running injuries

Running Challenges

I am so glad I am back to being able to run on a regular basis! I LOVE it. Swimming is my #1 happy place–that is where I feel the most relaxed and happy but running is a close second. Running makes me feel strong, powerful, and happy. It boosts my mood. It reduces my stress level. It helps me manage my anxiety. It really is the best thing for healthy living, in my opinion.

Recently there was some guy on twitter, I can’t remember who–I think he was a professional runner or coach–who said that if you weren’t running less than a 10 minute mile, you weren’t a runner. There was a huge backlash, rightly so, and I hate to admit that his asinine comment has stuck with me since I read it.

I was very offended by that comment. I’ve never been a fast runner. Back in the day when I was about 20 pounds lighter and 10 years younger, I was running between a 9.5-10 minute mile and I felt pretty good. Then I had a series of running injuries. THEN I had a baby.

I was slow getting back to running after having Logan. I was working on strengthening my core and my pelvic floor. I was sleep deprived. I was breastfeeding…so I started slow. I’d go for long walks with Logan in the stroller and eventually I’d start jogging intervals. Eventually I built it back up.

But guess what? I’m still slow. I’m REALLY slow by most people’s standards. I take walk breaks. I don’t push myself to over-exert myself. WHY? Because I would rather be a SLOW RUNNER than an INJURED RUNNER who can’t run.

There are a lot of challenges with being a runner. One of them should NOT be the offensive, negative comments of “elite runners” judging us slow runners.

Anyway, I currently run twice a week during my lunch break at work. I’m back to running the waterfront loop in downtown Portland, which is around 3-3.5 miles long. If the weather is crappy, I use the treadmill. Not my favorite but it’s better than nothing. Right now I am sticking with twice a week but maybe by the end of summer with try 3 days a week.

Running Challenges

Being Slow

Does it matter? Like I stated above, is it THAT important to be fast? Or is it more important to just being able to do it at all?

One of the things I’ve noticed most about when I’m feeling extra slow, I look to my diet. When I was trying to limit the amount of carbs I ate to lose some weight, my runs were AWFUL. I was slow and tired and lethargic. My legs felt like lead. But I’d eat carbs and have a better run.

 

Being Sore

I would cross-train before I even knew it was a word. I think it’s really important for your body to do DIFFERENT types of workouts and vary it up a lot. It’s especially important mentally, too. I don’t know about you but I get bored doing the same thing over and over.

My current routine is – 

Sunday – Swim

Monday – Run

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – Weight lifting & Elliptical

Thursday – Rest Day

Friday – Run

Saturday – Big weight lifting day & cardio (bike, elliptical or stair-master)

I switch things up according to schedule stuff and if the weather is nice, I will run outside. If it’s bad, treadmill. Also, in the summer we usually do a lot of hiking. We’ll see if we do that this summer!

I also think including weightlifting in your routine is really important. Don’t skip it and just do cardio! Lifting weights has made me stronger and healthier and has kept me from getting injured running. Rest days are crucial as well, and I also space out my runs. I never run two days in a row. Having at least one day in between my running has been very beneficial for me.

 

Boredom

Sometimes running is really boring. Especially when you do the same routine all the time. Before I had my baby, I went to the gym after work and had a similar routine. One day I’d lift weights and the next day I’d run on the treadmill. After having Logan, I stopped going to the gym after work so I could spend time with him. Now I work out during my lunch break at work. It’s helped a lot and gives me more time for fun stuff after work plus it breaks up the work day!

The downside? I get bored doing the same thing. Running the water front is great, especially in summer! It’s sunny and warm and pretty. But the same route can be a snooze. So I switch it up each time. Since I do a loop, I go a different way each time. I’m basically doing the same run each time, but changing where I do it and I how I get to the waterfront. Sometimes I run on different bridges, or go a different direction. Whatever works to break up the routine.

Other tips are to run to a destination (which can be hard if you are on limited time), doing intervals, trail running, hill repeats, or run with a friend. I’m too slow right now to run with my friends, but I USED to run the waterfront with coworkers. It was fun! And they always pushed me to go a little faster than what I usually did.

