Monday, April 29, 2013

I have to admit...

...I'm a little unsure of discuss in this space that's typically reserved for all things running, when I'm not doing any of that these days.

Scratch that, I DID manage to run from the front door of work to my car. Any spectators most likely believed this to be due to me, well, leaving work...but it was more just my legs needing to feel some sort of stertching and freedom. Short distances like this don't hurt it, but give it a mile and the pain starts to set in.

I've tried running once a week since this runner's knee set in, and each time the disappointment sinks even lower. Being injured sucks. It makes me realize how much I took running for granted when it worked for my body. Never again!

How about I do a little photo montage of what's been preoccypying my time as of late. Warning: none of it is altogether excisting, but pictures are cool.

Rhubarb (fresh from the yard!) and apple cobbler. Sans ice cream. I recommend ice ceream.

Local Natives at The Neptune - awesome show. Please go see them!

Seattle's Pizza Pi

talent show TALENT

sunny softball games

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

strength training for the injured

Since getting injured with the dreaded runner's knee, I've had plenty of time to work on my strength. After doing a lot of research, it appears that the blame for such a nasty condition can be places on over-training, increasing mileage too quickly, and weak hammies/glutes/hips.

Since hindsight is 20/20 and I can't do much about the first two, I've decided to take the third point and run (figuratively) with it. Here's what my muscles have been up to, which is no way, shape or form "boot camp," but these exercises definitely kicks my booty so it has to be doing some good.

1. As mentioned before, I downloaded an app called SworkIt, which is the neatest. I try to complete at least 10 minutes of a workout before and again after work. It can also be a good warm-up for any other kind of cardio or exercise because it seems to gradually get my heart rate up.

2. The Fitnessista's tabata workouts.These suckers are gut-busting, muscle-soring monsters that get your heart rate and sweat glands going in a matter of 4 minutes. I love doing one before work because it totally energizes me and gets me pumped for the day. Even on Mondays, whaaaa?

3. I've also tried to be a good little runner and complete sciatic nerve stretches, such as these. Stretches could not get any more boring, but I know it can do some good for this cranky body.

4. Walking! Which can be really depressing when you're used to cranking up the pace and zipping around town doing 7 mph instead of 2, but it's been surprisingly nice to just slow down and take note of the world. Also, this weather with this view isn't too shabby:

Do you have any good exercise app recommendations?

Monday, April 22, 2013

I KNEEd this runner's knee to disappear

I apologize for being so quiet lately, but I don't have much running to discuss when there isn't much of it going on in my real life. I took two weeks off, hoping that would decrease the pain and inflammation so that I could run more than 50 feet without wanting to cry fat baby tears. I did attempt a 3 mile run yesterday on my "2 weeks of boring" anniversary and made it a whole 2.2 miles without any pain. And then it kicked in and I got to walk the rest of the way home.

It's really easy to get upset about not being able to do the one form of physical exercise I rely on - not only to stay in shape, but to stay sane. It also doesn't help that I have a marathon on June 2nd that I was really hoping to PR on.

But then, when I start to think those thoughts, I think about how selfish that sounds and how one week ago there were people who were injured and killed who will never run again. Perspective helps.

So for now, I am going to soak up this week's glorious Seattle sunshine (sunny and mid-60's all week!) and bask in the fact that I have my family, my health, and even my stupid knee that will (hopefully) end up working for me again.

What are your injury-coping mechanisms?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Grief and Goodness

Like many of you, I have found myself in tears the past few days. What happened at the treasured Boston marathon was a giant robbery. Some lost their lives, their limbs, their spirit, and their dream. It's a day that will be engrained in many minds forever, and will be replayed over and over for so many of the people who were there to witness the senseless act.

Prayers For Boston

I've been doing my share of reading the countless articles that continue to pop up, and many offer some solace in such a dark time. As Patton Oswald said, "We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago." Amen to that. When those bombs went off, people were running to them to offer any sort of assistance they were able to. Competitors, after putting their physical limits to the test for four hours, continued to the hospital after crossing the finish line. Decisions like these came naturally to those heroes. There was no second-guessing.

