Tag Archive: running


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.

Safety First

On a day earlier this week, my husband arrived home from work which meant it was time for a run. I told him that I was only aiming for a three mile run. As it turned out…

I lied.

As I have done many times in the past I started out on a run only intending to get in three miles or so but if my legs and lungs felt good I kept going. So that three mile run turned into a seven mile run. Quite a big difference in terms of not only distance but time. I don’t carry a phone on my run. I don’t run with a partner or dog. On this particular night since I thought I’d be back before nightfall I wasn’t even wearing anything particularly reflective or bright. I run mostly along rural roads and facing traffic. Almost every one of the handful of cars I saw that night gave me more than enough of a safety cushion when driving past, after which I give the “courtesy nod” or the “courtesy wave”. The “I recognize that you are not an ass-hat and you don’t want me to fear for my safety” nod/wave of appreciation. If there’s enough of a shoulder I run in the grass off of the road because you never know when someone is going to veer a bit because they’re looking at their phone or radio. If there is a sidewalk, I use it. So not to worry. I’m not a completely naive runner who likes to throw caution to the wind.

On this particular run it was completely dark by mile 5. I had been gone for about 50 minutes and honestly expected to see my husband roll around the corner in his vehicle with our son strapped in his car seat for a “let’s go find mommy” joyride at any moment. At mile 6.2 is when it happened. A truck slowed and I knew. My husband had given in to his worry and hunted me down for fear I was in a ditch somewhere and he needed to contemplate how to continue working as a single parent. I think he was overreacting a bit but it’s nice to know he cares.

I apologized and told him I was fine and that I wanted to finish up the last mile or so and I’d see him back at home. Our son was happily along for the ride probably wondering where the final destination would be. I’m sure he was super bummed when they arrived right back where they had started a minute ago. Being in running mode, I immediately cursed myself for not stopping my watch when I stopped to converse with my worry wort husband and knew my pace numbers would be all messed up.

Upon reaching home and acknowledging that I was no longer a lonely spinster bachelorette, but a wife and mother who had responsibilities and a family that needed me, I made a deal with my husband. On my long running days I would bring my phone on an arm band and I would purchase hi-vis yellow gear or wear his military glow belt (because nothing says special like wearing one of these…) if I ran close to sunset or thereafter.

I see what you did there, Army. Touche.

Because, really, runners should do their best to be safe on the roads or trails.

  • Invest in RoadID, or a similar identification tag to alert someone of your identity, emergency contact, and pertinent medical information.
  • Run against traffic; bike with traffic.
  • Lift your knees higher when running on uneven terrain like trails or broken pathways due to roots. This will avoid trips and spills that can lead to rolled ankles, sprains, and breaks.
  • Wear reflective clothing in the evening and early morning.
  • Make sure that if you run with earphones on that they are sensitive to ambient noise, or don’t wear them at all and just let your phone’s speaker be a mini stereo.
  • Make sure you’re adequately hydrated. Nothing messes up a run/ride like lack of water flowing through your system.
  • Buy some runner’s mace and avoid known unsavory neighborhoods. Heck, take some self-defense classes while you’re at it. Probably a good way to burn some extra calories.
  • If you have the opportunity, run with a buddy or your pet. But if your pet is a short legged basset hound please let him just bask his floppy ears in the sun rather than make him accompany you on a 5 mile trek and because his intimidation factor is probably a -2 anyway.
  • ALWAYS make sure someone knows what neighborhood/trail you are running.
  • BE VIGILANT. I don’t mind zoning out on a run because it makes the miles go by faster but that’s not necessarily great for my safety. Make sure you’re looking around if something catches your attention. I always make note of where law enforcement officers live along my routes

Does anyone else have any tips to remain safe while going for a run? Or better yet do you have a story of a close call but you were grateful that you had a safety item that helped you?

Last we left off I was getting over the plague a couple days of the flu with some residual throat soreness. I milked my illness recovery as long as I could without making my body feel like I had given up my training entirely.

 

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: sore throat is gone! Abs & Stretching

Friday: 4.07 mi (54:26 time/13:22 pace)

Saturday: 5.01 mi (52:01 time/10:23 pace)

Sunday: Arms & Abs

 

So yeah. Total mileage was 9.08 miles. Not what I should be at in this stage of the game but after factoring in being sick, I figured I bounced back pretty well. I can’t wait to get my treadmill soon because I’d like to be a bit more consistent with my pace. I’m all over the place. If I can maintain that 10:23 pace for my longer distances I’d be happy. I think tempo runs and 800m repeats are in my future. Don’t be jealous.

