Running the World

When I started this blog, I really didn’t know what would come of it. I started it at a time where I had a lot of emotions taking over me, and I thought maybe writing them down would help. It did. I debated a little bit about whether or not to make the blog public or not but decided I would because as much as it was mostly for my mental health, I thought perhaps it might inspire someone else. I also thought a happy side effect *might* be someone noticing this blog who could help me figure out a way to reach my surgery goals faster…but really, I didn’t expect it to get many followers or views and expected it to fizzle out quickly regardless of any “big plans” I had in my head.

I need to cut it out with this doubting myself crap! This blog has gone so well! I have gained followers on InstagramFacebook and subscribers here on this blog. Everyday I am astounded by the number of new visitors and views I’m getting from all over the world! 

My blog has had viewers from all of the highlighted parts of the map!

I still don’t really know what will come of this or for how long it will continue, but I’m so thankful for the support and for this outlet. I really hope I can keep it going for all of us! 

On that note, I have some exciting news to share! 

  I ran my first race since my injury this weekend. It was the Run The World 5k at Kent State University where my son is a freshman. This race supports the study abroad program and I thought it was a great race to participate in since my son is required to study abroad for his major. Besides that, I loved the idea of exploring his campus on a run! 

I’d planned to register for this race a long time ago, but then when I sprained my ankle I put off registering because I was unsure if I’d be ready. I ended up finally registering the day before the race, so I hadn’t exactly prepared myself the week leading up to it like I normally would for a race. I babysat late the night before and got up early for the race not feeling well…but I kept calm and carried on, laced up my new Saucony Ride 10s and gave it all I had! 

The race fell on a day that is pretty significant to me. One of my very best friends had a beautiful son named Tyler who was born on September 9th, 2001. Tyler lost his life when he was 7 years old to a pediatric brain tumor but race day would have been his 16th birthday. Like I said, I was not feeling well when I woke up for this race…but, I will always run for those who can’t. Especially Tyler…always for Tyler. 

I felt really awesome during my run in spite of being a bit under the weather. I didn’t get a PR but considering all of the factors I thought would make it a terrible run, I was extremely happy with my time and ranks! It was also a really fun run which is the most important thing! 

Something else very cool is in the works that will take me a bit more “global” as well!  I was approached at a race a few months back by a lovely woman from an internet radio station who asked if she could interview me about running. I love running, but I wasn’t sure I was quite what she was looking for. I’m still a fairly new runner, and I’m not even the greatest at it. Apparently though, that is exactly what she wanted. Relatable, down to earth talk about running and what everyone can gain from it.  I recorded a show with her which will air September 19th at 2pm EST and will be replayed after that. 

I think it went really well, because she messaged me telling me that she spoke to a local running store and we have a meeting set up for this week to talk. She said they are interested in possibly partnering with me for a weekly show or sponsoring one for me! I’m praying about it. It sounds like a very incredible opportunity to share my story and inspire people…maybe brand myself a little for some unknown reason that God will surely reveal to me down the line! I hope you’ll tune in to hear me! I’ll be sure to link all of the shows here on the blog. 

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Track Tuesday: Favorite Running Music (Part 3)

I realized when I went to write this, that I haven’t made a blog post since last week’s Track Tuesday ! Not good, Alanna! 

I haven’t been neglecting my readers on purpose, I promise! Time just got away from me a bit as I started a new job, my 3 year old began preschool, and my oldest child began his freshman year of college! 

My youngest child on his first day of preschool.

My oldest baby on his first day as a college freshman.

I’ve also been trying to get refocused on my fitness routine and slowly building my mileage back up after my injury. It’s left me less time to write, but more time listening to my playlist to find some good tunes to share with you! Check out each link to hear the songs and let me know if any of them make it onto your playlist! 

1. Allegretto- Bond

This has been one of my favorites for awhile now! A modern string quartet composed of beautiful young ladies plays this ubeat tempo song that has a great buildup to a powerful ending. 

2. Fitz and the Tantrums – HandClap

I love this one! Great tempo and beats for running. This is such a fun song. 

