Ankle Still A Hot Mess; Skipping The 10K

I’m not a happy camper this morning. It’s already mid August and I’m still not running yet. Heck, I’m not even doing my daily walks. For a month I’ve diligently stretched my calf and foot in an effort to deal with the Achilles tendonitis.

The pain in the morning is just as bad as ever.

Now I’m finding that the comfort my sneakers provided in decline. Great.

That means I’ll miss the George Washington 10k in September. I can’t run it if I’m not training. And I certainly can’t run on this ankle anytime soon.

With the pain not going away, I’ve decided a little more aggressive action is needed. First up is an ankle splint. I’m picking one up this morning.

Next is massage therapy that focuses on the tendon and the main culprit, an overly tight calf muscle. I found this video online showing the massage technique.

Next up are more stretching and strengthening exercises. This physical therapy video demonstrates techniques that I can try using my stairs and resistance bands. The video also demonstrates how I can massage my tendon myself.

Hopefully I’ll feel a difference over the next few weeks.

10K Training Detour: Achilles Tendonitis

crossing finish line 2015

The big action shot of me crossing the finishing line of my first 5K where I ran the entire 3.1 miles. I am awesome! I’m determined to do the same in a 10K race.

Well this is a fine how-do-you-do. My ankle problem is back which means my 10k training is taking a slight detour. I’m not running for a few weeks. I’m having issues with my ankle once again. My doctor suspects its Achilles tendonitis.

So I’m trying to minimize the impact on my foot. That means no running for a couple of weeks. Instead I’ll go to more spin classes during the week.

Per my doctor’s advice I’m giving up wearing high heals, flats and flip-flops for the time being. My ankle prefers walking shoes. The pain goes away quickly once I put those magic shoes on (provided I don’t stay on my feet for more than a couple of hours).

Since the pain is the greatest in the morning my doctor recommended some stretching to help loosen up my calf muscle (the main culprit) and some light foot stretches. I may pick up an ankle splint too, but I’m waiting to see if the stretching and training modifications help.

Fingers crossed I’ll be back hitting the pavement in August.

11 Weeks Of Training

crossing finish line 2015

The big action shot of me crossing the finishing line of my first 5K where I ran the entire 3.1 miles. Can’t wait to do the same for my first 10K…and yes, I am still awesome!

Over the last year I’ve tried training for a 10k with no luck. It’s just hard for me to train without an actual deadline. Well now I have one – September 10. That’s when I run 6.2 miles along the Potomac River to Mount Vernon for the George Washington Patriot Run.

While I don’t want to injure myself, I am going to push myself a little with my training schedule.  My thinking is my body can handle it since I’m not asking it to do something it hasn’t done before (just more distance and time).

Which means rain or shine, I have to run 3 times a week. It also means adding some non-impact cardio twice a week. My gym is testing a 30-minute speed cycling class this quarter. I might as well give it a go.

My current strength training, walking and yoga sessions provide a nice cross training.

But first thing up? Replacing gear. I’m heading out this morning to replace my running shoes.

I think I’ll also re-watch From Fat to Finish Line this weekend.  My training kicks off on Sunday and I’d like to go into it as excited as possible.

10k Training Commencing, Weather Be Damned!

exercise goals

From outdoor to indoor cycling, daily walks and long hikes, I’m focused on running a 10k this year and re-establishing my habit of exercising daily.

I want to run a 10k this summer. Unfortunately the weather isn’t cooperating. Old Man Winter doesn’t want to let go just yet. Between last week’s snowstorm that left mostly ice and the rain, I’m stuck indoors wishing I invested in all-weather running gear.

But all is not lost. Since rejoining the gym I’m toying to using it as much as possible before the weather takes a turn for the better.

Now I’m not a treadmill runner. I’ve tried that before and I’m just too clumsy for that contraption. Spin is where it is at, baby! Yep, my cycling classes not only helped my legs get into shape, but improved my endurance too.

Monday was my first class in nearly 2 years. It was pretty much as I remember: playing with the resistance setting to get the most of the workout and a bike seat that only Satan could have created.

Ugh! Even with biker shorts (they are padded), my butt is still sore from that class. A few more classes should end the soreness.

Of course I loved every minute of it…the class not the soreness! Of all the things I did at my old gym I really missed spin the most. It was a great way to burn off all that excess energy I build up during the week. But I really loved was my yoga class immediately after spin. It’s a perfect block of time to burn off and refocus your energy.

Unfortunately there currently isn’t any yoga following cycling at the moment. That just means I’ll stick to following Yoga with Adriene.

