Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sunday, No Run Day

Sundays are typically my day off from the gym, running and working.  This week I pushed my long run to Friday due to hot temperatures, then to today because of ankle pain.  Well, no run today, either.  I did run yesterday, a 5K in the deep sand (barefoot), and had no issues with my ankle then or this morning.  I did, instead, wake up to a strange soreness in my core from who knows what that bothers me when I twist a certain way and during the process of sitting down.  Don’t know what’s pulled in there, but I guess I need to stay standing or sitting and stick with it.  Running doesn’t require twisting too terribly much, and it definitely doesn’t involve sitting down, but it does need the help of strong core muscles to make it through ten miles.  With plenty of time before my September 15th race, a bunch of 9 milers and one 10 behind me, and a great week of workouts otherwise, I don’t feel too worried about missing a long one.

Even though I missed my run this morning, I did make it to the Norfolk Tides Bark at the Park, although the dog was not in tow.  With his torn CCL, hanging out on the hot cement of Harbor Park would have been a little more stress than he should have to endure.  Without the dog, we were able to ride The Tide for the first time.  After parking at the Newtown Road station, we boarded the notably clean train with roughly 10 other passengers and took off westbound for Norfolk.  Once we arrived at Harbor Park and settled in for the game, it came over the loud speakers that there were 138 dogs in attendance, and they all seemed to have a fantastic time.  The Tides entered the top of the eighth tied with Gwinnett 3-3, and scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to get ahead of the Braves, so the canines got a little excitement, too!  Our return trip on the Tide was crowded with fans departing Harbor Park and plenty of others headed east.  All in all, a lovely experience to, at and from the game.

Tide Ticket

Tomorrow kicks off Boot Camp with Ferguson Virginia Beach and a week in which I better be able to get a long run in!

Meredith

Writing instead of Running

I should be running right now.  Unfortunately, my sore ankle has returned.

After my 3 mile race pace run Wednesday evening, I switched my schedule to do my 10 miler on Friday and jumped into Boot Camp at North End Crossfit Thursday morning.  That was a mistake!  The good kind of mistake, or so I thought.  With burpee box jumps, toes to bar, ring dips, dumbbell thrusters and a little rowing, it was rough, but I made it, had fun and felt pretty good at the end.  This morning was a different story, and those burpee box jumps are going to take the blame.

On the walk from my comfy bed (I love it) to the bathroom, I noticed a little pull in the ankle that had been sore after last Sunday’s deep sand run (the left one).  It felt fine all week, but I hadn’t put it through a large range of motion since Sunday because none of the running or lifting to that point this week required it.  The burpee box jumps asked me to power my ankle through a very big range of motion, and I thought I was good to go.  Wrong.  What did I learn?  Something I already knew, but am too stubborn to actually follow: test an injured or strained area before completing 80 burpee box jumps that beat it up.  So, here I am, writing instead of running, with some ice on my ankle paying for being flippant, and hoping it stays dry enough that I can get a long one in Sunday.  Grrr.

It’s also the weekend, which is the best time to have an irritated injury, of course.  This morning features a trip to the veterinary surgeon for my poor puppy dog, Jordy, who has a torn CCL.  He’s been feeling good, happy as ever, just with a little limp.  The family that is injured together stays together, right?  Tomorrow Beach Boot Camp has fit tests, then they’re off the hook and get to play games for the rest of class.  Sunday will include a trip to the Norfolk Tides Bark in the Park event, though with expected temperatures in the 90s, it might be best to leave Jordy at home.  Monday a new Boot Camp starts with the Ferguson Enterprises Virginia Beach staff, and I’m really excited to have them become part of the FitNicePT family.

Have a great weekend 🙂

Meredith

Hot, Hot, Hot

It’s Hot, Hot, Hot outside.  In other news, Tuesday Two-A-Days beat me up with eight 400M repeats and North End Crossfit’s WOD full of pistols and ring rows.  Put together with Monday’s snatches and push-ups, I blame both gyms for leaving me nice and sore today.  It was good to be back in supportive shoes Monday after my Sunday jaunt without them, and yesterday’s 400M repeats got me back into my runners.  They felt amazing.

