Custom orthotics

Hey guys!  This will be a quickie—lots to do! 

This morning I went to go get fitted for my custom orthotics.  I was a little alarmed when I went in the room and there was some sort of casted limb on the table.  Also, the only reading material in the whole office was AARP magazine…I’m pretty sure I was the youngest patient there.

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I was also happy to hear that my insurance pre-approved me for 100% payment.  Whee!

Anyway, the orthotics…guy (do they have a title?) came in and I gave him the whole saga of Blistersquatch and his minions.  He looked at my feet with a somewhat horrified expression.  Then I told him that I was also on my way to possibly losing two toenails, and he looked even more disgusted.  Poor guy.

Anyway, he didn’t immediately have any “oh, duh, of course you need THIS kind of orthotic” moments.  He was more along the lines of, “well, this is really weird, I’m kind of stumped, but, I’ll do some research and see what I can come up with.”  I stepped in these foamy-like blocks that made an impression of my feet.  Shockingly, they look totally normal in foam. 

I think his idea is that I’m going to need a wee bit of arch support AND a wide-width shoe, which, given my blistering pattern, makes sense.  He’s going to do a soft orthotic (made out of cork, and some kind of foam) rather than a hard one because I run, and will adjust it if it’s not working.  I may have to go back to my friends at the shoe store for a new pair to accommodate the orthotic.   I think I am starting to figure out what I want in a shoe—wide toe box, moderate arch support, lots of cushioning, and probably a larger size than I think I need.    It feels good to be trying new things.

I got to work late and immediately did this:

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My work corkboard, with new bib and now A MEDAL!   Super duper exciting.  I can’t wait to run my next one.  I’m thinking about a four miler in two weeks…but we’ll see.  I’m a little bit busy these days!

Anyway, Tim has been in St. Louis at the Cardinals home opener today (LUCKY!), but he should be home late tonight.  Tomorrow, I’m going to work in the morning, and in the afternoon, I’m flying out to VEGAS!  I’ve never been and I am really, really excited.  Yeah, yeah, there will be some work involved, but it should be pretty laid-back and I’m excited to get a chance to see it all.

Off to pack!

What do you always forget to pack?  For me, it’s my cell phone charger!

Foot help is on the way!

Happy Monday!  I usually feel pretty cheery and well-rested on Mondays.  It’s Wednesday and Thursday I find it hard to get going!

Anyway.  Went to work.  Lunch:

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Whole wheat bagel with 1 T. natural peanut butter, peach Chobani, strawberries, and granola.  And I forgot my Camelbak bottle today, so I had to buy a bottle of water at work!  And I (gasp) refilled it!  Hopefully I’ll live.

Anyway, my lunch break was significant because…long story short, I’m going to a podiatrist on April 1st!  I spent the hour calling around and checking my insurance benefits, and they will cover everything except for a $25 copay and orthotics over $1000.  I figured I might as well schedule it now, because I thought it would take a long time to get in, but not so!  Next Thursday, I might have some answers!  Holy cow!

The poor secretary asked what my problem was.  I was like, “Well, I’m a runner, and I have these giant blisters all over my feet, and now I have a huge knot/bruise above my right arch, oh and I have a black toenail too…” and her response was “You’re a mess!”  Yes, indeed I am.  At least in the foot area.

I also scheduled my annual pap smear.  It’s important, ladies.  Get it done!

Anyway, I tried the cushiony new orthotics in my running shoes today.

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They felt pretty good.  I like that they have less arch support than the regular sockliner.

Anyway, I ran 5 miles in 46:45!  This is pretty epic for me.  I am really enjoying running faster lately.  I think less, and it’s over faster.  Yup.

Hey, look what came today!  A passport…and an assport.  0322 003

Heh.  So, folks, we’re all paid up and ready to take a honeymoon!  I can’t wait.  I’ll be doing a lot of traveling the next few months—in the next 3 months, I have trips to Vegas, Napa Valley, New Orleans/Mexico, and south Florida planned.  Whee!

