December Training

I feel like I have overloaded this week with running blogs.  You could say I’m running right through Holidays…ha terrible LOLZ pun.  This is a running blog so I’m glad I have running related topics (with my own training) to talk about.

Anyways, December has nearly left and I accomplished what I wanted too (running wise) this month.

Running Stats:

Total Miles: 246

Range of Paces: 6:40-12:00-untimed

Shortest Run: 2.0 miles

Longest Run: 17.25 miles

Best run: I don’t have a favorite run this month.  As cliche as it sounds, the month as a whole was good to me.  To keep it short, I will say my best was also my longest run.  I felt strong and as if I could just keep going.

Good times with my brother running
Good times with my brother

Races:

Dec 7: Schuylkill River 8.3 Miler (7:01 pace)

Dec 14: Haddon Hearts 5k (20:35)

December 31st (ha ha tonight!): Beat the Ball 5k

Training thoughts:

This whole month went smoothly.  December was the first month I ran the miles I wanted.  Not to beat a dead horse again but during December I finally felt like I was training (not just coming back from injury).

I didn’t do much speed work but focused on building my base with easy runs.  Since I didn’t cross train a lot during my stress fracture, I lost a lot more fitness than in previous injuries.  I’m not complaining about that and I do believe resting was the right thing to do.  My goal in December was to build fitness back up with lots of easy, untimed runs.

Another food for thought:

During the month of December I also began using the GNC products I was sent to review.  The included the protein powder, amino acids, preworkout and bars.

GNC PurEdge 1

I promised I would review them when I had time to finish the majority of products I was sent.  Since I finished the amino acids last week, the timing was perfect to review them now.  I believe some of the products helped me recover quicker from runs so I wanted to include the review in my monthly recap.

During December I used the Complete Amono after each run.  I mixed it into whatever I was consuming post run. I added it to pancakes, oatmeal and even milk.  I think my favorite method was actually just adding it to a glass of milk.  I set a goal to have the complete amino after each run and I made that goal. Like running, consistency is key. It’s hard to review a product without using it consistently for a while.  Honestly, I believe it helped me recover from runs faster.

The complete amino does not have an unusual taste (the fruit punch is what I like) so it isn’t gross to actually consume.

The amino acid powder has 30 calories and contains 5g BCAA blend of leucine, isoleucine and valine as well as 2.5g betaine .

Do I think it was the sole reason I stayed injury free?  No.

Do I think it was one of the blocks for building a solid foundation and base to stay injury free? Yes.

I liked the powder so much I ended up purchasing another container from GNC. If you know me well, you know I don’t waste money on expensive foods…hashtag #walmartshopperforlife).  I doubt the point was for me to end up buying the product but I really like it and I have felt better since beginning to use it.  So thank you GNC for opening my eyes to that.

I also enjoyed the protein powder because it made me remember how much I enjoyed making pancakes.  I am just over 75% done with that container.  Once finished with the protein powder, I will probably purchase that again too.  I don’t make protein pancakes every day but I do make the a few times a week again.  I think the protein powder is similar to any protein powder but it tastes good and I have no complaints.

Out of the items sent the preworkout energy drink is my least favorite. I don’t drink caffeine (not even coffee) before I run.  The preworkout drink is geared towards someone who does drink caffeine, so it makes sense it wouldn’t be a fit for me.  While the preworkout drink tastes good I don’t foresee myself using it.  The few times I consumed it I felt as if I had more energy but it isn’t something I would personally use regularly.

Overall thoughts?

I am firm believer the GNC amino acids and protein powder are helping my running. I 100% recommend the amino acids to any runner or athlete.   Thank you to GNC for sending me quality products that I am benefiting from.   I enjoyed being on your campaign.

—————-

Goals for January:

I’m going to lump this into one big post with my 2015 goals.  Briefly, my goals for January are to maintain and grow my base smartly.  I will continue to grow my base appropriately as well as train for the Phoenix Full Marathon.

