Monday, January 19, 2015

A quick update

I ran! And it didn't hurt!
 
The end.
 
Ok, not really, but it's a fantastic start right? I got a tiny run/walk in on Saturday just to test the waters and then I went for a short run/walk on Sunday. Sunday was more run than walk but my cardio felt crazy so I need a couple of walk breaks. This morning I started with a good quarter mile warm up and then ran an "easy" 5K. So far, so good. For the record, I hate the term "easy" when it comes to running. No pain waking up and no pain running or throughout the day. I will say the shoe inserts and the PT exercises have helped tremendously. Along with the no running, of course.
 
Naturally I want to run my face off now. I was told by Coach Jon to take it easy and not get greedy.
 
If you don't get the reference, we cannot be friends.
Fine. I shall do as he says and hop back in the pool for another DWR session tomorrow morning. I am registered for the Rock N Roll New Orleans 10K on Sunday. Depending on how I feel it will either be a hard effort or a fun run. I haven't run a 10K since 2011! I don't really enjoy that distance so it'll be very interesting. I then plan to eat all the King Cake in New Orleans. And cuddle the hell out of my nephew.  
 
How was your weekend? Got more to report than I do?
 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cold weather, podcast crack, and a heel update.

I've got some heel updates, but first, I froze my butt off volunteering at the Jacksonville Best Damn Race over the weekend. I'm a Floridian, so temps in the high 30's might as well be a snowstorm to me. And as a proud Floridian, I don't own any "real" jackets. I do however, own, a bunch of long sleeve t-shirts and light jackets and hoodies. I decided to wear all of them. At one time. Oh, and of course, compression calf sleeves look amazing with capri pants.
 
Disregard the messy hotel room.
Setting up a Nuun station with Tori. And $1 gloves.
I never really warmed up, even though the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. I still felt frozen (no Disney references please) by the time the race was over and I got back to the hotel to take a disco nap before heading home.
 
There are still two more Best Damn Races that you can run: Safety Harbor and Orlando. And my code is still, UNICORN, for $5 off. Come see me!
On the way home from Jacksonville, I started listening the podcast equivalent of crack. Serial. I NEVER listen to podcasts but I was desperate because I was tired and the drive home is about four hours. After one episode, I was hooked. It's totally worth the listen, regardless of your thoughts on the outcome of the case. (It's an examination of a Baltimore murder case from 1999.)
 
Pretty much.
Ok, now on to the heel.
 
I went to a podiatrist yesterday to get an "official" diagnosis. You know, versus my own WebMD diagnosis. I felt as though I had Achilles tendinitis after an extensive internet search that let me to various non-injury-related videos of puppies and kitties. How does the internet always do that to me? Anyway, the doctor said he wouldn't call it tendinitis but rather "insertional heel pain." Uh...what's the difference? Well, it's basically the fascia that's in between the bone and tendon that is the cause of the pain. He took an x-ray and can see a small spur forming because of this but wasn't overly concerned about it.
 
We discussed the shoes I am running in and how often I run and all the other general running questions a podiatrist asks. As a side note, I could never be a podiatrist. I'm not a fan of feet and having to look at foot fungus or busted toes all day everyday would end me. Thank God there are people who choose this profession.
 
After we discussed my running and shoes, the doctor gave me some inserts to try. He added a heel lift to them and told me I could try a short run/walk this Sunday. He said what I've been doing thus far is exactly what I need:  R.I.C.E., PT exercises, DWR, etc. He also said that this was a stubborn injury, which I sort of figured. No real surprise there. Come to think of it, are there any non-stubborn running injuries?
 
I'm gonna be a giant.
I'm not sure I'm quite out of the woods yet, but I'm walking with no pain and waking up with no pain. I'm hopeful Sunday goes well and I can resume running. Otherwise, it's back to the pool I go.
 
Ta ta. Have a wonderful hump day!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Chicken Soup B.o.B.-style

Since I've been working with Coach Nick on nutrition, I've been cooking a lot more than I ever have before. In the process, I've realized a few things about myself in the kitchen:
 
1. I have no idea how to cook meat. I mean, I put it on the stove but then I have no idea how long or what temperature and I always end up cutting into it to see if it's done. I have a huge fear that I'm going to kill the S.O. and I one of these days. Or at least put us in the ER from crapping ourselves to near death.
 
