Saturday, December 31, 2011

In the slumps

Bad runs, we've all had them.  But what about a series of bad runs, a "running slump" if you will.  This past month has been a bad one for me.  My professional life has been a disaster to say the least.  And my running hasn't been much better, not to mention my shoe frustration. My running is usually my outlet for stress.  When I have a bad day at work, I can usually run it off. But I haven't had a run yet this month that hasn't been affected by decreased endurance or pain of some sort, so I haven't been able to let go of the work stress.  I've been bringing it home with me which affects my sleep pattern.  It's just been horrible, vicious cycle.  I'm hoping new shoes and some changes in my professional life will help me break out of this slump.  I'm also thinking that finding an alternate form of exercise/workout would help to regulate things again. One of my goals for 2012 is to focus on cross-training on my non-running days as an additional outlet for stress and to regain some of the endurance and flexibility that I've lost lately. 

Have you ever had a running slump??  If so, why? And how did you handle/break it?

Shoes, part deaux

I has shoes!!  WOOHOO!!

I've been on the hunt for new running shoes since August. When I started running last spring, I went to the local running store for a gait analysis.  I was told I needed a neutral shoe. I have very high arches and have a tendency to under pronate. I was given several choices and ended up in a Saucony Ride 3.  I never had any issues with pain or injury in these shoes.

Then, I started training for a 10K and ultimately a half marathon in August and I knew I would need some new shoes as my mileage increased.  The Ride 3 was no longer available, it had been "upgraded" to the Ride 4.  So, that it what I bought and never thought twice about it.  Every time I wore those shoes, I had terrible tightness in my calves and ended up with pain in both knees, so we swapped them out for Brooks Ghost 4. These were 1/2 size bigger that I was used to wearing.  I tried desperately to break these shoes in, but there was too much foot movement in them.  So, we tried a Pearl Izumi Syncro Float 4.  I tried these for a run last weekend and regretted it (blister on the big toe)  They were neutral + meaning they provided some stability. Needless to say, it didn't feel natural to run in these shoes.  Back to the store we went!!  Next we tried a pair of Saucony Triumph. I took these out on a test run and wasn't happy with the slippage of my heel in these.  I had some pain in my achilles and my right calf was tight. Needless to say I was very discouraged and about to give up.

The manager of the store sat down with me, listened to me, remeasured my feet and worked with me patiently. Based on his analysis and measurement of my foot, it turns out I was running in shoes that were entirely too big.  So, we tried a few more options. I ended up choosing a New Balance 880.  These are pretty comfortable on my feet.  I have not run in the yet, but I have been wearing them around the house to get used to them and they might just work!!

I also Google searched for Saucony Ride 3 and was fortunate enough to find a pair of these discontinued shoes online. I immediately ordered them and was more than pleased when they arrived.  They had never been taken out of the box, not even to try on!!  So now, hopefully, I will have 2 pair of shoes that will work for me!!

Has anyone else tried the NB 880??

2011-a year in review and a challenge for 2012

Wow!  Where does the time go??  It seems like just yesterday we were starting 2011!!  It has been a wild ride this year with many changes, some good and some bad.  This year, in Oklahoma, we were dealt some of the harshest weather that I can ever remember.  January/February brought us record snowfall.  In May, we had record tornado outbreaks, followed closely by the hottest summer on record.  We were at or over 100 degrees for 60+ days. And we had the strongest earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma in November!!  CRAZY!! 

Personally, I discovered my love of running and I have been busy pursuing that passionately!! I have learned so much about myself through running.  I have a sense of accomplishment, confidence and balance that I've never had before. And it has enabled to make wonderful new friends!!  My running resume:

April 2011:  Scrub Run 10K (my 1st 10k)
May 2011: Cinco de Mayo 5K (my 1st 5K); Full Moon Run 5K
June2011:  Mohawk 5000 5K
July 2011:  Mid Summer Madness 5K; Bedlam Run 5K
August 2011: Trailblazer 5K
September 2011: Cherokee Strip 5K; Warrior Dash
October 2011:  Rt 66 Quarter Marathon; Lederhosen Lauf 4 mile run: Tulsa Run 15K
November 2011: McNellie's Pub Run 4 mile run; Rt 66 Half Marathon; Turkey Trot 5K
Decemer 2011: Jingle Bell Run 5k

