Saturday, December 10, 2011

Slowly getting there...

My schedule still feels hectic since the surgery. Yesterday was my second run, 2.9 miles. However, the hill that I recently conquered? I think it conquered me.

Getting to the bottom was easy, stopped to stretch a bit and headed up. Made it about 3/4 of the way up and my legs felt like jello and I was wheezing. I do not have asthma, but there was no doubt with that little whistling sound as I inhaled. So I walked to the top so I could get my breathing/wheezing under control. Once there, I started running again and forced myself to take the long way home. And I survived.

I kind of forgot about the wheezing episode, once I caught my breath, I didn't hear anymore whistling noises. However, about an hour after I came home, I had a tickle in my chest and I started coughing. I kept coughing every minute or so and felt like I couldn't catch my breath. By this time, I was on my way to work. Shaun was at Wendy's (next door to the school where I teach), so I called to see if he had his inhaler. Nope. So I ended up digging through my friend's son's backpack and used his inhaler (with friend's permission of course). I felt so much better and I stopped coughing.

I'm not sure what happened, like I said, I don't have asthma. I'm guessing it was a combination of the lack in running the last couple weeks and the cold air (it was about 30 degrees out). From now on, if it's below freezing, I will take Shaun's inhaler with me when I run! Scary!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Been kind of crazy!

My youngest daughter had her tonsils and adenoids out and ear tubes put in. Things have been a little crazy.

On the running front, I have been bumping up my miles. Each run has been 5-6 miles. I try to run 3-4 times a week, but have only managed 2 a week lately between the holidays and Emily's surgery. My longest run to date was 6.36 miles. It was tough. Luckily, Pastor usually goes with me and that makes it a ton easier.

Shaun finally conquered the Hill. Sort of. He, um, did not enjoy it as much as I did and struggled a lot. But he did it!

Hopefully, I can get back to a better running schedule soon. I need some warm clothes!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I visited my dad this past weekend and was rather disturbed. He is a big guy, tall, big-boned, and can stand to lose quite a bit of weight. And I realize he has bad knees and arthritis from a lifetime of sports injuries. But he was barely able to walk after getting off the couch, was hobbling around like a 90 year old man (he is barely in his mid-fifties). He made a comment that he was sore from mowing the backyard that morning. And FTR, it is a postage stamp yard, half filled with a pool and a barn. So, I am a little worried about him. I even asked him if he was this bad now, where was he going to be in 10-15 years? I told him he needed to start exercising rather than sitting on the couch watching sports and golf all day. He wasn't real interested in that.

So after my 5.5 mile run the other day, the snarky person inside of me sent him this text "Hey old man, I ran 5.5 miles this morning!"

He didn't respond.

I talked to him on the phone the other night and he mentions the text and asked me why I punish myself like that. I responded that it wasn't punishment, that I enjoy it.

So why do I run? Pastor and I had this conversation during a short run yesterday. He was curious if I felt it was a healing process for me due to a difficult childhood. No, not really. It's crossed my mind, but it's not my focus. I don't think about that while running.

So why?

It started out because I wanted to lose weight and I hated it. After starting and stopping a couple times, I found the Couch to 5k program and finally stuck with it. After nearly 2 years, I haven't lost any weight, but I am sticking with it and I love it now.

I love that peacefulness I experience while running, just me and the road and God. I love that feeling of accomplishment when I am done. I love (and hate) pushing myself physically beyond what I think I am capable of. I love pushing myself mentally, that when my brain tells me I need to stop because my body is exhausted, I can tell it "maybe later". I love the energy burst I get after a run, it's better than coffee (though it will never replace it)! I love having it as a way to spend time with good friends and my husband and my daughter. I love how it's a stress reliever when I am upset. I love running.

Running has given me a healthier body. Even if I haven't lost weight, I am still healthier than I was 2 years ago. Running has given me confidence I didn't realize I had lost. Running has given me a sense of inner strength. Running has given me a way to break through obstacles in life.

