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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

lavender blue, dilly dilly


My poor toe.  I am pretty sure it's broken.  Yesterday I was walking in my kitchen and jammed it into the metal legs of the baby's bouncy seat.  I do this about 3 times a day so it was bound to result in injury at some point.  That thing drives me crazy!  I hopped up and down for a few seconds and took some deep breaths and figured the pain was over...but then a few hours later I noticed my toe was looking a bit lavender and it really hurt to touch it.  Hmmm, perhaps it is quite traumatized, I thought...

Despite my purple toe I headed to my running club's Women's Training Program (WTP) that I have been participating in for the last few weeks.  We meet on Monday night's at 6:30.  The program is designed for new runners and ends in a 5K race on June 25th.  I know I'm not a new runner, but I wanted to participate in the program this year since I'm returning to running after baby and I thought it would be fun to run with other women on Monday nights!  My hope is that next year I can help coach it.  Last night we did a trial run of the 5K course.  It is a nice route mostly on the W&OD trail with a couple of loops on the trail.  Even with my purple toe and the ridiculous heat and humidity (summer runs at 7PM = HOT!) I ran strong and felt good, though tired, when I was done.

after the 5K practice run...TIRED
This morning my toe is an even darker shade of purple...might even venture to call it black & blue.  I iced it a little last night and am thinking I will tape it up today.  Can I just say that broken toes are annoying!!?!!  I'm not going to run today and may even take a few days off if the toe continues to bother me.  I don't want it to cause other injuries.

Tomorrow is June 1 which means only a few more weeks until MCM training begins!  I'm so excited, and want to be in tip-top shape when training starts.  Which means broken toe needs to heal.  Does anyone know how long it takes for a broken toe to heal?  Arghh....







Monday, May 30, 2011

so much to say, so little time

I think about blogging every day.  Every run I go on fuels ideas that I look forward to writing about, but I haven't yet mastered the art of making time for it.  I know this is a crazy time in my life with a new baby and two young children and that eventually we will fall into some sort of rhythm that makes it easier for me to make this a priority.  For now I'm grateful to be able to fit in time for other important things and to keep my head above water (most days) with it all.

When I started this blog a little over a year ago I had just become an RRCA certified running coach and Power Pilates instructor.  I had just started my little business, Sugar Cone.  I had just signed up to be in charge of interior/exterior projects on the Board at my kids' preschool in a year that would have me in charge of the biggest renovation project in the school's 45 year history.  This is to name just a few things, as we all know the little things add up too.  And THEN I got the biggest surprise of my life - news that I was pregnant.  I could not have been more surprised or grateful.  I didn't want to let go of my commitments because of the new addition to my family, so I have been taking it one day at a time ever since.  Doing my best to find balance.  To appreciate all the beauty of each moment and to keep in my life the things that are most important to me.  So here I am today with the following going on at this moment in time:
  • My baby boy Gus turns 4 months old this week.  He is beautiful beyond words.  Oh how I love him with every inch of my soul.  I still cannot believe how blessed I am to be his mother.
  • Abby is "graduating" from Kindergarten on Friday and turns 6 in a little over a week.  She is simply AMAZING. Hands down this girl is the most creative, sensitive and loving person I have ever known.  I am so proud of her.  She makes my heart so big I think it will rise right out of my chest and make me spill all over the place.
  • Will is finishing up his second year of preschool and is ready to take on the world.  He is wild and funny yet sweet and cuddly at the same time.  This year he has grown up so much.  Maybe it's because we have a baby boy around here now, but when I look at Will now I see such a big boy.  He has an incredible imagination and is a true entertainer.  I love the joy on his face when he is doing something he loves.  He sure does know how to make his momma happy.
my three monkeys
  •  Sugar Cone is busy, busy, busy.  This makes me so happy.  Each time we get an order, I check in with myself and make sure I can handle it.  So far, so good.  My business partner Debbie and I paid ourselves for the first time last month!  I bought an iPad for my family and some lululemon running clothes that I feel so cute in.  I haven't spent all the money I earned yet.  To be honest, I sort of don't want to spend it!  Working so hard to make money (even if it is just a little bit!) when you have your own business is full of lessons.  Not just "business-y" lessons, but life lessons.  I am learning so much about myself and about choices.  Some day I will share more of these thoughts on this blog.  I owe it to myself to do that.
  • The renovation at my kids' school (LANK) begins in one week from today.  Ok, this is a big deal.  I went to preschool at LANK over 30 years ago.  This school holds a very special place in my heart.  I am equally excited and nervous about this renovation.  My heart tells me it is the right thing and all will go well, but I would be lying if I didn't admit to being scared.  Construction can be nerve-wracking!  Especially when you are doing it on a school that MUST OPEN at the end of the summer.  Pray for me.
  • Running!  Ah, running!  How I love this sport called running.  It is my life line right now.  I have been taking it easy, keeping my mileage low and running just every other day.  Being patient with my body and allowing myself the recovery time I need after each run.  I'm doing weight training twice a week and Pilates twice a week.  The idea is to build up my muscle strength to protect my loosey-goosey joints since I am a nursing momma and my core strength needs improving.  It is working -- what I am doing is working!  Saturday I ran a 10K and set a new PR.  It was a hot and sunny morning and I took it easy on myself and ran the race in 52:58 (a PR by about 2 minutes!).  This was an 8:30/mile pace for me.  I'm excited because (1) it is a PR and (2) I know I can and will PR in this distance again this year.  My next post is going to be a race report because I have a lot more to say about this.  In a nutshell though it was a great race and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
hot sweaty momma post 10K race, with the best cheerleaders ever

