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Improvement

Monday, November 16, 2009

So, I took the entire weekend off. The only thing I did all weekend was a bunch of stretches reported to help shin splints. I went to Runner's World Magazine's website and searched shin pain and got some really good tips. One thing I discovered is that the symptoms definately match shin splints and not a stress fracture (which I've had (in my foot) and definately not feeling similar). The stiffness in the a.m., decreasing as the day goes on, both legs affected, etc. all led me to think shin splints. So, anyway, all weekend I am stretching those shins, so much in fact that when I subconciously started another stretch last night while I was reading my leg cramped up-LOL-my legs said "ENOUGH!! We are stretched already knock it off!!" So run day today and I stuck with my regular warm up walk (5 Minutes) and then started running and I took it a little slower and tried to take slightly shorter strides and I made it a little bit farther than I have been and at the first sign of my shins tightening I went back to a walk and walked for just a bit and then stopped and stretched out just a bit and re-tied my shoes. They were feeling loose across the top of the foot and felt like they were slipping a little in the back. I have two pairs of running shoes and I swap off. This pair today is the older pair but still should be well within their "milage" range. After all that I started back walking and my shins felt so loose I decided to go ahead and run somemore and lo and behold I made it a mile before deciding that I was feeling tight enough that maybe I should stop again!!!

I am very happy with the mile!! Last week I couldn't go even a half a mile before needing to stop and that was on my really good days last week. Most days it was a quarter mile if I was lucky!! So, it would seem that all that stretching did help and that going slower and taking shorter strides helped too. Tomorrow is a walk day and I have decided, after much thought, to go ahead with the walk but, at a slower than ususal pace. Wednesday would be another run day, usually our long run, but I am going to go back to C25K for Wednesday (at least and maybe more) and try maybe the 3 minute runs or so and see how that goes. If Wednesday goes really well I will continue with a slow walk again on Thursday and up the running to 5 min. runs. If it only goes okay I will take Thursday off and then stick with the 3 mi. runs. I might have to walk part of my 5k on turkey day, but I'm not missing it!!!! I, of course, will be keeping up with the shin strengthening exercises and will keep listening to the legs, they seem to know what they are doing. (lol) It might take some time to get back I am not going to give up I really enjoy running and even though I only got in a mile today I really enjoyed that mile. I hope that I can get away with the two pairs of shoes I have for now, they are both running shoes but were not professionally fitted. My Christmas present to myself is a trip to The Running Center in Temecula (the next "big" town over) for some professionally fitted shoes!! WooHoo!! But, since Santa has to visit my three kids first, I have to wait. But, again on the positive side the re-tying (sp?) of my shoes really seemed to help and I will play around with the laces of the other pair and try them out on the walk tomorrow to see if that makes a difference too. The stopping to stretch after the warm up seemed to help too so I might just hit the pause on the C25K to stretch after the first 3 minute run and see how that helps the rest of my run. I have heard of marathon runners stopping their runs to periodically stretch out and then resuming. It is not so common a technique among 5Kers I guess but hey, if it works for me I'm going for it!! So hope everybody has a great day and I've gotta jet, they are putting a "seal coat" on my street today and if I don't move the car we will be walking everywhere for the next 24 hours!! Tata!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IZZYBUBBLES 11/17/2009 2:08PM

    You might also think about icing your shins - if you freeze water in a little paper dixie cup, you can tear the top off the cup and make a little "popsicle" that you can rub up and down the fronts of both shins. I've been lucky enough (so far, knock on wood) to have avoided shinsplints, but have heard this is a good thing from my friends who have dealt with them. Have also heard that picking up marbles with your toes and dropping them into a container on the floor is good to strengthen the muscles in your shins and help treat/prevent shinsplints.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 11/16/2009 7:42PM

    I think you have a really good plan in place! We'll see what we can do with it over the next couple of weeks! :-)

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NRLB75 11/16/2009 6:14PM

    You go girl! This is awesome. I know it's probably not good for you, but It's cool that you can fight through the pain and still have such a great attitude!
Here's to gritting your teeth and getting it done even when it hurts! emoticon

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WBOYACK 11/16/2009 3:15PM

  I'm so impressed! I sure hope you heal quickly.

