Monday Off!

Hi! As you can tell, I fortunately have this lovely Monday off! So excited about that 🙂 I hope all of you have off too.

This weekend, I decided on Friday I would get up and make it to a Body Pump class at the gym! I’ve missed Body Pump so much, I don’t know why I haven’t thought to go on a Saturday before. The class was awesome, I got a great lift in (although since it had been so long since the the last one, my weights weren’t as heavy). I missed group fitness so much! I totally realized this..I have been on so many solo runs, and workouts- it’s really starting to get BORING.

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I woke up Sunday extremely sore, mostly from push-ups and bench pressing- not something I do often! Surprisingly enough even after the lunges and squats my legs weren’t hurting TOO badly. I did decided to take the day off Sunday, and am trying for my 6 mile long run today instead. The weather is about to get rediculously cold here this week (boo) so I may even have to suck it up and run on the treadmill this week. *sigh. Life is hard, I know.

Last week, my training didn’t go as planned, and I’m completely okay with it. It is what it is. Looking back, I totally think asking myself to run 4 times a week was a stretch. If I don’t get that 3rd shorter run in, I’ve decided its okay. I’ll be going totally off the feel of everything for the weeks. Sounds like a plan to me!

  • How was your weekend?

One of the best parts about my weekend???

Hockey’s back! And my Penguins are 2-0!

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NYC Half Training Recap: Week 2

FRIDAY! (And pay day for me- WAHOO!)

This past week, I think my training went well. My runs were solid and the pace felt fine. I felt a little sluggish on Tuesday, but my run with Riley was great and even a little faster. I was honestly sore the next morning.

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Yesterday I did a circuit workout with a 1.5 mile run. The run was much faster than I’m used to (speed work!?) because I ran with a few other people. I think that on Thursdays if this run & circuit happens instead of the miles I’ll be fine with it. The circuit was:

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This one was tough. I was sore from my run but got it done. I love circuit training, in a short amount of time I feel like I just spent hours working out!

I’m ready for some awesome weather for my 5 miler this weekend. Hopefully I’ll be running in shorts!

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

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?

Last Things Thursday

Hi everyone! It’s time for:

LastThingsThursday

(I’ve been a little pic monkey obsessed!)

Last Song on the iPod

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One of my favorites to run to!

Last Sweet Treat

Reese’s Cups of course. We still have bags leftover from the holidays. 2 go in my lunch bag everyday for work!

Last Workout

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3 miles on the schedule for training so that’s what happened. It was freezing. Seconds thought about training for a half in the dead of winter… JK but seriously. My legs were stiff and frozen! Not my best but it is what it is 🙂

Last Meal Out

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Drew and I went to Panera on NYE Day and we both got delish big kid grilled cheese and soup!

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Last Thing I Did

Before I went to bed I got in the hot tub! I’m so thankful that my parents have this cause my legs were super sore!

  • What are some of your last things?

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 🙂