Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WWU - 2016 Recap: Races, Mileage, Injuries, Sidewalk

RACES

I really wasn't planning on racing much in 2016.  I was tired of dealing with that stupid race anxiety that I can't seem to shake, and felt like I'd be better off just running, not racing, for most of the year.  I do love the racecations that our Renegade group takes and wouldn't want to miss out on Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, but for most of the rest of the races, I was fine with being on the sidelines, cheering on my friends as they ran.  However, we got a super discount on a race just a couple weeks after Houston, so I signed up for that. Same thing for another race just a month later...and then we heard about the Texadega Nights relay race, so we jumped on that one...and somehow, I ended up running 15 races last year.

Did I experience race anxiety for the unplanned races?  Of course I did.  At this point, I guess it's just part of my race - bib? check; shoes? check; nerves/upset stomach/wanting to quit? check, check, and check.  Even with the anxiety, I still ran the races...I wish it would go away, or at least ease up a bit, but it's not, so I'm working on accepting it and pushing through those feelings during each race that I do.

MILEAGE

Except for the year that my ankle was injured, I generally run about 500 miles, which seems like a reasonable amount for me.  I've run one half marathon each year for the last few years, and I'm content with that - honestly, my favorite distance to run is about 5 miles.  I feel like I accomplished something, yet still have energy remaining for the rest of the day.  Unfortunately, you can't train for a half marathon by only running 5 miles, so there are several months where I do have to step it up, and I'm willing to do that in order to get to my goal race (which is the Houston half marathon, in a couple of weeks), but after that, I'm happy to run less.

This year I finished with 488 miles - a little less than last year, but still right around the 500 average mark.  That number only includes running miles - I also walked a lot of miles, but I was too lazy to go back and add all of them up.  I liked when I was doing some extra walking days on top of my running and I'll have to make that happen again - mostly it involves setting up walking dates with friends, because if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a social exerciser.

INJURIES

Now that 2016 is over, my superstitious self can safely say that this was a good year in terms of injuries - except for the last day of the year...more on that in the next section.  But my hamstrings felt decent most of the time.  I also didn't do any hill training - coincidence?  Probably not.  Generally, when I do hill repeats, my hamstrings start twinging and I feel like I'm on the edge of a full-blown hamstring injury, so I back off.  This year, I simply didn't do any hill training except for what I encountered during races or on regular running routes.

My plantar fasciitis was not nearly as acute for a good part of 2016 - I attribute that to calf massage.  I have very tight calves, and once I read that tight calves (along with high arches, which I also have) are contributors to PF, I started using my BFF Buffer on my calves for a couple of minutes just about every day.  My buffer sits next to the chair where I put on my running shoes, which made getting into using it right before a run an easy habit.  I also will randomly stretch my calves during the day; I swear this has really helped with the PF pain.  I did try custom orthotics for a while, but they ended up making my knees hurt quite a bit, so I stopped using them, and the knee pain magically went away.

SIDEWALK

The sidewalk is hard and unyielding, just in case anyone had any doubts.  Additionally, the bruises, scrapes, and aches on the left side of my body are proof of that.  During our run on Saturday, I caught the crack on an uneven part of the sidewalk with the toe of my shoe and went down.  Jeff happened to be running with me and said it looked like I tried to do a roll, which is good - after spending so many months last year dealing with my wrist injury from tripping over Paco, I guess instinctively I didn't want to fall directly onto my outstretched hands again.  I don't even know what hit first, but I have bruises just below my knee, on the side of my thigh, the palm of my hand and my knuckles, which all hurt, but the worst pain is coming from my left upper arm/shoulder area, which doesn't appear to be bruised or scraped at all.  I must have hit it hard when I landed.

So yeah, I fell while running.  I think the last time that happened was when I was running in Maui, about five years ago...I was probably due, but dang, it hurts.  I was lucky to be wearing my cheapie pair of Target gloves, as they protected my hands and took the brunt of the fall.  The left glove was torn a little and my skin got scraped up, but it would have been worse had I been bare-handed.  I can't believe I fell on the last day of 2016, but then again, it was 2016 - 'nuff said.

