We Nipped THAT Injury In The Bud + I Freaking Love Chiro.

Sometimes I consider making my titles more eloquent like “The Importance of Injury Vigilance + The Benefits of Chiropractors”, but that sounds revoltingly arrogant and preachy and in my humble opinion, the more honest a title, the better.

liesMy feelings on click bait. 

I’ve had a very interesting few weeks when it comes to these muscles of mine.

1. About a month ago, I (think I?) tore my glute. It sure felt like it, I couldn’t put weight on it and the pain was horrific. But it also went away after a couple of days rest and foam rolling, so I’m not 100% sure.

2. A week later, I developed intense upper hamstring pain. Every stride hurt, and being paranoid as I am these days, I took a week off running. The pain disappeared.

3. The pain returned the day of a tempo run, but it was more sore than actual pain, so I decided to go through with the tempo. Weirdly enough, they felt better immediately after running than before, and the soreness was gone the next day!

Thoughts from my chiropractor:

  • I did in fact, at least partially, tear my glute.
  • During the recovery process, it stopped firing, putting extra stress on my hamstrings and hips.
  • Hamstring pain and soreness.

$45 dollars, 30 minutes of intense(ly painful) active release treatment and 2 physio exercises later, all is well in the world again. I’m to do them before every run / workout to ensure that my glutes are firing. Honestly, I was expecting her to tell me that I have high hamstring tendinopathy or some other activity-ending disaster claimed by Google.

life-is-pain

Back to chiro. I’M A FAN. I know that there are a lot of differing opinions on it, and many physicians prefer physiotherapy & rehab, but why not combine both? Physiotherapy will ensure muscle strength, balance and function, while physiotherapy helps to rid you of those nagging pains, knots and imbalances.

^ Plus lots of other things. I don’t have a professional background in either of these fields, this is just my experience from 10+ years of being the patient! 

When Megan was working out the knot in my hamstring, it was NOT pleasant. AT ALL. But it was a thousand times more effective than trying to hammer it with my foam roller / spiky ball and felt better instantly.

Morale of the story: Take severe and/or recurring pains to the experts, and leave Mr. Google out of it. Be open to new ideas. Pay Emma $8000/hour when she is a licensed physiotherapist for your treatment. (Okay you don’t technically have to do that last one but I personally think it is an excellent idea.)

Oh yeah! And happy Bastille Day! European History and the French Revolution will forever be the only subject I enjoyed out of twelve years of social studies.  YOU STORM THE BASTILLE GUYS, YOU GO FOR IT.

^ In all seriousness, for any of you wonderful French peeps out there, here’s to 226 years of you fighting for your independence. I will forever admire your country’s bravery, class and strength.

Chriro or physio? 

Are you struggling with an injury / almost injury? 

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Fast Approaching: Half Marathons #3 and 4!

Um, oops? I was struggling for a while to get back into a running groove after my second half marathon, but I am TOTALLY loving being back on the grind now. Runs are mainly on the treadmill these days, initially due to the obnoxiously hot 30+ degree days we were having (86F), but now there have been mass forest fires in Alberta and the air is thick with smoke. Just walking outside is enough to put me in a gross, lethargic mood, so I know better than to attempt running in it.

It’s all good, though, because running on the treadmill always motivates me to actually work hard and run at something other than an easy pace. Who would’ve thought that was possible?! 😉

I’m feeling very conflicted as to my goals for Seawheeze. I know I want to run a 1:45 half marathon, and ultimately 1:40, but I also don’t know how bad the hills are.

SW15_Wordmark_Animation

The Edmonton Marathon is the following weekend, and has a pancake-flat course, but if my legs are trashed from racing 13.1 miles eight days prior I won’t have hope there, either.

The way I see it, these are my options:

#1. Run Seawheeze easy and race Edmonton. This is the easiest on paper, but I hate the idea of running a race easily! Especially one as expensive as Seawheeze, I feel like I should make the most of the massive adrenalin boost!

#2. Race Seawheeze and scrap Edmonton / run a shorter distance. Since I have zero obligation to run Edmonton this is totally feasible, but …

– What if I don’t PR Seawheeze?

