Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I am injured therefore I am insane.

If you've had an injury before, you understand what a neurotic mess you turn into. And if you've haven't, I hate you.
First:
*you analyze every training run previous to the injury down to the shoes, speed, and incline.
This is not something you want to repeat therefore finding the root cause is essential in making sure it doesn't happen again. Then, calling yourself an idiot for not seeing it previous is helpful in this process.
*you make immediate plans to keep your cardiovascular shape intact for the glorious day when you can run again. This means you are willing to stuff yourself into a swimming suit, subject yourself to inhumane amounts of chlorine, and shave yourself all over even when it's not summer. It also means you will sit on a hard, triangle shaped torture devise for miles upon miles clipped in and strapped to a fast moving two wheeled contraption while the panic of being hit by a passing car is surpassed by the drive to get your heart pumping and legs moving.
*you start to wonder whether "other activities" are cardiovascular and therefore have additional value. You husband tells you they are. You consider wearing a heart rate monitor and setting your interval timer but decide that would ultimately ruin the mood.
*If you are a woman you worry about your pant size expanding in the weeks that you will go without running. Swimming, weights, and biking do not equal the happiness that running provides and therefore do not burn as many calories.
*You are on an emotional roller coaster that consists of the grieving stages. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Only it doesn't end with acceptance. It just continues to circle around and around. Your family and spouse will suffer right along with you. They may consider institutionalization.
*And finally, when your pain is gone and you are ready to move on... the fear of repeat pain and injury is right around the corner, waiting. Like some horrible creature lurking in the darkness, ready to pounce on you again and laugh at you in some cruel fashion.
*Surely you have something to add to my list, right?

The past few weeks might have been slightly better than I've described, but only just on the outside. On the inside, in the deep recesses of my mind, I have been insane. During the week, I have been able to remain very positive. I am excited to do other activities and keep my cardio up and the push up challenge has been fun and hard. I am excited at the improvements I am seeing. I have found ways to push myself in the pool and on the bike. But it's just not the same as running.
Thursday I woke up and gingerly stepped out of bed. I was surprised to find that I had zero pain. It was glorious. I wanted to dance around the house. But I was cautious. I had only a few twinges of pain that whole day. I had hopes of running on Saturday. It also happened to be the day that my best friend and running partner, Heather found out that she has a stress fracture in her foot. She's been in pain for 8 weeks now. She did get an x-ray earlier that didn't show it. She then was told that it was tendonitis only to have it worked on for 4 weeks and have little improvement. So this was a big blow. She has 3 weeks in a boot and on crutches and then probably another 3 weeks just in the boot. And if that isn't bad enough, her other foot hurts too, but doesn't show a stress fracture, yet. I was really getting ready to go get my foot x-rayed too, just to make sure. And then I had a really good day. Until I went to spinning and it hurt afterwards. Friday was o.k. Slight pain again.
And then Saturday came. I am alway so positive through the week until Saturday comes. I think I figured out why. For the last 2 years I have woken up on Saturday morning and have gone on a long run. Sometimes it's the earliest I wake up all week long. Usually no one else in my house is awake. I run and recharge and when I come home, everyone has done their chores (thanks to my husband) and the rest of the day is just waiting. Now, I eat breakfast and wander around the house wondering what I'm going to do with my day. Sure I could do laundry or clean...but really? So after moping around all day long, my husband MADE me go on a run. I cried. I told him I didn't want to hurt myself further. I cried about not knowing what to do, worrying that it's a stress fracture, it not showing up on an x-ray, and just not knowing what it is or who to go to. He told me to go get dressed and to go on a just a little run to test things out. That way I would know for sure what to do. I did and then had the dilemma of what to wear on my feet. My husband thinks it's the monkey feet causing the problem. He thinks that our feet are not meant to be spread apart like that. And he might be right. So I decided that I would be the lightest and most careful just in my bare feet. It would keep me from going too far. And as crazy as it seems, the harder the surface and the less you have on your feet, the softer you will land. So I took off with my Evo's in hand and went really slow. It was amazing. The slight pain in my foot went away after a little bit and everything loosened up. I've been so worried about my feet getting all soft from that stupid pool, but they actually felt pretty good.
One of my favorite parts about running barefoot is feeling all the different textures and temperatures. I like running through shady parts and feeling the difference from the warm asphalt to the cooler parts. I like the sidewalks and smooth asphalt and pebbly roads and hate, hate, hate the chipped asphalt. I only wore my shoes to cross a busy street and enjoyed the rest of the run barefoot. I did 5 miles and though it was slow, it was like medicine to my soul. It felt easy and relaxed. My foot felt better when I was done than when I set out. My foot did hurt again the next day a little, but not bad. And the last two days have been even better.
Now I have to figure out how to get back into running without hurting myself again and I need to make decisions on upcoming marathons. I still have a road ahead of me and I'm not sure I'm better. I still have a little bit of pain. But at least the neurotic part of my brain was cleared out for a few minutes. And if you ask my husband, I really needed it.
We had spring break this weekend and everyone was home. It was wonderful. I'm so behind on your lives, but I'm going to get caught up now!

