Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Eight Mile Follow-up

After Sunday's long run of eight miles (my longest distance ever), I was worried about my foot. I iced it all day Sunday and wore my brace at night. Monday morning? It felt great! The brace is definitely helping. Only problem with it is that I'm not sleeping as well as I had been. There was one night that I didn't put it on tight enough and I experienced the pain in the morning, so now I've been waking up a lot at night wondering if it's tight enough. I've got to let it go.

This week is a step down week so I only had 3.5 miles today. I was a little faster today than I have been, but I also didn't feel as well running it. My hip and knee were bothering me, probably from overcompensating for the other foot. My breathing was an issue today too, couldn't get into a good rhythm. I kept wanting to give up and just do 2 miles, or just do 3 miles, but I pushed through it and did the required miles. I'm such a whiner, but like I said in the past... a lot of running is mental for me.

It was a beautiful day for a run today. It was 44 degrees and sunny... I hope it stays this way (or gets warmer). It makes it easier to run.


I just entered a contest to win a running skirt from runningskirts.com. I've never tried one, but LongLegsontheLoose is giving one away on her blog.


Might as well try! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

20 Degrees is COLD!

My plan for the eight mile run this morning was to get up at 6:30 and be out of the house by 7:00 so I could be home by 8:30. For some strange reason, my alarm didn't go off. I'd been awake all morning, but happened to fall asleep in the time my alarm was supposed to go off. I woke up at 6:50 and hurried to get ready. I checked the temperature outside - 20 degrees. Brrr! I've never run in anything colder than 25, so I was leary about going out. I don't really have anything super warm... plus I lost one of my warm running socks in the laundry the other day. I bundled up with my usual--tights underneath my pants, long sleeve compression shirt under my running jacket, running gloves and earband. I put two pairs of my thinner athletic socks under my shoes.

I never know whether I should eat before I go out or not. I'm always afraid breakfast will sit in my stomach or give me a cramp... Since I got a late start today, I figured I would take a gel with me and just rely on that. Only, I forgot to take the gel with me :(

I made it out of the house at 7:20 and started making my way down the country roads. The first 1/2 mile was pretty cold. I had to take my fingers out of my gloves and let them warm themselves together. This was when I wished I would have brought my mp3 player so I could distract myself from the cold. I also realized at this time that I forgot my gel.

After the first 3/4 mile, I started to get comfortable. It was very peaceful at that time of the morning - I think only one car passed me in the first four miles. My route took me out four miles and then back... I wanted to do it that way so I could tease myself into thinking it was two four-mile runs. I don't know why, but it makes it easier if my mind thinks of it that way.

At four miles, I turned around and headed back. I started to feel it a little bit in my foot and my hips were getting stiff, I think from the cold. My pace was pretty slow, 11:30/mile but I did it. The last half-mile was on my road... I got cold again. The wind wasn't at my face but my toes and fingers were getting cold again. Luckily, the run was just about over :)

Eight miles done! I believe next week is a step-down week, so I can rest my foot after the shorter runs. Wore the brace in the two-hour car ride, both directions while icing it, so hopefully that'll help. I'll wear it again tonight and hopefully tomorrow will be a good day. I'm hoping the two days of rest will help too.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I tried to post a picture of the brace, but it didn't work. I apparently don't know how to use blogger :) Let's try this again...

Okay, just look at this link, I guess...


Foot Brace

Tuesday's run was okay. I did the scheduled 4.5 miles, hoping the rain would hold off. We've been spoiled by the nicer weather that even the slightest bit of cold made me want to stay inside. I knew I wouldn't be able to get the proper mileage in if I ran inside so I pushed myself out the door and ran outside. I was pretty slow, but made it through. I was a little worried about the foot and my cold was still around. After last weekend's run, I was worried about being able to breathe, but I didn't have an issue.

Well, after I ran on Tuesday, I wore the plantar fasciitis brace on my foot. What it does, is keeps your foot flexed, so that while your foot is healing at night the arch tendon doesn't heal while it's shortened... does that make sense? Wednesday morning, I was really scared when I woke up but as I put my foot down on the ground, I didn't feel any pain! It was a miracle! I couldn't believe it would start working immediately! Throughout the day I could still feel some twinges, but not like before.

Thursday, I wasn't feeling motivated at all. I really didn't want to run but again, I pushed myself outside and had to tell myself that if I couldn't do the 4.5 miles today, how was I going to get comfortable doing the longer runs? So I got out there and completed the miles. I was still pretty slow, but not terrible.

I've been wearing my new foot brace all week, so imagine my surprise when I woke up Friday morning in excrutiating pain in my foot. I don't know if I wore the brace wrong or not tight enough, but it was not a good day. Friday night, I really paid attention to how I put on the brace. Thankfully, today (Saturday), the foot felt great...granted, I didn't run yesterday.

Tomorrow calls for an 8 mile run. Due to schedules, I'll be doing something I don't really want to do--getting up early to run. We'll see what comes of the foot Monday morning...

