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!


Recovery & Next BIG Goal!

A lot of people have been asking me how I’m feeling, so I figured I’d talk about how I am doing what transpired so far AFTER the 50 mile race.

How to Get Your Teenage Son to Tie Your Shoes

My boys were awesome about helping me out on Saturday night and Sunday.   They were so proud of me that when I asked for help, both of them tied my shoes for me.  They actually fought over which one of them was going to do it, so they each ended up doing a shoe.  (hahaha…we’ll see if THAT happens again!)

Getting Around

Aside from the typical post race shuffle,  waking up the next morning had me feeling slightly like I had been hit by a truck.  My back was sore (kind of expected this due to wearing the hydration vest for 12 hours), but so was my chest.  I was also coughing much of the day.  This all ended by Monday night and was really not as bad as it sounds.  (Plus Jen and I both had this issue so I figured it was normal!)

We stayed in Ithaca Saturday night so that we could spend Sunday checking out Cornell University.   Cornell is Eli’s dream school.  He wants to wrestle there and study astrophysics!  The campus was really cool.  The buildings were very unique and there was a trail with a waterfall right by the campus!



Then we went to the Shoppes at the Ithaca Mall so that Eli could buy some Cornell gear.  Eli was my little sidekick the entire time.  He wrapped his arm around my waist and helped me hobble around the mall entire time!

By Monday night I was walking and getting around much better.  Yesterday, HUGE improvement, and today I feel practically back to normal.  I have been sleeping a lot though!

I did some cycling at the gym today and attempted to lift a little bit but I felt too tired to proceed.  I’m going to stick to walking, stretching, and rolling.  I’ll try again with the cycling in a few days and hopefully I can get back to lifting soon because I miss it!  I have to remember that my whole body is basically trying to repair itself!


Eating Everything

I was HUNGRY and eating a ton of food that I usually don’t but I didn’t care!

I had a pulled pork sandwich, corn on the cob, and cookie at the finish line. Then a short time later I had 2 slices of pepperoni pizza and a whole carton of Halo Top Ice Cream. Sunday I had to get out of bed before everyone else and hobble to the lobby of the hotel to eat at 6:30 am because I was starving.  Other runners were there too, and they were easy to spot because we were all shuffling around the same way.  I had an egg and sausage sandwich and two cinnamon buns.  For lunch we stopped at Wendy’s and I ate two bacon cheeseburgers, a medium Frosty, and fries.  When we got home Sunday night Hunter made me 3 scrambled eggs and Eli made me toast.  Then I had cereal.  Hunter told me I was eating like a teenage boy.  My husband did the laundry, unpacked, and put all of our things away when we got home so that I could crash on the couch.

This week I’ve still been eating a lot more than usual but craving a TON of fruit, vegetables, and protein.  I guess my appetite will get back to normal eventually!

How I’ve Been Staying Busy

As a teacher it’s been nice because school is officially out, so I’ve been able to catch up on my sleep and rest.  I’m not good at doing that for too long though!  The boys and I had some errands to run and went out for our annual kick-off to summer breakfast at a local diner on Tuesday.

I’ve also been watching YouTube videos of ultramarathons and getting some more inspiration for the next BIG goal. . .

Devil Dog Ultras

Jen and I are going to do our first 100 miler this December!  It scares the crap out of me and that’s exactly why I need to do it.  I couldn’t imagine even thinking about it, let alone running it, without Jen.  She has always wanted to do a 100 and I have slowly come to the realization that I do too.  I really, really want this.  Now that I’ve tackled an insane 50 miler, this goal seems even more attainable.  It IS completely new territory, that’s for sure, but I really cannot wait to get started on our next journey!

If anyone out there has any tips, advice, words of wisdom, or stories to share regarding 100 mile races, I’m all ears!