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Sidelined

Towards the end of March, life became extremely hectic for me at work. It was almost walk season (our annual fundraising event) and with my walk in the beginning of the month, there were a lot of late nights and my workout schedule became just as hectic. But… I was still getting the workouts in. I was still training for RunDisney’s Dark Side Challenge mid-April. (that race weekend review coming soon).

I continued to run, do cross-training and yoga. However, with the late nights, began running on the treadmill more than normal. I made an effort to get all my workouts in, because I knew my sleep and eating wouldn’t be consistent. Then, one day, I woke up and it hurt to walk on my left foot. My foot didn’t hurt, just above my ankle did. I was hoping it was overuse or something simple. I promised myself that if it still hurt after work calmed down, I would go to the doctor. I used ice, heat, compression, kinesiology tape, etc. Anything to keep me going through April.

Today, I went to see an orthopedic doctor. Although I am waiting for the MRI, the doctor seemed pretty certain that this continued pain is a stress fracture. Yep, stress fracture in the ankle area is a phrase a runner NEVER wants to hear. NEVER.

After discussing the MRI and such, the obvious was stated: you need to rest the ankle. No running, no high impact activities.

Sigh. I had a feeling this was coming. An intuition I guess.

How I'm feeling about this news.

How I’m feeling about this news.

I’ve been a runner since the summer of 2010. I’ve never been this sidelined. I’ve had a few overuse injuries that I could simply back off for a bit, then return to running. But, this, this is different. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. The next few months of training have to be completely redesigned. I cannot run.

So, I know there are numerous options for being active. I know I can swim and perhaps cycle. I know these things. I know I am not relegated to the couch. I get that. But right now, I just feel lost and miserable. I feel frustrated. I feel sad.

But, I have decided to give myself 24 hours to feel miserable. 24 hours, then, back at it. Redesign the training. Refocus. Shake off the miserable feelings, and go forward. This will not deter my goals at being healthy. I can focus on other forms of fitness.

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How I spent my night.

 

And… one highlight to this… summer is on it’s way to Vegas, so with no running… I won’t have to be up at 4am to get my long runs in before it gets too hot out! I can finally work on improving my swimming and getting back on my bike! 

So, this runner is sidelined… but only from running, and only temporarily. This runner will focus on her other athletic skills and continue to build her strength, endurance, cardio and health.

Oh yeah, my new shades from my much needed retail therapy! Love them!!

Oh yeah, my new shades from my much needed retail therapy! Love them!!

Okay… for all my fellow athletes, suggestions welcome on other forms of cardio and cross-training welcome! Please share!!!

  • What keeps you active?
  • What have you done to cope with being sidelined from the activity you love the most?

Change

I had initially planned a post on things you didn’t know about me, things I couldn’t live without, but, well, life happened. So, in line with the title of this, my plan changed, and today, I am writing about change.

Last week I was at chapter meetings for work, and we had a presentation on change management. This was really to help staff and management better manage the changes coming, but, in all honesty, change happens often, so learning about change, how our minds and bodies react to it, and ways to work through the change curve, is beneficial in all aspects of life.

Change happens. Sometimes it is planned, welcome change, other times, it is smack you in the face change. Either way, change can be exhilarating and scary. Welcome and unwanted. But one thing change always is: unavoidable. Every day, you age a little. That is change. Change is necessary for growth.

So, the past couple years have been full of change for me. My marriage ended. I changed jobs. My relationship status changed. My living situation changed. Finances changed.

For the first time in I think, ever, I am going to get a little personal on my blog. December 1st, my boyfriend and I moved in together. Although welcome and wanted, this was a change for him and I. That Thursday, he received some not so great news. We adjusted. We talked about it, our thoughts, feelings, concerns. Then, last Friday morning, what we feared/expected/maybe even hoped for a little, happened.

Change. Unwelcome and welcome. Scary and calming. Unavoidable. So, this past weekend, more talking/planning/regrouping. I know deep in my soul everything will work out wonderfully. But it’s still anxiety creating. Still scary. Still heartbreaking to see him unsure and worried.

But, the timing of my work presentation on change management couldn’t have been better. To hear again, or some of it for the first time, was helpful. The change curve happens. Emotions happen. It’s how we work through it that matters. Our brains revert automatically to fight or flight. Protect ourselves. Denial. All those normal reactions to a perceived threat to our normal. Emotions are high. It’s easy to want to stay with the norm, to avoid the unknown that lies ahead. There was a great quote, “to succeed in change, one must make the status quo scarier than the change.” I fully believe that. The status quo in this case, was scarier. This change, will, in time, be the something greater.