Monday: week 3 push ups, 60 minutes pool running
Tuesday: 60 minute spin class
Wednesday: week 3 push ups, upper body weights and abs, 60 minutes pool running
Thursday: 60 minute spin class
Friday: week 3 push ups, upper body weights and abs
Saturday: 5 mile barefoot run

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A New Perspective

I've tried to be really positive about my injury. And yes, I'm actually calling it an injury. I haven't even wanted to do that for reasons I'll discuss later. But when Saturday came and it was officially two weeks since I had ran, and it still hurt, any progress that I had made was gone from my mind. And I just focussed on the pain that remained there. I had a really bad attitude. I didn't want to go to the pool. I didn't want to wait until the day was half over to get my exercising done. (Our pool doesn't open until one on Saturdays. Don't even get me started on that one!) It was raining and I didn't feel like riding my bike in the rain even though I really could have. It was warmish. I really just wanted to run. I talked with my workout buddy, Heather and she thought she might go on a walk and maybe even a short run. I really wanted to do the same but knew that I'd regret it later. So I sulked. It stopped raining and my husband said he'd ride his bike with me. So we did a 7 mile loop and though I had planned to go back out, I was done. I sulked some more. There were even a few tears.
I texted with a good friend (you know who you are) and had her talk me out of running on my hurt foot. I promised her and myself that I would not run until I have no pain plus one day. Then I went and saw a movie with my daughter that changed my whole day. And there were more tears. Soul Surfer is a true story about a 16 year old girl who lives in Hawaii. She was born to surf. It was her whole life. She had a fantastic future ahead of her. And then there was a shark attack that took her arm. Her recovery and what she continued to do with her life after the attack is simply inspiring. There's one part in the movie where her religious leader is teaching the youth through an object lesson. She shows them pictures of things magnified and has them try to identify them. She then points out that it's hard to see things clearly when you're too close. Sometimes you need a new perspective. And that's what I came away out of that movie theater with. Some perspective. And it came during my 26 mile bike ride that I did as soon as I got home.
The whole thing that started my freak out session was seeing a countdown until the Ogden Marathon. It said 35 days. If you take into account a good taper period, there's only a few weeks of real training left. And though I've had some really great training runs, I don't feel ready. And I really don't want to run through pain and cause further damage. I've done that before and hope that I've learned my lesson. The thought of NOT running that marathon is devastating to me. For so many reasons. But it all boils down to pride. I have something to prove, if to no one but myself, and not being able to do it seems like a failure, yet again.
But with my new perspective and the big picture, it's not all about the marathon. Simple running is what I love. Yes, I love the challenge of the marathon. I love seeing improvement in myself and my abilities. And I love the life lessons I learn each time I run a marathon. But it's not the only thing I love about running. In fact it's just a tiny portion of why I run. And I get caught up in the little things and they can ruin it for the big picture. I love having my body be in motion. I love the feel of movement against something. It feels like progress. Whether it's the treadmill or a hill or my favorite dirt road. Movement frees my mind and allows me to think clearly. Sometimes it's about nothing at all, which I love. I love that no one is asking me to do something for them. There's no, "mom! I need..." While I LOVE being a mom, I also love my time when I'm out in nature, free for an hour from responsibility. Free to be myself. I love running with friends and letting the miles erase worries of the day. It's therapy. I love running by myself. I feel like an athlete when I run and I've never considered myself an athlete at any other time in my life. And running barefoot has only enhanced that love. I love feeling what's beneath my feet. It's pure joy.
For now, my foot feels better than it ever has. This weekend was a turning point. I'll still be good and wait until there's no pain plus a day. But there is some hope there. If this injury ends up ruining my marathon plans for this year...I will be disappointed. I won't lie. But it won't be the end of the world. I will have time to run in the future. I have years and years. And I'm going to follow my heart and see where it leads.

