Archive | October, 2012

Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!  

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There are a lot of Halloween themed races going on this time of year and they look like a blast! I’ve always thought it would be fun to dress up in costume for a race.  I think I’ll add this to my bucket list. I mean, what could be more fun than running anywhere from 1 to 26.2 miles or more with a full-on beer bottle suit or being chased through the woods by zombies?! Amiright?!

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Check out some races around the country listed here or enter your zip code and think about signing up for one next year!

Seeking Alternatives

30 Oct

My first thoughts for the day go to all of those in the path of Hurricane Sandy who are now dealing with the devastating aftermath. There is certainly a sense of relief in my area, which received far less damage than predicted. I cannot imagine losing my home or having to pick up the pieces as many people are doing right now. My heart is with friends, family, and all others affected by this disaster.

Since all of my individual clients rescheduled their appointments for today in anticipation of the storm, I had most of the day off. After consulting with some experts (ahem, the Internet) on what exercises I could still do with a probable stress fracture in my foot, I decided to try some low impact alternatives to running. I ate a Thomas’ pumpkin spice English muffin with peanut butter (sooo good!) and headed to the gym.

First, I watched the coverage on the hurricane while peddling on the stationary bike. Overall, this was a good way to workout without putting much pressure on my foot and aggravating the Mysterious Foot Injury. However, I had to stop after half an hour because it was just too uncomfortable on my backside. I also really dislike using cardio machines. Boring.

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31:32 total time | 7.15 miles | 13.6 mph speed

Then I grabbed a stability ball and did some basic upper arm exercises while leaning on it. Shoulder press, bicep curls, triceps, arm raises, chest press. All low weight with high reps. I didn’t bring my photographer with me, so there aren’t any awkward cool pictures of me actually doing these. I topped it off with a brief ab workout.

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For years I’ve stuck to a personal policy of not weighing myself regularly. Seriously, the only time I weigh myself is at the doctor’s office. This is to avoid being overly self-critical about my body and obsessing over a number. I prefer to judge my progress by other measures – e.g., hitting a target pace or distance, calories burned, seeing visible changes in my body. Most importantly, I judge my progress by how I feel. And despite limited mileage over the past three weeks, I feel slimmer and lighter. This might have something to do with sticking to my goal of eating less sugary junk…. Whatever it is, it feels good!

Post-workout photo shoot, moments before the power went out:

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Hurricane Sandy: Help Those in Need (American Red Cross)

Monday Meditation: Shift Happens

29 Oct

I don’t know what came over me yesterday morning, but I woke up in a pretty considerable funk.  Maybe it was the anxiety of Hurricane Sandy’s approach to the Northeast, the list of chores to do with very little time, or serious caffeine withdrawal. Whatever it was, I was a little off kilter. As I was hemming and hawing and whining like a child, my husband threw his arms up and said, “OH MY GOD! When will you be able to start running again?!” I of course proceeded to beat him senseless with a flimsy cardboard paper towel tube. There, that feels better.

In all seriousness, he had a point. Being out of my routine has been difficult and stressful. Since running is not a safe option right now (unless I want to end up with a cast on my foot), I searched the trusty Internets for some wise words to help me get through my current lack of mileage. This is what I found:

“If you aim for a lifetime of running, you will hit bumps on the road. The challenges we each encounter are uniquely ours, but they will come. We all have good years and bad. Shift happens. Life requires us to make adjustments, to change course. Some years, when the waters of your life are calm and you feel a sense of control at the helm, you’ll race hard, and hope for personal bests. Other years, beset by a perfect storm of turbulence, you’ll have to settle for less. That’s okay. Less is still something; just don’t surrender and abandon ship.”

-Amby Burfoot

At the core of mindfulness is the idea of acceptance. As runners, there will be a time when we encounter circumstances that get in the way of doing what we love – be it an injury, a family emergency, an unexpected crisis, a last minute change in plans, a Frankenstorm, etc. We can spend a great deal of time lamenting these challenges and their impact on our ability to get a tempo run in, hit a race PR, or even to lace up and hit the road at all. It can be easy to give up or give in to the misery of “the run that got away.” Or, we can adjust to these challenges by taking care of ourselves, finding alternative exercises or stress relievers, and altering our goals.

Shift happens. Sometimes that means hanging up our running shoes (temporarily) and letting our bodies heal. And that’s OK. Until I can safely get back to running again, I will remind myself of this every day. My focus for now will be on resting and healing the Mysterious Foot Injury (AKA unconfirmed stress fracture), exploring low-impact alternative cross training options, and altering my goals for upcoming winter races.

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