Showing posts with label strength training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strength training. Show all posts

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Am I Losing My Mind?

Nah. Although sometimes it feels that way!

I've been pretty distracted lately and that's made for some slip ups. Like wearing 2 different shoes to CrossFit. Forgetting to tip the nail technician who gave me my pedicure. No worries, I took care of it once I realized what I'd done. Oh, and I forgot we had tickets to the orchid show at the botanic gardens. I told my husband that we should consider it a donation.

He wasn't amused. But hey, I remembered to pay the real estate taxes and that was a win.

I'm not sure why this is happening, but I think I've got too much on my mind. Changes at work, insomnia, coronavirus, people texting me about coronavirus, events being cancelled, trying to keep up with social media, my upcoming trip to Florida...well, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

It's all a reminder to be more mindful and present. I've started setting alerts for events I put on the calendar. I need to take a social media break, or at least set limits on my screen time. Do more yoga. I'm hoping my week away will be a good reset.

We'll see.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Leaping Out of the Comfort Zone

Even though yesterday was Leap Day, I didn't intend on even mentioning it in a post. But looking back on my week, I realized there were a few instances where I did some leaping, both literally and figuratively. I continued to train for my upcoming Florida trail race, a race I really have no business running. But hey, what fun is life if you don't try new things, right? There was a bootcamp workout where I did 75 box jumps. I pushed through RA pain all week to get my workouts done. And on Saturday, I drove downtown to meet my fellow CARA ambassadors.

No big deal, right? This might sound ridiculous to some of you, but I'm a bit of an introvert when it comes to meeting new people. I never considered not going, because I'm really excited to represent the organization. Plus, there was a plan to go to the Lo Rez craft brewery after our meeting. So I gave myself a pep talk, went for a run, and made my way down to the headquarters in Pilsen, where the plan was to watch the Olympic marathon trials.




Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Activity Hangover

As I've increased my mileage and upped my weights, I've noticed an increase in my RA disease activity. Physical activity, including running and strength training, can cause inflammation. In a person without an autoimmune disease, the inflammation brought on by vigorous exercise can lead to DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). In those of us afflicted with RA and the like, not only do we get DOMS, but we can get an activity hangover.

Just like a hangover from being overserved at the bar, an RA activity hangover can cause some pretty unpleasant symptoms like nausea, fatigue, stiffness, and joint pain. The activity hangover is due to excess products of inflammation in the body. For the past couple of weeks, on and off, I've had these symptoms. I guess you could say I've been overserved at the bar--the lifting bar, lol. Yet, I keep going back for more. Deadlifts? Make that a double, coach...

I'm pretty sure that having an activity hangover is the reason I struggled at last Sunday's Auto Show Race. That 10 miler I ran the day before apparently was equivalent to too many glasses of wine. Was it worth it? 

Of course it was. After all, no good story starts with "I went for a walk"...

On Monday, I debated going to CrossFit because I still felt yucky. I woke up feeling stiff, achy, sore, tired, and a little bit queasy. But like I always do when I don't feel well is I decided to TRY. I was able to finish that workout strong! No regrets. Sure beats laying around on the couch. What's an RA warrior to do?

Avoid foods that cause inflammation. Eat more foods that reduce inflammation. Drink lots of water. Most important of all: take and respect total rest days.

The best remedy? A little hair of the dog: gentle movement. Gentle stretching and yoga. Hangover be dammed. Contrary to what you might think, laying around only increases the joint stiffness. I've found that once I get moving, I do feel better. 



Sunday, February 16, 2020

These Shoes are Made for Running

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

These shoes are made for running
And that's just what they'll do
One of these days these shoes are gonna
Run all over you...
Apologies to Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazelwood

I continue to put miles on my new trail shoes. Between running on the trails and the snowpacked path, my Brooks Cascadia 14 XTs were my main go-to for my runs this week. Since I've gotten so many questions about them, I'm going to post a full review in a couple of weeks. My early verdict: so far, so good.

There was also an indoor race on Sunday, but I wore my Brooks Adrenaline 20s. The race was run entirely around the Chicago Auto Show and in an interesting twist, we ran for one hour, trying to accummulate as many miles as possible. I'll share a full recap on Tuesday, but if you want to know how it went, be sure to check out my instagram!

Sunday's cold, windy run

Sunday, February 9, 2020

A Change In Plans

A few weeks ago, I posted my goals for 2020 as well as my spring race plans. I can't plan too far in advance because who knows what RA has in store for me. My first race was planned for this weekend, but my plans changed and so did my race! I'll tell you, flexibility is really the name of the game here.

