Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sick or DOMS?

Let's play a little game called "sick or DOMS?"! 

Ha, just kidding. Sorta. 

I had a hard workout on Monday. I did things like pistol squats (one legged squats), weighted push-ups (25lb weight on my back) and box jumps. I made a serious mistake in telling my trainer that the previous workout didn't leave me "that sore". Inside she as going "mwahahahaha! I'll show her!" That night I woke up in the night going "whoa, I am SORE." I felt okay during the day on Tuesday, soreness wise, and ran three miles after work. Last night though I was ready to go to bed at about 7:30, which is only about 1/2 an hour earlier than I am usually ready to go to bed (not kidding). Again I woke up in the night very sore on every square inch of my body, my cranky IT band and knee were especially throbby (boo). 

When I woke up this morning my chest was congested and I felt like I had done over-head presses with a bus full of kindergartners the day before. Not good. While I laid in bed debating whether or not I could meet my friend at the gym at 9:30 I seriously could not tell if I had a serious case of DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) or I was, indeed, getting sick. When walking my kids to the bus stop in the morning left me ready for a nap, I figured it was the later. I cancelled the workout, I cancelled my volunteer gig at my daughter's school and I laid on the couch all day sucking up every supplement I could get my germy paws on and watching The Carrie Diaries on Hulu Plus (such a cute show!). 

I have to wonder, though, would I be this sore if I hadn't worked so hard with the weights on Monday? Who knows! The ibuprofen isn't even touching the aches, though. Ugh. 

At any rate, I am terrible ill person. I rarely get sick and I like to whine about it and medicate away every twinge of crappiness I feel. 

Any tips on kicking the crud you want to share? 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-Up

What a great week! I loved this week of workouts. It was my first double-digit run week, too!

Total Miles Run: 10.6

Monday: 2 miles  plus workout with trainer

This was the hardest workout I have had in recent memory. It was my running day and even though I had a training appointment schedule, I had to get it in. I was late getting to the gym so I only did just under 2 miles, instead of the 2.5 I wanted to do. After that it was time to work. Lots of squats (as always) then planks and push-ups with the bosu ball. After that I did the rowing machine, which I really liked. Then we headed to the weight room and did push press-- sort of like a thruster, only you don't lower in to a squat when you bring the bar down. You also sort of hop to push the bar up. Anyways, I had to do ten of these and then hold the bar up for 30 seconds at the end of each set of reps. Then I used the assisted pull-up machine for 50, YES 50!, pull-ups. They were assisted, and not all at once, but it was freaking hard. After that we did some ab work and I was D.O.N.E. 

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 2.5 miles

A short walking warm-up and cool-down, and this was my longest run outside since I was injured in October. Yay! I felt okay, I think I was running faster than I should have been.

Thursday: workout with trainer

This was a tough workout, my trainer pushes me a little further each time I go in. Sort of waiting to see if she is trying to reach my breaking point? Who knows! We worked out the whole time with barbells. After the warm-up I did 5 rounds of each of theses groups of exercises. The first 3 rounds were with a 35 lb barbell, the last 2 were with a 45 lb barbell. It was 10 squats, 10 push presses, 10 walking lunges and 10 bent-over rows. My heart was pounding and my whole body was shaking! We finished with two 1 minutes sets of planks.

Friday: 3 miles

It was a gorgeous day to run on Alki. I had shorts on!

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 5K race

My first race since the end of October! It felt so good to be out there again. I wanted to run hard, but not too hard. Not hurt myself hard. I finished in 27:29, 12th out of 89 total women running the 5K. I ran pretty much the whole thing with a friend and it was fun to have someone next to me to chat with or push through with. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shoes, Part Two!

So, my beautiful Merrells are going back from whence they came. *sniff* I am so bummed, but I am glad I figured out that they weren't the right shoe for me pretty quickly instead of suffering another fracture. 

