Friday, October 29, 2010

Plantar Fasciitis

I have been battling with plantar fasciitis for a week and a half. :(
From what I hear, this is a very short amount of time for this particular ailment.

On Thursday, last week, I saw a physical therapist, and then proceeded to do all of the stretches that he gave me. They worked! I felt strong, and without pain by Monday morning, when I went for a run. I felt awesome post-run, as well. Then, all of a sudden, I got up from my desk to teach a class and could barely walk! It was awful!! Much worse than the previous week. I went back to the physical therapist on Tuesday and he gave me a night brace, and told me that it is going to go back and forth for a while as I learn how to manage it, and get it under control. *sad face*

It is starting to feel better. I am certainly not pain free, but I am giving it time to clear up. Most people experience the pain right in their heel. Mine at first was on in the inside of the heel. After the run on Monday, the pain became more like a stabbing in my arch. Delightful.

I hate not being able to run. I worry about everything.... I fought SO hard to be ABLE to run, that I am afraid that I am going to A) lose momentum and B) have to start over.

I am grateful, however, that I am not training for anything currently, or I would be feeling really stressed out!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


It has been more than 48 hours since I have nursed my Cuddle Bug, with no ill effects! (Other than crazy dips in my emotional state, which is pretty much par for the course right now.)

I am very pleased with the methodical, and mostly painless way the weaning happened. I was so SMART (patting myself on the back here) to start the process before I went back to school. It was just a natural, gradual process that started a little bit more than two months ago, and now my little guy is totally on formula and solid food and mommy can start thinking about having cute underthings again! (Sorry. That might have been too much information. I am actually not really SORRY... I just... you know.... would totally be blushing in real life, so it's strange that I am comfortable blogging about it. But with this length of a disclaimer attached, I probably am not all that comfortable, and all I did was say the word underthings. Geez. Moving on now.)

I am SO grateful that there were no issues in switching back and forth between nursing and formula, and that my little Cuddle Bug is so NOT picky when it comes to the temperature of the bottles, because it makes it easy to just have the water ready in the bottle and dump the formula in, quick shake, presto, in the middle of the night. Because, no, my little angel does NOT sleep through the night yet. I do have hope for the future, though! (It kind of involves a home with more than two bedrooms though, so it's more like a "dream" for the future....)

I never understood the women who claimed that formula feeding was so much easier. I nursed Soccer Boy, and chained myself hooked myself up to the machine at least twice a day for an entire school year. Let me tell you the amount of time I spent worrying about my supply, or replacing the feedings I would miss if he and I weren't together, and what would happen if he had a growth spurt and I didn't send enough food, or know to try and pump more to compensate..... So. Not. EASY.

This time around, when I had a gig that was 3 hours away, I only needed to bring my trombone and music. I didn't need to bring the instrument of TORTURE pump. I didn't worry about finding a private place. I didn't need to worry about whether I had left enough milk with my husband. It was AMAZING. I felt FREE. So now, a little more than two months after the process started, I am once again, for the first time in.... um, this pregnancy, the ectopic pregnancy before that.... a LONG TIME, I am my own person.

Thank you, Target, for making a high quality formula that is so much cheaper than the name brands, and for being so affordable, that we were able to completely avoid the name brand formula recall that happened this fall!

update on the funk

I made a realization on Thursday evening.

I went to bed on the late side on Wednesday evening, and I was really tired and I didn't feel like taking the small MOUNTAIN of pills that I normally take each night.

For example:

3 Omega Three Fish Oil
2 Vitamin D
1 Prenatal vitamin (because I was still nursing -- although, I think I am actually completely WEANED NOW!!)
1 small blue pill that magically makes me not have to cry every day
varying amounts of ibuprofen because of various ailments, the latest being plantar fasciitis.

That is quite the list, right?

Right. So, I took just the super magic little blue pill. And then the next day, when issues arose, I was not able to handle them in the happy, glass half full way that is actually, believe it or not, my default setting -- stupid post-partum-depression!

