Friday, September 19, 2014

Can You Run And Lift?

I have read a lot of articles about running and lifting.  Most say that you lose muscle when you run.  I think that happens when your diet is not meeting the nutritional needs based on activity levels.

This article gives some tips to excel in both running and lifting.
I love to do both.
I can't say that I am an expert at either.
I do know that they both make me feel alive.

Strength Runner "If you love to run and love to lift, you don't have to choose between them. Have the best of both worlds by becoming a strength runner!"

This guy is talking about Obstacle Course Races.  But the training methods would work whether you want to do that kind of race or not.

My last few workouts have been running intervals.
1 mile run
1 mile run
Calf raises
1 mile run
Walking lunges

The workout at the end of the article gives a good lower body and upper body option.
You can swap out moves with weights, for body weight options. is a great resource.

Lift to Run This article focuses more on why runners should lift.
It is an interview of the author of the book "Anatomy For Runners."

The following is an excerpt from

"By the end of the book I felt like I kind of had an assignment: Build a strong core, and build a strong butt. If all I did was focus on those two things, how much would that help me in athletics and life?"
"Tremendously, and here is the reason why: As you run faster, the amount of time you are in contact with the ground actually decreases. But the flip side of that is that when you have less time in contact with the ground, it is actually harder to run. So your body has to be able to supply more force to the ground quickly.
(picture from article)
Here is why strength training helps runners: You have to be able to put out more force in a shorter amount of time to run faster. But if all you do is run, you never develop the true high-end strength and high-power demands that you need to do that. So yes, if you develop a strong core, you keep things stable. And if you have good glutes, you can propel yourself off the ground.
Walking is different than running. When you walk, most of the power from push-off actually comes from your calf.
When you run that isn't true. When you run, most of the power from push-off comes from your hips, so we're talking about true hip extension. If you improve your core strength and improve your hip extension strength, you are well on your way to becoming a more efficient runner."

Read the rest of the article.  It has good information on posture and strengthening.  There are a lot of things that I could improve on.
I will be adding this book to my wishlist.

Friday Finds

It's that time again to share my favorite things of the week.

1. Halloween Candy
I know a lot of us try to be good and avoid sweets.
And I usually do it too, but when you go to Target and don't have much to buy, it is really easy to fill your cart with snacks.
It's not even October.
I am getting my fix early.
I'll avoid it for the rest of the month.
2. Padded Sports Bras
My Target has lots of exercise clothing 30% off.
I'm flat chested and I know it.
It is nice to have a little shape when I workout--and at all other times.
When there is a sale on padded sports bras, it's a double win!
3. This Guy
We get to hangout daily.
He likes to snuggle.
He likes to steal my food.
He likes to spit in my salad (yes, that actually happened)
He tells me he loves me frequently.
He is pure boy.
4. A Smile
An awkward smile, I love it!
Not that long ago it was hard for me to smile.
A real smile.
Life is all about perspective.
This morning when I woke up to a crying child, way to early, I had a moment of clarity.
I was able to snuggle this child.
As much as I'd like to lift weights,
This is what my arms are for.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sleep, Run, Truth


Having a new bed has made my sleep so much more comfortable.
I used to toss and turn when I first went to bed.
Now, when I decide to sleep I just sink in and I'm out in a few minutes.

My back feels better, my shoulders and neck are relaxed.  I didn't know it would make such a difference this fast.
Beds have a life of 7-10 years.  If you are having pain and trouble sleeping, I would look at your mattress.

It's kind of like running shoes.  They have a mileage limit and then they will make you hurt.  A new bed, and new shoes, is an investment in your health and wellness.

Today was a good day for a run.  I felt strong and balanced.  Some days I can tell I am leaning one way more than the other and I walk with a sway or a limp.  Weird.

I started off with 100 floors on the stair climber.  Today was easier than yesterday and I felt like I could do more, but I wanted to run as well.

The bad thing about not running or working out my lower body for a few months--the bum jiggle.
I am sure you know what I'm talking about.  If I can feel it jiggle, then I know other people can see it jiggle.  That just gives me a goal I can work towards.  When the rear end momentum stops, I know I'm in decent shape.

Speaking of jiggle, the same things is happening with my arms. Oh, well.


Laundry has been non-stop this week. I have piles to fold.  And more loads to wash.
It's hard to believe that it will ever end, but...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Workout Strategy--Avoid the Arms

It feels like I have both tennis and golfers elbow.
I taped for golfers elbow yesterday and today for tennis elbow.
I think I strained it again yesterday.
Doing regular stuff hurts--dished, laundry, grocery shopping.
I looked up treatment and it says to ice and wrap (wrapping didn't help me) or tape.
If it doesn't get better in 2 months--physical therapy.
Then surgery if it doesn't heal after 6 months.
I can avoid some movements, i.e. lifting.
I cannot avoid having kids.

