Thursday, April 10, 2014

Woe is me..

So as I sit here going through the motions of a winter lost to injury I realize that things could be worse. I'm still able to remain active while others aren't, so for that I am happy. I've had to put my Ottawa Marathon bib on the marketplace because I'm just not going to be able to run it. It'll be an amazing experience but do I really want to go through the hurt of running 42.2 untrained kilometers just for an amazing medal and atmosphere? No. I don't. I would much rather allow my foot to heal and take back my Sulphur Springs registration that I gave to Nicole (sorry for reneging!). I'm a firm believer in things happening for a reason and right from the start I don't think that I was supposed to run a spring marathon. Things have been against me since December, with the wedding (that we're not even going to anymore because our sons aren't invited - crazy!), the strained posterior tibial tendon, the plantar fasciitis, the WEATHER, the 10 day stomach flu and now a "pre-stress fracture" as Dr Elliot called it. My chiro, Kevin explained things a lot better to me than Dr E did. He told me that when we land on our feet, they splay to create shock absorption. By wearing the Feetures Plantar Fasciitis sleeve that was too tight at the top of my foot it hindered it from splaying, therefore there was no shock absorption so truly it was just a matter of time before I got hurt. At least I got to run Around the Bay with Amy & Richard (which I still haven't gotten around to writing about) before this happened. I had a really fun morning with them, well, as fun as running 30km of hills on a foot that's getting ready to crack can be. In the meantime, I've been having fun hitting the pool with Mari and really want to get my endurance back up in my swimming. The first time that I went with her I had to take a break every 25m and now I can do 50-100m before I need to stop to let my heart rate come down. I'm also still doing spin, and I'm going to get Derek to haul my bike down from the rafters of the garage for me so I can get on that as well. So as you see, all things are not lost. I still get jealous when I see random runners out there but as long as I'm keeping my cardio up as my foot heals I'll be back out there in  no time. And just in time for skirt season. Yay!

Nicole. Where's your skirt?!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chilly Half Marathon 2014

Chilly for me this year is a mixed bag of memories. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. To be honest, there were more worst of times in there than best, but hey. That's life. As one of my customers would say, any day on this side of the earth is a good one.

Race day arrived and with it came freezing temperatures and snow. Seriously, I booked the day off work for this?! Oh well. Just like I always say; Blah blah blah. Work. I ate my oatmeal, drank my tea and put on my twenty layers of clothes. Ok, maybe not twenty but enough to have me sweating on the way to pick up Patty. Apart from the weather, things were looking good. My PF was feeling decent. I hadn't forgotten anything at home. I didn't have the race morning scoots. I felt like I was dressed perfectly, right down to my throw away winter jacket and dollar store leopard print mittens, and they were playing George Michael at the starting line. Woohoo. I had been doubting that I'd be able to actually run for a 1:50 finish with Emma and Nicole, you know with my lack of running and all thanks to PF, but maybe this was going to be my day. My last race was a crash and burn so obviously this one is gonna be a keeper right? Right?! *cue ominous music*
"Oh?! Is this George Michael? I love George Michael. I had a WHAM! tshirt you know!
Then some boys threw it up a tree.
 FREEDOM! FREEDOM! You've gotta give for what you take"

