Monday, February 13, 2017

Running Updates-Oh Boy!

I've been a super lazy blogger.... I've been busy with school but, I did want to update you guys on my running post injury.   I'm sorry if this post ends up being all over the place.  I'm kinda mixed up about how I feel.

Let me get my big announcement out of the way first.....I decided to register for the  Revel Mt. Charelston Marathon.    A part of me is so excited to race at the end of April.  But, another part of me is "WTF are you thinking?"

The Revel Mt. Charelston course is a crazy steep down hill cheater cheater pumpkin eater course.  I will show you the elevation profile.

This makes the St. George Marathon look tame.

I realize that by running this marathon, I may have a really great chance of destroying my legs, and possilby reinjuring my foot.....  So why did I sign up for this?  I'm dumb or smart depending on how I look at this..... My biggest motivation was that I wanted to try to BQ again before registartion opens up in September.   I also do not want to train for a fall marathon this year.   I love Rock N Roll Las Vegas.  (never thought I would say that, but I had a good race last year).  

Training for a fall marathon means lots of long runs during the brutal Summer months.  In Las Vegas, our Summer is on steroids.  And last year she was a beast!   I think I might still race the half but, getting back to Revel.

Another reason that I recklessly registered for this marathon, was because my old running partner/run BFF now lives in Washington, DC and she got me excited and fired up about running, and we were going to run this race together..... Turns out, I registered and then the marathon sold out before she had a chance to. Womp.... Womp......I'm actually still closet training for this race.  I haven't told my husband yet.... Running eats into family time, and I know that marathon training can stress my family out.  My husband knows I'm training for something, but I'll drop this bomb in a few weeks after I finish my MBA program.

Revel is 11 weeks out, and at the beginning of March, I will start working with my coach Brent Bowers again.   He really did a great job of taking the guesswork out of pace, effort, and distance.  I did so much more of my running at an easy/relaxed pace.  But, I also did a crap ton of strides, and he changed my attitude of the long run.  I used to think that I had to do my long runs at marathon goal pace the majority of the training run.  By slowing down I was able to build up my endurance base, but not having to log 50 miles a week either. I was averaging in the high 30's and peaked at 45 mpw.  I really can't fit much more mileage into my schedule.  I also didn't feel exhausted or burnt out.

Running updates
I feel that I sorta eased my way back into training.....Here's what my last six weeks of running have looked like

I did my first long run of 13 miles last Friday, and it felt okay.  I am focusing on base building to build up my gas tank.  I am also being cautious about my pace. About once a week I will head out to different running  trails with big hills.

I will go into further detail about some of these runs in my next post.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Updates on my Fitness-January was much better than December

In December I wrote a list of things that I wanted to accomplish.  I wanted to spend more time in the gym working on my strength and slowly easing back into running.

Here was my list of goals- With brief updates

Bench Press 95lbs  (Earlier this week I did 85lbs for reps)

I'm still hanging out at 85lbs.  I bench press without a spotter.  I could probably go heavier but that is super dangerous without a spotter. I'm going to the gym to lift only about twice a week, However, I am doing a lot more core strength work at home at night and on the weekends.  It sounds silly but, I've been teaching myself to stand on my head.  It really is a great core workout.

Hanging Chin ups.  (I used to be able to do 3-4, but now even one is a struggle)
I can now do two reverse grip hanging chin ups.  YAY!!  In the gym, I have been focusing on lat pull downs with various grips (wide, close, overhand, underhand, etc.)

Increase groin and hip flexibility
At night when I watch TV (if I'm not studying), I will do planks, and stretch my hips, hamstrings, and groin.  Plus, I will do donkey kicks and glute bridges

Increase calf strength
I have been wearing shoes with a slight heel.  I bought a pair of ankle booties, and they have changed my life. lol.
I wear them a couple of times a week, and I forgot how much I enjoy wearing a shoe with a heel. I feel a little sassy, and I like the clicking sound they make when I walk.  They make me two and a half inches taller, and I swear my posture has improved.  And my feet and calves are getting stronger too.

Lose 7-8 lbs. 10-12  (Too much eating and drinking over the summer months ) My goal weight is 122lbs
This will make the chin up goal easier to attain.

