Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oh How I've Missed O'dark Thirty

After the Shamrock Marathon my left foot was a mess.  It was really swollen and I had pain on the top of my foot.  I was so freaked out that it might be a stress fracture that I took a full week off to rest and recover.  And I mean fully recover. No working out, no running.  Trust me when I say I was losing my mind!  When you take running away from a runner it's taking away a huge part of that person's identity.  For me, it was taking away the one thing that was keeping me sane during a really difficult time in my life.  Every day I would RICE and pray that I didn't have a stress fracture or anything similarly serious.

Yesterday I woke up and my feet felt pretty good so I decided to meet up with Michele and Sarah for our usual o'dark thirty run.  It was my first real run post-Shamrock so I wanted to take it really easy.  We kept the place slow and easy and I really paid attention to how my body was holding up, especially my feet.

Love running with these girls!

Typically my training runs are always dedicated to my I Run 4 buddy, Jason, but this run was special because it was also dedicated in memory of a dear friend's wife (Holly "Moe" Coolidge) who passed away from colon cancer 12 years to the day.  As we ran, the girls and I talked about our friend and the love he and his wife shared.  It made the miles tick by faster and made each step even more meaningful.

My brand spankin' new babies and a ribbon in memory of our honoree "Moe"

Before I knew it, we were headed back in the final stretch towards our cars and per usual I kicked up the pace just a little bit more.  This time though I erred on the side of caution and didn't do a full out sprint just to be on the safe side.  However, I definitely turned it up a notch just to see how my body would feel.  Thankfully other than some tightness in my right arch I felt great! I was so happy!

Hooray for no foot pain!

Final stats:
Distance: 5.32 miles
Total time: 00:56:32
Splits: 11:02, 11:00, 10:47, 10:42, 10:23, 9:17 (.32 mile)
Average pace: 10:38 min/mile

Once I got home I dunked my feet in an ice bath for 10 minutes.  Yikes that was cold!  I stood in the tub with my feet ankle deep in ice water while I was wrapped in my gray robe over my running clothes.  I should have taken a picture of that.  It was classic!  I also did some major foam rolling as well as Myrtl (hip girdle) and foot exercises.  What I didn't do (and it bit me in the butt later) was roll my foot.

Throughout the day at work I kept a close eye on how my body was feeling and I was really happy for the most part with the lack of soreness or pain.  I was, however, a little concerned about the very slight tightness in my right arch and the tenderness on top of my left foot. I *may* have gone into a little panic and thoughts of  "OMG it's a stress fracture and I'm never gonna be able to run another race this year" may have flashed through my brain.  So guess what I did as soon as I got home?  Yup, went straight to Google and WebMD.  'Cuz you know that's the best way to diagnose any possible runner injury right?! RIIIIGHT?!

After doing many of the self tests for stress fractures posted on YouTube and going through other foot pain possiblilities (tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bone spurs, metatarsalgia, ganglion cyst, Morton's neuroma, soft tissue damage, etc.), I convinced myself that I had every foot injury known to man. Runners: If you ever have any twinges or pain please save yourself from some serious psychological distress and DO NOT check out Google or WebMD.  Seriously. Bad idea.

So what did I do? I iced my feet again. Then proceeded to roll each foot on my Trigger Point X-Factor massage ball.  YEOWWW!  Holy hell did that hurt!  I was literally crying at some points because rolling my feet out, even with the lightest bit of pressure, hurt really badly.  And guess what happened when I was done?  Both feet felt infinitely better.  No more tightness on my right arch.  No more tenderness on top of my left foot. Huh. Imagine that.  Although thrilled at the results I was cautiously optimistic.  But I woke up this morning and felt completely fine so I'm guessing that rolling session (albeit torturously painful) was all my little footsies needed.

Moral of the story: Take care of your feet! Don't neglect them and always remember to stretch and roll them out just like you would any other part of your body.  And never consult with Google or WebMD unless you want to have a nervous breakdown. The End.

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