Weekly Workout Recap: May Week 5

This past week was a little different as far as workouts go. You may remember my post recently saying my IT band is angry. Well…it’s still angry. I haven’t run since Tuesday, and I have been stretching and foam rolling all week. Fingers crossed I will be back on my feet in a few days. This is putting a damper on the training plan I was supposed to start tomorrow!

This weekend we went to my parents for the weekend for an early celebration of Bobby’s 30th birthday. We went out to dinner Saturday night. Let’s just say I didn’t eat so healthy this weekend!

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Here is a look at my workouts for the week:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 35 minutes stationary bike, weights, yard work

Tuesday: 3.1 mile run, weights, 45 minutes elliptical

Wednesday: 35 minutes elliptical, 45 minutes stationary bike

Thursday: weights, 45 minutes stationary bike

Friday: rest

Saturday: rest

I definitely didn’t plan three rest days, but my knee was throbbing just standing up, so I thought it was what my body needed. Hopefully this week will be better! photo (1)

QOTD: Do you go out to eat or eat your favorite meal at home for your birthday?

My IT Band is Angry

Well friends, I have tried to ignore it, but for the past few days my IT band has been very angry at me.

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I am not 100% sure what sparked this anger since I haven’t been running, but I think my muscles have weakened in my hips with my “break” in my training, leading to the aggravation.

So, this is what I have been doing…following my own advice and partaking in some IT Band Stretches. I have been stretching, foam rolling, and massaging (and praying!) the pain away. So far…it’s still there. It’s not bad, and honestly it doesn’t even hurt while I’m running, just after. I know I spoke of my Dumbo training plans the other day, but I think I may put them off another week.

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It’s frustrating, I have been doing so well on the injury front being so careful NOT to overuse my body, that it didn’t even occur to me that on the OTHER end of the spectrum (letting my muscles get weak) could be just as harmful. You live you learn right?

The rest of this week I will be cross training and doing LOTS of yoga and stretching. There is no excuse for me to not get in a good calorie burn because I am taking it easy on the run. This girl is staying motivated, whatever it takes!

QOTD: Ever have IT band woes? What about another injury? How do you still get in your burn?

WINNER of the Disney swag bag giveaway is Ryan Boeckman! Please e mail me at heatherslookingglass@gmail.com with your shipping info!

*Don’t forget to enter my Outshine $100 visa giftcard giveaway!

Injury Prevention

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I’ve been a competitive athlete all my life. I started playing basketball in the fourth grade and played competitively through two years of junior college before transferring to UW Madison. I thought about attempting to walk-on at the UW, but came to the frank realization that I just wasn’t that good and I should probably concentrate on my studies. I was so competitive during high school that I played my junior and senior years with stress fractures in both feet. I was supposed to sit out 4 to 6 weeks, but just couldn’t mentally handle sitting on the sidelines. I sat out one game and couldn’t handle it; I lied to my coach about being cleared to play, taped up my feet and hit the floor. The pain and frustration of not playing was far worse than any the physical pain. This mindset, this need to be active is common in many competitive athletes. It’s this quality in athletes that drive us to be constantly at our best, it pushes us through the tough times and helps us excel during the good. But this quality will also cause us to abuse our bodies well beyond what we should. This can be seen across the sporting world, but is especially apparent in distance running where overuse injuries are common. During any distance run, every runner comes to a point where they feel discomfort, and have to decide whether to stop or to push through the pain. More often than not we push through the pain.

I’ve learned the hard way how overuse injuries can sideline a competitor for weeks and months at a time. I started running a little over a year ago to train for the Walt Disney World Marathon, and being the competitor that I am, I thought I could do more than I could. I pushed myself too hard, too fast. About six months before the marathon, I pushed myself on the long run and injured my knee. After a couple week of pain that prevented me from any kind of running, I decided to go to the doctor who referred me to a physical therapist, who then referred me to my running evaluator, Scott. Scott was a lifelong runner who showed me the ins and outs of injury prevention while running. He videotaped me running on a treadmill and then we played it back frame by frame showing my form and where it needed improvement. He then gave me techniques and advice on how to improve and we hit the treadmill to practice. If it wasn’t for him I probably never would’ve completed my first marathon. A lot of running stores, physical therapists and sports medicine experts offer this service and I encourage every new runner to have it done. Here is some of what Scott told me, and what I’ve learned along the way to prevent injuries and run pain free.

