Here’s a bit of brilliant advice for you

If you stub your toe so hard that you see spots, unicorns, and penguins dancing in your vision, and let loose a string of curse words that may or may not even have been invented yet, it is likely not a good idea to put a band aid on it and just go to the gym.

Especially if it’s a day where you plan to run hill intervals and do legs.

By the time I got home my ring toe (is that even a thing?) was as large as my big toe.  My shoe was literally full of toe.  Talk about a weird, and kinda painful sensation.

I mean sure, I was physically capable of getting through the workout.  But this isn’t the zombie-pocolypse kittens.  There’s no reason to run with a broken toe.  I don’t need the excuse to drink Vodka.  I do just fine on my own.

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Guest Blog Post: New Runner’s Mistakes

running or rum

Hey guess what?  I got my running mojo back.  The foot and Achilles is healed and I am green lighted to start running again!  This is great news since pain isn’t really my thing, but triathlons are, so I’m back to hitting the pavement again.

I’m lucky to have a great resource here in the blog community, and since it’s been FOUR MONTHS since I last ran, I reached out to my girl Ashley over at http://www.chocolatemedals.com/ for some newbie advice.  She just KILLED a half marathon, and managed to train for it without getting injured, with maintaining a healthy balance, and with lots and lots of chocolate and pizza!

Check out her super informative info below on the top 5 mistakes new runners make, and how people like me can start a running plan and be successful!

 

Hello to all of Nicole’s friends and fans :).  My name is Ashley and I blog over at chocolatemedals.com, where I go on and on about my love for running, chocolate, healthy living, and pretty much anything sweet.

Funny enough Nicole’s blog was one of the first that I found when I started my own blog.  I instantly fell in love with her passion for a healthy lifestyle, specifically her focus on Cross Fit, something I have YET to try and am endlessly amazed by.

Admittedly, I’m no pro but have tackled a few missteps (pun intended) in my running journey to date.  Since I have no shame, I thought it might be fun to share some of these with Nicole and her readers in hopes that it keeps some of you from making the same mistakes!

So here in no particular order, are the New Runner’s Mistakes that I have been guilty of (and unfortunately know many others who have shared in my pain!)

Mistake 1:  Don’t have the proper gear: ESPECIALLY Shoes.

When I started running about a year and a half ago, I picked up an old pair of Puma’s from the bottom of my closet.  They were 3 or 4 years old, and probably weighed  2 lbs each.  This, my friends, was my first running mistake.

Running shoes aren’t cheap.  BUT they don’t have to be ridiculously expensive either and they are the best investment you will ever make.  Especially if you enjoy running AND having toenails.    After about 2 months, when I decided I kind of liked this running thing and wanted an ACTUAL pair of shoes, I went to one of those specialty stores that everybody talks about and met with the pros about  what shoes they recommended.  Best idea I ever had.  I never knew how miserable I had been running in those old Puma’s, and within a week of owning those shoes I went from running 3 miles to signing up for my first half.  It made THAT much of a difference.

Mistake 2:  You Don’t Fuel Properly

Ok so this one can go multiple ways.

One:  Have you ever heard of runner’s trots?  Well if you haven’t, they’re exactly what they sound like.  Think about this.  You go out to eat at your favorite Mexican restaurant (love me some Mexican food).  You demolish a thing of chips and salsa, AND your entire quesadilla.  Now try and run after, or even tomorrow morning.  It will NOT be pretty.  Make sure there are porta potties on your route for this one.

Put simply: Eat simply before a long run.  Think good balance of carbs and protein.

Second: If you’re training for DISTANCE, you need to fuel specifically for your long runs.  The general rule of thumb is anything over 60 minutes, you need to ingest carbohydrates and simple sugars for your body to burn.  Now I’ve tried many things: Gu’s, gels, blocks, candy, protein bars.  It really is trial and error for each person — that’s one of the great aspects of long training cycles.  You can test out different fuels, and figure out what your body likes.  Personally, I prefer real food. I’m all about bars and candy — but that’s me.

