Monday, December 30, 2013

Blog Superlatives 2013

(Carrying on from 2011 and 2012). AKA, time to see those Google search gems!

Most popular (viewed) post: Pain in the Rear: A Diagnosis

Bestest blog friends (most referrals): Angry Runner and the lovely Redhead. Third place goes to No Meat Athlete.

Most studious countries (most # of readers):
United States
United Kingdom

Most involved (US states by # of readers):
South Carolina

Most likely to succeed (top common searches):
gu chomps review
obturator internus
glute muscles

Most clueless (randomest search hits):
salt shakers running club
fat girl eating cookie off shoulder (2nd year in a row!)
can i carry protein powder on an airplane
diarrhea my pants / stains on my running shorts (maybe you should consult discombobulated beth?)
faceplant in horse poop
how can i reunite with my ex wife / how can i reunite with my ex boyfriend
i got married in kenya is it legal here in michigan
i took the plunge went bleached blonde
my mom said to get a life
wearing butt plug tail

(I use Google Analytics to retrieve this information)

As usual, some random searches this year. The fat girl eating a cookie off her shoulder was back again, maybe I need to try this... To the souls searching for butt plugs and wanting to get back with their ex's, goodluck. What google treasures did your blog receive this year?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Great Marathon Debate

November 2013
Run Stats:
- 18 days
- 70.6 miles
- 8:42 average pace
- 2 races (Ragnar & local Turkey trot)
- Longest run: 8 miles
- Trimmed another 1:44 off my 5k time from September!

CrossFit Notables:
- Power Clean 1RM: 130# (up 5# from September)
- Squat Clean: 95# (squat needs work... lots of work.)
- Isabel (not Rx): 2:51 (30 snatches for time, 65#)

So in my last post I admitted that I signed up for a half-marathon and though I'm not expecting a PR (hello rolling hills) I think it should go well. What I failed to admit was that I was still hemming and hawing over a full marathon too. I've been wanting to run the Mercedes marathon for years - solely because I think the medal is cool and unique - which is held in February. I was am afraid that I won't be in shape in time (even though I did survive 17+ miles of a Ragnar last month, for what that's worth).

The Mercedes marathon is now 9-10 weeks away, and my "long" runs have been a whopping 8 and 6 miles. I don't need another 4-hour marathon, I have plenty of those already. I want to train consistently for one and be able to run it well. I suppose this is me talking myself out of it...

I'm eyeing another full in late March, which seems much more feasible to get in shape for as long as I can be more diligent with those weekend long runs. With this in mind, my internal debate switches to considering running Mercedes easy to remind myself that I can still survive the distance, and then continue to train for a (hopefully) faster late-March marathon.

Overanalyzing, I know. Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vegas & Turkey

October 2013
A very belated (and abbreviated) month recap.

Run Stats:
- 19 days
- 57.80 miles
- 9:09 average pace
- 0 races
- Longest run: 7.5 miles
- Cut 44 seconds off my two-mile time from September (now 13:52)

CrossFit Notables:
- CF Total: 400 lbs (sum of back squat, strict press, deadlift - 3 attempts per lift)
- Clean & Jerk 1RM: 120#
- Grace: 5:49 (30 clean & jerks for time, 95#)

Can't say I remember any other worthy details from October, but I have been doing some fun running things so far in November!

Earlier in the month I flew out to Vegas to run my second Ragnar. This time with a new group of strangers including Chris, Jill and Lisa. I had a blast with my teammates ("My Little Ponies") and many other teams seemed to want our van tags (magnets) with our sweet logo - a fierce pony with a Ragnar tramp stamp (designed by Alissa). In true form I did not exactly train as well as I should have, my longest training run was 7.5 miles knowing that I was going to have 17+ miles total. Overall I ran well, averaging an 8:17 pace and passing a bunch of people along the way (chicked lots of dudes in my final 7+ mile leg). It was a great weekend and the views were gorgeous all weekend long!

Handoff before my 3rd leg (the first two were in the dark).

My view of Lake Mead for 7+ miles

The Ponies

I ran another 5k (turkey trot) this past weekend. I last ran this race in 2006 and this year it was at a new location although I'd run the course before. I was the first female finisher (11th overall), cut another 1:34 off my 5k time from September, and brought home a turkey.