I also have a few races I’ll be doing:

January 1st: Hair of the Dog 5k Va Beach, VA

January 10: Wilmington Delaware 10 miler Wilmington, Delaware

Anyways this has been a much longer training recap than normal.  That is partly because I think that nutrition has played a big role in my recovery and training this month.

Have a Happy New Year my friends and stay safe! 

Questions for you:

How was your month of December?

How are you celebrating New Years? 

A Look At 4 Months of Being Injured

A lot of people have asked me how I came back from a serious injury so quickly.  This is a longer post for me, so grab your coffee because it will be a while.  After four months, I’m finally running confidently.  While it seems like I’ve come back fast, I’m not recovered or in “peak shape” yet.  It may seem like it’s been a fast recovery period but in reality it’s been 4 months. Time keeps on ticking…into the future…

Right now I’m nowhere near peak condition but I’m not gimping around from an injury…nor am I claiming I’m still “in recovery mode”.  In my mind (knock on wood), I’m just training.  I’m in a weird limbo zone of not injured but not in shape either.  I’m just continuing to build my base up.

The base is the most important part of your running.  Without a strong foundation laid slowly brick by brick, your running will crumble.  As I’ve learned, consistency is one of the most important aspects of base building. 

For a brief time line: I woke up August 22nd with a bruised and swollen foot.  I have absolutely no idea what happened or where it came from.  It was later confirmed (after an MRI and X-ray) that I had a stress fracture.  It didn’t happen during a run and honestly I don’t know how it happened.  When I first woke up, I thought I had walked into a wall.  I just thought I had bruised my foot. After getting out of bed, I realized it was something more severe.

My best guess is the cause was hard training for 2 years and not enough time off. I took sporadic weeks and a couple of months off but I did a lot of hard training and I think it all finally caught up to me. So my injury began August 22.

From August 22 to September 21st, I did not run at all.  After being in a boot a couple of weeks, I did light cross training but focused on just relaxing and resting.  Since the boot was removable, I could have cross trained through the injury but I opted to rest.  

It seemed stupid (because it is) to remove a boot or cast so that you can go to the gym. In my mind there wasn’t a desperate need to train.  I’m not on a collegiate team anymore, I’m not elite and my life does not depend on running…so I didn’t stress about cross training. it’s weird for me to look back and say I was strangely at peace with my injury. After everything leading up to August, I’m not sure I wanted to run the Wineglass marathon anymore.

My doctor cleared me to run 1 mile on September 22.  The doctor (as well as myself) did not believe the injury was as severe (closer to a reaction than fracture) because it did not happen during a run. 

I had been out of the boot for a two weeks and had no pain (or gimp) when walking around. I had cross trained and been on my foot with no pain or issue.

After my checkup I ran the mile. I was told to “see how it goes, if it hurts stop. It doesn’t hurt, still stop after a mile”. During the run and directly after I felt fine.  The next day my foot didn’t feel great so I waited another two weeks before running again.  The day after running the single mile my foot had minor swelling and was achy.  It seemed like I had taken a step back in recovery.  I truly believe that mile cost me a couple of weeks of recovery.  Oh well, you live and learn.

Around mid October I slowly began running again.  I kept to running 1-2 miles outdoors as well as running several miles on the alter G at work.

Timeline:

Week 1-4: Almost complete rest.  Weeks 1-3 were complete rest and a bit of cross training week 4.  Nothing more than 30 minutes and nothing strenuous.

Week 5: 1 mile (regrettable).  I honestly wish I had never run this mile and waited another week or 2.

Week 6: No running.  I did cross train a few times but nothing more than 30-45 minutes.  I alternated between the AMT as well as a standard elliptical.

Week 7: 3 miles outside, 15 miles Alter G (70% body weight).  Each mile felt good (unlike 2 weeks ago).

