This Body Still Works

Today, I’m finally feeling sore. The good kind of sore. The sore that informs me I did something yesterday. Finally. I put this body to work.

Sitting on the sidelines takes a lot out of you: Passion. Dedication. Energy.

Not being able to run is almost (almost) as draining as running ten miles.

I’ve been feeling that weakness, that all-to-familiar drag of my body. As much as you try to ignore it, it’s there. You can stay positive, put on a smile, but inside—damn it, you just want to run! And when you feel that passion, dedication and energy sucked out of you for doing what you love, those feelings seem to be voided in other areas as well. Healthy eating, cooking, writing—they’ve all taken a hit.

After I ran the Green Bay Half Marathon in mid-May, I didn’t run a step for weeks. It took almost two weeks before what felt like my pubic bone, the bone that you sit on, finally stopped aching. Sitting, laying, it didn’t matter—it nagged me.

By early June, it felt better and I got in a handful of short bike rides. I decided it was time to put it to the test—after all, I had rested and done practically nothing for three weeks, so it had to be better! At a running club meeting, I went for an easy 3-mile jog.

Lying in bed that night, I cursed the running gods. I hurt again.

I had gotten advice from some running club friends, who had similar symptoms and had gone to PT, trained through it, and were fine. Turns out what worked for them, didn’t for me. It pays to pay professionals.

I’ve been going to PT for two weeks now, and it’s improving—slo-o-owly, but surely. The nagging pain is almost gone, but it rears its head if I sit too much. I’m thankful I have a work desk I can stand at.

Tendonitis, the PTs say. The adductors running along my inner thigh were imbalanced, too weak, and the adductor brevis/longus and gracilis that attach to the pubic bone are pulling on it, thus the pain that feels like it comes from the bone. We’ve been working carefully on building strength back up in my legs, butt, and core.

I was allowed to walk 15 minutes last week as my “workout.” Do you run? You can imagine how I felt. But I put on a smile, and thought to myself: You do this now, so you can run for many years later.

In everything, a bright point: I’m sore today, because I finally hopped into a pool for a swimming workout yesterday. I’ve wanted to try swimming for a while—honestly, a couple years. I don’t know why I was so nervous to try, but I was… Maybe because it was new, I didn’t know how one does a “workout” in the pool, and I was afraid of looking like an idiot. However, with no other alternative, this pretty much forced me into the water head-first.

And I totally loved it.

Only 15-20 minutes in the water, and I felt like I got a fantastic workout, with no increase in pain… Just this lovely soreness, that tells me my body does, indeed, still work.

Missin’ My Blog

Oh, my. So many plans and good intentions to finally blog again this weekend – I have really missed it!

I love writing and getting my thoughts, aspirations, goals, successes, failures and reflections down on paper out on the interwebs. Work and wedding planning has seemed to overtake my life the last few weeks, though, so despite my best intentions… No fabulous blog post to share.

However:

I’m still alive.

I ran the Green Bay half marathon – and didn’t die. However my running’s been put on hold since then, and I’m [thisclose] to finally seeing a PT to help me on my way.

Wedding planning is going superbly, and I can’t wait. We’re under 100 days, people!

Work is swell, albeit a bit stressful and all-consuming some days. 🙂 But still fulfilling, so I can’t complain.

Diet=fail. Really need to get my butt in shape so it FITS into my wedding gown.

– – –

What’s new with you all?!

How do you carve out time to blog even when the daily grind feels like a madhouse? 

Things from the Week

Happy weekend! I’m glad it’s here, but I had a good week:

A Couple o’ Runs
I got a couple runs in this week—3 miles Monday, 4 miles Tuesday and 2 miles Thursday. I enjoyed the view of the beach Thursday…

running by the beach

This view never gets old!

But despite the beauty I couldn’t ignore the pain in my groin/inner thigh… How will I ever get this injury to go away? I think after the Green Bay [Half] Marathon next weekend I will have to take some real time off and see a physical therapist to figure out what to do. Just doing the rest, stretching, icing thing doesn’t seem to be helping it all that much.