I think I may have been lying to myself about how much holiday weight I gained.  My starting weight on Jan 2 was 134lbs. (Damn, I'm only 5 feet tall, so that's a lot for me)... But, after that hard dose of reality. I buckled down and have lost 5lbs my current weight 129lbs.  I still have another 5-7 to go.  But, slow and steady wins the race.   Earlier this month I was wearing my Garmin as an activity tracker to count my steps.  But, then my watch was acting haywire when I would use it for running.  Since the Garmin is my running watch, and I need it for running. I have since stopped using it to count my steps.

Clean up my diet.  Instead of trying to lose weight fast, I'm going to shoot for 1/2 a pound to a pound a week.

Currently, I am using an app to track all of my calories and exercise activities.  The app is called Loseit.  I have given up most junk food, and I'm eating a lot more vegetables.   The first week I lost two pounds and since then it's more like half of a pound a week.

Things are moving in the right direction, and I feel so much more positive than I did in December.  In the next post, I will update you on the running side of things.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

When you do something stupid to compromise your own safety

I was hoping that my next post would be about updates on my fitness.  But instead, I want to tell you how dumb I was a few weeks ago.... I was so dumb that I can't drive to my favorite park, and I'm now switching up my routes and being extra careful of my surroundings.

A few weeks ago I drove out to one of my favorite areas to run.  I parked my car near a park that I frequent, and I started getting dressed in my car.  To do this  I will put my running shirt on over my top and put my sports bra on and then take off clothes from underneath. I don't full on strip down (okay maybe I do, if the coast is clear) Anyway, I was getting ready in an area where there were no other cars.  But, halfway through a car drives by (Subaru Outback) and out of the parking lot up onto a hill that leads out of the park. But, whatever I didn't think they cared.  Well, a few minutes later I'm about to step out of my car, and I notice that the same Subaru Outback is parked directly above me on the street above.   The dickhead driver actually pulled over so he could sneak a peak at me getting dressed.... Good night. I'm not a PYT (pretty young thing) but, I guess creepers are desperate to see a flash of skin.  I gave him the double middle fingers, and he drove off.  But, after that I sure as shit didn't want to run in that area.  Even better I'm sure the dude will recognize my car. So now, I have to avoid my favorite park (or at least not park in the area) if I want to feel safe.

I'm mad at myself for being careless, but I"m also mad because why should I have to worry about feeling safe, when I run at the park?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Shoe Talk Volume III

I love me some running shoes.  I think I loved them a little too much last year.

(January 2016) I paid $70 for these when my local running store shut down.
This is the ASCIS GT-2000, and this is an awesome shoe! Plenty of support
but it's not super clunky.  These shoes lasted 300+ miles

(Janary 2016) I got these babies for free!! Actually, I had a friend who
worked at Zappos, and I mentioned how my Brooks Adrenaline's' didn't
fit properly but, I didn't want to return them after running approx. 80 miles, and she comped
me a new pair of Brooks Cascadia Trail Shoes. I don't wear these
very often. But, so far they have been a great shoe for off roading

(January 2016) I got these for almost free at a local track club race
However, I am a wimp, and I'm too scared to try this shoe out.

(April 2016) Nike Lunar Glide 7 I paid $50 for this shoe, and
I loved these for short hard tempo runs, and for 5k racing. I did a few long
runs in them, and they lasted about 250 miles before they started to
feel old.  I still wear these on the weekend and for gym shoes.
(May 2016) Nike Structure Triax-I paid $50 for a shoe that normally costs $120
but the arch support in these shoes is way too stiff for me now and
these shoes hurt after only 180 miles in them...

(August 2016)
When you see $50 running shoes on sale you buy them!  This is the
ASICS GT-1000 and to be honest I couldn't tell the difference
between the GT-2000, and the GT-1000.  This shoe was so
good that I wore it for the marathon.  I wish I would have purchased
two pairs.
(September 2016) Saucony Guide 9 I paid $65 for these shoes
and I really like the support and cushioning in them. I had the previous
model and they held up through 300 miles

(October 2016) Nike Lunar Glide 8
My mom bought these for me. and they cost $120. I had taught her how to play
Keno and she ended up winning $800 very quickly at Cesar's Palace.
we went shopping in the Forum shops to celebrate....
I really liked these shoes at first., but the fit and support 
is so much different than the Lunar Glide 7.  
These shoes have a really high arch support and it aggravates the inside of my foot.  
I won't be wearing these for running....

