Here’s to a Healthy Training Cycle

Well hello, hello! Is it seriously Monday again? How do these things happen…jk, I’m ready to tackle the week I swear!

My post on Friday recapped my (almost) first week of NYC Half training. I told you guys about how I already switched up my plan according to how my body was feeling that week. As I stated, I’m pretty Type B, go with the flow, so it didn’t bother me that much to do something else and I was DOING something else. Bunches of you agreed with me, and while I know it’s true… like many of you too, I’m sure..sometimes you get that guilt that comes along with missing or changing your your “scheduled workout” ;especially when it’s leading up to a big event! While I’m pretty sure this is a natural feeling, sometimes it stays in the back of your mind.

As many of you also told me, we all have those days. Our bodies are trying to tell us something and we need to listen, despite a run or workout being scheduled. As my friend Kate told me those of us who stay strict and rigid with plans end up burnt out, injured, or in a bad mental state…and YEP, she’s right! As I reminded myself that I was trying to think of the things I can do to keep a very positive, healthy training cycle for my first half. So far I have:

  • Foam rolling, icing, stretching
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Sometimes you have spectators while foam rolling. Cute furry ones

Foam rolling has been my go to before AND after my runs. Rolling out before make me feel much looser during my runs, especially in the calf department. Stretching my calves out will hopefully keep my Plantars facitis issues at bay! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about my foot, so I’ve been icing and using a golf ball to roll on the bottom- mostly my heels and arch.

  • Warming up

Now, I can’t say I’ve been 100% on this, but I’ve been making an effort to do some dynamic warm-up before runs, hopefully to get rid of any junk first miles for myself. This is conveniently done while waiting for the Garmin to find satellites, which can sometimes be a good bit of time…. I don’t do anything crazy, high knees, butt kicks, gate walks, mummy kicks (personal FAV)… I’m doing my best to work myself into a good pace and not going out too first starting

  • Letting go the idea of a “Perfect Plan”

I am completely in understanding with the fact that training might not happen according to plan and ITS FINE. It’s OKAY. In fact, if you skipped it according to how your body felt, it definitely a good thing. If I need rest, rest I shall. I took it easy on Thursday helped me to tackle a hillier than usual, 4 mile run on Saturday and still feel okay on Sunday.

  • Not only analyzing the run, but how I felt mentally and physically too

While I am loving my Garmin, I’ve been trying not to get obsessed with numbers. I am trying to understand and comprehend how much my mental status has an affect on my run as well. Out of everything, for me, mental issues are the hardest part of running! Writing about it has helped. More about the Believe I Am Journal later 🙂

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  • How do you stay happy, and healthy through training?

Crohn’s and the Endurance Athlete

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend. Today I have a little something different for you… and I hope you can learn a little something from it!

Last week was Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week (sorry a little late…oops). Someone very close to me has been affected by Crohn’s disease. They also just so happen to be the very same person who introduced me to the world of running, cycling, and duathlons. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon, but it may affect any part of the GI tract.

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This would be my boyfriend, Drew who has been living with the disease for the past 5 years. He was kind enough to let me interview him and share his experience through diagnosis and living with the disease currently for this post. Drew started getting into cycling and duathlons a few years ago, and has been able to keep training and competing despite this annoying disease. Our hope in this little interview is to maybe enlighten others on the fact that you can certainly tackle the endurance world if you have Crohn’s.

When were you diagnosed with Crohn’s?

I was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s in August of 2007, which was my freshman year of college. I had been dealing with extreme fatigue symptoms and bowel issues for a few months before blood work finally showed that I was extremely anemic for a guy my age even lower than a girl. After that they ordered a colonoscopy and once they put both of those together they realized I had Crohn’s. Mine happens to mostly effect my lower GI tract.

Did  these symptoms occur out of no where or had you always had stomach issues?

I feel like they really came out of nowhere. I never had stomach issues growing up and they hit me all of a sudden.

How was the first year of dealing with Crohn’s?

Actually after the diagnosis, my whole freshman year the symptoms were under control. I was on a type of anti inflammatory. However, for whatever reason, right as the summer began I ended up with my worst flare up. I landed in the hospital for 6 days, no solid food had a colonoscopy and upper GI. Sometimes I go for a long time with no issues and then sometimes I feel like it wont stop. A couple months ago, I needed to go to the ER because the pain, cramping, and nausea in my stomach was unbearable. Once you start having a flare up and your stomach starts cramping you hope that its just something small and will go away. When they start getting extremely intense and you start vomiting and you can’t control it, you know you’re in trouble.