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STAMPINITUP 11/16/2009 12:40PM

    KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK YOU ARE DOING MY FRIEND!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!! TAKE CARE OF THOSE SHINS...OUCH!!!

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KING*GET*FIT 11/16/2009 12:02PM

    good luck with everything

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CAZ_NR_HEATHROW 11/16/2009 10:42AM

    Hope your shins heal quickly Heather, keep up the good work hun and you may find the turkey run easier than you think
Take care
Caz
x

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LAURANAV1 11/16/2009 10:38AM

    Good progress and good job checking at Runner's World for tips to help in diagnosis and treatment. Walking and stretching during the 5K is just fine!

Hoping the things you are doing work and the shins get past this pain soon!

Laura

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EMT6937 11/16/2009 10:24AM

    Keep up the good work you will get there. Hope the shins heal.

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Not my best week...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Well, the shin difficulty has not gone away. I am starting to think it is shin splints. First, this is why I think it is shin splints...a) pain increases with running and decreases with stretching, b) pain in located in the front of my leg, below the knee, radiating to the outside of my leg, c) one thing I read says that shin splints will cause a.m. stiffness and I have noticed that in the a.m.s when I get up I have been "hobbling" and have accedited this to "old age". It does seem odd that it would be shin splints because I have been running for more than 4 months now and gradually increased my distance and did not have issues until now. So what did I do wrong? Probably I didn't stretch enough. I have to admit this area does kind of trip me up a little. I have a routine and I stretch at the end of every workout, but I use my warm up as a stretch at the beginning of our runs. So, I am totally open to suggestions!!!! Do I stop running for a bit or just scale back? What are some really great stretches, I have my routine and it never varies so maybe some new stretches would help. Does anyone use different stretches at the beginning and the end? Do you stretch cold or warm up by walking for a time and then stretch??? I am in new teritory here and am willing to try anything!!! I have a 5K in two weeks and REALLLLLLLLLYYYYY want to run the whole thing!! HELP!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMEGS44 11/16/2009 11:09PM

    Sometimes when your shoes are worn out they cause shin splints....or since you have been running awhile now, you may be getting more comfortable running and moving a different way. A good way to tell if you need running shoes is if you can see/feel your foot impression in the bottom of them. Hope they feel better! Being injured and wanting to exercise is the worst!

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KING*GET*FIT 11/16/2009 12:17PM

    Good luck!

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EXERTIGER 11/14/2009 11:43AM

    You might take a trip to your running specialty store. A good store has employees who can lace your shoes especially for shin splints and give you running pointers. I've had shin splints before and I know they really hurt. You might also wrap that leg. Definately see the doctor, though. It could be a stress fracture.

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PHDMAMA06 11/14/2009 10:41AM

    Bummer...so sorry you are feeling discouraged! I would just listen to your body as you go through your workouts. Slow down if you need to, do less if you need to, lots of stretching when you're done, and if it still seems to be a major problem, check with your doctor. Hang in there!

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LAURANAV1 11/14/2009 7:02AM

    Darn. I wish I had some advice, but I just don't know. It sounds like you are doing well with the warmup and stretching after you run. Maybe ice them after you run. I wish I knew something to help.

Laura

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CAZ_NR_HEATHROW 11/14/2009 5:15AM

    Hi Heather, no muscle should be stretched b4 warming up hun and I'd scale back if I were you and listen to your body or introduce more rest days for a whle.
If wouldn't hurt to get a doctor's opinion to be on the safe side.
Take care
Caz
x

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GERALDINE16 11/14/2009 2:12AM

    I hope it gets better soon. Have you been to see a doctor about it? You would be able to find some more stretching exercises if you go to HEALTHY LIFESTYLE (the tab at the top of the page)- FITNESS - EXERCISE DEMOS - STRETCHING
emoticon

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ANMAIREE 11/13/2009 11:29PM

    PUSHING URSELF IS GREAT JUST MAKE SURE TO STAY HEALTHY AND MAKE GOOD CHOICES...LISTEN TO UR BODY SO YOU DON'T HURT URSELF...