If you want to see a what the brace looks like, here you go

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Foot issues

So, after I ran on Thursday last week, I felt pretty good--until I woke up on Friday morning. My foot hurt so bad, I could barely walk to the bathroom. As the day went on, it got better slowly but it still hurt. I'm starting to think I may have injured it pretty badly.

Saturday morning I woke up and it was like a new day, like my foot didn't even hurt the day before. I felt great. The weather was gorgeous, so I ended up taking a 9 mile bike ride outside by myself. It was gorgeous out! I still have a cold, but it was so nice out that I took advantage of that.

Sunday was the day for my 7 mile run. Hubby ran a half-marathon in the morning and it was cold! Standing there, cheering him on with the kids, the chill got to my bones. But after we all got home it was time for me to go out and do my training run. Today, my cold was hitting me really hard. I really wanted to take a nap with the rest of the family, but I knew I had to do this. The wind was pretty strong, so I set out to a local metropark, where the trail would be blocked from the wind.

I ran the 7 miles, but had to stop a few times to catch my breath. My cold was not making it easy to breath so at 3.5 miles, when the trail stopped and I had to figure out where to go, I stopped for a breather. Then at 5 miles I stopped to put my coat in the car and took another breather (the temperature had gone up 10 degrees during my run). I finished the 7 miles though.

Unfortunately, Monday morning brought the pain again. It hurt so bad that I had to crawl to the bathroom on my hands and knees. As much pain as I'm in during these episodes, all I could think about is "I hope I can run tomorrow" and "I hope I don't have to give up running." I want to finish this half-marathon. I can rest my body after that. In the meantime, I still have work to do.

Again, this morning, I was able to walk again. I had a little more pain than usual, but by the time it came time to run, I felt good enough. As I started off, my arch hurt a little bit and I felt myself overcompensating for it and my thigh on the other leg hurt. I became more conscious of how I was running. After I got through that, the 4.5 miles on the schedule today was pretty good.

After talking with several different people, it sounds like I have plantar fasciitis. I'm icing my foot after each run, and now I have a brace that holds my foot flexed at night. Tonight is the first night I'll be using the brace, so I'm really hoping that tomorrow will be easier to bear. I just pray that this helps. I really, really want to be able to run this half-marathon in May. I don't want to hurt my foot even more and not be able to run. I keep telling people that it only hurts badly the day after I run, but if I run just about every other day.... that's not good. We'll see what this brace does. I might also get some orthodics for my running shoes for plantar fasciitis. We'll see. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What a Week!

Last Thursday, I was doing my four mile short run. It went well, but on Friday morning I woke up and was unable to walk. My left arch on my foot was in excrutiating pain. Each step I took shot a pain through my foot like you would not believe. I thought it would get better as the day went on, but it did not. Even just sitting at my desk, it hurt. I came up with a couple options of what it: plantar fasciitis, a heel spur (family history of this...), and the last option we came up with was improper shoes. We went to the shoe store and got re-fitted for shoes. I was told that I still have the bigger size shoes (my feet grew a size and a half after baby #3--well, one of them did) but they were no longer wide. So, we figured that the wide shoes were giving me support in the wrong part of my foot, causing the pain. I went back to my original running shoe, but a size and a half bigger (6.5 now).

My Saturday run, with the new shoes went great. six miles felt great. The kids wanted to run with me, but when we got to the park I was running through, it was so windy they couldn't push passed it. Even with the little stop with them, I think I had my fastest pace ever!

Sunday, the arch pain came back. It wasn't quite as bad or last as long, so I'm hoping the new shoes helped and I'm on the mend now. Sunday was a busy day, so I did not get to my cross-training. I'm okay with that though.

Tuesday, I had a tough decision to make. I wasn't feeling well, had a cold and it was raining outside. With 4.5 miles on the schedule, I didn't know what to do. I can't do that inside. With some encouragement, I decided to run outside (Don't tell my mom, she'll be mad!). I wanted some practice running in the rain because on race day, I could be sick and it could be raining. The run went well, and I slept even better afterwards!

Cross-training on Wednesday was on the bike training in the basement with hubby after the kids went to bed. It's fun to sit next to him and ride :)

Today was such a beautiful day outside. It was in the mid to upper 60's--the first time this season. We decided to do a sort of family run at the running shop that sponsors group runs on Thursday nights. Hubby took the two older kids in the double jogging stroller and I took the baby in the single jogging stroller. I had 4.5 miles on the schedule again. Never having pushed a jogging stroller while actually jogging, I was nervous. It was a little windy, so we put on a thin plastic cover for the stroller, but unfortunately the wind was going just the right way when I started, that it collapsed on him. I stopped to fix it at .15 miles. Then he cried almost the first whole mile. We were going into the wind, so that could have been why. At the first mile marker I stopped to see how he was doing and decided to take the cover off and try that. Not one peep out of him after that.

At this point I didn't think I was going to be able to do the whole 4.5 miles while pushing the stroller but I did! I even kept up a decent pace of 11:08, not much slower than a normal run! I'd say I did pretty darn well. After that first mile it got easier but I am a little sore in muscles I don't normally use while running. I'm proud of myself for pushing through it to complete the necessary miles for today.

