Running After A Stress Fracture(s)

You may recall that I was diagnosed with not one, but multiple stress fractures after my Cleveland Marathon training. For some reason I got fractures in my tibia and my metatarsal area and was unable to actually run the day of the marathon. Yes, I trained and ran 20 miles – but I never got in my 26.2 miles during race day.

But I haven’t given up my running career. Will I ever be  a competitive marathoner? Absolutely not. And while I don’t have another marathon in my near future – I’m still running. AND I signed up for – and completed my first race since “the stress fracture incident!” While it may have only been a 5k – and our time wasn’t great (in our defense, B and I ran about two miles to get to the start of the race — so we ran 5 at least total), I’m still proud, and happy that we stuck it through and I’m still running.

racing after a stress fracture

Me, B and Mary post-race

Will I continue to run? Yes. Have I been running? Yes – today I completed nearly 4 miles in under 10 min/miles (a big deal for me .. still recovering!) and I’ve signed up for another race with my coworker, Cari (the first race I’ll have done without B!) … you can’t stop me – yes, you may be able to slow me down, but I’m still running!

Post 5k

So with that, I leave you with a few of my favorite running quotes:

“There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighborhoods you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open.”

You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.
Frank Shorter

My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.
John Bryant

And of course, a few from Pinterest:

 No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch

Marathon Training: Week Eight Recap

Phew. I survived week eight of Cleveland marathon training! Wow. This week called for a half marathon on Saturday, and also a trip to Atlantic City! But I’m getting ahead of myself …

Anyway, this week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 6. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 13.1, for a total of 25.1 miles. I stuck to the mileage this week pretty religiously.

Monday: rest!– Hadn’t planned on running, and I decided to sleep in (until 7:20 a.m.!) and then spend the afternoon relaxing. After work B and I went to Second Sole to pick up some more Gu packs and some orthotics/inserts for my shoes. After Saturday’s painful run where my feet, then knee, and then back started hurting. I was willing to try anything. I picked up a pack of Powerstep Pinnacles and was excited to try them out during Tuesday’s 3 miler.

Tuesday: 3 – B and I hit the streets after work. My body and breathing felt good but OMG my feet. The right insert felt strange, but not painful — but the left one? OUCH. It was not fun. I could barely keep up with B and couldn’t wait to get home to take them off. I know it would take me a while to get used to them – but is it supposed to be painful in the meantime?

Painful Powerstep Pinnacles... hopefully they get better!

Wednesday: 6.14 – Post-work, B and I tried out a new route through the Flats. We set out around sunset and it was still 55 degrees! I ran without the Powerstep inserts and my legs/feet felt fine. Best part? Post-run, B made lamb chops for dinner!

Thursday: 3 –  Put back in the inserts and headed to the gym for a post-work dreadmill run. Again, thank goodness for the FUN CD – What a boring run it would’ve been otherwise! My shoes were hurting again, but maybe it’s just something I’ll have to get used to.

Saturday: 13.25– Scheduled to run a half marathon – 13.1 mi – for training and of course we were due to be out of town this weekend, celebrating Petefest 2-12 in Atlantic City NJ. Thank goodness B and his sister (also training) were on the trip and B mapped out a very flat beach-view route when we arrived — two 5ish mile loops followed by one 3 mile loop. The first 5 miles went well, we started off on the boardwalk and then ran around the condos and houses in the town we were staying in, just outside of AC. BUT, then we somehow made a wrong turn and finished our 5 mi loop in 47 minutes – meaning we didn’t actually hit 5 miles. Woops! The next 5 mile route we found our right turn decided to run an extra 4-5 minutes, just to be sure we hit our 13.1 mi goal. We took a break at tenish miles, refueled, and then finished with the most painful/boring/windy 3 miles ever. The new loop included a nearly mile long street, which was into the wind the entire time, and not fun after running 11 miles. BUT we finished strong and were SO happy to have run the 13.1 miles – and were ready to go out and celebrate!

