Thursday, February 26, 2015

Disney Princess Half

Magic Kingdom - Monday 82 degrees 
Florida is the place to be in the winter.

Warmth! We arrived the day after Orlando, Florida experienced a cold spell. Saturday was a splendid 72 degrees and I was thrilled  
Like so many of you, I have been overloaded with snow and cold temps.

5:16 a.m. on the way to the airport... this ") 
 Flowers, green, and sunshine...I didn't know how to act. We headed to the expo 

and we met Jeff Galloway 
He chatted with us about run/walk intervals, and what to do if you miss a clump of training, my injury, and gave me a little running advice for the half - he said I should walk a lot :) 
Which I had already planned to do.  I knew we would stop to take some pictures along the route, and if I experienced any discomfort I planned to just chill and walk it out. 
It seemed completely crazy after a five week break to have the half start line be my first run, so Saturday after the expo, we knocked out an easy paced 5K.  Nerves!! Each step I was anxious, just waiting to feel that pulse in my leg, but I never did. I knew at that point I was ready for the half the next morning. 

Sunday 5:20 a.m. getting ready to roll in 55 degrees, it felt so wonderful out! The humidity was 100%, so I did feel a bit sticky once we started running, but the temperature could't have been more perfect. 

 It was fun having the fireworks as each wave left 
Run buddy at one of our picture stops.  
This was a favorite spot on the course, the music was pumping ") 
I was experiencing some nerves the first few miles of the race. It was a bit crazy to run this much just coming off injury, but I was consciously trying to be light on my feet, and kept it easy paced...11:29, 11:22, 11:11. We took 5 quick breaks along the course to snap some pics, which was a nice refresh for the legs and about mile 7, Kasey voted to turn on the timer.

We ran 4 x 1 intervals. It felt
 after the sun came up, so the walk break was refreshing, and the reduced impact was good for me.

  I earned my Princess medal. 2:38:39 avg. pace 12:07 

SO, yes I was supposed to ease into running and I plan to do that now. LOL
I haven't run since the race. 
I did the elliptical Wednesday and worked chest and shoulders.The doctor wanted me to focus on doing mostly non-impact cardio and a few short runs. I feel fine, but I don't want to be crazy. I do realize there is no way my fracture is all the way healed yet. I will admit as I was crossing the finish line, my first thought was I could still run the marathon next month...
I won't, but I have thought about it more than once. 

 My post race meal was so yummy :) 
Oh, and the didn't last long...I woke up to a fresh coat of snow in VA Thursday morning. 

Have you ever visited Florida in the winter, or run a Disney event? 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Princess Weekend

I really enjoyed chatting with Jeff Galloway at the expo. 
I know it's crazy, but I made it 13.1 after a five week break while healing :) and I am still feeling great. 
Enjoy your week! I will catch up by Thursday :) 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Upright Exercise

Since I was freed from my boot last Friday and allowed to do low or non-impact exercise, I have yet to get on a treadmill. 
I will take those first steps running or jogging soon, but for now, I put the brakes on, and have tested out my leg in other ways. 

Stationary cycling for 70 minutes with no heavy boot on and just a short biceps, triceps, and leg leg lifts session.

I spent an hour on the elliptical and did the leg press for the first time since my injury. I went down on my weight, my legs have shrunk, but it felt good to do it. 
My legs were sore Monday and Tuesday, a good sore that I could really feel on the stairs.

I spent an hour on the elliptical again, and then cycled for 20 minutes and did the Arc machine for 20 minutes. I was pretty excited I could be upright lol 
I did some stretching, a few back exercises, and leg lifts, before I drove home in snow apocalypse.

 I rested. Leg feeling good - 

I climbed on the elliptical and realized I was tired. I opted for a shorter (about 35 minutes) more intense work out and tried some intervals. I just did 30 second bursts, but it really spiked my heart rate. It went way above my running average. 

After that, I did 15 minutes on the tread climber. I was nervous and went very slow.

Then hubby and I had a kick butt upper body session and I was able to hit my weight goals on the smith machine, curling, and I did the leg press again. I've got to get my legs stronger again. 
I always like to see my weight training heart chart. 

We didn't break long between sets, we pushed through ~ LOVE those kind of days!!
Great weight days make me happy like a good run ") 

Back on the elliptical for 37 minutes of intervals. My heart rate was more in the normal range.  Then I cycled 5 miles. I did four sets of kettle bell swings and I felt tired, so I did some legs lifts, stretched, and we dashed off to eat. 

