Post-Injury Running

**Getting a little more serious for today’s Thinking out Loud post. No random rambles from me today!**

I’ve been running injury-free again for about 4 months now after being out for about 4 months. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than telling a runner they can’t run. Not that anyone specifically told me not to, but I’ve learned my lesson after dealing with the same injury 3 times.

As painful as it was (physically and emotionally), I needed it to happen again. I learned a lot about myself in that time and really healed my relationship with exercise.

I’ve worked hard at overcoming the effects of an eating disorder. First I had to face the food issues, and I did after 4 years of struggling. But eventually I also had to realize that I was addicted to exercise. And not in a healthy way. Repairing that relationship wasn’t my main priority at first- I knew I was eating enough to fuel my activity levels and that was enough. I didn’t see anything wrong with running 7 every day because being an athlete is all I’ve ever known. I started swimming competitively at 6 years old and eventually progressed to swimming 7 days a week for several hours a day. When I quit swimming and joined track, my coach advocated running 6 days a week (sometimes I was on a 13 day cycle) and cross-training the last day.

393447_4429298660575_1955509112_nAfter I dealt with my calf issues for the 3rd time, I started looking back on when I was most successful. When I was running a sub-20 minute 5k (pre-blogging), I was “only” running 35 miles a week spread over 5 days, not the 50-60 miles over 7 days I got used to. When I was running healthiest and happiest post-collegiate running last fall, I was running 9 miles, 4 times a week, or 36 miles. I grew to really love this distance and I always looked forward to my runs because I was only doing them 4 times a week.

I’d love to workout 7 days a week, but my body doesn’t. I get injured the second I add too many days or up my intensity, and I’m learning to respect that. It means that when I’m tempted to run 5 days a week and go for a long bike ride a 6th day as the weather gets nicer, I have to restrain myself. I can handle 4 days of running and 1 day of biking (or yoga or spinning or something else entirely). But I can’t handle much more than that. My body rebels every single time. It’s crazy that it took me 5 years to figure it out, but that’s what happens when you’re controlled by an eating disorder.

Stepping away from the blog world for a few months also made a huge difference for me. As much as I enjoy blogging, I let it become something I “had” to do every day. For awhile, I let my blog world become my reality. I thought it was normal to exercise 7 days a week, running upwards of 60 miles because that’s what I saw other bloggers doing. I thought that if it worked for them, it would work for me too. I should have known better, especially working at a running store where we’re all about finding the right shoe for the individual. Like not every shoe works for every person, not every exercise regimen works for every person either ;)

Capture2For me, I function best exercising for a little bit longer less days of the week. I’m still relatively active on my rest days, but I also really make the most of my couch time. I still walk to work and cover about 3-4 miles on foot, but I do that every day. If I don’t bike on the weekend, it’s a full rest day- no long walks, just letting my body recover some more.

I still get to enjoy my November Project workouts- but instead of counting them as “rest days” as I did in the past, I count them as my toughest day of the week by running to the workout. I also no longer push myself to the limits while I’m there because I’d rather enjoy my time with friends than kill myself trying to fit in as many reps as possible in 40 minutes. Because where’s the fun in that? The whole point of this workout group is that you do it in a social setting.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 7.11.49 AMI’m still an active person. I have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time and I’d rather be out and about on the weekend than laying on the couch. I walk home at lunch to stretch my legs. I enjoy going to workout classes and fitness events because it’s something I’m passionate about. But it doesn’t rule my life anymore. I run 4 days a week which gives me flexibility to choose which days I wake up and run and it keeps me from feeling like it’s something I need to check off my “to-do” list. I never force my runs anymore. I’ll repeat this one because it’s important. I never force my runs anymore. Ever. If I’m not feeling it, I don’t go.

Exercise addiction is real. I don’t know if my body suddenly became injury-prone after putting so much stress on it for so long, but I do know that I’m extremely injury prone now. It’s unfortunate that I had to deal with so many issues before I let it all sink in, but it’s also an important lesson I needed to learn. It took me 4 years to finally feel “recovered” from an eating disorder (I don’t believe in 100% recovered because it’s something that could always come back at any time, but it no longer controls my life in any way), and it took me even longer than that to repair my relationship with exercise. But now that I have, it’s infinitely more enjoyable.

There is more to life than exercise.

No questions, just comments.

Get Outside.

I love being outside. The spring and the fall are bar none my favorite seasons. I love summer too, obviously, but it doesn’t come close to those “in-between” months. I’ve never been one to complain about winter (too much) and I’d still rather run outside when it’s -4 degrees than hop on a dreadmill, but there’s something about soaking in that vitamin D.

