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Helloooo 2014!

2 Jan

I’m a big goals person.  I love to do lists.  I love tracking and information.  The new year is awesome because it’s a mental reset: a way to say goodbye to one year and hello to a new one full of opportunities and hope.  There is just something so refreshing about a clean slate.  With a busy, busy (and incredibly exciting) 2013 behind me, I’ve started thinking a bit about what I want 2014 to look like.  Some of my biggest lessons of 2013:

You Can’t Plan Everything

I had big hopes and dreams to hit a sub 1:50 half-marathon this fall.  My spring half-marathons were strong, my running kept getting faster and faster.  I was training smarter and better than ever before.  Better nutrition, better strength training, better mileage.  In my head I knew I had that sub 1:50 in the bag – bring it on Indy Monumental Half!  Well the race has come and gone, without me running it, and definitely not hitting any time goals.  With my knees, I probably would’ve considered myself lucky to finish it by walking.  And you know what my take away is?  It’s okay. Sometimes life can be a little unexpected, but honestly that’s the beauty in it too.  I WILL get my knees strong again and I will run again.  And when I do, I can stand proud knowing all the effort it took to get there.  One thing Chalene says at the end of her workouts that always sticks with me: “Aren’t you proud of yourself?  You can walk away proud knowing the effort you put into this workout.”  I may have to be patient and it may be a lot of effort, but I’ll get there with my knees and I’ll be proud!

You Can’t Have it All (…but treasure what you have)

This was a full year for me, stuffed with lots of highs personally.  I got engaged, got a dream part in a musical, and made countless amazing memories with friends and family.  2013 was particularly sweet to me.  But I also didn’t finish a lot of things I set out to do (fix my knees, spend more time cooking, train for a full marathon again, etc.).  And you know what?  That’s okay. As a type A, it can be easy to look back and say “But I didn’t complete this or that. Boohoo, wah.”  But seriously folks, how much better does it feel too look at the positive?  So today I celebrate what did happen and let go of any unfinished business.  HOLY COW look what happened this year.  It was AMAZING.  That’s what I want to take away from 2013 and really treasure.  And as far as that unfinished business…. that’s what next year is for :)  So here’s to a positive reflection and realizing you can’t “have it all” and holy moly, that’s okay!!

Love is Sweet

2013 was my first year back in my home state of Indiana after several years in different places.  It was so wonderful spending time with family and friends in close proximity.  What a difference that can make!  It was a true reflection on how much those relationships matter to me.  Not to get super mushy on you, but all you need is love.  Love from family and friends is the most precious thing, and something I had the chance to really treasure this year.  Here’s to bringing that love with me to Nashville and remembering to always prioritize those relationships!  It’s easy to take for granted, but I always want to push myself to spend time and energy on loved ones, even if I’m more than a quick car ride away.

2014 Goals

I want to keep it simple and sweet.  2014 will bring SO many changes that I honestly don’t know what awaits me, kind of hard to make goals when you don’t have a clear idea of the future.  A mix of thrilling and scary to say the least!  Here are my top “things I’d like to do”  – maybe I shouldn’t call them goals, more guidelines!

  1. Find resolution (or peace) with my knees.  I want to get more serious about a solution and spend some real time and energy getting back in the game.
  2. Complete P90X3 with Adam. Keep health and fitness a priority even when the wedding is done!
  3. Enjoy married life with Adam.  Soak up our first year as newlyweds and cherish time together.
  4. Find a yoga studio in Nashville.  Ready to take this yoga thing to the next level!
  5. Make time for the important people in my life.  2013 was pretty selfish (by nature of having so much going on), I’m ready to spend more time on friends/family in ways that have nothing to do with a wedding. :)

Alrighty kids, lets start off 2014 with a bang!!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

-Kelly

What are some of your goals for 2014?  Do you like making goals?  Or are you sick of rehashing the old year and planning for the next one?

 

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The End of 2013

31 Dec

To take a page out of Abby‘s book, a little review of 2013 in pictures!  I started this blog back in March and it was SO cool looking back on previous posts to jog my memory.  Pretty convenient for a gal with a pretty miserable memory (check out January – pathetic).  I’m a huge fan of reflecting on life (duh I have a blog), and making goals for the future…so hang with me while I recap some of the 2013 highlights.

January

I literally can’t remember anything that happened in January 2013.  Ooops.  Let’s move on, shall we?

February

Adam and I started P90X for REAL.  We did the workouts and the diet and started on an awesome experience.