Running is a gift I give myself every time I go out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

6 days, 3 runs, 12.75 miles

Wednesday, 4 miles
Saturday, 3.25 miles
Today, 5.5 miles

I am definitely bumping up my game now. And you know what? I feel better with these longer distances than with the shorter ones. It almost feels easier in a way. I guess I was ready to move on. A new route probably helps too.

There is a half-marathon relay coming up in less than a month. Shaun and I are considering it, but he is worried about the weather. There is a 5k that day too, so maybe we will do that instead. 3.1 miles in crappy weather is better than 6.55!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perfect time of year

Fall is the perfect time of year to run. Perfect temperatures, smelling the leaves, all that good stuff.

I haven't ran since Saturday (I did 2.8 miles that day). Sick child and only about 6 hours of sleep in 3 days, I just wasn't feeling up to anything strenuous. So this morning I texted Pastor (of course) to see if he was feeling up to a run. Of course he was!

I should know by now, that every time we run together, he pushes me. Usually far beyond I think I can go. But for some reason, I enjoy running with him and maybe I am a glutton for punishment. Or perhaps, unconsciously, I want to be pushed. Either way, I know what I'm in for when I ask him to run.

So we meet up and venture off on a slightly different route than usual, but will still take us to our normal turnaround spot. We get close and he suggest continuing on down the road and down this ginormous hill. I concede. Running down the hill was so much fun! As long as I didn't look behind me anyway.....

We get to the bottom and stretch a bit. After a few minutes, I said "let's go, I won't be any more ready to do this than I am now." So we went back up the hill.

It's a pretty big hill. We live at one of the highest points in the county. It goes up a bit, levels off, goes up a bit, levels off, get the point. At one point, we had to stop due to a tractor and traffic (didn't want to get run over) and we walked one of the level parts. In all honesty, the hill wasn't as bad as I had always thought it would be.

The rest of the run was good. We did walk a few times. But physically I felt great! We got to the end of my street where I decided I would be done and walk home. He didn't agree and suggested we run back down to the other end of my street. I agree on the condition that I walk home from the other end as I had enough of hills for the morning. So we did. Back at my driveway, my distance was 3.88 miles. He told me to finish up to 4 and I did.

Pastor definitely pushed me today. I conquered 4 mills and the ginormous hill. I'm not sore anywhere yet as of 2 hours post run. Lots of water today. Maybe I can get Caitlin out to run today, she hasn't ran since the 5k. If I feel up to it, maybe we will both go out together. Or maybe she will get on the treadmill. We will see.

But I feel good. Really good.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Good and the Very Bad

Two days post-race, I decided to go for a 3 mile run. The 3 miles did NOT happen. My legs cramped up something fierce and no matter how I stretched or tried to walk it out, there was no relief. And the wind. It was extremely windy, and I was heading into it probably 80% of my run. I couldn't get away from it. It was like trying to run straight into concrete. I made it 2.1 miles and was done. Finished. Worst run ever.

I got over it pretty fast though.

Today, 2 days after crappy run, it was a little windy and rainy and chilly. But I bundled up and headed out anyway. I didn't set a distance, just figured I would go with the flow. My calves cramped up somewhat and stretching helped. I stayed warm and dry in my clothes and managed 2.55 miles. I was happy with it.

I set a time frame for myself of a max of 2 weeks to get comfortable with a 2.5 mile distance. Then I will add a half mile for another 2 weeks and go from there. I hope to be doing 4 to 5 mile runs soon. And I still need to work on my confidence. But I am getting there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Post Race

I am so proud of Caitlin, she did great!

Pastor ended up running with her, as Shaun ended up having to work. Her first 2 miles were 10 minutes miles and her third was nearly 15 minutes. She struggled. But Pastor encouraged her and kept her going. She ran the entire race in 34:52 and placed 10th in her age group. This morning she is sore and tired, but says she is going to keep running. She is awesome!

I did great my first 2 miles as well, I paced exactly 11:30 each one (those intervals are already paying off). And like Caitlin, I struggled that third mile. I did very briefly walk 3 times during that last mile, but I am still very happy with my race. I finished in 38:38, a personal record for me, by a minute and a half.

