Apr 30, 2012

The Running Roller Coaster

I had some issues with shin splints last week and was unable to run for a few days.  After a few days of rest and help from my new PT, I was able to get back on track toward the end of the week. I think I had a pretty decent week and I am pain free this morning. I am trying to be patient with the recovery process but it gets frustrating when you take one step forward and then one step back again. I have experienced the ups and downs of the running roller coaster lately but I am thankful that I am able to run again.  My pace is slower than what I would like to see but I have to count my blessings, right?

Here is a Recap of My Week:
Monday: 1 Mile Run and 5 Miles on the Elliptical
Tuesday: REST due to shin splint
Wednesday: REST AGAIN
Thursday: and REST AGAIN
Friday: Ran 6.2 on the Treadmill
Saturday: 3.5 Mile Jog/Walk on the Treadmill
Sunday: Ran 7.3 on the Treadmill

My weekend was pretty relaxing. We attended a birthday party for a family member and I also spent some time with my mom.  The theme for the birthday party had something to do with Nerf guns so my son went well prepared for battle and had a great time!
This weekend will be a busy one with a couple of exciting events on the agenda. I hope they happen!!

Apr 26, 2012

The Physical Therapy Saga Continues.....

Negative Nelly (that's my new name) over here has not been able to run since Saturday!  My hamstring issue seems to be much better but now my darn shin is acting up.  I definitely prefer this shin splint over the hamstring issue since it only lingers for a few days versus a few months!
So I went to physical therapy this morning and found out that my PT is out on medical leave. I guess she is pretty sick but they didn't say why so I didn't ask.  I hope she is okay. Just when I was starting to get comfortable with her, I get the news that I have a new PT (her boss, Joan.) I was telling Joan about the weird pressure feeling that I have been experiencing in my left shin when I run and she is almost certain that it is a shin splint issue.  She suspects that maybe I have changed the way that I run to compensate for my injury.  I think she might be right. She did a little trouble shooting and decided that today would consist of H-Wave therapy, heating pad on the shin and then some strengthening exercises. I did no treadmill running at physical therapy today which was a bummer. I feel so fat lately!
After the H-Wave and heating session, I did a few strengthening exercises. I had to wear this device on my foot that resembles a skate with a weight on the bottom.  Remember the skates that you slipped your shoe into and they adjusted to your foot size? This is what this contraption reminded me of.

So now the plan is to work on strengthening my calves. I can continue to run (Thank God!) but if the problem continues I have to go back to PT. My next appointment is in two weeks which is supposed to be my last and final appointment. I am looking forward to the end of this physical therapy thing and getting back into running.  It looks like it is going to be a very slow recovery process for me. 


Three Things Thursday

1.Sugar has yet to be claimed by her rightful owner. We put up "FOUND" posters and still to takers. She is getting used to us and has decided that living indoors and having her own bed is not so bad after all. When we first found her, she insisted on being outside and sleeping in one of our patio chairs but not anymore!
2. Since yesterday was Administrative Professionals Day, the management team took our Department Secretary out to CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) for lunch. I had "The Original BBQ Chicken Salad" and it was pretty darn good.  I had it without the tortilla strips and skipped the herb ranch dressing but added avocado and it was perfect.  I did steal a piece of my boss' pizza and it was pretty tasty too.  I think I am a CPK fan now!!

3. Running is going so so!  After my run on Saturday, my shin starting acting up again.  I get this strange feeling/pressure in my left shin when I run and it doesn't seem quite right. It seems like I take one step forward and one step back so I am beginning to wonder if the OC Half Marathon is really going to happen.  I am bumming about it but what can I do?? Recovery sucks!!

Congratulations to everyone who was selected to run the Nuun HTC and the NYC Marathon!! Both of these races are on my "Race Bucket List."

Tell me about the races on your Running Bucket List!  

Besides the two I mentioned above, I also want to run these marathons: Big Sur, California International, Eugene, Chicago, WDW Goofy Challenge and a Ragnar Relay!

Apr 22, 2012

Look What I Found!

For those of you who do not know this about me by now, I am a sucker for animals.  I have a soft spot for strays and been known rescue any that cross my path.  This sweet little girl followed my son home from the park on Friday and spent the weekend with us.  I think she is a Chihuahua. Correct?

