Tag Archives: knees

in the gym, patella tendonitis, and healthy eating

I was really looking forward to working out this morning. Since I’m surrounded by huge hills (and don’t know my way around the neighborhood too well) I decided to workout in the my friend’s gym at her apartment complex. The gym has really nice cardio machines, a great wooden floor space (where they sometimes hold classes), weight machines, and free weights.

This morning I knew I absolutely needed to get a workout in. Although I am on vacation and it is a little bit more difficult to fit a workout in, the motivation is still there, and if I have the means and the time I want to fit it in. Well, that was this morning! I headed down to the fitness center, already somewhat sore thanks to my patella tendonitis acting up in my right knee lately. I stretched and decided to try out the treadmill. I hopped on, and did a walk/run mix 5K.

Knowing that my patella tendonitis is acting up, I need to focus on strengthening my knees like I keep mentioning. Of course, I also want to keep up my running to maintain a good enough level of cardio. So, after a less than stellar 5K (but hey, I got it in!), I did some balancing exercises using my legs and some free weights. I also stretched out a lot post-workout to be sure that my muscles don’t stay tight all day.

We are going to be doing a bit of walking today too, so if I didn’t stretch after my workout I knew I would be in for it!

Also, after mentioning yesterday how I need to get on my healthy eating habit more consistently I was thinking about it and I suppose I haven’t been doing too well the past few weeks. I can really tell a difference while I am working out, so thank you Lent for presenting yourself to me at a most opportune time (haha)!

This year for Lent I will skip the junk food for snacks, have only one coffee per day at most, skip the wine/beer/cocktail at dinner (only one per week – and this is not a way to get around it…it is because I like red wine and I believe that a glass a day is good for you, so one per week is fine…further, I’m not worried about my alcohol intake for any reason other than the healthy eating thing).

So all in all, things have been going decently. All it takes is thinking. Once you start doing things consciously, you realize what you need, what you can skip, what you can accomplish, and you understand what your body needs to make you feel your best.

Here’s to being healthy!

Today’s workout, taking care of my knee, and eating healthy…success!



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fitting it in

I woke up this morning and thought to myself, “I should really get up, go workout, and get ready before my brother wakes up.” Then, I rolled over and slept a bit longer. We had a long day yesterday and I was tired, what can I say?

We ended up waking up about the same time, so as to be diligent I still went and worked out while my brother was getting ready. I headed down to the cardio center and spent some time on the treadmill and on the bike. My knee has been irritating me just a bit lately so I want to be sure to keep it strong, and use the bike to strengthen my knees and quads.

I got a great workout in and when I came up, my brother was ready and I just had to quickly shower and get ready so we could head out for the day. We were going to take a little road trip down to San Diego but since we got a late start on our day, we decided to put that off until tomorrow. Instead, we went to the Hermosa Beach Farmers’ Market, had Chik-Fil-A for lunch (mmm..mmm…haha!), headed up to the Venice Canals, spent a little time downtown Manhattan Beach, checked out my favorite shop downtown Hermosa Beach, and now we are just relaxing a bit before going to meet a couple of my friends for sushi tonight.

We are hoping to get an early start tomorrow, so tomorrow will either be a super early workout or a strength training day. We’ll see 🙂

Gotta fit it in…a workout in some way, shape, or form…and I will!

Quick late start workout…success.

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Cross-train & Stay Injury Free

Learning how and when to cross-train is one of the most important parts of exercising. I have learned during my experiences as an athlete, cross-training is not only effective in helping to build a stronger core and get you in better physical shape overall, but it also helps keep you injury free.

My knees have always been a problem area for me, and the impact from figure skating was certainly not a helping factor in this area. Thank goodness for physical therapy back in the day, though, as I have been able to learn from that and put to good use the exercises that I used to do at physical therapy.

Since I have started my training regimen in advance for the Detroit marathon in October, so that I have a solid base to work from when the strict training begins, I want to make sure that I keep myself healthy and hopefully keep myself free of any injury. For me, this especially means paying attention to, and taking extra care of, my feet and knees.

