Tag: injury

Rebuilding the Base {05-29-2013}

Assuming injury recovery goes well, the training plan I’ll use for the Chicago Marathon calls for rest days on Wednesdays instead of Mondays (or Sundays depending on which day of the weekend the long run is placed) like most plans which leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. Which day of the week should I post my workouts?

I prefer to post them on Sundays because I know some readers find workout posts boring (others have told me that they enjoy them) and while I could continue to post on Sundays and indicate that Wednesdays were rest days, I really prefer to see a training week in its entirety rather than as two half weeks (am I explaining this okay?). I think for now I’m going to post my workouts/training on Wednesdays and see how it goes. If I dislike it, I’ll reevaluate and most likely go back to Sunday posts. Thoughts?

I’m still building up my mileage post-injury and after taking a two-ish week off from high intensity workouts. To give you an idea of how it’s going, last week I ran 22.6 miles and swam 1.14 miles and the week before that I ran 6.32 miles, swam a little over 2 miles, cycled for 40 minutes, and ellipticaled 4.5 miles. To be honest the break has been really nice and just what I needed after two back-to-back training cycles. I’m also not completely injury free. My adductor still gives me trouble most days but not while I run. My PT told me that adductor strains take a while to heal so I’m not too surprised.

So here’s this week-
Wednesday – OFF

Thursday – AM: 6.12 miles (average pace- 8:58 min/mile). I started doing a dynamic warm up recommended by my PT and could feel the difference on my run. Both of my legs felt loose and fresh, I like it. I’m still doing a combination of running and walking to help keep an eye on my form and kept my intervals to 6 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking.


I also went to physical therapy after work.

Friday – 5.1 miles (average pace – 9:12 min/mile). I was feeling really sore after my PT had me doing running drills on Thursday night, so I kept my pace slow and had a “recovery run” of sorts. I also tried some kinesio tape for the first time and I noticed other muscles in my leg were sore later in the day. Could this have been related? I continued running with intervals: 6 minutes running, 1 minute walking.


Saturday – 6 miles (average pace- 9:20 min/mile). I was so happy to get down to the lakefront path but I had a really rough run. I was sore and stiff, my legs didn’t want to move, and I started to look forward to my minute of walking. I also began to question that I might be upping my mileage too quickly decided to play the next few days by feel, running longer or shorter depending on how sore my legs were.

satlakeshore1Sunday – 7.2 miles (average pace – 8:30). Had a great run (such a surprise after Saturday) even after increasing my intervals to 7 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking. It was beautiful outside and I felt the best I have in a while.

sunlakeshore1Monday – 4.2 miles (average pace – 8:13 min/mile). I was planning on running a slower “recovery run” but I felt good enough to run at a comfortable pace. I even started to feel almost normal but I think it had more to do with the fact that I pushed my intervals to 8 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking.

Tuesday – 5 miles (average pace – 8:53 min/mile). My legs didn’t want to move and I woke up stiff after a bad night of sleep. Thankfully, my legs loosened up by mile 3 and then I felt normal for the last two miles. I alternated 8 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking.


I also went to physical therapy after work.

Total mileage – 33.62 miles

I’m a little under “ideal” mileage going into marathon training but I’d rather be safe now than sorry later. I also know I have a strong base and so long as I am injury free and listen to my body (the hardest part), I’m fairly confident that I can jump into training with only a few modifications (most likely less speed work or none at all to start). I’m running the Chicago Marathon more for the experience than time (because the last time I ran the Chicago Marathon it was too hot to have fun) so I’m just looking to complete the race in some capacity (although I’d like to have a strong training cycle under my belt).

Ian and I are traveling to Denver this weekend for vacation and running is not going to be a priority Friday-Monday. If I get in a run, that’s great, but if I don’t I’m fine with that. I’m looking at this weekend to be one last break from running for my adductor to hopefully continue to heal without the added stress of pounding the pavement every day. Plus, I plan on Ian and I doing plenty of hiking and exploring so I’m sure I’ll be getting in “workouts” in some form.

Do you work out on vacation? I usually do but this weekend just seems like a good time to take a mini-break

Five for Friday {05-17-2013}

1. I had my first PT appointment on Wednesday for my hip. We did the normal PT things like chat about my running history and injury, test my mobility, stretch, and then I even got a little sports massage. The PT also told me that I have the tightest hip flexor she’s felt in a looong time, boo! Turns out, that pesky rigid thang is the proximal cause of my latest injury. Apparently, when it gets tight, other muscles are recruited and overcompensate leading to a “hip sprain”. Good. to. know. I’m crossing my fingers that PT will help now and will prevent injuries down the road.

2. The good news is I can start to run while we strengthen my hips and hamstrings so long as I keep my form in check. My PT suggested alternating running for one minute with walking for one minute but… oh.my.god. I’d never cover any distance. Yesterday, I headed out and alternated running for three minutes followed by walking for one minute and I felt pretty good. The walk breaks did force me to think about my form more but they also really broke up my momentum. Any running is good running at this point though!


