Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back on the Blog ..... Mostly

Blogspot is back up but will not let me post any pictures.  They must still have an issue somewhere.  I

But I am back on the road, running earlier for cooler temps and cross training for fall races.  Twice I have tried to post on here about our recent Backroads trip to Ireland riding bikes.  Twice blogspot has eaten my posts and not saved them.  So for now, I am keeping this short and sweet to see if I can yet make this work.

I have tried locally, two new classes close to my new home.  Podbarre, and Yogatone.   Pod Barre is a typical, challenging Barre class designed to tone the leg muscles mostly.  Yoga tone I misread and it was a typical workout class with weights and burpees, something I do not do and did not then.   Its just me, but I hate them and  I do not plan to ever do them.  That was when I realized no Yoga was going to be involved in this class!  But except for the burpees, I hung in there and kept pace.  The benefit of doing different things is you challenge and strengthen the muscles you don't normally use or think of....until they hurt!  But all soreness aside, I have been running better since trying these!

Well, this is where the road will end for case blogspot still has a publishing glitch.  I have things to do today, so I can run and swim, maybe do some yoga tomorrow!  Take care and get out there!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Catching Up.....Back on the Road!

I accidentally tabbed over to the blog stats site and saw that I still have readers looking for mature running tips and stories!  I have been off blog for one year now.....sorry to the readers out there, I did not even leave any updates or a closing statement or rationale.

The fact is that moving, competing and over training cost me a bit of energy and enthusiasm.  That is simply life.   To keep that from happening to others, I will try to catch y'all up to I did not ever lose my love for the run on the open road.  With music, it is my "road dance" that I love.

Giving myself a much needed break post the Senior Games, I settled into moving into new house, and making it home.  As Fall set in and new sites and places to explore allowed for much run enjoyment.  On crisp  fall/winter days (think 40 to 60 degrees F) I began to run further and faster.  Cold weather running is my favorite.  I love the feel of the cold wind as I run.  As winter moved into spring, I had been building up to 6 mile morning runs, and loving it...until the fall came.  Me.  The first fall I had,  was at full enjoyment running speed for me at around 9.5 min/mile.  My toe caught on the concrete as I rounded a small lake, and I flew forward, landing on  both knees,  mid section, knuckles of both hands right wrist and elbow.  Still wearing long running tights and jacket, when I collected myself, sat down on the path, and assessed the damage, I saw that I had torn my favorite white and orange jacket but both knees of my pants were intact.  A Bone jarring fall, but everything moved with pain felt on all impact areas.  As I struggled to figure out what had happened to me and how bad the damage, I saw no blood seeping through anywhere.  Several minutes passed.  It was a brilliant blue sky, crisp day, and I determined that since no serious damage was noted, I was going to continue my run.    No brain, no pain????  My rationale at that moment was that I was betting on being so sore and bruised up by the next day, I would be off my feet at least where running was concerned for several days.  My endorphin crazy brain convinced me to get up, dust myself off, and continue my run to the full 6 miles I had built up to.  I had been setting personal distance records per month, and my Nike program continues to motivate.  Although I was worried and distracted over what had caused me to fall, as in my years of running I never had, indeed I finished my miles and headed home.

