Tuesday, February 10, 2015


On a more positive note, over the past weekend, I took my youngest son to be fitted for running shoes. He's not a runner per se, but he is a multisport athlete and participates in sports that involve a great deal of running. If you recall, last fall he tore his MCL playing football. He did rehab through physical therapy. One of the therapist's main concerns was his lack of hip strength. She said he needed different running shoes, more for stability, as he tends to roll inward (pronate) when he runs. Since he's conditioning for rugby and doing a lot of running again, I wanted to get him some new shoes. We headed over to Road Runner Sports to get him properly fitted for running shoes.

I've never been fitted for running shoes. I have a neutral gait, and have run in the same shoes, Asics Gel Nimbus, for years. So being fitted for running shoes was new to me. I was really impressed by the technology at the store. And found my new favorite running app, the Shoe Dog. There's an app on the website too, but obviously if you can go to the store, it is much more hands on.

Shoe Dog asks all kinds of questions, like your age, gender, terrain where you run, arch type, foot mechanics (pronator, neutral, supinator), injuries, and some specs like mileage and weight. At the store, my son ran on a treadmill and the person helping him was able to observe him running and comment on his foot position. He stood on a pad and had the sole of his foot analyzed to determine where he put the most weight. She also had fitted him for custom inserts to provide more support for his highly arched feet. Then she made recommendations for shoes. She selected the Nike Lunar Glide, Brooks Adrenaline, and Asics GT-2000.

He's a 15 year old boy. Can you guess which shoe he picked?

If you guessed the Nike, you were correct. Fashion and brand comes first, after all... He said the other shoes looked too much like running shoes. As if that were a bad thing...these are pretty cool looking, actually.

And the outcome? He wore his new shoes last night at rugby and said they felt great. No knee pain either. He'll be using these for football conditioning too. I'm glad we did this. It's all very high tech and very hands on. If you don't know what kind of shoes you should be in, this is a great way to find out.

Disclaimer: this post is not in any way endorsed by Road Runner Sports. This post is solely my opinion.

I'm linking this post up with Tuesdays on the Run! MCM mama runs, Run the Great Wide Somewhere,  and My No-Guilt Life! Head on over and see check out other bloggers' favorite fitness apps!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hung over

At the beginning of this year, I set five goals for myself. I've talked about them quite a bit on the blog. Goals are important because it gives us something to strive for. Four of those goals were running related. One was not exactly running related. That goal was to manage the mama drama in my life. But we all know how much that mama drama affects our running. And vice versa.

Spinal Tap
That goal, the keeping the mama drama in check goal, was sorely tested this weekend. The mama drama-o-meter was off the chart. Up to eleven. Saturday night was a sleepless night. And Sunday was rough. Have you experienced a hangover after a night of partying? That's small potatoes compared to how I felt Sunday. I felt sick all day. My son, obviously feeling the fallout as well, took off early in the day. He said he needed "to chill". I spent most of the day agonizing over him leaving and wondering where he was. I sent him occasional text messages, just to check in and let him know I was thinking about him.

As the day went on, something changed. I don't know exactly how it happened but he and I began exchanging text messages. And through these text messages, we shared a lot. A lot. He told me things no mom ever wants to hear. Confirmation of things that I was already suspicious of. I told him how much I loved him and wanted to help him. We texted all afternoon. And the upshot? We're both taking the day off today to get some help for him.

When he came home tonight, I hugged him. And he let me. I can't remember the last time I held him in my arms. My 17 year old baby boy hugged me back. I asked him if he was still on board with the plan for help. He said yes.

Sunday morning, even though I was exhausted after my sleepless night, I went for a run. It was one of those "I need a run" runs. When I got back, I told my husband that for that 50 minutes I was on the path, I didn't think a whole lot about my son and the events of Saturday night. Instead, I got to think about running, lose myself in my music, and be free from my life. I listened to my footfalls and reflected in the ease of my stride. That day, more than ever, I was thankful for the run.

I can't predict what today will bring, or the next day. I have a feeling my family is in for a rough road for a while. While I have no control over the mama drama in my life, I have control over how I manage it. And the one thing I'll have to help me through the mama drama ahead is the run.

I'm linking up with Tara at RunningN'Reading today.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bringing flexy back....

I've been doing yoga almost as long as I've been a runner. But there are just some poses I'll never be able to master. I'm lacking in the flexibility department, for sure. And running doesn't help that! But I do yoga to help me recover from my runs, and my goal isn't to be a master yogi. My goal is to stay injury free. And to have fun in the process. Yoga has certainly helped me be a stronger runner, but it keeps me humble too!