Here’s what roasted chicken does on the second day at our house:

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Whole grain white tortillas (they were out of wheat) with garlic & herb Laughing Cow cheese and leftover roasted chicken.   Delish.

Anyway, I’m in a great mood—three workdays left until I’m on a plane to Chicago, a great run, and foot answers are on the horizon!  Hoorah!

I’m currently watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Hulu.  It’s definitely interesting. 

Anyone else watch?  What did you think?

Nine and fine

The best part about running so much is the eating.  (Note: I have been weighing myself about once a week or two, and my weight is staying in the same three pound range it’s been in for the last several months.)

Behold my ginormous lunch.

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Strawberry Chobani (that I mixed with cherries and granola),  turkey and cheddar on a bagel thin, two clementines, a Kashi strawberry bar, homemade trail mix (cashews, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips)…and a Dove dark promise.

(I actually didn’t eat the clementines.  They were terrible so I threw them out.)

Even though I pack my gym bag for the week, every day around 4 o’clock I start pulling out what I need for the day and stashing it in a pile under my desk! 

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I wasn’t particularly excited about today’s run.  I was more nervous.  Nine miles sounds like a LOT to me, especially after a busy nine hour work day!  This week’s fuel was Vanilla Bean Gu.  (Not as good as the Chocolate Outrage, but a solid 2nd favorite!)

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Anyway, I knew today was going to have to be just nice and steady.  No speed records!  I decided to set the treadmill at a 10:00/mile pace and leave it there the entire time.  And it worked!  Final time was 9 miles in 1:30:00, for a brand-spanking-new PDR.

Mentally…I did okay.  I got stuck on a treadmill NOT near a fan for the first 2.25 miles, and it was so hot I didn’t know how I’d get through the rest of the run.  But my favorite treadmill with optimal fan and TV positioning opened up and I moved over, and I was much happier, at least for awhile.  Around mile 6, my foot started to act up—not in a hurty way, but I could feel a blister somewhere getting bigger and bigger and it was very squishy and annoying.   I just tried to zone out and push through.  My imaginary friend Super Fit Guy came to run next to me at mile 1.5 and I kind of drafted off his Super Fit Energy.  Is that weird?

Physically…it wasn’t bad either.  I feel less dead now than I did after my 8 milers the last two weeks, so that’s good.  I do, however, have a new blister, this time further back on my arch than before.  Check it:

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I also have a blister on the bottom of my foot in the very middle.  Random.

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It’s hilarious to me that those disgusting feet will be wearing these pretty babies tomorrow at my dress fitting!  I am a study in contradictions, I guess.

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What can I say, I’m a woman of great contradictions.  I’ve got my crinoline, veil, shoes, Spanx, and jewelry packed up for tomorrow—I have to say, I’m nervous! 0310 007 Anyway, I’m off to spend some time with Tim before he leaves for his super fun Vegas bachelor party.  I’ll be back tomorrow with dress fitting pictures!  Eek!

(Oh, and 2 yes RSVPs today!)

Where would you go on an all-girls (or all-boys) fun weekend if you could pick anywhere in the world?  I’m super excited for my Napa Valley bachelorette party, but Vegas sounds pretty great too!

The Bottomless Pit

Ahh, weekends.  I was awakened around 8:30 by a wriggling beagle.  Nothing like it!

Tim and I ate a quick breakfast and headed downtown to get our passports at the ONE post office that takes passport applications on Saturday.  While we were prepared with all our paperwork and such, there were several people in line who didn’t understand that you could fill out the paperwork first.  My legs were sore from my run yesterday, and I was wearing my old Pumas+arch supports in the spirit of breaking them in.  I was a crankysquatch, but we got it done.

Yesterday’s long run made me a bottomless pit today.  I just cannot get full!  I’ve been getting down on myself a little, like “oh, 8 miles, that’s a SHORT run for a lot of people” buuut then I remember that my body isn’t used to such distances and calorie burns, and it’s all relative.

