Seven Mile Success

It’s been over seven months since I have attempted any run beyond 6.0 miles. Even then, I can count the number of times I have run 5.0+ miles since the Disney Marathon on my ten fingers.

 

I have become so tired of feeling like I am “not a runner anymore” and decided to change that. I got tired of saying things like, “I am so out of running shape.” I noticed that it started bothering me that ALL of the girls I trained for the marathon with have either run another marathon since, are training for another, or have some other epic goal (like an ironman) in mind. I miss running! I miss racing, and training, and feeling proud of myself for accomplishing something that I have worked hard for.

 

My life has drastically changed since January. I moved twice, graduated from college, had a knee injury, and other crazy life stuff. I think that a long break from official training was absolutely necessary and made me want to come back to the sport even more.

 

About a week ago, I decided to get back into training mode. I have been sporadically running for a few months, and want to slowly build back up. I am planning on running the Miracle Miles 15k as well as a half marathon before the end of the year. I am so pumped!

 

Last night, I dug the Garmin out of storage, and charged her up.

 

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My alarm went off promptly at 6:00am and I ate half a CLIF bar, just like old days. Sweet bliss.

 

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I met Joanna, who is brand new to running and one of my BFF Debbie’s other bridesmaids, for a long run. She is also training for Miracle Miles, and we have decided to do our long runs together! Hooray for a new training buddy!

 

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Joanna has never run more than 6.0 miles in her life, so it was definitely an exciting challenge for both of us! We agreed that we would walk if necessary, slow down, stretch, anything we needed to do to complete the run. No pressure! Neither one of us are dying to be injured, and taking it slow was a must.

 

It was quite easy to stay slow considering the scenery we were enjoying!

 

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Joanna and I discussed all things about running: which type of socks to wear? why does my toe hurt? All awesome questions that I myself had to ask when I began running.

 

We chatted, ran, and walked a bit and finally completed our goal: 7.0 miles!

 

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Total Running time: 1:17:35

 

  • Mile 1:  10:40
  • Mile 2:  10:24
  • Mile 3:  10:33
  • Mile 4:  12:46 (walked over bridge)
  • Mile 5:  10:19
  • Mile 6:  12:19 (more walking… sooo tired!)
  • Mile 7:  10:27

 

Congrats on the new PDR, Joanna! 😀

 

I forgot how hard (yet awesome) it feels to run 7.0 miles! I am way slower than I used to be, but I’m proud of myself for getting back out there. It’s so easy to be discouraged right now, but I just keep telling myself that I can only compare myself… to myself. I know what I have been doing, and I know what I’m capable of.

 

YAY! Seriously, I never ever thought I would be happy about an 11:00+ average pace. I guess I can surprise myself!

 

Post-run breakfast was a Strawberry-banana chobani:

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My 13-year old roomie helped me separate my food from the family’s yesterday by plastering my name and a zillion decorations. Excessive, but gets the point across… not that I mind if they eat my food!

 

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Plus, raspberries.

 

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Yum, yum!

 

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Now, if only I had a glass of Orange juice… I think this morning would be perfect. 😉

 

I know that it will take time to get back to my old level of fitness, but I don’t think it will take as much time as it did the very first time. 

 

Have you ever taken an extended vacation from running? How did it feel when you came back to it?

 

❤ MegaNerd

Tweaking Things

Occasionally when I ride my bike for periods of time over an hour or so, the front of my left knee starts to hurt. NOT the same knee as the one I injured from running (that was the right.)

 

According to bicycling.com, the cause is under-extension of my leg in the pedal stroke. This means that my leg doesn’t get a change to stretch out because the saddle is too low.

 

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I raised my bike seat up about 1.5 inches (can you see the line where it used to be?) and it made all the difference in the world!

 

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On my bike ride yesterday with Kelly, I felt absolutely NO knee pain! Success! This sure would have been nice to know during the half metric century ride. Hmph.

 

I love figuring out simple fixes to big problems.

 

Speaking of which, I had a pounding headache this morning. I hit up Dunkin Donuts for a small iced coffee on the way to job #1 to fix that problem.

 

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Lunch was leftovers from the other night…

 

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…they didn’t reheat well. The sauce got all watery. Maybe I put it in the storage container too early and it melted the sauce?

 

I also had Trader Joe’s sweet potato chips and an apple. YUM!

 

Well, I’m off to job #2. Still no word on the engineering job interview I went on last week, keep your fingers crossed!!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Crutch to 5K

There are so many wonderful “couch-to-5k” plans out there for beginning runners needing a good place to start. What about those of us that get injured and have to start over?

