Thursday, May 15, 2014

Injury Comeback-- Taking it Slow & Easy

Happy Thursday!

You may not remember because of my super long blogging hiatus, but after the Baystate Marathon back in October I had to cut back on running because of some hip & knee pain.  Well here I am almost 7 months later and I am finally feeling like I am ready to slowly build my mileage back up.  After the marathon I tried running and I was having a lot of knee pain so I waited a week and tried again, same thing.  I tried taking a week off twice and the pain came back with each run.  I finally took a month off from running, but was still noticing some pain.  I decided to take a full 2 weeks off from any strength training as well, and this did seem to help.  I have just been running slow and easy 2-3 times a week for the past few weeks and although I still have a bit of nagging in my knee occasionally so far I have no pain.  I haven't really had pain in my hip, as much as tightness and almost the feeling that a nerve is pinched in my upper glute.  The tightness is still present, so I am keeping it slow and easy and low mileage.  I have developed a plan, and if any pain returns I will rest and lower my mileage again.  I'm not going to go into all sorts of injury details, but that is the basis of it.

So, lets talk about WHY I think I got injured in the first place.  Last July I ran a half marathon up in Maine.  I hadn't been training much, just kind of running when I felt like it and I had just started building my long run distance again.  I took it easy, and ran slow (for me).  I think that was smart of me, and if I had just gone back and kept slowly building my mileage I probably would have been fine.  Unfortunately that is not what I did.  I used the half marathon as a start of marathon training and kept increasing my weekly mileage and my weekly long run mileage from that point.  I don't think my body was ready for that.  I have read a million times that you run the risk of getting injured if you build mileage too quickly, but clearly it didn't seem to register with me.  Another problem I had was I DID NOT listen to my body.  My hip started aching about midway through marathon training, I should have backed off a bit.  I should have rested, taken a few days or even a week off.  But, I just pushed through.  Learn from my mistakes people! 

I found a great article HERE about safely increasing your mileage.  This is a graph from the article:

I found another great article HERE about coming back after an injury.

"Making an intelligent comeback to running after taking time off due to injury requires a gradual approach that some runners might find frustrating, but ask yourself this: Would you rather make slow, pain-free progress toward building a healthy running base, or jump back into running and possibly experience a setback that leads to prolonged pain or re-injury?"

I'm sure you can agree with the statement above from the article that YES it is frustrating to gradually get back to running when it is all you want to do, but it would be even worse to have to take even MORE time off.  So, that is where I am at.  I am getting back to it slowly, I'm only running 2-4 miles 3-4x a week at this point.  Extra achiness or any pain and I take an extra day or run only 2 miles instead of 3 or 4.  I miss running so much, and I can tell you all I want to do is just go out for a nice long run.  BUT, I know trying that now could lead to more time off in the future.  So I'll play it smart, and remember that I will get back to where I was!  Well actually I plan on getting better. :)

I did win an entry to the Narragansett Half Marathon from the lovely Nicole over at The Girl Who Ran Everywhere (go over and check out her blog, she is awesome!)  So I plan to run that as just a fun training run.  So my goal is to slowly build my mileage up to the half marathon and run it just as a slow and easy fun run.  My main goal is to be healthy to run Boston 2015.  So after the half in the summer I will see how I feel and plan accordingly so I can make it to that starting line.

Have you dealt with any running injuries?  How did you make sure that you didn't get sidelined again?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I've Missed Blogging and a Lower Body Blast + Abs

So its been months since my last blog post.  I didn't intend on taking a break, and then not so long of a break.  But, things happen.  Life gets in the way.  It all started because our lap top broke.  It happened right around Christmas time and so getting a new one was put on hold.  I could not get myself to post from my cell.  I don't even like texting.  So I just decided I'd resume blogging when we got a new computer.  Well after a move with a hospital stay thrown in (for my daughter, she had a serious pneumonia but is thankfully fully recovered now) we finally got a new lap top and I am finally feeling settled enough to start writing again.

