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IT Band Issues

18 Feb

So I read this blog advice article one time that said to never dwell on why you’ve been MIA from your blog for so long. But we are all painfully aware that this blog could basically be a “what not to do when writing a blog” example, so I am of course going to tell you why I’ve been MIA even though the reason isn’t very good.

A few days after my epic, I-feel-awesome, 10-miler, I went on what was supposed to be a short and easy 5-miler. About three miles in, I started feeling some knee and hip pain. I kept going for another mile to see if it would work itself out. Instead it got worse, so I stopped running and hobbled home after only four miles.

After doing a lot of googling, I realized it was probably an IT band problem. I looked up some stuff, talked to some runner friends and some medically educated friends and decided to just ice it and take off a couple of days. On Sunday, our group run was an easy tempo run in the grass. I went out there, made it about a mile and started feeling pain. I spoke to the coach, who told me it was probably an IT band issue, and he told me to sit out the run, do some stretching, and get back into training in a couple of days. So I walked some, and did some Pure Barre classes pain-free. On Wednesday I tried to run again, and again only made it about a mile before I felt pain.

More icing, resting, and some foam rolling. I tried again Sunday. We were supposed to do 10 miles. I went on a two mile jog with a friend. The first mile was pain-free. The second was excruciating.  More resting, icing, stretching, foam rolling. That Wednesday I tried again only to have the exact same thing happen. At that point (I’m not proud of this) I was so mad that I cried. I just felt so mad at my body for betraying me. Weren’t we having so much fun building up mileage and creating major endorphins? Wasn’t it fun to drop a few pounds while still eating carbs and candy?

I made an appointment with the doctor, who confirmed IT band. I asked him for a steroid shot and was told no. He gave me some exercises and an anti-inflammatory to take. He said that because this is my first half marathon and I’m doing it for fun, I only needed to finish and so he didn’t want to do anything extreme.

I was disappointed. He is the professional, so I will grudgingly take his advice. But I also kind of felt like he didn’t get it. I mean, yes, I’ve been training for the half marathon, but that’s just sort of been the means to an end — the end being me becoming a runner. So I know this injury is super common and all I can do is be gentle on my body and let it heal. I also know that of the injuries runners can get, this is a mild one. It isn’t doing any permanent damage. As someone new to running and very new to injury, I’ve been having trouble not feeling sorry for myself and being sad about the fact that I haven’t been able to run more than three miles in almost a month.

It’s too soon for me to know whether the anti-inflammatory is helping. I’ve been stretching and icing like it is my job, though. I have two weeks before the half marathon. It is looking like the half is going to be a little more slow and painful than I had planned for. This whole thing has kind of taken the wind out of my sails. I’ve also been struggling with not having my usual dose of endorphins. So that is my terrible reasoning for the lack of posting. I’ve helpfully put into one post what might have instead been three weeks worth of self-pity posts. Now that it’s out of my system I will keep you updated on my progress and hopefully not dwell on my pity party.

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Snow Day!

26 Jan

I haven’t been posting because I haven’t been working out. At all. Part of it is the cold weather, and part of it is getting back to my regularly scheduled week + a few unexpected evening commitments this week. My last run was Sunday. I haven’t been to boot camp in the mornings and I haven’t been able to make it to Pure Barre in the evenings. So I haven’t had anything to talk about! Today I have a nice excuse for not working out. We are snowed in! In Alabama!

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Actually, this snow melted about two hours after it fell, but I was lucky enough to get a half day off of work. You can’t really tell in the picture below, but Henry absolutely hates the snow. He came from a shelter even further south, so he has probably never encountered it before!

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Do you live in a place where everything completely shuts down when it snows?

10 Miles

21 Jan

So I missed the group run by 30 minutes, despite the fact that I have been going on the group runs nearly every week for two months. So I drove to go run my dreaded 10-miler and then passed a big group of runners and realized my mistake.

So I went home, grabbed my iphone and the dog and set off to run 10 miles. I had no firm plan as far as route, but I figured that running my usual loop and then running to my parents house would get me fairly close. My plan was to drop off the dog (I thought he might be thirsty) and run the rest by myself.

