Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spartan Up! Book Preview

Spartan Up Book Cover

I was contacted recently about a new book that would be hitting the shelves soon and I decided I definitely wanted to share with you guys! If you know me at all, you know that I am a book lover so anytime someone wants me to check out a book I am in!  The book, Spartan Up! is written by Joe De Sena, the creator of the Spartan races.

 The cool thing about this book is that it is not just about running but also about looking onto the obstacles you may face in life and conquering them. The book speaks about the Spartan way of life which embraces the following aspects:
  • Finding the will to succeed: The first half of a race you run with your legs; the second half you run with your mind. Turn your pain into an outboard motor to drive you forward.
  • Tossing your cookies: The Cookie Test can teach you how to overcome the need for immediate gratification and help you prosper in the long term.
  • Getting Spartan fit: Survival of the Fittest means training outside the gym for strength, endurance and flexibility for your entire body—and don’t forget those burpees!
  • Moving mountains: Whether metaphorical mountains or the ones on which Spartans race, what you think of as your limitations can actually be a mere starting point for transformation.

What is better and more encouraging than that?! I read the synopsis and was hooked! I can't wait until my copy arrives so that I can read the whole thing.

 The book will come out May 13th and you can pre order your copy HERE!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Update on my leg/knee

I am slacking again! I am picking back up though as things have been going crazy.  I am preparing for a trip to Hawaii next week and all the logistics going into that are making me a crazy lady!  Anyway, I just realized I never did an update as to what was going on with my knee!

Last I posted, I saw the Sports Med doctor and he told me it was IT band but it, in itself, was not tight.  It would get tight in situations where my weak hips would tire, shift, and cause it to tighten due to lengthening.  He set me up to meet with a physical therapist and have a couple sessions for at home instruction and a biomedical assessment to check it was the only issue.  I found out a LOT during that biomedical assessment.

I went in and he twisted me in all sorts of directions, had me walk up and down a hall regularly, toes out, toes in, windmill and drop back step type exercises, etc.  A whole gamut of strange things and he told me a lot about why my leg is hurting.

I had a suspicion that it was NOT my IT band because the spot it was hurting was about 2 inches below my knee and not on the side of or above my knee.  It was hurting in a spot that your IT band doesn't even touch.
I was hurting more in the area of where the 8 is on that diagram.  Since it has been awhile, I will post the things I can remember him telling me are affecting my running.

1) My peroneus muscle along the outside of my left leg is incredibly tight.  To the point that it will randomly ache and feels ropey when it was manipulated.  Problem is, this is not really a muscle that can be stretched.

2) I tend to walk toed out a bit and am slightly bowlegged.  This causes me to land strange and alignment to be off when I am running.

3) My hips are indeed weak

4) my left hamstring and calf muscle are tighter than he would like them to be

5) I do not use my big toe like I should.  I tend to land on the ball of my foot up and hold my toes up like I have a hammer toe though I do not.  This causes my outside toes to go numb as well as  messing with the all important alignment while running.

6) My femur and tibia-fibular head do not rotate the way that they should.  The t-F head is where my pain was coming from.

I ended up going to PT twice a week for 4 weeks to deal with these issues.  He gave me shoe inserts to work on supporting my low arches as well as helping me to use my toes more efficiently.  I have not had the courage to run in these yet... I wear them during the day but the fact that my arch is not used to being held up yet causes some discomfort there sometimes.

I have a HUGE (or what seems huge) list of exercises that I am to do daily until I hit 10ish miles again and then I can split the list and do them 2-3 days a week after to keep things going.

He did a lot of massage and manipulation on that peroneus muscle to attempt to loosen it.  He told me that is likely going to be an issue for me forever and suggested a percussion massager to use after runs.

I am supposed to direct ice my T-F head after each and every run to the point of numbness to fight swelling and irritation in that area.

I do have to say that I am doing these exercises (not every day- BAD, Cassie) and I am now running pain free again! Last time I ran I went for 6 miles and had some pain, 7 miles and was almost unable to finish, and 8 miles that turned into 3 when I could NOT push through the pain.  I am back up to 5 miles pain free and though I am nervous it will come back this weekend, I have a 6 miler scheduled.  Hoping all goes well!

