Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Running List of Exercises

My list of strengthening exercises is growing.  A lot of them are modifications to what I've already been doing, but my chiropractor in Boulder has made them more into movements that runners do.  The clamshells I used to do on the floor are now being done standing up with a resistance band.  The "dead bug" heel touches I was doing with a towel under my back are now being done with no towel.  To strengthen my low core, she wants my low back to be touching the ground at all times.  I'm also now doing the arm movements for a full dead bug to make it more challenging.  Glute bridges are now being down with two legs to start, then extending one leg, to mimic the running motion.  One legged squats are to be done with the tush back and the knee only extended to the toes.

The latest exercise I'm doing is to strengthen my calves.  20 seconds of walking on tippy toes, then 20 seconds walking only on my heels.  My calves are working harder because my ankles are a little unsteady, and she wants me to build up strength there too.  And no special inserts... I asked about whether I should get those, and she said that's more of a band-aid.  I'm still tempted while I build up strength, but $40 for SuperFeet is a bit much for something I'd want to remove if this is successful.

All of this is to be done twice a day.  I can do one session in my office during lunch, then when I do them at home, I do other exercises too to keep my muscles from getting used to things.  I really have written these down so I can remember them all.  At first, I only have a couple to do, then the list started getting longer, and I wanted to make sure I didn't forget any.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia

Coaches' Corner with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs. 

I've edited this since I got a question about standing clamshells.  It's hard to explain, but I'll try.  One leg works while the other balances.  My chiro wants the balancing leg to be hiked a little in the hip, to emphasize the area targeted area.

The working leg is diagonally behind the standing leg, and both are in a resistance band.  So picture the clamshell angle, but behind the standing leg.  Bring the working leg down, so the knees are parallel, then diagonally out again.  Two sets of 20 reps.  

I find, like in Pure Barre, the standing leg tires after the first set because now both hips have been worked.   

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday Musings 2/27

Happy Monday!  What a fun weekend!  My mom drove into town and we had a great weekend together.  To say I couldn't focus on work Friday was an understatement.  I tried Friday morning, and then forget it on Friday afternoon.  I was still getting stuff off my list, but an admin got snarky and after that, yoga breathing and willing the clock to move.

Friday afternoon started with dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and seeing Hidden Figures.  Both my mom and I wanted to see it, but hadn't due to circumstances.  What a great way to see it together.  I loved the movie, and it is the only one of this year's Oscar crop that I've seen.  I'm not big into seeing nominated movies unless I want to see them.  I grew up with a space age nerd (my dad), but like most people, had never heard about the women behind the science and math.

Saturday was breakfast at Snooze.  If anyone is in the Denver/Boulder area, Snooze is a great breakfast place that is so popular, if you don't go at opening time, 7am, there will be a wait.  They have great food, and creations you would never think of.  I got a pancake flight with a sweet potato pancake, a pineapple upside pancake, and molten chocolate pancake.  Delish!  My mom got the spiced gingerbread French toast.  Then we got pedicures, had lunch with my aunt and cousin's fiancee, and then we took a cooking class at Sur la Table.

It was considered date night, but we didn't care.  The menu was creamy goat cheese fondue, winter green salad with candied bacon and blue cheese, classic Coq a Vin, and dark chocolate soufflé with vanilla bean whipped cream.  Everything was good, but I loved the soufflé and goat cheese fondue.  The fondue was the appetizer when we started eating what we made, and I said I needed to be cut off.  I wanted to save room, especially for the soufflé.  I figured licking the bowl would be rude, and I pretty much finished off the chocolate.  I started the day with chocolate and ended the day with chocolate.

Sephora tissue paper is fun!
Sunday was breakfast at Walnut Cafe, then some shopping in Loveland, and having lunch with my grandfather.  Sunday afternoon marked the end of the fun weekend :(  Back to chores, and work.  I didn't do any cardio, but did try to fit in the strength training.  The weather was chilly after our snow storm on Thursday, so I made tortilla soup Sunday night.  That's a dish that warms me up from the inside, and there's plenty of leftovers.

Next up this week, Wednesday to go to an event at CU with Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Random Friday

Today's Friday Five is a free day.  I'll ramble a little bit since yesterday wasn't a random post day.

One good thing about moving is I can plug in the moving expenses into TurboTax and get a refund.  I'm getting a pretty good refund this year (OK, I am back to paying state tax and I owe Colorado $2 for working 3 days...), and I'm going to have some fun with it.  I'll donate some to the rescue shelter I got Allie from, and then it's shopping time.  I'm already contemplating what I want to get, and jewelry, running gear, and wine seem about right.  Even better to go to small companies.

