Skier’s Thumb and Walking a Half Marathon?

Sometimes…things happen. That result in injury. For some reason, these things seem to happen to me more often than the average person.

Several weeks ago we decided to go skiing. Of course skiing comes with some degree of risk, but I never realized my thumbs were in jeopardy. On my first run of the day, a crazy snowboarder cut me off, I turned hard and went down. On my left hand. On my pole.

Little did I know that this is a textbook skiing injury that’s actually called “Skier’s Thumb”. Honestly, it hurt and was mega-swollen, but I skied the rest of the day and figured I had just jammed it.

Because it was my thumb, which is sort of an important digit, I went to the doctor the next day. I really wasn’t prepared to hear the news that I had Skier’s Thumb – a tear of the UCL of the thumb. What I thought was a minor injury was at least 8 weeks in a splint and the possibility of surgery! What really made the world come crashing down, though, was the news that I wouldn’t be able to row at all until my thumb was fully healed. Or any other activity that required bearing weight or gripping with that hand (thankfully my left since I’m right handed!). Major bummer.

I was cleared to run and cycle, so instead of freaking out and giving up (ok, I gave myself a day to cry and feel sorry for myself, but only ONE day), I decided I would do what I could. So far this has been an unexpected success, but not like I thought it would be…

I decided to put my energy into my running, since I have the Seawheeze coming up in August, and it was time for me to start training anyway. This didn’t last long.

I have had hip issues for a few years, and every time I have it checked out it is diagnosed as hip bursitis. This annoying condition decided to flare up in a MAJOR way only about a week and a half into my running. This had more of an effect on me than the thumb diagnosis for a few reasons. First, double whammy. Wasn’t prepared for this, since I had been running OK for a while. Second, this flare up was so bad I really couldn’t do much of anything for a week or two.

While I was down, I decided that maybe it was time to make a change. I decided that I would start to consider not running at all. Not giving up, but doing something differently.

I started to consider walking the entire half marathon, and training for this as a walk and not a run. I’ve started following a walking plan to see what happens, and am going to try this out for a few weeks to see if it might be an option.

Anyone have advice for walking a half marathon? I’m definitely having trouble finding a lot of information on this.

Fitness Fashion Weekly Roundup 2/8/2015

What a great week! I dialed down my ClassPass classes this week, because I was ramping up some activities in other areas and really didn’t want to overdo it.

In Seawheeze news, I got two really decent runs in this week with no serious issues. Better than my last run.

I also had a ski trip yesterday that I really didn’t want to be tired for. Unfortunately I think I may have “skier’s thumb” from a fall on my first run (arg!), so not sure what my workouts will look like this week until I see a doctor. I did try half an hour of yoga tonight without incident, so it looks like I’ve still got full body active options on the table.

Diet has been excellent, since I started a Whole30 last Sunday! I have such a love/hate relationship with the Whole30. It’s tough, but I always feel so great and see such amazing results!

Now for what I wore this week. As always, click on the thumbnail to better see the outfit and read more details!

 

 

Maps!

In my quest to track more metrics about my fitness journey, I decided to take a look at WHERE I’m working out, not just when/how long/at what intensity/etc. This is only tracking the classes I’ve taken through ClassPass, and not any other studio or home/run activities, but it’s still cool to look at. I’ve created a chloropleth map (the darker colors indicate where I’ve taken more classes, the lighter colors indicate where I’ve taken fewer classes) of my ClassPass activities below – click the link to see the map! Class locations are mapped by census block and tract, and I’ve labeled each tract (which in my case indicate individual studios) with the number of times I’ve visited that studio. I didn’t realize how spread out the studios were, until I started looking at this map, and can barely see all of the locations at once. I took a look at some distances, and it turns out I’m traveling an average of 26.5 miles per week to class! That’s more than a marathon! I’ve traveled a grand total of 345 miles so far, which is about the distance from NYC to Richmond, Virginia! And, it’s an average of 7.5 miles per class. Thank goodness for the subway! I’m excited to add on to this map, especially in new cities using my ClassPass Flex! How far you do commute to workout?

http://cglivergood.cartodb.com/viz/2358add4-ae5e-11e4-9bc1-0e4fddd5de28/embed_map

Gallery

Fitness Fashion Weekly Roundup 2/1/2015

Another week, another outfit lineup! After a bunch of really tough workouts last week, and a snowstorm this week, I decided to take a few days off. Boy did my body need it. When I went back to my first class after a few days of rest and gentle yoga, I felt amazing! I actually thought my rowing class was pretty easy – the wheel felt so light! But after class, I heard multiple people talking about how hard the class was! What a confidence boost, and total confirmation that my body needs rest in order to grow and perform. Speaking of boosting performance, I started my third Whole30 today! Each Whole30 is different, and I’m excited to see what this one brings!

