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Finding My Strong

 

It’s no secret that I am a huge Saucony fan.

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These are the shoes in my current ‘rotation’. I use all of these at least one a week!

 

I love my running shoes. I have run previously in mainly Asics and Brooks, but my fire shoes (the orange ones) got me started with Saucony, and I haven’t looked back since! I am definitely a Saucony girl :)

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Saucony Endorphin LD3 (long distance track spikes), Saucony Grid Type A4 (racing flats), and two pairs of Saucony Kinvaras (my current regular training shoes).

 

What has made me fall in love with Saucony EVEN MORE is their new ad campaign: Find Your Strong. I love that. In case you haven’t seen it, this is their video:

“Is it muscle? Or is it something more? Is it measured in miles or milliseconds? Is it your best time or your worst day? Maybe strong is just what you have left when you’ve used up all your weak…”

 

On Wednesday night, I had to find my strong. I was signed up for a 2 mile track race, but on Sunday night my brother returned from a trip to Morocco, and brought back with him Moroccan Swine Flu. Everyone else is telling me that it’s just a bad cold, but I’m convinced it must be the flu ;) Either way, I’ve spent the last couple of days feeling not-so-great and basically being on total bed rest, but decided to try and race anyway. I’m great at making sensible decisions I know.

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My first evening race, my second ever track race, and my first two-miler!

 

I spoke to my coach on the phone before the race to catch him up with my situation and discuss my ‘plan’. We re-evaluated my goal for the day, and decided to shoot for sub-12 minutes, but he made it clear that if I was feeling worse during the race, that I had to drop out immediately. To be honest, unless a leg fell off, I would always try to finish, because I don’t want a DNF on my profile! Again, showing my rational thought processes here ;)

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My race was delayed by 45 minutes, so ended up starting at 8.15pm! By far my latest race! Even in the warm-up, I knew this was going to be a tough race. I was coughing and sneezing constantly, felt drained, and more than anything because my stomach was NOT happy. I hate making “excuses” and always try to think positive before races, but this was making me very nervous! I felt nauseous and had stomach cramps, and although I’ve always had stomach problems going into races, this was much worse than usual!The whole race was spent trying to focus on not throwing up. I considered pulling out about 1000x, but every time I thought about it, my brain responded with “FIND YOUR STRONG”. It was also tough because I was running alone. It was an ‘open’ meet, so I was running against men and women of all ages, and I was a good half a lap behind the guy in front of me.

 

As I turned the bend for the final time, I could see on the clock that it was going to be close. I pushed as hard as I could, and crossed the line in 11.59.40. “Is it measured in miles or milliseconds?” the Find Your Strong video asks, and in my case, strong is measured in those 20 milliseconds.

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I re-strained my gastrocnemius muscle in the last lap (so thankful it was only in the last lap!!) which hurt like heck, but it has been taped back up so it’s all good! The race physio gave me the most painful treatment I have ever had in my entire life (and I’ve had two surgeries…this was worse! :P) but made up for it by giving me a ‘prize’ for having the tightest calf muscles he’d ever seen:

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My prize haha!

 

I have always had a problem with having abnormally tight calf muscles no matter how well I stretch, which is why I keep straining it, so I’m going to start having a weekly massage with my team’s sports massage therapist on the physio’s suggestion. Thank goodness my team has one, because there’s no way I could afford to see one on a weekly basis!! Physio Guy said that the weekly massage should keep my calf muscles from getting as bad as they are now, and hopefully I shouldn’t ever strain them again yaay!

 

It was not the best race for me circumstantially, but I am proud of the way I pushed on, and happy with the time, especially given that it is the beginning of the season! I am excited to see what times I can achieve, but to reach my full potential, I know I have to work a few things out training-wise, and ESPECIALLY fuelling-wise! I have had bad stomach problems in almost every race I’ve run (I know that nerves play a huge part in this), and it’s affecting my performance and my confidence, so I need to keep trying to find something that will work for me. On Saturday, I did a Parkrun (free weekly timed 5k run) with a friend to pace her to a 21min 5k (she almost managed it, and we’re trying again this weekend!), and tried fuelling that with just a energy drink, but that didn’t work for me either! So this Saturday I am back to plain white rice (which worked) with a fruit smoothie…fingers crossed that works!

