Runner’s Knee vs. Hamstring Pull


Following my long-run Sunday my legs were tired. Well, Duh. They hurt. My long runs are probably shorter than most marathon runners “long run’s”, but still long for me. And a bit hilly.  So I didn’t think much of it when I hobbled to bed Sunday night barely able to walk.

Monday I woke up with an ache & soreness in the back of left knee. I have kept myself pretty well injury free since starting running a year ago, so I had a bit of a worry that the streak might be over.

As the day went on, it seemed to worsen. So, I walked with a bit of a limp.

Then I googled it.

“knee pain after running”

I know you are all rolling your eyes. Worst thing to do is turn to google when you have an ailment or injury.

But you know you do it too.

I was pretty sure this was NOT a hamstring pull as the source was directly behind left knee. Wasn’t running up & down the side, so I ruled out IT Band. But, the two most common diagnosis seemed to be: Hamstring pull or Runner’s Knee.

So, I did some further research.

Hamstring Pull


According to WebMD‘s definition of a Hamstring:   It isn’t actually a single ”string.” It’s a group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh. They allow you to bend your leg at the knee.

Additionally, WebMD goes on to say, “You’re likely to get a hamstring strain during exercise that involves a lot of running and jumping or sudden stopping and starting.” 

A hamstring pull can cause pain or discomfort in back of thigh or lower buttock. This part I knew. BUT, since it connects at the back of the knee, it is possible to have knee pain if the pull or tear (yikes!) was near that area.

A hamstring pull can also cause bruising.  (A quick run to the bathroom mirror and I am reassured I don’t have bruising).

The Mayo Clinic advises those with a pulled hamstring to:


2. ICE

3. WRAP (Compression bandage)

4. IBUPROFEN as needed

If pain persists more than a couple of days, or if you cannot put weight on your leg at all: SEE A DOCTOR.

So, I figure, I MIGHT have a pulled hamstring…

Runner’s Knee


Most runner’s have heard talk of “runner’s knee”. It is usually referred to in a generic sense. Slight knee ache? Must be Runner’s Knee. Weak knees today? Must have Runner’s Knee.  But what IS Runner’s Knee?

I found some interesting info on

The most common running injury is not what you think it is.  Patellofemoral pain syndrome — otherwise known as anterior knee pain and runner’s knee — is the most common running injury, accounting for roughly 20 percent of all running injuries.”

The article goes on to say this can be caused by common sense things, such as improper running form, unsupportive shoes, and overuse. BUT, it can also be caused by weak hip muscles (of which I did NOT know).

This was a fantastic article for runners, with tons of info and I recommend it for everyone. Click here to read it in its entirety.

My conclusion:

Overall, it does appear that Runner’s Knee affects the anterior (front) part of the knee. Thus, I am ruling out Runner’s Knee in my case.


I really, really, really want to run a good 5k this weekend, so my plan is resting Monday and Tuesday.

AND…Luckily I woke up this morning (Tuesday) with very little discomfort in the knee. Almost back to normal.


So I was probably just a bit sore as we all would be after a tough workout. No big.
But, since I had already done all that research- ok, googling- I figured I’d share a bit with y’all.
Oh! One more! Check out Runner’s World fantastic article about knee pain in runner’s.  Check it out here.
Have a great day folks~ stay healthy!





Long Run Sunday

Fall is a beautiful time to run.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics on my Sunday long run for fear of my phone battery dying.

I did complete 8.3 miles. It was tough. Then easy. Then tough.

For some reason, it started out badly. I think I just had a hard time getting in the ‘mood’.  I had no idea how I was going to complete 8 miles when the first two miles felt awful. Then, even though the times don’t  necessarily reflect it, the middle of the run felt great.  At mile 6, I hit a wall and my legs felt trashed. Somehow I pushed on. (Mile 4 had a significant hill and Mile 7 I was dying.)

