Sunday, February 26, 2012

Finally an Answer

Today I met up with my friend Rhonda for an 8 mile run.  We have been trying to do our long runs together since we run about the same pace and are both training for the Bentonville Half Marathon on March 31st. 

It was a beautiful morning for a run with temps around 54 when we started.  We did a portion of the race course for our run and added on a section in order to get in the distance we wanted with an easy route.  The route was perfect except for one section that was straight into the wind and slightly uphill.  It was barely an incline but with the wind blowing strongly in our faces it felt tough! We were so happy to finally make a turn and get a crosswind instead of a headwind. 

We finished up with a short walk to cooldown.  They are just starting construction on a new hotel near our downtown square and it is fun to check out the progress.  Our walk essentially took us around the building site.  Afterwards, we took a few minutes to stretch on the downtown square.  I had been plagued by a pebble during our run so I decided to take off my shoe and fix that.  A few weeks ago I realized that sometimes pebbles were hiding under my inserts and so I took my insert out in order to get to the pebble.  As I was doing this, I finally got an answer to my perma-blister on my left heel.  Check out this picture and you can clearly see that my insert has a group of protrusions on the bottom to stabilize the heel. 

Based on my wear pattern on the insert, the blister I keep getting lines up exactly with one of these protrusions. 

I'm glad to figure out what could potentially be causing my blister.   I'll test out my theory by switching back to the regular inserts that came with the shoes.  I have been using these Superfeet inserts for the past few years to help with Morton's neuroma which is a tingling type of pain I sometimes get in my toes caused by having a 2nd toe longer than my big toe.  Hopefully the regular inserts will work out okay for my feet but if not I'll have to check into some new inserts. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rut Roh

I made a pretty big mistake with my training yesterday.  I headed out for my long run and picked a hilly route...essentially doing constant hills for the almost 8 mile run.  I paid the price for it today with sore calves and tender shins.  Too much hill work, too soon is always rough on the legs. 

My friend and running partner and I were IM'ing at work this morning.  She was out of town for the weekend so I had been on my own for the long run.  We were recapping the weekend and I told her I had run from my house and it was hilly and that my legs were hurting.  Her response was simple and classic..."We said we wanted to do more hills." It was a true statement...we had talked about doing more hill work since our upcoming half marathon has a lot of hills in the second half of the race.  I guess sometimes in planning our training we forget about the pain that we have to go through in order to get stronger!

My other oops in my training last week was in taking care of my feet.  I have a nagging perma-blister.  It's a blister that I get on my heal and it will go away and then come back randomly.  I remember having the same blister around my half ironman time last year too.  The blister came back last week and I didn't treat it very well.  I skipped draining it since it was deep in the tissue.  Big mistake considering it bruised and blistered again during my run on Sunday.  I spoke to my coach tonight and he instructed me to drain the blister and then soak my foot in Epsom Salt.  He said that if I didn't get it healed it would just keep blistering and bruising deeper and deeper in the tissue and that would be bad.  It does feel and look a lot better after soaking it tonight so hopefully he is on to something!

Hopefully, after these recent missteps I can keep my training in line and moving forward.  I will be sleeping in my compression socks for sure to show my legs a little thanks for all their hard work going up and down those hills on Sunday! And even with the sore legs, I was able to get some mileage in tonight at speedwork.  I didn't do the complete workout but I did enough to remind myself that I can run faster and that I'll only get better as my endurance and fitness returns. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Belated Thank You

Erica at sent me the greatest Valentine's care package ever.  I don't know how she knew that I love Trader Joe's but she treated me to a great mix of stuff including their yummy chocolate covered pretzels.  I will definitely use the gift card o stock up on my favorite salad dressing.  The Greek dressing with is the best dressing ever! She also included a treat for Hershey who will love getting a new bone to chew on. 

Erica was also part of the Valentine's card exchange and she sent this cute card with a new flavor of Gu Roctane inside.  I've never tried the Chocolate Raspberry flavor but it sounds great.  Thanks for all the great treats Erica!!!

This year I decided to treat myself to some flowers and bought this beautiful orchid at Wal-mart.  They had a ton of beautiful ones but I tried to pick out the prettiest.  I'm hoping I can keep it alive.  There is a card attached that says Orchids are Easy! Let's hope that is true since this is my first orchid to ever own. 

