Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wine & Dine Week 6 Training–Running Skirts, Jogging Strollers, and Black Walnuts!

After a few slacker weeks, I was determined to get back on track this week. I broke out my first ever running skirt to take it for a spin on Tuesday. I loved it! Seriously. I found on a clearance rack at the Champion Outlet. For $15, it fits fabulous, the shorts don’t ride up at all (a miracle all by itself!), and my run was chafe-free. SCORE!

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Training

Monday: nothing

Tuesday: 4 mile run + 45 minutes of foam rolling, stretching, Sticking, and ultrasound.

Wednesday: 60 minutes Physical Therapy (include soft tissue torture, a ridiculous number of one leg squats, core, and other stuff)

Thursday: 3.1 mile stroller run (first ever!), 15 minutes of core work

Friday: 50 minute spin class,

Saturday: Attempted 10 miler, but stopped at 5 after a nasty run in with a black walnut.

Sunday: foam rolling and stretching, plus lots of ice and stim therapy for the ankle

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On Thursday, I decided to my throw my stroller in the car and take my younger son out for a run while his brother was at school. I’ve never ran with a stroller before. Well, before I started running, I’d sometimes take the stroller out and run short bursts in between my walking just trying to burn calories and lose baby weight, but I never straight ran. I couldn’t. I didn’t have the endurance to push the stroller and run. I was intimidated by the idea, but I headed to a flat-ish running loop with a playground for the boy to play at when I was done. I pushed through 3.1 miles at a faster pace than I’ve been doing some of my runs so that was great, but I couldn’t have ran one more step. I definitely went too fast, and the smallest hills tried to kill me as I pushed up my 38lb kid up them. I hope to make this a weekly thing. I can definitely see how it will help me build endurance, and my little guy survived and had a blast playing on the playground afterwards. I gave him a snack, a drink, and some cars to hold in the stroller, and he was pretty content.

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My Saturday run was doomed from the start. My husband got called on Friday to do a last minute funeral on Saturday. That meant I’d have to get out early (dark early) to squeeze in my planned 10 miles. At least it was going to be cool and party cloudy despite Friday’s rain. I laid out my stuff and planned accordingly. Saturday I woke up to a dead (despite being plugged in) Garmin. I thought about screwing it all, but I talked some sense into myself. I know where the 5 mile mark is on the road heading out from my house so I decided to use a stop watch on my phone to know my time afterwards and leave it at that. I headed out the door and walked into a steady misting and cold rain. Sigh. Oh well, get moving.

The first 2 miles were cold and my fingers were numb. I was cranky and doubting my ability to do 10, but by mile 4 I was feeling good and I knew I’d be able to finish. My pace was slow and comfortable. I was enjoying the cool, wet fall weather, and I was thrilled that I was going to finish my first 10 miler in 6 months. That is until I ran into, or rather onto, this.

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I rolled my ankle on this black walnut. It hurt. Tears sprang to my eyes, and I knew I was in trouble. I called hubby immediately to come get me. He didn’t answer and I tested out some weight bearing. I even ran another tenth of a mile but I could feel it swelling and it sure didn’t feel good. I walked the final tenth to the 5 mile mark and called whoever I could that would tell me to not be an idiot and get off of my foot fast. My sister talked some sense into me, and I called the husband again to come get me. I was not a happy camper.

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I am bearing weight now. It’s sore, but the swelling is already gone. I just need to see how fast I can get back running on it. I see the PT tomorrow afternoon so I’ll talk to him about it. I am choosing to celebrate the work I did do this week instead of wallowing in the frustration of another stupid injury. Just 6 more weeks to Disney!

And this week, I’m tackling my totally poor eating habits that appeared on vacation and haven’t disappeared. Hmmm green veggies and lots of fresh juice coming right up!! I’ll let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wine & Dine Training Week 5 Recap

Hmmm, what training? Here’s a super quick belated recap post.

Let me be clear that this is not an excuse. My training sucked this week. My family was getting their butt kicked by life. Nothing catastrophic, thank God, but returning from vacation and back into school while being slammed by a particularly rough week was just not good. When I had to pick something to go, training was it. It was both a choice and not a choice. I wasn’t happy about it, but I had to survive the week.

Monday: PT was cancelled as PT was out of office unexpectely

Tuesday: nothing

Wednesday: I had to cancel PT to not be late to a CPR class I had to teach for my kids’ teachers.

