Sunday’s Rose and Thorn – Weeks 50-51

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?

Allyson

  • S (8/31): rest
  • M:  2 mi run
  • T:  yoga
  • W:  rest
  • Th:  2 mi run
  • F:  rest
  • S:  yoga
  • S (9/7):  rest
  • M:  2.5 mi run
  • T:  yoga
  • W:  rest
  • Th:  2 mi run
  • F:  yoga
  • S:  rest

My thorn has been the limited time to work out with continued construction at our house.  It has been dragging out and feels like forever.

My rose has been my time running.  Feels great to get out of the chaos and clear my head.

Jessica

  • Sunday – Yoga
  • Monday – 5K+
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – Yoga
  • Friday –  Rest
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Last 5K Race of the Challenge!!
  • Monday – Rest
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – HIIT
  • Thursday – 2 miles
  • Friday –  Rest
  • Saturday – low weights, high reps

My thorn is that I feel like I have no time to write and barely enough time to exercise right now.

My roses are that I had the BEST time in Chicago catching up with Karla, my sister and her daughter.  Molly and I ran our best race yet!  Plus, I completed the challenge we started a year ago!!!   AND, Karla and all those other half marathoners have inspired me to train for a longer race.  Maybe a 10 miler?  6K?  Who knows.

Karla

  • S (8/31): 3 miles (with sub-nine-minute miles!)
  • M:  Rest
  • T:  2 miles + yoga
  • W:  Yoga
  • R:  3 miles
  • F:  Rest
  • S:  Rest/Walking around Chicago
  • S:  13.1 miles in the Chicago Half-Marathon!
  • M:  Rest (ouchies)
  • T:  Rest
  • W:  3 miles
  • R:  Foam roller/recovery yoga
  • F:  3.3 miles
  • S:  Rest

Rose:  Since this is a two-in-one rose and thorn, I have two roses:  1) 2 mile run with my 7-year-old, after which he said he wanted to join Run Club at school!; 2) Seeing Jessica and her awesome daughter at the finish line of the half-marathon.  I am now 31 kilometers into my 40k challenge with one more race to go!

Thorn:  None.  It was a really good couple of weeks.

 

 

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn on Labor Day – Week 49

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?

Allyson

  • S:  rest
  • M: 2 mi run
  • T: rest
  • W: yoga
  • Th: 2.5 mi run
  • F: rest
  • S: rest

Didn’t really have a thorn this week, it was just really hot for running.  

 

My rose was finally seeing some progress on our house construction project this week. Hoping for more normalcy this next week!

 

Jessica

  • Sunday – rest
  • Monday – walked 4-5
  • Tuesday – walked 4-5
  • Wednesday – 5K+
  • Thursday –  rest
  • Friday –  rest
  • Saturday – Rest

My thorn this week is that school is starting.  Although we homeschool, we do a lot of things on the school calendar.  Our schedule is packed this Fall and I barely have enough time to tend to this little challenge as it is!

My rose is that we had a great week visiting Philadelphia, even if it meant not too much running.  Also, Final 5K of the challenge coming up this week!  So, maybe it doesn’t matter that I am going to have less time for myself starting tomorrow.

Karla

  • S:  Rest
  • M:  3 mile run
  • T:  Rest
  • W:  3.3 mile run
  • R:  Jillian Michaels’ Yoga
  • F:  Rest
  • S:  Hiking with the fam

Rose:  Our rainy hike in Saturday near some waterfalls.

Thorn:  Too many rest days, but with the half-marathon coming up in a week, probably not such a bad thing.

 

 

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn – Week 48

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?

Allyson

  • S: rest
  • M: rest
  • T: 2 mi run
  • W: rest
  • Th: rest
  • F: 2 mi run
  • S: rest

Thorn this week was on going house construction problems. I am so tired of it taking up all of my time. Hoping more forward progress this week.

Rose was spending more time with an old friend from Philly and catching up. I miss those friendships.

Jessica

  • Sunday – 5K+
  • Monday – 5K+
  • Tuesday – 2 miles
  • Wednesday – 5K+
  • Thursday –  5K+
  • Friday –  Rest
  • Saturday – Rest

No thorns.  Rachel and I had a magical week in Ocean City with our families!  My nose feels better and I ran 4 5Ks on the boardwalk in Ocean City, one of my favorite places in the whole world.  Chicago, here we come!