Mistake 3:  The 10% rule

Again, primarily for people training, but it really does pertain to ANYONE wanting to start a running regimen.  The 10% rule states that you up your mileage PER WEEK by NO MORE than 10% each week.  So think about it.  If you are training for a half, and you run 3 short runs per week with one long run per week, then you shouldn’t be upping your long run by any more than ONE MILE PER WEEK.  And for Fulls, I think the general rule is 2 miles per week, tops.

I’d say stick to this with shorter distance as well.  Running is high impact, and if you want to enjoy and continue running, you’ve gotta up the mileage slowly.  Otherwise you’re asking for a runner’s worst nightmare: Injury.  Been there. Done that.

Mistake 4:  You Go Out Too Fast

Just like with anything else, you’ve got to pace yourself with running.  This one is probably the hardest for me where I’m at in my own running currently.  This is especially important when you are trying to ADD mileage, whether it’s for a marathon or a 5k.  A lot of us are full of energy and excited when we go out, so we go out strong, only to BONK a quarter or half way through our run.

It’s important, especially while you’re training or trying to up mileage, that you conserve your energy for those later miles.  I’ve heard a lot of people actually say to plan to go out slower than your goal pace, and save your energy for the end.  It’s called “negative splits” in runner’s lingo:  your miles get quicker as you go.  That’s something a lot of runners go out trying to achieve — but it takes pacing yourself in the beginning, when it’s most important!

Mistake 5:  You Stress Out!

Really, running should be fun.  It’s a challenge for me every single time I go out, but I love it.  If you are wanting to try and get into running or racing, the most important thing I would remind you to do is remember why you started, and just enjoy the journey.  We all have bad runs, and we all have good runs.  And unfortunately they don’t come on schedule. . . but try and NEVER forget to enjoy the ride!  Because I’m telling you, that runner’s high is worth it every single time!

And that, my friends, are my 5 Common New Runner’s Mistakes.  Now lace up your shoes, and get out there. . . and tell me all about your run! 🙂

10.3.2013

The problem with attending Crossfit during my lunch break is that I don’t stop sweating for probably an hour after I’m done with class.  Since I only get a finite amount of time for lunch, I don’t really have the option of laying naked on the locker room floor until I cool off before changing and going back to work.

Not to mention, who would want to lay naked in a public locker room anyway?  Ewie.

But regardless, the only way to fit in my workout today was to go during lunch, so I made it work.  Even if I am stinky and offensive to my co-workers.

Warm Up: The usual stuff.  Practiced a few toes to bar before class.  If I do a kind of double kipping swing I can get my toes to maybe a foot away.  It sounds pathetic, but I’m not even joking it is SO much closer than I’ve ever been before.

SWOD:  Deadlift 4×3
1×10 RDL @33 warm up
1×3@83
1×3@133
1×3@143
1×3@153 PR

I am starting to appreciate the art that is the deadlift.  This was traditionally my least favorite lift ever, but once I figured out what the coaches actually mean when they say “knees out” and what muscles they want activated, it changed this lift for me.  Now, rather than feeling it in my back I feel it in my glutes where I’m supposed to.

This was an exciting PR.  We pulled for 1 RM right before we moved into the new box back in July and it was every ounce of everything I had to get 143 off the ground.  So a 10 lbs PR for 3 reps makes me very happy.

WOD:

1 mile run (or 1600m row)
then
Isabel (30 snatches for time)

Score: 8:43 with row and 43 lbs

Ok call me sadistic, but this was FUN!  Part of me really wishes I could have run, as I’m sick of my foot hurting, but in truth the workout would have taken me at least twice as long.

Snatching after rowing a mile was unpleasant, which made me glad I kept the weight a bit lighter.  That said, the most I’ve ever snatched is 53 lbs, so as I decided on my weight it seemed like a very silly choice to try to snatch my PR 30 times.

By the time the workout was over though, I really think I could have.  Not having to do a full squat snatch makes me less anxious about the movement.   Obviously, I shouldn’t be able to power snatch more than I can squat snatch, but at the moment I guess I can.  It’s clearly not about strength, it’s about confidence.

Another area for improvement.

