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A Collection of Really Hard Workouts

Hey niggles!

Ok, we are officially changing that word.   It's just as bad as if it were faggle.  Henceforth, the term shall be....horcrux.  No....that sounds like it should be for a permanent terrible injury.  How about...you help me.  New word, please.

Update on my niggle/horcrux/______: I took 3 days off running, at which point nothing really seemed to be changing, and so I did the brilliant thing and tried to run anyway. A little pain in the front of my right hip (what used to be the good hip), kind of feels like I just need to punch my hip back into place.  I've run twice now, and I tend to feel fine enough after about a mile of gentle warming up.  Only slow runs, nothing close to the tempo run I was hoping for this week. Buuuuut, something seems off.  Definitely a little off.

Anyway, in a paranoid and hopeless state, I googled the eff out of femoral neck stress fractures and other sad things.  I have no idea what a normal amount of running pain is anymore.  This could be a minor muscle strain, or a stress fracture, I have no idea.  I further self-diagnosed by buttcrease issue by reading Inspirunning's blog, and am convinced my chronic left buttcrease pain is sciatic neuralgia.  But if that was it, wouldn't my chiropractor's ART sessions have made progress?  Wouldn't I have experienced some back pain?

I'm frankly just overwhelmed.  There is too much.  Too much advice, too many possible diagnoses, too many unknowns, too many homework assignments.  I'm supposed to do yoga, and stretch, and strength train, and swim, and foam roll, and stand up more, and take this supplement, and take that supplement, and visit your chiropractor, and visit your physical therapist, and get an x-ray, and get an MRI or an MRA, and put my butt on a tennis ball, and run less, or run not at all (fuck that).  There are so many specific stretches and exercises.  I can't keep them all straight.  I have no idea what to do, I have no steady regimen, and the more options that get thrown at me, the more I don't want to do any of them (classic decision hater.  That's me).

Kind of makes me wonder how much I really care to fix it.  The more homework I hear about, the more I just want to simply run.  So simple.  Just turn off all the advice, and simply run.  Or simply not run.  I don't want to touch this complicated long list of homework.

My butt is pretty much made of steel by now.  Or so I think.  I've done all the bridges and donkey kicks that were asked of me.  No real change in the buttcrease pain, which just kind of comes and goes while running.

So just to be clear: not officially injured, still able to run long miles comfortably, still something seemingly wrong with my hip/butt system, now sadly effecting the front of my right hip.

*****

While I'm wasting away not running, I like to think about all those workouts I could be doing and have wanted to do but am not doing.

I invite you to: A Collection of Hard Runs to Try if You Dare.

I marked a lot of these from magazines, overheard them, or made them up.  They are all intensely difficult sounding, so I would be ecstatic to accomplish just two of these before a goal marathon.


  • I think courtesy of Kara Goucher: 5 mile tempo at marathon pace, followed by 5x1 mile repeats at half marathon pace, followed by 5 mile tempo at marathon pace.  (I will most likely never, ever, ever succeed at this.  Even getting through the first 2/3 would be amazing).
  • 15 miles at or close to marathon pace.  (This one might be overkill, but sounds fun and hard.  I would have to do it on a treadmill, I can't focus on pace for that long in a non-race atmosphere.  Nowhere near able to do this right now, but I think it's doable one day).
  • 16 mile long run, with 3 miles at faster than race pace.
  • 3x3 miles at half marathon pace-to-10 seconds faster.
  • 5x1 mile at [specific to me] under 6:00 minutes each. (this should be attainable for me soon....if I stay healthy...)
  • On a long run, sprint for the first minute of each mile AFTER you hit the one hour mark.  (I've done this before, it is not all that hard, but fun!).
  • Run one mile at 30 seconds faster than goal marathon pace, then one mile at 30 seconds slower than goal marathon pace; repeat 4 times. 
  • 2x6 miles at 10 seconds faster than goal marathon pace, 10 minute recovery jog in between.  (ouch ouch ouch! Love it!)
  • 1x1600m; 2x1200m; 3x800m; 4x400m; 5x200m; 6x100m.
  • 12x400 at [specific to me] under 80 seconds.

What would you add to this list?  Have you ever hammered out one of these?

*****

My few miles this week have been with the Nike Air Pegasus 29.  In this color, since they didn't have black in my size.

"night blue"


Looks like purple to me in real life.  Pretty confusing, but the box says "night blue."

Not my feet, too lazy to take a picture, but these are the "night blue" in all their purple glory.  source

I bought them because I am hunting for a marathon shoe.  Or a great training shoe.  I don't "love" any shoe right now, none, all are just fine or whatever.  I tried these on and couldn't help it, they had to be mine.  They had to $100-Nike-style, never-ever-goes-on-sale-ever, be mine.   I do NOT consider myself a Nike girl -- I've always been resistant, ever since high school, since my mom taught me that you only buy things on sale.  I'm not yet convinced that they are an excellent running shoe maker, but they do have a knack for making the try-on experience so comfortable that you end up buying them.

They feel similar to the Nike Free's I have been wearing about once/week since the spring especially in terms of the glove-like fit, but with significantly more cushioning.  This is a plus for me, since my feet arches tend to sometimes get sore after wearing the Nike Free's on a hard run.

Since purchasing them, I haven't run hard or fast or long.  I did give them a whirl for a 13 mile run, and they really are plush and comfortable, not much stability, based on my phony understanding of the term.  No complaints yet.  If they seem to hold up to a little bit of speed, and a 20 miler, they may very well be my new marathon shoes.