So, there it is! My stupid leg hates my running but it has to get with the program =)

Happy Running!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why I don't think runDisney is for me

I am seeing TONS of posts lately about all the Disney races: Tink, ToT, Princess, etc and I started to get VERY hyped up! Told the husband that next year or the following I think I want to do Dopey and started research.  The medals! The characters! The fun!! I LOVE Disney and was so excited to take my kids for the first time and we are already intending to go back next year.  We are not the "go the same place every year" type so it is a very big deal for us to plan 2 Disney trips within a few years of each other.  Well, the more I researched, the sadder I got, because I am coming to the realization that I don't think that runDisney is for me.

1) The cost:  I cant seem to justify spending $495 for registration.  I just cant!

2) The early, early wake up call:  I am not a morning person so getting up when there is a 2 on the clock doesn't seem like something that would make me happy.  I have 2 small kids so getting them to sleep in enough time that I can get decent rest doesn't seem possible.  On top of that, I am a night owl so falling asleep before midnight is almost impossible for me!

3) The crowds:  This is a double whammy for me.  The crowds during the race would make me crazy.  I have run in large crowds before but it normally tends to clear out so you have some room to move.  The pictures from the Disney races make me shiver.  It looks like shoulder to shoulder the whole race.  Also, I have read that there are lots of instances of people walking/running in a long line and blocking the course.  The Happiest Place on Earth would quickly turn me into Road Rage Monster =).

On top of that, if I am going to Disney I am going to stay a couple days to enjoy at least one or two parks.  I have a feeling this would be the general consensus and I would think the crowds would be even worse than they normally are....

4) The Characters: Now, don't get me wrong, I love the characters as much as the next gal but I don't think I want to stop my groove right in the middle of a race to take pictures with them.. Stopping/starting to wait in line a million times just doesn't seem enjoyable and would take the challenge out of the race to me.  My whole desire to running is to push my limits, see how much better I can do this race than last, see how far I can go and stopping a million times isn't going to give me any of that satisfaction.  Then I feel like that if I don't take advantage of the characters I might as well be at any old race, ya know?

I know that I am in a very small group of people who feel this way about the runDisney races and I am so glad that they are involving families in active pursuits who may not normally be involved in something like this.  I also know that the lure of a Disney event has gotten many a person out there running to participate.  I am actually kind of sad that I have discovered that it is not going to be something that I will enjoy once I got there because it IS something I was very interested in.  I am very excited for all the guys and gals who are going to be participating and love seeing the pictures and hearing accomplishments.  I just have to slowly back away from this one and enjoy from afar.

Happy Running!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Y RUN? 5k Race Recap

I didn't get to run as many races over the summer as I have liked so from June and the Biggest Loser race it was Labor Day (sept 2) before I ran my next race.  I actually hosted one in August, but that is another story for another post!  It's been so long since this race occured, so hopefully I can remember all the details! Here we go...

So, Sept 2, the local YMCA held their second annual Y run? Y not? 5k race.  It goes through town and runs some of the brick roads we have in town.  Kind of cool but also strange running because the roads are OLD brick and have some gaps and tilts.  I was really excited to run this race because my birthday is September 4th and my mom had come down Sept 1 and brought me a new Garmin for my present.  I was anxious to try it out.  The race started around 9:10, so 10 minutes past start time but I think they were having an issue with people being at intersections when they were supposed to.  Finally, we were off!

The Husband was also running this race with me and we took off together.  We ended up not running together but I love knowing he is out on the course with me.  One thing that I wasn't a huge fan of was that it was not a closed course.  We were literally running up the main drag in town and there were cars in front of, and behind, the crowd of runners.  Then on some side streets cars actually jumped into the opposing lane to go around us.  I felt like I was constantly watching my back so I wasn't all that relaxed during this race.

During the race, I saw a few people who had run my race a couple days prior so it was nice to see people and chat to take my mind off stuff. There was one girl I juggled back and forth with the entire run who had been at my race.  After the race, we chatted while waiting on results and have actually met up to run together since!

I was very run down this entire race and felt like poo but I ended up with a PR out of it.
 28:42 and placed 2nd in my age group.

My splits:

Mile 1: 8:55
Mile 2: 9:46
Mile 3: 9:41
.2: 0:19

All in all, it was a decent race.  I really disliked the fact that it was not a closed course but I guess it is really difficult to get that town's mayor to close down the streets.

I am in the middle behind the kiddo in the yellow shirt.  The husband is to the right behind the lady with the stroller

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Years "Resolutions"

Figured a good post to start with would be my New Years Resolutions though I hate to call them that.  Hmmm... New Years Goals? Yea, goals!  Ok.. Here are my 2014 Fitness/Health Goals. Hopefully I can get my knee back in order ASAP to get started on these!

