Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Comes to a Close

I have 2 jobs these days and have been working more than I ever have in my life. If it weren't for my husband and all he does at home (even though he works a lot too), I would go nuts! Things should calm down a bit as January begins but lately I have hardly had time for running let along logging my running! So here is a rundown:

I ran 174.4 miles in 2014...which is 174.4 more miles than I expected! I'm feeling great. Today's run was 4.5 miles in crazy cold temperatures as we have had a serious cold storm move through. It's awesome though, we get a touch of winter in SoCal.

Less than 3 weeks until the Carlsbad Half Marathon! I'm so excited! My longest run so far has been 8 miles which is pretty good. I still need to get a 10 miler in next, then another 8 or 9 miler. I don't see myself getting anything longer than 10 miles in before the race.

One interesting challenge has been just finding time to run. I love my morning runs. Get some coffee, get some water, toast w/almond butter & banana down, take kids to school, then go for my run. It's usually sunny and after my run I can kind of plan what chores need done, what errands I need to run, etc. But I have been working a lot of morning shifts which totally screws up my schedule. I have gotten up early once, but I hate getting up early. No matter how much motivation I try to give myself, no matter what I tell myself, I just can't get up early. I ran after work one day and that was awesome. I work in Pacific Beach for one of my jobs so there are countless gorgeous, accessible places to run nearby. A lot of the time though I have a kid in some sport that I need to get home to see. But some days it works out and it is pure bliss.

In the end I am just so thankful. I have been on quite a journey. January 9 I posted this before my surgery the next day: "With all of the nervousness I feel there is also an exponential measure of hope. This journey will take the good part of 2014, but I have hope that the end result will be a success story. I have hope that I will walk again normally, that I will run again one day. Hiking, biking, swimming, etc...I will do it again. It sucks not to be able to do it for such a long time but at least I know that once I can again, I will never-not for one second-take it for granted."

Above races to run or anything else I do this year, I'm thankful I can do anything! Here's to a healthy, injury-free 2015!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Into Week 5 and going strong

Well as my title would suggest (obviously), I'm into week 5 of half marathon training and I'm going strong! I have some soreness after yoga and strength training sessions and foam rolling is rough but for the most part running is feeling more and more natural.

Today was an "off-day". Now I don't mean "rest day", I mean "OFF-day". Today my 4-mile run was majorly off. I went into it after a good warm-up too (which I'll admit I am often too impatient to do). My L lower leg was burning, I felt sluggish and about mile 2 I just about pooped myself. Thankfully I made it to the Rite Aid. I blame my 2nd cup of coffee, which I usually never drink before a run! My body has just been a little bit off today. Nothing to totally throw me off my plan. I am hydrating better today and I think the #2 issue should be resolved. It was just hard...I didn't even want to think about how the half marathon is 9 more miles!

Generally speaking my body is feeling a lot better since starting running. I was dealing with an ulcer, and was having issues with gas and constipation and some blood sugar-regulation issues when I began my half marathon plan. Since then it seems most of the gas/constipation issues are very rare, and the ulcer is healed nicely. Running seems to work out a lot of stuff digestively speaking. I am more careful about what I eat for sure as well. I also feel like the energy I expend during a run helps to regulate my blood sugar and of course offers much-appreciated endorphins. I'm relieving stress and my body feels so much better. It also trickles into other areas of my life as well and I am getting better at remembering my vitamins, stretching, drinking more water and generally taking better care of myself. Of course these are generalities which did not exactly apply to today ;)

Also I am part of a small but active running group on Facebook. We report in on our daily runs, share funny pictures and helpful articles we find online. I like having a group with like-minded ladies.

I'm getting so excited about my target race! The Carlsbad Marathon/Half Marathon has a Facebook page as well and they post something every couple of days, such as a recent video. I am really looking forward to this race!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Capping off Week 3 of HM Training

Today I finished up week 3 of half marathon training. It has been a pretty good week. Life is very busy so my schedule can vary from week to week. My #1 goal is to get my runs in, followed by yoga sessions and then other cross training as I can. Everything is coming along. I am feeling less like I am dying during my runs as my body gets back into shape. I know it will just continue to get better.

Yesterday I had to work and along my commute is a Road Runner Sports store, including a Clearance store. Every time I pass I drool wishing I could stop. Today I finally did. I didn't have a lot of time but I stopped! I looked at shoes first but the shoes at the Clearance store were all gently used and I'm just not into that. The shoes at the regular store were all full price (upwards of $100, no thanks) so I did not end up buying any shoes. The Clearance store did have tops and bottoms and a few new shoes but I just didn't have time to sift through everything. I did end up buying some calf sleeves (non-compression), a new running visor, a pack of Gu Brew tabs and a new running jacket. It is more like a light windbreaker, but exactly what I have been looking for. It has vents you can unzip as you warm up. It doesn't get all that cold here in SoCal but a jacket is really nice to have for many reasons, and will come in handy if I get up early any day for my run. I haven't had this type of jacket since I left my Eddie Bauer one in my gear-check bag at the Eugene Marathon so it was time.

Today's run was great. I love the calf sleeves! I have been wanting to buy some for a while because even though my achilles is strong, I'm still building my calf back up and my L ankle kind of feels it a bit . Today everything felt good...actually felt normal...and that's a great feeling!

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9:16 per mile! Yahoo!!

I walked to warm up and then jogged about a mile before I arrived at the track. Then I did the rest on the track, focusing on my form and breathing. The last mile I took a couple 20 second walk breaks but then the last 300 meters I really sprinted. I am very pleased with my time. After my workout I did some push-ups, sit-ups, tri-dips, etc and finished up with 10 stadium stairs. I'm feeling great!

I also wanted to mention that this morning I was not feeling great. I woke up with vertigo, and just not feeling very good. Post-run I still have a little bit of it but running really felt good and I am glad I got out there and got it done.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Week 3 of Half Marathon Training!

So here I am...week 3 of half marathon training! I wanted to wait a couple of weeks before I posted to make sure that I would stick with it. Sounds backwards...wouldn't I post it so that I would have to stick with it? Well I did post this picture on Instagram...

At it's start it is nice and clean and white...since then I've been adding colorful sparkly star stickers. Gotta love little extras like that!
I had to find a way to get myself back on track and this has worked for me! I think my caution was due to my being unsure how my leg would handle running. Right now I run 3x a week, yoga 1x (although I'm going to start making it 2x) and sneak in XT when I can, but it hasn't been consistant because my bike tires are flat and I don't have a pool available. I usually consider a nice long walk or hike my XT. I am hoping to look into strength training classes at the gym where my brother works, and though the yoga I do is serious strength training yoga (not your gramma's yoga!).

My body is tolerating the training very well. I take frequent walk breaks as needed and do 10 stadium stairs after each run as much as I can (sometimes the field is locked). I definitely notice that my legs tolerate the activity differently. My right butt might be sore while my left shin is...or my L hamstring might be super tight but my L is perfectly fine. It's really weird and I have to really concentrate on my form and make my (lazy) left leg perform properly. My L calf muscle just isn't as strong as my R. This is why I walk as needed and stretch often. My L Achilles is super strong but I'm all about preventing injury these days!

Exciting news for me is that I'm all registered for the Carlsbad Half Marathon Jan 18! I'm so excited to get back out and participate in an event of this caliber! I don't even care what my time is or anything else...I think I registered with an estimated finish time of somewhere between 2:00-2:15. Even if I don't make that time I won't care. I'll just be glad to get that medal and know what my body is capable of again.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Excuses Excuses

I'm tired of excuses. I'm tired of being too busy...too tired...too many places to go...

