A Week in Review: They Can’t All Be Good Runs

As I stated in this post, I missed my workouts Monday and Tuesday, and had to limit my workout to lifting weights on Wednesday.  On Thursday, I had an unexpected daytime opportunity to run 7k.  On Friday, I ran 200m intervals.  I had another 7k run scheduled for Saturday, but my legs were toast after my intervals Friday, so I settled for walking to, from, and around the Regina Ex with my family (probably a total of 3.5k).

Today was a 14k long run.  My legs felt tired from the start.  My GI tract was giving me some trouble, so I decide to go out and back twice, just in case I needed to use my washroom mid-run.  Luckily, the washroom access was largely unnecessary, but even though I made it through my run without “the trots,” I struggled somewhat with fueling and ended up with some GI discomfort later in my run.   Too much GU, Powerade, and water for my stomach to handle, I think.  Usually I use a combo of Gu, Gatorade, and water, but because the race I’m running will have Powerade, I’ve been testing that out.  It seems more concentrated or something and did not sit well today.  My stomach felt heavy and sort of crampy after I took in some Gu and water around the 11.5k mark and I had a heck of a time running through it.  To top it off, my knee started to ache a little around the 12k mark, so I walked the last 1.5k or so.  Ah well, guess all workouts can’t be good.

I’m working around my husband’s schedule again this week, so here’s what my week looks like:

  • Monday – 8k
  • Tuesday – speed/intervals
  • Wednesday – strength
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – hills + strength
  • Saturday – 8k
  • Sunday – 16k
I’m seeing my physio again this week and have been foam rolling, so here’s hoping my IT band issue stays under control.
What’s your week look like?

Week in Review, and a Broken Wrist

Monday: Too hot to run. Postponed (the long-run I had postponed from Sunday) to Tuesday.

Tuesday: Went over to my sister’s to use the treadmill and had a horrible run.  Called it after 2 miles.

Wednesday: We were going to take the kids to a movie but my husband didn’t read the info properly and the movie we wanted to see wasn’t playing at the theatre we went to.  No movie.

Thursday: Went over to our friends’ house for a fantastic BBQ.  But then my daughter fell off the play structure and broke her wrist.  I got a migraine around the same time.  The good news was that the medi-clinic we went to was pretty much empty, so we didn’t have to wait long to see the doctor.

Friday: X-rays first thing in the morning.  Had to cancel my patients and we didn’t know what was going on with my daughter because they didn’t give us a diagnosis.  Scheduled to meet the orthopedist at 4pm.  Instructed not to feed my daughter anything, though they didn’t specifically say they thought surgery was an option.  Didn’t have to wait long once we got to the hospital.  Surgery wasn’t necessary and my daughter got a bright pink cast.  My migraine was lingering.  My girl and I both went to bed at 7:30pm

Saturday: Woke up feeling better after 12 hours sleep.  Had a fantastic day.  Saw The Zookeeper, tried out desserts at Le Macaron and bought a dozen macarons to take home, hit a park and let the kids run around while we enjoyed the sunshine.  Went for a fast-for-me 4k run and then we grabbed some supper.  Spent the rest of the night relaxing.

Sunday: 10k run/walk.  Legs felt kinda dead, which was probably because of the fast-for-me 4k I ran 14 hours earlier.  Weather was great, though, with sunshine and a breeze.  Even though I didn’t have a lotta oomph during my run, my legs didn’t feel too bad afterward.  Did notice my knee started to ache a touch around the 9.5k mark, which is pretty decent. After the run, chatted with an old neighbour we happened to bump into and had an interesting conversation about virtual identities for kids.  Ate lunch outside, found a really nice play structure near the place we’re renting, and then watched the Riders beat the Alouettes and win their first this season – I didn’t think that was going to happen.  Got a ton of laundry and the grocery-shopping done, and watched Limitless while curled up in bed with my husband.  A perfect Sunday.

On tap this week:

2 x 7k runs, 12k run, 3 strength sessions, and more foam-rolling than I’ve been doing.

Have you ever broken anything? I broke my left hand when I was 18 but certainly didn’t get a colourful cast.

So Hot

I’ve been having a hard time finding the time to blog.  I have a fair bit of downtime at work (I’m working on a student dental license for the summer), but I don’t have access to the internet so I haven’t been writing very much.  Today, though, I decided to just type in Word and then copy and paste later.  It doesn’t quite feel the same, but it’ll do.  I miss getting my thoughts and workouts down in black and white.  Somehow it makes everything…clearer.

The hip/IT band rehab is going quite well.  Still a little hip tightness after 5k, but no knee pain at all, so I’m super happy.  I ran/walked 8k last Tuesday (I think?) on a beautiful, sunny, breezy summer day, and then Friday night I got in a 6.5k run in my neighbourhood.  I ran easy for 10 min, then aimed for a 6:30 min/km pace.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain it for the 25 min I wanted to run, so I ran for 10 min, walked for 2, ran another 10, walked for 2, and then ran a sub 6:00 min/km for the last 2 min, then 10 min fairly easy.  I felt great afterward and even had a nice chat with my neighbour, who was taking her dog out for a walk as I was heading home.

It's been hot and humid as of late, so I can totally relate to the Wicked Witch, because I totally feel like I'm gonna melt

Tonight I’m planning to walk/run 10k.  I was scheduled to do it Sunday, but had a late night after my cousin’s wedding.  While I had only 1 drink at the wedding, it was quite hot outside and I was feeling super dehydrated Sunday on top of being really tired and having 4 hours of driving to do.  Then I was going to get it in yesterday instead, but I didn’t plan ahead for the 36 degrees Celcius (plus humidity) that we got here.  Not that I’m complaining about the heat – I love it.  It’s just definitely not smart running weather for a Northern girl like me.  So, after work today, I’m heading over to my sister’s to borrow her treadmill.

Hate the treadmill, but I really want to get this long run in, even though I know I’m getting to the point where I should just keep going with my training plan and forget about that long run.  I’m just kicking myself because, really, I had no good reason for not getting it in.  It was just poor planning on my part.

Speaking of planning, my eating has been pretty decent.  I’ve been meal planning and getting in lots of veggies (summer salads!).  The only real issue I’m having is with weekend eating.  I’m definitely splurging more than is wise, so I’m not losing weight.  I’m not gaining, though, either, which is good.  I think I just need to dig out a little extra motivation to get through the weekends without eating so many treats and I’ll be in good shape.

Do you find that you eat more healthfully in the summer, or do you find it harder to avoid the indulgences at social events?

IT Band Update

You may have noticed that my posts have been few and far between as of late.  Blogging has not been my greatest priority.  Living trumps blogging, right?

Speaking of living, I went for an 8k run last night.  I must say that my IT band rehab is paying off, because while my hip felt a little tight starting around the 4.5k mark, it stayed at “a little” tight.  No lateral knee pain, no achiness, no progression to major tightness.  No pain afterward, either.

Yesterday morning, I met with an exercise therapist regarding strengthening the muscles in my hips, core, and legs.  The ET happens to be a friend of mine and not only knows her stuff, but also happens to “dabble” in adventure racing.  As you might imagine, she’s pretty hard-core, which translated to a pretty hard-core workout for me, and my legs were already getting sore by the time I went for my run last night, so today, I reached the “it hurts to sit down or stand up point.”  It did not make for a pleasant day today, especially as far as stairs were concerned.  It’s kind of awesome, though, to know that I pushed myself so hard.

Part of the whole rehab thing has involved making sure I maintain a higher cadence and aim for a faster pace.  Since I can’t actually run faster without wanting to hurl, though, I’ve been throwing in some walking.  Seems to do the trick.

Tomorrow, I’m babysitting my baby nephew so my sister and her husband can catch a movie in the evening.  I was thinking of hopping on the treadmill at my sister’s house while sitting, but since I’m also bringing my own kids along, that might not work.  So, I’ll be running Friday night, after I drive home after work.  I already know motivation will be a challenge, because after working all day and then driving for 2 1/2 hours with (probably fighting) kids in the backseat, I think my bed will be calling me.  Wish me luck!

My Summer Job and Some Soccer Pics

  • I started my summer job yesterday.  So far, go good, but I miss my kids.  I moved 2 1/2 hours away from home for my job.  The kids will be joining me in a couple weeks though, once they’re done school for the year.
  • Got a 13k run in on the weekend.  My hip and IT band are still iffy.  Definitely have to book in for some physio later this week, once I settle in.
  • Watched 7 soccer games this weekend.  My son had 3; my daughter had 4.

My daughter’s the one in red.

Father and son, getting some snacks.
  • Met with my nutritionist Friday.  It was a productive meeting.  As usual, I took away some tips and got help putting together an action plan to get back to losing, rather than maintaining, weight.  I have to say that it’s a lot easier to stay away from the snacks when I have the structure of a work day.  It’s also a whole lot easier to stay properly hydrated when you can take breaks in drink water.  At school, we typically spend 2-3 hours with one patient, so we don’t really have the chance to take water breaks.
That’s all I’ve got for tonight.  Hope you’re having a good week so far.:)

Running, Baking, and Frivolity: My Sunday in Review

I cranked out 11k today.  But, instead of “cranked out,” really it was “ran really slowly and occasionally walked.”  Nothing wrong with that, though.  Apparently, with the long run, you want to get in the miles without trashing your legs so that you can recover and have other good quality workouts during the week.

Unsure of how my IT band and knee were going to respond (I had to cut my last 6k short), I ran on the path near our house.  Out and back, out and back, out plus a little extra and back.  Sure, the scenery was a little repetitive, but I wanted to stick close to home, just in case my knee wasn’t going to make it.  And since I basically can’t make it through a long run without having to hit the bathroom, there’s that to factor in, too.

Around the 3k mark, it felt like my knee was going to give me some problems, so I took a walk break.  I continued to run after a 2 min break, but at a slightly faster pace, which my IT band seemed happier with. I have a feeling that’s a sign of some sort of inefficiency in my gait at a slower pace, but since I’m no running expert, I’m not sure how to interpret that.  I don’t have the lungs to carry on at a faster pace the whole time, so I went with walk breaks at 3k, 6k, and 8k to give my legs and lungs a bit of a rest.

I wouldn’t say I had knee pain, exactly, but definitely knee ache.  I’m seeing my physiotherapist tomorrow, so I guess I’ll wait and see what he says about it.

On a happy note, my GI tract was fairly settled throughout the whole run, which is, like, practically magical for me.  I tried out Clif Shot Bloks, ’cause that’s what they’ll have at the half marathon I’ll be running, and while I really like the flavour and texture, I am apparently completely incapable of running, breathing, and chewing at the same time.  I find Gu easier to take in on the run.  About 1k after I had the Bloks, I had some, er, intestinal urgency, but, miracle of miracles, I made it home without too much distress.  I think that’s the first time I made it past 8k without having to stop to use the facilities.

After the run, though, my stomach was rather unhappy, and then I added to it when I scarfed down some leftover BBQ Chicken Quesadillas.  Note to self: smoothie instead next time.

Later in the afternoon, I got down to some baking, with a little help from my kids.  I decided to go with Ding-a-ling Cake, which I mentioned here, but I think I might try out making some cake balls next weekend.

My daughter talked me into adding some sprinkles, so here’s what our cake ended up looking like:

So moist, but very, VERY sugary.  You definitely need a glass of milk with a slice of this!

In case your sweet tooth is feeling extra demanding this week, here’s the recipe:

Ding-a-ling Cake

For the batter:

  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (I like kosher)
  • 1 c margarine (or butter)
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
For the icing:
  • 1/2 c margarine (or butter)
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 c icing sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Combine margarine, cocoa, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Pour over the flour mixture and stir until it looks like a paste.  Add the 1/2 c of milk, 1 tsp of vanilla, and baking soda and stir.  Batter will be thin.  Pour into a greased jelly roll pan and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 c of margarine, 1/3 c milk, and 4 tbsp of cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Remove from heat, add vanilla, and thicken with 3 c of icing sugar (I would recommend whisking the icing sugar in as you add it slowly to avoid lumps).
Ice the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Sprinkle with nuts if desired.
Last, but not least, I unleashed my inner 14 year old tonight and transformed my chipped manicure from this:
To this:

Normally I don’t get to wear nail polish at all during the school year, so I may have gotten a little carried away with the outrageousness of the colour and sparkly-ness…

I’ve got a fantastic week ahead of me!  Last-minute preparations before I start work in a week (eek!), kids’ soccer, 3 runs, 2 bike rides, 2 strength sessions, some physical therapy, and more cooking.

Any big plans this week?  What’s your favourite nail polish colour?

IT Band Problem

I hesitated to write this post, because sometimes I like the head-in-the-sand approach: if you ignore it, the problem doesn’t exist.  However, I am also a very analytical person, so that approach rarely lasts long, and then I move on with reality.

On my schedule today was a 15k run with a few above-race-pace intervals mixed in.  The first hour went pretty well, and then I noticed some slight soreness along my left hip.  I ran a little more, and then the knee pain showed up.  Sadly, I know what this means: IT band syndrome.  Now that I’ve written that down and faced it, my head is officially out of the sand.

For those of you not familiar, click here to read up.  Unfortunately, though (or maybe fortunately, in this case – I’m not sure yet), I AM familiar with IT band syndrome, having had to stop running for six weeks earlier this year while rehabbing my right IT band and hip muscles.

The sort of good news is that it’s not my right leg, which was originally injured back in the spring.  This time it’s on my left side.  And I also know what I’m going to do to deal with the injury:

  1. Ice it – 4 times per day
  2. Ibuprofen (I’m not saying YOU should do this, though!)
  3. Foam roll both IT bands (don’t want to injure the other side, either!)
  4. Stretch like crazy
  5. Book in to see my physiotherapist ASAP

I wonder if, ironically, recovering from my prior injury contributed to this one.  That is, I was so focused on stretching and foam rolling and icing the right side to prevent re-injury that I forgot to take care of the left side.

While I only got about 10.5k in this morning and am disappointed not to have got my long run am, I am more concerned with injuring myself further, or, even worse, having to stop running and not do the half marathon I’m scheduled to do in 3 weeks.  I think I’ll use the head-in-the-sand approach for this eventuality, at least until I speak to my physiotherapist.

Have you had to deal with IT band syndrome?  What about other injuries?  What’s your favoured approach to dealing?