First, sorry I’ve been MIA for the last 3 weeks. Truthfully, I’ve been unmotivated to post lately. But I thought I’d share my recent experience with the new foot doctor I saw last week and also just ramble a little about what’s been on my mind today.

I was walking Duncan earlier and my mind was all over the place. I was trying to solve a million things and feeling frustrated that I was getting nowhere with every single thing. I was so annoyed and found myself being hard on myself for not coming up with solutions. And then it dawned on me that I can really be my own worst enemy.

My process is my process. I don’t always think linear and I sometimes take a while to process things before I can work it out. I don’t know why I struggle accepting it and just let it be. 

I know I’m a worrier, over thinker and over feeler…but I find myself constantly criticizing myself and being so hard on myself for being those things. Really! If I just accept that that’s my process I bet I could save myself a lot of angst. 

I think it’d be so cool if I could just “own it”. You know? Like  “Yeah, I’m going to get a bit whiny and emotional about this and hem and haw a bit but don’t worry….it’s just my process….and i’ll come through in the end.”

So that’s that.

Anyhoo. I’ll update you a bit about my #toewoes

My last run was over 2 months ago at the Big Chill 5k. I wanted to see if rest would help. Well actually I’m sort of lying. I ran for 3 whole minutes last week.

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I was walking around the neighborhood just enjoying a warmish day and the break in my workload and just felt this urge to run. But after 3 minutes I chickened out for fear that my foot would really hurt. The original toe injury really barely bothers me these days…..but it’s the toe on my other foot that has now become the main pain and driving me insane! #intentionalrhyming 🙂 My feet have actually started to slightly improve over the last 2 months but I decided to find a new foot doctor to go to anyway.

Last Thursday I had my first appointment with the new doc and wow….he spent 45 minutes with me! He did a thorough exam and was able to determine a few things that might be causing me the toe/forefoot pain. I have high arches to start. I also have this thing called Equinus, which is a fancy word for tight calves and limited ankle dorsiflextion. This can cause extra pressure to the ball of the foot. Probably caused by a decade of running without stretching very much. I have neuromas on both feet which could be contributing to the pain as well. And lastly after doing x-rays he noticed that my metatarsal heads aren’t aligned well. Apparently they should sort of fan out and I have a few that are the same length and parallel which also puts too much pressure on my toe joints. The doc didn’t say this but i’m probably about 10 pounds heavier these days thanks to such a huge decrease in calorie burn and huge increase in making poor food choices and I know that means my feet have to support that extra weight which can’t be helpful. 🙁

He taped my feet up to support my arches and added metatarsal pads too to see if wearing that for a week would help.

I feel like a Geisha

I feel like a Geisha

Metatarsal pads

Metatarsal pads

Unfortunately after 4 days I couldn’t take it anymore and removed all the tape and pads. It wasn’t working. It actually made my feet feel worse. He also told me to start stretching my calves religiously 3 times a day, every single day. I’ve been doing that and I think it’s actually helped me some. I know it could take up to 12 weeks of this to really lengthen the calf muscles so probably too soon to tell. But wow! Go Google Equinus and read about all the things tight calves can exacerbate….it’s wild!

We talked about next steps and I have a follow-up appointment this Thursday. We might try orthotics to go along with the calf stretching and just see if that helps. He mentioned alcohol sclerosing injections or cortisone shots for the neuromas but I’m not ready for that as I don’t think the neuromas are my source of pain. It feels more like joint pain rather than nerve pain. Lastly he wants me to get some bloodwork to detect for possible arthritis.

It has been so long that I’ve woken up to yet another day of foot pain. Do you know the discomfort when you’re shoes are a few sizes too tight or your socks are so thick your feet hurt in the shoe or they’re too narrow? Yeah, that’s the discomfort I’ve felt in some capacity pretty much daily for 10 months.

Emotionally this has been quite a challenge. I spent the Spring and Summer doing yoga, swimming and riding my bike—trying to convince myself I was staying physically fit and emotionally fit too. But yoga started to irritate my feet (those downward dogs and planks!) and then the winter arrived and I stopped swimming and biking. I’m not getting any high-impact cardio at this point. I have managed to at least 2 night hikes a month though.

I love how the sky looks reddish.

I love how the sky looks reddish.

These Altra Lone Peak trail shoes have been amazing! They are the most comfortable things ever.

These Altra Lone Peak trail shoes have been amazing! They are the most comfortable things ever.

I’m missing my double digit long runs. Just yesterday I pulled up my iTunes playlists and there at the top was one titled “10 mile music”. I started to cry. I told you I’m an over feeler!

In the meantime I’ve been finding other outlets that aren’t exercise related. There’s been red wine and coloring book therapy.

