Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 29, 2009

My cold is much better and my report cards are done. I'm still tired but I'm going to head out for my first run since last Sunday.

I need some goals. I have things I want to do but I'm not doing them. All I've been doing is the running, which is a good thing because it's the most important, but still.

Here are some of them. Not saying I'm ready to commit yet but I'll throw them out there.

• Get back to healthy eating all the time, not just part time.

• Take my calcium and other supplements regularly.

• Make a core strength plan and start doing it.

- pushups
- abs work
- other ?

• Do yoga every day. OK, I know I won't do it every day but I wish I did.

• Do the leg strengthening exercises on non-running days.

• Go to the YMCA on non-running days to swim, row, bike, do the elliptical, or weights.

• Go to bed at 10 pm on school nights.

• Figure out my half iron training plan.

• Decide whether I should try for Oliver or Osoyoos Half Iron.

• Run 21 km.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009

I actually forgot to write a blog post for the last couple of days. Not that I have anything interesting to say.

Sunday, I went for my trail run. It was so-so. Not bad, not great. I took the dog with me because I had to run alone (Erik was still sick). Angel runs really well, stays right by my side and I just clip the leash around my waist and go. Unfortunately, she can't handle running in the heat so I haven't taken her for a long time and she got out of shape. I'd run for 1 km and she stop and sit. So I stopped taking her altogether.

Anyway, since I was still doing a walk-run, I decided to give her a try and she did really well. Now that the weather's cooler, I think I'll take her along. That way she can build up her endurance as well.

So - Sunday - ran 3 min, walked 1 min for half the run, and did 4 min run and 2 min walk the second half. My lower legs still ache - hard to explain where exactly. Lower inside shin, right above the ankle, more the bone than the muscle. It isn't bad and it doesn't last beyond the first half of the run. I'll just be glad when it's gone altogether.

Monday, I started to come down with whatever virus Erik has. I am achey, tired, have a sore throat, and a cough. I seem to feel ok as long as I take ibuprofen every 4-6 hours. Still going to work because I have a lot of stuff to get organized for report cards. I'm part way through writing them. Hope to get them done over the weekend.

OK, that's it. TTYL.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 21, 2009

No working out today. Went to a memorial service of a former colleague during the day and worked on report cards the rest of the time. Did a good stretch and yoga before bed tho. Achilles seems fine today. REALLY hope I can do a trail run tomorrow. Will have to go alone tho because Erik is still sick.

Made a big pot of soup tonight - check out my food blog to see What NOT to do... :(

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20, 2009

Finally got out for a run, although not as I had hoped. Tried to get organized quickly after school so I could get home in time to run the trails before it got dark, but just as I packed up to leave, a big wind/rain storm darkened the skies. By the time I got home, it was pouring and too dark to go run in the hills so I hung out at home for a bit then got ready to run at about 4:30. By then the wind had died down and it had stopped raining, but it was still a cold 4C, 39F. Since I was running in the neighbourhood, I took it easy. My shins/calves/ankles felt a bit sore but nothing serious and I really tried not to overdo it this first time out since my race.

Did a 10 min walk/run warm up then ran 3:00 min forefoot and 2 min walk for 33 minutes. Did 4km in total. Felt pretty good. Think I might be able to do 4/2. Will think about it for Sunday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009

Oops, missed a couple of days.

Haven't done training of any sort all week - haven't had a chance to. Yesterday I had an ortho appt, then took the boy to a doctor appt, then got an H1N1 shot on the fly. Got home, fed the boys, and hurried off to meet my mom and my girls for dinner to celebrate both girls' birthdays this week.

Today had a staff mtg and didn't get home from work until 6pm. Have a braces headache from yesterday, coupled with mild flu symptoms from the shot. Going to hit the sack early.

Erik's home sick today and tomorrow with a virus so I can probably squeeze in a run after work tomorrow. It'll be my first run since Sunday! That's bad... But that's just life sometimes...

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16, 2009

Quads are pleasantly sore today. Should be back running on Wednesday.