Floating in to the finish.

My 10 pound prize!

After much hemming and hawing (and FB messaging Jason & MaUrlene), I put on my big girl pants and signed up for a half marathon. Who'd have thought I'd be so nervous! I survived 17 Ragnar miles, hopefully my fitness will only continue to improve between now and the race (in January). Ginny is coming up for it and I think Katie is thinking about coming down the mountain for it. Should be fun times!

Sidenote: Follow me on Instagram (@chasingkenyans) for mini-updates and to see more pics from Vegas and such!

Friday, October 4, 2013

September 2013

In the month of September I RAN!
- 13 days
- 31.5 miles
- 9:09 average pace
- 3 races

I also did some crossfitting, of course.
- PR'd my power clean, push press, and snatch
- Helen*: 13:45 (3 rounds of 400m run, 21 kb swings (35#), 12 pullups)

A Running PR
On Wednesday the workout was 1 mile run, 5 minutes rest, 1 mile run. The last time I ran a mile for speed was September of 2010. I wasn't in my best shape then either, coming back from a few months off (argh story of my life) due to health issues, but I signed up for a 1-mile road race that was held in conjunction with a 5k and 10k (aka: the 1-mile is what all the kids sign up for). I finished in 6:12, barreling over all the kids. (...kidding)

Being in the midst of yet another "get back in shape" quest, I was anxious to see what I could do a mile in and hopeful that I could at least run something in the 7's. The first mile clocked in at 6:10 (a PR!) and the second a 6:35. Absolutely no consistency, but man I had to fight in that second mile. It's definitely nice to know there's some speed in me somewhere and I'm excited to work for more improvements! (Now if only I could be excited to focus on my diet...)

Race for the Cure
I went a little 'crazy' and ran another 5k at the end of September. I was asked to be on the Komen Race for the Cure committee as the "Competitive Runner Recruitment Chair" so naturally I signed up to run the race as well. I even fundraised a few bucks for the cause!** It was a beautiful morning for a run and a well-run event. The timing company had some issues as apparently I'm a 99 year old male, but I was a pretty spry 99-year old running a 23:50. Good enough for 9th overall female (not sure about age group since quite a few people were also "99").

Probably the best race photo you've ever seen.
(and more knocky knees)

Spandits! Ambassador
I'm excited to announce I was selected to be a brand ambassador for Spandits! We're a 'team' of some pretty fantastic people including B.o.B and The Happy Runner, two long-time blog friends of mine. Details are still forthcoming about this awesome opportunity but I'm excited and honored. Spandits! makes some funky printed workout gear which is right up my "fashion" alley. I had the hardest time picking out my fave print!

*Helen is another benchmark workout like Fran. 
**If you'd like to make a tax deductible donation to Susan G Komen please go here!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

If the Knees are A-Knockin'

Thanks to my personal race photographer spectating last weekend, I have some lovely race photos of myself. I noticed my knees are a-knockin' and wanted to see if anyone had input on this? I don't recall seeing this prior to having to take the past year forever off, but either way I feel like it should be fixable. Perhaps some running form drills, stretch/strengthening exercises, or even just focusing on doing 'something' (the correct form) while running?

The other morning I tried to "feel" what my hips are doing while I run (is one side dropping) but needless to say it wasn't easy to tell. Nothing hurts, I just figured it was ugly running form and needed to be fixed, but so far I can't find anything via the googler.

Suggestions appreciated!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer Rewind

Man, time flies. Two+ months since my last post? Slack!

Thankfully, I've been busy - both at work and at sweating. Hooray for being able to workout! Things have gone well since testing the waters in July and though I'm still not 100% (you should see my down dog), I'm glad to be moving again.

I've run a few races this summer and it's about time I posted the race recaps. No stellar performances but considering I had to take of 6 months this year and I'm having to start back at square one, they haven't been too shabby either. I haven't been good at sticking to my schedule and am only running 3-miles or less at a 10:00-ish/mile pace  not quite putting forth an effort to increase my mileage). I'm also only logging 9-miles a week ...or less. My motivation has returned and I'm ready to get back in the training groove and (hopefully) get better at running again.