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And I set up a SnapChat account just so I can play around with the filters. Apparently fake eyelashes and a bow do wonders for me 🙂

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Oh and carbs…lots of carbs.

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Mr. SOTSS and I tried to politely share a tub of popcorn at the movies but we kept bumping in to each other. Now that I think about it maybe he was trying to deter me by grabbing my hand. LOL!

I’m about to have some major life changes happening over the next few months. I’ll save it for the next post. But Duncan will have to get used to being separated from me a little more. Or maybe I should say I will have to get used to being separated from Duncan a little more.

Am I going back to being a latchkey pup again?

Am I going back to being a latchkey pup again?

inseparable

inseparable

Sigh! It’s all good though. All exciting stuff!

How are you?

Tell me some highlights of your last 3 weeks.

I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a Happy Holiday season. I probably won’t be posting again until the new year. Thank you so much for coming here to visit.

I design my holiday card every year. It’s a creative outlet I look forward to and dread each year but somehow I figure it out. Duncan was the star of the card again this year.

a little sarcasm this year

a little sarcasm this year

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This blog is another creative outlet for me and it’s really awesome when I hear from you and feel like I’ve got a little bonus world of friends.

Not much has happened since I told you about the Big Chill 5K earlier this month. Well Richard the elf and Jingles, his reindeer sidekick have been busy…

baking

baking

Crossword time

Crossword time

As a matter of fact I haven’t run a single mile since. I’m still nursing my poor feet. Bursitis, tendinitis….whatever I have, it’s so frustrating. But I do a bit of improvement in the last day or two so maybe by 2018 I’ll be ready to run? One good thing about all my injuries this year is that I don’t even think I fee sad anymore. My expectations have plummeted and I’ll just be happy to run at all next year.

I haven’t even been to yoga in over a week. And the last hike I went on was 3 weeks ago.

Duncan is still keeping up with his downward dog though

Duncan is still keeping up with his downward dog though

The seasons sure have changed as we officially enter Winter today…

Just a little side-by-side from a couple of weeks apart

Just a little side-by-side from a couple of weeks apart

I love the color contrast and pattern of the snow on the green shrub

I love the color contrast and pattern of the snow on the green shrub

snowface

snowface

it's getting cold

it’s getting cold

Since I’m on a running hiatus I thought I’d share some of my silly neighborhood holiday decorations runs with you.

There was the Candy Cane EditionIMG_7942

And a Walk in 2014 thanks to a sprained ankle.

And my innaugural holiday decorations run in 2013 where I discovered the square snowman…iceman

Well, I’ve got a client call in 22 minutes and then it’s work.work.work. I’m thrilled to be so busy in Q4 but it’s hard to find the time to enjoy the spirit of the season.

Here’s to a happy and healthy new year! I wish you all strong bodies and minds and less stress.

Happy Happy Holidays!

What is your most favorite part of the holiday season? Least favorite?

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?

Hi there

Happy Friday. I’m trying to get my butt out the door for a 22 minute run today but have this annoying cold/congestion thing going on and I’m not as energetic as I’d like to be. But of course after not being able to run for so long I know i’ll have a hard time skipping a run because of the sniffles. I just need to blow my nose a few more times and then get out the door. 🙂

Last Sunday I ran 18 minutes and felt really great. It was drizzly but there was still a little crunch to the autumn leaves that have started to fall.

 

 

It made me a little weepy to know that after 10 consecutive years, I wasn’t able to run the Staten Island Half. Last year it poured but i was prepared for the inclement weather and finished with a smile on my face.

IMG_6676I remember running it in 2011 and made it a 20 miler in preparation for my very first marathon a month later. I ran 7 miles before the race began and when I crossed the finish line I was definitely hurting….

Gasping for air? LOL! Oh back in 2011 when I carried a water bottle. I loved that thing.

Gasping for air? LOL! Oh back in 2011 when I carried a water bottle. I loved that thing.

And in 2009 and 2010 I was just so darn happy

2009 Staten Island Half

2009 Staten Island Half

2010 Staten Island Half

2010 Staten Island Half

Good memories! Meanwhile I just looked at my race recaps page. Wow, no recaps for 2017? Cray Cray. I sure hope 2018 will be filled with recaps for all my favorite races. Maybe even some new ones. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

On Tuesday I ran for 20 minutes. Still increasing the time 2 minutes per run with success.torin-30I tried out a new pair of Altra Running sneakers for this run. Having enjoyed walking in the Altra Escalante for a few months, and then transitioning to running in them with success, I wanted to try a more cushioned pair. I bought the Torin 3.0. They felt AWESOME! But I’m actually going to exchange them for a half size up. The Escalante’s are an 8 but I think these felt a bit snug so I’m going to try and 8.5. Interestingly I read online (after I bought them) they actually suggest you get a half size up in this style. I’m now obsessed with this whole foot shaped toe box thing that Altra provides with their kicks. Altra also makes trail/hiking shoes that I’ve got my eye on. Gee, you’d think I was sponsored by them. Comfy feet has become more important to me than anything lately. The Altra sneakers also are a zero drop shoe, and while I wasn’t seeking out a zero drop when I got my first pair, I really like them. I’ll probably have to run a lot more miles in them to decide whether or not I think the zero drop helps or hinders my running stride.

