A Setback [Fitness Friday]

Well, this post WAS going to be out how I ran the Irongirl 5k over the Clearwater Memorial Causeway on Sunday. And how, despite this bridge (we Floridian runners don’t generally encounter anything resembling a hill), I still had my best 5k time since Evan was born at 32:19.

But now this post is going to be about how I can’t run anymore. I am so close to getting my 5k time back under 30 minutes. I could probably even get a PR on a flat course at this point. But now I’m benched.

When we were in DC, I did a hash with my cousin. During the 3.5-mile craziness that was that run, my foot started hurting. By the end, I was barely keeping up. Yet I continued to walk on it A LOT that weekend – for a total of 22 miles between Saturday and Sunday. I was in quite a bit of pain by the time we got on our flight home.

But then it felt better the next day. And even better the day after that. I went to yoga. I went to ballet. But I didn’t run.

Then I ran my race on Sunday. And 1/4 mile in, my foot was hurting again. And this time it was even worse.

So I saw my podiatrist on Monday. Yep, I already had a podiatrist. This is what happens when you turn 30 – you gain all kinds of specialists to treat your aches and pains. And he says I’m injured, can’t run, and should probably start investing in some granny shoes. There was a lot of inflammation and the bones in my foot are basically jamming into each other (you’re supposed to have space between your bones with some nice cushion-y cartilage – I don’t). But the worst part is he says he sees some early arthritis in my foot (thank you, pointe shoes).

But, he also seems to think that this is workable and I don’t have to sit on the bench forever. First, I need to get the inflammation down. So no running at all. Then, we take another look in two week. Then I get custom sport orthotics and I get back out there. Hopefully.

I always assumed I would end up battling arthritis some day, thanks to all of my years of dancing and my extra crunchy joints. I just didn’t think I’d be doing it at 31. Hopefully I have some more information in a few weeks about what is exactly wrong and what I need to do prevent it in the future.

It’s discouraging to get injured when I’m right at the fun part of my running season and I can see the possibility of a sub-30 5k/PR. But injuries are the price you pay for being active. I’ve been fairly lucky in my life so far and I’m sure I’ll get back out there. For now, I think I’ll try hanging out in the lap pool.

And I’ll still share some 5k photos:

6.2 [Fitness Friday]

Last month I told you about running my first 8k. Well, while I was at it, I went ahead and ran a 10k a few weeks later. 6.2 miles in 1 hour and 7 minutes. I’d set a goal to finish a 10k before having another baby and here I am, not ready for baby 2, and already done with my goal.

I do think six miles might be my limit. I walked a lot the last two miles. And the thought of running seven more (a half-marathon is really the next big race distance) is still very daunting. Maybe after theoretical baby 2.

I started off strong, maybe a little too strong. I ran my first mile at a 9:40 pace and my second at a 10-minute pace (if only it were a 5k, I could have easily finished sub-30!). But by mile 5 and 6, I was down to a pretty slow 11:38, which is probably why I felt so drained. Lesson learned – don’t stay with my faster friends for a mile and a half.

I think I am going to run a 5k in April (if I can ever get myself back into my running shoes) and another 10k in May and then I might be done for the season. It’s too hot to race here in the summer and I’ll be single-parenting for a good portion of it, which means I have to run with the dreaded jogging stroller and a 27 pound toddler. No thanks.

 Me at the finish line with my friends, Laura and Bill:


I ran my first 8k on Sunday at the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa. 4.97 miles. And it was fantastic.

I thought the whole thing might be disappointing. My training had not gone as smoothly as planned (I missed a bunch so I was walking a lot and barely able to keep up an 11-12 minute pace). My running buddy had to pull out the day before the race. It was foggy and humid as could be.

(That’s Bayshore. It’s 9am. You should get a nice view of the bay, as the name implies.)

But then I found a friend.

Put on my awesome playlist (turns out, there is no such thing as too much Vampire Weekend on a race day playlist).

And ran.

And ran. And ran.

I usually walk a bit during my runs, but I was feeling good and remembered some advice from my athletic trainer sister-in-law to only walk through water stations. You get a brief rest and you actually get to drink the water (and thank the volunteers). This worked great (until the last two miles where the organizers felt no water stations belonged). I was rocking a 10:17 average on my way out, but dropped to 10:40 by the end.

My goal was to finish in under an hour. I finished in 53 minutes and 3 seconds. So much better than I could have imagined.

Overall, I was one happy runner.

Bring on next month’s 10k.

Becoming a Runner…Again

I started running in 2010. I had tried running before but never stuck with it for more than a few weeks. But in the fall of 2010, I decided I was going to do a Couch to 5k program and in January 2011, I ran my first 5k (and I ran the whole thing). I joined a running group and ran a few more 5ks.

Then I got pregnant.

Between the morning sickness and the back pain, I had to give up running. But once I had the baby and I got the all clear to start running again from my midwife, I started training for a 5k again. It was like starting over from scratch since it had been nearly a year since I ran. But I was pretty disciplined and I started to get back to where I was.

Then I went back to work.

I couldn’t figure out how to fit running into my new working mom schedule. I started and stopped and started and stopped. I ran a couple races but I did them on little to no training. I finally started to get back into running in the fall.

Then we all got sick. Twice. And traveled. And the holidays.

So now, over 3 years since I first started running, I am starting over again. I am sure something will come up and I will want to quit again. But I am really trying to commit to three runs a week. I am following a training schedule for an 8k (5 miles) which is easy now but will be a challenge once I need to start running more than 3 miles. I am just as busy as always, and morning runs are impossible, but now that the days are getting a little longer I am hopeful I can get in some post-work runs during the week (or there is always the dreaded treadmill at the gym).

I am still calling myself a runner and I never stopped calling myself a runner. I may be inconsistent. I may be slow. I may need to walk sometimes. But I’m out there. Running as best I can.

So my question for all of  you is how do push through life’s inconveniences to keep running (or swimming or dancing or walking or whatever it is you do). Having a training plan/schedule works for me but I am interested in any other tricks you have to share.

A Happier, Healthier 2014

My first “health” post. Because it mostly fits.

Like I said earlier, I am not a New Year’s resolution kind of girl. But I am making quite a few this year because the new year happens to end a period to travel and illness that derailed the healthy habits I had gotten into earlier this year. So, a few resolutions:

1. Start counting calories again.

Until I hit my goal weight at least. I was good about this for 2 months in the fall and then fell off the wagon. After losing about 10 pounds, I gained 2.5 back over the holidays. So here I go again. I found counting calories to be the key to finally shedding those extra pregnancy pounds. And it encouraged me to exercise because then I could eat more. If you’re on MyFitnessPal, you can find me as “themichelleerin.”

2. Drink more water.

I was really good about this for a long time. And lately I haven’t been. Which is probably contributing to my frequent colds and lethargy. So I am getting back on this horse, too. Tip: If you want to drink more water, get a good water bottle that you can carry around. It helps. (I happen to love the Lifefactory ones because they are glass so no leaching or metallic taste).

3. No more Diet Coke

This goes along with No. 2. Again, I was doing a pretty good job for awhile and then I started with the daily Diet Coke habit again. This stuff is not good for me and may even be really, really bad for me down the road. So I’m done (except for maybe an occasional one at Cleveland Street Cafe because their Diet Coke is extra delicious).

4. Run a 10k

I am probably going to have another baby in the semi-near future, so before I do that and get thrown off of my running plan for two years again, I want to run a 10k (6.2 miles). I’ve only ever run 5ks so this is a decent challenge. To start, I am signing up for the 8k (about 5 miles) at the Gasparilla Distance Classic. It is 8 weeks away so it is just enough time to train. Then hopefully I can run a 10k in April while the weather is still nice. I just need to figure out when I can squeeze in some running during the busy workweek.

5. Go to yoga weekly 

I’ve not been very good about using our YMCA membership. I had a few minor injuries in 2013 (a month of rest for an unknown foot injury that never actually got better and 2 months of rest for a rotator cuff/clavicle injury that did actually get mostly better) so hopefully now that I am feeling at least 90% healthy, I can get back to yoga. I find yoga to be very challenging. I need to work on my upper body strength, my core, and my flexibility so yoga is a perfect balance to running for me. There are classes every single day at the Y so no excuses. I just have to go to one each week.

6. Get debt free

This isn’t health-related and I know we’re not supposed to talk about money, but it’s a goal Ben and I are really working hard on. By 2015, we want to be free of any debt that isn’t a student loan, a car payment, or a mortgage. We have a lot of travel this year, so it will be a challenge (plane tickets always seem to be the reason we start using credit cards again). At the same time, we are going to do the savings challenge where you save $1 the first week of the year, $2 the second week, etc. By the end of the year, if we both do it, not only should we be debt free, but we should have an extra savings cushion of $2,756.00. Then we can just hand it all over to that theoretical new baby I mentioned above.

7. Recommit to #fmsphotoaday

This is also not health related, but just like with everything else, I haven’t had the follow-through on posting a photo every day to the #fmsphotoaday challenge. I started this when E was born and stuck with it for some time. Now, I start a month strong and completely abandon it halfway through. I am going to try to do this every day this year. It helps me see the world a  little differently when I’m looking for a specific shot all day. And it keeps my instagram feed from just being all Evan, all the time.

So a lot of these are cliche. But cliches exist for a reason. They are all good goals and I know that if I stick with them, I will be healthier and happier.

What are your resolutions?

TSS: June 2013 [Monthly Recap]

The Sunday Salon.comIt’s already July 7. Time to wrap up June.


June was a tough month for me. Two of these were books that Ben and I (but mostly Ben) read to Evan, so I’m not sure they even count. I only finished 2 audiobooks because I also listened to about 25 hours of employment law conference material. I live an exciting life.

In addition to these, I reviewed Lean In; Sight Reading; and If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This.

I also took part in Audiobook Week sharing: My Audiobook YearHow I Choose AudiobooksMid-Week MemeAudiobook Tasks; and this year’s Audiobook Flowchart. And, as part of Audiobook Month, I posted an interview with Simon Vance.


So I’m officially adding this to my blog identity (tab to come soon). I’m a little nervous about it because I don’t really feel like a photographer – just someone who likes to take some pictures and pretends she knows a little about it. But, I also don’t really consider myself a very good runner. And I often don’t feel like a very good dancer and I’ve been taking class my whole life. So I’m just going for it.

This month I shared photos from the Dunedin Duck Derby and a father’s day photo. I am hoping to do more photo posts in the future.


I haven’t danced since March. It’s pretty much the saddest thing ever. When Ben gets back from Vermont, I need to make time to take a class.

But I am watching So You Think You Can Dance again. Any favorites yet?


I am working my way through Couch 2 5k. I am on Week 5, so I am getting there. I should probably find a 5k to run at the end but it’s summer in Florida and who wants to race then? Between the heat, humidity, and the jogging stroller, I’m not sure what I’m doing is actually running. But I’m out there.


Evan is 13 months old and in full blown toddler mode. I’m having a bit of a harder time adjusting – it’s hard to remember shoes and snacks when we leave the house! I am single-parenting right now, but it’s going great – partly thanks to my helpful future sister-in-law who is staying with me.

I just love this kid.

TSS: May 2013 Recap

The Sunday Salon.com



Gosh, didn’t I JUST wrap up April? May FLEW by. Maybe I can blame that for the really, really awful reading month I had. In May, I read:



  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (audio)
  • Life after Life by Kate Atkinson (audio)
  • If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This (audio)

I also reviewed The AbsolutistThe Tao of Pooh; and Scarlet and posted by Armchair Audies Wrap-Up.


I haven’t been to a dance class in just about two months. Life was so busy and I really am not that happy with the class I’ve been going to (they let teenagers into the adult class and I am getting much too old to be dancing with teenagers). My teacher, whom I adore, is leaving and, even though she won’t be teaching anymore, I am actually hoping to try a new class with her this summer.

I got the all-clear to start running again two weeks ago so I am slowly making my way back. I bought some new shoes that are AMAZING. My shin splints haven’t made a single appearance and I am just thrilled. I actually ran a 5k yesterday, but that was part of June so you get to hear about that next month.


Well this was a big month for me as a mom. Evan turned one (see a video of his first year) and we threw him a huge party (see a preview in my Pin It & Do It wrap-up post). He has really started walking now and I think I have to admit I have a toddler now. Which makes me happy and sad. This parenting thing is always a little bittersweet. I love watching him grow but I don’t want him to do it too fast.

I also kept taking pictures, as usual. See photos from a day at the park and some more random pictures of Evan.


Me and My FitBit

A few weeks ago, the other lawyers in my firm and I were at lunch discussing how we all need to get back in shape. By the time we were walking out the door, a competition was born. We’ve each purchased FitBits to track our steps (and encouraged our staff to play as well). Between April 1 and June 30, we are competing to see who can take the most steps.  We’re 11 days in and I am in 3rd place (but getting better each day!).

So far the FitBit has taught me two things: (1) I don’t walk nearly as much as I should and (2) I actually sleep more than I think. The FitBit tracks your steps and the quality of your sleep (and you can manually input some other data points, like weight and blood pressure). I am currently averaging 8,227 steps a day (a little over 4 miles), 7.3 hours of sleep, and I’m already down 2.6 pounds. Even if I don’t win this competition, the FitBit has made me more aware of my activity. I’m going to keep working to get my average up to the recommended 10,000 steps (and I’m hoping that this gets me running again).

Screen shot 2013-04-09 at 9.11.37 PM

I know a bunch of other book bloggers who have FitBits and I’ve had a lot of encouragement from them(as always). If you’re on FitBit and want to be friends, click here.