Want to Know a Truth…

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential. Ellen Goodman

Here’s my truth:   My long time mindset of harder is better has served to make me feel discouraged more times than it’s made me feel good about myself and the work I do.  Now in this long recovery cycle, I realize it may be totally off base.

Funny thing is that my nutritionist recently told me, “You know you can get healthy just from walking every day.  You don’t have to work so hard at this.”   My foot doctor told me, “You know you don’t have to run six days a week to get healthy.  You can benefit from cross training and/or taking long walks.”  My running club told me, “You can use walking to strengthen and improve your running.”  My heart rate coach told me time spent building my endurance would have huge payoffs in the long run.  But, the short run might involve a lot of walking.”  My husband told me, “You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.”  But my ego told me, “You can push through this.  You don’t have to go back to being a beginner and walking.  You can run through these bumps in the road.

Wanna know a truth… I’ve come to finally realize that – Just because I take breaks to walk doesn’t mean I’m not a runner.

Jeff Galloway says, “Never underestimate the power of a good walk—and not just as a mid-run break. Going for a “pure” walk, (no running at all) allows your body to make small adaptations that strengthen your feet, knees and hips. Long, brisk walks can help boost your endurance. And walking as a means of cross-training gives your joints and running muscles a well-deserved break, which can help reduce or eliminate the aches and pains caused by running.”  Jeff is an Olympic runner who has taught many people how to successfully learn to run.  His running clubs are found all over the world and I had the pleasure of working with one in New York City this year.  Bill, a marathoner, ran with my group one weekend in Central Park.  He was running with me and talking about how he had burned out as a runner.  He talked about how hard he was training and how it took a toll on his body.  He told me that, “You can never run too slow when training, but you definitely can run too fast.”  He recommended that I run as slow as possible on my training runs and it would benefit me greatly over time.  He explained that during his first marathon he overtrained and had nothing left at the end.  The next year, running with the Galloway club to train, he finished strong and passed many runners on the course who had flown by him in the earlier stages of the race.

This time I think I actually understand what many have been trying to tell me.  My improvement may actually depend on slowing it down.  Galloway believes that walking can help strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance.  Further, he believes that it re-conditions soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, connective tissue), preparing them for the more rigorous demands of running.  This sounds like just what the doctor ordered and what I need to start again.   Friday, I decided it was time to start walking a little to get moving again.  I’ve had three (3) weeks of total rest and am now ready to walk lightly to get back out there.  I walked two miles on Friday and Saturday and it felt great to be outside in the crisp fall air.  I took my dog with me to ensure that I kept it at a walk, as he’s definitely not a running dog.  I will continue to take shorter walks and hope to increase my endurance and mental mindset for running.

This week, I got a Facebook message from a childhood friend.  She decided to start the Couch to 5K plan with the long term plan of joining us on some runs this year.  Her joy and excitement in the discovery of running made me realize what I was truly missing.  There is joy to be found in running not just work.  It is not just about increasing pace, or distance.  It’s about reclaiming health and feeling great about what you’ve accomplished.  Wanna know a truth…I haven’t felt that in a very long time!  Running is not my job, it’s my joy and I’m setting off to find that again.  Thanks Deb for reminding me what it’s truly about.  Can’t wait to run with you and Helen soon, even if we end up running to the nearest Irish pub and staying for hours.

What’s your current truth?  Leave me a message below and let’s get started on moving forward together.

Worth checking out:


Opening quote taken from my running friend Tony Garcia’s book – Wanna Know a Truth:A Simple Man’s Search for the Truths in His Life.  I’ve enjoyed Tony’s journey and writing.  His book is definitely worth checking out.

Functional Movement Specialist – Ever wonder why you keep getting injured? Tired of hearing, “Maybe your body is just not meant to run.” Contact Jessica Leggio for a consultation and get on track to running pain free. Mention my name – Laura Hess Kump, or this blog Reclaiming My Health for a free consultation –  Run Pain Free

Galloway Training – Official website can be found at – Jeff Galloway

Lists of Galloway groups in different states can be found on the main website.  Here is the link to the New York City chapter, a very active and supportive group – New York City Galloway Group  This page has dates for the training cycle we just completed, but information on joining for the next cycle can be found here.  We begin again in May, however members meet unofficially throughout the winter months.

