2017 So Far Has Been Tough

I haven’t posted much lately. After a rough January, I thought February would be better for me. But, here I am on the last day of the month nursing an ankle injury. I recently got some new running shoes, but didn’t break them in properly and now I’m paying the price. Ah, well.

Lesson learned: A 4-mile run is not the way to break in new shoes.

New Running Shoes

What should I have done? Half a mile, maybe 1. Then, gradually build up distance. Got it for next time.

I’m about a month away from the Oakland Half Marathon and am really hoping things improve on the training front. Maybe the bigger lesson here is that you still have to be careful even when you think you know what you are doing.

Me in taped up glory

Too bad you can’t see all the tape under my shoe… I will say that the KT tape has helped a bit, but would really like to be 100% pain free soon. Stay healthy!


Workouts & Injuries (& PT)

I’ve neglected my blog for a bit now… Mainly because I’m frustrated with a knee injury that I can’t quite recover from. I really enjoy running and I’m supposed to be training for a half marathon next month, but I can’t run more than 3 miles. At the 3-mile mark, my knee starts to hurt. And, it’s not a “you can run through it” hurt – it’s sharp pain every time my foot lands.

While I’ve added more information about my current woes below, here are my key takeaways:

  1. See a doctor when you need to. While many injuries do get better on their own, keep tabs on your body and heed its warnings. If you aren’t getting better, seek help
  2. Don’t be afraid to try other activities. While I had no plans to get back into biking after a very long hiatus, that’s where I am. And, it’s allowing me to continue exercising while giving my knee a break
  3. Strength training is important, injury or not. Do it. Trust me!

I’ve been relegated to biking, which made me mad at first. I started biking begrudgingly… Because I had to. Now, I’m a month in and am starting to enjoy it. With this knee situation, I think I’ll need to continue doing more biking, so I have started to look for a proper road bike. That, in and of itself, is kind of fun. 🙂

Road bikes!

Road bikes!

With the bike, I definitely get to go further. And, faster. I’ve also gained a bit more perspective on sharing the trail. As a runner, I am continually frustrated by cyclists who whiz by very close or who don’t warn when they pass. And, don’t get me started on the pairs or groups who take up the whole trail and don’t care about you even when they see you coming. As a cyclist, I acknowledge that not everyone is paying attention to their surroundings and you have to watch out for them. I warn every time I pass, whether it’s a walker, running, or other cyclist. It feels all to easy to end up in an accident.

I also begrudgingly went to the doctor, who recommended physical therapy. I have been doing that for 3 weeks now and I am starting to feel more positive about recovery. The physical therapist is helping me build up leg strength. Not just in my knee. He’s focusing on my hips as well because they can help stabilize my running gait.

It’s not easy. And, I did go on a 3-mile run this morning. It went well. No pain. While I am definitely planning to participate in next month’s half marathon, I’m not sure if I’ll be running or walking. I am hoping to come up with a run-walk plan that will pan out. I am also looking forward to getting back to my trail running – much more interesting scenery. 🙂 So, onward and upward I suppose.

Any tips on recovering from a knee injury? I’d love to hear them.


Mixing Up the Exercise Routine

For a really long time, I ran. That’s it. Different distances, sometimes different routes, but still just running. Then, I decided to add a little variation to my exercise routine. Currently, I’m exercising 6 days a week (mostly) as follows:

  • Run 4+ miles – 3-4 days a week
  • Indoor cycling – 1-2 days a week
  • Weight work – 1 day a week

While I sometimes get frustrated with my lack of calorie burn on weight day, it’s really important that I do it so I don’t lose muscle mass. To give myself a little boost, I’ve started riding my bike to the gym on weight day. It’s not far, so I don’t get a big boost, but it’s better than nothing.

