Friday, January 28, 2011

Stretch, Squat, Run and Roll

Yesterday I had my first appointment with Jared at Orthopedic Associates Physical Therapy Center to finally have an evaluation for this knee pain. I figured after 25 days it was time to bring in the professionals!

I have heard great things about Jared from fellow runners and athletes. I was impressed. He was very pleasant and being a runner turned triathlete himself, I trusted what he had to say. As a bonus we even had a very engaging conversation about bikes and his new Cervelo P3!!

OA Performance Center
OA Performance Center

Now I am not a doctor, but I play one on TV. 
Or is that I played doctor??
Or is it I have played with doctors? 
Hmmm. It's one of those.
Anyway, my diagnosis of patellofemoral pain syndrome was spot on.

The good news? Jared said that this is an easy fix. The PFPS could have been caused by numerous issues-running in the Kinvara's (not a great shoe for me because of my pronation), running facing traffic constantly with the slope of the road and/or my own form issues.

Some causes of PFPS are weak quads and this is certainly not the case here; he said my quads were really strong and my VMO's were strong as well but we are going to work on building strength in the glutes and hips to bring balance.

I have some stretching & strengthening exercises to do, I need to do some marathon stick rolling on my quads and just above the patella, and I have some running drills to work on. I should be good as new soon!

Then it was time to hop on the treadmill and run. Jared brought out the camera and took some wonderful footage of my running.

The not so good news? I have some biomechanical issues to correct. I am heel striking and this is making me bounce UP and not move forward-which is also wasted energy.
I need to shorten my stride and increase my cadence. So I am going to be running with a metronome to get my cadence up to 184. No rockin' tunes for a bit until I can retrain myself.

Inside the PT office

We did some stretching, squatting, rolling and then it was time to run with the new info he armed me with!

Then Jared hooked me up to this funky looking treadmill and strapped me into a belt suspended from a pole. And yes- I got a little nervous. He then asked me to lean forward and once the belt started moving to start running. He then got the metronome going and I just ran. Then once I got the proper body position down it was off to the indoor track with my metronome and more running.

I am actually quite pleased with how the visit went. I have never had a gait analyses or even any kind of run coaching; it is wonderful to get some feedback on how I can improve as a runner! Jared also said that with these changes, we can easily shave a couple minutes off my 5k time. Combine that with losing 10lbs or so, I am hoping to beat the snot out of my Dad's PR (21:40) this summer.

So the next couple weeks will be focused on changing my run form and running pain free!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ding Dong! Special Delivery~


My front door has been a flurry of activity the last two days.
The postman.
The UPS man.
The FedEx woman.

It's Christmas in January!!

I got this lovely little package of running love from The Blue Eyed Runner

I got these from Jess at Blonde Ponytail and MissZippy1
They are going up on my gym WALL OF MOTIVATION

I got this package from K-Swiss from a challenge

I got this package from Leah at Chasing Atlanta and the fabulous Brooks giveaway she did this fall (it only took so long because the super-awesome Glenn at Brooks wanted to hook me up with THE newest version of Trance 10's! I am hoping it was well worth the wait)

I am really, really hoping that the postman will SOON be delivering this: The Hot & Hunky Endurance Athlete Calendar featuring such hotties like Chris Lieto, Craig Alexander, Mark Foster and Kovas!!

Permission was NOT obtained for use of this image.

And I gotta say, the MOST EXCITING package came all the way from California!!

Hmmmm-I wonder what could be in that BIG BOX??
Do you care to take a guess??

I will say the box does have a little something to do with an upcoming giveaway!!

If you were one of the peeps who answered my TOUGH CHIKs call on Tuesday, you earned yourself an extra entry to the TWO upcoming giveaways!!
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Eating in the Cave

Here we are in week two of cave dwelling (aka eating paleo for the athlete) and these are some of the yummy veggie eats we have been enjoying!

Roasted Cauliflower
This dish so simple. Chop the cauliflower, put into a glass dish, drizzle with your favorite oil, add a little pepper and roast for about 35-45 mins on 425.

The base of the slaw-shredded veggies!