So I might change things up a bit --- take some of them in the morning so that I don't have as many to take at night. The only thing is, I am SO FORGETFUL! So I think the best plan is just to suck it up, and keep taking my mountain of pills at night. But, I don't think that I will be forgetting the Vitamin D any time soon. That is what I am guessing made the difference. *shrug* Who knows.

Anyway -- all of this preamble is to say that I am feeling better now. Yesterday was a good day. :)

Now, on the plantar fasciitis front.
I am SO fortunate at the timing of every thing, and that I can't keep my mouth shut when people ask me questions whether they really want to know the answers or not! A colleague, the high school XC coach, actually, commented that I was wearing running sneakers. (Not my actual runners -- older sneakers bought before I started running, and totally wrong for my over-pronating, flat foot.) So then I proceeded to tell (whine) him about my heel issues, and that I thought it was PF. This is where there the timing is amazing. Our school has one of the local physical therapists come on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help with students (and staff!) that need help. It was Wednesday, and I was able to juggle my schedule a little bit to make sure that I could in to see the physical therapist the next day. He is AWESOME, and gave me a bunch of stretches, and tips, and it is feeling much better. I have a much better understanding about the whole foot and the way the different muscles and tissues function. Knowledge is cool.

This morning, when I got out of bed, there was very little discomfort! Woo-hoo!!

The interesting thing is that it never really bothered me when I was running, because I am a mid-foot striker and not a heel-striker. BUT, I rested it anyway, just to help it heal faster!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Funk (NOT the musical genre)

Things that are NOT awesome, in no particular order.

1. Plantar fasciitis, which develops instantly, it seems, and then takes forever to go away (I have heard.) Yay.

2. Not having enough money.

3. Feeling crappy about yourself because you can't run/exercise/put a sentence together/ make smart choices.

4. Wondering if the medicine you are taking is even working. And if it IS working then holy crap I don't even want to THINK ABOUT how I would be feeling without it.

5. Being so busy that I haven't seen my mom or my sister in two months.

6. Wanting more than anything to just go have coffee with a friend, but realizing that there is no one to have coffee with.

7. Being so pathetic that #6 is actually true.

8. Sitting at my desk at work trying not to cry, for no apparent reason.

9. Trying to explain to a 4 year old, that YES, his friends from daycare are rude, obnoxious and NO YOU CAN'T TALK TO ME LIKE THAT, in a loving, calm way without it turning into a scene from the Exorcist.

10. Leaving my work laptop at home so that even if I WANTED to be productive, I couldn't.

Okay. Rather than leave it at that, which is sooooooo tempting, I will force myself to "count my blessings," as it is often said.

Things that ARE awesome:

1. Cuddle Bug
2. Soccer Boy
3. My students
4. Running (even though I can't/shouldn't right now)
5. My husband really does love me, even though I often times don't deserve it

*long belabored sigh*
I wish that had helped more.


c'est la vie.
If I can't be real here, then what is the point?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

paypal, cancer and twitter

I just saw this on

Paypal will donate $.05 to cancer charities for every tweet or Facebook update with the hashtag #BeatCancer.

So go ahead -- re-tweet using the hashtag #BeatCancer. It will only take a second of your time, and could make a difference!

And while you are there, go ahead and follow me on twitter! I am not on there much, but I am going to be changing that!

mduke722 --- look me up!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I am paying for this?

-For the privilege of being purposely blocked on the walking/running track by a snarky 2nd grader while I am running. THREE TIMES.

-For the privilege of being stared add by 20 something grade schoolers as I run (slowly) around the track.

- For the privilege of dodging basketballs that don't make it in the net.

-For the privilege of almost being trampled by children who aren't watching where they are going.

-For the privilege of somewhere dry to run when the whether is rainy. (I clearly forgot that when the whether is rainy the afterschool program cannot play outdoors either.)

The only times that I can really think that this would be worth it is in the winter when it is snowy, or too cold. And even then, it would probably have to be in the morning to avoid all of the traffic issues.

