Episode 120: Neely Spence Gracey has been on the podcast several times, but we have not caught up with her since she had her baby Athen’s. In this episode, we talk about what it was like having to take so much time off, what the comeback process has been like and we talk about her future goals including the 2020 Olympics Marathon.
1:00 What has been going on
- Athen’s born
- Chases dog in the walker
- Leaving for training runs hard
2:23 You ran for over a decade without time off, what was it like shutting it down
- Been running from 8th grade
- 15 years never had more than a couple weeks off
- Ran for a while but got pain early on
- Thought would run a lot longer
- Went through an identity crisis
- Decided to mentally take a downtime
- Once accepted it was in a better place
6:47 When did you know it was time to start training again
- 6-week post appointment asked OB if could go for a run and they said yes
- Did 10x run one minute and walk one minute
- Every other day for a month would increase it a little
- Took a month before made a 4-mile run
- Was no information out there on how to come back
- Core was shot had to rebuild
10:32 You do a lot of core and strength exercises, how much did you focus on that
- 6-week core program
- Have a certain routine needed to do
- Did it 4 days a week and each week was different
14:20 When you started running was there any separation issues or did you run with a stroller?
- Husband ran with me pushing the stroller
- Athen’s was not happy being left with others
- Early runs without him were difficult
18:54 Been back running seven months
- Been long road back
- Way behind expectations, been longer than thought it would be
- Had taken 6 months off
- Shin splints which never had before
- Miles are behind where hoped to be
- At 50-55 miles a week, half of normal
- Cross training 3-5 hours a week
20:32 How did you work through the shin splints?
- Weight was a little higher than normal
- Not as efficient stride as used to
- Ran on more roads and sidewalks
- Calf muscles got really tight
- A lot of stretching, dry needling, massages, cupping
- Ice massages
- Once stopped flaring up so much added in strength work
- Did a lot of hard workouts on the bike for a while
24:46 Do you have a target race plan?
- No goal race yet
- Starting to talk about it
- Most likely will do a fall marathon
- With new Olympic standards puts pressure on running a marathon
27:40 With new qualification standards do you choose races differently?
- Need to go for a faster time on a fast course
- Weather also plays a factor
28:53 What are your thoughts on Olympic Standards?
- Disappointed how it will impact smaller countries
- Taking field from over 200 to about 80 is a big cut
- It is an original Olympic event
- Could have been a middle ground that wasn’t so drastic
- But they are the rules so we will live with it and control what we can
30:57 Where are you at with your training and workouts a week now?
- Now doing 2 workouts and a long run a week
- Been doing that for about 6 weeks now
- 12×400 workout and then 6 weeks later was doing 20×400 faster at altitude
- Can see big improvements in progression runs
37:00 Boston Marathon is next week any predictions?
- Excited about American Women
- Many Boulder women I have been running with and they are ready
39:30 Are you still coaching?
- Yes have 22 athletes running Boston next week
- Added a coach to the team
- Stayed connected to running while couldn’t run
- Work with some mother runners on the comeback