Saturday, January 25, 2014

Recovery Is Important

Exercise is important but if you forget the recovery then you will injure yourself and become unable to exercise at all. I want to talk about recovery because it is going to take a lot of work for me to keep training harder to run longer distances. But with more work comes more effort I need to put in on the recovery process. The fact that my foot is having problems showed me I needed to take some time and effort to fix it quickly so that I could get out there and run again sooner. I purchased two products this week to aid me in this, a n 18" foam roller and a hot/cold foot roller. The foam roller came with a 15 minute muscle massage routine DVD. I am going to try out that video tomorrow on my rest day. 

I ran three days this week. Sadly, I didn't run last week except on the treadmill and elliptical, which in my mind really don't count as running but do count as exercise. I did some strength training but not as much as I need to. I ran two days at our park for five miles each. Today, I was supposed to have a 7.5 mile run. I was doing pretty well until I got to four miles. We went to a new park to run because it was a longer track and it has inclines. It also has a lot of downhill slopes that were very hard on my toes. It pushed my feet down into the tops of my shoes and caused shooting pain through my toes and the tops of my feet. I managed to get them to stop hurting for a short time and run another mile but in the end I only ran a little more than 5 miles. My teenage son hurt himself riding his new penny board and was in a lot of pain, too, so I used that as an excuse to stop and come home instead of running for another 45 minutes it would take to finish the 7.5 miles. 

The incline is going to be a great help in training for our half marathon in August, there will be three miles of incline. But the slopes...ouch. It is my hope that over time I can build up my strength so that the slopes won't bother my toes anymore. If not, I will have to turn around when I get to those parts of the path instead of going all the way around the park. I am going to do my long runs each week out there on Saturdays. During the week I will keep running close to home. 

When I got home from my run I had a fabulous bath in my jet tub. I spent two hours in the tub and it was so relaxing. I used the jets to massage every part of my feet including my ankles. I think that is going to be a weekly routine to help aid my recovery process since my long runs will be on the weekend. I am glad I figured out that it would be so beneficial. I will still use the foot roller. I am putting my feet up on pillows for a while in bed each night, too. After my bath I scrubbed the dead skin off my heals and put some extra emollient night cream on them and covered them with socks for the night. I massaged it into my feet to give them even more attention. 

I love my new shoes. They felt great until the slopes started taking their toll. We will see how my feet do on Monday when there is just a normal trail to run on. It has been a very good week. I am hoping for many more weeks like this one. 

Changing my life one day at a time.

New Running Shoes

Today was a first for me. I went to The Runner store and got fitted for running shoes. If you have never done this and you are a runner, I would suggest you put aside some money each week and then go buy you a really good pair of running shoes. I have read a lot of articles and talked to a lot of runners and they tell me the same thing; the type of shoe you run in matters. 

When I went in he had me roll up my pant leg half way to my knee and take off my shoes. I stood in front of him while he looked at my stance. Then I turned around and he looked at my stance from the back. He determined that I have a very low arch and I tend to over compensate by landing the wrong way on my foot. That is why my foot hurts on the side. He brought out four different shoes that help correct my problem. They have a support on the inside of my foot so that I will land more on the center of my foot. He also told me I needed a bigger shoe than what I measure for because your foot swells when you run. I have never purchased a size 9 before but it feels pretty good on. He also showed me how to tie the shoe in a runners bow. It helps the shoe to feel tighter around the back instead of slipping. 

I can't wait to run in them this afternoon. I have a long run planned, it is a training run, so I am looking forward to seeing how the shoe feels during that run. The weather is supposed to be wonderful this afternoon. It will be great to get out and get some sunshine and exercise. I am going to save up and buy another pair of shoes in a couple of months so I can trade them out instead of only having one shoe to run in. I have read that it is good to do that. It helps your shoes last longer and then you aren't having to rush and buy new shoes when they wear out. A friend has a brand of shoe she really loves but this store didn't carry, Newtons. I am going to try those shoes next. Then I can see which shoe I like the best. 

Going to spend the early afternoon with my family and then get ready for an awesome run later today. Hope you are going to spend your Saturday doing something fun, too. Yes, running to me is fun. There is nothing quite like the rush I get when I am getting close to finishing my goal and after I finish it. 

Changing my life one day at a time. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Running Takes Work

It's true. I won't lie. Running takes work. A lot of work. It is hard. Don't let anyone try to tell you running is easy. It isn't. But think about it. The things that are the most worth while and rewarding take the most work. I have managed to LET myself NOT run off and on the past year and a half out of laziness and negative self talk. Despite the fact that I saw awesome results from running, I quit over and over. No more! My husband says he can't figure out why people quit doing what is working, why they give up. It is the metal talk that goes on inside their heads. It is bumps in the road that get us off track and it takes metal strength to get back on track. I feel that I have gained my metal strength back these last few weeks because of my time with the Lord each morning, I have been doing that since October. I am openly seeking HIS strength to do the things in my life that I need to do. It has made such a difference in my days and in my attitude. And my success. The picture isn't very glamorous, but I had just come in from running five miles and the sun went down so the air got colder. I'm OK with not looking glamorous. I am a runner. There are times to be a runner and look like a runner and then there are times to dress up. I am proud to be a runner and look like I just came in from a run in the cold winter air. Becoming a runner was one of the best things I ever did for myself. 

