My First “Thinking Out Loud” Post

I have been reading posts linked to ‘Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud” hosted by Amanda at Running With Spoons but have never joined in. Since I have a bunch of random thoughts going on today, I thought it would be a great day to try it out!

1. I am trying to get back into doing more yoga- like going to real-life classes and doing more than 30 minutes at a time. I signed up for a 30 day membership at a nearby yoga studio, which means I can go as much as I want until May 29th. On Tuesday I took a 60 minute hot vinyasa class.  It felt really good to get in a deep stretch. I also noticed something amazing- my core felt way stronger than the last time I took yoga classes. (Note- I love the reflexion yoga classes that I have been doing, but they don’t challenge me as much as regular classes. And I tend to repeat the same videos, so of course its less challenging. It is really convenient, but lately I wanted something more.) So anyway, I was actually able to do crow pose!

Yoga Crow Pose

source

It was crazy- I have never been able to do it before and on the first try it just kind of happened! And then something more amazing happened. I managed to pull off this pose (side crow):

source

So maybe all this core work is actually doing something?!

2. While the class was great and I felt like there were many good things happening, I felt really weird after. (Besides feeling like I was going to die because the room was so hot). I felt like I was all uneven walking home. I tried to explain this to my chiropractor last night, and he just looked at me like I was crazy and didn’t really address it. I think maybe I pulled something out of alignment when I was doing pigeon pose? Who knows. But my the next morning I felt fine. Maybe I just got such a deep stretch my body felt uneven because I had been living with such tight muscles for so long. I’m glad this is a “thinking out loud post”…it justifies the rambling that I just did.

3. Running lately has been mostly great. Since the marathon, I have taken it easy and there have been good days and not so good days. I try to just enjoy the good ones and stay positive when they aren’t good. Each week more of my runs have been good, so I feel like that shows progress.

brooks and pro (1)

I have also been doing more body pump classes and using the elliptical one day a week. I found that if I put it on a high resistance and high incline, and go backwards, it REALLY works my glutes. Strong glutes=a strong runner so I’ll do what I have to do.

4. I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon!

Photo

I decided to sign up last night because the price went up today. I still have a long time to figure it all out, so I’m not gonna think about it for now. I figure if I want to do another 16 week training cycle, I would start training on August 2nd.

Other than that, I still haven’t signed up for other races, but I’m starting to get the urge to do something. I am trying to wait until I REALLY want to do another race so that I don’t burn out of and get sick of running.

5. I don’t know how it rained as much as it did this week. Like, where does it all come from?! Yesterday it poured ALL day.There were flash flood warnings for about 6 hours and some roads were closed due to flooding.

IMG_2494[1] part of the harbor was flooded this morning

There was even a sinkhole in Baltimore city!

Street 3

source

6. Thank you guys for the feedback about my blog! I think my plan will be to keep everything the same but just move to self-hosted. I appreciate everyone who offered their help- I may need it! I am trying to get a sense of what I am doing before I begin the process.

7. My resistance bands keep breaking. I talked about how I am trying to work on my glute strength, and there are several exercises that I am supposed to do 5 times a day. Well I have gone through about 5 bands now and its really frustrating!

IMG_1749[1]

Does anyone know of an awesome band (the small kind that fits around your ankles) that won’t break?

8. I know I said I rarely talk about wine on this blog. Well I am about to have some tonight, so I thought I would bring it up. We have about 10 bottles of red in our apartment because that is what we have been drinking all winter. I stopped on my way home from work and picked up two bottles of white (sauvignon blanc) to keep in the fridge. Now that the weather is warming up, I’ve been craving white more. So, the question is, on this warm but rainy evening, do we drink red or white?

Rob just came home and told me red, so that guess that’s what it will be!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Thanks, Amanda, for hosting the link up!

Do you take yoga classes at a studio? Can you do crow pose, and if so, how long did it take you to learn?

What races are you doing in the next few months?

Have you ever seen a sinkhole in real life? I haven’t, but the pictures look pretty scary!

I’ll ask again- any resistance band recommendations?

Wine preference- red, white, or both? For me, its both, but when its hot out I prefer white.

