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!!
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!!
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!!
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!!
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!!
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