Friday, February 12, 2016

Family Day Weekend

In the middle of November I reconnected with an old fitness friend of mine who has since become a personal trainer and she has a wonderful group of people that I am fortunate that they have accepted me into their clan. On one rainy day, I went out with my friend for a short run. I think I may have run 3km that day, and it took about 45 minutes between walking/running and stretching. But she encouraged me to try out some of her classes and join in on some runs with her group.

This group is amazing! We do fun activities all the time. Some nights we'll try new activities like volleyball, racquetball, maybe snowshoeing or whatever. Lots of fun runs are incorporated, sometimes with our own medals and often a theme (rum, cupcakes, winery, BBQ...). They're all absolutely crazy on some level and it's an excellent adventure.

It took a good month or more before I really got hooked into it again, but now I'm back into it deep. I have so many upcoming races and events that I've started a calendar to keep track. It feels fantastic.

So..... onto the weekend!

Saturday was run club. I love Saturday runs. Other than the 8am start. I'm not much of a morning person. Typically I arrive with a grump face but by the end I'm all smiles again. Saturdays we typically run an out and back trail. 45 minutes out, 45 minutes back. Turn around if you're not feeling it. Go at your own pace. I like this because I don't feel pressure to keep up with anyone, or like I'm holding them back. Often I enjoy running on my own. I like meeting people to start, and seeing them at the end, but at this stage I'm happy in my "zone" all alone.

Who wouldn't feel inspired with views like this on a fresh morning


Distance:   5.16 miles / 8.25 km
Time:         1:03:59
Pace:          12:23 min/mi

This include two longer stops for stretching at 1 and 3 miles, and a bathroom break lol

Sunday is No Sweat day. I actually love this class. It should probably be renamed "No Cardio" class because there is certainly sweating going on. It's a series of moves such as various squats, lunges, bicep curls, calf raises, push-ups, tricep dips... one move after another for an hour. The routine changes every couple of months. When I started this class I could barely do 3 push-ups from my knees. Sunday I did 10, from my toes, followed by another 10 solid ones from my knees.


I'm baaaaaaack

Back to the blogging world!

Brief (or not so brief) intro about me....

I used to be a blogger. I enjoyed blogging. It connected me with some wonderful people, kept me motivated, and essentially I just enjoyed documenting my adventures. It's been almost 4 years though.

Life threw me some curves that took me away from fitness and I travelled down a dark road for a while that found me coming home from work and crashing on the couch with a bottle or more of wine, more nights that I probably care to admit. The start would have been some running injuries (that I'm still fighting with), a weight gain of over 50 lbs, and most notably losing my mom to cancer in 2014.

Summer 2014, trying to appear smaller. Not successful lol

Before all that hit I was a fairly avid runner. I've run a few 5Ks, numerous 10Ks, one half marathon and then while training for a marathon and getting to a training run of 22 miles I developed plantar fasciitis. And therein is the beginning of my demise. To date I have not successfully beat this creature. Gaining weight and getting older surely hasn't helped.

I have been to a multitude of chiropractors. The only one that ever gave me relief, practices NUCCA which is essentially the aligning of the upper vertebrae in your neck which allows the rest of your body to align properly. When I haven't been for a while, my one leg is over half an inch longer than the other, and my hip is lifted and shoulder dropped. You can imagine how this must impact your body when running, right? I also have a beautiful pair of $500 orthotics (you have no idea how old that makes me feel to admit that....). I wear the best shoes I can find and have been regularly assessed to find the best fit. And I also have a pair of compression socks that I've yet to decide if they actually help.  I'm currently suffering from tight calves and severe shin pain in both legs, and hip flexor and lower back/hip pain on one side. If I was a horse I'd be shot!

Sadly a fairly common day at work, icing my shins

But somehow I'm still determined that I will manage to get through this problem. I've dropped about 15 lbs from my highest weight. Currently losing inches. Working on strength and stretching, and trying to gradually build up with running.

Although I've had a multitude of "returns to fitness" over the last few years, this most recent attempt seems to be the most successful. I've gone from sitting on my butt essentially all day every day, to exercising a minimum of 5 days a week. I feel now is the time I can truly start calling this a comeback, rather than just another "day 1".

Herein begins my return to blogging which I anticipate will be a little more entertaining :D

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Change of focus

I doubt anyone reads this anymore, but mehhhh I'm avoiding work for a moment.

Essentially I have given upon running.  I can't seem to find a resolution to the plantar fasciitis problem, other than no running and even limited walking/hiking.  I'm beyond frustrated with it and really just don't have any interest in resolving it - aka I don't care.  Maybe one day I will, but today is not that day and tomorrow doesn't look much different either.

However, I have found another focus.  Through an unexpected turn of events, I have jumped right back into an old passion with both feet and perhaps a few other body parts.

I bought a horse!

