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.

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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?

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?

Monday Check-In

This isn’t my normal Manic Monday training recap, because most of last week I was still sidelined with a tailbone injury. I did have a nearly miraculous improvement (which you can read about here), but I didn’t want to jump immediately back into rigorous training for fear of prolonging full recovery.

That’s not to say, however, that I was completely inactive. Although I wasn’t running, I walked a lot. I walked for nearly an hour on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday on my lunch breaks. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy just walking. It’s still pretty good exercise, but I don’t get nearly as sweaty, so it’s a lot easier to transition back to work clothes afterward.

Also, Ben and I hiked Mt. Mansfield on Saturday. This was the biggest hike I’ve attempted since we hiked Mt. Hunger two years ago, and it’s also the most vigorous activity I’ve undertaken since I fell on my tailbone. It was a pretty tough hike, but my tailbone didn’t hurt at all, so I count that as a win. And afterwards we took a dip at Jeffersonville Falls, so all in all it was a perfect VT summer day.

Now that I’m reasonably sure that my butt’s all healed up, I’ll be easing back into running this week with a few short runs, and hopefully a longish run this weekend while we’re in MA for July 4th festivities.

Did you do any hiking or swimming this weekend?

Friday Free-For-All – 06/24/16

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I saw my doctor yesterday. It was my annual physical that I already had scheduled, which was a nice way to see a doctor about my tailbone without having to schedule an additional appointment and possibly pay an additional copay. I love my doc–she’s super cool, AND she’s a runner, so she gets it. We talked about what had been going on, and while she laughed a bit when I gave her my dislocation theory, she said that as long as I’m feeling ok, I can get back to running. I just need to make sure I’m healed enough that I don’t change my gait to try to avoid discomfort and potentially injure myself elsewhere. I’ll probably wait until next week to be sure I’m good to go, but this is very good news.

Ben and I are planning to hike Mt. Mansfield tomorrow. Ben has hiked Mansfield numerous times, because the trails begin practically in his parents’ backyard, but I can’t remember the last time I hiked Mansfield, if I ever did. I may have done it with my family when I was younger, but I honestly don’t know. It will be the biggest hike I’ve attempted in a couple of years, but I’m excited. It will be a good test to see if I’m ready to start running again.

I love my Gap Inc. employee discount card. In addition to getting a discount at Athleta, I also get sweet discounts at Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. After last weekend’s clothing purge, I realized that I only had one pair of casual shorts for summer (running shorts don’t count), so I headed to Old Navy after work last night. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a lot of shorts to choose from in my style, but I got one pair of shorts, a maxi skirt, and two tops for $40. Woo!

 

 

Bodies are Weird

As you all know, I’ve had this tailbone thing going on for almost two weeks now. I fell roller skating, and it hurt. I thought maybe it was broken, or at the very least, I had a severe bone bruise. The pain was at a nearly consistent level since the fall, so it didn’t really seem to be healing super well.

Well, on Monday, I decided to go for a walk at lunch. I was tired of being cooped up inside, and figured that since walking only caused me minimal discomfort, why not give it a go? I set out with the idea of just going for my entire hour long lunch break, however far that took me. It was really nice to be moving my body, and I was enjoying the sun and trees. All of a sudden, I stubbed my foot on the curb, and I lurched forward. I managed to stay on my feet, but I felt extreme pain in my tailbone region–worse even than when I initially fell, and worse than I’d felt at any point since.

I started to panic. Oh god, now I’ve done it. Now it’s REALLY broken, and it’s going to take forever to heal. I’m gonna be in constant pain for weeks. Of course, because I was now over a mile away from work, I had no choice but to continue walking, to get back to my office. At first, the pain was bad. Every step hurt, and I cursed myself for being so stupid and trying to do too much too fast.

But here’s the crazy thing: the more I walked, the less it hurt. By the time I got back to the office, the pain in my tailbone was the lowest it had been since the initial fall. Lower than when I got up that morning. Since Monday, my improvement has been rapid. I can bend over, sit, and stand with only minimal discomfort, and walking gives me barely a twinge. I suspect that the initial fall may have dislocated my tailbone, and when I tripped and lurched, I somehow shoved it back into place. I’m no doctor, but that’s the only explanation I can think of for the sudden, acute pain, and then the almost immediate relief of symptoms.

Thankfully, I have my annual physical tomorrow, so I can talk it over with my doctor and see if I should take any additional steps for diagnosis/treatment. I’m trying not to get too excited and jump right back into training, because I definitely still have some discomfort. But right now, I feel better than I have in almost two weeks, and that’s pretty frickin’ exciting. Bodies, man. They’re so weird. I fall, I get hurt. I trip, I get better. Crazy.

Have you ever magically, accidentally, acted as your own chiropractor?

Finding the Silver Lining

So, yeah. Injured tailbone = absolutely nothing to report on. Really no training of any kind. Which means no Manic Monday training recap.

As I said in my post about injury last week, I’m choosing to look at this in the most positive light possible. Marathon training was really hard, and the marathon attempt itself was very tough both mentally and physically. I needed a break, and the universe gave me no choice but to take one. And I have to admit, not being able to work out has had some unexpected benefits.

Because I’m not training at the moment, I’ve got a lot more free time than I usually do. My new job at Athleta has helped to fill some of that time, but I’m actually enjoying my suddenly-free evenings, weekends and lunch breaks. I’ve been reading a LOT. I think I’ve finished eight books since I got hurt. I’m extremely happy about this. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but these last several months have been so busy between marathon training, Mary Poppins, and life, that I hadn’t read a book in I don’t know how long.

Another excellent thing is that Ben and I are finally keeping up with our cleaning schedule. Way back when, we planned out a schedule where we’re supposed to do different chores each day so that we don’t leave it all for the weekends and end up spending all day Saturday cleaning when we could be doing fun things. In theory, this was great, but it’s something that we hadn’t been good at keeping up with while we were both busy. Now, we just come home and do the day’s required chore right after work (or, well, after MY workday, since he’s on break). We have meal planned and grocery shopped based on the meal plan and actually followed through and cooked supper at home each night. I’ve been able to do meal prep stuff for my workday lunches, which has made a huge difference in the quality of the food I’m eating, not to mention cutting down on costs.

This weekend, I did a huge de-cluttering purge and reorganized my clothes loosely following the KonMari method. It felt AWESOME. My drawers and closet were bursting with clothes that were ill-fitting, or ripped, or stained, or that I just plain never wore, and now everything is neat and visible and I actually have room for everything. I got rid of a ton of old, unnecessary credit card statements, insurance EOB forms, and all kinds of other junk, and I love it! I’m planning to further purge our junk in the hopes that we can eliminate our storage unit some time soon and save ourselves $65 a month.

So even though I haven’t been running, I haven’t been too worried about it. And the good news is, I’m finally starting to feel a bit of improvement in the tailbone area. The pain level isn’t as high, and I’m not having to be quite as careful when moving around. I also discovered that planking somehow doesn’t hurt, so I’m trying to at least do a plank a day so I don’t totally fall off the fitness wagon. I have my annual physical on Thursday, so I plan to talk to my doctor about the tailbone issue and get some professional advice, but after more research and talking to friends who’ve had broken tailbones, I no longer think mine is broken; just badly bruised. And if that’s the case, I may be able to get back to some activity sooner rather than later, which would be nice.

Have you ever heard of the KonMari method? When’s the last time you did a big clothing purge?