I feel like I am back on track because I can actually RUN the majority of my run instead of having to walk to slow my heart rate. When I am not running regularly I can't run the whole way like I can when I run on a regular basis. I build up my heart and my lungs by running more than once a week. This week I ran two 5 mile runs, so far. The first one I had to walk for short periods of time during the first three miles and then ran the last two miles. Today when I ran I didn't have to walk at all. I did walk down a slope each of the five times I went that way, which was only about 6 seconds of my time. I say "so far" because I have a scheduled training run tomorrow for 7.5 miles. 

I have mentioned it before, but during my runs I listen to contemporary Christian music and spend the time talking to the Lord or just singing to him in my heart to the music. I also spend the time encouraging myself along the way. I tell myself how great I'm doing, how far I have run, how far I have left, etc. I use the Nike+ app and it tells me how much farther I have to go. Sometimes it is easier to think about how far you have to go as it gets lower than to think of the big number. 

For me the mental battle to run and exercise is such a big one. I have fed myself lies since I was a teenager that I could not run. I sure blew that out of the water, didn't I? But each day that I get up I have to have a plan. I have to know ahead of time what type of exercise I am going to do. That sets it in my head and keeps me dedicated and accountable to myself. I have a goal to get healthier. Not just to lose weight, but yes, losing weight is something I really want to do. I know it will make me a better runner and my health will be better when I have less fat on my body. 

One thing I need to make sure I am doing is my strength training. I do that at home, on my own. So that takes planning and metal preparation, too. I see many great tips online for workouts. I just have to put them into practice. I do a full body workout two or three times a week. It is easier for me to get in two or three weight training workouts than to try to do two upper body and two lower body weekly. On the weekends I write down what my workouts will be for the week. Doing that has really helped me. 

Something new has been bothering me this week, the side of my foot starts hurting after a run. I purchased a hot/cold foot roller the other day and it really helps. I also purchased a foam roller to help roll out the muscles that get tight from my running and other types of exercise. Both good investments for a runner, I believe. My shoes are over a year and a half old so they aren't working like they should. I paid under $50 for them because I wasn't sure at the time just how much of a runner I would be. I know now that I am dedicated to running and can't wait to run more and more the rest of my life. I want to run half marathons and full marathons and who knows what other crazy running adventures I will attempt. But I am looking forward to the challenge of beating my best with each new race. I am looking forward to seeing the changes in my body that will show the strength I am gaining through the training I will be doing on a daily basis. It is my goal to continue to keep my body and mind strong as long as I am alive. My first step in that direction will be tomorrow when I go to the runners store and buy a REAL pair of running shoes that will make my feet feel great when I run. I am super excited. 

If you haven't set your fitness goals for the new week, do it now. Make a plan and then stick to it. You will feel so accomplished at the end of the week when you can look in the mirror and tell yourself "You did it. Way to go." You can do it. I believe in you. Take it one day at a time and do something. Get moving. Make a healthy food choice. Just take the steps forward to a healthier you. 

Changing my life one day at a time. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Healthy Food Choices

On my search for healthy foods, I have been lucky to find some things that taste good and are good for you. I want to share those with you as I find them. Today I broke my fast, I did a three day cleanse, with a healthy meal before my workout. I had a piece of toast with peanut butter and jelly on it plus a banana. 

The bread I have found is wonderful. It is a local company called Heartland Bread Company. They have different types of bread and we have tried all of them. The one I had today was Grandma's Perfect White. The ingredients are so like what I use to make bread, simple. It has untreated, unbleached wheat flour, water, pure cane sugar, salt and yeast. That's it! I have searched for a store bought bread that didn't have extra ingredients in it for the past 10 years or more. I found this on at my Tom Thumb store. They have signs under products that are local, like this one. I buy three or four loaves and freeze all of them but the one we are eating. They don't have preservatives so they won't keep like the other breads that are full of things we shouldn't eat. My kids love it.

The peanut butter is Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter Creamy. It contains peanuts and less than 1% salt. I don't have to put it in the refrigerator but I do have to stir it. I am OK with having to do that since it tastes good and is better for me. I love to eat it on toast. 

I just found this jelly, Smucker's Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread. NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. YAY! It contains strawberries, sugar, fruit pectin and citric acid. It tastes really good and it comes in four flavors, strawberry, grape, raspberry and orange. I love the strawberry but I am sure the other flavors taste good, too. 

I can't wait to share more healthy products with you. I post some healthy recipes on my other blog. I just posted my bread recipe. I have made rolls with that recipe, too. 

