Running

Plantar Fasciitis – I Hate You

The great thing about running is the resulting athleticism, clear mindedness and reduced stress. The bad thing about running is the resulting injuries if you’re doing it wrong, overdoing it, getting to old to do it as much, or aren’t investing in proper gear.

I’ve had a series of injuries ranging from IT band issues to more recently PLANTAR FASCIITIS. Which, despite teasing from my friends, doesn’t mean you have warts on the bottom of your feet. Jerks! Ha!

If only I had known that the stone bruise I was experience was an earlier indicator of what was to come.  I could feel it happening as I ran on the treadmill at a friend’s gym with my brand new shoes on.  Needless to say I’ve returned those shoes and picked up another pair that are the same trusted brand/model that I’ve been wearing for years. More to come on that later.

I haven’t torn the fascia but I’ve seriously stressed it – so much so that I limp around at work, can’t wear flats and certainly can’t run. The x-ray revealed that there were no bone spurs which is good because the last thing I need right now is foot surgery or to have to wear around a boot for six months. The half marathon is going to have to wait.  Too bad I’m out the registration fee now. I just physically can’t do it. Maybe they’ll let me downgrade to the 5K which still may end up being a stretch (no pun intended).

In my near future I see more rolling of golf balls and frozen water bottles along the arches and heels of my feet, much time spent holding up walls at 10 sec intervals and make sure to keep up with other forms of cardio until I can start running again. I can do all of these things myself without going to physical therapy – so I’m going to avoid that drain on the wallet as well as the physical torture.

Here is a great guide on how to stretch and treat plantar fasciitis.

Lesson: Listen to your body and take care of your feet. The feet are so important – they’re the foundation.

 

Running

Running Shoes – An Investment In Your Feet

womens running shoes Asics

If you’ve ever purchased running shoes you know they are quite the investment. Ideally you would have visited a running store like Potomac River Running or The Running Store to get your feet and gait analyzed so you know what type of shoe is best for you. I fought this method for years — decades really. My friends call me stingy … I’ll go with frugal — but not spending the money necessary to have good foot ware was MORONIC.

I used to be that shoe buyer that went for the cheapest, most practical looking shoe regardless of the brand. I was not an avid runner — my yearly running activities consisted of one 5K and period games of softball. Then I had a health scare and realized that I would really miss being able to run so I started doing it more and more and more.  Those cheap shoes were wreaking havoc on my feet, knees, back and gait. I bit the bullet and went to get measured for running shoes.

$120 later I’m all set with my new Nike Structure Zoom 17 and ready to start running for real. the difference was unmistakeable.  My pain went away and my times improved greatly. Why didn’t I make the investment before? It’s clearly a no-brainer … but I’ve come to realize it’s a mindset that I have to overcome. Spending more money on higher quality items that fit better and last longer are much better than finding the cheapest option available (in most situations). By the way … I don’t go boring anymore – I go loud colors!

It’s most ironic that as I write this post I’m rolling a golf ball under my foot to help with my plantar fasciitis. I was late replacing my shoes … they’re really only good for 350 miles and I have around 600 on them.  The padding is gone on the side and the sole is rubbed away from miles pounded into the pavement/cement. I wasn’t intentionally regressing to my old ways of stingy, moronic frugality … I just was unable to find the time to get the shoes.  Let’s see how these new ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 work out!

Take away: Take care of your feet! Invest in your feet! You’ll save money on doctor’s and physical therapist visits. Ladies, it pains me to say it but DON’T where high heels.  Flats are the best thing at work – they may look a bit frumpy at times but even if you just wear them at your desk and walking to and from your car or public transit, try and get away from those heels!

New Year Resolution · Running · running shoes

2016 New Year Resolutions: Healthy Body + Healthy Mind

2016 New Year Resolutions

Healthy Body + Healthy Mind

I’m definitely going to focus more on running. I didn’t do that much better in 2015 than I did in 2014 which needs to change. That’s why I’m really pushing on my goal of 1,000 miles run in 2016. This means I’m really going to have to step up my stretching routines.

