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Please enjoy my journey down memory lane as I share my year of running in review. And get ready as I share fitness and nutrition information in preparation for more races in 2017! Don't worry, the information isn't just for runners. It's for anyone who wants to be fit and fabulous in the new year...and beyond!
Don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter on the home page! You'll be glad that you did!
Well, I'm still doing my thing with this Runner's Knee. It has proven to be a pain because it's not healing as fast as I want. I have been going to physical therapy regularly. and I work out with weights when I'm not in physical therapy. I take my glucosamine regularly (Gluco FX - See Youngevity above for details) and I get massages once a month. Recently, I started run/wal intervals as outlined in a training program shared by Athletico. I got to the point of walking 2 minutes and running 3 minutes 6 times for a total of 30 minutes. I was sore when I did that one. The soreness that I felt was the same soreness that I felt when I first hurt my knee. The impact of running was a bit much, I guess. I advised my PT the next day and she contacted my doctor. I will be setting up an appointment to go for an MRI soon to make sure that there's nothing truly damaged in my knee. I am feeling fairly confident that it's not as I tried again two days later (longer walk, shorter run) and it didn't hurt nearly as much. But I'm still feeling something. That's frustrating.
I have to still work out. I may ease up on some of the weight classes as they tend to do quite a few reps of squats and that's hard on the knees. I will wear a brace when I do work out and I'll avoid impact exercises for a month. The elliptical and anything in the water is fine. And some weights are fine. I have to continue to build the foundation of support for my knees and that comes with building quads and glutes, strengthening hamstrings and making them and IT bands more limber. To that end, I'll be adding more squats to the fitness routine, too. But I've got to see what's going on with this knee in the mean time. Ugh!
By the way, have you heard of Daily Greatness? It's a great system of keeping a journal, following goals and finding inspiration - all in one book! I'll be starting my Training Daily Greatness book, which goes for 12 weeks. That will help to keep me honest and on track as I travel this road to wellness for my knee. I figure, though, that it will be pretty cool to use it for another 12 weeks for other fitness or race goals. And, of course, I'll be using the book that they have for building a business to help with my finances, too. I'm excited! Check out Daily Greatness above for more details! This is a great investment!
More to come...
Wow! When I look back over 2015, I just smile. This has been an AWESOME year! I hit some milestones and started something new in my life. It is now 12/31/15 and I'm still here on this earth. I'm feeling great and looking forward to even more blessings to come in 2016! I have my parents, my husband, most of my friends and family members. I'm still employed with a great organization and my Soul Purpose and Youngevity business is still going strong. So, I thought that I would summarize the year in this brief post for today!
Again, all in all, it's been a fabulous year! Here's to an even better 2016! I want to do and see more things that I've never done and seen before. I want to stay healthy, spend more time with friends and family, exhibit more self-discopline to accomplish goals. And, of course, I want to run more. Already lining up the races!
Onward and upward! Happy New Year!
Well, good folks! I'm on the mend. Runner's knee. Ugh! Not fun.
Here's how it all began. As many of you know, I took up running this past year. It all started with the Soldier Field 10. I didn't warm up or properly prepare for the race because my intention was to walk the 10 miles, not walk and run as I did. Poorly fitting shoes, two parties of socks and improper form added to the struggle. So, I walked and ran but finished and decided that I wanted to keep on doing this. My left knee told me differently. It said that I could run but I needed to do more strength training and stretching because I was diagnosed with plica syndrome. Yeah, yeah. I'm a fast healer so I stretched and did strength training when I felt like it but I mostly ran. 5ks were my race after that. What fun! Relatively short distances but a medal and good times after that. I thought I was doing fairly well. So, time for the Hot Chocolate 15k....
Well, maybe I should train for this, I thought. After all, the most that I've ever run is 7.34 miles and now I'm scheduled to run 9.3 miles. Without proper conditioning. So, I decide to follow Hal Higdon's training schedule. I run when he says to run, do strength training when he says to do that (sometimes), cross training when he says to do that (sometimes). And, oh, by the way. I made a mistake in counting the weeks and actually had one week less than I thought that I did. Yipe!
They really get you pumped up at the Hot Chocolate expo! Fun pictures, lots of chocolate, cool merchandise to buy. This is so exciting!
They say to load up on carbs the night before a long race, right? Well, here's my pasta!
