Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Keep it moving but don't hurt yourselves ;)

So my official injury seems to be a pulled or torn quadratis femoris muscle.  It is a deep and small muscle that connects between the femur and the ischial tuberosity (pelvis).  The physical therapist has me building up the hip muscles around it as it is responsible for lateral rotation and helping adduct the thigh at the hip.  It was feeling better after my half marthon (maybe the other pains minimized this pain ;)), but after my last session my butt started aching again.  Could have something to do with all that kicking in don't say!
Well, after my half marathon I was inspired to not slow on my exercise, so I taught my two TK classes, added a day of heavy have I missed that, then I went running on Saturday.  What did that Nike blog say to do post racing...take a week off...oh right!!!
But, I accepted a challenge to run 10K on Saturday...can't back down to a challenge can I?  My only free time was at 8am while my son played soccer, so I hit the bike trail and ran my 10K and was able to catch the end of the game.  But by later in the day I had new lower inner hamstring and upper calf...hobble hobble hobble.  Rolled it out on my foam roller...a great tool for sore muscles I might add and carried on.  I postponed my Monday therapist appointment so see if I would improve by Wednesday.  Taught TK on Tuesday without a problem, and went to therapy today...for my leg not my mental stability Elizabeth ;)  Different therapist massaged into my hip and butt and was able to loosen that quadratis femoris muscle, feels amazing right now...and the new injuries are easing up.  They haven't told me to slow my exercising so as long as I can move it's all good...I think :) 
Sooooo, work through pains and pulls but take it easy.  You will get sore as you add new exercises so add moderately, but don't be a wimp.  A little burning while you lift is good...shooting pain is not...this should always tell you to stop!!!!!  The day or two after new or hard exercise may lead to aching muscles...stretch, walk, work through it.  You need to help the lactic acid get out of your muscles so sitting still isn't going to speed up your recovery.  Have a hot shower or bath to loosen up and get moving again!
Keep working towards those goals you have set!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Are you training for a the Boston Marathon or Boston Cream Pie?

I was reading the comics a few weeks ago and there was a man and a woman jogging.  The woman said to the man, what are you training for, he responded "the Boston Marathon", she fell back, then caught up and said "I am training for Boston Cream Pie".
Your goals don't always have to be to be 'getting more toned' or to 'run a marathon', they can be as simple as 'to be able to eat what I want'.  But you should keep it reasonable.  A piece of Boston Cream Pie instead of the whole pie, a bowl of ice cream instead of the whole container...don't keep things in the house that you cannot resist.  I remember this wisdom when I make a batch of cookies.  Some days I am strong and can turn down pizza and cake at a birthday party, today I ate at least 3 cookies while I was preparing dinner, then another 3 more for dessert.  Some days we can resist, somedays temptation wins over.  Will I go eat the rest of the cookies???  NO!  I can carry on and know that if I continue my exercise and limit my cookies to 1 next time I have nothing to worry about.  One screw up doesn't blow the day, the week, the goals, it just hits us with the dose of reality.  I will just have to work a little harder tomorrow to burn off those 5 extra cookies ;)
You can also plan ahead for those weak moments.  Have gum in your cupboard to chew on when you have a sweet craving.  Pull out some carrots to crunch while you prepare dinner.  Add a walk or some physical exercise in the afternoon if you have some down time as down time is usually when you cave in...when you are bored or distracted.
I am going to try some yoga and watch Dancing with the Stars...the rest of the cookies are going in the freezer where I MAY forget about them!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Self Control

My son is working on self control as one of this month's "core virtues" at school right now!  He is doing well...he is making such good choices that the girls are even enjoying playing with him...and they have even mentioned it to his teacher...YAY for my son!
Well, his self control got me thinking...I am practicing self control with my exercising, I am working hard on self control when it comes to why can't I get the rest of my life in order too?  I have determined to set some goals up outside of exercise so I have more time to exercise and do the things I ENJOY doing.  Setting an appointment to clean my house, setting an appointment to walk my dogs, setting an appointment to use the computer and pay my bills.  Get it done at that time, then you can fit the "fun" appointments in!
It is all about self control...controlling yourself away from the useless and/or destructive patterns of your life and directing yourself towards what is important!  Destructive time may include idle snacking while you watch TV...drinking soda while you mess around on facebook (do you really care what that on again off again friend from 7th grade is doing this weekend anyways?)...Focus your time wisely and make more time for what is important, or what needs to be important to you! 
How are those pushups going?  Have you reached 10 on your toes?  After you get those 10 hold that position in a plank for 1 minute!!! If that is easy, raise one leg up in the air while in that plank.  Everytime something starts getting easy it is time to take it up a notch...your body gets bored and needs more to improve challenge yourself!  Good luck!

