I’m back!

Shin splint recovery continued!

I started feeling knee and shin pain on March 24 after a 6 mile downhill run. I was in denial at first, still cross training and throwing in a couple trail runs (softer surface) the next week, but at a massage appointment on March 31, my massage therapist confirmed it: shin splints. Gratefully, they weren’t TOO bad at that point, but the signs were there. I was determined to heal up as quickly as I could and get back to running!

I tried to do a bit of cross training (stationary bike, elliptical, strength training), but my legs were just tender, and not having it. I stopped. I did the things I shared in my last post (and a couple other things I shared in my last email newsletter). I rested. It was difficult. Stuff was also happening in my personal life and I didn’t have my normal outlet (running and exercise) to help me work through it.

I realized during a walk one day that I was feeling it more in parts of my knees, which made me even more nervous (shin splints I had dealt with before, but knee problems I had not). Even though I was concerned about my knees, it still felt nice to be able to narrow down the cause even more. Everything is connected, you know. So I started caring for my knees even more with KT Tape and icing—as opposed to focusing primarily on my shins, which were starting to feel better after the few days off.

While I was trying to fall asleep late one night, I picked up my phone and wrote out a training plan to still get the runs I wanted to in before my next race. I planned to take just over two full weeks off before starting to ease back into running (at the time of writing that plan, that still gave me just under two weeks remaining of no running). I looked at that training plan the next morning and was kicking myself for scheduling so much time off, but knew that this was still a wise plan to stick to.

*During this break, you should know that every day I was researching different races and training plans, getting excited to be back at it. Haha!

Last Monday morning—just a few days after I had written that training plan—my quads had a strange strain to them, but I still had the thought, “I’m going to run today.”

I didn’t expect this thought. According to the late-night plan I had written, I still had a full week of rest left. But when my intuition tells me something, I listen. I packed my running gear with me as I went off to work that day.

I can’t tell you how good it felt to run again. I chose a mostly-flat trail that I was familiar with, wore shoes that I knew my feet felt good in (I knew my shoes would affect my shins, knees, and everything else as well), took the pace very easy, and enjoyed every second. I had my good friend’s running playlist playing in my ears (a mix of gangster rap and alternative hits from a few years earlier, haha!), and the warm sun kissing my shoulders.

The next day I was on the ARC trainer at the gym. The day after that I did another trail run. Still taking it easy, still icing my legs after every exercise, still gently stretching and strengthening. But let me tell you, it feels so good.

I guess the point of this post is to tell you: your body knows best. If your body says “Something’s wrong,” then slow down and figure out what. If it says “I need rest,” then let your body rest. If your body says, “I can shake this out. Let’s give it a shot,” then it’s probably time to get moving.

In my limited experience, with any setback, I’ve always come back physically stronger, wiser in my training, and somehow even more enthusiastic about my training and the process than I was before! (And let’s hope that that experience proves to be true for every setback, in every area!)

It’s good to be back. I still don’t know what the plan is for this weekend or next week, but I’m grateful to be in this space of growth and potential.

Lastly, RUNNING IS SO MUCH FUN!! Haha

How I’m helping my body heal from shin splints

I feel like I haven’t posted much on Instagram lately because I am CRANKY about this injury—my first shin splints in probably 7 years. I’m quite bummed about it. I was in denial at first because they weren’t as bad as I remember them being 7 years ago, but my massage therapist confirmed it: shin splints (and thank GOODNESS they aren’t as bad as they were 7 years ago!). I’m pretty sure I know exactly what caused them, and I am moving forward with a plan to not only heal these shin splints (quickly, I hope), but remedy the cause of them by adjusting my training from here on out.

I’ve decided to share some of what I’m doing to help my body heal—both to reaffirm it for myself* and also in case anyone else may need a little guidance in this area.

*Reaffirming it for myself because I’ve gone a little stir crazy about this. The last few days I’ve been so frustrated with my body, and frustrated that I can’t train and move how I want to. Part of how I’m going to deal with that is to actively work on recovering, and also hopefully find some good ways to fill my time! Hobbies or what have you. Still deciding exactly what to focus on though.