Wedding Planning Bonanza
With about 3 ½ months until the big day, I’m in full-blown wedding planning mode! I’m starting to iron out the details and put my many Pinterest plans into action. Last night I was up ‘til midnight working on our wedding invites. The upside and downside to being a designer: You can create your own invites, but man does it take a lot of time! (Especially for a perfectionist like me.) I love how our Save the Dates turned out, so I have high hopes and intricate plans for the invites… 🙂

rustic vitage wedding save the date postcards

A Bird Pooped on My Head
Is this a highlight?

Well it’s dang funny, anyway: Thursday night was the first nice evening this spring, in the 70s, light breeze… Matt and I were sitting on our back porch, enjoying a glass of wine and blissfully talking honeymoon plans. Then plop…Right on my forehead. It was probably the funniest thing that happened to me all week, and I wish I could go back and see my face. Haha!

Jack is Back!

Anyone else obsessed with the show 24? I was lovin’ the 2-hour kick-off, but it seems like something is missing. Maybe once the story gets rolling it will seem like the old episodes that really pull you in and put you on the edge of your seat?

I am so looking forward to the coming week: We’re having some friends over for dinner Monday, and then I leave Tuesday for the HOW Design Conference for work, so I will be in Boston ‘til Friday. I loooove learning new things, so I am already geeked out just thinking about it! Plus, it will be nice to spend some time with my boss and talk shop…and my younger sister, who is in the same field, will be attending the conference as well. Bonus sister time! And of course, you know that at some point I will have to take a little jog on the Boston marathon course, maybe even cross the finish line. 😉

– – –

Hightlight of your week?

Any recos on what to do while I am in Boston? Things to see, places to eat, whatever? 

Coming to Terms

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who replied to my last post about being injured! You’ve made me feel so much better about everything. I felt like I was giving up/being a wuss/completely disappointed, but you’ve helped to put my injury in perspective: It’s one race, and it’s not worth injuring myself worse over.

So, I’ve decided: I’m just running the half marathon instead of the full Green Bay Marathon.

And I have to say, I feel totally relieved.

Before, I was truly dreading the thought of the marathon. I wasn’t stoked for the race, the thought of 26.2 miles didn’t seem just daunting—it seemed impossible. I knew I would most likely have to drop out at some point, or limp through the last 10 miles at a slow walk. No thanks. I was not excited at all about the race weekend…which is such a bummer, because I am going with a whole bunch of running club members, and it will be a blast!

With just 13.1 miles (just?) on the docket, I’m pretty excited just thinking of the whole experience: Running a half marathon with my training buddy (who is also injured now) and simply soaking up the running love and atmosphere the whole time. My other training buddies, Liz and Lela, dodged injuries and will be completing the full marathon, so we’ll be rootin’ for them at the finish line.

I’m glad I could come to terms with the fact that it’s okay to change a big goal and aim for something new. Life requires recalibration. A half marathon might not be what I was shooting for, but it’s still a damn good goal, so I’ll take it.

On the other hand, I guess that means I have another marathon in my future… Some day. 😉

Injured, Take 2

Well, hello there! It’s been a while, I know. I’ve been busy with life and biding my time, hoping to pop back in with better news, but here it is:

I’m injured again.

When I trained for my first marathon last year, I was plagued with ITBS—my hips and knees weren’t happy, but dedication, determination and $1000+ of PT helped me get across the finish line. I was SO happy to get there, but I didn’t feel 100% fulfilled. I knew I could have done better had I not been injured. So I signed up for my second marathon.

THIS time it would be different. I knew the PT exercises to do to stave off the ITBS. I would be smart! I would be experienced! I would run this race MY way!

I made it to my 18-mile training run a few weeks ago.

18 mile long run for Green Bay Marathon

I ran it alone, and it was a glorious run—relaxing, enjoyable, sunny. About 15 miles in, I started getting some tightness in [what I thought was] my left hip flexor. I had been having tightness on-and-off in my hip flexors so I took note and kept stretching, but I figured it’d pass. I made it through the 18 miles and was all smiles when I finished.

