Saturday, June 8, 2013

Running/Knee/Fitness Thoughts

This week I was given some reassurance about my knee stability.  I seen a sports medicine physician at Carleton University Sports Clinic and she sort of verified what I already thought:)  Since my knee has been starting to feel better and I did complete that knee-treacherous mud hero obstacle course, I figured my reconstructed ACL was still intact.  Dr. B said that it was good but a lot "looser" than the right knee.  She said that this is a normal stretching but I need to be cautious on uneven ground and with impact or quick turning sports.  Bottom line....running on even surface okay....everything else I need to wear a brace.  She wrote my a prescription for the brace and now I find a local specialist to measure and custom order the brace.  Also need to figure out if my benefits cover the brace since it will probably be $1000.

As for the little bit of pain I still have in my knee; Dr. B said it sounds like I aggravated my meniscus; probably small tears.  Since I didn't have much swelling it can't be a huge injury.  Told me to keep icing and advil; continue activity as tolerated and come back in 2 weeks if pain still persists.  She told me that she could order an x-ray or MRI but she is pretty confident that everything is in place.  Doesn't want to do a "scope" at this time because it does seem to be getting better and I have already been able to resume running.

This is exactly what I wanted to hear.  

It's kind of funny because  the times when my knee bothers me is when I am sitting and when I stand up and start walking.  It doesn't hurt while running; does hurt a little bit after running though.  

 I went for a run during my lunch hour with a coworker that is new to running; she has been running on the treadmill and was fretting because she can't get passed 3.5km on treadmill.  Hearing this I knew she could run 5K outside no problem.  This coworder has become committed to her health in the past 3 months.  We've been tracking her blood pressure and heart rate along the way.  She started as hypertensive with a high resting heart rate; she now has normal blood pressure and a low resting heart rate.  She has lost weight and gained energy; she feels great!  However, she still identifies herself as a "fat smoker".  This is what her internal voice keeps telling her.  I wanted to prove that she could run 5K as this is one of her goals.  

We took it slow and steady; I coached her along with some breathing and mental tips.  At the 3.5 km mark where she usually stops on the treadmill she was still feeling strong and of course she got to 5 km.  There was no doubt in my mind that she wouldn't.  She did the 5K in 32 minutes.  She was so excited and one step closer to squashing that "fat smoker" internal dialogue.  I told her that she probably will always have that identity creep in (as we all do) but we need to push the negative down and bring the positive to the surface.  We can't change what we were but we have control over what we become.

Running the slower pace gave me some time to reflect on my own running and fitness.  Bottom line is I have gained weight...especially belly and boob fat...which I hate!!!!  I also feel like crap because I haven't been active enough.  Been busy but not active.  Anyways, bottom line is I need to get back into some sort of routine with running and weights again.  I am going to do this at work on lunch hour.  I've had a couple of coworkers ask me if I would organize some interval weight training at lunch or a run/walk group.  Sounds like a good thing to do.  If other people are relying on me than it makes me more accountable and it's really satisfying to help others (especially women for some reason) to be fit and increase their confidence and health.

I can also run during Karson and Arlen's soccer practices.  Since they are and hour every tuesday and wednesday this is a perfect time to get in a short run.

As for fast food....I did have a 90 day challenge that I wouldn't eat fast food.  My first go, I lasted 9 days.  Then a week.  Then 2 weeks.  Then I forgot how long.  Yesterday after work I went to McDisgustings and had my usual Big Mac Combo (I'm embarrassed even writing it).  Anyways, it tasted so weird and awful which I take as a good sign:)  Taste buds are changing and now my mouth and mind know that I am not missing anything.  The counter is reset again:) I'm making progress though; I'm eating more during the day to delay after work stupidity and I'm not choosing fast food as a "quick supper" for the kids on the way to soccer or baseball.  I know that whatever I throw together from my fridge is way more nutritious then what they get at a drive-thru. 

Bottom line....I'm feeling good mentally and physically....and I'm looking forward to being more active:)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

MUD HERO OTTAWA 2013 -Race Recap

Holy Mud Batman!

