Monday, September 24, 2012

Typical Good and Bad News Post - mostly exercise related!

I have good news and bad news.  The good news first:  my knee is completely pain free, and my medium-long runs really do just feel medium.  Ten miles is no issue - meaning I'm finally back into pretty decent shape.  I guess after doing runs of 18 and twenty miles, ten miles really is pretty short.

Okay, now the bad news.  There seems to always be bad news.  I seem to have developed pain on the top of my foot after a ten-mile run on Wednesday with a 10k tempo run in the middle.  I felt pretty good, and I REALLY like my Saucony Grid Type A4 racing flats (though I can see why they are meant just for racing - the bottom is wearing out super quick!)  However, I think they contributed to this pain, as they fit rather tightly, and one cause of this injury is shoes that are too tight on the top that rub on the tendon. I also think it has a bit to do with changing my stride without doing it perfectly.  It helped my knee (a lot), but I wasn't doing a very good job of relaxing my calves, and I was probably running too much on my toes.  I noticed my calves being tenser than they should have been, and tight calves tend to cause this problem as well by pulling on the tendon.  This does not surprise me one bit as I've had a few different types of tendinitis in my foot due to my calves being too tight (particularly after switching to minimal shoes, but I've been running in them for quite some time).  Plus stretching and rolling my calves seem to help the pain.  I've had some pain on the top of my foot before, and I usually gave it a few days rest and it eventually went away.  This time is a little different, but there is no pain when I press anywhere on my foot, just when I flex it (particularly the big toe), which, based on my internet research, makes me think it's extensor tendinitis, and not a stress fracture.  Anyway, it wasn't feeling too bad yesterday after a couple of days off, so I did 10.5 miles.  Terrible idea.  It was hurting pretty bad yesterday, so today is another off day, and tomorrow I'm sure, and probably the day after that.

 The ONE time I probably won't want to run, we actually have mandatory PT (physical training) on Thursday.  Most of these people are here because they have all sorts of issues.  They are making people either walk or run for an hour, in circles (gah!!!)  depending on their injury.  Well, if this isn't better, I'll be walking!  I'm sure everyone will be surprised as they all know me as the crazy lieutenant who is always out running.  I don't run THAT much, but I run regularly, and most people here can't run, so I guess in comparison, I run a LOT.  Anyway, maybe by then it will be better and I'll get my run for the day out of the way.  I'm just gonna keep my laces super loose and keep dousing my foot in DMSO and other assorted anti-inflammatories, as well as staying off my feet as much as possible.  Looks like I'll be doing some cycling the next few days!  I will tell you that DMSO works pretty well.  I've put it on my foot several times in the past twelve hours and the pain has decreased a LOT.  I also have other anti-inflammatory topical solutions from my knee, one of which actually contains DMSO - not a high percentage of it, like 11 percent, but it's there, along with Diflucenac, an NSAID.  Goodness, I feel like an expert on injuries.  I should've gone for a degree in sports medicine or something.  At this rate, I'll be an expert on all running-related injuries in the next six months.  Okay, maybe not - my terrible memory probably wouldn't lend itself well to all the anatomy pieces I would need to remember.

Anyways I was REALLY hoping to avoid injuries as much as possible in the next two months so I could actually get a decent amount of training and maybe run a decent time on this marathon.  I guess if it comes down to it, resting and MAKING it to the starting line is probably more important than a good time, seeing as I've raised one thousand dollars for charity and I all ready got my sister a ticket to Philadelphia for the race weekend.  I guess in the grand scheme of things, I still have about a month before I'd start my taper, and if I have to take another week or so off or easy to let this thing heal, I still have plenty of time to do a couple more long runs.  Just less speed work I suppose.  We shall see.  I will try to play this by ear, and not freak out too much, or get too hopeful.  Restraint is so hard for me... In the meanwhile, cycling is good cardio, and I do have a nice bike, plus we have like three spinning classes a week right upstairs, and now that my knee isn't bothering me, I can take place in those (with ITBS, cycling tends to irritate it).  Let's hope I can keep that at bay as much as possible...

UPDATE:  After dousing my feet in DMSO off and on since I woke up (only like three hours ago), putting cotton balls between my toes, and putting on some stiff sole shoes (so I don't push off too much), I have zero pain.  None.  Of course, I'm still not going to run, but this is a very good sign.  Cotton balls helped last time I had top of foot pain as well.  I don't know why, but I think it has something to do with stretching the tendons.

On another note (I commend those of you who read my whole blog entries - I know they are long-winded!) I have managed to lose more weight.  At least... I don't really weigh myself often, but in my full uniform last week I was 111 pounds.  The uniform adds a decent amount of weight.  And this was after I ate... I just put on a pair of jeans I wore a month or so ago that fit and they are now loose.  It is very strange that I used to try and try to lose weight and couldn't do it, and in the past few months I have continued to lose weight without putting in much effort, besides switching to eating mostly natural type foods.

Sure, I still go out to eat, and I eat some ice cream sometimes, and chocolate (mmmm), but for the most part, my diet has changed significantly.  Breakfast usually consists of Better Oats Chai Spiced hot cereal with various types of healthy stuff (flax, buckwheat, etc.), chia seeds, walnuts, pecans and brown sugar/cinnamon (I put all that other stuff in there).  That keeps me full for awhile.  Lunch is usually a giant salad with avocado, more chia seeds, kale, spinach, feta cheese, olive oil, some seasonings, and whatever other random veggies I can find lying around in my fridge.  Dinner varies (I love Amy's organic black bean enchiladas), and I do still eat my Shin Cup noodles, lol.  Not the healthiest of meals, but I don't know if I could give them up completely!  Other random foods throughout the day include my organic English Muffins with butter (regular butter, though sometimes I use butter spread with olive oil), different types of fruits, cinnamon pecans (yummm!), and again, random stuff I have lying around.  I don't really buy junk food though, so that's not a problem for the most part.  I also don't really drink anymore, and I used to have a couple of glasses of wine a night (before deployment), though I sometimes just cut out dessert when I was doing that, so I don't know that that made a huge difference.  Anyway, it's been a slow weight loss... Maybe a pound or two a month, but it adds up, especially when you're not even 61 inches tall!  Yes, I'm quite short :)  I guess running more has also made a difference, but not a significant one, as I also eat more.  When not running a lot, I eat less carbs (consciously, because I don't need them as much), and don't really drink any calories.  I drink a Vegan protein shake after some runs, as well as other assorted recovery drinks because I have a hard time EATING right after runs, but you need to get something in you.   I also take in food during my long runs, and I eat more before my long runs, so while marathon training has probably played somewhat of a role in my weight loss, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

As for my medications and stuff, they seem to be doing the job for the most part.  Not much in the way of seizure activity lately.  I've had a few partial seizure type things, but they are shorter and less in frequency than they were.  The side effects also seem to be improving.  My dreams are no longer terrible (did I post that on here?) though they're still quite vivid, which is kind of annoying.  Last night I dreamt I was back at West Point, but as an officer, with my old roommate (hi Vanessa!) and we were getting inspected.  Weird.  Probably had something to do with the fact we're doing an in-ranks inspection here in our Army Service Uniforms  (which might be kinda interesting to see with all these people in crutches and boots, but such is life in the Army I guess).

Alas, that is my update on life for now.  There is more, of course, which is actually probably more interesting, but these were my thoughts for today... Probably because it's kind of hard to ignore foot pain and jeans that don't fit anymore... Both things that were pertinent to today!


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