Keeping the Knee Pain Out of Running

One of the most common problems distance runners come upon is knee pain.  This occurs often because of an increase in miles faster than your body is ready for it.  The other reason is your hips and knees just aren’t strong enough to take the pounding, literally.

Based on what I have learned in school and the research I have done throughout I have developed a quick circuit that you can supplement your runs with to avoid injury!

Injury Circuit

Rationale for each:

  • Squats and Lunges: increase quad strength and improve patellar tracking to reduce Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)
  • Fire Hydrants: strengthens hip external rotators to align the hip and therefore the knee better; be sure you hip is the only part of you that is moving, the rest of your body should be stable throughout
  • Standing Leg Lifts: this one is a double wammy, the leg you are standing on gets strengthened as well as the one you are lifting (use resistance bands if you have them available and hold a chair or desk for balance if needed).  This strengthens your hip abductors helping maintain hip and pelvis alignment preventing knee, hip and back pain.
  • Plank, Crunches and Push Ups: these all strengthen your core, which will be super important in the late miles of a marathon, you can pull everything you need from your core if its strong (I live and die by my core strength); be sure not to be lazy on the planks (your quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs and back should all be working during this exercise; don’t let your back drop down because it increases pressure and can cause back pain)

I plan on doing this on my two easy days of running during the week.  This isn’t a circuit meant to make you “big” or define any muscles, rather to protect your joints to withstand the pressures you are demanding out of it.  You can add weights if you feel it necessary, but it is most important to focus on form and make sure you are getting good quality work outs in.

Any questions are welcome, I in fact love it (helps me review for my comp exams)!

What I Ate Wednesday: Just Done Finals Edition

It’s done, over, finito, caput!!  I am officially a third year PT student!!

I took my last final and got all of my grades back and absolutely nailed EVERY SINGLE ONE!!  I am seriously on a cloud of joy that nothing could bring me down from.  That being said, there was a lot of celebratory eating today so it looks a little rough healthy wise.  But let me tell you, every bite was totally worth it!!

Breakfast (I started out good):

Overnight Oats: Peanut Butter and Banana and Coffee

Overnight Oats: Peanut Butter and Banana and Coffee

The mug had the right vibe for the morning!!

Aerial view of the oats

Aerial view of the oats

This is one of my favorite breakfast that I had kinda forgotten about recently.  It keeps me so full for so long.  I found this recipe online and love it.  Click here for various recipes.

I went and took my last final (Neurological Rehab, doesn’t that sound fun) and felt soooo good about it when I was done.  A group of people from my class headed to this awesome restaurant in Folly Beach called The Lost Dog Cafe.  I went decked out in summer gear (bathing suit, beach chair, towel, book), determined to head to the beach after eating, despite the 65 degree temperatures.  That part of the plan failed but my lunch was amazing!

Eggs Benedict with a Shrimp cake and a Crab cake on and English Muffin with Asparagus and fruit salad!

Eggs Benedict with a Shrimp cake and a Crab cake on and English Muffin with Asparagus and fruit salad!

After going home and allowing all of this to settle I went for a run and did the same circuit from PB Fingers that I did the other day.  It is awesome, kicks my butt, and makes me sweat like a pig.  My run flew by too, I had only planned to do less than a 4 miler because of the circuit but I ended up almost hitting 5.  I love runs like that!

Post Run Snack:

2013-05-01 20.55.15

I showered, got myself ready and then headed to the free clinic for the night.  I had two fantastic patients.  One just learning to use a prosthetic limb and the smile on his face after walking without a walker melted my heart and helped me realize all the hard work I put in studying each day will make it worth it some day soon.  Added bonus, I get to work with the same two patients next week!!  It is so great being able to actually follow patients (which is hard in our free clinic) week to week and actually see all of their progress first hand.

Anyway, off on a tangent.  After that it was late and Casey didn’t feel like eating, and I felt like celebrating such a wonderful day so we ate out again (whoops).  We went to a place called Co that has Thai Style food and I got my fav, Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp.

Glass of red of course!

Glass of red of course!