 

I scoured the internet, and came up empty handed. I made up my own plan based on the fact that I know I can already comfortably run 2.0 miles at a time.

 

I now present to you the CRUTCH-to-5k plan.

 

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This plan is VERY simple. I really do not want to get injured again, so I am easing back into running very slooooowly. Speed work can come later, I just want to get back into the routine more than anything!

 

I plan to still do the same amount of cross training, but add in running. I haven’t really been consistently blogging my workouts, but for the past couple of months I have been biking 3 or 4 times a week, and strength training at least twice a week.

 

I am going to follow the 10% increase rule very strictly. Basically if I run x miles one week, I’m only going to run 10% more the next week. I figured out that its going to take me almost the entire summer to get back to my normal base of around 25 miles per week. I hope that being patient pays off!

 

This morning I met with Katy to run 2.5 miles around the lake.

 

 

Before I left, I fueled up with a banana and almond butter. My stomach is always growling from the second I wake up!

 

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I packed a Chobani yogurt with Kashi heart to heart and granola for my second half of breakfast to eat at work.

 

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Happy Running!

 

❤ MegaNerd

In Need of Motivation

It’s Friday, everyone’s favorite day of the week!

 

I think I make French Toast every Friday. It’s becoming a tradition!

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I have a ridiculous amount of berries in my fridge. I bought 4 for $5 strawberries and a costco sized blackberry container. I need to figure out a way to use all these berries before they go off!

 

Is it possible to bake with fresh berries?! It has to be.

 

Anyways, I took about a cup of berries and topped them with a teaspoon of sugar in a bowl. I then heated it for 1 minute. It made an excellent addition to my french toast, and I only needed a tiny bit of syrup to make it sweet!

 

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SO GOOD!

 

Motivation

Coming back from injury can be tough. Ok, let’s be real… it sucks. It is really hard to think that “x amount of time ago” I was in WAY better shape. Now it hurts just thinking about going that far.

 

I sometimes feel so unmotivated to even start back again, because I feel like I am starting from scratch. I basically have no running endurance anymore, I have gained a bit of extra weight from my decreased activity, etc.

 

Last night, I got to thinking about what motivated me to run in the first place. Obviously, I am not starting COMPLETELY over, and I have my past accomplishments to remind me of what I am capable of.

I made a list of thoughts that will motivate and encourage me to get back out and run–even if that means just one or two miles.

 

  • Keep in mind what I know I am capable of!

 

  • Be excited for a new challenge. Being is beginner is kind of fun!

 

  • Even though I haven’t been running, I’ve been keeping my heart strong with biking. Cross training is so important! Without my injury, I may have never done it!

 

  • Running is not everything. It is part of who I am but it is not everything.

 

  • Start slow, and enjoy it! There is no need to rush back into it. That’s how injuries happen!

 

  • Stop comparing your “now” self to your “then-in-running-shape” self. It takes time to get back there.

 

  • Make goals for where I am today. Three months ago, before I was injured, 3 miles was an “easy” day. That is more of  a “long run” now.  My goal is to make 3.0 miles feel “easy” again.

 

This list is sort of for myself, but I hope that it will benefit other injured runners!

 

Don’t give up!

 

 

❤ MegaNerd

Starting from Scratch

Good morning!

 

I worked 10 hours yesterday (two different jobs) and didn’t feel like blogging or exercising. This morning, I woke up early so I could do both! (Oh, and to finish some homework before heading off to my early class)

 

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I attempted my second run post-injury this morning. My first run after three and a half weeks off was pretty rough. 

 

I decided to take it slower this morning, and not force myself into a certain pace. I completed 2.0 miles in 20:40, and I had no knee pain. I still feel really out of shape… it’s frustrating me. I feel like a beginner again. 😦

 

My refreshing breakfast cheered me up!

 

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I pretty much drink smoothies every day now. I crave them! They are so yummy! My current favorite includes pineapple, strawberries, banana, and vanilla yogurt.

 

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Plus a half blueberry bagel with almond butter.

   

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YUM!

 

I feel like a beginning runner all over again. I seriously feel so unmotivated to run because it hurts and I am so slow (compared to my normal speed).  I don’t know how I got so out of shape!? My cardiovascular system feels fine, but my legs just feel awkward and heavy.

 

It’s been about three months since I have run regularly (wow… that is a long time!) and I feel like I have to start from scratch. When I am not training, I like to keep a base of 20 miles per week. My average is probably 1.0 mile/week right now…

 

I need a plan!