This weekend was our first real “spring” weekend and I soaked up every second of daylight. Saturday morning I went to THB for breakfast with KBT before I left for Annapolis. My brother had a lacrosse game against Navy so I decided to make a day of it. I got to my aunt and uncle’s house around 9am and headed out for a run. Running in downtown Annapolis is probably one of my top 5 favorites places. It’s that beautiful. They live across the bridge from the Naval Academy so it’s perfect for running. I covered 8ish miles and made it back in time to shower before heading over to my brother’s game.

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View from the bridge

My uncle was a captain in the Navy for many years so whenever I visit he gives me the royal tour of the Academy. We were running late but he wanted to show me the new commissary and then we took the scenic route to the fields. Because he has a military ID, I didn’t have to wait in the line to pass through the metal detector.

The fields are literally on the water. I was in heaven and kept snapping pictures to send to my mom who is on a business trip in Chicago and couldn’t come. I love lacrosse, but I was really just so excited to be outside. Unfortunately, Delaware ended up losing but my brother got to play for a bit at the end of the game (freshman rarely play).

He's number 72

He’s number 72

After the game ended, my brother and I went in search of food. My uncle gave us tickets to the Army Navy lacrosse game that started right after my brother’s game, but we were hungry and under a time constraint so we didn’t go.  We went to Chick and Ruth’s diner in the middle of downtown. It was on Man vs. Food for their 6-lb milkshake. I went there before with my parents when I was a freshman and loved it. We waited forever for our food but it was worth it. I ordered a create your own chopped grilled chicken salad and it was one of the best restaurant salads I’ve ever had. I also got a cookies n’ cream milkshake and it was better than last time. We left stuffed. I honestly didn’t think I’d have room for dinner.

not from this weekend but i really like milkshakes

not from this weekend but i really like milkshakes

I drove him back to the megabus station in Baltimore so he could go back to Delaware. We waited for a half hour only to find out that there were 2 megabus stops and we were at the wrong one, so he missed the bus. I ended up driving him back to Delaware myself which made for way too many hours in the car.

When I got back, KBT and I went to Jimmy’s Famous Seafood for dinner around 9pm. I don’t like seafood but I enjoy going to seafood restaurants. They usually have really good burgers which is what I ordered. I was eying the dessert menu so we split the red velvet cake. It was the best red velvet cake I’ve ever eaten.

IMG_5869We hung out with KBT’s friend after we finished eating who was DJing. It was a really low-key place and we will absolutely be back. I want to check off a few more of those desserts! By the time we left at 11:30 I was completely exhausted.

11128772_10204283878800222_6746726150919199600_nSunday morning we (KBT) made pancakes before we drove down to the BWI trail again for a bike ride. It only took us 45 minutes this time to do the 12 miles so we’re going to do it twice next week until we’re ready to bike somewhere further, like Annapolis. I’m learning how to use about half the gears and put my bike on his car. Still working on the left hand gears and putting the tire back on. Baby steps.

CaptureFrom BWI, we drove down to DC to look at more apartments. After the first three were somewhat unsuccessful, we went to the last one (the furthest from Baltimore) and found a winner. It wasn’t the one I was hoping he’d choose at first, but it had the best feel and is closest to places where there are more things to do so I eventually came around.

The best part about KBT’s new apartment is that it’s close to Alexandria where my best friend from high school just moved, so whenever I go down to DC, I’ll be able to see her too. We were starving by the time we were done so we decided to get something to eat in Alexandria. We were able to eat outside (so I could work on my tanning game) and then walked along the waterfront before grabbing some ice cream and making the trip back to Baltimore.

Capture2It definitely made everything feel real and it will be hard until I adjust to the distance, but I could not have asked for a more perfect weekend. I got to see so many family members, spend so much time outside, eat really good food, and enjoy the company of one of my favorite people, so I really can’t complain. I love the weekends, but I’m also so tired by the end of them that I don’t mind using the weekdays to catch up. So here’s to another week!

Did you get to enjoy the weather at all this weekend?

What’s your favorite season?

4/5-4/11

Sun- 15 mile bike ride + walking the dogs 2ish miles

KBT and I went out to the BWI trail for a long bike ride. It was gorgeous and the perfect place for me to get used to my new bike!

IMG_5822Mon- OFF/evening walk

It was 70 degrees when I left work. All I wanted to do all day was run but as I was leaving, I didn’t want to run as much as I had earlier. It was so nice out that I still wanted to be outside so I compromised and went for a 2ish mile walk instead after dinner.

Tues- 9.5 miles

I woke up earlier than normal so I headed out for a long run. It was the best one I’ve had in awhile. Probably since the day I ran 12 miles a month ago. It was 60 degrees and had just finished raining so it was the perfect weather- almost too warm. I wanted to keep going but had to get to work. I also ran into a friend from November Project at the halfway point.

