Friday, July 29, 2016

Live Unlimited

Happy Friday friends! I am so happy that it is finally the weekend, but a little sad that July is coming to an end. I love this month so much and all that is signifies:

Summer, 4th of July, our wedding anniversary (15 years!!!), beautiful peaches, Jerold's birthday this Sunday the 31st (Happy Birthday honey!!) and so much more. 
I feel like July is the true heart of summer and although August will be wonderful, I will miss it.

I have been excited to write this post for a while. I have been LOVING my Live Unlimited bracelet sent by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The campaign is inspired by the strength of MDA families who are defying limits every day despite the challenges that diseases like muscular dystrophy and ALS often create. These diseases take away everyday freedoms that most of us take for granted, including walking, running, hugging, dressing ourselves, talking and even breathing. There are currently few treatments and NO CURES.

Six dollars of each sale will benefit MDA to support groundbreaking research across diseases, clinical care for kids and adults from day one and support services for families in hometowns across America. 
I love what the MDA stands for and wearing this bracelet reminds me to never take life for granted. Each day lived is truly a gift and we should live it to the fullest.

Live Unlimited.

The MDA had an awesome idea of sending a bracelet to someone who inspires you to Live Unlimited. Someone who takes chances, works hard and enjoys life to the fullest.
There are many people in my life that fit this description, but I chose someone who inspires me to strive to be a better runner. I chose my friend Jen, who truly is an incredible Mom of four gorgeous kids, wife to a great husband, and an amazing runner. I have written about Jen on the blog before and you can read all about her HERE.

When I look at Jen and her running, it makes me feel fired up. It make me wants to get out on the road and truly get after my goals and dreams. Jen has had her share of injuries and setbacks, but she never lets that stop her. After 25 marathons and a PR of 2:58 (+ a 1:24 half marathon), she is now aiming to run sub 2:50 in the very near future.

Live Unlimited!

Jen and I have talked so much about running and injuries - the latest conversation was my dealing with PF and her dealing with a small tear in her calf. That injury also left her sidelined for a couple months this summer, and now she is slowly back to running again. Jen always has such a positive outlook on life, and when she can't run - she bikes and swims (let me say - she is also an incredible swimmer!) like a true champion.
Jen reminds me that in running you never, ever give up. Even when you are down, you keep slaying those dragons to be your absolute best. If you keep chipping away, working hard and banking months and years of good training, your dreams will come true.
I have no doubt that Jen will capture a sub 2:50 marathon time and that day will truly be INCREDIBLE.

This program sponsored by the MDA, (with bracelets made by Endorphin Warrior!) will inspire so many people dealing with Muscular Dystophy, ALS and other related diseases to be their best. No matter what obstacles life throws at you, we are strong enough and resilient enough to rebound to greatness.

Note: Jen and I were sent Live Unlimited bracelets, but all opinions about the MDA and this program are my own.

I hope you all have an incredible weekend!

How do you Live Unlimited?


Monday, July 25, 2016

First Run in 4 Weeks + Why I am Going Wheat Free For A While

Happy Monday friends!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and stayed cool in the heat wave that is impacting almost everyone right now.

It was really hot in Southern California this weekend and unfortunately a really intense wild fire started in a city about 40 miles from where I live. Thousands of homes were threatened, ash was heavily in the air and the sun looked like a red fireball. It was all very surreal...

If you have been following along, you know I have been dealing with a bad case of Plantar Fasciitis. The injury caused me to cancel my September goal marathon and take four weeks off from running.
Sunday marked four weeks of zero running, I wasn't experiencing any pain in my foot and I was ready to give running a try.
I ran four easy miles and it felt fine. I took it nice and easy and ran on soft surfaces, which made it a pain free run.

I talked a little about this on Instagram, but I feel a bit fragile mentally. Almost the entire run, I was cringing inside hoping I wouldn't be in pain (The pain is like a fireball in your heal. Wendy calls it the devil and she is so right.). I felt foggy and foreign and out of running shape. How in the world did I run a marathon three months ago?
I know that the fitness will come back when it's time. Right now, I need to focus on healing completely so I can continue to make forward progress.
Blogging has been a little haphazard these past weeks, and I have felt like the complete attention to my kids coupled with this injury has left little time for anything else.

