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Everything posted by solarnova

  1. I’m signed up to do the NYC Marathon this year, which will be my first full marathon ever (I’ve done 10 half’s). I’m excited as well as very nervous, and have a lot of questions about going about training in a smart way. I’m currently trying to create a marathon training plan that fits my schedule, and was originally planning to fit my final 20 mile long run 4 weeks before the marathon. I might however be looking to move it from that weekend, but my only options are to either do the 20 miles 2 weeks before race day, or 6 weeks before, due to other races I signed up for. For those who have trained for marathons before, do you think 2 weeks is cutting it way too close? Would I be correct in assuming 6 weeks out is way too early to peak? I would appreciate any thoughts and feedback you can offer!
  2. Back in 2016, with just 3 weeks to go in a 10 week training program for the Chicago half marathon, I was hit with a sudden and extremely painful episode of runner's knee. The pain would suddenly emerge after about 5 or 6 miles, and stick with me for the remainder of my run. I invested in a knee strap and a foam roller, and though these things helped a little bit, I still got hit with really bad knee pain at only mile 3 on the actual day of the race. I had another race 2 weeks afterwards, and chose to not run at all for the 2 weeks in-between both races, and though the time off helped the knee pain a little, I also suffered from diminished aerobic ability (struggled a lot more than usual with breathing during the second race). Now fast forward to the present day- I just started a training program for the NYC half marathon, and to my dismay, the familiar knee pain has started to slowly build up again. Now as some background info, I should mention that this race took a lot of work to qualify for- I had to run 4 qualifying races in 2017 (three of which were in extreme conditions, which really pushed my willpower), just to be able to sign up for the 2018 race. I haven't run regularly since October and the program so far has consisted of very short 3-4 mile runs (so overuse should really not be an issue), and this pain started to creep up again after a mere 1.5 weeks into a 10 week program. I can't exactly take time off and not run for the next couple of weeks, because now is crunch time to get my act together and take my training seriously. I'm really stressed and worried that as I increase in my milage for my training program, the pain is only going to increase as well, to the point of completely debilitating pain like I had in 2016. I would really hate for a year's worth of hard work to be rendered pointless, if a condition I have little control over were to greatly hinder my ability to actually take part in the race. I'm currently running every training race going forward with my knee strap, and am using my foam roller daily. Does anyone happen to have any additional advice on what I can do to help with my situation?
  3. Alright, so I was thankfully able to run the Chicago half marathon in 2 hours and 1 minute, which is 6 minutes slower than my time for my first ever half back in May. My knee did start hurting again at mile 3, but thankfully it subsided enough for me to eventually run with relative ease for the remainder of the race. I should also probably mention that I only got 3 hours of sleep the night before, so all things considered I'm grateful. Now in hopes of not having any more of this knee pain for my second half marathon coming up this weekend, I decided to give my knee what it wants and cut out all runs (except for a short 2-3 mile 2 days prior). I'm really anxious and uncomfortable with the idea of letting 2 entire weeks go by with no runs between half marathons, but it's all in hopes that I can do the race this weekend without this dang persistent knee trouble..
  4. Yeah bruised cartilage sounds like a pretty good guess- it certainly feels like that could be the issue. Any suggestions on how to make the most of this half marathon I have coming up on Sunday? I did a 5 mile run yesterday night, and paid the price by pretty much speed-limping the last half-quarter mile, am (very reluctantly) skipping my squats today, and am only planning to do one more 2 mile run on Friday morning.
  5. It's kind of hard to tell.. I guess I would say under the kneecap/center in general, although in the last few days I've noticed it seems to be more on the left side of the left knee cap. But it doesn't extend up into the thigh or anything, it's just specifically in the knee. I tried to look up some remedies, and bought KT tape as well as a knee strap, but unfortunately neither seems to be completely perfect. I'm most likely looking at having to run my half marathon this weekend on pain meds, right?
  6. Hello all, I have my second ever half marathon coming up in a week and a half (Sept 25), and another one 2 weeks after that, so right now I'm supposed to be at the peak of my training program. Unfortunately when I was in the middle of my 12 mile long run last weekend (at about mile 5 or 6), a small but consistent pain started building up in my knee. When training for my first half marathon a few months ago, it was common for me to accumulate a small share of bumps of bruises that (thankfully) went away overnight, so I didn't give it much thought. This time however, the pain just seemed to steadily grow and become more and more unbearable, to the point where I decided I would just have to quit early at mile 10. Yet somehow when I sped up to get it over with, the pain receded enough, and I was able to just go for the original intended 12. To allow myself to rest and heal from whatever that was, I didn't run again for another week (Saturday to Friday), and then let myself slowly ease back into running by first doing 3 miles, and then 5, and then another long run this past Monday. At the advice of a friend, I even did a warm up and stretched before my most recent long run, and yet around 5 miles again, the pain came back... Somehow it died down enough for me to do 14 miles (a new personal distance record btw), but now it's 2 days later and my knee still hurts. I don't know what could have caused this. I didn't sustain any kind of obvious injury that I'm aware of, and haven't added anything new or intense to my training, other than returning to strength training (Strong Lifts 5x5) after a long hiatus (but I've been doing that for a few weeks now, and have been taking it SUPER slow, so I doubt that could be the problem). I have the Chicago half marathon coming up in about 1 week, and I've been looking forward to it for months (and put down a lot of money for hotel and flight), so this mystery injury has come at a really crappy time. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I don't want to not run at all, because that could be a really bad idea with a week and change left until race day. But I'm also worried that any runs I do will worsen whatever this injury even is. And with about a week left, I don't have time to go through the circus hoops that a doctor would put me through, because that would involve making an appointment to see my primary doctor, him telling me to see a specialist on another date, the specialist telling me to take an x ray on another date.. etc (I've been down this long, time consuming road before). What can I do? Should I stop running? Should I keep running, but just with pain meds? I don't know what my options are, and having this issue so close to my first big race I'm traveling for is really stressful.