As soon as we walked in the door, I prepared a huge, awesome lunch.  Two scrambled eggs with a touch of salt and pepper—so simple and perfect:

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A chocolate-cherry green monster (SO GOOD when they’re fresh):

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And a bagel thin with goat cheese:

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So, so, so good.  But it barely made a dent in my hunger, so I immediately finished the half Builder’s bar left over from yesterday’s pre-run snack:

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Much better.  I then spent a very productive Saturday afternoon napping from 12:30-2:30 with Buckley.  Deeelightful.

Anyway, I woke up and Tim and I hit the outlet mall for one last shower dress shopping try.   I kinda liked this, but not as much as the stuff I’ve seen online.  I’m going to order the blue and white strapless dress after I post this!

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I feel like it made me look a wee bit top-heavy.

I did, however, score some nice workout gear at the Adidas outlet.  I got a super-light wicking tank for $6.97 and a pair of navy wicking capris for $14.97.  I’m officially going to get rid of the last of my cotton workout pants—now that I’m spoiled on wicking fabrics, I just can’t deal with sticky yucky sweaty cotton.

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Yeah, I need to clean my bathroom mirror.  Cleaning is one of those things that’s slipped by the wayside as my running mileage has increased (along with shaving my legs, weight training, and making dinner).  Whoops!

We also got a bunch of RSVPs today.  The count now?

  • 17 yes
  • 6 no
  • 181 question marks

I also wore my arch supports to the mall…big mistake.  We only walked around for maybe an hour and a half, but I feel like there is a big knot/bruise about halfway between my ankle and knee.  I realize there is a break-in period for these, but I’m incredibly skeptical of anything that makes me feel so awful just walking around the mall.  I don’t think the Defyances were bad yesterday on their own—the chafing/blistering I had I think was due to the taping—and I am tempted to scrap the arch supports altogether.  My gut is telling me these aren’t the solution.  But I’ll keep giving them a chance for the next few weeks.  I am also going to start researching whether my insurance would cover a visit to a podiatrist—I’m hoping to find one who runs, so their advice isn’t “stop running.”

Anyway, we went out to dinner and yes, I ate a giant cheeseburger and fries.  The bottomless pit demanded it (and, less than two hours later, I’m feeling rumbly again).  Hopefully my appetite will be a little more subdued tomorrow!

Have you ever seen a specialist for a sports injury? Did you have a good or bad experience?

It’s Friday, I’m in love

TGIF, friends.  TGIF.

Today I was determined to have a fresh green monster at lunchtime, no matter how crazy I had to be to do it. 

I packed the components separately—1 cup of milk, frozen strawberries and half a frozen sliced bananer, and a whole bunch of spinach and protein powder.

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And yes, I brought my Magic Bullet to work today.  It’s that fabulous.

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It was kind of messy.  I went through lots of paper towels because I packed the cup too full. 0305 003

But in the end, I reaped a delicious reward—a strawberry choco-nana green monster.  I swear these things keep me full for hours.

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I also had this random trail mix left over from my Christmas stocking, and a turkey sammich on a bagel thin.  My goal was to take in a lot of food pre-run today to avoid the voms afterward.

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Look at my pretty new Feetures socks!  These were my pity purchase at the running store yesterday.  God love them.0305 006

I also wrapped my feet with Second Skin pads and moleskin before my long run.  The pads are funny—they’re kind of like jelly, and they are really ice cold when you stick them to your feet.

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Then you cover them with moleskin. 0305 008

I did this to the arches of both feet.

I wasn’t really hungry pre-workout, but ate half a Clif Builder’s Bar anyway.  I was planning to eat the other half on my way home from the gym, but I wasn’t that hungry afterwards so I didn’t.

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Anyway, apparently my action plan paid off.  The verdict?  8 miles in 1:19:30, shaving 1 minute off last week’s time.  Woo!  I knew it would be a good run when all the treadmills were open, so I could pick my favorite—the one where you can watch the news channel AND the sunset out the window with a fan directly aimed at you. Bliss.

