Posts Tagged by Injuries

Tough decisions

Big news people.

 

Today was the first day that I can remember that I have had NO SHIN PAIN ALL DAY!!

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Yes, I am rocking a hair turban there. Be jealous.

 

This is a BIG deal for me! Usually, just walking around has given me pain, and things like climbing stairs weren’t good either. But today? No pain.

 

And guess what? My TWO WEEKS of not running IS UP TOMORROW. So I can run again!! Open-mouthed smileDSC09906

But…I’m not going to. I know deep down that I am not ready yet, and that if I starting running again now, the shin splints would just return right away. This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it’s one that I’m happy with.

I know that only once I’m fully injury-free can I achieve all my running goals. Taking a bit more time off will not harm my running fitness, but going back to it now would almost definitely put me out for much longer. So for the time being at least, I am going to not run, and continue to cross train instead. I will cycle until I actually have some leg muscles, and drink chocolate milk until I burst because I know that stuff has healing powers.DSC09910

Plus, I can strength train (upper body only) so after this you will not want to arm wrestle this girl.

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I promise I’m not an alien, and I don’t normally glow like that…

 

And even though I’m not running, I can still read about it!DSC00467

Started rereading Born To Run again whilst on my long cycle this morning. AWESOME book, and you have to read it if you haven’t already!! So inspiring Smile

 

Sunday mornings are my long run cycle day, so I glued my butt to the bike for an hour and a half. It was a sweat fest. Then I hit the showers, started to wash my hair, and realised I had forgotten my shampoo+conditioner. Meh who cares, wet greasy hair is the new cool thing anyway.DSC00473

I did wash it again when I got home though, WITH shampoo that time! Smile with tongue out

 

We all know what’s next. Yes friends. Pancake Sunday.

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Apricot and Coconut Pancakes
(Vegan, serves one, can be made gluten-free)

  • 1/2 cup flour (I used wholegrain spelt)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp apricot puree (I just threw a few canned apricots in a blender and pureed!)
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar (more or less as desired!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk, depending on how thick you want your batter
  1. Combine all ingredients, make your pancakes, and ENJOY!!

 

All I can say is YUM.DSC00478

But do you know what was even more yummy today? Brownie cupcakes topped with White Chocolate Wonderful PB.DSC00481

I made these to take to my church group, and they were a hit! They’re gluten free too, as one of the girl in my group is a celiac, and this was my first proper gluten-free baking experiment! (recipe to come!) These are SO GOOD! I had four, and I’m not ashamed of it! Smile with tongue out 

 

I spent a very productive afternoon continuing to be a moron. This game is addictive, but is seriously damaging my self esteem.DSC00431

When the iPod finally ran out of battery as I screamed at the Moron Test after failing for the 1000000th time, I lay on the floor and dreamt of this…sanfrancisco3

(Source)

Seven weeks. In exactly 7 weeks from today I will be in San Francisco, running across that bridge, shin splint free, and I can’t WAIT. Plus, I hear there’s somewhere that sells vegan donuts right near there. I have my running route mapped out already Winking smile

 

Have you had any tough decisions to make recently? Yes, but I’m feeling really positive about this, and I know this is the right thing for me Smile

 

What are you looking forward to in the coming months? Oooh beach running in Hawaii too! But that’s sposed to be pretty difficult I think haha!

 

Random Q: What place do you want to visit most in the world? New Zealand! Looks SO beautiful!

 

Hope you all have an awesome week!! LOVE <3

The Injury Story

HEY friends!! Aww you guys make me so happy y’know that?! By the way, I’ll post the brownie+nut butter recipe as part of my Friday Faves, ok? In the meantime, I’ve had a lot of requests to talk about my injury, so here goes!

 

The Injury Story

 

When I first started running, I didn’t love it. The same can’t be said now.emma running 3

This may sound crazy, but I feel like I was MEANT to run. Like that’s something I was born to do. I’m not the best runner, or anything like it, but I sure have as much passion for it as is possible to have. I know that whatever happens in my life, I will always run. Even when I’m old, you can betcha I’ll still be out there pounding/shuffling down the streets….ru157773-copy

(source)

…and I will definitely spend the 60 years between now and when I reach this man’s age trying to find out where he got his outfit from and then buying it.

 

But as you may have heard me moan about a thousand times in the last few months, I have been suffering from severe shin splints.

Medial Stress Syndrome to be exact.

