Thursday, October 28, 2010

Knees? Pu-lease....

Tonight was a nice little run around the lake. It was a must do barrier for a few reasons: 
1) My bad 16 miles messed with my head and I have been struggling with the bad run vibe ever since
2) I have run into some "issues" with my knees and it is also discouraging and messing with my head. Both these things placed a big "fear" of facing more runs of a substantial distance. 

Enter: knee braces! 


Thank you, May I have another?! 


 
I checked for muscle imbalances, took inventory of my foot wear and where I was running (treadmills tend to KILL my knee's) and it was suggested to me to try a Jumpers Knee Strap. These are meant to improve patellar tracking by providing mild pressure to the tendon below the knee cap. 

My right knee is worse than the left, I had a bruised Patellar tendon and a sprained MCL from Roller Derby, both of which I went to PT for, but still tend to aggravate the knee. The kneecap can shift or rotate off track if the cartilage underneath is damaged or if ligaments, tendons or muscles are too loose or too tight.  My pain from it is relatively mild and I am not as bothered by other "runners" knee symptoms, but the braces worked WONDERS on my run. 


As did the giant bag of Ice afterwards and a nice little session with the foam roller. 
Foam rolling will help with loosening tight muscles that could be irritating the knee including the IT band, which is a big culprit in my world for being tight and causing concerns. 

Overall the run was great, I spent a lot of time thinking and praying as I am wont to do when I run. I am hungry for more time to just BE and spend time doing my bible study and spending time with God. My world is not the same when it's neglected. I ran by the lake closest to my house, the water was CHOPPY as Minnesota has been experiencing some amazing winds the last 2 days. It was dark and I was listening to the sound of my feet hitting the ground, my breath and the waves of the lake. It was strangely calm in the middle of the chaos and noise!  

It's funny that the lake changes so with the weather, it's dark and choppy when the wind is high, it's still and mirror like in the early morning, it's bright green and buzzing with life in the middle of the day and frozen so solid that in January, we throw parties on it. It's at the mercy of the elements and I felt a little the same over the last few weeks, at the mercy of "knee pain" I didn't want to admit or talk about, fearful thoughts about running pushing into my head confusing me. 

But unlike the lake, I can rise above the elements in my life, above my circumstance and be at peace and calm even in the most serious of storms. That peace is one of the things that God wants us to experience. It comes with faith, with belief and with ultimate trust that he is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do. Trust too that I am who he says I am: his beloved, his child, his righteousness. That is the power of his peace. Greater than any wind or wave. 

46 Days till my first Marathon! 
I am nearing my fundraising goal!! But if you are so inclined, you can donate HERE

I ended my night with the ice and a little mint pie treat from Rice Dream, I love their ice"cream" treats! Super tasty!! 


Do you wear a knee brace or any kind of brace? If YES, have you used it just till the problem is "solved" and plan to ditch it or stick with it? Happiest Thursday! 



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Letter to Self: To read or not to read....

Word up everyone! I am rocking my to do list this week and feeling great about all I have accomplished and where these little steps will take me in the end! How are you doing on all your goals this week? 

In the mail yesterday, I received a letter. From ME. Actually it was mailed by Jen, Prior Fat Girl, but it was addressed by me and written to me. I sat on it for about 4 hours without opening it. Then I opened it. And didn't read it. I sat on it for a while longer remembering what it was that Jen had us write: where we want to be in six months time when she mails them to us. Ahem. 

Why not just tear it open, to see what I wrote? See if I am meeting or exceeding those goals and dreams I wrote to myself six months ago? Fear. I am afraid that I am going to fall short of all I wrote to myself. But the afternoon I wrote it was a blogger event where we all talked about our fears, about our fear of failure, of not fitting in, of not succeeding at career, weight loss, life and more. We were all the same that day. Thinking back, I remember writing encouraging words to myself in that letter along with goals. 

What is success?? 

As a new personal trainer, I encountered clients who didn't see results. Many have and are and do, but some...don't. I struggle with that. I am their trainer, I am crafting plans, encouraging, motivating, sending emails saying "go get em this week--get that water in, you did a great job!" and still. Results? Nope. 

My boss pulled me aside when he noted that this certain situation was putting a damper on my enthusiasm and said that my success as a trainer is not based on my clients success.  If I give 110% to my client in the form of a great plan to meet the goal, plan great sessions, provide motivation, challenges & encouragement then I have succeeded as a trainer. The client has a part in their own success and is ultimately responsible for it. 

