C25K: Challenges & Injuries

Running Shoes // Life In Beta

I started week three of #C25K last week. My first day running the week three intervals went great. I made it through every run. Then it progressively went downhill form there. I decided to re-do week three for another week so I could get more comfortable with it before moving on.

The last two runs, especially the most recent on Monday night, got progressively much worse though. Almost immediately after my warm up, when I started to run, my calves tightened up and started to burn. At first it was typical workout burn, feel-good hurt. Then they tightened so much I had to stop and walk. As I continued to walk a mile, I started to get a sharp pain in my right ankle.

I have a relatively high pain threshold, but by the time I got home, I was limping and whimpering a bit. It was pretty pathetic.

I posted a plea for help to my runner-friends on Facebook, and here’s some of the suggestions I got:

Stretch more

I’ll admit I’ve been a little lax in this area. The first weeks of C25K were easy enough that a warm-up walk was enough. Not so anymore. I’ve been reading a lot of articles about static vs. dynamic stretching to figure out what will work best for me.

What’s your favorite stretching routine?

Treat the Injury

Heat before, ice after. Invest in a foam roller.

Do strength-building exercises on off-days

This falls into that “I know I should be doing this, but I’m not”-category as well. What are your favorite strength-building exercises/routines?

Get custom-fitted for running shoes

Right now I’m running in Saucony Kinvara 4s. They’re good shoes, but I bought them on sale on Amazon, not after a custom-fitting. I figured once I proved that I was going to stick with the hobby of running, then I’d spend the time and money getting custom-fitted. I guess it’s time pretty soon, before I do any real damage.

Water, water, and MORE water

I have good and bad days when it comes to water intake. Some days I chug down glass after glass, other days I get to dinnertime and realize I haven’t drank anything all day. I have a shiny new Kleen Kanteen that I got from the Whole Foods Co-Op when we became member-owners last month, so there’s no excuse not to have water with me at all times!

Increase your magnesium intake

According to this article from Runner’s World,  magnesium deficiency reduces endurance and reduces “DPG” which is needed to deliver oxygen to muscles.  (Who knew?) I have a big bottle of magnesium supplements left from when my midwife had me take them to try & stop my labor with Myles. I’ve started taking one  a day (for now) with my multivitamin.

What else?

Have I missed anything? What other ideas/advice do you all have for keeping active when injured, or how to get stronger and prevent future injuries?

Wordless Wednesday

Myles in High Chair // Life In Beta

Taking Time to Play

I can be a workaholic. I regularly take on too much, and my sleep and sanity suffers. There’s a twisted part of me that loves being so busy; I love juggling projects and deadlines and organizing it all. It makes me feel strangely alive.

Ben + Myles on the Turtle // Life In Beta

Watching my kids play reminds me that sometimes adults need to take time to play too. All too often, we don’t allow ourselves the luxury for carefree play. We’re over-scheduled and over-committed and feel guilty taking time for something so frivolous.

Kelle Hampton wrote a post last week about just saying YES. It made me smile. I decided to say YES this weekend too–to my family and to myself.

Myles on the Worm // Life In Beta

I let myself play and I let myself sit back and ENJOY watching the boys play. (Have you ever really taken the time to watch your kids play? It makes my heart want to burst with love.) Mike even made it home from work in time to join us!

The Boys // Life In Beta

Saturday we had a family trip to the zoo. We looked at everything, played on the playground, and took our time enjoying it all. We ended up being the last car in the parking lot when we left!

Sunday Ben was feeling a little “blah”, and the weather was rainy and stormy, so we decided to go to the mall and wander around for a bit. We had lunch, looked at the animals in the pet store, and the boys each got a new outfit. (Yay for a super sale at Crazy 8’s!) I don’t even know how long the boys played at the indoor playground in the mall.

Myles // Life In Beta

Part of my mind kept nagging, it’s time to go–but then I realized, we had no timeline and no place to be. Why NOT play as long as they wanted? I sat back and admired the boys jumping and climbing. I laughed with other parents sitting around me at “our little daredevils”. I let myself take the time to soak it in, and let them have the time to play till they were all played-out.

And you know what? My work was still there waiting when I got done playing. In the end I accomplished just as much, if not MORE because I took the time to play and come back refreshed. We all really need to give ourselves permission to play a lot more often.