So, basically Crohn’s is very unpredictable. How does this affect your daily life?

It is very unpredictable. I know the foods that set me off but there are times where you could go from feeling great to absolute crap in about 30 seconds. It affects my daily life being constantly worried on how your going to feel especially with important days and work. It sucks to always be tired and not know how your going to feel. Also, with the bowl problems that are associated with it…They can be unpredictable and embarrassing at times. When your in the bathroom for 15 minutes everyone knows what your doing… not fun.
Being that you are an endurance athlete, how does Crohn’s affect you during your training or race performance?
Well obviously low iron (anemia) means less oxygen to muscles which is counter productive to anything endurance related. Days when your just so tired makes training extremely difficult or impossible. Also, crohns is trigered by stress so when race day comes around your nervous that stress might set off a reaction or symptoms which is the last thing any one wants.  Long training rides where you go for 3 hours can be really tough because you hope you don’t have to go to the bathroom and your out in the middle of no where. Really just trying to keep up with people who are equally trained and in equal shape makes it difficult when your anemic and tired your just at a disadvantage at any endurance sport when you have low iron. I take iron supplements but they are very rough on the stomach and really don’t seem to make a dramatic difference so it gets frustrating.

Well, that doesn’t sound fun… What is it that gets your through the tough training and what keeps you doing it?
I like to do it. I enjoy riding bikes. I’m part of a group in PA and I’ve met so many great people who share the same interest. Riding a bike is a great stress relief and gives you a different perspective of things around you that you dont get while in a car. It something i can do with my father and we both love spending time together.
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So basically you giving a big screw you to Crohn’s and doing what you like right?
Exactly! You can’t live everyday afraid to get out of bed becasue your scared about how your going to feel. If you let it control you your just going to go insane.The first time I was in the hospital my parents and friends where very scared and nervous for me. But my rationale is that it could always be worse and i could have some worse disease or illness. Thats what i say to myself every time (or almost every time. Sometimes you cant but help feel a little sorry for yourself) it could always be worse. Im lucky i have parents that help me and have taken me to doctor appointments, found me doctors, driven me to the ER at 3:30 in the morning and ruined a camping trip. Oh, and an amazing girlfriend who helps me and understands that I just have bad days. (I didn’t pay him to say that- I swear 😉 )
Any tips for people with Crohn’s or GI issues who want to try endurance sports?
You can’t let it control you. Your going to have bad days and those are the days where the bike stays leaning against the wall and the running shoes stay in the closet. And you just have to say to yourself that tomorrow will be better and I’ll go after it tomorrow. Im not a sponsored athlete and no one is paying me to do this. I do it because  I enjoy it and you can’t let Crohn’s ruin it for you! You just have to listen to your body. If your feeling good, go for it. If your feeling crappy (haha- sorry), cut it back.
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  • Any questions? I hope you all learned something and for anyone dealing with the disease know that you can also do endurance sports. Drew has gladly agreed to answer any questions you might have 🙂

Turkey Day fun

Hello everyone! I am sorry for the absence (ha, if any of you have TRULY been missing me then good- missed you too 😉 ) but I was really, really enjoying my mini vacay and the time away from the computer and social media was a nice break. Very refreshing 🙂

I hope everyone had an amazing Turkey Day! I know I did, it was a good time with my family and I got to see Drew too which is aways a positive side of holidays with both of our jobs being at schools= nice breaks! (Fun fact: I even had yesterday off because in Pennsylvania, it was the first day of rifle season for hunting deer….haha yes. seriously.)

So anyways my Thanksgiving day started out with an extremely cold Turkey Trot 5k starting at my old elementary school! It was a brutal 27 degrees when we were headed there. My dad also went to the race with me.

Here we are racing 😉 (no sorry this was staged on my street- but still a fun picture!) Thanks mom!

The race was a good one and ended up being a really beautiful day out, you know, after you were numb, ha. The race unfortunately had a slight hiccup for me with another stupid side stitch at around the 2nd mile. UGH. one of those stabbed in the side gotta walk type of side stitch. Of course. I haven’t had a side stitch in all of my runs but of course it happens now. TYPICAL. Oh well. I still finished 26:51 so not too bad or far off my last. But soooo over the side stitches.

After this I was ready for turkey and lots of it! I helped my mom make a sweet potato casserole and and we had our pies ready for after!

I made the apple and mom made pumpkin! The apple turned out pretty well if I do say so myself 🙂 with ice cream of course!

Over the weekend I got to spend some quality time with Drew and took advantage of online shopping from the comfort of home. Perfect. No going out on Black Friday for this girl!