So, is success trying and giving your all? Or is success, winning, overcoming? Is it doing the right thing with the right motive? Is it being number one, on top, lead dog? 

I think it can be all of them. I can't discount TRYING and not getting the results I wanted. You go back, draw up a new plan and try again. That is still success in my book. So. The letter then. 

I unfolded it. I read it. 

It was written one month before I was done at my receptionist job(!!) Wow, that seems like ages ago that I was working there, leaving a secure position to take unpaid internships for 4 hours a day, not knowing what was around the bend! 


The letter from the BLOGGER meet up--recap HERE

It reads: 

Mary (that's me),  
So you're at the blogger met up today and feeling kind of bad--some bad
food choices lately and not getting to the gym, but there are always ups and downs
and I need to base my feelings/ thoughts on who I am in God's eyes and not how I feel. 
You need a few weeks to center and you'll be on track. The biggest fear right now is feeling
 inadequate in your fitness (training, instruction). You have one month left [at work] and are a bit afraid of not having a job--but the Lord Provides! He is my source for: CONFIDENCE, for money, for healthy motivation. You can get on track and you CAN fearlessly achieve your 
dreams. When you get this, you'll be a trainer with a wonderful job. You will be happy-(ier) Love you, Mary (that's me) 

Wow. That rocked. There are ups and downs and I still am successful. I still struggle with food and getting on track, but I make it. I still face fear about what I do, my confidence soars most days knowing my co-workers help and support me and all the tools I need are provided. 

Job? Yeah, I LUCKED out there. I have 3 WONDERFUL jobs, plus Temple Training and Fitness. I do know that I can get on track and achieve my dreams--I did it after this letter and I am doing it this week, but not being afraid of "the bad run" but diving in and overcoming. Life isn't perfect, but I think I am learning about true success and about loving life as it is and not as I want it to be. 

Thanks to Jen for having us write it and for sending the letter! Scary as it was, it was the best piece of mail today! 


How do you view success in your life??


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hot yoga boot camp!

So I started a week free at Core Power Yoga in Minneapolis tonight! I didn't really intend to, but I went to a boot camp "open house" which I thought was a free class to try, but it was not, so I started my one week free! 





92 degree's while kick boxing, squat jumping, Push up-ing...it was intense! I came home and felt like I ran 10 miles in the july heat--Woah nelly! But it was a great class, I am just not used to doing HOT classes, even my one yoga class was in the 80 degree range. 

So begins my week free of Core Power, I will be adding their yoga in along side my running (which will be ON track this week and rockin' even in the rain!) and I am excited about the benefits! So often, the hardcore girl in me wants to lift all day, run and overlook the importance of flexibility! It's something I am constantly revisiting! 

Stretching can increases and strengthen your muscles and the stronger your muscles, the lower your chance of injuring them. Stretching will also increase your flexibility by moving lactic acid from the muscles. When you increase your flexibility you increase movement and fluidity. If you’re a runner, your means your stride. Whatever your activity, when you increase flexibility, you increase speed--this could be the boost I need to revamp my running energy! 








Fun updates! 

  • Tomorrow I am going to a small business meeting/coaching session to get some help and idea's about Temple Training and Fitness! 
  • I had a coffee/walk date this weekend that I think went very, very nicely! : ) 
  • I am plotting a new, intense boot camp coming up soon! Keep those upcoming holiday pounds at bay! 


Do you have a favorite yoga class or style? Have you tried the HOT yoga or other hot classes? 

Enjoy the Silence


Again, the blog has been pretty quiet or should I say I have been! Life is a wonderful thing, isn't it? Often, the way we think the puzzle pieces of life should fit together is not at all how they do. But the picture ends up beautiful, unique and one worth framing just the same. I am humbled every day when I see how things in life happen opposite of how I planned, or different from what I wanted, only to be confronted later with God's more detailed and favorable plan for me, so much greater than I could ever even imagine. I laugh at my "little" plans I pour over and my "little" schemes of life, only to be blown away in awe and gratitude when I see all he wants to give me in place of all the worthless things I keep clinging to. 

Tonight, I put on a fundraising event that I worked so hard on!! It's all for Destination Bold and the fundraising I have been doing in conjunction with my marathon training. You can learn more about that HERE or if you feel led to donate, do that HERE!  It went off pretty well, considering it was during a Viking/Packer game that I didn't know about! Still, who WOULDN'T want to dress up and go roller skating on a Sunday night! 



Here is a picture of my friend Stacey, Myself (Dorothy from Oz!) and Josine rocking the rink! 