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Bring it!

March

A musical!  Adam and I performed in our first musical together in Indy.  I also ran in my first 10K and ramped up training for my spring half marathons (including a St. Patty’s race!).  Adam also matched for his residency in Nashville, TN.  Oh and we put down a deposit on our reception hall.  Oops, did I not tell you guys we started planning the wedding before we got engaged?  And that is a real “we”.  Actually it’s more Adam – he started planning because he had to submit a vacation request for the following 1.5 years (ah the joys of residency)…so we booked the reception/band, forgot about it, and then started planning again in May.  Now does our early-in-the-morning-I’m-determined-to-surprise-her engagement make a bit more sense?

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Performing together.

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On stage for Match Day!

April

Costa Rica!! Adam and I took an awesome trip together and had a blast.  I ran my first 15K and we kept powering through P90X.

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After my successful 15K!

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Vacation bliss.

May

EngagementAdam’s Graduation!  Birthday!  Two half-marathons!  Half-marathon PR of 1:51Finishing P90X! May was a great month full of lots of celebrations.

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7 years after the initial rejection he finally got me to say yes.

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Ready to get a PR! Only cool runners wear tape all over their knees.

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Adam’s graduation from med school!

June

Family vacation in Hilton Head, Adam moving to Nashville, and the beginning of intense wedding planning. Started taking a big break from running to heal my Runner’s Knee.  Adam wrote his first blog post, aww isn’t that cute?

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Enjoying our vacation together.

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We got our engagement pictures back :)

July

I auditioned for White Christmas (woot and got the part!).  Adam and I continued wedding planning (are you sensing a theme?).  We sent out our Save the Dates AND picked out bridesmaid dresses.  I also started ChaLean Extreme.  I started adjusting to my life without Adam just down the road (literally… we used to live in the same complex).

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These puppies went in the mail.

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Working out with my girl Chalene.

August

I completed my first 30 days of ChaLean Extreme and really enjoyed the program.  Wedding planning and a week of Adam in Indy were the major highlights.  Still struggling through my Runner’s Knee.  I started rehearsals for White Christmas!

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Ooooo mock-ups!

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I MADE this, believe it or not.

September

Rehearsals for White Christmas were in full swing.  I attended the beautiful wedding of Adam’s cousin in Hilton Head.  I also blogged the least… and did the bulk of wedding planning in September.

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With the bouquet!

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With the bridesmaid dress and wrap.

October

My brother got married!  I finished ChaLean Extreme! I had an amazing bachelorette party in New Orleans!  October was pretty awesome.

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Yep they are models.

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NOLA Halloween style!

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Finished 90 days of ChaLean Extreme!

November

Can you say White Christmas!?  Rehearsals and shows took over my life as I sang and danced my heart out every day.  I also made more progress wedding planning and figured out my bridal look.

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I’m totally a natural blonde.

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With the wedding band! Eeek.

December

ChristmasBridal Shower!  Time off!  White Christmas! December has been a pretty great month.

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Guarding my table of bridal food.

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Hooray Christmas!

What were some of your highlights this year?  What do you have to look forward to in 2014?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

-Kelly

Runner’s Knee Injury Update

9 Dec

Please, please, please, please fix my knee. Note: not my knees. A little hairy to be mine.

 

Well, I finally did it.  I went to the doctor again for my runner’s knee.  I was really afraid of what he might say…would I ever be able to run again??  Here’s where my runner’s knee was at prior to the visit:

  • It started a little over a year ago predominantly in my left knee, though both ached.
  • I experience pain under the knee cap and the pain increases the more active I am.
  • I went through physical therapy to improve the pain for about 2 months.
  • My runner’s knee is caused from poor “tracking” meaning my hips are too wide and my knee isn’t lining up as it should.

After going through a few months of physical therapy and months of “trying” to run, the pain has persisted.  Though the interesting thing is now the pain is focused much more on the RIGHT knee.  Odd that it has switched.  I have almost no pain in my left knee – which before was the main issue.  So after months of NOT running and continued pain (likely through all my dancing), I decided to head back to the doctor to see if it’s possible something more was the problem.

Upon arriving at my doctor’s office, I was first examined by a resident who did the usual “does this hurt?” examination.  After evaluating my knees in various positions, he said it seems like the pain is identical as I had before (just as suspected).  He left the room and shortly reentered with my doc.  After a series of physical examinations the conclusion was the same: runner’s knee.  My incorrect knee tracking (due to my big womanly hips) is causing my knees to rub continually and cause pain.