Fall has officially arrived in SoCal so at least the "too hot" excuse is out the window finally! I did some runs while it was hot and I was a hot mess when it was all over. I have done some hiking and such and although my left leg doesn't really tolerate them well (sore for DAYS), if I were doing it more often, perhaps it would get stronger (DUH!)

Day 1 of (another) new plan

Today I got out and went for a run. It was awesome! Somehow it felt relatively like I had never stopped. I managed a surprisingly fast 9:30 pace through the 3 miles. Fall is great here with lower temps plus the pretty sunshine. I enjoyed every minute. After my run I did 10 stairs and the last 3 I did some quick sprinting. Honestly I was surprised that I was able to do these things. And it's not that I thought that I couldn't, it's just that I have been too busy and distracted from running that I haven't tested myself in a while (except a recent hike with my husband that rocked my calves).

Yesterday I wrote out a great half marathon plan and taped it to my bathroom mirror. I have some cool sparkly star stickers to mark each day with. My goal race is the Carlsbad Half Marathon Jan 18-which is just about on the year anniversary of my Achilles repair surgery. I think it will be great timing.

Along with running I am going to start going back to yoga. I have been holding off on so many things that might cost money but it's time to do a few things for myself again. I have a good strength training routine that I will follow on my own on Strength & Stretch days. For cross training I'm not sure yet because my bike tires are flat and it's not swimming season anymore...

But let's just say it's nice to be doing some normal things again!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Working Woman

Life has been so crazy busy ever since I got this job. I love it by the way! It's so busy though, full time Mon-Fri, 8:15 until about 4 each day. At first I underestimated how tiresome it could be, but now that we're in week 4 of working I'm starting to get the hang of it...sort of.

My running agenda is kind of up in the air. I am on my feet all day long which surprisingly makes my achilles really sore. I stretch and try to take care of it after work. I have tried getting up early to jog like I did during nursing school but my body isn't having it. I certainly do not have as many "excuses" as I did during nursing school but my body wakes up and is like, NO. I did a little trail run/walking the other night and I found that I am actually enjoying doing a workout that time of night which is new for me. It works out well because it is during my youngest son's football camp (which will later become football practice-same place and time). I think that is going to be my best bet.

In my "free time" I have been finding ways to chisel out some exercise. Saturday I took the kids to the pool where I swam my 10 laps. At night I like to do some yoga (although I hugely prefer taking an actual class). Of course 4th of July weekend a few weekends back I got great exercise and had a ton of fun battling waves boogie boarding.

So it's all a work in progress. Change always seems to be the word of the season. Change, adjust, enjoy. Change, adjust, enjoy. I'll get there soon!
On the flipside I have been doing great with my intake. Because I have this routine, I pack my lunch and stay too busy all day to do much snacking. I start out the day always eating a good breakfast and in the evening we almost always eat something relatively healthy. There is always sugary treats at my work though-always! Someone is always have a birthday or celebrating something which brings in the cakes and donuts, etc. I haven't been too bad with it, since in reality those types of treats give me a sugar rush headache/nausea most of the time. So I usually just take a very small portion and enjoy it. Life is too short not to eat dessert! But the end to this paragraph was to say I have lost a few pounds just because of the discipline that being so busy had bred. I'm not disappointed at all!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Sore Two Miles

What a week and a half! Last week was an off week. Not because I didn't want to run, but because I started a new job and was busy! Then our family enjoyed a beach weekend for the 4th of July. While I did not do any running that week, I did go on a great bike ride with my husband on Sunday and spent several hours each day boogie boarding and body surfing. What fun! If only all workouts were as fun while being as challenging as playing in the surf :)
Doesn't this just make you want to go swimming? It does me!
Yesterday I was lazy and slept in but today I refused to do that again! I got up at 5:45, just as the sun was rising, got my cup of coffee and headed out for a run. My muscles were so stiff! I cut my route in half and settled for 2 miles. I am still training for a half marathon but I've backtracked to week 2 to make sure my body is ready to move on. With no physical therapy it is important now more than ever to get the appropriate strength moves in as well as using my stick to keep my tendons loose.

Happy summer!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Recap and Unpleasant Discovery About My Kids

Wow that week went fast! Here is the recap up until today:

Saturday: 3.8 miles, 10:53 pace

Sunday: 4.25 miles, 10:57 pace longest training run so far!

This week has been weird. I had a nice running tally going and planned on taking Monday off. Then my friend and I decided at the last minute to do an awesome hike. It was over 3 miles and 1,200 feet elevation though so it was a tough workout!

Hiking Mt Woodson

Enjoying the incredible view from Potato Chip Rock

I took Tuesday off instead. Wednesday I had a job interview in the morning then took the kids swimming in the afternoon. I only ended up doing 4 laps-lame but my neck was really hurting. Then today I got all geared up to go out for my run this morning...

My husband and I are struggling to make changes in our household. Due to busy-ness or who knows what our kids have gotten lazy and in our opinion unhealthy. They are not bad in comparison to some for sure, and they are not overweight but we have slowly been making shocking discoveries.
  • First, the sheer amount of time they will spend in front of a screen (if we let them) is staggering. It is mindless, pointless and ridiculous. So step 1 was to eliminate or unplug all screens. We *gasp* deleted all game apps from our iThings. Our kids need to be kids and stop being zombies.
  • Next there are sports to sign them up for but they don't start for a while. So we plan on doing more swimming and adding some jogging. We also need to get some bike flat tires fixed.
Today I discovered that I hate jogging with my kids. I'm a monster, I know. But hear me out. This morning I was looking forward to an easy jog with my boys. We walked our driveway to warm up then began jogging once we turned the corner. The route was a very easy straight stretch to a stoplight then back. Extremely easy. I think it amounted to maybe 0.8 of a mile. Each one took like 10 jogging steps before he stopped and whined telling me his legs hurt and he was tired-already. Wow.

The rest of the run consisted of me trying to encourage them at all costs, even holding hands. I told them to go slow just keep jogging. All they would do was walk and make excuses. Then it escalated to me barking at them and (perhaps not my finest hour) finally telling them that if they didn't exercise they were going to get fat like grandpa. I admit, there are better ways to motivate. But oh, the laziness, the whininess, and the unwillingness to try!!! My husband took them a couple of nights ago and said his experience was similar. I have not been that frustrated in a very long time. I had no idea this is what would happen. I mean we pride ourselves on being active and keeping them active but when it came to something that resembled a challenge, they gave up right out the gate.

I don't know how I will be able to keep jogging with them but I feel like we need to keep trying. I just need to do my run first, then take them along after I am finished. I thought I could go with them, have it be a really good warm up then I would complete my run. It was literally the worst part of my morning. I didn't get my own run in, and I was so frustrated by my kids' attitudes that I needed a timeout. I am just shocked by their unwillingness to try. Are we just raising a bunch of wimps? Where is the fire? Where is the excitement to do something active? I thought we were doing great, but I'm not so sure anymore. My husband and I are working on it and I will post more as things progress.

That being said our oldest son will run on his own, in addition to his football camp. I guess we experience both ends of the spectrum in our family!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Importance of the Warm-Up/Cool-Down

3.6 miles today, 40 minutes

Today I re-learned a lesson I seem to have to learn time and time again...the importance of the warm-up. I am kind of an impatient person when it comes to my runs. I begin calculating as soon as my work-out starts, and I sometimes want to get to jogging before I am properly warmed up. In my last post I described the pains that went along with not properly warming up. Today I eased into my work-out with walking, some easy jogging and a bit of stretching between. Once I felt properly warmed up nothing could stop me. I experienced no pain at all! Perhaps that was the fix, perhaps it was just a good day. Whatever it was, I thought a short discussion on warming up and cooling down might be helpful.

