Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Yesterday I participated in a charity run for Boston held at Running Central. I heard about the event through Facebook and knew that I wanted to take part. To show my respect. Along with several hundred others I gathered in the parking lot for a 3 mile fun run, absolutely floored by the turnout. Running Central had only ordered 160 shirts, not anticipating what a caring community Peoria really can be and not expecting this many people to show up. A minute of silence was held before the run began followed by the owner of Running Central asking those who were in Boston that day to please raise their hands. The woman next to me raised her hand and started crying at the though of the horror that she was so close to last week. Everybody around her offered support and together we took off down the road - runners for Boston. We may run alone and for our own times and our own goals but running is ultimately a team sport. We can't do it without each other. And we won't let anybody take it away from us.
Me with my friend Sarah at the Runners For Boston Charity Run

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sweatin' Beers Here

So, I've been slacking. Not just in the blog posting which I have absolutely been slacking at, but in the running/working out department as well. This past week it has either been raining (which shouldn't be an excuse since I still could have gone to the gym) or I have felt sick. I have some blood tests coming up in the morning which the results of should hopefully help with the feeling sick part, but the not working out is all me.

No excuses, play like a champion.

With that mantra in mind I got my butt out and ran today before playing softball. On any other day this would have been an easy 3.5 mile run but I struggled a little which I attribute to the dehydration and the fact that what I was sweating out was more than likely beer from Saturday night...Although one could argue that I got my cardio in on Saturday night on the dance floor at Crusen's listening to one of my favorite bands!

No real purpose to my post here except to say that I'm done slacking on the posting and on the working out. I have some lofty goals to accomplish this year and laying around on my couch isn't going to help me accomplish them. Just thinking about them isn't going to help me achieve them. Here's hoping that my blood test helps to solve whatever it is that is going wrong inside of me so I can take that excuse away as well!

No excuses, play like a champion.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Brace Yourself...Or Don't

Most people who know me as a runner know that a knee brace is one of my usual accessories...
This comes courtesy of an overuse injury first sustained in the summer of 2010 and then worsened over that winter. I got to a point where I couldn't stand for long periods of time without a stabilizing brace. I wore that for about a month and then did some physical therapy exercises and cycling and it got better. I didn't need to wear the stabilizing brace to walk anymore and I could finally use stairs without my knee buckling again but it still didn't feel the same. I was nervous to do anything on it. I used the elliptical and bikes at the gym and tried step class but my fear was making me more uncoordinated than usual (and that's really saying something!)

I felt like such a wimp.

I started with a personal trainer in January of 2012 and got a knee sleeve to wear while I built the strength back up. It was nice to feel like I had the extra support and then I finally got up the nerve to start running with Building Steam. Always with the knee brace though. If I didn't have it I felt certain that I was going to injure myself worse. I relied on it so heavily. And still did up until last week. Finally my CrossFit trainer called me on it and said that he had seen me with the knee brace for a really long time but said he didn't even think I actually needed it anymore. He said that he sees lots of people that just end up hiding behind the knee brace.

...People like me. I started to realize how heavily I was relying on the knee brace to perform. And how I was using it as an excuse for some of my failures. How ridiculous is that? My knee hasn't really hurt me for a long time and my left knee was almost starting to hurt because I was putting more pressure on it by favoring my right knee. I made the decision to ease off the knee brace. I took it off and ran 3 miles last Saturday without it. Knee didn't hurt. I did 3 test WODs at CrossFit on Monday without it, some of which included box jumps. Knee didn't hurt.

I don't need the knee brace. It was a great help to me last year when I was regaining the strength but running on it for so long has made it strong and I can live without it now.

I'm sure there's a universal lesson to be learned here about how if you rely on something for so long it's good to try to live without it - yadda, yadda. But to me...I took the knee brace off and did a 1 mile time trial in 7:36 without expending my full effort...so to me losing the knee brace is going to gain me a whole lot more confidence to perform and hopefully surpass my goals. No more excuses.

Friday, April 5, 2013

WOD What?!?

So this week I rejoined my CrossFit gym. I missed how strong I felt when I was regularly attending. I pretty much used to be a complete badass. Oh how a few months of getting soft can change you...

At first I thought I was doing great. I went back on Monday April 1 and was challenged to find my 3 rep maximum in back squat, shoulder press, and dead lift. I set a new PR for myself in all three events (no fooling!) with a 105 lb back squat (previously 95 lb), 55 lb shoulder press (previously 45 lb) and 165 lb dead lift (previously 145). Not too shabby for my first day back. I knew I would probably be sore but I don't mind a little post workout burn. It makes me feel like I really accomplished something.

Oh boy, did I burn. I hurt so bad the next day I was walking a little bit as if somebody had stuck something up my "where the sun don't shine" place. I elicited some teasing from coworkers who I assured I would have revenge on as soon as I could walk again.

Wednesday was my visit to the chiropractor for the results of my consult a couple of weeks ago. I have been experiencing a whole gambit of body issues lately that I won't go into great detail about but among them includes headaches, insomnia, and fatigue. All things that "Dr. Dan" fully believes we can remedy through natural treatments as I prefer not to take any medications. It came as a complete surprise to me that this "results" session also included my very first adjustment. Man did it feel good! It definitely helped relieve some of the soreness I had been experiencing and left me feeling optimistic about the treatment plan and my CrossFit workout that afternoon.

However, I was wrong to feel overly optimistic about the CrossFit workout. I almost got my first DNF (did not finish) which would have been devastating to my fragile albeit somewhat enlarged ego. I finished the 15 minute time capped workout in 14:52. This workout consisted of 5 rounds of 10 hand release push ups, 15 kettlebell swings (using a 30 lb kettlebell - big mistake!) and a 200 m run. I made it through the first two rounds just fine but the last three felt like pure torture. I couldn't catch my breath and my legs felt like they weighed at least 1000 lbs each on the run. 

Pure. Torture.

Really I should be pleased that I finished at all and I am glad that I started up at CrossFit Peoria again. Although Thursday went by in a blur of limping and wincing prompting me to add another rest day into my week. I need to ease back into the intense workouts. But the important thing is, I'm back! And today I am feeling optimistic again. I woke up a lot less sore, a lot more mobile and very determined to get my body back to being healthy and pain free. And one of my problems might be solved - it is quite possible that I have a food allergy to an ingredient in Fiber One bars. I will be keeping a close food journal to see but at least that would check one of my health issues off the list!