Friday, August 31, 2007

At Least I Have a Plan...

I took the NB shoes out for a spin yesterday and low and behold, at around 5 miles, the twinges started. In a half mile or so, I had a pretty persistent aching in balls and arches. I continued until about 6.5 to convince myself that I was going down the same path. It was fairly obvious at this point... The recovery is not so bad since I didn't go any further.

In the meantime, Tom and I decided I would go back to Fitness Sports and work with his friend, one of the owners. He had me run and we talked for nearly an hour. I think I have him a little stumped. However, there seems to be a lot of swelling going on, despite that the shoes should have ample room.

Also, I may not be over pronating as much as I thought. My arches collapse but my toes do not go out and have me roll off the inside of the foot. My feet stay fairly straight. He thinks that I might be collapsing so far that my toes curl up to avoid hitting, everything tenses up and takes more of a beating. We are going to try a stronger orthotic for my arch -- going more toward stability than motion control. He also gave me the name of 3 foot specialists. I guess that means it could be the shoes, but it could be me....

I'm hoping to try a long enough run tomorrow to get some information. That's not just a cool graphic, that's me in all the different flavors of shoes I have tried!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tootsie Update

I have been taking it a little easy on the feet. I was scheduled to do 4 on Tuesday and actually did a super easy 3.25 on the treadmill with a pair of New Balance that I have tested once before. I think they were okay, although I have some bunion area blisters that are just inflamed now, and probably the whole area is a little swollen. It's going to be hard to tell much about fit while they are hurting, especially since I had to wear other shoes all day in a meeting after running. The NB shoes did not give me any arch pain ~ hallelujah ~ but this might have been too short of a run for a good test.

I am itching to do the scheduled 7 today to see if they are going to hold up, but I think I am going to give it another day to calm down and heal a little.

I spoke with some runner friends while I was gone and several think that I might have plantar fasciitis, although if I do, it is certainly not a typical case. This pic from Wikipedia (world renowned medical journal that it is) shows the breakdown of where people have pain. Mine is mostly through the arch but also sides and ankle become painful after awhile. None of the more typical heel pain. I have been reading quite a lot on this and decided, even sans diagnosis, the treatment modalities are not going to be detrimental, might as well give them a try. So, I am continuing anti-inflammatory use and have added in some stretching techniques.

I'm a little nervous to tackle a long run again, but I figure I need the information. I am not quite ready to go to a podiatrist, but that is definitely on the short list if I continue to have problems as I work through different shoes. I saw somewhere that New Balance has a shoe specially made for plantar fasciitis. That could be a possibility.
Thanks everybody, for your kind thoughts, well-wishes, advice, encouragement, healing vibes, sympathy pains, Hail Mary's and the like. You are some really neat folks ( or Homeslices -- somebody needed to say it while Marcy is gone) !! I'm so lucky to have all this support...

From a site called
Hugs and Hope .

Isaiah 40:31 "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pain, Pain, Go Away

Today, I did 13.9 miles, well, I physically covered the distance, anyway. The infection has waned considerably and the blisters healed. I felt confident in trying this after realizing I had tied my shoes very loosely and this is what made me slide around and get so many blisters.

I felt great, much better prepared for a long run than last week's calamity, with maybe the exception of being a little low on sleep. I had energy, I had stamina, I had hydration, I had tunes and a good, if not tentative attitude, but it became painfully ~ I mean painfully, people ~ obvious that I do not have the right pair of shoes. I did an 8 mile loop to my drop off, potty break, change hydration location. At about 7, my feet were aching pretty bad.

After that, every step was really painful. Of course, I wanted to get the miles in and we have been wondering if I just need to strengthen the feet. In retrospect, that last 6 miles were just agony and probably have added greatly to the misery of today. I should have stopped at 8. Arches, tops, even the outsides of my feet are screaming and swollen. I am doing anti-inflammatories and have iced 5 - 6 times yet I still am having difficulty walking. THIS CAN'T BE RIGHT!!??

