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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

i have moved!

i have this page forwarded directly to the new site but wanted to let all those googlereader readers out there know that i have moved.

please subscribe to for future posts!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

i'm back.

Run as One 4M
37:44 (9:26 pace)

take that (sh)IT band.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

actively resting.

i don't care that i'm only running 4 miles tomorrow, i rest the day before a race.  and ya know why? rest days are awesome.

yes, i do realize that i go loco when i'm not active... but that does not mean that i don't incorporate rest days into my schedule, especially during marathon training (which is quickly approaching!).

during marathon training, i rest completely the day before a long run (typically friday).  i also sometimes rest the day after a long run (or do what i call "actively rest") or rest another day during the week in lieu of cross-training.  it's all about listening to your body and what it needs at any given time during training.

why are rest days so critical during marathon training?

  1. they allow for repair of muscles and joints.  when you run, your muscle fibers break down.  when you rest, your muscles repair and strengthen, actually improving your strength, speed, and endurance.  
  2. they help to avoid overuse injuries. shin splints and stress fractures are common examples of overuse injuries.  and they suck.  take a break and let your body repair itself!  
  3. they keep you from wanting to have the break-up talk with running. during marathon training, i look forward to my rest days soooo much.  why?  too much running all the time makes me cranky the same way too little running makes me cranky.  it is good mentally to give yourself a day off from running.  plus, you have the extra free time to do something different and fun like catch up with friends, go to the park, day drink, etc.
what is actively resting?
a rest day is a day off from cardio and strength training.  does this mean you sit on your couch all day eating tostitos and watching bad tv?  maybe.  but sometimes it's best to take a rest day to rest actively. do some light activity such as going for a walk.  last friday i "actively rested" while walking around the bronx zoo.  and it was glorious. i sat on a giant fake turtle.  best day ever.

how do you actively rest? 

how many days do you find you need to rest during an intense training schedule?  


Friday, April 27, 2012

and then i found 50 dollars.

today's workout:

with sunday's 4M race only two days away, i wanted to take today's run nice and easy.  again, i stayed away from hills to give myself some extra recovery before tackling some of the hills in central park on sunday.  while i don't feel like i will race on sunday, i definitely don't see myself taking it easy.  am i going for a PR? no.  am i going to run a nice and easy 10+ minute/mile? not unless i have to.  my physical therapist says i can start to pick up my pace and i plan on doing exactly that.  

goals for sunday's 4M:
     a. run a half-marathon pace (9:30ish)
     b. run with an overall pace below 10
     c. finish without any knee or IT band pain

even my "a" goal is pretty conservative and i'm okay with that.  what's important is that i'm recovering and getting stronger so that i can run this baby in october.  

after my PT exercises, i attempted to see how long i could hold a plank without sacrificing form: 

i wanted to stop so badly around 1 minute 30 seconds and had to FIGHT to keep myself upright and planked for a full 2 minutes.

NEW GOAL: hold a plank for a full 5 minutes before marathon training officially starts in june.  
ADDITIONAL GOAL: be able to maintain a 5 minute plank for duration of marathon training.

it's possible, i know it is.  

anywho, in case you found the rest of this post boring... and then i found 50 dollars.

no really, i found 50 dollars.

i was freaking out that i have too much stuff in my apartment and went on a psycho rampage throwing out  anything i have that i don't use (how did i ever collect so much lotion, face wash, toners, etc.?) and started to organize things that i felt weren't in the right spot.  this led me to find the little green wallet i "lost" after getting back from las vegas in december.

i opened the wallet... and found 50 dollars.

holy hell.  this was so much better than finding a $5 bill in my winter coat pocket when i take it out of its summer storing place (aka my parents house) in the fall.  

 i felt like i had hit the lotto.  $50 may not be a lot to some people but it makes a humongo difference in my life -  that's enough to feed me and my ridiculous appetite for an entire week!  booyah.

anyone else want to join me in my mission for the 5 minute plank? you know you wanna!

if you had an extra $50, what would you spend it on?

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

eggplant & mozzarella melt.

today, i made an extremely easy and delicious lunch... but first, today's workout:

it felt really good to get such a good sweat on during spin.  if you haven't tried spinning yet, jump on the bandwagon (or bike, more accurately).  it's fun and it's a fantastic workout.  note to self: spin more often.

for lunch today, i was craving an eggplant parm hero but instead of paying for takeout and then paying for the extra calories in the gym, i made a healthy and cheaper alternative.  it came out pretty fantastic if i do say so myself.  also, while it did satisfy my craving, i now find myself craving this exact same meal so i'm sure i'll be making it again sometime soon.