Wed- 7 miles Nov Proj + afternoon yoga at work

6 rainy miles to and from the workout along with another mile or so of stairs and “sprints.” We also mixed some pushups and squats in there, but we might have cheated so our workout was mostly stairs. And jumping in the air apparently. This is embarrassing. I wasn’t in the mood for afternoon yoga so I skipped that in favor of leaving a little early.

Capture2Thurs- OFF

Unless you count eating pizza as a workout. Which I do.

Fri- 10.5 miles Nov Proj

I didn’t sleep well at all Thursday night (I actually don’t usually sleep well the nights before NP because I’m so worried about getting to bed early enough/getting enough sleep) because of all the thunderstorms so I woke up pretty tired. I love November Project but man sometimes I just want to turn off my alarm and go back to sleep. If it wasn’t for seeing so many friendly faces (and the threat of #verbal shaming), I might. After I make the 2 mile run to Patterson Park, though, I’m fine and I love it. I did 2 hills with one of the co-leaders before the workout then did another 4 hills with some of the other core females. It was kind of cold but also kind of warm, so I wore a tank top and shorts. I’m from NH, 43 degrees is warm. Then I ran 2 miles home and felt really accomplished from my double digit run.

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CLEARLY struggling by mile 8 of 10

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Also fit some lunges in there

Sat- 8ish miles around Annapolis

My brother had a lacrosse game yesterday so I drove down early to go for a run along the water. Running in Annapolis is one of my favorite things to do. I have a lot of family there so I know the area well. If I stay in this area long-term, that’s where I want to be.

 

Total- 36 miles + 15 miles biking + a few walks

Overall this was a pretty much perfect week for me. I got in a lot of solid workouts and took my rest days. It’s going to be a struggle for me to not run everyday as the weather gets warmer. I know myself though and looking back at my injury history, my calves start acting up the second I start pushing the mileage and days of the week. For me, I’m healthiest and happiest when I’m running 4 times a week. I used to think I could exercise (and even run) every day, but I can’t, and I accept that now. If I’m really going to get serious about biking this summer (which is my plan), I can’t be running 5 days a week in addition to a long bike ride. So I’m keeping my running at 4 days a week, 30-35 miles, and occasionally adding in a long bike ride on the weekends. That still leaves two full rest days a week. If I need to go for walks to enjoy being outside, then I will, but making sure I give my legs ample recovery time is really important to keeping myself injury-free.

TOL: Surprises

Happy Thursday! We made it! This week is moving at a snail’s pace, but at least the craziness from last week has died down and I’m back to working normal hours again. Last week was exhausting, so I’m still playing catch-up. I have no idea how I’m pulling off 3 posts in a row, so let’s roll with it. It won’t be happening often. I don’t have any desire to blog 7 days a week anymore, 4 is pretty much as much as I can handle. But for now, it’s time to think out loud with Amanda.

1) My hair is getting really, really long. I can’t bring myself to get a haircut though. It’s taken years to get to this point and I love it. p.s. this was my snapchat to Carrie. For those of you don’t know, we “met” through blogging but then became real life friends when we both lived in Rhode Island a few summers ago. Best summer ever.

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ignore the bags under my eyes- this was last week when I was too stressed to sleep and hadn’t eaten red meat in awhile.

2) My coworker made everyone cupcakes last week. She said she likes to bake when she’s stressed. Well, I like to help taste-test her treats when she’s stressed. Red Velvet cupcakes never tasted better than at 3:30 on a Thursday with hundreds of campaigns in the queue.unnamed-13) I’ve been all about the surprises lately. First there was the April Fool’s Day surprise at November Project last week and now there are a few surprises in the works for the first weekend in May. I don’t want to say too much though. Because that ruins the whole surprise thing. But I’m really excited about it, I will say that. May 2nd can’t come soon enough.

4) I’m spending Saturday down in Annapolis because my brother has a lacrosse game and my parents can’t be there. Plus, I love Annapolis. And family (my aunt/uncle/cousins live there). And running along the water. And Navy. And basically anything nautical, which is what Naptown is all about. I’m a little excited.

Screen-Shot-2013-11-23-at-1.10.55-PM5) I’m finally turning into an adult. My dad told me we need to have a “meeting” so he can teach me how to be a smart saver. That’s not nearly as much fun as blowing your savings on lululemon and bikes. I like lululemon. And suddenly I like bikes too.

6) My dad called me last weekend and the first words of his mouth were “I have some bad news.” Naturally this caused my stomach to turn upside down. It turns out his bad news was that he had to change our phone plan, and in doing so, I lost my unlimited data plan. I use a LOT of data, so for me that’s not just bad news, that’s really bad news. We now share 6GB and I alone use at least that on a monthly basis. I blame it on the fact that my internet doesn’t work in my bedroom, so I use my phone for everything. I’m really mad at Verizon right now.