 

It started in February, and so I’ve had them for a looong time! I ignored it, then got advice, and saw the doctor, but put off seeing a physio until a few days ago, which was Mistake #1! I could’ve got this cleared up a LONG time ago, and it wouldn’t be as bad as it is now if I had! But I’ve learned a LOT of things from this…

 

The Underlying Cause: My ankle. Yeah I didn’t see that one coming at the physio! Basically, back in December, I twisted my ankle:

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I then ‘recovered’, but my ankle was always super-stiff after that, and the pain flared up from time to time, but I never thought much of it and just ignored it. Er, MISTAKE! The physio showed me how my stiff left ankle was causing my shin to jar every time there was an impact. So I’m working on getting back the ankle flexibility to prevent this.

 

The Continual Mistake: No stretching. I rarely stretched at all, which meant tight calf muscles= more pressure on shins= shin splints. Now of course, stretching is something I make sure I do every time, but the same couldn’t be said a few months ago…DSC09904

The Trigger Cause: Overtraining. When my shin pain began in February, I was training hard for my 5k race. Just looking back at old posts makes me realise that EVERY run was a ‘hard’ one!

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So there I had ankle pain, took three days off, and then went back into hill sprints and speed intervals…yeah…

 

My average running week looked like this: a speed interval run, a tempo run, a endurance-speed run, and hilly longer run. Not a SINGLE ‘easy’ run in there, and yet the vast majority of your runs should be easy.

 

What made it worse: Overpronation. I was an overpronator and didn’t know it for a months. So every time I ran I was rolling inwards and putting strain on my shin.

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My new kicks sorted that out, but the problem was there by then…

 

The Final Nail In The Coffin: Ignoring the pain. When the pain first started, I completely ignored it. I carried on overtraining, and didn’t see a doctor or talk to anyone about it. I was convinced that if I ignored it, it would just go away. And guess what? It didn’t.

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What made things worse: Denial. When I knew there was pain and I got it seen to by a doc, I latched onto his vague advice: “Don’t run on roads, and take ibuprofen.” But the ibuprofen just masked the pain. I was still injured, but I could pretend I wasn’t. DANGEROUS for a running addict/crazy person like me…

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And thank God I was given the sense to see a physio when I did. By this point, the splints would’ve easily turned into a stress fracture given more running.

 

At first, I was angry. I was annoyed. I was jealous of everyone else who could run and wasn’t injured. Why me and not them?!DSC09605

But I’m a big believer in “everything happens for a reason”. I am now GRATEFUL that I got shin splints. From the mistakes I was making, it could’ve been SO much worse. It means I can put more time into cross-training activities that I LOVE like spinning, Pump and yoga.DSC09094

And it means that I have learnt the most important lesson any athlete can learn. How to listen to your body, and take on board the warning signs…DSC09898

So I am not doing any running, or anything that will have shin impact for at least two weeks. Yes, I may need you guys to chain me down to stop me from jumping on the treadmill when Betty, my favourite one, is free, but I’m trusting in myself again to do what my body needs, so that before I know it, I’m back out there again doing what I love.DSC09221

Have you ever had a running injury? Never a ‘proper’ one before this, but I’ve had to take a few days off in the past for various things.

 

How do you deal with tough circumstances? Feel angry/frustrated/annoyed, cry it out, eat chocolate, then see sense and see all the positives Smile

 

Random Q: Are you an emotional/stress eater? Um, YES! If I’m stressed or emotional, you’d better hide the cookies! Smile with tongue out

 

Have a GREAT day loves!! Keep SMILING!!

 

P.S. I now have a Facebook page, so I’ll love you even more if you ‘Like’ me! Open-mouthed smile

Banana-coconut balls

Yesterday, I had two PB+J sandwiches.

PB_&J

This is possibly the most genius pairing of food. Ever.DSC04336

So today, I replicated this on my oatmeal.DSC06212

Heavens above, this was bliss. And so so filling! I used: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 coconut milk, 1 cup water, ~1 tbsp PB and ~1 tbsp jam. Plus plenty of PB+J fingers! Smile with tongue out

After that delicious brekkie, I was feeling in a nut butter mood! So I created a new snack ball recipe! Open-mouthed smile

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Banana-coconut balls (inspired by Katie’s delicious 3 ingredient peanut butter balls)

Makes 4 balls

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup (26g) oats
  • 2 tbsp nut butter
  • ~2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling
  1. Mash your banana, or do what I did and give it and give it a quick whizz in the blender.
  2. Mix together your mashed banana, oats and nut butter.
  3. Spread out the coconut onto a plate, form the mixture into four balls, and roll each one in the coconut until covered.
  4. Enjoy!!