– A friend is running her first half at the Edmonton Marathon and I don’t want to only do the 5/10K. Always the adrenalin junkie. 😉

#3. Run Seawheeze moderately and race Edmonton. This is definitely the one I am leaning towards. If the course isn’t super hilly, I could probably eek out a mini PR and then focus on truly racing the next weekend. I feel like I recovered so quickly after the MEC Half Marathon that this has a good chance of working!

Obviously for any PRs to happen, the next four weeks need to be a serious training block! Here’s what I did last week.

Monday: 5 mile tempo. 1 mile warmup, 3 miles @ 8:00, 1 mile cool down. 5:30am treadmill miles, BOOM.

Tuesday: 10 mile long run. There were no nerves and no mid-run fuel for this one. I ate breakfast about an hour before and then headed off! It was the only cool day of what seems like the entire summer, so I wanted to take advantage of it. The last mile my neck started cramping horribly, and my legs were feeling pretty Jell-O – like, but other than that it was a solid jaunt!

Wednesday: total body strength. I reduced my squat by like 50 pounds – maybe the day after running long isn’t the best day for weights, but it was the only time I could fit it in and neglecting strength workouts = INSTA INJURY for Emma.

PBR-Total-Body-Strength-WorkoutLoved this circuit from Jen! 

Thursday: 5 miles treadmill hills / easy.  I basically just played with the incline the entire time and it probably wasn’t as easy as it should be but the pace never strayed farther than 8:34 – 8:57.

Friday: 6 mile Rowland Tempo. THIS IS SO FUN. I’m not even joking, it is a genuinely enjoyable time and I would rather do this than a whole host of other things. I found the workout here, and it’s great because you never feel like you are absolutely going to die, but you’re working hard enough to feel badass and switching gears often enough to stave off boredom. I’d do this every day if I could. My paces were 8:13 / 8:00 / 7:47 and it honestly felt too easy.

Saturday: total body strength. 

Sunday: OFF

TOTAL: 26 MILES. A Much smarter re-entry into training than that random 30 mile week that I followed up with a total week off due to intense hamstring pain. That pain actually flared up again on Friday but is gone by now so I’m not too sure what to make of it – I am hitting up the chiro this afternoon though, just to make sure everything is in order. And I’m excited to hit 30 miles this week, with hopefully a 12 / 13 miler in there!

Homeless Livin’ + TOL

Hi, my name is Emma and I am currently WAY too stressed to write coherently, so let’s just thank our lucky stars that Thinking Out Loud is a thing and Amanda is our saviour.

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. I ate a donut for breakfast this morning. Annnnnd it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be. I’ve been craving them for EVER so I’m a little bit shocked. Perhaps I should have gone for the apple fritter instead of chocolate dip? Maybe tomorrow today. 😉

apple-frittersYeeeeah those are looking pretty darn sweet.

2. But my stomach has been growling since I woke up (despite LOTS of food) so perhaps I should consider eating some vegetables. Just a thought.

3. Another thought: I REALLY NEED A PLACE TO LIVE! Like, it’s all well and good and wonderful and amazing that I got into Kinesiology, but I sorta don’t think going to school and living on the street is going to work out very well. I’ve gotten a couple of replies (to exactly seven billion emails), but since I can’t go visit the place I usually get passed over. Add to the fact that the Vancouver housing market is INSANITY and you have a recipe for one homeless college student.

4. I’m reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the fifteenth time. Not an exaggeration. My friend James was making fun of me, saying that he was going to bring a new book for me to read, but honestly? I’ve got seven books in my life, I don’t need any more. ❤

umbridge

5. READING is the key word there. The picture is (obviously) of the movie, but I am so turned off of TV right now it’s not even funny. I will start watching something, thinking I’m going to unwind for a few minutes, and I am instantly bored out of my mind! That and extremely irritated by the flashing lights / noise.

6. Another aversion? COFFEE. I don’t know who I am anymore. It’s been a week since I properly drank a cup of coffee, and much longer since I genuinely enjoyed it. Friday night I chugged half an iced coffee because I had a withdrawal headache, and on Tuesday I had to get my coworker to tell me what my espresso was like (so I could adjust the grinder) because it just all tasted awful to me.

americano-espressoNope.

