Tag Archives: fitness

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger


After my undoing at the Vermont City Marathon a little over a week ago, I jumped immediately into “fix it” mode.  I confirmed with my regular doctor that nothing was torn, broken or ruptured and got a prescription for physical therapy.  Great!  So I headed to the physical therapist two days later for an initial consult. Verdict? Too flexible of a lumbar with hips that are “inappropriately” tight and weak for the kinds of activities I like to engage in (ie: running marathons).  I also got the okay to do any and everything that doesn’t hurt, including running up to five miles at a time.

Feeling positive, but not ready to jump into anything just yet, I gave myself the rest of Thursday and all of Friday to rest and heal more.  By Saturday, I was desperate to sweat, so I downloaded a podcast from a spin class and jumped on my bike that’s hooked up to an indoor trainer in the basement (so I could easily abort mission if all the figurative wheels fell off), and, had a great, sweaty, pain-free ride.

The next morning, despite the climbing temperature, I made my way outside donning my running sneakers. Nervous, I breathed in deep, and took off at a VERY slow pace down my street. Knee felt tight, I noted, but not painful.  Hopeful, I kept going. I made it a little over a mile before the pain set in again and I had to shut it down. I turned around to walk home and it only took about a minute of walking before the pain and tightness subsided. I had a tiny bit of residual soreness for the rest of the day, but woke up Monday no worse for the wear.

So what’s on the schedule for workouts this week?

Hello, old friends. Source

Hello, old friends.

Monday — first real physical therapy appointment.

Tuesday — another spin podcast; arms + abs + PT homework

Wednesday — going to give the Harvard Stadium stairs a shot and see how I feel! Yoga and more PT homework in the evening.

Thursday — outdoor bike ride; second PT appointment

Friday — test run again (worse comes to worse, I get a good walk in); PT homework, abs and arms

Saturday — hot yoga class + PT homework

Sunday — short run if Friday went okay OR a long bike ride


Although I am still disappointed about how my race went down and I, of course, dislike not being able to run, I’m counting this injury as a blessing in disguise. Even though I’m fairly decent about warming up and cooling down from runs and doing some strength training, I know I haven’t been as good about as I *should* be and this is forcing me to really get back to basics, to really think about training in order to run instead of running in order to train.  A couple years ago when I was seeing a personal trainer once a week and working on strength and balance stuff really regularly, I was a much better athlete overall (not to mention, more toned and with less extra fluff).  I’ve needed to reconnect with that version of Rachel for awhile now, and, while I wouldn’t necessarily have selected injury as the path to get there, at least I’m working down that path. In the space I have without running my life at the moment, I have the time to retrain my body properly, to build the strength I so clearly lack, and to make all these PT and strength routines that will help me stay in a less-injured state later on a daily habit.  Bring it on.




Move it!


Since I decided to talk about all of the food I’ve been eating on Fridays, I thought it might be appropriate to balance that out with a weekly work-out post. This might end up going a different direction each week, but it will probably include a recap of workouts from the past week as well as some goals for the current week.

This past week was the first week of my marathon taper, so there was a little bit less intensity involved, but overall still a solid week of training. My week looked like this:

Monday: Ran 5 easy miles in the evening.

Tuesday: Made it a lunch run since I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Got in 7 and change.

Wednesday: November Project! I love meeting friends early in the morning to tackle the Harvard Stadium Sections. If you haven’t done it, you should try it, or one of the other November Project Workouts!

I completed a "full tour," which is up and down all 37 sections!

I completed a “full tour,” which is up and down all 37 sections!

Thursday: I was going to go for a leisurely bike ride, but ended up taking a 3 mile walk with A and our dog, Klezmer,  in the morning since we both woke before the alarm. I want to do this more often — it was such a lovely and relaxing way to start the day together.

Friday: Hit up November Project again for some hill repeats. I curse these the entire time I do them, but I know they make me stronger!

Saturday: Met up with friends for a long run through Boston. I had 15 to complete and ended up with 16 miles for the day instead. We also ran a 5k in the middle, which was nice to get some faster, Marathon Pace miles in the middle of a long workout. Rain held out, too, which I was thankful for. One long run in the pouring rain is quite enough for one training cycle, thank you.

Me, looking chubby, Rosa and Janice. Trish is taking our picture!

Me, looking chubby, Rosa and Janice. Trish is taking our picture!

Sunday: Since A’s mom was staying with us Saturday evening, and we were indulging in a lovely brunch (it came out delicious!) a little later in the morning, I signed myself, her and A up for a morning spin class. So, so, so glad we did this. I always forget how much I LOVE these classes and definitely want to incorporate them more into my weeks!

This week  will probably be a lot of easy miles as well, since the Vermont City Marathon is right around the corner! The extra time will be used to sleep in, study for my Orgo final and indulge in a little downtime. I might try to catch a yoga class or at least do a yoga podcast at home once or twice to facilitate getting my tired body healed, rested and ready for 26.2!

How were your workouts last week? What are your goals for this week?