 

 

It Will Move You

Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.

Sunday, November 5, 2017 has come and gone.  I’m still smiling about all that happened on that cold, rainy day.  The lead up the New York City Marathon included advertisements that stated, “The New York City Marathon, it will move you.”  This is perhaps an understatement to the experience this race represents for so many runners and spectators alike.  Me, I didn’t get to run my race, but I did get to experience the race and it most definitely moved me.

When I received the news of the femoral stress fracture, I texted my childhood friend and running partner on this marathon journey, who was also injured and out of the race.  I said, “Hey, how about we walk the darn thing.”  She was excited about that and said sure.  Then I went on the NYC Marathon group page on Facebook and posted, “Hey, any injured people on here want to have a beer in every borough and walk it?”  Amazingly, so many people started jumping on and posting.  Enter my friend Nancy Nowak, a born organizer, who created a separate group for us injured warriors to plan, commiserate and support each other on this road to the New York Marathon.

Over 100 strong, we were out in force on November 5th, with many making it to the start line, some walking and many running.  Among these strong women, all of who finished, I’ve met some true heroes.  Women who refused to not finish what they started, despite many obstacles and challenges.  For me, the race was not to be, but I fully experienced the marathon emotions through their journeys.  When you are part of a team, it is larger than just you and your journey.  You don’t get to stay home and sulk because you can’t play, or in this case run.  Your team is still out there with unfinished business and they need and deserve your support.  How truly selfish it would be to walk away from them in their moment of glory because you were unfortunate in luck that day.

At 8:00 AM, we got up and had a nice breakfast and got ready to go to the starting line.  I was now the designated driver of race day.  I dropped my friend Helen off at the starting line and headed into Brooklyn to watch the race.  It took me a train, a ferry, and then two more trains to reach my destination, but with my team starting in the 11:00 wave, I knew I had time to get there to see them at the halfway point.  When I stepped off the train at Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, I could hear the cheers of the crowd and feel the energy from inside the station.  When I got upstairs, I suddenly felt the electric pull of the crowd.  I knew then that I had made the best decision ever to be there.  My daughter Cathy sent me a text that said, “I’m here, look up.”  Looking up, there was my beautiful girl right across the street from me.  I wondered how in the world she would ever get to my side of the avenue.  We stood there in the cold, rainy mist for hours, screaming, yelling and supporting 50k runners.

There were so many stories out on the course that day and it really put my experience in perspective.  Every runner out there had a story.  From Shalane Flannagan, who has been dreaming of winning this race since she was a little girl, to the man I saw in a wheelchair and so many others, everyone out there had many obstacles on their path to this marathon.  Shalane winning was so special for many runners for so many reasons, including that like many of us she suffered an injury that crushed her dream of running the Boston Marathon.  I remembered her having to pull out at the last minute.  I remembered how devastated she was and fully know her pain, despite the fact that I am not an elite runner.  Seeing her cross that line emotionally drained, yet satisfied that she never gave up on her dream was so moving.

Shalane is a true warrior who worked harder than most to accomplish that win, but she was not the biggest hero of the day for me.  A member of my running team takes top hero status for me.  Erika Hauer, a nurse from New Jersey, who I met through my running group.  Erika had deferred last year and really wanted to get to the starting line, but she was unsure and perhaps a bit afraid of not being able to complete the race.  You see, Erika deferred last year, so this was her last chance to use the guaranteed entry she had obtained by deferring.  On top of that, shortly after deferring last year, Erika was diagnosed with cancer and started undergoing chemotherapy.  She had recently finished her chemotherapy and was not sure she was strong enough to run the marathon distance.  Additionally, she was scheduled for surgery four days after the marathon.  I spoke to Erika the day before the marathon when I told her I was out.  She was heading to the Expo to pick up her packet and was going to give this race her best effort.  I’m happy to say that Erika not only finished, she finished strong!  Watching her dot on the tracker cross that finish line, I could only imagine the wave of emotions she felt.  Erika represents everything that is the New York City Marathon experience.  Cancer does not get to win, not on this day – November 5, 2017.  On this day, a warrior named Erika Hauer, kicked cancer’s ass to the curb and stomped on it for 26.2 miles through our beautiful city.  I, for one, couldn’t be happier for her.  Fly high, Erika and I hope we run it together in 2018 so start training.