I do love not feeling dependant on a substance, though, even if it does mean I’m a little bit more tired!

7. Tuesday’s 10 miler was a huge success! I haven’t run longer than 7 miles since my half marathon on June 14, so I was a little bit worried to say the least. But it was probably one of my most solid long runs ever! I started slooow, kept it steady, and didn’t freak out on the hills. There was a little nausea and cramping towards the end which was gross, but I also didn’t suffer from that crippling fatigue I used to get so often!

8. And then I woke up the next morning to homemade blueberry muffins. Can I live at home forever, please? ❤

9. But really. Is anyone in Vancouver looking for a roommate? I’ll go on runs with you and bake you muffins!

On Finding Passion + Burnout: Life + Running

Oh hi there! You might not recognize me, seeing as it’s been a solid 2 weeks since I blogged and about 2 months since I was properly involved in the blogworld. As I get closer to my nineteenth birthday (ZOMG I’M SO OLD CAN I HAVE A QUARTER LIFE CRISIS YET?!), I’m noticing more and more that I’m looking for learning opportunities in every experience. This little blogging hiatus is no different. And it also just so happened to coincide with a running hiatus.

*cue dramatic gasp*

I KNOW. I just ran a huge PR in the half marathon, was totally fired up about running and training, and then…I stop running altogether for a week. Long story short: I took zero recovery time post-half, focused on nothing but running, and entirely burned myself out. It got to the point where I wasn’t even running fast, it was just slow slogs to “put the miles in” because I felt like I had to reach that magic number every week.

Yesterday capped off eight days of zero running, and my hiatus most definitely went out with a bang – I barely moved from my backside all. day. long. Honestly, I cannot remember a day where I just allowed myself to rest, recover, and do what I wanted! So instead of forcing myself to get it in gear and do life things / go to the gym / be a functional human, I curled up with my BFF Harry and took breaks to eat peanut butter and bake.

Yeah. It was a good one. And it reminded me that burnout is real. It doesn’t matter how passionate you think you are about something, or how much you think you are enjoying yourself, there is always the potential to push too far. And once you jump off that cliff, climbing back up is a different story.

I’m lucky to have avoided it with running, but I fell hard off the blogging bandwagon. I turned it into a chore, something that I “had” to do, and once I had that mindset everything I wanted to post about seemed pointless.

You don’t have a degree or any sort of certification, Emma. Your stupid musings about your stupid running are stupid and a waste of time. 

^ The things I said to myself every time I wanted to blog, hence why there was no blogging.

Welp, that’s all about to change, for two BIG reasons.

#1. RECOVERY. It’s not just for fitness, people. Our minds need it too.

#2. CERTIFICATION. IN. PROGRESS. On Monday, June 29, I was accepted into the Faculty of Kinesiology at UBC! I was rejected twice and wait listed once, so to say this was a huge surprise is the understatement of the century. But I am SO incredibly excited to announce that I am now pursuing my Bachelor of Kinesiology, CSEP training certification once I complete two years of study, and then a Master of Physiotherapy following graduation! Having a plan laid out is pretty sweet…especially when it leads right to where my heart lives. ❤

There’s the requisite obnoxious cheesiness in Emma’s blog posts. Moving on from that, I’M SO EXCITED TO BE BACK. YAY. HOORAY FOR PASSION.

National Physical Fitness and Sport Month

genuinely love being active. Shocker, right? 😉

All jokes aside though, running, moving my body, and feeling healthy is such a passion of mine that it feels extremely strange when I don’t make fitness a priority. It’s such a part of my life these days that I have a difficult time understanding how some people can just not want to work out!

And then I take a 90 minute nap and understand a little bit. 😉

A few weeks ago, I decided to help spread awareness of National Physical Fitness and Sport Month with the help of Bankers Healthcare Group and their graphic from the BHG 360 blog! Although it was officially in May, they are working to keep the momentum going through June, an idea I could not support more! Seeing as Bankers Healthcare Group provides physician loans, you’re probably wondering about the connection. Over at BHG, they think health & fitness go hand in hand, and decided it was right up their alley to support this cause in such an aligned community (health, fitness, & wellness)!

