Tag Archives | running & fitness

Running Playlist – August 2014

I’m so thankful that I am finalllyyyyyy getting back into my normal running routine!  Loving these tunes right now. And no matter how many times I hear John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ on the radio, it never gets old.

Click here to listen on Spotify!

runorshine playlist

Overtime (Vicetone Remix) – Cash Cash
All of Me (Tiesto’s Birthday Remix) – John Legend
Hold On – Nervo
Wasted – Tiesto
So Much Love (Radio Edit) – Fedde Le Grand
Sound of the Drums – Armin Van Buuren
Helium – Chris Lake
Open Window (Original Mix) – Anna Yvette
Strangers – Seven Lions
Bad (ft Vassy) – David Guetta
Til It’s Gone – Britney Spears
Collide (Radio Edit) – Leona Lewis
Kings & Queens – SoMo
Crave You (Adventure Club Remix) – Flight Facilities

Click here to listen on Spotify!

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a runner’s nightmare

So it’s been a while to say the least! I think it’s time for an update. : )


Back in March while I was home in Philadelphia for work, I fell (literally on my kneecap) and landed really hard. I knew right away I did some serious damage and the following day I hobbled to the E.R. after our last training session. I walked in, and told the guy at the front desk, “I’m pretty sure I broke my kneecap.” His response? “Sweetheart, if you broke your kneecap, you wouldn’t be walking.” Two things: 1) Bro, don’t call me sweetheart. And 2) He obviously doesn’t know me but I have the HIGHEST pain tolerance. So much so that it drives my mom crazyyy. I won’t go to the doctor until I’m on my death bead, or in this case, I’m in so much pain I know something is up. Anyways, I spoke with an E.R. doctor and got a few X-rays. After reviewing the X-rays, the doctor then tells me that it’s a bad bone bruise and that I should rest up for a few weeks. She also said that once I got back to Chicago, I should see a sports medicine doctor to make sure there was no ligament damage.

I got back to Chicago and of course waited a few weeks before seeing a sports medicine doctor because I’m (admittedly) stubborn. The pain persisted and I finally made an appointment to get it checked out. Doctor #2 told me that I needed to get an MRI to make sure there was no ligament damage. Done. When the results came in, I went back for a follow-up appointment. Doc 2 reviewed my MRI, and told me that it looked like I have a rare bone disorder called “Bipartite Patella.” It’s so rare that even SHE was Googling it… in front of me. This rubbed me the wrong way for obvious reasons but I figured if it was really that rare, then maybe she’d never seen a patient with that condition before.

Side note: Bipartite Patella is a rare condition that about 1% of the population has. It occurs when the patella (kneecap) never fully fuses together during childhood. The bone remains separated and is connected with a fibrous tissue called a ‘synchondrosis.’ Most people with Bipartite Patella could go their entire lives without any problems. In fact, most people don’t even know they have it until they have to get an X-ray or an MRI for another reason. The problem arises when there is direct trauma (such as a fall) to the kneecap. The fibrous tissue then becomes swollen and disrupted. There are various surgical options to treat this, but the initial treatment is usually rest and physical therapy.

Side Note #2: No, I’m not in med school. And no, I didn’t just copy and paste the last paragraph from webmd.com. When I left the Sports Medicine doctor that day, I stalked the internet so hard and I’m pretty sure I read every single article online concerning athletes with an injured bipartite patella.

I obviously asked the sports medicine doctor what the next steps were as my main concern was being able to run again. She told me to rest (which I was thrilled about) and to come back in a few weeks. I spent the next few weeks hobbling around Chicago – not even kidding – in constant pain. I decided that I needed to find a specialist in Bipartite Patella who had worked with injured athletes before. I called around to all of the major hospitals in the area and got a call back from Northwestern saying that they had a doctor who specialized in the Bipartite Patella and that I should come and see him “as soon as possible.” I made an appointment at Northwestern Orthopedics for the following Tuesday morning.

That Sunday just happened to be the first beauuuutiful day in Chicago, so obviously I had to attempt a run on Lake Shore Drive. Actually, I probably didn’t have to. I just really, really wanted to. I was going a little cray not being able to run for weeks and the sunshine was calling my name. I stepped outside and made it approximately 2.3 miles. How??? I have no freaking idea. It was the most painful run of my life. I finally stopped, did an abs workout and hopped on a divvy bike. The crazy part is, as painful as those 2 miles were, it absolutely made my day. I was so happy I got at least 2 miles in, even if it hurt like hell.

