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Tag Archives: Running Injuries

So a week late, let me tell you about last week’s workouts. Aside from the obvious high point of having a three-day weekend, the high point of last week was my trip to the physical therapist on Tuesday morning. That’s right kids! I’m finally cleared to run!

I wasn’t expecting to get the go-ahead quite so soon. I also wasn’t expecting to have orthotics made on the spot. When I heard custom orthotic, I envisioned having a mold of my foot made and not even seeing a shoe insert for another 4-6 weeks.

Instead, I learned that making custom orthotics is a lot like doing an arts and crafts project. The PT would try out different thicknesses of foam under different parts of the insert and judge how they would change my foot strike. The idea was to diffuse the load from the base of my big toe onto the outside of my foot instead.

On one hand, that sounds like a reasonable plan. On the other hand, that sounds a bit to me like running in stability shoes when you need a neutral shoes; it seems like a bad idea. As you may expect, I was able to look past my concerns in the name of starting my return to running plan.

Day one of the plan went as expected, as instructed, I did more walking than running which was kind of a drag, but it went pretty well in general. My second run was supposed to be last Saturday. Notice that there is no run listed below. I ran for about 4 minutes before admitting to myself that my foot was in a lot of pain. I behaved myself, stopped running, and hopped on the bike.

Ok, that isn’t exactly how it played out, I think about an hour lapsed between my running attempt and my bike ride during which I cried and pouted like a two year old. Not my proudest moment, but I was so frustrated that I didn’t know what else to do. I decided to take another week off of running before trying again. Fortunately my next attempt ended better, I’ll keep you in suspense. I know it is absolutely riveting.

Sunday: rest
Monday: rest
Tuesday: run/walk 2.91 miles (Day 1 of my return to running plan.)
Wednesday: 45 minute spin class
Thursday: 12.5 miles bike trainer
Friday: rest
Saturday: 12.5 miles bike trainer

Running Weekly Total: 2.91
Running May Total: 2.91
Running 2011 Total: 310.27
Miles on Shoes: 248.96
Miles on New Shoes: 30.31

Cycling Weekly Total: 24.5 (measurable)
Cycling May Total: 121 (measurable)
Cycling June Total: 24.5 (measurable)
Cycling 2011 Total: 622.44 (measurable)

Disclaimer: If you are eating or if you are easily grossed out by running-related foot disfigurements, skip this post.

Let’s talk toenails.

I get asked a lot of questions about toenails by new runners and non-runners alike. New runners are often worried about theirs, while the non-runners tend to be more concerned with the state of my toenails, especially after long, hilly races or long, steep descents.

The toenails in question today fell victim to Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Lucky for me, they are not mine.

Enough about that. Let’s cover the important stuff:

My toenails turned black/brown/purple after my last run, are they going to fall off? It is pretty likely.

Is it going to hurt? Nope. You shouldn’t feel a thing. In fact, for most people it is a relief when they do because they will feel annoying, but not painful, in the days leading up to their demise.

Can I wear open toed shoes ever again? Sure. Notice the nail-shaped paint job on the toes above. After several hours barefoot together, I was completely unaware that they were fakies until their owner pointed it out.

Will they ever come back? I can’t make any promises here, I can only vouch for mine coming back every single time.

My question: Has anyone ever talked a pedicurist into painting nail shapes onto their toes? I haven’t gotten up the nerve to ask yet.

This weeks cardio was all toe-sparing bike rides. Surprise, surprise.

Sunday: NROLFW Workout 7-2
Monday: 15 miles bike trainer
Tuesday: NROLFW Workout 7-3, 12 miles bike trainer
Wednesday: 14 miles bike trainer
Thursday: 15 miles bike trainer
Friday: NROLFW Workout 7-4
Saturday: rest

Running Weekly Total: 0
Running 2011 Total: 307.36
Miles on Shoes: 248.96
Miles on New Shoes: 27.4

Cycling Weekly Total: 56 (measurable)
Cycling May Total: 96.5 (measurable)
Cycling 2011 Total: 597.95 (measurable)

Last week Chris and I rejoined our local gym. Cool. -ish.

On the up side, it is much nicer to do New Rules of Lifting at a gym rather than at home. I feel more motivated to lift heavier weights and not slack when all eyes are on me. I definitely feel like all eyes are on me when I do that workout. If the spattering of decidedly non-traditional exercises is not enough to draw attention, the fact that I am the only person, male or female, that I have seen deadlifting at this gym is for sure an eye catcher.

While the gym has been awesome for lifting, I am not a huge fan of attempting non-running cardio at the gym. It gives me a big-time case of runner’s envy, a silent rage that wells up inside me as I watch Chris and the other runners plodding away on their treadmills. They look like such happy runners. Why are they so happy as they run anyway? I know that it has to hurt, at least for some of them.