My First “Thinking Out Loud” Post

I have been reading posts linked to ‘Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud” hosted by Amanda at Running With Spoons but have never joined in. Since I have a bunch of random thoughts going on today, I thought it would be a great day to try it out!

1. I am trying to get back into doing more yoga- like going to real-life classes and doing more than 30 minutes at a time. I signed up for a 30 day membership at a nearby yoga studio, which means I can go as much as I want until May 29th. On Tuesday I took a 60 minute hot vinyasa class.  It felt really good to get in a deep stretch. I also noticed something amazing- my core felt way stronger than the last time I took yoga classes. (Note- I love the reflexion yoga classes that I have been doing, but they don’t challenge me as much as regular classes. And I tend to repeat the same videos, so of course its less challenging. It is really convenient, but lately I wanted something more.) So anyway, I was actually able to do crow pose!

Yoga Crow Pose

source

It was crazy- I have never been able to do it before and on the first try it just kind of happened! And then something more amazing happened. I managed to pull off this pose (side crow):

source

So maybe all this core work is actually doing something?!

2. While the class was great and I felt like there were many good things happening, I felt really weird after. (Besides feeling like I was going to die because the room was so hot). I felt like I was all uneven walking home. I tried to explain this to my chiropractor last night, and he just looked at me like I was crazy and didn’t really address it. I think maybe I pulled something out of alignment when I was doing pigeon pose? Who knows. But my the next morning I felt fine. Maybe I just got such a deep stretch my body felt uneven because I had been living with such tight muscles for so long. I’m glad this is a “thinking out loud post”…it justifies the rambling that I just did.

3. Running lately has been mostly great. Since the marathon, I have taken it easy and there have been good days and not so good days. I try to just enjoy the good ones and stay positive when they aren’t good. Each week more of my runs have been good, so I feel like that shows progress.

brooks and pro (1)

I have also been doing more body pump classes and using the elliptical one day a week. I found that if I put it on a high resistance and high incline, and go backwards, it REALLY works my glutes. Strong glutes=a strong runner so I’ll do what I have to do.

4. I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon!

Photo

I decided to sign up last night because the price went up today. I still have a long time to figure it all out, so I’m not gonna think about it for now. I figure if I want to do another 16 week training cycle, I would start training on August 2nd.

Other than that, I still haven’t signed up for other races, but I’m starting to get the urge to do something. I am trying to wait until I REALLY want to do another race so that I don’t burn out of and get sick of running.

5. I don’t know how it rained as much as it did this week. Like, where does it all come from?! Yesterday it poured ALL day.There were flash flood warnings for about 6 hours and some roads were closed due to flooding.

IMG_2494[1] part of the harbor was flooded this morning

There was even a sinkhole in Baltimore city!

Street 3

source

6. Thank you guys for the feedback about my blog! I think my plan will be to keep everything the same but just move to self-hosted. I appreciate everyone who offered their help- I may need it! I am trying to get a sense of what I am doing before I begin the process.

7. My resistance bands keep breaking. I talked about how I am trying to work on my glute strength, and there are several exercises that I am supposed to do 5 times a day. Well I have gone through about 5 bands now and its really frustrating!

IMG_1749[1]

Does anyone know of an awesome band (the small kind that fits around your ankles) that won’t break?

8. I know I said I rarely talk about wine on this blog. Well I am about to have some tonight, so I thought I would bring it up. We have about 10 bottles of red in our apartment because that is what we have been drinking all winter. I stopped on my way home from work and picked up two bottles of white (sauvignon blanc) to keep in the fridge. Now that the weather is warming up, I’ve been craving white more. So, the question is, on this warm but rainy evening, do we drink red or white?

Rob just came home and told me red, so that guess that’s what it will be!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Thanks, Amanda, for hosting the link up!

Do you take yoga classes at a studio? Can you do crow pose, and if so, how long did it take you to learn?

What races are you doing in the next few months?

Have you ever seen a sinkhole in real life? I haven’t, but the pictures look pretty scary!

I’ll ask again- any resistance band recommendations?

Wine preference- red, white, or both? For me, its both, but when its hot out I prefer white.

