Week 2 + What I Ask Myself When I Feel Like Nothing Is Working

Oh HEY! Time to talk about last week, because that’s what Mondays Wednesdays are for. (Try to put me on a blogging schedule and I rebel. MONDAYS ARE HARD.)

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink Mean Girls Photo


Last week was a week in which I briefly pondered giving up running. (Don’t worry, just an overreaction. Surprise, surprise!) As you’ll read below, I had a painful long-run-cut-short that frustrated me beyond belief because just like everyone else, all I want is to be healthy.

you're special, just like everyone else

Here’s the thing. I feel like I learned zero lessons in my early twenties. I made lots of mistakes and assumed the world was out to get me and I already knew everything there was to know. LOLOL. Now in my old age the past couple years I’ve learned eleventy billion empowering and corny-sounding-but-true things, like how I’m in charge of my attitude and I have the power to change my situation or how I view it. It makes me feel so worldly and smart. Orrrr at least a little more self-assured, satisfied and (mostly) fearless. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about the bullshit. (Sorry I said “shit” so many times.)

my 4 moods

…andddd that’s 4 more.

So now that I’m such a genius at life (THAT IS A JOKE), there are a few lessons I’m taking and applying to running.

Lately I’ve been reminding myself that everything isn’t either/or. This blog post helped me learn that.

Everything isn't either/or

Even though it seems like there are only two options for most decisions, there are usually other things to choose and different ways to frame situations, you just have to think outside the mutually exclusive box.

I like kale AND cheesy piles of nachos. (Just not at the same time, duh.)

I like running AND laying on the couch drinking wine.

I’m starting week 3 reminding myself that an uneasy week 2 does not ruin my chances of running this race. It’s not “I’m 100% healthy and can run, weeeee!” or “I’m injured now so I’m doomed forever”.

I am not doomed forever.

I do, however, have to make some changes. There’s one question I always ask myself when I catch myself saying “I’m doing everything right! Why isn’t it working? WAHHHH!”. There’s usually a quiet voice in the back of my brain that knows what I need to do, but for whatever reason I tend to drown that one out and listen to the one that says I’m a perfect little angel. Which we all know isn’t the case. So, I ask myself:

Honestly, what do I need to adjust to prevent injury?

Key word “honestly.” It triggers me to stop being a little whiny brat. It’s like when you ask someone how they’re doing and they give you a vague “good, thanks!” and then you say “no really, how ARE you” and then you get the real answer.

I didn't want to be the one to tell you this, but you're a dog.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

I added speedwork in too quickly. I should focus on hills and tempo runs first and then slowly add track work in. One week of hills isn’t enough, especially when my normal running route is as flat as can be. (I WAS JUST SO EXCITED!) Just because my body can do a bunch of 400s doesn’t mean I should right away.

Pay attention to the percentage I’m increasing my mileage by each week. Pretty sure I went up by 40% in week 1 (which only shows how little I was running before).

So there’s my life-changing wisdom for the week.  You’re welcome. And here’s the week 2 training breakdown:

Monday: 5 x 3 minutes at half marathon pace with a 1 minute jog recovery. What’s my half marathon pace? THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION!  It’s still early and I’m not sure. I aimed for 8:45ish and ran pretty much everything but 8:45:

  1. 8:13
  2. 8:35
  3. 8:28
  4. 8:21
  5. 8:10

I was feeling good but the point is, this is a pace I should be running for 13.1 miles, and I definitely went too fast for that. This workout was not about being speedy; it should have been about being steady and practicing pacing…so let’s just say it was a learning experience. (See what I did there?) On my cooldown my left hamstring felt sore. I ran 1/2 mile and then walked another 1/2 mile or so. This completely freaked me out and I iced and stretched like crazy afterwards, but I’m beginning to think stretching makes it worse.

Tuesday: An hour of boxing + all my PT exercises. I haven’t been to boxing in weeks and my brain totally forgot everything I learned. Our instructor had us doing this long combination on the bags and I got so in my head that I forgot which was cross and which was jab. I was basically moving in slow motion while staring at the guy to see if I chose the right hands. Not what you’re gonna wanna do in boxing class. Also to note: It’s amazing how high my heart rate can get when I’m standing there punching a bag.

Wednesday: I had worked out 11 out of the previous 12 days and felt like I needed a rest day, so I just did a billion PT-ish and prehab exercises to strengthen those pesky hamstrings. Lots of bridges and clamshells and leg raises and other exercises you can do while laying on the floor watching TV. The best kinds.

Thursday: An unplanned rest day – spent the afternoon at the DMV and then had drinks with my UCLA ladies. I hoped to squeeze something in after the DMV but that didn’t happen because I decided to go home and change my last name everywhere I could. Yes, I got married over a year ago. I’d like to blame the DMV for taking too long, but it was actually a fairly quick, pleasant experience and it’s my own fault for not planning better. Great evening, zero exercise. Officially a California resident with a new name. SO MUCH IS CHANGING.

Friday: I was nervous about my 7 miler on Saturday so I just went on a long walk and did prehab + had a dance party in my house. YEP COUNTING IT.

Saturday: Planned 7 mile run, ran 5.5 miles. The good news is that I felt like I could run forever (Cardiovascularly? Mentally? I guess?), but my hip was all:

not up in here gif the hangover

My left hip (same leg as the hamstring) bothered me this time, which I guess is just a reminder that everything is connected. It wasn’t something I felt I could push through, and stretching helped for like two minutes and then it would hurt again. It was defeating.

Sunday: Brendan got back from training camp and I couldn’t leave him. (I know, I know, so freaking sappy.) We helped friends move which I would like to count as strength because my biceps are actually sore today.

To sum up, week 2 had less than 10 miles and too many unplanned rest days. But we’re moving forward day by day (with lots of PT and stability exercises).

What do you do when you think you’ve done everything you can? Do you consider yourself “injury prone”? Tell me your favorite running podcast or song, I need some updates!




I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. August 24, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    Don’t push through injuries! Call me and I can talk you through what to do for rehab.

  2. Will Rogers
    August 24, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    Kara, I’ve learned, through pre work out drinks , how to concur my attitude. I take JYM from bodybuilding.com and it swings my mood, fires me up , and puts that extra push into my body. It’s legal and has helped me break personal goals at the gym.
    Now ease up on yourself cracka.

  3. August 25, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    GIrl I’m with you I’ve been an idiot and not done my PT stuff but as of this week I’ve committed to it!!

    • August 29, 2016 / 6:36 pm

      YES! I’m with you. I tell myself it’s worth the 10-20 minutes or so instead of A) spending months injured or B) spending time worrying about what’s going to happen if I don’t do it!

  4. September 3, 2016 / 9:45 pm

    This song is going to sound cliche but I love blasting “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten when I get up and moving!

    Good luck and have fun with training!

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