Random: does everyone else’s gym have Super Fit Guy (or Girl)?  Because I am in constant awe of this dude I see at the gym every day.  He looks like this:

eriq_lasalleDr. Benton, from old school ER, but in running clothes.  He gets on the treadmill and runs 5 miles at a 6:00-6:30 pace…and then goes and lifts for about half an hour.  When he finished his run I felt like I should congratulate him, but that would be awkward.  Anyway.  I find people who are truly athletic and in effortless good shape inspiring.  Hats off to you, Super Fit Guy!

In other news, Chocolate Outrage is indeed Outrageously Good.  It does taste like frosting and will probably become my go-tu Gu.   Yum!

Anyhoo, my run was pretty uneventful, which is good.  At about mile 5, the moleskin on my foot started (surprise surprise) rubbing and irritating my foot.  So, now I’ve added chafing and a few more blisters to each foot.  Ironic, huh—the anti-blister moleskin…gives me blisters.  WTF.

Left foot post-run:

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And right: 0305 011

Oh, running.  You hurt so good.  When I got home, out of curiosity, I did the Runner’s World wet foot test (twice).  I am having trouble interpreting the results, though.  Help?

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In other news, more RSVPs today!  5 yeses, 2 nos.  I love the notes people are writing on them!

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We also got a wedding card from Tim’s great-aunt and uncle.  I love this sweet note.

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Getting RSVPs is really exciting, but I’m not going to lie—wedding stress has been starting to get to me.  I feel like I’m being tugged in a million directions, and though I think people mean well, it’s incredibly stressful to try to please everyone (even though I know I won’t).  Ultimately, I’m just trying to focus on Tim and drown out the noise, but it’s been hard.  Please tell me it’s worth it!

So, that’s that.  I think Tim and I are off to Coldstone for a little post-run refueling.  Have a great night!

It’s a monster!

Last night I got busy creating my first green monster in awhile—chocolate cherry style, as is in vogue on the blogs lately. 

0303 001 I used:

  • about 2/3 c. frozen bing cherries
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • a few Ghirardelli dark  chocolate chips
  • 1 packet Truvia
  • about 3/4 c. milk
  • as much spinach as I could cram in

I love my Magic Bullet.  Greatest infomercial product EVER.  Look!  I made the smoothie IN THE SAME CUP I DRANK IT OUT OF.  Minimal dishes, everyone!

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The final result looked and tasted delicious:0303 004

I stuck it in the freezer overnight and thawed it out in the fridge all morning.  It did not go well.  My beautiful, cherry red smoothie with flecks of brown and green turned into a muddy brown mess.

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I ate it anyway, but I don’t think freezing/thawing was a good idea. The spinach tasted off, like it had wilted, and the texture was slushy, not creamy.  Bleh.  Note to self: Green Monsters are best fresh.  I am seriously considering bringing my Magic Bullet to work so I can pack the ingredients and mix one up in my office behind  closed doors at lunchtime!  I WILL say that it kept me quite full. 

I had it with a cup of chicken noodle soup and a Western bagel with Trader Joe’s almond butter.

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After work, as usual, I went to run.  As soon as I put my Brooks + arch supports on, I knew it was not going to be a good one.  Every step was excruciating.  The pain was mostly in my arches—an intense rubbing sensation that just felt like my feet were on fire.  However, I also now have what feels like a huge knot on the inside of my right shin, kind of behind the bone on the side.  Fabulous! 

Warning: gross foot pictures ahead.  Just so you all know I’m not a big baby, here’s the current status of my footsies.

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And a really gross one of my random, New Balance-imposed toe blisters:

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Tim commented the other day that the blisters on my feet are like rings on a tree, and really, it’s true!  That big red circle on my right foot is the remains of Blistersquatch, which I got in my Sauconys circa early January 2010.  The tiny blood blister is from my New Balances.  The crap in my left arch is a New Balance/Brooks hybrid.  I can tell many a tale from my feet!