I really like fundraising, I love planning and coordinating and motivating people, although that last one is kind of a tough one! There is quite a coach living inside my head, wanting to help move people to give back, to find their passion, to better themselves and to push themselves, physically, emotionally and spiritually to new levels. Fundraising allows me find that coach and tap into it on a different plane than personal training. 

The running this week will be a little more structured, meaning last week after my bad 16 mile run, I was off the plan. Busy at work and my work from home and not wanting to face another potential bad run. But I had to buck up and this week I face the music, modifying my plan a little to make up for that missed milage and still creeping up but safely and without injury. It can be done, I just need to break down that barrier in my head, see that beautiful puzzle coming together that I know is the best for me. 

I will also have a ton of review this week for you and more posts that are a little more thought provoking and a little less updates on my daily to-do's (So I did this, then I did this, then I did THAT--hush up and spill some GOOD stuff!)  I'll just share the good stuff not the mundane! 

HAVE A WONDERFUL week and don't forget to in-JOY every day! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sweet Sixteen!



Happy Tuesday! 
Well, I would love to say, my 16 miles I did on Thursday was complete magic! It was not. 
What was magic, was a sweet Lucy Activewear half zip, the company sent me to marathon train in! Thursday's long run was my first real chance to use it since it's been very warm! Review is forthcoming. . .


See the fuel belt on me? I had two eight ounce bottles on it, not all four. This was my first mistake!! I didn't realize how HOT it was outside. but I was running on the midtown greenway which is open, unshaded and blacktop. So, with the sun on my back and not enough water on me or in me, I set out! 


My half way point was Minnetonka Boulevard on the Cedar Lake Trail, it was a simple route, out on the Midtown Greenway, to Cedar Lake Trail and turning around here at the Minnetonka bridge with a big sign! 

Feeling ok in this picture, a little slow in my pace, but that's ok, slow and steady wins the race, after all I have never gone 16 miles before! But I was JUST shy of my 10 mile PR when I turned around at my 8 mile mark. 


I had a coconut cream Lara Bar on the run and quickly ran out of my water! 
Doh! 


I was not hungry or feeling too low on energy, but a friend reminded me as well that I didn't take any energy shot blocks with me, which I usually do! Needless to say, with low energy, no water and a hot day running in the sun, I had a HARD, dehydrated last 4-5 miles that ended in a number of little walking breaks and a major quad cramp that had me limping and lasted all night. 

At first I thought that I had pulled something when I (foolishly) continued to run/walk the last  4+ miles, but soon realized it was deydration. It didn't take me very long to realize, but by the time I did, it was of course too late. You know that saying, by the time you are thirsty, it's too late.  



Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. Dehydration can be caused by losing too much fluid, not drinking enough water or fluids, or both. Vomiting and diarrhea are common causes.
Infants and children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults because of their smaller body weights and higher turnover of water and electrolytes. The elderly and those with illnesses are also at higher risk.
Dehydration is classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body's fluid is lost or not replenished. When severe, dehydration is a life-threatening emergency.
Dry or sticky mouth
Low or no urine output; concentrated urine appears dark yellow
Not producing tears
Sunken eyes
Markedly sunken fontanelles (the soft spot on the top of the head) in an infant
Lethargic or comatose (with severe dehydration
After taking in A LOT of fluids and nursing a wicked case of chapped lips, I felt ok about my run. It was a challenge, I should have had much more water with me, but over all, I ran it and I finished it. In all honesty If I would have kept up my pace, I would have finished a full marathon in about 4:30:00 which isn't a goal of mine, but it would have been a great finishing time for a first marathon, so I don't feel bad about my 16 mile pace or time. 
I will be much more prepared for this weekends long run, looking at 18 miles and SO happy to be able to run with a group this time!! I am sure It will go better. 
What has been your biggest challenge on a long run? 
DO you prefer them alone or with a group? 

Friday, October 15, 2010

QUICK! An update...

Quick update! I thought I would have time to give ya'll an update on my 16miler I did on Wednesday, but I DON'T! It will have to wait till the weekend is over. WHY? Because I forgot to tell you that I am in Body Pump training all weekend! 


wait-weights rock!


I LOVE Body Pump by Les Mills and I blogged about it here! For me, it's a the closing of the circle of my fitness path, not that we are ever done, but that when I was over weight, unhealthy and unhappy, I started with Body Pump at my local gym. I was doing it 3 times a week and got results! 


Today I started a 3 day workshop certification to TEACH Pump at the same gym I started it at, the same gym I now work at and the same gym I took my weight off at. Awesome! It's SO inspiring to watch the trainer/instructor and I can't wait to load up my enthusiasm and let it rip! 


