Monday, December 31, 2012

Q & A 2012: A look back

Last year at this time, I recapped my running from throughout the year by listing out each month's miles & the races I completed.  Recently, I've seen a few people recapping their running year through a list of questions.  Neither really seemed to be how I wanted to recap my year - probably because the year turned out much differently than I thought it would - but I'm stealing the questions from Paulette's blog because the thought of posting basically nothing for part of spring and early summer is really depressing.  If you want to read race recaps from this year's races, just click on the "races" tab above and you can find them there.  

Shall we get started?  (feel free to steal these and play along)

Best Race Experience - This one is actually pretty easy.  Without a doubt, I'm calling the Down and Dirty Mud Run that I did with Erin as the best race experience of 2012.  I was literally DAYS out of my boot for my stress injury and I wasn't sure I'd be able to complete the race.  I couldn't run so we walked the course, laughed, had fun, and kicked ass on the obstacles - plus got really muddy in the process.
Runners up are definitely the two Disney races I ran this year: The Tinker Bell Half and Wine and Dine Half.  They were two of the "worst" races I've ever run as far as time goes, but running in costume, Disney magic and getting to spend time with very dear friends makes up for that piece.

Best Run - This one is more recent and also a race.  My best run of this year was the Turkey Trot 5k I did on Thanksgiving Day.  I had just come off of a disappointing performance at Wine and Dine and decided on a whim to run this local 5k.  I had no real goals related to pace, just to go out and see what I could do.  What I did was manage to annihilate my previous 5k PR by almost 5 1/2 minutes and run my first sub-30 :)  Not only that, I managed to re-kindle the love of running that I'd been missing. The only bad thing? That 28:15 5k is going to be very tough to beat.

Best Piece of New Gear - This will have to be my Trek Lexa road bike.  This bike kept me fit while I was recovering from my injury and helped me finish my first triathlon.  Now, it's hooked up to a trainer in my basement (because the trails are more snow-covered now) and will help keep my fitness up this winter.

Best Piece of Running Advice Received - This question is a lot tougher to answer.  With my injury this year and all the rehab I've done, I should probably go with something related to listening to my body and allowing it to heal, and while those are VERY sound pieces of advice, I'm going with something else.  "You can breathe when you're done."  This year was the year of the speed work and pushing myself.  I did Yasso 800's for the first time at a 9 mm pace.  Something I thought I'd never be able to do.  All that speed work didn't pay off at Wine and Dine like it was supposed to but it paid off in spades at that Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.  "You can breathe when you're done" was my mantra for the last 1/2 mile or more.  It's about pushing yourself farther than you think you are capable.  Someone also recently said, "Don't eat yellow snow" - also sound advice, especially around these parts :)

Most Inspirational Runner(s) - There is no way I can pick just one person for this so I'm taking the easy way out and saying ALL OF YOU!!! Whether you walk, cycle, run, sprint, whatever, reading about your workouts on DailyMile or Twitter motivates me to get my ass out the door.  The social media community never ceases to amaze me with the love and support they give.

If You Could Sum Up Your Year of Running in Three Words What Would They Be? - Hmmmm.....

  • Fun - I ran in some REALLY fun races this year (see above) and just recently found out how fun it is to run with a group.
  • Frustrating - This year's injury(s) really kicked my ass.  I don't think I ever had a month where I was running 100% injury or pain free.  This was definitely the year of faster/slower/faster/slower. I'd seem to be making great improvements and then BAM something would knock me down again. 
  • Faster - While I didn't get my half marathon PR that I was gunning for, I set PRs in the 10k and 5k - both after coming back from injury.  I'm pretty damn proud of that.
So how about you?  Pick one of these questions to answer - or steal the lot of them - let me know how you did in 2012.

Friday, December 28, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Fitness Friday

  • Exceeded my total miles goal by over 200 miles
  • Failed in my total races goal (only did 8)
  • Failed in miles ran this year - going to miss 500 by less than 20 miles and last year I did over 770. Injuries suck ass but I don't think I would've come close anyway since I didn't train for a full marathon like last year.
  • Failed in maintaining a healthy weight. While I like to see high numbers for training, the number on the scale this year really makes me sad.
I wish I felt better about how I did this year, and maybe my attitude will change when I go back and write a recap post (if I write one).  How about you, did you meet your fitness goals this year?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wordless for a Week

I saw this idea over at Average Moms Wear Capes.  ChristieO is planning to go wordless for the entire week of Christmas and is only posting pictures on her blog.  I then saw Brooke at Frugal Trophy Wife is doing the same.  With the hustle and bustle of Christmas, this seems like a great idea.  I use blogpress a lot anyway and I can just post pics from my phone while spending a little more time with the family and less time on the computer.  Now let's see if I can actually do it and not write/say anything for a week (ok, it's really only 5 days - I've got this).

If you want to join in, head over to Average Moms Wear Capes - Christie will have a linky if you want to share your posts.

So, in advance - Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Christmas Survey

I saw this last Thursday on Tina's blog and decided it would be fun to play along.

1.  Favorite Christmas Album/CD/Song:  I actually have a few.  As for a traditional Christmas hymn, O Holy Night is my all-time favorite.  Instrumental? Sleigh Ride. Love the trumpet horse whinny.  For something fun, I LOVE the 12 Days of Christmas sung by Straight No Chaser.  Really, any of their Christmas songs rock.  Even the kids request them.