Raleigh Marathon Training Week 13…Taper Begins

Well I made it through the hardest physical part of the training…the peak weeks, high mileage, and hardest workouts. Unfortunately I can’t say “I’m feeling great and ready for this race!” but I will get to that later in the post.

Here’s how last week went:

Week of 3/16/14- 3/22/14

Sunday 3/16: 60 minutes reflexion yoga

Monday 3/17: 8 miles easy in the snow (~10:45 pace overall), Pilates for Runners DVD, PM-Body Pump

photo 1 (2)

photo 2 (2) 

Tuesday 3/18: 8.43 miles with 12x400s and 200m recovery (9:05 pace overall), PM- Quick Strength for Runners Week 6 (Part 1), 30 mins yoga

Wednesday 3/19: 8 miles easy (10:31 pace overall)

Thursday 3/20:11.25 miles with 6 x 1 mile at half marathon pace (9:09 pace overall), PM- Quick Strength for Runners Week 6 (Part 2), 2.12 miles easy (9:38 pace)

photo 5 snow on Monday, shorts on Thursday

Friday 3/21: 5.61 miles easy (10:13 pace)

photo 1

Saturday 3/22: 18.5 miles with 12 at marathon goal pace (9:03 pace overall)

photo 3

Total: 61.91 miles

Going along with these workouts I have also been doing my glute exercises every day (the ones I talked about in this post along with “level 2” versions that my chiro showed me on Wednesday) and foam rolling for about 15 minutes each evening.

photo 4 (2)New exercise bands and compression socks! 

As I was writing this post it gave me an opportunity to look back on my running this week. I noticed as I was going through it that all of my runs have become slower (I think this has been a gradual thing) over the past few weeks. I’m not pointing that out because I’m upset that I am not running faster- I’ve actually been hitting my goal paces of workout runs pretty well- but more to be aware that maybe my body is probably pretty tired from all these miles. However, I have also noticed that my average heart race is lower with these slower runs, so I don’t think that I am “overtraining” or completely burnt out.

Anyway…let me tell you the story of the past few days and why I am concerned. In general, I have been feeling good. I’ve had random tightness in my hips that I have worked on with my foam roller and gotten some ART by my chiro. My long run on Saturday went really well. At times my hip would feel a little tight but it would go away. I also noticed a little tightness in my right ankle/inside calf area. Neither of these were red flags and only bothered my for a few minutes during the entire 2 hour and 45 minute run.

When I got back from my long run I rolled and stretched, and drank chocolate milk. I took an ice bath followed by a nice warm shower, put on compression socks and compression shorts, and relaxed for the rest of the day. I foam rolled a few more times that afternoon to keep things loose.

Everything felt fine throughout the day and night on Saturday. I walked to church and dinner….and relaxed with some wine.

photo 4

On Sunday I woke up with a weird feeling in my right knee. I had slept in my compression socks and at first it almost felt like they had just dug into my leg in a weird way. I took them off but the pain continued throughout the day. By Sunday evening I was pretty concerned. The only thing keeping me from having a meltdown over this was knowing that I still have 3 weeks until the race and it is time to taper now anyway.

On Monday it felt significantly better, but not 100%. I think it’s really helped to work on rolling out muscles around the knee, like my quad, inner thigh, hamstring, and calf. I have been using KT tape to support it also and have been icing it a few times a day. For now I am sticking with strength training and core work. I don’t really want to risk aggravating it with cross training. However, if I still can’t run by later in the week I may try cycling to see how that feels and to keep up with some cardio.

I also feel a little cheated, because its not like it bothered me while I was running or I ran through pain. That is why I feel like it must be a result of something else- tight muscles either caused me to change my gait or are just pulling on my knee. I know that some time off from running can’t hurt- in fact, it may give everything else a chance to recover a bit before the race. However, if you are a runner you most likely know how I feel! The part of my brain telling me that its no big deal is battling with the part of my brain that wants to run! I’ll keep crossing my fingers that this gets better quickly and won’t impact me as I get closer to the race. Tapering is hard enough without the added stress of an injury!

Have you ever had an injury that it felt like came out of nowhere?

Do you ever feel like your pace gets slower as you get later into your training cycle?

