PDR and Recovery Tips

Helloooooooo!!! How is it going? I hope that your weekend was fantastic 🙂 mine has felt ridiculously short. Hate it when that happens!

I pushed my long run back a day because it was snowing (finally) yesterday, and yeah, I just don’t see that happening. Today was cold and sunny for the most part, which made for great running weather! Except for the snow falling from the trees on my face. I could have done without that. It was gorgeous though!

I met up with my usual long run buddies, but I felt like crap. Or they are both super fast. Or a combo of both. I couldn’t keep up their light-speed pace today, and I wasn’t feeling great, so I just settled into a pace I knew I could maintain and took a good amount of scheduled walking breaks.

I accomplished a new distance record and somehow got to 8 whole miles!! Even though I was slower than I wanted, I did it.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on different recovery techniques since I want to make sure that I am doing all that I can to keep my legs fresh and I thought that I would give you an update on how they are working!

  • Stretching, foam rolling, tennis ball massages, etc. This has been great, and I can always tell when I am neglecting it. Like today, I KNEW I should have stretched more yesterday after my 3 miles and 30 minutes on the bike. I usually do the following sequence: Simple hamstring stretch, downward facing dog, upward facing dog, pigeon pose (both with my torso up and lying on my front leg), IT band rolling with the foam roller, glute rolling or tennis ball massage, tennis ball massage on my calfs, then calf and quad stretches (standing). I feel amazing afterwards!
  • Icy Hot and Tiger Balm I don’t use these every day, but sometimes it just feels so amazing. I definitely do NOT use them with my Zensah compression sleeves, which leads me to..
  • Zensah Compression Sleeves These. Are. Amazing. While they claimed on twitter to not be magic, I don’t believe them.
    I picked these up at 50% off at Salt Lake Running Co. before my 10K. I slept in them that night, and I was SHOCKED when I woke up. I didn’t realize that I literally used to limp out of bed every morning because of the pain I would feel in my shin and calfs. Until I didn’t feel the pain and there was no reason to limp. I’ve been sleeping in them almost every night when I run, and I can feel such a huge difference. They are magical, but not a miracle. I still need to stretch and massage, but they have made such a huge difference, I don’t know if I could have made it this far without them.
  • Icing/Ice Baths Especially since it’s cold outside, it’s been a huge effort to continue icing, even though I instantly feel better when I do. I have been reading so many good things about ice baths, I decided to take the plunge today. Mainly because I have a plethora of ice outside my door. Thank you snow! I added 5 BIG bowls of snow to cold water and sat on down. Wow. It was intense, but it got easier quickly, and I managed to stick out the 15 minutes. I still feel cold, but I am hoping it will be worth it. I will be sure to update you on the results. If I can feel like I can walk without dying tomorrow, I will count it as a success.
  • Nutrition It’s really important to make sure to fuel well after your run. We have gotten into the habit of hitting up a coffee shop after our run, and on most days I get a latte or something, mainly for the protein content. Then I eat. I know that this is an aspect I need to work on, but it’s kind of trial and error.

Do you have any recovery techniques? What is your favorite way to recover? Tell me about a fitness goal you recently accomplished 🙂 

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Overtraining Signs

So yesterday’s workout was a huge and epic fail. I went to the gym to get my walk/run/walk on on the treadmill, and it wasn’t all that bad at first. I was looking forward to it hurting my shins less and being able to control my pace. The first two miles of walking were fine, then I started running. OUCH. So much ouch. I just felt like my legs were so heavy and ugh, it was not great. Then my husband told me that he wasn’t feeling well and would wait for me downstairs, but I still had 2 more miles to do.

As he was walking away, I looked back, tripped, my arm caught on my headphone cord, my iPhone flew off the treadmill, and the back completely shattered. I am so glad I just bought that $34 case when it did NOTHING to protect my phone. I should be happy that I didn’t fall and fly off the treadmill, but I’m not. (Also, one of these days I need to do a post about my weird fear of falling off the treadmill haha.)

It still seems to be working, but I am just so annoyed. At this point I just left, I was too mad. Maybe not the best idea, but I would most likely have lost my temper, not the best thing to do in a crowded gym.

Yesterday I was feeling really odd, super tired, sluggish, and at one point dizzy. I was ravenous for anything containing carbs, and was hungry about every two hours. All symptoms that I am coming down with something (for me anyways) something that just can’t happen right now, and something I know can be a sign of overtraining.

This article from Runner’s World (aka my Bible) has some good info about over training, as well as includes a handy quiz to help you determine your overtraining. I took the test and I am at a 12, and 15 means you may be overtraining, as does this feeling of my legs feeling heavy. Something I’ve been dealing with the past few days. Something to keep an eye on, and use as an excuse to nap more. Sorry boss, I need to take a 3 hour lunch break so that I can go nap.   

I think I know why my legs are so tired, I did a BUNCH of leg work on my weight training day last week. I think I just shot them to heck, and then I tried to continue my running. Smart self.

So, no more lunges, squats or things like in the amount I did them last week. I am going to focus my strength training on my upper body and abs as well as working on things like my shins and my inner and outer thighs, and stretching.