I just found a stray back in November, Buster, and ended up keeping him because there was no response to the flyer I posted. The stray dog loves my son and he already named her "Sugar."  I swear I am not going to keep her!!  She is a good dog and is even potty trained but I can't keep three dogs. I am going to put some posters up tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed that her owner comes forward.  I don't want to take her to the shelter because I know that she will be euthanized if she is not adopted within a few days.

I was able to run 6.67 miles on Saturday morning.  It was warm out there!!  I actually stepped off of the treadmill for this one and it felt kind of nice. I took several walk breaks since I didn't want to take a chance running the stretches of my route that were slightly hilly. I tried to keep my pace around 10:00 and that felt pretty comfortable. I took today off from running in hopes of getting a longer run in tomorrow.
Congratulations to my co-workers Shawna and Hershal who ran the Angels 5K today.  They had a great time but I wish I could have been out there running it with them. I guess there is always next time :)

How was your weekend?  Did you race or get a long run in?

Apr 20, 2012

Weekend Plans and Another Run on the Agenda

We have no big plans for the weekend. I have really been wanting to see the Titanic in 3D but I don't think that my 10 year old is going to sit through a three hour movie. Once the nachos and the popcorn are gone, the movie better be something that interests him or he loses focus really quick! I think Grandma is going to have to keep him entertained while we slip away to watch this movie.  Titanic is the very first movie that my husband and I saw together so it's one of my all time favorites.
Other than wanting to see Titanic in 3D, my plan is to get back out there and go for another run.  I did have a little bit of pain after the 8 Miler on Tuesday so I took a few days off. The pain was in a different area so that was encouraging since I would have gone into a mad panic thinking that I re-injured myself! I don't want to take any chances so I have learned to be patient and rest when something doesn't feel right! The pains that I have been experiencing lately are nothing major and seem to go away within a couple of days with a little bit of icing. I have to admit that I do get paranoid with every little ache and pain that I feel.  I really need this paranoia to go away really soon!!
Can you believe that the OC Marathon is just a couple of weeks away? I am keeping my fingers crossed on this one.  I have my heart set on running it but my body will make the final decision.  My plan is to get myself up to 10 miles and if I am able to handle it then I will go for it.  If not, I am going to sit it out......

Do you have any big plans this weekend?  Titanic fan? Yes or No?

Apr 16, 2012

Recap of my Incredible Week!

This was been my biggest week ever since December of 2011 and I am hoping that the dark days are now behind me and I can continue to move get my running back on track. I am really happy with the progress that I made this week!! I am pain free today and I can't wait to step it up a little bit more this week! I am playing it safe and continuing to ice after every workout and running every other day to take the rest day that I need.

Monday: 6 Mile Treadmill Run

Tuesday: REST DAY

Wednesday: REST DAY

Thursday: 3.75 Mile Treadmill Run at Physical Therapy

Friday: 7 Mile Treadmill Run

Saturday: 4 Mile Bike Trail Walk

Sunday: 7.25 Mile Treadmill Run

TOTAL MILES: 28 Miles (24 Miles Running and 4 Miles of Walking)
 I know that I have a lot of catching up to do. I know that my pace and endurance are not where they used to be but I am okay with that right now.  I will be patient and I will listen to my body because me and not running do not mix!

Good luck to everyone who is running Boston today!

Apr 15, 2012

What a Great Weekend It Was!

I had a great weekend in spite of the rainy weather. I drove out to see my Mom on Friday and the visibility was really poor on the freeway.  By the end of the day there was a beautiful rainbow but then the rains started again in the late evening hours.

I am overly excited about being able to run on Friday and Sunday.  They were all treadmill miles but I will take whatever I can get right now!!  I feel like I am finally making some progress and I am really feeling good! I don't think I have felt this happy in a long time. Isn't it kind of crazy that running has become such a part of my life that when it goes away I am sort of lost?  It's almost like running and I went through a bad divorce! My Friday treadmill run went really well and I hardly walked but I know better than to push myself these days so I was more than happy to take a 1-2 minute walk break after being able to handle 12-15 minutes at 6.0-6.2.  I haven't done that in quite some time. I was kind of proud of myself!
On Saturday we went on a 4 mile walk on a local bike trail.  My son rode his bike while we walked it out. The weather was cool and my son enjoyed it so it was quality family time.
On Sunday I was more than ready to try another 7 miler on my good old friend treadmill.  I accidentally hit the stop button after 2.6 miles because I dropped my towel so I had to restart the darn treadmill.  I hate it when that happens because I have to put my math skills to work.
The OC Half Marathon is just a few weeks away and my mind is pretty set on running it.  If things continue to improve over the next few weeks, I hope to be out there. I want to be able to run 10 pain free miles before I decide to run this race.  I even considered running without my Garmin but then I thought that I might take it too fast so my Garmin will keep me in check.  I have my heart set on the Beach Cities Challenge medal but I will not risk an injury if my body is telling me to sit this race out.  I have already sat out four races so one more won't kill me. 
I will set no goals for the OC Half Marathon. I will walk when I need to, I will walk the entire race if I have to and I will only focus on finishing. I hope it happens for me...I want it so bad.

