Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Theories on the Causes

I have had well over a week now to stew and think about what was the real cause of the stress fracture.

I am also going to state that I still do not believe it is a stress fracture. I know I can not argue with a doctor, because he is the one that looked at the x rays and they revealed the fracture. Even knowing this, my gut is still saying it is not.... maybe I still do not want to believe it.... but I just wanted to say what I thought for the record :)

On to what I think caused it.

1. The Brooks Ghosts (the name is so fitting for the situation... the Ghost is HAUNTING me!)

Remember the 24 mile relay I did? Well, I got these shoes 2 days before the race. I wore them for a 3 mile run and then wore them around the gym doing weights. Then I ran the relay. Up until this day I was wearing the Nike Volmero's 
The Volmeros are a very cushioned shoe. Most people compare these to running on marsh mellows. The Ghosts do not have any cushion when compared to these. It was probably the dumbest move on my part, to run 24 miles in shoes that my feet were not used to. Honestly, it never even crossed my mind that it would be a problem. I just put them on and went and never thought twice about what I was doing. The pain in the foot did not really appear for another week. The pain came right after my next long run which was the following Saturday. I definitely think these shoes played a HUGE role in the fracture. My feet were not used to running in non padded shoes and there I was running 24 FAST miles in them. Then I turned around and ran 16 miles the next week- even faster in these shoes. I should have broken them in before going straight into the long runs.....

The next theory...

2. My form.The coach I run with has been telling me for a few months now that I land on my heels and I should make a conscious effort to land more on my fore foot.... Well, I had been trying during every single run to land on my fore foot rather than my heels. The metatarsals are in the forefoot area! With that said, I think this is another contributing factor. I had been landing more on my toes and putting the pounding impact on my metatarsals and on top of this, I put the Ghosts on, and the poor metatarsals that were pounding had no cushion!!! 

Regardless of the cause, I am thoroughly enjoying my swimming, biking and weight training right now!!! Someone asked me today "Are you over not being able to run" ... aka are you done whining and being a baby about not running? My response - yes actually I am. I am having so much fun with my new activities that I am not missing it as much, and I am not depressed I am actually very excited!! Now, please do not get me wrong, I am craving one of my 8 mile runs right now and would do anything to be able to do it!!!! I am just at peace with the situation and loving the newness that I have found :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Switching Gyms

This week has been such a crazy week!!!

Work has been intense for a while now, but was brought to a whole new level last week when I was PROMOTED. I have not even had a chance to celebrate or get excited about this promotion because of everything else that has been going on in my life. I am really looking forward to this weekend so that I can breath!!

Yesterday I made a big decision. I changed gyms (sort of). The LA Fitness that opened up across the street from my work has a pool and is brand new. I went in earlier this week and talked to the guys. These guys are EXTREMELY nice, outgoing and fun. I talked to them about my stress fracture and what I typically do as far as workouts. The immediately gave me 2 free training sessions (of which I have used and now and way beyond sore). They obviously wanted me to switch gyms. The only thing that was stopping me was they do not have any locations in Tampa. I kept talking to them through the week and they kept adding on free training to try and bribe me :) I do negotiate for a living and now it is paying off at the gym!! Well, I looked into my gym membership and this is what I did...

Freeze Lifestyles $12.00 mth
Join LA Fitness $29.99 mth
Total gym fee $41.99 mth

This is SAVING me money!! My lifestyles member ship is $48 a month. Oh and by the way - these wonderful guys hooked me up with the "Friends and Family Rate" otherwise it would be $39.99 month. So THEN we talked about the personal training. I ended up buying 4 sessions.... BUT they threw in 16 free sessions!! And on top of that, 3 more to cover the enrollment fee!! So now, I have 20 free sessions + the 4 I bought. There is no cancellation fees for LA Fitness, so if I want to go back to Lifestyles I can do that anytime. This is going to work out perfectly while I am not running.

