Tag Archives: plantar fasciitis

Checking in and happy 2013!

10 Jan

Posting a little place holder here, ’cause I am, in fact, still alive and running!

Work has been busy and outside of work I’m still training for Miami and attempting to have some semblance of a social life, too.  That doesn’t include this past Saturday night, which was spent baking cookies and then reading in bed.  Nerd alert.

Since I wrote, the holidays happened, which were a melange of good, bad, and ugly.  (Mostly good, though!)

Good included:  seeing my awesome family!  seeing my awesome friends!  sleeping a lot!  eating cookies and cheese with reckless abandon!  seeing The Silver Linings Playbook! (my girl crush on Miss Jennifer Lawrence has now reached epic proportions) giving and receiving fantastic gifts!

Bad included:  snow, (blech, hate winter) coming up 11 miles short for my prescribed 53 miles due to aforementioned snow + laziness + airline shenanigans (more on that to come)

And the ugly:  on my way back, airline shenanigans resulted in me being stuck at the Philly airport with no option to get to Laguardia before a flight — with a connection! — the following morning (I said no thank you and took the public transport to the Amtrak station and bought a ticket to Penn.)  Said shenanigans also resulted in my bag being transported to Laguardia on the flight that followed my canceled one, even though they didn’t get ME on the flight, (’cause that makes sense) and my bag finally being delivered to me the following morning with one of the beer bottles shattered and everything else in the bag (clothes, which had kept the bottles nice and cushioned– or so I thought) soggy and reeking of beer.

So long, DFH Celebration Ale, given to me as a Christmas gift last year and aged for a full year :(

So long, DFH Faithfull Ale, given to me for Christmas last year by my brother and aged for a full year 😦

I’m fairly certain that the US Air bag people played hockey with my bag, ’cause I definitely packed everything up very carefully with just this fear in mind.  At least my two other special beers survived the perilous journey.

brewed with peppercorns... I look forward to sampling it!

brewed with peppercorns… I look forward to sampling it!

Anwho… more ugly included runs that were derailed due to, er, tummy issues (um, when one survives on a straight diet of cheese and cookies for a week, this is to be expected, no?) and the loss of my ATM card, credit card, ID, and unlimited metro card.  And flip phone.  I’d rather not get into this, but I will say that I have a new flip phone, so don’t worry!  The jabs and jeers shall continue until I’m due for an upgrade in May… 😉  Also, word to the wise– do not carry a bag for the first time on New Years Eve because chances are if you are not accustomed  to carrying this bag and have a glass or two some champagne, you will forget to zip it and lose everything in a cab.  So yeah, don’t carry a new bag in that instance.  Even if the bag is super cute…

Did I need to buy this bag?  Absolutely not.  It was on sale, though...

Did I need to buy this bag? Absolutely not. It was on sale, though…

Miami training is going pretty well.  I did two 60-mile weeks and am officially tapering!  I’m still experiencing anxiety prior to every speed workout and am always slightly amazed when I nail them.  For instance– yesterday, I was to run 8 miles with 5 of them at tempo pace (7:27.)  I had pretty much decided I probably wasn’t going to be able to do it and was surprised when I did and it went well.  This is a regular occurrence with MGP runs and Yassos, as well.

In addition to the tempo yesterday, this week has also included a 7 miler with strides and an easy 6 miler.  I have a 10-miler with 8 MGP miles (eee!), another easy 6, and a 16 miler.  After last week’s 23 miler, the 16 miler is going to feel like a vacation.  That will rack up 53 miles total for the week and then next week I only have to do 40!

A few other running-related notes:

-I finally broke down and bought one of those handheld water bottles, even though I’m cheap and it was not.

water bottle

My reasoning was that I have read a few reports from the Miami marathon and it sounds like the water stations are pretty congested, at least until the half marathoners are done.  I’d like to try and avoid that, at least as much as possible, for the first half of the race.  However, I’m a little nervous since I’ve also read race reports from 2012 and the humidity level was something crazy, like 89% (barf.)  I DIE in humidity, since I sweat so much anyway, so this could get ugly… I’ve been practicing carrying this thing on my long runs and there is nothing to it, though I probably will wind up carrying either it or my phone, but not both on race day.  I’ve never run a marathon without my phone on me, but I don’t want to be juggling a bunch of crap while I gun for as close to 3:30 as possible (yep, I said it.)