The first three km flew by like they do, and I felt fine except for the fact that my feet were numb. I literally felt like I was running on stumps. The only trouble with running on stumps (other than the obvious) is that as soon as they warmed up I realized that my PF was not happy. At all. I had gone into this race saying that I would stay with the girls for as long as my PF would let me, but at the first water station I had to be smart and slow things down. I did the usual things to keep myself occupied now that I was on my own. Listen in on conversations (people were boring this day!), count the VPL, wonder what the hell I'm doing out here. You know. The usual. I quickly regretted not having my headphones with me to at least give my mind something to do other than focus on the fact that my foot was hurting and this race was sucking. "I could be at work right now!" I thought to myself more than once. You know it's a dark day when you'd rather be at work refilling coffees and yelling at the kitchen for putting cheese in your omelette when you didn't order cheese in your omelette. I kept thinking about Nicole's race in Picton and how she realized that her goal wasn't going to be met so she just focused on having fun. Sure I can do that. No problem. Yep, this is fun. Fun. Fun. Fun. PF is on fire. My feet are wet and cold. Fun. Fun. Fun. Oh hey. Is that Emma's husband in front of me?! Maybe I should run with him. I wonder how he's doing. It's his first half marathon. Maybe he could use some pep. Oh wait. That would mean I'd have to be the one giving the pep. Okaaaaaay. So I'm just gonna go ahead and walk and take a gel here and let him get ahead of me a little bit. Walking, walking. Oh hey Jauo. Hmmm, do you think he noticed I was walking? Hope he sees the empty gel wrapper inside my pocket. Alright, the leaders are coming back the other way now. Time to get my mind on something else. "Mike! Woohoo, Mike!" "Kenny! Yeah, Kenny!" "Looking good, Chilly!" "Atta girl, whoever you are. Woohoo!" I was yelling to everyone I could wondering if it was obvious that I was trying to make it look like I was having an amazing time clomping along with my Frankenstein foot out here, channeling my inner Nicole. I played back and forth with a few people, letting them pass me as I walked all the water stations (what the hell, I'm out here to enjoy myself right?) and then passing them back when I was ready to remember that I was in a running event again. I saw Richard who veered over to give me a high five and I totally missed his hand Revenge of the Nerds style. I saw Emma and Nicole. I saw Phil. I saw Patty. Ok, Patty saw me. I was in my head remembering that this race was sucking when I passed her by. I saw Father what's his name as I passed his church and took a banana which was the last thing that I wanted, solely out of Catholic guilt. I saw the meat wagon sweeping up the stragglers all the while counting down how much time I had left in this God forsaken race. Oh, and there I saw the 1:55 pacer pass me by. Better and better. I wonder how close the girls are to the finish line? Are they almost done? I wanna be done. Yep, thanks person on the street. Almost there. Yep, not almost there but thanks any way. Hey Sharkey and Pikachu. Thanks, man. I know my skirt rocks. Oh, you were using it to pace yourself? Thanks. I guess? Oh. Is that Brant St?! Yay Brant St. Oh darn. Not Brant St. Ok. That's Brant St. Yeah, Brant St! Ok, time to start picking people off. Starting with this girl right in front of me. Vroooooom! Yeah, I know. Run it in. I've done this once or twice before. My favourite part of the race. Well, except for at Scotia, but they put out quicksand or something for us to run in there so it's not the same. And there it is. The finish line. Thank God that's over. Got my medal. Thanks. Oh there's my friends waiting for me. "That was ugly. Let's get the hell out of here".
Aaaaaaaand that sucked! Where's the beer?!
Nicole, Richard, Peter, Robert and me and my pink hat. Photo taken by Patty.

Lessons learned in this race. 1) It's always a good day on this side of the earth. 2) If things are looking up at the beginning chances are they won't stay that way 3) PF sucks 4) I'll always have George Michael.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Training with Plantar Faciitis

Obviously my marathon training is starting out as anything but marathon training. Dealing with two different injuries in January has been tough. My PF is still there but definitely not as bad as it originally was (considering I could hardly walk those first few days anything is an improvement!). It hurts but I'm hoping that by doing all of the things that I'm supposed to be doing it'll stay manageable if not go away completely. Unfortunately with all of my physio sessions my insurance is getting used up quickly. I'm going to need to cut back from that which means being extra sure to do all of the at home stuff:

Icing. This is the worst. An ice foot bath is better than just ice but OMG, I'd rather smear dog crap on my foot. To be honest if you told me that would help I'd probably do it.... Right now I'm doing this every morning and after every run.

Hot Epsom soaks. I love these. Noah keeps asking why the kettle is at the computer table. I just pretend I don't know what he's talking about while slowly taking it back to the kitchen. These I do in the afternoon.

Foam rolling. Seeing as tight calves are an issue for me I need to be extra diligent here. My DM friend Barb suggested using a ball too, just to get in there. I'll give it a try...

Rolling the arch. I actually find that this irritates things but if at the end of the day it helps I'm doing it.

Stretching & Strengthening. The heel drop on the stairs is supposed to be best. I was doing it until I overstretched and had to go into physio with my tail between my legs to tell him. I got the eye roll and 'You runners. Always thinking more is better' speech. I'm also stretching with a band like this:

Strassburg sock. Yeah I bought one. It makes things feel better in the morning anyway and Derek hasn't noticed it yet. I can't wait to hear his reaction when he does. LOL

Physio. I was going 3x week. This week I'm down to two sessions. I think I'm going to try to drop to once a week next week. While there I get graston, ART, laser and then taped up. The taping really helps for work any way. I couldn't run that way, it immobilizes my foot too much. At the sports Dr's recommendation I asked physio dude to show me how he tapes it so I can do it myself too.

