Running Happy and Increasing Mileage

A runner, I am not.

 

Unless it involves chocolate or wine.

I’m sort of kidding.  I used to consider myself a runner (hence the name of this blog), but my ACL had other plans.

run on chocolate and wine

 

Regardless, I was struck when Kat sent me her guest post for today.  A lot of what she touches on is applicable to any area – whether it be other physical activities, work, or just life.

Who couldn’t use more stretching and rest?  As much as we all hate to admit it, we aren’t invincible.  Here’s Kat…

________________________________________________________________________________________

I Still Love the Shit Out of You (and running)

by: Kat

I still love you

 

Life changes.  A lot.  No surprise, but it’s still surprising.  (Editor’s Note: Amen to that.)

I fell off the blogging train for a while… a long while.  I miss you guys, and I come bearing good news and plenty of awesome!

never too much awesome

 

My adrenals are healing!

Knowing what’s depleted is key, so seeing a doctor is necessary if you notice you may have symptoms of adrenal fatigue.  This will help you heal up those pesky stress-controlling glands.

adrenal gland

 

I have been on about 5-7 Emergen-C’s per day, for the B-12s and the Vitamin C… and the electrolytes can’t hurt.  I’ve also been on Ashwagandha, and a digestive enzyme to make sure that I’m absorbing all the nutrients from my food.  I was also sleeping almost 10 hours per night and reduced my running.  Time to heal.

And guess what?  It’s paying off. 

I feel so much better!  The mood swings are almost gone, and I feel fewer random energetic shifts in my body.  I’m running happy again, and don’t feel totally depleted after longish (20+ miles) runs.  This may also be due to a dear friend who dragged me to Arizona to help him run 100 miles, which he KILLED! :)

AZ run

 

My friend Mark ran 100 miles in Arizona (Editor’s Note: That’s hot).  I ran about the first 13 with him.  I kept trying to slow him down, but he refused, so I hung back, to run happy, enjoy the beautiful weather, take lots of pictures, and get a nice morning of running in.  I ran a happy 20 miles!

Because I honored my body’s physical limits, I was able to enjoy several other activities in the two-ish days I was there.  I got to see my god-daughter in Phoenix, with my cousin Jason, hang by the pool, hang with friends, and help crew Mark the rest of his journey!  In a little over 28 hours, he crushed that 100 miler!

AZ activities

 

I feel like I’m so much more present in every moment.  It’s amazing what your health can bring you!

(Editor’s Note: You make me smile.  SO HAPPY for you, Kat!)

collect moments not things

 

Because I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon, I had no food pics to share with you, but I have some tips on keeping your running happy when you are increasing your mileage.

I haven’t been running THAT smart, I’ll admit, because I’ve developed Plantar Fasciitis.  UGH.  The main symptom for me is heel pain.  It’s mostly caused by lack of stretching and massaging my calf to keep my Achilles Tendon nice and loose and healthy, so the tendon gets tight and pulls on the fascia, which causes the pain.  (Editor’s Note: I would smack you but I’m terrible about stretching too.)  So now I’m trying to rehab THAT, so I can keep running happy.

Running Happy While Increasing Your Mileage:
  • Never underestimate the power of stretching (and yoga)
  • Rolling (use a Stick or foam roller) – there are great YouTube videos that can help you figure out if you’re doing it right
  • Don’t run 20 miles, once per week.  This was my strategy, and it’s a fail.  Up your distance slowly and consistently (why do I always have to learn lessons the hard way)
  • Keep active throughout the week.  It makes the weekend long runs easier
  • Ask questions, and get advice from other people in the running community. Everyone has something to share, and it’s often helpful
  • Don’t resist going to the doctor if you’re in pain or having inexplicable symptoms.  This is the hardest one for me, and you can feel free to remind me
  • Read up on healthy ways to up your mileage
  • Learn from your mistakes (and don’t repeat them)
  • Rest

 

If you’re smart and diligent, you may never have these problems.  I don’t know why I always feel invincible, and like I don’t need to learn from my mistakes. DOH! ;)  (Editor’s Note: What do you mean we aren’t invincible?!)

dog explosion

 

I promise I’ll have more recipes next time.  My favorite veggies are in season, and I’m cooking like crazy.  You all deserve pictures and solid directions to go with them.  (Editor’s Note: I volunteer to taste test!)