The heat has been rough the last two days, with midday temperatures hitting 90 degrees or higher, and after getting caught up with work, I wasn’t ready to get running until almost 11am.  Forget it.  Even though I only had a 3 mile race pace run planned, I am more than willing to rearrange my training schedule to accommodate cooler temperatures.  I’ll be taking off closer to 8pm tonight and will be all ready to go for a nice 10 mile run tomorrow morning bright and early!

Meredith

P.S:  Big news in politics today, and no matter where you stand, thanks to the Supreme Court for upholding the right of all Americans to live a life free of discrimination.

Success!

It was strange Sunday morning getting ready to go for a run in flip flops. I prepared myself for a morning on the beach, first a run then a little bit of sun by grabbing my chair, towel, swim suit, snack, water and spraying on the sunblock.  That all felt perfectly normal.  It was when I slipped on my Garmin 210 my feet started to feel a little naked.

In spite of the bipedal nudity, off I went to the beach.  After picking a spot for my post run sun bathing, I started running along the edge of the water in great, packed sand, with no shells and cool water that kept me from getting too hot as the temperature at 9am approached 80.  After just the first tenth of a mile, I was already surprised by just how much my stride changed.  I had expected a shorter stride and slower pace, but the change in my foot strike was something I hadn’t thought about.  Not having shoes on meant running a little bit more on my toes and I felt my ankles and calves asking what the heck was going on.  The out and back course I took down the shore line meant I could follow my plan perfectly, which was to run out on the packed, wet sand, and return in the deep, mushy sand.  I usually do a small portion of my sand runs in the mushy stuff and spend the majority of it on the edge of the water, but split this one into half and half.  That’s the most time I’ve ever spent running in deep sand, and it was quite a challenge.

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It was great to try something new, a tough workout and a chance to test the strength in my ankles.  I’m not about to hop on the minimalist train for road running, but can see the value in continuing to run in the sand a couple of times a month and using those short mileage runs as a chance to strengthen my ankles, feet and calves.  Not only is it a fun workout, the view can’t be beat and getting out before the heat gave me a nice advantage: I already had a spot secured right where I wanted it so I could get some early sun and continue reading A Dance with Dragons.  A big success and I can’t wait for next week!

Meredith

Cheating on My Shoes

I love shoes.  From my Jimmy Choos to my flip flops, they are all equally appreciated, kept in their boxes and generally treated with respect.  My running shoes are just as important as all the rest, but they do get special treatment.  They ride around in my car with me, get to hang out by the front door when they’re not in the car, aren’t hidden in a box or closet and spend more time with me than any other pair.  That’s why making the choice to run the Sandbar 5K in bare feet almost makes me feel guilty.

Sauconys, you are good enough, at least for another 200 miles, and I don’t want to hurt your feelings.  You’re just so sneakery.  Thick soles, cushioned linings, all of the beautiful features that makes you a wonder on dirt, concrete and pavement fall by the wayside once we hit the deep sand.  Sand presents a unique problem because of its unwillingness to help your feet spring up out it, and the soles of my runners just let me slip, forcing me to spend more energy dragging my sliding foot back under me than I care to make.  Barefoot and minimalist running are all the rage, and there are lots of reasons to give it a try.  I don’t imagine I’ll be switching out of my regular runners any time soon on the road, trail or sidewalk, but I’m ready to give it a shot on the sand.

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Running Shoes!

Teaching Boot Camp on the beach in bare feet has helped strengthen my ankles and plantar muscles to the point at which I think I’ll be comfortable taking my shoes off on race day.  What I think and what actually may happen are two different things because there are plenty of ways to get injured without the support of a good shoe.  That’s why I will be giving running in the sand without shoes the old college try during my Sunday Sandy 5K tomorrow.

What do your feet wear when you run?  Does it vary?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Meredith

Opossum versus The Long Run

Thursday dawned bright and lovely for Beach Boot Camp, and as usual, everybody rocked it.  Several of the crazies even decided to work extra hard and do a sixth round after completing the required five.  No thanks for me!  After class, it was on to Thursday tradition #2 (the first being Thanksgiving): Long Run Day.  I went to bed Wednesday night pumped to rock this run.  To my dismay, that’s when things got interesting.  Let The Sleepy Long Run begin.