7) I’m not very good at texting. My emoji game though? On point. The thing is, I’ll text you if you text me first, but I very rarely will text you first. It probably has to do with the whole fear of not getting a response thing. I have a couple friends I will text throughout the day (not even KBT) having pointless conversations (see below), but for the most part, I only use texting to finalize plans- “business purposes,” if you will. My phone is primarily used for social media, but that uses data, so those days are gone. I’m mostly just mad I can’t scroll though instagram and twitter when I’m walking to/from work, or when I’m waiting in line somewhere. This is the definition of first world problems.

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As you can see, the thumbs up and heart eyes are my two favorite emojis

8) I got Jury Duty in the end of May which has never happened before. I’m not thrilled. I was just telling my roommates I had never gotten it before and suddenly I get a letter in the mail. Karma.

9) Another Wednesday, another November Project. This isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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10) I just need to get through today. I’m meeting KBT after work and we’re going out for dinner with some friends. Pretty happy about it since as I mentioned Tuesday, weekends are the only time we can see each other anymore. It will be a good night.

What are your most frequently used emojis?

Have you ever gotten Jury Duty?

My Running Essentials

It’s been awhile since I last talked about what I run in. I’m a pretty simple runner. And the worst salesperson ever according to my manager at the running store–only because one time a customer asked me what nutrition/accessories I use and I said I don’t use anything. I’m REALLY good at selling shoes, compression socks, regular socks, etc. But I don’t use any gels or bars, I eat swedish fish. I don’t carry a phone when I run so I have no use for a fanny pack or earbuds. So when asked, I’m honest. I say I don’t use any of those products, but I’ve learned to add that “X product is really popular.”

So here’s what I DO use. We’ll start from the ground up.

1) MIZUNOS.

We all know how much I love mizuno. I’ve worn their sneakers for 4 years now and cannot find any other brand that works as well as they do for me. I do alternate with Hokas occasionally, but they bother me on the top of my foot sometimes. I literally have nothing bad to say about Mizuno. I love their clothing, I love their shoes, and I love their latest hashtag #mileschangeyou

I miss my elixirs

I miss my elixirs

2) Compression socks.

I’ve tried 4 different brands now and I still love Pro Compression the best. My massage therapist told me to make sure I’m wearing graduated compression socks because if they’re just regular compression, they’ll do more harm than good. Luckily, these are graduated so I will continue wearing them. I’ve been a fan of Pro Compression since before I became an ambassador and my collection keeps growing.

975486_10200122675532741_1461637249_n13) Under Armour Get Going Shorts (I don’t think they actually have this line anymore).

I used to be a huge fan of nike tempos, and I still tend to race in my favorite pair, but my favorite everyday running shorts are the Under Armour ones. They’re forgiving on the legs, have a wide waistband, a convenient key holder, and the material is really soft. I wear them all the time and I love them.

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All of my favorite brands- UA Shorts, Garmin, Road ID, AND Pro compression sleeves

4) Pro Compression leggings.

I wear these leggings 2-3 days a week, no joke. I wear them to work with boots, I wear them to yoga, and I run in them. They’re also part of my “weekend outfit.” They’re so comfortable, they don’t fall down, they’re flattering, and they’re really reasonably priced. Love. I’m waiting for the all-black ones to come back in stock so I can order more. Right now, I just re-wear them multiple days a week because they never get stretched out.

actually wore them this weekend when I was "modeling" HA

actually wore them this weekend when I was “modeling” HA

5) Lululemon Run Swiftly Tank

These have replaced my favorite Nike tanks. I used to wear the miler singlets (and still do) but the lululemon ones are perfect to run, spin, do yoga, or go to work in. They’re really comfortable, just fitted enough that they don’t leave your stomach showing during yoga moves like down dog, and they’re flattering. I’m slowly growing my collection of them but I have a feeling they’re going to take over my running wardrobe soon, especially now that I’m on the R&D list.

Capture26) Nike miler long sleeves

I love these as a base-layer in the winter and for a top-layer in the spring and summer on my way to November Project when it’s a little too cold to start my run in a tank top. They’re so silky and I like that they aren’t too fitted. They’re just a reliable shirt to run in and I wear the few I have all the time, whether I’m running or lounging around.

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I’m in the green Nike miler shirt next to the girl in the red shirt

7) Champion Sports Bras.

I don’t know many people who don’t love the sports bras from target. They just work. I have several and can’t justify spending $30 plus on a sports bra. Fortunately, I don’t need one with tons of support so these work just fine for me.

reallyyyy old picture from 2011

reallyyyy old picture from 2011

8) Sparkly Soul Headbands

These are the ONLY headbands that stay in my hair. I don’t have to adjust them at all. They don’t move. I love them and need to get some more because my hair is getting to the point where I have a lot of flyaways (I guess that’s a sign I need a haircut) and rotate between the same 3 I own every time I run. They’re worth it though.

introduced to them at Runner's World and never looked back

introduced to them at Runner’s World and never looked back

9) Garmin Forerunner 10/15

I don’t run with a watch but this is the watch I used to wear. Mine hasn’t been updated/charged in over 6 months now but I do plan on breaking it in again soon.