Distance Pace Elapsed Time
1.0 mi 09:05 min/mi 00:09:04
2.0 mi 09:44 min/mi 00:09:40
3.0 mi 09:26 min/mi 00:09:20
4.0 mi 10:46 min/mi 00:10:41
5.0 mi 09:42 min/mi 00:09:29
6.0 mi 09:57 min/mi 00:09:48
7.0 mi 11:06 min/mi 00:11:02
8.0 mi 09:35 min/mi 00:09:32
8.3 mi 09:21 min/mi 00:02:32

Total time: 1:21:48

This is me after dying. I look angry…lol


Long runs are almost more mental than physical, no?

On a side note: This is not my house but I totally wish it was.

Still looking forward to the Monster Dash this coming Sunday in Akron.. It will be my 5kiversary.

Officially I have to beat last year. 29:58.  Unofficially, I want to beat 27 minutes. My PR currently sits at 27:01. I have been a slow-poke lately so hopefully a miracle can happen.

The rest of this week will probably include:

Mon: Circuit Train-  rest my tired legs

Tues: off- Traveling to son’s big soccer game :-)

Wed: 3.1 – let’s see what I can do. Strength Train.

Thurs: Speedwork. 3 Miles.

Fri: Circuit/Strength Train

Sat: 3-4 miles possibly

Sun: Monster Dash 5K.  Evening 5 miles to make  for a total of 8.


Do you ever have trouble ‘getting in the mood’ for your long run?  Or any run for that matter?  Tricks of the trade? Share! :)

Safety, hard-work and upcoming races.

I’ve been busy.

But, I’ve been running. Somehow I’ve done pretty well at fitting it in my schedule.

Sunday I ran a beautiful 8-miles. It was a long-run for me, and I was exhausted after, but felt wonderful. And Monday I was not even sore. :)  A quick two miles yesterday and body core workout.  Got to keep limber.

I ran a new route, due to some…well, safety issues at my previous running spot. Will explain.

Some pretty views:






The weather was beautiful, cool & crisp, yet I heated up pretty quickly. #sweatinlikeabeast

I ended up doing it at about a  9:50 pace or so.

So. About that safety thing. One evening last week I parked my truck at a nearby parking lot near a local trail. It was daylight. On a main road. Although not that frequently traveled, at least one car goes by every minute and some truck traffic. When I returned from my 30-minute run, I noticed something odd about my truck. No glare or reflection on the driver’s side window. As I neared, I realized the window had been shattered. And my purse, that had been hiding under the seat, gone.

As I reached in to unlock the door (thief must have crawled into the window), the truck alarm went off. Should this not have gone off when the window was shattered??

Needless to say, I am not running there anymore. After speaking to the Sheriff, and some other people who passed by on the trail while we were there, it is not the safest of places. One lady even mentioned she has seen a creepy  man walking around before. So I will be exploring other areas.

Just another reminder for us to be safe while running! Running trails? Carry pepper spray and make sure someone knows where you are!

Here are some good articles about safety while running:

Running Safety Tips for Everyone from the RRCA

Tips for Women’s Running Safety

Be safe!

On a lighter note, I’ve been working hard the last couple weeks to rebuild mileage. I am looking forward to the Monster Dash 5k at the end of the month as that was my inaugural 5k last year after I started running! Check it out here & register! My goal is to beat 27 minutes, but we will see. I’m definitely doing the Cleveland Turkey Trot 5-Miler again too. That’s a big one! Find more info on that race here.

Our bodies will only do what we train them to do.


Does anyone have any safety tips to share?

Any upcoming races?

Taking it easy this fall winter or working hard? ;)



Running Ambassadorships Gone Wrong & The Demise of FoamFest 5k

I thought it would be cool to be an ambassador for one ‘official’ race.

So, of course when I received my discount code for the Foam Fest 5k, I was pretty excited.  I had intentions to get that code out there WAY more than I did. I guess I wasn’t that great of an ambassador anyhow…

But, I was still planning on doing the race, and still even talking it up. I had friends and family committed to going. Marked my calendar for July 19th.

A few days before I decided to go to website for official details and register. Yes, I am a last-minute registering kind of gal. I hate registering early with the possibility  of not being able to make it for some reason. At the website, when I click on “Cleveland, Ohio” for info on that race- I’m directed to a notice where it states that the SoCal race is cancelled due to “logistics” and while NO refunds will given, they are working on rescheduling the run. I keep getting the SoCal notice, so I figure something is wrong with the website and I’ll come back later.

