Sunday, April 29, 2012

Charlotte Trip

Vacation! Warren and I had an opportunity to go to Charlotte, NC to visit family this week. We left after I got out of work on Wednesday. The weather was TERRIBLE. Our GPS was TERRIBLE. We had plans to drive to Beckley, WV to stay overnight. We calculated that it would take us  until 12:30 to get there, but for some reason the GPS said 2:30. As we got into southern Ohio and the mountains, the rain began to pick up. This picture doesn't look like it was bad, but it really was awful:
Soon after it got dark, our GPS routed us off the highway, and we drove for almost 2 hours on a two lane highway in the middle of nowhere, while it was pouring and dark. As we got close to WV, we ran into a thunderstorm and got routed off the highway AGAIN, and had to drive through a washed out back road. It was really stressful. Sure enough, we pulled into our hotel Warren reserved in Beckley WV at 2:30. Our hotel was noisy and awful too...not the best start to our trip.

Thankfully our trip has improved significantly since. The only bad part was my attempt at a run. We had a really cool day here yesterday, so I decided to go for a 3-4 mile run. Even though it's pretty hilly down here, I had a flat route to run. Sure enough, as I approached 1 mile, my left leg started acting up again. I stretched before, and stopped at 1 mile to stretch again. I could barely flex my foot. I tried to run it out, but the pain continued to get worse, and increased to shoot pain into my ankle. I called it quits and walked back, frustrated again. I was near tears again. When I got back to the house I googled the pain I was having and learned that I likely am agitating the Peroneus Longus and Brevis muscles in my leg ( I don't know for sure, but it is the exact spot I am feeling pain, and the symptoms match. I tried some stretches I found online, but it wasn't very effective. I am going to go to the sports medicine clinic on campus Tuesday to see if they can give me an idea of what is going on and what to do about it. I am running a 5K next weekend, which is usually no problem, but will be with this injury. I really hope it isn't a long recovery, I am really excited to run the 5K next weekend with my friends.

Today we went to Lake Norman, which is in Charlotte. It is huge, and beautiful. We ate lunch on the water, and walked to a nice gazebo that overlooked the water. We are heading home tomorrow morning. Sad to head back to reality.

Warren and I overlooking Lake Norman
Gazebo overlooking the water

Sunday, April 22, 2012

5K practice run

After yesterday, I hold have probably taken another few days of rest. I had made plans with friends, who I am running the 5K with in two weeks, to go out and run the course today to get a feel for it. Even though yesterday was rough, I decided to try the run. I planned to do extra stretches before, and take it easy and walk when needed to see if I could run the full 3 miles. Not helping my nerves was the weather and the part of town the course is in. It is really chilly and windy in my part of Michigan today, and the part of town we were running in is not that familiar to me. It is a lot of busier roads without sidewalks, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Although I had reservations, it was a good run. I warned up quickly, wasn't too cold, and there wasn't much traffic out to dodge on the road. My leg began hurting just before mile 1, but it was not as bad as yesterday, and I was able to push through it. I stopped around 1.75 miles to give it another stretch and it was fine afterwards. I remembered about 5 minutes into the run that I forgot to use my asthma inhaler before hand, something I always do. I had no problems though. I have been getting allergy shots for almost 3 months now (which is SUPER fun), which are supposed to alleviate both my allergy and asthma symptoms, and I think this is my first sign of them starting to work! Yay!

So I think I might not be as injured as I thought yesterday. My leg feels a bit sore, but not too bad. We were even in good enough spirits after the run to snap a picture! Running with company is nice, even if you don't talk the entire time. I usually run alone, so I forget this!

Rosa and me. Her BF Brandon opted to take the pic instead of join us :)  
Lastly, I saw this on Pinterest a while back, and it has remained a motivational tool for me. It's weird how something small like this can keep you motivated, but it works for me. If I am dreading going out for a run (which is a lot of the time) I think of this. It reminds of how great I feel about mentally and physically after I finish running. I have never regretted a run, even the ones that make me frustrated. I learn from each one. Tomorrow is my one year anniversary of beginning to run! I can't believe it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More Frustration