Warm-Up:


Properly warming up your muscles dilates your blood vessels, allowing proper oxygenation, which facilitates proper metabolism. In short, your muscles just work better. (http://running.about.com/od/howtorun/ht/warmup.htm)

In addition, properly warming up helps to lubricate your joints by warming up the synovial fluid in them. Joints like knees, ankles and hips really need this because proper lubrication of the joints helps with decreasing possibility of injury and improves longevity. Since runners are notorious for having these joint injuries, anything you can do to improve performance and care is essential!

Lastly, tendons have poor vascularization, meaning they have very few blood vessels (veins and arteries) which supply them. Have you ever had a tendon or ligament injury? Have you noticed how much longer it takes for it to heal versus say, pulling a muscle (which is extremely vascularized). By warming up, you increase blood flow to tendons and ligaments and you simply warm them up. This is kind of like stretching a warm rubber band versus a cold one. It will stretch much better when warm.

Warming up can be simply walking, skipping, doing some high-knees, butt-kicks, stretches and calf-raises.

Cool-Down:


A cool down is a great time to rehydrate, get your heart rate and respirations under control and stretch while you are still warm. In addition, your body has produced waste material during your workout due to aerobic metabolism in the cells. Typically this is lactic acid. By walking about 400M or the equivalent of one lap on the track post-run, you help your muscles work this lactic acid out of the cells where the bloodstream can carry it away. If left to sit in the cells lactic acid increases inflammation in the muscles which causes soreness. So walk that extra lap, stretch and properly cool down and you will be a little less sore the next day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cross Training Day

Today I needed a break from running, and thankfully my plan gave me one! But instead of doing the Strength/Stretch routine, I did Wednesday's workout and did some cross training. I needed to run a few errands so I did so on bike amounting to 30 minutes. I also did 1 hour of much-needed weeding in our yard after. In the afternoon I took my boys for a swim and spent some time with a kick board doing laps (then playing). I am not a strong swimmer but when I add it as part of my routine, I improve. I did 20 lengths today.

My Achilles is feeling pretty tight with all of this activity. I stretch a lot and use The Stick to release tension. It is not the worst though. Most of all I am thrilled to be feeling so active again...feeling more like myself!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday, Monday! Week 2 of Half Marathon Training

...and 5 months, 1 week post-op!

Today I set out to start Week 2 of my Half Marathon training plan. I like how this plan starts out very gradually. It is perfect for a beginner or someone who is coming back from an injury like me!

Last week went really well. I did all of the workouts except for Saturday because I quickly fall out of routine on the weekends. Saturday we went to Aquatica, the waterpark in S. San Diego. It was fun!

So this week starts Week 2. Today was 2 miles/20 minutes strength and stretching. I set out for my 5K loop, with intentions for a walk/jog like usual. Up to 1 mile, I walked and jogged and my heel was bothering me. After that it seemed to be warmed up and didn't hurt anymore but my calf was burning like crazy and I seem to be getting some sciatica on my L side. I have had it before but it usually traveled from buttcheek to the back of my knee and stopped, and wasn't too intense. This time it is much more intense and makes it's way all the way down my calf. *sigh* It was rough but I made it 2.75 miles. I kept thinking...Kobe Bryant...Kobe Bryant...(see news link for explanation). Thus, I have no problem doing a lot of walking in my workouts. It's all about getting it done!

When I finished, I did a cool-down walk, drank some water then set my timer for 20 minutes of S/S which felt really good. I'm glad it is all worked out in a plan because when it is on a schedule, I'm more likely to do it!

I have just resolved to the fact that I will continue to need a lot of stretching on my L side (and my R wouldn't hurt either!). I even think that as long as forever, I will need extra stretching. I'm ok with that, as long as it allows me to stay active. I was thinking today, if I am not active, I die. My body just wants to work! I was also realizing that a few extra pounds are also probably contributing to sciatica like usual. It is usually the key to getting it to go away, since I carry weight on my hips and butt. It makes sense. It's science ;)

Last but not least, I got some new kicks! We visited the Nike Outlet because my oldest son is starting football camp today and I needed a new pair. I never realize how badly I need a new pair until I try the new pair on. Being Nike Frees, there isn't always a dramatic difference in insole padding, but I noticed that the same shoe, same size is more snug with the new shoes. I have really stretched the old ones out...and my left foot is a bit more swollen.

You're Welcome for the close-up of my sweet ankle veins ;)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Milestone and such

Sometime late last week or early this week I was working on some of my PT exercises at home and I discovered that I can do a single-leg calf raise on my L side! This was an amazing accomplishment and quite a milestone showing the strength of my calf coming back!

Not so much a milestone, but this week I also learned that you can cut your incision scar pretty good shaving, thanks to the lack of feeling in that area. I never thought about it too much before but was always careful. I had pulled out a brand new razor though and oops!

Lastly today's run was a killer! I set out for my 5K loop and did shorter run/walk intervals because my left lower leg was just burning like crazy. It reminded me of the time I tried wearing CEP compression socks on a run. That being said, I fought through the run. As I was headed down the home stretch, I checked my app and I had only made about 2.5 miles. Bummer! I had forgotten the very first 1/2-mile loop in the route. Oh well it was a tough run and I accomplished a 10:39 pace!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mon/Tues/Wed

Workouts for the week!

Mon: 3.23 miles, a good, hard run! I did more running than walking on this run which was awesome, and I accomplished a 10:50 minute mile pace overall! I finally have found a good loop that I know is about a 5K. I did my 20 minutes of strength moves after my run and did some stretching later that night. I also pulled out my foam roller and Stick!

I had to post because my loop kind of looks like the shape of the state of Oregon, which I thought was pretty cool in a nerdy way!
Tuesday: I was sore and stiff-ish even after my warm up so I took it a bit easier and only went 2 miles. It was probably a good idea since I had all kinds of distractions that morning and it was almost noon before my workout. That also meant it was over 80 degrees! I tolerated it pretty well, but was reminded to always use sunscreen that I already know will not get into my eyes, and I need a good sweat band of some sort. A hat works, but when I am not wearing a hat, a sweat band is a must! Sweat----> eyes = OUCH. I also completed my 20 minutes of strength moves and stretching later that night.

Wednesday: I got all geared up for another run today, then my PT's office called to tell me I missed my appointment! It was a weird week and my PT is out of town Friday, so I had scheduled for earlier in the week. Thankfully she also had an opening at 11:00am so I packed up a lunch and my kiddos and headed into town. After PT we went to the San Diego Zoo so it was a lot of work on my leg today but in a good way. Tonight I will do some really good stretching (my lower half is SORE).

Tomorrow will be 2 miles and then I plan on taking the boys to the pool where I can do some Cross Training too! It feels so amazing to have an organized plan for my fitness. I usually do and with life being so out of what, it's great to have a bit falling back into place!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Be anxious for nothing...

I feel like lately I have been placing my name into so many hats just waiting and hoping it gets chosen at some point. There are so many factors I cannot control!

I am applying for jobs which is nerve-wrecking to say the least. I have applied for so many jobs I have all of my contacts and addresses, license numbers, etc memorized. I have literally lost count of how many I have applied for! It has to be at least 20-25 so far. I know people have to apply for many more than that before the magic one falls into their lap, so I'm not going to give up yet!

Then I found myself at various events and clicking on links online, signing up for drawings or sweepstakes, putting my name in the running again...why not right? You never know. There I was again, throwing my name out into the unknown.

All of this had me thinking...all of these things I put myself out there for I can't control if I am chosen or not. I put my best face forward, market myself as best as I possibly can and if I'm their gal they will pick me but if I'm not, that's life sometimes. I can't take it personal. All I can do is shake it off, move on and keep trying.

