Monday, May 30, 2011

I'm baaaaaack!!!

Today I ran fartleks up a moderately steep hill, called Lindsey's Hill, up the street from my house. I ran up and down the hill 3 times (the entire hill is just under a half mile long) and then ran back home. It felt absolutely incredible! I had a nice hard run with ZERO PAIN. (No pain before, during, or after). Every time I have run in the past week I have been shaking my head in disbelief- it is such a miracle!

I have always been a big believer in prayer, so if you don't already do that, you should start :), but I am for sure a big believer in physical therapy now as well! Those doctors know what they are doing.

A week ago I couldn't even run 3 miles without feeling pain and then having my knee bug me for 2-3 days afterwards. Since I started physical therapy less than a week ago, I've been able to do this:

Count:4 Activities
Distance:22.31 mi
Time:03:15:33 h:m:s
Elevation Gain:968 ft
Avg Speed:6.8 mph
Avg HR:173 bpm
Calories:2,000 C
Max Distance:7.12 mi
Avg Distance:5.58 mi
If you are having problems, run (or limp) your way to a PT- it could change everything for you. I wish I would have done it 6 weeks ago so I wouldn't have had to miss so much of my training.

On a totally different note- I know absolutely nothing about heart rate zones. I wear my HR monitor with my Garmin, but it basically means nothing to me because I don't know how to properly train with it. I just go out there and run as fast as I can and then come home. You guys have any tips? Advice? How am I supposed to use this thing?

Friday, May 27, 2011


There is a Higher Power that is looking out for us. I call it God, but you may call it something else.

Last week I was extremely discouraged about my injury. It wasn't getting better in spite of cutting back in running, foam rolling, what have you. When I ran it would just flare up again and after two runs I was right back where I started from. I had been praying about it a lot and just had the feeling that it would be okay if I asked my husband for a blessing. So, I did.

And I am so grateful.

Our Father in Heaven cares about us and each thing that is important to us as individuals. Whether it be running, or biking, or our children, or finding our wallet, or going to school- He wants us to come to Him with these problems because He wants to help us. No matter how insignificant it may seem to other people, if it is important to you, then it is important to Him.

This was reaffirmed to me last week, and I can honestly say that I feel this blessing was the turning point in the healing of this injury. I felt that I needed to make an appointment with a physical therapist, so I called up my neighbor and he referred me to his partner, Dan Ivie, who is a big time runner as well.

Besides all of the little strengthening exercises, Dan has aligned my hips and popped my right one back into place (!!!), done heat stem therapy, some sort of shock therapy, and used a laser on my IT Band, scraped the crap out of my leg, maneuvered my body in positions I didn't even think were possible, showed me how I've been running with seriously bad form, shoes that are way too worn out (600+ miles), and has literally kicked my butt.

One part was definitely not lost on deaf ears- He told me that I will be able to run Ragnar, and the Top of Utah Marathon NO PROBLEM.

I ran 5 miles on Wednesday and felt absolutely no pain or soreness after (and only very mild soreness during my run, until I corrected my form and then it went away). I've been able to carry my baby on my hip without my IT Band bothering me, and I don't hardly even think about my knee (because I'm too busy thinking about how sore my butt and thighs are).

I do believe things are on the up and up!!! I'm going to run tonight again so we will have to see how that goes- I have faith that I'm going to be just fine.

In the meantime I've been busy refueling my body with green smoothies, and my soul with U2. I've had lots of therapy over the last week for every part of me.


Me, my big brother Sam, sister in law Kaydee, and brother James at U2 in Salt Lake City.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Death by Yoga

Once upon a time I screwed up my knee and had to find something else to do with my life besides sit on the couch and watch Modern Family on Hulu. (Which, by the way, happens to be the best comedy out there on TV right now). So, for my birthday, I went to Wally Mart and bought this beauty:
Now, I should let you in on a little secret- I don't like to "exercise". Running, to me, is not exercise. I don't run to burn calories or to lose weight or to get in shape. I run simply to run. So, I feel like I'm entering a new phase in my life. My husband calls it "The New Amy". I call it the I-would-rather-spend-my-birthday-money-on-a-new-running-shirt-and-a-yoga-DVD-because-supposedly-yoga-helps-runners phase.

Well, this is not the kind of yoga I was anticipating. I should have realized that, seeing as how Jillian is on the front and she is constantly yelling the "F" word at the contestants on the Biggest Loser (go team Olivia!!!).

Friends. I nearly died this morning.

As it would turn out, I'm not flexible, I'm not strong, and to me, downward dog is not common knowledge. I mean, come on! Planks was the WARM UP!!!!

Well played, Jillian.

If you need a good butt kickin', you should check it out.

I feel like I've had plenty of "humble pie" over the last few weeks. After Jillian beat me into submission this morning, I'm hoping that the Physical Therapist will have good news for me tomorrow. Crossing my fingers and toes....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A word on ellipticals.

Well. I'm not as healed as I thought.

I ran 5 miles on Monday with Darcy and wondered if I was going to make it the rest of the way home. I had to stop and stretch and walk several times. 4 miles is my max right now, so I'm going to do my best not to push it.

