It’s been a rough week in terms of writing on the blog. I usually have a ton of ideas and inspiration but when it comes down to putting it to paper (computer?), it’s a lot harder. When it comes to scientific writing, it’s so much easier…but then again, I’ve spent most of my life writing that way. I’m hoping that over time, my non-scientific writing skills (aka blog writing) will improve. You just gotta do it, right?
Most of the bloggers and fitness experts advocate for using Sundays as days for planning and prepping meals and workouts for the week. I definitely see how planning ahead and prepping ahead keeps one “in line” with his or her goals. It’s harder for me to stick with any plans, especially when it comes to meals, since fiancé and I tend to eat whatever it is we’re craving for the day. But I do try to cook 80% of our meals at home and we are 80% consistent with our workouts, so I think we do a pretty good job. It’s all about balance and doing what works for you.
Despite not doing the whole meal planning thing, what makes it easy to be on track with our meals is that we’re (well, mostly me) pretty simple with our meals. Usually it’s a combination of a source of protein, carbs, and veggies. For me, lunches are either leftovers from last night’s dinner, salads, or sandwiches. I’ll also bring lots of snacks and fluids with me to get me through the day. Breakfast is either oatmeal with PB and fruit, or a homemade egg mcmuffin sandwich. Because my meals are generally pretty basic (but tasty!), it’s pretty easy not to fall off track with my meals.
With the Ragnar Relay and Nike Womens Half Marathon coming up, I need to be more consistent and strategic with my training, so I am going to make more of an effort to plan my workouts during the week. This will definitely help me get in and out of the gym, especially now that I am starting work back up again and needing to commute 2 hours a day (ew and ouch!).
This week’s plan:
- Sunday: Runday, 5 miles (done)
- Monday: Foamrolling (lots of it!), light cardio (crosstraining), and ab work
- Tuesday: 3 miles with intervals/speedwork, chest/arms
- Wednesday: Leg day
- Thursday: 3 miles with intervals/speedwork, back
- Friday: 6 miles?
- Saturday: off
I always thought that I had pretty strong legs. Hell, I can press more than my body weight (last time I checked, I pressed about 130 lbs). But as I stated in my last post, I’m pretty sure the changes in my schedule and lack of adequate training led to my injuries. After doing a lot of research and talking to my fellow runner friend, I’m 99.9% sure I have IT Band syndrome.
Dr. Metzl from runningworld.com tells me that it’s because I have a weak butt and need to do lots of strength training and stretching. When I was living in Arizona, I definitely was more consistent with this (I worked out at least 5 times a week and was more consistent with yoga). But now, it’s back to the drawing board and retraining my body over again. I hope that I have enough time before Nike Women’s SF in October! Here’s one of the strength training program Dr. Metzl put together that I found (videos here). I put together a little cheat sheet so I could take it to the gym with me…it might be useful for you too!
I started running races three years ago, starting with a 5k, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Since then, I’ve ran a 10k, 12k, and three halves, with the latest one being the SF Giants Half Marathon yesterday.
This particular race was the hardest one I’ve ever done, for a couple of reasons.
- I didn’t get to train properly due to the moving and being in transitional period. I started my longer runs less than a month away from the race- no bueno!
- Along the same lines, I didn’t get to do my normal strength training and yoga practice, which I’ve realized plays a HUGE role in my running.
- This led to (I think) my “runner’s knee” problem. My last couple of long training runs were really difficult- I would get sharp knee pains, to the point where it was really difficult to bend my knee. My hip flexors hurt. I was hoping that my shoes were the cause, but after I changed my shoes to my older, trusty ones, the problems were still there.
The weather was perfect: foggy and cool, which makes for the perfect running conditions. The first 2-3 miles were pretty good- no pain, no tightness, and I was taking it pretty “easy,” considering what I can normally do. Miles 4-8 were still ok, but I definitely was slowing down because I could feel my hips and knee start to tighten. During this time, I kept telling myself, “The body is strong, you feel no pain.” It worked, for a while.
Mile 8-9 was excruciating. My knee would not bend and it hurt so much to keep running. I really considered calling the fiancé to come pick me up in the Marina because I was worried that I couldn’t keep going. But I stretched for about 5 minutes and got my knee and hips loose enough to keep going. The rest of the way back, I ran 30 counts on then walked for 30 counts. The stiffness in my leg forced me to have a pretty hard foot strike, so my ankles started to feel some pain as well.
I finished at 2 hours and 40 minutes, my worst time ever, even worse than my very first half. I was a little disappointed, because I’ve been working hard to improve my times and my goal had been getting under 2:15. But I try to remind myself that I have another half in October and want to make sure that I’m not too injured to run that. So now it’s time for rest and rehab.
Below are some pictures from the yard- my favorite home away from home. The grass was amazingly soft, and that was the closest I will ever be to the infield =).