My rose is that I have one more race to finish this challenge and I’ll be doing it in Chicago with Karla, my sister, my niece, and my beautiful daughter, Molly!  I am so looking forward to girls weekend and I am pretty pleased to be in the home stretch with this challenge.

Karla

  • S:  Rest
  • M:  3 mile run
  • T:  PT, push-ups, weights, lunges, etc.
  • W:  4 mile run
  • R:  Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown
  • F:  Yoga
  • S:  11 mile run!

Rose:  Tie between a great 4-mile run along the coast while on travel for work and being done with my half-marathon training.  Chicago, here we come!

Thorn:  No thorn.  It was a good week.

 

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn on a Tuesday – Week 47

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?

Allyson

  • S: rest
  • M: rest
  • T: 2 mi run
  • W: rest
  • Th: yoga
  • F: 2 mi run
  • S: rest

My thorn this week was just not getting much exercise in with the continued construction chaos and overseeing the contractors.

My rose was getting to see an old friend from Philly this past weekend! So fun!

 

Jessica

  • Sunday – Rest
  • Monday – Yoga
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday –  Rest
  • Friday –  Rest
  • Saturday – Rest

My thorn this week was that I broke my nose and it hurts to move.  I cannot believe that boxers consent to possibly getting hit in the face.

My rose is that I am heading out for a week in Ocean City, NJ, where GG40 was born this time last year.  Can’t wait to see you, Rachel!!!

Karla

  • S:  Rest
  • M:  3 mile run
  • T:  Rest
  • W:  3 mile run
  • R:  Yoga
  • F:  3.5 mile interval
  • S:  Rest

Rose:  My interval run on Friday was challenging but really good.

Thorn:  Not getting in any strength training this week.  I will need to remedy that this week.

 

Gluten, and Dairy, and Eggs, oh my!

If you had told me even two weeks ago that I would, at some point, systematically remove all wheat, milk, and cheese from my diet, I would have told you that you were absolutely flippin’ insane. No way. Absolutely not. I have a serious love of cheese. There is a gourmet foods establishment in Philadelphia called DiBruno Bros.  that also refers to itself as the “House of Cheese” and whenever  I passed it years ago, I honestly thought to myself, “I wish I lived in a house of cheese.” I honestly have never met a cheese that I do not like. The same is true of most breads. If I could dip a nice crusty piece of bread into a vat of melted cheese (I believe they call that fondue), I would be in absolute heaven. Unfortunately, it seems, however, that cheese does not like me. Nor does bread, milk, wheat, gluten, and a whole host of other items.

You see, for the past ten to fifteen years, I have struggled with sinus and allergy issues. In reality, I have had allergy issues all of my life, but they were mainly outdoor items – trees, grasses, pollen, etc. – or so I thought. If you ask my sister, she will probably remember when my parents realized that I was also allergy to our dog, Pixie (the cutest Scottish terrier ever) and we had to give her away to my grandparents (who only lived the next town over and we saw them all the time, but still). Whenever I would hug or be licked by a dog, I would break out in hives and my eyes would itch like crazy. But, with allergy shots, I improved to where it was, at least, bearable.

Fast forward to college when my roommate and I decided it would be super fun to be “puppy raisers” for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. We get a free puppy! How cool is that?! I knew in the back of my mind that I was still allergic to dogs, but, well, little Bandit was just so darn cute. The idea behind being a “puppy raiser” is that you teach the dog really good doggie manners and then he, hopefully, goes off to become a guide dog. Bandit did all that (we were SO proud) except he eventually feigned an injury (that’s a story for another day) and he retired. I jumped at the chance to get him back before anyone else could adopt him. He was with me (and eventually my husband and youngest son) all through law school and multiple moves, until he developed a horrendous massive tumor in his chest and had to be put down at 12 1⁄2 years old. He was an awesome dog.