It was a pleasant day. I started off by cuing up my new audiobook, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson. That got me through the first six miles. By the way, because I didn’t have a route in mind, Henry and I did a lot of side-of-the-road running. At some points the side of the road was not very large and Henry and I had to run single-file. A little after mile six, I realized I was not concentrating at all on what Jenny Larson was saying to me via audiobook, but I knew it was funny and I would be sorry to miss it, so at that point I just switched to music.

I got near my parents’ house at about mile 8. Henry seemed to be doing fine, probably do to the fact that I was jogging so slow he was able to slow-walk beside me and it was completely untiring for him. I also realized that if I tried to drop him off I would never get going again. Basically I ran back and forth in front of their neighborhood for a mile, then actually went into their neighborhood for the last mile.

Their neighborhood does have a little trail. It is at the bottom of a ginormous hill. I ran down the hill and thought, “Oh my gosh, what have I just done.” At that point, some children’s tiny yippy dog decided to make a run for Henry. My tired legs were not prepared for the balancing act that ensued. I also felt bad because these children were obviously trying to wrangle their small escaped dog without any adult help. I ran towards them enough for them to capture their dog, then turned around and ran back up the hill.

It was terrible.

I stumble jogged in circles until my phone said 10 miles. Then I walked to my parents’ house. When I got to their door they were literally walking out the door to head somewhere else. So luckily I caught them. Henry got some water and they made me drink a propel powder something in water.

I felt awesome.

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A very slow 10 miles, but I will take them.

I Can’t Do Things Unless Someone Makes Me

14 Jan

I am the kind of person who needs a class, a coach, or a competitive friend in order to push myself.

That is why I spend almost half of my paycheck on workout classes. I need other people and an instructor to make me actually push myself. Or, in a pinch, an awesome race prep plan prepared by someone else will do.

Yesterday, though, I didn’t need classes because I had running buddies for the first time!

My bff, who doesn’t like to run, led me on a treadmill interval workout. It. was. awesome. The best part was that she did all of the clock watching, so I just got to enjoy my workout. Three miles flew by, and I felt like I could have gone for more.

Then, in the evening, I went back to the same treadmills with a different friend for another two miles. So much fun. I need to live near them so I can have running buddies every day!

I am going to try intervals the next time I have to use the treadmill (which will probably be tomorrow; it has been raining non stop for the past week). I don’t know if it will be the same by myself, but it will definitely be better than the straight running I’ve been trying to do lately.

8 Miles – Part 2

12 Jan

I was planning on getting in my solo long run and then going to a seminar at Pure Barre about eating/sleeping/living right. Unfortunately I got a late start because I needed to download Disney songs onto my ipod. It took me an hour and a half to run my 8 miles, so I didn’t make it to the seminar.

There isn’t a lot to say about the run. I took Henry with me, and he has been lazing about ever since. I did a lot of googling and it seemed to be okay to take him that far. I go so slow that he didn’t ever have to go much faster than a walk.

Also I misjudged a puddle I tried to jump over and got my leg dirty. Just one.

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Around mile 7 I got my usual ankle pain. Luckily it was only on one leg (yay!); unluckily it was slightly more stabby than usual (boo!).

It was hot and muggy and I ended very sweaty and smelly, but nonetheless felt the need to go to the grocery store on my way home. I wanted to apologize to every person that had to walk near me. For the smell.

I went to the store for some frozen butternut squash. Remember my delicious soup from last week? I tried to recreate it for yesterday’s lunch, except without the butternut squash, but with pureed cauliflower and spinach. Basically it was a completely different soup except for the can of tomatoes and the can of coconut milk.

It tasted a little bland, so I wanted to add some butternut squash. It did help. A lot. But unfortunately my solids to liquids ratio was a little off. It had more of the consistency of baby food than soup. Tasty baby food, but still.