Best Moments of the 2017 NYC Marathon 

 

 

Congratulations to the marathon class of 2017.  I hope you’ll join me on the journey to 2018 NYCM.

Are you injured, recovering from injury or looking to prevent one?  Connect with us on Facebook and be a part of our running group.  You are not alone on this journey and we’d love to hear your story.

NYC Injured Runners Facebook Group

Prevention is key to remaining injury free.  Looking for a free consultation from a functional movement specialist?  Mention my name – Laura Hess Kump – to receive a free consultation with my personal coach and trainer Jessica Leggio at Run Pain Free.  She will get you back on the road to running.

If you were out there on November 5th, or plan to be out there in 2018, drop me a line.  I’d love to hear your story.  I will feature your story on this blog if you wish to share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the Journey

At 3:00 AM this morning I awoke and made some coffee.  It was time to make my final decision, even though it really was made for me two weeks ago.  I had been able to wear a sneaker all week at work, albeit a size larger than my normal size, but a sneaker it was.  I took the boot off and got my foot into the sneaker and it was quite comfortable to walk in with lots of room for my swollen foot.  The femoral stress fracture hasn’t been giving me too much pain since I stopped running, which is a great sign the healing process has begun.  Of course, I knew what had to be done, but I still clung to the hope that I could show up on Sunday and just pull 26.2 miles out of my body.

The terror attack in New York City really put everything in perspective.  There truly are so many others who have it far worse than a broken toe and missed marathon run.  My heart is broken for our city and I pray for healing for the victims’ families.  My husband has been bothering me all week to push the defer button for Sunday.  He reminded me that in the grand scheme of my life, running this marathon does not define me.  It does not take away all that I have learned from this long training cycle, nor does it erase how much I have gained from this experience.  So, it was with a heavy heart that I pushed the red button to defer my entry to 2018.

Today, I’d like to celebrate my journey to run the 2017 New York City Marathon and reflect on my personal successes along the way.  This day will close the chapter on my 2017 bid and begin my next journey toward running in the 2018 New York City Marathon.

Throughout this journey, I learned that I am capable of far more than I ever thought possible.  Having suffered two (now three) major injuries, I am amazed at my body’s ability to recover and restart over again.  There is really nothing I feel I can’t accomplish if I work hard and believe in myself.  Yes, the end result may not be what I envisioned, or wanted, but in the end I still have accomplished a personal victory because I put in the work.  When I started this training cycle back in the early spring, I was struggling to even be able to run three miles.  I wondered if I could pull out another comeback and began to mentally question how I thought I would run 26.2 when I couldn’t even run 3 anymore.  I kept going out there and working and modifying as best I could.  Soon three miles felt easy again and I began to find the joy in running again.  I felt my determination returning and knew I would rebuild and get it done.

When I trained for the half marathon I ran last year, I remember thinking that 13.1 miles was so far and that I would never want to run that distance again.  I decided then that 10K was my distance and I would be perfectly content to just run that.  One and done on the half marathon distance and I certainly never would run a full.  After that very hilly race through Pennsylvania, in the shadows of the steel stacks, it took me about a week to feel like I could walk without soreness in my legs.  In this training cycle, 13.1 was a shorter long run and one that really isn’t so hard anymore.  I could run 13.1 on a Sunday and have no soreness or recovery issues.  I could continue my normal running schedule and not need a week off to recover from fatigue.  These days, I think the half marathon may be my distance and I will be perfectly content to just run that.

I put in a lot of miles, many early morning wake ups before dawn, to get in my workouts.  I stayed on schedule even on vacations and days I would have preferred to roll over and stay in bed.  Every Saturday I got up at dawn and traveled by bus or ferry to Manhattan to run with my running club and/or trainer.  All of those Saturdays, I traveled two hours alone on buses, trains and boats and some days ran alone in Central Park.  I’m proud that I stayed consistent with that and feel I learned and grew so much from my connections with these runners.  I’ve made friendships that will last beyond this training cycle and found encouragement and support when I needed it most.  Sometimes, your running friends are the only ones who get it.

