As most of you readers know, I began getting serious about running this past summer. I ran my first 5K on October 3rd and I signed up for another 5K on Thanksgiving. I was going out and running maybe 3-4 times a week ranging from 3-4 miles, slowly increasing my mileage and pace. Or so I thought.
A few weeks ago, I caught a pretty brutal cold and took a week of from running. My chest hurt from coughing, I was sniffling, headaches, you guys know the drill. Fortunately, it only lasted a week so that Sunday I laced up my shoes and was looking forward to my first 3.5 mile run in awhile. I hadn’t even run a mile yet but I felt something wrong near my right ankle. At first I dismissed it as I was just pushing myself too hard after taking that time off, but quickly realized that something was actually wrong. I couldn’t run and could hardly put any weight on it. I pathetically limped my way home, grabbed some ice, and made myself comfortable on the couch.
My roommate ended up taking me to the Health Center at nearly 10 o’clock at night; a nurse referred me for x-rays, and a follow up appointment with a doctor. The x-rays showed nothing (stress fracture, I knew it), and the doctor referred me to an ortho and gave me a walking boot. The ortho, who I saw yesterday, told me that it’s most likely a stress fracture, to keep the boot on for another two weeks, and no running for six weeks after I take it off.
I’m so mad. I’m mad because it’s my fault. I’m mad because I thought I was doing everything right. I’m mad because I thought I was slowly increasing my mileage. I’m mad because I wasn’t paying attention and got hurt. I know that at some point all runners will be hurt and I’m trying to look at this as a speed bump, but it’s really difficult to see all these other runners outside when I’m stuck inside
Right now, the date it looks like I can start to run is December 30, so Merry Christmas to me! Running after all this time of being a caterpillar will be the best Christmas gift ever.
Runners who follow this blog, what advice do you have for me? What have you done after being injured that helped ensure you weren’t again? Do you cross-train? Do you foam roll? Help a novice runner out, please!
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I’ve been running pretty consistently since the middle of August and I’m really proud of myself. I dabbled with running since high school, but never stuck to it and in college, I had an injury that left me out of commission for a bit. The conversation with the Doctor went something like this:
Doctor: So, are you physically active?
Me: I run a bit
Doctor: Do you follow the same path?
Me: Most of the time, why?
Doctor: You’re approximately the weight of a two baby elephants.
Doctor: Stop being so heavy on your feet, lighten the load a little bit.
Doctor: Here’s a boot. Wear it for 8 weeks, then come back.
Fun fact, I had actually fractured my leg because I was landing too forcefully on one foot. Eight weeks in a boot and another four weeks of not running later, I was the weight of three baby elephants and terrified that I would fracture my leg again. *Insert half assed running attempts for the next four years here*.
Anyways! This past summer my roommate signed up for a 10K and I was always really jealous of watching/hearing about how much farther she ran than the week before. I started thinking to myself, “Hmmm, maybe I want to try running, too”, so I did. I went out and began to run.
My first run was on August 24 and I ran 1.35 miles at a 14’21” pace. I was wiped out. I was beet red, panting, sweaty, and I was mad at myself because I had to stop so many times. I was so incredibly sore the next day, that it took me a whole week to decide to go back outside, but I did! I did it! I laced up my shoes, put on some workout clothes, grabbed my headphones and was off.
Here are some things that running has taught me so far: 1. There is no such thing as going too slow. Beginning to run is just like anything else, it takes time and patience to become good at it. It takes time to run a mile, it takes time to figure out your pace, it takes time to get used to exercise. 2. You will trip and fall eventually. The important thing is to get back up as fast as possible or else people who are driving by will think that you have seriously harmed yourself and drive around looking for you to ask if you are okay. 3. You will feel amazing. It may take awhile, but one day you will come home from your run, look at how far you ran and what your pace was and you will be amazed at how far you’ve come from run 1. 4. It is addicting. Just like any other form of exercise, running releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands. When I come in from a run, I’m incredibly sweaty and absolutely parched, but I’m happy I’ve worked out. Running lets me destress, get out of the house, lose some weight, and explore new neighborhoods around my apartment. 5. I am not graceful. I am not a cute runner. I’m not. Sometimes I turn into a mouth breather, other times I’ve breathing through my nose like I’m a dragon, I fall, I sweat, my face gets very red, I talk out loud, and I make weird noises. I’m pretty much okay with this. Is it weird thinking that people from school might see me running? Sure. Is it going to let it stop me? Nope.
At the end of August, I signed up for my first ever 5K through my school’s public interest group. I had about six weeks to get into shape and get running because I paid $20 to sign up and I wanted my free t-shirt, come hell or high water! I had been running about 3-4 times a week, slowly increasing my mileage each time, when one day I realized, I ran 3 miles without stopping. I completed a 5K! I was incredibly excited that in six weeks I had been able to push myself and complete a goal that I had been striving for.
On October 3, 2015, I completed my first official 5K (which actually turned into 3.8 miles) in a PR of 43:05, an approximate pace of 11’20” per mile. On this run, I made records of my longest run (43:05), longest run (3.8 miles) and fastest 5K (35:16). I’m incredibly proud of myself, so proud that I made my boyfriend sign up for a Thanksgiving 5K with me.
