Monday, May 28, 2012


I'm here.  I'm here.  I did disappear a bit and I do appreciate you guys checking on me.  I'd like to say I was just busy, which I was, but really I could have made time. I was just a bit discouraged about my stupid foot and didn't feel like talking about it.

But alas -- there's been some good news so I'm here to share.

Catching up -- we last left off where I thought I was back in the game.  A bit premature but there's my optimism for you.  I thought I was being very smart and careful but I still managed to overdo and then couldn't hardly even walk on my foot for about 4 days.  Silly me.  About that time (just a couple weeks ago), my body decided to stop sleeping again (I'd been doing fairly well) so I wasn't coping and took the week off of everything and just felt sorry for myself. Not particularly productive but there you go.  And actually, I did start back at the running bit towards the end of the week.  

So, back to the foot.  In the midst of not running (much) nor sleeping and feeling sorry for myself, I had several people suggest I go to a chiropractor and I finally agreed if only because when I was able to even go out for a small run, my lower back started killing me within about a half a mile.  I knew I was compensating and could even hear how uneven my gait was but couldn't correct it.  Also, I wasn't and still am not convinced my continuing foot pain is all a result of the stress fracture because of where some of the pain located.  And finally, I had already considered looking into a chiropractor (or PT or someone) because I was having lower back trouble after most run back in the winter.

I've learned a ton:

1.  Metatarsal stress fractures, especially the ones on the 5th metatarsal can take a long time to heal.  Apparently circulation plays a key role in healing these types of injuries and the foot typically has less circulation.

2.  The fracture site can be laser-ed to speed circulation and healing.

3.  A chiropractor can do this.

4.  Wow.

It gets better (or more enlightening anyway).

I have scoliosis.

Which I knew.  I've known since I was in 6th grade and they did that bend over test and then I'm told fairly regularly by different doctors.  I assumed it didn't matter -- but this guy was shocked I knew.  Does it matter?  Apparently.

And of course it matters, right?  I think I'm mostly fairly intelligent but sometimes I even surprise myself by how unaware of my body I can be.  I never ever ever even looked up scoliosis online and read about it nor even considered how it would impact running.  Honestly I don't think there was any impact at the 20 to 25 miles per week range but definitely when I started increasing the miles, the irregular curve in my spine started causing trouble.  I've now done some reading online and well DUH. So many of my minor aches and pains are caused by this condition.

All this is really actually quite good news.

The doc (are chiropractors doctors?) proved to me a bunch of different ways how uneven I am -- and how my right side is much weaker than my left.  He even made me get on the floor, with my legs bent perpendicular and resting on my elbow and had me lift my hip -- I can hardly do it on my right side but on my left it is easy (so I have a new exercise to do daily).  He also did some adjusting which I immediately noticed later that day when I went running completely back pain free!   And finally, he did some laser therapy on my foot.

I go back on Wednesday and he tells me he's going to have an entire write up of my condition and a plan.  His approach is to give his clients the tools to manage themselves and then be there for support or when things go wrong.  I suspect I'll have a bunch of exercises I can do to strengthen my right side and then a few visits with him to get this foot thing under control.

All in all quite positive.  I have to think now that this might have been the underlying cause of the stress fracture so I'm pleased to have figured it out now before it happened again with another miles ramp up.  Feeling a little silly I never had considered that scoliosis might matter but I'll get over that part.

In actual running news, I did 15 miles this week in 5, 3 mile runs.  I've dubbed myself the Queen of the Three Mile run and am going to go with that for awhile.  It seems to be a good balance and I can do it every day without any additional foot pain.  This and one spin will be the routine for at least another couple of weeks.

There we have it!  Happy Memorial Day!


Monday, May 07, 2012

Back in the game

Okay -- time to get the fussy, whiny, dramatic post down from the #1 spot.

It's official, I'm back in the game.

That doesn't mean I'm totally pain free though so I'm taking it easy.  However, I did visit my doc and he said it was okay to run but take it VERY SLOW and to make sure I was recovered (back to the same level of pain I have all the time -- very manageable) within 24 hours and call him if it gets worse instead of better.

So for the past two weeks I logged 5 running miles and then 9 running miles.  It makes me laugh but hey, I have to start somewhere.  I was going to go for 15 this week but the doc said I was lucky to make the 5 to 9 increase and it was too much. So I've scaled back my goals and I'm going to shoot for 12 miles this week in three 4 mile runs.  That seems reasonable.

I'd been toying with the idea of a half around the end of July (the SF Marathon conveniently has two half marathons that day so I am playing around with the idea of running one of those).  Then I start in on official marathon training again.  Doing the half right at the beginning gives me something to work towards and to gauge fitness right before I try again to make it to the starting line of a marathon.

So I've been toying with an actual training plan -- obviously with lots more cross training right now but a definitely ramp up of running.  Let me say, just writing down each weeks ramp of mileage was exciting.  Made it all real.

I'm not forking over any cash quite yet -- I need to regain a bit of confidence.  But I'm close.

And thank god.