Realization of a bad fall began to set in as I got inside the door and began to warm up.  Burning pain now was felt particularly my left knee and right elbow.  My tummy burned a bit strangely.   A quick peak of my abdomen showed road rash.  I headed into the bathroom and began to peel off my running clothes like one peels a banana.  Hat and gloves first, then unzipped my jacket.  Pain was now full bore on my elbow...and as I gingerly tried to remove my right sleeve, I saw that inside the white sleeve was blood, and the fabric of the jacket lining was embedded and dried into my right elbow.  I stopped pulling and sat down and tried to remove my tights, with the same pain in both knees, worse on the right.  The tights are black, and again, no tear in fabric, no signs of seeping blood, but the tights were similarly embedded into both knees, deeper on the right than the left, and not giving way to gentle pulling.  By now the nerve cells were all screaming, and I was home alone with a big mess.  Removing my shoes and socks was difficult and painful, but I did and then I limped to the shower, turned the water on and got in.....I knew I needed to remove the fabric as gently as possible and then somehow disinfect the big deep open areas, and find a suitable way to bandage myself up and prevent infection.  The warm water pelting down did not help the pain, but was necessary to moisten the wounds and get them cleaned out.  Soap, water and need to ignore pain to get the job done was all I could focus on.  After washing my wounds out, I left my clothes in the shower on the floor, grabbed a towel and began patting dry around the wounds, and taking a survey.  deep open abrasions and contusions were on my right knee, Left arm near elbow, with more superficial abrasions of my tummy, both forearms, hands, and my right knee.  I was glad I did not face plant.  Fully warmed up to room temp, now everything hurt to one degree or anther.  As a nurse, I was trying to  be objective and take care of myself, but since just unpacking I knew I did not have the type of bandages in the right size to cover these nasty bleeding wounds.  I also knew I  needed to put antibiotic cream on them, preferably the Neosporin with pain relief (lidocaine) and ice down the muscle aches and bruised areas that lost all the skin, and I needed covering bandages that would not stick to do this.  Telfa pads or gel pads, nonstick gauze and large nonstick bandaids....but how to get them?  To get to the store, I needed to cover them.  I did not know any neighbors yet........ how to even walk to knock on a door to ask for help.... so I try to call my husband.  He is usually all day long helping people with far more serious problems, so I try not to bother him.  First call on his cell gets the usual no answer.  I text him a few pictures and wait a bit.  Bruising and scrapes were ugly.  He came home with supplies!

 He texts back asking if I need help.  I tell him what I need is nonstick bandages and help wrapping up, will probably figure it out if he is busy.  He saw the pictures and when he had a break, left work to bring me what I needed and helped with the first bandaging before heading back to the hospital.  I was now propped on pillows, with ice packs and bandaged up, tylenol taken and waiting for relief.   Continuing the run was not the best thing I could have done I am guessing now.  I was right it would be a good week until I felt even tempted to run.
Then I would be slower and shorter distances for several weeks as I continued to heal.  The shock of what happened began to wear off when  as I was rounding a corner in an uphill area in the neighborhood on the road when it happened again!!!!

I found myself airborne for a second and then again sprawled on rough macadam surface.  Both palms had lost skin, deeply.  The jarring was again intense.  My right knee that had just begun to scab up and look like it would heal up was all ripped open again, and deeper.  I was distraught.  I began to wish someone would come by and drive me home, help one was out.  Tears streaming, and limping badly I slowly walked home.  This time, it hit me emotionally.   How could I have fallen again??  there were no cracks or seams in the road?  I had been carefully watching.  After getting home, I cleaned up, and before bandaging sat in the bathroom alone and sobbed.  I am strong, I have been through a lot and survived.  I did not understand this reaction inside myself.   After more than a half hour, I had cried it out.  I love my runs, and was feeling distraught that I might be finished.   I then redressed my new wounds and by now my right knee looked totally smashed and like a ragged pot hole.  It had only been a few weeks and being super careful, this fall blindsided my sensibilities.   I curled up in a soft blanket, with my meds and ice packs, and tried to sleep. Two weeks went by with no attempt to walk any distance or run.  I mentioned via email to my Speech Therapist, Amy Wilson, in my previous town, what had happened and how it upset me.   Amy initially advised me to go back to my computer and continue my exercises to increase my attention, a problem that persisted post SAH.  Admittedly, I got back into my living, and had let this fall by the wayside.

A day later she messaged  to me and said she had talked with the person who had been my Physical Therapist, Jason.  He told Amy, that he had noticed and told me that he noted a toe lag on one foot when my muscles on that side got tired.  I have no memory of this.  But I won't forget now.   His recommendation after I heal up, was to break my miles up, and not run so much in one day, not to run every day and to build up slower.  His best guess was that the nerve/muscle on the one affected side would tire, and my toes would lag and I was tripping myself that way.  Since I followed all of their wise advice,  no more falls.  As spring was passing I got out and ran shorter runs, slower and just tried to enjoy the cool spring weather while it lasted.