I inspired some dear friends to sign up to run this marathon and I’m so proud and happy that they are going to realize their dream tomorrow.  I hope they all feel me in their hearts as I will be cheering and yelling loudly for them.  I hope they enjoy every minute of the long run through our beautiful city.  I look forward to celebrating their victory and hugging them when I see them next.  Secretly, I hope they decide to go back and do it all again with me next year!

Special shout out to my childhood friend, maid of honor at my wedding and lifelong running buddy – Helen.  We’ve literally been through a lifetime together.  We’ve had so many adventures, but these have been the most fun.  I’m so happy you are making it to the starting line, despite your injury.  I’ll be tracking you every step of the way.  Call me if you need some encouragement on the course – YOU GOT THIS!!

To my work friend and running partner Flo, loving known as Patty Peppermints, we’ve logged so many miles, run many races, shared many laughs along the way.  I am so proud of you!  YOU ARE STRONG AND YOU GOT THIS!

To my newest running friend Erika, who I can’t wait to run miles with over the winter,  you amaze me with your strength and resilience.   Not even cancer can keep you down girl!  Despite recent chemo treatments and surgery this week you are toeing the line.  I hoped against hope to do this journey by your side.  It is my hope now that you are with me next year and we will run like gazelles through the course.  YOU ARE A WARRIOR!  GO GET IT.

23224721_10214706083751629_1593834076_o

To my Sub30 club and the Galloway club you are such great groups of people who I have enjoyed logging those long miles with.  I’ll be looking for the shirts on course and tracking you all on the app.  Can’t wait to start again with you guys in the spring.

Finally, to my friend Nancy.  You are running for many of us who can’t be there.  You have come so far on your journey and I can’t wait to run some miles over the winter.  I’m ready to go in December and there’s a ton of adventures to be had.  Keep working with Jessica and getting stronger.  We can double up on a session soon!!  RUN PAIN FREE GIRL.

For everyone else going out there tomorrow to run the NYC Marathon, remember you’ve already run and experienced way more than 26.2 miles.  This is the beginning of your celebration and victory lap.  Enjoy the run and course.  See you out there next year!

Want to join me on the journey to 2018?  Contact me below and let’s chat.  I’d love to hear about your journey.

In need of a functional movement assessment?  Contact Jessica Leggio and receive a free consultation when you mention this blog, or my name – Laura Hess Kump. Let her guide your journey to NYC2018.

 

We Can Rebuild Her…

Laura Kump, Principal

A runner broken down.

We can rebuild her.  We have the technology.  We can make her better than she was.  Better, stronger, faster.

I am a child of the 70s who grew up on corny television shows and slogans.  Truly, I can connect any situation to a jingle, slogan, opening song or quote.  It’s a slightly troubling habit I’ll admit, but one that helps me formulate leads when I write quite nicely.  Who can name the show this quote was taken from?

I am, as you know, injured and most likely missing the marathon I’ve trained for.  I haven’t pushed the defer button yet, because you know I’m still praying for a miracle.  If I can get this foot in a sneaker, I just may give it a go and walk/run the course.  If not, it’s over – likely it is over – but hey a girl can dream.

I’m once again planning to rebuild, learn from my mistakes and move forward toward NYC Marathon 2018.  Either way, if I make it this year or not, I’ll be there in 2018 because it’s not the experience I had in mind.  I spent my morning planning, that’s just what educators do, plan for success.  I’ve got my planning tools lined up, including my nutritionist, functional movement trainer, doctor’s orders (OK, I may not follow these exactly), books and nothing but time today to plan.  After spending some time working on planning for my job, I’ve now shifted to planning to rebuild me.

First order of business was to spend time on the phone with my nutritionist, chatting about ways to increase my intake of those pesky vegetables I love to hate and heal my broken bones.  I am going back to having a morning veggie drink in my trusty Vitamix starting Monday.  This will increase my intake of vegetables to ensure I am getting enough in my day.  I had on my to be read pile the book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan by Dr. David Perlmutter, a world renowned neurologist.  His work around the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain related diseases has become very personal to him following the death of his father.  He has dedicated his life to the effort to help others stay healthy through diet and lifestyle changes and I purchased his most recent book to continue my fight to reclaim my health and offset this disease.  Today, I finally opened the book and began reading.  The first quote really grabs you by the throat –

In the next eighteen minutes, four Americans will die from the food they eat.  That’s one person ever four and a half minutes.

