Hit & Don’t Run

Two weeks ago I was thrilled with my training.  Things were finally feeling good and I had the audacity to actually try and plan a race with a goal.  I said it out loud, sent an email about it and within 24 hours….

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Day 5 and the multi-color rainbow is still alive….

Yes I always yell at the kids, “Don’t stand too close to a car when it’s on” because you’ll get run over.  I should really take my own advice.  Turns out my SO gave me the birthday gift that keeps on giving…a giant bruise on my foot from accidentally backing over it with the car.

I immediately GRICEd.

Gripe/Groan/Growl
Rest
Ice
Compress
Elevate

I might have cried, swore under my breath, then cried again when I found my little running shorts and tank by the front door that night – left there when I ran outside to have one more quick conversation before I got changed for a run.

Yes I could put pressure on it.
No, I didn’t go to the doctor because it felt okay.
Yes, I googled it and it turns out this happens fairly often.
No, it was not the Keurig that I wanted for my birthday.
Yes, this has actually happened within my immediate family before.
No, I have no idea when I can run again.

So instead of fabulous running and working out…I’m just going with the “Let them eat cake [flavored ice cream]” approach in the meantime.

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What’s the dumbest/oddest non-running injury that’s kept you sidelined?

The I Word & Being a Head Case

Ironically I started this post a few weeks ago and it’s been sitting in Half-Written Wasteland since then because, let’s face it, no one wants to publicly admit that you might be a head case.  But this week’s events have spawned me to actually finish this bad boy and come to terms with how I can often be my own worst enemy.

Being a head case in running takes place in a variety of ways.  Some of the manifestations:

psych_radical_90s_button-r9d2782b8c04746b79d8b9b3c5903898d_x7j12_8byvr_512-Psych!  More than just one of the best things to come out of the 90′s (other than neon spandex), the Psych runner is his or her own worst enemy.  When your best just isn’t good enough.  We’ve all seen the type (heck most of us have lived this one), and it’s one of the most brutal to watch, and a freaking disaster to be a part of.  The “Psych!” head case is one that is physically capable, trained and ready and just can’t get past the mental barrier of pushing his or herself to their fullest ability.

3796039230_098c68d1d9-Injurychondriac.  This is the person who freaks out with wiggles, niggles and pulls.  And this is the one I’ve fallen prey too.  As a recovering “pain means gain let’s sideline ourself for 3 months with a major injury” I get overly cautious with things.  Yes I’ve had some unfortunate situations in the last year (umm…spraining your ankle on kids toys does not heal quickly nor well…sprains are ugly, mugly, fugly).  But beyond that, I’ve been uber cautious and pulled back when things have gotten tight, twisty or even the slightest bit painful.

This is so counter to my push through it and ice & ibuprofen later approach from the years before – and quite frankly it was starting to annoy me.  “Ehhh….you’re such a whiny twit,” I have been telling myself.  “Get over it Whine-O the Clown!” I’ve chided to myself.  And ironically when I finally took my own advice to let go and just get GOING, I started getting knee pain – not when running, but sitting.

F….and I don’t mean for fabulous.

Dear Knee, You're stupid.  Signed, Sheila's Brain

Dear Knee, You’re stupid. Signed, Sheila’s Brain

Sitting in a chair hurts.  Running – notsomuch.  So I kept running, but I didn’t get that stupid.  Long story short…I did do an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” approach and saw the doc and found out something in my patellofemoral pain or something like, ‘something we diagnose at sports med facilities every 15 minutes”.  It’s not a major deal apparently and requires a few trips to the PT and being much more diligent about weight lifting (which ironically is what got me into this whole mess but whatever I digress).

Honestly it’s a mixed message lesson for me – Do I listen to the wiggles and niggles or do I push through?  I don’t know.  It’s a tough balance.  I have been babying my little tight hammy through the summer due to visions of it snapping on a run for most of the summer – but was it necessary?  I have no idea.

With some anti-inflammatories, ice, a little PT…probably take a week off and then slowly build back in.  Something like that.  We will see what the PT says.

Do you fall into either head case category?

How do you handle wiggles, niggles and pain?

Big Things, Little Rings

Pardon the running interruption, but life has been a little crazy the last week.  California turned into a sauna (yes I am talking straight up humidity and 90-100) just in time for the ol’ outdoor wedding.

Don’t worry I figured out a way to keep myself cool.

Always the classy lady I am.

Always the classy lady I am.  BTW are the women in my family not the cutest things ever?

We had a house full of guests and I actually got dressed up and wore high heels which happens oh so very rarely.

