Sunday, June 19, 2016

Not Rushing the Recovery



Another week spent in recovery mode, and I'm pretty proud how well it went for me. Theme? I'm going with, "Not Rushing the Recovery."

There were not many miles in the running shoes this past week, and I'm quite alright with that. After doing back-to-back half marathons (Dam to Dam on June 4th and Grinnell Games on June 11th), my wonky heel was ready for some down time. Oddly, it actually was less "achy-breaky" after the second race than it was following the first one (no complaints on that paradox). None the less, I had absolutely nothing to gain (and further injury at bay) if I didn't give it some rest.

Monday, I decided to head to the lake and do an easy mile on the trail. So far, I'm batting 1000 on my #nevermissaMonday's. The weather was balmy and there was not much of a breeze. I rode my bike out there, ran a lap and decided to walk another...and half way around the lake, it started to rain. Ha! I probably could have run the remainder of that second lap, but the rain actually felt refreshing (and I was already wet from sweat).
Photobombed by Max and getting caught in the rain....it happens
Tuesday, not much to report, but I did stay active with planks and push-ups. The planks are a daily occurrence anyways, but it's been a fun challenge adding 20-40 daily push-ups to the mix. I have done other push-up challenges before, but this time I can really see and feel a difference in my form. I'm actually doing them in increments of 10-20, which allows me to go much deeper because my arms/chest don't get as fatigued as when I'm trying to knock out 40+ at a time.

Also, since the foot was feeling so good, I tore off the sports tape and felt a huge surge of freedom and liberation. I am still taping the heel (and arch) periodically, as a means of maintenance/prevention, but I don't think I need the support 24/7 anymore. Stay tuned...that may change.

I spy with my little eye....NO tape!!!!
Wednesday, my heel was feeling (almost) fully recovered. My work day ended around lunch time, so I mounted the Mongoose and went for an hour-long ride. I rode out south of town in the mid-afternoon, so the temps were pretty warm. All felt great until I turned around and was hit with a fierce head-on wind for most of the return trip. UGH. As flat as Iowa seems, that blasted wind makes it feel like anything but flat. Trust me, there was ZERO coasting until the final mile or so when I was back in town and had some wind (and sun) relief.

That would be 2 (count 'em, 2!) sweaty miles following several sweaty miles on the bike
Later, I met up with my friend, Barb, and we ran a couple easy miles.The heel felt a little stiff for the first mile or so, then I could tell it was loosening up...but I decided to call it good at two miles and not force it.

Thursday, I decided it was time to test the waters and wear some different shoes (aka-pretty sandals!!) to work. I'm a color gal, and I like my funky summer sandals. Although my Alegria's and Oofoos are extremely comfortable, I was bored out my mind wearing the same shoes almost every day for the past three weeks. The experiment was deemed a success, and my heel felt fine. I do plan to continue wearing the "comfort shoes" intermittently, though, to keep up with the TLC for my still-recovering foot. Even though my heel is feeling much better, I realize it probably still has some additional recovering to do.

Ahhhh, back in the pretty sandals (thumbs UP!)
Friday morning started on the floor, doing my daily (morning) 2:30 plank. I didn't have much else on the roster (other than an easy hour-long bike ride), so I decided to knock out another plank... and was able to hold it for 5 minutes. I routinely do 5-minute planks (all in the same, continuous position), but it had been a few weeks since I'd done the last one. I don't do the long, extended planks very often, but once in awhile it's fun to stop, drop, and see if I still got it in me.

Planking for five minutes...why not?
Saturday, Barb and I met up to do a semi-long run. Although my heel had been feeling good, I was a little hesitant to go too far, We decided on five miles. The heel felt a little stiff and "off" for most of the run, but was feeling better by the time we finished. Again, I probably could have pressed on and done another couple miles...but there was nothing to gain by doing so.

Feeling victorious for those five miles on Saturday morning
So, how am I feeling? For the most part, all is well. My heel feels better, but still has some residual stiffness and occasional discomfort first thing in the morning. Although it definitely feels like it's on the road to recovery, I suspect I will be dealing with some (minimal) discomfort for several months. Don't forget, I have that 12-hour Ultra happening in four weeks (YIKES), and shortly after that, I will be diving into training mode for the Route 66 Marathon. I need to take things easy now to ensure all of these other things will happen (with minimal problems) later. In short, I still consider myself to be in recovery mode (and here's how I'm coping: Recovery tips ).

