Sunday, November 30, 2014

Carlsbad Half Marathon Training Recap: Week 3

Week 3! Crazy how fast time is flying by. I am not quite at the half way mark but almost. So far my training is going well. Being sick the first two weeks really derailed me, mostly mentally though. I was actually kind of surprised how well I did this week considering I am still coughing up a lung during my runs. As I've gotten older I've noticed my lungs are not recovering as well as they used to after being sick. Oh the perks of getting older! Anyways this week I was able to rack in a few miles.

  • SUNDAY: Ran 2.5 miles after work with my dog Kona. Lately she has been my running partner if I run at night. For tips on running at night check out this blog post.

  • MONDAY: Rest Day...I actually attended a funeral out of town so when I got home I just wanted to mellow out from the long day.
  • TUESDAY: Ran 5 miles around my neighborhood. I woke up later than I wanted to so instead of going to my favorite park to run, I just did a quick route around my neighborhood. Definitely not the same but at least I got the miles in.

  • WEDNESDAY: Woke up early and went to the gym before work. I was able to get in some speed work which actually felt great. I ran a total of 3 miles. The first mile was just a warmup at 6.5 speed. The following two miles I alternated sprints with slow recovery runs every 60 seconds. My legs felt like jello by the end. This speed work is what helps me get my times down. I am hoping to break 2 hours for this race.
  • THURSDAY: I worked during Thanksgiving and just ate food...all day! I had good intentions of going for a run with Kona after work but obviously that didn't happen. :)
  • FRIDAY: I went for a run with two of my co-workers at Woodward Park. We went to burn off the calories we consumed the previous day. Total mileage: 5 miles. Nothing spectacular about this run. I actually felt full, slow, and uncomfortable but I finished.

  • SATURDAY: I purchased new shoes on Friday so I needed to test them out around my neighborhood. I took it easy and only ran 3 miles. The shoes felt great and the fall colors were amazing!  I'll be doing a review on them in the next week or so. 

Overall I am happy with Week 3 of my training, seven more to go. This upcoming week I am doing one day of speed work, a spin class for cross-training, and due to my work schedule I am doing an 8 mile and a 9 mile run. Spoiler alert...I did the 8 miler today. Hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

What are your plans for today?
Are you training for a race? How is it going?

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pile On The Miles Recap

Happy Saturday! I've been having such a great time these past few days. First of all I had a great Thanksgiving. I was at work but I was with great co-workers and a delicious potluck kept my belly full. Since then I've had a few days off and I have been busy.  I am not one to really do the whole Black Friday shopping, but this year I bought a few things. There was a great sale going on in my favorite running shoe store that I couldn't pass up. I love the deals but don't love the hassle of being around so many people. 

I look forward to Black Friday for one reason whip out my Christmas decorations and buy my Christmas tree. I spend all day getting my house as festive as possible. Each year I decorate my house with more and more Christmas decor. I absolutely love this time of the year. 

I also spent the last dew days racking in a few miles.  At the beginning of the month I set a goal to run 60 miles. I was participating in the Pile On The Miles challenge from Monica at RunEatRepeat. With the holidays coming along, I thought this was a great way to hold myself accountable. Happy to report that I not only managed to reach my goal but I exceeded my goal. I was a bit worried since I had gotten pretty sick in the middle of the month. Having the flu really derailed me and then to top it off my plantar fasciitis was acting up. But I made up the miles for sure! 

Probably the best thing that came out of the challenge was that I was able to fit into a pair of skinny jeans the day after Thanksgiving. I had not been able to squeeze into that pair for six months! It was such a great feeling. I am happy that I participated in this challenge. Unfortunately I did not win any of the daily raffles but Monica gave me shout out on her blog. So I can say I am famous...kinda...okay not really.

I still can't get over the beautiful fall colors! Absolutely stunning!

What was the best part of your week?

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Many Reasons I Am Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone has a wonderful day filled with loved ones, family, and laughter. It’s the perfect time to take a moment to remember what you’re thankful for this year. I am linking up with Amanda from Running With Spoons.

First and foremost I am thankful for my health. A few injuries here and there but overall I am perfectly healthy enjoying every day.

I am forever thankful for each and everyone that reads my blog. This is a new adventure for me and so far I've enjoyed every second of it. 

I am grateful that I have a beautiful park to run and train in. This park has been my sanctuary this past year. I am able to vent to the pavement, enjoy great views, and burn a ton of calories!

I am thankful that I was able to run 5 half marathon races this year. I even ventured to a whole new state for a half marathon race. 

Thankful I got the opportunity to travel to Singapore and Nepal this year for a medical mission. I was able to teach and educate the nurses, wake up to beautiful sunrises over the Himalayan mountains, hike different trails around Nepal, see the great architecture of Singapore, and embrace all new cultures. It was an absolute joy and wonderful experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.

