Meb for Mortals {Book Review}

When you are an injured runner you tend to find other things to do. One of those things for me over the last few months is reading. I’m not a BIG reader, in fact you could say I am a non-reader unless it’s something I am really passionate about or find easy to read.

I’ve been lucky to have not only one opportunity but two; Thank you Runner’s World.

Meb For Mortals. How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner By Meb Keflezighi – {You know, the 2014 BOSTON MARATHON WINNER!!!} with Scott Douglas.

I was kinda nervous to even turn the pages in this book. I’m not an elite athlete. I’m just your average every day female with a vegan husband and am a Mom to two little girls that likes to run….and set some goals for herself. I thought this book might be more for the experienced runner, the faster runners, the ones that run FULL marathons all the time, ya know.

It’s not, it’s for everyone.

Meb for Mortals PR

There are nine chapters:

  1. Think like Meb: How to set goals and achieve them but also what do to when you don’t.
  2. Run like Meb: Focusing on good running form. I learned a lot in this section. I’ve never been truly coached as a runner {many other sports such as soccer, volleyball, badminton but never running}. I felt like this section will help me think about my form when I am running and what I should be doing which is great.
    • What’s interesting about this section is that it brought me back to my days of competitive soccer. Almost all the running drills Meb demonstrates in this section I did during soccer warm ups/cool downs. I was 14 when I learned about Fartleks and Caricoa (moving laterally at a skipping pace} though I never learned the technical name for the last one until reading this book. It all clicked for me…during my soccer training, I was learning physical literacy skills focused on running. Those skills are key for soccer. So, thanks Meb for clarifying that for me…honestly, a light-bulb moment.
  3. Train like Meb: “Be a student of the sport”. Learning from others will help your own gain in running.
    • Meb talks about the importance of “long runs”, interval workouts, recovery runs, FARTLEKS, hill workout and altitude training. I’m not sure if I could pull off any great altitude training other then running on top of the south/north mountain where I live but something to think about!
    • He also shares some training examples and shares his own.
  4. Race like Meb: How do be your best mentally and physically on race day!
    • Good sleep the week before is more important then the night before the race. This happened to me last year and I ran a PB! I remember a good runner/triathlon friend telling me that and I’ve never forgotten that advice. So since Meb does it…I’m going to continue this habit.
    • He also give some good tips on sunglasses but I’m going to leave that one out so you can read it yourself ;)
  5. Eat like Meb: I’m kinda already like Meb here :) I don’t eat fast food very often and rarely drink alcohol and have a massive sweet tooth just like him! Who would have known! He talks about weight control in this section as well.
  6. Strengthen like Meb: This section was a big learning for me. Really, why should I {a runner} strength train? What am I going to get out of it? Well, I do know that it will help with preventing injury….since I’m injured but on the mend finally.
    • He provides images of strength training exercise you can do with your own body weight, exercise balls (I might steal some for work) and a small ball (bosu type ball).
  7. Stretch like Meb: Meb talks about why we should stretch. There are many days last fall post half marathon that I did not stretch after an easy 5-8k run – this big mistake lead me to my injury. Not only does he think stretching is important but yoga and pilates as well.
    • In this chapter he provides images / demonstrations of numerous flexibility stretches.
  8. Cross-Train like Meb: Did you know Meb has an Elliptigo for cross-training? I didn’t even know what this was until last fall when I met a store owner who road one to work. He talks about why to cross train when healthy and injured (thank you) and the best forms of cross-training if health or injured.
  9. Recover like Meb: If you didn’t understand why you need recovery days, rest days before; this is your chapter to learn! Not only that, Meb provides some tips on speeding the recovery process which I know a lot of runners do…myself included.

That’s a lot of Meb ;) 

I felt comfortable with the content of the book once I started reading. I learned a lot and know that this is going to be another must-have/go-to book for me and my running. There is a lot of information to learn and I’m already planning on taking my highlighter to it in a few days.

A few key points for me:

  • Setting goals: “They should be things you want to achieve yourself, not to meet someone else’s expectations”.
  • “Training and desire are what ultimately get you to the finish line”.
  • I liked that he gives short little tips to try if you are pressed for time (5 minute warm up, 5 minute strengthening workout).
  • Even elite athletes can race after a significant injury.
  • I need to work on my running form!

