Mississippi Blues Marathon Race Review – 2016

Last year at this time, I could hardly walk.  The Plantar Fasciitis Devil had a firm hold on both of my feet.  I could move once I got warmed up but if I tried to run, I would tighten up after a few miles and normally be stopped in my tracks.  If I tried to “push thru”, I would be rendered useless for days.  I would tighten up when I would sit down.  Or go to bed. Or drive in the car.  Walking was nothing but excruciating to the point that my non-runner (and generally unsympathetic) hubby would walk thru the house multiple times a day to clear the floor of toys, dog bones, debris or anything on which I could accidentally step because if I stepped on anything, I would crumple to the floor in pain.  I wish I were exaggerating but if anything, I couldn’t possibly give an idea of how badly I was hurting if you have never experienced the deep grips of Plantar Fasciitis. 

For all who witnessed my pain, or if you asked my hubby or the slew of Physical Therapists, Orthopedic/Sport Med docs and Chiros that I saw when I moved to Indiana, the idea of me running “much” in the future was slim to none.  I was scheduled to run the Back 2 Back Challenge 2015 which was the Mississippi Blues Marathon & First Light Marathon double, but I could not do it.  I mean, I couldn’t walk, I certainly couldn’t run 2 marathons in 2 days.  So, I deferred my entries to 2016 with a hope and a prayer that I could get the PF under control within a year.  And I did, thanks to some amazing Chiropractors at Optimum Performance in Ft Wayne, IN.  HUGE shout out of thanks to Dr. Russell & Dr. Goins for everything they have done for me over the last year.  And for not taking the easy way out by just saying, “stop running”.  For the record, as of today, I am pain free.  Like zero pain when I walk or run or get up out of bed.  Pain free.  And I am beyond grateful.

So, the Back to Back Challenge was a GO for 2016.  The Mississippi Blues Marathon was Saturday, January 9, 2016 in Jackson, MS.  The First Light Marathon was January 10, 2016 in Mobile, AL.  Let’s talk about MS Blues today! 

MS Blues Logo

MS Blues offered a small expo at the Jackson Convention Center and easy packet pick up before the race or even on race morning, if necessary.  Parking was easy and free.  Packet Pick up was fast and painless.  We even spotted and shopped with our favorite marathon runner and expo booth, Gypsy Runner.  Thanks for hooking us up with some cool stuff, Amy!

gypsy runner  gypsy runner2

This year’s race was all about honoring BB King who passed in 2015.  They put a BB King CD in each of our race packets.  We also each received a harmonica with the date/logo of the event & a cool unisex 1/4 zip with BB King on the back.  Great swag.

IMG_9276   IMG_9278

If you’ve talked to anyone about the MS Blues Marathon, you’ve probably already heard about the hills.  So let’s just get that out of the way right now.  This race is hilly.  And I don’t mean maybe.  Very hilly.  I think Judy said that we climbed over 5500 feet in elevation over the course of the race.  And descended about the same.  So many ups and downs on this course.  Pretty much non-stop.  But it was beautiful.  Great course thru stunning neighborhoods, amazing homes, great volunteers and police who were actually smiling and thanking us for coming to run their city.  Small race, with approximately 755 marathon finishers,  1871 half finishers, 307 Quarter Note finishers & 28 relay teams.  We had a lot of fun, even with the rain.  We started in the rain and finished in the rain.  In fact, there was as much rain as there were hills, maybe more.  Smile  Steamy pic of Julie, Judy & I under the lights pre-race.

IMG_9236

Pic of some of the course below.  Hello hill (pic 1).

IMG_9245  IMG_9241

Selfie.

IMG_9243

Course below. 

Adobe Photoshop PDF

MS Blues really does it right and we really enjoyed ourselves.  They focus on the Blues element of this historic area.  In fact a portion of the proceeds from the race go to the local Blues Foundation.  Generally this race has a 9 different spots for live performers on the course but the weather was bad this weekend.  There were a few spots where we heard music but nothing like there would have been had it not been down pouring rain most of the day. 