3. Two Steps from Hell- All is Hell That Ends Well 

This one just came on my Pandora for the first time yesterday and it’s a great orchestra/dubstep mix. Wait for that beat drop at 3:05 minutes in!

Sorry for the short but sweet post today! Sometimes life happens. For those that are waiting for some makeup and beauty features on this blog, stay tuned. I have big things planned for the month of September! 

Goal Digger

I’ve come to realize that I thrive on having goals. I need to have my sights set on something big and I flourish as I work towards achieving it. 

I’ve come to realize that I thrive on having goals. I need to have my sights set on something big and I flourish as I work towards achieving it. 

I’ve gotten away from that a bit lately and I’m ready to jump back, in a big way! 

My goal for over a year was to lose 110 lbs and when I reached it, I set another goal. I wanted to do something athletic and decided a 5k would be the next thing to shoot for and after achieving that, I set another goal. I wanted to get my skin removal surgery. This is where things got complicated. 

I had hopes and expectations that my insurance would cover that surgery. I knew insurance wanted to see stability in my weight as evidence that I was maintaining. I had already hit my goal weight and was perfectly content maintaining if that’s what needed to happen. I enjoyed the freedom I had for awhile since eating to maintain takes so much less thought and effort than eating to lose.  When insurance denied my coverage I kept the goal of one-day getting this surgery, but of course now I see that this is a very long term goal. Saving the money is going to take me a very long time…

I have been sadly complacent since then. My eating habits haven’t been awful, but I’m not proud of them. I’ve neglected to log some meals. I was running pretty regularly but wasn’t making it to the gym. Then, of course that nasty ankle sprain kept me from even running and I ate more out of panic, depression and boredom. Cheese and carbs are my comfort foods. 

I decided I need some new goals to get me back on track and think that publishing them here is just the accountability that will get me there. What good is a fitness blog from a chick who just writes about her past achievements?!?

So, here it goes…

My first new goal is to lose 10 more pounds, and I hope to do this not because I’m unhappy with my weight but because I probably should have had those additional 10 pounds in my initial goal from the start. I didn’t because my goal of 110 lbs seemed impossible already, but I knew back then that I wanted to because this would take my BMI to a “normal” range. Right now, I’m still technically considered “overweight” and in 10 lbs I won’t be…but, it’s really not about that. It’s more about knowing that the only reason I left those 10 pounds out of initial goal was fear, and I’m just not afraid anymore. 

My second goal came courtesy of a good friend of mine who announced on Facebook that she is looking to run a certain kind of race in the future. A certain kind of race I thought I had no interest in doing. Unfortunately for me, when one of your best friends tells you she found a great training plan and it sounds super doable you just add run a half marathon to your list of goals. Then you immediately regret typing it because now there is no turning back! 

These are not going to be easy to achieve. Losing weight when you are obese is a lot easier to do than when you weigh less. These 10 pounds will be worlds more challenging than the first 10 pounds I lost. Running my first 5k was hard…but a half marathon is 10 miles more than that and I’ll be training after an injury that kept me from running for over 3 weeks.

I’m hoping all of these challenges I’ll face in my near future will at least help me create some interesting content for this little blog! Feel free to let me know what kind of documentation of this journey you’d enjoy seeing. 

Now it is time for me to turn in and rest…I’ve got big goals waiting for me in the morning. 

Happy National I Love My Feet Day! 

Happy National I Love My Feet Day!

Today is the day!!! I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting it! Or…maybe you had no idea it was even a thing until just this second! Probably, the latter. Either way, it’s here: National I Love My Feet Day.

So, what does that mean? I’m not quite sure, but as a runner I say we celebrate all the things our feet do for us and show them a little respect for the pounding they take from us in the name of running! 

Blood blisters, water blisters, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, tendonitis, blackened or missing toenails…

Sure doesn’t sound like us runners love our feet! So, what can we do to care for our feet to show them some appreciation for the many miles they carry us? 

Read on for a few suggestions on how to pamper your tooties today! Your feet will thank you…maybe with a new PR on your next run!