Prediction 5k (trail) - No watches allowed. Ran with my sister; she predicted a 33:37 for us and we finished in 34:xx (got held up trying to cross slippery planks of wood over pluffy mud). I believe the winner was within seconds of their predicted time.

Entrance to the trails

Michelin 5k (for the work team/Corporate Shield series) - A couple years ago this was a "return to running" 5k for me when I had to take some time off for health reasons (non-injury). Being a mere one-month into attempting (slackingly) to get back in shape I didn't know what to expect. I chased down a co-worker and finished in 25:25 (8:09/mile).

Post-race sunset at BMW performance track

BMW 2-miler (again for the work team) - I last ran this race in 2008 (!!) and I was in much better shape back then. Two minutes slower this year at 14:36 BUT all my training runs have been at ~10:00/mile pace so I'll take it. I should also note that I dropped a 45# weight on my big toe in the morning and it took all day to quit throbbing. I was nervous about running on it or it being broken but it seems to be ok. I may lose the nail, but I am a runner, it wouldn't be the first.

My first stopping-the-watch finish photo

Troad 5k (trail) - This race was the morning after the BMW run. I had a free entry because work sponsored the race and offered the complimentary entries to the running team. I almost missed this race by sleeping through two alarms and shot up at 8:08am (the race was at 8:30). I threw on my clothes, ran my toothbrush over my teeth, and put my contacts in during the drive. The trail was very runnable (save for a few long climbs for these tired, unconditioned legs) and I finished in 28:48 (9:27/mile), good enough for 6th place female and 1st in my age group! Took home a beautiful toad trophy.

Start of the Troad (uphill) before heading into the woods

Troad finish. Note backwards banner?

CrossFit is still going too (don't worry my true love is still running). Over the summer I set some PRs on the power clean (125#), push press (120#), snatch (85#), and benchmark workout "Fran"* (8:22).

Back in February I sat for my Level 1 CrossFit certification and recently started teaching Kids class on Saturdays - so adorable! These kids get to do fun things like burpees, pushups, play dodgeball, and of course, run. They love to run! Also, they climb the 15' ropes faster than I can.

September also brought around my birthday and friends from the gym got me a big bag of M&M's, lottery ticket, and some gift cards. Unfortunately I was not the lucky lotto winner from SC you may have heard about (boo) and believe it or not it took me 5 days to eat the bag of M&M's! Must be this old age...

*For those who are curious, Fran is 21-15-9 reps of thrusters (front squat to overhead press) and pullups.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Waving My Banner All Over the Place

I'm back!

Ok well sorta... Only a few days a week and for verrrrry short distances, but nonetheless I'm getting out for a few miles a week. It's wayyy better than staring longingly at my shoes all day!

I did a test run at the beach (1 mile in about 10 minutes) and though things didn't feel perfect they didn't feel bad either. I did a 2-miler the next day (with one at 8:40! not bad for 6-months off) and another 1-mile run later in the week. The glute/hip/whatever is a little achey at first but warms/loosens up/I stop thinking about it after a little while. Striding with my right leg feels less-natural and I have to make a conscious effort to drive the leg forward. Not sure if that's super weakness from favoring that side of my body this whole time or what. Any ideas or suggestions on making this feel/be natural again? Both of my chiropractors said if it doesn't feel any worse during/after running that I can/should keep at it - slowly.

In other news - I was contacted by BuildASign ( about partnering up and decided to get a banner for my beloved CrossFit gym. We have the perfect spot to hang it in at our new facility (we're moving from 1600sq ft to 6000+ sq ft) and the owner/other members are excited to hang it from our team tent at local competitions we attend.

I ordered a 3x6 ft banner. The process was simple - you can upload your image to their site or use some of their "clipart" type stuff. They assured me the image looked good on their end before printing (I was worried it would be fuzzy when enlarged to 3x6 feet) and it shipped in a timely manner.

BuildASign is a true sign and banner maker business and the banner turned out great. The vinyl seems to be of decent quality and there is a grommet hole in each corner for reinforced hanging. My only complaint is that the side edges were not 'doubled up'/folded over the same way the top/bottom ones were for extra reinforcement. Overall it's a good quality banner and looks sharp in the new gym and will look awesome at upcoming competitions (including one this weekend!).

