If You Can’t Run… Then Walk

Remember when I did my first triathlon last month? It felt amazing. I was totally on top of the world. So much so that the very next weekend I did the Run Now, Wine Later Virtual 5k through Will Run For Bling. My intention was just to do a nice, slow, steady run… until the little voice on MapMyRun came on at the end of mile two and told me my time… which was by far the fastest I had ever run two miles. Even though my intention was to go slow and steady, I had gotten so wrapped up in my music that apparently my pace was way faster than I had intended. Suddenly I realized I could not only PR this run… I could absolutely crush it. 

So… I sprinted.

I finished the 5k seven minutes faster than my previous PR. Seven minutes. That is a ridiculous amount of time to shave off with such a short distance run. There aren’t even words for how amazing it felt and I walked a few laps around the culdesac panting, still in shock that I had run that last 1.1 miles so fast.

As I walked into the house I began to feel it… cramping in my feet, unlike anything I had ever felt. I drank my post workout shake and got in a shower – stretching and rolling my feet. It did not matter. The damage was done. I spent the rest of the day barely able to walk. The next day I was still in pain so I reached out on Facebook and a few friends said that it was probably plantar fasciitis and I should look into getting a deep tissue massage for my calves to release them. Let me tell you… that sounds a whole lot more pleasant than it actually is.

Fast forward two full weeks from the Run Now Wine Later and two agonizing deep tissue massages to release my calves and I was feeling great. So I headed out for a run with Midge – again thinking I would take it nice and slow since I had her with me. While she walked I would run to the stop sign and back… then walk with her a little ways… then run to the next sign and back… and then walk with her. In my mind, I was doing great intervals – which is what you are supposed to do when you are easing back from an injury. Clearly it was not “easing” enough and the next day I literally could not even put weight on my left foot.

I have begun a new treatment with a new doctor who made me promise not to run… at all. Like… for “several months.” I would be lying if I said I did not cry in the doctor’s parking lot after my first appointment. I had made so much progress in the last 6 months with running, I felt totally defeated and like I was going to have to start all over again. I was crushed.

That was two weeks ago, and I have stayed diligent to my word of not running – even when I was getting rained on – keeping my tennis shoes on at all times with custom inserts, icing and rolling my feet, and having the sound therapy treatments he suggested done – which are just about as painful as the deep tissue massages were. At my last appointment, I was whining over how sad I was over not being able to run. The doctor did not give in… he was very diligent that I am to not run for any reason. Period.

But he did say I could start to walk.

It seems silly that being told something as minor as “yes Lynsey, you can go for a walk” could give me so much happiness. It was like a glimmer of hope that I will, in fact, be able to get past this constant pain that I have had for over four solid weeks now and that I will be able to run again some day. Running has just become my “thing.” It is my hour a day that I can tune everything out but my music and the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. It is my daily dose of solitude and feeling good endorphins… a sense of accomplishment as I walk into the house pouring sweat. YES of course I adore my classes, but there was just something about the accomplishment of running that had become my therapy. And I have been missing it.

Martin Luther King Junior said “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” And that is what I am going to have to do. I can not run… but I can walk. I can still get my time to decompress, to still work up a sweat, to get lost in the music of my iPod, and to feel the accomplishment of the miles I cross… just.. at a much slower pace.

Needing to channel my frustration and focus on something else, I set myself another BOLD Goal (since it is highly possible my goal of a half marathon in February has been blown) this time short term and with a focus on healing while still doing (kinda) what I love. In the month of September, my goal is to WALK – not run – a total of 100 miles. I will go slowly, making sure not to injure myself anymore, and in fact, to help rebuild the tissues in my feet so that some day I can break into a run again. I do not care how many hours it takes me – I will go slow and enjoy every step. My friend Jill shared this awesome image, which I have printed out, and I will color in the sections as I complete the walks for the entire month.

100 mile challenge

Whether you are walking or running – a seasoned runner or just starting out – I would love if you joined me in covering 100 miles in 30 days – that is an average of 3.3 miles each day. It may sound like a long way, but I promise you – after a few days of doing it, you will come to love your walks (or runs) not to mention see your body change if you are not used to this much activity. Plus it is about time for the leaves to start changing and the temperatures to start dropping, so it is the perfect time to create this new habit. Who knows… you may love it so much you keep going. You can print out your own 100 Mile Shoe and keep track of your miles here. And if you are in Pensacola, come walk with me at the Friends of the Poor Walk on the 26th and we can color in our miles together and celebrate being almost finished with such a BOLD Goal!