Screen-Shot-2013-11-14-at-9.53.11-PM10) Saucony mittens.

Obviously winter is over (thank goodness) but I wore these almost every day this winter. They don’t seem like they’ll be that warm because they’re so thin, but my hands were always sweating in them. I even wore them skiing with a pair of gloves underneath because I left my ski mittens at home.

Capture3**I received no compensation for this post. These are all products i use and love on a regular basis.**

What are you running in these days?

The Easter That Wasn’t

This weekend my mom and I decided Easter wasn’t a thing this year. My brother just finished up spring break so he was on a plane back to Delaware 7am Sunday morning, and I was still here in Maryland. In the past, I’ve gone to my cousin’s house when I couldn’t be home for holidays, but that didn’t work out this year. So instead, my mom and I agreed that we were “skipping Easter.” We’re not super religious but I did grow up going to church regularly. To ease the pain of my brother flying back to school and me being away from home, we didn’t celebrate the holiday. Next year my parents are going to come down for it. Even though I’m happy here, it’s not easy being away from home during traditionally “family” events.

That being said, I had the most relaxing weekend. I got out of work on time for the first time all week, drove to the suburbs near DC where KBT was dogsitting, took the dogs for a walk, made pesto pasta and brownie sundaes, and finished House of Cards. Perfect Friday night.

not recalled anymore!

not recalled anymore!

Saturday we were busy. We took the dogs for a longer walk, enjoyed a pancake breakfast, and then headed out for the day. I had to get my oil changed in my car so we dropped it off on our way to DC. I haven’t talked about it much because it’s not my life to share, but KBT started a new job in January and has been commuting from Baltimore to DC. Two-hours each way. He will be moving to DC in June so I tagged along while he looked at some apartments on Saturday. To say it hasn’t been easy is an understatement and it’s only going to get harder, but it is what it is. Nobody said relationships were easy and I try not to complain because it could be worse. I will say I’m really glad I’m pretty independent and that I have a life outside of my relationship because it means I don’t need to rely on someone else to make me happy. BUT that’s also why my weekends seem like they’re so full. When you only see someone two days a week, you make the most of those two days.

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I tried the godiva stuff you see in the corner. Wasn’t a fan. I’ll stick to regular syrup.

After apartment hunting we stopped at the store to get some food to make for dinner, I dealt with a quick work crisis, fell asleep on the couch for an hour, and we took the dogs for another walk.

CaptureOh, and we (okay KBT) made some steak and corn and we had leftover pasta. After dinner I looked at dresses on Rent the Runway for a wedding we’re going to in a few weeks while he watched basketball. And had some more ice cream and brownies. I’m a big fan of these quiet weekends.

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I couldn’t finish my steak so the rest went to the dogs

Sunday (aka non-Easter) we went for a walk then got our stuff together for a bike ride. I haven’t used my bike yet because the weather has been sub-par and I didn’t have a helmet yet. We took advantage of the warmer temps Sunday and headed down to the BWI trail and rode for about an hour and a half. I’m guessing we covered around 15 miles. I can barely stay on the bike without falling off but someone is able to use his phone to take pictures. I don’t ask, he’s just kind of become my personal photographer ;)

IMG_5822There’s a reason I was never a model… looking natural isn’t my thing. #awkwardforlyfe

IMG_5821It was a nice break from running and by the time we were finished, I was pretty hungry. I only had one request for the weekend: Kilwins. I haven’t been since October because they got rid of my favorite flavor (cake batter) temporarily so I was boycotting. But I reallyyyy wanted it. So that was lunch. And it was so, so good. I got cookie dough and Maryland mud.

IMG_5818Then I fell asleep on the couch again. Apparently I was really tired after a stressful week at work. Every Sunday afternoon the end-of-weekend blues hit hard (and now you know why– see above) and I get super sad that we have to go back to real life. We took the dogs for one last walk in the sunshine, ate some leftovers, and then I went home to get ready for the week.

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I feel you, guys.

As much as I enjoy going away like we did last weekend, I really look forward to the more relaxing weekends. I don’t want to say I live for the weekends, but they definitely help get through the tougher weeks. November Project is a big help because it’s something I look forward to, and the warmer weather has certainly made everything better, but the weekends are when I’m really loving life. I guess that’s part of being an adult- enjoying time off.

Do you get the Sunday blues at the end of a weekend?

How/did you celebrate Easter?

