Yes, I did go on a brief leave of absence from blogging. I just couldn't muster up the strength to talk about my cross-over into the world of biking and swimming. It's been new, exciting, challenging and humbling but I'm at the point that I'm ready to get back to normal.
During my little break-up with running here's a snap shot of what's been going on:
- Physical Therapy and Doctor- A few days after the Fast Firecracker I went to see my doctor to figure out what I needed to do. X-rays showed no sign of fracture or bone spur which was really good news. Basically I'm just dealing with a persistent case of plantar fasciitis. He referred me to our local sports medicine doctor and a physical therapist. My physical therapist has really been working on my calf and foot muscles. There were moments of pure torture and pain but I kept reminding myself that this was helping me. I'm doing a series of stretches every day and wearing a night splint when I go to bed. I kept reading about runners doing this to help alleviate foot pain in the morning but I thought it would be too uncomfortable. Believe it or not it doesn't really bother me. I forget I'm even wearing it! And best part about it- my foot feels completely normal in the morning!
- 9 miles swimming (in a 17 day period)- 1 mile swim each session. I was a little unsure about how accurate the distance was but my friend measured it with her new TomTom watch on the swimming setting and confirmed it was one mile. Phew. (You know how anal runners are about getting their distance right!) It takes me between 32-35 minutes to swim a mile.
34 pennies = 34 out & back's which = 1 mile!
- 171 miles biking (outdoor and on stationary bike). Biking is definitely my weakest of the triathlon three. I did notice improvement during the past two and a half weeks. (Started at 11 mph and this weekend averaged 14 mph.)
|Testing out the bike... This was actually my first ride on a bike (outside) in 25 years!|
|Running friends that are willing to ride bikes are pretty awesome!|
- Two longer bike rides including an 18 miler and then a 26.3 mile ride over a hilly route. I went with a friend who bikes a lot and knows what she's doing. I was WAY out of my comfort zone on that ride. It was a crazy hard workout but I loved it.
- I also experienced my first bike accident on a 12 mi bike ride early one morning by myself. I went on the bike trail I have run on literally hundreds of times. In one section there are two cattle guards which are annoying to run over but on a bike it is ten times scarier. I slid off the cattle guards and lost control and then slid off the trail down a ditch. I landed upside down with my bike on top of me. Had some scrapes and bruises but nothing too serious. It could have been much worse.
|Cattle guard crossing- annoying when you run but much worse on a bike!|
|the lovely ditch I fell down|
|I took this pic to text to John after I regrouped!|
|2 days after the bike accident|
|leg was also bruised and then had an allergic reaction to Neosporin|
- First run on an Alter G treadmill! I actually have done this twice now and plan to use it again tomorrow when I'm at Physical Therapy. I could probably do a whole post on Alter G treadmill running but basically it is a treadmill that gives you the option of running at a fraction of your body weight. This makes it MUCH easier on your joints, etc. I ran 2 easy miles the first time and then last week I was able to get in 10 miles at a 6:58 pace (which felt like a 7:58 pace).
|PT time for plantar fasciitis|
- Strength Training and Core Work- I've really tried to keep this going strong. I am lifting more consistently now for the first time since high school. I am continuing to do my push-ups and planking. Two weeks ago Jackie and I hit a 4:00 minute plank and yesterday made it to 4:30. (We are working our way up to 5.) We do not plank every single day and we do not always shoot for one long one. Sometimes we do 4 sets of 1-2 minutes each or a 5 min plank routine (switching sides, raising legs, etc). It's good to change it up along the way.
|A 1 mile swim followed by a 4 min plank. We were pretty pumped!|
|we made it to 4:30!|
- Running- This morning I ran outside and all I can say is that it was okay. I didn't feel any "pain" per say but after a few miles my foot started to feel a little "off"/ heavy? Can anyone with PF relate? We stopped at 5 miles. Honestly I was pretty beat. I know I'm getting a good workout swimming and biking but it's just different. I can tell I haven't been running (in the heat).
Overall, my foot is MUCH better than it was at its worst (the night after the Fast Firecracker) but it's still not 100%. I'm hoping I can start to slowly add in running outside- at least a couple of days per week mixed with cross training. I feel extremely slow and out of running shape right now. I know a few weeks off is nothing compared to the time I had to take off during my stress fracture.
I'm still seriously considering doing my first triathlon in September. It's hard to picture racing anything right now but hopefully by then things will be going better. I'm trying to appreciate the little victories. After months of daily foot pain I am walking pain-free. Surely running is right around the corner... :-)