May Training Log: 7 Miles

Another month has come and gone.  Towards the end of the month, I thought this would be the month of the 0.0 but I ended up running a grand total of 7 miles.  All of which were this past week.

So instead of trying to come with a few hundred words about the 7 miles, I’ll tell you they were ok.  I didn’t feel amazing and I didn’t feel terrible.  I didn’t feel as if it was “the greatest comeback ever”.  I probably ran about 10 minute pace but I have no idea.  In fact, I don’t even know if it was 7 miles.  It could be 6 or it could 8…Despite charging it, my watch still hasn’t gone for any runs with me. I just ran around my neighborhood until I felt sufficient.

Moving right along.

I did do quite a bit of cross training:
Swam 3X (total 3 miles)
7 Strength classes
6 Core classes (all between 15-30 mins)
Elliptical: 1X run in rabbit core

Rest Days: 14

In summary, the month was what I needed.  It was a break from running and I didn’t try and compensate with doing a lot of cardio.

I gained weight, lost fitness, but my life moved right along. I know taking a break was the best thing I could have done and I have no regrets.

Life wise, I also had a lot going on that kept me busy and I didn’t miss running.  I knew how burnt, when I could stand at the Broad Street 10 mile finish, watch the race and not feel sad I chose not to run.  

It was a whirlwind month. I had both my dad and in-laws come visit in Early May.  Then, my mother came and visited the following week.

Eastern State Penitentiary philadephia
We made it!

After that, my husband came home mid May and spent a few days in New York.  While in New York, I felt a slight twinge of exciement to run again.  Not enough to actually run, but I had a little bit of excitement.

After having fun in New York City, we drove down to Virginia to see my brother Matt.  Due to being stationed overseas, I hadn’t seen him since my wedding in April 2015.  It was a great month, but such a busy month as well.  matt and i

What’s on tap for June?

I am going to continue slowly build my base.  I don’t have any major races in June but I will probably jump into a local race.  I do plan to continue with strength and core classes because I’ve grown to enjoy them.

My husband and I are actually focusing more on nutrition this month so expect to see a few posts about that.

Posts from the month:
36 Pairs of Running Shoes Later
Visiting New York City
NonRunning Workout Ideas
A Week with Family
My Running Burnout
Running Related Posts
Are you Getting Enough Fiber?

So in summary, it’s been a great 5 weeks but I’m also excited to get back into training.  It’s not a feeling I’ve had in quite some time.

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

Have you ever taken time off? 

 

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NonRunning Workout Ideas

As most people know by now, after the April Fools half marathon, I experienced a serious running burnout.  In fact, I wrote about it here. It wasn’t the race itself, but more of running hard for 6 months and not achieving a goal.

My personal friend Steve asked to write about other things to do outside of running!  To be honest, I’m still not running, but I am enjoying doing other things.  Don’t get me wrong, running is a great workout, but it’s not the only one.  It’s important to take the time to look at other things to do.

Right now, I have no goal races I’m trying to maintain fitness for.  Thinking out loud, I have no need to hit up the gym daily.  Do I like working out?  Yes.  Do I need to workout for several hours daily?  No.  Do I care if I missed a workout?  No…

Ideas for Cross Training to Maintain Fitness:

Here are a few things I like to do to preserve cardio fitness:

Elliptical:

I might be one of the only people who doesn’t hate the elliptical.  If you workout hard on the elliptical, then it will simulate running.  If you leisurely pedal, you aren’t going to get the same benefits as having a higher heart rate.  There are a lot of programs that you can adjust based on ability and how hard you want to workout.  My heart rate is never as high as running, but I can say it has gotten pretty high during the elliptical.

Alter G Treadmill:

Finding an Alter G treadmill can be hard.  If you’re in Southern Jersey/Philadephia area and want to use one, let me know, and we have one at RunningCo.

Admittedly, I haven’t used it right now.  That’s only because I don’t want to run.  The AlterG is running without the pressure of body weight.  It takes body weight off so you can simulate running without putting the extra pressure and weight on your body.  The chamber fills with air, so you are essentially free floating around. Here is a more in-depth post about the AlterG when I was using it!

Alter G
After my metatarsal stress fracture, I used it frequently

Swimming:

Before picking up running in 2010, I was a competitive swimmer.  I swam through college.  While I no longer swim regularly (and have no interest in Tris), I will frequent the pool.  Swimming takes all of the pressure off your body will still allowing for a great cardio and strength workout.  It’s one of the best workouts you can do.

