Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday ...At the treadmill!?

It is super cold out there!
13*F (-10.*C)
Even Coach didn't want to meet outside today.

This semester, I have class on Wednesday mornings, so my speed work (emailed to me by Coach) has been moved to Thursday mornings. My treadmill speed work was: Warm-up 1.5 miles, then six 1-minute runs at 7.5min/mile pace. with 2-minute jog recovery. Next, I was supposed to run six 1/4-mile runs at 8min/mile pace with two-minute jog recovery in between. Then, a 1.5mile recovery run.

Shhh, don't tell Coach, but I ran 4miles on the treadmill yesterday, and I just couldn't bring myself to run on that thing again.
Sorry, treadmill. I just don't love you today!
So, I snuck out, and went to the track to run!
This is how it went:
1.5mile warm-up. 
Who am I kidding, in this temperature - this should be called a "cold-up". You know it's cold when the wind hits your face and your nose hairs freeze, instantly.

I even brought my very special hot tea mix to keep me warm: Organic green tea (1 bag) plus Traditional Medicinals Echinacea Immune Support (1 bag) with lemon. I put the lemon in today because last night I read an article about how vitamin C rich lemons helps your body absorb the powerful health protective anti-oxidants in green tea, called catechins. Best part - it was really tasty!

I ran four 100-meter strides.
The cold wind was blowing so hard, I felt like a Bugs Bunny in the chase scene with the evil scientist:

Tea time ...
I'm crazy for being out there, but gotta give me some cred for bringing the hot tea.
That wind was a killer - it made the "real feel" temperature about 8*F (-13*C). At least I wasn't the only crazy out there, there was one other person on the track. Okay, so he lasted a total of two minutes, at least I wasn't the only crazy out there!
I decided to run 1mile straight, as fast as I could.
Goal: 7 minutes or less.
Actual Time: 7 minutes.
I think I could run faster than this in better conditions.

Next: I decided to run two miles, as fast as I could.
Goal: 7 and 1/2-minute mile pace.
Actual Time: 16 minutes.

Mother Nature just kicked my butt out there!
Don't mess with me.
I will show you who's boss!
Wow! Did she ever learn me right!
It was exhausted running against the cold, bitter wind. I don't know why I felt compelled to go out there, but in a strange way, it was nice being on the track, in the cold, with no one around. It was peaceful. I even ran the opposite direction without anyone screaming at me that I should be banned from the track!
Have you ever done something that you weren't supposed to do?

Besides, that.

I mean running or exercising-wise.
Just seems I am always challenging the impossible - 
trying to run fast with hurt hammy, or pound out fifty squats with a medicine ball at the gym, 
or promising dinner by six, when it's already 5:10!
Ooops, I better go ....
Train Smart Today!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

'Cause scaling back is hard to do!

I have been soooo busy!
I have been actively caring for my hamstring, gluteus and new pain , this week knee! Yeay!
I have been icing, getting acupuncture, ART, and cold laser light.
I have even done the dreaded "S" word ...
That's right, I have scaled back! 
Huh ... No!
Don't take the miles, away from me.
Don't! - You will leave my heart in misery,
If I can't run, I'll be so blue (and have to pay big time psychology bills)
'Cause scaling back is so hard to do -oooooo!

After last Sunday's 13miler, I choked out 4miles on Tuesday, skipped my track workout on Wednesday and only ran 4miles, then did the elliptical for 4miles on Friday. Even though I still trained in the gym: abs, shoulders, back, arms and legs - trying to maintain some assemblance of muscles in this aging bod - I felt down in the dumps about not running!
So Saturday, I treated myself. 
A treat only runners (I think, no, I hope, only runners) get giddy over:
New Sneaks!
Yup, I got new sneakers! 
I have been needing new sneakers for awhile. I like these. The peeps at Fleet Feet, told me not to do my full 10miles in them today (yeah, I know - not 12 or 13miles, this scaling back thing is rough), because they're not a brand I'm used to - I've been running in Saucony. These are New Balance. They are light and they fit like they're hugging my foot. I have a narrow foot, with a high arch. My foot always gets squished in the arch, but feels like it's swimming in the toe box. Well, the verdict is out ...I will keep you posted as to how I make out in these new sneaks!
For now, wish me luck, and no pain, on this 10miler.
Let me know how you've dealt with having the blues when you get a running injury
any other Neil Sedaka songs you may like!
That is of course if you're reading this and are at least old enough to know who Neal Sedaka is!
Comings Soon To A Blog Near You: Food Facts Fridays!
Yes, I am bringing it back!
Train Smart Today!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hairspray Man

I can't stand it!
He hasn't been to the gym in weeks, no, I think months.
Now, he's back.
I can smell him!
It's gross.
It's Hairspray Man!
I gotta get up enough nerve and tell him the dangers of spraying - God knows what - on his skin, in his hair, whatever or wherever - he smells, like a bottle of chemicals.
You don't have to be scent sensitive, although I am, to be annoyed with the amount of whatever he sprays on himself, his armpits, his skin, and his hair! There are other people in the gym who commiserate with me regarding Hairspray Man.

