Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Three More Weeks

Saw the podiatrist today for a follow up about my stress fracture. The news was, well, not terribly unexpected. I have to stay away from running for three more weeks. UGH. Since I have been having some general achiness in my foot sometimes at the end of the day I had a feeling all was not healed. Of course I wanted him to tell me I was ready to jump back in to things again.

The plan he gave me for eventually starting to run again was laughable. The first week would have me run/walking 200 meter intervals. Bwahahaha. If I were a beginner, yeah, that makes perfect sense. But I'm not, and my endurance could let me go at least six miles, thanks to keeping up with the elliptical. So I will have to be careful to not push harder than I want to, when I get to run again.

Oh! And the awesome, or not so awesome, news is that I will DNS another freaking race! I can't run the 10k in Tacoma in 2 1/2 weeks. Damn it! Part of me just wants to run it no say screw it, I will recover after that. I don't want to recover right now.

Anyways, that's all the news from here. I would like to go crawl in to bed with a gallon of ice cream and hibernate. If I woke up in the spring this would all be fixed by then, right?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Where Will You Be on June 22, 2013?

I am an idiot, and I told myself I wouldn't do such stupid things anymore, but I went ahead and registered for the Seattle Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon. One would think that my injuries would be healed by then, right? Of course, that's what I thought about the Seattle Half Marathon! This had better not be another DNS race for me!

Why did I register this weekend? Well, I really wanted one of the promotional shirts they were giving away if you registered at the Seattle Marathon expo:

So I got that cool shirt and saved a little money on registration, too. I loved the RnR so very much  last year, I can't wait to run it again. 

Last year I registered on opening day, so it felt like I was dragging my feet a little this year. 

Anyone else already registered? 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cheering at the Seattle Marathon

This morning thousands of runners and spectators in Seattle seriously lucked out, because the weather was awesome for the Seattle Marathon and Half-Marathon. And by awesome, I mean it wasn't freezing rain, like it was last year!

Eloise was very excited to come along and cheer with me and has been looking forward to it for several days. We made our signs yesterday and packed up our cowbells for the big day. Unfortunately Eloise had an awful night of being awake a lot, but when I whispered that it was time to get up she practically rocketed out of bed! We got dressed, grabbed some water and snacks (and thankfully hats and gloves!) and drove straight to the Starbucks drive-thru. THEN we drove over to my favorite runner-watching spot along the course. 

There were so many more spectators this year than there were last year! That, of course, was fantastic, but I panicked a bit and had to park further away than I planned. I worried we would miss "our runners". Thankfully we weren't too late and caught almost everyone we wanted to see. 

Eloise and I cheered and rang our cowbells and held our signs. Mine said "You are AWESOME" and Eloise made hers all by herself, it said "YOU CAN DO IT!". She absolutely loved standing with her hand out to catch high-fives. We noticed that the faster the runners were, the less likely they were to interact with you or slap a high-five, so we personally had more fun the slower the runners got. We stuck around for quite a while after the people we came to see were past and the runners were just so amazing. It was fun to watch them all. 

We cheered for the runners we knew, we cheered for the mother runners, we cheered for the girls (and one guy!) wearing sparkle skirts, we cheered for runners with their arm in a sling, we cheered for the runners who cheered for us. We cheered for everyone!  

Last year I watched the runners with tears in my eyes, it was really inspiring to watch them all running so strong. This year I just smiled and cheered, happy for everyone who was out there, and happy that we could support them in our little way.

Man, now I don't know if I want to run the race next year . . . . or stake out my spot on the corner with my sign, cowbell, and Starbucks latte!

Monday, November 19, 2012

This Week

This week the girls have the entire week off of school. They get Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving and then in Seattle Public Schools there is no school Monday through Wednesday for parent-teacher conferences. We already did our conferences last Friday. 

I would so very much love to write out how the conferences went, but I am definitely firmly in the camp of no longer wanting to write really personal information about the girls anymore. I will mention a couple of cute things: Eloise has gone from being the big bruiser in her pre-school and kindergarten class to a leader and a kid the other kids really like. My heart swells. She has an amazing teacher who truly loves "her kids". I could listen to her talk about Eloise all day long because it just makes you feel like your heart will burst. Iris's also has a great teacher. Her teacher had the kids fill out an evaluation form about how they liked different subjects and how well they thought they did at each of them. It was really fun to get that sneak peek in to Iris's brain at a time when she isn't saying much when she gets home from school. Iris is doing exactly as we expected she would be, which was good to not have any surprises. I loved hearing her teacher say that she thought school was the right place for Iris (as opposed to continuing to home school). It re-confirmed our decision to put her back in to school. 

We are heading in to what should be a fun week off. As I tend to do with longer school breaks, I planned out a few activities across the days to give everyone a few things to look forward to. Today is a movie and chores. Okay, maybe these things aren't what I would personally look forward to. I generally dislike going to kids' movies and I generally dislike chores, especially when they involve re-washing already washed laundry. But! I do enjoy the break from getting the girls up early and out the door for school for a few days, so I will take that. It is raining like crazy, insane amount of rain in Seattle today, so hopefully we won't need a rowboat to get to the theatre. 

We also have on our agenda this week a couple of playdates, an appointment, and a trip to the craft store to get supplies to make something for the craft fair at school. I am excited to get to go to another weight training class this week, as well. And that is all before Turkey Day! 

I was so thankful that a dear friend invited our family to join her big Italian family at their Thanksgiving Day festivities. After several years celebrating with a family we love, it was looking like we were going to have our first T-Day just the four of us at home, and that was severely bumming me out. My dear friend has a truly wonderful tight-knit family and they welcomed us in to their cozy fold for the Fourth of July, and now they are doing it again. Yep, very very thankful, indeed. I am bringing homemade mac-n-cheese with (wait for it . . . .) bacon!

Friday is traditionally the day to set up our tree and that is always a lot of work. Last year for some reason Matt and the girls put up most of the tree and that was awesome! I ended up having to re-do the entire damn thing when a bunch of our lights went out, though. That reminds me, I think we still have only green lights for the tree. Now I need to decide if I am going to elbow through the black Friday crowds to buy new lights, again, or just run with the green lights for another year. 

On Saturday I am excited to join my friend Michael at the Seattle Marathon expo. I was supposed to be running it, but alas, I am not running at all (you have been alerted of that, right?) I hope they have some cool stuff to check out, though I really need nothing right now. Just before I was knocked out of running I got a few new clothing items and stocked up on gels/chews. I have a coupon to use for my local running store when I am ready for new shoes. Hmmm . . . surely I can come up with something to buy, right?

Eloise said she wanted to come with me to cheer on the Seattle Marathon and Half-Marathon runners on Sunday morning. We will ring our bells and hold up our signs. I haven't decided what mine will say. Either something supportive like "You are Awesome!" or something funny, like "Toenails are Over-Rated". We shall see. Looking forward to finding lots of familiar faces dashing past me, just like last year when I went to watch! I was so in awe of those runners last year. It choked me up a bit. I was hoping I would be one of them this year, but nope. 

Allrighty, off to make sure the house isn't floating away!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Top Ten List

I recently realized that, gasp!, I wasn't hating being sidelined as much as I thought I would. There are little things about it that make it like a vacation, if you will. Yes, totally like Hawaii, except, well, not really at all.

So I decided to make a list. (read in your best David Letterman voice)

The Top Ten Things That Don't Suck About 
Being Injured and Not Running

10. Less miles on the shoes=not replacing them as quickly! (wait, that might be a negative . . . )

9. Not heading out for long runs means I am not plowing through my expensive stash of gels every weekend.

8. Getting to talk to incredibly smart professionals about what is going wrong with my body and how to fix it, which I find totally fascinating. I swear I could have stared at the xray of my foot all day! 

7. I don't have to schedule everything around my long run on the weekend and I never, ever have to get up early to exercise.

6. People feel bad for me and like to check in, "how is your foot?"

5. I get to focus on strength exercises. The hardest one? Stand on one leg with my eyes closed for THIRTY SECONDS. Try it. It is really hard. 

4. I get to go to the (warm and dry) gym to do the elliptical more, which means more time watching Bravo!

3. Not running means I am rarely working out outside, which means I am not spending my time either dreading being cold and wet, or actually being cold and wet.

2. Thinking about my "big comeback" and how I will "do everything right". Notice the quotes around that last part. 

1. I don't plan my meals around my runs. I am LOVING this. Eating too close to a run always spells disaster for me. It doesn't matter how close I eat to doing elliptical or strength exercises, I never feel sick! Hooray! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

No Weekly Re-Cap

Since I am not running, I am going to hold off on my re-caps. Reading about miles run is boring enough, reading about hours on the elliptical is coma-inducing. To tell the truth, putting in that time of the elliptical is exactly that, as well. The only saving grace about the gym is getting to watch the tvs while I am there.

I "screwed up" by running once this week. I already knew I was committed to being a running buddy for my daughter's Girls on the Run 5K and we had a practice run this week. Since the girls do all of their practices running as many laps as they please around the field at school, I (wrongly) assumed that is how the practice would go when the buddies were there. Iris isn't super stoked about running and generally bails on many of the laps, so I was feeling confident we could both bail out on the laps during the practice. It didn't work that way, though! The coach marked a 5K loop through the neighborhood that the buddies and girls had to run. Oops! I did the whole thing, but I shouldn't have. I need to find out if I can get Matt to fill in for me during the 5K. 

Other than that, I have been a lot of strength moves and a lot of elliptical. I keep meaning to get to the pool, but honestly, I doubt I will. Swimming is so much work! 

The rest from running is good, though. I think it will be a nice "reset" for me and everything else that has been plaguing me. Maybe my IT band and hamstring will feel even better with the time off? Maybe I can start again very, very slowly and avoid the injuries my next go-round? I would love to be able to aim for another fall marathon if I can. Hopefully by Fall 2013 I will be ready. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The One About Being Injured

Oh, wait. That is actually a good title for EVERY SINGLE DAMN POST about running lately. 

Good lord.

So, last Tuesday, a few days after running my awesome 10K, I ran again and discovered a new pain in the top of my foot. It went away by the time I ran again on Thursday, but it came back, and then hung on for a while. I identified the pain was radiating from a particular spot in the top of my foot and knew that was NOT good news. General achiness=probably okay. Pain radiating from a specific point=never okay.

I went to my PT on Friday. She thought it was a stress fracture in my second metatarsal. She couldn't order an xray, so she sent me to my primary care doctor. I love my PCP to death, but she isn't a specialist. She decided I had a Morton's Neuroma AND a bone spur in my heel (my podiatrist later confirmed I had neither). She sent me along to the podiatrist, whom I saw today. He was fan-freakin-tastic. He did his exam and then xrayed the offending foot (my left foot shall henceforth be known as "the offending foot", FYI). He saw a teeny bit of something on my xray where I complained of pain and concluded after all of the evidence that I had the beginnings of a stress fracture. Remedy? Don't do anything that causes me pain (ie, running) and ice twice a day for three weeks then head on back in to see him. 


To be honest, after everything else I have been battling, I am just over it. Of course I have a new injury. Of course. Because the two I already weren't bad enough, right? Because I could still run a little with a bum IT band and a crappy hamstring. I needed something to throw me totally out of the game. 

Of course.

So now I get creative. How does one keep up their level of fitness without any jarring of the feet? Elliptical, bike (though for some reason the PT said "recumbant bike", is that different than a regular bike in terms of healing a stress fracture?) and swimming are all I can think of. I tried to do a Jillian Michael's video at home yesterday and the jumping did my foot in. No jumping jacks. No jump rope. I wish there was something I could do at home, but I own neither an elliptical machine nor a stationary bike (or real bike, for that matter). Or an indoor pool.

The biggest kink in all of this is that my daughter is in Girls on the Run right now. I signed up to be her "running buddy" and that means I go to a practice this week and help run in the end of season 5K on December 1st. Luckily my daughter doesn't, uh, like to run. I anticipate she will do as little walking/running as possible at the practice, but a 5K run is a 5K run. You have to get from the start to the finish. Think there is a wheelchair division? Can she push me to the finish? My podiatrist didn't come out and say "do not run with your daughter" but he did make it pretty clear that if I don't rest it, I will have a bigger problem on my hands.

And you know what? Iris doesn't really want to do the 5K run. So now I am in the position of supporting her in finishing out the season, and telling her how fun it will be, all the while thinking "crap, she doesn't even want to do it, and I shouldn't do it, why are we doing this again?" I know, because you finish what you start, right? I will see the podiatrist a few days before the 5K and he will check out my foot again. I doubt he will officially clear me to be able to do a 5K, but maybe, just maybe, my foot will be "good enough". 

I officially gave up my bib for the Seattle Half Marathon, but I (stupidly) already registered for the Santa Runs Tacoma 10K on December 15th. I thought I learned my lesson in signing up for races ahead of time, but I thought I was okay with a 10K! NO MORE RACE REGISTRATION FOR ME! I have even decided that if I want to do another race, I will train for it and then cross my fingers I can register at the 11th hour, because I am sick of losing money!

At least I'm not in a boot, right? That's a good thing, right? I will run again, right? Right???

Monday, November 05, 2012

Running Wild: Weekly Re-Cap

It has been a hard week. 

I ran on Tuesday but my legs hurt everywhere. Not just my IT band, or my hamstring, or whatever, my everything hurt. The rest of the day I felt like I had run a hard race. It was awful and I was confused and frustrated about what was going on. Was it really taking that long to recover from a 10K? Then I ran again on Thursday and felt awesome. Well, awesome except for one thing . . . I had developed a pain in the top of my foot on Tuesday's run and it was back on Thursday. (You probably see where this is going.)

I woke up in the middle of the night Thursday night and my foot pain was still there. After some groggy googling, I frantically emailed my PT at 4:00 am, convinced I had a stress fracture. I got in to see her on Friday and although she couldn't say for certain, she seemed to agree with me. Today was an appointment with my regular doctor, so I could get an xray ordered, and tomorrow I will see a podiatrist. My regular doctor didn't think it was a fracture and ohmygodplease don't let it be! I haven't run since Thursday and will be DNSing my third race, the Seattle Half Marathon, because I am not supposed to run through foot pain, so I can't keep training.

There will be more . . . much more . . . about that, but this is my re-cap, so here goes:

Total Miles: 8

Monday: 40 minutes elliptical and PT

Tuesday: 4 miles

The best part of this run was that it was absolutely pouring rain and I had a blast running in it. Of course, that meant sloshing through a couple of ankle-deep puddles and it taking days for my shoes to dry, but it was worth it! I have missed the rain in Seattle.

Wednesday: bootcamp

Sarah and I had a fun, albeit stifled, bootcamp session. It was raining pretty good so we worked out in the hallway under the bleachers . . . by the bathrooms. It wasn't pretty, but we got the job done!

Thursday: 4 miles

On Monday my PT said "no more speedwork", but I could still do hills (speedwork in disguise!) so I did a 1/2 mile 6% grade hill in the middle of this run. I felt awesome, like I could have run forever. 

Friday: rest and PT

This was the appointment I had with my PT about my foot pain. She told me not to run on it with pain, so for me that meant no running. 

Saturday: rest

We spent the weekend at my in-law's house and since I couldn't run my workout plans were out the window. 

Sunday: 45 minutes elliptical

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Cross-training with a Friend

For close to a year I took two classes a week, one was an intervals class, where I worked on running fast, and the other was a bootcamp. I loved both of these classes. I had an absolute blast and made some great friends there, too!

Once my girls started school full time I no longer needed to do my workouts at night, after my husband was home to watch the girls. Now I can fit in my workouts during the day, which is great, but it means I don't need to go to my awesome classes anymore. Great for the budget, but sad for me for missing out on the classes. I have had to find other ways to fit in intervals and cross-training, and so far it's working out really well! 

I find it easy enough to motivate myself to do my intervals workouts on my own, but I knew bootcamp would be harder to replicate solo. Luckily one of my best friends, Sarah, who I met in bootcamp, was able to meet up one day a week with me to do a bootcamp session on our own. I was a little worried we wouldn't push ourselves, but after hobbling around two days after the workout last week because my adductors were so sore, I knew I didn't have to worry about that! 

Sarah and I quickly settled on an outline for our workouts and then we take turns coming up with exercises for the circuits each week. We meet at a local track and it has all the space we need. 

Our basic outline looks like this:

Jog 2 laps of the track (1/2 mile)

Circuit One
2 reps of 5 exercises

Run up and down the stairs in the bleachers for 10 mins

Circuit Two
2 reps of 5 exercises

Cool Down

It takes about an hour to do the whole thing. The exercises in each of the circuits we do for 1 min each.

We like to shake up the exercises we do each week and have taken to doing a bit of research to find new exercises. Some of our favorites are:

  • simple ab exercises, like crunches, bicycle crunches and sit-ups with a "slow release" (counting to 10 on the way back down
  • push-ups
  • planks, like full planks, side planks and forearm planks
  • jump rope or jumping jack
  • squats with overhead press (with weights)
  • squat with arm curl
  • one-legged lunges
  • reverse lunges
  • hopping back and forth over our mat
  • tricep dips
  • mountain climbers
  • burpees
  • bent over row with tricep kickback
  • tricep press
  • alternating arm and leg extension (sometimes touching elbow to knee)
  • bridges (sometimes lifting a leg)
As a runner, I really need to do a cross-training workout every week to improve my strength, so I especially look forward to these bootcamp sessions. I also look forward to them because Sarah and I spend the whole time chatting and have a really great time doing them! You really forget how hard you are working when you are having so much fun at the same time. 

In addition to bootcamp I am doing bridges with leg raises at home, squats, a skating move my PT calls "Apollo Ohno" and an exercise to improve my glute strength where I lie on my stomach, engage my core and lift one leg at a time while squeezing my glutes. 

If you have any other suggestions for exercises that we can throw in to our routine, let me know! We are always looking for new exercises to try out.