TotR: Race Etiquette

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time to link up with April, Patty and Erika for another edition of Tuesdays on the Run. This week’s topic: race etiquette.


There are actually a fair amount of rules that apply to runners whether race or just going for a casual jog around the block.  For this post, I’m just pinpointing four annoying runner behaviors that I notice most often at races.

1. First of all, let’s talk about lining up at the start. Most runners get it: the faster runners are in the front and then it tapers back eventually to those who are walking.

I lot of the bigger races have roped off corrals and color coded bibs or corral assignments on their bibs which helps enforce where a runner lines up.

Some other races just have you placing yourself into the corral based on mile time posters posted at certain points.  There are always a few special runners who are, let’s say a 10 minute per mile runner that things they belong at the front of the pack with the 7 and under minute per mile runners.  Not cool.

Now if a race doesn’t have any corrals and you have no clue just remember: faster runners in the front, slower toward the back.

2.. Coming to a dead stop on the race course. It’s fine if you have to stop to walk or just slow down your run, but please make sure there is not a faster runner behind you that you are going to trip up in the process. Maintain your speed and move over to the right side then slow down.

3.  Running with ALL YOUR FRIENDS…..RIGHT NEXT TO ONE ANOTHER creating a human wall of 5-6 people making it impossible to pass. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Running with your friends in a group is just fine, but let’s keep it to two abreast so others can pass!

4.  And lastly, let’s make sure we pay attention to see if others are around before you hock that loogie up and out. It’s just rude and disgusting.

For some official race/running ettiqute, visit the Road Runners Club of America website:

Have a great day!

This Week’s Workouts

After taking a full week off from activity (except for stretching), I’m ready to hit the deep end of the pool and do some strength training for the start of my return to running program.

This week includes:

4 pool running sessions

3 strength training sessions (like, going back to basics here people + Pilates for core work)

2 days of flexibility training (yoga/stretching)

1 bike ride–I’m allowed to do this as long as it doesn’t cause pain

I’m also allowed to go on walks with the dogs as long as I am wearing “supportive shoes” none of that “minimalist sh*t” —-> exact words from the doc.

Dr. S pointed me in the direction of some good return to running plans, and I chose a four-phase plan from William & Mary (a local college). I chose this plan because it was easy to follow, and had specific guidelines for moving onto the next phase and also warning signs of “you’re not ready to move on.”

I have my planner set up by phase, this is considered week 2 since week 1 was just rest.


The program is not based on a timeline of “you should be here by this date,” it definitely can be personalized based on the type of injury and the athlete. I mapped out a very conservative plan, which gives more than enough time for each phase of recovery, which means I should be fully back to running comfortably (without walk/running intervals) by the week of Christmas (Merry Christmas to me J). It seems like a long ways away, but it will be well worth it when I’m able to run pain-free and finally get out of my slow running/injury rut!

But before I can even think about hitting the pavement, I have three weeks of pool running to suffer get through!


Friday Five: Favorite Fuels for Running (and Swimming and Biking!)

I may be out of the running game for 6 weeks, but it doesn’t mean I’m not gonna talk about it :)  I’m linking up with my favorite DC bloggers: Mar, Cynthia and Courtney to talk about my favorite running fuels.


I have a very sensitive stomach, so I am super-picky about what I eat when I’m on the move.  I tend to gravitate more toward “real foods” than gels and hope to experiment more with different foods this next year.

1.  Nuun.  I love a good Nuun tab in my water bottle, especially in the summer.  The flavor is subtle, refreshing and not too sweet.  My favorite flavor is Tri Berry.

2.  PB and J squares.  Yep, on a long run or ride I like to reach for a mini PB and J square.  Messy?  Yes, but its the perfect balance of carbs and protein to get me through a long workout without upsetting my stomach.  I put a square in a little sandwich baggie in the zip pocket of my shorts to transport it on the run.

3.  Grapes.  The are natures Shot Blocks, but for me, easier on the stomach.  They are perfectly portable packages of simple carbs to fuel your workout.

4.  I only tried this once during a race and thankfully it did not destroy me:  cantaloupe.  It was around mile 11 or so of the RnR VA Beach Half in 2011 and I was suffering from some major leg cramps.  Cantaloupe has a high level of potassium and water content (and a little bit of sodium), which helped with the cramps and hydrated me without giving me stomach cramps (as I had already experienced by downing a ton of water and Gatorade-like product).  I plan to somehow work this into my training plans next year…just unsure how to transport it!

5.  Gummy bears!  Nothing but sugar and they are super-portable (and inexpensive!).  Enough said.

There you have it, my choices for fueling my workouts!

What is your favorite way to fuel your workout?

Injury Update

The verdict is in:  I have a stress reaction in my right tibia–which means I’m out from running for 4-6 weeks, and Dr. S said closer to the 6 week mark than 4.

What is a stress reaction?

It is a bone injury that is the beginning stages of a stress fracture.  It takes about 4-6 weeks to heal properly, depending on the severity/symptoms (info obtained from Dr. S).

Dr. S basically diagnosed me by looking at my x-ray  (he saw something that looked like nothing to me) and evaluating my symptoms/injury timeline.

exhibit A

exhibit A

exhibit B…apparently Dr. S saw something in this one

exhibit B…apparently Dr. S saw something in this one

As soon as I got my diagnosis, I was relieved but disappointed.  I was honestly hoping for shin splints or something muscular that can be fixed with maybe 1-2 weeks off from running, but that definitely is not the case.  Life goes on, this isn’t the end of the world (or my running/triathlons).

