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Monday, February 25, 2013


I'm really tired of saying that I was taking it easy this week because of my cranky IT band.  Unfortunately, this was sort of one of those weeks.  I had two treatments with Dr. D and overall it feels better.  There is still some pain in the beginning of a run but once I'm fully warmed up it seems to go away and hasn't been coming back, much, throughout the rest of the day.  In addition to the shock therapy (ultrasound stimulation) that he's doing he also gave me some additional stretches to do so I've been incorporating those into my cool down routine.

The reason my Saturday run was longer than my plan called for was because I didn't do my long run last weekend.  I talked to Coach B about whether I should stick with the planned 4 miles or run the missed 6 mile run and she told me that if I felt great to run 5 miles but if I had any pain during the run to stop at 4.  As I said before once I got going and warmed up things felt fine.  It wasn't my fastest run but it definitely felt good to log the miles.

Monday:  Run, 3 miles, easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 3 miles, easy
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 3 miles, easy
Saturday:  Run, 4 miles, easy
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:
Monday:  Run, 3.22 miles @ 10:45/mi
Tuesday:  Bike Trainer @ 1 hour
Wednesday:  Run, 3 miles @ 10:32/mi
Thursday:  Bike Trainer @ 30 minutes & some strength training
Friday:  Run, 3 miles @ 11:00/mi
Saturday:  Run, 5 miles @ 10:52/mi
Sunday:  Rest

How was your weekend?  Did you walk/run/race?  Are you overcoming injury?  If so, how?  Show some love in the comments and we can all learn from each other!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Planning helps...

This past weekend was spent at a hotel for a scrapbook retreat.  In the past this has usually spelled disaster for me at the scale.  Spending time in a hotel, eating out for most meals, and snacking... oh the snacking.  I planned to be prepared this time so that I couldn't use the "I had to eat what was there" excuse.  I baked egg cups (egg beaters with peppers, mushrooms and hot sauce) and packed bread, egg salad, greek yogurt, fruit, clif bars (in case of emergency) and one serving of graham crackers.  When I saw the assortment at the hotel breakfast I was relieved that I had my portion controlled and PointsPlus friendly breakfasts!

The other meals were so-so.  I tried to eat on plan and continue to hydrate but somewhere I went wrong.  I actually felt dehydrated for much of the weekend, regardless of how much water I kept drinking.  I also knew about the change in the amount(s) of protein that I was eating because I also felt hungry.  I'm not entirely sure if that was related to the dehydration or the fact that I was actually hungry.  At this point I still feel hungry - like I'm trying to catch up but I can't.  So I'm really trying to focus on good amounts of protein with all my meals and snacks.

The scale apparently didn't like somethings that I did but at least it wasn't worse.  I gained this week and was, again, reminded that perhaps the weight loss portion of my journey is over.  Two of my friends at the retreat were asking about my goal weight and if I'd reached it.  When I told them I hadn't they were surprised and told me they thought that the extra skin was making up the remainder of the amount of weight I need to lose.  I don't think that I am going to stop trying to lose weight.  Part of me REALLY wants to be in the healthy BMI range... though part of me knows that might never happen.

What did you do this weekend?  Do you normally pack your own food to take with you?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Training this week was rough.  My hip has still been touchy so I tried to get some training done without making things worse.  I'm not entirely sure that I was successful.  After the tempo run on Wednesday I saw Coach B and we talked about it and she strongly encouraged me to schedule a visit to a sports medicine guy she recommended so I made an appointment for last night.  At the visit Dr. D told me that the problem is a cranky IT band and had me do some stretches... well in all honesty I laid on the table and he moved my leg to see if it'd hurt.  Then he put an electrode on the back of my thigh and used ultrasound to make my muscle contract.  I honestly didn't know if it'd work - that seemed kind of crazy to me but this morning I woke up and it felt much better.  The hip is still a little sensitive but I rode the bike trainer for an hour today with little pain during the workout.  I'm looking forward to getting out for a run tomorrow to see how it feels!

Monday:  Run, 3 miles, easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 4 miles, tempo (w/u, 2 miles @ 9:52, c/d)
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 2 miles, easy
Saturday:  Run, 6 miles
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:

Monday:  Run, 3 miles, easy on the treadmill
Tuesday:  Fat Bike Ride, 6.99 miles
Wednesday:  Run, 4 miles, tempo (w/u @ 10:47, 2 miles @ 10:07, c/d @ 11:22)
Thursday:  Run, 35 minutes (approximately 3 miles)
Friday:  Rest
Saturday:  Run, 30 minutes
Sunday:  Rest

Do you have tight IT Bands?  What do you do to make them cooperate and let you run?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

So much information...

