Cross Training on the Cheap

As I mentioned, I’m still working on getting my back/hips/hammy back in shape.  Basically my SI joint is out of whack and what seemed like it might be high hamstring tendinitis, but is actually coming from a hamstring adductor irritation  Bored yet?  So am I.

I’m working to strengthen a lot of other smaller muscle groups while letting everything else heal and align so this junk doesn’t happen again.  This involves a lot of cross training which isn’t always the funnest and requires lots of equipment which can be expensive.

How have I been keeping costs down?  I have some crazy gym membership deal that’s $40 a year (CRAZY) which helps, but it’s not always convenient.  Plus the idea of cramming into a sweaty room with 60 people I don’t know at an awkward hour of the day that’s always totally inconvenient isn’t always my cup of tea.

I’ve been trying all sorts of other things:  roller blading, running drills outside in the cul-de-sac (the neighbors don’t think it’s weird at all), and one questionable afternoon that left me shamefully watching a YouTube video of a dude in a room with a  “Beast Mode” poster and 1990’s motivational mantras flashing across the screen.  #theshame


One of the more reasonable suggestions was to get on a slide board.

IMG_5707Did you know that for the average price of a slide board and booties I could get about 67 specialty lattes from Starbucks.  And I’m cheap. And I love Starbucks.

So with the help of Scott over at Coastal Health and Fitness and the website he provided – I decided to get serious and make my own homemade slide board.  You can read the link on how to do this, but I spent about $40 on supplies to put this together.  Had my drill been a little more cooperative, it should have only taken me about 30 minutes to assemble this bad boy.  I pretty much followed the directions (so I’ll save you the step by step guide since that’s already been done), except for adding more duct tape, because let’s face it, you can never have too much duct tape.

Fun with sharp & heavy objects!  No fingers were harmed in the making of this slide board.  Whew!

Fun with sharp & heavy objects! No fingers were harmed in the making of this slide board. Whew! Ignore the shims next to me, those were for the boys to play with, not essential for this project.

In the end I was left with one mighty functional slide board…please note, this doesn’t fold up very easily, so this will be my “garage kept” slide board, but could easily slide under a bed or couch if you needed to.

It may not be pretty but it works perfectly....

It may not be pretty but it works perfectly….

Then came the bootie problem (this in me trying to help fix my booty problem).  Thanks to the power of the Google, I discovered I had what I needed in my closet and could easily substitute slide board booties with a pair of SmartWool socks over my shoes. #cheapwinsagain

Ta Da!!!!  Reduce, REUSE, recycle and FREE

Ta Da!!!! Reduce, REUSE, recycle and FREE

Slide board for the win – and my pocketbook is that much heavier….which is awesome because I’m going to Paso Robles this weekend and I can put the savings into the all important “wine fund.”

What’s your favorite cross training tool?

Have you ever made homemade cross training equipment?


Remember When?

Remember when I used to blog?  

Remember when I used to log miles?

Remember when winter was actually winter?

Well the truth is I can hardly remember any of those things.  Other truths….

Blog:  It’s been busy, the boys have been busy and we’ve been a hustle and bustle of activity, so when I’ve found downtime, I’m pretty much crashing hard.  There hasn’t been too much to say, so I haven’t been saying much.

Log:  My SI joint and hips are still a bit wonky.  It’s not great and it’s not terrible either – it’s still a work in progress.  But I’m still scaling back to just get everything fixed.  This means fewer and slower miles than in recent history and lots of cross training and weight lifting, and trips to the PT.  I’ll write more on the specifics of what I’m doing later this week.

I am the messiest Body Pumper.  140 tricep reps - I died.

I am the messiest Body Pumper. 140 tricep reps – I died.

My mileage has gone down to 10-20 miles a week.  My pace has dropped down 60-90 seconds per mile and I’ve been trying (key word TRYING) to keep it flatter on my runs.  This proves to be difficult in the hilly area where I live.

My last run elevation....pretty much par for the course.

My last run elevation….pretty much par for the course.

That said, I have been able to complete two marathons in 2014.  Too bad they were just How I Met Your Mother marathons on Netflix.

Dear Netflix, I love you and your past season repository....

Dear Netflix, I love you and your past season repository….

I did hit up a local race, but just to voluntear (EAR + Mikey…get it?), not to run at the Run Disney kid’s races last weekend.

So much fun high fiving kids, cheering and handing out these bad boys to little bambinos.

So much fun high fiving kids, cheering and handing out these bad boys to little bambinos.

I’m not going to lie, being around the races made me sad since last year I was in great shape and have avowed my vengeance to Tinkerbell…this year I just feel old, creaky and slow comparatively.

Winter:  Uhhh so compared to the rest of the country, we’ve been unseasonably warm and dry this winter.  This means running at sunset to try and stave off the heat (seriously 80’s mid-day most days lately).  It also means low, slow miles with the boys tagging along on bikes or on their feet.

With no major goals in sight, I’m enjoying being able to spend that workout time with them and not worrying about speed or distance.  It allows time for fabulous conversations like school, life, and wondering about the mysteries of the world such as how much do people fart a day.  Parenting boys is the best.

