I want to start this post by saying I am so grateful to be healthy in the big picture. My friend’s husband was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago and has lost the ability to do major things like walk, talk or even type with his fingers. He is currently using his EYES to type! I cannot even imagine.

So it sounds ridiculous that I’m going to post about my toe but here we go…

I had two great runs back to back this past weekend. Friday I wore a new pair of sneakers and enjoyed running with very little discomfort from my hamstrings.

New sneakers....old snow

New sneakers….old snow

I was so happy to feel like I had pep in my step that Saturday I went out again for what was supposed to be 3 miles but I felt so good I went on to cover almost 5.5 miles.

Best run I've had all year!

Best run I’ve had all year!

It was the biggest emotional boost to finally feel improvement. It could have been the new sneakers or the fact that all my diligence with strengthening my hamstrings, glutes, adductors and hips was paying off. All I know is that I was so happy.

However, I felt my toes on my left foot getting tingly and numb while running and thought maybe the new sneakers were tied too tight or hadn’t been broken in enough but really paid little mind. By Saturday evening I felt a little more discomfort and started to avoid putting too much weight on my toe. Same thing with Sunday. It felt like a bruise under the toe between the middle joint and the ball of my foot (metatarsal head).

Yesterday, after a crappy workday I decided to go out for a run. I wanted to just de-stress. I started with some foam rolling. IMG_8591

Duncan joined me.

Duncan joined me.

Well it wasn’t pretty and the toe pain got worse until I limped home after covering 3/4 of a mile.

WTF???

WTF???

Interestingly the toe is the same one that I banged on my trampoline a couple months ago and lost part of the toe nail. I first thought maybe it was a fracture. Maybe I injured it more than I thought when I banged it and eventually the pounding of running fractured it. But today I found that as I loosened up my hamstrings and calves on the foam roller and with some stretching the pain in my toe decreased. It turned into more of a pins and needles thing. (I’ve been icing it too).

After researching the internet on and off all day I’ve (foolishly and stubbornly) decided to diagnose myself with either bursitis, capsulitis or Morton’s Neuroma. Any which way you slice it the problem is that there is inflammation. I hate inflammation! Inflammation is a four letter word to me.

How could I go from a happy and feeling great run to limping? I’m walking normally today thanks to some makeshift padding around the metatarsal head. And I’m PRAYING that it calms down 100 percent for Sunday’s race.

So for now I’m just going to remain calm.

In other news…the dogs are still as adorable as ever.

book ends

book ends

How are you? What’s new?

It was exactly 4 years ago that Dicks Sporting Goods shared a video series called Every Runner Has a Reason, A thirteen part web series about runners and what they run for. I was lucky to be featured in one of those videos. I hadn’t started my blog yet and I thought I’d share a little bit about that experience on this 4th anniversary.

Every Runner Has a Reason

Every Runner Has a Reason

It all started through the social media world. Someone knew someone on Facebook who worked for the agency that was tasked with this campaign and had posted a request for stories. My friend Lisa and I submitted our story and the rest was history.

Lisa and I worked together and she was well into her pursuit of completing a marathon in every state, one of many running goals that seemed impossible to me, a girl who loved to exercise but was not a runner. I was intrigued by Lisa’s running goals, and where running took her. She had an amazing circle of running friends that met often to train and then travel to various states throughout the year to run a marathon.

More than 5 years had passed since my husband died of cancer. He was 29 and I was 25 and I was feeling fairly blah. I was going through the motions of life but didn’t have anything to get excited about and felt like I wasn’t fitting in with most of my friends who were either getting married, having children or moving forward in family life. Lisa helped inspire me to start running. First a mile by myself. Then a few miles with her running group and in 2006 I ran my very first race, a 4.8 miler in Central Park. I was hooked. Each year I only became more and more excited about it all. Running, friends, traveling….I felt like I had finally found an identity that could replace “widow”. Sally, the runner sounded and felt so much better than Sally, the widow. I had found a “family” and felt complete.

a behind the scenes shot during filming of the video. The crew was so great. They loved Duncan and worked hard to make sure he wasn't in the shot. :)

a behind the scenes shot during filming of the video. The crew was so great. They loved Duncan and worked hard to make sure he wasn’t in the shot. :)

It’s hard to believe that I’ve run over 35 half marathons and 7 full marathons over the last decade. If it weren’t for Lisa I don’t know where I’d be today. I’m grateful to Dicks Sporting Goods for finding our story compelling enough to use in their campaign. They even made a TV commercial using snippets from each of the videos.

Without further ado, here’s the video: (note: some of you might have already seen it as I link to it in my about me page.)

You can also read more about my entire experience of filming (including being part of a photo shoot in Charleston, SC too) when I documented it here in my 2013 recap post.

What’s your reason? What do you run for?

Downgraded Blizzard! :) I get such a kick out of weather lingo. Our blizzard watch was downgraded to a a winter storm warning. Basically after about 4 inches of snow it turned into sleet and rain. I feel bad for all the kids who were excited that they closed schools because this isn’t the kind of weather you can hang out in and build a snowman. The sleet pelts your face and HURTS. It’s 10am and I’ve only take 150 steps. If I plan to reach my 10k step goal I’ll have to get creative.