Which brings me back to the change that happened. The status quo was scarier. Was unwanted. Was in many ways, harmful. Although terrifying and unknown… change is happening. So…. Deep breath. A little regrouping, and onward and upward. We’ve got this…

How I’ve Changed in the Last Two Years

I touched on some of this in my reintroduction post. But well, 2013, 2014, and 2015 have truly helped redefine me. First, a quick recap of 2013, which will help in understanding 2014 and 2015.

In 2013 I decided to run 13 half marathons… then through in the mix, a sprint triathlon. The training was time consuming. The time alone with myself, was eye opening. I learned a lot about myself, my priorities and what is important to me. I also lost my grandfather, my best friend that year. He had been sick for a while, but that didn’t make losing him any easier. Towards the end of 2013, I realized I wasn’t happy in my marriage. I did complete my running goals.

In the beginning of 2014 my marriage ended. I sold my house and moved. I changed jobs, traveled to 3 cities in 2 weeks for work, brother’s wedding, and work. I chaired the annual Komen race as a volunteer. All before the first week in May. After that, I crashed. Then, I slowly started to regroup. I spent more time with friends, I didn’t make fitness a priority although it should have been. I just focused on finding peace and happiness and learning a new job. I started learning and practicing self-care. I spent lots of time with my pup.

Then, I stumbled into my greatest love. We both agree we weren’t looking for what we have when we met, but, as soon as we met, we knew we belonged together and our lives would never be the same again.

Work remained busy. I still worked very part time with my old job finishing up a research project and the papers associated with it.

On to 2015… hoping for a calmer year, we spent New Year’s Eve on the strip and then, the whirlwinds began. Right into a fundraising event for work, edits on papers for publication, living life and reigniting the fitness part of my life. I ran the Star Wars Rebel Challenge in January and Surf City in February.

Summer hit, and 2 new events were added to my plate at work, final edits for papers… and life didn’t slow down. Now, events are over for 2015, and we are right into programs, and 2016 events! Two of my 4 papers have been accepted for publication, YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!! And, life is amazing!!! I spent some great time with my brother this summer as well. Ran another half in October, and set a PR at an 11k event.

My BF is now joining me in fitness and running, which makes life easier… and, to keep things busy, we are moving at the end of November!!!!

So… how have I changed… I have grown exponentially. I have become patient, kind, and focused on happiness. I have realized life is too short for drama and negativity. I spend time with those that are important to me, focus on my health and happiness. I make time for fun, and always make time for myself. I have embraced natural health, making my own cleaning supplies, essential oils and foods to keep me happy and healthy with fewer chemicals. I am refocusing my fitness and running goals, prioritizing my health. Increasing my racing, and falling in love with running again.

Well… that’s my last two years… and here I am!! Next time: 10 Facts About Me and 5 Things I Can’t Live Without.

Monday Happy Hour

As a new addition to my blog I will be writing a weekly Monday Happy Hour post… where I will share my wrap up of the week, highs/lows, plans for the weekend, etc. Because as much as I need coffee on Mondays, a post Monday drink is also nice. So… grab your favorite cocktail and settle in.

If we were at happy hour, I would tell you that my week was exhausting. We got back Sunday from Disneyland’s Star Wars race weekend and I relaxed most of Monday. As you have read, I have been dealing with a hip issue, so finally had the MRI on the hip Tuesday. On Wednesday, another doctor’s appointment for a different issue, which hasn’t yielded any results, but plenty of frustrations. I am not a fan of holding patterns.

At happy hour I would also tell you that work is very busy but in a positive way, I work for the National MS Society and our annual Walk MS event is coming up so I am busy getting participants, donations, sponsors, etc. I love the busy. But I am also terrified it won’t be a success.

I would also tell you that I miss my best friends… for some reason this week I just really wish I had them near me.

Then, I would tell you that my workouts are going… ok. I could be doing better, I could be running more days, but this week was mentally draining, so it was mostly yoga and walking my dog. I will catch up on core and upper body workouts this weekend! This coming month I am trying a Tabata program, Class Pass in Las Vegas, on top of my normal workouts. This will be fun and adventurous!

I would also tell you that I am excited for Huntington Beach/Surf City Half Marathon this weekend. It’s my third year running it which moves me to Legacy status and this past year, I was an ambassador for them! This event is one of my all-time favorite courses. Which reminds me that I need to finish my Star Wars race recap ASAP!

