Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Running Survey!

I saw this great survey on both Lindsay and Katie's blog this past weekend and decided to join in and answer the questions myself!

Age: 24
Location: Chicago, IL

Year you ran your first mile without walking:  The first mile I ran without a walk break was probably when training for my first real 5K, so July/August of 2010.  During that 5K I did remark on my blog that I ran the whole first mile!  I started running using the run/walk method (which I still use today on long runs) so it was definitely a big deal being able to run a whole mile without a walk break!

Year you became a "runner": I decided to try running in July of 2010 with a basic Couch to 5K program that used the run/walk method.  I slowly grew to love running and ended up doing six races that year as I began running more and more.  It has taken me some time to call myself a "runner" though.  Even after my first half it was strange to think of myself as a runner.  Of course, looking back now that kind of thinking sounds silly.  I was going out there and running, that made me a runner!  

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” - John Bingham

Why you run now: I run because it makes me feel good and keeps me healthy.  Running makes me happy, gives me time to de-stress, have fun, and push myself to be the best me.  I love it!  

What's the most you've ever spent on a sports bra? I've only ever worn Moving Comfort sports bra, which I love. I am pretty good about buying them when they are on sale, but I think I spent $50 on the first one.  

First Race: I'm pretty sure it was the Orlando Turkey Trot in 2008 with my family and we walked the whole thing.  Track Shack's Celebration of Running in Orlando in 2010 was my first real timed race though and I ran most of it.  

Last Race: Charleston Turkey Day Run & Wobble Gobble 5K
fam turkeydayrace

Three races you most wish you could run: It is hard to choose just three, but the Flying Pig half or full marathon in Cincinnati because it sounds fun and I've heard good things.  Big Sur because it looks absolutely gorgeous.  The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta would be neat.  My mom and aunt have run it a few times and it just looks like a fun run.  I'd also really like to run a race in a different country because then I could travel somewhere new and run!  (Hopefully someday I'll be able to say I've done all of these.)

Favorite Race: This is another tough question... The Turkey Trot my family and I did together in 2010 was lots of fun because we all dressed up and ran together for the race.  I also really liked the Publix Georgia Half I did in March of last year with my mom.  We ran together, it was a well organized race in a good city, and I felt strong running it.  And I have to say the Chicago Marathon was awesome too.  I was just amazed the whole time that I was even running it.  The crowd support is spectacular and you get to run all over the wonderful city of Chicago.  

Best running advice you've ever received: Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield has been really beneficial to my running.  It is chock full of good advice for new runners and really inspiring.  Seriously love this book!  Coach Jenny's website and Runner's World column are my go-to places for running advice!

First Running Shoe: The first shoe I was fitted for was the Saucony Progrid Echelon 2.  I am currently running in Brooks Ravenna 3.  

Do you run with a watch? I currently run with my Garmin 305, which I love.  I started running with a simple Timex stopwatch and transitioned to the Garmin when training for my first half marathon.  I love being able to just run and not figure out a route before hand because the Garmin tells me exactly how far I've gone.  
Super happy to have a Garmin!
Running Goals for 2013: My biggest running goal for 2013 is to get back into a good running routine and become a more balanced runner.  Since dealing with my leg injury I have learned how important it is to be a balanced runner, which means working other muscles.  I would really like to run another half marathon and possibly another full marathon this year as well.  Another 10K would be fun too!  I haven't run that distance in over a year!

5K - 35:16
8K - 58:29
10K- 1:19:32
15K - 1:54:31
Half Marathon - 2:45:25
Marathon - 5:54:19

So, your turn: What was your first race?  What are a few races you would like to run someday?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Five for Friday {Jan 25th}

1.  I was lucky enough to win Diana's Chef Earl's Dips giveaway a couple weeks ago and my prize arrived last week.  After reading Diana's review I was excited to try their products!  The company is local to Chicago and use all natural ingredients with no artificial colors or preservatives, which is a big plus in my book.  The dips are also gluten free and vegan.   I received their new Single Serve Pods of the Hot Giardiniera Hummus, Mild Salsa, and Chunky Guacamole.  

I have now tried all three and loved them!  The hummus is pretty spicy, but I have enjoyed it on a turkey sandwich and as a dip with carrots and pita chips.  The salsa tastes really fresh and has a mild spice to it.  The chunky guacamole was probably my favorite though- the perfect guac in my opinion.  I have had the salsa and guac together with chips or as topping to my eggs in the morning.  I need to go to Whole Foods to grab some more and try their other products!  

2. I wish I had taken more pictures of things from school, vacations, and time with friends and family, so I am trying to take more picture now.  Smart phones have definitely made this easier.  My iPhone is pretty much always with me, so there is no excuse of saying I didn't bring my camera.  My goal is take at least one picture a day.  Just another way to record the little moments, plus it's fun!  I'm trying to be good about posting to Instagram.

3. I have recently been listening to and loving Phillip Phillips.  Yes, last years American Idol winner.  I loved him on the show and have been looking forward to what his album would sound like.  My brother Patrick was playing it when I saw him around Thanksgiving, but I just bought the album a few weeks ago.  I usually just buy individual songs, but this album is pretty darn good.  I really like his voice.