I have started checking in more with the blogs I love lately, and have realized how mu
ch I really miss it.  I love hearing about training, new recipes, making new running buddies, etc. etc.  I also love sharing about my training, workouts, crafts, recipes, etc.  So I'm back, I hope you will start reading/commenting again.  I love feedback!

Since its been a while I thought I'd start back with sharing a new workout I created a couple weeks ago.  I am a big fan of training full body, but I've been trying to focus a day a week for upper and one specific day for lower body training in an effort to build more muscle/definition.  Here is the lower body burnout + abs circuit I've been adding to my training for the past couple of weeks:

                                                          Also on my instagram

Be sure to use a heavier weight that will tire you out in 8-10 reps.  I also did 50 High knees between each circuit, add that for a little extra challenge if you want. :)

What is your favorite part of blogging?  Have you ever taken a short/long break? Let me know if you try the workout!

                                                          Me and these cool chicks
                                                       hope you have a great day! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Workout Wednesday & Weekend Photos

Wow, I must say the little break from social media was sort of nice this past weekend!  I posted on Instagram, but that was about it.  We were busy with Thanksgiving, traveling to Maine for my little sister's baby shower, & holiday decorating.  It was fun!  Here are a few of my fav photos from the weekend:

Thanksgiving cooking with my little helpers, they gave me their biggest cheeseball smiles for the photos:


The view on my Thanksgiving morning run:

We ended up staying home & having a huge feast just the 4 of us for Thanksgiving & we then went over to a friends for drinks & dessert.  It was nice not to travel, especially since the girls & I headed to Maine the following morning (a 2 1/2 hour drive) for my sister's shower.

Me & my beautiful lil sis at her baby shower:

100 Burpees on Sunday for the Elf For Health Challenge:

Decorating the Christmas Tree on Sunday:

Our Elf on The Shelf, Elfkin arrived & turned the milk green:

And your Wednesday Workout:

That workout is a little hard to read with the coloring on there not to mention my super messy handwriting, huh?

Here it is again:

Perform each move for 10-12 reps (besides the added cardio & abs) & repeat each segment 3x before moving on to the next.

Front Squat
50 Jumping Jacks

Bent-over row
50 High Knees

Split Squat
Weighted Bridge
50 Skaters

Shoulder Press
Tricep Dips
50 Jump Rope

Plank Spidey-25
Weighted Russian Twist-25
50 Mountain Climbers

Perform each segment with as little rest as possible & rest 2-3 minutes between segments.

Do you have a specific notebook or journal where you keep track of workouts or an online app?  Or do you just have a million random notebook pages spread everywhere with different workouts (yep that's me. 

Have you decorated for Christmas/gotten a tree yet?  Any fun holiday traditions you want to share so I can have some new ideas?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Workout Wednesday & Elf 4 Health Update!

Can you believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving?! I can't wait!  :)

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm taking part in the Elf 4 Health Challenge.  The challenge is a month long and we each have an "Elf" buddy to help keep us accountable.  My "elf" Aly is super sweet and we're having fun getting to know each other via e-mail.  We are actually both originally from Massachusetts, only a couple towns apart!  Here is the calendar of daily challenges we have taken on for the month:

Day 1 was Meatless Monday and this was a first for me!  I noticed it forced me to focus a lot more on what I was eating & I tended to include a lot more veggies in each meal.  Win!  I think I will try to do a Meatless Monday each week! I kept track of my meals for the day over on instagram (@gosupermamago). 

Day 2 we were to unsubscribe from at least 3 e-mail lists.  I ended up unsubscribing to about 100, seriously!  I don't even know how I ended up on all those lists!  I also took the time to purge my e-mail.  At one point a couple years ago I didn't check my e-mail very often & deleted NOTHING.  It is embarrassing how many e-mails I had piled up, but I'm almost done cleaning house.  I'm so thankful for this day of the challenge because it forced me to finally get that done!

