This Body Still Works

Today, I’m finally feeling sore. The good kind of sore. The sore that informs me I did something yesterday. Finally. I put this body to work.

Sitting on the sidelines takes a lot out of you: Passion. Dedication. Energy.

Not being able to run is almost (almost) as draining as running ten miles.

I’ve been feeling that weakness, that all-to-familiar drag of my body. As much as you try to ignore it, it’s there. You can stay positive, put on a smile, but inside—damn it, you just want to run! And when you feel that passion, dedication and energy sucked out of you for doing what you love, those feelings seem to be voided in other areas as well. Healthy eating, cooking, writing—they’ve all taken a hit.

After I ran the Green Bay Half Marathon in mid-May, I didn’t run a step for weeks. It took almost two weeks before what felt like my pubic bone, the bone that you sit on, finally stopped aching. Sitting, laying, it didn’t matter—it nagged me.

By early June, it felt better and I got in a handful of short bike rides. I decided it was time to put it to the test—after all, I had rested and done practically nothing for three weeks, so it had to be better! At a running club meeting, I went for an easy 3-mile jog.

Lying in bed that night, I cursed the running gods. I hurt again.

I had gotten advice from some running club friends, who had similar symptoms and had gone to PT, trained through it, and were fine. Turns out what worked for them, didn’t for me. It pays to pay professionals.

I’ve been going to PT for two weeks now, and it’s improving—slo-o-owly, but surely. The nagging pain is almost gone, but it rears its head if I sit too much. I’m thankful I have a work desk I can stand at.

Tendonitis, the PTs say. The adductors running along my inner thigh were imbalanced, too weak, and the adductor brevis/longus and gracilis that attach to the pubic bone are pulling on it, thus the pain that feels like it comes from the bone. We’ve been working carefully on building strength back up in my legs, butt, and core.

I was allowed to walk 15 minutes last week as my “workout.” Do you run? You can imagine how I felt. But I put on a smile, and thought to myself: You do this now, so you can run for many years later.

In everything, a bright point: I’m sore today, because I finally hopped into a pool for a swimming workout yesterday. I’ve wanted to try swimming for a while—honestly, a couple years. I don’t know why I was so nervous to try, but I was… Maybe because it was new, I didn’t know how one does a “workout” in the pool, and I was afraid of looking like an idiot. However, with no other alternative, this pretty much forced me into the water head-first.

And I totally loved it.

Only 15-20 minutes in the water, and I felt like I got a fantastic workout, with no increase in pain… Just this lovely soreness, that tells me my body does, indeed, still work.

Monday Aspirations

While I’d like to say nothing is ever “all or nothing,” it’s always nice to have a proverbial clean slate on Monday, isn’t it?

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Last week, I took a bit of a hiatus with my running. And for the last couple of weeks, I’ve also foregone my weight loss efforts. Don’t get me wrong, with marathon training hitting its peak month, it’s hard to fall completely off the wagon. But, I did skip two runs last week, and while I ate semi-healthy (as my normal diet isn’t so bad), I definitely let myself add in a lot of extra treats. Like brownies and pizza and wino happy hour.

Even though I know the “Oh, well I just ran 6 miles” excuse to eat crap IS crap, I still find myself turning to it. Bah.

So, I made up my mind last night that it was back to the 6am wake-up calls this week, no excuses: Get up early, do pilates, make coffee, pack my HEALTHY lunch, and start the day off on the right track. It’s been a good morning around here already!

We’re checking things off the wedding to-do list and it’s starting to loom into the territory of…REAL. There are only two months until I have to take my dress in for alterations. I’d like to be at my “ideal” weight by then so that (a) the dress fits right on my wedding day—not too big or too tight; and (b) then I only have to maintain!

Here’s to Monday—a fresh start, and a good week. Cheers!

– – –

What’s your goal this week?
How do you like to start your week (or day) on the right foot?

Now that it’s not pitch black all morning, I love taking 10-15 minutes to enjoy my coffee while I watch the sun rise over the lake. Okay, I can’t quite see the lake, but I still see those spectacular colors…and they are something to marvel at. 🙂

Week 12 Workouts {Green Bay Marathon}

YAY! Week 12 is done, and with it, a huge long run.

Sunday, March 16th: Yoga
Did a nice little 20-minute series at home to get stretched out.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles (10:11/mile) + abs pilates
I finally started to add pilates back into my weekly workouts. I love pilates!

The 4-mile run was fun. I met up with a group of runners after work and busted them out at a pretty good clip, considering it felt pretty “easy.”