Push up challenge week 2!
Monday: full body weights, 65 minutes pool running
Wednesday: 16 mile bike ride outside with trailer, full body weights
Thursday: 60 min spin class
Friday: upper body weights, abs
Saturday: 35 mile bike ride

Monday, April 18, 2011

Winners!

According to Random.Org the winners are:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

61 32 98 

Timestamp: 2011-04-18 13:26:52 UTC

#61 Hungry Runner Girl- You win the shirt!

#32 Karl- You win the Garmin!

#98 Lexi- You win the Spibelt!

Congrats to the winners! E-mail me your information and I'll get them sent right out!
Thanks to everyone who entered! I'm still going through your blogs and loving every minute of it! And I really loved what each and every person said about why they loved running and blogging. I could really relate to all your reasons for both. This running/blogging community is so supportive. I'm always touched when someone I've never met is willing to give me advice, encourage me, or just tell me I've done a great job. It's a really unique thing in this world today and I love it! It shows me the good side of humanity and gives me hope. Who knew that simple words could do so much?

Friday, April 15, 2011

An Update of Sorts

I guess this will be an updating post. Kind of boring. Oh well. I've stuck in a poor quality home video at the end that will make up for it.

First: I am completely BLOWN AWAY by the response to the giveaway. Utterly. It has been so much fun to me to read what you all love about running and blogging. I have read each and every one and can relate to every single one. I have been reading your blogs but it is taking me a while. I am so excited to find some new blogs to read and friends to make. Blogging is such a great outlet for our enthusiasm for this sport that we don't want to bug our "normal" friends with. The running community never ceases to amaze me. I'm excited to draw a few winners and just wish I had more to go around!

Second: a foot update. It feels a little better each day. I can stretch out my toes without the tightness or the pain that I had before so I know it's getting better. It just seems slow. The pain moves from my toes to the top of my foot and back to my toes. But there are times in the day that I forget all about it and it doesn't hurt at all. In fact I've kind of slacked on the icing thing and I should be better about that. I'm sure it helps. I've been waiting for the pain to be gone completely before I run again.
I think I've been pretty positive about this whole thing. I've tried to distract myself with other things but it's almost to the point where I'm starting to get worried. My first marathon of the season is 5 weeks away. I will admit that panic might set in the next week if it doesn't completely go away.

Third: and related to the stinking foot: I am so done with pool running. The only reason I've been able to do so much is because my running partner, Heather went with me for all but one of the times. And even though it was torture, it was bearable with her there. We talked and caught up like the good old days out on the road. However, it really messes with my shower schedule, evening routines, and life in general. I really hope I don't have to go back again on Saturday but I might have to. YUCK.

It was warm enough this week to get my bike out. Blue Betty and I went for a nice 16 miler. It would have been even nicer but I had to pull the 5 year old in the trailer. Needless to say after my spin class the next day my legs were feeling it! The only consolation I have is that it was good for my legs. And they need it right now!

