The Gladiator Mud Run
The Gladiator Mud Run

Maybe I should wear a mask like this?

Gasp…* I just registered for The Gladiator in March!

To give you an idea why this is slightly terrifying, the race is “one of the most grueling, most epic, most fun-filled events ever held!”  It is a 5 – 7 mile course with 30+ “extreme” obstacles, including “the one and only Coliseum.”

“The Gladiator courses are designed to punish and please, while testing agility, endurance, mental resolve, and solidarity. You’ll not walk away unscathed.”

I’m not worried about the distance at all, but the obstacles are certainly going to challenge me. But hey, Gladiator is one of my favorite movies ever, so I can draw on all that I love about the movie to get me through the race. Makes sense, right? That, and the people I’m running with.

Gonna be awesome sauce. And I might be a puddle of exhausted worn–out sauce at the end.

Anyone completed a Gladiator run before? Any tips for an obstacle race??
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Spine alignment {Piloting Paper Airplanes}

Many of you probably know that I’ve had a consistent problem with tingling and numbness in my feet and calves. So far, various tests hadn’t found anything and stretching eased the symptoms some, but it hasn’t gone away.

After a follow–up appointment with my primary doctor last week, he sent me to a physical therapist who I saw for the first time yesterday.

The result? I FINALLY know the problem and have real tools to fix it! As the therapist had me stand, walk, and lay in different positions, I could literally feel the tingling come and go has he adjusted my form. I’m elated! This isn’t just another “we’ll try something and see if it works because we don’t know what’s wrong with you.” I can feel immediate relief in the aching and tingling.

The issues stem from my lower back. Here, let me illustrate:

Spine alignment {Piloting Paper Airplanes}In many ways, this posture comes from my dance background. “Tuck those hips under, straighten that back.” The slouching of the shoulders I have now is just lazy and poor posture. The problem is that shifting my hips under like this throws my back out of alignment, causes hip and knee problems, and pinches nerves that effect my lower legs.

Here’s another graphic:

Spine alignment {Piloting Paper Airplanes}I also have an incorrect sway sideways, causing my right shoulder to be lower than the left, my right hip to be back and lower and my left hip to be higher and forward, my knees to turn in and my weight carried on the outside of my feet rather than spread evenly.

Hmm, well now. I have recurring knee pain as well. Connection?

The result of all this imbalance is that my core is strong, but my obliques (which wrap around to the back) and back muscle are not. My calves are strong, but the muscles around my shins are not. And the problems will only get worse if I don’t fix it now. All the chiropractic in my world – which is amazing and I love it – can put my spine back into position, but won’t strengthen the right muscles to KEEP it that way.

I now have some exercises to strengthen the right parts of my back. After just two days, I am pretty sore. I have been forcing my muscles to do the job of tendons, and it will take some work to build up the strength and correct the posture.

Down side is that I’m not allowed to do longer runs right now. I run with this bad back alignment, which explains tingling and numbing in my feet. As I fatigue on longer runs, I over compensate even worse. So until I’ve strengthened my back to stay in place, I’m not supposed to do those longer runs.

There are also some of my standard stretches I’m not supposed to do, like a forward bend. Stretches that curve and elongate my vertebra are off-limits. My lower back needs to tighten up to hold in place, not stretched out. All of this is a big bummer… but if it brings me relief and fixes my problems, I’m willing to do it.

Cheers for a Physical Therapist who knows his stuff and can heal my back and leg problems!


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#Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

Today’s Monday Motivation is a little different. I write mostly about health and running, obviously, but a big part of my life is really focusing on “full–being well–being.” All the work I do becoming a stronger and better runner means little if I’m not also taking care of myself emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Yesterday’s sermon was about forgiveness, which happens to be something on my mind lately. There are always hurts that we each need to forgive, and don’t we all know there are plenty of things for which we need to ask forgiveness.

But I want to talk about forgiving ourselves. In the health blogging world there are many many post about falling off the wagon, guilt for a slacking weekend, etc. Body image and self-confidence play a big role in that sinking feeling after we “blew it.”

I have three words for this guilt: Let. It. Go.

Plain and simple. Take a deep breath, consciously forgive yourself, and start fresh. Not matter how committed we are, life will always always always get in the way sometimes. Work, school, kids, travel… all sorts of stresses and distractions derail our meal planning or workout schedules, and that is OK. Say it with me: It’s OK. Working out and eating right can take a lot of time and effort, and we all know the importance of taking care of ourselves – but there are other things just as, or more, important.

In many way, this journey to healthier life is a journey to freedom, so give yourself the gift of freedom by letting go of that guilt. Your shoulders will thank you.

That’s my soap box for the day. 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

Nike DriFit pants {Piloting Paper Airplanes}

Happy Friday! It was a shorter work week, but I’m still glad it’s Friday. Ready to stay in bed longer rather than have to get up in the freezing tundra that is winter. At 27º, this morning commute was the warmest all week. I know I shouldn’t complain too much, as we’re not getting snow & ice at the moment, but I’m going to anyway. I hate cold. 🙂

I spent the weekend with this awesome lady while our husbands took over Kansas City. Lovely and refreshing weekend with one of my favorite people!

Kristin {Piloting Paper Airplanes}

Couldn’t resist posting a dramatic photo of Kristin. 🙂

  • Friday
    • 2.4 miles
  • Saturday
    • 1/2 mile jog warmup
    • X 5 {10 pushups, 10 step ups, 10 dips, 10 abs}
    • 1 mile walk home
    • 20 minutes of yoga
Veggie curry {Piloting Paper Airplanes}

My dear friend Kristin came to visit this weekend, and we made her veggie curry recipe over brown rice. SO GOOD.

  • Sunday
    • 1 mile run, 1.5 mile walk
    • Side plank w/ 10 twists w. 10 lb.
Healthy cookies {Piloting Paper Airplanes}

Sunday night Kristin and I wanted something sweet, so we experimented with a healthy cookie recipe. Bananas, organic peanut butter, sugar–free applesauce, oats, vanilla extract and chocolate chips. Here’s the recipe. They are tasty and hit the spot!

  • Monday
    • Rest day.
  • Tuesday
    • Light day. Some stretching, 50 pushups, and 2:00 each front, right and left planks.
  • Wednesday
    • 4.07 miles in 43:21 (10:39 average). Felt awesome to do a longer run today!
    • 50 pushups, 50 dips, 20 dive bombers.
Nike DriFit pants {Piloting Paper Airplanes}

Made a trip to Marshalls and found these Nike DriFit pants. Score for winter running!

  • Thursday
    • Pretty much nothing. I had every intention to do some HIIT work, but life got in the way. Happens sometimes. Short 1:00 plank before bed.
Cold office tea {Piloting Paper Airplanes}

This is how I’ve spent the last week in my office: freezing and unwilling to take the winter layers off.

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Hope you all had a great week, and have an even better weekend!
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