Monday, July 21, 2014

Proceeding with Caution [Running, Injury...& TRAINING!!!]

Friday morning, I went in to see my sports medicine physician to officially "be cleared" to begin training for the marathon this week. I hadn't seen her since my first appointment back in January---honestly, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to or not? My physical therapist claimed to be keeping her updated on my status and he expressed no need for me to follow up with her after our final session. I mentioned that off and on I'd still been feeling some throbbing and pain, but nothing consistent. So making this appointment was purely my paranoid and overcautious decision...I was even half-prepared to ask for another MRI just to have proof that I was 100% healed.

I came out of the meeting feeling a little better about training but still a bit concerned. Beforehand, I'd prepared a list of questions regarding how I should proceed the next few months, which was super beneficial given how fast she talks and then moves on. First, she noticed that I still had a lot of tightness in my right foot and leg that she asked that I have worked on by another physical therapist. There goes more one said being healthy and fit was cheap! Also, I'm to do no more than 5 days of high-impact exercise and/or running for the time being. And she recommended I start taping my arch (navicular taping) to help keep it neutral (tightness is currently preventing this some). Other answered questions:
  • One day recovery is still enough for after my long runs (Saturday mornings).
  • Choose to do some anaerobic cross-training rather than SEAL Team workouts on non-run days, the best ones being 1) water running or elliptical, adding in some resistance intervals, 2) swimming (good for core strength), 3) cycling (not a top choice since you're sitting most of the time and not engaging the same muscles).
  • The PT should take care of and prevent any compensating injuries from the stress fracture.
  • Bad symptoms to look out for are throbbing and a "hot spot" feeling in a particular area; if when I bend my toes upward, a swollen lump appears anywhere on the top of my foot; pain that gets worse and doesn't go away throughout the run. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Let's Get Technical: My Diagnosis & PT [Running & Injury]

SOOOOO with next week being the official start of the November 2014 marathon training, I plan on speeding along this part of my journey so we can get to the more interesting and PRESENT facts. It's important to me to remember all the dramatics and steps I've taken through my first running injury and recovery BUT boy, do I not want to keep rehashing the past. As of late, the (metaphorical and oh-so-real) sun has been shining and I'm trying to soak every little bit of it up!

[Not much to see on the x-ray...except for my poor crooked toe. #bornwithit]

As mentioned in my last running & injury post, I initially went to an orthopedic urgent care office and walked away (hobbled) with a general diagnosis of inflamed tendons. During the consultation, however, I expressed my concern that I thought it was more. I was in pain, upset and confused so unfortunately most of the conversation was me on the verge of tears! Right before leaving, a last minute decision, the doctor asked me to do the one-leg "hop test" on my injured foot. Do you or have you had a stress fracture? An easy way to tell if you have one is by standing on the one leg causing issues and hopping on it up to 15 times. If the hop results in pain, it's likely a stress fracture.

I could barely do it, mainly out of fear, so the doctor ordered a bone scan for confirmation...which I later declined due to cost and at the recommendation of my dad. So I went on for another four/five weeks walking on the outside of my foot. I even went sailing in the British Virgin Islands with the stress fracture. Walking barefoot on the boat, sand and up swim ladders was miserable---luckily the views and Pain Killers were supremely distracting! I only wish I could have gone on more hikes and snorkeled with more confidence.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Seasonal Plates & Dates

When timing allows---maybe once a work week---Garland and I have been eating breakfast on the porch outside together. I wish we had enough discipline to get up early to do this every morning. There's something so peaceful and lovely about spending a few minutes together in the quiet of morning. Scrambled eggs with sauteed tomatoes, grilled corn, cheddar and fresh basil = definitely a seasonal breakfast favorite. Also: I've been cold brewing my own iced coffee. OMG.

I then roasted some zucchini and eggplant for a dinner side last week. The leftovers were tossed in with some farro, fresh basil, parmesan, black olives and sweet cherry tomatoes for a leafless salad lunch. So light, so filling!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sweet Start: June Recap

June, June, June. You pulled a quickie on me...I turned my head and then you were gone!

RUN (& recovery) - At the beginning of the month, a friend and I checked out a free yoga class at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). They offer free classes on select Friday evenings and Saturday mornings during the summer months. It was great to stretch and work some underused muscles. If only I could find a FREE studio to go to all the time ;) Overall state-of-the-foot: Some days it's just so hard to tell if I'm actually 100% healed or if there's still something going on in my foot. For a while my calve was tight, followed by a few days of a sore thigh. But I ran twice (11 miles total) during my Baltimore work trip with no issues at all. Then last week during a particular workout, my foot was hurting in the exact spot it did for my stress fracture...but that evening? No swelling. And the next day's workout, no pain. It's hard to know what to do besides keep listening to my body and always easing. Marathon training starts up this month. Oh did I mention I'm officially signed up for it again? I know, seriously?! It's remains a reach goal and I'll probably cry for weeks if I end up injured again and can't run it, but I still thought it'd be fun? Ha!

SAVE (budget) - THIS MONTH WAS SO EXPENSIVE. For some obvious reasons, like moving (and buying unnecessary but pretty things, i.e. a new coverlet) and medical bills...but also other unpredictable demands: needing new tires and renewing my car registration, prepaying for a vacation, etc. Then with the week-long work trip to Baltimore, my budgeting went to somewhere dark in a hand basket. The money I saved in rent this month helped some, but (as always) I'm looking forward to getting back on track and being more conscientious.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lemony Baked Spring Vegetable Risotto [Meatless]

It's been a busy first month living together with Garland. Between unpacking, work trips, weddings and workouts, we've also been making an effort to have wholesome home-cooked dinners. It didn't immediately occur to me when we made the decision to live together that I was also signing on to make his dinners every night...whereas, I think it was the first (and only?) thing that popped into his mind.

(To be fair, he's been really helpful with dinner. We got a grill shortly after moving in, which has been a HUGE game changer. There have actually been a handful of times where Garland cooked our entire dinner!)

Before Garland and I lived together, I would make us dinner once a week. It normally consisted of meat because that's what constitutes a real meal to him. Every other day of the week, I'd make myself dinners built upon vegetables and sometimes seafood. Honestly, one of the most challenging adjustments this last month has been making meals we're both happy with. As a result, I've been eating more meat. I don't love it 100% of the time, but convenience and compromise makes up the difference.