Penny is going to get toned!! This injury thing may not be so bad after all!!! I love new things and changes, and this is making me really excited right now.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Biking and Swimming my way through Recovery....

I wore the boot to work today and I wore it proud! I do not like the spotlight on me and I really don't like playing the sympathy game - and unfortunately that is how my day went and my week will continue to go. People were stopping me with these looks of pain and making me tell my story. Little did they know it hurt to tell them, because it was a reminder that I could not run! I got quite used to the boot over the weekend. My family nicknamed me "Peg Leg" and joked and made fun of me as much as they could.

At lunch today I made a point to go to the gym that is across the street from my work. They have a pool!! AND their rates are MUCH lower than mine!! Unfortunately, they do not have any gyms in Tampa, where I actually live. I spent an hour talking to a guy and begging and pleading for him to just give me a month or two at a cheap rate just so I could use the pool - and yes I did use the sympathy card - but it didn't work. What he did give me was a 2 week guest pace and 2 free sessions with a personal trainer. I even met the personal trainer and told him I did not want to waste any time with the introductory stuff ( I already know my weight, I know how to eat, etc) I just want him to show me some good strength training work outs so I can feel confident about doing it alone! He agreed and we have a date set!!! It was a very productive lunch.

So after work I went to the gym. I know absolutely nothing about biking and swimming in regards to what is actually a good work out - so feel free to comment.

30 minutes on the Bike : 
9 miles
30 minutes swimming: 
(200 meters Free Styles & 200 meters breast stroke) x 4 = 1600 meters

It was an hour of cardio, but I don't know if I should be pushing harder?? The bike makes me sweat like crazy and I can't do any stand up stuff right now because I can't put the pressure on the foot. The swimming was making my arms feel like rubber! I actually really enjoyed it... and it was WAY more enjoyable than the stationary bike. There is something about being in a gym doing cardio that drives me crazy!!! I get so impatient!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The verdict is in

And it is a stress fracture!!!

I have been trying to digest this in a positive way and it is working. When the doctor called me yesterday it seemed sureal. I didn't believe what I was hearing, and I actually laughed yet had tears in my eyes. Now, I knew my foot did not feel right. Especially when I could feel the throbbing when I was laying in bed. Never, did I really think it was a stress fractture!!! He gave me a boot and basically said if I want to run again, I will wear it. I was extremely stubborn and hard headed yesterday and refused to wear it. So, starting today DAS BOOT will be worn. It will become a part of me. The girls at work even said they would bedazzle it with jewels and bows!!!

I have already looked into a swim plan from It's going to be tough getting up in the mornings when it's still chilly. But there are some pools that are heated in my area so, I will just have to get over the initial shock. When I was in middle school I was actually a pretty good swimmer and always came in first and second place during the meets. I'm anxious to see how I will do now!! Maybe this is a way for me to start my triathlon adventure that I have been thhinking about lately!! I have actually gone and looked at bikes, so maybe that will also happen now. I'm going to take this time to explore new things and have fun with it.

Todd, one of my great running friends, has also said I can start weight training with him. He was actually pretty excited about it. A few weeks back when I wasn't feeling great on a long tempo run I told him he was not allowed to make me laugh when we had to hit the paces because it was taking the breath out of me... Since then he has always been cautious about his stories because he doesnt want me to "laugh"... His comment yesterday was something along the lines of "this is going to be fun... We aren't running so I can make you laugh the entire time,," and for those of us that now Todd, this means some very crazy stories and some fun times. I am super excited about this new workout time with him!!!

As much as this is killing me, I think I am going to be ok. I really don't understand how something can be taken away from you that you love so much. I know it sounds silly to some, that I am talking about running like this, but running really helps me in so many ways. Mentally, physically and emotionally. I went through some very hard times And running was what kept me afloat. They say self help is best, and it truly is. When I was feeling down or feeling like it was the end of the world, going for a run would make things better. It's time for me to have alone time and to think clearly. Then the happy endorphins start flowing and life seems wonderful. People can usually tell 95% of the time if I have gone running in a day, just by the way I act... And usually they would prefer that I had!! I have a coworker that has suggested I leave work... Go for a run... And then come back!!! Unless you are a runner you may not understand this, but if you are a runner you know the feeling!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Prayer

Dear God,

I am going to the Doctor in an hour. Please only let it be something minor. I would even be ok with the doctor telling me that I am crazy and that it is all in my head, he could even tell me that I am a big baby and a wimp... I will take that proudly with a smile.