We finished.  It was very slow going in the beginning because the streets just could not accommodate the number of runners.  We were really packed in tightly for several miles. Not a problem for us but if you want to race this, then plan a slow start or head to the front!  We just took it super easy and walked a lot of the hills since we were headed to Mobile AL for another marathon on Sunday.  We finished in 5:10 (factoring in way too many potty stops and a lot of hill walking) and the sun had finally came back out, minutes before we crossed the finish line.  Yay for the sun.  Judy, Julie & I at the finish.  Very cool BB King medal with a hanging guitar pick.

IMG_9247   IMG_9250

There was a finisher party with food & music but the music wasn’t playing and the food was gone when we got there.  Supposedly more food was the on the way but my tummy was already upset so we waited a half hour and then left to get cleaned up and back on the road for the trip to Mobile, AL.

If you can hang out in Jackson after the race, there is a very popular Blues Crawl that takes you to some of the local music venues in Jackson post race.  There is also a Blues Trolley that does the driving in case you want to have a beverage.  We missed the fun but I heard that it’s amazing. 

** Run MS Blues Marathon ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Advertisements

A Matter of Healing Thru Rest, Strength Training & Healthy Eating ….

I’m in a lull between The Go! St. Louis Marathon and the Pittsburgh Marathon.  Three weeks between the two races.  The timing was a strategic calculation to allow my body to heal up a bit from St Louis.  It was a good call. But with this being Boston Marathon week, I’m just restless.  I want to run.  I want to run fast. But alas my chiro body says, NO! 

So I’ll just keep thinking about running fast and well, doing what I’ve been doing …. taking care of myself, eating well, stretching, strength training and running easy. 

Run Easy

But I can certainly think about running fast, right?  I’ve reset my Run Less Run Faster app and am ready to go with some targeted workouts once I get the green light.  I certainly don’t want to backslide and aggravate the Plantar Fasciitis DEVIL who is currently napping.  He certainly hasn’t left but I’m feeling better each and every day thanks to a lot of torture over the last 4 months from my new Chiro

So far, this year has consisted of rest, a lot of strength training and a little running.  There have been a lot of kettlebell swings, hand release push-ups, squats, lunges, weighted sit-ups, knees to chest, ab baskets, side to sides and short bursts of strength workouts both in and out of the gym.   All by myself.  I’m really missing my 5am CF crew in IL!   I also miss being able to swing a kettlebell and not have to worry about some unsuspecting gym patron rounding the corner right into my kettlebell improvised CF area.  I miss having certain equipment, like rings for ring rows, a box for box jumps, a wall ball, and a weighted ball for ball slams.  Yes, I actually miss those torturous things and so much more!  But I’ve improvised and been good about doing a minimum of 2 strength workouts each week.  Even if that means I have to skip a run to squeeze it into my day.  I know that a strong body is essential not only to a healthy life but also injury free running.  So strength training is a priority.  In and out of the gym.

CF at Home

I’ve also made a few changes on the food front.  I’ve always been decent about my food choices but things took a turn south last year.  While I normally favor fruits & veggies, my love of carbs took over and I was eating WAY too many cheese quesadillas & flavored Triscuits!    I tried to balance out my carb intake with exercise.  You know that never works but a carb lover can hope, right?  Then I tried to decrease my carbs and up my protein.  That helped temporarily but I quickly tired of protein powders/shakes/smoothies.  And my body didn’t love all that protein either.  Plus I was still craving those junky carbs!   Then one of the books I was listening to last month (Born to Run by Chris McDougall) mentioned a change he had made that helped him control appetite and lose weight.  Salads for breakfast.  What?  Yep, salads for breakfast.  I figured it was worth a try.  I bought some fresh produce, developed an obsession for kale, and started making a humongous salad every morning after I returned from the gym.  I filled my salads with nutritious items, healthy fats, plant proteins and tons of veggies.  Not a wimpy, “diet” salad but real food that would fill me up!  Every day.  Today’s salad below.  Kale, red onion, avocado, yellow pepper, northern beans, tomato, chia seeds, olive oil, balsamic vinegar & sea salt.

