Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Couple Things

I haven't been posting very much lately because turns out it's actually easier to post when you're super busy and actually have a life to write about.  I just haven't been up to too much, and since my writing philosphy is to only bore you somewhat and not completely, I've been staying away.  But here's what's going on:

This week is all about my cousin Sophia's 5th birthday.  I'm making the sheet cake for the family party tomorrow on her actual birthday and the cupcakes for her friends party on Saturday.  She requested yellow cake with chocolate icing with princesses and hearts and I'm happy to oblige.  Five-year-olds are such convenient excuses to make fudge icing.  I love her so much that most of it will probably even end up on her cake. 

The other major thing going on is my new workout routine.  When I went for that run with Kim and Laura last week, Kim mentioned that she was running a 5k in October.  A 5k has been on my goal list for some time.  I know I could easily sign up any time and walk most of it, but if I'm going to do it, I want to really do it and that means running. 

In my post last week, Kelsey mentioned in comments a Couch to 5k program.  I had never heard of such a thing, but I looked into it and, uh, there's an app for that.  So now the training program is on my phone and I stinkin' love it.  I walk out the front door with my phone in my pocket, earbuds in, and I can listen to my music and just wait for a voice to say "begin running" and then "start walking."  I just do what I'm told and I can mindlessly train for a 5k, which is my favorite way to train for 5ks!  Week 1 takes you through a cycle of 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes with 5 minutes of warm-up and 5 minutes of cool down.  It progressively builds every week for 8 weeks.  Eight weeks is exactly how much time I have before the 5k with Kim in October.  Hi, perfect, way to be.

So I've been running/walking 3 times a week, which is what the program requires, and then going to yoga once or twice a week.  I've only been doing the gentle or level I yoga classes, since I'm not trying to get a hardcore workout out of them.  I'm primarily using it for stretching and some mild strength training on off days.  It's all totally do-able and not at all tortuous most of the time. 

Here's my question for you runners though: from the very first running step I take, my shins feel sore and bruised and by the end of the run they are on fire.  The right leg more so than the left.  I struggled with this during high school too when I played basketball and my coach would give me ice frozen in paper cups.  You peel the paper cup off the ice and then roll the ice up and down your shins.  That helped after a practice or a game, but it doesn't help while you're running.  So any suggestions or good stretches for those muscles to help ease them?  Please say the answer is ingesting lots of fudge icing.  Thank you kindly. 

Side note:  If you're unfamiliar with my illustrious high school basketball career, you can read about it here.  Prepare to marvel at my long-standing tradition of athelticism.  Also, all the stuff in the first paragraph about being anti-running?  Well, just ignore it.  Though in principle, I still feel that way.  This whole running thing is simply an evil and awful means to a glorious end.


Kelsey said...

This is awesome!!! I'm glad to hear the Couch to 5K is working for you. Taking yoga also is going to help tremendously with stretching and strength training, just like you said. Seriously, well done!!! Since you asked about your shins, I might suggest a couple of things. First... it could be your shoes. If you're going to get into running, I think it's important that you get a quality pair of shoes that are made for your feet. You could go to a running store (specifically) and have one of the clerks watch you run on a treadmill. From that they can determine what kind of shoes would best support your feet and running style. For instance, I have high arches and neutral pronation, so I need neutral shoes with lots of cushioning. Asics Nimbus is my go to shoe, but you might need something entirely different. Second, you might want to look into compression socks. Those help a LOT with shin pain. Third, you could use one of those foam rollers 1-2 days a week to massage your legs. You can get the big ones at a running store, they also sell portable hand held massagers, but honestly, a rolling pin works just as well. It's going to be kind of painful at first, but trust me, massaging your calves (and quads, hamstrings, and butt) will really help your muscles. Similar to a foam roller (or rolling pin) for your legs, you could use a tennis ball to massage your feet. Just look for a demonstration on YouTube to see what I'm talking about... So, that was a lot of info, sorry :-( But these tips and tricks might help you feel better as you train. Good luck!!! So proud of you!!!

Kelsey said...

The portable roller thing I was talking about is called The Stick, but seriously, you can use a rolling pin. Pretty much the same thing. Here's a YouTube video showing how to use it on your calves. I've heard that you're not supposed to massage your muscles like this (or with the foam roller) more than 2 or maybe 3 times a week, but I can't remember now where I heard that (probably Russell) so you might want to verify how often to use it. Hope this helps.

chickster said...

i want pics of the sheet cake!

Christina said...

Thanks Kelsey! I really appreciate all the tips and support!

Sher, I'll see what I can do. Sophia ended up insisting on directing the decorating so there were A LOT of hearts and princess stuff.

LWhits said...

Kelsey is right, you absolutely have to get new shoes ASAP or your shin splints will only get worse. Calf stretches, foam rolling your hammies/quads/calfs and ice whenever you want are all good ideas as well. But it is the SHOES that you really need to get right. Go to a running specialty shop (JackRabbit in Union Square rocks!) and have them check out your feet/running motion. You only need to go there once then you'll know what kind of shoes to choose in the future. It's totally worth it.
And that app sounds fantastic! When Jen did her couch to 5K she had the schedule on our fridge and would write her workout on her hand before heading outside haha.