In times like these, it's incredibly comforting to me to think about how many good, honest people there are in this world who are "the helpers," as Mr. Rogers says. Personally, it's easy for me to get caught up in an overwhelming sadness that makes me just want to give in to tears and grief. I need to remind myself of the positive humanity that exist in the world and not let it get beat down by all the negativity and violence.

Here are some articles that have struck a cord with me:

The People Who Watch Marathons

The Boston Marathon: All My Tears, All My Love

The Helpers

By a Spectator

Keep on loving,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

straight up debauchery

Happy Thursday, friends! I will be MIA until next week while the hus and I are splashing around in Palm Springs and dancing our boo-tays off at Coachella. This is the third time we've taken the venture together, and I can honestly say it just keep getting more and more FUN.

We are meeting up with our good friends tonight who have the cutest 1 year old daughter that we haven't gotten to spend much time with, so it will be fantastic to visit with them. Then Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will consist of morning pool time followed by afternoon/evening/buttcrack of midnight Coachella time - all in 96 degree heat! I sweat just anticipating it.

SeaTac snacks. You can keep your $3 granola bar.
Have a great weekend, and I will meet you back here Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

what I ate wednesday :: 4.9.13

Since taking a minor break from running, I had thought my appetite might be on a downward slope of how things usually are. This theory proved to be way wrong, given that I ate the rest of my Easter candy in one (short) sitting Monday afternoon. I would say "oops" but it was totally on purpose and tasted phenomenal so whatever.

Below are my eats from a typical Tuesday, without any running. I did do core and arm exercises from my new favorite app, Sworkit, which I have the free version of and loooove it. You tell it what type of workout you want, how much time you have (ranging from 5-60 minutes in 5-10 minute increments) and then it comes up with different exercises that you complete for 30 seconds and then switch. It's a great resource when you want to squeeze in a quick ab workout before heading out to work. Get it, get it!

Breakfast :: 6:30am
Green smoothie (frozen spinach, nanner, pineapple, orange juice, chia seeds, flax meal) and a dirty chai.

Morning Snack :: 9:30am
Two slices of this banana bread that I made, ahem, twice last week.

Lunch :: 12:00pm
A salad monster, complete with tons of veggies and a vegan enchilada.

Afternoon Snack:: 4:00pm
An ORANGE. No picture, so I hope that was a good description for you. ;)

 Dinner :: 6:00pm
Veggie red curry! Funny, I made this my last WIAW post. Curries are kind of a staple.

Monday, April 8, 2013

weekend happenings + an unfortunate turn of events

So this knee pain I've been having an issue with on my past few runs? I'm pretty sure it's not due to any sciatic nerve has I had originally thought. Instead, I had a nice appointment with Google yesterday, who told me that it could actually be runner's knee, which there's a better, more legitimate name for that I"m not about to spell out and get wrong for you guys.

Apparently the cartilage underneath my patella isn't happy with me working it, most likely due to over-training it. Since I started marathon training in January, my weekly mileage has been higher than ever before in my running history. I thought I was being smart about it since I was following a plan, but didn't really stop to think about how it might also  be negatively be affecting my body that isn't used to be working it so hard.

So yesterday on my supposed 16 mile run was my breaking point. I had a little knee pain starting at mile 3, intense knee pain starting at mile 12, and then walked miles 12-14 back home. Walking surprisingly felt fine, which will be nice since I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of it these next few weeks.

My plan right now is to take 2 weeks off for recovery. I'll start back out with easy runs to make sure I don't re-injure it and will hopefully be in tip-top shape by the time this marathon rolls around on June 2nd.

In the meantime, during these (extremely tedious) two weeks you'll be finding me doing these stretches for the nerve (just in case) and work on some strength training. I was happy to find this article on recuperation - the author makes it sound like a pretty simple recovery so here's hoping he's right!

Here's a little tasteroo of what went down this weekend:

Friday night Seattle meetup with a dear friend of mine who recently moved back to Seattle from LA! We went to Boom Noodle in Capitol Hill, did a little window shopping in University Village, and ended out night at Veggie Grill for dessert. Friday night at its best.

