Bananas and Knee Pain

Last week I hurt my left knee somehow. I say somehow because I don’t know if it’s from walking around the city in flat riding boots for probably 15 miles (I do this all the time, though) or the fact that I went for a run and to Zumba class completely still drunk from my Friday night Happy Hour with my co-workers. I go to Zumba once or twice a week and have noticed my left knee feels really tight during and after (we do tons of jumping), but I never had it hurt to the point of not being able to walk well until last week. I normally walk to and from work, a total of 4.6 miles, and last week I couldn’t and I also couldn’t run. Needless to say, I was miserable. It came at a time where I could have used a break from working out so hard for a week, but when it’s out of my control I get mean. I turned to boxes of cereal and peanut butter and actually felt not too horrible. I decided to listen to my body and feed it what I wanted (lots of cereal and peanut butter) and only did 2 elliptical sessions (I despise the elliptical but it did help my knee). I was finally able to go for a run Tuesday, and I was so eager I just flew out of my apartment without even walking to warm up! I also haven’t run outside in a while (I use the treadmill at the gym because I work out at 5 AM before work!) so it felt GREAT! I ran 2.66 miles at a good pace for being slightly injured and taking a week off, but the best part was that it was down Riverside Dr on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was a semi-foggy morning, very humid, and chock full of runners. I had the dumbest smile on my face, and it made my whole day amazing! This is one reason I run.. the true runner’s high, and another reason is delicious, carb-y food. :-)

I woke up before my alarm Wednesday morning which never happens. Sadly my alarm is set for 4:45AM on weekdays and I woke up at 4:30. I never eat before I run because I get horrible side-stitches promptly at mile 2.25- EVERY TIME. But this morning I was starving because I’ve been trying to eat dinner earlier and go to bed earlier. I had a banana and a little peanut butter because it was going to have about an hour to digest. I got to the gym around 5:40 after waiting for the uptown subway forever, and busted out a slower 3.3 miles because my knee was definitely feeling it. I would have stopped if it got bad, but I read in a running magazine over the weekend that it is actually beneficial to run through it unless it gets bad. I stretched for a minute after and hopped on the elliptical for an intense 10 minutes on level 5. I go nuts on the elliptical until I am drenched in sweat and it’s mostly because the whole time I am thinking about how much I hate it and would rather be running. It’s definitely helping my knee though! I also went to the mats and did a whole entire 5 MINUTES of ab work! I completely despise weight lifting and ab work, so this is a major moment. Coming from someone who has plenty of work to do on their stomach after losing a large amount of weight.. I should probably become friends with my yoga mat more often. When I do ab work, it’s in the form of a few planks, crunches, and the 100 series from Pilates. Let’s just say I make it to the 20′s in the 100 series ;) . I am going to start to try to at least do those every night, so maybe in a year I will have a 1 pack!

Wednesday night is usually Zumba night, and it was supposed to be held at Central Park for a special event but it got rained out. I go with my friend Caitlin from work, and neither of us were too upset… after all, we had a frozen yogurt dinner date and were STARVING for it! We got in a nice 2.3 mile walk from work to the subway, then approached 16 Handles like we hadn’t been fed in years. We had both planned to make this our dinner since it is an indulgence, but being that it was my dinner I felt that I should make it as healthy as frozen yogurt can be! I opted for Irish Mint which is a no sugar added flavor. It tastes EXACTLY like my favorite childhood ice cream flavor mint chocolate chip! It’s not so much the froyo that I go overboard on, it’s the toppings. I don’t like anything plain, so I just completely love toppings for all things! I tried to restrain myself, and I did pretty good. I added carob chips (I pretend they’re chocolate), shredded coconut (a must for me), a few mini peanut butter cups, and a dusting of crushed Butterfinger. It was deeeeeeelissssh.

frooyooooo!

We were on 72nd and Amsterdam so I decided to walk with her to 59th Columbus Circle to catch the A back uptown. She lives in midtown… she’s lucky I love her or I’d kill her from my jealousy! I was so exhausted I fell asleep on the subway… this is a pretty regular thing in my life. I don’t know why I’ve been so much more exhausted than usual since I haven’t been working out like a nut the last 2 weeks, but I’m just letting my body catch up on the sleep I didn’t get all summer. My knee is so much better and it was a good  thing I listened to my body and didn’t push it. I went on a slow 1.8 mile jog on my lunch break today, and it was fine! I definitely feel “soft” since I’ve been taking it easy (yet still eating copious amounts of cereal and peanut butter…), but it’s not the end of the world! I love that it’s about to be a new month, because I love the feeling of starting over fresh. My goal for October is to really get the stick out of my butt about strength training/yoga and just commit to it TWICE A WEEK. You’d think someone was forcing me to lift my big ol 5 pounders 24 hours a day. I LOVE how I felt when I was doing 30 Day Shred a few times a week, and now I want to try some more of her dvd’s including her yoga meltdown. I’ve heard it’s less spiritual and more kicking your ass. I love Jillian!

This weekend is going to be pretty sweet. Tonight we’re celebrating my best friend in the universe’s birthday, and my 2 friends from work are tagging along! Tomorrow we’re planning on a brunch and I’m hoping I’ll be coherent enough to get a sweat session in (this honestly never happens when I’m hungover- I just can’t!). Then my boyfriend is taking me on a very expensive dinner date somewhere that we haven’t decided yet. This expensive dinner is on the house courtesy of his job and his hard-work there! They offered him a $100 dinner out cause he’s just plain awesome. Why doesn’t my job offer me $100 dinners? Hmmm…

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