Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Next Chapter

For anyone who may have missed my FB status the other day on my page Today's Words Of Glass here it is... Well, sometimes they say change is good. I'm hoping this one will be. But I'm doing something that I have never really done before. I'm giving up racing (all distances) for awhile - at least for the rest of the year - maybe longer. Running races has always been a motivator for me, and I've enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment when completing a race. But this year, well this year of running has just felt like a huge mess for me. I missed my summer race that I wanted to do due to illness, then I trained all summer for a marathon to realize it really just wasn't something that I wanted to do. Long story short, I feel slower, worn out and truly discouraged with where I am currently in my running and for the most part my race times have reflected that. I was faster at the beginning of the year than now. And instead of finishing a race bringing me a sense of accomplishment, it has brought me a sense of failure. So it's time for a change. I've found that with running it's always evolving. I suppose it's time for the next chapter.

Wow, yeah.. these last few weeks have really been a roller coaster.  If you've been anywhere near me then you know that I trained all Summer for a marathon then to decide it just wasn't for me this year. So I quickly registered for a Half Marathon on the 26th since the one that I wanted to do this past weekend was sold out.

Well, in addition to deciding that I need to take a break from racing, I am also injured. I knew it felt that my hamstring/butt area was really sore. But after my big race weekend at the end of September where I really pushed myself on the pace, I knew I was injured. And well, I'm still injured. I'm pretty sure that I've pulled a hamstring.

Since the FB post above, I have started back running.  I've been keeping my runs short and on the treadmill. Except for yesterday I took my run outside for the first time. And, well it was super tender, and there was pain in the afternoon with walking. Once I stretch the hamstring then the pain subsides with walking. But I'm keeping the runs short with rest days in between.

This past year of running has been the worst year of running for me... well... ever I think. And it's really taking a toll on me emotionally, but it's time to move on to the next chapter.

So, I'm here to tell you what the 'next chapter' is..... drum roll please.... as of last week, I started Jamie Eason's LiveFit program (except I'm not doing the food part. I know if I want to see great results that it takes the nutrition also. But baby steps here people, baby steps). And week one I was super pumped. This week it was a little harder to stay motivated, but today's workout is done.

And I'm happy to report that I am moving up in the weights. Today was back and biceps.

And I've been doing some research and I bought the book Run Less Run Faster

And I have to say that I'm liking the concept. So I think this is going to be part of my Next Chapter once I am healed. The focus is on 3 key runs a week, two days of cross training, and then 2 days of rest. 

I'm still digesting this last chapter of running this year and trying to learn from it. I'm definitely ready to close the book on this last year of running.

Follow me into the Next Chapter :-)

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat Review

Full Disclosure: I received products free of charge for the purpose of providing a review. My opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

With my recent injury where I've pulled a hamstring/butt muscle/something, I've been doing a lot of stretching and yoga. In fact, I'm realizing that maybe my lack of yoga and stretching might have led me to this injury. And I'm also finding that I am actually enjoying yoga. I never really thought of it as a 'workout'. Well, trust me, yoga can definitely be a work out, and you can sweat - and a lot.

So let me introduce you to the YogaDesign Combo Mat. It is a mat and towel in one. It's great for hot yoga, but it's also great for regular yoga (and ahem really great for those of you who sweat a lot).

I really found it to be non-slip. But with the yoga mat, there was also a tip included on the packaging that stated to lightly mist with water to prevent slipping if you have dry hands and feet. And that worked great. However, I usually don't have dry hands and feet for very long. 

The YogaDesign Combo Mat is machine washable, free from latex and silicone. It also comes with a carrying strap. And did I mention how cute it was? I love the design on this one. 

Overall, if you in the market for a great yoga mat, I encourage you to check out YogaDesignLab. So far, I have found their products to be premium products.   

Lil Man also approves. 

Full Disclosure: I received products free of charge for the purpose of providing a review. My opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Sugar Detox Crashed And Burned Day 4

Well, I'm disappointed to report that my Sugar Detox Journey ended on Day 4. Sigh... so what now?

Well I can't say that I'm going to exactly 'begin again'. I don't believe the no tolerance of  fruits will work for me.  So my plan is to just try to eat healthy real foods, try to ditch as many processed food as possible, factor in a couple of 'cheat' days (if you want to call it that) and see what happens.

Currently the butt/ham/hip is still sore. I think I might try a walk/run tomorrow and see how it feels. I've been resting it for a week. But I'm still having tenderness so I still might not be ready to run. But I'm starting a new workout plan. I'll tell you about The Next Chapter soon. Have you ever heard of Jamie Eason's LiveFit?

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Friday, October 10, 2014

When Bailing Was The Right Choice

My 3rd Marathon was supposed to be this weekend - Sunday in fact. But after training all summer, things started to fall apart. (Another Path Chosen) and (Too Much Training Too Little Fun )

And I have to say that I am very surprised with myself. I thought that I would feel regret, or doubt my decision. But I have so say I have never been so relieved in my entire life that I am not running a race. I think training back to back for 4 marathons to only run 2, really did a number on me. So I believe that I made the best decision (for me) to bail on this race.