STAY HEALTHY & GOOD LUCK WITH UR 5K emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDA! 11/13/2009 11:19PM

    I definitely agree that you need to warm up more. Also, are the shoes appropriate for the exercise you are doing?

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WBOYACK 11/13/2009 11:15PM

  I hope it gets easier real soon.

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Run Day?? No, not quite...

Monday, November 09, 2009

Today was supposed to be a run day, but it didn't happen. I am a little disappointed in myself, but I did what I could and that is what matters I guess. So, we had our hike Saturday and then we still had a busy day after that. On Sunday there was no stiffness really to speak of from the hike, my feet hurt a little, as if the support in my hiking boots has broken down and is no longer sufficient for the pounding my feet took (will have to check that out), but no really sore muscles. Today I get up and get dressed, head over to my sister's and we get going. We do our warm up and then start running and for the first little while all is well, but then I can feel a little tugging pain just below my right knee. I keep running, trying to stay loose and keep a good stride going, but before I even finish a mile I can feel that my shins are tightening up and I am running flat footed. What I mean by that is that my shins are so tight that I can tell my foot does not have a good range of motion and it feels like I am "slapping" the pavement with my feet instead of running through a stride. I stop running and figure "I'll walk it out". I start walking at a good pace and I am still feeling it in the shins. By this point I can tell my run is shot. I keep walking and every so often there are power boxes or those big banks of community mailboxes, so I stop at these and do some calf raises on the curb, using the boxes for balance, this finally starts loosening up those tight shins and I short cut it to meet up with my sister, who is now already doubling back around the loop I haven't even completed and we finish with a nice quick walk. So I got some good cardio in even if it wasn't a run and I listened to my legs and gave them what was apparently a much needed stretch!! So, while it was a little bit frustrating it did serve to highlight an area that might be holding back my runs even on good days. Those shins tend to be a little tight even on good days and while I can't really call then shin splints (because I've had those and they were way more painful) those tight muscles do, during most runs, let me know that they are tight and not enjoying the run, so maybe a regular regimine of calf raises before and after a run and maybe during walks will improve my run. I do a five minute walking warm up and a stretch after each cardio session, but maybe those shins need a little extra attention. Wednesday is our next run day and I expect that I will be able to do that run without the same problems as today...I might work in some more of the calf raises during tomorrow's walk and see if we can loosen up those shins and calves a little bit more. Hope everyone has a great Monday!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_NEW_MELISSA 11/11/2009 9:11PM

    Sorry to hear your calves aren't cooperating! Hope you figure it out, stretching hopefully will help. Hang in there and glad you got some good cardio in :)

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WBOYACK 11/10/2009 10:55AM

  Good job listening to your body. It's hard to do. I'm impressed.

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KING*GET*FIT 11/9/2009 10:39PM

    I am glad you listened to your body. It could be something more than muscles. You will know when you run next time but it is better not to aggravate it if it turns out to be an injury causing the tightness.

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BETT2U 11/9/2009 4:23PM

    Do you think your calves were causing it? Hmm.. .good for you on listening to your body. Don't beat yourself up about it. I am not sure I could run so close to doing that hike that you did. Keep up the awesome work!

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PINKCOCONUT 11/9/2009 4:11PM

    Do you have a tennis ball? Try massaging the area with a tennis ball, sometimes that helps! Good luck!

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CAZ_NR_HEATHROW 11/9/2009 3:42PM

    You did the right thing Heather listening to your body hopefully come Wednesday all will be fine.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
Take it easy hun
emoticon

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4EVERADONEGIRL 11/9/2009 3:22PM

    I don't know about you...but I still had a great time on our workout this morning! :-) So much better to listen to the bod than to push through and risk injury. See you tomorrow for a nice walk!!

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LAURANAV1 11/9/2009 2:29PM

    Good decision and good job salvaging your workout when the run didn't work out!

I read a Galloway book on running and he mentioned that if the stride is too wide the shins may hurt. I shortened my stride and the twinges I was feeling went away. But some days are just stiffer than others.

Can't wait to hear how it goes Wednesday!