Just a few days ago marked the one year anniversary of having my second foot surgery. That means I am at nearly full recovery, but if I want to be sure to be at full recovery and maintain movement in my joint I need to pay attention to everything.

That being said, since I ran a race yesterday and my foot has been slightly bothering me lately I still wanted to get my workout in today, but I didn’t want to overdo it. Now, when I say that it has been bothering me, let me give you a better idea: basically, where the surgery was done it is still a bit tender and I am more aware of that area of my foot, if you will. As long as I ice it and nurse it, I can still use it and bring it to 100% recovery. So, in keeping with cross-training and staying injury free I did an easy run today along with a bike workout.

The great thing about bike workouts as cross-training is that bikes can work your whole body. Even better for me, biking is good for strengthening your knees and has a low impact on your feet. By working the mobility in your knees and hips, and strengthening your quad muscles, your lower body gets a good alignment and strength workout. Depending on what kind of bike you are on and how you are sitting, it is possibly that your upper body will get a workout too.

Remembering that cross-training days are just as important as running days is important. It doesn’t just take the ability to run to complete a marathon, but it takes patience, strength, and endurance just to name a few. Cross-training will help you become a better runner and it will help you keep your activity level up while keeping your risk for injury down.

Cross-training day…success.

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i hit 60 minutes…then i passed it…

Lately, I have been watching The Today show…and it is true, I have become a fan. Just yesterday they were talking fact/myth about different health type ideas. One of them was that if you drink a cup of coffee about an hour before you run, you will have more energy. Apparently, this is true. Interesting thought…and I cannot lie, it inspired me today to get running as soon as I could after my cup of coffee. I had a few things I wanted to accomplish first, and I actually had some water and a half can of Red Bull…so my energy level was pretty high.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day outside, and the sun was shining was unbelievably bright. I knew I could get a good hour run in along the ocean, and when I was finished I was going to walk down in the sand, by the water.

I walked from my apartment, down to the paved path along the ocean. Today’s gear: sunscreen, orange moisture-wicking run tank, favorite navy blue running shorts, favorite polka-dot sports bra, Reebok running shoes, and my fully charged iPod Shuffle with a newly added playlist! Once I hit the path, I took off at a pace that would allow me to ease into the run and last the full 60 minutes.

The sky was so clear I wished that I had brought my camera with me…but alas, I did not bring it along for my workout! The view into the mountains was beautiful…and the ships…and the blue sky with just a few lingering marshmallow-looking clouds…and the crashing waves, still rather large.

I was on my way and had settled into a great pace…at 30 minutes I was feeling really good and figured that I would continue on my way until I hit 45 minutes, then I would turn around and after I got to 60 minutes, I’d take my shoes and socks off and head down to the water and wade through the tide the rest of the way back home.

I hit the end of the path (about 4 miles) and was still feeling fabulous…not to mention that if I continued on I knew the view would get better since at that point the path is right against huge rocks that meet up with the ocean. “Why stop now?” I thought. I was feeling good, I was not in a rush, and it was a gorgeous day.

So, I continued…

Eventually, I decided that I would turn around at the lifeguard stand that was up ahead. I reached the lifeguard stand and I did turn around. After all, I was at about 5 miles out by this point and I still had to make it all the way back home. Instead of heading up the walking path that I had come along when I reached the fork where the walking path and bike path meet, I decided to take the bike path since it edges up with the sand, and I was going to head down to the sand by the water when I hit 60 minutes to continue running for another 15 minutes.

I hit 60 minutes, and soon after I found a good spot to make way to the water. I ran through the loose sand (not a terribly easy feat) and made it to the more packed down sand closer to the water. I took my headphones out to listen to the water and enjoy the cooler breeze down here–what a difference in just the small location change!

