Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well, I have PFPS

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great start to their week. My week started off VERY quiet. If you know me, you know that when I’m at work I like keeping busy, it makes the time fly by so much faster than when I’m bored coming up with “make work projects” for myself to do. I love the feeling of being caught up however; it stresses me out when I feel like I’m behind in my work! Can anyone relate? Lately I’ve noticed that my knees have been hurting near the end of my runs, after my runs and the day after my runs. It almost feels like a dull ache inside the bones of my lower legs, almost like growing pains (which, as a 6-foot female, I had a lot of growing up) so I decided to figure out what this is before it gets worse. I went to the physiotherapist that helped C with his broken knee because I knew he was good. Basically, I have what’s called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. This is how it’s described in Wikipedia:
The cause of pain and dysfunction often results from either abnormal forces (e.g. increased pull of the lateral quadricep retinaculum with acute or chronic lateral PF subluxation/dislocation) or prolonged repetitive compressive or shearing forces (running or jumping) on the PF joint. The result is thinning and softening of the articular cartilage under the patella and/or on the medial or lateral femoral condyles, synovial irritation and inflammation and subchondral bony changes in the distal femur or patella known as "bone bruises". Secondary causes of PF Syndrome are fractures, internal knee derangement, OA of the knee and bony tumors in or around the knee.
He examined my legs and discovered the root cause of my pain. As it turns out, there’s a lot more impact on my knee joint because I’m so tall, so that’s one problem. Another problem is that because I was a dancer for so long, used to pointing my toes for everything, and building strength while on my toes, my Achilles Tendon and calf muscles are VERY tight and while walking, stops my foot from completing a full range of motion in a straight line, which causes my hips to come into play and rotate my leg outwards so I don’t stretch out my calf muscle my accident. And last but not least, the most medial muscle of my quads is a lot weaker than the rest of my leg. So because my outer most quad is a lot stronger, it pulls my knee cap in an outward direction when my muscle flexes. Once I strengthen my inner muscle, it will be equal to the outer muscle and my knee cap won’t be pulled in one direction or another. Make sense? So basically I need to ice my knees for 30 minutes after each run, do the exercises I’ve been given every day to build up my muscles, and I need to stretch the shit out of my lower body. The best news of all is that he says I don’t have to stop running, because we caught it early enough it’s going to be back to 100% before my run! Woohoooo! So I’m back to running tonight, a 4km steady run. I’m interested to see how long it takes me. My runs are starting to get longer this week, my long run this Sunday is going to be a 9km run. Last week I did my 7km in 43:19, which is about 1:50 faster than I ran it the week before which was really exciting!
I think I’m starting to enjoy running outside, especially since the weather has been amazing! Wish me luck on my recovery! Stay sweet. xoxo

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mixed Feelings

Good morning people, I hope everyone is well on this rather crappy morning. It was down pouring on my drive to work this morning, which turned into hail when I got to work, which has turned into snow. Canada weather is so bi-polar, it’s driving me crazy. I want to run outside tonight, hopefully it’s not too crazy windy or anything, I know for sure I’ll chicken out if that’s the case. On my drive to work this morning I was listening to the radio, and they have a segment called “War of the Roses”, where a spouse or a significant other can call into the radio station if they have suspicions that their spouse is cheating on them. They usually have a pretty valid reason for thinking that, like this morning for example; his wife is a party girl and in the last month hasn’t come home until the next day about 7 different times. Now, for whatever reason, whenever this segment comes on (I’ve heard it maybe 3-4 times in the past 6 months) I get so frustrated and worked up over it. I have no idea why it bothers me so much, and even worse, I have no idea why I can’t change the radio station when it’s on. This morning’s segment was fairly dramatic. They pull a prank where the announcer calls the accused spouse and gives them a quick survey from “Such and such company”, and upon completion of the survey, they’re offered a gift. I’ve heard the gift be a dozen roses to anyone in the world, but today it was bottle service at Blank Night Club for her and a friend. Her spouse’s name is Mark, but she decided to bring Barry. When asked who Barry was, she said “just someone I’ve been hooking up with lately”. Well, her husband was also on the phone and freaked out. She started balling (obviously – that’s what women do) and starting blaming it on the fact that Mark is a gamer and never pays attention to her so she had to go find it elsewhere. As much as I hate the fact that this is on live radio for anyone in the world to hear, I kind of think the wife deserved it, no? I mean, C is really into video games, but he knows I’m not. We always seem to come to a happy medium (well, most of the time), but just because he plays for a few hours a few nights a week wouldn’t warrant me cheating on him. I don’t think cheating for any reason is acceptable. If you’re unhappy in your relationship and don’t feel like you can bring it up to your significant other – isn’t that enough of a sign that you probably shouldn’t be in that relationship? What do you think of this segment? On a running note, I’m buying new running shoes this evening. I’ll take a picture and show you what I come out with; hopefully they’re at least a little bit cute. I want to run outside tonight, 4km, I hope the weather clears up. Anyways, let me know your thoughts! I might blog again later, it’s a bit slow at work today. :) Stay sweet. xoxo