Shredded carrots, cabbages, broccolli. Mix with the juice of 1 lime, some lime zest, 2 tbsp paleo mayo, a handful of cilantro, a dash of cayenne. Mix and let sit in the fridge for a while.
Spicy Slaw
Tuna stuffed avacado

Cut an avacado in 1/2-stuff with tuna or salmon, a teaspoon of another easy paleo mayo, lemon juice, chopped onion, red pepper, celery. I topped it with pea shoots and a lemon wedge.
Green Monster Salad

This is my new favorite. Mix your favorite green lettuces with baby spinach,
top with some pea shoots and cilantro dressing. 
To make the dressing mix a big handfull of cilantro, the juice of 2 lemons, a dash of pepper and a little drizzle of oil. Whiz in your blender or food processor.  
Sauteed Italian Squash with mushrooms

Small Italian squash (aka zucchini) sauteed with coconut oil and mushrooms.
I added a dash of crushed red pepper flakes to add a little zip!

We have had lots of grilled chicken, roasted chicken and then making soups and stews from the roasted chicken bones. We have been making all kinds of chili and soup recipes.

I picked up some beautiful wild trout so had that last night for dinner. YUM! and tonight is Very meaty chili with steak, ground beef, ground turkey and veggies chopped up in there (shhhhh-don't tell hubby!) 
I have to say, I am not really feeling like I am missing anything here. I feel good and my energy is just fine.

Oh, did I mention that the scale dropped a pound and a half?? Yeah. Happy about that too! Who knows, maybe I will have abs like EMZ this summer (ya, right!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Are you a tough chik?

If you are one of the many tough chiks out there, I want to hear from you-

Tell me, what makes YOU tough??

Have you overcome obstacles to achieve your goals?
Have you stared fear in the face and laughed?

I have some exciting stuff coming your way~it could be giveaway related :)

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Good?

I got a new bike (though if you follow me on, or Twitter then this is not NEW news to you)!

I got a new bike (can you tell I'm psyched!).

Being a stay-at-home Mommy with a penchant for gear & gadgetry (HRM's, Garmins, shoes, shoes, shoes, running skirts, headlamps, reflective gear, winter running tights-I could go on and on) I really thought that getting a great bike would be out of my grasp until I returned to work full time. This was sad for me (tissue??) because while I did ok on Bertha, I really wanted to get into something a bit lighter than 150lbs (slight exaggeration)!! Even if I did have something in common with Chrissy Wellington when it came to first season bikes (remember THIS post??)

As things turned out, I had a couple contacts through my tri club and the YMCA to check out a couple bikes, both road and tri specific, but it was a casual running/race schedule related e-mail exchange with an old friend from school that led me to THE bike.

So without further ado, here SHE name yet. And it's not the best pic. I have an appointment to get portraits done, don't worry. I know you like your bike porn classy, right?!

de Luca carbon frame and fork- de Luca is an Australian brand but the frame design is Masi, de Luca just stuck THEIR name on it and sadly, are no longer in business. Do you have any idea how much research it took me to find THAT out??

The components are Shimano-a mix of 105's and Ultegra. The wheels are Mavic Cosmos, Bontrager handlebars and saddle. It also has a Trek Incite 11i computer which is pretty cool now that I a) put a battery in it and b) figured out how to get it off km's.

I think with a sweet pair of Zipps she will be looking pretty on race day. Now to add some clipless pedals and some areobars we will be rockin'!

The Bad

After lots of resting my knee is still bothersome. I ran 2 miles Sunday and 3 miles yesterday and it is a mixed bag of "feels just fine" to "I think I should stop now". With my first (fun) triathlon in 2 months, I need to be running.

So I put a call into the Orthopedic Associates Performance Center and I have an appointment for an evaluation on Thursday morning. Hopefully I will have some good answers very soon as to what is up.

The Ugly

When I got my bike, I also got a trainer in the deal. While I wait for my riser block to arrive, I knew my years working in medicine would pay off eventually.

Lola's checking the tension on the trainer

Say hello to my PDR (Physicians Desk Reference) -- which is holding up the front wheel while I ride the trainer just fine. Ugly but it works!

The 40lb PDR being put to good use--finally!

Speaking of ugly--what do you think of this BIKE THONG I found on I love the caption "remote & phone not included" I think I might need this...

