Running Update

2020, the year we all stayed home and did nothing. Wait, nothing? There’s plenty to do at home: eat, drink, complete puzzles, watch tv…get fat. Even though the gyms are closed, there are a lot of online options for workouts. For some reason, I don’t find those very motivating most days, even the live zoom ones. And I miss running. Of course, here in California—with our current wildfire situation—running outside is not ideal due to the unhealthy air quality.

I’m fortunate enough to have a treadmill, so I’ve been taking advantage recently. I didn’t run at all in 2018 or 2019, due to various injuries. Now, I’m taking it slow and building up a solid running base before attempting longer and faster runs.

I will probably always be a slow runner, and that’s fine. What’s important to me now is staying healthy and avoiding injuries. With the quarantine, I’m no longer going to the office, and thus no standing desk. Sitting all the time has been proven to be bad for your health, so this is one way I’m attempting to compensate.

My most immediate goal is to run 5k and then 10k. Hopefully, by the end of the year. Does anyone want to join me in training for a 10k?

Virtual race 10k medal for my mom, if she joins me!

Running again!

I used to run a lot. I ran 8 1/2 marathons in 6 years. And then I started having chronic pain. First it was my hip, and I kept running. Then it was my feet, and I kept running. And then it got worse, and it was really painful to run the SF Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon, so I finally stopped training for races after that, and barely ran at all.

My first 1/2 marathon was in 2012, and my last was 2017. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do 1/2 marathons again, and honestly, I’m not sure I want to. For awhile, I considered trying to train for a full marathon. Since then, I’ve realized that I love run running, but I do NOT love running super long distances.

Chronic pain is no joke. It’s not fun, and it’s often invisible to others. I lost count of how many times people asked me what race I was training for or how running was going, and were surprised by my answer. “Oh, you look fine, what’s wrong with you? Are you SURE?”

I tried to start running again last year, as my feet were starting to feel better. It was really hard to get back into a routine and keep at it, and I was constantly worried the pain would flare back up.

Now that we’re all basically stuck at home 24/7, it seemed like a good time to try again. Particularly since my feet have felt great during this time.

Quite to my surprise, it’s been going really well. I’ve already run more this year than I did in 2018 and 2019 combined. And that’s almost exclusively from the last 2 months.

Normally, I would pick a race to train for, but it’s super unclear when actual races will be allowed again.

So instead, I’m going to have to go with virtual races and hold myself accountable to the dates.

I haven’t picked a date yet for a 5k. Once I do, I will post it here on the blog! I’m thinking probably around Labor Day. For the 10k (if I find that my feet can tolerate that distance), will be for a Turkey Trot, since that’s my family tradition, even though I’m the only one in my family that actually does it. Maybe I can talk my mom into doing a virtual 5k.

Day 15 – fitness while locked up

I’ve been injured for about a year and struggling with my workouts. Prior to the last year, I gave up running due to foot pain, so that also limited what I can do. An injured shoulder + back pain meant working out was not working out for me.

Ironically, now that all the gyms are closed,, I feel ok. As long as I take care of my self and watch how I’m sitting and stretch, stretch, stretch.

Claudia is graciously hosting classes on Zoom. Even though her awesome gym, Fitness Movement, is closed, she’s helping us all stay in shape. After taking a break from classes since Thanksgiving, I’ve been cautiously trying to get back at it. I’m so much better at being consistent when I have someone telling me exactly what to do!

I set a goal for myself to hit all three rings on my Apple watch last week, and I DID IT! Let’s just say the doggies are getting a lot of walks!

So what’s next? April is coming, and I’ve never hit a perfect month for all three rings. The move goal — sometimes. I missed March due to my flight to New Zealand. Apple watch basically says March 1st didn’t exist for me. Can I do it for April? I’d like to try.

Anyone out there have an Apple watch and want to start a competition? They last 7 days and are based on points assigned daily for each ring. Let me know and we can figure out how to connect.

the path to strong

My friends and family all know I’m not a huge fan of exercise, specifically when it comes to strength training. Oh, I occasionally go to yoga, and I run, but other than that? Nope. In 2015, I hired a personal trainer at my gym, in the hopes that it would motivate me and get me to a place where I could/would consistently do strength training on my own.

Unfortunately, that plan did not work out. The first trainer was awesome, but after a few sessions she received a promotion  and wanted me to come on Saturdays or to another gym location. When we couldn’t make it work, she set me up with another trainer to take over for her. 

The next trainer did not seem to know or care about my fitness goals. There were no progress measurements, no record of each workout, and sometimes she actually gave me incorrect information. She’d say “oh this is the best you’ve done at this exercise, you’re really making progress” … umm, we’ve never done this one together, so how would she know? Every session it was more of the same, squats, squats, squats, and other exercises that were also squats (burpees, ball slams, etc). There was no consistency or plan for the upper body portion of the workout, it was something different each session. I fired her, and then I didn’t go to the gym for 6 months. Maybe longer than that.

Recently, I started having more and more issues with back, hip, neck and shoulder pain. All of it seems to be related to poor posture, weak glute and hip muscles, and overall, lack of strength training. I decided that I need to take control, and finally put some effort into strength training. I’ve also decided to focus on lowering my body fat percentage rather than looking solely at weight loss in terms of total body weight. I’d rather be strong and healthy and weigh a little more than be “skinny fat” where the pounds come off but it’s all muscle mass that’s being lost. I’ve been there before.

My goals are to make it to the gym at least once a week, yoga once a week, plus continuing with my running. After my last half marathon, I’ve been having some issues with my adductor muscles and the psoas on the left side, so I took it easy for several weeks and have stretched more often.

Oh, and by June I want to be able to do unassisted chin-ups. Then I can move on to pull-ups!

believe in your own power to transform

Here’s a look at a typical gym session:

Cardio Warm-up
5 min

Upper Body
Chin Up (Assisted)
3 sets of 10

Lat Pulldown
3 sets of 10

Tricep Extension
3 sets of 10

TRX/Lower Body
2 sets of 10

TRX squat
3 sets of 15 

Forward walking lunge
3 sets of 10

Backward walking lunge
3 sets of 10

Cardio finish
5 min