If this only ends up being something minor I can make a few promises to you!! I will ...

Never complain about my times or stress.
I will constantly compliment other runners, even when they are faster than me!!
I will give myself to my group runs every day (well maybe 2 days).
I will stop complaining about my weight. These 2 weeks are starting to show on my body, and I must run!!! I promise I will never say anything about my weight if I can run again - this is a HUGE thing for me!
I will practice better recovry - ICE and REST!!!

there is so much more I am willing to do - but I have to get to the Doctor - you know what I am willing to do -- ANYTHING!!!

Please, do not take this away from me for a long period of time. I love it way too much. I love waking up at 5 am and running on Bayshore. I love seeing the sunrise. I love being sweaty and nasty. I love passing guys on Bayshore :) I love the feeling of every part of running - my life just is not complete without my running. My days are empty. I am not smiling. I don't know what to do with myself in the mornings!!

Spinning is not the same. I was in spin class last night and I was praying to you for some sort of enthusiasm and it wasn't there. All I could think about was running. I was looking out the window at the treadmills wishing I was on one of them, rather than a bike. YES I was WISHING I was on a treadmill!! Another promise to you God, I will stop complaining about the Treadmill!!!! I will embrace it and LOVE it.

God, I will appreciate running so much more now. I realize how much it means to me and how much I need it in my life.

Please, please, PLEASE let this only be something minor.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Can I tell you how sad I am?

This may have been one of the most depressing days I have had personally....

The foot pain that has been lingering for the past week came and haunted me today. I thought for sure that my foot would have been better by today but I was very wrong. When I woke up this morning I felt it and it sort of felt worse than it has all week. I did not say anything to anyone because I wanted to ignore it and it just disappear - I thought it would be one of those things that if I didn't think about it or acknowledge it then maybe it really wasn't there.

Stephanie gave me her bottle of 500 mg Ibuprofen the night before, so I took 2 an hour before the race. Once we started to line up I continued to feel my foot... this time it was THROBBING. I had to re tie my shoe, because it was too tight on the pain.. my foot was swelling! I still did not tell anyone. We met up with Todd and Dennis and everyone was in high spirits. I was so excited about the race, the atmosphere and people were just as amazing as I had remembered it from the previous year. This is my FAVorite race, I had been looking forward to this for a year!!!!

The gun went off at 7:35 ... and immediately my worst fear came true... every step I felt my foot. I immediately reached down and grabbed an ibuprofen, swallowed it, turned my music up and tried to forget about it. The spectators were out in full force and the weather was AMAZING. I was set to have the perfect race.... 3:10 was all mine!!!!

Mile 1 passed... and it was not fun. Mile 2 came and this is when I realized that I probably needed to just stop and give up, but I couldn't bring myself to admit this. All of a sudden the pain was strikingly painful and every time my foot hit the pavement it was there. Around mile 2.5 Jaime came up beside me... and thats when I realized my pace was waaay off and not where I needed it to be. She asked how my foot was and then I lost it. I started sobbing!!! I said I am going to quit and she said something back to me and the tears and sobs just started... I had to look away from her and try to collect myself  (still running).... I then put my earphones back in my ear because I knew I couldn't talk... I was way to upset to form a sentence. I think she realized this because she dropped back. I was so distraught. Something clicked in my head at this point and I took off! I was NOT going to quit - this was my favorite race, I tell everyone how much I love it, I had trained hard for it and I wanted to enjoy every last mile!!! I threw my gloves off and got back to my 7:20 pace.... I thought if I ignored it I would be fine. Next water stop another ibuprofen was taken..... now I am at 2000 mg!!!

