Sunday, March 10, 2019

Facing My Fears

I received a pair of SoleHealers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

Running has done a lot of good things for me. Health benefits aside, probably one of the best things I've gotten from running is confidence and the ability to do hard things. After failing so horribly at my first attempt at the marathon, I didn't think I could ever face that distance again. But...

Three years later, I lined up and ran a 1 hour and 10 minute PR at the marathon. What changed for me?

During that time frame, I started working with a CrossFit coach to correct some imbalances that were causing recurring injuries. As she worked with me to strengthen my posterior chain, she pushed me into the red zone on the comfort scale. She made me challenge myself and had me lift heavier than I ever thought I could. As part of my marathon training, along with strength training, she had me do MetCon style workouts which pushed me almost to the point of vomiting. I didn't vomit, and as a result of the hard training, I saw my mile splits improve to times I never dreamed I could run.

I'm not a natural athlete, so none of what I do comes easily to me. Confidence goes a long way to help a person overcome their fears. So does having a person who believes in you and pushes you.



This week's workouts:
Monday: Treadmill run 5 miles
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday: run outside, 6 miles
Thursday: strength training and bootcamp
Friday: run outside, 8.25 miles
Saturday: rest day
Sunday: bootcamp

This week at CrossFit, Coach Sammy Jo had me carry the 80# wreck bag. The last time I lifted that bag, I painfully dislocated my SI joint. Yikes. Sammy Jo told me that she wouldn't let the bag "hurt me" this time and stood behind me, talking me through the process of lifting it up off the ground. Needless to say, I lifted the bag to my chest three times and carried that beast 200m each time. Upon completing the laps, I dropped the bag to the floor where it generated a satisfying thud and released a cloud of powder. It was worth it just for that alone.

It's really like having an 80# baby.
While running has given me confidence, it is what I do in the CrossFit box that helps me overcome my fears. Nothing else I have done as an athlete has pushed me so much out of my comfort zone as CrossFit. Instead of shying away from lifting heavy weights, I've got Coach Sammy Jo spotting me as a safety net. When the weight increases to the point that my wrists protest, she lends me her wrist wraps. She accepts no excuses from me, telling me that she knows I can lift the weight she's put on the bar. It is her belief in my abilities that allow me to push myself to do things that seem ridiculous and scary to people outside of the fitness arena.

But oh my gosh, these things are so much fun!

Like handstands. Climbing the rope to the ceiling. Getting back on my bike after that crash on the road last summer. Tandem waterskiing with Holly. Any of these things which, in the past, would have scared the hell out of me.

You can teach an old dog new tricks.

I thought about all this on my long run this week. Friday was International Women's Day, but I don't need a special day to remind me how lucky I am to have strong women in my life. My mom, who like a good mom should, thinks I am amazing. My sisters, who keep me humble. My friends, both real and virtual, who encourage me and support me. And my coach, who believes in me. I can do hard things and it is because of the wonderful women around me.

"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. Life is already filled with those who want to bring you down." ~Oprah Winfrey
Do you push yourself out of your comfort zone? Do you have people in your life who encourage you? What are you afraid to do?

I Tried it! SoleHealers make my feet happy! Made for runners by a runner @fitchick365 /via @oldrunningmom #runchat #running

Having suffered from plantar fasciitis several times, I'm always on the lookout for products that will keep my feet happy. As soon as I feel that telltale twinge in my arches, panic ensues. I do all the things like stretching and rolling to prevent PF from taking hold. For those of you who've suffered from PF, you know it's the devil. I've tried everything out there. So when the inventor of SoleHealers approached me about trying her new product, I was intrigued! SoleHealers is a foot stretcher and massager for the feet. There is a nubby surface that provides a myofascial release of the tight areas of the feet. SoleHealers come in a set of two and trainers are using them with their athletes, not only for deep tissue massage but also during stretching exercises. SoleHealers are soft and pliant but they put gentle pressure on the bottom of the feet. It feels really good.
Malasana using SoleHealers
Hurts so good!
My SoleHealers arrived in a mesh bag along with instructions on use. I have been using them to work on my feet after running and while stretching. Something I really like about SoleHealers is that I can put them under my feet while I'm doing certain yoga poses, like chair and malasana. I don't know about you, but I'm not very good about stretching my feet, so a tool that does double duty is a win for me. Because you can do both feet at the same time, Sole Healers make it easy. I'm going to continue to use SoleHealers and I hope you want to try them too!













