There’s an Option for That

There’s an Option for That

Just back from a few days in San Diego.  What a beautiful, peaceful place with absolutely perfect weather every day.  I only got in one run during my time there as my Achilles is still bothering me.  Recently, I had to switch over to intervals of run/walk to not do more damage to my tendon and hopefully keep moving forward.  It’s important to know there’s generally an option for getting your workout in and that has to be good enough for now.

Depending on the injury, or issue, there is very often an option for getting in a workout.  In the past, I would completely stop working out and feel totally sorry for myself.  I’ve learned to find the modification that I can do and just focus on that.  So, for me right now the option is walk/run intervals and I’ve resigned myself to this fact and actually quite enjoy it.  Walk/run intervals are keeping me on the road and not further damaging my tendon.

What options are out there for your injury?  It really depends on what it is and what your doctor, or PT thinks is appropriate.  I can tell you what has kept me going during my injuries and hope you connect in some way.

Lower Body Injuries – Work Your Upper Body

When I had ankle tendon repair surgery it was a long time before I could even walk.  To keep my sanity I worked my upper body.  I broke the upper body into sections and each day I did something while seated in a chair.  Chest and biceps one day, triceps and back another.  There are many videos available on YouTube, but I used Body Beast videos by Beachbody.

Can’t Run – Walk

If you can’t run at all there is always the walk option.  You get just as good of a workout with less stress on your muscles and joints.  When I am in the walk mode I tell myself a simple truth – a mile is a mile no matter how fast you move.  Shoot for 10,000 steps a day and you’ll be getting enough movement.

Returning to Running – Try Run/Walk Intervals

I’m currently using Galloway training methods coupled with heart rate training to get myself back on the road.  My Achilles has been bothering me terribly and it’s been frustrating.  Run/walk intervals allows me to get in time on my feet needed without further injuring the tendon.  When using these intervals you are not putting constant stress on the tendons.  When you are walking you are using different muscles than when you are running.  The switching back and forth allows muscles some time to rest.  I’m hoping this will keep me in the game for my race in November.

It’s hard to keep motivated when you feel down and out.  Talk to you doctor and see what you can do.  Finding something I could do has helped keep me sane when I easily could have given up.  I hope you find a way to keep moving through.  Please share below what has kept you going during injuries.

 

Mindset Matters

Mindset Matters

In the past, I primarily lived with thoughts of all the things I couldn’t do well.  Negativity permeated every inch of my inner dialogue.  I couldn’t run as fast as my friends, I couldn’t run without experiencing pain in my ankles and feet afterwards and I couldn’t lose weight as fast as others could. When asked to slow down my heart rate during runs, I whined about how slow I had to run and called it slogging (slow jogging). Listening to this week’s podcasts reminded me that my power to succeed resides in my mindset, therefore developing it must be a critical part of any training plan.

As part of this type of training, we must tap into our inner dialogue and begin to shift it.  I’ve begun shifting my thoughts and tapping in to focus instead on all the things I can do.   Filling my head with all the things that were going well has helped me remain positive about my training.   Here are some simple ideas to help change your inner dialogue and develop your mindset.

Meditation

I wish I could say I do this regularly, but I don’t.  Research does suggest that meditation has major benefits to many areas of overall wellness.  Mindspace app is one of the tools I downloaded.  I’ve used it during the night when I can’t fall back asleep, but I’ve yet to develop a regular routine.  I do, however, think of my long runs as meditation as I am in a mindfulness zone and think deeply.

Podcasts

There are tons of podcasts you can listen to for developing your mindset.  I have found many motivational speakers and love to listen to podcasts on long runs.  Sure does make the time pass by with less focus on the struggle.  My favorite podcasts right now are put out by Another Mother Runner and Running Lifestyle.  Find what speaks to you and listen to learn.

Read

One of the best books for me was recommended by my yoga teacher a few years back.  It still is the one that I reread when I need reminding of the power of mindset.

I wrote a summary of this book here Life Change

How has your mindset affected your training?  What have you done to develop and harness the power of positivity?  Please share in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Spiralize for Strength

Spiralize for Strength

Now that I’m moving back into my training cycle, it’s time to get serious about my nutrition.  Proper nutrition is just as important, if not more, than the actual training I need to do.  Fueling properly improves my chance of enjoying the runs and having the energy to complete the distance.  Without it my body will not perform at the level I need and I know full well that feeling of running with cement shoes on my feet.  I’ve been a rather bad girl this winter as I recovered from my broken toes.  It’s time to clean up my act and get back to fueling my body properly.

Being a self proclaimed veggie hater, I’m always looking for ways to sneak those needed vegetables into my day.  Last year I purchased a spiralizer and began experimenting with all different types of veggie noodles.  I tend to play it safe and use zucchini most often as it’s pretty bland and doesn’t overpower recipes.  I can’t say I won’t ever eat pasta again because my love affair with homemade pasta runs deep.  I can say it’s a great options for many recipes that allows you to have the texture of pasta without the grains.  Most veggie noodles can be eaten raw or lightly cooked making it a great choice for weeknight meals.  What a great way to sneak those vegetables into the day.

Today I read this article, which I found to be excellent. It really sums up the process of making veggie noodles, including benefits and cooking suggestions.

http://blog.paleohacks.com/gluten-free-noodles/

Give it a try!  You never know which veggie noodle you’ll like.  I’ve discovered I do like red beets, something I swore would never touch my lips.

Here’s the link to the spiralizer I originally purchased and the fancy one I just got a super deal one.  The inexpensive one works just fine and I’ve used it for over a year.  I just wanted a better one because it has more options.