2.  Run on Christmas morning or take the day off? I probably won't run Christmas morning since we're traveling that day, but hopefully I'll get a few miles in on Christmas Eve.  If I don't run Christmas Eve and the weather cooperates, I'll head outside and run before we leave.

3.  What do you usually eat on Christmas morning? We don't have a traditional Christmas breakfast.  My son will probably want to make pancakes though and the girl will want hash browns.

4.  Favorite holiday or Christmas tradition?  I would say my favorite holiday tradition is getting ornaments throughout the year during my travels and then decorating the tree.  When I was growing up, my favorite tradition was to go to the 11pm candlelight service at our church and ring in Christmas at midnight.

5.  Real tree, fake tree, or no tree? Real tree. Always a Fraser Fir. Always from the same place. No tinsel (we have a cat who would eat it). Only ornaments and lights with an angel on top.  The angel and tree skirt were made by M's mom years ago.

6.  Christmas pajamas, yay or nay? We don't do the Christmas PJ tradition.  I think if I'd started it when the kids were little it would've kept going, but we all just like to sleep in our usual stuff.

7.  Where do you spend the holidays? It depends on who is hosting :)  We host often because we have the space. Otherwise, some years we go to my sister's and sometimes to M's mom's or his brother's house.

8.  Food that you always have during the holiday season/favorite Christmas treat? My girl would say lefse, but I'm not picky.  Again, the food depends on who is hosting. One of the teachers I work with always brings in candy her mom makes.  That's pretty awesome. I might have eaten 3 yesterday.

9.  Open presents all at once or take turns? If I had my way, we'd take turns. I want to see what people get.  That being said, every year it turns into a free-for-all. I'm out-voted EVERY. FREAKING. YEAR.  When we are at my sister's house, the ceiling fan will be on and everyone will shoot their wrapping paper into the fan.

10. Favorite Christmas(ish) movie?  Is it bad to say I don't really have one?  If I had to pick, I'd say Charlie Brown Christmas.

Your turn!  Pick one of the questions to answer in the comments or feel free to steal the whole post - just make sure to come up with your own answers :)  Let me know if you write a post so I can read it!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Faith, Hope, Love

This Thursday I'm giving thanks for three little words:

Faith - in this holiday season, I'm thankful that I can celebrate the real reason for Christmas.

Hope - after a great run with almost zero pain yesterday (and minimal pain after/this morning), I'm hopeful that I'm on the mend.

Love - I'm eternally thankful for the people in my life who love me unconditionally, pick me up when I'm feeling down, encourage me and support me every day. You all know who you are and my life wouldn't be the same without you.

What are you thankful for today?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday: sick?

Starting Weight: 153.6
Last week: 151.8
This week: 150.2
Change: down 1.6
Total change: down 3.4

I haven't felt good for a few days (my stomach kills whenever I east anything) & had tons of GI issues on Monday, so much that this was my weight Tuesday morning:

So, I actually lost 3.2 pounds this week but gained 1.6 back yesterday because I actually ate something???

Fluctuations like this are infuriating. If I'm going to lose 3+ pounds by fighting some flu bug, they should at least have the decency to stay gone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Training Tuesday: I'm trying

Quick review of my week. Basically it's been mostly cross training with some running attempts thrown in.  The past 2 days I've been very sick to my stomach - even managed to lose almost 3 pounds yesterday but it'll probably be back by the time I need to weigh in for tomorrow's post.

Monday 12/10/12 - Plan 45-60 min cardio: Ran 5 miles in 52:38 (10:31 pace ave). Actually felt pretty good on this run (some aching and tight calves but tolerable) and pushed hard at the finish (the last miles was something like 9:30) because it had gotten completely dark and I was freaked out.  Probably pushed too hard and screwed myself up though.

Tuesday 12/11/12 - Plan leg strength/30 min cardio: Completed 30 min leg workout then 30 min intervals on the elliptical.

Wednesday 12/12/12 - Plan arm strength/30 min cardio: Completed 30 min arm routine to shaking arms then tried out the Saucony shoes I got. HORRIBLE run. Did 1/2 mile walk then 1 mile on the TM and 1/2 mile on the track. Never felt right and the shoes were returned yesterday.

Thursday 12/13/12 - Plan 45-60 min cardio: Completed 17.6 miles on the bike in a 46 min spin class. Finished with 30 min of pilates.  This is becoming my usual Thursday workout and when I can fit it in, I hope to keep it up. The spin class pushes me a lot more than I push myself on my trainer at home.

Friday 12/14/12 - Plan leg strength/30 min cardio: Completed nothing.  Did 3 rounds of my PT exercises throughout the day and that was it. (I've been doing 2-3 rounds of PT exercises, calf stretching and rolling every day, but I don't always log it. Since I didn't do anything else because of my kid's eye appointments and then a concert at night, I figured I'd count them today.)

Saturday 12/15/12 - Plan 60-75 min cardio: Completed 91 minutes of cardio. 2 mile run in my new (old style) Asics - probably too fast (ave 10:35 pace) and I felt good until the 1.5 mile mark then started having more pain.  Pushed to 2 miles and then did a mile walk of shame home in 15 minutes.  Finished with 12 miles on the trainer (54 minutes).  I know the idea is to keep up my fitness but this just wasn't even close to what a good 6-8 mile long run would've done for me.  Realizing I won't be able to do that until f*ck knows when is really frustrating, but at least I have the trainer now so I can bike without going to the gym.  I have a very hard time counting walking as cardio though.