I made half a batch with smooth peanut butter, and half with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.DSC06239

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Both delish, but surprisingly I think I preferred the normal PB ones…I know, who am I and what have I done with Emma?!

The finished products:

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I love balls. And find that hilarious. Apparently I have the sense of humour of a 10 year old boy. But these are no laughing matter my friends…

SO yummy! And it is perfect pre-run (or post run) fuel! Carbs, protein and healthy fats. Smile

So fuelled by my snack balls, I headed out on my longer slow run of the week, aiming for 6 miles. Sadly, my ankle started playing up again! It wasn’t as bad as it was before, but being super-cautious I took it slow and cut my run short. I ran just under 4.5 miles in an avg 8.29 min/mile pace, and iced as soon as I got home.

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Sweats, a bag of frozen sweecorn, a box of trail mix, and Gilmore Girls is the way to go!

It WILL be fine. I’m going to rest it tomorrow, keep my fingers crossed, pray super-hard and see how it feels

But on the upside, I did make it back alive, and with a few goodies!DSC06221

I took a completely random new route today, and came across an amazing cute little independent health store! It was fantastic! So much better than my usual Holland and Barrett store (which I still love!). It had so much stuff I’ve only seen online before and have never bought/tried, like nutritional yeast flakes and amazing cereals! Unfortunately, I obviously couldn’t fit in all that stuff in my pockets and run home, so I bought what I could!

All new stuff to me!

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I had the Spiru-Tein straight after my run, and loved it! Tastes like a banana milkshake, but has 14g of protein! Smile And I’m definitely looking forward to trying the bar of raspberry dark chocolate!DSC06229

Clearly, stopping to shop when running is what all the cool people do.DSC06219

And I love that the people there just smiled and chatted to me about health and running, as though it was perfectly normal to turn up in a shop all sweaty and in running clothes! Gotta love health food stores! Smile And I am SO going back to get some more goodies!!

Tomorrow I will be announcing my big international giveaway, so stay tuned!! Open-mouthed smile

Have you ever stopped during a run to do something different, or discovered a new place on your run? I can’t believe there was such an amazing place just 2 miles from my house and I didn’t know about it!! And apart from my shopping today, I also have once run to and from church. Never again though- too many weird looks! They weren’t quite as understanding as the health store people! Smile with tongue out 

And tell me, what foods do you think are a match made in heaven? Got any fave unusual combos that you love that I can try? I’m up for anything!

Love you all! Have a great day! Open-mouthed smile

Blogging runners make it big!

Hello lovelies! Smile

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday- got back so late from a family Christmas gathering, and definitely didn’t enjoy getting up this morning! Smile with tongue out My weekend was very full of family (I spent Saturday visiting too), and next weekend will be full of shopping! I am panicking slightly now, as it is less than 3 weeks till Christmas, and I haven’t bought a single present yet. Oh dear! Confused smile

The family gathering on Sunday meant I got to open two Christmas presents! The kids always demand everyone has to open one, but this year they managed to persuade their way to two! One of my presents was this:DSC04365

Yay, a gift card for a book store!! Some people hate giving this kind of thing, saying it feels ‘too impersonal’, but lets be honest, everyone loves getting gift cards/vouchers! I can see some amazing cookbooks in my future with this…! Open-mouthed smile

And my other present that I opened? I’ll model it for you tomorrow. When you see it, you will laugh. And/or be very confused. Trust me, you’ll understand…! Smile with tongue out

Breakfast was a return to oatmeal! After two mornings of cereal instead(shock horror!), I had missed this too much to forgo it today! DSC04345

I used Mimi’s tip again of stirring in extra oats after microwaving to give it a more stove-top like texture, and I loved it!DSC04342

I think I’m going to do this every time! Smile

I went to a BodyPump class this evening, and enjoyed my first ever Trek bar beforehand:DSC04339

Yum! I am such a chocolate girl! And this bar was so dense and filling!