 

So the motto of the day is:
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P.S. I am not affiliated or associated with Saucony in any way…I just love them!!

P.P.S. I have no race photos yet, but will post them if any come my way!

 

Are you loyal to a certain brand for any reason? Funny, I remember asking this question on the blog a year ago and saying that I wasn’t! I ran in both Asics and Brooks at the time, but didn’t feel ‘loyal’ to either. But now, Saucony is my love!

 

Have you ever dropped out of a race during it? My second ever cross country race, where I was sick just five minutes in! I think I had food poisoning if I remember rightly but decided to race anyway…good judgement call there! :P

 

Have you ever had a sports massage/deep tissue massage? So. Unbelievably. Painful. But works so well!!

 

Have a great FRIDAY and weekend! <3

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26 Responses to Finding My Strong

  1. I love massages, especially after a hard race! :) they are expensive though that’s cool your team has one!! Hope that helps & love your attitude com way to push through .. Now when your recovered races will feel “easy” haha

  2. Now I’m nervous! I’m getting a sports massage after my 10k run on Sunday because I have a voucher so it’s free…. and I also tend to have tight calves. Can’t wait?!
    Loving your bright shoe collection! They’re awesome :D
    amy @ Turtle-speed runner recently posted..Struggling

    • HAHA great timing for my post then, right before your massage! :P no seriously, it will help a lot, but it will be quite painful! then again, I am a complete wimp, so you may find it alright! good luck for your run!! :)

  3. Oh m stars what an awesome time girl. I’m so happy you were able to crush that race and even in those conditions. Awesome. I have never tried Saucs but my boyfriend is an avid fan of them and keeps harassing me to get some eh.

    Your shoes all look awesome….just saying…
    Hollie@lolzthatswim recently posted..WEGO: Mirror Shot

  4. Oh my,Emma… Of course you did a great job again on that race,but seriously,take care of yourself! This makes me so worried about you! :(
    Kat @ a dash of fairydust recently posted..What I [shook] Wednesday.

    • aww you are sweet for worrying about me Kat, but I’m a drama queen and really I am fine!! a bad cold combined with fuelling problems doesn’t make for an easy race, but nothing serious, I promise! just me being dramatic ;)

      love you chica, hope you’re having a great weekend! <3

  5. sounds like such a tough race- great job on finishing, though!

    and yay for your team having a sports massage therapist!
    Julianna @ Julianna Bananna recently posted..Southern California Part 2

  6. Aw Emma this post is awesome. I read it this morning right after I had to stop running because my knee was bothering me. I was disappointed, but you definitely made me feel better. Way to rock that race, despite the way you felt!! My season goal is just to break 12, so hopefully I can “find my strong” like you did!
    Tara recently posted..Rugged Glory and Splattered Paint

    • I have no doubt you will break 12 mins! you are amazing, and much stronger than I am!! you can definitely do it- I’m cheering for ya! :)

      hoping your knee pain goes away asap!! at least you stopped straight away, that will help a lot! I think I saw you Tweet that you have a race…? if so, GOOD LUCK!! <3

  7. First of I LOOOOVE your sneakers! Those colors are freaking fabulous!!! And amazing job on the race girl….with the symptoms you described I know there is no way I could have finished…so I give you a TON of credit!!!
    Kaila @healthyhelperblog! recently posted..Munchin’ Munchies

  8. this post is the BOMB! Racing through sickness is definitely a tough one. I’ve definitely had a couple track meets (my freshman year I was having some really awful digestive system issues, mostly infections and stress) where I literlaly pulled across the finish line and ran straight to the nearest trash can to puke a couple times. NOT pretty but it beats a DNF! It takes serious guts (literally hehe) for you to finish a race feeling like crap! And hitting your goal too! Way to show your strong, Emma.

    And I love how you love Saucony!!! I am the type of person that wants to be a brand loyalist, but I just haven’t really found one that works well for me yet! I used to run in Mizunos all the time but their new models suck, and Brooks aren’t the greatest either…I’m kinda thinking about trying Newtons!

  9. Sympathizing with the tight calves right now, ouch. Excellent job, though!
    Have you ever tried Saucony run lux shorts? I used to be a Nike tempos girl, but I picked up a pair on sale and they are WORLDS better. It feels like you’re wearing a cloud.