Strength Work and Core:

To be honest, right now this is what I’ enjoying the most.  I’m going to several body pump and core classes as well as lifting weights myself.  It may not “burn calories, but I am enjoying the constant state of feeling like jello and feeling stronger.

Running is a great sport but it’s not the only workout.  There are plenty of other activies that are equally as fun to do.Other Running Related Posts:

Are Losing Toenails a Runners Rite of Passage?
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat:
Why 5ks are the Best
How to Race Well
How to Race in Unfavorable Conditions

Questions for you:

What are your favorite nonrunning activities?

 Do you like to cross train? 

A Few More Weeks of Rest

Incase you missed last week, I was having a little bit of ankle pain.  After several tests including an MRI, the doctors were able to figure out I have a fifth metatarsal fracture.  I haven’t run in close to three weeks, so I’m well on my way to healing.  It’s interesting because I posted I mentally felt like I needed a break about 2 weeks ago, and it could have been my bodies way to signal about my foot. This means I’m no longer training for anything, but I will be working out.  Since I have the whole MRI on my computer, why not attach a photo for blogging right?

MRI foot

This will be a two-part post since I feel like I have two separate thought processes to go along with the injury. The first is this post dedicated to my training which is obviously affected. 

The second part (which I’ll post tomorrow) is my thoughts on how I got this injury.

It was incredibly shocking to both my doctor and myself to discover a minor crack in my fifth metatarsal.  They guessed it was a sprained ankle or something muscular in the peroneal tendon.  It was shocking to me as well considering I have normally been living for the past month.

So how long do I have of no running? 

Right now about three more weeks.  Since I haven’t run for three weeks, I have three more to go. My fracture in my fifth metatarsal takes 4-6 weeks to heal.  To give you the reality of my foot is it doesn’t hurt right now.  I’m walking, moving and being an average person (minus the running).  I do think that’s part of the problem; I don’t feel or even appear to be injured.

Right now I feel as if I could honestly run.  I’m not doing anything stupid to hurt myself more, and I’ll continue to rest.

What do I plan to do for the next few weeks?

I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started to plan my “attack.”

Recovery/Bone Building Plan:

Is that a thing?  #bonebuilding
  • I’ve already upped the necessary vitamins to continue bone growth.  While I already take a Vitamin D and Calcium supplement, I’ve increased the amount.  Before my fracture, I took Vitamin D and Calcium supplements.
  • Bone Stimulator: I’m lucky my father in law has a bone stimulator in his back pocket.  This isn’t necessary, but it sure is helpful.bone stimulator
Workout Plan: 

As far as a bone break goes, it’s the best case scenario.  I’m not training for anything during the summer; I’m already about halfway healed, and I have a lot of different resources to keep me working out.  It doesn’t feel like I’ve broken anything.  I’ve never been in pain, and I’m already three weeks into healing.

I don’t have a need to complain about my injury because I’m able to do other things.  If everything goes well, I should be running by the end of the month. Running being minimal miles, not in full training mode.  If it hurts, I won’t do it.  So far, the only thing that bothers me is running, but I’m not doing that.

I’ll take some workout classes, elliptical, swim and do core.  I’ll do things I didn’t “have the time” to do while running.  

I’ve already gone to my first spin class which wasn’t too bad. 
spin class

Figuring Out Causes…Plan:

I’ll ramble away tomorrow, but I’m prone to metatarsal fractures.  Why is that?  I received a bone density test and (shockingly) everything came back normal.  To be honest, I expected to have low bone density or be deficient on something!  While my last fracture was two years ago, I’ve had a few fractures in the last six years, and it’s a few too many.

So I’ll continue working with my orthopedist and doctor to find the root problem.  Once I can run in again, I’m going to get a full gait analysis.

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Have you ever had a gait analysis? 

Injury Recovery: I Actually got to the Gym

This week I kept to my promise (to myself) to begin cross training to build some aerobic fitness back before I run.  With work being so crazy the last few weeks (I haven’t minded because it’s kept me busy), I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping versus going to the gym.  I’ve needed the extra sleep honestly.  I didn’t feel pressured to cross train before work but it felt good to get some cardio workouts in again.  Nothing was stressful or strenuous…just easy workouts to build up some base fitness.

