Perspective

Today in my prosthetics class we had a few athletes that has prosthesis come in.  The man that talked to us was young (I think around 30) and had a below knee amputation two years ago.  A mere 5 months after the procedure he completed his first triathlon, ever.  He has since competed in many races and is hoping to complete a full iron man.  If that doesn’t provide some inspiration, I don’t know what would.

After speaking with him for quite a while, the topic of Oscar Pistorius came up.  Because this was such a hot topic for so long, I had to share here what I learned today so that more people can know the truth of the situation.

Oscar Pisorius

A normal anatomic foot returns 200% of the energy put in to it (talk about an efficient machine, and ever more reason to prove we were made to run).

The highest energy return of any prosthetic foot has been only 90%!

I’d say that is about as much proof positive that not only did this man not have an advantage, but actually had about a 110% disadvantage compared to his able bodied athletes.

I know from now on when I get the niggle of an idea to chicken out on a run, I will remember of these athletes who have to give 110% more than I do to get exactly where I am.  Plus, not only is the guy from today is running the same race I am thinking of running in January, I’m pretty sure he is gonna beat me!

Check out these athletes and their team at: http://www.phoenixathletes.com/

Frankenstorm

Home

So as Charleston sits on a beautiful, crisp, fall 65 degree day with sun my hometown is nearly completely under water.  The top picture I took right before I left to move down here and is of the same railroad bridge that is barely visible in the bottom picture.  Now, I realize it isn’t the same angle but I think you can get my drift.  Keeping all my family and friends in Delaware in mind as they battle it out with this ‘monster’ of a storm!

That being said, I took full advantage of the awesome weather here and went out for a 4 mile jog.  I kept it nice and slow just keeping my legs going this last week before the race.  I felt good, better than good actually.  I know I wasn’t pushing myself at all, but I felt like I could trot around like that all day which is a pretty amazing feeling 5 days before a race.  All that is left is a few good days of stretching and a SLOW SLOW SLOW jog Friday just to get my muscles moving before heading to Savannah.

5 days to go!!

Truths

 

Saw this on pinterest and had to share it.  Being in PT we see a lot of people that would do anything to be able to get back on the road.  Appreciate what you’ve got while you’ve got it and run every day you can!

Mind Games

Waking up this morning to 40 mph winds and rain told me I was heading to the gym to play some mind games; the rain I’m fine with, but wind is my arch nemesis.  I don’t care what anyone says, anything over 5 miles on a treadmill is a stamina run.

After accepting my fate, my friend Jenna who is running the half next weekend asked me to come with her to the gym she goes to and I agreed thinking maybe there lies strength in numbers.  That didn’t prove to be the case.  College football proved to be my savior!

For some strange reason the Delaware game was on regular cable here in South Carolina which was awesome so I threw that on to start which got me about a mile in.  I hit the FSU game until that got out of hand and then went over to the Florida vs. Georgia game until half and finishing the run.  I had to start playing some serious games though as soon as the Delaware game clicked off…

1.  Don’t look at the time/distance unless its the start or end of a set of commercials

2.  Change the speed between 6.6 and 6.7 at the end of every mile

3.  Take Gu energy gel at 6 miles

This worked out decently well until the last mile where I ended up checking time and distance at the end of every play.

The treadmill is such an interesting beast to me, I can’t figure out how it is possible that a 12 mile run could be harder, more painful and take so much longer (in my head) than a 20 mile on land.

All I can say is it’s done, tomorrow is Sunday, and there are only 7 miles standing between me and the race!!

To Do Lists

Woke up this morning knowing this day had no set obligations other than getting a run in.  Granted, there were a lot of things that needed to get done over the weekend but nothing pressing.  Started the day with a new recipe…Nutella Banana Oatmeal.  Holy moly was that awesome.  If you can’t tell already from the start of my recipe list, I am a HUGE fan of Nutella.

Banana Nutella Oatmeal

I swear this was delicious and nutritious despite looking slightly questionable.  It was even more delicious enjoying it with last night’s Grey’s Anatomy episode.

After that, the day had endless possibilities.  First step was to make a good, detailed to do list.  There is just something about being able to cross a task of a To Do list that gets me going.  I’m telling you, the most trivial things will make the list (read one chapter of book, wash breakfast bowl, watch last night’s Grey’s Anatomy,  you get my drift).  If I can cross something off, I feel like I have accomplished something, even if it was something totally enjoyable.  I sadly am even guilty of writing things on my list that I have already done just so I can cross it off…and people call me type A!

All that said, I got a good amount of stuff done today and had a good 4 mile run.  Can’t believe the race is 8 days away.  Tomorrow is my last long run, and in the grand scheme it isn’t even that long (12 miles).  However Sandy is apparently going to just clip us with LOADS of rain which will probably force me to the treadmill (womp womp).  To my friends up north, I hope this storm won’t get you guys too bad, hunker down and read a good book, or even better do some baking!!

Big Girl Yoga

I ended up going to the yoga class last night.  I was really hoping for a stretching, calming, get ready for the race experience and this is not quite what I got.  The class I went to did some stretching but did a lot more strength and balance which will be so great in two weeks once this race is over.  I am pretty sure I’m going do have November be a focus on strength month and wasn’t sure how I was going to fit the stretching in with the strength and continue to run, but this is going to part of a great solution!!

The best part of the class had to have been when the instructor had us move our mats close to the wall.  I had no idea where this was headed but was keeping an open mind.  Then this woman propped herself up on her elbows (known as Crows pose if you know these things) and then tipped over and lifted her body into a head stand.  I thought there was no way in the world I could possibly do this but figured I would be a good sport and take a whack at it.  After smashing my face into the mat about three times getting into Crows pose I finally got it and proceeded to push my legs into the air with great effort.  Talk about feeling accomplished!

