Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 10k

Let's do an update on a few things that have happened during the last few weeks.

As you know, I have been experiencing some issues with my right foot.  Out of kind of nowhere, I started having pain after running, and then pain starting when I ran.  It happened kind of quickly.  According to the weight bearing xrays, for some reason the arch on my right foot is super or hyper pronating, causing the bones in my foot to roll inward, which then causes the bones on the top of my foot to smash together when I run, causing a new and special kind of pain.  My podiatrist said that had we not caught it sooner we would be looking at having arthritis set in.  Rather than get the custom $300 orthotics, I decided to give some different inserts a chance.

While these inserts have been working to some degree, I battled new blisters and finally went back to my older running shoes (not worn out, just not my favorite) and sort of found some balance. 

I ran my first 10k (6.2 mile) race on Thanksgiving.  It was an amazing experience.  I ran for 71 minutes straight.  I've never run more than 58 minutes, or 5 miles.  It was incredibly challenging, both physically and mentally.  The race was mostly trail, with some pavement.  I've never run on trails before, and always used the reasoning that it was due to my clumsiness.


I did survive ~ I just had to watch the ground more closely than usual.  At less than a mile I had rolled my good ankle (which happens to be attached to my bad foot) but it didn't hurt that bad so I kept going.

Something I've learned about myself is that I don't like to stop and walk.  Some people use the Galloway method of running, where they run some and walk some, always, even for marathon distances.  While Mr. Galloway has some very good reasoning behind his training, it is just not for me.  I don't discount others who do it, or their choice to take walk breaks. I just won't.  I find it much harder to run again, which is why my speed workouts once a week annoy me, though I know they are important.

That said, this race was not about finishing in a certain amount of time, or setting any records.  It was about running 6.2 miles without stopping.

Even up to the starting gun I was not 100% sure I would do it.  Could I do it, physically?  Sure.  I had run at least 5 miles more than once and felt like I could continue.

But I'm convinced that running is 90% mental.  No matter your amount or intensity of training, if your head isn't right, you will not do what you set out to do and you'll find yourself stopping short, and then being angry and disappointed.

I've experienced this in many training runs myself.

Throughout the course, there were several people doing the run/walk method, several of which finished before me (lol) but there was something else I noticed. Some of the people I passed around mile 4 and 5 who were walking looked utterly defeated.  They looked angry at themselves, and I sensed that they did not achieve what they had set out to achieve that day.  I could not help but feel empathy for them; and I wanted so badly to get them all revved back up to finish the race.  But I was having enough of a time keeping myself moving.  It's weird, but in every race, I am always the only one pacing at my pace.  I'm either that slow, or good at pacing while others burn out.  I pass alot of folks in the last 1/4 of races.

I tried to pace myself around an 11 minute mile (30 seconds slower per mile than my 5k pace), but it varied widely from 10 - 12 depending on the terrain.  I had to be careful as trail running has many little "obstacles" from mud to tree roots to pine cones, and at times the sun streaming in through the trees meant I could not see my feet at times.

I ran the entire race.  6.2 miles.  71 minutes straight.

The last half mile was the toughest for me.  Both knees hurt, and my foot was hurting.  I honestly know if I had stopped at that point I would have fallen over.  But I pushed through it.

Talk about pain.

But glorious pain it was.

Crossing that finish line felt amazing.  I still wonder if it really happened.  6.2 miles?  Just a little over a year ago 3.1 miles seemed an impossible feat.

My foot needed to be out of my shoe pretty much immediately.  Some ice and aleve later it felt fine.  Friday my ankle was killing me...good thing I have a checkup appt with my podiatrist on Tuesday.  I may try to run that morning.

In other news, I'm planning a post in my head for later on this week about the slippery slope I've found myself sliding down.  Stay tuned if you want to learn from my mishaps.  It will deal with a very real issue that I've been pulling back the layers on over the past few months.

For tonight, celebrate with me.  I have much to be thankful for this year, and reaching my 10k goal despite the issues with my foot prove that if you are determined enough, you can accomplish things you never imagined you would.  I still don't believe we can "all be anything and everything we dream" or we would all have record deals and sport contracts. But I do believe that if you find something you are good at, and practice it alot, you can amaze yourself.  I could easily have talked myself out of running that far on Thanksgiving day.  I could have come up with several really good excuses for it, and many of you would have agreed with my logic.

But I didn't.  Despite my own doubt, I did it.  And no one, and no thing (including foot pain) can erase that fact from my ongoing legacy.  It is now part of my history.  And a part I am particularly proud of.

Feels good.  Now, what's next goal-wise?  I'll be pondering that.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to NOT Gain Weight on Thanksgiving

Yep folks.  It is possible.  Completely, totally, utterly possible to enjoy Thanksgiving to its fullest WITHOUT GAINING AN OUNCE.

I should know. I've lost weight this week for 2 years in a row.  And I plan to do just that; or at least maintain, this week.

Want to know how?

1) MOVE YOUR TATER, NOT JUST YOUR FORK.  That's right.  Get off your tater and do something active first thing in the morning.  Go out for a walk, ride your bike, whatever your current fitness level allows.  But start the day off with a burn and it will help get your metabolism revved up for the day.  In fact, if time and schedule allows, go for a second walk later on after you eat.  You'll feel much less miserable than if you just sit there after you eat.

