Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools

Today is the day that many people are posting jokes on social media. Ultrasound pictures, phrases that make it sound like they are pregnant/engaged/etc., and so on. Unfortunately, the timing of my post happens to fall on April Fools Day, and I wish I could say that this was all just a joke.

I figure it is probably time to come clean and update people who read this about what is going on with my training since I haven't really done so for awhile now.

Many Type A athletes like myself tend to think that we are invincible if we follow the plan that was designed for us and cross our t's and dot our i's. Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way that this is not quite the case...and unfortunately, it's been dropped on me three times over the past six weeks.

For those who are grossed out by "feet stuff," maybe skip this blog. [I warned you]

During the last week of February, I was feeling some pretty bad blood blisters filling in nicely underneath the calluses on the outside of my big toes. I generally get a pedicure every 6-8 weeks that takes care of this since I had been pretty diligent about using my "PedEgg" to file down said calluses 1-2 times per week.

Something that didn't quite occur to me: I was using the PedEgg 1-2 times per week when I was tri training, therefore running a high of 50-55 miles per week. Over the last few training weeks, I had been putting in up to 75 miles per week. Obviously this is a big difference and would dramatically affect my feet (and other areas of my body).
Pink: what I used to use
Blue/white: heavy duty one Ryan bought at Walgreens to tackle my nasty feet

Let's just say I don't think I'll be getting a pedicure again anytime soon. While not fully to blame, the lady just KILLED my feet, and I could barely hobble 4 miles worth of running the next morning. The following day, I requested an emergency appointment with my dad's running friend (who happens to be a podiatrist).

He's filed down my nasty calluses before, but he was in for an extra special treat this time. Is it weird to want to add on a few extra $$ to my bill as a "tip" since my feet were (and I quote), "Possibly the worst I've seen in awhile"?? All kidding aside, he was able to fix my feet and just told me to stop the running for a few days.

Four days later, I was doing hill repeats with both coach's training groups and surprised at how much better my feet felt. Until a week later when the outside of my left foot (the one with the REALLY bad callus) started bugging me. I told Ryan I thought I broke my little to, that's how bad the pain was. However, if he or I touched it, I felt no pain whatsoever; the pain only existed when I would run.

This happened during the week before March Madness. While Ryan, my coaches and I all discussed this issue, it was never really a question as to if I would be running the race or not. I saw another one of my dad's friend (a physical therapist--I'm lucky my dad has so many friends, huh?!) and he verified that I was fine to run, but just might feel the discomfort on my foot.

Well, we all know how March Madness turned out. I talked with my dad's friend post-race and decided to take a few days off (three to be exact). That was the "miracle drug" and my pain subsided.

Until this week when my knee started acting all funky after my awesome treadmill workout on Wednesday. I didn't think much of it as my knee just felt stiff at the time, but during my Friday workout, when my knee pain felt like it did back when I banged it real hard on the chair, causing me to withdraw from my hopeful Trials qualifier (Grandma's 2014).

My Spring Break started on Friday, so Ryan and I were scheduled to fly out to Tucson to visit my sister, Kristina. I obviously had all sorts of running clothes packed (hello sports bras and shorts weather!!!) but unfortunately, they just sat in my suitcase (perk: less laundry to do now). After our "welcome to Arizona" trail run caused my blisters and knee to flare up, I proceeded with caution for Sunday's 14 miler with 3x2miles HARD/1mile easy on deck.

Post long run smiles and brunch.

Kristina took us to a beautiful path to run on (Rilitio River Path I believe), and I thought the change in scenery from my basement "pain cave" to these beautiful mountains might take my mind off of my knee.

The first four miles were meant to be a warmup, so despite feeling an extreme amount of pain (like an 8/10 on a 1-10 pain scale), I pushed through since I knew based on Friday's progression run that the pain would likely decrease once I got to the HARD sections.

Sure enough, it did and I was able to complete the workout...albeit, feeling like death due to the dry air (let's not even TALK about how disgusting my lips were post-run). And then I stopped running and was pretty positive I broke my knee. Slight exaggeration, but my GOSH was the pain intense. I texted Coaches Jen and Dave to fill them in.

Luckily, for the next few days, I was able to just relax and soak up the sun like I think normal people do during Spring Breaks, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous of Ryan riding his bike up Mt Lemmon or Kristina running a kick butt track workout. As any athlete knows, it is SO hard to be out of training/competition, so it broke my heart to not be able to do more fun things that Kristina had planned because of this random injury.

 Yep. This is the scenery climbing Mt. Lemmon. Can we move?!?
Ryan eating his well-deserved cookie at the Cookie Cabin at the top of Mt. Lemmon.
Don't worry, I totally had some too despite simply driving a car to the top.

How's this for irony: I have all the time in the world to focus on my training....and I can't even train. All negativity aside, I do realize this is just my body's way of telling me that this shift to more of a "run focus" is hard on me and that I need to do a better job of seeing the "signs" and catching them before something freakish like this happens again.

When I had my blisters, I kept telling myself, "You'll look back on this in a week and wonder why you were upset about it." When I had that weird pain on the outside (little toe area) of my foot, I kept reminding myself, "This, too, shall pass." For some reason, it's hard to think that way with the knee thing going on...maybe because it is SO much more intense and more obvious than the previous flare ups. I am hoping that in a few days from now, I can just look at this as my body playing an April Fools joke on me:)

For now, Ryan and I have a race to prepare for. I can't believe this is our FIFTH year of putting on the Egg Shell Shuffle 1/2 marathon and 5k. Shameless plug: for anyone wanting to run a 5k or 1/2 this Saturday, we'll have race day registration this year. Go to for more info.
So blessed to have had a wonderful few days with these people :)

Sweet medal for ALL finishers :)

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