As you may know I am raising money for the Ironman Foundation.
I love racing for a cause because I love giving back to something that has given me so much. I am really excited to work with the IronMan Foundation and all the good work they have done and will continue to do.
Each year, a select group of athletes from around the world race on TEAM IMF to support the mission of the IRONMAN Foundation. Together, we share a passion to create positive tangible change in our race communities and prove that “Anything Is Possible.”
Since 2003, over $50 million has been provided through IRONMAN charitable giveback programs including the IRONMAN Foundation to more than 8,300 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN athletes are powerfully linked to the community and together we leave the IRONMAN legacy behind in our race communities long after race day. We #RaceForMore.
In order to raise money for the foundation I am hosting a 5k virtual run.
So here it is Dec 1st and my coworker and I were about to participate in our bi-weekly squatting to the Sally song at work, when she realized her attire wasn’t squatting appropriate. So we decided to do some up-up-down-downs instead of squatting, during the down hold we held a plank.
During lunch we talked about doing planks more and someone mentioned hearing of “Planksgiving” where you do planks everyday leading up to Thanksgiving. But we already passed Thanksgiving….so we decided to do some planks leading up to Christmas.
We started celebrating Planksmas that very day.
I made this graphic to mark off the days for planking. Also, you can really start it at anytime. We started on the 1st, leading us to finish on Christmas, but really the point is to work up to the 5 min plank.
So download it, print it and start planking today!
I knew after I started running again I needed new shoes. I hadn’t bought running shoes in years, I mean lots of years. I had kept them for running only, but it was still so long ago. But you know running shoes are expensive, so I kept putting it off.
After running for a while and after my first race I noticed I had bruised my big toenails, on booth feet. It wasn’t that bad, but I knew my shoes were too tight. I then looked at them and they were a half-size smaller than I wear! What was I thinking? I have never really worn that sized shoe as an adult.
I kept putting off buying new shoes. I ran my second race, the big toe on my left foot got bruised again. So bad I ended up losing my toe nail. And I got shin splints, as you have all read about.
I finally bit the bullet and went to buy some new shoes. Do you have any idea how many running shoes are out there? It is ridiculous and daunting. However, there are now oodles of wonderful running stores with experts to help you decided what kind of shoes you need.
I went to a local store here in Oregon, Foot Traffic. The salesperson puts you on a treadmill with a camera pointed at the back of your feet. They stick you in some shoes and tell you to run or walk, I had to run, for a 30-60 seconds or so. The salesperson then watches the footage with you and tells you how you run.
While looking at the footage he asked if I had any issues like shin splints. Well, hello mind reader. I told him my issues and he said he wasn’t surprised because I was over pronating.
Overpronation is shown here on the right foot
Basically my feet would roll inward too much when I would run. This was one thing that was contributing to my shin splints. Your feet normally do this, but mine do it too much, which is common. So I what I need is shoes that have more support under the arch.
The smart sales man then went in the back and came back with about four or five pairs of shoes. I tried each of them on and ran with them on the treadmill again, while he recorded my feet. We talked about each pair and if they helped straighten my heel strike. I narrowed it down to two pairs, put one of each shoe on and ran with them.
I decided on the Asics GT-2000. They felt more supportive and fit my narrow feet. So I bought my correct size, not half a size smaller, this time.
Aren’t they nice? Shiny and new. So I strapped them on and hit the trail.
Turns out, I don’t want a running shoe in my size. I want it a half-size bigger.
After this run my feet were swollen slightly. I knew that during the longer runs the shoes would be too tight. Which is a horrible feeling after you spend so much money on a pair of shoes. But, not to worry.
The store where I bought the shoes allows you to bring them back, even after you wear them. How awesome it that? I took them back and bought a half-size bigger.
I only got to wear them once or twice before I got the Big-Cough-of-June. Since I couldn’t run while sick I looked up some stuff on running shoes. Did you know there are all sorts of ways to lace your shoes?
I decided to try the technique for preventing black toe. I found the technique on a running blog called Katie Runs This, but you can find instructions just about everywhere.
You start at the top of the shoe on the outside of your foot. You leave enough lace at the top to tie your shoe, bring the rest of the lace to the bottom inside and start lacing up the shoe. The lace is diagonal across the top of your foot. From there you lace across the shoe, then diagonal again. And repeat to the top of the shoe, and tie normally. When you pull the outer lace tight it pulls the material off the top of your toe.
Last night I ran again with this new lacing technique and I really like how it felt.
I had to walk a lot, because my lungs are still having problems, but my total distance was four miles. I am really happy I got new shoes, and I am glad I have enough time to break them in before my first half.
OK, so I got sick. I started feeling a little down and took a couple of days off running. no big deal.
Then I started coughing, and coughing, and coughing. And I just couldn’t stop. The doctor said “well, you probably have bronchitis or pneumonia. We can tell you for sure with a chest x-ray.”
I decided to pass on the chest x-ray, as the treatment is the same for either. I got some good cough medicine, except it was laced with codeine, which made me sooo tired. I waited a few days to see if I improved on my own before taking the anti-antibiotics. Which, even when I did start taking them didn’t do anything.
My breathing was bad, I couldn’t make it up two flights of stairs. Remember, at work I walk up six flights a day, multiple times. I kept thinking, I could probably go to the gym and get on the bike. At least I would still be doing something. But by the time the boys went down, I was ready to go down too!
Image from Running Through Chaos
Fast-forward to more then three weeks…
I am still kind of coughing, but I can breathe now. Have I been running yet? Nope, but I will go to the gym tonight. I promise. I plan on doing intervals, switching between running and walking, and I will also do the bike. That way I can get a long workout in, with out over taxing my lungs.
I do have a huge race in a couple of months. I know I need to ease back into things, but I don’t have a lot of time to train. I have to go from no miles to thirteen in two months….
That is mentally daunting. I start to feel down, start thinking I can’t do it.