Laura

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Hike Day

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Today was our hike day. My mother, sister, six year-old son and I all headed "up the hill" (local coloquialism for going up the mountain) to Idyllwild for our favorite-Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail hike!! This was my son's first time on this particular hike and he did a great job!! It was a wonderful hike today. We were anticipating COLD weather, but it was merely cool and once we got moving we were glad for layers since we all ended up taking off our sweatshirts and found that our long sleeved t-shirts (or short sleeved in my mom's case) were plenty warm for today. For the first time ever I made my son carry his own pack. I usually carry all the water and all the snacks, but today I made him pack his own water. Yeah!!! It was quite a load off my back! Literally!! LOL! The trail was truly scenic today. This trail is always pretty but it gave us its finest show today. The trees along this trail are a great mix of oaks and evergreens so we got a spectacular showing of dark green evergreens showing off the beautiful rusts and golds of the autumn oaks. Our trail was littered with fallen leaves but we still had quite a few chipmunks, squirrels and blue jays keeping us company along the trail. Idyllwild usually does not have any snow fall that sticks until after Thanksgiving so our little forest friends were still busy collecting the last of the food that will get them through winter. We actually take this hike in reverse, starting at the bottom and hiking up to the trail head and then coming back down (we like to do the hard part first) and there is the trail head for a different hike at nearby. I was surprised by how many people were up there today to take the other hike. We have never taken the other hike, it is called Devil's Slide. With a name like that we have been a little reluctant to give it a try, but we decided today that we will have to do it one of these days. Devil's Slide is one of many trails throughout California that connect to the Pacific Crest Trail. This is a trail that starts somewhere mid-state and goes all the way to Mexico, winding throughout the mountains that run down the middle and then east side of California. It is my dream to someday spend several days on the Pacific Crest Trail. I have no idea how long it would take to do the whole thing, but someday I would like to spend at least a few days and see how far we get. First I gotta get my daughters a little older, maybe a lot older, until then I have lots of time to conquer so harder trails and learn more about backpacking!!! I was quite jealous when I saw several horse trailers pulling in and the last trailer was open enough to give us a really good view of the horses inside. The horses where outfitted with bedrolls and trail bags. It really looked like a bunch of cowboys were coming in to town and I can only imagine that this group were taking their horses on the trail for a couple of days. AWWWWW how jealous could I be!!!??? I've never spent time on a horse, but there has always been this country girl side of me that has always thought that there could be nothing more "romantic" than getting on your horse and riding into the wilderness for a few days. Lucky ducks!! Hope they have a great journey and if they are camping I hope they have warm packs!! This was probably our last hike on Ernie Maxwell until next year and I will miss my favorite trail until we get back together next spring, but now I am also looking forward to testing out Ernie's bigger, badder brother-Devil's Slide.

As I am sitting here writing this my 5 year old is telling Daddy that next time Mommy goes hiking she wants to go too!! Well, I am glad she is showing interest and we will have to do a couple shorter hikes to see how she does. She told me her desire to go on our next hike this morning before we left but she also told me that she wants us to bring the stroller!!!! Yeah, no...We'll get her ready to go with us next spring when the creeks will be running and taking the hike will be a total blast!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 11/9/2009 3:25PM

    You captured it so perfectly!!! It truly was a perfect morning...I couldn't have asked for more out of our hike. I will also miss this hike over the winter months, but am glad we were able to get in at least one more before Spring!

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FIRENUT34 11/8/2009 2:55PM

    I love to go hiking and what a wonderful time to do it with family.

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50FITNFUN 11/8/2009 1:05PM

    Wow! What a great post. I feel like I should go hiking now, myself! The best I can do here in lower Delaware is a walk through the state park. Not a whole lot of hills to speak of. Thanks for taking us all along on your hike. emoticon

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WBOYACK 11/7/2009 6:34PM

  sounds great!

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CAZ_NR_HEATHROW 11/7/2009 3:44PM

    Sounds like a beautiful way to spend the day Heather I could just picture it all, especially the chipmunks and squirrels LOVELY.
And now another member of your family is getting the hiking bug emoticon
My what a fit family your lot are!
HAGD and weekend hun
Luv
Caz emoticon

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November Goals!!!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Drum roll please....here it is...accountability at its finest...my November Goals in print!!!!! In four catagories: Food, Fitness, Personal and Family!!!