I think we both struggled that last mile because we have only been running 2 miles. I am going to start running 3 miles each time I go out instead of 2. And it won't be long until I am ready for my next race!

The race itself was a blast! It was very well organized and had a Halloween theme. Tons of great post-race snacks, hot apple cider, fun music, fabulous door-prizes, and the trophies were a hoot. People were dressed up in costumes. It was a great race for Caitlin's first, she had a lot of fun! Kudos to the organizers, we hope to do it again next year!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tomorrow is Race Day

I am pumped! Tomorrow is the Trek or Treat 5k. I am going to run the whole thing. Pastor has helped break down that wall that makes me want to walk. Between watching the Chicago Marathon and the interval training last Monday, I have confidence. Witnessing the marathon itself and how Pastor struggled with his training over the summer, made me realize how wimpy my 3.1 mile struggle is. A 5k is nothing. As for the intervals, Pastor definitely pushed me far beyond the point where my brain is telling my body to flip to the "Off" switch.

I can do this. I am ready.

Caitlin will be running in this race as well. I talked Shaun into running with her so I don't have to worry about her wimping out on me. I know she will struggle. Tomorrow will complete Week 6 for her (25 minute run). And the way she complains and cries about every ache and pain during her training, she will end up walking part of it.

Don't get me wrong, I am proud of her, she is doing great! But she needs to toughen up a bit. I told her the other day that running is hard, there will be pain, that she needs to get past that in order to enjoy it. I think this race will be pivotal for her, she will either decide to continue running and yearn for more, or she will decide she is done and it's too hard. Either way, I am still proud of her. She had a goal, she worked hard for it, and she will meet it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Braving it

Fall is here. Changing leaves, the crisp cool air, cooler temperatures. I love it!

This year, fall is bringing wind and rain along with it. While I don't mind the rain so much, I hate wind.

Today (and the last couple days) have been like that. Windy and rainy. I didn't run yesterday, I just wasn't feeling it. But I was determined to go out today.

I got up early, got the kids started this morning, and headed to the hospital for my blood work. Ate a granola bar on the way home and debated on running outside or as Pastor calls it, The Dreadmill. I definitely was not in the mood to stare at clutter, so outside it was.

Fortunately, it was only misting. The wind was gusty though. And it was under 50 degrees.

So I dressed for the weather in my new long sleeve running shirt, new jacket, and new headband (I love it, it says "One Bad Mother Runner"). Started stretching and had to run back inside and grab some gloves. I stayed pretty warm.

I wasn't too sure what my plan was, so I just started running. Three miles would have been fabulous, so in my head, I planned to go around the block twice and down this one road that would take me pretty close to three miles, maybe slightly over. I made it around my block and on down the road and I was getting a little tired, but I was feeling pretty good. Until I got close to my street and a huge gust of wind just about knocked me over!

I was done! I turned onto my road instead of going straight and headed home. I ran 2 miles exactly and I give myself mental credit for the third just for braving the elements.

My time was 25:26, so about a 12:43 mile which is great for me! I have been averaging about a minute slower per mile.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finally got some intervals in!

Saturday. It was too windy for me. 30+ mph winds. Crazy!

Sunday. We had a busy day hanging out with various friends. It was awesome and we had a blast.

Monday. It was chilly and breezy. No more excuses! I texted Pastor to meet me at the track and he complied. He is an awesome friend and coach like that! We did 2 laps to warmup and stretch. Then onto intervals. We did 4 laps, sprinting the long stretch and finishing the lap at a slow run. Then we stopped to stretch a bit and so I could learn to breathe again.

Originally, we planned to do 4 more interval laps. But Pastor had a different idea. He thought it would boost my confidence to beat my PR on a 1 mile run (which is slightly over 12 minutes). My brain immediately went into are-you-freaking-crazy-I-just-did-4-freaking-laps-of-intervals-I'll-be-lucky-to-have-2-more-freaking-laps-in-me-let-alone-4 mode. Then I shrugged my shoulders and said "Let's go".

Pastor decided I would do an 11 minute mile, about 2 minutes and 45 seconds per lap. He would pace me and annoy the crap out of me to keep me going. So I pushed. After the second lap, I felt done. I was exhausted. My side was started to cramp, my calves were burning, my nose was running, and my breathing sounded like an angry buffalo.