IMG_6771

I eat as much of my hearty salad as I want for breakfast and then put the rest in the fridge for lunch.  Guess what.  I’m on week 3 of salads for breakfast.  And I feel good.  Like really good.  I can’t tell you if I’ve lost weight cuz I “Threw Out the Scales” before I started my salad for breakfast regimen.  But I feel good.  And my tummy is happy.  And I’m full.  I’ve replaced most of the cheese quesadillas with healthy carbs like baked sweet potatoes.  Or in a pinch, I eat the Brown Rice Sweet Potato Triscuits.  Smile  Cuz my love of Triscuits goes beyond the scales!  But overall I’m pretty happy right now and feeling way better than I have in about a year.  So I’ll be buying ALL THE PRODUCE and eating lots of greens with a variety of veggies going forward.  I’m not a vegetarian but I’m certainly going to do some more research about food and specifically plant proteins.  And most importantly, I’m going to enjoy feeling good. 

Food You Eat_Ann Wigmore

The point of this post isn’t to start a movement where everyone should eat salads for breakfast but rather to suggest that if you’ve been doing what your doing for a long time and it’s not working  ……. maybe it’s time to try something new.   Be open to change.  If you are tired and run down, what type of food are you using for fuel?  Exercise will always help us feel and look better but the FOOD that goes into our mouth is the main source of our energy and health.   I’m trying to make sure that I’m eating what my body NEEDS rather than what it immediately wants.    As a result, I want less and less of the foods that are “not so good for me”.  I’m still not perfect.  Never will be perfect.  I mean, we have a standing order with the pizza guy for Monday nights but now we get a salad with that pizza too.  Winking smile

If you are struggling, don’t give up.  Cuz that will put you further back than where you are now.  Keep fighting the fight.  Change things up.  Don’t’ forget to Hide the Veggies from the family and yourself in some of your favorite meals.  And please, try to find a way to fall in love with good, clean foods.

eat like crap

** Eat Your Veggies ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Why I Won’t Stop Running ….

Since I moved to Indiana, I’ve had a lot of foot pain.  I took most of the spring/summer off running.  Actually I was running, but very little.  Sporadically, if you will.  Sometimes not at all.  Hubby had moved to Indiana before the kids and I.  Therefore, I was alone with the kids & pets.  I was trying to find a house in the new area.  I was traveling back and forth every weekend (400 miles round trip) on the frustrating great house hunt.  I was trying to keep the kids from killing each other fighting.  I was chauffeuring them to every doctor/dentist appointment that they needed before they transferred to a new school.  I was also trying to pack up a house.  Train a new puppy.  Plus I was working full time with a nasty commute each day.  Life got in the way of workouts.  It happens.  But one thing was constant, my foot pain.  Thank you Plantar Fasciitis. 

Foot-pain1

Once I returned to the run, the foot pain went from discomfort to full blown pain.  Every step hurt.  A lot.  So I decided to try to find someone to help me.  When I was in IL, Dr. Alexis kept me up and running.  She was a Chiropractor but more than a “bone cracker”.  Her family practice focuses on the health of the family.  She has a lot of skills and treatment methods that a normal Chiropractor doesn’t.  Big shoes to fill.  Plus she was a runner.  And never complained about my running, at least to me.  Yeah, REALLY big shoes to fill.

After asking every fitness person I knew, wasn’t a big list in my new town, I was directed to my first Physical Therapist.  He didn’t like runners.  Not sure he even liked me.  He hurt me badly.  He made my PF worse.  Then I saw another PT.  He was a Cross County Coach.  So he liked runners, right?   Maybe.  He was all business.  Not sure what he liked.  Very firm as to what I could and couldn’t do.  I actually took 2 weeks off cuz he scared me.  Then I moved on again because well, I wasn’t getting better.

What did the 2 PTs have in common?  They focused specifically on my calves and soleus. Both did Graston.  The first guy would make me cry because he scraped my calves so hard.  The second guy was more gentle but still, it was the same.  Scraping, scraping, scarping my calves and soleus.  And a shit-ton of stretching exercises.  Nobody touched my feet.  They both thought my PF problems were centered on the tight calves and soleus.  Both of which were marbled/bumped up like a “gravel road”.  I didn’t get better.  I spent a lot of $$.  I stopped going to PT and I’m not sure I’ll ever go to another PT, short of being forced.