Yes, I have been fitted by professionals, yes, I have practice ran, yes, I have tried several pairs, yes, I wear good socks... What is wrong with me? Why are my feet so damn finnicky? Obviously I am going back to the drawing board on shoes, not sure what this does to the schedule and ability to stay up with the long run mileage. Supposed to do 16 next weekend, I would rather curl up and die quietly in a corner than try that with the current shoes.

I am so disappointed. This run took me 3hrs and 32 minutes. I looked at 13.1, well just because, and saw 3:18 UGH. You know, though, I could handle being slow if I weren't in pure agony. The thing is, I don't think I can do this again and certainly can't go any further until I have some sort of shoe resolution. In the meantime, I am hobbling around wondering what in the world have we been thinking...

I am off to Chicago for a couple days. I had looked forward to repeating my lakefront run but looks like I will be doing a 'test drive' on the treadmill with some different shoes.

Feet at Flickr by Stewart

Friday, August 24, 2007

Momma Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said....

Well, after a day and a half of soaking and babying my feet, one blister is completely healed and the other two are red and raging in the tissues underneath. I thought they were getting better, but knew this morning that a trip to the doc was in order. I now have an antibiotic which will hopefully take care of this, but I am definitely skipping the scheduled 4 mile run today.

There were actually some scary moments where the infection seemed to be spreading before my eyes, but it seems to have stopped progressing for the moment with some icing. Antibiotics should be kicking in soon.

I'm still hoping to be well enough to do 14 on Sunday. I'm trying to just take a day at a time. There's still lots of time, right?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Dogs Are Barking

Apparently I don't need a marathon fairy so much as I need a foot fairy. I am still having a terrible time with the shoes.... Once I figured out that the Brooks Adrenaline were probably not enough support (pain in balls and arches somewhere into the run), I started looking for other shoes. I think I have had two or three pairs home now, but something is never quite right.

The lastest was to put more supportive inserts in the older Brooks because I have not had toe or bunion problems in those prior to today. Somehow, I have managed to flair up my bunions and came home with a painful, slightly discolored toe. It wasn't black and was actually a blister under the nail. I have a rest day tomorrow but I am worried about getting settled into a shoe quickly as I have 14 to do this Sunday.

On the preparation front, I did much better than poker night! :) I felt pretty good doing six this morning other than the feet. I pushed it at the end to see if I could get under a 10 pace and sustain it for awhile. I realized once again how slow I am but the run was an improvement. No stopping, no walking, no breaks and fairly even pacing except for the one big hill!
6 miles ~ 1:19:03 ~ 13:09 pace

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I Needed a Feel Good Post Today

Has everyone made their Fairy Double?

My other supporters, besides my sweet hubby and my marathon fairy, are my little guys. They wait on the porch with gatorade, usually still in their PJ's, and yell, "Go, Mom!" This picture was taken a couple of weekends ago while waiting for Dad after his long run.

Sometimes, when I am unusually slow, they yell for me hoping I can hear them where ever I am out there! They also fight over the gatorade so we have started making a bottle for each of them to hold. There is nothing like the feeling after 10 miles of torture to round the corner to cheering, seeing them run down the driveway to greet me, and screaming, "MOOOOM, Good job running!!"

Oh yes, 4 miles on the treadmill today, new NEW BALANCE shoes, my fastest 4 miles ever. 48:08 ~ 12:02 pace.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

So Many Lessons, So Little Time...

Well, I could rant, rave, moan, groan, cry, cuss, quit.... take your pick. Today was ugly, that's all there is to it. It may very well be the ugliest of the uglies. In fact, I did rant, rave, moan, groan, and almost cry, but I didn't totally quit. I finished it and hubby and I decided about all there is to do is learn from it.

