Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday Double

I wish I could say that I did a double run yesterday but sadly I only did a double gym workout.

Morning workout:
10 minute warm up on the elliptical
2 mile treadmill run
20 minutes seated elliptical (my new favorite XT machine!)

Afternoon workout:
15 minute seated elliptical warm up
30 minutes of weights/stretching

After the gym, I met up with my best friend and maid of honor, Kaylie. She is getting married in July 2011 and I am her maid of honor! We went to a Inspiration Board Color Workshop put on by a local Wedding events coordinator company! The place was decorated with all kinds of wedding inspiration. They even had actual bouquets made up, along with centerpieces so you could get ideas to use for your own wedding!

It was a great way to spend a Tuesday night! How did you spend your Tuesday?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Serious XT

I didn't post about this last week because honestly I forgot to take pictures and had to wait until a few were posted that I could borrow!

Last Saturday (10/16/10) was my college basketball reunion game. Every year in October, most of my old teammates make the trip back to our college to play a few games of basketball! At first it wasn't pretty since we all haven't played since last year but once we got warmed up, it was a pretty good game. We played against the current team and almost beat them! Not bad for some alumnae - guess we still got game!

I probably should not have played with my bum knee, but I couldn't resist! Towards the end of the game, my knee started to feel worse so I benched myself and cheered from the sidelines!

Now onto this past weekend! I decided that Sunday would be a good day to go to the gym for some more cross training. I warmed up on the elliptical for 10 minutes and was feeling so good with no pain that I thought I would give running a try. I walked first to get my legs ready and then ran for 12 whole minutes!! I made it 1.5 miles and felt great the whole time. I kept the momentum going by jumping on the seated elliptical for 20 minutes. I had never used this machine before but actually found it less boring than the regular elliptical.

So things are looking up and I am happy to report that my pain has decreased but not gone away altogether. Progress may be slow, but at least I am seeing progress!

Happy Monday and rock those runs!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A slow process

On one hand, I am not a patient person. A slow recovery is not easy for me because I just want things to be fixed quickly so I can get back to what I was doing.

On the other, I know that this process is slow. Recovery takes time, muscles need to be stretched and strengthened.

Currently my day goes a little like this:

I wake up with my knee feeling not exactly normal but not really painful either. I stretch to relieve the aching and take some ibuprofen. Then I go to work where I stretch inconspicuously at my desk, at my meetings and in the bathroom. After work I go to the gym where I stretch again then get on the elliptical to "warm up". Then I get off, my knee feels tight so I walk on the treadmill for a bit to loosen it back up. I try to run but usually there is lingering pain and I only make it half a mile. Then I stretch again and ice for the rest of the night.

But every morning I feel like I am starting over again from the beginning. Although the good news is that I can finally shift and push in the clutch on my car without pain. So I guess I am getting better...but its s-l-o-w!

I have one odd symptom that I have noticed. When I sit on the floor to ice, with my legs straight out in front of me, after about 20 minutes, my left foot starts to fall asleep (left foot = leg/knee that hurts). I can't help but think this is all related.

So I continue to stretch (which seems to help the most) and test out the knee looking for any small sign that it is getting better.

Hopefully next week I will have better news! Have a great Thursday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yay for Friday!

What a busy week! I am so glad it is finally Friday!

Wednesday I went and picked up my new (to me) car! The best part about this car is that is has a manual transmission! And also the all wheel drive for all the snow that we get around here!

I also went to see the physical therapist this week. I spent 2+ hours there and got a whole stretching and strengthening routine for my knee/leg. Diagnosis: Very tight lateral hips, weak glutes and quads which are pulling my knee to the side and therefore inflaming the membrane in the knee which causes the pain.

I guess that just teaches me that I DO need to stretch after my runs even though I always feel like I don't have enough time. The PT said I can gradually add running back in as long as I don't have too much pain but for right now I am sticking with the elliptical and icing the knee like crazy!

Happy Friday to everyone! Have a great weekend and rock those runs!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fact or Fiction?

October seems to be the month of marathons and once the race is finished that means taking some rest days. I have never run a marathon and live vicariously through every other blogger that trains and runs marathons. So after you finish those grueling 26.2 miles, how many days do you take off?

After I ran my first 15k race in the summer of 2005, a friend told me that I should take off the same number of days that I had just raced. That seemed like a bit much and it always perplexed me where that philosophy had come from.

So I did some researching online and found this on Hal Higdon's website:

Generally, it takes a minimum of two to three weeks for the body to recover from the strain of running 26 miles 385 yards. Return too quickly and you increase your risk of injury. Some experts suggest resting one day for every mile you run in the marathon, thus 26 days of no hard running or racing!

Has anyone else heard of this idea of resting a day for every mile raced? How many days do you rest after a race?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. I had an appointment with my primary care doctor yesterday and she set me up with a referral back to the physical therapist I saw last year when I hurt myself. I have scheduled an appointment for next Wednesday! Since my knee wasn't getting any better by just resting, I have been doing my old PT exercises from when my right knee/hip was weak last year. The exercises seem to be helping my left knee/hip and I don't have any more pain.

