Week #2 of Devil Dog Training & The Niggles

It’s been super humid and hot most of this week, to the point where running isn’t fun.  It was time to dig deep and just get out there and slog through the miles.  I can’t say they were all bad though.  I had some good company on a few runs which always makes things more enjoyable!

Dealing with Niggles

I was noticing a twinge of pain in my left knee cap area recently….only a few steps per run so nothing major, but definitely something to nip in the bud.  I’ve battled with runner’s knee in the past and don’t want to go back there!  So, the focus this week was to take care of that.  I had already planned to kick the mileage back down to the twenties for the week.   I was aiming for extra rest days and no double digits.  Here are the actions I took to help the niggle subside and hopefully not turn into an actual injury:

  • Ice the area post run.
  • Extra rest days or just cycling days.
  • Ibuprofen after the run just to keep inflammation at bay.  ( I don’ t like to mask any symptoms with meds before the run or I won’t know how it’s doing and could risk more damage)
  • New shoes (This is a BIG one!  Really thinking I ran too many miles in the previous ones past their prime which added to the niggles.  Plus running a 10 miler on roads in the old ones a few weeks ago was probably not smart either.)  Isn’t it funny how loved the ones on the left are?  These are the same exact shoe down to the color.  One has about 500 miles and the other 0.  They felt like heaven!image
  • Strengthening around the knee with lunges and squats (I have to admit I could be doing these more regularly so this was a wake up call!)
  • Less climbs and steep downhill running.  This part makes me sad but it had to be done!

Thankfully my last 3 runs have been totally niggle free, but I’ll continue some of the strategies above through this next week to ensure things are back to where they need to be for when my training gets more demanding!

Week #2 Breakdown

Monday:  REST  (hamstring, quad stretching)

Tuesday:  3 easy miles  (stretching + lunges + squats)

Wednesday:  8.5 mile cycle  (stretching + lunges + squats + upper body)

Thursday:  Gym workout (upper body/ back/core)


Friday:  6 easy trail miles with Eli (incorporated more walking & explored)

Saturday:  8.1 trail miles (Hoka demo day with Appalachian Running Company)

These were the shoes I tried out for 5 of the miles.  Hoka Speedgoat 2 (men’s since all the women’s in my size were taken).  My verdict is that I’ll stick with Altra Lone Peaks.  There is nothing quite like my Altras.  I prefer to feel the ground more underneath myself and always feel more confident flying down technical terrain in the Lone Peaks.   But…. I could see these Hokas being a refreshing shoe to wear after being on your feet for 50 miles or more in an ultra.  Actually I am excited to try Altra’s new Timp shoe for this reason.  The zero drop and wide toe box make me a loyal fan!

Sunday:  9 Appalachian Trail miles with a Ragnar buddy and a killer gym workout for sweat session #2

Warm Up:
3 x 10 lunges with 25 lb plate overhead
3 x 10 raises with plate
3 x 50 med ball slams
3 x 10 assisted pull ups
3 x 15 ab raises
3 x 30 second flutter ab kicks
3 x 10 dumbell curls
3 x 100 oblique twists with med ball
3 x 10 tricep dips with 20 lb
3 x 10 lower ab leg raises
3 x 10 knees to chest
3 x 15 lat pull downs

Food is Fuel!

I had these romaine boats with roast beef, goat feta, sriracha lemon aioli, radishes, and green onions for lunch and they didn’t disappoint.   Bottom one has chipotle mustard instead of aioli because it ran out.  Definitely need to make more!


And this low carb/ high protein waffle for breakfast.  Made with coconut flour and egg whites, topped with mini semi-sweet choc chips, walnuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, almond butter, and honey.  I did not miss the Bisquick waffles I made for the boys at all!



Any tips or strategies you use to handle the niggles when they show up?

Favorite gym workout?

Of everything in the list above from today, my favorite is the medicine ball slam squats. It’s so rewarding to slam something on the ground over and over.  Hahaha!


Ice, Ice Baby…

Dun dun dun dun da da dun dun.  The perfect song to accompany me on today’s run (if I listened to music on a run!).  Oh yes, the Vanilla Ice days of middle school.  Haha!

I spent most of the day of enjoying the coziness of the house.


It was also a good day for baking cookies!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies and Chocolate Chip Walnut Shortbread (so yummy!)

Around 3:00 though I was craving the fresh air, the endorphins, and the need to burn some energy!  We got more ice than snow last night so I knew it would be a good time.  This run (even thought it was on the road) called for my Lone Peak trail shoes and Yak Trax.  Ice and slush?  No problem.  Yak Trax have been my best winter running gear purchase by far.

If you’re new to them, they just slip over your shoe and offer amazing traction.  There are different kinds but these coil ones have worked well for my needs so far.  I could see the spikey ones being useful for deep slush and mushy snow though.

Also, I am loving crew socks lately.  I just ordered a clearance pair Balega crews off of Running Warehouse the other day so I can’t wait for them to get here.  Especially for extremely cold days, I don’t like to have any of my ankle or leg exposed at the bottom of my running tights and they do the job.  I hear that crew socks are making a come back;  however, I don’t really care if they are or not, I just like them!  When it comes to running all I care about is being comfortable.  I’ve been known to head out the door in completely un-matching running clothes and I could care less 🙂


It was also the perfect temp for this long sleeve running shirt I found at Target at the end of last winter.  I love that it has a loose neck that you can tighten on colder windy days or keep loose (like I did today).  And it’s perfect for layering.


You can see the neck better here.  This was me, excited to start!

I set out thinking 6 miles would be good enough.  Ended up taking a longer loop home to make it 7, and then said “what the heck, I’ll just run a half mile past the house and head back home to have 8.”  Once I got home I was having so much fun running on the ice that I ran past the mailbox for more and ended up with 8.25.

Weekly Mileage Lately

I’ve naturally settled into a pattern of a cutback week after 3 weeks of higher mileage so I’m going to keep this going.  Seems to work well for my body!  I’ve also started running a lot more on Fri, Sat, Sun and less during the week so hopefully that will continue to work for me.  I’m working hard to keep a good base so that I am healthy and strong to train for the Cayuga Trails 50!




Weekly mileage graph for the past 8 weeks.  After tomorrow’s long run I will be hitting at least 35 miles this week.

My 21 this week was composed of a 5 on Tuesday, 8 on Friday, and 8 today.





Favorite Feature of Daily Mile:

It’s fun to look back at your 5 recent fastest and longest runs.  If you haven’t checked out an online place to keep track of your mileage, I recommend Daily Mile!  I know a lot of people use Strava but I’ve been using this for years and don’t want to switch.










I mean, just look at all those tv’s I have powered.  And all those donuts I’ve burned!