Sunday, June 24, 2012

Yes, my knee still hurts...

I know, I know. Another post about about her stupid knee problems. It's been over three months! Come on already. Sorry, the saga continues...

I know I am a broken record. So I won't bore you too much with details, but to catch you up, what started as ITB friction syndrome is now being labeled a possible meniscal tear. Great.

I would or should be more upset about this but I had a great week running leading up to my doctors appointment so, I'm kind of like whatever. I had three great workouts, including an entirely pain free speed day; a 4.5 mile tempo run; and a pain free 7.5 mile trail run in 91*+ weather! Besides all the gasping for air, it was like I was never hurt. (Knock on wood!)

I am feeling a bit out of shape. I didn't mean to run that far in 91* weather. I took the wrong trail and probably added 1.5 to 2 miles on my run. It was so hot and I needed to get home, so I did what I had to do and bagged the last mile and asked a park ranger to drive me to my car!

The ranger was great and didn't laugh at me or read me the riot act for running in those temps. She even let my sweaty stinky butt sit in the truck and not in the bed like a dog. Thank you First Landing Park Ranger! I owe you!

So anyway, I am awaiting a call from the MRI scheduler so we can see what's going on in my knee. Oh and good news, my ankle is not full of arthritis like I thought. I do however have a small boney growth, which is probably why my ankle bothers me.

I'll keep you posted on what the MRI reveals. I'm moving this week, which is partly the reason I haven't been blogging. Once I get settled into the new place I hope to get blogged a little more regularly again.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

SUPing with My MRTT Girls

Every once in a while my moms running group meets up for a non-running activity. Today we headed out to False Cape State Park with Surf and Adventure and went SUPing and surfing.

We meet Surf and Adventure at Little Island Park

our boards

There is one more way to get down to False Cape and that is on the Blue Goose!

Getting ready to board the Blue Goose!

False Cape is just beautiful. It is one of the last undisturbed beaches on the east coast. You can only access it by hiking or biking through Back Bay Wildlife Refuge or boat down Back Bay.
View of False Cape-internet photo, the Blue Goose didn't actually take flight.

Our guide, Ranger Rebecca drove us through the preserve, where we saw turtles and tons of water fowl. Thankfully no snakes were spotted! (There are poisonous cotton mouths in the area.)

Once we got into the park, the Goose dropped us off and we hiked down an old airplane landing stripe through the dunes to the beach.

It was a picture perfect day, blue sky's and calm waters with a pod of dolphins just off shore.

That isn't a dolphin, it's one of the instructors!

The guides from S&A meet us out there with our boards. We took a quick lesson on how to stand up paddle, us cool kids call is SUP or SUPing for short, and off we went. I got out past the break and then fell into the ocean. SUPing is a ton of fun, especially if you like being in the water but can't get the hang of surfing (like me).

We did have a chance to surf too, but the waves were breaking to close to the shore and when I finally had a chance to do it I wiped! I slammed into two inches of water and bruised my butt cheek.

Like all good things this outing had to come to an end. A huge SHOUT OUT to the staff at
Surf and Adventure. If you are ever in the the Virginia Beach/Sandbridge area they are great! Tons of fun outings from surf and SUP lessons/rentals to kayaking.

We all had an awesome time! It's nice to take a break and do something fun that maybe out of your comfort zone. Most of us had never been to False Cape or gone SUPing. But we all wanted to go again!

What have you done lately that is out of your comfort zone?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fatigue, Relaxation Techniques and Visualization

I had some down time at work and whenever I have a moment of free time I like to check out one of my favorite professional blogs written by Mike Reinold, PT, ATC, CSCS. He is the rehabilitation Coordinator / Assistant Athletic Trainer for the  Boston Red Sox and I really enjoy his blog. He has great information of his own and posts informative articles and posts from other sports medicine bloggers. Thanks Mike!

Part of his May 31 post, which you can read HERE, linked to another blog called This post, written by Todd Hargrove reviews an article in the journal, Frontiers in Physiology, written by Tim Noakes, called: Fatigue is a Brain-Derived Emotion that Regulates the Exercise Behavior to Ensure the Protection of Whole Body Homeostasis. 

Todd writes "The basic idea is that human exercise capacity is not limited by a failure of the body, but is instead regulated by the brain to ensure that such a failure does not occur". He goes onto summarize the article.

