Stories of a gal who loves to run. And eat. Probably mainly eat. But it wouldn't feel right just having a blog about how much I love to eat. So I had to add the running in there. Yeah, running and eating. That's me.
Today I had my longest run yet PPTT (post-posterior tibial tendonitis), 50 minutes of running, with walk breaks every 5 minutes.
I can't believe I am already back to running 5 miles! Considering I couldn't run for 7 weeks, and started out running 2 miles 2 weeks ago, I am pretty happy. My PT has cautiously approved me to start training for a set of races in July, and if my running continues to progress without issue I think I will sign up in a few weeks. This particular set of races has been a goal of mine for 2 years so I am hopeful this is finally the year I get to do it.
For my birthday last year, hubs designed a custom race medal hanger for me. We were going to hang it up and then one thing led to another and it ended up in the closet for a few months.
We are in the process of redecorating the gym so we finally got around to hanging it up.
I love it! It's so nice to have all my medals hanging in one place, they've been in a pile on the floor or hanging in the closet since last year. It has three tiers so it will last awhile, but I am excited to fill it up!
Today makes one week that I have been RUNNING again!
It has been way too long since I have seen this
My physical therapist cleared me to run last week and said I could start with 20 minutes, and take walk breaks. As long as any pain calmed down within an hour, I could increase 10-20% for each run. So Friday I stepped on the treadmill for my first real run in 7 weeks. I was so anxious! I desperately wanted to have a good run and not feel any pain.
I started out at an easy slow pace and it felt AMAZING to be running again! I had that "walking on sunshine" song in my head. I had decided to take a walk break every 5 minutes, and around the first walk break I started to feel some pain. It wasn't bad so I kept going. 5 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking, times 4. I had never been so happy to run 20 minutes! I had mild to moderate pain off and on, but after stretching and icing, it felt fine.
Sunday I did the same thing, and added on one 5 minute run for a total of 25 minutes. The pain started a little sooner, but was less severe. Wednesday I got to run 30 minutes and had almost no pain in my tendon, but I had bad pain in my left ankle (later diagnosed as shin splints). Then this morning I got to run a whopping 35 MINUTES! Again almost no tendon pain.
Now my dilemma is, when I wear the orthotic in my left shoe I get shin splints, but when I don't wear it I get symptoms of PTT on that side. I'm hoping the shin splints will go away as my leg adjusts to the orthotic.
Being able to run again feels so good, even if I'm on pretty restricted mileage. My PT is really encouraging that I can keep working up to my old mileage as long as it doesn't negatively affect my healing. Music to my ears!
Five weeks ago I ran the Heartbreaker Half Marathon.
I had been having some familiar pains from posterior tibial tendonitis so my plan was to take 2 weeks off and let it calm down. Last year I had the same issue and it went away with 2 weeks of rest and some leukotape to support the tendon. (The tape caused a latex allergy so I couldn't use it this time).
Two weeks later I hopped on the treadmill to test out my foot. I decided to go VERY easy and ran 1 minute, walked 1 minute. Before the first mile was over I had the PTT pain...worse than before. I stopped the treadmill and was on the phone with my sports medicine doc within a few minutes.
Doctor confirmed it was PTT and advised continued rest till the pain went away, and getting a custom orthotic since it was a repeat issue. I could also do PT, but since I am still meeting my $1500 deductible we decided to wait and see if an orthotic worked. I could continue to cross train and was optimistic it would heal within another week or two.
I went to a podiatrist later that week to get assessed for an orthotic. Podiatrist encouraged cross training, and warned that tendons can take months to heal since they don't have a direct blood source. My optimism started to dim.
I continued to cross train (elliptical and bike were ok'd by both docs) and ice my foot. Two weeks after my first doctor appointment I wasn't seeing much progress so I called sports medicine doctor. He was surprised too that my foot wasn't healing as quickly as it should. We agreed to try the orthotic and see if that helped.
I got the orthotic a few days later and started wearing it. Its been a week so far and I don't see any real progress yet. I actually had severe pain with it doing the elliptical but luckily that only happened once.
So that brings me to today. Five weeks of no running, and no better for it.
I have gone through a wide range of emotions...sadness, anger, depression, regret, hopelessness, optimism, despair, frustration, you name it. I have missed one race and will be cancelling out of another. At this point I have no idea when I will be able to run again.