Now I’ve found a Chiropractor, 7 minutes from my house.  A family practice guy.  Big on rehab.  Diet.  Exercise.  With a bag of tricks.  So guess what, someone finally cares about my feet again.  He says they are the “worst” he has ever seen in his practice.  Must not see many distance runners, huh?  Lots of Graston. Lots of Rapid Release Technology (description below). 

RRT relies upon the science of resonance.  Like the piano note vibrating the corresponding guitar string across the room, the target absorbs vibrational energy and oscillates.  Same principle as the opera singer who can vibrate a crystal glass across the room until it breaks.  RRT operates at a frequency over 3 times faster than the fastest competition.  Notice the symmetry of high speed compression waves through healthy tissue.  Now notice the lack of waves when RRT is put over chronic fibrous tissue.  The energy is absorbed by the denser tissue and it begins to vibrate. 

RR-Product-pic

Lots of talk about what I should do besides running.  He used to run but has done extensive research and has basically bagged running for other things.  Good for him.  Not good for me.  So this week, after suggesting for the 2nd time that I take 6 months off, he basically said, “why do you have to run”?  Good question.  My quick answer was very basic:  Cuz I might kill someone otherwise.  It keeps me in check mentally and regulates my mood.  Some people take Prozac, I run. 

Long answer is a bit more complicated.  I run because I can.  Because I like it.  Because it gives me a big bang for my buck, exercise wise.  Because there aren’t any CrossFit gyms close to me.  Because it gets me out of the house, or allows me to zone out on the treadmill for hours at a time watching crap on Netflix that I can’t let my kids watch.  Because it makes me feel good.  Because it helps me realize that life really isn’t so bad after a long ass run.  Because it drives me to challenge myself and consider goals which I never thought possible.  Because it enables me to see things that I would never see from my couch.  Because it forces me to be social at times when I don’t feel like talking because I’m emotionally overwhelmed.  Because it allows me to be social while doing something healthy.  Because it helps me not take myself too seriously and sometimes allows me to wear silly outfits.  Because I can control it. 

I run when I want.  Where I want.  And the only thing that stops, or slows me down, is the family schedule.  It gets me out of bed in the morning and energizes me throughout the day.  If I take a weekend day off the run, what happens?  I sleep in but am always still tired.  I get up grumpy cuz I never feel refreshed.  Then I get a cup of coffee and sit in the recliner or on the couch and veg out on Facebook or TV.  I’m not motivated to do anything.  I don’t want to do anything.  Different story after I spend a couple hours running.  I’m motivated to LIVE life.  That’s why I won’t stop running.  Maybe tomorrow or the next day will be different and I will no longer have the desire to run.  But as for today, I want to run.  Nothing is broken.  Nothing is torn.  Let’s just fix this and then maybe we can be friends.  I mean, I’ll waive to you as I’m running laps at the Y and you’re below with your buddies beating the crap out of each other playing basketball.  Winking smile

distance runner

Related post.  It’s an oldie but goodie:  I Am A Runner.

Run happy, if that’s your thing.  If you like football or basketball, find a league.  If you like to lift weights or CrossFit, awesome, go kill it.  Cycling?  I’ll see you on the road come spring!  There are so many different activities, go find one that you love!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

2014 Chicago Marathon

Sunday, I ran what was supposed to be my last Chicago Marathon.  Not sure I  can go out like that and leave it as my last one but only time will tell.  Aby does want to go back and run it when she turns 16 but that won’t be possible because she’ll be at the end of a HS Cross Country season and well, we all know that we can’t run fast short and train for something as mammoth as a marathon.  I won’t be busting her bubble now but that’s reality.  Anyhow, back to Sunday!  It was a PERFECT day to run a marathon.  Run any distance really.  Temps were cool, the sky was clear and it warmed up nicely with a tiny breeze to keep us comfortable.  Start line along with 40,000+ other runners.