Changing my life one day at a time.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Angelmom's White Bread

Angelmom's White Bread


2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar (organic)
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil (soften first)
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (organic)

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface (or in your very large bowl.) Place in a well oiled bowl and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Rising in a warm oven (turned off) works best.

Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. I bake it at 325 degrees instead for a softer texture. I use loaf stones (instead of glass) to avoid burning the bottom on the loaves.

I have also made this recipe for rolls. I cooked it at the same lower temp and it cooked the same amount of time. I used a muffin stone for it. I don't like burnt bread or cookies.

Also, if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer use the wire whip attachment to mix the flour into the other ingredients. Then use the dough hook to knead the dough. I love my mixer. It makes baking so much easier and more fun.

Until next time...blessings to you.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Jiggle Butt Run 5K

Today I ran my first race of the new year, the Jiggle Butt Run 5K. It benefits Safe Haven of Tarrant County. It is a race that I will be doing every year with my daughters. They didn't run with me this year but I am going to get them to do it next year. This race was in my city. I love that I have found some races that are so close to me because it makes it so much easier to get to and from the races without tons of time driving. 

I ran 4 miles on Tuesday and 4 miles on Thursday this week. So the run today seemed much easier to accomplish with less walking and a faster completion time. I did it in 42.56. That is a few minutes off my time of late. I had done it in a shorter distance a year ago but things have slowed me down. That is what I am working on improving, getting my time back to what it was and even shorter. I was very proud of my performance in the run. I pushed myself throughout the run but at the same time I did my best to run at a consistent pace so I could keep running more than walking. I thought I was running very slowly at times but the time show that not to be true. I tried to only walk short periods of time and force myself to run. The whole point of doing it is to actually run, for me anyway. There isn't anything wrong with walking. But if you intend to you, like me, you should run as much as you are able. I do believe you are a runner if you run any amount. I don't think you are less of a runner if you walk during a run. Don't let anyone tell you differently. If you want to be a better runner, just keep running. Run more each time you run. Never give up.

I am working on strength training, too. I want to start running stairs. I saw in the runners magazine that if you spend 20-30 minutes running up stairs and walking down them, over and over, it will help you with running inclines. I just need to find some stairs to run. There was some incline on the run today and I was able to run most of it. For some reason I have no desire to do the DVD workouts that I have done in the past. I have been doing free weight workouts and using the workout machine in the garage. Plus, I want to do that stairs workout twice a week. 

I honestly wish I had another 5K lined up for January. I wanted to do the Polar Dash and didn't sign up for it. I am contemplating signing up with it now simply because I can't stand waiting so long to race again. My next race that I am signed up for is the Hot Chocolate 5K on February 8. That will always be my favorite race. I will do that one every year. So unless I find another race for January my next race is in February. 

Changing my life one day at a time. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HELLO 2014

Seems like only weeks ago that I was looking towards 2013 with anticipation. I had yet to run my first 5K even though I had started running during the summer of 2012. Looking back over the year I see that I tried many things to get on the right track but didn't keep doing all of them consistently. That is the reason I didn't reach the weight loss goals I had set. 

I am proud of the fact that I ran in six 5K races in 2013. I am already signed up for nine in 2014; seven 5K's, one 10K and one half marathon. That is HUGE! I don't think the 10K is that major since I have run 5 miles before and a 10K is only 6.2 miles. But the half marathon is 13.1 miles. That seems huge to me. I am super excited about it but at the same time I KNOW if I do not keep running regularly and do not train I will not be happy with the results of that race. I will feel that I wasted money, since it was the most expensive race I have even thought about signing up for. I know I want to cross that finish line with confidence that I did my very best. I am not really worried about the time, other than actually finishing within the time frame they allow. It would be great if I could increase my run time and finish strong. 

My run time goal for 2014 is to get it down to a 10 minute mile. That is quite a challenge since right now I have slowed down to about 14 minutes instead of the 13 that I was doing earlier last year. I am not sure why I have slowed down so much. But it probably has to the with the fact that I have put on 10 pounds and don't run regularly. I WILL change that in 2014. 

I joined a fb group that has a goal to run 1 mile a day or 365 miles in 2014. If I am doing my training for the 10K and the Half, that should be no problem at all. I am also doing what I can to eat healthier. I know I need to start a food journal and track everything I eat. It is easy to misjudge how much we are eating if we don't track it. I am trying to make sure I take my vitamins and other things that will help my thyroid get back on track. I will share more about those changes if food and activity as the year goes by. 

I hope everyone has great goals set for the new year. Make them count. Take it one day at a time and do something towards those goals. Doesn't have to be a big step, take baby steps. Change one choice you make at a meal. Go for a walk instead of eat a snack that is unhealthy for you. Decide to eat a smaller portion of something. Go to bed earlier so you can get a good night's rest. Drink water instead of soda or some other sugary drink. You have a blank "notebook" with 365 pages. It is up to you what you write on each page. 

Changing my life one day at a time.