Go here to see Mud Hero Ottawa details if you so desire.

It was interesting to attend one of these "different" races.  I have to admit that the attitude of the participants was a lot more laid back and social as compared to the road races I have attended.  I like both....they are just different.

Here is our group prior to the event.  Mixture of lots of different athletes:)  A marathon runner right down to first race ever.  Fun group of girls.....they are all friends at work and in life....I'm the add in of course!

Our shirts say DIRTY MUDDAS because we are all mothers in "real life".  This got lots of attention; especially at the starting line when our marathon runner insisted we be at the very start of our wave.  The MC for the day got a big kick our of our shirts and had many jokes to say as he was stalling and trying to keep the crowd interested leading up to our start time.

The obstacles were pretty easy for me to get through.  There was cargo nets to scale, walls to climb, a fire pole to slide down (insane how slippery that thing was), waterslides, logs to jump, a stretchy spider web to manoeuvre, and lots more.  Oh and of course the MUD.  I was literally up to my shoulders a couple times swimming through mud or swamp.  Every 1/2 km there was at least knee deep mud to run through.

The cargo net climb below was my favourite obstacle; I pretended I was on the reality show Survivor, fighting for immunity:)  Love that show.

Our group all finished separately as it was impossible to stay together.  We waited in a group at the finish line as each girl came in.  Here is our post race picture!

How I did?
Time 1h:02:19.6s
Gender category: 168/832
Overall: 382/1281
Age category: 25/132

To my surprise my knee was very strong.  Ligaments definitely in place and strong as in the mud and jumps it was tested many times.  When I went down that fire pole at 100 mph I had a split second of "this could be it".  I made sure my knee was bent when I landed and it held up.  Looking back I can see this was a pretty stupid thing to do with a bum knee but even though it was a risk, it actually gave me confidence in my knee's strength.  I did take it easy and ensured my footing was in place; I stopped and walked over logs instead of jumping them.  I did roll my left ankle twice though....I'm sure there are no ligaments left in that ankle or they are extremely flexible as it only rolled and went back in place with no pain or negative consequences.

I felt blisters forming on the insides on my feet at about the 2 km mark.  This is a usual occurrence for me with new shoes.  For some reason I thought that because I was wearing old, worn-in shoes that it wouldn't be a problem.  Not the case.  The water and mud made it extra worse.  I've never had blisters this big and after taking off my socks and shoes I was surprised that could have even run.  Ouch!  I think they are going to take at least 2 weeks to heal.  Believe it or not they are worse now than in this picture.  So sore.

So it's over.  My thoughts are mixed.  The Mud Hero was a great race to run with friends and be social.   Competition wise; although it was tough, I don't feel the same satisfaction in completing it as I did my half or 10K races.  Would I do it again?  Probably.   There are other races similar to Mud Hero, like Mud Sweat and Tears, Spartan race and Warrior Dash.  This group of girls is talking about another event in September.  Risk of injury is very high so the jury is still out to weather the risk is worth the reward for me.  I'm not sure these races are for me but it was definitely a fun experience.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

MUD HERO - Ottawa

Doing the Mud Hero run in Ottawa today.  I signed up for this run a while a go with 6 other friends.  My knee is not 100% and I haven't been running; mud probably isn't the best for it but I'm being stubborn and doing the run anyways.  I'll just take it slow when I need to and try not to rely too much on left leg stability:)

I have an appointment at Carleton University Sports Clinic next week to assess it.  My unprofessional opinion says my ligaments are all fine, probably new and old tears in meniscus is giving me the grinding and popping and locking.....I'm hoping for an MRI and a scope to actually see what's going on in there:)  After I did some "manipulation" (McMurray's test) the pain on the inside of my knee disappeared.  Lots of grinding when I do that test though but no pain now.  Still quite tender if I bend my knee all the way.  I think that there was some old dried up cartilage or something else hard that was stuck inbetween my cartilage and bone, probably pressing on a small tear in meniscus leading to pain.  Since I got rid of the pain, sitting for long periods isn't bad and I can actually go through the day without Advil.  

