Monday, November 29, 2010

One Hour

I hope every had a great weekend or long Thanksgiving weekend! I certainly did! In order to make sure that I could stuff my face with mashed potatoes and pie I made sure to get in some exercise.

Last Wednesday I went to the PT for more ultrasound and strengthening. My knee felt stiff from the spin class the night before. After finishing the PT session, my therapist put me on the treadmill. I ran for a few seconds and felt great, then the knee pain kicked right in. I decided right then and there I would be on a running hiatus until at least December and/or I could cross train on the elliptical without any pain.

Over the next four days I rode the bike in the basement of my parents house and also hit the gym when it was open.

Thursday: 1 hr bike
Friday: 1 hr bike
Saturday: 1 hr elliptical
Sunday: 1 hr elliptical

There was something about completing one hour of exercise whether it be on the bike or elliptical. At times it was boring and I often looked at the clock, but other times I just zoned out or read my book. After completing a WHOLE HOUR of exercise I felt great, energized and ready for the day! Plus seeing how many calories I had burned felt good too!

I think it is the same for running - going out for an hour or hitting the treadmill for an hour just feels good! There is a sense of accomplishment when you know that you have run for an hour. I know that not being able to run for an hour is one of the things I miss the most!

And with the added rest and no pressure to run, my knee is starting to feel better. I have been doing my PT exercises consistently and have found that stretching my quad and working on strengthening my hamstring/glutes muscles brings the most relief.

This morning I didn't quite get up early enough to fit in an hour on the elliptical at the gym and still make it work on time, but I did manage 45 minutes!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Although I would have loved to run a Turkey Trot, I stuck to the bike in the basement and pedaled hard for an hour to get my exercise in. I alternated between riding hard for a minute and then recovering and reading my book for a minute. It really made the time pass quickly!

2. Now I am watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade - I got to see the Rockettes and the Buzz Lightyear Balloon!

3. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Hope you have a great day with your families!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My socks

Since I cannot seem to win any giveaway for compression socks, I broke down and bought myself a pair.

I happen to have a gift card for one of the two local running stores so I went in and asked to see their selection of socks. They happen to have two types of compressions socks, neither brands that I had really heard of. After a good 20 minutes of trying to decide which socks to buy, I chose the pair that came in black so I could easily wear them to work!

I really have no idea if these will work or help, but I like to think so and maybe just by thinking they will help, then they actually will! At least they make my legs feel good! Plus the quicker my leg heals, the quicker I can get back to running and racking up those Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge Points!

Speaking of my knee, my physical therapist said that I need to stay off the road for now (or maybe forever). He said that the camber of the road will put more stress on my hamstring and will make the healing process take longer. Well I certainly do not want that, so I am sticking to the elliptical, spin class, and yoga. He really seems to be against road running but I really have no where else to run and I can only take so much treadmilling. Tomorrow I go back for another therapy appointment where I hope he will look at my running stride just to make sure I haven't been favoring one leg.

Happy Tuesday and hope you get out there and enjoy your run - then make sure to post about how awesome your run was so I read about it and live vicariously through you all!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Today I scheduled my first appointment to go and try on wedding dresses...Ekkkkk!! On December 4th, my mom and I will be making the rounds to all the bridal shops in town in hopes of finding the perfect dress! I guess I better start getting ideas of what type of dress I want!

2. Today, I also went back to my PT. He confirmed what I thought, in more technical terms, that my hamstring tendon most likely is inflamed. He did some ultrasound on the area that has been hurting, then showed me some stretches and some strengthening exercises. I go back next week for more ultrasound and to look at my running form to make sure everything is ok.

3. The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge starts this weekend! Whose ready??

Happy Thursday (almost Friday!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Switching Teams

We all have a brand of running shoe that we love. For me, that has been asics. I have worn that type of shoe since before college. I don't even know how or why I started wearing them. It may have been that I saw a teammate wearing a pretty pair and wanted some of my own. Currently I wear the 2150s.

When I bought this pair at the specialty running store back in the summer, they told me to go up a 1/2 size because my right foot is slightly longer than my left. So now my left foot has to suffer in a bigger pair of shoes because of my right foot! And of course I am currently having left leg pain** - I don't want to blame the shoes but that pretty much is the only big change.

Over the weekend I had a coupon for the sporting goods store so I went and picked up a pair of Brooks (Ghost 3)! Of course I am suspicious of these new shoes and how they will treat my feet, but I think it may be worth a try. I walked around the house in the shoes ALL day Sunday and they felt amazing (but don't all new shoes feel amazing??)

I think I am going to give these shoes a try and if it works out I may never go back to asics! Any thoughts? Who wears the asics and who wears the Brooks?? Let me know which one you like best!

**Even though I am not a PT, I have done tons of research and I think I may have found the answer for my pain. In the picture below, I have circled the area where I feel pain. After googling like crazy, the pain seems to be caused from inflammation of those tendons and/or bursitis.
I guess that means more stretching for me and not much running until it heals up and I don't have any more pain. It is just too bad that when I went to the PT 5 weeks ago, he wasn't able to diagnosis it. Uggg I hate injuries!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Say Yes to Pumpkin

No big surprise but my left leg is still bothering me. I don't know what else I can do. I stretch, foam roll, repeat. After my 4 miler Saturday, I went out to dinner. When I got up I could barely move my left leg. It eventually worked itself out so that I had full range of motion back, but it was painful there for a while.

Today I went to the gym and although the treadmill looked very enticing, I stayed away and went for the elliptical for 45 minutes. Pretty much the most boring time of my life, where I almost feel back to sleep.

