Ankle down, keeping my head up

Standard

Image

I am finally easing back to my running schedule after I noticed an annoying pain on my right ankle and hamstring after my 12 miler two weeks ago. Stairs were the death of me. I had to wait a week and a half just to see the foot doctor and it was painful just not being able to run or not being sure if it was okay to run. Especially when it was my peak week and was going to accomplish my first 13 miles before I taper for my race this coming Sunday.

During this down time, the support of my family and friends and personal reflection, I found a silver lining. Maybe I’m being a whining drama queen about not being able to run, but running really has become a huge part of my life since I began training. And not being able to look forward to a run is real frustrating. The reassurance from my best friend helps me be more positive about this situation and to not push myself. I probably annoyed her with my ankle problems, but she has been encouraging me the entire time.

What was the silver lining? After being able to run 12 miles I am more confident that I have built enough strength and endurance to be able to run 13 soon. It’s all in my head, and I won’t let my mind tell me I can’t do it. I am also glad that this happened at the time it did because it gave the opportunity to kick back a bit and fix the rookie mistakes I’ve made. Since I hurt my ankle, I reevaluated how I’ve been running and realized how I haven’t been taking care of my feet and haven’t allowed for enough recovery. I’ve been able to “fix” this before my race, and I am thankful for that. Plus, I think the satisfaction of running my first 13 miles on my first race will be more rewarding than during my training. I love surprises.

My hamstring pain went away after a few days of relaxing, but the ankle pain remained a bit. The issue? My damn flat feet. I made the rookie mistake of not getting proper running shoes that were for long distances and flat feet. I love my Nike Air Max, as they are comfortable and colorful, but now I hate them. Macklemore said that air bubble was gonna make me fly. Lies.

Hearing the foot and ankle doctor tell me I can run was music to my ears and was just so good to hear. Before I could run, I needed to get some stability shoes. So I ventured away from Nike and went with a pair from Asics. Not as cool looking, but I’m going to functionality, not looks anymore. Learned that lesson the heard way.

Fast forward to last night, and I ran my first long run after two weeks. I nice 8-miler. I made sure to stop a few times to walk and not push it. That made a difference. I also changed my Nike Running app settings to only tell me when I am at the halfway point. I figured hearing statistics is disturbing and makes me think about the time, ultimately making me run even slower. Overall, my run was great. I needed that release and satisfaction that I can do it. My ankle feels a bit strained, but it’s OK.

All in all, lessons were learned, my spirit to run didn’t fade, and I am more excited and nervous to run this race than before. Maybe this was the push I needed to get me more motivated.

 

When you think you can’t: do it anyways

Standard

20140316-101523.jpg

20140316-101529.jpg

 

My training is a couple weeks past the halfway point and I’m less than a month away from race day. Where has the time gone!? These last ten weeks have truly been a fun ride and is helping me see and understand myself more. It’s a mixture of the running (of course), stretching, a bit of cross training, carbin’ it up, and simply feeling more connected with my surroundings.

Anyways, I learned a crucial lesson this week which I’ve always heard but didn’t really feel it until this week. The lesson is that the more I stopped the more tired I feel. Not this is a special lesson or anything, but learning this is helping me tell myself to keep going and not try to stop, especially when it comes to those damn stoplights.

I realized this phenomenon during a four mile run I was seriously not looking forward to and almost didn’t do. I really didn’t have any excuses and I definitely did not want to look back at the end of the week and see that I skipped out on a workout so recklessly. So I thought those four miles were going to be slow, awful, and dreadful because I was in a stressful and bad mood. But my run was the exact opposite. I didn’t have to stop at all on my route around Capitol Hill and I felt energized throughout it all. I think that was my fastest four miles outside by a couple minutes. I think a big part of it was also from the PB&J I ate before my run. Now I can justify eating PB&J! Love them.