On the other hand my health and fitness I have a lot of control over! Certain situations will happen no matter what you do (freak illness, genetic issues, tragic accidents) but overall you can make a huge impact on whether you reach your dreams or not by your day-to-day choices. I love this. When I feel frustrated about the things I can't control (will I ever get a job?), I can easily switch my focus onto things I can control and take myself out for a run, sit down and make a healthy meal plan, do some yoga and stretching or just go play with my kids. It always brings me back to a place of peace where I refuse to worry about what I cannot control and focus on the things that I can.

How often do we expend energy via anxiety into things we cannot control? What a waste of time, right?!? So stop it! Do your best, work hard, pray hard, then let go and let God do the rest. He has good things for you, just trust Him! When disappointments arise, my rule is that I let myself be bummed and emotional about it for about 15 minutes then after that it is officially in the past and I move on. There's no need to spend much more time being upset about it when you really can't change it!

Proverbs 3:5-6
Matthew 6:24-34
v. 27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?



Sunday, June 8, 2014

It Must Be Summer...

...because it's after 10:00 pm and I'm blogging! This wouldn't be a terribly weird thing if my laptop keyboard actually worked, but it doesn't so I am sitting at our PC instead. I guess I think best at night, right before bed. And for once I wanted to write it down!

We've had some great days. Great happenings in our family, great weather, great moments turned into memories. I'm glad and thankful that life is simply-good.

My last run was 2 days ago, at 3.23 miles. I accomplished a 10:50 pace-yeah! I was pretty sore the next day though, focused on my lower leg (surprise, surprise!). The reason was because I ran more than I walked this day which in and of itself is awesome! However, the soreness is always a good sign that perhaps a teeny step back might be helpful. So I am going to stick with the same distance a bit, but maybe not push it with jogging quite so much. I am using my foam roller and Stick lots too.

I'm torn between whether I'm ready to do more and just scared, or lazy and making an excuse. Either way, safe is better than sorry even though I am 5 months post-op. The key is to listen to my body :)

I am beginning this half marathon training plan for beginners. However much I walk I don't care. I will start with 5Ks for a bit, some yoga and stretching and some plyometrics to gain strength. Biking will be a great cross-training exercise as well as swimming laps when I can. I think it is a really great plan and I needed a plan. So here goes!


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Getting Out There

I am happy to say I am starting to feel like a runner again...a little bit at a time. I am jogging and walking now, I have some runs on my race calendar that I feel like I could reasonably do, and I started a new Facebook page just for local runners that I have a lot in common with. The weather here has been perfect for running and there is no shortage of running routes. I just need to get a bit more consistent! My schedule has been weird and when running becomes less of a routine thing, you don't miss it as much if that makes sense, which creates a lack of urgency in doing it. So I am working on a goal half marathon and I am going to start a training plan at rock bottom as if I never ran before. Training plans work really well for me and give me an organized plan for what to do when. So I'm off to find the right app! It seems that a lot have changed and most charge you so I want to find the right one before I commit (even though $5 isn't a lot-LOL)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Physical Therapy Update

The other day I was thinking about my first day of physical therapy. I recall the frustration I felt inside and the tears I shed on the way home. And...I was thinking it might be good to post a bit of an update. So what does a therapy session look like for me these days?

Well I start with a good 15 minutes on the recumbent bike. It gets a good sweat going and gets the blood flowing.  Then my therapist uses an ultrasound machine on my scar as well as massages it. It's looking pretty good, but there are a few spots that still have thicker adhesionsd, basically right at the bottom near my ankle. You can even see it is raised in the picture.

The scar is definitely straighter and flatter. It is lightening slowly.

Next we usually do some balance work on this machine. I don't know what it is called but it is tough! It works more on intricate muscles and proprioceptive nerve function.
After this we do a variety of plyometric exercises. Some include lunges with resistance bands, calf raises, box jumps, ladder (on the ground) drills, side-to-side jumps, and today I did some intense balance work. I also do some resistance lunge jumps and calf raises on the Reformer. Then I do some deep stretching and by then I'm usually pretty beat! I am definitely not in fast-twitch/plyometric shape! I get winded easily with those exercises.

I am not registered for any other races but I have one in mind in July. The great news is that I have found some running friends! I "bumped into" some gals on Facebook that are in the military family like we are. We are talking about running the Neon 5K night race here in San Diego. It looks like fun!

Have You Complimented Anyone Lately?

Lately I have had a few nice people pay me a couple of nice compliments and it got me thinking...how often do I compliment others? It can really make your day!

Yesterday I was in line at Starbucks and these two cute young ladies told me they really liked my "purse". They were referring to what I carry these days as my "purse"...my brown saddle camera bag. I was surprised that they said that!

The same day I was on a field trip with Samuel's class and one of his friends asked me, "So how old are you Mrs. Berman? 29?" Now I don't know if he was just being cheeky but I thought it was sweet anyhow.

Then today was the best one. I haven't let myself go or anything but without running, I am not in as great of shape. The cellulite on my legs is easier to see, my tummy is a bit softer and it seems you can see the extra skin left by 3 pregnancies and my arms are a bit flabbier. I'm feeling alright overall...I mean a softer me isn't necessarily an uglier me. And I've got a good tan going on! But either way, I have been more self-conscious about my body to be honest. Well a woman at physical therapy complimented my legs today. "Man, I wish I had those legs! Dang they are tone!" It really made me feel like a million bucks because they aren't as toned as I would like.

So there ya have it! If you haven't complimented someone wholeheartedly lately, do it! It will make their day, I promise :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Keep On Keepin' On

My husband and I sat and watched Joe Dirt this afternoon so his saying is stuck in my head I guess. I haven't been logging a ton but I have been keeping active each day either walking or bicycling. My goal is to keep moving, keep working. Physical therapy is getting tougher with box jumps and such along with the strength moves. My PT says my calf is looking good.

I have really missed running the longer distances this year, and I don't plan on it any time soon. My 10K was really cool but I just don't want to overdo it. Maybe a couple more 5Ks or 10Ks but a half marathon before the year is over is a great big question mark. I know I could get to where I could finish for sure, but I'm sure my left leg would be rocked. That being said, I know by next year I will be back to running, I just know it!

My goal is to run the Triple Crown challenge here. It entails running the Carlsbad Half Marathon January 18, the La Jolla Half Marathon April 26, then America's Finest City Half Marathon (what will probably be) August 16th. I am really looking forward to some races in 2015! In the meantime its time to check out some more shorter ones for this year...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bicycling

It has been another week since I have posted. Life has been crazy busy and with kids getting out of school soon, it's bound to only get busier! That being said, I've been going on walks, trying to eat right and do my physical therapy. I did not make it to my session Friday due to the fires here with evacuations and school closing and such. We did a lot of sitting around on our butts inside since it was a thousand degrees outside and we wanted to be ready in case anything caused us to evacuate. We came through!

Thankfully temperatures have dropped which brings such respite from the heat. I had better get ready though, it gets hot here in the summer. My husband built an above ground swimming pool that I'm sure will prove very popular as it gets super hot. The kids are already loving it. I wish we could put in an in-ground swimming pool but we're just renters! Anyway for now, the weather could not be more perfect.

So today I hopped on my bike to run errands and such. I biked with the kids to school and I will go pick them up in a few minutes. Then I biked to run errands and I had to have put quite a few miles on my bike today. It felt great! I am going to be doing more biking since it doesn't hurt my left ankle/achilles. Walking is really good but jogging is still pretty rough on my leg. I just don't want to overdo it. For now I am just glad my options for exercise are increasing!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Girls on the Go 10K

That's right people, a real race report! Girls on the Go Race Event

I didn't take a ton of pictures as today was a real touch-and-go scenario. I have been out of the game for a while and I just wasn't sure how I was going to approach the day. Here are my notes:

"The difference of this run and others I have registered for is that this one isn't a test of any kind. It is simply a celebration of how far I have come. It is a 4-month milestone of no particular significance except to celebrate and prove to myself that I am back!

