5 Ways to Deal with a Running Injury

An injury can be a real kick in the pants. Not only can they be painful but they can derail your training and racing plans as well as blow up your current fitness level. I’ve been struggling with an injury for nine months. I finally broke down and went to the doctor to find out that I, in fact, have hamstring tendonitis and a stress fracture in my hip. I have a prescribed 12-week journey with physical therapy. That means, hopefully, by August I’ll be running again… Pain-free… in the summer heat and humidity. I’ve never been more excited for sweaty, vomit inducing runs in all my life.

As I come to terms with this injury, I created a list of ways to help me maintain my sanity. Here are five ways to cope with a running injury.

Pity Party

Allow yourself a moment to grieve and be down in the dumps, but only for a specified period of time. Today I am actually participating in my own pity party and it’s going to be grand. I have fast food, ice cream, sweat pants, and tears on the agenda. Oh, it’s my party so I can most certainly cry if I want to. But here’s the caveat to the pity party. It does have a predetermined end time. I have allowed myself only one day to wallow in the despair of my unfortunate circumstances. Tomorrow I have to put on my big girl panties and get down to the business of making the best of this injury.


Sleep In

You may be on a workout restriction or you may have a reduced workout plan Whatever the reason allow yourself to get a bit more rest as your body recovers. I may have gone a little too far on this one and have turned off all of my alarms. I better look like Cindy Crawford with all the beauty rest I’ve been getting.

Netflix and Chill

Since there’s no need to wake up early, staying up late to binge watch Netflix is totally okay. I may not be running a marathon, but I sure am killing the  Netflix marathon that has consisted of Girl Boss, Dave Chappelle, and re-watching The Office.

Find a Project

Throw yourself into a project. I hear many runners, myself included, say that they have a lot of pent up energy since they are injured and can’t run. Channel that extra energy into something that will bring you happiness and a sense of accomplishment. This could be painting, taking a class, playing an instrument, or home renovations. My project of choice has been home renovations. We have updated our laundry room and renovated a bathroom. My family is ready for me to start running again so that I’ll stop watching HGTV and our weekends can get back to normal. Here is the before picture of the laundry room. It has the 70s vibe and in a desperate need of a fresh coat of paint. 

And here is the after.

Comeback Plan

Bring to your recovery the same dedication and planning you use with running. Make a recovery and return to running plan. Check off the days as you approach your goal. Do the work. Make sure your training plan is approved by your doctor, physical therapist, coach, or whoever you’re working with on your injury recovery. It’s important to get an expert’s input of your comeback plan so as to not further injure yourself. Starting next week I’ll begin work with my physical therapist to develop my recovery plan. That allows me plenty of time to fully enjoy my pity party and get in a better mood before tackling 12 weeks of PT.

Whatever your injury or reason for taking a break from running, I wish you the best and strong return to running.


Also, what better way to deal with a running injury than to win a bunch of cushiony Balega socks. Check out the Balega Giveaway going on now and ending Sunday, April 30th.

find out more about this giveaway

What Inspires My Running and Balega Giveaway

Boston Marathon Inspires Me

Six years ago, I sat in my living room, my clothes tight and pinching at my still sharply tender c-section scar and I watched some 0f the world’s fittest athletes compete in the Boston Marathon. I longed for the ability to run longer than a 5K. I had always been a recreational runner picking up a few miles here and there. But watching Des (Davila) Linden place second and Kara Goucher fifth with a time of 2:24:52 only five months after giving birth, I felt like a baseball lover seeing Babe Ruth. My love for running was ignited by these two women. I was determined to be more than just an occasional runner.

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Inspires Me

This year was no different. There is something magical about the Boston Marathon. Each year in April my love of running is renewed. Luckily, living in Oklahoma I get an entire month of feeling amorous towards running because following the Boston Marathon is the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. There are so many reasons to love the Memorial but one of my favorite reasons is that so many Oklahomans of varied abilities are dedicated to training for and participating in the race. You can drive around any town or neighborhood and find folks out running.

Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Balega Inspires Me

Just like the Boston Marathon and OKC Memorial, there have been instances along the way that have kept me running when inspiration runs thin. I received my first pair of Balega socks as a Christmas gift over three years ago. I had never had such a well-made pair of socks before. Before Balega, my socks would often fall down into my shoe, get bunched up, and cause blisters. But not my anymore. I wear my Balega socks for all occasions. A run, a quick trip to the grocery store, and I even wear them with my trendy fall booties.  They continue to be the ONLY socks I run in. I’ve even paid it forward and gifted many Balega socks to friends and loved ones for Christmas and birthdays. Each person I introduced to Balega has commented on the softness and cushion of the sock and they get hooked.



I want to get you hooked on Balega socks too.  To celebrate the Boston Marathon and the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon, RunOklahoma is partnering with Balega International to host a giveaway. This giveaway is fitting because it opens, Patriots Day (Boston Marathon day) and entries close on April 30th (OKC Memorial). My hope is that these races inspire you to run and that these amazing socks help you reach your running goals.


find out more about this giveaway

Five Ways Running Is Like Online Dating

The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

I recently spent a girls runcation in Phoenix, Arizona with some of my Oiselle teammates. It was incredibly fun getting the opportunity to enjoy beautiful weather, delicious food, and racing with this group of amazing women. We had a lot of silly and heartfelt conversations. Many of us found ourselves in varied stages of relationships. Some were married, some newly single, some actively dating. Despite the differences there was a commonality of online dating. I mean really, you can’t throw a rock anymore without hitting someone that has tried online dating. And what’s a group of runners to do but compare our online dating experiences to those of the activity we hold near and dear, running.

Here are a few similarities we found:

A Lot Of Work For A Bagel

With online dating, if you make it past the arduous vetting process of messaging, chatting, and phone calls you eventually get to enjoy a meal. Racing is no different. After weeks of dedicating yourself to strenuous training and eventual racing, runners are rewarded with post-race grub that ranges from bananas and bagels to grilled hamburgers. Just like dating, the quality of the food depends on how cheap the race is.

Exaggerations Are To Be Expected

Most runners have experienced the course that was described on the website as “gentle rolling hills”. However, once out on the course it’s painfully obvious that the elevation gain is much more then gentle. Similarly, there’s a reason the term ‘catfish’ exist in online dating. Sometimes a profile picture may be a few [several] years old. Or weight and height are general estimates rather than accurate measurements. Either way, a good old fashioned Google search of potential dates and review of those race elevation maps can go a long way.

Going Out Too Fast Spells Disaster

Look, we’ve all been there. A race starts, adrenaline is pumping, you get caught up in the current of the other runners and find yourself running way faster than you know you should. The same happens with dating when you’re eager and come on way too strong. Pacing yourself can be just as important in racing as it is in dating.

Lube Is Your Friend

Things can quickly get hot and sweaty. There’s no shame in acknowledging that lubrication can make many situations more pleasant.

All The Feels

Somehow, someway racing and online dating can cause you to experience a wide range of feelings. Nervousness, nausea, gastrointestinal distress, butterflies, exhaustion, and exhilaration have been known to occur in a single race… and a single date.

Do you race? Do you date online? What are similarities you’ve noticed between the two?

Oklahoma City Gym Just for Runners

The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.


*Courtesy of OKGazette.com Photo courtesy of Higher Ground

The Zach Morton logged hundreds of miles of runs while deployed more than 7,000 miles away from home when the idea for a business based on his love for running began.

“I wasn’t going to be good enough to compete, and I didn’t want to sell shoes,” he said. “So me and my buddy just kept saying, ‘What could we do?’”

While in Iraq with the U.S. Navy SEAL team, Morton ran 660 miles over a six-month period and he and his friend developed the concept of a gym just for runners.

