Tag Archives: injuries

Long Warm Ups + PT Discharge

I’ve officially been discharged from physical therapy but that doesn’t mean I’m all better.  My right hip and glute are definitely feeling fatigued from all of the concentrated work they’ve been doing.  This has lead to some longer than desired warm ups on more intense efforts and it’s a little bit concerning.  The last thing I want to do before a race is have to run four miles.

Yes, four miles.  It takes me almost four miles (thirty+ minutes) to really feel like I can run hard for more than a mile.  Not only does that mean extra miles, it’s a little bit upsetting.  I usually run a 2-2.5 mile warm up for everything except a long run (shorter) or track work (longer).  It all started last Monday with an ugly run.  I went out for an easy hour and spent the first 30 minutes fighting ankle and shin pain.  I stretched, I squatted, I activated my glute the best way I could.  Then, boom!  The second half was great. 

A similar situation occurred this past weekend when I went out to tackle my first mile repeats since One City.  The first two repeats my right leg felt heavy and I carried a decent amount of tension in that ankle.  The second two?  Great.  I’m hopeful this means my glute and hip are very beat up right now and a little rest will set them straight.warm ups

I really need them to get straightened out, too.  The Elizabeth River Run 10k is coming up next weekend and I want to race.  Am I in PR shape?  No.  I want to get out there, push myself and get a solid idea of where my fitness is heading into summer.  So here’s to a little rest, longer warm ups and a solid race day.

Meredith

How long are your warm ups?  How did you feel after finishing physical therapy?

Blog Spring Break + A DNF

I took a little spring break from blogging after Run the Bluegrass but now I’m back!  Not much has been going on training wise the last week as I fought through a small injury.  I did manage to catch up on some reading and make my first batch of beer cheese mac and chicken, though (recipe coming).  Also included in my spring break were a 5k DNF and a trip to the physical therapist for a little help.

I noticed some difficulties when I started having right shin pain running.  It’s a big sign my gait is funky when my otherwise OK right side starts acting up.  Shin pain is specifically something I never have to deal with.  Knowing that the real root of my pain wasn’t my shin or ankle, I went DNFsearching.  Yes, I had blown out my glutes and quads doing a bunch of pistols but I couldn’t imagine that making that much of a difference.  I’ve run sore before.

Wrong.  My weaker right side was really suffering and that glute wasn’t firing at all.  I could run about 800M without pain.  Trying different shoes got me nowhere.  I most definitely had a strained right glue.  Not wanting to hurt myself more, I took it easy the next few days, deciding to fight through Saturday’s Big Blue 5k then re-evaluate.

Race morning dawned and I steeled myself for a crummy 5k.  There would be no racing.  I’d give it all I could but wasn’t expecting much.  The truth is race morning I could not have been less excited.  The late start, 10:30, meant it would be warm and humid, neither of which I had seen in quite some time.  I had been low on energy for a few days fighting something that never came to fruition and stressing over what my leg was going to do all morning didn’t help.

I quit at the one mile mark with pain shooting up my right ankle and shin.  Not worth hurting myself.  Yes, it was frustrating and disappointing.  I haven’t run since.  I’m letting that strained muscle heal and focusing on evening out some muscle imbalances in my hips.  There’s another race, another day and I’ll be there in tip top shape in a few weeks.

Meredith

Have you ever had a DNF?  How did you deal with it?

Week 3 + Being Unbeatable

It’s Week 3 of marathon training and things are rolling along nicely.  I’m feeling good after two weeks of increasing mileage and have two more to go before a down week.  One thing about this year’s most ambitious training plan yet is that I’m tying it to my Unbeatable Mind training.  While I am far from unbeatable yet, I am seeing and feeling some big differences from how I felt last year early on.unbeatable

Even with more miles on the calendar each week I’m more relaxed and flexible about what’s coming my way.  I’ll get the miles on the treadmill if I have to, in the middle of the night if I have to and at the end of the day, it’s all going to be fine.  Unless, of course, I get injured.

Which I might be on my way to but hopefully not.  I’ve had some funkiness going on with my right ankle or glute or Achilles that I warm up out of some days.  It’s definitely muscular and I’m trying different things to see what shakes it out the fastest.  Extra glute activation during my warm up, extra stretching of the calves and sometimes just loosening my shoe lace for a minute all help.  I’m making a big effort to listen to my body and figure out what it needs.

That’s how I can tell my Unbeatable training is making a difference.  I’m not freaking out.  There’s no desperate search for a quick fix.  I have a long way to go in both marathon training and mind training.  I’ll get to the finish but I want to be injury free when I arrive.  For now I’ll pay close attention to what works best to get me going on each run and stick with it.