Shiny Shoes

Shiny Shoes

But fear not…I kept running.

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With temps like this 9 minute miles are considered speed work.

I took advantage of the extra hands around the house to sneak in a few miles over the longish weekend and was able to get close to 20 in over 5 days .  Turns out my hammy is lovin’ this Miami-like weather because even the greatest level of effort is yielding sloth-speed miles.  

The truth is, the heat is giving me a chance to do some seriously proper recovery from an almost injury – you know when you are flirting with something serious and have the option to push it over the edge into sidelined for months or actually, you know, BE SMART.

So how do you handle the wiggles/niggles that could turn into something worse before they do?

-Go See Someone.  Yes, schedule a hot date with your doc/PT/whomever.  Having someone watch your mechanics and give you an actual indication of what is going is probably perhaps maybe most definitely better than a google search.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to let the internet diagnose me, but I usually get this confirmed just annoy my sports med doc when I go in to find out what is really happening.  

-Stretch, Stretch, Stretch.  Spend some serious time with the foam roller and lacrosse ball. I have always been a big foam rolling fan, but honestly, one of the BEST gifts ever was

Hello beautiful, you so changed my life....

Hello beautiful, you so changed my life….

the gift of my Trigger Point Therapy Foam Roller from kids.  The moments of pain we have go to 50 Shades of Red, but it’s worth it to help keep everything loose and limber.

I also try to remember how lonely my life was without my lacrosse ball.  I’ve probably googled every pressure point on the leg and use the lacrosse ball on it regularly.  Some people can be intimidated, but it’s really super easy.  I plan on posting a “how to” on this in the near future.

-Keep it Chill.  Ice away.  Don’t be afraid to use every bag o’ veggies or your kids lunch ice packs on every part of your legs.  I’ve been known to walk around with them stuck in my compression shorts throughout the day (and perhaps to the neighbor kids’ giggling even walking around the neighborhood with a bag o’ peas stuck in my pants).  20 minutes on, 20 minutes off on the niggly area a few times a day.

-Slow It Down.  It’s every runner’s (okay not really, just the Type A ones) nightmare when you’re told not to push it, but it’s critical to slow down.  I have really slowed my pace down by 30-90 seconds a mile.  Some days it kills me.  No, I probably won’t be pulling any PR’s out of my butt for a while, but um hello…I’m running….it could be so much worse, like, I could be…errr…..NOT RUNNING. 

Sometimes a little niggle means lower mileage as well.   I read somewhere (sorry internets, you’re so big I can’t remember where), that your fitness doesn’t usually deteriorate until 2 weeks of inactivity, so even shorter, slower, smaller workouts are better than nothing and the impact not near as great as it seems.  Jillian-Michaels-30-Day-Shred-DVD-Review

-Switch it Up.  As much as running is my life therapy, I find the niggles disappear faster when I keep it mixed up – hit the bike, swim (ugh, I love to hate you and hate to love you but it’s happening…,) take a HIIT class, whatever it takes.  Heck, schedule a hot date with your DVD player and your favorite workout video (I love me some Jillian Michaels).

And if you’re questioning whether or not you should be running, for the love of the land, please just go watch some really awful reality TV and suck on a GU pack if you’re feeling really guilty….your body will thank you when you’re running in 3 days instead of 3 months later.

Do you have other tips to cure the niggles?

It’s a Boston Miracle

Still Strideless

It’s a Boston Miracle!

IMG_2856I wore jeans for 2 days in a row!

I can still keep *mostly* running.

Being the classypants that I am, I’ve staved off actual running injuries while, you know, running the last 6 months.  I, however, have failed miserably at avoiding “walking” injuries.  You know, like spraining my ankle walking out to the car last fall.  And apparently aggravating some serious plantar fasciitis by taking a nice stroll in flip flops the day after a race this week.

I know, I’m a genius.  And lucky enough for each and every one of you, I actually educate tomorrow’s future leaders at a respected academic institution.  World be warned.

The good news:  I can run again in a few days.

The bad new:  It’s probably going to hurt a lot on and off until Boston.

The worse news:  There’s something pre-arthritic in the formation of my foot (and apparently my grandma had whatever it is the doctor was referencing).

So I’m going to ignore the, “Hey you’re 31 and that big toe joint looks pre-arthritic” and focus on “Hey, take it easy, try to run without pushing off your big toe, and make sure to get your Vanilla Ice on” part of the message.

Pictures2So the show will go on.  It might not be as good of a show as I thought (possibly buh bye 3:23 marathon goal), but there will be a show in Boston!