Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Running’ Category


  • You know what gels are
  • You might be carrying salt packets with you
  • You’ve thought about buying stock in Vaseline
  • You know what Body Glide is and you’re not afraid to use it in public
  • You view losing toe nails as a badge of honor
  • You’re a guy and you cringe at having more chafed nipples……..
  • And tape is one of your best friends to help those nipples
  • You use RICE almost as much as your Body Glide and Vaseline
  • You know that the afore-mentioned RICE isn’t actually edible
  • You have a daily, ongoing love/hate affair with your roller, which you’ve come to view as a close friend
  • The only kind of shopping that consistently intrigues you is checking out running shoes and gear
  • You have a tech wear preference
  • You look forward to legally getting ‘high’ every day
  • You spend more on your wrist Garmin than on the one in your car
  • You have multiple spread sheets, for things like mileage, speed, routes, and wear on shoes
  • You’re not embarrassed to admit to using head games on yourself, and you’re more than willing to share them with others
  • You know why they’re called the ‘runner’s trots’
  • You feel guilty when you take a URD (unscheduled rest day)
  • You dream you’re running when you’ve taken a few days off
  • You may not have a PR, but you know what one is (personal record)……….. 😆
  • You actually know your mile (and probably kilometer, too!) per minute speed because you’ve got a program to calculate it for you

😆

I’m sure there are plenty more. What are your favorites?

Read Full Post »


We all have them. In my mind, my milestones are points in time which are usually “firsts” and often, experiences that may not be duplicated. And usually, it’s somewhere on a journey, that has a definite beginning, middle, and end.

In this case, I have no idea where the end is, but I clearly remember the beginning. While I should have hit this particular milestone a while ago, I am finally to it.

Yep. That’s right. I’ve got 1,000 miles on my Vibram Five Finger Bikilas. (ok, you can throw confetti as long as you promise to clean it up later  😆 )

Do you remember? I first wrote about them June 16, 2011. My very first VFF run, I went a stunning 1.5 miles.  😆 After 34 days of transitioning from my Asics to my VFFs, I was finally in them for the full 5 miles.

As you can imagine, I’m pretty anal with my documenting (as if you didn’t know already!  :lol:). I’ve always kept track of the mileage on my shoes, just because it’s good to know how many miles they’ve seen, so if you starting getting some issues, you’ll know whether or not it’s time to change them out.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am not to really have to worry about that! Anymore, I just keep track of total mileage, and because I really have no idea how long they’ll last, it’s just interesting to keep track of the miles. I’ve heard VFFs last a really long time, so I’m going to put them to the test!

So, here are some stats:

  • 1,000 miles run
  • 3 races to date (2 10ks and 1 Half Marathon)
  • 34 days to transition to full-time at then current mileage
  • 156 days of running which =s
    • 6.41 miles each run, on average
  • No idea how many times they’ve been washed, but it’s a lot.  😀

Where am I am these days?  Let me tell you, the heat is kicking my butt, big time. The hotter it is, the more I swell. The more I swell, the worse I feel, and the more NEED to run to help flush out the swelling. But, the worse I feel, the less inclined I am to run. Blah.

My initial goal for the yearly mileage game is 1,200 miles. This means I need to run 100 miles a month. My normal average is between 30 and 50 miles a week. You’d think, then, that it would be no problem and I’d be over the goal at the end of the year. And if I was a normal person, you’d be right.

Instead, spring hit, and brought 90 degree temps. We’ve already been over 100, and most recent weeks, we’ve been in the mid to upper 90s. Blessed be, we’re getting a cold front and some supposed rain blowing in. This could not have better timing, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.

December was a rockin’ month, with 205 miles.

I took a break in January and logged 118 miles.

Mileage for February was 115.1, with my half marathon giving me that leftover tenth. (Have I mentioned that I generally like nice, neat, round numbers?  :lol:)

And then I hit a flare and it got hot. March totally tanked, and I only managed 44 miles. That put me 56 miles behind that month.

April was marginally better, but I had a few weeks where I didn’t run at all, which also killed my mileage. I ended the month at 81 miles, which left me still 42 miles behind.