18 mile long run for Green Bay Marathon

I even did a little dance up the driveway when I finished, and pretty sure my neighbor who drove by at the time prob thinks I’m a nut. Ah, well.

That night, my hip flexor-ish area started to hurt while I was walking around. Then it ached all night and all the next day. Proceed with icing, ibuprofen and rest. The next couple weeks my long runs consisted of 9 miles (supposed to be 19) on April 12; the next weekend off to rest; and 10 miles (supposed to be 20 miles) on April 26.

The doomed 20-miler was the most frustrating, because after taking off almost the entire previous week from running, I thought I would be doing much better. But just 6 miles into the run, I could tell something didn’t feel right…and I couldn’t get my hip to stretch out. I got back home at around 10 miles and I was starting to limp-run, so I called it quits before I did more damage.

After a few tears out of pure frustration (UGH), I pulled it together and thought about where the pain and tightness were happening. It seemed like the achiness would be at the top inside of my thigh where it meets the pubic bone, then go straight up. This is why I thought the problem was my hip flexor, but after doing some research, I am now wondering if I might be dealing with a strained groin? It explains the pain/dull ache at the very top of my thigh/pubic bone, but not the tightness that radiates up, does it?

So there we are. Green Bay Marathon training: Only two weeks left, and I’m injured again. [Cue sad trombone noise.]

At this point, I can’t decide—still try for the full marathon (I’ve already sworn up and down this will be my last)…or just downgrade to the half marathon so I don’t risk hurting myself more? After all, I don’t want to hurt myself to the point of being unable to run when spring & summer weather is just around the corner…

Advice? What would you do—full or half marathon?

P.S. Icing the groin region = weirdly uncomfortable. Glad I am not a dude.

Just Livin’ That Lovely Life

Over the winter, when I thought about the whole marathon training + working + planning a wedding + staying social thing, I knew it’d be a little busy…but I had no idea! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, a good one, and I’m in my own happy little version of Oz.

The Green Bay Marathon is quickly approaching: Only about a month away now! I’m so ready. I’m excited, but I have to admit that I am fully looking forward to it coming, and then going and being done. Staying in alone Friday nights, then getting up at the crack of dawn and running for 3+ hours on Saturday morning isss getting a little old. I love, love, love running—why else would I run a marathon?! But all the time that training’s taking away from the rest of my life…well, I’m ready to get that back. 😉

That said, training’s been decent. I did my 18-miler two weeks ago. I felt great for it all, ’til what I thought was my hip flexor, but I now suspect was perhaps my groin(?), was pretty tight for the last 3-4 miles. I finished without pain, but had some dull aching that night and the following couple of days. I took off Sunday—Thursday, then did a 2-mile test last Friday. I didn’t want to push my luck, so I only did 9 miles as my long run this past weekend (instead of 19 miles). I have a 20-mile run on the docket in two weeks and I think I’ll be golden for it. In the meantime, I’m looking up hip and groin stretches and strengthening exercises to help keep me feelin’ good ’til that finish line is in my crosshairs.

In other news: Work + wedding + social life have been fabulous.

I earned a promotion at work a few weeks ago, something I’ve been working towards for almost two years, so that’s exhilarating and motivating. YAY! Of course, that means big projects + personal goals to make things even MORE uber-awesome now, which means I’ve been putting in some extra hours lately. All worth it, though! Can’t live, or work, without a little extra passion. Amen.

I wish I could say I’ve been just as on top of wedding planning.

041414-elope

I was feeling good about it, like I was ahead of the game, and then the last 2-3 weeks have positively FLOWN by and suddenly my to-do list is glaring at me. Eeeek.

Hope to do some real updating and more in-depth recap on my training lately…stay tuned!

– – –

How do you balance it all? 

Monday Aspirations

While I’d like to say nothing is ever “all or nothing,” it’s always nice to have a proverbial clean slate on Monday, isn’t it?