Disclaimer: The banner was provided to me free of charge in exchange for this product review. A 3x6ft banner would normally cost about $45, which seems reasonable to me. The opinions of the service and product received are my own.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Life Lately (Giveaway Winner)

Another month has passed and I'm still on the injured list. Improvement isn't noticeable day-to-day, but it's a lot better than where I was in January. Currently what seems to help the most is going to the chiropractor - it feels better after each visit. If only I could go everyday!

My range of motion in my hammy's is improving (gained 15 degrees!) so hopefully that's a good indicator of healing all-around. I'm taking it easy, trying to refrain from plowing down runners with my car out of jealousy, and staying busy by helping out at the gym (so I can still see my crossfit friends at least)!

Since I have no workout news, here's the past month in photos:

Went to the San Diego Zoo

Went on an *easy* hike in San Diego

Contemplating kayaking the La Jolla caves,
but decided it wouldn't be smart for the injury

Instagrammed my Starbucks for Jason

Went to the Alamo

Celebrated my cousin's wedding

Hung out with my niece

Watched the neighbors get flooded after Andrea

CTK shirt winner (as selected by

(even though she left a hateful comment about m&m's... I even tried to re-do and it picked her again!)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chasing the Geriatrics

Probably the only time my rib cage will be so prominent.
If I remember correctly that's the L5 vertebrae. Fan-freaking-tastic. Time for some complete rest; no more upper body either. Good bye man-shoulders and the ability to do pullups! I will have to start all over on those. But, if it means being able to run in the future (near-future preferred) it's a sacrifice I am willing to make. I'm told this is capable of healing itself (with rest) and that all the upper body work probably kept it from getting better sooner. In addition to resting, I'm spending a few minutes a day on an inversion table - talk about nauseating.

The 'funny' thing is the medical doctor who took this x-ray said it looked fine and diagnosed me with piriformis.... and you wonder why I was reluctant to go do a doctor 4+ months ago!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

An Update and a Giveaway

It's been 6 weeks since my last post. I never thought I'd be one of "those people" who A) got injured for months on end or B) disappeared from the blogosphere. But here I am, crawling back and begging for your attention. Can you believe I missed National M&M Day?!? Horrors. I made up for it by overindulging in M&M's on and off, don't worry. I hope you all remembered to celebrate without me.

So what's new? (not much)

I'm still injured. Sucky-suck-suck-fest. I am soooo tired of not being able to run and could definitely do without the set of spare tires I've accumulated around my midsection.

I've spent a good chunk of money trying to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it at various doctors, weekly massages, and newly-started PT. I've gotten 4 separate diagnoses (although 2 of them are related as far as naming body parts) and so far nothing has helped. I've taken fish oil for inflammation (can't take NSAIDs), tried Kill Cliff for inflammation (it tastes a heckuvalot better than fish oil), I've iced, I've heated, I've rolled, I've lacrosse-balled, I've tried to stretch it, I've tried to Jane Fonda-exercise it, I've gone to the chiropractor (though I should have been going more frequently), I've taken almost FIVE MONTHS off of lower body exercise... with absolutely NO IMPROVEMENT. I did get a stand-up desk at work though, so one minor victory in this mess?

Ok, so I could still cash in my life savings and get an MRI or CAT done, but I'd rather spend that money on M&M's (and no doctor has mentioned doing one yet).

For all you google-certified-physicians (like myself) or actual-health-experts, here's a brief recap:
- Pain is in glute; hurts when standing up after sitting. Lower back won't stand fully straight right away.
- Sharp/shooting pain when sneeze while sitting.
- Get a sharp pain in glute when bending over (ie: to tie shoe). Yes, hamstrings are tight but I assume mostly from not being used in months; pain isn't in hammies).
- Current/latest diagnosis is something in SI/hip (I don't remember the exact term/location) is aggravating the piriformis which is possibly irritating my sciatic nerve.

On a lighter note, I have something to giveaway! Whoop whoop! I was contacted by and offered a shirt with my logo on it as they were looking to promote their new business/tshirt printing services. They are a UK-based business but shipping was quick coming across the pond.

They were kind enough to send an extra shirt with my new Africa + foot + Kenya flag logo on it to giveaway! (It's pretty sweet if I do say so myself.) It's a women's medium (Gildan softstyle, 90/10 cotton/poly) but you men can still enter for your wife/girlfriend/sister/daughter/friend (or if you wear a women's medium but I don't think I have any 10 year old male readers).