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What’s your running log been like lately?  

Adventures is Cross Training

4 Miles (Days behind…that’s Friday)
Stressy Strides

As I type this there’s some serious cardio madness going on in my living room.  3 half dressed boys are clawing, climbing and pummeling each other relentlessly.  Some might call this “Lord of the Flies” like scene chaos, I call it pre-dinner wiggles.

So this week I decided to amp up the cross-training and attend a PiYo (Pilates-Yoga mix) class at the gym.  I thought it would be relaxing.


Why distance runners don’t do well in group classes.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me?  The best part about running is you go past people….fast.  Here I was forced to sit next to and observe everyone’s idiosyncrasies for a full hour.  It’s really hard to concentrate when the person in your line of sight of the instructor is picking out their wedgie approximately every 3 seconds.  Two words honey, “Go commando.” You can thank me later.

Runner's Feet = not pretty

Runner’s Feet = not pretty

Sockless Joe.  Seriously, I walked in and everyone had their shoes AND socks off. WHAT?!  As I peered around at the pedicured toes, I was grateful that I actually had all of my toenails at the moment and that I had filed down the damaged earlier that day.  While everyone slipped and slid around on the ground, my ridiculous callouses provided some delightful traction for the lunges.

It’s so hard…to walk.  The class seemed pretty benign and while it was tough, it didn’t seem that bad.  Until I had to climb into the back seat of a tall SUV the next day.  And running..psshhh…my legs were like lead not from achiness but tiredness.  That 60 minute class took the life out of my legs for a few days.

-Funny Looking.  The beauty of running is that, at worst, you only see the people around you for 1-2 minutes.  So if you have on crazy mismatching clothes, it doesn’t matter.  Just run faster and no one will see.  Here, my mismatched, hodge podge get up was on display for an hour.

Will I do PiYo again?  I don’t know.  Perhaps there are other options where I don’t have to go barefoot or stare at relentless seat picking that might be a better use of my 60 minutes.

What’s your favorite cross training?
I am partial to my Jillian Michael DVDs- especially since I can wrap them up in about 30 minutes at home, but I’ll try most cross training at least once!

Are you a gym lover or gym hater?
If you’ve been here long enough you know I hate the gym.  My $39/year membership (yes you read that right) is mostly to shower after long runs when I’m not near my house. 

Running Like A Girl

18 hilly bike miles

5 miles running
Double Shower So Sweaty Strides

30 minutes stair machine
30 minutes bike
1 Hour Cardio, Core, Crunch Class

Early morning’s can be rewarding…I love where I live

Have you ever met someone and at first thought they look all nice and then you hate them about 10 minutes later?  That’s pretty much what happened when the instructor of said class at gym walked in all chipper and nice making us think this was going to fun then made us drop and give her 1 minute of pushups to “warm up”.

Good news kids – my deodorant works.  I know because it was the ONLY part of my shirt that was dry.

I was all excited to tell you about the last few events but Skinny Runner beat me to it because she’s just cool like that.  Since this was halfway done I’m going to finish it anyway – too bad.  You can take a look or just skip over to her much more colorful, photo-laden recap.

To prepare for the torture that was this morning’s class, last night I hit the Laguna Hills Road Runner Sports for their Run Like a Girl Event.

It was the perfect evening to go out for a run since it was 92 when I left my house.  Who says heat and humidity don’t make for ideal evening running conditions?

As soon as I entered the store, someone grabbed me and said, “She can run 8 minute miles for you” and I was thrust into the role of the 8 minute pacer.  I may or may not have also volunteered Skinny Runner to help me.  She was super happy about it.

What I love about these events is meeting local runners but mostly watching women at every stage of their running careers, with different goals and abilities all coming together to just run.  There were pacers from 8 minutes to walking.

News Flash:  Did you know you’re supposed to stretch.  Like regularly?

Before and after the run, they walked everyone through a series of stretches.

Skinny Runner can multi-task. Stretching and…what exactly else is she doing?

Oh and they had us do an ab workout?  (Please note that means I did 2 ab workouts in about 12 hours…I’m pretty sure the world just stopped on it’s axis)

Ab workout? Why can’t I just sit and stare at the leaves?

As per usual, I didn’t win anything.

Not to be outdone by my losing streak, I snagged a bag for being the 25th person to check in and then pseudo-stalked stalked the Gu table to nab a few one of each of their samples.  Look kids, Mommy has breakfast.

Hey Ms. Gu Representative, don’t mind me while I clean you out of samples.

The Gu lady also solved a major mystery for me.  A month ago I went to a Road Runner VIP event and my son ran around like he was on speed.  Turns out they had been handing out samples of the Gu Chew Peach Iced Tea with double the caffeine.  Fab.

In other news, I’m pretty sure Vanilla will gank that bright pink bag and add it to his man purse collection pronto.

All in all – if you live near a Road Runner and are a chick who runs, wants to run or is thinking about running, check out the Run Like a Girl events.  Oh and be careful because you might be stuck being a pacer.

Have you ever been to an all women’s running event?
Would you actually run when it’s 92 at 6pm?