3/29-4/4

Another week, another recap. But before I begin, I wanted to mention that my friend Dave (okay, KBT’s friend and now my friend too) is hosting a Global Health 5K here in Baltimore April 18th and is offering $5 off for all Picky Runner readers using the code PCKYRNNR5 until April 8! SIGN UP AND RUN because it’s supporting a great cause by raising money and awareness for those affected by Ebola in West Africa.

Sun- 8.5 miles around Pittsburgh

KBT and I went for a run with Caitlin along the Pittsburgh riverfront. We were planning on 6 miles but ended up doing 8.5. It was so nice out, I have zero regrets. I could have run forever chatting away with one of my favorite blog friends. Plus, KBT took a million pictures of us. Pittsburgh is pretty.

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Mon- OFF

Mondays have become a designated rest day.

Tues- 6 miles

It was SO warm out. I felt pretty tired during this run so I just took it easy.

Wed- 7 miles + November Project

Had to catch up with Kristine and Lauren of course. This week was especially good because we managed to pull an April Fool’s Joke on the leaders. We organized everyone in a Facebook message to meet at a different part of federal hill so they’d think nobody showed up, and then we charged the hill a few minutes late. I always love workouts that are on top of the hill and this is no exception. I was already sore a few hours later and that doesn’t normally happen.

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Thurs- 6 miles

Another one where I was a little tired but it was one of those runs where you remember why you love it so much. I also wore these new mid-calf socks from Pro Compression and I LOVE them.  The code this month is RACE for 40% off your purchase and free shipping!

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Fri- 9.5 miles November Project

6 5 hill repeats, 4.5ish miles commuting. I love my Friday long run because it doesn’t feel like 10 miles and there’s endless people to talk to. My legs felt dead tired this week (thanks to running 5 days instead of 4… not a fan anymore) so I skipped my last hill. I was still sore from Wednesday too. Crazy how that works. I did get up to 16 pushups in a row though so I’ll call that a win.

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Sat- OFF

Total- 37.5 miles.

I don’t generally love running this many days a week (or in a row), but I did it on purpose because of the warm weather and a stressful week at work. I knew running before work would make the week easier on me and I was in a much better mood as a result. However, I’ll probably expand on this more in another post, but I’m realizing I don’t love running every day, or even close to every day anymore. For me, it takes the fun away and as I was saying to my roommate, it starts to feel like another check on my to-do list. I like my schedule now where I run 4 days a week and take 3 rest days. Any more than that and I start feeling like it’s something I have to do. SO I don’t think I’ll be running 5 days a week on a regular basis anytime soon. I’m glad I gave it a shot though and realized it isn’t for me anymore. That will probably change once I start marathon training, but for now, I’m happy with my current plan.

Running Strong

A few weeks ago my friends over at Runner’s World reached out to me about reviewing a copy of Dr. Jordan Metzel’s new book, Running StrongThe Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide to Staying Healthy and Injury-Free for Life. Clearly, as a very injury-prone runner, I jumped at the opportunity to read it. 

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Before I give you my opinion though, full disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but I did receive the book free of charge. Because I didn’t get it in the mail until a few days ago, I have not had time to read it cover to cover, but I have read through a good portion of it and I like what I’ve seen.

By far the coolest feature that comes with the book is the Blippar technology. While you’re reading, you can use your smartphone to scan specific pages of the book which will bring you to videos from Dr. Metzl’s office for an even more in-depth experience on the exact subject you’re reading about. For example, I used the app to watch more videos about Dr. Metzl’s “Iron Strength” program because we all know I need some serious help with strength training. He has videos of various exercises which is really helpful. There’s only so much you can get out of pictures in a book.

The other part I really liked the book was right at the beginning. They have “runner profiles” so you can pinpoint the type of runner you are and then see exactly what you should be getting out of the book. For me, I could relate to several of the profiles- from being a competitive runner in high school and college, to now where I run half marathons and am looking to make the transition to marathoning.

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A lot of what he was saying throughout the book was spot on. Dr. Metzl identified major sources of injuries that you wouldn’t necessarily think about- not direct causes, but things that add up overtime, like lack of sleep, poor nutrition, not strength training, and being too inactive throughout the day. I never used to feel the difference when I would eat pizza and milkshakes all the time compared to grilled chicken and more nutrient-dense carbs, but I do feel sluggish the next day. Not that I’m ready to give the “unhealthy” foods up at all, but I understood what he was saying.

The one part of the book I didn’t agree with was that we don’t need full rest days. I’ve experienced firsthand running the dangers of running every day. I was okay doing it for a few years, but eventually those extra miles caught up with me and now I get injured at the drop of a hat. Obviously I’m not the norm, but I firmly believe in rest days now, especially coming from an ED background. He also states in the book that running can be addictive, but that it’s the healthiest form of addiction we can have. While this may be true to some extent, I don’t see anything healthy with wrecking your body by running it into the ground. Dr. Metzl suggests going for a short 30 minute run on “rest” days, but I’d argue that it’s more of a recovery run than rest.

