Thursday, October 30, 2014

Now what?! Another running injury...

I've been injured before but somehow not even knowing the cause makes it even worse!

Here's a little right foot is a problem child! Ever since a surgery at age 16 due to years of dance injuries, then two cuboid stress fractures during my 2nd marathon which resulted in cuboid subluxation. Add to that posterior tibial tendonosis and you have one angry foot!

It all started Sunday during my run when early on I had this slight foot pain (nothing different than I frequently get). The pain went away but quickly came back while I was walking Cooper after my run. By Monday morning every step meant pain that radiated mid lateral foot to ankle. I even gave in a went to urgent care wondering if I had broken it and not known, but X-Ray negative. This worsened despite doing nothing but walking on my foot and by Wednesday I had enough and saw my sports medicine friend. Sure enough a reread of the X-Ray showed signs of injury around cuboid. So diagnosis is still uncertain: cuboid stress fracture or peroneal tendon partial tear.

So what now?! I have some new foot wear and no running for another 7-10 days.hen see how things feel. Today is day 4 of no running and already I am getting antsy and frustrated! I think the worst part is being so limited. So far upper body strength, pilates, core and bike. Even yoga is too painful! I need to get in the pool this weekend. Unfortunately this week is crazy with Halloween events with O and work schedule that my gym opportunities are very limited. At least I'll have a super strong core after this!

Injuries suck but at least the timing is good considering I planned an easy 1-2 months then back to training. Besides swimming and biking what cardio workouts do you suggest? Maybe I'll be an injured runner for Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hemp Hearts- Benefits and a Review with Recipe!

I'm I've been hearing a lot about hemp hearts for a while now but have never tried them so I was thrilled when I was offered a bag of Manitoba Harvest to review. Honestly I was clueless and had no idea how to use them!
Add caption
Benefits of Hemp Hearts
Plant Based Protein - 10g per tablespoon
High Fiber - 1g per tablespoon
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Lots of Vitamins - Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin B, Manganese, Zinc and Calcium

They sound perfect for a vegetarian runner! I'm always looking for ways to increase protein, iron and calcium. Plus Omega 3s are great for recovery,

I decided to give them a try and here's what I thought...

First try...Salad topper. Wonderful! A little nutty flavor and crunch but not overwhelming.

Next...Pumpkin Mug Cake. Another good pick here! No really added flavor but extra protein is always great!

Pumpkin Mug Cake (GF/Vegan)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce (or other sweetener to add sweetness)
2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1 scoop protein powder (Shakeology of course!)
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Grease microwave safe bowl. Mix liquid ingredients, then add in dry ingredients. Cook 3-4 minutes in microwave. Top with almond butter and enjoy!

Have you tried hemp hearts? How do you use them? Want to try your own? Use code HHSweatPink14 to save 20% off Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekly Goals and Looking Ahead

With the marathon behind me and no real goal races in the near future I'm sitting in that time of the year where things often go the wrong direction, my eating falls apart and I take the rest phase a little too seriously! My new plan for the off season is mini goals and staying on track.

Fitness Goals
  • Morning workouts Monday through Friday
  • P90X3 x 6 days and 2 more core focused
  • Try a new workout
  • 3 pull ups in a row (stuck at 2 right now!)
  • Run 3 days, no technology, just run whatever pace and distance feel good
Non Fitness Goals
  • Stick with meal plan this week
  • Blog 3-4 days
  • Start editing my thesis proposal
  • Work on organizing downstairs
What are your goals this week? Do you suffer when not training for an event?

Remember to keep me on track and help everyone else too I have a 7 Day Healthy Eating Group starting next Monday! To get more info email or enter info on the form and I will be in contact.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Urbini Avi Running Stroller Review- Ready for a change?

Last month I was contacted to review a running stroller and while O is getting older she is still up for the occasional run with mom, although I know our days are limited. The Urbini Avi All-Terrain stroller arrived and the first thing I will say is assembly was a breeze even for me who has an issue reading the instructions! O and I had it out of the box and ready to go in 5 minutes!

I will preface this by saying my run with the Urbini was my first post-marathon run on a windy day and resulted in more of a run walk. We needed to make our typical run to the store for a few groceries before dinner and grabbed the stroller to go. We are lucky to live within 2 miles of 3 different grocery stores meaning most of my small trips are done as part of a run. My first thought was “wow this thing is tough to push!” but then I looked down and realized I never inflated the tires! Oops!