I would tell you that we celebrated the retirement of my former boss, mentor and great friend… I love that lady so much, and to celebrate this new chapter in her life was such an honor.

Lastly, I would tell you that I LOVE my new personalized planner I received from Plum Paper (on Etsy). I chose the family planner, which gave me seven rows I could label however I wanted. I picked: Work, Personal, Social Media, Workouts, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. A great way to manage my tasks, meals and workouts! I also ordered the blog section to help keep me organized there!

Oh! And I would suddenly remember that it’s almost the end of January and I am still not done with my first book in my monthly book club. Best get on reading “You’re A Badass”.

So… at happy hour, what would you tell me? How was your week and weekend? What do you have planned for this week?

Spartan Events 2015

Hello out there and fellow OCR fans… I’ve got some exciting Spartan Races news, a discount code and…. A GIVEAWAY!

Is one of your 2015 goals to complete a Spartan Race? NOW is the time to do so!! They have some amazing and challenging events coming up, are continuing the Trifecta, and some great new stuff!! What they have in store for 2015 WILL BE EPIC!

To start, Joe Desena, Spartan founder started a podcast! I love podcasts… I listen to various ones EVERY day, from sports to true crime to educational to health related, so to say I am excited for this one, is an understatement!! Sign up for the podcast via iTunes or the podcast app on your smartphones. Some powerful and motivating interviews already!!

A fan of cruises? Spartan Races is also hosting their first ever cruise! You read that right… details for the cruise are here. But come on, a cruise, fellow OCRs and the chance to win prizes? Who wouldn’t want to go?? Info and signups here!

As always, Spartan is offering their season pass for the dedicated OCR lover… unlimited racing, travel discounts, and free bag check to name a few of the perks. Are you looking to complete the Trifecta? If so, this is for you, it practically pays for itself. To join, sign up here.

For anyone interested in registering for a Spartan Race, follow this link and use the code SPARTANBLOGGER for a 10% discount. (Photo link will allow you to register for any site!)

And… the part you have all been waiting for… the giveaway. Spartan Races has kindly, again, offered me ONE FREE RACE ENTRY to give away to one lucky reader. The prize will be good for ONE continental US race,  MORE MORE INFO.

Contest is open for 2 weeks. Enter below and GOOD luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome 2015!

Happy New Year (a few days late)… I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to tackle this new year!! After a roller coaster of a year in 2014, I am excited for a new year, new goals and new adventures!!

So… here are my goals/plans for 2015 broken down by areas of my life:

Work:

  • Be successful.
  • Prioritize daily.
  • Succeed in achieving my goals.
  • Host successful events.
  • Outreach within the community.
  • Grow and learn.

Personal:

  • Be present.
  • Walk my dog every day.
  • Love more.
  • Tell people how I feel about them.
  • Appreciate those in my life.
  • Practice kindness.
  • Read more.  (I just joined an online book club, stay tuned for monthly book reviews!)
  • Smile and laugh every day.
  • Make someone else smile every day.
  • Offer assistance where I can.
  • Volunteer.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Respect my time, emotions, and needs.
  • Cook and bake more.
  • Spend more time with friends and loved ones.
  • Organize my life/schedule.
  • De-clutter my home.

Health:

  • Eat healthy 80% of the time.
  • Start flossing more.
  • Eat less sugar.
  • Cook more meals.
  • Plan my weekly meals.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Walk 10, 000 steps minimum a day.

Fitness:

  • Create a plan with my trainer that challenges me, yet one I can commit to maintaining.
  • Try new things.
  • Join a yoga studio.
  • Swim more.
  • Bike more.
  • Run more.
  • Complete two sprint triathlons.
  • PR in a half marathon.
  • Don’t let the Philly Half win this year.
  • Become stronger.
  • Build more muscle.
  • Improve my hill running.
  • Be consistent in all my fitness.

Blog/Social Media:

  • Write more.
  • Collaborate with others.
  • Share my knowledge of essential oils.
  • Post more recipes.
  • Be more interactive.
  • Bring you more reviews and information on great products.

Essential Oils:

  • Expand my knowledge.
  • Earn certifications.
  • Share with others both the knowledge, benefits and opportunity with essential oils.

It may seem like a lot, but broken down into life areas… not so difficult at all to manage. To start, I ordered a planner/journal from plumpaper.com and began working with my trainer to create some workout plans/goals for the year. I have worked with my trainer for specific fitness goals, and while some of the goals listed here seem broad, the detailed SMART goals are written!! Now for this cold to go away so I can get to my running and dog walking goals.

