Sunday, February 26, 2012

7 days till Little Rock Marathon

I'm sick of being tired!

I'm sick of being slow!

I'm sick of breathing difficulties!

I'm sick of hypothyroid!

I can see I'm in need of some blessing counting to get back to smiles and a good attitude! 

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a ligament attached to the heel bone (calcaneus) that divides and fans out to attach at the base of the toes (metatarsals). Layers of muscles, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels run over the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia covers these layers and acts as a bowstring on the bottom of the foot, helping the bones of the foot maintain the arch. A fat pad covers the plantar fascia beneath the heel bone; this pad cushions the heel as it takes the force of each footstep.*   (from webmd)

This is a very normal injury for runners, for many people who are on their feet most of the time.  I didn't recognize this as the problem till I had been running for about a year.  But now that I have suffered, I know now that I have had this ailment for years.  I have worked as an independent contractor cleaning a local business.  This injury first occurred then.

After about a year running I thought I had bruised the bottoms of my feet running on the trail with too little support in my shoes.  My doctor told me otherwise.  We started on finding a solution to plantar fasciitis (PF).
Our first solution was a night boot, some relief, but no cure.
Prescription insoles, some relief, but no cure.
Rolling feet on frozen (full) water bottles, some relief, but no cure.
Spending $1,000's on different shoes for running and work, some relief, but no cure.
At this point I started looking for solutions online:

New icing technique:   Fill bucket with ice, then water.  Dip feet for 10 seconds in, 2 minutes out x 10.  2x a day.
Find softer baseball (not softball, not t-ball, not tennis ball) but the softer of a real baseball.  Stand on the ball and roll it around.  Your weight will be completely on the balls... yes it hurts like hell till you get used to it.  But this type of rolling and icing helped better than any other method.

At this point I decided close my business and find employment.  Knowing I was crippled and knowing that I would probably have a job that I would be on my feet for the job.   I found, on a hunch, Sketcher's Shape-Ups Work.  I wore them for two weeks before I got hired at  Wal-mart.  By the time I was working there my feet were feeling better than they had been in years.  Sketcher's Shape-Ups gave me my life back!

I do get twinges of pain from time to time and in the late miles of ultras, but I am not disabled anymore.

Now I run barefoot a few times a week to strengthen the muscles in my feet.

Joe Taricani of The Marathon Show sent me a video of a stretch he learned to help heal PF.
 This stretch is very helpful to easing discomfort when it rears its ugly head.

Chris Russell of and the runrunlive podcast has posted this video of PF self-massage
Thank you Chris and I suggest giving his podcast a spin, great info.

Now I'm running in: Hoka One One Bondi for the road
 And for the trail Altra Lone Peak Trail shoes

 Yes minimalist for trail and maximum for road!  LOL  we will see how this works.

I hope this helps someone keep running.

Happy Running,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sylamore Trail 50K

After being perfectly tapered (or so I thought) I was so completely ready and excited for this, my very favorite trail race.  My goal time was 8 hours.
By the time I was at about 4 miles I knew my goal wasn't going to happen.  I'm completely exhausted from work.  I can't recover with work and ultra training.  Its just too impossible.

I slogged along and just enjoyed the race till the turn around.  Then I met up with Susan.  Susan is an amazing runner who was in the middle of her first 50K.  She had fallen, busting up her knee pretty bad, but she was determined to finish the race.

We ran back from the turn around together.  I thought it was totally amazing that she was so determined to get this done while really hurting!  We finished together, we run the last mile, every step together finishing in something like 9:26.

So many of my running friends were there!  Nicholas drove all the way there from Little Rock, even though he wasn't running, just to cheer.  How amazing was that!

I think the only way I can get this right, the only thing in which I can tweak is my diet.  I'm not getting enough calories as it is, so what am I to do?  I'm going back to eating clean. 

training runs

29 Jan 2012

Pinnacle Mountain training run with Mark Cato and Andi Stracner.  We went up and over Pinnacle Mountain 4 times.  Oh my goodness!  My butt and calves were screaming!  What a great workout!  Andi and Mark are training for a 100 miler in Oct this year.

5 Feb 2012

Sylamore Trail 20 mile training run with Andi;
Amazing Andi makes every run better!  This was my last long training run for the Sylamore Trail 50K.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Top 10 Trail Running videos of 2011

I didn't put this list together.  It is very good.  Enjoy viewing :)

Happy running!

Chevron Houston Marathon 15 Jan 2012

Marathons can be fun!

This was my third road marathon (I'm partial to trail ultras).  The first two were practices in masochistic misery, mostly because of what I didn't know, and didn't know I didn't know.

Houston was different.  I have spent the last six months at a running university (iTunes podcasts).  From these podcasts I have found the missing pieces to enable me to enjoy a marathon.  Those missing pieces were proper fueling and pace management.  I'm not fast, I'm not a mid-packer, I'm a back of the packer, it is what it is.
So if my goal pace is a 12:30 per mile, what am I doing running in the 10 and 11 minute range early in the race?  I'm blowing my race, that is what I'm doing!

In Houston I stayed right with the 5:30 pace group, until the last 4 miles, then I let lose the reins and just had fun!  Well, the whole race was fun.  I pet dogs, talked to people, thanked police officers and volunteers, hugged my dear husband at the locations he cheered me on, etc.  It was a blast!!

About fueling/nutrition; I'm gluten free, aid stations aren't.  This means I have to make sure I have enough food/Gu/fuel on me throughout the race to meet my needs.  This means I'm out there with a fanny pack and my water bottle.  Its extra weight to carry, but a neccessity.  I make sure and take in about 100 calories every 20 - 30 minutes.  This along with the proper pace management meant there was no dreaded wall at mile 18, 19, 20, or beyond.  It just wasn't there, with the legs, the lungs or the will.

The last few miles were fairly intense.  I really wanted to get under 5:30.  I have asthma.  If I try to run too hard it will shut down my lungs and I will end up walking it in.  I didn't want that to happen.  Also late in the race it is easy to let go of form.  Between concintraiting on how fast I could run and not kick in a bad breathing reaction, and holding form together, those last few miles were very much an exercise of sheer focus!  Chris said I looked mad.  I was determined!  LOL

This race was the day after the Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston.  It made for an amazing atmosphere to be there for the trials, cheer on a friend, Leah, and cheer for the other runners and running heroes.

The course in Houston is mostly asphalt roads.  This is a killer on the joints and legs.  But other than that I think it is a must do.  The support, the atmosphere, the local community involvement all makes for an amazing adventure!

Goal time: 5:30  Actual finish time: 5:26.54  Yippie!