Finding a Fix (Hopefully)

After three months of at-home muscle rolling/sticking/abusing and rehab exercises, my hamstring injury is still just kind of, there. Not getting worse but not getting better, and I’m finally just fed up of not feeling 100%.

shitty legs

symbolic “these are my legs, they want to feel better so they can want to run again instead of feeling like the bird poop they’re stepping in” pic

The massage and Active Release Therapy that Dr AJ did back in January made me feel like a new person with a brand new leg – all the crap built up in my muscles was being worked out and put in its place and it felt like rainbows and glitter and happy marathons (<— oxy moron?) Unfortunately as I continued to run and workout, that build up slowly started coming back. It finally became apparent I wasn’t going to clear up this tendonosis shit on my own, so I started the search for a local office to beg healing from (I saw Dr AJ in Arizona on a work trip, ICYMI.)

Friday I pulled out all our insurance paperwork – there is a disturbing amount of verbage regarding whether certain cosmetic surgeries are covered or not, by the way – and tried to translate what might be the most cost-effective form of treatment for me. Other than a sinus-related rhinoplasty or medically-necessary tummy tuck, which are real things I guess. I’m still not 100% confident that months down the road bills for a billion dollars won’t show up, but it seemed a chiropractor was the way to go. If anyone reading works for Cigna in CA and can tell me if “Covered, $15 copay” actually means “you’re about to fuck your financial world up, honey” I’d appreciate it.

Anyway, my first appointment was this morning. I blindly picked a name off the network list based on who was closest and who had anything “sport”-related in the name. It’s early going, but the signed athlete posters (surfers, motocross, soccer, mountain bikers) and casual “former triathlete” mention made me feel in good hands. Well that and my currently bruised, numb, and taped, but pain-less left leg.

I’m going back for more treatment in a few days, and in the meantime he said to just “be smart” about workouts and running. No, there’s no need to shut down. Yes, the treadmill is your friend. Yes, running faster and shorter is better than slower and longer. You said marathons? You look like a 5k or 1500 runner. Thanks dude, I know I have boobs and a body fat % in the double digits, I’d be mad but that metal knife tool you’re digging into my ass hurts more than your words so keep on, man.


now do I look like a track runner to you, doc?

Why is someone saying “you don’t look like a marathoner” the only thing that triggers my desire to run one? Instead of saying I hate long distance and actually prefer shorter and faster, I got way defensive and played my 2-minutes-from-BQ [lame] card like my only goal in the world was to get back to a 26.2 start line.

Tell me I can’t so I will.

[haha jk not running a marathon]

[[… right now]]

Ok I’m going now before I say something I’ll regret.

Sarah OUaL

Ventura Marathon–wk10, the Final Update

This is a day early, but I don’t plan to post again before the race so let’s just get it out of the way now. Formalities first, this is what a very lax, other-things-busy taper looks like :

Week Ten (9/1-7)

Su – 10mi with last 4 at MGP (marathon goal pace) <—no garmin, regular watch + landmarks says just over 8min/mi   |||   M – rest   |||   Tu – 1-4-1 between MGP and Tempo (7:45avg)   |||   W – 50min hard SUP   |||   Th – 5 easy, feels-like-floating, farewell-elephant-legs night miles + strides   |||   F – [planned SUP]   |||   Sa – [planned 4 easy]


= 25 holy-crap-it’s-really-here miles total

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster. I never hit a super confidence high (like, “I’m totally making all 26.2 of these miles my bitch”), but had been holding a pretty steady contentment(?) with my training and abilities. Feeling good, you know. Then two(three) bad long runs tied up any shred of marathon confidence I had, put a gun to its head, and sent me a really mean ransom note.

I’m sure none of you noticed.

But Tuesday’s MGP test and last night’s light and airy, super easy run are swaying my mental visualizations away from Pachyderm In Bum Wrap to someone who might actually manage forward motion for 26.2 straight miles. Here’s hoping.


see the resemblance?

Still need like, 93% of those stars to align for me Sunday AM, including the Mother Nature one, but I’m feeling pretty good. Calm, collected, ready to run for fucking forever. Wring the towel all the way out and see how close to 3:35 it gets me.

Good luck to Kristina running the half; Pam, Jessica, Emily, and Michelle also gunning BQs at Ventura; Jocelyn at Lehigh, and everyone else racing this weekend! Run fast, stay strong, shuffle till you make it, die trying… Pick a few, see ya out there.

BQ twitter party Sunday night? RSVP TBD.

Sarah OUaL

Speedwork For Everyone! (seriously even you)

Last week I had a fun/good/hard/however-you-measure-success speed workout that I meant to share, but got all wrapped up talking about the dictatorship my evil brain’s got on taper, so I forgot. So! I’ll share it with you now! Before the big meanie returns and I sulk back to my corner trembling at the thought of running 26.2 miles at low-8 pace and dreaming of beer and sugar.

This was kind of an accidental creation stemming from waking up late and missing my track date with Kristina, my still MIA Garmin charger, and super way-out-of-control ADD that makes running at a steady pace for more than 90 seconds torturous. Enter : intervals! On the road, treadmill, or track, they’re great because each little segment seems so attainable; you don’t get wrapped up in “omg 20 minutes/4 miles/700 light poles longer?!!” Once it starts hurting you’re counting down seconds to the next heavenly recovery, and before you know it you’ve caught your breath and forgotten how bad the last one hurt! Brilliance. And effective.

So as I was warming up, all lonely on the road cursing myself for missing the Track Party, I planned what I was going to do. I figured 40 minutes of 3min on/2min off would simulate the 800s I would’ve done on the track, running the “on” a little easier to account for the active recovery (easy jog vs just standing at the track). Sound logic, right? Gave myself a little pat on the back for being so “roll with the punches” and got to work.

BUUUUUT (there’s always a but) I quickly found myself getting a restless and antsy to turn the legs over quicker, so I decided at the halfway point to mix it up a bit. Here’s how it all played out :


Great mix of longer tempo-ish and jack-up-the-heart-rate effort, with just enough recovery in between to nearly fully catch your breath. And without Garmin beeping numbers at you, that’s a fine way to measure.

If you’re itching for a new workout to mix up your routine, find yourself without a track or GPS on Speed Day, or are new to speed work and want a simplified workout to get started with, give this one a shot. And if you’re a weirdo and love the treadmill, this is perfect for you, too.


Sarah OUaL