Tag Archives: running

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

 

The Surprising Similarities Between Dancing and Running

19 Nov

Remember that one time that this blog was a running blog, that actually talked about running?  Yeah it’s a foggy memory in my head too.  Thanks to my knees breaking and getting engaged…I do more wedding planning (daily) than running (never, thanks knees).  Life happens.  And for the record, I’m determined to be a runner’s knee success story that you all can read/cheer about, as I throw a celebration parade and toss candy throughout all the land. Slightly excited about that mayhaps…

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The past few weeks I’ve spent a ton of time dancing in preparation for the musical White Christmas (which opens FRIDAY!).  Through my dance rehearsals I’ve been reminded of running somewhat frequently, and thought I’d have a little fun comparing and contrasting the two.  Because let’s be serious, the dance floor is as close as I’m going to get to running for another few months.  Er, yeah, makes perfect sense. Go with me.

Similarities between Dancing and Marathoning

  • Your feet are just disgusting.  Whether it’s blisters, sores, or other nasties… they just aren’t that pretty. AND you can’t get a pedicure because you’re afraid of losing your callouses. I’m tempted to post pictures, but I will spare you all.  You’re welcome.
  • It is freaking hard.  After my 4 hour dance rehearsal I actually uttered, ‘That was literally harder than a marathon.’  Keep in mind one (usually) trains for a marathon and this dance rehearsal was the first session for me in many years.  Let’s just say I wasn’t properly trained for it.
  • It can be both thrilling and frustrating.  GAH must stop running, WEEEH must never stop running!  GAH can’t get this stupid lift, WEEEH let’s dance like this forever!
  • The right attire can improve comfort and reduce chaffing.
  • Shoes make all the difference.
  • You’re tempted to text pictures of your feet to friends and family because you feel like a warrior.
  • If you’re asthmatic like me, you have to remember to take your inhaler before you begin!
  • Stretching can make all the difference in performance and reduces injury.
  • You secretly hope people will start chanting your name in support.
  • You plan your other workouts around your runs/dancing rehearsals… because of course, you want fresh legs!
  • It can make you sore.  Really, really sore.
  • Holy moly does it make you hungry!  Why yes I need to scarf that whole lunch box!!  I’m a growing girl!

So even though I can’t run, I’m still hanging in there (read: keeping very busy and distracted).  PLUS I’m managing to find a way to ‘blog’ about running.  Win and Win.  Just FOUR days until the show opens… holy tummy ache.  Last night was the first night with microphones and lights, tonight we’ll add some more costumes, and tomorrow I get my wig.  Things are getting real!  Hope you all had a great weekend!

Kelly

Learning to Like Yoga

12 Nov
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My trusty yoga mat – maybe I’m also learning to tolerate it because Adam used it to propose. He’s a tricky one.

Yoga and I have long been sworn enemies.

“Wait, I just have to stand there holding that position?!  Where is the cardio?  Where is the high intensity?  I’m bored.  Are we done yet?”

“Hmm, so you’re telling me that I need to just relax and sit there?  And  empty my mind?  How the heck do I do that!?”

and…

“I’m expected to hold positions called ‘downward facing dog’ and ‘tree’ and take this whole thing seriously?  Yoga people are in la-la loosey goosey land”

All of these thoughts have crossed my mind about yoga at one point or another. For many years I had a flat out yoga boycott. “It’s stupid and touchy feely, therefore I will not do it.”  That seemed to be enough for me.  I happily avoided yoga, pursuing other fitness endeavors including running, zumba, or the elliptical. But within the last year, something within me has changed: I have learned to appreciate yoga.  This has been a conscious effort and it hasn’t been without work!  It’s a huge step and honestly, I’m not that upset about it :)  These are some of the reasons I wanted to ‘learn to like’ yoga:

  • It is very complimentary to high intensity fitness.  Doing yoga on my “off” days is perfect.  It allows me to remain active and workout, without too much wear and tear on my body.  I use it for days off from both running or lifting.
  • It can be refreshing.  Once you understand it and know some basics, it can feel very refreshing when you’re done. It took me about 6-8 months to feel ‘refreshed,’ but eventually it happened.
  • I am injured.  Yeah, between my knees and now my ankle, I wanted a form of fitness that I can do despite injury or age.  Yoga rarely irritates my knees.  Yoga FTW.
  • Increased flexibility which helps other things.  Whether it’s running or dancing, increased flexibility can have a positive effect on performance.  I have really enjoyed the new flexibility gained.  Makes me feel less “old” :)
  • I feel like yoga is helping me have a more ‘well rounded approach’ to caring for my body.  Instead of focusing on burning calories and high intensity, I’m giving my body a little love by forcing myself to slow down, stretch, and smell the roses.   All things I need!
  • I can’t run so I need something where I can ‘zone out’ – after months and months finally yoga is that for me.

So how did I do it?  How did I force myself to learn to like yoga?  Well, first of all… it takes time.  And in my case, lots of time.  I didn’t expect it to happen overnight, and frankly I had very low expectations for even liking it at all.  Here’s what I did.

How I Learned to Like Yoga

  1. Start with a DVD.  I started doing yoga out of the comfort of my own home.  I didn’t have to worry about feeling embarrassed in front of a bunch of yogis.  I didn’t have to worry about not knowing what the heck to do.  And for me, this method was perfect.  I could watch the DVD and learn on my own schedule and timing (conveniently could pause it if I needed more time to study a move).  The DVD got me familiar with the lingo and ‘language’ of yoga.  Heck, it even allowed me to laugh out loud at some of the ‘silly phrases’ that can come along with yoga.  What can I say, I’m mature.
  2. Start with a routine.  I did yoga every Thursday.  I just knew it was my yoga day and dang it if it was scheduled, I was going to do it.  I did the DVD as a rotation of other workouts so I was in the habit of working out every day and yoga was just the next one in line.
  3. Mentally prepare for it.  Starting about Wednesday morning I had to start ‘talking myself into yoga’ so I’d be ready by Thursday morning (and wouldn’t press the snooze button).  I would give myself the expectation that I was going to do it and think about all the reasons why I wanted to do it (distress, stretch, flexibility, stamina, mental health). Self talk can be a powerful thing!
  4. Start small.  P90X has a yoga DVD that is 90 minutes long. NINETY MINUTES!  Well knowing my hatred of yoga I knew that just wasn’t a smart way to get me to do it.  Adam and I found a yoga DVD that had 6 different segments that averaged 20 minutes long.  We could do anywhere from 20-60 minutes by combining different segments instead of 90 minutes.  This was my gateway to yoga.
  5. Get a mat.  Making a small financial investment in yoga made me feel more invested ‘in my practice.’ I guess I would liken it to runners buying their first pair of ‘real’ running shoes… just makes you feel like a runner.
  6. Be patient and kind to yourself.  Holy cow those first few weeks months of yoga were frustrating.  I felt like I literally couldn’t do anything. I tried to be kind to myself and constantly reminded myself that this was a journey that would take awhile and benefits would come.  They may take forever, but they’d come.  It took a lot of positive self talk (remembering the why) to get me to return.
  7. Have an accountability partner.  When I first started yoga I had Adam to encourage me to keep going.  And I could encourage him on the days he felt less than enthused.  Now that I’m out of the hating phase, I don’t need one as much – but it was incredibly helpful during those first few months.
  8. Take a class.  When you finally feel ‘ready’ – take a class!  Just a few weeks ago I took my first yoga class after about a year of doing yoga at home.  It was awesome!  I could understand what was going on and while I’m by no means great at yoga, I felt competent at least attempting most of the moves.  In the class I learned more proper technique for some moves and it was very beneficial.

