On the Road Again-ish

Last week I decided, while in my gym routine, to try a run.  I hadn’t been running in about a month or so since my tarsal tunnel flared up and we discovered I have tendonitis on top of it.  But I figured I’d given them enough rest to try a run again.  I ran a mile on the treadmill and carried on with the rest of my workout.

The run wasn’t too bad, although my ankles were tingly afterward, I expected much more pain than what I had.  So, this week I decided to try a run again.  I ran two miles before carrying on with the rest of my gym routine.

That was Thursday night.  By Friday night, not only were my ankles completely puffy (although, the puffiness seems like it has found a permanent place in my feet), they were bruised on the inside once again.

What the heck is going on??

When I saw my doctor a few weeks back my biggest concern was the bruising and hers was the swelling.  I’m wondering now if she’d be more concerned with the bruising.

My ankles feel splintery; like shards of bone are being pulled away on the inside.  I can feel my bones clanking together where my leg meets the top of my foot.

Foot Description

Basically, we’re talking with the fibula meets the talus. *clank clank clank*

And so, it looks like running will have to be put on hold once again.  My BFF -slash – running buddy and I have a race weekend away planned for this upcoming weekend but it looks, too, like that is out of the question.

I am devastated by all of this.  Running is so important to me.  It’s something I have done, albeit off and on, for so long and to not be able to do it not only makes me sad but also terrifies me.  I’m not certain of the damage, if any, that is being done inside my legs and feet, and I know that I have to heal, but I feel defeated by not being able to pursue something that I have loved for so long.  At least for the time being.

So for now I make the choice to sit this one out – that may include this whole season, or just this race.  I don’t want to push myself to the point that I’m damaged goods for life.  Although it pains me, I need to be sensible and do what’s right for my body in order to keep it in its best form for as long as I can.

In a few weeks’ time I will attempt another mile and see how it goes.  I’m looking forward to getting back on the road again.

~FB

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Race Season

Race season has started and charity and fun runs are popping up all over the place.

Next weekend is the Bluenose Marathon here in Nova Scotia (http://bluenosemarathon.com/).  It’s a bit of a big deal here and it’s a race that I’ve thought about/wanted to do the last couple of years but, in all honesty, I can never remember to sign up for it.  I’m clearly a dough-head.

I have managed to participate in several races over the years.

My favorite – and by far the most fun – race is the Zombie Run (http://www.zombietrailrun.ca/).  Of course there are variations of this fun run all over the place (http://www.zombierun.com/, https://zombiesurvivor.ca/index.php, http://www.the5kzombierun.com/ <– Seriously, just Google “zombie races” and I’m sure you’ll find one in near your area).  I’ve already participated in this race twice and my bff/race buddy and I have already pre-registered for September’s run again.  It’s something to look forward to.

Zombie Run2

Last year I messed up and ended up rolling my ankle on the trail (https://nsfitbitch.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/zombie-run-2015/and ended up with a good sprain.  Good as in bad.  Ugh.  The worst part of last year’s mishap was that it happened two weeks before the Harvest Marathon and I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to participate.

But I worked through the sprain. I did take it easy for a bit but as soon as I really thought I was able, I continued my training so that I could complete the Harvest.

The Valley Harvest Marathon (http://www.valleyharvestmarathon.com/) is a pretty incredible event.  The Harvest is for serious runners.  And, although it certainly isn’t classified as a “fun run”, it is definitely a huge deal and an accomplishment.  When I completed my run last October I was elated (and tired!).

In fact, my most memorable moment from any race was probably fighting to cross that finish line last year.  I had to pee so bad (I refused to use a Port-a-Potty) and my hip had kinked up part-way through the race and I was in pain.  I really had wanted to stop and walk but I kept pushing and when I got to the track to circle it and make my way to the finish I kicked ‘er into high gear and gave it everything I had left.  I felt incredible.

And, one of the best thing about running in Nova Scotia in the fall is that it looks like this:

FALL RACES

Seriously – one of my favorite running paths looks like this in October.  I love fall in Nova Scotia ❤

There are so many races I’d love to participate in but they add up so I try to choose wisely.  My BFF/race buddy and I are checking out some fun runs in the US to participate in.  There are a few in Maine and New York that we’re looking at that seem like they’d be a lot of fun.  And it would give us a reason for a girls’ weekend/road trip.