I was at about 1 hour and 10 minutes when I saw a beautiful seashell that had washed up. I decided I needed it so I picked it up and carried it with me. I could make a necklace (my DIY mind just never turns off)! Around 1 hour and 15 minutes, I saw an even prettier shell and I also decided that I wanted my headphones back in, so I took them out of the handy dandy “secret pocket” in my running shorts (for those of you have ever owned a pair of running shorts, I know you know what I’m talking about), put the tunes back on, and I kept seashell #2 in the “secret pocket” (haha).

So, if I was at 1 hour and 15 minutes you are probably wondering why I had not stopped by that time. Well, the truth is I knew I had it in me to go the rest of the way home…but I knew that would not be smart. I could see the pier though, and I knew I could make it there by the time my stopwatch was at 1 hour and 30 minutes so I figured I’d go for it.

If that pier was the finish line of a race, I would have crossed it at precisely 1 hour and 30 minutes! I suppose a girl can judge her pace pretty well 🙂 I slowed down, and stopped as soon as I passed underneath the pier. I took off my shoes and socks, stuck the two seashells in one of my socks and walked the rest of the way (which took me about 20 minutes). I found a few more seashells and enjoyed the tide coming in, splashing cold water up on my feet and legs…delightful!

Finally I was nearing the end of my cooldown at this point, so I headed back up through the loose sand of the volleyball courts and when I reached the paved path, I dusted off my feet and put my shoes back on loosely–I went sans socks since I had just a short way back to my apartment.

I made it back, and felt pretty good overall. My left knee needed a bit of love today but that’s ok…nothing major. I replenished my body with some water, gatorade, banana and peanut butter. Then, I hopped in the shower, cleaned myself up, and relaxed in the bath for awhile.

What a successful workout today! I traveled about 9.75 miles, just one track lap less than 10 miles; and, I ran most of it. My cooldown was only about three-quarters of a mile. I got a great run in, found a few seashells, enjoyed the ocean, and still felt great all day!

Oh, and just in case you’re curious…I made myself a good dinner and dessert too. Broccoli, cheese, rice and chicken casserole for dinner. For dessert, strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar (before you question or try to hate on the dessert choice, try it…even if you don’t like sour cream…don’t dog it if you haven’t tried it)! Still drinking up lots of water too.

Did you have a good workout today?!

Run on the beach…unexpected great success.


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watching the crashing waves

Last night, I went out with the three coolest people I have met in California to see Pee Wee Herman Live. Chris, Kelly, Jeremy and I started the night at Trader Vic’s for dinner–delicious food and nice atmosphere. We had Beef Cho-Cho for an appetizer–mini skewers of beef in a delightful sauce that came to our table uncooked, along with an open flame (we’ll call this a mini hibachi, for all practical purposes). We got to cook each mini skewer, for about 25-30 seconds to get it to cooked perfection, and indulge in this wonderful appetizer. After this lovely dinner, we have some time before Pee Wee was going to begin so we stopped at New Zealand Natural for ice cream. That was some of the most delicious ice cream I have ever put inside of this little mouth of mine. I had Spotty Dog flavor (basically a chocolate chip of sorts)…on a sugar cone, which was wonderful because I swear to you, out of all the frozen yogurt and ice cream places out here it is extremely difficult to come across one that has cones! Sheesh. Anyway, so to continue our lovely evening at the Nokia Center we headed to the Pee Wee Show. It was great–just like the television show, and Pee Wee does not look or sound like he has aged a bit at all (granted I’m sure plastic surgery and botox advancement have been able to help with this 🙂 ). Great show, even though the guy sitting next to Kelly knew EVERY line and was reciting it (weird and rather annoying).

So, you might be wondering why I’m telling you about all of this in my running blog. And the reason is because these three lovely people that I went out with last night are the three coolest people I have met in SoCal, and I met them because of running. We all run for different reasons, but the fact of the matter is that we run for fun, and that is what initially brought us together. I feel pretty lucky that I have made these great friends, all thanks to taking a chance on a running group to meet a few people in my area and do something I enjoy.

Enough mushy gushy…I have awesome friends…thank you, running…thank you, friends stuff…ON TO TODAY’S RUN!

