Category Archives: Uncategorized

#comeback

IMG_5755

In the year+ since CIM, I’ve run a handful of times.  Each time, I instantly remembered why I fell in love with running.  The breeze, the strength, the amazing endorphin flood that carried me on a cloud for the rest of the day…

And yet, something didn’t click.  A couple times I just didn’t run again.  Twice, I ran a couple times in a week and then didn’t run again.  The last attempt was in June: three short, solid runs, spaced a day apart.  I felt strong – so strong that I clearly pushed myself too hard.  After the workouts, I felt great.  No knee or foot issues.  Then, in a different workout, I went into a well-aligned squat at my usual depth and felt immediate trauma.  I initially feared I had torn something in my knee (and perhaps I did) but as it healed over many months, the pain was in my quadriceps.  I couldn’t bend my knee at all for probably a month.  Pretty challenging when you teach Barre and Cycle.  I was able to teach (though I could not demo child’s pose of all things!) and was able to modify Barre classes for myself but it was very challenging.  And disheartening.  I was finally ready to reclaim running and I couldn’t.

Between The Dailey Method‘s Barre, Interval (a body blasting HIIT/Barre hybrid), and Cycle formats, I have a balanced workout routine.  I get cardio, strength training, flexibility, and balance work.  But there’s something special about running.  I love the quantified, measurable progress.  I love the process of working towards a special goal.  I love to hate the butterflies of race morning and I love calling my dad after a race and telling him about it – phone in one hand, burger in the other.

It’s time for a comeback.  I have run coaching certification and a fair amount of experience but I still read many, many “how to return from running after injury” articles.  I thought about doing the Couch to 5K but I wanted something with slightly longer running segments. Competitor’s article, The Rule of Two, suggested starting with 10 minutes of running (after warm up) and adding 2 minutes per session, assuming that the previous run was free of pain.  Sounded promising!

I had given up my gym membership but El Nino has come to town and we are getting some heavy rain!  A new Planet Fitness opened up the street and my husband has been happily going there for awhile.  $10/month for treadmill access AND I can sign up online without having some obnoxious sales manager try to up-sell me for a half an hour and insist on showing me machines I’ll never use?  SIGN ME UP! #januaryjoiner

So far so good.  I’ve done two sessions with a 15-18 minute walking warmup on a steep incline.  I’ve kept the running very slow and focused on alignment and the quality of my footfalls.  No knee pain, no foot pain!  I’ve also cycled and done Barre/Interval.  No problems in squats or lunges.  I feel stable and strong!  And encouraged!  Today, I am so sore from yesterday’s Interval class that I know my running form could be compromised.  Next run is tomorrow.  If all continues to go according to plan, I should be up to 30 minutes of continuous running by the 1st week of February.  So….

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.39.12 AM

What better way to celebrate than with a flat 5k with my favorite race presenters?!

HASHTAG COMEBACK!

 

 

Advertisements

A New Challenge

HAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!

Happy Summer!  How you living??

Good?

Good!

I began this blog about 3.5 years ago with a 30 day challenge.  My goal was to do 30 consecutive days of physical activity, in the hopes that I would get comfortable with fitness.  Maaaaybe even find it somewhat enjoyable, though I doubted that would happen.

Look at that excited, late-twenties face!

Look at that excited, late-twenties face!

Needless to say, it worked.  I’ve run two marathons (?!) and numerous other races, including triathlons.  Wut?  More significantly, I found a home and a community at The Dailey Method where I have become an instructor.  Doublewut.  We’re on the cusp of launching Dailey Cycle (a spin/barre combo class) at the Berkeley studio.

I teach spin now.  WUTTTTTT?

YOU GUYS.

YOU GUYS.

So yeah, the fitness thing caught on!

Time for a new challenge:

Hmmmm......hm.

Hmmmm……hm.

Vegetables.  The final frontier.

I’ve just never been into them.  My food history is complicated, crappy, and rooted in my childhood.  Pass the tissues, we’ve all got issues.  I’m ready to move on.  It’s time to change my mind and body, yet again!

Challenge Rules:

AT LEAST….

2 servings of vegetables per day (actual food, not one of those questionable greens pills from Whole Foods).

