Friday, November 30, 2012

First day tracking food. I got this.

RUNS: Wednesday...
Dang. My slowest time on this "course" by more then a minute per mile. Rather then be down about it I decided that since I am starting a new training plan that I will put away all of my old times and start new. Luckily, this one should be pretty easy to improve upon. And then the next time I run this course I will be stoked by my time!

Zero knee pain or tightness was a win though.

No running Thursday because I DESPERATELY needed to go to the grocery store and then I had yoga so I will run Friday morning instead.

YOGA: Thursday. Awesome as usual. But I found out a difference between the studio and gym yoga sessions. We are not allowed to do inversions at the gym. To big of a liability if someone falls and cracks their head open I guess. Inversions would be things like headstands, crow pose, etc. Actually, even something as simple as downward dog can be considered an inversion. But they are reasonable people :-)

And the word is out about how awesome the class is because we had double the number of people tonight then we usually do.

GYM: I got nothing. I am already pushing that by the wayside in my first week of training. I plan to do better next week. I NEED TOO.

EATS: I have pretty much given up the dried fruit but was out of fresh fruit this morning so it worked for today.
Oats. Dried Fruit. Coconut Almond Milk.
Packed lunch was this Three-Bean Salad. Carrots and Dip. Asian Pear. Black and White Rice Rolls.
Rice Rolls. Three-Bean Salad.
 Dinner was Veggie Sandwiches and Sweet Potato Fries. I really didnt care what we had just so long as I could have the fries. The sandwiches were simple and tasty. Win! They included...whole grain bread, red pepper hummus, roasted red and yellow peppers, red onions, tomatoes, and spinach.
Winner. Winner. Veggie Dinner.
The only other thing I had was a bag of pretzel M&Ms. Ironically I did not take a picture of that! And of course, this was a lower food day since I didnt run.
First day tracking my food on My Fitness Pal was pretty easy and showed me exactly what I already know...
I am one sweet chick indeed!! I really do hope to learn from this and to make small changes to become more balanced with my food.
I have decided to track daily until the end of the year and then re-evaluate after that. Thats the plan anyhow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Training has started. I got this.

RUNS: Woohoo!! The training plan has started! Now lets see what my feelings are about this in about 10 weeks?!

Monday was a scheduled day off but I ran a few up at Rocky Ridge because I want to get 40 miles in this week for my 40th birthday. It was a freakin' beautiful day out. Check out the trails!
No leaves left on those trees!

Newer bridge on trail 4.

Look out with the Susquehanna River in the distance.
Tuesday I ran the roads because the trails are closed so the hunters can get their hunt on without them shooting my ass. I was hoping it was snowing when I got off work but it wasnt. So I waited until I got up and it was indeed snowing very lightly. I got dressed real quick and headed out.
It stopped snowing about half way through the run and most of the snow in the above picture was melted by the time I got back.

My knee has been feeling super. A little stiff on the trail on Monday but absolutely nothing on Tuesday on the road. I have another road run in the morning, I hope this feel good streak continues!

YOGA: I didnt get to either of my weekday classes last week because of the holiday. But I ended up finding a class at another studio that I could attend on Saturday. And get this, I was talking to my mom about my new found love of yoga and told her she should try it out sometime. She text me the day before and said she wanted to go! And even cooler was that two of my runner chick friends met us there to.

The class was pretty much the same as what I am used to because their teachers are the ones that hold the classes at the gym. Only difference was that it was super hot! 90 degrees. Evidently that is what it normally should be but I guess they dont do that at the gym. I know they turn it up but I wonder if it doesnt go up that high? I could barely breathe it was so hot.

The only new pose that we did was the crow pose. No way was I getting up into that. No way! Not even close.
Crow pose
Luckily I wasnt the only one who couldnt do it and she showed us a variation with blocks. Actually we only used one block and just put both feet on it.
Crow pose with blocks
I looked about like the girl in this picture. I was not able to get my feet off of the block even for a second. I am still very week in the upper body and I am sure that is part of it. But I remember only a month ago when I started I couldnt even push myself up into wheel without assistance. I know it will come.

