It’s Official, My Legs Hate Me

Sometimes, as much as the outcome sucks, it is good to know a decision was made based on correct intuition.  When I pulled out of Rutgers, it was not a difficult decision.  I just knew something wasn’t right.  Remember when I said a gut feeling is not just a euphemism?  This is a perfect example.  I knew what I was feeling wasn’t in my head.  Although, I wish it had been.

Turns out, what I was feeling at Rutgers, was not in my head.  I saw the doctor on Thursday when the pain was only getting worse in my foot/ankle.  I was terrified of a stress fracture. 

The goods news is, nothing is broken in my foot!  And seriously, that is some great news!

The bad news is I have a pretty significant case of Peroneal Tendonitis. 

Peroneal Tendonitis refers to painful inflammation of the peroneal tendons located on the outer side of the foot, a little behind the ankle bump. 

There are two peroneal muscles on the outer side of the lower leg. One long one, called the peroneal longus runs from the knee to the ankle, and one short one, called the peroneal brevis muscle runs from below the knee to the ankle. Both these muscles when they approach the ankle, convert into tendons, which are thick bands of fibers that connect muscle to bone. Both these tendons run side-by-side and curve behind the outer bump of the ankle, then run below the foot where they insert into the bones of the foot.

As the muscle contracts, these tendons pull the lower surfaces of these bones, pulling/bending the foot downward (plantarflexion) and outward (eversion).

Once we had a diagnosis, it was time to treat.  Out of waitressing for 10 days and lots of RICE method.  Additionally in an effort to keep my leg stabilized and because “I can’t be trusted to stay off my feet,” I was also put in the CAM walker for the weekend.  Thank God that was only for a few days.  If I never have to see that boot again, it will be too soon.

And I’ll be rocking this again for a weeks to keep my ankle stable:

2013-04-29_08-34-02_385I know, I know…desperate for a pedicure!

I was also supposed to do this weird thing…I think normal people call it relaxing?  Yeah, I am not so good at that but didn’t have a choice.  I spent Thursday night, Friday night and all day Saturday on my couch with my foot up and ice on and off.  Sunday, I mowed the lawn in my boot- that was a new experience…!   Other than a few errands, my friends housewarming Saturday night and mowing the lawn Sunday, my weekend mostly looked like this:

 wine2Relaxing is better with wine.

As much as relaxing isn’t my thing, I’ll admit it was a nice break.  I run on empty most of the time, so to be able to have a reason to do nothing was a good and much needed chance of pace.  It is hard to stay off my feet at my day job as well but I am trying.  And since I am not working  nights this week, and I cannot afford to do anything because I am not working night this week, the above is pretty much my game plan for the rest of the weekFor now, running is completely out of the question and I have to wait until I am pain free to get back to ballet/barre but I am hoping next weekend to get a work out in, even if it is just slow on the elliptical and some lifting.  I’ll take anything!

It may seem as though my spirits are up; that is mostly due to the fact that I am so happy I don’t have a fracture.  But the truth is, I am really bummed out.  I did everything right training for Rutgers.  I felt so ready.  And for things to just fall apart and me to be back off running is a huge blow.  I am frustrated.  Actually, I am beyond frustrated.  I feel like I am always injured.  While it seems everyone I know is getting better and faster, I am regressing.  My running has never been the same since I broke my foot and I am worried that it never will be.  The other day a friend of mine said she really felt like a runner now that she was fast.  I said she was always a runner because if you run you are a runner.  She replied that before she felt like an imposter.  I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  Is she saying that slow runners are imposters?  Am I one?  I mean, I don’t think so…but when I am struggling, this is the exact thing that gets in my head.  The exact thing that makes me just want to throw in the towel.  I don’t even know if that is what she meant or if I am just hyper sensitive because I am feeling so low.  I have been fighting injuries for so long…I am not getting any better.  How long do I keep doing this to myself?  I don’t know.  I have to see how this PT goes and in the meantime, I’ll be sticking with barre and ballet and lifting and trying to get strong.   Both physically and mentally.

In other news, to end on a good note…this came in the mail over the weekend:

bosontshirtBest mail I have gotten in a while!

Happy Boston Marathon Day!

boston-finish

When I was 17, my family took a trip to Boston.  It was one of the best trips.  My parents were awesome enough to let me bring a friend which made everything that much better.  We did the touristy stuff like Ride the Ducks and visiting the Cheers bar but we also saw the Titanic expo while we were there and best of all…we went to Fenway.  My Mom, Dad and I are all HUGE baseball fans.  Of course the Phillies come first in our heart but a close second would be the Red Sox.  My Dad had always wanted to go to Fenway and of course I loved the idea of visiting a new ball park.  In addition to seeing the game, we took the tour.  It was then, in 1998 that I fell in love with Boston.

It would be 12 more years until I would get back.