 

Treadmill Boredom

The treadmill sucks. There’s no way around it. But sometimes that’s your only option. My suggestion? NETFLIX.

When I run on the treadmill during my lunch break I watch Netflix on my phone. I rarely have time to really watch TV these days, so it’s a nice thing! I recently watched the newest season of Bosch on Amazon Prime. I watched “The Five” on Netflix (outstanding!) and currently working through “Safe” (Dexter with a bad British accent but it’s pretty good). That’s really the only suggestion I have. Because the treadmill sucks.

QUESTION: What are some running challenges you face? Any other suggestions?

Most Popular Posts of All Time

I’ve been blogging since February 2010. 5 years! Holy cow! I started blogging as a fluke. I wanted to tell my story of losing 100 pounds but I didn’t think anyone would be interested in it…until I started getting page views and comments and it turned out that people WERE interested in my story! My very first blog post can be read here: My first Blog Post.

I think people wanted to read my story because a) they wanted to know how I lost 110 pounds and b) they wanted to know I kept it off for so long. Sadly, a lot of people who lose a significant amount of weight end up gaining it back (and sometimes more). It’s a struggle for sure and my hope is that as my blog evolved and I shared more about my life and lifestyle, I inspired others to lose weight and get healthy…and I was able to prove that losing weight doesn’t have to be TORTURE and you don’t have to starve yourself to do it.

oldpants

One of the most popular, of all time, posts is this one:

So…About that Runner’s Knee…

…Which is kind of a bummer. Having suffered from Runner’s Knee off and on for years, I get how devastating it can be. It can smash your dreams and goals. Having a chronic injury can be damaging emotionally. Learning how to navigate through fitness while healing from an injury can be HARD but it’s so worth it. I was glad I found other activities I could do when certain ones hurt my knees. I wasn’t going to GIVE UP. That was not an option. I had to find other things. That included weight lifting, kettlebell workouts, swimming, yoga, basically anything I could do to still workout and be healthy. Here are some popular posts:

Reshaping Your Body with Weight Lifting

Bike Buying Mistakes

 htc

Of course, posts I wrote about weight loss were always very popular.

Why Wednesday – Why You Should Lose Weight Slowly

How to Lose Weight – Week Four

M is for Measuring Mistakes

How to Count Calories

What Does 2,000 Calories a Day Look Like?

lisa-eirene

In recent years I probably slowed down on writing about weight loss. Mostly because I felt like I’d already said what I needed to say. But also because I’d gotten to a place where my life wasn’t about weight loss anymore. It was just about living. Being active, eating healthy, not focusing on losing those last few pounds. I stayed at my healthy weight for about 6 years and then gained a few pounds back. 2015 was about trying to lose that weight but…yeah, life had other plans. 🙂

I did a series on swimming and several posts ended up being in the top 20 of pageviews. Here are those popular ones:

How to Swim Freestyle

So You Want to Be a Swimmer

Lap Swimming Etiquette

I’ve written a lot about swimming. It’s close to my heart for a lot of reasons. I love it. I feel at home when I’m swimming and it’s how I lost most of my weight. Swimming was the main exercise I did to lose the first 30-50 pounds or so. It was hard work getting started, and boy was it hard work emotionally to get INTO the swimsuit and go to the pool, but once I was there, I loved it. And it worked. After I was able to lose some weight, I had more energy, I felt better, and I found other activities I could do. I started working out with a trainer for weight lifting, I used the elliptical and slowly started to find my way to running. It was a long journey, but that journey started in the pool.

This particular post was a hard one to write, but I think it resonated with a lot of people because I still get pageviews for it. I’m also thankful of all the friends and family that DID support me and do what they could to help.

Lose 100 Pounds, Lose Friends?

Finally, this random post I wrote about one day about something that was annoying me turned out to be a hot button topic for a lot of people! So many people could relate!

Thigh Gap Obsession

I appreciate all the readers that have been with me since the beginning, and I welcome the new ones that cycle in and out over the years. I enjoy the comments and feedback and I particularly love when a reader can really relate to something I wrote about and take the time to say something about it.

I don’t know where this blog will go in the future. But I have enjoyed my time doing it! 🙂