At this point, I’ve only got 21 miles this month, and this should be a taper week since I have a 10k on Saturday. Can you see the struggle?  My Wednesdays are now free, but this is a week I need to cut back and try to save my legs for Saturday. We’ll see.

Since the cold front is moving in, it’s supposed to be signifincantly cooler. The high on Saturday should only be 82, which means it shouldn’t be too hot for me. In theory.

A few weeks ago, I did change my mileage for the game down to 950. I don’t need the pressure of feeling like I’m so far behind that I’ll never get caught up, because it’s too easy to let that become a self-defeating thought pattern. I am, however, still running with the original goal in mind, and we’ll see how it goes.

Are you wondering what these 1,000 miles shoes look like? Don’t mind the post run sweaty wetness…….  😆

1,000 miles! Reflectors are still reflecty!

 

Look! No holes yet!

Because my life has been a soundtrack lately, this one will take you to the commercial break. (Sorry about the ad, though!)  :mrgreen:

 

 

 

Read Full Post »


I’m pretty sure that is not news y’all don’t already know.  😆 Part of what I deal with as ongoing issues are body weirdities. There is usually something strange going on, and yesterday was no exception.

Much of the time, I have skin weirdities. I seriously have not figured this one out, and really, I’ve stopped trying. When I changed to my Vibrams, there was one spot on each foot that would stay all red, on the inside of my foot. Those spots looked terrible, but they didn’t hurt and they didn’t itch.

I thought maybe it was detergent; maybe it was the seam in the shoe. Nope. Not the detergent, and not the seam, because the location of the spot changes to places where there is no seam……

Magically, one day, they totally disappeared. After that, I’d have times where that spot would splotch on one foot or the other, no matter what I did. No idea why. I’ve been splotch-free {knock on wood} for a while now, but I’m pretty sure at some point it will get weird again.

If you were around me yesterday, you probably noticed that I wasn’t all there upstairs. Yep, you guessed it. I was pretty swollen. It’s been creeping up on me, getting progressively worse as the week progressed. Today I have great plans to stay in bed as much as I can this afternoon after I get my errands done.

My biggest complaint with the swelling is that I can feel it. I can feel my hands swelling, and I can feel my toes becoming sausages. It’s a really familiar sensation, but I still don’t like it.

Another one of my weirdities is bruising. I’ve had extensive testing done for all kinds of obscure diseases, courtesy of my local cancer center’s fantastic hematologist. He’s one of my favorite doctors, and it’s good to know I can call him up and he’s willing to help.

Tuesday, after my normal run, the ball of my foot hurt for some strange reason. No idea why; didn’t hurt when I was running; I didn’t knock it into anything. But it wasn’t comfortable to walk like I normally do.

Wednesday when I got up, that part of my foot was still tender, but once shoes were on, walking was fine and there was no pain. When I got home in the afternoon, I noticed I was getting a bruise. But the bruise was not where the pain had been. Nope. This bruise was on the outside of the ball of my foot.

Thursday morning, I was feeling pretty rotten. If I hadn’t taken nearly an entire month off of running, I would have skipped my run entirely. Last month, I managed to lose 56 miles. 😯 

I know. That totally put me way behind, which means that I can’t cut myself any slack until I get caught up. By the end of this month, I’ll probably still be about 25 miles down from where I ought to be, and I’m hoping to get caught up by the end of next month.

So, when I woke up and had pitting; the bruise on my foot and I felt like crapo, I debated about whether or not I should even bother trying. I figured I would give it a shot and see how I felt. If the pain in my foot was bad, I wouldn’t push it.

 

Just in case you’re wondering- yes, that’s a dent in my ankle. You can have edema which is firm (which is what I have in my hands, arms, and legs) but when it hits my ankles, I can usually mash my finger in there and this is what it looks like. And no, it’s not “normal” to wake up in the morning and have pitting. That amount of pitting is what I consider “moderate.” It’s a bit past “slight” and “mild,” but nowhere near “severe” or “obscene.”

Obviously, it was hard to get a really good picture of the bruise, because the contrast was more evident when the light was lower, but then I couldn’t get a decent picture of it. What was bizarre about this one, as you can see, is how it wrapped from the outside ball of my foot all the way to the actual ball, all that side. It’s almost like I had my foot upturned and whacked it with something cylindrical or stepped on something and rolled my foot. I am pretty sure that I would have remembered doing something like that.

