Fueling for Long Runs + St Jude

Ok, this is my last post on the St Jude yoga fundraiser, I SWEAR! And it’s only to talk about how much of a success it was! I’ve never organized or put on an event like this before, so I had no idea what to expect. The amount of people that came out and donated totally blew me away – 36 people showed up, and over $400 was donated to St Jude!! 

St Jude yoga fundraiser Land Grant

We all squeezed into the brewery, and I led a 45 minute vinyasa flow. People that had never done yoga before showed up and did amazing! And the support from my friends.. no words.. The entire event just filled my heart up. This was such an important event to me, and I could not have done it without the support of strangers, friends, New friends, & family.

Yoga St Jude Yoga Fundraiser

So thank you, thank you, to everyone who has supported St Jude… These children need all the help they can get after being diagnosed with cancer, and your donations help make the journey to recovery much less stressful.

If you would still like to donate, you still have time – a few days left to raise the last $600. And did I mention I’ll be matching every single donation that comes in?? So really, only $300 more!  Every dollar is appreciated!

You can donate to St Jude here 🙂

Ok. So just to give everyone a recap of what’s been happening in my life:
– New part time job (in addition to my full time AND teaching yoga) – and I don’t even really consider it a job, because it’s fun!
– Planning/packing for my NYC & Florida trip in 2 weeks!
– Teaching an arm balance workshop next Sunday
-I’ve cut my runs down to spare the tendinitis in my foot. So 3 runs a week instead of 4, and doing acupuncture 1x week, cryotherapy after my long runs, Rolfing, and Active Release Therapy. (let’s just say i’m taking a hiatus from running after this half marathon for awhile…) But, so far, so good! I am going for a 14 mile run on Saturday before I begin to taper… the race is 2 weeks away!!

Old woman running

Sometimes I feel like an old woman with my running injuries

I’ve been experimenting with fuel for my long runs, and I think I’ve figured out exactly what I need:

  • Oatmeal + banana + protein bar 2 hours before run
  • 1 gu w/caffeine 5 minutes before run
  • jelly beans/sports chews every few miles
  • 1 Gu + 1/2 banana at mile 5/6 AND mile 9/10 (I mix together beforehand & put in ziplock bags or reusable food pouches)
  • Taking sips of electrolyte water from my 12 oz handheld water bottle  every once in awhile (I grab plain water along the route when I eat my gus).. BTW – just bought this, and I don’t know how I lived without it before!!!

My metabolism is fast and I burn through food really, really quickly. I joke that I need to run with a burrito in my back pocket to eat halfway through my runs.

hamster burrito

Yes, this is a hamster eating a tiny burrito

Side note – I found out about Enduropacks online and it has been AMAZING for electrolyte replacement during my long runs. I struggle with that anytime I workout, so about 5-10 sprays in my water helps keep my levels balanced (the spray lasts a long time!). And no, I didn’t get paid or get anything free to write this… just another runner sharing tips that have helped me! 🙂

So what does everyone else take with them on long runs? Any tips on what to drink, eat, do, or NOT do?? 

Have you ever ran a race for charity? If so, what charity did you support & why? I’d love to hear your experience!

Marathoners in Training

Hi all!

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I had joined MIT – Marathoners in Training, a local running group that was highly recommended by my boss & one of my favorite bloggers, Nikki at Will Run for Pizza. The cold and the cost ($120) has always deterred me from signing up – but, since it’s been a fairly mild winter, and I felt like running 20+ miles a week on top of my already busy schedule, I decided to join!

So far, the community has been great! My holidays were not the greatest, and I have been grumpy gills for basically the past month. Top that with getting up at 6:30 am on Saturday morning to run 7+ miles in the 15 degree cold on my only day to sleep in, you would think that I might hurt someone that early in the morning. Fortunately, I’m not that awake that early, and everyone in MIT is so welcoming! I ran the first half of my run listening to music, and trying not to focus on my frozen legs (NOTE: I went out and spent a few $$$ on warm running clothes after my run!!). The second half, I started chatting with another member in my pace group, which made the run much more enjoyable AND go by quicker.