Sunday 12/16/12 - Plan rest day: Completed several more rounds of my PT crap.  I wish I could say it's doing me some good, but I'm just not feeling it yet.

This week I decided I'm NOT going to run the 10k in Chicago that I wanted to do in January.  I'm not convinced I could cover the distance without walking and it's a lot of money to pay to race when my original plan when looking at it was to try for a nice 10k PR and now I'd be lucky to finish. Plus, walking a 10k in Chicago in January would really suck out loud.

I'm not sure if I'm going to keep doing these training recap blog posts.  All of this information is on DailyMile and since now I'm not really training for anything and every post brings out Debbie Downer, it seems kind of pointless.  Thoughts?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fitness Friday: Flunking PT but someone's a winner

So, it would appear that I am flunking out of PT - or maybe being suspended for bad behavior is more accurate.  I've had no improvement in my shin/calf with the deep tissue work and e-stim that he and his assistant have been doing.  I've been following my exercises (but will admit to slacking off on the weekend) and I haven't seen any improvement there either, unless you count them just being easier to complete.

The PT recommended a different shoe and my running store only had one on his list in stock (he had 5 listed - 2 Brooks and 2 Asics, plus the crazy Newtons that I can't even begin to afford).  I tried the Brooks Adrenalin in the store and absolutely hated them.  One of my "orders" was to work on less heal strike and the Brooks he recommended made me feel like I was heel striking even more.  Because of this, the very knowledgeable sales girl suggested I try the Omni 11 from Saucony.  It has a lower drop and is supposed to promote a more mid-foot strike.  They were ugly but felt ok jogging around the running store so I bought them (and returned the cute-ish Asics I'd been breaking in for the last month - mega dumb move but I only had 2 days left on their 30 day warranty from the store and I really can't afford 2 pair of $120 shoes that will just sit in my closet).

Wednesday I hit the gym for some upper body work and a trial run in the Saucony's.  The arm work was good in that *holy shit I can't lift my arms anymore* sort of way.

The run?  Epic Fail

Now, I really wasn't expecting a miracle or maybe I was but hate to admit it but I expected to be able to run at least a couple slow miles without much difficulty.  Boy, was I ever wrong.  The shoes felt heavy and clunky on my feet and trying to focus on a mid-foot strike was mentally and physically exhausting.  I felt like a fool prancing on the treadmill - I don't know how else to describe it.  Ever try running on your toes for more than a few steps?  That's what it was like.  I stuck with it for a mile and my calves were screaming at me and my shin still hurt like a mofo.  I had it in my head I was going to run 2 miles, so I tried the indoor track to see if that was any easier.  Nope. Only went another 1/2 mile and it took everything not to have a complete and total meltdown on the track.  I left the gym feeling like I was never going to be able to call myself a runner again.  I'm a bit of a drama queen.  I tend to overreact when I'm tired and frustrated. Just when I feel like my running is improving and I'm half-way decent, I get told I run wrong and the only way to fix my stress injury is to change the way I run.  I don't think it's going to happen and if it does, it certainly isn't going to happen overnight.  Plus, I see people running all the time with much worse form than me - so why am I having all these problems?

The past 2-3 weeks, and this week especially, have really sucked for me from a running standpoint.  I go from setting a monster 5k PR on Thanksgiving Day to not even being able to run 2 miles.  One of the shoes the PT recommended was the Asics 2170 GTs that I've been running in for the past few years.  Why he would recommend the shoe that I was using when all of my issues started is beyond me, but I think he's saying with the addition of the orthotics, they will have better support now.  I ordered them from Zappos Wednesday night and they were on my doorstep Thursday afternoon (gotta love Zappos).  I'm crossing my fingers and praying they work, because frankly I don't know what else to do.  I know not to expect a miracle when I run on Saturday but I'm hoping these are better than the Brooks.  I was invited to a group run Saturday morning but I'm not running with the girls because I really can't keep up right now.  It's frustrating.

I'm planning to look at going back to the Good Form Running clinic at my running store (I went to one this summer) but unless someone is actually working with me while I run, I don't think I'm going to be able to change my gait. Maybe I'll just keep working on upping the cadence - I've had better luck with that. Another friend suggested I try some barefoot running (which is also recommended by GFR) but it's winter here now.  I can't run outside in the grass/snow unless I want frostbite or we get a really warm day and the gym doesn't allow barefoot ANYWHERE except the pool.  I suggested to my friend with a treadmill (who is also a PT) that I wanted to try that on her treadmill, but she didn't think it was a great idea since I'm already injured.  She thinks the surface is going to be too hard but said I could come over and give it a shot if I kept it REALLY short.  The last thing I need is to add a stress fracture in my foot to my already long list of issues.  Also, expect to see lots of 15 min "Rehab Exercises" types of posts on Daily Mile.  I'm ticked the PT didn't give me a better list of things to do (I only have one exercise) so I came up with a bunch of calf stretches and foam rolling to do in addition to the theraband stability exercises he gave me.

I know this post was essentially a depressing brain dump and I'm sorry.  I just needed to get some of this crap out.  I still have a couple PT sessions scheduled but I don't know if he's going to want to see me or not. It depends on whether I can get a couple good trial runs in between now and Monday. If I can't do what he's asking me to do, there really isn't much point in continuing to charge my insurance company (and me for whatever the copays might be).  I might just end up doing a ton of cross training and hoping I can fix myself.