By Friday though, I was feeling some aches and pains in my knee and feet (as I so called “obnoxiously” pointed out to Drew…I mean I can’t help he’s an athletic trainer and is supposed to heal me, RIGHT!?) So I took the entire 2 days of no exercies besides walking around a little. It was the best decision I made for sure because yesterday I felt good and I had a nice run and tabata workout with squats, burpees, and sit ups and felt great! I’m definitely trying to take it easy right now and slowly build up my runs to get a nice base and lately I’ve been happy not going much over 3 miles, and doing some strength circuits in my basement.  I’m already starting to see improvement with my times in running so I’m pretty excited and trying to not overdo it! 🙂 woo!

  • How was your Thanksgiving Day?
  • Did you do Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping? I did and got some good deals admittedly for myself but some presents too 🙂

Weekend Recap

Helloooo! I hope you’re all well! I, as much as I love fall…when the season changes like this my sinuses and allergies go haywire. so that’s me now. I wouldn’t say “I’m sick” butttt I don’t feel great.

Anyways…as I said yesterday Drew and I got to spend some time together this weekend. YAY!

I wasn’t the only one excited Drew came to visit!

 

I caught this moment in the act. Izzy especially loves if you give her space to cuddle next to you!

Saturday we did a brick workout to help prepare us for the race on Saturday! We all have been crazy busy and training for all us hasn’t been top priority (with both our new jobs and routines) we decided to squeeze it all together 🙂

 

 

Obviously preparing and very serious. Also I look very tall. I am not.

We did about 10 miles followed by a mile run. We threw some kettle bell squats and swings in there and called it a night. Hey- that’s obviously how we enjoy on Saturdays- we are so cool. 🙂 I felt good during the training…I was pushing it cause I was obviously behind and trying to catch Drew the entire time. (Kinda competitive, what can I say). I feel like my training throughout the summer will keep me in the race even if my recent training hasn’t been as serious. I definitely wasn’t on the bike as much last year and I held my own! I am just hoping to beat my time from last year.

 

Sunday I had field hockey all day so Drew came along to watch and support moi of course! Somehow on the way home we decided pizza was needed and found a place called Iggies in Baltimore for some great pizza. Very organic and natural- I’ll take it.

 

Their pizza names were ones we couldn’t really say but very different than the usual so it was pretty cool. We asked for pepperoni and the girl told us it wasn’t exactly pepperoni but better..she was right! No clue what it was called however…

 

So if you are ever in Baltimore- Iggies is a great place to go!

  • What did you do this weekend?

I love Fall

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a stellar weekend. I DID! Drew ended up having his work cancelled Saturday SOOO he got to come up to my house and spend the weekend with me! YAY 🙂 reunited! We finally got to spend some quality time together..and I even had a buddy for a bike ride!

The temperatures this weekend surely made me welcome the new season!

Helloooooo Fall!!

As much as your have heard  me ramble on about why I love summer, I actually wanted to to share with you why FALL is my actual favorite time of year.

Field hockey- Fall sport. You all know I love field hockey and my favorite sport is played in the fall. The fall always meant it would be a fresh new season! So happy to be playing in a fall league as well!

Football- staying with the sports theme. Football is in the fall! Nothing I love more on a Sunday is watching my Steelers play!

Izzy on her Steelers blanket..she loves them too!

Perfect Running/Biking weather- As much as I love hot weather (which I do), I do prefer exercising and not feeling like I’m going to suffocate outside. Having the cooler temps is quite pleasant- especially for a run or bike in the evening.


My Birthday is in the Fall (October 19th) to be exact…it’s coming up soooo- don’t forget 😉 Kidding- but really as a kid I always looked forward to the fall because it’s my birthday season (yes…you read that right SEASON! I’m not narcissistic I swear….) Bonus: it’s also mine and Drew’s anniversary! The day after my birthday ha..good timing. (more presentsss??? one can hope.) 😉

Candy Corn-

Might have ate this til I was sick to my stomach on Saturday. oops. oh and especially love the pumpkins and the chocolate covered ones.

Hot Coffee- I love hot coffee in the morning and it finally doesn’t make me sweat to death on the way to work! WIN!

Leaves changing- Watching the leaves begin to change to oranges and reds and yellows is my favorite. At this time of the year I miss being in the mountains (in college) because there they’re already changing!

  • Do you love fall as much as me? What is your favorite thing?

I’ll be back tomorrow to recap my weekend and talk about my upcoming duathlon on Saturday! Wait.. I didn’t tell you about it? Yah i’m RACING on Saturday. With no formal training this time. Should be interesting 🙂