Tuesday, January 31, 2012


FINALLY, today, I had what I have been missing for almost two months: an enjoyable run!

This knee pain thing has really been getting me down.  I miss running.  I miss enjoying the runs I go on.  So today after class, it was a beautiful 67 degrees out, and I decided to try my normal two laps around east, with my knee brace.  I definitely tried to keep an 'easy pace' but I ended up running the 2 loops in 31:51 - a 9:23 pace - not something I think of as "easy."  Although my knee is (very very mildly) sore now, it felt good throughout the run and I wasn't limping or in pain at all afterwards!  I'm SO excited about this.  I know I need to take it easy to prevent any further injury, but it's SO NICE to finally feel like I can get back to running!

New blogger Courtney wrote today about running goals and listening to your body.  After the 15k I had all sorts of crazy ideas about running goals for 2012.  I definitely want to improve as a runner this year, but I'm thinking I need to be a bit more reserved in my goals.  For now, I think my primary goal is going to be to enjoy my runs.  This will probably mean minimal speed work and low mileage for the next month to avoid hurting my knee any further.  That being said, here are some potential upcoming goals:

-PR in a 5k.  There's a local 5k in 2ish weeks that only costs $5, and money is tight right now so the $5 entry fee was enticing.  My current PR (and only 5k time I have) is 33:21.  Today I ran 3.4 miles in 31:51.  So a PR is not really a big challenge.  I would like to see how fast I can push myself, though.  I'll have to think more about goals, but I am hoping I can finish in under 28:00.

-PR in the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in April.  This should also be pretty easy, since my only prior time is 2:02:50 which is around a 12 minute mile.  I have about two months to figure out goals for this, but again, I definitely think I can PR!

-Possibly PR in a half marathon.  I'm thinking about signing up for a local half marathon in April, and/or one in June near where I grew up.  This would definitely be the most challenging of my goals, as my prior half marathon time is from October when I was in great running shape, and I haven't gotten a whole lot speedier since then!  But, it's something to think about!

All those PRs definitely make it sound like I'm going to be focusing on speed.... but I'm not going to!  At least not yet.  For the month of February, the name of the game is easy, comfortable miles, until I am sure that I'm totally healed.

What are your 2012 running goals?

Monday, January 23, 2012


Man, I have been a terrible blogger.  This semester is already really hectic and intense, so I really haven't had much time to blog the past few weeks.

In addition to not having much time, I'm not feeling too inspired!  I have been cooking, but most of my meals have been repeats of past favorites (we eat a lot of oregano chicken) or random things thrown together (black bean burger served over rice with steamed veggies? sure).  So, nothing exciting to share on that front.  Meanwhile, running has been... frustrating!  The foam roller has helped, and I probably need to be more disciplined with it, but I have still been having IT band / knee pain whenever I exercise.  It's annoying because the pain isn't so severe that it interferes with my daily activities, but it's bad enough that I definitely do not enjoy running.

Last night in attempt to cross train and try something new, I went with some friends to swim laps.  What great work out - I was EXHAUSTED after.  Of course, then my leg was sore this morning and I didn't feel up to running.  I feel really lame not running.  I need to figure out how to get totally better so I can get back to enjoying my runs!

One fun thing I have been doing is a 25 push ups, 25 crunches challenge, which I started on January 13th and plan to do for 50 days.  It's pretty simple: I try to do 25 push ups and 25 crunches every single day.  So far, I have missed some days but have made up for them in the days following, so on the average, I am on track!  I am getting better at push ups which has been fun, and I'm starting to see definition in my arms which is awesome!  Ten days down, 40 to go!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

welcome to 2012

Happy New Year!  I just finished reading Susan's first 2012 post and I have to say, I am also struggling to get excited about New Year's Resolutions or many goals.  She said "  My goals as of January 1, 2012 really aren’t any different than they were on December 31, 2011" and I very much agree with her.  So maybe I'll review some 2011 accomplishments in this post and then talk about what I hope to accomplish in 2012 in a later post?

2011: Things I Accomplished
1.  Got to my goal weight.  Okay, so I never blogged about the fact that I was trying to lose weight - because I didn't want this to be a weight loss blog.  Alas, I had put on some pounds since college that I decided I didn't want to run half marathons with, so I got rid of them.
2.  Ran a 10 mile race.. and then a half marathon!  I think that's pretty spectacular, considering that in January 2011 the furthest I had ever run was 6.2 miles.
3.  Got a lot faster at running.  When I started this blog I doing 2 minute running / 1 minute walking intervals and averaging above at 12:00 min/mile, and one year ago many of my runs were around the 11:00-12:00 min/mile pace.  My 10k race in late 2010 was a 10:54 pace, which I was very proud of at the time.  About one year later, I ran a 15k at a 9:09 pace: 5k further and almost 2 minutes per mile faster!
4.  Cooked some delicious stuff, including Chicken Enchilada Pie, Baked Ziti, Indian Cauliflower Stew, and other foods I failed to blog about.
5.  Began to explore the world of baking - very fun (albeit not so healthy).

I also ended the year with some mysterious knee/IT band pain. Basically, every time I run, somewhere around the 1.5-2.5 mile mark my knee starts to hurt - on my knee cap, more on the bottom I guess.  When I stretch, my IT band is really tight... it seems no amount of stretching can make me feel like I've totally worked out the tightness.  Also, I have noticed that various other muscles/areas of my legs are more stiff/sore than normal.  Some days it's my quads, some days my calves or even my groin and recently it's been everywhere.  Fail.

So, I've been pondering whether or not to see a doctor, but I decided today to buy a foam roller and use that for a bit and see how it goes.  Any foam rolling tips?  One website I read said to use the foam roller on the target muscle for 60 seconds, 3x a day, 2-3x a week.  Does that sound right?  Should I do more, less, something totally different?

Happy 2012 - maybe in my next post I'll have some goals/things I'm looking forward to in 2012?