Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My First Run

Saturday I did my first run since May.  I really wasn't sure what to expect.  A bunch of the girls were running in the canyon so I offered to drop them off at the top and then drove my car down to the Bridal Veil parking lot and started up the canyon.  I planned to walk a full mile before I started to run to make sure my back and legs were nice and warmed up.  I walked up the path then at a mile started running until I hit mile 2 where I turned around and ran back down the trail.  At mile 2 when I turned around I saw 3 of the girls so I ran about 10 steps with them then told them not to go slow with me.  It was so beautiful outside and some of the leaves are even starting to change colors.  I ran 3 miles straight then walked another 3/4 mile after with 2 of the other girls who were finishing their run.  My 3 mile run was just over a 10 min/mile.  

After the run I stretched and drank a recovery shake.  I told Todd it felt so good to need a recovery drink again.  It's been so long since I've worked out.  I was so sore after the run - it felt like I had run 16 miles not 3!  Then yesterday I did another run/walk of 5 miles.  I didn't run 3 miles straight but alternated between 1/2 mile running and walking.  My poor legs were still sore and tired from Saturday's run and I don't want to push my body too hard this soon.  After that run I did my Foundations Training for my back and stretched.  I feel better today than I did after my first run so I'm hoping to just keep feeling better and stronger.  

Today I start my personal training sessions with my crossfit coach and I couldn't be more excited to get back to crossfit!  I have missed working out so much!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Post Injury Running

What a summer.  8 weeks ago I got back surgery and I haven't been able to do anything except walk for 2 months.  Tomorrow is the big day for me to try to run again.  I am so nervous that I won't be able to run.  I have missed running and crossfit so much.  Working out is a huge part of my life and it's amazing what a huge void I feel not being able to do the things I love.  But I am determined to completely heal so I have been VERY good and haven't pushed it at all. 

My plan for starting to workout again is to do 3 easy runs a week (probably around 3 miles to start) with a run/walk combo until I feel good.   I am doing personal training sessions 3 days a week to start building my muscles back as well.  I really should add a day of swimming to the mix too if I can fit it in.  Then by the end of September I hope to be back to my normal workout schedule with doing less mileage and scaling my crossfit workouts while I work back up.  I have also been doing the Foundations Training workouts to build back my core - they are 10-15 minutes everyday - my massage therapist recommended them for me as physical therapy and they seem to help a lot.

Today I took my measurements so I have a reference point for how much muscle I've lost and my left leg is a full inch smaller than my right.  Obviously I was compensating too much before my surgery.

Wish me luck...tomorrow is a big day for me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why I can't run

I haven't posted in ages.  It's been quite a year for me.  This is my year for injuries I guess.  I was finally get back in running shape since my tendonitis and then I managed to hurt my back.  It all started with a fall on a 12 mile run back in early May.  I tripped on the sidewalk and went down on my hands, knee and right hip hard.  I finished my run and then my next workout hurt my back.  Just the usual right side lower back disc issues I've fought all my life.  

I took 2 weeks off running and called it good.  Ran a few more times but was still having issues with my back hurting.  I didn't listen and kept pushing hard.  Then one day in crossfit I did a stupid move and felt my back completely give out.  It hurt so bad I could barely walk.  I ended up flat on my back for 3 days.  Todd had to help me to get out of bed and to the bathroom and I couldn't put pressure on either foot without severe pain.  I went and got an MRI and found lots of damage on the left side of my low back.  NO!!  I have quite a bit of nerve issues going on right now.  My left leg is numb from the knee down the outside of my leg to my 2 little toes and I can't straighten my leg completely or lift it more than about 6 inches.  The muscles are feeling better and I can walk pretty good now.  But I can't run or jump or twist at all.  I have an appointment with a spinal surgeon in a week and hopefully I will know more about options and recovery. 

For now I am taking it easy at crossfit and when I do lift I wear this sweet weight belt.   It's a bit much and way too fancy for my needs but the support it provides is awesome and it helps me support my back.  From now on anytime I lift heavy I will wear a belt so I don't get hurt again.  Being injured doesn't work well with my personality.  I am so uptight and emotional these days because I can't just get it out of my system with some serious cardio.  I can't believe how much I miss running! 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Eat Clean. Train Mean.

