Category Archives: Treadmill Run

So what AM I doing wrong?

I mentioned yesterday how my weight, measurements and all that good stuff have been stuck for the last couple of months, and here I am still 16lbs above what I was when I crossed the finish line of those marathons (which were so long ago, that I’m starting to doubt that I ever actually ran that far…).

I’m not dumb, and I know there are two culprits for not losing more weight:

1) I’ve been really really relaxed about keeping track of my calories on the MyFitnessPal app

I’ve been eating healthy at home, keeping track of my portions as I did when I was inputting everything in and all that good stuff, but when I do go out to eat, I don’t always make the right choice.  And counting calories gets really really boring really really fast, specially on trips (where all bets are off, but I do like it that way:  I go to another country to experience the culture, and that includes the food, but I usually walk around enough to somewhat compensate for the damage). 

Let’s face it, it’s not the trips that are making me fat, it’s getting lazy about writing every single thing down I eat to make sure I’m not eating too many calories (or most importantly, when I eat out, because at home I’m actually pretty good about the whole thing, since, you know, I have healthy meals cooked for me, and I don’t have to lift a finger and all that…).

At least I’m not gaining, something I wish I could have said last year…

2) Lack of cardio.

Since leaving Muay Thai, I haven’t been getting any cardio in.  At all.  And I know people lose weight all over the world by doing weights only, but obviously that doesn’t work for me.  What good is it that my muscles have amazing definition if I have a thick layer of fat covering them up and no one can’t tell?  I may be healthier and stronger, but damn it, I want to look good too!  (And anyone that says otherwise, is lying.)

So instead of going from a leg to an arm workout, skipping rest completely, as I was doing, I now have been taking 30 second rests in between each set; except instead of resting, I’ve been jumping. Literally.  It looks totally awkward to jump around without a jump rope, but I usually have the gym to myself, so why do I care? I jump slowly, I jump fast, I jump twisting my legs around, I jump forward and back, I crisscross my legs, whatever, I keep changing it each time. 

(And FYI, Footloose came up on my playlist, and oh, man, I forgot how freaking perfect that is for things like jumping!  Seriously, play it, and don’t tell me it doesn’t make you want to jump around too?  Or am I just outdating myself?  Can I call it a classic and leave it at that?)

So anyway, jumping for 30 seconds at a time might seem like nothing, but I’m getting at least a good 12-15 minutes of pure jumping when it’s all said and done. Plus, it keeps my heart rate up when I do my weights.

And because I haven’t forgotten what brought me to this blog in the first place, now after the gym I’ve started doing this:

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I know, I know, I know.

Half a mile is nothing.

NOTHING.

But it’s still better than nothing, no? And with all my injuries this year (stupid foot, stupid hip!), I want to take it very very very slow.  Half a mile for a couple of weeks, 3 times a week, then increase it by a quarter of a mile, and so on.  I’m actually seriously considering capping it all at 3 miles for my time in Manila…  It looks like I rather jump out of the window than do more than that on the treadmill, and I have to stop beating myself up about it.  I can pick up long-distance running again when I get back to DC in a year (OMG, a year from now! Yay!).

But, take notice that my slow-ass can run slightly faster when it’s only going for a half a mile (and that’s after killing myself at the gym, thankyouverymuch).  So all of this might actually help me get a little faster, since I’ll be increasing my distance very very veeeery slowly.  And I’m also using the Five Fingers in the meantime since it looks like I’m finally doing low mileage enough to get my feet used to it (and since my feet are troublesome, I think it’s worth giving it a try).

Wish me luck.  And next time you’re struggling to get those double digits mileage in, remember the chick over this side of the world, who is struggling to get a lame half a mile in.  And feel instantly better about yourself!  (I mean, we have to look at the good side about this, right?  And if it is I make other people feel like rockstars by comparison, so be it!)

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Filed under Diet, Treadmill Run, Weightlifting, Workout

Couch to 10k

So you haven’t heard much about exercising in these parts lately…  I was gone for 2 weeks on vacation, went to the gym once when I got back, and two days later I was sick, with a full on fever right after that.  So that was another 1.5 weeks wasted.  But last Monday, I went back to the gym! 

On Friday, I woke up super sore.  As in “I don’t want to get out of bed, it hurts so much” sore.  So I skipped Friday’s Muay Thai class, for the first time due to soreness.  But it was bad enough I knew I wouldn’t have a good workout, and I might even injure myself trying to avoid the sore muscles on my arms and back.

In between all the cool photo apps I downloaded to my phone, I also downloaded a “couch to 10k” app (the most expensive app I’ve got so far, $2.99 – UGH!).  Part of me dreaded admitting that I am in that bad of running shape, but another part of me was excited in trying to do something about.

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Excited, sure, but also scared as hell.  Because I haven’t run anything aside from my Muay Thai warm up (10-15 minutes run) since early December.  I haven’t even been able to run the whole 10 minutes this week, having to walk a lot, which was even more humbling (the flu could be partially to blame for this though, but still).

So back to the app…  Basically you start the music in your iphone, then start the Couch to 10k app, and you’re done.  Just follow the “Start running” “Walk” “Cool Down” “Your workout is finished” prompts, all while listening to your own music.

I need to get back to running, and 5k doesn’t cut it – I know I can pull that off, even if slowly and painfully.  But managing to get to a 10k on the treadmill will definitely be an accomplishment!  (I think my highest mileage on the treadmill ever so far was 4 miles?)