1) Blog more! I know that isn't what one would normally think of when considering health and fitness goals, but it is for me.  It helps keep me accountable and opens up a whole new fitness world for me to get tips, tricks, and connect with other people where locally the fitness community isn't large. I also have some race reviews to catch up on!

2) PR a 5K, 10K, and Half at least once for each distance. I am looking to PR my official times.  At this point I have beat my times unofficially but getting that official "check" makes me happy.  My times have improved quite a bit (at least in my mind) since my last race so I am excited to see what I can do.

  Current OFFICIAL Prs:
5k: 28:43   
10k: 1:10:44
Half: 2:29:52

Current UNOFFICAL Prs that I would like to see become official.. LOL

5k: 26:14
10k: 54:16

3) Run a Full Marathon and possibly an Ultra.  I am definitely planning to run my full this year though I had to postpone it.  I was following a half program to get me through to full training and the week I hit my 8 mile run I had HUGE issues with my IT band.  I am working on my hip strength and I am cleared to run until I hit pain.  Right now that is around 2 miles and climbing.  Because of this I decided to run the half at the Flying Pig in May and then I am planning to run the Full in September at the Air Force Marathon.  Fitting as it takes place on the last base the Husband was stationed at before he got out of the Air Force.

4) Continue to make healthy food choices and hit my water goals each day.

5) Lose the last 10lbs to get to my goal weight and go into 2015 with no goal to lose weight for the first time ever that I can remember.  I have mentioned before my weight loss journey.  I am finally almost done! I had a couple months, despite staying on plan for the most part, that I plateaued.  I think I finally have that under control and I have started going down again.  I would love to hit goal before the Flying Pig this year.  Even better if I can hit it before my first half of the year (the Athens Marathon) in April.  Here is my progress from May to December. I have lost a total of 43lbs since November 2012 and between these 2 pictures is about 27-28lbs. (and yes I bought the clothes I am trying on in the picture! LOL) I had sent the picture to my weight loss buddy to determine if they were too small.  It hasn't sunk in yet that I can buy smalls!

6) Try something new in the fitness arena... Maybe kickboxing, yoga, or crossfit? I am not sure yet but I crave something NEW!

7) I am afraid to set a mileage goal for the year since I am unsure 100% what is going on, or what may go on, with my knee but I am thinking that I would like to at least hit 800 this year? That would be nice!

8) 14 races in 2014!

I am sure some of these may change but I thought it would be nice to have these listed so that I can come check in at the end of the year and see how it goes! I have some other family related goals as well but I don't want to bore you with those =)

Happy Running!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

FINALLY back at it.

I have been intending to get back on some sort of running schedule (and blogging again) forever.  I am determined to stick it through this time because I really enjoy this format and interacting with my fellow runners.

I debated for awhile how I wanted to go about training for a marathon.  My original plan was to follow Hal Higdon's Novice supreme which has put a 12 week program ending with a 6 mile long run at the front of his 18 week novice training program.  The main reason I had chosen this plan was to give myself a longer amount of time before mileage above 6ish miles per run started.  I had switched to a lower carb diet but was planning to incorporate more carbs into my diet closer to long runs.  Well, I ended up having some issues with the lower carbs so I decided to begin reintroducing some carbs into my diet.  Following that, my runs started getting stronger, and my mind began to change.

I decided that I had to have some sort of schedule or something to work toward.  I have said it before on here but I have a TERRIBLE time sticking with regular runs when I don't have something to follow. After speaking with The Husband and we decided to follow a 12 week half program (the same one I followed when training) and I will transition from that over into the marathon program.  I just need to decide if I am going to skip that last week that the program calls to run the half so that I am not too sore to start the first week of the marathon program.

I just finished week 2 of the half marathon program today.  I am going to go ahead and do recaps again like I did last time to keep myself accountable to you all as well.

10-14 to 10-20

Stretch & Strengthen

Circuit training (planks, burpees, push ups, etc)
3 mile run

3.2 miles
2 mile run or Cross

2.01 mi
3 mile run



3.01 mi
4 mile run

30 min cross

3 mi walk

4 mi run

Monday: I did a circuit that I made up for this evening. 50 jumping jacks then 3 rounds each of 10 pushups, situps, burpees, tricep dips, oblique twists, and 20 second planks.

Tuesday: I ran with a girl I met at a local 5k a few weeks ago.  It was the first time she had run in awhile and she did awesome! It was a lot of fun but talking for the entire run will take it out of you for sure!