Yeah baby...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15, 2009

The Pub Relay

Got up this morning feeling a little groggy. Had some yogurt for breakfast and that was it.

The temp was about 3C (37F), overcast, slight wind with a forecast for strong winds and snow flurries later in the day so I bundled up warm and took along some extra clothes as well. We met the team at Duffer's pub and shivered in the cold waiting for things to get rolling. Most of the teams were dressed up in funny costumes so we decided that next year we will definitely have to come up with something good! There were 20 teams of 6 people - always a sell out!
Once the first set of runners left, we drove up and met them at the first pub. After our runner arrived, and drank his beer, our next runner left on her leg. My leg was #4 and I had a flat, 5.1 km run along a busy street. I took off a little fast at first and my heart rate was flying. I tried alternating forefoot and heel strike but eventually just focussed on running to get 'er done.

At the 2.5 km mark, I was running about a 5:30 km (8:51 mile) and Ik new that was too fast to maintain for the whole race so I slowed it down a bit. Also, my ITB started to tighten up and I really didn't want it to lock so I stopped and walked for about 20 seconds. I wasn't wearing my HR monitor but I could tell my HR was way up there in the race zone (170-180?).

At the 5 km mark, I was at 29:47 which is significantly faster than any 5k I've run all year. It's by no means a PR but it's a HUGE improvement considering I was trying to hold back a little. I arrives at the pub in 30:24 and chugged down my beer in about 5 seconds. None of this sippy junior stuff that my 30-something team mates were pulling off. LOL...

To be honest, the beer was different at each pub - it was all draft but some had been pulled earlier and was flatter so easier to drink. The glass sizes varied a little to.

They added a few things into the race that I didn't know about. The team in the lead at the 2nd leg had to carry a big brick the rest of the way and if you passed the brick holder, you had to take the brick too.

At the end of the 5th leg, the 5th runner and the 6th runner who was just leaving, BOTH had to drink a beer. In this case it was Erik. Luckily, he has a cast iron stomach and run on a full stomach of beer. I don't know if I could do that.... Then he had to drink another beer at the end.

This is the final run for the Kelowna Running Club and there were a lot of well known, very fast serious runners there. Our team probably came in about 12-14th (out of 20) I think. There were no prizes for placing, only for best costumes and lots of door prizes, plus a huge buffet and of course, another beer.

Anyway, it was a ton of fun and we'll definitely do it again next year!

November 14, 2009

It's actually after midnight as I type this.

I think this is the one and only time I will ever party the night before a "race". Had an awesome time at the Skookum Barn Dance tonight. Valdy played with a group of excellent studio musicians - good old rock 'n roll with a few Valdy classics thrown in for good measure. "Play Me a Rock n Roll Song"... I think we only sat out for 2-3 songs total. I was wearing heels and the dance floor was so crowded, I couldn't kick off my shoes so my feet are pretty sore right now. I'm pretty sure I only had 2 1/2 glasses of wine so I think I will feel fine tomorrow. Hope so... LOL...

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009

Calves felt a bit tight when I was stretching today but overall, still good. I was chomping at the bit to go for a run but held off to make sure I'm ok for Sunday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009

Felt good today. Calves etc all feeling fine. Did all my stretching. Might go for short, easy run tomorrow if I have time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 11, 2009

Wow, what a great day!

I went for my run this afternoon and it was awesome! I drove up to the other end of the trail where I usually run, and did just the flat part out and back. It's a very, very gradual uphill from that end, so that means downhill on the way back if I run from that direction. To be honest, the grade is so slight, you cannot tell at all there is an incline but I always feel that my run back it is a bit tougher than the run out so it was nice to be able to do it the other way around this time.

I warmed up for the first 9 minutes by walking 3, run 1, walk 3, run 2, then walk 3 and run 3 from then on. A few times I ran 3 1/2 because I felt good and forgot to keep an eye on my watch.

Of course, the whole time I only did forefoot running and I really focussed on form and tried to keep loose - had up, feet landing under my body. My lower right calf was kind of tight for the first 10 minutes or so and then it felt completely fine after that.