I miss running! Sad smile It’s only been a week and a half, but I seriously feel for people with injuries that prevent them from running long-term! I’m going to try and not run for the rest of this week on some advice about my ankle. But, I did buy to make up for it…DSC04348

Runner’s World! Ridiculously overpriced in my opinion (especially when there’s no freebie! Winking smile) but I do love magazines! And, as you might be able to see from the cover, it had pages and pages on injuries! This was really useful:DSC04349

It had exercises and that sort of thing to help strengthen, so hopefully, if I do these, it will prevent future injuries! Open-mouthed smile

The magazine also featured the main race I want to do in 2011! The Royal Parks Half Marathon in London.DSC04350

Check out those high ratings! And the winner in 1.05.40!!! How fast is that?! I’m gonna see if I can beat him when I run it! Smile with tongue out

And this article will interest you guys:DSC04352

An article about blogging runners! What a coincidence! Interesting read for a running blogger! Smile

Now I have successfully shown half of the magazine that cost me almost a fiver to you, I will go and finish what I was helping to do before I started writing this post…DSC04360

…decorating my tree! I’ll show you tomorrow. Smile And also coming up this week, I’ll be baking a (hopefully!) delicious vegan upside-down cake and some gingerbread cookies to put on my tree. I can’t wait! Open-mouthed smile

Have you ever had, or do you have, an injury that prevents you from running/exercise? And have you done any Christmas shopping yet? Please don’t depress me anyone by telling me that you’ve bought everything already! Smile with tongue out

Hope you have a great week! Smile

Cinnamon cake with spiced buttercream

Hello lovelies! Smile

After mentioning yesterday my ankle pain, I was all ready to try and do a light run today. I fuelled up this morning with cereal+coconut milk+a banana:DSC04323

I hadn’t had cereal+milk in ages! Missed it! Anyway, during walking around the house this morning, the ankle wasn’t feeling 100%, or even 70% sadly, so I decided it would be better to be safe than sorry, and try again tomorrow. Let’s hope it’s fully recovered by then! Smile

So instead, I helped with prepping the Christmas presents!DSC04329

Today we are having a big family get-together with my mum’s side of the family, who we only really see a couple of times a year. So today is the big present swapping time! Open-mouthed smile I put myself in charge of Christmas music at our intense wrapping session:DSC04327

DSC04328Singing loudly (and out-of-tunely!) to ‘12 Days of Christmas’ whilst present wrapping really gets you in the Christmas spirit! Don’t forget people, the words of my hero:Elf-Quotes

Oh yes. Not sure if my family would agree though! Smile with tongue out If I didn’t convey it clearly enough yesterday, I love Elf! Open-mouthed smile 

All wrapped up:DSC04330

And put into a giant Christmas bag:DSC04332

Yay! I can’t wait to see the look of excitement on my little cousins’ faces! They get so excited about presents! Well so do I, but I don’t run around screaming “prezzie time” as they did last year! Smile with tongue out

Back to Thursday quickly! I was really in a baking mood, and in a cinnamony mood. What a surprise! So I decided to bake a cinnamon cake! Smile (Cake based on this recipe and the buttercream based on Angela’s recipe.)

Cinnamon Cake with Spiced Buttercream

  • 250g flour (I used half wholemeal spelt and half plain/all-purpose)
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon (I would recommend using more, but then I am a cinnamon addict! Smile with tongue out)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 225ml buttermilk*
  • 4 tablespoons oil (I used melted vegan spread)
  • 2 normal or flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax+6 tbsp warm water,  whisked and left for 5 mins)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Spiced buttercream:

  • 105g icing sugar
  • 110g butter/vegan spread, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 0.5 tbsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 tbsp mixed spice

*I made my own (vegan) buttermilk. I took 1 tablespoon vinegar (or lemon juice) and poured into a cup. I added in (soy) milk to equal 1 cup. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes, then measured out 225ml and used that.

Method:

  1. Make the buttermilk and flax eggs if you need. . Preheat oven to 180C / 350F. Grease/line a 9x5in loaf tin.
  2. Place all ingredients (except the buttercream ingredients) into large mixing bowl. Beat 3 minutes with an electric mixer. Pour into prepared loaf tin and smooth the top.
  3. Bake for approx 50 mins, then once ready remove cake from tin and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
  4. To make the buttercream, whip the butter with a mixer until smooth. Add about half of the icing sugar mix again until smooth. Then add in the vanilla, spices, and milk (if needed). Mix well. Add in the remaining icing sugar and blend for several minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Once the cake has fully cooled (and make sure it is, or the buttercream will melt!), spread on the icing using a wet spatula.<
    /b>
  5. Enjoy! Open-mouthed smile