But, during those twelve plus years when he was with us, almost every night when I returned home, I would become congested. I was on multiple allergy medicines and eventually developed asthma, first exercise induced and then to full-blown, “I need to be on regular medication and have an inhaler” asthma. The summer after Bandit passed away, I had some of the worst sinus infections I ever had. The pain was unbearable. I could not taste or smell and my head was pounding. I finally saw an ENT, who did a CT scan and could not believe his eyes. Every area on the scan that should be air was filled with mucus (so gross). I had polyps in all of my sinuses, likely caused by constant allergic irritation. I ultimately decided to have surgery and my congestion dramatically improved.

A funny thing happened at that point, however. I started to have more sinus infections than ever. Almost every other month (sometimes more), I would start to feel that tell-tale pressure in my sinus (almost always my right), have the body aches, and be exhausted. As a result, I was on a lot of antibiotics (probably 6 to 8 times a year). At one point, after we moved again, I saw a new ENT, who started me on cortisone shots with the roughest of infections just to decrease the inflammation.

He re-did my allergy tests and found I was allergic to dogs (shocker!), but at that point we no longer had a dog. I was also allergic to dust mites and mold. We did all everything possible to minimize my exposure to dust mites and mold, but nothing really changed. I was facing the prospect of a second sinus surgery, but felt like there must be some other way.

And that is when I began seeing a naturopathic doctor (insert sounds of singing angels here). He explained (with scientific articles to back it up) that biofilms, not bacteria were the culprit for most of my sinus issues and if I could remove the biofilms from the sinuses (through a treatment he developed), I could feel tremendously better. I had just been through a round of antibiotics, still had a sinus infection, and was ready to try just about anything. I went once a week for four weeks and immediately felt better after the first treatment. After that, I returned approximately once per month and miracle of all miracles, I have not been on antibiotics for a sinus infection (I had a yicky chest infection this winter, but that was it) in the year since I have seen him. It works. Not exactly sure how, but it does.

But, I was finding that, although I did not need to go on antibiotics, I was still coming down with that yicky pain-in-the right sinus issue every other month or so. On my visit in June, my naturopathic doctor asked about food allergies. As far as I  knew, I did not have any food allergies. He explained that there are “hidden food allergies” that may not cause anaphylaxis, but can still cause inflammation in the body. The blood test was not very expensive, so I did it.

Now, there is some controversy with the IgG allergy test. Some believe it is not  useful at all and there is debate about whether it is actually testing an allergic response or a built-up anti-body to combat the allergy-causing food. Others believe, however, that with other indicators, it can be a reliable food allergy test. I had been through over a decade of allergy and sinus issues and was willing to try it.

Just over a week ago, I returned to my doctor to receive the results. I am not sure what I expected, but was very interested in the results. He sat me down and told me that he had not seen such results in a very long time. I was practically off the charts for every single dairy item – hard cheese, soft cheese, milk, goat’s milk, casein (I don’t even know if I know what that is), and yogurt. My next highest responses were to broccoli (what the . . .), bananas, pineapple, cranberry, and pear. Seriously.

I’m allergic to pears?! And then the kickers – wheat, gluten, corn, and chicken eggs.   Oh, but apparently I can eat duck eggs. I didn’t even know that was a thing! Duck  eggs?!

The good news was that I was not allergic to grapes, brewer’s yeast (cheers), coffee, or cocoa. There is, in fact, a God. He may be laughing at me right now, but at least he is not sadistic.

The bad news is that my entire diet was being totally turned upside down. I love bread, cakes, cookies, doughnuts (why do you think I run?). I ate yogurt EVERY DAY. I started eating less meat a while back (due to hereditary high cholesterol), but most of my vegetarian meals had cheese in them (yes, I understand that this was probably not so smart given the amount of saturated fat in cheese, but don’t cloud my diet with fact). WTF was I going to eat?!

There is an Einsteins Bagels on my bus route that I pass almost every morning on the way to work. Before receiving my allergy test results, I would think, “I should get a bagel there this morning. . . . Eh, but then I would have to walk like five extra blocks to the office. And I’m tired. So tired. Maybe some other day.” Oh, how I wish I had gone on now! Two weeks, I could have gone in there in total blissful ignorance. But now, I know too much.

It’s been just over a week since I received this horrendous news and I have not eaten

since . . .

I’m kidding.