Wednesday: 4 miles 2 miles + buns/thighs pilates
My legs were tired and semi-sore from my morning pilates. By the time I got home, I was so not motivated to run on the treadmill, but I made myself hop on to at least do something. I actually thought once I got going I’d be fine, but I just wasn’t into it. Oh well, better than nothing.

Thursday: 7 miles (10:50/mile)
Another post-work run outside. Ran with a couple friends; nice to have company and nice to be outside again.

Running along Lake Michigan

Let’s pretend it’s summer…

We got to run down near the lake, now that the mounds of snow & ice have finally melted. Lake Michigan went from 90% frozen to completely clear in what seemed like a matter of days!

Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 16 miles!!! (11:37/mile)
Okay, this is technically part of next week since it’s Sunday, but it was “this week’s” long run. My training partners were busy yesterday so we opted to do our long run this lovely Sunday morning instead. We started at 7am (nicer than our 6am start times as of late) and although it was still chilly and a bit windy, the sun was shining. That always makes us smile, after this long, dreary winter.

We split the run into two parts: an out-and-back 10 mile run, which put us back at the starting point to meet up with a couple more people for the last 6 miles. Splitting the long run up into “two” runs makes it SO much easier mentally! I just focused on taking an easy 10-mile run, then by the time we got to the second part, the 6 mile run, it wasn’t weighing so heavily over our heads. Granted, we were still tired and ready to be done by the end, but mentally I felt on top of my game, and my body feels pretty good, too. I’m going to try to do this with the rest of our long runs going forward, I think.

I had stomach issues the entire run, which were pretty annoying. This has happened to me a couple times over the recent month, so I wonder if I need to start being more careful with what & when I eat leading up to my long run. Perhaps my spicy Mexican brunch yesterday was a bad idea. Of course, having a wild Friday night out with lots of drinks probably didn’t help, either. 😉

– – –

This week’s workouts:
Sunday: 16 miles (am) + yoga (pm)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4.5 miles
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13 miles (yay for step-back week!)

– – –

How were your workouts this week?
Are you able to start getting out in the “spring” weather?
What’s your favorite carb-loading meal before a long run or race? 

My Secret Workout Weapon

This week, I added in a secret weapon to my workout schedule. As I write this, may I add, that my bum is on fire…

No, that’s not a personal issue, it’s just what happens when you add some Pilates to the mix!

Pilates are not what I’d think of first to add as strength training. The DVDs I use are fairly quick (only 20 minutes or so) and deceptively easy. At least for the first few minutes… then suddenly, ouch! These suckers are a workout. Quick + effective + do at home? Yes, please.

These aren’t new to me, I guess I just forgot I had the DVDs. I got them in high school (err, almost 10 years ago) and for a few months did the workouts several times a week. I remember feeling very strong, lean and my butt lookin’ good! Plus, I never once got injured during track and cross country season. So, lets hope that happens again this time. 😉

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I am going to try to alternate two specific workouts: abs, and buns & thighs. The abs workout is great to strengthen your core, of course, which is important for any runner. The buns and thighs really seem to target the hips, and the fact I’ve had trouble with weak hips in the last few years alone is enough to get me on this train. My piriformis was also burning this morning, so I know those moves are getting the booty, too.

Bored with your workouts or don’t have time to go strength train at the gym? (Or like me, feel intimidated by all the muscles while you hold your measly barbell?) Try Pilates! They’ll definitely give you the extra boost of strength and toning you need. Added bonus: You don’t need any equipment for these specific DVDs.

Be forewarned: These are serious workouts in disguise. I do some ab work usually, but yesterday morning I could barely keep up with the abs DVD. By noon, my abs were sore. That’s when you know it’s a keeper!

You can find the abs DVD on Amazon here and the buns & thighs here. (Buy them used, much more affordable!)

And no, I’m not paid to promote these, I just love ’em that much.

– – –

Do you use any workout DVDs?
What are your favorite ways to get strength workouts in?

Whole Body Circuit Workout {At Home}

I knew I wouldn’t get to the gym last night {my car is temporarily outta commission} but I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of a workout. I only had 3 miles on the agenda, so I thought a heart-pumping 30-minute circuit workout might be a good switch-out. I don’t do nearly enough strength training, so this was a good way to “sneak” it in.

I don’t have a treadmill at home (yet…), so I whipped out the jump rope to get my cardio in. If you don’t have a jump rope, you could just sub in some trusty jumping jacks to get your heart pumping.

None of the exercises require any equipment, so you can do this circuit workout anywhere: At home. In a hotel room. In front of the TV. At a park. On the beach. At the airport. Stuck in an elevator. Trapped at jury duty…

Well, you get it.