HOWEVER---- I tried those 100 calorie packs of almonds for my pre-run snack, and I had LOTS of energy. So much so that I was really.... TICKED ( !!!!) to have to cut my run short.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Soccer Boy

I ran two miles yesterday.

Toward the end of it I felt like I was going to die had no energy left. Later it occurred to me that I had not eaten since lunchtime, and that meal was a salad and a yogurt. And by lunchtime, I actually mean 10:30 in the morning because that is the time that I have in my crazy hectic schedule to eat lunch. I didn't hit the pavement until 3:30pm. No WONDER I was running out of energy!

Even my brand new running socks from L. L. Bean couldn't keep my legs fresh and my body strong! I was so focused on getting home and getting out the door to RUN MY FUNK AWAY that I totally forgot to actually prepare for the run.

(I did run my funk away, by the way! yay endorphins!)

This dilemma, er, situation, begs the question:

How do I best do this?
Keep snacks in the car for the commute home?
Take an extra five minutes before I leave work and scarf down a yogurt?

Experimentation will ensue, and I know that I will have a PLAN soon.

On a personal note, I took my kiddos to dinner last night at a local diner. I adore doing this. My oldest is 4 years old, and in preschool, so he is ALL ABOUT writing his letters. It is the most awesome thing. He is a little sponge, and it is so exciting to watch him learn and take in the world around him! I adore him to pieces. It was a very, very fun evening.

Oh -- so I am giving the boys nicknames for the blog!

Older - age 4, runs like the wind, loves soccer .... Soccer Boy. That's his nickname! I just decided!
Younger - 6 months -- loves to be held --- Cuddle Bug. That will be HIS nickname. Yay!!!

I feel like a REAL blogger now.
Just sayin'.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The NEW Normal

I had no idea how difficult weaning would be.
It just happened in a very natural, easy way with my oldest son. However, he was over a year old at the time. Now I am actively trying to wean my six month old. It is coming to the point that I need to give him formula in the middle of the night because he is STARVING and I apparently have nothing left to give him. Now, I know that if I let him, he could very quickly get my supply back up to where it needs to be for me to keep nursing him at night time. But is it wrong of me to be ready for my morning routine to just be MY morning routine, and not "what time is my son going to wake up and be hungry this morning?"

All I can say is that it is a GOOD thing that I was in bed by 7:30, watching an episode of Roswell (I truly love Netflix instant on my iPod touch) and that I was asleep before 9pm, because J was up at 10, 2, 3, 4 and 5 -- at which point I told my husband "I have NOTHING left for him and he is starving. At least, I think that is what is going on. I am going to make him a bottle." I came back upstairs, and the little bugger LUNGED for the bottle and drank it in record time, and then proceeded to sleep until after I left for work. Poor starving baby! Tonight a bottle waiting to be made will be upstairs with me, ready to feed him when he needs it. I anticipate a higher quality (and quantity) of sleep to happen for all! Yay!!

Anyway, all of that preamble is to explain the reason why running in the morning before work has not been happening. Yesterday I counted on being able to run after work, but didn't anticipate being in a meeting with colleagues until 3:45, and not leaving school until close to 4. However, I used the commute to talk myself IN to running anyway, even if I only got in a mile. And that is what I did. I got changed faster than ever and pounded the pavement. I did intervals - fast running/slow running, to the timing of C25K week 3, and it KICKED MY BEHIND. Wow. My lungs were HURTING. Ow. At my fastest pace I have NO idea how fast I was going, but I was booking it. I was focusing on form, and footstrike and all that good stuff. I probably should have WALKED to recover, but I didn't. Lesson learned? I am not sure. Anyway, the point it, I got a run in, and I worked hard, and I felt great about making it happen, even though I didn't have enough time.

It is truly amazing how ADAPTIVE humans are, and how quickly things become normal. Think about it! 4 months ago I couldn't run for a mile, and now I am at the point where if I am running less than 2 or even 3, I can easily start berating myself. How quickly my NORMAL changed to something that used to be INCONCEIVABLE! That can be exciting --- but the same principle can also be dangerous ... and I think it is the reason that we slip out of the good habits so often. It only takes one missed workout or run for a new normal (that is really an old, unwelcome normal) to begin to form again. Vigilance is key!!