Because of the swelling, I knew it was really important to get running and get as much of it flushed out as I could. Even though I knew I’d be pitted again by the afternoon, some reduction is better than nothing. So I had to give it a shot and see how long I could go before the bruise became a problem.

Darn it anyhow, but my foot felt totally fine while running. And even though it remains very clearly bruised, that spot doesn’t hurt at all when I press on it, even though it was a little bit tender yesterday morning.

It’s a daily adventure, I’m tellin’ ya. What weirdities will I wake up with today?! What weirdities can I develop during the day?!

Meh.  I am convinced, however, that it has something to do with heat. Wednesday, we hit 102, and I have noticed that the increase of heat has brought an increase of swelling. It’s going to be a long summer……… *sigh*

Read Full Post »


Had to pass this one on………… 😆

 

Read Full Post »


One of the things runners in particular seem to struggle with is what to eat that’s going to keep you full for any length of time. Truly, this can be an issue, particularly if you run and then go to work and don’t have the flexibility of eating whatever whenever.

Every runner is different in the eating department. Some hit the trail without eating anything; some eat just a banana; some do something light about an hour before a long run.

Me? I’m in the one hour department. Since I have energy issues to begin with, I am not interested in compounding it by not fueling as well as I could. I’m also kinda picky.

Generally speaking, I am a creature of habit. For years (and I do mean years, literally), my breakfast consisted of cottage cheese and pineapple. Good protein; not a lot of carbs. In some worlds, this is non-ideal pre-run fare. But regardless, it seemed to work well for me until I started increasing my mileage again.

What was fine for 5 miles no longer seems to do me much good at 8+. The hunt was on.

And so too, the struggle with gluten compounded, because it’s not like you can just eat a bagel and call it good.

Yes, I could go the cream of rice route- I’ve heard a rumor that I can find it at a local grocery store.  I’ve never seen it there before, but will have to look the next time I’m there. No one else in town seems to know what this is, and so I’ve been resigned to thinking I had to ask my parents to bring me some when they come from Michigan next week. (I may still do that if I can’t find any by then…..)

I could do grits. I actually do like grits, but usually like a little bit of sugar in it. So that’s out for every day eating. I’m also not one who wants to cook anything in the morning and have to take time making something hot. I’m usually too hot as it is anyhow, so warming up from the inside just to go running and get even hotter is not appealing to me.

See what I mean about being picky?  😆

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a thread on the Runner’s World forums about the issue of being starving after running- what would be good and solid, not interfere with running, and yet, tide you over? The “solution” was overnight oats.

Now, if you’ve been researching gluten and all the stuff it’s in, you’ve probably learned this tidbit of information: while oats don’t have gluten in them, they are usually processed in facilities that have other grains, and therefore, may have trace amounts of gluten ON them.

If I had Celiac disease, this would be a big deal. I would make sure that the oats I got came certified “gluten-free.” (and really, I’m not doing very well in the gluten-free department anyhow, since I allow myself to cheat a little so long as my pain level is not real high and I’m functioning reasonably well; but I do try to eliminate it as much as I can)

Cheerios, for example, made with whole grain oats- are not gluten-free. AND! One of the ingredients is wheat starch. Definitely NOT gluten-free, although there are people who have been told they are ok to eat.

Did I mention that I love Cheerios?  *sigh*  😦

But- just plain oats don’t have anything else in it. While there is a chance to have some gluten cross-contamination, because I only have a sensitivity, I feel like it’s safe enough until I can find a source for reasonably priced certified gluten-free oats. I may be playing with fire, but so far, it’s been ok.

The original recipe I got was this:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup almond milk

about 1/2 oz chopped walnuts

1/2 cup lowfat greek yogurt – (I used vanilla ) 

few dashes of cinnamon

about an ounce of dried cranberries

~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, so I tried this with a few alterations. I used regular whole milk instead of the almond milk; I used regular yogurt instead of Greek yogurt, and I didn’t put any cinnamon in it.While I don’t mind eating just nuts, I don’t like nuts in pretty much anything, so I left them out. I do like mixing it up the night before so all I have to do in the morning is open the fridge, grab my spoon and get to it.

