Steamtown Marathon Training 2016: Week 11 – Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon

When it comes to training sometimes an excellent way to gauge how you are progressing is by running a race. I found a great half marathon that works perfectly into my running plan and it just so happens that it is where I grew up.

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comIt has been almost a year since I competed in a race. Because of my recent surgery for my umbilical hernia and diastisis recti (abdominal separation) from having 4 children, I was unable to compete in the 2016 spring season. Now I am back, almost 100% repaired and ready to race. My journey has been a bit challenging, especially since we use our core for everything, but with proper strength training and following Roger’s plan I think this race will be a success!Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.com

Now, my heel is a different story. The break in Italy did not quite cure my plantar fasciitis. Roger suggested I see Dr. Richard Braver, a podiatrist in Fair Lawn, N.J. who serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for Runner’s World Magazine and is also a runner. For over a year now, I have been dealing with this heel pain and I finally found someone that has figured out the problem and is taking the appropriate steps to heal my heel😜! A little over 20 years ago I had my bunions removed. After taking x-rays, Dr. Braver pointed out that my left big toe was now shorter since I had the surgery. This could be what is affecting the way I am running. He also suggested that I get new orthotics made that will give me the proper support and appropriate flexibility. I am not big on pills or cortisone injections so we came up with a plan that would better suit my training at this point in time. He suggested 3 treatments of EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment or Shockwave Therapy) because it is less invasive and I will be able to continue running.

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comDr. Braver’s brochure states that the EPAT uses specifically tuned frequencies of acoustic sound waves to increase vascularity, invigorate the natural inflammatory process and increase platelet production in areas of injury. All of these processes combine to expedite the healing process in joints, muscles, and soft tissues without injections or surgical procedures. He also gave me a boot to wear for one hour every evening to stretch my calf.

The pain was not alleviated immediately. The questions now are do I go all out for the half marathon, see how I feel and use it as long run, or should I not run at all? The competitive side of me cannot imagine running a race and not giving it my all. Two years ago I PR’d this race and came in 3rd place in my age group. I do not want to doubt my training and strength because certain parts of my body are not cooperating. I want to focus on the run, my form, my breathing, and the motivation that gets me to the next mile at a great pace.Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.com

Race day was here and I was feeling pretty good. The treatment with Dr. Braver was a success and there was not much pain in my heel. It has been a while since I competed so I was extremely nervous. When the gun shot went off a rush of energy came over me and I began my journey though the streets of my hometown. Although I started out too fast, I eventually kept a steady pace and all was going well. I felt good, I was focused, and the miles where flying by. As I passed a few girls I was reminded of a post I wrote earlier on my blog called Where Do You Go… Here is an inspirational quote that keeps me motivated:

“Find that mark and catch them because you are the hunter searching for your prey. Once you pass them, you yearn for your next victim who is unaware of their fate. Because in a crowd full of strangers, there is only one champion.”

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comEverything was not as smooth as planned though. Around mile 12 I developed a terrible side stitch. I tried to focus on my breathing, rub it out a little, and just stay calm. At this point a girl that I passed earlier caught up to me. My competitive streak kicked into high gear and we were neck and neck the rest of the way. I stayed focused and strong and gave it my all as I sprinted to the finish line… VICTORIOUS! I PR’d once again at this race with a time of 1:35 and I also came in 3rd in my age group. Any doubts about my training were lifted and I feel confident that the Steamtown Marathon will be a success.Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.com

WEEK 11 MARATHON TRAINING SCHEDULE

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comSEPTEMBER 12TH: DAY OFF
Flew back from Italy.

DO-OVER PLAN: none
CROSS-TRAINING: 30 minutes weights

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comSEPTEMBER 13TH: RECOVERY RUN ~ 5 MILES
A very slow and easy pace run.
SNEAKER: Asics DS Trainers V21
START TIME: 8:00 am
My bags never made it to the US so I do not have my Garmin. I ran a bit faster than I should have for a recovery run. My heel hurts😫! I saw Dr. Richard Braver, a podiatrist from Fair Lawn, and we ordered new orthotics, I wear a boot every night for 1 hour to stretch my calf, and I started a non-invasive treatment called EPAT.