Love the back pocket!
What did I think?
  • For a run/walk with lockable swivel wheel was great
  • Easy to push and steer
  • The bottom had large storage area for all my groceries because those few things always lead to more!
  • Loved the ease of having a small pocket on back of seat (perfect for phone or wallet)
  • Lightweight 22.3lbs (about the same as my other stroller at 23lbs)
  • The adjustable handle allowed for more comfort when transitioning running to walking

A few great features…
  • Self Stands (when folded)
  • Inflatable Rubber Tires
  • 5-Point Harness
  • 2-Position Canopy that blocks more sun than my other stroller
  • Safety Wrist Strap
  • Reclining Seat
  • Cup holder
  • Weight limit of 65lbs so still able to run with my 33lb 4 ½ yo! (other stroller is 70lbs)
  • About half the price of my other stroller $199 v $399 and sold exclusively at Walmart (meaning I would not be in a position to even see this stroller since I do not shop there! But not starting that discussion today!)
  • Available in 5 colors: Blue, Pink, Gray, Red and Yellow
  • Car Seat Package available

Lots of room for groceries

What did O think?
  • She loved hiding behind the large canopy and having the peek-a-boo window above
  • The seat cushion was comfortable
  • Reclining was fun
  • “Mom I could sleep in here!” What more do we need!
  • There was a bar running across the back of her head that she didn’t like!
  • No kid cup holder

"Look mom I can hide!"

Overall I think this is a great stroller for shorter runs, walks or just everyday use at a lower price. The cup holder and back pocket are so convenient and a huge perk. But as someone who ran 75% of their marathon training miles with a stroller I’ll stick with my other for the long runs. I also think that despite O still meeting the weight requirements the set up isn’t ideal for a larger child with the support bars. 

*I was provided the Urbini Avi stroller for review but all opinions are my own.

 What do you look for in a running stroller? What is your favorite?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Planning 2015- What marathons should I run?

What does a typical runner do in the days after a marathon? You pick your next marathon of course! But I need your help...

I've been researching Spring marathons but just can't decide so I need suggestions. Remember I live in the midwest that can easily become a frozen tundra all winter meaning training only happens on the treadmill.

My criteria...

  • Late spring or early summer
  • PR type course
  • Easy for spectators to get around
  • Not too crowded but not 10 runners either (I've run both extremes)
  • Easy to travel to either by car or plane from midwest
  • Not over priced
Bonus criteria...
  • Associated kids race (in case we bring O) and 1/2 marathon
  • Fun destination to turn into a mini vacation
  • In a state I haven't run yet, so far I have run: AZ, CA, FL, WA, MA, IL, MN, SD, ND, IA, GA
Alright share your favorite spring marathons...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Marathon Recap...The short version

The long version will come later once I finish and edit the novel it is becoming...

Anyone who has followed me knows the past couple years have been injury filled with the peak coming at Boston this April where I nearly quit at Mile 15 due to pain which resulted in time off and lots of rehab. I was back at running but with no speedwork. 5 months ago I was told by my sports doctor and PT that it was unlikely I'd run a fall marathon but I'm thrilled that Sunday I ran my 26th marathon!

This was all thanks to lots of hard work, intense PT, session of graston and acupuncture with my sport chiro and all the rgith workouts. These workouts meant decreased miles and increased cross training: P90x3 for the agility, core and eccentric strength and PiYo for core stability and balance and I was able to run again even sooner than anyone thought!

This wasn't a goal race but starting out with a great 21 miles I thought it might end up that way. My plans soon changed as I struggled the final 5 due to what was likely hypoglycemia (an issue I've never had during a marathon) I finished in 3:40:13 missed a BQ by 14 sec. After a few minutes of disappointment I quickly decided I was thrilled to be running pain free and accomplishing something that just months ago wasn't going to happen!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Staying on track with healthy eating post marathon

I know I’ve said it many times but I have a slight obsession with fall foods: pumpkin, apples, squash, etc. and love the winter comfort foods of chili, soups, ciders, etc. Combine this post-marathon and less training and I tend to eat less healthy, indulge more and feel more sluggish come fall/winter. This year I am not letting this happen! Does anyone else feel this way?