After taking 3 days off from running I got my long run in yesterday.

pre-run selfie

pre-run selfie

I wanted to give myself a 4th day of rest but knowing the snow was coming I figured better take advantage of dry ground. I set out at about 4pm. and was done before 6. And it was STILL DAYLIGHT! Sunset is now at 7pm thanks to Daylight Savings and that makes me very happy!

post-run selfie

post-run selfie

The first 6 miles of the run felt really good. I could still feel my hamstrings a bit but overall felt good. I had pep in my step for the first time in a while and I was in a rhythm ticking off miles in the 10 minute range. I felt that emotional lift that long runs bring me. I was reminded how much I love distance running and once I’m not injured anymore I can get back to running more mileage.

Yassss!

Yassss!

And I’m obsessed with my latest iTunes download: Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran. That song makes me so happy. By mile 7 I had slowed down but my breathing was fine (Yay for my lungs! I think I’m finally done with being sick 4 weeks later). The last 2 miles were painful. And today, as I write this my hamstrings/hips/groin area are so sore. I’ll be ensuring that I take a few days off in between runs from now until the Love Run and continue to be diligent about my rehabbing. I know overall things are better. It takes a lot more mileage to overload my hamstrings than it used to.

I saw these Spring flowers just starting to appear yesterday and today they’re covered in 6 inches of snow!IMG_8255

And lots of seagulls kept me company. It was actually creepy quiet where I was running the first 3 miles and I got a weird vibe from a guy out in the brush by the water so I turned around and ran the rest of my miles along the busy roads. Better safe than sorry. IMG_8214

IMG_8256

That’s the longest run I’ll do before the Love Run half at the end of this month. Well, I better go outside to keep shoveling my downgraded blizzard snow 😉

Do you ever feel unsafe when running?

Do you have to shovel today?

Do you have a song you’re obsessed with lately?

Hi there,

TGIF! Hope y’all had a good week. Tomorrow I had planned to run 10 miles in preparation for the Love Run half marathon coming up on March 25th. But after two not so amazing 4 mile runs this week thanks to my hamstring situation I decided to take a few days off and delay that 10 miler. I’m thinking of shooting for Tuesday. That’ll give me 3-4 days off to let things settle a bit. Of I couldn’t resist joining some of my hiking friends for some winter fun this morning in the snow.

Wait for meeeeee!

Wait for meeeeee!

We had a quick storm that left a few inches and Duncan and I enjoyed the couple of hours out on the trails in the winter wonderland.

Hmm, red trail or blue?

Hmm, red trail or blue?

There's nothing better than fresh fallen snow in the woods

There’s nothing better than fresh fallen snow in the woods

My little hiker

My little hiker

This is the gate that is at the entrance of the parking area at the trail head. It's like sculpture.

This is the gate that is at the entrance of the parking area at the trail head. It’s like sculpture.

Speaking of winter fun, last Sunday Mr SOTSS and I took his 2 girls and my niece skiing in Pennsylvania.

That's my niece behind me! Yes, I was able to snap photos and video while skiing. I just held both poles in the other hand. I'm so talented.

That’s my niece behind me after skiing down the “big mountain” for the first time! She did amazing. Yes, I was able to snap photos and video while skiing. I just held both poles in the other hand. I’m so talented.

This was only the 3rd time each of the girls has been on skis. Last year when we took them they had a lesson and this year we started on the bunny slope but after about an hour they all felt comfortable trying out the big mountain trails. I’m so excited that I was able to teach my niece AND Mr. SOTSS’ older daughter (she’s almost 14) how to turn.

Last run of the day. She was so excited that I taught her how to turn she wanted to practice. I'm so proud of her.

Last run of the day. She was so excited that I taught her how to turn she wanted to practice. I’m so proud of her.

Once it clicked for them they got so much more confident and fell a whole lot less :) It was a great day filled with lots of laughs.

A daddy/daughter chill session

A daddy/daughter chill session

Taking a quick nap before the struggle to get back up.

Taking a quick nap before the struggle to get back up.

My week was pretty typical. Duncan and I had our usual walks and trips to the pet store and as I said earlier, I got two 4 mile runs in. 5FE323DB-FA12-48D9-9041-ACE6E46FED3FThe first one on Tuesday was in the rain but it was about 50 degrees and felt really refreshing. IMG_8144The second one yesterday ended up being more of a trail run/walk. IMG_8177

happy trails

happy trails

IMG_8176I ran past the golf course and since it was 63 yesterday there were golfers in action. Hard to believe that today it snowed.

golfers

golfers

So now I’m going to do all the rehabbing for the next few days and see how it goes next week when I pick back up with training.

What is your idea of Winter fun? Indoors or Outdoors?

Any fun weekend plans?

What are your favorite glute, hamstring and hip strengthening exercises?

Don’t forget to turn the clocks ahead this weekend if you’re in Daylight Savings.