Week 2 of the push up challenge is complete. It's funny how when you look ahead at things they seem like they'll be too much. Like marathon training for instance. You look at those 20 mile runs and everything in between and it seems so hard. But taking them one day at a time makes them do able. It's the same with this challenge. I look ahead to the coming weeks or even days and start thinking I'll never be able to do it. But just one day at a time and sometimes just one set at a time and I'm able to do it. Bring on week 3!

I have myself a little weight training buddy. My 5 year old little boy watches me quite frequently do my exercises and asks to participate. But the last two weeks have had him joining me for almost the entire time. It all started with Megan's lung/squat routine that I did last week a couple of days. As I was doing the sets of walking lunges and squats, he was watching me. And when I did the squat he busted out laughing. He said that he could see my buns and when I had to do 8-10 of them in a row he was on the floor rolling. At least my form was probably good if my rear end was sticking out! So then this week when he wanted to participate, I got a good look at what I must have looked like in his eyes. And it was my turn to laugh. I apologize for the poor quality. My phone is having trouble uploading so I e-mailed it to myself and it didn't come over as good.
Sidenote: my 5 year old son ran more miles than I did this week. sigh.


video video video video

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Giveaway!

Without being too gushy and telling you all how much your positive comments mean to me and how runners really are the most kind and generous people and how much I enjoy being a part of your lives in a weird but not creepy internet sort of way... I want to give back to you and do a giveaway. I don't have any sweet hook ups with cool companies. But I have skills people. O.k. maybe not even skills, but maybe someone can benefit from my mistaken purchases.

This is my Garmin that I have used probably 20 times total in the last 3 years. It has all the cords and even the heart rate monitor. It has the CD for the computer but I do not know where the instruction manual is. You will have to find it online or have a good friend who knows how to use it. I have just found that I get myself all worked up while using it and it's just not for me. I know someone will love it though. It's spring cleaning time!

This is a spibelt that has been used once. I just didn't like it although I know there are a lot of you out there that really do. I found an iFitness one that I like more and can't see myself ever using this one again. Here again, I know someone will enjoy it and use it. It's just been sitting in my cupboard for a while.

Finally, this is my homespun crafty shirt. I made one a year ago when we were thinking of team names for the Wastach Back Ragnar Relay. Our name was Lips, Hips, and Asphalt but we were having a hard time coming up with costumes. So I thought maybe we should change our name to Bake, Eat, Run, Repeat. We could wear wooden spoons in our hair and wear aprons and serve cupcakes at all the exchanges. We stuck with our original name and loved it. But I had made up this shirt to see what we could have professionally made. Since then, I've worn it around town and I love it. I will make one for you in the colors you like and shirt size or your choice. Keep in mind that this is not really made for running in though.

To enter:
***Leave me a comment about what you love the most about running and blogging. Also tell me which one you'd like to win. I'll be drawing 3 winners. I'd love it if you follow me, but just so that I can make new friends and check out more blogs. Don't feel obligated to follow me unless you like reading my mindless dribble.
***Extra entry if you post this giveaway on your blog! Leave me a comment saying that you've done so!
Will end on Sunday April 17th and I'll announce the winners on Monday.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Strong and Healthy Feet

At some point I'll be able to say that I have strong and healthy feet. The pain is leaving but it seems like it's just a slow process. It's actually feeling really good compared to last week, so good that sometimes I forget that it's even there. And the old me would have taken them out for a test run but the new me is going to wait until the pain is completely gone. At least that's what I'm saying today. The sun is out and that always makes it hard to stay inside. Especially when I want to be working on my barefooting. All the progress that I seemed to make last month with my feet is gone. The pool has just destroyed my feet. I hope I won't have to do it much longer.
Back to strong and healthy feet. There are several exercises that I used a lot in the beginning to strengthen my feet. And I think it really helped. But I had gotten over confident and quit doing them regularly. So I'm back to being a good girl and Julia asked if I would share some of the exercises that I do. Keep in mind that these are good for any runner and not just barefoot runners. And go check out Julia's giveaway while you're at it. She's a super strong runner and although she's just recovering from a stress fracture, she is doing amazing! She'll be at the Utah Valley Marathon with me and I can't wait to see her in person again!

