I am BACK!

The past 6 plus weeks have been a roller coaster. Just as my training was finally getting underway, I tore my calf. This is why I have been under the radar lately. One problem I have is dealing with injuries. I like to shut myself away and get it healed as quickly as possible. 3 weeks into the healing process, my wonderful doctor decided it was time to try “REHAB” running. When he said the word RUNNING, I almost took out his office doors running. For the first time in the past 7 years I have the confidence to really and truly tackle my running endeavors. So, when I was granted permission to run again I was more than ready. In fact I was so read to run again, I jumped into it way to fast. What can I say, I like to run FAST!! Unfortunately I learned the true definition of REHAB running.
It does not mean go out and run like you did 3 weeks ago. Rehab running is basically just getting your feet wet for the first time. You are warming up the muscle that has been torn. With all this being said, you can probably figure out what happened…. When I attended my next appointment the following week, my poor calf was in more pain. Turns out the tear is still there! Another 3 plus weeks of cross training here I come. The past 3 week I have been so diligent. I even lightened the load of my cross training. I told myself I would rather be running than pounding away in the gym on an elliptical. So if that meant getting out of shape a little, that would be ok. Running again is much more valuable to me than putting in hours upon hours on the elliptical. My focus was on making sure I did all the little things I needed to do to heal my calf. I focused on my exercises and icing my leg after ever exercise. I focused on my nutrition, and sleep.

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This past week, I was once again granted permission to attempt REHAB running. I was much more conservative this time around. Therefore today was my first day of actually running. I ran 30 minutes non stop. I did feel a little heaviness or tightness in the calf but that is probably expected. I will ease back into running this week. With the goal of being back to normal running in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

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I figure it is about time to admit that I like to keep my goals and plans private or in a tight niche. I have a fear of disappointing people as well as myself. So if I keep my goals to myself no one will know whether or not I reached them. This mentality defeats the purpose of goals. Fear of failure is one of the worst mental thoughts to consume your brain. I talk a lot about fighting the impossible and chasing your dreams, when I am guilty of being afraid to chase my own dreams due to the fear of failing. I have so much desire to attempt the impossible and it is about time I let it all out. 

Currently, my mind is set on running a half marathon this winter. PF Chang’s, is the goal! I have so much thanks to give to Dr. Ball, not only has he helped me heal my calf, and other running ailments. But he has also instilled confidence in me. With everything I have been through the past  7 years dealing with running injuries it is so refreshing to have my Doctor see potential in me.

So I am back and really and truly ready to tackle my fears! I want to run, and I want to run REALLY REALLY FAST!!!

On another note, I am a volunteer assistant coach for Grand Canyon University, I am loving every moment working with Coach Michael and helping the runners get motivated and ready for their upcoming season. The first race will be a week from today.  GO ‘Lopes!!!
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Big week ahead

This week is going to be a busy one. First off Seth and Maria are headed up to Pueblo Colorado to run at the Brocaw Blazers Cross Country camp. I am so excited for them. Seth attended this camp last year and loved it. Running camps are one of my favorite events to attend. Not only are you able to run and train with many wonderful runners, but they help give you a sense of  perspective which helps motivate you to get through the last half of summer training.  This will be Maria’s first time attending a running camp. i expect to hear great things from her experience. I have instructed both runners to take lots of pictures and give me a summary of how the week went. So expect a post in regards to camp in the near future.

As for myself, I have added some pictures from the race this past week.

 Here I am cruising in towards the finish line. After having a few days to reflect on the race, I would do a few things differently. First of all, when it comes to the finish I wish I would have fought a little harder, based on the picture above, I don’t really look like I was putting in enough effort for a finish. I am trying to get back into my old competitive nature. After taking nearly a 7 year hiatus from really running and competing. This competition thing is going to take some practice.  Mental strength is highly important in being a successful runner and competitor. It is one thing I use to be wonderful at, now I need practice.

Yeah JAMES!!! He is working hard. I am so proud of him for running this race. I am pretty confident in saying that the farthest he has ran in the past month is one mile. So to go out in Arizona heat and attempt 4 miles was quite a feat. He is planning on running another road race with me on the 13th, Our one year anniversary!! 

