Here Comes The Pain Again

OK gang, I’m excited! So excited that I’ve been pushing the speed a little too much since last Thursday. The result: An angry left shin. But I’m confident that it won’t prevent me from finishing Boston—in 4 days!

This morning I attempted to do four 1-mile repeats at race pace, but I’m so keyed up that I was about 10 seconds too fast. To circumvent the post-run throbbing in my shin I tried something new; I pulled on a pair of Vitalsox Performance Graduated Compression socks (seen here in this lovely photo provided by the company). One run certainly isn’t a scientific study, but I think these things really do stimulate circulation and improve muscle recovery—my legs felt springier, and my feet were super comfy.

And even though they make me look more like a soccer player than a runner, I’m planning to wear them on the big day. My marathon photos will all be keepers!

Countdown to the Boston Marathon: 4 days!

Have you ever tried compression socks? Are you as psyched as I am for Monday?

Originally posted in Running With It on Shape.com.

I Have A Confession To Make: I’ve Been Juicing

And I think it’s helping me run faster. It started innocently enough when I met my friend Andy at Blue Dog Café in NYC last week. I walked into the sandwich and smoothie shop and he handed me a bottle of fresh pressed juice. Andy knew I had been under the weather, and I’m sure he just wanted to help. Little did he know I was addicted at first sip.

The juice tickled my taste buds with apple, lemon, cayenne pepper, double ginger and something they call “immunity elixir,” and my sinuses were instantly open! Before leaving the café, I loaded up on Knight In Armor and two other blends: All Greens Plus (a mix of cucumber, celery, parsley, romaine, spinach, kale, apple, lemon, and ginger that’s surprisingly tastier than you’d think it would be) and Rejuvinator (a combo of carrot, beet, coco water, and lemon that leaves me feeling energized). After drinking them between meals, I kicked my cold and had some really great workouts—the mile repeats last Thursday and a really strong 10K race in Central Park yesterday. And now I’m jonesing for more juice.

Countdown to the Boston Marathon: 7 days!

Have you ever tried drinking your veggies? Do you have a juicer at home? What helps you feel revved up?

Originally posted in Running With It on Shape.com.

In The Home, Stretch

Last night I was planning to do a few mile repeats at my marathon goal pace, but my legs felt like going faster so I went with it. I crushed those miles, running over a minute faster than planned! It felt incredible to push my body hard and realize I didn’t lose any speed over the past few flu-induced easy weeks. But my legs were a little stiff this morning, so I spent some time stretching on my living room floor.

Experts still can’t agree on whether or not stretching reduces a runner’s risk of injury, and no one can give me a straight answer on when to do it—before a run or after? But it feels good and I like to incorporate it into my routine on mornings when I’m not doing cardio. I prefer active stretching, using a yoga flow technique that keeps my muscles moving—as opposed to just reaching and holding, which can lead to cramps. A couple of sun salutations and a pigeon pose or two really works out the tightness in my quads, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors.

For those of you who read yesterday’s postand are now wondering if I wear underwear when I stretch at home: Yes, I do. But that’s all I have on. Yoga is about moving freely, and clothes just get in the way. ;)

Countdown to the Boston Marathon: 10 days!

What are your favorite stretches? Have you ever tried yoga?

Originally posted in Running With It on Shape.com.