1) My favorite jewelry store is a staple in Texas, and they've had an owl pendant design since the fall.  It'll go with the owl earrings I have.  I like owls.

2) The running gear I'd like is a pair of Oiselle capris that have my name on it.  I'm not kidding, they have my name on them.  The Lesley Knickers.  It's fate, right?

3) This weekend marks 5 years since I did the Princess half as my first 13.1 distance.  Wait, what?

4) Anybody who watches CBS shows getting tired of the number of commercials?  I first stopped watching football since CBS has so many during its games, but now I feel like shows are getting shorter so they can show more commercials.  I timed the Big Bang Theory last night and it was 17.5 minutes long.  Earlier seasons has shows at 21 and 22 minutes.  At least I can DVR all my shows and skip the commercials.

5) And just a really random thought.  At work we have a file for each award called Snapshot, and it contains all the information about the award.  Even though I don't have the app, I keep wanting to call it Snap Chat.  I keep correcting myself, but one day Snap Chat is going to come out of my mouth, probably in a meeting or something.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Month of Maintenance

I had my dry needling session on Tuesday, then a chiropractic session yesterday.  It's exactly like in Dallas, when my chiro's office was my "it takes a village" village.  I hadn't had a dry needling session since July, and I was a bit sore in spots.  I was poked in more places than I was last summer, starting about mid-quad, on the side, going down past my knee to the persnickety spot on my calf, and on the opposite side of the calf, and near my foot.  That wasn't all.  He then had me flip on my stomach so he could needle more of my calf, and some of my hip.  I felt the hip spots when I was cooking dinner Tuesday.

More running gear
I took it easy Tuesday and iced and stretched when I got home.  February certainly hasn't been a month for training, but it's morphed into using this month for some down time and maintenance that I absolutely need.  I'm already at 4.25 miles, if my knee isn't being pesky.  I would certainly like to do more training than I did for Tink - I only got to 4 miles for a 10k - and I'm taking the time now to do it.

Yesterday I was given another exercise, this time to start strengthening my calves.  My right ankle is a bit wobbly, and the calf is working overtime to keep my foot stable.  We re-tested my strength and it's looking good, and my back is more flexible with the exercises I've been doing.  It is nice to know I am making progress, and will continue all the exercises I'm given.  I'm writing these down since I have quite a few to do.  Twice a day.  For now my foot is taped to provide support and to try to get my calf to relax.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Grant Me Three Wishes

What would you wish if you found a genie?  Today's topic is 3 running wishes.  My #1 wish that won't shock anybody is to fix this ITBS once and for all.  It's almost been 4 years and it's been a persistent pain in my knee.  No more ITBS would be a huge help, but it's slow going.  I do have an appointment for dry needling this afternoon, and I'll take a late lunch break to cover part of the time I'm gone.  Then it's back to work.  I haven't had dry needling since July, and maybe it is past time to have another session.

Credit Disney (of course)
What would the other 2 be?  If I can nip this in the bud, I'd like to have a good time at the Bolder Boulder.  I had such fun at Tink, but it was quite crowded, and I only had 2 months of PT leading up to the race.  I'm stronger now, and if I can get in a good place working with my chiro office, I'd like to improve on the time I had at Tink.  BB should be better spaced with the crowds, and as much fun as it was running through Disneyland, there were bottlenecks in multiple places.  I hope the BB course doesn't have many of those.

My other wish would be get faster, but one thing at a time.  My speed is good for me (my knee) right now, and I like using the run/walk method.  I feel like it allows me to go further, and it certainly worked for 3 of my half marathons.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Musings 2/20

What a busy weekend, and next weekend will be even busier!  I finally was able to meet up with some Oiselle Volee members on Saturday for a run and brunch.  I'm all for brunch, and the run made me feel accomplished!  I stuck with my intervals, and one of the other ladies stayed with me since I think Saturday was an easy day for her.  I really appreciated that and turned my music down to maybe a one so we could talk.  I ended up doing 3.25 miles, and my knee did twinge near the end.  I probably shouldn't have done the extra .25 miles, but we were almost back at the host's house, and I decided to push it.  Today I'm going to call my chiropractor's office and ask about dry needling.

On my way back home, I stopped by the storage unit to get my "summer" clothes for work.  It's nice to have short sleeve blouses to choose from when the weather's going to be in the 60s and 70s.  When it swings colder, I'll have my sweaters too.  I'm running out of room in the apartment since my parents have stuff there as well. 