Le sigh.  Good that it’s nothing worse… but bad because, well… I already tried to solve this problem unsuccessfully!!!

So what’s the game plan? Here are some suggestions to help improve my knee:

  • Recommit to my PT exercises.  I did them religiously for awhile, but once I started ChaLean I noticed many of my PT exercises were in the videos – so I didn’t do them daily.  Looks like I have more outer hip strengthening to do.
  • Look into orthopedics.  My doc recommended Smart Feet to help improve my alignment.
  • Rest and Ice… yeah the usual.

So the big take away is that I NEED to get this resolved… because clearly running isn’t the only trigger.  I haven’t gone on a run in literally months, yet my knee is still swollen.  Dancing, bending, jumping… it seems like anything agitates it.  Once the wedding is over, I’m going to come up with a plan of attack and really see what I can do…because clearly it’s going to take a much more aggressive approach to get over this injury.

Project February: FIX MY KNEES!

Good news: My knee doesn’t appear to be broken forever.  It can be resolved.

Bad news: It still hasn’t been resolved and I’m kind of a at a loss for what more can be done.

I guess I should be pleased it isn’t anything worse!! :)  Happy Monday!

-Kelly

 

One Year of Strength Training!

22 Oct

Just a quick hello to say “Happy Anniversary of Healthiness to Me!”  Yeah, what a narcissist. ;) But, but… I’m SO happy!  (And dare I say, shocked?)  I’m happy I’ve been able to keep up this lifestyle for a full year!!   When I started P90X exactly one year ago today I was hoping and praying it would be a long-term change.  I wanted to make some improvements in my health for the better.  And I’m beyond delighted that I’ve stuck with my new habits for a full year.  Here’s to the next year of fitness and healthy eating being a regular part of my life!

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Now my fridge looks like this! (Well, when I remember to grocery shop ;))

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At the start of my journey exactly one year ago today!

Once I Can Run Again

21 Oct

Hello Monday!  Hope you all had a great weekend.  This weekend got me thinking a lot about running.  Truthfully, I try not to think about running.  It is kind of depressing, and I don’t particularly enjoy moping about…though it does happen.  My knees are still giving me pain even after a visit to the Doctor and Physical Therapy last May.  I know, I know… I need to go back and get it figured out.  More tests = more time, more money.  Between planning a wedding, performing in a musical, and trying to stay sane (Adam, I’m seriously trying to not be crazy I swear) I’ve decided to just put off figuring out why my Runner’s Knee isn’t improving until after the wedding (let’s call it my February project).  There’s only so many things I can handle at once.  And truth be told, I’m afraid of what the doctor will say.  Will I need to give up running for good?  By delaying a diagnosis I’m holding onto the hope that this is just an injury that can be overcome once I have more time to deal with it.  Brilliant plan I’d say.  Denial.  Works every time.

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Remember this happy runner girl after my 1:51 half? Yeah, me neither :(

Today was the first day in a while that I really allowed myself to think about running again.  At least think about it in a positive, hopeful sense.  I wanted to make some goals for ‘once I’m running again.’  Some of these may be impossible given whatever my knee injury might now be… but dare to dream right?

  1. Run some 5Ks.  Believe it or not, I’ve never run a 5K for time.  There was that one time I ‘illegally’ ran with my brother, but spent the race running backwards to keep him moving.  And hmm… I think that’s it!  I really want to see what I’m made of when it comes to shorter distances.  These may also be more knee friendly to me.
  2. Run another marathon.  My last full marathon was “pre-ankle injury” and I really want to get back out there and make it happen.  I have a goal of running Boston someday (yes, I realize that with my times I might have to wait until I’m 80), but I will never get closer to Boston if I never get back to marathons.
  3. Get better at hills.  Nashville is hilly, enough said.
  4. Improve my asthma.  I really want to get it under more control.  Right now I feel like it’s okay, but I’m hoping to really be able to say “yeah my asthma doesn’t affect my running potential at all.”  Not there yet.
  5. Do fun runs!  Whether they are 5Ks or half-marathons, I want to do more races with friends or groups of people.  I think those types of runs really shake up the “I’m running this for serious for time” and always help me remember the fun social aspect of running.
  6. Be a Runner’s Knee success story.  I’m not there yet, but I want to be able to say to other sufferers, “Hey!  You can get through it!  You can run again, it’s just a speed bump.”  Fingers crossed that will be me.