  7. Those are all awesome! Well done
  8. Here's an article that I personally found helpful and reassuring: http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding/the-hybrid-athlete.html I have been running for a little over a year now, and have worked my way up to running a half marathon a few months ago (and currently training for 2 more in the coming weeks), and also have been closely following Strong Lifts for many months and got up to a 210 pound squat (now working my way back up after an injury), so it's definitely possible to do both. I would however recommend easing into both. I first started just running for many months, and by the time I introduced strength training, my body was already used to running and I had done my first 5k and 10k. By sheer chance, when I started Strong Lifts, it was during the winter, so my running became very restricted to only running on weekends, so I was able to give most of my effort to strength training. After 3 months of primarily lifting, I ended up injuring myself (probably due to poor form) and was out of the gym for 5 months, but during this time I started training for my first half marathon, and I was running distances further than anything I had ever done prior. My point in mentioning all this, is that each time I was devoting my energy to strength training or running, by coincidence one was taking a back seat, and I wasn't going hard on both fronts at the simultaneously. It's only now that I'm at the point where I'm back to squatting around my body weight and also putting in 12 mile runs, but now my body is already used to both. I will also say that I think my running and strength training help one another. I would definitely not be able to run the distances I'm currently able to, if I hadn't spent my winter months working my way up from an empty bar bell to over 200 pounds via Strong Lifts. And if I wasn't already running, I wouldn't even have ever looked into strength training in the first place. Hope that helps somewhat.
  9. They claim that if you were mid-training, you can look up your plan on their website, but it's not the same plans. It's really frustrating, especially since this is the one running app that I've used since day 1, before even my first 5k, when I was just running on a treadmill sporadically. Oh well.
  10. Unfortunately the new Nike plans that they have on that page don't match up to the one I was doing, and a lot of those terms are alien to me =/ The Runners World plans sound great, but is it normal to have to pay for a non-custom running schedule?
  11. I'm in a bit of a pickle right now. Ever since I started running, I've used the Nike run app to track my runs and used its Coach feature to come up with my training plans for everything from my first 5k, first 10k, and even my first half marathon. I was currently about 8 weeks into a 12 week training program for my second half marathon on September 25th. Last night when I updated the app, the Nike run app transformed into a new app altogether called the Nike rub club (or something to that effect). It kept all my records of my past runs, and my personal records, but when I tried to look for my half marathon training program....it was gone! I tried to create a new program, and figured I would just pick up from where I left off, but apparently this new app no longer allows you to make a program when you're this close to race day. Now I don't know what to do, and feel like I'm flying blind. I need to be training, but am not advanced enough to just wing things. I can't access the training plan I was relying on for the past 2 months, I can't recreate it in this dumb new app, and google searches have been fruitless.. Does anyone have any suggestions for what I can do? Or have a different training program I can jump into for the next month? I'd appreciate any advice that can be offered.
  12. I have been running for over a year now, and have run in a bunch of races. After most runs, I love the feeling of the endorphins and the runners high, and am so glad that this is a form of exercise I've stuck with. I love taking part in races, and find the rush, excitement, and energy of big races to be really uplifting. So running is definitely something I'm glad I was introduced to. But for some reason, every time I need to get myself outside to actually go run, it's a huge mental battle. For some reason, I just have this huge feeling of dread and have to push myself to actually go out and start running. This is something I experienced from the very beginning, but have over the last year gotten used to fighting against. I'm currently training for my second ever half marathon, so I'm not exactly pushing myself further distance-wise, but for some reason I'm still feeling this dread. Even for distances as small as 5 miles (which used to be huge for me, but in the grand scheme of a half marathon training plan, is definitely on the smaller side). Does anyone else experience this, and have any advice for getting over it permanently? I want to just run and love running, but this constant mental battle and dread just seems to be something I can't shake off.