I'm participating in the #prAna and #fitapproach #TaketheLeap 30 days of yoga challenge. Today is Day 5 and I'm excited to share my first 5 poses on the blog! It has been so much fun to showcase yoga and I love seeing all these runners' posting their yoga poses on Facebook and Instagram. I hope everyone keeps posting as the month goes on.

Cow Face Pose aka Gomukhasana. Do I look like I'm in pain? Because I am. I like to call it mad cow face pose. Talk about humbling! I've got really tight hips and I can't get my knees together like a good yogi. But I sure do feel this one! My arms are in reverse namaste, but you can also hold your feet, like motorcycle handlebars. Vrooooooom.....

Revolved chair aka parivrtta utkatasana. This one really opens the glutes and hamstrings. It's also a twist, so it feels great on the spine.

Camel pose aka ustrasana. I love backbending because they open my heart. We spend so much time leaning forward, running forward, and backbends pull us out of ourselves. This pose is also great for the quads and hip flexors, as well as the shoulders.

Side plank with tree pose variation aka vasisthasana with vrikshasana. I love side plank. I feel so strong and open in this pose. By, the way, I have "double jointed" elbows and so my arms are never straight. In case you were wondering.

I started off the week with King dancer pose aka natarajasana. I was challenged by Run Salt Run, (who coincidently coined the term #kickasana) to do this pose. This is a balance pose but it is also a backbend. I am not very flexible, and even though it feels like my leg is extended really high, this is as high as I can get. And yes, I'm wearing my pajamas. Just like yoga pants, really.

As one of my instructors once told me, you get as much out of a pose as you put into it. It doesn't matter how deep or how far you go. In fact, if you go too far, you can hurt yourself. Do what you can do. Be where you are.

Are you participating in the yoga challenge? Do you practice yoga? If not, why not? And if so, what are your favorite poses?

Don't forget to check out my PowerDecal giveaway! It ends 2/11/2015 at midnight! You can jump in here: http://oldrunningmom.blogspot.com/2015/02/bumper-stickers-and-powerdecal-giveaway.html

Today I'm linking up with the DC trifecta aka CourtneyMar, and Cynthia for Fitness Snapshots!
I'm also linking up with Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What has running done for you?

Something happened to me between the 4th and 5th grade.

As a little girl, I was a leader. Well liked, with a ton of friends. But around my 10th birthday, something changed for me. There wasn't a specific incident that I can recall.  It was almost like a shift in my brain. All of a sudden, I wasn't sure about anything. I lost my mojo. I started to feel awkward and ugly. I felt different than everyone else. In middle school, everyone around me started going through the physical changes of puberty. Nothing was happening for me, and it didn't seem like a big deal, to me at least. But along with those physical changes all my friends were experiencing, was a shift in everyone's psyche. Everyone was boy crazy and clothes crazy and just plain crazy. It was almost like a club that I wasn't a part of. I didn't get it. I didn't really notice how different I was until I was invited to a slumber party at one of my elementary school friend's house. This was 7th grade. I remember it vividly because while I was friends with several of the girls, there were others invited who were all part of a "faster" crowd from my junior high. Things were way over my head. I just wanted to go to sleep and they were up all night, dancing and giggling. The differences between me and those girls were evident, and I wasn't included in that group again. My self confidence continued to plummet, and hit rock bottom when I started high school. As a freshman, I was pranked, meanly, by a girl I had been friends with in grade school. It's still painful to think about that incident. I was socially awkward and gawky. My best friend from junior high moved on to the "popular" group. It was a tough time. 

Me, probably around age 13.
Something happens at puberty that makes girls' confidence plummet. Kristin Armstrong wrote an amazing essay on this. Changes in the brain, both hormonal and physical that occur with puberty, change the way preteens view themselves. For both sexes, but especially girls, it is so important to "fit in", and preteens compare themselves to their peers. Girls also measure themselves against unrealistic expectations in the media. 

Did you see this amazing ad during the Super Bowl? This really struck a nerve with me. Apparently, I wasn't alone. My Facebook and Instagram feed was full of #runlikeagirl posts and pictures. I've also read a few blog posts that touched on themes related to this ad. CNN interviewed the director of this ad. She's been involved with other projects like this in the past and comments in the article that she was shocked by the dramatic shift in girls' thinking at puberty.

Back in the day, when I was young, girls didn't participate in sports like they do today. I was raised in the era before Title IX, when girls were supposed to be cheerleaders, dancers, and moms. Not that there's anything wrong with these options. But they were the only options I knew about. No one played sports, really. None of my friends were athletes. In my clinic, I see girls who are participating in every sport that boys have and then some. And those girls play hard!

But even with all these opportunities to participate in sports, have things really changed for girls? In my clinic, besides seeing the confident, athletic girls, I also see girls who tell me they're ugly..too fat..too thin...girls who cut themselves...who are bullied. How do we help those girls?

