Monday, 27 April 2015

So this is happening...

What exactly is 'this' you ask?  This would be the inside of my right knee.  Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about my terrible run?  I mentioned in that post that my knee was bothering me in a way it only bothers me when I need a new pair of shoes.  So I retrieved a new pair of shoes from my stockpile (I found the Brooks Pure Cadence 2 for $37.50 a pair...I bought 8 pairs).  The discomfort eased up for awhile, but has increased again over the last week.  So as any runner nearing the end of a training cycle would do, I have pulled out all the stops on self treatment.  I have stepped up the stretches I was given by physio 3 years ago.  When being treated for ITBS and some foot/ankle issues at that time I had some medial knee pain as my body realigned itself.  A week of those hip flexor stretches made all the difference that time.

I've been bag-o-corn icing.

Rolling with "The Stick."

And spending some quality time with the foam roller.

Even with all this after Saturday's 14 miler my knee was complaining as much as Jonas Valanciunus complains to the refs.
So I decided dropping $20 on some magic KT Tape would be worth my while.  I taped it up Saturday evening and on my Sunday morning 5 miler the discomfort was less of a constant whine, and more of an intermittent mutter (like a 6 year old asked to tidy his room), with no pain at all the rest of the day.  This morning's 7 miler was pain free.   

I was VERY skeptical the first time I tried KT Tape.  I mean really, I'm plunking this piece of tape on my sore joint/bone/muscle/tendon, and you're telling me it's actually going to do something?  But I must say every time I have used it I have found it shockingly effective.  I used it for anterior shin splints when we were training for the Ottawa Marathon, and for a short time for an ITBS flare up when we were training for the Bluenose Marathon.  

From the KT Tape website:

KT TAPE is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, external support that helps you remain active while recovering from injuries. KT Tape creates neuromuscular feedback (called proprioception) that inhibits (relaxes) or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction commonly associated with wraps and heavy bracing. KT Tape gives you confidence to perform your best.

I must say, they've made a believer out of me.  A single taping usually lasts about 3 days even with daily workouts (sweating) and showering.  There are a number of different colours available, but I have found that green and yellow sticks better than purple and blue (strange??).  The KT Tape website has videos showing ways to tape various injuries.  Don't take this as personal medical advice...I am just a nurse after all, but I can tell you I have had incredible success pairing KT Tape with other diligent injury self care like icing, stretching, and rolling.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The one where I didn't have an idea what to blog about.

It's a year of Big Goals around here. Run 100km, raise $10 000+ for The Hospital for Sick Children, blog twice a week and a personal goal for me (Leigh); grow an epic beard. All of these goals are things we haven't done before and each will present it's own set of unique challenges. So far today I have engaged in the process of epic beard growing, and ran a long run, so to make it a trifecta of goal achievement I'm going to throw down something resembling a blog for ya'll.

So without further adieu, I present:

5 Things That Leigh Wants To Tell You About

1. I have been rocking new shoes for ultra training.

Since early November (the weekend of Lexie's BQ attempt in the Hammer) I have been wearing Hoka's. For those of you not interested in clicking that link, Hoka's are a 'Maximal' shoe that have a large degree of padding in the forefoot and heel to cushion your stride and protect your joints. they look like this:

Despite their space boot appearance, they are some of the lightest shoes I have ever owned. Unfortunately,  I have gotten used to their cushy feel so they just feel like normal shoes to me now, but so far they have served me well. I have had the usual aches and pains that come with high volume training, but so far have been injury free (everyone do whatever lucky thing they do RIGHT NOW to avoid the jinx). I am currently trying to convince Lex to give them a whirl, but she doesn't like changing things up as much as I do. If you know anyone at Hoka, tell them about my love for their shoes. I would gladly shill for them. 