Thursday: nothing

Friday: nothing (this was the first day that I truly had opportunity and just continued to put it off)

Saturday: 5 miles with a friend while on a Girls Weekend in the Poconos!

Sunday: 1.5 miles with another friend on Girls Weekend. (I don’t run back to back so while I considered making this 3, my body didn’t like that idea and I listened. At least I shook things out a bit).

 

I have 7 weeks of training left! Lots to do… like get back to physical therapy this week… oh yea, and run…. and make costume decisions!

What are you favorite Disney costumes? What would you dress up as for a RunDisney race? Any votes on what I should dress up as? I’m considering Snow White, Snow White’s Evil Stepmom, Cruella Deville, or maybe just good ol’ Minnie Mouse!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wine & Dine Training Week 4 Recap & Half Marathon Survival Kits

 

I am in a fog recovering from a fabulous week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I didn’t stress or focus on training, and I gained a couple of pounds. It is what it is. I’m not upset, and I am ready to get back to working hard!

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Week 4 Training Recap

Monday: run 8 miles!!!! (part of my sister’s first ever 10 mile run!), foam roll & stretching

Tuesday: foam rolling & stretching. beach. pool. need I say more?

Wednesday: hang out by pool.

Thursday: climb a lighthouse and play on the beach all. day. long.

Friday: soak up end of vacation

Saturday: drive for 12 hours and eat junk food

Sunday: nap, unpack

Yea so I didn’t do much but I did log my longest run since February which I will call a success. Here are some pictures of what I was doing instead of running.

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Back to this half marathon thing…. I wanted to share with you these half marathon survival kits that I put together for my sister and friend who are both running their first ever half marathon in November!

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They weren’t anything fancy, but just a little something to provide some encouragement on their way to this awesome goal.

Contents: a mix CD of running themed tunes, 13.1 car decal for when they cross the finish, running fuel like GU and Honey Stingers, Nuun electrolyte tabs, Biofreeze for those sore muscles, little baby Body Glides, lacrosse balls for rolling out those knotty muscles, an inspirational collage to sit on their desks at work, and a note reminding me all the reasons they want this and how I totally know they can do this!

I cannot wait to be there when both of these lovely ladies cross their first ever half marathon finish line!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wine & Dine Training Week 3 & Vacation!

I am in the Outer Banks of North Carolina right now, and I was so tempted to not post today. In the end, I’m feeling restless going to bed without recapping!

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Tonight’s sunset

This week’s training:
Monday: 5 mile ace!!! (more below)

Tuesday: Physical Therapy (110 minutes include soft tissue work, core, squats, lunges, and everything else they could think to torture me with!!! Worked haaaard)

Wednesday: 3 miles, foam rolling & stretching.

Thursday: Physical Therapy (75 minutes including soft tissue, squats, core, lunges, running drills and more). IT band and hip very tight.

Friday: Skipped spin class. Tweaked ankle at PT on Thursday.

Saturday: Travel day – lots of driving and then sitting by the pool!

Sunday: 2 rainy miles with my sister on vacation, foam rolling & stretching, a little core work. Left leg is still tiiiight!

On Monday, I ran a local Labor Day race. This was the 5k I first ran after starting running and that I ran again last year for a great PR. This year, I knew I wasn’t up to racing the 5K so I opted to run the 5 mile option as a training run. I’ve ran 5 miles one other time since February. It was in June. So it was great to get back to this distance. I hoped to run slow and easy, but I got a little wrapped up in the race atmosphere. I ran my first 2 miles hard (9:59, 10:13), and then I backed off. I got to that point in a race where it hurts, and I said to myself it’s supposed to HURT! Keep going! But then I realized, nooo, this is a training run, slow down! No hurting! So I slowed down (10:38, 11:42) and had a little kick for the end 10:19. In the end my time of 52:33 was fast for a training run and slow for a race. I am okay with that as I am just beginning to get my mileage back. My feet were sore that day and the next day, but recovered quickly. My IT band has gotten increasingly tight. Check out these bruises from the work my PT has been doing!

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Ouch!

I’m thrilled to finish a 10 mile week (which is bittersweet knowing I used to knock out 10 miles in a single run, but I’m cultivating patience)! I’m still struggling to fit in cross-training and physical therapy exercises on top of runs and PT visits. Every bit counts.