Better go....meeting the girls at 7:30am to start this little mud hero adventure!!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Brockville California Run 5K

Exactly 15 minutes before the start of this race I realized my Garmin was dead.  I haven't run without some sort of timekeeping device....EVER.  I let this bother me for all of 10 seconds since there was really not much I could do.  Larrin had dropped me off and I left all of my other belongings with him so it was quite obvious I had to manage without knowing my time, distance, speed etc.  No biggie, this was kind of a fun run anyways.

There were a few other people from work there; one girl running the 10K and 2 others walking the 5K.  My partner in crime at work showed up with her daughter to take pictures and watch the goings on.  I'm trying to convince her to start running so it was nice for her to see what really goes on at these "race days".  Before the race I also ran into a girl I went to nursing school and it was nice to catch up with her.

I felt good about the first 2.5K (or at least I think it was 2.5K), got water at the water station and walked since I haven't mastered the technique of drinking from a cup and running; pretty close to impossible if you ask me.  I started running again and then I was bombarded with these thoughts; "you need to stop"; "stop and walk"; "you are tired, c'mon just stop"; "it won't make a difference if you stop", "see her, she's walking, just walk."  So to shut all that up, I gave in and walked.  Walking in a 5K...really?  So ridiculous for me.  I got myself running again and finished strong.  I'm still perturbed that I walked...and a bit embarrassed.  I have to stop doing that!!! It is so annoying.

Regardless, my final time was 31m:28s with an average pace of 6m:18s/km.  Not bad but not what I wanted either.  Got to admit though, it was interesting to run without a watch/garmin; my laid back side thought it was liberating and fun while my anxious control-freak side found it overwhelming and torturous.   

Oh well...onward and upward.  I need to scope out and find some races and I'm still thinking of a duathlon too:)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Manotick Road Race 10K

This past Sunday I ran my first event of 2013, the Manotick Road Race 10K.  Signing up for this race was an attempt to get my butt out the door and start running again.  It "kinda" worked; I did get out for a few "training" days but not nearly enough.  Despite that, I'm glad that my running has started back up again.

Larrin and the boys were planning on making the trip with me for the race (even though I wanted to go alone).  Funny how he feels the need to support this venture when I don't really need the support on race day.  Anyways, it was a late night on Saturday night for the boy so Larrin agreed to stay home and let them sleep in while I went alone.  To be honest, I was looking forward to an independent venture; maybe a little selfish but whatever.

My overall goal for the 10K distance is under 1 hour.  I knew that this was a pretty lofty expectation for this race due to my lack of running so my race goal was under 1h:10m.  After oatmeal and a coffee, it was about an hour drive to Manotick.  I ate a granola bar and drank some pre-race energy drink about 20 minutes before start time.  I got to the race site with 15 min to spare.  Found a bathroom, did a quick warm up and that was about it.

It was already pretty hot so I decided to run in a t-shirt (first time this year without a jacket) and my long running tights.  I hadn't even thought of bringing water since the weather thus far hasn't really dictated the need for water for a 10K.  My mistake, it ended up being pretty hot and my body was not used to the heat.  I stupidly skipped the water station at 3K because I hate stopping when I'm running well.  The next water station was 6K, I grabbed two cups which had the equivalent to 2 gulps total....not really enough:)  The first 4K were great, although I went out too fast....again.  The next 4K were a struggle and then the last 2K the thoughts of the finish line, a medal and some water motivated me to finish the distance.  The last 1K was pretty much all down hill which I loved!!!  My final time was 1h:07m:28s.  

I'm happy getting this race behind me.  I liked the course, and now that I have run it once, I know what to expect.  I may do the same race again next spring because it was a small event that isn't too far from home.  

Next race, is the California Run in Brockville this coming Sunday.  My work is a sponsor for the race and they wanted employees to participate....I think I'm the only one:)  I'll be doing the 5K.

Monday, April 29, 2013

90 Day Challenge

I've been falling into my old habit of binging on fast food after work. Last week, 3 days in a row. For the last 2 months I've probably ate a "combo" at least 3 times per week.  It's a problem and more complicated then it sounds. Most of the time, I'm not even hungry but something compels me and I convince myself I need to eat something before going home.