CycleOps Bike Thong

I would love to hear from you and your suggestions on what to name the new bike :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

What a LOSER

I have a friend who I have been trying to motivate to get healthy for a while. I would mention things here and there but not get in her face about it. I believe that change must come from within--not someone telling you to do it. 

I try not to be one of those obnoxious people who quit "whatever" and now must convert everyone they know into their lifestyle--you know what I mean, the former smoker who goes on and on to everyone who smokes how they MUST quit!! Or the alcoholic who preaches to anyone who drinks, even responsibly, how they MUST quit!! Or the former fatty who goes on and on about the evils of a sedentary life filled with Twinkies and Chinese take-out?? Ok, so in reality I could get up on my soapbox about ALL of these things, but I don't. Personally, I find these people quite annoying. Back in the day if anyone got in MY face about my smoking, drinking, eating, whatever I would just tune them out and imagine blowing a big puff of cigarette smoke directly in their face. HA!

This fall though my friend came to me and said that she was ready to make some changes and wanted my help. She was giving me permission to "get into her business". Words cannot tell you how happy I was to hear those words--I love this person dearly and want nothing but the best for her!! She did let me that she was going to wait until AFTER the Holidays to get started on making healthy changes but she was COMMITTED and READY to make some changes.
That was all I needed to hear.

I started doing some research since as there are a couple medical issues we need to deal with and I wanted to be sure I set her up for success! We would need to ease into exercise and make some serious changes with nutrition. We had several conversations over the weeks leading up to the big change-what kind of changes we would make to her eating, HOW she was going to eat, WHAT she was going to be eating and how we could transition her into a more active life.

We talked about her goals and the importance of making goals. All kinds of goals. Big ones, small ones, short term and long term goals. One of her goals was to lose 30lbs.

Here we are three weeks into January 2011 and guess what??

She is almost 1/2 way to her first weight loss goal!! At our last "check in" she was down 12 lbs.

Know what else??
She is exercising
She is attending group exercise classes
She is eating clean foods
She is feeling stronger and stronger

I am so proud of her dedication over the last couple weeks and how well she is transitioning into making LIFELONG choices about living healthy. We still have a long way to go together to reach ALL of her goals and we will. I am just happy for and all she has accomplished thus far!! Her hard work is paying off.

So FRIEND--keep up the good work. I am so proud of you and I am here for you no matter what. I admire your bravery to face some fears and conquer them. I have no doubt you can be successful at anything you want to accomplish. I know first hand just how strong you are--remember that.

But here is a warning to you: Now that you have given me "permission" to get into your business, just know that if you start to get off this wagon, I will go BANANAS on you!! I will make Jillian Michaels look like Mother Theresa.

Don't you EVER say YOU CAN'T DO IT!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Lighter Shade of Paleo

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that I'm best friends with Joe Friel I met Joe Friel this December at a Winter Base Training seminar that was held here in Maine at Orthopedic Associates Performance Center.
You also know that I take what the man says very seriously.

Here is proof of our "friendship":

Yes, I will use any occasion and any excuse to post this picture of me and my BFF, Joe Friel

How's THAT for motivation??
While at this conference he discussed nutrition and body composition and of course, I was fascinated with everything he had to say. It's one thing to READ it but it's a whole 'nother story hearing it right from his mouth.
Mr. Friel provided a little formula that he uses to determine body comp for his athletes; it is not based on body fat percentages, total weight or traditional measurements that are used in most fitness plans I have seen or read. He breaks it down into pounds per inch and then based on this number he has been able to break it down by athlete performance - Front of the Pack (FOP), Middle of the Pack (MOP) and Back of the Pack (BOP) runners and triathletes.

FOP 1.7-2.0
MOP 2.1-2.2
BOP >2.2

FOP 1.9-2.1
MOP 2.2-2.3
BOP >2.3
Curious where you stand?
Here is the formula-
 body weight divided by height = lbs per inch

In order for me to get my body into the FOP category, I would need to shed just about 8 to 10 lbs. I do think this is completely doable and with the proper nutrition (it's all about what you eat folks!) I should be at my perfect racing weight in no time.

I had read a couple of books about nutrition and weight loss for athletes and most of what I read did not jive with what typically works for me or with my basic understanding of nutrition. I found most plans a little too carb heavy for my taste. Don't get me wrong, I think carbs are our's just the quality of carb that I think is important.