I was listening to Chris Russell talk about forefoot running in New Balance 800's on his podcast Run Run Live the other day and he mentioned when you're doing the "lean" forward, you should imagine that there's a rope tied around your waist, pulling you forward. That imagery seemed to help me a lot today.

When I got to the last 5 minutes of the run, (last 800-1000m), "I Gotta Feeling" came on my ipod just as I started my last run segment and I felt so happy and so good that I decided to pick up the pace a little and run faster. (Normally I'm running at about 6:30 km ~ 10:30 mile.)

According to my Garmin, I was running at about a 5:00 km pace (8:00 min mile)! That's way faster than I've run before. I think my best previous pace was about 5:15 km. The best thing was, I felt so good, like I could keep on running for another 5 km. It was good thing I came to the end of the trail or I might have been tempted to keep on running. As it was, I didn't stop at the 3 min mark, I kept on going until the end of the song.

When I got home, I was worried that I was going to hurt. I stretched and iced my right calf just to be cautious but as this very moment, I feel totally fine. Even if I jog on the spot, nothing is hurting. It didn't even feel sore when I climbed the stairs at school this evening.

OMG I am SO hoping that this is a turning point. Please please please.....

I'm not going to run again until Sunday, the day of the Pub Run. I have to run 5.1 km on the roads that day. It's mid-day on a weekend so I should feel fairly fresh, assuming I don't go too wild at the dance on Saturday night. LOL...

My big problem is that I can't do a walk/run on Sunday, not in a race where my team mates are counting on me. Although we're not trying to "win" anything, we're just doing it for fun, it will be hard not to go too hard. I definitely cannot run forefoot for the whole race, that would be suicide, so I'll have to run heel strike/walk intervals again. I really, really hope it doesn't set me back. But hey, even if it does, I will just take a few days off and get back at it. Yeah!!

Over and out. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009

Really glad tomorrow is a day off. Got home around 5ish, made dinner.

Lower calves, achilles still sore-ish so decided to take an extra day or rest so as not to ask for trouble. Since tomorrow's a day off, I can run the trails in the daytime when I'm not so tired as well.

Later, my friends. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9, 2009

Got home at 10 pm. Long day.

Feeling pretty good but too tired to do anything exercise related tonight.

Lower calves are tired and sore-ish. It might be best to wait an extra day before I run again - I'll decide tomorrow.

On a related note, I wore my orthotics in my regular shoes all day and by noon, my feet were tired. Got rid of them after school and feet are still achey. They feel good in my runners when run, why do they feel crappy when wear them all day? It's not like they're new...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8, 2009

Another great day!

Got some stuff done this morning, then went for a trail run this afternoon . It was overcast and about 8C 46F. Carly and Erik came along and although we all ran at different paces, we met up by the lake at the end and walked down the hill together.

I hiked up 1.5 km before I started running on the flats, and did 3 min forefoot and 3 min walking. Several times, I forgot to stop running and ran 30-60 seconds longer than I was supposed to.

Overall I felt good. I had decided to put the orthotics back in today so I can pinpoint the cause of any injuries should they happen. However, my shins, ITB, calves, and hamstrings all felt fine for a change. However, my right inner ankle (almost where the muscle along the shin would connect to the ankle?) was sore when I was running today. It's been hurting a bit lately when I flex my foot, especially if I flex it and turn the foot inward, and today it hurt as soon as I started running. After awhile, it settled down and kind of faded into the background so I am really hoping that it too will disappear before my next run.

If I can just get to the point where I can run 3 and 3 without ANY pains, I will move to 3 and 2. I think I am SO close.... Be careful, just be careful...

Anyway, today I ran 5 km in 39:47 which I happen to think is pretty awesome considering I walked about half of that! It's also at least 5 min faster than my run on Thursday. W00t!!

Now I have a small problem, next Sunday is the pub run and I will definitely not be able to run the whole thing forefoot. I really don't want to take walk breaks when my team mates are counting on me, so I guess for that one day, I'll have to alternate with heel strike. Hopefully, it won't set me back any.