Monday, October 19, 2009

What a rush!

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon-the Nike women's half in San Francisco!  My furthest training run was 8 miles...over 5 short of the 13.1 mile race, I had heard there may be a few hills, but oddly enough I was excited and not really that nervous.  There were 20,000 participants!!!! The whole area around Union square was pulsing with excitement on Saturday morning...some were excited about running, some were excited about just being there, and some were excited about the Tiffany necklace they were going to receive when they crossed the finish line :)
My friend and I joined the group in our pace section (the groups are divided based on how fast you run, so the faster folks can start first and not have to weave around all the walkers and slower runners in the congested first few miles).  We enjoyed the music and the energy of the crowd, and at 7am, the race began.  We crossed the start line at 7:10...I'm sure the slowest pace group didn't cross until at least 7:20.  Running through the streets of San Fran was neat, looking up at all the tall buildings, no cars to contend with.  We then ran along the waterfront and Fisherman's wharf...not too crowded at 7:30 in the morning!  Along the waterfront, winding up and down and around until we reached Golden Gate Park!  Back to those hills...they were oddly enjoyable!  I didn't train for hills, there sure aren't any to train on in Bakersfield, but I didn't walk up any of them...I was winded by the top of them, but had the downhill section to get me back on course.  Amazingly it was the downhill sections that hurt me the most.  I had shooting pain down the outside of my left leg...that IT band I believe it would be.  My stubborn side and the knowledge that I was making good time kept me from pulling over to massage it out, and also the fear that if I stopped it might be difficult to get moving again!
As I came around the corner at Point Lobos, there was the crashing waves of the ocean, the fresh breeze blowing in and Beyonce singing Halo on my iPod...and then the tents at the finish line came into view!  There was still 2 miles in the park but it was enough to drive me on! 
I crossed the finish line at 2:28 on their clock, so that would put me at 2:18 as my time didn't start until I crossed the start line!  Official results will be posted soon.  The relief of crossing the line and the sense of accomplishment for finishing brought a few tears to my eyes...truly worth the hard work!
After receiving my beautiful necklace and race shirt, I headed to the massage tent!  Enjoyable, but when I returned to the windy waterfront air with my sweaty clothes I was FREEZING and my muscles knotted right back up, and then I saw the line up for the buses back to Union Square...20,000 people + spectators, makes for a LONG line up.  I looked for my friends who had been running too, and realized the line went even further than I had thought...I then noticed people from the line getting samples from a booth, and I merged back into the line with them...I was COLD and alone...what is a girl to do ;)  Apparently I would have waited for almost an hour had I not done that.  Not my proudest moment, but would I do it betcha!
A quick shower at the hotel and we were in the car headed home.  4 hours of sitting after all that running leads to some extra stiffness!  When we got home, it was a slow hobble into the house, some rolling of muscles on the foam roller, and a wonderful dinner my husband had cooked!  A nice hot bath - not so easy in my current home as my body can not all be submerged at the same time in the little tub, but it helped!  Then bedtime...I love my bed!!!! 
Today I can walk again, the shoulder stiffness is easing, but I am ready for Carlsbad in January!!!!  Next time 2 hours :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reaching a big goal

I am headed to San Francisco in 36 hours for my 1/2 marathon!  I'm excited, and comfortable in my naivety  that this won't be too bad...hills couldn't possibly be insurmountable, could they?  I have done ZERO hill training, I have even cut back on the weights due to a pulled muscle in my ham string that will not heal...could be all those kicks in Turbo Kick too I should think!  I will deal with that AFTER the race!  I am looking forward to spending some time with a few friends, no kid responsibilities, some shopping (we have about 4 hours after we get there before early bedtime), up at 5ish am, run, then a painful drive home.  I will make time for the massage booth before we hit the road though!!!

Injuries are of course another set back in exercise!  I let my muscle injury go for 3 months before finally realizing it was time to get it checked out.  I am now at physical therapy a couple of times a hasn't improved much, but hopefully next week we can cut out some activities...although I will not go down without a fight ;)  Maybe a 13.1 mile run will knock some sense into my hamstring to fix itself!  That has been my hope all along...magical recovery!

How is the walking going?  Running?  Biking? 3 to 5 times per week.  Make time for it, it is important time for you!  Next week I'm planning a "being selfish" blog!  Sometimes you need to be selfish to fit in what "you" need.  Just like haircuts, clothes shopping, eyebrow plucking...we need to find time for it!  Balance in our lives through work and play, parenting and volunteering and family...we need to fit what we can where we can and prioritize what comes first!