***

I know logically I’m not invincible… but my hard head remains unconvinced.

What tips do you have when you change your activity level or up your mileage?

What do you do when your body tells you to rest?  Do you listen?

 

Comments

  1. says

    If my body tells me to rest, I tell it that it can rest when it’s dead. Yeah….. Don’t take advice from me. Bah ha ha aha ha!

    And wait, did Mark run these 100 miles ALL at the same time? THAT is something my body would tell me NOT to do, and…. gosh darn it, I WOULD LISTEN!

  2. says

    I rest when I need it don’t feel guilty anymore! I suppose I jump into running too quickly, but it’s only ever for a long run that just feels awesome (I’m talking 8-13 miles) and not weekly, so I’m grateful I’ve never been injured from running or training. I DO need to get back to better stretching and rolling though…

    Glad you’re feeling better, Kat! And love the editor notes as usual, Laura. ;)

    • Kat says

      Thanks, Bonnie! And I was grateful to have never been injured from running (until now). Lesson learned. :)

      I’m not feeling guilty for resting any more! Break through! :)

    • Kat says

      Thanks, Brittany! Glad you are continuing to rest after struggling through the ups and downs of adrenal fatigue. Glad I could reach out to an audience who has experience with something like what I had.

  3. says

    Yes, I mot definitely rest! But I am so bad at stretching and reap the consequences of not doing so, often!
    What works for me when I up my mileage or workout more is to drink more water – something else I am working on.

  4. says

    It’s not always easy to take a rest day when needed, but I am LEARNING to listen to my body. A goal for myself this year is to do yoga at least once a week, so far so good! I have learned that when I do listen to my body, give it rest, sleep, and yoga…I can run faster, lift more, and workout longer when I am not resting…kind of a win win! :)

    • Kat says

      So true! All great lessons. And jeeze, listening to one’s body is a SKILL! I think we get caught up with schedules and what we tell ourselves we “have to do” or are “supposed to” do… good for you! I am still on my road. ;)

  5. says

    When increasing miles I also think it’s important to vary intensity levels. You can’t just go all out all the time and add on miles without ending up hurt. I will admit that I am terrible about taking myself to the doctor for pain though. I assume I can fix it myself and that he’ll just end up sending me for x-rays then scans then to a specialist (aka time and money). I am a believer in using the rollers for triggerpoint and myofacial release as well.

  6. says

    oh kat, i can relate so much to this. My thick headed brain thought i was invincible once. then i found out the hard way. Now it’s all about the slow and steady progress.

    • Kat says

      Yes. You definitely get it. Glad you’re on track with your fitness and health journey… it’s always a journey. I don’t think there’s a destination or final goal here..

  7. says

    I love medical stuff so definitely an interesting read about the adrenal problem, and super awesome that vitamins are helping!! We are all guilty of pushing ourselves too hard and I personally just took a month off from running and I definitely miss it but my knees and body are so glad :)

    • Kat says

      Oh, I bet. I hate taking off completely from running, but sometimes your body needs it! I hope you have a ton of fun and take care as you ease back into it!

    • Laura says

      I had to do that for my knees… and make peace with the fact I’m probably never going to run more than 10K again. But being able to walk is pretty awesome. LOL!

    • Kat says

      Good call! Ugh, slow runs really wear me out… and when I feel that coming on.. I start to make jokes, laugh, and make light of it… also skipping helps to make it more fun if it’s really a tough day. With an awareness that there are future fun run days, you can’t really get too down on yourself!

      • Laura says

        And smiling! Ever since Kat told me to smile when running (or a workout) gets hard I’ve been trying to do it… it actually does work to relax the body and reset your mind. And it makes people wonder. ;)

  8. says

    I think when it comes to rest, I definitely tend to learn the hard way…so I’m on a self-imposed rest/break from exercise. Frustrating for sure, but I know I’m the one that got me here. It’s a lesson for the future, at least!

    • Kat says

      I think a lot of runner have a “learn the hard way” approach… at least we are still learning! Good luck on your break, and I hope you just keep looking forward to your awesome healthy approach as you get back into it~!