For me, the bottom line is my priorities.
I need to remember my priorities with every decision that I make, for as we all know, every decision can be a turning point. I don't want to keep TURNING AROUND. I want to keep making one good decision after another, walking in a straight (-ish) line toward the healthiest me that I can be!

Monday, October 11, 2010

4 mile attempt...

Truthfully, 5 miles were trod by my tired and sore feet. I did ,8 mile warm-up walk, and then the rest of the loop that I had mapped out was 4.2 miles. I had a GU Roctane to keep me going -- first time re-fueling on a run.

The first 2.5 miles were good. I was feeling strong. My pace was steady, and I think it was a little bit faster than my normal pace. Cool. The first .75 mile were familiar. Then I turned left. BRAND NEW PAVEMENT! It was so beautiful, and soft and squishy (not really... but very nice)! I was really enjoying the route!

And then I saw the hills. The major downhill was first. I was pretty relieved that I had chosen the direction that I had!
I got to about the 2.5 mile point and then I saw the huge UPHILL in front of me. Whoa. My legs just kind of stopped. I walked up the hill, and to the start last 1 mile part of the loop, which was all very familiar territory.

I started using the GU at about 1.75 miles, and just had a little bit every few minutes. I wasn't really sure about the best re-fueling methods, since I have never done long runs before, and for most people a 4 miler wouldn't be considered a long run, but it did take me an hour! Which means that my AVERAGE pace was just over 15 min/mile, and I did walk in the middle -- I think for at least a 1/4 mile, so my running pace had to have been below that. Cool! I am just getting stronger, which is great!

OH-- the weather was gorgeous. Cool, and crisp. I wore a new long sleeved "wicking" tee shirt from Kohls (on sale for $8!) and a vest with POCKETS!! YES! and my new RUN LIKE A MOTHER BondiBand, and I was good to go. Oh - I should mention that I was wearing my running shorts, that are like leggings, that go to just above my knee. Temperature wise I did get a little warm because of the vest in the sunnier portions, but overall, I felt good. :)

So-- I would love other runners to weigh in on this for me....
How would you describe what I did today?
5 miles, since I walked in the middle, it might seem silly to separate them like I did?
4 miles, since that was what I had planned for?
2.5 miles, then 1.25 miles?

Yes, I analyze things to death.
I do sort of feel like I am cheating when I have to take walking breaks. However -- I DO still feel like a runner, which I am happy about. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cold weather running (AKA All I really want)

I love researching running equipment and gear on the internet. I think it is a majority of what I do online. Research and compare prices of running gear and read running blogs. Yup. Before any purchase for my running habit is made, a minimum of one 1/2 hour of internet research has taken place. Ok, well.... maybe not a half an hour... I am pretty fast with Google Chrome. Anyway - the point I am trying to make is that I like to be informed before I get to the stores because:

A) We are on a budget. A small budget. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (seriously) love to outfit myself entirely in UnderArmour coldgear, and NorthFace, and then not even mentioning all of the new brands that I am learning about - like Runningchics and LuluLemon and so many others, but--- I usually end up at Target, Kohls or Walmart.

B) I like to know what I am looking for so that I can find similar products for less money so that my children can still eat, have diapers, and be clothed.

Running is deceptive.
You start out thinking that it is so inexpensive... just you and the road!

Then you realize that the shoes you have are ALL wrong for the gait that you have -- or else they are worn out and tired and making you more injury-prone.

Then you realize that the clothes that you have are all wrong.

Then the seasons change, and you realize that the clothes that you have a REALLY all wrong.

Then you find out about the uber-cool technology out there.... Nike+ and Garmin Forerunners

Then you learn about needing to "re-fuel" on longer runs... and what the heck IS Gu, anyway!!

All of this is to say that it is a CHALLENGE. I am trying to hard NOT to be materialistic, and to not be wanting everything that is out there -- and to be practical with our money. BUT I WANT EVERYTHING!!!!