Start from the ground up – Pay attention to the surface you run on. Always running on the left side of the road facing traffic is good from a safety standpoint, but the constant slant of the pavement where your right foot is always higher than your left will limit the healthy pronation of your left foot and encourage overpronation of your right. Repeating this 180 strides a minute, mile after mile, week after week, can lead to injury. Find a flat trail to run on, especially if you are returning from injury or feel one coming on. Also, it may not be as nice as running outdoors, but treadmills provide a nice flat surface for runners recovering from injury or marathoners trying to increase distance.

Proper shoes – Each foot is going to hit the ground about 90 times per minute, which is over 5000 impacts over a 30 minute run. Your shoes are the only thing cushioning your body you against each blow. Having properly fitted shoes is essential for running injury free. To find the right shoe for you, go to your local specialty running store. They are a treasure trove of information and helpfulness. They will spend the time to measure your feet and then watch and analyze you run to get you fitted with the proper shoe. Many will even let you road test so that you to find out which pair is right for you. In general, you don’t get this kind of service or knowledge at the large chains stores. Once you have the right shoe, how do you know when to replace them? There are a lot of opinions, but as a general rule they should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles.

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Cadence and stride – In essence, cadence is how often your feet touch the ground and stride is the distance of each step. Typically speaking, the slower your cadence, the longer you will be in the air, and the harder you will land with each step, which over time may result in injury. To measure my cadence, I count the number of steps I take with both feet over 30 seconds and then double it. Not only does it keep my feet turning over at a proper rate, it also gives me something to do on the long runs. The magic number for cadence seems to be 180 steps per minute. This should give you a short enough stride so that you are light on your feet while not forcing you to take baby steps. This was one of the keys to getting me to run injury free. I was using too long of a stride and heel striking when my foot hit the ground, which is a big running no-no that I will discuss in the next section. In theory, your stride should end and your foot should land directly below your center of gravity, not too far ahead, this technique allows the runner for greater efficiency while preventing injury.

Foot strike – Foot strike refers to what part of the foot hits the ground first. There’s been a lot of debate whether heel, mid-foot, or forefoot striking is the best approach to endurance running. The mid and forefoot strike allows for greater shock absorption and thus can prevent injury, as compared to the heel strike. When I did my running analysis, I was running with the heel strike. When running with the heel strike each step on the treadmill produced a loud thud as my foot hit the ground. As soon as I was coached to run on my forefoot, there was a noticeable sound difference and I could feel less impact in my knees. It was awkward at first, it felt like I was running on my tip-toes, but I got used to it. To me, this with the single greatest change in my running technique that allows me to run without injury.

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R.I.C.E – RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These four things are the best immediate treatment for joint pain and muscle aches. Of the four, the most important component is rest. You need to give your body time to mend before taxing it again. You don’t have to be totally inactive, but just take it easy on the affected area until you are pain free. Ice is used to reduce the inflammatory response and pain of an injured area. Typical recommendations are to alternate ice and no ice for 10 to 15 minutes for a 24 to 48 hour period immediately following the injury. Remember, too much ice is a bad thing as it reduces blood flow and prevents the body from flushing toxins from the affected area. Compression is used to reduce swelling that result from the inflammatory process. This is typically done with an Ace bandage wrap. Elevation is also used to control swelling. It is most effective when the injured area is raised above the level of the heart which helps your body return blood. Ice tends to be the best friend of an injured runner but don’t underestimate or forget the other components of RICE.

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Listen to your body – This is probably the simplest and sometimes most difficult piece of advice to follow. On a long run there will typically be some sort of discomfort; choosing which pain you can run through and which is causing harm is a difficult task the master. At the first sign of an atypical pain or a discomfort that worsens throughout your run and forces you to alter your gait, you should begin to take it easy. Give yourself a rest day or two substituting walking for running or alternate with some other form of a cross training. When you get back to running take it easy, start off at a pace slower than your normal training and gradually work yourself back up. For competitors this can be a maddening process, but the price of giving yourself a few rest days is far better than having to sit out a week or a month with a severe injury.