A few days in, I came to realize that I didn’t particularly like to chew my oatmeal. I generally do not like food in my food, although I can change my mindset if I have to tackle some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. But then, I can pick out the chunks and eat just those, so it’s all good.  😆 So now, in addition to no nuts in there, the cranberries are also out.

After another few days, I got bored with the vanilla. Don’t ask me why, because I’m still not sure. 😆

I thought I would take a risk and try strawberry yogurt, even though it has some strawberry bits in it. So far, the bits aren’t bugging me because they are soft enough not to have to chew.

I have not, however, determined whether or not this combo gives me a good boost of energy like traditional carbs. I am leaning towards a “no,” but think I need to try it longer to really know one way or another. I am still looking for pre-race eats that will give me a boost of energy; I’m thinking maybe I should try some peanut butter in there with plain yogurt. Not sure on this combo, but I’ll let you know if I try it.

Any gluten-free runners out there who have favorite pre-race or other pre-run breakfast food favorites?  Tell me what you’re eating!

Read Full Post »

Race Report


Near the end of Holiday Challenge, I checked out the supposed race schedule (looking at last year’s races) to see what was coming up. The first thing for 2012 was a race that had the normal 2k walk/run and 10k walk/run. What it also had left me scratching my head.

It also had a half marathon. Well hum.

I have to admit that a HM has *never* been on my bucket list. That’s 13.1 darn miles. That’s a really long way, y’all.

I mean, it’s not as long as a regular marathon (not on the bucket list) or a super marathon (often 50k) and definitely not an ultra (100k- yes, they really do exist, and no, that will NEVER be on my radar or bucket list), but still- it’s nothing to sneeze at. A 10k, for example, is not quite 1/2 of the Half. For someone who struggled a few years ago to stay out of bed and awake for over an hour without doing any running- the idea of running that long and longer was not something I even remotely entertained.

And the half has never been on my radar.

Until that holiday challenge………….

It goes without saying that I am not particularly fast. The miles I was cranking out weren’t at blazing speeds, to say the least. But it got me thinking that I might be able to do a half marathon and not die. So, I thought I would give “training” a go with a 2 month lead time and see where we landed.

Late January and early February brough a round of illness, which stunted my weekly mileage and gave me an entire week off. I think the low point was something like 8 miles for the entire week. My pain level has been higher overall, although it’s gone down the last few weeks, which was the only reason I thought I would give it a try.

During the last few weeks, I had resigned myself to just finishing it and making myself be happy with that. My two goals were: 1) finish in under 3 hours (yes, I told you I was slow) and 2) not walk. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t barf either, but I wasn’t convinced I could put that on the list.  😆

This distance had really been messing with my head, and to be honest, this was one I was not looking forward to. Ya, I could have done the 10k; I could have chosen not to do it all. But then I felt that pushing myself all those weeks would be for naught, so I needed to just bite the bullet and do it.

So I did. I didn’t die, and while my time was better than I had estimated, it wasn’t a personal record or anything. Total time was 150:02 (2 hours, 30 minutes, and 2 seconds). That gives me 11:27 minute mile.

When we started out, my truck said it was 30 degrees outside. No biggy. I was pleasantly surprised to cruise past the 10k turnaround feeling pretty decent, and not like it had taken forever to get there.

And then we turned the corner. And it got windy. The turn wasn’t what got me- but the headwind blowing solidly at least 15 mp did. I hadn’t been pushing to begin with, and having that block of knowing the route and how far it was, it totally made me want to be conservative.

My “training plan” has always been to regularly run the distance of the race. That didn’t happen this time; mostly because I was sick combined with things coming up that didn’t give me all the time to do the long runs. When I compared what I was doing with training plans that are out there, they’d have one long run a week; some of them didn’t even make it to the mileage until race day. So, I convinced myself I’d be ok because of my mileage base.

(Can you tell I’m coming up with excuses? :lol:) Now I know that I need the miles under me so I don’t have that little voice of doubt nagging me, making me question. I didn’t necessarily want to be cautious; but I was because I didn’t want to peter out at the end. I also changed up my breakfast, which I’m not sure if that didn’t help or not.