This is the opening statement I heard recently on a TED talk given by Jamie Oliver.  He too has been leading a crusade against the use of processed foods in schools, linking it to higher than average obesity rates in children, and long term to chronic disease.   Reading this again reminded me of why I began this journey and helped to reel me in from my week of pity eating.  Lot’s of bad choices were made this week for sure.  Dr. Perlmutter states that, “You can choose your health destiny.”  This gives great hope and sense of purpose to those like me who by virtue of family history, have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.  What goes into my mouth and body, along with other lifestyle choices, can greatly impact my physical well being.  I need to keep myself focused on that and move forward to the next chapter of my journey.

This weekend, I hope to put a shoe on my foot, a real shoe.  I’m tired of this broken toe version, though I did find I could run in it when needed this week at work.  I admit at that realization to thinking of buying a match for the other foot and running the marathon in them, but I’m thinking my feet would not appreciate that at all.  I hope to do some light rolling and stretching work and possibly take a nice slow walk.   That is my very short term exercise goal.  My nutritional goal is to plan my menu for the week, a habit I’ve shared in earlier posts, the only way I stay on track.  Tomorrow, I will cook at least three (3) meals that I will rotate for lunch and dinner all week.  I will do my food shopping for the week and plan for successful eating that curbs those junky pretzels I ate this week in place of food.

Finally, I hope to chat with my functional movement coach at some point this weekend to plan my long term recovery sessions.  I must allow some healing time for the stress fracture before getting back to Central Park, but there are always things we can do to rebuild this broken runner.  You can definitely say this woman is down, but not out.  I’m still on the road, just recalculating the road map.

I thank each and every one of you who took time to reach out to me following last week’s blog.  Your well wishes, jokes and love really were the best medicine.  Thank you for your continued support of my blog and mission.  I leave you with an exchange I had with a student yesterday that had me hysterically laughing – the best medicine of all.

Student: “What the heck did you do to your foot now.

Me: “This is the same injury I had when I saw you Monday.  You know what happened to me.”

Student: “Well, you just keep injuring that foot, don’t you.”

Me: “Guess so.”

Student: “Well, if you keep this up you know that foot may just fall off already.”

Me:  Laughing inside.  “Hope not!”

Here are some resources I’m spending time with this weekend:

Jamie Oliver’s TED talk

The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan
//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=reclhealblog-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0316319198&asins=0316319198&linkId=616c6436a61e568499a5835a0e7d2efb&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff

Functional Movement Specialist 

Jessica Leggio, Run Pain Free

Free consultations are available (includes workout) when you mention my blog or name Laura Hess Kump.  Online option available if you can’t make the trip.  Worth the time – life changing stuff.

Always love connecting with readers of this blog for feedback and conversation.  Feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me directly.

What a Runner Looks Like

Taking a much needed mental break from training today. I suffered an ocular migraine at work this week and lost vision for a brief time in my left eye. Kind of scary stuff. Anyway, the doctor ran tests and assures me I’m fine. Just way too much stress in my life I guess. My son came up for the weekend and I’m taking it easy today. Tomorrow I am back out there running the Greta Gallop in Central Park.

Today’s column is a repost of an article I wrote for an online magazine that was published this week. It tells my story for anyone who doesn’t know me. All I can say is sometimes the struggle is very real. Taking it one day at a time. Thankful for all who continue to encourage me on this journey, especially my beautiful coach Jessica Leggio at http://www.runpainfreenow.com .

Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment in the section below. Please click the link below to view and read my article. Enjoy!

What a Runner Looks Like

Small Victories

Last week, I guess I hit a huge bump in the road.  My hip was sore, my feet hurt and I had a rough work week.   My running buddy was injured and out of the marathon and I was seriously questioning my ability to finish this thing.   Sunday, I planned to skip my long run as I just didn’t think I had it in me to do.

Sunday came and I decided to just give it a try.  I had nothing to lose since I already felt lost.   I put one foot in front of the other and started running.  13 miles later, I  met my husband down by the beach.  I was so proud of that run.   It was slow and steady and mostly pain free.   Could it be?   I felt like I had one foot on the ladder, ready to climb out of this darn pity party.