Speaking of wheel pose. Tonight I was back at the gym yoga and did excellent with wheel pose using blocks. I just know that I am not far from doing it without!! I want to give it a time or two more before I try though. It seems like it is still hard for me to get down out of it, lol. I cant do it gracefully!

My teacher was very tough on us tonight. We actually tried several new poses but I dont remember the name of a single one of them because I was seriously exhausted!

Oh wait. One of them was Dancer's pose...
Dancer's Pose
 Looks easy enough doesnt it. Try it and get back to me!

Do any of my other runner friends do yoga? Do you think it does anything for your running??
-I hope it is doing something for me but it is to early to tell. Either way I would keep doing it.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Turning 40. New plan. Run smart. Lose weight.

I started this blog when I ran my first 50k  as a place to put my race reports. I then changed it to what you see now so that people could follow along on my journey to my first 50 miler. Well that didnt go as planned so here I am to try again! Feel free to follow along here and/or on my facebook page.

RUNS: Oh yes! Enough crying about the last one. Time to move on to the next adventure! Since I didnt get to run the 50 miler before my 40th bday...I now have a whole year to get it in and run a 50 miler DURING my 40th year! And since I turn 40 this coming Wednesday what better time to start the new training plan! Actually I will start on Tuesday since that is when the plan starts. Happy B-day to me!

Well, I guess I am lying about that because the plan calls for 36 miles for the first week and I am REALLY hoping to get in 40 miles this week for my 40th birthday. Anyone want to join in that fun?!

Who else would get this excited about looking forward to RUNNING a crap ton of miles over then next several months except us crazy runner folks. Some people just dont understand!

My target race is called Bull Run Run held in Clifton, Virginia in April. But I wont know until February if I get in or not since they have a lottery entry. So that means I will be training for a race that I dont even know if I will run until only weeks before. Have no fear. I do have a back up race to...just in case!

Im really hoping that I learned from the last go round and train a little bit smarter this time. Below is the training plan that I will use. Well, I actually use that as a base and then tailor it to my planned races and other life happenings.

I plan to continue the yoga twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am going to drop the Bodypump that I have been doing and instead make a core workout plan for myself. That way I can workout the muscles I feel I need to work instead of what they want me too. Realizing that I will need to adjust this plan in the last weeks when my mileage gets up there.

But if I only learned one thing from this past year is that cross training is invaluable. It NEEDS to be done (as long as I can). I am all sorts of lopsided and unbalanced. Who knew a trail runner would be unbalanced? Not me!

I was always told how running trails is such a good overall workout. Its true in that it is but, it is not enough. You need to work out that core. It needs to be even stronger for the trails because of all the dancing around rocks, logs, debris, water, etc. and we can get fatigued quicker. Which means your form suffers and injury eventually surfaces. (Ahh, sounds so familiar!)

EATS: Now the not as fun part is the eating. It seems like the more I run, the more I eat, the more weight I gain. So needless to say, I need to work on this BIG TIME. I knew that I have gained some weight over the past 1-2 years but I really just didnt realize the seriousness of it until I saw myself in the mirrors at the gym. Looking at the scale or my tight clothes didnt register for me. It wasnt until I was injured (I know part of it is because of my extra weight), joined a gym and actually saw my whole self in the mirrors for the first time in a VERY long time did I "get it".
Recent picture of me.
Just because I am vegetarian doesnt mean that I dont eat junk. I do. Lots. I eat some of the most delicious foods but then I always seem to want to wash them down with a candy bar. Gah!

I need to eat to fuel my workouts and recovery. That is it!
Easy enough, right?!
So anyway, I dont plan on dieting per se but just watching what I eat more closely and try to drop some of this extra baggage that I dont need to be carrying around on my runs. What fun is that!

PLEASE feel free to offer any advice or suggestions at any time during this journey. I welcome it all. I obviously still have alot to learn.

Do you have any big plans for the upcoming months or year? (Remember, big is relative to you!)


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Week

RUNS/GYM/YOGA: Yep. Yep! The knee is sore. Good news is that I think it was from the manipulation at PT rather then from the actual running. Which is also good because I decided to stop taking the anti-inflammatory med because it was just not agreeing with me.