1. Yoga for feet! Yoga can be a wondeful way to both prevent and heal injuries and pain in all parts of the body, but you might be surprised to know that there are poses and postures specifically for your feet! Yoga teacher, Adriene Mishler has a great 30 minute foot specific yoga flow that you can watch here that might make a huge difference in your plantar fasciitis or other foot related pain! Try it and let me know what you think! Namaste! 

2. Massage! There is no denying that a massage feels great and can be very soothing. Some areas of the body are hard to reach on your own, and therefore require the help of a friend or masseuse to massage. Luckily, your feet are easy to massage on your own! I love freezing a water bottle and rolling it under my feet to massage them after a run! The cold is soothing, and the shape and pressure is perfect for stretching out your arches and breaking up fascia! You can see a video on the technique here and get some other great tips for healing foot pain! 

3. Pedicures have always been known as a great way to get your toes ready for cute strappy sandals, but I wonder how many people consider getting one before their race! Getting a pedicure isn’t merely cosmetic! Your pedicurist can trim your toenails. This is very important because if they grow too long and hit against your shoe as you run it can traumatize the nail bed causing abscesses and even the loss of your nail! They can also treat your calluses, moisturize and massage your feet! 

In addition to these tips, you can treat your feet kindly by wearing properly fitted shoes, and moisture wicking socks! 
Let me know how you plan to treat your feet today and leave your best foot care tips in the comments! 


Track Tuesday: Favorite Running Music (Part 1)

Track Tuesday!!

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor to check my ankle today, and I am happy to report that I got the go ahead to slowly begin running again! *happy dance!*

I thought it might be fun to start a little something I’ll call “Track Tuesday” where each week, on Tuesday (duh), I will share a few of my favorite songs to run to! If you like them, add them to your running playlist! If you hate them, tell me why! Feel free to leave some of your favorite tracks to run to in the comments as well! 

Hopefully you will find some new artists and genres you will enjoy! I’m always looking for something new to try as well. 

Each link will take you to an official YouTube video for the song. Please comment on the video that you were sent by Muscles, Miles and Mascara. Enjoy! 

1. 300 Violin Orchestra – Jorge Quintera

300 Violin Orchestra by Jorge Quintera is probably my most favorite song to run to! It’s a track that has been used in trailers for action movies and in numerous sports videos. It’s a song that makes me feel strong, powerful and fast! This was the last song that came on just before the finish of my first 5k and therefore holds a very special place in my heart as a runner! 

2. Roundtable Revival – Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Sterling is a name you will hear often on Track Tuesday. She is an adorable little violinist, composer, dancer, and performance artist who plays some incredible electronic classical crossover dubstep…which happens to make for wonderful running music in my opinion! Upbeat and strong! 

3. Army of Kings – Audiomachine

This song makes me feel like I’m running in one of those motivational videos up the side of a mountain or something! Audiomachine will likely make a few more appearances on Track Tuesday, as well. They are a production company from California that produces some really powerful epic music. 

Rash

Pain doesn’t just show up in our lives for no reason. It’s a sign that something in our lives needs to change.

Yesterday I discovered a nasty little surprise.  

Oozing. Stinking. Angry. Painful. Itchy. Weeping. Inflamed. Burning. Disgusting. Embarrassing. 

I got my first full blown rash from the loose skin I am carrying around after my weightloss.

After insurance denied me coverage to have this excess skin removed, many people suggested I “encourage” rashes. You see, insurance companies often like a long history of rashes before they will cover this surgery. 

“Almost” rashes like I typically get aren’t good enough. The fact that I need to constantly think about preventing rashes isn’t good enough. Having to figure out which clothes will not fold my skin certain ways where it will rub during a particular type of workout isn’t enough. Having to worry about making sure I can clean and dry myself promptly after sweating or risk a rash under my skin isn’t enough. Having to use anti chaffing cream and powders regularly to avoid a rash isn’t enough. 

No, the inconvenience of these things isn’t enough. 

They need you to have the rashes. Oh, but not just have them. Have them and suffer from them badly enough that creams don’t clear them up. 

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s bullshit. 

So, I refused to “encourage” these rashes. Mostly because…..ew, gross. Secondly, because I think these people who intentionally let their skin get that bad are doing a disservice to everyone else. These fabricated rashes minimize what other people actually suffer from. Lastly, I’m not a perfect person, but I try to be honest and transparent. 