It is hard for me to justify the purchases, but some of them I know that I absolutely NEED in order to be safe and protected in the elements. (Reflective gear, cold weather outfits) So I try to be as informed as possible so that I can know an adequate substitute when I find one.

SO in the mean time I just enter ever giveaway that I can find, and just keep learning. :)

Happy running!
Tomorrow I am going to try my longest distance -- 4+ miles! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Step away from the cupcake....

Mindless Intentional binge eating.
Detours specifically to hit fast food restaurants when hunger is not the problem.

This is where I have been. I just want to be accountable.

Things have been stressful and not healthy in our household. My husband is battling kidney stones. Like EPIC battle. Like they KEEP COMING BACK. ARGH. We had the ague of our four year old on Sunday, simultaneous with kidney stone attack #2. Monday I was sick, and that overlapped with kidney stone attack #3. On Tuesday, the baby was ailing, and that coincided with kidney stone attack #4. Yesterday was fine, complete with a Dr.'s appointment for the husband, and tonight, you guessed it, kidney stone attack #5. However.... he is working through the pain. He should be on his way home from work right now, actually.

I had an inservice day today, and all of our staff met at a school about 1/2 hour away from ours, which happily meant that I had only a 10 minute commute this morning! Oh the luxury of hitting snooze three more times! Another inservice day tomorrow, and then a lovely three day weekend! Yay!

I ran today during the lunch break. The cafeteria was so small that they had us eat in shifts, so during the "waiting for lunch" time (also known as the "running out of salad" time) I put on my running shoes and headed out to the football field and had a nice mile and a quarter walk/run. I did feel a bit conspicuous with my bright shiny sweaty red face in the lunch line afterwards, but it was worth it.

So in the midst of craziness, and bad decisions, there was a little glimmer of good decision.
Hopefully we can have MORE of those in the days to come, eh?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dempsey Challenge 5K!

What a great experience!

1. Long sleeved tee shirt in the goodie bag! Yay! Boy did we all need it -- it was CHILLY! I wore it until mile 2, and then took it off WHILE RUNNING -- ha!
2. Hearing Patrick Dempsey over the PA!! I didn't see him, because silly me I was doing a warm-up walk in a different part of the area.
3. FREE Gritty's beer at 10 o'clock on the morning!
4. bondi bands AND sweaty bands were at the vendor area!!!! I am so freaking excited!!! I have a beautiful new sweaty band and two bondi bands -- one that says "run like a mother"!!
5. the company -- I went with my friends Lori and Sharon, and it was just DELIGHTFUL!!!

Things I would have changed:

1. SO MANY HILLS! BIG HILLS. Oh my word.
2. I would stage the runners and walkers in different areas so that the super-athletic weaving around walkers that were 5 abreast wouldn't have had to happen for the first 8 minutes of the run!!
So-- all in all? FANTASTIC, and I am SO looking forward to next year!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

All the training is over.... RACE TIME!

After my first 5K on july 31st my friend and colleague suggested the Dempsey Challenge 5K for my next race. I committed to raise the necessary $150, and even exceeded that by raising $250! (Thank you to all of my relatives that are cheering me on!!)

Two whole months have elapsed and now it is the eve of the big race. I am so excited! I didn't get to train exactly the way that I wanted to train because a silly thing like having to go back to teaching got in the way! (hahaha.) Regardless, I am going to go out there, and run my race. I am not setting a time goal for the race. My goal is to run the entire race course. And-- if things happen and I am not able to because of elevation, or anything else that happens, I am still going to celebrate the improvements that I have made. After all, I didn't run at all before May 24th! It IS amazing what I have accomplished!

Oh-- and in case you were wondering, no, the scale and I are still not getting along, BUT my clothes and I are. :)

Well, the episode of Fame, Season 2, that I am watching on Netlix is almost over, and my head is drooping. The rain is falling, and I am grateful that it will help me to sleep tonight! The forecast tomorrow is beautiful and cool -- perfect for funning! I love the fall in Maine!