Strength training your core and hips – Over the course of a long run, as you tire, weak core muscles allow for sloppy form which can lead to injuries. You change your gait without realizing by not having the strength to hold good form. When you strengthen your hips and core you increase your leg stability all the way down to the ankle. The goal is not bulging muscles but good solid strength to keep your pelvis and joints in proper position. A 2007 study found that of 284 patient that complained of leg pain, 93% of them had weak hip muscles. After completing a strength program 90% of these people were pain-free within six weeks. For recommendations on a hip work out visit www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/all-hips

Build mileage gradually – It is said that you should increase long runs by a maximum of 10%, meaning if your last long run was 10 miles the following should only be increased to 11 miles with adequate rest time in between. Newer runners, or runners coming back from injury, should keep this number closer to 5%. Your body needs time to adapt, typically two to three weeks between long runs. Pushing yourself too far too fast is an easy mistake for any competitor to make.

Limit race and speed workouts – There is a correlation between injuries and the frequency of race efforts while running. For runners trying to improve their time, regular speed training is great, but this kind of training is not recommended for average runners. For typical runners trying to quicken their pace a weekly, or biweekly, speed workout is good, but be wise about it and listen to your body. Give yourself plenty of recovery time. A good general rule is one rest day per each mile at race speeds. So a 3.1 mile run, at race pace, should be followed by three rest days.

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Stretching and warm-up – This is a highly contested issue. You can find arguments for stretching before a run, after, or even not at all. I will give you my thoughts from research and what I’ve been told, but just be aware that there is a lot of differing opinions. Through research I have found stretching before a run will decrease power, force output, and speed (i.e. it’ll actually make you slower). A dynamic warm-up, focusing on muscles you tend to use during your workout, will improve performance and give you the most benefits for your time. A proper warm-up gets the blood flowing and prepares the muscles for the workout ahead. On the flipside, it cool-down is just as important, build in a five minute walk after each run to let the blood return from the legs to your core. As far as stretching, my preference is to do it after a workout while my muscles are still warm, it seems to reduce cramping and keep me flexible.

If you have any questions comments or concerns: please feel free to contact me; my email is RaceDisney@yahoo.com, follow me on twitter @racedisney or visit my webpage www.raceDisney.com. I love hearing from fellow runners and hope to chat with you soon.

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QOTD: What is your best injury prevention tip?

How KT Tape Gave Me Pain Free Running

I had worn KT TAPE a couple times years ago, but it wasn’t until a few months ago when my chiropractor explained the benefits of it to me and how it worked that everything really clicked. He explained to me that KT Tape can be used to treat and prevent injuries, especially common running ones like knee pain, shin splits, and the like. The tape relieves pressure and also helps with circulation so that you can recover faster from an injury.

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Think of it like a brace, except without all the bulk! It can provide joint support and the best part is it’s water proof and can be work for several days. It can also reduce inflammation and help prevent muscle cramping.  Remember the calf issues I was having with cramping? Yeah. Wearing the KT TAPE, I have only had slight tightness, but no cramping, wahoo! I am so thankful it has been a great tool for aiding in my being able to continue with a sport I love. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to run without calf cramping ever again.

Why do I use KT TAPE? Not only for injuries I already have, but also for prevention. It really works and I am so glad I discovered it! Funny story…the first time I ever saw KT Tape was when my idol, Kerri Walsh, was wearing some in a volleyball tournament. I thought she was a little crazy, so I did some research, and come to find out it’s pretty awesome. My girl knows what she’s talking about (and now I kind of pretend like we are BFF’s since we both use and promote KT Tape…totally legit, right?)

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A while back I went to an orthopedist to see about the medial side of my knee, and why it was hurting so badly. Apparently overuse and bursitis are most likely the culprit, and KT Tape has been so helpful there as well. I was able to run the Disney Marathon and Goofy’s Challenge without any knee pain during the race. I am so thankful!

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You may have seen KT Tape being advertised at a race or expo, and may have even gotten a product sample and tossed it to the side. I encourage you to try it out and see what it can do to help with whatever sport you participate in. You won’t regret it.

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Be sure to check them out on Twitter and Facebook!

QOTD: Do you use KT Tape? How has it helped you to train?

2012 Year in Review

 

Happy New Year! 2013 seemed so far away, I can’t believe it’s January! I always say this but now I will spend months writing and scratching out 2012. It takes me forever to remember it’s a new year! So, what did everyone do last night to celebrate?

We ate pizza and watched LSU play in their bowl game, there were LOTS of fireworks going off and the dogs were none too happy about it. I put Sassy’s thundershirt on her because the poor baby was getting so nervous.