26 comments:

  1. Congratulations on all your miles this year! That is such an amazing task! You must have fallen pretty gracefully, I am sure I would have gotten my face smashed if I went down. Be careful! ☺

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    1. "Our" baker at BB told me I need to learn how to fall like he's learned to, in his martial arts class. I wonder if I can just take a class on falling gracefully? LOL

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  2. You and I think alike in many ways but I so wish we hadn't shared the "I fell while running" thing in 2016. This actually weirds me out a little because remember when I hurt my hamstring way up high on my thigh and then a couple months later you did the same? We have to stop this injury sharing!!

    I'm look at all these stats (first, let me say I'm proud of you for tracking them lol) and thinking you have found a good formula for your personal running success. I think it's great that you're willing to go with the flow (or races, as it may be) and you know yourself well enough to know when to slow down.

    Happy running in 2017!

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    1. Totally with you on stopping the injury sharing. Let's share something else, something more fun, OK? ;)

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  3. Congratulations on all your miles last year! I admire how you can get through your racing anxiety and do the race.
    No fun falling during a run or any time. I hope you heal quick!

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  4. Ouch! Glad you weren't seriously hurt during that fall.

    Besides the sidewalk part, I felt like I could have seriously wrote this post because you touched on mostly how I feel as well. I know I will never win a race or the world is not depended on me finishing but I get those anxieties too (although it is becoming less and less). I've also been more conscience about the amount of miles I run. I don't want to over do it but I do enough to get by..haha

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    1. I will say, I'm liking not feeling injured, or on the edge of injury, and not running tons of miles probably has a lot to do with that. Now if I could just stay off the sidewalk...

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  5. I've had a few sidewalk incidents myself. Not this past year, tho. Thank goodness. Glad you are ok.

    I didn't realize you had so much race anxiety! I used to have really bad pre-race anxiety but for the most part it disappears once I start running. I'm good before a half marathon, but the night before Big Sur, I woke up terrified. It had been a long time since I experienced that sensation!

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    1. Oh yes, the race anxiety has been rough. I wouldn't wish it on anyone - there's a big difference between being nervous and this stupid anxiety.

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  6. Ouch!! I hope you heal soon and I hope you can figure out what's causing your race anxiety. Glad you weren't seriously hurt in your fall!

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    1. I've given up trying to figure out what's causing the race anxiety. Learning to embrace it at this point.

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  7. I feel your pain. I fell for the first time ever this year. I think the bruising was worse than the wounds. I'm glad you weren't seriously injured. Good luck with your goal race! I generally line up at a race without any nerves. Just don't ask me how I handle getting there...I'm a basket case.

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  8. I can't believe you fell on the LAST DAY of the year! But, I have to say I am very impressed that there was five years between falls!

    The anxiety. Learning to live with it is probably the best thing you can do. I just remembered how I used to be when I was showing dogs. I acted all calm, but before almost every show, I would get a very upset stomach AND one big pimple would usually pop out. Weird, huh? I bet a lot of people in various competitive sports have anxiety.

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    1. I guess if I only fall every five years, I can live with that...but I'd much rather not fall at all, sigh.

      Interesting that you had show anxiety - you seem so calm. Good front, I guess?

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  9. Man! That must have been quite the tumble! I am happy you had gloves on and it didn't require a trip to the doc or anything. Hope you feel fast.

    You did A TON of races! That is awesome! And what a great year! The best part is being injury free and learning how to stay that way!

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    1. I am loving this whole injury-free thing. :)

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  10. Ow on the injury! You should have skipped the run on the last day of the year out of superstition. Glad nothing is broken.

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    1. Had to close out the year! Plus it was our regular day to run...

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  11. You had a great running year. For me it's been fun to follow your running adventures last year and I'll stick around this year.

    What a bummer that you fell on the last day of the year. Hopefully it heals fast and you will be able to run again. Your half is this month isn't it?

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    1. Thanks, Fran - glad you are sticking around! Yes, my half is next Sunday, the 15th!

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  12. Oh my word! I'm glad you escaped the fall with only minor injuries!!!! I've been lucky this far and not fallen while running...but I know it's coming!

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    1. I think I was very lucky to not hurt myself worse, honestly.

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  13. OH Shelley! Owch!!! But Congrats on the great running last year! Cheers to more of the miles in 2017! <3!

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    1. Thanks, Roz - I will take miles on my feet, not on the pavement. :)

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