I wish I could say the same about my professional life.  :(  I'm still struggling to find the right balance with that. Hopefully 2012 will bring some positive changes there, since I have strong feelings about a healthy work/life balance. You can't have 1 without the other!!  :)

Speaking of 2012, in my last post, I mentioned that 88% of all New Year's Resolutions end in failure.  With that being said, I would like to issue a challenge to all of my friends.  I challenge you to truly make 2012 a "NEW YEAR"  I challenge every one of you to try something NEW that you have never done before!!  It can be anything: a new hairstyle, a new recipe or a new food you've never eaten, skydiving......whatever!! We never know what we can become if we do not try! Dare to dream and dream big, folks!

"You're never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream."~~C.S. Lewis

If you could do just 1 thing without fear of failure, what would it be??

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Year's Revolution

Since 88% of all New Year resolutions end in failure, I'm not making resolutions this year.  Instead, I'm setting goals.  I am looking at what I would like to accomplish this year and then I'm going to set REALISTIC goals to help succeed in my endeavors.  My fitness/life goals, thus far, are:

1.  Drink more water.  I usually do, but I've gotten very lazy about this recently.  So, my goal is 60 ounces of water daily.

2.  Eat more fruits/vegetables.  I also am usually pretty good about this but have gotten lazy about it in the past month.  My goal is 5 servings of fruit/vegetables daily.

3.  More physical activity.  I was really good about this too, but have gotten lazy over the past few months.  I was cross training 2-3 days/wk and running 2-3 days per week.  I haven't done enough cross-training since July and my running schedule, which was pretty firm, has been pretty sporadic for the past month.  This is going to be the biggest goal for me!!  My next half-marathon training program starts January 7, so my running schedule will become more regular. I've already registered for a half-marathon in March, so that gives me something to work towards.  But I absolutely must make it a priority to cross train for at least 20 minutes 2-3 days a week.

I think those are all do-able and very realistic goals!!  Who's going to help hold me accountable?  What are your fitness goals for 2012??

Shoe saga

I need a new pair of running shoes.  :(  When I decided that I was going to participate in a 5K training program last spring, my husband took  me to our local running store to get fit tested.  They filmed me running on the treadmill and watched me walk barefoot around the store for a few minutes.  After they analyzed my gait, the went to the back of the store and brought out several pairs of shoes.  I gravitated toward a brand I was familiar with, Saucony.  I put on that pair of Ride 3's and never looked back.  They were perfect!!  I never had any problems with pain with that pair of shoes.

After I completed that training  program, I decided to move up to the 10K program with aspirations of a 15K and a half marathon.  I knew I would need to start looking for some new shoes. So, I went to the local running store again and was informed that Saucony had discontinued my shoe.  But they had the "new and improved" Ride 4.  So, I bought them.  I struggled with them for 2 months; experienced lower leg and knee pain that hadn't been an issue before.  Sure it could have been from the increased distance, but the problems seemed to be better when I wore my old shoes.  So, back to the store I went.  They refitted me, took the Saucony Ride 4 back and sent me home with a snazzy new pair of Brooks Ghost.  I was thrilled!  I loved this shoe but continued to have issues.  So, last week, I took them back to the store.

We started over on the treadmill, I was reanalyzed and sent home with a pair of Pearl Izumi Syncrofloat 4's.  I tried them out on last Saturday's run and regretted it!!  Came home with a blister on my big toe!!  I hate these shoes!! They are neutral with a "little bit" of stability.  They prevent my foot from doing what it has naturally done for 44 years--not good!! They're going back to the store this afternoon!!  Meanwhile, I'm left shoeless, frustrated and disillusioned!!  I want to completely stop running!!  But I know that isn't the answer; I'm just not sure what is.  :/  I am a neutral striker with high arches and I tend to under-pronate.  I need a well cushioned shoe.  WTH is a girl supposed to do when she can't find running shoes??  Advice please!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday rants