A little Les Mills Fitness Magic!

Technology on a whole seems to be at war with me at the moment, camera, phone, camera phone are all a little goofy so I will try and sneak some pics of the training, but in the meantime, YOU can watch this sweet video showing some moves and EYE will go in the living room and memorize the squat track for tomorrow bright and early! 


What is YOUR signature class that you love? 



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Barefoot running take one

I know, it's all the rage! It's the reason I went to a minimal shoe like my Nike Free, it's the reason I am dying to try Vibrams or even Huarachi sandles! I blogged a little about it this summer, but didn't take the time or effort to really get into it! Well, this week I did!

Before:

After:

I took the opportunity to make my middle two miles of last nights run: Barefoot! I have run a little around the grassy edge of the lakes and trails sans shoes, but this was two intentional miles and on asphalt to boot!

I wanted to pay attention to how my legs felt, how my muscles felt, not specifically how my feet felt, because they were, well, running on pavement! Luckily the tiny rocks were few and far between since I ran on the Greenway, which cuts through town and is very well maintained.
I felt strong and I felt like my quads were engaging in a different way. I of course try to run with a mid to forefoot strike, in all honesty I don't really do that well with it! I tend to strike more flat to mid than I would like, even on this first run. I did try and focus my body over my hips a little more and shift my center so that I was leaning or falling forward a bit more. Part of me felt like I was relearning my gait and I am sure that I was slightly! My feet felt quite strong also, I thought activly about splaying my toes as I came down to strike and about driving my knee's up.

It wasn't any harder than running in my shoes, actually felt better and different on my legs. Also, my calfs were not overly sore today and I am going to attribute that to having already switched to a more minimal or reduced shoe. I did get one BABY blister on the ball of my right foot--I just need a little toughening up!

Runners feet!

I met up with my friend Nicole afterwards for a little dinner where I had a big fluffy wonderful cappuchino and grilled chicken sandwhich and greens!


A little video (a little dark) of my post run, first real barefoot experience!
Enjoy
video

October yogurt!


It's VERY October here now, no more 70 degrees Minnesota! There is a chill in the air, the leaves are down, even my breakfast is in the fall spirit! 


Papaya, nuts, dried fruit, a little chocolate covered cranberries and Chobani! 


I am off, I am running my farthest yet today, 16 miles and I will report back later on how it went! Happy trails! 


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Green Monster Mustache!


Hello! I mustache you a question!! 


Happily working my way through a big 2.5 pound bag of spinach! I had a great big green monster straight outta the blender after my 7 mile repeats this afternoon! 


Glass? I don't need no stinking GLASS!  


Do YOUI have a picture of yourself with a GM mustache?? 
Take one and SEND It and I will post them in the coming week! GO GREEN--Monster that is! (other smoothies and protein powder mixes count too--send me the goo!)

Mile repeats: 
I hate these and I love them at the same time! I had to split them in two tonight, because I had to teach boot camp in the middle. Yowza! Good but hard! I took a 2-3 min rest between each mile and aimed to run them at about a fast 5k pace!

The great outdoors:

Mile 1:  7:36
Mile 2:  7:45
Mile 3:  7:48
Mile 4:  8:25 

60 min BOOTCAMP

On treadmill: 

Mile 5:  8:06
Mile 6:  8:18
Mile 7:  8:45

Road ID and stop watch-CHECK!


I am very happy with this and know that I pushed myself with each mile! 
The last one, Mile 7, I took about 30 seconds in the middle, paused the machine and almost didn't finish. I took the speed down a number of notches and just powered through! 

Have a great day--remember we are always striving to be stronger, faster and kinder today than yesterday, so GO for it! :) 

Promises, promises!

AND, I am back. How have you guys been? I haven't even had time to make my rounds and read blogs, let alone write my own! Last week was beyond busy and stressful (thus the 2 posts--yikes!). I learned a lot about myself, how I handle stress, about my focus, about my motivation, about peace and about trust. It was a good, but very hard week. 

The beautiful thing is (and you won't get a big long sermon on all of what I learned etc. ) that FALL is channeling summer and the whole week was in the 70's! I got to enjoy it, including a very nice few fall runs with hot summer sun! Perfection! 



MY Hood, all pretty and colorful! I love the way the light is so different in fall than in summer, there is a glow to everything! 


The LAKE! So gorgeous! So close, so easily mapped out. :) 


A quick tempo run, but alas, a casualty on the way! 