AND

1 serving of fruit.

That’s it.  I already meet or exceed this amount sometimes, but not consistently.  The real goal isn’t the consumption, it’s changing my attitude.  Hopefully after adapting, I will learn to enjoy them and expand my palate, the way I did with fitness!

Day 1: Cup of cherries, 2 cups spinach, 1 cup green beans, half an ear of corn.  Three colors!  Nailed it!

I’ll either tweet or FB my fruit/veggie daily consumption for accountability.  Maybe the occasional blog post?  Maybe with recipes?  Hahahahaha.  Probably not.

And because it wouldn’t be an internet challenge without a hashtag…

#StaveOffScurvy

BRING ON THE RECIPES, FRIENDS.  PLEASE.  YOU DON’T WANT ME TO GET SCURVY.

Twinsies!

Happy Halloween!  I dressed up as LOLA!

 

 

IMG_0864

“………mom?”

We look at that.

We look at that.

Sneering in a box.  Classic Lola.

Sneering in a box. Classic Lola.

Have a wonderful Halloween!  Eat ALL THE KRACKEL!!

Marathonaversary!

A year ago today was one of the best days of my life!

IMG_0672.PNG

There were certainly challenging moments but running 26.2 was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done.

So favorite that on 12/7, I’m going to do it again at California International Marathon (CIM).

Here’s hoping for another finisher picture that happy!

Good.

It’s been a few days since I pulled the plug on Augusta and I feel good.

Early Tuesday morning, I took a tear-filled, sleep-deprived Dailey Method class.  It was emotional to connect to my strength as I fully came to terms with the decision to quit.  At that point, the blog post was just a draft that I had sent to my husband, dad, and a couple close friends.  A few of my Dailey buddies were in class.  I shared the news with them and they were nothing but supportive.  Shed some tears, got some hugs and headed home to face the logistics.  It was difficult to pull the trigger but once I did, I felt completely fine.  I got a partial flight credit and a nearly full refund on my TriBike Transport.  I was able to cancel my car rental and I also saved the money I would have spent on food and swag during the trip.  I lost the full race entry and the full cost of hotel because the person I was planning to share with is still racing.  Whatever.  It’s nice that I got anything back.

I was blown away by the readership of the blog post.  People sure are intrigued by a quitting story!  I got some lovely messages and support from folks in all areas of my life.  Some of them read a bit like a pet or dear, distant aunt had died: “would you like to take a walk?  would you like to go get ice cream?” which is sweet and funny.  I have to admit, I was a bit put off by the suggestion of having a party on race day.  Like, a quitting party?  No, I’m good.  At the risk of sounding ungrateful for some of the support I received, several folks started to talk about success and failure which I did not address in my post.  I agree that I successfully learned new things about my body and my preferences.  I also agree that “success” and “failure” can have broader definitions than just whether or not I completed the race.  But really, I trained for something for five months and quit three weeks before completion because I just didn’t want to do it.  I wouldn’t call that a success worthy of party.  I also don’t feel like a failure loserface.  I feel like me.  With a LOT more time.

My own little quitting party.

My own little quitting party.

At this point I don’t have even a single [smallest unit of measurement] of regret.  It was absolutely the right decision and I’m already barely thinking about it.  Do I have future plans?  Of course.  Not quite ready to share them but I assure you, all this fitness and hard work is not going to waste.

Ever quit anything significant only to find that it’s totally no big deal and it’s almost like none of it ever happened? 😀

 

 

 

Like, TOTALLY!

I didn’t think I could love The Dailey Method more than I already do and then they introduced:

#FITNESSFLASHBACKFRIDAY

Themey music and festive costumes? And a hashtag??  DONE.

Last week was 70’s and we had a disco blast.  No Warren Zevon but no problem!  I just sang ‘Excitable Boy’ during the drive home…

[This was one of the primary albums of my childhood.  Google the lyrics to ‘Excitable Boy’ or ‘Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner’ and my personality might start to make sense? Thanks, Dad!]

Today was 80’s so obviously this had to happen:

Wear all the neon you own, you say?

Wear all the neon you own, you say?