Some things I might want to learn:

  • Probably shouldn't play poker, drink alcohol and pop, stay up late the day before a long run

  • Probably should go back to Cliff Bars since they were treating me well -- Don't let yourself run out and try to make do
  • Probably should take the old inserts out of my shoes before putting the new ones in -- thanks, Tom! -- I'm so embarrassed. I felt like a fat lady needing an extender on the airplane seatbelt. Despite the cramped conditions, I do think my arch/feet issues were slightly better – it’s just the rest of me that didn’t cooperate
  • 90% humidity may never allow me to have a good run
  • Water, Water and more Water -- Gel and Gatoraide can only do so much if you are starting at a deficit on hydration

Today wasn't about that 12 might be a little rough for me or even more than I can handle. I never really gave myself a chance. Today was about that I wasn't really prepared to run at all. Lesson learned. BTW, hubby and I had figured most of this out, but then had it confirmed in a phone call with Tom over at Runner's Lounge. Thanks for your encouragement and advice!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

6 miles in the 80's

80 degrees, you ask?? Darn near, but I'm talking 80's Classic Soft Rock.

14:13 - okay scaredy cat, it's a hill and it's early but you probably don't need to go out that slow. Lovin this music...
"Baby, I'm a want you. Baby, I'm a need you"

13:32 - okay that's better, but giddy up, girl !
"Does anybody really know what time it is?"

12:53 - that's what I'm talkin about - okay it is down hill, don't get too cocky
" When You're in Love with a Beautiful better watch your friends"

13:47 - here we go up the gradual incline, wow, that IS different after that nice downslope, tried out the sport beans, not too bad (green to match my new shuffle)
"I'm all out of love, I'm so lost with out you"

14:11 - BIG HILL, but it felt good. Head up, good form, you're looking good, 14 what???
"Making love out of nothing at all"
12:44 - Yahoo, I'm done, I gave it a little kick, I'm soaked, I LOVE THIS MUSIC!!
"Chuck E's in Love"
I'm not fast, but I certainly enjoy myself. 1:21:24 ~ 13:33 pace ~ several classic hits

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

175 and counting...

4 miles today makes 175 since May 25th. Cool !! I put in several miles in Jan, Feb, Mar but didn't keep it up through some vacations... I may go back and track it at some point but I have been so sporadic over the last 3 - 4 years, it probably won't be very impressive. I do like this stat though. Hubby is right there with me, he got up early to do 6 this morning. I'm SO proud of you!!

The miles continue to increase and I was still tired from Sunday so this wasn't my speediest. 4 miles ~ 50:04 ~ 12:30 pace. I think last week's 4 was 48:57. Just get the miles in, right? I'd love to do some speed work but I don't think I'm there yet....

Hubby came home with a treat for me, new green shuffle. He is going to use the silver one. He put the entire collection of 80's hits that we bought recently ~ 10hrs worth ~ on my shuffle, plus some country favorites. That should spark some commentary. That's okay, I can take it :) Thanks, Sweetheart!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Hey Everyone!! Thanks so much to everybody who sent well wishes and good thoughts my way. I totally felt them this morning and was thinking of many of you as I ran. (Amy running in the dead of the afternoon heat (crazy), Patty hiding gatorades on her route (stealthy), Running Chick taking a nasty spill (I'm so sorry), Brian learning the hydration lesson again (humbling), Hoosier and Silly Lilly working through some health stuff, and the list goes on...) Thank you all for being with me....

I DID IT!! I've officially done ELEVEN. I don't know why this scared me, I had just done TEN, but every week is moving into new territory so I guess there's bound to be doubts.

I went out the door around 5:45 and the humidity was close to 90% - nasty. Also, Garmin got up on the wrong side of the bed, so I fiddled around for quite awhile as I walked a half mile to warm up. The air was positively soupy but it did improve.

I finally sort of gave up on Garmin, and headed out. It started to work somewhere on the way so the splits are sort of there, sort of best guess. I started out low 13, high 12's, and progressed to 14's at some point. A couple of the miles that I took walk breaks for Gatorade were in the 15's, but I decided I should stop pausing Garmin, as this will be realistic. I feel like this should bum me out, I am so DANG slow, but I don't really care. I FINISHED and I have felt a sense of accomplishment (between naps!!).

