Sunday, July 29, 2012

Recap of the past 2 weeks

Sorry guys, I disappeared for a couple of weeks.  Between wedding stuff, work and other things, I've been super busy... not a great excuse! 

Let's start with training week #3 - how did I do??

Week #3 went great!  Because of other commitments, I ended up not sticking to this order, but thats okay.  I ran 6.00 miles on that Friday from work to home.  It was pouring rain and it was a tough run, but I did it.  Not only that, but on Sunday, I did my 4 mile run and I ran the entire time.  I was very proud of myself and was so pumped that I actually ran 4 whole miles - thats such awesome progress and I felt great after the run.  It definitely helped that it was about 20 degrees cooler than it had been in the past 2 months, but it doesn't matter because I was still able to do it! 
Also, the 3 mile run I did on a treadmill and it went pretty terribly.  I don't know what it is, but I hate the treadmill.  I can only run for like 10 minutes and then I feel like I'm dying of boredom/exhaustion.  Even though I'm going slower than I do when I'm running outside, it still feels harder.  Does anyone else ever feel this way??

So with the overall high from week 3, I was pumped to start week 4.  My legs were sore from running 10 miles between Friday and Sunday, but I was actually excited last Monday to go for another run and see if I could do the whole thing again.  

Here was the plan for week 4:

Not bad, only adding an extra mile to the 1st run, but otherwise, basically the same as week 4.

Here is what happened on week 4:

Whaaaaaa???  Such a confusing week!  What happened?!?

I think I sprained my ankle. You know how I said my legs were sore after running on Friday and Sunday?  Well my ankle was very uncomfortable, but I assumed it was because of running so much.  On Monday, when I went for my 5 mile run, about 0.76 miles in, my ankle was in a lot of pain and I decided to stop running.  The only reason its 1.3 miles is because I had to walk back to my apartment.  I tried running a couple more times hoping that it was just very tired, but every time I took a step, I could feel my ankle/foot hurting.

On Tuesday, I had to go see a client in the evening and then on Wednesday we had our tasting for our wedding, so I had to take those days off anyway.  I rested my ankle and figured that it was still probably muscle soreness/tiredness.  Or maybe I needed new shoes...

On Thursday, I laced up, got back to running and went for 3 miles.  It continued to be uncomfortable, but I pushed through the run.  See, the thing is, I don't trust myself when I'm sick or injured.  I'm never sure if I'm genuinely injured/sick (unless its obvious like I have a fever), and so I tend to just believe it's all in my head/I need to push through it.  There is no visible swelling, so there is no proof that I'm injured, other than discomfort.  And I'm a baby, so I'm uncomfortable when I run anyway. 

I decided on Friday morning to buy an ankle brace to see if that helped relieve some pressure so I could run on Friday afternoon.  I put it on and it instantly felt much better.  Not perfect, but much much better.  I decided not to run on Friday and take a couple more days off. 

When I got home and took off the brace, there was some bruising by my ankle, which wasn't noticeable before.  I don't know if the compression increased blood flow and made bruising more apparent, but based on the improvement with the brace and the bruising, I'm pretty sure it's an ankle sprain.

So what does that mean for my half marathon training?

No more running for at least a week.  I am going to go on a bike for an hour as often as I can - at least 3 times a week, because I don't want to lose the cardio base I've built up.  It really sucks going on a stationary bike for an hour.  It's just very boring, even while watching TV, listening to music or reading on my phone.  After this week, I'll see how my ankle feels and do a short test run.  If it feels good, I'll try a longer run, and then just pick up where I should be.  I might have to tweak my schedule or add an extra run when I can to keep adding the mileage, but I'll worry about that once I'm back to running.  Who knows, it could be a week, it could be a month, so there is no sense planning a schedule when I don't know what will happen.

Icing my ankle
 How have you handled injuries/setbacks?  Do you prefer running outside or on the treadmill?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Training Week # 3

Let's check in!  How did training week #2 go??

I added 1.00 mile to my weekly total AND I cut my average pace/mile by over a minute!  I have to say... antibiotics for bronchitis made all the difference!