Any excuse to wear my SPACE CAT leggings….

With Kerry Corcoran - TDM - Berkeley studio owner , anatomy guru, and rainbow legging enthusiast.

 

Photo courtesy of Kerry Corcoran – TDM Berkeley studio owner, Anatomy Guru, Legging Enthusiast.

Kerry nailed the playlist!  Practically every song had the class smiling and laughing.  Highlights included: One Night in Bangkok (so random), We Built This City (a childhood favorite), and my favorite karaoke jam Total Eclipse of the Heart.  Music absolutely inspires me go a little deeper and work a little harder.  Or at the very least, it entertains the one percent of mental space I have left after adjusting my alignment and feeling pain.

And of course, the class was just as painful as always.  Thankfully, we did prone seat work which I’ve been training for since the 80’s.

Prone circa 1982.  Note the lifted seat appearance.  #happybaby

Prone circa 1982. Note the lifted seat appearance. #happybaby

Stay tuned for 90’s day when brown eyeliner may or may not be used as LIPLINER.

Like, totally #happyfit

What’s your FAVE 80’s tune?   Mine is P.Y.T even though it’s creepy!

Moving…Forward…Again…

Hi Friends!

Today I had the best run I’ve had in six weeks.  It looked like this:

Impressive is relative!

Impressive is relative!

When last I blogged, I was having a pretty tough start to the year.  It was probably the poor leadership of President Taft.  He really bums me out.

I haven’t blogged in a long time.  Get it?  HAR HAR.  Thanks for still reading.

Last weekend was the Oakland Running Festival.  For the second year in a row, I was injured out of the half marathon.  Many factors contributed to the minor knee/ITB injury that sidelined me but  inconsistent training was primarily my downfall.  Turns out you can’t skip midweek runs and then just jump into the long runs and not expect to get stranded halfway through a nine-miler.  True story.  Shitty story.  Doubly-sadly, my wonderful stepbrother and stepsisterinlaw were also injured.  They already had travel arrangements to come down from Seattle so we made the best of it and spent some great quality time together.  The morning of the race, we took a long walk along the shoreline and ate a big ole Mexican brunch.  It was wonderful.

FAMILY!

They are seriously the best.

Though it was disappointing not to race (especially when we went to the expo to pick up our shirts.  UGH.) it was so lovely to be together and talk about future races.  I can’t wait to have a bagillion dollars to build FamilyCompound so we can all hang out and train together every day!  That’s not creepy at all, right?  Phew.

The 007 aka The SEAN PECANNERY.

The 007 aka The SEAN PECAN-NERY.

I carboloaded for our family walk with that little donut and many, many more.

So, this injury.  It’s really minor but the last thing I want is to exacerbate it.  It first showed up at literally mile 4.5 of a 9 mile run.  THAT was a long walk home.  I basically felt tension and vibration all the way down the right side of my leg and major instability under my kneecap.  Once that initial intensity wore off, what I can only describe as knee “heat” (swelling?) remained.  After several days off, I’ve been doing run/walk intervals until I feel any sensation.  I’m very slowly building back up to continuous mileage on the treadmill and other soft surfaces.  I’ve also been foam rolling every day and lingering over the knots in my quads to the point of tears.  I’m getting better and I’m pretty sure that’s why.

Today I ran outside for the first time in probably a month.  I went to my beloved Lake Merritt with the intention of running only the soft surfaces.  After a lovely walking warmup, I began to run.  I felt like I was let out of jail.  I had no intention of pushing it but as I trotted along “easily”, I looked down and saw low 9’s on my Garmin.

WAHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have no business running those paces but I felt absolutely fantastic so I just enjoyed it.  Who knows what will feel easy next time but I couldn’t care less as long as I keep improving and stay strong.

I wonder why it was so easy?  Maybe it’s all the SWIMMING AND CYCLING I’VE BEEN DOING!

TEASER!

How are you doing?  DNS any races lately?  Eat any adorable donuts?

 

 

Make the Decision

2014 has not been easy so far.