In my last post I mentioned that we were looking into leasing a horse, which we did do.  A couple weeks after we began the lease, the horses owner had a change of situation and had to sell quickly.  We were devastated because this horse was a perfect match for both me and my daughter who was a complete beginner rider.  Also, the horse has a history of being tossed around a lot and hadn't really been cared for well in probably a long time.  Super sad because she is a total sweetheart.

I wasn't AT ALL prepared to begin horse ownership again, which is why I was getting back into this in a leasing situation so I could take baby steps.  The plan was to lease for a good 6 months, do some saving, get things set up at home again, and then look for a horse to buy.  However, knowing this horse was such a great match and that she really needed a forever home and someone who would take really good care of her ... I managed to pull a few strings and make it happen.

Introducing .... Stella!

She's currently staying at my friend's barn while I get things sorted out at my place, but she will be coming home very soon.  These things tend to snowball so let's all assume that Stella will have a buddy before too terribly long ;).

Even though I have owned and ridden horses for most of my life, my daughter didn't become interested in them until AFTER I had to sell my horses when we went through financial difficulties (figures right - haha).  She is loving riding!  This horse completely takes care of her and is totally safe, yet she isn't a boring plug that just plunks along.  She's continually teaching her things, which is the way I'd prefer it.  She will learn to ride, but won't get hurt.  Right now we are sharing her, but hopefully at some point in the next year I can have a horse of my own too.

So yeah ... don't know how much attention this blog will get from now.  But I thought I'd update on the direction I have gone.  I haven't dropped off the face of the planet ;(

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Busy Week

Well that was a bit of a busy week.  Quick summary:

Tue - 3K clinic run - very painful.  Had to walk as it felt like something was going to snap along my shins.

Wed - Went to chiro/massage.  I am STUPID tight, and Dr doesn't really know why.  He did say it could be stress related, which makes sense.  He did some active release therapy (ART), but said I need to stretch, stretch, stretch and then stretch some more.  He recommended taking a rolling pin to all of my leg muscles as often as I can.  He thinks a foam roller wouldn't be firm enough for me.  I am a freak! :)  Went to the group run and did about a 5K tempo runs (3 min hard, 2 min recovery, 2 min hard, 2 min recovery, 1 min hard, 2 min recovery, repeat).  Had some pain, but it was better than Tuesday.

Fri - Just an easy 2K walk with my dog who is recovering from an emergency spay surgery due to an infection.  She sure was eager to go though.

Sat - Crazy day!  Dragged a friend of mine out for a hike.  It was supposed to be a relatively easy 5K with one steep section.  It was actually a little too easy, although enjoyable.  HOWEVER, we ended up taking a wrong turn and as we had a tight time itinerary that we were already running late on, we ended up having to run an additional 3K of hilly terrain ... and were still late.  A couple hours later we went out and tried out a horse that I'm now leasing (YAY!).  Can't wait to be back in the saddle again.  After that we spent the night decorating a cake for my friends 4 yr old nephew.  It was a long day, but a lot of fun.

Sun - Went out for an easy 8.5K run with some friends.  Still having tightness issues and had to stop at about 5K and do a 10 minute stretch out.  I'm not getting soreness after runs, but rather my legs just keep getting tighter as I run.  I don't doubt that they were tight from the previous days activities, but I'm sure hoping for continued improvement.  I think the key is as soon as things start to get uncomfortable I need to stop and stretch it out.  It seems once I get a good stretch in, I'm good to go.

Tonight is supposed to be a clinic run, but there is no speaker so I think I'll skip it and run on my own, and get a few errands done.  I'd rather hit up the training run with the group tomorrow night instead.  It cost me $5-10 on fuel each time I have to drive to town, so I try to limit that as much as possible.

Sorry for the boring post.  Hopefully for my next one I can have some pics of the new horse!!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Plugging Away

Well, after 3 weeks I think I have decided that the clinic thing is probably not for me.  It's OK, but I doubt I'll do it again.  The one thing, and main thing, is signing up for this clinic has got me running again.  Since that was the #1 goal then I'd say it is achieving it's purpose.

The actual clinic nights literally put me to sleep.  Which makes me feel bad because these people have taken the time to come out and educate us, but so far it's been things I already know and I'd rather not waste my time sitting there trying to keep my eyes open.

And ... I'm struggling.  My feet/leg issues are rearing up again (GRRRR!).  So the runs have been difficult.  Last night we only ran like 3 or 4km and I had to walk for at least 1km of it because my shins tightened up so much I actually was afraid something was going to tear.  I have an appointment after work to get stretched out, adjusted.  I guess it has been a while.  I think my last session was early June.  I may have to just go in monthly, or every 6 weeks.  Sucks cuz it drains my benefit package.

