Thursday, January 31, 2013

Preventative Therapy Thursdays!

As a group, we would love to make this Blog interactive, as well as informative!!! It seems that most people read Blogs for a few reasons, but the top two that come to mind are entertainment and to gain some sort of knowledge on a topic they are interested in.

With our Blog just getting it's "Running Start" (Like my pun?? lol), we are trying to come up with posts that will keep our current audience's attention, as well as draw in new viewers! We would like to start some weekly posts on Wednesdays and Thursdays that are informative and can keep you coming back each week!

Heather started a Wednesday Workouts post! She will be posting about workouts and all about exercise. She will offer great exercises to help shake up your routines, as well as talk about what seems to work for her. Again, we want this to be interactive, so please feel free to give her topics or leave comments about future ideas!

Since Autumn and I are physical therapists, we will be doing a Preventative Therapy Thursday post! Despite working in an Inpatient Rehab setting, I really love Outpatient Orthopedics and I'm kind of excited about doing this, so thanks to Heather for coming up with this idea!! Yes I might be a bit of nerd, but hey, I didn't go to 7 years of school for nothing!!

We want to present some information on typical running and sports injuries, as well as injuries that the "Average Joe" or "Weekend Warrior" may come across. We would love for you to leave us comments on things you are interested in learning about or maybe even comment on an injury you would like to know more about. Just remember, if you do have an injury, we have limited information about you and your ailment. We can offer help with the information that you give us. We will not be doing a full evaluation, so if your injury is serious or persists, we encourage you to make a visit to your doctor to determine what is the best plan to aide in your recovery.

Look for our first Preventative Therapy Thursday post in the next week or two!! Remember we'd love some suggestions! We want to know what you are interested in!
Elise, PT, DPT, MTC and Autumn, PT, DPT

Wednesday's Workout!

Wednesday’s Workout!

When it comes to a workout schedule, I’m a very regimented type of person. I like to have a set schedule of what workouts I will do each day. This doesn’t mean I do the same exercises in each workout, but it does mean I’m able to plan my days out better than if I didn’t have a set schedule, which is critical for me as I’m working and taking classes while trying to train for a Tough Mudder and my second half marathon (while maintaining my relationship and a semblance of a social life)

Here’s what a typical week of training looks like for me:
1 hour boot camp
3-5 mile run

45 minute boot camp & 45 minute spin
3-5 mile run & body barre
Long run (anywhere from 5-10 miles)

Sometimes I’ll throw an extra workout in on Friday, or I’ll do my long run on Sunday instead of Saturday, but generally I stick to this formula and it seems to work for me.

A few weeks from now, I’ll be adding in an extra training session on Sunday to better prepare for my second Tough Mudder. The gym I go to is doing special training sessions geared towards prepping for TM – a pretty big group of people from the gym are planning to run it together. I also plan to switch one of my weekly runs to a trail run, in order to better prepare for TM. However, I have to remember that our half marathon is my priority – and that is what I want to be strong and fit for. This will mean taking it a little bit easier while running the TM, as there's only one week between the two races.

Which reminds me, none of us has specifically said which race we are training for, so I’ll go ahead and share that with you all now! We are training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC on April 28th! It will be my second half marathon and Autumn, Elise, and Jackie’s first!

But, back to Wednesday’s workout…the gym I go to is fantastic. It’s kind of a mix between crossfit and circuit training and no two workouts are the same. Here is a snapshot of what we did at boot camp today:

The KB circuit was repeated 2x and the ISO circuit was repeated 3x

Before the KB circuit, we did a quick TRX/plank circuit 3x.

After that, I did a 45 minute spin class (and I ended up having to ride the instructor's bike because the class was full!)

What do you do to mix up your workouts? Are you a "creature of habit" like me?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Out With the Old, In With the New??

Since I am training for this Half Marathon, I decided it was really time to purchase a new pair of running shoes. I have been an Asics fan since I was fitted for my first GOOD pair of running shoes about four years ago. Prior to a fitting and attending PT school, I hadn't thought much about my running shoes. I was picking whatever shoe I thought looked cute, had a fun color, and was comfortable at the store. Well I apparently had A LOT to learn....