This weekend is my marathon and I’m allowing myself a week of recovery, indulging, wine tasting and fun but then I’m holding myself accountable for healthy eating including no Halloween candy. I decided to extend this to others who want to join me for this accountability. I’m opening a FREE 7 Day Healthy Halloween Eating Challenge group beginning October 23rd.

Do you need to…
Get back on track or stay on track with healthy eating?
Figure out easier ways to make comfort foods?
Limit the indulgences?
Get your family into healthy eating?

Do you want accountability and support of others on this journey? Join us on this 1 week real food eating challenge. Take a week to give up refined sugars, refined carbs, increase water intake and healthy carbs, fruits, veggies. There will be options for vegan plans too!

Fill out your info Here and I’ll get you added to the group next week. Also feel free to post questions in comments or email me

I'm ready to get started and stay on track as winter arrives, I'm brainstorming ways to make this a recurrent group throughout winter if there is interest.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Marathon Weekly- Race Week!

Marathon week is here and after the past 2 weeks of sickness it continues with O. Combine this with my less than wonderful training after injury and I truly am going into the race with minimal goals. I always have it in my head to run a qualifying time since I am without one for the first time in 4 years. Despite not going to Boston in 2015 and probably not in 2016 I like having that time just in case I decide to go. For me this would mean a 3:40, last year I ran a 3:31 at this marathon so who knows. The past week I took things extra easy, taper to the max! But did get in some great P90X3 workouts.

Since I never posted my plan for the week here is what I accomplished on my easy week…

  • 5 Days P90X3
  • 4 Days running:  Tues: Hills, Thurs: Intervals, Sat: Long run fail! Tried running after work and quit at 2 miles due to fatigue Sun: 8.5 Miles
  • Rehab with TENS, rolling and acupuncture
  • 3 additional core focus days

Non Fitness Accomplishments:
  • Emptied my To Do List!
  • Hair cut/color that was much needed!
  • Kindergarten info fair
  • Family pictures
  • Finish painting basement

Sneak Peek from family pics!

Like I said this is marathon week! My 26th marathon and as mentioned I am treating like a goal race but with loose goals. This week I am trying to do everything right, following my pre marathon rituals and making the most of the week in hopes that the unimaginable big goal might be out there!

Fitness Goals
  • 6 Days P90X3 (Transition week so lots of easy days with yoga, pilates and stretching, perfect!)
  • 4 Days running:  Tues: Hills, Thurs: Intervals, Sat: Easy run with my training team Sun: Marathon!
  • Daily TENS and rolling. Acupuncture Monday and Thursday and graston Monday.
  • 3 additional core focus days

Non Fitness Goals:
  • Start Part 3 Project Plan
  • Pack for weekend including Cooper’s stuff on Friday
  • Write 3 blogs this week
  • Try not to be too obsessive on weather tracking!
  • No wine or dairy this week

What are your goals this week? Any premarathon rituals?

Friday, October 10, 2014

A little Loony! TC Loony Challenge

In the midst of our last "smart" running idea we decided that the Loony was next, this consisted of a 10K & 5K on Saturday then 10 Mile on Sunday, I mean after Dopey this was nothing! Not so much considering what I went into the weekend like. Early last week strep hit our house and by Thursday it was my turn! By Saturday I was feeling somewhat better but the antibiotics had started to mess with my gut :( Matt was running so I decided to go and just take it easy. The morning was cold and windy so I bundles up tights and all.

10K: The race was an out an back on the final 3 miles of TC Marathon course, meaning hills and straight into the wind to start!. I settled into a comfortable pace and just ran, no watch to look at. After a potty stop at Mile 3 I made the turn back and was happy the wind was at my back. The final mile is pretty much downhill, 52:15 and I was done! It felt fine, no pushing anything but I was fine.

5K: After staying warm in the care for about 30 minutes we were back at the start line ready to go. This race was a mess! It is aimed at elites down to school groups but lacked common sense in some. The group on the start line was not the elites but an elementary school group intermixed with elites, yikes! Same course as 10K just shorter, duh! Uphill and trying to weave kids who were hand in hand sprinting then stopping was enough to make anyone scream! Luckily I was not racing so whatever. I chatted with a friend from a run group and we ran for awhile then it was all downhill to the finish. 24:00 and easy race, time to warm up!