  13. Back in December I started strength training with Strong Lifts 5x5, and over the course of 3 months made great progress from squatting an empty bar all the way to 210 pounds (my body weight was around 175). I loved how strength training led to improvements in every part of my life, from carrying groceries and luggage, to shoveling, and especially how it helped my running. In early March, I had an unknown injury to my lower back after squatting with (I assume) bad form, and out of caution my doctor told me to avoid the gym until the pain went away. I didn't want to risk complicating whatever my injury was, so I definitely wanted to wait until I was completely healed, and not risk putting myself out of the gym for even longer. Now almost 4 months later, the pain never quite went 100% away. I've seen a number of different doctors of different backgrounds who say there doesn't seem to be anything wrong that they can determine, but I was recommended to try physical therapy for a little while before going back to strength training. My worry now, is that I don't know what weight I should be lifting when I start again. In the early weeks, as more and more time passed the Strong Lifts app kept on suggesting downgrading more and more. After I crossed the 1 month mark, it said to de-load by 50%, and never suggested going lower after that (I guess the app doesn't expect you to miss workouts for more than a month?). Should I go with the 50% decrease that the app last suggested (which would be 105lb) when I haven't touched a barbell in almost 4 months? Or should I start completely over from the beginning? I feel like starting over would be safer, but it's so frustrating to think that all my hard work over those 3 months of waking up at 5am to go to the gym before work, often through snow and ice, would all be erased as if I never did anything. Please advise. I'd appreciate any guidance you guys can offer me.
  14. Also, I'm not sure if it's worth mentioning but I had starting doing Strong Lifts 5x5 from December to March, but had to stop because of a back injury, but I hope to resume that in the coming weeks as well if my PT sessions go well (would be doing so in conjunction with my Nike Run training program). If it weren't for that program, I honestly don't think my body would have had to ability to even run this race as smoothly as I was able to, as my 15k in December (when I had just barely started strength training) was so much of a harder race mentally and physically.
  15. Yeah I'm definitely not at the point yet where I care about running personal bests. Right now my only goal is just to run the distance, and if I happen to make it in good time- cool! I mostly just try to make sure I'm breathing right and am going at a sustainable pace. I wasn't trying to run with any particular time goal for my first (and only) half marathon a few weeks ago, but I managed to finish below 2 hours without intending to, which I'm told is decent (I've shared a screen shot of my times, if anyone wants to give any feedback). So even for these two upcoming half marathons, my main goal is to just be able to finish and enjoy the race itself. So far for training plans, I've used the coach feature on the Nike Run app. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced settings for each distance. I trained for the Brooklyn half on beginner (with the longest run being 13 miles), but I was considering training for the Chicago half on intermediate (longest run is 14 miles). I guess one of the reasons why I thought 2 weeks between half marathons might not be impossible, is that in my last training program I had to run 13 miles exactly 2 weeks before the actual race. My plans for right now are to just run a whole bunch of half marathons, and become comfortable with that distance. At this time I'm not sure if I'm inclined towards a full marathon. It's definitely a huge accomplishment, but the idea of 3-4 hour training runs on top of working full time just sounds like a lot right now.
  16. Hello all, I've been running for a little over a year now, and have completed 3 5k's, 2 10k's, a 15k, and just completed the Brooklyn half as my first half marathon ever, just a few weeks ago. I feel like the half marathon is the perfect distance race for me right now, because it's a serious distance that requires training (I can now run 5k's and 10k's without training), but is still managable in terms of training time and recovery. I recently signed up for the Chicago half in September, because I love the idea of traveling to other parts of the country for races, and the Staten Island half, since it's local and I'm based in NYC, which is just 2 weeks later. In my excitement, I've been looking up half marathons all over the place so I can give myself constant goals to be training for throughout the next year. I had sort of been eye-balling the Philly half marathon, which would be about 6 weeks after the Staten Island half. Am I getting ahead of myself by doing 2 half marathons only 2 weeks apart, and now being tempted to sign up for another that would be just 6 weeks later? I know most training programs are about 2-3 months long, and I want to be sure I'm giving myself enough time, but I also don't want to pass these opportunities up. Is there a minimum suggested recovery time I should be following between half marathons?
  17. Hello all, I started strength training with Strong Lifts 5x5 back in December, and over the course of 3 months managed to get from an empty barbell to 210 pounds on my last work out. Up until now, I managed to stay injury free and strictly followed the program by only adding 5 pounds after each successful workout. On the day of my last workout, two older guys at the gym saw me squatting and asked if that hurt my back. I explained how the program I follow increases you in weight gradually, and how I've yet to hurt my back. And then that very workout I pulled my lower back muscles... It's been over 3 weeks now that I've been waiting to completely heal (on the advice of my doctor) before going back to the gym and potentially hurting myself by trying to lift again too soon. I feel 90% better, but there's still some residual tightness in my lower back when I bend forward sometimes. I really want to get back into my gym routine and feel like I'm wasting away with all these weeks off, yet that last bit of tightness in my lower back feels like it's taking forever to heal. All the while I keep looking at my Strong Lifts app and the weight it recommends I squat keeps plummeting as the days pass by (at last count, I was downgraded from 215 to 145..). Can you offer any advice on when it should be safe for me to go back? I'm getting worried that it'll be several more weeks, and I don't think just trying to eat clean alone will help me reach my fitness goals.
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