 Now into the hot Texas summer, with heat in the high 90s with high humidity, I am not running.  My last run was this one.

I should be blogging on cross training and also on heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  I was treated for heat exhaustion not long after this last picture was taken.  Post race, I began getting shivers, and felt very cold.  In fact it was the opposite, I was over heated.  EMTs poured cold water on me, and had me drink 3 bottles of Gatorade, a bottle of water and sit in the shade until the shivering stopped, and my blood sugar got above the 70 they measured it at.  Shivering in hot humid weather is not normal, and is a strong reminder that hot weather is not for exertion and me!
Building a pool to do some water aerobics in for me is underway.  It should be finished next week.
 What I will blog on now, as I see people from around the world are still checking in on my blog, is how to adjust your training to the weather as the seasons change, and tell about my cycling adventure that is upcoming in another week.  I plan a run in Ireland soon as the 60 degree F high temps are perfect for a run as well as a week on a bike!

Sorry for my absence, and neglect of this blog.  In my mind, its purpose had been fulfilled as it lead up to my biggest race.  One cannot stop encouraging fitness, and falls are part of this apparently.  But getting up, getting back into being active is what keeps me going.  I will keep giving my followers encouragement, and experience, even  the falls in life.

Monday, September 14, 2015

So Far So Good, and Reasons to Keep Moving

I rested which actually means did nothing but eat, sleep, rest, for two weeks.  In two weeks time added to the time I was just worn out from too much life issues when
exercise was sporadic at best, I got weak.  My muscles were weaker, looked smaller.  I will make a judgement from my experience, that it doesn't take long to lose tone and strength as we age.   In past reading, I remember that muscle memory will bring you back up to baseline, but you must move.  Light exercise, walking at first for a few days, then Ben decided I was ready to do a faster walk\ slow jog on Sunday, with him.  I did well enough to complete a circle around our new neighborhood, after a day visiting with my grand kids.  I did not hold up as well playing I noticed.  I tired out quick for me.  So I decided Ben may be right.  I survived, felt pretty good for rest of the day, but tuckered out early.  After a good nights sleep, I am tired today.  Noticeably tired, but that only means I need to walk more today.  Or at least try.  I can feel parts of my legs that are sore and have not been used in a while.  The safest way to do this is to balance rest with activity.  After I get my Monday chores done, I plan a walk, a hot shower and an afternoon nap.  On the mend again, also for now, means on the road again.  I will not give in to weakness.  I continue to strive to be the strongest and best I can be for today.
A visit with this doctor will keep you running!  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Slowing Down But Not Stopping!