 Rest and eat is on the agenda today :0)
I have been very nervous to work my calf muscles. I am waiting till I can work with the therapist; because of the snow, I didn't get to see him this week. So far my leg seems to be holding up nicely. 

The temps here killed my motivation to swim this week. I usually shower and leave with my hair wet...I know I could stay and dry my hair, but it's so late when I get done, I just want to get home. 
The average temp here in February is normally about 50 degrees. 
Please gooooo away Arctic like blast. 
Anyone share my sentiments? 
Any fun plans this weekend? 

Richmond, VA
Thursday 9:00 PM
°F | °C
Precipitation: 0%
 Humidity: 28%
Wind: 12 mph

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Discomfort Can Signal Trouble

I am writing this out because I KNOW I will need to re-read this every so often to remind myself, I can take a break and be okay.

A few things injury taught me or made me more aware of:

Discomfort can be a signal there's trouble.

My thinking has always been pain would tell me when to stop, but waiting till pain drops you may not be the best method.

Be careful when speeding up the pace, over-striding puts extra stress on bones.

Be careful on hills, yes they are very good to strengthen the legs, but shins take a lot of impact on hills.

Shin pain is serious. Shin pain can occur in the front, near the ankle, or on the outside of the tibia bone.  If you feel tightness or burning near your inner shin, especially near your ankle, take a break.

Calf tightness will often be the predecessor to sore shins.

My tightness and burning sensation seemed to occur simultaneously quite often. I wasn't tuned in that the burning sensation was a problem, I thought it was part of the tight muscle feeling. 

Rest, take real rest when I experience discomfort! This will be tough...

My doctor seemed amused when I said I "rested."
"How long?"
me: " Four days"
Doctor sighing...

Sadly, four days off doesn't cure every aliment on earth...for most runners that sounds like a big rest break.

Oh, and yes I can do other things! Switching to non-impact activity is possible. 

Did I love all that cycling and swimming as much as running, umm, not really, but I can do it!

My training while injured- no runs, but I managed to stay active

Reading articles and blogs others wrote about their injury or stress fractures I noticed a lot of us had those lead legs days, and pushed through it.

It really may be beneficial to your health to just cut a run short when you are having a heavy leg day, or your form starts getting sloppy because your legs have turned into tree trunks

Muscle absorbs impact, when muscles are fatigued and tight they can't absorb the impact and your bone is compromised and at risk for injury. 
The last thing a runner wants to hear is take a walk break, but if it saves me from injury it's worth it. 

Don't beat yourself up for taking a break, pat yourself on the back that you are taking care of yourself. 

Any thoughts or important things you learned from injury??

Monday, February 16, 2015



Yep, that lovely white stuff is coating VA, which means I get a snow day Tuesday, so lots of blog reading will be happening between laundry and cleaning ")

I know you all are probably sick of hearing about my injury already, so I apologize right off the top. 
I tend to work things out in steps through my blog, and I feel it will be helpful to me to be able to look back on it.

This post I am sharing the background about what occurred. My next post I will tell what I've learned from this experience. 

"What did you do?" "How did that happen?"  

I wish I had an absolute answer and could pinpoint the time of injury but I can't.  However, I have thought a lot about what transpired, and I do think the problem happened before the Richmond half I ran in November. 

Looking back: 
In September I was struggling trying to get my half marathon training rolling. It was still very humid here and I ran several runs with very heavy legs trying to get my groove back. 

During August I mostly ran inside, and not more than 5 miles at a time, and transitioning back outside was not going as easy as I hoped. 

In October, I remember I felt overwhelmed thinking I was never going to feel okay while running again, and early in November my left calf was particularly tight. I mentioned it in a post. 
Old Post About My Burning Calf

I had a strange burning sensation that usually happened when my calf was feeling tight, but it would come and go.

I kept rolling and stretching and it would feel a little better, then a few runs later, bother me again. 

I was really worried the Richmond race was going to be a mess. 

Mile 10 - November 15th
When I ran the half, my legs felt good, and I was thrilled. I thought whatever it was got better during my taper week. 

Two days after the half marathon I ran a two mile shake out run - legs felt good - 
5 days after my half marathon I ran 9 miles. I felt great that day, I ran very easy paced and picked it up on the last mile (about 40 seconds).
I wrote in my notes that my leg started to feel really tight during that speedier mile.