Anyway, I carried it on Sunday for my 23 miler, but I wound up being pretty dehydrated and feeling ill afterward.  It really doesn’t hold that much water, but I did only refill it 3 times.  My 13th marathon and I still suck at hydrating.  At least I am finally getting the hang of fueling.  It’s amazing how much better a long run goes with the help of a few Honey Stingers… who knew?!

honey stinger

-You may recall a little bitch of an injury that plagued me for longer than I care to remember last year.  The plantar fasciitis hasn’t reared its ugly head full force or anything close to it, though I feel a little twinge here and there … but I can deal with that.  However, the foot ailment du jour is called metatarsalgia and it is no fun.  It basically feels like a burning or stabbing sensation on the metatarsal area of my foot and my toes.  Good times.  The good people at Jackrabbit fitted me for shoes about 4 times before I finally gave up and realized it wasn’t the shoes, but rather, my feet.  I’ve been able to keep it at bay during long runs with Advil.

And on a final, unrelated to running note, I’m not a huge “resolution” person, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have goals in mind at the beginning of every year.  However, for the past 2 years, I’ve made the resolution to “read more.”  I was a total bookworm growing up and was an English major in college.  But somewhere along the way I stopped making time to read.  And last year, I read a grand total of something embarrassing like 4 books — the Hunger Games series and Gone Girl.  I think I’m better at more concrete goals, so this year I’m going to read a book a month.  This month’s selection is I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe and I’m loving it and already almost finished.  If anyone has any good books to recommend, toss them my way!  I have a HUGE list of books I’ve been wanting to read for years, but I’m always open to suggestions!

In 2 months…

27 Nov

So, I guess now is when I say I’m planning to run the Miami marathon on January 27th– 2 months from today…

Basically, as a very generous gift, I was given a trip to Miami to do so last year, but as you may remember, I had a “short” bout with the dreaded plantar fasciitis … this prevented me from doing any running whatsoever for an unspeakable amount of time.

And so, January 27, 2013, is the day I hope to will run a sub-3:35 marathon.*

I actually got a little queasy just typing that out.  Yeesh.

Well, anyway, I suppose my official training for this race began the day I was slated to run the NYC marathon, which you may have heard wound up being canceled…

I ran 20 miles in the park that day, and the following week, ran a total of 44 miles, plus did a 45-minute Flywheel class.  My training has been decent but unremarkable.  My long runs have been very slow.  My speedwork has been pretty much on par.  Last week, I ran a little over 53 miles and did a 45-minute Flywheel class.  I also consumed about a million calories.  Fuel, of course!

This is a goose!

Who knew that goose was delicious?!?! T and I discovered this on Thanksgiving!

I made my Grandma’s oyster dressing. It involves: oysters, saltines, and a “little” bit of butter…

It is also DELICIOUS.

Can’t have Thanksgiving without green bean casserole! I used about 3 times the amount of cheese that the recipe called for. Obviously.

Anyway, so that’s just some of what I fueled my 53+ miles with last week.

One more shot of the goose

This week is a bit of a cutback week — I’ll only run about 45 miles.  Then next week I’ll run 60… which will be the most miles I’ve ever run in a week.

A few random observations about running during this, my 13th(!!!!) marathon training cycle:

-20 milers almost always suck.  They would probably suck a little bit less if I ran with a buddy or if I listened to music, but this last 20 miler (Friday after Thanksgiving) I had neither, and it was particularly brutal.

-For some reason, it’s difficult for me to hit MGP on anything but a circular path (lately for me, it’s been the Reservoir and the Astoria Park track.)  Why is that?  I should probably rectify this situation, seeing as how I’m pretty sure that the Miami marathon is a typical road race and not one done around a reservoir or on a track…

-I really want to join a running club/team.

-Inclement weather is almost a given on nights when I have NYRR running class.  Case in point:  the weather today sucks.  And I have class.

Anyway, this is not cohesive at all, but the 2 people who read my blog asked why I hadn’t written anything in a while.  So, tada!!!  I’ll do better next time. 🙂

Hope your holiday season is off to a great start!

*this really only involves shaving 4 minutes off of my PR, but I’d rather be closer to 3:30 if we’re being honest here…

DEAR SWEET BABY JESUS, I RAN A MARATHON!!*

18 Sep

*aka, Dayton Marathon Race Report

So, yeah.  I’m a little excited that after 8 months of torturous un-running, I trained for and then ran my 12th marathon!!!!  AND I had a blast!

But let me back up.  I know it’s been a while since I wrote.  I’ve been busy, plain and simple.  I know, I know, who ISN’T busy?  But that’s the reason anyway.

Since last I wrote, I ran the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K.  It was a hot-as-hell day (85% humidity, barf) and I ran an 8-mile warm up to the start– starting at my apartment and running over the Q’boro Bridge and up the East side of the park into Harlem.  By the time I arrived, I was DRENCHED.  I ran the thing in  23:38 (7:38 pace) and then ran a very slow 3 mile cool down (before which I finally met the lovely Meggie in person!)