This week was a short work week. I met my trainer in Central Park on Thursday.   We did an hour of strength and she rolled my legs – ouch.   Off I went for a short 4 mile run in the park.  It felt slow, but when I got on the bus and looked at it I saw I had some nice segments.   Central Park is a tough run, so those PR segments really boosted my bruised ego.

This morning I met my trainer for our Saturday morning session.  I was sore from Thursday so her rolling helped.  After an hour of strength, activation and rolling I was ready to run.  I only needed a shorter run today as this is a recovery week.  I set my sights on Cat Hill and off I went.

Today’s run also had some strong segments, but overall these legs were tired.  I’m feeling like I’m in a much better space today.   My belief that I will finish marathon this has returned.  I wish I had more time to prepare, but it is what it is.

In speaking to other runners, there are many who are hurting right about now.  But, guess what, it’s supposed to be hard, it’s a marathon for heavens sake.  If it were easy it wouldn’t be a challenge and everybody would be doing it.  Just like I tell my students, the growth comes at the point of the struggle.   This week, I realized that I’m tougher than I thought.   It would’ve been easier to quit, truly.   But, then I’d be full of regret and have to do this all over again.  Nope, I’m not a quitter.  I’m in it to finish.  How about you?

Thanks Jessica for picking me back up off the floor.   Today I ran Central Park hills, tired but pain free.  http://runpainfreenow.com

How’s your training going?   What do you do when the going gets tough?   Leave me a messsage below.

Emotional Toll

Nobody warns you about the emotional toll of training for a marathon. You only envision the glory of the finish and even the accomplishments along the way. You hear all about losing toenails and the endless hours of running. But the emotional toll just kind of creeps in around 7 weeks out. Suddenly, that race that seemed so far away is fast approaching. You find yourself questioning your sanity and ability to even do this thing. You forget why in the world you even wanted to do it in the first place.

Unless you are an elite, professional runner, you are trying to fit this huge feat into your daily grind. Starts out ok, but trust me as the weeks move along it can become stressful. I happen to have a high stress job that pulls me in a million directions, usually at 90 mph. This is stress I manage pretty well on a daily basis. It is what is is. But, when you tack on this hefty training commitment it can become a bit much to handle.

During the summer, I have a ton of mind space for running and meal planning. There aren’t all these other demands on my body and emotions. An extra hectic school opening this year, full of life’s curveballs, has left me really tired this week. Whenever you deal with the emotions and needs of others you are bound to hit some bumps in the road. This training cycle has made me realize just how much of myself I give to everyone else and sadly how little I give myself.

My wonderful coach Jessica, http://runpainfreenow.com spent a lot of time today listening to me fall apart. She was patient and kind and for that I’m eternally grateful. Some days, I guess we need more than just a training session. Sometimes we need to hear that it’s ok to put ourselves first. To hear that while it is my job to shield my students from the stresses I absorb daily, that doesn’t mean I can’t share the load with the adults in my building. They, unlike my students, are adults. They too, if we are a team, should know the realities of what is faced on a daily basis to keep our school afloat. Maybe then they could gain some perspective beyond just their own. It can only serve to strengthen our team.

So, today I decided to put myself before anyone else. I’ll admit it felt quite selfish of me, but that’s the mindset that needs to change. Today, I spent time reading and relaxing after my trip to the city. I spent time in bed reading up on things I’m interested in. No news was on and no negativity permeated my zen space. I didn’t respond to work email, in fact I didn’t even read them.

Last night’s inability to sleep was my body warning me it’s on overload. I need to reel myself in and begin to set aside some time just for me. I am human like everyone else in my life and I too need time to recharge and rest. I can’t continue to put myself last.

As I move into this last phase of training my body is tired. My emotions are taking over and self doubt about my ability to finish are creeping in. I’m doubling down though and kicking that doubt to the curb. My coach and my running buddies will pull me through this race. The lessons I’ve learned about how I treat my own emotional needs will stick with me beyond the finish line. I matter and I am important.

Has your training begun to wear you down too? Do you have a coach like mine who is available 24/7 to get you through? If not, how are you surviving it? Leave your comments below.

