Friday, March 30, 2012

March New 2U Cross Training Challenge

Geez, these monthly cross training challenges are certainly helping me realize how quickly time is going by! It seems like just yesterday that I was looking around for the XBox Zumba Fitness.

For March I let my IT Band select my cross training challenge...... Yoga! *crickets* Yoga isn't entirely new to me. I signed up for a 12 week session of Ashtanga Yoga with my sissy about 10 years ago.  I think we lasted maybe 4 weeks before we started heading to the pub for a drink instead of the community centre for our class. I am so inflexible it isn't funny. I'm kind of that way with life too so it only seems natural that I can't touch my toes. But with that being said, I REALLY need to stretch right now (along with using that horrendous foam roller) and so I selected yoga out of necessity and not some crazy urge to become a human pretzel. Although I'm sure that my hubby would like that. :oP Luckily it only took me a quick You Tube search to find a yoga for runners video. This one is by (they do have many more free videos on their website also)and is 25 minutes long and thankfully it isn't too bad as far as crazy poses go. It's easy to follow and has only had me pulling one muscle! I think that it probably would have been easier to follow if it was a real time person rather than just a photo, but I figured it out. The voice over and music are calming, and at the end you don't have the creepy yoga instructor or his patchouli wearing wife coming around to give you "massages" to enhance the relaxation.....Mind you they never crawled under me while in Downward Dog like Mr Gordie (my dog not crazy cardigan wearing neighbour) does either......While I still hate yoga I think that it's something that I need to incorporate into my life so Yoga For Runners is now my twice weekly go to.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

21 kilometers!

My run yesterday

I did it! Ever since that day in January when I had the crazy idea that I could run a half marathon, I've been working towards this day. The day where I could run 21 kilometers, 13 miles! I've honestly never been so tired in all of my life, but I did it! There's no turning back now! All I can do is hope that these 21km runs get better. I'll admit those last 2.5-3km killed me yesterday, to the point of having me bursting into tears when it was over. Thank goodness for sunglasses! LOL My calves were cramping up and my knees were starting to hurt, it was a real mental game to get it done. I was also a sticky mess from having my 'Carb Boom' drip all down my hands at 8kms in. That really bothered me the entire rest of the run! Loser. I also don't think that it helped that I skipped my tempo run this week for a hair appointment (my time is VERY limited, something always has to give for me to fit something else in) and then running 8 straight kms into a fairly strong headwind, so I'm hoping for next week to go a bit better. At least tear free. I'd hate to embarrass myself by crying in front of  Patty S from Daily Mile who I am excited to get to run with next Saturday while her usual partner is out of town. ! A new running friend will be awesome now that Tess is taking a break. So that's it. I now know that I can do it, and seriously it can only go up from here! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hello Mrs IT Band. Meet Mr Foam Roller

This was me. With a shirt on though. And pants.

Last Saturday I went out for my long run with my friend Tess. I had 18K on the schedule (my longest yet!), and Tess had 20K planned (before I got there she ran two so that we could finish together). She's winding down for the Around the Bay next weekend. Go Tess! Things were going great. The weather was decent, conversation was fun and I felt good and strong. Halfway through the run my calf was starting to cramp, but nothing that I couldn't get through. We took this time to have some fuel

*******NEWSFLASH! It turns out that Gu isn't so bad, I just had the misfortune of having a nasty flavour for my first experience! Mental note to self. No more orange flavoured Gu!********

and water and then we set back in. A little while later I mentioned that my right glute was feeling kind of tight. Again, nothing that I couldn't manage. We carried on and just as we were passing the 13K mark we had to stop for traffic. The light turned green and off we went. One step, two step.........OMG STOP! The pain along the side of my right knee was crazy! I hobbled across the street and tried to stretch things out but it wouldn't go away. Finally I got the pain under control and we got going again. We decided to loop around Tess' neighbourhood just in case I couldn't go on. Once more we had to stop for traffic and once more things seized up as I tried to get going again. I stretched it out and told Tess that I really wanted to finish but we couldn't stop for traffic anymore. We carried on and finally Tess' Garmin beeped the end of our run. I said goodbye and then I got in my car and went home. (Did I mention that I had a wedding to go to that night? Heels. Wicked!) I came home and put some heat on my leg and butt and then found some stretches to do on the internet. Thankfully my leg was feeling fine now as long as I wasn't maneuvering stairs. Too bad there were a lot of stairs at the wedding facility. This wouldn't have been so bad had I not been the driver therefore unable to dull the pain with a little alcohol. On second thought, maybe it would have. Sore leg, heels, alcohol. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