DO-OVER PLAN: none
CROSS-TRAINING: 1 hour fitness class

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016: Week 7 - 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro! - runcooklaugh.comSEPTEMBER 14TH: RECOVERY RUN ~ 3 MILES
A very slow and easy pace run.
SNEAKER: Asics DS Trainers V21
START TIME: 8:30 am
I have decided I am going to wear the Asics DS Trainers V21 from now on and buy a second pair to alternate. They seem to work best and I do not want to cause anymore injuries. I am still waiting for my luggage to arrive with my Garmin😡. The healing process from yesterday’s treatment has not kicked in yet.

DO-OVER PLAN: none
CROSS-TRAINING: 1 hour fitness class

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comSEPTEMBER 15TH: 2 MILE PACING INTERVALS ~ 6 MILES
Warm up 1 mile then 2 miles at 7:10 – 7:20 per mile, 1 mile easy pace. Repeat this 2 times. Walk as cool down.
SNEAKER: Asics DS Trainers V21
START TIME: 8:30 am
My heel is better! The slight pain I feel while running did not affect my pace and form when I ran faster today.

DO-OVER PLAN: none
CROSS-TRAINING: 45 minutes weights and sit ups

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comSEPTEMBER 16TH: RECOVERY RUN ~ 5 MILES
A very slow and easy pace run.
SNEAKER: Asics DS Trainers V21
START TIME: 9:00 am
The constant pain in my heel continues but not as bad as last week. I am not sure if I should go all out for the half marathon on Sunday. I do not want to hurt myself more and then it will affect my marathon. Roger said to try negative splits for the second 1/2 of the race at marathon pace. Hopefully my heel cooperates!

DO-OVER PLAN: none
CROSS-TRAINING: 35 minutes upper body weights and sit ups

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comSEPTEMBER 17TH: RECOVERY RUN ~ 3 MILES
A very slow and easy pace run.
SNEAKER: Asics DS Trainers V21
START TIME: 9:00 am
Took it easy today and ran with Kid 1. I love to run with my boys!

DO-OVER PLAN: none
CROSS-TRAINING: no

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comSEPTEMBER 18TH: NEWPORT LIBERTY HALF MARATHON ~ 13.1 MILES
SNEAKER: Asics DS Trainers V21
START TIME: 8:30 am
I had some pain in my knee yesterday for some reason, so I was worried about that and my heel. They both did not bother me when I started the race. My adrenaline was pumping and I went out fast by accident!  After the first few miles I slowed down and I tried to keep a 7:11 – 7:15 pace because it felt manageable. I drank at each water stop and eventually I figured out how to hydrate while running without spilling it all over myself 😜. It did take a few tries though. I took 3 GUs (1 before and 2 during the race) . The only bad part was around mile 12 when I got a side stitch and I slowed down 😩. Then a girl tried to pass me and of course I could not let that happen and I finished strong! I really needed this race. I was getting so discouraged about my heel and I was afraid I would not be able to run well. Plus I love the feeling when racing and finishing strong!

DO-OVER PLAN: none
CROSS-TRAINING: no

Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.comOVERVIEW: Back to reality and slowly adjusting to the regular routine since our trip to Italy. I started a treatment for my heel called EPAT with Dr. Richard Braver, an excellent podiatrist located in Fair Lawn, NJ. With just one session I was able to run my half marathon pain-free with a PR of 1:35 minutes and placing 3rd in my age group.Steamtown Marathon Training 2016 - Week 11 - Dr. Braver Saves the Day at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon - runcooklaugh.com

Do you have an interesting race experience?

Did you ever try the EPAT treatment?

What is your favorite running sneaker?

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