Jumping Through Hoops…Running Update

Funny how jumping on the trampoline triggered this injury and now I’m jumping through hoops to overcome this setback and get back to pounding the pavement.

Acting like a 6 year old is sometimes more costly than one might think...
Acting like a 6 year old is sometimes more costly than one might think…

My running has not been where I want it to be at this point in my Ironman training, but I am working with what I am able to do, so I can eventually get back to running longer distances and speed work.  While I am not back to 100% yet, I am able to run a little bit…more on that in a few minutes.

What have I been doing to overcome this set back?

I see Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic once or twice a week to receive active release therapy (ART).  He has also done acupuncture on my leg a couple of times to help release the muscle tension around my knee.  We are hoping that this will help my knee heal quicker.

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Getting stuck like a voodoo doll…I think it might be helping though.  After having acupuncture twice in one week, I was able to run with minimal pain that weekend.

I am doing some exercises to help strengthen the stabilizing muscles around my knee.

Leg extensions with 4 pounds attached to my ankle and an air filled ball under my knee.
Leg extensions with a 4 pound ankle weight and an air filled ball under my knee.
The infamous monster walks with an elastic band around my shins.
The infamous monster walks with an elastic band around my shins.

I also get a deep tissue massage every other week…

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Where am I at with my running?

Last week I ran for 20 minutes on Sunday (June 15), 30 minutes on Tuesday (June 17) and 33 minutes on Thursday (June 19).  When I went back to see Dr. Chris on Friday (June 20), he reexamined my running gait and noticed that I am still occasionally crossing my left leg over the midline of my body while running.  When my left leg crosses over the midline, that is when my knee feels some minor pains.

So…what do you do when you have to retrain your gait to prevent your leg from crossing over the midline while running?  Line running of course!  Where do I go to line run?  You guessed it…

My new running "home" for a while will be at the ISU track where I can line run.
My new running “home” for a while will be at the ISU track where I can line run.

Yes, I run lap after lap straddling the white line around the track.  I make sure to switch directions every 4 laps to keep me mentally focused and challenge my muscles a bit differently…

Anyone want to line run with me?
Anyone want to line run with me?  Saturday I ran 40 minutes around the track.

Yes…I feel like a hamster running on a wheel and my Garmin accurately represents this…

Tuesday I was able to run for 50 minutes around the track.
Tuesday I was able to run for 50 minutes around the track.

It is surprisingly difficult to run while straddling the white line.  This running technique does not allow for much gazing at the surrounding scenery…my only focus is on the white line between my feet.  I think I’m starting to have dreams of a white line that never ends 😉

If you want to join me for a run, you know where to find me for the next couple of weeks…

What hoops have you had to jump through to overcome an injury or setback in your training?

Head vs. Heart…Who Will Win???

Yesterday I had made the decision to adjust my goals for this weekend’s race, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this still might not be the best decision for my body, for successfully setting myself up for my “A race” and my mental state.

I went out to our local “swamp” to get one last open water swim in before heading to Lawrence and encountered one slight snag…without the wetsuit, the knee is VERY angry.  I didn’t even make it to the first buoy before I decided to be done.

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Since the water temperature in Clinton Lake can hover around 76.1F (the water temperature where the wetsuit is no longer allowed), this could pose a problem for the 1.2 mile swim.

I had a BIG decision to make.  Do I go to Lawrence hoping my knee isn’t so angry on race day so I can at least start the race?  Do I go to Lawrence without any gear so I can only spectate?  Do I stay at home and not put myself in a predicament where I might change my mind last minute and decide to give the race a try or worse…have a negative attitude because I’m not racing (this wouldn’t be good for the Iron Hippie and Allen who are racing)?  How will participating in this race help me get closer to the finish line at IRONMAN Wisconsin?

do today closer to tomorrow

This was all I needed to remind me that my A race is IMWI.  So in this battle, the head won.  I NEED to focus on getting 100% healthy.  I NEED to slowly ease back into run training, so I don’t set myself back further.  I NEED to make smart decisions to successfully toe the start line of IMWI.  I NEED to stay home and not put myself in a predicament where I might change my mind and start the race.  I NEED to stay home so I am not surrounding others who are racing with negative energy.