Now get out and exercise...I am going to stretch out my hamstring!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Step one Make Goals...Step two Work on making them HAPPEN!!!

Goals are a great first step...the next step is to get moving!

I ran into my limitation of "childhood sicknesses" this week!  My son is home from school today so I cannot hit the gym, but I can go do some dips on the coffee table while I help him with his puzzle!!!  Then maybe a few pushups!  Speaking of pushups, most women write off pushups on their toes as too hard!  But guess what...if you keep working at it, it is possible!  Make a goal of trying one on your toes every time you hit the floor for pushups.  Next time add one more.  The more you do them, the easier it gets.  So maybe aim for 10 every morning when you hop (or crawl) out of bed!  10 before you are allowed to sit on the couch and watch a TV show!  OR 10 before you get to have dessert!

So head out for that walk, that run or that workout at the gym.  It is the start of a new week, this could be the week you start exercising regularly! 
I would love to hear how you are doing, what you are doing, if you would like any extra encouragement... Just let me know!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The best way to get yourself rolling on a new exercise plan is to set yourself some goals! 

I have set a few exercise goals over the past few years:  In November of 2006 my friend Shelley suggested we join the gym to work off the weight of two pregnancies, I jumped at the encouragement and we set the goal of "going to the gym" and seeing where it got us.  It wasn't long before we challenged all of our friends to a weight loss competition.  Who can lose the highest percentage of weight in 2 months.  I narrowly beat out my competition, but that was just the beginning.  I set a lofty goal of reaching 170 pounds, 10 pounds less than I have ever been in my adult life.  I dropped 25 pounds within 8 months of starting my journey at the gym and have maintained that weight for over 2 years now. ( Note-I am 6 feet tall )

Last spring I signed up to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) on October 18th.  That would be in a week and a half from now, yikes!!!  I have continued my regular exercise program which is TurboKick twice a week, plus a class with weights when I can fit it in.  I have added some running when I can and pulled out 8 miles last weekend.  Finishing that half marathon will be another goal attained.  I have already signed up for my next half marathon in January....anyone want to join me in Carlsbad?
I do have a new goal that I have started working towards.  I would like to get rid of that last roll, the muffin top, that protrudes when I do up my favorite pair of jeans.  So reducing my body fat.  This will take a combination of cardio, which I do a fait amount of, weight training, which I am working on increasing, and healthy eating.  I eat a healthy diet, but I tend to snack with my kids, I rarely say no to a cookie or a piece of chocolate cake, but maybe I can  resist for two months!  Anyone care to join me in a healthy eating, just say no plan for two months?  They say that if you can say no to sugar for a week the rest is easy!

Goals can be big and outrageous, but starting small is always a good idea.  Plan to walk for 30 minutes once a week, once you get that under your belt increase it to 2 days a week...once it becomes habit or something you make time for one your planner you can make it happen.  You make sure you get to work on time, you get your kids to school on time, you get to your doctors or dentist appointments on time, so just treat your exercise the same way.  Work at it for the next month then you can add to it! 
Those of you already active make sure your exercise plan is written down and don't be afraid to mix it up.  Add some extra weight when you weight train-the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn ALL THE TIME!  Running is great, but you need to add some hills, speed it up or run a bit longer if you want so see more positive results.  Your body adapts so you have to keep challenging it!
And if you want a good dose of cardio, come to my TurboKick class-Tuesday mornings at 8:30, Wednesday evenings at 6 at Body Xchange on Calloway and Rosedale.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Let's Get Moving

I was looking for a good venue to encourage my fellow mommies, my busy friends and my "girls" from the gym! As I racked my brain on how to inspire it seemed I had a LOT of ideas, so blogging about them on a regular basis seemed like the way to go.

My first post is about "Getting Moving".
It seems like such a simple thing but we are all so busy. Life gets in the way: whether it is sick children, a long day at work, its "that time of the month", my favorite show is on TV, there are all sorts of things holding us back. Find some time to move a little.
Go for a walk or a run with that sick child in a stroller. Do some yoga and stretching before you go to bed to rid the stress of that long day. Research shows that maintaining your regular exercise routine at "that time of the month" can actually reduce symptoms, maybe reduce the demand you put on your body a bit, but push through. Do push ups or sit ups or dips or jumping jacks during the ads while you watch your favorite show.
There are ways around everything. You might not get to that GroupX class you wanted to attend, or get your 30 minutes on the treadmill, but you can get something in there, and that is the place to begin.
Think about why you exercise, how you feel when you exercise and where you want it to take you. Next time I am heading to "goals"...the best way to keep yourself exercising regularly is to set yourself some goals.