033114-monday

Last week, I took a bit of a hiatus with my running. And for the last couple of weeks, I’ve also foregone my weight loss efforts. Don’t get me wrong, with marathon training hitting its peak month, it’s hard to fall completely off the wagon. But, I did skip two runs last week, and while I ate semi-healthy (as my normal diet isn’t so bad), I definitely let myself add in a lot of extra treats. Like brownies and pizza and wino happy hour.

Even though I know the “Oh, well I just ran 6 miles” excuse to eat crap IS crap, I still find myself turning to it. Bah.

So, I made up my mind last night that it was back to the 6am wake-up calls this week, no excuses: Get up early, do pilates, make coffee, pack my HEALTHY lunch, and start the day off on the right track. It’s been a good morning around here already!

We’re checking things off the wedding to-do list and it’s starting to loom into the territory of…REAL. There are only two months until I have to take my dress in for alterations. I’d like to be at my “ideal” weight by then so that (a) the dress fits right on my wedding day—not too big or too tight; and (b) then I only have to maintain!

Here’s to Monday—a fresh start, and a good week. Cheers!

– – –

What’s your goal this week?
How do you like to start your week (or day) on the right foot?

Now that it’s not pitch black all morning, I love taking 10-15 minutes to enjoy my coffee while I watch the sun rise over the lake. Okay, I can’t quite see the lake, but I still see those spectacular colors…and they are something to marvel at. 🙂

Confessions of a Mid-Week Slacker

Okay, usually I post about all my workouts and how great they’ve felt, how wonderful I feel to have them done, yadda yadda.

But not today.

Last night, I skipped my workout. I was sooo tired in the afternoon, that once I got home from work, I laid on the couch and napped for almost an hour. I am not normally a nap-taker, so maybe I needed the extra rest? I feel like my long run on Sunday has thrown me all off-schedule.

Then Matt and I went out to dinner for Mexican food, and you KNOW there was no running happening after that.

Thennn, this morning, I was supposed to wake up to get my run in before work. I have important plans after work {you know, to go to happy hour}…

And then my alarm went off, and I hit snooze, and went back to sleep.

Several. Times.

Which means I didn’t ever get up and run. So my new contingency plan is to have one singular (is that possible?) glass of wine at happy hour…

wino wednesday

And then come home to run.

Bets, anyone? Any takers?

– – –

How do you keep yourself motivated, especially when you’re tired and busy during the week? 

What do you do to get out of a slump? 

Weekend: Piano Bar, Brunching & Running

What more does one need?

I guess an extra day in the weekend to recover from all the fun, but don’t we all wish that…

Matt and I started out the weekend by heading on an impromptu trip to Milwaukee on Friday night. First stop: Transfer Pizza for dinner. We’ve eaten there twice and both times loooved their pizza. My favorite so far is the “Katalina Pizza” — it has a garlic cream sauce, cheese, artichokes and salami. Definitely not a healthy option, but oh-so-delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I didn’t even take the time to snap a pic before devouring it…

After chowing down, we met up with my friend and then cabbed it to Lucille’s Piano Bar in downtown Milwaukee. This is our favorite place to go when we’re in Milwaukee. Dueling pianos are theeee best! If you have never been to a dueling piano bar, basically two people are playing at pianos/singing across from each other. The audience can take up their song requests (with some money to speed along their place in the queue). It’s popular for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, etc. because you can make the guest of honor sit up on stage while the piano players sing and play them a special song. You can imagine how this can be interesting (and hilarious) for the bachelor/bachelorette parties! Ha

Funny moment, off the bat, was when someone paid them $5 to play “Oh, Canada”—then someone brought up $10 to make them stop and play the US National Anthem instead. And because this is Milwaukee, you bet everyone stood up, put their hand over their hearts (with beer in their left hand) and sang along. Haha!

Singing the National Anthem at Lucille's Piano Bar

Singing the National Anthem at Lucille’s Piano Bar

We were out late, so Saturday morning had an equally late and slow start. Nursing some slight headaches, we headed out to brunch at a new (to us) place: Café Centraal.