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So the squash came in a frozen block and the back of the package said that a serving was 40 calories and that there were 4 servings in a package. The fact that I am even reading the back of the package means I am the type of person who is likely to eat the entire package. I think people who choose to eat less than a full package should have to do the math division instead of me having to always do the multiplication. (I’m looking at you, tiny package of Sour Patch kids that is three servings!) I mean, it’s a frozen block of squash. You pretty much have to thaw all of it at the same time!

Food Confessions – Part II

10 Jan

So remember when I said I was going to try out paleo-ish eating? I did really well with that . . . for two days. My name is Sarah and I am a carb-o-holic!

The thing is, the food I was eating was really good. I had this awesome soup:

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Weirdly it doesn’t look super appetizing in a coffee go-cup. That’s a lie. It still looks delicious to me.

And ate lots and lots of roasted vegetables on top of salads and on top of spaghetti squashes. During both days, though, I had super intense and specific cravings for junk food and cheese.

Day 1 I had to resist the leftover peppermint bark hanging around our office from before Christmas. (I succeeded. My coworker ended up eating the rest finally.)

Day 2 I really wanted artichoke dip with potato chips. (Potato chips don’t even really go with artichoke dip. You need a much sturdier chip or a cracker for that!)

And, on Day 3, I wanted Mexicorn dip. I wanted it so bad and when lunch time came I went to the grocery store, bought the ingredients and a bag of potato chips, and ate it for lunch.

Then, because there were potato chips in the house, for dinner I cobbled together a mayonaissy cheesy spinach dip as a vehicle for more potato chips.

Today is Day 4, and I am back on track. The remainder of the potato chips went into the garbage can. So did the cheese. Yes, that’s wasteful, but if it’s in the house I will only eat it and regret it.

Today I had eggs for breakfast, spaghetti squash for lunch, and a salad with roasted veggies for dinner.

The thing is, all of those potato chips weren’t even that good. All of that salt made my mouth kind of hurt, and as mentioned above, potato chips were not the proper chip for that kind of dip. Also, I felt terrible afterward. All bloaty and dry-mouthed. I could almost feel my face starting to break out from all of the greasiness.

So I am starting anew with clean paleo-ish eating. Which was actually making me feel good, aside from the cravings. How do people do juice cleanses? I can’t even last more than two days eating delicious foods that are good for me.

Do you give in to your food cravings?

Have you ever done a cleanse?

Treadmills Are Terrible

9 Jan

I ended up leaving work early to go for a run yesterday. Three glorious miles. It was awesome.

Today, I went to Pure Barre and then, because it was dark and rainy, went to the free exercise room I use to run on the treadmill. I shouldn’t complain, because the exercise room is free after all, but it was really terrible.

The first mile was great. I was jamming to my music and had a big smile on my face, which was probably weird to the other five people trying to enjoy their workouts free of such creepiness.

Everything after that was terrible, though. I feel like such a conformist for hating the treadmill so much. It’s something that almost everybody complains about. It was so hot in there! I checked the thermostat when I left just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, and it was set on 72. And there was a lock on it to prevent anyone from turning it down. Why would the workout room powers-that-be do such a thing?! In the hallway outside of the workout room it was a pleasant 68 degrees.

Running on a treadmill takes so much more mental stamina than running outside. When you run outside, you basically have to keep going after a certain point because otherwise you will not get home. On the treadmill, though, you can get off as soon as things get uncomfortable. For me, things got uncomfortable right at the beginning of mile 2. I slogged out another mile and a half and then basically walked the last .5.

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Here is a blurry photo of the point in my run when I wanted to punch the machine because I thought it was lying to me about how far I had gone.

I’m pretty disappointed in myself for not just pushing through. I mean, I only had half a mile left. I eat half miles for breakfast! I ran 16 half miles on Sunday! But at the time I just couldn’t make myself go any longer.

It is supposed to rain for the rest of the week. I have a meeting on Sunday (by meeting I mean super awesome food tasting for my friend’s wedding reception), so I will miss the group long run. My plan is to run the long run — 8 miles again — on Saturday outside.

Today’s run made me miss my college rec center, where I had “my” machine right in front of the big fan and the tv that was set to ABC.

Do you have a machine at your gym that is “yours”?

Would you rather run in the rain or on a treadmill?