why I ran a half marathon on a treadmill and dealing with running injuries.

I am so glad to be back home after a whirlwind week or so of traveling.  I felt like I was all over the place jetting from NJ to Boston to Chicago to Boston to NJ.  Pulling in to my driveway yesterday, my house seemed like an oasis where I could just plant myself and not have to move…until next week when I’m going to Dallas for work (you can’t win em all).  I had a great time visiting my family and friends though and wish that I could have stayed just a little bit longer.

One of the things that I’m most proud of during the traveling was sticking to my vow of keeping my workouts consistent.  I took no unplanned rest days, but tailored my workouts to be quicker and more efficient so I could spend more time with my loved ones.  I also tried to go out and do some moving activities with my family just so we weren’t planted in front of the TV all day.  This included going bowling, walking around the city, and, my personal favorite, hitting up Brookfield Zoo for Zoo Lights!

Here’s my wonderful boyfriend, my brother and me comparing our heights with dolphins.  I am proudly one dolphin calf high.

image1 (11)

Zoo Lights is basically where they open the Zoo at night and decorate it with fantastic Christmas lights and have holiday activities all over the place and it’s amazing.  If you have Zoo Lights near you, you’re going next year.  I just decided for you.

When I got back from all the traveling and Zoo Lighting, I knew I had to get back in the game and hit it hard.  Enter me running a half marathon on a treadmill today.


I love treadmill running.  I know treadmills can get a bad rap, but I consider them to be a God send.  I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit of a control freak.  I am very particular and the treadmill lets me feed my urge to have everything just the way I like it.  I can control the speed and see it right there in front of my face.  There are no unexpected hills that I didn’t punch in myself.  Wind, darkness, weather, and getting lost are non-issues.  I love it.

But my want to run a half marathon on a treadmill was more so for my own personal gain more than anything else.  I have been running for a long. time.  I started slowly with a mile here and there at about a ten minute pace my freshmen year of college.  I knew running was supposed to be good for you and I already liked working out, so the treadmill was just an easy option when I was at the gym.  As the years progressed, I ran a little bit farther and a little bit faster.  I peaked at 10 miles two years ago.  Then, like every other time I had ever tried to up my distance, I got injured.  I’ve injured my foot, I’ve injured my IT band, I’ve injured my knee, I’ve injured my butt.  Name a running injury and I’ve probably gotten it.  But this time around, I was determined to actually do it without getting injured just to say I did it.

Last year at this time, I had been running 4 days a week 4-5 miles a day consistently.  Then I would usually follow that up with some ellipticalling or biking and then head home.  No stretching.  No weights.  Well, that’s a recipe for disaster.  I hurt something in my bum (I tweaked my piriformis muscle, I soon learned. If this has ever happened to you, you know the pain) and I pretty much couldn’t walk, let alone run for a little over a month.  This meant that my beloved daily gym plans were dashed.  But, I still went to the gym and I just played around with weights and on machines for an hour until I ruled I was allowed to go home.

I eventually got better and came back swinging, but I was a little nervous to start running hard again because it seemed like every single time I tried to run far, I ended up getting injured and having to back away.  So, I focused on getting stronger.  I dove into Kayla Itsines’s BBG guide and started building muscle and using it as cross training to supplement my running.  I would run every other day and the days I wasn’t running, I would do one of these workouts (or rest BECAUSE THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT I’M SERIOUS).

After I had completed three rounds of her guides, I was a little burnt out and looking for a new kind of challenge.  I decided to get back to my old love of running.  Instead of doing 4 miles every other day, I was going to vary my speeds and distances and finally hit that half marathon out of the park.

I did it on a treadmill because that’s where I feel most comfortable and I have a strong base there.  I did it on a treadmill because I had tried so many times before and failed.  I did it on a treadmill because I just needed to prove to myself that I could do it.

And I did.  I finished in 1 hour 42 minutes and 55 seconds.  And I hated a whole lot of it.  But I loved a whole lot of it to because now I can say that I have run a half marathon.

My new year’s resolution is to run smarter, which means I’m going to try and run more outside.  But, now I know what my body is capable of.  I know that I can run a half marathon if I want to and if I treat my body right, it will pay me back with accomplishments like this.



pacing, pacing, pacing. junk miles vs. easy miles.

I’m starting to learn more and more about all the terrible things I’m doing while running these days.  My boyfriend was a collegiate runner and has made fun of me for years for running what he deems “junk miles”.  I used to scoff and him and think, “I’m in totally great running shape!  I run 4 quick miles every other day and I’m just getting faster!”.  Except I was wrong.  I know, I know I’m admitting I’m wrong and that’s a very hard thing to do but it’s also a very true thing!

Junk Miles: miles run at the same pace and the same distance every time you go out for a run.

Easy Miles: miles run at a comfortable, conversational pace.

If I keep running the same four miles every other day at the same pace for the rest of my life, where is that going to get me?  Three-quarters past nowhere.  I knew I needed to change things up and started reading some more and more info on the importance of easy runs, which were a total foreign concept to me.


image1 (10)

So why are easy runs important?

Even elite runners schedule in easy runs as part of their training.  Some of the fastest 5k runners with times of 14:30 and 15:12 pace their easy runs at 8:30 per mile.  Um.  Wow.  I never would have expected that in a million years.  So why does this work?

On easy days, you’re activating your slow-twitch muscle fibers. You are training the mitochondria and capillaries within them to better use oxygen and increase blood flow.  The easy runs are the building blocks for the more intense runs.  If you continually run at the same pace every time you go out there, you’re never going to get any better and will just coast.  To see improvement in speed and fitness, you need to challenge yourself even if that challenging thing is going slower than you ever anticipated.

Need help deciding which pace is right for you?  Look no further than the calculator here: https://www.mcmillanrunning.com/

One of my new year’s resolutions this year is to run smarter.  I’m going to focus on pacing, form, and varying my workout types and really trying to get out and run in more unique places.  It’s time for a change & I’m pretty darn excited.