Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Recap

Background:
  I ran in high school.  I was alright as a runner, my PR in HS was 21:50. I loved it, love the social aspect of it but never really set any goals.  I just ran as fast as I could.

After high school, I was an exchange student in Spain where I started to smoke (it pains me to even admit that now!) and continued to smoke through college.  I never ran, I am lucky that I have good skinny genes since I never had to worry about my weight.

When I got my first job, I had the opportunity to be an assistant coach for the HS xc/track team.  I remembered how much fun it was to run again.

I signed up  to run the Marine Corps Marathon in 2001.  I worked with the AIDS marathon training group in Washington, D.C.  I was in the "Alberto Salazar" 12:00 min/mile pace group.  It was a great way to get back into running.  The rest of the time I lived in the DC area, I almost always did a run/walk.  Then I had kids....and stopped running.

Once we moved to Ohio, I started doing zumba and did that for about 2 years before I started actually running again.  I decided to sign up for the Dirty Dude Girl trail run in one of the MetroParks in our area.  I did pretty well for myself (31:30 with tons of mud on the course)- I'd only been "training" for about a month.  Started to train for some local 5ks and the rest is history...

Fast forward to 2011

I'd been doing a lot of local 5ks in the fall of 2010 and continued to do more in 2011.  We had a "wellness challenge" at work where we were on teams and if we worked out a certain amount or ran local charity races we'd earn points. My team was very competitive, so any opportunity we had i.e. 5k races, we took it.  My running partner and I had decided that we were going to do the Flying Pig 10k in Cincinnati at the end of April- so we had a bigger goal.

2 races really stood out for me in the spring before "the Pig".  I ran the Harrigan's 5k in March.  It was a great day to run- freezing in a t-shirt but I had my new Saucony Kinvaras on- super light weight running shoes.  I forgot to start my watch and never saw the mile markers- so I was just going on how I was feeling.  I remember not believing the time when I rounded the final turn and saw the clock 21:40- I bet my high school pr by 10 seconds!  It was a 19 year old PR.  Awesome! Who says you get slower as you age?

The next race was kind of silly, it was our work's "Wellness Challenge 5k".  Anyone who'd been in the contest was supposed to do it.  I didn't know how we'd do but I decided that I was going to try to run again for a good time, I ended up leading the entire race and actually won it overall.  I've never won a race ever...not even in high school- I was always 2nd or 3rd.  I was pretty pumped- the best part the award for 1st place- the lovely rainbow participant ribbon.  Now I know the point was to get everyone out there and moving...but still.  Could I at least get a blue ribbon?

The Flying Pig 10k is kind of like the stepchild to the Flying Pig Half and Full marathon since it's the day before and not a many people do it.  My running partner and I had been following Hal Higdon's 10k intermediate plan and we were feeling pretty good about it.  We had perfect weather- unlike the marathoners the next day- got to love Ohio weather in the spring!  I ran 47:23, got 5th in age group, 19 overall for women.  My first 10k in 10 years and 5 minutes faster. 

After the pig, I was not sure what I wanted to do...I needed to think about a fall race just to keep the momentum going, and around this area, it's the U.S. Air Force Marathon in Dayton in September or the Columbus Marathon in mid October. 

I did both of those, which by then I started this blog so you can read about the Air Force 10k here or the Columbus 1/2 marathon here.

Both were PR's for me but since the Columbus marathon I haven't really run since PF has stopped me in my tracks.
That would be 90 days without running.  With the exception of last Saturday's quick attempt and today's/tomorrow's run (which I've already planned to spend the rest of the day off my feet since I won't be able to walk the rest of the day but hell with it, last week's run was AWESOME even if I couldn't walk later.

So, It was a good year for me and running.  PRs in the 5k, 10k, 13.1.  I can't complain.  Really, I could and you know I do, but it was a good year. Plantar Fasciitis might have me down right now but I know I will shake it- and it's just my heel- I have my overall health which is the most important.   So here's to a great 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

kindness of a stranger

I was trying to write a nice little description of my massage that I had today on facebook, and could not put it in a one liner description without it sounding weird.  So here it is as a small blog post instead.

I met a woman in Spinning class this past Monday and we were discussing our feet, strange I know, but yadda yadda yadda I found out that she's a massage therapist and she offered to work on my bum foot and extremely tight calf muscles. 

I had my session tonight with her.  She dug in and really got to my lovely tight muscles.  It hurt but in the way were you know it's actually doing something.  So after it was done, of course, in my wishful thinking, I was hoping I'd be cured!  Sadly, not the case, although my calf feels a bit more loose but the foot- nothing.   Then again, it's only been a few hours.  The surprise was that she didn't charge me.  We'd talked about price on the phone when I scheduled it but hey, I'll take it.  Such a nice thing to do!  Thanks again, Emily! 