This lesson hit home during my 11 miles with my running partner. We had to stop multiple times, and I felt as though my energy level was really lacking as the run went on. I still felt great after the run, of course, as you can’t really regret a workout. I am not upset or anything that we had to stop, far from it. We still got those 11 miles in. And I am proud of us. How can I complain about accomplishing 11 miles, even if it included some walking? That sounds ridiculous.

Finished the week strong!

Standard

20140301-130705.jpg

This week started out pretty crappy and was a struggle to feel motivated to do my runs, even my two barre workouts seemed to be a bit annoying. But throughout this week I told myself that it just must be a minor wall I just hit right smack in the middle of my training. But you know what, I still got my milage in. Although I may have “had” to stop during my runs, angry and frustrated at myself, I still got it done.

When it was time to run four miles on Friday, I wasn’t expecting much. But hey, it actually turned out to be a pretty awesome run. I started out on the treadmill, then went out in the sunshine to volunteer park to take that photo above. How can you not like a run when there’s sun, blue skies, a light breeze, and a beautiful view!? Although I did get passed by an old guy, and that’s actually pretty hilarious.

At the end of each workout I was happy with myself for at least getting it done. You really can’t regret a workout, only one that didn’t happen. Why should I beat myself up for not doing as great as I hoped? I am really seeing that all this training is not just about getting in the milage and going home. Running is becoming a passion for me – and if I’m not enjoying myself then something is wrong. I am learning to accept that not all runs are amazing. There’s going to be some times when it just isn’t your day. It just so happens that was my motto this entire week. Oh well.

After accomplishing my longest run this morning of 9.25 miles, I feel great and more than glad to have my excitement back for running. Sadly, I did not have my running partner with me and was seriously nervous and afraid for this long run on my own. She was running with me in spirit and I felt her support.

As I reflect on my run, I am trying to note what may have made it such a good run. 7 hours of sleep is definitely a good factor. I ate tons of food and carbs all week, not even sorry about that. I stopped eating meat on Monday, which has been a fairly easy change. I ate some gummy bears during my run. And I started 1.5 miles on the treadmill. Plus, the nike running app is pretty awesome for updates, instead of running blindly.

Also, I don’t recall really hitting a wall during my run, making me want to stop. This particularly happens during mile three when running up hill from downtown. But this time I was running uphill during mile five and six.

Progress was definitely made this week! I was afraid I was falling backwards in my training, but that dumb wall I hit maybe was necessary and not so dumb as it made me stronger. I think it’s time to try and pick up my pace. What what.

No regrets with a workout

Standard

There’s only so much time in the day, and lately I am primarily interested in feeling good by working out. I noticed that as I have been working out more due to my training schedule, I don’t have to ask myself if I am working out that day, but the question becomes when will I workout. I can see how working out can get compromised when times get busy, but shouldn’t that be the same reason why we should be fitting them in?

This morning, for the third time in a row I woke up at 5:45 and my other two roommates were already out of the apartment and conquering their workouts. Not to mention my workout buddy waiting for me at the gym. I felt like I was slacking already and the day just began! I am so thankful for the motivation and support I see and feel around me. It inspires me to be healthier, more active, and simply feel amazing.

Although, I did end up “sleeping in” until 7am, I believe that extra hour or so gave me the extra strength I needed for an awesome run on the treadmill and more energy for a second workout at Barre3 at 9:30am. Going back to compromising workouts, I almost did not go to the barre class because I thought I should study for the dreaded CPA exam instead during that hour.

With a push from my roomie, I was off to barre and had an amazing workout. This was my third time coming to barre and it has been a couple weeks since then. The class is actually pretty tough and my legs are always shaking like crazy, but I feel so good and refreshed afterwards. There is no way that I would be able to do these moves on my own. I am glad I did not skip out on this workout.

I realize now that I was afraid of working out twice in one day because I was noticing the change in my attitude to workout. I even asked myself: is this normal? At first, I was just following my training schedule. And now I am incorporating more ways to improve my body and soul through my workouts. My lifestyle change is not to become skinny or lose a bunch of weight. I threw that expectation right into the trash. My expectation is to be a healthier, happier, and stronger me.