But you know what's cool about Pastor? He doesn't let me give up. He knew I was struggling. But he didn't let up on me. He continued to pace me and spew motivational words at me and I managed that third lap, barely. The fourth lap, I was mostly numb. I had really been pushing. But I finally made it. Even managed to pick up some speed on the home stretch.

My time? Well, once I could breathe again, Pastor told me. We ran one mile in 11:07. Beat my previous PR by a whole minute. Woohoo!

And you know what else? I didn't decide I was finished then wither. I told Pastor that 2 more laps would put me at 3 miles for the day. My only stipulation was "Can we go slow?". So we did it. And plus one. Total mileage this morning 3.25.

Thanks Pastor! I don't think I could've accomplished so much today without you!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Screw it

That's what I said yesterday morning. Screw it, I am going for a run. I still had a slightly sore shin and my foot felt a little tight, but I went out anyway and pushed myself. I ran 2.75 miles in 35 minutes and 49 seconds. Basically, I went around the block twice. I had to stop for a bathroom break after my first time around and I stopped to stretch once. I feel good about my run. Of course my shins are sore again today, but they aren't much worse. So I guess that is good.

I was telling Pastor yesterday, I want to get to the point where I am running 3, 4, and 5 miles at a time on a regular basis. I want 10-15 mile weeks. Right now, I am at 6-10 mile weeks. If I can get to that point, I would be comfortable starting training for a half-marathon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Resting today

I did a 30 minute run yesterday. It was the first time my shins have bothered me since I started this running style. It was mild, but still a little bothersome. Not sure if it was from pushing a 25 minute and a 30 minute run back to back like that, plus all the walking in Chicago. Maybe my body just isn't quite used to that yet. So I am resting today to let my body heal up a bit.

I admit, this disappoints me a bit. Shin pain was the biggest reason I went with minimalism and I haven't had it since I made the switch. Hopefully this won't last and it won't bother me again.

I can't wait for the day I can just go out and run 5 miles without a second thought!

Minimilism in a Nutshell

Since the creation of mankind, people have run barefoot. Our bodies were designed to run. Have you ever actually watched a young child run? Not only are they having fun, but pay attention to their style: mid-foot strike, foot landing beneath their body. THAT is how we are supposed to run.

Over the last maybe 50 years (I am guessing here), shoe companies decided we need cushioning and arch support and this and that. And I agree there are people that do, in fact, need that support. However, the vast majority do not. Not only do conventional shoes affect your stride, but they also weaken the muscles in your feet and can damage your knees, hips, and

I have no desire to go out and run completely barefoot. But I totally agree with the concept. Minimalist shoes are a good alternative. My husband even recently jumped on my bandwagon on minimalism and bought a pair of New Balance minimalist shoes. He loves them! And like me, he is now running pain free - no more pain in his knees and hips from running.

Minimalism/Barefoot is NOT something you should immediately go out and do. Like I said, your foot muscles are weak from conventional shoes and you must strengthen them. There are you can do that will help. As far as running, take it slow. For me, using the Couch to 5k program worked well for my transition. It built up my running distance gradually over a period of time.

Will there be pain involved? Yes, you are building muscle. Your feet and calves will ache and burn. Take care of yourself, stretch well, and listen to your body and you will be fine. (Stealing an example from my favorite minimalist website):

Neo: "Why do my eyes hurt?"
Morpheous: "Because you've never used them before."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicago Marathon

It was awesome! Pastor finished at about 5 hours which I think is phenomenal considering a month ago he didn't think he would make it at all due to injuries. Great job Pastor!

It was awe-inspiring. We were waited for Pastor at just before the 26 mile marker to cheer him on. It was crazy watching the steady stream of runners, hundreds of people passing by every minute. It would not surprise me in the least if someone told me I watching 10,000 runners go by in that hour. We cheered them on, we gave high fives. We saw Spiderman and Buzz Lightyear running, as well as 2 cavemen. It was really cool!