As I stated before, my training program was the uber low mileage and very short 8-week Higdon  “senior marathon training program,” which peaked at a whopping 30 mpw.  I plugged along at that program, with 3 runs per week– one short, one slightly longer, and one long– and 2 days of Flywheel.

I have to say, after doing the Pfitzinger’s 18/55 plan (18 weeks of training with a peak of 55 mpw) last summer, this one felt like a walk in the park.  I also really enjoyed incorporating Flywheel into my training program, which you may recall I began doing very begrudgingly as replacement cardio when I couldn’t run.  Now, I LOVE it and am a solid devotee.

One other race I did in advance of my marathon (I’ll get to it, I swear!) was the Bronx 10-miler last Sunday.  This one wound up being one of the more hilarious races I’ve ever run, mainly ’cause I was doing pretty awesome for the first 10K or so (7:59, 8:06, 7:52, 7:44, 7:30, 7:27) and then nature called and I had to make a little stop.  That was annoying.  What was more annoying was that after I ran away from the port-o-potty, I realized I couldn’t find my phone, so I ran BACK to it, burst in one some dude taking a wizz, exited and waited for him to finish, went in again, and couldn’t find my phone anywhere… then after standing dumbly for a minute trying to figure out what to do, I discovered it deep down in my sports bra.  After that, I pretty much stopped giving a sh*t about the race and finished in 1:23:09 (8:19 pace.)  One of the best things about this race was running into my buddy, Ali, who had been sick for a while and who I was delighted to see out running again, and kicking serious ass.

Stolen from aliontherun ❤

Annnnd… 6 days later was the Dayton Marathon!

Dayton is my hometown and I was more than a little excited to run my hometown marathon for the first time.  I was obviously also more than a little nervous, given the cruel journey of angst and sadness that plantar fasciitis had taken me on (how’s THAT for drama?)  Seriously, though, I wasn’t sure how well-prepared I was with my meager mileage.  But, I didn’t have my heart set on any huge goal and just hoped to break 4 hours.  I was also super excited for T, since it was his first marathon!

We flew in on Friday morning and my mom picked us up and took us to the expo.  The rest of the day was spent eating, resting, and visiting with family.

T and I woke up bright and early (4:30 AM) on Saturday, showered, and got to the start!

Let’s do this!

hell yeah!

still sleepy

We left just after 5 AM because I had read a lot of complaints about the traffic at the marathon start.  However, this year they must have fixed all the issues that were mentioned because we were there and parked by 6… with a good hour and a half before start time.  We hung out in the car with the heat on for a while and then headed to the start.

At the start, I ran into my good friend Jamie.  She was running the half (her first.)  She is a local celebrity.  I used to work with her at WDTN, I was in her wedding, and dated her brother for, oh, 5.5 years. 😉  Anyway, it was wonderful seeing her!

It was a gorgeous morning and I documented a bit of it with my flip phone (yes) as we anxiously waited.

only 26.2 miles ’til I’m back!

See you “soon”!

so awesome beginning and finishing amongst these bad boys

That’s a lotta bananas…

Before long, T and I had made our last potty trip and had to split up.  There weren’t corrals, but I positioned myself near the 4-hour pacer and T positioned himself further back.  Then, there was an awesome flyover, which really revved everyone up.  Ordinarily, I’m not an aviation enthusiast, but this was a pretty sweet way to get started.

The anthem was sung, the gun went off, and off we went!

The weather was absolutely perfect.  We could not have asked for a better day for this race.  It wasn’t long before I saw a familiar person– Julia, who was running her 30th marathon in her 3oth state this year for Titanium qualification for the Marathon Manics.  Holy crap.  By the way, this was her 60th marathon overall.  Anyway, Julia and I ran together for about a mile before I bid her adieu.

Oh, just running on the most gorgeous fall morning I ever did see!

I saw my parents and T’s at mile 5, and I stopped to hug everyone.  Splits at that point were kind of all over — 9:06, 9:15, 7:48, 8:34.  I was feeling OK, not great.

I carried on, in the zone, casually trying to stay around an 8:40 pace, because that was what felt comfortable, but I wasn’t thinking too hard about it.  I was stopping at nearly every fluid station for water and/or Gatorade because I couldn’t shake an unquenchable vague thirst.  But the course was pretty delightful– a few inclines followed by soft declines.  I texted with T a bit and he sounded like he was doing great.  At mile 10, there was a huge crowd and lots of people calling my name, which was exciting.  I slapped a bunch of kids high fives and smiled and waved at everyone who cheered.

After Fairborn, (which was mile 10) it got a little sparse and I started wishing I had brought along my IPod.  I tried to focus on reaching the halfway mark and when I did, I got a burst of energy.

