Tag Archives: injury

Resolution #1

28 Dec

Good morning! I was feeling pretty terrible all day at work yesterday — sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, tummy issues — yuck.

Despite this mystery illness, I was still looking forward to hitting the treadmill after work because of these:

shoes

Fancy new kicks, huh? I know, I just got the Mizuno Alchemy from the Mezamashii Project, and I adore them, but while I was home for Christmas, my Dad wanted to take me to the local running shop to have my gait analyzed. It’s no secret that I’ve been feeling the pain of running recently, and it’s been a mystery to me because I experienced absolutely no running-related pain for the first two years of my running career. I had a sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t wearing the right shoes, but I didn’t know how to find the right shoes, and I knew that going to a running shop and having them analyze my gait was going to mean $$$. So, when my dad offered to buy me a pair of shoes (it is my birthday, after all), I was happy to accept.

Kristy and daddy 2012

Me and my Dad in our Lloyd’s Running Shop shirts!

My mom recently had knee replacement surgery, and she went to Lloyd’s Running Shop in Beaver, PA to be fitted with the proper sneakers that would keep her steady and not cause her to further injure her knees. My dad was so impressed that he wanted me to check it out. On Christmas Eve, we dashed over about an hour before they closed. Lloyd himself watched me walk across the store. He asked if it had been my left knee that had been bothering me, and I said it was my right. Then he asked if I ever had any ankle pain when I run, which I said I did on my left ankle. Apparently I supinate more on that side, which is why he thought that was the knee that was giving me trouble. According to Lloyd, I have a strong arch, which causes me to run on the sides of my feet. The goal was to find a shoe that would correct that.

It only took about 10 minutes tops, and I was in the Gel Nimbus 14. I tried another pair first, but I felt like there was too much of a lift in the heel — which is why I’ve never bought a pair of Asics before — but with these I didn’t feel that.

So, back to yesterday’s run!

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been running on the treadmill at a 0 incline to try to prevent knee pain. I know it’s bad for my shins, but I also didn’t want to reinjure my IT band, so it was my only option.

Yesterday, I experimented with incline and speed:

2012-12-27 18.41.50

Sorry for the horrid phone picture (I was still walking when I snapped it), but the point is — it was my fastest run, and I kept the incline the whole time — NO knee pain. Here’s what I did:

workout

For the Warm Up, I walked while varying my incline between 5.0 and 9.0. The cool down was nine minutes of jogging, slowly transitioning to walking. It was perfect! It kept me engaged, and it challenged me.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now to the New Year’s Resolution part of this post.

From now until December 31st, I’m going to post a new resolution for 2013 here.

Resolution #1:
When someone does something to annoy me, or I get mad at someone, I will immediately think of three things that I love about that person. 

Not at all fitness related, but important. I always want to remember the good about people. I’m sure I do a ton of things that annoy my loved ones, but they love me anyway, so from here on out, whenever someone does something that annoys me, I will immediately think of three things I love about that person. I tried that recently and it really worked — annoyance completely gone, never to be heard from again, so as I enter into 2013, the year I will be married, I want to always, always find the good in people — especially my future husband — because I want to treasure those relationships.

Question of the day:
What’s one of your New Year’s Resolutions? 

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Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer Update

16 Dec

Last time we spoke, I mentioned that I have been having trouble running on the treadmill without IT band (knee) pain. Well, folks, that has all changed due to two things.

1. These babies came in the mail on Friday:
2012-12-14 16.40.20

The Mizuno Alchemy 12’s I got from the Mezamashii project! I’ll tell you what, these shoes feel great on my feet. I just had to take them out for a mile around the park before I hit the weight room on Friday.

2. I read that to lessen IT band pain, you should run downhill. Since I don’t live in a very hilly area, I decided to start leaving the treadmill at 0% incline when I run, which they say is like running slightly downhill:

runnnn

…again with the glare, but you get the picture. Two 30 minute runs, the second a little faster than the first, with NO knee pain! I really don’t know if it’s the shoes or the lack of incline, but I’m not going to change a thing. I have been taking it easy, though, I run for 5 minutes, then I walk for one. It works, so I’ll keep doing it for now.