My energy was there and I was really pleased with this. I do have a question for the veterans.... I have been fitted at our local running store and feel like my shoes are much better, no problems with knees, calves, achilles, bunions, blisters, etc. However, my feet are still what seem to be the rate-limiter for me right now. I am usually icing ankles, arches, balls of feet. Do they just take a while to get stronger as you first start ramping up the miles? Is this to be expected or do I go back to the running store? Hubby thinks I probably need to strengthen but I was curious what you all think?

Anyway, I am doing pretty well by tonight. Next week, 4,6,4,12 !!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Nervous Nellie

Had a decent 5 this week and then 4 miles yesterday on the treadmill. I didn't feel like getting up super early so I decided I would do it on the tm sometime during the day. Well, it was possibly the worst 4 miles in over a month. I was just dying and had to walk some of it. I was so down, during and after. How in the world am I going to do 11 on Sunday? I started really doubting that I can do this and it has lasted a while.

Afterward, I started analyzing a bit and realized I didn't eat or drink much all day. I think I got a little cocky and thought, "it's only 4..." I guess I have to keep having these same lessons over and over until I actually learn something. It does scare me a little, so many little things can go wrong and sabbotage a run.

Hubby always does his long on Saturday. He had a rough time today which is adding to my anxiety. Oh man, I hope I can make it through.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


So, I've been recovering after the 10 miler ( I still like saying that!) , and after a few days of rest, I think my iPod is coming back to life after the rain, too! I thought it was a gonner. I did 4 miles yesterday, sore at first, but got it all worked out. Still enjoying the, "you did HOW many?" comments. Thanks, too, to all of you for your well-wishes and encouragement. RUNNERs are GOOD PEOPLE!

Been thinking about how blessed I am to have my job and everything that it has afforded me. I get to help really neat, good people improve the quality of health care that they provide. (The one's I don't like, I make them call me, Dr. :) ) I am passionate about wellness and prevention and giving folks the right tools and support to reach their goals. One of the things I do is teach health care colleagues new ways of working with patients that will help them make those ever difficult, extremely important, "life style changes". Perfect for a runner, right?

I also get to do some pretty cool things. I got to meet the President, speak to him and shake his hand awhile back. I got to go to Italy (I did not shake the Pope's hand - but that is the Vatican in the background!). I've also been working with some wellness and prevention groups to raise issues in the campaigns and national debates (this IS all-important IOWA and the Straw Poll is this weekend - can you believe the power we Iowegians carry?) It just so happens my cousin in DC does some PR work for Governor Mike Huckabee. Can you believe how this all falls into place?

Let's see, he's one of the biggest proponents of wellness and prevention, taking good care of chronic disease, but also taking responsibility for your own health, has lost 100 pounds by doing the all-important life-style changes himself, wrote a book about it (that I actually USE and SUGGEST in my workshops) AND, HE's a RUNNER!! Yes this is speaking to me both personally and professionally. I helped one of the groups connect the dots and line him up as a speaker for their next major event. How cool is that? (thanks, cous!)

By the way, not only did he lose the weight and start running, he did a marathon. I have included a picture of him finishing -- and YES, the campaign provided me the pic and actual permission to use it!

There's another good before and after at:

As I was thinking about how darn nice and what good people RUNNERs are, I realize, this guy is one of us. I really am not the typical political, campaigning type but I do like the idea of the importance of it all. I sort of feel like I should do more. I know that PR is at a premium before the Straw Poll. I offered to run with him (I'm sure the media would want to cover this) but on second hand, I really don't want to see myself running on the news!! Perhaps I will go to the Straw Poll instead and weigh in. This IS Iowa, He IS a runner, it seems the least I can do....