It’s important to look at how far you’ve come so you know what you are capable of doing … and then push myself farther.

Maybe a 5K? (2012) New Balance
310 miles (2013) Asics something or other
608 miles (2014) Newtons / Nike Air Zoom Structure 17
695 miles (2015) Nike Air Zoom Structure 18

Yeah it’s time to change my shoes again … and if I’m going to have a goal of 1,000 miles that means I’m going to have to get another new pair of shoes half way through the year. No more running with holes in the bottom of the shoes. It’s especially worn on the balls of my feet. Same spot on all my shoes.

2016 Running Goal: 1000 miles
2016 Books read: 24 (that’s only two a month)
Gonna hit the pool again too:)
Go big or go home right?

Workout routine

Weekdays
Early Morning: T25
Lunch: 30 Minute run + 20 Minutes weights and calisthetics
Evening: 100 minute speed walk or swim (once a week)

Weekends
Saturday (early morning) long run (8-10 miles)
Saturday (evening) KenpoX
Sunday (early morning) Yoga
Sunday (evening) Core work



foam roller · IT band · j/fit · knee pain · massage · muscle groups · physical therapy · Running · TFL

The Hell That Is Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy Is A Necessary Evil

No physical therapy is not a fancy “sports massage” … it’s an “evil massage”.

Physical therapy is something I avoid as much as possible. There were several instances throughout my childhood where I had to go to physical therapy for various sports injuries and the memories had been fogged by time … or merely suppressed by my subconscious because to revisit those sessions would be too traumatizing.
Fast forward twenty years (ah … twenty physical therapy free years); and you’ll come to a moment in time where my husband thinks it’s a good idea to pick me up and fling me over his shoulder. Only this cave man behavior doesn’t go quite has planned and there were a few re-adjusting hops that involved a strained hip-flexor on my part. The kids thought it was great because mommy was being man-handled and tossed around like a rag doll. The husband thought it was great because the kids were cheering him on and he felt super strong. I was not nearly as enthusiastic and proceeded to make the following 9 months one great big guilt trip.

This happened in November 2014.  I saw a doctor sometime in March 2015 because I had a half-marathon scheduled for April which I knew I couldn’t hobble through.  I had been continuing my runs as normal but found that by the end of the day I was limping around and was unable to stop it.  My hip hurt standing, hurt when I sat, hurt when I slept … but oddly enough didn’t hurt as bad when I ran.

My first guilty admission to the pain was actually in January but I procrastinated. My running times suffered by about 30-35 seconds/mile on pace.  The fact that I thought pain was in my oblique shows how clueless I am about human physiology.

Runkeeper run dashboard

 

The doctor gave me some muscle relaxers, pain killers and told me not to run in the half.  None of the medicine worked; the pain killers just covered up the problem.  I went back to the doctors a few months later and they referred me to a physical therapy office.  The doctor new the owner and said that they know how to work with runners. Okay brief victory dance … she labeled me as a runner … that’s a first!  I’ll take it!

I ended up going twice a week for about 8 weeks. I was looking forward to that first visit because the pain was becoming more than a nuisance. I had to warm up for 10 minutes (usually running no faster than 7.0 mph) and the next 30 minutes was spent doing squats and all kinds of strengthening exercises for my core as well as exercises for flexibility and stability.  I felt like I was in a boot camp. All the little old ladies in for back mobility therapy were laughing at my sweaty ass doing agility ladder drills. Up until this point it was fun … almost like a gym session with a personal trainer.

Then it was “evil massage” time. This is when the gel comes out and the elbows come down. My IT bands were so tight the petite physical therapist had to climb up on the table and use her elbows (with all her weight behind them) to roll out my muscles. I’ve never felt so much pain!  It was awful! This is the stuff I remember from back in high school.  The dark side of physical therapy … the side they keep secret until you’re already laid out on the table immobilized!

Tiger tail portable foam roller

At one point I was rolled by a “Tiger tail” (above) … I had problems walking for two weeks. No joke. Couldn’t run.  Coworkers laughed at me walking like an old cowboy around the office.  I refused to take the stairs … lest I become the strange smell two weeks later when people actually came looking for my body.