Goals: To break 14-minute/mi, To not get caught up in race excitement...to listen to my body and go nice and easy instead."

I managed to get up early, have a bit of an outfit thrown together and hit the road around 5:45 to head down to Mission Bay (It takes about 45 minutes).

After a quick pit-stop I arrived around 6:45 and it was already really busy. The parking area was filling fast and it was a bit of a walk to get to the start line/expo area. I had not picked up my bib ahead of time, which I immediately regretted. The line was super long!

It stretched even beyond the trees there.
I knew there was no way I would have time to go back to my car, and I would probably barely have time to make the actual start (like many others). I decided to just start whenever I was ready, and be fine knowing that the timer would start and stop when I hit the pad.

I had registered for the 5K so that is what line I was in. I met two other nice young women and we chatted about our stories. One was running with her young daughter, and the other one was running solo because her friends pooped out on her. I love the report among runners, and I always meet such nice folks!

Once I had my bib on, I ran over for a quick potty stop before the start was announced, which I had miraculously not missed. While in line, the guy next to me mentioned..."So you're running the 10K today? Cool." "Oh, no, no, no...I'm running the 5K..." I said as I looked down at my bib. At that moment I had a slight freak-out as I realized my bib said 10K! Wait a minute? Did I register for the 10K? Surely not! It must have been a mistake! I had about 2 minutes to figure out what the heck happened in my registration process before the 5K started so I gave up trying to figure it out. Well...I guess I was going to be running 6.2 miles this day!

I found my new friend who I had been chatting with and told her about the mix up right as the race began. I ended up running with her through the first 1 1/2 miles as we chatted a bit here and there.

I didn't have a lot of time to really consider my decision...run the 5K and kind of "cheat" on my 10K registration or run the 10K (risking an owie leg) and end up running twice the distance I registered for. I went back and forth until I reached the literal fork in the road and I took the 10K path. I figured my bib said 10K, I had better just go for the 10K. After all, with my run/walk strategy I could do it and be fine. I walk all over SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo and am never sore. And perhaps I let the excitement of race day motivate my decision a bit...

The course itself was very nice! I enjoyed running around Fiesta Island. Each turn was a new perspective of Mission Bay and San Diego. I may not have mentioned it much on this blog but I LOVE our new city. San Diego is an amazing place to live (and run). The downfall I saw on the course affected half marathoners. In order to reach the full 13.1 miles, there was a lot of double-backing and re-looping and keeping up with that could get frustrating, especially when you are desperately tired. But the day was great. It was cool with a light cloud cover and light breeze. Perfect running weather.

I haven't seen 4 miles in a long time!
I kept a pretty steady pace of jogging and walking but I did a lot more jogging than I have at home, that's for sure...and it felt good through the entire race. While I tried not to let the energy of the run push me, it really did. Even though it wasn't about beating anyone, and not even about beating myself, I was just so happy to be out on a fun run course! I ran hardest at the end. I was going at about a 10-to-11-minute/mile pace when I was jogging which was better than I had thought I could do! I just kept feeling it out and paid a lot of attention to how my leg felt. While I didn't have the choice to stop if it started to hurt, I could walk more if needed. It turns out it wasn't needed! It felt like it was working hard, but didn't hurt really. My doc gave me a tendon of steel!

When I arrived at the finish chute I was the only one coming so the announcer rallied support "Give her a hand folks! Finishing a 10K today...great job!" I was so thrilled that I had really ran a 10K. Even after surgery and being out of the running game for 6 months, it didn't feel bad, and I didn't feel crazy out of shape. It goes to show you that your body doesn't lose everything if you are down, and that the run/walk strategy lets you go farther without killing your body.

Can't forget the bling! This race was really cool and everyone earned medals whether you ran the 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon.

There were a few booths set up but I didn't bring any money and wasn't super interested in hanging out too long. I did score a couple of Luna Bars and bottles of Tea of a Kind drinks. The reps were giving out whole cases to anyone who asked for them!

Once I had walked to my car, I stopped for a second to take a picture of my socks. The same ones that have sat in the back of my dresser since the fateful day of November 10, 2013 when I tore my Achilles.
My Facebook post read: "The last time I wore these socks was 6 months ago, when I tore my AchillesTendon. Today, I finished a 10K in them! #4monthspostop"
t-shirt and bib...very girly

Proof!
After I got home, I got an e-mail confirmation with my race time which was really cool. I never had to register for it or anything, it just came automatically with my race registration and participation. Pretty cool!

I was shocked when I saw my stats:
I did register for the 5K! So according to the results I ran probably the slowest 5K in recorded history-LOL!! 

Here is my Nike + app result:
Running is a very cool way to explore Fiesta Island in Mission Bay



I guess that's it folks! This lady is back in the game, if only somewhat by accident. I don't plan on repeated 10Ks and even on my own I am still going to stick with 2-3 miles run/walk for now until my calf/tendon are stronger. But now I know that if I register for a race, I will survive it! :)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

And She's Running Again!

Little recap of this week or so...

I have completed 3 weeks of strong walking, around 2- 2 1/2 miles each. Then Monday, something magical happened...

I was on my walk and had a good pace going, with a great beat in my head and for no reason in particular I thought about how badly I missed the feeling of jogging, and I just started jogging! I have held off for about a month or so because my leg did not tolerate jogging and I just wasn't ready. Well this time I was ready! I did some shorter intervals just feeling it out and it was awesome! I finished with a straight stretch that ended at my house, where my husband was mowing the lawn.  He saw me there, hopped off the mower and gave me a standing ovation. Then once I got there he gave me a huge hug and told me how proud he was of me as we both cried happy tears. It was a great moment.

Wednesday I did some walk/jogging too and I talked to my PT about it on Friday during our session. She said it was awesome as long as it felt good and wasn't too much. I just can't believe it, I'm able to do some light jogging again. It feels so great!

Oh...and I have totally fell off the Paleo bandwagon. It was so boring and I can't stand not enjoying my food! I haven't written it off, but I need a new approach. To be continued...




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paleo Day 3

Today is day 3 on Paleo and how do I feel? Well at the risk of sounding super cheesy, I feel great!

The intestinal gas level has decreased dramatically, as well as the bloat. I have kept pretty strict to Paleo with the exception of a small amount of milk in my coffee and a Tbsp of light Mayo in my tuna salad. Yesterday as an experiment I had a cup of pineapple greek yogurt-one of my favorites- and I immediately started to feel the bloating and gas. Next time I'll go for pureed pineapple with a little almond milk blended in. I don't get that 4pm ravenous hunger followed by sluggishness anymore. I'm going to keep trying! I know I'm doing a good thing for my body and as I get better at recipes and substitutions I'm sure I won't hardly notice the change.

Making Real Changes

April 6 I posted about clean eating and some details about food and its effect on my body. Well as the month drew on I feel like I was doing ok, but not great.

While my mom visited, it was kind of anything goes because we were in "vacation" or "celebration" mode. Does your family celebrate with food like mine? Yep, even though we had splurged at SeaWorld and at the San Diego Zoo, my mom was still stressing about what dessert to make for me on my "birthday celebration dinner". I could care less and was pretty sugared-out. But mom just felt that I would be missing out if she didn't celebrate "properly" with a dessert. I love that woman, she fusses over me. While she visited I had the worst digestive symptoms ever: constipation, farting, bloated, etc. I'm not sure it is ever worth the splurge! It is downright uncomfortable and embarrassing.