I was a little remiss in blogging this past week.  My week included some good workouts including a couple of good swims.  I enjoyed a tough lunch time swim on Tuesday and then a much slower recovery paced swim on Wednesday.  I ran Wednesday night with the Rush group and got in a pleasant midweek 5 miler.  Thursday night was a TRX class and then Bootcamp.  I'm really liking the TRX class and the TRX exercises that are part of bootcamp too.  It is tough...we did one pose that was side planks with your bottom foot in the TRX straps.  The instructor then wanted us to lift our hips so we were in the side plank and then raise our top leg for leg lifts in the plank.  I could barely comprehend how to do this and didn't even try on the first side.  I was too busy just trying to stay in side plank!

Today I headed out for a long run.  My Garmin did something funky...the clock started but it didn't start counting my mileage until I was about 3/4 mile into the run.  I hit a spot where I have a general idea of the distance from my house and my Garmin was waaaaaaaaay off.  I think it kept the distance fine after that and all I can think is that I started it before the satellites were sync'd.  I think I got about 7.6 miles in for my run which was up and down several hills.  I was super boring and ran to a street and then did 3 repeats up and down that street and then ran back home.  I'm fighting a yucky blister on my left heal and it was bugging me during the run.  I picked up some blister specific bandaids and hope that helps. 

How about you?!?! Did you have a great week!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend Recap

Saturday I played hookie and skipped a morning run.  It was a super cold morning and I already had plans to run Sunday so I took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in a little.  My morning instead got started with a funeral service for a local runner who passed away this week.  Frank was a frequent attendee of the Rush Running speed workouts and was someone who inspired me to get my butt in gear at many a race.  You see Frank was in his mid-60's and he kept beating me at 5k's so one race a few years ago I finally decided to make Frank my pacer.  I just followed along behind and tried to keep up.  This would go on at other races and even during our weekly track workouts with one of us taking the lead and the other chasing depending on the day.  He always motivated me and as someone who took walk breaks he was an instant compatriot for me!

The service was very uplifting and featured an eulogy by one of his sons.  He spoke of always asking his dad for a story before bed by asking him "Tell me a story of when you were a kid."  That struck home to me because my niece Lily Cate always asks the same thing.  I struggle sometimes to come up with a story to tell her and now I know how important those memories and connections are.  It was very sad to lose a member of our Rush Running family but I'm thankful to have known such a great man who was dedicated to his family, fitness, and his passions like hiking and tennis. 

After the service, some of the Rush crew headed out for a bite to eat.  Isn't it strange that we always eat after funerals? We went to Wesner's in downtown Rogers and they only serve breakfast on Saturdays.  It was good...I especially liked the biscuit with Apple butter!

Below is my best interpretation of 80's style for a murder mystery dinner party that I went to at my friend Cathy's house that night.  It was a fun night and we all had a good time and none of us guessed who the murderer was. 
Lolita Xposure - I turned out to be an photographer/assassin who would kill with darts that I stored in the lens of my camera.

This morning I met up with Rhonda for a run.  We started at 11AM in order to let the day warm up a little and it was a great decision.  The sun was out and it was a perfect run...not too cold and not too windy.  We did an easy 6 miles that included the Crystal Bridges hill which we will be running during the Bentonville Half Marathon next month. 

This afternoon was another Sunday Funday swim with Brent, Lauren, Lori, and Kyla.  Today's agenda kicked my booty.  We did a warmup and then our first set was 6 x 125 with the final 25 being a sprint.  I ended up going on a 2:15 for the interval on this one. I did have to interrupt my first one in order to rescue a dinosaur from the deep end.  I don't know whose toy it was but the lifeguard was trying to get it out and having no luck.  The next set was supposed to be 8 x 50 of kick with some being under/overs.  I didn't have fins and decided to just swim instead and got in 450 yds while they did the kick set.  Then we finished up with 12 x 50 and we split them up as 6 x 50 with 25 stroke fast and 25 free cruise. The second set of 6 x 50 were done 25 cruise free then 25 sprint free.  These were all done on a 1 min interval which equated to about 15 sec rest between each.  I ended up with 2500 yds after warmup and cooldown were added in.  We finished up our workout with hot tub time! The best part of the workout for sure. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Little Bootcamp Competition

Tonight I headed off to bootcamp after work.  The bootcamp class is quite popular and usually reaches capacity so you have to go early to get in the line.  As we filed into class, I got to catch up with a friend and tell her about my almost catastrophic fall down the stairs at work today.  Luckily I was able to stay on my feet but it was slightly embarrassing since there were so many people around at the time. 

