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  • Writer's pictureParker Stinson

Put your Best Foot Forward

I was so close to being the top American and breaking 62 minutes that it hurt!

Hey everyone!

If you have been following along with my journey since Houston on my instagram you know things haven’t been easy. Immediately following the race my toenail was hurting pretty bad but I had just lost my other big toenail at the Chicago Marathon this last October and I remembered that it hurt quite a bit for a few days and then it mellowed out and ended up just failing off on its own a few months later. I figured this toenail would follow a similar pattern. However, after struggling through a few runs on it and the pain actually getting worse with each run I knew something needed to be done. I spent an hour trying to burn a hole in my nail with a burning hot paper clip as I had read online you could do this to release the fluid and pressure built up that was caught underneath the nail. After failing at this I went into Boulder Valley Foot and Ankle Clinic where I go to get my achilles worked on and figured they could help me with the situation.

They told me that they would have to remove the entire toenail and that somehow once it was completely removed that I could run on it that day no problem as long as I could handle the pain. They proceeded to numb my toe up and just chopped off the whole toenail and sent me on way. I went to the workout and the toenail was feeling okay but once I finished warming up I noticed my foot was bleeding through the bandages and soaking my training shoe with blood. I figured it still felt better than it had the days before and that I really wanted to start getting back into training and so I switched into my flats and knocked out the workout. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy but I got in the stimulus I needed to start getting my training back on track. The importance of this experience and the lesson I am reminded of here is that life happens and although we all have our perfect plans and goals for each week the most important thing is to remember to adapt and to always put your best foot forward...sometimes literally. I didn’t know it at the time but what you’ll see in this upcoming week is that I am going to have to learn this lesson all over again in order for me to find a way to be able to keep training successfully once again...

Week mileage goal: 107 mi.

Week execution goal:

I need to start making the transition from getting recovered from Houston and starting back into some light training to actually getting some good momentum again. Things have been going well enough but I need to start get dialed back in if I am going to race well in a few weeks. Focus on getting back to the little things that lead to big successes.

Monday: AM: AM: Moderate 10 miles with 6 x 20 second strides with 25 second recovery jog in between each stride towards the end of my run. 7:04 down to 6:25 pace for the running miles and then the strides were all at 4:15-4:30 pace. Nice run. I felt better than expected. I felt smooth and was surprised how fast I was running for these strides in the middle of the run. I did the strides this way just to mix it up from the normal stop at the end of your run and do them as a whole separate thing. I will get back to this style on Thursday. Body feeling good besides my SI joint. It’s been feeling “meh” when I start my run lately but then I don’t feel it much at all after the first few miles 📷

** This bar denotes Effort Level from 1-10. 1 means very easy jog and 10 denotes all-out race effort. It will be used throughout the newsletter!

PM: Easy 7 miles on treadmill. 7:30 down to 6:35 pace @ average 1% incline. I wore a bunch of layers on the treadmill to start getting my mind and body right for my next race the Gasparilla Half Marathon in Tampa Bay. The lost the race by 2 seconds last year and it was insanely humid. I expect this year to be the same and hoping this extra effort will have me feeling even more prepared! Overall I felt decent on the run besides how hot I was. My left hamstring behind the knee started to get a bit tight and tender but nothing I am sure a few heat pack sessions on it can’t fix and get it feeling better for the workout tomorrow. 📷📷

Gasparilla half marathon 2018

Tuesday: AM: OFF

PM: 3 mile warm up + WORKOUT + 5 mile cool down + gym session. 17 miles total. Workout: 4 x 2 miles with 800 moderate jog recovery on rolling hill half road half dirt loop.

Split | Elevation (+/-) -------------------------- 2 mile: 9:56 | +54 800 recovery : 3:11 | -26 2 mile: 9:55 | +26 800 recovery : 3:17 | 0 2 mile: 9:49 | -31 800 recovery : 3:19 | +38 2 mile : 9:42 | -69 9.53 miles total: 49:12 = 5:09 pace. (+200/-213) 📷

Really hard workout for me. I think it went pretty well but damn that was tough. Happy I got through it and was able to continue to progress my 2 mile times throughout the workout. Body felt good overall except my low back was tight most of the workout. SI joint felt fine though. I saw my Chiropractor, Dr Richard Hansen (@drrichardhansen) yesterday to make sure everything is aligned right.

This was one of the hardest workouts I have done since being with Dathan. I’m not sure if it’s the route I chose to do it on or if that 800 moderate rest just breaks you down but man I had to really keep my mind mentally in this one today. I think next time I will try a little faster route and see how it goes, consistently dipping under 5 minute pace over and over again on some of those hills is brutal at altitude. The 5 mile cooldown at the end of this workout was almost as hard as the workout itself. I ran about 6:45 pace but I just felt gassed that I think I was basically running on empty the entire time. Good marathon training right there.

PM: Headed to Rally Sport gym after I got a protein shake in. Got in some good core work + mobility but just a light lift tonight. 📷 Wednesday: AM: 12 miles moderate in full sweats on treadmill. Felt really good today actually...pretty surprised by this. I wore long tights and a rain jacket and beanie on the treadmill. Felt good to sweat a lot and it was nice to be able to get my heart rate pretty high without having to physically run too fast. 7:30 down to 5:56 pace at .5% - 2% incline grade.

Midday: Massage with Marcus!