  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Belated Christmas!

I can't believe Christmas is already said and done!  We had a relaxing time around here.  Just finishing up some stuff for work, hanging out with the boys, PT and spinning class oh, and of course, shopping!  We had a great Christmas.  Cub and Buster were up at 6 am and there was lots of happy dances of getting the presents that they had hoped for.  The surprise gift of the year was, ready for it...graph paper.  That's right!  $2.30 pack of graph paper for Cub. He loves designing things and had asked for more paper like "the paper with squares on it".  He actually jumped up and gave us each hugs for it.  Santa was very generous with Lego this year and we added up the pieces (which are listed on the boxes) and we managed to acquire 2142 new pieces of Lego!  The biggest set was around 800 pieces.  It has been very quiet around the house as the boys assemble things. :-) 

I managed to get some awesome running stuff from Santa too!  I got a RoadID so my dh can feel better. :-) I got a running skirt and an awesome Nike running jacket.  I am set to start running again!  Speaking of running...


My favorite trail- pix from June race
I managed to give myself the special present of a run for Christmas. I  went  snuck out on Christmas Eve morning to my favorite trail and went for a short 2 mile run.  It hurt (but not bad enough to stop) and I listened to my favorite music and just ran, jumped over rocks, crossed a creek a few times, and smiled the entire time.  Blissed out would be the best way to describe it!  I haven't felt so happy in such a long time. I didn't realize how much of a runner's high you can get!  I also felt pretty in shape.  I've been spinning but I didn't know how it would translate to running but I definitely felt like I could do more.  I stopped myself before I did too much.  I knew that with Plantar fasciitis the pain comes after the activity....and it did.  I could hardly put weight on my foot the rest of the day-even with 3 Aleve!  But it was totally worth it!  Christmas day wasn't too bad, I felt that I was about 85% better then the day of the run.  KT tape helped too.  Today, I feel back to the "normal pain" so not too much damage done.  On the mend...

Yesterday, I tried a new spinning class.  It's at our rec center but it's not one I usually go to since I have to work in the middle of the day.  While we were waiting, I struck up a convo with a girl who had just gotten cycling shoes and we talked about that for a bit.  After the class, we talked about the shoes again and somehow the topic of orthotics came up for in our shoes.  I mentioned that I have PF pretty bad and I have been doing spinning as cross training.  This girl asked me if I'd tried massage therapy on my foot/calf.  She ended up being a medical massage therapist.  Sweet!  I have  an appt. on Thursday to have her work over my calf and foot.  I mentioned this to my PT and he was pretty cool with it and we'll see if it helps!   My pt gave me a new tape job, since I'd brought up my calf massage, and he put KT tape on my calf to lessen the tension on my heel.   We'll see if it works. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Well, crap...


For all the trouble (Read about it here) of getting iontophoresis for my plantar fasciitis, I end up with an allergy to the medicine dexomethasone.  Really? Yes, really.  Sometimes you have to wonder if it is fate.  I was not supposed to get iontophoresis for this injury. 

So, I called and made my appointment for my cortisone shot.  Totally dreading the day, but I've survived natural childbirth, so maybe this won't be so bad.  Right?  Just have to wait til Jan. 5th now.  Meanwhile, I've got a new fancy tape job on my foot that my PT is trying.  It took about 20 minutes to do and frankly it feels about the same w/ the tape than without.  It does feel more "supported" though. 


Meanwhile, I ordered torture devices for my heel.  Including a calf stretcher/foot rocker and massage ball which came today in the mail. So, maybe, in addition to all the stuff I'm doing, this will help too.  I'll let you know. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Iontophoresis- week 2

Best image I've found to describe Iontophoresis
I'm thinking that the cortisone shot is in my near future.  I have now done 6 our of 10 treatments of dexamethasone via iontophoresis and my foot is still the same. 

I tried the "other" way of doing iontophoresis yesterday.  Instead of a patch that I had to wear for 24 hours, I had to have the patches on for 20 mins. and have them attached to a "gizmo"-I'm very tech saavy, can't you tell?    I'm hoping that it works better.  I did feel the current, slightly tingling sensation on the patches so maybe? just maybe the medicine is getting in. 

Short post today, must take advantage of kids and hubby out of the house.  More shopping and present wrapping in my future!  