In December I ran 111 miles. I recorded on two runs that my leg was bothering me with a tight burning sensation. It was significant enough to note it, but again, it wasn't enough pain to really make me worry, most of my miles felt pretty good. 

It wasn't until Christmas when I was sick, and barely ran all week, that I realized the strange burning sensation was completely independent from my calf tightness.  My muscles were feeling great after so much rest, and yet this one little spot on the inside of my leg (inside shin) would bug me off and on. I noticed that it felt different depending how I put my weight on it. I made the appointment, and had to wait 16 days to see the Sports Medicine Doc. I actually felt so fine during that waiting period, I kept on with my marathon training and ran about 58 miles with very little discomfort, and thought about canceling the appointment on January 12th. 
I never had constant pain after a run, just a twinge here and there. I started to think I was over reacting. 

A few days before my appointment, my leg gave out on me while running on the treadmill. 
I had never have that happen before, but even that day it didn't really hurt, it just felt weak, but at least it motivated me to keep the appointment. 

The result was...I did indeed have a tibial stress fracture. It still puzzles me the pain signals weren't bad enough in December to make me realize I had a real problem.

So that is how I ended up in a boot for almost four weeks.

My discomfort during October and November had been very troublesome. The heavy legs on runs, the pace struggles, and the tightness and burning sensations all had me very worried. I thought I had dodged a bullet when I felt so good during my half, I honestly thought taper week helped cure whatever it was. 

Until I actually saw the bone scan, I had a hard time believing a stress fracture was a real possibility.  

Like I told my doctor, I never would have even started marathon training in December if I didn't feel good enough. 

I guess I always believed if I needed a break from running, my body would tell me with pain. My next post I will share what I've learned from this experience. 

This is a really informative, must read article, about stress fractures:

 Tell me about your run today!! 

I am a bit nervous when I think about running again, but I've cycled about 23 miles, and spent an hour on the elliptical without my boot on, and so far ~ no pain ") 
I will be ready to run soon. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Not only do I have my awesome hubby for Valentine's Day...

When I count blessings, I count you twice
and three times, four times, five times, xoxoxoxoxo

At my doctor appointment this morning I was freed from my boot...  
I get to work out with out it on ") 
I feel lighter already! 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hobbling Along

This is how I roll around now

I have so many thoughts, but have unsuccessfully been able to write them out.
It seems most things have a cantankerous tone, and I just delete them. 

Injury is hard for many reasons:

No running just sucks!

My clothes are getting tighter already

The unknowns when you return to running

The criticism from others about overuse

The realization this may be my reality one day

I read this article:

Because I have been receiving a lot of chastising over my injury. 
Let me share the most important part to me:
However, the health benefits of exercise seemed to diminish among people who ran more than 20 miles a week, more than six days a week, or faster than eight miles an hour.  The sweet spot appears to be five to 19 miles per week at a pace of six to seven miles per hour, spread throughout three or four sessions per week.  (that's always been my normal week)

Even marathon training I didn't make a crazy jump in mileage. 

These type of articles are a bit ambiguous, but it helped me to feel like I wasn't attempting anything too crazy, when it comes to running.

My sports medicine doctor did say during my initial visit that I just needed to find my sweet spot and enjoy it. His question,  "If you could run 15 miles a week the rest of your life, would you be happy?"

My Doc, always gracious, reminded me I am no spring chicken, and we are all limited, or blessed with our own genetics, so he'd like to see me find my sweet spot and stay there, even I feel I could do more. 

Since I am still in my boot, I honestly haven't thought much about running. I have been so busy at work, and running back and forth to classes at night, I don't have much time to dwell.

I've spent lots of time here the past few weeks. I try to spend about 15 minutes swimming laps and class is an hour.

My average heart rate   
 My max heart rate
This has been my average for about 75 minutes of water work. Trying something new has been good for me. 

I've spent a lot of time cycling up pretend hills too  

Obviously, right now I am very sensitive, but for me, one of  the most frustrating parts of my injury has been those who smugly pass judgement that clearly I am crazy, and running is bad for you.  
It seems my fractured state is the expected, reasonable penance for my running sins. 

This statement explains why I haven't done a lot of blog writing lately...

Anyone ever hear the "overuse" word and want to curse? 

Tell me how you are - I miss all my blog buddies 
I hope to be reading through blogs again very soon.