Sidekick says he stands in front the Men's Locker Room sink and mirrors to groom himself, 
before he trains. 
Apparently he opens up a bag full of sprays for his pits, skin & hair.

Do I smell?
Yesterday, I ran 13miles on the treadmill. The day was a pure endurance day. No speed. At a 9minute mile pace, I ran for about 2hours. So, what kind of core work do you do for an endurance day?
Planks, of course. 
There I was, started out in the prone plank position, then right side, back to prone, then left side - and repeat. It's not easy holding those positions for 8minutes straight.
About four minutes in, there was a smell. 
It got me in the throat. 
I started to feel as if I were getting sick - my throat started to get scratchy and tight. I started to cough. I was holding a side plank, with my left arm. "Hmm, " I thought, "is this guy next to me wearing some kinda' spray?" Minute five, holding plank in prone position - smell starts to seem stronger. I am coughing gagging! Minute six, turn to hold the plank on my right side, facing left.
Oh, God!
It's him!
I should have known.
Right next to me.
It's Hairspray Man!
That distinct very chemical/perfumey smell.
Aaaaagh, it drives me crazy!
Doesn't he realize?
He is increasing his, mine & other's exposures to phthalates (pronounced Thal-ates). Phthalates are found in cleaners, personal care products, cosmetics, perfumes, fragrances - even toys and pacifiers - yeah, that cute baby product smell, that helps make plastics softer ...phthalates! 
Thank you EPA!
Way to keep consumers healthy!
Even though the quantities we are exposed to are small, they have been shown (i.e., lab results) to be harmful - so don't hide behind that argument!
But no big deal, right? So, he smells like a walking perfume factory. 
C'mon Half-Crazed, you're being a big baby - just avoid him ...right?
This crap stinks because it's bad for you! These are hormone disrupting chemicals. Maybe I should tell him:
Hey, Macho-man, who's gotta smell good in the gym
Ya' know those chemicals you're spraying on your body? 
Yeah, well they've been linked to 
reduced testosterone levels, 
and male reproductive problems like undescended testes and deformed penises!
And if it's some kinda' synthetic musk in the mix of what you're wearing, smelly dude, just stay away, because these have been linked to lab results showing an increase in breast cancer cells.
Fact: Synthetic musks show up in 70% of newborns tested 
because they accumulate in women's breast milk!
Synthetic fragrances have also been connected to learning disorders in children, as well as kidney, liver and neurological damage!
And who cares how you smell? You're in a freakin' gym. Everyone is sweaty, gross 'n smelly. 
Some peeps can really pull off the sweaty look, huh?
Granted - Hairspray Man could never pull off the above ultra-cool, sweaty look, but anything is better than the pig-pen cloud of chemicals!
What? Hazards lurk in my little cloud of chemicals?
Well, I feel compelled to say something - for his health, and the health of those who train around him. It's better than waving my hand in front of my nose, and making the awful snotty faces that I feel compelled to make.
It's just that I am so not good at being diplomatic. 
I don't need diplomatic - I find it condescending, at times. Just cut to the chase - tell me the problem - and give me some suggestions on how to move forward. 
Well, if you have any suggestions on how to (or not to) handle this one, 
let me know.
I'm all ears ...
...but no nose.
Train Smart Today!
Want to learn more about safe skin care products?
Go here: EWG's Skin Deep

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Weds. At the track

It's been about 10* warmer here, like about 43*F (6.1*C). 
It makes going to the track with a pain in the ARSE a bit easier.

I was afraid to go to the track today. It puts a lot of strain on my hammies and glutes, and I wind up in a lot of pain. So to avoid the pain, today, I followed up my track work out with stretches, strengthening exercises, ice, cold laser therapy, and more ice. Why the ice, instead of my new best friend? Well, Jim at 50after40.blogspot, warned me that heat could keep sore hammies and glutes inflamed. I checked with my chiropractor and he agreed - ice, ice, ice - especially to reduce the inflammation - and inflammation, on track day, is inevitable.

