Sunday, February 28, 2016

Buckle Up!

Buckle up, I am bouncing around this week. 


Random rant #1

Who's rump is that in the mirror?!

I noticed last week, mine is becoming increasingly beefier...
I am a middle gainer. I guess I have now joined the booty gainer club, as well. 
Hey, big booties are in right!? 

Random rant #2

I don't think I added numbers to my weight train this week, but I am feeling uncomfortable. I am staying away from the scale for a few weeeks. Seeing that large number put me in a funk honestly. I had noticed all my pants are getting tighter, but it didn't really panic me, until I saw THAT number. Denial is so much more pleasant, I will ignore the scale for now, and try to get my behavior in check. 

Random rant #3

52 days of no running have come and gone. The doctor gave me the go ahead to try some run/walks in March and see how my feet react. 
I was trying to be good and make it until Tuesday, but I caved Saturday (2-27) and ran two miles with run buddy so we could chat. 

No wind or rain :) I just had to...

I still feel some strange aches in my tootsies, mates...
The reality is, my feet are not quite ready yet. 
I am not willing to make my issues any worse, so I shut it down at two miles. I smiled as I watched run buddy pulling away from me because it felt so good run, that little bit was delightful while it lasted. 

Speaking of my toes, they are getting a very hammered look as they heal....sigh, trust me, not. attractive.  
I may have to change my blog name.  
Hammer Toe Runner.  Thoughts??

Random rant picture #4


 Look at the yard from all the rain last week...messy. 


Random thought #5

I got my hill work done in 20 mph winds. Some days I kick butt and takes names! 


 I had to clear my path a few times.

Yes, I did put a helmet on...good thing, I got dinged by flying debris twice. 

Random thought/rant #6 

I should be running my 8th half marathon today.

Just skipping it is really messing with my mind.  I know my feet are not ready for that kind of impact, but somehow I still feel like a bit of failure for not even trying. 

Would it make me feel better to go try and have to bail out halfway??
 ¯\_()_/¯      

That doesn't make sense either, but I think I would prefer the later...
I did promise the Doctor I wouldn't do that though.

I have missed races wanted and fully intended to run, due to injury, but this is the first time I was registered (months ago) and can not go. 
My first official DNS. Booooo!

Random thought #7

When you think you may have a crappy day, do something special, so it can't be....
How is that for a motivational quote?!

I made plans to meet a friend and we walked a trail this a.m. 

We live a little over three hours apart, so we drove to a town that is about half way...
My buddy Debbie
...totally worth it. I talked so much I didn't have time to think about the race I was missing. 

Last random thing! 
My chart - I battled feeling sick again this week (couldn't swallow...ugh) it impacted my work outs for sure, but I tried. 

MondayRest!
TuesdayCycling 13.06 mi (1:07:45)
Stretching, leg lifts, biceps (36:13)
Wednesday rest again...
Thursday Cycling 20.03 mi (1:50:44)
stretching
Friday Sick :( Felt blah all day
Saturday 2 mi run (20:05) walking 3.11 mi (53:00) Cycling 3 mi (14:04)
55 min. upper body weights
Sunday Walking 6.73 mi (1:56:51) 

If you made it to the end, thank you :)

Thoughts about my rants? Fire away, please! 
I love to hear your thoughts. 
What are your March plans? 
Hammer Toe Runner? 
Ever been dinged by flying debris? 
Start a race and have to bail, or just say no...

I hope you have a wonderful week 

Karen

Linking up with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin 
Join in! ㋡ Check out the etiquette here   Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I Wanna Wall Walk...

High reps, light weights. That was my world for a lot years.

I mentioned in my Before I was a Runner post I had a very long absence from weight training, due to a frozen shoulder.

The pain was awful, my shoulder would burn all day, over the course of a year I took three injections to tame it. I did PT till I was broke, and the crazy thing, I have no idea how I hurt it. 

In 2012, when I finally became a gym member again, I was babying the shoulder...it took me a year before I had the confidence to really try to push some weight.

Pain will make you think twice...

Some of you who have been stopping by for awhile may remember this...


I always say this is the picture that scared me into changing! Look at that arm flab. I saw that and wanted to work on it.

Light weight is awesome to learn proper form and coordination of the movement, but eventually we need to pick up something heavy.