Ok, maybe not for the pretty girl in the Lulu outfit with her long flowing brown locks cascading down her back unencumbered by hair ties and such nonsense. Running clearly doesn’t hurt her.

With runner’s envy has come an undeniable urge to save face. I’m not a flaky blonde chick bouncing around on the AMT with a neat ponytail and perfect makeup. In an effort to eliminate confusion, I have had an overwhelming desire to wear race shirts, even the fugly ones, so that people don’t mistake me for a non-runner. 

You know, because it is probably of the utmost concern to the other gym-goers whether I am a runner or a perfect looking specimen (haha, right) bouncing 20 mintues by on an inferior cardio machine. My mind immediately went to Shelby’s experience last fall. Yeah, exactly.

Getting my oink on. Sweet.

Sunday: 4.4 miles – hills w/my dad and Chris
Monday: 14 miles – bike trainer
Tuesday: 14 miles – bike trainer
Wednesday: 10 miles – bike trainer
Thursday: 12 miles – bike trainer + NROLFW Workout 5B1
Friday: rest
Saturday: 1 hour AMT* + NROLFW Workout 5A2

*AMT = Adaptive Motion Trainer = Something like this, which does not seem to be ideal for my foot. While there is no running-like pounding, like Run Blondie suggested, there is a lot of pressure on the balls of my feet while doing this activity. So, not ideal.  

Running Weekly Total: 4.4
Running April Total: 9.4
Running 2011 Total: 307.36
Miles on Shoes: 248.96
Miles on New Shoes: 27.4

Cycling Weekly Total: 50
Cycling April Total: 252.15
Cycling 2011 Total: 501.45

My workouts for the week have been pretty pathetic. I had a few early mornings coupled with a few sleepless nights thanks to the crazy storms that we have been getting lately. Tuesday night the thunder and lightening seemed as if it was right in our backyard. It turns out that it wasn’t far off.

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One of the trees in our neighbors’ yard was struck by lightening. It is kind of sad because it is an old tree in a place where most of the trees have been cleared for farming over the past few generations, but it is also very interesting.

Nearly half of the bark was blown clear off of the tree and much of it is buried deep in their yard. Thick shards of bark are stuck so far into the mud that Chris and Bryan can’t pull them out with their hands.

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The inside of the bark is very smooth like the heat from the lightening has cured it in some way. Then again, maybe that is just what the inside of living tree bark feels like.

At the base of the tree you can see where the lightening split the root and travelled far into the ground. No wonder it seemed so close!

Now for my pathetic workouts for the week.

Sunday: rest (yard work)
Monday: bike – 15 miles
Tuesday: bike – 9 miles
Wednesday: bike – 15 miles
Thursday: bike – 15 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: Family RUN!* ~ 5 miles – no Garmin

Running Weekly Total: 5
Running April Total: 5
Running 2011 Total: 302.96
Miles on Shoes: 248.96
Miles on New Shoes: 23

Cycling Weekly Total: 54
Cycling April Total: 202.15
Cycling 2011 Total: 451.45

*Although I have been avoiding running until my foot doctor appointment on Tuesday, I couldn’t resist a run on my home turf. My foot still hurts, but it is a lot better than it was. Hopefully I will get some good news on Tuesday.

The Good
Good news this week on two fronts:

  1. Chris and I are snowboarding at Vail this weekend with one two of our very best friends. Awesomeness. (Rob – So stoked that you joined us at the last minute! Love that you are always game for a good time.)
  2. My foot/ankle problem has seen some dramatic improvement this week. I will do my best to give it one more week of being ok before I run on it again. No promises though. Not running is easier said than done. I’m chomping at the bit to get going again.

The Bad
Chris works with a guy, Dave, who is our running guru. He has impressive credentials to back up his title, so I put a lot of stock in the advice that he is so kind to offer to me. Dave is convinced that my favorite running shoes, the ones that I buy in bulk and stockpile in my closet, are not doing me any favors.

That’s not so bad, is it?

Well, it is bad in part because of that whole shoe stockpile thing. [Sunk cost. Move on.] It is also bad because I don’t feel like going through the hassle of finding new favorite shoes. I may take his advice and head up to Indy for new shoes before I start running again.

The Ugly
Chris on a previous snowboarding trip on his way to (sadly, not from) Mammoth Brewing Company. He gets amped up about beer tasting, what can I say?

