When Things Don’t Go As Planned…

I (Jen) have been putting off writing this post for about a week now, probably because I’ve been trying not to think about it. I haven’t been able to run in nearly three weeks, and have had to defer the Chicago Marathon to 2017.

Lets back up a bit.

A few days before we left for Michigan my hips were sore, but that isn’t out of the ordinary for me. My hips get cranky frequently. I figured they just needed some extra stretching or foam rolling and I’d be good to go. Here’s how the next few days progressed

Saturday: Three miles on the schedule. I had woken up still feeling stiff and sore from being in the car for 18 hours, so I took it really easy. My right hip felt tight, but not overly uncomfortable

Sunday: 16 miles on the schedule, completed 15. My hips were both still really stiff so I was making a lot of stops to stretch and still taking it slowly. By the end of the run it was starting to get pretty uncomfortable but I didn’t really think much of it. I had run out of town and had Travis pick me up when I was finished and I remember him telling me just to stretch it really well and relax.

The view from my last long run- headed towards Lake Superior in the distance.

Monday: Rest day, lots of stretching but my right hip was really sore. We didn’t bring our foam roller along so I made do with a lacrosse ball that my brother had to try to get things loosened up.

Tuesday: Was planning on three easy miles, couldn’t make it through one. Every time I was landing and pushing off with my right leg I was getting pain all through my hip, and everything was seizing up (the feeling was like when you get a foot cramp). After talking to my coach we decided that a few days rest were in order.

Over the next few days the pain wasn’t letting up and I was feeling it while I was walking as well. All of the surrounding muscles were really tight and the joint of my hip was very tender. I got a massage and saw a chiropractor- the only things I could really do at that point being 18 hours away from home. My SI joint was really out of alignment and I was hoping that after an adjustment I would start to feel better, but no such luck.

I put in a call to my primary doctor, knowing that I would need a referral to see a PT. They weren’t able to get me an appointment for six weeks and were not willing to write a referral without physically seeing me. There wasn’t much I could do from Michigan so I would have to wait until we got home to try to figure out getting a PT referral. I called a ton of different doctors locally and nobody was able to get me into their schedule.

Once we were home I tested out my hip with a very short run to see if the several days off had helped. It hadn’t. I was also getting pain from just walking around the house doing normal activities and would end up limping by the days end.

Still not able to get an appointment, I called a friend of ours that is a physical therapist and she was willing to see me to take a look and give a general recommendation on what I could do. After checking the range of motion and doing several other tests with me she informed me that she was almost certain that I had a labral tear but I would need to follow up with orthopedic and have some imaging done to confirm it. Definitely not the news I wanted to hear.

After a lot of thinking and a few tears I decided that it was time to back out of the upcoming races- both Ragnar Adirondacks and Chicago.

A few days later I was in a lot of pain and decided to make a trip to urgent care. Within minutes of being there I had a referral to an orthopedic surgeon and an appointment for ten days later.

I still don’t have any concrete answers, and I’m not expecting them to come quickly. My appointment with the surgeon’s PA is on Monday, and I’ll still have to schedule any imaging after that.

To say that I’m not extremely disappointed about missing both of the races would be a lie. I gave myself a day to be angry about it and am now doing my best to shake it off. The only thing I can focus on now is rehabbing my hip so that I can get back to running again as soon as possible.In the meantime, I’m doing what I can in terms of exercising and going a little stir crazy in the process (there’s been a lot of crochet happening around here). My PT friend recommended not doing a ton until I saw ortho, so I’m trying to follow orders and keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t need surgery.

I also have to take into consideration how well the training was going before this all started, and I can be happy with what I had accomplished up to this point. I’m looking forward to coming back stronger than before.


Dont give up a goal due to the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway:

I’m still looking forward to heading back to Chicago to cheer on Travis while he runs and am thinking about what other races I’d like to do next year.


Phew. That ended up being a lot longer than I planned. Kudos to you if you made it to the end!



Travis’ Look Back at Nine Weeks of Training

Good morning and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs.