9.25.2013

Hit the 5:30 p.m. class.  Yay for going after work and not just skipping all together!  It’s possible that Coach calling us out on facebook again today hit home for me and was what solidified my coming in.

Warm Up:  The usual.  Coach Shifu was leading the class today, which always results in some great conversation and commentary.  He recently went skydiving and the beard (seriously kids, JUST like Shifu’s) made for an interesting video.

Mobility:  Foam rolling, T spine with LX ball, hip mobility with green band.

The hip stuff was… er… hilarious.  I mean, it was a good stretch and I got the point, but it’s always interesting to rub your lady bits all up on a band, and then “switch” with someone who does the same.

Man I hope they soak those things in sanitizer at least once a week.

WOD:
3 RFT
400m run (or 500m row)
21 KB swings
12 ring dips

Time: 14:45 with row, 25 lb bell and green band on dip station

I can officially say, I like WOD’s with rowing.  As painful at my foot injury is, its nice that my alternate activity is something that I enjoy and don’t completely suck at.  I’m actually positive that I row 500m faster than I would run 400.

This was a challenge, and I was last to finish in the class, but it all felt great.  My form stayed good throughout (I tend to get a little sloppy with my swings when I get tiered), so I was happy with that.

The only note to myself- I need the green band if I use the rings, but if I use a dip station I can definitely use a blue one instead.  The dips were almost too easy until the last rep or two of every set.

I left last night without remembering my goals that I set up earlier this week, so I didn’t work on either skill.  Doh!  I will not make that mistake again, I won’t achieve them if I don’t work on them!

9.23.2013

Back at the 6 a.m. class.  I inadvertently took all of last week off. It was one of those scenarios where I overslept most every morning and told myself I would go that night, and inevitably something came up nightly that prevented me from attending.

As much as I’m not happy with myself for that, it was good to get a reminder of why I get up at 5:30 every morning and get my butt there.  That is the BEST time for me and when it best fits my schedule.  It sucks, but I’m now even more resolute in the fact that I need to make it happen daily.

Warm Up:  The usual.  I’m still not running.  My right heel is SCREAMING.  More on that later, but I have a feeling I’m going to be a rowing Godess for more than a little while.

SWOD:
Snatch Balance 4×3
Pendlay Row 4×8

Snatch Balance:
1×3@33
1×3@43
2×3@53

YAY!  PR on the Snatch balance for me and it was freaking easy.  I’ve known for some time now that if I can just gain some confidence with my OHS that I will gain a lot in my snatch as well.  Previously 43 was the heaviest I had ever attempted on this movement and without a lot of confidence.

All that said, I did fail one rep in the final set and it took several more failures before I calmed myself down enough to land a few good reps.  When I get nervous and don’t get under the bar fast enough I have a tendency to come forward on my toes.  Bad form.  Keep practicing.

Pendlay Row:
1×8@33
1×8@63
1×8@83
???

Having never done these before I did a practice set with just the bar.  I’m not sure what happened to my 4th set, but I think I didn’t do it?  We had three people in our group and everyone else had two, so I think when I saw everyone else putting their stuff away I thought I was done.  Oof.  I’m a little cranky with myself for this, as these are supposed to help with pull ups.

Then again, it was 6 in the morning.  It’s possible I did the 4th set and just don’t remember it.  But I’m usually pretty good about that.

WOD:
12 minute AMRAP
60 lunges
50 sit ups
40 push ups
30 wall balls
20 pull ups
10 burpees

Score: 211 with RR

YAY I got through the whole chipper plus one rep!  I honestly didn’t think I would make it all the way through, so I was happy to complete it.

I did the lunges walking, as I really need to practice those.  As in times before, my knee doesn’t go all the way to the ground but I’m getting better.  My balance is definitely improving.

The push ups were super hard after the sit ups, not so much in my arms but in my core!  I was amazed how I kept doing the like, stripper back wiggle thing instead of holding myself tight because my abs were all tingly.  After a few bad reps I got it straightened out, but it just surprised me.  That’s not where those should hurt.