CHI Marathon_start

I had one goal for this race:  to finish.  I was forced to take a bit of time off running this summer during the relocation and my build up was a bit too quick and well, I didn’t log the normal mileage.  My longest run was an 18 miler.  I had no idea about pace but knew to go slow.  What I did know is that my feet were in bad shape and I needed to keep moving in order to keep them from tightening up.  I should have guessed from how badly my feet hurt during last week’s 12 miler that things wouldn’t go well.  I have been seeing a physical therapist in Fort Wayne, IN for my plantar fasciitis but he’s been a bit rough on me.  In fact, every week that I see him, I get worse, regardless of my mileage or lack thereof.  This week was the same.  I was much worse than even the week before.  So I was in the mindset to run easy.  Enjoy the course.  And run from one spectator sighting to another.  So thankful that April W took my Aby around for spectating again.  It’s always a highlight to see friendly faces on course.  I saw them at mile 2, then again at mile 13.  I was breaking down badly by mile 13 and my hips were burning because apparently my gait was off due to the pain in my feet.  Both feet.  So awesome. CHI Marathon_Aby & IAfter faking a smile for a pic with Aby, my girl April gave me the only pain relief she had on her person, a Midol tab.  It didn’t touch my pain.  I walked/ran/limped from 13-19 and then I was about done, like out of the game.  Walking was worse than running because I couldn’t put my left foot all the way down so I was walking “crooked”.  The doc who saw me this week said my hips were out of line.  I’m sure they are after my hobble.

So I stopped at the med tent at 19.  In tears.  They have me 2 pain tabs and a nice lady doused my feet with biofreeze to numb out the pain.  I can’t say that I thought it would work.  But about 10 or 15 minutes later, I was on the run again and confident that I could finish the race because the pain was just numbed out enough that I could do another 10K.  THANK YOU med tent!!!!

While I certainly didn’t #OwnChicago in 2014….. photo compliments of my girl Dawn B from WI.OwnChi

I did finish. And I thank my last 6 miles of “mostly” running to my girl Julie who showed up shortly after I emerged from the med tent.  She was on target for a PR but was running out of steam.  That could have been her excuse to run me in, I don’t really know. Regardless, I was thankful to be with her thru those last 6 miles.  She and I have run a lot of miles together this year.  Some really great ones.  Some really cold, snowy, icy, rainy ones.  And she is one person who I know I’ll always be logging miles with …. no matter where either of us live.  She is also fighting the Plantar Fasciitis devil and we frequently commiserate together.  Thanks, Julie!

CHI Marathon_me & Julie

 So I finished.  And I’m thrilled with that because it was a fight this time.  I did see a new doc yesterday who filled me with cortisone.  So I’m temporarily pain free and that is a REALLY nice thing.  It’s awesome actually.  And I have a new PT that I get to start seeing on Friday.  New PT is a runner.  Knows running.  Likes runners.  I already like him too!  Looking forward to rehabbing these feet and hitting the road for many more long runs.  I’m going to change my schedule a bit over the next couple weeks to focus on the rehab but I will be finishing the year strong!

Thanks to everyone who was out there spectating and volunteering on Sunday.  I know it’s an exhausting day, even more so that it was for those of us who ran.  Here is my Aby and April’s daughter “spectating” for the last of our crew.  Yeah, exhausting.  CHI Marathon_Aby & Nicole

How did Chicago go for you?

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

 

 

I’m In Trouble….

I’m pretty sure my new PT thinks I’m crazy doesn’t like me. Today marked the 4th session (week) with him and let’s just say it didn’t go well. Like he made me cry and I wanted to punch him in the face.

20141008-133837-49117097.jpg

The good news is that another PT, who happens to be an old friend of mine who I didn’t’ know worked there or I’d be going to her instead handed me a box of tissues. And then I was too upset, in pain actually, to punch anything.

The “run” down. New PT isn’t a runner. I’d even extrapolate that statement to hypothesize that he doesn’t even like runners. Maybe he knows my hubby? Last week he emphasized that I MUST cross train, even though I’ve been pretty focused on building miles. So I cross trained. Only ran 27 miles all week. Biked 25 miles. Took a spin class. Swam 1500 yds in the pool.

20141008-134429-49469426.jpg

I even took a damn sunrise yoga class at 5:15 this morn. That didn’t go well either. Runners doing yoga could be a comedy skit. You can ask Aby, she went too! What a joke but yes, we are going back. I think. Okay, Aby says “we” are going back.