For Runners, By Runners

Higher Ground Running, Oklahoma City’s first running gym that caters to beginner runners and serious athletes focused on shaving seconds off their best times, is the fruition of more than a decade of dreaming.

The gym opened in October at 9644 N. May Ave. Morton and his team of fellow running enthusiasts, which includes past winners of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, NCAA athletes and coaches, spent more than a year preparing to open the business. Morton and his family moved here after more than 15 years away specifically to focus on the gym. Morton and his team visited similar running facilities in New York and California. They networked via friends and through social media, offering free introductory classes to get their name and concept out into the running community.

Unlike all-purpose gyms, Higher Ground is built for runners. The facility features an outdoor track, a weight room and Woodway 4Front treadmills, which Morton described as “the Bentley of treadmills.”

“If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right,” Morton said, explaining that the high-end treadmills have flat surfaces that minimize accidents caused by fast-moving belts and closely mimic outdoor trail running.

Much like a spin class helps cyclists train and stay engaged with upbeat music, varying intensities and intervals, Higher Ground’s running group exercise classes are more intense and entertaining than a row of runners robotically jogging on treadmills. Some classes, such as The Hills, offer extreme resistance variations much like a run up and down hills while The Flatlands is less intense. Each participant runs at a pace set by the coaches and based on their level and goals.

Making Goals Happen

“The classes are a lot of fun, but they put the hurt on you,” said Shar El-Assi, who joined the gym when it opened after attending introductory running classes with the group at Bishop McGuinness High School’s track.

“The reason why I chose them is that they show they really care about you and your results. They individualized a plan for me. They motivate you. They actually want you to get better.”

El-Assi, a 45-year-old mental health care worker, ran track at his small high school in western Oklahoma and was part of the cross-country team at Oklahoma State University. In the last two years, he started running again to lose weight.

When he trained on his own, he lost 42 pounds and finished the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in 4 hours and 38 minutes. After taking speed classes at Higher Ground, he shaved 44 minutes off his time. At this year’s marathon in April, he hopes to finish in 3 hours and 40 minutes.

“I think I’ll get there with them,” he said. “I think that anybody who tells you that they love running — they’re lying to you. I don’t like running; I like how I feel when I’m done.”

Other runners at Higher Ground are also improving — two have cut their times down to qualify for The Boston Marathon. Morton said he’s also reaching his goal and helping other runners get better.

The gym offers monthly memberships starting at $100, drop-in classes, personal coaching and marathon and half-marathon training.

7 Training Fixes to Help You Get Faster

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*Courtesy of Competitor.com Photo courtesy of Pexels

It’s one thing to have big plans for the coming year. It’s another to put those into immediate action and give yourself a leg up on your spring fitness during the fall and winter. You know you need to follow a training schedule, set goals and assess at the end of the year. But those things all take time before you’ll see improvements. So what can you do right now to get faster? “There are probably 30 things I could tell you that are actionable right now,” says Jason Fitzgerald, a Denver-based USATF-certified coach and author of 101 Simple Ways to Be a Better Runner. Thirty is a lot. Let’s start with just seven, with cues from Fitzgerald and longtime Chicago-based running coach Jenny Hadfield.

1. Mix up the effort.

One of the easiest ways for most runners to get faster is to simply “get away from the plain Jane training plan,” Hadfield says. Instead of just running the same pace all the time, vary the intensity and distances. Do one workout per week that’s high-intensity—whether that’s on the track, treadmill or hills—and do one workout each week that’s more of a tempo effort. “It’s amazing how much people improve in just two to four weeks,” says Hadfield, by just adding pace variety into their routine.

2. Mix up everything else too.

It’s not just your pace that needs a little more pizzazz. Variety is the spice of running. Regularly run in different types of shoes, rotating through two to three pairs, Fitzgerald says. This subtly changes the stress on muscles and tendons in your lower leg, which reduces the risk of injury. That’s also true for running on different surfaces: dirt, grass, bike path, asphalt. By varying the type of work you’re doing—and, yes, also different kinds of cross-training—you’ll improve your functional strength and overall biomechanics.