It’s been a tough week. Last Saturday night, I almost cried at the dinner table eating a disgusting rice wrap with veggies and vegan mayonnaise. When I told my oldest son that I was allergic to bread, pasta, cheese, he said, “Be serious with yourself!” Serious as a heart attack, my child. Serious as a heart attack. I picked up a loaf of gluten-free bread when at the grocery store, but when I put it in my cart, it landed with such a thud, I decided to put it back. Plus, most gluten-free breads have eggs in them (and they are likely not duck eggs). I bought some rice cakes, but who knew that most rice cakes, aside from being made with all sorts of artificial flavorings are also made with corn? Mother f*@kers. I spent hours in the grocery store reading labels, only to find out that there is gluten or wheat or eggs or dairy in EVERYTHING!

My new phrase to describe new things is “not terrible,” as in “this veganaise is not terrible. And this pea protein faux cheese is also not terrible. But these crappy ass brown rice tortilla wraps are indeed terrible.”

I decided that my plan was to my plan is to remove dairy (except half and half in my coffee – I just can’t do it without), wheat, gluten, and chicken eggs from my diet for 90 days and see then how I felt. If I did not see a change, I would still minimize my cheese and dairy and wheat intake, but not been too staunch about it. And then a funny thing happened. Last Saturday, I woke up tremendously itchy. I had hives all over my back. The hives appeared and re-appeared on different areas of my legs, arms, back, face, and abdomen. I could not figured out what was going on, so I e-mailed my doctor. He told me it was likely a “healing reaction,” also known as a “healing crisis.”

The allergens and toxins are being released from my body (after being built up for who knows how long), but the body is not able to deal with them quickly enough. So, they are coming out through the skin as hives. I looked it up  (what did we do before Google?) and the symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a month in some cases.

I started to realize that this whole food allergy thing might just be legit. I had been unwittingly exposing my body to irritants on a daily basis. No wonder my sinuses were constantly inflamed. I would be pretty angry myself if I were them.  And then I had a few really good dairy free, gluten free, vegan meals. I know, you think I’m joking, but, I swear, its true. I made Cuban black bean cakes and my son actually ate them. My husband had seconds (which I was secretly pissed about because I wanted the last one, darn it)! They were awesome! Allyson gave me some great vegan recommendations and I looked at several other recipes that looked “not terrible.”

In fact, they actually looked really good. I found that I actually like almond milk and that coconut milk yogurt is really good (the almond milk yogurt, however, is disgusting). But when I found a gluten and dairy-free chocolate cookie at the grocery store that was fantastic, I decided I might be able do this. Yes, it will be challenging and yes, the grocery store will be somewhat depressing. I am also not looking forward to being that totally irritating person in the restaurant asking, “Do you have anything that is gluten free? And dairy free? Oh, and no eggs either (unless, apparently, they are, again, duck eggs — WTF?).” But, I can do this. And, in the end – as long as I minimize the crap-carbs (like potato starch) – I will be much healthier for it.

But, damn it, I wish I would stop itching. Where the frig is the calamine lotion?!

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn on a Tuesday – Week 46

IMG_0710

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?

Allyson

  • S: rest
  • M: rest
  • T: 2.5 mi run
  • W: rest
  • Th: yoga
  • F: 2 mi run
  • S: rest

My thorn this week continues to be the difficulty of fitting in exercise while our house is under construction.

My rose was sleeping back in our own house all week and being able to cook real meals again.

 

 Jessica

  • Sunday – Rest
  • Monday – Yoga
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday –  Rest
  • Friday –  Yoga
  • Saturday – Tennis

My thorn this week was that my right hamstring is still really hurt from that damn “toilet tag” and it hurts to walk.  I am told to rest it so I am.

My rose is that I am planning the last races of this challenge.

Karla

  • S:  Rest
  • M:  3 mile run
  • T:  Tabata, weights, push-ups, PT exercises
  • W:  3 mile run
  • R:  Rest
  • F:  Yoga
  • S:  10 mile long run

Rose:  Watching Whittaker (my seven-year-old) “wearing blue” (with a photo of CW3 Frank Buoniconti — the soldier I run for — on his back) and running a 2k in a local kids fun run.  He did not really want to train for it, so I was concerned about whether he would finish.  But, he has done a lot of sports camps this summer that I think got him ready.  The best part was the smile on his face when he finished (with a few of his friends from school).  Afterwards, he expressed interest in joining the running club once school starts.