What a rough week for health. After my 6 mile run last Saturday, I was so excited to try the same outside. On Sunday and Monday I was really sore from the Saturday run, but felt up to trying a short run on Tuesday. Right up until I was ready to walk out the door. I even said to Warren that I wasn't feeling good about the run. Sure enough, I struggled through the run. My legs felt heavy, I couldn't breathe, and less than a half mile in I started having bad pain in my left ankle, shin and calf. I cut it short and walked home. I rested for 3 days, and tried again today. More of the same. I made it half a mile before the pain in my left leg was back. I tried to fight through it, but it was too painful. I only made it this far:
I was so frustrated I cried. And then I felt like an even bigger idiot because I was in a park full of people limping back to my car crying. People probably thought I was badly injured or was just my ego though. :)

I am hoping I am just worn out this week and don't have a stress fracture or something. I have got bad news a few times this week, and haven't been sleeping well. I also have been unable to keep myself from eating potato chips  and chocolate. Not good. I really pushed myself to do that 6 miles, and I am now kind of beating myself up for pushing it when I may not have been ready. It's also kinda ironic that I am struggling with pain the week after I attended a "Good Form Running" clinic. Go figure.

Next week I am getting away on a long weekend, so I am hoping that I can rest and reset. My first 5K of the year is the following weekend, and I really want to do well. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

6 (frustrating) miles

I have been planning to do a 6 mile run for a couple of weeks. It seemed like something was always getting in the way so I couldn't-I worked late a couple nights, which didn't leave me enough time. I get allergy shots once a week, and can't exercise afterwards...overall, my schedule was making it tough to get in a 6 miler. On Friday I decided Saturday morning was going to be the day! This 6 mile run has been a goal of mine ever since I decided to try a 10K this summer. I decided on a route outside, and was really excited to go early in the morning. When I woke up it was pouring rain and thundering...I was really bummed. I stalled a little while, checked the weather radar about 100 times before resigning to the fact that is probably wasn't going to be a day to run outside. The rain let up a little, but I knew a 6 mile run would keep me outside for more than an hour, and I didn't want to get caught in a storm.

I HATE running on the treadmill. But I was determined to do this run, so I went to the gym and pounded out the entire 6 miles on the treadmill. I was excited that I had made it, but irritated too. I use the Nike run app on my iPod to track my runs. It will work on the treadmill, so I used it. For some reason, it was almost a full mile behind the treadmill, and got farther behind with every mile. I wanted to use the run app to mark my distance, but got frustrated when the treadmill said I went 6 miles, and my run app hadn't even hit 5. I felt like I had run 6 miles, and was almost at the 90 minute mark. I tried to walk it out to hit 6 miles on my run app just so it would show in my history that I made 6 miles on this day.

One of the worst things about running on a treadmill for me is the lack of changing scenery. I get so BORED. At 90 minutes in, I was super bored. I clicked open Facebook as I tried to walk out the last mile for my run app, and learned about the death in the family of my lifetime best friends. I was excited to have reached my run goal, frustrated about the app, and really shocked and sad about the loss in their family. I decided I was done, and stopped short of hitting the 6 miles on my run app. The treadmill read 6.4 miles, so I am going with that reading! I do think it was more accurate-my run app was reporting I was running at a pace of 15 minute miles. I walk faster than a 15 minute mile, and I wasn't walking. I can't wait to try the 6 miles outside. I know I can do it faster and with fewer walk breaks, something I have to do often on the treadmill for some reason. I just hope my run app is more accurate outside so I know for sure what distance I am at.

I am wondering if anyone has better luck with accuracy from a different running app? I'd love a Garmin, it's just not in my budget right now!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I think I can be considered a "serious" runner now. I went to a Good Form Running clinic tonight. The running shop downtown, Gazelle, offers the workshop for free every Wednesday. During the workshop you learn about the different components to running with good form, which is supposed to reduce chances of injury and improve speed and comfort while running. Gazelle is for hardcore runners-it sponsors almost every major run event in this area. I was a bit nervous to do the workshop because I was nervous I would be too new at running compared to the other people that use Gazelle. The very first thing we did was go outside and get videotaped running-once with shoes, and once without shoes. It was kind of cold, so running barefoot on downtown sidewalks was not my favorite thing. I also felt pretty self-conscious, like everyone would be watching me run. It was pretty easy though. We all ran at pretty much the same time, so there wasn't time to watch other people run. After that we went inside to learn about the proper form, then they made us all watch each other run while we got analyzed and given feedback. That made me more nervous than the running outside!