8:42, 8:44, 8:45, 8:32, 8:32, 8:27, 8:32, 8:53, 8:50

Before I knew it, I was at mile 14.  The miles seemed to be flying by all of a sudden, and I continued to feel that way even though it was a quiet area with not many spectators.  I should mention that the majority of this race is run on an Air Force base, so there is limited access for civilians.  The volunteers at the fluid stations were AMAZING and so encouraging, though, and the military people who were watching were really great, too.  I was in the zone at this point and really feeling as though I was out for a relaxing run on a beautiful fall day.  It was incredible.

8:37, 8:39, 8:39, 8:33, 8:26, 8:47

As I reached mile 19, I started getting a bit antsy for the race to be over.  Not because I was feeling miserable by any means, but I just wanted to wrap it up and start celebrating by hanging out with my family and T and his family.  I knew that everyone was waiting for us at mile 22, so I pressed on and looked forward to it, telling myself, “Only a few more miles ’til I see everyone at mile 22, then it’s just a breeze from there ’til the finish!”  There were a few tough hills at this point– including a significant-ish one at mile 21 as we went over an overpass.  I said incredulously to the 2 dudes running next to me at this point, “A hill at mile 21?  What the hell is this?”  They didn’t respond and I was a bit offended.  (T later told me they were probably gasping for air as I breezed past them, so we’ll stick to that theory. ;))  I saw my mom’s sign as I approached the crowd at mile 22 and then I saw T’s parents and mine, as well as my brother and my niece!

Very shortly after the 22 mile mark, the full marathon met up with the half, which had started an hour later.  At this point, I had been running for a little over 3 hours, so it was a bit frustrating to find myself dodging people walking the half who were not staying in their pre-ordained lane and were walking 5 abreast.  However, I was having such a good day and I was almost done, so it didn’t bother me nearly as much as it could have.

A few more small inclines appeared and I climbed them, recalling that the elevation chart had shown the course finished on a downhill.  Before I knew it, I spied the finish!  I cruised on in, got my medal and my space blanket, and found a spot in the grass to sit down and suck down some Gatorade and stretch.

8:45, 8:48, 8:42, 8:41, 8:59, 8:32, 8:12, 7:15

My watch said I’d finished in 3:47:11 and I was pleased with that finish time.  (My official finish time was 2 seconds faster, woohoo! ;))

It was a weird and peaceful feeling to be sitting at the finish of a marathon alone, pleased and feeling good and not obsessing over my pace or finish time.  I knew I could have finished a bit faster, but in the end, I likely wouldn’t have PRed and would have just felt physically like sh*t.  It wouldn’t have been worth it.  I also found it interesting that my time was less than 2 minutes slower than my time in NY last year, and I have never felt worse after a race than I did after that one.  That race, of course, was 3 weeks post my PR in Columbus and NYC is a notoriously difficult course.  But still.

Eventually, I met up with my parents, my brother, and my niece.  They told me how hellish the traffic was for them and apologized for not being there to see me cross the finish.  I just felt bad they had dealt with traffic and was happy to see them.  Two of my besties, Jill and Jess (+ Jill’s little baby, Raymond) surprised me by showing up, as well.  I received a text from T who was about to cross the finish, so I went to watch and screamed my head off like a crazy lady. 🙂  T did extremely well, especially considering that he hates running (:)) and he had some knee issues crop up in the later miles.  I was absolutely elated to see him finish strong, and he seemed pretty pleased himself.

The rest of the day was spent with our families, beer, and food.  What more could I have asked for?!

In summary:  I LOVE THE DAYTON MARATHON!  It may be my favorite race.  Hometown pride here!  Oh and the foot?  Feelin’ good!  *Knock on wood!*

Next up… NYC marathon.  Am I crazy?  Don’t answer that. 😉

A Very East Coast Summer (+ some running)

7 Aug

It’s been a hell of a summer and while I do realize  it’s not over yet, I haven’t written anything of substance for quite some time, (or ever?) so I thought I’d do a little catching up.  Anyhow.  I will actually be in NYC for the entirety of this coming weekend, and it will be the first time in 7 weeks.  In summary:

w/e of June 22:

In Buffalo for my friend Sari’s wedding. We opted to spend time at the classiest of establishments (pictured) between the ceremony and reception. We also missed our flight the next morning and spent the following day at the Buffalo airport. #fun

w/e of June 29th:

Emily and Shawn’s wedding in Maine. It was beautiful. Their dog is adorable. Maine rules.