Between spin class, weight training, daily walks, running intervals (weather permitting), and upcoming bike rides and hikes along local trails (can’t wait), I need to carve out time in my schedule. I really lost the habit of exercising daily. A schedule is the first step in rebuilding that habit. I also need to create specific goals and milestones to hit. I’ve set goals for weight training, but now I need targets for cycling, walking, hiking and running (tracking distances, daily steps, speed, etc.).

Hmmmm…I have to noodle on that a bit more.

What are your fitness goals this year?

Time For New Running Shoes

Saucony Hurricane ISO

Caution: Shoes are much more neon yellow than they appear! Introducing the new Saucony Hurricane ISO, my new running shoe!

After my 5K Saturday morning, the hubby got the running bug. A few years ago he got into running but thanks to work and “the state of The World” (of Warcraft),” he got sidetracked. Well now that he is working out at the gym and mostly sticking to his low carb foods, he wants to take up running again.

Sunday we headed over to Pacers, a local running store, for a proper shoe fitting. Thinking ahead, I wore my running shoes. Was it time for a new pair? Turns out, the answer was a big yes!

Unlike past sneakers, the outer heel wasn’t worn down — a sign I’m an underpronator. I have high arches so my feet are less flexible than most people. Underpronation is a fancy way of saying my feet don’t absorb the impact of running because they don’t roll inward enough. Read More

I Ran My First 5K…Now What?

The big action shot of me crossing the finishing line of my first 5K where I ran the entire 3.1 miles. I am awesome!

The big action shot of me crossing the finishing line of my first 5K where I ran the entire 3.1 miles. I am awesome!

Woohoo! I ran my first 5K race without walking or stopping to catch my breath. I finished in 45:33 minutes. My plan – run at a consistent, easy pace. I wanted to have enough gas in the tank at the end to finish strong. During past races, my competitive streak got the best of me and I started out fast but ended up walking by the time Mile 2 rolled around.

Not today. I stuck to my game plan and it worked.

It’s funny, but I never saw myself as a runner. Yet today, like most run days, I had a big smile on my face. That little voice in my head that tells me “I’m too tired to keep running” disappeared. Not once did I ever think about stopping. I felt relaxed and just enjoyed the morning run. Read More

My First 5K, Mud Race Set

Me, after walking in my first 5K -- The Brambleton Ribbon Race -- in 2013. I'm running in the 2015 Brambelton in 9 weeks.

Me, after walking in my first 5K — The Brambleton Ribbon Race — in 2013. I’m running in the 2015 Brambelton in 9 weeks.

It’s official. In a little over 9 weeks I’m running in a 5K race. April 18 is the 2015 Brambleton Ribbon Run. The 2013 Brambleton race was the first 5K I walked since starting this little journey. So it seems fitting that it is now serving as my first timed run.

I can’t tell you how excited I am. Having an real target date makes my goal of running a 5K very real. I now have something tangible to work towards. Once I registered, all of my workouts have a purpose. Regardless of how cold the weather turns, I don’t want to miss a run or a walk. The idea of missing a workout because its cold seems like a lame excuse and won’t help me get across the finish line.

Time To Get Dirty
In addition to my first 5K, I’ve also signed up for my first mud race – Mudderella! Come July 25, I’ll run a 5-7 mile course with 12-15 muddy obstacles in rural Maryland.

Where Spartan races and Tough Mudders are timed races, the Mudderella isn’t. You don’t even have to do all the obstacles. The Mudderella, while it’s an athletic challenge, looks a little more relaxed and fun. I’m still planning on doing a Spartan Sprint this year, but I’m hoping this breaks me into these obstacle races in a fun way.

Road Warrior — Testing My Knee With A Short Run

My knee is feeling great and I took it out for a spin today with a 1.5 mile run. I'm confident I can restart my 5K training in January.

My knee is feeling great and I took it out for a spin today with a 1.5 mile run. I’m confident I can restart my 5K training in January.

For some reason, during my walk, I got the urge to test my knee and try some running. I thought I’d just run for about 20 yards and start walking again. Turns out I switched back to walking 1.5 miles later. My knee felt great. But I was shocked that I could go that far.

Before the injury the furthest I ran was a little less than a mile. I haven’t run for about 2 months. My plan is to resume my 5K training in January – and that is still the plan. But I thought I’d start at the beginning to ease back into my 5K training. Turns out, my cycling and walks are keeping my cardio in check. While I still intend to ease back into my training, it’s comforting to know I don’t have to start at square one.

Ankle & Knee Feeling Better With Stretching

A beautiful day for a run!

A beautiful day for a run!

Today was my first run in more than a week. I didn’t expect much as far as distance since I cut down on cardio last week due to problems with my ankle and knee. I ended up running farther than I had before – 1.66 miles. Sweet!

Thankfully my knee and ankle started feeling better yesterday. I think taking it easy this week along with stretching consistently seemed to do the trick. Read More