Sunday, February 27, 2011

March Goals

Since a new month is coming up, I thought I'd take the liberty of setting some goals for myself. Some are fitness related, others are not. If you talk with me or see me throughout the month of March- feel free to ask me about these goals and keep me accountable! :)

1. Do Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred at least 4 times a week.
2. Drink at least 10 cups of water a day.
3. Read my Bible daily.
4. Call and catch up with a friend or family member daily.
5. Be able to run 30 minutes without stopping.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Running Record :)

I just ran 25 minutes without stopping!!! It's a new record for me and I am so happy :) I never thought I would be able to run-- let alone over two miles at once!! I'm getting closer and closer to my 5K :) Just thought I would share my little victory.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Proper Running Mechanics

For the last couple weeks I have noticed a dull pain in my right knee. Its nothing sharp or unbearable, but it is definitely noticeable. And it doesn't always happen only when I'm running, I even feel the pain between runs. I know that "running" doesn't cause knee pain or injuries, but it is HOW you run. And so I decided to start taking a closer look at my mechanics of running.

When I went to BlueMile to purchase my running shoes, I got to see a video of my feet running on a treadmill. I noticed then that my fight foot points outward as I run. My left foot is nice and straight, but my fight foot is almost at a 10 degree slant to the right. I decided that my right foot slant could be the cause of my knee pain. It made sense because it is my right knee that hurts and not the left.

For my last two runs, I focused on pointing my right foot forward. It actually took a lot of effort. It felt like I was running pigeon-toed. While the unnatural feeling was difficult to withhold the duration of the run, I think that I found the culprit of my knee aches. I noticed that running with my foot forward, took the pain away from my knee.

However, because my ankle is now overcompensating and doing something so "unnatural", I noticed an ankle ache today. I am not going to give up though. If I continue training my body and teaching it to run properly, it will be well worth the temporary aches and pains. I decided to do a little research to see if my findings were common. This is part of an article from the Washington Running Report:

Keep your feet pointed in the direction you are running: If your feet splay out to the side as you run, it could create knee pain while running any distance because you are torquing your knee with every foot strike. This will eventually over- stretch the medial ligaments and tendons of the knee and lead to pain and/or injury (medial meniscus tendonitis). You will feel it as a sharp pain on the inside (medial side) of your knee.

Here is what happens. If your feet splay out with every step, you will land on the outside edge of your heel and your ankle will collapse inward. This causes over-pronation and creates a torque in your lower leg that is equivalent to someone grabbing your ankle and twisting it to the outside almost 1800 times every 10 minutes! (That is the number of strides you will take with each leg if you run a 10-minute mile with a 36 inch stride.) It does not take very many miles of running this way for your knees to start feeling the stress. Running this way could eventually hyperextend the medial ligaments and tendons of your kneecap.

What to do: Learn to run with your feet pointed in the direction you are headed. But do not just point your foot forward. Rotate your entire leg inward towards your centerline until your feet are parallel and pointing forward. This will strengthen your adductors (the muscles that run along your inner thighs) and straighten out your legs. This allows your knees to hinge in the direction they were designed to, instead of twisting as they bend.

If your feet turn out, your heel will strike on the lateral side and your ankle will pronate as your ankle supports your weight. If your feet splay out a lot, it will probably feel like you are pigeon-toed when you try to point your feet forward. If that is the case, rotate your legs medially only as far as you can, without feeling discomfort. Increase the amount you rotate your legs inward in small increments over a number of weeks or months, to give the muscles, tendons, and fascia in your legs, feet, and knees time to adjust to the new direction of movement. Changing the biomechanics of your body takes time and persistence, but it is well worth it if you never have to deal with knee pain again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ice Ice, Baby!

I got my first workout injury... and I'm not even mad! I was in Zumba tonight and somehow (don't ask me how) I really hurt one of my toes on my right foot. And, if you've ever done Zumba, you know how much twisting and jumping there is! I finished the class tonight, but the pain just kinda shot through my whole foot. I'm confident that it isn't a break, merely a small injury. It now has only a dull pain. But the best thing I can do for a quick recovery is to ice it. Ice Ice, Baby!

Here is a picture of my first workout injury. Ladies and gents, make sure you take care of your bodies! And ice those injuries!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Case of the Red Face

If you are like me, your face gets red when working out. I can remember even as a child, my face would get really red whenever I did some major exercising, especially running. When I was in 5th grade, I played soccer and was actually pretty good. However, my coach would pull me out for breaks because I looked like death with my beet red face. I felt fine, but my face told a different story. I also remember back to middle school and high school when we had to run the mile for a grade. Not only was I exhausted afterward, but my face would be red for the entire period after gym class. For a teenager, that was quite embarrassing!

Now that I have been running and really exerting myself, I have noticed the case of the red face resurfacing. I thought I was doing something wrong to cause this... so, I did some research. Several sites, including ehow, taught me that while exercising your face turns red because it is your body's way of cooling off. You are heated and your fast-pumping blood is rushing to your head (your brain). Your body sweats and your blood vessels dilate to help cool you off.

Any preventions? Nope. The only thing that might help a little is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. You should also wear clothes that are "breathable." It also helps to workout in a cooler environment. The other thing you could potentially do is decrease the intensity of your workout... but I don't suggest that. With all this being said, I am going to continue working out as usual and just hope that I don't scare anyone with my rudolf effect.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

You spin me right round, baby, right round!

I have been going to a spinning class every Thursday for the last three weeks. The class is held at my gym, LA Fitness, and is called "Cycle." I have heard others talk about this class and had always wanted to try it out. But the intimidation overwhelmed me. I always heard how difficult the class was, but also how great a workout it was. I finally worked up the courage to pursue my first spinning class. I invited three friends who were also members of the gym to come with me; none of them could. I didn't want to go the first time on my own... but I had already mentally prepared myself to go so I finally decided to just go for it! I arrived at the gym and the instructor was very helpful. She showed me how to set up my bike and showed me how to change the resistance. I had my water bottle, my towel, and I was ready to go!

What I found is that I LOVE SPINNING!!!! It is a difficult class, but you control your own bike. The instructor will tell you to increase the resistance on your bike, and you can move the lever at the rate that is appropriate for your own fitness level. The most difficult part of the class was for one whole song we stood up for 8 seconds, sat for 8 seconds, up for 8, down for 8, and so on. We did this while pedaling quickly at a high resistance level. It was like doing squats on the bike!

The intensity of a spinning class is determined by the following three factors:
- Your resistance
- Speed of pedaling
- Your body position (sitting in the saddle, standing straight up without weight on your handle bars, or standing and learning forward on your handle bars)

I try to push myself a little more each week. I get a wonderful workout and I don't even have to wear a helmet!

February Weigh-In

Changes in Weight and Measurement Since Last Month

Weight: -6.6 lbs
Waist: -1 in
Arm: -0.5 in
Bust: -1 in
Thigh: -0.5 in
Hips: -1 in

Total Changes in Weight and Measurement

Weight: -7.6 lbs
Waist: -2.5 in
Arm: -1 in
Bust: -1 in
Thigh: -0.5 in
Hips: -1 in