Posted in fitness

Sunday Runday: Week 13

sunday-runday

Hello again!

I know, I know, I skipped a week.  Elliot’s been nursing a pretty bad cold, I ended up with an ear infection and I was in full blown income-tax-widow mode.  But I did do most of the things I had planned for week 12.

(By the way, if you’re new to this series of posts, I recommend you start here to get a sense of what I’ve been up to).

I’m super excited because I’m allowed to start running again.  It’s going to be a long process, but I’m fully invested in it, so it’s going to be alright.  Because of the extremely progressive reintroduction of running, it’s going to seem like I’m doing way too many things in a week for the next few weeks (months?), but it’s not as bad as it might appear.

How last week went

  • Crossfit: I’m rocking these workouts now and have been consistently seeing improvements.  Since they are only 20 minutes long, I’ve decided to add a second session to my weeks (and I’ve semi convinced my husband to join me for one of them).
  • Squash: I had a really off day with regards to squash.  I realized about halfway through that it was because I was afraid of injuring myself.  The fact that I elected to not take any Motrin, was wearing shorts instead of leggings andhad to stop after 30 minutes due to a sharp pain in my leg the previous week didn’t help.  We still had fun though.  Oh!  I successfully hit the ball off the back wall and got it to hit the front wall twice too (woot!).  I was so surprised the first time that I actually lost the exchange because I was too busy celebrating LOL!.
  • Swimming:  I ended up going to the pool only once, but it was great.  I ended up swimming 6 additional lengths after completing my routine to get my distance up to 1km.  I’m looking forward to doing it again in the coming weeks.

This week’s plan

Sunday: Swim, 850m (34 laps)

  • 150m warm up, free
  • 4 x 50m, kick  – 1 slow lap, 1 fast lap, 15 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 100m free, 3rd lap of every set in IM order, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 100m cool down, free

Monday:

  • Run
    • 5 min. walk (warm-up)
    • 1 min. run / 1 min. walk x3
    • 5 min. walk (cool down)

Tuesday:

  • Run (see Monday run)
  • Crossfit
    • Strength: Weighted squats 5-5-5-5-5-5 (weights next to hips)
    • WOD: 4 rounds
      • 40 jumping jacks
      • 80 singles
      • 40 crunches

Wednesday: Swim (see Sunday swim)

Thursday:

  • Run (see Monday run)
  • Squash

Friday: Crossfit

  • Strength: Australian pull-ups (8-8-8-8)
  • WOD:
    • Run (see Monday run)
    • 4 min. kettlebell circuit

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in fitness

Sunday Runday: Week 12

sunday-runday

Hello again!

First off, Happy Easter!  I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

If you’re new to this series of posts, I recommend you start here to get a sense of what I’ve been up to.

So…runs are officially off the menu for a few weeks, which is a bummer.  I’ve got an appointment with a physical therapist on Thursday so I’m hoping to get some exercises to strengthen the muscles I need for a forefoot strike.  I’ve also called my osteopath to see how she can help me.  It’s kind of a bummer because the weather is really warming up, but since I don’t want to injure myself further, I figure a break is for the best.

How last week went

  • Crossfit: Yeah!  I did my session with Charles who was over-the-moon at working out with his mama (and, gosh, 4 year olds rock squats like it’s the easiest thing in the world!).  I finished with almost 7 minutes to spare and did some kettlebell to round up my workout to 20 minutes.  It felt great!
  • Squash: I unfortunately had to stop playing after 30 minutes because the pain in my left leg became so intense that I felt as though my tibia was going to snap in two if I took another step on it.  Bleh… This is pretty much the catalyst that got me to see my doctor though, so I guess it’s a good thing.  We did have a nice game though with some pretty awesome exchanges.
  • Swimming: I was reminded of the fact that I love swimming.  I swam for years before hitting adolescence and deciding to take on a more sedentary lifestyle.  I wanted to ease into it, but the workout I picked was too easy.  I ended up adding some laps at the end to get a good half-hour in the pool.  Also, since Elliot decided to get landed with the flu (poor guy, seriously, he seems to be catching everything!) and I had only 3 hours of sleep on Wednesday night, I skipped Friday’s planned session and went to bed instead.  By the way, how do you guys remember your swim plan?  I ended up doing this: IMG_3223

Week 11 plan

Sunday: Easter Sunday so the pool’s closed.  Sooooo, depending on the weather, I’ll either go out rollerblading or stay in and do some stationary biking.

