Injury Prevention 102

Nope, you read that correctly. I’m calling this “Injury Prevention 102” because there are things I do every run that not only protect my body from sprained ankles or whacked out backs and inflammation, but from chafing, stomach issues and more. Because let’s face it, any sort of pain, whether internal or external, can be considered injury – especially if there’s ways to stop it. From the obvious to the not-so, here’s a few tips to prevent injury while running:

  1. Vaseline is your bestie. Your BFF. Your Soul Sistah. Before a run, rub it anywhere and everywhere that bounces, jiggles or rubs – no shame. Chafing is a bitch and unlike post-run exhaustion, it can hang around for days.
  2. Drink lots of electrolytes, before and after longer runs. Your stomach bounces around quite a bit when that mileage starts to rack up which will have a bad effect on you as soon as mile three. Try Nuun hydration tabs – one the night before, one before your run starts and if you’re feeling any sort of stomach pain, one after. Aside from that, extra electrolytes will keep you from dehydrating during your run.
  3. Eat more food. Pre-run, get your good carbs and fats, post-run, get your protein. When your body loses energy – which food provides naturally for us – you’ll become sluggish, lose form, lose focus, maybe even get light-headed.
  4. Post-run may be the most important part of your run. Take the time to stretch – and stretch everything. My favorites include pigeon pose and forward lunging into my hips. (There’s probably a simpler term for that but I like to be descriptive… yeah, that’s it.) If anything feels particularly sore, ice it. Take an Epsom Bath. Foam roll. Then stretch some more. Spoil that body – it carried you far.

The Longest Yard (or Mile… Whatever)

The Longest Yard (or Mile… Whatever)

Pardon my tardiness on this post, I just ran 15 miles. Just as in six days ago but who’s really keeping track? My quads, apparently.

I did it! I think one of the biggest road blocks I’ve had in my mind during this training ‘venture is that I couldn’t fathom running more than 13.1 miles so this may be perhaps one of my most important milestones of the whole process. I will say, around mile three I was ready to quit. My foot still isn’t 100%, and the pain at times was worse than listening to Taylor Swift while waiting in line at the DMV next to a guy who wreaks of cigarettes and feet. But when I set my mind to something, stubbornness is my anti-hero. I didn’t want to let myself down. I mean, I wrote all of those haikus about it! And while that may have been the longest three hours and 15 minutes of my life, I sure as Hell celebrated success with a “whoop whoop,” an ice bath in the Truckee River and two giant blueberry pancakes from Squeeze In. Also, I Mia Hamm-ed it with a celebratory shirtless, victorious cry of never loving my body more than I had at that moment.

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How does one run fifteen miles in Reno? Here’s one way: start at Huffaker Park, run along Longley, to Neil, behind the airport and to the Grand Sierra Resort. From there, loop around the back into Rock Park and follow the trail along the river four miles out and four back. Then have your friend’s boyfriend pick you up and deal with your running stench and bragging on the way to the aforementioned pancake restaurant.

Proud is an understated word for this run and I was very happy and thankful to have Ann with me along the way. From the friendly chatter, to the new products she lets me try to the out-of-sync dance parties we have along the way as we both listen to our own music, running with a friend has never been as big of a necessity or reward as it has been during this training adventure. Oh, and she takes amazing selfies of us.

Endurance Training, 2.15.16

Endurance Training, 2.15.16

Well – I’m still on “running rest” but not losing hope just yet. The pain in my foot is diminishing daily and I’m hoping I’ll be able to log some miles this weekend (60 degree weather!!). To ensure I stay on track, I’m determined to get to the gym 4-5 times a week, even if it means limping my way from dumbbell to dumbbell. Not being able to run isn’t the end of the world (so I say to you, but in my head I’m thinking otherwise) and it certainly doesn’t mean the end to my good health and awesome muscle improvement on my shoulders and back. If you ever see me at the gym, then yep, I am checking myself out.

I was pretty proud of the workout I invented yesterday so I thought I’d share it with you all – copyrighted, trademarked and… just kidding, don’t try this at home. Ww = with weight. I used 15 pound weights, but go at your own strength. If you’re just starting out, I recommend an eight.

Warm-up:

  • One mile on the treadmill, at your own pace (Okay, I ran a LITTLE during to test the waters. Fifteen minutes later….) 

Round 1, 10 reps each:

  • Hammer curls, ww
  • Hip Raises, ww
  • Shoulder Presses, hips up, ww
  • Shoulder Flies, hips up, ww
  • Ankle grabs
  • Sit-ups
  • Repeat x 4

Round 2, 10 reps each

  • Dead lifts, ww
  • Tricep push backs, ww
  • Bicep handouts, ww
  • Side plank dips, each side
  • Push-ups
  • Repeat x 4

Round 3, 10 reps each

  • Ice Skaters
  • X-abs
  • Tricep dips
  • Crunches
  • Bicycle Abs
  • Squats, ww
  • Repeat x 4

Depending on your speed, this should take you about 30-40 minutes to complete, but don’t rush! Runners often hear and say, “Enjoy the miles” so in lieu of my running rest, Enjoy the muscles…. that won’t work well when you go to the park afterwards to play baseball.