At the Gym
Have you ever noticed all of the body builders walking on the treadmill?
I get impatient when I walk indoors.
I know there is a science to it.
Keep your heart rate around 120bpm to burn fat, 140+bpm for a cardio workout.
I can do the stair climber and get the same results.
Today, I climbed 150 floors.  It wasn't too hard, but I'm sure my buns will be sore tomorrow.
I didn't run today.  I need to do everything gradually.  I do not want to get hurt again.
Our little boy is almost 3 1/2 years old.  He is not caring about the potty any more. 
What is your best potty training advice?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Starting Again...Again

It seems like I have had that title on a post a few times this year already.  Just when I think I'm all better, all in, ready to go--I'm not.

But I am ready to run a little and that is enough to make me smile and have a sweaty sparkle on my skin.

Several good things have happened this week.

Numero Uno

We got a new bed!  The mattress removal fellows said, "Your bed is really old."
My husband did not believe me when I told him.  And he could not believe that they actually said that.  Our old mattress was from college.  It was the nicest thing we owned when we were first married.

We actually maxed out our credit card to get it--we paid it off the next month.

The new bed salesman's name was Vance Lightning. 

 It has a nice pillow top with foam and gel and heat dispersing properties.
It's soft, but has firm springs.
I really felt like taking a nap when we tested it out.
No back pain, hip pain this morning.
After we bought the bed, we went to the car wash.  It was an automatic one.
Put it in neutral, hands off the wheel, and let it take you for a ride.
A person in front of us didn't understand the rules and ended up sideways.
The manager was very calm about it and got everything back on track in minutes.
Number 2
Post workout snack.
Okay, it's just like candy.
But it has peanut butter too.
Number Three
I went to the chiro again and had my hip aligned.
I also hit the Physical Therapist and got some e-stim on my leg.
I mentioned my arms, but he didn't do anything for them.
I forgot to tell my chiro.  Maybe next time.  I am still at least 1 week away from lifting upper body.
Number 4
The tile man returned  to even out the brick pattern on my backsplash.  This time it looks better.  It just needs grout and then we are done.  Hopefully, for real this time. Then I can paint and be done with this home improvement stuff.
15 minutes--AMT--14/16 Interval
30 minutes--legs
  • Back squat
  • Back lunges
  • Leg extension
  • Adductor machine
  • Abductor machine
  • Calf raises-straight leg and bent knee versions
40 minutes--treadmill
Run--1 mile
Run/walk 3 miles--between 6.4 mph and 7.5 mph

What's your post-workout snack?

Friday, September 12, 2014

School Started

I have a 1st grader and a 7th grader.

The first day that they were both gone, Luke asked if one of them were coming with us in the car.

When I said, "No, just us."  He looked at me and said, "YESSSSS!" There wasn't a fist pump involved, but he was very excited to have some alone time. Popsicles and playing with mom.
One lucky guy!

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

That's how I've been feeling this last month.

I'm fine. Really.
Constant pain is hard to deal with.

When I finally got to see the podiatrist, he said I didn't have a break, but that I probably had a sprain or strain of some sort.

His advice was to try and run on it and see if it hurt worse.
I have just been in constant pain--some minor and some severe.
I felt like he was no help at all.  He didn't give me any tips to improve, except that he said I could go to the running lab and have them video my form and analyze it.  At that point, I didn't feel like I could run even if I wanted to.  It felt dangerous.  Like I would actually break my ankle or something major.

My next stop was the Physical Therapist.  He was very calm and didn't seem alarmed by my condition, but genuinely concerned. He recommended strengthening and stretching. I had been trying to do that on my stairs or at the gym.  His method was using an unstable surface to do heel raises.  That instability made all the difference for strengthening my calf and the surrounding minor muscles. 

The exercise that has made the biggest improvement and has allowed me to run for the last week, is an ankle exercise using a latex band.
 Make a loop at the end of the latex. (2.5 lb. resistance)
Put around injured foot and anchor with opposite foot.
Hold extra length tightly
 Flex to the outside of the foot
Then turn it to the inside.
Repeat until fatigued.
This strengthens the peroneus muscles and helps me land on my foot more evenly (instead of the outside of my foot.)
This is such a simple motion.
The funniest thing is that I was trying to do a similar thing at home with a sports bra.
Little did I know I was on the right track.
After one day, my foot pain had decreased significantly.
And a few days later, I ran for the first time in 2 months.  It felt so great, even though I am a lot slower than I was before.
I am very grateful that he was able to "fix" me.  I was thinking that I would never feel better.
I still have some aches in my hip and back some times.  They seem to improve if I stretch. 
A few days before I went to PT, I  was feeling a little defeated and decided to lift heavier.  If I couldn't lift lower body and I couldn't run, I figured I might as well  work on my back and arms.
I did a mega set with weights 10 pounds heavier than normal.  Later that night, my arm started swelling up. It has been at least 3 weeks since that happened.  I tried to test my arm strength with pushups a week ago and it swelled up again.  It feels like it could be tennis elbow  mixed his some carpal tunnel.
So now my lifting is reversed.  No upper body lifting.  Light lower body. And a bit of running. 
I'd like to think that I am a patient person.  We are almost at 6 months since the initial calf injury.  I won't be doing any races until winter or spring and that is fine with me. I am glad that my body hasn't given out. 
Who has some good news to share???

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