I ordered the "Tokyo Ramen" veggie-style from Boom, and while it was delicious, I don't think it met it's $14 price tag. I'm a volume eater, and my heart sort of stopped when the bowl was already half-full when it got to me. The "Chocolate Pudding Parfait" at Veggie Grill, however, was inhaled.

The oh-so-sad Saturday long-run view. This came straight off my 'gram.

Saturday afternoon plant sale on Bainbridge Island! What's hilarious is the irony of this - I get injured on a run and am on the prowl for a relaxing afternoon. Instead, I find this plant sale which was at the end of this 1 mile (albeit beautiful) walk. I was searching for veggie plants so when I discovered there weren't any I grabbed the first vibrant plant I saw and went with it. We waited in  line for 30 minutes in the rain for this little guy, and then promptly ran (hobbled, actually) away to fund some lunch.

 Sunday afternoon curtain-creating! With the madre, who knows all things sewing and could make anything out of a needle and thread. I'm sure of it. ;) My sad husband got some sort of stomach virus so I stayed away as much as possible yesterday. We got these curtains done in 5 hours, and I couldn't be more pleased with how they turned out. I'll post a picture once I get them hung!

Have you ever had runner's knee? How do you deal with being injured and taking time off from training or working out?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

thoughtsday :: 4.4.13

1. Washing my hair - when did it get so complicated? Lately, I've been hearing a lot about this "no-poo" method, which is a fancy way of saying you don't wash your hair with shampoo. The most popular substitution I've been seeing is using apple cider vinegar and baking soda instead of shampoo and conditioner. After reading about Tsh's and Heidi's experiences I'm quite tempted to test this out, too.

I hate washing my hair every day, which is pretty much a necessity after running 6+ miles 6 days a week. I'm thinking this might be a practical, cheap solution for my dried out hair (which is also extremely greasy by the end of the day, how does that work?). I'll let you know how it goes.

2. Composting! I started my bin in January, and have kept up with it since. Everything is starting to break down, but it's definitely not useable yet. I can't wait until I get to put it to work in our garden!

3. Interrupting my marathon training plan. As I previously mentioned, My sciatic nerve has been rearing and flaring = angry eyes. Last night at the end of my 8 mile run at marathon pace, my knee pretty much broke down with searing pain. Luckily, it was at the end of my run and I was close to home, but I really don't think it would have been wise of me to continue running after that. So, I decided to make today a rest day and see how things look tomorrow. I might do my planned speed workout on the treadmill, or I might just hold off until my long run on Saturday.

Injuries are totally frustrating, no? I'm hoping this mini break will build up my motivation again and remind me what I love about running - the release, the thinking time, the sweat (holy buckets, the sweat). My day felt off today without running; I didn't know even know when I should start making dinner, since that's typically the first thing I do after I get done running.

Do you have a compost bin?

How often do you wash your hair? I find this requires some forethought, depending on my running and work schedule.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hanson Brothers Marathon Training :: Monday (ahem, Wednesday) Marathoning 4.3.13

WHOA. I apologize for the absence over the past few days! No excuses at all, but between Easter, Scott starting Spring Break, and fighting off a couple of colds my time seemed to totally slip away from me. Let's see if we can get back on track, shall we?

So, week 9 of using the Hanson Brothers Marathon Training plan just wrapped up, which means I am halfway through! Things are going well, despite this pesky sciatic nerve acting up in my left leg/rear region, that I'm working on just stretching out before and after runs. Other than that, I'm thankful for nothing else going wrong.

Monday: Sick day - switched Monday for Wednesday's rest day
6.00 miles, 8:41 pace
Wednesday: Speed work on the treadmill! 3x1600's, + w/u and c/d
Thursday: 7.04 miles, 8:40 pace
7.21 miles at marathon pace; 7:57
15.54 miles, 8:21 pace.

 Here's what to expect this week:


How was your Easter holiday? Did you have nice weather? It was a lucky 70 degrees here in the Pacific Northwest, which naturally meant we stayed outside until 9pm soaking up all we could.