Symptoms

  • Tight IT band
  • Tight TFL
  • Sore hip flexor
  • Knee pain
The physical therapy team said that my knew pain is a result of the tightness in my IT band. When I run it pulls my knee off center and causes discomfort. I also apparently have to work on my core and my balance. So many little things to focus on to fix two areas of discomfort.
Solutions
  • Therapeutic ultrasound. Takes me back to my pregnancy days except they weren’t looking for a baby in my knee. Felt okay until they hit a tender spot and then it was slightly better than agony. Not a fan.
  • Stop wearing heels at work. Well crap. I’m already short. Guess I’ll go from average to stumpy but hey … my knee doesn’t hurt as bad. It was a huge adjustment switching from 1.5 inch heels (which is short) over to flats.
  • Do 45 minutes of stretching 3x per day. Yeah because I don’t have a job, commute or family. I squeeze in 10 minutes 3x a day if I’m lucky.  I will say it does make a difference. Do it.
  • Leg strengthening exercises. Squats squats SQUATTTSSS! Yeah these are fun so no problem there.
  • Improving core. Okay so I think I have a four pack in there somewhere? My obliques are great but the middle needs some work. More stability in core = more stability everywhere else. But I don’t get FitBit steps for crunches dammit! Lots of planking, crunches and she must have mentioned pilates like a million times.
  • Use a foam roller daily. This was new to me. I hate it but I love it. (little Tony Horton #P90X reference there).  Check out my purchase below:)
36 inche j/fit Super High Density Foam Roller

This is the video on a full-body rolling routine. I watched it for guidance on how to use my new foam roller. Ashley Borden makes it look so easy and so painless.  Don’t be fooled.  She’s definitely fit but her body is also used to the foam rolling.

Your take away on physical therapy?  While it may be hell on earth it’s really a necessary evil. The longer you put it off the worse it’s going to get. Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist questions. They are a great resource and a wealth of knowledge on how the body works. You’d be surprised at how much you’ve been doing wrong when it comes to stretching and exercising (or lack thereof). Just don’t head into your physical therapy session expecting a relaxing massage … that’s a terrible mistake.

I’d love to hear about your physical therapy experiences so please do comment:)  If you’re in the physical therapy industry … I hate you, but I love you. #necessaryevil

gel packs · goals · half marathon · JustGoGirl · protein · Running · running shoes · stress urinary incontinence · water

My First Half Marathon

If you told me two years ago, hell … even two weeks ago, that I could run a half marathon I would have laughed.  The farthest I had ever run was 8.15 miles and that was just recently (in the last few months).  Even in high school, when I was a good 40 lbs lighter, the farthest I had ever run was about 6 miles and that was just conditioning for swim team.

This has been a long, but steady, journey and I’m going to keep going with it.  Since March 2013 I have lost about 50 lbs and have gone from only being able to run 1/2 miles to being able to run 13.1 miles.  I’ve dropped 6 sizes in clothing and wonder what took me so long to get my butt in gear.  I removed all of the excuses and even as I sit to right this I’m looking at the clock realizing that I need to go on a run in about an hour.  The old me would have just looked out the window and thought it was too cold to go running.  Now I can’t wait to pull on my +Under Armour leggings and top, strap on my +Garmin ForeRunner10, iShuffle for tunes and my +Nike running shoes.

At the beginning of my journey I was all about running 5K races here and there but that quickly Outerbanks Half Marathon over this past Veteran’s Day weekend (11.9.14), starting slightly north of Nags Head, NC and ending in the town of Manteo.  A nice scenic, level, 13.1 mile run.  Well the only part that wasn’t level was the bridge but I conquered that so I’m going to push it from my mind.  Haha!
drains the pocket book and the distance is so short it’s almost over before it begins.  I’ve since refrained from doing the 5K races and jumped right into the

Stacking up my times with my Garmin.  I’ve gotten faster times than what you see below but they’ve all been indoors on a treadmill so they can’t be measured against a Garmin.  I think my fastest time on a 5K was sub 27 but that’s been indoors.  These are my outdoor stats since August 2014 when I started using the Garmin.