Monday: Squash

Tuesday: Rest day

Wednesday: Swim, 850m (34 laps)

  • 150m warm up, free
  • 4 x 50m, kick  – 1 slow lap, 1 fast lap, 15 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 100m free, 3rd lap of every set in IM order, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 100m cool down, free

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Swim

  • See Wednesday swim

Saturday: Crossfit

  • Strength: Pushups, 10-8-6-4
  • WOD: 15 min AMRAP
    • 20 Air squats
    • 15 lunges
    • 5 Australian pull ups

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in fitness

Sunday Runday: Week 11

sunday-runday

Hello again!

If you’re new to this series of posts, I recommend you start here to get a sense of what I’ve been up to.

How last week went

  • Runs:  My run (yup, I ran only once) was pretty difficult.  I managed to do 4/5 intervals, on the other interval, I needed a longer walking break.  I also ended up with some pretty persistent shin pain, which is why I skipped my two other runs.  From what I’ve read, I’ve ether got shin splints or a stress fracture.  Until I can see a doctor, I’m going to lay off running for a while.  When I do start again, I’m going to return to C25K so that I can get longer walking breaks and give my lungs a chance to adjust.  I also think I’m going to have to start taking my inhaler again.  Yup, fun times.
  • Crossfit: After catching up on my sleep, I was soooo ready for this.  Again, it went really well!  I even managed to finish before the 20 minute mark, yay!  Since things are going so well, I’ve decided that starting on week 13, I’ll do 2 crossfit sessions instead of one per week.  I’ve also decided, that when I finish with time to spare, I’m going to do some kettlebell work (because it’s so darned fun!) until I reach the 20 minute mark.
  • Squash: my husband and I decided to take up squash again!  Since my brother is at home on Monday evenings, it’s easy for us to get out of the house once the kids are down for the night.  This is going to be a weekly occurrence, yay!

Week 11 plan

Sunday: Swim, 1/2km (20 laps)

  • 100m warm up, any stroke
  • 4 x 25m kickboard, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 6 x 25m free, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 25m free (sprint laps), 30 sec. rest between laps
  • 50m cool down, any stroke

Monday: Squash

Tuesday: Rest day

Wednesday: Swim, 1/2km (20 laps)

  • 100m warm up, any stroke
  • 4 x 25m kickboard, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 6 x 25m free, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 25m free (sprint laps), 30 sec. rest between laps
  • 50m cool down, any stroke

 

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Swim, 1/2km (20 laps)

  • 100m warm up, any stroke
  • 4 x 25m kickboard, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 6 x 25m free, 20 sec. rest between laps
  • 4 x 25m free (sprint laps), 30 sec. rest between laps
  • 50m cool down, any stroke

Saturday: Crossfit

  • Strength: Overhead squat, 5-5-5-5-5
  • WOD: 5 rounds
    • 5 pushups
    • 15 crunches

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in fitness, Parenting

Sunday Runday: Week 10

sunday-runday

Hello again!

If you’re new to this series of posts, I recommend you start here to get a sense of what I’ve been up to.

How last week went

  • Runs:  I’m continuing to progress well on runs.  I’m very happy that I’m following a (very) progressive transition from heal strike to forefoot strike.  I can understand how some might get injured by not allowing themselves enough time to adjust.
  • Crossfit: Considering I only slept 2h  during the night between Thursday and Friday, I decided it would be better to stay away from crossfit.  I had enough trouble functioning as it was.

Week 10 plan

Sunday: Run

  • Forefoot drills (5 minutes)
  • 20 minute run (3 min. run /1 min. walk) x 5
  • 5 minute cool down walk + stretches

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run

  • See Sunday run

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run

  • See Sunday run

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: Cleans 10-10-10-10-10 (5 for each arm with a 15lb kettlebell)
  • WOD: 8 rounds
    • 10 mountain climbers
    • 10 jumping jacks
    • 5 knee push ups

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in fitness, Parenting

Sunday Runday: Week 9

sunday-runday

Hello again!

If you’re new to this series of posts, I recommend you start here to get a sense of what I’ve been up to.

How last week went

  • Runs:  My runs were really interesting!  Changing from a heel strike to a forefoot strike is going well.  My body seems to be adjusting nicely to the change.  I mistakenly did my Sunday run twice as long as it should have and my calves were on fire for the three following days.  I was also really out of breath which I found weird as I was just doing 1 min run followed by 1 min walk 10 times (though I should have done it 5 times).  After looking at my splits though, I understood why: by running at the recommended 180 steps per minute, I was doing splits of 5:50/km pace.  I have never done that before!  On Tuesday, I ran at 170 steps per minute which was better and on Thursday I ran at 160 which I found a bit slow.  I reckon my comfort zone is somewhere in between.
  • Crossfit: The Australian pull-ups…whoa!  They were hard BUT I managed to do them (which is more than I can say for my ability to do regular pull-ups).  I found it really encouraging and am looking forward to doing more!  As for the rest, I managed to finish with 2 minutes to spare in my 20 minute cutoff goal.  I was really happy as I was certain I’d never have time to finish.

