Keli and Erin, running buddies living in different time zones, update us on the struggles of overcoming injuries, fighting road blocks of illnesses (both mom and kids), and supporting each other across the miles.
1. Have you experienced any "aha!" moments, (successes) in the virtual 5K?
E: I'm coming back from an injury and haven't run more than six miles in one stretch since November (when I PR'd a half marathon with the TLAM Own It plan). It's been a struggle to not compare where I am now to where I was then, but I managed really good, strong runs with the six and seven mile runs in week four and week five of the 5K Own It plan. For the first time since being injured, I’ve really started to feel like I’m getting some of my endurance back.
K: I recently started listening to the AMR podcast each week to mix things up a bit, and I downloaded an old episode called "Tips for Newbie-and Returning Injured-Runners." In this episode, Dimity made a statement that really stuck with me. She said, "I'd rather run forever than run one race," and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I finally had a great week of training, and I felt like I could just run and run and go full speed and sign up for a half-marathon and do ALL THE MILES, but her statement brought me back to the reality that I had a somewhat exhausting pregnancy, I had a 10-lb baby, and I just got back into running on a regular basis, so I need to give myself time to build back up.
2. What is your biggest motivator to lace up and hit the pavement?
E: I followed this plan a year ago and it helped me achieve my first ever official sub-30 5K. Although I can run that now, I want to regain what I lost post-injury without re-injuring myself and this is the perfect way to do it. I'm logging a decent amount of miles each week without going overboard. I can feel myself getting stronger and that definitely keeps me going.
K: My health. I have so much more energy and clarity when I'm working out regularly and I just feel so much better. [Having shorts weather right around the corner doesn't hurt.]
3. Any potholes in the road that have interrupted your training (injuries, frustrations, lack of motivation)?
E: Week 3 was a disaster. The stomach flu was making the rounds through my house and I managed to get one run in that week before it hit me, too. The rest of the week was a wash because I was too sick and then too dehydrated to run. The lingering Midwest winter has also been a bit frustrating. It was finally mid-40s this week, so I got to wear a tank top and capris and not feel like I was getting frostbite, but it's been cold up until now! On the first day of spring, I was doing 400 repeats in 5 degrees with 20 mile per hour wind gusts. I was questioning my sanity a bit that day.
K: The first few weeks were a constant barrage of sick kids and I was starting to wonder if I could ever get back into a routine. Also, having a baby who still relies on me for most of his nourishment turns each day into a question of whether or not I can even get out the door that morning, but I have a great husband and partner, so that definitely helps.
4. How have you both encouraged/supported each other during the virtual 5K?
E: Doing this with Keli has been such a huge support. There have been so many mornings that I've wanted to ignore that 4:30 alarm, but I know that she's "waiting" on the other end of the phone. I definitely feel like if I don't get out of bed, I'm letting her down. She's also been my biggest cheering section. She knows I'm frustrated at my lack of speed on shorter distances right now, post-injury, so she's been the first to point out that my speed on longer distances has been great, as well as my endurance. Basically, she's been the positive voice that I should be for myself!
K: Erin has been so supportive! Getting out of bed is always easier when I know that she's on the other end of the phone waiting for me to get up and run. On days that I don't really feel like I did that well or when I'm feeling discouraged about my pace or lack of distance, she is always there to remind me of how far I've come and encourage me to just keep running.
5. Do you plan on making changes to continue with your training or is it all smooth road from here?
E: I'm afraid to jinx myself and say that it's all smooth road from here, so I'll just say that so far, it looks like I shouldn't have to change anything and I hope it continues that way.
K: I am really pleased with my training right now - I do 2 mornings of boot camp as cross-training, and then I run 3 mornings a week. I am hoping to continue with this schedule, but as any mother runner knows, nothing is guaranteed when there are kids involved. 😉