Want to try SoleHealers? Use the code SOLE for 10% off. Let me know what you think! 




I'm linking up with the Weekly RunDown with Kim and Deborah.

49 comments :

  1. I love that you found Crossfit and that you enjoy it so much! I absolutely love strength training, probably more than I love running, because of all the benefits!

    Those SoleHealers look pretty cool! I feel like they would help me keep the PF in my left foot quiet. I'm going to look into them - thanks for the review!

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    1. I like that I can do standing yoga poses on the SoleHealers! I'm terrible about doing the foot exercises I'm supposed to do to keep PF away. This could be my new favorite thing!

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  2. I have a very similar pair of foot stretchers. Mine are round maybe an earlier version of those. I forget to use them but I do remember them helping a lot when I had PF. I need to put them back into the rotation. Thanks for linking up!

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    1. I'm going to keep these out so I have no excuse but to use them.

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  3. Know what? You're not an old dog. So many people tell me I'm too old. Eff them all. I'm scared to wrangle snakes, that's about it.

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    1. I'm scared to skydive. But other than that, my fears have really pretty much dried up. woof woof.

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  4. I actually do use something like that for my feet (which actually don't usually bother me), but it's a hard nubby surface (from Yamuna). I use it as a preventative (and am hoping to not get the hammer toe my mom has!).

    You don't come across as a fearful person. I definitely can be in someinstances, and not in others. Sometimes I let fear stop me, and other times I push through it. I guess that's life!

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    1. I'm glad that I don't seem fearful, but having lived with anxiety for quite a bit of my younger years, it's really great to let so many fears fall away. Fitness for the win!

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  5. It's really wonderful that you not only have a trainer, but you have a trainer who really works for your well-being. I love that she takes such good care of you while you are trying to take care of yourself!

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    1. I'm pretty sure she didn't plan on both, but it's kind of worked out that way!

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  6. you are definitely not an old dog. i'm really glad you get so much out of cross fit - I wish I was able to do something like that and eventually I will. But I have too many other things I'm doing and I can't fit it all in. Luckily I do have a couple people who really help me, who encourage me and make me feel like I an do anything. I'm really grateful for that.

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    1. You're doing plenty of cross training, just different stuff! It's all good!

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  7. Yes to finding confidence and strength! I love that you got back to picking up that damn bag again. Don't let it get you down! ;)

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  8. Your posts about CrossFit are always so inspiring to me! I can't imagine trying to carry that 80# baby LOL! I love that you have faced so many fears.

    Okay, so the SoleHealers look amazing and like something I need to buy! How long have you been using them? It looks like I could even take them to work with me!

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    1. I've had the SoleHealers for a couple of weeks. I really like how they work.

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  9. Those Sole Healers look amazing, and how great that you can combine them with yoga poses. I love my little nubby ball, but hard to multitask with that.
    What a great outlook at how CrossFit has been for you. Congrats on beating the bag this week - Sammy Jo seems amazing

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    1. i have the nubby ball too but the SoleHealers are more my style!

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  10. Oprah's quote is spot-on. It's great that CrossFit has been such a great fit for you. I don't consider myself a natural athlete either (ha! I'm pretty much the polar opposite). When I discovered distance running, it was a pretty magical arena for me. I still don't think I have much for speed (certainly not in comparison to the ones cranking out sub-8 paces for their "easy" runs), but I can go the distance. I'm quite content with that ;-)Thanks for joining us on the WRD!

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    1. For me, confidence includes being happy with where I am at and not comparing myself to other runners.

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  11. It's hard to not think of you as a "natural" athlete since I got to know you through your blogging about running, but I understand how much dedication and effort you put into it. Crossfit scares me -- that's one fear I haven't faced!