Notice there is no “Marathon” time … perhaps some day ….

I want to preface this next part by saying that I had some serious angst leading up to this event.  For the past 10 months or so I’ve had some serious stress urinary incontinence that has been quite the hurdle. Apparently having two children puts a strain on a woman’s pelvic wall and often leads to problems such as this.  Sure it’s a challenge and embarrassing but I got over it (I’m writing about it in this blog post aren’t I?).  I had sought help from my doctor in the form of medicine but found the side effects, dizziness and headaches, to far out weight the perceived benefits. I explored running with protection in the form of feminine products and even entertained the idea of Depends … but both options were too “bulky” and not conducive to running comfortably … not to mention fashionably 😉

So here is a serious shout out to +JustGoGirl for their awesome product.  I tested it in the days leading up to the half marathon as well as during the event.  Their product fit perfectly and worked as it was designed to so I could focus on what really mattered … my race. Not only was their product fantastic but so was their staff.  They rushed the shipment to me (at no extra cost) so that I would have a chance to try it before the race.  They also took the time to include a hand written note of encouragement and followed up post-race to see how I did.  Sorry for the delay in response +JustGoGirl!

Morning of the race with Tausha “Slaush” (5:40am)

I was lucky enough to run my first half marathon with someone who had run this distance before.  Thanks Tausha for the support and kicking ass on that ridiculous bridge! We had to wake up at ass o’clock to make the trip in for a 7:00AM race start. We stayed at a friend’s beach house down in Corolla. We were both very good with a short run the previous day and eating the right amount of carbs the evening before.  We went through a whole case of water that weekend just to make sure we were properly hydrated for the race.  Not that we needed it as the event was very well managed and they had water and +Gatorade stations every few miles.  Those stations also included +GU Energy Labs gels, which gave me the boost I needed when I was running out of energy.  I do have to say that the caramel or chocolate flavor was pretty gross but to be fair it was the first time I had ever tried an energy gel.  I think I’ll go with fruit flavors for the next run:)

Going into this race I had a goal of getting under 2 hours and 10 minutes.  I figured at 10 min/mile pace was a good one to start with since I had never run this far. My 8+ miles were run at a 9:30/mile and that seemed to be a pretty comfortable pace. The race folks said I did it in a 9:54/mile pace and my +Garmin had me coming in at 9:50/mile so that worked for me!  I beat my goal time and I managed to run almost the entire way without stopping (stupid bridge with your stupid steep hill that never ended).  The portion I did walk for was forced as I felt some heart palpitations coming on … which sometimes happens when I push myself too hard.  If you’ve ever had them you know that they make you dizzy and nauseous and I can only make them go away by slowing my breathing and avoiding activity until they pace.  Mine are the slow kind, as opposed to the kind that make your heart race. Not making any excuses; it is what it is.

Some stats on the run:

In hind sight I would have started closer to the front of the pack.  We were forced to the back near the 2:30 pace keeper.  We didn’t catch the 2:15 pace keeper until the down turn on the bridge hill (more like MOUNTAIN).  Next time I’ll start in the 2:00 pace group.  It was hard trying to weave through all the slower runners (and walkers).  Folks really do like to walk on the left … not sure why.  Running is kind of like driving … if you’re going to walk don’t do it on the outside … stay to the right.  Also … don’t run 5 or 6 abreast … folks can’t pass and you can’t run around others when you’re all strung out like that.

If you’re planning on running it (which I will be doing next year) look out for that hill on the bridge!

