Overcoming Obstacles

On October 26, 2015, I started suffering from symptoms of some sort of food borne illness. It was never tested for at the 3 doctor visits I had, strange now that I think about it, so it's not known what it actually was. Three days after those symptoms stopped, my knees stopped functioning normally. The next day, I couldn't walk, and was a ridiculous amount of pain. I cried, a lot, just sitting, and I'm not a crier when it comes to injuries. Since the time of hitting publish on Waking Up a Different Person, I have made great strides in my recovery. During marathon training Marathon Training Mental Road Block, I knew, and declared, I would only do a handful of fun races in 2016, to allow my body to heal from all of the running that accumulated in 2015. As I wrapped up marathon training, heading into the race, I set my 2016 goal on strength training, and enjoying the lack of a rigorous training schedule.

Because I'm currently in the process of building muscle around scar tissue, I HAVE to strength train, and the ability to go for a run whenever I want is becoming possible as we head into the 8th month of full-on recovery. Technically the 9th month, since I took the first month to mentally get my head around the situation I was being given. I have to be very conscious of the repercussions of participating in mid to high impact activities, and plan a recovery day. It's basically like marathon training, but with less endorphins which means more stress and frustration.  I see you irony, I see you.  The mental struggle of marathon training is NOTHING compared to the mental struggle of relearning how to walk, lift, run, jump, etc, without causing injury due to bad form.  I welcomed my first non-stop 5k of 2016 the weekend of July 4th, and almost cried from relief/accomplishment. Remember, I didn't get this emotional after finishing the MARATHON. 

Perspective. I'm one of a tiny group of people that have completed a marathon, but it's more exciting to me to be ABLE to run 3.11 miles nonstop. 

I love hearing how others have stayed focused on their goals, and giving themselves the time to have a tiny pity party, to help me stay on track. Please share with me, here or via email, what obstacles you have or are currently overcoming!

Life Changes

Holy buckets, there is SO much I have not shared with you!!! First, I'm running again!!!! I can successfully, and comfortably, run a full 5k without issue! I only run, currently, once a week but have big sights on getting up to 10 miles in one run by fall!! Crazy how I ran a marathon last year and now I'm excited about completing 3.11 miles!

Second, we're planning a HUGE move! I will share more on this as things get closer to getting the keys to the new home!

Third, I'm creating a subscription based recipes section after a lot of people have requested me to write a book and share more of my creations. If you want more info, please go HERE.

Talk to you sooner than later, this time!

The Birdtown 8k - There will be hills

Last year was The Birdtown's inaugural event, I ran the 8k last year and felt it was a good race for the weekend before my half-marathon on 5/23/15. When I registered for this year's: I forgot about the hills. I forgot how too-fast I ran. I remembered feeling good afterwards.

I wasn't mentally prepared for this race, my sleep was lacking because one of our cats decided a lot lately that he wants everyone to walk up at 5am, and since I rarely have a reason to be up that early, I do not go to bed earlier enough to get a lot of sleep. We left about 15 minutes later than I really wanted to, but I was the reason for that because I didn't have my bag packed the night before like I usually do.

I forgot that the main road to get to the parking area would be blocked for the half-marathon and 4k that started before the 8k, and that the typical road to take as an alternate was completely shut-down for all of the distances. We had to park 5 blocks further away than I would have liked, so we had to walk that much further to get to the start. We arrived at the start line 1 minute before the gun went off.  One Minute.

The weather was okay, the temperature was in the 60s, there was some wind, but the humidity was higher than it should be in May in Minnesota. I was deciding the final 2 miles if I should run without a shirt, as I usually would run with only a sports bra for a top in that kind of weather, but since that required exertion I decided to just think about it instead of act upon it.

Thankfully, I did run this event last year, so I remembered how many potholes and uneven the pavement would be for a majority of the course. I also remembered how little vehicle traffic there would be so I could run on the road for portions that the sidewalk was not comfortable, and run on the sidewalk when the roads wear really uncomfortable. This was MAJORLY beneficial.

Since we arrived one minute before the gun went off, I didn't get to use the port-o-potty before the race like my body is accustomed to, so I had to pee immediately. I didn't see a single port-o-potty until mile 3, which was mentally tough fighting my bladder on all of the hills before getting to 'go.' But once I was relieved, my mood lightened, until I remembered the final hill.

My chip time was 2 seconds slower than last year, even though I did take walking breaks, I also stopped to use the port-o-potty this year, so I did run it faster. What was I thinking? I probably wasn't, but I still felt good mentally. Until 4 hours later when I sat through my brother's college commencement for 2.5 straight hours, my shins started feeling very tight.

Birdtown Results

My shins hurt a lot last night when I finally returned home, and was getting more difficult to walk up the stairs. I slept with my Zensah Calf-Sleeves on for compression, and turned on heated mattress cover to keep the muscles warm. I woke up and they felt healed! I spent an hour in heated yoga this morning, and my brain and body are all sorts of happy now!

Side note: I realized I ran 85.5 miles in April, my highest mileage month to date. WOO HOO!

Next week is the half-marathon, I'm hoping to keep this peacefulness my brain is currently in through the next 7 days. :)

Happy Sunday!

