Thursday, August 6, 2015

Could be the end. Brought to you today by GIFS.

Today I will boo my own damn self. Looks like the end of my running career is here. Well, at least for now I suppose. My plantar fasciitis has returned for the umpteenth time. While there are some positives to this (get to those in a bit), I'll be honest. This has been sucky.

Obviously there are far, far worse problems in the world. I could be seriously injured. My family could be sick. I could lose my job, so on and so on.

But it's a lesson for the kids out there: No, not everything is possible no matter how badly you want it.

Are those ... cheeseburgers? I have no idea.

I had to quit my run after a half a mile this week. I knew something was up when I started the warmup. Normally my foot does not hurt at all while running. It wouldn't let up.

I've already had cortisone shots, physical therapy, the ASTYM treatment and dry needling. I've worn the boot, I've used a golf ball, I've stretched, I've iced, I've even heated.

My only options left for a cure are: lose weight and surgery. Surgery is not a final cure. It could always come back. Losing weight is definitely an option, but I've done the numbers, I've tried to figure out how much I can lose before Oct/Nov. when training will get tough. Unless I starve myself, it just won't work.

I am taking a few days off to see if it will resolve itself. But I've been down this road several times and it won't. It might get better, but once I get back on the road it will be back.

I've had two people give me a mini-intervention. Rich, of course, has always been supportive. He never lets me down and will give me an honest answer. He says, however, it's time to re-evaluate my goals and to never lose sight that I did actually run a half-marathon before. I'm so focused on my bad time for that race, he says I need to move on. He's right.

Only Judge Judy cares about your time. 

My super good friend who is also a trainer told me it's time to "let it go." She says running is not for everyone and even losing weight won't guarantee there won't be a PF problem. The thing that stuck out the most of what all she told me was - the longer I'm taking to constantly rehab is the longer I'm wasting the time I could be doing something else. Again, she's absolutely right.

She gets paid to train people so she knows what she's talking about. But it's hard to let go of this racing season. I had two half marathons planned. I could still walk them, but first, I have to get the foot on board. Do you think my foot is trying to tell me to drop it like a hot potato and never look back? :)

You said it Lena Dunham!

The positives:
* My stress load has been lifted - While I have enjoyed my hours of research, base-building, Bob Harper workouts, 5 a.m. wakeup calls, it has been a tad on the stressful side. This time has been fun, no doubt, and a good confidence booster. But let's face it, following a training plan is a chore. So now, no more of a rigid schedule.
* I get to sleep in - well ok, this has actually not been a big problem for me. I was able to wake up and get moving. I still have to wake up anyway to make us a proper breakfast now that E is going to big kid school.
* I can get back to yoga and weight workouts. I was pretty focused on running and I wasn't sure I'd have the dedication and time to do other types of activities. Not a problem now!
* Don't have to buy another pair of $130 shoes.
* Don't have to fight the heat OR cold. This is actually a really good positive because both are brutal and yay, I'll stay in my cool/warm bed.

No more runs in the humidity!

Dacia, I still want to meet up with you the weekend of the race!! E is talking about running a race so we may register her for the kid run. I know a few other people running in the race so I will have a good time spectating.

"Move along kids..."

So there we go. Running is not off the table permanently, but for now it is. I'm ready to focus on something else that will "honor my body" as my friend likes to say.

How have you handled injuries? Do you focus on something else or make new goals?

This turtle is faster than me. Watch how fast he runs down the hill.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Da weekend

I actually took a trip this weekend! MawMaw got out the house! Just kidding, but I really did take a trip to Houston. Friday Rich and I made the long haul to Houston. I say long haul, but it's four hours. Emily got to spend quality grandparents time.

We chose that night because it's orange jersey night, there was a Craig Biggio (now Hall-of-Famer) bobblehead giveaway and fireworks. Clearly this was a Rich trip. I took one for the team because he lives with a trio of zany girls (including the cat) and he does a lot for us and takes one for the team often.

This was my third Astros game since me and Rich started dating ten years ago. I'm pretty much the bad luck charm because they lost. 0 for 3 when I'm in attendance. But, we still had a great time.

First I began the morning with a run. I'm still base-building and will be for five? more weeks? I'm so confused now on days I just look at my spreadsheet and follow whatever it says daily. So I'm still working on those one-mile runs.