When I am gearing up for a race here are some tips I follow:

  1. I run at least a few times a week.  Inside and out.  Although I prefer to run outside, sometimes the only option is to hit the treadmill.  And when that happens I definitely increase the incline and the resistance.  I need my practice runs to be similar to the terrain I’ll be racing on.
  2. I increase my strength training.  Although I’m a big pusher of strength training anyway, when I’m approaching race season I try to bring it just a little bit more for the few months preceding the race.  Strength training is important for structural fitness (the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to withstand the impact of running), it aids in injury prevention, and it helps you run faster.  Strength training also strengthens your bones.
  3. I try to do a “run thru” of the run.  Not the exact course, but a run thru of the distance of the upcoming run.
  4. I find the “right” tune and make it my racing buddy.  Over the last two years my two favorite training tunes have been “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker (please don’t judge me – that’s a really good song) and “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.  These two songs have basically been playing on repeat while I’ve been training and running.  They keep me at a good pace so I can count my steps and not overdo it, ensuring that I don’t burn out fast.  In fact, when I was running in the Harvest last year, Wagon Wheel was my running bitch.  I had the song playing continuously through and I kept my pace down so that I could keep my cardio up and finish the race in a decent time.
  5. Carb up – but don’t overdo it.  As you know, carbohydrate is the fuel for your body.  I’ve made the mistake of not eating properly before workouts and runs before and nearly killed myself.  Nowadays I know better and I’m careful what I put in my body so that I can make the most out of a workout or a run.  I want to ensure I have enough fuel to last me through the entire race too.

I really love running.  And the races I participate in give me a goal to work toward.  I would encourage anyone to check out runs in and around their specific area.  Or look at runs in other areas and make a mini-vacation out of it.

Charity runs are something I have participated in and plan to participate in again, likely this season.  It’s great to get out and support a great cause, show some community spirit, and have a great run.

Check out cool websites like Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.ca/) to search for upcoming races, or, to create your own https://www.eventbrite.ca/l/event-management-software/.

Ready.Set.RUN!

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boot Camp Fitness

When I advertise for my classes I get a lot of “what is boot camp?” questions.  I didn’t realize that many people are unaware of this type of training (but I suppose, once upon a time I asked “what is boot camp?”) and so I’ve decided to use this forum to explain to you what exactly my boot camp classes are like.

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

The purpose of fitness boot camp – aside from whipping your butt into shape – is to build strength and endurance.  My classes are jam-packed with cardio (cray-zee cardio) and strength.  And because my classes are based on body weight training I don’t require any equipment (save for a yoga mat so you don’t have to be/sit/lay on the ground or floor).

When most people hear the term “boot camp” they instantly think of the military.  New recruits go off to basic training and boot camp and go through some pretty intense training in order to get their bodies in tip-top shape.  Boot camp is pretty hard core – and so are my classes.

..this ain't no princess-in-training camp.

..this ain’t no princess-in-training camp.

As I said above, my classes are a combo of cardio and strength.  I start with a warm up, we work our asses off for the majority of the hour, and I finish with a cool down/stretching.

I am always coming up with new exercises so that the classes don’t get boring – and I also have some old tried and trusted faves.  I will make you squat.  I will make you burpee.  I will definitely make you sweat!

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

Your abs will be sore and you’ll have difficulty getting up those stairs the next few days.  But it will get easier.  No, scratch that!  YOU WILL GET STRONGER.  You will build up your cardio and your endurance.  You will need to take less breaks to catch your breath.  And you’ll be able to push up through the entire interval without having to take a knee.

You’ll leave class with your head held higher (I applaud you just for coming) and you’ll walk with a little swagger.  And so you should.

Via Yahoo

Via Yahoo

Here are a few things to remember when taking my class:

Gear. Come to class prepared, man.  You need sneakers, a mat, and water (and maybe a sweat towel).  You CANNOT do my class without proper footwear.  It’s dangerous and it’s reckless (for you as a participant and for me as a trainer). You need proper footwear in order to prevent injury.  I want your ass to be sore; I don’t want to kill you.
Water.  Hydration is key to good, everyday health.  But it’s really important to stay hydrated during an intense class – or if you’re an extensive sweater.  Boot camps are designed to get your heart rate up and make you break – and keep – a sweat, so replenishing those electrolytes is important.  Even more important when taking class in the summer.  Which just about kills even me.  Blah.
Disclose of any medical information, etc.  Good Lord people! I can’t even stress how important this is.  Please be sure  to disclose any medical or health issues to any fitness professional you’ll be working with.  I have my clients fill out a lengthy health history form as well as a liability waiver.  And I’m well aware that people lie.  But seriously, this is something that could save your life.  I am the first one to tell my clients that I have a heart condition (I mean, really, how often do you hear that your trainer has a heart condition) so please be truthful with me.
Carb up.  Yep.  You heard it.  Carbohydrate is what fuels your body and without it I expect you’ll be laying in a puddle on the floor in a corner.  I tell my clients to eat something carby (an apple, whole grain toast) at least an hour before my class.  (If you eat too close to class time you’re likely to puke).
Throwing up is okay.  Seriously.  You’re not the first.  You won’t be the last.
Boot camp classes are intense.  I’m not gonna lie.  Be prepared to work your butt off and to do things you didn’t think you were capable of.  Your body will hate you, you’ll hate me.  But you’ll be fine.
Don’t insult the instructor.  Don’t be a dick.  I had a dude come to my class recently.  He’d spent some time in the military and during a conversation after class he said to me “It was a good class.  It’s not boot camp though.”  No, it’s not (military) boot camp.  I’m not wielding a rifle and screaming profanities all whilst preparing you for battle.  It’s a fitness class.  He signed up for a fitness class – he got a fitness class.  He was an ass.  And really – if you’re going to participate just to be an ass, please stay home.
Don’t be afraid to dig deeper (or go lighter).  I tell my clients before and during their workouts “your body will tell you what you’re capable of.”  Don’t be afraid to push your limits (or at least try).  And certainly don’t be ashamed to modify if you need to.  Your body is your temple.  Do what’s best for it.
Don’t forget to pay the lady.  Unless you have made arrangements with me – or if I’ve stated otherwise – come to class prepared to pay.  It irks me to no end when people come to my class and don’t pay.  The same ass from above came to my class and said “I don’t have any money for you tonight.”  WTF??  I specifically told this person – as I’ve told everyone – what the cost is and my methods of payment.  This is a grown ass man!!   And it happens way too often.  It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to the rest of the participants who’ve paid for the classes.  I mean, when you go to the grocery store do you tell the cashier “I’m taking the milk but I don’t have any money for you”???
I happily offer free classes on occasion.  Unfortunately this is not something I can offer constantly as I have rental fees, insurance, education, dues, and travel expenses to cover during the session runs.  To show up for a class AND participate without intention to pay is disrespectful and, as far as I’m concerned, the same as stealing.  Asshat from above made me so angry that I’ve decided that I will no longer be offering people the benefit of the doubt and will be turning people away at the door.  “Sorry you traveled all this way but if you don’t pay you don’t play.”  It may be bad for business, but that’s exactly what it is…a business.  I’m offering you a service.  It’s not free.  Please keep this in mind when you are intending on attending any type of class.  {End rant.}
Have Fun!  Remember, this is a fitness class.  It’s not military basic training.  It’s supposed to be fun. Try it out.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Laugh at me.  Laugh at yourself.  As long as you’re working it at the same time.  Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore.  There is a lot of camaraderie among the participants.  We have fun.  Come with the right attitude and you will too.
~Fit Bitch

REDBOOK’S Strong Sexy 21-Day Challenge

I just came across this 21-day challenge by Redbook.  This is a great little challenge for new exercisers (and for those wanting to add to their current workouts).

This beginner workout is great because it incorporates both cardio and strength, and works different muscle groups. Basically, how it works is you do one exercise on Day 1.  On Day 2 you do the exercises from Day 1 and Day 2.  On Day 3 you do the exercises from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3….so that when you finally get to Day 21 you’re doing 21 different exercises.

Via Redbook

Via Redbook

Definitely check out the website here and watch the video.  Familiarize yourself with the exercises so that you can keep your form in check.

What’s also really great about this workout is that you can virtually do it anywhere – that includes while you’re watching TV (take advantage of those commercial breaks, folks!).

Everyone has to start somewhere and this little workout is very basic.  I’m not going to say it’s easy because there may be some difficulty, especially for beginner exercisers.

If you have any difficulty with a particular exercise and feel like it’s too much for you right off or that it may cause you injury (ie. burpees) you can either omit that exercise and sub in something else – like crunches for instance, or extra jumping jacks – or if you think you’d like to try burpees but don’t feel like your body is strong enough yet you can rearrange some of the exercises – make Day 6 your day for hip bridges and make Day 20 your day to try the burpee.

Whatever you choose to do will be right for you.

Good luck and have fun!

~Fit Bitch

30 Day Lunge Challenge

I’m really excited about this challenge because I LOVE LUNGES!!

There are some great benefits of doing lunges – strengthening your butt and legs, improving core strength, improving hip flexibility, improving your balance and posture.

To perform a proper lunge follow these instructions*:
– For the starting position, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
– Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far (do not extend your knee go past your toes – this can cause serious injury!), and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position.-
– Always engage your core. Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up.
USE A CHAIR FOR BALANCE IF REQUIRED
*I’ve included photo tutorials below

30 Day Lunge Challenge

30 Day Lunge Challenge

Lunge-Form

Proper Lunge Form

Proper Lunge Form

Keep in mind that if you’re not accustomed to performing lunges than likely you will be sore for the first couple of days. Be sure to warm up and do some stretching before and after doing your lunges to prevent injury and as much soreness as possible. Stretching in a warm bath (or a pool because summer is-a-comin’) can be beneficial as well.

Have fun!

~Fit Bitch