I missed both yoga classes this week because of picking up the big kid from college for the holiday and then because of the actual holiday itself. But have no fear! It seems that needing to get my yoga fix is getting just as bad as needing my running fix! Soo...I found that they are holding a class this Saturday at another studio that I will be able to attend! So excited!!

Even better is that two other runner chick friends will be there as well as my MOM!
I was telling my mom about how much I'm loving the yoga and that she should try it some time. And she just texted me and said she is in for Saturday. I am so stoked about this. I hope she doesn't hate it.

I did want to tell you that I was able to get up in my own wheel pose for the first time! I started out with assistance like this...
Assisted Wheel Pose
Then was shown how to do it on my own using two blocks instead of holding onto the ankles (if I ever find a pic of that I will show you what I mean if you dont know). Which means I had to push up on my own. You have no idea what an accomplishment that was! But it was kinda funny at first because once I got up...I wasn't quite sure about getting down and crashed on my head. Oops. The second time was MUCH better.

And let's not forget about Bodypump. Meh. That's still how I am feeling about it. Not sure if I will do it anymore or not. Still not loving it and thinking I would be better off with my own lifting. I will decide this coming week about that.

EATS: Well it was Thanksgiving today and we drive to Philly for dinner. No cooking required from me! I am so very thankful for time with my family and the delishious eats! Here is a picture of as many people as I could fit in!
I, however, did not take any pictures of the foods or my plate because they already think I am "weird" for not eating the turkey. They would never let me get away with taking pictures of my plate of food...yet...

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tape it up and RUN

Aint that the truth!
Well, I went and saw the PT guy today about my knee. It was really quite interesting, all of the different tests he did on each leg and knee to see how they were different and same. Turns out that my right leg is in fact weaker then my left. Which is not really surprising since I am left hand dominant. And he also told me that my knees hyperextend a bit but not enough to cause any problems.

He wanted me to step up and down off a 6 inch step to try to recreate the pain. I told him that it took over 8 miles of running yesterday before the pain started and we might be there for awhile. He said never mind, haha.
After about an hour he finally taped me up to push my knee cap back to center. He used the ugly color above instead of pink! He gave me no choices. I will wait to complain about that the next time. I dont know if you can see it but he said I am to make sure that there is the dimpling of skin on the medial side for it to be correct placement and I am to readjust it as necessary.

Then he gave me the best news of the day! He told me to go out for a run. He told me to go 2, 5, 10 miles. However many I wanted as long as there was no pain.
Goodbye Bodypump! This girl has a change of plans today!!

I ended up only running 4.5 miles on the road because it was dark and I was afraid to push it to much since I just did 10 yesterday. I felt fine.

Now hours later it feels sore. Not so much my knee but the knee cap. Probably because of all the manipulating and it being taped in a position that it is normally not in. It just feels like I want to take the tape off so it can "relax". Im sure it will feel better tomorrow.

EATS: Breakfast was a fast bowl of cereal before my appointment.
Lunch was the usual...
Banana. Carrots & Dip. Hummus & Pita chips. Fig Newtons.
Dinner was the bestest because Rik made it!
Breaded Eggplant. Topped with Spaghetti Squash and Marinara Sauce. 

Tomorrow will be an awesome day. Going to pick my kid up from college for the holiday! I havent seen him in like two months. So it will be no running, yoga or gym plus I will be eating out. Yikes! All good.

So Im wondering...what do you do besides run (for cross training)??


Monday, November 19, 2012

Amazing body. First DNS.

RUNS: Well, Friday I managed about 5.7 miles before a migraine came on full force and pretty much knocked me out for the rest of the day and into Saturday.

Sunday I was feeling better so we ran 10 miles down in Maryland at Gunpowder Falls. Knee felt good for the most part until about mile 8 and then I knew I needed to be done soon. Two more miles back to the car and it was no worse. Here are some pictures of the trails there...
Gunpowder Falls

Rik waiting patiently for me to come up the hill.
So what is that...less then 16 miles for the weekend, huh. That is a far cry from the 50 mile race that I was supposed to be running this weekend in Maryland. Yeah, I had my first DNS this weekend. With all of the knee trouble that I have been having over the past couple of months there was just no way I could pull it off.