You might agree with me that ‘sleepy long run’ sounds like an oxymoron, since you usually need to be awake to run 10 miles, but after a 330am bout with mother nature, that’s exactly what it was.  Tuesday night, around 1:30am, I was awakened by a loud, slow scraping echoing from the side of the house into my once peaceful bedroom.  After investigating as best one can while half asleep and blinded by a lack of contact lenses, I finished Tuesday night’s adventure with a few nice bangs on the wall.  These bangs encouraged the unknown species to scamper off and not return for the remainder of my designated sleeping hours.  I had a wonderful 3 mile race pace run Wednesday morning.  Oh, but then there was Wednesday night, and, boy, did it bring the fun.

The clock strikes 3:30am and I am awoken from a lovely slumber by the same scraping and scratching I had heard the night before.  This time a few solid slaps to the wall did absolutely no good and the racket continued.  Windows were opened, flashlights acquired, outside walls lit up like baseball fields (at 3:45am).  Finally, the noise was pinpointed to the corner of the gutter and the species identified.  An opossum, aptly named in the state of Virginia in 1610, was attempting to rearrange whatever was going on in the aforementioned gutter space.  This little rascal was in deep trouble.  By 4:10am, there are two holes in the gutter and silence, but sleep?  Forget it.

I debated delaying my run, or taking a nap first, but had an appointment to get a nail removed from my right rear tire and didn’t want to miss it.  So, off I went, yawning away, to run 10 miles.  My legs felt great, the headwind wasn’t enough to bother my ears, and my route down the tree lined feeder road to Shore Drive was almost perfect.  I clocked a great 10 mile time, which means the run went well, and it’s nice to know I can put in a solid performance on little sleep.  It’s all about attitude.  That over sized stuffed animal wasn’t going to ruin the run I had been so ready for, and, man, did I show him (or her).

Meredith

Fun Stuff

Two-a-days Tuesday.  Both my run and 30 minute AMRAP at North End Crossfit went swimmingly this morning, and I have fully recovered from my injury and weekend.  My Friday long run went great, but Saturday morning I woke up with a sore ankle.  After putting my thinking cap on, I realized I had stepped in a hole about halfway through Friday’s run, and had continued to run on what was apparently a slightly strained ankle.  I skipped Saturday morning’s sand run, but the always wonderful Boot Campers raised my injury fearing spirits as I left class with an aching ankle, and even though it wasn’t swelling, a little ice in the afternoon helped me be ready to go by Sunday.

Sunday morning was bright and painless, so off to the beach I went for a little 5K in the sand.  It was a perfect day out on the Bay, and my run was pretty darn good.  Guess that day off didn’t hurt!  After a morning on the water with the dog, we headed over the bridge tunnel to see the Tall Ships at Cape Charles.  While our original plan was to tour the ships then check out Chatham Vineyards, it was quickly derailed.  We toured The Virginia, The Alliance and The Sultana, each of which was a different type of ship and the tours were very educational.  The Virginia was getting ready to set sail after the tours, so sitting down on the deck of Shanty’s with an orange crush to watch the ship go out and unfurl her sails seemed like the best idea around.  Unfortunately the ship rounded a corner and we couldn’t see the sails go up, but we did spy a pair of cornhole boards.  Needless to say, the winery got crossed right off the list as we enjoyed playing a few games surrounded by water and the relaxed, getaway atmosphere we had found.  With wonderful staff and a beautiful view, The Shanty at Cape Charles is off the beaten path and a great place for an afternoon away from Virginia Beach’s always crowded restaurants on the water.

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The Virginia

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A cormorant feeding their young, view from the deck at The Shanty.

Long Run Down, Weekend Up

It’s Friday!  Another gloomy day here in VB, but everyone seems to have to weathered last night’s high winds and thunderstorms just fine.

Started off the morning with that promised 9 miler.  Got a little wet when it rained unexpectedly, but as expected, it was better than last week, and since it was my fourth day in a row of running, I was more than happy to run it in 1:12:42.  I was especially happy with the consistency of the run because I had a tough training week, and with my long run typically happening on Thursdays, I was worried having a third day of strength training with North End Crossfit prior to it would wipe me out.  Luckily it didn’t, and I’m feeling great about how my training is going.  Going to finish up the week with a 5K in the Oceanfront sand before Boot Camp tomorrow morning.