Seriously, though, I’m frustrated.  I literally limped off the treadmill and hated every searingly painful step of my run.  Everything from my knees down hurt and seriously considered stopping pretty much every 3.2 seconds.  But I didn’t, and ended up running 4.5 miles in about 44:30.  4.5 hard, painful, frustrating miles.  I get that arch supports might take some breaking in, but this doesn’t feel like breaking in to me.  This feels like, “WE WERE NOT MEANT TO BE ON YOUR FEET” pain.

I hate to be a complainer, but I just don’t know what to do.  A kind reader  (Hi Sarah!) suggested via e-mail that I try custom orthotics, which is a good idea, though I am afraid of the cost.  My buddies at the Sports Medicine Store actually make them, so it might be a good topic to broach with them eventually.  I will probably go back this weekend and beg Bob and the trainers for more help.   I just feel like I’ve done it all at this point: Nikes, Adidas, Asics, Sauconys, New Balances, Brooks, Body Glide, various synthetic socks, taping, liquid bandages, non-liquid bandages and a partridge in a pear tree.  I’m frustrated, but I will not give up on this.  I can’t.

Anyway, in more interesting news, thank you all for your confessions this morning!   It’s good to get it all out there sometimes.

No wedding RSVP’s yet, but hopefully tomorrow!

Any Green Monster fans out there?  How do you make yours?

I want to GLOW!

Hi, friends!  Look what I did last night:

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I taped my foot using the Second Skin gel pad and moleskin thing.  It was nice, and actually stuck, but after tonight’s run it was falling off.  Sigh.

This morning I was on the road for work.  I was waxing poetic about my snack so I took a picture.

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A brown banana, battered by the contents of my purse, and my beloved Camelbak of water.  Aren’t the ugliest bananas always the best?  And I love this bottle.  Twas a good snack!

After work I hit the gym for what was supposed to be 3 miles and cross training.  But…confession.  I have really been slacking on the cross training and strength aspects of my half mary training plan.  As my mileage gets into the 20+ miles/week range, I just don’t have the energy or desire to do anything but run.  I’ve attempted a bit of cross training the last few weeks, but it’s just been half-assed and I feel like I’m wasting my time.  I want all of my energy to go into running for the next weeks leading up to my half.  So, that’s that.

Anyway.  Ran 3 miles in 28:15 thusly:

  • 0-0.5 miles: 6.1 mph
  • 0.5-1.0 miles: 6.2 mph
  • 1.0-1.5 miles: 6.3 mph
  • 1.5-2.0 miles: 6.4 mph
  • 2.0-2.5 miles: 6.5 mph
  • 2.5-2.75 miles: 6.6 mph
  • 2.75-3.0 miles: 7.0 mph

I am really loving negative splits lately.  They are challenging and keep me from getting bored towards the end of a run!

Unfortunately, more trouble with my shoes.  They were better than yesterday, but there was still a nagging rubbing on my right arch where Blistersquatch’s footprint remains.  Sigh.  I will not give up on this.

On my way home I could not get thoughts of a green monster out of my head.  I haven’t had one for AGES, but I’ve been seeing Chocolate Cherry Bomb Shakes on Ryan and Caitlin’s blog all week and it’s been calling my name.  I’m going to make one tonight to bring in my lunch tomorrow.  I will report back then!

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I also picked up some makeup removal wipes so I can take my makeup off before I head to the gym after work.  Part of my grocery stop inspiration was the recent discussion of Project Glow I’ve seen revived on some blogs.  I want my skin to look great for the wedding, so I’m planning to incorporate more greens and antioxidants into my diet, continue drinking tons of water, and stopping my bad habit of wearing makeup to the gym!  I don’t have bad skin now—I only get the occasional pimple, but my skin is rather uneven, I’ve got some undereye circles going on, and I have some blackheads on my nose that I’d like to get rid of.  (Maybe I’ll even take a before photo tomorrow morning!)  My goal: glow so hard I look like one of those blue cat-people in Avatar.

Anyway, I got a text today that one of our invitations had gotten all the way to Washington, D.C., so looks like word is officially out.  Hopefully we’ll get our first RSVPs back by the end of the week!  (My mom mailed hers today.)

What do you do to keep your skin healthy and radiant?