During the middle run for this week, I was able to run for 75% of the run, including the entire first 2 miles.  That was the first time I'd run 2 miles continuously without walking breaks.  It might not sound like a lot, but as a relatively new runner (ok, it's been almost a year, but a lot of this year has been trial and error) its huge.  I have no athletic base to build off of, and so I was literally starting from scratch.  Running 2 miles continuously as a 10 min pace is pretty good.

I also took a hot yoga class at Pure Yoga on Tuesday night.  The class itself was okay - it was a community class and my friend and I felt it was a very advanced class.  I'll write a full review this week... but it was not up to the usual Pure standards that we've seen in other classes.

What's coming up for this week:

I'm added 1 more mile to my weekly today during my long run.  I'm excited for this because I work 5.5 miles from home, so this means I can use my commute home as a run... I might have to overshoot home, but at least I'm saving some time.
The rest of the week is going to be tight - I have a very exciting and busy weekend coming up!  We are going to the sample presentation for the florist for our wedding and then on Sunday, we're going to see Book of Mormon with my family.  My sister-in-law's parents got us tickets for Christmas, and at the time, July 22 seemed ages away.  Now it's here.
Thursday I'm going to get my orthodontist in NJ to get my Invisalign taken off... I think.  Yes, I have Invisalign.  When I got my initial braces off when I was 14/15, my teeth were great.  I wore my retainers through my freshman year of college and then stopped.  My wisdom teeth came in/were impacted and pushed all of my teeth - particularly my bottom teeth - all out of sorts.  When it came time for the wedding, I decided to go for Invisalign because I didn't want pictures of my teeth to look terrible.  It's a little superficial, but there were always pictures of brides with their mouths open laughing or talking, and I just kept thinking, "oh gosh, these pictures are beautiful, my teeth are going to ruin these pictures of me!!"  However, I have noticed that as a result of the Invisalign, I have been much more meticulous brushing and caring for my teeth, and I have also found that my teeth are easier to brush and floss as a result of my teeth not being on top of each other.  It has definitely had it's benefits, but I am excited to get the little brackets (yes there are little brackets even though its Invisalign) taken off and to not have to wear them constantly!
To sum up, I have to run 3 out of my 4 available days, which isn't that big a deal, but it just shows how inflexible my schedule will be for the next few weeks.  I have time to fun, but I can't be lazy/procrastinate because I don't have time to make up that run if I decide not to go.

How are you doing making progress towards your goals? Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend? 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm a REAL runner!

Why am I a real runner??

I popped my first blister!  It was not as painful an experience as I thought it would be.  I think the worst part was when I touched the hot part of the safety pin after sterilizing it and then dropped it back into the sink. My 2nd toe looked like it was growing another toe on the side and it was very painful.  So it had to go.

Also, I learned today that I'm not supposed to wear cotton socks.  Whoops.. maybe thats why my feet are always overheated and I'm getting blisters in the summer.  What kind of socks does everyone else like to wear?  I read online teflon or dry wick socks are the best.  I looked around and they are all so expensive!! I've spent so much money on exercise stuff, and I love all of it, but I was happy to be done spending more money!

However, my feet are starting to look like runner's feet with callouses and blisters popping up.  I'm well on my way to becoming a runner!

In other news:

On my google reader, I follow Well and Good NYC, which is a website that has information about living healthy in NYC.  There are blog posts, reviews, exercise tips, beauty tips etc etc.
I was reading through the recent articles/blog posts when I came across this article.  Hilaria Thomas Baldwin is going to head up a new yoga place called SoulYoga.  So why do I care?
This is why: Yoga Vida is Spanish for Yoga Life.  I really liked Hilaria as an instructor! That's cool... I just read an article about a Yoga instructor that I have had.
But wait... it gets crazier... when I took her class, she was Hilaria Thomas.  NOW she is Hilaria Thomas BALDWIN.  Yup, she is the 28 year old who married Alec Baldwin.  I took a yoga class with Alec Baldwin's wife!  I really like Alec Baldwin (especially when he hosts SNL) so it seems really cool to me.
Anyway, moving away from my 15-year-old like moment... I'm still impressed at Hilaria Thomas' promotion to heading up SoulYoga, which will no doubt become a massive hit and very popular in no time.  Especially because she seems to have devoted followers from Yoga Vida - I remember people being very bummed when she announced she was taking a break from teaching for several months.

Moving on...

