Tag Archives: Healthy

SUAR’s 10 Ways To Survive Your Injury Without Being a B*tch

While trying to convince myself it was a good idea to get out of my warm bed at 4:30 this morning for weights and swimming lessons I stalled by catching up on blogs. Lots of Boston rah-rah-ing in my RSS. Yay runners! And also this:

10 Ways To Survive Your Injury Without Being a B*tch – By SUAR (Shut Up And Run)

As a currently injured athlete I think the advice is stellar. Much of it is obvious, but it’s much more effective to have someone remind you THE WORLD IS NOT ENDING rather than to have to muster that feeling yourself. Be careful who you tell. I always forget this one. No longer.

I spent the better half of last week feeling just about how SUAR does in her photo. I was negative, burnt out, feeling like my hard work was pointless. I don’t think I ever actually thought the world was ending, but I was certainly sort of questioning my part in it. I felt like my world was ending. I mean, really, MORE AQUA JOGGING? That might kill me.

I took two days to wallow then forced myself out on a long ride on Saturday. Post-ride I decided aqua jogging didn’t sound like death, so I obliged. Then something magical happened: I felt BETTER. And then I felt even better when I woke up early on Sunday morning to lift weights and then ride with my training group. In fact, I felt so much better psychologically that I didn’t even get upset when I locked my keys in my car in the parking lot 10+ miles from home. I simply dealt with it, ran later in the afternoon, and made the best of my day. (This is a big deal, folks.)

Reading SUAR’s blog post was just what I needed this morning. While I’d like to think I wasn’t a b*tch the whole last month, I probably was at some point. I can’t promise I never will be again – injuries suck – but I’m feeling back on track.

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Swim Bike No Run Recap

Yes, I’m still alive and well (all things considered) over here, and am still on my way to Ironman. I just figured that I wouldn’t bore you all with how the bottom of the pool is looking or how I’ve definitely figured out the best way to carry  my bike and trainer to my apartment gym in one!single!trip!

I’m still not happy to not be running. In theory I can try it next Tuesday, but my gut says don’t do it – and Coach agrees – so I’m going to stay strong in my pursuit against the sfx. Instead to celebrate my minor victory on the road to recovery I’ll bring normal shoes to work next Tuesday and will wear them to walk around the office (rather than my boot). If that goes well for an entire week then I’ll try a run-walk-run-walk for 20 min the following Tuesday prior to my follow-up appointment. Fingers are majorly crossed.

But in the mean time, some highlights from the last week or so:

Saturday March 17

It snowed. Big, fatty, huge, snowflakes. For about 2 hours. Needless to say I was pretty pleased that I had chosen the trainer over an outdoor ride when the snow started about 45 minutes into my 3 hours. I sweat like nothing you can imagine (seriously, really) so despite the snow I cracked open two windows for a cross-breeze. 30 minutes later steady steam was coming off my back, and I kept thinking my eyes were foggy but nope, just more steam. Here’s a photo Garth took to document my first 3 hour trainer ride. Of course he had to take the photo during one of the quick sit ups I took, making me look like a total loser.

3 Hour Trainer Ride in the Snow

Sunday March 18

I purchased waterproof headphones. Conveniently they’re also sweat-proof, since I’ve broken about 493438329831718 pairs of apple ones with my “glistening.”

Wednesday March 21

I set my stuff at the head of a lane, and rinsed off in the pool deck shower. A girl asked if it was my stuff – yes – and she set hers down too to share. Despite the fact there were other free lanes. That’s cool, I hate the wall lanes too. We split it just like everyone does at 24 and went about our merry swimming. 15 minutes in to my 1:15 swim we had a collision with some hardly notable side-swiping action. I quickly stopped swimming, because I like to be polite and apologize even if it’s not my fault, and looked back toward her to see what was up. I was on my side, and she appeared to be on her side, the collision was hardly worth noting. But girl was PISSED. And started crying in anger. *sigh. The rest of our swim sharing the lane was really joyous. Thank goodness she was out of the locker room prior to me finishing up. Though my “swimming” that day felt more like “sinking” I would have glad fought the water for however long necessary to not deal with her pout any longer.

Thursday March 22

I’m getting better at spinning, for sure. Small little things that I don’t have the energy to really analyze in the grand scheme of things, but I can get my heart rate higher and hold it before my legs have no strength left to give. Aero is getting more comfortable on my new bike. My left side is still weaker and less coordinated than my right, but once I’m warmed up I can even it out until I start getting fatigued again. Coach specifically told me to expect my spinning sessions to be tough this week, and that they were. But I had them built up as impossible, and they certainly didn’t kill me. In fact, I enjoyed them.