 

Have you ever been forced to take a longer break from running? How did you stay motivated to push through? I’m having a tough time!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Up and Running

It’s been three full weeks since I have run. Even ONE step.

 

I could “officially” run on Tuesday (two weeks after getting a cortisone shot in my knee) according to the Doctor, but I have been way too busy.

 

This morning, I woke up and decided I would run 2.0 miles before work. It felt great to be running again, but I definitely lost some fitness. It was very hard for me and i wanted to stop after 0.35 miles. Not joking.

 

I completed the run in 18:57, which is my normal pace (around 9:30 min/miles).

 

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I finished feeling exhausted! I can’t believe three months ago I ran an entire marathon, and now two miles feels so strenuous. It’s going to take some time to get back in running shape.

 

Before I left, I had a mini-clif Bar. These are perfect for pre-workouts when I know that I’m going to be eating breakfast in just an hour or so.

 

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When I returned from my run, all I could think was “I want a smoothie!”. It is HOT outside. When did that happen?!?!

 

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I combined:

  • half frozen banana
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice

Blend, and enjoy!

 

I also had a slice of toast topped with Almond butter for some protein.

 

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Lovely breakfast:

 

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I picked up a second job to help pay the bills, and I started that last night. I left my apartment at 6:30 am for school and didn’t get home until after 8:00 pm! Needless to say, I didn’t feel like running…or blogging last night. Just sleeping!!

 

I did manage to make a delicious dinner last night before crashing. I got this idea from Caitlin, and I absolutely LOVED it.

 

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Microwaved sweet potato topped with vegetarian baked beans (from the Publix can). Amaaaazing combination.

 

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Plus, steamed green beans with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

 

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I will definitely be eating this meal again. Delicious, and CHEAP!

 

Off to work I go!!

 

❤ MegaNerd

25 Miles and a Turtle Rescue

In preparation for the upcoming bike race, I set out to ride 25.0 miles on my bike this morning.

 

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Considering that the bike race is in less than two weeks, and I haven’t gone more than 15.0 miles in months, I am planning to drop from the 100k to the 50k distance. Riding 31.0 miles through the hills of Clermont, FL will still be a challenge!

 

I think that it is just safer to drop to the more manageable distance than trying to push myself to ride 60+ miles when my body isn’t used to it. I’m just starting to recover from my knee injury and I don’t want to push it.

 

Before I left, I made some breakfast.

 

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My new favorite Chobani flavor, pineapple

 

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…and a slice of peanut butter toast. My bread looked sort of heart-shaped, so I cut the corners off. 😀

 

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The thing I LOVE about biking is that I can pretty much eat anything before a ride, as long as I eat enough. Totally NOT the case with running. My stomach is very sensitive to all the jumbling around.

 

Mark is planning to join me at the bike race, so he came along this morning.

 

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We met up with Caitlin, who rode one loop around the airport with us. It’s fun having biking pals that live so close!

 

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We biked 25.0 miles in 1 hour and 38 minutes. The wind kept changing, so our speed varied from 13.0 mph all the way to 22.0 mph!

 

The distance isn’t going to be an issue, but I need to get used to the hills!

 

Mid-way through the ride, I spotted a turtle in the middle of the rode. There isn’t much traffic where we bike, but I felt really bad for it! Luckily, we found it in time. We saved the turtle!!!

 

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The bike ride made me SO hungry…next stop, Crankytown! (I get really grumpy when I’m hungry.)

 

We headed out for lunch since I didn’t really have anything for us to eat at my place. Quizno’s (sandwich shop) is on the way, so we stopped and had sandwiches.

 

I got a Regular Turkey Bacon Guacamole (sans ranch- yuck!). It was EPIC.

 

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My sub had:

  • turkey
  • bacon
  • guacamole
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • salt and pepper
  • whole wheat bread

I ate every last bite!

 

Not even two hours later, I got a smoothie craving.

 

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I threw a bunch of random things into the blender but it tasted extremely banana-y. By the time I was finished, I think it had:

  • frozen banana
  • frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup of vanilla soy milk
  • 4 slices of pineapple

Not my finest work, but hit the spot.

 

Biking makes me SO hungry, almost more than running does! I have absolutely no idea how many extra calories I burn biking, but I’m pretty it’s a decent amount!

 

Does exercise make you hungrier? Sometimes I feel like running can suppress my appetite, but other times it sends my hunger levels through the roof!

Time to stop eating my homemade trail mix and find some dinner.

❤ MegaNerd