I apparently have had bronchitis for the last 2 weeks.  So no wonder it has felt like I am breathing underwater for 2 weeks when I run.  I went to the pulmonologist on Friday and he prescribed a wonderful Z-pak for me and voila... I'm all better.  Most bronchitis infections are viral, but he said since it hadn't gone away in a couple weeks, he'd prescribe an antibiotic and that might help.  Guess it was bacterial, or maybe it wasn't bronchitis.  He also switched my steroid inhaler to Symbicort, which is less abrasive on my throat.

So yesterday I went for my first post-bronchitis run.  Apparently, it was not normal for me to feel like I can't breathe, because yesterday I felt great.  I ran 4 miles in 41 minutes.  Hence the massive blister on my toe and my hazing into the running world.

When did you have your first "I'm a runner moment"?  What kind of socks should I buy?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Training Week # 2

OK... so how did I do with Week one... let's check it out...

I did all my miles!!  Maybe not on the days that I scheduled, but I did it all.  Also... that middle run may not have been so easy, but I'm pretty bad at pacing myself.  Whoops.

So... Week 2...

We'll see how it goes... adding 1 mile to my total.  I also will be doing Hot Yoga on Tuesday at Pure Yoga East as part of a Community Event.

In other news... it's less than 100 days until my wedding!  My brain is like completely wedding crazy right now, so its nice to do something thats not wedding related.

What are your goals for the week?  Did you do what you set out to do last week?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Class Review: Exhale Vinyasa Flow

A few months ago, my friend and I got a Lifebooker deal for 3 classes at Exhale spa for $45.  That's a great deal - their single classes are $37 for a core fusion and $26 for a yoga class.  Steep pricing for a girl on a teacher's salary.
We went to a Core Fusion class back in April (I can't believe it was that long ago) and haven't had the opportunity to use the other 2 classes since then.  SInce we had off on the 4th of July, but not the days around it, we were both in the city for a day off and we decided to try a yoga class.
The yoga studio was gorgeous (see left).  It had beautiful floors and was very large.  The door (the wooden piece in the forefront of the picture) was awkwardly heavy and oddly not sound proof given its weight.
There were only about 7 people in our class which was pretty cool - I guess not that many people go to Yoga classes on the 4th of July.
The class itself was pretty good.  I was surprised at how hard it was considering it was a not a hot yoga class.  I always except not hot yoga to be easy, but it really isn't.
The instructor was really good.  She was descriptive in her directions and provided corrective notes as needed.  I also really liked how she broke down the plank/upward dog/downward dog flow... she went through it painfully slowly, but it was very helpful for me because I never go from plank to upward dog correctly.
For those of you who know me, you will remember that a few years ago at Inner Strength, the owner actually stood on my hands in an attempt to get me to position into downward facing dog correctly.  He also manually guided me through the flow several times... but still I have struggled with this and usually just try my best.  I actually found it helpful the way the Exhale instructor verbally broke it down as it was easier for me to conceptualize and it also made me feel less frustrated (it was initially really embarrassing to have the owner of a studio manually guide you through half a class...but over time I've accepted that that happened...)
It was a pretty standard yoga class - there was not a balance series, which is always my favorite part, but I've found that a lot of studios in NYC don't regularly do all the different balance poses at once/in one class like Inner Strength did when I went there.

1) I liked the instructor's descriptiveness
2) The 7 person class was nice, but probably not normal for Exhale Spa
3) It's always refreshing to do not-hot yoga once in a while

1) I like more balance poses, also there were no shoulder stands which I like
2) Exhale is waaay too expensive
3) The door was not sound proof, which was annoying towards the end of the class when the next class was milling around outside.

Do you prefer Hot Yoga or Regular Yoga? What is your favorite part of a Yoga class?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Giveaway winner

Dear many women on the Hudson River Greenway,  I wish you had seen my giveaway because your sports bras were not supporting you.  I wince when I see women in sports bras that are not supportive... it looks painful!  And I feel like you're just encouraging gravity (even though I'm pretty sure that those are just my feelings and not actuality)

So... the winner of the discount code is Carly!  Congratulations Carly and I hope you enjoy your CW-X products as much as I enjoy mine.  Please email me at to get the code and instructions on how to claim it.

Thanks so much!