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What To Do When I Can’t Run??

It has been 7 weeks since I strained the peroneal tendon in my right foot, and I still am not able to run. What do you do when you can’t run?

Sit at home binge-watching episodes of The Voice while moping? Glare at all the stoopid people running around the city when you are stuck in your car at red lights? Definitely NOT not updating your running blog. NO! Because I am a mature adult and that would be incredibly self-loathing.

I’ve been keeping plenty busy in other ways, which hasn’t been too difficult with the holiday season in full swing and my bestie’s upcoming wedding.  For one, my house gets cleaned regularly. I’ve been doing lots of housework and even redecorating! That makes me sound SUPER fun, I know, but it IS nice to get our place ready just before the holidays.

Cooking! With all the time spent NOT running, I have loads more time for making fancy dinners. There will be no grab-n-go dinner salads for me, not whilst I am injured. Instead, I can make homemade pizza (yup, this is fancy to me), made with veggies, chicken sausage, feta cheese, “Rustico” spaghetti sauce and a whole wheat crust (the latter 2 from Trader Joe’s!).

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Before and After cooking mashup

And you can’t forget dessert; a girl has got to live! I made these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies for work on Halloween.

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I replaced the canola oil with olive oil, used dark chocolate chunks (high in antioxidants!), and organic ingredients, including organic whole wheat flower, and they turned out soft, fluffy and amazing!

But I promise I don’t just do housework and gorge on pizza and cookies all day long. I’ve had some pretty amazing goings-on during this running layoff. My boyfriend and I saw Frank Turner at the Fillmore…

FTFillmore

Vibin’

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…And I celebrated my best friend’s upcoming wedding with a bachelorette party in Disneyland!

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Shameless selfie stick-ing. Also, shamelessly drinking champagne before noon.

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We are indeed so happy!

As far as workouts go, I am very limited but giving it my best. I’ve been occasioning the stationary bike at the gym (exhilarating, I know), and doing Pilates as much as I can without irritating my foot. Next up, I will be working at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, representing the Berkeley Half Marathon! So even though I can’t run, I am keeping busy, and my mind engaged. My wise ol’ boyfriend likes to say, “when you can’t exercise your body, exercise your mind.” There are plenty of running mantras, so why not have an injury mantra?

Happy Running! (or not!)

-J

Injury

Well, ladies and gentlemen…I am on the injured list. Boooo.

A few weeks ago I started experiencing pain on the outside of my right foot. The pain would subside with rest, and immediately flare up when I returned to activity. One day, I landed very hard on my right foot, causing severe pain, and I’ve been limping ever since.

My boyfriend, Rich, made an appointment for me with the athletic trainer at his fight gym. The AT is a former triathlete who works with professional UFC martial artists, and the Oakland Raiders. So he knows his athletes. He confirmed what I and Web MD suspected: peroneal tendon strain. The peroneal tendons run along the outside of your feet, and can become irritated with overuse (ehem, long distance running).

The treatment I received was quite interesting. He started with my foot, scraping and massaging the muscles and tendons. Then, he did the same on my lower right leg and calf. It was a bit uncomfortable, but it is a great technique to ease soft tissue.

Then things got a little crazy. After my scraping session, he transitioned to cupping. Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice that uses suctions cups to draw in soft tissues to break up scar tissue and knots, and to promote blood flow and healing. The cups are lit on fire to remove air, which creates a suction. He moved the cups up and down the outside of my leg, and it was quite painful (I’m still slightly bruise!). Then, I received acupuncture down the side of my leg and outside of my right foot. Lastly, he made a little adjustment to my foot, as the strained tendons have essentially tweaked the 5th metatarsal in my right foot slightly of place.

Injury

Things improved quite quickly after treatment, but I’m still not 100% yet. This type of injury requires rest, but unfortunately I work on my feet for long hours so my foot hurts again at the end of a shift. I’m mostly fine with walking, as long as I can sit when I need to, but I can’t sit at work. I’m spending the day today completely off my feet, and I may make a follow up appointment depending on how I feel.