As for the weight training portion of the plan, everything is going great. I’m still doing things I’ve never done in the weight room and I’m really starting to see definition in my arms. Today was shoulder day, and as I was doing Lateral Raises, I really saw that shoulder muscle definition. Yay!

I’m holding steady at a weight loss of 2 lbs, but I took my measurements yesterday and I’ve lost half an inch around my waist!

Question of the day:
What brand of running shoes do you wear? 

Well, that’s Discouraging!

11 Dec

Guess what?

ran today!

…sort of.

treadmill

Of course, you can’t see that top display very well because of the glare, but I ran the first 5 minutes before having to stop and run to the restroom. Only once in my life have I been able to run on the treadmill for an entire workout without having to stop the treadmill and restart it. So, yes, I ran! Today marks the beginning of Phase 2 of the Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer, and that means I’m allowed to do cardio again! Here’s my workout for today:

phase 2 day one

Ok, first of all, pull ups. They are my nemesis. I can’t do them unassisted, I just…hang there! Today, I decided to use the assisted pull up machine. The first round I did 49% of my bodyweight, and it was hard — I couldn’t even do 10 reps! I think next time they are on the agenda, I’ll set the Smith Machine about waist level and pull myself up from the ground. I really want to be able to do a single unassisted pull up. Maybe someday!

My gym has a hammer strength machine, but it’s only the push one, not the pull, so I just skipped that exercise. I could have found an alternate, but I was eager to get on the treadmill!

So, the treadmill. I guess I expected to have no problems with my run, after basically resting my knee for a solid month. No such luck. After about a mile, I felt that knee pain coming back. I didn’t want to push too much, so I just took a lot of walking breaks. It hurt the whole time I was running/walking, and while I was walking home, but as soon as I got my post-run stretch in, the pain was gone. I guess I’ll just have to stick with short runs until I’m healed. It’s just discouraging, I want to be running my regular mileage again! Especially since I got this in my inbox yesterday:

mezamashii

!!!

Yep, I’ve been invited to join the Mizuno Mezamashii Run Project! I’ll be telling you more about this in the near future, after I get my new shoes and try them out.

I used the Mizuno Precision Fit Online Tool to decide which shoes I wanted. If you’d like to try it out, Click Here.

precision fit

It’s kind of cool, there are all kinds of tests (like dipping your foot into a bowl of water and walking across newspaper!) that give you a good idea of your gait and how much you pronate (if at all). According to my results, the best fit for me was the Mizuno Alchemy 12:

alchemy 12

I promptly called Mizuno and had them send them right out! How exciting! I’ll have my new shoes in about a week. I’ll definitely be giving you my completely unbiased review here. Mizuno uses what they call a ‘Wave Plate’ as support for their shoes (for comparison, Brooks uses liquid and Asics uses gel), and this will be new to me. I’ve only ever run in Brooks, Nike and Adidas. A lot of running bloggers swear by their Mizunos, but I’ve also heard some people say that the Wave Plate is not for them. So time will tell how I feel about them.

Question of the Day:
What kind of running shoes do you have? Do you like them? 

 

I Just Want to Run!!

15 Nov

Yesterday, I got this email in my inbox:

 

…and the longing began. I had originally planned to sign up for the Turkey Trot after I finished the half-marathon, but then I injured myself in mile 8 of my half. Obviously, on Monday, when I was barely able to walk, I had written the run off completely. But now, after a few days of rest, my legs feel fine, so I’m seriously considering signing up for the race. I love Turkey Trots! Two years ago, after I finished my first half marathon, I ran the Turkey Trot and got my best 5k time ever. Also, today is payday, so I’m itching to pull out the old credit card and sign up. Let me know if you think I should do it or not in the comments below.

Today was Day 3 of Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer:

 

I was definitely out of my comfort zone today, because instead of just going upstairs to use the Nautilus machines, I stayed down in the weight room and used the machines that you have to add your own plates to. I even had to ask the guy who was working at the gym to show me how to use some  of them. This is something I would have never done before. Usually I just stick to what I know, or just wait until someone else uses a machine so I can see how they do it.

