Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is my foot injured, or literally rejecting the idea of continuous exercise??

I can't tell if my right foot is injured, or just rejecting the idea of continuous exercise.

After I finished running my 4mi on Monday, my right foot really started hurting.  By Tuesday morning, it was really throbbing and it became difficult to walk.  I brought something to ice it at work (a bag of frozen pineapple, don't judge me), and that combined with ibuprofen seemed to help a lot.  I decided that my Tuesday run would be 3mi on the elliptical machine.  The elliptical machine is very low impact and designates the cardio into a different area of my legs, so I was able to take it easy.

Wednesday, my foot was feeling better, so I decided to hit the treadmill again.  Ran 4mi and knocked 3 minutes off of my time! My foot didn't hurt at all while I was running, but the minute I stepped off I realized it was going to need ice immediately.  Again, ice and ibuprofen helped immediately.

So where am I today? Sitting on the couch. I decided no running, no hiking, no walking. Got home from work to apply more ice on the area.

But what is it??

My foot hurts directly where the star is, on both sides. (originally only the inner part of the foot):

I'm pretty sure I have decided that it is not:
  • My achilles tendon
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel spur
Could it just be pain from impact from running and breaking in new running shoes?   The pain hurts when I apply pressure on it, and when I lift my heel up while walking. Standing on it doesn't hurt, and running on it doesn't hurt.  Could it just be inflamed and it will go away?

Hopefully so, I need to get back to running tomorrow! :(

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another mile for the records

I realized that I posted about my disappointing run last week, but I didn't provide any updates on the happy ones!

But first: happy running shoes make for happy, determined feet:

Thursday, Christi and I ran the service road and adjoining trails at South Mountain.  It actually felt good to get out of the office on our lunch break (yep, on our lunch break... we're nuts) to get some fresh air, and get away from the computer, recycled air, and crappy lighting.  We were a little surprised to find that the "flat" road included some small hills, so that was fun! (I'm joking here, folks.)  We did 3 miles in 43 minutes, and only walked a little on the uphill portions.  It was a little tricky to look ahead rather than at our feet when were carefully maneuvering around rocks.  I think for this week, we'll stick to the road and avoid the loose gravel, just to keep it safe. 

Friday, I was up at 5:30 and ran 3 miles before the sun came up.  I will admit, while my cozy bed tries often to discourage me from thinking otherwise, (having a handsome boyfriend doesn't help either!) there is definitely something to be said about waking up early, working out, making a big breakfast, and then starting your day! This was a special circumstance since we were heading out of town and I needed to fit it in.  I think I love sleep too much to wake up that early on my day off.  But yay me, I did what had to be done.

Saturday and Sunday were my days off, and my body thanked me for it. I was starting to feel so run down I just wasn't feeling well.  Soaked in the tub for about an hour and I felt like a new woman.  Thanks to the lovely Miranda Clements ( for making me some calendula-lavender bath salts with Epson salt in it. I think that become my new crack.

Today! 4 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes! I am improving my time and lengthening my distance.  I will admit my body wanted to give up during the first part of the 3rd mile, but I forged ahead. I cannot believe I actually ran 4 miles today! I feel like I have made a huge accomplishment.  This week will alternate between 3 and 4 miles and then mile 5 by Sunday.  (I think I'll need a brownie or a glass of wine tied to a stick to get me there....)

My achilles tendon on my right heel was very sore when I was finished.  Glad to see that ibuprofen helped calm it down.  I'm going to keep an eye on that and make sure to stretch and ice it so I don't end up with a more dramatic injury: 

The other plus side to this running? It helped loosen my neck some. Huh.  I may be on to something..

Week 2 of 10.. bring it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I won't let today discourage me.

Yesterday, I ran 3 miles for the very first time. Ever.  The max I've ever done is 2, and it was on an elliptical machine.  I was ecstatic when I was able to run the entire thing, and I felt great!  I luckily had my running partner, thank god for Christi.  Running with her kept me distracted and motivated enough to keep going the entire 3 miles.  It's also very helpful to have to motivate each other.

Today, I was on my own.  I assumed that running on the treadmill would be hard to sustain by myself without any distractions, so I decided to run the same street route that we had run the day before.  I did not do so well. In my first mile in, I had to stop to walk twice.  I was completely out of breath and I had a cramp in my side.  I was starting to get frustrated (and not to mention discouraged), so I turned around and ran back to our gym in the building.  I finished up my remaining 2 miles on the treadmill instead.  The running DID get easier, the cramping went away, and I finally finished today's 3 miles. 