3. Breaking Amish is back on TV! I love love love bad reality tv and Breaking Amish quickly became one of my favorite shows last fall. I’ve always been really interested in Amish culture so I’m not surprised at all.

(image source)

It’s super captivating AND educational (it’s on TLC for a reason…)

4. Chicago Running Bloggers partnered with Muddy Monk to put together the Run for Boston 5k on June 15. Their goal is to raise enough money so that 100% of the race entries can go to the Who Says I Can’t Foundation to directly support the rehabilitation of those who lost limbs as a result of the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. The race organizers are still looking for more sponsors, volunteers, and runners so please check it out! I’ll be volunteering pre-race and then running on the 15th.

5. I don’t know if its coming back from being home in Michigan, the nice weather we’re finally enjoying, or what but this week has just draaaaaggggggged on. It felt like it was Friday on Tuesday! What do you all have planned for the weekend? I’m going on a date night with Ian and then some other relaxing low key things.

Fitness Friday {05-10-2013}

I’m heading home to Michigan tonight so all of my efforts the past few days have been on getting through the week. I haven’t been home since Christmas so I’m really excited. My weekend is already looking packed full of time family and friends too. Can I just be there already?

Anyway, I haven’t shared workouts with you since before Boston (whoops) and while I’m not going to give you too much detail (that would be overkill), I thought I’d go ahead and fill you in a bit.

Tues-Friday- OFF. Recovery. Food to the face. Butt on the couch.

cubanSaturday- Easy 4 miler (pace: 9:00ish min/mile)
Sunday- Easy 4 miler (pace: 8:45ish min/mile)

Monday – Yoga Sculpt Core Class (45 mins)
Tuesday – Easy 6 miler (pace: 8:02 min/mile)
Wednesday – Easy 8 miler (pace: 8:26 min/mile)
Thursday – AM: Easy 5 miles (pace: 7:42 min/mile) / PM: Yoga Sculpt (40 mins).
Friday – Easy 4 miles (pace: 8:45 min/mile). Very sore.
Saturday – Easy 9 miles (pace: 7:31 min/mile). Felt easy but ran through more soreness.
Sunday – The Race That’s Good For Life 5k (pace: 8:30 min/mile). Felt weird but not injured.


Monday – OFF. Canceled sculpt for a not-very-serious dental emergency.
Tuesday – Easy 6 miler (8:12 min/mile). Felt a weird pulling in my hip/groin when I ran. I decided to be careful and take a few days off of running. The pain got worse as the day went on to the point where it was difficult to walk.
Wednesday – OFF. Called to schedule an appointment because the pain kept getting worse.
Thursday – 45 minutes on the recline bike while reading a book.
Friday – OFF. Wanted to go to the gym but ran around the city for doctor’s appointments and decided to relax instead of working out.
Saturday – 1650 yard swim. I originally thought the pool was a meter pool (it’s been a while) so I stopped a little shy of a mile.
Sunday – OFF. Gym and pool are closed on Sundays.

Monday – AM: 1750 yard swim / PM: 45 minutes on the recline bike while reading a book.
Tuesday – 1600 yard swim because I ran out of time. I had planned on cycling at the gym too but I had to stay late at work and then skipped.
Wednesday – 40 minutes on the recline bike with a book and then 5 minutes on the elliptical “testing” my leg out. I felt fine but Ian called with a Sonic emergency and I had to head home. Has anyone else had their cat get stuck in their ceiling and then need a bath? Yeah..

ellipticalThursday- AM: 1800 yard swim / PM: 3 mile run (pace: 8:51 min/mile <– I think something was wrong, I was moving much slower than this).
Friday – 3.12 mile run (pace: 9:05 min/mile) + 10 minutes of core work.

So as you can see, even though I had ramped up my mileage pretty quickly post-race, my injury has really forced me to take a break and I’ve been embracing the lower intensity, shorter workouts. I miss running and have been eager to head out every. single. day. but I know I will be a stronger runner this summer after taking some time now to relax and clear my head.

While I’ve run the last two days, I’m honestly not sure I should be. My leg doesn’t hurt doing the hop test and the pain seems to flare up at the beginning of a run but gets better as I go.  However, my knee feels achy and I think it’s because I’m not lifting my leg up as high and basically jamming it when I stride. I need new shoes too so that might be contributing as well. I’m actually planning on buying new ones this weekend!

What are your plans this weekend? Anything fun?

Stress Free!

I went to the doctor this morning and got the results from my MRI and guess what? No stress fractures or muscle tears in sight! It looks like I have quite a few muscle strains in my glutes and my hip adductor that are causing a lot of inflammation but nothing more serious than that. To say I’m ecstatic about this would be an understatement :).  Interestingly, the MRI also found a cyst in the back of my knee (completely unrelated).

