Sunday, June 29, 2014

Random Sunday Musings 6/29

I did 30 minutes on the bike Saturday morning :-)  It felt good, but my quads were definitely feeling it afterwards.  I foam rolled and winced a couple times.  Between 24 minutes on the AlterG treadmill on Wednesday and 30 minutes on the bike, my psyche is feeling pretty good right now.  I also did some thinking while biking and realized my extra ITB pain started last year when my LRS moved me out of stability shoes and into a more neutral shoe.  Monday we'll experiment with shoes at PT and go from there.  I'm starting to look at what's out there stability shoes wise, but I'm fighting the urge to buy new ones.

The USMNT is into the knockout rounds at the WC!  I took the day off Thursday so I wouldn't be pacing at work.  I learned my lesson 4 years ago.  When we had to beat Algeria to advance, I was a nervous wreck.  I tried so hard to focus on work stuff but for those two hours, I kept getting sidetracked and checking the score.  We play Belgium on Tuesday, and I'll be more calm, despite it being the knockout rounds.  We advanced, which is more than I can say about many teams ranked higher than us.


Sunday: rest

Monday: PT

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: PT

Thursday: rest

Friday: hip exercises

Saturday: 30 minutes bike

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Second Week of PT

I guess Thursdays will be my PT updates until other scheduling.  Right now I'm doing two sessions a week, Monday and Wednesday.  Yesterday I not only did 10 minutes on the bike, but also 24 minutes on the AlterG.  I did have a little pain on the outside of my very upper calf, but the therapist experimented and taped my right arch after I started having pain at 8 minutes, and it helped a lot.  He also worked on mechanics with me, to exaggerate the mid foot strike and running stride.  Lean forward and act like you're trying to kick your butt.  The feet will land right underneath you.  That's what I did for 16 minutes post-taping.

I'm taking both pairs of shoes on Monday and we'll experiment with those.  I over-pronate like crazy and I used to be in stability shoes, until ASICS changed too much when they moved to the GT-2000s.  I loved ASICS for years and haven't really moved on.  Yes, I've worn Brooks, Newtons and Altras, but I haven't loved them like I did ASICS.  I'm starting to think I might need stability shoes again, but I'll wait to see what happens next week, switching up different shoes on the AlterG.  The tape was great but I don't want to have to tape my feet every time I want to run.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Where in the World: Kansas City

My friends and I trekked up to Kansas City in 2011 for an FC Dallas game.  This way my first real time in KC.  I don't count driving through.  We were there for two days but I finally got to see parts of the city.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I'm a Parrothead

Saturday my cousin, her husband and I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert up in Frisco.  This was my 7th concert and the weather turned out to be much better than what I was expecting since Saturday was the first day of summer.  In Dallas.  I expected it to be hot hot hot but the forecast changed the day before to being cloudy.  I was keeping my fingers crossed that would be true, to try to hold off the sun's power.  I still slathered on the sunscreen... I thought I bought SPF 30 but it was SPF 55.  My pasty white skin was going to stay pasty white.  Be jealous y'all, the sun bounces off my legs.

So how did I become a Parrothead?  Well, my parents had the "Songs You Know By Heart" CD that we listened to, but I didn't "get it" until college.  I was studying for finals one semester and was about to stress out/spazz out and hit the ceiling when I pulled up iTunes and selected Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude.  My stress levels lowered pretty quickly and I started listening to more Buffett songs.  I now have two separate lists on my iPod, one for studio recordings and one for concert recordings.

My first 4 concerts were in Massachusetts, either in Mansfield, or at Gillette Stadium.  I have to say, I didn't enjoy the set up at Gillette like I did the set up in Mansfield.  Mansfield has an amphitheater, but the lawn's been taken up by permanent seats.  It's still a fun place to see a concert.  I saw Buffett in concert in MA in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, then transferred down to Texas, Frisco in 2010 and this year, and at the Woodlands in 2012.  The Woodlands is my favorite setup.  Like Mansfield, it's an amphitheater, but it has a lawn.  I hope they keep the lawn because that was fun.  We didn't have to buy a block of tickets, and you can spread out a little on the lawn and get your own space.