2. The car that I have been driving since I was 16 has finally bit the dust. The headlights switch inside the steering column has been shorted out and now my headlights wont turn off and my bright lights are on all the time! I honestly hate shopping for cars but after having this car for 9 years I think its time for a new car (well, new to me that is)!

3. Good luck to everyone running and racing this weekend! I love that the Chicago marathon is on 10-10-10! That is just so exciting!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Choosing a Photographer

Everyone loves to see race photos of themselves. After a race you wait for days and days for the professional photos to be posted so you can see yourself pounding out the miles of the race. And you hope that you don't look funny or have a horrible expression on your face. I personally love photography, yet I really know nothing except how to use my point and shoot camera.

I have been researching wedding photographers for a solid two months. And I mean searching the internet for exactly the right person to take the photographs of Brian and I that we will treasure forever. I don't want to look funny in these pictures or have a weird expression on my face! I need a photographer to capture all the details of the wedding and to get the shoots that I will LOVE!

Photography is pretty high on my list of important things but it isn't like I can just shell out a ton of money! I needed to find a great photographer, with a package I wanted, that was within our budget and that had my date available! Easy, right??

I even made a spreadsheet listing all the photographers that I found, with prices and what packages they offered. Then I organized them based on how much I liked their pictures and how much they cost. Once I narrowed down my top four I started making calls.

Four weeks ago we met with photographer #1, who was my original top choice. He was great. And like any girl I was emotional attached within the first 5 minutes. I loved his style and ideas and it just clicked. I left there thinking that maybe I was done. But that didn't stop me from looking online for even more photographers.

I set up a meeting with Photog #2 (who didn't list her prices online - note to self that means she costs A LOT) the next week and almost fell off the couch at her studio when she showed me her high prices! She offered mostly album based packages which I did not want. My mom and I left there not knowing what to think.

Meanwhile I asked Photog #1 to send me references and he sent me an actual site with ALL the pictures from a wedding he had shot last year. This was exactly what I needed to make me feel in my gut that this was my photographer. But I was not impressed and was even more confused than before.

I continued making calls to my next favorite photographers and learned that my third and fourth choices were already booked on my date! My search started again and I continued to add photographers to my spreadsheet and rearrange who I liked the most.

I met with Photographer #3 last week. She was so nice and I loved her pictures. I left the meeting feeling like I could totally see her shooting my wedding. Once at home I looked at her references, as she too had given me a whole wedding to peruse through online. I once again didn't know what to do because I did not like any of the pictures! I didn't like the angles or the lighting. And I most certainly did not like the 100+ pictures of the couple kissing by the tree or the barn or the rock. Brian and I aren't really the type that liked to be photographed while we kiss or rather pretend we are kissing for seconds on end while the photographer takes multiple pictures.

Yesterday I met with Photographer #4. The meeting was short and sweet. We went over packages, asked a few questions and then were on our way. I once again requested that she send me a link to a photo website so I could see a full wedding she had photographed. A few hours later, I received an email and quickly opened it to find a link to a website! I was giddy with excitement and when I saw the pictures I knew in my gut THIS WAS THE PHOTOGRAPHER that I wanted!

Everyone says that they should "know" which wedding dress will be "THE ONE" and I hope to feel that, but I also know I want to feel that for my photographer; to find a person that I want to be "THE ONE" to take pictures on that special day!

Now the only thing left to do is contact her and hopefully book her for our wedding! Once we do that I will feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders because it is one less thing to worry about!

Is photography important to you? If you are married, how did you pick your photographer??

Monday, October 4, 2010

Touch your toes

I have been stretching. Every day. And I still cannot touch my toes!

I haven't been able to touch my toes since I was little! My hamstrings feel so tight and do not want to loosen! I am going to keep working on it and maybe some day I will be more flexible!

Can you touch your toes?

Friday, October 1, 2010

The next step


This morning my mom and I drove down the the track so I could run on a flat surface to try and test out the knee...again. In my head I kept telling myself, what is the worst that could happen? If your knee hurts then you take more days off. Well taking days off really makes me cranky and grumpy.

So I ran a few laps for warm up and then decided to tempo run the straight-aways and jog the curves. The pain started in my knee just as I got to about 3 miles and I knew I had to stop. The pain comes on slowly and then becomes worse as I continue. It is no fun to run with knee pain.

I am debating what to do - Should I call and get an appointment with my orthopedic OR rest all next week, doing only easy cross training OR do both?? I guess resting is the best option and who knows when I will actually get an appointment in to see the doctor.

Looking back on all this, I still feel like a rookie runner. Sure I have been running for years but it was always just to train for basketball, soccer or track. This is the first time I have run for a full year. I feel like I am still learning how to train the best for my body and how to not get hurt.

It is frustrating and disappointing to not run but I know that if I take the time off now I hopefully will be able to come back and finish out the year running. And I know that the coach through my running group will definitely help me to work back up to higher mileages and help me to stay injury free!

Hope everyone has some awesome runs this weekend! Happy Friday!