Thursday, July 5, 2012

Time to Go Back

As I said in my last post, I'm in the midst of another injury.  Something is wrong with my knee, and I'm pretty much just wondering what it is at this point.  It's about time to go back to the doctor.

Sitting in front of my computer tonight, I found myself reading through old posts.  This one particularly struck me: Get Better Everyday.  I remember feeling on top of the world when I was writing that post.  I need to get back there.  Eating healthy, cooking healthy, working out, and having a healthy mindset are the things that help the rest of my life stay positive and happy.  I haven't been doing my best lately to truly Get Better each and every day.  It's time to get back to that.

It was funny reading that though, because I said that I didn't know if I'd be spending this past year with someone special.  Lucky for me, I've spent it with someone amazing.

Thanks for the support...I'll get there!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Don't Forget!

In the midst of yet another injury--this time it's Bursitis (fluid) and a small ligament tear in my knee--I am reminded why I love to run.  This picture says it all.

Happy running everyone!

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's official!

Yesterday was a day that I honestly started to believe would never come. I ran the 408k Race to the Row. I ran my first race in one week short of a whole year.

When I went to the doctor on March 22, 2011, I thought I would leave with a slap on the wrist and a suggestion to ice more. But I left on crutches. Crutches! I have spent the last year battling a stress fracture, tendonitis, and severe shin splints. I have tried different shoes, insoles, taping, ankle braces, icing techniques, physical therapy, and very careful training. All of that made me absolutely determined to get back to running. I was craving that "finish line feeling".

Yesterday, I finally got it. I finally crossed a finish line. I trained for about 2 months for this race, increasing my distance more slowly than I had the patience for. I had started to believe that maybe my body just wasn't made for running. Something inside of me refused to fully believe that, though. And yesterday, I proved to myself that I was wrong. I ran every single step of that 5 miles (an 8k is 4.97 miles), including refusing to stop at the water stations and spilling the water all over myself while trying to run and drink.

My next personal goal is a 10k. I refuse to do it until I can run the entire thing with no pain. I did experience some pain yesterday in my leg, and I can't deny that. I started to get a little sore around mile 4, but the pain went away by the end. I iced twice yesterday after the race, and am still a little sore (I believe it is the tendonitis; when I wear good shoes, the pain pretty much goes away). In terms of distance running, I don't think my legs can handle another half marathon. I think the one I ran was my one and only, but I'm okay with that. I enjoy running, and don't mind running 10k's or less. It's not giving in, but I think it's important to not do permanent damage...I need both of my legs! And quite frankly, I never want to be on crutches in a kindergarten classroom again. I did embrace the "Robocop" nickname I got with the walking boot, but I'd prefer to not do that again, either.

Thanks for all of the support from everyone that allowed me to reach the point of running again. I know that I would not have kept with it if it weren't for the encouragement of everyone around me to continue fighting to get back.

Oh...and I also got an all-time personal best time in the race yesterday...47:58!

(Post-race with one of my main motivators: Vickie Wagenaar)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Running Tips for Beginners

I found these tips on I thought they'd be helpful for any beginning runners that may be reading! They're also great for experienced can't hurt to learn something new! (Please excuse the's not my specialty.)

Running Tips for Beginners

Every beginner wonders about these things at some point

How do I get started?
Start walking for a length of time that feels comfortable--anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Once you can walk for 30 minutes easily, sprinkle 1- to 2-minute running sessions into your walking. As time goes on, make the running sessions longer, until you're running for 30 minutes straight.

Is it normal if running hurts?
Some discomfort is normal as you add distance and intensity to your training. But real pain isn't normal. If some part of your body feels so bad that you have to run with a limp or otherwise alter your stride, you have a problem. Stop running immediately, and take a few days off. If you're not sure about the pain, try walking for a minute or two to see if the discomfort disappears.

Can I run in sneakers?
Running doesn't require much investment in gear and accessories, but you have to have a good pair of running shoes. Unlike sneakers, running shoes are designed to help your foot strike the ground properly, reducing the amount of shock that travels up your leg. They're also made to fit your foot snugly, which reduces the slipping and sliding that can lead to blisters. Visit a specialty running store to find the right shoe for you.

How is running on a treadmill different from outdoor runs?
A treadmill "pulls" the ground underneath your feet, and you don't face any wind resistance, both of which make running somewhat easier. Many treadmills are padded, making them a good option if you're carrying a few extra pounds or are injury-prone and want to decrease impact. To better simulate the effort of outdoor running, you can always set your treadmill at a 1-percent incline.

  • I always feel out of breath when I run--is something wrong?

    Yes, you’re probably trying to run too fast. Relax. Slow down. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is to run too fast. Concentrate on breathing from deep down in your belly, and if you have to, take walking breaks.

  • How do I prevent getting a side stitch when I run?

    Side stitches are common among beginners because your abdomen is not used to the jostling that running causes. Most runners find that stitches go away as fitness increases. Also, don’t eat any solid foods during the hour before you run. When you get a stitch, breathe deeply, concentrating on pushing all of the air out of your abdomen. This will stretch out your diaphragm muscle (just below your lungs), which is usually where a cramp occurs.

  • Should I breathe through my nose or my mouth?

    Both. It’s normal and natural to breathe through your nose and mouth at the same time. Keep your mouth slightly open, and relax your jaw muscles.