 

One of the later sections in the book outlines various parts of the body and the common injuries associated with them. They list out the symptoms of the injuries as well as various forms of treatment. Metzl stresses the importance of sports massages which I wholeheartedly agree with (and so does my doctor because I now have a referral so my insurance will cover it) to prevent and treat injuries, especially related to tightness in the legs. I of course jumped straight to the lower extremities section where my calf issues were not mentioned but they had other common injuries and setbacks I’ve experienced such as electrolyte imbalances and Peroneal tendonitis.

Overall, I really like this book and plan on using it as a training tool to keep me running healthy for years to come.  It’s a comprehensive resource that is beneficial to everyone from the beginning runner to an elite marathoner. If I ever have the opportunity to meet Dr. Metzl, I absolutely will because he came across as a very knowledgable and relatable guy.

If you want to learn more, you can follow Dr. Jordan Metzl on his various social media channels here:

o   Twitter (@drjordanmetzl):  https://twitter.com/drjordanmetzl

o   Instagram (@drjordanmetzl): https://instagram.com/drjordanmetzl/

o   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrJordanMetzl

Never Have I Ever

#isitfridayyet? It’s been one of those weeks. You know how they are. The ones where you barely have time to feed yourself before passing out after work, let alone construct a blog post. I’m surprised I got this up for thinking out loud, but I got home from work last night and just felt like writing since I’ve run out of shows (House of Cards, PLL, and The OC). I get bored with normal lists so let’s play a game of Never Have I Ever. We’ve all played it at one point or another.

Never have I ever… lost a game of never have I ever.  Never. I was the person everyone hated during this game because I was the “good girl” growing up.  I never did anything, so I never had to put a finger down. I was (and still am sometimes, to be honest) too afraid of disappointing my parents or getting in trouble to bend the rules. I never realized just how straight-edge I was though because most of my friends weren’t all that rebellious either.

like when your parents tell you running will be fun

like when your parents tell you running will be fun

Never have I ever… felt so stressed at work. I’m one of those people that thrives under pressure. Yet, I still don’t handle stress well. When the queue is building with ads that need to be launched and we’re severely understaffed, it can feel overwhelming. And for some reason, this week has been especially bad with complicated launches. I’ve been working 10+ hour days and still feel like I have a million things to do. Next week can’t come fast enough.

Never have I ever… been so exhausted after work. This goes with the one above. When you’re staring at a computer for 10 hours and trying to think of the best way to launch complicated campaigns, you get tired. I’ve been coming home, putting on old episodes of The OC, and falling asleep before 10. It works.

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Never have I ever… been so excited for ice cream season. It’s finally getting warm enough where it’s acceptable for me to eat ice cream every night. Oh wait, I do that anyways. But now I can drag people to Kilwin’s with me (cough KBT tomorrow night). I’ve been combining Talenti sea salt caramel gelato with the new Ben & Jerry’s cookie butter flavor. So good.

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Never have I ever… seen a rainbow this big before. When I was getting ready to leave work Tuesday night, there was a giant rainbow outside our windows. I didn’t even know it had rained. That’s how focused we were. It was pretty though and was a positive way to end the day.

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Never have I ever… enjoyed April Fool’s Day. I don’t like surprises. Obviously some surprises are good, but I like to know what’s coming. This year was different though. Some of the core members of November Project Baltimore pulled an April Fool’s Joke on the leaders yesterday morning. We hid so they thought nobody was coming and then just after 6:30 we charged the hill to surprise them. We also carried masks with their faces on them to make it #LeaderAppreciationDay. It went flawlessly.

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Never have I ever… Had such a core group of running buddies. Even when it’s hard to wake up at 5:40 when my alarm goes off Wednesday and Friday mornings, I look forward to November Project and it’s my running friends I get out of bed for. I could sleep an extra hour and go for a solo run, but that wouldn’t be the same. There’s nothing better than running with friends as the sun rises while you completely ignore the leaders’ instructions and make the workout your social hour (sorry Sydney, Nick, Pat, we love you). NP is a social thing for me. It forced me out of my comfort zone in so many ways- like being more social. And strength training. The only time you’ll see me doing burpees, squats, and pushups.