And so I’ll continue adding 2 minutes per run and according to the calendar I’ll hit a solid 30 minutes on October 25th, my 44th birthday!!!! I remember when a 20 miler was a milestone….and now i’m excited to  reach 30 minutes. Injuries are humbling.

He's so tired of hearing me talk about my injuries

He’s so tired of hearing me talk about my injuries

Anyone with a birthday coming up?

Any zero drop shoe runners?

Favorite Season?

 

Hi there.

Happy FriYAY! I figured I should let you guys know how my slow return to running has been going.

But first I wanted to just share a happier Las Vegas moment. After waking up earlier this week to the news of the horrific event that happened at the Rt. 91 music festival I was very sad as the rest of the country was too. It’s just so scary to think that we are just living in a world where things like this can happen. Anyway, I hate when we start to associate a specific place to a terrible event. Boston marathon bombings were a prime example. You literally can’t even Google “Boston Marathon” without seeing images from that bombings. While with all of history, we must not forget, I truly believe it’s helpful to re-associate with fonder times. So here’s my Las Vegas happy moment story…

Back in the fall of 1998, my boyfriend at the time, who was in the later stages of Melanoma, and I decided to get married. We opted to go to Las Vegas and get married in Red Rock Canyon which is right outside of the city/strip area. On 11.7.98 we sort of eloped but we did have about 6 guests. We stayed at the Mirage hotel. It was all sorts of awesome.

Welcome to the jungle... of the Mirage hotel lobby

Welcome to the jungle… of the Mirage hotel lobby

I went back on 11.7.99 for what would have been our 1st wedding anniversary (he passed away in April of 99). And sent a note attached to some balloons up in the air from the exact spot we were married at.

11.7.98 in the front photo and 11.7.99 in the back photo

11.7.98 in the front photo and 11.7.99 in the back photo

The note asked him to send me a rainbow. I know….corny right? But on the flight back to New York the next day I saw a rainbow! From the sky! It gave me this comfort that has stayed with me. It made me realize that we are always connected to our loved ones who’ve passed. It’s the hope I have for each and every person who has lost someone.

OK….now to awkwardly transition to my petty return to running update.

A few overall thoughts.

  1. It’s scary and i constantly worry about getting re-injured again
  2. I’m still not convinced that I’m “healed”
  3. I’m loving these short runs in that they don’t take much of a commitment to get done

OK, last Thursday I dropped Duncan off at the groomer and went to a soccer field 5 minutes up the road where they have super soft and cushy astroturf.

The final product. Poofy cuteness

The final product. Poofy cuteness

 

 

I figured what better way to re-introduce my body to running than with a flat/soft surface with easy access to my car in case anything went wrong. I don’t have to tell you how happy I was to be running. 10 minutes of finally feeling like myself.

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It ended before I even got into my groove though. Overall I’ll say it was a success. I had no pain while running but as I did last time I got back to running I do feel the toe and the entire forefoot just feels “weird” sometimes a bit achy or tingly usually before and after the run. This has been the case for all 3 runs. (I bumped it up to 12 minutes on run #2 which was 3 days later and 14 minutes 3 days after that. I’m toying with the idea of backing down to 12 minutes today. I’m just so scared! I’ve been doing all my PT stuff too and I guess I’ll just keep taking it slow this month.

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I literally just registered for the Trenton 5K on 10/28.

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I’m guessing I’ll be running about 30 minutes straight by then so a 5k seems fairly doable. I’ve officially switched to my Altra Escalante shoes for running as they are the most comfortable for my feet although I’m worried that I don’t have much arch support. I’m going to the running store this weekend to poke around and see what other shoe options there are. I DEFINITELY need wide toe box but I also need arch support AND cushioning.

If I can keep my running short and easy for the next 3 months maybe my body will complete the final stages of healing and maybe, just maybe I can start 2018 fresh. I have to keep reminding myself that I MUST run in order for my body to get back to adapting to impact. Stress and rest….mantra city!

So that’s the scoop. I’m cautiously running and feeling foot “weirdness” and achy but no pain.

How are you? What’s on your weekend agenda?

Anything fun? Anyone have a return to running story to share?