Their initiative, Spring Into Fitness, features advice from bloggers, trainers, and active people in general. It’s geared towards encouraging people to set up a fitness routine, discover/maintain the motivation to keep it up, and “healthify” their life! Although I may already have a well-established fitness base, not everyone does. My mom, for example. She’s gone through spurts of running and yoga, but has never been able to keep something up long-term. And because I (obviously)

snape-obviously

want her to stick around for quite some time, I will most definitely be showing her this graphic to help her get a kick start!

BHG_SpringFitness_Infographic1

 

I love that the end of this graphic says “Favourite Workouts” and has a little blurb on how to “revamp your routine”. You can force yourself through that hour on the treadmill all you want, but if you would rather be dead than slog away on a machine it’s not something that will have a permanent place in your life. And if there’s no desire to do it, there will be no motivation either.

There are SO MANY OPTIONS out there that there is absolutely no reason for a person to ever say “I hate exercise”. Machines make you miserable? Run or run/walk outside! Bike ride! Yoga bore you to tears? (I’m guilty!) Give a pilates class a try. I’ve been getting sick of my weight lifting in the gym these days, so I’m planning to try out some group exercise classes and powerlifting techniques. Don’t let yourself give up!

Motivation –> Fitness + Nutrition –> Physical + Mental Health –> Overall Wellbeing 

They are ALL essential components to a healthy lifestyle. I’m so glad that BHG reached out to me about this initiative, as it is one of my biggest goals in life to help others enjoy a living well and staying fit. It’s not all about miserable gym sessions and dry salads, people!

MEC Half Marathon Race Recap

Let’s just preface this recap with a little spoiler, shall we?

I DID IT!

Hills be damned (and they were pretty darn monstrous), on June 14 I ran 13.1 miles in 1:47:16, a six minute PR from my first half marathon last year.

I was honestly so excited for this race! I had absolutely no nerves (until the morning of, of course), and just couldn’t wait to put my fitness to the test and see what my legs can do.

readytorunMy moms phone was on black and white, so all of these pictures are as well. #facepalm

And seeing as this was only my second half marathon and the first one I’ve raced, I already know I can do better. 🙂

My plan was to listen to podcasts for the first ~10 miles, both to keep me distracted and from running too fast early on. I would then plug in some Eminem and drop the hammer for the last 5K.

Miles 1-3: 8:19, 8:14, 8:32. I didn’t even notice a hill during that mile, but apparently there was 150 feet of elevation gain. WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO KNOW since it seemed like I was just slowing down for no reason whatsoever and basically sucked at running. 😉

Miles 4-6: 8:09, 8:28, 8:36. It was a constant struggle between “woah, don’t go too fast” and “this isn’t a leisurely stroll through the park YA LAZY.”

Miles 7-8: 8:57, 7:40. THAT. HILL. It was one of those that just kept winding and winding around, so right when you think you’ve reached the top you really have around 28 miles of climbing left to go. Well not really but you get the idea. The faster downhill mile that followed was not fun AT ALL because all I could think about was how I would have to run right back up it.

Miles 9-12: 8:09,8:02, 8:08.  These really deserve like eleven paragraphs because they felt sooooo long. Once we reached the bottom of the hill, we ran through some trails in a park and it just took forever to get to the turnaround. I spent the entire time dreading that hill – the further we ran, the closer it moved to the finish line. I seriously gunned it when we finally hit the turnaround, though, because I knew I would lose time on the hill. I actually walked for 5 seconds because I was just so tired but somehow I pulled myself together and maintained a solid split.

Mile 13, 0.1 nubbin: 7:37, 6:31. OMG I’M GOING THE WRONG WAY THERE IS NOBODY AROUND ME AKSJDHAJSKD. I’m going to stop at exactly 13.1 miles and die before wandering back to the race seven hours later to console my poor mother. <– my exact thoughts. I made it to the top of the last downhill just before mile 13 and knew I was nowhere near the start/finish line! What gives! I was all alone, there were barely any signs and I was stressin’ big time. Luckily I kept running because finally I made it to a course marshall who ensured me I did in fact go the right way.