Was I personally inspired? Yes, I couldn't wait until my next run. And after watching those guys run 26.2 miles, my measly 25 minute run didn't seem so hard anymore. And....I am tentatively considering a half marathon in Columbus next fall. If I can talk myself into it.

On a side note, my heart goes out to the family and friends of the runner who collapsed and later died at the Chicago Marathon. Say an extra prayer for them.

Goodbye Week 6!

5 minute walking warm up, 25 minute run

Despite not running the last 5 days, walking all over Chicago for 2 days, and spending 12 hours in the car over the weekend, I went for a run first thing this morning. I could tell my body was a little tight, but it felt good to get it out! I have been so antsy about running since Saturday, I even lost sleep! But it just wasn't possible.

I felt good this morning, I didn't struggle at all. My breathing was good. I think. I couldn't hear myself huffing and puffing over my headphones anyway. And I got a little of that antsy feeling out of my system. Not all though.....We shall see about that!

Friday, October 7, 2011

You know you're a runner when......

You fall asleep while visualizing yourself doing interval training around a track!

Yes, I did that last night. The weird part is that I have never done interval training. Maybe this means I am ready for it.

I was a little sore after the Race for Education. I had some minor ToFP just below the base of my toes. And my calves were a little tight. I feel pretty good today and want to go for a run, but I won't have the time. I have to get everyone packed, we leave for Chicago this afternoon. Between errands, packing, work, kids, no run today. Bummer.

But Chicago will be so fun! We are stalking Pastor up there for the Chicago Marathon on Sunday! Actually, we are going to lend some moral support; he has admittedly struggled during his training for this race. So we want to cheer him on! And it will be cool to hang out together over the weekend.

Maybe I can get my run in tomorrow in the big city......That would be awesome!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Race for Education

5 minute warmup, 10 minute run, 3 minute walk, 10 minute run

Today is the Race for Education at my kids school. It is their only fundraiser for the entire year and they raise about $20,000. People can sponsor the students either by paying per lap or just a flat donation. The kids have fun and get some exercise and parents don't have to worry about buying useless, overpriced crap from a bunch of little fundraisers throughout the year.

I always go and run with my kids and/or volunteer to help. This year I ran. I was out there for almost 2 hours between my 3 kids. I got my Week 6 Day 2 run finished in the first hour and ran some extra laps. The second hour, Caitlin came out and I ran Week 5 Day 2 with her. I didn't finish with her on the last 8 minute run (I was exhausted!) but still managed to run a few extra laps. She did great, I think this was the most laps she has ever ran since she started school.

My total distance for this morning was 5.5 miles. A personal record for me in distance. It is also the longest I have gone in my minimalist shoes. My arches hurt. And I need a nap. However, I have to return to teach my 8th period class. At least it's only one today.

I am so proud of all the kids going out to run today. I was out with preschool through 5th grade. They all did great!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


You would think that after nearly 2 years of running, I would have lost at least some weight. But no. I have managed to lose the extra I have gained, from a 2 week vacation at the beach and 2 weeks off from running due to injury. But my body seems to want to stay exactly at my current weight.

I would like to lose 30 pounds. That would put me within (the upper) range of weight for my height. I don't diet well, I admit. But I do try to watch what I eat. It's unfortunate that I like to cook, especially bake. However, I give a lot of that away.

I currently run between 6 and 10 miles a week. I hope to increase that in the near future. People tell me I am building muscle and that's why I'm not losing. I might have believed that the first 6 months, but not at this point. I realize I am doing other positive things for my body, like building up my cardiovascular systems. But I admit, this is kind of bumming me out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I need to catch up!

I need to blog about my last 2 runs (Week 5 Day 3 and Week 6 Day 1). They may appear to be out of order, but I assure you, they are not!

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 20 minutes with no walking

This was a chilly and damp run. I made Pastor go with me for some moral support (thanks again!) because the last time I ran that kind of distance, only 10 days into my minimalist shoes, I ended up with some serious ToFP and had to take 2 weeks off. I realize I have built up to this now and am stronger. But it was always nice just to have someone to run with. It was surprisingly good, despite the sprinkly weather. I got to try out my new jacket, which I think I will hold off for colder weather, I was roasting in it. I felt good finishing Week 5!