I wanted to do a little review of 2012, (like I did in 2011) to look back on the year and then look ahead to (hopefully) better things in 2013. 2012 definitely had some fun/high points, but there was also a lot of stress. DOn’t get me wrong, I had a blast many many days, but there was some yucky stuff too. Some of the things I have shared here on RWS and some I have not. There has been a lot of frustration and impatience, and trying not to focus on certain circumstances or the wrong timing of things. So, let’s take a look back and see what happened this year!

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In January, I was just getting back to running after a stress fracture in my foot, and  Bobby and I celebrated 5 years of marriage.

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February brought lots of running with the Rouge Orleans relay, and the Disney Princess half marathon with my mom. Bobby and I also went on a quick beach trip getaway.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

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In March, I worked the Running Skirts booth at Rock n Roll New Orleans, and then ran the half marathon.

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April brought Triathlon volunteering and running the Pensacola half marathon.

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In May, Bobby and I went on a cruise and then met my parents in Disney to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary.

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June brought lots of hot weather and Bobby’s 29th birthday. I was doing a lot more yoga and less long distance running.

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July was my 27th birthday, and a beach trip so Bobby could get his continuing legal education credits at “summer school for lawyers.”

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August brought distance running back into my life, preparing for the Disneyland half marathon and getting my coast to coast medal. I also flew to Boston to speak at the Healthy Living Summit and had a blast! We also hunkered down for a little thing called Hurricane Isaac, which ended up re routing our trip out to California.

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In September we went to Disneyland for the first time, and ran the half marathon. I got my first coast to coast medal, and we can’t wait to go back!

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October was an interesting month, we got a great deal too good to pass up on a cruise, we off we went with my parents as well. Upon return, I got very sick from a sea sickness patch, but still ran a half marathon (very dizzy one!) the day after we got off the boat. I ended up at urgent care that afternoon! I also ran the Jazz half at the end of the month, still struggling with health and injury problems.

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November brought more health issues. I went to a cardiologist, had an echocardiogram, EKG, and wore a holter monitor. My dad had a conference in Orlando, so off we went again, and then ran the Wine and Dine half, while I struggled with some not so fun stomach issues. We saw a GI doctor upon return, had more tests run including an upper scope, blood work, and a gallbladder ultrasound, and I ended up on Prevacid.

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In December, I ran the Woman’s half in Baton Rouge, and the Prevacid finally started helping me. We celebrated Christmas with my family and finished up our training for Goofy’s challenge in January!

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Whew! quite a year. Not going to lie, 2012 left a lot to be desired for me. I tried really hard to not let my circumstances define me, but I did get quite anxious and frustrated by things sometimes. There were days when I thought I couldn’t take the craziness anymore, but of course I could, and did and am still pushing forward. There are a lot of times I just want to forget 2012, but then I remember it’s those not so fun experiences that teach me and grow my faith. Even when it’s tough, God is there with me through it all, and there are lessons to be learned in the things we don’t understand. Sometimes it’s just not time for things to happen how we want, and sometimes we may never know the reasons why this side of Heaven, but we ARE told to press on, and that God will give us the strength to endure if we believe in Him and ask Him to help us.

In 2012, I felt like I was living for the next day, when “things would be better” and was constantly waiting for the next thing to happen, and I don’t want to live like that! I want to live in the moment, and enjoy the present. If God chooses to change my circumstances, let it be. I am not in control and I do NOT know best! So 2013 is going to be “live in the moment” for me, whatever that means for that particular day. I want no regrets, and I don’t want to wish my life away. So who is with me? Let’s Live!

QOTD: Do you have a big goal for 2013? Do you find yourself living in the present waiting for things to happen?

GI Issues Update

 

Thank you so much to those of you who offered prayers and thoughts via Twitter or my Facebook page yesterday concerning my upper endoscopy! Everything went well, and there was absolutely nothing to worry about, it was seriously no sweat! So this is how it all went down.

Originally I didn’t have to be there until 11:30 which frustrated me because I couldn’t eat after midnight the night before and I had no idea how I was going to do that. Luckily, I got a call the day before asking if I could be there at 7 am. Absolutely! Problem solved. We got up at 5:30 and drove to the clinic. I had to make big signs that said “NO!” and put them on the refrigerator and b my medication to remind me not to eat!

I checked in, signed my life away and swiped my credit card (ug) and then it was time for pre op. I had the sweetest nurse named Pam who explained everything to me. After changing into a very unflattering gown and hopping into the bed I was covered with a warm blanket while they started my IV with my “happy juice” to relax me, then they let Bobby come back and sit with me.

