Getting My Running Game Back

Oh hello there blog. I have been busy but hopefully I am on my way back.

Let’s talk running.

About a year ago, give or take, I was biking to work when I was struck by a vehicle. Fun. He took off and physically it left me with rheumatoid arthritis in the ankle I landed on, and in an air cast for about 6 weeks. I attempted to run after a reasonable time out of the cast but for the next 6 months I still had lingering pain, most likely from the RA, in that ankle.

So no marathon in 2015 for me. Actually no running races at all and at one point I was sadly debating if my running days were over.

Somewhere along the way my ankle started feeling better… then almost normal. I ran once or twice and would have stiffness the next few days but it was progress.

About a month or more ago I decided to take my ankle for a serious test. I went from no miles / no days to about 3 – 4 miles 2 or 3 times in a week. I just pulled that bandage right off and went back into it!ย 

The first few days it was a little stiff and then, … nothing. What? ๐Ÿ™‚

I did this for a good couple of weeks and decided that it was good … that I could do this … and that maybe I just need to keep running.

I pulled the trigger and signed up for marathon #3, which will be in April 2016.

My goal is this … run 2 – 3 days a week with at least one day having 6 miles (I am already doing this now) between now and the end of the year. Work on strength and getting my pace back. Then, in January switch to a marathon training plan. … and keep going.

I am worried that if I stop now I could risk losing this normal feeling ankle so I am using that as momentum to just … keep .. running!

So, we will see how things go… if the rheumatoid flares up or if things are good.

I am excited to have a little more normal but also equally cautious that this could be a decision that I need to keep monitoring.

The goal is to keep progressing and not get obsessive, which I like to do. It has been hard to limit running to 3 or 4 days but I have so many other moving parts to my life that I really don’t have time for more right now.

I will report back later.

Thanks for reading!
Christina

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When they say “Run” they don’t mean “Run”

I have been working with my coworker for a couple of years now. He’s tried every diet and every exercise habit you should, and should not, try.

A few times he tried to run .. and failed. He did the couch to 5k plan and, like most people, freaked out at week 5 day 3 and stopped.

He’s a contractor and lately has been working remotely from home until last week. When he came in we were playing ‘catch up’ on how things have been. He mentions that he’s been running and has found a bit of enjoyment out of it.

WHAT?

WHAT?

What did he do? He learned that running did not mean running. It instead meant to find *your* pace above a walk and go with it.

So, today he walks up to me and mentions that he’s mad that no one ever told him that running did not mean running (I’m sure I said it to him a few times, but he never listens to me!). Finally he’s found something that he can do, that’s exercise, and that’s not a voluntary form of torture.

Nice!

So … if you’re scratching your head on all of this, let me explain.

If you’re trying out running for the first time these are your Dos and Don’ts …

  • Don’t think you should walk out the door and run like a Nigerian. My sister did this .. she started the Couch to 5k program and on the first day, at every interval she bolted like someone was trying to rob her. Silly rabbit was sore for days. Go slow .. there is no need to rush. Remember your legs and body are not conditioned for running.
  • Don’t have any expectations and don’t be in a hurry. The goal and the key is no pressure. Remember that it just needs to be better than what you do now. That’s it.
  • Do give yourself recovery time after running. Again, your body is new to this. Even if you run slowly those muscles are getting a new workout and need time to repair.
  • Take it slow, keep an open mind, and give it time. Take the expectations, pressure, and pace away .. try it xx amount of times and see how it goes. One time is not enough to decide on much of anything, I promise.

Years ago I used to run and was OBSESSED with my pace. I was always racing EVERYONE, especially myself. Running turned into disappointment and torture at one time until I through those out the window and decided to find the fun. Now, it’s something I love.

Will my pace every be as fast as before? Probably not. Do I enjoy the miles more than I did? Absolutely.

Happy day and thanks for reading!

I have tons of playlists on Spotify, by BPMs, by moves (i.e. seated flats, standing climbs, etc). Feel free to follow me as I am constantly adding to my playlists ๐Ÿ™‚

Christina

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Running in the Winter – Cold, but possibly better than that treadmill!

