Friday, March 09, 2012

Enjoying the warm weather while it lasts

Today was another nice warm day here in Calgary. I believe at lunch time it was 10ÂșC out and so I decided to make the best of it. I put on a t-shirt (wicking of course as I'm a sweaty beast), shorts, compression sleeves. I grabbed my Stems and out the door I went. Very quickly after I started I decided that the shoes should come off, and so they did. It was beautiful weather for going barefoot. A couple of cool puddles of water here and there, but almost no snow on the pathway. There was one small section by the zoo that was snowy (and had lots of gravel on the pathway) and so my shoes went back on for that. It's so nice to have the freedom to slip shoes on and off whenever I felt like it and I'm certainly not complaining about the weather.
This was the path by the zoo on Monday. Today there was almost no snow. Woot!

I managed to get just under 5 miles in. My feet were doing pretty good. The old areas that were blistered basically had that old dead skin scraped off from the wet pathways. That was totally cool by me except the new skin underneath was still a little sensitive. I managed to get another small blood blister on the pad of my foot where the new skin was but otherwise my feet came out fantastic.
Small blister (underneath old big blister). Small price to pay.

I can tell you about one really interesting thing that I saw on my run. I was heading back to work and while I was running I saw two guys running towards me holding hands. This seemed very strange to me. I have never seen anyone running while holding hands with someone else. At first I thought it was two 'very proud' guys if you know what I mean. However as I got closer I realized that I had seen one of the guys before. I have taken the bus with him and he usually needs help from people to know what stop it is and he walks tapping a cane in front of him. This was a blind gentlemen who either had a friend or an aide who was helping him to run. How cool is that!!! I have never really thought about that before and so I thought that it was really awesome to see that blindness doesn't have to mean that this guy couldn't run.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Yes, I'm still alive

Wow. It has been far too long since I last posted. We have been busy with so many thing and unfortunately I just never made time to write. So while I'm currently waiting for a bus to arrive I thought I would start a blog post.

Since I last posted my knee has gotten much better. It no longer hurts when I run!!! Woot!! Loving that. Getting into a good groove running has been hard though. With our DNS of the Hypothermic Half there was really no huge momentum in training. Combine that with cold snowy weather and I just wasn't feeling it. However we now have a couple races in mind for the year including the Edmonton marathon in 23 weeks. Which means marathon training starts now. Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things for that.

Other things of note since I last wrote.... Let's see. Oh yeah. There was the one time that I was running in my water shoes around the neighborhood. It was a little icy out and I was running in the dark. Going along at a good clip when all of a sudden I kicked something with my foot and almost went down. Turns out there was a huge chunk of ice on the ground that was frozen to the sidewalk. When I kicked it, it didn't move. Ouch. Pretty sure that I broke my toe with that one. Thankfully it wasn't hurt bad enough to stop running. Laff
Nice big hard ice chunk. My water shoes offered me no protection.

Another warm day I went for a barefoot run and overdid it a little. Managed to get in 8 miles barefoot. Felt fantastic. However it was still a little cold out and so my feet were a little more numb than they should have been. This led to a little sloppy form and a huge blood blister across my right foot. Silly me, however I had so much fun going barefoot.
Mmmmm, blisters.
Had them for a little bit. Ah well

Other than that in terms of new shoes there hasn't been too much change. I got my pair of Neo Trails that I was lusting after but then returned them after realizing that I wouldn't really use them enough to justify having them. Instead I got a pair of Stem Footwear (now Leming Footwear). My Lemings are now my absolutely favorite pair of shoes ever. Great casual shoe, fun running shoe. I will post a review of them shortly.

My new favorite shoes. Sooo nice.
So there is a mini update on what is going on. Getting back on a running training plan and hopefully with it getting back into blogging more.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I am back in the game after 4 weeks of no running.

Right before my stress test. So excited to run.
It has been way too long. Seriously I have been super busy and not running so I didn't have much to say. Things have been going ok in the health department. I had an echo cardiogram on my heart and everything came back normal. You see my EKG right after I reached my goal weight came back abnormal and so I had to have extra testing. So the echo was great, I didn't even have a mitral valve prolapse like my daughter does and so many in my family do. Great news. Then last friday I had my stress test. The idea is to get you on a treadmill and try to get your heart to it's max heart rate. For my age we were aiming for 189. (The Dr told me that the calculation is 220 - your age) So I go in and I have to tell you that I was worried. I hadn't run at all in 4 weeks. I have been doing my stationary bike a a spin class, that almost killed me, that stuff is intense, and some body weight exercises but no running because my knee was still hurting. So I get there and I get changed into my running skirt and a running room t-shirt. The Dr comes out sees my shirt and says this is going to take a long time. Laugh. I had warned them that I was a runner and that I run long distances. The test was pretty easy, you start off barely walking at a fairly steep incline and the speed and incline increase every 3 minutes. Really the speed wasn't the problem the max was only 5.5mph but the incline was crazy. For my final 3 minutes I was at 5.5mph but at an incline of 20%. It was hard work but it felt so good. I noticed that my knee wasn't hurting at all, especially as the incline increased my knee actually started to feel better. Hmm. I only reached 175 bpm because there is a max of 15 mins for the test. The Dr said that it would have taken a lot longer to get my heart rate to my max. I got the results that day and I am very happy to announce that I have a very healthy heart and that I am in great shape. So says my internal medicine/cardiologist Doctor. Woohoo! I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. Looking back it was just under a year ago that Kyle and I started running and a year and a half since we started our weight loss journey. I am sure that a year ago I would have maxed my heart rate just walking. I am so thankful that I have come so far, thankful everyday that God gave me a body that can bounce back, with a lot of work, from 6 pregnancies, nursing 6 children, and a decade of being obese. I am reminded often that this is a gift, yes I worked hard and still work hard to stay here, but it is a gift to have good health and I want to treasure it.

Anyways the stress test showed me that my knee wasn't broken. It is very strange it really only hurts when I am sitting, especially cross legged, or at night when I lay down in bed. Weird knee. I am going to see a sports med Dr about my knee to be sure it isn't a tear in my meniscus but for now I am trying a bit more running. What I have changed so far is that I have dropped my pace a lot. Where I used to run 9-9:30 min/mile I am back to running 10-10:45 min/mile. I have run twice now since my stress test both times without pain. Woot. I ran on Monday outside, just a 3.5 mile loop. It was all great except that I bailed off a curb and flew into the intersection. Thankfully it is a very quiet intersection and there were no cars. I was able to finish my run though and really I'm no worse for the wear except for a bruised elbow and hip. Last nights run was run number 1 of my first marathon training plan. More about that in a later post though. I did 5 miles of hills on the treadmill last night. It was a mile easy then .25 at 6% incline and .25 at 1% repeat until mile 4 then 1 mile easy. It was great. I found my knee really liked being at an incline and I enjoyed myself a lot even for a treadmill run. I am super excited to be back in the game. I am hoping to run 3 times a week and keep cross training in between. I am also looking into adding more strength training so that I can be ripped. LOL Not really I just want to keep running until I am old and grey and strength training should help with that.

So here I am back in the game and looking forward to more races and more fun coming soon.