I just finished my 12 week body transformation challenge with Generator Crossfit.  My personal goal was to transition 5 lbs of fat into 5 lbs of muscle.  I got my initial tests done on January 7.  I was a little shocked when I saw that I had 24.1% body fat and was in the "moderately lean" category.  I've never struggled with my weight and aside from losing post-pregnancy weight have always been "thin".  Today I measured at 18.6% body fat.  I lost 5.5% body fat and gained 5.4 lbs of muscle with a 2.6 lb overall loss. I couldn't be happier about my results.  I plan to keep doing what I'm doing and see where this takes me over the next 6 months.  I know I can build even more muscles and get stronger!!

Eating Clean:
After my initial test in January I met with my trainer and he told me to try to get 100-150g of protein a day and focus on my food coming from lean proteins, good fats and good carbs.  I tracked my food and ate totally clean for about 3 weeks then it became more of a lifestyle than actual diet.  I do my best to eat clean about 75% of the time - I'm most definitely not even close to perfect with my eating.  But I try to make good choices and use my food to fuel my body.  I drink a lot of protein shakes (after workouts and before bed every day) and try to get as much lean protein as possible with every meal and my snacks.  I  eat eggs, tuna, salmon, almonds, bacon and chicken a lot. I rarely eat dairy (except butter, cheese and an occasional Greek yogurt) and I avoid most grains now.  I still eat out and I still enjoy my favorite treats - but rather than let the whole day go down the drain I just try to eat as clean as possible every meal.

Train Mean:
I love working out.  Truly, if I could I would do 2 or 3 workouts every day because of how much I love it.  But since I can't just spend all day working out here's what I've been doing. I go to crossfit 5-6 days a week and do cardio 4 days a week.  I try to always separate the workouts by at least 3 hours to allow my body to fully recover.  When I don't have enough time between them my second workout is never as strong as it should be.  My trainer told us to do high intensity interval training for our cardio with only 1 long run a week. Talk about a big challenge for me.  I love running so much but since I was determined to build lean muscle I agreed to give it a go.  I've changed my spin classes to be very high intensity interval focused for 10-30 minutes max then the rest of the hour we work on leg strength or drills.  Running consists of 1 day of hill intervals, 1 day of sprint intervals and 1 long run a week.  On interval runs we usually walk between intervals instead of jogging.  It was a tough transition but I've grown to like it.  And Saturday on my long run I felt dang good for the first time since the St George marathon last year. 

My bro-in-law asked me which I liked more crossfit or running.  I can't say that I like either one more than the other anymore.  I love them both so much and for me with my goals they fit hand-in-hand.  They are both very social for me which is huge for me.  The fun factor has to be there for me. I don't intend to stop doing either one.  I feel like crossfit is making me a stronger runner and I know running helps my crossfit game too.  My cardio and endurance are great which helps me in the chipper wods.  I know there are a lot of haters out there - haters on running and haters on crossfit.  I hear it from people all the time.  But personally I love them both and think they might be the best combination ever!  At 41 years old I'm in the best shape I've ever been in my entire life. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lessons the Crossfit Open Taught Me

One of the reasons I love racing is to see my hard work pay off.  I love to set goals and train for them then race as hard as I can to make my goal.  I try to make my goals hard but also something that I can accomplish.  So when my trainers at Generator Crossfit challenged us to compete in the 2014 Crossfit Open I thought they were crazy.  Then with more explaining I learned we do the workouts at our own box and then post our scores online.  You get judged and can't scale the workouts.  So I decided this was a great event to participate in.  Check that off my 2014 goals.  

Each week they post a different workout on Thursday and you have until Monday to complete it.  Every single one of them have pushed me to the limit and have uncovered my weaknesses.  So I've come up with my top 5 weaknesses.

Week 1:  
The WOD: 
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 double-unders
55-lb. power snatches, 15 reps

My Weakness:  I need to develop the double-under skill.  This will just take practice, practice and more practice.  My goal is to be able to do consistent DU's by the end of the summer.  And I am completely ready for the beatings this will bring. I bought a training rope and have already started practicing a couple times a week.

Week 2: 
The WOD:
Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:
From 0:00-3:00
   2 rounds of:
   10 overhead squats (65-lb)
   10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

My Weakness:  I totally suck at overhead squats.  This one was my complete failure.  My mobility and strength are both weak in this area.  Developing this is going to take time and lots of strength training.  One thing I plan to do to get stronger is to go into the box 1 extra time each week to work on strength.  Starting with my front squat my current 1 rep max is 125 pounds.  I would love to get to at least 150 pounds by the end of the year.