    Should I be doing anything in the gym to build my fitness?

    Working on stretching and flexibility is always helpful, especially to prevent injuries.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


In February of 2009, I weighed in for the first time at Club One Silicon Valley. When I went over the printout with the trainer, she told me that I was in the "Needs Work" category. I remember thinking to myself, "if I could only get in the 'Fair' category, that would be great." I also remember thinking, "I'll never get to the 'Ideal' category." The printout said that to be considered healthy, I needed to make some significant lifestyle changes. So I did.

Well...tonight, 2 years and 10 months later, I entered the "Ideal" category for body fat percentage. It also said that, "no additional weight loss is recommended, unless a change in appearance is desired." Never thought I'd see THAT!
I don't really know what else to say, except that now, I want to not just be on the edge of that category, I want to be at least in the middle of it, if not at the other edge of it! Casey challenged the Club Circuit group to make some 90 day goals, as part of the "Jumpstart to the New Year" challenge. I listed the following goals:
*Lose 20 lbs
*Drop 3% body fat
*Work out 5 times per week.

At the 45 day mark...
*I've lost 4.4 lbs...not quite making that goal (but I'll keep working at it!)
*I'm down 3% body fat!!!!
*I'm making it to the gym at least 4 times per week, but most weeks I go 5 times (I'll keep working at this one too!)

Now, what this blog was actually meant for...RUNNING! Here's an update:
I am sticking to the "return to running" plan that my PT gave me. I have now worked up to 4 minutes of running on the treadmill and intend on continuing to increase 15% every week. I have set a new goal of running the Nike Women's Half next October (if I get chosen in the lottery!). Here's to progress!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm at my lowest! (and that's a GREAT thing!)

I weighed myself this morning, and I haven't seen that number since about October of 2003. I was just starting college and was coming off of a summer of a 16 lb weight loss (aided by having really bad mono). From that point, my weight just gradually got worse and worse.

I can honestly say that my brother's wedding was the event that kicked my butt into gear. (Thanks, Jesse and Marissa. I love you guys.)

I am 8.5 lbs away from the weight listed on my driver's license...and I lied about that weight at 15 years old because I was too embarrassed to put my actual weight (and even more embarrassed to step on the scale to find out what it was!). When I hit -50 lbs and keep it off for at least a week, I'm having an "I finally lost 50 lbs party", and you're all invited. I'm 11 lbs away from that, so mark your calendars. ;o)

Getting Better Everyday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Get Better Everyday

I apologize in advance, because I know this post is going to be disjointed and not well written. My mind is racing and I want to get it all down before I forget anything I'm thinking. It has very little do do with the actual act of running. That being said, let's run with it...

A few months ago, my super-trainer Casey started telling us in class to "get better everyday". At first, I thought it was funny, and added a few pounds to what I was lifting and that was the extent of that. Now, I see it completely differently. About a month and a half ago, I had a long conversation with Casey about what it really meant to "get better". He told me to start by getting better at brushing my teeth in the morning...tying my shoes...easy things. Things that I would do my absolute best every day, just so I was focused. Today, my entire life is better.

This summer, I focused on my eating and my workouts. And thankfully, I was incredibly successful. With that success came confidence. A confidence that pretty much any of you know I have been lacking for a very long time. My summer started with a bit of heartbreak that I pretty much subjected myself to for way too long. I did that simply because I was making no effort to improve my life. I did not have the mindset I have now. My summer ended at a completely different point. I can honestly say that today, I am the happiest I have ever been. Ever.

I'm now going to go out on a limb and share something with the world that I've only shared with those that are extremely close to me. I'm single and perfectly happy with that. For a very long time I have tied being in a relationship with being happy. I have felt that there was no way someone could be truly happy with themselves if they had no one to share that happiness with. Now, I realize that I can't have a healthy, positive relationship without the contentment I feel now. I am perfectly good with where I'm at right now. I'm going to have a busy year, and if that ends up involving someone significant, great! If not, I'll be able to keep making my own schedule and do things as I please :o). I truly feel that I'm at a win-win point right now.

This realization that I've had is completely due to the fact that some part of my life needs to improve every single day in order to keep moving forward. I truly try to Get Better Everyday. This week, that included taking some steps I've been debating taking for a few months. I knew I couldn't truly "get better" if I didn't do them. Lululemon says to "do one thing a day that scares you." Well thank goodness I did what scared me...because I'm now a better person for it. I will bring the "get better" mantra to my students; I will encourage them to try their hardest every day in school, whether it be to make a new friend or try something new. I will continue to work towards the lofty goals I've set for myself. If I have no new goals to work towards, there's no way I can get better.

There are people in my life that have helped me get to this point, and I can't go without mentioning them. Vickie: my friend, coworker, gym partner, nutritionist, and overall motivator...I can't imagine where I'd be today without you. My Club Circuit group, you're a vital part of this as well. Thank you for constantly motivating me to keep going, even through my nagging, frustrating, annoying injury.

Yesterday, I took a look at the Vision Board I made for myself back in January. It has been on my wall since then, but has served very little purpose until I revisited it. Here it is:
See where it says "Fit, Proud, Strong"? That's how I feel. I'm going to add to it at the top. Where is says "NO EXCUSES", I'm going to add "...and Get Better Everyday".

How will you get better tomorrow?