In other news:

The red lilies were showing signs of blooming "any day now..."


...and, just like that, they bloomed!


I have seen much improvement with my push-ups!


Max is my noon-time walking companion. Technically, I'm the one taking HIM for the walk...but I let him think otherwise.


And, I'm so thankful for the wonderful role model my father has been (and continues to be) in my life. Happy Father's Day to him and all dads everywhere!!


Have you ever dealt with injury and had to resist the temptation and NOT run? Any biking happening for you? Planks? Push-ups? Favorite summer flowers in bloom?

As usual, I'm linking up with the lovely ladies, Holly (from HoHo Runs ) and Tricia (from MissSippiPiddlin ) for the Weekly Wrap. Please, head over and check out their great blogs and while you're there, read the other blogs as well.




44 comments:

  1. I am missing biking! We've had too much going on on the weekends and the next two weeks are busy too. :-( I'm glad your foot is better - very cute sandals!

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    1. I'm not much of a cyclist (yet)...my bike is a mountain bike, so that limits my "finesse" on the open roads...but it definitely gives me a few extra #badazz points, especially on those hills ;-)

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  2. All the time I resist the temptation to "not run". My PF continues to flare and calm, and this has been my life for 7 months. I'm really ready to be done with it. Your cute sandals made it flare, just looking at them! Yikes!

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    1. Thankfully, mine has not gotten to the "flare-up" stage...hoping I caught it quick enough (and actually knew what it was this time).Proceeding with caution....

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  3. My ankle is still back & forth -- often it's fine, but sometimes it still reall aches. I bought a pair of teva sandals, but on one foot the strap chafes my ankle! It's always something.

    Those green sandals are cute!

    I don't mind being rained on when it's warm -- which it definitely is right now! By noon it's usually too warm to walk Lola. Heck, today I gotta get it done before I run & I want to run early because of the heat (90 or so).

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    1. I agree, I don't mind the rain IF the temps are a warm and it's not a torrential downpour. #highstandards ;-)

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  4. Glad to hear that your heel is feeling better. Smart move to not push things since you've got so much activity coming up the next few months! Like the new sandals! Oh and 5 minute planking?? I can't imagine, awesome job! I'd need the TV on to distract me for that long!

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    1. I usually have my phone or Ipod to keep me entertained when I do the long planks. EVen the tv wouldn't be much help because I wouldn't be able to look at it (that would kill my neck LOL). Sometimes I can knock out a short magazine story, too.

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  5. That's great to hear that you're on the mend. Its so hard to not push ourselves too hard too quickly when we're recovering from an injury. You seem to have done a good job this past week of balancing activity and rest time.

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    1. My injury never got too severe (I think) because I felt it coming on, and kind of caught it early before it flared into a nasty beast. That said, I realize I need to be very cautious for the rest of summer to keep it under control.

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  6. I haven't ridden my bike in so long! I really would love to, but it seems like I always have my back pain flare up afterward. And I miss pretty sandals too. I stopped wearing them when I was having some metatarsal pain, and I'm afraid to go back. Just as well, though, I'm pretty sure those pretty little (non-supportive, non-cushioned) sandals don't do us runners much good in the long run.

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    1. I'm not wearing the pretty sandals every day...but am rotating them in now and then for my sanity ;-) I agree...they do not do us any favors, especially if we wear them 24/7

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  7. Hoping your heel feels better soon

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  8. So happy your heel is feeling better. It sounds like you had a great active recovery week!

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    1. I'd be going nutzo if I didn't have other cross-training stuff to keep me occupied ;-)

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  9. Looks like you are being really smart about your heel. Your planks have really inspired me to get into them again.

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    1. Woot!!!! I'll start tagging you on my Insta Planks ;-)

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  10. You had such an active recovery week, nice job on your planks! Hopefully your heel continues feeling alright, I just love your pretty sandals :)

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    1. Thanks! I have lots of pretty sandals, and I'm so glad to get then out of "storage" again ;-)

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  11. A year ago, I was dealing with plantar fasciitis. At that time, I was doing about 16-20 miles a week on my feet. I decided to switch to bike riding for the summer to try to let my feet heal. I hadn't ridden in years -- and I fell in love with it all over again. I'm so glad the weather is beautiful now and I am back out there on my bike. Hope your feet are feeling better soon!