However, I couldn't help feeling very let down when I finished because even though I did complete today's challenge, it was a very difficult process.  It probably didn't help that I felt like I got hit by a Mack Truck today, so I was already sore and tired. Therefore, I started to get distracted and let my emotions get to me.

So what was different today? What did I do differently?
* I am tired. Yesterday's run wiped me out a little bit, and I felt like I could have slept for hours when my alarm went off.  I'm also sore, I didn't warm up enough yesterday. I got more stretching in today, which was good. I needed it. 
* I apparently did not hydrate enough today, nor did I warm up properly, as evident by my side stiches. How on earth do you warm up before you go run? I also need to work on properly breathing to help keep the pain away. Deep belly breathing, not short shallow breaths from the chest. 
* I need to figure out the mental tricks.  I couldn't visualize my finish, I couldn't even visualize to keep moving.  My legs kept outsmarting my brain.  I read somewhere once that it is important not to let your emotion get to you during the run, to push though.  And while I could watch my time and mileage ticking on the treadmill, it became a mental challenge to beat the clock and make a point to show it up.

Oh look, "How to warm up":
Things to buy: organic cranberry juice to help hydrate and replenish and add to my water... and Epson salt, lots of it! :)
The important thing is, I finished two runs in two days.  3 more miles tomorrow, I can do it.

It has to get easier.... right?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Some of my friends have met Rhonda.

I decided that my inner fat girl comes out so often that she deserved a name, so Jay and I affectionately dubbed her "Rhonda."  Abby loves Trader Joe's vegan cookies.  Rhoda loves ice cream and fatty fudgy brownies. 

While it's one of my pet peeves when people constantly hide behind humor to deal with how they feel about their bodies and self esteem, rather than dealing with the issue, I thought it was fitting to call Rhonda out when she was coming out more often then not (and I was not making up for it with exercise).  I am a foodie. I loooove it.  Anorexia?? No way.  But I am not one of those lucky people who can eat what I want, when I want, and not get a big ass.  (OK, bigger ass).

So I've welcomed Rhonda and learned to embrace her, but I have to keep an eye on my eating habits every once in awhile.  It's sometimes difficult because while I eat a 95% organic pescatarian diet, I have a soft spot for processed cheese and a mega sweet tooth.

My favorite tool in watching all this is .

This is a FANTASTIC site! I have never been a calorie counter but this site really makes it easy to track your daily food and water intake, as well as your exercise achievements.  (Also a very useful tool when you are tracking food to figure out health and allergy issues).  My favorite thing about the site is I can plug in "Trader Joe's organic half and half" and it's in the database.  And if it's not, I can add it in there with the nutrition content.  It's an excellent tool for counting calories, carbs, fats, proteins, sugars (etc, whatever you want to follow), and if you have a weight loss goal, it makes it easy to see how long it will take you to reach it.  Also, if you have someone reading your journal as a friend on the site (completely optional), they will log in and MyFitnessPal will tell them if you have logged in or not.  It totally calls you out. 

Just a tool I've found useful along the way. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

The half marathon

Words I never ever thought I would utter, "I'm training for a half marathon."

WHAT??! I don't run.  Surely wine must have been involved in this decision making. In fact, I actually detest running.  I think it's because I never thought I was any good at it.  I have always joked that I got the "art gene" instead of the "sports gene," because I have always been artistically inclined, but always one of the last picked in PE growing up.  It was just something I learned to accept.

However, the older I get, the more fit I want to get.  Let's be honest, embroidering and sewing doesn't exactly burn the calories.  I'm not sure if it's the challenge of proving myself wrong or the drive for adventure, but I am ready to get in shape and get out there and boogie.

Earlier this year, we hiked 14.6 miles of the Grand Canyon in a single day.  It was one of the most exciting, exhausting, and thrilling moments of my life.  Last year, I started hiking, even though it was something I would never have considered while I was living back in California.  Suddenly I decided that instead of visiting one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, I was going to hike it instead.  Making it back up to the top, the adrenaline pumped through my veins and I knew I needed to have another experience like that.  I am truly hoping that a half marathon will have the same effect!

So starting tomorrow, I am in an intense 10 week training regiment to prepare for the P.F. Changs rock 'n roll half marathon on January 15th.  This is going to include running 5 days a week on top of my strength training and weekly hikes at South Mountain, all in preparation of completing a 13.1 mile run. 

The purpose of this blog is to help me record my experience and my challenges during this process.

Oh, and I'm one of those "crazy" people who doesn't eat meat, so I'll probably dedicate some of this blog to vegetarian living and recipes I have found.  :)