The One Where SBS Starts Training Again


I think this is as good a place as any to tell Dimity I think we need to dress up for RnR Vegas

It was the box of GUs that pushed me over the edge. It has been sitting so forlornly on the a kitchen shelf, next to the half-eaten bags of trail mix, dried cranberries, and unsalted roasted sunflower seeds. I occasionally had pushed past it to get a pack of watermelon GU Chomps for bike rides, but I can’t remember the last time I sucked down a packet of energy gel. Oh, wait, it must have been last spring on the morning of the Ogden half marathon, right before I hobbled around the VIP area, convinced I’d never again walk without a grimace on my face or a severe limp.

The aptly named "Calm" supplement

But here I am, 4+ months later, and I’ve decided it’s time to officially start training for Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Vegas, a.ka. “Strip at Night” (psst: where Dimity and I will be speaking and selling). My right foot still has twinges of plantar fasciitis but it’s about 95% better; I’ve resumed getting acupuncture for it to kick it into the fully healed category. Jenny, my wonderful, intuitive acupuncturist, also has me drinking “tea” (actually hot water + molasses) doused with a heaping teaspoon of calcium-magnesium supplement, which supposedly will nourish my inflamed fascia. I’ve embraced it as part of my bedtime ritual along with a TiVo'd episode of “Modern Family” or “Glee.” (Sort of yin and yang, right?) Like so many of you coming back from an injury, I’m super-excited to re-commit to running—but I’m also nervous. I mean, what if my foot doesn’t cooperate, and suddenly I’m back at square one? Lately I’ve been thinking enviously of Dimity’s black “boot” and her 2010 stress fracture. At least a bone-related injury like that has a definitive, “yup, all healed. Go back to pounding the pavement” point.

But this is my lot, and I’m embracing the challenge of training, even if I can’t believe I ever ran double-digits. The other day, Sheila, my training partner from last year’s Portland Marathon, stopped by to borrow my Garmins. When I turned on my 110 to show Sheila how to operate it, I stared in disbelief at the stats from my last run—May 21, the Ogden half. Really, I ran 13.1 miles at an average pace of 8:57…and, at the time, I thought it was kind of slow for me? Oh, my, how times have changed.

I’m cutting it a bit close, only training for two months for RnR Vegas, but it’s all I’ve got. So I opened up the computer file of our Train Like a Mother manuscript and copied out the final eight weeks of one of our two half-marathon training plans. Yes, I'm late to the party, but I'm excited for it. First up: I ran 9.14 miles yesterday in a little under 90 minutes. Foot felt fine...and I refueled with a Roctane around Mile 4.5. It's a start at making at dent in that dusty box of gels.

40 responses to “The One Where SBS Starts Training Again

  1. Thanks for sharing your PF recovery. I just finished my 2nd half marathon, in which I think I aggravated mine again. Go get ’em in Vegas!
    P.S. Love the “Friends” reference in the title of this post.

  2. Ha! You and I are on the same page SBS. I was looking at the box of Gu in the pantry this weekend thinking the same thing. The only reason I went into the box was to make sure no cereal moths had found the darn things before I get to them! Sigh. I need to find a race.

  3. Thank you for sharing your recovery process, SBS! I am hoping I will be hitting the trails again soon after a double stress fracture in August. Just after lamenting over the races I had hoped to run this month but now know that I won’t , I stumbled upon your your plan for the Las Vegas 1/2. Way to kick my sorry, sniffling a**! I needed that! Note to self: I’ll be out there before too long–maybe a turkey trot will beckon to me. Also, the drag queen comment was a hoot 😉

  4. Yay for starting up training again! I am thinking good thoughts for your foot! I too have gu’s, sport jelly beans, and shot blocks staring out at me from a shelf, but alas, I am not ready to start training for anything yet. Hopefully soon! Good luck in the training!

  5. Yah Sarah!! You will do great! I ran a 10k on Saturday, which I never would have thought I would be doing after having had knee surgery. I felt great, and you will too!! I can’t wait for the RLAM half marathon training plan to go public!!!

  6. I’m sure you’re going to ROCK it! I hate that I’m not going to be there – I was looking forward to meeting you and Dimity. I’m going south a week later – to run the Rock n Roll in Miami!

    Winks & Smiles,

  7. Let’s see, first recovery run and SBS is already running faster than me. Yep, that sounds about right! 🙂

    I know how hard it was to come back from my fracture, and you’re right: breaks have a clear-cut “ok to move on” moment that soft tissue injuries don’t. Even though I knew that my foot was properly healed and perfectly fine, it didn’t *feel* fine. Just trying to get over that hump and keep on going was mentally and emotionally harder than I could have imagined. Fingers crossed that training goes smoothly and you can kick butt in Vegas!