I'm frustrated about a couple of things and need to vent!!
I am thankful for the much needed rainfall we've had lately, I just wish the cold, damp weather didn't wreak such havoc on my joints!! I ache all over!! I would be tickled pink to get through a day without pain I'm thinking I need to be a snowbird and relocate to somewhere warm, sunny and dry for the winter. I did start taking some glucosamine chondroitin (thank you secret Santa) this morning. So, we'll see how that goes; hopefully it will help!
I would also like to be able to sleep all night.  I am usually a very light sleeper and lately I've been waking up several times during the night or waking up real early and not able to go back to sleep.  Makes for a miserable day.  I've got a lot on my mind though, so I'm sure that contributes to the insomnia. 
I haven't had a good run in several days either.  :(
Praying for peace and balance in my life..............


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Race Recap: The Jingle Bell Run 5k, Tulsa, Ok

This was a very fun run for a good cause, The Arthritis Foundation!! It's a little known fact that I have psoriatic arthritis, secondary to psoriasis. It can be as severe and crippling as rheumatoid arthritis but I am determined to not let it beat me!!.  I run now in case I can't later.  I don't take any medication for it, other than ibuprofen and some days are better than others. Yesterday was actually a bad day--my hips were hurting especially the right one, which is new. I had to walk some but I kept going and finished. Close to the finish, I noticed a  little girl who was beside me. She kept walking and looking around like she didn't know what to do.  I was walking, due to the pain in my right hip, but I knew what I had to do. I gave her a little encouragement. I told her she was almost done and asked if she could see the finish line a couple of blocks ahead of us. She said yes and I told her that I knew she could finish. I said "You got this, girl. Come one, let's go." I kicked it into gear and ran across the finish line with her, high-fived her on her finish and sent her on her way while I waited for hubs to finish.

The course was relatively flat, the weather was perfect.  It was fun seeing so many kids and people in a festive mood, lots of cute costumes!!  :) I wore my cute little Team Sparkle skirt. Got lots of compliments and the PR was just a bonus!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Learning the hard way

“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”

– Victoria Holt (1906–1993), British writer
Everyday we’re learning something in life, whether it’s new tip or trick, or learning something new about someone else, we are always absorbing knowledge, even if we try not to, its just natural and a constant learning curve, if you master something, we still want to learn more and be even better it’s about self improvement and becoming a student of life.

I have always had a tendency to be somewhat of a student of the school of hard knocks.  The tuition is typically cheaper, but the lessons learned often cost more in the long run.  This certainly has been the case for me this week. 

Two important things I learned this week:  never count your chickens before they hatch.  And, never take your friends for granted, they may not always be there.  My friends are a very valuable asset to me and I was so hurt when I learned that my actions had upset one of my friends.  I was so afraid to pick up the phone and say "I'm sorry". But in the end, that is exactly what I did.  Fortunately, I was able to make this situation right. As for the other lesson, that one is the most costly and will not be as easy to fix, but I'm hopeful that it will be corrected VERY SOON!!

What life's lessons have you had to learn the hard way??

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Medicare to pay for obesity counseling.

Americans aren't as active as we used to be & studies say 63% of Americans are obese or overweight.  As a health care professional and an individual interested in staying as healthy as possible, I find this a sad and shocking statistic!! It is a known fact that obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and these are some of the most complex, expensive disease processes to treat. I see so many patients who have contributed to their health problems by making poor choices. And, as a tax-payer, I find that very frustrating. We need to be good stewards of out resources. So many people aren't either because of ignorance or indifference.  We need to be educated about the choices that we make regarding our health and wellness.  And we should be held accountable for the choices that we make. I can see that the keys to breaking the obesity cycle are prevention and education. I've wondered why our government hasn't taken a more proactive stand. So, I was delighted when I found out that Medicare will now pay for obesity screening and behavioral counseling.  See the full article below for more details.  I believe this is a step in the right direction. I would prefer my tax dollars be spent on prevention and I hope that those eligible for the benefit will take advantage of it. What are your thoughts??