Relief!

For my first running injury  in almost five years, I waited almost four months to seek professional help. Not recommended.

I tried all the remedies for plantar fasciitis, which reared its ugly head the day after the Dallas Marathon. I even took time off. Nothing worked. It was better sometimes, but the pain never went away. I started to worry that I really botched my foot up by continuing to run – even though the pain was not made worse while running. It was the long runs that did me in.

After 3 miles on Monday afternoon and then again Wednesday morning, I was almost back to limping.

On Friday, I had my first Airrosti appointment. The doctor¬†didn’t look at me crazy when I gave my injury history and said I ran two more marathons and some half marathons after the pain started.

Then there was some pain as he worked with the tissue around my foot, but wha-la! My foot felt better and I could put weight on it. I was given some stretching/rolling activities and permission to run 3 miles over the weekend to see how the pain was in comparison to my two runs earlier in the week.

Warning: This does not feel good. But it works.

Warning: This does not feel good. But it works.

Saturday, I ran 3 miles. I felt good. Then we headed to Edgefest – which can be described as an all day concert with various alternative bands. It was what my daughter wanted for her birthday, but no way was she going without cool parent chaperones. ūüôā

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We even found Waldo!

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There was some walking involved, but by the end of the day my foot was not throbbing or swollen – like it has done in the past. I was not limping. I still wasn’t walking my usual speed, but it was definitely better.

Sunday I rode the bike for an hour and my foot was still the same as it was on Saturday. But Monday morning’s 4 miler on the treadmill (thanks to heavy rain) did not quite agree with me. Thankfully I had another appointment Monday afternoon. A little more pain, but a lot of relief. This time¬†I was given some balance exercises to work on. ¬†Now I can put weight on my right foot without wincing. It’s something I won’t take for granted.

I will continue to take it easy, as I move back into a regular running routine. I have a 5k on May 16, so that’s my next goal. Then a half in June. No need to push it.

Have you ever had a running injury? Were you stubborn about seeking professional help like I was?

 

 

 

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My Run Break

As I wrote in my last post, I decided to take a run-break for a week or two. Not only to give my foot a chance to fully heal, but also to break up my training and (hopefully) make some fitness gains. Last week tested every bit of my resolve not to run, but I sure came close.

The first two days, my husband was sick. The kind of illness that had me awake every hour the first night and sleeping on the couch the second one. Tuesday afternoon, our new dryer was delivered – the 16 year old one quit the week before. On Wednesday evening, when I was trying to catch up the laundry, the washer quit midway through the cycle. Wouldn’t drain. Wouldn’t spin. It’s less than two years old. I didn’t sleep much that night either. The rest of the week was pretty rough too. One word: teenager. By Friday night, I don’t think a 16 mile run would’ve relieved the built up stress. Emotional eating, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and I was feeling blah.¬†Thank goodness my favorite gelato only comes in a pint.

Saturday was better. I slept in and missed the 7 am group run. My husband and I headed out on our bikes once the sun was up. We toured the downtown area before the roads were busy.

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Don’t forget to hydrate!

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On Sunday, I wanted to test my speed and distance. I headed out on a country road and made a 12 mile loop. I found out what it was like to continually stay in motion on a bike for an hour. My legs were tired, and my seat was sore but I needed it. My mind needed it.

Post-ride Recovery

Post-ride Recovery

After doing yard work on both Saturday and Sunday, my foot didn’t feel any better from the run break.

Monday, after the Boston Marathon, my motivation was so high I went for a three mile run. My break was over after 8 days. My foot doesn’t hurt while I’m running – up to a certain point, but it bothers me late in the day usually. I’ve tried all the remedies for plantar fasciitis because every indication points that direction. It’s just not going away. Sigh. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and an Airrosti appointment on Friday to see what’s up.

How is your running going? Any races coming up? Fill me in!

 

Fairview Half Marathon

On Saturday, I ran my fourth half marathon for the year. I have never run the Fairview Half Marathon, but I volunteered for the 5k last year so I got a good price on my registration.

Of course, when I registered I didn’t expect to¬†be battling this foot problem that’s plagued me since the Dallas Marathon. I haven’t talked much about my first running injury, partly I think because I’m in denial, and partly because I’ve still been able to run mostly pain free. I’ve tried to pinpoint what caused it, but more on that next week.

Let’s talk about the Fairview Half.

I started participating in the Active Joe races because the reputation for them is great. Word of mouth, through running groups and the local running community speaks volumes. Also since I live about an hour north of Dallas, to have a half marathon within about a half hour drive is wonderful!