I ate the whole thing with chop sticks too which is a huge accomplishment in my world!

I sincerely hope that you had half as good of day as I had because even that would be incredible.  Nothing like seeing hard work pay off!!

Give tomorrow your all, it will make you feel amazing later!!

The day has finally come!

Yesterday was one of those start to finish sprints (as most of my days have been lately).  I was able to squeeze in a pretty good work out in the middle of the day though which was great.  I headed for about a four mile run and ended at the gym to do this new circuit:


A few videos of stuff that may be new:

Windmills (can be done with barbell), Surrender Squats (go to about 1:28, these killed my shoulders), Knee to opposite elbow plank

After coming home, showering and getting ready I jetted off to give a group presentation and then directly to dinner before we went to see comedian Bill Burr.  He was hilarious (as were his two opening acts, although I can’t remember their names, I’m awful)!  I think it was honestly so good for the soul to just spend two hours laughing.  My face and abs hurt so much by the time we left, it was so cathartic!

Lindsey and I at the venue before the Show

Lindsey and I at the venue before the Show

Today was a purely errand day including an oil change (what fun).  And I was able to get a run in and get some work done.  But the best, most important part of this day is…



We have been waiting for this day for so long!!  She is still about two weeks out from being about to run with me again because her leg has gotten so weak (she needs some puppy PT) but we are so happy!  I feel like she had it on so long, well she kinda did, five and a half weeks!

Hope your Friday has been even half as exciting as ours was!!

Who’s eating 5 chips?

Portion sizes are one of my arch nemesis’s!!  I mean seriously, who’s eating a half a cup of ice cream, thats like two bites, lets be real.

I have had a tendency in the past to start out measuring everything out all nice and neat and then I start eye balling it.  Within 2 weeks my ‘eye-balled’ cup has doubled in size.  I also don’t want to be the girl that is literally in the corner counting her chips or measuring her ice cream.

I found this lovely chart on pinterest that I have been using as a quick reference and I love it!!  It keeps me honest without looking crazy!


On a different note, today was the most glorious day for exercise ever!  My run was fantastic (maybe even a little warm).  I got some solid tan lines, a good sweat and then capped it off at the gym to do the Mission Impossible Cardio Strength Circuit.

Off to watch the basket ball game…not sure who I want to win but it should be a great game!!

Hot Yoga?

In my excitement about pineapples yesterday, I completely forgot to include the new circuit workout I did after my run yesterday.


During this thing I didn’t think it was so bad, but today, I AM SORE!!  My legs, especially with those single leg squats.  Good thing I have running group tonight to take an easy run and work it out.  

Any who.  Yesterday, my friend Jenna texted me with a hot yoga groupon.  $35 for 10 classes.  Considering a single class is $20, I figured this is a great deal to try it out and get a real feel for what it is all about.  So, we dove in and bought them together yesterday.  This is especially good because one of my goals for this year was to go to a yoga class once a week.  The only one that my gym offers that works with my class schedule is on Friday afternoons and the past few weeks I have been having things come up that have kept me from going.  (Excuses, excuses, I know)!  However, now that we will be going together and scheduling it once a week, it is more built in my schedule now (accountability baby)!

Tomorrow will be class one.  I am going to get a mile or two in first (gotta stay on the April Streaking) then heading over, which I will hopefully not regret.  Until then, I will be drinking water like its running out!

Have you ever tried Hot Yoga?  Am I going to die?

Let the Madness Begin

I admittedly couldn’t give two hoots about college basketball, until March madness, then I turn basketball crazy.  You can call me whatever mean spirited name you like for being like that, but I am always gung ho once the tournament begins.  Usually it is because I have a bracket made and I am a competitive human (bet you never guessed that about me)!

I was going to post my brackets here but I can’t get them small enough on my computer to get them to fit in a screen shot.  Both of mine are very different, and of course the one I have money on is doing worse, go figure.

In honor of the madness, I made a new circuit work out that nearly drove me mad.  This thing was hard y’all!!  I considered stopping a few times but sucked it up; seriously glad I did.  I know I am going to be hurting tomorrow.