Ever since I found out about my "rigid feet" I have been googling a ton, trying to figure out what shoes are well cushioned and made for neutral runners. On Monday I went to my local running store, armed with a groupon, hoping they might have something perfect for me in stock. Nope. Nada. My size 11 1/2 (in running shoes) feet are admittedly hard to fit, but there wasn't even a pair of men's shoes in the store that would work for me! Not to be dismayed, I took note of the shoes he recommended for me, cross-referenced it with some suggestions I got online and voila! next thing I knew I was sitting down with my ipad and ordering shoes off of zappos.com like a mad woman.

In all I ordered six pairs:


From left to right the shoes are: Mizuno Wave Rider, Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph 10, Nike Pegasus 29, Asics Nimbus 14 and in the front are the Saucony Progrid Ride 5s. 

Immediately I fell in love with Brooks, mostly because I sort of consider myself a "Brooks Girl". They were also my favorite looking shoe of the bunch. I pretty quickly dismissed the Nikes because they didn't feel as good on my feet as some of the others. The Asics felt like the heel was higher than the rest (a quick check revealed the stack height of the heel was indeed the highest of all of them). 

I was then left with the Mizunos, the Brooks and both Sauconys. What to do?! I ran back and forth in my house, a different shoe on each foot, over and over. I loved them all. The Mizunos were the next to go, however, as they had a higher heel to toe offset and part of my "thing" is keeping it as close to zero as possible. The Brooks were crossed off next. As much as I loved them, and decided they were like wearing SUVs on my feet, they were indeed the heaviest and didn't feel a whole lot different from the Adrenalines I was trying to move away from. The forefoot also felt the stiffest of the the group. 

I was left with the Sauconys. There is very, very little difference to me between the Ride 5s and the Triumph 10s. I walked around with one kind of shoe on each foot and couldn't even tell I was wearing different shoes. One shoe is overall 1 mm higher but both weigh the same. Ack! I didn't like the white color I chose for the Triumph 10s, so that certainly swayed me away from those. 

In the end I chose the Ride 5s, the blue ones in the center of the half-circle of the photo above. They definitely felt the most minimal of all of these clunkers (so, not "minimal" at all) and were very nice looking, too. They were also the second to cheapest of the shoes at $110. The Nike's were $89.99 and the most expensive were the Asics and Brooks at $140. I didn't double-check the price until I decided on the shoes, but I am definitely glad I didn't pick the priciest! 

All in all, I absolutely loved my experience buying shoes from Zappos.com. I ordered the shoes Monday night and they were on porch Wednesday before 11:00 am. Wowsa. Zappos always has the best customer service, too. I wouldn't have ordered shoes through them if I didn't know what I needed, but since I did, I was glad I could use them. My refund will come quickly, as it always does, when I return the five pairs I won't be keeping. 

So there you go! I will update more on the shoes after I get a few runs in them. I am hoping to run a local 5K race this weekend, that would be a great time to see what these shoes are made of! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-Up

It just occurred to me that I wanted to start blogging again about my weekly runs and workouts. I am just loving the workouts I am doing right now and my running is slowly, ever so slowly, eeking towards the three miles at a time mark, so in my mind, that's starting to get blog worthy! 

Week of Jan 14-20

Total miles run: 5.5

Monday: Workout with trainer and 10 min elliptical

I am going to start writing down more, maybe on dailymile, what my workouts with my trainer look like. Since this was more than a week ago, I don't remember it very well. And can I pause for a minute and complain about how dailymile logs your workouts by how many days ago they were from today? Drives me crazy! Why don't they say the date??? 

Tuesday: 2 mile run

It was so nice to be outside. These days I run outside maybe one day per week and I always dread it before hand (the cold! the wind! ack!) but then when I am out there I love it! I don't run with my Garmin anymore. I probably will wear it again when I need to track distance, but right now I know how far to run from house for each run. I won't be tracking times very often, if at all, for the rest of the year. Or that's my goal at least!

Wednesday: bootcamp

My friend Sarah and I finally got back out to the track for our bootcamp. I was so happy I could do the warm-up laps and run the stairs again, too! We did a lot of fun stuff, including an exercise from Pink's trainer that was a burpee with a shuffle. 