This week I began the back half of my training plan for the Chicago Marathon and am currently only 57 days away from the start line. I thought this would be a great time to recap how my training went over the first nine weeks and look ahead to what’s in store over the final days.

I began this training plan by taking the entire first scheduled week of runs off as I had just completed the 2016 Buffalo Marathon and was still recovering from that hot and humid race. I picked up at the start of week two and haven’t looked back since.

Here are some stats:

Number of Runs: 49 Activities
Distance: 375.12 mi
Avg Run Distance: 7.66 mi
Total Time: 49:01:52 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 7,487 ft
Avg Speed: 7.7 mph
Calories Burned: 36,650 C

Over the course of eight weeks of running, I missed one scheduled run as part of a two-a-day and had to alter three other runs for various reasons. In total, I missed 7.75 scheduled miles – by far the fewest miles missed during the first half of a training plan and definitely an improvement over my last training cycle for the Buffalo Marathon. However, this week and next will be a challenge to get my runs completed with traveling and such, but that’s for the second half recap.

Over the next two months, I hit the longest of my long runs at 22 miles and have one final tune-up half marathon on September 10th at the Lake Placid Classic. Fundraising for Team Up! with Autism Speaks is complete, with hopefully a little more trickling in over the last days.

I’m looking forward to toeing the line in Chicago and going for a PR.

2016 Buffalo Marathon, Training Update #4

Well everyone, I have completed over 16 weeks of training for the Buffalo Marathon and I’m into my taper now. I am happy to report that I am now blister free and my feet are back to their normal state of messed-up disrepair.


Although my mileage was decreased this month, I am happy with how my training went and where my times have been at. I’m still not as confident heading into the race as I would like to be, but I feel better than I did after 12 weeks with all the blister issues. At the end of week 15, I ran the affectionately titled “Ready to Run 20-Miler” which was my final real long run and official start to my taper. With a 7:43 min/mile training pace, I’m right where I need to be to try and hit my goal time of 3:15:00. For a comparison of my training during my last two marathon training plans, I have gathered the data for my last two 20-mile runs for Chicago (2015) and this year’s Buffalo race. I list a 20 mile run early in my training and my final “Ready to Run” for each race.

20 mile comparisons

Here are the totals from my fourth month of training:

  1. Total Activities: 22
  2. Total Distance: 189.35 miles
  3. Total Time: 25:49:04 (h:m:s)
  4. Calories Burned: 19,904

Overall, here is where I stand for this training cycle:

  1. Total Activities: 94
  2. Total Distance: 757.36 miles
  3. Total Time: 102:10:59 (h:m:s)
  4. Calories Burned: 75,403

It’s time to discuss my goals heading into race day. Here’s what I’m thinking:

“A” Goal: Sub 3:15:00

“B” Goal: New PR – Currently 3:17:34

“C” Goal: Sub 3:25:00


2016 Buffalo Marathon, Training Update #3

The third month of training for the 2016 Buffalo Marathon wrapped up last weekend and it’s now time to reflect on the last four weeks and take a look ahead to the final six weeks.


These last four weeks I have been plagued by irritating and persistent little devils – blisters. It’s been such an issue that I’ve had to examine what could be causing these so regularly and how to fix it. After many hours of research into the different types of blisters (seriously gross), my running form, the condition of my socks and shoes and other possible causes, I concluded through my very limited medical knowledge that I am experiencing “Edge Blisters”.

I discovered that many times these “Edge Blisters” are not caused by something I am doing, such as a change in my running form, but rather by an irritating factor in my shoes. After a careful look, I think the problem has been due to my shoes insoles rough edges. Whether a manufacturing problem or a wear-and-tear issue, I have hopefully solved the problem for $.50 worth of masking tape. I will update you if this will ultimately work out. If not, I might be buying another pair of shoes.

You will notice that I’m still missing an average of one run per week. All of these were skipped due to the aforementioned blisters. While the plan I’m using is geared to those pushing for Boston Qualifying times, I’m thinking that for my fall training cycle I’m going to adjust the plan to 5 days a week with 2 rest/strength training days.