Something you can not do 15 of, or even 10...

Everyone is different when it comes to what weight will challenge you.

Strength is just like running pace, all very individual, and while I know some of you can squat huge loads, 45 lbs. is what I have currently built up to. I started trying with 10 lbs! We all start somewhere.

Developing muscle mass becomes much more important as we age. Besides a good organic skin lotion, it is probably our best fountain of youth.

Weight training is one of the few things that can bump our metabolism awake. ((I am very jealous it seems to work better for some!!))

I have mad respect for all the body weight exercisers out here.

I am still trying to get strong enough, so I can try real some body weight work.

chin ups

pull ups

pistol squats

handstand push ups (I can't even get my nerve to try a handstand)

rope climb (can't coordinate that either and I have tried)

dips

back bridge

wall walks




I admit, I drool a little when I see folks come in the gym and bang these things out.

Can I do any of these things on the list?!

No, but I am still trying to work toward it.

Current favorite strength training exercise?
Do you do any body weight strength training?

Happy Hump Day! Hang in there ❤
The weekend is coming!



Sunday, February 21, 2016

Another One Down


Linking up with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin 
Join in! ㋡ Check out the etiquette here   Thanks for stopping by! 

I want to introduce to you the cutest puppy in the world...Chandler.

No, he isn't mine, but I get to enjoy him every day :) 
I work at a Tech Center with a Vet Science course.  The teacher recently adopted this little cutey. He comes to work everyday and I love watching him grow, he has doubled in size already :)

The week started slow...
Monday it snowed and I had a day off work. I sort of cleaned my house, and I did a little meal prep for lunches  #winning

Tuesday it was this...


Weird, right! 
It rained so hard in the morning all the snow melted, and then the sun came out.
I got 20 awesome miles in after work. I had just a slither of light when I finished.

I didn't die quite as much on the hills this time. I am making a smidgen of progress :) 
Also, I knew daylight was drying up, so it made me push myself. The first six miles I knocked out were PR pace for me. 
I am not running, but I am still doing hill work!
It is just an average park, but it does provide a much better workout than my neighborhood.




I have gained some weight the past few months. I need to get a grip and halt the train. 
Why does it pack on so much easier than it comes off!?

There is one thing my body is really efficient at...
Preserving and increasing my middle roll. It is aggravating! 
Of course I went to a birthday party tonight and had cake! Monday, I'll get on that healthier kick Monday...
On a completely different note, I got this handy little stainless steel reusable K cup. Best thing ever! The coffee tastes better and I save money #winning 


If you saw my Thursday post,  you know I pulled out a pair of Hoka's I wore while injured last year. I wish I would have thought of this sooner! My feet improved already wearing them. Impact can't penetrate these things. I am not comfortable with how high they are, but they work for now.

My Doc called when my orthodics came in, and I left work Friday to go pick them up. 

 My shiny new lease on life. I hope they help deeeeeees feet! 


My Doc loved my Hoka's because they do protect my feet ...in fact, he wants me to try my first few run/walks in them.
Okay Doc, I'll do it for you :)

Saturday it was pretty warm and I thought I was going to get a long ride in. I drove an hour to get to this trail. I had my pack on, ready to do it! 


Well guess what!? Biking can kick your tush as much as running. 

The limestone trail was soaked and it was like pedaling in quicksand. I wish I would have just went to my usual park. #notwinning
Isn't working out supposed to be kind of fun?! I had to bag it...
This ride was not fun. 
SO painfully slow lol 

MondayRest! (snow day)
Tuesday Cycling 20.40 mi (1:47:15) stretching
WednesdayWalking and talking
7.85 mi (2:20:08)
ThursdayRest!
FridayCycling 5.10 mi (22:42)
80 min. upper body weight training and floor work
cycling 4.25 mi (20:25)
SaturdayCycling 13.73 mi (1:44:51) 
Sunday Cycling 3.50 miles (16:35)
 74 min. leg work 

I got 46.98 cycling miles accomplished this week. Tuesday and Saturday outdoors. My hill session Tuesday rocked! I had hoped my mileage would be a bit higher, but it's all good. I worked hard Sunday at the gym doing legs :) 

I am just glad to have another week in February gone.
Counting down the days to March, so I can try a little running again. 