I was enjoying it all, and still trying to mask the pain. We got out on the beach and happiness just engulfed me. I was smiling and happy and loving life. This lasted until we got off the beach at mile 7.65... then the pain was back in full force. I tried so hard.... I got mad, very mad so I took another ibuprofen!! After taking the 5th one I started realizing just how stupid I was being... Lots of thoughts were going through my head...

Well you can slow down and finish - who cares about the time?
Penny, just stop, you will only hurt yourself and then you won't be able to run because of the recovery.
Penny don't be a baby, it doesn't really hurt.
Penny, you are already off pace - you will not be PR'ing today... just stop!
Penny, you are going to OD on  Ibrophen
Penny... if you stop now, you can recover and then run another marathon sooner AND be able to run everyday like you love!!!
Penny - just settle for a 3:40 and slow down

aaaand these thoughts just kept coming.... it was retarded.

Then I read a sign that said "Finish the Race. Finish Breast Cancer" this made me feel pathetic- if people can suffer through breast cancer, I could surely suffer through 26.2 miles.... right??!!! Then people were cheering me on - I couldn't quit!!!

I crossed the 10 mile mat and stopped - next thing I know the 3:20 pace group passes by and say start running!! Just run with us!! So I said fine... and I was running again!!! Then the pain was 10 x worse!! My foot started giving out on me.... like I was going to land on my knees because my foot was not supporting me anymore...

So.... I QUIT ... I QUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and now I am going to crawl in a dark hole and never come out. I quit my favorite race and every single person from the 3:15 group - 3:40 group saw me walking and crying and giving up....

such a sad day in the life of Penny Bloom

this is how I really feel, and now I am trying to find the positive - because I still believe everything happens for a reason - now I am searching for the reason!

So after almost OD'ing on drugs - I turned to beer to cope

Monday, February 7, 2011

Forced Tapper - again!

Someone is looking out for me... yet again. My last marathon I fell 4 weeks before and was pretty much forced into a tapper very early - well, here I am again with another problem.... I promise I am not a hyper condriac (I think thats the right word to use...) - I love running too much to create problems in my head.

I have a mystery sprain-ish feeling in my left foot and now I am going to actually tapper!! This time I am going to be cross training all week and not running until the marathon. After I googled and talking with people, it is yet another over use problem. The best remedy for me is to just not run until the race, ice it a few times a day, and take ibuprofen before running. I may end up goin stir crazy from not running, so people watch out!

I spent an hour at the gym today doing 30 minutes on the stair climber and 30 minutes on the bike. The stair climber is my new favorite. I have been starting at 9 and then every 5 minutes adding a level. This machine kicks my a$$! My heart beats faster in the 30 minutes I am on it then it does in a marathon. I sweat like I am in a sauna, and I do not do that when running!! It is amazing. The bike is ok, I am learning to use it. I was checking my heart rate today and I maintained about 150 bpm, which is not max but it is high, so it must be doing something!! I did almost 8 miles in 30 minutes - but then later found out that 10 miles is on next time!! All of this cardio at the gym is actually boring to me, I find myself people watching and then watching the minutes on the timer... its the longest minutes of my life. I don't know how people do it daily... they have way more mental power than I do.

Everyone should wish me luck this week and hope that I don't secretly try to run... because I have a feeling that I may not make it....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lovin' Every Minute of It...

This horrible week has slowly turned into pure excitement!! Maybe I am quickly becoming delirious... with less than 5 hours of sleep each night this week - my brain is pure mush - but things seem to be falling very nicely into place.

I am a huge believer in "everything happens for a reason" Sometimes it takes a lot of sole searching to find that reason, but if you are patient enough the reason will come. Staying positive and happy through these times can be tough, but keeping your head up and moving forward is the best thing.

I am staying positive, happy and I am trucking along ... and I am PRAYING hard for a GREAT day tomorrow!!