The half-marathon route! (which ended up being 13.27 after our wrong turn)

Weekly Total: 25. Woohoo! Despite the pain of the Powersteps, it was a great week that included good food, a good weekend trip and not too many bad runs.  More to come on the Atlantic City trip!

Marathon Training: Week Seven Recap

Seven weeks of Cleveland marathon training down! Woohoo!

Anyway, this week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 6. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 12, for a total of 24 miles. I stuck to the mileage this week but changed the days again. Woops!

Monday: 6.11 – Hadn’t planned on running but I happened to check the weather forecast for the week and saw that Wed (when I was due for the 6) was supposed to be severe thunderstorms (gotta love Cleveland in February!) so I texted Mary to see if she’d be interested trying the 6 on Monday. She actually decided it worked better with her schedule and we ended up on a spontaneous run after work around Ohio City. Finished 6.11 miles in 58 minutes – my best run time so far!

Tuesday: 4 – Knew I was in for a busy day at work, so feeling good in the morning, I opted for a pre-work run again. Legs felt good but my body was much slower than the previous day.

Wednesday: 3.17 – Had planned on skipping the run Wednesday but of course the thunderstorms held off and B and I went for a post-work run. The sun had already set but it was still warm enough to wear shorts! I ran the first 3 with B (who hadn’t run on Monday) and he continued to do 3 more after I was done. At least I was able to cook him dinner while he finished up.

Thursday and Friday: Off! Had completed my pre-long run mileage by Thursday and Friday off. Was probably a good idea since I was so sore on Saturday during the 12 miler. But more on that later. So what did I do instead? Thursday B and I had a date night. We hit XYZ Tavern for some beer and appetizers before making it to the Capitol Theatre for a showing of the Oscar Action Shorts. They were awesome! And I love the Capitol Theatre. We followed followed the movie with dinner at Indian Delight, another rone of our favorite ethnic eateries in the area.

Saturday: 12.06 – Ouch. I was dreading the run especially after checking religiously and seeing the 30+mph winds on the screen, but thank goodness I had a running buddy. Mary and I met up downtown and ran the route I had mapped – all the way to Lakewood! Wow. I knew 12 miles would be a lot – but seeing it on a map made it even more real. About halfway through the run, my feet started hurting. This had never happened before. Then my left knee started hurting followed by my back. I ran the last three miles with my back seriously aching. Poor Mary – she could’ve left me in the dust as I hobbled along the last few miles but she stayed with me and we finished strong. I’m thinking I may hit Second Sole for some new shoes or orthotics – maybe I need more support?

Weekly Total: 25. Woohoo! Despite the pain from Saturday, overall, it felt really good. AND I hit a major accomplishment – the 12 miles marked my longest run since I ran the half marathon 2 years ago … and at that time I didn’t even hit 12 miles during training! Woohoo! Here’s to another great running week.

AND I leave with with a photo of the butterscotch oatmeal cookies I baked on Wednesday night. Maybe one day I’ll share the recipe.

Marathon Training: Week Six Recap

Six weeks of Cleveland marathon training down … only 82 days left until the big day!

The highlights from this week:

  • Travel for work on Wednesday meant I didn’t really follow the schedule and do the 5 miles as planned that day. Woops! (more below)
  • My toe nail fell off on Monday! It was hanging on, barely, all Sunday, so I decided to just let it go on Monday night. And you know what? It hasn’t hurt yet! (fingers crossed it stays that way throughout training)
  • Saturday was our last “short” (aka under 10 miles) run until the week before the marathon. Yipes!

Anyway, this week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 5. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 7, for a total of 18 miles. What did I actually do?

Monday: 6ish. Tuesday: 4ish. Wednesday: 3. Thursday: 3.25 and Saturday: 7 for a total of 24. Woohoo!

Monday: Woke up early and got my butt out the door. Started running and realized that if I kept it up for 5-6 miles, then Wednesday I could just relax and not worry about getting up super early before my trip or running after getting home late. Success! Kept it up and finished at 6.21 mi BEFORE work.

Tuesday: Second pre-work run in a while and got in 3.88 mi, nearly one mile more than the 3 scheduled. Legs and body felt good and it was seasonably warm!