Today's work out started out great. I felt strong in my 1.5mile warm-up, and my six strides were only 5seconds slower, not 7seconds slower, like they were last week. And when I hit a 6:40min-mile pace for the first four 300's, I was super psyched!  Next, I ran some hills - small, but very hard with this achey left leg & but cheek. I started at a 7:25min-mile pace and got down to a 7:19min-mile pace by the fourth go-round! I'd have been really psyched, but that's where my body started feeling the push.
When I got back to the track for the last set of four 300's, I was in pain. 
No matter how hard I pushed, I couldn't go faster than a 6:51min-mile pace. Even through the pain and discomfort, I stuck it out. It made me think:

So, did I want to run a mile or so cool down, after that?
 ....Heck no,
but I did!
Dr Mike has me foam rolling 2X/day.
I'm definitely going to need to foam roll twice today!
Dr Mike also has me  doing a one legged hip-bridge, after the foam roller.
 These hip-ups are great for tightening your gluteus ...but (no pun intended)...
My favorite new exercise is sort of like a monster walk:
Kills the outside of your glutes
I don't lean forward as much as these two in the picture, but I step on the band and cross it in front of me. Next,  I take about thirty steps forward and thirty steps going backwards. I do about 2-3 sets - and then I do the same exercise, going side to side. I really feel it in my but and abductors! 
It doesn't look like much, but it's rough!
Do you have a favorite glute or hamstring exercise?
If so ...let me know!

Train Smart Today!

Friday, January 4, 2013

A.R.T. Round #1

My first track work out for this new year was not that great. 
It was not all that, 
"Injury Free in 2013! 
Yeay, me, go!"
But, I expected that and I'm with it because I know what my goals are, I know they will not be achieved overnight. And, I am confident that I will achieve my goals!
Sunday morning, I went to the gym and ran 12miles on the treadmill. I stretched each mile to prevent my left hammy and gluteal pain reaching unbearable levels. It's so frustrating and, if I complain out loud, I can almost hear the sarcastic comments ..."So, why do you run? Okay ...because research shows, muscles get hurt because they are weak - so I ask, "If I stop running or exercising, are my muscle going to become stronger? No, They'll get weaker! So why would I stop running and exercising, which would make me lose muscle mass and strength?'
Instead, I took the 12 really easy, 
stretched each mile, 
and afterward, 
used my foam roller.
Lastly, I sat on my new best friend:
I love you, my new friend!
This friend is sooooo HOT!
Monday, I was supposed to run a recovery 5, but I took a spin class for about 1hour, instead. I love using spin to cross train, my quads always feel so much stronger after a challenging spin class. I took off on Tuesday and then came .... Wednesday ....
These two could have whooped me!
I was so slow at the track. I met Coach for a miserable workout. All six of my strides were about 10seconds slower than normal. I had to run 1,000meters at 7:20' pace, jog 200meters, and do some pick-ups. The pick-ups were 200meters at stride pace, jog 200meters and repeat four times. Then I had to repeat another 1,000meter run at 7:20' pace. By the time I was done, my pace slowed to 7:33' and I was in pain. I ran a little over 1mile cool down, stretched, showered and went to the chiropractor for some cold laser therapy, which really does help, but I've been researching another form of therapy: A.R.T.: Active Release Technique.
Thursday, I was supposed to run 5miles, but pushed it off to this morning because I figured if I were in a ton of pain, at least maybe I'd get some relief with the A.R.T. So, treadmill 5 at 5AM it was!
Oh, look at me, I'm smiling and running on a treadmill
...said no one ever!
Someone please tell me why this chick is smiling?
Living close to Manhattan has it's benefits, one being that there are a good deal of professional athletes living around here, too. With that, so are their physical therapists. I found a group of rehabilitation specialists who work on The New York Jets and The New York Red Bulls. They provide alternative care therapies, such as A.R.T. to help heal soft tissue injuries. Today, I met with Dr Mike. He assessed my leg muscle and gluteal strength by performing some sort of isometric resistance exercises with me. After doing these assessments, it was glaringly obvious that the problem is that my gluteal muscles (left but cheek) are really weak- it's not my hamstring! He even identified a knot by my left L5 vertebrae, which he said in conjunction with the hammy pain, is specifically indicative of gluteal muscle strength issues. 
Anyway, this A.R.T was painful!
Dr Mike manipulated my left leg, while putting pressure on my gluteal muscles. I was taking deep breaths and gasping for air. I told him that he was really killing me. He took his hand, put it on my arm, gently pressed, and told me, "This is how much pressure I am putting on your gluteal muscles." "That's all?" I yelled. I was in shock and went on, seeing if I could detect any ounce of untruth to his words, "Really? You're not digging your thumb into my but muscles, and getting a kick out of making me squirm?" Yeah, well, Dr Mike was like, "!"