My photographer is my 5 year old boy. Be patient with me. These aren't the best!
My chiropractor taught me this exercise years ago when I was dealing with IT band problems. It is deceptively simple yet pretty hard to do. All you do is stand on one foot, like a stork. You will feel all the little muscles in your feet and legs immediately engage and start to work to stabilize your foot and keep you from toppling over.

When you can do that easily for 30 seconds, do the same thing with your eyes closed. It's much harder.

When you can do that for 30 seconds, stand on something unstable like a big fluffy pillow. I use my sand filled medicine ball. Again, once you can do it for 30 seconds, try it with your eyes closed. I like to mess around and try ballet poses or yoga poses while doing it. Just be safe and do it where you won't get hurt when you fall. It's a great thing to do while doing dishes or blow drying your hair. But it can be done anywhere. Like when you're standing in line or watching your kids play soccer. One more tip, it's best done barefoot so that all those muscles can work.

The next one I found in Runner's World a couple of months ago under a preventing injuries article. This one was specific for plantar fasciitis. While putting equal pressure on your toes and heel, lift your arch. Imagine a string pulling it up and hold it for a couple of seconds, release, and then repeat.

Lift only your big toe and push the other toes to the ground.

Do the opposite and push your big toe to the ground while lifting all the other toes.

Spread your toes out as far apart from each other as you can get.
I'm not super good at this one. But interestingly, my 2nd toe on my left (gimpy) side was frozen and wouldn't move until I physically moved it with my fingers. I discovered this 3 weeks ago. I think that's it's been part of my problem. I can now move it without extra help.
Try tapping your toes individually on the ground like you were playing the piano. I still can't do this one with all of my toes.

The last one is really fun. Try picking up objects and moving them with your toes. Like marbles or sticks or your kid's toys. Anything that causes your toes to grasp things will help with strength.
If your feet are strong, it will translate upwards to the rest of your legs. Your feet are what stabilizes your whole body! Make them strong!
When you are done, stretching the toes and feet feels really good. I have a wooden foot roller that I roll the bottoms of my foot with, although like many of you suggested a tennis ball or golf ball would work well too! I have also heard of a frozen water bottle.

I have also loved my mailman as of late. He brought me a couple of new barefooting shirts from Krista. I love them because I don't feel nearly so self conscious in my bare feet running through town as long as I have on one of her shirts "telling" them that I didn't forget my shoes, I'm just a barefoot runner.

He brought me my shirt from EMZ. Go check her out and donate if you can, to her cause. She'll be running for 24 hours on a treadmill for her charity. She is a machine. She is awesome.
I also won some blister care stuff from Candice's blog and I can't wait to use it. And Lauren sent me a USB with a ton of great new music that's kind of like the traveling pants and is headed to Boston next. And just yesterday I won some music and a circuit timer and jump rope from Megan. I'm so excited! I can't say how much I love the running blogging community. I've met such great supportive people. People who get me and my insanity. Friends that I love. O.k. I'm done being all mushy but I am a girl after all!


Monday: full body weights, 45 minutes pool running
Tuesday: 60 minute spin class
Wednesday: full body weights, 60 minutes pool running
Friday: full body weights
Saturday: 120 minutes of pool running

Friday, April 8, 2011

While I'm Not Running...