Feetures PF sleeve. I've been using this on my runs. I'm assuming that it helps somewhat because I wore compression socks instead of this on a 10k last Thursday and my foot felt like crap. I almost had to crawl out of work that night.

Anti inflammatories. I wasn't really taking anything but the sports dr suggested I do for a couple of weeks any way. I brought up the risks but he said that if I took two regular strength advils twice a day for a few weeks I'd be fine.

Scale back on the running add more cross training. I can not run 5 days a week right now. It's just not going to happen. I work on my feet and it's just not smart. When things start impeding your quality of life you need to adjust. So right now I'm running 3 days a week. Next week I'm going to try four with a couple of spin sessions and see how that goes. I need to keep my long runs in, obviously but the speed and hills need to go for the time being. I'm told that rollers are ok but hill repeats are not so that's what I'm going with. So I'm going to try running Monday, Tuesday (adjusted hills) Thursday & Saturday with spin on Tues nights and either Wednesday or Friday.

So hopefully this is enough to at least get me to ATB in one piece. Obviously my goal of 1:45 at Chilly is not going to happen but seeing as my goal race is the Ottawa marathon I need to get myself healthy for that and treat the others as icing on the cake.
Paul posted this on Facebook the other day and I find it completely appropriate.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Plantar Faciitis?!?! What?!

So yesterday I wrote a post all about my week with PF but Blogger decided to eat half of it. Since then I've decided to change the content of the post up. It would seem that a lot of people that I know, both runners and non, have or do suffer from plantar faciitis and seeing as the internet is my playground I've also spent a lot of time on Dr Google, so now this post is going to be about some of the things that I've learned, both good and bad about PF.

Nicole and Sarah have given me a lot of advice over the last week. The best piece of advice that I received from Nicole is to wear my Birks in the house. I wish that I could work in these because I can't even feel my PF in them! (Work is the worst for me right now, Sunday and Monday were brutal with the discomfort) Thankfully I bought a brand new pair of Birkenstocks on Boxing Day (50% off!!) so my husband can stop dropping comments about me dirtying up the floors with my runners. Sarah suggested that because insurance runs out so quickly we should get together and take physio courses and treat one another. She has volunteered to do the graston. Who wants to be first?

A girl at work who had issues with her ankles this past year (still unknown as to what the problem was and she saw multiple doctors) suggested that I soak in as hot as I can handle epsom salt foot baths where there is so much epsom salt in there it no longer dissolves. I guess I'm going to have to hit Costco for their jug of epsom salts, I'm thinking the 2KG one that I get from Shoppers isn't going to cut it anymore. Another girl at work suffered from PF a few years ago. She's a bit of a doomsday girl so obviously I braced myself for when she found out the I had it. "You're going to have it forever!!" "The only thing that worked for me was shock wave therapy". My physio guy will be so happy to hear me asking about this tomorrow. Every day that I've gone in there I've bombarded him with things that people have told me about. Apparently it's a little early for me to be thinking about dropping the money on a Strassburg sock. Also apparently most of his clients have found that it doesn't help. Sarah said the same thing. Of course I'm sure that I'll still go out and buy one. Also I read that I'm supposed to really be digging into the arch of my foot with a ball. Um yeah, apparently I'm NOT supposed to be really digging into the arch of my foot with the ball. I learned that lesson the hard way because graston frickin suuuuuucked yesterday from the tenderness that I had created. I've never been so happy to hear the words "last one" as I was yesterday.

Trolling around the internet has taught me that I may as well give all of my running stuff away to someone who can use it. It has also taught me that if I stretch I can get rid of PF in one week. It has shown me 5000 different ways to tape up my foot, 50,000 stretches to do, and 50,001 reasons not to do stretches. It has let me know that I should take 500mg of magnesium at bedtime and that I should not take more than 350mg of magnesium a day. Barefoot shoes are best for people with PF and barefoot shoes cause PF....

So what have I learned through all this? Not a lot other than Plantar Faciitis sucks and nobody's got time for that!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Let's do this!

Here we are January 2nd, and I'm sitting here with my post tib flared up and a different spring race plan. It turns out that Derek's cousin is getting married in Ottawa the first weekend of May, which happens to be the same weekend as the Mississauga Marathon. Seeing as this cousin was one of the handful of people who attended our wedding, missing it is not an option. As soon as I realized the conflict I scoured the internet and found a few spring marathon options; Waterloo marathon, Whitby marathon, Glass City marathon & Ottawa marathon. I didn't read very many (any) favourable reviews of Waterloo so that was out. Whitby seems to be a double loop so while doable it wasn't high on my list of things that I wanted to do. Convincing Derek to go to Toledo Ohio for Glass City didn't seem like it was going to be easy so that was taken off the list which left Ottawa. Unfortunately Ottawa is the same weekend as Sulphur Springs but Nicole was happy to take my place and run with Emma so even though I run the risk of running a marathon in hot weather (Sam & hot temps don't go hand in hand) this is my best option. Another plus is that a lot of Daily Mile friends seem to be going out to run as well, including Cam who is running his first marathon at Ottawa and may be willing to run with me. If not I'll have to find a pacer and stick to them, either way I'm registered and have a hotel room reserved so Ottawa, I'm coming for ya! Unfortunately Mississauga has a strict non transfer rule so I'm out the fee that I already paid for that marathon which kind of bothers me and I let them know this quite politely. Come on, Toronto Goodlife lets you transfer the registration. Boo Mississauga!

In other news my posterior tibial tendon is making itself known again and my usual physio guy is not around until next week so I booked an appointment to see a sports medicine dr this morning who has some pretty nice credentials. Hey, if he's good enough for the Toronto Rock, Hamilton Ti-Cats & McMaster Marauders I think that he's good enough for me. Although he is unsure of why it's flaring up now he feels that my problems lay with the fact that I can't even walk without wobbling so I need to focus on strengthening things up in my ankles. He gave me a couple of exercises that I need to do religiously and go back to see him in a month. Worst case I'll need to wear an ankle brace when I run, but because it doesn't bother me while I'm running, only later, I'm allowed to keep at it. He says that he sees no reason why this should hold me back from running Ottawa. I'm a little worried that it may affect my speed which will obviously make running a 1:45 at Chilly quite difficult but I'll try to focus on the positive here and that's the fact that I'm allowed to run. Of course today it is snowing with a temp of -28* so maybe I'll take an extra rest day before I rush back at it.

Happy New Year my friends. May 2014 be kind to us all!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 Races in Review

At the end of 2012 I decided to make my 2013 running goal 'Run 13 races'. What a pain in the ass that turned out to be! At times I felt like I was scrounging for races but looking back on it now, I'm happy for every single one that I ran. Here's a quick look back, mostly in pictures because as they say, a picture says 1000 words.

Starting the year out with a PB bang! I had recently recovered from a calf strain but that didn't stop me from kicking butt in all of my pink glory!
What the hell? Didn't I have eyes when I woke up that day?

 And eyebrows?!?!
 Around the Bay 30K 2:48:56 PB
Major lesson learned at this race: NACHOS AND BEER ARE NOT APPROPRIATE THE NIGHT BEFORE A RACE. Between a bad cold and a bad belly from too much cheese and peppers on the nachos the night before I'm actually surprised that the Grimm Reaper didn't come for me during this race. At least we beat the train though!
Guess which guy is the Grimm Reaper

"I'm never eating Nachos again!"
Mercedes Oakville 10K 54:08
I ran this on my 42nd birthday with my son Kyle. I let him pick the race and he chose this one simply for the medal. Takes after his mama. I had a great time running with him for the first 9K but then he out kicked me with his non running legs once again. Kyle had never run this distance before nor did he train. He did learn a valuable lesson about chafing mind you.
My baby

Our family motto "Never let an elderly person beat you at the finish line!"
Mississauga Marathon 4:10:24 PB
This race will always be close to my heart because it was my very first marathon. Having Patty yell at me for whining around 33K still haunts me to this day. Nothing could have prepared me for the mental game of the marathon. That truly sucked. But not as much as trying to get off of the shuttle bus after the race.
Daily Mile meet up!

Shit is that a photographer?! Quick, look like this is fun!

Am I supposed to have feeling in my legs right now?!
Sulphur Springs 25K Trail Race 3:22:49
Funnest day ever!! I had a smile on my face from start to finish of this run even through the suck ass hills!!
There's the smile that was there all day!

Weeeee going up this monster hill is so much fun!

More friends
Moon in June 5K 23:31 PB
Puking behind the porta potties is classy right? Second place AG award. A crappy backpack filled with stuff that I already had.
What's a race without a meet up?

AG awards. How come I placed higher but they got the better prizes?!
Georgina 10 miler 1:28:11 PB
Ran this on tired legs with Patty on her birthday. It took me about as long to get home as it did to run this ghetto race.
What do you mean all the Gatorade was stolen?!
 Canada Day 5K 23:49
Another second place AG award. This time a dinner for two that expired before we could use it. Oh well, the medal was nice.
Happy Canada Day!

AG winners. I need to hang out with Nicole more. Look how tall I am!
 Midsummer Night's Run 15K 1:19:39
I am my own worst enemy. I am not a night runner. Yet another race that took me longer to get home from than it did to run. I'll more than likely go back next year though just because I like their swag and I don't learn my lessons well.
My favourite race picture ever thanks to the man in the tank!

I just wanna go hooooommmme!

I've never noticed that the print on Emmas tank looks like my hoodie!
 Oakville Half Marathon 1:47:17
A new PB for a race run with Richard. I never had a doubt in my mind during this run that I wouldn't make my sub 1:50 time goal. Lesson learned, running friends rock!

Fun morning with Richard


Running friends rock!
 Run For the Toad - 50K relay
For some reason I never did a recap of this. Another super fun trail race! I ran this alongside Mari as the lead runners of our teams and then left it up to my team mates to make sure that we beat Mari's team at the finish. #teamplayer
Poor Phil had literally just finished the race and we made him take a picture

Sorry dude. You totally posed for this picture that I've just ruined. BTW are you noticing
the people at the bottom of the hill here?!?!

Gee Sam, try to have a little more fun next time! Plus I look like an apparition. Need to find
a way to tan without getting wrinkles. Or skin cancer.
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon 1:46:16 PB
Was paced to this new PB by the super fantastic Kenny! I ran out of steam at the very end but still proud of my effort.
Two months later and I still laugh everytime I see this picture

That guy looks almost as gassed as I feel

Rock star pacer!
Road 2 Hope Half Marathon 1:48:27
I knew this day wasn't going to end the way I had hoped by the midway point but happy to have been able to finish off my racing season running with Nicole.
Thank God for indoor waiting areas!

Post race smiles with four outta five PBs.

No PB for me but I got the best finishing picture!

 So that's a quick wrap up of my year. I plan on running a lot of the same races in 2014 but I will not be doing 14 in 2014!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Injury

No I didn't burn my foot while grilling bacon in bed!

A while back (not sure how long ago because weeks and days and months tend to roll into one another as I get older) I saw a funny blog entry about runners acronyms. I'm thinking it was on Shut Up And Run but again, I'm old and can't remember. One that stuck out to me was FII - F**k I'm Injured. I've had my share of injuries since I've started running, lots I've ignored, some I've gotten treated but nothing that has ever sidelined me. Until now.

Last week the tendon behind the inside of my ankle was feeling tight during my runs, but because I'm good at ignoring stuff I left it. Then on Sunday when I worked on my feet for 7 hours and then immediately went to the gym to run 2 miles on the TM to try out my new shoes it really started to bother me. Like I could hardly walk on Sunday night and my ankle swelled right up. I iced it and hoped like crazy that it would be fine by Monday morning. Surprise. It wasn't. Cue Kenny Rogers. "You've got to know when to fold 'em".
I do fold laundry. I just don't put it away after I fold it. Derek likes to call the laundry baskets our 'dresser drawers'.

I called and got an appointment for first thing Tuesday morning with Kevin and continued icing and hoping. Dr Google told me it was posterior tibial tendinitis but I figured I'd let the real Dr make a final assessment. Turns out Dr Google had it partially right. It is the posterior tibial tendon but it's not tendinitis, it's a strain. So I got some ART and laser on it and was told to keep up the icing to get the swelling down ....

Kevin "Does that look swollen to you?"
Me "Yeah, a little bit"
Kevin "Uh, that's a lot more than a little bit swollen! Have you been icing?"
Me "Yes. But mainly staring and hoping that it goes away"
Kevin "Probably icing will work better than staring"

......and strict instructions not to run. Can I do something at least? Elliptical? Bike? I asked him. He told me that the bike would be the better option but only if it doesn't hurt. Considering when I said bike I meant spin I figured that would probably be a no and left it at that. Dejected I left his office and texted Derek to let him know that he was right and I wouldn't be allowed to do anything but wallow in my self pity. He asked me if I had even left the office before I posted about it on Daily Mile. LOL FYI I was at work when I posted. Just like my boss likes me to. ;o)

So now here I sit with a bag of frozen corn attached to my ankle and popping Aleve like crazy. Self imposed rest periods = no problem. Forced rest periods that I have no control over = driving me crazy! I'm thinking tomorrow I will swim with Mari as long as Kevin says that I'm allowed. Probably I should get permission from my hairdresser too.........