It sucks when the head and the heart don’t align.  What decisions have you had to make when the head and heart don’t align?

head vs heart

Transitions…in Life and Training

“Transition: a change from one state or condition to another”  ~Merriam Webster

Life is full of transitions…transitioning from baby to child to adolescent to adult.  Transitioning from grade level to grade level and possibly school to school.  Transitioning from living at home, to living on your own.  Transitioning from attending school to the working world.  Transitioning from renting to owning a home.  Transitioning from job to job.  Transitioning from single to in a relationship and maybe even to marriage.  Transitioning from season to season.  Transitioning from hobby to hobby.  Transitioning from young to older and eventually “old.”  The list goes on and on and on.

The end of the school year brings transitions to our household and this year will be no different.  I transition from the role of school teacher to the role of house wife.  When I am in the role of school teacher, we have to find/make time on the weekends to run errands, clean house, do laundry and make/prep meals for the coming week.  When I am in the role of the house wife, I can do all of these chores during the week while the Iron Hippie is at work so we can enjoy our weekends more freely.  The role of house wife also gives me the flexibility to take on a few more personal training clients and make a little extra money at my part time job.

Training is also full of transitions…transitioning from goal to goal.  Transitioning from swimming to cycling to running during triathlon.  Transitioning from season to season.  Transitioning from race to race.  Transitioning from indoor trainer rides to outdoor road rides.  Transitioning from indoor pool swimming to outdoor pool swimming and/or open water swimming.   Transitioning from treadmill running to running outdoors.  Transitioning from working out solo vs. with others.  This list also goes on and on and on.

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Transition area at the 2013 USAT Olympic Distance National Championships in Milwaukee, WI.

Having a more flexible schedule during the summer months allows me to train at different times of the day…acclimating to different temperatures, training with different people and juggling my workouts around variable weather if necessary.

This year, we are experiencing an additional transition…going from training with a coach, to training without a coach.  While both the Iron Hippie and I LOVE Coach Julie, we have decided to discontinue her coaching services.  Julie is moving to the Chicagoland area and we feel that we are knowledgable enough, motivated enough and dedicated enough to get ourselves to the start line and finish line of Ironman Wisconsin 2014.   As a science teacher, I’m looking at this as our own little science experiment…what can we do to successfully get us to the start and finish lines of IMWI?!?!?!?!

science experiment

Discontinuing our coaching services will allow us to have some extra money that we can save for upcoming races, vacations, home/yard renovations, etc.  We will have the flexibility to incorporate more social activities into our weekly regimen and it will encourage the Iron Hippie and I to communicate more with each other regarding our training and home schedules.

Transitions can sometimes be uncomfortable and scary…especially when we don’t know what to expect, what the outcomes will be, or how they will impact our daily lives.  The Iron Hippie and I are embracing these transitions and looking forward to the positive impacts they will have on our household.

life transitions

Do you embrace transitions?  What transitions do you experience / have you experienced in your life?

It’s All a Matter of Perspective

When I think about being injured and currently not in my normal training regimen, I realize I have to keep it all in perspective and be thankful for what I can do.  I don’t think twice about having 16 hours of exercise in a week, but to some, that is ridiculous.

embrace a new perspective

Sure, I’m annoyed that I can’t run, but I can still go out and cycle 50-100 miles.  I know…ridiculous.  I can go swim 2 continuous miles with my face in the water.  I know…ridiculous.  I can go snow shoeing for a few hours (if there were snow on the ground right now) with the Iron Hippie and our dogs.  I know…ridiculous.  I can go kayaking all day.  I know…ridiculous.  I can go to a 90 minute hot yoga class and sweat buckets.  I know…ridiculous.

The Iron Hippie and I had a good conversation last night as we did a 1 hour “urban tour” bike ride.  Most people would consider riding their bicycle for an hour to be a “workout.”  In our household, however, we consider the “urban tour” to be socialization and pure enjoyment.  There is no part of it that we consider a “workout.”  We are not breaking a sweat.  We are not even riding hard enough for our heart rates to escalate.

The funny ironic part is that when you truly enjoy something, it doesn’t seem so ridiculous!!  I always say, “When you hang out with the crazies, you don’t seem so crazy.”  All of these “crazy” feats and hours of training have become the norm in our household.