So I have been reading about Paleo and borrowed Dawn's book, The Paleo Diet for Athletes (as mentioned in this post) and while I am only 5 chapters in and have been skipping around the book, reading this section and and then re-reading that one, I find that my own personal philosophy falls more in line with this kind of nutrition.
Clean foods, staying away from commercially raised meats and fish, ditching processed foods. Keep it simple. Make it yourself. Lots of fruit, veggies, lean proteins, nuts, seeds and berries. The basics of my current eating lifestyle.

Don't let the PALEO title scare you...THIS version of Paleo--for the ATHLETE has been altered a bit to meet our needs a bit more. You can eat starchy veggies like potatoes as well as grains-- "You may also select grains such as corn, bread, a bagel, rice, and cereal to continue the rapid replacement of carbohydrate stores".

I find that this is a Lighter shade of Paleo- A bit "friendlier" if you will and certainly, I am finding it easy to adjust to this pattern and style of eating. It's all in using those carbs to refuel your body at the right times around your training schedule. Makes sense to me!

So while I am not totally submerged into a Paleolithic eating lifestyle or even following TPDFA to a tee yet, I am making some changes and I feel good. I do not feel tired. I do not feel deprived. I am not clawing at the drawer with the hidden truffles (Lola's treats).
I also subscribe to a philosophy of balance and moderation.
If I want a truffle, I will have one-not six.
But I also have goals to achieve and races on the schedule and I find that this is a big motivator for me.

Hubby has my kryptonite in the house-potato chips-and I haven't nibbled a single chip.

A couple resources that have made it easy to find great, family friendly recipes:

Everyday Paleo
We have been making several of Sarah's recipes over the last couple week just because they are so delish!! My favorites so far? Paleo Chicken Piccata (I skip the wine) Everyday Paleo Chili Verde and Chicken Chili Soup. You don't have to eat Paleo to enjoy these dishes. They are now doing a podcast too!

Paleo Perfectly
Cait does a great job having fun with Paleo, taking recipes and tweaking them into Paleo friendly versions- Molten Chocolate Babycakes? Lemon Squares? Sounds good to me! Her entire family eats Paleo and she has fun making kid friendly recipes like Chicken Nuggets and Fries, Cookie Cutter Eggs, Pirate Pork,

Paleo Diet Recipes
This site has a great list of you favorite condiments made Paleo friendly! Even if you don't eat Paleo, who wants to eat ketchup loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup and chemicals anyway??

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I ran.

Two dreadful weeks-

One week of ONLY SWIMMING (which was actually good!)
One week of biking and swimming.

I had a really tough time with the break mentally but I KNEW if I did not rest my knee, it would not heal. If it did not heal, I could not run.
If I cannot run, I will be very sad.
Running is my Prozac. It's my happy place.
It keeps me balanced, it keeps me feeling centered.
It keeps me from FREAKING OUT on my husband about the important little things.
Like putting the toilet paper roll on the holder the wrong way (and yes, there is a proper way to do it!)
how to place the dishes on the drying rack so it does not create an avalanche of dishes.

What? What's that you ask?
Yes, hubby does dishes WITHOUT BEING ASKED and I can find fault in the way he stacks the dishes. Yes, he will replace the TP when it's almost out and I can complain about how it's put on the holder.
See...that's why I run. So I don't do those things (crazy woman!!)

Guess what??
I ran yesterday.
Three point two glorious miles on the Cybex treadmill at the Y.
I have never in my life been happier to run on a treadmill--EVER.

I walked for about 5 minutes and I was just feeling good about it. I was feeling brave. I prayed to GOD to let it be a pain free jog.
I even wore my fairly new Kayano's (only about 40 miles or so on 'em) in anticipation of running.
I started slow (at 5.8) and the legs were a mite stiff. But...I could jog and there was no pain!
Cranked her up a bit...6.0 and then 6.1. Holding steady, no pain. Let's keep it here for a bit to get the kinks out. Get the legs moving and warm.
Feeling good. Up, up, up some more...Still no pain.
I glace behind me to Andrea and give her the thumbs up.
I wondered if she could see the tears of joy in my eyes. I felt like singing out
I actually had goosebumps.
I held it steady at 6.5 to 6.8 for about 15 mins and reminded myself to take it easy.
Not too long, not too fast.
I finished my run alternating paces between 6.8 to 7.2 and it was wonderful.
30 minutes and 3.2 miles of bliss.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Getting Sick, Getting Snow & Getting "Stoned"