Being injured is a bummer. I can’t run, and up until last week, I could barely put any pressure on my foot, so I’ve had very little physical activity. My projected time off is very little, so I really can’t complain. I will have to modify my race plans in the immediate future (no Berkeley Half Marathon), but beyond that should be out and running before I know it (please!). Ahh, the ups and downs of being an athlete!

-J

Liebster Award!

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Thank you to MANDMRUNNINGCLUB for nominating me for the Liebster Award! I have some questions to think of before I can proceed with my nominations, but I just wanted to say thanks for thinking of me!

I’m in the middle of a lovely 3 day weekend right now. On Friday afternoon, I witnessed one of the coolest things ever:

BatKid

I went down to San Francisco City Hall to see Batkid! I’m sure most of you have heard of this little guy by now. An awesome 5-year-old boy, Miles, battled leukemia for most of his life and the Make-A-Wish foundation made his dream of actually being Batman come true. He got to ride all over San Francisco in the Batmobile alongside Batman and fight crime. To honor his heroism, he was presented with a chocolate key to the city at City Hall by Mayor Ed Lee.

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It was a really emotional experience-about 13,000 people showed up all over the city to cheer and support Batkid! It made for some of the most positive news stories I’ve seen in forever. This day reminded me that there is so much good in the world, and I feel so lucky to have experienced this!

I’ve been a little absent from posting on my blog during my recovery from the NWM- catching up on rest days is time consuming work! My left knee has been bothering me but I have a run scheduled tomorrow to test the waters again after a few days off, so hopefully all will be well. Soon enough I will be back in the routine!

-J

Follow Me!

I’m going to be on vacation for the next week, so I won’t be blogging..but I will be running in Hawaii! If you have a Twitter or Instagram account, feel free to follow me while I am on my trip (and I will follow you!).

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Today’s Run: 1 mile!

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Today was another 1 mile run/walk. I’m more winded and intentionally slower than I used to be-but I don’t care at all. I’m able to run again and I couldn’t be happier! I will be back to blogging after Hawaii, hopefully with some great adventures to share!

Have a great week!

-J

The First Step

Believe it or not, one can survive without running! Yeah, I know I was shocked too-but I think I’m going to pull through. Or at least my prognosis is looking good. But now it’s time to get back to business. Yesterday I took the plunge and ran my very first mile in 6 whole weeks!

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Treadmill stats

I actually walked for 4 minutes and ran the rest at a 9-10 min/mile pace. I am easing back in to training after an injury, so I know I need to be taking it slow and steady. I chose to run on a treadmill for this first run because of the softer surface. I prefer not to run indoors, but it really wasn’t bad at all. I’m mostly disappointed I don’t get credit for the mileage on my Nike+ app (I can’t let my boyfriend get ahead of me!).

I thought it would be smart to strengthen and stretch thoroughly so I took a yoga class right after the run. This was ultimately a test to see if my leg is ready to handle impact again. I felt no pain during the run or after, and am still pain-free today! I was worried starting back up again I would have lost all of my cardio fitness, but truthfully I felt energetic and like I could easily have kept going.

View From the Sideline

Not being able to run wasn’t completely terrible. During my time off I was able to incorporate some great cross-training in to my fitness regime that will only benefit me in the long run (ha! get it?). I’ve also managed to get rid of those awkward runner tan lines (compression socks and shorts leave an unflattering leg tan) so I’m back to being at least uniformly pale.

The more difficult part for me was keeping my mind motivated and occupied. The solution was to just get up and get out! This past week I kept myself pretty busy. One evening my boyfriend and I took a date-night walk down by the Bay. The Bay Bridge was looking pretty as always!

BayLights

Last weekend there was also a food festival in my neighborhood. I woke up to loud music and party sounds so I decided that was my cue to get out bed!

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San Francisco likes to party and eat-and I’m OK with that!