2. I have little to no idea how to cook veggies that don't come in a can. I have since learned to sauté spinach (this is so easy, why am I so dumb?), roast veggies (mine came out a little mushy, maybe too many on the pan?), and cut squash (not as easy as it sounds).
 
3. I never read the recipe all the way through and it burns me every. single. time. I buy the ingredients and then I just start going down the list until I hit a step that says something like, "use shredded chicken." Ohhhhh, you mean all that shredded chicken I was supposed to have pre-made? Or it'll say, "using a high speed blender..." Do I have a high speed blender? Aren't all blenders high speed? WTF. I feel like this sort of stuff should be at the top of recipes. Anyone else?
 
Needless to say, B.o.B. did not take home economics in junior high. B.o.B. took journalism instead. I was taking a stand in not taking home ec (because, girl power) and now I realize that I could have taken home ec, been a feminist, and still majored in journalism in college. And I probably would have figured out how to cook some goddamn chicken.
 
In any event, I'm learning now and that's really all that matters. And if you are laughing as you read this, please feel free to give me some tips in the comments. I'll take any of them! Seriously.
 
I wanted to share a recipe I made the other night because it was DELICIOUS. Like, I wanna eat this every week delicious. And, it was EASY. That whole "shredded chicken" thing did come into play but as per usual when I'm cooking, I just sort of improvised.
 
THIS is the original recipe. I made a few changes. For starters, I didn't make the chicken stock. I don't have time for all that. I mean, I probably do, but I really don't wanna take time to make chicken stock. I bought organic chicken stock from Whole Foods. Also, the chicken, yeah, I didn't make shredded chicken in advance so I enlisted the S.O. to cook some chicken while I chopped veggies. I just dumped it into the soup after it was cooked and let it simmer with the soup.
 
As for the butternut squash, well that was a whole other debacle. The recipe says "1/4 medium butternut squash, chopped into cubes." Um. Ok, so I guess I don't have good knives because I started hacking into this squash and it wasn't happening. I have no idea if the recipe meant to roast it first so you could cut into cubes or what, but I wound up throwing the squash, which I'd cut in half lengthwise, into the microwave for about ten minutes to soften it up. Then I sorta had cubes. Or just randomly sized pieces of squash.
 
And there you have it. This is a good lesson to recipe writers out there, please don't assume that people using your recipe have a clue what you are talking about. Especially if they skipped home ec in eighth grade.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

DWR

It's official. I'm injured.
 
 
I have been dealing with this back of the heel pain since November of 2013 when I was training for the Jacksonville Marathon. With physical therapy and rest I was able to get through the marathon and then took a lot of time off of running to heal so I could get through ironman training.
 
Ironman came and went (hooray!) and I didn't have any pain. I ramped up my running again, but not more than I felt was safe and under the watchful eye of Coach Jon. I had been training in the Hoka's for the ironman and after that race I switched to a neutral shoe with not-as-much Hoka cushion. (I'm not sure if this is the culprit but I have since switched back to a light stability shoe.)
 
The pain came back at the end of December and I started my at-home-PT again and figured I could manage it this time too. Not so much. It's more painful this go round and hurts for a longer warm up time than previously. I am almost 90% certain that it is not plantar fasciitis but is tendinitis. I have read multiple articles on the type of pain I have and it's in the back of the heel, doesn't move around, and I can press on a spot that feels like a bruise in the tissue. I'm not ready to see a doctor as I really think they are going to tell me to R.I.C.E. it. And that's what I'm going to do.
 
I'm also going to hit the pool. And I don't mean for swimming.
 
It's time for a little aqua jogging deep water running (DWR). I was told that DWR is much more hardcore than aqua jogging. And we all know how hardcore I am.
 
Like a kitten with a gun hardcore.
I've been through injuries before and I'm definitely interested in figuring out what imbalances are keeping this heel thing around. I know it could be partly over use but I also see that as it's a recurring issue I have something going on biomechanically that needs to be addressed.
 
On the plus side, I'm not really freaking out about this. I feel strangely calm and know I'll be fine after some rest. Running really used to be my only form of exercise so I think triathlon has really helped me realize that I can get just as much satisfaction out of other types of cardio.
 
I'm glad this is coming to the surface now in January, instead of a few weeks before a big race. I'm probably going to bag the Rock N Roll NOLA race at the end of this month but that's totally fine because it'll free up a couple of hours for more King Cake, er I mean, bead catching.