Run, Run Santa (or Sandy)

I used to run every day.  I absolutely loved it.  I totally had that runner’s high and I craved it more and more each time I threw on my sneakers and headed out.  I’m not the best or fastest or most controlled runner, but I love it and I gave it my all.

A while back, I kind of fell of the running wagon and I just haven’t been able to put myself back into it.  I’ve done the annual races, but just wasn’t able (or willing?) to commit myself to my running habit again.  I think part of it has to do with me teaching fitness now.  I just don’t have as much time to devout to my sneakers as I would like.  And part of it is just….meh.

I ran a good portion of the last year.  I had a morning running buddy and we started in late summer last year running in the mornings before the sun was up and we carried it through portions of the fall and winter.  And we picked up again in the spring again and ran through to June.  Then this summer Nova Scotia got hit with an unbearable wave of humidity that I have never experienced in my lifetime.  I ran one morning in July and nearly killed myself with it and said screw it for the rest of the summer.  It was just too darn hot!

I ran once in September and then Honey Boo Boo and I did a race together (which was awesome together, but so stupid to not have prepared for it) and I realized how much I’ve been missing it.  So I decided to get back onto my wagon.  I’ve been out for a couple of evening runs (my favorite, by the way) and have been running at the gym.  And to keep me enticed, I have signed up for the 12 Ks till Christmas virtual run.

12k.png

Virtual Pace Series

I have been wanting to do this virtual run for several years but just never got around to actually signing up for it.  A few years ago, I ran pretty much every night right up to December 23.  I should have done this race then.  It would have been the perfect time.

This year in June I did a Goonies virtual run (Goonies is my favorite movie!) and I was so happy and exited to do it.  So I absolutely said I would do this virtual run this Christmas.  I have already signed up and have gotten a few of my friends to register as well.  I am so excited.

You can sign up too.  AND if you sign up asap, you can get early bird pricing (it ends tomorrow).  You can even register a team.  And portions of the proceeds are split between charities.

Just click on this link to register:

12Ks of Christmas

Commit yourself to running 1 kilometer every day for the 12 days leading to Christmas.  Don’t have the time to commit to doing it every day?  Get your race kit and start your run December 1st (or whenever) and get your Ks in when you’re free.  That’s the great thing about virtual runs.  You complete them on your own time.  No getting up at 5am unless you want to!  For me…I’ll be getting most of my runs done in the evenings or on my lunch break.

I think this is just what I need to get me back into my running habit.  Wish me luck!

~FB

 

RaceSpiration

In the last two weeks I’ve competed in my two favorite race – The annual Zombie Trail Run and, just yesterday, the Valley Harvest Marathon.  Although I didn’t run a marathon – or even the half-marathon as I’d planned (opting out, due to my tarsal tunnel) – I ran a good race.

racespiration

In fact, I ran a great race.  I shaved off 6 minutes compared to my time last year (although they were different distances). That’s a pretty big deal.

But I’ve been feeling a little down about it.

Y’see, I have an ongoing back injury (I’m sure I’ve mentioned it in past posts but let’s just keep it short by saying one slip, wretched back, 2 ambulances, 5 paramedics, and lots and lots and lots of morphine), and every so often I’ll do something that wretches it again and then it’s out.  A few years ago I put it out in kickboxing class, one night while running I skidded on the wet pavement and out it went.  And then about 6 weeks ago, while demonstrating a move in my bootcamp class – *bam* out it went again.  And it has been off and on ever since.  In fact, two weeks ago I didn’t think I’d be able to run the Zombie race because it was so bad the day before I could barely stand up.  But I made it through the run – with a lot of walks on the rough parts of the trail.

And for most of the last two weeks my back’s been pretty good.  Then yesterday, after the “On your mark, get set, GO!” and we runners were heading off-field from the start line, I was waving to a co-worker on the sideline and…it happened.  Another runner cut me off and ran into me.  Other than a little embarrassment (did I mention my coworker is super cute??), I felt no pain.  Until I hit the 2k mark.

The 2k mark is when the pain set in.  Have you ever injured yourself to the point that you have nearly blinding pain??  I’ve only ever had that a few times – when I broke my ankle/severed the ligament, and with this back injury.  The further I ran, the more intense the pain got.  When I passed the 3k mark I honestly thought I was going to throw up.  With each swing of my hips, the burning in my lower back pulsed harder and longer and I felt like I was being stabbed in the spine.  I had to stop every little bit and walk for 30-60 seconds and then I’d march run on.  I was hot, my face was red, I was using my knuckles to rub my lower back, and I’m sure there were sounds of whimpering leaving my body while I trotted around other racers.

But, I finally made it to the finish line.  I did have to stop and take a walking break on the track to gather what I needed to actually run across the finish line, but I did it. And I when I heard my name on the loud speaker when I made it over, I felt proud (albeit, also a little defeated).

And when I checked my FitBit (which is just slightly off from the race bib tracker time) I was pretty.damn.elated.  I’m really happy with my race time.  And I think about what it would be without feeling like I’m being kicked in spine and know I can only do better.

So, although I’m bummed out about what happened yesterday, I’m happy with the results to this point.  I’m not going to let anyone else take away from my accomplishment. And I’ve challenged myself (and my boyfriend!) to run the same distance once I’ve let myself heal a bit and we’ll see what the results are then.  Stay tuned.

~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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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