Otherwise everything went about how I thought it would.  Great first day back.  Love AMRAPs, love chippers and love the gymnastic movements.

9.12.2013

Another 6 a.m. workout for me.  This one was a tiny bit rough as I rode last night and then had a (or several) beer after, but luckily the WOD was a shorter one so I hung in there.

Warm Up:  The usual and some shoulder mobility.  I’ve been having some issues with my left side being tight lately.  It’s not painful at all, but my overhead position in that shoulder isn’t as good as my right.  I think a little extra stretching and lacrosse ball work are in order.

Yay sadist punishment.

SWOD:  Snatch Complex (high hang power/top of the knee/floor full squat) 5×2
Warm Up: 2 rounds of the complex with the broom stick
2×2@33 lbs
3×2@43 lbs

I think Snatch isn’t my least favorite lift anymore.  Now, I won’t go so far as to say I’m getting “good” at it, but I’m not ending up on my ass or feeling like I’m going to fall on my face as much anymore.  I’m still coming up on my toes, especially when I pull from the ground into a full snatch, but it’s getting better.

I likely could have done more weight, but the complex had me winded by the end.  Frankly, my body is BEAT today with the extra riding I’ve been doing lately, so I figured I would stay light and work on getting my form perfect rather than go heavy and potentially sacrifice form.

I was really pleased with the way this felt today.

WOD:

3 RFT
50 DU’s
20 walking lunges with db
20 db plank rows

Time: 11:46 with 10 lbs on db and doing a squishy mat/box runny thing instead of DU’s.

So my right heel is killing me still.  Jumping is out.  I modified with one of my classmates doing a kind of step up maneuver on probably an 8 inch squishy mat.  It was less painful than jumping would have been, but still hurt.  I’ll have to ask coach for another mod next time.

Lunges weren’t working at all for me today.  Remember that leg walking lack of coordination thing I have?  Well put dumbells in my hands and apparently its 1000x worse.  I figured it out eventually, need to keep practicing.  It seems like this should be an easy thing for my body to do, but for some reason its not.

The DB plank rows were a new to me maneuver and holy mother of God were they hard.  I want to do them again like, immediately to redeem myself.  I had initially thought I would do this WOD with 15s, but after a few practice reps of those I took it down to 10 and I’m glad I did.   Super awesome girl coach has me doing some plank holds as part of my homework and as much as I hate them, I’m grateful for it as when we do things like this I realize how weak my core still is.

Something tells me my… uh… everything is going to be sore tomorrow.

9.10.2013

Let me preface this by saying, I had an AWFUL day today.  I seriously debated whether or not to even go to Crossfit tonight, and even told a friend jokingly before hand that I was nervous that I would end up getting frustrated and bursting into tears.

Yeah, that’s totally foreshadowing.

Went to 5:30 p.m.  Another big class.  My heel is SCREAMING today, so no running again for me.

Warm Up:  The usual

Mobility:  Pass thrus on the LX ball (ouch)
Hip and ankle band stretches

SWOD: OHS 5×3
1×5@33 warm up
2×3@53
1×3@58 PR
1×3@63 PR
1×3@68 PR

I feel like I haven’t done OHS for strength in FOREVER.  I knew I would get a PR today, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be 15 lbs!  Yay!  The squat work I’ve been doing with super awesome girl coach has really helped me with keeping my torso upright, which has in turn really helped me to be able to stabilize my upper body with this lift.

*whispers* I could have gone heavier.

Super awesome.

WOD:
21-15-9
Burpees
Hang Squat Cleans

Time:  Who f@ck&ing cares @33 lbs

I was starting to feel better mentally after the PRs when we were getting set up for the WOD.  I set my bar up at 53 lbs, did three reps and decided that was a little too ambitious given all the OHS we just did, and the fact that I had did a bike ride over lunch.  I took it down to 43 lbs, did a few reps and decided I could hang with that.

321 go and we were off.  The first 21 burpees actually weren’t bad.  Usually I have to break after 10 to catch my breath, but I had a nice even (aka slow) pace so I just sort of worked through them.

Step up to the bar and do 5 cleans no problem.