 

This one is a thing of beauty and I leave it on my counter as I use it often.  Super heavy and well made.  It is expensive, but a great investment for the foodies in the group.  You’ll use it for so many salads this summer, as well as your veggie noodles.

What are your favorite veggie noodles? Share your recipe and ideas below.

Little Red Runners

These past two weeks I ran in local races in support of good causes.  These are the races I first ran three years back when I began this journey.  These races are also the first races my work team ran together.  Little Red Runners is a team comprised of teachers from my school and myself.  Three years ago we started a competition at work – Biggest Loser. As part of this competition, some of us started running as a workout.  That year, I registered for a Memorial Day 4 mile run and created a team.  I put the information on Facebook and invited anyone at work to join me.  Little Red Runners was created and we have had some exciting adventures over the past three years.  We definitely caught the running bug and have signed up for so many races together.  I’d say this team has been instrumental in keeping me out there pounding the pavement.

Today I’d like to reflect a bit on the role this team has played in my journey.  All of us have set and met goals during this time, both in weight loss and running.  All of us have stuck with the running and we’ve added a few members to the group.  All of us have completed half marathon distances and one has run a marathon.  Two of us will run the NYC Marathon this year.  We have supported each other on our individual goals and through injury and down times.  While all of this is impressive, this team has also had impact on our personal lives.

When you run and preserve through the challenges, you can become an inspiration to others.  You just never know the impact you can have on someone through sharing your journey.  That has been the point of this blog, in addition to keeping myself on the path.  I’ve seen this impact first hand through my work running team.  One member, Patty Peppermints as she is lovingly called, has inspired so many with her journey.  She not only lost weight, but she inspired her family to join her on this running journey.  Her two daughters now run and they’ve joined their mother on many running adventures, including the marathon distance.  It has been a joy and pleasure to run with these ladies as part of our Little Red Runners team. These past two weekends reminded me of just how far we all have come.

The last two weekends the team has completed two local races, yesterday’s was in support of a fallen 9/11 firefighter.  There’s just something about doing these local races.  It’s so nice to not have to travel early in the morning and worry about traffic or parking.  It’s also nice to see the same familiar faces out at the race.  The local after race parties are also fun and family oriented. But what’s best of all is meeting up with the Little Red Runners for a run and some laughs.  These ladies have helped motivate me and kept me on my running journey.  Watching the impact running has had on our lives is a true testament to finding a running tribe.

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What’s your journey?  Please share below what has inspired you.

Try Something New

Try Something New

When you find yourself in a rut and can’t seem to snap out of it, try something new.  Step outside your comfort zone and you may be surprised by how it rekindles your workout motivation.  That’s been my mission these past two weeks and I slowly feel myself getting excited again.  This week alone, I tried two new things Galloway running and Orangetheory.  Both were enjoyable and both proved to spark my motivation levels.

Galloway running is based on the premise that continuous use of specific muscles and tendons can lead to exhaustion and injury.  The Galloway run-walk-run method builds recovery into your runs. You should be able to continue a training regimen for a whole season leading up to your goal race without injury and wouldn’t that be a nice change!  I actually joined this running club last year, but never attended a session.  My mindset was one that if I am running, I need to run.  I rarely took any walk breaks over my distances.  During one very hilly 10K distance race last year, I allowed myself to walk up the steep hills and run the downhill and flat sections of the course.  Imagine my shock when I had the fasted 10K time ever that day.  I did think there might be something to this walk/run idea but still didn’t embrace it.

This week, I decided to go out and try it.  A local club member agreed to meet me out at the park and take me through the paces.  It was an enjoyable three mile run for me and I felt refreshed and ready for the full day ahead of me.  We conversed the whole run and I wasn’t worrying about when it would be over, or even about my next breath.  It didn’t matter to me if the run signal came midway up a hill.  I thought I’d hate the stop and start nature of the run, but it felt fluid and natural.  I will most definitely do this type of run again, hopefully next week.

Last night I decided to take a free class at a new local box gym – Orangetheory.  The sales girl has been calling me for over a year, but I’ve never gone.  Since many of my friends have been going and talking about it, I decided to take the plunge and add it to my, Try Something New list.  The group class is conducted wearing a heart rate monitor and your results are projected on a screen for all to see.  I guess they think that’s motivational to the competitive ones in the group.  Me, I couldn’t even see the screen without my glasses so not so much.  My friend was next to me during the 30 minute treadmill segment and she was looking at it and updated me a few times.  The workout is high intensity interval training, keeping yourself in the right heart rate zone throughout the sessions.  It is a 60 minute group class split into cardio and strength training.  I started the class on the treadmill doing what was comparable to the walk/run workout I did in the park.  I alternated between slow jog, push pace and all out running for 30 minutes under the direction of the instructor.  I then moved to a rowing machine segment and strength training.  We rowed for a bit, then did some TRX work, push ups, squats, planks, then back to rowing.  It was a fun, fast paced work out.  For me, I don’t need the competition aspect, seriously who cares what anyone else is doing.  I did like the equipment, music and change of pace though.  I did commit to doing one of these classes per week.  I would have done two, but the price to me is over the top.  Once per week will have to do and I will count this workout as one of my weekly runs.

Overall, doing new things does add spark to your life.  I felt better this week than I have in a long while.  I think it’s the combination of trying new things and being around people.  I am looking forward to this week’s workouts and will continue my climb back from the long winter of broken toes.   What have you done this week to step outside your daily rut?  How has it helped rekindle your motivation?  Be sure to leave your comments below.  I look forward to reading them.