Getting Sick!
Uggggh. The sick bug has hit me and hit me hard. Hubby brought home this pesky little virus and it started to shut him down on Sunday. Now, the little buggers have invaded my body and have me feeling pretty ick. uck. yuck. It started creeping on Tuesday night and by yesterday I was sporting a full blown illness. Combine that with a severe lack of sleep on Tuesday night (can you say snoring thanks to hubby??) and the complete inability to get any rest on Wednesday and well...not a good combo. I wasn't the happiest gal to be around.

Bum knee, stuffed up head, congested chest. Yup, doing great for my base building period huh??

Getting Snow!
Mother Nature dumped an amazing amount of snow on the Northeast US Wednesday--parts of Massachusetts are reporting upwards of 20 inches. I'd guess to say we got a good 16" here.

The Obligatory First Taste of snow...she asked for ice cream when we got in from playing

Snow Angel!
Up and down the street we went!
Luckily, Lola is not sick and she really wanted to get out and play today so we spent the morning outside-visiting the neighbors, throwing snowballs, making snow angels and then I pulled her up and down the street in her little sled. The fresh air felt good and I could feel an "itch" to run!

The neighbor's stunning Snowman

Look how high the snow banks are! Look how Lola CAN'T look!
Between the blizzard yesterday and being sick, I did not work out at all on Wednesday. I did not workout this morning (but the day is not done). I did spend the day cleaning house, doing laundry and getting some reading done when I could.

Getting Stoned??
What am I reading you ask??

I borrowed The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Joe Friel and Loren Cordain from my buddy, Dawn.
Paleo=Stone Age=Stoned. Get it?? Yeah, I know. Super funny.
I am only about 30 pages into it so I really don't have my opinion formed on this book as of yet. I will say that I am normally not a big fan of any eating plan that eliminates entire food groups. On the other hand, some of the info I am reading makes some sense and I AM a big advocate for quality carbs and eating clean foods. I also happen to be such a Joe Friel groupie supporter that if he told me to run 6x800's with angel wings tied to my back & it would make me faster, I would certainly try it.
I have been reading a bit about Paleo here and there since another friend of mine jumped into the lifestyle 100%-she is an avid Crossfitter and she is in amazing shape! I have also been reading some great Paleo blogs and really love the recipes on Everyday Paleo.

So, I am keeping an open mind about it and will form an opinion once I have read the entire book. Even if I end up it total disagreement with the basis of the book, I will just chalk it up to LEARNING. I always enjoy reading and studying anything relevant in health, fitness and sport.
From talking with Dawn, it is not as limited as most Paleo based eating plans we have heard or read about and she is feeling good following Paleo for the Athlete. I also got an E-book called "Paleo for the 21st Century" which gives some modern day alternatives to eating Paleo.

**I would like to hear from you**
  • Do you follow a Paleo based lifestyle or eating?
  • Have you been successful with your athletic goals following Paleo?
  • Do you totally disagree with anything Paleo related?
  • Did you attempt a Paleo plan only to fail?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm going backwards...

the OTHER way
mutatis mutandis
vise versa

and this brings me to announce my first triathlon of 2011

yes, you read that correctly, a reverse triathlon. An outside run of 3.1 miles followed by an outside bike leg of 11 miles finishing up with a quick 150 yard serpentine (indoor) pool swim.
April in Maine. 
It should be a very interesting race! We could have snow--thus, my mountain bike will be making it's first appearance at a triathlon. We could have rain. It could be 7* or it could be 70*. Who knows!?!?
That is one thing about weather in Maine, it changes frequently and the season or month has little to do with it. There is actually an old Maine/New England saying "it you don't like the weather just wait a minute"

from the website:

The Top 10 Reasons to do The Nor'Easter Reverse Triathlon

10. A chance to get in on the ground floor of reverse triathlon in Maine

9. Bragging Rights...a triathlon in Maine.

8. Everyone gets a proper warm-up for the swim.

7. Get that pesky run out of the way first.

6. A guaranteed PR. (it is a new race)

5. A snake swim...with no snakes!

4. Transition is inside the gymnasium.

3. End your cabin fever earlier in 2011.

2. Top Quality USAT Sanctioned Race

1. Cycling in DRY shorts!

I am really excited to be participating in this one and I think it is a good way to kick off the 2011 season. I even have a little challenge going with the race director (but more about THAT another time).  If you know me, really know me, then you know when presented with a challenge I will do WHATEVER it takes to take it on and come out on top!