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, jog 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 8 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 5 minutes

This was a piece of cake after Friday's run. I ended up on the treadmill because it was about 44 degrees and raining. I just don't have the gear for that. Yet. I feel awkward on the treadmill with this running style. But I found a pace that worked and went with it. By the end of this week, these broken up, short runs will be over. I feel like this will be a milestone for me. And I can honestly say I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another day, another run...

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then Jog 8 minutes, Walk 5 minutes, Jog 8 minutes

This was a good, but somewhat challenging run today. It was perfect weather for it this and I enjoyed it. Though I will not turn down this one road again because every house had at least 2 dogs and every single one was barking at me. No chasing though. This time anyway. It still kinda freaked me out a bit though.


I came across these shoes last week and I think I want them. They are about as minimalist as you can get without going naked. Check out this blog and maybe you (or me) can win a free pair!

Monday, September 26, 2011

To run or not to run?

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 5 minutes

That was the question for today.

My calves were still sore today from Saturday's run (where I went further than I meant to, both accidentally and intentionally) and I was worried that it would turn into top of foot pain like last time. So that and the fact that it was pouring almost all day, I had my excuse not to run. And I really wasn't feeling to treadmill, this new running style feels awkward on there.

But this evening, the weather cleared up and I was feeling pretty decent. So after watching Caitlin do Week 4 Day 2 on the treadmill, I decided to go out before it got dark.

I did my warm-up and stopped to stretch really good (feet and calves) before I started running. My last few runs, I have been getting a cramp behind my left knee almost immediately, but it always goes away after a few minutes. Annoying. Once that felt better, my run today was great! The air was dry and cool, perfect for a run. I saw a rainbow and a beautiful sunset. How cool is that?

Finished at 2 miles and stretched and drank some hazelnut coffee.

This week and next is really going to ramp things up. I am eagerly anticipating it and I am slightly worried. If my calves are already sore, what is going to happen now??? I plan on taking it one day, one run at a time. I will listen to my body and drink lots of water. And make sure I am always close to a toilet!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

You don't scare me anymore!

Dear Week 4 of the Couch to 5k program,

The first time I encountered you, you nearly killed me. When I finished on my treadmill that day, I literally collapsed on the floor and couldn't move for the next 20 minutes. I struggled each time I ran. I even repeated that week, not to further torture myself, but because I wanted to beat you. Sadly, I couldn't. When I finally moved on to Week 5, it was so much easier than you were. Even after I completed the Couch to 5k, if I ever slacked off on my running, I would force myself to go back to you to get back into my game. I hate you Week 4.

But I am no longer afraid of you. See, I got these awesome new shoes that have done wonders for my running. And guess what? I not only beat you this time around, but I picked you up, threw you on the ground, and ran this whole week right on top of you. I trampled you so far into the ground, you will never show your ugly face to me again.

Barefoot Runner Girl

P.S. I feel better now!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Successful run today!

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 3 minutes, Walk 90 seconds, Jog 5 minutes, Walk 2-1/2 minutes, Jog 3 minutes, Walk 90 seconds, Jog 5 minutes

In the past, when I have done the Couch to 5k program, week 4 has always been a struggle for me. Really struggled. But I have a lot more confidence this time around and besides, I know I have done it before. So I wasn't nervous at all.

My feet felt really good this morning, so I decided to get it over with since I have a full day tomorrow and won't have time to run. I really concentrated on my form and I probably looked like a complete dork to all of my neighbors. Elbows tucked in and bent at 90 degrees or less, knife-edge hands in loose fists, thumb on top. I am aiming for my foot to strike near my center of gravity, which meant lifting my knees higher as I ran and also a shorter stride.

I didn't feel clumsy or awkward (not physically anyway). The shorter stride will take some getting used to. I think it will take a little time to find that perfect spot for my foot to land. My footfalls seemed louder than usual to me, but I think that will quiet down as I improve my form.