I learned many things from this race:

  1. You can do almost anything if you set your mind to it.
  2. Don’t doubt yourself.  Persevere.
  3. Make sure you have good shoes. Your knees and feet will thank you.
  4. Make sure your tunes are charged. (It was a miracle I had any with almost zero battery)
  5. If it’s below 60 degrees and near the ocean wear something to cover your ears!
  6. Chapstick … don’t forget it.
  7. Drink at the water stations … sure it slows you down but you need to hydrate
  8. Walk and drink at the water stations … don’t try to drink while running 😉
  9. Don’t chew gum while trying to eat energy gels.
  10. Make sure you have fog proof sunglasses
  11. Invest in friction gel if you’re prone to blisters … may not prevent but will help!
  12. Listen to your body and know when you can push past or when you need to stop
  13. Have your tech gear if pace is something you need to track…like constantly. (see picture to the right)
  14. Beer is good after the race (thanks for the Blue Moon)
  15. Don’t give up!
  16. Have a support group.  Thanks y’all!!

Until next year!!!

“Slaush” and I post race
Feeling good. Digging my insect glasses … ugh:(

13.1 · half marathon · Running

First Half Marathon

Just signed up for my first ever half marathon.   I’m jumping right from a 5K to a half marathon.  Yes that’s a 10 mile difference (exactly).  I feel a little crazy but I’m excited. 

Great website for calculating pace: http://www.users.on.net/~klima/rkcalc_hmi.htm.  Here are my initial calculations based on what I feel I can run. 

 
 Granted the longest distance I’ve run is 7 miles at once and my pace was 9:41/mile.  I’d love to keep that pace but we’re talking almost double the distance!  I’m mostly concerned about my joints!  Need to lose about 20 more pounds before race date.  I can do it … heck I’ve got 3 months!

I’ve signed on to a training program via RunKeeper.  Summer time running is very tricky for me … I get too over heated.  Thank goodness this run is in the late autumn so temps will be really cool.  The course is also relatively flat which is also in my favor since my runs are hilly.  Let’s do this!!

5K · new shoes · Newton · Running · splits · Zulu

Newton Motion

Newton Motion for #stability

I’ve hit that 300 mile mark and then some … time for new running shoes!!!  I’ve traded in my +ASICS for +Newton Running Motion shoes and the first run was great.  I pulled a no-no and ran farther than I should have for the premiere run.  The sales guy at The Running Store said to give these shoes two weeks to break in and to keep the distance to one mile per day.

Oops … just ran a quick 3.28 miles (couldn’t resist!!).  The shoes felt great and I didn’t feel any pain until about 2.75 miles when my right arch, achilles and knee started feeling discomfort.  I was warned against possible plantar fasciitis with this shoe and I can see where that is a strong possibility.  I’ve also heard that it’s pretty quick to recover from. I can’t completely attribute it to the new shoes as I’ve been having problems with the right leg for a few weeks now.  However, I probably should have listened and kept the run short.  Fastest outdoor 5K time (i.e. not on a treadmill) and a great pace:)

Tried a new pair of socks with these shoes too…also from The Running Store.  The Balega Zulu quarter socks worked great to absorb and they had plenty of cushion.  No friction burns for me today!!

Happy running:)

Running · swimming

Slowing Down The Splits

So my biggest problem is curbing my enthusiasm in anything that I do.  Why would that be a problem?  Well if you’re trying to increase stamina and distance on your runs you need to pace yourself better.  In other words I can’t run a 9 minute mile in the first mile of a four mile run.  My average pace for 4 miles is 10:13/mile.  So when I break out at a sub 9:00 I’m really hurting my chances of making it 4 miles without stopping.  Stopping really kills my motivation and sense of accomplishment.  I’m going for a straight distance run…not an interval run.

Take today’s run for example.  I started a little too fast the beginning and even though I made myself go much slower on the second half of the first mile the damage was already done.

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I did okay for mile two and three but mile four I really started to drag.  I need to keep my pace no faster than 10:00/mile for the first three miles.  On mile four and five I can increase my pace if I’m able to.