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Filed under Health, Injuries, & Prevention, Training

Friday Cry Day Part 2

If you need some tears of inspiration to get you on your feet this weekend, watch runner Ben Comen in his last race of his senior year as he breaks 41 minutes.

He has cerebral palsy, and less excuses than 98% of people I know.

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Back to the Track

I had a really good night at the track this evening. Other than this:

Actually, the weather wasn’t THAT bad. Rain turned to heavy mist just when the fun began, and winds were calm until the rain ceased. Yes, that means that the workout was misty and windy. But I’ve had worse! MUCH worse! Like last week, when my knee hurt too much to push it do anything and Seattle was covered in too much ice and snow to leave the house. That was The Suck. Weather is bad enough, but injury as an excuse makes you really crabby. And by “you” I mean “me.”

An aside, this has nothing to do with injury, but illustrates the massive snow that paralyzed us last week:

Is that a bunny redirecting traffic for sledders, you might ask? Why yes, it is.

Back to the track. Tonight’s session was 12×400’s, with a 200 slow jog between, and a treat between 4/5 and 8/9 where we were gifted with a 400 jog. And by “we were” I mean “I was.” My usual partner in track crime was sick tonight, and the other member who showed had a different workout and was gone before I could even make small talk.

The workout went well, a good thing because I sort of needed it to. Sometimes the progress that I’ve made and the work I’ve put in, no matter how great, aren’t enough to keep my mind quiet. Sometimes I need a moment in time to clearly map to improvement and sometimes I need to exceed my own expectations. I haven’t talked too much about my knee online but it’s been bothersome to me; injury has a tendency to make my confidence drop. I went into the run tonight not knowing how hard I could push myself or what to expect, having run only once since my 10k race last weekend. I wouldn’t claim to have gutted myself, but I pushed myself hard and feel good about the fact that I hit my pace goals with plenty of juice to spare fresh off a week of lacking confidence and nearly no time on my feet.

 

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2012 Will Be Busy

Not to be negative, but I sort of hate New Years. It all feels arbitrary to me. If you have resolutions or goals to make, why not commit the moment the moment that you realize you can’t stop thinking about them? Why does 1/1 make it easier to put them to action and apply to life? (It doesn’t). Tomorrow probably actually won’t be easier than today, so rather than starting a diet tomorrow why not skip the pie and ice cream now? Because there’s also a possibility that tomorrow will be MUCH.FREAKING.HARDER. and that you’ll need that pie for survival.

New Years also always has this massive amount of buildup around it. What are YOU doing for New Years Eve? Well, if you really want to know, if I had my way I’d probably stay at home in my PJ’s that I got for Christmas, eat that pie and ice cream I was just talking about, and be asleep by 10pm. But alas I will get dressed up. I will have a marvelous dinner with good friends. It will be an amazingly fun night, NYE or not. And hopefully I’ll still have those PJ’s on by midnight.

Truly though, 2011 was a really incredible year. We rang in NYE in Paris, followed by London, Venice, Florence, and Milan. I ran the Boston Marathon. I completed my first Sprint, Olympic, and Half Ironman triathlons, all sort of on a whim. We had our 1 year wedding anniversary. Garth’s blog was a huge success, like, ridiculous huge. We looked at a house, decided to stay renters, and feel ridiculously good about it. We learned, laughed, healed, and had a lot of fun with hardly a moment to rest. I don’t know if we’ll be able to beat all that fun in 2012, but we’ll certainly try!

There’s some fun in store for the new year already, and there are some definite things I want to accomplish in 2012. Clearly. See my race schedule page if you don’t know what I’m talking about. And not only do I have a race schedule plotted out, but I have some lofty goals to accompany each race. I want to break a 1:35:00 half marathon. I want to give IMC my all get a Kona slot in Canada. And if I’m not too broken by November I’d like to BQ before we ring in 2013. Along the way I want to eat too much good food and drink too much good wine (disclaimer: this goal may not be as lofty as the rest). My plan to get there is to follow the plan and make every day count toward arriving at where I want to be. This year, there’s really nothing to change. Just lots to keep doing, and do it I will.

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Sports Bras versus Speedos: A Running Infographic

I saw this infographic on MP3 Running the other day, and though I don’t know why men are referred to as “speedos” I really like it! I work in marketing so infographics are all the rage at my day job* and this is one of my favorites because it covers a topic that I actually care about love.

Not much is surprising to me here. I think the biggest surprise was the number of running events that the average runner attends, as well as that women purchase less (running) shoes per year than men. Because most running ladies I see have the brightest sparkliest kicks out there!