I stumbled through my teens and 20s, trying to find my way. Finally, after suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, I started working out. There was a track at the health club, and I began to run. After time, I found that not only did running help me manage my anxiety, in fact reducing it, but also began giving me self confidence. I ran and I got faster. I felt confident enough to run a few 5ks, and actually placed in my AG a few times. This was in the days before racing was a big thing, but it surprised me. I still didn't have the confidence to join a running group or meet other runners. I was intimidated by experienced runners. I still felt that I wasn't a "real runner".

Fast forward 20-odd years and I look back on that old me and see how far I've come. But even prior to last year's marathon, I still had lots of self doubt prior to lining up at the start. I was fortunate to have a coach and friends who believed I could and I would. And I did. I proved to myself that I can "run like a girl". But how sad is it that it that at 52, I was still lacking in confidence? How do we keep our teen girls from a life of low self esteem and self doubt?

For me, the answer is running. Running gives me a sense of accomplishment. Almost everyone can run. It doesn't have to be fast. It doesn't have to be far. But lacing up those shoes and heading out the door is an accomplishment in itself. Pushing through a tough run and not quitting helps build mental toughness. Running is easy. Just one foot in front of the other.


I'm linking this post up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her Thinking Out Loud linkup.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bumper Stickers and a #PowerDecal giveaway!

A couple of years ago, a Wall Street Journal columnist wrote an essay denigrating the many runners who put milage bumper stickers on their cars. You can read this gem here.  Here's a quote so you can get a feel for the article:
"There is only one reason running aficionados display the stickers. They want the rest of us to know about their long-distance feats. So let me be the first to offer my hearty congratulations. I'd even offer to give them a pat on the back—once they're done doing it themselves."--Chad Stafko, 2013
Clearly, he's not a runner. Most likely he has some issues. Maybe he should run. He says he has one of these bumper stickers on his car:

Which makes me think he also has a sense of humor. 

Mark Remy, resident funny man at Runners World, wrote a rebuttal to the WSJ essay. Remy's translation of the above quote: 
"TRANSLATION: People put stickers on their cars. Even runners! This angers me."-Mark Remy 
And as Remy says,
"See? The author is not a bad man. Just an angry one. And you know what's good for that, don't you, Chad...? "
Yep. How do you feel about people putting distance stickers on their cars? Yay or nay?

My husband sported a 0.0 bumper sticker on his last car. No, he doesn't have issues with runners. Or me. It was a joke between us. People ask me all the time if he runs. "Not if he can help it," I tell them. He's had a love-hate relationship with my running, but more and more he displays a sense of pride when he talks my running to other people. We've accepted each other for who we are and that's that. 

He also doesn't mind driving my car with its 26.2 bumper sticker. I put that sticker on after my first Chicago marathon. After almost 4 years, it's starting to fade. And you can't see it at night. But recently, I acquired something new: 

This is a PowerDecal, an innovative LED backlit device that turns on when you're driving and turns off when you're stopped for more than a minute. My back windows are tinted, yet you can see the logo clearly at night! My nephew started PowerDecal, and their biggest sellers are sports logos. But they now have 26.2 and 13.1 for runners. You can also get custom logos. Personally, I think it looks pretty cool.

I have a PowerDecal 26.2 to give away! And remember, less than 1% of the population has completed a marathon. So be proud of what you've done!

Tell me you don't want one! You can enter below. Sorry to my overseas friends, but US entries only. Entries start after midnight 2/4/2015 and contest ends 2/11/2015 at midnight. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 2, 2015

Take the Leap!

30 days of yoga challenge #prana #sweatpink #fitapproach

When I think about yoga, the first thought that comes to mind is release. Yoga relaxes me and makes me feel loose.

That’s why I am SO excited to participate in prAna’s Take The Leap 30 days of Yoga Challenge with Sweat Pink. I plan to pigeon my way to a more flexible and injury free 2015!

For me, the biggest challenge when it comes to yoga is lack of flexibility. #TakingtheLeap with prAna and Sweat Pink is a great way for me to find strength in my poses.
My favorite place to yoga is my home because it is so quiet when everyone's gone for the day.

Here’s a photo of me in my very best pigeon:

I tag: Marcia from Marcia's Healthy Slice, 
Michelle from This Momma Runs, 
and Teri from Reinventitude.

I want these fabulous bloggers to share their very best yoga pose photos, this fun MADLIB and of course, I challenge them to join me on this fun 30 day yoga journey

Come on yogis! #TaketheLeap with me!