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We sat for about thirty minutes, and the anesthesiologist asked if I was ok and why i wasn’t asleep. Uh…I don’t know? Apparently most people fall asleep, so they gave me more happy juice!

Apparently I posted two photos of myself on Instagram and Facebook with captions that I have NO recollection of doing, which really, really freaks me out! (What else did I do??!?) I really thought Bobby did it and was messing with me when I asked him if I did it or he did, but apparently, it was all me.

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Soon enough, they came to tell me it was time and wheeled me to the back and I said goodbye to Bobby. I was brought into a dark room with a lot of machines and the nurse immediately put something into my IV, and I very quickly started feeling rrreeaallyy good. it was a very pleasant feeling. After that all I remember is them putting the little oxygen tubes in my nose, asking me to roll on my left side, and then them telling me to open my mouth so they could put in a piece to keep it open……

Then I woke up in recovery and Bobby was there, that’s it! It was over, so easy. They brought me something to drink and after removing my IV and wires, I was cleared to go, and even walked to the car by myself. No sweat! So, if you have to have an upper endoscopy, don’t be nervous, it was really not a big deal and I hate that I was so nervous about it now.

Ok, so results….still inconclusive. They didn’t find anything except for some inflammation of my stomach. They took a biopsy and sent it off to test for H pylori. He also sent me over to the lab for some blood work, something with my pancreas? I have no idea I was still really out of it.

So, today I go get an ultrasound of my Gallbladder, and then we wait to get the results of the blood work and the biopsy. I am hoping they find something so I don’t have to continue to pay a bunch of money for tests! That’s it, just wanted to update everyone. Will let you know when I know more!

Have you entered my Under Armour sports bra giveaway?

QOTD: Ever had a medical procedure that wasn’t as big a deal as you made it out to be?

Jazz Half Marathon Recap: AKA the Heartbreaker

 

Hang on to your hats, this is by far the strangest and most gut wrenching recap I have ever written for a race. It has a strange start and a strange end, so stay with me!

As I have mentioned on the blog I have been dealing with some pretty scary health issues since my cruise 2 weeks ago. I ran a half marathon 2 weekends ago and was very sick the whole race, ended up at urgent care that afternoon, then the doctor again later that week, and now a cardiologist today. I was seriously considering dropping out of this race, as I didn’t even know If I could get through it, let alone have a “good race.” However, I LOVE this course, and was sponsored by the awesome folks at Rebootizer, and I was feeling ok the couple of days leading up to the race so decided to give it a go, but not really expect much in terms of time.

Saturday morning, Bobby and I drove to the start in plenty of time for the 7:00 start of the race. We made it to the parking lot where Bobby stood in line for over ten minutes waiting to pay at the machine. It was dark, VERY windy and about 54 degrees, which is chilly for New Orleans! We ran to the start because I didn’t have my bib yet. There was a mix up, long story, so I had to pick it up there. We ran around the park area and finally found out where to get my bib. We ran to the port-o-potty lines, me pinning my bib on as we went. That’s when we realized the line was SUPER long and there were only TEN potties for thousands of people. Race #fail! I HAD to go to the bathroom, (TMI alert) not only because, well, I needed to pee but it was that lovely special time of the month and I needed to get to a bathroom. SO we stood in the cold, slowly inching up, as they called for the race start over the loud speaker. What can you do?

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I looked at my watch and we heard the start….still far back in the line. Oh well, at least we had chip timing.

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I decided to carry cytomax with me in a bottle because there were only 6 aid stations and only gatorade at the last three! Best decision ever.

We finally get to go, and run towards the start. We were with another guy who we had been chatting with in line, and there were no runners anywhere, we saw what LOOKED like a starting line and we started jogging toward it, asking bystanders if this was the start! It was ridiculous.

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The empty start line as we are running towards it

The first little bit of the race is an out and back for about a mile and a half or so. I told Bobby bye and have a good race and he took off. So….there I was….running…by myself….a few stragglers in front and behind me who also were in the bathroom lines. Then, on my left I saw going the other way….all the other runners! Basically everyone was staring at me in my bright pink shirt. Yes, I was “that girl” who missed the start of the race by about eleven minutes. Awesome.