This week I’m looking forward to running part of my sister’s first 10 miler with her and getting in a few other workouts. But in the end, taking care of my body, mind and spirit along with tending to my family has to be the priority on vacation. Tomorrow we hit the beach! I’ll be bringing my resistance bands to squeeze in some PT work in between splashing, sand digging, and yes, beer drinking.

Have a great week! Talk to you after vacation!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kindergarten

Today my boy started kindergarten. How in the world did he go from this to this?

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      2010 – his first year as a ‘Sprout’, the age 3-6 class           2012 – his last year as a ‘Sprout’. Kindergarten year.

As I watch friends with kids the same age go through this transition, I have to admit I felt a little something was lacking. There isn’t a whole lot of fanfare to B starting kindergarten. He’ll continue to go to the same Montessori School he started at when he was 2, and he’ll be in the same class that he’s been in since he was 3 – it’s a 3-6 age group. Sure, he’ll go a few extra days as he moves from 3 half days to 5 half days, and he’ll have two new teachers along with one he’s had for two years. But it’s not that different. In fact, the term kindergartener isn’t even a very big deal for him. He knows he’s going into kindergarten because other people ask what grade he’s in, but at his school the term isn’t really used. The kids in his class are all Sprouts, and they avoid division in the multi-age classroom.

I started to feel a little left out with tales of kindergarten orientations and pictures of first rides on the bus. I started to wonder, was I depriving my child of something? Had I screwed something up? He wasn’t getting to go off into the new, scary, and exciting place that is kindergarten!  Of course, there’d always be first grade when he’ll make the bigger transition into the elementary classroom, but he’ll still be in the same school. He’ll be in the same school where everyone feels more like family than classmates. He’ll be in the school where, each morning, he arrives into the home-like environment (that is actually a home turned school) hangs up his coat, takes off his shoes, and puts on his slippers before having a seat on the carpet much like we do at home.

My little boy who is a sensitive soul with an anxious heart was tingling with anxiety about this first day of school. There would be new kids and new teachers, and there would be much of the same. Last night, he said he was most looking forward to meeting new friends and helping them learn how things work in his class. This morning, he wasn’t tentatively unhappy about facing the newness. He hid under his blanket on the couch wishing away the first day of school. I coaxed him out and got him dressed, but he was not thrilled.

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Happy little brother. Not so thrilled big brother.

Then the skies opened up, and the rain came down. His plans to walk to school with mommy, daddy, and Mema weren’t going to work. And he had to wear a rain jacket (which he hates because it makes a rustling noise when he moves). He looked outside and saw that his beloved sunflowers had been knocked over in the storm’s wind. The little boy who was using every ounce of his energy to deal with his nervousness was thwarted in every way. There was refusing to go to school, and whimpering in the car.

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I imagine B felt a lot like these sunflowers look.

But we got there. We got there, and he put away his backpack and put on his slippers. He was met with a beautiful mixture of new and familiar faces, and he proudly handed out the homemade chicken and rice soup we’d made for his teachers. And he was ready to join his friends playing with Legos to wait for the rest of the class to arrive. A quick wave goodbye, and I was on my way leaving a happy, only slightly tentative, boy.

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Sure, we might miss out on some quintessential kindergarten transition experiences, but I think this is the perfect place for us. This is the place where B can walk in with just the right amount of first day of school anxiety, the place where he can be excited to see new and old faces and where he can help his 3 year old brother who is joining the Sprouts class this year find his place at circle time. This is the place where with roots strongly placed back in the Seedlings classroom at age 2, he can continue to grow. Last year, his teachers mentioned his leadership skills as he helped other younger students with their work, and he is already looking forward to helping his new friends learn. This year, I expect his leadership skills will grow and be nurtured as he takes his place as the oldest in the classroom. I know he will be challenged and stretched academically and emotionally while also gaining the confidence he’ll need to make his way into the elementary classroom next year.

I think of our average, not raining buckets morning. We head out our back door through the backyard and cross the church parking lot before heading into the woods on a trail. These days both my boys scramble over the rock wall without the assistance they once needed. We emerge from the woods behind the school, passing the barn where my husband comes each weekend to feed the school’s animals and the organic garden where the sunflowers smile. Sometimes we’re greeted by the chickens wandering. Then into the school yard and on with the day.  I think of it, and I feel so enormously blessed by the gift of this community both in the school and in our neighborhood and this safe place for learning.