3. Add 10–15 minutes of core.

You know you should be doing strength work. But it can be hard to make it to a gym. Instead, just add 10–15 minutes of an assortment of plank exercises after your run a few times each week. Fitzgerald has his runners do a routine that includes planks, side planks, planks where you pick up one arm then the other, then planks where you pick up one leg then the other, pushups, and a plank position where you bring your knee up to your opposite elbow. Add simple core exercises after your run and it’ll actually get done. The winter is also an ideal time to try different kinds of workouts, Hadfield says, like yoga, strength classes or cross-country skiing.

4. Run more.

Sometimes getting faster at running is as simple as just running more. Fitzgerald says he’s often surprised how many runners aren’t doing a proper long run. Either they’re cutting it short to be social or they’re just running a couple miles longer than their other runs. He’s also found that a lot of runners are only running 15–20 miles a week. That’s fine, but “if you’re stuck in a rut and your volume’s been the same for a long time, then gradually increasing your mileage can see big improvements,” Fitzgerald says. The key is to increase the mileage gradually and then level off once you hit your new appropriate amount—say 30–40 miles per week, depending on what other training you do and your injury history.

5. Stop the static before a run.

Fitzgerald also gets rid of any static stretching his runners are doing before their runs. Plenty of studies have now shown pre-workout static stretching—i.e., touching your toes or sitting on the ground with your legs in front of you—is not helping and might be actually hurting you, as it increases the chance of injury. Instead, do a dynamic warm-up routine. This is especially helpful when it’s cold outside. That could mean some easy movement or jogging, followed by dynamic stretches like leg swings or lunges or air squats. In the winter, Fitzgerald will even have his runners do all this inside before heading out.

6. Do strides.

Add to the list of ways to mix it up: running strides at the end of your workouts. “Too many runners are not doing strides,” Fitzgerald says. Running four to six strides of about 75–100 meters each helps develop proper form, and improves leg speed and turnover, he says. Aim to do this at least once per week, though Fitzgerald prefers his runners do strides two or three times each week. Over approximately 75–100 meters, gradually build up to 90–95 percent of your max speed, hold that effort for 10–15 meters, and then coast to a stop. Rest or jog for about one minute, and then repeat.

7. Forget about pace.

It sounds like wisdom from Mr. Miyagi: To go faster, stop trying to go faster. But sometimes that’s exactly what runners need, Hadfield says. “We’re all addicted to our apps and GPS.” When we become slaves to our devices, we forget to run according to how we feel. On a hot and humid day, your pace might be significantly slower for the same effort, she says. By forcing her runners to run based on heart rate, perceived effort and feel, they learn how that relates to pace. Leaving the GPS device behind sometimes allows you to go as easy as you should on easy days—which keeps you ready to go as hard as you should on hard days.

How to Get Into America’s Biggest Marathons

You’ve heard of the Chicago, New York City, and Marine Corp Marathons otherwise referred to as the Big Three. They are three of the largest races in the United States located in some of the best cities. They could be considered goal races for many runners since you either have to have a qualifying time, win a lottery drawing, or fund-raise for a specified charity to gain admittance to each race. The scheduled lottery for each of these races is staggered in such a way this year that you could enter in all three in an attempt to gain admittance into one race. For example, if you don’t get into the Chicago Marathon, you can enter into the NYC Marathon lottery shortly after receiving your denial letter from Chicago. Check out the lottery schedule below.


