Karen clutters up her little corner of the internet with her love of running

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bring It ON

November 14, 2015
I finally signed up for the Richmond Half Marathon Training Team. 

Run buddy is signed up and we will do group runs on Saturday mornings, but they also have a Sunday group option, so if we need to, we can bounce days throughout training. First group run is August 8th, it's only 4 miles, because I signed up with the novice group. July has been a difficult month, with lots of fatigue and soreness in my legs, and I felt a little crazy signing up, but I am trying to believe I will get it worked out. 

Last week I visited the PT and he hammered away at my right hip and hamstring, he was pushing me like a linebacker at one point. I was sore. I am scheduled for for two more visits this upcoming week, so hopefully this lack of flexibility will diminish some. 
My strength level was about equal in both legs, but my whole kinetic chain was tight on the right. 

Friday after my 6.5 miles with run buddy I felt okay, walked two miles, went home stretched, and within a few hours the tightness set in. 

Friday is one of my double days because hubby and I go to the gym in the afternoon when he gets home from work. I ran two miles on the treadmill and spent a good 15 minutes stretching, however I think team stretching helped me the most. I am supposed to keep my legs flat, no knee bending, and lean forward to touch my toes until I feel the burn. Kenny holding my hands and pulling, helped me to get a much better stretch. I can't feel the same sensation when I do it alone. We did it a few times and held it about 20 seconds. 
I am always amazed at how a minute can make such a difference in how I feel. I swear that one stretch benefited me more than any of them. The same level of tightness has not returned. Fingers crossed I can make some progress quickly. 

July has been a challenging month for me. Summer is not my time, however, I only ran 13.5 miles on the treadmill, the rest of the time... I sweated profusely pounding the pavement for every mile.  

My longest run was only 7 miles, and if I am honest, I had a few moments that were discouraging, but I am still standing, so August bring it! 

Hopefully, I can tough it out till Fall. 

Do you have a stretch that really works for your hamstrings? 
How would you describe or sum up your July? 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Let Go

Throughout my life, I've had a love hate relationship with food.

As a very young person, I bounced between two extremes. 
  • Drink Tab all day and eat crackers.
  • Eat four Dunkin' Donuts, the cheeseburger, the fries, the box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts, and the cheesecake because you blew it for the day anyway.

I remember feeling miserable with the reflection in the mirror, and being aware I was overweight, as young as 8 years old. The bad habits I learned from a very young age, were knit into the fibers of my being.

Bad habits turned into addictive behaviors. They are hard to break. Addictive behaviors increase when one is under stress. Stress can lead to chronic issues, and always impairs your ability to make decent decisions.

As a young adult, I worked so hard to break these patterns deeply ingrained in me.  What a painful process it can be...crush a bad habit, see some improvement, stumble, fail miserably, get up, dust off, repeat times infinity...

I had to learn to look at food differently. I needed new principles to live by. I had to learn concepts completely new to me. 

Being hungry is great thing! Food tastes a lot better when you are hungry. Most of us have am ample supply of food around, so never be afraid to hear your belly growl. That growl is a normal human response, it doesn't mean you will die, if you don't fill it instantly. 

Try to chew slowly. I am guilty of getting really hungry after a work out, and grubbing it down, I still have to work at this. 

Do not be a member of the clean your plate club if you are full. This is big! 
Try to practice stopping when you are full. It's freeing! If you think what you are eating is super fabulous, save it, even if it's just a few bites.

Stop the love affair with the food...yes, cheesecake does taste frickin' good, so I enjoy it occasionally, but it's just a treat. 

Ask yourself important questions...
What does this choice do for me? Is it fuel?  Does it help me rebuild muscle? Does it provide many nutrients? 

Food needs to be put in its proper place
Make associations that make sense...

If you have a bad day, don't beat your self up! Always remember you can start over each meal ;-)

Over indulgence = unhappiness

It feels amazing to not over-stuff your belly :) 

Work on making new associations with a little self talk.
When you eat something yummy and healthy, remember to tell yourself how awesome you feel.

Example: I made pierogies, and I added spinach and lima beans. I rock!

Never, ever let anyone tell you can't get better.  

I was losing miserably on a regular basis, and therapy helped me to develop some great strategies to gain some control. It's a process. I was grateful for the help, however, I had a changing moment where I knew I would be okay. The day my therapist tried to tell me eating disorders were life long conditions, I resisted. That thinking didn't fly with me. 

I wanted to get better, I knew I could be better. I wanted to put it behind me and feel free.

When you are sick with the flu, you don't wish you were just fevery right?! You want to be healed

I was set free from that day forward.
Not that it has always been easy, but I was never that trapped, all consumed, person again. 

You always had the power
It just took belief and faith to unlock it

What obstacles have you overcome?

Ever experience the love hate relationship with food?

Ever had to break a bad habit or cycle you felt stuck in

Monday, July 27, 2015

Be Good To Your Body

I have been slacking a little lately. Being at work later, doing my weight work outs later, and lack of time when I get home, has led to some skimping. It's time to stop making excuses. I need to be good to my body.

I am not getting the maximum benefit from running in the morning and lifting at night, if I don't refuel properly. I am pretty consistent about having a small protein rich meal, or protein shake after I run because I am home, but my good habits tend to fall apart more at work, because I haven't been as prepared as I should be.

It's right about the same time, I just get a hankering about 10ish a.m. or 3ish p.m. One of the most important things to me is to have a snack that adds value to my health.