Wednesday: Work up early before my day of meetings and did 3 on the hotel treadmill. And by 3 I mean exactly 3 and no more and no less. And I was counting down the whole time. Icky icky dreadmill!

Thursday: First post-work run of the week and ran with B at our gym and did 3.25 mi and actually felt pretty good. What was the difference? Probably the awesome music I was jamming to – I’m in love with fun. and I had a few songs from their new album on my playlist.

Friday: Slept in and enjoyed a relaxing morning before work. Post-work, B and our friend Dave and I went to my first fish fry! I meant to take a photo of the fried goodness that we enjoyed (fish, shrimp, mac and cheese, pieroggis and even dessert) but I was too busy chowing down. I’m hoping we’ll make the rounds and try a bunch of different locations this Lent.

Saturday: Started the day early and went to the taping of Academic Challenge at WEWS, to watch B’s youngest brother compete. Then we went for our 7 mile run in the Metroparks and Dave joined us for a birthday run (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVE!). Dave then suggested we head to the West Side Market to enjoy some of the famous Steve’s Gyros which none of us have ever enjoyed. We waited in line forever but enjoyed some of the best gyros I’ve ever had! I was STUFFED after and B and I could barely move. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching Water For Elephants and napping. That night, we went to Map Room to celebrate  Dave’s birthday. The place was empty as most people were at Jump Back Ball (I swear I’ll get to that event one day!!).

Sunday: Another off day and I was still digesting that gyro! We enjoyed a relaxing morning, bagels (and lox for me!) for breakfast mass at our new parish a little window shopping (not intentional .. I just couldn’t pull the trigger! Would someone just buy me a whole new wardrobe? thanks) some work and then dinner at B’s parents house. Followed by, of course, the Oscars! And no – I didn’t catch J-Lo’s nip slip. BUT I did cheer on one of the few movies I had managed to catch this year-  The Artist!

Hope everyone had as productive and enjoyable week as I did. Fingers crossed that this week’s training, and 12 miler this Saturday, go as planned!

Marathon Training: Week Four Recap

Week four of Cleveland marathon training is done! This week was a rough one and I’m relatively sore today – especially my knees. This week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 4. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 9, for a total of 19 miles.

Monday: Rest day. I ended up doing the elliptical for 35 minutes in the morning. Day after Superbowl = rough!

Tuesday: 4.17 mi, AM outdoors. Ran before work because I had a meeting after work and wasn’t sure when I’d be home. Scheduled for 3, but somehow got in more. No complaints here- felt good after 2 days off/xtraining and was a nice cool (not cold!) morning.

Wednesday: 4.17 mi, PM outdoors. Ran with B after work after a super stressful day and ended up running it in just under 40 mi. Scheduled for 4 mi but ran the same route as Tues a.m. Felt so good to pound out the miles before heading back to work this evening. Thank goodness for running!

Thursday: 3.32 mi, PM indoors after work. Miserable dreadmill run. Actually ran on three different treadmills because I was so bored I kept switching it up.

Friday: Nothing! Slept in before work and then welcomed a friend from college, Mitch, into town at night for some Noodlecat and beers. They went out after dinner and stayed out until 2:30 a.m. — I went to bed early, knowing that we had a 9 mi early run due for Saturday.

Saturday: 9 mi, outside. Met Brian’s sister at 8 a.m. (early for a Saturday) for a 9 mi run outdoors. Oh my goodness. WHAT a run! The weather was BRUTAL – 20 degrees with 25+ mph winds (meaning it felt much colder) and blowing snow. AND snow dunes for us to run through. Thank goodness for my Screw Shoes (post about those, here). By the end, my left toe was hurting and my right knee was tight. Hopefully two days off from running will help both.

After the run we went to the CSU Butler basketball game and enjoyed a close game – sadly, CSU lost. At night, we showed Mitch and his friend around Ohio City – we started with dinner at Great Lakes Brewing Company (hooray for a 10% foursquare discount), a brew tour, then drinks at Market Garden Brewery and ABC Tavern.