(image source)

So what now? Well, I’m technically cleared to run so long as I’m not in too much pain. I promised my doctor that I’d follow her pain guidelines and stop running when I experience any of the following:

  1. Pain causing limping or gait changes
  2. Pain getting progressively worse
  3. Pain worse than a 3 out of 10 on the pain scale.

I also agreed to start PT to strengthen my glutes and to have a gait analysis done. It’s been over a year and a half since my last one so it’s probably not a bad idea considering I’ve had quite a few injury flares since then. I suppose it’s possible that something has changed.

feetAs excited as I am to run, I’m also nervous to do too much too soon. My doctor told me that she was pretty confident I couldn’t do any more damage but running too soon could prolong recovery and pain. I’ve also felt much better with rest and gentle exercise so obviously not running has been helping. My plan for right now is to take it easy for a few more days and potentially ease into running this weekend when I’m in Michigan and won’t have access to a gym.

Once I’m running comfortably again, I’m going to need to start rebuilding my base because training for Chicago starts mid-June. I’m planning on using a completely different training plan this time that I think is better fit for my running abilities and I’m really excited about it! I’ll share more soon!

How do you ease back into running after taking an extended time off? I’m thinking of following a plan in one of my training books and running for 30-40 minutes to start and increasing the time by 5-10 minutes as I become more comfortable. I’ll probably leave my Garmin at home too.

How to Avoid a Bruised Toe[nail]

Right after I got back from the Goofy Challenge, I was talking to a friend about my toe and she asked me why I thought the injury had happened. After explaining to her what I assume to be the perfect storm of causes she told me that I should write a blog post about it. To be honest, my first thought was “no one is going to want to read about my disgusting toe situation” but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that you all might want to read this post so you can avoid having to deal with the gross toe situation that I did. So here goes the toe injury causes post (with ways to prevent this of course)… sorry for the toe talk and I promise no gory pictures!



1. Inserts- After my heel started to bother me in December, I picked up a pair of inserts and put them in my running shoes. I didn’t pay any attention to how thick they were and they didn’t seem to bother me running in the colder weather. However, when I got to Florida and it was hot and humid, the inserts (which are thicker than normal inserts) did not leave enough room in the toe box for my swollen feet causing my toe to bang around (and hit the top of my shoe) in the toe box more than normal. To avoid this, be aware of how thick your inserts and insoles in before purchasing them and placing them in your shoe. If you think there might be an issue, consider finding a thinner insert, thinner socks, and going up half a shoe size.

2. Swollen feet- Speaking of swollen feet, the humidity and heat along with being on my feet all day Friday and running the half on Saturday definitely caused my feet to swell up more than usual. Again, this caused my toes to hit the sides and top of my shoe more frequently than usual. To avoid this, buy your shoes half a size too big to allow for swelling. I’m kicking myself for not doing this since I usually buy half a size too big in the summer and true to size in the winter and I totally forgot for Goofy.

3. Long toenails- You want to keep your toenails clean and short so they can’t catch on anything like your sock or the next toe over. Let’s just say, my big toenails were not even close to being as short as they are supposed to be and that I had kind of forgotten about them in all of my sock and boot wearing in Chicago. Yikes. To avoid this, keep your toenails short!

4. Wet feet- Wet feet can be caused by a few things like sweating, rain, pouring water down yourself, etc. Having wet feet increases the friction between your toes and makes you more prone to blisters. If you start to feel blisters, you might change your gait or the way your foot hits the ground in order to alleviate some pain which makes you more prone to smacking the top of your foot on the top of your shoe. To avoid this, wear sweat wicking socks or brands like injinji that aim to prevent blisters and when pouring water over your head, try to avoid getting it in your shoes.

5. Compression gear- Compression gear is important, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re running two back to back races, be careful which compression gear you wear. After the half on Saturday, I made recovery my priority. Within 10 minutes of finishing the race, I changed out of the socks I ran in and into my compression socks. When we got back to the hotel, I showered, put my compression socks back on, and wore them all day. My calves felt great the next day, but my feet didn’t have the time to really dry out, leaving the skin tender and ready to blister on Sunday. I never would have thought it would be an issue but after searching for Goofy related injuries, the high rate of blisters came up and many people pointed to this sock issue as a contributing factor. To avoid this, wear compression gear but make sure to take your socks off and let your feet “dry out” for a bit.


So yeah, while my bruised toe and toenail was quite the traumatic injury (I really don’t like toes) it healed pretty quickly (approximately 9 days) and could have been completely avoided had I known and paid attention to the five things above. Live and learn I guess!

Have you ever had an injury that could have been avoided (not overuse)? Do you buy running shoes true to size or do you obey the 1/2 size rule?