Sunday, July 31, 2011

07/31/11 - 103 degree heat index at 8:00 pm???

I couldn't believe it. I got back from my run tonight about 8:00. I looked at my phone to see what the temperature was....and it said 103 head index.

At 8:00 pm??? I can only imagine what it was when I left the house to drive to the city trail an hour before.

This is completely nuts!!! I'm not a summer person....but one thing running has done for me, is help me deal with the heat. The more I'm out in it, the more I can handle it.

But 103 degrees at 8 o'clock at night??? I'm sorry, but that's just plain wrong! :-)

So......for the good news.....

Not only did I get to run 3 full miles, without any pain at all (I can't tell you that last time I was able to say that).....but I also got to run it outside. Off of the treadmill!!!

Hello Garmin! Oh how I've missed you so!!!

3 miles, outside, no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess I'm lying a little when I say no pain. My lungs were feeling the heat. It's amazing how much it affects a person. I usually run intervals...2 min run, 1 min walk. By the time I got back...I'd been doing 1 min run, 1 min walk. I just couldn't catch my breath. I know I'm out of shape from what I was last year....but I'm not THAT out of shape from last year. Geezzzz! :-)

I tell you what. Running without pain in my legs...outside. I know it's still early to be celebrating and all....but dang that feels good!!!

When I got home, I went upstairs to my own little den turned yoga space.

You see, I've decided to obliterate my shin splints in an all out attack. I've been doing as much as I can with physical training and such on the medical front. And now that they have me where I can start back to running, I want to make sure I don't end up where I was again.

Ever again.

After quite a bit of research, I've found out quite a few things about running.....and taking dance lessons for 18 years.....and about how the two don't get along well.

At all.

At. All.

This last Thursday was the first of 5 Yoga for Runners classes. After our first night, we were given homework.

Complete 10 Sun Salutations. 5 each of two different variations.

And, since it was Sunday and I hadn't done one session on my own yet.....I thought that I may as well.

While I was all sweaty and such already.

After a victorious OUTSIDE run of 3 whole miles....and 20 minutes of slow moving, yet thorough, yoga series.....I feel pretty darned good.

3.01 miles, 11:07 overall average pace, Max HR 189, Avg HR 173

Friday, July 29, 2011

Update :-)

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."-John Bingham
I've been swamped. Work is nuts. Life outside of work is nuts. I feel as though I'm never home, and when I am, posting is the last thing I'm thinking of.'s been a while since I've given you all an update.

It's all good news really. I'm running.

Not outside, and not on hills, and not for very far...but I'm running consistently and (mostly) without pain.

I want to be running longer, further......but I'll take what I can get and be happy! :-)

I've taken on a new project at work, and it's had me working some later hours.......but that's pretty much calmed down now. The rest of the family is riding across the state of Iowa on RAGBRAI without me, and I'm sad....but that's OK...hopefully I'll be able to go next year.

(I just need to get out on my bike a little more before then!!!)

So, with them gone, we're babysitting my sister's two dogs.

Our house is a mad house of fur, barking, growling, and squeaky toy madness!

A rare shot of them all sleeping at once. Isaac is at the top. He's our "old man" Scottish Terrier. Sam is the black lab. Emmy is a cocker spaniel and Houston is a Brittany I believe.

All of the dogs are getting along pretty well, for the most part. Isaac has shown each and every one of them that he has teeth, and he's not afraid to use them. It takes quite a bit of growling and posturing...but when he finally decides to show them he's had enough, his point comes across loud and clear.

Emmy, my sister's oldest, just wants to cuddle. Oh, and she's a squeaky toy addict. Sam is bad....but she's a hoot!! The two bigger dogs and their rough housing had her hiding under the kitchen table for safety this morning. When they are at it, nothing's safe! :-)

Sam, our 1 1/2 year old puppy, is loving having someone to play with all day. She wants a friend to play fetch with...but just having them run along behind or beside her will have to do. Her routine is messed up right now, and I can tell she'll be happy when the house has calmed down again, and she has her people to herself.

Houston, my sister's youngest, is a sweetheart. He and I avoided each other completely the first couple of days. He just stares at me. It's kinda creepy. His eyes are beautiful...but when they are fixed on me 24/7, it's unnerving. "Kill me in my sleep if I don't get the kennel door latched" creepy.

On day three, he cuddled up with me on the couch....and ever since, he follows me wherever I go. We're buddies. my workouts. I've been doing quite well. Here's a brief recap of what I've been up to since I last posted.