So, how about some fun now that I've been all Debbie Downer on you?  Thank you to everyone who commented on my motivation post on Monday.  You all have some great methods for turning demotivators into positive motivation!  Now, without further ado, the winner of my $20 iTunes or Starbuck's gift card is.....

She wrote, "Burnout. I've had that over the last year. I am barely making two runs a week right now and I'm okay with that. What motivates me? Remembering the feeling of meeting a goal. Take last night...I ran 6 on the treadmill because it' was on the schedule. About mile 3.5 I was tired and almost stopped. But then I remembered last weekend? My feet carried me 28 miles. Of course I could do 2.5 more. 

But sometimes you do need a break. Switch things up a bit. 

I wish I had a running buddy here that I could go out with. I think that would help a lot. Having someone to be accountable for helps immensely. :) "
Congrats Kirsten!!! The music or coffee will serve you well as you get ready to kick Goofy's butt in January!!! Now if we can only come up with another girls weekend I could be that running buddy for you.  An email is on it's way for you to pick your prize :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Christmas Memories

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is hauling out the boxes of ornaments and decorating the tree. Every ornament on the tree belongs to someone in the family and has some significance. We buy ornaments on vacations & the kids get ornaments every year. Here are a few of the favorites. (Sorry about how dark the pictures turned out - my house is dark and I just used my phone.)

Merry Christmas from my house to yours.

(Don't forget - today is the last day to enter my giveaway!)

Do you have any ornament traditions in your family?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday and PT issues

Starting Weight: 153.6
Last week: 154.2
This week: 151.8
Change: down 2.4
Total change: down 1.8

Better than last week, but yesterday was even better. I hate that I can barely eat, workout hard, and then have a dinner with the littlest bit of salt and gain almost 2 pounds overnight. It's stupid.

Unrelated news that is causing me to want to eat my feelings and just curl up in bed: I'm facing the possibility of easing way back on my running or taking another total "rest" period. PT went horribly yesterday & he basically said there's nothing he can do for me unless I change the way I run. He recommended different shoes with more stability & working on moving toward a more mid-foot strike. He also cancelled my next session & didn't do any treatments yesterday. Basically, all the work I've missed over the past 3 weeks has been a total waste of time and I'm no better than when I started.  To me, saying I need to change the way I run sounds like a death sentence. I run the way I run. I watch people run on the trail or treadmill and I see MUCH worse form than mine. Legs flailing to the side. There's this one woman I see on the trail all the time that always has her head cocked to one side.  How are they not having issues?  He had me focus on that form of running for about 1/4 mile on the treadmill during PT and I was physically & mentally exhausted. I left PT and sat in my car and cried.  I cried more when I got home.  I'm still crying this morning.  I know it shouldn't feel like the end of the world, but it does.  Forgive me for being such a stupid baby, but there you have it.  I have new shoes now (Saucony Omni 11s if anyone cares - and they were't even on the list he gave me) and I'll try them tonight or tomorrow. Hoping I last 1/2 a fucking mile.

Have you changed your running form? How? Did you hire a coach, because that's probably the only thing that will work for me & I can't afford it.  Basically I think I'm screwed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Training Tuesday: Burnout & Boredom

As I was reading through all the great comments on my post yesterday addressing how we can turn demotivators or negative motivators into positive ones, I noticed a resounding theme.

Many of you are facing burnout and boredom with your workouts - whether running, walking, or whatever.  Luckily, I think this is one of the easiest demotivators to fix.

You need to shake things up!  If you are in the middle of training for a race, I know this can be difficult because you have prescribed training runs to hit.  Nobody says you have to do them on the same days every week though.  Maybe run your usual routes backwards or find some new running partners to train with.  Switch up your days a little.  Usually do your tempo runs on Monday and your speedwork on Wednesday? Flip them.

Since I'm not really training for a race right now, I'm mixing things up a bit. (There is a 10k I'm looking at in January, but other than that I don't have anything "big" planned until May.)  I work best with a schedule, which is why I'm still planning my workouts.

This is my training "plan" for the next 6-7 weeks.  What days I do each workout may vary week to week, but this is what I'm trying to hit.

Monday: 45-60 min of cardio - this will probably be a run, but could easily be a spin class, aerobics class, or a swim (granted, I'd die if I tried to swim for an hour, but that's a different story).  Last week I ran 4.25 miles on a glorious spring day in December and threw in a 15 min abs workout.

Tuesday: 30 min leg workout/30 min cardio - I have a leg workout I'm trying that's hopefully going to get my running muscles stronger and then I'll follow it with some form of cardio - again, could be a run, elliptical, swim, bike, whatever.  I also have PT on Tuesdays, so it sorta fits.  Last week, I only went to PT.

Wednesday: 30 min arm workout/30 min cardio - I'm trying to work on getting my shoulders and sexy arms back. Again, will follow with something cardio-ish.  Last week I did the arm workout and it was SO HARD, then I went out and busted out the fastest 3.3 miles I've done in forever. Shows you never know what you can do when you're tired.

Thursday: 45-60 min cardio - Similar to the plan for Monday. Last week I went to a 45 min spin class (holy sweat-fest, Batman!) and then did 30 min of Pilates (yep - proved I'm a runner - you can guess how).