I will definitely be adding this to my weekly routine for the shear fun of it all and for the fact that I woke up with sore shoulders, back and abs so I must have really been working hard!

Side note about all this stretching, the difference I have seen in my flexibility just from this one week of really paying attention to what I am doing is astounding.  I can put my heels on the ground in downward dog now and touch the floor with straight legs.  I can see this difference in my running as well, not struggling through my first mile or so getting loosened up.  Who knew that stretching could make such a difference (and how sad that after learning this for a year and a half in PT school that I just started doing it!)

Heading off to take a test, hopefully the zen from yoga last night will carry over into my test taking mind set!

Giving in

After a quite productive day of class, lab and running errands I did the yoga stretching routine (1 week of stretching strong!) and headed on a 6 mile run.  I always forget how much I love the taper until it is here and then I totally revel in it.  I am feeling much more back to normal and my subconscious decided that meant I got a good afternoon, post-run study snack.  Before I was even dressed after getting out of the shower a bite of pumpkin scone magically appeared in my mouth, so I of course had to finish it…

Pumpkin Scone and Hot Apple Cider

I paired this with nice warm, fresh apple cider before hunkering down for an afternoon of studying.  What is it about a good, sweet snack that can get me focused on the task at hand?

Tomorrow is a nice rest day, maybe try to attend a real big girl yoga class!  If I do, there will I’m sure be funny stories to follow.

Running Couples

Every day while I’m out running, I see at least one couple making the trek together.  This was always something I had hoped for in my significant other.  From the time I started life-guarding in Rehoboth Beach, through college while my roommate proceeded to run a marathon with her long time boyfriend, even after the big move to Charleston seeing fit couples galloping about I had hoped this would someday be in my future.  Then I met Casey, Mr. I Blew My Knee Out Twice and realized this wasn’t going to be in the cards.

But about a month ago, Casey proposed a run together; one of my shorter ones, around 4 miles.  Not sure how it was going to go, we headed out and he did surprisingly well considering he probably hadn’t run in a year and I was midway through training for another marathon.  I was almost bitter at how well he could keep up (ha ha).  After that week, Monday became the day we hit the road together.  It has become my favorite run of the week, we keep each other competitive (him always challenging my stubby legs) but keep each other in check and the miles fly by.

So maybe I won’t be running a marathon with him, but the Monday Runday is just as good.
P.S. Nailed a big fantasy win this week, so just cherry on top of this day!

Sunday Funday

So far, living quite a dream of a Sunday.  Got up at a leisurely hour and made a quick trip to the store to prepare for a day of cheffing it up in the kitchen and watching some serious football.  Even with my team (the Eagles) on a bye, I still had lots of games to watch and high hopes for my fantasy team.

After watching the 1:00 games (in which most of my fantasy players were in) I headed to the kitchen for a few hours.  These were the fruits of my labor…

From left to right: Nutella white chocolate chip, pumpkin scones, peanut butter chocolate chips.

All of these are on the recipes page.

After getting the sweet stuff out of the way, I moved on to dinner, Shepherd’s Pie!  I took this recipe from the food network.  Click here for Shepherd’s Pie.

So after eating like there is no tomorrow, I will sit down to watch the final football game of the night, pray for a fantasy win and if I’m feeling really frisky get in a good stretch.  Back to the grind tomorrow in the books and on the road…less than two weeks till race day!

Until next time, run on baking friends.

The long run…dun dun du

A long run can be the best of your week or the longest 2-3 hours of your life…apparently in my sleep I was convinced it wasn’t going to go well today because I dreamed I was already finished doing it about 6 times and woke up so happy it was done each time.  When the alarm did go off at 8:30 to head out, I was nervous for some reason…after all the trials of the week I was afraid this run was going to tell me that this race may not be in the cards…

I lugged myself out of bed, had my pre-run half bagel with butter and glass of water and got dressed.  I had already dropped a water bottle at around the half way point last night so that was taken care of.  I did a good stretch, got the ipod on and headed out the door, staring at the bottom of the bridge that would be the hardest part.

The run I had planned started going over the Cooper River Bridge, and if you aren’t familiar with it, it’s not the easiest thing to get up, but once I got to the top I knew this run was going to be the one to build me back up, not put the final break in my spirit.  I took it pretty easy at around a 9:00 minute pace over into I’on, down a trail that runs along the marsh that is beautiful, took a turn around and headed right on back.

The only hang up was around mile 3 I started to desperately need to go to the bathroom which is not usually a problem I have, but when I do, it can be a BIG problem.  I didn’t end up finding a porta-pot until mile 7.5 which was both a blessing and a curse.  Running while needing to go can be painful but the upside was that I was so focused on this that I wasn’t paying attention to the miles.  Then I was so relieved, that the effort required to keep going was so much less I was able to cruise right on home.

When I got home, there was no time to revel in being done because we had a memorial service to be at at 1:00 so I had to get right in the shower and take off, but I was able to eat pretty much everything in sight at the reception and loved every minute of it.

This 16 mile run gave me back my confidence and I am feeling better and better about the race coming up…and more importantly it means tomorrow is Sunday which will be a rest day on the legs and a big baking day (I have packages to make and its football day).  My clinical instructor, TJ Scott finished his first Iron man today so I need to get some serious junk food to him and my little brother is in his first semester of college at Humbolt State University in Northern California so a Halloween package is in order.  I’m thinking pumpkin spice scones, chocolate chip cookies and something else I haven’t quite decided on yet…all will be posted once I get them going.

One last shout out to TJ Scott on finishing his Iron man…what an amazing accomplishment!