The song choices Saturday were good, though I was hoping for one song from his new album, Songs from St. Somewhere, since he sung it in Houston.  It's I Want to go Back to Cartagena, but he did not sing it :(  Oh well, he's got a ton of songs and can only get to a fraction of them in a two-hour concert.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Random Sunday Musings 6/22

OK, where is June going?  Seriously, it's now late June and the month just started.  This was the month I had a lot planned, and now it's the 22nd?

I've been watching the World Cup since it started on the 12th, and Allie finds it exhausting.

I'm sure she also finds me nuts during this time, especially on Monday.  Ghana's had our number since 2006 and we finally beat them.  I didn't go nuts until the final whistle.  She just stayed on the couch and stared at me.  "You're crazy."  Yes, baby, I am.


Saturday I tried to run like PT wanted me to, but  I only made it 8 minutes, again.  This time the slight twinging was coming at a spot lower than the cortisone site.  The good news is I was able to bike 10 minutes after that.  Before, I wouldn't have been able to do that.  At least I can take this to PT on Monday and see what they can do with this new information.


Monday: PT, 10 minutes bike

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: PT, 10 minutes bike

Thursday: rest

Friday: hip exercises, core Pilates

Saturday: 8 minutes treadmill, 10 minutes bike

Thursday, June 19, 2014

2nd Round of PT

I've followed the ortho doc's advice and have started the PT he prescribed, and they've found a major weak spot - my hips.  They worked my hips pretty good the first day and just keep building from there.  On Monday they added 3 more exercises on top of what I did last week, and then Wednesday they added even more. 

The killer exercise is done on something similar to this.  Same concept but they have a different model:

Standing up straight, facing sideways from the machine, with one foot on the ledge and one foot on the sliding platform, slide the platform out as far as you can.  20 reps.  By the time I get to 20 on one side, I can barley finish the rep.  Then the fun part, switch sides, when my hips are already dead.  20 more reps.

"You survived the fireswamp so you must be very brave.  But no one withstands the MACHINE."

Also, bit of advice... even if you think your sports bra is in your bag, double check.  I could've sworn I packed one for Monday, but there was none in my gym bag when I went to change.  Luckily I have next to no bosom so I was able to do PT in a regular bra.  That is not something I'd recommend though.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Where in the World: London

I've been to London 4 times, so this will be a compilation of the last three trips.  I don't have pictures of the first trip.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It's Peach Season

I headed to Sprout's this past weekend, and it's peach season.  Not only because they had tons of peaches, but because the peaches I bought only took 2 days to ripen.  Here is a recipe for peach and raspberry crisp, courtesy of Ina Garten:

4 to 5 pounds of ripe peaches
1 orange, zested
1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 T all purpose flour
1/2 pint of raspberries
1/4 t salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 pound cold, unsalted butter, diced

I tend to cut the recipe in half, but still bake at the same temperature and use a 9x12 baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter the inside of a baking dish.

Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water.  The skin should peel right off, then slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl.  Add the orange zest, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 T flour.  Toss well, then gently mix in raspberries.  Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.  If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more T of flour.  Pour the mixture into the baking dish and smooth out.

Combine 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly (honestly, I do this by hand.  Works just as well and I don't have to clean the mixing bowl).  Sprinkle evenly on the top of the fruit mixture, and bake for 1 hour, until the top is GB&D and the juices are bubbly.

Serve immediately, or store in the fridge and reheat.  I tend to add a scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Random Sunday Musings 6/15

Happy Father's Day Dad!

After getting back from Oregon I called the sports rehab place the ortho prescribed.  I had an unsuccessful attempt to run in Oregon, which knocked some sense into me.  I don't have anything to lose by going to this place so why not?  I want the shot to work and I need to set aside my mile-wide stubborn and independent streak.  Tuesday at PT I did 10 minutes on the bike, then stretched, got some stim, strengthening exercises, and ran on an Alter G treadmill.  It's really hard to explain those but I was in the bubble, running with only 50% of my body weight.  I did 12 minutes on that before more stretching and going home.  I was a little sore, but no twinging!  I can do light activity as long as I don't twinge, so that means the bike and maybe elliptical.

The good news is I've done two other workouts on the bike and though I've been a little sore, there has been no twinging!