Here are links to my adventures with Iontophoresis:
Iontophoresis day 1
Iontophoresis week 1

Monday, December 12, 2011

Iontophoresis- week 1

I've been doing these iontophoresis patches now for a week. I'm on patch number 4.  I have to wear them for 24 hrs then off for another 24 before getting another.  I'm not sure if it's really working yet.  I always say that I'm cautiously optimistic.  I tend to have a "good day" then it hurts like hell the next or later in the day.  Saturday was one of those days. 

 I'd gotten my 3rd patch on Friday afternoon and I was feeling good Saturday am.  I'd walked to my spinning class from the car and it felt actually normal- no pain!  Since these classes are so popular you have to get there at least 30 mins before to get a bike, so what do I do until the class?  Usually I go and do my PT stretches and work on my core but since my heel was feeling fine I decided to go on the indoor track.  I am really proud that I didn't run- it was really hard not to "just try it out" but walked instead for about 10 minutes.  It felt great.  Awesome.  Iontophoresis must be working...

...or not.  In the afternoon, Buster and I had gone to do some Christmas shopping for DH and Cub.  I was limping around the entire time.  It was a sharp, stabbing, burning pain.  I came home and cried from pain and frustration.  I've never felt so frustrated.  I like to shop.  And I can't. :-(  I spent the rest of the day "resting" and icing.   

I talked to my PT today about my ankle flexibility and we checked.  I was at 0 degrees with my right and -1 degree on my injured left foot.  Now I'm at 4 degrees on right, 6 on left.  Normal is between 10-20 degrees.  Wow.  Trying to stay positive.  At least I improved! Baby steps. Just another umm 9 weeks to get to 12 degrees? 


As for the iontophoresis, my PT said that it would start feeling better like it did on Saturday am.  I just need to be patient.   Not one of my virtues.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Goals for the coming year

I was debating on what to write this week.  I've been extremely frustrated about this stupid plantar fasciitis.  I'm sure you are probably tired of my whining, but unless you have ever had it you have not idea how painful it is.  Sadly, I wish I'd just broken my foot or something.  Cast, crutches and some PT...sounds easier then this dumb injury.  Nothing is consistant...somedays my heel feels almost normal then the next day I'll be limping around with sharp knife-like pain in my heel.  I was in tears yesterday after attempting to do some Christmas shopping.  I. HATE. THIS.
  Part of my frustration comes to going and seeing the Dr.  He was not very understanding on how frustrated I've been.  He told me to keep stretching since my Achilles and calves were really tight.  It doesn't look like I've done stretching in the nine weeks since this all started.  He mentioned that if I got my calves to stretch more (at least 10 degrees dorsaflexion- I'm currently at 0 degrees)  my PF would get better.  He planned to give me the shot but I told him that I was going to continue the iontophoresis.  He told me to call if I wanted the shot but no need for a follow up appt...so I guess I'm on my own.  Oh- the other thing that got me was that in extreme cases where the calf muscle doesn't stretch- he told me that they "go in and lengthen the Achilles tendon".  Really?  seems a bit extreme, doesn't it?  I just have to keep telling myself...this will get better, I can/will/must be patient. 

So after all this...since no end seems in sight I decided to set some goals for myself. 


My original running goals for the coming year were:
  • Run 5k under 21:40
  • Run the Flying Pig Half Marathon or the Cap City Half  in under 1:45
  • Run the Air Force 10k or Half in under 46:00/ under 1:45
  • Run the Columbus Half Marathon in under 1:45

My realistic goals for 2012:
  • Run/Finish a 5k by March
  • Run/Finish the Flying Pig 10k in May
  • Run/Finish the AF 10k in a "decent" time 
  • Finish Columbus Half
My more realistic goals for 2012:
  • Increase flexibility in calves so they are at least 10 degrees
  • Walk a full day without any heel pain
  • Start running again
  • Strength training and core
  • Spinning- don't go under 11 for resistance- bike at least 20 miles per class

Monday, December 5, 2011

Iontophoresis- day 1

My lovely Iontophoresis patch on my heel.
For those of you who are curious.  Here's what wikipedia says about it: 

Iontophoresis (a.k.a. Electromotive Drug Administration (EMDA)) is a technique using a small electric charge to deliver a medicine or other chemical through the skin. It is basically an injection without the needle. (My emphasis)The technical description of this process is a non-invasive method of propelling high concentrations of a charged substance, normally a medication or bioactive agent, transdermally by repulsive electromotive force using a small electrical charge applied to an iontophoretic chamber containing a similarly charged active agent and its vehicle. One or two chambers are filled with a solution containing an active ingredient and its solvent, also called the vehicle. The positively charged chamber, called the anode, will repel a positively charged chemical, whereas the negatively charged chamber, called the cathode, will repel a negatively charged chemical into the skin.