The app’s only requirement is that you are fit enough to walk 30 minutes.  So of course, I’m in much better shape than that!  But instead of skipping weeks, I had another idea:  have you seen how SLOW I’ve been running lately? 

Since the first few times you do 1 minute runs alternating with 1.5 minute walks, I can DEFINITELY pick up the pace for each one minute segment.  So I decided to set the treadmill at a 6.5 and do that.  After 3 sets, I changed it to 7 (8:34 pace), which was more challenging, but still not “OMG I’m dying” (it’s only a minute after all!).

Sure, the first time you only do 6 sets.  But I didn’t like how it told me to cool down for 5 minutes, right after I had already walked for 1.5, so I added an extra minute of running (and cut the cool down to 4 minutes instead).

The next couple of runs, I’ll do 8 sets, and slowly after that each running interval increases.  It’ll take 14 weeks for me to reach that 10k distance (that puts me right into MAY, argh!), but nothing like not doing too much too soon to attempt to get back into running shape without being too overwhelming.  And sure, I know that once the intervals start getting longer, I won’t be able to keep up the 8:34 pace, but hopefully I will be able to at least maintain a 10 minute mile.

Anyone else has tried any similar apps?  Have you had any success with it?  I figured as long as I keep up with it, it should work!  And yes, I’m writing it here to keep me accountable.  And I won’t get to run more marathons, if I can’t at least manage the first 6.2 before battling the other 20 miles, no?

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Filed under Treadmill Run

Clench those Glutes!

Nothing like making you uncomfortable on a blog…

Remember that hip pain I kept having earlier this year?  It started after my December 31st run, after taking a few weeks off due to my highly inflamed plantar fasciitis.  My first run back triggered a weird right side hip pain, and I took time off and didn’t go away. 

I went to an orthopedist in VA, who had no answers except “stop running.”  So I scheduled an appointment for a second opinion.  The second doctor took an      x-ray that showed no issues and gave me a cortisone shot that didn’t do anything, except for give me hopes… 

I went back to running, despite the pain.  I started physical therapy, but saw no results…  I kept running, as the hip wasn’t getting worse, but it was constantly sore, even when walking. 

I took a bunch of time off running when I moved to Manila, sure that the time off would make things better, and that made no difference, once I went running, the hip was still hurting

I was recommended an orthopedist who quickly diagnosed me with weak core and hips, and sent me off for more physical therapy (which turned out to be $60 a pop, so I never went back – I can do planks on my own, thankyouverymuch).

But even doing weightlifting, working on my core, nothing improved my hip.

And then, one day back in September, Katie posted about her broken butt and her own issues…  (Definitely worth reading if you have hip issues!)  And though we didn’t have the exact same problems, there was enough similarities that it convinced me to at least try to “engage my glutes” during a run.  How does one engage their glutes?  Well, at least for me, I gotta clench my butt, then it actually makes it feel like it’s not just my legs carrying me on runs.

And from then on, I have been constantly aware of my butt and have clenched my glutes during runs, to make sure I’m engaging my hips with each step.  Always.

It has been 3 months since then, and I’m happy to say that since day ONE of doing that, I’m PAIN FREE!  No more weird hip pain triggered by runs!  No more wasted trips to doctors!  All I needed to do was engage my glutes with each step.  Soooo simple, no? 

So if you are also having weird hip pain, it might be something to consider. 

As for running, I got another 3 miles in this week, not an easy run, but not a bad run by any means.  I even pushed myself a bit in the last mile, getting what is probably my fastest run since arriving in Asia.

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(How do I wish the treadmill gave me a mile by mile split, like the Garmin does…)

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Filed under Injury, Treadmill Run

Easy 3

After not running for 2 weeks (blame it on the El Nido vacation, the lack of sleep after I got back due to Lily not doing very well, and pure laziness, I admit), I finally hopped back on the treadmill.  I was scared, of course.  It’s been a while…

But turns out that I did 3 miles, non-stop, at 0.5% incline and a 5.1 speed that I was even able to speed up a bit towards the end, and aside from the usual treadmill boredom, I finished feeling I could go longer (but I didn’t, since I want to get back at it taking it easy, instead of hurting myself).  It’s nice to have an ego-boosting run, specially when it’s been so long since my last run!  I didn’t want to push it on my first day back, so this felt great!

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I also tested it my super-cute brand new Saucony Kinvara shoes (that I bought it at a great deal at Shoebuy Private Events – they don’t always have running stuff, but every other week something athletic shows up, worth checking out, specially since it’s not limited to just shoes!). 

I scored them for 45 bucks (they cost between $72-90 at Zappos, so this was an awesome deal!), and figured if I didn’t like them for running, they’d be great travel shoes (so pretty!).

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They have a smaller heel to toe drop, encouraging a more midfoot/forefoot strike – I totally need to video myself running to see if it made a difference (my calves are killing me today, so I think it did).

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The only problem I had was that they don’t come in wide sizes, and my feet are super super wide, so I have to limit them for shorter runs (don’t laugh, I do plan of having long runs again!  But yeah, right now shorter runs = all runs).  I could see them getting super tight if I tried to do double digits with them though.

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But aside from that, my feet felt great, and no pain today, aside from the sore calves.

Have I mentioned I’m off to a Muay Thai class in a few minutes?  This should be interesting…

Oh, and do you think I got red after my run?  Yikes!  (Compare the color of my neck to the face.  Seriously, what is that?)

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Filed under Treadmill Run