Sunday: flew back from Oregon, foam rolling when I got home

Monday: rest, foam rolling

Tuesday: sports rehab; 10 minutes bike, 12 minutes Alter G treadmill

Wednesday: rest day

Thursday: 2.25 miles bike, 10 minutes Pilates - abs

Friday: rest

Saturday: 20 minutes bike

Saturday, June 14, 2014

World Cup Post: My First Live US Game

Even though I watched many US games from home, my first live game happened in 2002, when the US hosted the Netherlands in their final send off game before the team headed to Korea.  The Dutch, strangely, did not qualify for the 2002 World Cup.  Sometimes egos get the best of the Dutch and they hit rough patches.  Like not qualifying.  Or not advancing out of group play (I'm looking at you, Euro 2012).

My dad and I both cheer for the US as our #1 team, but then cheer for the Netherlands as our #2 team, and always will.  Since the game was held in Foxboro, we felt we needed to go to that game.  Dutch fans are known to be great, and when we arrived at CMGI Field, there was plenty of orange to be seen.  Even though we were there for the US, we were there for the Dutch as well.  If you're watching a team as good as the Dutch, it's hard to watch the other team.

The US lost 2-0, and one of the defenders basically played himself off the team.  That's what happens when he coughs up the ball to a Dutch striker inside the 18.  The Dutch don't miss, and the striker scored, leaving the goalie fuming and staring at the defender.  I'd only seen that look once before, in 1998 when one of our defenders failed to defend his post on a corner.  Despite the scoreline, the game was great, and the team was off to Korea.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Review: the Traitor's Wife

I'm a history nut, plain and simple.  European history and American history are my main interests, but any history will do.  Most of the books I read have something to do with history.  Historical novels, historical mysteries... Some time before Oregon, I saw a small blurb that the Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki was going to be made into a movie.  I hadn't heard of it so to Amazon I went.

The book is from a servant's point of view on the Shippen household during the American Revolution.  Peggy Shippen was a younger daughter of the house who ended up marrying Benedict Arnold, and then plotting his betrayal of West Point to the British.  History shows that didn't happen, John Andre was hanged as a spy and Arnold is in the books as a traitor.  Even if I hadn't been on a plane Friday and Sunday, I don't think I could've put the book down.  I devoured it, and I hope the author comes out with more books.  I saw a brief interview on youtube where she mentioned she's fascinated by women who have been forgotten by history.  PLEASE let that mean more books in the future.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Where in the World: Soccer Stadiums

The World Cup starts tomorrow!  In honor of that, here are pictures I've taken of the soccer stadiums I've been in.

White Hart Lane: home to Tottenham Hostpur

White Hart Lane certainly was not the first soccer stadium I was at, but it was the first European one I was at.  Instead of playing lacrosse my senior in college, I said screw it to all the drama the previous season and I wanted a spring break.  Of course, I didn't go anywhere warm.  During the 2006 World Cup, I decided I wanted to see a English Premier League game and went to England March 2007.

Craven Cottage: home to Fulham

March 2008, and my parents and I went to England.  Fulham had 5 American players on its roster - Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Demspey, Eddie Johnson and Kasey Keller.  They played Everton, who had (and still has) American Tim Howard as their starting goalie.  McBride scored the only goal of the game and my dad won 40 pounds.

Wembley: home to England's national team

May 2008.  My cousin and I planned a trip to Paris and then London, taking the Eurostar over from Paris.  That night, the US has a friendly against England and my dad was able to get tickets.  Not only did we have entertainment on the field, we also had entertainment in the stands.  A couple American fans were behaving like jackasses and managed to get themselves kicked out during halftime.  I didn't feel sorry for them at all.  They were repeatedly warned about their behavior and continued doing it anyway.

Sporting Park: home to Sporting Kansas City

I had to put this one in because it's where my friends and I went last October to see the US play Jamaica in a qualifier.  Outside of Columbus, I think Sporting Park can be a great home field for the US national team. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Up to Oregon and Back

There was no post Sunday because I traveled up to Oregon for a wedding on Friday and flew back Sunday.  I was flying and driving most of Friday, but the coast of Oregon is beautiful and it was nice to get to the resort.  This was the view from my room.  The resort is a golf resort and spa, and right outside my balcony was the putt-putt course.  I did try to get out and walk a little to find the nature trail, but I was along the freeway and heard a ball hit the trees behind me.  I booked it back to my room.

