Goodbye January…

…and just like that January 2016 is over! I don’t know about you but most months seem to fly by but January just seemed to hang on.

Though January started off rough with a nasty head cold, I eventually got off my butt and got moving again. It took a while but I finally made my 2016 goals; took a blogging course, skied, did yoga, ran and more.

jan 31st 2016 mileage.jpg

Yoga

Oh yoga, I love you. Honestly, yoga makes me feel so much better physically and mentally too. I’ve been going once a week unless my work schedule doesn’t allow for it. I’ve challenged myself this year and learned forearm stands and eight angle pose. Limitless is my word for 2016.

Running

I sure got a slow start to running this year and it really was a struggle. I decided after participating in a #beatyourownbest contest with Nuun that I needed to focus on building my base for half marathon training.

Apparently, I run better when I am training for something, who knew. So with this,I am focused on running three times a week, going to yoga once a week, strength training through DVD workouts and PT exercises. I’m building my base to beat my own best this year.

Total Mileage: 66 km (2016); 28 km (2015 injured) and 48 km (2014).

Fresh Air

I’ve also been trying to get some fresh air during my lunch break. I love being outside in the winter with the sun beating down and the cooler air. I can’t always go for a run or snow shoe during my lunch break but I can always take 15-20 minutes to get out for a walk. I started doing more of that last week and loving the fresh air.

Rosy cheeks after a lunch time walk

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One thing I haven’t done is is hit up GoodLife Fitness. I have a membership but the closest GoodLife Gym is about 45 minutes away and I haven’t been to my parents place where they are surrounded by them. I plan to go in February because I do enjoy a good gym session, especially in the winter!

February doesn’t look much different than January. Though I’m hoping to get a little more skiing (downhill and cross country), snowshoeing and skating in.

Have you kept going forward with your 2016 goals or resolutions?

If you chose a “word” how’s that going?

How was your January? 

Any plans for February?

 

 

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Gym Workouts & Hamming it Up.

I’ve been doing my best to stay positive even though I’m not allow running right now! Yup, I’ve gone from running 1k, 2k, 3k, 4k each week for a full week to running 5-8k and now I’m not allow to run!

Why – well I’m still having pain in my hamstring after I run, even on the treadmill. My physiotherapist said that my hamstring can’t take the blunt force of running at the moment therefore I need to focus on strengthening my muscles. Specifically, my hamstrings, glutes and lower abs.

I can bike, swim and power walk outside and that’s what I’m doing.

Fast legs on stationary bike

Fast legs on stationary bike

I managed two sessions at the gym over the last few days while visiting family/work meetings. For both workouts, I did the following:

  • 10 minutes elliptical
  • 30-32 minutes on the stationary bike
  • PT exercises (Bridge, Lunges, Hamstring Curls with a band and Bird/Dog ab exercise)

And to be honest – my glutes are killing by the end of my PT exercises, so … it’s working! So far, I’m okay about not running but that might change next week when I can’t get to the gym at all. Let’s hope my little power walks will do it until June 3rd when I see my physiotherapist again. Or, maybe…just maybe I’ll jump on my old bike and go for a bike ride – this might not be pretty!

Until then…I’m trying to enjoy the sunlight and hamming it up {getting my hamstring stronger}.

The winner of the Canadian Reebok Spartan Race giveaway is:

Winner: Victoria  (I’ll contact you asap)

Today I decided to go for a power walk at lunch and it took everything in me to not lean forward and propel myself into running mode!

Nice little 4k runch - I mean walk.

Nice little 4k runch – I mean walk.

After my first kilometre, I decided I wanted to see how fast I could walk a km and this is what happened:

1 km – 9:22

2 km – 9:09

3 km – 9:04

4 km – 8:50

Negative split, right?

Total: 4 km in 36:27 {9:05 pace}

I threw in a few hills along the route. Not bad for power walking!

How have your workouts been going?

How fast can you walk a kilometre / mile vs running?

Stationary Bike or Real Bike?

I Gave Up My Fitbit Flex for the Week

The battery is draining as I write this…well actually, I got an email notification that by Fitbit Flex has a “low battery”. Last week I read a blog post by Amy at Crazy Mama Runs. Her post “Why is my Fitbit on my Dresser” caught my eye. I read it and then read it again. I totally got what she was saying.