These crazy weather swings are the strangest ever! 
Are you experiencing them in your area? 
Anyone ever get humbled trying to pedal? 
Have you tried reusable K cups yet? TRY!!! 
How was your week? 
What was your best workout? 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Wearing a Marshmallow

The Hoka marshmallow...


Last year when I was in DA' boot  I was very unhappy I was out of alignment. 

DA' boot was taller than any shoe I had. I got a pair of Hoka's to wear because it was the only thing thick enough to make me level.

I have not put the Hoka marshmallows on my feet since. 

Wednesday night when run buddy wanted to walk around the neighborhood, I put them on. 
These things are so thick on the bottom, I can not even feel my feet, which may be good in my current situation. I would think they are absorbing the impact of my daily running around. 

I am not sure I could run in these things. They are stiff. The shoe doesn't bend easily, and I feel way too high off the ground, but they may do me some good for now. 
I don't know why I didn't think to pull them out and try a few weeks ago...

I think I will I wear them for a few days and see if I can feel any improvement in my feet. 

Anyone ever run in any Hoka model? 
Ever tried them on? 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Stability


Linking up today with 
Deb Runs for the Wednesday word.
Deb Runs
Stability

  • firmness in position
  • your base or balance

My first thought when I saw the word was my feet. 


The number one thing you need to run are healthy feet.

They absorb impact and push off simultaneously. Bones, tendons, ligaments, all working together you keep you in motion. 

You can have all the clothes, shoes, fancy electronics tracking devices, but if you don't have healthy feet, you aren't going anywhere.
For a long time I took my feet for granted. I just expected them to do whatever I desired, until they wouldn't/couldn't do it anymore

Now 40 days without a run, my feet are finally feeling a twinge better. I can begin the process of regaining my stability

Currently,  I can not raise up on the ball of my feet. 
I did a ton of this before I was injured, in my shoes, barefoot, on my stairs at home, at different rates of speed. 
I miss that simple motion. 

As runners we expect a lot of our tootsies. The best thing we can do for our running is to practice things that will help us improve how we stabilize and balance. 

My feet developed some bad habits while sore. They tend to roll in and out, trying to accommodate movement and avoid pain. 
Those habits need to be broken. 

A few things I am working on: 

Single leg balance work - curls and shoulders presses on one leg. 
Heel raises - inhale, raise the heels. Exhale and slowly lower them. 
When it feels really easy, I get to close my eyes and work on it :) 
Toe Yoga




This one is challenging ;)
Alternate lifting the big toe and toes without curling them. It is so much harder than I expected to get control of those little muscles, but I am not giving up.
I have had better toe yoga sessions, but apparently I am coordinated challenged. Trying to hold my phone and moves my toes at the same time, is just too much for me. 

Balance board work will be added in soon. In shoes and in socks, so I can work on control and stabilization


Do you have a favorite balance/foot strengthen activity? 
Ever tried toe yoga? Try it! 

Before I was a Runner

Before I was a runner I walked a lot!

My average walk would be about an hour and half,  usually five days a week.  Weekends, I would spend a lot of time walking trails. My habit was to run for about 30 to 45 seconds randomly and then walk, I ran just to get my heart rate up. I was 100% positive I could never run for a long time.

It was my main form of exercise for years.

Before I walked all the time, I LOVED aerobics...
I regularly left the house looking like this...well, with red hair.


I did step two aerobics like an addict. It was my favorite thing about the gym. The class intensity kept me smiling.
Even after a really great class though, I would still want to take a walk in the evening. I liked the solitude.
I changed jobs and hours, and that eventually caused me to end my four year addiction to step aerobics.

I did try Curves for a year. Remember Curves, anyone? You had a circuit set up and it really got your heart rate racing and seemed to do good things for me, but eventually I got tired of taking a bag to work, changing...
The more hours I worked, the more I just wanted to come home and walk.

In 2009, I ended up with frozen shoulder.  It took about a year to get any range of motion back. During that I stopped doing group classes, dropped my gym membership, and Curves went by the wayside. The only thing comfortable was walking, so that is how I became a walker. I did it for years.
It wasn't until 2012, I got the nerve to try running more than a few seconds at a time.

Since I have been injured, I rediscovered how much I love walking and how it takes me to my relaxed happy place.