Market Garden with Mitch and Brian

Sunday: Today = nothing at all! Right knee still sore from yesterday’s run and body a little tired from going out last night.

This week I’m looking forward to:

  • Hopefully better weather.  I don’t want to jinx anything, but after Saturday’s run, I’m keeping my fingers crossed this week is a little better.
  • First double-digit training run on Saturday.
  • Valentine’s Day! B and I are scheduled for a romantic dinner out on Tuesday, preceded of course by a 3 mi training run.
  • A less planned out weekend. This weekend B and I were pretty busy with Mitch and I think Friday night we’ll keep it simple before our first 10 miler this season.
  • Hopefully receiving my new ellasport long-sleeve tee! I won it from Poise In Parma’s recent blog giveaway and was told that it has shipped!

Marathon Training: Week Three Recap

Week three of training for the Cleveland marathon came and went. It was pretty uneventful and less mileage than the prior week, as the Hal Higdon plan goes up ever week for two weeks and then down again.  This week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 4. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 5. Piece of cake?

Monday: Rest day. And I actually rested!

Tuesday: 3.2 mi, PM outdoors. Ran with B and his sister, so we kept at a slightly faster pace (and by  faster I mean 9:30ish). AND the best part? It was 40 degrees, in Cleveland, in January! I had capris on! In January! (Not sure if you’re understanding my excitement).

Wednesday: 4.35 mi, PM outdoors. Ran with B around the stadiums and then some after work. Another seasonably warm evening with little wind – made for a pleasant, easy run!

Thursday: 3.93 mi, AM before work. Was due to drive to Columbus for work that morning and drive back later that evening, so I wanted to get in a run before the road trip. Woke up an hour earlyier and didn’t track mileage unti I got home and was pleased to see the nearly 4 mi run (instead of the 3 I was due for).

Friday: Nothing! Slept in before work and then enjoyed a lazy evening of pizza, wine and Netflix.

Saturday: 5.1 mi, AM. Ran with B and his sister and had a hard time keeping up. Was it the salty pizza (with anchovies) the night before? Or perhaps the red wine? Who knows, but the 5 mi felt way harder than they should’ve!

Sunday: Crosstrain day, 50 min elliptical. Did the elliptical while wathcing a League of Their Own and old Mad Men episodes before a birthday brunch with B’s (and I guess mine too) niece and nephew, followed by Super Bowl food and fun later that afternoon.

See what I mean? Pretty boring week – hope you’re still awake!

This week I’m looking forward to:

  • No road trips! First time during training I’m due to be in Cleveland every day!
  • Decent weather! The 10 day forecast is looking pretty clear (just chances of snow on Wed and Fri) and I’m keeping my fingers crossed the 19 degree high on Saturday goes up in a few days.
  • An almost double-digit run! B, his sister and I are due for 9 mi on Saturday morning. Woohoo – I’m actually excited (at this point, we’ll see how I feel early Saturday) about putting in the miles.

Marathon Training: Week Two Recap

Well, week two of training for the Cleveland marathon is over and so far so good! As you may know, I didn’t really have an official Week One training week (iron v. toe incident), so was a little rusty this week. This week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 3. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 7. So how did it go?

Monday: Rest/xc day/my birthday! – Did 55 minutes on the elliptical in my building. Toe felt fine and I was excited to get back running.

Tuesday: 4.3 mi, AM outdoors. Slightly chilly, but dry outdoor run. I wasn’t keeping track of how far I was going, just ran for a little outside and hoped it was more than 3 miles. And it was! I felt great to be outside and running again! Maybe it had something to do with the awesome pasta dinner I had enjoyed for my birthday the night before?

Wednesday: 3.5 mi, AM on treadmill. I was in Toledo for business and knew I wouldn’t get home until 7-8 p.m., so I decided to wake up early and check out the hotel gym. Blech. Barely could keep a 6.0 pace while watching the news. Tired/sluggish after a late night Tuesday and late Chinese dinner on the road.

