Fitness Favorites

I was recently asked what my absolute must-haves are when it comes to working out – what items I can absolutely not live without when it comes to exercising.

WATER

Water

This girl needs to stay hydrated.  I usually go through a couple of bottles of water when I’m at the gym.  I’m constantly guzzling because I’m sweating so much (it’s super hot at my gym) and I’m always trying to quench my thirst and dry mouth.  I try not to drink too much at once to avoid stomach aches, but when I’m at the gym I’m usually there for a while and going all out and water is definitely a game changer.

COOL AIR

Fan

via Daily Mail

I cannot stand being hot when I am exercising.  I find that if I am overheating I am not crushing my workouts and just feel gross.  I tend to run hot when I exercise, so I like to ensure that I am being cooled down efficiently.  So, in addition to replenishing my water intake, I also like to ensure that I can keep cool – either with multiple fans, open windows, or air conditioning.  If I’m at the gym then I usually hog the oscillating fan(s) and also make sure the overhead fans are so (I’m nagging for air conditioning).  If I’m working out at home I usually have the windows open or the AC on (if it’s summertime).  And if I’m teaching a class I take advantage of what’s available (inside = fans or AC / outside = shade and hopefully a slight breeze).

MUSIC

iPod

I 100% need my iPod when I’m working out, especially if I’m running.  The right song can keep me going.  (My song of choice for my run lately has been Anyway You Want It by Journey.)  When I ran my first 10k a few years ago I ran along to Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen on repeat.  It kept my perfect pace.  If I’m strength training I will put on a random play list and let the iPod work its magic.

HAIR GEAR

hair ties

This includes hair ties, headbands, hats, and bobby pins.  I have naturally curly hair and a whole heckuva lot of it and it is constantly in my face.  It is my second biggest peeve when I’m working out – right behind being hot.  I can’t stand little fly-away hairs in my face so I try to make sure I have what’s necessary to keeping my Wookie-do out of my eyes.

FITBIT

FitBit

I totally had buyer’s remorse when I first purchased my FitBit, but now I am addicted to it.  I love being able to track my steps, my distances, and my heart rate when I’m working out.  I picked up the HR Charge specifically to keep track of my heart rate. Since I have a heart condition, I figured it would be interesting to track the pattern and BPM and anything else that would correlate.  I also love the step challenges – within a group or simply on my own.  I am very aware of how active I am throughout each day and honestly make more of an effort to get up and move – especially if I have been sedentary for too long.

APPs

Aaptiv

I’m really not an app-y person when it comes to my exercise routine.  I’m fairly rogue that way.  I’ve downloaded apps in the past and rarely utilized them.  But one great new app I’ve reviewed is Aaptiv.  Aaptiv is an on-demand audio fitness app that combines the guidance of a trainer with the perfect playlist.  If you are considering a fitness app as part of your routine, you should definitely check out Aaptiv.

Aside from proper footwear and a good sports bra, that about does it for my list of workout must-haves.  What are some of your favorites?

~FB

Progress, Again

The other night I went for my first outdoor run in a very long time.  Pretty much since my ankles/tarsals got to the point of unbearable several months ago.

SNeaker

I had to take a break and the break, unfortunately, last longer than I’d expected.  My with the constant pain and swelling and bruising, I didn’t have much of a choice.

I’ve been doing a mile here and there at the gym, easing my way back into it, but taking it super careful, and even resorting to wearing compression socks (which, by the way, worked wonders.  I highly recommend them.  Thanks, Mom!).  And it’s been working.  Slowly, I’ve been making progress.  Hallelujah!

So, the other night was perfect weather.  And I felt kind of blah and like I needed a little cardio, so I went for it.  And, it was glorious!  I had such a good run.  In fact, the run was so great and pain free that I actually forgot about it until last night when I was updating her on the tarsal tunnel.

I am pumped to get back in the saddle again and start hitting the pavement when I can – especially in the evening once the sun starts to go down.  I love evening runs.

The major downside from this setback – aside from the pain, swelling, and bruising caused by the tarsal tunnel – is that it’s looking like I won’t be running in the Harvest Marathon this year.  At least not the half marathon like I’d planned.  There’s no way I can start training for a half marathon set for the start of October this late in the year.  And, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know if I really want to.  Not that I don’t want to run the half, because I’ve had my heart set on it all year and had been in training for it, but because I don’t want to go right back into hardcore running and put my ankle health back in jeopardy.  That would just be stupid and irresponsible of me.

Hurts to stop

Truth.  But it was the right decision.

So, for the time being I will work my way slowly back into a running routine and, perhaps I will set my sights lower for the Harvest this year and do a 5 or 10 k.  I just need to remember, no matter how disappointed I am about not running the half, is that I am doing this for me and it is the right decision.  Because in the end….being able to walk the rest of my life is more important than running one day.

~Fit Bitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Ya Gotta Have Heart!

RUNNERSI saw this yesterday in my Facebook feed and was inspired…..for a minute.  Then I realized, I do indeed have a runner’s body because I AM a runner, dammit!

The above photo was posted by one of my bootcampers – who also ran in the Harvest Marathon this past weekend.  I’ve watched her during my class and she works for it.  She gives it her all.  And she did such a great job in the race and she deserves to be so proud of herself.