This week at Weight Watchers we continued to explore planning activity.  I love this routine because it lets me feel more comfortable with the task at hand.  For example, when I am using a training plan (like I am right now!) I know which days are days I run vs. strength train vs cross train, etc..  In the few weeks that were between the half marathon in Las Vegas and the beginning of my current training cycle I didn't have a plan and I was frustrated with that.  I know that my body needed some downtime but I like having a plan and checking things off - it lets me feel even more accomplished than knowing that I had an awesome work out that day!

Coach B and me (almost done)
As I mentioned I am currently using a training plan because I'm training for half marathon #2 (in Oshkosh in April) and will continue training because I am again working with Team Challenge to run a third half marathon.  If you're interested in donating you can either mail me a check or use the secure website.  This is my way of wrapping these two topics together (with a bow on top) because the summer season is starting soon and we have begun our information sessions.

This season I am a mentor so I have the opportunity to speak based on my experience as a participant.  Obviously since I signed up to be a mentor before I'd even left for Las Vegas you know that I love the Team Challenge organization.  I had serious doubts about being able to complete a half marathon but my fabulous (and patient) coach told me that she was going to get me across the finish line and she did!

I can't wait to meet all my new teammates and start training with them.  Not only because I like to have a plan but also because I had such a fantastic experience with Team Challenge and now I get to help other people have their own fantastic experience.  Yes, I'm slightly giddy about all of this ...

Here is the schedule for the Chicago-land area meetings.  There are Team Challenge info sessions going on all over the country though so if you aren't in Chicago you can still hook up with a group!  You can click here to find a local team:

Are you coming to an information session?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


My hip continued to bother me so I rested on Monday and then spent the rest of the week trying to ease back into training.  The keyword is ease!  It certainly wasn't the week of training that I wanted, nor that I was prepared for but it was the week that I had.  I'm still not sure what was causing the pain in my hip but since it seems to be getting better I'm not going to question it too much.  I suspect it may have been any one or more of the following:
  1. Riding the bike trainer
  2. Increasing the weight on the leg press machine and/or too many reps (too much, too soon)
  3. Age of running shoes (I got them before the half so they have ~250 miles on them at this point)
  4. Something unrelated that I have no idea what it is (I'm so specific, right?)
Monday:  Run, 4 miles, Easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, speed work, 4 miles (w/u, 2x1600 in 9:25 w/800 jogs, c/d)
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 30 minutes, Easy
Saturday:  Run, 6 miles
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:
Monday:  Rest
Tuesday:  Run, 2.15 miles easy, @ 10:51/mi
Wednesday:  Two fat bike rides for a total of 86 minutes of riding (100% fun in the snow!)
Thursday:  Run, speed work (w/u, 7 x 2:00 @ 6 mph w/1:00 @ 5 mph, c/d), Fat bike ride (45 minutes)
Friday:  Run, 35 minutes, easy; Fat bike ride (30 minutes)
Saturday:  Run, 5 miles
Sunday:  Rest

Have you been sidelined by injury?  Were you able to figure out exactly what you did so you stop doing it to yourself?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Day Ideas

Dan and I have never been really big fans of the Valentine's holiday.  We usually prefer to stay in to avoid the crowds and we generally don't buy each other gifts however I like making lists and this seems like a good enough reason!  So, here's what would be on my Valentine's wish list... (in no particular order, of course)

I think this red Under Armour ColdGear long sleeve compression mock (shown at right) would be awesome.  I don't have any mock necks in my wardrobe right now and I wish I did to keep my neck a little warmer.  Plus it comes in red so it's very festive!

How about this little gem from SPIBelt?  I have the regular belt and love it when running or biking.  I've put my iPhone, a full size (or two mini) Clif bars, and a car or house key in it!  It fits snugly so it doesn't bounce.  This one (which I don't have but wouldn't mind!) also has a waterproof accessory pocket which would be really helpful for those rainy/snowy Chicago runs so that nothing gets wet!

Another thing on my wishlist is compression socks from Bondi Band.  I am a HUGE fan of their bands and hats so I'm dying to try their compression socks  As half marathon training continues it is really important to be able to recover quickly.  Plus these compression socks come in fabulous patterns, prints or solids.  I personally love the purple leopard or pink/gray argyle.

I'd heard about Nuun through a bunch of blogs that I read so I was curious.  When I was in Las Vegas at the half marathon expo Nuun was offering samples so I tried a few different flavors (including the Kona Cola -- holy amazing!) and fell in love with it.  I was worried about adding things into my water bottle because it a) might bother my stomach and b) contain a lot of sugar and thus cost a lot of PointsPlus value.  I was delighted to find Nuun because neither of these things are true - in fact each tablet has 0 PP value!  I can't honestly say I have a favorite flavor - because each one that I try is better than the last.

A couple of the blogs that I read regularly have featured jewelry by Erica Sara Designs.  I think the designs are unique and stunning.  I love the 13.1 necklace or the Say It Do It bracelet but I think any of the designs would make an awesome addition to my jewelry collection!

And because there are other things to my life than running/weight loss *gasp* (I'm as shocked as you are!) here are some other ideas...