Now, we are all part of Meetup and set up runs throughout the week to get people together to run…and lately it has been rare for me to head out with the group to run. And, don’t even ask Chris, Kelly or Jeremy about me getting out for an early morning weekend run…because they’ll just laugh and make fun of me and my “non-morningness,” and the fact that I say I just can’t do it at 8:30am in the morning if I’m out too late the night before.

So last night I sort of alluded to the fact that I would make it out for this morning’s run. Sure enough, this morning I woke up and met the group for a run. Although they continued on to a quite hilly area, I chose to tackle one hill and turn around and continue my run, to get a good hour in on flatter ground. I was glad I remembered my Cho-Pat knee strap today…what a difference it makes to wear that. My knee feels so much better when I put that on and keep everything aligned while out on a run. Tackling my hour with today’s playlist, crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, I continued on and made it remembering to keep my breathing in check. I also was sure to keep moving at a solid pace. Slowing down too much can surely tire you quicker, and I was able to settle into a nice pace that kept me around a 9:30 mile.

I finished my hour run and met them back at our meeting point, and we all felt great after getting a good run in. Jeremy, the machine that he is, was still off a run…finishing something like 18 miles or so I am sure…that’s a good solid normal workout for him. However, Chris, Kelly, and Julie (Kelly’s sister) and I were done and ready for some breakfast. We cooled off, stretched, and headed over to the Yellow Vase in Redondo Beach.

It was absolutely beautiful outside so we grabbed a nice picnic table out front of the restaurant and enjoyed a lovely Sunday breakfast. I had a caramel latte and strawberry almond french toast. DELISH!

All in all…a great run today…still working with that 60 minute mark and really making progress. Thanks to a great night last night, some extra motivation, and the sun shining this morning, I got in a solid run and feel great.

Now, after a nice Sunday afternoon…it’s time to get ready for a little dinner party tonight. Steaks on the grill, mashed potatoes, biscuits, salad, wine, and fun.

Friends who run and eat together stay together, right!?!

Morning workout along the ocean…success.

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getting used to that 60 minute mark…so i can pass it later…

Like I mentioned the other day, I am trying to work on getting used to being on my feet for a long period of time in preparation for the marathon. This, combined with using every muscle in my body to get stronger, will be one of the greatest challenges.

As I did a workout today in the cardio center today (once again, TONS of rain and wind in LA…as in downpours, not good running rain) I took note of a few things (other than the dog running on the treadmill next to me–more to come on that in  moment) that I have been noticing as I embark on my training plan. A few major things I noticed that I must work on are my breathing patterns, my leg muscles, my knees, and my hip flexors.

None of this comes as a major surprise to me, especially the knees. For those of you who know me, you likely know that I have been through physical therapy and have struggled with weak knees in the past. Well, thank goodness I learned how to take care of my knees through all of that physical therapy I went through. I will certainly be working on some strengthening exercise to strengthen my knees and the surrounding muscles, especially my quads which will help my knee strength as well.

Breathing patterns are one of my biggest weaknesses and I need to really work on figuring all of that out.

Other than that, I am focusing on amount of time spent working out rather than mileage right now. Mileage will come after I get myself going, into good patterns, and can endure. Right now, I am working with a solid 60-minute time that I would like to continue use as a marker. I will continue with that mark, and I will eventually be comfortable with it and will push past it, no doubt.

So now that business has been taken care of…the dog on the treadmill. This is a true story, and just proof that I truly need to have some type of camera on me at all times. I walk down to the cardio center today and sure enough, some chic is walking her dog on the treadmill! It is one thing to walk your dog on your own treadmill but really, do you need to walk your dog on in public workout room? Ugh! Luckily, she wasn’t there for much longer after I got there. Weird…but whatever…to each his own, right?

Today’s workout: 45 minutes on the treadmill–combo of running and speed-walking on an incline, and 15 minutes on the bike.
Total mileage covered: about 7.5 miles

Off to shower and get ready…I’m going to see one of my favorite bands, Rocco DeLuca & The Burden, tonight!

Cardio center…success.

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