That about sums it up for now.  At least, that is all I have time for right now anyway.  I would love to hear from you guys -- your thoughts and ideas about how you fit in the time to blog regularly.  Do you keep a notebook of post ideas?  Do you set aside time each day to make it a priority?  You are all so inspiring to me in many ways, not just with your running!!



Monday, May 16, 2011

another 5K PR

Last week I was in the dumps.  My lower back was hurting and I felt anxiety about it, wondering is my running a hindrance to getting back on track, or is it helping to make me stronger?  The doc says to continue to run but do it carefully, really listening to any aches and pains.  So I ran a handful of slow miles last week and did strength training and Pilates, too.  I felt my strength - physically and emotionally - returning.  My pain subsided and my spirits lifted.

Saturday morning I ran a local 5K - the We've Got Your Back 5K in Reston.  The irony of the reason for this race isn't lost on me -- after a week of back pain I am running a race all about spinal health!?  Meant to be, if you ask me.  Anyway, I ran this race last year and set a PR at the time of 25:22.  When I PR'd a few weeks ago with 25:16 I decided I needed to do this race again this year so I could really measure my fitness (although they did alter the course slightly).  Since my back pain had dissipated but not disappeared I ran the race cautiously on Saturday.  My goals for the race were to run smart/really listen to my body and to enjoy myself.  I accomplished both and I set a new PR!  24:52.  I felt great - no pains or aches and I can honestly say I had a lot left in my tank when I crossed the finish line.  I was the 4th female in my age group and 17th overall female (out of 192).  These things make me smile because I know I'm overcoming the issues I'm facing and that I'm stronger because of it.  Just like any mountain we have to climb, right?



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

updates

I've been feeling really down these past several days.  My back has been getting better but it still hurts.  I ran on Monday night for the first time in a week: three slow miles.  When I was done I felt achy pain but nothing sharp so I went home and stretched and iced it.  My understanding of the situation is that my psoas muscle (which connects from the lower back to the top of the thigh bone) is really tight on the right side which is causing my SI joint in my pelvis to be out of whack, which led to the ligament sprain.  Essentially everything that is connected to my pelvis is in some way irritated - a domino effect.  All the muscles around my lower back are tight and sore.  Grrrr....

The good news is that yes I KNOW it could be a LOT worse.  The bad news is that it is making me feel depressed anyway.  This whole experience of getting back to "normal" after having a baby has been quite a journey.  I feel like this must be in some ways what it will feel like when I'm getting up in years...struggling to be strong and to prevent injuries like this.

On another note, I am still sticking to the sugar-free and gluten-free diet.  This is miraculous, considering how sad I have felt.  I did eat an entire bag of tortilla chips the other day though...yes they are free of sugar and gluten but they are not healthy.   I have to laugh about it though - sometimes food is comforting and eating large amounts of it is comforting!  I weighed myself on Monday and there were no changes, up or down.  Since I was sick and didn't get any running in for a whole week, I am calling it a success that I didn't gain any weight.  I'm feeling good about my food choices and letting the tortilla chip binge slide.  No need to kick myself while I'm down!