Week 9 plan

Sunday: Run

  • Forefoot drills (5 minutes)
  • 15 minute run (2 min. run /1 min. walk) x 5
  • 5 minute cool down walk + stretches

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run

  • See Sunday run

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run

  • See Sunday run

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: Cleans 10-10-10-10-10 (5 for each arm with a 15lb kettlebell)
  • WOD: 8 rounds
    • 10 mountain climbers
    • 10 jumping jacks
    • 5 knee push ups

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in fitness, Parenting

Sunday Runday: Weeks 7 & 8

sunday-runday

Hello again!

If you’re new to this series of posts, I recommend you start here to get a sense of what I’ve been up to.

So, you guys probably noticed, but I completely forgot to post my weekly Sunday Runday post last week so I’ll be covering 2 weeks in this one.

How week 6 went

  • Runs: Runs weren’t too awesome.  Since I didn’t do my usual Sunday run on account of stuffing my face at the sugar shack, I was kind of thrown off.  I did manage to do 2 runs out of 3 though, so not too bad.  I’ve been really needing a break from Winter so I actually did one of my runs outside (never mind that it was raining and freezing!).  It went pretty well considering.  I managed to run 21 minutes straight, but had to walk for about a minute when I turned onto an icy street.  Once I cleared the ice, I finished my run.
  • Crossfit: I didn’t too it.  Hey, I’m only human, right!?!

Week 7 plan

Sunday: Run (C25K, week 7, day 3)

  • Brisk 5 min warm up walk
  • Run: 25 min. jog
  • 5 min cool down walk

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run (C25K week 8, day 1)

  • Brisk 5 min warm up walk
  • Run: 28 min. jog
  • 5 min cool down walk

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run (C25k week 8, day 2)

  • See Tuesday run

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: Weighted squats (weights next to hips) 8 – 8 – 8 – 8 – 8
  • WOD: 10 minute AMRAP
    • 10 jumping squats
    • 10 jumping back and forth
    • 10 air squats
    • 10 plank side crunches

Saturday: Rest day

How last week went

  • Runs:

I’ve been having trouble with these.  My heart just doesn’t seem to be in the game these days (of course, the fact that we got slammed with 50cm of snow in 18 hours when all of the previous snow had almost all melted doesn’t help).

On Tuesday, I went out despite the raging snowstorm.  I decided to run for 15 minutes instead of the 25 I was supposed to do because I didn’t want to stay too long.  I also did a 5-10 minute test run with my new shoes.  They are “zero drop” shoes which means that my heal isn’t higher up than my forefoot.  I’m planning on transitioning from a heal-strike run to a forefoot strike style of running and I need to do so slowly to avoid any injuries.  I filmed myself so that I could analyze my run and correct any forms issues.

On Thursday, I went outside and shoveled my side of the driveway (which took about 40 minutes).  Our fantastic neighbour was kind enough to remove most of the snow from my driveway with his snowblower, but he couldn’t remove it where I was parked.  By the time I was finished, I had no desire to go out and run!

  • Crossfit: It went really well!  I can now definitely feel like I’m more in shape than I was about two months ago.  I’m less out of breath and I feel as though I’ve got more muscle tone.

Week 8 plan (this coming week)

I’m  stopping the C25k program to be able to transition from a heal-stike to a forefoot strike using this guide.

Sunday: Run

  • Forefoot drills (5 minutes)
  • 10 minute run (1 min. run /1 min. walk) x 5
  • 5 minute cool down walk + stretches

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run

  • See Sunday run

 

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run (C25k week 8, day 2)

  • See Sunday run

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: Australian pull-ups 5-5-5-5
  • WOD: 4 rounds
    • 10 box jumps
    • 15 wall balls
    • 50 singles (jump rope)

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

 

Happy Sunday!