I'm still not calling myself injured. It's just a little setback. Or a little break from running because my toes hurt. It's back to just pain in my toes and I'm working really hard on stretching my calves and my feet. I'm icing and heating and stretching and strengthening and hoping. And if I don't call it the "I" word then maybe I'll get better super fast.
Anyways.... while I'm not running on the roads (just the pool for me), I decided that I needed something else to occupy my time and brain power. My house is clean and laundry has never been so caught up. So after reading about the 100 push up challenge from my sister in law JaNae and Jess over at Blond Ponytail, I decided that this would be the perfect distraction for me. It sounds impossible and I like that! Go here to get the plan for yourself. I do push ups regularly, two sets of 20, but never really do them to my max. And while I didn't do the initial test, I just started from the highest level beginning point. I've completed week one and it hasn't been too bad. And the timing will be perfect. By the time I finish this program, there will only be one week before the Ogden Marathon. And how cool will it be to say that I did 100 push ups consecutively? Very.
Megan over at Muncher Cruncher also posted a lunge squat pyramid routine that I did on Wednesday and today. Talk about hard. When I reached number 8 I thought to myself that there was no way I was going to be able to finish it. But I did. And I did a second set. I did it holding a 10 lb. weight in front of me and I did not do the jump squats due to my foot, but it was a killer anyway.
If you are looking for a good challenge, either of these are good! Who's in?
I'm also working on a project while I have extra time for a giveaway! Look for that next week!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Then and now

Last year in anticipation of the Salt Lake City Marathon I wrote this post on monster month.

I've been dreading and worrying about this month ever since I typed up our marathon training schedule into a calendar. Monster marathon month. On paper it looked intimidating. Especially the 10 x 800M Yasso's that we were scheduled to do after the 20 miler. They were tough, but I did it. Actually, doing it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I need to remember to just take things one day at a time. You'd have thought running would have taught me that lesson by now. Anyway, this is what monster month looked like for me:
132 total miles.
of that 36 were speed work miles,
64 were long run miles,
8 miles ended up being a tempo run to make sure I wasn't injured,
and the rest would be recovery miles or junk miles.
I went to 3 spinning classes, did my kick boxing video 4 times, lifted weights 5 times, and lost 0 pounds. On the up side, I only woke up during the middle of the night hungry once and that was after the 20 mile run.
I doubt I will have another month like this the rest of this year. But I guess you never know.
The good news is that I'm feeling good. Really, really good. I'm more excited for the marathon than nervous. And that may be a first. I guess in a little more than 2 weeks I'll find out!
It was a lot of fun looking back at the month and what I had accomplished. Then I got a comment from Marathon Man that said this, "I doubt I will have another month like this the rest of this year." Why not?! You can do it again. The second time will be that much easier. So, when exactly is the marathon? May 15th??" That comment really got me thinking. In fact, I replied to him that I was only running one marathon that year and that I just wasn't made to run high mileage weeks. I remember thinking to myself that I'd never be able to run more than 3 or 4 days a week and 100 miles a month MAX without getting injured and that I was pushing the limits of what my body could do. But that comment stayed in the back of my mind. And it wasn't too long after he made that comment that he passed away suddenly. It was a somber moment. I hadn't followed him for long at all, but he had made an impact on me. Through a simple comment. It's amazing to me how someone can touch your life in such an unexpected way.
Fast forward to November of that same year. I had discovered barefoot running and minimalist running and by the week of Thanksgiving had given up my normal shoes and switched over completely. November's totals were 125.5 miles and December's were 159 miles. I was truly in shock. I wasn't even training for anything. I was just out there having fun. I thought of his comment again and knew that if he could see those totals, he would smile and tell me, "I told you so!"
It's funny how time changes things. Truly, it's the only thing you can depend on. From running to just life in general. I may not have a high mileage month this month, but I know that I will again this year and many more to come.
I love how I can get caught in a time warp looking at pictures of my kids from years ago and remembering how things were.
Here's a few of my favorite then and now pictures.

My two little girls then...

My two girls now. They're still the best of friends.

Then... Our engagement photos.

Us now-ish.

Then...my first baby when he was about 15 months old. And yes, I've had short hair for most of my life.

My baby when he turned 15. sigh.

Our kitchen before....

during...we moved a window, redid the electrical, plumbing, and everything! I'm pretty proud to say that I installed and wired the recessed lighting myself.

Today! My husband built our cabinets in our garage. Seriously, the guy can do anything he puts his mind to.

Baby number four with his curly hair then...

My baby boy now looking so grown up. sniff.

Our kids at Disneyland in 2006...

Our kids at Disneyland in 2010. Can't you see how happy the teenager is to be in Toon Town?