Apr 13, 2012

Friday the 13th: Are You Superstitious?

Yesterday, in the middle of the day, I realized that it would be Friday the 13th today.  I don't consider myself superstitious but then again maybe I am.  I try to avoid all of the things that people say will bring you bad luck (breaking a mirror, walking under ladders, putting shoes on a table, etc.) but if I accidentally do one of those things I don't really worry about it. 

I am off today and it's raining. I don't mind the rain but hate driving in it because there are some crazy drivers in California. I am going to start my day by going to the gym for a date with my wonderful friend the dreadmill.  I am going to see if I am able to push just a little bit more today.  I get excited when I am trying to take things to another level but I get nervous too! Have a great day!

Are you superstitious? 

Apr 12, 2012

I'll Take a Shin Splint Any Old Day!

Yes, I have a darn shin splint in my left shin! I am actually pretty excited about it because life could be worse!  I could have that nagging knee pain that had sidelined me for about 10 weeks, 3 days, 5 hours, 3 minutes.......you get the message! I have been icing it for the past couple of days and it is getting better but I tell you it is always something these days!! I just bought some KT Tape Pro to try out so I going to watch a video on how to use it and maybe that will help.

I went to physical therapy this morning and did my boring routine on the dreadmill.  I did 3.75 miles in 42 minutes which about an 11:11 pace.  The walking part is what kills my time.  Then I had my beloved H-Wave and Icing Session, which is my favorite part!

The good news is that my PT is now going to allow me to do a bit more.  She wants me to try running, yes I said running, at 6.0 on the dreadmill for 15-20 minutes at a time with 2 minute walk breaks of 4.2 in between!  I will be trying that out as soon as possible.  I think I can consider 6.0 on the dreadmill a run, right? I don't go back to physical therapy for another two weeks and during that time my PT wants me to try to get up to running 30 thirty minutes straight without a break but only at 6.0 and only on the lovely dreadmill! Oh, and no incline! She has way too many darn rules for me to follow but something is better than nothing, right?  I shouldn't be complaining!

I am still waiting for my grade too!  I thought I would know something by now. I guess I have to spend another week worrying about it! On a positive note, today is like my Friday since I don't have to work tomorrow!  Yippee!!!

Have you tried KT Tape?  If you have, let me know what you think of it.

Apr 11, 2012

A Little Road Trip to Sin City.....

My son is on spring break this week and I mentioned that we were consider taking a small road trip.  My son had a list of things that he wanted to do on his  break like go and see Hunger Games, go to Universal Studios and he really wanted to Las Vegas.  We decided that it would be nice to get away so off we went to Sin City. We usually stay at The Excalibur since they have an arcade for kids and the rates were really reasonable this week, like $21.00 a night.  They do charge a resort fee of $15.00 a day so I guess the rate was actually $36.00 a night plus all of the lovely taxes. We left early Sunday morning and got back late Tuesday afternoon.
We did a lot of walking on Sunday.  We visited several casinos and bothered lots of random strangers to take pictures of us.  My son is just amazed with Las Vegas and all the strip walking is a good workout too! 

We also ate at one our favorite sandwich places that we do not have here in California. It is called "Earl of Sandwich" and they have the best hot sandwiches ever!! I always get The Earl's Club, which has roasted turkey breast. Mmmm! If you have never tried this place, you have to try it!! Their website says that they are opening one soon at Downtown Disney right near Disneyland. I can hardly wait!!
We finished off the night by taking my son to the arcade and he played some games and collected a few prizes. My son can go through $25.00 within a few minutes so we have to keep a close eye on him!