Here's to a better week this week...and to picking myself back up, emotionally and physically.  It is a beautiful day and there is much to celebrate and be thankful for.  I'm going to focus on the sunny side of life today and try my best not to eat another entire bag of tortilla chips :o)


Thursday, May 5, 2011

three things: roadblock addition

So this hasn't been the best week for me...

1. Tuesday afternoon I started to feel "off" - sore throat, feverish.  By yesterday afternoon I knew something was up and suspected strep throat as the culprit.  I loaded all three kids into the car at 3:45pm and took myself to the doctor.  Sure enough, strep.  YUCK.  At least now I am on antibiotics and am already feeling better.  Now I'm just praying the rest of my family escapes this nastiness...

2.  I'm feeling so much better that I went to the gym this morning.  I planned to do a little weight training followed by a 4 mile run.  I was doing squats with light weight when all of a sudden my lower back tweaked BIG TIME.  It was such a startling pain that I could not move.  OUCH!  I knew right away it had something to do with my SI joint.  I stopped working out immediately, took 3 ibuprofen and called Dr. Wong.  He isn't in today so I saw Dr. Dolbin, one of the other doctors in his practice.  Here's what happened: my SI joint was locked up before I even started squatting.  When I went down to squat the ligament around the joint got stretched further than it wanted to be which caused it to sprain.  So now I have a sprained ligament which means lots of pain in my lower back.  Dr. Dolbin did Graston therapy, laser therapy and put kinetic tape on my back.  Now I am icing my back A LOT and will go back to see her again tomorrow.  I am praying for a quick recovery.  It's not easy being a mom of a 3 month old plus two other kids when your back is killing you AND you can't go to your outlet (*running*) to work out the crazy feelings.  UGH.

3. Coincidentally, I have been thinking a lot about roadblocks lately.  Roadblocks in running and in life.  I know we are faced with them and that we get stronger because of them.  We overcome.  I'm trying to replay that message over and over in my head right now because I feel knocked down just after getting up...and I know things could always be worse.  There will be a bright side but I need to choose to find it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

3 months

Yesterday my sweet baby Gus turned 3 months old.  Wow, I cannot believe how time flies when you're having fun.  When I was pregnant, 3 months was an ETERNITY.  Now that my baby is here time is wizzing by and I simply cannot believe he is 3 months old.  He is pure bliss and I am so in love.
3 months old!!
Along with all the other fun things about having a 3 month old (smiles, giggles, cooing, longer stretches between feedings, etc) there is one other exciting milestone we have crossed: Gus can go to the daycare at my gym!  The people who watch my kids there while I work out are wonderful.  These ladies love my children and my kids are always so excited to go there to play and see their friends.  Yesterday I brought Gus in while the big kids were at school so I could introduce him to the care providers and get everyone comfortable with him going there (myself included).  It couldn't have gone better - he was awake and happy when I dropped him off and when I came back about 45 minutes later he was fast asleep and peaceful.  Ahhhh, relief.  Today we went back again and it went smoothly again.  Thank goodness!

I've been running well lately and am starting to get my groove back.  Last week my mileage was at 29.4 miles for the week.  My goal was to get it up to 30 per week before marathon training begins on June 18.  Clearly that will NOT be a problem so I am going to up my goal and aim to get my weekly mileage up to 40 miles/week by June 18.  I'm going to keep my long runs between 10-15 miles.  I'm SO excited for June 18 to get here ... I can't wait to begin training for MCM and to meet my coaches and all the other runners!  In the meantime though I'm working hard to get my strength back and build my mileage.  It is hard work, but totally worth it!


Monday, May 2, 2011

a winner and week 1 results

All kinds of sweet news to report on this beautiful Monday morning!

First, I'm excited to announce the winner of my first giveaway!  I used random.org's true number generator and the winner is Whitney from it's what moves me!!! Congratulations, Whitney!  I'm SO excited to send the book to you, so please email me at jessica.hofheimer@gmail.com with your mailing address and contact info and I'll get it to you ASAP.  I hope you enjoy Mile Markers as much as I have.  I can't say enough good things about this book.