So there you have it – my recipe for success.  I still don’t ‘love’ yoga, but I’ve made huge strides. This morning I voluntarily chose my yoga DVD because I’ve been pretty sore lately due to all the dancing and P90X, and I wanted a low impact workout to take care of my body.  Yep, I wanted to do it.  Crazy things can happen kids.  I guess it’s time to call a truce with my war on yoga.

Hope you’re all having a great week.  Happy Tuesday!

-Kelly

Do you do yoga?  Why?  Any major benefits you enjoy?

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?

When You Get Off Track…

11 Sep

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Maybe if I had an alarm clock like this I could get up…

Hi folks!  Happy Wednesday!  This week has been an awesome one and will continue to bring more excitement (eek!).  With a visit to Nashville on Monday/Tuesday (sigh, 3 weeks is too long without seeing Adam), and a wedding down in South Carolina on Friday and the rest of the weekend-  it’s completely full of awesomeness!  It’s during times of awesomeness (or complete crazy unpleasant stress) that I find it hardest to get my workout in.What to do when things are all out of sorts!?

Last night I got in super late from Nashville and this morning I. Could. Not. Get. Up.  My alarm rang and rang and I just kept pressing ignore (I have a bad habit of not being fully aware of this).  Suddenly I have 15 minutes until I have to leave, let alone workout!  I scrambled around, managed to get clothes on and throw together a lunch (I call that success).  Yet I sit here now kind of disappointed I didn’t get my workout in (that feeling always happens!).  There are several options when you skip a workout (if you have a set weekly schedule).

1. Push the workout back.  I could continue about my day as if it were a rest day.  Tomorrow I’ll do what I planned to do today.

2. Do the workout in the evening or afternoon.  I’m a morning worker outer (note, not a morning person), so the afternoon is always a great back-up.  And I would…but I have 2 hours of dance rehearsal tonight.  I won’t get home until 8:30 and likely won’t be in any physical shape to lift.  But… I could make it happen. No excuses right? Chooo Choo… do you hear the excuse train??

3. Skip the workout.  Come on Kelly, live a little!  Just skip the workout and tomorrow start “Thursday’s” workout.

Honestly I’ve done all three, and they all work.  :)  My favorite tends to be 2, as normally I can find a way to squeeze it in.  But what’s better on your body?  Switching up the routine?  Keeping at it?  Here are some thoughts on each of the options.

When to Push it Back:

If you have built in rest days and pushing back the workout by one day will not ‘mess up’ the next week, go for pushing it back.  This keeps your week on schedule, but just slides things back a bit.  Generally if I’m out of rest days and pushing back means I spill over into the next week I’ll stay away from doing this.  It’s okay to slide, but I hate getting that out of routine.  Getting so out of sorts makes it SO easy to skip more workouts.  Other times I won’t push back?  If I’ve already skipped a workout in the week.  One change up is great, two… is a slippery slope.  (I’m naturally so lazy, I gotta watch myself! One minute I’m working out and the next I’m laying on my couch pinning and eating white cheddar cheezits, yikes ;))

When to Do it No Matter What!

Some days if I sleep over my workout, I just have to make it happen no matter what.  If I have a free or ‘freeish’ evening I generally try to make this happen.  Also, if I’ve skipped workouts previously in the week, or had a pretty treat filled weekend (a la Labor Day) I will make the workout happen!  Generally I decide in the morning what option I’m going with.  This helps me mentally plan and prep for an evening workout.  I’m a huge expectations person, so talking myself into the workout nice and early is helpful!