The first Boston Marathon I watched on TV was in 2008.  At the time, I was training for my first 5k.   I was home sick from work that day (truthfully) and it was the first race I ever watched on TV.  I thought these people were nuts.  Pretty sure I thought to myself more than a few times, “I’ll never do that” during the course of watching the race.  At the same time, there is something so inspirational about watching such a historic race be run by people who have trained through blood, sweat and tears to get there.

In April of 2011, my mom and I flew into Boston for the marathon weekend.  A bunch of my blogging friends were either running the marathon or like me, running the 5k.  In addition to the blogger meet-ups and racing, we were able to spend some time with one of my mom’s friends who lives right outside of Boston.  Spending time back in the city and seeing new places, made me fall in love all over again.  The weekend was a whirlwind, but it was so much fun to run the 5k, cross the line and then of course watch the marathon on Monday.  My mom and I sat just past mile 17 in the Newton Hills.  It was a great space; people weren’t hating their lives yet but you could see them pushing hard!  And I was so close to the elites when they went by.  It was awesome.

Watching the race this year is not a problem.  A-my boss is from Boston and B-my boss is a runner (ran Boston twice in the 70’s).  I asked him if it was okay to live stream it and he said, “Well, I can’t tell you no if I’ll be doing the same thing!”  So while it would be a whole lot more fun to be AT the race, I am excited I’ll get to watch it once again.

Do you have personal memories of Boston?  Where will you be watching from today?

Solid Reminders For Running In The Heat

With the spring weather in full effect (yeah!) over here in New Jersey, I am back to being excited about running outside!  I am kind-of a baby when it comes to winter running and usually relegate myself to the treadmill because it is either A- too dark or B- too cold.  I wake up in the dark, drive home from work in the dark…I miss my Vitamin D in the winter!

Over the past weekend I began going through my clothes to start the changeover from winter to summer.  The same goes for my running gear.  Each year, as I do this, I am reminded of some solid tips for running in the heat.  If you google “summer running tips” you’ll get a million hits.  This is not new information.  I am not giving away any secrets.  However, everyone can benefit from a reminder now and then.  So let me be the millionth and one hit when you google for tips!

Here are my top 5:

1. Check the heat index:

It really isn’t enough to just check the weather.  The Heat Index tells you what the temperature feels likes when combining the air temperature and the relative humidity.  If the air quality index is code orange and you have upper respiratory problems, you may not want to run. If it’s a code red, it’s not suitable for anyone to run.  The temperature alone is not enough information.  For example, you may think it is okay to run in 84 degrees but if the relative humidity is 90% then you are dealing with 98 degrees.  No thanks!

A good way to avoid high temperatures and high heat index’s is to run early before the sun is out or after 6pm.

2. Wear Sunscreen

Please, please, please wear sunscreen.  I am amazed by runners (any outside athlete for that matter) who skip this part.  Research shows that runners have a higher rate of skin cancer than non-runners.  Makes sense given that runners are outside more during the summer months and wearing less clothes than the average person.  In addition, remember to protect your lips from the sun too.

3. Drink, drink, drink

Don’t wait until you are running to begin drinking.  Get those fluids in starting before you run.  Make sure you have enough fluids on your run.  Either carry a bottle, wear a hydration belt or make sure your route includes water fountains or other options for drinking.  In addition to water, if you are out there for more than 30-45 minutes you need to start supplementing with electrolytes.  The hotter it is, the more you sweat and you need to replace the vital electrolytes.

4. Dress the part

Technical clothes (I seriously cringe when I see runners in cotton!), light colors, wiking socks, a visor (hats serve to keep heat in and are great for winter, but not for summer unless they are a light technical hat) and sunglasses (with UV protections) will all help aid with keeping cool and safe in the heat.   I love Nike Dri-Fit clothes in the summer and C9 from Target is fabulous.  I live by Balega hidden comfort socks but there are a variety of great light wiking socks on the market.  In the photo above, I am wearing tank and shorts both by C9, balega hidden cool socks, my Team Triumph visor and Foster Grant Ironman UV protected sunglasses.

5. Be smart & safe.

This tip is for year round.  The best tip for running ever, no matter what season, is to run safe and smart.

  • Invest in a road ID– Get one. Now. Do it.
  • Bring your phone-  if you end up stranded, hurt or in any way in need of someone, this is your lifesaver.
  • Change up your routes- Not only does it make running more fun but makes you less predictable.
  • Ditch the music- If you MUST wear an IPod, run with one ear bud out.  I really like running with music, but always keep my ear closest to the road open.
  • Keep your eyes open- You might see the car but there is no guarantee the car sees you.  Assume every driver is distracted and pay close attention especially when running on the shoulder (always against the flow of traffic) and at intersections.  When crossing a street, make eye contact with the driver.
  • Run in populated areas- Chances are if it is populated with runners it is safe.  And if you get hurt or have an emergency there will be people around to help.
  • Be visible- Wear bright colors and if you are running at night wear reflective clothing, tape or lights.
  • Trust your gut- If someone looks shady, they might be; if a street looks scary, it could be; if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Have tips to add?  Please do!