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  12. It's amazing what we can do with the right support and encouragement. I love that you've found that with your trainer and through Cross Fit

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  13. Love that quote!

    I used to take CrossFit classes and actually enjoyed them! Mine were at 5am. :-) I found the monthly fee to be too expensive and had to cancel my membership.

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    1. The CF where I go uses a punch card so you basically pay as you go.

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  14. You're such an inspiration. I don't like going outside my comfort zone but I'm having to with trail runs. But I have good friends around me who will keep me safe and give me a hug when I'm scared and that means a great deal. I might try a trainer for my next marathon but I'm going to have a rest first!

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    1. I highly recommend having a coach for marathon training. It's so nice to have someone take care of all that, so you can just do the work.

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  15. So much I can relate to in this post - facing fears with the help of running and having the courage to do hard things in strength training. I've talked enough about how lifting weights is not my favorite but it's essential to keep running (and swimming and cycling) and I'm proud of all I have accomplished in the weight room and would not be able to stay injury free for so long without it!! I also agree with you about "women's day" - isn't that every day? Great work with the 80# bag, especially after the injury. You GO!!

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    1. I'm always surprised by runners who don't lift heavy! Those glutes aren't going to strengthen themselves!

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  16. It's pretty amazing what we can learn from sports... I'm hoping my girls get to have this experience, too. It really expands your confidence and belief in yourself! Love hearing how CrossFit has impacted you!

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    1. I grew up in an era when women's sports were pretty much limited to softball. Title IX had just passed. I'm glad your girls have such a great role model!

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  17. I loved reading this. I know that CrossFit (and your great coaches) has made a huge difference in your life but I didn’t realize just how huge!

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    1. I guess I didn't either until this week after Sammy Jo had me lift that bag!

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  18. I may have already commented once but being on vacation has fried my brain! I am so glad I read your blog and was inspired to try cross fit. I love lifting and love being taken out of my comfort zone!

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    1. I'm so glad you tried CrossFit too! I think the benefits are amazing!

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  19. Confidence is everything and running has also given me that. Something that I'm scared of though is mountain biking. I'm so intrigued by it though and I love all my husband's riding stories, but I'm terrified to try it out. I've managed to get my kids into it though so I guess for now I'll live vicariously through them!

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    1. I have had a few crashes on my road bike, so I'm a little averse to anything that increases that risk--like mountain biking! There's difference between going outside your comfort zone and doing something that has a high probability of injury!

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  20. Running has helped me get comfortable outside of my normal comfort zone. Over the years, it's changed my mindset from "what if I fail" to "let's see just how far I can push my limits."
    You go with that 80# bag!!! You are so strong. There's something so satisfying about picking back up - literally or metaphorically - what knocked us down before, and then showing it just who's the strong one.

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    1. There's a 95# bag that she's trying to get me to carry...

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  21. So true about running having benefits beyond the physical! I definitely feel like it has helped me be more willing to take risks in other aspects of my life. Those sole healers sound great, I'll have to look into them. Feet exercises and stretches are part of the PT routine that I'm trying to keep up with.

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    1. I'm so glad you've found confidence through running! Isn't it just the best?

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  22. Those solehealers look like they would just feel good on your feet regardless of PT. Being on my feet for 12 hours at a time makes them just hurt. I'm sure I am standing on concrete all day. I am super jealous of that squat!! My chiropractor says that I shouldn't try to run until I can do that!

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    1. That was suppose to be PF for plantar fasciitis

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    2. Curious why your chiro thinks you need a deep squat to run?

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  23. The SoleHealers sound like a good option for foot massages! I have a hard foot roller and it's just too easy to go too hard with it.

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    1. You can feel these as well but it's kind of a hurts so good sensation!

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  24. It sounds like you are taking Oprah's advice to heart. You have a tribe of strong, positive women friends (in real life and online) who believe in you and support you. What a great way to live your life!

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  25. You are so strong! 80 lbs is a lot! I lift the 40 lb bag of dog food and feel like a badass but apparently I need to step it up! Maybe I'll look into CrossFit.

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