Just mention in your comment below that you would like to be entered to win the t-shirt and be sure to check out for your custom shirt needs!

(And I'd love it if you later sent a photo of you doing something fun/awesome in the shirt!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

CrossFit Games: Gimpy Style

Although I've been dealing with my OI injury/gluteal bursitis and avoiding lower-body activity, I was still easily convinced to sign up for the CrossFit Games. It's not like I'll even get a good idea as to where I stand amongst the CrossFitters of the world because I can't (/shouldn't) do the workouts as prescribed.

Nevertheless, I paid the $20 and signed up. Then I paid another $20 to buy the t-shirt...

Bathroom selfie for the win
The "main" part of the Games is the Open. These are the first 5 weeks (held March-April) with 1 workout each week. Anyone who wants to participate can. The top 60 in each Region move on to more advanced stages of the Games but with 4,000+ ladies in my Region it's safe to say I won't need to worry about that level. The workout is announced each Wednesday evening and you can submit your score (typically # of reps) by Sunday evening.

13.1 - No, not a half marathon. As many reps as possible (AMRAP) in 17 minutes of:
40 burpees
30 snatches (45 lbs for women)
30 burpees
30 snatches (75 lbs for women)
20 burpees
30 snatches (100 lbs for women)
10 burpees
AMRAP snatches in time remaining (120 lbs for women)

My score: 2 (burpees)

I was smart and didn't push it. Technically I could have gotten at least 100 reps but loading up my glute/hammy in all those burpees and snatches would not have been wise.

In the days following I was envious of my friends who got to fully attempt the workout and see their ranking. (Insert suspenseful music) When the next workout was announced I was ecstatic - the first exercise was upper-body (the rest was stuff I shouldn't be doing). You can probably guess what happened next...

13.2 - AMRAP in 10 minutes of:
5 shoulder to overhead (75 lbs for women)
10 deadlift (75 lbs)
15 box jumps (step ups were allowed thanks to one of the top competitors breaking her foot)

My score: 209 (not smart)

one-legged rainbow bright
I probably irritated some of my friends by scoring just as well as they did with my one-legged deadlifts and step ups, but my left leg was spaghetti at the end of those 10 minutes. I've been in some new kinds of pain these past few days. 70 one-leg deadlifts when you haven't worked out your legs in 3 months? Not the brightest idea.

Here's hoping there are upper body moves in the three workouts to come!

I know Kovas and Bob Harper are also trying their hand at the Games, anyone else?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pain in the Rear: A Diagnosis

(At long last...)

I finally went to see a guy about my glute issue. I asked around for recommendations to a good sports doc in the area with no luck. Corey has a good friend that's a PT but then I learned that you have to have a "prescription" from a doctor in order to see the PT. Lame. I'm a little jaded when it comes to doctors because I haven't had good experiences with most of the ones I've gone to see (uh, how about the one who tested me for arthritis? Yeah...) so I've become more reliant on raving recommendations from friends vs. doctors on my health care provider's list.

My former cross-country coach from high school suggested I see a guy whose clientele includes George Hincapie. He is a huge anatomy/kinesiology geek and my "one hour" appointment quickly turned into three while we discussed my butt and a number of rabbit trail sidetracks (like baseball shoulder injuries). I also cracked a few jokes about steroid use and he told me he gave Hincapie a hard time about steroid-induced-impotence when he last saw him.

The Diagnosis: An angry Obturator Internus, and some bursitis underneath it. Basically (in my non-anatomy-expert words) the OI is injured, inflamed and putting pressure on the bursa under it. The bursitis is being more of a diva than the OI as far as causing pain.

I have an exciting regime of "exercises" and stretches to do. I got excited because he said I could do leg exercises... and then found out he doesn't define them quite the same way I was thinking (they are even less-intense than Jane Fonda leg raises).

We ran through the stretches and exercises during my marathon appointment and I could feel those muscles working and even getting a little tired. It's been a little harder to remember how to do all of them and I am constantly referring to the handouts he gave me. The more I do them the more the area will calm down and stop irritating the bursa. I could take anti-inflammatories to help with the inflammation but I'm on methotrexate for my skin and you can't mix meth with NSAIDs.  I know fish oil can help with inflammation so I picked up a bottle (yum) to see if it will help on that front.

