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.


Properly warming up your muscles dilates your blood vessels, allowing proper oxygenation, which facilitates proper metabolism. In short, your muscles just work better. (

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.


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


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)