I feel like there are a lot of runners (friends, acquaintances, bloggers) that I know/have met who would really benefit from this book to take them to the next level with their running. Now, I’m not saying that these people don’t know what they are doing…they are way ahead of me (or so I think) and the advice Meb provides in his book, I think would help them.

For more information on MEB:

You can buy the book here:  http://bit.ly/MebFM15PR

Meb on Facebook

Meb on Twitter 

Meb on Instagram

Co-author Scott Douglas on Twitter

Please note: I was provided “Meb for Mortals” by Runners’ World to share a review on my blog; All opinions are my own :)

Do you want to run like Meb?

Are you going to watch Boston this weekend?

Can you relate your current running back to your childhood sports/learnings?

Hamstring Update: Pain Free (so far) & Potty Training

Yup, that pretty much sums up my life the last few days.

As you know, I saw my Osteopath last Thursday and had to take a few days off running but was able to get back to it Sunday night! The plan was to run 3-4 k but I ended up running an easy 5 k :) It felt so comfortable. I had no pain during my run or after which has been normal the last 4-6 weeks. The majority of my pain is when I sit to long at work/in the car.

Yesterday, I managed to get through my work day without any pulling on my hamstring but felt like someone had punched my hamstring/IT band area. It felt completely bruised and hurt to touch but wasn’t painful, if that can make any sense. However, in the morning there was no bruise to be found.

After having a conversation with my co-worker, we figured the Osteopath treatment I had must have released something and cause the bruised like feeling since I ran. Therefore all the muscles were able to relax and not pull causing me pain. Bonus! When you work out, you rip the fibers in your muscles and then they need time to heal and grow stronger. So, we figured it was my muscles reacting to healing and not all the painful pulling I’ve been experiencing over the last 4 months. The muscle is rebuilding…I guess…I’m not an expert in that field but am sure going to ask my Osteo person why I had the bruise feeling when I see her next week.

I took last night off running since I felt like my leg needed a rest and thought I should just take a look at my leg to see if there was anything there. Sure enough my leg WAS still there ;)…. and bruised! It came out of no where and is bigger today. Initially when I pulled my hamstring back in December playing soccer, I had zero bruising and my Doctor, Physiotherapist and Massage Therapist were all surprised that I didn’t have any. Well….now I have it. So far I have no pain in my hamstring – no pulling at all! My leg feels really good…like my whole leg/glutes etc. and I’m not sure how long it’s been since I felt this way. Probably since last December.

I have a 5k in 2 weeks that I’m excited to get ready for. And in other exciting news….Hilary is potty training! So far it’s a love hate relationship and is a little harder than with Lilly. We are taking a slightly different approach only because we now have two kids to manage….we foam roll in between running laps and attempting the potty.

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Hilary running laps, Lilly foam rolling.

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Foam rolling :)

This might be TMI but, when Hilary was a baby, she would poop in the tub! Oh man, one night she did it four times which meant I had to change the water that many times. Can you see where this is going? Well, last night she was sitting on the potty and went poop! Lilly and I got all excited, cleaned her up and put her in the tub. Then she peed. Dang! I changed the water and put them back in. Then she pooped again in the bath. Dang #2…I had to change the water and clean everything up again.

Slowly but surely we are getting there and I’m hoping this weekend we can spend the whole time being successful on the potty and some good running. Parenting adventures are never dull :)

Ever feel bruised after working out? 

Parents: Funniest potty training moments?

Dr. Jordan Metzl’s Running Strong Book {Review}

I recently had the opportunity to read ingest Dr. Jordan’ Metzl’s new book called “Running Strong”. The Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide To Staying Healthy & Injury-Free For Life”! When this book first arrived on my doorstep, I was alone with the girls as my husband was away that day working. Once we got in the house I quickly opened the package, saw the book and opened it up to this page:

Dr. J M hamstring PR

Hamstring foam rolling exercises.

It couldn’t be more appropriate! As you know, I’ve been battling a hamstring injury that occurred in December while playing soccer. Then it got worse with running and I started my medical treatment in January. It’s been a LONG…L-O-N-G road. I’ve read this book from beginning to end and back again. It’s not only what my body (hamstring) needed but my mind as well.