Brunch in Milwaukee at Cafe Centraal

Uhhh, amazing brunch! I mauled the Chile Rojo Corn Cakes: Cornmeal pancakes topped with fried eggs, chorizo, white cheddar cheese, chile rojo, salsa verde, housemade pico de gallo, and chipotle sour cream.

Brunch in Milwaukee at Cafe Centraal

Sooo tasty. Kelsey got a yummy omelette, but Matt’s French Toast stole the show and we helped him eat it: Fresh berries on top of cinnamon coated challah French toast, layered with creamy mascarpone cheese and topped with basil.

Brunch in Milwaukee at Cafe Centraal

Last vestiges of the best french toast ever…

OMG, best french toast any of us had ever had. Go. Try it.

After brunch, Matt and I headed home for some errands and grocery shopping. We made dinner (Matt’s specialty, beef stroganoff) and then watched American Hustle. WOW, what a funny and great movie! I know it’s gotten all sorts of acclamations but it really is all it’s cracked up to be.

032314-american-hustle-poster

And I love J Law. And Bradley Cooper…

Ended the night reading some of my latest book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

032314-thousand-splendid-suns

Had to force myself to put it away to go to sleep!

Snoozed away until this morning, then I spent a little over 3 hours (!!) getting in my long run for the week. Rest of the day’s forecast: Eat, take a nap, and relax! I’ll just leave all that house cleaning for, uh, tomorrow I guess… Why can’t the weekend have three days in it?

– – –

What was the highlight of your weekend?
Favorite book/movie of the moment?

Week 12 Workouts {Green Bay Marathon}

YAY! Week 12 is done, and with it, a huge long run.

Sunday, March 16th: Yoga
Did a nice little 20-minute series at home to get stretched out.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles (10:11/mile) + abs pilates
I finally started to add pilates back into my weekly workouts. I love pilates!

The 4-mile run was fun. I met up with a group of runners after work and busted them out at a pretty good clip, considering it felt pretty “easy.”

Wednesday: 4 miles 2 miles + buns/thighs pilates
My legs were tired and semi-sore from my morning pilates. By the time I got home, I was so not motivated to run on the treadmill, but I made myself hop on to at least do something. I actually thought once I got going I’d be fine, but I just wasn’t into it. Oh well, better than nothing.

Thursday: 7 miles (10:50/mile)
Another post-work run outside. Ran with a couple friends; nice to have company and nice to be outside again.

Running along Lake Michigan

Let’s pretend it’s summer…

We got to run down near the lake, now that the mounds of snow & ice have finally melted. Lake Michigan went from 90% frozen to completely clear in what seemed like a matter of days!

Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 16 miles!!! (11:37/mile)
Okay, this is technically part of next week since it’s Sunday, but it was “this week’s” long run. My training partners were busy yesterday so we opted to do our long run this lovely Sunday morning instead. We started at 7am (nicer than our 6am start times as of late) and although it was still chilly and a bit windy, the sun was shining. That always makes us smile, after this long, dreary winter.

We split the run into two parts: an out-and-back 10 mile run, which put us back at the starting point to meet up with a couple more people for the last 6 miles. Splitting the long run up into “two” runs makes it SO much easier mentally! I just focused on taking an easy 10-mile run, then by the time we got to the second part, the 6 mile run, it wasn’t weighing so heavily over our heads. Granted, we were still tired and ready to be done by the end, but mentally I felt on top of my game, and my body feels pretty good, too. I’m going to try to do this with the rest of our long runs going forward, I think.

I had stomach issues the entire run, which were pretty annoying. This has happened to me a couple times over the recent month, so I wonder if I need to start being more careful with what & when I eat leading up to my long run. Perhaps my spicy Mexican brunch yesterday was a bad idea. Of course, having a wild Friday night out with lots of drinks probably didn’t help, either. 😉

– – –

This week’s workouts:
Sunday: 16 miles (am) + yoga (pm)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4.5 miles
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13 miles (yay for step-back week!)

– – –

How were your workouts this week?
Are you able to start getting out in the “spring” weather?
What’s your favorite carb-loading meal before a long run or race?