20141008-135729-50249111.jpgSource

So, I cross trained. And I’m not any better this week, than last week. In fact, I’m worse with a plethora of new aches & pains to add to the list. My feet hurt. And they are swollen. And I’d probably take a cortisone shot from a homeless man if it was offered up to me! Kidding. Kinda. And now, I’m in trouble from Mr. PT. He thinks I run too much, or more specifically that I built up too quickly. Which I did. But please just fix me. Complain to the other PTs after I leave. Please. Thank you.

** Runner at Heart – Regardless of How My Feet Feel ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Back At It & CrossFit Day #49

I’ve been on a little hiatus since the Dopey Challenge.  I needed a break.  The plan all along was to get thru the Huff 50K & Dopey and then take some time off and really not do “much” for the remainder of the month of January.  And I was looking forward to it.  What I didn’t realize was how much my body would NEED that break.   I started getting a bit of a clue when I had a pretty severe Plantar Fasciitis flare up on the first day of the Dopey Challenge.  Yep, during the 5K.  Initially it took me off guard because it basically came out of nowhere but it didn’t take me long to realize that it was text book PF.  I was fine while running but when I stopped OMGosh things got ugly fast.  And when I sat down, the getting up and getting moving was super painful.   It felt like I was walking on spikes.  Not ideal but at least something I could self diagnose.  Also something I was familiar enough with that I could be pretty certain that completing the Dopey Challenge most likely wouldn’t do much additional long term damage. 

Source:  Mayo Clinic

plantar fasciitis

Then I got a head cold/sore throat combo that was a bit of a nuisance.  Brought that new friend home with me from Disney.  It took a week and a half to clear up (thanks to some electro acupuncture by Dr. Alexis).  I felt good for two days.  Then the stomach flu hit.  Yep, the stomach flu.  SO.MUCH.FUN.  Okay, it sucked but my body was tired and why not get it ALL out of the way while I was in rest mode anyhow, right?  Right! 

Now I’m feeling AMAZING except for the heel pain that Dr. A is slowly but surely kicking to the curb.  I ran 4 miles on the treadmill last night at 8:22 pace.  Then I hit CrossFit this morning!  I’m so happy to be back to being active.  I still don’t plan on doing anything big this month but I’m moving and that makes me happy.  Smile

CrossFit Day 49 (and if you are really counting, CrossFit Day 48 was on January 2, 2014 but the WOD has been lost in the windy tunnel of the TTF brain.  Ooops!).

WOD – Jack.  Hello Jack.  So nice to meet you.  Thank you for kicking my butt on the first day back to CrossFit in 21 days.  Thanks for reminding me WHY I CrossFit in the first place.  Thanks for reminding me that I am weak and I want to be strong.  Thank you for starting me off on my quest to be a strong runner in 2014.

20 minutes – AMRAP:

  • 10 Push Press – Empty bar, the girlie version,  #33 lbs
  • 10 Kettlebell Swings
  • 10 Box Jumps – 18” box – I did alternate in a couple step-ups a few times when I needed to catch my breath but 99% were box jumps.

I did 11 rounds.  I was very focused on trying to get at least 10 rounds completed because at the half way mark I was into my 6th round so I didn’t want to lose ground.  I was super happy to be able to complete the 11th round, even managed a few extra push presses even though time was basically up.  I really tried to stay focused and wanted to keep pushing because it is a new year and I think it’s important to focus on new goals and try to improve.  Plus, what’s the point of getting up early for a 5am class if I’m not going to push it?  I don’t want to waste my time or anyone else’s.  I want to get better.  I want to get stronger.  I want to run far and FAST when the opportunity arises and I really think the key to staying healthy is strength and cross training.  For these reasons, I dedicate 2014 as my year of strength.  I want be be strong physically and mentally.  I want to be a better person.  I want to  handle LIFE better.  I want to be strong inside and out. 

** On a Quest to Be Strong ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

By The Light Of The Moon….

I’m still running happy unlike the miserable swim I had last night!  This morning was a glorious 63 degrees when I hit the road.  Between the temperature and the fact that I didn’t get rained out again, I was near ecstatic.   I’m a cool weather runner and feel “perfect” around the 55 degree mark but 63 is still good.  It’s certainly much improved over the 80s, 90s & 100s which we have been experiencing. 

Today was calm, cool, clear and the moon lit the way perfectly.