Anyway, back to the fashion 😉 To see a full shot, details and other notes about each outfit, click on the image!

Gallery

Fitness Fashion Weekly Roundup 1/25/2015

This week I started posting my workout outfits on Instagram, and they seemed to be a hit. So I thought, why not do a quick roundup of the week’s outfits here. I think this would be a good place to leave some notes and feedback on some of the pieces I wear, too – click on the outfit image to get more details about what I wore! Do you enjoy seeing galleries like this?

Performance – Time of Day

Fun fact – I. Love. Numbers. Always have, always will. So of course I’m always looking for ways to play with data. Now that I have a full-on love affair with ClassPass, I have enough data points to start looking at some of my habits. Of course, most fitness folks probably don’t care about this at all, but I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of my own patterns to see how I might be able to make my workouts more efficient/productive/etc.

I definitely prefer to workout in the morning. I don’t know why, but anything after about 3PM, no matter how low key my day has been, just makes me feel totally wiped, both during and after the workout. The best way I can think to measure actual vs. perceived effort is by heart rate. Unfortunately I don’t yet own a heart rate monitor (but one is on the way that will sync up with my Garmin!), but I’m planning on starting to strap on that baby as I take similar classes at different times of day. I’m excited to see if the heart rate data corresponds to my mental perception, or if the fatigue really is just in my head. I’d love to know if you know of other ways to measure level of effort.

Since I don’t yet have the monitor, I thought I’d start fiddling with the data I do have, just looking at my class history. Because I have a very flexible schedule, I have the ability to book a class at any time of day. While I am sometimes restricted by when classes are offered, many of the studios I visit regularly have classes in the morning, midday and in the evening, so I’m not placing too much weight on class time restrictions. The results may seem a little “duh” based on what I’ve just told you, but I clearly prefer morning classes.

Frequency of time of class

As with all statistics, context matters. My natural sleep cycle is from about 2AM – 10AM. I know, I’m out of whack, but when I truly go to sleep when tired and wake up on my own, these times have been consistent for at least a decade. I find this graph very interesting, that I gravitate toward classes clustered around 10AM. Could this be because this is the time of day that I feel most rested?

I thought I should also look at exactly what kind of activity I’m doing at these times – perhaps there is an energy expenditure pattern there?

Activity by Time of Day Jan 2015

Holy yoga spike, Batman. Taking this into account, it looks like my major energy expenditures through spin and rowing are split across that 10AM/11AM line. While the after 11 classes aren’t quite as tightly concentrated as the morning classes, that seems like a good time to draw a line in the sand, given my natural rhythm. After seeing this split, I am really eager to give the heart rate monitor a go and see my level of effort around this cutoff line. Or perhaps there is another cutoff time for peak performance?

Do you track stats like heart rate when exercising? And when is your favorite time of day to workout?

Ups & Downs

Some days are good, and some days are bad. It has been a week of ups and downs.

I tried to go for a run about a week ago, and my foot pain returned. At this point, I have no idea what’s going on with this foot – it doesn’t hurt when I run, and seems the worst first thing in the morning. I backed off of run/walking again and think I’m going to have to finally have this checked out (instead of ignoring it and pretending it wasn’t an issue). Bummer.

In addition to the weird foot, I definitely injured a tendon in my elbow at a yoga class last week. It doesn’t seem to be anything major, but it does hold me back a little bit in some classes. I’m trying to keep up with my cardio classes and avoid anything that’s too intense on my elbow for now.

BUT…despite these setbacks, I had a major week of breakthroughs, too. First, I sat front and center at my absolute favorite rowing class at Brooklyn Crew. I have been feeling really strong in these classes (45 minutes of rowing on a Concept2 dynamic rower), and even got some props from the instructor after class on Saturday about my performance in class. The dynamic is a lot different than a Model C or D, and really works the core muscles – a weak area for me. The feedback from the instructor has really boosted my confidence and helps me know that I’m making progress.

My other big milestone was taking – and surviving – a spin class last weekend! I had only tried spinning once before, and was completely WRECKED afterward. No joke, I had to work from home the Monday after I took the class because I literally couldn’t walk, and I was in pretty extreme pain for over a week. I finally got up the courage to try another class and I LOVED IT. And, the day after I’m a little sore, but totally functional. Woohoo! Not only did I feel great during and after the workout, I absolutely adored the studio, The Monster Cycle + Studio and instructor. It was so great that my husband and I both bought shirts from the studio on our very first visit and already signed up for more classes. One of the great draws of this studio is the two giant screens playing the music videos of the great playlist songs. It’s really awesome to have something to look at while pedaling to the beat. And the instructor was just the right ratio of encouraging, fun and silly. Another great perk was being able to order a smoothie before class, and have it ready and waiting as soon as class was over! I absolutely cannot wait to go back next weekend!

