knee pain

What I Miss Most About Running

I didn’t know much I loved running until I couldn’t do it for awhile.

The last few months I’ve been running at the gym on the treadmill. I’ve been happy that I am back at it–happy like you wouldn’t believe–but it’s not quite the same as running outside.  What I missed about running was how much free time it gave me. For a long time I would get my runs in during my lunch break at work. It was nice, I got to run outside on the Esplanade Loop in the fresh air. I would run for just under an hour and have enough time to shower and clean up and be back at my desk to eat by the time my hour was up. It freed up my evenings. I was able to do more things, go out with friends, whatever I wanted really.

Sometimes the whole PROCESS of going to the gym feels like a drag. I have to drive there, find parking, change, etc etc. It just gets monotonous and tedious and it starts to feel like a drag. That’s how I’ve been feeling the last few weeks with this nice weather. I hate going to the gym when it’s sunny and warm outside! Biking to work once a week this month gave me a little of that freedom and outdoor activity I’d been craving. My recent flare-up made me take some time off, though.

Instead of biking last week, I decided I’d give running outside a try. My knees were ok but somehow I felt that if I’d tried biking that day they’d hurt. Would running hurt? Only one way to find out. I got home, changed, and headed outside. I went back to week 1 of the Couch to 5k program I was using because running outside is WAY different than a treadmill. I’m always sore in a different way when I run outside.

r5

The C25K app starts with a 5 minute warm-up walk. That’s about how long it takes me to walk down the street to the school track in our neighborhood. I got down there and there were kids practicing lacrosse (which I’ve never actually ever seen in person). I followed the app’s prompts to run/walk at intervals. Because it was Week 1 I was running for around 1-1.5 minutes, then walking for a minute, and so on. It was a good start to running outside after weeks of the treadmill but there were times where it was a little too easy.

I did my intervals around the track, my knees feeling decent, the sun warming my bare skin, and then my time was up. There’s a 5 minute cool-down walk at the end of the app but I didn’t feel ready to cool down. Instead, I decided to take the long way back to the house and run it.

r1

When I got back to the house I grabbed Bella (who had been very annoyed that I didn’t take her with me on my run!) and took her for a short walk as my cool-down.

r6

Bella was a little pull-y on the leash but she calmed down after a few minutes.  This was my cool-down/walk with Bella:

r3

Another thing I love about running that just isn’t the same when you’re on the treadmill–the contemplative time. I like letting my mind wander when I run outside. I come up with all sorts of good ideas! I was so happy I go to run outside! YAY summer! I have to admit, though, while I was out there running and thinking about my 5k and started to hear that little voice putting pressure on myself not to walk any of it…I told myself I wouldn’t put that pressure on myself and even if I had to walk some of the 5k, it was still better than not being able to do it at all. Funny how that competitive streak comes out…

r4
After my run, I stretched, I used my foam roller, I iced my knees (twice–once right after and then again before bed) and I also took a bath epsom salts. I recently discovered the kind for athletes and it works so great! It’s got rosemary and mint in it and it makes my sore muscles tingle and feel great.

drteals

For dinner I had quinoa and Trader Joe’s Chicken Shu Mai dumplings with quinoa and a salad. Lots of sriracha on top. It was a filling dinner and around 500 calories.

dinner1

For dessert I tried something new and it was great! I got a box of chocolate covered frozen bananas from Trader Joe’s and they are amazing. For only 140 calories you get something sweet and it’s a good substitute for ice cream. I satisfied that ice cream craving with these babies.

froban

r2

It’s just a bummer that there aren’t that many servings in the box. I can tell I need to stock the freezer with multiple boxes to have these treats on hand. 🙂

Back to the knees, they felt good. The next day my hips were really sore but my knees were ok so that’s all I care about! I also had a massage scheduled for that night. 🙂 My massage therapist spent a lot of time on my legs and hips and also did some stretches to help with my tight hips. It felt awesome!

Couch to 5k Update #3

Okay, I swear this post is NOT about repeating week 3 a dozen more times!! You can read the other posts in this series here:

Couch To 5k

Couch to 5k Update

Couch to 5k Update #2

Off the Couch and Running

I struggled to do 3 runs a week! Sometimes it was because of knee issues and I just didn’t want to push it. Sometimes it was because of scheduling–I was busy doing other things. Sometimes it was simply because the weather was really nice and I wanted to do other things like hiking and biking!

I was still using and loving the C25k app I bought. It’s really helpful. I also finally added some music to my iPhone (when I upgraded to the 5s I just never moved my music library over to the phone because I was too busy listening to podcasts to notice a difference) which makes running much nicer.

Week 4

Sunday Spin bike for 35 minutes, yoga 60 minutes
Monday Rest Day
Tuesday 2.15 mile run on treadmill, followed by weight lifting
Wednesday 35 min weightlifting and kettle bells, 1.28 miles on elliptical
Thursday Rest Day
Friday 1.25 mile swim
Saturday 2.3 mile run on treadmill, weight lifting, then 2.87 mile walk

Week 4 had longer running intervals (around 3 minutes average, one 5 minute run) in between the walking breaks. I was doing pretty well since before I had started this program I was already running for 5-10 minutes at a time before walking.

Week 4 (Again)

Sunday 2.17 miles elliptical, yoga, 1.75 mile walk
Monday Rest Day
Tuesday Ran 2.12 miles!
Wednesday  Biked 10.2 miles
Thursday Rest Day
Friday Swim 1.125 miles
Saturday Weight lifting followed by 2.05 mile treadmill run

Because I struggled to get 3 runs done in one week I extended Week 4 into the following week. I wish I could work out the scheduling kinks but I just don’t want to give up my swimming night or yoga night. I feel like it’s really beneficial for all around training. That just means that my 8 week Couch to 5k training plan is probably going to take me 12 weeks. 🙂

Week 5 

Sunday 2.17 miles elliptical, yoga, 1.75 mile walk
Monday Rest Day
Tuesday  2 mile treadmill run, followed by 25 min of weights
Wednesday 10.73 miles biked to work!
Thursday Yoga
Friday Rest Day, lots of walking in Vegas!
Saturday Some elliptical, .50 mile run on treadmill, weights, walking in Vegas

 

Week 5 (Still)

My vacation kind of through off the workout schedule and training. But that’s okay. It’s good to change things up. Week 5 on the training plan had me running for 8 minutes, then walking 5 minutes, repeat. I have to say that it was a bit of a jump from Week 4. Week 4 was running for 5-6 minutes, then walking. I feel like there should have been a little more build up to the 8 minutes!

Sunday Rest Day
Monday Rest Day
Tuesday 1.90 mile treadmill run, weights
Wednesday Biked to work 11.65 miles
Thursday Rest Day
Friday Swim 1.125 miles
Saturday Weight lifting, follow by 1.75 miles on treadmill

With my knees a little achy and tight in the recent week, I went back to Week 2 which felt way too easy (1.5 minute run followed by 2 minute walk) but I wanted to take it easy on myself in case my knees were really inflamed. So I hate to say it but the next update will probably have me doing week 5 still. LOL Oh well! I’m listening to my body.