Nina Elise Running

By the time I finished my run, there were bagels & water waiting for everyone, and I was able to chat with one of the running coaches about training afterwards. Overall, I feel pretty confident about running my upcoming half in 2 months, although not so much about PR’ing. Ideally, I want to break 1:45, but I am completely ok with just breaking my last half time – 1:53. However, if not, totally OK – it’s all for charity, and I am going to enjoy my run through the 5 boroughs of NYC!

(Side note – if you would like to support my run by donating to St Jude, you can find my fund page here. Every cent helps, and your support is so much appreciated!!)

Anyways – a few things I have learned so far:

  • Always go slower, as you don’t want to wear your body out
  • Save fast runs for interval training days (I normally like to sprint at the end of my runs – I guess it’s better to just keep going slow & let your body rest!)
  • Get your miles in! The more miles, the more your body will be accustomed to long-distance runs
  • Run 14-16 miles before my half marathon – this will build confidence, and your body will be better prepared to run the 13 miles (coming from a yoga student & fellow MITer)
  • Test out drinking water/when to eat/different types of food to eat when training a few months out (I am awful at this! I eat a feast AND gu before my long races and get burnt out by mile 5… I am considering bringing a burrito with me to eat during my race ;))

I’ll be in California in less than 2 weeks, so I am going to have to figure how to get my miles in before or after my 10-hour yoga training days while traveling! With that being said – are there any good running spots I should know about in San Francisco? I have 3 entire days to roam about and do whatever I want, and running is the best place to explore & get to know the area!

For all you runners out there – have you ever trained with a group like MIT? If so, what have you learned from it? I’d love to hear from you!

ACL Surgery

Hi all!

Since I found out about my ACL surgery, I have been reading up on what to expect (ACLRecoveryClub.com & ACL Recovery FB groups have been amazing resources!), talking with friends who have undergone the same surgery and gathering as much information as possible. I want my recovery time to be miraculously fast, so I have been preparing my body the best that I can before going under the knife. I have been eating strict paleo and using essential oils to help aid & prepare my body for the surgery – you do not have to do this, but I highly recommend doing your own research to help prepare yourself before undergoing any type of surgery. Below are lists of Surgery Prep for what to expect, nutrition, using oils, questions to ask your surgeon, insurance and what to prepare for and expect 1 month leading up to surgery all the way through 1 week post surgery. I will be updating this as much as I can as soon as I go in for surgery and making any changes afterwards to add anything I missed.

ACL  ACL2

1 Month Before:

  • Began drinking homemade bone broth (grass fed) on a daily basis – I drank 1 quart a day. This is packed full of minerals & nutrients, heals your gut and strengthens your immune system.

2 weeks before:

  • Stock up on movies & books!
  • 1-2 aromatouch massages a week – this is supposed to help prepare your body for the trauma it is going to go through! (My mom is certified, so she did this for me 1x week about a month before my surgery)
  • Tie up loose ends with insurance
    • Coverage on you brace, crutches, ice machine, physical therapy, surgery fee, anesthesiology fee, doctors fee, surgery recovery room fee, MRI, etc

1 Week before:

  • Begin adding a few drops of lemon/lemon oil to your water – this will help cleanse and detox your body in preparation for the surgery
  • Apply a flu oil blend to the bottoms of your feet (before bed) – to help with toxic protection
  • Schedule your 1st physical therapy session (within 4-7 days post surgery)

2 Days Before:

  • Apply a flu oil blend, Frankincense & basil to your knee (or wherever you are having surgery). This will help reduce inflammation in the area, protecting against toxins and bacteria or MRSA.

Day Before Surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery, including gum & mints
  • Meal prep/stock up on groceries (if you live alone, don’t have someone to help you around the clock or have a special diet). I heard Pineapple & Tumeric are great for inflammation! (not necessarily together)
  • Stock up on Ice for your ice machine – this is extremely important, as you will be changing out the ice in your ice machine every few hours for the next week or so. [Edit: My PT said to freeze small water bottles and use with a little bit of water instead of ice – this eliminates the need to constantly be changing out the ice all the time/having to store so much ice in your freezer.]