I got my Fitbit Flex Dec 27th and have worn it every day since; trying to reach my daily goal of 10,000 steps. Most days I hit that goal and some days I don’t. One of the main reasons I got it was to track my sleep since I thought I was getting very little sleep. Tracking my steps couldn’t hurt, right? Turns out, I sleep okay but have to little ones that wake me up a lot. So really, I’ve learned nothing new. I wrote a review for my Fitbit a few months ago.

There were days when I was so closed to my 10,000 steps that I would literally walk around the inside of my house just to get my goal! Crazy, eh!!!!

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After reading Amy’s post to essentially “take a break” from her Fitbit for a month, I thought…I’d like to do that too – or at least take a week off and go from there!

The sleep function doesn’t always work and really….with my day job {Regional Physical Activity Consultant with the Province}, I know how much activity I should get in a day or week. I know I should get up from my desk and sit less, I know that walking at lunch time even for 15-20 minutes is good moderate activity. AND, I know that on those days I work out/run, I get a heck of a lot of steps at a VIGOROUS intensity.

Steps are steps. I could walk around my house all day and not go outside once and still reach my 10,000 step goal. Remember, steps are steps. I have done this by chasing after my girls, going up and down the stairs, using my stand up work station, making meals etc. The key here is they are just steps. On days like these, really…what health benefits am I getting by hitting my 10,000 step goal if it’s just steps around the inside of my house. Not to mention, there have been NUMEROUS times I’ve “reached” my 10,000 steps by the following:

  • Changing a diaper
  • Bathing the girls
  • Washing dishes
  • Lifting my arm in the air

Don’t get me wrong, I know these tracking devices do different things and are motivating for lots of people. Heck, it’s motivating for me to…at times. However, some days I was getting so focused on my steps that it was starting to become silly. I loved the challenges mainly to keep me accountable. I never needed to “win” them but enjoyed reaching my daily goals.

So after all that….on Sunday I woke up with my Fitbit put away in a drawer and yes I’ve thought about it. On Sunday {Mother’s Day} I was walking up the stairs swinging my arms naturally and thought “yes, I’m getting my steps in” and quickly realized NOPE, I’m not. While we played outside with the girls on the bike that afternoon, I thought “this would have been a lot of steps!”. Again, they weren’t adding up because I didn’t have it on.

So far, I don’t miss it and actually enjoy having nothing on my wrists but a hair elastic {runners problems} when I sleep. I’m enjoying the freedom. I know I should get up from my desk and sit less, I know when I should move and that being active is a healthy part of my life. I don’t miss the trying to get my steps in or having to reload my app to get it to update…that’s more time off technology which I kinda like.

I might wear it on the upcoming weekend since Lilly is running her 2k run, I’ll be on my feet all day or I might just forget it at home! That’s where I’m at and you bet tonight after I do my treadmill run and PT exercises that I’ll probably think “those steps would have sent me over my daily goal”.

Again, this opinions are my own. I’m just an injured runner changing it up for the week and will see if my Fitbit Flex makes it back on my arm or not!

Do you disconnect from technology often?

Are you concerned with how many steps you get in a day?

Do you know the difference between moderate and vigorous activity? 

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?

Taking the Curve Ball and Pointing It in the Right Direction

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and the path you wanted to take doesn’t always happen. Though I’m bummed about no soccer, I am thankful I can still run (a little) and focus on getting stronger and healthier. Really, it could be worse.

bright side of it

I’m bummed out that I can’t ski, snowshoe or skate with the girls, all of which I was looking forward to doing this winter….in time. We’re hoping to head to the city to spend some time with my parents and siblings before they head off to New York for a family wedding. I wish we were able to attend my cousin’s wedding but it’s not in the cards for us right now. I’ve never been to NY and would love to visit.

Instead, I’m planning on running my 1 kilometer and working on some upper body stuff at GoodLife Fitness while I’m in the city, maybe a little shopping too. Retail therapy can’t hurt unless you are trying to shop at Target in Canada. They just announced they are closing 😦

Anyway, I might even venture to the pool with the girls if I can get my act together and find our swim suits! If not, we will play outside with Maclean. I know they will have no objections to that….unless it’s -10 or below out. They love being outside. Maybe we will repeat painting the snow!

Snow painting selfie

(Last weekend)

My leg is feeling good today and it’s my day to “walk – run 1k – walk” so I’m looking forward to getting that in later tonight. If I don’t put in the time now I won’t be able to head in the direction I want to be, which is training for my next race and then a full marathon. It’s super hard running so s-l-o-w… like slow as molasses running off a spoon onto buttered bread.

Do you go swimming in the winter (indoor pools)?

Do you like to hit up the gym when travelling? 

What are your weekend plans?

Hamstring Update

Well, the news is that I still have a pulled hamstring 😦 I thought I was getting better.

Back on December 10th – yeah that long ago, I pulled my hamstring playing soccer. We had a 10pm soccer game and when I got home it was sore but I didn’t really notice it until the next day when it was hurting.

I took a few days off, ran twice (6 k and 7 k outside) on the weekend and then could barely walk the following day. I then took a week off, played another soccer game and WHAM-O, pulled it within the first 15 minutes of the game. I was done and pretty bummed/upset.

I took a few weeks off over Christmas and slowly got back into running, starting with my first kilometer of the year with my oldest daughter Lilly (4 yrs). Then I worked up to 3k, 4k and a few 5k’s on the treadmill. The last 5k I ran was outside in the snow, it was a perfect yet cold winter day. I did too much that day with the girls in the snow, running errands and running 5k. Lo and behold my leg started bothering me again.

Monday morning I called the Physio office and my Doctor’s office and had a plan. Worst case scenario was no running, no soccer for a while. Best case…physio, rest and keep running/playing soccer (ha!).

After meeting with both my Doctor and Physiotherapist the verdict is in;

  • I officially pulled my hamstring and nothing else.
  • I cannot play soccer for 6 – 8 weeks (@W#%@#$^@$^%)
  • I am in physio until it’s better
  • I can run but only 1 km every other day for a week. Then I can either increase the speed or distance by 1 more kilometer over the next month.
  • Full Marathon training is out…for now.

just run

I felt really good physically after I left the physiotherapy’s office because of the treatment and tape job she did on my hamstring. Later that night, Lilly laughed at the tape on my hamstring/butt area and thought it looked like a hand (it’s spread out in pieces of three).

I’m super bummed about not playing soccer and honestly okay with the running part. I’m thankful they didn’t say no running because that would be really hard to not move at all. The good news is that I can still practice yoga and run a little. No skiing, snowshoeing, skating or soccer for 4-8 weeks 😦

Lessons learned:

  • Go see a Doctor/Physiotherapist ASAP – don’t wait a month like I did
  • Setbacks happen and that’s life.
  • It could be worse!

Though I’m not thrilled about only running 1k every other day, I can do a good warm up, run 1k at a slow pace, stretch and practice yoga all in one night! I’ve also been given exercises to do: bridge, lunges and calf raises to go with my bridges and clam exercises for my SI joint – wow, I sound healthy!

Walk Run Walk

Walk Run Walk

Last night I managed to do my first “walk-run-walk” after the girls went to bed. My Dad was visiting (hence the back-end shot of me on the treadmill), he took Lilly skiing all day! She played her first day of hookie from day care 😉 I walked for 1 km, then ran slowly for 1 km and walked another kilometer – better than nothing at all! I stretched and foam rolled and feel really good today.

set back come back

The spring Marathon I wanted to run isn’t going to happy and I’m okay with that. I now have a good plan for my 3rd Half Marathon this spring and plans for my first Full Marathon in the fall. Right now it’s time to focus on getting better and all my other running goals for the year are put on hold until then.

 Anyone else injured? (I sure hope not)

What’s your favourite form of treatment when injured?

Anyone racing/running this weekend? (Good luck if you are!)

Move It Challenge

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a challenge on the blog…not my challenges but other challenges that I’ve done, attempted, failed, crushed, surprised myself, hated and loved.

So…here’s the “Move It Challenge” By Jodi Higgs: Facebook Source.

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Are you doing a challenge this month? Which one?

Favourite way to move?