Thursday: 1 mile run plus workout with trainer 

Again, I don't remember much about the workout. That reminds me, I need my trainer to start giving me copies of the workouts . . . no wonder I stand around like a deer in headlights when I am at the gym to work out on my own. 

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 2.5 mile run

This was my weekend long run and my longest run since the end of October. Hooray! It was fun. 

Sunday: 20 mins elliptical plus 20 mins strength

I did this strength workout on my own. I ventured in to the weight room for the first time solo, which was a little intimidating. I don't mind being a "wimpy girly lifter" but I am just don't want to look like I don't have a clue what I am doing in there. On this day I did thrusters and halos, which I think are hard and fun. I also did some ab work and some pull-ups on the assisted pull-up machine (the gravitron). 


Friday, January 18, 2013

Random Thought Friday

Okay, I just made that up. There is no such "thing" as Random Thought Friday (or is there???).

First random thought: I love chocolate flavored Zico coconut water so very, very much. I got some in my gift at a fitness-related gift exchange and it was maybe the best gift I have ever received. *To me* it tastes like chocolate milk (albeit low-fat, not creamy chocolate milk). It doesn't have much protein, but it is much lower in calories than chocolate milk and it has other great stuff in it, like electrolytes. A whole liter has about as many calories as a small horizon chocolate milk. The best place to get these where I live is Trader Joe's. No other place even comes close to matching their price. 


Second random thought: On Wednesday my physical therapist did this little test on my feet to figure out what kind of shoes I should be running in. My first thought was "what the hell, why didn't you do this six months ago?!" but I digress. It turns out I have rigid feet. I need a neutral shoe with a ton of shock absorption. I also prefer close to a zero drop. They really don't make many shoes like that. It confirmed that my new barefoot shoes are a no-go for me. My Brooks Pure Cadence are about as little padding as I should wear on my tootsies. Apparently my feet don't move in a way that helps absorb the shock of running on hard ground, so I need padding to do it form me. This is also what makes me more susceptible to stress fractures. Weee! I have been looking at a bunch of different shoes and checking out the stack height of each one (how many millimeters of shoe there is under your feet). 

Should I get a pair of these Hoke One Ones? I'd be ten feet tall!


Third random thought: I finally got referred on to a sports medicine doctor. My PT isn't sure what else she can do for my hamstring, but she did tell me it wasn't a tear or anything serious. It feels to her like a muscle is balled up and can't release. I am practicing guided imagery to help it release. For real. Luckily this isn't too "woo woo" to me, as I used guided imagery (aka hypnobirthing) to, uh, help release things when I was in labor with Eloise. It worked that time, so hopefully it works again. Ha!

Fourth random thought: O.M.G. I love weight training! I love everything I do with my trainer. It hurts, and it is fun all at the same time. She makes me do things that I would have sworn I couldn't even do one of before I tried. I am not that strong by any means, but apparently I am stronger than I thought! 

Fifth random thought: I have been on twitter less than a week and my account was already hacked! It sent out direct messages to people and even posted a tweet on my timeline. UGH. I changed my password and then twitter figured it out and sent me an email and made me change my password again. It sucks when you are like "hey, I'm new here, will you be my friend?" and people are all like "why are you sending out spammy viruses you crazy person?!" Okay, just kidding. The people who told me were nice about it, but I felt like a jerk. 

Sixth random thought: I figured out the start-date for my half marathon training plan for running the Seattle Rock-n-Roll is March 10th! Aw, yeah! Just under two months from now. Will I be ready??? I have to be able to comfortably run six miles when I start. Can I go from two miles to six miles in the seven weeks between now and March 10th? I guess that's only a 1/2 mile increase a week, which is considered conservative, right? Right?!?!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Embracing Weight Training

It's amazing how my mood can change over the course of a few hours. I woke up this morning in a serious funk. My left foot, the one that had (technically still has) a stress fracture had been hurting ever since my two  mile run on Sunday. Not hurting a lot, but more than I was comfortable with. My hamstring, well, that's a whole 'nother story. I was googling everything I could think of last night to figure out what was up with that thing, but I'll get in to that in a minute.