I am technically at the end of my third week of half marathon training.  I hoped that by this point I would have worked my way up to completing all four weekly runs as prescribed.  I’m not.  Here’s why and why it doesn’t matter:

* I’ve felt subtle suggestions of the tendinitis I experienced this time last year.  No pain but some sensation.  I’m afraid of doing too much too soon.  I’m rolling my calves and listening to my body but I’m still nervous.  This has led me to skip runs, reschedule runs (and sometimes not do them), and cut some runs short.

I should still go out for every scheduled run, even if I can’t complete it.  My struggle is much more mental than physical at this point and getting out there every time it’s on the calendar will get my head back in the game.

* Work has been insane.  Good insane but still insane.

Insane for me still leaves plenty of time for training.  Also, my happiest days are the ones that include a long, tough workout.  

* I’m intimidated by being out of shape.  The workouts I’ve done have been haaaaard.

Um, you get in shape by working out, not by punking out.  

* I’m not super happy.  That’s hard to admit but I’m having some personal struggles.  The cloud isn’t completely overshadowing my training efforts but I don’t feel anything like I did during marathon training this summer.

Being back in shape will help me feel my best and surely alleviate some of the sadness I’ve been feeling.

Basically, I need to make the decision to fully commit and just get back in the game.

Fine.  Okay.  Doing it.  Fine.  Okay.  6 miles today.  Yes.

I’M IN RUNNER’S WORLD!

HOLY CRAP!

Wait for it.....wait for it.....

Wait for it…..wait for it…..Christmas sock monkey pjs FTW……

photo 2

 

SO RANDOM AND AWESOME!

This comment was in response to the ‘I’m a Runner‘ interview with soprano Lisette Oropesa.  She’s fabulous and of course as a fellow running soprano, I was thrilled to see us represented.   I believe I commented on the RW Facebook posting of the article.  Life lesson: even in a throwaway Facebook comment, ALWAYS say what you would want published in a national magazine.  I could have much been much more eloquent about my similar experience as the running singer but I’m still totally tickled to see my name in print!

Hey, RW: where’s my t-shirt at?!  😀

Getting Back On

God, getting back in shape is hard.

Just after Thanksgiving, I got the worst cold I’ve ever had.  In fact, it took hold in the middle of the night before a very, very important audition I had been preparing for months.  They graciously rescheduled me for 5 days later and I still had absolutely no voice and could barely swallow. Missed the reschedule. Unreal.  I coughed all day and all night for about 3 weeks.  Thankfully by MY WEDDING DAY it was downgraded to a light tickle.

With singing and marrying to do, I grudgingly went very easy physically.  Nothing for two weeks and eventually some light spinning and Dailey Method to tone for the big day.  I missed the first 3 weeks of the FIRST plan I intended to use for the Oakland Half.  Ughhhhhh.  Is this race cursed or something?

So, the thing that’s crazy about being out of shape is that you can pretty much do what you could do before, it just feels INFINITELY HARDER.  I definitely couldn’t go out and run 10 miles today (maybe I could but I wouldn’t) but I can run short distances at the paces I usually do.  It just totally sucks.  After missing the boat on the FIRST plan, I decided to adapt Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Half Marathon Plan.  I dropped one of the five runs  to avoid overuse and allow more time for cross training.  For the track workouts, tempo workouts, and long runs, I’m using the paces assigned to me from the FIRST program.  The Higdon plan is a bit less aggressive (five 400’s instead of frickin TWELVE) but will still be more speed work than I’ve ever done and should prepare me to run a 2:05 half (9:35/mm) on March 24th.

Last week was my first real workout week in ages.  3 runs (Interval, Pace, and LSD) and 4 Dailey Method classes.  Foam rolled!  Recruited a friend to teach me how to put my bike on my borrowed trainer!  It’s all happening!

I’ve been in a downright crappy mood this week due to hormones, work stress, and inflated holiday body.  Yesterday was my first “long run” (5 miles) since the 10k I PR’d in October.  I suffered through the first three miles but eventually found my rhythm (and some sorely missed heart!) and finished strong.  I saw glimmers of my marathoner self!  Dailey Method was tough and awesome.  By the end, I felt like myself for the first time since just after the wedding.

And here I am, writing a clunky post about it.  Getting back on the blogging horse too.

Happy New Year!