Therefore, I am careful to do everything I can to avoid rashes when I can. I’ve done a good job so far. I’ll see red and sore patches sometimes after I wear a certain item of clothing…or after a certain kind of workout. I just care for that sore area right away and take measures to keep the skin healthy, clean, dry and comfortable. 

Despite my best efforts I’ve ended up with a rash. Its really gross. I’ll spare you from pictures. Its quite uncomfortable. It’s definitely a nuisance and I’d be much less grouchy right now if I’d been able to avoid this. 

However, I have to believe that everything happens for a reason. I know I’ve spoken a lot about wanting surgery to remove this skin over the past few months. I’ve been met with doubt by a few people over these months. Many who have implied my desire for surgery was for mere “cosmetic” reasons. Even though I know what I deal with daily, some of these comments got into my head and made me question myself for a moment. Was I overreacting?

I have a follow up with my doctor today so she can check my sprained ankle. I plan to show her the rash while I’m there, hopefully get some treatment advice and I’ll have her document it. Maybe someday, I’ll suffer enough for insurance to take my need seriously. 

In the meantime, at least I can take myself seriously and try to distance myself from the doubt that others want to infect me with….like an incurable, persistent rash. 

Recovery

I will run…

I am a runner. 

I love to run for stress relief, exercise, fun. I love to set goals. I enjoy taking my 3 year old out in the jogging stroller and spending time with him… letting him see his mama as a strong, fast and motivated role model. 

Alanna with Killian (age 3) after a stroller run.

 I experienced my first real running injury a couple of weeks ago. I’ve had normal running strains and aches and blisters that may have set me back for a few days before but nothing like this. 

I was about 3 miles into what could’ve been a very long run. I was feeling wonderful. I had my music going, my feet felt light, my breathing felt good! I ran off of the paved path and onto a trail near the lake. The trail has a lot of roots and one caught my foot and my ankle snapped. I was on the ground instantly. 

 I sat there for what felt like an eternity trying to decide if I needed to scream out for immediate help, call my husband to get me, brush the dirt off and jump right back into my run, cry, laugh….I was in shock.  I decided to slowly stand up and see how I felt. I put a little pressure on my foot. It hurt…but I thought “Maybe I can run it off…” 

In retrospect it had to be the runner’s high. They say adrenaline can be a powerful analgesic and this to me is proof! 

I ran home. I ripped off my shirt and sat to have a drink for a minute like I usually do after a run. I told my husband about my fall and said “It must not be bad. I ran home!” However, 10 mins later when I stood up to change there was excruciating pain. I knew it was a bad injury. I iced it and went to sleep and it was puffed up like a balloon by morning. 

Based on the pain I thought for sure I had a fracture, but my doctor told me no amount of adrenaline would allow me to run home on a broken ankle. She diagnosed me with a sprain and told me to take at least two weeks off running. 

It’s now been over two weeks and while Im at least off of the crutches now and walking, I am not yet able to run. 

I never knew how badly I would mourn for running! I have never cried more in my life than I have in these two weeks. Sometimes it’s actually because I want to run. Sometimes it’s for some other dumb thing that upsets me that running would usually make me feel better about.  Mostly, it’s all the stuff I’ve had time to hear, see and feel when I’m not busy running. 

I don’t know how long it will take until I can get back out there. It makes me nervous. I don’t want to be afraid and put it off too long. I don’t want to do it too soon and set my healing back. 

There is a race coming up in a few weeks that I really wanted to run but I can’t afford to sign up if I won’t actually be running by then. 

This sucks.

I will say, I am excited for a comeback. I know that this will make me appreciate every run and push me so much harder once I’m out there! 

You would think that a formerly obese couch potato turned athlete would already know better than to take her ability to run for granted, but I used to. 

No. More. 

I am going to run every run with purpose. 

I am going to run every run with a mission.

 I am going to run every run to improve my mind and improve my body.

 I am going to run every run to glorify God and thank Him for the chance to get out and see miles and miles of the beautiful world He created. 

I am going to run.