Mission Impossible Circuit

Mission Impossible Circuit

I found some pictures online of questions I thought might be new.

Chop lift

Chop lift

Squat and reach, just add curl before the reach!

Squat and reach, just add curl before the reach!

Good luck with that one!

Hope your brackets are doing well so far!  Happy Thursday!



Moving On

After taking yesterday completely off for a little mental health, I was rip roaring to get on the road today after I got done work and my CSCS review session.  I had one of those runs that just felt awesome through out.  I was trying to run easy but I knew I was booking it the whole time.  Every song that came on my iPod put a smile on my face.  It was just a simply blissful run.  I especially took some time to enjoy the Battery since it was featured as Runner’s Worlds “Rave Run” for March.  I was so shocked when I turned the page and saw the run I do 5/6 days a week.  After my awesome run, I ended at the gym to do a new circuit.


This may have been my hardest circuit yet.  I don’t know if it is because I did a pretty hard run before or that I didn’t take any rest breaks but it kicked my butt.  Two things that may be not well described above:

Lunge with running arms: stand in deep lunge and pump arms like running; make sure to switch so that each leg is in front for 30 seconds.

Bosu Ball Transfers: Lay on back with Bosu between feet, v-up and grab ball with arms, extend arms above head and legs straight without touching the group, v-up again and transfer ball back to feet.  That is 1 rep!

It felt so good to get a good work out in after being pretty lazy yesterday.

We had a few friends over for dinner too which was great to just hang out and really act like is is spring break!  Woo Hoo!!

Getting Old Stinks

Being in PT school teaches you all the terrible things that can and will happen to you as you get older.  Whether it is terrible diseases you can get or just the fact that changes will occur and there isn’t much you can do to stop them.

It is true that after we hit 30 we start to lose muscle mass, IF WE DON”T TRAIN!  All that says to me is that what you do in your 20s is great and all but once you hit 30 is when it really starts to count.  Depending on the source, by the time you hit 50, you lose strength at 15% per decade, at 70 it is close to 30% per decade.  Also, for us ladies out there (and guys too), osteoporosis is a huge concern.  Osteoporosis can actually be fatal…say what?!

If you are to fall and break a hip, you have a 13% chance to return to pre-fracture function.  If you have osteoporosis you have a greater chance of sustaining a hip fracture.  If you are to sustain this fracture, there is a 20% mortality rate.

Now as lovely as this all it to have to learn about every day, the point is that this is an area of aging we can affect.  Strength training and weight bearing is huge!!  Any kind of activity can help prevent loss of strength and the more you do the better (as long as you don’t knock on the other end of the over use spectrum).

So I encourage you to call your mom, grandma, uncles, whoever and talk to them about this, it takes a life time of dedication and work but it can literally save your life.

In honor of this new information I went for a run between the rain storms and did a new circuit work out.


I had planned to do this twice through but after one time I was pooped, it really killed me and I felt like I got a good enough work out after just once.  Next time I won’t run as far or hard as I did today before I try it!

Maybe Mondays aren’t so bad…

When Mondays don’t include school, test or really doing anything they just aren’t so bad.  Scarlett and I went for a long walk and shopping, though we came back empty handed (maybe a good thing).  Then I did an awesome pinterest project that I can’t put up yet because it is for my best friend for Christmas.  I will put the pictures and the process up as soon as I give it to her though!

Then, since the weather changed to this…


I got to run on the treadmill…AGAIN!!  Luckily this one was only four miles, but darn I want to get off of that thing!  Then I came home and did the 10-6 circuit from PBfingers blog again.  If you want to add a new element of difficulty, include a puppy chasing your feet during lunges, batting your hair doing push ups and pouncing on you doing burpees.  At first it was funny and cute but by the end I wanted to punt her, I didn’t because I love her way too much but next time she is definitely going in the crate while I work out.  Her participation and encouragement was not appreciated.

Praying I can head back outside for mile repeats tomorrow but we will have to see…Hope everyone had a great weekend and that your Monday’s were at least half as good as mine.