Running Socks – Help!

Hey friends! I hate socks.  I think they are stupid and I only wear them because they keep my feet warm.  Ok, ok, they aren’t stupid, I just prefer to be barefoot :)

When I first started running (less than 5 miles at a time, simple cotton socks would do.  I wasn’t running enough to develop blisters or get chafing or anything.  I will still wear them on my short runs.

Good ol’ Keds.

But on my longer runs, I need better socks.  I got some cheap socks that were supposed to wick away moisture.  I’m not entirely convinced they work.  I have gotten in the habit of using Body Glide on my feet as my main defense against blisters.

One step up from cotton!

I broke my pinky toe a few years ago and it never healed properly.  Sometimes on long runs I’ve taken to taping my toes so that the pinky toenail doesn’t dig into the neighboring toe.

I wear compression sleeves on long runs.  I don’t prefer compression socks because I have narrow feet and big calves so the ratio is never right :)

Anways, fast forward to now, and I think it’s time to get serious about some good socks.  I spent good money on shoes, I don’t want to run that with bad socks. This is where you guys come in! Heeeeelp meeee!

What socks do you love and why? Do you wear different socks depending on the length of your run?

Checking on Progress….

Right after my last half marathon I wrote this post about the things that I need to work on.  I thought I’d check in and see how I’ve been progressing, as well as highlight the things I haven’t worked on!

1. I need to do more core work.  My back and core hurt a lot.

My trainer and I have been slowly working on this.  Due to my scoliosis, core strengthening work has to be very calculated.  My lower back is still pretty weak, but I think between the work Danny and I are doing and yoga, I’m starting to make progress.

2.  My hamstrings are still really tight…they need even MORE work.

I think I’ve come leaps and bounds in this area.  Yoga has been the key here.  I’m getting toward the point that I can almost get my heels down while doing Downward Dog.

3.  My feet and ankles need a lot more strengthening.

Yoga has helped here, but there is still work to be done.  As I write this, I’m rolling on a tennis ball!

4.  This one is a biggie: I need to get away from my heel strike.

I don’t think this is fixable at this point in time.

5. I don’t do any speedwork.  Need to fix that!

Correction: I need to run more. Or, like, at all.

6. I need to increase mileage SLOWLY.

Yes I do.  And I’m not going to do that to the best of my ability this time around either, but I will be smarter about it. Staying injury free is more important that getting exactly 10 miles in on my long run.

7. I cannot cheat on my workouts.  I will definitely pay for it later.

I’ve done a lot better on this.  I’ve also been much better about taking my rest days so that I have the energy to complete my workouts.

8. I need to improve my nutrition.

I will never be where I want to be/should be with my nutrition.  However, I have made some good corrections recently and I’m focusing so much more on my nutrition now.

All in all, I think I’ve made decent progress.  I think the best thing I could do for myself is to correct my anatomical deficiencies and strengthen my supporting muscles.  Dear runners: strength training and yoga are your friends!

What are some things you are working on?  Have you looked back recently to see your progress?

Adjusting Goals and Fall Half Marathons

I want to preface this post with a disclaimer: I am a runner, but I run for FUN. That being said, all decisions I make regarding training/races are to allow me to have fun and stay injury free.  Other than being competitive with myself on times(who isn’t?), I do these races for fun.  There is no goal for a  race important enough to supersede the focus on my health.

So after I completed the Shamrock 1/2 marathon, I decided to make the Crawlin Crab 1/2 Marathon my next goal race.  A goal race for me means trying to improve my times, possibly PR.  I foolishly signed up for the Shell Yeah Challenge; I will run the 5k on Saturday of race weekend and the half-marathon on Sunday. The races are the first weekend in October.

Well – my goals have changed.

Due to a complete lack of motivation and training, I know I will not be adequately prepared for Crawlin Crab.  Furthermore, if race day is as hot as it was last year, it will be a struggle.  I’m not making excuses here, I’m attempting to make a smart, calculated decision.

Sometimes things don’t go as we plan, and it is ok.

My new goal race is the Harbor Lights Half Marathon in November. By switching goals, it will allow my half-marathon in October become more of a training run.  I plan on employing a walk/run interval strategy.  I haven’t decided what that will look like yet, but that’s the plan.