Day of the event:
I could barely sleep the night before! I'm so excited! There are so many people at this race. I'm trying to figure out who didn't run. People are either in the 5k or the 15k. Whew! Too many people. But the energy is amazing! We get there early...and it's kind of cold because it's early November in Chicago...and we hang out and talk with women we know from Women Run the World, our running and fitness group. But we don't stretch or warm up during this time. Not a smart move on our part.
During the race:
The first two miles in are NUTS! They have the 5k and 15k runners run at the same time. They are all over the place! Someone actually crossed the street in front of us as we were running in the streets of Chicago. I ran into her and someone ran into me! Not a smart move, Lady! Anyway, it was chaos for a while as we ran Lower Wacker Drive. But we came from under the drive and onto other streets. Once we got to Michigan Ave, the racers separated. 5k runners turned in one direction and the 15k runners kept going. Ah, paradise. The course evened out and we were able to run in peace. That was really cool. Someone once told me that you need to stop worrying about time and other things when you're running. Just relax and enjoy the scenery. And that is what I did. It was really cool! And I ran into people I knew as I was running, which was really fun!
I got to 35th street and ran unto a friend from church, Robert Bradley! He is a great photographer so he took a picture of me when he was able to stop me to get me to pose. It made me feel like a pro out there! So much fun!
Well, I kept on running, this time down King Drive, back up King Drive, back down 35th Street (past a choir singing to us as we ran), over the overpass to the lake. We were probably around mile 7 or 7.5 there. And that's when my knee started singing the blues to me. "Baby, baby, baby! Why you treat me so bad?" "Shut up, knee!", I'm thinking. "We have a race to finish." So, off we ran. My poor right knee got even more of a test when I realized that we had to go up a couple of inclines before we could finish the race. Who put those things in the race? They should have warned me!
We were at 9.2 miles when my phone and Nike+ app decided that they were done for the day. "You can keep on, if you want to. We're out!". So, I ran on. It was at that time that I learned that 15K was more like 9.3 miles and not 9.2 miles. And the longest that I had ever run before that was 7.34 miles. Um.....
I finished the race. Too cold for ice even though my knees needed it. Get my medal, walk around, get the hot chocolate, take pictures. When we got to the cab, I could barely move. I made it home, though. Should have iced my knee and taken a long bath but I had to attend a baby shower. I was limping by then. The next day, I had to take the stairs one at a time. And going down the stairs was excruciating.
"I'll walk it off. I should be okay in a few days". Well, no. With Runner's Knee (that was the diagnosis when I went to see Dr. Richard Kang at the University of Chicago two weeks later), you have to stop running for a while. And you have to have physical therapy. I have tried to run a couple of times since the race only to be in pain at mile 2. That's because I was trying too soon.
So, the lesson learned? Take it slow. Yes, I ran races but most of them were 5K. And, yes, I'm in good condition but my joints have been around for a long time. I can certainly run but I have to be systematic about it.. I can't just run 10 miles or more without proper training. That's asking for trouble. I have learned that I should have stretched more. I should have done more strength training, especially for my quads, hamstrings, glutes and abs. I should not have increased my intensity by more than 10% per week starting out. That means that I should have gone from 3.2 miles to 3.52 miles the following week to 3.9 miles, etc. There is no way that I should have gone from 7.34 miles one week to 9.6 miles two weeks later. But these are lessons learned.
I'm in therapy at Athletico now and I'm really enjoying it. No attempts at running for the rest of the year (only two weeks left in it, any way). After the 1st or 2nd week of January, I'll start running in intervals (not going for speed or distance but by time). If all goes well, then I should be able to run for 30 minutes 4 weeks after I start running. Then I can gradually get back to running continuously.
This is a good test for me because I'm not always the most patient person. I don't want to go through the process. I just want to get to the result. So going through this is making me learn to slow down and appreciate the process. Be deliberate. Be systematic. Be disciplined. Then I'll see the results.
I'm scheduled to run an 8K (roughly 5 miles) in early April. In late May, I'm scheduled to run 10 miles. Then, in June, I am scheduled to run 13 miles, roughly, but that would be as part of a relay so it's broken up into smaller intervals. There are 12 on a team so there are relatively long breaks in between. It's a challenge but it's fun!
So, I'll keep you informed of my progress. Pray for me. All of this is doable but it calls for steady conditioning after I recover. The recovery is the hard part right now.