It's great to feel hopeful about getting better! I won't lie the exercises are boring, but hopefully with some diligence I'll be back to running and cross-fitting sooner rather than later. If it's feeling better in a few weeks I can test out running; I can't wait.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Rants and Raves

I've done a few product reviews over the past 4.5 years (!) of this blog and I have always been honest with my opinion. However, marketing companies and manufacturers don't exactly want to give you 2+ years to test a product, for understandable reasons. Now that it's been a few months (or even years in some cases) I thought I'd circle back around on some of the items and see how my thoughts have changed for better or worse.

Edibles (or something like it)
Vega bars and shakes
I still think these products are pricey, but the acai-berry bars are convenient (and tasty) and I'll sometimes buy them from Whole Foods for a work snack.

Phenom Coconut Water
I didn't like it the first time around and was crazy enough to give it another shot (at my own expense). Still didn't like it.

Cafepress Sigg water bottle
I like this water bottle, but I have a thing (personal preference) against drinking out of a stainless steel-type bottle. If anyone wants a twice-used water bottle I'd be happy to mail it your way! (Shoes not included)

Mix My Granola
I love granola. It's tough for me to find granola at the store due to my soy and nut allergies. Unfortunately MMG was recently purchased by Element Bars and the options to "build your own nut-& soy-less bar" are limited. Custom bars are $2.99 each but then they make you order a minimum of 12 ($35.88). Popular combinations are 12 for $23.88 and, surprise, they all have nuts and/or soy.

Gu Chomps
Yum. I still eat these (and Gu gels) as a snack (sometimes).

New Balance Coolmax socks
I still like these socks, but they are taller ("ankle high") than my normal "no show" socks so I feel a little dorky when I wear them to the gym.

GoLite Drimove Baselayer shirt
This shirt started "pilling" but then again I've had it for 3+ years. I wore it a lot that first winter in Kentucky - being on a construction site doesn't have quite the same heating luxuries as a typical office. It hasn't gotten much use lately because I've been benched from running the past two winters, but I'm sure I'll use it again one day.

Ahh, the hotel-living days!
Sugoi Moxie shorts
I still love these.

Sugoi Verve shorts
I liked these at first - colorful, reflective stripes, pockets for Gu - but they haven't held up well. The elastic of the underwear lining is not so elastic-y anymore and the reflective logos peeled off. Sure, I've had them for 3+ years but I also have Nike Tempo shorts that are 6+ years old and the elastic is fine on those. (Dear Nike, don't you want to send me workout clothes?)

Overall things have held up reasonably, but I am a little disappointed in the Verve shorts. The loose liner is annoying. And why doesn't Nike want us fantastic runner/fitness bloggers to review their goodies?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cleaning My Plate (Again)

January has come and gone and the ol' glute/lower back pain still persists. I've committed myself to 'suffer' through this layoff as my stubbornness to continue working out at my normal intensity is what (I believe) got me here in the first place. The good news is it's a little less painful when I stand up from sitting, so I take that as improvement. I'm still going to the chiro 1-2x/week, getting massages, rolling out, doing stretches and (sometimes) doing the Jane Fonda-style lower back/glute strengthening exercises. Admittedly I've slacked on those a bit.

After 4-weeks of upper-body-only workouts you'd think my arms and back muscles would be ripped, but they're not. I'm know that's because of the less-than-stellar eating habits I can't seem to shake even though I'm $10 and 1-month into a friendly weight loss competition. I want to eat healthy and clean, but danggit those m&m's, chips, and cookies keep jumping into my shopping cart while I'm not looking.