The good news is that I don’t need to wear a clunky boot.  After evaluating me and my shoes, Dr. S basically said my shoes I wear to work are crap and they need to be more supportive–none of this minimalist junk (his words).  So that means I get to do some shoe shopping this weekend.  He recommended Danskos, which I have worn in the past and had a little knee funk with them, but he also gave me a  knee strengthening rehab plan to work on so I can wear better shoes.

The key to this injury is not jumping back in too soon, while trying to maintain my fitness.

My treatment plan is as follows:

1.  Pool run like it’s my job.  Four to five days a week for the next 4 weeks I’ll be hitting the deep end at the Y for some pool running fun.  Good thing my iPod is waterproofed…I will also be strength training and doing a Pilates dvd and yoga for core and flexibility.  I also get to ride my bike if it doesn’t cause any pain.



2.  After 4 weeks of pool running, then I move on to 2 weeks of “aggressive treadmill walking”—this is per my rehab plan.  I wasn’t sure what aggressive treadmill walking was, like do I walk with an angry face and throw air punches?  No, it turns out it’s just walking at a consistent fast speed for a given amount of time.  Also, at this time I will start doing “gentle pylometrics.”  It involves a lot of hopping.

3.  At the 6 week mark, I get to start a “return to running” program!  I was advised against doing the couch to 5K program because the run intervals were basically sprint intervals for me (I was averaging 7:30 pace for my run intervals, and it really should’ve been closer to 10).  I have a few plans picked out, but haven’t decided on one yet, because I have a little while till I need it–and yes, my calendar is marked for the exciting day.



Three more things:

1.  My eating habits.  I have slipped back into the I WANT ALL THE SUGAR way of eating and that has got to change.  I’m not going to go completely back not the 21 Day Sugar Detox, but definitely going to be more aware of what I’m eating instead of mindlessly eating a piece of candy here and there at work and ice cream after work.

2.  I get to start taking Calcium/Vitamin D supplement.  Yay for giant horse pills (the gummy vitamins are disgusting, I’d rather just take the pill).



3.  Really embracing this time off from running instead of whining about it.  Yes, I’ll be pool running, but since I’ll be at my gym I’ll throw in some strength training which has been very inconsistent.  I’ll also get to work on my swimming and cycling so I can improve those for next tri season.  It will also give me a chance to really strengthen my hips so my IT bands won’t act up anymore.

Needless to say, I will be deferring the Richmond 8K (I’ll still be there cheering on Tyler at the half) and the Harbor Lights 5K to 2015.  The Tacky Light Run in Richmond I still plan to do since it’s a fun run (it’s not one I planned on racing) and I can easily walk/run (depending on where I am in my return to run program) it and enjoy the Christmas lights and the runner’s costumes along the way.

So that’s all I’ve got for now.  There will not be a weekly workout post on Monday because there have been no workouts, but I’m thinking about doing posts on my eats and obviously pool running/other workouts throughout this time of no running.

Have a great day!


Weekly Workouts {9/29-10/4}

Good morning!  Here are my workouts from the past week, complete with another (possibly serious) setback…

Monday 9/29

Stretch and foam rolled before work, about 15 minutes.

Afterwork I hit the pavement for the start of C25K week 2, workout 1.  All three running workouts this week include a five minute warm up, followed by alternating intervals of 90 seconds running and 2 minutes walking, ending with a 5 minute cool down.


I finally broke 2.5 miles–my longest run since the triathlon.

Time: 30 minutes

Distance:  2.51

Pace: 11:56/mile

I am experiencing a little bit of tenderness in my right shin, but whenever I take a break from running I always get this for the first few weeks and then it disappears.  Nothing a pair of bright compression socks, Ibuprofen and ice can’t fix…..or so I thought….

post run relaxing with Delilah

post run relaxing with Delilah


Tuesday 9/30

Stretch and foam rolled before work, about 20 minutes.

On Tuesday at work, I consulted the same PA I talked to about returning to running and how to beat this IT band crap, and asked him about my shin.  He immediately thought shin splints until I gave him some more information.  He was concerned it was only one localized area on my right shin and not a generalized area bilaterally and let me know it could be either a stress reaction or even worse, fracture.  He gave me the okay to run as long as there is no discomfort, and to take NSAIDS and ice my leg regularly, and to follow up in one week.

Wednesday 10/1

As an experiment, I ran today after work.  I did the same workout as Monday and it wasn’t that pretty.

my running path

my running path

It was slower, more painful and left me fearing the worst:  a stress fracture.  So of course I scoured the internet looking for diagnostic tests I could do at home (this went on for days), looking at treatments and how long I would be out from running.   I proceeded to take the next three days off to see how my leg would respond to rest, ice and Aleve.

Nurse Cuey to the rescue!

Nurse Cuey to the rescue!


Thursday 10/2


Friday 10/3 


Saturday 10/4


Sunday 10/5

My leg was feeling okay (it usually does in the morning) so I just decided to to a quick test mile….that ended at just over the 1/2 mile marker.  My shin was throbbing but not any worse than previous runs.

I decided it was time to move my running to the pool until I got a diagnosis.  So I re-joined the YMCA to have access to deep water running and did my 3rd running workout of week 2 in the pool—-total of 30 minutes with a 5 minute warmup, faster running for 90 seconds alternating with 2 minutes of slower running, followed by 5 minute cool down.


**Lesson learned:  I should’ve stopped running after the first pain experience but as a runner who has run through so much more pain and a nurse who likes to self-diagnose and self-treat, I am just stubborn.  Yes, I know, those are lame excuses and I need to take care of my body if I want to continue to be active.  I’m planning to talk to the PA on Tuesday to see what the next step is, fingers crossed it’s a really bad case of shin splints!

How were your workouts last week?