Meredith

Do you ever over reacted to or ignored to a potential injury and what helps you be Unbeatable?

Fit Friday: Taking a Little Break

It’s not the best timing in the world but I’m taking a little break from my workouts.  I’ve been thinking about taking a few days off for a couple weeks and after a rough long run Wednesday, I knew it was time.  I haven’t taken multiple days off since May and now my body is forcing me to make up for lost time.  Maybe Jordy has the right idea.a little break

The last two weeks I thought I might need to take a little break because I noticed I was feeling extra tired for no definitively good reason.  At the end of last week I chalked it up to hormones and noticed a slight improvement when they settled down.  Between the first time I thought about how a little break might do me good 10 days ago and yesterday, I’ve felt for the most part pretty good.  That just made me more confused.  My speed and Crossfit workouts have been solid.  I haven’t had trouble sleeping, a new injury or any excessive soreness but I’ve been experiencing some serious muscle fatigue not far into my longer runs and added doses of fuel haven’t made it better.

Two weeks ago I started my 12 miler on the treadmill.  By 40 minutes in my neck was killing me from looking at the TV, I was getting bored and could feel my form falling apart.  I got off as fast as I could and went out into the rain for another 45 minutes during which I couldn’t settle into my stride or cadence and struggled with the very high humidity.  This time I pinned my poor performance on the weather and a bad treadmill session but took the next day off anyway.

This week I couldn’t avoid the truth any longer.  Wednesday’s long run was scheduled not only to avoid the approaching rain/hurricane mess but also to give me plenty of time to recover before my first back to back half marathons.  Good thing.  Wednesday’s 16 miler was a disaster.  I hit the wall around mile 8 and never got back on track, even after water stops and a GU.  Hitting the nine mile mark, I knew it was definitely time for a little break before racking up serious miles next weekend.  As the run rolled on, my legs screamed and I started to alternate 800M walks with 800M jogs.  The last two miles were brutal.  I can’t remember the last time my legs felt so horrible.

When I finally got home, I pulled on my BioSkin compression gear as quickly as possible, put my feet up above my heart and scarfed down some carbs.  I foam rolled for about 35 minutes in three sessions over before bed and repeated having quality time with the roller yesterday.  Just relaxing, making the decision to take a little break has helped me feel better.  It’s not the best timing for an extra few days off but I’m doing it anyway.  Feeling fresh, letting my muscles really recover and getting a mental break from running is exactly what I need to succeed next weekend.

Meredith

How do you know when it’s time for a little break?  A big break?  Do you schedule them or go by feel?

Fit Friday: What The Proofs Prove

It’s been a whirlwind of a race week since getting home from Kansas late Monday night but after some solid strength and running workouts, I’m feeling fresh and uninjured on this Fit Friday.  I received my proofs from last Sunday’s disaster race Wednesday evening and they did a pretty good job of justifying exactly how I felt.  One thing I like about race photos is how they show me, or a client, maintaining my form or totally losing it as a race progresses.  A great evaluation tool.  The Prairie Fire proofs prove that I did lose it pretty badly and was lucky to come away without a serious injury.

Let’s take a look at the evidence.  I had felt my form fall apart after tweaking my knee around Mile 7 and know my motion for the next six miles was bad news from the chaffing, knee pain and posterior soreness.  Actually seeing how I was moving made me want to cringe.  My left foot was not coming off the ground in a normal, acceptable or efficient way.  My knee is torquing in a way if most certainly should not and I’m not I could get it in that position if I tried.  My left hip was rotating funny, leading me to over stride and heel strike on the right to compensate.  After seeing it, I’m glad I got away without serious damage.

proofs

Before Mile 7

proofs

After Mile 7

I felt terrible post race but much better by Monday night.  I took it out easy Tuesday for a light recovery run and some bodyweight exercises to stretch out my tight muscles and test my knee.  I was sore but mobile and loosened up as the run went on.  A massive sigh of relief.  I turned up the heat on Wednesday and rocked a tough interval workout pain free after heavy lifting in the morning.  This week’s solid strength and running workouts have me feeling fast, fit and uninjured heading into another race weekend.

I’m excited for my third EquiKids Cross Country 5k and glad I’ll be tackling it healthy.  Hopefully this weekend’s proofs will be much better than last’s.

Meredith

How do you use race photos?  Have you ever cringed when seeing your body move?

