Tag Archive: cross-train


Pity Party

15 DAYS.

 

That’s the last time my feet have felt the loving caress of my running shoes. The last time I felt the beat of my iPod playlist.

 

Did I give up on my dream to run a marathon? Heck no. But apparently my hip/buttock/lower back needed a break. This is the same problem that I had attributed to running in new shoes but this time I’m 100% sure that this is just because of my lackluster musculoskeletal system. This wasn’t even running/workout strain related. This was an “ugh-my-back-sucks” related injury. It hurt to bend and stretch my hamstrings. A very dull and constant pain made worse when lifting my knee to hip height or doubling over. Pinched nerve? Muscle fatigue? Adrenal gland fatigue? Who knows?

 

Luckily, the pain has finally passed and I can run again! No. Wait. I can run again as soon as my husband returns from his military obligation. Soooo… On Sunday, I can run again! This week has just not been going my way. Weather ruined my plans of driving to see family in Florida which also meant I would not be picking up my new to me treadmill. ***shakes my fist at the heavens***

 

So for the next few days I’ll do some upper body workouts and ease my body back into running. I was doing so well with my mileage and now I feel like I’m back at mile one. I may even purchase some new gear to make me all excited again and put this pity party to rest! Saying extra prayers tonight that nothing like this will happen in the month leading up to the marathon!

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Thanks to the long holiday I’m a little late on this post.

 

Monday: 7.02 miles (1:25:12 time/12:08 pace)

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 2.01 mile easy day (21:16 time/10:35 pace)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: XT playing for an hour with my son at the playground (trust me I was running and climbing too)

Saturday: XT racing, climbing at the playground with my son part 2

Sunday: Rest

 

Yes, I should have run this past weekend, but I was enjoying family time and watching my son run with high knees through the grass. He was born to be a runner. I say “ready, set, go!” and he takes off with no particular direction or plan. It’s hilarious.

 

P.S. The Survival Strap Military Care Package has been sent out to a random warrior. Thank you to GG for participating.

Well, this is post is more of a formality than anything. I was sick last week so there’s really not much to update. I ran a 6.1 mile run on Monday and then the rest of the week went down the drain. I was sick for two days (Wednesday and Thursday) and Friday I was feeling much better but not 100%. I had to decide if I was going to attend my husband’s Family Day (weekend) with his unit or stay home and be completely out of my mind bored.

I took a chance and traveled two hours with my family Friday night. I brought a change of running clothes on the off chance I wanted to push myself with a run on the hotel treadmill. On Saturday, my son decided to wake up with the sunrise at 6:30. After breakfast, he requested that I help him put his socks and shoes on so we could explore. More specifically, he wanted to explore the stairwell. Apparently, my son’s idea of a good time is climbing 6 floors of stairs over and over. I obliged him because my husband had our vehicle and I was essentially a hostage to my son’s whims. Negotiations to stop and get some lunch were unsuccessful so between climbing stairs and watching the Disney channel I was going stir crazy and my energy was close to nothing. When the CO dismissed my husband and the rest of the Marines after a long day that included a PFT **(Physical Fitness Test)… that is a 3 mile run, sit-ups, and pull-ups… we were all incredibly hungry. We loaded up the truck and met another Marine and his wife for dinner at Fatz Cafe. They were incredibly impressed with our son’s behavior and to be honest so were we. I think he was happy to get out of the hotel and he does love an audience.

Back at the hotel we continued to converse with our friends until almost midnight. The kiddo didn’t mind as he had been having trouble settling down at night because he assumed we were there for the sole purpose of playing with him. He would regret that decision at 5:30 the next morning when we had to pack up and head to the Reserve Center for 7am formation. We waited around until 11 when we went to a park. Luckily this park had a playground. I’m fairly certain we could have convinced our son that this was Disney World… he was THAT excited. So for the next five hours we took turns following him around on the big kid playscape helping him climb ladders and giving him a gentle shove down slides with a short lunch break. Needless to say the two hour drive back was incredibly quiet because a certain someone fell asleep literally two minutes after we put him in his carseat.

So although I didn’t get a short run in to start rebuilding on my marathon training I did get a lot of exercise in one way or another. Sometimes just being active in any way is all you need to keep things going. Let’s hope my illness hasn’t completely destroyed my training. Can’t wait to lace up my shoes for a run today!

** My husband is in fairly good shape, however, he has been training to get his 3 mile run down to at least 21 minutes. When he’s been going on his marathon training runs he wears his military flak jacket (a vest that contains body armor for protection again bullets and other dangerous fragments in hostile territories). So running with some extra weight and more hilly terrain, he got his 3 mile run down to 22:35… just 1:25 away from his goal to be physically fit enough to attend Officer Candidate School (they have pretty high standards naturally).

Beaking it in

Micro G Defy

Last weekend I went to an Under Armour Outlet store. It took all of my willpower to not buy out the store and just stick with some new trainers; A pair of Micro G Defy. (Although… I do regret not picking up that cute 1/4 zip water repellant running jacket after Sunday’s running challenges.) I took them out for their first run yesterday and it was not good. I could feel the cushion a lot better in these shoes which was awesome but shortly into my run I started getting a sharp pain in my bum. I wasn’t sure if this was due to adjusting to my new shoes or if I had neglected my piriformis muscle. *Bad runner! For shame!* So grudgingly I cut my run short. I even found myself limping a little when I got home. So today I have decided to take some extra time to stretch it out and do a little yoga prior to running today. I’m really hoping that will help. I never thought my training would become a pain in the @$$ this soon! So punny.