The week after Mom left my eating habits got better, more back to normal. So why was I still having issues? I probably would not have thought twice about all of the gas. Gas is a part of a healthy body and is a normal process. But one night my husband told me, "You literally have the worst gas of anyone I have ever known." I seriously couldn't disagree with him. It had gotten bad! Then Monday night I had a horrible case of bloating around 4pm that lasted until at least 7pm. It was time to make a change, because I can't live like that!

So Monday night in my desperation, I did some searching on the internet. I wrote down possible causes as: Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Lactose Intolerance or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And of course I surveyed some friends on Facebook. A familiar answer that run true to me was the Paleo Diet (way of living). I had to admit to myself that it was time to give it a try for real.

Let me tell you, I am not a diet person. AT ALL. I can't stand the word! I don't like listening to people tell me that they tried this diet and that diet, or that they "can't" eat things for fear of ruining their diet. The worst is when someone grabs a sweet or something of that sort and says it means they are "being bad". I honestly do not know what it is about the word diet. I guess in a way I am stubborn about food. I love food! And ain't nobody gonna tell me what I can and cannot eat! I think the reason "diets" drive me nuts is that they are very superficial and almost always don't get to the bottom of why a person needs it in the first place! They are just a band-aid solution.

But the Paleo way of living isn't a diet, it is a different way of looking at food. Scratch that...it is a different way of looking at your body. Instead of looking at the food pyramid and trying to find balance, it is about really understanding what is in each food and what that food does once it is inside your body. It's not about what you can and cannot have, it is about what your body needs and does not need. It is really interesting and incredibly valid! Want more information? Check out these links: The Paleo Diet, PaleOMG.com, and one more article on understanding the premise of Paleo.


The simplest way to put it!

I don't embark on this new journey lightly, nor with a whole heap of enthusiasm to be honest. I love bread, I love carbs, I love sweets! Oh sugar, how I love thee! Dairy, you are a very close second to my heart. But...I don't love how these things are making my body feel. And in a sort of tough-love manner, my body is telling me it wants other things. My plan is to go as Paleo as possible at first, and then reintroduce an item here or there to test my tolerance (not just to bring it back but more as an experiment). Then if I can't get around a carb item, I will try my best to choose a gluten-free option. If I can't get around a dairy item, I will try taking a Lactaid or other digestion aid.

Lastly, you may be wondering...if this is a running blog, why all the talk about eating? Well let me tell you. I haven't been running a lot but when I am running a lot, I don't notice the effect of the food I eat on my body. I don't notice a pound here or there. I don't feel sluggish with sugar because it burns away so quickly. I don't feel the effects of dairy so much because it seems that gas works itself out during runs. Even though I have been walking a lot, these issues have still been hanging out and are a good enough reason to make a real change.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Quick Week Recap

Well, it has been a lame 10 days or so! I took the weekend of the 19-20 off to recover from some soreness, then I honestly can't remember what all happened last week. I did have a great session of physical therapy on Thursday and promptly that night I came down sick which lasted all weekend long. This morning I'm feeling much better and can finally breathe through my nose again! But it is weird that early last week I did not log any walks. I think I Mom-brained that one or something.

Anyway, this morning I was back up and at 'em! I have also started using MyFitnessPal again because I want to put specific, measurable effort toward losing the extra pounds I have tacked on since the surgery. Right now I'm sitting around 146 lbs and I'd like to be more like 138 again. Besides the number on the scale, my body shows the extra fat a bit now and my insides haven't felt super awesome lately. For the first time ever I am researching colon-cleansing/balancing because I've been on this rollercoaster of bouts of constipation or ultra-gassiness ever since my surgery. So I'm working on adding some thing and subtracting others. I hate getting older. I long for the days I could eat whatever and my body would just burn it or metabolize it no big deal. But alas, I am in my 30s.

Oh speaking of my age, my birthday was on the 22nd! Happy Birthday to Me! I still like my birthdays. I don't know if I will ever begin to dread birthdays. Every season of life brings new experiences, challenges and adventures. Why would I dread that?

This morning I already got my 2-miler out of the way, plus did some gardening, plus did some housework and I'm on a roll with intake logging so I'm feeling good! Let's hope I can keep the momentum as the week goes on :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

More Walking and Progress!

Last week was busy! My kids were on spring break and my Mom visited. I hardly had time to sit at all let alone sit and log workouts so I am finally doing it!


But...this last week was a breakthrough week! After physical therapy, I was cleared to start some activity, bits at a time while evaluating how my Achilles is handling it. The weather was awesome, and it went really well!

Monday: 1 Mile never felt so good! Even at 15:55 per mile, it felt like I was speeding to the finish line in first place!

Tuesday: I got back out on the road with a different route for 1.40 miles. I love exploring my neighborhood on foot again. My leg was still feeling great, tolerating 1+ miles really well.

Wednesday: Still seeing how far I can push myself I pumped the mileage a bit with a long loop adding up to 2.35 miles! I thought for sure I would be really feeling it this evening but my leg still felt great! I couldn't believe it. Walking is working!

Thursday: Our family walked all over SeaWorld, me for the first time without my walking boot. I was tired by the end of it (total of about 7 hours, start and stop, and standing) but not overly sore or hurting.

Friday: 2.17 in the California sunshine, and I managed to cut almost a full minute off per mile!

Saturday: San Diego Zoo walking! We walked a lot more this day, since the SDZ is huge and even with in-park transportation you just end up on foot a lot. By the end of this day, I was tired and my leg a little sore.

Sunday: Easter, I took the day off. This evening I found myself up on a ladder nailing up bistro lights on my outdoor patio. I also found myself lifting the ladder some which is more lifting than I have tried in a very long time.

Monday: My leg was sore this day so I took the day off.

Tuesday: I took Tuesday off too and have just been stretching and such.

I will admit I did not do the best this week with massaging my incision and only did the strength exercises a few times. It was a busy week!

Today I am headed to physical therapy and will get to do a good amount of time on the recumbent bike which I'm looking forward to. I have been feeling fat and lame with how well I have been doing and the low-cardio I get but I'm really glad to be walking again. I know it is going to help make a difference!

And...*drumroll* I registered for an event! May 10, I will be walking (jogging some maybe?...probably not) the Girls on the Go 5K here in San Diego. It will be a celebration of Mother's Day weekend as well as my rehab progress. I know I will be able to walk a 5K by then and I'm so thrilled to be able to do that!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

And She Walks...

Today I get to start logging workouts again! They are walks, not runs, but in my book they count because they are part of my journey back to running

Yesterday's 1-Miler!

Today's route took me a little longer, 1.4 miles!
Here's the thing...I never thought I would value walking so much. It is where I started however, after my babies were born and I wanted to get some exercise in. Before I was a long-distance runner walking was my go-to. It has become my go-to again, but for a different reason.

My walks feel pretty good. Funny thing is that my body feels them just as much as I was feeling my runs so that is good. It is great to be getting some cardio in again. My lower leg ends up worked at the end but not sore, which is exactly where I need to be. I'm even pulling my foam roller back out for after these walks. The combination of a few extra pounds and new exercise and my hips and ligaments are tight! I was looking back to earlier logs and it is hard to believe that Vegas was the first week of this month! The walking I did there nearly killed my leg but somehow this last week all of the walking I did was a piece of cake! Yes!!

Today is also the 1-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. It is emotional for anyone who is a runner. I remember when I heard about it. I think I was late to the party actually because at the time we were sitting and watching our eldest son's track meet. Another mom (an IronMother) was talking in a low voice to her husband and searching for text messages from friends. I knew a mom at Boston too (thankful a speedy one who finished a couple of minutes before the blasts). Anyway, I am kind of nosey sometimes so I asked her what was going on and was everything ok. She told me and it took my breath away. I almost didn't believe it. I mean why would someone have a motive to attack a marathon? It was like a bully out to destroy something beautiful just because they were unhappy with themselves. I'm sure the motives are more complicated than that, but that is how I felt. I mean Boston is such an amazing accomplishment...even just to be there is an honor. I was sad for the racers who never got to finish, whose spectator family members were harmed, and for the runners who were harmed as well. It should not have happened. It was so senseless.