Here are some things that I’m doing to heal:

  1. I’m taking Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex pills 1-2 times a day, with meals. These pills are a part of doTERRA’s Deep Blueline, though they aren’t the exact oils in the oil blend or lotion (both of which I love too, by the way). These pills are taken internally and are said to help support muscles and joints, soothe discomforts, and contains doTERRA’s “Tummy Tamer Blend.” I’ve been taking it in place on ibuprofen for about 2 months now and have been very pleased with it. While I usually take it as needed, I’ve been taking it more regularly over the past few days in the hopes that it will help in my body’s healing process.

I will say, these pills are rather expensive, which is why I haven’t tried them before now—but if you’re on a doTERRA team, placing regular wholesale orders, and doing that whole thing, a majority (if not all of) your monthly order will be free. To me, this makes these pills well worth it!

P.S. These pills contain: Frankincense, Turmeric, Ginger, Green Tea (caffeine-free), Pomegranate, Grape Seed, Resveratrol, Peppermint Leaf, and Caraway Seed.

P.P.S. As always, contact me if you want more info on anything doTERRA, or on joining my team!

  1. I bought this roller stick to help roll out my muscles, especially around my shins. I’ve used a foam roller for quite some time now, but when my massage therapist recommended I roll out my tight calves and the area around my shins regularly to help heal and prevent future shin splints, I felt that this would be an easier way to do that. So far, I like it a lot!

  2. I’ve been adding collagen peptides to smoothies! Truth be told, I ran out of collagen peptides a couple weeks back, and had been using bone broth in smoothies instead, just because I had that available at the time. But I’ve since put in another order for collagen peptides. This powder is unflavored and can easily be added to smoothies, drinks, baked goods, etc. (I add it to my green smoothies every day). It promotes healthy skin, joints, bones, hair, nails, etc. 

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Of course, those three things are only part of how I’m healing from this. A lot of it is rest, some cross training, as well as icing my shins and knees multiple times a day.

If you’re in a similar boat, perhaps check out this article for some more recovery ideas (I’ve done quite a bit of research on this, but that article got straight to the point and gave great insights, I thought!). I also really loved the second half of this post by hungryrunnergirl (I love her) about how to move forward from running injuries.

Now here’s hoping my body heals up quickly!

Transformation/Throwback Tuesday

I was searching my old-old blog tonight, trying to find old pics of me running to see how long I’ve had my running shorts, haha! (Turns out the oldest picture I can find with them is only 4 years old, but it feels like I’ve had them for longer! But I guess thank goodness I haven’t). But I ended up finding something FAR better.

On October 9, 2009 I wrote the following intentions:

For the past several months, I have had intentions building in my mind.
These are two of the ones that have stuck around.

  • Become a certified yoga instructor. Look for chances to offer the blessings of this practice to those who normally would not be able to afford going to an expensive studio.
  • Run a 10k, half marathon, or a relay race. Any of those will do. I just really like running.

So, basically, I’m thinking that if I publicly announce these things on this blog, I’ll actually get them done. And by the time I save up enough money to enroll in a yoga instructor training course, I’ll be about ready to do that! 🙂

crow pose, probably held for .2 seconds, october 2009. header photo, crow pose 2017.

I don’t remember writing these. I remember having thoughts that I’d like to become a yoga instructor someday, but at that time I only casually practiced, and mostly at home. I remember thinking it’d be cool to do a half marathon someday, but at that time, I only casually ran/walked some 5k races, probably just casually run/walking a couple miles some evenings to be ready to just finish that distance come race day.

You guys.

In 2014 I ran my first 10k, and then my first relay.

In 2016 I completed my 200-hour yoga teaching certification.

In 2017 I ran my first half marathon, then my second.

(Uh, also, p.s. Thank you to my parents for funding my yoga teacher training. That whole bit about “saving up enough money to enroll” didn’t actually come to pass. Whoops. Gratefully, practicing better money management is already an intention I’ve set and am actively working on, haha!)