Errands were crunched a bit Saturday, but it was so much fun to sit during brunch and just talk to other runners.  Most of my friends in Texas aren't runners, so I normally kept things to myself.  My cousin runs, so she and I talk, but mostly, it's just me.  I learned that our group on Saturday has an Iron Man (Woman?), someone signing up for Boulder 70.3 (I found out the open swim is in Boulder Reservoir, that outta be just *so* warm!), the runner who stuck with me is a co-leader of the Colorado Volee, and she's training for the Oiselle 10k/10M in April.  I even won a running hat!

Sunday was my Pure Barre routine, and we had a guest instructor.  I'm feeling the workout today, right from when my alarm went off.  I have my lacrosse ball in my bag, so I'll do some easy rolling at lunch today.  Afterwards, I headed to a bagel shop in Boulder I found online that does New York-style bagels.  Really?!  Oh my.  My inner Bostonian was dancing when I discovered their website.  OMG!  My family loves bagels, and Texas doesn't really have a specialty in that.  I had Einstein's Bros., which worked, but New York-style is amazing.  If anyone is coming to CO, it's called Moe's Broadway Bagels, and they have 4 locations in Boulder and 2 in Denver.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Winter Fitness Rants

Friday Five is winter fitness rants this week, but how can I rant when the 5-day forecast looks like this?

I did rant a little bit about two weeks ago when the weather was going to be great, and I packed my workout gear to take with me to work.  I was all excited that I was going to have good weather, and I could catch the running path after work... then a front moved in and it was sprinkling when I left work that day.  To say I was sour was an understatement.  I thought I'd left the random weather in Texas, but Colorado is proving to be just as difficult right now.  Humph!

I know I need to stop by the storage facility this weekend and get my spring/summer shirts for work.  Most of my short-sleeve blouses are still packed because I thought winter in Boulder would mean at chilly, so I only have my sweaters and long-sleeve shirts in the apartment.  Oops.  It's certainly not dress weather, but I need my warm-weather gear for the office.  I only hope I can find the right box since I'm still looking for my running vest.

It is a little difficult to plan my clothes for the week when half of my stuff is in storage.  I can't wait to get to the townhouse when all my stuff will be out of storage, and all my clothes will be available.  I chose to have all my running gear with me instead of work clothes, but what else is new?  I am a runner.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Random Thursday 2/16

Does anyone help enable their pets?  I'd been looking for some quiet toys for Allie, and found these at Target.  Small, catnip, quiet, and shiny?!  My attention span almost went down the drain with the shiny.  It didn't take Allie long to figure out these are fun toys, and they now may be her favorite toys.  Quiet is always key when the cat is active at night.  They are red, orange, and blue, and of course I have "one fish, two fish, red fish, blue" in my head.

This week I realized something I thought I wouldn't admit, ever.  I threw in hill intervals during my run Saturday, and it was actually fun.  Did I honestly just say that?  Yes, I had fun playing around with the hill intervals, and I did it again yesterday.  Whoa!  For a while now, I've been running at a 0.0% incline, but I took the intervals as high as 3.0, and it felt easier to run with the inclines.  Maybe I'm maturing as a runner?  I want to do that more frequently, and hills may be my Thursday runs for the foreseeable future.

I posted this yesterday, but Run Disney re-designed the medals for Tink.  I'm quite happy I did the 10k last year because I don't like the 10k design this time around.  I knew I wanted to do the Tink 10k ever since they released the first design.  All the fairies made up the design, and I was hooked.  Now, it's Peter Pan and some of the lost boys.  No thanks.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MIA Yesterday

Sorry about the no post yesterday... I missed Tuesday again.  Yesterday was hopefully the last big training I needed to do to finish getting access to everything I need for work.  It was an all-day thing, and 10 minutes before I went home, my energy was thoroughly zapped.  No running happened, even after I figured out a good Tuesday/Thursday plan.  I face planted on the bed for about 20 minutes while I tried to gather the strength to do my chiropractor exercises.  I finally did them, and felt better afterwards.

It seems I've been taking extra rest days that aren't planned at all.  Sometimes winter does that to me.  Sometimes summer does that to me.  I've learned if I'm dragging, the best thing to do is to take a rest day.  Allie enjoyed it because she hates it when I get home, change, then head to the fitness center.  If I'm home, I'm to stay home and give her attention.  Anybody else's furbabies act this way?  She's so excited when I get home, and looks like I'm abandoning her when I head to the gym.