Stirrup pants are back in my wardrobe!

When I was little, I LIVED in stirrup pants. I cried when I wasn't allowed to wear them any more (out grew them, and they stopped making them)!! I remember how warm they kept my ankles, such an important detail about pants. Warm Ankles! Well, I've brought them back into my life! While they're not exactly back in fashion, I'm going to ROCK them!

Here they are, my beautiful stirrup pants!!

"Emily, why would you buy SEE THROUGH stirrup pants?"

Well, because these aren't just ANY stirrup pants. They're compression tights!! They're the Nike Recovery Tight, to be exact. A few weeks ago I started to seriously research recovery pants/tights for marathon training, and wanted to get them in time to really test them out to see if they would incorporate into my training. I had a few brands and styles in mind, but hand to get my hands on them, and my legs in them, before really deciding.

I had some time to kill before picking up boyfriend from the airport, and decided to pop into the Nike Store at the near by mall. I had actually never heard of these, but saw them on a mannequin and thought they were for yoga. I thought they would be phenomenal for yoga by how they looked, and asked an associate where they were in the store to buy. He informed me they were definitely not for yoga, but were practically medical grade compression tights. MY WHOLE BODY WAS ECSTATIC!!! He showed me where they were, and told me a bit about them.

They come in this case:

It's a hard case! Would be great for iPad or Kindle safe keeping.

I took them out of the case, looked at them for a few minutes, saw the price tag ($140!), and told him I'd need to think about it due to the price. I did some further research online about compression tight pricing, and happened to go across the Nike.com page showing these tights happened to be on sale (at the time of this writing, they're no longer on sale)! I went to an outlet store to see if they happened to be selling them, they weren't but I was informed Nike purchases online or in-store have a 30-day return policy so if you try it out and it doesn't work (and you don't trash the product) you can return it!

I jumped onto the website, and hit purchase! The first day I tested them out, I wore them under sweat pants. Since they're dry fit, they didn't add much warmth at all and did wick sweat.

The second day I wore them out of the house it was a bit warmer out and I was going to a Fun event, so I wore this:

Dress! Cover-Shawl/Sweater

I had on a pair of low socks to be comfortable in the boots, and I was SET! It was fun, and they worked great! These will also be fantastic for long travel days, we're going on a road trip (14+hours) as well as a few LONG flights (10+ hours) and I'm excited these will be helping me out!

I highly recommend doing your research into big purchases, even if your definition of BIG is more than mine ($50). You never know what kind of deals you'll get on something you already want!

Do you have compression pants/tights? What fun ways do you dress with them?

I stopped Running: WHOA

Happy Monday!!I stopped running almost 2 months ago. WHY??? I injured myself in my last race, and I know time will heal, in addition to strengthening the weak muscles.

SO what have I been doing in the meantime? I have been weight training. Sometimes I use actual weights, sometimes I just use my body weight. I mix up the routine, but working out 20 minutes a day 6 days a week seems to be working for me.

What was injured: My right hip joint, and my left knee. It was pretty difficult to walk while I healed at least one of them. It would have been easier if they were both on one side of my body. A very important lesson has been learned. How did I injure them: Not strengthen the muscles with weight training.

Seriously. Something so simple made me string up the running shoes for almost TWO MONTHS!!

I'm feeling stronger, now, but I'm going to ease back into running to nurture, and not destroy, my progress.

The agony of not running. InjuredRunner (Image source: http://emilymahr.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/4b838-cryingnorunning.jpeg) #thestruggleisreal

There are MANY body weight training routines, start here for a list of resources: Pop Sugar

Has derailed running happened to you? How did you handle it?

Researching protein powders

I've been reading Matt Fitzgerald's The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition because I KNOW nutrition is 80% of performance.20140729-165243-60763911.jpg I've been a protein powder user for many years, trying different kinds, flavors, ways to make them, and I've always felt EXHAUSTED afterwards (and bloated) and thought it was normal. In that book, I learned that my protein was probably not cutting it because it didn't have a carb to protein ratio to benefit my recovery. I also learned I need more carbs during longer runs. I now have autoship for GU through Amazon (that site seriously has everything!) to make sure I have it in stock. I also tried a protein powder back in May and have since FALLEN IN LOVE with it. I even put a little in my fuel belt to use during training to find my perfect sports drink type hydration (since I can't stand actual sports drinks this far). 1. I feel like I have MORE energy afterwards (instead of feeling like I needed a nap). 2. My legs and body goes into immediate recovery! 3. I don't feel bloated!!! 4. It's natural, with zero artificial sweeteners, and has only 5 ingredients.

Have you ever discovered something that has changed your life, like this?

#runthisyear half way point

I joined the #runthisyear 2014 challenge and I have a goal of running over 300 miles this year. As of this moment, I'm just over 160 miles. Yay!!!I would like to thank my new protein powder for making me a faster runner, helping me recovering faster, and for pure bliss post run. I've recently had to go up in sports bra size to accommodate my larger obliques so I can breathe and function better in the rib cage area. :/ Not sure how I feel about that.

Where are you on your 2014 goals? What is new in your world that has helped your end game?