You guys, I did these things. These dreams and intentions that seemed so far off, so unlikely, especially considering how little I was working toward them at the time. It makes me think, what other someday-thoughts have I had in my life (I can already think of some), and what would happen if I focused even a little bit more on working toward them? Writing them down? Being more intentional about my time and efforts in those particular areas of life?

Same questions for you. What intentions can you set today? What are those quiet someday-thoughts you’ve had? Then start making them happen.

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Header photo by Tiffani Berthold at The Station Fitness Studio in Orem, Utah!

Race Recap: BYU’s Rex Lee Run 5k

I had an expected goal pace for this race, and I had a hopeful goal pace for this race—as I usually do. And then I got a little stressed the morning-of, scrapped all of that, and simply remembered that I was running for my Grandma Judy, who had died of pancreatic cancer in 2016. I decided I simply wanted to race smart and remember her.

And then two miles into the race, I scrapped all of that again and thought, “My legs are heavy, it’s really sunny, and I wish I hadn’t worn pants.”

All in all, this race felt like a crappy training run more than a wisely run race. Ha! Darn it. It happens, for various reasons. That said, as I’ve been processing the race today, there are some really positive things to note about it:

Pros:

  1. The race itself, the Rex Lee Run. All of the money from entry fees goes directly to cancer research, which I am SO in favor of. Like I said, this disease took my grandma, and took her quickly. I saw the state she was in when she passed—she was one tough lady, but this took so much out of her. Anything in this area of research, I am very much in support of, which is why I’ve run with my grandma’s name on my bib in 4 races now (two Temple to Temple 5k’s in 2016 and 2017, the AF Canyon Half Marathon to benefit local cancer patients in 2017, and now this race).
    The race was well organized. Also, all of the staff, volunteers (including LDS missionaries, which I LOVE!), and participants were so happy and excited to be there. The energy at this race was one of my favorites, and I can see why people keep doing it year after year.
    And, the shirts are cozy. Haha! I was one of the few who didn’t wear their shirt during the actual run because I wanted to come home afterward and cozy up in it.
  2. The race starts with a hill. I had a goal to run it at about a 9 min/mile pace. I ended up with an 8:55 min/mile pace, and I felt pretty good running the hill at that pace.
  3. After that hill, the second mile of downhill sure felt nice!
  4. One of my FAVORITE parts of the race was seeing Sam and my cousin Mikey at the end. They came to cheer me on. It meant so much to me.
  5. While I didn’t hit my race goals (any of them, really—time goals or racing wisely goals), I did do a very similar race route for the BYU Women’s Services Voices of Courage 5k in October 2016 where my time was 31:46 (so a 9:59 min/mile average pace). Part of that was surely because the race started in a more congested area so I was forced to start slow. But also, I’ve improved a LOT since then. It was an almost identical route, and this time I finished in 28:43 (9:05 min/mile pace). So while this wasn’t my best 5k, it wasn’t my worst, and I could see an immediate improvement on the course itself (at least with the numbers—I definitely think going slower in that 2016 race FELT a lot better than today did as a whole, haha).

Things I could have done better on:

  1. That starting hill was great, but the second mile, which was downhill, I did it at an 8:53 min/mile pace, which felt great. But also, should my easy downhill pace be the same as my difficult uphill pace? Hmm…
  2. I swear I checked the temperature in Provo last night and it said it would be in the 40’s (it was), and partly cloudy (it wasn’t). I debated between capris and long pants this morning, and ultimately decided on the pants (partly cloudy could also mean chilly), and oh man, did I regret that pretty quickly. I’m just grateful that I left my running gloves in my car. By mile 3 I was so hot, and even rolling up my sleeves just to get some more air on my body.
  3. I stopped briefly multiple times in that 3rd mile. Whereas my first two miles were about an 8:55 min/mile pace, my third was 9:33 min/mile. I’m glad that I listened to my body to pause and walk (I guess I raced smart in that regard), but also, poop. That was not my plan. On a similar note, there were some photographers along the course, and the first couple I could smile and feel pretty good. By the last photographer, I tried putting on a smile and distinctly remember thinking, “smiling is taking up a LOT of energy right now.”