To balance out all of this high intensity workouts, I make sure I’m getting 1-2 restorative yoga classes in per week. My restorative teacher often talks about chakras during class, and I’ve recently discovered malas. I think these meditation tools are really awesome, and I started making some malas that correspond to chakra colors! My first two handmade malas are below! It was so fun to make these, and they turned out so well I decided to put them up in my Etsy store (click on the photos to visit the Etsy listing!). I can’t wait to make more. My plan is to have one mala for each major chakra color, to wear or meditate with on days when I’m feeling like the skill or organs connected to that chakra are in need of a little help!

Green Heart Chakra Mala

Green Heart Chakra Mala

Blue Throat Chakra Mala

Blue Throat Chakra Mala

Have you ever used a mala? If so, I’d love to hear more about your experience and how you’ve used it!

2015!

Hey Y’all!

After taking a pretty lengthy break for the holidays (from the blog, NOT the gym!), I have returned! After three weeks of travel, it’s nice to be back to normal.

While I was traveling, I tried to prioritize my workouts, especially since I wanted to enjoy some of the foods of the season! I’m very lucky to be able to use the gym where my mom is a member for free when I travel home. I’m double lucky that they have three of my beloved ergs. My MIL was incredible and actually purchased short term gym memberships for my husband and me while we were visiting. I used this membership to row, take some group classes and do some weight training. And when I didn’t have access to a gym (and wasn’t super sick 😦 ), well…burpees. I also turned to some of my favorite blogs that include great travel WODs:

I probably ate paleo…60-70%. I’m calling this a win, considering I have little control over food prepared when I’m staying with family.

Sooo…now we’re back and ready to WORK in 2015. Now that we’re into the new year, I think I’m going to start to move my focus back to run training. Just 216 days until Seawheeze!!

How were YOUR holidays?!

 

Gym Time!

WHOA! It has been a busy week-ish. Being home post-Thanksgiving, I have been on my gym game. I have made it to a class every single day (except one when the subway was messed up and I was too late to enter class 😦 ) since getting back to NYC. This is certainly a record for me, and it has left me feeling strong before the holiday season. Seeing my progress over the past couple months is providing some good motivation to keep moving with the holidays coming up.

I’ve really found something I love in rowing. I had never really rowed much before experimenting and taking classes through Classpass. At my first class, I was hooked. I’m not sure what it is, but I seem to have fallen into something I seem to be naturally good at AND really enjoy. How often does that happen?! I’m trying to cram in as much rowing as I can before I travel, and have found at least one gym along my travels that has an erg. One reason I’m so focused on getting rowing time in this month is Concept2’s Holiday Challenge. Concept2 is a major manufacturer of rowing machines (ergs) and for each person who rows at least 100k meters between Thanksgiving and Christmas, will donate 2 cents per 1k meters. It’s a pretty big target for me to hit as a new rower, but I’m setting that as a goal to try and complete by Christmas Eve!

Quick workout summary below! No running happening right now – it’s cold and I was all about the classes!

Rowing – 9,000 meters – 45 minutes on the Concept2 dynamic rower. Whew. That’s a workout..

Restorative Yoga – my favorite. Gimme bolsters. Lots of twisting poses to help with digestion on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Genius.

A hatha yoga class, focusing on the triangle pose. Lots of wonderful stretching and learning the fine details of the pose including all of the different rotations of the arms and legs. Awesome instructor, too.

Rowing again – this time on and off the erg with some bodyweight interval training thrown in. This workout absolutely killed me 5 weeks ago. Now? Great workout, but I can actually walk (instead of crawl) home.

Aquacycling!!! Boy do people have hilarious reactions when I explain to them what aqua cycling is (it’s spinning, but your bike is fully submerged in a pool). No matter what other people think, I think it’s the bomb, and had a great time with Lucie. She had perfect balance as an instructor – motivational but gentle, got you to push, but also close your eyes, breathe, and appreciate the moment. I’ll definitely be revisiting her.

Hip hop cardio. I won’t lie, it takes some courage to walk into fitness classes you’ve never tried all by yourself. Even after doing this for several weeks, this was probably the most intimidating class I’ve taken. Mostly because it was in a legit dance studio, and it was packed. The thing is, I had nothing to worry about. Great instructor, fun way to start my Saturday and holy cow did I sweat. I would easily rank this my sweatiest activity to date. You know this class is not messing around when the warm up song is Beyonce’s Run the World (Girls).

More rowing and yoga! 45 minutes on the erg, an hour of restorative yoga. That has kind of emerged as my ideal workout right now.

With so many holiday obligations coming up, I doubled up my Wednesday workout to include an hour of hatha yoga, and a BIG 45 minute reggae theme row. I figured if I was going to sit on airplanes all day Thursday it wouldn’t kill me to move a lot on Wednesday. So glad I did that. One great thing I’ve noticed as I’ve been getting stronger, is that I can do more and push harder, and not feel completely incapacitated the day after a big workout. What a GREAT feeling!