Today I skipped my run in the morning and headed to my friend Audra's house to use her elliptical.

Seriously folks, ellipticals are depressing.

I did a hills workout with the resistance starting out at 4 and working up to 10 for 30 minutes. 30 minutes and I only went a total distance of 1.15 miles.

For real?!

Like I said, depressing. My legs felt like jello and when I finished I needed a life jacket to swim through the pool of sweat on the ground (sorry about that, Audra). The good news is that with no pain or soreness at all during or after my workout, the elliptical is going to become my new BFF.

Time to start cross training like crazy!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wasatch Dance Center Tutu 5K

Lindsey and I in our matching Ladybug Tutus that she made. This photo was pre-race.

There is nothing I love more than sharing what I love with someone that I love.

This last Saturday I got to run a 5K with my friend Lindsey. (I won the entry from Hungry Runner Girl- Thank you!) Lindsey is, in her own words, NOT a runner. She is, however, a teacher with a very dry and sarcastic wit about her- which I absolutely love! Lindsey is training for the Ragnar with me, and this was her very first race ever.

We arrived and checked in with registration (where her student had registered her under "Mrs. Harvey"), and waited for the race to start.

We couldn't take our eyes off a lovely young fellow whom we affectionately called "Compression Socks". Compression socks was wearing, you guessed it, knee high neon green compression socks as well as some other high tech running gear. He was also stretching, doing strides, and sucking down some performance gels....

Performance gels? Before a 5K?! To each his own, I guess.

Needless to say, seeing him made me feel all competitive and aggressive. Since I'm nursing the darn knee, I knew I couldn't push it hard at this race so I wasn't sure if I could even challenge this guy.

I lined up in the back of the pack with Lindsey and let Compression Socks get down like he was using blocks for the 100 Meter Dash at the front of the line. The race director said "Go!" and we were off. I just kept it nice and easy. Didn't push, but didn't really hold back either.

At the half mile my shoe came untied. Compression Socks was ahead, so I certainly couldn't stop to tie my shoe!

I trucked along, slowly gaining on him with every step. I passed him at about the mile mark of the race. I wish I could say I never looked back, but I totally did. I wanted to make sure he stayed behind me. Plus I wanted to tie my shoe.

But, I just couldn't tie my shoe because it was a 5K and someone could sprint by me at any second, and I had to keep my lead.

Of course.

Well, that wasn't a problem. I finished the race, shoe untied and tutu in place, and won outright! Ha! Gotta love the small town 5K. I ran it in 23:25 with a 7:22/mile pace. Not my fastest, but not bad considering I wasn't pushing very hard.

Compression Socks didn't cross the line for about 4 more minutes after me- in 3rd place.

Lindsey did well, and even better, SHE DIDN'T DIE! That's good news considering I don't have anyone to replace her on the Ragnar team. I was so proud of her! It was so much fun to cheer her in with her family.

We had the following conversation on Facebook later that day:
Me: Remember how you ran a race today? So proud of you!
Lindsey: No amount of alcohol could help me forget.

Hmmmm.... I'm thinkin' she didn't catch the fire :).

For winning first place I got a trophy with a tutu on it, and they put my name on the billboard outside the dance studio that put on the race.

I'm practically famous.

Friday, May 13, 2011


2 separate runs and 6 miles later......

Tada!!!! NO PAIN!

Was it ever worth it to back off and let my body heal? Yes, sir.

Was it torture to skip my 37 mile training week for running about 9 miles total? You betcha.

However, this just means that there's a greater chance that next week I can run 20 miles.

And the next? 30.

And two weeks after that? RAGNAR.

Our bodies are amazing. They were created to allow us to run for miles and miles, create and bear children, smile, laugh, slow us down, and to heal.

Know what I learned over the last two weeks? Sometimes we should listen to our bodies more than our heads.

There's a time to go fast. There's a time to push the limits. And there's a time to recover.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Foam roller of death.

I get to run 2.5 miles tomorrow!!!!!!!

Baby angels are smiling upon me. I live in the best area surrounded by numerous running partners, and one of them happens to have a PT husband. Seriously! Baby. Angels.

Brandon Judd, a PT and athlete himself, took some time out of his busy schedule to check out my knee tonight. He confirmed that I do indeed have ITBS, but thankfully it isn't advanced. (So glad I pulled back when I felt something going on!) He showed me some stretches, some strength training exercises, and he showed me how to use this:
Apparently "The Stick" is the weak man's way to roll out muscles. Have you ever used a foam roll? Be prepared to look like this:

Folks. I would rather give birth to another one of these:
than foam roll for 5 minutes twice a day. Did I mention that the above posted birth happened without drugs? I need an epidural for this foam roll.

This sport is torture. Oh, how I love it.

Thank you, Brandon Judd! And if anyone lives in the area, check out his bike shop in Heber City- Slim & Knobby's.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Time to get serious.