Join prAna’s & Sweat Pink’s #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge and be eligible for a chance to win $500 worth of new prAna gear from their latest collection as well as gift an additional $500 worth of prAna gear to the person of their choice... because isn’t giving as important as receiving? They just launched their new Spring Collection so you best get on it!

If I win I would gift the $500 to my coach Becky because she pushes me to believe in myself. But she needs more yoga in her life!

Make your own MADLIB and join #taketheleap 30 days of yoga challenge. 

Here's the link to the original MADLIB. Fill in the blanks and post away! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kQbAqCT3Xv3ZpnbfDUVmjMUm8Rp9iLZdmqbYmz9ZHSU/edit

Join the Take the Leap with prAna and Sweat Pink Facebook group / event which we’ll use for updates, sharing,and inspiration: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1525412337742204/

And join the challenge on Instagram, Twitter, and your blog using the hashtags:
And of course, tag @prana @FitApproach


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Run this Year! 2015 January summary

How's your training been going since the new year? I have to admit that I have never been really diligent about keeping track of my miles until I got my Garmin last year. Now it's kind of fun to log in and see where I'm at. For 2015, I signed up with Run This Year, to participate in a community of runners and to see if I could achieve a yearly goal of--no, not 2015 miles, but 2015 kilometers. That's 1252 miles, y'all. I think this is something I can do--if I accomplish what I set out to do this year--stay injury free. So where am I at on my 2015 goals so far?

Staying injury free? I'm all about avoiding any time off the road this year. At the end of 2014, I was having big time issues with shin splints and high hamstring pain on the right. I've been working hard with Becky at CrossFit again. I don't know if she didn't hear me when I talked about my pains or if she was ignoring me. She just kept pushing me through my workouts. We finished up a cycle of heavy lifting, which we started at the end of 2014, with 2 PRs! Deadlift PR= 175# and Box Squat PR=155#. Now we are in a cycle of CrossFit intervals and wow! are they intense. But I'm happy to report that the pains I had at the start of the month are gone. Now I have a little achilles pain, but it comes and goes, usually after a run. I'm working diligently on foam rolling, stretching, and hip strengthening at home, as well as yoga 1-2 times per week. 

Deadlift PR!
Run a sub-4 hour marathon/sub-2 half marathon? I'm lumping these together, since I'm not planning on a marathon until fall. I started training for my March half marathon, the Sarasota Half Marathon. Since the race is in Florida, I have absolutely no way to train for the heat I may encounter. Or do I? Remember last year's Florida half that I ran? In the 75F 90% humidity? Where I wilted at mile 4? I have no desire to repeat that experience. So I talked to a seasoned marathoner that I know, and he told me really, the only way to train is to run inside and wear lots of clothes. So that's what I've been doing. I call it a "paced heat run", and it's tough! Every week I add more layers. This past week was the toughest, as I piled on fleece lined tights, a fleece hooded sweatshirt, and a hat. These runs are for one hour and I try my hardest to maintain a steady pace. I did pretty well until mile 4, when I had to slow it down just a little. But I still averaged 9:14 min/mi--I think. My treadmill isn't that accurate. But I'll take it. I've also started doing speedwork, in the form of mile repeats, and that's been going well too. It's hard to pace my miles on this treadmill, since I really don't know how fast I'm going. As long as I end up going faster on the last mile, that's all that counts. 

Yep, this is indoors running at its best!
And about that mama drama? Oh, that oldest son of mine. He tries so hard to get me going. Sometimes he does. I'm trying not to let it happen. Even when he gets a terrible report card. His response? "At least I'm not failing anything..." I've decided to back off and see what happens. Because, as I said in the previous blog post, his bad grades really don't affect me, per se. We all want our kids to do well in school but he's going to have to deal with the consequences, not me. I know I'm not alone here. Why can't they stay little?

This guy is now 17! It was so much easier when I could just strap him in the jogger and go!

Grow the blog? Things have taken off beyond my wildest dreams! I found out this month that I've been chosen to be a #Fitfluential ambassador and a #SweatPink ambassador! I couldn't be more excited and admittedly, more overwhelmed! There's so many opportunities to interact with other bloggers...opportunities for affiliating with advertisers and companies...participation in fitness campaigns...I'm just trying to sort through everything and decide what I want to do. One thing I don't want to do is lose my voice, and so I want to be really careful about what I pick. I started blogging to interact with other runners, and that desire still drives me! And in the when it rains it pours when it snows, make snow angels department, I was also featured on Another Mother Runner this month, sharing a story I about when one of my neighbors decided he wanted to run with me. It was kind of an ugly break up. It's all good, and all I can say is wow! and thanks for following along. I'm excited about what's to come! 

107.19 miles

I'm linking this post with Tara at RunningNReading for her Weekend Update!