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Double Digits

With perhaps more drama than I was hoping for, I did manage 10 miles this morning. I waited awhile to write, and yet I still am not quite decided on how I feel about it. I mean, YAHOO, I just went double digits and more than I ever have, but it wasn't pretty and I feel fairly yucky still.

It started with a huge storm. I wasn't sure if I should go or wait it out and risk it getting really hot, so, I went. It was quite a downpour! I really wanted to have fun with it and certainly never got upset, but it was a little rough. The rain part was fun, but the ankle deep, unavoidable currents in some places and scary-close lightning, not so much. My shuffle threw up the white flag at only one mile, if that tells you how soaked I was. Hope it's okay after it dries out. I certainly got some, "woman, you are insane," looks. That part, I kinda like!

The rain miraculously quit at 2 miles and good thing. I think the extra weight of the water and slogging through really took a toll on me as I was quite tired feeling. But, I came out of it okay and decided I could live with being soaked through. At mile 5, my sweet husband was sitting with the boys, still in their jammies and munching on blueberry bars. He had towels, dry socks, and gatorade. I was half way and this gave me strength. What a sweetheart!!

At mile 6, I had a thought, "I only have 4 left. Holy cow!? When did I start thinking like that?" I remember when 4 was practically a death sentence!!

After that, I held my own until about 8 and started to tire. Took a few breaks to gel and drink, but had a harder time picking back up. The hill nastiness started at around then and put me just about over the edge. I slowed and just kept saying, "head up, breathe good (yeah that's real scientific) and keep your feet moving." I made it to 10 but wanting to quit so badly. I could really rejoice in all this if:

1. My joints didn't hurt so bad -- ice has helped and my hobbling is now looking like someone in their sixties - believe me, I started in the 90's. Had a hard time even walking a little in the neighborhood to loosen up after the run.

2. I had gotten the message sooner that you need like 3 times the normal Body Glide in torrential downpours. OUCH. I am not a happy camper.

3. I had eaten more with the ibuprofen. Once again, my stomach is on fire and I have paid for it most of the day. Really got to see about some Celebrex on Monday. Duh, who do I work for again???

All in all, I will likely be beaming by tomorrow that I did 10. I'm sure I'll be back for more.
10 miles ~ 2:14:35 ~ 13:27 pace

Friday, August 3, 2007

Rounding Out Week 6

The rest of the week consisted of a crack-o-dawn 5 miler on Wednesday and a 3 miler today -- I just couldn't hack the early morning twice but it is getting pretty hot so I elected to do the 3 on the treadmill with a TiVo friend, Horatio Cane. Is TiVo like the best invention in ages? Man, I love it. I have a friend who says once you get used to it, you start wishing you had it for other things (like when you miss something on the stereo and wish you could just back it up!) I'm telling you, my husband has come up with some great gadgets/devices/ and all around nerdy techy ideas but this was one of his better ones. I liked it so much I lobbied for TiVo on every TV in the place. I love you, Honey!

The 5 miler doesn't seem that impressive, except I compared it to my last and then it was pretty cool. Not the same scenery as last week running a long the lake, but a little improvement.

5 miles on Wednesday ~ 1:03:48 ~ 12:45 pace (last week was 1:07)

3 miles on Friday ~ 35:58 ~ 11:58 pace (not quite as fast as my "running with a club run", but I can live with it!)
13:30 Warmed up as I went

For those keeping track, I have logged another mile technically in the TEN's. And, not only did I get an "impressive" on even pacing this week, I got an "impressive" from Tom at Runner's Lounge the other day on my improvement. You runners are so nice! Thanks to everyone for all the support.

Up next, 1-0.............Here's to new milestones!! ( I googled "milestone" pictures and they look a lot like tombstones so I think I will find a nice toasting glass instead!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Hmm, maybe we do need a club for cave people. No dues, just carry an imaginery club and vow to beat back the little negative voice in your head. Ask for help when you need it, share stories, celebrate each other's success....etc. (sound familiar??)

What could we call ourselves?

I SO need a leopard skin running outfit, now. Anyone seen one?