Friday, February 26, 2010

RunPorn Friday

Here's your Friday dose of running-inspired photos. As you can see, I'm in a beachy kind of place today. It's been a long, rough week at work and I'm craving the weekend. Only 5 hours to go!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A great athlete and inspiration

In the lead-up to the Olympics, I posted about one of my favourite Olympians and athletes, Clara Hughes.

This post just popped up on my Facebook, thanks to the Olympics organizers. It puts the idea of achievement, success and medals into perspective. Sometimes winning isn't an athlete's most valued memory or achievement. It's worth a read.

Friday, February 12, 2010


A couple of photos for today. The first is a recent cover of Canadian Running Magazine with yet another one of my heroes: Tara Quinn-Smith. Tara is a member of the Brooks Canada Marathon Project. She is also the holder of the Canadian women's record in the Half Marathon. I've seen her in person at a couple local races and she is very small, but one powerful runner!

The second is a hilarious ad from New Balance from 2008. I should really print one out!

2010 Olympics Kickoff!

The Olympics start today! I love the Olympics. I'll admit that I'm a little bit Olympics-ed out with that last year of build up (CTV commercials, anyone?). But now that they're here, I'm pretty excited to watch the sports. Hubby and I are staying in tonight to watch the Opening Ceremonies. Is anyone else planning to watch? I hope we'll be able to watch the moguls on Saturday night... Jen Heil did so well in the last Olympics. And it's pretty neat to watch.

One of my favourite athletes is 5-time medal winner Clara Hughes. She seems genuinely positive and happy. Her success in cycling and speedskating is really impressive - not one sport, but two! I think it's awesome that she was selected as our flag bearer for the opening ceremonies tonight. She's just one of the many athletes that inspire me. Do you have a favourite athlete? Is there anyone you're rooting for in particular at these Olympics?

I also want to welcome all the new followers! It's pretty exciting to log-in to see more people checking out my blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Could she be right?

I met my physiotherapist last night. She rocks!

She did a full assessment. She believes that I don't have a stress fracture! Hooray! She thinks my core muscles (glutes, piriformis, back etc.) are weak and not firing properly. I actually felt this in my abdomen. Thus it's putting pressure on my sciatic nerve and increasing the load for all the muscles below them (ankles, feet, knees). Running in the snow makes it worse, because my ankles and feet have to work extra hard to keep me balanced.

She thinks that this is why my foot hurts and it's why I keep getting recurring issues such as achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. And, I believe her. I've known for awhile that I needed to work on my core, but I had no idea it was this bad. I pretty much sucked at all the stuff she did in the assessment, with my left side being worse than the right. Last night was like an epiphany!

The cure? Acupuncture and lots of strengthening exercises.

The best news of all? I should be able to start running in 2-3 weeks. She said I should be back to my old mileage quickly and that I should be able to run the half marathon in May.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Recovery time, excellent

I had my second round of x-rays yesterday. I snuck a peek at them and didn't see anything on them that cried out 'You have a stress fracture!'. I go for another follow-up with the sports medicine doctor on the 18th, so hopefully I'll have a diagnosis then. I've realized what's killing me is the uncertainty... that I can't move forward until I know what's going on and what to expect.

I've also learned that I'm fortunate in that it could be worse. I could have a stress fracture in way worse places, such as my tibia, hip or pelvic bone. Ouch!

I also know what I did wrong to do this to myself. I realized that I've worn my green superfeet insoles since I started running seriously 2 years ago. I was in physio at the time for a back/calf injury and she suggested that I lose weight and try superfeet insoles. That's what I did! So it really was stupid of me to run three times in a row without them, especially a 13K run. Those runs put a lot of stress and contortion on my lower leg muscles, resulting in injury.

I start physio tonight, which I'm looking forward to. I want to use this time to work on my muscle strength and imbalances. And of course, to lose those 10 lbs. that I put on over the past few months.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Starting Over

Now that the Superbowl's over, I'm ready to start over food-wise. The Superbowl party was pretty brutal... heck, even I brought Buffalo Chicken Dip (it features 3c. of cheese and a bottle of Frank's Red Hot) which was sinfully good.