Alter G life
Alter G life

Week 8:  6 miles outside, 15 miles Alter G (70% body weight)

Week 9:  20 miles outside

 (A photo of how I felt after running a 20 mile week)
(A photo of how I felt after running a 20 mile week)

Week 10 and beyond (I’m at week 17 now):

I have built up from there.  The biggest jump for me was between week 8 and week 9.  I wasn’t sure how my body would take that big of a jump.  I went from 6 miles to 20 miles.  All of these miles were very easy (between 10-12 minute miles).

Was it the smartest idea?  No but I lucked out.  As I continue to build my base, I continue to monitor my foot as well as overall body feelings.  If I feel any pain, I take a rest day.

Just because I’m almost over the hump with one injury does not mean I am out of the clear of a completely different injury. I’ve had a minor hiccup a few weeks ago where my plantar fascia was sore.  I quickly scheduled a deep tissue massage and it went away within a day.

Overall Health:

There were a few things (with nutrition and health), I questioned when I was diagnosed with a stress fracture.  I questioned my bone density.  I have a regular period (and always had) but getting a stress fracture made me worry about my hormones and bone density. After being diagnosed, I wanted my bone density and hormones checked.  Overall health is more important to me than logging miles.   Both my hormone levels and bone density came back normal.

Nutrition:

Before getting my stress fracture I normally got roughly 100% of my daily required calcium intake through food.  I also took a calcium supplement daily (So in total I was in taking between 100-150% of my calcium daily).

After my diagnosis, I upped my calcium intake and am currently in taking 200% of my calcium daily (from milk, cheese and dairy…IE food) as well as taking a calcium supplement twice daily.

Overall thoughts:

Throughout this injury I’ve done a lot of little things that have helped me to come back.  I took time off, I ate foods that helped me nutritionally and I’ve paid more attention to myself both physically and mentally.  I think it’s important to look at a multiple prong attack plan. Just resting or just eating well would probably not allow me to come back stronger.

So where does this take me now?

I’ve been running well. I’ve been thinking a lot about my previous marathon experiences.  In both NYCM and preparing for Wineglass I believe I was overtrained.  Last May-June I was having very successful 20 mile runs (for a race that wasn’t until October).  I fear if I waited until the fall doing the same type of training again I would be overtrained again.  

That is why I’ve chosen to sign up for the Phoenix Full Marathon on February 28th.

pheonix full marathon

It will be roughly 4 months post injury.  I think it gives me a short but doable training cycle.  Will it be a sub 3 hour full marathon?  No, probably not.  My primary goal is to make it to both the start and finish lines healthy.  I would by lying if I said I wasn’t nervous but I think I’m sitting at a good spot right now.  I’ve completed a 17 miler 2 months out (with the hopes to complete a 20 miler in the next 2 weeks).  It gives me enough time to build fitness but not enough time to overdo it. Due to course differences and logistics, I might be able to take a stab at my marathon PR (3:17). Phoenix is much easier and low key race compared to New York. I’m also not driving 2000 miles prior.

Who knows what the future holds? As always thank you to my family, friends and readers for your support throughout the last four months. 💁💁

Questions for you:

How do you build a strong foundation post injury?

What is your average marathon training cycle length?

 

 

Holiday Training Week 4

This week for training has been strange for me (and probably everyone who was traveling for the holidays).  I can break up my training into two periods this week:

Before Christmas mayhem

After Christmas relaxation

Monday: 5 miles recovery (Sunday was 17 mile LR)
Tuesday: 10.15 miles (stomach ache time crunch)
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Christmas Long Run (15 miles)
Friday: 10 miles easy with brother
Saturday: 10 miles easy
Sunday 10 miles easy:
Total: 61 miles

 

Before Christmas Mahem:

Last Monday feels like forever ago.  On monday I woke up extremely early.  I didn’t sleep well (I never do after my long runs).  I went for a 5 mile run.  My legs didn’t feel terrible, post run.

On Tuesday, I finally got caught up on sleep but I slept in much later than normal.  I woke up and had to directly go for my run.  I think the combination of shock and WTF just happened made my stomach feel a bit off.  I kept getting the weirdest cramps during my run.  They weren’t painful but I hadn’t experienced that before.  Wednesday I took off because I needed a day off and that fit well.  I drove back to VA on Wednesday evening.