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In my opinion, a perfectly frosted cake is highly overrated! Smile with tongue out The cake was delicious, and the frosting was soo good! Licking the frosting bowl was possibly the best bit of my Thursday! Winking smile If anything, I would add more cinnamon next time to the cake, but my official tasters (my family) thought it was fine as it was. Guess it’s down to personal taste, but in my opinion, you can never have enough cinnamon! Smile with tongue out

Anyway, off now to the family Christmas get-together in London, and when I get back, I’ll hopefully have my first Christmas presents to put under my currently non-existent Christmas tree! It’s okay, we’re putting ours up tomorrow! Have you already got your tree up? If, like me, you haven’t, when is yours going up? Do you have a specific date when you put your tree up? We always put ours up on the first weekend in December, and I can’t wait! Smile

Have a great weekend! And don’t forget the best way to spread Christmas cheer…! Open-mouthed smile

p5rn7vb

Chocolate Coma

Hello lovely readers! Open-mouthed smile Very happy right now! Partially because of the amount of chocolate I have consumed today, and partially because I am on a Christmas high right now! I’ve been watching this:ElfDVD-300-2

My favourite Christmas movie!! Followed closely by:1loveactually-dvd

I’m saving that movie for a bit nearer the time…but I’m definitely gonna watch Elf again! Will Ferrell is HILARIOUS! Open-mouthed smile

My amazing chocolate-covered day began with stovetop hot cocoa-banana oatmeal! Smile (Inspired by Kayla)DSC04266

That’s 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 banana and 3 tsp hot chocolate powder. If you have actual cocoa powder, it would probably taste even better with that,  but somehow I don’t have any! Surprised smile Must. Buy.

Anyway, combined oats+milk+water+sliced banana in a pan on the hob for about 4-5 minutes, until thick and bubbling.DSC04264

Removed from heat once the texture is how I like it: nice and thick…DSC04267

…and stirred in the hot cocoa powder…DSC04268

…then topped with the remaining chopped banana:

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Delicious! And I really needed that warming, chocolatey comfort this morning, after waking up to see this: *cue scary music*DSC04289

Okay, is it just me, or are icicles scary?DSC04287

They had grown since yesterday. A lot.DSC04290

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Actually I had a bit of childish fun with my icicles. This involved sharply opening my window and snapping them, whilst giggling madly. As you do! Winking smileDSC04292

On a more serious note, I hadn’t mentioned it before, but over the last week, I’ve been having some pretty bad ankle pain. I’m not sure exactly what I did (I think I may have twisted it in the snow…), but I decided to rest it for a bit. Then, being me, I threw caution to the wind, and hit the gym on Wednesday. I can tell you, running on it didn’t help in the slightest, and it was killing yesterday! But  I rested it and iced it over the last two days, and bought this…DSC04297

…which is really helping! It’s feeling much better today, so I’m going to try some light exercise tomorrow morning (with this on) to see if it’s okay! Fingers crossed! Smile

Back to today! I made a quick trip into town for a few essentials, but there were some serious food shortages because of the snow! In the supermarket, people were starting to panic, because there was absolutely no bread or milk! Scary, huh? Thankfully, we have enough milk for now, and bread flour to make our own bread, but it was a first!empty-grocery-shelves

And I was happy, because I picked up a few things for myself Smile

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Vogel’s cereal, dairy free grated cheddar, a Trek cocoa brownie bar, and the strawberry jam that I love! I haven’t tried the vegan cheese or the Trek bar before, so I can’t wait to give them a whirl! Open-mouthed smile

It was sooo cold outside, and even wearing 3 pairs of socks, my toes practically froze off, so I couldn’t wait to snuggle back into my favourite slipper boots!DSC02883

Aren’t they cool? Smile with tongue out

Sometimes, I hate resting and not running/exercising! Today actually wasn’t really one of those days! I actually enjoyed doing pretty much nothing, and watching endless TV! As well as Elf, quite a few episodes of this:

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So yes, I watched a lot of TV today! It was between this and Scrubs, both of which I love! Any Criminal Minds/Scrubs fans out there? And while I watched, I munched my way through a lot of this:DSC04322

Fact: Emma loves dark chocolate. Of course, I’m sure y’all already knew that! Smile with tongue out

I think this has been a long enough post as it is, so I’ll do a recipe post from yesterday’s baking adventures tomorrow! Open-mouthed smile Now excuse me while I go into my chocolate coma…

So what are your Christmas movies? And what are your favourite TV series’?

Hope you’ve had a great, chocolate-filled Friday too! Have a great weekend!

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