Happy Running!

Kelly

What are some of your running goals?  Have you ever overcome a big injury?

Running After Runner’s Knee

20 Aug

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Well folks, the good news – I’m running again!  I just finished my second full week of running and I’m feeling pretty okay.  I can’t say great, but I also can’t say bad.  I’ll take it!  My knees still feel somewhat achy, but are not full on painful.  Additionally I’m taking it slow and being very patient with myself.  I feel like until my alignment is really 100% straightened out I will probably continue to have achy knees.

To recap, what I have done since my Runner’s Knee diagnosis.

  • Took roughly 2 months off from running
  • Worked to improve my hip strength and flexibility through targeted exercises and yoga.
  • Stayed away from high impact exercises like Zumba, Insanity, or Plyometrics.
  • Focused on strength training (for my whole body).
  • Slowly working back into running following a running program from my doctor.

So far, it seems to be working, albeit far too slowly for my liking.  I know it takes time to develop the strength to improve my alignment, and it requires diligence.  From my doctor, research, and personal experience – these are the things to keep in mind when returning to running after Runner’s Knee.

1. Take it slowly!  You will not be able to BOOM run exactly how you were running.  And that’s okay.  Be patient and let your body get back into the swing of thing.

2. Continue to work on the root cause.  In my case, my runner’s knee is caused by week outer thigh muscles.  This is causing my knee alignment to be a bit off.   I have continued to work on these muscles even after starting up running again.  The exercises that help most: balance exercises, squats, or leg raises to the side.  Essentially anything that gets a little burn going in the outer thigh.  This is the number one thing to actually fix and lead to a successful recovery.  If you don’t attack the root cause – it will likely not “just fix itself”.

3. Maintain (or gain) a strong core.  Strength training can be a huge tool for runners to build endurance and speed.  I’ve continued to lift weights to remain strong and durable for my runs.

4. Increase mileage slowly.  I’m taking this one to heart and very carefully (and slowly) increasing my distance.  The most I’ve gone so far is 3.5 miles, with this week getting up to 4.5.  I really want to allow my body the chance to acclimate to distances.  No knee freak-outs please.  :)

5. Stay positive.  For me this translates to continuing to do other activities like ChaLean Extreme or Yoga.  If my knees hit another road block, I don’t want to fall into a dark pit of despair.  My positivity is also allowing me to focus on carefully and mindfully train.  I don’t want to get too excited and do some damage!

 

Until I’m back at it 100%, I’ll just keep plugging away at my recovery plan.  My doctor assured me that Runner’s Knee is relatively minor and it is totally possible to fully recover.  But I want to know…do any of you have success stories recovering from Runner’s Knee?

Have a great Tuesday!

-Kelly

Running and Wedding and Wedding, Oh my!

7 Aug

Half-way through the week!  Woot!  Somehow it’s been another busy one, full of lots of wedding planning, ChaLean Extreme (still loving it! :)), and trying to keep my sanity!  I’ve been a bit amazed at how much all this planning and business can be a bit anxiety-provoking at times.  However, I always remind myself that most of the big wedding decisions are complete!

It’s like every week I’m finding new, more irrelevant things to worry about.  Maybe it’s hormonal?  Maybe it’s the nature of big life changes?  Maybe it’s the pressure of planning a large event for all the people that matter in your life? Either way there are moments of extreme wedding planning joy (I love weddings, I can’t wait til January, oh my gosh this will be the best wedding EVER) and other moments of wedding disaster (Adam asking me when I want him to call back and me shouting “I can’t make another decision!!” Lovely.)

Running Updates

But before we get to the wedding stuff, let’s chat a bit about running!  Yes, I did say that 7 letter word!  I started running again, for the first time in a month?  And in June I only ran 2-3 times, so sufficient to say I took a very healthy break to allow my Runner’s Knee to heal up.  Though I don’t feel that I’m 100% miracle cured, I do feel it’s time to get running again.  My doctor gave me a progressing plan for running, and I want to start out with some smaller distances.  Hopefully my hip strength is a bit stronger now and this runner’s knee will give me a break.  I’m going to be patient with it and just try for a few times a week.  Let’s just say the first time back wasn’t pleasant: slow and labored!  It’s amazing how fast conditioning disappears.