Seven miles coming up this weekend. Looking forward to seeing what I can do!

Friday, March 11, 2011

This Week's Training

After the race on Sunday, I was pretty excited to start picking up the mileage this week. My two runs during the week increased to four miles each.

Tuesday's run was pretty uneventful, a little windy but not too bad. Wednesday's cross-training was on the bike at the Y for 30 minutes. Thursday, the weather was kind of iffy. It had rained and was slightly misty. I wasn't sure I wanted to run outside or not, but I knew I wouldn't be able to get four miles inside, and wanted to get some experience running in different weather (who knows what race day will bring) so I ran outside. The weather actually held out until about 3.25 miles. Then it started a rain/snow mix. It wasn't too bad, I just need to wear a hat in this type of weather. It was a little difficult to get into to run, but after the first mile or so I was okay.

Today I woke up and one of my arches hurt so bad, I could barely walk. I've been having arch pain for a while, but after I wake up and stretch the foot out a little, it's usually better. Today... not so much. My arch bothered me all day long, getting up and down and walking. It's tender to the touch. I've done some research to see what it could be and it could be anything from a heel spur to plantar fasciitis, to a flat foot. I don't know what it is, but I certainly hope tomorrow is better. I've got six miles to do this weekend, and I'm not sure that I can do it with this pain.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What a Race!

Last night we got home from movie night at church and there was an inch of snow on the ground. I knew today was going to be an interesting run. For any other runner, it would be a Yak Trax kind of day, but unfortunately they don't make Yak Trax for my feet, at least in the running ones.

We (hubby, three kids and I) got to the site of the run and saw that it had not been completely plowed. Yippee. We got inside, got our packets, which consisted of the race shirt and a coupon for the sponsoring shoe store. Then we went outside to find the starting line and "warm up." The reason that is in quotes is because I don't warm up, typically. I'm afraid of wasting my energy. But it was cold, about 24 degrees and very windy, coming off the lake.

Okay, then it was race time! The gun went off and everyone was trying to find a clear spot on the road. Everything else was a sheet of ice. The first .75 miles was nothing but ice. After that it got a lot better. By 1.5 miles, it was pretty clear. The first .75 miles was a very slow pace though. I was so nervous about falling and injuring myself so I took it cautiously. At the 1.5 mile mark when it got clear, I began to fall into my normal pace--between 10:30 and 11:15 per mile and I was passing people!!! I don't think I've ever passed so many people in a race before!!!

At 2.5 miles, we went from the park roads onto a paved pathway. That was almost completely clear except for a few spots. I wish I had my camera with me here, the trees were so pretty with the snow-covered branches.

One of the cool parts of this race was seeing some of the younger kids out running with their siblings or their parents. At 3.5 miles, I passed what I'm guessing was a 7 year old and a 9 year old running together, struggling. I told them both they were doing an awesome job and high-fived the younger one. I told them there was less than a mile to go and once I passed them, I heard them start running again. That was cool.

Around 3.75 miles, we came out of the woods and out by the lake. The wind started to pick up again, but so did I. I started passing people left and right. I'd find someone and tell myself that I had to pass them. I had a whole group of them. Just before the end, hubby and the kids showed up to cheer "Go, Mommy, Go!" That was awesome and was just the motivation I needed (that and when I saw the finish line) to pump up the pace. I kicked it into high gear and passed three more people just in front of the finish line. I got my popsicle stick that showed I finished 111 overall.

My overall pace for the entire race was 11:08, which is amazing, considering how slow I took it in the beginning.

After the race, we went to the post-race party and I enjoyed bananas, cookies and soup. It all tasted so yummy. Just wished there was some hot chocolate too :) I actually won something too! I got a prize for finishing in the top of my age group. It was not first but I was in the top 8 in my age group, which was the largest of all of them. I got a pretty snazzy mug. This is the first time I've ever won anything at a race, so I was pretty stoked. My oldest, 5 year old was bummed that "All we got was a mug" so I had to explain to him that not everyone got one and I was pretty excited.

Overall, I'm really happy how I did. I wish I could have broken the 11:00 per mile, but I'm sure I would have if it weren't so icy out. Good race!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rough Week

This has been a tough week for me, even though it's a step-down week. I've been really tired this week. I'm behind on my sleep and can't seem to catch up. Tuesday, I really wanted to skip the run, but I didn't. IT was three miles and I ran my fastest ever with a pace under 11:00/mile! Wednesday I rode the bike for 30 minutes... just wanted to nap in my car, but I found the motivation to keep at it. Today I just wanted to sleep too, but didn't. I forced myself to run. I thought 34 degrees was going to be warm enough, but it was so windy that I was cold a lot of the run. I didn't wear my earband and I should have. My ears were really cold. Three miles with an 11:00 pace in the wind... not bad. I'm getting faster!

How do I get the motivation? I ask myself that a lot. I just think that on race day, what am I going to do if it rains? What if it's windy? What if it is cold? I've got to get used to any of these so I just go out and do it. I can't give up.

Sunday is the 7k race--4.34 miles. Shouldn't be too bad, as long as the rain holds out.