4th of July:

Quick overnight trip to Fire Island, one of my favorite places EVER.  This picture sucks and does it no justice.

w/e of July 6th:  Utica for Boilermaker

w/e of July 13th:

Weekend in NJ for Kim’s surprise 30th bday party.

w/e of July 20th:

Weekend in Burlington with Molly — visiting Cookie, hiking, hitting up breweries!

w/e of July 27th:

Fri night in Boston with friend Molly; Sat and Sun in New Hampshire with college besties Cookie, (above) Emmy, and Jen.  Failed to take a single pic.  Oops.

w/e of Aug 3:

Todd and Diane’s wedding on LI. (pictured: tomfoolery in the photobooth)

Annnd… this weekend, I will at last be home.  And my mom (aka Jenny B) will be visiting!  Yippee!!!!  She rules.

Now, since this is sorta kinda some semblance of a running blog, here’s the latest…

I am signed up for the Air Force Marathon in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio.  It’s on September 15th.  That’s in less than 6 weeks, folks.  I began carefully training for it 2 weeks ago, using Hal Higdon’s “senior marathon training program.”  My reason for doing this is that I want to do extremely low mileage in my cautious return to running.  I know that a wiser person would forgo the marathon and do the half, or better yet, remain a spectator (T is also running this marathon, and it will be his first!)  But I never claimed to be wise and I am, in fact, extremely stubborn.  I also stayed away from running for a solid 7 months, which included maybe 8 exceptions of fewer than 5 miles.  So I feel I’ve done my time.  Damn it.

If you don’t feel like clicking the link, this particular program peaks at a paltry 30 mpw and includes only 3 days of running per week; literally all are prescribed “easy paces.”  Thus far, my training has looked like this:

M July 23:  45 min Flywheel

T July 24:  ~8 miles w/ 3 x mi  @ ~7:40 pace (the rest of the miles VERY SLOW)

W July 25:  full rest day

Th July 26:  45 min Flywheel

F July 27: 3.5 miles (unsure of pace; Garmin was being b*tch)

S July 28:  full rest day

Su July 29:  12 miles @ 9-9:30 pace(? again, Garmin sux)

M July 30:  45 min Flywheel

T July 31:  ~ 7 miles w/ 3 x mi hill repeats @ ~8:00 pace (dying.  so hot) and the rest very slow

W Aug 1:  full rest day

Th Aug 2:  full rest day

Fri Aug 3:  5 miles painfully slow (again, dying.  so hot.)

Sat Aug 4:  45 min Flywheel

Sun Aug 5:  14 miles in pouring rain, which felt like heaven compared to the disgusting heat/humidity of days prior.  Unsure of pace — 9:40ish?

Annnnd… that brings us to today.  It’s NYRR running class day, so we’ll see what sort of torture the coaches have in store.  It’s been a humbling experience trying to get back into running after being out for so long.  First of all, I have to run with the slowest pace group in my class, which doesn’t bug me too much until I think of where I could be if I hadn’t had to take such a long break.  Oh well.

As for my foot, well, today it’s a bit hurt-y, which makes me sad.  But it’s been holding up well (knock on wood) and I’ve been good about stretching and icing it.  There is no denying it is soooooo much better than it was.  But are all signs of PF completely gone?  Absolutely not.  Sigh.  I’m starting to wonder if this is something I should just get used to.  It’s completely manageable– just a bit of a “creaky” feeling in the arch of my foot, which is a lot better than the “stabby” feeling from before.  (I’m really good with adjectives.)  If I were to quantify the pain, I would say I was a 1.5 – 2 on this scale.

I saw this on the wall at my most recent podiatrist visit.

So.  The plan for now is do Dayton.  I have absolutely no specific time aspirations as of now.  But I hope to do it decently,  my injury and low-mileage training program in mind.  I am also signed up for NYCM.  But that’s another story for another day….

Happy running!  So (cautiously) glad to be back!

Remaining Optimistic and Yet Realistic

12 Jul

On Sunday, I ran one of my favorite races, the Boilermaker.

I ran it last year for the first time, and had a blast.  T’s best friend, Steve, is from Utica, so we stayed with his parents and were spoiled rotten for a weekend.  (Holla to Mrs. G’s brownies!)

Us last year at the post-race party

Well, we did we the exact same thing this year:  Friday after work T, Steve, his wife Danielle, and I hopped in a rental car and drove the 4.5-ish hours to Utica.  Upon arrival at the G’s home, we proceeded to pig out on the aforementioned brownies and “tomato pie“, (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried this Utica special.  It’s delicious!) and guzzle a bunch of Saranac.

Saturday involved T, Steve, and Steve’s brothers playing golf while Danielle and I sipped wine on the patio at the club overlooking the green.  (That may be the most obnoxious and WASPy thing I’ve ever typed.)  Then we headed back to the G’s, where Mrs. G had prepared a feast of pasta that we housed before turning in relatively early.