Monday: 1 hour easy elliptical

Tuesday: 1 hour cross training AMT easy

Wednesday:  30 minutes elliptical and core

Thursday: off

Friday: 1 hour elliptical

Saturday: off

Sunday: 1 hour AMT and core

As you can see, my working out was kind of all over the place.  There was no rhyme or reason of why I chose to workout when I did.  I just did.  I didn’t set my alarm and if I woke up with extra time then I went to the gym. If I didn’t wake up earlier enough, I accepted it and moved on with my day. My goal this week was to actually get to the gym a few times and I did that.

I was talking to a coworker (who is trying to qualify for the trials).  She is also injured and we were just chatting about our injuries and our response to them.  We both chatted for a while about how this stinks but both of us have mentally let the injury go. We have both let the pressure of recovering quickly go. 

We both have no pressure to hurry back into fitness and let our lives revolve around running.  It was a really great chat. With every other injury I’ve had, I’ve felt pressure to get back into shape quickly.  I’ve come to realize that running is life long if you care for yourself.  It’s really awesome to hear the insight of such a high caliber athlete feeling the same way as I do. This general topic is something I’ve really been thinking a lot about lately and will post about soon.

This meme seemed appropriate for fall training.

let it go meme

That being said, tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment for my foot. If everything goes as well as it has been, I will get to run one mile tomorrow. One easy mile and if it doesn’t hurt my goal is to run 10 miles on Tuesday, 12 on Wednesday, get my long run on Sunday and taper for Wineglass full marathon on October 4th (kidding). 

If my one mile doesn’t hurt I might run another mile on Wednesday.  (Edit to add: My foot doesn’t hurt at all right now when I walk or stand on it).  When I do get back into running it will be on the conservative side.  If all I run next week is one mile then that’s one mile more then this week. I want to set myself up for a good spring season and getting back slowly is the key to that.

I don’t foresee myself running high mileage until December at the very earliest.  That being said, I could ramble about this and my doctor could tell me tomorrow I need to wait a few more weeks before running.  I’m not confident that will happen but I’m not a doctor.

Questions for you:

 Did you race this weekend, how did it go? 

If you’ve been injured with a stress fracture how did you get back into working out?  

The AMT

On Tuesday I posted about cross training using the AMT.  Something I struggle with (both in real life and internet life) is assuming people know exactly what I know.  For instance, I’ll cross train on the AMT and quite a few people asked what it was.

Visual reference (me watching grimy realityTV with no nose):

amtme

Cliff notes: It’s another cross training tool and very similar to an elliptical.

Anyways I thought I would just give an overview of why I chose the AMT and what it is.

I’ve used an elliptical for fitness long before I started running.  I would use elliptical to stay in shape during the swimming off season, to supplement miles when I was coming back from injury and of course when I was injured.

I’ve used a standard elliptical.

I’ve used the Arc trainer.  (Similar to an elliptical but can go into much higher resistance).

And right now my current favorite is the Precor AMT.  The AMT is a stairstepper crossed with an elliptical. To be 100% honest, the reason it’s my favorite cross training device is because I have the option of the AMT or the elliptical at the gym. Since I’m a member of Anytime Fitness, it’s a smaller gym with fewer options.

On any elliptical, I like to do one of the preprogramed workouts.  I don’t care to be messing with the buttons once I begin my workout. There are a number of different programs from cardio to weight loss to hill workouts.  Personally my favorite is to do the cardio setting.  I normally click the program and then workout an hour.

Honestly a lot of people make cross training a lot harder than it has to be.  Yes, it stinks being couped up inside but most have a TV, music or something to keep you entertained.  It isn’t as if you are staring into a blank wall.  If anything you can buy a relatively inexpensive music player to bring for yourself if your gym only provides a wall to stare at.

The fact about cross training due to injury (or just cross training in general) is that you have to put in the time.  You cannot expect to cross train for 10 minutes and think it’s equal and going to preserve the fitness of a 7 mile run.  It won’t.  You must put in the effort.  I’m not saying go crazy and pretend you are running your fastest mile ever, but you do have to commit to putting in the time and effort.  Otherwise, like anything without effort you won’t see results.

Cross training does work if you put in the time. If you dedicate time that you normally would be running (or doing whatever) it will work.  If you half ass it or dedicate less time…it will work for the effor you put in.

Questions for you:

Have you tried an AMT before? What is your favorite type of elliptical?

