BQ Or Bust 009 Tight Calves and Fast Miles!

The hardest part about chasing a goal is sticking with it once the honeymoon faze ends. The first week or two are always exciting but every single day that follows is a struggle until thechange becomes routine. Being away for 11 days threw a giant wrench into my new routine. In those 11 days I went to 2 countries, 3 states, and 7 cities and because I was working and vacationing, most nights I only got 4-5 hours of sleep. I am a firm believer in a good 8-9 hours of sleep every night so I was a dragon monster at 9:00pm every single night. IT WAS ROUGH and I only now feel like I've settled back into normal life.

The biggest speed bump of my trip wasn't the lack of sleep, I forgot to pack a foam roller!

I was running and working out A LOT and that put a lot of stress on my muscles (especially my hot mess calves). So when I went to visit my Physical Therapist Mike Riccardi at Finish Line Physical Therapy when I got back, let's just say it wasn't the most comfortable visit.

I think a lot of people assume that PT is for people who are injured but that couldn't be further from the truth. If you have insurance that allows you to go to PT, GO TO PT. At Finish Line, their motto is prehab > rehab because preventing injuries is a hell of a lot more fun and practical than rehabbing them! This training cycle is going to require a lot of strength training and foam rolling and frankly, I'm up for the challenge. I'm tired of running through dull pains in my calves or having to take a painful break because of runner's knee. So I'm declaring it now, strength training and recovery are huge priorities!

AFTER the exorcism Mike performed on my calves, I went to my very first tempo workout with Gotham City Runners, my coach Josh Maio's team. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I hate running hard by myself and having a group of people around me to push and distract me is a life saver. At GCR, there's people of all different paces, ages, and athletic levels and everyone pushes and supports each other. It's my kind of group and after a half of a mile with Josh, I know choosing him as my coach was the best decision I ever made. He's helping me with my form and with two small adjustments, I already notice a difference. The man's a magician! 

I was supposed to do a 1 mile warm up, 1 mile at 8:15, 2 miles at 8:00, 1 mile at 7:45 and then a cool down mile but my group ended up doing mile 1 at 7:25, mile 2 at 7:53, mile 3 at 7:42, mile 4 at 7:56, mile 5 at 7:08, mile 6 at 7:58 and the last 1/2 mile at 8:32. For me, that's RIDICULOUSLY FAST. SO fast that I almost don't believe those splits. I still can't believe I can run anything with an 8 in front of it yet alone a 6 or a 7. It's going to take some getting used to.

Had I been by myself, I would have slowed down to a comfortable jog at least 6 times. ESPECIALLY AT THE END. I had Josh with me for my final .5 mile of the tempo run and had he not been beside me, there's no way I would have pushed through the end because I was exhausted and totally over it. But that's why he's there! He's helping me push through those moments when my instincts tell me to stop or to hit the breaks. Getting uncomfortable isn't easy but it's only a few moments of your day. I'm finally starting to believe that BQ'ing at the Chicago Marathon may be doable. I also realize the hard work hasn't happened yet and this is supposedly "easy" miles. So slightly terrifying and equally exciting. (But mostly terrifying.)

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Otherwise if you have any questions for Mike, Josh or for me, tweet me or leave them in the comments below! Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.