Logistically, driving up to Madison for a Saturday morning race just wasn't going to work. My husband was also fussing about what to do with the dog. Since the weather was iffy all week, I hadn't signed up for the race yet--I was going to do that at the race. Instead, I signed up for a local trail race. I'll share more about the race on Tuesday's recap. But I will say that I was thrilled to find a trail race this time of year! I need some time on the trails to get myself prepared for my upcoming Everglades Trail Run and this time of year, trails are snow covered and difficult to navigate.

I had RA symptoms all week, with pain in my joints. I didn't let it stop me, but I did have to pop some ibuprofen and use some topical analgesics to get myself moving. Thankfully, I was able to keep up with all my workouts. Praying that RA doesn't pull any tricks on me this year.


Sunday, February 2, 2020

I Cheated on my Body and my Body Fought Back

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

When will I learn?

After sticking to a mostly plant-based diet for the past couple of months and feeling so much better, I cheated last week. Big time. And I paid for it. I've been avoiding most dairy, which seems to cause inflammation for me, save for a splash of half and half in my coffee and a sprinkle of feta on my salads. I've been feeling so good. So good, in fact, that I got brave.

I made a quiche last week. Sticking to a veggie theme, it was spinach quiche. But it was made with 3 kinds of cheese. I figured I could try it, see how I felt after I ate. It tasted fantastic, my husband loved it, and I felt fine the next day. So much winning! Feeling brave, I got cocky. I had the leftovers for lunch. Twice.

My old nemesis, IBS (aka I'll be stopping) started to return. But it wasn't as bad as in the past and again, feeling brave, on Sunday at dinner, we ordered cheese curds. Tuesday, it was pasta with cream sauce.

Did I overdo it? You think so?

On Monday, I felt a little achy in my elbows. Slapped some CBD cream on it and I was good to go to CrossFit. On Wednesday's run, I also felt achiness in my knees. And my tummy--well, without being too TMI, let's just say I was stopping.

After that, I returned to my dairy-free life but the pain lingered on through the week. The worst was on Saturday. I woke up determined to run but every joint in my body hurt. The pain was making me a little nauseous too. I popped a few ibuprofens and hit the couch, waiting for it to pass.  While the pain simmered down to a dull ache, I still felt yucky. I finally gave in. There would be no run. I also canceled my massage--no need to poke the bear, right?-- and rested all day, hoping for a quick return to feeling good.




Sunday, January 26, 2020

Gearing Up for Spring

Now that my strength cycle is complete, I'm making running plans for spring. I'll share those on Tuesday's post, but it feels good to focus on running again. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed slumming it the past couple of months, "just running" without a goal or a purpose. Sometimes we have to do that, right? I feel renewed and ready to tackle some running challenges again. I'll still be working on strength with Sammy Jo, but my focus will be more on maintaining that strength I gained over the past 4 months as well as working on some skills to help me stay mobile.



Sunday, January 19, 2020

You Can't Go Wrong with Strong

This week...I did a thing.

I stepped out of my comfort zone. Way out of my comfort zone.

I participated in a powerlifting meet at my CrossFit box. While I knew I was doing this for a while, I kept it under wraps because I needed to get my head around the idea. Seriously, I'm a runner! What the heck was I doing at a weight lifting competition? Well, when your coach is an Olympic-style weight lifter, you drink a little of the kool ade she gives you. The stuff she makes me do, the weight she makes me lift--it all makes me a stronger, better runner.

Trust the process, indeed.

No matter what you do, you can't go wrong with strong. I'll share more specifics about the meet on Tuesday's post. We spent our time together this week getting ready for the competition.



Sunday, January 12, 2020

I Do Have a Few Goals for 2020

I really dislike sharing my goals. Putting it out there in the universe makes it seem so real, doesn't it? While I agree that telling people about my goals for myself helps me stay accountable, it also makes failure to achieve those goals that much more painful.

I learned that lesson with my first marathon in 2011. I signed up to run for charity, I posted it on Facebook, and I told everyone my plans. I even broke the cardinal rule of running a first marathon, which is to not set a goal finish time. The goal I should have set for myself, to cross that finish line, did happen, but not at all how I planned. In reality, I fell apart at mile 18 and ended up walking much of the rest of the race. It took me a long time to accept what happened at that race. 

I know a lot of you share your goals--some even give themselves grades on their progress towards achieving them. That's not me and for now, I'm going to keep this year's goals close to the vest. I'll keep you posted as I go.



Sunday, January 5, 2020

New Year, Same Old Me!

It's a new year and I haven't made any resolutions or goals for 2020. I haven't chosen a word for the year. Instead, I'm just keeping on, rolling with the progress that I made as 2019 drew to a close.