Rest days seem to get a bad rap because runners normally love to go go go!  Over the years, I've learned my body can't go go go, and I've made peace with rest days.  If I'm not in the thralls of training, I enjoy them.  I didn't used to.  I used to get antsy that I was losing my fitness, and it took me years to be OK with putting my feet up and giving my legs some extra TLC.  There are days that I can't believe I'm taking another rest day, but I'd rather rest than get injured again.

Coaches' Corner with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Musings 2/13

Whew!  I can't believe it's Monday, and I was a little sluggish getting up this morning.  Couldn't that alarm have gone off later in the morning (or not at all?). 

The weekend started Friday with an eye doctor's appointment, and getting a clean bill of health for my eyes.  Yay!  My prescription was updated, and I've got some trial lenses.  So far so good, but I'll wait a couple more days to order boxes for the year.  I was also told I'm a good candidate for Lasik, which I didn't know at all, and haven't considered.  I was told my prescription would need to remain the same for 4 consecutive years before being considered, and it's still having tiny changes from year to year.  I'm not comfortable about a laser doing surgery on my eyes, but it was good to hear everything is doing well.

Saturday was low key, but I followed my chiro's advice before completing my run, and I did a round of exercises before getting on the treadmill.  And guess what?  I knocked off 4.25 miles while playing with speed intervals during the first part, then hill intervals during the second part.  I felt like I could've run more, but 4.25 is another start, and the furthest I've run since Tink.  Now I just need to do it outside, but I'll work up to that.

Since we were getting some sort of front, but the forecast kept changing, I made an Olive Garden recipe in my crockpot, but I tweaked things.  I've made it before, but I didn't want to use kale (sorry, not sorry!), and used fresh spinach, and instead of chopped russet potatoes, I wanted gnocchi.  Both changes tasted very good, and I even threw in some shredded Parmesan cheese for good measure.  It hit the spot, and provided leftovers.

Sunday was busy, and is probably what I'm feeling this morning.  Since I played lacrosse in high school and college, I've been following CU's varsity team since their first ever season in 2014.  It's crazy how fast the sport is growing in this country.  I went to CU's home opener yesterday, where they were playing Northwestern, which has mulitple national championships, and was ranked 9th in the country before yesterday's game.  I also got to have a picture taken with Ralphie!  Her handlers are very protective of her, and won't let anyone get up and close to her pen.  She was there an hour prior to the game before being taken back to her ranch.

The game itself was amazing.  CU beat Northwestern in OT, 11-10, and after reading the stats of the game, CU's goalie has 19 saves, and there were 9 lead changes, the most being 2 goals at one time.  There was a lot of momentum shifts, and as the game was heading into OT, my heart was pounding and I was shaking.  Huh?  I'm not even playing!  It was a gorgeously sunny day, if a little chilly.  After the game, I made hot chocolate once I got home, then completed my chiro exercises.  They seem to be working!

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Trivia About CU

Yesterday I was on the main campus all day for a new hire orientation of sorts.  It covers the structure of the university, the history, includes a walking tour, and lunch.  Lunch is important.

1) CU has 5 Nobel laureates.  1 in chemistry, and 4 in physics.  Sheldon Cooper eat your heart out!

2) Old Main is the oldest building on campus.  It used to be the only building on campus, so it was the campus, and the CU system.  Now it houses the heritage museum.

3) There are quite a few celebrities who attended CU, but didn't necessarily graduate.  Robert Redford is one of the most famous, but there's Larry Linville, Glenn Miller, and Christopher Meloni (plus more).

4) I didn't get a picture, but they have a wall with all their Olympians.  The most recent one being for the 2016 Olympics.

5) CU has a lot of ties to NASA.  Scott Carpenter, Jack Swigert, and Stuart Roosa.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fun Stuff in Colorado

 I already feel like they're more to do here than in Dallas.  Maybe Dallas was just so big, if I wanted to do something on the other side of town, I'd have to drive an hour.  Already the family is adding things to our to-do list with a lot of fun stuff.

1) March 1 on campus, there's an event featuring Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson.  You bet your buns I'm going!

Join us for this special Forever Buffs Spotlight in which Jenny and Emma will give you an inside look at what it takes to be an Olympic athlete, what it was like to compete in Rio and how their time at CU prepared them for success.

2) A friend brought this to my attention.  Cary Elwes is going to be in Denver at the Paramount for a showing of the Princess Bride, then VIP holders get to meet him afterwards.  Not only am I going, my parents are going too.  It was a birthday gift for my mom, but I can hardly contain my excitement.  I make no secret that the Princess Bride is my favorite movie, of all time.