Bank of America – Chicago Marathon

Application Opens: Tuesday, November 1st 2016

Application Closes: Tuesday, November 29th 2016

Drawing Date: Tuesday, December 13th 2016

Race Date: Sunday, October 8th 2017

Entry Fee: $195.00


TCS – New York City Marathon

Application Opens: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Application Closes: Friday, February 17th, 2017

Drawing Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017

Race Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017

Entry Fee: $295.00


Marine Corp Marathon

Application Opens: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Application Closes: Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Drawing Date: Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Race Date: Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Entry Fee: $140.00


What to Wear on Your Run?

Fall and spring are the best times of year to get outside and run. However, with mild temperatures you may find yourself overdressed. Having to peel off layers and stash them for the remainder of a run can be a pain.  Well, so can drastically under dressing. Whichever side you tend to fall on, here are some simple guidelines to help you dress for any run. Don’t forget essential running accessories like hats, gloves, and sunscreen depending on season and preferences.

What to Wear on Your Run

What to Wear on Your Run Infographic


More Ideas on What to Wear

Also here’s a list of web based tools to help you figure out what to wear on your next run.

Runner’s World – What to Wear – Just enter a few details about your run and it will determine the perfect attire for your run.

Dress My Run –  No need to enter any data. It determines your location from your computer’s IP address and displays the current weather conditions as well as what to wear on you run. To top it off, the site provides links to purchase the items on Amazon.

What to Wear When Running – Fleet Feet Mahwah has a great article on the different types of fabrics running clothes are made of and when to wear them. Not all fibers are equal.


Are there guidelines or rules of thumb you follow to dress for your runs?




Why Running Friends are the Best Friends

International Day of Friendship is Saturday, July 30th. I’m sure you have a great set of friends you’ve know your entire life or work buddies that take you out for drinks when the work week has been bad. But really, the best type of friends are your running friends and here’s why:


They are Your Kind of Crazy – Who else will wake up at 4 am on a Saturday and meet you to make sure you get your long run done before the day gets too hot, or kiddo’s soccer tournament starts, or just because that’s when you run. Some people say it’s crazy but really it’s just a good friend.

They Help You Achieve Your  Goals – If you’re struggling with distance or a speed your running buddies are there to help. You can always run a little faster or a little longer with a good friend by your side.

They Listen to Stories About Your Boring Life – When you’re running with someone for hours at a time, you’re bound to talk about odd or embarrassing things. I mean, you have to pass the time some way. And you learn A LOT ( a lot a lot) about your running friends. Running friends entertain you with their stories and listen to yours. It’s a rewarding trade off.

They are Like Old Faithful – You’re running buddies are often times the most reliable people you know. They show up when they say they will show up. In the dark, in the cold, in the heat. It’s a great feeling knowing you have a friend to count on.

What are some reasons your running friends are the best?



Runner Like You – Run Tulsa – Jessica Mace

People run for all sorts of reasons. Beyond the health benefits and weight loss advantages, it’s not uncommon for mothers with young children to use running as  a way to get a bit of “me time”. Running provides a break from the trials of parenting and offers a way to get that much needed stress relief and maintain mental well being. But there are so many things to consider when starting to run again after child birth. When is your body ready? What to do with the sweet bundle of joy while you run? How to balance it all?

Tulsa runner, Jessica Mace, gave birth to her youngest son earlier this year and has made it back to running after a few hiccups along the way. She is a half marathoner, a wife, a blogger, and streak-er. But more importantly, she was willing to answer a few questions about her experience of running while pregnant and getting back to racing after baby. Thanks, Jessica, for sharing your experiences with Run Oklahoma.

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your running history.

A. After I had my oldest kid 11 yrs ago, I couldn’t run a block without stopping to walk.  Some gals at work were doing the Jingle Bell Run in 2006 and they convinced me to sign up.  I ran it without training in just under 39 minutes and then couldn’t walk properly for a few days…but I was hooked!  I ran my first half marathon in 2013 and have since done 6 halves, 4 15ks, and countless 5ks.


Q. You were a runner before pregnancy and continued to run during pregnancy. How did running change for you while pregnant?