Clean #6 my right quad cramps up so bad that I literally fall on my ass.  And thus the WOD deteriorated from there.  I NEVER strip weight mid-WOD, but ended up doing it a few reps later, down to just the bar.  I could NOT shake out my quad, and as a result every 3-4 attempts I ended up on my ass.  I don’t know how I got thru the set of 21, but I’m pretty sure it involved a lot of telling myself that if I did my quad would have a minute to relax.

I don’t think I’ve ever hoped for burpees so badly in my entire life.

15 burpees.  Slow and steady, back up to the bar for cleans and BAM on my butt again on the first attempt… and the second… and the third.

At this point I’m ashamed to say I threw down the bar (with no rubber on it, SORRY COACH) and BURST into tears.

Not even like, cute girly tears either.  But those like sobbing can’t catch your breath snot running down your face tears.

I have never, ever EVER in my entire life wanted to quit so badly as I did in that moment.  There were people DONE with the workout at this point, and I still hadn’t even started my set of 15 cleans.  My quad was cramping so bad that I actually was wondering if I had torn the muscle and on my next attempt the bone was going to snap and come flying out my skin, or something equally as gruesome.

Clearly, I had a lot of positive self talk going on.

So I stood there and cried for about a minute.  I know, because I was watching the clock.  Then I took a deep breath, pulled myself together, and finished the damn workout.

It was UGLY.  So ugly.  Coach was cheering me on and I just kind of kept crying.  He knew something was wrong but knew better than to ask I think, and just kept telling me to pick up the bar.  A few of the people in the next class cheered me on as well, yelling for me to finish.  The dudes that had been around me that were LONG done with their workouts hung out and counted down my last few reps for me.

For the record, I LOVE YOU ALL. 

All told I think it took me about 13 minutes to get through it, which I can’t even fathom.  It felt like an hour.

But the funny thing?  I left it ALL on the floor in class.  I left feeling a thousand times better, and everything that had happened didn’t really matter any longer.

I’m stronger than all of it.  I guess the universe has a funny way of reminding you of that sometimes.

9.9.2013

Skipped 6 a.m. and considered skipping all together because the WOD made me think being waterboarded would be fun.  Coach called out the “cherry pickers” on the website around mid-day, which of course meant I had to go.  Couldn’t allow myself to be called out like that.  Damn it.

Went to 5:30 p.m. along with a million other people.  Evidently I wasn’t the only one who felt called out as I really do think this was record attendance.

SWOD:  Deadlift 4×3
1×10 @ 63 warm up
1×5@ 83 warm up
1×3@ 113
1×3@ 133
1×3@ 143 (PR!)
1×3 @ 133

So I managed 1 set at 143, but when I set up for the second one, I could only get it off the ground once.  As 143 was my previous 1 RM I didn’t want to do too much on a Monday before a long WOD, so I stepped it back to do the last set.

Still exciting.

WOD:

3 RFT
800 m run/ 1000 m row
1 minute plank hold

Time:  Don’t remember- 15 something I think

My right Achilles/heel is a total mess right now.  It went from being sore to outright pain, which likely means whatever injury I had that plagued me for a few months earlier this year is back.  Bummer.  I’m going to have to go and get it looked at methinks, and I hate that.

The good news is, rowing doesn’t aggravate it at all.  I was one of 10 or so who was rowing, so it wasn’t a lonely workout at all.

But that didn’t change the fact that it sucked.  There is nothing fun about that much time on the rower.

Good news was, I kept a really consistent pace the entire time.  I started pulling around 2:10/500 and ended my last 1000m at 2:14/500.  I was a little nervous that I had started out too strong, but I didn’t struggle any more than I expected to keep the pace.  I was struggling in my lungs more than my body by the end.

I also think I goofed the plank on the first round.  I thought it was 1 minute off the rower whether you were holding the plank or not, so I probably did about 30 seconds total of plank and the rest spent panting on all 4s.

When I hopped back on the rower though I realized that people who had finished rowing before me were still toughing out their plank hold.  I felt kind of bad, as it was then clear that it was supposed to be 1 minute of total plank hold regardless of how long it took you with breaks.  I corrected it for the last two.