My goal for this race was to start out slow, see how I felt, and then pick it up later. Well, that went out the window when I started to play “catch up”. Yes, yes I am aware I was chip timed and that it didn’t matter, but I feed off of others, and NEEDED to run with others. As it was I missed the big adrenaline boost of the start, which keeps me going at a good pace for awhile.

So I waved at Bobby as he passed going the other way, I wasn’t too far behind him, and made it to the turnaround. I made it back to the start area as the 5k was starting…which was at 7:30. I just had to laugh at how it was playing out. Not much else to do, it WAS pretty comical. So I eventually started passing the power walkers, and then the run walkers. I got slightly annoyed at the power walkers walking 4-5 people across the ENTIRE road forcing me onto the sidewalk, but in all fairness, the runners had all passed them…except for a few like me, but still…move out of the way!

I was feeling really good, but realized I was going too fast. My first 3 miles were in the low 9:40’s, and I made myself slow down. I also took the time to wave at all the police officers and thank them. There are a TON of blocks, streets, etc in NOLA and they had cops EVERYWHERE keeping us safe. I knew later in the race I would be more tired and not as likely to be as upbeat and talkative, so I was sure to do it early on while I could. I was listening to the Black Eyed Peas radio station on Pandora, and every song was a great upbeat song, perfect for running. I was having a great race, despite all my health issues of the past three weeks and lack of training.

I took a GU at miles 3 and 6, and was so thankful for my Cytomax, just to be able to take a couple of sips whenever I wanted. Typically running holding a bottle bothers me and slows me down but it was worth it. Miles 4-6 I made myself slow down and was running between a 9:55 and 10:05 pace, still feeling pretty good. At mile 6, the arch on my left foot started to hurt, which has NEVER happened before. I didn’t think a ton about it, and chalked it up to bad form b/c my right foot had been bothering me since my last race and I figured I was favoring it, causing the pain in the left.

Mile 7 took us into Audubon Park, which is a beautiful place to run with a golf course. It was getting slightly more difficult to keep the same pace, but I was still holding on at 10:00 give or take a couple seconds. We passed mile 8 in the park, and got to about 8.8 when it happened….my calf acted like it wanted to seize up and cramp (please someone tell me you know the feeling) I froze, and it thankfully released and didn’t fully seize. It scared the crap out of me though, and I got to the side and stretched my calves while I tried to get my breathing back on track from how much it scared me. I said a quick prayer for that to be the ONLY time it happened. Well, sometimes I don’t understand God’s ways, but things would only go downhill from here.

I kept running, but was cautious. Mad that I had wasted a good 20-30 seconds stretching. I hit mile nine, and as I approached mile 9.4ish, it happened again, but this time, it did NOT let up. Not only did my calf seize up, but the toes in my left foot COMPLETLY curled underneath my foot inside of my shoe, and I had no control. I immediately fell off into the median and to the curb. I ripped my shoe off, and had to pry my toes back straight. When the cramp finally released, (after about 30 seconds) I tied my shoe, stood up, and stretched both calves, losing about one minute total. Petrified, I started walking not sure what to do. There were no medics around…I was plenty hydrated… I thought about calling Bobby for help, but knew he was trying to PR and didn’t want to upset him. I thought about just letting him know I was having a bad race and would be awhile, but since the cramp had let up I just decided to try running again.

That mile (nine) ended up being about 11:00. I knew I had to make up time, so I pushed off hard, engaging my left calf….and it seized again. I couldn’t help it….I burst into tears. I was so angry, scared, and in pain. I could FEEL the PR. As I was running I was envisioning crossing the finish line, smiling, arms raised in triumph…and then this. Why. WHY?!? I stretched again, and took off, but this time, keeping my leg flexed/straight, trying not to “push off” or engage my calf. This worked somewhat, however I could only keep a 10:45ish pace doing this “hobble/run”. Every time I tried to pick it up…you guessed it, had to engage my calf, and cramping started. I had a few “almost seizes” where I felt like it was ABOUT to seize up but didn’t, but I also had three other times where I had to stop, and pretty much fall over onto the curb until it subsided, then stand up and stretch it out. My right calf did the “try to” seize thing 2-3 times, but it never actually did thankfully.