  9. says

    It’s definitely been key for me to make sure I stretch/foam roll after a run…and staying consistent with that. ;) But definitely great tips and a great reminder for me as I’m starting to up my mileage again after a brief hiatus.

  10. says

    Just the other day, my alarm went off at 4:50am telling me that it was time to lift heavy things. I’d already had 3 tough workouts this week and my body was sore and tired. It didn’t take long for my sore shoulders and tight calves to talk me into shutting the alarm off and rolling over.
    This is not the norm but I’m getting better at knowing when to say “when.”

    Great post!

    • Kat says

      Thanks so much!!! The turning the alarm off is a tricky thing, because sometimes I want to do it, and I do, but I also don’t want that to become the habit! Balance! :-) good for you!

  11. says

    That resting is so hard. I’m getting a tiny bit better but not much. After 30 years as a runner you would think that I would be ready to rest but not yet!!!
    Glad that Kat is running happy – best way to run!!

    • Kat says

      It’s hard to balance.. because we need rest… but some of us also need the running in order to feel happy/get the happy drugs flowing through our bodies. Oh, striking a balance is an ever-going balancing act!

  12. says

    REST? pffft. What is that??

    As I have gotten older I have found that I feel GUILTY when I rest. Guilty?! What the frick. I am not sure why, but I do, I have better at accepting myself and learning that taking a break is good for your body and sometimes, it is really needed. If we keep go-go-going all the time…we might miss things or worse…get injured.

    It take strength to say “I need a rest”.

    Great post!

    • Kat says

      Thanks!!! And really, guilt has no place in your life. It’s a waste of energy. You are great exactly as you are! Believe it and rest gets easier… (still working on this myself).

      • Laura says

        I’m working on this too. I feel like a slug if I haven’t done something to move. But I know my body needs it. Good thing I took a rest day yesterday… annnnnd I played soccer. ;)

  13. says

    Learning to rest when I am tired is something I have definitely gotten better at, but sometimes know I need to do it more often. As much as I love running, training, and doing yoga, because it makes me feel good, I also know that resting is necessary and especially necessary when you want to make gains or run longer. Love this guest post. Thanks for sharing!

  14. says

    I am so glad you are feeling better my friend, sometimes rest is the only way to increase your stamina :D
    I especially agree with the stretching on your list of running wisdom!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  15. says

    So many great tips here that apply to runners and non-runners alike.
    I like to tell my clients that even small progressions are still progress.

  16. says

    ah the good oh rest days, whether they are planned or not are always hard. Today was our rest day and we both struggled, We honestly love working out but we know resting is so important. We know are trying to get 2 rest days a week as our bodies need it.

  17. says

    Amazing post, and I’m glad to hear Kat is healing! Runners are funny – we think we can go forever and automatically pop back into training we used to do with no issue. It’s hard but important to build up! I agree on listening to others’ advice … but then listening even more strongly to your own body.

    • Kat says

      Lol, you are so right about us runners! And I totally agree about listening to your own body. An on-going learning curve.

  18. says

    What are you talking about Kat? I AM invincible. Whoever told you differently is a liar, and I’ll bop them in the head with my fist.

    Alright I really do think I’m invincible BUT only because I’ve learned to take time out to relax on a weekly, sometimes almost daily, basis. Much like you, I learned the hard way, but doing those things makes me so much stronger and happier in the long run, which means, Yes I am invincible. See, it comes full circle.

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend and I can’t wait to see what your favorite veggie is…this time of year, I guess cauliflower or brussel sprouts or some type of squash. Then again, squash is all the rage with these HLBer’s. Crazy kids.

  19. says

    Rest is definitely critical and we should never feel guilty about taking time for our bodies to heal. I mean, we only get ONE! I don’t schedule rest days but prefer to just “go with the flow” and listen to what my body tells me on certain days. Most of the time, I’m fine with my 3-4 days a week in the gym…sometimes I go less, sometimes I go more. We’re not machines, we can only do so much before we have to stop to regroup! And there’s a lot more to life than just exercise. Glad you’re feeling better, Kat, and I’m so happy you got to spend that much needed time with your friends and family! :)

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