My running friend and I headed out Saturday morning with different goals and expectations, but looking forward to another race together.¬†I read that the course was hilly, but since I run on hills that didn’t concern me.¬†Life also happened the past week when our dryer went out. My weekday miles were lower than usual, which helped control my heel pain, but I felt¬†unprepared. My last double digit run before Saturday was the Rock ‘n Roll Dallas half. I planned to take¬†a week (or two) off after the race to see if I could completely heal my plantar fasciitis. I also want to give my body a break from pushing and see if it helps drop the marathon weight gain and build speed by changing things up.

So basically I went into the race ready to be done. I know that’s not the way to do it, but honestly that was my feeling. But I didn’t let it¬†change my race tactic.

But first, I donated some retired running shoes at packet pickup.

So I have a favorite shoe...

So I have a favorite shoe…and a problem apparently.¬†

The weather Saturday morning was perfect.¬†I started ¬†just ahead of the 2:00 pace group with an 8:45 first mile. By the end of the 2nd, I had my average down around 8:30, and that’s where I stayed until mile 8. The hills were no joke. There was a tough one at mile 2, and again around 6. But I focused on keeping my effort up. I spotted another monster uphill around 8.5. I willed myself to keep pushing, but as I crested the top I lost over a minute on my time. The wind had been sucked out of my sails. My legs were feeling like jelly and the four mile runs during the week sure weren’t helping me at mile 10.

By mile 10.5, everything was stupid. Stupid hills. Stupid foot. Stupid stomach. Stupid weight gain. The 1:55 group that I passed in the 2nd mile passed me. Somewhere in the 11th mile, I saw a runner down, with an ambulance and other emergency vehicles around. My perspective instantly changed to a prayer. “Please let him be okay, Lord.”

For the final mile, I pushed through with what I had left. My foot let me down and affected my gait for the first time in a race. I began to run/walk/hobble my way through the last ten minutes and was so glad to see the finish.

Not pictured: the chocolate milk I downed as soon as they handed it to me.

Not pictured: the chocolate milk I downed as soon as they handed it to me.

The medal is huge, and a nice windmill spinner as a bonus. Even my kids commented on how big it was. The mini bundt cake was pretty great too! My official time was 1:58:29 (pace 9:02) which was slower than I wanted, but not bad considering my late problems in the race. It further enforced the idea that I need a run-break to heal. I am glad l managed to stay under two hours considering my problems.

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Later that afternoon (after a shower, ice, and compression) we did some shopping.

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Now I’m not limited to boring hours on my stationary bike.¬†And since we spent money, my frugality won’t let it get dusty. An added bonus: Sunday afternoon my husband and I went for a ride together. He helped me build¬†confidence, because it has been a few years since I rode a bike. My foot didn’t hurt after an hour of riding, but boy my seat sure did!

Oh well, it feels good to be moving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding My Speed (Radio Run 5k)

A week ago, I ran my first 5k since last August. I had to go back and verify with my training log, but October was the last time I did any sort of speed work. Short distances on the track: 400s, 800s, 1000 meter repeats, ladder workouts. Short and fast. Recovery intervals. A workout that makes you hurt.

I had almost forgotten that kind of hurt.

As I lined up to start the 5k, I tried not to think about it. Negative voices swirled around my brain: “You’re slower this time.” “You’re not as fast last year.” “You’ve gained weight.” “You need a break.” I didn’t even know how fast I could run anymore. Sub 8:00 miles were a distant memory, replaced with¬†longer intervals and marathon specific pace work. Those evil little self-doubts crept back in, but I pushed them aside. “Just run, Eileen. Don’t even look at your watch.”

My fast running group friend was my rabbit again. We started together. I fell in line behind her and focused on an even effort with my eyes trained ahead¬†– not on my Garmin. The first quarter mile or so was up a hill, but I knew the payoff would come at the end since the course was out and back. Just before the turn around I was hurting, and huffing, and trying to even out my breathing. At the mile two marker, I briefly glanced at my Garmin to see the overall time – 15:24 – not my pace. I continued to try to catch my friend, and evaluate if I was giving all I could. Two male runners passed me in the last mile, and I tried to catch another. We ran at the same pace for a minute or so, then he pulled ahead. A woman on the other side of the road called out “5th female” as I ran past. I welcomed the downhill as I cruised in to the finish and stopped my watch. My official finish time was 24:25.

I don’t know if I was more excited that I ran without checking my pace, or that my mile splits were all under 8:00 with the final mile being my fastest. I almost always go out too fast for the first mile¬†in a 5k. My splits were 7:47, 7:56, 7:41. I also got first in my age group, a nice benefit of local races.

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I now have a base time to work from. Once I run my next half marathon on Saturday, I have a plan to change up my cardio and fitness that will hopefully help me shed some weight and gain some speed.

I picked up a couple of other trinkets the same day:

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It did feel odd to get a medal two weeks after running a race on my own.

Since we were just a few minutes away and it was such a beautiful day, I took the kids to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. They enjoyed it more than I thought they would and we did have a good time together.

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Springtime is my favorite time of year!

 

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