The week ahead for me is to run a few days this week, with some hiking and cross training. I will be headed into Endurance Rehab for a running gait analysis on Wednesday. I am super excited about this. I have had a really rough time getting back into running since being diagnosed with Celiac in March of 2012.  I have ran more this past year than I have since 2006, but with the goals I have set for myself I need to make sure I am doing everything I can to stay healthy and on track to reach all of my goals. This analysis will help to determine my weaknesses. I have added tons of strength training and various exercises into my routine over the past 2 years in order to get stronger to stay injury free. However, having someone who is trained to analyze running form will be very crucial in my progress as a runner. We can not be afraid to face our weaknesses. I have always wanted to have an analysis done, but have always been a little nervous to confront my flaws.  I talk to Maria and Seth so much about facing your fears and believing in their ability. I have to do the same If I want to coach them well. It is time to take appropriate action to train myself well.

As for the end of the week, James and I will be running in another road race, this time it is just a regular 5k. This race is on our one year wedding anniversary. In my opinion, what is a better way to celebrate our marriage than to run a race!! 🙂

Questions:

Has anyone ever had a running gait analysis done before?

Total Body Exercises

Over the years, I have realized how important it is to train your entire body not just your legs. In my younger years I was so naive, just wanting to run, run  and RUN. I thought if I wanted to be the best runner in the State, or Nation, all I had to do was run and never really stop. If I could go back and do this again, I would listen to my coaches and mentors when they suggested I start doing full or total body exercises. Towards the end of my high school career I started doing exercises similar to the ones listed below. When I was in college I did even more straightening moves, including weight lifting.  To this day I still incorporate all sorts of exercises. About 3 to 5 days a week I add in some sort of exercise routine. You can find some of the other exercise routines, Here.

Total Body Exercises

Do each exercise 15-20 times and work up to 3 reps.

  1. Lunges
  2. Side lunges
  3. Push outs, while rotating elbow to knee
  4. Frog pushes: Lie on your back and out your legs together in the butterfly position. You are going to squeeze your inner thighs together and push your legs out towards the sky.
  5. Rocking the boat: Sit in the V position. Your hands can be used for balance. You will rock  your legs back and forth targeting the lower abs.
  6. Side V-Ups (Crunches)
  7. Abdominal Rotates: lie on your back and rotate your legs from side to side. Your knees can be bent. As you get stronger you can straighten your legs.
  8. Plank (30s Front, 30s Side, 30s Front, 30s Side, 30s Front)
  9. Side Leg Raises
  10. Inner Thigh leg raises
  11. Front leg kicks: Lie on your side and kick your top leg out in front of you.
  12. Downward facing dog – One leg is lifted and you are moving from this position to a Plank… Plank like variation
  13. 1 legged Mountain climber hops
  14. Hip Lifts: Lie on back and lift hips up to the sky, can also do these one legged style.
  15. Oblique Push ups

Morning runs and afternoons with Runners

I like routines, I am pretty sure most runners do. In fact my new routine consists of running 5 days a week, with one cross train day followed by a day of rest. I will mention it again, if you have read previous posts, I talk about Matt Fitzgerald’s book, “RUN” , It has been my inspiration. What I run each day depends on how I feel.

With all this packing getting ready for the big MOVE,  I ran across my access pass into the Big 12 Outdoor track championships from 2007. This pass represents the last time I ran competitively. I did not run in the outdoor championships, but ran a race that spring on an indoor track after only running a few weeks, I somehow ran an 18:03, 5k. A few weeks later I was diagnosed with my 100th (not really 100th but 3rd) stress fracture. 2007 represents the last time I really ran competitively or consistently for that matter.

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This is why Fitzgerald’s book has been a life saver to me. I am trying to run smarter and listen to my body. My run yesterday was rough, I have been feeling a little sore and tired, I usually do on the 4th consecutive day of running. Also I have such a competitive nature that I want ever run to be faster than the previous run. So it was also nice talking to my dad for reassurance. He has been running marathons for 20 years and has done very well in his marathons. He told me it is OK to slow down some and just get in those miles. When training for a marathon, running is important!! I ran yesterday and enjoyed it, even if it was a little slower, I got in 9 miles and was very satisfied. I am also working on stretching more after my runs. My mom informed me I am not as young as I was 10 years ago, so my body will get more stiff as I age. Oh boy…. Who would have thought at 25  I would be so stiff. I better listen to my mom, she does know best.