Do each exercise for 60 seconds, and rest 30 seconds between each 2-minute set. This workout will take you 30 minutes to complete. You’ll be sweaty and feelin’ good by the end, I promise! Try it tonight, or Pin it to sweat to later. Let me know what you think!

at home circuit workout with jump rope, jumping jacks, burpees, sit ups, pushups and more

 

– – –

What kind of other exercises would you want to do in a circuit workout? 

What are your favorite ways to fit in  fitness, even when you can’t get to the gym? 

Flippin’ Cold + This Week’s Workouts

Go home, Hercules, you’re drunk.

It “feels like” -39 degrees outside, according to my oh-so-accurate friend, Weather.com.

Winter Storm Hercules weather from arctic air

Crikey.

BRR. I think this is the coldest weather I’ve ever experienced, in my life.

I would take one of those cliché pictures of my car dashboard thermometer to further show you just how cold it really is…

Except it’s so cold that my car won’t start, so I got nothin’ except that dandy screenshot above.

On the plus side, I get to work from home today, in the warm cozy confines of my blanket & cup of coffee, so I’ll take the trade-off. I won’t be able to get to the gym for my workout tonight (and you can bet your sweet bass I’m not running outside) so I guess I’ll switch my “off” day for this week to today.

More time to binge-watch Boardwalk Empire tonight, I guess.

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Yes, Matt and I are late to the party, but we’re finally watching this fabulous series. I love the time period, the acting, the fashion and drama of the show. We watched the entire first season since last Wednesday! If I did a weekend recap, it would be: grocery shopping, cleaning, and watching Boardwalk Empire. So there you have it.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to stupid winter storm Hercules and this arctic air blast leavin’ town over the next few days. Hopefully I can leave my house tomorrow, but it’s supposed to still be pretty frigid (like, still -35 in the morning tomorrow) so only time (and my car battery) shall tell.

In the meantime, I’ll look forward to these workouts for the week, in hopes I can leave the house soon without losing a finger or nose or vital limb to frostbite:

• Monday: Off
• Tuesday: 3 miles easy
• Wednesday: 3 miles med-hard
• Thursday: 4 miles easy
• Friday: Off
• Saturday: 6 miles (heat wave—high of 36!)
• Sunday: Cross Train/Strength

– – –

Are you battling Hercules as well? How are you handling the snow/cold?

What workouts are you looking forward to this week? 

Last Week’s Workouts

Now that the holidays have passed, it’s nice to get back to working out and feeling healthy again. Here’s how my workouts went this past week:

Monday–Wednesday:
Family in town, didn’t work out.

Thursday, Jan. 2:
20 minutes treadmill (5.5mph-6mph, an “easy” pace)
10 minutes elliptical
15 minutes body strength

I planned to do 30 minutes on the treadmill, but my right knee started acting up at almost 20 minutes. Rather than chance anything, I hopped off onto the elliptical for the last 10 minutes. I don’t know why my knee was bugging me {very slightly}, other than perhaps from sitting all day at my desk and the fact I hadn’t run in 10 days, it was tight?

For my body strengthening, I just did a bunch of core exercises, some push-ups, squats and my hip exercises.

Friday:
Off, rest day before long run.

Saturday:
5 mile long run
Hip exercises

I’m starting my long runs for my half marathon training schedule. {I’ll post my full schedule for you to see soon.} I was only going to run 4 miles, but I joined up with my running club to run yesterday morning, and my friend Tom talked me up to 5 miles instead.

The run was challenging, but good. It was “feels like” 8 degrees out with the wind chill, but with the right clothes it wasn’t bad at all. {See my “what to wear for winter running” post!}

You know it’s windy out when the flags are blowing straight out…

flags in windy winter weather

The toughest part of the run was the varying road conditions. Forget the sidewalks—a lot weren’t even shoveled—so we were relegated to the roads. Some parts were clear, some had slush, but the worst parts still had about an inch of snow on them.

snowy roads for winter running

The snow wasn’t slippery, but it felt like running in sand! Phew, what a workout. Those parts definitely slowed me down, and towards the end of the run, I just wanted to walk through them, but I kept chugging along.

Despite all that, it sure was pretty out…

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I was definitely spent after the run, but it felt good to be out in the fresh air, chatting with some friends, and getting in a good run…all before 9am!

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{I need to get better at my selfie skills. ha!}

After my run, I came home and did some foam rolling (owww) and some hip exercises to help keep my knees happy.

– – –

What were your workouts this week?
Would you bundle up and run in those conditions?