I’m still carrying too much weight to go much faster.  I’ve got another 30 lbs to lose before I feel comfortable to pursue a 10 mile goal.  I’d like to be there by January 1st but that is too ambitious for me.  I’m not much of a dieter and I’m trying to slowly modify my calorie intake so it’s something I can maintain versus a diet fad.  Sure I could do Weight Watchers and drop 35 lbs by Christmas but I KNOW I would gain it all back.  Yup…slow and steady…that’s me!
Going to try and double up on cardio today with a quick swim tonight (pending schedule and whether the pool is open for lap swimming).  Post swim workouts are the BEST feeling in the world…even better than post yoga workouts.  Both stretch but swimming does wonders for all my trouble spots (especially my back – love the stretch on the flip turns)
  • Warm-Up (1200)
    • 200 Free
    • 200 Back
    • 300 Kick (alternate 50s with free and breast)
    • 500 Pull (with paddles and buoy)
  • Sets (1375)
    • 10 x 50 Free on 1:00
    • 5 x 100 IM Drill on 2:00
    • 5 x 75 IM Swim w/15 second rest
  • Warm Down (200)
    • 100 Free
    • 100 Back
Total: 2775 meters (estimated time: 60 minutes)

5K · Fitness Walkman · P90X · Running · Sony · swimming

Back In The Swing Of Things

Well that was an unwanted hiatus!  Out of commission for several months with serious medical “concern” but now I’m at 90% and ready to push myself too far!  Just kidding; but no really that’s a horrible habit of mine.  I’ve gone ahead and signed up for two 5K races in March (one this weekend).  I haven’t run in ages and I’m what you might call a #fitfatty but I’m determined!  Shoot I already got a 14 lbs head start on the weight loss because of my medical “concern”.  I plan on keeping it going as I have another 65 lbs to lose to get to my goal weight.  I think I can pull it off in 365 days!

Just upped my +Klout and nabbed a #FitnessWalkman from +Sony which I can’t wait to try out with my runs.  Walkman sounds kind of 90’s but this thing is awesome.  It’s a wireless MP3 player headset.  Sync it up and wear it!  Sounds super easy and I’m totally in to trying the new waterproof version they have coming out.  To be able to swim with music must be amazing!  I know that has been around for awhile but I’ve never had an interest in listening to tunes while swimming.  I’ve always been so focused on lap counting and pace but it might just be that extra boost that gets me through a hard set.

I had a wicked awesome run today; well wicked awesome for me after not running for ages!  Starting using a new app for the #Droid called +RunKeeper and I LOVE how it uses GPS to track my route, speed, time, etc.  Amazing!  Sure beats having one of those hip counters clipped on my waistband.  Those things are horrendously inaccurate.

I’m planning on running three days a week to start.  On weeks that I have 5K runs I’ll run twice during the week.  On off weeks I’ll run MWF.  My goal is to make to a 10K by September 2013.  That’s a bit over 6 miles and a far cry from the 3.35 I ran/walked today (see above) but I think I can do it!  There is something about “Spring Forward” that just puts me in the mood to exercise.  It’s probably because I’m starting to dislike winter and look forward to long days and sunny weather.

In addition to running 3x a week I’m also going to pick up swimming on the weekends I don’t have 5K races.  I miss it and hopefully by that point I’ll have that new waterproof #FitnessWalkman from Sony .  I will continue to obsess over Tony Horton and his P90X program.  My goal with that is to finish 4 rounds by this time next year to so I can start P90X2 at my new goal weight.

Until next time!  Wish me motivation and no injuries!

Running

Stepping It Up A Notch

The road to a half marathon is going to be a long one.  I know that right now I can’t make it.  I’m going to start with baby steps and tackle 5K runs first.  Those I can do with a bit of effort. 

Once I’ve mastered those I’ll be looking at 10K races.  Right now I know I can’t run a 10K.  I could do a run/ walk but that’s not my goal.  I want to run the whole 6.2 miles without stopping. 

Right now I do all of my running on a treadmill….in a garage….boring I know.  It is also getting to be too hot.  I’m stepping it up a notch by running once a week with friends.  All of us are at varying degrees of fitness but we can all run 2+ miles no problem.  A good start right?

Still keeping up with my P90X and Shakeology.  Great combo.  Did some Plyo this morning.  Hated it at that moment but loving it now.  Talk about energy!