PM: Rest 📷 Thursday: AM: 5 miles easy treadmill shake out. Snowed a lot last night and just really really cold. Was -13 degrees this morning. It is warming up fast though so I think I might be able to do my longer run and strides outside in the evening. I made sure to take this run easy after yesterday’s moderate session. 7:30 down to 6:35 pace. 📷

PM: 11.6 miles easy to moderate. So so cold and snowy still. I’m not sure it was a good idea to run outside. Was about 0 degrees when I started and -2 or -3 when I finished. I actually felt pretty good besides how damn cold I was. Throat and lungs started burning...I think this might have been the coldest run I’ve ever been on. I sort of felt like a dumbass for being out there but my body felt good so hopefully my lungs didn’t mind it too much. No strides today because I didn’t want to have to breathe too deeply out there. 7:28 downt to 6:41 pace. 📷📷 Friday: AM: 4 mile treadmill run. Better morning run effort for me than usual. 7:15 down to 6:10 pace. I am trying to push some of my training runs a bit when I feel like I can. Workouts are the most important thing but I want to see if I can make some gains on the other training runs as well if I am feeling recovered. 📷

PM: 2.5 miles warm up + WORKOUT + 2 mile cool down + core at home.

Workout: 16 x 400 On / 400 Off on the track. Switch directions at least once. Goal: 400 On @ 68-66 pace and 400 Off @ 90-83 pace. The goal is to work on strength for this session so if I feel good don’t run faster than 66 for the On but instead run faster for the 400 off and keep the moderate pressure on.

*Really cold once again. The lungs started burning early and the body felt tight most of the workout*

400 on | 400 off -------------------------------------------------- 67 | 91 68 | 89 68 | 87 67 | 88 68 | 88 68 | 86 68 | 85 67 | 86 (switch directions to reverse after this one) 68 | 87 67 | 87 68 | 87 67 | 87 (switch back to normal direction after this one) 67 | 86 66 | 84 67 | 86 64 | 83 Total time for 32 laps around the track: 41:18 = 5:11 pace. Felt good in a lot of ways today but it was a tough workout because of how cold it was again. Felt out of breath from the first interval since it was 18 degrees out and could just never really warm up to feeling good on the faster 400’s. I had a hard time running much faster than 67-68 so I tried to just focus on keeping the recovery strong. Good day overall and I think it could have been a really good day given a bit better weather conditions. But hey, I’ll take it! I found a clear track and I was able to workout outside, things could definitely be worse. 📷📷

400 in and outs

Saturday: 5 mile recovery run on treadmill with sweats. 7:40 down to 7:05 pace. Felt really tired and crappy today. I was hoping to go for 7 miles but the goal was to get recovered and mentally that was going to wear me out so I decided to just knock out an easy 5 instead.

A long filming and training session with Erin Carson (@ecfitboulder) the owner of Rally Sport gym as we prepare to release my lifting, mobility, and agility program on her app. Excited to release this as a lot of people have been asking me about what I do in the gym. 📷 Sunday: AM: 19.4 mile long run. I was suppose to go 20 miles but at the end of my run disaster struck! But we will get to that later. First I will get to the run and training details. I wanted to turn this long run into a bit more of a workout that usual and I got the go ahead from Ritz to do so. It is still snowy and icy around here in a lot of places so I decided to go on the same 3 mile loop that I did the Tuesday workout on. It was pretty clear and although running 20 miles alone on a 3 mile loop is pretty crappy I figured it would at least let me run harder and grab a bottle for some fuel when I needed it. Workout: 19.4 miles @ 5:44 pace. 6:13 down to 5:13 pace.

Felt pretty strong and smooth throughout, I started running 5:20s the last 5 miles and I was definitely working hard at that point but seemed like the appropriate amount of hard without overdoing it. Once I got to 19.25 I figured it was probably a good time to back off and start cooling down. I made it to around 19.5 miles when I realized I needed to flip a u-turn in order to get back to my car at the right mileage. As I went to turn I slipped and feel super hard on my knee. I got up and tried to start walking it off but damn I hit it really hard and the pain was taking a while to go away. As my knee pain finally started to subside I looked over at my hand and noticed my pinky finger was almost completely sideways.

Midday: I jumped in the car and quickly looked up Urgent care locations. Upon arriving to the first one I noticed that it was closed since apparently urgent situations don’t happen on Sunday then I went to the next location to find out that it was most likely going to be a 90 minute - 2 hour wait and my finger was really starting to hurt now. So I hoped in my car again and I decided to head to the Emergency room across town with what I was sure was a broken finger. I got all checked in and they took an x-ray to find out that somehow it was just dislocated which I was very excited to hear! I’m not sure if that makes me a whimp or what but I’d take that over a broken finger anyday! The nurse came in and popped in back into place and they told me I’d need to keep in it a splint for a few days and that it was still going to be painful and get black and blue but that I should be good to go and could be on my way. 📷📷

Pic of pinky finger

Weekly mileage: 104 mi.

Week summary:

This week went really well from a training stand point. So many good boxes checked off this week with getting my mileage back up, two strong but not sexy workouts, and fastest long run since starting to work with Dathan. I really felt like this week was a great example of making the most of each day and each run. Some other weeks are more about building into just one really great workout but I felt like this week just had a bunch of good days with hard work sprinkled throughout the week. Unfortunately, the week ended on a huge low note with the ER visit and hoping that I continue to train well this upcoming week as I really need to stay in the pocket for my upcoming race.

Starving for greatness


Parker Stinson

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