*Want to know what my night job is? Well, actually, let’s call it a morning job. It rhymes with bimming, ricycling, and sunning.

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Battling Evil With Medi-Dyne Magic

Today I’m honored to be featured on Medi-Dyne’s blog, where they’re sharing my story of recovery from the evils of plantar fasciitis. *shudder. Seriously evil stuff. And I’d be remiss to not mention, just in case you don’t gather from below, that the only way and reason I recovered was because I finally pulled the trigger and bought a ProStretch Plus. And yes, I happened upon it and bought it myself (in a moment of pain induced depression and rage). Ask my Visa card if you don’t believe me, but I’m just grateful that my PF story has an ending.

Seriously though, if you or anyone you know are suffering from PF get one immediately. And keep it in your kitchen. For real. It helps. And I can’t wait to try the RangeRoller, too!

—From Medi-Dyne’s Blog—

Overcoming Plantar Fasciitis, An Inspiring Story

Posted on December 14, 2011 by admin

We were sent this testimonial from Arielle; runner, triathlete, and soon-to-be Ironwoman. She recently overcame 10-months of pain and suffering, due to ‘nagging’ Plantar Fasciitis, with some truly inspiring perseverance and what she calls “Medi-Dyne magic.”

“As a highly competitive gymnast growing up I periodically had heel pain, but nothing that I couldn’t remedy within a few days. Fast-forward about a decade later, and I found myself completely in love with long distance running. Ever since I took up the sport in the spring of 2009, I had experienced intermittent heel pain on and off again. In all of my athletic history my feet and ankles have always been my weak link, and I’ve run the gamut of injuries from stress fractures to dislocation to neuromas and so on…
Fast-forward one more time to March 2011, just 6 weeks before the Boston Marathon. I had been training for over a year to qualify and prepare for the race in Boston. After my
first 20 mile training run my foot completely seized up, and nothing would remedy the intense heel pain and feeling of strain that I was feeling in my foot. I stretched 3 times every day, used traditional methods—ice and massage, but nothing would alleviate my heel pain and get my arch to loosen up. I was forced to stop training up until race day, though  even after over a month off my feet, my Plantar Fasciitis was no better than that first day it came on.

I limped my way through the Boston Marathon and afterward my injury was no better or worse than before, so I took another couple of months off from running to try to get the inflammation to cease.  In the mean time, I found triathlon, which helped due to less running, but I was dissatisfied with the solution. I was recently gearing up for the Seattle Half Marathon in November of 2011, my first race since April. I was having a particularly painful week, feeling like I would never be uninjured again.

Training was going well but I still had nagging Plantar Fasciitis and foot pain, a sign of not good things to come (given that I’m racing in the Ironman Canada next summer). During an evening of injury-related depression I was surfing Twitter and saw someone post that Medi-Dyne would be sponsoring #runchat. I went to medi-dyne.com and clicked through to learn more about you guys. I instantly remembered seeing you in either Runner’s World or Triathlon magazine, and pulled the trigger to have my ProStretch Plus rush ordered. From all of the stretching I’ve done I understood immediately what sets the ProStretch Plus apart, and hoped it would truly be the device to save me!

My ProStretch Plus arrived just a couple of days later, and after 1 day I saw a huge  improvement in my Plantar Fasciitis (both heel pain and arch tightness). After 3 days my  heel pain was gone, my arch tightness had subsided, and I was noticing less arthritis pain in the outside edge of my foot. After 7 days I was able to go off my arthritis medication and I haven’t had any heel pain since!!

The foot is so interdependent on all of its moving parts that inherently many of my injuries have stemmed from compensation for other injuries. Regular use of the ProStretch Plus has really gotten to the core for me to work through many of my foot injury issues. I  haven’t been in pain for a while (finally!!) I’m still seeing active improvement in my flexibility and stride while walking and running. And I love that the product is so easy to use; I keep mine in my kitchen so that I can use it between cooking and cleaning in an area where we all congregate. The ease of use makes it easy for me to remember and more likely to incorporate it into my routine. So happy to have found you guys am looking forward to more of your magic!” – Arielle

Thanks to Arielle for sharing that amazing story and the fun photos with us.You can follow Arrielle’s training on her blog, “On the Way to Ironman” at www.onthewaytoironman.wordpress.com.  We are looking forward to hearing about her success at the Ironman in Canada this summer.

If you have a story about your injury recovery that you would like to share with us, or if Medi-Dyne helped heal your pain please email connect@medi-dyne.com. Read what others are saying about the ProStretch Plus at medi-dyne.com or order your ProStretch Plus today.