How was your running last week?

Raleigh Marathon Training Week 13…Taper Begins

Well I made it through the hardest physical part of the training…the peak weeks, high mileage, and hardest workouts. Unfortunately I can’t say “I’m feeling great and ready for this race!” but I will get to that later in the post.

Here’s how last week went:

Week of 3/16/14- 3/22/14

Sunday 3/16: 60 minutes reflexion yoga

Monday 3/17: 8 miles easy in the snow (~10:45 pace overall), Pilates for Runners DVD, PM-Body Pump

photo 1 (2)

photo 2 (2) 

Tuesday 3/18: 8.43 miles with 12x400s and 200m recovery (9:05 pace overall), PM- Quick Strength for Runners Week 6 (Part 1), 30 mins yoga

Wednesday 3/19: 8 miles easy (10:31 pace overall)

Thursday 3/20:11.25 miles with 6 x 1 mile at half marathon pace (9:09 pace overall), PM- Quick Strength for Runners Week 6 (Part 2), 2.12 miles easy (9:38 pace)

photo 5 snow on Monday, shorts on Thursday

Friday 3/21: 5.61 miles easy (10:13 pace)

photo 1

Saturday 3/22: 18.5 miles with 12 at marathon goal pace (9:03 pace overall)

photo 3

Total: 61.91 miles

Going along with these workouts I have also been doing my glute exercises every day (the ones I talked about in this post along with “level 2” versions that my chiro showed me on Wednesday) and foam rolling for about 15 minutes each evening.

photo 4 (2)New exercise bands and compression socks! 

As I was writing this post it gave me an opportunity to look back on my running this week. I noticed as I was going through it that all of my runs have become slower (I think this has been a gradual thing) over the past few weeks. I’m not pointing that out because I’m upset that I am not running faster- I’ve actually been hitting my goal paces of workout runs pretty well- but more to be aware that maybe my body is probably pretty tired from all these miles. However, I have also noticed that my average heart race is lower with these slower runs, so I don’t think that I am “overtraining” or completely burnt out.

Anyway…let me tell you the story of the past few days and why I am concerned. In general, I have been feeling good. I’ve had random tightness in my hips that I have worked on with my foam roller and gotten some ART by my chiro. My long run on Saturday went really well. At times my hip would feel a little tight but it would go away. I also noticed a little tightness in my right ankle/inside calf area. Neither of these were red flags and only bothered my for a few minutes during the entire 2 hour and 45 minute run.

When I got back from my long run I rolled and stretched, and drank chocolate milk. I took an ice bath followed by a nice warm shower, put on compression socks and compression shorts, and relaxed for the rest of the day. I foam rolled a few more times that afternoon to keep things loose.

Everything felt fine throughout the day and night on Saturday. I walked to church and dinner….and relaxed with some wine.

photo 4

On Sunday I woke up with a weird feeling in my right knee. I had slept in my compression socks and at first it almost felt like they had just dug into my leg in a weird way. I took them off but the pain continued throughout the day. By Sunday evening I was pretty concerned. The only thing keeping me from having a meltdown over this was knowing that I still have 3 weeks until the race and it is time to taper now anyway.

On Monday it felt significantly better, but not 100%. I think it’s really helped to work on rolling out muscles around the knee, like my quad, inner thigh, hamstring, and calf. I have been using KT tape to support it also and have been icing it a few times a day. For now I am sticking with strength training and core work. I don’t really want to risk aggravating it with cross training. However, if I still can’t run by later in the week I may try cycling to see how that feels and to keep up with some cardio.

I also feel a little cheated, because its not like it bothered me while I was running or I ran through pain. That is why I feel like it must be a result of something else- tight muscles either caused me to change my gait or are just pulling on my knee. I know that some time off from running can’t hurt- in fact, it may give everything else a chance to recover a bit before the race. However, if you are a runner you most likely know how I feel! The part of my brain telling me that its no big deal is battling with the part of my brain that wants to run! I’ll keep crossing my fingers that this gets better quickly and won’t impact me as I get closer to the race. Tapering is hard enough without the added stress of an injury!

Have you ever had an injury that it felt like came out of nowhere?

