Training for a Marathon while Injured

long-run-marathon-route-selfieSooo I wouldn’t exactly say marathon training has been going *well*…

In my last update I talked about a bit of an emotional breakdown due to overextending myself with work. I thought a positive attitude had gotten me through that but turns out a smile doesn’t change the fact that I was simply doing more than my body (and mind) could handle. I was rundown and constantly tired with no signs of slowing–it was a breeding ground for injury.

Week 7 Recap

MONDAY | 10-Mile Run

frozen-charles-river This was the first training run I did along the marathon route. I took the green line out to Newton and then ran home. I actually live on the marathon route, right by the end of the course, so I quite literally ran home. It got me so excited for race day! And Heartbreak Hill isn’t too bad … when it comes at mile 4. 😉

I felt great during this run but it ended up being slower than my other two 10-mile runs because of the snow on the ground. Once I got onto Comm Ave it was clear, but the first two miles I was tip-toe prancing in 4 inches of disgusting snowy slush. I couldn’t really avoid it by getting off the sidewalks either because Washington St. is a major road. I would encounter this same problem every time I neared an intersection as well. That aside, I felt great, which is the most important thing in my book.

TUESDAY | Strength Training Double Session (Btone + BodyPump)

I took a Btone class in the morning and then that evening went to check out BodyPump at BSC for a blog project.

I would say this is when I started to notice something was a little off with my right knee. I didn’t think much of it though because it felt kinda like I just had a bruise on my knee cap: tender to the touch, hurt if I kneeled directly on it, but wasn’t affecting my range of motion and didn’t seem bothered by impact or movement. I figured I’d just bumped into something.

WEDNESDAY | Active Rest

I had a busy teaching day, which I think only aggravated my knee more. When you demo some exercises for the class, you mimic the megaformer on the floor by kneeling down and sort of dragging your lower body across the floor (this sounds totally bizarre if you’ve never taken a Lagree Fitness class, I know, haha). Every time I demoed wheelbarrow or cobra, my knee was NOT having it. Still, it didn’t seem to affect other activities so I wrote it off as a bruise.

THURSDAY | 3-Mile Run + Yoga (YogaWorks)

running-comm-ave-mallIt’s a cool marker of how far I’ve come with the training that running three miles feels like NOTHING. It doesn’t even mentally register as a “real” workout (even though it most definitely is). Crazy! Knee felt fine during the run, but it yelled at me a few times throughout the Hip Hop Yoga class I took at YogaWorks that evening (any time I kneeled on it). When I walked home from yoga, it felt achey. Ok, starting to worry …

FRIDAY – SUNDAY | Injured

swollen-kneeYeah, yeah, my pinkie toes are weird. I’m aware, and I embrace them.

I taught four classes Friday morning and that was the last straw for my knee. When I got home, it started to stiffen and swell up, and by that evening, it looked like I was smuggling a softball under my skin. Because of the swelling I could barely bend it.

Normally, my reaction would be immediate despair and anxiety. But–as weird as this sounds–I honestly felt a little relieved by it. My body was telling me I needed to slow the hell down and I just looked at my throbbing, swollen knee and said a silent thank you to it. You’re right, I need to pump the breaks.

Rest, frequent icing, elevation–I cancelled all my active plans for the weekend and instead devoted myself to healing my knee. By the end of the weekend the swelling was pretty much gone and I could walk normally, but I still couldn’t bend it deeply (quad stretch = no way) or put pressure on it (kneeling = not happening).

Week 8 Recap

It was a no-brainer that I’d take the week off from running. The notion made me a little nervous–a natural reaction when you’ve committed yourself to training towards a goal with a set-in-stone date. But as I talked to more and more people, I felt reassured and even good about skipping a week of running.

I was told stories of people who’d done their entire training for the marathon on an elliptical to lessen the impact on a bum knee. Other people told me they only ran once a week for their long runs and then did other forms of low-impact cardio the rest of the week to avoid injury. People reminded me that overall physical fitness is a huge part and I’ve been committed to regularly working out for years. I can do this. A week off is good. Don’t push your knee or it’ll just end up worse.

MONDAY | Spin (Recycle) + Strength (Btone)

giant-plank-to-pikeI was itching to workout after three days of barely being able to move. I took a spin class at Recycle, sitting in the back corner so that I could modify if needed. I knew the seated stuff would be fine but wasn’t sure how riding in third would feel. I was elated to find that I could do 90% off the class without my knee speaking up at all! Quick jumps from first to third were the only moves I had to skip.

