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Just Call Me Cinderella

30 Jun
Only one week left in the challenge and I am loving it! I think I may end up extending it at least through the bar. Who knows, maybe I’ll become one of those streak runner!

After my run on Monday my right knee started bothering me. It didn’t hurt exactly but it definitely felt weird and it was eerily similar to the feeling I had right before my IT Band flared up last fall [why yes, I do have a way with descriptions. Ask me about “that sick feeling in the back of my throat” some time]. There were a lot of things that contributed to that injury, including upping my mileage way too quickly but one factor was definitely my shoes. I’d been wearing them for about 2 years because I kept telling myself that I wasn’t active enough to actually wear through a pair of sneakers. Well, turns out, I was. When I actually looked at my shoes, I realized that not only were the soles almost completely worn through but there was a hole in the toe of one shoe! How I didn’t notice that one is beyond me. After some trials and tribulations, I discovered that the Saucony Progrid Guide 3 were the shoe for me.

My first loves

Then, a couple of months ago, I had a Groupon to the running store my sister goes to in NJ (the name of which completely escapes me). I was looking for a lighter shoe – not necessarily “minimalist,” but something that could potentially lead there in the future. The guy who worked there suggested these Mizunos.

Flashy!

I really liked them not only because they were bright yellow but also because the felt incredibly light on my feet. I tended to use them for my shorter runs. However, they were the shoes I wore for The Half Which Shall Not Be Named and now they have a really attractive blood stain which for the life of me I can’t wash out.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted the Sauconys on sale on Gilt Groupe and snatched them up, figuring as I got into Long Beach training I’d need to retire my old pair. Well, that day came Monday. When my knee started acting up, I took a look at my shoes and realized the sole of the right shoe was worn down way more than the left one. Crossing my fingers and hoping my running shoe hoarding would pay off, I threw on the new pair and headed out.

I kind of want to make out with these shoes.

Running in new shoes was like running on clouds. I was shocked at how much cushion they had (and how good that cushion felt!). No knee pain during the run and no knee pain after the run. Glorious! My love of buying shoes on sale totally paid off! I definitely felt like a very sweaty, tired, slightly smelly Cinderella. Now if only magic shoes would cure my I-can’t-focus-on-studying issues …

I’m a big sentimental mush, so there’s a solid chance I’m going to keep the old pair as my “These Shoes Got Me Through A Very Painful 1/2 Marathon” shoes but I think their running days are over. Once upon a time I used to be a big flashy heels girl but since I rarely put on real clothes these days, sneakers are definitely my footwear of choice.

What shoes are you loving lately?

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23 Jun
I had a whole post written yesterday about how I have no self control and then I magically lost it. At least it wasn’t my bar outlines? Still, sadface. Hopefully I will be able to resurrect it this weekend. In the meantime, enjoy a super awesome bulletpoint list of my very exciting life [please note the sarcasm].

  • I hate bar studying. Seriously. Hate it. You’d think someone who loves color-coding and flashcards as much as I do would jump at a summer to do nothing but that. You’d be wrong
  • My running has been a little hit or miss lately. I’m getting my miles in, but I’m definitely struggling through some of them. I read somewhere that running performance can tend to decrease the week before your Aunt Flo comes to town. I’m going to chalk it up to that? Yeah, that sounds good.
  • I’ve run more miles this month than any other month since I’ve started logging my miles. Awesome sauce.
  • My diet sucks lately. Not as in “I’m gaining weight,” but more in the “I’m not eating enough and the things I am eating are crappy.” I know this, I just can’t seem to fix it. It’s not necessarily that I don’t have time to go grocery shopping, it’s that I don’t have the inclination. By the time I get home from studying for 10 hours a day, it’s just so much easier to order in or eat a random hodgepodge from my fridge. 
  • I’m casually thinking of joining a running club of some sort. I really like the idea of running with other people and I really like the idea of making friends who are runners but I’m not social enough to just meet random people on a running path and trying to be friends with them. So, if you live in LA and you want to run slowly, I’m your girl.
  • I’m in Week 3 of my training for Long Beach Marathon training. I’m super excited. I would love to try to get a half marathon in at some point this summer [after the bar]. Currently taking suggestions for cheap halves in either SoCal or NYC in August/September.
  • I’m getting sick. Or getting over being sick. I haven’t quite figured it out. Tuesday night I went to bed with sweaty eyes [aka a fever] and a sick feeling in the back of my throat which makes no sense to anyone but myself. Wednesday I woke up with a baby fever and a sore throat. I spent all day yesterday chugging OJ and Theraflu [nectar of the gods] and soup. By last night, my fever was gone so I hopped on the treadmill for 4 easy miles that felt amazing. No fever today, but a little bit of a sore throat still, so I’m becoming best friends with Vitamin C and “doing work” in bed. And by that I clearly mean “watching 4325 episodes of Hoarders.”
What are your favorite sick day activities? Any suggestions for a late summer/early fall half?