I may be a fool, but I didn’t have nearly as much trepidation for this race as I should have.  In the 5 weeks that preceded it, I ran one 4.5 miler.  This was in prep for a freaking 15K that is hilly as f**k.  Not very smart.  The one smart thing I *did* do was pay a visit to my PT, Aaron, on Thursday.  I had him massage and stretch me out in advance of the race.  My feelings when I woke up Sunday morning didn’t get much deeper than, “Yippee, I get to run today!!!  I’m really out of shape.  This should be funny!”

Honestly, my one wish was that my foot wouldn’t hurt.  I knew that I was going to feel tired and out of shape, but I could deal with that.  What would be a crushing blow would be having the PF come back flaring like the little b*tch that it is.

As Danielle and I hung out in our corral waiting for the gun, I thought about how much I’ve changed as a runner.  For years, I would be waiting in corrals thinking, “La la la, I’m going for a run!  NBD!”  It wasn’t until my 7th marathon, the 2010 Flying Pig, that I ran my slowest marathon and I asked myself why I wasn’t trying to get any better.  Since then, I’ve become more and more aware of my pace, and intent upon improving.  My running has become a bit more purposeful, as I’ve incorporated things like speed work and tempo runs.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to the hobby jogger I was before.  I should clarify, in no way am I kidding myself.  I am certainly still a hobby jogger.  I fully realize I am a very mediocre runner.  There is no delusion going on here.  What I mean is that I don’t see myself ever again being the lackadaisical racer that I was.  There are good and bad sides to that, I guess.

That finish time was 4:41:55. Yeesh. I made, like, 3 bathroom stops, too.  Love how I still look all victorious and sh*t.

Sooo…back to the Boilermaker:  the gun went off and off we went.  I pressed START on my Garmin and the f*cker did not respond.  Looks like I’ll be buying another one of those bad boys.  I’m actually glad it wasn’t working, however, (not glad I have to buy a new one) because it kept me from obsessing over my splits, which I know I would have done.  I just ran.  What a novel concept.

I lost Danielle around mile 3 and watched her fade into the distance, up the first hill, at the golf course.  I was all by my lonesome now– just me and 14,000 sweaty companions.

I struggled up the hill a bit and was bummed when I completely lost sight of Danielle.  I kind of gunned it down the other side, all the while internally chastising myself, “Slow the f**k down, you dumba**.  You’re going to regret this.”  Then, the course flattened out a bit and I just continued to put one foot in front of the other.

Oh, hai. Apparently I ran most of this race with my eyes closed. This is pretty much the only picture in which I have them open.

The whole time I was running, I was delighted to be doing so.  I checked the clock each time I hit a mile marker and as the miles ticked by, I dared to hope I could come in under 1:20:00.  I couldn’t remember what my time was last year, but I knew it was just under that.  The clocks seemed to indicate that this was a possibility, which was just insane to me.  But I didn’t question it.

The second and worst hill came along and I attacked it feeling tired and energized all at once.  When I got to the top, I made the turn and looked around intently for Amanda, who is the girlfriend of one of Steve’s brothers.  I thought I remembered her saying she would be there.  There was a huge crowd there (and really, all along the entire course– love this race!) but I didn’t see her.  I kept looking and looking and slowly realized that I was actually still climbing a hill.  I had forgotten that this was the hill that goes on and on and on.  So Amanda provided a welcome distraction for a while, even though I didn’t see her!

On the downhill, I once again gunned it and cursed internally at myself.  As the course flattened out and I came upon mile 8, I knew I would see the G’s soon.  Sure, enough, I heard Mr. G’s enthusiastic hollers before I even saw them!  I gave them a tired smile and wave and knew I was in the home stretch.  I tried to kick (ha!) and made my way down the gentle slope to the finish, feeling very glad that the end of the course goes that way.  The hills had pretty much taken everything out of me.

T calls this one “I’m every woman!”

Look at that smug smirk. It says something like, “F you, plantar fasciitis!”

I ambled along through the finish area, sweaty and happy and feeling pretty awesome, all-in-all.  The gang had made a plan for a meeting place that turned out to be a not-so-distinct spot, so I kind of wandered around ’til I miraculously found Danielle.  Thanks to a few people running with phones, (including me) Danielle, Steve, T, Steve’s bros, and I were eventually able to convene and drink many, many, MANY Saranac brews, which were going down oh-so-smooth.  YUM.  As my buzz kicked in, I thought I couldn’t possibly be happier than I was in that moment.  I had run a  race I was pleased with, after months of no running, and everything including my FOOT felt good.

