Why, yes, it has been a long time since I have written a post. Thanks for noticing.
There is so much that has happened, just none of if has been running. Or hiking. Or walking.
So let's temporarily change the name of my blog to Now I'm Not Running and just get on with it, shall we?
So I was chugging away at the stationary recumbent, as you recall, and decided that it was just a darn good time for me to buy that bicycle I have always wanted. Making a long and not-very-interesting story short, I got hooked up on a 2015 Giant Alight 1. It's a pretty sweet "fitness hybrid" just meaning it's great for pedaling fast and getting a workout but doubles as a commuter. I haven't actually commuted anywhere, but I have been getting in some fun (though shorter than I would like) rides. There is a substantial network of bike paths in my area - the entire path I took (below) is comprised of designated bike paths and though I used to run these exact same loops, I definitely appreciate it differently now.
I'm still getting the hang of it (steering, using the gears, etc.) but I will definitely post more updates.
When I was a kid I swam on a swim team. I was never very good, but I was competent, at least at the breast stroke. Fast forward to adulthood. It's been 20 years (literally) since I swam laps. And let me thank my dear friends with a pool in their backyard who saved me the utter embarrassment that would have been me swimming in public. I think their pool is maybe 10-12 yards. And I could make it to one end and back before resting. Basically I would have been that person stopping in the middle of the junior Olympic pool to hold on the the side, or - even worse - the rope. Can you imagine?
I realized later (after watching a man twice my size effortlessly swimming laps at the pool in Vegas) that I was not floating, and instead, when swimming freestyle, each stroke felt like a combination of moving forward and staying above water. I was better at breast stroke, but my shoulders are definitely weak, and I wasn't able to pull all the way around on my stroke. It was still a great 20-minute workout, but I am way below par for reaping any sort of aerobic benefit.
It's supposed to be nice and toasty in So Cal this weekend so I will definitely be hitting up the pool for some more workouts!
I started physical therapy for my ankle and it's quite lovely. Twice a week I get up early and go to work on my hip/core/leg strength and get some stretching on my calves and ankle. It's definitely not what I expected when I started. I expected heel raises and some stretching. I have been doing a lot of hip bridges, some planks, and have been getting on the Reformer. The dorsiflexion in my left ankle (which is the angle at which I can pull my foot back towards my shin) has gone from -5% to 7%. By comparison, my right ankle is 15% and at least 10% is required for normal running biomechanics. I know I am losing running-related fitness, but when I come back to running, I will be strong in areas I was previously weak, and will be able to focus on getting back that endurance instead of wondering what my next injury might be.
My Fitness Pal
I was not overweight to begin with, but I definitely had a few more pounds on me than I would have liked and it was only going to get worse if I continued my current habits. I started logging my food and exercise on My Fitness Pal. What a world of difference it makes. I lost the first 2 pounds almost immediately, and those were the biggest problem. It sounds backwards, but I really wanted to use this time I'm not running to lose weight. When I run, I get extremely hungry. When I'm not running, I really can live off 1200-1500 calories a day easily. Granted, I am eating a lot of soup. I might write an entire post on my MFP experience.
So that's the major updates. I hope to elaborate on them all one day at a time, since I'm not changing back the name of my blog any time soon.
I was determined yesterday afternoon to run for ten minutes to gauge how I feel and to get a little bit of time on my legs. I ended up running three miles at marathon pace. Oops.
How did I feel? I had varying degrees of arch pain in my left (injured) foot the entire time. It would subside to a manageable level mostly, but would randomly spike in intensity. My calves felt extremely tight. They also felt tight before I got injured. I do not know whether this is related or if it's the shoes. I ran in the Saucony Virratas (0mm drop) and even though I ran in them last summer with no related calf pain/tightness, every time I have ran in them this winter I have had this response.
I kept checking in on my form and I felt like I was doing it right. I definitely need to strengthen my arches. I have abnormally high arches and that is likely the reason for my injury and will make me injury prone in the future if I don't have the strength to support that.
I am an intentional midfoot striker (and to be clear, the arch is not the midfoot. The midfoot is the fleshy ball of your foot) and ever since I switched from heel striking I have had no knee pain which was an enormous problem for me before. Sometimes I feel like I am landing on my toes, but when I ran by the floor-length reflective windows of an office building yesterday, I watched my feet. They looked perfect which was a nice surprise.
Since my doctor visit, I have noticed the over-supination my foot makes. It's actually quite exaggerated. I expect the 0mm drop contributes to this. For my next run (whenever that may be, definitely not today!) I will wear the 4mm drop Kinvaras and check in with my form again.
In the hour or two post-run I did have some pain on the outside of my ankle at the injury site. It went away after sitting on the couch and watching a movie for a couple of hours. This morning it doesn't hurt but is a tad bit tender.
So what does this all mean? I am pretty clueless as to how bad my injury actually is. I have ran through arch pain before and complemented with eccentric calf raises, hamstring stretches, and lots of foam rolling. So that part isn't scary. The pain post-run is more concerning and coupling them together concludes, at least from my perspective, that they are related.
I am seeing a Sports Medicine doctor who runs (!!!) tomorrow morning. I can't wait to get a little guidance for clearing this up quickly.
I am registered for the LA Marathon which is in 17 days. I had big goals for this race and I am so very sad that they will not be possible now that I have injured my ankle.
I feel like it's my fault that I injured my ankle, because I did not pay attention to all the warning signs that were there, and I could have rested in January for two weeks instead of now for two weeks and been able to kick it up just in time to be in great marathon shape. I shouldn't have changed my shoes plus added extra mileage at the same time. I shouldn't have ran when it hurt and I should have been foam rolling every single day. I should have kept up with my calf strengthening exercises I did last year when I had arch pain.
It's hard to not be devastated. I know it's only one race, and it's one I have done before, but it's still my second marathon. And I only do things a second time either for fun or to do better. Well, this race wasn't all that fun, ha ha, so I was mainly doing this to knock twenty minutes off of my time from last year -- or in other words to run a sub-3:45.
Based on how my foot has been feeling today and yesterday, that's not happening. I am in a lot of pain and the swelling hasn't really gone down in general, only after a few hours of rest and icing. I have been icing, elevating, taking ibuprofen and resting it as much as possible, but it doesn't feel any better really.
I didn't realize how incredibly "on-my-feet" my lifestyle is until this injury. I have made habits of staying busy and staying on my feet to burn calories, keep my energy up throughout the day, and then sleep well at night. I make multiple trips down the hall instead of combining trips, for example, and I don't sit down from the time I get home from work (usually around 4:30) until I sit down to eat dinner. In between is various chores, cooking dinner, cleaning up the house, walking and playing with the dog, and, previous to now, a good run.
These are incredibly hard habits to break, and I found myself washing fruit at 9pm last night at the kitchen sink until my husband suggested I pull up a chair. I just don't think about things like that. I have a sit-stand desk at work (requested due to sciatica in my right hip/leg and back) and I have at least remembered to sit at work, but forget to not go on walks around the building or to Starbucks, or to combine trips downstairs to the cafeteria.
So for my second marathon, who knows what will happen? I have another couple of days until my custom orthotics come in, and then I am going to try light jogging, probably next Wednesday the 4th. Plan is to jog until it hurts, or three miles, whichever comes first!
Luckily, I have been able to keep up my fitness on the recumbent bike, but the pushing on my foot has likely set me back. Driving a manual isn't helping, either!
Partial tear in my tibialis posterior coupled with tenosynovitis. Four to six weeks completely off it for it to heal quickly. Considering low-level laser treatment even though I am skeptical.
LA is in less than four weeks. I would still like to run it, but I don't want to risk a more serious injury. The most likely scenario is that I run 2-3 miles a few days before the race and see how I feel. If my foot feels good, I will still run LA. If not then, well, another day.
If I can keep up my fitness I will be fine (I mean, I will be able to finish). But I had a lot of training I wanted to get in 3-4 weeks out, which will not be happening now.
In the mean time, I will be the sad-looking gal on the recumbent bike!
It's official. I have Posterior Tibial Tendinitis in my left ankle. I went to a foot & ankle specialist in the morning who confirmed my own Google diagnosis, took a quick x-ray, and then referred me for an MRI which was done at 4:30pm.
If you've never had an MRI it is a very interesting experience. This was just one foot, and it was very slow and tedious. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have an MRI of my back or shoulder.
You basically change into scrubs, remove all your jewelry, put this weird sticker on the area that hurts the most, and get into a roller bed which goes inside a tubular machine. You have to be perfectly still, which is probably difficult for most of us, but I like to think it was harder for me than most people. My foot was strapped in and about the first 10 minutes I was doing fine. I was very careful not to move at all, as this can affect your images. Then I started having to force myself not to even twitch and then mildly freaked out because my hands were going numb and I was afraid to move them. Needless to say, however, I survived.
I am waiting on the report to go back to my physician so we can discuss the results. That should happen by tonight or, worst case, tomorrow morning when I go for my follow-up appointment. I scheduled the follow-up (1) to be fitted for custom orthotics so this doesn't happen again, and (2) because I need his undivided attention for ten minutes in order to help me figure out how I am going to cope with this, heal quickly and completely, and still run LA in less than 4 weeks. Of course, the only way to get a doctor's full attention is to pay. :)
Today has been six days since I have ran. I did a short hike on Friday afternoon to get outdoors but that probably didn't help things. I cannot stand being cooped up. Having gorgeous weather here in So Cal definitely does not help.
On Sunday I spent 3.5 hours on the stationary bike and while I got a good heart rate going for most of the time, I just didn't feel at all tired during or after, which means this was not a good substitute for my 20-mile training run which would have left me exhausted. I felt like I could have kept pedaling for the entire day. I went back to the gym on Monday afternoon but my knee was a little sore since I am not used to cycling. I spent about 45 minutes hopping between the bike, the elliptical and the stair climber. I was nervous about putting any weight on my foot. While it was still a workout (and probably by most people's standards a solid one), I personally feel like I haven't done anything in a week. Except maybe "7 minute abs" yesterday which did leave me burning!
Being injured is difficult both mentally and physically but it's hard for me to separate which symptoms are mental and which are actually physical. Here's some examples. I feel like I need to stretch all the time. I feel like I cannot stretch enough, my entire body feels incredibly stiff. I also feel very restless because I haven't been able to expend my energy. Other than that, I feel unfocused, bloated, depressed, angry, and irritable. Doesn't that make you want to come hang out with me?!
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Running in NYC Part I
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