Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Now let's get on with the recovery: Arnica Montana

Arnica Montana
It comes in a little bottle with a plain white label.  It's called Arnica Montana and the lovely couple who run the local health store recommended it for it's chief value:  helping bones knit faster. Yes, I'm back on the road to recovery and it can't happen fast enough. But then you knew that I'd try anything didn't you.

This may all be mental (Sally will of course have a point-of-view on my mental state) but for $6 I figure I can't go wrong.  Of course the workouts in the pool 3 times each week are key to keeping fit and staying in shape but if this helps speed up the healing then Arnica Montana pills under the tongue each morning washed down with a cup of coffee it is!  

The real motivation in trying Arnica Montana along with the daily Calcium supplement (I HATE milk) is that I can't get this 'foot cast' off soon enough.  Little old ladies on the subway have been offering me their seat!  Really?  It's bad enough that I caused this foot injury trying to compete with my younger self but I can't bear the thought of another nice Grandmother feeling sorry for me.  And no, I don't take it from them...but the thought does cross my mind. 

Until next time..


Follow me on Facebook at Run for Heart.  Race for 2012: Reggae Marathon, December 1.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Is this the day I no longer run?

The Boot
It certainly seems so.

After last week's running 'incident' where I injured my right foot (Bike Ride Injured My Foot) I came to this realization:  it's time to take running seriously. More correctly, I have to take better care of myself if I want to continue to run.  The stress fracture that I suffered as a result of carelessness was totally avoidable.  I wanted to put in a tempo run before going bike riding. Oops...not 30 years old any more.

I'd been doing speed work at the local track over the past few months so I figured an intense workout on the short 2 km run up to Brad's place would be OK.  Unfortunately I broke (bad pun) the cardinal rule of training:  I didn't adjust for the change in surface.  At the track it's a hard earth surface.  Much easier on the feet and legs.  The 2 km to Brad was cement side walk.  Not so good for feet and legs.  And unfortunately as I have now experienced with this stress fracture not so good for me.  "If only I had listened to Sally and taken the truck".

Through all of this Sally has been gracious and hasn't said "I told you so".  I know she's thinking it though. But she has been super supportive.  She took me to get my walking cast last Wednesday morning and in a moment of madness even offered to drive me to work so I wouldn't have to endure the challenges of the TTC.  And she continually reminds me that this is serious and needs complete recovery before I get back to running.  She sent me this great, in-depth article:  Stress Fractures of the Foot.

But after 30 years of running nearly every day in all conditions and through every ache and pain (and injury), having to wear 'The Boot' has been a blessing.  Truth be told, I feel relieved!  Don't get me wrong, I love running but I also like swimming and cycling.  This injury has 'given me permission' to transition to a more rounded physical regimen respecting the fact that I can't keep 'pounding the pavement' with the same single-minded intensity.  With this injury biking will have to wait until next spring but the pool beckons.  And get this, not just with swimming lengths, but with 'water running'.  I had my first experience last Sunday and loved it all.  For a primer on running in the pool, take a look at the video below from Olympian Carrie Tollefson who I met at Reggae Marathon a couple of years ago. (Check out her train tips here at:  Mental Toughness) I tried it, I liked it... it is one heck of a workout with virtually no stress on the knees or feet.  "I'll be back!"

The immediate goal now is to stay in shape while recovering fully so that I can handle the Reggae Marathon 10K December 1 in Negril.

So today is not the day I no longer run but it is the day that I don't run every day.

Until next time...



Follow me on Facebook at Run for Heart.  Race for 2012: Reggae Marathon, December 1.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Willie Wonka Saturday morning

I'll be back Dec 1, 2012
Willie Wonka is not a movie for kids. Cleavage, cows being whipped (whipped cream), Johnny Depp insulting kids. Fantastic stuff...for grown-ups...on drugs!  But sitting in the waiting room of a local walk in clinic last Saturday there I was watching Willie Wonka feeling as I had been transported into an Alice in Wonderland psychedelic dream world.  Maybe that was a good thing because I was waiting to see a Doctor about a new injury to my right foot and it helped distract me from the thought going through my mind, "What special hell brought me to this?"

"The sharp pain in my right foot every I take a step, that's what". Last week on my way to a bike ride with my friend Brad I 'did something' to my right foot...again! (Read about it:  Took a Ride on the Giant...and Injured my Foot).  Not my left foot, never my left foot.  Not my knees or hips.  My right foot, my Achilles Heel.  Bad pun I know but I'm in a walk-in clinic watching Willie Wonka on the Saturday morning of a long weekend...the last one of the summer!  At least I listened to Sally this time and went to see a Doctor rather than my usual self medication routine.  And it only took me 4 days to get medical treatment this time.

The real fear running through my head watching Johnny Depp was that after the past 3 years of right foot-related injuries my running days were coming to an end!

"Say it ain't so". 

Miles and Age are conspiring against me, I know they are. 'MileAge' likes the Before guy with the size 42" waist and is determined to see him return. You see, 'MileAge' likes salty snacks and beer. He likes a sedentary lifestyle.  'MileAge' does NOT like running. He would love the Doctor to tell me that it will take 4 - 6 weeks to recover from this injury whether it is a muscle/tendon strain or a broken bone.  

And that's just what the Doctor ordered when I finally got to see him that morning.  He didn't think I had broken any bones but sent me for X-Rays anyway (Results in a few days).  But the recovery prescription was the same:  no running for 4 to 6 weeks.  Dam, that puts the Toronto 1/2 Marathon and 2012 Fund Raising in serious jeopardy.  Not to mention the goal of finishing the 1/2 Marathon in under 2 hours.  Time to re-group.

Water Running.  Wait, did the Willie Wonka movie screw up my mental capacity?  Actually not.  Dan Cumming of Reggae Marathon Fame is a seasoned runner, author, blogger (Running in the Zone) and good friend and his first advice was to try water running.  Hmmm...we have a pool in our building, this is a good time to give it a try. Maybe the local municipal pool will have a big-screen TV playing Rocky Horror Picture Show...or Willie Wonka!

So all is not lost. No road running for a few weeks to recover fully.  Water running to stay race-ready for both the Toronto 1/2 Marathon in October and the Reggae Marathon 10 K in December.  Yes, I may have to spend the next few months in a pool wearing a flotation belt but this is not the day I no longer run! 

Until next time...
++++++Follow me on Facebook at Run for Heart.  Races for 2012: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 1/2 Marathon, October 14, Reggae Marathon, December 1 

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