Scaffolds

In education when a child is not quite ready for a task we offer them a scaffold.  If a math problem is too complex for them we break it into smaller, more manageable parts.   In reading, we offer them books at their independent reading level, rather than expecting them all to read the same book.  Yet, when it comes to exercise tasks we tend to reject all scaffolds offered.  We look at these scaffolds as a sign of weakness rather than what they truly are, a way to lift us up and enable us to finish the task.

On today’s run, I started to think about this connection and realized I’m just as guilty as anyone of rejecting scaffolds.  I like to say I’m stubborn, determined or a true warrior.   Somehow lately I’m realizing that I’m foolish and letting my ego guide me rather than my common sense.

Scaffolds for runners are meant to help, not hinder, their development.  If the body is not quite ready to do what you are asking of it, you could end up getting injured.  Trust me, this I know first hand!  Building and developing the right muscles for the activity you want to perform is not an option.  You must spend the time and do the work to have proper functionality.   If something along your muscular chain is weak, something else will become overloaded and injury could follow.  My coach has finally got that point seared in my stubborn, I mean foolish, brain. I have now added some scaffolding to my training to ensure that I make it not only to the starting line, but also to the finish.

Since my Achilles has been giving me trouble, I’ve added the scaffold of running intervals on my runs.  This scaffold builds breaks for this muscle into each run.  Without them the repetitive motion over three hours could really put a strain on my Achilles.   It’s also been allowing me to work more on my form, hopefully developing the right muscle groups.   Another scaffold I’m embracing is slowing my pace on long runs.   Long runs are meant to develop endurance, not pace, so I’ve given myself permission to turn off the app that tells me my pace as I’m running.  My friend who has run 7 marathons shared with me that you can never run too slow on a long run.  He said during his training for his first marathon he ran himself into the ground.   During that race he barely finished with anything left in his tank.   Sounds like I need to slow it down on those long runs immediately.

Finally, today I gave myself the accommodation of flexibility.   I’m a very schedule driven runner.   I like to run super early to avoid car traffic and heat.  If I don’t go by 6:00 AM, I start stressing and thinking about running another day.  I never sleep in on weekends either.   Today, after two exhausting days at work, I woke at 3:00 AM ready to get moving.  I came down, had a bowl of oatmeal and cup of coffee. I then walked right back up and got back in my bed. I turned on the hurricane reports and before I knew it I decided to go back to sleep thinking I’d run tomorrow instead.   I woke again at 8:00, got up and did my pre-run activation routine. Then I went out and did my scheduled long run.  Honestly, it felt good to not rush out to run.  Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to change the plan, but not permission to skip it.

Scaffolds do not mean you’re any less or a runner than another.  They mean you are focused on completing your task.  Thanks coach Jessica for readjusting my perspective.

How are your workouts going?   Are you forcing yourself through them, or loving them?   If, like me you are running in pain, consider calling Jessica for a consultation.  She can truly help get you back on the road again.  Her site is https://www.runpainfreenow.com and her Twitter handle is #runpainfree .  Tell her Laura recommended you and get your consultation booked.  Let me know how it goes. It could be life changing.

Functionality

Today before my run I met with my new trainer in Central Park.   Jessica from #runpainfree has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in working with runners.   She’s no nonsense and a true force to reckon with.   She’s traveling all over NYC most days lugging her tools and gear to meet runners where they are – out in the park.

Jessica spent time rolling my body with her torture stick.  Sounds bad, but really it’s oh so good in the long run. She then had me do some balance and strength work to fire up my glutes who never really want to join the party.   More rolling followed by some warmup moves that again got the glutes going.  After the hour, I was sent off to do my run and report back to her later about how it went.

I must say I really did feel a difference on the run today. Central Park is a tough place to run and the loop around it today felt different from last week’s trek. It wasn’t perfect, I mean she’s great but one session won’t fix 57 years of damage, but it did feel better.   I felt my glutes engage at some points during the run and it was awesome.   I did my 8 miles today feeling excited that I too can run pain free.

Jessica has great positivity, a trait I seek out always.   Don’t ever settle for anyone who isn’t positive or encouraging. Jessica adamantly told me not to let anyone tell me I can’t do this race. She carefully explained some of the functions of the muscles, tendons and connectivity between body parts in a way that I could understand.  She explained the motion of running and why my feet are hurting all the time. It really made sense to me and I truly want to learn more about this wonderful body and how it functions.