True confessions. I'm a fake! I posted a picture of myself on Facebook while at a beach. My husband was kind enough to take it on a beautiful summer day recently. We were in the moment, enjoying the sun and sand in the dunes of Indiana, watching families spending time together, etc. So while in the moment, I asked Mike to take a picture of me in my bikini.
So, how am I a fake, you ask? Because we had to time the picture to ensure that I was holding my stomach in when he took the shot! My abs certainly don't look very tight on the picture but they are even looser than they appear. My core is not where it should be. Shame on me! I am now running and I have been doing other strength training classes (shout out to Charles Shepard of Body By Nature Fitness (www.bodybynaturefitness.com) for his awesome kettle bell classes!). I have even met with a nutritionist to alter my diet. But I look light a scoop of chocolate ice cream over a cone when I let my stomach roam free.
Okay, what's the deal? Why do I have a pooch in the middle? Lack of consistency and discipline, that's the deal. I haven't met a cheeseburger that I haven't liked. And I haven't met a couch that hasn't invited me to the intimate experience of sitting with it, laying on it and taking a nap. Let me tell you, though. Nothing is more humbling than a photograph. They don't lie unless they are retouched! And the photo (and the story behind it) remind me that I need to make some serious changes and to get my butt in gear!
And I'm not by myself with this! I recently took a picture of Mike laying out in our backyard and he was shocked to see that his midsection wasn't as tight as he desired. So we WILL be doing a challenge soon! Stay tuned! I'll provide the details of it! We will no longer be the chocolate and regular flavored Teddy Graham couple!
There's more to having a strong core than vanity. I have learned that it's crucial for healthy activities - including running! It helps to improve your running posture and speed. A strong core also increases stabilization in the torso. I find that the longer I run, the more I lose my form because of fatigue. A strong core will help me maintain a strong form so that I can avoid injuries.
So, no more faking! I've faced the facts. Time to get my core strong and stable....FOR REAL!
Ah, so here I am again! This time, I'm sharing information on the new hobby that I have acquired. I'll give you the background first.
In February, at a birthday celebration for a dear friend, a group of us were talking about working out and being active. What started as people talking about being fit ended with a challenge for us to participate in the Soldier Field 10 challenge held on Labor Day weekend in Chicago. We decided to walk the race. I figured, how hard could it be? I walk to and from the train station every day. That's gotta be about a mile or so. Why not go for it? As time got closer, I finally signed up for the event. I only did it because I didn't want to "fake out". But I got a little concerned when I realized that the "10" was not 10K but 10 miles! Okay, I wasn't ready for that. Still, I was going to go through and just go as long as I could go. Why not? It was an opportunity to spend time time with friends. How hard could it be?
Well, fast forward to the day. I ate well, doubled up the socks and woke up at the crack of dawn to grab my dear friend/soror/walking buddy. We were in a heap of traffic at 6:30 am trying to get into the parking lot at Soldier Field. We got there and saw many people walking, running, stretching - getting ready for the event. These people were really serious. Too serious. It's just a race, after all. We lined up in our corrals and ran into other people who we know. Before long, we were off! Excitement! The music, the encouragement. It was incredible!
I ended up walking with someone who I had just met because my other friends (the ones who made the challenge) were walking at a slower pace. The new friend was a walker and runner. I told her that I would try to hang out with her for as long as I could. When we hit mile 3, I was really wondering how in the world I was going to make it 7 more miles. Remember - no training. double socks in multi-trainer gym shoes (not walking or running shoes). No stretching. Really?
Well, we got to mile 5 and figured that we could make it. It certainly helped that we were able to run by Lake Michigan, which was absolutely gorgeous at that time of the morning, We ran a little and walked a little. Come mile 8, we knew that we were going to make it. We were so excited. And, of course, it helped that they called our names on the loud speakers as we ran across. I thought I was going to pass out when we got to the finish line but the soldier gave me my medal, I ran into more friends and sorors and I was on a high for the rest of the time! LOL!
Thus began my new found love and hobby - running! I'll be writing more about it, tips on nutrition, exercises, proper gear, etc. And I'll let you know about my upcoming events. God willing, I'll be running in the DivineNine race on July 19! I'll write before, though. Gonna tell you about my doctor's appointment, too. Hey, it's not easy picking up such a strenuous exercise at 49 years of age! But I'm going for it!
More to come!
The Digest Diva is a wife, "bonus" mother, daughter, entrepreneur and corporate professional. who loves gathering information, learning and sharing with others.