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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Running Off the Turkey

The Gobbler Grind a few years ago. My friend
Amy and I were chilled to the bone.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and it is almost time to enjoy spending moments with family, shopping Black Friday (if you are crazy enough), and most importantly, the food. Oh the food.

Thanksgiving food is my absolute favorite food of the year. I love turkey with all my heart. I crave cranberries, stuffing and my mom's corn bake casserole. My mother-in-law makes some mean mashed potatoes too, and there is always pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars and usually ice cream dessert.

The eating is delicious. It is absolutely delicious. Thanksgiving is the kickoff to the start of good eating which really won't stop until after the holidays. I love holiday eating.

But I don't love the calories. 

Sometimes I sign up for Thanksgiving races, like in the picture above, but this year I did not. In not doing so, I've been less motivated to get the miles in this last month. Which isn't helping my eating/running balance.

Since I've gotten more serious about running the last year or so, I've noticed that diets don't really work that great for me. I used to eat low carb, but with 30 miles a week of running some weeks, low carbohydrate diets do not give me enough calories. I need all the energy I can get.

I haven't figured out the perfect combination yet, and I definitely have added a few pounds to my frame the last few years, but overall, I am still happy with my size. I am stronger now. Running is more important to me than being super slender, and I have made that choice happily.

But, the holidays and eating definitely make me think twice. This is always the time of year that I start to lag a little in my motivation to run; cold weather makes me want to stay in my warm bed rather than get up early and run in the dark, frosty freezing temperatures.

Not that I follow them all, but I do have a few tips for holiday eating:

1. Drink lots of water with you meals. Fill up your tummy with this calorie free drink which also replenishes your body's need for hydration.
2. Focus on turkey. Eat lots and lots of turkey. Or whatever meat is being served. Also, eat more vegetables like corn or green beans, but focus on the vegetables most pure in form- not the ones smothered in cream cheese, cream of mushroom or cheddar.
3. Enjoy the fattening food too (but in moderation). Leave two bites of everything more unhealthy (yet undoubtedly most delicious!) on your plate. This would be things like mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie, rolls, etc.
4. Run!!! Or do whatever exercise you like to do. Do this exercise both the day of and the day after Thanksgiving. Burn off those calories so you can feel better about feeding your face (and to make room for leftovers the next day!).

So here's to holiday eating. May we enjoy the food, family and friends- but not the extra pounds.

My run this morning. Trying to get a head start for the turkey!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why I'll Be Taking a Month Off From Running

Although I am not looking forward to it and am anxious for the procedure, it looks like I will be having Rotator Cuff repair surgery next month. I decided to wait until this semester is over to have the procedure done so that I can use the time off between semesters to recover.

Rotator Cuff Surgery

For several years my right shoulder has off-and-on bothered me a little, in fact I stopped taking boot camp classes last year as any time we lifted weights with our arms, I had discomfort in my shoulder for a week or so after. Since I quit participating in those classes and had been trying to be careful not to overuse or overextend my shoulder, I hadn't really had much pain since. Once in awhile I might sleep on it wrong or throw a baseball too hard, and it'd be sore a few days, but really, the minor occasional pain was something I could definitely live with.

Well, as you recall from my adventure to the ER last May (click here and then here if you have forgotten), my shoulder pain came back with a vengeance this past spring, for no apparent reason. The PT and cortisone shot this summer got me through it, and made me very hopeful that the pain was gone for good. I went almost 3 months with very little pain. Life was great! But then, in early October, right before my "two halfs in one weekend" goal, it came back again, and a repeat cortisone shot has done nothing for the pain.

So... last month I went back to my doctor and after an MRI and discussion with a surgeon, it is recommended I have Rotator Cuff repair (arthroscopic surgery) done. The MRI revealed a small tear that can easily be fixed. There are a number of factors that determine whether or not someone is a good candidate for surgery, and I fit all of them. I am young for this kind of injury, I am very active, I have to care for children, and most determinant for me, I am in a lot of pain and have limited mobility, even after trying noninvasive treatments first. It is also a small tear, which can usually be fixed. Larger tears are harder and have a much higher "re-tear" rate. 