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: bike – 17 miles – average HR = 81% max HR
  • Tuesday: bike – 15 miles – easy + New Rules Workout 4A4
  • Wednesday: bike – 19 miles – 12 x 3 minute hard intervals w/90 second recovery – average HR during intervals = 84 % max HR
  • Thursday: bike – 12 miles + New Rules Workout 4A4
  • Friday: rest (Does painting count? I painted siding for 3 hours.)
  • Saturday: Snowboard

Running Weekly Total: 0
Running April Total: 0
Running 2011 Total: 297.96
Miles on Shoes: 248.96
Miles on New Shoes: 18

Cycling Weekly Total: 63
Cycling April Total: 98
Cycling 2011 Total: 347.3

I’ll cut to the chase: I have been absent from blogging because I’m bummed that I am still riding the bike. My attitude about it is improving, but please bear with me while I get a grip on my non-running.

In happier news, I was lucky enough to go to Las Vegas last weekend to meet up with Chris (who had been there for work already) and his family. I wasn’t sure if Las Vegas would be my thing, but after discovering Red Rock Canyon I’m totally sold.

We will definitely bring our climbing gear next time. I should have taken a clue from Shelby’s post and gotten with the program, but laziness and my disdain for checked luggage got the best of me.

Next time. There will be a next time.

Although we did not get to go climbing in Red Rock Canyon, we did get to go for an awesome hike up Turtleback Mountain. Hiking may or may not have extended my recovery time, but I’m ok with it. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and go with the right thing to do at the moment.

Yes, I went hiking in a running skirt. I didn’t pack for the trip thinking that there was hiking involved. I would also like to note that I (irrationally) felt extra cool as I booked up the hill past throngs of people decked out in hiking boots and carrying trekking poles.

While in Las Vegas, I also decided to do a short run to test out my ankle a bit. I planned on three miles because three seemed like long enough for it to give me feedback, but short enough to avoid doing much additional damage.

The run didn’t go so well both in that I got lost and ended up running farther than three miles and in that my ankle hurt like crazy by the time I finished. I definitely shouldn’t have been running.

Back home and back to the bike now:

  • Sunday: 6.2 @ 9:19 + 4.45 hike on Turtleback Mountain
  • Monday: rest
  • Tuesday: 17 miles on bike trainer (average HR ~ 160)
  • Wednesday: 17.37 miles on bike trainer (easy – average HR ~ 142)
  • Thursday: 17.16 miles on bike trainer (average HR ~ 151)
  • Friday: 15 miles on bike trainer (easy – average HR ~ 134)
  • Saturday: 20 miles on bike trainer (average HR ~ 158)

Running Weekly Total: 6.2
Running March Total: 92.84
Running 2011 Total: 297.96
Miles on Shoes: 248.96
Miles on New Shoes: 18

Cycling Weekly Total: 86.54
Cycling March Total: 129.43
Cycling 2011 Total: 284.3

What do you see here?

Cankles? No. A cankle? Wrong again. It is a pretty unflattering angle of my leg though. A clever new purpose for Chris’ old unpaired sock? Yes, but that’s not the point. Your dirty kitchen floor? Maybe.*

What you see is my right foot being iced.

I’m not so stoked about the foot icing. I’m about the worst person ever for following through with icing anything, so you know it is bad when you catch me with an ice pack.

So what is the problem?

I think it started back on February 12. Pretty specific, eh? Chris and I went running in Bloomington at Indiana University that day. After we ran out of rail trail, we decided to finish out our run on a rural road on the outskirts of town. Bad move.

Many of the rural roads in Indiana are very narrow. You often have to hop off to the side if two cars are passing at the same time. Add snow banks and ice into the mix and it is just a bad idea to run on these roads in the winter.

Anyway, as I hopped off the road in a potentially life-saving maneuver, I twisted my foot/ankle. I’m not a wuss though, so I kept running. For more than a month.

While I claim not to be a wuss, I may be an idiot. At least I had a lot of excuses. I didn’t want to interrupt my marathon training. My ankle didn’t hurt that bad. It was just a little twinge each time I stepped on it.

By the end of my 18-miler last weekend, it was no longer just a twinge. It was bad enough that this non-icing, “not a wuss”  began icing right away. For all of the budding internet doctors, I think that I have pinned down the ouch to my calcaneofibular ligament. Does that count as foot or ankle? I’m not even sure how to categorize this injury.

This week is a fall-back week, so I did a lot of cross-training, but I’m going to have figure out what this means for my marathon plans pretty soon.

*Note: I swear that although I have all but stopped cooking dinner, I still do wash my kitchen floor from time to time. It doesn’t look that way? That’s because Spring is not a good season for pristine floors at Duke’s House. Between eight muddy dog feet and four muddy human feet tracking in from my swamp of a yard, my kitchen floor should be washed twice daily. Unfortunately I haven’t become superwoman yet and I still have this pesky time suck called a job, so I let the dirt accumulate for a few days between washings. Ewww. Gross. Seriously?! I live in fear of the white sock test.

