Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The 10K dream lives on

I had a really good 4 mile run this AM -- on flat grass, but 40 minutes pain-free anyway. If things continue to go well the 10K may still be a-go. Here's hoping...!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Adding a Workout Log

I've added a new workout log to help me keep track of what I have done when. I was doing this in a table in a Word doc but it was too hard to make sense of. This log is linked in the right column of the blog. Hey, Michele, where is your blog and can I link to it???

I love Google Docs for sharing things, it's very cool site. I've turned a bunch of students onto the site for group work and file sharing.

If it can be tracked, logged, written about, counted, or analyzed, I'm going to do it! OCD, I know, I know.

By the way, JRP asked how long it takes me to swim a mile in freestyle. Today it took me 42 minutes. Not speedy by any means, but very enjoyable.

Monday, July 28, 2008

3+ mile run on grass

Today I ran on the really flat grass by the indoor tennis center. It's a bunch of soccer and softball fields all together so it's a pretty roomy area. And although doing laps like that made for a pretty dull run, it was helped by the fact that I ran for 32 minutes with little difficulty. I might have had one more set in me but thought better of it and stopped. So I don't know if this means things are improving or just that the grass reduced the irritation, but I'll take it :-)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tennis Fun

The tennis tournament today was SO much fun. Possibly the most all-day fun I have had without my children in recent memory. The weather was great and it just meant so much to be able to play with my mom. I think all the women just had a marvelous time and it helped to get me out of my own head for a while. This definitely motivated me to work to get my tennis turned up a notch.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Weekend!

Not much to report fitness-wise...but my folks are here for the weekend so I am enjoying having them here. Friday I ran in the AM and had some issues, didn't push it. Had my tennis lesson in the AM and played doubles with my mom in the PM. Today was the swim meet alllll morning. By afternoon I was just going nuts and went back and swam a mile. I am still just pining for and missing the higher-volume running workout. There is just nothing, I mean NOTHING, like it.

I found a really good ITB synthesis report online that was written by a physical therapist/runner and it discusses a sizable number of primary peer-reviewed journal articles. Surprisingly little is really understood about ITB issues, particularly among the medical community, but what is known was sobering nonetheless. It can become chronic if not dealt with. As I learn more, I am starting to accept that this issue may not resolve quickly. I'm trying to remain optimistic longer-term, but I'm also having to think about reality in regard to the August race. I WILL run a half-marathon too, maybe in September, maybe it will just have to be a month or two later. I have to let that personal pressure go.

The article said to think of running as rehab and not as training for a particular time or distance goal. I need to remember that. It also talks about doing shorter runs but at a higher speed with walk intervals. The higher speed tends to aggravate things less than does jogging. I'm not planning on running again until Monday, and then on grass.

I need some new goals -- maybe with lifting or swimming -- to focus on and tide me over until this passes. I've just been in a tailspin lately. I think it's time to get some limited leg training back into the equation - leg extensions and curls, maybe even light lunges, and calves. Probably no hack squats. I'm ready and willing to hit it harder in the gym and with my diet. I'll focus on what I can do and not what I can't.

Early on I posted a picture of myself that I hated that was part of my inspiration to get in shape. I am getting there and like this new picture much better.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today I ran on the Weight Club indoor track. Still only about 2-1/2 miles, but that's OK. For close to a mile of that I kicked it up a few gears and just blew all the cobwebs out of my head and body and it felt awesome. I am resigned to the fact that there may not be a speedy resolution to the IT issue and I just have to work with things the way they are. So I am thinking of running these shorter distances, but more often.

I tried real dips today for the first time in ages and didn't know if I could do any. I got five, so that's a good starting place!

What I really need is sleep. I've been hitting it at midnight lately where before it was closer to 10:00. I lost my incentive to get to bed early and get up early b/c I can't just head out the front door for a run. I've either been not running, or I've had to drive to a track. Even if I have to head to a track, I need to do it first thing and get back to sleeping regularly which should help my recovery too. I'm just not recovering from anything as well as I had been and I seem to stay sore a lot longer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Galloway's Book on Running

JRP lent me a book by Jeff Galloway and I read the entire thing this morning. My big take-away from the book is I am vowing to add walk breaks to my long runs to hopefully avoid future injuries and allow this one to heal. He makes a good case for it and cites many great runners who, like me, felt that was wimping out. The walk/run thing was on the original plan but of course I thought I knew better!

Another thing the author suggested was taking vitamin C during injury recovery. That prompted me to re-start my multivitamins and I did take 500 mg of C. He recommends that 3-5 times a day, seems like a lot. I'll stick to the 500 mg once a day unless I find compelling evidence to take more. That's still 833% of the RDA.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Moving Forward

Although running has been somewhat derailed for the last week, I now have some confidence that my fitness and nutrition goals don't have to suffer so that feeling of total agitation is subsiding. The elliptical is working out fine and I've gotten a bunch of half and full mile swims in. AND I'm finally able to do most of a wide-grip pull-up. I did 2-1/2 not super-fabulous ones today. To me, pull-ups prove to me that the weight training is working and that I'm getting stronger.