Day 3 is a new workout!  My "elf" Aly e-mailed me the following workout that she did with a trainer friend the other day:

Do the circuit 4 (or 5)times though with 2-3 mins rest in between each set:
10 push ups 
20 burpees
30 mountain climbers
40 jump squats
50 second plank
So that will be my workout for the day!  Should be interesting because I am already super sore from Monday & Tuesdays workouts.  I am doing a little 30 day challenge with myself.  I am going to be sure I am doing something active every day from now until Christmas.  (I started Nov. 25th)  Some days will be active rest, but I am also going to really push it.  I lost strength during marathon training and I am ready to get it back.  As soon as the knee is back on track I will start building up my mileage as well. 
If you are looking for a new workout to do today check out these links for workouts I have posted on the blog in the past:
Have you set any goals/challenges for yourself lately?
What is your favorite Thanksgiving day food?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend Fun

We started off the weekend with a lazy Friday night & a movie (The Princess & The Frog).

On Saturday my Aunt Kathy and I took the girls to get their Christmas Pictures done.  Here's a few that were taken:

Yup, they are just gorgeous (yes I know I'm biased) and I want a copy of every single photo taken.

Today is bitter cold up here in the Northeast.  Perfect day for a slow cooker pot roast & fresh homemade rolls.  I had this roast cooking in the slow cooker by 9am.  It was amazing and falling apart when we ate it at 5ish.

I managed a (mostly) pain-free 2.5 mile run this weekend.  So I'm hoping this is a good preview of pain-free runs to come.  I will also admit that my run was just a little miserable.  Running about 45 seconds slower than marathon pace and feeling out of breathe is certainly humbling.  But you know what, I'm just going to be happy that I'm able to run at all.  Running makes me so happy & I know I am blessed to be able to do it!

I joined in on the Elf For Health Challenge.  Check it out if you are looking for a fun holiday health challenge and to meet new people!  It's closed for the first round, but you can still join in and have lots of fun during the second round.  Here is the link:

Tonight I'm waiting for Sunday night football.  My least favorite time (because I'm going to fall asleep during the game.)  Anyways, GO PATS!!!! :)  While we are waiting hubby and  I are watching : "Alaska the Last Frontier" and I want to move there every time we watch. I'm sure Skinnyrunner can talk me out of it (or not). :)

Do you keep up with football this time of year? 

What is your favorite cold weather meal?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Martini's & Muscles

Happy Friday!

I was actually looking forward to Thursday more than Friday this week because my Sister in Law Amanda was coming to visit for the night.  She came down and we took the girls to the book fair at Devin's school and then we went out for dinner & drinks.  We ended up going to a nearby Italian/Mediterranean Restaurant.  They have $7 martini's on Thursday nights & yummy grilled pizzas.  We ended up with a stuffed Portobello appetizer and we shared two grilled pizza halfs.  My fav of the two was the Pear & Prosciutto Grilled Pizza.  It was delicious! 

After dinner we grabbed a bottle of red wine & a couple chocolate bars.  We brought them back to my house and chatted all night while we had some vino and dessert.

                                        Shiraz, Sea Salt Almond & Coconut Dark Chocolate

I am so blessed to have Amanda as my sis in law.  She is absolutely amazing & super supportive.  (My brother Jack (her hubby) is also pretty great too.) :) She also is responsible for getting me into racing.  I don't know what I would do without her, she deserves her own entire separate post one of these days.

Now on to the muscles part of the post. A full body workout that I did yesterday (you know to burn off the drinks & pizza in advance).   I love total body workouts.  Even more I love total body workouts that incorporate jump training & keep your heart rate high the whole time.  This means you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.  I am all about short bursts of high intensity work. 