After Christmas Relaxation:

On Christmas I ran my weekly long run.  I’m doing two races next week: Beat the Ball 5k (begins at 11:35 New Years Eve) and Hair of the Dog 5k (New Years Day).  I’ve done this race combination a few times and enjoyed it so I decided to again this year. I didn’t want to do a long run on Sunday (too close to the races) so I chose to run 15 on Christmas (partially with my brother and dad).  I didn’t want to do my longest long run post injury either this week (so I could hopefully recover for the races).

Friday, Saturday and Sunday all felt pretty good.  I have no real complaints or digs at those miles week.  They were all very easy base building miles with no goal in my mind.  I want to continue to build my endurance.

Thoughts of the week:

In my opinion, I had a pretty solid week. I cracked 60 miles and stayed healthy.  I don’t have any complaints (especially due to the more risky finish to my week), the week was just a blur.

Next week: I am doing two races:

12/31 Beat the Ball 11:35 PM (Your goal for the race is to run under a 25 minute 5k.  That being said, it’s not serious at all and everyone is there to support each other)

1/1 Hair of the Dog 5k

In terms of mileage, I’m going to cut down a bit.  I will be taking at least 2 days off and possibly another cross training day.

My goals for the races (honestly) are to be faster than my 5k a couple of weeks ago.  If I can do that I’ll be happy.  Finishing injury free (as well as staying awake that long are also big goals of mine.  My body is feeling a lot better than a few weeks ago so I’m hoping I will feel good.  I’m running comfortably so we will see!  I haven’t done any speed in over 2 weeks so it will be interesting to see where I’m at.

Question for you: How was your week of training?

 

 

The Sage Diner (Mount Laurel)

Sage Diner (Mount Laurel)

Last weekend my parents and I decided to try the Sage Diner in Mount Laurel, NJ.  I had driven by several times, and the outside appeared nice.  Once again, I judged a diner by its cover.  My parents had specified they needed to go to an “NJ diner.”  They have been to several, and my dad took me to the first NJ diner I’ve ever been too (The Town and Country).  Long story short by the outside and a brief look at the menu, I thought it would be a nice place to take them.

Sage Diner Atmosphere: B

The outside atmosphere of the Sage Diner is nice.  It’s a cobblestone building with big black windows.  The inside is half booths and half tables.  There is a large bakery upon first entering the restaurant.  It certainly made us want to try some of their baked goods. The atmosphere is nice, and I have no complaints.

The waiter was amiable and took care of us the entire meal.  He was one of the most friendly and nicest waiters I’ve ever seen.  It was evident he enjoyed his job, and he was friendly and polite.

Sage Diner Coffee: A

The coffee at the Sage Diner was good.  The mug was small, but they did give unlimited refills.  The whipped cream was homemade, so that is always a win.

Sage Diner Coffee

Sage Diner Food: A

Even though the coffee at the Sage Diner was small, the menu was extensive.  The Sage Diner menu has everything from breakfast, to Greek food, to salads to hamburgers and seafood.

I first ordered Matzah ball soup.  Before last week I had never tried Matzah ball soup before.  I determined the soup wasn’t my favorite type.  My dad’s French onion looked good, and it is certainly something I want to try if I go back.

Sage Diner Soup

For my entree at the Sage Diner, I ordered the Greek salad with salmon as well as pita bread.  This salad was a lot bigger than I expected (thank goodness I was hungry).  It came with the typical Greek fare, and the salmon had skin on it (most people know my big fish pet peeve is removing the skin).  The food as a whole was great.  I have no complaints and rather enjoyed my meal.