Ok, so I looked ahead a bit in the plan, and after tomorrow I have 3 rest days!? In a row! I don’t know if I can go three whole days without working out. I know I’ve committed to this program, but I might be sneaking in a little something something during those three days. The dance DVD’s I won from Cait Plus Ate are calling to me, and to be honest, I really want to try running. Jamie is very clear that you are to do no cardio for 4 weeks, but I honestly don’t think I can follow that to a T. Running and working out to DVD’s is fun to me, and I can’t imagine just not doing anything at all for 3 days. We’ll see how it goes.

One more quick update! I’ve been sleeping amazingly well the past couple of weeks. My secret? Ear plugs! I was a bit afraid that I wouldn’t wake up to my alarm because I couldn’t hear it, but that hasn’t been an issue for two reasons: 1, because I actually can hear my alarm through the ear plugs, albeit faintly, but my body knows what that sound means, and 2, because I usually wake up without my alarm because I’m so well rested! Amazing, huh?

Question of the Day:
What is the maximum amount of rest days you’ve taken in a row? 

 

Marshall Half Marathon Recap

12 Nov

 

 

Yesterday, I completed the Marshall Half-Marathon in Huntington, WV.

As of yesterday, I have completed two half-marathons in two years. I’m often envious of other bloggers who log many, many miles a week and seem to breeze through distance races with ease. I love a good 5k, but half-marathons take a bit more mental and physical preparation for me.

If I’m being honest (which, of course I am) my training was not up to par. I didn’t get the required mileage under my belt, and I didn’t run as often as I should have. As you may know from my previous post, I paid for it in what seems to be an injury to my right leg. After sleeping on it, I can localize the pain to the outside of my right knee (IT band?) and my Achilles tendon. I can walk (slowly), so I don’t think I’ve sprained, twisted or fractured anything. It’s weird because I can’t pinpoint any moment during the race where I actually hurt myself, so I guess I just pushed too hard and my legs weren’t ready for it (is that a thing?)

The first 5 or 6 miles went really well. I was pushing my pace, and was definitely on par to PR under 2 hours (which was my goal) or at least come in a few minutes over 2 hours. By mile 7, my leg started feeling a little weird. I took a few breaks to walk/stretch it out and kept running. Mile 8 was painful. I started feeling terrible pain and was in tears (p.s. don’t cry while running. It turns into hyperventilation pretty quickly). I knew that Zach would be waiting for me right after mile 9, so I pushed it until then. By the time I saw Zach, I just collapsed. I was hyperventilating because I was crying so hard, and my leg felt terrible. I wasn’t in a good place. I honestly considered just quitting. Then I thought about getting that medal, and I thought about having to report a DNF here. I couldn’t do that. I had started this race, and I only had about 4 miles to go, so even if I walked the entire time, I was going to finish.

Those next 4ish miles were hell. I tried running some, but it became so painful that I had to stop and walk. I think maybe I ran more than I think I did, because my finishing time wasn’t quite as bad as I expected (2:22:40). By the time I was about half a mile from the finish, I went ahead and pushed it. I ran the whole way, even sprinting across the finish line. At the very end of this race, you go down a steep hill to enter the stadium, and then you run the length of the football field, and then another length to the finish line. The downhill entrance was probably the worst part of the whole race. The pain was so intense I thought I might fall.

But, I finished. I immediately started crying when I crossed the line, luckily Zach was right there. He’s incredible, did you know that? He told me so many times yesterday how proud of me he was. His pride rubbed off on me, because despite the fact that I have a lot of reasons to be disappointed with yesterday’s race, I’m not. I’m proud that I pushed through to finish. I’m proud that I managed a halfway decent time despite an injury. I’m proud that I just did it.

I took my first ice bath yesterday as well, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and it made my legs feel much better for a while afterwards.

We had beautiful weather yesterday.

So now I have a decision to make. I really would like to finish a half marathon in under 2 hours, but I’m not sure I’m a distance runner. I enjoy races of the 5k variety, but the training involved to do distance races ends up being a problem for me. I enjoy doing so many different types of exercise that the time that you must put into training never really works out for me. I’ve got some time to think about it, because I think the next time I’ll consider running this distance is next year.

Until then, I’m planning on trying out Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer starting as soon as I can comfortably walk again.