When I can’t stick to the routine, I modify. Lately, I’ve had to switch over to outdoor cycling (something I haven’t done in a really long time) on a few of my run days. I injured and then re-injured my right knee so I’m trying to keep it healthy so I can complete a half marathon in October. I’m a little worried that this will mess with my training more than I’d like, but I also like not having knee pain, so… 🙂

I do get to see more when I ride my bike. I certainly appreciate the views. Here’s a picture from this morning’s bike ride:

Boats in the morning sun

I also get to pull out my bike gear that’s been gathering dust. Who am I kidding? My bike was gathering dust, too! Nice to have it down from the rack and back in action – even if I’m riding a mountain bike on the road. Whatevs! What do you do to modify and try to deal with injuries? I’d love some suggestions.

Stay healthy!

What a Weird Weekend

I had a bit of a disappointing weekend with my training – for both my July 10 12k and my half marathon in October. On Friday, I fell and hurt my foot. That was crazy, weird… So, that was about 2:30am when I tried to get up and check on my son. When I got out of bed around 6am on Friday, I tested out my foot and everything felt ok. I went for a 4-mile run and it went well. Once or twice, I felt a minor tweak in my foot, but mostly felt nothing during the run.

That afternoon, my foot really started to hurt. Whaaaat?!? The next thing I know, I’m limping around in pain. Boo! So, as I muttered something about keeping my foot up so I could try to run Saturday morning, my hubby (unlikely voice of reason) convinced me it wasn’t such a good idea. So, no running or gym for me on Saturday. I did tape my foot up with KT Tape. It was my foot, not my ankle that was giving me trouble. By Saturday evening, my foot was feeling a lot better.

Hmmmm, maybe I could run on Sunday. I was supposed to run 6 miles, so was feeling a little antsy about messing up my schedule. This time on my own, I decided to be a somewhat good patient and take an indoor cycling class instead. That worked out well. Not too much strain on my foot and got in a pretty intense workout.

That brings me to this morning. I did a 4-mile run and I am feeling pretty confident that I can do my 6 miles tomorrow… Just in time for my 7-mile run this weekend. I think it will be a challenging run – challenging in a good way. Plus a little life got in the way this morning. Hopefully I’m on track with my training again. So many monkey wrenches, so little time. 😉

Kitty tried to make me feel better. Good kitty!

Stay healthy!

Exercise and Recovery

Last Saturday, I hurt my right knee during my first body sculpting class at the gym. At first I thought it was just muscle soreness, but quickly realized I had done something not-so-good. It’s not horrible, but I don’t want to risk hurting it more, so I took it easy this week. I did 2 cycling classes and 2 short (3-mile) runs on the treadmill. I also now remember just how boring treadmill running can be. 😉

My knee is still sore, but doing better… I think I made the right choice. Especially, if you want to add the soreness in my left foot. Since mid-March, the ball of my foot has been really bothering me. I decided to power through that and completed a half marathon on March 20. But, now! Now, my foot seems angry at me, so I’m also nursing that injury.

I know both injuries would get better faster if I weren’t still exercising, but that would kill me. Maybe not literally, but I do think it would demoralize me too much. So, a slightly slower recovery so I can continue doing mild exercise feels like the best solution.

I’ve also started wrapping my knee with my KT Tape, which has been really helpful. I have a knee brace, but it felt super bulky and uncomfortable. I checked out the tutorial on how to wrap my knee with the KT Tape and managed to do a pretty decent job. My knee felt good – It’s a good alternative if a knee brace isn’t 100% needed and if you just can’t stand all that bulk.

So, I’ve learned:

  • Treadmill running is boring. Wait, I already knew that… But, I reconfirmed. Oh, I already mentioned that? That’s because it’s boring
  • Sunday’s cycling class is a LOT more intense than Wednesday’s cycling class. Maybe because it is at 8am instead of 6am? I don’t know, but today’s class was TOUGH. I felt good about it after, but it was challenging

I would have done body sculpting again (but careful on the knee), but my son’s birthday party was yesterday and that meant no time for a morning workout. We had 20 kids running around like crazy. And, the cake turned out super awesome.

No pictures of my boring workout week, but checkout this cake! 🙂

My son's birthday cake!

My son’s birthday cake!