HEALTHY Eggplant & Mozzarella Melt

  • one ciabatta roll (or any sort of italian bread - i picked the ciabatta roll because it was single serving size and only 170 calories)
  • small eggplant (sliced into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • one egg
  • salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs (i used italian seasoned breadcrumbs)
  • tomato sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, lightly beat egg with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp of pepper
  3. In a shallow dish, pour 1 cup of breadcrumbs.
  4. Dip eggplant in egg (both sides).  Then coat both sides with breadcrumb and place on tinfoil on a baking tray.
  5. Bake eggplant (without turning) until brown (I left mine in for 18 minutes)
in the meantime...
  1. Slice bread and place cut side up.  i removed a little of the inside of the bread so that there was a bit of a "well" to hold the tomato sauce.
  2. Fill the "well" with tomato sauce.  i didn't measure this out, i just took a spoon and layered the tomato sauce on top of the two halves of bread.  i didn't want too much sauce, you can decide how much you want.
  3. when eggplant is ready, place slices on top of tomato sauce (save any leftover eggplant!)
  4. place mozzarella cheese on top of eggplant.  i used one slice of low fat mozzarella cheese on top of each half of bread. 
  5. place on baking sheet and bake until cheese starts to turn brown (i left mine in for 6 minutes)
delicious, easy, and guilt-free craving satisfaction!

what kind of food do you typically crave? i always crave things with bread and cheese.  pizza, anyone?

how often do you give in to cravings?  do you have any healthy alternatives to keep you in check?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

today's workout + brooklyn half news.

so i took the past 3 days completely off.  as in i did nothing.  seriously.  no running.  no biking.  no ellipticalling (blogger is telling me this is not a word. i beg to differ).  so yea - nada.  niente.  nothingggg.

and ya know what? i was so antsy!  it keeps me sane to run.  it keeps me sane to do some sort of physical activity each day whether it's a run, an hour in the gym, or a long walk in the park.  when i go too many days without getting in a good workout, i start to feel physically and mentally off. no joke, you do NOT want to be around me when i've gone too long without working up a sweat.

HOWEVER, with marathon training quickly approaching, i think that the 3 full days of rest was probably a good thing.  i spoke with my physical therapist today about possibly running the brooklyn half on may 19th and he was (surprisingly) supportive.  i was nervous he would tell me not to run it but he said as long as i can work up my mileage the next few weeks and at least get one 10 miler in before then, i should be good to go.

score.  i paid 35 bucks for that race and i want to run it damnit.

also- thanks nyc for forcing nyrr to jack up the prices of races.  it's so much fun to pay even more money than usual to be miserable for 13.1 miles.

next up? my FIRST race post-injury: Run as One 4M.  granted, i won't be racing, but i'll be out there running... which at least means i probably won't be a cranky-pants on sunday!

do you go crazy when you haven't worked up a sweat in a few days?  how long before it gets to you?

anyone else running a race this weekend? 

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

this makes me want to spin. with schmidt. all. day. long.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

PT and ITBS update.

i just finished my second week of PT and things seem to be going well.  this past Monday, Tak (my physical therapist, who i immediately trusted once he told me he ran the nyc marathon last year) had me run a mile on the treadmill while he recorded me from behind and from the side.

guess what?  i am the most awesome runner ever.

yep, that's what he said. okay so maybe not in those exact words but that's what i heard.  he said that my cadence is really good (about 180 steps per minute) and that i don't do a lot of bouncing up and down.  he asked if i'd had any formal coaching (see! he does think i'm the best runner ever!) and i told him that i hang around with pretty awesome TFK coaches that would correct my form if they saw me doing something blatantly detrimental.

luckily, there is nothing wrong with my running form.  if there were, then i'd essentially have to change the way i run.  cuz that'd be easy.  how about you try walking differently from now on?  yea, go ahead. do it.

so yea, i'm glad that i don't have to think about trying to run in a way that isn't natural to me.

my main issues appear to be weak hip abductors and (omg) the tightest IT band ever.  Tak did a little "massage" (i don't think this qualifies as a massage as it was the most painful thing ever and i'm pretty sure massages should feel good and relaxing) over my IT band this week and i had a legit tear fall from my eye.  ugh.

i've been good with doing my stretches and exercises though!  each day i do:

  • AM: IT crossover stretch (2 times for 2 minute holds), hip stretch on the side of my bed using the stretch out strap (2 times for 2 minute holds)
  • POST-RUN/WORKOUT: 3 minutes of foam rolling on each side, hip abductor exercises with yellow band (shown below)

  • PM: IT crossover stretch (2 times for 2 minute holds), hip stretch on the side of my bed using the stretch out strap (2 times for 2 minute holds)
it all seems to be working!  my IT band is obviously still super tight and inflamed but i've been able to continue running without any pain.  my pace is slower and i'm still keeping my distance below 5 miles, but Tak said i should start to pick up my pace back to what it was prior to the injury.  

this past week, my running has looked like this:
Monday: 1 mile at 10:10 pace (treadmill)
Tuesday: 3 miles at 10:15 pace (harlem meer in central park)
Wednesday: 1 mile at 10:00 pace (treadmill)
Thursday: 5 miles at 9:58 pace (riverside park)

obviously, no hills for me yet.  apparently running downhill is bad.  sorry, central park, i know you miss me.  

tomorrow will be an active rest day as i plan on doing lots of walking while i'm out and about with he-who-must-not-be-named.

if you've been injured, how did you go about speeding up your pace post-injury?  i feel so paranoid!