I have also teamed up with Kennebunk Beach Triathlon Club this year and I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone and having a super summer! I am finding I love training with others.
I am even considering...
wait for it....
JOINING in on the team's Master Swim!!
How's THAT for liking the pool more and more?

I did test out my knee today. After a solid 11 miles on the bike early this morning I was feeling confidant. When I got to the gym mid-morning, I tried "running" on the elliptical. I banged out a pain free mile in about 8 minutes. Feeling good, I hopped on the treaddy and with a hope and a prayer, hit QUICK START and cranked her up to 4.8. That felt so awkwardly slow for me and my gait was off so I slowly increased to 5.5 and felt good...then I hit 6.0 and sustained this comfortably for a few minutes. Then TWING. A bit of pain so I stopped immediately.
Looks like I am going to give this some more time to rest.
I did talk to one of the PT's I know and she says everything does seem to be pointing to PFPS and to keep resting it. She also suggested starting taking some ibuprofen to help with inflammation. So I am going to try that an swim, bike, lift and enjoy myself.

And in the meantime, focus on WINNING my challenge with Mr. Race Director--let's call it my pre-Nor'Easter challenge!!

If you are a local New Englander that reads this blog I am asking YOU to join me for this fun, fun race-and remember, it is a guaranteed PR!!
Please let me know if you want more info about the Nor'Easter.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I love the smell of chlorine in the morning

3 miles...
I have swim/swum/swam three whole freaking miles this week.
This is a record.
A much needed record.

Some days I feel like a cat in the water!

Swimming is my WEAKEST triathlon discipline and what I should be concentrating on THE MOST right now. Building endurance. Learning proper form. Gaining skill.

This summer ALL my swimming was done in the ocean with a bit here and there in the pool.
The open ocean does not scare me or intimidate me. The pool does.

In the ocean it's just me and the rocking ocean waves. I can swim in zig zags if I choose and there are no pesky, hard plastic rings to slam into. No wall stopping me. No one swimming next to me so I feel like I have to "race".  

Me & Michelle post swim session at the beach this summer

I guess this is why I have been avoiding the pool for so long because it makes me feel inadequate and uncomfortable. Swimming is just so new to me and I am used to doing everything so well and so easily. Proper swimming is NOT easy to me right now. I find it is a lot to THINK about and I get frustrated with myself if it's not perfect right away.

But one thing I believe in is facing your fears and conquering them~not that I am afraid of the water. I actually LOVE the water and would grow fins if I could. I fear not being GOOD at it.

So girlie--it's time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

This little knee injury has literally given me no other option to get into the pool and swim.

And I am actually now starting to like it and enjoy myself. I am taking it slow, really concentrating on my form and doing it RIGHT. Not just doing it. 
Just a couple one hour plus sessions 3 days this week (Mon, Wed, Thur-Tuesday was my rest day) has really got me feeling more comfortable with what I am doing in the water.

Today's workout was actually a planned swim workout with drills and everything vs. my usual plan of "get in the water and swim".

Funny thing too-BOTH my suits are wet and hanging up to dry. NOW that has not happened since this summer. I had to do two loads of towels this week.

So my new mantra for the next couple of weeks?
I love the smell of chlorine in the morning.

This time in the pool is also giving me a chance to use the haircare line that Reflect Sports sent me to review this fall. So far, so good folks! Keep your eyes open for the full review and a possible giveaway!!

Happy Swimming!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We have a winner

Here it is Wednesday and I still am listening to my own advice to stay off my knee-I have been swimming as promised and today was actually a really productive swim. I am starting to feel like I am doing something right. I am just going to keep swimming away and enjoying this time in the water.

Thank you to everyone who entered my SPIbelt giveaway!
I really love mine and I am finding more and more uses for it everyday.

Now for the winner!!

There were 70 entries and all the entries were put into to find out who the lucky guy or gal is~

The winner??