 I had a run scheduled for Monday but decided that I should let my leg rest a bit so I didn't go back out until Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday. Every run the IT band made it's presence known, but nowhere near the degree of Saturday. Thank God! Today I remembered that I had a Wag Jag coupon for $50 at the Runners Den in Hamilton so I took off from work early (shhhhh don't tell my boss) and headed out there to see what I could buy to help this out. I was looking for a foam roller and maybe IT band compression. Foam roller - check! IT wrap - fail! Boo. As the sales lady was helping me out a sweaty man out for a run stopped in to use the bathroom. He overheard us speaking and stopped to give me his 2¢ ........"It's gonna hurt like hell the first few times you use the foam roller but then it'll be great!"..... Sounds..... Awesome. The sales lady shooed him away and rang me up. I also got a pair of gloves with the remainder of my coupon in case you were wondering (how could you not be!?).
Sugoi Thermal Gloves
I've been wearing fleecy mittens that I bought at the dollar store all winter. They are WAY to warm and need to go. Of course I probably won't get to wear them until next year, but at least I have them now. That is if I can remember where I put them come the fall. Any way, I brought my roller home, ripped off the plastic, read the instructions and jumped on this thing. What. The. Heck?! This hurts! And the roller is hard as a rock. This can't be right can it? Oh yeah. Sweaty runner did tell me that it would hurt didn't he? Ok, good thing I have a fairly high pain tolerance I guess. I rolled for about 10 mins (SR told me not to overdo it) and did some stretching,
Ain't that the truth!
Now to wait and see how things feel tomorrow. I'll stretch and roll again before bed and get a good nights sleep (I hope) and hopefully the 19K that I have scheduled for the morning will go alright. I'm going to try to stay close to home so that I can walk back if need be. No Tess this week, life dictates that she run at 7:30am. No thank you. Wish me luck!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

February Blahs Recap

It hasn't happened to me in years, but this year the Winter Blues hit me HARD! The inability to get up in the morning, no motivation to do anything, feeling generally crappy, you name the symptom I seemed to have it. Obviously it has affected my running & exercise as well as my family life. My house is a mess, we hardly did anything other than hockey tournaments for family time and I missed more runs then I'd care to admit. Thankfully I'm starting to come around, and will hopefully be back to my old self in a few weeks. This week I was able to get up for an early run not once but twice! I've also joined the new Women's Fitness Centre that is opening up in June. Snap is good, but it has no classes therefore no motivation for me to go. Boo Snap. Why can't you have classes? You would have been perfect.......

It took me 29 days but I got my New To You Cross Training Challenge completed. This month I had planned on doing the Xbox Zumba Fitness but I couldn't find it to rent anywhere. If I'm spending $50 on fitness it's gonna be on a cute new pair of Lulu shorts, not a video game that my kids will make fun of me for! On February 28 I stumbled upon a huge list of interval workouts on Tina Reale's site. I selected the 'I Want it All' interval workout and worked my ass off for 20 minutes!
jumping jacks30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
burpees30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
push-ups30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
180 Squat Jumps30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
Jump Lunges30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
triceps dips30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
Leapfrogs30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
Side Shuffle30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
Bear Crawl30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
Up/Down Plank30 seconds40 secondsas long as you can last…at least 30 sec!
REST2 minutes3 minutesDONE!!!!
Thankfully she had links to instruction on how to do some of these so once I figured them all out I set my HIIT timer app on my phone and got down to business! For some reason my dog went ape sh*t whenever I did the side shuffle's so it made things a little interesting. I'm totally doing this again! I worked hard, built up a sweat and actually felt it the next day! Right on Tina!

I've always used Sport Beans as energy for my long runs. They were recommended to me by my friend Sarah as what she uses, ages ago. Recently I went on a long run with my friend Tess - my first time running with a friend EVER. (I have very few real life running friends boo hoo.) Tess uses Gu Gel and suggested buying my fuel at Mountain Equipment Co-op. So off I went to MEC to see what they had. Well! They had way more selection than the Running Room so I  bought a lot of different items to see which I would like the best. After the girl sold me my $5 membership of course. "What do I get for my $5?" I asked. "You get to shop here" was her reply. Ok! Sign me up!
So last Friday I took a GU Gel out with me for my long run. I was so excited!! I ripped it open and squeezed a big blob into my mouth and abruptly spit it out about 10 seconds later after gagging. WTF?! Fanch Nancy said this stuff tasted like frosting so that's what I expected. What a shock this was. After realizing I was going to need to squeeze little bits into my mouth and wash it down with my drink things went a little better. I'll give it another go, but may just be going back to the Sport Beans. Free gels anyone?


Total distance ran: 112km/127km
Times ran 15/17
Spin 0/4
New Races Signed up for: 1 Toronto Women's Half. I saw that it was almost sold out so I jumped just so that I could have that damned necklace!
Extra Money Saved $0 - batting 1000 here.
Times at Church 0/4 - eek
Given up for Lent: Chocolate. Oh how I miss my chocolate. It does help me thank Jesus daily though, which is the reason that I give it up.
Hockey Tournaments attended 3/3 won 1/3
Stolen pictures from the photographers website 1/1