On Monday we went to the Fashion Show Mall because there is a Lululemon store and I wanted to check out a tank that I have been eyeing on their website.  It's called the "Stuff Your Bra Tank" and of course after I tried it, I bought it.  I like that it has a ton of pockets to hold gels, keys and even your phone so you can run hands free. I can't wait until I can actually run a race again so that I can wear it.

After the mall, we headed back to the hotel to hit up the pool. I opted not to do the pool thing and headed to the Fitness Center to get a workout in. 

I only did six miles but with the walk breaks in between the jogs, a six mile run takes longer than I would like it to. The fitness center was pretty decent and was practically empty. They hotel supplied...
the water and the towels...
the view of the pool....
the entertainment!
I am not sure what kind of dance this girl was doing but it was pretty entertaining! Perhaps she had a little too much too drink! I did witness her making a few trips to the bar.
After our visit to the pool we went back to our room and showered and headed out for dinner.  My son wanted to see the motorcycles at the Harley Davidson Cafe so we took him there for dinner. The food wasn't to die for but my son enjoyed the many motorcycles on display.

We were pretty beat after all of the activities of the day and headed back to the hotel to take a rest before we did a little more walking around on the strip. We closed out the night by having a beer, which is something that I don't normally do but Michelob Ultra tastes better to me than most beer. I tried it at a race I ran in December with Shawna and decided that beer is not that bad after all. 

As we were driving down to the strip to head back to California, I spotted this place and stopped to grab some lunch.

Although we have several Whole Foods Markets in California, I don't have a location close to my house.  I tried the split pea soup and this yummy dish from the Hot Food Bar:

They were barely putting out the hot lunch foods so I am not sure what this is called but I think the guy putting the food out said it is called Curried Quinoa.  It is just vegetables with quinoa and it is just a tad bit spicy. It was pretty good!!  I would definitely get it again in spite of fact that the food is pricey and you have to be careful since it is sold by the pound!

So these are the highlights of our Vegas trip.  It's back to work for me today but I only have a two day work week because I am off this Friday. I also have physical therapy tomorrow and I am hoping that I will be released to start "running" without the walk breaks. My pain seems to be going away but I don't want to jinx myself by saying that! The pain always seems to sneak back up on me just when I think things are starting to get better.  I don't wish a running injury on anyone..it has been life changing for me!

Do you like Whole Foods?  What are some of your favorites from Whole Foods?

Apr 7, 2012

Turning the Negative into Something Positive!

Today was a good day in spite of not being able to run another race because I saw my Dad.  My Dad is battling cancer and I had made a plan a few months back to visit him when I first decided to run the Hollywood Half Marathon.  I really wanted to see him so my trip to Universal City was bound to happen even if things didn't work out the way that I had planned them to. I picked up my goodie bag and wandered around the expo for about two minutes. The expo was really crowded and I got out of there really quick! I was already feeling sad about not being able to run the race so the quick trip was a blessing! I can be dangerous at expos because I am always tempted to sign up for another race but due to this nagging injury I have no confidence to sign up for anything anymore. I guess I am tired of paying for races that I cannot run! The shirt is really cute and yes, Bib#5116 was a DNS! 
My husband walked around Universal City Walk until it was time to meet up with my Dad and stepmother.  If you are on any kind of diet, this place is not the place to go!  They had a ton of sweets to eat and about five restaurants.  They had candy, popcorn, cinnamon buns, funnel fries, buckets of mini donuts, and crepes.  I was only able to resist all of it because I didn't want to spoil my appetite for lunch. I did stop into Yogurtland and sample some new flavors that I hadn't tried before. The plan was to go back after lunch and get a cup but it didn't happen. I wanted to beat the traffic so we left right after lunch.
We met up with my Dad and my stepmother for lunch at 12:30pm. This is a chemo week for my Dad so I knew that he was not feeling 100% but he came anyway and never complains. We ended up having lunch at Tony Roma's and ate and talked for a couple of hours.  My Dad shaved his head because he said his hair was thinning on the sides from the chemo so I was a little shocked to see him without his hair. It actually made me kind of sad so I didn't have much of an appetite left. He didn't eat much but kept talking about going to McDonald's to pick up 12 Filet O Fish sandwiches. He goes through phases where can only eat certain things that taste good to him and don't make him sick. They are $1.49 on Fridays so I guess he stocks up!! 
It was great to see my Dad and we took a few pictures with him before he left.  I wish I could give him something of mine to make his cancer go away but for now all I can do is support him and show him how much I love him.