On another note, I’ll be writing an “all about me” post soon.  If you have any random questions (about anything in life, favorite movie, color, college, high school, did I collect pokemon cards (yes)…feel free to ask.

 

As Seen in the Gym

Over two years ago, I posted about various people “as seen in my gym”.  Now that I’ll be a regular at my gym again, I get to see the regulars here.

I belong to an Anytime Fitness less than a quarter of a mile from my house.  It’s pretty nice considering as it’s name suggests, it’s open anytime (including this past winter when it was snowing and roads were blocked) as well as Holidays.  There isn’t always someone working there, but each preson has a key to swipe in so you can access it anytime.

That being said, I don’t get to see the same people all the time because people come in at all hours. (Keep in my mind this is light hearted and no real names are used).

Voicebox:

This man is really friendly.  Hr works out hard.  He shared with me that he battled both smoking and drug addictions.  His smoking ended up causing throat cancer.  He now talks through a voicebox.  He has really turned his life around and a great guy.  He is extremely chatty.

Prying Paige

I am all for chatting but this lady wants to know everything and anything about your business.  She has asked some extremely personal questions as if we are best friends chatting with wine.  She will chat your ears off and pry into your business if you even look in her direction.

Awkward Angela

(No this is not me but could be).  This young woman is between the ages of 18-20.  She is very nice but has also asked extremely awkward questions.  Between her and Prying Paige, I try not to go the gym between the hours of 3-5 if I don’t want to chat.

Powerlifter Steve X 100

The thing about Anytime fitness is there are the cardio machines and right next to them are the free weights.  The hundreds of power lifters will lift and immediately drop the weights.  That’s great except sometimes I fear the AMT or elliptical will fall on it’s side due to force.  Grunt Grunt. Lift Lift.  I am strong.

The Karate Kicker

Also located in Anytime is a punching bag.  Occasionally the Karate Kicker will use it for kicks and god knows I’m terrified to every piss him off.

Cell Phone Cynthia:

I think this person exists in every gym.  They walk on the treadmill and talk extremely loudly on their cell phone.  I didn’t know so and so broke up with their boyfriend.  Tragic.  I could tell you more about her friends than probably they would like to think.  As long as I can blast my music louder than her chatting, I don’t have an issue…unfortunately that is not always the case.

That’s all I’ve got from this week.  As I continue to gym, I will be sure to keep you updated.  With over 500 members, everyone has some sort of story.  (Including myself).

Question for you: Who are some of the regulars you see at your gym?

Core Work

I was asked early last week to do a post on core work and activities.  I wish I could tell you I was more consistent or that I didn’t struggle occasionally to get it done but that would be a lie.  During the marathon I noticed I was an awkward flailing runner (something I’ve never really been before) and I truly believe this is because I “forgot” to do core work.  It could also be that I decided I was lazy to do core work…which is fine except I did that every day.  Since November I have been trying to do something core related daily, whether it takes 5 minutes or 15.

I am not a core expert (by any means) but this is just what I have been doing and enjoy.  If you have any ideas or core work you like to do please feel free to share because I’m always in need for new routines.

Shorter core days:

  1. Sometimes I do 500 crunches.  Straight up.  100 normal crunches, 100 bicycle crunches, 100 normal, 100 Russian twists and 100 legs straight up)  I like crunches a lot.
  2. Weighted Russian Twists.  I like those a lot too.
  3. This machine (at the gym):

    And with a medicine ball.
    And with a medicine ball.
  4. Or this machine :

    Now if only I was this ripped....ha.
    Now if only I was this ripped….ha.
  5. Sometimes I do planks but I don’t really like them much honestly.

Interesting Apps or programs for longer days:

  1. I am sure a lot of people have heard of the Nike training club APP for smart phones.  It’s free and often times I need someone (or a voice) telling me what to do or I don’t do it.  They have a lot of different “programs” ranging from 15 minutes to 45.
  2. P90X I like p90x a lot but go in spurts with it.  There is only so much of Tony’s voice I can handle so I will say I normally do this for 6 months and take 6 months off.  I’m currently in the 6 months on phase.

I have been in the routine of doing 5 out of 7 days of core work.  It doesn’t seem like a lot but it is more then I have been doing.  I would rather have a strong core then be ripped and since I am built with very narrow hip bones I’ll never have a six pack.  Oh well.

Question for you: What are your favorite core workouts?