Dr. Jordan Metzl is a sports medicine physician, an 12 x Ironman (finisher) a 32 x Marathon runner AND a fitness instructor of IronStrength!

THE BOOK: It’s broken up into 5 sections:  {I made notes as I was that invested in the book}

Dr. Jordan Metzl's book PR

PART 1: Nuts & Bolts

The key take away from this section for me was 1) Foam roll every day and 2) Sleep and 3) Pay attention to your pain. There was more to this section but I can’t give it all away.

PART 2: Uh-oh: What’s That Pain?

This is the largest section of the book and focuses on the body from your feet to your upper body. Dr. Metzl explains why we get hurt and how we can correct what we are doing. There are pictures with bones, ligaments etc. to show where the pain is coming from; describes symptoms and stretches and workouts to do. He then goes on to tell you what to do to recovery and then prevent it in the future. I’m currently turning the pages in the “hips, groin and glutes” over and over again as that’s my problem area. This will be my running bible!

PART 3: Getting The Most from Your Machine

In this section Dr. Metzl shares his “IronStrength Workout for Runners”.  You bet I’ll be doing this workout once a week starting very soon, I just hope I survive it :) Again, this is filled with images of the workout and foam rolling/stretching techniques. He even goes into the Science of Running Physiology, which I’m 100% interested in. This is at a level that I feel I can comprehend and learn from to improve my running.

PART 4: Tools of the Trade 

What’s important for runners? Food, and equipment! I know this is a section that I can learn a lot from. My food intake is about 70% good and the rest not so good. He talks about super foods, eating to run, for races and leaves you with tips for healthy eating. Good Shoes and Cool Clothing are another topic he goes into. Good shoes are key as is appropriate clothing and SUNSCREEN should never be forgotten!

PART 5: His & Hers

Dr. Metzl talks about a little about running and pregnancy and provides 9 tips. Stinky feet and bloody nipples starts off the men’s section…I’m going to leave it at that ;)

Appendix:

He provides multiple training plans (5k, 10k, 1/2 and Full Marathon) for the beginner, intermediate and advanced runner. Going to give these training plans a test out for some future races.

Other:

Throughout the book there is various stories of athletes that had an injury and what they did to recovery from that injury. It makes it feel more real. Why? Well for me, they are true stories that I could related to from years of soccer, running and other sports I grew up playing. On top of the great information there is a Blipp APP throughout the book. Once downloaded to your mobile device, you can link from the page in the book to video’s on-line! Kinda sweet, eh!

Changes I’ve made since receiving this book:

  • I do squats every day (even when I don’t have time for my PT exercises).
  • I’m not so investing in running 100% running all the time like I was last year.
  • I am introducing consistent cross training (IronStrength, Yoga, DVD workouts that I used to do)
  • I foam roll EVERY DAY now (not just when I run).

A few other key points I learned (and yes wrote down):

  1. “It’s pure hell – physically & emotionally – when you’re injured and can’t run”. I figure this one out months ago, it sure hit home. 
  2. “Daily exercise – even when you’re injured – IS the best medicine”. Must remember.
  3. “If running is your only activity; you have strength imbalance”.

I loved the book and highly recommend it to all runners. For more information on Dr. Jordan Metzl’s you can find it on his website drjordanmetzl.com ; along with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  You can purchase the book here. Trust me, you’ll want to add this to your collection.

Please note, I was provided this book to do a review from Runner’s World; all opinions are my own. Thank you Runner’s World :) 

Ever have a book change your life?

Ever want to highlight the entire book?

Have you checked out Dr. Jordan Metzl’s book yet? (It will change your running/life.)

Weekly Workouts, Hamstring Update & Upcoming Races!

It’s been another good week of running/workouts. I’ve been working hard on getting my hamstring back to 100% and signed up for two races!

Monday: I had the quickest workout at GoodLife Gym. Did 15 minutes on the bike and then ran 3k. I wanted to run more but ran out of time as I had to get back on the road with our girls. Though it was quick, I was happy to get it in.