Friday: 30 min legs/30 min cardio again.  Last week I swam for 30 min and then because my girl got done with her sport early, did my 30 min leg workout at home.  Better than nothing, I suppose.

Saturday: 75-90 min run.  I still want to shoot for getting in a 6-8 mile long run each weekend to keep my endurance up.  This week was different for a couple reasons.  I ended up doing a bike/run brick.  42 min on the trainer inside and then 28 min run outside in the snow.

Sunday: OFF (I figure I deserve at least 1 rest day each week).

This plan is a mix of plans - some workouts I've gotten from friends and part of the workouts from the Train Like a Mother 10k Own It Plan.  I'd love to PR that 10k in January, but knowing it's going to be January and could be in a blizzard, I'm not placing any bets.  By Feb/March, I'll be ready to hit a more formal 1/2 marathon plan for the Bayshore Half.

What do you do to mix up your workouts and stave off the burnout and boredom?

After you comment here, make sure you go back and read yesterday's post and enter my GIVEAWAY!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Motivation Monday: How do you motivate? and a #giveaway!

Last week, I was talking about not knowing what to write about and my friend asked me, "Why don't you write about what motivates you, when were you excited to get out and run? Why?"  We kept chatting and the conversation lead to a discussion about things that DE-motivate as well.  Have you ever thought about that? How we have motivators and demotivators that impact us? I realized the topic fit well with my usual Monday blog posts - and I wouldn't just need to rip something off Pinterest.  This is a bit long, but stick with me, I promise it will be worth it.

So, what DOES motivate me and get me excited to go out and run?

The answer for me is pretty simple. Success. When I see improvement and positive results, I want more. That gets my butt out the door and to the gym or motivates me to eat better.  

Success as a motivator for me also explains why bad runs or bad workouts are so frustrating. I need to feel successful or I lose motivation.  I've been struggling with this quite a bit since I got injured last spring.  It seems I'm always in a cycle of 2 steps forward, 1 step back.  Luckily, the math works and I'm still moving forward, but it's still hard to feel motivated to train when you think you're failing. It's also very difficult to set your sights in the far future. 

Training hard now for a race in 4 months is tough. But, if you have a good run during that training, you get excited to have another good run.  I think most training plans are set up to help give you some success in this regard.  You aren't asked to go out and run 10 miles on your first long run (unless, perhaps, you're training for a marathon and you've been running consistently for a year - that's a bit different).  You start slowly and build your way up, thus ensuring some element of success and reducing the chance you'll get injured.  

What are some other motivators?

I can see redemption in there. I'm often motivated to redeem myself after a bad workout. I think my 5k PR was fueled by some of that need to redeem what I felt was a very bad performance at Disney.

Anyone ever get motivated by anger? A very dangerous motivator because we tend to think irrationally, often reacting. Get pissed. Go for a hard run. Get injured. I've never done this, though. (yah, right)

Vengeance? Maybe you run to get back at someone. 

Are these positive motivators or negative motivators?  They all have the potential to motivate you out the door, but is success (as a positive motivator) better than a motivator that is more negative?  Think about positive and negative reinforcement you may use with your children.  The addition or removal of something can have a positive result, but It's a gamble.  (Psych 101 lesson: Remember, "negative reinforcement, by definition, is the removal of a stimulus to increase a desired behavior, as opposed to "punishment" which is the addition of a stimulus to reduce an undesirable behavior.) The results with using negative reinforcement can be mixed.  Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.  Typically positive reinforcement (and in the case of this post - positive motivator) is more effective.  You always win regardless of the outcome.  Does this make sense?

My friend used the analogy of the movie, Monsters, Inc. to describe the concept of positive and negative motivators.  The monsters needed energy, which they traditionally got by scaring kids. That's motivation by fear - a negative motivator. Somewhat effective. Laughter - the positive motivator - was much more powerful. They used a negative (fear) to produce a positive response (energy for their city).  It was a different motivating factor.  Laughter was much more powerful than fear.

What about DE-motivators?  Feeling I've failed is a demotivator for me.  Demotivators would produce negative results.  What are some other demotivators besides the sense of failure?

I would say stagnating is a demotivator. Not failing but not improving either.  I think this is a great reason to mix up your goals or your workouts.  Your body gets bored just as easily as your mind.  Mixing it up helps keep you from feeling stuck in your workouts.

What about a lack of encouragement? I know it's important to motivate yourself, but sometimes it's nice to have someone we love tell us they're proud of us: for working hard, sticking with a training plan, for setting a new PR, or just for getting off our butts.  If we don't hear these this, we might not keep working at it.  

The key is to turn these demotivators or negative motivators into positive motivators.  When you find something that's blocking you - demotivating you - what do you do to turn that around? 

The challenge is to turn those bad runs or workouts into positives.