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Running Wish List

Good Morning everyone, I have decided I need some more running gear, new shoes, new tights, new tops – why not? I’ve put together a wish list of some things I would like to purchase in the near future, minus the shoes because this weekend I’m going into The Running Room to have them figure out what type of shoe would be best for me. I can tell you however, I do enjoy the colourful runners!
First off, I would looove a new sports bra. I did get a new one for Christmas, but an athletic woman can never have too many sports bras. I enjoy the design on this one! It would look good under a black tank top for sure!
This bad boy looks so unbelievably confortable, I feel like I NEED this! Currently when running outside in the cold, I'm using one of C's long sleeve dry fit shirts, and he's a large guy, the thing just drapes over me, it's horrible. I want one of my own - this one to be percise!
I do want some more tight fitting crops. They are awesome for running in outside, no skin on skin which is always a plus. With the warm weather right around the corner (fingers crossed!) I'm going to need these! Obviously...
There's no real reason why I need these besides the fact that I think they are super cute and would add to my Lulu collection quite nicely :)
Last but not least, a running jacket! I need one of these SO badly. I'm currently running in another one of my Lulu sweaters with a puffy vest over top. I just need a wind breaker - why not make it a cute one, right? Stay sweet. xoxo

Monday, January 23, 2012

Training and Injuries....

Good morning beauties! I hope everyone is having/did have a lovely week. Mine has been one whirlwind of a week, but I’m glad! I like to keep busy, and my life right now is ANYTHING but boring! Not only have I decided to start training for a half marathon, but I’ve decided to join a Pole Dancing class once/week! It’s so fun; it’s definitely something I’m interested in continuing to do. I’m currently just doing a beginner’s 4-week class, where we learn 2 different spins each class and put it to a routine. So far it’s been so much fun … I’m hooked on pole dancing! That sounds so awful… I’m now also running outside 4 days/week. I’ve been doing well on my runs thus far, but today I can really feel it in my knees. I need new running shoes – any recommendations? I have to go to the running room and get them to look at my feet and supply me with the best fit. No injuries for Sarah! This week I did a 3km run outside and beat my previous outdoor 3km run time by 1 whole minute, which is wicked! I hope I continue to get faster. I also bought these expensive, really intense running tights that make me feel like a hard-core runner. I was running outside the other day in my tights, a sweater, a puffy vest and a toque – I looked very intense, it was fabulous! I can’t wait till I get some intense running shoes to go with the ensemble. **Update since I began writing this entry.. Yesterday morning I ran 7km in 45 minutes! Woohoo!! I am so excited about that time, makes me want to go out and run it again today! Also, when I was running (and this is a bit of motivation for me at least), I was running all through downtown Toronto, and I actually ran past Stacey McKenzie - model and judge from Canada's Next Top Model. Ahhh!! See picture below...**
I want to run around downtown more often! Wonder who else I will run into! Anyways, speaking of injuries however, C hurt himself. He decided it would be cool to sign up with his buddies into a recreational basketball league. Well he was going to jump up to get a point and someone took out his leg that was on the ground. He crashed down, heard a pop in his knee and landed on his head/neck. Turns out he completely tore his patellar tendon, and had to have surgery last week. The poor guy is now in a full leg cast until the end of next week, and has to be on crutches for another 5.5 weeks! I’ve definitely been paying live-in nurse all weekend, and will continue to until he heals. Aww, I know, cheesy right? What else can I do? That’s about all for me so far. I’ve committed to keeping a found journal strictly from today going forward. I actually enjoy it. If I come across any amazing discoveries or recipes, I will make sure to post. In the meantime…. Stay sweet. xoxo