I stopped my my PT office and my therapist put the dexamethasone on the neg. side and a solution (I didn't ask what) on the positive side.  It took about 10 minutes. I have to wear it for 24 hrs.  My PT said it would take about 3 times before I started noticing a difference.   If the patch doesn't stay on-since it's on the foot/ankle- I might have to do the wired version which would require me to stay at for 20 mins at the pt office.  Hopefully this will work!  I'm much calmer going into my Dr. appt tomorrow knowing I won't get a cortisone shot.

More tomorrow...
Edit:  Had my Dr. appt today- told me to stretch more.  Wow.  That's why he gets the big bucks.- He did offer to give me the cortisone shot, I politely declined (for now).   Having my pity party- PF sucks. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Roller coaster kind of week

The Gemini at Cedar Point.  My first roller coaster.
High & Low What a week of ups and downs!  So last weekend I was completely freaking out about possibly getting the cortisone shot in my heel.  Well, did I get it? Nope.  Apparently, doctors get sick.  I actually had my appointment cancelled on me.  Needless to say, I was relieved that I wasn't going to get the shot but I was annoyed since I have to wait another week to get in to see the doctor.  
High & Low I was having a frustrating day in general and really wanted to workout.  Well, our local rec center doesn't offer spinning on Mondays but they do offer zumba...hmmm...I haven't been to zumba in over 2 months.  I love zumba and I have a ton of friends who are regulars at zumba so I decided what the hell, might as well try it.  I told myself I'd do a song at a time and if it hurt too much I'd leave the class.  I know you are all thinking- gee, Heather, that might actually not be a good thing to be doing...- I know, I know. Anyways, it hurt about as much as normal walking- although I did modify the jumping stuff.  I lasted about 30 minutes and decided that I shouldn't push myself  too much.  Well... apparently 30 mins was too much.... Tuesday I could hardly walk and limped around work the whole day. Can't complain since I did it to myself and it was great to see my zumba buddies again! 

Low I called the Dr's office and left a message about getting the medicine for the iontophoresis that I was going to talk to the Dr about at the now cancelled appointment.  My PT has been trying to get a hold of the Dr office to get the prescription for the medicine for a while- it's been phone tag and a bit of lack of understanding on how iontophoresis works by numerous people.  So I left a long and rambling voice mail with the physician's assistant about the prescription that I needed, and how I was in a lot of pain, and they cancelled on me and now I had to wait another week. blah blah blah.  That was on Tuesday- I didn't hear anything from them and I had given up that they'd actually act on my voice mail.  Figured I was going to have to wait until next Tuesday. 


High I did manage to get spinning in though this week.  I love my spinning class.  There are only 14 bikes so you have to get there early.  There are about 12 regulars and then the random 2 that got lucky to get in who are new to spinning.  Our instructor is great, great music, great conversation (although- important- not too much talking).  The regulars are all really friendly and chatty so it's a nice bunch of people to ride with.  Our instructor named us the Pitbulls named for good ol' Pitbull.  Anyways, our instructor printed off little certificates for the regulars. I didn't consider myself a "real" regular yet since I've only been going for a month.  But he gave me a certificate too!  Nothing like feeling like part of a group! 




Let's hope these little guys are worth all the trouble to get them!
High Yesterday (Friday) I get a message that the PT office got the script and I could come and pick up and get the medicine.  Yippee!  If I start the iontophoresis then I won't get the shot!  So, after work, run over to the PT office, get the script, run over to Sam's club who seem to be the only pharmacy that carries/knows about how to do the medicine.
Low I get there and they don't know how to do this prescription for Dexamethazone. Apparently- when they looked it up they needed a strength which wasn't on the script.   So they call my Dr.'s office (on a Friday afternoon at 4) and left a voicemail.  They told me that if they got the strength then they could order it and get it in by Monday.  Not what I wanted to hear.  I was really hoping to get started this weekend on it.    Call my PT- he's surprised that they don't know/ and he's never needed the strength on the script before since he's sent other patients there and they knew what they were doing.  By this time, I"m in my frustrated/tearing up stage.  Seriously, why is this so hard? 

High So, drive home, and get a  voice mail on my phone (love AT&T) (How'd I miss the call?) Anyways, the pharmacist who does know what this was, happened to stop by Fri at Sam's club and the pharmacist showed them what it was.  Yay! So back in the car I go, back to Sam's to pick this stuff up.   
Low PT is now closed so I'm going to go during work on Monday, since I want to have at the patch on for at least 24hrs before my dr. appt.  I hope this iontophoresis is worth it...  

Anyone else have a crazy emotional week like me?