Food: Track ALL food and water. For November I am going back to basics. I have not tracked a morsel of food or water for I don't know how long so I will be tracking again!! I think this is a major step. I have had no accountability for what goes into my mouth so there have been way too many days like yesterday when I have mindlessly put things into my mouth. Not even pausing to consider the consequences or the alternatives.

Fitness: Round out my fitness routine by including cardio, strength and flexibility. I have my cardio pretty much under control. By the end of the month I want to be running 3.1 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and walking about the same distance every Tuesday, Thursday AND (this part is new) Saturday. Except for the one Saturday a month when we have our hike, which is this Saturday. I haven't been walking on Saturdays and this is a good time to add in that one extra day. I also have a 5K goal this month, for a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day.
But, I need to get strength in so on that front here is the plan for November:

Mon and Friday-Spark's hip thinning workout
Wed-Spark's booty workout and beginner's dumbbell lower body workout
Tue and Saturday-Spark's Dumbbell Variety workout + 20 pushups
Thursday-Spark's Beginner's Band workout + 20 pushups
Daily-Salute to the Sun for core and flexibility

Personal-This is completely not Spark related and therefore completely personal-I have 3 goals here.
1. Finish sewing pinwheel quilt top (not a lot of work involved here and should only take a day or so of dedicated work)
2. Scrap two scrapbook pages (one day's worth of effort-I already have photos and "doodads" chosen just need to select papers and complete the lay out)
3. Find and read comprehensive biography of Queen Elizabeth I.

Family-Take at least one family walk each week. We don't take family walks, which is silly because we have a dog that would just be so happy to do that. I think spending time, as a family, away from the t.v. is important and we should all be out walking anyways. So the minimum goal is to drag them all out on a walk at least once a week, we should aim for more, but we will start small.

So there you have it folks. My goals for November!! Wish me luck!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLUTTER-BY)L( 11/4/2009 10:44PM

    Sounds like you have a plan that is doable for you. Good luck with it.

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WBOYACK 11/4/2009 9:39PM

  You can do it! I'm cheering for you!

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LIUBOCHKA 11/4/2009 2:33PM

    Sounds like you have a great plan!

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JOANNAMARIE 11/4/2009 2:19PM

    Great goals! I think I should take a lesson from you, and do my list again. I feel so far removed from where I was in my mindset only 3 short months ago....

I haven't been tracking, either, but I've been making pretty good choices for the most part. I think anyway; however, my exercise sucks. It basically consists of me parking the farthest away I can from work in the morning, and walking in. roughly about 15 mins walking in and out, taking stairs if possible, and drinking lots of tea, and picking the furthest washroom I can find to walk there. I work in a building that is about 5 blocks long, so it's easy to do a lot of walking. pathetic, huh? ah well...

You, on the otherhand, have a great handle on the exercise portion of your life. And that is half the battle! Congratulations on continuing with that. And you are very lucky to be living in a warm climate. I have to wait until April for a nice day now, probably, lol. Keep up the great work.
I think I'm going to go and list my goals right now. I gotta do something!
Have a wonderful day, and talk to you soon!

Joanna





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EXERTIGER 11/4/2009 1:20PM

    Don't you just love new goals? Good luck!

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CAZ_NR_HEATHROW 11/4/2009 12:09PM

    great goals Heather and all realistic but challenging and knowing you you'll ensure you meet each one with gusto.
Good luck
Caz
x

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LAURANAV1 11/4/2009 11:14AM

    Sounds like a great plan!

Happy November!

Laura

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STORMTMB 11/4/2009 11:02AM

    Sounds like you have great goals. They're do-able and you've thought it out. Just think how great you'll feel at the end of the month when you can post and tell us that you've accomplished them!! I'll be waiting to hear.

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 11/4/2009 10:25AM

    YAY! Your goals look great! A+

You have a great strength plan, I may try to "borrow" some of your ideas. I so totally lack in that area, it's not even funny. I just feel at a loss, and I don't have a lot of equipment at home. Blah blah, I know excuses excuses.

Have a Happy Hump Day Chica! Rock November!

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TRADTRAV 11/4/2009 10:17AM

    It sounds like a great plan! Keep being optimistic and you'll reach your goals happily! :-)

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