Do you ever feel like your pace gets slower as you get later into your training cycle?

How was your running last week?

Raleigh Marathon Training Week 9 and Freedom!

Another week of training is in the books and there wasn’t anything too special about this week. My low back has been acting up a little bit…I am blaming the 3 weeks I spent as a juror having to sit all day long and only being allowed to get up when the judge released us for a break. Usually when I am at work I am walking around most of the day. I might sit for a few minutes on and off, but I consider it a good day if I can sit down to eat lunch for 10 minutes. I can also get up when I want, not when someone tells me I can. I understand that we need jurors, and there needs to be some sort of order throughout the process, but there are so many activities in society that expect us to sit for extended periods of time.

The perfect method for getting out of jury duty:

source

(Maybe I’ll try this next time?)

Once I started having some low back problems, I became more aware of how I sat and how long I sat for. I found that the longer I would sit, the tighter my hips would get and my back would tighten up too and everything would fall apart from there. (I had piriformis problems for over a year and every specialist I saw blamed it on my back.)

Even for people who are not runners and maybe they’re not worried about tight hips and other imbalances, it’s still not good to sit all day! I recently read some articles on other blogs reminding readers of this important point and if you are interested you should go check them out on Healthy Regards, Hayley and Run to the Finish.

Luckily, jury duty is finally over! What was supposed to be a 5 day trial turned into an 11 day trial. (It was also interrupted by snow days and President’s Day.) So tomorrow I can return to work and my usual routine. Hopefully my back will settle down now that I am not forced to sit all day! I am also excused from serving for 3 years, so that is a nice silver lining. I have to admit it was also nice to have more time to run in the morning. We didn’t have to be there until 9:30,  while usually I get to work around 8:00.

source

So on to the running part of the week…

Week of 2/16/14-2/22/14

Sunday 2/16: 8.25 miles easy (9:35 pace), Quick Strength for Runners Week 2 (Part 1)

fortmchenry

Monday 2/17: AM- 11.26 miles with 6 x 1 miles at HMP (8:55 pace overall), core work, PM: Body Pump

Tuesday 2/18: Rest…Did you know that Feb 18th was National Drink Wine Day? So that’s what I did!

nationalwineday 

Wednesday 2/19: 8.25 miles with 6 x 800s (8:52 pace overall), Quick Strength for Runners Week 2 (Part 2), PM: Pilates for Runners

Thursday 2/20: 6.1 miles super easy (10:16 pace), drills, core work

sunny

Friday 2/21: 5.1 miles easy with strides (9:21 pace), core work

cloudy

Saturday 2/22: 16.2 miles with miles 4-13 at marathon goal pace (~8:46) 

image

harbor

Total: 55.16

The weather finally came around this week! We had no real snow and by the weekend the temps hit 60 degrees! It was so nice running in the warmer weather, but I think it was just a tease and we still have some waiting to do before spring is here for real.

image 

(according to weather.com)

I guess we will see if winter is going to continue to torture us, or if this weekend’s weather is a sign that spring is almost here.

Do you sit all day at work? How often do you get up and walk around?

Have you ever been selected as a juror? How long did the trial last?

How was your week in running? Do you think spring is almost here?!

Scenes from a snow day

There was no running outside today, and my gym was closed. I tried to sleep in, but of course that didn’t happen. However, the day ended up being nice and relaxing.

 

snow

 

snow1

The morning started with coffee and lounging around in pajamas and slippers.

coffee I made some pancakes.

pancakes

Did an at home workout- Body Pump on You Tube and Pilates for Runners.

homebodypump

Some quality time with the foam roller.

foamrolling A fruit and veggie smoothie.

smoothie

Baked chocolate chip cookies

cookies 

Started reading a new running book: Quick Strength for Runners (followed by a nap!)

strengthtraining

Made some steak fajitas for dinner

fajitas

And now we are relaxing on the couch, watching TV, and drinking some wine!

wine

Anyone else have a snow day today?

If you are experiencing a winter storm in your area, what are your running plans for the next few days?