2. We have been asked to be Ambassadors for The Great Canadian Run

This week, Lexie and I received an email from one of the race organizers for the relay asking us if we would be interested in being ambassadors again this year. We obviously accepted because we are all about The Great Canadian Run and want to do whatever we can do spread the word and get more cash into the hands of the people at Sick Kids. 

So what does this mean for us? It means we promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the run to everyone and anyone we know via facebook, twitter, email, verbal communication, and snapchat (just kidding, I don't know what that is). We will have access to some great material that can help us in our fundraising efforts, and we get a cool t-shirt that I promise I will show you when they arrive. Which will be a blog post of it's own. If you want to follow us on twitter we are @runningfor555 tell your friends, we will need all the help we can get to make it to $10 000.

3. Today this song came on at the end of our run, and it was awesome!

A funny thing happens when Lexie and I run long very long. So far we have done 2-20 milers, a 24 miler, and 26.2 miler. By about mile 18 of each of these runs we are usually too tired to talk to each other anymore. So today I had the genius idea to bring Lexie's phone in my hydration pack, so artists could sing to us instead, and we were lucky enough to hear this HUGE TUNE! 

4. We have been eating all the food and going to bed at 8pm

Running 50 miles a week has its negatives. For example, I spend most of my day thinking about going to bed at 8pm. Which we have accomplished 5 times already this week. Which may seem like a positive, except most of my conversations at work go like this: 

Student/Colleague: "Leigh/Sir, did you see/do that amazing thing that everyone else saw on TV/did last night that was totally amazing and you will never get to see/do again?"

Me: "No, when was it on/did it happen?"

Student/Colleague: "8:04pm"

Me: "Nope, I was sleeping"

On a more positive note, I have been eating so much food and not caring at all about the consequences. Which is awesome, unless I don't have food, then I get hangry, which is a real thing FYI

What food are we eating you ask? Well the answer is simple: Yes.

5. I can't count

See you guys next week for my next blog post!

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Run

Recently our weekend running schedule had an 18 miler followed by a 12 miler for the next day.  Now, 18 miles is no baby food...But after countless 20 mile (plus) training runs, 3 marathons, and a 50K, this run should not have been an issue.  Given the fact that I am here, telling you about it, you must know that it was.

From the first step it went something like this...
Just like Russel, I really really didn't want to keep going.  My knee actually did hurt, which only ever happens when my shoes are dead.  My legs felt like tree trunks, heavy dead tree trunks.  I was tight and fatigued and expected my legs to wake up.  The miles passed, and my legs never woke up.  I stopped to stretch 4 times, which I never do.  I considered calling Leigh to come and pick me up.  And as my crowning achievement, I stopped at Tim Horton's to use the bathroom, just so that I could sit down for a few minutes...IT WAS BAD!  
Don't google "Tim Horton's Bathroom."  Trust me.  source
By some miracle I slogged the whole way through and finished the 18 miles.  I hobbled downstairs to see how Leigh was faring on the treadmill.  He of course asked how my run went, and with dramatic flare I told him it was surprisingly, and shockingly, and horrifyingly terrible.  His response?  "I know, right?!"  Seems that I was not alone in the sufferfest.  I later learned that Leigh one upped me, not using a potty break as an excuse to sit down, but actually getting off the treadmill to lay down on the basement floor.

Needless to say I was not looking forward to running 12 miles the next day.  Without a rest day, I presumed the sufferfest would continue, and that I would have to find me another Tim Horton's with a clean bathroom.  Much to my surprise...It was fine.  Not stellar, not amazing...But fine.

When it was fine, I got to thinking, isn't that just the same as life.  Don't we all have days as spouses, or parents, or employees where we just need to stop at the proverbial Tim Horton's bathroom and sit down for a minute, or get off the treadmill and lay on the basement floor?  And then what happens?  We do what we have to do, we slog through the challenge, and eventually it's fine.  It's not always stellar, or amazing, but it's fine.  And sometimes, compared to surprisingly, shockingly, and horrifyingly terrible, fine is pretty darn good.