Just as in our parenting, we believe that by giving them unconditional (well, limited by our human limits!) love and fostering healthy attachment we are building the foundation for independence, exploration, and separation, I believe that this educational environment does the same. We can’t make everything easy or take away the hardness of new things, but I think this community gives B the balance he needs so that those hard things can be softened just enough that he can actually learn from them.

Of course, now my 1 hour and 45 minutes of freedom are up for the morning, and I’m off to do lunch duty! I can’t wait to see how the boys are doing and get to know the new members of our community this year.

Here’s to a great school year!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Week 2 Training Recap - Listening to my body

 

Week 2 of training brought with it some challenges, the biggest of which included me throwing up for an entire day. Ick. Here’s the run down.

Training

Monday – Body Pump Class (60 minutes)

Tuesday – 3 miles on the treadmill on legs still dead from Body Pump followed immediately by Physical Therapy (90 minutes including soft tissue work, running/walking/marching/etc on treadmill for more gait analysis, squats, deadlifts, and other torture), Foam Rolling & Stretching.

Wednesday – 2.5 mile walk. Body, mind, and spirit simply exhausted. Foam rolling & stretching.

Thursday – Orthopedist Appt, Physical Therapy (75 minutes including soft tissue work, dead lifts, lunges, squats, core, core, and more core!), and Massage to work on my stubborn muscles.

Friday – Sick all day. Didn’t stray from my bed and my puke bowl. Really quite awful.

Saturday – Canoeing with family in morning. Back in bed exhausted and nauseated for the rest of the day. I tried to come back a little too fast. My body was not ready for anything but my bed.

Sunday – 2 mile hike with family and friends (1 mile of which I had a 35lb toddler on my back). Foam rolling and stretching.


Ouch. What a week. I’m having a hard time balancing my workouts with physical therapy. I never known if it’s going to be an easy or hard day at PT, though it seems as I’m getting stronger I am getting back into the routine of them all being hard days. But man, for the most part physical therapy is a full hour of hard strength training with 15 minutes of extremely painful soft tissue work thrown on top. It’s both hard to do on exhausted legs, and it creates exhausted legs that don’t want to work more. The break on Wednesday/Thursday this week would have been okay had I been able to go as planned Friday-Sunday with 2 runs and a spin class. My body had other ideas.

I can’t stress. It’s early on in training. Instead, I’ll wake up in the morning to go run a 5 mile race because it will ensure I get in my  5 mile training run, and I’ll make a plan for a week. All the while I am focusing on listening to my body.

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A butterfly on my family’s hike today.

Some days I can caught up in the hows of running. I create training plans, plan races, and study the data from my Garmin. I read blogs, magazines, and books. Sometimes while I run, I even listen to podcasts about running. Some of this is helpful. I want to run faster and get stronger. I want to get and stay uninjured. I enjoy the running community and the jargon-filled chat of all things running (even if I’m still a newbie to it all!).

But perhaps, sometimes, I am missing the point. Sometimes, I forget the part of running where my body teaches me instead of me teaching my body. I’ve said that I will be listening to my body as I return to training for the Wine and Dine half marathon, but I think I need to reconsider how I do that. When I wrote that, I was thinking about paying attention to my aches and pains, communicating with the physical therapist, and trying my best to not overdo things while taking care of my body. I need to do all that, true.

At the same time, I think I need to listen to my body as I run. Listen to my body speak as it runs, let it pick it’s pace and even it’s distance. I need to listen to my body and soul as it tells me when and where I need to run, even why I need to run. It’s great to nail paces and knock out training runs, but that’s not exactly where my body’s at right now. I could force that, sure, but at worst, I could hurt myself and at a best, I’d be missing out on the gift in running right now.

The gift in running right now is that I can put aside the track workouts and ignore the time goals dreamed up before months of physical therapy. I could even *gasp* leave the Garmin at home. While my body doesn’t want to run fast and disciplined conforming to a schedule, it does want to run.

My body wants to run to feel the steady rhythm that I haven’t been able to duplicate anywhere else. My body wants to feel the sweat dripping down my back from a satisfying effort. My body wants to fall asleep at night with the delicious exhaustion that comes from a good run that day. My body (and mind) want 30-45 minutes of peace and quiet focusing on nothing else but itself. My body needs to run.

So I do have a goal up ahead, a half marathon race, and I might even throw in a 5k on vacation. But the focus of my workouts won’t be on pace or distance. It’ll be on listening to my body in a new way and soaking in the deliciousness of the run.