Have a great Easter!

Apr 5, 2012

Three Things Thursday

  1. Had a Great Workout! I had such an inspiring workout on Tuesday!  Although my usual workout is really boring and includes the whole speed walk and jog thing, I took it up to another level and it felt really good!  I actually jogged two whole miles (without the walk break) at 5.8 on the treadmill. I didn’t want to stop because I felt good and was actually breaking a good sweat! Nothing was hurting but I was already pushing it so I had to bring myself back to reality and turn it down to 4.0 and walk it out for a couple of minutes.  I am hoping to be able to maintain this same pace for the remainder of the week and get a little more mileage in this week. I needed this encouragement as I head to an Expo to pick up my goodie bag for a race I will not be able to participate in on Saturday.

  1. Vacation Time Starts Tomorrow!! Today is my last workday for the week and I will be on vacation until Wednesday!  I am kind of excited because I feel like I need a little break.  I didn’t realize how the whole “not being able to run thing” has impacted my life.  The moment I feel like everything in my life is going okay, the whole running thing pops into my mind and just makes me sad.  I am looking forward to spending time with my family and maybe taking a little road trip.  Easter dinner is traditionally at my house but this year I am breaking that tradition because I need a break from all the cooking and cleaning.  I really want to try this amazing Easter Champagne Brunch at the Queen Mary in Long Beach but it’s incredibly pricey ($59.95 per person) but sound really good. Maybe once I get back to running I can give it a try because after putting on two pounds last week, it’s probably not a good idea!! For those of you who are from California, have you ever tried this brunch at the Queen Mary?
  1. I Am Still Waiting on My Final Grade! I am still patiently waiting for my final grade to see if I will finally have that Master’s degree!! The professor told us that we would find out some time in mid April but I was sure hoping that I would find out sooner than that.  I look for my grade everyday but it still says “RP” which I think means "Report in Progress."  I guess the students are given this as a temporary grade until the final grades are posted.  HURRY UP ALREADY!! I sure hope I passed!
 Have a great weekend!!  Any special plans for Easter Sunday?

Apr 2, 2012

Change of Plans....Again!

Why do the weekends go by so quickly but the weekdays just drag? I guess I will never stop asking myself that question! Happy Monday!! I am looking forward to this coming weekend because I will be on vacation starting Friday and I won’t be returning to work until Wednesday.  My son will be on spring break so we are planning on spending some much needed family time together.  The weather will be perfect so it’s great timing for us. The old saying “April showers brings May flowers” will not be a factor this weekend.  

The original plan was to hit up Universal Studios on Friday, pick up my bib for the Hollywood Half Marathon and then spend the night and run the half the next morning at 6:00am.  Change of plans….again....I have decided that I am not quite "half marathon ready" so DNS number four will be hitting the books this weekend! It is very hard to swallow but I know that jumping into a half marathon is not the smartest decision plus I have been sidelined this long so I will survive!! The goodie bag for the Hollywood Half is really nice so I just might go ahead and pick it up and take my son to Universal Studios anyway!  It’s going to be tough going to the expo and seeing everyone in race mode but I just keep telling myself that this will soon pass. My biggest goal is  come back stronger than ever when I am back to running to make up for lost time! 

I gotta have this!!
I am convinced that I will be running the OC Half Marathon on May 6th.  This is my last chance to start this series and receive this my Beach Cities Challenge medal so even if I have to walk it I will be there. After the OC Marathon, I no more planned races so I won’t have put myself through all of this disappointment anymore.  I have gotten to the point where I am scared to even think about thinking about registering for another race.  I have sat so many races out since February that it’s depressing.
I logged 36 whole miles for the month of March which is pitiful but it's better than the whopping 3 miles I logged in February!!  I can't wait until I can get back into my 100 plus months. This week I will be increasing my sessions to 5-6 miles and increasing my pace from 5.2 to 5.5 on the treadmill.  I am also doing less walking and more jogging (I hate the word jogging! Am I a jogger now? NO, I AM NOT!!) so hopefully my leg agrees with the plan!!  I am keeping my fingers crossed and trying to remain positive!!