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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Running with Plantar Fasciitis & Post Tib Tendonitis

I finally feel somewhat back to normal.  Well, "normal" is relative, because I've never really been "normal".  More like that weird chick that says odd things at the wrong time.  Yeah, that's me.

But, I'm so happy to say that I've now been on SEVEN runs.  Whoaaaa.  Yes, seven.  THIS makes me feel like my normal self.  Happier.  More energetic.  Less anxious.  I'm still kinda dealing with that stubborn staph thing, and my throat is still slightly recovering, but being able to run, even just the three to four miles I've been covering, makes EVERYTHING okay.  What running does to my body and mind is truly amazing, and I'm so grateful for it.

I plan to keep my miles low and at recovery effort/pace for a while.  This is to both baby my foot/ankle in coming back and to build a strong base, as the longer amount of time spent building the foundation, the higher the peak in the long run...pun intended.

So, here's what I'm doing.  Like I mentioned, I haven't run more than four miles yet, right around 8:00 pace.  I basically run a set distance for three days straight, then take a day off, then bump up one mile the next day, then bump back down a mile the next day, before bumping back up to that one more mile for three days in a row.  Did you follow that?  Because I'm not sure I even did...    Yeah, so, basically, I'm running to a mileage threshold.  Once I'm confident my foot/ankle is ready at that mileage, I move on...

Lotssss of strengthening.  The minute I get back from running, I do calf raises on my stairwell, towel curls with my toes, dorsal and plantar flexion stretches, and then I get frozen cauliflower ice right on that sucker.  Okay, but seriously, Cooper eats a bag of frozen cauliflower every day.  Our freezer is overflowing with that mess...  weird.  Is this normal??

Mm k.  So what else.  What's been discovered is that my ankles, especially my problem foot/ankle, are extremely hyper mobile, which means, well, I'm messed up.  My ankles can stretch so far to the inside that it looks like they may snap off.  So yeah, that's not normal (I told you I wasn't normal).  This is basically a structural issue that I just need to learn to manage (baby what my mama gave me).  My hip and glut area is also very weak and tight though (yeah, yeah, tight ass...), which can also be contributing to my foot/ankle issues. So, with a PT, I'm having dry needling done on my hip/glut, trigger point therapy on my calves, and massage done to my foot with a graston-like tool that helps break up inflammation/scar tissue.  I'll also continue with ART therapy, and I have a nighttime regimen of resistance band exercises (monster walks, side steps, leg raises, squats; etc. blah blah).  

So yeah, this is all a lot, but I'm focused on getting it under control so I can really get back out there as I wish.  I'm sure all of this mess will get old after a while; it's sooooo easy to neglect stretching/strengthening; etc. post-run in favor of heading to the fridge for some chocolate and wine, BUT, it's super important.  So far all is feeling good, and it's fun being able to look forward to my next 26.2 again.

So, that's that!  I'm happy and healthy and hope you are too.  I'm very appreciative for all the support over the past weeks.  Runners ARE.  THE.  BEST!

Happy Running!

Friday, May 18, 2018

My Spring Marathon

"I think that taking some time to do what you need to do to get better will be best in the 'long run'".  Wise words from my brother-in-law (Thanks, Trevor :))...

Whelp, to say that this spring has not gone exactly as I'd imagined may even be an understatement, but that's okay.  Sometimes life throws us curveballs, and it just takes some extra patience, acceptance, and learning to finally knock it out of the park.  

My training and racing plans this spring were geared towards the Wrightsville Beach 5K, Monument Avenue 10K, and Broad Street 10-Miler.  None of them happened.  I've now been off running completely for nine weeks.  In short, here's why:

After some minor tooth pain, a root canal was recommended to avoid the potential for a bigger oral surgery.  In the meantime, my tonsils started being assholes again, resulting in four infections in six months, including one trip to the ER for oozing pus...mmm yummy (<-- sorry, TMI).  This was my last straw, so I finally decided to go for the tonsillectomy... uh, ya know, that I should have pulled the trigger on, like, 16 years ago.  So, I scheduled both procedures, only to get a culture back that week revealing a stubborn strain of staph taking up residence on my face.  Therefore, both the endodontist and surgical center wouldn't touch me with a 10-foot pole, canceling both procedures, and their concern sent me into a state of anxiety, resulting in panic attacks.  My body started aching all the time, and my blood pressure, normally very low, was stupidly high for me.  All the while, my heel was still giving me issues, so I couldn't run, and the nasty-feeling-air around the warm-nasty-feeling-pool was drying out my throat, so I couldn't swim anymore either.  I therefore had no outlet, blah-di-freaking-blah.

Fast forward to today, and I'm relieved to say that I'm on day 16 of my tonsillectomy recovery.  Tonsillectomies for kids are no biggie, but the older you are, the tougher they get (and since I'm an old hag in the tonsillectomy world, that shit was NO JOKE).  I wasn't allowed to work or take care of my boys for 10 days, was told to expect to lose at least 10 pounds (I only lost four, yay!), and I hemorrhaged on day six.  Not cool, peeps, not cool.'s over now, yay!  Although much improved, I'm still treating the staph, and I'll worry about the root canal a little later.  I had an MRI on my foot, which revealed plantar fasciitis, post tib tendonitis, and an ankle sprain (um, what?).  No bone issues thankfully, so as long as I can handle the pain (and I'll do some PT), I'm cleared to run.  Music to my big ears!  So, once the scabs completely fall off my throat (I gotta work on my TMI eh?), I'll see ya on the roads (err sidewalks), peeps!  My anxiety has calmed down thankfully, but it taught me a lot.  Anxiety was something I previously didn't understand, but I can now say that I wouldn't wish that shit storm on my worst enemy.

I'm not sure if a marathon will or will not happen this fall yet, but I'm okay with that.  It will happen when my body is ready.  In the meantime, I LOVE the fact that Atlanta was awarded as the Olympic Trials host.  Ya know, because I don't need to fly anywhere (<-- another anxiety.  Seriously, WTF is wrong with me??).  I often find myself daydreaming about being in the race, and it gives me chills, but for now, like Trevor said, taking this time to get better will only better me in my "long run".

I owe a lot of thanks to some awesome people in my life.  My husband for putting up with my shit, my parents and in-laws for uprooting their lives to come and take care of me and my boys, a friend that knew exactly how to handle a panic-attacking wacko, another friend with a sixth sense that drove to my house unannounced at just the right time to let me cry, an understanding boss, and so many others.  It can be easy to take for granted all the love and beauty around when we're constantly hearing and focusing on the crap and evil in the world, but throughout this spring, I learned how much good truly exists.  

So, I'll get there; the road just got a little longer!  And in the grand scheme of life, this is no big deal.  I'm a fortunate gal ... one that looks forward to seeing you out there on those sidewalks hopefully next week!  :)


My nuggets!  <3