Also if I'm feeling any significant pains on my run this Tuesday, I'm going to take the rest of the week off running so I am rested for Sunday.

Another point of note - I chugged a whole beer down , in two gulps as soon as I got back from my run. I am now officially ready for the Pub Run!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 7, 2009

Well today turned out to be a pretty good day. I had a crapola sleep last night and was lying awake for about half an hour before I remembered that I didn't have to work the next morning. Awesome feeling. :) Didn't help me fall asleep but I did get caught up on a bunch o' podcasts. Slept in till 9ish this morning so I think it was all good.

Overall, I've been feeling much better as the week has gone on. This afternoon, I went to the gym and rowed 5000m in 27:15, then I did 3 loops on the weights circuit, hitting only the upper body machines ~ 12-15 reps, 3 sets. It was my first time on weights for awhile so thought I'd better take it easy.

When I got home I did 30 minutes of yoga as well as my calf, hamstring, and hip stretches. Felt good as usual. Someone kick me on the ass and make me do yoga EVERY single night okay?? It is just SO good. (Yogamazing Podcast Episode #144 Yoga for Runners)

I think I am ready to run tomorrow. To be honest, my right ankle is kinda of sore, but I'm assuming that is all just niggling pains from forefoot running. I'm just hoping it will gradually disappear as my body gets used to the new form. So the plan for tomorrow is a 5 km trail run with a warmup and cool down hike - probably 8 k in total?

So I am still torn about ditching the orthotics and I've decided to put them back in tomorrow and take them out again when my legs are more 'ready'. If I change too many things at once, I won't know the cause of any injuries.

In other news.....

I made another batch of my awesome Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup. I have made a pot every weekend for last 3 weeks and I have enough for my lunch everyday during the week. I am still tweaking the recipe but I promise to post it on my food blog as soon as it is ready.

I can't believe I'm not gaining any weight. My weight has fluctuated around 120.5 -122 for the last few months, despite the fact that I have not been eating as perfectly as I should, and not doing tons of cardio. Maybe now would be a good time to cut back the calories and lose those last 5 lbs that NEVER seem to want to come off?

See you tomorrow, my friends. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6, 2009

Good day.

Calf felt ok, a little tight, couldn't have run , but it wasn't painful like last night.

Brian says use the roller then heat, cool (not cold) X 3 times.

Did abs again. 2 X 20 crunches.

Good times.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009

Not a bad day overall. Way too busy at work and I left my desk and room in a mess when I had to go at 4:30. But it was dark out and threatening rain and I still had to pick up hubby and run errands before I could get home and even THINK about going for a run. I was starving by the time I got home at 5:45 so I had a banana before I geared up for my run. The rain held off and it was only a bit windy so I was lucky, but since it was dark, I had to run around the block 5 times instead of doing a trail run. I stretched my calves for about 5 minutes before I left and I found the left one was still a bit tender and tight but it felt ok to run.

I did a walk/run warm up for 10 mins (more walk than run), and then did the rest mostly in 3 min intervals - 3 min forefoot and 3 min walking. I continued to opt for no more heel strike and did not put my orthotics back in. I tried to stay loose and to go easy but again, right at the 2.3 km mark (same as Tuesday), I got the twinge in my left calf. I stopped and walked right away before it could knot up too much to run. After 3 min, I tried running again and then continued with the walk/run somewhat cautiously for the rest of the time. A few times, it tightened so I just switched and I managed to do the entire 5 km this time. A little over 45 minutes in total I think. Probably about 20 minutes was forefoot running.

I stretched and iced my left calf when I got home. Interestingly enough, it was hurting closer to the top of the calf this time, almost under the knee. I'll still not sure if I should continue without the orthotics or put them back in....

In other news....

I made a pact with Sandy not to eat any crap today. Managed to hold off until now but I'm really craving candy. Going to have some cheese and crackers instead tho - good me.

Also made an agreement with Anotorias so do some abs work tonight. I remember distinctly the last time I did crunches, I overdid it by doing my usual routine, so tonight, I will only do 2 sets of 20 to get the ball rolling. I know it all comes back pretty quickly and I'm sure I'll be able to do 5 X 20 in a week or so.