Heather has been raving about her Brooks running shoes since she purchased them back in the summer. She says it feels like she is running on a cloud. To me that sounded amazing and I was all for it, but I needed to make sure the shoes were right for me. I went to Fleet Feet, which was awesome. The sales associate was really helpful, sized my feet, watched me walk and run without shoes, listened to my concerns, diagnosed me, and  came up with some great shoes. She stated that I was a "midfoot runner" and that I over-pronate (my arch collapses) when I run. She hit it all! She picked a few shoes from lightweight to more support in various bands to see what I liked. We tried about six pairs on and it came down to the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13.

They seemed to fit fine in the store. I did notice the arch seemed a little pokey, but thought it was fine. I was a little uneasy, because they didn't have any Asics in my size to try on, but I felt good and thought it was time for a change! I was so excited and couldn't wait to go for a run! Within the next day or so, I hit the treadmill for my first run...   My shins were killing me, my feet hurt, and the arch support was jabbing me!! I could barely do 15 mins! These were not the "Perfect Ride for My Stride!"I was so upset!

I don't want to knock Brooks or Fleet Feet at all. I'm sure they are great/amazing shoes for some runners, but not for this one.

This brings me to my point; PLEASE try on shoes, go for a run, really make sure they are the shoes for you

You don't want to be logging tons of miles, regardless if you're training for a race or not, in the wrong shoes. As a Physical Therapist, we see tons of runners who have developed foot, shin, knee, hip, and back problems from the wrong shoes and even from switching brands. We see a lot of new runners who just pick a shoe off the rack and hit the streets and next thing you know they have knee, hip, and back problems that they had never felt before! I encourage all new and old runners to make sure you are running in the proper shoe.  Also, pay attention to the shoe and your feet and if something doesn't feel quite right, then don't buy them. I should have listened to the pokey feeling in my arch, but you live and learn right!!?!?

So I went back to the drawing board and purchased two pairs of Asics. I went to Dick's Sporting Goods after researching all the shoes that would be best for me. Dick's has a great selection of Asics. Now, I didn't buy from Dick's because I am a bargain shopper and I found them cheaper on I ended up getting a 20% off coupon and getting two pairs of Asics for $150!!! Now that's a steal!! I ended up purchasing the Women's GT 2170 running shoe in Storm/Electric Violet and the Women's GT 1000 running shoe in Electric Punch/White/Highlighter Yellow.  One thing you may learn about me over time, I'm EXTREMELY indecisive! I could not make a decision between the two! They both felt amazing!

The Women's GT 2170  shoes feel amazing! They have the Impact Guidance System (IGS) that allows for a more natural gait when running, as well as a great arch support and shock absorption. It is a heavy shoe and a lot more shoe, but all my older Asics have been in this category.

The Women's GT 1000 is a lighter shoe. It does not have the IGS, but still has the Gel cushion and midfoot/arch support. These really hugged my feet and felt great! I love these shoes! Plus the color was an added bonus!! Remember, it's not about the color, it's about the fit! I know this is a difficult concept I had to learn to over come. My first pair of Asics were not the cutest...

I really love both of these shoes! I'm excited to alternate between them during the next few months of training! To sum everything up, it's great to try out new things, but if you know something works then why change it? I'm glad I gave Brooks a try, but I guess I'm just an Asics girl and I'm ok with that! :)

PS. In my free time, I am learning to become a better photographer with my new DSLR that my amazing husband surprised me with this Christmas!! My husband is a pretty amazing photographer and if anyone lives in the MD/VA area, you should check out his website: He does just about anything! His new challenge for 2013 is breaking into the wedding business so give him a follow if you are interested or want to see how the wedding business goes for him this year at!!!!

As you follow our blog, you may get to watch us become amazing runners and hopefully I'll blossom into a semi-decent photographer.  Well....I hope!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Training for a half a medical student.

Hi! I'm Jackie. I'm a 3rd year med student and might be a little crazy for trying to train for a half marathon and do my clinical rotations at the same time. I've gotten some of my tougher rotations out of the way (surgery and ob/gyn), so at least the next few months should be semi-close to normal working hours.