I was pretty surprised by my analysis. I kind of expected to have them tell me I needed to work on everything! But I actually have pretty good form. They only had 1-2 pieces of feedback for me, and said I could fix them both pretty easily. The most surprising thing was that when I ran barefoot my form was almost perfect. And that was the case for everyone. It is pretty crazy to me that our bodies act differently with and without shoes.

On the drive home I was thinking about how nervous I was to get constructive feedback. This goes back to the having to be right all the time. I was also reminded of something my former boss has said to me over and over. She tells me that I am harder on myself than anyone else is.  I always criticize myself and worry about getting negative feedback, even though when I do get it I handle it pretty well. I appreciate feedback after it is given, because I learn ways I can improve. The anticipation of it is just awful for me. I was glad it wasn't too bad tonight; I think I can go run a marathon tomorrow with my feedback. :)

If you're interested in the Good Form Running, here is a link --->

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pinterest Fails

I woke up feeling VERY crafty today. I got on Pinterest to look for a dish to pass at Easter dinner tomorrow, and found a few things I wanted to try today. I wanted to try something fun on my nails, and decided that I would make cake pops for Easter. I dragged Haley along with me off to Michael's for scrap paper, cake supplies and whatever other things I thought of along the way.

Before we could get to work we met my sister and my nieces at a Bounceland, a large building full of blow up toys you can bounce on. We had a great time...I even decided to race my sister in a inflatable obstacle course that the little kids made look easy. She kicked my butt, and I felt like I had just ran 5 miles in 30 seconds. I thought Jillian Michaels was tough-she's got nothing on Bounceland! Haley snapped a pic before we left:

When we got home we went right to work making cakes. As they were baking, I began project number two. Here are some pics that I was going to attempt to re-create using links to blogs on Pinterest:

The instructions for this cute manicure state you should use laser prints to get the ink to transfer, but one user commented that you could use scrapbook paper with the same results. Nope, not true. Should have followed the instructions, but I don't have a laser printer. Not discouraged yet, I decided to try another manicure technique I also saw on Pinterest-marbled nails:
Also a major fail. Now I was getting frustrated. I decided to just try my own thing, and came up with this:

Good enough for me, not nearly fancy enough to put on Pinterest. I see so many cool things on Pinterest, and sometimes I forget that it really isn't as easy as people make it out to be. Or I just suck at crafts. So as my cakes cool and I prepare to make cake pops I hope I don't end up throwing out a bunch of cake from frustration. If they turn out like I want them to I will post some pics. If not, I am going to be stopping for a pre-made cake tomorrow before dinner :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hammers and Nails

Yesterday I heard a quote on the radio that I LOVED. Oddly enough, it was from a banking commercial, but it fits in the work I do and in my personal life. I shared it all day....what good is a great quote if you don't share! So the quote went something like this: "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you will approach every problem as if it's a nail".  How great is that?

My last two weeks have been pretty stressful; I am thankful that my personal life is not the cause. My work life has been tense. I've been tackling each day with the same tools-coffee, my colleagues, and a bit of sleep mixed in. Yesterday while at work a few of my colleagues who all go to the same gym invited a couple of those who don't belong to that gym to come workout with them. We agreed, and 5 of us met at the gym at 7 am this morning. The few times I have done a morning run I have enjoyed it. I don't do it very often for a couple of reasons. First, our treadmill at home is really uncomfortable for me (the author of a blog I like calls it the "dreadmill"-I agree!) and running outside before work makes me nervous because it's dark. Since I don't have a dog or a taser, morning running doesn't happen often for me. So today, I went for a morning run on a guest pass at the gym my co-workers attend. It was GREAT. I entered the day with an entirely different attitude, and even considered skipping my coffee. I decided pretty quickly I didn't need to take it that far, and made my coffee. But I still felt great all day, and didn't worry about having to work out after work when I am usually tired and ready to take any excuse to not run.

So this problem of stress that I have been handling all week needed another tool to manage it-I kept approaching it like it was a nail, when apparently it was not a nail. Morning runs-a new tool in my toolbox.

I am REALLY dedicated to accomplishing the 6 mile run I wanted to accomplish a few weeks ago. I am hoping this weekend will be it!