Thursday: 3 mi, PM on treadmill (followed by .5 mi cool down). Back in Cleveland, but pretty windy and rain/snow pellets were coming down. B and I headed to our gym and put in a few miles together next to each other (cue: awwwww) on the treadmills while watching some Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Finished strong and stayed at a 6.0-6.5 mph pace the whole time. Ended the workout with some abs and lifted some arms.

Friday: Nothing! Slept in before work and then went to the Cavs game – and sat in a sweet suite – after enjoying Noodlecat afterwork. While the group enjoyed the free beers, I didn’t want to go overboard, knowing I had to get up early Saturday and run. Is this what it’s going to be like all year?

Saturday: 7 mi, AM outdoors. BRR! Windy, snowy and relatively chilly (still not below 20 though!) but felt pretty good the whole way. Kept a steady pace with B and his sister, so much that we could talk the entire time. The main issues I had were some hip tightness and stinging eyes from the snow pelts.

When we got back from our run, we checked our mail and had a surprise from the Cleveland marathon – our “freebie” for signing up early, a Cleveland Marathon Drawstring Bag. THEN I checked my blogroll and while reading another Cleveland runner’s blog, Poise in Parma, I found out I won her awesome elllesport workout shirt giveaway! Can’t wait for my prize to come and test it out this winter and spring!

The 2012 Toe v. Iron Incident (hint: the iron won)

I ran 4 miles this morning! I ran 4 miles this morning! I’m so excited, I ran FOUR MILES.

Now if you know me, you probably know that I really shouldn’t be excited about that. After all, I typically average anywhere from 15-30 miles a week and run 3-5 mi most mornings during the weeks and even longer on the weekend. So why am I so excited?

Let me start from the beginning.Last week was the first official week of marathon training. What’s that? I forgot to tell you I was training for a marathon? Woops! So yeah – I signed up for my first full marathon (I did a half in Columbus a few years ago), Cleveland, May 2012. Anyway, long story short, B signed up too and jotted down Hal Higdon’s training schedule for beginners and determined that Day One of training would start January 17.

So January 17 starts out like any other day. I wake up, groggily, and head to the laundry area to get my running clothes, which I had put in the dryer the night before. As opened the dryer (which is on top of my washer) the iron that I had put on top of the dryer the night before also happened to fall – from about 6-7 feet- right onto my big toe. Before you close your eyes or shudder, let me answer a few of the frequently asked questions:

  • When was the incident? The incident occurred approximately 6:55 a.m. on Tuesday, 1/17/12. Coincidentally Day One of marathon training.
  • What exactly happened? The iron fell from the top of my dryer and landed on my foot. I don’t know how it landed – it hit my foot and bounced off and then I screamed in pain.
  • Was anyone else around? Yes, B was sleeping but the sound of the iron hitting the ground, combined with my screaming obscenities, woke him up.
  • Did it hurt? Yes. A lot. Thus the obscenity-screaming.
  • Was the iron on? No. It was not plugged in and was not hot.
  • What did your toe look like? It was swollen and bloody. The toe nail was purple. Because I had painted my nails the night before.
  • Can I see a picture? No. I did, of course, take photos, but I will not post them on the blog. Gross. The last thing I want is my blog coming up in weird toe fetish searches!
  • Was it broken? No, it wasn’t broken. I went and had XRays taken on Wednesday, 1/18/12. The dr also burnt a hole in the toenail to relieve some of the pressure from the blood that was pooling under the skin and nail. This was after they took the nail polish off my toe nail that I had just painted purple, the night before.
  • Did you run that morning? NO! I had my toe iced and bandaged and elevated until about 3:30 p.m. when it finally stopped bleeding.
  • Did you run at all that week? No. Sadly, marathon training was put off a week, while B continued to run. Oh, the irony (typically he is the non-runner).

So marathon training was put on hold for one more week, as was wearing heels, wearing my new Hunter boots (they were too hard on my aching toe), and walking to work (B drove me). But that didn’t stop me from having an awesome birthday week and hopping on the elliptical when I could finally, comfortably fit my foot back in my sneakers on the 22nd. And running 4 miles this morning!