After spin I walked across the street to take a Btone class, and while I had to modify all the kneeling positions, I know that machine like the back of my hand at this point so I was comfortable in knowing what moves to substitute. Again, I just went off to a corner machine so that I wouldn’t distract the class during the exercises I had to adjust.

TUESDAY | Spin (Recycle) + Yoga (YogaWorks)

Feeling excited after a double of classes the day before, I again went to a class at Recycle followed by yoga at YogaWorks. I modified some of the yoga flow to avoid kneeling on my right side, but otherwise was able to do everything pain-free. Yay!

WEDNESDAY | Quick Core Workout

In between teaching classes, I put myself through a 10-minute core workout on the megaformer. Self motivating on that torture device is no easy feat haha. Here’s a little video I posted to Instagram that shows part of what I did. In real life everything is done much slower and you stay on each movement for a minute.

THURSDAY | Spin (SoulCycle) + Yoga at Hotel Marlowe

yoga-hotel-marloweSoulCycle’s not really my jam, but they had a Super Bowl Halftime Show class (Beyonce!!) conveniently following the two classes I was teaching at Btone that morning so I walked over to spin. Later in the day I checked into Hotel Marlowe for a blog project. As part of their Feel OHMazing package, I got a private yoga lesson in my suite! I’ll be sharing all the details tomorrow or Tuesday.

FRIDAY | Strength (Btone)

I took the Btone class right before the night shift I was covering.

SATURDAY | Rest

SUNDAY (today) | Test Run, Literally

charles-river-run-3I AM SO HAPPY. I subbed a couple classes in the North End this morning and decided to run home afterwards to test out the ol’ knee (it’s been feeling 100% the past couple days). No irritation AT ALL! I felt so good I contemplated continuing and just doing the long run I have planned for tomorrow. But to be safe, I think it’s best not to jump the gun and see how it feels tomorrow. Discipline doesn’t always involve doing that which you don’t want to do; sometimes it’s equally important to hold back when you want to go all out. I ran an easy three miles today, spent a lot of time foam rolling and stretching, and iced my knee afterwards just to be safe.

WOOOO I’m back in action! :)

Have you had to train through an injury?

P.S. I honestly don’t even know who’s playing tonight, but go Beyonce!

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My Favorite Things: January

january-favorite-thingsHello from Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge! I have the super cool opportunity to try out their new wellness package, so I’m spending the night across the river. I’ll share details on the blog next week, but for now you can follow me on Instagram and/or Snapchat (@nicoleperr)!

Ok, January favorites the night of February 4th–guys, I’m getting better! Dare I say this post is almost timely?? Go me. Go blog.

Favorite Products

Ursa Major Face Wipes

ursa-major-face-wipesThese are my favorite face wipes I’ve ever used. Granted, I’ve probably only tried a handful of brands, but these rock. They don’t leave any sticky residue, they don’t dry out my skin–they actually leave my face feeling clean. They come individually wrapped, so I’ll throw one in my bag if I know I won’t be able to wash my face in between teaching/taking classes. Also perfect for traveling (I swear ten minutes into a flight my face is a sheet of grease!).

Tailwind

tailwind-screenshotI use this blogging tool for Pinterest scheduling and love it! You add images to your queue and it’ll automatically pin them at optimal times. You also have options to pin the same image to multiple boards and schedule any interval of time between the publish dates. You have access to a ton of metrics in your dashboard and can even connect your Google Analytics so see correlations between revenue and certain pins. It’s $15/month but you can try it for a month for free if you use my referral link.

Favorite Workouts

First Long Run along the Marathon Route

I’ll write more on this when I post my next marathon training summary, but instead of the loop around the Charles River I’ve been doing for my long runs, I decided to start taking them to the actual course (a benefit of training for Boston in Boston). It got me so excited for April!!

BodyPump

BSC BODYPUMP ReviewI wrote about it in this post, but it was fun to try something new! I’ve been sticking to my go-to classes ever since putting my Classpass membership on hold so it was a real treat to switch things up.

Favorite Eats

Smoothies from The Juicery

the-juicery-boston-blueberry-mintI love that The Juicery is right around the corner from Btone’s North End studio! In between classes, I’ve loved trying out their menu of smoothies for a little mid-morning fuel. Pictured is their Blueberry Mint Smoothie (+hemp protein powder) and it’s DELICIOUS. I love that there are so many healthy options for eating and working out popping up in the North End! Back when I lived there, it was all pizza, bakeries and pasta.