 

Thorn:  I am so frickin’ itchy!  My body is going through a “healing reaction/crisis” as it rids itself of the allergens (gluten dairy, etc.) that have built up for the past, I don’t know, 39 1/2 years!  Interesting enough, sweating helps!  So, I guess that is a rose for running.

 

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn on a Tuesday – Week 44

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?

Allyson

  • S: rest
  • M: 2 mi run
  • T: rest
  • W: rest
  • Th: rest
  • F: 2 mi run
  • S: rest
 

Thorn:  We have moved back into the construction zone in our house as of this past weekend, and I am just trying to clean and maintain sanity in the midst of mass chaos.

 

Rose: We are back in our own beds, have one semi-functional bathroom and the Bean is sleeping better in her own room again.  Got a little running in this past week and that will have to do!

 

 Jessica

  • Sunday – Rest
  • Monday – Hill Sprints
  • Tuesday – Walked 5k+
  • Wednesday – Tennis
  • Thursday –  Rest
  • Friday –  Rest
  • Saturday – Rest

My thorn this week was that I pulled both hamstrings while playing “toilet tag” at the playground.  Seriously?  Am I getting old?  It really hurts and I really can’t believe it!

My rose is that my sister and her family visited this week.  It wasn’t a great exercise week, again, but this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Karla

  • S:  Rest
  • M:  3 mile run
  • T:  Rest
  • W:  3 mile run
  • R:  Rest
  • F:  Rest
  • S:  Rest

Rose:  My 3 mile run along the coast (on travel for a quick work trip).  Beautiful.

 

Thorn:  A tie, both related to sinus issues:  1) Not getting much exercise and having to skip my long run due to a lingering sinus infection.  I think I am on the mend and hoping to be back on track this week; and 2) Discovering (from allergy testing done by my naturopathic sinus doc) that I am allergic to all things dairy, as well as wheat, gluten, and some other random items.  I have suffered from sinusitis for over a decade (probably longer) so I am going to cut out most dairy items (except the half and half in my coffee — can’t do it) and dramatically reduce my wheat and gluten intake.  The plan is to do it for 90 days and see if that reduces inflammation.  This is a huge change for me because I love cheese and eat it and yogurt every day and bread is a huge part of my diet.  I will let you know how it goes!

What’s Your Vice? Mine is Sugar.

You’re in my house now!

Last year our local grammar school sent out a survey in which they asked for opinions about whether the kids at school should be allowed to have chocolate milk at lunch. The students had asked for it but there were concerns about the sugar content in the milk. I love a good survey almost as much as I love sugar so the kids and I took the time to respond.

Did I really care if the kids could have that milk? Naaah.  But I did want to make the point that I had just been up at school and saw that there was not only sugar in the tomato sauce and ketchup they serve but also antibiotics in their pre-grated cheese. To me, those hidden ingredients were more concerning than the 100 calories of milk that everyone knew contained sugar, no matter what Jamie Oliver says about flavored milk.

Like so many others, I love sugar.  I grew up in the heyday of Big Sugar’s shameless grip on the general public’s consciousness.  My brother still likes to mock my parents for putting a 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola on the table at dinner time every night for us 5 kids!

How many times have I been given candy for comfort.  Or as a gift?  Or as a reward?  I can’t help but think of “something sweet” as a symbol of love and care.

I really believe that sugar, itself, is not bad.

How can this be bad for you???

How can this be bad for you???

But having sugar at every meal and snack is very bad. That I do believe.

Just ask Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, whose video Sugar: The Bitter Truth, went viral about 5 years ago.  Ever since I saw that video I have monitored the sugar I give to my kids.

Last year, when I started this experiment to truly change my habits and started scrutinizing my meals more carefully, I realized that it wasn’t my kids I should be worrying about, but me.  I was eating sugar at every meal!

Whether it was sugar in my coffee, honey – – or better yet, agave syrup, that sounds better – – in my fruit and veggie smoothie, a few pieces of dark chocolate for an afternoon snack (for it’s antioxidant benefits, I swear!), or whipped cream with my fruit after dinner, I was eating tons of blatant sugar every day. I somehow justified it because “It wasn’t like I was eating a junky diet of fast and processed food.” My chocolate was organic, free range, and free trade from the co-op, dammit!