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Later that afternoon I headed to the gym for a 45 minute bike ride, I like to do easy rides to shake out my legs. It is either that or swimming. I chose to bike yesterday then I got to finish my day with Seth and Maria. We did our plank workout. It was really fun and the Sun was really bright. I do not think we have had a workout session without any clouds in the sky. What a nice change of pace. Except off to the north there was a storm cloud chasing us, but never quite reach us, so we were able to complete 2 circuits. I love getting together with these 2 runners. We always have fun and I forced them to take photos yesterday since I only have a few more day with them!

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Maria and Me after the Plank Session

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Seth and Me or should I say My State Champion!!

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Maria and Seth getting after it on the One Legged Crunches

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Maria is all smiles while doing some Russian Twists

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SIDE PLANKS!!!

Today we will be doing our total body exercises. Stay tuned for tomorrow, I will post the details from this workout.

I will ask it again…WHY do you run? For great Abs…???

Many already know that today is national running day. For those of you who do not know… Well , you learn something new everyday. HAPPY NATIONAL RUNNING DAY! GO RUN!! Even if it is to the mailbox and back, just to say you ran on national running day. 🙂

This morning I persuaded the husband to run part of my run with me. He usually only runs about 3 miles about 2 to 3 days per week. He is a former soccer player who I am trying to turn into a runner. I think I am making progress. By the end of the run I accumulated 9 miles. Which was longer than I was expecting since I have been feeling like I have been carrying 2x 100lbs cinder blocks (LEGS) along with me over the past week. Unfortunately runners sometimes have days if not weeks of heavy legs. My little pup Samson even joined me for a little R&R after my run.

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I do have a deeper meaning for why I run, but on a humorous level, I will say I run to have great Abs. Running does in fact help tone up are abdominal muscles, however to have perfect abs, we must do more. One of the current abdominal routines I found on the internet. I like to search around and find a few of my favorite exercises. I try them all out and then develop little programs of about 10 different exercises which can be repeated as many times as I like. Which is usually only twice.  As of now the current routine consists mainly of different plank variations. One reason I love planks so much is because they tone your entire body just like running. Listed below will be the exercises. I will do my best to explain them as best as I can. I would video myself demonstrating them, but I fall down a lot.

ABDOMINAL

1.One legged bridge: Lay on your back and get into the bridge position. You will need to be on one leg. Once you are in this position you will hold it for 60 seconds. This pose should be done on each leg.

2. Reverse plank: This is just like a regular plank but you are flipped. The goal is to hold for 30-60 seconds.

3. Front Plank: Hold for 60 seconds

4. Front Plank dips: You are in the position of a regular plank, however, for 30-60 seconds you are dipping/twisting your hips from side to side.

5. Front Plank – Front to back: Once again you are in the plank position and for 30- 60 seconds you are rocking forward and backwards.

6. Side Plank Rotation: Once you are in the side plank position for 30-60 seconds you will be twisting and rotating your body. You will feel as if you are going to fall on your face, but if you really use your abs you can do this!

7. Side plank Dips: For 30-60 seconds you are in the side plank position and your hips will be dipping up and down.

8. Side leg lifts: 60 Seconds, lay on one side and lift the leg.

9. Twists: Good old fashion abdominal twists, I suggest performing these for 30 to 60 seconds.

10. One- Legged Crunches: Lay on your back with one leg up in the air and crunch up to it. Do this for each leg for 30-60 seconds.

11. Push ups: 25-50 reps.

12. Plank Leg lifts: Get in the plank position and lift one leg at a time up. Should work your back and hamstrings some. Perform this activity for 30 seconds.

13. Donkey Kicks: These are one of my favorites. Do these for 30 seconds.

Once you finish all exercises repeat if you wish. One set takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The husband did these with me yesterday since Maria and I were unable to meet due to rainy weather. He about died on one set. So it may be best to start with one set and work your way up as much as possible.

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To conclude, enjoy your days of running. Whatever inspires your runs, don’t let that spark in you ever fade.  Being able to run is a gift we are fortunate and blessed to have. Sometimes we even develop great looking ABS from just running.