  • Sunday: NROLFW Workout 4A3
  • Monday: 15 miles on bike trainer (recovery pace – average HR ~ 141), 3.5 miles easy @ 9:49
  • Tuesday: 15 miles on bike trainer (easy – average HR ~ 154)
  • Wednesday: 15 miles on bike trainer
  • Thursday: NROLFW Workout 4B3
  • Friday: 12.5 miles on bike trainer – I wanted to do 15 miles, but I ran out of time.
  • Saturday: rest

Weekly Total: 3.54
March Total: 86.64
2011 Total: 291.76
Miles on Shoes: 242.76
Miles on New Shoes: 18

So my running didn’t go very well at all this week. After gimping around all last weekend, I finally decided to go to a doctor on Monday. It kind of irritated me to spend my vacation day in a doctor’s office, but it needed to be done.

The doctor gave me great news! She said that I should ice my foot and stay off of it as much as possible and that it would be better in a few days. She didn’t x-ray it or anything, she just said that it must not be broken because I wasn’t screaming or anything when she handled it. Anyone want a referral?

Tuesday morning it still hurt really badly. So badly that I began to doubt the first doctor’s diagnosis. I called all around town begging receptionists for a doctor’s appointment. Finally I found someone who could see me that day. She did bother to x-ray my foot and found that it was broken. She also told me to ice it and stay off of it as much as possible and said that it would probably be better in 12-16 weeks.

I liked what the first doctor said better. The second one was probably more correct though.

Needless to say, I haven’t run in the past nine days. I don’t remember the last time I took nine days off of running! No, I do remember. It was a few years ago when I broke my other foot. Spooky, huh?

Instead of running, I have been biking instead. I have a bike trainer set up next to my treadmill and I have found some great spinning podcasts. I much prefer running, but this will work for now.

  • Sunday:  rest (planned rest day anyway)
  • Monday:  rest (foot mandated rest day)
  • Tuesday:  full body weights (Discovered that I could walk ok in stiff shoes!)
  • Wednesday:  rest
  • Thursday:  60 minute bike ride
  • Friday: 48 minute bike ride
  • Saturday:  rest

Total Weekly Miles:  0
Total August Miles:  73.14
Total Yearly Miles: 898.28
Miles on Current Shoes: 93.14

This weekend I did my first two outdoor runs in a long time. I tend to run better outside than I do inside, but I’m such a baby about running in the heat that I was relegated to my treadmill until we went out to visit Chris’s family and found some cooler weather.
 
Although he had sworn off running with me, Chris agreed to do my long run with me today as long as I let him set the pace. He gave me a run for my money. Apparently I have been dogging my long runs lately, because I was able to run much faster today than I have been lately. We ran 10 miles @ 8:47. My typical long run pace lately has been in the mid-9:20’s. Yeah, so I need to get my butt in gear.
 
I also need to find a 10 mile race to run soon. Today we bettered my 10 mile PR by 30 seconds. In January I ran the Louisville Hangover Classic 10-Miler in 1:28:20, this morning we ran 10 miles of the South Bay Bike Path in 1:27:50. I think it helps that I really like this run. I especially like running on The Strand because there is plenty to look at to distract me.
 
In other news, I am convinced that I broke my foot when I bent over to tie my shoe at the end of our run. My big toe went “pop” and it hurts like crazy. I was able to run on the outside of my foot for the last bit, but putting any pressure on my big toe leaves me in excruciating pain. ::Sad face.::

 

  • Sunday:  mountain biking (1:00)
  • Monday:  6 miles (9:26, 9:26, 9:27, 9:27, 9:26, 9:27)
  • Tuesday:  rest
  • Wednesday:  8 miles (9:34, 9:21, 9:22, 9:23, 9:24, 9:00 (that was a fast one!), 9:18, 9:27)
  • Thursday:  6 miles (9:38, 9:36, 9:34, 9:33, 9:31, 9:28)
  • Friday:  4.14 miles (10:18, 9:38, 8:38, 8:25, last 0.14 @ 8:33) This was my first outdoor run in a long time. Nice even splits, huh?
  • Saturday:  10 miles (9:14, 8:34, 8:43, 8:52, 9:04, 9:05, 8:52, 8:46, 8:25, 8:12) – Thank you Chris!

Total Weekly Miles:  34.14
Total August Miles:  73.14
Total Yearly Miles: 898.28
Miles on Current Shoes: 93.14