But now that Hubby's been ordered by the doctor to lose weight, I can't half-ass our meal plans anymore. Who am I kidding? We have no meal plans whatsoever. I just make whatever I feel like, revert to leftovers, or we order in.

Now that I'm not running I need to eat better, too. I also could use to lose a little bit of weight myself, because I've gained weight since Christmas and our awesome trip to Maui. So this week I resolve to start over on WeightWatchers. I resolve to track my calories. I resolve to make a weekly meal plan for us.

Weighing less will also help with my running. I'll have reduced impact on my joints and less of me to move from point A to point B! I just need to be sure that I don't lose muscle mass instead of fat.

I'll report back with the plan once it's made. Today's plan is pretty good: I've got a Chewy Allbran Bar, celery, banana and a PC Blue Menu dinner.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Dose of RunPorn

Today's RunPorn post features a couple of my favourite things. I really like the Saucony "We Know" ad campaign... they always make me smile when I come across them in a magazine. And Paula Radcliffe is one of my running heroes, so I thought a picture of her winning the NYC marathon would be pretty inspirational.

Finally, I found an old Runnersworld Rave Run photo of Ottawa! Every month Runnersworld great photo of a runner running in a beautifuls setting. I've always thought that Ottawa has tons of great places for those kinds of photos. This one was published in 2000. Thanks to Runnersweb for hosting it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I decided to continue the trend of posts starting with B. It made me smile, at least.

I'm bummed. I saw the doctor today. He and the other doctor-in-training were amazing. My foot is still really sore to touch, as I found out as they manipulated it and examined it. That was fun. I'm going for more x-rays, but they're fairly sure it's a stress fracture. I can't run for at least 2 more weeks until they re-evaluate me. Average recovery time is 6-8 weeks.

I also get to start physiotherapy, as my left foot/ankle is weak. I'm not really surprised to hear that, as my left side's been the problem half my entire life. I also wasn't surprised to hear the rest of the diagnosis, as it was pretty much what I'd expected.

I'm bummed because:
1. I was going to run the Winterman 10K on February 21st. I do get to transfer my entry to another race with Somersault... the problem is that I registered for all the races I wanted to run this year already.
2. My women's ultimate season is a wash. I paid $150 to play in the league and they don't do refunds, even for medical reasons.
3. When I get cleared to run again, I have to use a run/walk method to start, then rebuild my base by starting at 30 minutes + 10% a week.

But, the biggest reason why I'm bummed is that because of #3, running the half is in jeopardy. Hopefully the physio helps and I make a full and speedy recovery.

I'm thinking that it might be time to find a running coach... because doing this on my own doesn't seem to be working out too well.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Born to Run

I'm back from Hawaii! It was a wonderful vacation, full of sun, sand, and surf. Actually, I didn't go surfing, but spent plenty of time snorkeling. My foot feels much better and I am starting to test its limits by wearing heels for a bit during the day and walking for 30 minutes. I'm proud to say both were pain-free!
I must admit that the first two weeks of no running were pretty easy to swallow. The pain and extra-strength tylenols drove home the message that I was in no way, shape, or form, was I ready to run again. Now that the pain's gone, I want to run again. I head to the sports medicine clinic tomorrow for a follow-up. Hopefully I'll get some good news.
I spent a good deal of my vacation time reading. One of the books I'm currently polishing off is Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher MacDougall.

The main argument in the book is that modern running inventions and gadgets may have improved running times, but that running shoes cause more injuries than they prevent. Running shoes disconnect our brains from our bodies and that by interrupting this vital communication, runners get injured because they are unaware of their body's limits. Now he's not saying that everyone should throw their shoes out the window and prance down the street in bare feet (though that'd be pretty hilarious). But he does say that trying to follow the Tarahumara (the Hidden Tribe reference in the title) way of running and living can pay off if you can do it. He also debunks the claim that humans weren't mean to run long distances.
It's been a very interesting and informative read. The book does a great job of giving the reader an overview of the history behind ultrarunning (50K+ races) and how the sport has evolved over the past 20 years. The author chronicles his own adventures and his evolution from injured runner to ultrarunner. His journey is convincing evidence that the Tarahumaran lessons can pay dividends if you apply them correctly to your running and way of life.