The one thing I do love about these clinics is the instructor is amazing.  Just a super nice guy.  And he always makes sure that everyone gets back OK.  I end up spending quite a bit of time with him because other than the first day, I've been the last one in and he keeps circling back to me.  Makes me feel guilty because I'm quite capable of being out there on my own, but I do understand because if I were him I'd probably do the same thing.  I just hope I can get my legs working well again so I can start doing some decent runs.  I'm not even benefiting enough aerobically because I can't get my heart rate up high enough with the leg pain.

My husband thinks I'm wasting my time going to physio and I should probably switch sports.  While I agree that running probably does speed up the time it takes to get tight again, I think reality is that no matter what I do it's going to keep happening.  It might not happen as quickly, but it will happen.  It even got progressively worse when I was doing NOTHING.  He thinks I should focus more on hiking and/or biking.  But I can't/shouldn't hike by myself and rarely have anyone to go with, not to mention that most decent hikes are 45-60 minutes drive away.  With fuel prices and time commitments, I can't do that consistently.  And while I like biking, I don't want to do it that frequently and I wouldn't do it when it starts getting dark out earlier or when it's raining.  Running I can still do during those times, and I WANT to run.  I know how good I feel when I'm running well, and I want that feeling again.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Lonely Run and A Gift

This weekend was the first "long" run of the half marathon group.  It's an optional run that they encourage you to do, and non-members can also tag along for free.   They have one mid-week as well, but since we were only running 3K that time I decided to run at home on my own rather than driving 45 minutes return for such a short run.  I've gone to these drop-in runs before with friends before, but never on my own.

Let's say it was .... interesting!

I had no problem finding my group this time, and the leader came up to me right away with the "instructions" for our route ... should we get lost.  He seems to be a very nice man and so far I'm happy to have him as a leader.

We started out as a fair sized group (20??), crossed the street and WHAM!!!  The leader of the group was looking down for a second and whacked his head on a Pizza Hut sign.  See, fast food IS bad for you!  He took off his hat and there was quite the gush of blood.  He is training for a full and had run to meet us, so someone offered to drive him to the hospital where he ended up with 4 stitches on the top of his head.

So, we were on our own, which was fine really since we had the route anyway.  But, in the whole mix-up of things, the group got really split up.  Within minutes I found myself running completely alone.  There was people way up in front of me and a few way behind me.  And with every traffic light the distance seemed to get farther and farther in both directions.  I ended up running the whole 7K completely on my own.

I don't mind running on my own at all, but if I'd known I was going to be alone anyway I would have gone to one of my more preferred running spots.  Running through the city on my own is NOT my idea of fun AT ALL!  I'm hoping it was just due to what happened, but will give it a few more weeks and hopefully it's better.

The run was super hot, and the first half was a lot of uphill.  We were supposed to be doing 10 and 1's, but on the second half I was a bit out of steam and did more like 5 and 1's.  I forgot my Garmin (the sin of all sins among runners) so had to just guess since I had no one around to follow.

After the run the strangest thing happened.  I got back to the store and was just stretching out, a little chit chat with a few other runners.  There was probably about 30 of us there.  I looked up and saw this older man walk across towards me.  He walks right up and says:

The moments that challenge us the most, 
are the moments that define us 
and make us stronger than we ever thought we could be ... 
I got a feeling you needed to hear that.

Cue "chin drop" and "chills".  It was the weirdest thing ever, but actually comforting.  Some people really have a gift.  He said he was going through some things himself and that quote helps him.  How he thought I needed to hear that I don't know.  Eerie!

I know it's only been a few runs, but I feel like I'm not fighting it so much as I was in the past.  I'm enjoying my days off, and kind of looking forward to the upcoming planned runs.  I don't care at all about my pace, nor about reaching or exceeding any specific distances.  I'm just plodding along following the plan.  It seems to be right where I need to be.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eeekkkk .... Out out of my Comfort Zone

Well that certainly was out of my comfort zone.  Last night was the first night of the clinic.  I arrived and it seemed everyone else knew what they were doing, or had come with a friend.  There I was, alone and nervous.  I've never been to one of these clinics so didn't know how it worked.  There was a lot of people there, which I later learned was because there was 3 clinics on.

At the beginning I was very confused.  I didn't know if you ran on clinic nights, or just met up.  And I didn't know where to go when all the people went outside of the store and divided up.  I eventually found my group and felt like a tool because I had brought my purse with me (which I later stashed in my car and grabbed my run pack). At least I had dressed for a run, just in case.

We just did a 3K run at a very, very slow pace.  It was actually much slower than I expected, and to be honest I was relieved.  At first I felt so uncomfortable.  Everyone seemed to either know each other or at least had come with someone.  I was alone.  Eventually one woman sidled on up to me and engaged in conversation.  I really appreciated that.  From there on I had tidbits of conversations with a few of the runners.

But, most importantly, I made it!  Quite well actually.  I thought I would suffer some, but once I settled into a rhythm it was good.  Tonight is a drop-in run and we're supposed to do 3K tempo which will be a little more challenging.  Then on the weekend it's 7K.  We'll see how that goes.