Saturday Workouts and Sunday Runs

Yesterday was a great day. I met Seth for his workout. The workout I developed had a purpose of proving to him that he can run a sub 4:20 this upcoming weekend. Seth was suppose to run 6×800 broken down into a simpler and FASTER form.( My notes are sketched below.) He ran so well. The first interval looked a little stiff but I think that was because he had already played a few basket ball games that morning.  After the first 800 was complete and he moved on to the next 5, he started looking much more relaxed and more like himself. Overall the workout was a complete success. Seth ran the intervals within the target pace.  We are moving closer and closer to accomplishing goals. It is such a great feeling!

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Sundays have always been my long run days. However thanks to Matt Fitzgerald, I have decided to do things a little bit differently. In case you do not know who Matt is, he was/is a very successful athlete turned writer/coach. I have been reading a few of his books to gain insight on how to not only help my own running improve but also to help the athletes I work with develop into the best runners they can become.  With that being said I have always stayed on a particularly strict running schedule. What can I say I like order and consistency. Most of us runners thrive on traits like these.  I believe it is very important for new developing runners to have more of a set plan and schedule as far as what needs or should be run on a daily basis. However, I am trying to get back into my good ole running and racing shape. To avoid injury I have decided to pay closer attention to by body and take one day at a time. I do still have my set schedule but I do not stress near as bad as I use to if my run was not has fast or long as I anticipated. With that being said, I am really loving this whole, listening to your body thing. Or should I say listening to your mind. Thanks to Matt, I am more aware of how I feel on each of my runs, which will hopefully keep me injury free!running

Today I was so lucky to have a chance to run with a good friend, Laurel, whom I worked with last summer. She even completed her first half marathon this past April!  It was great to be outside running again. Lets hope the rain stays away a little longer. Although the forecast does not look too shinny for Tuesday. Luckily Seth has another track workout tomorrow. One more speed day before his big day!

Thanks for the run Laurel!

 

Summer time has begun!

8736477acacc11e28c6122000aa8013a_7Finally some sunshine.  2013 has not brought the best weather my way. The first part of the year the mid west was covered in snow and now this spring we have been drenched in rain. Luckily today, there was sunshine and a cool breeze. My run was a little shorter than I anticipated, but I wanted to get to the farmers market before it closed for the morning.  I can’t miss picking up fresh tomatoes. Nothing beats fresh tomatoes. I think I even bought enough to make some homemade salsa!!!photo (8)

This afternoon Seth will be doing one more hard workout. Next Saturday he will be running in Blue Springs, MO. The goal here is to break the 4:20 barrier. After seeing his workout from Tuesday, I am 100% confident he will break this barrier. At State he ran just hard enough to win. The goal was to capture the gold. He captured it. Now it is time to put his legs up to the test.

With summertime in our mists Maria, Seth, and I have started some new training, and strength building.  I call our new activities, Galen Exercises. These exercises consist mainly of 15 million variations of lunges. But if Galen Rupp does something similar, then I am sure we will all benefit from them. Who knows maybe one of us if not all three of us will be the next Galen Rupp! We all have goals this upcoming fall, and training starts now! Our new training regimen has made our legs a little heavy and sore, but every runner loves that burn!  We are all excited to have the sun shinning and how legs burning.

Keep an eye out for results to be posted later this week on Seth’s break though race!!

Track Meet and Practice: March 28, 2013

To start of the day, Maria and I met up to run some intervals. It was really fun to be on the track again. Maria surprised me with some speed. I had a difficult time keeping up with her which made the workout fun! The wind was pretty intense along the back stretch, but Maria toughed it out. After a workout like this the day was looking positive. Later that afternoon we had the Kirksville Relays to look forward to. running pictures 003

After a grueling winter, it was finally time to race. Seth was participating in 3 events.  In Texas, the running events are scheduled much differently. I am use to the 3200 meter run being the first event. After several hours the 1600 meter run takes place. In Missouri, the 1600 is in the middle of the meet, followed, but the 800, and then 3200. There are about 2 different race in between each of Seth’s races. overall between the 1600 and 3200, he only had about an hour rest. You have to keep in mind he did race the 800 too. With all that being said, Seth was so impressive. He did not let the lack of recovery interfere with his racing ability. He has been training appropriately in order to handle such a quick turn over.