Food has been interesting this week. Saturday was a holiday free for all with some friends. We decorated their apartment floor to ceiling, watched Muppet Christmas Carol and ate everything bad for you imaginable. Otherwise my diet has been pretty solid, with my biggest offenses being a trip to Chipotle on an especially hungry day.

I did have a food epiphany at the end of last week, however. I started using a food tracking app called Cron-o-meter. I like this app, because it gives you some really great nutritional information, not just calories, especially things like types of proteins, omegas 3 and 6, etc.. There is even a default paleo setting. I discovered (after being hungry ALL THE TIME) that taking these intense classes on a daily basis but not changing my diet was not giving me enough calories. Not even close. While I use calorie counting and burning metrics as more of a ballpark, when my net for a day is 400 calories I’m clearly not fueling properly. I’m not a big one for counting calories, but using this app has helped shine some light on what I need to eat and when.

How do you make sure you’re fueling your body properly to stay active?

PS Christmas tree setup is a pretty good workout, too 🙂

O Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree!

 

Thanksgiving Fun

Happy Thanksgiving!!

What a busy week it has been. I’m very happy to report that I’ve managed to stay extremely active during this festive week, despite being away from home. Unfortunately with all the travel some unfortunate diet choices had to be made, but you do what you can. First, the food run down…

I’m some kind of weirdo who doesn’t really like traditional Thanksgiving food, so for me it’s just another dinner. I was at a family gathering in DC and we went out for the big dinner. My plate consisted of some white meat turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and a little bit of baked ziti (ok, and a martini). All that other “good” stuff (cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie) – ick. Never have liked it. So that meal went pretty well.

Anyway, I managed to keep my other meals KIND OF healthy. Breakfasts were great – scrambled eggs with veggies and potatoes. Lunches were a bit of a mess, including one day at the Air & Space Museum where the only choices were literally McDonald’s, some horrible looking pizza, and a Boston Market combo that sounded just as unhealthy as McDonald’s. So, burgers it was. My husband and I did haul a bunch of fruit and veggies along on the trip so we had some good snacks on hand to try and curb the cravings and keep the carbs to a minimum!

As for staying active, the past 12 days have been a success. Before I left Illinois, I managed to squeeze in one more run, and a strength training routine:

  • 3 minute warm up walk
  • 6 x 3 minute walk, 1 minute run
  • 3 minute cool down walk

Followed by the Tuesday workout from the DailyHiit 8 Week Total Body Challenge:

The strength training workout pretty much wrecked me and I was sore for days. By the time I was walking comfortably I was on a girls’ weekend to the mountains. We had a blast in the cold fall air, and got some great hikes in – again keeping active! The highlight was a 5 mile round trip hike to a great overlook point, including the ruins of an unfinished hotel from the 1920’s.

Hotel ruins

Hotel ruins

Hotel fireplace

Hotel fireplace

Overlook point in the Catskills

Overlook point in the Catskills

Squeezed in a rowing class at a new studio before heading out for the holiday. This class was on a water rower. It looks fancy, but honestly I think I prefer the Concept2.

First day of our holiday excursion, my husband and I both wanted to get some activity in. Unfortunately we were in the midst of a nor’easter. Ugh. Nevermind the rain and cold, we dragged the dogs out and I got a mile and a half walk in.

Cue the big turkey day! I woke up early with every intention of working out. Turns out lying in bed was pretty awesome so I stayed there for a while. I did make it to the hotel gym, just a little behind schedule 😉 I decided to do some strength work for a quick, efficient workout. I mean, I had a Thanksgiving Day Parade to watch so I didn’t want to dally around in they gym! I decided to do a 12 minute AMRAP from Tamalpais CrossFit:

I’m not going to lie, I almost decided to just make this 7 cleans and 7 thrusters and take out the burpees. Seriously, this is the kind of crap my mind tries to pull. Luckily I snapped myself out of that ridiculous idea and did the full WOD, as intended. I’m happy to report that I made it through 2 rounds plus 7 cleans and 7 thrusters and 1 burpee. I’m looking forward to trying this quick and simple workout again in a month or two to see if I can up the weight and/or rounds.

That same day we decided to walk home from dinner which was around 2 2/3 miles. I’m not sure everyone was on board with this plan, but I loved it – it was so fun to see a city by walking through it.

Finally back at home for a few weeks before more holiday travel madness, with a full week of Classpass classes booked. Lots of rowing, yoga and a little dance on the schedule.

Did you all have a happy and active Thanksgiving?! With even more holiday travel coming up, I’d love to hear about your favorite ways to keep active when you’re away from home and a regular routine!