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Never have I ever… appreciated the weekends more. It’s exhausting traveling so much on the weekends and then coming back to reality but I’m going to some pretty cool places (Cape Cod, NYC, Pittsburgh, DC, Annapolis + Philly in a few weeks…) and it’s nice to get away for a few days. But more so than that, I just love the weekends for a break. I can explore new places, spend time with the people I love, and finally unplug. The weekends get me through weeks like this.

this was an especially good weekend

this was an especially good weekend

Never have I ever… realized how much I love summer. I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t get three months at home anymore. I’ve started mapping out my vacations in RI and I am so excited. I’ll be home in Rhode Island for almost a month between May and August. I don’t need to go somewhere fancy. I have everything I need in Jamestown: a boat, endless ocean views, my family, the dock boys (even though the only ones left are more like dock grandpas), my friends, good restaurants, and ice cream right at the marina. Plus Red Sox tickets, trips to Boston and Block Island, and possibly Martha’s Vineyard, summer could not be any more perfect.

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Never have I ever… felt so bad about being behind on commenting and replying to comments. Sorry, you won’t be hearing from me this week. I’m still reading when I have time, but there’s no time to comment and respond right now. Maybe next week.

Were you good at Never Have I Ever?

 

When in Pittsburgh

Last week I mentioned I was going to Pittsburgh for the weekend. KBT has friends from school there and I have a few blog friends so when he asked me if I wanted to go, I jumped at the chance. It was an exhausting weekend, but so worth it. Let’s back up.

Friday night I picked KBT up after work (we drove my car because I can’t drive stick shift and I wanted to be able to do my own thing while we were there) and we made the four hour drive to Pittsburgh. Sitting in a car for that long after working at a desk for 9 hours is not recommended. We got there around 11, dropped our bags off, and then took an uber to the club his friend was DJing at. Lupe Fiasco was there. I was standing next to him without realizing it. We ended up staying until it closed at 2 (!!) and then spent another hour talking to KBT’s friend when we got back to his house. I held up surprisingly well for having woken up at 5:30 for November Project.

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We slept in until 10:30 and then began our whirlwind of a weekend. First stop: brunch. Except the restaurant we chose, Waffles Incaffeinated, had an hour and a half wait so we did some errands and he showed me some other parts of the city until our table was ready. This place was so cool- not only do they TEXT you when your table is ready, the menu had a few specialty waffles and a “create your own” section. Think Coldstone, but waffles. I got cinnamon in mine and topped it with whipped cream and strawberries. It was good, but I’m not sure it was worth the wait.

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After breakfast (which was really lunch by the time we were done), we did some of the touristy sightseeing. I could not get over how gorgeous the waterfront is. It’s one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been. From there, we went to another one of KBT’s friends houses for awhile until I ditched them to go hang out with Heather!!

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from Sunday’s run. I should probably be a photographer

We made plans to get milkshakes at The Milkshake Factory and I was so excited for some girl time. We chatted for a couple hours even though it took us maybe 10 minutes to finish our milkshakes. We probably could have kept talking for days. The milkshake itself was good (I got cookie dough and ‘piece of cake’ mixed together) but it wasn’t the absolute best one I’ve ever had.

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She also made me some chocolate chip cookies which were amazing. KBT and I had one to tide ourselves over for a very late dinner. He approved. We made sure to take an obligatory blogger picture before we left. I didn’t want to leave!

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I went to meet KBT and his friends and we hung out at their recording studio for a few hours. When we finally went to dinner at a trendy place called Industry around 8, the wait was 2 hours. I was beyond hangry at this point- and starting to hit the wall after Friday’s late night- so there was no way I could wait. We were with a big group so we didn’t have much choice but luckily we ended up finding seats at the bar. I ordered a burger and it was gone in 5 minutes.

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After dinner we went to another club called The Flats where his friend was DJing and stayed until a little after midnight. I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open but we still had fun.

Lupe Fiasco ended up at this club too...after we left. Source

Lupe Fiasco ended up at this club too…after we left. Source

We got up around 8 Sunday morning to go meet Caitlin down by the water for a run. We were planning on 6 miles but ended up doing 8.5. It went by so fast while we caught up. I didn’t want the run to end but Caitlin had to go to work and KBT and I were getting hungry. We’re not going to let this much time pass again without seeing each other. I could have run down by the Pittsburgh riverfront all day!

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We met up with his friends again for brunch where I ordered the cheapest french toast ever ($4). We took some obligatory pictures at the Mt. Washington Overlook where they have the best views of the city and then headed back downtown to meet his other friend. It was a relaxing day after the previous 24 hours and after a long walk and splitting a small pizza at an artsy restaurant, we got in the car to drive back to Baltimore. I was really craving some vegetables yesterday after eating out so much!

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the only picture where our heads aren’t completely cut off

I promptly fell asleep at 9pm. No shame.

It was one of the craziest weekends I’ve had in a really long time but it was so nice to get away. I’ve really grown to love Baltimore, but I love exploring new cities. I’ve been to Pittsburgh before but I’d never been to this side of town and we’re already planning a trip back this summer.

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if only I could keep my eyes open

What’s your favorite city?