 

Run to Eat or Eat to Run?

Run to Eat or Eat to Run?

Quick update with a side of relief: doctor says my feet could just be inflamed, but at worst, show signs of plantar fasciitis. I’ll be resting for a few days, icing three times daily and upping my Ibuprofen dosage. Positive thoughts will have me back in no time, right? 

I’m a creature of habit so of course I have certain routines down. One of them is doing all of my meal prep for the week on Sundays – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. It’s a nice stress reliever and sets me up for success every week. If it’s there, I’ll eat it. If I’m unprepared, I’m more likely to eat out, spend more money on food and eat rather unhealthy. Plus, I get more time to myself when all I have to do is pop my portioned food in the microwave.

Breakfast happens to be my favorite meal of the day. Nothing warms my belly more than the scent of eggs in a pan or bread being toasted. I typically go for two types of breakfasts – either a sandwich or a scramble. If I start my day with a workout, I’ll up my protein and carbs. If I’m getting ready to run, I’ll eat toast with peanut butter and a banana. I don’t count calories, I eat clean and am always focused on what’s going to fuel my body for the day. What’s my workout? What mindset do I need to be in? How does this food make me feel?

There’s so many cliches I can fit in here – like breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or that you need food to fuel your workout but I’m going to make it even simpler than that: I just like to eat!! Here’s a few ideas for meal prepping a week of breakfasts – try one, try both, switch up and savor the flavor:

  • Thomas Double Protein English Muffin with two sunny side up eggs, two slices of turkey, and low fat cheddar cheese seasoned with salt, pepper and red pepper. Enjoy open-faced.
    • Switch up: instead of cheddar, you can also try plain whipped cream cheese
    • Protein: up the amount of turkey or use Canadian Bacon
    • Good fats: Add a slice or two of avocado
    • Make enough for the week, wrap in tin-foil and pop in the toaster oven for a few minutes to heat up.
  • “Sara Scramble”(at least that’s how I have it in MyFitnessPal) – brown a pound of lean ground turkey, add in six eggs, a carton of egg whites and all the veggies you want. I usually go with green and red bell peppers and spinach. Season with salt, pepper, cilantro and red pepper.
    • Split into mason jars for the week so it’s pre-portioned and ready to pop in the microwave
    • After you’ve reheated, add goat cheese or feta cheese and a couple tablespoons of fresh salsa (always check the ingredients!)
    • If you’re eating after a workout, add an English Muffin, dry, for carbs.

For other meals, I really like these containers from Amazon.com. They are durable and compact, making it easy to store plenty of meals on one shelf in my fridge.

Tomorrow may not bring good news.

It’s been hard for me to start a new post because over the last few weeks I’ve been dealing with some awful pain in both my feet – pain that sometimes prevents me from walking. It started in my right foot and cleared up in time for me to do a 12-miler on Saturday, but right after, it moved to the left. I don’t think it’s from compensation and it’s a pain I’ve never felt before. I’ve known I’ve needed to go to the doctor for a few weeks now, but I’ve avoided it because I don’t want to hear bad news. I don’t want to be told – after all the posting, and talking, and peeing my pants, that I can’t run a marathon. “Can’t” is something I’ve felt about something so gigantic for my entire life. “Can’t” is the stereotype so many people gave me in the heavy years. “Can’t” is the word I refuse to give into. Needless to say, I’m a little down right now – nervous, emotional, strange.

Training Goals for Feb. 2016

Training Goals for Feb. 2016

I know yesterday’s post was all “oh em gee, three months until race day already!?” but I’ll express such one more time: THREE MONTHS FROM TODAY. I. AM. RUNNING. A. FULL. MARATHON. -Insert trickle of pee here-

Whew, that aside. Here’s what I’ve got my eyes on for the month:

  • Distance runs: 12, 14, 6, 16.
  • Seven more classes to complete the 30 Day Challenge
  • Resume once-a-week personal training
  • Stick to independent strength training schedule
  • At least once a week 5K at lunch
  • Continue healthy, clean diet once challenge ends
  • Start testing salt tabs
  • Yoga at least twice
  • Seeing Britney Spears with my family (dancing in my seat is totes cardio)

Friends, here’s where I’m going to really need your help. I’ve never run more than a half marathon and now I’ll have to do that twice in one month. The craziest part? After those two runs, I only have two more long distance runs in March (18 and 20) before I taper. Things are happening faster than I thought. Except my pace – definitely, definitely not faster. Anyway. Please check in on me on Saturdays to make sure I haven’t died, please don’t be offended when I turn down Friday outings and please, please, for Heaven’s sake, meet me at the end of each distance run with a giant cookie and glass of wine. Just kidding… kind of.

Hey, this time, three months from now, I’ll have run 26.2 miles.