After much stress, (and by stress I mean me freaking out nearly every minute of every day), I have finally come up with a plan of action regarding healing this IT Band Syndrome.
1- Ice multiple times a day.
2- Rest. Of course I will be missing my run to Delicate Arch in Moab that I've been dreaming about for a year and a half. AGAIN. I missed it last year due to foot problems. However, the last thing in the world I want to miss is the Ragnar. Priorities. I am hoping to resume running next Wednesday.
3- Rolling with "the stick".
4- Stretching and strength training. This video was the most helpful that I found in all of my hours of scouring the internet searching for a cure. I know some people were asking what to do. I'm no expert! Here's hoping I can save myself some cash on the PT bill.
ITB Rehab Routine – Video Demonstration
5. Last but not least, zero drop shoes. I took back my Saucany's that I purchased last weekend and bought the New Balance Minimus shoe. I ran in it today and felt great! I went only 4 miles (with no knee pain when running), and I could tell my form was much better. It's too bad that after I stretched and headed up the sidewalk to my front door my knee was hurting again. I knew it was too good to be true! I'm a big time believer in form, so it's time to get it right.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chris McDougall called me a hottie.

I was so stoked for this day!!!!! I got the kids to the sitter on time, picked up Holly, and we were set to get to the store right at the magic hour. It was perfect.

That was where the perfection ended... at least for a bit. After those moments I:

1- Learned that Chris McDougall's plane was delayed so he wasn't able to go on a run with us (MAJOR bummer!).
2- Got lost trying to find the trail. Let's be real here- the guys directions were about as clear as mud, and after calling the store and talking to not one, not even two, but three employees, we finally found the place.
3- Lost the key to my car in the bushes on the trail when I took my camera out of my spibelt.
4- Had serious IT band issues, bothering me clear up into my hip.
Me, on the left, and Holly on the right.
The trail was pretty, and if I were in proper running order, I would have loved it. Yesterday? Not so much.

The nice part is that the trouble stopped there.

Did you know that Chris McDougall is real? REAL! As in an eating, breathing, running human being! I read a lot of fiction, people, so to see a character out of a book was insane to me. Caballo Blanco, Arnulfo Quimere, Scott Jurek- they are all real too, in case you are wondering. I know because he talked about them and said they were real, and anything Chris McDougall says is the gospel truth.
The coolest part of the night?

A guy was in the audience that had literally run down a deer. Like, on his own two feet. I'm so mad that I don't remember his name, or the town in Utah that he grew up in, but he lived in this little town that had a cool tradition.

When he was a kid someone had attached a bell to a buck, and every year the locals respected the tradition of not shooting him during hunting season. The buck eventually got huge, and then he disappeared all together. As a 17 year old, he decided he wanted to let this tradition continue. What was he going to do about it? Well, catch one and attach a bell to it of course!

He told his Mom that he would be gone for about 5-6 hours, and he took off on foot. He scouted a group of deer and found a young buck and began to hunt. After 3 1/2 hours he was able to run it down. He took off his shoe laces to attach the bell to the deer (he said his Mom was so mad that he lost his shoe laces- ha), and then he tried to get the deer to run away. It wouldn't. It was flat out not going to move- no matter how much poking and prodding he did. He had exhausted the animal.

How awesome is that? Proof folks. We were born to run. It's in our will to survive.

The other cool thing?

When we were trying to get around the counter to take a picture with Chris, he said to a guy that was in our way, "Could you move so I can get a picture with these hotties?"

That's right. Chris McDougall called Holly and I hotties. It made my IT Band feel better.

Monday, May 2, 2011

IT Bands, Running Bible, and New Shoes

I've been trying to ignore it, but I can ignore it no longer: I think I have an IT Band problem.

The outside of my right knee has been bothering me since the Salt Lake Half. While the race course was great for the PR, it was not so fabulous for my knee. I wouldn't call it painful, but it's something that I've been noticing both when I'm running and resting. I'm hoping to get a grip on things with some icing, foam rolling, and strength training before it takes me out. It's also a good thing that I have a brother that just so happens to be a personal trainer that is going to be helping me out a little bit. Aren't families the best? I know mine is.

Unfortunately, I'm probably going to be taking my mileage down a bit. I HATE to do this with only 6 weeks before the Ragnar, but I don't want to miss the race entirely. I ran 11.5 on Saturday with Holly and after mile 4 I couldn't stop thinking about my dang knee. Grrrrrr!!!! Is it too much to ask to just be a healthy runner forever?!

The good news is that I get to RUN with this guy today:
Know who this is? Chris McDougall- author of Born to Run!

He's doing a running clinic and a presentation at The Runner's Corner in Provo today. I'm excited to meet the man that wrote what I think of as the running "Bible". Holly is going with me, so be prepared for lots of good info tomorrow.

Lastly, I got new shoes on Saturday! After my run, I decided that the 600+ miles I put in my Asics was enough and that it was time to get some new shoes. I'm going to be running in my first pair of Saucony's, so we'll see how I like them. They seemed alright on my run this morning, but they didn't magically heal my knee problem (which I was secretly hoping for).

I'll be honest- I kind of hate getting new shoes. I always have this stress and worry that they aren't going to be as good or that they'll cause weird injuries because they make me run differently. Am I just a wacko?

Goodbye, Asics, we've had some good times.