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

first week of PT.

so my first week of PT has finished. i don't know what i was expecting... but i was definitely not expecting to be given homework.  but it's all good because this homework is good for me (as a former teacher i cannot believe i just typed that - note to all former students who may read this: homework IS good for you, especially math homework).

another note to former students: algebra IS important.  don't be one of those people who has to take out a calculator to figure out a sale price... and definitely don't become one of those people who doesn't even know how to figure out a sales price.  you are smart. do your homework.  

anywho, i've been doing my homework of foam rolling (everyday) and doing the below IT band crossover stretch:

my homework is to hold this stretch for 4 sets of 1 minute each, at least twice a day.  i've been doing pretty good with sticking to that but i'll admit, some days i'm better than others. same goes with the foam roller.  some days, i'll foam roll two or three times.  others?  i'll foam roll for approximately 30 seconds and be like "okay this hurts, i'm done."  

my goal for next week is to stick to exactly what my PT says. i really have no excuse not to and it'll be my fault if i don't heal properly from this.  c'mon ang, stop being a punk.  

i've also been icing for 20 minutes 1-2 times a day and keeping my workouts light and low impact.  i've been cross-training on the elliptical and bike and going for long walks in the park.  my PT said i could continue running for no longer than 4-5 miles at a time.  since the injury two weeks ago, i've run 3 times.  i did two 5-mile PAIN-FREE runs and one 3-mile PAIN-FREE run.  it was glorious.  i'm going to try and get another 5-mile run in tomorrow in the park so i can run and cheer on the ladies running the MORE half-marathon!  

up on the agenda today: an awesome blogger fitness event at an equinox downtown.  re-cap to come!

i obviously have issues with stretching and foam rolling. what do you skimp on that you should be doing regularly? 

any fun fitness weekend plans?  who needs a cheer squad tomorrow morning in central park?

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Friday, April 6, 2012

knee pain follow-up.

so i went to a sports medicine ortho thursday morning to figure out what happened to my knee during sunday's 15k. i spent a lot of time with dr. google prior to my ortho visit so i had some idea of what may have been the cause of my pain and subsequent DNF.  my suspicions were confirmed when i met with an actual doctor... i have ITBS (illotibial band syndrome), a form of runners knee.

what is an IT band?
  • the IT band runs down the outside of your thigh, connecting your hip to your knee, providing stabilization for the knee during walking/running.
what is ITBS?
  • ITBS is an inflammation of this band caused by repeated rubbing of the band over the knee.
what causes ITBS?
many things - these are what i think contributed to my problem...
  • running on banked surfaces (uh hello, central park)
  • excessive up and downhill training (hello again, central park)
  • tightness in the IT band (this is definitely my fault as i have a hate-hate relationship with my foam roller)
  • weak hip abductor muscles (how many times have i been told this? too many. time to strengthen these damn hips.)
how am i going to treat my ITBS?
  • 6 weeks of physical therapy with a sports physical therapist.  when my doc recommended this, i couldn't turn it down.  now i get to spend twice a week with someone who is going to help stretch and strengthen me so that this doesn't get in the way of say, idk, a marathon i'd like to run in october.  
  • RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate).  i'm going to take the next month or so to slowly build up mileage.  no super long runs for me.  and icing.  lots and lots of icing.
  • Cross-training.  with less running on the horizon for the next few weeks, cross-training is going to become huge in maintaining my current fitness level.  i've spent time cycling and elliptical-ing this week and i think that has helped to keep me sane.  i'm also going to take up swimming even though i'm nervous that other people (lifeguards, mostly) are going to judge me because i suck.  
  • foam rolling. i have foam rolled EVERY DAY since sunday.  it hurts.  it's awful.  but i'd rather suffer through a few minutes of foam rolling than not be able to run a marathon in the fall.
see those 4 bullet points, (sh)IT band? they are going to take you downnnnnn.

on another note, here's a little tidbit of information i learned from my x-rays this past week: i have tilted knees.

normally, when a knee bends, the patella fits perfectly into the knee like so:

however, a tilted knee cap does not do this.  oh no, it slides to the side, very NOT like a puzzle.  

where do my kneecaps go when i bend my knee, you ask?

when i go for my PT, i might stop by the radiology dept to see if i can get my x-ray just to show you how ridiculously far away from my knee my patella slides.  it is absolutely absurd.  the OCD part of me is cranky and annoyed because i feel like everything should fit together perfectly and how dare my knees disobey order.  

stay tuned for all (sh)IT band related issues.  and for the chance to see my misbehaved kneecaps.  

anyone else ever have ITBS? how did you deal?  any suggestions for me?

also, who's training for a spring race and super excited/nervous?  i'm excited for you since i'm on a racing hiatus.  i might also be a little jealous.  but mostly excited.  i think :-P

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