A Strained Calf, Heart Rate Zones and Getting Ready For The Airbnb Brooklyn Half

Injuries are inevitable when you're training for a marathon. From broken bones and fractures to pulls and tears, some sort of speed bump is bound to happen when you're training for 26.2. I just got through my first speed bump and it wasn't even because I was marathon training, it was because I had been drinking and clocked a 7:45 minute mile in sandals! I know what you're thinking, "Kelly who knew you were capable of running a 7:45 minute mile!" Well neither did I but some liquid courage and an almost missed ride to the airport will do that to you. (Long story short: On my last day in Walt Disneyworld a few weeks ago my friends and I decided it would be a great idea to do the World Beer Tour in Epcot. I had to be back at the hotel at a specific time to get on a bus to go to the airport. I was running really late and ran from the monorail at Magic Kingdom to our hotel The Contemporary at lightening speed...in sandals. I caught my ride, impressed myself and killed my buzz but I ended up with a serious flare up in my calf.)

One of the hardest parts about training for a marathon is discerning what pains are worrisome and which will dissolve once you get warmed up. I have so many balls in the air right now that I didn't even notice the soreness wasn't going away until after the Flying Pig Half Marathon. Then when I was with my Physical Therapist (PT) Mike I mentioned that my calves were sore. As he started working on them he told me that they weren't just sore, my left calf was as hard as a brick and both were inflamed. I did the whole, "But it's OK to still run...right? It's not like anythings broken" routine and Mike rolled his eyes and said, "You shouldn't run until you're pain free." To which I said, "But it will be OK by Monday right?" And Mike said, "I will be shocked if you're calves are healed by Monday."

So I did what any injured runner does, I found a loophole! Now this is a best case scenario injury. I got the green light from Mike to spin my heart out in lieu of running which is always a really fun excuse for me to go to my favorite place in all of New York City, FLYWHEEL! Flywheel is a magical spin studio that is one of the best workouts you can get. The classes focus on high intensity interval work and are broken down into such short chunks that you can't help but go 150%. Whenever I get to spin at Flywheel I always walk out of there feeling like a billion dollars.

Now here's something really interesting, I like to wear a heart rate monitor when I spin because I find it really interesting to gauge my exertion levels. The best part about Flywheel is that their bikes are set up with small computers that give you really detailed information about each ride. These are my rides on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Now check out my corresponding heart rate charts. Here's the really cool part, below is my  Saturday ride where I rode a personal best.

Now the two below are from double I rode on Sunday. (I did a 60 minute class and then a 45 minute class back to back.)

The difference between Saturday and Sunday are pretty crazy. You know those days where you just have a really good workout? Well that's how I felt going into Saturday's class. I was rested and ready to kick ass and take names. Now Sunday I was equally excited (or else I wouldn't have volunteered to do a double) but I was slightly fatigued from Saturday. Saturday was spent around the same zone whereas Sunday you can see where I took full advantage of active recoveries.  It's fun to be able to see how a qualitative feeling relates to actual quantitative numbers and results. And for reference, here's a target heart zone chart for comparison just in case you're as into this as I am.

Via the American Heart Association

Via the American Heart Association

Yesterday I mustered the courage to try for a run. I'm not pain free unfortunately (and according to my PT Mike it's going to take a couple of weeks) but I'm definitely better than I was. Unfortunately I can't take time off to heal 100% because I'll go crazy. When I'm not running I don't feel like myself. And as much as I love spinning, it's just not the same. My run yesterday was bliss. It's during runs like that one that I wish I could have figured out a way to fall in love with running sooner. I know it's hard to imagine but once you can make it through the really awful first few weeks of running, it becomes fun. I know it seems impossible, but it really does. As for my calves, I'm in PT twice a week and I'm foam rolling like it's going out of style. At this point it's all about doing everything I can to help them get back to 100% without having to stop completely.

If you're in the NYC area and interested in joining me for a blissful fun run, I'm leading a 2.5 mile shakeout run this Friday in NYC to the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon Pre-Party! We'll be meeting on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge at 5:00pm, running across the Brooklyn Bridge, through Dumbo and over to Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park for bib pickup, beers and selfies. And what's even more exciting is that I'm raffling off two $100 Airbnb gift cards to anyone who comes out for the run! For more information and to RSVP for the shakeout run, CLICK HERE!

I'm getting BEYOND excited for this weekends Airbnb Brooklyn Half. It's one of my favorite races because it's on my home turf! I get to roll out of bed and walk across the street to the starting line! Here's my race recap of last year's Brooklyn Half Marathon and of course, Hipsters of the Brooklyn Half. I'm not hunting hipsters this race but I do have some running fun up my sleeve. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.