I may have gotten carried away with the pictures but it's so fun to see what changes with time.
Now you must do a post of your own then and now pictures!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A setback and hope

I was such a good girl all week long and stuck to water jogging and biking and lifting. Even though the weather was GORGEOUS toward the end of the week and I really wanted to be out there running in it. I was a good girl and tortured myself in the pool. I had Heather for company on Wednesday and it made for not so boring of a time. And it was fun to catch up with her like we used to do on our runs. I could really complain about our pool and their policies, but I'm trying to stay positive, so I won't. I won't tell you that I had to beg to be in the deep end and that they were really annoyed with me. I won't tell you that their hours suck and our city needs to get on the ball and build a community center. And I definitely won't tell you that they use so much chorine that my quality Athleta swimming suit is already affected.
So after I had been a good girl all week my foot really was feeling so much better. In fact by Thursday the only thing that still hurt was my big toe. And it felt like it was just in the joint. It almost felt like it needed to be popped. Like it was stiff. I was very excited. Friday I took my feet for a little test run of 3.5 miles with just that slight pain in the toe. It never got worse and by the end of the day still felt the same. I did go hiking Friday night, which may have been a mistake, but it was with my hubby on our date and we did get to watch the sun set which was so beautiful.
I had decided that if it was o.k. Friday then I would attempt my long run on Saturday and call my husband to come get me if it started hurting. Saturday was a beautiful day. I was up early enough to see the sun rise and enjoy the quiet of the morning. I did a 4 mile loop to make sure it was o.k. And it was.


I then headed up the canyon with my friend Jodi to run down it. It was windy but very warm and my jacket didn't stay on for very long. There is a really long never ending uphill that I've never been able to run up all the way without a walking break. Well even with the wind, I relaxed everything and didn't fight the hill or the wind and just cruised up that hill. I was pretty dang excited when we reached the top and I didn't have to stop! We ran downhill the rest of the way to my little city and ran over to her inlaws house where I filled up my water bottle to make my way home. By that time my second toe was aching, but my big toe and the rest of my foot was good. I wound my way home to finish 18.5 miles. Once home I stretched out that toe the best I could and then iced my whole foot.


It was a busy day. My 3rd child, Caroline had her 10th birthday, we listened to Conference, went to Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2, and had a little party at night. By the end of the day, the top of my foot was in pain again. The toes were fine, the pain just moved up. And thus began my weekend of self pity and ice. I know I just need to rest more. And I found this article that I think describes the root of my problem. Tight calves. I had assumed that since I'd gotten over the initial shock to my calves and hadn't been sore for months, that my calves had gotten used to the stress that barefoot and minimalist running puts on them. As I think about how tight my calves feel in spin class while standing with high resistance or how tight they are at the beginning of a run, I have concluded that they might be a more used to it, but that they are chronically tight. I have GOT to be more diligent on stretching them and rolling them. I think this is the root of my foot problem.
I am hopeful today. Sunday I was listening to Conference again and this talk spoke to me. He talked about tribulations and trials in our lives and as I sat there feeling sorry for myself with ice on my foot, everything he said related to running to me. I know it probably shouldn't have, but it did. He talked about how we often see marvelous blessings on the heels of great tribulations. He talked about having to put in the effort to see results. I truly believe that. As marathons have come and gone and I've been disappointed, I have KNOWN deep down that they were just stepping stones. Someday I am going to feel accomplished and satisfied with my result. And it will be because I didn't quit. I kept going even though at times it seemed like a waste of time. I really believe that this is just a small setback in learning how to run right. I have some tweaking to do. And I am encouraged as it feels so much better today than yesterday. And I have a plan for getting completely better. It includes a lot of cross training and a lot of stretching.


Monday: full body weights, 70 minutes pool running
Tuesday: abs, 60 minute spin class
Wednesday: 70 minutes pool running
Thursday: 60 minute spin class
Friday: 3.5 mile run outside in gorilla feet, full body weights
Saturday: 18.5 mile run outside in gorilla feet