I hope your week is going great so far and you’re gearing up for a weekend of FUN!
I’ve been knee deep (literally!) in training for the Dopey Challenge. I can’t believe its’ only 7 weeks away already…EEK!! This week I received our hotel confirmation in the mail (we’re staying at the Art of Animation) along with a flash drive that is supposed to go along with this whole new MyMagic+ thing that Disney is doing now. It all looks pretty interesting but I haven’t had a chance to go through it all yet.
Last weekend was the first time I did two long runs back to back and I’m not quite sure I was ready for that. Saturday I did 12 miles by my house and then on Sunday I did 18 miles at Kensington Metropark with my running buddy Carrie (it’s kinda her fault that I got roped into doing the Dopey Challenge in the first place!)
I could tell by mile 10 on Sunday that I was going to be in trouble. Near mile 11 I even told Carrie that I wasn’t quite sure I was gonna make it and might need to head back to the car.
However, being the supportive running partner that she is, she convinced me to go a little bit farther and I was able to shuffle through the mental block that always seems to manifest itself at least once during a 13+ mile run. Even so, I experienced a strange feeling on the outside of my left knee that I never felt before. Near the end of the 18 miles it was especially noticeable when I was going downhill. However, once our 18-mile trek on foot was complete, we headed on to Cracker Barrel (using automobile transportation) and some French Toast in my belly quickly made all the pain go away! It’s funny how that works sometimes.
Based on some research I did with Dr. Google, I learned the strange feeling I experienced was some trouble I was having with my IT band. It is pretty common with runners that are piling on the miles. (genetics and the way your body is put together can also play a factor) It’s SO common in fact that the condition is also known as “Runner’s knee.” I was able to find some stretches that really helped as well as some tips on how to use a rolling pin to work out the kinks and it’s feeling much better now even after the 4 miles I did yesterday. I think I will have a new ritual now before and after my runs to prevent future problems.
I’m also continuing to use the run/walk/run method for my long training runs as it seems to help with my recovery. I’m stuck on the same intervals I used for the Free Press Marathon, run 1 mile and then walk 30 seconds. But now that I’m doing long runs back to back I may need to switch things up a bit and maybe walk 30 seconds every 0.5 mile or every 5 minutes instead.
And I am SUPER excited about my RRCA running coach certification class in Ann Arbor this weekend! It will be two days of intense training with other running geeks just like me! This is one of those decisions I made a few months ago that was sort of a leap of faith but I know it will be a great experience and I can’t wait to share all the knowledge with others. I’ve already signed up for my First Aid and CPR class which is also a requirement in order to receive the certification. So that will be another fun experience too!
I also wanted to share one of my favorite new recipes with you. This is great for meal prepping because you can make an entire batch of this early in the week and then use it as a side dish or add some chicken, beans, spinach, etc. to make it a main course.
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked
1 cup salsa (the Mango Peach variety from Costco is SUPER good with this!)
1 medium sweet potato, cut into cubes and steamed
Depending on what salsa you use you may need to add some other seasonings like salt, pepper, parsley, cilantro, etc. or whatever else you like but with the Mango Peach salsa I find that it doesn’t need anything else!
Mix all the ingredients together and you’re done! This is yummy whether you eat it cold or warmed up. The first night my husband and I ate this as a side dish with some salmon and green beans. And then the second day I add some shredded chicken breasts, toasted cashews, and served it over fresh spinach for a SUPER yummy salad!! I need to make some more this week, just so we can have it again!!