Moon_8-2-12 

I ran an easy 5 miles and could have gone further if I didn’t have to go back inside so Mick could leave for work.  I’m definitely not pushing the pace but just enjoying being back on the road.  I averaged 9:50s.  Of course, I felt much faster like I was sailing an 8:30 to 8:45 but each beep of the watch brought me a 9:50ish. 

Me_dark_8-2-12I didn’t have any pain until mile 4 and then I could feel a little heat at the tear site of the tendon.  It wasn’t bad but I could feel it.  Now, post run, what I really feel is the Plantar Fasciitis in that foot.   Yes, I took 2 months off without one day of running and my Plantar Fasciitis is still throbbing.  Awesome, I know.  We’ll knock that out next, right?  One day at a time.  No more.  No less. 

I hope you were able to get out this morning to enjoy the cooler temps!  Do you prefer morning or evening runs?  Are you in short sleeves or a tank at 63 degrees or do you go to long sleeves? 

** Running Happy ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

4 Days til Ragnar – 4 Things For Which I’m Thankful (Injury Related)

This will be my last Ragnar countdown day since I, of course, will not be running.  We finally have a new “chick” to take my place so that removes a huge weight from my shoulders.  I’m incredibly sad over the entire situation but at least my team is now covered.

Since I’m feeling a bit “blue”, I thought it would be good to think of 4 things for which I am thankful in relation to the injury.

Ruptured PF

This rupture, tear, strain, whatever you want to call it, is not optimal as I look at a full calendar of races, the relay, and my most coveted 70.3 events which I will have to miss; however, here are my 4 things positive:

  1. I can finally stop running in pain.  Each day I went out the door, I ran thru pain.  I have been running in pain for over a year.  The $600 orthotics  helped, but to keep it at a bearable level, we have resorted to anti-inflammatories and cortisone shots.  The cortisone was not intended to be a quick fix (until the one we did on FRI in an attempt to get me thru Ragnar, which totally backfired, didn’t it?) but rather a process of decreasing the inflammation and hoping it would heal in the process.  That didn’t work and the pain always crept back.   So now, I have a REAL reason to stop running without feeling like I am copping out or being a wuss.  
  2. Hello, summer!  I plan to spend lots of hours floating in the pool.   This is my favorite type of float cuz it keeps me cool by sinking me in the water while still holding me up!pool float

    In relation to this, I am also thankful that Mr.. Michael is more chill and fun this year.  He loves his sister so much that it takes some pressure off me and will hopefully allow me some float time unlike the last two summersNow let’s just get that cloudiness out of the pool so the fun can begin!

  3. Since there are not any early morning runs in my future, I can also enjoy a few cocktails.  Any low call adult beverage suggestions?                        cocktails
  4. My family is being nice to me.   They are helping and working together to get done all the crap things that mommy usually does herself.               family working together 

  So back to those low cal beverages?  Any ideas?

** Happy Running or Lounging, whatever is in the cards for you this summer! **  Amanda – TooTallFritz

6 Days til Ragnar – 6 Chicks

So today brings us 6 days out from the start of the 2012 Chicago Ragnar Relays.  And we have 6 chicks that form our ultra team, You Just Got Chicked.

6 Chicks _ red x me

However, one chick…..ME, isn’t going to get to run.  I “may” have mentioned that my Plantar Fasciitis flared up BEYOND comprehension over the last couple weeks.  And we “may” have been trying to get me thru the Ragnar Relays by using the acupuncture, foot manipulation, cortisone shot, ice & motrin but it all blew up this morning.  Quite  literally BLEW UP.  I was running,  a little over a mile from my car, turned around because the pain was so bad that I audibly said, “I can’t do this today”, then about 2 minutes later something popped.  It felt like I got shot in the side of the heel in the arch.  Wow.  I hobbled back to my car and drove bawling straight to the chiro.  I honestly thought I would need surgery but knew she would be honest and tell me what to do and basically not panic like I was at the time.  I honestly thought blood had to be squirting out of my shoe cuz it seemed impossible that something could hurt so badly and not be squirting blood. 