Ruh-Roh

8 Jun
I’m on Day 12 of Danica’s 40 day challenge and I’m really loving it! I’m prone to overuse injuries, so I was a little nervous about hurting myself [my IT bands and I are just barely on speaking terms again], but so far, so good!

That does not, unfortunately, mean that I’m not injured. Ish. Maybe. Yesterday I did speed intervals for the first time in a long time. It felt awesome, but I figured I’d feel it today. My hips/hamstring/awkward under-butt muscles have been really tight lately, so I made sure to ice them after my workout. I went to bed feeling ok and thinking maybe, just maybe, I’d be fine.

Fast forward to this morning [when I woke up way late, but that’s a different story]. As I scrambled to get out the door I realized that my legs felt totally fine. A little heavy, but not sore at all. Then it happened. I reached up to grab something in my closet and I felt a weird pain in my lower back. A couple of years ago, I was hit by a car [long story, not fun] and I had some lower back issues for a while after that, but I haven’t had any real back pain in a long time. This pain didn’t feel quite the same, but it’s located in about the same spot. It feels a little bit like a pulled muscle. It only hurts when I stretch or move in certain directions. I don’t think it’s because of my running – it didn’t bother me at all last night. If I had to guess, I’d say I twisted funny in my sleep.

I threw a Salonpas patch on it and it felt a little better, but it was still kind of twingey. I decided I’d test out running and if it hurt at all I would stop. 3 miles later and it didn’t hurt at all, but I was very aware of the way I was twisting my torso. I tried to keep my upper body as straight forward as possible. So, really, my quasi-ish injury is totally helping my form. Score! I’m a little annoyed that I was trying so hard to NOT get a running injury that I ended up with a non-running injury. At least it doesn’t seem to be hampering my running.

Have you ever had a non-running injury slow down your training? I don’t even like it when colds get in the way!

Some Random Thoughts on Week 1 of the 40 Day Challenge

2 Jun
1. I’m officially in love with this challenge.

2. I am nowhere near as sore as I thought [assumed] I’d be. In fact, I don’t feel sore at all. Did I just jinx myself? Probably.

3. I need to get more running clothes or be a grown up and do laundry more often. So, buy more running clothes then.

4. I have found the PERFECT way to stretch my hips/hamstrings/whatever that weird thing that hurts on the side of my leg is called. Here’s the problem: It involves awkwardly draping my leg over the side of the treadmill. I’ve definitely gotten my fair share of “what on earth are you doing” looks. Embarrassment I can deal with, the real issues is that I don’t have anything that’s the same height in my apartment. But don’t worry, I haven’t given up. Yes, I throw my legs over random surfaces in the apartment. Yes, my roommate thinks I’m out of my mind. It’s cool.

5. Have I mentioned I love this challenge?

6. I have a really hard time just running – not playing with the speed on the treadmill or trying to make the next mile faster than the last. I don’t want to push myself too hard too early because I know I still have 31 days left of running. But it’s really hard not to try to go just a little faster. This might come back to bite me in whatever that awkward muscle is called.

7. I’m really lucky to have such a super flexible [read: completely self-imposed] schedule so I can squeeze my runs in whenever I want. I’m not sure I’d have the time or the energy if I were working a regular 9-5 job. Yay bar studying?

