We were on a Break!!

We were on a Break!!

It’s been too long…. I’ve been so strong.  So sane.  I’ve been so good about cross training.  But I’m ready to get back to running.  I don’t want to be on this break anymore!

Yes, I did go on a brief leave of absence from blogging.  I just couldn’t muster up the strength to talk about my cross-over into the world of biking and swimming. It’s been new, exciting, challenging and humbling but I’m at the point that I’m ready to get back to normal.

During my little break-up with running here’s a snap shot of what’s been going on:

  • Physical Therapy and Doctor– A few days after the Fast Firecracker I went to see my doctor to figure out what I needed to do.  X-rays showed no sign of fracture or bone spur which was really good news. Basically I’m just dealing with a persistent case of plantar fasciitis.  He referred me to our local sports medicine doctor and a physical therapist.  My physical therapist has really been working on my calf and foot muscles.  There were moments of pure torture and pain but I kept reminding myself that this was helping me.  I’m doing a series of stretches every day and wearing a night splint when I go to bed.  I kept reading about runners doing this to help alleviate foot pain in the morning but I thought it would be too uncomfortable.  Believe it or not it doesn’t really bother me.  I forget I’m even wearing it!  And best part about it- my foot feels completely normal in the morning!
    • 9 miles swimming (in a 17 day period)- 1 mile swim each session.  I was a little unsure about how accurate the distance was but my friend measured it with her new TomTom watch on the swimming setting and confirmed it was one mile.  Phew.  (You know how anal runners are about getting their distance right!)  It takes me between 32-35 minutes to swim a mile. 

      34 pennies = 34 out & back’s which = 1 mile!

    • 171 miles biking (outdoor and on stationary bike).  Biking is definitely my weakest of the triathlon three.  I did notice improvement during the past two and a half weeks.  (Started at 11 mph and this weekend averaged 14 mph.)
    Testing out the bike… This was actually my first ride on a bike (outside) in 25 years!
    Running friends that are willing to ride bikes are pretty awesome!
    • Two longer bike rides including an 18 miler and then a 26.3 mile ride over a hilly route.  I went with a friend who bikes a lot and knows what she’s doing.  I was WAY out of my comfort zone on that ride.  It was a crazy hard workout but I loved it.
    • I also experienced my first bike accident on a 12 mi bike ride early one morning by myself.  I went on the bike trail I have run on literally hundreds of times.  In one section there are two cattle guards which are annoying to run over but on a bike it is ten times scarier.  I slid off the cattle guards and lost control and then slid off the trail down a ditch.  I landed upside down with my bike on top of me.  Had some scrapes and bruises but nothing too serious.  It could have been much worse.
    Cattle guard crossing- annoying when you run but much worse on a bike!
    the lovely ditch I fell down
    I took this pic to text to John after I regrouped!

    2 days after the bike accident
    leg was also bruised and then had an allergic reaction to Neosporin
    • First run on an Alter G treadmill! I actually have done this twice now and plan to use it again tomorrow when I’m at Physical Therapy.  I could probably do a whole post on Alter G treadmill running but basically it is a treadmill that gives you the option of running at a fraction of your body weight.  This makes it MUCH easier on your joints, etc.  I ran 2 easy miles the first time and then last week I was able to get in 10 miles at a 6:58 pace (which felt like a 7:58 pace).

    PT time for plantar fasciitis

    • Strength Training and Core Work- I’ve really tried to keep this going strong.  I am lifting more consistently now for the first time since high school.  I am continuing to do my push-ups and planking.  Two weeks ago Jackie and I hit a 4:00 minute plank and yesterday made it to 4:30.  (We are working our way up to 5.)  We do not plank every single day and we do not always shoot for one long one.  Sometimes we do 4 sets of 1-2 minutes each or a 5 min plank routine (switching sides, raising legs, etc).  It’s good to change it up along the way.

    A 1 mile swim followed by a 4 min plank.  We were pretty pumped!

    we made it to 4:30!
      • Running- This morning I ran outside and all I can say is that it was okay.  I didn’t feel any “pain” per say but after a few miles my foot started to feel a little “off”/ heavy?  Can anyone with PF relate?  We stopped at 5 miles.  Honestly I was pretty beat.  I know I’m getting a good workout swimming and biking but it’s just different.  I can tell I haven’t been running (in the heat).  

