Posts Tagged ‘ Health ’

Next Step to Recovery

HealingDespite how difficult it is, I’m continuing to rest and take it easy while I figure out what’s going on with my injured hip. I have an MRI scheduled for Saturday then a follow-up with my sports medicine doc the following week. I’m a little nervous as I’ve never had an MRI before. From what I understand, you lay on a board that then slides into a long metal tube. There are closed MRIs and open MRIs when the tube is above and below you, but open on the sides. I’m having a closed MRI because my doctor says they’re more accurate. Once inside the tube, you lay there for about 45 minutes while they scan whichever area needs scanning.

I’m going to bring a PlayAway, a small portable device that contains one book and is about the size of a pack of gum, to listen to while I’m getting scanned if I’m allowed to. I borrowed The Hunchback of Notre Dame from the library and have been listening to it whenever I get a chance. Since it’s over 14 hours, it’s taking me a while!

Here’s hoping it all goes well and that the MRI shows what’s going on. I’m excited and nervous about what they will find as it will make it more real but then I can hopefully figure out a plan of action to work toward my recovery.

 

Fitness Friday!

I have to say that one of my favorite things about being a runner is getting to eat carbs without feeling guilty. 🙂 It’s important to have a healthy diet to that balances your workouts. You need to find foods that provide elements like vitamins, carbs, healthy fats, and proteins. I’m constantly reading Runner’s World and scouring vegetarian and healthy cookbooks for great recipes and foods that will give me energy and strength I need to be fit. It’s a big topic and one I’ll revisit since there’s just too much info to cram into one blog. And I’m always learning something new that I try to fit into my diet.

Most recently it’s been my desire to move away from processed foods. Not easy. I realize this will be a long road of little changes along the way, but as long as I’m moving in that direction I feel it will lead to healthier eating habits.

I’ve started making little things like granola and protein smoothies and have gradually added more baking to my repertoire, most notably – bread! Mmmm…Homemade bread is perfect for any number of tasty meals – french toast, any number of sandwiches and paninis or just as a side for a steaming bowl of soup, salad or pasta. Yum! My most recent bread was a whole wheat bread, but I’ve made the classic white and a yummy cinnamon raisin.

I’ve included links to my favorite bread recipes below:

Homemade White Bread/Homemade Wheat Bread – I use the same recipe for both and just substitute wheat flour for white flour as it is such a great recipe!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I also was reading the October issue of Runner’s World and came across a series of wonderful (and more importantly simple) recipes for homemade pasta sauces and dishes. Click HERE for a link to the article and for a link to the recipes click HERE.

Now all I need is a pasta machine and a bigger kitchen and I’m golden! 🙂

Do you have a favorite healthy homemade recipe?

The Running Blahs

Running definitely affects my mood for better or for worse. It’s amazing to be able to go outside and pound the pavement for miles and live in that moment. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to attain that euphoria due to persistent injuries. In my marathon training I ended up doing too much too fast. Now I’m paying the price. 😦 Let my mistake be a lesson! Increase mileage, speed work and hills SLOWLY. I thought my biggest obstacles in training would be time and mind, turns out it was pushing myself to that injury threshold and getting stuck there.

The advice I received, although more painful than the injury itself, was good – REST! Runners that I have known have a hard time resting. It definitely falls into that four letter word category. But, I’ve been resting and icing my injuries (runner’s knee, strained ankle ligaments) and working on gently and slowly rehabilitating those weak areas. I’ve been keeping active just not on the same level of intensity that I had been. I weight lift every other day, take my dog for long walks, and try to bike a little (only recently). This weekend I intend on slowly integrating running back into my routine.

Here’s the plan:

– Run two miles at a pace at least two minutes slower than my normal running pace

– Take a day off to Rest and Ice, see how my injuries respond to the run

– If they flare up, take more time off to continue Resting, Icing and Strength Training

– Repeat the run until I can run without pain during or after my run

– GRADUALLY increase mileage and pace, doing no more than a 10% increase per week

I’m finding that the most important thing for me to remember is to maintain an active lifestyle that includes healthy eating habits so I don’t end up moping around and feeling even worse. So far so good! 🙂 I’ll keep you posted on my recovery and any new strategies I uncover along the way!

Body Language

Every body is different. Learning your body’s language is integral to becoming a strong, healthy, and balanced runner. The trick is taking notice of how your body reacts to various environments, foods, stresses, etc.

Today I ran my prescribed miles/time indoors on a treadmill that is part of a small community gym within my housing complex. One thing I know about my body is that I sweat a lot when I workout. Most people sweat during strenuous activities, I just sweat more than most. Lovely. I have come to accept this about myself and it’s usually not a big deal. Until, that is, I step off the treadmill after running for an hour and completed 7 miles, and an elderly couple chatting at the back of room stare at me and then politely ask how long I’ve been running. When I tell them, the woman (bless her little heart as my gram would have said) says, “Well, it sure looks like you’ve been running a lot longer than that!” Ah, the blissful bluntness of those past caring what others think. How delightful.

So, yes, I’m a woman and I sweat like I’m going to pass out at any moment. And when it’s really hot and I’ve been really exerting myself, something especially strange happens. I sweat salt. Yes, you read that right. I said salt.  I’ve read a little on the subject and it actually happens to quite a few people when they workout as well. We all have amounts of water and sodium in our bodies that is shed during workouts. Because some people sweat more salt it’s important to replenish your supply of sodium through sports drinks that have electrolytes and serve to bring your body back into balance.

Think of your body as a machine. You should figure out what foods will be the best fuel to keep your body operating at its best. And since no two people are alike, one person’s eating rituals are most likely not going to mirror yours. For me my favorite are mid-morning runs. I eat a bagel and have a cup of coffee, wait two hours, and I feel amazing during my run! And, on the reverse side, any kinds of rich foods even if eaten the day before, are certain to mess with my body in not nice ways and make my run a miserable experience.

Learn your body’s language. Are you hurt? Tired? Dehydrated? Figuring out what your body is trying to tell you is one way you can become stronger and live a healthy and balanced life.