Day of Surgery:

  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes
  • Bring a small bag to put your insurance cards, photo ID & pain prescription in – this will be helpful to whoever is going to be picking up your prescription post-surgery

Arrival at Surgery Center:

  • Park in rear of building at “Surgery Patient” Parking and enter at the circle drive. The Surgery Institute is on the right when you walk in (These were instructions for where I was getting surgery)
  • Register at front desk with insurance card & photo ID
  • Fill out paperwork & consent forms
  • Meet with nurse & begin health assessment (if necessary – I had my doctor send over my most recent physical, so there was no need for this)
  • Change into gown & slippers
  • Meet with anesthesiologist/physiologist
  • Have nerve block administered (all of my friends that have gotten their ACL repaired said this is a MUST)
  • Chat with Doctor before going under anesthesia
  • Diffuse Frankincense and a flu oil blend in the room.  If they are do not allow (mine did not), make a small spritzer with a few drops of each and 2-3 tablespoons of water and spay your bed and area with the mixture. This will help kill bacteria/germs during/after your surgery.

Post-Surgery:

  • Wake up in recovery room – plan to stay for 1-1.5 hours
  • Pick up prescription for pain medicine
  • Figure out a way to get up the stairs to your apartment that is on the second floor

Arriving home after the surgery:

  • Set up Ice machine
  • Depending on whether or not you got the nerve block/you begin to experience pain, take your pain medicine
  • Apply Cypress and Basil to the area of surgery. This will increase blood flow and circulation to the area, aiding healing.  If there is any excessive bleeding, you can apply Geranium or Helichrysum instead.
  • (If you can’t get to the (surgery area) because of cast, bandage, etc., rub on the opposite arm, leg, knee, etc. and the (injured area) will receive 65% of the benefit. This is called Sympathetic Response. The body understands where the essential oil is needed and will send the recovering (surgery area) what’s needed).
  • Diffuse Frankincense and a flu oil blend in the room several times per day.  If you do not have a diffuser, make a small spritzer bottle with a few drops of each and 2-3 tablespoons of water and spay your bed and area with the mixture several times per day
  • As soon as is possible after surgery, start the AromaTouch technique again doing it at least twice over the next week or more. This can help balance your nervous system and reduce the physiological impact of surgery trauma.

The Days Following Surgery (Advice I received from friends who have already undergone ACL reconstruction):

  • Ice!
  • As soon as the nerve block wears off/you feel your leg, begin quad squeezes!
    • Flex your quad & hold for 5-10 seconds. Do 10-20 squeezes every 30 minutes (set a timer!)
  • While icing, put pillows under your calf/ankle. Gravity will help pull your knee straight

Questions to ask your surgeon before going under the knife:

  • What type of graft will I be getting?
    • Patellar, hamstring or cadaver – see the differences here: http://www.aclsurgery.us/patellar-vs-hamstring/ (My doctor recommended hamstring with a little cadaver, before I did any research. If I had done my research beforehand, I would have chosen the same thing, or just a hamstring graft. It’s ultimately up to you on what you want!)
  • What type of screws will be used? (mine used bio-composite interference screws – it depends on the doctors preference. I just wanted to know out of curiosity – you can do your own research on what you would prefer)

Did! I miss anything? Please feel free to comment and add anything 🙂 I hope this is helpful for those preparing for their ACL/knee surgery!

Sources:

PLEASE NOTE:

The information I have provided is not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice. This is information that I have gathered on my own through a variety of sources, and if you decide to use/apply any of the ideas from my site, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. This information is not meant to diagnose or to treat any medical condition. Please consult with your primary care physician holistic doctor to diagnose/advise of any medical condition if you have any questions. I am not liable for any damages or negative consequences resulting from any action by any persons reading or following the information on this site.


This e-book was created as a guide to help everyone – Adults, Kids, Athletes, and Non-Athletes – recovering from ACL surgery. After reading this guide, you will have a better understanding of what to expect, surgery options, costs & insurance, and a detailed timeline for recovery.

Improve your range of motion, increase your strength, and feel more confident post-surgery with a 2 month yoga progression plan.

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