In a small sense I really associate with those who suffered that day. Today there are quite a few stories of resilience and rebuilding circulating. That is where I am. I have been broken down and it has taken me a long time but I'm slowly rebuilding. My injury was definitely not as tragic, nor as melicious. I stand with you Boston still, and though my journey is slow, I will be back, and continue to press forward just like you have.



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Clean Eating

Lately I have been reminded how important really sticking to clean eating is. I don't have a hard time usually, and my body tends to crave clean foods. With the buffets in Las Vegas last weekend and a few trip ups this weekend, I'm going to give it more focus this week. My body has not been feeling good. I have equated a few things:

Refined sugar = headache
Processed foods = Indigestion and "gut rot"
Too much caffeine = jittery and shaky, desperate for food
Not enough water = sluggish and mistaking hunger for thirst


The one that has been the most difficult for me has been the sugar. I love sweet things! Sometimes it will be really great rolls or something of that nature too. So in a way I am thankful that my body has been reacting this way and conditioning me to eat less of the refined sugar.

Clean eating...it's easier than you think, and your body will thank you for it!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Too much walking in Vegas, but great PT after!

Last weekend we went to Vegas! It was a lot of fun, but a lot of walking-too much walking! I ended up walking a lot the first night and making myself super sore so I wore my walking boot the rest of the time.

I also wore a swimsuit while there and took a picture because, well, I haven't been active lately and I figure a where-I'm-at photo might be good

Yay, there I am! I have my lower half conveniently covered ;)
Yesterday was physical therapy. I really felt like I rocked it this time! I mentioned to my therapist that I had measured my calves to compare so she measured too and my left is growing-yay! I am now just an inch difference.

We discussed Las Vegas and activity, etc. I know my PT days are numbered at this point but I'm scared not to get to go because all it takes is one "Vegas" situation and I overdo it. It never feels bad at the time, I always feel it the next day. You know how you are supposed to listen to your body? Well that doesn't apply at this point. You have to calculate and simply cut yourself off of activity at a certain point, and you won't necessarily feel pain so it is frustrating! I want to keep going and going!

The great part about yesterday is that I got to do a solid 30 minutes on the recumbent bike and I was dripping sweat by the time it was over. It felt awesome!
Eating well hasn't been too difficult lately either. I'm just doing what I can to cut out things I don't really need or want (1/2 the mayo, or substitute mustard instead; not buying snack foods or desserts, not doing much baking) and I have been loading up on veggies and keeping a really great salad mix in the fridge. I have to admit all of the added veggies have been making me quite gassy...something I hope will eventually sort itself out! We'll see...

And last but not least, a wonderful thing happened today at PT. I have gotten to know another patient who comes to PT the same time as I do, every week. He is an elderly gentleman who seems to suffer from some arthritis. We have chatted the last few weeks and today I talked with his wife also. The great thing was that as he was telling me how his journey has been long and quite slow, I was able to encourage him. My words were simple, "Well sometimes all you can do is just not give up!" and then he winked and said, "Right back atcha" This exchange really made my day. You see, even though I haven't been performing at the top of my game, there I was, able to encourage and inspire someone. That was a great feeling. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Weighty Issues...and other stuff.

Perhaps I should start with the "other stuff". Yesterday I went to Rite Aid to purchase some Mederma or other scar care product. Holy Moley is that stuff expensive! For a small tube of the Mederma Advanced-$35! I went with something called Scarguard, a product that combines silicone, hydrocortizone, Vitamin E oil and flexible colloidion. I had called my orthopedic surgeon to see 1-what they recommended and 2-if I could get it in prescription form (which would be cheaper with my insurance). They don't give out prescriptions but the nurse described to me what they sell at their office and I found the closest thing. I can't report on it this early on but I hope to update later and mention if it works.

I went to PT today and talked through what's been going on with the pain I have been having. The therapist has a sense that it was too much activity too soon and recommended that I cut out aerobic type activity this week and just focus on the strength moves and walking right. Then next week I can play around with what type, how much, etc of different exercise. She also said steer clear of all hill anything-no hill hiking, walking, nada. She also said absolutely no jogging or running until my calf muscle is strong again-GOODY. Which leads me to...

Weighty issues...I have been keeping loose tabs on my weight. I'm not a big scale person, but I do believe the scale can be one of many helpful tools. Another is fit of clothing. So far both have been ok. Another one is dressing rooms. Don't laugh. This is called tough love people. Dressing rooms are the worst! Don't they realize that if they put more flattering light in those places, people would buy more of their clothing? Well today I was in Target trying on a few new things for spring/summer and it was not pretty. I'm getting slightly lumpy in my backside areas (back of rear, legs, arms). UGH! I refuse to act surprised though, I know where I gain weight. Next, I tried on a pair of Merona brand size 6 shorts and they were too tight! That is never a welcome situation. *sigh* The tank top I did purchase I am going to feel slightly self-conscious in because my arms don't look as good as they did before. I'm going to try not to obsess over it.

The honest truth is that I have not been diligently watching what I eat, despite not having running as an exercise outlet. I'm not going to lie. The word DIET makes me want to stick my finger in my eye. I love food. This is why I run! But I can deny no longer that I have 2 options before me as I rehab: 1) Eat whatever I want and gain weight or 2) Discipline myself with my intake so that I can come out of this thing relatively unscathed. But I love food!, my inner self whines. It's ok, you will still be able to eat what you want within reason, and in smaller amounts. The world will not end, I answer.

So next on my list today is to record measurements and get to work on taking positive steps. I have used MyFitnessPal in the past and I'm thinking it's time again. I can't stand taking the time to plug everything in, but if I have time to log into Facebook a gazillion times a day, I have time for this (and less Facebook would probably be good for me too!)

Ok here goes:

Weight: 145 lbs (goal 135)
Hips: 39.5"
Waist: 29"
Thighs: 22.5"
L arm: 12"
R arm: 13"
R calf: 15"
L calf: 14" (this will be one area I hope to increase!)

I'm not going to go over tips and tricks for weight loss. I've been down that road before. I think more than anything, moderation, and hopefully I will find some kind of cardio outlet that doesn't leave me with a sore heel! I might have to start dancing around the house or something.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Backtracking again...

Pulling on the reigns, backing up the truck, rewinding the video...well you get it.

My left lower leg just above my heel, along with my heel has really been hurting lately. So much that that "normal" walk that I had perfected has become extremely difficult to power through. It is so frustrating! I guess my activity last week was too much? It certainly did not feel like too much.

So I am going back to the basics. Strength exercises only, stretching, and walking normally. Some Ibuprofen or Naproxen and ice. It sucks, I will admit. I felt so good last week, and I wasn't even sore after anything except the interval session.

Tomorrow I have PT again and I'm sure it will be good. She does a lot of massage and works on my scar too (which also seems a bit more swollen than it has been...) I don't really know what to think of the regression except that "one step forward, two steps back" isn't all that uncommon in injuries like this one. It is just the most frustrating thing because it involves walking so there is no escaping when it hurts.

I just have to go back to taking it easy, and being careful.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

More regular cardio

Last Tuesday I was at my son's soccer practice where there are some great rolling hills and hiking trails that weave in between them. I thought I would give hiking a try as it is an approved activity so I did and it went well! I ended up doing 30 slow minutes.