I showed up to my appointment at Northwestern the following Tuesday morning and for the first time in WEEKS, I finally felt like I was in good hands. My doctor was great. I could immediately tell how experienced and educated he was; that alone instantly made me feel relieved. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn’t have my initial X-rays with me, so he asked if he could take another set of X-rays. I said yes, and upon looking at the films (shown above and below), he turned around and said, “so, it looks like you’ve been walking around on a fractured patella for a month and a half.” He also reviewed my MRI and told me that I had torn my meniscus. Part of me was angry because not one but two doctors missed the fracture. How is that even possible? If it had been detected initially and treated correctly, I could have been running in a few weeks. The other part of me was so happy I finally found a doctor who knew exactly what he was talking about and was able to properly diagnose my injury. Looking back, I have to laugh a little bit because at one point he said, “it’s going to be a while before you’re running again” and I started crying – like actually crying. Poor guy didn’t know what to do. He clearly didn’t realize how much running means to me; how could he? As I wiped away my tears, he said, “I promise, we’ll get you back out there running again.” Best news I’d heard in months.

He told me there were 2 options: Option #1: I could wait a few more weeks and try to rehab my knee back to health as he monitored the bone’s healing progress. Option #2: I could get surgery. He would remove the piece of fractured patella bone and repair the torn meniscus. I chose option 2 for several reasons. I was so sick of being in constant pain and not being able to run. I just wanted it to get better, and if my pain was at a 10 when I initially fractured it, it was still at a persistent 8.5/9 weeks later. I am also incredibly impatient and I couldn’t imagine waiting around a few more weeks hoping that it would heal, likely prolonging the inevitable surgery.

I went with option 2 and ended up scheduling the surgery for May 12 at Northwestern Orthopedics. As much as I tried not to think about it, I was slightly terrified going into it. It was my first time getting surgery and I was in Chicago without my family. I’d be lying if I said the post-surgery recovery was easy. I had no idea how much pain I was going to be in and how overall helpless I would be the first week. I’m a very independent person and I hate feeling like I ‘need’ someone or that I have to be taken care of. It was a very humbling experience and I wouldn’t have gotten through the first week after surgery without some amazing friends in Chicago – one in particular – who I am forever grateful for.

More to come on my recovery, but I am finally running again and it feels amazing! I almost forgot how happy running makes me. I feel like myself again. I’m trying my best to ease back into it one mile at a time, but I’m a runner, so you can guess how that’s going ; )

I sincerely apologize for the novel but I guess that’s what happens when you take a 4-month blogging hiatus. If you actually read this entire post, thank you; I just blew you a kiss from Chicago.


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working out with a heart rate monitor


1. Calories Burned.

Being able to see how many calories you burn during a workout is amazing.  I’m obsessed with the iPhone app “May My Run.”  It also has a calorie counter but it only bases ‘calories burned’ off of your height, weight & age.  While Map My Run is great for calculating distances, I love that my Polar is more accurate and also uses my heart rate to calculate the calories I burn in each workout.  I’ve tested this out many times, using both my polar watch and Map My Run during a workout.  Map My Run overestimates the calories burned 90% of the time.  Which kind of stinks considering that the last 2 years I thought I was burning a lot more calories than I actually was!  Oh well.  At least now I know better.


2. Motivation.

Being able to see how many calories I’ve burned often encourages me to take the long way home if I’m trying to hit a certain amount of calories during a workout.  Perfect example: the other morning I wanted to burn 600 calories during my run.  At the end of my run I ran up to the house and I was only at 580 something.  Did I take another loop around the block?  Yes.  Would I have done that if it weren’t for my watch?  Never!  I really like running for calories versus distance.  Some days it’s nice to switch things up.


3. Not just for runners.

I love that I can use this watch during my spinning and cross fit classes at the gym.  Before I got this watch, I never really knew how many calories I was burning during group fitness classes.  Knowing exactly how many calories I’ve burned after a spinning class is awesome – especially when I’ve worked so hard!  Spinning classes can be brutal.


4. It Pushes You.

Now that I’ve been using my watch for a few months, I know where my target heart rate should be when I’m jogging vs. running hard.  I can glance down in the middle of a run and know (just based off of my heart rate) if I’m not pushing myself hard enough.  Then I’ll run harder.  Same goes for spinning class.  It’s a nice dynamic and almost acts as a digital running coach.


5. Prevents Over-Training.

When training for a race (in particular, a marathon), it’s so important to give yourself ‘easy days.’  Sometimes I find it hard to hold back during the easy runs and I tend to go too fast when I’m supposed to be giving my body a break.  It’s really important not to over-train.  Using a heart-rate monitor allows you to stay below a specific heart rate and prevents you from going too hard when you’re supposed to be taking it easy.  That way, you’re less likely to feel exhausted the next day when you’re scheduled to do a longer, harder run.