As I was getting ready for my personal training session at the gym I looked at my new shoes and wondered if the worsening foot pain was because of running in the new shoes. Even though today wasn't a running day, I didn't wear my new shoes, instead opting for my Brooks Pure Cadence. My feet were happy. The cushioning felt good. I am going to ask my physical therapist about my new shoes, but I strongly suspect that I made a bad choice for a foot healing from a stress fracture. 

I had a great workout with my trainer. I really like her. We get along well and she works me hard but doesn't get all Jillian Michaels on me. I ask her eighty bazillion questions about exercise and it's so much fun to learn a ton every time I talk to her. We talked quite a bit about my goals and about what I can be doing in the gym to reach them. She thinks I need to be doing much less (or no) elliptical, working more on my strength, and that the limited amount I am running is enough for cardio exercise. Working in the weight room definitely gets my heart rate up and is (or at least, is supposed to be) enough exercise for me without grinding away for hours on the elliptical. I am excited to move in that direction, but still feel very unsure about using the weight machines and the weight room on my own without her guidance. Plus, the elliptical is so easy! I can read a magazine and listen to my music and watch tv all at the same time! And it's warm inside! Haha. Kind of funny to think that they gym has made me soft, no? This time last year I was pounding out miles in the freezing rain. 

Her advice got me thinking, though, because I am still battling a hamstring that is sore as ever (if not more so). Clearly it's not just the running that is making it that way, as I haven't run more than two miles at a time since the end of October and took a six week break from running all together not too long ago. So what gives, hamstring? I am wondering if the elliptical isn't doing me any favors, for one.

As I consulted Dr. Google last night I found two ends of the spectrum on hamstring issues. One was how to deal with a sore hamstring after a run (ice! rest!) and the other was how to deal with a seriously injured hamstring that is injured or torn and you can't put any weight on without being in pain (don't run for months! you're screwed!). I am somewhere in the middle, but I don't have an idea what my diagnosis is. It sounds like we're getting close to being out of options from my physical therapist's end and that she will be referring me on if we don't see any change soon with what we are trying. 

Sigh.

Kind of a two steps forward, one step back sort of deal.

In other news, I decided on a whim to re-start a twitter account. I haven't had one in several years, but I thought I would give it a go and see if it helps connect me with other folks who are running/injured/working out, or whatever else. If you want to follow me and have me follow you, check me out on twitter HERE, won't you? 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mama's Got Some New Kicks!

I finally made it up to the running store that my two substitute PTs were raving about. I felt like I got great service and I tried about 8 pairs of shoes and found a pair I liked pretty well. I don't quite love them, maybe they will grow on me, because they are actually the men's style and I mostly do not prefer the colors of most men's shoes.

After feeling sold on a pair of Brooks Pure Drift, in the end I chose the Merrell Bare Access. I literally ran up the street with one kind of shoe on one foot and one on the other. It is probably because the pair of Pure Drifts I tried on had a slight imperfection in the left shoe that ended up annoying me when I ran. The Pure Drifts are definitely still on my wish list. Now that I think about it, they might be the perfect buy at another running store that I have a groupon for (assuming they don't all have the same imperfection!) Of course, now the first incarnation of the Brooks' line are on sale since they came out with version 2 . . . maybe I need to pick up the new Pure Drifts AND an older pair of the Pure Cadence?

I never made a conscious decision to go to a more barefoot shoe after starting out in very built-up shoes, but I do really like how these shoes feel on my feet. Almost, dare I say, like I am running barefoot? Ha ha. My feet just felt light. They are light years away from the Brooks Adrenalines I ran my two half marathons in! I asked the salesman several times, making sure that these would work for half marathon training. He assured me they would!

What do you think? Kind of cute? I love that they don't scream "running shoes!" like most running shoes do. I could even wear these around with jeans if I was so inclined.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Starting Slowly

I have been running very, very few miles over the past few weeks. Due to my injuries the PT suggested I start back slowly. The first week I could run one mile per day. The second week I could run 1.25 miles per day. The third I could run 1.5 miles per day and now I am aiming for 2 miles tomorrow. I can't run two days in a row, either. I believe the plan is that I will be upping the mileage on each day I can run instead of adding more days to my schedule. I have been knocked off my workout schedule since December 18th, so I am not yet running every other day per week, yet. Probably 2-3 days/week at this point.