I was thinking about it on my run today (because thinking while running is an awesome thing to do!). About how I want to be depressed about missing the big race...but how I cant. I mean, exactly one year ago I ran my first ever ultra (Rosaryville 50k) without ever having run anything more the a half marathon before it! But once I ran that I was hooked!

And in the twelve months since that I have completed a total of eleven runs/races of marathon distance or longer including 3 trail "marathons" and the rest ultras with the longest being 45 miles. Seriously, that is asking alot of ones body!

Its just amazing to think of what we are capable of! I may not have gotten that 50 miler this year but I sure have had some great runs with some great people. And when it comes to failure there are always lessons to be learned. Lets just say that my eyes are wide open and hopefully it will make me a stronger person all around. I already have ideas for next year!

EATS: I didnt eat a whole lot this weekend because of the migraine but the one thing I did eat were these Veggie & Bean Tacos from California Tortilla. So good.

Veggie & Bean Tacos
I know, they do look so good. To bad they were the last thing I ate before the migraine so I wont be in a hurry to eat these again.

Interested in a recipe? I havent posted one for awhile.
Lentil Sloppy Joes

Serves 6

1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
8 oz crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 (15oz) can lentils, rinsed and drained
1 (14oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

In a large pot, saute onions and green peppers until soft.
Add mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring frequently.
Then add garlic, salt and crushed red pepper.
Stir in lentils, tomato sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add to buns and enjoy!

So tell me...what has been your worst running injury? Did it keep you from running??


Friday, November 16, 2012

Good News. Keep on. Keeping on.

I did end up going to an Ortho guy yesterday and he had very good news for me. The xrays showed that I have very good knees and good cartilage. He was hesitant to diagnose me with ITBS at this time since I have already been rehabbing  it for a month and the pain is now really in my whole knee as apposed to the lateral side.

And since I responded so well to the Medrol Dose Pack initially that says there is some inflammation going on in there. I forget what the diagnosis is but something with inflammation. So he gave me a 30 day supply of Indocin which is basically a continuation of the Medrol Dose Pack but without the steroid.

The stuff is making me really nauseous. Im hoping my body adjusts to it soon. I am taking it with food but it still makes me nauseous. So I read that it can be taken with antacids. I took two TUMS after this last dose and (knock on wood) it seems to be doing the trick.

He also told me to keep rehabbing with what I have already been doing and suggested the use of Kinesio tape to help track the knee while it fully heals.
I hope it looks cool like this....but pink! You know all the cool kids are sporting the stuff these days. And now I will be cool too! Anyhow, I will go in to the PT on Monday for an eval to see what they want to do with me.

RUNS: Oh hey! I did actually run today. About 3.3 miles back and forth from the gym! Pain free after 3 doses of the new med. Or it was just the fact that I snuck those short runs in before the knee could catch on to what I was doing!

GYM: Second class of CXWORX went much better then Tuesday. That planking stuff is super hard! Atleast they have you doing things like drawing circles with your hands to take your mind off of what you are really doing (as well as working out different muscles of course).

Also did YOGA tonight! And guess who came with me???
I am SO sorry I did not get a picture of this. Maybe next time? For some reason I think it would be frowned upon to be taking pictures during maybe not.
He said he liked it. He acted like he liked it. He said he will go back again. Good stuff!

EATS: Breakfast was dry Shredded Wheat with water on the side.

Lunch was exactly what you see here...
Peas. Dip. Peach. Animal Crackers.
Yes. Animal Crackers.
I am such an awesome mom that when my kids were little we would have peaches and animal crackers for lunch often in the summer time. Awesome, I know. Funny how things change. I have not had animal crackers for probably...years. I saw them the other day at the drug store when I went to pick up my med and just had to have them.

I think I am missing my college kid and it brought back memories? Yeah. Thats what I am going with.

Dinner was....
Sauteed Veggies. Over Spaghetti. Topped with Spicy Peanut Sauce & Peanuts.
That makes up for the lunch, right?! Everything in moderation please :-)

Good Luck to all my Ultra Running friends running JFK and Stone Mill this weekend! Kick butt. Have fun. RUN!!!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Two Steps Forward. One Step Back.