Letting Go of Control

I’m not sure if anyone who reads regularly has picked up on the specific schedule I keep during my training week. Almost every week, I get in my runs based on my training plan, plus 2 yoga sessions, core work every day, body pump once a week, and runner’s core twice a week. I also am very good about foam rolling and stretching regularly. What you may not know from the blog posts I have written, is that I am extremely type A and have trouble letting go of control of anything that I am used to controlling. I live a very structured lifestyle which, amazingly, my husband has adapted to very well.

wedding disc 1 247

I plan out our meals every week, and prepare them ahead of time. I make my lunch for work the night before. I fold my clothes as soon as the dryer buzzes that they are done. You get the idea.

Well this week sure threw me off track. It started on Monday morning, when in  the back of my mind I expected to have a snow day. (Or at least a work from home day). The forecast was calling for rain until about 6 or 7am, and then snow- about 4 inches. Schools have closed for less of a forecast than that. I decided on Monday morning to get in my longest weekday run (12 miles, with 3 x2 miles at half marathon pace), in case there was significant snow which turned to ice and would impact my runs later in the week.

photo 4 (3)

And to back up further, I wasn’t feeling 100% over the weekend, which I wrote about here. I ended up not doing food prep for the week, thinking I could probably do it on Monday if we had a delay, early release, or worked from home. Well none of those things happened and I worked a full day (actually a little late). I didn’t have time to stretch after my run Monday morning. After work I was rushed but made it to Body Pump class Monday night.

photo 3 (3)

On Tuesday I had Jury Duty, and everyone told me that I would probably get released early. I couldn’t help but think of all the things I could get done with a couple extra hours. Well, not only did I not get out early, I got out way later than I would if I went to work, PLUS I got selected to serve on a jury for a 5 day trial.

Cue meltdown.

I was immediately stressed and overwhelmed about being away from work that long, especially unexpectedly. It also completely threw off a million other things about my very structured schedule.

After freaking out for most of Tuesday night, I have slowly managed to pull myself together. There were a few things that (sort of) helped me deal with adjusting to things that are out of my control.

Don’t be afraid for ask for help

I hate asking Rob for help with certain things. We have our roles and they work for us. I cook, he cleans up. I keep the apartment organized, he takes out the trash. Well Tuesday night I scared him a little with how dramatic I was being about all this, and he insisted on going to the grocery store (which I was planning to do, but didn’t have time to). He also offered to cook dinner on Wednesday, when I was supposed to go to the chiropractor.

steakdinner

Do what you can, and don’t be too hard on yourself for not doing it all

I have been kept in court until at least 5:30 every night. By the time I get home, its time to get started on dinner. Usually, I can come home and do some yoga or foam rolling for a while before Rob gets home. I feel like with my schedule being different its harder to keep these things in my routine. I managed to get in 15 minutes of yoga on Wednesday morning, which is better than nothing, and I try to spend at least a few minutes foam rolling in the evenings.

Do something special for yourself that you usually wouldn’t do

This seems counterproductive, but this week since nothing was going my way I kind of said “screw it” and after my chiro appt was cancelled at the last minute on Wednesday, I decided to go get a manicure and pedicure. I felt much better after (especially when I got to come home to dinner prepared for me…see above:))

Wine

You knew this was coming, right? Don’t overdo it, but this helps me relax and stop worrying constantly.

glass

Establish your priorities

If you can’t do everything, you might as well decide what you will get done no matter what and what things can be left until later. Things like work and running are high on my list, while yoga is not. This probably isn’t ideal (we all know how beneficial yoga can be!) but for me running is relaxing and reduces my stress. Another part of my routine that I try my best to keep no matter how busy I am is my sleep schedule. Whenever possible I try to get 8-9 hours of sleep.

Take a deep breath and try to relax and refocus

This one is more of an ongoing process. I am a therapist and have been trained to teach other people how to do this, but can’t seem to do it myself. But when my brain starts telling me a million things to get done and I start to feel stressed, breathing and slowing down can really help.

fridaysunrise

So I am trying my best to not let all of this get the best of me. And luckily it is the weekend and I should have some more time to reset, refocus, and prepare for next week, although I have learned that you just never know what the week will bring!

Do you have a Type A personality/difficult letting go of control?

Any tips for staying calm when life gets stressful?