I feel like my scoliosis is partially to blame. My spine has a moderate to severe curve and it puts my body’s balance all out of whack. If my back puts uneven pressure on one side of my body that means it affects everything below from my hips to my knees to my feet. Should I have found a deep, unrelenting love with a different sport… a more impact forgiving sport like swimming or cycling? Probably. But you love what you love. I can’t give up on running just as much as I can’t give up on cheese. So I press on. If it still gives me trouble I may have a professional review my form to make sure I’m not making my body work harder than it has to. Work smarter not harder right?!

Any challenges giving you a headache lately? An old injury flaring up or maybe you’re struggling to PR on a certain course? Push through, gain perspective from someone else’s point of view, and make your necessary changes. It’s not over until you’re six feet under.

First off, I revealed that I was a bit stressed out finding a place to live. Our current lease is up in the beginning of May and I was beginning to feel the pressure of securing a new roof over our heads. At one point I was so frustrated that I was ready to concede defeat and set up camp in the woods. While that would have been a fun adventure for a while and perhaps I would find the inner frontier woman in me, I’m quite sure I would have cursed the heavens after the first rain storm. On the other hand, it would have been an excellent opportunity to teach a two year old about wilderness survival. (*Let’s be real. A two year old would just chase squirrels all day.)

So after months of scouring internet resources, stalking driving by rental listings, and even randomly dropping in to real estate agencies we finally had narrowed our choices down to three properties. We knew rental properties in our area (a big city suburb) were hard to find and if you were lucky to find something you had to work fast because they didn’t stay vacant for long. We wanted a three bedroom home (house, townhome, condo, duplex, whatever) that was in a safe area with neighbors close by (I get a little paranoid when I’m home alone and debate hiding under the bed a la Kevin McCallister) where my toddler could run and jump to his tiny heart’s content, and wasn’t a horrible commute for my husband.

Bingo bango. It took us one night to discuss the pros and cons of the property and after calling some people to get their input, we brought in our application the following day. Two days later we got the welcomed call that we were approved so we’ll sign the lease today and drop it off and a big stack of cash off tomorrow. Maybe now I won’t feel like chowing down on sugary confections anymore (Really, I blame the Girl Scout Cookie season. Damn those delectable treats!)

Now to get to the cross training. I decided to do some lower body training today with my bff kettlebell. He’s a hefty lad at 15lbs and I call him Carl. I thought today would be a good day to do a pyramid workout. A pyramid workout is a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout completed as follows: My pyramid will be up to 10. Start by doing one rep of each exercise. Then 2. Then 3. So on and so forth up to ten. Then reverse the amount of reps going back to 9. Then 8. So on and so forth back down to 1 rep. These should be done consecutively with no breaks in between or an extremely short break if you’re a beginner. A way to gauge your improvements is to time the whole workout. The faster you completed it the better. This is an extremely watered down version of something similar to increasingly popular Crossfit. But hey if you have the access to bigger weights and barbells, go for it. If you want a bigger burn do a bigger pyramid. Or do a push-up when you get to the plank position of your burpee. Be creative!

I randomly picked five lower body exercises.

  1. Standard squats (w/ Carl)
  2. Side squats: (each side is one rep) (w/ Carl)
  3. Walking lunges: (each leg is one rep) (w/ Carl)
  4. Burpees: Start standing. Drop down to a squat position placing your hands on the floor. Push your feet behind you so you are in a standard plank position. Pop back up to a squat then stand back up. This is one rep.
  5. Mountain climbers: Start in standard plank position. Bring one knee up to your chest. Bring back down and repeat with other leg. Do this very quickly for maximum results.  (Do this 10 times for one rep.)

Getting it done.

Cross-train Tuesday

Hip Flexor Knee Drives….

I really believe in using weight lifting to improve running performance. You just have to remember to concentrate on form and really being explosive in your movements. Especially with this exercise. Almost every gym has a cable-pulley weight machine. Unless your gym is in your home and you use milk jugs filled with sand as your barbells. Totally commendable by the way. A way to do if all your training is done in your home would be to use resistance bands tied low on a sturdy structure (maybe slide a knotted end under a closed door and then attached around your ankle somehow. I’ll work on the DIY version of this exercise and get back to you when I have some credible options for you.)

Exhibit A.

home gym  copy

Click image to see source

To do a hip flexor workout, all you need to do is attach the ankle harness (1) to the lower pulley station (2). You’ll want to adjust the weight so that the weight isn’t impossible to lift, but you want to feel a fair amount of resistance. Put the ankle harness around your ankle (duh) and face away from the machine. Drive your knee up as high as you can resulting in this.

Click image to see source

Three sets of 10-12 repetitions on each leg should get the job done for the ladies. Men will want to add a bit more weight and complete 2 sets of 8-10 reps.

Please note I am not a sports trainer and you should always check with your certified doctor or trainer if you have any questions especially if you have previous injuries. These are exercises that were recommended by previous running coaches and I’m passing them on to you to spice up your routine. Happy cross training everyone!

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