Let’s Talk About Running

Running.

Have I ever mentioned I love running ?

I shared in a post here on my blog a week or so back that I was sidelined from running with an injury. If you’re on my Facebook page you might have seen my current update.

For those of you in blog world I’m gonna let you know where I’m at and what my current status is…. and if you run I know you’ll totally understand 😛

I had seen a podiatrist but wasn’t really happy with the visit on a lot of levels. He told me I had Achilles Tendonitis, terrified me with the outcome if I ran and didn’t heal properly, recommended I buy his pricey shoe inserts, and to take some Advil. He didn’t want a follow up with me.. that is… unless I wanted to be fitted for his inserts.

ok…..

I wanted a game plan. I wanted someone to understand my running goals and help me get healed and back on track again. Someone who understood me not only as a patient, but as an athlete too.

If there’s one thing that hit home to me in the last year as I trained really intensely is this…

I am an athlete.

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How cool is this shirt ??

When someone first referred to me like that my first thought was … “Me?”

I’ve since realized, it’s not just a title for the elite, it’s anyone who pours themselves with passion into a sport they love. It really is a lifestyle, I believe, a way of living, a mentality towards what you do.

So of all things, there was a sports med doctor two doors down from the podiatrist. I went home and set up an appt with him for a second opinion and hopefully, a game plan.

I saw him last week and I’ll say this. I’m excited.

One of the first things he asked me was what my running goals were for the rest of the year? And what other sports did I do ? ( I’m enjoying cycling more and more) I told him I had been cycling as cross training and also had a duathlon on my goal list.

Since he’s a triathlete I knew he’d totally get it.

Can I say it’s awesome having a doctor who understands your medical needs but also understands your athletic goals?

I felt almost giddy.

He assessed me, poked around on my legs and feet and then sent me down the hall for x-rays to rule out any stress fractures.

All was clear on that… however it did reveal I had insertional Achilles tendonitis… in both feet.

Ok at least now, I knew exactly what we were dealing with.

He laid out a med plan as well as other things like icing my heels ( hello bagged peas!)  rolling ( I bought a rolling pin to specifically roll out my calves and tendons) no running of course, but I can continue cycling and strength training. Thank goodness, cycling at least gives me the fast, forward motion that I’m not getting from running right now.

He did caution and remind me that this injury didn’t happen overnight and it would take time to heal.

I’m ok with that… I can be patient with the goal of getting out on the road again. He reminded me I might need to reset my goals…maybe run a half marathon in December instead of a full… to be open to adjusting my training and goals.

I understand about resetting goals. If that’s what I have to do, that’s what I have to do.

I miss running. I miss how it clears my head and helps me sort out … life.  Running has been probably the single most important thing in my life that has challenged me to go beyond anything I thought I was capable of doing.

Running… makes me feel strong, powerful, alive, invincible, empowered….confident.

And yeah, I get amused when someone teases me about running somewhere to get something, and know that I could do it 😉

Life’s journey is full of up’s and down’s.

I’m trying to be patient, learn, wait and look forward to the final result…. the day I lace up and hit the road again… which won’t come soon enough.

Tell me… are you working through any struggles right now? Is there anything in your life that’s teaching you to be patient, wait, and learn ?

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Product Review And Fun Stuff I Love

So I got a bit crazed inspired and thought maybe I’d do a little post on some cool stuff I love, but also make it a  product review of sorts too ( you are welcome,companies about to be recognized here, for your free advertisement 😉

I always like to read personal input on products, especially if I’ve never tried it….. like someone else took the fall for me haha

Alrighty, without further ado….

One of my most fav afternoon snacks.

I love Greek yogurt and I personally think Chobani is the best. I’m kinda snobby and don’t really like the “store” brands as I find them to be chalky and not as creamy and smooth. Not only that, the high protein the yogurt packs really does a good job satisfying an afternoon craving and keeping me feeling “level”. I am hooked on the coconut kind as I don’t really like the gooey “fruit” at the bottom of others…nor the higher sugar content they contain.

But then I found…. ahhhh… toasted coconut almonds ???  Yes, toss a few in your yogurt and it’s sweet and crunchy and offers lots of good health benefits.

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Yummy snack

As long as we’re on food…. my next is something I like in my lunch salads. I find mixing up sweet, crunchy, and veggies makes for an interesting salad meaning I think very little dressing is required (which is a good thing) I love Craisins and the 50% less sugar is a big bonus. I  also enjoy using them in oatmeal when I have it for breakfast.

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Small, yet fun 😉

And then you know…. I gotta share some running stuff, right ? 😉

I’ll start with my fav running shorts. I’ve definitely experimented with several kinds in the few years I’ve been running and these are without, hands down, awesome. Now I get everyone has what they feel most comfortable in… the baggy, windbreaker type shorts were to much fabric, to bulky and bothered me. I love skirts, but definitely not for running. Then one day I stumbled across these….

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Best running shorts…ever.

I love how sleek and perfect they fit and the fact they don’t bother me when I’m running. Nike, is pricey but I try and hunt them down on sale or troll E-Bay 😉

Another part of my running gear that’s so important….shoes. As I wrote in a previous post on running shoes, you’ll know I’m pretty committed to Asics. Specifically, Asics GT 2000 3, which are featured here. Understand there was a “2” also, 3 is this years model… they just fit so crazy good.

I realized in one shoe buying moment, that I REALLY loved this style… and I will stay with them… the colors don’t hurt either 😉

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Asics GT 2000 3

Ok so after all that running, I’m ready to get clean and girly again. With all I put my body through, I need a lotion to replenish moisture that also keeps my skin smooth and soft.