Finding sand crabs with my kids = priority #1 :)

I had my first session of dry needling last week and it wasn't as bad as I anticipated! I am going back for two more sessions this week along with PT.
My acupuncturist and I talked for a while about food and how food can help the healing process, or sometimes hinder it. Wheat and grains can sometimes cause inflammation in the body and he is suggesting that I try going wheat free for a while.

I was already aiming to try the Whole 30 program (I cut oatmeal out of my diet a few months ago as it was making me feel sluggish) and this information made me more focused on giving it a try.

Here is what I ate yesterday (My goals were on eliminating wheat and grain):

I made a batch of delicious almond flour pancakes, a side of blueberries, one hard boiled egg and a piece of turkey bacon. 

Peaches and blueberries

Steamed kale and avocado (large bowl)

An apple with almond butter + an RX bar 

Baked chicken, quinoa and kale (tons of kale in the house this weekend!)

Small piece of dark chocolate

I know I would be eating more if I were logging more miles, but I felt really full and satisfied. I also drank a lot of water. Not the 100 ounces that I aim for, but probably 60 ounces.

We'll see how it goes! I am allowing myself not to seek perfection, but test it out and see how my body reacts to it. The real test will be when marathon training starts again.

By the way ---> I wouldn't wish Plantar Fasciitis on anyone!!! I am working on a post of everything I am doing to combat this injury and come back stronger.

I hope you all logged some awesome miles this weekend!!!

Have you ever dealt with Plantar Fasciitis? If so, please share your secrets of dealing with it! :)

What are your thoughts/experiences of eliminating wheat and grains from your diet?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Diz Runs Podcast + A Running Update!

Is it just me, or does it feel like summer is flying by?

Our summer has been filled with a ton of fruit (juicy, burst in your mouth peaches, delectable plums, blueberries by the boatload...), non stop pool time, walks at the beach, days where we stay in PJ's till 10 am, and just a whole lot of FUN. The kids have had some great camps to go to, but the last couple of weeks we have been hanging out together. Zero agenda, no place to rush off to, no hurrying out the door. It has been SO nice and a much needed break. It's been interesting to watch the process of my kids unwinding. They are so used to being on a GO, GO, GO schedule, that it was a little difficult for them to slow down. Now, they love digging for worms in the backyard, laying under a tree, searching for roly polys, and discovering toys they had forgotten about.
The joys of a lazy, hazy summer...

Running has not been on the agenda for me the last three weeks. As a runner, you start to understand the stages of non-running grief: 

1. Denial of a possible injury

2. Quickly dealing with injury 

3. Settling into the new reality of the injury and slowing down on running

4. Not running at all and taking more time to heal

Number four is always the hard part and that is where I am right now. Three and a half weeks in and it feels sort of normal, but not. I put aside my goal marathon, placed a later marathon on the calendar and I'm working hard on healing. I know it's kind of a crap shoot to place another marathon on the calendar (CIM in December), but I am going to go with it. If it's meant to be, it'll be - and I feel pretty darn strong that I can kick the PF (plantar fasciitis) and rebound stronger than ever. You have to believe that in your heart and if you don't, you might as well throw in the towel right now.
My super speedy friend Jen (who is coming back from an injury and aiming to run a sub 2:50 marathon later in the Fall) told me that each injury or setback makes you stronger, faster, better.

I believe that.

At this point, I have been icing, stretching, going to PT, got a cortizone shot, received custom orthotics, doing all of my specific exercises, wearing a splint, rolling, cross training and of course resting.

Today, I decided to try dry needling (from a licensed acupuncturist)...

I have to go back next week for another session - probably 3-4 total and we'll see after that. I decided to try this method first rather than the some other intense options. I haven't had any pain walking on my foot the last couple of days and if that continues, then I am allowed to go for a short run next week. I could actually go sooner, but I am going to be really, really conservative and wait until it's been 4 weeks of rest.

I am very honored and excited to be a guest on Denny Krahe's Diz Runs podcast! Denny has been hosting his show for quite some time and has had an array of incredible runners on the show.
When he contacted me, I was really happy to sit and talk with him about all things running. We had a lot of fun and I am happy to share it with you :)

You can listen to the episode HERE!!

I hope you are having a wonderful week filled with fruit, sun and fun.

Happiness Is Running Life!