A hole in the fanny pack! It's what I get for carrying all kinds of STUFF along with me on my runs! My little camera that was already suffering due to a drop during the Twin Cities marathon weekend really messed it up. Falling out of the fanny pack rip mid run, only made the shattered little screen look worse! 


But you know what? It WORKS! HA! It takes pics and transfers them to ipics and everything...you just can't see if they are good, clear or centered until you upload them. It's a little retro, but I am a little retro too, so that's ok. 

Hit me with your best shot! 

Promises Promises!! 


My Mom and I went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit, at the Minnesota Science Museum this weekend as well. Part of my weekend that was so great was spending time with both parents and having both encourage me in their own way! 

The exhibit was wonderful, it was very exciting to learn about the region where the scrolls were found, the discovery of the scrolls and the sacredness of the text themselves. The scrolls were found in caves in Israel, near the Dead Sea, in clay jars. Sacred text and Old Testament Scripture were held in the jars & the climate and conditions there were perfect to keep them preserved! 

It was a very well done exhibit: informative and moving! I was able to see a scroll thousands of years old containing passages from Isaiah, one of the most prophetic and inspiring books to me lately!  

Check out this video, Dr. Michael Wise is from my college! 

While there, in the gift shop, I bought seaweed soap, made from the Dead Sea minerals and promising to reduce cellulite and smooth skin! Do you ever believe promises like that?? I do and this isn't the first time!




Earlier this summer I bought FEEL the Knead Soap, promising to reduce "stubborn cellulite!" I don't know how MUCH difference these soaps will have on my skin, but I am always one to buy into those promises, even if I have known better from past experiences. ME? This week, I am promising to be a little more on top of responsibility, on top of taking care of myself and on top of the things that matter while letting other things fall to the way side, at least for now.

So if you are a friend, a reader, or someone in general who has been wondering what is up with me and where I am, I am here! I am back, and I am sorry I have been MIA!

What promises do you always believe, are they true and tested? 
HAVE a Blessed week!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Spin launch party!


One of the gyms I train out of had a grand opening party for their new spin studio this past weekend! The owners of the gym and the creator of the G-Werx's machine are wonderful people and have offered me so many opportunities since I have been there--it's such a blessing! 





The spin studio is cutting edge with Johnny G Krank Cycles and Real Ryder spin bikes that move, lean and turn. Talk about a core workout! the space is beautiful and it's really a one stop shop now with personal training, group strength and spin!



 Downtown in the background--Swank!


I am going to quickly address something you guys may not even know happen (some readers do!). I feel like an "official blogger" now as I have received my first very negative, even hostile comment. It took over a year, that surprises me considering how much I talk about my faith! 

Anyway, an Anonymous reader left a comment on my post Free Food Made me Fat, HERE. They reminded me that it was my own lack of self control that was the problem, and then proceeded to say I was a nerdy blogger (which actually made me laugh a few times!), use profanity and call me egocentric. 


Sigh. 

Well, I reminded myself that I am lucky I don't get hate comments like that more often, some bloggers really get ragged on about weight loss, body image or even their lifestyle. I mean, a blog is a public site and we are really putting our lives, our thoughts  and our habits out there for scrutiny. 

Where do we draw the line over these kinds of comments? I drew it at the profanity. I deleted the comment containing 2 F-bombs because ( and I know I am FAR from perfect) that really is opposite of who I am and the message I want to send. 

I know it was just the icing on the cake after my really trying week last week, trying to get the best of me and really top bad off with worse, but that is OK! 

Not everyone is going to like me, my blog, the way I write, my beliefs or what I stand for and I get that, I embrace it! I am unique and I fit in a very special niche I believe. We all do. And I think that Anonymous reminded me of something they couldn't have known that would trigger some awful deep thoughts with me. 

I HAD been struggling with pride and self pity--and that looking up egocentrism "I might learn a few things about myself." I saw that I should be looking to Christ more and learning more about HIM, his love, his mercies and his character. Only then will my focus truly come off of self. AH--Anon! Such wisdom and such good timing. 

My struggles last week, the things I am in need of, the things I am striving for and looking for, the Bible tells me to SEEK God first and those things will be added bonuses! Seek him, like that lost 20 bucks in your car, like that kid that wandered off in the market, like that perfect little black dress at the store--SEEK, it's not just looking, it's a driven search--SEEKing. It's what I shifted my mind to this weekend. 

So thanks Anon, for the reminder, thanks to the club for a great party, wonderful food and thanks to all my non Anon readers for your support and kind words...it really means a lot to me! 

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