In hindsight this was not the best day for a run. I had so much to do before we left (I totally procrastinated on everything). I forgot to drink water to rehydrate. I felt so antzy I couldn't sleep in the car on the trip. We made it to The Original Ninfas in Houston and by golly the best part of the meal was the iced water.

I ordered chicken soft tacos, but the tacos were the corn-type tortilla so I turned the toppings into a salad. Delish!

We then stood out in the 98-degree heat for an hour before they let us in. We got there early because we (he) was afraid they would run out of bobbleheads.

Eventually they let us in the lobby at Minute Maid Park where we stood for another 30 minutes or so but I didn't mind because AIR CONDITIONING.

The bobblehead that does not look at all like Craig Biggio. LOL!!

I look pretty rough here, but that's what happens when you have been outside in this weather.

Orbit is quite possibly the best mascot there is. Before the fireworks show he did a lip-sync to a bunch of diva songs because it was, afterall, "Divas of Music" night. This dude is very talented. Or who knows, maybe Orbit is a she.

The next morning we were up bright and early and made our way home. First we stopped at Bucee's. Anybody heard of this place? It's the biggest convenience store I've ever seen. Let's just say healthy food options were SCARCE there.

Somebody was so happy to see us she camped out on our bags so we wouldn't leave again.

Overall my eating wasn't the worst, but it could have been better. I think the heat drained me of any sort of brain-power to even realize what I was doing half the time.

Yesterday's run was not that great. The weird thing is I felt like I was going really fast.

I said on FB and Instagram how I found this treasure trove of running music. The NKOTB remix album! The entire album! I had forgotten about some of these songs from the early 90s. Fantastic! The album brought back many memories of fun times with my girlfriends camping out for tickets and attending their concerts.

However, I have not had time to download it to my ipod. So I'm not quite the cool kid I thought I was.

This morning's run was better, but I'm still struggling. I think a big part is tired legs, still tired from the trip, last night I only slept about four hours, my diet from the weekend and dehydration.

But I'm super proud of myself because I've now done two separate sessions of back-to-back days in a row! My legs weren't nearly as tired this time around, but my poor lungs. Send an ambulance!

Tomorrow I'm having chia pudding for breakfast (if I can remember!). I'll post something about that.

Tomorrow is a rest day and then I'll have THREE days in a row of running. Still taking it slow with running only one mile each day. For any new readers, I'm going with a cumulative fatigue training plan. Running on tired legs is the main component.

How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Minute Maid Park? Who is sick of the high-90s weather? PS: We have had a couple of days of nice temp drops and I loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I ran two days in a row!

I'm writing a post about this two-days-in-a-row thing because 1) I'm experimenting and want to document this 2) I've never run two days in a row in my training for my first and only half marathon.

I'm going to use the Hansons Half Marathon Method for my winter half marathons. You build up to running six days a week - six days in a row. A lot of people have used this method and it works for them. Cumulative Fatigue is what I'm working on here.

The concept is you train your legs to run on tired legs. In a full marathon this will help you have an easy first 13 miles (hahaha!!!) so the second 13 miles will be tougher, but you will have had such a great first 13, the second half won't be as tiring because you are used to running on tired legs.

Now for the half this is even better. The daily runs are shorter obviously than marathon daily runs. But there are days of running 7-8 miles during the week depending on which plan you choose. I'm using the "Beginners" plan.

I'm super slow so I'm hoping by the time my base-building ends, I'll be faster or otherwise I'll use the "Just Finish" plan.

I feel like this sounds so complicated. Here's a better explanation from the Hanson program:

  • Cumulative fatigue: The idea of cumulative fatigue centers around the long run. When you look at a lot of other training programs, there is also a primary focus on the long run. However, the idea of cumulative fatigue means that the runner is going into the long run slightly fatigued from the training during the previous days. It also means that training will resume as normal the days following the long run. There isn’t a single day that is overly difficult for the runner, but every day is tough enough that there isn’t a full recovery between all runs of major importance. In other words, the long run is literally in the middle of the training cycle, not the end of the training cycle (weekly).
I've read up a lot on this and I don't think I'll have nearly the success as most of these runners do. I think I'll at least have more success than my first half marathon?!?! Hopefully?