Exercising the Mind

I’ve been thinking of more concrete running goals I want to set for myself besides my go-to “just finish” the race. That will always be my ultimate goal-to finish, enjoy, and be proud of my accomplishment. But since I’ve demonstrate I can run a marathon or half marathon, how would I like to proceed from there? So, I’ve started updating the Running Goals section of my blog.

Training Resumes!

I cancelled my plans to run the Portland Marathon in October, but I still have 2 more races in 2013!

NWMmap

October 20th is the Nike Women’s Marathon and I will be running the half! I’ve run the San Francisco Half Marathon twice now, but I’m excited to try a different race in my beautiful city! I’m going in to this event with the mindset that this is a fun-run. I have 8 weeks to train and I will probably be able to run/walk the course by then-but I’m definitely not going to be setting any speed records.

NFECmap

December 8th is The North Face Endurance Challenge half marathon and this will be my first trail race! This event is the one I’m actually most excited for. I’ve trained on trails before, and it definitely adds a whole new dimension to the enjoyment of running. Long distance runners already test themselves with distance; this race goes a step further with unsteady terrain and crazy elevation changes. Bring it.

Even though I’ve only run 1 mile in 6 weeks, the appreciation I have for every little step of that short 11 minutes of my life is immense. It feels good to be back!

Happy Sunday!

-J

Green Light

It turns out I do NOT have a stress fracture!

SportsTape

But I do get to wear some fancy sports tape!

I stopped running almost 6 weeks ago after experiencing some serious shin pain in my left leg. I decided to err on the side of caution and stop running because I was worried I had developed a stress fracture. I was able to confirm with a doctor this week that I have no structural damage to my bones, and the pain I have been experiencing is muscle/soft tissue damage. I was given the green light today so this coming week I will be able to start training again. Music to my ears!

Happy Friday!!

-J

Staying busy!

So what did the past week look like for this injured-runner-who-can’t-run-for-a-few-more-weeks?

Yoga, Pilates, Hiking (I wrote about this here), and Music!

Outside Lands

My first music festival!

I’ll get to that in a minute…

Club One Fitness Studio

Yogaself

My attempt at taking a selfie* before yoga class

*note to selfie: sit closer to mirror to capture a better picture!

Last week I started yoga, and this week I’ve added Pilates to my routine. I have always been a huge fan of Pilates. I’ve taken Reformer Pilates classes in the past and absolutely love and recommend giving it a try if possible, but those classes often come with a hefty price tag. My gym offers mat Pilates with my membership and I attended class for the first time on Wednesday morning. It was a very tradition Pilates class, but I left there feeling nice and sore so something must be working!

Saturday afternoon I also attended another yoga class. I loved every minute of the 1 1/2 hour class! The teacher was so nice, and great with instruction so I was able to learn a few new things. I was able to balance in the “crow” position for the first time ever. Not for long, but it was awesome.

Bakasana_,_crow_pose

I’ll just let this guy demonstrate; he seems to know what he is doing

I may not be running right now, but I feel physically stronger.

I have probably lost a good deal of cardio as I have been very cautious about putting any impact on my leg. I’ve been reluctant to use the cardio machines, because…well they are cardio machines facing a wall in the gym. Running is just what I do, and and I’m counting down the days until I can start training again. Outside. No offense to the elliptical, but you. are. boring.

What is not boring?

Outside Lands Stage

Music festivals! Yesterday I went to Outside Lands, a 3 day concert event in Golden Gate Park. I only attended on Sunday as ticket prices for 3 days were a little steep for me right now before taking a trip to Hawaii (2.5 weeks away!), but I was so happy I got to go. I went with my boyfriend and a bunch of other friends, and in one day I was able to see 5 performances!

My favorites of the day:

The key to getting me through this time off of running has been to just stay busy. I can’t concern myself with the fact I will be losing a lot of fitness and will have to build it up again. I’m thinking back to the time when I first started running. I was so focused and excited to be training for a half marathon, and I felt so proud of each mile I added to my training. That is the mental approach I need to take when I can resume running again. I’m having some x-rays taken coming up, so fingers crossed I will get some good news!

-J