But I needed to lose some weight and I wanted to feel better (both mentally and physically) than I did. That’s why I joined GG40.

I decided that, while I didn’t have a problem with sugar, I should cut back a bit.

So I stopped adding sugar to my coffee. And I woke up every morning for about a month, angry. I was so resentful that I couldn’t have sugar in my coffee, even though it had been my choice.

That seems like a terrible way to start the day. So I decided I would have sugar with my coffee but try to cut back elsewhere.

No more honey or agave in my smoothie. Umm. Yeah. After that yummy coffee those smoothies tasted like crap. I didn’t want to admit that I wanted (and needed) that sugar so I just cut out the smoothies altogether. Problem solved.

I could go on and on about my denial and anger and bargaining. No matter how many examples I give, though, they all ended in the same place: sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty. I wanted to stop eating so much sugar but I couldn’t.

When I finally realized that I couldn’t actually control myself enough to skip sugar at even one meal or snack, I felt so embarrassed and defeated. I usually see myself as a strong, thoughtful, powerful woman.

Was I really going to be beaten by sugar?

It took about another month and a lot of thinking about my body image, my daughter, my real goals for GG40, and reading about how sugar probably kills as many Americans as tobacco for me to finally accept that sugar was a problem for me.

That day, when I finally accepted that sugar was my vice, I started to turn my habits around for real.

I started again with my morning coffee. Instead of being angry, I tried to acknowledge and joke about how hard it was to give that up.

It was still pretty rough.

I love, love, love to have a cup of coffee on the couch chatting with Joe in the morning. Those first few weeks, sitting there every morning with my flat, flavorless, coffee stunk. But I did it. One cup of coffee at a time.

Then I took on the smoothie, the snack, and every other sweet I longed for each day. It took months before I stopped thinking about cookies and cakes and ice cream and candy every day. I actually obsessed over sweets so much that sometimes I’d dream about devouring sweets I don’t even like, like bread pudding (ewww, wet bread), just because they had popped into my head.

I still eat sugar but really try to eat it only as a treat instead of as a regular ingredient.

Although still hoping it makes into a section on here.

Although still hoping it makes into a section on here.

Since I gave up sugar I have lost weight, have greater energy, have clearer skin, feel healthier, and I cope better with stress. I don’t have that roller coaster feeling I used to have.

But even with all the benefits I am feeling with this change of habit, if I found out tomorrow sugar was good for me, I’d go back to it in a second. That’s how I know I am an addict.

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn – Week 43

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?

Allyson

  • S: rest
  • M: rest
  • T: 2.5 mi run and hill walking
  • W:  rest
  • Th: 2 mi run
  • F: rest
  • S: rest
My thorn this week was trying to live out of a hotel and manage the construction at our home.  As always seems to be the case, things are not going according to plan and we are delayed getting back in there this week.
My rose was the workout room at the hotel and squeezing in a couple runs.  Hoping for more this week.

 

Jessica

  • Sunday – Rest
  • Monday – Strength training with Joey
  • Tuesday – Walked 5k+
  • Wednesday – HIIT
  • Thursday –  HIIT
  • Friday –  Strength training with Joey
  • Saturday – Rest

My thorn this week was no running.

I have two roses this week.  First, Joe asked to work out together again, which we haven’t done since we had kids.  We’ve been doing it two weeks and I am really enjoying it.  Second, my sister and her family are here for the next ten days.

Karla

S:  Yoga
M:  3 mile run
T:  PT, Tabata, push-ups and free weights
W:  3 mile run
R: Rest
F: Rest
S:  9 mile run
Rose was getting my nine mile run in.
Thorn was dealing with a lingering sinus infection (thus the rest days).   In hindsight, although I felt good at the time, I think I relapsed post long run, as I am not feeling great again today.  Ugh.

10 Tips From Karla for Dealing With Injuries

I’ve had a lot of running injuries. I mean, I have had A LOT of running injuries. Don’t believe me? Check out this photo of the various running rehab items I have used over the past 12+ years.