So Tuesday was the first run. I mentioned in yesterday's post I ran one-mile with an average pace of 15 minutes, 24 seconds. Yesterday I was not as sore as I had been in previous runs. I knew though the day following a run is when I'm sore. I figured today was as good a day as any to try the two-in-a-row.

Instead of carb loading last night, I had a salad. Which, let's face it, a one-mile run doesn't require carb loading. We went to a Mexican restaurant that has a balloon guy on Kids' Nights. I normally get chicken quesadillas. I ordered a chicken caesar salad. It was perfect. Just what I needed. I think I was actually craving greens which never happens. I was proud of myself because back when I trained for the first half, I'd order those quesadillas and have a ton of chips. 

The only disappointing thing were the faux chips. Next time, I'll leave those off.

I woke up not hungry and ready. I had to force my legs to move. My breathing was pretty good so I was happy about that. The second half mile was better, but by the end of the mile, I was spent. 

A half day later, yes, I'm feeling it mainly in my thighs. Everything else is surprisingly well. Although I suspect tomorrow I'll need a bunch of ibuprofen. But, alas, tomorrow is a rest day! I'll be ready for the Friday run.

It's tough to leave my doubts at the door. The doubts are always there and hopefully once I start the actual program, the doubts will get to running. I think at times we are all our own worst enemy. I have no real enemies. I have lots of people around me who encourage me. So I need to just trust the process, the program and myself.

What do you think about those run streak people? How do they do it? I think if I ran every day for like 500 days I'd hate running. Have you ever been to a kids' night at a Mexican restaurant? Oh, the stories we could tell each other.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The weekend

We are in "get-ready-for-school" mode. I am torn between panicking and crying my eyes out. I'm so nervous for a multitude of reasons for this kid to go to kindergarten. Growing pains for both of us right now. But I'm this close . to being finished with school shopping.

This weekend was mainly running errands. We bought her uniforms for school. That was a pretty penny and wow, wowwwww so expensive. But they do look sturdy so I'll give them that much.

Stopped at the Nike store. She either wants to be a headless model or a runner. Hopefully runner!

We bought this Easy Bake Oven for E. It's how can I say ... weird? Like so, so weird. I never had one of these growing up and honestly, it's a bit amateur for her since I've been baking with her with real recipes for about a year now. 

The cookies came out to be the tiniest of cookies you'll ever see in your life. I don't know, I'm not sold on this Easy Bake. The taste was not great and even E agreed it was "yuck." 

Sunday we went to church and to my friend's house. I just realized I didn't take one picture. That sucks cause E came to play with my friend's dog who is a female Snoopy.

Imagine a small girl and Snoopy jumping by her. 

I ordered the Racing Weight cookbook. I think this will be excellent, but beware: lots of grains and wheat. So that could be a digestive problem. We'll see.

Matt Fitzgerald wrote Racing Weight and the cookbook. He's written several books so I ordered this one about nutrition. This talks about the importance of carbs, BUT they need to be from plants as opposed to chips, sodas, pastries, etc...

You may have to zoom on this, but this was fascinating. It's what the Kenyan elite runners eat. It actually doesn't sound all that bad except I'm not sure I could handle copious amounts of tea.

I'm still fighting my cold, but it's significantly better. I was ready to start running today. I took it easy and only ran one mile. But, truth be told, my time isn't much better when I'm not sick. Bwahaha!!

I also saw two falling stars while waiting for my GPS to load. It was amazing. Too bad they don't send you a memo saying when these will occur so you can take a pic. If it didn't happen on social media with a pic, then it didn't happen right? ;)

I have a few more runs planned for this week so I'm playing it by ear. Base building has officially begun!

Have you ever seen a fallen star? Do you think the headless models are creepy? Did you have an Easy Bake Oven and did you think it was the most bizarre kitchen appliance ever?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What's up?

It's been a while since I've written. I've been pretty busy and sick. This really sucked because I had made such good workout progress the week before. But, I've turned lemons into lemonade and had some nice positives the last few weeks.

I received an upper respiratory infection from my little girl. It comes with the territory of being a parent. She's able to bounce back a lot quicker than me, thank goodness! But I had to get antibiotics from the doc and a nice cortisone shot.