I met with JRP today and he proposed a well-researched and comprehensive plan to get the IT thing out of the equation. He had a number of things for me to read; the description of IT syndrome that he found fit my experience exactly. Here's the workaround as I remember it:
  • With cardio (running, elliptical too I guess, swimming and tennis), warm up some then take time to complete the series of stretches I learned today. Then do the cardio.
  • Run on level ground - track or level grass - 2 to 3 miles to start. If pain hits, take walk breaks. Build distance back up slowly.
  • Ice - I guess after anything that might bug it - running, gym, tennis? (Figured out I can ice it while driving the car. I use the velcro IT band to hold the bag of ice on...clever, eh?)
  • Gym program - strengthening exercises for hip. No squats for a while. Bummer.
  • Swimming, elliptical are good. Tennis needs some caution.
  • Stretch periodically through the day.
Feedback on my eating was that it's pretty good, I "just" need to add in some whole grains, fruits and vegetables in places. But I want to try to do that without overloading in the calorie department (my own thought there, not JRPs).

I got a half-mile swim in, then we only had our tennis clinic for about 40 minutes due to lightning. I have to say I think I am finally seeing progress in my reflex volleys and I managed to hit a few nice overheads that came my way. Yeah! I'm excited for the tennis tournament this weekend, it should be a really nice affair.

Oh, yeah, and note to self: stop complaining about various exercises being too hard. Shut up and do them. I'm not the wimpy person I was three months ago and I can TOO do them!!

Tomorrow I will run. Let's hope the news is good....

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Managed 30 minutes on the elliptical with virtually no pain. Hooray! No legs at the gym this week. I'll do the elliptical and swimming and try a short run on the grass Wednesday then try to get back on track with running on Saturday. I'm trying to take the pressure off saying even if I don't run a step on the road between now and the 10K, I should still be fine for that race August 9.

134.8 on the gym scale. Didn't think I'd see the day, or not this quickly for sure. Keys to success: the right trainer, no-brainer breakfasts that start the day on track, good go-to lunches and snacks, and at least one piece of fruit per day. And get the butt moving in lots of different ways!

Enjoy the day!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Argh! #$&%* *@$^%()

Not happy. NOT happy.

Ran on the treadmill. Did 2 miles. Issues. Stretched. Ran again. Definite issues. Was able to push through though and got to 4.7 miles (including the first 2) and just could not take another step. Bought an "IT band" band. A stretchy velcro thing that goes above the knee with a pad that pushes on the IT band.

Annoyed annoyed annoyed.

Saw JRP at gym and new plan is for me to run on the cross country course on grass this week and to start a new pre-run stretching program.

Interesting that Sharon and I played tennis this morning and I had not one issue with the leg/knee. And we won...yeah for us!! Sharon...we need a picture of us in our matching outfits. Next match I'll bring the camera. Sharon played super fantastically and we had a lot of fun with Gail and Stacy.

Enjoy the weekend gals.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Going crazeee

This lack of organized, planned, sweat-inducing exercise is driving me crazy. I have been really tempted to jump on the treadmill today or dash to the pool, but alas, I am not. I did go to my chiropractor (he works with the VT athletic teams) and concurred that it was IT-band related and said they were very tight. He adjusted this and that then recommended I get "The Stick" to work those muscles. Runabout Sports had a bunch of them, they are apparently popular. This is what it looks like:
It is a series of white rollers on a flexible center post. So you grab the red handles and rolling-pin away on the muscles. It feels great! Highly recommended. He agreed with cautious low mileage running following JRP's plan that I could run starting Saturday. He also suggested reducing the intensity of my leg workouts for two weeks. Dang. Not sure if I want to pass that info along.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Importance of Food Logging

SparkPeople, where I keep my online food log, had a great article called "Lose Twice the Weight by Tracking Your Food". This study found that people in a weight loss program who logged their food lost twice as much as those who didn't.

I am a firm believer in food logging. And having some accountability with a friend or trainer checking the logs makes it that much better. I'll admit it took me some time to really integrate it into my life and to pay attention to serving sizes. Now, I will sometimes even log my dinners before dishing mine out so I know what an appropriate amount is, and I use a postal scale to measure it out. Not obsessively so...!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From the runner's high to the runner's low

Well, the honeymoon is over. This week various physical ailments have taken a toll. Sunday I did something to my left whatever...quadriceps? Took Monday off and then this morning halfway through my run I got a knee pain on the outside of the other leg that I could not shake. This was not the normal pinch or tweak that pops up, but it was a definite warning sign. After that the best I could manage was to run for two or three minutes then walk a bit, and so on until I could get back to my car. I was close to tears by the time I got home, particularly since other than the knee, all the rest of me felt great and mentally I was rolling. How did I got 2-1/2 months with no problem only for things to start hitting now?

So now upon JRP's recommendation I am taking TWO days off (not happily) which means NO tennis either. I am icing it, stretching, and praying. I also went to the running shop and got new shoes. They watch you walk and run a bunch of times and then tell you the best types of shoe for you. I must have tried on 10 pairs, we narrowed it down to three, then I ran around with various combinations of one shoe on one foot, another on the other until I could decide. Eventually I settled on a pair of Brooks...not cheap as far as shoes go, but hopefully money well spent. And I was glad to patronize a local store - the owner is just a great citizen and has done so much to promote running in the NRV. I haven't had any pictures up in a just for fun here is the shoe. Thank goodness they weren't 't pink...I just don't do pink...or red...on shoes if I can avoid it.