Fit Friday: Let’s Talk Toenails

I was upset this week to see this article claiming running ruins your feet and all runners because of it have horrible feet.  Start running and kiss your flip flops goodbye.  This piece makes a similar claim.  But, wait!  Not so fast.  I’m a runner.  I run anywhere between 100 and 180 miles a month.  I rotate through three, four or five pairs of shoes each week.  Sometimes I even wear cotton socks (!).  Sometimes it’s raining.  My toenails are just fine and I am keeping my flip flops, thank you.toenails

No fungus.  No ingrowing.  They might be tiny and un-pedicured but they’re perfectly healthy.  As a coach, it’s easy to see how toenails get damaged from being crammed into too small shoes or stuck in damp, sweaty socks.  If you take care of your feet, your toenails will be just as gorgeous as the day you were born.  Here are the ways I keep my toenails, and feet, happy.

Massage them.   I dig into the arch and heel with my finger and thumbs for at least five minutes on each foot a day.  If my hands are tired, I pull out my lacrosse ball and stand on it.  This keeps the circulation in my feet flowing, which is good for my toenails, and helps the muscles in my foot stay loose.  As a bonus, and since the foot connects to all of my other muscles, rubbing them down helps my hamstrings and calves stay loose, too.

Bare them.  I love shoes.  My Asics make me feel fast, my Jimmy Choos make me feel pretty and I leave them all behind as much as I can.  Being barefoot means my toenails aren’t rubbing on the inside of a shoe or trapped in sweaty, fungus friendly socks.  I do most of my gym workouts, the ones without box jumps, rowing or running, sans shoes.  Running barefoot on the beach?  A free spa treatment.  Hello, exfoliation and adios, dead skin.  Spending time apart from my favorite shoes keeps my feet strong and toenails happy.

Dry them.  Feet are home to 125,000 sweat glands a piece and I’m pretty sure mine are overactive.  My feet sweat like crazy, especially when I’m working out.  I admit to running occasionally in cotton socks, mostly for short, easy runs or on laundry day.  I also take them off immediately after I finish, dry my feet with a towel and put on a clean pair if I need to.  Moisture-wicking socks are a staple of my running attire, keeping fungus and blisters at bay.  I make sure to tote a pair of clean socks around with me, which might seem silly but it’s a great way to keep my toenails fungi free.

Running does not have to ruin your feet.  Blisters, fungus and ingrown toenails are all avoidable if you keep your feet in the right socks and give them a little post-run love.  I’m proud to wear my flip flops, work out barefoot and stick my toes in the sand all without thinking twice.  If I never hear sometime say that “running ruins your feet” again, it will be too soon.

Meredith

How do you protect your toenails and take care of your feet?  Ever dealt with blisters and fungus?

New Year, New Ankle Injury

It’s a brand new year and with it comes a brand new ankle injury.  Two of them, technically.  They also are technically not new because there isn’t an old ankle injury.  I’ve never had ankle problems other than a lack of dorsiflexion.  Not a sprained one, not a broken one, nada.  Yes, I’ve had the step in a hole, trip over something tugs and pulls but nothing has lasted more than a few hours or stopped me from doing anything.

Unfortunately, I’m currently stopped from doing something.  My goal to get better at pistols has meant working on calf and Achilles tendon flexibility by doing this stretch.  It’s been effective at stretching the posterior side (back) of my leg and, apparently, equally as effective at crunching the everything between both my right and new ankle injuryleft side talus and tibia.  Put that daily dose of squishing together with eight hard miles of speed work on pavement in light shoes Friday and I’m not surprised to be dealing with a bit of anterior ankle impingement on both sides.  Oh, hey, new ankle injury!  I am, however, hoping it will heal quickly.  As in ‘before Wednesday’.

I have strength training scheduled today and tomorrow with rest on Tuesday.  Wednesday is my next scheduled run and I’d like to be able to actually run it.  I stretched after that tough session Friday but had a little pain and stiffness in both ankles at the start of my scheduled 13 miler yesterday.  I thought I’d be able to get my blood moving, stretch the legs and run out of it.  I was wrong.  My legs were doing fine but my ankles wanted no part of it, even in more supportive shoes.  Because I don’t actually want to be injured, I quit the run after 2.5 miles and called it a day.

With a semi-serious goal to break 1:40.00 at Rock n Roll Arizona, last week’s 15 miler under my belt, two weeks and one ten miler to go, I’m OK with skipping this long run.  Hopefully a light Saturday run, three days of massaging, anterior ankle stretching and sticking to straight leg posterior leg stretches will help me quickly shake this new ankle injury and get back on track.

Meredith

What do you do when you get a new ankle injury?  How did you recover?