07/17/11 - Sunday
2+ miles on the treadmill
28:56 (including warm up and cool down)
321 calories burned (per my Polar watch)
Max HR 187
Avg HR 158

07/18/11 - Monday
Yoga strength class
507 calories burned
Max HR 180
Avg HR 132

07/20/11 - Wednesday
Spin class
631 calories burned
Max HR 184
Avg HR 170

07/21/11 - Thursday
2.5 miles on the treadmill
30:46 (including warm up and cool down)
408 calories burned
Max HR 191
Avg HR 174

07/22/11 - Friday
Elliptical then weights
14:44 (elliptical)
184 calories burned (elliptical)
Max HR 179
Avg HR 168

I also went in for my last (fingers crossed) Graston appointment that Friday. It's been a week, and I'm still running. I went from only 2 miles at a time, to 2.5. Going to start giving 3 miles at a time a whirl this weekend. I'm actually nervous about 3 miles at a time. It's kinda crazy! :-)

07/23/11 - Saturday
Spent most of the day walking around the RAGBRAI starting town and expo. No clue how many miles, how many minutes, or how many GALLONS of sweat rolled off of me. Heat index in the 100's. Rain, sun, rain, sun, rain, sun. It was nuts!!!!

07/24/11 - Sunday
2.5 miles on the treadmill
38:54 (including warm up and cool down)
443 calories burned
Max HR 187
Avg HR 158

07/26/11 - Tuesday
2.5 miles on the treadmill
34:43 (including warm up and cool down)
369calories burned
Max HR 197
Avg HR 152

07/28/11 - Thursday
2.5 miles on the treadmill
35:41 (including warm up and cool down)
396 calories burned
Max HR 187
Avg HR 156

07/28/11 - Thursday night
Yoga for Runner Workshop - Week 1
90 minutes
- This class was great! I love doing yoga, and would love to "practice" yoga officially...but I've never found a class or instructor that I felt comfortable with. Not comfortable as in they scared me, or I didn't think they knew their stuff. Just comfortable as in "a fit". Mandy spoke at the long distance running group I belong to a few weeks ago....and when I found out she was doing a Y4R workshop, I signed up immediately.

Taking a class that is geared for and centered around runners was really nice. She's been a runner in the past, and could understand where we were coming from. Our habits, our way of thinking, our masochism, our stiff and tight leg muscles. :-)

The sessions are 90 minutes each, but those 90 minutes FLEW by!!! We learned a couple variations on the sun salutation (series A and B). The class is small (6 of us) and it was perfect! She was able to watch each of us as we went through the motions...correcting angles, foot placement, and such every step of the way.

And, just like a runner loves to have a training schedule to follow....she gave us homework. We're to do 5 (oh gosh, I think she said 5 - hehehehe) sun salutations, 3 days before we meet next week. 15 minutes, 3 days...I think I can handle that. Although....I tend to take a little bit longer during each series than some were. Maybe it's the 18 years of dance classes? I'm paying attention to every little detail (arm placement, breathing, etc) along the way. I'm sure it will get faster once it becomes more natural to me. For now, I'm taking my time.

Plus, besides yoga having the physical health benefits attached to it...I'm also loving the mental parts. With as hectic as things have been lately, having that time to "relax" felt great. I need to convert our den into a sort of yoga room. It's the perfect spot...I just need to find my mat, maybe get myself some kneepads (my knees bruise so friggin' easily!!!) and a CD with some uber relaxing music on it.

After the class was over, I talked to her one on one. She remembered me from the running group and was giving me the names of the others from the group that had signed up for other times the workshop is being held. Then we talked about my injury.

During the session, she addressed shin splints specifically....and was telling everyone some of the same information I'd found online, or been told by my PT. But, she was telling me the different ways yoga can help. If that's the case, I'm going as much as I can!!!!

So...there you have last two weeks in a nutshell. :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Like a hamster on a wheel......


Need I say more???

After the "NO running more than 2 miles at a time" and "NO HILLS WHATSOEVER" directives were given by my doc and PT.....I decided to hit the gym for this morning's run.

It was either that, drive to the nearest city trail (secluded and spooky in the am), or run around the block a million times until I reached two miles.

I opted for the gym.

iPod in hand, I started running on treadmill #1.

The belt on that first treadmill was so worn, it felt like someone had used Armor All on the surface. It was more ice skating, then running. So I shut it down, and moved to another one.