Despite my issues, we did get an upper body workout in. Two words....TRICEPS- OUCH. But at least I could do something and I left the gym much calmer than when I went in.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Record - 9.6 miles

So I've been itching to push it a bit...I needed some convincing that the half-m is within my grasp. So today I did it...went from our house to the Food Time - 9.6 miles round trip! I ran the whole thing, not quickly, a hair over a 10 minute mile. But it felt good, was so fun, and I had plenty of me left over at the end. I love that run down Luster's Gate. In the early morning, there's little traffic, wonderful smells, sheep, cows, horses, bunnies, birds, turtles (although the one I saw was dead :-( , humming birds, bicyclists, etc.

I thought about how I let fate put the right trainer in my path and I'm so glad I ended up with JRP who is a runner and pushed me a bit in that direction, and challenged me to establish a goal. I suspect some other trainers have more of a body-building thrust or general fitness approach where cardio is just cardio. I am glad to have a specific cardio focus. Without the half as a goal, I would never have run this far, and it's so empowering and just a HUGE rush!! Can you tell I'm feeling good right now??? WOWW!!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shaved heads at the gym

OK, so today at the gym, out of the 15 guys who were there at 2:30 pm, probably 10 of them had shaved heads, or nearly shaved heads. What gives?

I had a great tennis lesson this morning and he worked me harder than he has (or maybe I finally just got moving). I was pouring with sweat and huffing and puffing a bit (while of course he was not even glistening). I probably get the most encouragement (at tennis I mean) at my weekly lesson. It gives me a nice benchmark to go by. I'm hitting stronger and better, getting a few more weapons in the arsenal, and the serve is coming. Now I am committed to anticipating shots, watching as the ball leaves the racket to see where it will go, and getting there, moving on my toes, not flat feet.

The gym was fun. The smith machine was broken so I went ahead and did REAL bench press for the first time since my powerlifting days and it felt awesome!! I didn't press much, but that's OK! I can see (sometimes barely!) the changes in what I can lift at the gym and how I feel.

Tomorrow I will go 7 miles. Tonight I am having dinner at the club with Robert. The big question is, I have an urge for a glass of wine tonight. Should I or shouldn't I? Stay tuned!!!!

(I sure do like parentheses, don't I?!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Another calorie eye-opener. White rice is just over 100 calories for 1/2 a cup! Darn it!

I made one of my favorite easy meals. Saute onions, add ground turkey and brown, drain, add tomato sauce, simmer. Serve over white rice with side of plain fat-free yogurt. Add green beans and there you go! YUM!!!

This weather is not helping my fitness regime. I got just 13 laps in at the pool (aiming for 32) and we were kicked out due to thunder and ominous skies. It's crazy and unpredictable this week.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Still here!

So, Sharon checked up to be sure I wasn't "in a funk" and thus not posting. Thanks, Sharon, that's what this accountability is all about. I must admit that I lost a bit of my fire over vacation, then I struggled a bit through my run this morning, but I met with the trainer today and worked hard at the gym and that renewed my spirit! Tonight is tennis (weather permitting) and I'm hoping to swim tomorrow.

I discovered a really fun new snack in the organic freezer section..individual "Sponge Bob" packs of edamame - immature soybeans in the pod. One pack has 38 calories but 3 g of protein and they are fun to dig out of the pods and pretty yummy to eat. Even the kids enjoy them. I'm trying to get my eating back on track. Yesterday I had to ease the transition with a Hershey bar with almonds. Darn those chocolate cravings!

So during the workout I shared bits about our vacation. I'm afraid the trainer probably thinks I'm some sort of alcoholic now! We did enjoy assorted mixed drinks on a daily basis and I think I said that one day we popped open a bottle of wine at 11 am!! I LOVE vacation!

This weekend's run is to be 7 miles and they go up by a mile each week for a while. It's exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I got majorly chaffed by my shorts one day at the beach and have to choose my long-run shorts wisely now.

Keep making those small changes that add up! Go girls!! Dream about whatever body part might motivate you (my stomache) to dig a little deeper.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yoga & a run

One family at the beach I had not met before, but they are cool. Mom, Heath, teaches yoga at home in NJ, so I joined her an attended an 8 am yoga class outside on a pool deck by the ocean (taught by someone else). It was a fun way to start the day as years ago I did yoga for a time but haven't since. I followed that up later with a 40 minute run on the beach followed immediately by jumping into the ocean. It was so much fun.

We took the boys to the soundside of the OBX where you can literally walk out a quarter of a mile and still only have water to your waist. There are no waves, and just soft sand beneath your feet that makes it a favorite for windsurfers.

I'd be doing great in terms of diet and exercise if it wasn't for the margaritas, pina coladas, wine, beer, etc. Darn it! Oh well...small price to pay :-)