^Also, it should be known that I actually ran 0.35 miles at that 6:31 pace but am chopping off the extra distance because I don’t have an official time yet and I do what I want!

finishline

Overall finish time: 1:47:16. 

No age group / placing stats yet, but I will update this as soon as they are available! THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN!!! It was totally no frills, but I had such a great time from start to finish and crossed the line feeling like a million bucks. I actually joked with my friend that ran the 10K that I could go lift some heavy things instead of going home. Obviously I didn’t, and I crashed hard a few hours later, but it was a cool feeling while it lasted. 😉

Of course now my brain is all: hmmm, 1:47 on an obnoxiously hilly course, find a flat one STAT and get that 1:45, girl! On it, brain. On. It.

What was the most exciting part of your weekend? 

Should a hill at 18km be illegal? 

Friday Favourites + An Attempted Taper.

Happy Friday friends! Even though today is technically my Monday, after a one day weekend… womp womp. The life of a part-time shift worker. 😉

^ Funny story: on Monday, I had to ask my coworker what day of the week it was because I genuinely had no idea. My random start times / days off from work are throwing me off like no other! So although it might not feel like it for some of us, let’s cheers to the weekend anyway! It’s been a minute since I linked up with Heather for some Friday Favourites action. Here’s what I’ve been loving this week! 🙂

Friday-Favorite-Link-Up-Botton-Life-In-Leggings

Half Marathon Excitement. I can’t say I’ve been loving the (self-imposed) taper week, but I’ve got all sorts of butterflies for my race on Sunday! There are differing opinions on whether or not a taper is necessary / beneficial for a half marathon, but my legs did not feel very rested going into my first 13.1 so I figured I might as well give it a shot! I did my longest run of 12 miles 10 days out, and yesterday ran my last “hard” run of 1 mile each: easy / HMP / easy / HMP / easy. I’M. SO. EXCITED!!! I can’t wait to see what these legs can do!

New Closet Organization. After going from approximately two feet of closet space at UBC, to two temporary racks on a wall, to absolutely nothing while my floor is painted, putting together a fancy new closet organization system has me all sorts of giddy. We purchased this IKEA PAX Wardrobe, so now it’s just time to tackle the construction!

pax-wardrobe__0312338_PE402685_S4

 

Cappuccino and Macchiato Mastery. Well, maybe mastery is saying a little much, BUT YOU GUYS!! For the longest time I just could not make these two drinks. Because they are on the small side (6oz and 4oz, respectively), the milk is much more difficult to steam correctly and pour. After trying (and failing) approximately 7 billion times Tuesday afternoon, I finally got it on Wednesday! I’m so impressed with myself.


cappucino2

 

Frozen Smoothies + Granola. This girl is incapable of functioning before a peanut butter berry protein smoothie topped with dark chocolate granola. I’m not mad about it.

This morning's beauty: Strawberries +  PB protein powder + coconut milk +  dark chocolate granola.  Heaven!  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that my bodyweight x 5 squat had a little something to do with this.

And a random assortment of things making me happy this week that will go unpictured:

  • disgusting white converse thrown into the washing machine –> my babies are beautiful again
  • couch time is the best time
  • fudgsicles as post-run mid-morning snack DESSERT.
  • re-watching Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone for the 37th time and quoting the entire moving / driving my dear mother absolutely insane. (She’s secretly impressed)

SPEAKING OF WHICH… I may or may not have had a little freakout Wednesday morning due to the chaos in my room that comes with not having a closet. This quote was the first thing that popped into my mind and I’m still laughing about it. You know you’re a true HP fan when…

But seriously. That was me to a T. Have a lovely weekend everyone! I’ll catch ya on the flip side with a race recap, so stay tuned. 🙂

What is your favourite breakfast dessert? Fudgesicles are definitely making a comeback for me.

Any one movie / book that you ALWAYS quote?