3) Mamma Mia.  I haven't bought tickets yet, but Grand Lake has a national repertoire theater that is high caliber, and every summer they have 4 musicals in rotation.  A few years ago I saw Anything Goes, and the lead actress (Reno) was leaving for Broadway at the end of that season.  This year is Mamma Mia, Newsies, West Side Story, and Almost Heaven.  I love the movie Mamma Mia because it's just FUN!  Tickets haven't gone on sale yet, but I'm watching for them.

4) Hamlet.  Boulder has a Shakespeare festival every year, and these are pros doing the plays.  My parents and I are seeing Hamlet this summer, but they're also putting on the Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Henry VI, Part 3.  Some are inside, some are outside.

Plus, I can do a lot in the summer since it won't be 100 degrees and cooking all season long.  I wanted to run outside yesterday after work, but the weather changed to include rain, so I took my anger out on the treadmill.  That felt good, and I know I'll be able to run outside in the summer after work. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Musings 2/5

So... this week was all about doing what my chiro gave me, and nothing else.  I have to admit, when she told me my lateral strength was pretty good, all the work and effort I've put in since March (!) caught up with me, and I felt like "oof!!"  I just needed a mental break, but I got back on the wagon over the weekend.  Since the weather was pretty windy Saturday, I did Pure Barre that day, then ran outside after lunch yesterday.  I lasted 3.77 miles before my knee started giving me trouble, but my chiro and I have been messing with my leg this past week.  My Garmin even said I'd done my fastest 5k on its records!  I was quite happy about that.  I'd even stuck with 1/1 intervals since my legs wanted to go fast during my last outdoor run, but my lungs struggled to keep up.  My lungs did much better yesterday... hopefully I'm acclimating to this altitude.

Now that it's a new week, I'm motivated again to keep up with my strength training, and I should be getting more exercises from my chiro.  Sometimes I just need to hit reset and take a small break.  It's February, and I'm another month closer to Bolder Boulder.  I think 3.77 is a good start.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, February 3, 2017

5 Sports I've Tried

I saw late Wednesday, Feb. 1 was national women and girls in sports day.  I can't think of all the positives I've gotten out of sports, but there are quite a few.  I've been active my whole life, and probably a little ADD to go with it, but I think that's natural.  I've mentioned how I played soccer through high school, then lacrosse through my junior year of college, but those weren't the only sports I've done.

1) Dance/gymnastics.  I did classes at Tucson's equivalent of the Y, but it really wasn't the Y.  I think it was more an area rec center, but it had plenty of classes for kids.  It was basically a place for young'uns to run around and release energy while parents watched.

2) Basketball.  This one didn't stick, but when you're in elementary school gym, you get exposed to a lot of different sports.  I went to a couple basketball camps during the summer, but I didn't pursue it.

3) Ice skating.  This was a big fat NO.  I never took official lessons, but we had a frozen rink in Wisconsin, and I tried ice skating for a couple weekends.  Ice and I never got along.

4) Field hockey.  This was one I tried over the summer, but was still in love with soccer.  Soccer was the first sport I fell in love with enough to play, and I still watch games whenever I can.  Field hockey was so different, and my stubborn nature left that and went back to footie.

5) Tennis.  I also tried tennis over a summer.  I stopped when I got a blister on my thumb.  I know, oh so tough then, but it was the first summer in Massachusetts, and I'd discovered lacrosse only that very spring.  I'd never seen a game of lacrosse, but that was calling.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

3 Things Thursday 2/2

I have to confess, I got a case of eff-its on Tuesday, and it carried into Wednesday.  I had one more run scheduled for January, on Tuesday, and I just didn't do it.  My low back was tight after work, and I used it as an excuse to skip my run.  I did focus on stretching and doing the new exercises my chiro gave me on Monday, but I still felt bad that I didn't get my run done.  It was in the high 50s too, so why wasn't I in the mood for a run?  I didn't even do strength training, just the new exercises, and foam rolling.

I'm mixing up my weekend schedule and will go to Pure Barre on Saturday, then run Sunday afternoon.  I have no desire to watch the Super Bowl, so if people are going to be getting ready for the game, maybe the running path won't be busy.  It wasn't too busy two weeks ago, but I find big games like the Super Bowl to be perfect "me time" since I don't watch football.  I'll decide what I want for dinner that night, and watch Victoria on PBS instead.  Anybody else watching the show?

One reason I need to get back to my running groove?  These came!  yay!  The thin mints went in the freezer immediately, and I'll slowly work my way through the other cookies first.