I knew it'd be a whirlwind weekend and it was, but nothing was stopping me from this wedding.  My best friend from high school got married and when I got the wedding invite, I didn't care what else was going on by the time I hit June, I was going (congrats again Katie!).

This was my outfit, sans shoes.  I'm not good with selfies, but y'all can see the dress I wore to the ceremony.  I didn't know the colors would be ivory and lavendar, so my purple fit right in.

Coming back, flying over the Rockies was interesting.  I got turbulence last year flying back from Portland, and this year it was worse.  We had some small bumps about 90 miles west of Denver, but nothing too bad.  Then the pilot came over the speaker system and told the flight attendants to take their seats.  Crap!!!  They don't say that unless it's going to be really bad.  The guy next to me and propped the arm rest up between us so he could spread out a little, and once we hit those bumps, I slammed the armrest down and gripped it for dear life.  Not sorry!!  Later my mom said there were snow storms and even the Ride the Rockies was disrupted.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Keep Up with Foam Rolling

Yesterday was National Running Day, and I did not run.  I'm past the 10-day window when my PT said I could run again, but I haven't run yet.  Why?  In my frustration, I was a bad runner and stopped foam rolling, stretching, and icing.  Now that I'm back at it, I keep finding tight spots.  Specifically, along the outside of my right calf, below the troublesome ITB.  I'm focused on that spot now because I don't want the calf to get tight and pull down on the ITB (does that even happen?).  I want to make sure I work through that for a couple more days.  I know I need to test it out, if anything for the shot's follow up appointment in a few weeks.

One thing the ortho Doc asked was do I have a foam roller.  Yes, yes I do.  I have two foam rollers, one Stick and a lacrosse ball.  I also have a golf ball for when my feet are tight, and I have a foam roller at work.  I'll use it during my lunch break, when my door is shut.  My coworkers know I'm a runner, but foam rolling, sometimes, like when I'm wearing a dress, needs some privacy.  I might need a new one at work because I've worn down the foam nubs.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Where in the World: Paris

My cousin and I traveled to Paris and London in 2008 and I just did not want to get on the plane back to Boston.  My grandfather was there the last night, before my cousin and I left and my parents took him to Normandy.

My grandfather and me

da Vinci Code anyone?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

the Goblet Squat

When I started having ITB issues last spring, one of my friends, who is a trainer, suggested getting Strong Curves to fix my weak glutes.  There are some pretty good exercises in this book and it's steering me away from the weight machines and focusing more on free weights.

One of the exercises I'm using to strengthen my hips and glutes is the goblet squat.  I do regular squats and goblet squats but I definitely feel the goblet squat working very quickly.  I have to go deeper than a regular squat, and I find when I stand back up, I have to squeeze my glutes to stabilize myself and not fall.

When I started, I was doing this exercise only with my body weight, but slowly I added weight and then increased the weight.  I'm now at a 20-pound dumbbell and may soon be ready to increase that to 25 pounds.  The issue is my legs are stronger than my upper body so I know I'll get to a point where I won't be able to hold the weight.  Once I get there, I'll start adding reps or another set.

This exercise may be deceiving at times.  It's felt in the hips but it's also targeting the glutes.  If I do the goblet squat and hip thrusts on the same day, my glutes are protesting during the hip thrusts.  I did this as part of my workout on Sunday and it felt so good to be lifting weights.  I did 2 sets of every exercise and did 13 exercises total.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Random Sunday Musings 6/1

Holy crap when did it become June?!?!  June is filled with stuff going on, and I feel I just planned these things.  They're almost here!

I haven't done much on the workout front this week either.  I did body weight leg strengthening, but other than that, nada.  I saw my PT on Thursday and he said the IT band is already feeling much better.  The inflammation was causing much of the tightness and with the cortisone shot, that inflammation is going down.  I've picked back up with foam rolling and stretching and will continue to do so.  I am cautiously optimistic, even though my PT is very optimistic.  These past 14 months have been frustrating and I'm not getting my hopes up yet.  One day at a time.

Summer's coming and that usually means stepping back from a lot of workouts.  I can't exactly step back any further from what I'm managing so without a race to train for, I'll continue the strengthening, Pilates and yoga with a little running thrown in.  If it's feeling good, then I'll pull up the race schedule for the fall and see if there is a 5k I can aim for.