Here are the totals from my third month of training:

  1. Total Activities: 23
  2. Total Distance: 217.33 miles
  3. Total Time: 28:39:20 (h:m:s)
  4. Calories Burned: 22,403.

Overall, here is where I stand for this training cycle:

  1. Total Activities: 72
  2. Total Distance: 567.72 miles
  3. Total Time: 76:10:49 (h:m:s)
  4. Calories Burned: 55,499

Looking ahead to the final six weeks, I’m supposed to have my longest run of the training cycle, 22 miles, this upcoming Saturday. While I feel I’m ready for the distance, I don’t know how my feet will hold up and if I will make it all the way through the run. Despite the upcoming long runs, my training is actually starting to decrease in weekly mileage. Lately I’ve had many 10, 12, 13 and 14 mile runs which now will fade into the background as 6, 8, and 10 miles as well as speed work takes its place.

I hope your training is going well, that you’re enjoying spring and I look forward to sharing the final results of my hard work soon.

Have blisters ever been problematic for you?

2016 Buffalo Marathon, Training Update #2

Hello, and thanks for stopping by today! I’m now in my ninth week of training for my goal race – the Buffalo Marathon on May 29th. I wanted to get this post out earlier in the week but I honestly forgot. Things happen, right?


The second month of training was not without its ups and downs. As you can see in the photo below, there are a few red X’s sprinkled throughout. The first two were caused by soreness and tired legs, I simply needed some extra rest. The last two were caused by the flu. It was not fun. My first run post-flu was an 18 mile adventure that went better than expected given the state of dehydration I was in the days preceeding the run.


I’m now only 9 days out from the Syracuse Half Marathon on April 3. I had first thought that I would use this event as a litmus test for the full, gauging my fitness, legs and pacing. I don’t know if that is going to be possible given the heavy workload I have between now and then. Ultimately, I think it will come down to how I feel toeing the starting line.

Here are the totals from my second month of training:

  1. Total Activities: 25
  2. Total Distance: 192.17 miles
  3. Total Time: 25:58:35 (h:m:s)
  4. Calories Burned: 18,522.

Although my weekly mileage continues to increase just ever so slightly, I am happy that the number of two a day runs drops from 6 (last month) to 2 between now and the end of week 12. I will also have my first of three runs at 20 miles or more.

Overall, here is where I stand for this training cycle:

  1. Total Activities: 49
  2. Total Distance: 350.39 miles
  3. Total Time: 47:31:29 (h:m:s)
  4. Calories Burned: 33,096

Thanks for taking the time and if you any questions about my training schedule, the paces I run, equipment I like, etc – please feel free to leave a comment. I’ll be sure to answer it.

2016 Buffalo Marathon, Training Update

Good morning and welcome! A few weeks back I shared with you that my goal race for the year is the Buffalo Marathon on May 29th. I began my fifth week of training on Monday and I thought I would share how the first month of training went.wp-1456328007629.jpg


The first month of training had me build up my base and increase the number of days a week I spent training from four days a week to six days. Although the number of miles run was not over the top, I was pretty sore and suffered from shin splints the first two weeks. I thought this was due to ramping up my mileage to quickly, however I did a comparison of my weekly mileage before I began and I barely increased by 10%. I then purchased two new pairs of running shoes and the shin splits subsided very quickly after that. Over the last 2 years, I have figured out that I burn through the life of my running shoes very quickly and need to replace them more often than most people.

Buffalo Weeks 1-4

I’m six weeks out from the Syracuse Half Marathon on April 3 and over the next six weeks, my training really ramps up and quickly. I increase from my 13-mile long run this past weekend to 19-miles the week before my race, with six days requiring two runs and a whole bunch of speed work thrown in there as well. It has been difficult to get in all the runs with all the ice storms and treadmill issues that we have been having lately, but so far I’m managing.

Here are the totals from the first month of training:

  1. Total Activities: 24
  2. Total Distance: 158.22 miles
  3. Total Time: 21:32:54 (h:m:s)
  4. Calories Burned: 14,574

As for my shoes, well here is a quick glimpse at the ‘circle of life’ for my running shoes! Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by.


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