Then I see it on the news. Cleveland FoamFest cancelled due to “logistics”. Huh??  And no refunds will be given. Of course. It’s not like people were traveling in (many were!) or made special arrangements to attend this. What if they can’t make it on the ‘rescheduled date’? Something seemed fishy right off the bat.

While people were in an uproar, and media got wind, the truth comes out.

FoamFest filed bankruptcy and is shutting their doors.

Now, I don’t know too much about the behind-the-scenes stuff at races. BUT, this was one of the most expensive races I’ve seen- up to $90 week of race, plus $10 parking fee, PLUS a fee to check a bag.  And, hundreds (may thousands between Ohio & California) paid these prices. Where is the money? I know the obstacles made this a pricey event to put on…but still.  ???

With the cancellation out there, I was quite embarrassed that I had been an ‘ambassador’. I stayed fairly quite about it. Until now.

The company has since issued an apologize and a closing statement.

“Dear 5k Foam Fest Friends, Our organization has spent years and an incredible amount of money perfecting this great event for the runners we admire so much. However, due to limited resources we are sad to announce that the 5k Foam Fest is cancelling all future events and will no longer be in business as of July 17th, 2014. After tireless efforts to find a way to help us finish out our season; we simply can’t continue to move forward.”

The race in my town was scheduled for July 19th, just 2 days later.

You mean to tell me up until that point, they didn’t know they were going to have to cancel?

Of course they did.

Yet they waited to inform everyone until a couple days before the race.

What a bummer.

It did look like a fun race~ Life in Pink ran it this summer and wrote a great recap on it if you want to check it out!

But, we trudge on. I found another race to run and it was one of the best I’ve ever ran.

So all is good.


Race Recap: Friday Night Lights, Mentor, Ohio


One of my favorite races ever. Ever.  In my whole….1 year of racing.

I enjoyed every aspect of it, especially after the debacle of my Aurora Fun Run 5k a week prior.

10 reasons this was a great race:

1. Organized & Easy to register at event.

2. It was at night!

3. Great music.

4. Regular old bib-chip timing. (You don’t know how much you love it until you do races without it)

5. Ample food & drink.

6. Easy parking.

7. Great nearby donut shop. (Very important- I need pre-race coffee & donut)

8. Awesome t-shirt.

9. Cool light-up gadgets to wear during run.

10. Flat course, through high school track, roads, and bike path.

And my lack of training still brought me in only 7 seconds slower than my PR!

I celebrated with a BBQ Cheeseburger & fries. I know, I know. I’m eating better now I promise. At least most of the time.

The stats:

WHAT: Friday Night Lights

WHERE: Mentor, Ohio

DISTANCE: 3.1 Miles

TERRAIN: Pavement/Track

TIME: 27:08

Official results here.

This was a competitive looking run- everyone looked pretty serious, in-shape and for a minute I thought I was way out of my league. But I held my own. I came in 15th out of 38 in my AG. And it motivated me to get more consistent with my running! If I can do that after several weeks of lackluster running & nutrition, what can I do if I get it together?!?!?!

Definitely will calendar this one for next year!



Race Recap: Aurora Fun Run 5k and 1 Mile

Boy am I behind in my blog updates. Damn maternity leave.

So last minute I was looking for a 4th of July race. The only one I found in my neck of the woods, was the Aurora Fun Run in my hometown of….. you guessed it- Aurora, Ohio.

I saw they were doing a 1 mile race at 8:00 and a 5k at 8:30. I decided to do both, and see how quickly I could do a 1 mile in a timed race. I wasn’t worried about my time too much for the 5k, but just happy to have another bib for the ‘bib wall’.  I was pretty excited to do a last-minute race AND try my hand at a 1-miler for speed.

Let’s just say my excitement faded very quickly.

And since my mom always says, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, I will have to keep this very brief. Yeah right. We all know how difficult that is for me…

I’ve been pretty blessed and enjoyed every race I’ve ran until this point. So, they can’t all be winners. No big.

