Runniversary

I’ve been running a year now!

My first “official” run last year was a 5k Turkey Trot, but to prepare for that I worked my way through the Couch to 5k program.

Slowly…I think it took me closer to 9 weeks because I wasn’t running 3x a week.

But I got it done.

My Progress for the past year of running:

  • November: Turkey Trot 5k
  • December: Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run 5k
  • March: Lucky Lady 5k (Virtual)
  • April: I Run Like A Girl 5k (Virtual)
  • May: Run to Remember (Virtual) 1×10 (1 mile a day for 10 days)
  • June: Race Against Hate 10k (my first 10k!!!)
  • July: Rock n Roll 10k
  • August: went hiking instead…discovered that I miss running
  • September: drumroll please…

Beat The Blerch

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What the heck is this?

If you’re a fan of The Oatmeal, you’ve probably seen his comic strip on why he runs, if you haven’t, definitely worth checking out HERE.

What started out as a comic strip soon morphed into a real run, more recently a virtual option was added for those who wanted to get in on the fun, but couldn’t travel to Seattle.

I decided to do the Virtual as a 10k this week:

Blerch Data

My slowest time yet for a 10k, definitely felt that I haven’t been running often enough or long enough when I do. That combined with just running by myself, led to a very slow time.

But I did it!

and I made myself a fun little training motivation bracelet too!

Blerch_Bracelet

What’s Next?

October: I‘m open to suggestions! – probably a Virtual 5k related to Halloween? Chicago’s Monster Dash?

November: I’m thinking of doing another Turkey Trot – t.b.d. based on if we’re traveling for Thanksgiving or not.

December: ???

running turtle
Feature Image available on T-shirts and other products from HERE

 

Work in Progress

How has my training program been going?

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Look familiar?

I”m making progress, moving forward. Maybe not always as fast as I want, maybe back-sliding some or having days where I just don’t want to get out of bed, but if I look back at where I started, I see the path I’ve walked.

Arizona Trail

I also get to look around and see where I am in my journey, take time to enjoy the view and breathe…

…while I see what I have yet to achieve.

 

 

Balance Assessment

Balance – this isn’t “work-life” balance, but physical balance.

Remember doing fun balance play as a child such as walking along a curb, a crack in the sidewalk, or even better – a log or board? When is the last time you had fun with a Balance activity?

A Question of Balance:

  • When was the last time you tripped over something? Stubbed your toe on something? Miss-judged a step? — Did you catch yourself?
  • When was the last time you really stretched to reach for something, extending over your “comfortable” center-of-balance?
  • Do you have cats, dogs, children, or any other small and fast-moving objects in your home?

Balance can start to decrease in middle-age, and older adults with reduced balance ability are at greater risk of falling.

More than 1/3 of adults over the age of 65 fall each year in the US.

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Flexibility Assessment

I know that one of my HUGE issues is flexibility, I don’t think I’ve ever really been “flexible”, and until I got educated about physical fitness, didn’t really put much thought into it.

Until I started hurting…

I’m sure that I’m like many of you, I would commonly hear “stretch before you ___” or “make sure you stretch after you ___”,  but for the most part, I would pass because I’m trying to get on with my day.

I WAS SO WRONG!

First: Stiff & Short Muscles and Joints with Restricted Movement DON’T WORK WELL

Tight muscles can cause pain and imbalances in the body. When a muscle isn’t working properly, another muscle make take over it’s function. Chicken or Egg: the muscle in pain may not be the origin of the problem.

Tight muscles can restrict movement, which increase your risk of injury or impact your ability to do daily activities. Problems with shoulder flexibility? How does it feel to reach for items on a high shelf? I can tell that my left ankle issues impacted my ability to step certain ways when I was on my South Dakota hike, stressing my left knee and hip more because they needed to pick up the slack.

Tight muscles can restrict blood flow. Proper blood flow is important for recovery after activity. Or maybe a hint to the answer of: It’s Thursday, why am I still so sore from Mondays workout?

Second: Flexibility Naturally Decreases with Age

Certain parts of my body feel 20 years older than others…I guess it’s celebrating birthdays without me and this is the hangover? Not Fair!

Third: Flexibility does not always equal Stretching

I will do more detailed posts on specific Stretching, Flexibility and Mobility activities, but here are a couple of Flexibility Assessments that I did recently:

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Studying for my Test

Anyone else ever taken a Fitness Test?

Also commonly known as a Physical Assessment, physical fitness tests can provide information on a range of things, such your strength, flexibility, or endurance.

You may remember testing in school for the President’s Physical Fitness Test, but there are so many more tests for adults that can look at specific areas of ability instead of general physical fitness.

 

 

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Finding my Limits

One of the best things to come out of my hike in South Dakota is a real test of my hiking training program.

Unfortunately the Chicago area is very limited for hills, and stair training can only do so much – so now I’m adding additional exercises to improve my functional strength, stability and mobility in three areas of limitations:

Ankles, Hips and Wrists!

Ankle and Hip limitations are almost self-explanatory – just look at this terrain:

SoDakUp2

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Lions and Tigers and Stairs, oh my!

I’m using Stairs to train for hiking because of the severe lack of hills where I live, that and the loathing I have for stair machines…

My intent is to work my way up to 1,000 feet in elevation change over the 10 weeks of the program, all in a single session…

This means roughly 100 floors climbed for 1,000 feet in elevation change.

This is a small portion of my workout program for strength, endurance & flexibility- all with the goal of increasing my running speed & hiking endurance.

Stair Workout W2

These workouts will include a variety of movements, check out the video to see me in action!

Why am I using different methods for stair climbing, wouldn’t you like to know?

Comment to find out!