As of today I'm starting back up on my clean-eating rules. (Because you can't start anything unless it's a Monday, right?). When I did this in the summer/early fall my punishment was 100 burpees if I 'cheated'. Since I can't do burpees right now my punishment is 100 calories on the airdyne bike.
No - "Processed foods" (oreos, cheesy poofs, cereal, etc), Dairy (because it's an "inflammatory food" and I have more than my share of allergy problems), Refined sugar (this should be mostly eliminated by avoiding store-bought snacks as I already use agave/honey at home). 
Yes - Real food (vegetables, sweet potatoes, eggs, chicken, turkey, fish...), More water
Random January Numbers:
miles run - 7.3 (very early in the month before deciding to take time off)
pushups - 856
pullups - 354 (some with band assistance, some without)
ring dips - 150
bench press - 115 lbs (3 rep max)
rope climbs - 5
m&m's - (1) 56 oz bag

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Getting My Rear in Gear

I finally decided to wisen up regarding the glute ache that has been plaguing me since I hurt my lower back last August-ish. It's gotten to the point where it is near impossible to stand up after sitting down for awhile (yay desk job). I have to stand in place and wait for the pain to subside before moving as it is unbearably painful to try and move right away. It feels better once I've been standing up/moving around and locks up again after I sit down for any period of time (15 minutes or longer). Because it feels better when I move around, I had continued to workout at my normal intensity, but the pain was increasing after sitting. Eventually I determined that the current "plan" of ignoring it (for 4+ months) wasn't working and I needed to take a new approach.

I'm forcing myself to rest. It's not easy!

I'm so tone now; 2% body fat.

I ran twice in the first week of the new year but am now taking some time off - hopefully no longer than the rest of the month. I also took a week off of any lower-body exercise at the gym and had a lovely (grimacing) massage. After one week of rest there was barely any improvement (but there was a little) so I'm resting it a second week, although I am incorporating a few air squats and glute strengthening exercises (read: Jane Fonda style) based on my made up theory that a little exercise will help.

I roll my glute, hips, and IT band with a trigger point roller and/or lacrosse ball daily. I ice, heat, stretch and some days take Tylenol (I'm kinda already killing my liver and kidney with the meds I'm on for my skin so I try to limit the pain meds). I also visit the chiropractor regularly. I don't see the value in going to a sports doctor as I assume they'll tell me to do all the things I'm already doing. I probably shouldn't have jumped right back into heavy weighted squats and deadlifts while it was nagging me back in the fall.

It's hard not going for a run and realizing that I won't be training for a fast spring half. It's hard walking into the gym and watching everyone else beast out a WOD while I do a modified workout that a 60 year old could do (and does, as we have people of all ages at the gym). Hopefully sacrificing January will do the trick. I keep reminding myself that I want to run a (fast) marathon in the fall and that won't happen with ongoing glute pain.

Friday, January 4, 2013

More or Less in 2013

I never set goals in 2012 because I wasn't sure how much running I would get in with all that was going on health-wise, and by the time I thought about making goals it was March. I enjoy setting goals for myself, even if I don't attain them all. I don't think the point is to get them all, because then shouldn't you have set some harder ones?

In 2013 I aim to:
Stretch/roll more / sit less - This should be easy enough since I tend to ignore all mobility work. Be able to downward dog and grok squat with heels on ground (currently they pop up thanks to tight muscles and joints). There is no reason why I can't roll out while watching TV instead of sitting on the couch.

Donate more / clutter less - Continue to get rid of things. I say this every year, and I do get rid of bags of things, but I still could declutter more. I admit that I'm a bit of a hoarder - wearing pajamas from my freshman year of college and still owning t-shirts from 3rd grade field trips. My problem is that whenever I start going through things I do not set 'those' rules such as "if you haven't used/worn it in a year". Yep, hoarder.

More hard work / less excuses - I am entirely too good at making excuses. No more! I will do what I can and own it - whether I finish first, last or somewhere in the middle.

Be more uncomfortable / worry less - Already working on stepping out of my comfort zone, in baby steps of course. As for worrying less, guess I'll have to soak in the tub a lot more!

And specifically:
Run a lot.
Improve my pullups. (10 in a row)
Get a muscle up. (Preferably on rings)
Focus on posture. I'm on the fast track to hunchback.
Eat clean. (Veggies, fruit, lean protein; occasional romances with pasta/chips)
   - Can't decide if I should allow for 2 cheat days per month or 1 cheat meal per week?
Run a marathon. (But only if I actually train for it)
PR in said marathon.
PR in the 10k and half too. (All three of these PRs are from 2009 and practically irrelevant!)
Do what I enjoy and enjoy what I do.
Use capitalization.
Bonus goal:
Run a 2nd marathon.