My Garmin was a few tenths off the whole race, not sure how many, so after I saw the mile 12 sign I wasn’t sure exactly how far I had to go, I was panicky and not paying much attention. My pace for miles 10-2 were between 11:30 and 12:10 I think. It just kept dragging on and on. I thought I had a lot longer to go, but then I heard cheering, turned a corner, and saw the finish line! It was about 200 yards away (I am TERRIBLE at judging distances so I could be way off here) and I looked down and saw I had 1:15 and I could STILL PR! Mind you it would be by mere seconds, but considering how this race had turned out I couldn’t believe it was still possible. I had PLENTY of gas left, I was barely breathing heavy, and other than my crazy calf and foot I felt FINE. I decided to kick it in and try for the PR. If you guessed I triumphantly sprinted to the end for a PR by the skin of my teeth….you would be wrong.

It was like you see in the movies…you know the ones where they are racing, everything goes to slow motion with the runner falling, and the only noise they pipe in is the beating heart of the runner, as they fall in agony then look up to watch everyone cross the finish. That was me. My “kick” turned into the worst cramp yet, toes curled under and it wasn’t letting go. I was in the middle of the road this time so I just flat out fell on all fours on the pavement. I didn’t care who saw or had to go around me. A sweet woman stopped and knelt down next to me. SO SO kind of her to stop just short of the finish to check on me. I had my headphones in so I’m not 100% sure what she said other than “are you ok I have been following and watching you.” I said my calf was cramping, but waved her on. So incredibly nice of her. I did the “runner’s stretch” on the pavement, hands on the ground, legs out behind me. I stood up, tried to walk, seized again. Wanted to cry, fall over, and just could NOT believe this was happening to me, and then SO CLOSE to the finish and a PR. The seconds ticked by, and I was finally able to “jog” very slowly. I am usually a sprint my butt off through the finish kind of girl, but this was a near walk. I finally got close to the finish and managed to catch Bobby on the side…video taping me, fabulous. I just looked at him with a look of death, then back straight ahead, and jogged through to the finish. Missing my PR by two minutes.

I got my medal, found Bobby, and immediately burst into tears. I didn’t care that people were staring. I was in pain, I was so disappointed in myself, and totally blew my chance. How did I go from running 9:40 miles to laying on the side of the road? This is a bad dream right? I was on track to PR by 5-6 minutes at least. I told Bobby the whole miserable story, and he felt awful that while he was PRing (which I am of course very happy about) that I was crying on the side of the road in pain. I stretched out my legs, dried my eyes, and took our after race photos.

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We got cold pretty fast, got some food, and walked for a bit.

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I heard someone yell “Heather!” and turned around and saw Jennifer, a fellow run pink ambassador!

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We chatted for awhile, I told her about my race, and she told me about her race in which she did really well!

We couldn’t tae the cold much longer, so we headed back to the car and headed out of town. I took my Rebootizer to help with recovery as well, which really works!

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Keeping it real, I was pretty ticked off the rest of the day. I didn’t understand why this was happening to me. I know God works in mysterious ways and has a reason for everything, but I was really starting to doubt anything good could ever come of this disaster, and I am still not sure exactly what is going on.

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So friends, I need your help. I would be lying if I said I was ok with this and wasn’t scared of it happening again. Something else I should mention is 2 weeks ago in the half marathon I ran sick, one of my calves (I can’t remember which) did the “try” to seize up thing towards the end of the race, but never did, and that was the only time it happened so I thought nothing of it. But now after this I am wondering if they are related. A lot of people are quick to say it’s low sodium or potassium, but here’s why it’s not:

1.) at the doctor last week when I was so sick they tested my potassium and sodium levels, both came back fine

2.) I ate a banana that morning (among other things) and had plenty of gatorade and water. Plus it was in the 50’s and I was barely sweating. If I was going to cramp, I think I would have during my summer long runs when I was sweating buckets!

3.) I had 3 GU’s during the race in addition to a bottle and a half of cytomax and gatorade, plus water.

PLEASE tell me I am not alone and someone else has gone through this. I have heard of calf cramps while running but not with the toe cramp too. Also, was the arch pain a part of that, a pre-cursor? Or totally unrelated? I woke up yesterday morning with my calves very tight and sore, and my arch hurting, with a big knot right in the middle of my arch, bulging out.

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Check out my left foot , right in the middle of the arch how it’s bulging out to the right towards my right foot? That is where the big knot is. I am open to any suggestions, advice, or reasons as to why this happened and how to prevent it in the future. Keep in mind I have run 15 half marathons and have NEVER had this happen ever, not even on a training run, except for that one time in my last half, that didn’t completely seize up. HELP!