If I were to make a resolution, it would be to actually train, not to just go out and run. I won't lie, I've been enjoying 'just running'. Junk miles, all of them. Kinda fun, though.

I do have some races in mind for the spring and if I want to feel good about how I run them, I'm going to have to do some training, including speed work. I'm mulling that over as we speak.

You know I'll do it. Ever the competitor, I'm driven by results. I've got a couple of weeks before I have to get back to work. For now, I'm just going to enjoy the ride!

NYD run in the woods

Sunday, December 22, 2019

All I Want for Christmas is Sun!

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want the sun to shine
And to watch the temperature climb
My wish is only one...
All I want for Christmas is Sun!

Apologies to Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber but I just don't want to run in the cold and snow. 

The sunshine makes everything look better, doesn't it?

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Serving of Humble Pie

After last week's half marathon, I was feeling so good about running again. But the funny thing about running is that it keeps you humble. Don't ever get too confident--because the proverbial rug will get pulled out from under you. It's happened to me so many times.

This week, it happened again. While I would have loved to bask in the glory of my accomplishment, my body served me with a big old piece of humble pie. A half marathon isn't half of anything. Respect the distance, my friends!



Sunday, November 24, 2019

Running with the Coyotes

Compared to the previous week, our weather normalized, the ice melted, and I was able to get outside and enjoy all of my runs! My big toe, which I injured last week after I slipped on the black ice, was still sore but didn't bother me on my runs. And while the title of this post may be a little bit of clickbait, I did have an encounter with a coyote on one of my runs. It's not my first coyote. No worries--you know those coyotes aren't interested in me. That little Yorkie I passed a few minutes earlier might want to go inside though...



Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Glass Half Full is Frozen

For the past couple of weeks, while the Midwest has been immersed in an early winter, I've been running outside, sucking it up like the warrior I claim to be. Heck, on Wednesday, I even followed my own advice from my post on Winter Running tips and layered up, completing a 6 mile run in subzero windchills. Because that's how we winter warriors roll. Trying to find our own sunshine, even when the skies are gray and there's snow on the ground.



Sunday, November 3, 2019

Don't Call it a Comeback

This post contains affiliate links. 

Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years
Rockin' my peers and putting suckas in fear
Making the tears rain down like a monsoon
Listen to the bass go boom...
~LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out

I returned to long-distance running with this week with a run in downtown Chicago at the Hot Chocolate 15k. Happy to pin on a bib for a distance longer than a 5k--my last long race was in January--but I'm not calling it a comeback. Let's just consider it getting back on track.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Catching Up

I may have missed last week's recap, but I have the perfect excuse. My sister and I took our annual sister trip--this year was #8-- to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. We had a great time even in spite of spending a day with Tropical Storm Nestor. We shopped. We ate some amazing food. We laughed. We made memories.

And yes, I ran on the beach.

I don't normally like to run on the beach, but I couldn't say no to this stretch of wide, flat, and packed sand. People ride bikes on this beach! It's probably arguable but the beach on Hilton Head is one of the most perfect beaches I've visited.

Here are some of the highlights from the past 2 weeks of workouts.



Sunday, October 13, 2019

I Haven't Got Time for the Pain

Carly Simon sang it back in the 70s. Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins updated it and is forever immortalized on a meme.  I tweaked it to fit my week. I had a rheumatoid arthritis flare this week. Fortunately, the flare was brief. Because I don't have time for pain!

It's been a busy week! Let's get right to it.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

It was a Week of Mishaps but the Running was Good

Returning from an escape away is always tough. If only life could be that much fun all the time, right? If only every day could be filled with blue skies and sunshine...friendship and wine...boating and laughter...

Reality bites. I rode the wave (pun intended) for a couple of days. The good vibes carried me through my first day back at work. But by Wednesday, life took over and once again my feet were firmly back on the ground. Even the weather took a turn, bringing blustery, rainy, cool conditions which lingered through the week.

I had a few mishaps during my workouts, too. I think my body was tired. Being the stubborn warrior that I am, I kept on moving. Was it the right or wrong thing to do? Not sure. I do love to move my body, though. Even when my body pushes back.



Sunday, September 15, 2019

Crushing the Backup Plan

This year, I've become all about the backup plan. It's hard to let go of what you were, at least for me. I always pictured myself as a goal crusher. This year, I've become a backup plan crusher. I'm not saying this is a bad thing--it means I'm listening to my body and doing what feels good. Crushing the backup plan has become a lot of fun. I'm not training for anything, so along with running, now I'm getting to do all this cool stuff.

Maybe the backup plan is becoming the plan?