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Showing posts from 2015

It's a Froggy-Frog World

Okay, I know that's a bad wordplay on what is already an eggcorn, but I couldn't help myself. The allusion, of course, is to swimming, which is something I am able to do right now. In addition to laying off of running, I've decided I need to give biking a break, because, if I'm being honest with myself (which I sometimes hate doing), it aggravates my foot—and my pelvis, but that's another issue. While the impact of biking is minimal, I still use my foot to push down on my pedal, which creates enough pressure that it could be delaying healing. So there's my first confession for the day.

Confession #2: No activity I do is pain free. So even swimming sometimes exacerbates pain I've been experiencing in the medial (inside) arch of my foot. Frustrating, right? (Right!) But it's mild and its level of irritation seems to be directly related to how long and hard I swim. So when I went to a coached group swim last Tuesday, I swam harder than I normally do on my …

Grieving the Loss of Running

It's been more than seven months since I've had to step away from running. While I've been able to do other things during this time, I've experienced strong and varying emotions every day that I haven't been able to run. It occurred to me only recently, while watching an episode of Jane the Virgin (an excellent show that I was pretty skeptical about initially), that I've been grieving the loss of running. In the episode, Jane recaps how she went through the well-known Kubler-Ross five stages of grief in one day, over the loss of a relationship. But it was her highlighting of these stages that made me realize I'd been going through the same thing—except over months, and over the loss of running.

It may seem trivial, especially given the grave and tragic world events occurring daily, to make such a big deal out of running, but we all still have our personal challenges to deal with each day, and I in no way mean to minimize the suffering of others in this post…

Mi Nuevo Vivoactive

After four steady months of swimming and biking, I decided I should go ahead and get a multi-sport watch. I really wanted it for swimming, as I'd had no real method for tracking my progress, and even my laps I 'd been counting in my head, hoping I didn't skip a number. So I went to the bike shop to check out what was available, and the choice was pretty much made for me after I looked at the prices. I "opted" for the Garmin Vivoactive, which seemed perfectly suited to my needs for a starter multi-sport watch. I was still just amazed that I could wear a watch under water!


I've used it for two rides and a swim so far--but I noticed something was off on the first two summaries:




As much I wanted to believe it, I knew there was no way I was burning that many calories during my workouts. I then realized that someone at the bike shop who shall remain nameless, when setting up my profile, entered my weight as 776 lbs. Because it's hilarious. So after I corrected …

Look Up, Look Forward

I'm going on six weeks in the boot. I recently had a follow-up appointment with my orthopedist, and it wasn't the happy-making experience I thought it would be. I have a tendency to put all of my hope and faith for recovery in one appointment, when really healing is a months-long process, which I've been reluctant to accept. I thought I'd be able to go in to the appointment, convince my doctor of my self-diagnosed neuroma, and get myself a cortisone shot. But that's not what happened. First, I don't think he was convinced I had a neuroma, but even if he had been, he wouldn't give me the shot. He said it could interfere with the healing of my fracture. Oh yeah, that. Probably responsible doctoring, but I wasn't satisfied. 
He had me get an x-ray to see what we could see. He said everything looked normal (which doesn't mean anything for my fracture), except that I had a sesamoid bone in my second metatarsal head. We all have them naturally embedded in …

Boot Chronicles: How I Really Feel

I've been wearing my fracture boot for nearly 14 days (minus the 1.5 days I didn't have it during the Great Flood of '15), and I'm having a hard time with it. Not just the boot itself--its clunkiness, stuffiness, heaviness--but I'm reminded of how much longer I have to wear it and, more than that, I'm afraid the fracture isn't my only problem. I feel pain where I don't think I should, based on the location of my fracture (first metatarsal). More and more, I'm concerned that I also have a neuroma. I feel pain very specifically on the ball of my foot, around the third metatarsal head. My doctor said this could be "referred" pain from the fracture, but I'm not so sure.

It's hard to know the timing of everything; I avoided getting a new MRI for weeks and weeks after initially feeling the foot pain in April, so I don't know how old (or new) the fracture was at the time of diagnosis. My hope is that, at my follow-up appointment in a …

The Lucky One

I was going to make this post an update on my foot, and then the weather happened, and suddenly my foot seemed completely insignificant. So I'll make the foot prognosis brief.


I met with my orthopedist last week to review my MRI results and plan for recovery. I already knew I had a stress fracture, so I'd prepared a long and detailed list of questions to ask the doctor. The main takeaways are these:

I would need to wear my fracture boot again, for two to three months (!) I could not run or walk or use the elliptical or do anything weight bearing, including standing exercises, such as air squatsI could, however, continue to swim and even bike, as long as I didn't feel pain or stand on the pedals (as in a spin class or to climb hills--no problem, I live in Florida)Icing would not help, nor would NSAIDs (like ibuprofen), and in fact my doctor said NSAIDs could actually do harm, so I should avoid taking themNo type of therapy would help; I just needed to rest the foot and stab…

Diagnosis: Stress Fracture

This time around, I've felt this wretched, annoying, on-and-off foot pain since my last race in April, and all along I thought the pain was caused by bursitis, which was the last diagnosis I had--over a year ago. Even though the pain I've felt this time is different--on the ball of my foot versus the top--it's in same region, around the third metatarsal head. So I saw a few doctors (orthopedist, podiatrist, physical therapist). They all went along with the bursitis diagnosis and gave me recommendations accordingly. No running, no impact, biking OK, elliptical OK, etc. But after my last attempt at coming back to running, which was woefully short-lived, I decided to see a fourth doctor, an orthopedic doc touted as "the best" in Tampa, Kevin Elder. He was quick and to the point and recommended a new MRI. He said I could have had bursitis last year but a new stress incident this year. Or I could have a neuroma. But he wanted to rule out a stress fracture first.