When I first signed up for the half marathon, I hadn't really run for a few years. I've been slowly building back up since November and can now do 2-3 miles without dying...always a plus. My plan is to do a few more 2-3 mile runs this week, then begin this 12-week training plan starting February 4th:

I liked the plan because it only requires running 3 days a week. It's also the same plan miss Heather used to successfully complete her first half marathon this Fall, so clearly it works! I figure I should be able to convince myself to do 2 runs during the week with a longer one on the weekend. I haven't really started incorporating strength training into my workout routine yet, but I'd definitely like to follow the schedule and begin 2 days of strength a week. 

I'm glad the weather's looking up for this week. I was a big wimp and didn't run at all during the week last week due to the cold weather. The high was in the 20's and by the time I got home from work I just couldn't convince myself to go back outside! I'm on my family medicine rotation until Friday, which means I'm at a site pretty far away from Georgetown and not able to get to the student gym to use the treadmill. This is the last week of that rotation before I'm back at school for a couple months. I won't have an excuse anymore not to run in bad weather, since the gym is literally a 2 minute walk from the hospital. So, plan for this week:

-Run 2 miles on Tuesday or Wednesday when it's going to be 60 degrees outside.
-Do a 3 mile run on Saturday or Sunday.
-Start the training plan next Monday.

Yay running! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pinterest Fanatic!

So I thought I would write my first official Blog post, ever! I am usually not a big blogger and I often tease my husband for doing these types of things, but I think Heather and Jackie came up with a really good idea! I'm excited to see how our training goes for the next few months and to keep up with my friends during the process. I hope whoever follows this finds it just as entertaining and maybe even a little motivating!

Now to get to the REAL point of this post....  After taking some time off from the gym during the holidays, I needed some good workouts to get me back on my feet and ready to start training for this half marathon. First things first, you all should know I am OBSESSED with Pinterest!! It may be unhealthy and I may need a 12 step program. I will Pin anything and everything from crafts, home decor, home remodeling, cooking, baking, home tips, photography ideas, fashion, and obviously anything to do with exercise.

I think the biggest obstacle I am going to have to overcome with this upcoming race is learning how to run in the cold. I am probably the coldest person you will ever meet. If it is 90 degrees, I will find a way to be cold. I even have a hard time running when it's 50 degrees! I feel like I can't breathe and my lungs freeze up. It's a terrible feeling and I am open to any suggestions anyone may have. Since the 1/2 Marathon is in April, the 12 week training officially begins February 4th, so this is something I need to learn fast!

So in the mean time, I have found some different Treadmill workouts to do via Pinterest. When I started running a few years ago, I used to love the treadmill because it was a great way to learn how to pace myself, but now, I hate it. I feel like a hamster on a wheel. Even with the best playlist and something entertaining on TV, I still get bored after 15 minutes.

Here are a few Treadmill workouts I have found to improve my endurance, while still keeping me entertained long enough to at least stay on the treadmill for 30 minutes or longer. These are based upon interval training, which is actually very good for your endurance and cardiovascular system.

1. Warm-up 5 minutes on 2.0-3.0 mph:
          Now for the workout:
                   - 1 minute at 5.0mph
                   - 1 minute at 5.5mph
                   - 1 minute at 6.0mph
                   - 1 minute at 6.5mph
                   - 1 minute at 7.0mph
                   - 1 minute at 7.5mph
                 - 2-3 minutes at 3.5-4mph
Repeat the whole thing 3-5 times depending on how long of a work out you want.

2. This website has a ton of different interval workouts on the treadmill. I have done the 500 calorie workout and the Pyramid Interval workout.

Between running days, Heather had suggested making strength training a priority when training for a long race like a 1/2 marathon or a marathon. She did a 1/2 marathon back in November and if anyone is familiar with the Hal Higdon training programs, he has you only running up to 10 miles. This FREAKED me out! I was thinking, wow you still have a WHOLE 5k to run on the day of the 1/2 marathon Mr. Higdon! Heather kindly reminded me that after 12 weeks of training, I will be running 5k's multiple times a week and it will be a piece of cake by then, or so we hope! She also felt that besides the excitement of the race, her strength really helped her in the last 3.2 miles to make it to the finish. So I decided to look through Pinterest and my exercise board for some good ideas. I am a big fan of circuits. I usually try and do 5-6 exercises with little to no rest breaks and then take a rest and water break before I repeat it 2 more times. This is a great way to get a little extra cardio in to burn a few extra calories and not waste your valuable time. All the meatheads at the gym drive me nuts when they knock out 10-20 reps of an enormous chest weight that is stressing their joints to the max and then proceed to check themselves out in the mirror for the next 5+ minutes for their rest break. (Yes, that's the PT in me talking, sorry.) Next thing you know, it's been 20 minutes and they have only done one exercise! Anyways, I will get off my soap box and post a few circuits I have found that I really like. These circuits are dedicated to one body part, which is a good way to increase muscle strength. I tend to put a combo of arm, leg, and ab exercises into my circuits and I get a good full body work out, but I don't dedicate enough time to one area to really build my strength.

Ab Workouts:
1. Planks:
2. Itty Bitty Tummy:
3. The Core Challenge:

Legs/Butt Workout:
     - I will say this is a KILLER. My legs and butt were sore for a good 3 days!

I have been doing an ab circuit, rest break, leg circuit, rest break, and repeating 2-3 times depending on my time contraints and how long I spend doing cardio. I haven't found an arm circuit I want to stick with yet, but don't worry I am adding that in as well and when I find one or a few I really like I'll post it for you all to see! I do like to take the Body Pump class at the gym and I have integrated some exercises and principles from the class into my workouts. Body Pump is a class that is more geared towards toning vs. building muscle. However, I think I am ok with that, because I spent a lot of my younger years being bulkier from competitive gymnastics. To this day, I still can't get rid of some bulkier areas of my body and I am certainly not getting any younger, so toning works for me!

I think that's it for my first post! It definitely turned out to be longer than I expected! I hope you all enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Let's Introduce Ourselves...

Welcome to Laps and Line Photos – a blog where four friends document their workouts, friendships, and life experiences.

A history:

Meet Autumn, Elise, Heather, and Jackie. Autumn, Elise, and Heather have been friends since the first day of school freshman year (which was 7 years ago, but who’s counting?). The three of us met Jackie during her first week of  college one year later. All four of us met through our college club gymnastics team and we've been friends ever since.


Autumn is an acute care physical therapist who graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from VCU. She lives in Northern Virginia.


Elise is an inpatient rehab therapist who works with spine/spinal cord patients. She graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of St. Augustine. She lives outside of Baltimore.


Heather is a laboratory manager at Virginia Tech. She performs antibiotic resistance gene excretion research on dairy cattle. She lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.


Jackie is a third year med student at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Jackie plans to become a child psychiatrist.

Where’d the name come from?:

The name “Laps and Line Photos” combines the main focus of our blog with an inside joke that we’ve held on to for years. “Laps” because this blog will focus mainly on training for races we plan to run together and “Line Photos” because whenever we’re together we always take tons of photos of us standing in a line.

Don’t believe me? Here are a few examples.

And these only took me about 5 minutes on Facebook to find…according to Autumn it’s a chronic issue (she really hates line photos) but to the rest of us it’s a great way to document our friendship over the years. Now that we’ve decided to run races together, we have even more reasons to take some line photos! And – bonus – now Autumn has to let us take them!!

Why’d we decide to start a blog?:

We decided to start this blog for a few reasons:

  •          To document our training process
  •          To act as a pseudo “running buddy”, since we’re all so far apart
  •          To motivate each of us to continue training towards our common goals
  •          To help us to keep in touch and maintain our friendships
  •          To share our experiences with other friends, family, and runners

What kind of posts will you see here?:

Plan on seeing lots of running/exercise updates as well as some “throwback” posts about events that defined our friendships. You will also get to read posts about the fun times we have when we get together – whether it’s all four of us or just two or three of us. In addition, you’ll get to read our celebratory posts each time we reach a goal, both together and separately. Finally, you’ll read guest posts from other friends of ours, like our friend Ashley, who is a fourth year med student and doesn't have the time right now to devote to blogging or training.

A group photo with future guest blogger, Ashley