What do you consider “normal” exercise routines/workouts?  Do you ever have to be reminded to keep your workout routine in perspective?

Lessons Learned the Hard Way While Triathlon Training

We’ve all learned a lesson or two the “hard way” at some point in our life.  I thought it would be fun enlightening to share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way while triathlon training.

  1. While Hoo Ha Ride Glide (chamois cream) is minty fresh in the shorts, it is NOT minty fresh in the eyes.  Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly if you accidentally get some on your finger BEFORE rubbing your eyes.           IMG_3184
  2. Tiger Balm in the groin area (for a sore/tight psoas) sounded like a great idea until I accidentally got some on the underwear…oops, now it is in the hoo ha area.  This is not nearly as pleasant as it was in my mind before the application.     tiger balm
  3. Applying sunscreen to exposed areas only to have my workout apparel shift during the ride/run and end up with a small sunburn line where the sunscreen wasn’t applied.  I’ve learned to spray sunscreen on under the clothes lines to prevent this.
  4. Releasing all of the CO2 before attaching the cartridge to the new tube to inflate…I guess I’m calling for a ride back to town since I have no other means of inflating this new tube.
  5. What starts off as a niggle can turn into an injury, so listen to your body, back off and don’t push through it.  I have been on the injury train before, and I don’t like the ride.  One would think that I’d learn from this and listen to my body so I don’t hop back on that miserable train, but apparently that isn’t the case, since I am back on this miserable train…again.

What lessons have you learned the hard way while training?

Discipline

I have heard from many people outside of our little bubble at home, that the Iron Hippie and I are “very disciplined” and that it is a quality many “admire.”  It is true that we get up between 4 and 4:15 am every day and that our heads hit the pillow around 8 pm every evening.  It is true that we do an am and pm workout almost daily.  It is true that we typically juggle our schedules around our training.  It is true that we’ve decided to take one full year off from drinking alcohol as we train.  It is true that we eat mostly healthy (foods that provide us with the energy and fuel stores our bodies need to train like we do).

We are disciplined, but why?  I can only speak for myself…I am determined to be better prepared for IRONMAN Wisconsin this year than I was in 2011.  I am driven to grow stronger and more powerful while swimming, cycling and running.  I am committed to do my absolute best and set new personal records.  I am courageous…I am not going to let fear prevent me from being successful.  I am doing what I love…swim, bike, run 😉

discipline

Sure, there are days I don’t “feel like” completing a workout as scheduled or even “feel like” completing the workout, but I know that I will reap the rewards on race day if I have the discipline now.

As of today (May 7), the Iron Hippie and I are officially 8 months sans alcohol, which means only 4 months away from IRONMAN Wisconsin.  That is both great and scary at the same time 😉

How disciplined are you?  What motivates you to be so disciplined?

Spring Cleaning

I’ve recently decided to do some “spring cleaning” to improve the quality of my life.  Some areas of focus:

  • Facebook…I’ve decided to take some time and go through my contacts and “unfriend” those individuals who (in my opinion) are negative, disrespectful and unappreciative of others.  I want my world to be a happy place and when I see others sharing negativity, it often brings down my mood and I don’t like how it makes me feel.
  • The closets…They are full of clothes that I don’t wear.  It is definitely time to purge some of those items I haven’t worn in the last year.                                IMG_3316 IMG_3317
  • Blogs I follow…66 to be exact.  While you all write about amazing topics and hold a special place in my heart, I am going to have to cut back a little bit over the next few weeks and be more selective on the posts that I choose to read.  Saturday morning I spent almost 4 hours catching up on blog posts and another 2 hours Sunday morning. Being a teacher, I can devote more time during the summer months reading each of your posts.

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  • The house…I know our house has been neglected lately.  With more demands placed on me during the last few weeks of school and an increase in my training hours, the house needs to be deep cleaned, but this may have to wait just a few more weeks until I am officially on summer vacation.

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April Training Totals:

Swim: 12.84 miles

Bike: 139.23 miles

Run: 98.73 miles

Brick: 187.11 miles

Strength Training: 8 hours & 30 minutes

Hot Yoga: 5 hours

Total Hours: 60 hours & 35 minutes