Here are the two main problems I encountered:

1. Unorganized. Horribly. I found what I thought was the registration table. Waited in line. Only to be told that on the OTHER side of the lot was the table to pick up the forms for same day registration. I had to fill that out and bring it back, wait in line at this table, and get my bib. Again, no big. I did just that, and went back to table. There were two lines formed at that table, so I hopped in one. Once it was my turn, the lady says, “this is the line for pre-registered only. You need to be in the other line. Since the two lady’s was right there side by side, I was hoping that one could just hand the other the form. But no. I had to go get back in line. Again.

Once I made it to the correct lady, she handed me my ‘goods’, and then told me on the other side of the Gazebo is where I needed to pick up my timing chip. Huh? What a hassle. No signs, no direction. Four different table visits. Four lines.

My computer chip was a shoe tag~ I had not had one of those prior so I had no idea how to attach it. And, no one was forthcoming to help. I somehow managed to do look at other shoes and figure it out.

2. Many, Many rude people.  Maybe I’ve been living in a nice, quiet country town too long…but I have always enjoyed the kindness and camaraderie of runners at race events. Even the large events in downtown Cleveland- people are always supporting & friendly.  I did encounter a couple friends while there~ but other than that, I have never been pushed, shoved, stepped on, elbowed, hollered at, more in my life and I heard NOT ONE apology or ‘excuse me’ the entire event. Hmph.

The course was okay, winding through residential neighborhoods.  I might have been a little aggravated at the people to enjoy it a whole lot.

Some photo’s for fun:

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But anyway, here are the stats:

WHAT: Aurora Fun Run 1 Mile                                       WHAT: Aurora Fun Run 5k

WHERE: Aurora, Ohio                                                    WHERE: Aurora, Ohio

DISTANCE: 1 Mile                                                           DISTANCE:  5k

TERRAIN: Pavement                                                       TIME: 29:09

TIME: 7:52 - 1st Place in Age Group!!! :)

Results posted HERE.

Best part was learning I placed first in my AG for the one miler. My goal was to come in under 8 minutes. I think I actually did a little better than the time listed- at least by a few seconds, but it was not chip timed so there may be some room for error.

My next race was much more enjoyable. I might get around to that recap sometime in 2014. We will see.


Anyone have any sucky race stories?



Race Recap: Run for Melana 5k

Feeling spontaneous last week, I signed up for a local 5k. It was for a great cause, the starting line was a couple of miles from my house. AND it didn’t even start that early (9:00am beats a 7:00am start IMO).

I was a bit worried because I have not been running as much. Nor have I been eating very healthy. Eh, might not be my best time.

But sometimes you just got to do it.

I arrived early, with a large coffee in hand. Yes, I need coffee before a race. Requirement.  There were people milling about, but the race was small enough so it was easy to figure where to be.

First, the stats, then some pics :-)

Here are the stats:

WHAT: Run for Melana 5k

WHERE: Garrettsville, Ohio

DISTANCE: 3.1 Miles

TERRAIN: Pavement

TIME: 28:11

Not a PR, but enough to win 2nd place in my age group- Women 30-39. Came in 2nd overall in my AG (out of 25), and 75th overall. (Total of  186 runners).  Gotta love the small races :)

Was a fantastic race. Weather was nice (hot & humid- but I like it that way). And I felt pretty good all things considered.

wpid-20140629_102128.jpg wpid-wp-1404153917743.jpeg wpid-wp-1404153913983.jpeg wpid-wp-1404153907028.jpeg wpid-20140629_102708.jpg

The race was in honor of Melana, a young girl in our town who was diagnosed with Glioma cancer in 4th grade. She passed away 9 months later. There is not much research being down for Glioma cancer, even though it is the 2nd leading cause of death in children with cancer.

Please read more about Glioma research here.

I love that races are often fundraisers and opportunities to help a good cause. :)

Anyone else run this weekend?

Any good upcoming races?

Have you ever ran for a cause that really moved you?

















I did something I don’t often do…

I am a country girl and I love it.


Now that that’s outta the way.

My running has been a little lackluster lately, but I can’t seem to break through the slump. Work has been exceptionally busy, and when I’m tired/stressed I don’t run well. Or at all.