I suck at plank holds.

Despite all my complaining, I’m glad I went.  I always love the way I feel when it’s over, and it’s always exciting to realize I’m getting stronger than I realized.

9.4.2013

Yay back at 6 a.m.  Man I love those peeps.  I also love the smaller class size.  I know that probably sounds silly after a year of doing Crossfit, I shouldn’t need extra coaching, but I still do.  I really love the interactions we all have, but more than anything, I appreciate that the morning class is small enough that I always get pointers and corrections on technique.

Warm Up:  The usual

Mobility:  Coach had us take off our shoes (and I discovered I could see my electric orange toenail polish through my socks… you know it’s bright when) and roll out our feet using the lacrosse ball.  Holy hell that hurt.  In my left foot my arch was screaming and on my right foot it was all in my heel.  My right achillies is really bothering me AGAIN, so I’m going to row or bike instead of run for the next week or so and see if I can get that inflammation to go down.  I’m also going to do this foot rolling thing at home a few times a week.  For as much as it hurt, it felt great when we were done.

SWOD: Sumo Deadlifts 5×5
1×5@63
3×5@103
1×5@113

I tried for a set at 123 and just didn’t have it.  I admit, I was pretty disappointed with myself.  That said, when I met with coach last week he reminded me, repeatedly, that when coming back from being sick it’s important to scale back and listen to your body.  So yeah, I knew I woudlnt’ be as strong and that’s just where I’m at today.  Still humbling.

WOD:
3 RFT
21-15-9
21 SDHP
15 Pull ups
9 floor wipers

Time: 12:41 @53 lbs with ring rows

This was one of those deceiving workouts when I saw it posted.  It looked like a quick little WOD and honestly, I was disappointed because Wednesdays are traditionally hard days in our box.  Yeah, I was wrong.  This WOD was AWESOME.

I haven’t done floor wipers in a long time,  but they programmed them today as we do the 300 workout every year at our box on 9.11 and coach wanted everyone to have a chance to practice.  I think I’m a masochist.  I like floor wipers.  Though getting the bar up there is hard as heck!

The SDHP were torture.  We haven’t done these in a WOD in awhile and I forgot how much they gas you.  My form felt really great, almost like I was snapping my hips like I would in a KB swing, but man after 5-6 of them I was totally winded and needed a break to just breathe.

I  wasn’t alone.

Fun stuff.  Challenging WOD and great start to hump day!

9.3.2013

Went to the 5:30 p.m. class because, frankly, I was too darn lazy to get out of bed to make it to the 6 a.m.  Need to get back to going in the mornings though as husband is super amazing, but totally misses me if I don’t get home until 7 or 7:30 every night.

Today was a pretty easy day all in all, as most of the box did the Lumberjack 20 on Monday for Labor Day.  As I’m STILL, freaking STILL!!! not at 100% I didn’t participate Monday, but I welcomed the slightly easier class as I need to be nice to my body as I get back into my routine.

Warm Up:  The usual with some changes.  Looks like we’ll be adding inchworms in, which is a good thing for me.  Anything that forces me to be even a little upside down helps me to work on that fear.

Mobility:  A LOT of it.  We foam rolled IT bands and inner thighs (more on that in a later and likely hilarious post), and then did some shoulder mobility work with the bands and the rig.  Good stuff.

WOD:
5 minute AMRAP
Row 10 Calories
20 push ups

Rest 1 minute

5 minute AMRAP
10 med ball slams
20 DU’s/40 SU’s

Score: ??? no freaking idea, but I used the 20 lbs med ball and did singles.  I *think* I did 2 rounds on the rower plus 7 calories, and then 3 rounds plus 9 med ball slams, but that seems really low on reps.  I was trying to keep track on a white board, but I didn’t take a break a few times between rounds so I probably missed marking them off.

Or not.  Who knows?  Shame on me but whatever.  It was a fun WOD.  I went grocery shopping after wards and I’ll tell ya what, lugging the bags into the house made my shoulders VERY aware of how many times I picked that darn med ball up.