Number 49
(sorry it's kind of blurry)

Here is the winning comment:

SPIbelt started off as a small home business with the owner making them by herself, by hand.

Congratulations to

Run, Courtney, Run

Email me at jsmall14 (at) maine (dot) rr (dot) com and I will get you hooked up with your new SPIbelt!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When life hands you lemons...

...make lemonade, but don't pee in the pool.
(I promise this will make sense later)

Happy New Year!! Here we are, 4 days into 2011 and this is my first post.

Running into the New Year!
The Holidays were fun for us and it was really nice to have hubby around for a few days. It was also really nice to have my buddy Dawn around-she was on vacation so we were able to get a couple training days in together.
Dawn and I actually got in a beautiful New Years Day 6 mile run together. It was in the 50's!! That is rare in Maine in January!!
I got to run in my favorite things! My pink Kinvara's, my Punk Rock Racing tech tee, my beautiful argyle arm warmers that Dawn gave me for Christmas!!
Dawn got to run in some of her new gear too! Arm warmers and compression socks with shorts! Yes, shorts! That is how nice it was here in Maine in New Years Day!

Sunday I got out for my scheduled long run. The Rx was Base Building 101: 10 miles in Zone 2, keep the pace between 8:45 and 9:15. I was psyched to get out on another "balmy" day in Maine (43 degrees when I left) and I was feeling great on this run. I ran one of my regular routes all along the beach and through some beautiful, quite neighborhoods with gently rolling hills and winding roads. I was feeling so good, I decided to up the mileage just a wee bit and go for 12ish. At mile 7.35- while climbing one of these gently rolling hills - I felt this quick, stabbing pain directly under the top part of my right kneecap.
Deep breath.
Walk for a moment...
Alright, it's ok.
Start running again~slowly easing into a steady pace and after a few minutes all is well. I backed off the pace for a bit and all was well with the world again. At this point I know I am about 3 miles from home if I loop it back towards the house vs. heading towards Kennebunkport so this is in the back of my mind. I'm feeling good so it's back to normal. Run.Run.Run. Ahhhh-look, a bunch of turkeys on the side of the road. How cool is that? Then at mile 9 another small hill.
That pain.
This time it really stopped me. I walked for a bit. Feeling scared, worried, anxious. I was in more mental pain than physical pain. Questions swirling through my head. What?? Oh no. But then, just as sudden as the pain came on, it was gone. Start jogging slowly, slowly...12 minute pace, 11 minute pace. Alright, I'm feeling good again but I think it's time to head back home and call it 10 miles today. But I am feeling good,  SO good that I pick up the pace for the last leg of the run finishing the last 1/2 mile in the low 7's.
I'm feeling good~and then about an hour or so later, I am walking up the stairs at the house and
pain again. Now I am really concerned and do a little Internet research.
My self diagnosis??

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or simply "runner's knee," is the most common overuse injury among runners. It occurs when a mistracking kneecap (patella) irritates the femoral groove in which it rests on the thighbone (femur)... Tight hamstring and calf muscles put pressure on the knee, and weak quadriceps muscles can cause the patella to track out of alignment. Just the repetitive force of a normal running stride alone can be enough to provoke an attack. Symptoms include tenderness behind or around the patella, usually toward its center. You may feel pain toward the back of the knee, a sense of cracking or that the knee's giving out. Steps, hills, and uneven terrain can aggravate PFPS.

So far all that I am reading falls in line with the symptoms I am having so my plan is to actually rest. No running or biking for at least a week and I will evaluate the situation once again and see if real medical professionals need to be involved. In hind site, I wish I had iced the knee immediately upon my return home.
I am going to keep a positive outlook and chalk this up to the Universe once again speaking to me~
Jen, get your butt in the pool!!
I have been wanting to get more time in the pool but somehow running, biking, kettlebells, weight training all seem to fall above SWIMMING on my workout priority list...even though swimming is my weakest discipline and therefore, should be sitting right at the top!!
So here's my lemonade.
All week I am going to focus on my swim.
And next week too if need be. and the week after that...
So bottom's up! I'm drinking this big ole glass of lemonade and I promise not to pee in the pool.
ps-I still have to announce the winner of my SPIbelt giveaway! Coming soon!!