It's belt had been replaced quite recently, and almost had TOO much traction.

No, I didn't play Goldilocks and go looking for a treadmill that was "just right."


What I DID do, was turn on my iPod....only to find that it had no charge to it. I swear I checked it on Tuesday when I put it in my gym bag (and haven't used it since). It must have gotten switched on, on accident.

Oh well...I'll just watch the news and read the captions.

Have you ever tried to read captions while running on a dreadmill?



When I hit my two mile limit....I jumped off and headed towards the ellipticals. I had 10 minutes before I needed to shower, so I banged out another mile, and another two gallons of sweat.

Man, it's humid in that place!!!!

Three days, three workouts in a row. Feels good to get back at it....even if I am stuck inside for now.

Haven't had the Polar heart monitor out in a while. My Garmin kinda took it's place. GPS tracking isn't necessary when running on a hamster wheel.....

38:27, 2 miles run and 1 mile elliptical, 472 calories, max hr 189, avg hr 165

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I have to get up HOW early???

I had my second Graston appointment yesterday afternoon. It hurt a little bit more than last week...but only because he had to go over the places that bruised last time.

Now I have two layers of bruising. Some that are going from purple to green.....and some new ones going from red to purple on top.

I'm like Joseph's Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.....just without all the cool songs and costumes! :-)

Right after my appointment, my original physical therapist from this year wanted me to come talk to her. Apparently she'd been talking to my doc since I saw her last, and they had some "instructions" for me.

1) No elevation change......NO hills

Well hell....I live on a a hilly part of town. That means I either have to run around the block over and over, drive somewhere somewhat flat, or hit the (ugh) dreadmill.

2) No mileage. I did two miles on Tuesday, and the information literally made her eyebrows raise. I'm not to run more than 2 miles the next time I run either, even if it feels like I'm fine.

Crap! How the heck am I supposed to build mileage for my half in September if I'm running two miles at a time? I asked her about the 10% increase....and she begrudgingly said it was ok.

3) No running two days in a row. Period.

Sorry Mr. Higdon, but your half training plan I used last year is out. Out like popped collars and layering different colors of socks.

There you have it. I've been muzzled, so to speak. I'm on a leash, and it's a short one.


But.....on the brighter side....two miles at a time without pain is much better than no miles, or miles WITH pain. I'll take it.

Fow now. :-)

So....on to the title of my post today.

I got up early to workout. For the first time in what seems like months and months.

But it wasn't just "5:15- go run 4 miles" early. It was "4:30, because spin class starts at 5:15 and it's 30 minutes away" early.

4 flippin' 30.

Even our pup, Sam, wondered what the heck I was doing that early. (If you let her sleep in bed with you, she doesn't wake you up a million times in the middle of the night.)


I got to class at exactly 5:15...couldn't have timed it better if I'd tried.

55 minutes of spin.

Cycling just isn't my thing it seems. I mean, I can do it, but I just don't have as much fun as I do with running. There's just something about moving across the ground, without extra equipment. Just you and your shoes.

Maybe it's just because I'm afraid of falling off the darned thing.

(No, not the spin bike.)

Even though I've had a run-in with potholes, while running....on a bike, they seem even more dangerous.

Dealing with traffic while on a bike seems worse than when running as well.

I'm sure cyclists out there reading this are shaking their heads at me now. Maybe I just need a cycling mentor....or "cycling for dummies" support group? :-) :-) :-)

But anyway, back to the spin class this morning. I pushed myself.....but I didn't kill myself. I dripped with sweat, got my heart rate up, burned some calories, and am glad I got up for it.

That's what counts, right?

Plus, I get to run again tomorrow. I have THAT to look forward to!!!!!! :-)

55:48, 669 calories, avg hr 163, max hr 187

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I'm going to make this post short and sweet today.

(looks to the left)

I don't want to stir anything up just yet.....

(looks to the right)


(looks behind shower curtain)

I ran today.

(looks under bed)

For real running.

It was only 2 miles...but it was 2 miles without pain. Two miles of just enjoying the cool (yet very muggy) summer morning air. Two miles knowing that I could run more, wanted to run more, but shouldn't.

I can't push it. I need to start really slow.

I don't know where the pain went.

(looks under couch cushion)

I don't see it here anywhere.



I have my second Graston appointment this afternoon. Curious to see if he can tell I ran since I was in last time.

