Tag 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

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

The Mile Challenge…

And then I did this…

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I realized that after I did that mile challenge at the bootcamp last year, I never attempted to run a mile, and just a mile, again.

Granted, last year I was in between two marathons, so not only I was much more fit, but I was also taking it easy and not killing myself as I had a training run left that night.

But I got my fastest mile to date:  8:43.

So I hopped on the treadmill with one goal:  to run a mile at less than a 9 min/mile pace. 

And as you can see, I achieved this! 

Granted, it’s not the same as the mile challenge, when I had no Garmin with me, was running by feel, had a slight uphill at the first tenth of the mile, and it was all on roads/sidewalks, first thing in the morning. 

This time, I set the pace on the treadmill so it did the work for me.  I set the elevation at a 0.5 incline so at least it was something, and I admit that at the halfway mark I stopped the damn thing, had a sip of water in the kitchen, blew my nose in the bathroom, then hopped back on.  It wasn’t more than a 1 or 2 minute break, but a break nonetheless (but I was considering quitting the whole thing all together, so a break it was).

Yes, it felt a lot harder than the mile I ran last year, since here I am dragging 20 extra pounds around, and my long runs consist of 3 miles, not 20.  So I’m proud of myself nonetheless, and hope to attempt a mile challenge once a week or two – see where it takes me.

After all, I can’t run faster if I don’t run faster, right?

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Filed under Treadmill Run

And not all runs will be easy runs…

And that’s ok.

But it’s a hard lesson to learn, no?

After getting so excited about an easy 3 miler (an accomplishment around these parts lately), yesterday I hesitated hopping on the treadmill.  Part of me was scared that it wouldn’t be easy again.  Plus my left hip has been bugging me since yesterday’s run (for those of you counting, that’s a new pain – my right hip is the one I had problems with this year).

Eventually I sucked it up and got started.  And I was right, it wasn’t easy.  Not only it was hard, but I started having odd pains on my foot.  My left foot, that battles plantar fasciitis on and off (if only I kept up with the PT and stretching, no?) was not cooperating.  Not PF this time, but shooting pain up the foot.  WTF!  (But maybe it’s bruised from the 4 massages I had in one week period?  Highly likely.)

So after a mile I figured there’s no point injuring myself.   I’m so paranoid about injuries that I rather take it easy than push it through.

I changed the pace to a brisk walk instead, and the pain went away, I still ran a bit here and there once it stopped hurting, but I had already lost my running mojo.  I finished with a barefoot half-mile walk with a little bit of running thrown in there, completing a 5k with a 12:47 pace at the end.  Slow?  YES!!!  But slow is better than nothing.  And though I still see walking as defeat, it’s still better than sitting my ass on the couch.

Hard runs are confidence killers, but I have to remind myself that even after amazing double digit runs on weekends when I was training for marathons last year, sometimes I would have a crappy 3 mile run home from work and had to walk most of it.  So just because I had a bad run, doesn’t mean it’s all lost.

Tomorrow I’ll try again.

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Filed under Injury, Treadmill Run