And then there was the lady I nearly walked in on in the bathroom. She started off running with her husband, but he’s done more training than she has. When I saw her walking, I felt like I’d be able to pass her. And I was planning on it. Until I caught up to her and she said, “I’ve been waiting for you. I don’t know if I can finish this.” Before I caught myself, I said, “I’ll push you to the end. You can do it.”

Well, shoot. This was nearing the end, with about 2.5 mile left (best estimation). This is the time when I change my pace and really push. But now I felt bad, because I didn’t want her to stop and I kinda told her I’d stick with her. So I paced it with her and finished slightly ahead of her. She thanked me profusely at the end again saying, “I couldn’t have finished it if you hadn’t stayed with me.”

At the end of the day, I think that’s what’s important to me, more so than finishing times. I like to see the really fast people telling me “good job” as they are blowing by.  😆 I like to see the camaraderie of people encouraging one another.

I was not happy to see the guy running crazily in front of me, doing his best not to allow me to pass. I don’t know if it was the pink skirt or not, but he was pretty determined not to let me get by. I did, of course. But still.

And then there was the other guy that who raced me as I was closing in on him- this reminded me of being at a stoplight, and then gunning it so the person next to you can’t pass you. There are always those who speed up so they are going faster than you, which means you can’t pass unless you go faster. I got around him, too.

So. While initially, I thought my time was much better than anticipated and was feeling really good, in comparison to my other two races, it’s my slowest race time. Meh.

I don’t know that I’ll be doing the next half marathon because it’s going to be in September, and I cannot run outside in that kind of heat. At this point, I’m not planning on it. But darn, it would be nice to do another one and see if I can do better.

I’ve had a soak in the jacuzzi, but I am ready for a nap.  I’m gonna go eat my race banana and then read until I fall asleep…………

At least I’m on track for my 1,200 miles this year, since this race puts me at 217.1 for the year and means I’ve got 838.3 VFF miles on this pair of shoes………………. *sigh*

Read Full Post »


Yep.  I did, I’m ashamed to say.  I knew better, and I did it anyhow.

At first, I conned myself into thinking a little wouldn’t matter.  And you know how that goes- once you have a little, well, heck, you might as well go for broke and do what you want and have a lot, right?

And then, the really twisted part of my brain joined in and said, “It’ll be an experiment, and then I’ll know for sure one way or the other.”

Epic fail. Big time bomb.

And truly, the only one suffering is me. Go me for allowing my stupid stubbornness to get the best of me and letting myself con myself into not just falling off the wagon, but staying off the wagon. 🙄

I think this started on Thanksgiving. I “allowed” myself to have some dinner rolls, and thus, I started the fall off the gluten-free wagon.

I didn’t have any really bad effects initially. Indeed, I was flying high when my rheumatologists gave me the green light to run, and actually forbade me to stop. I started increasing my mileage and joined the Runner’s World Holiday Challenge. My mileage was good and I felt great.

I really thought, in my heart of hearts, that the worst with the diseases was behind me. How could it not be? I’d conquered the bulk of the pain; the plantar fasciitis (a kind of connective tissue) was all but resolved thanks to my Vibram Five Finger shoes, and my chronic tendinitis issues seemed to be on vacation. Systemic inflammation was down considerably, which I considered to be a major victory.

And then came Christmas week. I am pretty sure it was the combination of not napping/getting my feet up in the afternoons and the normal stress of the season that did me in. Christmas morning, I managed to crawl out of bed around 8 am and was back in by 10:30 am where I spent the rest of and entire next day.

That week, I had run 52.25 miles, and things were feeling a bit achy. In a matter of two days and a few hours, I had gained 12 lbs of fluid. Even with my continued running, I was swollen, pitting, and generally feeling like crap. This was by far the worst flare I had hit in several months. It took about a week, but the pounds dropped off.

The pain, however, remained. The first week of this month, everything was still hurting. As the pain increased, my mileage varied, as I decided to do some shorter runs to see if that would help. Stomach unease was a near constant, which meant I was doing overall a really good job staying away from the sugar cookies, knowing they would exacerbate things.