I've broken this ridiculous behavior down and there are many components to it. First, habit. Second, self-medicating anxiety. Third, self-sabotage.

Bad habits need to be broken. Some are easier to break than others. I know I need to replace this drive thru behaviour with another healthier one.

I've chosen to decrease my anxiety medication simply because I felt like a zombie. Since that decrease my urges for poor eating have increased. I realize that my fast food problem is linked to anxiety. Once I'm done work, my second job begins; making supper, boys homework, boys activities, etc. When I get home from work I am often bombarded with a messy house, a sink full of dishes, hungry boys, etc. which 'stresses' me out. On an empty stomach I 'snap' hence, filling up with crap before I come home.

The self-sabotage is a new angle for me. I have been blaming the two above reasons for far two long all the while knowing that there is more to this behaviour. I need to change the part if me that 'plays' on my insecurities. This is complicated and hard to explain. From the outside I'm a woman that has it all together; I hear this all the time from coworkers, friends, and clients. When I hear this it makes me laugh inside and part of me says 'if they only knew'. I need to stop this voice from sabotaging me!!! I'm great. I've worked hard. I deserve to be happy and healthy. I need to stop worrying about other people seeing the 'real' me.

Last week I started to really focus on this and challenged myself to going 90 days without fast food.  I don't need it, it's a ridiculous habit.  I've gone 4 days so far and it's been pretty easy:)  That's why I chose 90 days.......a week at a time is easy.....I need to sustain it because it is a slippery slope.  I feel a bit embarrassed because there are other people out there dealing with addictions and tougher mental illness; it seems ridiculous that I feel the need to write about this when to others it is so simple to overcome. But...this is my flaw....and I deserve to get rid of it and this is how I need to do it!

My plan is to increase physical activity; either running after work before I come home; running once I'm home; walking the dogs when I come home; working with the horses when I come home.  Also I will keep a check on my "self talk".  I am my own worse enemy sometimes:) I need to remain positive, calm and focused on what's important.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Getting back into it...

The weather is changing for the better so that means I'm back on a fitness kick.  Funny how the season dictates my interests and how my mind always plays tricks on me.  That statement needs some explanation.... I mean, when I am not "active" my mind diverts to thinking negative and I tend to forget all of the positive things I have done; my mind reminds me of all of the days I haven't ran and forgets that my body is capable of running a half-marathon; I think of the extra weight I carry around my middle instead of the fact that I can do over 30 pushups (REAL pushups) and that I can hold a plank for over 2 minutes!!!

There is a very difficult and highly technical process (yes, I am being sarcastic) that I have formulated to "change my mind".

Step 1: Sign up for a race....this creates a deadline and prompts me to take action.  I signed up for a 10K at the end of April.  I haven't competed in a 10K before and the medal at the end gives me motivation.  The distance is far enough that I will have to put some effort into training; if it were a 5K I wouldn't be scared enough to put forth the effort to "train".

Step 2: Go outside and run.  To prepare for the Manotick 10K I need to first assess where I am at.  I have been doing some "fitnessy" stuff but not a lot of running.  Yesterday I went out with the goal of running straight for 3K.  Once out there I was feeling good so I completed 5K in just under 32 minutes.   There were moments of greatness (first 2K I felt like a running rock star) followed by moments of struggle (remaining 3K) but overall it was a success.  I learned that my body hasn't forgotten to run and that I still love it!  And despite the fatigue and awkwardness of being out of practice, I still liked doing it.  I thrive on a good struggle and that is what running gives me.  Each run I am faced with a point where I want to stop or make it easy and then something turns on and I fight through it and overcome it, which all in all gives me more endurance and more importantly, confidence:)

Step 3: Keep doing Step 2 over and over again. The more I do, the better I feel, physically and mentally!

And what's a good blog post without an ending quote from Oprah....

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, 
because you get out of it what you put into it"
Oprah Winfrey
So true:)