    • thank you! and no I’d never heard of them, but I just Googled them now and they look good!! better than the tempos huh? I will wait till they are in the sale (unashamed cheapskate here haha!) and snap them up!!

      thanks for letting me know, have a great day!! :) <3

  10. i went to my friends spa yesterday and had a lava shell massage – which is a deep tissue massage done using a hot clam shell. the shell is filled with reactant which create the heat, so not only is it deep tissue, but the heat is there too to help heal & generate blood flow.

    i also got told that i had the most knots in leg muscles that this girl had ever seen :s not what i really want to hear 2 days before a marathon! but my legs do feel a lot more relaxed now. i have quite a high pain threshold & both calf muscles were painful, one a lot more than the other in fact but my quads… OMG i thought i was going to have to tell her to stop! i really almost couldn’t take the pain. Fingers crossed it has paid off & i will has fewer problems on sunday.

    hope you are feeling better.

    xx
    Jennyb recently posted..Another couple of prizes :)

    • wow a lava shell massage?! that sounds amazing!! and HOW WAS YOUR MARATHON?! let me know, I can’t wait to hear all about it! hope it went well and you enjoyed it! :) <3

      • will write a full update with photos on the blog later but it was much faster than later the 5h 27min of last year :)

        Off to college now – going to try & phone & blag a space in the grounds rather than the student car park in a sec. The adrenaline on the day bocks of pain until its bad & you are tired & let it in. so about mile 20 but i stuck with the pacer & left him behind at mile 25 for a time of 4 hrs 41mins & 46 secs – Not bad for a non runner :) Going to see if my friends can guess my time & see how much faith they had in me ;)

        have a great monday

        xx
        Jennyb recently posted..Another couple of prizes :)

  11. Congrats on your strong finish!!!!
    Beth (i run like a girl) recently posted..Friday potluck – on the road edition

  12. I love my Nikes! Though I think I’m actually gonna try Saucony’s soon. :) Good job! So fast! My fastest 2 mile was 12:44. What really bugs me is that in my most recent race, I was perfectly prepared. I had tapered, eaten pasta the night before, slept 9 hours (!) and stretched a ton. Unfortunately though, in the first 2 laps, both spikes got untied! I still was 3rd place but my time was 1 min slower than my goal… not so good. I hope you feel better! I had the swine flu back in 2009 when it was freaking everybody out. It was awful but it only lasted about 2 days.
    Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee recently posted..WIAW Spring Break Edition

    • awww that sucks! it’s horrible to be so prepared for a race and then have something out of your control mess it up! never mind, you’ve got the whole rest of the track season to smash that time, right?! :)

      haha yes I had the swine flu too when it hit, so I shouldn’t really joke about it! you’re right, it was horrible, but at least it was short-lived!!

      have a great week! <3

  13. suhweeeet! 2mile time, youre a rockstar, emma! i mean a trackstar! thx for sharing the saucony ideo..runners are the most beautiful creatures on earth!
    i finished my latest jar of choc chip cookie dough butter today..ohman gotta make more 2morrow!
    i have had had 5-consecutive-pair allegiance to mizuno, brooks, and now nike..so i just go with the flow! and ive never dropped out of a race but def would if i felt it was in my best interest to. Ohman, i remember writhing in pain about 5 years ago when my coach was massaging a knot in my calf..i feel ya!!!
    katy sparrow recently posted..Forest creature currency

  14. THAT’S MY FAVORITE MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO!!! At my old school, each sport would make a video leading up to the day when all the teams play our rival school and my team made a replica of this video! It didn’t end up very good ahhaha but we loved the idea! My sneakers right now are Saucony and I’m obsessed. And oooobviously…CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR AMAZING FINISH!! I hope you feel better…take it easy, you deserve a little rest!
    Devon recently posted..formspring

  15. Am loving your shoe collection. Especially the hot pink pair
    7stoneitch recently posted..End of March Round Up

  16. [...] to be 100% healthy for it! I am definitely paying the price for my smart move earlier this week when I raced, and then did a tough track session in the cold the next day…seriously I think the common sense [...]

  17. I have really tight calves too! I recently caved in and bought a foam roller and it’s been working well so far. Plus I seem to be getting charley horses – aye those are painful to the max!

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