This is a circuit workout, which means you will complete each move  as many times as you can during the interval (with good form) before moving on to the next.  You can do it 2-3x through for a 20-30 minute workout.  I did it 2x.  The intervals are 50 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest. 
  • 1 Leg Weighted Lunge (L)
  • 1 Leg Weighted Lunge (R)
  • Jump Lunges
  • Incline Push-ups
  • Burpees (Full)
  • Plank Toe Touch
  • Butterfly Sit-ups
  • Jump Squats
  • Weighted Sumo-Squat with knee to elbow
  • Push-up to side plank
The best part about interval training is that it can be adjusted to you.  You aren't doing a certain amount of reps, you are doing as many reps as you can in the given time.  Interval workouts are a great way to gauge progress.  Keep track of how many reps you can complete.  Go back in a few weeks and perform the same workout again to see how much improvement you have made.  I am going to make a point of this over the next 30 days.  Since right now I'm (very) limited on my running, I am trying to get stronger.  I think this will be important during my next marathon training cycle.

The above workout can also be done without weight, it would still be a fantastic workout using your own body weight.  Just be sure to push harder to get as many reps as possible (with good form) done during each interval.

Do you keep track of your strength gains?  Whether it be in running, strength or flexibility, how do you keep track to make sure you are improving?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Plans & Menu Ideas

For the past few years we have headed up to Maine for Thanksgiving to my brother & sister in laws (Jack & Amanda) house.  We would head up the night before or morning of and  I would help my Amanda cook all day (with mimosas of course).  My family and her family would all come over late afternoon and we would have a big yummy dinner.  We would follow up dinner with beer tasting and games until late into the night.  Unfortunately, this isn't our plan this year.  Amanda had to go ahead and graduate from Med School, so her and Jack moved to Connecticut for Residency. (the nerve huh?)  :)

Anyways, we took a while figuring out what we actually would do this year for Thanksgiving and ultimately decided it would be nice to stay home just the 4 of us.  My mom will be doing dinner at her house in Maine, but not until 6pm because she is flying out Sunday to greet my brother Kevin in Kentucky as he returns from Afghanistan on Monday or Tuesday. (YAY!)  She is actually spending the morning with him on Thanksgiving and flying home in the afternoon, so she won't be around most of the day.  And my little sister's (Meaghan) baby shower is on Saturday, so the girls and I are going to head up on Friday and spend the night and get in some family time then.  We do have other family we could visit, but since we will be doing a lot of traveling over the weekend it will be nice to just stay home and relax on Thanksgiving.

                                      Yes that is her (Meaghan)-------------------^ How cute is she?

I think this is the first time we have stayed home for Thanksgiving since having the girls, so I want to make it fun.  The girls and I have started menu planning and have picked a few fun Thanksgiving crafts to make over the weekend for decorations.

Like this Banner:

And this Thanksgiving Turkey:

And a centerpiece of some sort.  I haven't found one I really like that is possible to make as a craft with the kids.  Let me know if you have any ideas!

I'm still deciding on our complete menu.  I want to have all of our favorites, but with only 4 of us I don't want to have loads of leftovers.  So here is what I have so far:

  • Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Cheese & Crackers
Main Course:
  • Turkey
  • Ham (hubby is allergic to poultry, yes for real.)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Bean Casserole (I will make this fresh, no canned soup here)
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Brussel Sprouts made with pancetta or bacon
  • Homemade Corn Bread
  • Peanut Butter Pie
  • Mini Apple Pie's
I may add or take away some of these.  Like I said I don't want too much food, but I want everyone to be happy.  I have to ask hubby if he is set on stuffing because he is the only one who will eat it, but if he really wants it I will make it.  I was trying to think of another appetizer that the kids will eat because they won't eat the stuffed mushrooms. They love shrimp so maybe I will get a little to cook up as an app.  I will be sure to add some of the recipe's I will be using as we get closer to the big day, so be sure to check back if you are looking for any ideas!

We are planning to do a family hike this day, probably before dinner.  Otherwise we will just be hanging out, spending time together, watching football & maybe a family movie!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?  Do you spend the holiday at home or visiting family/friends?  Any fun traditions?