A. Oh man, it was different!  Before I got pregnant, I had just gotten to where I could comfortably run 8 min miles.  I became pregnant in the summer and I was nervous that the heat would harm the baby, so I toned it waaaay back.  I did 3 5ks, a 2 hr trail run, and the Quarter Marathon with no problems.  But, after the Tulsa Run 15k, I started having a lot of contractions.  They went away with some rest and water, but my doctor and I decided that it would be best if I stop running.  I ugly cried the entire way home from the doctor that day!  I continued walking and completed the Route 66 5k.  Then I took it easy, just walking a mile or two a few times a week, until baby arrived in Feb.


Q. Now you have a sweet, new baby at home; it’s been a hot summer so far; and you even had a few health issues including a broken arm several weeks ago. What has been the hardest part of returning to running?

A. Motivation and stamina!  I decided to start back with a C25k program, so as not to overdo it.  Like you said, I fell and broke my arm the first time I ran postpartum, so that made getting out there even harder!  It’s definitely hard to get out there when baby keeps me up at night, and it’s even harder when the heat index is 116°!  Making plans to run with friends and siblings gets me out there when I feel like staying inside. We’ve been going out to run early and, thankfully, I have a treadmill when it’s too hot for baby.  With the C25k app, I’m up to running 28 minutes without stopping.  I’m not trying to increase my speed yet, I’m just trying to build up my stamina! 


Q. What’s been your biggest motivation to begin running again?

A. Running is good for my mental health! Even when I’m pushing a 25lb stroller with a 15lb baby, it’s just so freeing to get out there and run.
I think it’s so important to set a good example for your kids. I like my boys seeing that mom isn’t going to give up. I like it even more when they come with me!
Also, fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, for sure. My husband would appreciate if I didn’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe!


Q. If you had to give advice on running to other women who are pregnant or just had a baby, what would be the key things you would suggest they consider?

A. Listen to your doctor and your body. After the contractions at the Tulsa Run, I was still determined to run the Route 66 half, but I had contractions every time I ran, even when I would go very slow. So, I went to the race and watched my friends and family run instead of running it myself.
Many women can run distances during pregnancy with no problems. It’s important to know your body and to listen when baby says to slow it down!


Q. Do you have any upcoming goal races?

A. I’ll be running the Firecracker 5k on July 4 with my family and the Bedlam 10k on July 30. I plan to run the Tulsa Triple (the Quarter Marathon, the Tulsa Run 15k, and the Route 66 half). Say hi if you see me!


Lightning Round

  • Favorite way to run right now, with or without a baby stroller?      Without!  That thing is HEAVY!
  • Favorite Tulsa area race?      The Tulsa Run and the Route 66.  It’s always fun to cross the finish line with a crowd cheering you on!
  • Favorite after run treat? food or nap?      Post race banana and then a shower!

Join an Oklahoma Running Group

Running with a club, group, or just your best friend can have immeasurable benefits like keeping you motivated, providing accountability, help improve speed and keep you safe. Or if you’re just looking for a way to get started a club can be a great way to demystify running, training, and racing. Whatever your reason, check out a local running club near you.


Alva Running Club
Enid Running Club
OKC Landrunners
Tonkawa Running Club
Tulsa Running Club

Often times running stores will host training groups or just weekly fun runs and those can be a great way to meet new running friends. Check out the websites for these Oklahoma running stores to more information about specific training groups.

Running Stores:


The Runner
100 S. Mississippi Ave.
Ada, OK 74820 Map


OK Runner
3209 S. Broadway
Edmond, OK 73013 Map


OK Runner
3720 W. Robinson St.
Norman, OK 73072 Map

Oklahoma City

Red Coyote Running and Fitness
5720 N. Classen Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73118 Map



Fleet Feet Sports
6022 S. Yale Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74135 Map

Tulsa Runner
9708 S. Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK 74137 Map

Runner’s World Tulsa
4329 S. Peoria St.
Tulsa, OK 74103 Map