I think the real key here is to listen to your body, and find the balance between pushing yourself past your limit in a good way, and pushing it to the point that you are injured or sick, something I think that all athletes struggle with as some point.

Have you found that balance? What works for you? Runners, do you do leg exercises? Or is it too much? Nonrunners, what exercise is your FAVORITE?

Again, being proactive about training instead of reactive is one of the best things you can do, and remember, I have zero medical qualifications. I may work in a hospital, but I majored in PR 🙂

Training Update: Week 1

Holy cow, one week down, seven to go until my half marathon!

This week was GREAT! I felt like I was challenged and pushing myself without feeling like I was going to keel over and die. OK, I kind of felt like that on Monday because I was so unprepared for the cold, but other than that, things are going well.

Here is what I did:
Monday: walk 2 miles, run 1 mile, walk 2 miles.
Tuesday: 2 weights circuits
Wednesday: 1 mile easy run + abs
Thursday: REST
Friday: same as Monday
Saturday: REST (I swapped Saturday and Sunday, I was a little hung over haha, woops!)
Sunday: 2 mile “long” run

I felt great the first few days, then I started to feel a little sluggish. Yesterday my legs felt like lead and that I couldn’t lift them high enough to run. My average pace was SO slow compared to the beginning of the week, I don’t really know what happened. Oh wait. Three glasses of wine happened and I am not 21 anymore you say? Well FINE.

What I want to work on: My overall energy level. I think it may have been the crazy stressful week I had last week, but I was dragging. I also want to work on pacing and pushing myself. An “easy” one mile should not be me going out and pushing it and having a new mile PR. But on the other hand, walking should not consist of sauntering, I should be speed walking!

I also need to plan out my routes better and possibly get a gym membership. For example, I have 6 miles to do tonight, and I honestly don’t see that happening outside. I am going to run out of daylight for sure and I just don’t feel comfortable running alone in the dark. I am also not good at visualizing what 6 miles is on foot (or anyway for that matter). I did this huge loop on Friday only to discover that it was barely 4 miles.

All in all, I think it was a super successful week! On one hand I am feeling apprehensive about the entire half marathon and that I might not be ready in time. But on the other hand, I know I’ve done all I can to set myself up for success by having an ironed out training plan, a mapped out meal plan, and a positive attitude and determination.  All I need to do is stick to the plan and it will all work out for the best.

Baby, it’s Cold Outside

Morning! I woke up to an exciting text from my brother, they were at the hospital having a baby! About an hour later, I got the “it’s a boy!” text. My sister-in-law is pretty much a rock star. I am a little bummed that I won’t get to see him for almost a month (it’s times like these I regret moving away from my family), but I am so excited that this little dude is in the world! Welcome buddy 🙂

So something crazy has happened in Utah. Fall is officially over. Well not “officially” but weather-wise, it’s long gone. Yesterday I was getting ready to head home at 4, and I realized I had 5 miles to do (2 miles walking, 1 mile running, 2 miles walking), and after some quick math, I realized that I would NOT have enough time to complete said workout in the daylight.

So I decided to walk home (1.53 miles), change, and head out of the rest of my workout. (I now bring extra shoes to work for my shins, I am bringing the sporty to business casual.) Too bad when I got home I could NOT find my long running tights. I have multiple pairs, couldn’t find ONE. So I grabbed capris, a tech shirt, my favorite Lululemon Stride Jacket, and a hat. From the waist up, I was nice and toasty.

From the waist down, not so much. I am using Rock Tape on my shin, and of course I bought bright pink, and I was practically matching the tape! My legs felt like lead they were so cold, it was hard to complete my workout. I just kept telling myself it was like icing my shins while running.

Finishing my workout was ROUGH and it didn’t help that my neighborhood is basically one giant hill, and I ran UP. I was having a really hard time physically and mentally I felt so slow and cold, that I was stopping constantly, the only thing that kept me going was that the faster I went, the faster it was done. Maybe that’s why I averaged about a 13 minute mile even with lots of walking. I know that a lot of it was just being uncomfortable and cold, and that was my fault for being unprepared, but I think I am going to at least have to start layering my bottoms, or get my gym membership back so that I at least have an option for when it’s so cold.

I mean, I know I am a California girl, but really, it was in the 20s or less for the entire day. That’s cold people. So cold that this person’s fountain froze! FROZE!

It took me hours to warm up afterwards. I changed into warm sweats, stood in front of the heating vent, and drank hot tea, and I was so cold that if I got up off the couch I could feel where I was sitting because that part of the couch was so much colder than the rest.

One redeeming quality of the night was my amazing dinner.

I needed something warm and yummy fast, so I had one egg + 2 egg whites, ½ cup of black beans, spinach, goat cheese, and enchilada sauce. I am calling them enchilada eggs and they were amazing. Too bad I am out of spinach, otherwise I would make them every night this week. Maybe I still will, but with broccoli.

So friends, is it cold where you are? How cold is too cold for you to venture outside for exercise? Do you like breakfast food? It’s my favorite, breakfast for dinner is a weekly thing around here 🙂