I also officially signed up for my next half-marathon!  I know – kind of crazy.  But… there was a super discount if I signed up now, even though I was planning to wait (man am I a sucker for a deal).  And a lot of my friends signed up (total peer pressure).  And I figured – I will walk it if I can’t run.  Which sounds pretty long and unpleasant…let’s hope I don’t have to resort to that :) It’s in three months, so I’ve got time.  Fingers crossed that I’ll slowly, but surely be able to get at it.  Goals for the race?  Run the whole time.  No time, no pace… I will be ecstatic if I can just jog it.  Ecstatic.

Wedding Updates

The Jacket!

Alright…now onto the wedding fun!  This past weekend I was on the hunt with my future mother-in-law for a jacket of sorts for my wedding dress.  Because I’m getting married in January, I want something to cover my sleeves during the ceremony.  I just don’t want to look freezing!  The good news: I found the perfect one.  The bad news:  I can’t show you until January!  But, I’ll compromise and show you some of the runner ups :)

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Note: not my dress, just a random one at a shop. Sadly, this lovely jacket did not win! First runner-up.

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Again not my dress – random one in random shop. But, this jacket was edged out due to itchy lace and cost. 2nd Runner-Up.

The Decorations!

Decorations have been moving along quite nicely as well.  A great friend of mine is letting me borrow lots of her decorations from her wedding (and her 2 sisters, convenient).  The vases, overlays, and fake flower are beautiful – and FREE!  I will supplement the things I’ve been loaned and purchase a few new things like more blue bottles, fake snow, and some lights.  Not a bad deal at all.  When I sent out the “Hey do you guys have anything weddingish sitting around?” request to my friends, I was overwhelmed at how much people were willing to loan and help.  I’d definitely recommend reaching out to those close to you before buying everything!

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Starting to mock-up some of my decorations! Everything in this picture was borrowed from a friend (except the frame).

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Found these awesome frames for ONE DOLLAR at Ikea. I’ll put either table numbers or the menu/thank you/itinerary in here. They are double sided too! One per table.

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My dream centerpiece on Pinterest. Just lovely! We aren’t budgeting enough for decorations to do flowers (aren’t these amazing??), but I LOVE the fake snow in this centerpiece. Looks so wintery and classy! I’m going to try some fake snow with my donated centerpieces.

Time with Adam!

And last but not least, Adam is on vacation next week!!!  I can hardly contain my excitement.  Due to his residency he gets three weeks off a year: 1 one-week block and 1 two-week block.  His 1 week is next week, and his 2 weeks is our wedding.  And that’s it until next July!  It has certainly made scheduling tricky.  Adam is coming up to Indy (exotic vacation right?), and we’ll split our time with relaxing/visiting family and wedding planning. I. Cant. Wait.  It will be amazing.  Ah-mazing.  Hopefully Adam will be wildly impressed with my self-sufficient skills I’ve developed.

And last – a big THANK YOU to those of you that commented on my photographers blog!  We just received our prize:  a beautiful large print of our choice.  It’s gorgeous!  THANK YOU for helping us get it!!  Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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I surprised Adam with a trip down to Nashville and the beautiful print! Can’t wait to hang it up!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Kelly

Which jacket did you like best?  Do you have any wedding stuff you want me to take off your or hands or borrow from you? :)

Reasons to Exercise

24 Jul

The past few days have been a little rough.  Last week I decided I was going to just totally unplug and take a break from working out.  I finished up Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 and I was planning my next program.  I was feeling kind of un-motivated to work out, so I just went with it.  For several glorious days I pushed my alarm back and basked in the glory of several guiltless workout free mornings.  It was fantastic.  This past weekend I relaxed a bit and enjoyed some delightful culinary wonders like girl scout cookies and Indian food.  Again, fantastic.

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Oh yum… yeah a few too many of these.

Doesn’t really sound so rough huh?  Well yesterday I feel like I finally hit a wall from all my wild and fancy-free living.  And then it hit me: my body truly has been trained!   After months of P90X and focusing on better eating, my body craves healthy food.  My body wants to be active.  Saturday and Sunday I had a dull headache and just felt sort of blah.  My lack of healthy-living may not be entirely to blame, but it certainly played a part.  Call me crazy, but this is pretty awesome!

It’s common sense: eat a bunch of candy and you’ll get a tummy ache.  But now I feel like I’m at a new level – my body truly has gotten used to a regular diet of fruit, veggies, and working up a sweat.  When I deprive my body of these things, I feel it.  It took 3-4 days to really feel it, but this is such a change.  It used to take a few weeks of living unhealthy to really notice it (Christmas break in college ehem).  What a cool revelation.  When I changed my life style back in October I was really hoping that this would happen!  (Doing a little happy dance).