Creamy Thai Sweet Potato Curry

coconut-curry-sweet-potatoThis recipe from Pinch of Yum is SO GOOD. Easy, flavorful and a perfect vegetarian dinner option.

Favorite Things To Which I Listened

Marathon training = lots of listening going on. Podcasts and audiobooks are my jam right now.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I listened to Bossypants on Audible during long runs and was laughing out loud like a crazy person. Tina Fey just casually drops these one-liners into her stories that are just too perfect. This book definitely lived up to the hype.

I Forgot To Die: Khalil Rafati’s Journey From Homeless Junkie To Wellness Entrepreneur via Rich Roll Podcast

I was so engrossed in this podcast. Khalil Rafati’s story is incredible and so inspiring! He went from the darkest depths of heroine addiction, homelessness and psychosis to owning a booming organic juice and smoothie company in California.

Favorite Moments

Ice Skating at Frog Pond
frog-pond-skating

Joe is a trooper and humored me with a trip to Frog Pond in the Boston Common to go skating. It’s crowded, the rental skates are in desperate need of sharpening and the ice is pretty much snow, but that’s all part of the charm (I’m not being sarcastic!). The people watching is great (I think people watching is our favorite activity) and with the Christmas lights twinkling it was a wonderful way to spend a winter evening in Boston.

Long Weekend in Maine

rangeley-maine-view rangeley-maine-1My parents’ place in Maine is incredibly relaxing. The house is always cozy warm with a fire roaring in the living room, while outside the views are amazing. During the day we snowmobiled and did a little pond skating (well, Joe did … I attempted to use figure skates and after five minutes of flailing around and tripping on that damn toe pick I decided to just watch him haha). At night we humored my dad and his motocross buddies by eating elk and drinking whiskey (us soft city folk prefer salads and a glass of wine). 😉

Teaching a Charity Btone Class for My Friends

btone-charity-class As part of my fundraising efforts for MABVI, I held a donation-based class at Btone for some of my friends–it was so fun!

I won’t be posting tomorrow so enjoy your weekend!

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Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars

(No-Bake) Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars -- easy to make and the perfect snack!  | pumpsandiron.comThese are like a healthier, chewy oatmeal raisin cookie. I’d like to say I prepped a bunch to eat throughout the week as a grab-and-go post-workout snack but the first time I made them … Joe and I ate the entire batch in an evening. They’re that tasty.

These are vegan and if you use gluten-free oats, also gluten-free.(No-Bake) Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars -- easy to make and the perfect snack!  | pumpsandiron.com

Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars

Yield: 6-8 bars (depending on how big you cut them)

Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup almond butter*
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup raisins, separated in half
  • 10 pitted dates**
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup crushed dry roasted almonds (optional)***

Instructions

  1. Put the oats in a food processor and combine for about 15 seconds until a rough flour consistency.
  2. Add in the dates, 1/4 cup raisins, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and pinch of sea salt. Run the processor until fully combined into a big ball of dough (in my processor this took about 1 minute.
  3. Remove your dough and knead the remaining 1/4 cup of raisins into it.
  4. Press dough evenly into a small baking pan lined with parchment paper (mine is 6" x 6").
  5. OPTIONAL: Press crushed almonds on top firmly so that they sink into the mixture.
  6. Cover pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove and use a knife to cut the mixture into bars. Separate and enjoy!

Notes

*I recommend using runny almond butter so that the texture isn't too dry. **Dates should be sticky and mooshy. If they're dry, soak in water until soft. ***These are delicious with or without the almonds on top. It was an awesome added crunch when I used them, but I think the bars are equally yummy without the almonds. STORING: I like to store these in the refrigerator in a tupperware container with small pieces of parchment paper in between the bars so that they don't stick together.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2016/02/03/oatmeal-raisin-energy-bars/
(No-Bake) Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars -- easy to make and the perfect snack!  | pumpsandiron.comDon’t be afraid to customize these! You could swap the maple syrup for honey; add in some hemp seeds for a nutritional boost; replace 1/4 cup of the oats with an equal amount of protein powder–have fun with it! (No-Bake) Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars -- easy to make and the perfect snack!  | pumpsandiron.com I might have overdone the whole artistically-toss-spare-ingredients-around-the-photoshoot thing with this one … 😉 signature