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Tuesday: Ran 6k; 3k on the treadmill and 3k outside before the sun set. Both were great runs!

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Wednesday: Ran 7k on the treadmill. It was a slow run and felt like it took forever for some reason.

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Thursday: Osteopath appointment – not allowed to workout for 3-4 days. Everything on my right side was pulling my hamstring which was causing the pain when I sit. Hopefully I’m all good to go and will see some improvements in my hamstring. I already feel better than before.

Friday: Required rest day.

Saturday: Required rest day thought I managed 12,270 steps on my Fitbit. We had a busy day with the girls. Swimming lessons for Lilly and Hilary decided to climbing the stairs a ba-gillion times (I was exhausted), then a play date in the afternoon!

Sunday {today}: An easy day (hopefully). I’m hoping to get an easy 3-4k run on the treadmill at some point today if the girls will cooperate ;)

Hamstring Update:

My hamstring is feeling good. As mentioned my whole right side of my body was out of whack, so said the Osteopath. That’s why I was still feeling lots of pulling on my hamstring and my glutes were pulling as well on my hip flexors etc. So far so good.

I’ve been doing little things over the last few weeks to try and feel better:

  • Sitting on an exercise ball at work
  • Using my stand up desk at home more and at work when I can
  • Foam rolling EVERY day
  • Doing my PT exercises and squats every day

I’m hoping to get back to a regular running/workout schedule that includes a new workout (see tomorrow’s book review post) and bringing back yoga. I had to stop yoga because it was over stretching my muscles and I was having MORE pulling/pain.

Races

I’ve registered for two races! The first one is the ATF 5k {local run and fundraiser} that I ran last year; you can read about that here. I also signed up for the Bluenose Marathon 10k, which I also ran last year; you can read about that here. My plan is to take them easy and finish without any pain. Last year I PB’d at both races; 28:00 at ATF 5k and 57:17 at Bluenose 10k. PB’s are not on the agenda right now; pain-free running is.

IN-giver-square-2015

Over all, another good week of running, resting and getting my hamstring stronger. Make sure to come back tomorrow for a running book review!

Weather report: Though we still have a TONE of snow, it’s finally warming up. It’s going to be plus 8 degree Celsius today and tomorrow it’s going to be +13C – WOAH! Melt snow melt!

How was your weekend?

Sign up for any races/runs?

Do you still have snow where you live?

PSS – I wrote this post twice – lost the first one because I forgot to hit save…ALWAYS hit save ;)

Rest & Relax {they said}

Well, you guessed it…right now I’m on a few days of REST. No running, no foam rolling, no stretching, no yoga! Just like that. Don’t worry, it’s a good thing.

I saw my Osteopath yesterday and it went great. It made me realize (well, all my physio, massage etc.) appointments made me realize that I really should have study human kinetics. It’s never too late, right!?!  No, I’m not making a career change but I like learning about how the body functions and I’m sure learning a lot about mine lately with my hamstring injury.

Yes, I’m still injured. Frig, I know! It’s all good as I truly feel I am finally on my way to a good recovery finally. It only took four months.

Back to the Osteopath – they have magic hands, that’s the only way I can explain them. Google them if you don’t know what they are. They helped both girls with nursing issues when they were first-born – serious life changing moments.

She did treatment on my calf, my hamstring, my hip flexor, my glutes, my lower back, my stomach and did something to my kidney as it was being pulled downwards. Crazy! It’s a case of the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone, etc. There was a lot of pulling from my hip flexor in both directions which was causing the pain in my glutes and hamstring for the last few weeks = not healing 100%. Makes sense. Now, the kidney thing doesn’t make sense to me but whatever, she’s the expert.

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My 7k run Wednesday night.

 

 

I feel good, had to ice my hamstring last night but that was to be expected. So, I can’t do anything for 3-4 days which really isn’t that bad. Last night I took it easy and will do the same tonight. This weekend I’m busy with the girls and then will do a light run Sunday if time permits.

Lilly has her first swimming lessons :) tomorrow and then we’re heading to a fundraiser for my running buddy! She’s running in the Bluenose Marathon – HALF – and raising money for the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. You can see make a donation here ;)

Any exciting weekend plans?