Yesterday (Sunday) I was debating between a nap and a run. And finally, my runner-self took over and I put on my running clothes, laced up my Saucony’s, and hit the pavement. In doing so, I did something I don’t often do. I ran a new route.

I didn’t feel like driving to my trail. I’ve also always been afraid to take off running near my house because of the road I live on. I live in the country, (did I mention that already?) and although my road doesn’t see a lot of traffic, it is a main route and does host some high-speed trucks. But I felt brave and figured I’d hit the side roads in about a half a mile, so it would be okay. I also don’t run with music, so listening for traffic would be easy.

I just kind of made up a route as I went. Ended with a 4.5 mile run, around a 9:35 pace. Not bad considering I took some photo op breaks. And I took one “pray to Jesus” stop where I thought the heat might get to me. It didn’t.

I slowed down a little for some shots, stopped for others. Unfortunately with sun glare I couldn’t really see the photos until I got home. I may have been sweating on my phone…oops… They are quite hazy. Quality ain’t great, but you might see why I love living out here. :)


Don’t forget- you definitely want to sign up for the 5k Foam Fest that will be held in my lovely little country town (Garrettsville, Ohio- listed as ‘Cleveland’ location)!! I know it’s a bit pricey, but everyone I know who has done it LOVES it. I cannot wait for this one on July 19th!! Use my discount code to save $5 and be entered in to win other prizes as well!! 

Visit: and use my discount code:  FF3892. Send me a message or a comment if you register and I will confirm to make sure you get entered into the other drawings!


Has anyone had a running slump before? How did you get over it?

Do you often run new routes, or are you a creature of habit?

Country person or city person?




5k Foam Fest- Cleveland/Garrettsville Ohio- (Discount Code!)


While searching for races, I came across this race a while back- the 5k Foam Fest.  Now, I’m the first to admit, I’m not one for novelty races. I want to run. Not play. I know, I know…..I am no fun. Blah, blah, blah.  But, something about this race struck me from the beginning. The obstacles look like a ton of fun (more so than usual courses) and as I read on, I see that the ‘Cleveland’ location is actually being held in my home-town of Garrettsville!

No brainer, folks. I’m in.

So, imagine my super-excitement when I was chosen to be an Ambassador for the race!

The race will be held on July 19th, 2014 in Garrettsville, Ohio. And promises to be a FUN time.

Enjoy fun obstacles, like:

The Mud Pit

The Body Washer

Spider Web Forest

Aqua Lily Pads

And over a dozen more!!


Visit their website for more info, photos and videos:

USE THE DISCOUNT CODE:   FF3892 to save $5 and possibly win some cool door prizes!

And, if you are coming in from out of the area, I have a hotel about 30 minutes away with an indoor waterpark that would be happy to host your stay!  :)




My tooth hurts. I can’t run.

Excuses, excuses.

Seriously, is anything worse than a toothache? I’ll answer that for you. NO. I’ve had kids, broken bones, suffered from the flu….but a toothache? Nothing worse.

Apparently, I have an infected wisdom tooth that is half in my sinus cavity. Gross.

When I went to the dentist and he showed me the X-ray, he pointed to a small grey dot on my tooth. That small grey dot is the infection causing all this pain. Are you serious? Yes, I feel like a wimp.

So, tomorrow I go to the surgeon to fix-the-prob.

In the meantime, I stopped running. It just felt better to lay in bed and whine about the pain. Okay, so I was busy, busy in other areas too-like work & life- and somehow running took a back seat. I’m not proud of that.

It’s pretty bad when your running app sends you an email entitled, “It’s okay to take a break.”

Yesterday, I decided it was just a dang toothache, people were certainly busier than I, and  I needed to get it together and get out there and run. GET IT TOGETHER JEN.NO MORE EXCUSES.


So, I went out and did 3.5. I had no goals, just to do it and not do it too uber~slow. Overall pace was 8:33. I’m happy. My app tells me it’s been 12 days since my last run.

My legs felt a little weird. I was worried I might have forgotten how to run. It wasn’t a seamless run, I stopped to walk at Mile 2 and Mile 3 for about 30 seconds each time. My knees felt achy (and still do a bit this morning), but other than that I felt good.

Time to get back at it.

Back on track.

Like riding a bike.



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