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: March 7th

TTT

  1. This week is Spring Break which for me means “break from the normal routine of having a baby at home and two at daycare”.  I am home with all three kiddos all week.
  2. Today I’m going to go see my grandparents with my mom and the kids.  Yay!
  3. On Saturday, my husband, the kids and I went to see some friends.  With this unusual break in routine, the littles went to bed a lot later than usual.  Now, I usually insist that the kids go down at their usual time no matter where we are, but I decided to make an exception on Saturday.  Oh boy, we’re still playing catch-up with sleep and are going through ungodly amounts of crying, screaming and hysterics.
  4. On Sunday we went to the sugar shack with the kids.  They had a blast!
  5. I’m finding that though I enjoy the theme and story of the graphic novel I rented at the library last week, I’m having a lot of trouble getting through it.  It’s so unusual for me to read a graphic novel and I find that there is too much visual information for me to handle.  I’m determined to finish it though, so I may find I change my mind by the time I get to the end of it.
  6. Elliot’s nights are driving me nuts.  Besides the fact that he’s got a cold and is most likely teething (again) he spins around so much now that he can go from tummy to back and back to tummy that he either ends up with his head stuck in the corner of the crib or bangs his head on the bars whilst attempting to return to lying down on his back.  Urgh!
  7. In case you missed it on my Instragram feed (@mtwotm) here’s a picture I snapped of Charles spontaneously giving his little brother a great big hug.  Such a sweet boy!IMG_2973
  8. Tonight, we’re eating crockpot chili for supper.  It is deeeeeeeeelicious.  I’m going to have to share the recipe with you guys eventually.
  9. I’m going to have to go buy some new running shoes soon.  What a shame.  Hahaha!
  10. I’m listening to an excerpt of “How to Lose a Marathon” whilst writing this.  It isn’t easy.  Usually, when I write in English and I want to listen to something, I listen to something in French so that my brain doesn’t get confused.

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?  Feel free to comment of link up to a random thought post of your own!

Posted in fitness, running

Sleepy Toes

I have a problem.  Well, two, actually, but both happen to be in the same area.

Now that I’m able to run non-stop for longer periods (I’m up to 25 minutes of continuous running!), I’ve noticed that the three smallest toes from my left foot become numb about 10-15 minutes into my runs.  This has been going on for a couple of weeks now and though it is not a big problem for now, it is certainly an annoyance.  At first, I thought it might be because my socks were too thick, so I tried thinner socks.  Then I thought that it was because my laces were too tight, so I loosened them.  But I still get numb toes when I run.  And only in my left foot.

I’ve also been noticing a slight pain in my left foot lately.  It feels as though my bones are compressed (if that makes any sense).  I generally only feel the pain when I’m sitting cross-legged, so I figured that maybe I should just stop sitting that way and it would go away.  It hasn’t.  Then I realized that this pain has only been going on since I started running.

I thought that running was most likely the culprit of the two conditions, but then I remembered that this toe numbness also happens when I rollerblade and when I skate (and has been for many years).  Except, it didn’t really bother me, because I wasn’t going out rollerblading or skating nearly as often as I go running now (which is every 2 days).

Anyways, I, quite obviously, turned to Dr. Google for an explanation for this and here is what I learned.

Cause

Most likely, it is caused by nerve compression in my foot.  It appears that the most common site of nerve compression is between the third and fourth toe (as is happening to me).  It would seem that the numbness can be caused by the repeated pounding of the foot on the pavement, by wearing a shoe that is too narrow or by an imperceptible swelling of the foot during a run (source).  Besides problems with the shoe (like tightening the laces too much or wearing socks that are too thick), foot numbness can also be caused by an injury (that may or may not be caused by not resting enough between runs, having poor running form and logging in more running miles too quickly) or the structure of the runner’s foot (having flat feet or an overly flexible sole puts a runner at a greater risk for nerve compression) (source).

Solutions

So what can be done about this problem?

1.  Start with the shoe.  Try loosening the laces, using thinner socks.  Consider trying another pair of shoes that has a wider toe box.  One of the articles I read even suggested buying shoes one size larger than the shoes you normally wear to accommodate the spread of the toes upon impact and thicker socks, but I personally don’t see the value in this.

2.  Look at your training.  Check if the numbness appears even if you integrate some walking intervals in your training.  Try giving your body longer resting periods between runs.  Make sure you increase your distance and running time gradually.

3.  Turn to the medical field.  One article suggested taking ibuprofen before a run to stop the foot from swelling, but I personally don’t want to be popping a pill every two days just to go running when there are other things I can do.  Special insoles can also be placed under the forefoot to gently spread the bones that are compressing the offending nerve apart.

For my part, I’ve already tried fiddling with my laces and socks to no avail.  I really don’t want to have to put in walking intervals in my runs, because I don’t see this as a long term solution to be able to run (because walking isn’t running).  I know I’ve only been increasing my distance and run times slightly so that  can’t be the problem.  I’m pretty sure my form isn’t the problem either because the same nerve compression happens to me when I rollerblade and skate – two low-impact sports.

Sooo… what’s left for me is finding a new pair of shoes that has a larger toe box (which, isn’t a problem, really, I mean, a girl can’t have too many pairs of shoes, right ;)).  I think I’ll also give my doctor a call.  Perhaps she’ll refer me to a podiatrist or perhaps she’ll have other thoughts on the cause of my toe numbness.

Have you experienced toe numbness during runs?  What worked for you?