I had to cut T out of this one of me and Danielle because he was photo bombing, per usual.

Smushy face. T, by the way, KILLED his time from last year! I am so proud!!!!!

My time, it turns out, was 1:18:53, (8:28 min/miles) so I *did* come in under 1:20!  Not only that, but holy crap– I beat my time from last year.  By, like, 9 seconds, but STILL!  For me, this is a very pleasant surprise.  I guess all the Flywheelin’ has kept me in decent cardio shape.  Either that, or I was so jazzed to be running again, or my watch was dead and I wasn’t obsessing over my splits, or I knew the course this year, or it wasn’t quite so blistering hot this year.  Whatever the reason, I was completely giddy (ok, and also drunk) all day on Sunday.  Monday I was also on Cloud 9 and my foot felt good, though my quads were aching– which is only natural, considering those hills and the fact that I am out of running shape.

Tuesday, yesterday, and today my foot feels a bit stiff.  I nixed the plan to hit up my running class on Tuesday (session #8 of 10, for which I have paid and haven’t attended once– GRRR) and instead went to Flywheel Tues and Wednesday.  Although now that I was able to run a long-ish race with no pain and all I want to do is run run run run run and start training for fall marathons… I am DETERMINED to be smart about it.

I am staying optimistic, and yet realistic.  Just like my headline suggests.

And that’s all I have to say for now. 🙂

PRP Take 2: Something’s Afoot

15 May

I hope you like that little play on words there.  I’m pretty pleased with myself for that one.

Anyhow, ho hum, I went and got my foot stabbed again yesterday.  Good times.  The entire experience was and is very different from last time, which of course I’m hoping means that the outcome will be different (read BETTER) than last time.  The outcome last time, you remember, was… er… no outcome.

So why did I decide to do it again?  I was aware from the get-go that the injections commonly happen in multiples, though I obviously really hoped that wouldn’t be the case for me.  However, when I went to see my doc about 5 weeks post-injection, he showed me on the ultrasound where my plantar fascia objectively looked better (re-inflamed, as opposed to degenerated) and thus thought I could benefit from a second injection.  Listen, I’m still not sold on this procedure being a “cure,” but given that I’ve tried pretty much everything else one is supposed to try for plantar fasciitis, I figured I did the first damn injection, I may as well carry on with the second.  (Again, with the hefty price tag of $630 and the added angst and stress– delightful!)

Anyway… like I said, this time was different.  First of all, instead of taking the day off, I went to work and left around 4:30 for my 5:00 appointment.  T met me at my office and we subway-ed it to the point of no return doctor’s office.  I thought I would feel less anxious this time around, seeing as how I knew what was going to happen this time.  But that was not the case.

This was evidenced when I nearly keeled over as the PA was drawing my blood.  No, I definitely didn’t turn ash-white, sweat profusely, and feel like I was going to faint/vomit, to the point where the PA had to withdraw the needle and T had to grab the trash can.  Not at all!

Taken directly after that little incident took place. When I saw the picture, I exclaimed, “why didn’t you tell me there was mascara all over my face?” to which T responded, “I was too busy GRABBING THE TRASHCAN FOR YOU.” Touche.

Good Lord.  That was humiliating.  I’ve always had a phobia of needles, but that has never happened before.  I had to drink some water and lie down a bit before the PA returned for a second try, which worked much better.

Then, I went and got the needle jabbed in my foot a bunch of times.  I don’t really know what the hell was going on down there because I was supine on the exam table and there was no way in hell I was going to let myself get even a glimpse of that sh*t.  But like last time, it was mildly painful and uncomfortable.

The doc stuck some Band-Aids on me, we each said thank you and we hoped never to see one another again, and then T and I were on our way to a place where I feel safe and happy.

Mmmm… beer…

I noticed right away that I wasn’t getting around nearly as easily as I had been the last time– my foot felt a lot more tender, and I was limping.  It felt good to sit down to this:

Bread. Olive Oil. Meat. CHEESE. Yes.

Oh and yeah, also this:

Victory Summer Love is DELICIOUS! Also, yes, I changed out of my “comfy injection clothes” and back into my work clothes. Said comfy injection clothes were soaked in sweat.

And it’s a good thing this guy was there!

Not only was he awesomely supportive in my time of need, but he was also crucial in getting me home because I LITERALLY COULD NOT WALK when I went to get up from the table.  My foot was so tender, I could hardly put any weight on it at all.  Some man gave us a weird look as I hobbled out, clinging to T, and asked if I needed a paramedic.

Anyhow, it took me more than twice as long as it normally does to get to the subway this morning, and I haven’t been able to walk normally at all yet.  My foot still feels very stiff and tender and it’s currently throbbing, so I have it propped up on my CPU.  This is a major difference from last time, since I basically felt pretty much normal immediately last time.  So, needless to say, I’m hoping this is a great sign that it’s working its magic!