Week 3:
The Wod:
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
95-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch

My Weakness: Strength again!  I made it to the 155 lb round but just sat at the 185 lbs because it's higher than my current 1 rep max.  Again I will be focusing on building leg strength through 1 extra day of just weights a week.

Week 4: 
The WOD:

Complete as many rounds and repetitions as possible in 14 minutes of:
60-calorie row
50 toes-to-bars
40 wall-ball shots, 14 lb. to 9-foot target
30 cleans, 95 lb.
20 muscle-ups

My weakness:  I hate to admit it but strength again.  I made it to the cleans and couldn't clean 95 lbs.  I'm sensing a pattern here.  I need to lift more weights and get stronger in a bad way.  I had almost 2 minutes left when I got to the cleans and just sat there attempting to lift the bar and had no luck - not even 1 time could I clean that darn bar!! 

Week 5: 
The WOD:

WOMEN - includes Masters Women up to 54 years old

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

65-lb. thrusters


My weakness: Muscle stamina.  I was able to do thrusters at the 65 lb mark but my arms got very tired very fast so I had to break it up into chunks.  The more I can do unbroken the faster I can do this.  

I have decided that I am glad I signed up for the 2014 Crossfit Open because it forced me to take an honest look at where I am right now and where I want crossfit to take me.  I have a good benchmark to look back at for next year when none of the workouts end in a 0. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

My total failure

I have lots of issues.  Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a total head case.  That being said .... I know I'm a head case so it's no big deal right?  Ha.  

I have a really hard time doing things I suck at - I usually avoid anything that I suck at.  I don't play cards, board games, go bowling, play mini-golf - stuff that any normal person would just do and enjoy.  I can't make myself enjoy them so I avoid them.  In college when boys would take me out on dates bowling or to play mini-golf I would end up yelling, swearing, throwing my clubs, etc.  SO EMBARRASSING and so lame of me.  Thank goodness Todd never took me bowling!

Anyways....now that I have set the stage you'll see that putting it out there and signing up for the Crossfit Open this year is a big deal for me.  I've been really doing crossfit since November of last year and I am way stronger than when I started.  But, I've still got a long way to go.  I knew I wouldn't be able to "compete" in the open but I thought at least I'd be able to do some of every workout.  

The 14.1 WOD was:
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 double-unders
55-lb. power snatches, 15 reps

I got a score of 134.  I learned that I really need to work on my double unders. 

14.2 WOD was:
For as long as possible:
From 0:00-3:00
  2 rounds of:
  10 overhead squats, 95 / 65 lb.
  10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00
  2 rounds of:
  12 overhead squats, 95 / 65 lb.
  12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00
  2 rounds of:
  14 overhead squats, 95 / 65 lb.
  14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following same pattern
I tried it last Friday morning and got a score 0.  Yep I can't overhead squat 65 lbs.  I tried and failed over and over for 3 minutes.  My previous PR for OHS was 33 lbs then Thursday night when the workout was announced one of my trainers worked with me and I got a new PR of 45lbs.  I still had to jump 20 more pounds the next day.  I tried on Friday morning and just couldn't get it.  I was so upset and mad at myself for not being able to do it.  I was in tears and was pissed off all day.  I went back to the gym that afternoon and worked on my OHS more but knew I was too fatigued to try again.  Then Saturday I worked on them again for another hour until my trainer sent me home because I was so fatigued.  I still couldn't get more than 45 lbs.  But my form was better and I could do 45 lbs multiple times in a row.   
This morning I gave it one more try.  I got a new PR of 55 lbs - which I am VERY happy about and gave it my all but didn't quite get that 65 lb OHS.  What am I learning from this workout?  Building muscles is important and takes time.  I am determined to have all my RX weights by this fall - and I'm going to work hard and eat right in order to get there.  I am not going to beat myself up over this.  I worked hard and gave it my all.  I read this article today and it solidified the feelings I already had about 14.2.
Most of my big hard fitness goals haven't come to me on my first try.  I felt the exact same amount of frustration last Friday as I did after the UV Marathon in 2012 when I missed qualifying for Boston by a 4 minutes.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Interval Training

It's been a while.  I guess since my injury and since I'm not training for anything I haven't really had much to talk about.  But I have been very busy lately and I'm back to running.  