FWIW I am a discount shopper, and I will buy shoes that are from last season, and I never pay full price (except for my last pair of Nike Lunar Glides). I used to be so dedicated to my Brooks Adrenalines.  but once they stopped woking for me, I became a bit of a shoe slut. I tried a lot of different brands last year. 

I noticed that I was complaining about my right foot for several months last year and because it didn't hurt while I ran, I just ignored it until it became a huge issue....

I pronate my feet when I run, and my arches are sort of flat. I have always worn a stability shoe for most of my runs.  When I was younger I could wear racing flat for 10k's and even half marathons... But,  I have to baby my feet now.

A few years ago I used to wear shoes like this to work.
When I started having kids my work shoe choices look more like this
Carrying a car seat, and chasing after small kids, calls for sensible shoes.  I'd still put on the heels when I had a date night, but for the most part ballet flats and other flat shoes were all that I wore.

These flat shoes lengthed my calves without me realizing it, and combined with marathon training and gaining a few pounds, this contributed to the strain on my right posterior tendon /posterior tibialis muscle.

I took the last month off of running (except for one short run), and my feet were feeling better.   I had also stopped being so obsessed with being on the lookout for discount running shoes, that I started looking at boots and winter shoes online.   I found this super cute shoe at Zappos, 

These shoes are going to help me strengthen my calves again.  I didn't realize that wearing flat shoes would f*ck my feet up so much.  I've worn these a few times, and they actually seem to help take the strain off of the over extended tendon.

I'm still going to be really cautious about upping my mileage.  For the time being,  I'm just going to be doing short runs of 2-3 miles, and I'm still working out at the gym.

I hope to give you an update on my fitness goals in my next post.

Thank you for reading.

Thank you Strava and New Balance!! #StravaBackHalfChallange

I'm going to take my new shoes for a spin today at lunch time!
New Balance 860v7

I received theses shoes for free because I entered the Strava Back Half challenge.  The challenge was to run a negative split marathon.  I did so, at Rock n Roll Las Vegas in November of 2016.

I was unable to wear these shoes last month because I was foolish and I jumped back into aggressive running (hill climbing) and I injured a tendon in foot.

I am slowly easing my way back into running.  I will try to give these shoes an honest review soon, and I also want to talk about other shoes in my next post. :)

I'm glad that December of 2016 has come to an end and I am ready to face 2017.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Newish Car and Fitness Goals That are not Running Related

The way I felt two weeks ago, was bad.... I felt really sorry for myself... So to cheer myself up I bought a new car! (It's slightly used, and we had been saving for a second car anyway)

Fiat 500L. 

So whenever I feel bummed out and want to go for a run.  I will hop in the car and go for a short drive.  And I have started lifting weights again (more on that later)

In my last post, I said that I would take two whole weeks off from running..... Yeah, I made it one whole week, and then last Friday (Dec 9th), when my foot was feeling okay. I went for a short 2.5 mile run, and then I did some lower body work in the gym.  My run felt okay. To be honest, my foot hurt a little during the first mile, but once I warmed up it felt okay. I even did a little tempo pace towards the end. Well, that night my foot hurt so bad I thought I had a stress fracture......  The rest of the weekend went by quickly (bought the car, decorated the Christmas tree, and did my best not to wallow in self-pity) My plan moving forward is to not run for the rest of the month, probably the first week of January will be off limits as well.

I met with a PT (I work in higher ed, and we have several PT faculty on campus, so I got a free exam, but no ultrasound or x-rays were involved.  When she examined my foot on Tuesday (Dec 12th) I was asymptomatic (no symptoms).  Which is great.   There doesn't appear to be a fracture.  I'm going to be on an ibuprofen regimen for the next month, and I guess we will take it from there.

Fitness Goals

I have a new attitude this week,  and although I can't run I can still lift weights.   When I was younger I used to lift weights 4-5 times a week, and I had a very strong upper body. I used to admire fitness Olympia competitors and bodybuilders.
Oxygen magazine used to be my jam.

I do realize that lean look comes with strict dieting. Which is something I could never do.  But, I did enjoy feeling strong.

Over the years running has taken a priority, over lifting and it's no surprise that getting older has its side effects as well.  My weight doesn't swing back and forth too much, but it seems like I will be gaining and losing the same 10lbs for the rest of my life.... Being a little bit heavier I think may have contributed to my arch collapsing/ tendon strain.... The lighter I am the less stress I put on my feet.  I blame this year's diet complacency on being in school and being more stressed.