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Exercise Improves Cognitive Health

I think anyone who is an athlete would make the argument, completely blind, that their focus on physical activity makes them smarter, as well as function more highly in other areas of their life. Personally, even after an exhausting 20 miler I can’t help but be a machine. After running for hours the next thing on my mind is to conquer whatever’s next, be it the day’s errands, cleaning, reading, or all of the above, and as quickly as possible!

Well, now it’s proven.

NY Times Well Blog – How Exercise Benefits the Brain

Read it. And then go out for a swim/bike/run.

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Operation: Stay Healthy

Unfortunately I have enough experience with injury to truly understand the value of investing in prevention. Prevention, plus a bullpen of health professionals that not only know how to help you heal but who also support whatever it is that you love, even if it’s why you need them in the first place. If I had a nickel for every time someone has suggested that I Just stop running I’d be rich as well as really unpleasant to be around. I don’t know, why don’t you just stop breathing? Of course breathing is more important than running, be it life and death and I’d reconsider. But plantar fasciitis or tendonitis or a stress fracture is not the same thing as death. Why don’t you care about anything enough to work through a challenge? *end rant

After one of my first (unsuccessful) attempts at open water swimming this summer I couldn’t breathe. The water was rough, it was early in the season so it was cold and dark too, and I was with some expert swimmer friends so I was equal parts scared shitless and intimidated by greatness. I swam maybe 100 yards and stopped. I couldn’t get any air in. They stopped with me and tried to coax me back into it, breathe slow, take loooong strokes, they said. Yeah, no. They thought I was having a panic attack and choking on water. Water had nothing to do with it, rather my throat was swollen and phlegm was growing to spoil any hope at getting air to my lungs. At the time all I knew was that I was discouraged by my wimpyness. But hours later when I still couldn’t breathe I knew it was something else.

Fast forward to a doctor appointment that afternoon. Oh yeah, same day, baby, tell ‘em you can’t breathe and you become very important. I explained the situation to my doctor and told her I had experienced the same thing during previous swims to lesser extents, though the water had never been so rough. Her first response? Well, maybe you should take up a different sport. Well maybe you should take up a different profession if you don’t want to enable people to do things that keep them healthy! I had no research to back myself up, but I pressed the phlegm angle hoping she’d prescribe me something that would cut congestion to at the very least limit my choking. You know, the lesser of two evils.

Low and behold I walked out of the office with a prescription for an inhaler. Done, and done! My problem is an allergy that can be managed with an inhaler and Sudafed, and the occasional netti pot pour. And I’ve lived happily ever after never to hear from the choking phlegm or closing throat again.

My podiatrist is the complete opposite. Meaning, he is the best. With a serious injury he will by all means sideline activity with a boot. I speak from experience. Twice. But for something that can be worked through he wants to help you find a solution. He listens to my injury woes. Adjusts my orthotics ever so slightly to reduce pressure and alleviate soreness. Cuts restricting crap off my shoes to allow my feet to expand to the wide piggies they’re getting to be with all this running. Pieces together pads to make my feet stay better in place. And when you have a month ‘till Boston and have plantar fasciitis and a neuroma, he asks if you still want to run it and gives you cortisone shots. And when things are still rough the week before, he gives you two more. And before you leave he always reminds you that running is painful, you have to expect some aches and pains along the way, because without pain in the sport you won’t get very far. Dr., you are my people.

My physical therapist is also like-minded. No shock considering my podiatrist recommended her. Rinse and repeat everything that I just said but in a PT application, and there you have another hero of mine.

I need to find a primary physician and chiropractor that also get it. Seattle people, suggestions?

I’m making a point to get my care and injury prevention right this time, and just started massage therapy as a preventative measure to keep my body healthy, relaxed and ready to go. In the past I’ve only gone pre and post-race as a means to gear up and recover. If I have an ache I wait until it’s shrieking to visit the doctor. But yesterday I called and got in to my podiatrist today. I haven’t been 100% comfortable in my left foot since…??…but with a couple tiny adjustments in my shoes I have been without any discomfort or pain since 9am this morning. First time in a long time. And more than anything I feel like my brain can now rest. No more energy will be wasted on this, and I can sleep and run with a sound mind.

I’m turning over a new and healthy leaf, because if I want to be as good as I can be I’m going to need to be as healthy as I can be, too. In my gymnastics career I wasted too many days on the stationary bike mimicking my routine’s dance movements with my arms. As teammates trained to compete I struggled to gain strength and keep fitness while injured. Arm dancing won’t help me much with swimming, biking and running, so I need a new plan. Operation: Stay Healthy is now top priority. Goal: To stay in the game and make use of every training opportunity to build strength, get faster, and be better.

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