Back to bootcamp! Jason the trainer tells us what gear to get out in order to set up the circuit.  Today he requested that everything be set up in duplicate as a mirror image.  Apparently we were in for a competition.  Everyone would get a partner and then complete the circuit doing 20 reps of each exercise.  The room would be divided into two teams and the race was on to see which team could finish first. 

The circuits were:
1) Bosu ball crunch with a weight overhead
2) Straight leg dead lifts
3) Bicep curls
4) Squat with overhead press
5) Oblique crunch on stability ball holding a band taunt
6) Push up alternating hand on a step bench
7) TRX bicep curl
8) TRX squat
9) Plank with knee raise on the stability ball (kind of like a mountain climber)
10) Lateral side raise using a strength band
11) Bridge raises with feet on a step bench and weight added
12) Tricep dips off a step bench

So the fun came in if you found yourself waiting.  You couldn't start the next exercise until the group in front of you had finished and you couldn't start the next exercise until your partner was ready.  If you got backed up waiting then you had to do a waiting exercise.  These included straight arm planks, crunches, push ups, jumping jacks, and high knees.  Jason would alternate these and you never knew what was next. 

The first round was won by the front half of the room.  As the winners, we got a water break! The losing team had to do 40 leg lifts before they got a water break.  Round two was two trips around the circuit and sadly the front half lost.  Our punishment was 40 pushups and they were tough. 

The competition aspect really kept us moving quickly between stations.  I'm afraid I'm going to be sore tomorrow.  The pushups where we alternated one hand on a step and one hand on the floor were really tough.  My form was awful and I really felt weak doing them.  Below is a pic of a similar set up. 

This class has been a fun addition to my workout schedule.  It really has helped me see that I am a lot weaker than I knew:(  I like the variety of exercises that we do and like that you only have to do each exercise for 1 min at a time and usually just twice in a class.  You can do anything for a minute!

How about you...Do you go to any group classes?  Boot camp is the only one I go to.  I used to be a regular at spin classes but haven't gone in a few years.  I just use my bike trainer at home instead.  Have you tried TRX bands yet?  This has been my first introduction to them and there are some moves that are pretty tough like mountain climbers and squat jumps. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Spy With My Little Eye

I spent this past weekend with my sister Lindsey and my nephew Gavin and niece Livia.  Gavin is turning 7 in a few weeks and he is always a blast to be around.  We were driving to pick up dinner one night and Gavin decided to play I Spy with us and the little stinker would pick things that we couldn't see from the front seat of the car! In honor of Gavin, I decided to do a picture recap of my day. 

Here's Hershey going potty before I left home for work.  I think it was about 7:05 when I finally left which is a little later than normal.  If I leave at 6:45 it's about a 10-15 minute drive and when I leave after 7 it becomes a 25 minute drive due to traffic.

Packed in the car today were two swim bags and one bag with running clothes and gear so I could swim at lunch and run after work.

Breakfast at my desk was a mini bagel with strawberry cream cheese.  I had an 8AM meeting so I had to eat quick.

Lunch time and headed to the gym.  This is a cute mural that's painted along one wall of the gym.  I swam a mile at lunch.  I did one of my lazy day workouts which is sets that are 200yds long.  So I start with 200 warmup, 200 kick, 200 free, 200 back/free, 200 free, 200 breast/free, 200 pull, 250 free cooldown. 

Propped up in the car is my grocery list that I needed to remind myself to do tonight.  Girls Night Dinner tomorrow and I'm making a Jello Fruit salad. 

12:40 and it's back at work...can you believe it was 61 degrees out for the 1st day of February!

After work and had to stop for gas on my way to meet the running group.

Perfect clear night for a run!

Our Wednesday night group runs start off from the Downtown Activity Center.  I noticed tonight that the city's motto is "Enriching lives through recreation, leisure, and culture."  Bentonville has done so much over the last few years to make the city accessible for runners and cyclists.  It is great!
Some of the routes from the Activity Center.  I went with a route that kept me intown and covered right around 5 miles.  My run tonight was my participation in Maine Mom on the Run's Runniversary Two Mile Virtual Run.  My run was really peaceful and the weather was perfect.  I didn't take a picture of me on the run so I hope that Carrie will accept my picture of the trails and activity center in it's place.  Go check out her have until Feb 14th to complete her virtual run. 

When I got home it was time for laundry...
and blogging. 

Hope you enjoyed seeing my Wednesday and my version of I Spy with my little eye!