I am still super frustrated about my injury, but after four weeks (and a few tough love talks from my friends) I have come to realize that no amount of complaining is going to make it go away. So I am settling into the process of healing, going slow, and doing what I have to do to get past this. “If you can’t run… then walk…you have to keep moving forward” That is exactly what I intend to do.

I DID IT!! My First Triathlon

Every year I choose a BOLD Goal that I work on usually all year long. I think the “S.M.A.R.T.” Goals are old and worn out – and most importantly – BORING. I need BOLD Goals to excite me and keep me motivated. In 2012 I said I wanted to double my income – something I had worked on for years in one year – and I did it. In 2013 I said I wanted to run twelve 5ks in twelve months – even though I had not run in years – and I did it. In 2014 I said I wanted to lose 30 pounds – and while I did not lose a full 30, I lost more than I have ever lost thanks to whole30 and what I learned with it – and have kept it off. In January of 2015 I was asked what my BOLD Goal was for the year… and I blurted out “to do a triathlon.” *gulp*

my first triathlon

In January, a triathlon sounded great. I had SEVEN MONTHS to train for it. I mean – of course I would be ready.  So I bought a road bike – pink and black of course – with matching helmet. I joined the local pool to practice swimming laps. I bought all the swimming stuff – swim cap, goggles, ear plugs, etc. I even got new running shoes – because I just knew I was going to wear them out. I joined a triathlon team and ordered my tri kit package and all the fun accessories. I joined Mere Mortals and planned out my training calendar. Several hours and over two thousand dollars later, I was ready! You know where this is heading right…

I went to the pool… four times. I got on the bike… twice. I went to Mere Mortals… once.

The day before the tri I was set up to do a brick – basically a run through of the tri. Nothing like waiting till the last minute, right? Kinda like cramming for finals after you have goofed off all semester… yyyeeeaahhhh that was me. We were going to meet at the swim school, do laps, then get out and run to our bikes, then go for a run. That was the plan. Mother Nature had other plans when a thunderstorm blew in out of no where. So instead I loaded the car, and went to bed early.

The next morning I got up at 4am to head to the beach. The morning was perfect – calm water, calm wind, not too hot. Absolutely perfect. I pulled in to the parking lot just as some of my other Sweat Sisterz arrived. The nervous excitement was palpable. We got our transition areas all set up, took a million pictures, high-fived about a million times, riled each other up, and before long it was time to head to the beach.

swim

Within 10 seconds of starting the swim – I was kicked in the face. Not hard – but it was a kick for sure. That was my fear all along, so as soon as it happened… I busted out laughing. People around me must have thought I had gone mad – but I proceeded to quickly doggy paddle to the outside – where I would not get kicked – and get back to swimming. It sucked. Although the water was calm, the current was strong, however I came out of the water still laughing.

Next was the bike – I took off easily and began riding towards the Boardwalk. I knew my gears were wrong – I was pedaling way more than I needed to be and not going very far. But I kept clicking away and nothing changed, so I just settled in for the ride. I was excited to finally get to say “on the left” which is what you have to say when you are passing people. (I learned that at Mere Mortals when I heard it about 100 times as people flew past me.) I nearly high-fived the guys at the turn around point – I was cruisin. I looked down at my time, celebrated a little bit – and sped up. I saw the end and began celebrating even more – singing the Rocky theme in my head, feeling amazing and ready to crush the run and be done. I got back to the area where I started, but instead of motioning me to turn in – they waved for me to keep going. Wait – what?  Turned out we had more to go… a lot more to go. I should have known it would not be that easy. But I pedaled on. The Rocky theme would have to wait.

When the biking was finally over, my legs felt like I head lead shoes on. So I walked. In fact I walked a good bit of it. My friend Andrea was also walking – so we walked together – laughing and talking. We cheered on the bikers still on the course and high-fived the runners as they passed us heading for the finish line. We finally got to the water station that marked the half way point – and I am pretty sure that water came directly from a stream in Heaven – it was absolutely delicious. I began walking back, but wanted to finish strong, so I dug deep and began doing intervals. When I hit the entrance I told myself I would not stop running until I hit the finish line. I sprinted through the parking area and over the finish line – nearly barreling over Amy who was handing out the medals.