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Now I crave these things! Okay not all of these things and not all the time… but I’m making progress!

Last week I was really feeling some pressure that I was entirely putting on myself.  I found out I got the part and Adam and I were in the heat of several big wedding decisions.  Definitely exciting things, but I sort of felt my edges cracking from my own pressure (I think all other type a-ers can relate to this!).  So while the good news is my body craves healthy-living, and I will naturally want to get back on the healthy train…the bad news is that I sort of turned to food to deal with my stress.  Feeling stressed about needing to be an athletic dancer to play the part in the show?  Yes, eat more peanut butter and cookies…brilliant strategy to achieve your fitness goals.  Yeah…not such a great habit.  My eventual goal would be push my stress away by making a delicious yummy healthy or doing some yoga.  Now those are coping mechanisms I can get on board with!  Patience Kelly, one thing at a time.

The past week has been a great discovery of how far I’ve come fitness-wise, but also seeing that I still have room for growth.  As I left Adam’s apartment yesterday I made the comment, “You know I think the number 1 reason I work out is for balance and attitude.”  All of these thoughts got me really thinking about why I work out.  Why is it such a part of my life, and why do I want it to continue to be a priority.  In usual fashion, I present to you a list!

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Hooray exercise!

Reasons to Exercise and Stay Active

  • Attitude.  Working out keeps me mentally sane and balanced.  I just have a better attitude when I’m active.
  • Health.  From preventing heart disease to avoiding diabetes to controlling my asthma, health-related reasons to be active abound.  I want to be around a long time and I want to be healthy while I’m around.
  • Outlook. (And not the microsoft kind). Holy positive.  I am a much much more positive person when I take the time to invest in myself.  Suddenly the birds are chirping and I’m thrilled about the rest of my day.  Yes it may sound cliché, but come on… there are definitely endorphin side effects to exercise (and happy people just don’t kill people!  What movie?? :))
  • Confidence.  When I’m active, I feel like I can take on the world.  Whether it comes to pushing myself out of my comfort zone socially, pushing myself physically, or pushing myself to go stinking shopping even though I don’t like it – I’m more confident!!  And believe me, confidence just makes life easier.
  • Keeping up!  When I’m in great shape I’m much more of a “yes” girl.  Want me to join a dodgeball league?  Yes.  Want to run a 5K with a day’s notice in green tights?  Yes.  Want to go hiking?  Heck yes.  I just don’t have the excuses to say no.  “I can’t keep up” or  “I’m not in good shape” aren’t in my vocabulary!
  • Taking care of myself for others.  My friends and family receive major benefits when I work out.  I’m kinder, more balanced, and more passionate about life.  In addition, I’m healthier and more durable for whatever life throws my way.  If I can’t get myself to work out for me, often thinking about them will be the extra push to get me out the door.
  • Nutrition.  Fact: when I’m active, I make better food choices.  There is such a symbiotic relationship between food and activity  – I love reaping the benefits from both!
  • Looking good.  Let’s face it, one of the side effects of fitness is looking your personal best.  It’s nice to look good and feel comfortable in your skin.  It helps with confidence and being a “yes” person!
  • It’s relaxing and therapeutic.  Or at least it can be…eventually. :)  It took me a long time to view running as a ‘relaxing’ activity – but it’s awesome to just take time away and focus on yourself.  Be one with the run (or zumba or crossfit or whatever)!
  • The challenge.  I love setting goals and reaching them.  Fitness is an awesome place to compete against yourself for yourself.  It can be very motivating and satisfying to see yourself reach them.  The first time I did a pull-up I just about cried!
  • To enjoy treats.  Okay I had to add this one… regular working out makes the occasional crack-filled cookies from my mom totally doable (Note: not filled with actual crack).  Everything in moderation is one of my favorite phrases, and working out regularly allows me to really live this phrase out!  Because I just can’t say no to cupcakes every time.

So if you’ve been in a rut like me, there are a few reasons to push play or get out the door!  If you’re looking for more reasons or motivation head over to Catherine @ A Two Storey Home.  Ironically she had the exact same thoughts today, and beat me to the punch (which is good, because she’s been thinking about working on her defense skills)!  She lists a lot of great reasons to focus on strength over skinny – I love it!