For the next few weeks, I plan to spend my time in the gym, just working on strength and flexibility.  Last week I managed to work out five times.  I'm hoping to hit as many days this week.  Here's a sample workout of what I do in the gym.

Flat bench dumb bell presses
One armed rows
Weighted glute bridges
Dumb bell overhead shoulder presses
Crunches on an exercise ball
Lateral double shoulder raises
Concentration curls
Calf raises (body weight only)
Plank walkouts
Alternating one legged planks
Donkey kicks
Dorsal back machine
Vertical Press
Quad extension machine
Side Planks 
Wheel pose

I'm a competitive person so, I do better when I have a benchmark to achieve or a goal to attain.
So here are a few concrete goals and one or two lofty ones....

Bench Press 95lbs  (Earlier this week I did 85lbs for reps)

Hanging Chin ups.  (I used to be able to do 3-4, but now even one is a struggle)

Increase groin and hip flexibility.

Increase calf strength.

Lose 7-8 lbs.  (Too much eating and drinking over the summer months ) My goal weight is 122lbs
This will make the chin up goal easier to attain.

Clean up my diet.  Instead of trying to lose weight fast, I'm going to shoot for 1/2 a pound to a pound a week. I still have to get through the holiday's and since I'm not running on the weekend mornings, I have had more time to bake.
Bolios with milk chocolate inside

Gingerbread cookies with the kids
Obviously after the holiday's it will be easier to resist temptation...

I'm looking forward to getting back on the roads.  But, I'm starting to appreciate the strength work in the gym.  I worked my butt off after I had my daughter (2013) and I was really able to change the way my body looked just from lifting more., and it led to faster times on the road.  I'm ready to put in the work to become a more well-rounded stronger runner.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, December 5, 2016

RunDollyRun- More like RestDollyRest

The marathon has come and gone, and I suffered a little post race blues.  This happens when I have a big event, and then the event happens and there are no more running races in the near future....

I felt a little lost after completing a structured training program for 14 weeks straight.   It was nice to have a coach tell me "Run x amount of miles @ this pace for x amount of time".   Here's what my mileage has looked like over the last three weeks.
The first week after the marathon. I rested almost the whole week and did very light stretching and body weight exercises.     The first Sunday morning after the marathon I left the house thinking I would run 5-6 miles.  I came back after three and a half, and my husband was asking "is everything okay?"  My body just felt tired.

The following week was  a rough week.  I had two mid-term papers that I needed to finish before we left for Thanksgiving travel. I wasn't sleeping well, or eating well, and I only ran three times.  We traveled to Oxnard to visit family, and I managed one early morning run on Thanksgiving.
I saw the sunrise on Thanksgiving

The farm fields of Oxnard are so inspiring.  The best strawberries in
the world are grown here. 

The three times that I did run, I kind of ran at tempo effort.  Again, no training program means that I'm more likely to run faster (for me) than I should....

Last week.  I jumped right back into some steep hill climbing without giving it much thought. Last Monday I climbed 550 feet. I took Tuesday off, and Wednesday I headed out for a short trail run.  

My Selfie game is weak- This is my "what are you staring at?" face.

I climbed a little over 300 feet and, I managed to mess my foot up pretty good.  I ran just fine on it, but later on that day my foot really hurt...... I took Thursday off, and I wore my supportive shoes on Friday and ran two more miles... I could run, but my damn stride is way off.

This has been a nagging injury that I dealt with during marathon training.  And I remember promising myself that I would back off on my training once the marathon happened.

All this time I thought it was plantar fasciitis...... 

Well after Dr. Googling my symptoms it appears that I have posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
I borrowed this photo from the Runners Connect.

at the most severe, I could possibly have a stress reaction in my medial malleolus (inner ankle bone).

I have always prided myself on the fact that I have never had a long term running injury.  But, I think my luck has finally run (ha ha) out.... I didn't realize how bad this could get.  

Walking has become painful after I run and that shouldn't be happening.   I'm lucky that I was able to train for a marathon, and I was really looking forward to signing up for races in the upcoming months.... But, I need to start healing and rehabbing.

I'm sad (obviously)  I have three more months of my MBA program left, and running is how I deal with stress.

But, this is an accountability post.... I'm writing this out that I will not be running for at least two weeks....  I will be lifting weights and trying to learn some yoga.....

Pity party table for one please.