It would be easy for me to get discouraged, to abandon the (Crawlin Crab) race or defer to next year.  However, I want to use this as a learning experience while making smart decisions and not force myself to do something that will result in an injury.  That being said, I really want to do this race – its FUN.  So I’m going to treat it like it’s fun.  I’m going to commit to working hard the next few weeks so that I can successfully run/walk it.

After that, I’ll have 7 weeks to  finish preparing for the Harbor Lights half. I think this plan is do-able.  I’m excited about this new plan and I think (and hope!) it will rejuvenate my training.

Thank you all for your advice over the past few weeks as I sought inspiration for motivation and struggled with decisions about races.

I know that some of you have had some changes in your race schedules recently, or have been dealing with injuries, and I’m hoping this is encouraging to you.

How do you handle changing goals? Do you get discouraged or rejuvenated?

 

Weekly Update – 7/15

Monday

Hatha yoga class with Sue.  I got a visual migraine on Monday morning, and I was really looking forward to class to relax me (I usually get migraines when stressed and/or really tired). Class is getting easier and easier, not having to take the modifications all the time.  I do take some modifications because of my scoliosis and how it affects my shoulder strength and mobility.  I tried Half Moon – my hips are so tight and my hip flexors are so weak, that this was nearly impossible!

Seriously, I don’t know how anyone can do this.

Tuesday

Danny night.  We did a lot of corrective exercises, I don’t really remember all of them to record them here.  We really focused on posture, engaging the correct muscles, and control.

We also talked about my racing schedule for the fall.  I appreciate all the advice you guys have given me and have shared it with him.  He feels like its achievable, but I’ve got to correct a lot of things first (make adjustments for scoliosis, strengthen my glutes, etc).

Wednesday

No workout.   This was a day to get wedding stuff done! We made the deposit on our venue and catering! We are officially official! Only 319 days to go….

Thursday

Danny night, actually felt pretty good.

Warmup 2x:

1. 5 “I” raises with resistance band

2. 5 “Y” raises with resistance band

3. 5 “T” raises with resistance band

4. 5 “W” raises with resistance band

5. 10 bird dogs each side with resistance band

Workout 2x:

1. 30 rope alternating waves

2. 30 rope slams with a jump

3. 30 rope slams from hip to opposite shoulder

4. 15 squat side steps with resistance band on ankles

5. Hold :15 squat with resistance band on ankles

6. 15 backward lunges with arms over head in resistance band

7. Australian rows on the TRX until failure (did 15 the first round, 20 on the second)

Friday

Rest day!

Saturday

Had a 2 hour nutritional panel with the Fit360 class at my gym.  Since my trainer (Danny) and Jeremy (he’s the trainer that fills in for Danny and tries to kill me) are pretty much the leaders of the class, they invited me to sit in.  It was pretty good – great reminder of things I already know.

Afterwards, Danny and I got to work – mostly a rehab type of day.

Three Rounds of the following (all on the Bosu ball):

1. Push up position, bring knee to chest and re-extend (10 each side)

2. Fire hydrants (5 each side)

3. Not sure of the name – like spiderman pushups but the knee went to the inside (10 each side)

4. Hold :30 plank

My brother (Jaryd) and his girlfriend (Laura) were in town so I got to see them.  My step mom is Greek and made tons of Greek food for us.  Somehow I forgot to snap some pics, but we had pastitsio, spanakopita, grape leaves, greek salad, and pita with garlic.  Jaryd and Laura made an orange cake for dessert! Yum!

Sunday

Rest day! This was a serious rest day – being super lazy on the couch, watched some Netflix, you know the drill :)

Harbor Lights Race Series & a big decision

O.M.G! New J&A Race coming this fall and I cannot control my excitement!!!

Just today, they announced a new race series for the November 21-23rd weekend.  This will be a very beautiful run, taking place along the historic downtown Norfolk waterfront.

Races it will feature:

- Blue Moon Harbor Lights 5k

-Harbor Lights Final Mile

-Harbor Lights Half Marathon

-Get Lit Challenge (5k and Half Marathon)

Check out more information here: http://harborlightshalf.com.

Of course, you know I’m a sucker for a challenge, and I want to do the Get Lit Challenge.  However, I also know that I cannot push it, and I’ve pushed that idea out of my mind.  I am considering the half though.