So Moto

No matter what type of exercise you do… running, lifting, spinning, yoga…. there are just some days you struggle to muster up the motivation to lace up those sneakers, squeeze into your spandex, or even find your iPod.

 

When you skip a workout you often go through the five stages of loss of motivation.

  1. Bargaining: “If I skip today I’ll do an extra set/mile/lap/etc. tomorrow.”
  2. Depression: “I could have worked it out today. I’m full of sad excuses.”
  3. Guilt: “I can’t believe I messed up my training schedule. Everyone is counting on me to train for this marathon/keep the weight off/lead the class/etc.”
  4. Overreacting: “I will never skip a workout again! I don’t care if I have a pneumonia!” And then you end up getting pneumonia and you have no choice but to derail your workouts indefinitely.
  5. Acceptance: “I missed one day. I am human.”

So to keep myself from making excuses I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get me out on the pavement.

  • Listen to some energizing music throughout the day that gets me jazzed for a workout.
  • On that same note, make a new playlist or wait to listen to a newly purchase album until your workout.
  • Change into your workout gear as soon as you can. If you’re a morning athlete, have your clothes set out and staring you in the face when you awaken. If you’re hitting the gym after work, bring your change of clothes with you to work and make the transition from office manager to gym rat before you even get in the car. I’m a stay at home mom who likes to workout in the evening so when I’m feeling like I’m on the verge of making an excuse I change into my running tights ASAP. I feel like I’m tricking my brain into being prepared.
  • Buy new gear and save it for a day where you need a mental pick-me-up. It’s like giving yourself a reward for persevering.
  • Have a range of goals. I’m a total planner who loves to make lists. I like to make daily, monthly/short term, and yearly/long term goals. It gives me a confidence boost when I’ve done more miles than I thought I could, PRed on a hard, hilly run, or my love handles have magically disappeared. Those days are the best!
  • There’s an app for that: Download a fitness app on your phone or just go to their website to log in everything from what you eat to exercises. These programs can often be linked to social media accounts so your friends can cheer you on or secretly despise you for following through on your new year resolution when they quit on day 5.
  • Blog it up: Start a fitness blog or follow other fitness related blogs to get new ideas or encouragement. Encouragement from strangers is often more satisfying than getting a compliment from a friend or family member. But acknowledgment that you’re working hard is good even if it comes from your dog. Talk about your goals and how far you’ve come. It might light a fire under someone else to get moving!

So let’s hear it. How do you keep motivated?

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).

I feel like this training is going quickly. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. And I’ve definitely learned a thing or two along the way.

  1. I’m no spring chicken. I am not in grade school, high school, or even college anymore. I cannot have the expectation that I can pick up where I left off. I need to embrace this new stage where I am capable of a whole new level of athleticism.
  2. Building up mileage is a process and even if it is a beautiful day out I need to be aware that adding too much mileage in one run puts me at risk for injury and then feeling discouraged. Do not sabotage yourself.
  3. Listening to my body is important. I know the difference between soreness and pain. New runners often don’t. If an ailment makes you limp after a run it’s probably safe to say that you should take some complete rest days or replace a run with a very low impact cardio workout. You are not weak for making a sound decision to protect the hard work/mileage you’ve already accumulated.
  4. There are some days I just don’t have the energy to go for a run. It’s not just that I’m feeling lazy and I tell myself “Nah, I’ll put off my workout for today.” It’s when I only got a few hours of decent sleep or when my son is extra demanding of my energy (he’s an energy vacuum). If I can’t remember where I just put my phone when I had it in my hand just 5 minutes ago it’s probably not going to be a good run. Unless I can manage a nap. Then it’s game on!

So last I left you all, I made a comment about a certain aching in my backside. I took it very light the following runs and my LSD went perfectly.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 25 min arms & shoulders

Wednesday: 2.16 mi (25:48 time/11:56 pace) injury prevention

Thursday: 1 mile (9:25) timed mile with 800m warm up & 800m cool down

Friday: core workout

Saturday: 2 hr walking around Strawberry Festival

Sunday: Rest

 

So yeah, a pitiful 3.16 total miles, but now I have absolutely zero pain. Totally worth it. I decided due to the weather to pass on my LSD on Sunday and complete it the following day. It was a judgment call and it didn’t turn into a multiple day break so I stand by my decision. We as a family will be out of town this weekend so I imagine I’ll get an opportunity to run on a treadmill at a hotel. Can you feel my excitement? Or at the very least can you feel my sarcasm?

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