2) PLAN YOUR PLATE.  What do you LOVE to eat at Thanksgiving and what can you live without?  I try not to eat anything I don't absolutely love on a holiday like this one.  So choose those things you know you will really enjoy.  We have 2 meals to attend tomorrow, one at lunchtime the other one around dinner time.  I plan to eat at both.  I love my mother in law's "dressing" and sweet potato casserole.  I love my mom's stuffing, cranberry chutney and pumpkin pie. and I'll eat turkey at one place or the other.  I can live without the 12 other courses like mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans cooked with ham, salads, etc.  I also don't eat the crust of pumpkin pie as pie crust, which isn't even sweet, carries alot of the calories of that particular pie.  I plan my plate at each place and while I am fuller that day than normal, I'm not miserable.

3) ENJOY THE PEOPLE, NOT JUST THE PLATES.  This is key.  Thanksgiving isn't about gluttony, and yet we've turned it into that.  Think about what and who you are really thankful for and make that your focus.  Sure, the food is wonderful, and the traditions ring supreme in your childhood memories.  But more than the food, I love the togetherness this holiday brings; as well as the reflection on what blessings I've experienced this year.

Here's a short list of my blessings this year, in no particular order.

*A God who loves and forgives me of my failings, whom I can run to anytime, any day.
*My loving and supportive family and friends, specifically my amazing husband and sweet girl.
*An amazing job where I get to do what I do best every day.
*Better health than I've ever had in my life.
*Enough.  We have enough.  Not excess, we aren't rich, but our needs have been supplied.
*Boots that zip up my calves.
*Strong, muscular calves that made it tough to find boots to fit. :)
*Wearing a size 12 after living miserably as a 24 for a long time.
*A body that allows me to RUN.  Legs that work, lungs that respond.  The new goal to celebrate in the morning of running 10k (6.2 miles) for the first time ever!

I AM BLESSED and have so much to be thankful for this year.  How about you?


Saturday, November 5, 2011

So Much Has Happened!

Where to start?

I went to a podiatrist on Tuesday morning.  The first thing they did was x-rays - I wondered what the heck another x-ray would do, until I realized these were weight bearing x-rays.  So I stood on my bad foot and let them take more pictures. 

The doctor came in and showed me the pictures.  It is kind of amazing to see what is happening to my foot.  It is not fractured, that is the good news.  However, I have bruised the bone...

What is happening is my arch is no longer supporting my weight - so when I put weight on my foot, my bones are starting to hyper-pronate, which means the foot is rolling inward.  This causes my metatarsals to hit against my talus bone (top of my foot) in a new and special, er, painful way.  He said we caught this early; many times it turns into arthritis.

Solution?  He said custom orthotics.  I asked how long it would take before I could run again.  He said as soon as I had my orthotics. 

So Thursday I went to have an impression made of my foot.  When I got there, I asked what the actual diagnosis code was on my prescription.  She looked it up and said, "huh, it says Black Heel."  I googled that and it is a skin condition on your foot where it turns black...not what is happening to me.  I realized it must be wrong. 

When I met with the orthotic specialist I told him I wasn't comfortable with the fact that the dx code was incorrect...could we find out more?  We talked about what was going on with my foot.

Turns out this guy treats a number of members from the local runners club.  He said he wasn't sure if I needed these orthotics - that maybe an over the counter insert he is very familiar with would work.  He found my doctor, talked it over with him and returned.

Solution - spend $20 on over the counter inserts (made by Spenco) before spending $300 on orthotics that might not work anyway...and are non-refundable.

He sent me to a drug store and I picked up a pair of the inserts.

I could not WAIT for Friday morning so I could try them out.

I made it an entire mile before it started hurting...then I walked home.  I had put the inserts in my minimalist shoes (Brooks Green Silence) and they have pretty much zero arch while it was better than without, it was not quite right.

So combo #2 was up this morning.  Spenco inserts in my Brooks GTS 12s.  I had some pain while running but then it sort of went away.  My foot was even a little numb.  I decided to keep going and ran 2 miles.  The funny part is, once I've run, it hurts the rest of the day.  But while I'm running it is bearable. 

Because I know there will be long term effects until I get this figured out, I am back to the drawing board again.

So today I put together Combo #3.  Spenco Inserts with my Brooks GTS 12s, and an additional arch insert in my right shoe.

I plan to try Combo #3 in the morning.  I need to know what is going to work before I fly out Monday!  I am going to the hotel gym each morning, even if that means I only get to do the elliptical. 

I'm just so excited to be back out there somehow.  Even if right now my foot is hurting and I need to ice it again. :)

No pain no gain, right?

Or loss that is.

I did ok eating wise this week.  Not as bad as last week.  Not as good as it could have been.  I'm continuing to work through my head issues; did you know that those are never truly fixed?

You can adjust habits, get on a good roll, but you will always, always face challenges with food if you started off with food issues to begin with.

Does it get easier?  Sure!

But it is never something you're cured of.  Having lost 100 pounds in 2 years I definitely can attest to that.

Please know I mean for that to be informational, not discouraging.  I think its important for people to realize that this journey is not easy.

But it is SO worth it.

Going to try to post some outfit pictures this week.  Have done some shopping lately and found some awesome new duds.  I'm trying to buy things that I will be able to wear 20 pounds from now still.  I invested in a black blazer that will likely fit me forever. 

That is what makes it worth it. :)

Big hugs to all of you out there...will be better about blogging my updates this week!


What I ate today:

Breakfast: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Lunch: Wendy's grilled chicken sandwich, small chili
PM snack: shared some Junior mints with my wee one
Dinner: Loaded Baked potato soup (homemade)
Dessert: healthy pumpkin muffins

ran 2 miles...and shopped shopped shopped!  Total of 2800 cals burned all day.