Second, I have succeeded in eating zero processed sugars (no cookies, muffins, cupcakes, candy...the list goes on) or gluten (no bread, pasta, crackers...) for one whole week.  7 days.  It was hard.  I had serious moments of coming so very very close to giving in, but held strong and resisted the urges.  I feel really good.  Lighter and less bloated.  So, this morning I got on the scale and would you believe it?!  I have lost 4 pounds.  Yesterday I wore a pair of jeans I wasn't able to button a month ago, so I know this is for real.  It is working.  This seems like a lot of weight to lose in one week, but I think that much of it is water retention too so I'm not worried about it.  I'm being very careful about my hydration (actually I have been keeping track of my water intake each day this week, being sure to consume a minimum of 10 eight ounce glasses a day) so I know that I'm not dehydrated.  With nursing and running it is extra important for me to be mindful of staying hydrated.


This 4 pound weight loss is very exciting to me, but I know I need to continue with these changes if I want to keep it off and get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes.  I want to not just be able to button those jeans, but to feel like they are fitting me comfortably again.  Here's the thing, though - it's not just about the weight loss or fitting into my clothes at all.  I FEEL so much better.  Honestly, I didn't know I could feel this good, much less while losing weight.  So, from here on out I am going to hang onto that feeling in my moments of thinking I really want to eat sugary processed foods.  I'm going to try to remind myself of how well I am doing and how good I am feeling and ask myself if I really want to eat that cupcake (or whatever it is) in that moment.  Chances are, the answer will be no and then the moment will pass and I'll be glad I held strong.  I'm committed to this for the month of May and am just taking it one day at a time.  I know it's going to be hard, but I believe it will be worth it!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

surprises

I wasn't expecting to PR.  I just wanted to go out there and give it everything I had, and when I woke up yesterday morning after a tough night with the baby I wasn't sure what that would be.  But I got to the start line with a smile on my face, ready to run.  The race was small -less than 75 runners in all - on a beautiful but challenging course.  Mostly hilly paved paths in the woods for the first two miles and then the last mile was a pretty steep uphill on a dirt trail (roots and all).

The race wasn't chip-timed, but there was a clock running.  I started my Garmin when I crossed the start line (about 5 or so seconds after their clock started) and off I went.  I felt good.  Strong.  I was pushing myself, but not so far that I couldn't maintain my effort.  At mile 1 I looked at my watch: 7:44.  Wow, Jess, you are running faster than you expected.  Keep going.  Mile 2 was full of hills and turns but I felt steady.  At the end of that mile my watch read 8:02.  That is when I thought I might maybe, just maybe, PR.  I didn't dwell on that though and kept going.  Shortly after that we turned onto a dirt trail in the woods.  BEAUTIFUL....but I made the mistake of not really checking out the course map beforehand.  This last mile was all trail, all up hill.  I loved it, but I wasn't prepared for it.  One girl near me tripped on a root and fell hard so I stopped to make sure she was ok.  I was worried about her but she told me to go on, so I did (after the race she found me to thank me and tell me she was ok, thank goodness!).  I wanted to be done.  We were running up a steep and what seemed like it would never end hill.  Then we came to the finish, or so I thought.  It was a bit confusing - there were cones and people cheering and I looked down at my watch and it wasn't timing anymore, I must have hit it accidentally at some point.  I thought the race was over so I stopped and then people said "no -- keep going! you are soo close!" WOOOPS.  So around a corner I went and sure enough, THERE was the finish line!  Duh.  I am a big dummy.  I kept running and saw the clock when I crossed, it read 25:16.  A new PR for me by 6 seconds!  Whoa!  Really?!  And if my Garmin had been timing, it would have been even another 5 seconds faster....not to mention that if I hadn't stopped both for the person who fell and at the faux-finish I would have saved another 30 seconds or so.  Oh well.  A PR is a PR in my book and at 3 months postpartum, you better bet I am pleased.  However, just to be sure, I have already signed up for another 5K in two weeks from now- the one I set my prior PR at actually.  I want another shot.

Today I ran an easy 10 miles at a 10:00 pace with my sister and my buddy Paul.  It was nice.  My legs were a bit heavy and tired from yesterday, but I loved every minute of today's long run.  When I got home I had messages from a few people.  Yesterday after the race I wasn't able to hang around for the awards ceremony because I had to get home to feed Gus and get everyone ready for baseball and birthday parties.  Turns out that I won first in my age group of 30-39 year old women!  What a day!


***  Tomorrow I will announce the winner of my first giveaway for Kristin Armstrong's book Mile Markers.  Enter before midnight tonight if you want to be in the running :o) ***

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