What are your 2015 goals and plans? I’d love to hear them!!

 

Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap

November 23, 2014 I ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon for the third year in a row. Although a desert dweller here in Las Vegas, I am originally from Northeast PA and frequented Philly often. This race became a family reunion of sorts with a few cousins and I meeting to run it. This year, there were two of us. We both had goals of just doing better than last year and not letting the hill at mile 9 win. We enjoyed a weekend of sightseeing and trying new restaurants.

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Last year, I had a head cold for this race, and my time was okay, about average for me, a minute or two slower. I did my best to avoid getting sick this year, it worked… no head cold. After last year’s 13 half marathons, I did far fewer this year (this was my second official road half marathon on the year). I ran regularly, with fewer runs over the summer. I increased my strength training and became more consistent with it. I improved my eating. Heading in to this race, I felt stronger, good to go. I had my usual doubts and nerves… did I train enough, was I prepared for the cold. Could I really hit my goal?

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I had a goal of finally, finally hitting 2:20 on a half marathon. I told two people this goal, one of which was my trainer. I felt good, even on race morning, I felt ready. I felt that my mind was in the right place and my body was ready. We woke up early, got ready, grabbed breakfast and walked to the start area. My cousin and I chatted away and then parted ways into our respective corrals. When I got to my corral it seemed weirdly empty… but I was finally able to get a picture of the Rocky Balboa statue and the art museum. I chatted briefly with someone as we walked up to the start line… got my watch and music set to go. And…. We were off!

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When I started, I was unbelievably cold… but felt good. My pace was right on, my legs felt strong, my lungs were happy… my mind was happy. I didn’t even care that it seemed more crowded than years past or that the roads were a mess. More potholes and uneven surfaces (ok, maybe I am a bit spoiled here in Vegas that in my area, our roads are in good shape). I tried to enjoy the scenery and architecture, and focused on keeping consistent in my pace. Around mile 5 my hip started to ache a little. I shrugged it off, and kept pushing. At the 10k split, I was on point for my PR and feeling good. That realization gave me the burst I needed to conquer the mile 7 hill without a single walk break. Then, around mile 8 my hip really started to ache, but different than when I injured it previously. This was a wraparound pain from the groin to mid-butt cheek, it felt stiff and tight… heading into the dreaded mile 9 climb, I tried to focus on that hill, one step at a time. Part way up, the pain got real. I stopped to stretch and loosen it up, decided to walk for a bit to see how it felt. When I tried to run again going up that hill, it hurt. I decided to fast walk the hill to not lose too much time, and run from there. I tried running again… it hurt, but I kept going, just slower. I realized then, around mile 10.5 that 2:20 just wasn’t going to happen this year. My focus quickly switched to finishing, and trying to run as much of it as I could. By mile 12, I just hurt, so I went to run/walk intervals. I cried… a combination of the pain and realizing that this race was my nemesis and my goal was still just out of reach. Running uphill hurt the most, so at the marathon/half marathon split, I walked that little climb, and started running again. As I came around the bend with the finish line in sight, I gave all I had in me to “sprint” to the finish. I finished.

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I finished, but I was in serious pain. Walking through the finisher chutes, I cried. I tried to calm myself down and walk it off, but every. single. step. HURT. I tried to call a calming presence in my life, forgetting (or not caring) it was 3 hours earlier in my home time zone, got no answer. So, I made it to where my aunt and mom were, drank my coffee, text my trainer and a friend, and waited for my cousin.

A very small part of me is upset I didn’t make my goal time. But mostly, I am worried about my hip. This isn’t the first time it’s acted up, but it is by far, the worst it’s ever been. I keep thinking could I have trained differently, stretched differently, worked out differently, etc., etc. Then I think, what happens if it’s something more serious? I have the Star Wars Rebel Challenge mid-January, and Surf City a few weeks after that.

And, well, I’m trying to work through the emotions from that race. It’s my third year… year one was decent, I was sick year two, and now this… this race is becoming my nemesis. I don’t do well with not moving, with not running… that cliché: running is my therapy, is so true for me. I work through things on my runs, think about work ideas, unwind and de-clutter my mind. I’m eight days in to no running and seriously struggling.