1 Mile: Now was O's turn! She lined up and Matt joined her and they waited for all the older age groups to go. Her's too was an out and back the final stretch of the TCM course. She is still in child running mentality and would do the sprint and stop method! Guess we work on that :) Soon I saw her smiling face coming down the hill to finish! Around 13:00, so proud of my little runner
10 Mile: Why am I waking up this early in the cold? Oh, right I'm a runner and paying for this! I honestly would have stayed in bed had I not been driving friends to the race! I knew I once again planned to run comfortable and no pressure or goals, just have fun. We walked to the start and waited til the last minute to shed the final layers and check our bags
Do we look warm?
Dawn and I headed to corral 1 and tried to stay warm for the final few minutes. And soon we were off, but despite reminding Dawn I was NOT racing and her insisting we were going easy our pace was not agreeing! We ran and chatted the first few miles but after almost 3 hilly miles of sub 8 I let her go ahead and slowed down knowing I had nothing to prove and just needed to be smart. I settled into an easier pace and just decided to enjoy the run. Soon we were hitting Summit and I was feeling slightly jealous of the marathoners (okay not really since I would have never survived 26.2 the way I was). Somehow those hills seem much less at miles 6-10 then 21-26! I soon rounded the corner and there I could see the finish line, downhill and go...1:20:55 By no means my fastest but I'll takes it!
ONly slightly warmer afterwards!
I finished and said so more race challenges, but Monday I saw I had finished 6th in the challenge despite times I could easily improve so I'm toying with the idea of going back.
The collection of Loony medals

Friday, October 3, 2014

Banana Nut Muffins-Single Serve

This has been an odd week! First we went from 80 degree weather to 40s and rainy with a weekend forecast of snow flurries. I got to spend Wednesday at home with O due to our babysitter (my mom) getting strep. And now the sickness has hit me! Luckily I was able to sneak over to urgent care at work yesterday, get my diagnosis (duh!) and start antibiotics. I’m so happy that I’m not running the marathon this weekend. I’m just hoping to feel well enough this weekend to do the 3 races I have at an easy pace.

On Wednesday I decided O and I needed a little dessert after lunch and I needed to use up my overabundance of Costco bananas. So let the experiementing begin…

“Single Serve” Banana Nut Muffins (Makes 2)
1 banana mashed
2-3 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk- vanilla
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup buckwheat flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp walnut pieces

Mashed banana, milk and vanilla together. Add in dry ingredients and mix. Top with nuts. Place in microwave safe bowl (I used 2 ramekins) and cook 2-3 minutes.

Super easy and healthy way to quickly use up a banana. What is your favorite single serve treat?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Another approach to pain control: Electrotherapy and a Giveaway!

Over the past year (okay 2 years) I've written a lot on my journey through injury and now being smart. I've tried just about every method of injury management/treatment within my reach and when I was contacted to review a nonmedication pain control product I jumped at it!

Way in the past I had a foot injury (think high school past!) from years of dance and through my rehab TENS was one of the treatments but it has been years.

What is TENS?

  • TENS Technology: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) technology has been used by medical professionals such as physical therapists and chiropractors for more than 30 years

After a long run my calf and hip were tight and sore, as I sat writing part one of my thesis proposal I decided to give it a try. The pads were super easy to place and the unit was frazzled mom, grad student user friendly! In just a couple steps it was ready to go. I picked my intensity level (1-10) and method (settings for specific body parts or types of pressure).

I settled on intensity 4 and leg mode. about every 15-30 seconds the form of therapy changed for shorter bursts to deeper pressure and back. It was odd at first but I soon forgot I had it on. 15 minutes later the machine shut off and the pads easily came off, no sticky residue and the machine packed up easily. As I walked my calf felt less tight and when I later used on my hip I felt better after. It is small and easy to grab and go, I've used it a few times after a run while I waited to meet friends.

I have since used a few times to my hamstring/hip and it definitely decreased the pain level I had. It also helped to loosen the muscle. Matt also used it on his back and felt that it gave him some decrease in pain level too. Have you used a TENS unit? What did you think?

I'm excited to have another tool to add to my pile of running injury tools! Now off to see the chiro for Graston and acupuncture.

Guess what?! Omron is also giving a Pro TENS unit to one of my readers...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was given the product for review and giveaway but all opinions are my own. Please check with medical provider before using a TENS unit.