It’s been a while, I know.
I’ve been posting on Facebook and Instagram but have not been the best at keeping up to date on the blog. The truth is, I’m just like you – there are times when life gets busy and it’s hard to find enough hours in the day to fit in everything we want/should/need to do. In fact, it’s the excuse most of us have for not eating well and taking care of ourselves. The “need to dos” always take precedence (although even my laundry has quickly formed into another mound resembling that of a landfill). Regardless, I’ve realized – just like with eating well and working out – that I have to be more creative with my time management.
The Good Stuff
The Cliff’s Notes version of what I’ve been up to this summer is: full-time job, part-time integrative nutrition classes, marathon training, health coaching and 2 1/2 weeks of vacation sprinkled with my 10-year high school reunion, a friend’s 1920s-style bachelorette party, beach time, rooftops and other fun stuff. All good things that I’ll include some separate posts on in the next few weeks.
The Not So Good Stuff
The one not so good thing that I’ve been dealing with is a training injury to my foot. It’s not only been painful and frustrating but also worrisome because of the fact that I had to pull out from the Marine Corps marathon a couple of years ago due to plantar fasciitis that hit me 6 weeks prior to the race and took over a month to heal.
I really don’t want that to happen again.
So why this time? Well, honestly, I’ve been following a pretty rigorous training schedule. Anyone I talked to about it thought I was nuts. It was put together by my co-worker’s father, who himself has run many marathons. It’s my co-worker’s first marathon but she is one of those people who has run almost daily since childhood (she may have come out of the womb wearing a pair of Nikes). While I’m very active, have run a couple of 1/2 marathons myself and was running 1-2 times a week prior to training, I surely do not have the running creds she does. That said, I had already built up to 15 miles with a few months to go before the actual marathon.
In early to mid-July, I started to feel a little irritation with my ankle and heel on my long run but it was not anything that worried me too much. I eased up a bit on the length of my shorter runs that I did along with boxing, lifting and yoga. Then, vacation happened. I missed one long run before flying out to Spain + Portugal, but brought 2 sets of running outfits with every intention of running while away. Needless to say, the hills and cobblestone streets, along with many late nights of wine drinking, were a bad influence on me. Other than tons of walking, I only got in 1 real workout while I was gone.
In another stroke of genius, I got back from my trip and decided to hop right back into training with a boxing class the first day and two 7-mile runs the next few days. When my long run came up that weekend, I figured I might even do the 16-mile run I had missed instead of the 10-miles outlined for the day. At 7 miles in, however, my foot had a very different plan. My ankle and heel started to hurt enough that I figured it was smarter to stop running. But the pain continued to bother me for the next week, even while walking. This time around, though, I was pretty sure it wasn’t plantar fasciitis but rather tendonitis. I took the week off and then decided the first smart thing I could do with my training was to contact someone who could hopefully help me (safely) work through it.
My New Training Guru
My friend Amber (www.exsoycise.com) hooked me up with Anthony Baugh – an insightful personal trainer who himself is a marathoner and triathlete, not to mention a really nice guy. Anthony had me meet him at the running track in East River Park, where he spent over an hour evaluating my running, showing and teaching me stretches and giving me advice to follow. I had to refrain from running another week and instead do a series of foam rolling, stretches and strengthening exercises. The bright side was that he really felt we could still get me back in good shape to do the marathon.
Pins and Needles
In addition to Anthony’s sage advice, I’ve also been going for acupuncture. My new acupuncturist, Gretchen, has been my second godsend. Even though I have quite a few friends who are naturopaths, I didn’t start going for acupuncture until earlier this year. It has helped me with tremendously with knee pain, headaches, stomach issues and general stress. Contrary to most people’s preconceived ideas (including my own), acupuncture is generally not painful. When treating an injury, however, it’s another story.
Other than the training itself, one of the big reasons for my current tendonitis, and my plantar fasciitis in the past, is that my muscles get tight very easily and I’m prone to getting knots in my calves and quadriceps. Gretchen’s task has been to relieve those knots, or myofascial trigger points as they are officially named. As you can imagine, sticking a needle into a knot is not the most pleasant experience ever. Gentle in and out motions are used to stimulate an involuntary twitch response in the muscle. The reward for enduring the discomfort is that it helps to retrain the muscle and fascial systems to become less taught.
Today is the end of my 2nd week of rehab and I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to slowly work back in my running in the coming one. Early in the week, when my foot was still quite painful to walk, I gave in and started to take some NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication). I try to avoid these types of medications as much as possible these days by eating lots of turmeric, ginger and pineapple along with all my fruits and veggies. But, this time I was worried the continued inflammation would just cause more damage to my tissue. It hasn’t been possible for me to ice throughout the day, but I’ve worn an ice pack on my foot each night at bedtime, along with wearing flat shoes, doing the stretches and exercises Anthony laid out for me and going to acupuncture. So, fingers crossed, I’ll be back on the running wagon (with some training wheels) this week.
Here’s one of this week’s morning “Heal My Heel” Breakfasts. Anti-inflammatory pineapple, ginger and turmeric a plenty. And delicious.
- 2 cups pineapple
- 1 whole lemon
- 1" fresh ginger root, peeled
- Large handful of wheatgrass
- Run through your juicer and enjoy.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 2 Tbs. ground flax seed
- 1 Tbs hemp seed
- 1 Tbs chia seed
- 7g cacao nibs
- 1 packet chocolate greens (Trace Minerals)
- 1" fresh ginger root
- Place all ingredients into a blender, starting with the seeds and almond milk, and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Blend with ice to desired consistency.