Wednesday: I decided to get out before The Husband had to leave for work and get 2 miles in.  I was so glad that I did! It was a nice start to the day.

Thursday: Took a rest day because Rex had a soccer game that threw our plans off.

Friday: Did Thursday's 3 miles down in my little town and was CRAZY surprised when I held sub 9 minute miles without even realizing it.  I have never managed that for multiple miles and normally it's the first mile and I started too fast causing me to peter out by mile 3.  I see signs of getting stronger!

Saturday: It poured a cold rain all day and I just could not bring myself to go out in it or get on the treadmill so I decided to double up on Sunday.

Sunday: For the last few weeks I have been meeting with my weight loss buddy on Sunday mornings to power walk.  It is a nice time to get out and chat sans kids (she is also my homeschool buddy).  We normally do 5 miles but we both had plans today so we only did 3. I knew this ahead of time so I took my running gear with me with intentions of heading straight back out.  When we got back to our cars, I stripped down a layer and took off again and had another awesome sub 9 average run!! I don't know where this is coming from but I LOVE it!

Time to start week 3.  The mileage bumps up a tad this week, but not much.  I have a couple race recaps to add later this week as well as a couple possible giveaways to do.  I'm going to leave you with my most recent progress pic.  This is the first one where I can actually see some progress =)

Left: My first 5k  March 23, 2013               Right:10k Sept 21, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Biggest Loser 10k Race Recap

Hopefully I can remember everything since I am writing this about a billion years afterward but here is the recap of the Biggest Loser 10k!

The race took place in Charleston, West Virginia which is about an hour and a half from my house.  It didn't start until 9am (I think- memory loss. LOL) so technically we could have driven down that morning but we went ahead and stayed in Charleston that night.  My mom took Rex for the weekend, my dad had Curly, and my husband's cousin stayed at the house to take care of the pups so the night before we got down there around 5:30 or 6 and headed to the Civic center to pick up our packets.

When we got there Michael Dorsey from season 14 was there speaking.  I got a picture but it disappeared from my phone =(

The packet pickup went on for 5-6 hours that day so when we got there, there were maybe 50 people there and all of them were listening to Michael speak so we had no line to pick up our packet.  It was very quick and we got our numbers, a drawstring backpack, and some coupons and information about the festival that was going on, and our shirts.

We then went to the hotel, checked in, and went to get some dinner.  I mentioned in the giveaway post that I had changed my diet and went low carb about 8 days before the race.  I had done one 5 mile run and a couple short runs between starting the diet and the race and they went TERRIBLY.  My energy levels were awful and I would just hit a wall around 2 miles.  I couldn't believe how much it effected my running so I knew that this race was not going to be what I wanted it to be.

We got up the morning of the race and since we hadn't brought anything with us for breakfast, we ran through a drive through and got breakfast sandwiches.  I ate the meat, egg, and cheese from mine while we were heading toward the race.  It was very easy to find parking in a parking garage (it was free! woohoo!) and then we made our way to the race start.  The starting line was near a lakefront park with an outdoor pavilion and an actual building with real restrooms! That is always exciting.

We hung around for about 45 minutes and then lined up.  The line up was VERY chaotic.  The 5k and 10k took off together and they had pacers but they were all in random spots.  I stood with the 10:00min/mile pacer and literally 2 people in front of me was the 8:30 10k pacer.  Then on top of that, they were doing a wave start but didn't really announce it all that well, so about 5 minutes before start time they raised a rope in front of us but there were hundreds of people behind us that didn't really know about it.  It kind of unnerved me because I was afraid they would start without announcing it and we would be trampled.  Thankfully just about a minute before start they finally let everyone know about the ropes.

The race starts and our wave goes out and the pacer I was staying with was going a lot faster than I thought she would.  I think the first mile was around a 9:33 which is obviously pretty far off from what I was expecting.  I managed to run the first half but after that I hit a MAJOR wall! I was out of energy and couldn't run very far at all before I needed to walk.  I started grabbing Gatorade at the water stops and hoping to finish in a halfway decent time.  I was so very frustrated because 2 weeks before I had flown through my 5 mile run and thought I had a pretty good chance at having a good time and then I went low carb.  I know this is a good decision on my part for now but I am definitely planning to add back in fruits and sweet potatoes before I up my mileage again.

My time ended up being 1:10:44.  I was so mad at myself and frustrated but I am looking forward to running another for redemption in the near future. The husband however, had a great race at 1:02:43.  His best time yet and a 5 minute PR!!