Needless to say, I’m pretty hooked on running. The best part about running is I can eat a third slice of pizza and not feel bad in the slightest. Probably not the best mentality to have, but PIZZA!
Contest time: Since my boyfriend and I are running the 5K on Thanksgiving, we’d love to wear t-shirts with a funny saying on them. Anybody have any suggestions? The prize is the satisfaction of knowing your slogan is on a stranger’s t-shirt!
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I don’t know about anybody else, but I’ve noticed something about myself. Are you ready to read it? I’m getting chunky. Chunky chunky chunky. I’m a short girl- I’m only 5’1 so any spare weight is extremely noticeable. It’s such a curse, it’s a good thing I have an amazingly perfect personality to make up for my body.
My bikini body is in hibernation right now and probably for the rest of my life unless I change some of my lifestyle choices/activities to become a healthier me. I think I’m going to the shore with M and his family in August, have one wedding in September, and another in October so I need to start making these changes NOW so I don’t look like Grimace’s younger sister.
So, the beginning of this week I decided to make some changes and will (hopefully!) stick to them during the summer and through the school year.
Change #1. Working out at least 30 minutes 3x a week
My go-to types of workouts, at least as of now, are those that absolutely kick my ass in 40 minutes or less; with such a short time, I make sure that these workouts are high intensity so it’s worth it. My favorite youtube channel is FitnessBlender, it has 450 full workouts, plus it updates every week with new ones. Lately I’ve tried to get in a workout right after I get home from work and before I have a chance to start eating dinner or watching the news. By the time it’s 7 o’clock, I’ve worked out and showered and I’m ready to eat dinner. It’s a nice little schedule.
Change #2: Bringing my lunch to work every day
The building I work in has four restaurants right outside and another dozen or so within walking distance. I made the mistake of forgetting my lunch at home one day and paid $11 for a salad and some grapes. $11! Can you believe that? I was so angry, I made a promise to myself to always bring my lunch to work from here on out. My favorite so far has been: turkey sandwich on multigrain bread, an apple/orange, a cheese stick, and some baby carrots. Right now I’m on a turkey binge, so I doubt my lunch will change anytime soon. But, if you’re not a turkey person, or if you’re looking for something different, try checking out Popsugar’s Easy Work Recipes. There’s 40 ideas ranging from soup to tofu to sandwiches- all cheap and easy to bring to work.
Change #3: Getting 8 hours of sleep.
I have a bad habit of going onto my computer or phone if I don’t immediately fall asleep at night. The blue light from these devices lead to me staying up later and not sleeping as deeply. It’s a horrible chain to be in. I’m enforcing a new rule: No electronic devices once I get into bed. I know that I should be making that rule for an hour before bed, but baby steps. For those who are interested, here’s a sleep infographic that gives some dos and don’ts for sleeping. Another particularly interesting article is this Sleep Deprivation and Obesity article from Harvard’s Public Health School which goes through the possible correlation between number of hours slept and the body percentage rate.
Does anybody have any tips to sticking to a workout schedule? How do you keep yourself disciplined?
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1. (After being asked, “What are your plans today?”) “Nothing.”
Contrary to popular belief, “nothing” can actually mean something. Technically the homebody could’ve said “I do have plans” because doing absolutely nothing was in fact their itinerary. Lounging around lazily? Yeah, I penned that in my schedule weeks ago, and I’m currently knee deep in nothing, aka unavailable.
2. “… …”
^^That’s complete silence, which is usually the response you get when you text or call a homebody with some kind of invitation that they don’t want to officially decline.
3. “Hey what’s up? Sorry, I was sleeping when you text/called me!”
This is the lie that follows the complete silence mentioned in the previous point. You’ll get this several hours after your initial attempt at contact, when the homebody is…
1. Tell everyone you meet about how you’re sort of a coffee addict. Joke about it as if it’s not a serious problem. They’ll never really see how bad it is until they witness you down 10 cups of coffee like its water.
2. Justify the money you spend on coffee by being a gold card member at Starbucks. I mean come on…you get a free food or beverage item of your choice every 12 stars! I mean if I was starving one day and couldn’t afford food, thanks to my coffee addiction, I could get a FREE breakfast sandwich because of my loyalty to Starbucks. See mom? It’s not so bad. You’re basically saving more money then your spending. Except not really…at all. BUT! Did I mention you get free refills too? So. I mean.
3. Drink coffee no matter what time of day it is, because if…
If left to my own devices, I love being comfortable. I love things that are easy. Who doesn’t? But sometimes, I love to be too comfortable. (Don’t you?) I want to expend minimum effort whilst receiving maximum return. I want to wear pajamas and stay inside all day but still fall in love. I want to take a month to reply to an email from my friend in another city, and then wish we were closer. I want to ace my exams without studying for them. I read articles telling me that I am enough, that I don’t ever need to change, that self-love is the best and only love — and then I do nothing to change this.