It’s time to come clean on this injury. Walking takes patience and more time than I want it to. It hurts to walk any significant distance, sit too long, or put to much weight on my right leg. My doctor sent me for x-rays. Now, I try to dig up patience, to not push it, to let this heal, to rest… to not go stir crazy while I do the waiting, and healing and resting. When I went to see my chiropractor Monday, and was given the no running order. I knew it was coming, but it still hurt to hear it. I got the x-rays, followed orders, and still hurt, although a little less. I drug my dog out for a slow, painful two-mile walk Saturday and Sunday. I stretched, iced, stretched. I went back to the chiropractor yesterday and I still can’t run. I can do non-impact exercises like cycling or aqua jogging, I can try body weight exercises and see how it feels. I know this is progress, but not being able to run is frustrating and a real struggle for me. Nothing else I do helps me feel as amazing mentally and physically as running does. So…now is the time to heal my body, to focus on health, to figure out other ways to work through stress and emotions, to stay calm and to emerge stronger and faster.

When you can’t run, how do you stay fit? What helps you deal with the injury and healing? More importantly, how do you handle holiday stress without your greatest stress reliever?

Restart Button

Where have I been? Where am I going? Read on to find out!

I have opened this document and stared at the blank page more times than I can count. I start to write, re-read it, and start all over. So here we are…. months later, and finally hitting the restart button in many ways, in blogging, fitness, running, and most importantly, life. To say the end of last year and the start of this year were rocky is an understatement.

After a year of putting myself through a great physical challenge, which turned into a mental challenge… the battle wasn’t over. 2013 was a year for me… I lost my best friend, my grandfather… with that I went through emotional struggles I never imagined I would. I crept deep into my mind and soul on my training runs and during my races. I found that girl I lost a long time ago, that girl I always was… and couldn’t remember how to be. The next logical step was to let her free. Easier said than done, but, a necessary step on my path to true happiness.

Since the holidays, my life has gone turned upside down, and righted itself, went a little sideways, and seems to be righting itself once more. Ah, life… you tease… always keeping me on my toes. A significant relationship ended, I sold a house I was once so proud to be the owner of, I moved, I traveled more than I didn’t, saw my little brother get married, witnessed the fruits of labor of our race committee at another Susan G Komen of Southern NV Race for the Cure, had not 1 but 2 car accidents, I worked on several publications for work, I started a new job, ran my first relay event, PR’d at a half marathon that, for the first time ever, I didn’t take a walk break in… and sometimes I worked out, sometimes I ate healthy, sometimes I ate the cake and had the extra beer… I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I breathed deep. I learned I suck at being patient (hey, we can’t all be perfect). I held on to friends for sanity and laughter, I found new friends and amazing support from places I never expected, I turned 40. I grew, I changed, I learned, I loved… but most importantly, I came out of it all okay. I am happily, safely, wonderfully at a place where I put myself first, where I give with all my heart, and treasure those in my life.

So, am I back? I think so. I’m getting back on track with my fitness, I have worked with my trainer to reset my goals to what I feel is attainable this year, to what I feel matters, I have reexamined my priorities, I have found myself in a place I feel at peace and happy. Does it get better than that?

But, it’s time to restart this blogging journey… Ladies and gents… it’s time to get this party started! I will be moving over to www.naturallyangela.com! Don’t worry, I will redirect this page there… but, it is time to change things up. Like my page on Facebook and if you already follow me on Twitter, great! Just notice @solesisteronrun will change to @naturallyange and my Instagram will also change to @naturallyangela. The new format will continue to discuss running, yoga, and fitness, as well as add in wellness, recipes, natural approaches to healing and cleaning, etc. A bit of a rediscovery of self and keeping life simple… So… please continue to follow the adventures of me and Miss Mia Pup!

Lifestyle Accountability Podcast

Hello everyone and welcome to 2014! I was fortunate to be interviewed for a Lifestyle Accountability Podcast, and the interview is now live! Check out my show as well as some other great athletes!!

Podcast

Spartan Race Championships and Giveaway!

Hello Spartan Warriors!!!! I am sure you already know, but here to remind you of something BIG in Spartan Land happening THIS SATURDAY!!!

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NBC Sports will be airing the World Champion Spartan Race for all to watch in awe as the warriors conquer the obstacles and course on December 7th, from 4:00-5:00 PM. Stay tuned to watch the warriors at their finest moments. Experience the strength, joy and commitment these warriors have!

As an added bonus, I have another Spartan Race giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, as always, a 15% discount code for any upcoming Spartan Race in the Continental U.S. I’ll be at the Vegas one this April… who is going to join me??

Click HERE for the 15% off!

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