Here’s hoping next time I write, it’s some good news.  I mean, IT’S ABOUT TIME, for real!

 

 

Spotted: Crazy, Fugly Runnergirl On A Murderous Rampage in Central Park

3 May

… or just me plodding through the park with a combination of happiness to be running and frustration that a 4 miler could feel so damn difficult.

Anyhow.

I ran a 4 mile race in Central Park 2 Sundays ago.  I finished in just under 32 minutes, which was, meh, whatever.  Seeing as how I hadn’t run in over 3 months, my expectations were pretty damn low.  I was kind of pleasantly surprised at first, but then found myself pretty depressed because in all honesty, I should be able to run a 4 miler at better than an 8 min/mile pace, for Pete’s sake.  My PR marathon pace is really not THAT much slower than that.  Ugh.

I should also mention that hours after the 4 miler (during which, by the way, I didn’t really experience any foot pain) I found myself in IMMENSE pain, to the point where I could hardly walk.  That brought that particular weekend to a lovely conclusion, as I bawled about the fact after months of forgoing running, attempting to embrace spinning, buying all kinds of foam rollers and trigger point doohickeys and various shoe inserts, Physical Therapy, different doctor visits, scary injections, and other crapola, one 4 mile run put me right back where I was before I did all of that.  I just felt such a crushing emotional blow, like everything I had done — all the angst and stress and money– was a complete waste.  I spent the remainder of that Sunday holed up on my sectional couch eating food I’d ordered off of Seamless web and  and watching “Veep” and “Girls” on HBO.  (I did, however, manage to wait to watch Mad Men, since T was working and that’s our show.  And can I just say that MM has been effing awesome this season?!?!?)

Anyhow.  Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I did yet another 4 miler this past Sunday.  My time was better, (not that it really matters) and my foot hurt a lot less in the aftermath.  No idea why.  I also thought I’d share the photo described in the title of this post, because it’s too amazing not to.  Friends’ reactions have included the following.

Kim: OMG I can’t lie.  It’s bad.  HAHAHAHAHA.

Molly:  You are so beautiful.  But, uh, not in that pic.

Well, see for yourself, friends.

YEEEARRRGGGGH I WILL EAT YOUR CHILDREN!!

In other news, though I am far from embracing spinning, it turns out I’m decent at it.  All I had to do was decide to put my name up on the “torque board” and suddenly I started spinning my little heart out.  I start getting crazy competitive and trying to “win” as often as I can.  So I found myself on the Flywheel website a few days ago, idly clicking here and there, and I discovered that they list the top 10 men and women for each week at each studio and that I had landed in the top 10 women at the UES studio not once, but twice!  WHAT?

Take a wild guess which one is me

If you’re ever in a Flywheel class and you see “SweatyKT” on the torque board, come find me and say hi!  You’ll know it’s  me, ’cause I’ll be the sweatiest person in the class, men included.

And now for a quick foot update.  I saw the doc who did the injection this past Monday.  He looked at a sonogram of my foot and showed me where objectively it was looking better.  He is puzzled, however, as to why it is still hurting.  He also said that it’s a good sign that I’m even able to run 4 miles, but I’m finding it difficult to look at it that way since I’d like to be running a hell of a lot more than that, and without crazy-intense pain in the aftermath.  Anyhow… he had me go get an MRI to see if maybe there was some kind of issue on top of my PF that is causing this trouble.  He acknowledged that I’ve done pretty much everything I should be doing for my foot.  I got the MRI done yesterday and now I am waiting for the results…

Yesterday I had my final insurance-covered PT session and from here on out, if I want to go, it’s $100 a pop.  My PT also said that he is completely bamboozled as to why my foot is still hurting, given that I’ve done pretty much everything.  I guess it’s some consolation to have everyone in agreement that I’m doing everything I can(?)

I’ve started seriously considering accepting that my running days are over and attempting to find a new …. No!  F*ck it!  I’m not giving up!!!!  (That’s as far as I usually get with that thought.)

If anyone has any stories of glorious recovery from injuries to share, that would be swell.  Sweaty Emily‘s recovery from her broken foot is nothing short of legendary, but as my PT informed me– muscle and bone injuries are a lot easier to recover from than tendon injuries.  Sweet.  However, I want to reiterate that coming back from an injury by running a 3:08 marathon is just… wow.  I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t wish I’d broken my foot instead of getting freaking plantar fasciitis.

But life goes on, I’ll be running again… some day soon(????PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE) and at least I have horrifically, fantastically terrible photos of myself to keep me smiling…