After Boot Camp, it’s off to the gym to train more of my wonderful clients, then back to the beach to work on my tan and continue reading A Dance with Dragons.  As usual, the Song of Fire and Ice books are outstanding, and differ from HBO’s Game of Thrones.  I will give HBO credit for doing an excellent job with the series so far, and I can’t believe I have to wait nine months to see what they’ve got in store for season four.  A Dance with Dragons is the fifth book in the series and will bring all of the characters back together.  A Storm of Swords, book three, and A Feast for Crows, book four, had concurrently running plot lines, but in two totally different locations and without interactions between the two sets of characters.  Book five has so far (page 155 of 942) continued this way, but George R.R. Martin promised to bring the entire cast of characters together by its end.

Sunday’s plan includes a trip to Chatham Vineyards on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, a visit to the Tall Ships at Cape Charles and, hopefully, dinner at the Great Machipongo Crab Shack.  Reviews to come!

Have a great weekend,

Meredith

Progress!

A gorgeous summer day today, which goes right along with the rest of the happenings on Wednesday, June 12.  On a professional note, I got a great email from a client who just started with the Beach Boot Camp program: “Every new sore muscle tells me I’m hitting some new spots!  Really enjoying this!!!  You are a great trainer!!!”  It’s always nice when people put in the hard work, make progress and start to get the results they want.  I’m so proud of John and it’s moments like these that make me realize why I love my job.

In addition to a super email, I had an awesome morning run, running a personal best 5K time by one second, but I’ll take it!  I’m finding that adding speed work to my training program has really been beneficial, and maybe taking last weekend off helped a little bit too.  I did have that tough workout I described Monday, and yesterday did my speed work immediately followed by another tough session of front squats and wall balls with Matt at North End Crossfit.  After two days of thrusters, front squats and wall balls, it makes me happy to know I’ve made enough progress to run 23:16 on sleepy legs.  This little Wednesday run got me excited for the Crawlin’ Crab 5K coming up in October because it’s been a long time since I’ve done a 5K race on pavement.  The last three 5Ks I’ve run were on trail (EquiKids 2012), sand (Sandbar 5K 2012) and trail (EquiKids 2013) and so is my next one, SandBar 5K 2013, and since this is only 3 weeks after Rock n Roll Philly, I was kind of writing it off.  No more!

Speaking of Rock n Roll Philly, I believe even more now I have the ability to run a PR on September 15.  Being in my hometown, and having run the last 9 miles of the course probably 100 times, most recently the beginning of April, I know I’ll have the motivation.  Knowing the race course is a huge advantage for me, knowing what to expect and when I’ll have to push it helps me maintain my pace throughout the event.  I worry a little bit about the finicky Philadelphia weather, which could be amazing or awful, but will have to deal with it as it comes.  Just because I can doesn’t mean I will, so I’m hoping the weather cooperates and I can beat my best of 1:48:42.  Heck, I’d be happy with a 1:48:41!

Meredith

 

Workout Music?

It’s another rainy Monday here in Virginia Beach, so it’s a good thing today wasn’t scheduled for a run.  Instead, today was another wonderful workout at North End Crossfit.  While the workout itself didn’t look so bad, it turned out to be tougher than expected, which is always a pleasant surprise!  The first part of the workout was to row 1,000M, totally doable, but maybe since rowing isn’t such a large part of my workouts, for the first time I distinctly noticed the music.  I usually run sans tunes for a few reasons.  I want to hear what’s going on around me, and I have a smaller than average head (kid size hats, here), so ear buds are exceeding uncomfortable and big old headphones bounce around too much.  In the gym, I typically just listen to whatever plays over the sound system, which today was right up my alley.  I’m not sure what Pandora station was on, but it put out Three Days Grace, Godsmack and Shinedown right in line.  Loved it!  The music really kept me going through the workout, the beat helped me keep my rhythm and power through the rough parts.  It made me appreciate how a little help can go a long way to making a hard day a bit easier.

Does this mean I’ll go hunting for some ear gear to rock when I run?  Probably not.  It does mean that I should put on the rock when I know a rough workout is on its way.  As I start to ramp up my training calendar for the fall season and lengthen my long runs, those cross training days are sure to get a little tougher.  I’ll take any help I can get!

Meredith