In other news, ChaLean Extreme officially shipped yesterday, woot!  I’m so excited to share the process and my next phase of pushing myself!  Until then, I’ve climbed jumped back on the healthy train with a quick stop at the grocery store for some fresh produce and some invigorating yoga this morning (thanks Lucy for the motivation to get back at yoga!).  Man does it ever feel good to be back on the train.  Next stop: ChaLean Extreme!

-Kelly

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!

What are your reasons to work out?  Why do you maintain your fitness?

Maintaining Fitness with Runner’s Knee

23 Jul

Okay folks.  It’s happening.  I feel like I’m finally having my “ohmygoshican’trun!??!” breakdown.  I have worked hard to maintain a positive attitude and a cheery disposition on my ‘vacation’ from running over the past 2 months – see I’m even using positive words like ‘vacation’ to fool myself into thinking this is a happy time.  Well this week I have really hit rock bottom.  I stare longingly at runners at times.  Other times I glare angrily at them as they joyfully jog along, smirking at me as I either a) walk slowly in my fitness gear or b) look out my car window.  Okay so maybe they aren’t smirking at me – but seriously, they might as well be…

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Is that dust collecting on my shoes? Gasp!

Signs you may not be dealing with a lack of running well (aka Runner’s Knee Negative Attitude, RKNA):

  1. Angry or jealous thoughts regarding anything running related.  Runners included.
  2. Turning to food to deal with the frustration.  Nope I didn’t have half a box of girl scout cookies this morning.  Or several scoops of peanut butter straight up instead of a breakfast.  Not at all.
  3. Angry thoughts targeted toward the injury.  Frankly I’m just really mad at my knees right now.
  4. Sense of hopelessness.  No, but seriously, sometimes I feel a little lost without running.
  5. Feeling depressed (not the clinical kind – just the meh this sucks kind).  Running helps me to stay cheery.  Not running isn’t good for my attitude.
  6. Feeling like you “aren’t a runner.”  Yeah I used to be one of those…
  7. Not eating well or hydrating enough because after all “I’m not training and it doesn’t matter”
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Step away from the peanut butter!

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I don’t even remember what this is… a pull-up bar? a push-up bar? Was there even a time when I could do pull-ups? (okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic)

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Absolutely I’ve used my new yoga block. I just prefer to use it with the packaging still on. Helps me feel more yogi.

As of this week I am officially displaying all signs of Runner’s Knee Negative Attitude.  A non-life threatening issue that can wreak havoc on your attitude, outlook, and disposition.  It can have ramifications on your social life, loved ones, and anyone in your path.  Proceed with caution.  Now that I have been (self) diagnosed, I feel more prepared in coming to terms with my condition.  Over the past couple weeks I have done some things well in dealing with the condition, but I’ve also bombed majorly in other aspects.  Now that I’m in this sad, pathetic position I’m realizing there were some crucial steps I could’ve taken to avoid this unpleasant condition.

Bottom line: It all comes down to maintaining fitness and staying active.

For me, the double whammy is not being able to run, but also slowly moving backward fitness-wise.  Major bummer.  These are the steps I wish I would’ve taken when I first got diagnosed.

1. Stop. Okay, so you’re freshly diagnosed with an injury.  Hooray, right?  The most important thing to do: stop using it.  I cut way back on my running, but I should’ve stopped entirely and switched to another form of fitness.

2. Find another outlet.  This is my number one mistake.  Instead of researching a pool for swimming or taking my bike into a shop to get fixed, I just stewed and swirled.  For the first few weeks I did well with my workout DVDs.  But I know myself, and replacing running with a cardio activity like swimming or biking would help simulate the theurapuetic benefits that running accomplishes.  The repetition is calming and I should’ve stinking made the effort and committed to a new activity for a couple months.  This would’ve helped tremendously.

3. DO YOUR EXERCISES!  A big one.  Again – for the first few months I was diligent.  But as time passed and I didn’t “see” improvement I got discouraged.  Well here’s the thing folks – normally recovery isn’t instant and it will take some time for those exercises to provide benefit.  Stay diligent and eventually there will be a payoff.

4. Maintain a healthy diet.  I have been doing about a B on this one, but eating balanced meals more regularly would’ve significantly helped.  Now I feel a little out of sorts without running and not eating as cleanly as I could be.  You are what you eat.  Now that I’ve been eating more processed/sweet things I can feel it.  And I don’t like it.

Recovery is possible.

I truly believe that my RKNA is a direct result of not doing the above.  Instead I have let myself get a little bit soft, a little bit lazy, and allowed myself to pout just a little too much.