Why I Run (National Running Day, 2014)

One of my Facebook friends recently started selling these health products (“health products”?–ahem) that are supposed to trim the inches off your waistline by wrapping you in plastic-wrap and magic chemicals (presumably). She messaged me asking if I would be interested… and I realized, I’m just NOT. I haven’t quite had the heart to tell her yet, but aside from whether or not these products really work, I’ve had a major mind-shift in the last couple years when it comes to weight loss.

I Run ...

When I experienced a natural homebirth, I really learned to appreciate my body’s strength and abilities. Since then, I can honestly say I love my body, including all its imperfections. Weightloss is no longer about looking good in a bathing suit; it’s about taking care of this beautiful machine that carries me through life every day. It’s about being physically and mentally healthy and happy so that I can enjoy my life and my family. So a quick-fix body wrap just plain doesn’t interest me. It might hide some fat temporarily, but it doesn’t make me stronger or fitter, and I just plain don’t see the point.

Why do I run?

I run because I want to have strength and endurance. When my boys ask me to play sports or games with them outdoors, I want to be able to keep up! I want to be able to take them hiking or kayaking some day. I want to be energetic and happy for myself AND my family.

Running also gives me some alone time. It helps me manage stress. It “resets” me when I’ve had a bad day. Trust me, this benefits EVERYONE.

I want to challenge myself. I want to be able to say, “I am a runner” with pride. I want to participate in fun, charitable races and keep a scrapbook of bib numbers to look back on some day.

image from greatist.com

image from greatist.com


Did you know today (June 4th) is National Running Day? I had no idea either till I read about it on some of my favorite running blogs. I’m not participating in any races or events today, but I will be enjoying my evening run tonight. How will you celebrate? Scared to take the first step? Try Active’s Couch-to-5K app (available for Android and iOS) or just take a walk around your neighborhood! Every extra step you take is one step closer to your goals.

Note: I am not a doctor or health professional; I am only sharing my personal experiences. Be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning a workout regimine. Please use your best judgement to get healthy and be safe!

Currently: Wannabe Farmgirl Edition

Tomato Plant // Life In Beta

At the tender age of 32, I’d never driven a lawn tractor. None of my previous homes had large enough lawns to warrant owning one, and when I lived at home, my dad always did the mowing. Our new place has plenty of lawn, and lucky for me, came with a tractor for mowing it. So recently, my father was kind enough to help me put a new drive belt onto the tractor and teach me to drive it.

Suddenly I feel like I’m in on one of the best-kept secrets EVER. Men complain about having to go out and mow the lawn, but guess what? If you have a riding-mower, it is SO MUCH FUN. (Shhh, don’t tell!) You’re doing “work” but really, you’re zipping around the yard, enjoying the outdoors with the wind in your hair. Hell, there’s even a cup-holder on the mower so you can enjoy a frosty beverage! (Who knew?!)

Every day I’m getting more and more excited at the thought of moving to the country. I think I may have finally found my place.

FAMILY // Ben graduated from pre-school and will be going on to kindergarten in the fall. (Time flies, right?!) I think he’s just excited about vacation and no school at the moment and he’s keeping busy with tee ball and swimming this summer. Myles is teething, getting his first molars on the top (both sides). That makes teeth numbers 9 and 10 already!

DOING // With having multiple houses to take care of now (both financially and house/yard work), both time and money are at a premium these days. I’ve been cooking at home more to help save money, and though it’s time consuming, it is something I enjoy. I’m busy with freelance and work as always, and I’m trying to run in the evenings as regularly as I can to stay sane!

THINKING ABOUT // I’ve been daydreaming a lot about the new house and specifically having a hobby farm there. I’m looking forward to a big vegetable garden and I have chickens in my plans for next year. I’m also fantasizing about further down the line having goats or rabbits. I don’t know if it will ever happen, but it’s a very fun thing to think about, and a nice mental escape from city life right now.

WATCHING // Behind the time as always, I finally had a chance to watch Saving Mr. Banks the other day. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found myself tearing up in several parts. If you’re a Disney-fan, it’s a must-see. Mike and I are still watching Game of Thrones and loving it too — but SHHH we haven’t seen this week’s episode yet!

LOOKING FORWARD TO // I think a trip to Nashville is in my near future, and though the timing isn’t what I would hope for, I am looking forward to seeing old friends that I haven’t visited in about three years!