Injured Runner Alert

Something has been up with my left heel for a while now. It first started hurting immediately after the VCM relay Memorial Day weekend, and I took a full week off to try to let it heal (no pun intended). I started running again and for a time, it didn’t hurt while I was running, only while walking around after, so I was able to convince myself that running wasn’t the problem.

In the lead up to Vera’s birthday, and then our family reunion and vacation, I took more time off running. I was busy, and my foot was still hurting, so it seemed like a good time to take a step back and hope that rest would take care of things.

As you probably saw on IG recently, three full weeks of no running later I still have foot pain. I went for a two mile test run this past Friday morning and spent the rest of the day limping. I honestly have no real idea what it could be. I don’t think it’s PF, because the pain doesn’t ease as my foot “warms up.” Maybe a stress fracture? Maybe Achilles issues? The pain sometimes radiates up the back of my leg a bit. Who knows?

I have been resistant to see a doctor up until now because when I had my last foot injury in 2014, I paid to have x-rays done and then never got any concrete diagnosis. I took six full weeks of rest and my foot was fine after that. But based on what’s going on currently, I definitely need to suck it up and go see someone. Thankfully, my GP is also a runner, so I’m hopeful that she will work with me to find some real answers this time around. I’m planning to call my doctor’s office today and hope to be seen some time this week.

In the meantime, no running, all the supportive shoes, and some low-impact strength workouts to keep me sane.

Friday Free-For-All – 07/19/19

Friday Free-For-All

Long time, no see. Yikes. I haven’t been reading blogs or writing at all lately. We’ve been super busy with getting ready for Vera’s first birthday, then traveling for a family reunion, so blog stuff took a necessary back seat. Also, I haven’t really been running or working out much for the same reasons, so there hasn’t been much to write about. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things next week, but no promises. Ben will be away and I’ll be solo parenting for five days which isn’t exactly a recipe for getting stuff done.

We turned our hot water heater up, and it is AWESOME. It turns out, our heater was on the lowest possible setting. I am one of those people who likes surface-of-the-sun-hot showers, so this is great for me. I’m also excited to see what a difference it will make for laundry and dishes and such.

I bought my first piece of non-maternity, non-nursing, non-workout clothing since before I got pregnant. I bought a new dress for a wedding this weekend, and honestly it feels like such a BIG DEAL to be buying an item of clothing just for me, for “real life.” And it looks damn good, if I do say so myself 🙂

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We finally got the pull up bar out of the basement. I’ve been wanting to do this for ages, but just never got around to it. Doing an unassisted pull up is my biggest fitness goal, so I’m trying to do some exercises each day to work toward that. It makes me miss CrossFit. *sigh*

What’s your biggest as yet unachieved fitness goal?

Friday Free-For-All – 06/28/19

Friday Free-For-All

Happy summer vacation to us! We just finished the first full week of Ben’s break, and we have been seriously getting after house projects. We cleaned the basement AND the garage, and finally got our garden going. Yay!

If you’re looking for some new running bottoms, check these on AmazonMy girlfriend Nikki swears by this brand, Baleaf, and got me a pair of the compression shorts for me birthday. All of their shorts, capris, and leggings have side pockets. The fit great too; no sliding down my butt or riding up my thighs. And the shorts are only $20! I can’t wait to get some leggings and capris too.

Baleaf Shorts

Photo from Amazon

I’m on a running hiatus at the moment. Remember how my left heel was hurting me after the VCM relay? I took a full week off and it seemed to be doing better, but it’s been up and down ever since. It never hurt WHILE I was running so I was reluctant to take another break, but I’m trying to be responsible and take care of myself. So no running for a week or two, and then we’ll see where I’m at. In the meantime I’m very busy with prep for Vera’s first birthday party (!!!!!), and I’m doing hip/glute exercises with my resistance bands every day, and rolling my feet and calves.

Vera’s first birthday is this coming Wednesday and I’m having ALL the feelings. It feels like this year had absolutely flown by and I can’t believe my baby is about to be a toddler. Frankly, I don’t really miss the newborn baby stage. Vera’s early infancy was very hard. Nowadays, she’s so much fun! I’m very excited to explore the toddler stage with her. I’m also very excited because both my and Ben’s entire immediate families will be in attendance–his sisters are coming in from Prague and DC, and one of my three sisters is making the trek in from Detroit (the other two live here in VT). We don’t have a theme or fancy decorations, and we’re not buying a smash cake. We’re focusing on a simple celebration with good food and plenty of adult beverages. Because honestly? The first birthday is more of a celebration for us having kept a kid alive and not killed each other for an entire year than anything else, haha!

Did you do a big, blowout party for your child’s first birthday?

Friday Free-For-All – 06/07/19

Friday Free-For-All

I cut off about five inches of hair this week. You may have already seen this on Insta, but just in case you missed it, VOILA! I always love having long hair, but with summer coming and a baby who loves to grab/eat/tangle said hair, it was time for a good chop. It feels so much healthier and lighter, and I’m very happy with it.

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Possible unpopular opinion: I really dislike when people post novel-length captions for their photos on Instagram. For me, Insta is about photos, not words. I don’t want to spend a ton of time reading a full-length race recap or your entire running history when I’m just trying to scroll through and get caught up. In my opinion, that kind of thing belongs in a blog post or FB post, not underneath your Insta photo.