My husband has been incredibly supportive and tries to help however he can. I've had about four big meltdowns so far, some days are better than others. To some people this probably seems like an overreaction to a minor injury, but running is one of the biggest passions in my life. It has been a daily presence in my life for three years, affecting how I eat, sleep, work, plan, and live. And it feels so wrong to have it missing right now.
I am trying to focus on the positive things...this has given me an opportunity to focus on cross training, and we are redecorating the gym since I can't really use it right now. With each week that passes, not running becomes more "normal." I am hopeful something will change soon. But realistic that it may not for a while.
I remember when we were planning our 2013 race calendar I said, I'm not going to do a race in January, it's too cold. But somehow I ended up at the start line of the Cascade Half-Marathon this morning.
A week ago, the forecast was 52* and partly cloudy, which sounded perfect for a race. However, that changed to 29* and foggy today. Definitely the coldest weather I have ever run in. I was only doing this race as a training run and to add another race to my 30 by 30 goal, so I didn't feel any pressure to finish in a certain time or hold a certain pace. I didn't even really look at my Garmin most of the time, I tried to just run at a comfortable pace and have fun.
After the first mile or so I had warmed up, but my hands and face were pretty cold. I could see frost forming on my eyelashes and people that I passed had frost on their hair and headbands. I had gloves on but after an hour my fingers were going numb. I took turns putting one hand in my jacket and holding my handheld in the other to try to warm them up, but as the race went on I lost more and more feeling in my hands. Some people had bare hands! I don't know what they did to keep them warm.
When I hit the 2-hour mark I was about 10.5 miles in, and I knew if I held my pace I could finish in under 2:30 so at that point I started paying attention to how fast I was running. Also I was slightly concerned about getting frostbite in my fingers and wanted to finish as soon as I could without pushing the pace too much since I was supposed to be treating it as a long training run.
I ended up finishing in 2:28:02, and for the first time ever I had a negative split! 1:14:15 for the first half, 1:13:47 for the second. I always have a slower second half so I was happy to finally speed up at the end.
The race was held at a high school, and they had chicken soup, bread, and cookies in the cafeteria for the runners. It felt funny going through the cafeteria line to get food and then finding a table, it was just like high school. We had plans to go to lunch after so I just had a piece of bread and some cookies. After the feeling came back in my fingers and face I changed clothes and we headed out.
Overall I really liked this race. I paid the highest registration fee since I signed up a week out, and it was still only $60. They provided Brooks long-sleeve tees and a nice medal, as well as a lanyard, luggage tag (kind of random), and hand warmers at packet pick-up. I really wish I had seen the hand warmers before the race! It was really well organized, and since it was held at a school we could wait inside the gym until it started and had access to real bathrooms and showers. Hubs, my ever faithful race crew-er, was able to hang out in the gym and use the school's wifi while he waited for me. I think I will definitely do this race again next year, but hopefully it is a little warmer :)
Crossing the finish line
Frost in my hair
My chin was numb so I couldn't smile right
Next up is a week off running, then training for my 12-hour race starting next Sunday!
Each year it seems I have fewer and fewer running goals. For me it helps to focus on just a few important goals, when I had a lot of goals they started to interfere with each other (i.e. increasing speed for a shorter race distance while also increasing distance to do longer races) and I ended up getting injured with overtraining.
These are my goals for 2013:
1. Run a 12-hour race
2. Complete 8 half-marathons (this is part of a larger, multi-year goal to complete 30 half-marathons before I turn 30 in July 2014. Currently I am at 16.)
3. Run 1000 miles (this year I ran 970 miles and was very tempted to squeeze 30 miles into the last 2 days of the year.)
Race calendar so far:
January - Cascade Half-Marathon
February - Heart Breaker Half-Marathon
March - Lincoln City Half-Marathon
April - nothing planned
May - Hippie Chick Half-Marathon (walking with my mom for Mother's Day) and Redmond Watershed Preserve 12-Hour Run
June - Helvetia Half-Marathon and Vancouver USA Half-Marathon
July - Fueled by Fine Wine Half-Marathon (birthday weekend tradition)
August - nothing planned
September - nothing planned
October - Autumn Leaves 50K or 50 Miler
November - nothing planned
December - Operation Jack Northwest 6-Hour Run
So there you have it! 2013 in black and white. Somewhere in there I will add 1 or 2 more half-marathons to reach that goal.