doggies for a walk at a new park (ticks! I hate them! Duncan ended up with 3).

Nope I'm not sick....just look a little green from the light filtering through the green leaves above me. Wearing a green sweatshirt doesn't help the color balance lol!

Nope I’m not sick….just look a little green from the light filtering through the green leaves above me. Wearing a green sweatshirt doesn’t help the color balance lol!

Happy pups each in their own lane. Of course Chester is in the "fast lane"

Happy pups each in their own lane. Of course Chester is in the “fast lane”

There are 3 ticks photo bombing this photo.

There are 3 ticks photo bombing this photo.

Then we made beef and chicken kebobs on the grill. I even made some Tzatziki to go with them.

MMMMMM

MMMMMM

Let's eat

Let’s eat

Latest wine discovery. I nice blend from Australia...Cab, Shiraz and Merlot.

Latest wine discovery. I nice blend from Australia…Cab, Shiraz and Merlot.

I’ll be working all day while it rains outside and then hitting up yoga tonight. It’s still so bizarre that the word yoga has entered my life. I’m so happily surprised at how much I love it. :)

 

So much to tell you!

Altra Running sneakers:

I’ll backtrack to a couple of weekends ago when Mr. SOTSS and I took a trip to Road Runner Sports so he could buy a new pair of running sneakers. I have been so curious about Altra Running brand sneakers with both their foot shaped toe box and zero drop. With my toe injury I’ve found that the more space my toes have the better it feels. I normally go for sneaker brands that run wider (Asics are my favorite) and sometimes buy a wide width because of my wide forefoot but these are created to be not just wider but also more closely aligned with how the foot is shaped. And with my string of injuries over the years I also was intrigued by the zero drop theory of a softer stride. So I bought a pair (I bought the Altra Escalante) and have been wearing them for walking only the last 2 weeks.

Escalante

Altra Running Escalante sneakers and a cute dog to enhance the photo :)

I LOVE THEM! I felt a little calf soreness the first day or two as my body adjusted but boy oh boy I love them so. I wear them almost daily now and can’t wait to try running in them. The only thing I hate is the laces. They just can’t stay tied….even double knots fall out! Geez. But hey, small price to pay and easily fixable.

Yoga classes 4 and 5:

I went to my 4th yoga class on Saturday and was so proud to hold a crow pose for a few seconds at least.

yoga pose or doga pose

Asked Duncan if he wanted to take a quick selfie before I headed out to yoga and this was the outcome. He doesn’t always follow direction.

And then last night I went again. With each class I’m feeling more and more comfortable with the poses. I still struggle with squaring my hips and aligning my knees, flexing my feet and so many of the things that you just don’t automatically remember but it’s been a real eye hip opener for sure! And my tight hips are loving the attention. On the way home from yoga I had the bright idea to try running again. I felt nice and warmed up and it was a gorgeous evening weather-wise.

recovering runner

Pure happiness and optimisim after this mile and a half

I went 1 1/2 miles and even a little bit faster than my last attempt last week. But the biggest improvement was how I felt afterward. I didn’t feel the need to limp at all. Slow and steady….unfortunately the Brooklyn Half this Saturday is looking more and more confirmed to be a DNS. But my silver lining? I signed up for the Spring Lake 5 miler the weekend after and that actually seems like it will be doable!!!! Hoping I can salvage at least one of my 4 spring races.

So that’s my update.

What’s your update?

Tell me 3 things going on with you.

Ever tried a zero drop shoe like Altra

First mile in 7 weeks and 3rd yoga class: I’m all about numbers today with my blog post title. Funny how I spelled out first but put 3rd and not third. I’m so inconsistent.

Anyhoo,

I went to yoga Monday night for my 3rd time and I’m really liking it and learning a lot, even new hip opening poses which my hips are in need for.

I learned the frog pose which apparently Duncan has mastered

I learned the frog pose which apparently Duncan has mastered

My balance leaves a lot to be desired, my flexibility leaves a lot to be desired, but, my optimism about the potential improvement and positive impact this will have on my running is keeping me engaged!! And I’m really excited about all the core work that gets accomplished throughout class.

With all transparency I’ve had a few “class setting” demons re-appear. The room has mirrors which means at times I’m forced to look at myself and I don’t necessarily like what I see. And sometimes the anxiety of feeling silly because I’m not sure I’m doing the pose right or I can’t actually get my feet to sit flat on the mat etc kicks in. But I’m working on that. :) I’ll work on that just as much as I’ll work on loosening up my hips and hammies!  #ProgressNOTPerfection 

I woke up yesterday morning and my foot felt fantastic! I literally darted down 3 flights of stairs when taking the dog out in the morning. (3 level townhouses are basically Stairmasters with carpet) The universe was telling me I should try a run. So I decided to just go for a mile.

First mile in 7 weeks

First mile in 7 weeks

Woah. I literally felt lightheaded when I stopped. I had aches and pains popping up left and right as the body started moving. 7 weeks of not running or doing anything that was high-impact left me at square 1. But the toe felt ok for that mile. I did however feel some tingling and when I stopped to walk back home I felt very apprehensive about pushing off that toe. So the good news is no pain. The bad news is my entire body is really starting over. A few hours later the toe ached a bit and this morning still feels a bit sore. Oh, and the rest of my body feels like I just ran a marathon! I can’t remember the last time my quads burned so much. Crazy! One simple 13 minute mile. Square 1 for sure. But I’m not limping so I know that’s a good sign.

I’m really glad that I sort of benchmarked where I’m at. This is all really scary for me. I  wish I knew if I was doing this right. I’m reminded of the day last week I tried walking a little bit more briskly than I had been walking and the toe started to hurt and set me back a few days. But then I rebounded so hopefully this will be the trend until the setbacks are gone and I only bound forward.

Tonight I’m going to join my hiking group for a few miles and I’ll probably hit yoga on Saturday. In between I’ll keep doing those easy 3 mile walks and when I’m darting down the stairs again I’ll try for a 2 mile run! Slow progress is still progress. This is now my new chant.

In other news I got a desk for my living room! IMG_9638I love that  can stand at it or sit. I’ve spent way too long freelancing from my sofa and I’m fairly certain that’s the main reason my hamstrings got ruined.

Coffee in hand and ready to be productive

Coffee in hand and ready to be productive

So hopefully this new way of working will help me. I kinda sorta want to pat myself on the back for all that I’m doing to help myself heal here. #patselfonback

My weekend was spent enjoying the some outdoors with my guys…

Morning "business" means coffee consumption for me and, well, Duncan's doing his "business" too :)

Morning “business” means coffee consumption for me and, well, Duncan’s doing his “business” too :)

Just a selfie for selfie's sake

Just a selfie for selfie’s sake

exercising our dogs...

exercising our dogs…

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I also made us pancakes and thought it was interesting that I saw a horse in my pancake considering the Kentucky Derby was happening. Do you see the horse head? Profile view.

I also made us pancakes and thought it was interesting that I saw a horse in my pancake considering the Kentucky Derby was happening. Do you see the horse head? Profile view.

We also saw Mr. SOTSS’s oldest daughter sing with her choir group for their final performance and his younger daughter compete in her states gymnastics meet. Last year they were on the same day and we couldn’t be in 2 places at once so this year we were happy to get to attend both.

And Duncan discovered the back window of Mr. SOTSS' truck

And Duncan discovered the back window of Mr. SOTSS’ truck

What kudos do you want to give to yourself?

How do you know if you’re returning to running correctly after recovering from an injury?