When we got the crud going around, though, the only thing I was interested in was raisin bread. And this is when the twisted part of my brain really took hold and let me fall completely off the gluten-free wagon. I mean, I was already in a lot of pain, so why bother not eating what I wanted to, right?

Shame on me. I know better.

I had nearly tricked myself into thinking I was “normal;” that I could eat “normally” and make “normal” goals and things.

Shame on me. I know better.

Part of the reason I started running eons ago was so that I *could* eat and not feel guilty. That was my reward (well, one of them) for running: the ability to eat ice cream or chocolate and not feel guilty. 🙄

As part of my research on my conditions, one theme I had run into repeatedly was the gut connection to inflammation. I’ve been tested for Celiac, and apparently there was no “intolerance.” The thing is, you don’t have to be completely intolerant, nor do you have to have an allergy to something to have it affect you and give you adverse reactions.

Yep. Sensitivities can cause all kinds of things. There is a difference between food allergies, food sensitivities, and food intolerance. I’ve undergone extensive allergy testing. By this I mean a series of over 300 injections where the “bump” is measured for allergic response (you’re going to have a bump; how high the bump is determines the level of your allergy). From what I remember, wheat was not one of my allergies.

We know that the gut/intestines – the enteric or intrinsic system- has its own nervous system, which has as many neurons as the spinal cord.

Did you get that?

Let me say it again- your digestive system has its own nervous system that has about the same number of neurons as your spinal cord. How does this work? One example would be to think of someone who is clinically brain dead (has no electrical activity in the brain) and yet survives artificially, with a feeding tube etc. Did you ever think about how that works?

How the Gut’s ‘Second Brain’ Influences Mood and Well-Being is a really good article to get you started.

I’m not going to go into a lengthy lecture about anatomy and physiology, but I WILL say that what we eat is FAR more connected to how we feel and act than most people think. Conditions like ADD/ADHD and autism often respond to dietary intervention and are often exacerbated by food with certain food colorings and additives like MSG.

There is stuff in food (like wood pulp, aka cellulose) that we don’t have the ability to digest. And then we wonder why we can’t?

There is much evidence and continuing studies that show a link between gluten and autoimmune conditions and pain. Celiac and arthritis, for example, have a link. (Celiac Disease is NOT an allergy to gluten, it is an autoimmune disease; some children with wheat allergies can outgrow the allergy.) Studies show that Sjogren’s and Raynaud’s both have links to gluten.

And gluten is in all kinds of stuff- it’s not just bread; it’s not just connected to wheat, and it’s often hidden (like whey in hot dogs, casein in tuna, or MSG being called “natural flavorings”). Gluten can be found in vitamin supplements and some medications. Most grains can have gluten, so it’s not safe to say “I’ll just eat oatmeal” because there could be (and often is) cross-contamination. Wheat free does not = gluten free.  😦

I often wonder why people are more agreeable to treating illness with artificial chemicals than they are to think about what they are eating. Is it just because processed foods are easier? (ok, I admit, this feeds into my theory of a “right now” society whereby people want things right now; easily, without having to think or work, and I believe that treating it with a pill is the route most people chose just because it’s “easy”.)

I DO think people want to take the easy route, and in some ways, I am no exception. You probably already know we don’t do a lot of processed foods and we LOVE the eggs we get from our chickens.

Gluten-free options are not abundant (nor cost-effective) where I live. And, since it’s really only me in the family that is affected, it’s hard to justify spending the $$ and having the rest of the family go gluten free. So that leaves me more or less where I started (bear with me, please, while I whine :D)– cutting out what I can on my own and hoping I see results.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. At this point, I’m nearly 100% sure that I’ll see results and my pain level will once again decrease. I’m going to miss my raisin bran.

If, in a few months, I start to complain about wanting to load up on breads and grains again, would y’all just poke me, please?

Thank GOODNESS I can still eat popcorn……………

**Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Don’t shoot me or try to sue me if some of this information isn’t spot on or is debunked in 50 years. I’m just a regular ‘ole person scouring the internet and researching what I can. If you have experience with any of this, PLEASE leave me a comment!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: