Looking for Motivation

Resolutions for 2014I’ve been thinking about running lately, because one of my goals/resolutions for the year is to start running again by April 1st. I have a couple of injuries holding me back at the moment (right foot plantar fasciitis, left IT band injury that has been there for years but has been bothering me lately) and obviously I need to rehab those before I can really start running. I’ve done physio, but it was pretty expensive, inconvenient, and didn’t fully deal with my injuries. I’ve decided it’s time to take a self-help approach and started reading The Running Injury Recovery Program by Bruce R. Wilk. I’m making my way through it, but the idea is that you assess and treat yourself, so we’ll see how it goes.

Although I’m not running yet, I have been thinking about training for a specific event later this year, because nothing motivates me as much as the idea of traveling does. I’ve been looking at a few women’s races, as well as The Tower of Terror 10-Miler at Disney World (which I did last year) and the Rock’n’Roll Vancouver 10k. I thought I’d share a few links that I came across.

Women’s race series websites:

Zooma Women’s Race Series

Women’s Running Series

Run for Women

Divas Half Marathon and 5k Series

See Jane Run Women’s Half Marathon and 5K

Mermaid Series

A list of women’s races for the year from Another Mother Runner

Other races ideas:

Rock’n’Roll Vancouver 10K

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler

As with last year, I figure that even if I can’t run a race, I can still walk one.

Do you like to travel?



Tower of Terror Training: Sucking Wind

As I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I signed up for the Tower of Terror 10-Miler October 5th. Now, I haven’t been doing much running lately, but I’m really looking forward to getting back to it. I’m going to try and keep things easy and not push myself too much, as I don’t want to end up injured. That being said, my cardiovascular system has been given a lot of slack over the past year and a half, so getting back into running is definitely challenging.

The Tower of Terror training plan that I’ll be following doesn’t officially start until June 4th, but I figured it would be good to get my feet and body moving beforehand. Yesterday was a beautiful, if windy, day here in Saskatoon and since I had an extended lunch due to a patient canceling, I threw on my running gear and headed out.

The training plan recommends a 13-15 minute warm-up and then a 30 minute run every Tuesday and Thursday, so that’s what I did. A few weeks ago, I went from running 1 min/walking 1 min to running 3 min/walking 3 min. I figured run/walking 2min/2min would be okay. Um…not so much. It was SO HARD! My heart rate through the running intervals was through the roof and there may have been excessive gasping, too. I’ve been here before, though, so I know that it will get better. My legs felt tired but okay afterward. Really, my heart and lungs seemed to take the brunt of the workout. I plan to run again tomorrow and I know that it will feel (at least a little bit) easier than yesterday’s run/walk.

I’ve also been contemplating whether or not to put together some sort of costume for this race. It is Disney, after all. If you have any suggestions, through them my way!


A Kick in the Pants: Tower of Terror 10-Miler

I haven’t been blogging much lately. I haven’t felt particularly inspired and have been focusing on other things, like decluttering my house (baby steps on that front), sleeping, and a fantastic Hawaiian vacation (to celebrate our 15th anniversary).

Not blogging is not necessarily reflective of how my life is going, though. My work schedule is steady and more manageable than it was when I first started working, the kids started a new school after the Easter Break and are doing really well, I’m getting home from work at a reasonable time most days, though I’m still pretty tired at the end of the day. For a while, my workout motivation was high and I was fitting strength training and cardio in. And then I went on vacation.

Strangely enough, I worked out almost everyday while we were in Hawaii. We often got up early to go for a walk/run (I’m still having left hip issues, but I think it’s more from sitting at work everyday than from running), went for a few hikes, and hit the gym a couple of times. After we got back from vacation, though, I had a hard time getting back into a routine, what with catching up with work, catching up on home stuff, and dealing with jet lag.

Enough is enough, though. I needed a kick in the pants, so I’ve signed up for a race: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler. In fact, with very little sweet-talking, my husband also decided to sign up, and my kids are both running the 1 mile kids’ race. The nice thing about Disney races is that they have  training plans on their website, so my husband and I will be following a plan for beginning runners that you can find here.  As long as you can maintain a 16 minute mile pace, you’re good to go. I figure that if I have any problems with my left hip/IT band, I can always walk it…and I’m pretty sure I could walk a 16 minute per mile pace if I went out and did it today, without training. My biggest concern is the potential heat and humidity, since I’m used to much cooler temps in October. Heck, the snow we received last October didn’t disappear until early this month. A whole lot different than Orlando’s weather, that’s for sure. Regardless of the weather, I’m sure it’ll still be a lot of fun.

Do you have any race plans for 2013?



A Girl’s Gotta Do What a Girl’s Gotta Do: Adventures in Stationary Biking

My left IT band is still unhappy, so I’ve been riding my stationary bike, which is sort of like watching paint dry.  However, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right?  Since running’s out right now, I’ve been parking myself in front of my TV on my ancient Precor bike every couple of days.  I haven’t biked for quite a while, though (didn’t have easy access to a bike this summer), so I’m having a heck of a time getting my heart rate up before my quads are screaming at me.  The legs just can’t keep up with my lungs, which is rather opposite of what goes on when I run.

Met with a physio yesterday and while he didn’t totally rule out my half marathon on September 4th, it’s not looking good.  I’m super disappointed (hello, repeat of 2010), but really, I just want to get this injury under control.  It seems just as it starts to get better, I push too hard for my body (note: I increase my workouts upon the advice of people with training in exercise and fitness, who obviously are giving me the best advice they can, but it hasn’t worked out so far…) and end up tweaking the ITB.  I think time plus continuing with my foam rolling, strengthening, and physiotherapy will eventually sort things out, but it’s been frustrating to take keep having to step back from my training every time I make some gains.  Ah well, I’m trying to think long-term.

While we’re on the topic of physiotherapy, I’ve got a bit of a dilemma.  I saw a new physical therapist yesterday and he seemed very good.  He did an assessment and treatment and seems to have a lot of knowledge and experience.  Now, here comes the “but.”  I had originally wanted to see another physio at the clinic who sort of specializes in running injuries, has a background in running and triathlon (competitive), and extensive experience coaching runners.  Unfortunately, he was on vacation, so I went with this other guy.  The running guy was recommended to me by my personal trainer, and I just discovered that he was the running coach for a guy I know, who had mentioned his coach in glowing terms.  I’m really tempted to switch over to the guy who specializes in running injuries, but I sort of feel bad about it.  I mean, it seems sort of ridiculous, because I’ve only seen the new physio once, but I somehow have a sense of guilt for wanting to change when I had absolutely no issue with the guy I saw.

Opinions on this?  I know in my gut that I should just switch, and that’s probably what I’ll do, but I’d love to hear what you have to say.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, school is okay so far, but our class unexpectedly found out that there’s been a change of instructors for one of our classes, and it’s someone I thought I would not have to deal with this year.  I’m actually surprised I’m not more stressed out about it, because the situation caused me a whole lot of anxiety last year, but so far, I’ve remained fairly calm about the whole thing.  We’ll see, I guess, how things play out.


Feel the Burn

I’m about 3 weeks away from my half marathon, the Disneyland Half Marathon.  I’m sort of afraid I won’t be sufficiently prepared, because I’ve been struggling with workout consistency all summer.  I know I’ll make it through, I just think it’ll get ugly at the end, is all.

I had high hopes when I first started preparing for this race.  I had a kickass workout plan in place, and then my IT band injury flared up.  My physio told me not to run, so I stopped, but then I moved for my summer job and got a new physio, and she got me running again, for which I am so grateful.

This Sunday I have a 16k run in my schedule.  Back when I first started seeing my physio here in Regina (where I’m living for the summer), I was having trouble making it past 3k without some knee pain.  Last Sunday, during a 14k run, I had some mild pain around the 12k mark, so I walked the last couple of km’s.  I hadn’t really thought much of it until I met with my physio today, but she pointed out how much longer I can run without pain now.  I hadn’t really thought about it that way, but am glad that the hip strengthening and foam rolling I’ve been doing are paying off.  My physio expects that I’ll continue to improve as long as I keep working on my hip and core strength.

Tonight I did a workout that my exercise physiologist friend designed for me.  It was mostly legs and some core, and boy are my legs tired and shaky now!  There were lots of lunges and lots of one-legged exercises, which will help with the hip/core strengthening.  Let me tell you, though, that when you follow Bulgarian split squats up with split squat jumps and then forward-to-reverse lunges, there’s a whole lotta burnin’ going on in the quads.  It was good in that “feel the burn” kind of way.

Tomorrow, I had originally planned to do hill repeats, but because my IT band was feeling very irritated after 14k Sunday and then 8k Monday, I didn’t run intervals Tuesday.  So instead of hills tomorrow, I’m running my intervals.  Here’s hoping there’s no thunderstorm going on after work.

What exercise do you have a love/hate relationship with?  For me, it’s the lunge and its variations.  Tough, but effective.  I have the same type of relationship with running, too…

Disney Envy and Summer Plans

I’m feeling better tonight!  Perhaps it was the fact that I spent the morning on the couch and the afternoon napping.  Haha.

Back to school tomorrow and then I’ll be playing catch-up.  School is starting to get busier again, with a take-home midterm due by Monday, a lab project due Monday, a midterm Tuesday, a quiz Wednesday, cases Thursday, a makeup quiz sometime next week, another big midterm the following week + quiz + cases….you get the picture, and it’s not a very pretty one.  Not much I can do about it other than make sure I know exactly what needs to be done and then just do it.

As a lay there on the couch today, I had some time to think about what I want to accomplish in terms of races this year.  Last fall, I wrote this post about my plans for 2011, which included several triathlons, but now that I know what I’ll be doing this summer, I’ve had a change of heart.  You see, between 3rd and 4th year, we dental students are allowed to work under the supervision of a dentist within the province, and so as of Monday, I found myself a job.  I’m really excited about it, but there’s a bit of a catch: I’m moving for the summer.  Now, obviously this is not ideal, since I’m the mother of two and married to a man I actually like to spend time with.  However, the reality is that there just aren’t many summer job opportunities in the city where I live, so I made the decision to look in a city 3 hours away, where my sister lives, where I have previously lived and have friends, and where I may potentially return to following graduation if I can’t find a job here.

We still haven’t worked out the particulars.  In all likelihood, the kids will move with me, since my husband is overnight a couple of times per week with his new job – in the city where I’ll be working, for the most part.  There is a bit of method to the madness.  However, I will likely be solo parenting most of the time, so the idea of fitting in swimming, biking, and running is a bit overwhelming.  I’m sure if I were really committed, I could do it, but the fact of the matter is, at this point, I don’t feel like I have the mental capacity to try and balance it all this summer.  Thus, I have made the decision to focus on running this summer.

Now, since I’ve been struggling with an IT band injury since last August (!), I am hesitant to sign up for a longer distance, but since I was unable to race in my half marathon last year, I’d like to take another shot at it this year.  I hope I don’t regret it.

In addition to wanting to set some race goals to kickstart my fitness motivation, I’m finding that school is making my life…unpleasant right now and I really want something to look forward to.  After reading a couple of blog posts about Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend here and here, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed the Disney Marathon I walked in 2001.  Truly, Disney puts together a magical experience.  And so I got to thinking that maybe it was time to sign up for another Disney race, but this time in California.  The Disneyland Half Marathon runs on Sunday, September 4th, 2011, which is a long weekend here in Saskatchewan, so I wouldn’t even have to miss any school.  Of course the drawback is that we’d be at Disneyland without enough time to really explore it with the kids, but I LOVE Disney, so even a couple of days would be so much fun.  As a backup, the Queen City Marathon is on Saturday, September 8th, so I could always sign up for that if I don’t want to commit to the cost of Disney, given my recent history of injury.

Right now, I’m not 100% sure that I’m going to sign up, but I’ll be making a decision soon.  I’ll also post the other races I plan to run once I talk it over with my trainer.

What are your plans for the summer?  Any races lined up?

Saskatoon Races Late in 2010

I’m running the Queen City half marathon September 12th, and after that, I have nothing scheduled.  I like to have races in my calendar to keep me motivated for training.  For a while I entertained the notion of flying down south for a sprint distance triathlon over the Thanksgiving long weekend, but the cost and logistics were hurdles I didn’t want to overcome.  We don’t have vacation days in dental school – haha!

So, now I’m looking for some shorter races to run where I live.  Here are the races I’ve found so far:

Of course, I should probably wait to see what my school term looks like before I sign up for anything, but running a few 5k’s might be just the thing to keep me on track.