Overall, it was a good run. I didn't struggle AT ALL with this run! WOOHOO! I didn't get out of breath at all. It felt great! My total distance was 2 miles, so I think my speed was good, or at least decent. For me anyway.

My feet are sore this afternoon, but not the tops. I am sore around the arches. Which is a good thing, it means I am building up my feet muscles. Break tomorrow and back on the road on Friday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Still hurting

I hate this. Woke up Sunday and my feet hurt. Not too bad, but noticeable enough. Today, they are a little better but still hurt. I am at a loss. I am not sure if it's injury pain or if my feet muscles are simply sore. Ugh.

So this morning, I have a dilemma. Run or not run? Barefoot shoes or try my regular shoes? Why can't my feet just get completely better?

Dilemma Update: I decided to go on the treadmill (raining outside) with my barefoot shoes. Today is my final run in Week 3. I felt good during my warmup, noticed a little burning in my right foot. I am guessing (hoping) that is from working my muscles. During my run, I felt pretty good. Noticed I was scrunching up my toes and had to keep forcing myself to relax my feet. Did my cool down, stretched pretty good. My feet actually feel better post-run, not sure if that is due to the advil I took ahead of time or just from working and stretching my muscles. I will go with the latter, it makes me happier. I am hoping I am past the actual injury and my current pain is from building up my feet. That makes me happy too.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Well, it's Saturday...

And both of my feet are feeling great! I wouldn't say they are 100%, maybe about 90% to 95%.

Thursday, I wasn't so sure I would be healed by today. I was still in quite a bit of pain and limping. Still praying for healing, I had happened to come across some ballet stretches for feet. I tried a couple out on and off throughout the day. It hurt so bad, my right foot was so tight, I could barely get on my tippy toes. After a few reps, I felt my foot release and there was less pain. I woke up Friday feeling shockingly good, continued stretching whenever I had a few moments (busy day) and it no longer hurt to stretch. I woke up today feeling even better. Right now, there is still a little stiffness in my right ankle and I am still walking kinda funny. But there is almost ZERO pain. And that's the most important part.

Prayer works!

I haven't gone for my run yet today, I am hoping to meet up with Pastor at the track later. He is feeling better after some injuries as well and I figured we could lend some support to each other during an easy run. I will update post-run!

I did Week 3 of Couch to 5k, I figured I would repeat a couple runs of that since I lost so much time from healing. I admit, my feet did hurt. But it was tolerable and it didn't get worse. I figure one one Week 3 run and I will move on to Week 4. As long as my feet cooperate. So here is to continued healing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Foot pain

My foot is slowly getting better. It hurts less to just walk around, I am almost not limping! However, I still get a sharp pain when I land mid-foot. I am trying my best to hold out till Saturday before I run again. I am praying that by then it will be healed enough to go out. This beautiful, cool weather is killing me!

I still believe it was caused by over-tight calf muscles. Another tidbit of interest I picked up was to make sure your heel lands on the ground with the mid-foot strike. Otherwise, your calf muscles won't lengthen and will get too tight. I know my heels weren't even touching the ground when I run uphill (unfortunate side-effect of living where I do). So when I get back out there, I will need to make a conscious effort to lower my heels.

I am starting to get a little antsy too. I even gained a few pounds already from only running once in 10 days. I need to keep my stomach in-check, but it's hard when one of my medications seems to make me hungry! I did buy a giant bag of broccoli to snack on. But I have a feeling it won't satisfy my craving for something sweet. Grrr.....

Hurry up foot! I am begging you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My partner

Have I mentioned that my oldest daughter Caitlin (9 years old) is doing the Couch to 5k with me?

How cool is that?

She said she wanted to run in a 5k race with me next summer, so I offered to have her do the program with me as I transition. So we have been running together. I am enjoying it, we get to have some private girl time together.

Unfortunately, due to my injury, she is getting ahead of me. She finished Week 3 on 9/12 and will be moving on to week 4. So I will have some catching up to do. Good thing I have mornings to myself now, so I can run. Once those pesky feet heal up anyway.

Week 3 (week of Sept. 4)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following: Jog for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds. Jog for 3 minutes, walk for three minutes.