It was amazing to get out there....even though it took EVERY. SINGLE. OUNCE. of willpower I had to get out of bed. I've gained about 5 or so pounds since the injury sidelined me. Anxious to get that back off. The skirt I wore yesterday was tighter than it was last time I wore it. Not good.

I run again on Thursday, if not tomorrow. We'll see if I can make it two runs in a row. Will be a record if I do! :-)

2.25 miles, a very slow and cautious 11:43 overall average pace

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Well, well,'s been a while since I've checked in.

I've been down. Not "never change from my sweatpants, need medication" down. But down, none the less.

Since I last reported, I've been to see my physical therapist. Actually, when I got there she'd canceled my appointment, and just "wanted to talk."

Oh boy. I've heard this before.

Yep, I've gone and stumped another person in the medical profession.

We talked for a while about my options.

Well, she talked.

I stared out the window, wiping my eyes and trying not to cry like an overemotional baby.

OK, OK...I failed miserably. There were tears......there was snot. I admit it.

After our talk, I went over to see my doc. We all wanted to rule out compartment syndrome as quickly as we could....and, if that's what it ended up being, get it treated.

He ruled it out.

Quite quickly actually.


No surgery, no big needles with pressure gauges stuck into my leg.

Life is good.

Well, kind of. I still have that not being able to run thing going on.


He still sticks with his original diagnosis. SEVERE medial tibial stress syndrome

Don't you like the ALL CAPS on severe? He does that every time he says it, or writes it.


Leave it to me to go above and beyond the call of duty. Do I get regular ole' "ice your leg, rest it for a few day" shin splints?

Nope. I go for "King Kong Hulk Hogan Captain America-sized" shin splints.

He also says that even though it's impossible to tell a runner to NOT run, and have them actually listen....he really really wants me to listen. No running, 2 weeks. Get the inflammation down.

Two weeks?

It had already been over a week when I went in to see him. We're talking 3 weeks of no running???

Nothing, Zip, Zilch, Nada.

Will it mean that I have to change my St Louis Rock and Roll registration from a full to a 1/2? Yes.

Will it mean that I get to start my training all over again, like I haven't been running for the last year? Yes.

Will it make my Graston appointments more effective, and less like torture? Yes.

Oh wait, I didn't mention the Graston thing, did I?

I went in for my first appointment Friday morning!!!

I tell you would have hurt a TON more if I'd not taken these three weeks off.

(darn doctor was right!)

Graston is, basically, deep tissue massage....but with stainless steel tools.


The only difference between my therapy last year and this year was the therapist. Specifically, her pointy fingers. She hurt me last year!

She bruised the crap out of me.

I'm hopeful that Graston will do the same.

(No, not the bruising part - although chances are it will.)

I mean, it's pointy fingers.....without the human attached. Right?

The therapist doing the Graston to me (sounds a little dirty, eh?) is a soft spoken dude...very nice. We talked the whole time. I asked all kinds of questions, and he gave all kinds of answers.

(side note: those 6 stainless steel tools = expensive!!! holy cow!!!)

During the appointment I got my camera out.

What? (I always have it with me...always!!)

I asked if it was OK that I took some pictures and he laughed. It's not something people often ask of him....but he was game. In fact, he even stopped in the middle, so that I wouldn't have to use my flash (alerting everyone else in the room to my camera), but still have a relatively non-blurry photo.

What a great guy!!!

He used three of the tools on my legs. If you look at the picture of them above, he used the two of the bottom, and the second one from the top left (he's using the third one on my leg above - he was putting he pointy hook edge between the muscle and the bone of my leg).

My legs were pretty red after is was over.

If it hadn't taken all of my courage to bring my camera out in the first place, I would have asked to get a picture of him with some cheesy grin or something. Maybe an evil Dr. Frankenstein look on his face, holding one of the tools?

Darn my shyness!!!!, we'll see how it all goes. I plan to run this weekend...come hell or high water.

Hmmmm.....never mind the high water part. There's enough flooding in the area as it is.

(for those of you that don't, or have never lived in the area....this is the interstate I took to and from work everyday, until 4 years ago when I moved into the city...specifically, this is the Honey Creek Exit off of I-29)

Nuts, eh???

So anyway....I've come up with a new training plan for myself....taking into account that I'm starting from scratch. (you can see the plan on my "training plan" tab) It's pretty basic.

There is a surprise or two worked in to my schedule as well....but it's not on there yet. I want to see how it goes before I mention it publicly.