Would you rather Rest & Relax this weekend or Race/Event this weekend?

Night Time Running

Slowly but shortly I’m getting back to the running I want to be doing. My husband got home yesterday which meant I am not on my own with the girls…..yeah! He’s going to be home every 4 days (essentially) since he now has a term position and regular schedule! No more 2-4 weeks on my own :)

Anyway….

Usually I run after the girls go to bed, which means starting my runs around 8 pm at night. After working all day, night-time stuff with the girls, dishes and sometimes checking emails/blog stuff, I go run. The real kicker is that Lilly falls asleep before she hits the pillow 99% of the time. Hilary is a different story. She likes to sing and play for a while which means I can’t go to run on the treadmill until she falls asleep. Some nights it’s after 8:15 when I jump on the treadmill.

Last night I really wanted to run. Mainly because I have an Osteopath appointment Thursday and know I have to take a few days rest afterwards. I figured if I could get a few runs in during the beginning of the week, that would be good.

Hilary decided last night would be a singing party in her bed. My husband said to me “when are you going to run, you should go now”. I had a little hesitation because Hilary wasn’t asleep yet then realized that I didn’t need to hang around because my husband was home! It felt so weird and great at the same time.

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3k Treadmill Run 

I jumped on the treadmill at 7:30, the earliest I’ve started my runs in forever. After running 3k, I jumped off and layered up as it’s still pretty frigging cold in Nova Scotia. I waited for my Green Garmin to catch the satellite and off I went.

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Yes, that is SNOW – FRESH SNOW!

 

First km: 5:36 Second km: 5:53 Third km: 5:44   {You know it’s hard putting a Garmin over a long-sleeved sweater AND jacket…I barely together}

I managed 3k outside just before the sun was gone. My lungs need to get used to the weather…or maybe it’s just the tail end of this cold. When I got back from my run, Saï asked how my run went and I replied with “awesome”.

So far my hamstring feels good. Not awesome but not terrible either. I’m hoping to run tonight and then see what the Osteopath can do for my injury tomorrow!

Oh – and the girls have slept 2 nights in a row…they are feeling a lot better! All we need now is some WARMER spring like temperatures to melt ALL the snow.

Ever run some of your mileage inside then finish the rest outside?

Are you having a hard time adjusting to the weather outside this spring?

For those with kids: Do your kids go to bed right away?

 

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Oh man, I walked a few miles on Sunday with my dog Maclean. She’s been hanging out at my parents place for the last year as it’s been a struggle for me to properly take care of her with the girls/work/being a single parent for chunks of time. If you are new to the blog, my husband works in another Province and was away 2-4 weeks at a time.

The funny thing about Maclean is that she loves my parents house more than ours! Actually, I think little kids stress her out. She was a sled dog for the first 6 years of her life, so little kids weren’t really something she was used to. However, she loves when Lilly and Hilary give her treats which she got a lot of this past weekend ;) She turns 13 next month.

Sunday afternoon I decided to take her out for a nice long walk. It was like Christmas for her. She was jumping on the snow banks, peeing everywhere, running, being playful with me and listening to all her commands (sitting to cross the street, turning left/right or gee/haw). She didn’t forget which way to turn but I forgot which was left (gee or haw?) and which was right as she turned into the middle of the road one, whoops!

Anyway, I didn’t think I was going to walk her so long…so I just put on my dress boots which are normally GREAT to walk in. Can you see where this story is going? We went for about a 1/2 hour walk and she was loving it. It was sunny yet cool out and the road (that day) was clear. (Sorry, no photo of my boots, apparently I only take photo’s of my running sneakers).

When I got back to the house I realized that I was probably going to have sore feet but what I didn’t realise is that I was going to have sore shins!

Oh man, I’ve been in pain ever since! I tried to foam roll it out…bad idea. After I got a shower last night I ended up massaging my shins which felt great but I’m still sore today. I used to run with her in the winter – which really is like sprinting just to keep up with her. You can read about that here from a few years ago. Give me a few days and I’ll be good to go.

Lesson learned: don’t walk any miles in those shoes again with Maclean.

What’s the worst pair of shoes to walk in?

Ever get shin pain from walking in non-walking shoes?