A Running Update and Getting Through This Mid-Winter Slump

I’ve barely been able to find time to recap all of my recent travels, but there is real life happening in between the adventures, I swear! Here’s a little update:

Running…has not been going so well. I am still (still!) dealing with my IT-band injury in my left leg. This has been going on since the end of August, and I started seeing a physical therapist in November but honestly that hasn’t seemed to help much. I saw a private one a few times while I was waiting to see a free one through the UK’s National Health Service, and I stopped seeing the private one (because I am a poor grad student) but the NHS one will only see me every 6-7 weeks…yeah. Not so helpful. I’m also giving sports acupuncture a try. Who knows…at this point I’m willing to try anything!

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So, as you might imagine, Paris Marathon training is not really happening. I was holding out hope that I could still run/walk the race, but now I’m starting to give up on that idea. Despite a few recent runs that made me feel optimistic – I ran 7 miles the weekend before last, my longest run since October! – it’s pretty much been a very disappointing 6 months on the running front. I already have my train ticket to Paris in April and am planning on staying with my friend from college who lives there and is also running the race, but it just might break my heart to be there and not be running…to be continued.

One of my Christmas presents was this great MARATHONER sweatshirt from Sarah Marie Design Studio…I’ve been wearing it a lot lately, to remind me that this injury won’t last forever (fingers crossed) and that once a marathoner, always a marathoner!

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I recently got to try a few clothes from JD Williams, a UK-based clothing store. They let me pick two items from their ladies sportswear collection, and I chose a Nike sweatshirt and leggings.

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I love the leggings and liked the sweatshirt, but it was really too big – and I got the smallest size they sold. The leggings actually fit pretty well, although they are still a bit long. But I’m pretty short!

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Doing yoga bridges to strengthen my weak glutes…possibly the cause of my IT-band injury.

The leggings are 92% cotton so I would only wear them for yoga or short runs (or just hanging out) rather than a longer run, where I would go for a more spandex-type material instead.

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I was also recently sent a copy of The Endurance Diet by Matt Fitzgerald to read and review. I’m always interested in new perspectives in sports nutrition, and even though I’m not doing any long distance running right now (sadly) it was still very interesting to read!

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The book centers around the five key habits of nearly all of the endurance athletes that Fitzgerald included in his research:

  1. Eat everything
  2. Eat quality
  3. Eat carb-centered
  4. Eat enough
  5. Eat individually

That’s the general overview; he goes into great detail about each of these rules. For example, “eat everything” doesn’t mean stuff yourself with cake every night. (Oops.)

It means that you should regularly eat foods from all six basic categories of natural whole foods: vegetables/legumes, fruits, nuts/seeds/healthy oils, unprocessed meat and seafood, whole grains, and dairy. You can of course indulge in sugary treats, refined grains, processed meats, and fried foods, but in small portions. (Oops.)

Another thing I found really interesting was the 80/20 rule. (This one doesn’t actually apply to food – although I bet you can apply the “eat everything” rule to 80% whole foods, 20% refined foods.) It refers to training intensity. Endurance athletes spend about 80% of their total training time doing low intensity workouts, and 20% at a moderate to high intensity. Most recreational athletes don’t apply this principal. (Maybe this is why we they get injured…)

If you’re interested in sports nutrition, this is a great read. There are even some recipes in the back!


Aside from running, school has been busy and stressful, and London weather has been crappy to say the least, but I’ve been trying to enjoy the good parts about being here, despite the mid-winter slump. I don’t talk about the more difficult aspects of living abroad very much, but believe me, they’re there. I just generally assume that anyone who reads this blog (hi Mom & Dad!) mostly wants to hear about the fun traveling and running adventures, but if you’re dying to hear about the travails of being a grad student abroad…well, just give me a shout.

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Only three and a half weeks until my next school break…not that I’m counting!

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I received the Nike sweatshirt, Nike leggings, and book free in exchange for a review. All opinions are, of course, my own. The Marathoner sweatshirt wasn’t given to me for free, I just love it that much!

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