The biggest secret?  Stay active.  Do whatever you can to maintain fitness and stay active… you won’t be sorry if you do!  Here are some ideas on how to maintain fitness when you can’t run regularly.  I wish that I had done a better job overall.

  • Walk.  Lace up those shoes, listen to music and go on nice walks.  They are relaxing and get you outside, moving, and active.
  • Swim.  See above – but seriously I should’ve made this happen.
  • Bike.  Again, see above.  Biking is a nice lower impact way to be active and outdoors.
  • Join a gym.  If you can use the elliptical and don’t own one, consider joining a gym or Y.  Generally these facilities have equipment that can be used with Runner’s Knee or other injuries.
  • Complete an at-home DVD program like P90X or ChaLean Extreme – one that is more focused on lifting.  I’m starting ChaLean next week and I CANT WAIT.  I think getting back into the swing of a program will really help.  Be careful not to choose something high impact that could cause more injury (in my case, Insanity).

Now that I know what I should’ve done, I’m trying to work on my attitude to try and turn this ship around!  I start ChaLean Extreme next week, which should be a big help.  I’m also going to research both joining a gym with a pool, and getting my bike fixed.  They may be out of my price range, but it’s at least worth taking a look!  August 5th is my start date with my first foray back to running.  It’s just 2 weeks away and will be an indicator of whether or not a fall race is happening this year.  Let the countdown begin!

-Kelly

What activities have you done when you couldn’t run?  How have you dealt with injuries?  Have you ever experienced Runner’s Knee Negative Attitude?

The Benefits of Not Running

12 Jul

Well I haven’t been running, which you may know if you’ve been around here before.  You can check out my experiences with Runner’s Knee here: The Dreaded Runner’s Knee, Dealing with Runner’s Knee, and When Running Hurts, okay…so maybe I talk a lot about my inability to really run.  But what I wanted to do today is take a look at the positive side of this situation.  The benefits of not running!  Okay, I tease, there really aren’t that many true benefits.  But… this morning I was able to find TWO clean athletic socks (that matched) easily and swiftly and it got me thinking, “there have to be more positives out there!”  So for all you injured runners out there – this one is for you!

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The Benefits of Not Running

  • An abundance of clean running/workout clothes.  Now when I do my morning workout I no longer have to search and sniff test endlessly.  It’s super easy to find all parts of my workout ensemble that are clean.  Win!
  • Extra time to try new fitness trends!   Without all those hours spent running you could explore Zumba or Crossfit or any Beachbody at home DVD program.  Think of the possibilities!  Usually with all that time running I don’t feel motivated to check other things out – a non-serious injury allows you that excuse!  Or you can be like me and watch hours of old Grey’s Anatomy episodes on Netflix.  Endlessly.  Either activity is a big win!
  • Decreased hunger.  When I’m not running a ton every week, my hunger seems to go down to a tolerable level.  Though, the lack of running means I should probably keep track of what I eat a little better.  The excuse “I ran 10 miles today” no longer is valid…darn!
  • No paces to stress you out!  If you like to see improvements with running and get frustrated with slow times… one way to avoid all this?  No running at all!  No running = no pace = no stress.  Sounds brilliant to me.
  • No farmer tan.  I don’t have to worry this summer about my usual running shorts line on my thighs.  Now I can look better in my underwear.  Such a win.  Priorities people.
  • Money savings.  Race entries are expensive.  Like really expensive.  A break from running means a break on my wallet for awhile.  Though I have made up for it in Physical Therapy bills… womp womp.
  • Free Saturday mornings!  Without a long run to plan around I’m totally and blissfully available!  Saturday brunch?  No problem.  A late night on Friday?  No problem.  Want to drink wine at 9 am?  No problem.
  • No need to track the weather!  What a relief!  I no longer have to care about the humidity or chance or rain.  Is it a nice day?  Great.  Is it the most horrendously humid day every experienced?  Cool.
  • Nothing to compare.  If you have an issue comparing yourself to other runners…taking yourself out of the game removes all comparisons!  Now you can sit on a high pedestal and say “Oh if I could run, I totally would be faster and could run longer” and it doesn’t matter because you don’t have to prove it.  Sweet.

So if you’re currently injured and feeling sad – don’t worry, there are plenty of positives to the situation.  And, if these don’t make you feel like slightest bit better (or at least smile), hang in there… you’re not alone!

Happy Friday!

-Kelly

What positives would you add to the list?  How do you deal with breaks from running?