RUNS: I think you can tell by the title of the post that things arent so good today. I woke up with knee soreness from my long run yesterday. Good thing I wasnt planning on running today but it still is not very good news. Forget what I said yesterday about having this rehab thing under control!

GYM: Gym time started out with a new class called CXWORX. I wanted to try it because I was told it was a core conditioning class. It was exactly that and it kicked my butt core! I think I liked it but it was very difficult because I have ZERO core strength. Im sure I will be hurting tomorrow...

Then it was YOGA. I heart yoga! Something I have noticed about the poses is that alot of them are named after animals. Anyone know why that is??

Today we did the Pigeon pose which is excellent for stretching the back, thighs, groin and psoas. Something that I certainly need. Its funny how it hurts and feels good at the same time. And I love when Andrea comes around and helps to adjust you ever so slightly to square your hips or loosen your shoulders. Good stuff.
Pigeon Pose

FOOD: I actually took some time to make Oatmeal Pancakes for breakfast this morning. I usually make a bunch so that I have them available to eat for several days. Easy Peasy!
Oatmeal Pancakes

with syrup!
Then as soon as I got them down I started making the Kale Butter to go with dinner.
I steamed 1 bunch of kale. Save 1/2 cup of the green water from steaming.
Let the kale cool for about 15mins.

Then I threw it into the food processor with 1/2 cup walnuts.

Add the 1/2 cup green water.

Process it. And process it some more. 

Until it is smooth like butter.

Then it is ready to add to some baked Sweet Potatoes!

And you know me...add some more veggies to make it a complete meal.
Then make it easy on yourself by having prepackaged sushi for lunch at work...
Haha. I just realized that I switched out the orange for a plum before I left for work.

My back is already sore from core class (Im guessing that is because my core is so weak that the back muscles were picking up the slack big time). Im hoping that my knee feels good tomorrow so I can run. If not, I may need to think about making a doctors appointment. Bleh...


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lets talk about Rik!

RUNS: Hurry. Quick. Look down to the right at my DailyMile widget. I ran 10.36 miles today! Almost exactly one month since my last long run of 26 miles where the ITB would not let me ignore it any longer.

The plan was for me to run some road miles and then hit up the trail until my knee started to bother me or I got to 10 miles.

I did great up until the last 2ish miles. I stopped to refill my water and call Rik to meet me to pick me up from the trail. After I started again I felt some knee stiffness. I iced when I got home. Stretched. Etc. Rest day from running tomorrow. And then continue with the 5 milers for the rest of the week.

Poor Rik. We are a household of injured runners! He rolled his ankle pretty good last week and hasnt been able to run since. He can barely get a shoe on. Here is a picture of the acute injury...
One of these things is not like the other.
And here is a picture a few days later...
Pretty colors!
Its even bruised on the other side too.

Since he didnt run today, he came to pick me up on the trail when I was done. He even managed to catch a picture of me from across the other side of the dam/lake...
The pink dot is me headed up one more hill!
Needless to say...I dont think either of us will be running Stone Mill this weekend.

EATS: Sooo....Rik was pretty excited when he saw these at the grocery store the other day. It even had a coupon on the package so we got them.
Steak Style Strips
He had visions of making a stir fry with them. I am not a fan of fake meats but what the heck, I was willing to try it if he wanted to cook it up!

I cut up the peppers and he got to work making dinner...
Caught him munching on peppers while cooking!

He is a pro.
He cooked up the peppers with some soy sauce (and whatever else he might have added that I dont know about) and then added the steak strips to marinate them all together for a bit. Good thing he takes taste samples when he cooks because evidently the fake steak was NASTY! He tried it twice just to make sure. Then Dakota took a bite and spit it out.

Now mind you, Rik will eat just about anything and Dakota has been really open lately to trying and eating new things. So when they said how gross it was, I was surprised. They finally talked me into trying a bite and I had to spit it out as well.

Rik had to pick all the pieces of "steak" out of the stir fry. We were going to just add some frozen mixed veggies but I felt like they needed a "meat" so I quick cut up some tempeh and we threw that in instead. We served it all over rice (which was the original plan).

Final product...
Stir Fry Dinner
It was good but I think we should have just added the mixed veggies instead. Now we know.

Do you like fake meats? What kind??