1. My feet no longer hurt at all.  My tendonitis on my right foot just needed rest, ice, motrin, etc.  And my arch pains on my left foot just needed better support.  I wear Superfeet now and there's no pain at all when I run.  YIPEE!!  

2.  I've been doing a lot of crossfit and trying to build muscle which I am loving.  We are in the middle of a 12 week challenge to lose fat and gain muscle.  I'll let you know on March 31st how it goes.  Todd and I do lots of our workouts together which is total blast.  We have never enjoyed working out together before.  I love it!!!

 3.  As part of the whole "build muscle" goal I've been doing mainly interval training.  I still do 1 long run a week (8-10 miles) and my other 2 runs are HIIT workouts.  It is so hard.  Today we went to the track and did 400 meter "sprints" 6 times.  Truly, I thought I was going to puke.  Other workouts have been hill sprints, treadmill ladder sprints and 4:2:1 interval running.  They are all short all-out bursts and they are so dang hard.   It was 60 degrees outside today and I ran in a tank and shorts...so even if the track kicked my booty it was so great to be in the sunshine!

4.  I can finally do 2 pull-ups!!  I might not have made my goal last year but I finally got them.  Just yesterday I did 4 in a row and 43 total in the workout.  Mine aren't too pretty yet....but my chin is above the bar. Do you like our cute Valentine's outfits???? 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 in Review

Overall this year of running has to be the best ever.  Running in the Boston Marathon was simply amazing and something I never thought I would do.  To top that off I set PR's for my 5K, 10K, half and full marathon distances.  I can't look back at 2013 and be sad.  However, I also ended the year on a sad note with issues on both of my feet and not being able to run pain-free.  I miss running so much and these injuries have helped me see just how much running means to me.  

Top 10 Running moments of 2013:

1.  Running the Boston Marathon with my brother and sister

2.  Wasatch Back with the Housewives

3.  Being a pink emissary

 4.  Setting a new PR for every distance race

 5.  Ragnar Trail - and trail running in general

6.  Running the STG marathon in 3:32:00!!

7.   Running the Disney Cruise 5K
8.  Running 16 and 20 miles on the treadmill

 9.   Wearing pink for every run in October

10.  Running with my new puppy

My 2013 goals:  
My goals for 2013 seemed simple when I set them in January.  However, I only completed 1 of the 3.  Sad. 

1.  Run 1000 miles.  This one I completed and then some.  I ran 1588.80 miles this year.  This is a big deal for several reasons.  First, it's not an even number.  I'm a bit OCD with stuff so that fact that I didn't force myself to run 1600 miles shows I'm a changed woman.  Second, with my injury I barely ran in Nov and Dec - so to have this many miles is awesome. 

2.  Do a half-ironman.  I didn't do a half-ironman because I signed up for the STG marathon and wanted to focus on that.  I think I made the right decision and I'm glad I did because that race was amazing for me.  

3.  Do 2 unassisted pull-ups.  I still can't do these.  But I'm stronger than I was at the start of the year so I'm still happy with my progress.

2013 Races:
I am so glad this year of races is over.  I did more races this year than ever before.  Here's the list:

April:  Boston Marathon
April: Pink Series 5K (PR)
June: Utah Valley Half Marathon (PR)
June:  Ragnar - Wasatch Back
July:  Freedom Run 10K (PR)
August:  Ragnar Trail Race
September:  Disney 5K
October: St George Marathon (PR)
October:  Pink Series Half Marathon
November: Snow Canyon Half Marathon (new PR)
November:  Courage 4Kuu 

Now onto 2014.....

2014 will be a very different year for me with running.  This is the first time in more than 5 years that I haven't already been signed up for a race before the year starts.  I don't even have any races planned out on my calendar.  I'm going to be out of town during Wasatch Back so I'm not even doing that race (sad, sad, sad).  I'm not sure what I want out of my running this year, except that I want to let my body rest and recover and simply get back to the fun part of running.  I don't want to train as hard as I have the last 2 years - instead I want to try new things and have fun. Wish me luck - this is very hard for me.  :)

My goals for 2014:
1.  Run 1200 miles
2.  Do 2 unassisted pull-ups
3. Compete in a new event (anything I haven't done before - distance or type)