Karla Injuries

 

In fact, there are but a few running injuries I have not had, as evidenced by my listing: shin splints, medial tibial stress syndrome (yes, that is a real thing), bursitis of the knee, illiotibial band syndrome (ITBS), bursitis of the hip, a pulled groin (he he, I said groin), Achilles tendonitis, and the worst of the worst (cue Darth Vader music): plantar fasciitis (PF). I have stupidly run through some injuries, only to make them worse and have taken months off (and refrained from wearing heels) only to have my injury (PF) not really improve. I have had cortisone shots in my FOOT (yes, that killed). I have been through physical therapy twice (three times if you count the time I was hit by a truck and fractured my collarbone, but that was not related to running) and, when I listened, it actually worked. Some may wonder why I still run. But, if you have read any of the previous posts, you know. I want to keep running and I NEED to keep running. It is just part of who I am. Thus, explaining the small fortune I have spent on the cache of rehab paraphernalia.

 

Now, I am not a medical doctor – I have a JD, not an MD – and I am, in no way, giving you any advice on how to treat your individual injury (that’s my lawyerly disclaimer). If you have had a persistent injury, go see a medical professional, preferably a sports medicine doctor – someone who specializes in dealing with people like us. People who want to be fixed so that we can get back out on the road or trail.

 

Short of going to a sports medicine doctor (which I have had to do twice), I have figured out a few things that have worked for me. Of course, I am not even going to pretend that I follow my own tips or listen to my body at every turn. Nope, not even a chance. I’m stubborn and I don’t like to give up. If I set out for a goal, I want to reach it, even if my leg falls off in the process. But, that is not really all that sensible (I originally had sensical here, but my husband (aka Mr. Fancy Pants PhD candidate) informed me that sensical is not, in fact, a word) if I want to actually keep running long term. So, instead, I try to do a few of these things:

 

  1. Increase mileage gradually – 10 to 20 % per week or 1 mile per week for long runs. Same for speed and speedwork.
  2. Listen to the body. If something hurts, slow down (no speed work), rest it, and ice it. When it starts to improve, gradually increase mileage to previous levels.
  3. The foam roller is a miracle worker. Whenever my IT band starts to act up, I roll it out on the foam roller. It is a “hurt so good” type of feeling, but definitely worth it.
  4. The golf ball is to plantar fasciitis as the foam roller is to ITBS. Same deal – whenever my PF it starts to act up, I massage it out with the golf ball.
  5. I have no idea how Rock Tape or Kinesio tape works, but it does (I am partial to Rock Tape, but both work well). I wrap it around my arch or put a strip under my knee when I feel little kinks. I have also put a strip on my IT band, starting from my hip when that feels owie (I don’t care if that’s not a real word – it is in our house and probably most of yours).
  6. Yoga, yoga, and more yoga. For me, I have found that when I do yoga regularly, I am much less likely to become injured. Even if it is only 20 minutes a week, it helps.
  7. And in that same vein, do something other than running. Cross-train, cycling, weights, whatever. Just do something on the off-running days.
  8. Running three to four times per week is what works for me. It leaves time for yoga and cross training and gives my body a break from the repetition of running.
  9. Keep the core (including hips) and feet strong. I don’t have a lot of extra time, so I do my physical therapy exercises (leg lifts, hip exercises, etc.) during my cross-training workouts. I stretch whenever I can and need to, wherever I might be. Frequently, this is while drying my hair in the mornings (quite the visual, eh?). For my feet (also while drying my hair), I balance on one foot for as long as I can. I close my eyes to make it tougher. This works those little muscles in my feet to keep them strong(ish) and to hopefully stave off the dreaded PF (is that Darth Vader music again?).
  10. Massage. Oh, the miracles that a good massage therapist can work. I started seeing a massage therapist regularly when my husband was deployed (I had just a tad bit of stress going on) and have continued to go when I can. She can feel and sometimes see the tension in certain areas and knows how to remedy it. In my experience, I have found that massage therapists associated with physical therapists or (a good) chiropractic office have more experience with sports massages than those at a spa or chain massage establishment.

 

And there you have it. That’s pretty much all I can think of for know. Plus, I’m tired and still need to proof read this thing. Keep running, listen to your body, and have fun!