Camp BKB with CLIF! 

I made the goal to say “yes” more this year. Yes to new experiences. Yes to adventure. Yes to getting out of my comfort zone. 

I am the most comfortable when I’m running. I’m active in a lot of ways, but running is definitely my thing. Who says I can’t find some new favorites? Rock climbing intimidates me because I’m not a natural, but I always have the most fun when I try new things. 

Camp BKB with CLIF this past Friday gave me the chance to explore and “climb a different way.” It’s not always about the direct path. Sometimes it seems to be the easy route, but do you really get the most out of taking the easy route? I don’t. Life is definitely not linear which is why I don’t approach things that way. Climbing is fun because it’s challenging and you always have the option to go your own way. The goal is the same: reach the top. But no one tells you exactly how to get there. 

It was so much fun for me to spend a Friday night surrounded by people who want to challenge themselves, but still have fun. Fun is key. I still need more practice to get really comfortable with climbing, but I know I get a little better each time. 

The timing of this event was perfect (nicely done CLIF) because it was Earth Day on April 22nd and we talked a lot about sustainability. My favorite part of the night was the storytelling from adventurers who truly appreciate the outdoors and the planet we live on. 

I am so grateful for trail running and beautiful forests. I would be devastated if I lost the opportunities to go explore nature. Our planet is the only one we have and we need to take care of it. A major takeaway for me from one of the stories was the phrase “We all live here.” There are many different ways to take it, but I like the idea of it talking about our planet. We all find happiness here, go on adventures here, find new interests here. We should all work together to take care of our home. One way we can take care of our planet is to support companies or brands with sustainability values. 

CLIF is a favorite brand of mine because of what they stand for (and their great products of course). They want everyone to “Think like a tree.” Their approach to sustainability can be summed up in those four words. From field to final product everything is eco-friendly – you can’t beat that! CLIF is working to “Sustain Our Planet” and we can help. Little actions add up to big ones. 

How can you help sustain our planet? It’s okay to start small. Recycle your wrappers. Walk or bike to work instead of driving. Start a garden. Anything you can do to show our planet some love! 

Thankful to have CLIF helping to keep our planet sustainable and for feeding my adventures. 

Nashville Marathon Training: Week Thirteen (28.21 miles) & Week Fourteen (11.20 miles)

Week thirteen was shaping up to be another great week…until it wasn’t. I felt great after my 20 miler the weekend before. I got in all my planned runs for the week. Thursday night I set out to do my 7 miles and felt a weird tweak in my Achilles. I instantly felt pain with every step and had to stop at 5 miles.

I was scared. I didn’t work this hard for this long to not be able to run my marathon, so I rested and sought help right away. And the past week or so has all about trying to recover.

Here’s a break down of the last couple weeks.

Monday (3/27) – 6.15 miles + Torch class

I took the 5:45 AM Torch class at Studio Three, covered two miles of intervals on the treadmill, then went outside for another 4.15 miles to hit my mileage for the day. 

Tuesday – 7 miles + Cycling class

Seven easy miles right after work before heading to the studio for a cycling class. Kyle came with me and it was a fun evening. 

Wednesday – 10.06 miles (speed workout)

Mile repeats with Arielle! 10.06 miles total with warm up and cool down. All miles were sub 8 minutes and we felt strong. I was on such a high after this workout, but little did I know what would happen the next day. 

Thursday – 5 miles

I set out to do my 7 miles after work. I was tired, but feeling okay. About 1 mile in I took a weird step and felt a twinge in my Achilles. I hobbled to 5 miles and then knew I had to quit. I’d never felt pain like this and I was scared. 

Friday, Saturday, Sunday – Rest/recovery days

I went to get my Achilles looked at right after work on Friday. The good news? It wasn’t torn. The bad news? No running. 

I skipped my drop down week 14 miler on Saturday. I skipped racing the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday. It broke my heart a little bit, but I didn’t want to make the injury any worse. A 5 mile race wasn’t worth jeopardizing my marathon. It was a really hard decision for me to make, but I am happy I made the choice to rest.

Week 14 was a new week, but I was still advised not to do anything at all. Just rest. 

Monday (4/3) – Rest

I didn’t do anything except stretch. 

Tuesday – Performance Stretch class

I took a Performance Stretch class at Studio Three as suggested to work on mobility and I realized I should have been taking this class every week. I loved it. 45 minutes all about releasing tension from the body – exactly what I needed. 

Wednesday – Rest

I didn’t do anything except some mobility work at home. 

Thursday – 6 AM Hot Yoga + Performance Stretch class PM

Since it had been a week since I aggravated my Achilles I decided I could try taking a yoga class. It was Katy’s birthday, so I took her 6 AM hot yoga flow and I didn’t feel any pain! It was a fantastic way to start my day. Then I went back in the evening for another 45 minute performance stretch. It was a great day for recovery and I was feeling pain free! 

Friday – Rest

Another complete rest day. Just some stretching and mobility work at home. 

Saturday – 8 miles run/walk

I saw a PT on Friday evening to see if there was any way I could run my 20 miler and she said she would not advise it. Not surprising. I was feeling good, but still had pain when I went up on my tip toes. So instead she told me to run/walk 8 miles. It was better than nothing. I ran one, walked one with Kyle until I hit 8 miles. I really didn’t feel any pain and it was a beautiful day to be outside. I was grateful to get to do anything honestly. 

Sunday – 2 miles + Yoga Flow 75

I woke up with discomfort in my Achilles. Not the same pain, but a dull pain. I went to my massage/cupping appointment and walked out feeling great. She suggested I try to run a little bit to see how I felt. I went out and felt okay, but the dull pain was there and I got nervous so I just did 2 miles at 8:51 pace. I don’t know if it’s better to run through it or rest. I went to my usual evening yoga class and didn’t feel any more pain. It helped me mentally more than anything. 

I am doing my best to stay positive, but it’s really, really hard. I feel like every choice I make will either make my injury worse or make me lose the training I’ve put in this cycle. It’s upsetting. It’s frustrating. I know the only real way to move forward is to be positive, but some days are harder than others.

The good thing about all of this is I’m learning just how imbalanced my body is. I favor my right side. My left side is weaker. I have weak hips and glutes. I need to strengthen all of the smaller muscles and this will take time. I wouldn’t have done this if I hadn’t gotten this Achilles injury, but I’ve learned what I need to do for this next training cycle. And the positive from that? I should get faster. I already know about 10 different things I want to add to my weekly routine to help me recover faster, stay healthier, and get stronger. That’s the bright side. But right now I just want to get to this marathon start line pain free and be able to race.

I’m three weeks away from race day. I don’t know what I’m going to do running-wise between now and then or if I will get better. I don’t know how my race will go. I’m very uncertain, anxious, and confused. But I am just going to take it day by day and see what happens.

Week 13 – 28.21 miles

Week 14 – 11.2 miles