It’s funny .. so seasons I love to run in the winter and then others I forget that it’s not so bad and I grumble on those cold days. While I like running on the treadmill less I still have to keep reminding myself that a chilly winter day is not so bad for a run, if you are smart about it!

  • Dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer out than that thermometer says. When you run your body temperature is going to go up … and it does this pretty quickly. If you walk out dressed like an eskimo you will be peeling the layers back in no time!
  • Dress in layers, so that you can tweak your gear if you did not get it quite right. A base layer and then an outer layer may work, that way if you are too warm you can scale down because you have the options to do so easily.
  • If it’s cold, cover that head! Remember what we were told when we were younger? … Body heat escapes from your head. If we’re out and it’s cold let’s grab a hat to wear.
  • Wear sunscreen. Most people assume that since it’s winter there is no need but the sun is no less pleasing to your skin in the winter than it is in the summer.
  • Sun > shade. If it’s chilly out maybe you run on the sunny side of the street? It can help by 10 degrees or more, depending on the day.
  • Watch where you step. Did it just snow? Is there a little ice in places? Winter is the time we need to watch those surfaces a bit closer so that we don’t hit a patch and take a spill …

If you’re still scratching your head over what to wear outside, you’re in luck! This pageย is one that I check all of the time when I am second guessing my running gear! Give it a few details and it will give you a pretty good recommendation!

Thanks for reading!

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Things I Love … Garmin Forerunner 220

I am a bit of a techy person. While I’ve gotten better over the years (interpret that to say more under control) I do like to get something that is as close to perfect as I can.

A year and a half ago I bought myself a running GPS watch, the Garmin Forerunner 210. While it served it’s purpose I did not ‘love’ it. It was a bit retro looking and at times was slow to pick up satellites for the GPS.

Garmin Forerunner 220Fast forward to almost a year later and I am browsing the internet. I learn that the Garmin Forerunner 220 (another running GPS watch) had been released. Let’s call it love at first sight.

First of all, it had a version of the watch in purple, my favorite color, so instantly I am drawn to it. Next the display is more modern than the 210. Beyond that they had finally figured out how to take the ‘bulk’ out of the GPS watches.

So, I bought it. I’ve owned it for probably 8+ months now and I have nothing but love for this watch. Let’s discuss why if you are a runner you should look at this watch ..

  • As I said before they have finally made the GPS watches a bit smaller. Read that to say that it does not swallow my wrist like the Forerunner 210 did. No, it’s not tiny but I actually like the size.
  • It has GPS caching. So long as you sync your watch often enough it will cache satellite information. When you go for a run and start the GPS you get a signal in no time. Oh it is SO nice!Garmin Forerunner 220
  • If you run with your phone you can use live tracking. I ran the marathon again last spring and before the race I sent my father the link to my live tracking. He said that it was almost in real time as they would update it while they chased me around the city.
  • The battery lasts long enough to get you through a full marathon and then some. I actually owned the Forerunner 10 before the 210 and while I loved the 10 I was leery that I could not run a full race with the GPS. The 220 lasted the race and I had plenty of battery left afterwards.
  • When you use it in everyday life mode the battery lasts soooo long. Actually, when you use it in heart rate monitor only mode the battery lasts soooo long! I have been off running while recovering from an injury and have only been using the 220 lately for heart rate tracking at the gym. In 2 – 3 months I think I’ve used it 7-11+ hours a weekGarmin Forerunner 220for heart rate tracking and maybe charged it 2 or 3 times. It’s pretty amazing how long the battery lasts!
  • Water Resistant! No more of this ‘it costs a ton and will only tolerate rain’ .. you can shower with this and swim with it. Granted I don’t swim and it’s not meant to be a swim watch, but it’s nice that the technology is available on the watch now!
  • Bluetooth syncing .. no need to hook it up to your computer if you have a compatible phone. I upload all my workouts through the Garmin Connect app and it happens automagically if the bluetooth is active on both devices (watch and phone).

I could go on and on and on about my LOVE for this watch. I strongly recommend this watch to anyone looking at GPS options. It’s an amazing runner’s watch and has also done a fantastic job of being a heart rate monitor only watch.

If you have questions about it, let me know! Thanks for reading!

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