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Bath and Body Works Ultra Shea Butter is amazing. I like the Sweet Pea fragrance ’cause it’s light and not over powering and it’s perfect for warmer months. The benefits of soft silky skin makes it a product I always keep on hand.

Tell me… what products do you use and love that you can’t do without ? Have you ever tried something after a recommendation ?

I’m An Ultra Girl!

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My one token picture taken after I finished my run =) I’m still standing…..
Hey boys and girls…
Have ya missed me ? I’ve had a busy weekend…. and as you know… my Saturday was kinda hogged by my 50K run. Half the day running, the rest of it, dragging my carcass home, getting cleaned up ( I never thought the act of showering and washing my hair was an athletic event, but it felt like it)  and allowing my body some much need rest time. Oh yeah, and a lil food to replace the 4,037 calories my Nike+ watch told me I burned off.
You gotta drop 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat…. so… that’s interesting….did I accomplish that too ? Multi-tasking in a new way 😉
I was….so….very…. tired.

Wow… it’s not …usual…. for me to run a half marathon, a full, and an ultra distance all in one morning 😉

Holy mackerel Batman…… I’m now an Ultra Girl!

(So you know, if you don’t, anything over the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles is considered “ultra”) a 50K is 31.7 miles although by the time I got to my “finish” I was close to 32.

Yes, the weather was amazing, but that wind was a blessing and curse. I seemed to always be running into it, which dries out my head in the worst way, not to mention, it’s so hard to run into the wind! I am now however, sporting a really good start on my tan 🙂

The best way (for me) to tackle this distance, or any really long run, is not to focus on the miles in front of me, just take them one at a time, otherwise, I might run kicking and screaming the other way……..

All was well and good, miles were going by, overall feeling good. I had left the parking lot at Starbucks ( my turn around point to start going….back… the way I had just run) and a mile down was the big hill I had just run down.

My legs were begging for mercy. I was almost at full marathon distance at this point. By the time I crawled to the top my “support team” came zipping up.

I will be honest…. I wanted to get in. I begged hubby to tell me to keep going. I was hot. My quads were threatening to leave my body after the hill not to mention almost 26 miles on them.

I cried a little on the side of the car. 

 Those voices were talking. Those horrible, damn voices.
I know them. They’ve showed up when I’ve run both marathons about mile 21-23. Those voices talk to you and try and convince you that you can’t do it, maybe you should quit, give up, take the easy way out. You must use every bit of mental muscle to stomp them down….sometimes you have to stomp hard.

I had already given myself the pep talk that I was counting down single digits to finish. I wasn’t gonna quit. I don’t quit.

Besides… he locked the doors on me 😉

The other crazy thing? In both marathons, and today, I started craving a Coke in the….worst… kind of way. Crazy ’cause I never was a big soda drinker, and haven’t even had one in… I don’t know how long. That simple sugar your body runs on… when you’re in the midst of long distance running… you aren’t focused on being all healthy… you just need energy. During the marathon I have to let the feeling pass and when I’m done I don’t want it anymore. Today though… I sent my support team off to get one….

talk about a shot in the arm … it was…helpful 😉

Anyway, I was having to double back on my run route to get all my miles in and decided to run a side road which was a mile back and forth and off the main busy road. I knew I had a little over a mile back once I got on main road again.

I won’t lie… those last miles were brutal…. hard and brutal. Seriously, I was praying for strength to finish what I started. Those legs….. were seriously protesting further movement… I know I took them to a whole new level of exertion…

Oh, and this side road I was on, in the beginning, hills, and then running back down… the quads were crying…legs were starting to feel fully trashed.

Finally… my watch hit 30 miles… which seemed surreal ’cause I’ve never seen that before… I would’ve done a happy dance if I could’ve moved my legs better…. it was finally time to head to my finish line..my mind was pushing my body at this point….

Although, it wasn’t the “race” I had originally planned out and there weren’t the crowds, and spectators with signs, or a time chip on me, my body didn’t know that… it still ran/crawled haha almost 32 miles…

My 50K in the books. A huge personal goal for this year. My official virtual race form has been submitted to the race committee and in a few weeks I’ll get my ultra medal and t shirt =)

Will I do another next year ? I’m not sure. It’s hard to not always want to take things to the next level, know you could do it a little better.

The challenge of running…..

I will tell you… I got home…and crawled onto my bed in the fetal position, not sure if I had the energy to get in the shower.

I’ve never….been so tired….ever.

My son came in and offered to carry me to the shower… nice try kid… I’m a package to pack… 😉  I assured him I could crawl in on my own when he grabbed me and said…

“Why are you so white and gritty feeling??”

Salt. Dried salt all over me. Crazy. A human salt block.

So I’ve had some rest time, been good friends with my foam roller, made dinner ( actually movement really is good for recovery, you have to push back against the desire to do…absolutely…..  nothing  the rest of day :-P) and managed to get cleaned up without calling 911 to rescue me haha

I slept well…. can you imagine ? I think you could’ve moved the house from under me….

And now… I’m plotting and planning what’s next….but first… the body definitely gets a little down time to recover…. the hardest part for me. I read an article suggesting you take one day off for each mile of your race you ran.

Yikes… I don’t know about that….
Overall, a pretty productive running month with two half marathons and now this 50K under me. I know some down time is essential, but mentally, I will admit to struggling with it.
What about you? Do you like having time off ?  When you do a big run, is the recovery time easy ? or frustrating for you? What are some things you do to help the process along ?  Share with me.