So, this wasn’t my best 5k race, and it wasn’t my worst. I ran it, and I’m glad I did. The money —and awareness—went toward a great cause, and this race will help my body grow stronger as I work toward my upcoming goals.

Thank you to my dad and Bridget for texting me good luck the night before! Thank you to my roommate Katie for taping my shoulder this morning! And thank you so much to Sam and Mikey for coming out to hug my sweaty self at the finish line. Your support means so much to me!

Another 5k in the books, friends. Onto the next thing!

Why I Run!

I have a 5k coming up in just a few days and, as it often goes, my training plan didn’t quite turn out how I had intended it to. For example, my body was just naturally exhausted last Friday and Saturday, and I had been hoping to get a key run in one of those days. I tried, and it just didn’t happen. I’ve been taking this week easy and focusing on things like nutrition and getting proper rest instead.

I never viewed this race as THE RACE—I have another 5k later in the year that I have big goals for—but I wanted to do the best I could on this one, and I do have perhaps a small goal for it in mind. But last night as I was (for like, the third night in a row) imagining race day, I decided that I simply wanted to focus on:

I want to do this.

Because sometimes it’s hard to remember that when I’m tired, or when my body (or mind) is not performing as I’d like it to. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that when lounging and eating snacks and watching Netflix seems nice. Sometimes it’s hard to remember when it’s too cold or too hot, or in that pre-run moment when you choose to go without a jacket because you know you’ll warm up within a half mile, but you’ve still got that 15 minutes before the race starts + that half mile before the goosebumps on your arms go away.

But, I want to do this, and here’s why.

In the summer of 2008 I moved to Utah and started running on some warm summer nights—which is still one of my favorite times to run. In the solitude of darkness, meditating and praying, or simply being with my breath and rhythm as I roam my neighborhood.

In the winter of 2014, with a heart healing from a deep depression, I found relief from the heaviness even for just those few moments on the elliptical, treadmill, or on the road. And the feeling of incredible accomplishment when I finished my first 10k race that June (and two weeks later, my first Ragnar relay). I had “run” 5k’s for years, just for fun, but these two races, to me, mark the point where I really began pushing myself as a runner.

In the winter of 2017, healing from betrayal and grief, I asked a friend of mine to be my running coach. For the first time, I completed specific workouts catered toward my goals (and committed to a larger-than-ever goal of completing my first half marathon). Running went hand-in-hand with my healing and betrayal trauma recovery, and I experienced many moments of elation as I found sincere joy and fulfillment in sprint workouts, and accomplishment in reaching new PR’s and new distances. I consider this the first time I started truly “training” as a runner.

Running has played different roles at different times of my life, and I have a feeling that this will continue to evolve especially over the next few months and this whole year.

But at this very moment, this is why I run:

I can let go of any bad day, stressful moment, heavy thought within 2 minutes of getting out on the road (okay, 5 minutes, tops). That’s all it takes to lift the heaviness.

It reminds me how far I’ve come, and also reminds me to be compassionate with myself when I still have a ways to go to reach my goals. If we didn’t have room for improvement, then what’s the point? I’m in no rush; I am learning.

I want to build up my speed and technique to go faster! I want to see what my mind and body can do.

And bonus: It IS a bit nice to be able to eat more when I’m training hard 😉

…but that’s not what I’m thinking of when I’m training or racing. Just the little bonus, haha!

So on Saturday, I want to enjoy every moment of that race. I want to bask in every step up that hill at the beginning, and I want to feel the breeze in my hair as I let go and fly down the hill. I want to savor every heavy step in the last stretch there—I know where I’ll be going, and I’m going to get there.

I run because I love it. I race because I love it. I want to do all of it, and I’m going to keep doing it, and enjoy every moment.