So the “good news” is that nothing is broken.  Although it would heal faster if something had broke.  I don’t need surgery but was told that rehab will be the same as if I had to have surgery.  12 weeks off or I can try to start taping after 2 weeks, keep running which would be stupid and risk further injury.  I was basically told after 2 weeks, if I started up again, I might get another 2 weeks before I was back here or worse.  I think the best case scenario since I don’t get paid to run and TRI, would be to suck it up and take the 12 weeks off.   No Ragnar.  No 70.3 Ironman Muncie.  No Great Illini Challenge 70.3.  No Chicago Marathon. 

At this point it hurts to walk and the main focus is getting the swelling out.  I iced more today than ever before in my life.  I used a bucket of ice, I soaked my foot in our green pool, and I used an ice wrap.

foot in pool with kids foot on ice

So I’m going to focus on walking first and then the rest will come with time.  Or not.  Whatever happens, happens.  If I understand it correctly, all of this is related to the plantar fasciitis and the heel spurs but I have a secondary issue which deals with the muscle or ligament which runs beside my tibia (big bone that most call the shin bone).   This ligament attaches to the heel bone thru the arch.  Well, this has been a very painful tender area and we knew it was a problem but today it reared is ugly head and stated its presence for real.  This ligament is strained/torn/pulled/sprained…..whatever you want to call it.  Doesn’t even matter at this point.  It hurts like a bitch badly.

So, the search is on for a lady runner for our Ragnar team.  33 miles is the distance which needs to be covered over the 30+ hour period.  And yes, the race is 6 days away.  Yes, the race starts in Madison, WI.  If you have an interest in running, message me ASAP.  I need to fill my spot.  I can’t walk so running is absolutely not an option.  Please think and help me fill this spot!

** Happy PAIN FREE Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

7 Days til Ragnar – 7 Things I’ll Be Packing

We are 7 days out from Ragnar Chicago and it was a rough day in TTF land, luckily I had the day off from actual “work”. The day started well when I went to the pool and swallowed a ton of TRI Smart Water.  Wow, they swim fast compared to me.  Wow, they kick up a lot of water in the pool.  Wow, they pull a good current when you are surrounded by 4 of them.  Wow, I suck at swimming.  Wow, I’ve never seen the pool so busy.

After the swim, I only had time to squeeze in a 27 mile ride on the trainer before hitting the chiro.  Today she tried acupuncture since my body doesn’t respond like a “normal” person.  Being special isn’t so great in a situation like this.  I’m gonna post this “needles in the foot” pic again for my mom those of you who don’t have facebook or follow me on twitter.

After the needle fun at the chiro, I went directly to the foot surgeon for a more needle action in the form of a cortisone shot.  He infused the cortisone with an anesthetic in order to numb the foot out for a week or so.  Let’s cross our fingers!  Ragnar here I come…..Dear Foot:  Please comply!

In developing a list of 7 things I “need” that are possibly not going to be in every runner’s bag, I started with the important stuff:

  1. Ice bag.  I have a gel ice bag that I’m planning to beg my teammates to stuff in the cooler.  I need it.
  2. Motrin.  I need it.
  3. Merrill Encore Ice slip-on shoe.  Although this is probably the ugliest shoe I have ever purchased, I’m glad to have it.  I bought it off the clearance rack at REI and it holds my plantar fascia up and keeps my feet feeling “ok”.  I need them.  But they are ugly.  I’m considering getting a sandal just like this too.  🙂
  4. Toothbrush.  I know we won’t be having a lot of time to shower  but I’m hoping to be able to at least brush my teeth.
  5. Tortilla-Peanut Butter- Dill Pickle wraps.  I know this sounds disgusting but I actually like peanut butter and pickles together and I think this will work well for me food wise and I’ll be able to avoid the soggy bread issue.
  6. Rehydrate Energy Gel – This is a new product which totally rocks.  It is easy on my tummy and has an excellent lemon taste.  I still can’t get over how awesome this stuff is and am looking forward to our long term relationship. 
  7. A freakin’ AWESOME attitude.  I think this is probably the most important “item” on the list.  We are going to be tired, cranky and the worst thing we can do is take it out on each other or somebody else.  In order to have a good time, each person is responsible for bringing a good attitude.  Ever heard the saying, “if you aren’t having fun, it’s your own fault”?  So let’s bring it, rock this thing and have some fun!!

What would you take on your relay run adventure?

** Happy Relaying ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com