I had done it. I had finished a triathlon. I had accomplished my BOLD Goal. I was a “triathlete.”

triathletes

For the next hour or so we all just celebrated. After months of anticipation and talking about it – well, and other people training LOL – it was done. We all crossed that finish line one by one – and became triathletes. It was an amazing moment for every one of us. We were all so thankful that Amy got us all triathlon medals – it means so much to get that little medal after completing your first tri. There were lots of laughs, lots of hugs, and even a few ugly cries. But I was proud to not only have finished this event – but to have done so with some of the most amazing women in the world.
my first tri

Since the tri I have focused on my running – PR’ing a 5k last weekend for the Run Now, Wine Later virtual event with a time of 38:01 – a time literally seven minutes faster than any of the other 5ks I have done. Since I expected the run to be the hardest part, it was really the only part I “trained” for – and somewhere along the line I completely fell in love with it again. My bike and swim cap have been safely tucked away for now, and my medal hangs proudly in my bedroom. I have no plans to do another tri – except maybe this same event again next year to beat my time.

Even though I did not properly train for this event, it still feels amazing to know that I completed it. Thank you to Team MPI, Portofino, Gulf Coast Cycle and Tri, my SweatSisterz, and everyone else who made this day just absolutely perfect!

Plant Nanny Helps You Drink More Water

In the last year I have made SO many healthy changes in my life – from getting my eating under control, getting on schedule working out regularly – even teaching POUNDFit Classes at my local gym. But there is one healthy habit that I still struggle with every single day… drinking water.

IMG_8314

They say you are supposed to consume at least half your body weight in ounces every single day. The problem is the only time I ever feel thirsty is when I am working out. I do not drink sodas or coffee – only water – but I literally will go hours without taking a sip. A friend of mine suggested Plant Nanny – a super cute free app that helps you remember to drink water. I have to admit… it has really helped.

plant nanny

Plant Nanny is unlike typical apps that encourage you to drink water with alarms or funny water sounds that you can just tap off and go on with your day. With Plant Nanny you are growing a garden of plants – “watering” them every time you drink. If you do not water your plant, they can die… or at least get very very sad. You can set alarms to remind you to water your little guy every few hours if you need it. Plant Nanny was actually named a Best App of 2013, so I am not sure how I am just now discovering it, but it has certainly become one of my favorite apps in the two weeks I have been using it.

plant-nanny-app

So the way that it works is that you set up your account and decide how much water you should drink each day. Plant Nanny helps you calculate what is best for your weight, body type, and activity level. Then you get to choose your first plant – who will need to be watered just as much as your own body does in order to grow – and what size cup you normally drink. You even have to name your little plant

plant nanny set up

plant nanny set up 2

I chose a Devil’s Ivy and named her Jezzebelle. Isn’t she CUTE?!

plant nanny devils ivy

Now in full disclosure I have to admit, it took some time for me to get used to watering Jezzebelle – or even remembering to drink myself. And a few times she looked a little… umm… sad.

sad plant

But I soon found my groove and not only remembered to water Jezzebelle, but remembered to drink my water every hour as well. And after just a few days I had a nice pretty little plant.

plant nanny

Once your plant is full grown, you get to plant her in your garden, where you can harvest seeds to help your new plants grow. As you go you unlock new plants and garden accessories to add to your garden and can earn extra seeds to help your new plants grow.

plant nanny garden

I have really really loved this app and I am doing SO much better with my water intake – way more so than with any other app I have tried. I still do not ever actually feel “thirsty” but I remember that I have to water my little plant to keep it happy. You can download Plant Nanny for free from iTunes or Google Play.  Oh, and now that Jezzebelle is happily in the garden making seeds, I am now tending to Spike… the cactus.

spike

US Road Running Dog Lover Day Virtual 5K / 10K / Half Marathon

Remember last month when I decided on a Sunday to run a 10k the following Saturday? And then I actually did it? Well… this time I decided on a Wednesday to run a 10k the next Saturday… so instead of six days notice I am giving myself ten days notice… that’s progress, right?