I am blessed to have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. 

My job can be stressful at times but it is so rewarding. I am thankful I have a job I enjoy and love (some days more than others). 

Unfortunately I lost my grandfather this past year but I am grateful I still have my wonderful grandmother. She is the glue that keeps holding our family together. Words cannot describe how much I love this lady!

I have been blessed with a beautiful niece/goddaughter and a handsome nephew. I am thankful I got the opportunity to see them more this past year. They are getting so big! 

And last but not least I am thankful for my wonderful husband. He is my best friend and biggest supporter. I don't know what I would do without him. He is my rock and forever grateful for having him as my partner in crime.

What are you thankful for this year?

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Update

The past few weeks I have been going to physical therapy for my plantar fasciitis. I was really hoping my heel pain would get better all on its own but my podiatrist said I needed at least four weeks. So we are at the half way point and I must say I am glad I went. Wish the pain would be gone though. Can't even remember the last time I didn't have any pain...that's sad.

Yes it is a pain to go for two hours of physical therapy every session and yes my feet are even more sore afterwards but overall my foot pain has gotten a lot better. Plantar fasciitis sucks...not gonna lie. It is a horrible pain on your heel and sometimes the arch of your feet. These feet are meant to last you your entire life so when problems arise it is better to fix them right away in order to improve your quality of life. I mean who wants to walk in pain with every step? 

My physical therapist starts with this torture machine:

They stick electrodes on my feet and calves, wrap my feet with warm blankets, and let the torture begin. Okay I am over exaggerating just a bit. This machine stimulates muscles and nerves to promote circulation and relieve pain. I actually control how strong of a jolt I receive. Each time I go I try to push myself just a tad more in order to reap the benefits.

The next thing I do are the exercises. So my physical therapist is trying to strengthen my ankle, calves, and shins in order to provide better support for my foot. I didn't realize how weak my feet are. After my first time in physical therapy, my feet were sore just from the exercises! Little by little I am noticing a change. 

Along with the exercises I have been getting ultrasound therapy and light therapy. Ultrasound is said to decrease the inflammatory process by using sound waves at a high frequency. Light therapy works about the same by fighting the inflammation in the fascia, reduce heel pain, and increase recovery time. Both of these therapies are painless. I don't even feel them. The only thing I feel is the cold gel when they do the ultrasound.  The therapist did say though that there really isn't that much research on how effective these therapies are. Some people say these modalities completely healed them others didn't feel a difference. I am still on the fence. For now I'll continue doing them. I am trying everything in order to heal sooner.

I will say the best part of physical therapy is the massage! I get about 20 minutes of massage on each foot and they mainly focus on my heel and arch. It feels painfully awesome.  This last session they found a really tender spot on my left heel. I just about screamed when she got to it. Funny thing is that I didn't even know it was tender until she touched it.

To try to fix my tender spot this last time he put a pain patch. Basically its a cortisone shot in a patch. The medication comes in different doses and delivered over 20 minutes. This was actually a bit painful. It felt like a burn. He had to modify it a few times but I was able to last the whole 20 minutes. This treatment is not something that is done at every session. It'll only be done when I have extremely tender ideas. I did feel relief afterwards so I know this really helped.

Fast forward two hours and its time to stretch and call it a day. They always tape me up and ship me out the door. The tape feels so good. It's just an added support for my ankle and heel but it really works for me. The good thing is that the tape lasts 3-4 days even with showers. The bad thing is that lint gets all around the tape and I can't shave my legs in certain spots. 

Every time I go to physical therapy I pick the therapist's brain a bit more. I am finding out that he actually treats numerous foot injuries. Every time I am there I am meeting new people going through the same thing. I am also learning that about 80% of his patients fully recover from plantar fasciitis. I am however more prone to getting it back once I fully heal. Fingers crossed I am one of those 80% instead of the 20%. I love to run and look forward to be injury free!

Have you ever done physical therapy?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Best Running Signs to Motivate You!

We see them all the time during every race...the signs. They make us smile, laugh hysterically, and motivate us to keep going that extra mile. They push us to get that PR we have been training for. Running races would not be same without spectators cheering you on with these fun signs. It makes a huge difference when you see family, friends and even complete strangers cheering for you. One little sign can make such an impact, making you push through that wall you are trying to avoid. 

With all that being said, I found some signs to get you motivated. This week is always hard for many since Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  With the amounts of food that will be consumed this week, working out is probably the last thing on your mind.  So hopefully these signs will have the same impact to you as they do during race day. Keep at it!

What has been your favorite sign during race day?

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