Wednesday I went out and tried for a walk/jog. It hurt some on the jogging parts so I only did 10 minutes of 1-minute jog/walk intervals. It was hard but felt so good! Bad news is that I was pretty sore the next day. Not muscle-sore, but over-did-it-sore. So I have not tried again yet. I figure until I am not sore afterward, I will save that particular exercise for once a week.

I did some very easy biking yesterday and I was a tad sore afterward but not bad! I am really trying not to rush things, but at the same time, I need to challenge my legs to increase strength and ability. I am still working on the other strengthening exercises. I am getting better with the calf raises!

I skipped physical therapy this week but I go again Thursday! I am just glad to know I can do more now! I'm sure I will be hopping on my bike more often since it doesn't hurt at all :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Getting Close!

17 days have past, including 2 sessions of Thursday physical therapy. Therapy has gotten harder, but I am progressing each week. My flexibility is really good at this point and I have definitely gotten stronger. This week I am working on progressing through calf-raise exercises. First I do raises with both feet together, then I am working on doing raises with only my affected side. It is hard, and I have a ways to go with this exercise. I'm also doing lunges, squats, stretches as I mentioned, and other leg-strengthening exercises.

I never posted a picture of a comparison of my calves at this point so here ya go!
This is mirrored so my L is pictured on the R, and is quite a bit atrophied. It will get better though.

We went to the beach last weekend. I love the beach! I knew it would be a "moment of truth" so to speak for me to face my lack of exercise. That being said, I am not overly disappointed. My body is definitely softer, maybe even flabbier in some areas, and-ehem-plumper in others! Somehow I am just ok with it-all of it. I am really pleased with how well I have accepted where I am now. I know I will continue to progress, and I am not discouraged anymore. I got a nice tan and had a great time! Last year I purchased a new bikini with a really cool back to the top and I felt comfortable in it.

Cute, right? I found it at Sports Authority on clearance so I just wear a solid teal colored bottom

On the activity side, I got to rent a stand-up paddleboard and paddle around the harbor for over 2 hours on Sunday! It was great exercise and I love it! I was concerned a bit about how my left side would handle the intense balance and strength associated with it but it was great. I also did a lot of walking on sand and some boogie boarding which was fun. I took a break here or there when things started to feel sore, but all in all it went really well!

Last, but certainly not least, I am almost ready to do a little jogging. I spoke with my orthopedic surgeon on Monday for my post-op follow-up and he said I'm completely healed and my achilles is strong and flexible. He even asked me if I was doing any running yet. I thought he was joking but essentially things are strong enough if I happened to jog. My physical therapist has been more cautious, working on me getting my strength back first, but last week she even told me I could probably get out and do some easy hiking and going for some longer walks. But I think I am ready to jog a little. I tried and I think if I did a jog/walk combo, I could get started and work my way up.

To be continued!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

7 Weeks Post-Op & PT Week 4

This week was very much like the rest. I started PT with a nice session on the recumbent bike, followed by my PT spending a good amount of time massaging my incision. While doing so I usually chat her up which is just my personality. If we sat there quiet, it would be awkward! Thankfully she is a very friendly person and she is a fellow runner. She hasn't ran in quite some time due to 2 back surgeries, but she is a runner nonetheless. She gets it.

Today I finally worked up the courage to ask her how my therapy is coming along. I wanted to know from her professional standpoint if I was progressing well. I didn't really get a difinitive answer, but I was encouraged.

* I am ahead of the game so to speak with my surgery rehabilitation. Out of everyone who has ever had Achilles tendon surgery, I'm at the front of the pack.

* She has commented a few times before that she can tell I have no problem being motivated to do my therapy at home.

* She calls me an "athlete" which makes me feel proud.

* She mentioned that for me it is important to really focus on the muscles I am working because if I don't, my other muscles will naturally jump in and compensate. She said that I am extremely strong so I have to really watch out for this (I took it as a huge compliment and it really encouraged me!).

* My therapist warned also regarding compensation and how even the slightest unnatural motion can put me at risk for tendonitis in other areas (plantar faciitis? posterior tibial tendonitis? No thanks). So it is important to notice and recognize when my heel or posterior tibial region is feeling inflamed, stop what I am doing and ice it.

* I was also instructed to make sure I have good arch support when I am on my feet often. 

This is a great diagram of the tendons in the foot and ankle

This week I am proud of myself. I have been taking it easier. I believe I mentioned we were going to have some stormy weather move in and it certainly had a hand in my rest. I can tell a big difference too. I don't have the same aches.

I will end this post by saying Here's to March! Here's to progress, sunshine, my garden growing. Here's to the good life!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Doing Too Much

My last post I ended by saying that I need to remember I am still injured, and I still need to take it easy! Have I been living that out this week? Um...no! It's not that I am trying to sabotage my progress, it's that my life is busy and there is always so much that I want or need to do. I want to take my kids fun places, and keep up with them in general. I want to keep my house clean, and do a good job with the meals menu and the kids' lunches. I want to enjoy the nice weather. I want to put in our landscaping and plant my vegetable garden!

And while I do not condone doing too much, I have to share a pic of my newly planted vegetable garden. The hard part is done!

Ok, I'm officially nuts. I guess I just figure hey, I feel good, so why can't I do these things? Well I'm lying to myself really. I don't feel good, I feel ok. My foot doesn't like doing all of these busy things. I am out of the boot now, but I put it back on if I know I will be walking a lot. I even wore it once to work in the yard but not since because I got it filthy and it took forever to wash (stupid reason, I know).

So...most of the big jobs we've wanted to accomplish around the house are done. Things have been planted and set in motion. Back to normal.

I am most looking forward to a reset. Our forecast is calling for 4 days of rain (which incidentally is also great for my garden), which means a slower pace. I am not planning anything, and here everything we had planned gets canceled in rain. So I am planning on one objective-rest. I plan on baby-ing my leg through those 4 days and doing the bare minimum. Now here's hoping I can stick to it!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Physical Therapy Week 3

Thursday was my 3rd visit to physical therapy. I went a bit early and was able to spend 20 minutes on the recumbent bike. Then I met with my therapist and got to work! She spent a good amount of time on my incision because it needs to be massaged regularly. She said that incisions like these have a tendency to adhere to underlying tissues: tendon, bone, muscle. She said mine has some adhesions so it needs to be massaged regularly. Then she tried manipulating my lower leg in a few ways to feel the muscles and tendons out.
Here is my leg after having the cast off...and here is my leg last night to compare! It is good to see some progress (and no I am not quite that tan, it was the lighting).

All in all the session was the same. She evaluates some of my exercises to see if I am making progress then shows me new moves she wants me to do in order to strengthen other muscles. This week I get to do special lunges and a move she calls the "Woody Woodpecker" where you stand straight and then lean toward the wall in front of you without bending your legs. It's tough!

By the end of our session I'm usually feeling pretty sore, but it is a good kind of sore. Today I was sore sooner than usual after being on my feet for a while. I am still diligently walking our dog every day, sometimes twice a day, doing stretches and balance/proprioceptive moves along the way.

This afternoon after picking the kids up from school I was so relieved it is Friday. No homework, no place to go.  I was so wiped when we got home that I did something I never do- I turned on a movie...at 3 in the afternoon! While I was watching I was icing and by the time the movie was over my leg felt better. It was just so sore and I was so tired. I have been more tired that I'd like lately and I couldn't really pinpoint why until today. I think even though I am progressing, I need to remember that my injury still exists. My achilles is not better yet, and certainly not pulling it's own weight. So it's tiring getting around and doing normal things. Driving and going to the grocery store for example. By the afternoon it is like I have been dragging a club foot around. And it's not that I am dragging my foot, it is just that the deficit is there, so it gets exhausting after a couple hours of walking on it.I have to remember that I have only been out of my walking boot for a week!

But...on to a new day! And keep moving forward (Walt Disney).