  8. Glad to hear you are back in training mode!! I have been somewhat sidelined for long runs due to some foot issues also… actually “dusted” off my gels the other day… Boo-hoo!!

    I am getting back into running longer distances now, too. I swear, I think it was the dusting and realization that I have been gone for way too long that helped me… 🙂

    Good luck with your training plans!

  9. I just started listening to you r podcasts and I’m loving it!!! We have a womens group in Portland that meets about once or twice a week for a run together. Great group of women runners. Depending on the day (and the stress level) we run fast or sometimes just take it easy and enjoy each others company.
    I’m signed up to do the Las Vegas marathon also in December. This should be so fun. Lets hope they don’t plant slot machines on the course. Will you have a booth at the Portland marathon expo? Hope to see you running around Portland sometime Sarah. I too, love to greet people and say hello to fellow runners. I’ve been known to actually start talking to other women runners when I painfully have to run my long run by myself. I love company!! Not creepy about it, just think people are interesting and tons of fun!!

    1. Mary, where’s your running group? Maybe I could hook up with you all sometime. I run around Irvington, Alameda, Rose City, and up into NoPo. Email me at runmother at gmail dot com, and we can chat.

  10. Thank you so much for this! I have been doubting my ability to run distances again and train for another half after IT problems. I too miss my gu, shot blocks, and/or camelback runs that take me away for 2+ hours. Did 7.3 race this weekend, and all was well!

  11. OMG!!! So jealous! I realized at some point last week that following a training schedule is what I miss most about not running. Knowing that I have something concrete to accomplish. The doctor’s say I’ll get back to it. And right now I’m OK knowing I won’t be nearly where I was. Just have to have a little faith…

  12. SBS, I feel the same way, but I’m not healed enough to be able to train. I stare longingly at my nuun, garmin and fuel belt. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be able to train again. I wish I could reverse time and run as I did pre injury.
    I have an inflamed knee plica, so I wonder if the tea & molassses plus calcium really works. I’ve given everything else a try. I might as well try that. Let us know if you see a difference!

  13. Yay for gels!! I just cracked open my dusty box too with a 9 miler this past weekend. I really do think we are twins sometimes (except I’m the slower one). 😉 I’ve been adjusting my expectations every minute but I think I have it down now. Just happy to be back out, feeling about 96.35%, even as I pick up the pace, hit my goals for speed workouts, and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Happy Training, Happy race!!

  14. I’m so excited you’ll be in Vegas! This will be my first RnR series half, and I can’t wait! I look forward to seeing you there, and am so happy you’re up to the task of training again! (I’m on pins and needles for the book :))

    1. You’re so cute, Sally. Thanks. And way to jump in with both feet, taking on Vegas for your first RnR. We got initiated in Nashville.

  15. Back in the saddle again!! You two MUST dress-up for Vegas. Cannot wait to hear about the matchy-matchy boas, fish nets and sparkle skirts! Thankfully you can skip the stiletto heels!

    1. Oooooh, fishnets: What Pandora’s box have I opened!? I fear Dim and I might look like drag queens as we hustle down the Strip…”;>)

  16. I’ve been injured since the beginning of June (following a wonderful half marathon) and am finally back up to 5.5 miles without pain. It is amazing how quickly your mind slips into thoughts of what might not be possible again. Coming back is DEFINITELY about reframing your expectations of the training + the race! Good luck!

    1. Really well put, Holly. Honestly, it’s almost impossible to fathom the distances or speeds I used to punch out. I mean, I’m no Kara or Paula, but I was proud of where I was. For now, I’m just happy to be covering more ground.

    1. Look at you, following my tweets. Yes, Brooks sent me a pair to test. But, in all honesty, I’m going to run in my trusty shoes until I’m sure I’m out of the woods. Then I will try minimalist.

  17. Not that I would ever wish a stress fx on anyone, but when I had my MRI to rule one out in my iliac crest and it turned out to be muscular, I was torn between relief it wasn’t and “now I’m screwed, this could take forever to heal!”
    It seems like you have been a model patient at recovering so far, so maybe don’t run in the heels….. 🙂
    Congrats on cracking open the box of gels!

  18. Good for you! Everybody’s “square one” looks different and you might feel like you’re there but to a new)ish) runner like me you’re lightyears ahead!

  19. I’ve been waiting for this post!

    I am paralleling your progress except I am older and have less speed. My first thought when my x-ray came back showing a heal spur caused by PF was, “why couldn’t it have been a stress fracture?” I am pacified to know that you too are feeling trepidation about building back.

    Slow and steady, I logged my first 7 miler yesterday – still pain free!

  20. Way to go, SBS! Instead of killing yourself with a time goal, I think your goal should be to keep those fancy feathers straight on your head. And when exactly in your training do you switch to the pumps?


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