      Overall, my foot is MUCH better than it was at its worst (the night after the Fast Firecracker) but it’s still not 100%.  I’m hoping I can start to slowly add in running outside- at least a couple of days per week mixed with cross training.  I feel extremely slow and out of running shape right now.  I know a few weeks off is nothing compared to the time I had to take off during my stress fracture.

      I’m still seriously considering doing my first triathlon in September.  It’s hard to picture racing anything right now but hopefully by then things will be going better.  I’m trying to appreciate the little victories.  After months of daily foot pain I am walking pain-free.  Surely running is right around the corner… 🙂

      17 thoughts on “We were on a Break!!

      1. I love the Friends reference! You are cross-training and rehabbing really smartly. I had to take a few weeks off from running to rehab an irritated ankle tendon (I spun and pool ran in the interim) and my first long run felt really tough. But I bounced back really quickly and you are such a good runner that I know it’ll be no time before you are in racing shape!

      2. First of all, what are cattle guards? I mean, I see the picture, but I don’t understand the function! And good to hear an update. I’m glad you’re seeing improvements and are able to cross train. And you’ll be back winning races in no time.

        1. Cattle guards just keep the cows from getting on the bike trail if they get out of their fence! We run past several pastures. : ) that’s Arkansas!

      3. Wow, I couldn’t imagine going over those cattle guards on a bike! And, while I’m sorry you are dealing with PF, it’s pretty cool that you got to run on an Alter G treadmill 😀 It really sounds like you are being very smart about what you are and are not doing while recovering and I”m sure your speed and comfort with running will come back quickly when you are ready!

      4. I miss the Alter G! There were two at the Marine Corps gym at our last duty station. Can’t tell you how many hours I logged on them during times of injury. Such a blessing to have them available–and for FREE!

        Glad you are ok after that fall! I hate biking!! I could never get the hang of my clip on shoes. I kept falling off the bike, and I eventually sold it.

        PF sucks so bad, Tia. I’m sorry you are dealing with it. It is truly the guest that won’t leave. I got it last April and truth be told, it lasted about 7 months before it was *completely* gone. ART was what helped me the most. Glad you are being proactive. You might find that taping your foot before runs helps too. I did that for a few weeks. If you go to You Tube, you can find a bunch of different techniques. HTH!

        1. Thanks Allison! I remember when you were using the alter-g. Actually, I think you are the first runner blogger I read about using one. And I can’t believe you had free access!!

      5. Ouch on that fall. I had my first bike accident on my 4th time out! I’m a klutz and it was due to stupid trolly tracks. Looks like you’ve been knocking the cross-training out of the park. But I know it doesn’t compare to the feeling of running. Just take it slow and easy returning with the PF. I still have nagging issues from time to time – my heels will start to get super tight and I know I have to rest the next day and hit the roller big time. Did they give you some exercises to strengthen the intrinsic muscles in your feet?

        1. Hi Heather!! Yes, I have a lot of new exercises. I am planning to be smart about coming back. I’m definitely not in a rush. I am so ready for this to be over though!

      6. You are doing so awesome with the cross training and strength training. I really hope the PF continues to improve! Bummer about the fall on the bike, it happens but man can definitely hurt…glad it wasn’t worse!

        I have been sleeping with a sock brace thing (similar to that brace you use) it’s great for PF but I have a really crappy calf on my right leg and it helps it stay stretched but lord I am struggling getting used to sleeping with it. I have had to wake up mid-sleep the last few nights and take it off. I wonder if the brace would be better?

        1. Thanks Laura! I just got mine on Amazon- it’s really helped with morning foot pain. Not sure what would help Ruth calf most. I have been doing a lot of calf stretches these days! I hope yours feels better soon. : )

      7. I’ve been dealing with PF since the beginning of June. Pain in the rear!! I have the strassburg sock, but it bothers my foot too much (my toes go numb). I have found that stretching my foot and leg a lot helps, even if it means constantly stopping in the beginning of my run and stretching to get the tightness worked out so I can continue on. I have also found that specific insoles have helped a lot! My friend swore by them so I tried them out & they help with the pain a lot!

        Hang in there, I know it’s tough, but it will get better.

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