OK, over and out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009

Another day, another dollar....

Stretched in the morning, stretched at night.

Stretched a couple times during the day.

Calf has the ~~slightest~~ tenderness/tightness that I am sure will be gone by tomorrow.

And so I will live to run again.

Buh bye....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3, 2009

Well today I got home from work and dentist at 6pm and was determined to go for a run despite how hungry I was. I drank a glass of water and had a hammer gel so my tummy wasn't empty then geared up for a run in the dark and cold (hovering around freezing point). I was wearing my Zensah compression shin sleeves all day, and I left them on for the run.

So - I'd been thinking a lot about the next step in my forefoot running transition and how I was feeling more and more like I didn't want to keep going back to heel strike. I was talking to my twitter friend Colin and he told me I shouldn't heel strike at all anymore, that I should alternate the forefoot with walking instead. I thought it made a lot of sense and I'd already been thinking about doing just that. So... today I took out my orthotics because they feel a bit uncomfortable when I run on my forefoot, and I decided to do 3 min forefoot and 2 min walk today to see how that felt. I was fully prepared to increase the walk break if needed.

I walked 5 mins to warm up, the I started running. I felt great. I did my walk break and then I stopped and stretched a little to be on the safe side. Back to running/walking. I did about 1.5 km and had a sudden pain in my left leg - lower calf, just above the achilles. I stopped and stretched it a bit. Then I sat down and massaged it. Nothing helped so I limped home to reduce any further irritation. Got home, iced off and on for 20 minutes. It's still feeling tight and sore if I move it in certain ways but I don't think it's serious and it will likely go away in a day or so. At first I thought it was a cramp, but now I'm wondering if it's a mild calf pull. No swelling, no bruising.

So what did I do wrong?

1. Taking out the orthotics?

2. Cutting back from 3 min heel strike to a 2 min walk?

3. Poor form? (I was really focussed the whole time and I tried to stay loose.)

4. Didn't stretch enough? (I did stretch a little before and a little during)

5. Not enough salt/electrolytes or water? (I hadn't had dinner, I only had the gel and a glass of water before I left).

6. Wearing my shin sleeves all day?

7. All of the above?

8. None of the above.


What should I do next? Try, try again on Thursday, assuming my calf is back to normal asap?

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009

I'm baaack....

First off, here's a link for Sandy - see her comment on my last point.

I don't think I have any forefoot running info on my own site. Everything I know, I've learned from podcasts and from talking to other people, and from talking to a running coach. However, I googled forefoot running and I think the site above pretty well sums up my thoughts on the topic (so far.) I am not an expert, I am only learning.

I don't really know if forefoot running is going to help me in the long run (no pun intended) but I figure it's worth a try. The main thing I got out of my talk with the running coach is that I think people shouldn't try to switch to FF running on their own. I think they should at least talk to a coach and get some pointers so they don't get new injuries.

I am currently reading Born to Run and I'm enjoying it. Sorta. It's all a little fantastical so I'll reserve judgement until I've finished it.

I felt pretty darn good today. So good that I could have gone for a run. BUT I had an appt to get my allergy shot after school and I couldn't miss that. Sadly, I'm not supposed to exercise after getting my shot so I was messed up for the rest of the afternoon/ evening. I'm hoping I can hold this good feeling until tomorrow. Only downside is, I have a dentist appt at 4pm and I won't be home until after 5. If I run, the boys will have to wait for dinner. We'll see.

So I still haven't got the flu yet - most of the fatigue and achiness I've been feeling off and on for the past two weeks seems to be gone. I'm not 100% yet, but I'm feeling MUCH better and almost energetic at times.

I've also been starting to get a handle on why I keep having rushes of not feeling well. I think some of it is due to mild hot flashes and the related effects. Gentlemen, and ladies under 45, you can skip this part if you want to. :) Recently, I was sent a link to this very interesting site that gave some great detailed info about menopause and hot flashes. I've been having night sweats for several years now and they don't even bother me anymore, but two months ago, I stopped taking the pill, and I've begun to have the occasional hot flash during the day. They're pretty mild so far but it should be interesting to see how this affects my training when I start to workout harder. I doubt I'll even notice them then actually, I'm always super hot when I'm working out anyway.