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First, I want to take a look back at last years results. I love to compare improvement. A year ago, Seth race the 1600 in a time of 4:53, followed by the 3200 in 10:54.  This year Seth ran 4:43, 2:10, and 10:28. He raced more events as well as much faster times. For the first race of the season, the outlook seems to be bright. With a few more races under his belt, he will develop the racing mindset. Once he has that mindset, I expect his times to soar. A great start to a great year. KEEP IT UP!

March Updates

Impatience is among us.

WHEN WILL TRACK SEASON BEGIN?

We keep asking ourselves this question. With another 2-4 inches of snow in the forecast this past Sunday our outlook was not looking sunny! However, this week there are suppose to be track meets. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the season will actually get underway. Seth and Maria have been training very well over the past few weeks and are ready to show us there speed!

March 16:

SethSeth had a fun mile interval workout. The weather was fairly bearable, just a strong head wind along the back stretch.  Over all, I was extremely impressed with his effort. I have said it before, training can get very monotonous. Seth is doing a great job keeping his head up and his eye on the prize. Patience will get you far in this sport. You have to never loose sight of the end. It may take a lot to get there, but when the STATE meet finally arrives Seth knows it will all be worth it.

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Maria also had a fun workout fighting the windy track. Her 800 meter repeats were ran differently than she

 is use to. Which is not a bad thing by an means. Her workout gave her confidence in her ability. Without racing, some times we become clu

eless of our ability and start doubting ourselves. This workout just proved that when the race comes, she will be more than ready!

March 17:

Well, I finally decided to race. YES, there was a race on St. Patrick’s Day! I participated in our towns local 5k. Being from the south, I am not use to cold winters. I have only been running on a treadmill for most of the past few months. I did well and am very pleased with my own efforts. 18:31 is not too shabby.

photoMarch 23:

Seth had another fun workout. It was very different than anything he had done before. he even told me he liked regular repeats better than this new invigorating track session. for some reason, every time we meet, the weather is not in our favor. through the cold and windy temperature Seth has really toughed out some great workouts. We are both looking forward to Thursday where he will FINALLY get to race on a track and have a chance to race.  The forecast show temperatures to be in the mid 50’s :). Look out, Here comes Seth… Ready to RACE!

Overcoming Disappointment

Training is scary. Regardless of what you are training or working towards, it is all nerve-wracking.  We put a un Godly amount of pressure upon ourselves. At times these pressures are so overbearing, leaving us with devastating outcomes. I want to touch base with disappointment and failing, because we tend to give ourselves expectations at times which only cripple our abilities. Track season has pretty much started, many have started training more vigorously. Track sessions and intervals have begun. Runners love to run, whether it is a long easy run, tempo, or hill session, we just love running. In any form or fashion. However, when it comes time for track season and we finally get to step onto the track, all we see is fireworks.  We are lighting up with excitement to get our legs rolling on  the track.

The first few track workouts are usually pretty decent. There is so much adrenaline fueling throughout our muscle we can barely hold in our excitement to be running on our battlefields. Then reality sinks in and a major snow storm which leave the tracks covered in 3 feet of snow inhibiting us from running on the track. Our once eager hearts are devastated making it easy to lose focus. Whether it is a bad workout, a snow storm, or an injury we beat ourselves up over failure. Many of us focus so much on the negative aspects, celebrating our failure over success. More emphasis is applied to our failures. No wonder so many of us are unsuccessful. ultimately we put too much time it to what we are doing wrong.

Hitting splits in training is ideal. However, there are days where either you just don’t have it or the elements got in your way.  I use to be notorious for beating myself up over a bad workout. But all that got me doing was doubting my ability. We have heard it a million times. Running is 10% physical and 90% mental. By focusing on how poorly a workout was all you are doing is sulking in a pool full of your own tears. It is important to understand how every disappointment or bad workout is just a test. It is a test of HOW TOUGH YOU ARE…. HOW MUCH CAN YOU HANDLE? The message to take away from today is to learn from disappointment.  Not to get caught up it failures and disappointments but raising above them. You are still strong. You still belong here!

The greatest glory in living lies not in never-failing but in rising every time we fall”- Nelson Mandela

Seth’s Splits:

200-35

400-69

600-1:46

800- 2:19

1600- 5:19

800-2:30

600- 1:51

400- 74

200- 37