Pedals are okay, and of course biking would be much easier right now if it was warmer, but honestly, it doesn't relax me much.

What I really miss and need the most, is being on my own two feet.

What would you miss the most? 
Were you around for the bad body suit leg warmer era? LOL  
Did you ever do step aerobics, Curves, or any other program you love/loved? 
Have your work outs changed a lot over the years? 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Taper


"Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax." 
Mark Black 


Flipping through my Garmin calendar, looking at old run splits, yes, I like torture myself, ¯\_()_/¯  I noticed I typically dedicate 7.5 to 11 hours a week on fitness related activities. 

I decided a few weeks at 6.5 hours wouldn't kill me. 
MondayNothing
Tuesday Cycling 10 mi (56:43)
20 min. stretching/leg lifts
WednesdayCycling 4.5 mi (18:17)
62 min. upper bodywork
ThursdayNotta...
FridayNothing again
SaturdayWalking 7.51 mi (2 hrs.)
Stretching
Sunday Cycling 10.25 miles (59:46)
66 min. leg work and stretching

I had to flip all the way back to March 2015 to find my low week, 5.50 hours.  I remember that week. I wasn't feeling well, and I made it my mission to accomplish my simple life goal.

Work up a good sweat, four times a week.
That life goal has served me well for years now 

You don't have to push like a nut every week I told myself.
The world will not stop turning, take a little step back if you need it.

I still miss my kitty...

I still don't have my work out buddy, hubby is still coughing up stuff. Quite the plague, he caught...


I managed to get my kitchen clean, and put away the Christmas decorations that have been sitting boxed up on my table for a long time. 
I combed my kitties, baked some potatoes for my work lunches, talked to a friend I missed... I tried not to waste the hours away. Well, I did watch Dr. Phil (had not seen it in a few months), but I seem to enjoy watching crazy...
Sad, but true.
Ahhh, nothing on it :) True story, I had been ignoring the Christmas stuff that was sitting there.

I still worked out, but I needed my little taper ya'll...

Funny, it feels crazy to try to bike outside in this weather, but it is never too cold when the sun is shining for a walk. 
22 degrees and windy, but I didn't care one bit...


I took it easy, stopped to look at the geese, walked around the water, and my spirits greatly lifted. 
I do have to limit my walking time right now, and I probably lingered longer than I should have, but I admit, I wanted to stay out longer.  
Hopefully next month I can start logging some walking miles more regularly.  It is almost as a good a fix, as a run :) 

In the market for trail shoes?  Merrell trail shoes have some great grip.

My hubby refurbished my 15 year old Kirby and it works like new. What a man, xoxo :) I appreciated it more than flowers or jewelry. 
No worries though, I did have some yummy treats as well ;) ❤  

Linking up with those awesome ladies, Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin 
Join in! ㋡ Check out the etiquette here


Vote!  Flowers or fix something? 
What gift would you prefer from your Valentine?

What was the highlight of your week? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Plantar Plate Injuries

I wrote this post to share a bit about my injury, but first I have to tell you some exciting news. 

My new Doc freakin' rocks :) 
 Dr. Lane

Dr. Lane is a very accomplished athlete. He was very compassionate, hospitable, attentive, and thorough...I couldn't ask for more. I spent a good hour with the Doc today. 
Amazing. 

He thinks if I can be patient and heal, I have plenty of good years left in me. He wants me to wait till the end of the month before I try to run. He took molds of my feet today. I am going to try the orthodics. I have a very high ball of the foot area (naturally) and it absorbs too much impact, so the orthodics will be built up on the sides to take some pressure off that area, and hopefully make me run happy! 
He does want me to slowly build mileage if my feet respond well to running again. He said I have skinny feet, not much padding to absorb impact. Figures...everything else on me has an abundance of padding! 

I had never really heard of a plantar plate injury before I was diagnosed by my previous podiatrist on January 20, 2016. 
The previous doc was so negative about my prognosis, I refused to ever go back, but his diagnosis was correct.  

The plantar plate is a large ligament that runs under the ball of your foot and helps hold your toes in place. A extremely basic explanation of a complex structure. 