This is what my current race schedule for the fall looks like:

October 4-5: Crawlin Crab Shell Yeah Challenge (5k and Half Marathon)

October 25: Wicked 10k

December 6: Surfin Santa 10 Miler

I”m not sure that inserting a half marathon into that schedule in late November is the best of ideas, but I really really want to do it.  November is such a great month for a half marathon.  I know for sure I could do the 5k, no problem.

If I were to do it, I would use the Crawlin Crab weekend as my tune up race – getting back into the swing of things, and make Harbor Lights my goal race for the the fall.  I’m not in as great shape as a lot of you guys are, and I tend to be injury/niggle prone.  I would love to be one of those people that can race 1/2 marathons back to back weekends, or even in the same month, but I’m not there.

If I were to do this, I’d have a 7 week window between the two.  I think it’s do-able, I just don’t know how smart it is.  Or maybe I chose to defer Crawlin Crab till next year (which I really don’t want to do).

I know that none of you can tell me what to do, I definitely don’t expect you to; I’m just trying to work out my thoughts about it.

How much time do you like to leave between half marathons? 

Weekly Update – 7/7

Monday

Hatha yoga with Sue! I needed this, I’ve been struggling with being anxious lately.  Class was good except I got there late and had to sit in an awkward part of the room.  Boo. Balance was off when I was on my left leg, but right leg balancing felt fine.  She always gives us the option of wheel when we are in bridge.  Made an attempt, but not quite there yet – shoulders are still pretty tight.  I feel it coming soon!

Tuesday

Danny night. Two rounds:

1. 2 minute jump rope

2. 10 pistol squats (each side)

3.  20 resistance band rows

4. 10 split squats (each side)

5. 20 kneeling side bend/half moon (each side)

Wednesday

Vinyasa yoga night. This was a hard class that really challenged me a lot, but I loved it!  We did inversions again and I did this:

I”m sure mine didn’t look this pretty….

Thursday

Danny night.  His first words were “I hope you brought your A game.”

1. 1600 m row under 8 min (8:28 for me – lost my momentum in the last 800)

2. 5 minutes on the ReACT trainer

3. Total of 50 m Farmer’s carry with a kettle bell (front, right arm, front, left arm)

4. TRX Circuit with my feet in the straps in plank position:

A. 15 seconds saw (rocking forward and backward)

B. 5 pushups

C. 15 second plank

D. 5 pushups

E. 15 seconds high knees

F.  5 pushups

Then I had to repeat #3 and #4.  Pretty tough workout! I’m fairly certain that if I got really proficient at rowing, I would have better cardio endurance for running.

Friday

Rest day!

Saturday

Danny. Three rounds:

1. 10 thrusters with right arm
2. 10 push-ups to single arm row with right arm
3. 10 right arm cleans
4. 10 thrusters with left arm
5. 10 push-ups to single arm row with left arm
6. 10 left arms cleans
7. 10 ball slams
8. 10 wall balls
9. 10 oblique wall balls right side
10. 10 ball slams on right side
11. 10 oblique wall balls left side
12. 10 ball slams on left side

#1-5 were with a 10 lb dumb bell, #6-12 were with a 6 lb medicine ball.

Sunday

Went for a 2-mile walk with Michael – showing him some of my running route.

(Lack of) Motivation

I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt a complete lack of motivation to run recently.  I have tons of motivation to do yoga, to do my strength workouts with my trainer, but yet zero desire to run.

I take that back, I desire to run.  I’m looking forward to running Crawlin Crab Half Marathon.  I love the challenge of preparing for a race. But I just seriously lack any motivation.

I’m reminded of this cheesy song by Sum 41 (yeah yeah – I’m a highschooler at heart, I forever live in the early 2000s)

“Motivation such an aggravation,
Accusations don’t know how to take them.
Inspiration’s getting hard to fake it.
Concentration’s never hard to break it.
Situation never what you want it to be.”

I”m less than 12 weeks out and I’m not really running.  Now, that’s not to say I’m not staying active, but I need to be running. I’ve already decided that my training for my last half was a little too aggressive, and my running needed to be fewer miles on a more frequent basis.  I’m hoping the prospect of shorter runs will be the push I need.

This is NOT where I want to be. I need a serious kick.  In the rear.

How do you stay motivated? What inspires you to keep pushing even when you lack motivation?