4.  This year I want to read more books.  So far, so good.  I am reading MWF Seeking BFF which was the first book from our blogger book club.  I couldn't make the meeting but wanted to read it so started it a few weeks ago.  My current audiobook for my runs is One Thousand White Women which falls in the Historical Fiction genre.   
This past Saturday we had our monthly book club for Heartsick.  I didn't finish the book in time for the meeting, but plan on finishing it this weekend.  This was the second book club I was able to attend and this time it was hosted by Kelsey.  The past two books we've read have both been rather dark.  Heartsick is about a serial killer.  The story has really caught my attention though and kept me engaged.  I never thought I would like such twisty and dark books, but Heartsick is very good.  It is the first in a series, but Kelsey warned us that the story goes downhill, so I'll just finish this one and be done.  
Of course there was a delicious spread of food for all to enjoy!  Lots of tasty salads, an awesome polenta pie, and sweet bars and bites.

I brought Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bites which I adapted just a bit from How Sweet It Is recipe.  I didn't have chia or sunflower seeds, but pretty much did everything else.  I think they turned out pretty well and there was only one left after the meet-up!

5.  This post showed up on my Twitter feed yesterday and it resonated with me so I thought I'd share: 11 Important Thoughts and Reminders for Your Everyday Life.

Hope you have a great weekend!

What books are you currently reading?  What's a new food you've tried recently that you can't stop eating?  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Getting Back to Running

For the past four weeks I have been going to physical therapy to help with my continued leg issues.  In short, I have been having aches in my left leg which has been annoying and limited my running.  After time with a chiropractor did not work out I visited a sport doctor who diagnosed me with "sprained hip" and recommended physical therapy to help fix things.  

I kind of feel like I am starting all over with my running.  I took about two weeks off running a month after the marathon and have only been running about five to seven miles a week.  I was in such a good workout groove during marathon training and this darn injury has really put a kink in things!  I was feeling so strong and fit and now I feel like I am starting over.  I am thankful that I wasn't sidelined very long, but it is still frustrating.   

I have been going to a local Nova Care facility for physical therapy for an hour once or twice a week and then doing about a 30 minute at home routine every day.  My first session was mostly answering a bunch of questions for the therapist to diagnose and come up with a plan.  I learned that my hips are weak (which is a common thing for runners) and my pelvis is misaligned, making one leg seem a bit longer than the other.  Essentially it is an overuse injury because I haven't been using the right muscles while running.   He did some adjustments to get my pelvis realigned and showed me some exercises for me to do at home.  
The plan is to strengthen my hip and gluteal muscles which should make things better.  My at home routine consists of exercises like Hip Hikes, Bilateral Squats with a resistance band, Wall Slides, Bridge, Clamshells with resistance band, Bridge, Star Balance with Arm Reach, and Foam Rolling.

The session with my physical therapist at the office usually involves some massage for my IT band and then strengthening exercises using the machines available at the office. 

Things have been going well and I can tell my hips and glutes are getting stronger.  The pain in my leg has pretty much subsided.  I have only noticed my leg ache maybe three times since staring PT, but my physical therapist says things are going well overall.  
I was given the OK to start increasing my distance by 10% each week.  I am going to attempt a four or five miler this weekend.  I am hopeful that things are getting better.  All of this will make me a stronger and more balanced runner so that I can continue to run for a long time.  
In looking towards the future I just added my first race of 2013 to my calendar - Fleet Feet's Soldier Field 10 Mile in May!  I ran the race last year and really enjoyed it so I thought I would sign up again.  

If you have had a an injury how have you dealt with it?  Do you have any races on your 2013 calendar yet?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Highlights of 2012 and Moving Forward in 2013

2012 was quite a year.  Here's a look back at some highlights:

Met more local bloggers.

Became a full time employee at my job at the Spa and Fitness Center!  This is my first full time job, which means benefits.

Ran a half marathon PR at the Georgia Half Marathon with help from my mom!

Modeled some new fitness clothes at the Fleet Feet Girl's Night Out.

Ran my first 10 Mile Race at Soldier Field.

Moved into a new apartment.

Ran a 5K in a cemetery at night!

Trained and completed my first marathon in Chicago.  The marathon took up five months of the year - this was a HUGE event for me!

Spent Thanksgiving with family on beautiful Kiawah Island, SC.  

And now that the new year is here, these are few things I am working toward.  
(I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to in 2012, so some things have moved over to 2013.)  

  • Become a stronger, balanced runner.  My physical therapy sessions are already helping this.
  • Run another half marathon.  I would really like to do another marathon too, but we'll see how things go.  
  • Read more books.  I received a Kindle for Christmas which I think will make reading much easier.  
  • Practice yoga more consistently.  Ideally I would like to do yoga once a week.  
  • Travel somewhere new to me.
  • Reach my happy weight.  I maintained my 100 pound weight loss over the past year, but still haven't reached my goal.  With my new Body Media Armband though, I know this will happen soon!
  • Get more sleep. 
  • Try a new recipe every month.  I really enjoy being in the kitchen and have tons of recipes pinned on Pinterest - so I want to get cooking and baking!

What is a resolution you have made for the new year?