I try to avoid junk, empty calories, and I want to feeel good after I eat.

Last week I was unprepared for snack time and I had a rice krispie treat out of the vending machine. Now, don't get me wrong I love them, but I never want that to become a habit, so I decided I would stock up on snacks for work next week.

While doing a quick stop and shop, I realized I have not had a pumpkin seed in almost a month. That is a crime! Pumpkin seeds are one the best things in the world to have on hand to refuel from a tough work. Potassium, protein, and magnesium just to name a few reasons. 

I also picked up two of my other favorites, sunflower seeds and pistachios. 

Ate yummy pistachios Saturday after my a.m. recovery run

The great thing about pumpkin, pistachios, and sunflower seeds, is that a very small handful is satisfying while providing benefits to your health. We all need the fat, minerals, and amino acids so our bodies can utilize the protein we consume to rebuild our muscles and I always feel good after I eat them. 

I love fruit and veggies as well, but some of it is more convenient than others.

I recently picked up this nifty little cutting board.

So much easier now to cut melon, and catch the drip, but for work, nuts and seeds are the ultimate in convenienceBaby carrots and cucumbers are also easy options, but alone they aren't best for refueling. I need my pumpkin seeds. 

I feel better already knowing I have a plan, so I can be good to my body this week. 

Tell me about your favorite power snack ❤  
Do you have a certain time of day you feel like you need something?
Is it important to you a snack provide protein?

You can read some great info about healthy-snacks here...and no, I wasn't provided any compensation to plug
Just throwing a convenient option out there (•◡•)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hurry Up and Wait :)

I decided to go back to my PT and see what he thinks of my hamstrings before I book an appointment for a massage. My co-pay is more affordable than the massage, so it makes sense. 

However, when I called and talked to Devin, my PT,  he didn't think my original prescription from the Sports Medicine Doc would allow him to work my hamstrings.
So Devin emailed my Doc and I am waiting to hear from him. I have a bunch of stuff to do at work next week, so I can't take off till next Thursday. Boooo!  It seems I always have to put off what I want to do. It makes me a little crazy.

Option A  - my Doc will write a script so I can go directly to Devin.
Option B - my Doc will decide he wants to evaluate me before he sends me to Devin...

Who knows, it may be a few weeks for option B to happen, if that is what they decide...

If that's the case, I will probably just go ahead and book a massage next week. I need to experience it. 

I did a treadmill 5K last night and I felt pretty good. This morning I ran two miles and did some static stretches. I only static stretch if I am good and warmed up :)  Just one quick pinch in my leg this morning, and it was gone as quick as it came. I feel like I am making progress with healing finally. My legs are feeling looser for sure and not as achy, but the flexibility in in right hamstring is still really limited, yet it's my left one that hurts, makes sense, right!?

I went digging around in the PT room in search of a foam roller. (I work in a HS tech center)

 All this and no foam, roller :(

I snagged the hula hoop though - it will help me combat sitting for 10 hours. A few times a day it will get my blood moving a little. Usually, I just take the long way to the water machine to get a few extra steps in, but I thought this might be fun. 

I felt ridiculous taking a pic hula hooping, but I still did it!
Oops! Too low - that happens every few seconds (•◡•)
Maybe I will get a new skill...NOT! 

Don't you hate when you decide to "do" something and you have to wait? 
Do you hula hoop? 
Any suggestions on how to combat sitting? 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Slo Mo Running Form

I have looked at videos of myself running a lot! Is it weird I find it so entertaining to watch my feet?  This video goes into slo-mo about 3 seconds in, it's not long.
Seriously, get someone to slo-mo your running, I promise you will learn something from it :) 

Why did my bone break down on me?
How can I keep this from happening again? 
These are the questions that make me toss and turn. 

I have shared before my Vitamin D was low...16. I tried several things to up that, including:
  • orange juice with calcium
  • a new D supplement, which I take at different times each day
  • more dark leafy greens
  • take fish oil
  • eat eggs a few times a week (this killed me at first, now I do it often)
  • try to be outdoors at least a few times a week in the sun
My Vitamin D is at 27 now, so it's helping. If you have any tips I am open!! Please share :)

My running form is an issue.

That fascinating video shows some weakness in how I land and push off.  I am still not landing mid foot like I should be. I was going to retire the Altra Torin's in this video, because they have a lot of miles on them, but I am glad I was filmed in them first. My form is actually better in the lighter shoes. My running video in my Brooks Ghosts (made a different day) revealed more heel striking. 

It's so hard to change your gait. I am trying to search for info to help. I admit, it does seem a bit overwhelming trying to learn all over again. 

Obviously I am NOT an expert, but my downhill running was the first problem I self evaluated after my stint in the boot. 
Good times! Not...
I was trying to work on some things the therapist and Doc told me to do, and I realized my downhill running was a mess. I had this motion that was almost like a halt. I would describe it as putting the brakes on. I try to let the energy flow now when I run downhill, and not speed up too much. Too much speed can cause out of control running. That was easier to work on, than actually trying to change where your foot strikes.

Looking at the video made me realize---> balance work and ankle strengthening is much needed.

I have been slacking at doing my shoulder presses and arm curls balancing on foot, but I need to make that a standard occurrence

So this clumsy old gal will be trying to work on it.

General thoughts?
Thoughts on how to change your gait.
Ever try to change something in your form?
Do you do any balance work?
Ankle strengthening?
Have any vitamin D and/or calcium tips?

Happy Trails to you,