While (I think) my endurance is high enough for me to run 4-5 miles, I have to stick to this schedule of very low miles each time I hit the treadmill. You see, it's not for my endurance, it's for my body. If I ease back in to it, my body has the chance to slowly get adjusted to running again. Starting back at a higher mileage may very well throw me right back out of running again.

As I diligently press the stop button on the treadmill when my 1.5 miles are over, I think about what it means to come back from injury, and also what it means to start running from square one. Programs like couch-to-5K start with very little bits of running and intersperse them with walking, gradually adding in more running time and reducing walking time. It occurred to me that kind of program is just as much for increasing endurance as much as it is for helping the new runner ease their body in to the new challenge without injury. 

When I started running in October 2011 I laced up my sneakers and did 3 miles of hills on my first night. I pretty much never ran lower miles than that on each run after and two months later I ran my first 10K. I went from zero to 6.2 miles in about eight or nine weeks. I also immediately began interval training and ran my heart out every week on the track. While I was adding miles, I was working my hardest to speed all of those miles up. I was so wrapped up in the excitement of my love of running I had NO idea I was creating the perfect storm for injuries to take hold. In the first year of running I had shin splints, piriformis pain, hamstring pain, IT band issues and a stress fracture in my foot. Ay-yi-yi!

Since I am not running, it has been fun, and humbling, to get in more strength training lately, as well. As I sit here typing I am sore everywhere since my trainer at 24 Hr Fitness mistakenly believed I could do a dumbbell shoulder press with some insane amount of weight (okay, they were 20 or 25 lbs, but still! They were hard! I was sitting, which apparently makes them even harder!) I also did leg presses on one of those crazy machines and my trainer had the nerve to put actual weights on the bar. But seriously, as wimpy as I am, it was hard but good. I felt so weak doing it, but I felt so awesome afterwards. I hope all of this strength training pays off in terms of making my running easier/less injury-prone.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

2013 Resolutions and Hopes

I am nervous about making resolutions and then tying myself to them, even when they no longer are in my best interest. This year I'm going to make resolutions as well as document my hopes for the year:

My resolutions for running in 2013 

1. Not set any PRs in distances I have already raced.
2. Run a trail race.
3. Volunteer at a race.
4. Improve strength. This is a tough resolution, I was going to write "strength train twice a week for 30 minutes" but I realized that isn't an easy one to measure. I would rather make a goal, like "do 20 big-girl push-ups in a row" or something. I will keep thinking about this.
5. Try a new recipe once every week.
6. Read 12 fiction books.


My hopes for running in 2013

1. Run a marathon.
2. Do a destination race (carrying this over from 2012!).
3. Run 1,000+ miles.
4. Not be side-lined by an injury.


SO, yeah. These seem pretty uninspired. I remember last year being so excited to write my goals out and I honestly referred back to them constantly throughout the year. I was extra-excited to go over them at the end of the year to see how I did! At the end of 2013 I will say "um, yeah, didn't PR. Yay?"





Saturday, January 05, 2013

Winter Break

As much as I hate to say it, I am excited that winter break is ending. It felt like the last few days of school/work/Christmas craziness before winter break took everything I had to get through and that the break would be, well, a break. Instead it's been filled with late nights, sickness, a diet heavy on junk, and a drastic reduction in my workout schedule. Reduced workouts generally equal a crankier me. 

So, we've been hanging in there and having some fun when we can and (mostly) looking forward to school starting again next week.

Iris built a fort for her and her sickie sister to relax in.
 
Grandma sent fun masks for the girls.

We checked out the gingerbread "houses" at the Sheraton.
 

Then the girls rode the carousel downtown.
 


On Wednesday we went ice skating.
Eloise struggled with it for most of the time, despite tearing up the rink last year. 



The Space Needle is always pretty!