Running Isn’t the Only Challenge

The countdown begins…

After I finished my long run on Sunday, a thought came into my head. Ok, there are often many, many thoughts and conversations roaming around my head at one time (#introvertproblems), but there was one in particular that came in loud and clear: “girl, there’s only one more long training run left!”

My first reaction:

Then it sunk in:

Yes, I do think in GIFs sometimes. Occupational hazard. So what’s in store for these final few weeks? Well, I’ll tell ya…not much! Two weekend 4-milers, plus 30-45 minute weekday runs (twice a week), and then that final long training run. Basically, we just need to be smart, listen to our bodies, and put in the miles.

I’ve mentioned before that summer training has been a challenge unto itself. The heat, the humidity, the intense sun, all of the sweating (so much sweating!), training solo…it’s taken some crafty navigation to make it manageable. In addition to that, I’ve been battling some muscle pain in my shoulders and upper back for the last few months, and those of you who know my back history also know that back pain isn’t something I take lightly (more on that here: My 15 Year Spinal Fusion-versary).

I started doing physical therapy last month (which I think is slowly starting to help…ask me again in September). Right now we’re doing a lot of shoulder and back muscle strengthening moves, plus stretches to help with my limited thoracic mobility as well as posture exercises (just because I’ve got stainless steel rods attached to my spine doesn’t mean my posture is perfect #funfact). One of the therapists I’m working with is also a runner (she’s training for the Chicago marathon right now) and totally understands everything that’s going on, which has been really helpful so far.

So, needless to say, this summer has been full of challenges: training to run 19.3 miles over two days, adjusting to running in warmer temperatures, training separately, and dealing with angry shoulder and back muscles (and some temperamental calves/shins). But there’s still one more challenge that Connor and I need to tackle: raising money for Autism Speaks. Hey, they don’t call it the Dumbo Double Dare for nothin’. 🙂 We running in support of Autism Speaks, one of the world’s leading autism advocacy organizations. Throughout both of our theater careers so far, we’ve seen the positive effects of autism and sensory-friendly performances both on Broadway and at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ (where I currently work and where Connor previously worked). And we want to help contribute to Autism Speaks, not only to help support their advocacy and research efforts, but also their commitment to bringing the arts to the autism community while providing a safe and supportive experience. We are almost half way to our goal with only a few weeks left! Any amount, large or small, will help contribute to this great cause as well as assist us in completing our elephant-size challenge. Here’s a link to our Autism Speaks donation page: NatCon Dumbo Double Dare Challenge.

Lastly, here are a few fun shots from this week’s runs. I finally got a photo with Bruce #2! After running past this statue for so long now, I figured he could use some selfie love.

Getting creative with my stadium mileage poses. Though I only sat here for a few seconds because WOW do those bleachers get hot in the sun! 🙂

Gotta love that iPhone self-timer. And, not gonna lie here, I really love the color of my Brooks Ghosts and my CEP socks. Plus the band of my Garmin watch and my momentum wrap matches too. Fashionista runner!


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