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Self Motivation

Good morning! I got into work this morning and one of the girls that is supposed to be training with our group to do the half marathon is completely psyching herself out about training for the half. She is claiming that she spoke to her brother in law who runs a lot and he has told her that there's no way she'd be able to train for a half marathon in 5 months. Now, I don't know how great of a runner this guy is, but I firmly believe that if she really wants to run the half marathon (and I don't mean WIN the half marathon, I mean start it, and feel good about finishing it no matter how long it takes) that she could definitely do it. She is by no means out of shape, but she doesn't have a strong running background, but neither do 75% of the people in our group training for the half marathon. It's so frustrating to me to listen to her tell herself she can't do something, when everyone else in the office is telling her she can. I guess there isn't much I can do if she doesn't want to run it however.
Last night I went for another run on the treadmill, I guess my last run on the treadmill now that I'm getting into running outside. I went into it knowing that it wasn't going to be the best run I've ever had because I felt so exhausted (it was kind of slow at work yesterday, so I was bored most of the day which always makes me feel a million times more tired than when I have a busy day at work) and I could just tell that it wouldn't be as good as the runs I've had in the past. I had more walk breaks than I had hoped to, but I purposely made sure that they were short because I still wanted a good time when I was done. The last 4 minutes were the hardest, after every minute I would up my speed to try and make up for lost time, and in the last 30 seconds I ran at 7.0 (fast for me!) and I literally couldn't even talk when I was finished.
It definitely felt amazing to be finished, but man oh man, what a challenge to finally make it to the end. Thankfully I still had a time of 2.74 miles (or 4.41 kilometers) in 30 minutes. Not awful, but not my best (so far it's been 2.94 miles/4.74 kilometers in 30 minutes). I also decided to do a core workout yesterday at lunch time so I could get out of the office. I know that runners with a strong core are stronger runners, so that was my main motivation for training my core. Turns out I don't train my core a lot, so today my lower back and abdominals are DESTROYED. I can't cough, laugh, sneeze or bend over with ease. It's good of course, it means I needed to work that area, but for today, it's pretty rough. I've decided to do some cross training and upper body today at lunch. It's the only thing on me that doesn't hurt today. Actually - that's a lie. My calves have been getting a lot better after running. They were really sore last night which is still fairly common, but today they don't hurt at all which is massive improvment!
So I'm going to continue to push my limits, change my body, change my mind, change my life.... let's do this!! Stay sweet (and strong!) xoxo

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm Running A Half Marathon... OMG!

Well everyone, I’ve decided that this year, I will be running a Half Marathon. It’s in May, on the 6th to be exact, and I’m already somewhat nervous! My team at work has decided that we’ll be running it, so the runner in the group has put together a training program and it looks like we’re starting on Wednesday! I’m somewhat excited, but very, VERY nervous about the whole thing. I’ve never been a strong runner before (I was always either a high-jumper or a dancer) so this should be an interesting 5 months ahead of me. Even though I’m a bit scared, I’m looking at this like it’s 100% good things to come of it. A more fit body, a more fit mind, and it will give me something to do that is “mine”, and will get me out of the house so C has some alone time. So hopefully I catch the running bug soon or else this is going to be a long 5 months ahead of me. Have any of you run a half marathon before? The only race I’ve ever done (and not trained for, and was hung over for) is a 5 km race I did a few years ago to raise money for the Salvation Army. It was quite painful, but I didn’t really try to get into shape for it. The question I have is, is this a smart idea to train for a half marathon when really, I haven’t done a REAL race before? I’m thinking not, but apparently that isn’t stopping me. I have 5 months away, so I’m starting small. One run at a time!
That being said, I’ll be updating you on my runs more and more, and my food (which I’m super excited about). I love keeping a food journal to see what I’ve ate and how much, and how I feel after I eat said foods. Nutrition has been an interest of mine for a long time, so it will be interesting to see what it’s like training for this half marathon. As a new year’s resolution, I’ve also been trying to eat healthier, organic foods. So far I’ve been doing pretty well. I make a point of having more veggies than anything on my plate, and eating more meat and less starchy foods. I’ve also been trying to eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals. I think with my food journal it’s going to be easier to monitor those things. I’m really excited to be making all of these changes in my life! Now that I’m settled into my new job I think it will be a lot easier. I’ve gotten my sugars under decent control too – and I feel a million times better! I can tell when my sugars are even a little bit high, and because I know it makes me moody when they are, I really try my hardest to keep them lower. I don’t need to be mean to C just because my sugars are high – that’s not fair to either of us. I’ve realized that it’s good for us to spend time apart, so he’s started playing basketball every Tuesday night, and I’ve got my runs to help get me out of the house.
I also think I’m going to take a Digital SLR Camera course in April. There’s one being held really close to where I live and I’d get to learn how to use my camera better, take better photos, hopefully meet some new and interesting people and find my groove in this huge city of endless possibilities! On the way back to the city from Christmas in the country, I took this photo... what do you think? It's my favourite one that I've taken so far.
On a side note – I met a woman who teaches pole dancing lessons, I’m going to one of her classes on Wednesday night – wish me luck!! I’m such I will make such a fool out of myself, I’ll let you know how it goes, and if I’m hooked!! :) Stay sweet. xoxo