Well,…

New Loves and Beginning Again

In my two months off from running, I'd gotten into a decent pattern of "other" training. Not that I was training for anything in particular--more training to stay in shape for my return to running. In a good week, I would dedicate two days to biking, two days to swimming, and two days to cardio and strength training at the gym. Although frustrating at first, I honestly have come to enjoy all of it--especially the diversity of new activities.

Initially I told myself I wanted to avoid running for six weeks, which I thought would feel like forever. And while it did feel that way for the first three weeks, I found that I got so absorbed in the other activities I was doing that I practically forgot about running. Then six weeks passed. Then seven, then eight. I was afraid to run again. My foot felt good, but I feared that if I went out to try to run, I'd set myself back and have to take more time off.

During my time off, I saw a podiatrist. After my first appointment, he …

Swim, Bike, ... Gym

So this no-running thing has its advantages. I went from almost solely running to branching out into other activities I previously ignored because (1) they seemed burdensome (equipment, etc.) and (2) I would have to learn how to do them more efficiently. It was easier to stick to my solo sport--until I had to deal with an injury.

After a recent appointment with my favorite orthopedist (only a very injury-prone person gets to claim a "favorite"), Larry Collins, I was convinced I needed to get clip-in pedals and cycling shoes for my bike, and ride "clipless." I don't understand this terminology; it contradicts itself. But whatever. The point is, I need to keep my foot flat, rather than bending it and putting pressure on the ball of my foot, and cycling shoes don't really bend. So despite the expense, I decided it would be a good investment for longterm cross-training. One thing that has always put me off about cycling is the cost of everything--bike aside (wh…

A Victory and a Challenge

Iron Girl Recap

A few weeks ago, I ran the Iron Girl half marathon in Clearwater. This was the last "big" race I'd planned for the spring, so I wanted to do well, but I also hadn't been training to PR (I guess I never really do). And since my sister had planned to bring her family out to spectate, we decided we'd attempt to have my four-year-old niece, Evie, run across the finish line with me. (We tried this once before, but I was too close to a marathon PR to slow down, so I left her trailing behind me.) Because this was a smaller race and a women's-only race, I wasn't too worried about being a disruption to the race.

So my focus during the race was on Evie--and it's a good thing I had a focus other than time, because, as it turned out, my watch wasn't charged, and it wasn't going to last my whole race. But in my experience, this lack of knowing, of constantly monitoring my pace, has served me well during races. (In fact, during last year'…

Winter Wrap-up: Unexpected PR, Age Group Placement, and Brewery Run

Now that we're well into spring, I may as well post about winter. That is, Florida winter. So here's a three-in-one.

I missed the Gasparilla half marathon--the local race I look forward to all year. And it was for a silly reason. I had trained well and felt good the week prior to the race, but at a bootcamp class the Wednesday before the race, I did an exercise the totally killed my hamstrings, only I didn't know it until the next day. And they weren't just sore; I could hardly straighten my legs to walk, let alone use my hamstrings to propel me on a run. But feeling this kind of extreme soreness is not unusual for me after this particular bootcamp class; it's certainly happened before. So I thought by the time Sunday rolled around, I'd be fine. But then as Friday passed, and soon Saturday, I was far less confident that I'd be healed in time to race Sunday. I did everything I could think of to expedite healing: massages, smelly muscle rubs, foam roller, sta…

My Ulele Feast with the Tampa Bay Bloggers; Or, That Time I Ate Alligator

Monday night, I had the delightful opportunity to be among the Tampa Bay Bloggers on a tasting event* at Ulele (pronounced yoo-LAY-lee), a newish restaurant along Tampa's River Walk, which is in a revitalization phase.




The restaurant, which opened this past fall, has already received several significant commendations: One of the Top 100 Restaurants in the U.S. (by Open Table),  One of the Best New Restaurants in Florida (by Florida Trend); Best Overall Restaurant (by Yelp Tampa Bay); and, its most recent achievement, the #7 spot for Top 50 Restaurants in Tampa Bay, as scored by Laura Reiley of the Tampa Bay Times. So I felt honored to eat there, and I'd been wanting to go since it opened, but reservations were always difficult to get. When I saw the call for bloggers to attend this event, I jumped at the opportunity! Fortunately, I was chosen--among may others:

At least 20 of us were treated to our own space upstairs, overlooking the outdoor patio and river on one side and the…