All in all, I think this has been a really positive experience so far. It’s definitely helped to keep me on track with my training and motivates me to get moving every day. I think it would be very easy otherwise to get so caught up in studying that I never left my apartment. I’m already thinking about what comes after the 40 days and I’m so pumped for Long Beach training!* Starting next week, I’d like to try to add more weight training in, particularly working on my upper body.

Anyone else doing the challenge? Have any awesome arm exercise I just HAVE to do?

*NOTE: Ask me again in a week and I may have an entirely different opinion =)

Flying Electronics?

28 May
Day 2

Ran 4 miles – 45 min., little bit of hamstring/hip tightness

Now that I’ve decided to run for 40 days in a row [well, 38 now!], I’m hyper aware of the little things that bother me during my runs [like my socks]. Today, my socks were fine, but my entertainment was a bit of an issue. My super awesome fabulous sister got me an iPad for graduation and I’m a little bit obsessed with it. I love watching tv shows while I work out because it makes the time fly, but with my little iPod touch, it’s hard on the treadmill. I end up squishing way too close to the display and my stride gets all funky, and it’s no bueno. But the iPad is amazing [for other reasons too, but clearly for the keeping me distracted]!

Here’s my issue. I’m petrified that I’m going to fling it off the treadmill. I’ve lost many an mp3 player that way. In fact, I usually buy really cheap non-iPod video players for exactly this reason [the touch was ANOTHER present from my super amazing sister]. I don’t know if it’s my height or if I move my arms funny or what, but invariably at least once a run, my hands get caught in the headphone cord. Most of the time, I can catch it before it comes tumbling to the ground, but certainly not always. Anyone have any suggestions on how to keep my cord out of the way and my iPad in working condition?

Also, I had to go to bar class this morning. On a Saturday. During Memorial Day weekend. I should be on a beach somewhere fist pumping and drinking margaritas. Not cool. I came home from the gym and realized I had absolutely nothing to eat. My lunch literally consisted of 2 pickle spears, hummus and bagel chips and a Baby Bell cheese. I don’t even have time to be a real person & go grocery shopping … how I’m going to get my run on for the next 38 days is beyond me.

Double also, I ran in shorts today! This was the longest I’ve ever run in shorts [chub rub and I have a sordid history]. I was 100% concerned about how I was going to handle marathon training in SoCal in capris, so yay! Thanks, breakup diet!

Day 1!

27 May
Ran 3.05 miles in 34:45

1 day down, 39 to go! I can already tell what my main issue with the challenge is going to be – socks. Even though I’m super prone to blisters, I’m cheap and I’m poor so I only have a couple of pairs of awesome running, seamless socks. I usually save them for my longer runs and wear whatever cheap socks I can find at Le Targe for my shorter midweek runs. But if I’m going to be running every day, I’m going to need better socks. At around mile 2 I stopped to stretch my hamstring that felt a little tight [and figure out how to get to the next episode of the West Wing on my iPad] and somehow in the process I managed to work the seam of my sock right onto the little nub of a toe where my dearly departed toenail used to live. I kept trying to wiggle it better, I stopped and took off my shoe and tried to fix it. Nothing. Ouch.

And I know what you’re thinking – why not just wash your socks more often. Because I’m lazy, that’s why.

Anyone know where I can get some cheap but awesome socks? What are your favorite?

40 Day Challenge!

27 May
Have you heard about the 40 day challenge? Danica over at Chic Runner has started a 40 day challenge – run at least 3 miles a day, every day, for 40 days. I think it’s awesome! It’s like a weird, Lent-y kind of thing but more awesome.

I feel like this is exactly what I need right now:
– Structure – I’m in this weird base building not quite training phase so my runs have been pretty aimless, and as such, sporadic.

– Stress Relief – Running always makes me feel better, no matter how much I try to talk myself out of running. With all my crazy bar stress and general life stress [I don’t even want to talk about the last time I managed to get laundry done]

– Something to keep me motivated and accountable!

And I think if I can do this, I’ll be pretty proud of myself! Gidget’s Rule #6: You can do anything for a little while (in this case, 40 days).

Up for the challenge? Join me!

Also awesome sauce: I ordered a new pair of running shoes that should come tomorrow! Yes, that’s my third pair; no, none of them are worn out; yes, I might have a problem.