Here is a real definition: 
A plantar plate is a thick fibrocartilaginous or ligamentous structure. In the foot, plantar plates connect each of the metatarsals to the corresponding proximal phalange of each toe.
Plantar plate image
Plantar plates have a key role in stabilizing the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints

Tears of the plantar plate may be the most common cause of pain under the second metatarsophalangeal joint, though it can occur at any of the metatarsophalangeal joints.  It is also referred to as predislocation syndrome, crossover toe deformity and floating toe syndrome.  
Quote cred

and one more: 


Plantar Plate Tear

Most commonly experienced by middle aged women whose feet have a tendency to overpronate or roll in, a plantar plate tear is often a cause of persistent pain and swelling in the ball of the foot. It is also commonly associated with a bunion and a hammer toe. The plantar plate is a thick ligament type structure with attachments which inserts into the base of our phalanges (toe bones) in the area of the ball of the foot. The plantar plate is designed to protect the head of the metatarsal from pressure and prevent over extension of our toes. It also plays a role in preventing our toes from spreading or splaying.

Symptoms
pain and burning in the ball of foot 
sharper pain toward the metatarsal head 
Sensation of bone hitting the ground during a normal stride


Info Credit: myfootdr.com


My new Doc seemed impressed with my taping skills (thanks Google), and told me to continue doing that, but he did warn me my toes may never heal quite right. 
One of  my sloppier tape jobs


A synopsis of how I got to this state:

October: 
  • I had an issue with the bottom of my feet burning on a few longer runs. Usually 8 or more miles. 
  • After the run I would feel fine. 
  • 10 mile run (half marathon training) -  I felt a pebble sensation just under the ball of foot. I actually stopped running and looked to see if there was a rock stuck in my tread because it felt so specific (no rock). Rested almost a week. 
  • 11 mile run - felt better, foot burned just a little toward the end of the run

November: 
  • November 7th - started out to do six miles and only made it to four. I had burning, my arch seized up, I was in pain. I rested until the race. 
  • November 14th - ran the half marathon and felt great 
  • November 21st - my first run after the race (left foot felt tender)
  • November 26th - my next run, 5 miles (felt okay) 
I tried to rest, but it was't enough. 


December: 
  • December 6th - half marathon felt okay 
  • most of the month my foot would feel tender after runs
  • had some varying PF type symptoms

January: 
  • January 8th - toe cramps and burning under the ball of my left foot, and it felt like bone to pavement toward the end of my run that day. 
  • Foot swelled up like a balloon as soon as I took a shower. 
  • I noticed my toes were completely out of whack. 

I thought I had a stress fracture.  
The reality, I had a plantar plate injury. 

After x-rays  I could see the bones were in tact, but look like they are floating around in there, not sitting nice and straight as they should be. The tissue and ligaments are stretched, torn, damaged, I can't remember exactly what word the Doc used...


Just stay together toes! 
It seems really strange to me I didn't notice my toes going out of whack.  I feel like life at a 100 miles an hour is partly to blame. 
Always rushing to get out the door and run in the a.m., then rushing to shower to get to work, and rushing after work to get my gym work in, then rushing because I am hungry...relate, anyone? 
Seriously though, what genius misses their toes are crooked. That'd be me. 


  • Initially, after being off my feet a few days, the pain and tenderness increased under the ball of the foot. I could not put weight on it, or push off the ball of the foot with a normal stride.  
  • My foot stayed swollen for a little over two weeks.
  • Thirty days later, the tenderness is still enough to keep me from being able to plant and push off the ball of the foot bare-footed. When I have shoes or slippers on I feel better. 
  • If I shift my weight right, I get an intense cramp between toes two and three right at the base of the V. 
  • There is a large knot under the left ball of the foot. 
ugh...crooked toes after a month of healing

I was taping my right foot, because there was a slight separation between toe two and three, but the Doc told me today I could stop taping it. He showed me some toe yoga he wants me to do, and it is more challenging than one would think! 

I am so relived I have a Doctor that actually wants to help me now. He told me any activity that didn't hurt was fine, but to be careful not tweak my foot or the "time off" clock would start over. I will be living in my running shoes until I am well. Tissue is slow to heal (three to four months), but it will heal, and he wants to see me enjoying running again. 


Are you familiar with plantar plate injuries? 
Have you ever experienced a drifting toe, or known someone with this aliment? 
Ever had the ball of your foot swell to twice its size?