We finally took steps toward having a vegetable garden this year. We originally had big plans to have a fairly large garden, but that kind of went by the wayside. This weekend we just went to the hardware store and grabbed some seeds. I started a few things inside, and this weekend we’re just gonna drop some seeds in the ground and see what happens. Even if we just get a few veggies, it will have been a learning experience and possibly be a net zero cost situation. Eventually we do hope to have a “homestead” situation with a large veggie garden, fruit trees and bushes, and chickens for eggs, but that stuff costs money to get started, and we don’t have any right now!

Our lilac is going crazy, and it’s making me so happy! This lilac was hugely overgrown when we moved into the house, and didn’t flower much last year. This spring I aggressively pruned it, and that seems to have done the trick! I got this white bud vase for a whole dollar at Goodwill, and it’s perfect for showing off the beautiful purple blooms.

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What’s your favorite flower? Mine is actually the Gerber daisy, but Lilac is a close second.

You Don’t Have To

Dear runner friends:

On this Global Running Day, I’d like to give you all a little reminder.

You don’t have to…

…run “fast”…
…run long distances…
…run races…
…use a GPS watch/app…
…keep track of your mileage/pace/PRs…
…post your runs on social media…
…own lots of fancy gear…
…eat special food…
…know all the lingo (fartlek? tempo? VO2 max???)…
…be a brand ambassador or influencer…
…look like a “runner”…
…read the books, follow the blogs, watch the movies…
…do anything except RUN…

…to be a runner.

Whether you ran today or not, if you run, you are a runner. Never forget it.

Friday Free-For-All – 05/31/19

Friday Free-For-All

Injury update: My foot is feeling better, thank goodness. I’m planning to give it a full week of rest before attempting some easy runs, just in case. I suspect that it’s something to do with my Achilles tendon and/or tight calves, so I’ve been doing lots of foam rolling and mobility stuff.

I’ve been on a sourdough baking kick. In fact, I’ve got some in the oven as I write this post! I’ve been working on getting sourdough “right” for a while now. I tried several different recipes and methods, and it just never turned out well. The resulting bread was perfectly edible, but it wasn’t the sourdough I was going for. Finally, I got serious. I bought myself a kitchen scale and started following Jen’s recipe and instructions at Peanut Butter Runner. She gives step-by-step instructions with videos, which were SO HELPFUL. Most of the recipes I followed just said something like “shape the dough into balls.” OK, but HOW??? Using Jen’s instructions has yielded perfect bread each and every time, and I will never go back to store-bought bread.

 

Sourdough

PERFECTION

We are counting down the hours to summer break. It’s been a tough school year for Ben, and we’re all starting to feel the stress. Thankfully, the end is in sight now; the last day of school for teachers is June 18, and we can’t freaking wait. Vera is just at such a fun age now, and I want Ben to be able to experience it too. Plus, we have so much still to do around the house and yard, and so much fun stuff on the docket this summer.

What’s one thing you’re excited for this summer?

A Great Race and An Injury

This past Sunday, I ran leg 5 of the Vermont City Marathon Relay. I had a pretty damn good race. I felt really good the entire time, and ran a great overall pace. I actually had to rein myself in a few times when I looked at my Garmin and saw some faster-than-was-probably-wise paces. And when I finished, I felt fired up. Excited. Ready to maybe run some goal races later this year and really see what my postpartum body is capable of. And then after I got home and got showered and started to come down off my high, my left heel started to hurt. A lot.

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Since then, it has become apparent that I’ve definitely injured myself. What exactly is wrong is a mystery. I can’t tell if it’s muscular or skeletal. I’ve been massaging and rolling the crap out of my calf in case it’s some kind of muscular thing that started further up the chain, but I don’t want to risk aggravating a potential bone issue by rolling my foot too aggressively.

I’ve been obsessing over what happened. I did a lot of things “wrong” on Sunday. Was it my new shoes, which I’d only worn on one test run prior to race day? Was it standing around for several hours, waiting for my turn to run? Was it failing to cool down and stretch out after the race? Was it because I stayed in my running shoes when normally I’d switch to my Birkenstocks post-race? There’s no way to know, and wondering will only drive me crazy, but I can’t help it.

I’m just so disappointed. After Sunday’s race, I really started to feel like pre-baby me. I ran hard and fast and it felt SO GOOD. I was so excited to start really pushing myself again. And now I’m stuck on the DL.

I suppose I could go to the doctor and get my foot looked at, but honestly, I’ve been down that road before. X-rays are expensive and not always conclusive, and I have neither the time nor money to invest in that. So all I can do now is rest. Which I am not good at. Especially when the weather is so beautiful right now and all I want to do is run. Even walking hurts, which means stroller walks with Vera are out, as are a lot of lower body exercises.

I’m trying very hard not to have a pity party, but it’s hard. The fact that this injury coincides with my first real taste of running fire since before I got pregnant is tough. I’m hoping to stay active as much as I can, with yoga and core work and whatever else doesn’t hurt my foot. And also try not to drown my sorrows in poor food choices, as I am wont to do.

What’s your favorite distraction for when you can’t run?