When to skip the workout

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you just can’t make it work!  Times when I’m okay skipping?  If I’m sick or completely exhausted (like crazy-land exhausted, not just ‘meh I’m tired and don’t want to workout’ <– duh, that’s everyday).  I’ll also skip if somehow in my day I replaced the workout – i.e. went on a run at work, or a 2 hour dance rehearsal.  And finally, I’ll skip if I’m out of rest days and my day is so jam packed that I can’t do anything else.  Even if I’m disappointed in myself for not getting my rear in gear, I have to ‘forgive’ myself and move on!  Tomorrow is a new day – channel that energy to make tomorrow the best workout ever!!  Or just working out, I’ll settle for that too ;)

A fourth option – swap the workout.  If you don’t have time for a full workout but can get in something shorter, say yoga?  Do it!  I’ll do this option if I just ‘want to get something in’.  Something is better than nothing!

So what am I going to do today?  Honestly I’m not sure!  I’m hoping that I can talk myself into lifting after my dance rehearsal.  This is one of those situations where I won’t really be able to push back with the destination wedding this weekend.  Fingers crossed I’m not dead after my dance rehearsal!

Speaking of which… the first dance rehearsal for White Christmas was on Saturday!  I danced for 8 hours.  There was a dance workshop for 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours of learning the choreography to “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing.”  (Swoon!)  I felt like I had signed up for Dancing with the Stars. Seriously – imagine beautiful waltz, fabulous dress, spinning, lifting, dancing!  Oh dear goodness, excited and nervous!

Though…I am still sore (yeah, it’s Wednesday, that was Saturday).  I think that rehearsal was more difficult than most of my races – half or full! (except for that one marathon I didn’t really train for, yeah that sucked).  My knees gave me a bit of trouble so I’ve cut back on running – I may even have to kiss my November half-marathon goodbye (tear).  But I really feel like I have the responsibility to take care of my body with all of this dancing.  And if running is a known irritant… it just makes sense to lay off it for awhile.  It’s still a bummer to me that I can’t run normally without pain, but that’s another sob post. There are FIVE lifts in this ONE dance number, just to give you an idea of the physicality required.  I may spend my time doing abs and planks instead of running (cuz lordy, I’m gonna need it!).  I’m SO excited for the show – it should be amazing.

And because it’s Wednesday: here’s a wedding craft for you to enjoy.  Adam is a whiz and put these together for our tables – me on one side and him on the other.  Yay!

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Have a great rest of the week! :)

-Kelly

Edit: Also totally spaced that today is 9/11.  We must never forget!  (clearly I’m talking to myself).

How do you handle missed workouts?  Do you do option 1, 2, or 3… or another way of dealing? Any tips or advice when you get off schedule?

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

Whirlwind Week!

19 Aug

Adam.  Adam.  Adam.  Adam.  Okay… can you tell that Adam has been around lately??  I’ve got Adam on the brain :)  Last week was one of his two blocks of vacation and I soaked it up in all it’s glory!  It was also one of those weeks where I had the time to either blog about not working out, or just work out.  I chose the latter and I must say it was the right call! ;)  I’m on week 4 and still loving ChaLean!  And because I’m still playing catch-up from a crazy weekend (where I played wedding photographer, yeah that’s a funny story for another time)…let’s do a photo time!

Last week consisted of a little…

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TUBING!! We spent the weekend at the lake and it was divine.

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Exciting times at the lake.

We also managed to squeeze in some wedding planning.  What a delightful ‘vacation’ for Adam :)

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Inspired by pinterest we’re going to do photos as a part of our table numbers.

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We started collecting the pictures. Let me tell you – hilarious.

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We got our first wedding gift!! It’s starting to feel so real :)

I’m also collecting pinecones for my name cards project.  Last week Adam and I went out for a run and stopped in the middle of the forest to gather pinecones.  Then a co-worker of mine ran by, baffled as to what we were doing on a trail collecting pinecones in running clothes.  Anything to save a little money.

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Aren’t these just the cutest!?

This morning I ran by a city worker cutting down sticks from a tree near my place.  You can bet your bottom dollar I stopped my run to collect sticks for the reception.  Really all this nature gathering is affecting my runs.  BUT it’s thrilling that I’m able to run!

Happy Monday and here’s to getting back to routine!

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?