I bought one of these iPhone cases from for Dan for his birthday a couple of weeks ago and personalized it with a photo of the two of us from our trip to Alaska.  I was excited when it arrived and couldn't wait to open it.  The case looks amazing and Dan loves it because it's not textured so it slips in/out of his pocket easily.  The cool thing about this case is that the photo wraps around the corners so the entire case is the photo.

For reasons that I am not sure of I love to read new cookbooks.  Last year around Christmas I bought a cookbook called One Pot Cookbook written by Weight Watchers.  We've made a bunch of the recipes and they have all been delicious.  When I saw that Weight Watchers published a New Complete Cookbook  (and that it comes with a bonus slow cooker section) I immediately added it to my wish list.  I have definitely been trying to be better about menu planning so I have a shopping list when I hit the supermarket rather than just buying whatever looks good and trying to figure out when/where to use the ingredients later.  So when I'm getting ready to menu plan I love looking through cookbooks for new recipes to try, especially if it has lots of pictures!!

One of my favorite authors has a new book out.  I have laughed (probably until I cried and/or peed my pants) at each of her books.  She has a new book called Here I Go Again that I cannot wait to read.  I love that Jen Lancaster weaves her scathing wit around stories that revolve around the Chicago-land area.  Her books say the things we all wish we could say to our friends, spouses, boss or trainer but it's that wit that I look forward to from the first page through the last.

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day by doing something special?  What's on your wish list?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How low can I go?

Well, the ups and downs continue... last week I was up 0.8 pounds and this week I am down 1.0 pounds.  Over the weekend we celebrated Dan's birthday by visiting a new craft brewery for beer sampling (there was a beer that tasted like raisin bread -- YUM!) and then another brew pub for lunch.  In addition to birthday celebrations there was also the super bowl and while we did not attend a party we did prepare football friendly eats.

I'd found some new recipes so we decided to try them out.  We made the Skinny Buffalo Chicken Bites (we added a little habanero death dust to the recipe for more spice), Baked Jalapeno Poppers, fruit salad, vegetables with dip, and Crescent Roll Asparagus.  I tweaked the asparagus recipe slightly and used more asparagus and less crescent rolls.  All of these things were absolutely delicious and Dan said that the Buffalo Chicken bites would definitely become a staple for home football games because they taste like real buffalo wings.

The important lesson that I still need to learn is how to prepare the right proportion of food.  This has always been a problem for me and is the reason that we always seem to end up with a ton of left over food from most parties/events.  I definitely ate more food than I should have but I suppose that it was, at least, a healthier alternative than full fat chicken wings and jalapeno poppers.  So, there's that...

How was your weekend?  Did you splurge at a super bowl party?

Monday, February 4, 2013


This week did not feel nearly as cold as previous weeks so running outside was actually fun.  I mean on Wednesday I ran outside wearing a t-shirt & capris!!  When reviewing my training schedule I was a little nervous about that tempo run.  Running 2 miles at 10:00/mi was going to be quick but I was determined to keep an eye on my watch for the entire run (last time I watched it during the w/u and tempo but during the c/d I just ran what felt comfortable.  This time I paid attention the entire time and adjusted appropriately (I feel like such a grown up runner sometimes!) and was proud of the results.

So I was feeling really good about my training -- right up until Wednesday night when some left hip pain started to bother me.  Not so much that I took anything but enough to be annoying.  Also, my Crohn's (which is on my right side) started bothering me too so I had equal pain on left & right side.  Anyway... on Thursday I thought I'd do yoga to hopefully stretch out whatever was bothering my hip (in my head it's my IT band) and it felt alright.  I held most of the poses as long as they did on the DVD, which is probably a first for me, and did some that I'd never done before.  However, the hip really started hurting after my treadmill run on Friday.

Monday:  Run, 4 miles, easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 4 miles, Tempo (w/u, 2 mi @ 10:00, c/d)
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 30 minutes, easy
Saturday:  Run, 5 miles
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:

Monday:  Bike trainer, 60 minutes
Tuesday:  Run, 4 miles @ 9:56/mi
Wednesday:  Run, 4 miles, Tempo (w/u @ 11:01/mi, 2 miles @ 9:50/mi, c/d @ 11:04/mi)
Thursday:  Yoga (I haven't done yoga in months and it felt good)
Friday:  Run, 30 minutes, on the treadmill.  Walked an additional 30 minutes for a good cool down
Friday night I started having a lot of hip pain.  I tried foam rolling it but that actually made it worse so I ended up resting on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday:  Rest
Sunday:  Rest

I'm hoping that the few days of rest will be enough to let me run again soon.  The bike trainer is the only "new" thing I'd been doing before the pain started so I might lay off that for awhile and see if the pain goes away.

How do you deal with injuries?  How do you get back to training?  Just pick up where you left off or do you back off training for a few days?  Please tell me so I don't hurt myself.  Again.