Yesterday instead of running, I made food. It is that time of year for Pumpkin so I made these dessert squares that taste very much like pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Dessert Squares

1 1/2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped Pecans

1 cup sugar
1 can (15oz) pumpkin
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs

1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3.4 cup chopped pecans

1. Heat Oven to 350F. Directions say to spray 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray, but I used a 11x7 and it turned out ok. In medium bowl mix Base ingredients, using a fork to mix in butter until mixture is crumbly. With floured fingers, press mixture into bottom of pan and bake for 10 minutes.

2. In large bowl beat Filling ingredients with wire whisk until smooth and set aside. In medium bowl, mix Topping ingredients until mixture is crumbly, then add pecans.

3. Pour filling over hot partially baked base then sprinkle topping over filling. Bake 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes before cutting into squares. Store in frig.

Delicious! I brought a big piece for my lunch today! Do you like pumpkin?? Have a great Monday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunny Saturday

Mornings like this were meant for running. Clear skies, a beautiful sun and crisp clean air. I started out later than usual to enjoy the warmer temperature!

I did a 2 mile out and back and when I got back, this little cat was waiting for me! She was enjoying the sunshine too!

4 miles really did a number on my legs so I spent some much needed time stretching, foam rolling and doing PT exercises. My left leg (the one that hurts) feels so tight all the time!

Now its time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and finish my latest project - a baby blanket for a friend who just had twins (my mom is making the other blanket!)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dark and Easy

After a over month "vacation" from running group practices, I headed back last night. I was nervous because a) it was dark outside and b) I was worried about my knee.

The workout:

Easy 20 minute tempo (~2.4 miles)
1x 600m, 400m, 400m (2:49, 1:45, 1:40)
cool down (~1.5 miles)

The tempo portion started slow and then we picked up the pace. Winter running really is unique because you can feel your body get warm. As we ran I could feel the warmth slowly seep into my fingers and legs. Street lights were few and far between which made seeing the uneven sidewalk cement in front of me difficult, but thankfully I didn't fall. The guy in front of me did though, twice. The tempo run was over before I knew it and then we went into the intervals.

We weren't able to do the intervals on the track because the football team was practicing so we ran on the sidewalk. Not exactly your most ideal spot to do intervals but we made it work. I had no idea what pace we were running, I just followed the group and hoped that my legs would keep up. And they did. Which I was really happy about. I know I have lost some speed but it doesn't really feel like that much.

After a quick cool down, where my knee/IT band started screaming towards the end, I headed home. I reached my mileage limit for the night of 4.7 miles but I felt pretty good. Today though I am sore and my legs feel like lead. There will definitely be some inconspicuous stretching done in my cube today. Maybe even some icing too.

I will leave you will one picture that I managed to obtain from the Brightroom photography website from the half marathon in September! This is at mile 11ish and I actually don't look as bad as I was feeling at that exact moment! Have a great day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Alarm Clock Fail

As if it isn't tough enough getting up early to workout, add in some alarm clock malfunctions.

I have an iPhone 4 and use the alarm clock function that came with it. I set my alarm for 4:42am last Monday. The alarm went off at 3:42 am. I was completely confused (and tired for most of the day). Tuesday morning, the alarm was set for 5:45am and went off at 4:45am. Now I was upset because the alarm was going off ONE HOUR before it was supposed to.

I decided I would beat my phone at its own game and set the alarm for 6:45 am and it appropriately woke me up at 5:45am on Wednesday morning.

Saturday morning I was at the gym, running on the treadmill, trying to read the captions on the TV. I was reading CNN and saw they were talking about the iPhone and then read they were talking about the alarm problems. Apple hoped that this would be cleared up after the daylight savings time on Sunday.

Sunday morning, I didn't set an alarm and enjoyed sleeping in.

Monday I set my alarm for 5am to get up and run. 5:09 am rolled around I sat straight up in bed and realized I was late. I jumped into my running clothes and ran out the door. By then time I got back and showered my alarm was going off at 6am. So now my alarm goes off an hour later than its supposed to rather than an hour earlier.

Apparently I have to delete all my old alarms and make brand new ones. Hopefully tomorrow morning I can wake up at the right time! To read more go HERE.

Thank goodness I woke up in time to head out for an easy 3 miles. With the clock change my body thought it was 6am instead of 5am. It was still super dark outside, even with daylight savings time, and I wore my headlamp! This was the first outdoor run that I have felt great the whole time with barely any knee pain. It feels good to be back to "almost" full strength.

3 miles in 24:22 (8:07 pace)

Hope you aren't having any alarm problems! Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MR by Numbers

Idea stolen from Marlene!
MR = Morning Run

Time the alarm went off: 5:00am

Time I left the house: 5:14am

Temperature: 30F/-1C feels like 24F/-4C

Sunrise: 7:45am

Distance: 3 miles

Time/Pace: 24:12/8:03

Number of Layers: 3 (plus gloves and ear covers!)

Number of cars passed: 10 (those bright lights really are blinding!)

Other sights: Crescent moon, bright stars and complete quiet

Are you a morning runner? Then check out Fitness Junky's awesome giveaway!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

This weekend Brian and I drove home to his parents house for the weekend. Friday night we went to a Halloween party where I was a gumball machine and Brian was a quarter! Walking around with our costumes was quite difficult at times!

Saturday morning I went out for a easy run - my first outdoor run in a while! The air was crisp but felt good and my legs enjoyed the flat route.

2 miles in 15:39

With all the Halloween candy I consumed on Sunday, I needed to get to the gym this morning! I walked out to my car and there was snow and ice on it! At the gym I did a short 10 minute warm up on the elliptical, I ran for 3 miles on the treadmill, then jumped back on the elliptical for 15 minutes.

3 miles in 23:53

I can't believe that it is November! The months just keep flying by! Have a great Monday!