Some of you know that selling house, moving, moving again, travel and a huge race to run took its toll on me.  I have been limping along figuratively and trying to bounce back to where I was but it is not working yet.  I have had a hoarse or no voice since end of June.  It comes and goes, seems worse when I am tired out, but I have not felt like I had a cold or allergies.  I ignored it, and ignored it, and ignored some more......but a very observant friend who would call me regularly kept asking me "Whats wrong with your voice?"   She did this so many times, eventually I heard the message.  I have stopped running, but still walking.  If I quit moving, it will not help.  I have gotten more rest and regular afternoon naps or rest times, and will have an MRI of the brain today and some other tests to follow.  My doctor wants to be sure it is not anything of concern.  I am not singing in the shower, singing to the radio in the car (both hobbies I do enjoy!) and I have been resting my voice and not talking most of day.  If I stay home its not a problem.  No one to talk to helps.  But my voice is best first thing when I wake up, and worsens through the day.  The reason I post this blog entry today is not because I stopped running after the Senior Games.  Its not because I did not score a medal.  It is not because I don't want to run.  I feel like I can't and I should not be trying right now.  Several times I have preached about listening to your body.  I get in trouble when I don't.  I am still walking as I said, and try to be as active during the day as I can be.  I did trek over to Houston so spend the weekend with my son Mike, wife Kristen and my granddaughters and grandson, even though Gigi did not feel like whooping it up as usual, I did love the giggles, the kisses and hugs and moments together.
 Instead of going shopping at the mall with these bundles of energy, I brought some surprises and I did some online back to school shopping with Ava, who just started first grade.  She did not seem to mind not going to the stores to shop, but seemed happy to pick from pictures on my cellphone.  And she knows that she and "mommy" will be surprised when the boxes come to the door in the next week or so.
I am also writing about this so those of you who have looked to me for inspiration to just keep going to better fitness, will not stop or feel I am no longer focused on health and wellness, after the biggest race of my life.  I need your inspiration right now to keep on moving.  I do not need to get weak again and have to struggle to keep my strength.  Keep walking or running, whatever you do best.  Let others know you are still carrying on, rain or shine, and it will keep me in the game too!  If I don't blog about running, its cause i am not able to.  I will try to blog about walks, healthy living, and rest.  I will not blog about ailments and what is wrong with me.  My focus will be what is right with me, and if there are long lapses of time, its cause I am doing the best I can.  Thats all any one can do!  Exercise, rest, fun and therapy can come in many forms!  Enjoy each day!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Top 10 Reasons Running Haters Run Anyway

I read.  I read a lot.  I read recently, that if you ask people what they think about running, apparently you can divide the population into two distinct groups.  The lovers and the haters.  The interesting fact that I gleaned from this was that even though many people say they hate running, continue to make it a regular part of their lives.  Why?????  That sounds crazy to many of you, but it makes a lot of sense in retrospect.

The benefits of running are many.  Most people start walking and then running in an attempt to lose weight or tone legs.  Running is just fast walking.  Once a walker gets faster and stronger, many times they will think, "hey, I would get done faster if I did a little running too"  And then it goes from there.  The truth is that walking and running strongly contributes to winning many personal wealth battles, and enhances overall health in many ways.  The top 10 I have come across:

1) Whether you win a race or just finish them, you are on track to winning the battle of the bulge.  60% of runners run for weight control.

2) Prevent muscle and bone loss.  Even thin people get sagging and wrinkles if they don't exercise due to muscle loss and loss of muscle tone as we age.  Weight bearing exercise and running helps this and also prevention of bone loss.  Human Growth Hormone levels elevate as well.  These taper as we age, and this is why celebrities have injected this in themselves to hold off aging.  Running does this naturally.  It also slows aging on the inside of our bodies too.

3) Fights Disease.  Running helps with increasing elasticity of blood vessels, decreasing blood pressure, decreases incidence of diabetes just to mention a few benefits.

4) Increases lung capacity and oxygen to all parts of the body.  It increases the immune system, by increasing white blood cell production, decrease risk of blood clots, and also increases the HDL levels, or good cholesterol.

5) Runners report a new level of self confidence, self esteem.

6) Stress Release.

7) Helps brain focus and builds mental determination.  The regular increased oxygenation to the blood and stress relief must also be considered as healthy for our aging neurons.

8) Runners High-- yep, that natural feel good, relaxed feeling of endorphin release that strenuous activity brings.  It keeps you going back for more.

9) Balance and Coordination improve.  These are things that also naturally decline with age and can cause injury.  This is important.

10) No fancy equipment is required.  Decent shoes, comfy clothes based on the weather and a safe place.  Meeting people who walk or run, and joining races and fun runs for charity a social bonus!

Out I go for a long fast walk and a few slow jogs!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Running in A Heat Wave, And Not Lose Focus

I have been reminded more than a bit, that I have been slacking on the blog.  Working on the house we will inhabit has occupied my time.  I have hit the gym a few times though for aerobic activity as I have had plenty of manual labor.  Friends have fallen off track too since my hiatus, and my friend Norma got after me for some motivation to get back on track with habit forming exercise and healthy eating.  We need to be less hard on ourselves, with weeks of 90 to 100 and above temps.