P.S.  I have the Polar FT4 shown above and I love it.  It’s really basic and I’m okay with that.  If you’re looking for something more high-tech there are a ton of great heart rate monitor watches out there.  This one is perfect for me though.  And it’s pink so can you really blame me for being so obsessed? ; )

Only $59.99 on Amazon!

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weekly workout routine


Some of you have been asking what I do for my workouts other than running so I figured I’d post my weekly workout routine – which, by the way, always changes! Running is obviously my go-to. Not just because I enjoy it, but also because I burn the most calories (in general) running. At the same time, I also know that it’s important to switch it up and try other things. I’m really focused on toning up my body this year and I’ve never been happier with the results, which I wouldn’t have achieved without cross training and lifting.


Here’s exactly what I did last week.


Sunday: Ran 11 miles. I am currently training for the Philadelphia Marathon and it requires me to do one long run a week. I felt amazing Sunday morning. I woke up at 7:30 to get it over with, which isn’t easy to do on a weekend! It was perfectly breezy, cool and beautiful on Kelly drive. I’m going to try to wake up earlier on the weekends more often because when I wait until noon in the summertime to run it’s always too hot.


Monday: Ran to Antonio’s gym (2.5 miles), elliptical for 30 minutes and then lifted. On the elliptical I usually do a HIIT workout on levels 10, 15 and 20. I use 5 pound weights for most arm exercises and do a lot of fast reps. I’m not trying to get bulky; I just want to be more toned. I burned over 800 calories in about 90 minutes.


Tuesday: Ran to the arm museum and back (5 miles). When I got to the art museum, I did 10 HARD reps up the steps and down without stopping. When I say hard, I mean all-out-can-barely-breathe-can’t-wait-to-stop-hard. Hills are really important if you’re training for a race and I’ve found that doing hills once a week has really improved my pace and ability to stay strong going up a hill or two during a race.


Wednesday: Cross fit class at my gym. It’s a boot camp style class and my favorite trainer teaches it. It’s seriously killer and I always feel so accomplished when I leave.


Thursday: Ran 6 miles after work and felt AWFUL. On my hard runs, my heart rate is usually around 180. Thursday night it was 185 on average and even broke 190 a few times. Eek! It’s amazing how you can run 11 miles one day and feel amazing, and then run 6 the next and feel like you’re gonna die. I think it was because it was so humid out. Or the fact that I haven’t really given myself any rest-days yet this week. Which brings me to…


Friday: Off day! : ) We went out Thursday night; Antonio’s friend was visiting from LA and some of my girls joined us. There was no way I was waking up for a morning run after that. Friday night we went to the Eagles pre-season game against the patriots which was a lot of fun. I ate like crap and drank beer and I LOVED every second of it.


Saturday: Ran 13 miles. I was really proud of myself for finishing it. Towards the end my legs started feeling really weak but I got through it!

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july’s running playlist


1. Reload – Sebastian Ingrosso, Tommy Trash & John Martin

2. Summertime Sadness Remix – Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais

3. This Is What it Feels Like – Armin Van Buuren

4. Night of Your Life – David Guetta & Jennifer Hudson

5. Million Voices In Love – Otto Knows vs. Gigi D’agostino

6. If I Lose Myself – Alesso feat. One Republic

7. Spectrum – Zedd feat. Matthew Koma

8. Clarity Remix – Cans & Zedd

9. Lost & Not Found – Chase & Status feat. Louis M^ttrs

10. La La La – Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith

11. So Good to Me – Chris Malinchak

12. Halcyon On and On – Orbital


Listening to music that pumps you up during a workout can really change the way you feel and how hard you push yourself.  Sometimes I get lazy and don’t upload new music to my iPhone for a while and I find myself getting super bored during long runs.  Every time I do get around to adding a new killer playlist to my phone, I’m almost certain to have an awesome run.  These are the 12 songs I’m absolutely loving this month.  In particular, “Million Voices” by Otto Knows is my go-to.  It has such a great beat and it really keeps me going.  My marathon training officially started last weekend and Sunday was the first long run I’ve done in a while.  It might sound cheesy, but “Million Voices” seriously got me through ten long miles!  That, and the thought of drinking mimosas and lounging by the pool later that day with my girlfriends. ; ) Either way – download these songs and let me know what you think!

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motivation monday


This week’s goal: Worry Less. Run more. I feel like the two go hand-in-hand. When I run more, I stress less. When I stress less, I make time to run more often. Running is the best stress relief. And it’s free! After you invest in a decent pair of running shoes, of course.

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