I've been thinking about this conversation all week and I want to know what you think, and I want to reward you with some positive motivation for telling me :)  

As my way of saying "thank you" for the past year of following me here on this journey and helping to motivate me, I'm going to give one lucky reader their choice of something else that helps motivate me: $20 worth of iTunes music or coffee from Starbucks in the form of a gift card.  Winner's choice. :)

How do you enter? 
  • For a mandatory entry, answer my question: When you find something that's demotivating you (a negative motivator) how do you turn it into a positive?
  • For extra entries, share this post/giveaway on twitter, your own blog, or Facebook. You can do this once a day between now (Monday) and Thursday - that's 4 extra entries.  Just make sure you leave me a comment and the link here each time you do this so I make sure to count them. (Make sure you mention me in your tweet: "Hey, @barif0815 wants to know how you turn negatives to positives and is giving away a gift card as a thank you" and link back to this post.)
I'll draw the winner on Friday, Dec. 14th.  Make sure there's a way for me to reach you if you win!  If my winner doesn't respond by next Monday (12/17/12), I'll draw another winner.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Progress

Today I'm giving thanks for 3 things and I don't have much time, so you get bullet points (I know, bad blogger):

This Thursday I'm giving thanks for...

  • The new-new orthotics that I bought on Tuesday felt great on my run yesterday. Winning! (They are this kind if you are curious - but remember I'm not a doctor and don't play one on TV, so ask someone who knows what they are doing before you go out and try them.)
  • Having a kick ass run yesterday.  Just as I was starting to feel like I had lost all my fitness and speed, I go bust out 3.3 miles at a 9:30 pace and I felt great doing it. Definitely feels like a step in the right direction.
  • Having friends who are willing to kick your ass (or give you the tools to kick your own ass - be it recommending workouts, apps, or yelling on you on twitter go get your ass to the gym).  Sometimes it really does take a village. 
That's it for now.  What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Weigh-In Wednedsay: FRAK!

Last week: 153.6
This week: 154.2
Change: up .6
Total change: up .6

What really sucks is the fact I was 150.8 on Sunday. How the hell does one gain 3.4 pounds in 3 days. Shit.

Back when I was asking for questions for another 20 Questions page, Cindy asked for my best weight loss tips & strategies. I'd guess it's pretty safe to say I am no longer qualified to answer that question. Way back when, I used Weight Watchers - I counted points and used their little trackers.  It worked.  I lost 50 pounds on WW, but I wouldn't say I was healthy and I certainly wasn't strong.  I had zero muscle and definitely couldn't go out and run for 2 minutes, much less and hour or more.

I think the old adage "eat less, move more" is still true, but why isn't it working for me anymore?

Anyone want to help Cindy (and me) out?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Training Tuesday: Orthotics?

**blog disclaimer - I'm not a doctor and I don't even play one on TV.  What I'm writing about is my own experience.  If you are dealing with an injury or have questions, find a PT or doctor who is much more knowledgeable than me.**

Dealing with injuries, especially ones that don't sideline you completely but just make your workouts not quite what you need them to be or cause a bit more pain than regular workout soreness, sucks big green donkey shlongs.  I've been there (heck, I'm there right now!) and I know friends who are dealing with this too.  ((group hug))

I'm trying to be proactive about my shin/calf injury.  I started PT last Wednesday and one of his recommendations was to try an over-the-counter orthotic.  The thought behind this is that if my foot is overpronating (rolling in) when I run, it's causing extra stress and torquing on my shin and calf.  He gave me recommendations for two types that my local running store carries, so off I went after the appointment to pick up a pair. His instructions were to run a couple times in them before my next appointment and report back. I tried on the two brands the PT recommended and I ended up with these:
I wore them home from the store and around the house Wednesday night.  Then, being the crazy, obsessive, stubborn, stupid dedicated runner that I am, I decided on Thursday to go for an "easy" 2 mile run.  I chose the treadmill at the gym in case things went bad and off I went.

I had one of the most painful 2 mile runs EVER.  It hurt 1/2 mile in and I figured I just needed to warm up since I hadn't run in a couple days.  It still hurt 1 mile in but at this point I was too pissed off to stop.  Weirdly, speeding up helped during the 3rd 1/2 mile segment but then the wheels fell off again.  I left feeling extremely frustrated and in quite a bit of pain.  The majority of the pain was in my arches - not just the "bad" side either.  I didn't notice much difference on my shins or calves.  Seems they always feel tight and sore.

After tweeting and FB'ing how I felt, I received a bunch of "what the heck did you do that for?" comments.  Apparently you are supposed to take a week or two getting used to these dumb things before you try running in them.  Oops.

I spent the rest of the week and weekend getting used to the orthotics.  By Sunday, I could wear them pretty much all day without really noticing them (although I will say, I feel like I have MORE planar fasciitis issues now than when I started this whole process).

Yesterday, I went for another run.  My goal was 4 miles and I had a route that would take me around my 1/2 mile loop a couple times first, and then out onto the trail for the last 3 miles.  The orthotics lasted a mile before I was considering running barefoot. The first half mile wasn't that bad and I started to think that maybe these orthotics were a good idea after all.  I had pain in my arches (but not as bad as Thursday) but what was worse was the pain running up my ankle and the outside of my shin - my injury is on the inside.  The pain kept getting worse, so I made the decision to ditch the orthotics. I stopped back at home after my 2 loops to put the regular inserts back in my shoes.  (As a side note, it was really hard to accept running at an 11 m/m pace when this is the loop I run Yasso's on at a 9 m/m pace - sucks losing all your speed & I don't feel like I'm even close to the runner I was on Thanksgiving day).  I headed back out to finish the rest of my run.  The 2nd mile still really sucked, but the last 2.25 weren't too bad.  My feet felt much happier (although they still hurt some) and my pace picked back up (but not anywhere near what I'm capable of running - maybe about 30 sec faster per mile than with the orthotics in).  I'm glad I did the run and was able to enjoy the spring-like 60* and humid December 3rd day here in Michigan.  Side note to Mother Nature - are you on crack?