US Road Running Dog Lover Day Virtual Run

US Road Running is an amazing running site which hosts all types of events – from Virtual Races (Virtual 5K, Virtual 10K, Virtual Half Marathon), Goal Programs, Mileage Programs, and a number of Live Races. Their goal of encouraging people to Get Out and Run ® has inspired thousands of people to get off the couch for some impressive bling. They even have a new Virtual Cycling Series that you can earn bling for too… how cool is that?!

us road running

This week one of my Sweat Sisterz posted that she wanted to do her first 10k and being that she is a Pet Sitter here in Pensacola, what better one to start with than the Dog Lover 10k!? So next weekend we will all be meeting up at the crack of dawn to take to the streets of my neighborhood to cheer each other on! And the cool thing is – you can join us too from wherever you are! All you have to do is register yourself and then run and log a 5, 10k, OR half marathon (13.1 miles) between now and Sunday June 28th!

virtual 5k

I am super excited to not only do another 10k – and get another bit of bling – but to do it with some of the best ladies in the world! Watch us on Periscope next week and come along with us for the run! And if you choose to do it too, let me know! We can cheer you on too!

Overcoming Obstacles – My First 10k

A few Saturdays ago my friend Angie came over for our weekly meal prep date. Yes, we have pretty much replaced “going out” with “working out” these days, and our “girls night in” includes cutting, steaming, and filling about 30 Gladware containers for the week ahead. Anyway, we were talking about our schedule for the week and she mentioned she was doing the Fiesta 10k that next Saturday. I made the mistake of saying “oh man I wonder if registration is still open…” to which she promptly discovered that YES it still was. I tried to back out – thinking I must be losing my absolute MIND – but Angie promised she would stay with me the entire route. She said we would do it “just for fun” and to say we’ve finished and not worry about the time… a few minutes of convincing and the next thing I knew, I was signed up to run a 10k… with six days notice.

fiesta

I went out running the next day in the neighborhood and PR’d for a 5k. I felt relieved – maybe I won’t die Saturday. Then the crazy of the week began and I didn’t have time to run any of the rest of the days of the week. I went to Angie’s ReFit class on Thursday night… and twisted.my.freaking.knee. Something I literally haven’t done since The Teen was a toddler. I went for a lunge and I went one way – and my knee went the other. I felt it the moment it happened, and knew I was hurt. It felt just exactly the way it felt many years ago on that football field when I tore my ACL. It was not as painful as that was, but the popping sensation was the same, and I was crushed. I limped off to the side, gathered my things, and headed home before class was over, trying to hide the tears.

Friday I rested, but there was still pain. I got a stabilizing brace for my knee, and prayed I would be ok for the run Saturday. My family was upset with me for even doing the run still – worried I would do permanent damage to my knee. But I had set my mind to do it, and I just knew in my heart that I could, and that I would be ok. Angie stayed with me Friday night so she wouldn’t have to get up quite as early on Saturday. We got our race packets, got our stuff all set up while I was limping around, and as we called it a night we just gave each other a knowing look – praying my knee would hold out for the entire route.

fiesta 10k

Saturday morning we got up before dawn, picked up another friend, and drove to the race. It was a perfectly beautiful morning and I prayed for strength as I watched the sun rise over the water. To say that I was nervous is the understatement of year. Every step I took I felt that twinge in my knee – even with the brace on. I met up with all of my friends for about a million pictures, and then we took our places in line to begin. I, of course, took my spot in the back – where I expected to stay. (But surprisingly didn’t) 

We took off and just as promised – Angie stayed right by my side every step. In fact, we stayed IN step the entire thing. I am not sure if it was by accident or if maybe it is a subconscious throw back to my color guard days, but in the 20-some-odd pictures that people had of Angie and I running – we were exactly in step in every one of them. I know it was agonizing for her to stay with me – she easily would have completed this run long before I did, but she stayed with me… the whole time. We laughed, we cussed, we ran, we walked, we sang, we complained, we flirted with the water boys… it was an amazing 6.2 miles.

10k

I am both elated and proud to say that I completed my very first 10k – complete with twisted knee and zero training. It proved that even with setbacks, if you keep your eye on the goal, you can complete absolutely anything you set your mind to. It also proved that something can happen that you do not expect – I literally haven’t had knee pain in years – but it does not have to derail you from your goals. You CHOOSE what you let derail you and what you push through. It also proved that having someone by your side can sometimes make all the difference.

my first 10k

As they say, I have been “bitten by the running bug” and I am already planning for my next run. Who knows – maybe I will do a half marathon next year. Even though my time wasn’t pretty – talk about setting the bar really low for a time to beat lol – it felt great to just FINISH. There was something about that little medal – that I of course wore the whole rest of the day – that made me feel more accomplished than I had in months. THAT alone was worth the pain. :)