(If you are in my age group stop reading here, this is way too boring for you to waste your time...)

What interested me as a runner is they are saying that "fatigue is not a physical event but rather an emotion that is used by the brain to regulate exercise stress."  We are far more physically capable than are brains ever let us be as a protective mechanism.

So the reason I didn't get my sub 1:50 half marathon back in March was because of my brain? It was trying to protect me? Stupid brain. I wanted that sub 1:50, thanks, thanks a lot.  
Noakes also posted these two video's check them out! They are good examples and just cool to watch.

I also like to read the comments posted by other readers. There was one comment posted by reader Dwight Pargee. He posted a story about Soviet and Eastern German sports training techniques. Apparently they were aware long ago about the brains effect over performance. The story comes from “The Super Mental training Book”. In the story this man named Garfield (not the cat, a former weight lifter), met with Soviet sports psychologists who said he could bench more than his current max of 280 pounds. He protested. His all time high was 365 pounds and he said it would take him 9-12 months of training to get to 300 pounds.Well those crazy Soviets had him complete a 45 minute relaxation and visualization process. And guess what? He did it. He was able to lift 365 right after his "session". He hadn't lifted that much weight in 8 years!  You should read the entire story posted in the comments, I'm not doing it justice.

This got me thinking.....

In high school and college I played soccer. I was a goalie. One summer I went to goal keeper camp. During one of the sessions they brought in sports psychologist who taught us how to visualize ourselves being successful at making tough saves. I used that technique for years, even into my college days. I truly believed that if I could see myself making an amazing save, that had my short, zero vertical jump butt would be able to do that in a game. And I did, on many occasions. Visualizing before games gave me confidence and helped shake the pre-game jitters.

So can I do this with running? I don't know, but I am going to give it a try at my next race. What do I have to lose? Not much but my age group.

Do you do any mental prepping for events?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Time with My Boys

Once a week,weather permitting, I like to pick my boys up from daycare on my bike.

Yesterday the weather was beautiful! The sun was out and it was warm, not oppressively hot like its going to be this weekend. So I thought we would hit the park before going home for dinner.

We took a ride through a swanky neighborhood and hit up their park.

It clearly says member only, but it's a nice park and we're nice people. I didn't think anyone would mind! Besides, would anyone know we didn't belong? I was willing to take that chance. Hehe.

My boys had a great time and I got some cross training in. All in all a great day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meal Planning

In an attempt to save time and money. I have reconfigured my approach to meal planning and grocery shopping. But, before I share my secrets, because lets face it Martha Stewart asks me for advice, insert sarcastic eye roll here, lets review my previous strategies....

Before I had kids, I would just shop for food when the cupboard was bare. No real list to go by, just fill the cart with stuff and hope it could be put together to make a couple meals.

Since kids, my grocery shopping strategy seems to be an ever evolving experience. I have gone with lists, without lists, started couponing, stopped couponing, and chased sale items. This can be a huge time suck and you don't always fill your cart with the healthiest items, just cheap ones.

So where has this left me? Annoyed.  As my time becomes more stretched and the need to feed my family healthy somewhat clean meals becomes even more important, I am trying to spend a little more time planning and not as much time or money at the grocery store.

Not too long ago I was inspired by a blog I found called RobbyGurls Creations. There is a a 4 part post about how she made her menu board. This women made a very nice, well organized board that Martha Steward would be proud of.
Who has time for this?!?!
Not me. Luckily, you can buy your own menu board for as little as $110 or you can go for the deluxe package at $250!?!? Yes, really $250.  It is nice and it is an obsessive compulsive's  dream but, I would rather use that money to take my kids to the ball park, zoo, or pay for a race registration.

So I am stuck, at least for now, with this....

 What can I say? I work full time and I am training for 5 races. Ugghhh. Whatever. It gets the job done.

I have been able to do one grocery shopping trip every two weeks for the items needed to make 10-12 dinners, 2-4 lunches, breakfasts, and snacks. I then try to only go once in between to get things like milk and fresh produce. So far it has absolutely saved me time at the store and I have been tracking my spending a little more and I have managed to keep my spending down by about$50 and that is not really using coupons. I *might* be able to afford a fancy menu board someday!

I think this system might be a winner and one that will help keep my family feed healthy yummy meals while saving time and money.

 Menu planner? Couponer? What's your strategy?
If you menu plan, I would love to hear how you do it!