 Exercise in hot weather is important but so is avoiding heat stroke.   It is the main reason we have not had enough  running lately.  Ben and I are looking for a race to plan for coming up soon, so it will nudge us to get back to the road.  The 100 degree plus temps have not been helping. i have had a run or two on a tread mill, but not the same to me.  Personally I don't enjoy the tread mill, but its the only option in this heat.  This is the hard time to train if you live in the south.  Exertion outside when the temperature is higher than your body's and with high humidity is dangerous at any age.  Your body can not cool off.  Its that simple.   The tread mill is a moving track, that does not give the same feeling as you propelling along a track or road, but with this kind of heat it is all you can do.  I have been 2 miles on the tread mill and another 6 to 10 on the stationary bike, when not working on our move.  My focus has been back to proper nutrition as well.  While traveling and moving, we fell back into fast food and take out more than ever.  So, back to the basics of eating less processed and more wholesome choices is again in style at our house.  I took a few pics of recent examples to share ideas.   Figuring out what to fix for meals and stay healthy is some days more challenging than a race.  You don't always have the time to go to the store and browse what looks fresh and healthy to get ideas for meals.
In the first picture is an example of a healthy summery breakfast
Fresh blackberries, blueberries, watermelon and peaches, with two soft boiled eggs and a slice of whole grain toast.  Proper feeding of our bodies, adequate sleep
and exercise makes the body perform best.  Lets try to get back on that track!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Have Had To Stop Running- Pushing Too Hard Can Slow You Down

I have been in a bit of denial.  Actually, a lot of it.  The build up for  the big race, moving out of a house, into another then again into an interim apartment, travel across the country in time to run in the biggest 5K held only every two years, and then back to adjust to a new apartment, preparing for and then presenting data in a Houston Tax Protest Hearing, then unpacking, cleaning and settling new home three hours away, just thinking about it is exhausting.  I wasn't sleeping well at night, and I had no time for naps.  My life became a terribly run on sentence.  It was like a train on the tracks hurtling forward without a brake.  My life became a marathon and I now feel every punishing mile.

 I can say proudly " I did it all and did it well" but that does not make me feel any better today.  I tried to function like I have not been  challenged physically and mentally, like I am not a vintage person with a physical and mental limit.  That is until I hit that limit, tried to push beyond it, and now am back to where the common activities of daily living are exhausting.  I have no energy to run errands, let alone run.  I have tried, and had to stop.  I tried to run yesterday.  I had to stop.  I had to admit defeat, for now.  After just trying I had to go lay down and rest.  Complete exhaustion set in.  It feels like I am too tired to beathe when I push too far.  I have taken more steps backwards now than I can bear to consider.
 I feel weak.  I feel mentally and physically spent.  I did this to myself, with the help of life and my sense of duty and need to accomplish.  I am not 30 any more.  I have limits and exceeded them, so now I am paying for it.

Running was a way I felt strong.  I felt free and like I was really alive.  I felt a sense of accomplishment without having to concentrate or remember.  I could put on music I love and enjoy natural surroundings, fresh air, sunshine, and the freedom of the open road.  Until I tried to expend enormous amounts of brain and body energy tackling our life changes and demands.  It feels like failure.

All stressors of life, work, effort needs to be balanced with adequate food, fuel and rest.  The older person, older runner, needs more rest.  I know now I did not take enough recovery time after each event.  Selling house, preparing for move, moving, unpacking and settling, training to run, travel to Senior Games, running that race, etc, my life became a run on sentence.  Until I hit the wall.

Time for me to unplug, take a deep breath and plan my days again.  I need to get back on the routine. I need to have a walk every day.  That is healing.  I need more rest, and that means a good nap every day, at the same time.  I need to eat only healthy unprocessed foods.  I need to drink more water, and wait.  I will feel better, it just takes longer.  My body will respond.  It has before.  Each time I get myself to this point, I swear to myself I will not over do again, that I have learned my lesson.  This is a constant struggle.  Find your balance.  Know your limits.  Take best care of yourself first.  Then get on with what brings joy to your life.