In fact, it feels as though a lot of things changed this year with me regarding my running. Running has at times given me a sense of community. But I've also found that running can also be very lonely. I suppose I have tried to use running as a way to try to find my path - no pun intended - here. And in a way it has opened some doors for me, but in some ways it also left me longing for home.

I am that runner - not fast enough for the fast kids - but just a little too fast for the slower kids. So I find myself in a 'what now?' sort of place.

I have actually asked people that I don't know that well. Ok - don't really know that well at all, to run with me to help push me to a faster pace. Talk about putting away your pride to put yourself out there. I'm for the most part currently back to where I started when I moved here 7 years ago - still running solo as most runners have goals of their own that they want to reach. And I do understand. I do totally understand.

But since my races a couple of weeks ago, I've been having hip pain. I took 4 days off and then tried to run. My run on Monday resulted in pain with walking once I got off the treadmill. The pain lasted for a couple of days. I'm now on 5 days rest and plan to do a test run on Monday to see how things feel. But I haven't run a long run since the first weekend in September. The half is two weeks away on October 26.

And I'm not sure what I will do at this point. I will have a better idea after I run Monday. If I don't have pain I will have to access if I can build back the mileage to be able to finish the half. I haven't run consistently in over 2 weeks.

But I'm actually thinking of giving up running races (all distances even 5Ks) for awhile. I am feeling very disconnected from my running community, and disconnected from where I currently live in general. So maybe it's time that I made some changes.

Stay tuned. I'll let you know when I figure it out :-)

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Sugar Detox Journey Days 1-3

Well, I thought I would let you know how this week has gone. If you read my last post (My Addiction To Sugar) then you know that this week was my attempt at giving up sugar for the week.

For some (like Hubby who doesn't have a problem with sugar), he really couldn't wrap his head around the struggle. He seems to enjoy his vices in moderation which I am very thankful for.

Whether you believe that sugar is a drug, or whatever your thoughts, the following is my journey this week.

Day 1

Well, today you aren't supposed to really have any 'symptoms' other than maybe out of habit or emotionally wanting something sweet. You aren't really supposed to have any physical symptoms. By 10am, I was a bear. I was beyond irritable. I had a headache, felt a little nausea, and wanted all things sweet. I think the reality really hit me that by this time of the day most days I had consumed at least 1 thing sweet. So whether it was 'normal' or not to crave something sweet, I was. To help combat this, I ate sliced almonds (protein) and drank lots of water. By evening the cravings were pretty bad, and I was dealing with some stress. More than once I had the thoughts of just giving up and going to get something sweet. I tried to convince myself to 'start tomorrow'. When the truth was I'm always saying I will 'start tomorrow'. But that tomorrow needs to become today. I had several moments of weakness, but I did not consume anything sweet.

Day 2

Preschool day where the cute little cafe at school has all kinds of awesome treats - today was cookie brownie and they were loaded with chocolate chips. My mouth is watering as I type this. Usually I will have a little treat with Lil Man, drop him off and head to the local coffee shop for a sugary specialty coffee. Today, I skipped the treat at school. Went to the coffee shop and had black coffee. I'm not going to lie, sitting at the table surrounded by the smell of pastries, baked goods and sugary coffees wasn't easy. But I was armed with my almonds in case I needed them, and I sipped my coffee as I worked on the computer. After lunch I was feeling the urge for something sweet. After meals are usually pretty tough. So I made a cup of green tea. It seemed to help curb the cravings. And I drank more water. I've peed so much today that it's unreal (ha). While usually afternoon is my worse time of the day, at 3pm I'm having zero cravings for sweets. I have noticed if the cravings were really bad that a glass of milk would help. I know that milk has natural sugar, but it also has protein. No, I'm not drinking milk by the gallon, but I have found a glass of milk has helped. The evening was harder, but so far I'm staying strong. I have to admit this isn't easy. I definitely reach for sugar out of stress or frustration. I've been taking a lot of deep breaths!

Day 3

I woke up today with a headache and felt awful. I'm not going to sugar coat it (no pun intended) but today has been rough. I'm cranky. I'm sluggish. And I feel achy. I've checked my temperature twice. Granted my son has had a little cold so it's possible that I'm coming down with something. But I don't feel so great. Cravings have been pretty rough today. But the cravings did get a little less by the end of the day. However, overall feeling cruddy has gotten worse. 

But so far I've made it 3 days without sugar. 

However, I am considering adding natural (fruit) sugars back tomorrow. I miss fruit, and I mean a lot. I wanted an apple so bad today. I haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm thinking fruits might return to my diet tomorrow. But I don't plan to add breads or processed foods with sugar for at least another week or so. 

I will say that my joints are less swollen, and that my range of motion in my fingers have increased. 

The journey continues.... 

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