I felt pretty good last night, other than my hamstrings still KILLING from my weights workout on Saturday - WTF is up with that??? This morning, my arch is very sore and my shin feels like it normally does after a run (which isn't great, but tolerable).  I'm wearing my running shoes now with the orthotics in to see if I notice any improvement throughout the day, but I'm not hopeful.

I see the PT again this afternoon and I'm going to see what he thinks.  Do I just need more time to get used to these or should I try the other brand? The Superfeet orthotics felt wrong just standing in them, as if the arch support was too far to the back.  I'm inclined to say "f*ck it" to the othotics altogether.

Thoughts?  Do you wear orthotics? How did you transition to wearing them for your runs?  Help a girl out.  I really don't want to eat the $88+ dollars I spent on Saturday signing up for my next half marathon.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fitness Friday: Tri-ing Again!

How crazy is it that the one thing I bought on Cyber Monday was my first race fee for 2013??? Even crazier - it's a triathlon! This one is longer that the tri I finished in 2012 so I'm now freaking out a bit. Longer swim and longer run, but the bike distance is about the same.  Good thing I have until July to train!

If you live in Michigan (or nearby), I've heard great things about Tri del Sol and as far as triathlons go, it's very reasonably priced.  Anyone want to come "tri" with me???  If you click this link, you'll find a very short (3 question) survey and a discount code towards ANY of the races.  The survey will be open until tonight and the code is good until Feb 1st.  Tomorrow morning, I think I'm going to register for a half marathon that's coming up in May in Northern Michigan.  It always sells out and I've heard it's beautiful and FAST.  So much for not training for any distance races in 2013.


(stolen from FB)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday: PT

I'm thankful that I finally took the plunge and started PT for my calf/shin issues.

That's a sexy look, isn't it?
Yesterday I got Active Release Therapy, e-stim (weird), and the recommendation to try some OTC orthotics (which I picked up last night and I'll try running in this afternoon). I've been told to keep running but not add anything new (distance or speed) for the next few weeks. I was expecting to get some exercise or stretching homework but not yet.

Now let's just hope it works.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday: Changes

I had a completely different post all ready to go today. It was full of sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and shit. But the fact of the matter is that I'm not feeling very rainbow-y. Not even a little.  I'm definitely not feeling sunshine and unicorns.

When I started this blog several years ago, it was called "Diary of a Shrinking Chick". I was very involved with The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and used this space to chronicle my weight loss. It morphed into more of a running blog & that's totally ok. Everyone evolves & changes.

But sometimes we slide backwards.

Sometimes it seems we've forgotten everything we learned about eating healthy and taking care of ourselves.

Sometimes we are very unkind to ourselves and our friends call us out on it.

I need to be called out because right now I'm NOT being very kind to myself. I really don't like the place I'm in. I'm not taking about just my weight (we'll get to that atrocity in a minute). I'm talking about the need to be accountable and the need to love myself again. The desire to love what I see in the mirror and be proud of the work it took to get there.

Today I weighed in at 153.6.

This has been my log for the past 3 months. Yes, I'm posting my weight again and the number really makes me want to puke. Even worse is the fact that I was down to 148 (10 pounds from "goal") just a couple weeks ago and I've gained almost all of it back. The trend that line is taking is scary.

So, this space is changing again.  At least on Wednesdays.  It might just be a picture of my scale or I might talk about what's going on, but in either case, it will be my one day a week to make myself accountable to the world (or at least those of you who follow me here).

Hopefully I'll see that number shrinking again - I figure, it worked before, maybe it will again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Training Tuesday: taking a break

At the moment, I am on a little hiatus from training which makes writing a "Training Tuesday" recap a tad difficult.  It's taken some time to get my mojo back after tanking at Disney and frankly, I'm not excited about "training" again.  At least not yet.  I need to rediscover what I love about running and working out in general.

No races are scheduled and after knocking my spur-of-the-moment 5k out of the park on Thanksgiving morning, I'm inclined NOT to race again this year (although some think I should try and get in a 10k for a killer PR attempt before the end of the year, but there just aren't any "official" ones close by now that the snow is starting to fly and what if I f*ck it up? I'd rather end the racing year on a high note, thankyouverymuch.).  For the time being, I'm content to run when I want, hop on my trainer (that I finally got set up in my basement - LOVE IT!) and just ride, and throw in a little strength work if I feel like it.  I haven't been a complete slouch.  In the past week, I completed 1 strength workout (ok, major slouch there), cycled 3 times on the trainer for over 2 hours total, and ran twice for almost 10 miles - and both of those runs were the best runs I've had physically and mentally in a very long time.

I'll take it.

Tomorrow I start PT for my calf and shin, something I probably should have pushed for back in April, but hindsight and all. Blah blah blah.  I'm sure the PT will give me some specific exercises, stretches and whatnot to add into my (currently nonexistent) routine. I'm sure it will hurt like a sonofabitch. I kind of deserve it after what I've put my body through this year.

In a couple weeks, I plan on getting back on the scheduled training bandwagon - when I figure out what I want my focus to be in the next year. But for right now, recovery (physical and mental) IS my training.

ps - the original winner of my Chica Bands giveaway from Suddora never got back with me, so I drew again.  Congrats go out to....