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    1. I have been keeping my running mileage conservative, but have been doing more cycling...that's been going well ;-) I'm just glad to be OUTSIDE ;-)

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  12. I'm so glad you're starting to feel better!

    When my hip was hurt, it was so hard not to run. I guess, in a way, I was lucky, because my body just wouldn't do the proper movements, so it was a little easier to stay away. I did a little cycling this week, and I started a plank challenge. My core and upper body are my weakest parts and I want to improve on those.

    Love those aqua sandals! So perfect for summer!

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    1. I have been doing a lot more cycling, and that's been going well. My legs can feel it!

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  13. I'm glad your heel is continuing to improve! The forced time off with perfect weather is always so frustrating.

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    1. The forced time-off is frustrating, no doubt. But I'd gladly have a few days off here & there, than an entire month side-lined. Onward! ;-)

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  14. Happy you're starting to feel better! I can't imagine doing back to back 1/2 marathons...I would need some extra recovery too :)

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    1. So far the conservative mileage has been successful! The temptation to dive right back in (to more miles and frequency) is overwhelming...but that will not do me any favors

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  15. Summer is all about sandals for me too! Most day's I wear a skirt or dress with either low or heeled sandals (mostly low) to work. I like your strappy ones!
    I thought I was doing good with a 2 minute plank, 5 minutes whoa that is something!!!
    I really need to work on my push ups! Man I hate doing them cause they are hard, but the only way to make them easy is well to do them more! Uggggh!

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    1. I do most of my push-ups on my toes now, but I used to do a lot of them on my knees (I still do from time-to-time if I want to knockout a large number because I can go much deeper and there's less strain on my back). Have you tried doing some on your knees? or alternating between your toes and knees? Or do them on a stairway?

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  16. Those lillies are gorgeous! Mine bloomed mush earlier :) When it comes to recovery I believe in slow and easy! Keep it up! These planks and push ups are killers! #plankenvy

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    1. Have you seen an improvement in your planks? It doesn't take long to see results....in terms of stamina and firmness ;-)

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  17. My day lily blooming days are already gone. I wish I had red like you! But I do have tons of canna lilies that bloom all summer, red and yellow. I'm glad to hear you've had improvement with your foot. I'm still wearing my Alegias! My feet feel so much better after being in them all day, as opposed to anything else. I'm trying not to rush my return to higher mileage running, but will have to start marathon training soon. I'm so impressed you'll be doing an ultra in a few weeks! Thanks for linking with us Kim.

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    1. My mileage is very conservative at the moment, especially considering I have this ultra happening soon...but, fate dealt me some heel achiness, so IIWII, right? I wouldn't be running this ultra non-stop anyways ;-) Glass Half Full

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  18. I've been doing planks and pushups and I can see some improvement in my core. If only I hadn't completely lost my motivation to run...

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    1. Planking works! I seldom ever do crunches anymore because it's difficult to get the technique just perfect...and they're not that effective anyways.

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  19. Just got a bike and went biking with the kiddies on Friday. So much fun. I just need to figure out how and when to shift gears. And how to coast safely.

    Glad your recovery is going well. Way to respect the recovery and take your time.

    Cute sandals!

    Wait...5 min plank...get it girl!

    Waiting for the zinnias to bloom.

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    1. I have zinnias, too...not ready to bloom just yet....It's been so dry here, I'm on my third set of tomato plants (the others keep getting fried in the sun) ;-(

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  20. 5 minute plank?!?! Wow your ore is strong, I need to work on this. Glad your heel is getting better and I love your approach to not rushing your recovery.

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    1. It's taken me many years (and nagging injuries) to figure out the recovery thing. More often than not, "scaling way back" works better than "taking it easy."

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  21. I've thought about taping my arch for my shin issues, do you have any videos you could point to on how to do this?

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    1. KTape would have many for any injury/ache. I just googled "taping for heel pain" and it gave me numerous ones to choose from. I experiment and try different positions of the tape...some over the entire arch, some more towards the heel, etc. Some feel better than others depending on the day. Good luck!

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  22. I'm glad the foot is feeling better! I too had to wear some "comfort shoes" until I was certain the pain was gone!

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    1. Even though my "comfort shoes" aren't gonna make the top-10 list of summer's best fashion finds....they do have a bit of style to them. I'm glad they don't look as "orthapedic" as they feel ;-) (BTW, you'll never catch me in Birkenstocks LOL)

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