I loved the race itself (aside from lack of potties) and am so thankful to Rebootizer for the chance to run this race. The product really works, and helped me recover after feeling sick, and also after the race and my training run. Be sure to check out their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter for more news and info on this great product! If you have any questions about it I would love to answer.

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QOTD: HELP ME! Advice? stories of this happening to you? Solutions?

Shoe Woes Update: Pink Power

 

Y’all, I am so excited. My new ASICS came in Tuesday and I was able to take them out for a spin on Wednesday. It was just a quick three miles, but that’s ok. Thanks for all your help with my shoe woes one and two posts.  Check out how it went in the vlog below, then scroll down to see my sweet new shoes. I am in love!

Don’t forget you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

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Aren’t they obnoxiously bright? Love them!

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Talk about #SweatPink! I wore lots of pink on my run to match my new shoes. Hey, I’m “running with sass” for a reason!

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Here is the full running outfit I wore:

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Smile

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QOTD: If you could design a pair of running shoes what colors would they be?

Shoe Woes Update and Childhood Sports Ramblings

 

Thank you to everyone who gave advice and sympathy yesterday on my blog post. Today I decided to vlog with a follow up, as well as chat about playing childhood sports and ask YOU a question at the end. (Cute puppy makes an appearance too. She’s very very sneaky!)

Hope that helps further explain my running shoe situation and what I plan to do/try next!

QOTD: Did you play sports as a child, and if so do you still participate in those or have you moved on to a different fitness activity?

Want to win a $1,000 spa finder giftcard? Check out this post to enter!

Running Shoe Woes

 

Oy. Back to square one. I seem to have a slight issue finding shoes to run in. No, I am not here asking for what kind I should run in, I know everyone has a unique foot and should be fitted at a running store, and I have done this twice. I seem to be a special case because of my foot injury and it is driving me batty not being able to figure this out!

I started out 2012 in Newtons.

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I LOVE these shoes. I had no issues in them, ran a half marathon PR in them, and they were super comfortable. But then, in June, I started to have foot pain which I went to the doctor for. At the time I didn’t consider the shoe itself as being the problem, and thought it was just me. However, my doctor told me I did need a more supportive shoe since I have a very high arch and pronate badly. It just so happened that Mizuno had sent me a free pair of shoes, and I used their awesome website to help me figure out which shoe was for me.  I ended up with the Wave Inspire which was hopefully going to help.

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I ran a few shorter distances in them, and really liked them until i got up to 8-10 miles, and I started experiencing hip pain. I have heard some people say these shoes may have TOO much support wich could be causing this pain. So, just as a test, I ran a long run in my old Newtons and had no hip pain…but my foot hurt, bad. Of course that’s when it hit me that these shoes were obviously contributing to my foot pain, but my Mizuno’s were making my hips hurt. So for race day I had to decide, hip pain or foot pain.

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I went with the hip pain because the foot pain is so much more of an unknown, and I didn’t want to “upset” it, while I know the hip pain is just tightness associated with my IT bands. As I mentioned in my race recap, I DID end up with a bit of foot pain during my race, and slight hip pain (but not too bad, however I was on Tylenol) and I thought I was in the clear.

Then, I took my shoes off. I decided not to take a picture because it was gross. Both socks were soaked with blood. Ew. I took them off and found the source, both of my 4th toes were very bloody, on both feet. Well, I guess that means I won’t be wearing my Mizuno’s on long runs anymore. Sad. Luckily, I brought my Altra’s with me on the trip, and wore those around in the parks and had no pain. See, with Morton’s Neuroma, it’s better to wear shoes that let your toes spread out, and Altras have an awesome wide toe box.

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Me and hubby in our Altra’s in Disneyland

My “issue’ with Altra is three fold. (The meaning of the box is three fold—FRIENDS anyone? 1.) They give me blisters on my heel 2.) They are a zero drop shoe, which I am not used to wearing, and don’t know if I will be ready to race in them in a month. I ran three miles in them the other day and my shins and calves were on fire. 3.) I don’t know if the zero drop gives my arch enough support.

I thought about wearing my custom orthotics inside my Altra’s to see if that helps but have yet to try it out, I may do that today. I would really really love to find a shoe that works for me and my crazy body!

QOTD: Have you ever had a problem finding the right running shoe, or any workout shoe?

*Please keep in mind I love all three of these shoe brands and am not knocking their shoes, they work wonders for a LOT of people, and encourage you to get fitted and don’t shy away from these brands!