We should never let anyone or anything diminish our accomplishments. And certainly not because we don’t conform to a required “mold” or ideal.

I am well aware that my arm skin jiggles when I’m running, thank you.  But you know what?  I’ve worked my ass off for that arm skin, because 10 years ago it was arm fat.  (Don’t even get me started on the boobs!)  I continue to work on toning and strength training but sometimes life, genetics, and just stubborn fat cells get in the way.  Does that make me any less of a runner or an athlete?  Hell no!

We need to stop idolizing the idea of what’s perfect and what’s acceptable and what’s “normal“.

Don’t let anyone ever take away of your greatness.  And please don’t let that someone be you.  You got this.

~Fit Bitch

I DID IT!!

MEDALYesterday I ran in the Harvest Marathon here in Nova Scotia.  It was my first time.

I didn’t realize how big this event was – or had become – but it was insane!  There were over 900 people registered in my category alone – and more than 3000 Nova Scotians registered for the entire marathon (not counting those from other provinces – or even countries, as there were a few).

I was excited, nervous, and anxious.  I was tired and sore (I think I pulled a hip flexor in class the other night), and was worried how my ankle (and bladder) would hold up.

It was an early morning with a BFF.  It was dark, dreary, and really cold.

But we did it.  All of us!

I ran alone (BFF was registered in a different category).  Plugged into Darius Rucker’s Wagon Wheel (it honestly helped me run), and pushed myself harder than I’ve pushed myself in a long time.

In fact, I pushed myself so hard I shaved 34 minutes off my time from Thursday night (just three days before).

My ankle is 100% okay – thankfully.  My hip flexor, on the other hand, is a different story – I have to tug on the toe of my sock to lift my leg – and my calves are tight today, but all in all I feel fantastic and proud.

And I’m proud of the other runners – and inspired by many!

This was an incredible experience and I am so elated to have finally been able to experience it.

~Fit Bitch

Clear Your Mind

CANTBecause you can.

You can squat.  You can jump.  You can walk (or wheel).  You can.

Stop limiting yourself.

Remember last week when I posted that gross photo of my cankle after spraining it in a race?  Well, the big race is this coming Sunday and I’ve been really worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete the distance.  I’ve been really stressed and anxious about it.

But tonight – I did it.  I ran the distance of the upcoming race.  In fact, I ran further than the distance of the upcoming race. (I also went to a Zumba class right after and  thought I could use a nap halfway thru before it even started!)

I feel fantastic!  Tired, but accomplished.

So there!  If I can, you can.  We can all do something.

~Fit Bitch

Zombie Run 2015

Last year I was super duper excited to participate in the Zombie Trail Run.  It was so much fun and my friends and I had a blast.  Such a blast, in fact, that my bestie/running buddy maintained that we would definitely sign up for the run again this year.  And we did.

We were so stoked.  The Run is more than an hour’s drive by highway so we had to be up early on Saturday morning to get ready and head out.  But it was worth it because we had just as much fun.

Except………this happened:

*barf*

*barf*

Yep!  That is my ankle.  In fact, that’s my ankle 2 and a half days later.  I was more than 4.5k into our 5k race, stubbed my foot on a rock, it cracked and I went down!  *BOOM*

My ankles have both been broken and sprained and strained (it should be clear by now that I’m a klutz!) and therefore they are very weak.  I guess I caught my foot on the rock just enough…. *sigh*.  FORTUNATELY, the ankle isn’t broken. The crack I heard was just the ligament tearing.  Fortunately.

I have another race in less than two weeks – on October 11.  It’s kind of a big deal and I’ve been training for it for a while.  I’m a little panicked right now but I’ve been icing my ankle and strengthening it and elevating it….so hopefully I can get back into training by this weekend (which just also happens to be my birthday – so, I mean, let’s be honest about how much training will get down this weekend!).

My fingers and toes are all crossed that the swelling will go down and I’ll be back on my feet – literally – in time for the next race.

~Fit Bitch

She Did It (Now I Have To)

A few months ago I posted that my friend was going to run a 10k marathon and although I was unable to participate, I told her I would train with her and would match her run.  I’m proud to say that Sunday morning my girl Ames crossed the finish line in about 1 hr 20 mins.

running woman

So, although I’ve been running a few times each week and following (somewhat) her training schedule, the last 2 weeks I’ve been taking my time with my running because of the medical emergency I have been dealing with.  I’ve gotten a few really good runs this last week but I’ll have to make the effort to complete my 10k sometime soon.

I’m used to running as I’ve been an avid runner for quite a few years.  I loved getting outside as often as possible to go for a nice long stretch of my sneakers on the pavement.  It was last year that I had to cut out running for a time as I’d had eye surgery and wasn’t permitted to run.  And once I was relieved of my “walking duty” I really only ran outside a few times.  Most of my runs for the past year have been inside on a treadmill.  It’s just too dangerous for me to be on the road, out in public – I have no depth perception in one eye and the risk of falling, tripping, sliding, stumbling, etc. is so high that I’ve limited myself.  But now I have a reason to get my butt back outside.  I made a commitment to myself and to my friend and I’m going to follow through with it.   Sometime within the next few weeks I will have documented my 10k run.

~Fit Bitch