After my first run, I was injured. The top of my right foot was killing me. I was not expecting this, I hadn't read anything about it. I opted to take 5 days off to see if it would get better. I iced and took motrin religiously. I loosened my laces in case that was the problem. I read everything I could online about this kind of pain and the same things kept coming up: tendinitis and stress fracture of the metatarsal. Now, I have fractured a metatarsal, so I wa 99.9% sure that wasn't it. Not sure I believed the tendinitis either. It sucked though, I could hardly walk.

After the 5 days, I did my second run of the week. I was feeling slightly better and had a fabulous run. I let go and really sprinted for one of the 3 minute runs. It felt so good. But the next day, my left foot started hurting too (my right foot was no worse though). So gimpy me has been limping like crazy, hoarding ice packs and eating a diet of anti-inflammatory pain-killers.

I finally found a barefoot running blog that explained my top of the foot pain. Basically, the tight calves I had the previous week caused my feet muscles a lot of strain. If I would have stretched properly and a lot more than usual, I may have avoided this. Bummer.

So I am taking a full week off to recover. My right foot feels like it is on the mend and I don't think my left foot will get quite as bad. So instead of running, I am concentrating on strength and flexibility. I did a yoga/pilates dvd this morning and I have no doubt I will be feeling that more than my feet tomorrow!

I plan to run on Saturday and since I only did 2 runs of Week 3, I plan on doing 2 more before I move on to Week 4. That one always seems to be the hardest for me.

Week 2 (week of Aug. 28)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

I LOVE these shoes! I love how light I feel. My feet are 100% comfortable. They don't seem to swell as much or seem as confined. I can wiggle my toes while running! My form is a lot better and my speed is definitely increasing from my improved form.

This week, I was feeling it in my calves. Feel the burn, as they say. My second run of this week, I decided to push it. I texted my pastor (also a runner) to find out if he was going out that day. He was. So I invited myself to tag along on his run and went 2 miles. I did stop to stretch a few times (my calves were screaming for mercy) but I made it the whole 2 miles! I was sore after that though. I finished out Week 2 of the program with some sore, tight calves.

I also want to add that my confidence in my running is at an all-time high. I actually feel good about it. I can see myself setting some high goals once I am fully transitioned. I look forward to running now and enjoy it completely.

I truly feel like a real runner.

Week 1 (week of Aug. 21)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

It seems as though using the Couch to 5k program to transition was a good idea. Having done the program before, I know what to expect and week one went well.

I did have some achy-ness in the bottoms of my feet around my arch. I completely expected this, after all, those muscles are very week from wearing conventional shoes. What I didn't expect was the feeling of having stood on concrete for 24 hours straight. My feet just hurt, especially around my feels. I assume it was from the lack of cushioning in my shoe. These issues mostly cleared up by Week 2.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My running history...

I have almost none. As a kid, I played softball for 9 years until I fractured my foot. Then I did nothing. Got married, had 3 kids. Still nothing. Finally, nearly two years ago, I begged my husband to get a treadmill. I need to lose the generous amount of weight I had somehow gained doing nothing. He reluctantly agreed and we both started the Couch to 5k program.

There were many struggles. And some shin splints thrown in there for good measure. And Shaun and I finally made it to our first 5k in August of 2010. I didn't run it straight through, though I did finish! I ran my second 5k a few weeks later (again, did a little walking too). Then I slacked off. I started up again over the winter and ran my third 5k this past August.

I admit, I have really struggled with running. Not just physically, but mentally too. From shin splints and general shin pain to mental barriers I just couldn't get through. I had never felt good running. It always seemed as though I was just blundering through, in a constant state of struggle.

Then I discovered barefoot running. I was very intrigued. So I kept reading and researching. The more I discovered, the more it made sense to me. I felt this was my answer. So a few weeks ago, I bought a pair of Merrell Pace Gloves.

I decided to use the Couch to 5k program to transition. Three weeks into it and I have never felt better! My form is better, I have more speed, I feel lighter on my feet. Although I have had some aches and pains and strained muscles, I feel GOOD running for the first time in almost two years.