The first four weeks require you to do no cardio at all, which shouldn’t be a problem considering I don’t think I could even run a mile right now. I guess 4 weeks will be just the amount of running rest I need!

Question of the Day:
What’s the longest distance you’ve ever run? 

Done!

11 Nov

I finished my second half marathon in 2:22 (unofficial time), which is about 9 minutes slower than the first one I ran. I was on pace for a PR until mile 8, when I started getting a lot of pain in my right leg. By the time I saw Zach just after mile 9, I was hyperventilating and unsure I could go on. I hobbled through the next 4ish miles, though. I walked most of it, but still managed to sprint the finish. I’m in severe pain right now, so I have a feeling I won’t be running for a while.

 

What I need to do now is take an ice bath, but I’ve never done it and I really don’t know if I can bring myself to. Someone talk me into it?

Sciatica

11 Oct

I’ve self-diagnosed myself with sciatica. Ok, ok, I know what you’re going to say, “You need to see a doctor!” But doctors are expensive (I spend more on healthcare now that I have health insurance than I did before… someone please explain that), and I”m poor. I DO have a chiropractor appointment on Monday, so don’t give me too hard of a time. Basically, I just want the chiropractor to tell me that I need massages. I’m pretty sure the sciatica issues are stemming from the GIANT knots that have invaded my back muscles. Rolling around on a tennis ball is fine, but I need a massage, and if my chiropractor recommends it, I only have to pay the co-pay.

Ok, so Sciatica. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Symptoms: The symptoms can be anything from a sharp pain to a numbing sensation. I’ve had all of those kinds of pain, and they go from from my lower back to my foot on the left side. It started as a tight hamstring, moved to a sore hamstring and now I have a sore hip and a numb foot. Since Sciatica tends to localize on one side, that’s how I came to the conclusion that it was the problem.

Causes: Sciatica indicates another problem, which is causing the sciatic nerve to be pinched. I’m guessing (and this is where I’ll get a professional opinion, I promise) that it’s due to the discomfort and knots I have in my lower back. I’ve always gotten knots in my back muscles pretty easily, but for the past few weeks they have been out of control. I’ve been doing everything to get rid of them, but it’s not working. I’m guessing that sitting on my butt at my desk job 8 hours a day is finally catching up with me.

In the meantime, here is what I’m doing to control my symptoms:

Yoga, obviously. Stretching really seems to help! After doing three yoga sessions last week, my pain was gone for a few days. However, I haven’t done any yoga since Sunday, and I’ve ran about 11 miles so I’m feeling the pain again. Last night I did a Google search for a good yoga routine to help with Sciatica and I found this:

Gotta love Fitsugar!

I did this routine last night, and then again before and after my run this morning. It’s just seven poses, and while last night I combined a flow into them, this morning I just held the poses for about 30 seconds each. I plan to try to hit a yoga class tonight, tomorrow morning and Saturday morning as well.

I also need to get back into making sure I get up from my desk every so often. I was doing very well for a while with that, but I’ve fallen out of the habit. So I will start standing when I answer my phone and getting up every 30 minutes to stretch/walk around.

Finally, I will work on strengthening my abdomen/lower back muscles. I’m really bad about neglecting those muscle groups when I do my workouts. I basically hate traditional ab workouts!

So, this morning, I started out my workout with a 30 minute treadmill run. I’ve been getting bored on the treadmill recently, so this morning I pulled out the big guns: Alias on Netflix!

Jennifer Garner’s body in that show is a huge motivator! I also switched up my speed a lot. I set the incline at 1.0, and then I alternated between a sprint for 45 seconds, a slow jog for 15 seconds and a walk for 15 seconds. I did that for about 2 miles and then walked at incline 10.0 for 2 minutes and ended with a 1 minute sprint followed by a 1 minute incline walk for the final mile. I finished 3 miles in 30 minutes and then I headed down to the weight room. I did my own abs/lower back routine which included lower back extensions with an 8 lb medicine ball, weighted side crunches, side leg lifts with a three pound medicine ball and then I finished with a 1 minute plank hold.

Question of the Day:
Do you watch Netflix on the treadmill? What’s your favorite thing to watch?

My favorite thing to watch on the treadmill is any show with a kick-ass female lead, like Alias or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.