Ally!!! (@ali_konu)

Email me your address and I'll get your Chica Band sent out to you :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Motivation Monday: FOUND! aka Turkey Trot 5k Race Report

I've really lost my motivation lately and running (heck, working out in general) is just HARD. In an effort to rekindle my passion with running, I signed up to run a local Turkey Trot 5k Thanksgiving morning.  To say it helped would be an understatement.
I picked up my race number Wednesday afternoon & was excited about running - a feeling I haven't had since Disney. Thursday morning I headed downtown (the family wasn't even up yet) and got some random stranger to take my picture near the finish line inside the arena.

My plan? Pee, warm up for 1/2 a mile (oops - I started out at about a 9m/m pace), stretch, do some strides, pee, and then run like a deer with a target on its back - and front :)

The plan worked like a charm. I put on my playlist from Wine and Dine but on shuffle and all the right songs hit. It's amazing how that works sometimes.

 I freaked a bit at the end of the first mile when my watch read 9:36 and the mile was mostly uphill. I thought I was screwed - no way I'd hold out. By mile 1.5 I knew I had a PR (and I was wondering why there was no water on the course - first race I've ever been in with ZERO aide stations). By mile 2.5 I knew my PR was going to be huge but the paths near the river were hard to maintain a good pace on because they were so crowded and narrow. I saw my friend, Julie in the last 1/2 mile, plus a ton of students from GRPS were high-5'ing people near the Ford Museum. The course got really crowded on this section, too, with some tight curves and I got stuck behind some slower runners. Once I got to the blue bridge I tried counting "kills" - I passed at least 2 guys on the bridge and a bunch more as we rounded the corner to the arena.  There's a special level of satisfaction in chicking dudes and no way was I going to slow down. One of my friends always says, "You can breathe when you're done" and that was my mantra for the last 1/2 mile.  I was sucking wind, but I saw some high 7s on my watch in that final stretch!


My watch lost the signal in the arena & was really bouncing around outside with the tall buildings and overpasses (you should see the Garmin Connect data - it's insane), so the course *might* have been .1 short, but I don't think it was (other people had distances from 2.9 to 3.2, so I figure the course was accurate). I wish they'd had the screens on in the arena, but it was really dark.  I saw a volunteer who I had chatted with before the race and he said "you made it - no one shot you!" He gave me a hug and I headed out to find water.  Outside I ran into a couple other friends and it was awesome to celebrate my run with them (one of them hit a HUGE PR of his own - holy fastness, Batman!).

My official results: 28:15 (9:07 ave pace - who am I?!?!?)
28/94 in my age group - top 30%!
315/920 women
847/1745 overall

I CRUSHED my previous PR by 5 min & 25 seconds!!!!
I guess all that distance work, speedwork & tempo runs weren't for nothing. Want to know how to train for a banging 5k? Train for a half marathon :)

That's one thankful, happy, little deer :)
Did you turkey trot this year? How did it go?

ps - I drew for a winner of my Chica Band giveaway from Suddora on Thursday but haven't heard from her yet. If I don't hear from her by Tonight at 8 pm, I'll draw another winner!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Winner! @SuddoraSports #giveaway

I feel blessed and very lucky to have my readers here - thank you for reading and following this little corner of the bloggosphere. I just LOVE giving away goodies on my blog - thank you to everyone who entered my Chica Bands giveaway & to Paul from Suddora for the opportunity.

Without further ado....

Congratulations Lisa!! DM or email me your addy & I'll get your headband sent out to you!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday: mantras

I need a new mantra - care to take a vote :)

I'm running my first official 5k since 2009 tomorrow. I'm actually excited about it - and I haven't been excited about many runs lately, so that's HUGE.  I have no clue how it's going to go or what kind of time I can expect, but I plan to have fun and not stop until I cross the finish line. 

Then I can come home and eat all the things :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Training Tuesday: what's next?

For the past 12-13 weeks, I've used Tuesdays as a day to recap and post my previous week's training. The problem now? I don't really know what's next. I seem to have misplaced my mojo & I don't have any races on the schedule.

This past week, I did a couple good cycle workouts and some strength training, but didn't even run 4 miles total. My shin/calf are still sore and I'm even having issues with my arch (I have an appointment with my doc on Wed). At least the training cycle for the year is over, but I'm afraid of losing all the progress I've made.

I'm toying with running a turkey trot 5k on Thursday & a friend has convinced me to run 6 miles with her Friday night (I'll admit - I'm worried about covering the distance, which is beyond dumb, but she says we can walk and drink spiked hot cocoa, so how was I supposed to turn that down?).

However, in the grand scheme of things, I have no plan. I don't do well without a plan. Do I focus on 5ks for now? 10ks? I looked at the Train Like a Mother 5k Own It plan & holy cow it's intense! This is just the first 3 weeks!

The Run Less, Run Faster 5k plan isn't much friendlier, but at least it's only 3 days a week of running like I'm used to.

I know I need to do something or I'm going to go nuts. Any suggestions?

PS: If you haven't entered my giveaway yet, please go do that.

PSS: It's national Hug a Runner Day (according to Facebook and Twitter - which you know are always right) so go hug your favorite runner today.

Happy New Year 2020

It looks like my M.O. is to open this blog when I get the notification the domain name renewed. LOL oh well. I hope everyone is having a n...