When it was all over, Dr Mike gave me some exercises to do, twice a day. I am also supposed to foam roll twice a day! Dr Mike performed the same assessment on my legs and gluteal muscles before I left, and the change was immediate! I'm not kidding. The change was immediate! My gluteus muscles were obviously stronger! I am psyched. 
No ...
I'm looking forward to my short 4miles tomorrow, and another 12 on Sunday. I see Dr Mike, again, on Monday. 
Hopefully, this will help me reach my goal in 2013:
Injury Free in 2013!

Train Smart Today!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

This is going to be a great year!
You can't really go wrong with 13, 
it's a good number. 
I'm not into making resolutions, but I do have some goals for 2013. As for running, I'd like to run five more half marathons, of course in all different states. Since Girlfriend got the lead role (Dorothy) in the town play, The Wizard of Oz, I hope to run a half in Kansas.
Kansas, they say, is the name of her star!
Another running goal: I want to run injury free this year! I'm done with this tendonitis in my upper left hammy/but area. I'm done, done, done with it! I have been doing a lot of reading - Jim @Fifty after 40 has given me advice, really good training advice - and I am so thankful (Thanks Jim!) - it was the kind of info that helped me look at training from a different perspective and lead me to ask some local runners (very seasoned runners) particular questions - which launched a whole new way for me to understand, work through and past this pain. My goals to run injury free include more strengthening exercises, a look into active release techniques, muscle activation techniques, acupuncture as well as continue with my old steadies: chiropractic adjustments and cold laser light therapy. I joined the International Association of Women Runners and am studying their ebook: Running Injury Free for Women over 40. Like Jim's advice, there are a great deal of strengthening exercises and (fingers crossed) I believe they have already started to help!
Major Goal:
Injury Free in 2013!
Next major goal: Finish all my post graduate class work in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Didactics Program and apply for an internship, so I can finally achieve my Registered Dietitian Certification. Let's hope I get accepted to an internship program! My dream internship is at UMDNJ because I think this program will be the most challenging - and I just wouldn't be honest with myself if I ignored the fact that I love a good challenge!

Next goal: Help Girlfriend get into and pick the right college, for her and her goals. Over the next two months, Girlfriend will be very busy - she has three more Voice auditions! After that, the decision on where she wants to (and should) go will be made. That's it, just like that - I'll hold back tears of joy, pride and yes, the one's that scream out: "Holy-shmoly, my baby-girl is graduating from high school and going to college!"
Oh Momma, be strong!
Shorter ranged goals: I am trying to not embarrass my son, myself, my daughter or Side-kick while watching him throughout this wrestling season.
Mini-man trying to pin his opponent!
This will take a true act of perseverance and self-control. I have been known to scream out not so polite words, phrases, and sayings, while watching my son, and let's face it, each boy on the team, who goes out there in that little onesy, and wrestles - fighting in a struggle of strength, technique, and raw guts.
It never ceases to amaze me how long six minutes can last!
I have been getting "better" over the years. I do a lot more growling, grunting and covering up of my mouth (and eyes) with my hands, to muffle the obscenities this sport evokes from my "delicate" Christian mouth! 
C'mon, Mini-man, kick some @ss!
See - no expletives! 
I told you I'm getting better!
These of course, are some basic goals. I have others, the list goes on and on - volunteer more, help those in need, be a better listener - oh yeah, and a better gift giver - well specifically for Side-Kick, he is reaching a landmark number this year - and I don't know what to get him for his birthday. He loves skiing and motocross, but skiing is during wrestling season - so the only option is to go to the other hemisphere in the summer, Hmmm.... And, as for motocross, I know nothing - except that it's dangerous and that Side-Kick has a 15"scar on his leg with a metal plate holding his femur together, from a motocross injury!
Even watching the pro's, like Ryan Villopoto, freaks me out!
So, I'm up for ideas ...

Overall, it's gonna be a great year!
Make it a great year:
Happy New Year!

Train Smart Today!