Sage Diner Salad

Sage Diner Dessert: F

We ordered the Mousse cake.  It had a cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, and chocolate cream.  The cake had such a strange aftertaste that we took 2-3 bites and determined that it was not good. I don’t know what was going on, but it was one of the worst pieces of cake I’ve ever had (not an exaggeration).  We had split a piece and neither my mom, dad or I finished a single piece.  I could have quickly finished that dessert by myself if I had liked it…but it wasn’t good so no point in eating it. This might be the first and only time I haven’t finished a dessert.

Sage Diner Cake

Cost: $

For my soup, meal, coffee, and dessert, it was 20 dollars.  The cost was cheap for local diners.

Would I return to the Sage Diner (Mount Laurel)?

The overall thought of the Sage Diner: B

I would return to the Sage Diner because the regular food was excellent.  The staff of the Sage Diner was friendly, and the food was inexpensive.  I will probably never try their dessert again.   I don’t have complaints except for the dessert.

Questions for you:

Have you ever had a dessert with a strange aftertaste?

What is your favorite soup?

Mine is split pea.

Gifts in Reserve

Christmas Eve:

The last day before Christmas. 

A time to celebrate with your family.

A time to get last minute gifts (oh wait, just me?)

Today I’m working and then driving home.  I am actually 100% done with my Christmas shopping.  I managed to get all of my gifts for friends and family.  It was rather surprising.

Occasionally there will be someone you might have accidentally forgotten for a holiday, birthday or another celebration.  My parents once taught me to keep a box of gifts like giftcards or useable gifts for such an occasion.  Plus you can often times get certain items for much cheaper during the Holidays.  I often see gift giving guides on blogs so I thought I would do my own version of what is in my “Reserve Box” (I just made that name up, I’m not exactly sure what to call it?).  None of these are sponsored links.

Right now, I have a few things in my box of goodies.  Some of these things I bought doubles (one for myself).

Sears sent me this hilarious video to share if I wanted.  I LOLed so hard, it would be sad not to share. All I have to say is “so celebrate and booty shake”.  I can relate to this woman because if it wasn’t for work, I would be shopping until the very last moment (like every year).  I wish someone who come shop for me and we would celebrate with fun music and random people dancing.

Mrs. Fields Cookies and French Press 

If you are looking for a gift for a relative that drinks a lot of coffee (or your neighborhood LOLZ), this gift can never go wrong.  I feel like when in doubt you can never go wrong with a holiday basket.  I’ve always enjoyed Mrs. Fields cookies in the mall (and obviously enjoy my coffee).  It wasn’t until I tried their cocoa did I realize how good that was good.  I thought this was gift is personalized (from me) and a great gift for relatives that I had no idea what to get them. I actually got this gift for a few of my relatives (and mailed it directly to them so they have it now).

Jewelry:

A lot of jewelry is currently on sale too right now.  While I’m personally not a big jewelry girl, I know a lot of woman are.  It’s always nice to be able to pick up a few items deeply discounted.

I picked up this bracelet. It’s regularly 299.99 dollars but currently is 69.99.  I thought it was cute for 230 dollars off, I couldn’t go wrong.

sears bracelet

Men (in my life):

I have often found the men in my life are the hardest to shop for.  The men in my life equal: my dad, my brother, Tim and my father in law.  All four of them enjoy keeping their car’s pristine condition (especially Tim).  I obviously didn’t get one for each but I did pick up a few of these car cleaning sets.  I have a few of these in back up and also if they never get used I can use them for my car Lorraine.  So win, win!

car cleaning set

Who doesn’t need an Ugly Sweater? 

Finally, for those with a sense of humor (or the perfect LOLZ gift), there is always an Ugly Sweater.  It seems like 2014, was the year you couldn’t go anywhere without an ugly sweater party, so why not prepare your friends for next year?

This sweater is only 9.99 and 3D.  I think it might be the best 10 dollars I’ve spent all holidays.

ugly sweater sears1

 This post contains no sponsored links and all items were purchased by me (LOLZ). 

Questions for you:

Do you have gifts in Reserve incase you forget someone? 

How are you celebrating the Holidays? 

%d bloggers like this: