Add It To The List

3 blog posts in 3 days. Guess who’s baaaack?

So where did we last leave off?

Oh that’s right, the two words no runner (or anyone really) ever wants to hear: Stress Fracture.

But it gets even better (worse?) my friends.

My sports medicine doctor called me this morning with my MRI results – it appears I not only have a confirmed Calcaneal Stress Fracture but also a severely bruised heel bone.

From what Livestrong.com has told me (and really, Lance Armstrong lie? not a chance), deep heel bruises result from microscopic calcium fibers breaking apart. These fibers are normally interconnected to help form bones, so when a portion of the fibers is damaged, a deep heel bruise, or deep “bone bruise” occurs. Also known as a periosteal bruise, this condition develops when the outermost layer of the heel bone — the cortex — essentially suffers tiny breaks. These breaks occur when the heel is subjected to repetitive and forceful impacts, usually from rigorous sports activities or strength training exercises.
So basically a series of tiny breaks on a fracture.
(Also I hope you understood the sarcasm of the whole Lance Armstong/lying sentence above.)
My doctor referred me to the Head of Podiatry at California Pacific Medical Center- basically my first thought was that you don’t see the head of anything unless it’s bad. Like on Grey’s Anatomy – you don’t see Derek Shepard unless you have a really dire neuro problem. (I also realize I’m probably the only one on the planet that still watches Greys Anatomy. I do, and I will… probably forever.)
I met with the doctor who confirmed what I already knew – stress fracture in my heel, bruised bone. Then I got fitted with this little number:
(Please ignore the eroding toenail poster in the background. And note my NWM Finisher Shirt. The irony of the situation wasn’t lost on me.)
This my friends is my new best friend for the next 2 (godwilling) – 3 weeks.
As soon as he told me how to “inflate” it with air it immediately reminded of the Pumps shoes we had growing up. I never had them but always wanted a pair.
Not really what I had in mind.
In conclusion, the next 2-3 weeks of my life are looking like this:
  • Boot on whenever I bear any weight on my foot
  • Crutches as needed to bear weight
  • NO. RUNNING. Under any circumstance.
  • Biking/swimming/strength training OK (as long as I’m not standing)
  • Ice/Elevate as often as possible
  • Ice/Warm Wrap/Ice 2-3 times a day
  • REST (what does that word even mean??)

So I started off with this:

30 minutes on the bike – hill program – resistance 7 – 6.85 miles total

Took it nice and slow and finished off with a few sets of abs (done on my back – no weight bearing here.)

I got more than a few looks as I crutched into the gym, biked, then crutched over to abs.  I’m contemplating getting a shirt made (by shirt made I mean ironing letters onto a Cool Racerback) with the phrase “I HAVE A STRESS FRACTURE IN MY HEEL AND THE ONLY THING I AM ALLOWED TO DO HERE IS BIKE”.

That should get the message across no?

I’m hoping to break into swimming sometime this weekend or next week – ready to get my Michael Phelps on in the pool. And buy a workout appropriate swimsuit.

Hope you’re enjoying your night! (And cheering for the Giants! Unless you are from St Louis or Detroit in which case I completely understand why you wouldn’t care.)

 

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Stress. Fracture.

So um, this happened today.

Oh yes my friends, welcome to the world of a Calcaneal Stress Fracture.

Basically, it’s a heel stress fracture. It’s a pretty common spot for runners to injure, and typically stress fractures are a result of overuse, and happen over a period of several months. I imagine the dull nagging of last week coupled with running the half on Sunday was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or heel in my case. (Or at least this is what I’ve been told from the wonders of the internet/the sports medicine doctor.)

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons agrees:

A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone. Stress fractures often develop from overuse, such as from high-impact sports like distance running or basketball.

 

Most stress fractures occur in the weight-bearing bones of the foot and lower leg. Studies show that athletes

participating in tennis, track and field, gymnastics, dance, and basketball are at high risk for stress fractures. In all of these sports, the repeated stress of the foot striking the ground can cause problems.

 

Rest is the key element to recovery from a stress fracture.

 

The bone we’re caring about is on the lower left. You know the large one that helps you run.

The good: It was caught early enough that 10-14 days on crutches should be all I need. A return to running can than happen (albeit slowly.) I’m cleared for biking/swimming/strength training. What that means is that I will probably go out and buy a road bike, all of Lululemon’s biking gear and register for a century ride tomorrow while simultaneously joining a master’s swim team.

(Joking… kind of.)

The bad: Um no running for 10-14 days. That’s like telling Lindsey Lohan she can’t drink for 5 minutes. It’s that long. Goodbye Healdsburg Half Marathon. I hardly even knew you. Or your delicious wine tasting that would have happened at the finish line.

The ugly: The crutches. Need I say more? After 5 hours of these bad boys I’m more than ready for a boot.

The MRI confirmed that there is in fact a fracture. What happens next? The radiologist diagnoses me, sends my scans to my doctor I saw this morning, and he lets me know how bad is bad. Preparing for the worst (6-8 weeks in a boot) but hoping for the best (10-14 days on crutches/in a boot).

After my MRI I naturally did what any normal person would do when throwing themselves a pity party – I spoiled myself rotten. We’re talking pedicure, haircut, the works.

I also came up with a list of benefits to being on crutches. Try not to be jealous.

-Always get a seat at a bar/restaurant/what-have-you

-Convincing MUNI drivers to take me 4 blocks up the street to my bus stop just got easier

-Get really familiar with celebrity gossip magazines on the stationary/spin bike

-Get reacquainted with my swimcap and goggles

-Rekindle my high-school self and wear a pretty sweet backpack at all times

-Have dog owners feel sorry for me and quickly agree to let me pet their dogs on the street without throwing me wary/weird/creeped out looks

-Develop arms of steel

Any other suggestions?

I’ll leave you with some happy thoughts. This is Charlie. He’s almost a year old and he is the cutest, most adorable Golden Retriever since the one I met last week at work.

 

(Also if you can… go for a run tonight. It’s been 72 hours of no running and I’m already judging people as they run by me on the street. Do me a favor please and go out on a solid run… and enjoy it the entire time no matter what your splits/the weather/whatever is/are 🙂 )

Been A While

Oh hey there.

Been a while huh?

My life in the past 3 months has been exceptionally…. exceptional.

To put it simply, since we last chatted on… August 27 (motherofgod it’s been a while) life has included:

  • weddings
  • bachelorette parties
  • engagement parties
  • birthdays
  • Fleet Week
  • America’s Cup
  • SF Giants playoff games
  • pilates
  • running
  • work, work, work

Understand why I’ve been a little MIA?

But let’s focus on the running thing.

Leading into September I was feeling seriously overwhelmed with CIM training and the big goal that I had set for myself. I know myself well enough to know that if I put my mind to something I will not give up until I achieve said goal. My will power is freakishly strong and once I decide I’m doing something… I do it. No questions asked.

That being said, my days were frequently flirting with the 12-hour number (between commuting, work, commuting) and adding in an hour or so of running was leading me exhausted – physically, mentally and emotionally.

I started to re-think things.

After a lot of back and forth I decided not to run CIM this year. I also decided to run the Nike Women’s Half instead of the full, and to run the Healdsburg and US Half Marathons in October and November respectively.

The way I saw it, a Boston Qualifying time could happen in 2013 – when my job wasn’t so new, when I was more settled into a work schedule, and quite frankly when I could sign up for a race that I haven’t done before. Chicago and/or New York perhaps?

I started to mix in some biking with my running, continued to take pilates, and was hitting solid 8:20/mile paces on all of my runs. I felt fantastic.

Insert cruel irony here.

After an 8 mile trail run with Jaime a couple of weeks ago I noticed a nagging pain in my foot whenever I tried to run. Being a “smart runner” (HA) I listened and took it easy on mileage the 2 weeks leading up to the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I biked, I ran a total of 9 miles (sloooooow) the week before the half, and rested all day the day before.

I did everything right. So why is it now Tuesday, I’m having serious problems WALKING, my ankle is swollen, and I have an appointment with a sports doctor (is that what we call them?) for x-rays tomorrow to make sure I don’t have a stress fracture?

This is what happy fun running looks like (Giants Half Marathon this past September… that recap is also coming I PROMISE):

That is not how I’m feeling right now. It’s now been 2 days of no running and I’m literally ITCHING for a long run. Like I would pay someone large sums of money to magically fix my foot so I can run. Give away my entire Lululemon wardrobe to be able to run.

Okayyy that was drastic and untrue. I would never do that. Then what would I run in?

To come? Giants Race Recap, Nike Women’s Race Recap, and um… do I have a stress fracture in my foot recap.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’ve been toying with changing the name of this blog to reflect more of my life aside from running (biking! pilates! wine! SF! food! etc!) and that’s going to happen at some point. (Full disclosure when I figure out how to use the internet in all the tech savvy ways you’re supposed to know about when you have a blog.)

(Also if you’re able to go for a run today do it so I can live vicariously through you. Seriously. I won’t even be jealous. I’ll just be happy that SOMEONE IS RUNNING while I’m sitting on the stationary bike reading Marathon by Hal Higdon and pretending my sobbing tears are just sweat.)

I’m kidding. Kind of.

Happy Tuesday!

Treadmill Half-Marathon

I really got after it last week. (Promise I’ll have a training recap up tomorrow!)

After being wounded on Monday’s run, and several applications of Neosporin, I woke up Tuesday morning at 5:45am feeling about 90%.

Naturally I deemed 90% damn good enough to hit 6am Pilates- and with the exception of some knee twisting, I was on-the-ball for the entire class. True I got hit with a few shots, but I was not longer walking with a limp (See what I did there 50 Cent?) and therefore the next appropriate thought was towards my long run of the week.

Last week’s long run jumped up to 13 miles, and I was planning to do it Saturday morning. Then boyfriend’s mom invited us to the Giants game Saturday afternoon. I know myself well enough to know that after a long run I’m pretty much deemed useless for the following 12 hours and prefer to lay in a stationary position on the couch while stuffing my face with whatever available gluten-free carb is within reach.

Then my company announced a celebration party on Friday evening (a certain acquisition just went through and it’s nice to celebrate!)

It was becoming increasingly clear to me that getting up at 7am to run 13 miles and then afterwards having to able to function in public on Saturday just wasn’t going to happen.

It’s also becoming increasingly clear to me that after driving home for an hour, no exercise will ever happen so I force myself to workout at the gym at work instead.

I did what any sane person would do.

I took to iTunes, rented The Hunger Games on our iPad, trekked to the gym at 5pm on Tuesday, and hopped onto the treadmill.

I set the speed to 6.8 mph (8:49/pace) and pressed play.

And 1 hour and 50 minutes later, after completing 13 miles, I (in so many words) hopped off the treadmill. I will also add that I was ready to eat my arm off I was so hungry.

But none-the-less I had completed my long run. And after a day of 6am pilates, a commute, and a full day at work. I won’t say that it was the best long run I’ve ever done, or even that it was particularly enjoyable (it wasn’t, even while watching Katniss kick some ass), but I did it, and I feel stronger for it. Plus, I did it in just about the exact same time as my fastest half-marathon, which I was pretty darn happy about after just 3 weeks of marathon training (and several nights of, *ahem* beverage consumption at weddings).

My point here is that yes running on the treadmill is (generally) less-than-ideal for most runners. I’m probably of the 1% that actually like it because I can zone out on my Kindle and be a freak of nature while reading a novel. But it is useful for building up mental stamina and powering through boredom. And compared to running on a hamster wheel, no matter what race you’re training for will be a lot more exciting.

Besides that mental strength really comes in hand right around mile 22 in the marathon. Trust me on this one. I started talking to myself at that point telling myself that “You have 30 minutes of running left. Modern Family is 30 minutes. You always whine and complain about how fast that goes by. JUST KEEP GOING.”

Hope your week is off to a great start!

CIM Weeks 1-3

 

*Sidebar – I promise I will actually get my act together, purchase the storage upgrade and have pictures on tomorrow’s post. Promise, promise, promise.*

Oh hi friends. I promise this post will be no where near as ranty as yesterday’s post. (And in case you were wondering my knee is much better today- I was able to go to Pilates this morning and do almost everything (the twisting of the knee was a no-no), and… wait for it… I ran 13 miles on the treadmill after work in 1:50 while watching The Hunger Games on our iPad. That would be what I call a productive Tuesday.)

So my life in the past 4 weeks? BUSY.

Because I realized I haven’t recapped the first 3 weeks of CIM training yet, I’ll breeze through weeks 1-2, and detail week 3 so we can start fresh on week 4 this Sunday.

Let’s recap shall we?

Week of 8/30 – Work, work work. Run, run, run. Pilates. Relax Friday night. Run 10 miles Saturday morning. Drive to Wine Country. Wedding Saturday. Run 5 miles of hills Sunday.

Week 1 of CIM training? Low mileage. Uneventful. All runs completed.

Week of 8/6 – Work, work work. Run, run, run. Pilates. Spend the weekend in Marin. Wedding festivities Friday. Run 11 miles Saturday morning. Pamper oneself with a mani/pedi and a blow-out. Wedding Saturday. Buy a new TV amidst feeling like I turned 21 all over again Sunday. Skip Sunday’s tempo run due to extreme “dehydration” (to put it loosely.)

Week 2 of CIM training? Fairly uneventful. Skipped a run on Sunday, added it back the next day for a double day because I’m OCD and can’t live with myself if there is a run on my training plan I haven’t completed.

Week of 8/13 – Work, work, work, Run, run, run. Pilates.

Monday – Although this was my first cutback week, I added in Sunday’s missed 30 minute tempo run to the day’s 3 miler. I went to the gym at lunch to do the tempo (from 7.2mph to 7.5mph) and then went back after work for an easy 3 miles (8:20/pace).

Tuesday – 6 miles @ an 8:10-8:20 pace at lunchtime

Wednesday – 6am Pilates, 3 miles after work (8:20/pace)

Thursday – My first every Yasso 800’s! Hal’s plan called for 4×800, and after Googling what the hell that actually meant, I figured I should probably run them at 3:35. Instead I apparently did them completely wrong. I all-out sprinted the first, slowed it down for the next couple, and then picked it back up again for the last one. Hopefully it actually is indicitive of how fast I’m able to run a marathon… we’ll see.

Friday – 6am Pilates, 6 miles after work (8:10-8:20 pace).

Saturday – REST! After 5 weekends of bacheloretting, weddings, drinking my weight in champagne and eating my face off in cupcakes, it was time to sleep in, and wake up with zero alarm. Boyfriend went off on a 3 mile run (I’m secretly hoping to convince him to run a 5K with me this fall) while I hit Starbucks (grande coffee, splash of soy and cinnamon) and strolled along Marina Green until he was finished.

Sunday – 8 miles with my favorite running buddy Jaime! We did our favorite beach/trail route, and then ran up the street to Pilates where I taught two classes.

Overall, the first 3 weeks of CIM training have gone fantastically well. I’m somehow running faster than ever, and 8:20/mile is feeling suspiciously comfortable for all of my runs. I find myself pushing the pace to the high 7:xx’s a mile at the end of my runs, leading me to believe I do have something left in the tank, and that after 3 more mos of this, a crazy 22 minute PR may actually happen.

Or not. But who really knows at this point.

Stay tuned!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Ouch.

**I have Weeks 1-3 CIM training recap ready to post, I just need to post this rant first.**

So this morning started out pretty solid.

I got a ton of sleep this weekend. Relaxed for a solid 48 hours straight. Took an actual rest day on Saturday. Got a ton done around the house with boyfriend. Ate some delicious food and watched some fantastic movies together (Silent House and Friends with Kids), had 2 solid runs (6 miles @ goal pace on Friday, 8 mile long run on Sunday), taught 2 high-energy Pilates classes, and generally enjoyed the crap out of the weekend.

I set my alarm for 5:45 this morning, figuring I’d get my run out of the way early so I could come home and yet again… relax.

I snoozed once, then hopped out of bed to get ready and head out for 5 miles. My training plan called for 3, but quite frankly, running 3 miles does nothing for me. I’ve been running 40 mile weeks for the past few months and I wanted a bit more mileage this morning.

This will be a cruel, sick coincidence later, but I specifically chose my Wunder Under’s that are a size too big on me so I could save my Run Inspire crops for my longer/pace runs this week (when laundry is $5 a load you would prioritize your running clothes too), and set out.

The run started off great. Even after running 8 hilly miles yesterday and teaching two Pilates classes, my legs felt strong. I was maybe .75 miles in (halfway through the second song on my playlist, ironically Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Off”) when I heard yelling coming from BEHIND ME. A mere split second later a biker who thought he was the second coming of Lance Armstrong whizzed by me so fast, I felt his bike.

At that exact moment, I whipped my head around to see what the hell had just happened (Biker Man YOU came from behind ME, and since I don’t have eyes in the back of my  head, I can’t see you) and at the very moment I did, my shoe caught the ONLY lip in the asphalt and I went flying.

Like literally flying.

My phone flew out of my hand a solid 10 feet, and my right knee, right elbow and left hand broke my fall.

Resulting in them getting the sh!t scraped out of them and looking extremely attractive. Good-bye any and all hopes of wearing the perfectly work appropriate Shoshanna dresses Gilt had just delivered. (I’ve been having quite the Gilt moment ever since reading By Invitation Only and so far it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.)

After initially bursting into tears (it was SCARY), my mind quickly went to my $70 Wunder Unders. Yes, you read right. Once I had established my face was spared the asphalt, I thought about my clothing. And I silently thanked the Lululemon Gods for making me choose the one pair that I cared the very least about. They weren’t ripped, but I’m sure the fabric is a bit thinner at this point. And you’d be nuts to think that I don’t care about the well-being of a pair of work-out pants that cost more than half of our monthly cable bill. There, I said it.

At the time, I didn’t think my phone fared so well, but luckily boyfriend saved the day by… plugging it in after I wailed that it was “done. broken. completely done!”

Anyway.

Being that I was less than a mile into my run at 6am, I told myself there was no way in hell I woke myself up in the 5am hour to run a single mile. So I kept going. And kept up a pretty solid pace if I do say so myself. (And I do because I just typed it.)

Downer being there was no music because I was under the impression my phone was beyond repair. (Brought the phone because my Shuffle hadn’t yet been updated with my new playlist.)

My knee hurt like hell, but it wasn’t unbearable. It looked pretty horrendous, so I applied about half a box of band-aids to my wounds and set off for work.

Where I’ve been limping around all damn day.

I swear it hurts more when I’m sitting down. When I walk around it feels much, much better. My plan is to advil and then to ice the crap out of it tonight…. and then run on it tomorrow.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

The moral of this story is Marina Bikers – this is not the French Alps, you are not Lance Armstrong, and I don’t care how cool you think you look in your matching jersey/bike-shorts/gloves/sunglasses at 6am… you’re still not Lance. So chill the eff out.

(Sidebar- I don’t hate bikers. I really don’t. I bike. I have many friends that bike. Boyfriend bikes. I simply hate the bikers that think Marina Boulevard is their personal training ground for the Olympics and feel the need to ride at extremely unreasonable and unsafe speeds. I won’t even get into the children that are out there on weekends, or the parents with baby strollers.)

End rant.

Anyone else have a similar start (or finish) to their Monday?

Hope it turned around and you had a great day!

 

So It Begins Again….

Happy Monday friends!

Hope you had a great weekend. Boyfriend and I headed up to Tahoe after work on Friday to celebrate the marriage of our very good friends. We relaxed, slept in, sun bathed on the beach by the lake, ate amazing food (hello pretzel bread and cheese plate!), drank refreshing drinks, danced the night away, gambled (and won!) and had a wonderful weekend with great friends. My only complaint is that it just wasn’t long enough. 🙂

Adirondack chairs on the deck, view from the room, lunch on the lake, sunbathing.

Artisan cheese plate, diver scallop salad, seared ahi salad, PRETZEL BREAD

Pre-wedding cocktails, day at the beach, boyfriend and I, shots for all

Today kicked off something that a few weeks ago I was unsure was actually going to happen – CIM training begins!

Since starting my new job a few weeks ago, I’ve been absolutely exhausted. Chalk it up to transitioning from teaching and getting plenty of rest to waking up at 6am, commuting, working a full day, trying to get a workout in, and then commuting home again. Twice last week I was too tired to eat dinner. Literally. I fell asleep on the couch without my evening meal. That never happens. One of the nights I finally had some cereal around 9pm before moving from the couch to the bed. You can just call me waste-of-space.

My runs were totally suffering too. I spent a couple of weeks seriously huffing and puffing through the easiest of runs (think 3-5 miles). I was sweating profusely. Even a 9:00/mile felt hard. I wanted to give up. I wasn’t used to runs feeling hard. I wasn’t used to not feeling rested. I was used to running fast, and having the fast paces feel comfortable.

I thought about scrapping the marathon altogether this year. I told myself over and over again that no one was forcing me to run 26.2, or train for it, and I could be happy just running for fun. I thought about sticking exclusively to half-marathons, and throwing my training plan away, and just being happy running for fun.

Then I thought about how no one likes a liar, and that’s exactly what I’d be doing.

I love having a training plan. I love pushing myself. I love having something to work towards. I freaking love the marathon and everything that comes along with it. 20 mile runs on a Saturday morning included. (Followed of course by a giant latte and brunch.)

Then last week I (finally) started to find my groove. It had been like 10 days. Don’t you love how dramatic I can be?

I kept the 5:30am wake-ups (for 6am pilates) to twice-a-week, and ran 3 times (5 miles each) for a total of 15 miles last week. My pace gradually started to get back to where it was the past few months. (Moving forward I’m going to stick to Pilates 2-3 times a week, and running 6 times a week as per my plan – the Hal Higdon Advanced 1 Marathon plan). From intermediate to advanced in just on year – I’ve always been a quick study. 😉

Boyfriend and I have been running hills and stairs on Sundays (perfect for the upcoming hill training on my plan) and combined with pilates, and getting more rest (Saturday night’s wedding festivities aside) I feel like I’ve adjusted to my new schedule.

Naturally when my Google Calendar alert popped up signaling the start of CIM Training today…. there was no holding back. My sense of competition got the best of me… as usual.

So naturally I started training off right by forgoing my planned 3-miler to run 5-miles. At an 8:17 pace and felt like I could have run for hours. As much as I’d love to qualify for Boston, it may not happen this year. I have a new job with longer hours, weekends of wedding festivities and bachelorette parties, a full and wonderful life, and now marathon training to boot. I’m sure as hell going to try, but if the cards don’t stack up this year… well there’s always another race. More than anything I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this training cycle and marathon, and give it everything I have. If a BQ happens, fantastic. If not? I can only hope I still left everything I had on the course, and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face. And a PR. By at least 7 minutes. If 3:34:99 can’t happen, then I refuse to finish with anything over a 3:50. Oh no, not competitive with myself at all.

Only I feel like I’m using that as a crutch, because I have this feeling in the back of my mind that I’m going to do it.

Weekly training updates will commence on Sunday, but until then tell me – are you training for anything? Any big goals in general coming up?

Off to relax for the rest of Monday – have a great night!

(Also it appears I was only at 99% of my picture limit, and since I didn’t bother to read the fine print, I’ve been in the dark about that for the better part of a week. Woops.)