I followed the "above-the-neck" run rule regarding workouts. My problems were below the neck. My lungs specifically. So running was off the table. I'm giving this sucker four more days and then it's back on!

Here's a wrap up of the past few weeks:

I bought a new phone case since the one I first ordered was a bust. I have no idea why in my 40s I'm drawn to evil characters. But I really am fond of the wicked witch and how she has her flying monkeys do her bidding. She's probably the smartest one of all of us.

Playdate for Emily. We had a good time with my friend and her 2-year-old daughter. These two get along famously and we always have fun.

In the pretend cafe

Me and Rich took her to see Minions. It's pretty funny, but not as funny as Despicable Me.

We had a nice rainbow to kick off the weekend. I said on Instagram we have a rainbow, now we just need a puppy or a unicorn. (Get it? Puppies and rainbows or Unicorns and rainbows?)

I went on a mini road-trip to my cousin's baby shower. It was great seeing her and my grandmother.

I was doing some serious Pretty Little Liars binge-watching until our cable/internet went out this week. This has actually been a good thing. I've taken time to clean the house nightly and read.

While waiting this morning for the nonexistent cable guy I re-read parts of the Hansons Half Marathon book. I took the time to read and finally figured out my plan for the Louisiana Half Marathon which is about 26 weeks away. (Sounds long, but trust me, it's not)


I've been waffling on how should I build a base? Which plan should I use when it is time to start an "official plan?" Should I incorporate cross training? Should I continue to use the Black Fire series? What about diet? Where can I improve on that?

The book states if you want to be good at something, you do that thing. A. Lot. The Hansons' team wants you to run. Only run. This is a tough one because when I look on Instagram and read the running blogs, people are doing the opposite. They are running some miles, but they are also doing weights, swimming (I won't do that since I have no access to a pool), biking, yoga, hardcore things.

I do believe proper stretching and some strength exercises involving the core are necessary. They believe that too and give a few exercises to incorporate throughout the plan. BUT, they believe running is so taxing on your body, you don't have the time or physiology to do it all and meet your running goals.

This goes against the popularity of the people. But, I'm going to follow them and the science on this one. So my main base building will be running. Once the program starts it will be running. I will run so much I'll probably run in my sleep.

In other news, I'm still in a book funk. The last time I was like this I was pregnant. (not pregnant now). But I think what's happened is I've read 50-something books in the first half of this year. I was feeling pressure (from myself) to start another one immediately. I like to marinate on a book after I read it for a few days before starting another one. So I think I'm just burned out.

I also instituted a "do not buy any more books until you read at least 20 of the 100 that you already own" rule. This one is tough too. I definitely have #firstworldproblems when my biggest pressing issues are about a running plan and having too many books. :)

What about you? Any topics you want to discuss? Running plans? Antibiotics? Rainbows and unicorns?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dollhouse by Anya Allyn


Partial overview from Goodreads: 
"An abandoned mansion, deep in the woods. A dollhouse, filled with life-sized toys. A doorway into other realms. And girls who keep disappearing...

When Cassie’s best friend, Aisha, vanishes during a school hike, Cassie sets off with Aisha's boyfriend and their friend Lacey, determined to find her. Instead, the three teens fall into a carefully-laid trap—deep into the surreal nightmare and dark secrets of the Dollhouse.

Now, Cassie must uncover the mysteries of the Dollhouse and her own connection to it-- before it's too late."

I bought this book because it was on sale for $1.99 or so. I also bought it because I am totally in love and totally creeped out with stories about dolls. I'm reviewing this book because I know others like stories with creepy dolls.

This book was a bit of a mess. The plot was all over the place. There were creepy dolls - who are actually human?!?! The story involved kidnapping, a mansion, time travel, a clown with a limp, etc ... I could go on here.

It turns out this is a series. Believe it or not, I want to read the rest of the series. First, I need to let my mind rest from all the WTFery. 

If you like horror, gothic mansions, the circus, cults and dolls with red cheeks - this one is for you!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Review of Black Fire workouts by Daily Burn (Part 1)

I'll have a couple of other updated reviews as the weeks go on. But we'll start with week one. I'm not affiliated with Daily Burn or Bob in any way. These thoughts are my own, however I am on a 30-day free trial with Daily Burn. This free trial can apply to anybody.