I actually find this whole stage of life quite interesting and exciting and I find myself wanting to shout out to strangers - "Hey guess what, I'm having a hot flash!" instead of being embarrassed about it. I have no clue why. So anyway, all you women out there will appreciate this - I probably don't have to worry about the timing of my races anymore if ya know what I mean. It's certainly an issue for female athletes. Personally, I have always manipulated nature by taking the pill right thru racing season so I didn't have to deal, but not every woman can do that. I'm curious to know how other female athletes deal with menstruation and racing. And if any post-menopausal women out there have any advice, feel free to email me. :)


I've been doing my stretching for the last two days. That's my main goal right now. My hamstrings are pretty tight lately and I think that's from the FF running. I don't want to have a new issue to deal with so I've added some hamstring stretches to the mix. The whole stretching routine easily takes me 30 minutes in the evening and I try to squeeze in at least 10-15 mins worth earlier in the day as well if I can.

Okey dokey, gotta go stretch before I hit the sack. Later...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 1, 2009

I decided I'm going to write a short blog post every day this month, like I did last year. I could actually steal the first paragraph from last year and find not much has changed. Here's what I wrote one year ago today.

Another Month, Another Opportunity...

... to redeem myself.

Still trying to get back on the wagon and I'm not going to give up. I always feel energetic and motivated on the weekends after I've had a good sleep so I do well and go for a run or a bike ride, and then things start to fall apart during the week when I'm so tired again.

Sound familiar? Sheesh, the more things change, the more they stay the same. It looks like this time of year is just a time that I need to take the time to regenerate and cut back a little. There's just too much stress and too much work to have the energy to work out every single day. Maybe it's the change in the weather, or less daylight, or going back to work full time after 68 days off. I dunno.

Anyhoo, here's my update since my last post.

Saturday, Oct. 31 I ran 8.3 km. That included the hiking up hill as my warm up (1.4 km), a 5k trail run in 34:19, and then 1.8 km walk down. Shins felt perfect. Forefoot running felt good - 3 minutes heel strike and 3 minutes forefoot. Didn't even want to quit forefoot when it was time but I did. HOWEVER, I did not stretch AT ALL this week. Nadda. Bad me. And I suffered for it I think. ITB pain again at the 4 km point. Always the same point of my run it seems. Of course, I had the same problem for my last 3 runs and the other times I stretched so maybe that doesn't even help.

Anyway, I did my best to ignore it and finish my 5 km run. The right knee had the ITB strap on and it felt only a little painful, the left knee, which usually doesn't bother me, was much worse, and I was pretty "limpy" when I had to walk downhill, especially on the steep sections.

Did I MENTION my SHINS felt FINE?????? Yeah baby. I'm gonna kick this ITB thing in the ass and keep running.

So. Why didn't I run all week you are wondering. Well, it's the same old same old. My son came down with H1N1 on Tuesday night and we had some worrisome days. Then his fever went down and I stopped worrying about him and started worrying about me. Hubby and I have both been feeling fatigue, achey, headaches, overall unwell for past 2 weeks. Seems to come in waves. I usually manage to have about half a day feeling greta and then I just fall apart. Whatever. It'll go away.

So now I'm crossing my fingers that I don't get the piggy flu. If I get it, it should happen sometime this week. Incubation period is about 2-7 days. Sure hope not, but then again, it'll save me a 4 hour wait in line for the shots right?

My forefoot plan

I think I'll stick with 3 and 3 this week. Then next week do 3 FF and 1.5 HS. Then the next week. 5 FF and 2 HS or something along those lines. We'll see.

This week:

* I will try to do something every day. Stretch. Cardio. Run. Yoga. Strength. Walk. Something.

* I will make smart eating choices 80% of the time.

* I will drink more water.

* I will get more sleep.