Let’s be clear. Being too comfortable is not self-love. How am I loving myself when I encourage stagnancy? How am I loving myself when I’m not forcing myself to grow? Growing is…
1. The fact that hoodies don’t have some sort of guard to prevent the string from going inside of it. You might as well throw it in the trash because you will never see that string again.
2. When someone is taking a picture on a busy street and they stand 20 feet away from the guy with the camera and then act frustrated every time someone walks in front of them. Sorry we didn’t shut down the street for you to take your new Facebook profile picture.
3. When you have some sort of drama going on in your life and people you haven’t talked to in months start texting you like they’re your best friend just so they can find out what’s going on.
4. You’re running late and suddenly the traffic light turns red despite no one else being around. Did a…
I’ve been reflecting a lot on this past year and I have to be honest, I feel like I haven’t done anything. Yeah, I got into law school, graduated from college magnum cum laude and with governmental honors, completed and presented my senior thesis, moved to a new state, moved in with my boyfriend, finished my first semester of law school and bought my first car, but I feel very… empty. Empty is the best word to describe what I’m feeling.
These past few months have been a struggle for me, mentally, emotionally and physically. I’m constantly in inner turmoil. People have told me that law school does that to you, you no longer feel as good about yourself as you did in college or in high school. I’m no longer living up to my own standards and that makes me sad, too. I don’t know who I am anymore. Who do I want to be? What kind of person do I want to be? It’s hard to answer those questions right now. Maybe 2014 will help me find those answers.
Last year, my resolutions were to drink more water, do more yoga, laugh more and bake more. I didn’t fulfill any of them. How easy were they? Literally, all I had to do was do each thing a little more than I do now. I couldn’t even do that.
Since I’ve been doing all of this reflecting lately, I figured that 2014 will be the year for answers and the year for peace. I want to find the answers that I need to move forward in life. I want to make peace with myself and the people around me. I want to make peace with the decisions that I made, I’m currently making and the decisions that I’ll make in the future.
Here are more resolutions that I want to fulfill in 2014:
Run a half-marathon. I need to start exercising. I ran a bit in college but fractured my leg, so I stopped running. I started up again before graduating and got runner’s knee, so I stopped, again. I always find excuses to stop doing something that challenges me and I need to stop. Taking on a challenge is a good thing- it leads to growth and strength. I get too frustrated when I don’t master something right away and I quit. This half marathon will be my challenge.
Eliminate soda from my diet. I hardly ever have soda in my apartment and I hardly ever buy it. But when I’m at my parent’s house I always drink it. I don’t know why, either. I hate the carbonation, I hate the full feeling I get from it and I hate the feeling of my teeth afterwards. Not the mention it’s full of sugar and other chemicals that are known causers of cancer, diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease. Why would I even want soda near me, forget inside of me? Gross!
Take my makeup off EVERY NIGHT. I have such a bad habit of sleeping in my makeup. I know it is one of the worst things that I can do to my face, but I still do it. I will take off my makeup every night before bed in 2014.
Stop eating so much frozen food and have a healthier lifestyle. Since I’m so busy, I rely on frozen foods, like pizza, fish sticks, tater tots and veggie burgers, as meals. Yes, these are great in a pinch or on a Friday/Saturday night when I just want to stay on the couch, but these aren’t good for everyday meals. I want to eat more salads, fresh fruits and vegetables. I also want to learn to make more homemade meals. I have a few recipes that I can whip up, but you know what they say, variety is the spice of life!
Stand up for myself. I’m that person who would rather be miserable if it makes somebody else happy. I don’t like making people feel bad for anything, even if their actions make me feel bad. When N and I fight, I always apologize even if he is the one who did something wrong. I don’t know why I do it. I know that I shouldn’t do it, which makes me feel even worse. I try and tell myself that life isn’t about who’s right and who’s wrong, but making my voice and opinions heard. There is no need to feel miserable in my own life. If I don’t like what’s going on in it, I can change it.
Be happy with what I currently have and stop comparing myself to others. It’s so easy to constantly want something more than what I currently have. On one hand, that’s great, that want turns into motivation and determination. But on the other hand, never being satisfied leaves such an empty feeling. I set goals for a reason, to meet or exceed them. Once I meet those goals, I should enjoy the feeling of happiness that comes with it and bask in the moment knowing that I finally reached where I wanted to be, instead of immediately thinking, “yeah, I did that, but you know, it wasn’t really that big of a deal after all. Look at that person, they worked harder than I did and got farther than I did. My goal isn’t anything compared to theirs.” I’m extremely fortunate to have a wonderful family, a roof over my head, my health and the ability to get my education. My goals are not your goals, so why am I comparing myself to you? It doesn’t make sense for me to compare myself to you. Everybody comes from different backgrounds and have different abilities and use those different abilities to complete different goals. My goals are just that, mine. I will feel good when I complete a goal. I will not make myself feel bad that somebody else completes a goal different than mine. I will feel good for both of us for being able to complete our goals.
So there they are, my resolutions for 2014. If I complete even one of them, I’ll consider myself a success. I can’t change myself over night, but hopefully I can in the course of a year.
Anybody else have some resolutions for 2014? Share them below!
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