My main goal for using this series was to boost my cardio ability. It is/was pretty bad. As soon as I would start a nice running warmup, my heart rate would shoot up and I could feel my lungs were getting ready to be on fire. Yeah, pretty bad for a "warmup."

I'm using this series while I build a base. For sure I will finish out the 30 days free trial and depending on where I am physically I will most likely pay the $12.95 for next 30 days. After that, I'll have officially started the half-marathon training and I will be running almost daily. I plan on trying to incorporate some strength training, but by then, I'm hoping my fitness will be better to focus on goal paces. #hopefully

This past week my plan was to work out six days, with the last day being a one-mile run. My one-mile runs have been very slow.

Sure enough, I used the dvd five days.

Monday: Strategic endurance - 3 rounds, 3 exercises, 2 minutes each. Sounds simple right? Nope. These included lots of burpees. The WARMUP was burpees. So you can imagine how that went.

Tuesday: Bodyweight tabata - 4 body-weight moves, 8 rounds per move. This was that whole tabata thing where there is no rest between each move. That feels so long ago, I can't remember much about it.

Wednesday: Full mobility - This was labeled as "easy" and I wondered if I should even do it. I figured it would be yoga and I'm working on cardio yo! But holy crap, this was exactly what I needed. You work every limb to the bone stretching and feeling the burn. I did not particularly like the host (not Bob) and the guy doing the moves, but I thought it was excellent. Honestly, this workout alone would be worth the $12.95 itself.

Thursday: ABC - I can't even remember what the ABC stands for, but I know it was core and abs.  4 moves, 5 rounds of each, 30 seconds of exertion. The hostess was a woman and she was pretty hard core. 

Friday: Power 10 - This is the official description which is spot on - "One of the most challenging workouts in the Black Fire series, you'll sprint through 4 rounds of 10 exercises, for 30 seconds each...with no rest." This was torture. I really thought I would either vomit or die. 

So, how did my run today go? It was at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday and it was allegedly only 73 degrees. I was dying from the heat/humidity. But, I improved by 50 seconds! I was super excited because it felt like I had slowed down compared to the week before, but I shaved a good bit of time off! And having my Soleus watch that shows my pace is extremely helpful, yet habitual. I'm OCD about checking my pace which I need to quit doing as much.

Here are the pros and cons so far in this series:
* Bob Harper
* Very intense
* Workouts are around 35 minutes so you can fit it in and even do two in an hour (I've seen this on the message board and will try this further down the line)
* Can do it easily in your home - always need a mat, some days weights
* You keep counts on each workout. Some workouts area a total count while others you count your lowest score so you can build up each week.
* Lots and lots and lots of different workouts. 12 Bob/Anja workouts with another half dozen or so of the "easy" recovery workouts. I have not had time to totally explore, but I think you can also use different programs of Daily Burn.
* There is a good deal of nutritional information which I haven't had time to look through. The recipes look good and easy. 

* Very intense - this is too advanced for me. They do make modifications for beginners, but if I would not be training for something, this would be out of my realm for sure. It will be interesting to see how I end up after the 60 days.

Yeah, I won't be doing this one.

* The equipment - the main issue I've had so far is some of the workouts use a box. The box is like $100 dollars. Um, no. I've modified it and honestly it hasn't been a problem because I'm so dead anyway I know I wouldn't be able to jump on the box even if I had it. I do need to buy a medicine ball and it seems a type of broomstick is needed for a couple of other ones. Again, something they try to sell you which runs around $30. Nope.

DailyBurn Plyo Box
* There is a supplements section - I know a lot of people use supplements and protein powders. More power to them! For me, I'm trying not to because that stuff kills my stomach, usually tastes like shit, is overly expensive and I can make most of the same stuff and get my protein from greek yogurt, chicken, nut butters, etc ... 

This week's plan is to keep up the program, but run every other day for one mile. I'm going to see how this week goes to figure out next week's plan.

If you are reading on my actual site, sorry about the font discrepencies. I've tried to fix it and the fonts are not cooperating. They are off the job for the weekend I guess. :)