I won't be able to run for 5-6 weeks after, and I hear recovery from this is just awful. No driving for 4 weeks, several PT sessions a week after that, and it can take 4-6 months to be back to normal. But, normal will mean NO PAIN for life after that, and that makes me very happy. I plan to run a half marathon next spring, Garmin: In the Land of Oz in Olathe, so I am sure recovery will impact my training, but I am up for the challenge.

I'll post more as I know more, but I'd love to hear from those of you with experience or expertise in this type of injury or surgery.

Have you had this kind of surgery? Do you know anyone that has? What have you heard about it? What was recovery like?

Comment below- I need information!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

2015 Miles in 2015: October Recap

2015 Miles in 2015
Traci Kate Brandi
Goal Achieved Goal Achieved Goal Achieved
January 50 59.77 40 30 40 42.72
Februray 50 15.03 45 45.6 50 56.11
March 60 64.33 50 50 60 73.48
April 60 83.51 60 59.12 60 61.92
May 60 69.7 60 40 60 68.6
June 60 60.28 60 25 60 60.2
July 60 108.96 60 66.5 60 65.49
August 60 109.9 60 60.1 60 64.97
September 60 111.6 60 45 60 60.66
October 60 90.13 60 52.2 60 62.15
November 50 60 50
December 50 58 52
Total 680 773.21 673 473.52 672 616.3
Group Total 1863.03
Group Goal 2015
Miles to go 151.97 

Well, only 2 months to go! We are only about 150 miles from our team goal! Look how great we are doing! Over the last 10  months all three of us have logged miles every single month, and collectively, we have met our goals 80% of the time!

Enjoying some amazing fall running weather last week at some 
beautiful trails a few miles from my home.

I reached 90 miles, 30 over my goal, in spite of some pretty intense shoulder issues this month (blog post with more details to come soon). With my two half marathons last month, my training schedule was scaled back a little to rest my body the week or so before the races, and honestly, with my shoulder pain when I run (or do anything that involves much shoulder movement) I have been just trying hard to get my 15 miles in per week since. I love running, I love the feeling of running, I love the beauty of nature around me when I run, I love the feel of accomplishment after I run, but I need to take care of my body too as I prepare for surgery next month (again, blog post to come soon). Oh- I did buy new running shoes this week to get me through the winter- and as runners know, there is nothing like the feel of new kicks. Love my new Brooks PureFlow 4's, this time in the color of navy and hot pink!

Here is how the rest of the team is doing:

October Recap from team member Brandi:
 Whoop Whoop!! October was my last month of 60 miles and I ended it with 62.15 miles.  November and December drop down to 50 and 52.  To date I have completed 616.30/672 miles, only 55.70 miles to go, so I will be over my goal! It’s so weird FINALLY being in double digits. One thing that has really helped me reach my monthly goal is to always be at least half way done with my miles by the 15th of each month. I’m glad for the drop in miles as the Iowa winter is fast approaching. Plus I will be starting to swim and take spin classes.  October started off cloudy and ended perfectly. It started with the dreaded fall head cold. It took a little over a week to feel somewhat better to run, but till then I picked up some lunch hour walking miles. It took a couple weeks to finally feel better. October ended with me being titled “professional encourager” this month by a fellow runner. It made my heart smile. This year has been so fulfilling helping others vs. focusing on my training. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most.

 My adventures continued in October. We took a nice fall hike thru the Effigy Mounds. It was wonderful. I forgot my phone so I wasn’t able to log any miles  but it was a great fall walk. We only did the 2.2 mile hike, and you can go all the way to 7 miles. The first .5 miles is pretty much all up hill. I would love to try and run it someday. It would be quite the challenge. I hope  @ Just a Mom Giving It A TRI to put it into her training schedule “wink” “wink”! Yes, I did just use half mile straight up hill, and want to run in the same sentence. Yep I’m SOLE CRAZY! Talk to you in November. Have you started thinking about your 2016 goals? Resolutions?

Team member Kate will update us all very soon! From talking to her recently she is totally still in this thing (and WOW she did log over 50 miles this month!)- and she going to work hard to reach her yearly goal. It won't be easy she admits, but she is committed. With only 2 months left in this challenge, I can't wait to hear how her year has gone.

We'll be back with our November recap before you know it! Don't let the colder weather get you down, get out there and get active!