If you are struggling with pain and not getting anywhere with PT and/or chiropractor care, I strongly suggest you think about working with an Athletic Functional Movement Expert:Corrective.   Find the actual root of your pain, which may not be where you think it is. Work on your form and build your strength in targeted ways that will actually impact your running. And, if you are lucky enough, contact Jessica at https://www.runpainfreenow.com for a consultation and plan of action. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Today I have renewed hope that I will indeed finish this race. Thank you Jessica for your guidance and belief in me.

Are you dealing with any issues as you train for the marathon? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to connect. And, if you meet with Jessica mention my name (Laura Kump) so she tells me.   Then please let me know how it goes.

If You Want a Different Result, Try Something New!

I’ve been going back and forth trying to get my training plan right.  I am working with a Marathon Heart Rate Training group plan which calls for me to keep my heart rate at, or under 140 bpm.  I also have been thinking about using the Galloway method of run/walk/run intervals to train.  I keep going back and forth with the benefits of each plan.  The heart rate plan builds my anaerobic systems and should keep me healthy and injury free.  The Galloway plan also keeps me injury free as I’m building in recovery and not continuously straining my ankle tendons.  I keep asking myself, Do I realistically expect to run 26.2 miles without stopping?  Do I want to train using run/walk/run intervals, or continuous running like I did for my half marathon?  There are so many things to consider and honestly my achilles is still not feeling great.  I’ve been trying to push through and modify as needed but the pain has not totally subsided.  It’s super hard to be motivated to train and run when it hurts.

When I returned to running this spring, I was using intervals to build my stamina back up.  I always felt the time went faster and it was a great workout.  Yet, I still thought of it as a temporary measure, one that was meant to build me up and then taper away.  As I continued, I had the goal of increasing the intervals until they were gone.  A few weeks ago, I began continuous running and worked up to 6 miles on long runs. If I’m honest with myself, my feet were crying from mile 5 on.  After the run I had difficulty walking and my day was pretty much left to roll, soak, elevate and rest.  Clearly, something had to give and that something was my EGO.

Last year, I joined a running club in Manhattan – The Galloway Club.  I never went to one run and just decided it wasn’t for me because after all, I was a runner.  This year, I joined the club again and told myself I was going to try it, but didn’t.  While I did try intervals, I didn’t go to join the club for the long runs, which by the way are geared to training for the marathon.  This week I had a long, honest talk with my EGO and decided that if I am going to make it through this marathon I need to do what my body needs, not what my EGO wants.  Wednesday morning I met with Filicia, a local Galloway club member and we ran 3 miles at the park.  We did 45:30 intervals and I noticed that my pace was much quicker than when I run continuously.  I also noticed that my feet didn’t hurt quite as much.  The rest of the day I didn’t need to recover and elevate, ice, etc my feet.  Listening to her tell me about the three marathons she ran successfully really helped me make my decision.  I am officially doing run/walk/run interval training and plan to run the marathon using this strategy.  Thanks Filicia for talking me through this and for running with me!

Today, we met again and ran 7 miles, the same route I ran last week.  Last week by mile 5 my feet were pretty shot and I wasn’t sure if I could finish.  This week, though I had some soreness, I finished the run and didn’t feel finished for the day.  I’m super excited to feel like I WILL complete this marathon using this strategy.  I also am excited that perhaps my achilles will finally begin to heal.  When I compare how I felt this week recovering from the run to how I felt last week it is really a no brainer.  I feel much better and more able to go about the business of my day.

In reflecting on why this decision was so hard for me to make, I know my ego is the cause.  I didn’t think of run/walk/run intervals as “running”.  I felt that if I needed to use this strategy, I was weak.  I am fully aware that the man who created this method, Jeff Galloway, is an Olympian, but I just couldn’t get past feeling like a failure.  A funny thing happened on these last two runs – I felt like I worked hard.  I wasn’t slogging along slowly, praying for the run to end.  I actually felt invigorated and more athletic than before.  It’s hard to explain, but I felt very accomplished and know in my heart I made the right choice.  The reality is, whether I walk, run or crawl, a mile is a mile and I’m out there moving forward!

What are the bullshit stories you tell yourself when you workout, or run?  Please share below.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.