Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Foiled

About 3 1/2 years ago I bought this roll of foil from Costco. I had just started my job and got a membership. Today we say goodbye. Thank you Kirkland foil.  I will probably pick up another roll the next time I decide I need to spend $200 on a bag of chicken and milk. (I never get out of there with only chicken and milk.) Damn samples, but I digress.

So much has changed in our lives since I bought this foil. Our family has grown, we have switched jobs, bought a new house and a million other things. It makes me wonder what changes we will experience in the next 3 1/2 years.





My husband is going to think I went off the deep end with this post...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stumpy Lake and the State of My Knee

Stumpy Lake and the State of my Knee

I have been trying to work on my running form. If you have been following me at all you know I have been whining and complaining about it for months now, 6 months to be exact. Well, I am finally getting some resolution. I figured out what has been causing my ITB friction syndrome. It's my bad form not muscle tightness, weakness, lack of sleep, hormones, my kids or my shoes. (Ok, so those last few I made up, but it's fricken annoying!!) And all this not running has made me cranky. I went back to the PT who laid the foundation of good running form. You can read all about it HERE. I wanted to continue to improve, so I checked out an audio book on CHI Running from the library and started to listen to it on my way to work. (That is another story all together-I almost fell asleep at the wheel. Not because it's boring, but because Danny Dreyer's voice is sooo yoga instructor-like!) But Hey---Guess what??? It's working! I have been running 4 times now with NO PAIN!!! I have to think a lot about my form and my calves were so sore, but even that is improving and I couldn't be happier!!
  


To celebrate my return to running I tried a new trail my friend found when he was out SUPing. I have driven past this trail 5 times a week for over 3 years and had no idea it existed. It's my new go to trail running spot.  It's a nice little flat wooded 1.6 mile loop. I had planned to run 3 miles but ended up doing 5.5. I would have done more but I had to be someplace and was actually late, I was having so much fun running.

I LOVE trail running. For me it is one of the reasons I love to run. Look who I ran into several times. There were actually two and they weren't very afraid of me either. I also smelled a skunk on the smaller loop and decided to stick to the longer loop for the second half. I keep clapping every few minutes hoping to scare it away. If someone was walking nearby they probably thought I was cheering myself on.

 


I feel ready to say that I am back and my ITB problems are behind me (as long as I keep practicing my knew form). Hopefully, CHI Running will really help add injury free years to my running. Up next, The Rock n' Roll Half Marathon. :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Colorful and Smelly Craft Time




Thank You Pinterest! 

I love doing arts and crafts and my boys love arts and crafts. They love them because they get to be creative and sometimes use scissors! I love them because it keeps them engaged in an activity allowing me a moment of peace. I find that if I just tell my boys to “go play” they go annoy one another and all I hear is “Mom!” I prefer the calm and thoughtful quietness a good arts and crafts session brings to my home.



I have been saving this particular project for a nice day when we could go out by the pool and make a mess.

Here is what you will need: Vinegar, baking soda, food coloring, a medicine dropper (I used oral syringes), a container for your food coloring/vinegar mixture, and one for your baking soda. I used ice cube trays and aluminum pie plates. The pinner I took this from (the link wouldn't work or I would give you credit) used a medicine dropper.

Mix yourself up some colored vinegar, drop it onto the baking soda and viola hours (well about an hour) of fun for the young.

My little one just liked the colorful fizzing he created and kept saying “Wow, Mommy, Wow.” My older son was trying to create works of art and was much more deliberate with where he put the colors. It was great fun by all and a easy cleanup. Although we did it outside, inside might not be so easy to clean.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Graston Technique




What is Graston Technique?


Graston is a form of soft tissue mobilization using stainless steel tools. The tools are extension of the practitioners hands and allow identification of areas of restriction or adhesion and work to reduce and hopefully eliminate those restrictions in the soft tissue to facilitate healing.


I have been using Graston for a little over a year now on my patients and it has really helped me become a better practitioner by opening up a whole other skill set that I previously neglected. Not that I magically cure everyone by simply touching them with my magic
wand(s), but I have gotten favorable results using Graston, especially on ITBand friction syndrome. Hey wait, isn't that what she has been whining about for months now that has prohibited her from running?!?! Why yes, yes it is. I said it helped a lot of people, I am just not one of them :(

So why the boring lecture about Graston and what it does and didn't do for me? Well, as a runner you are most likely to get injured at some point. Comforting thought. So I just wanted to let you know that there are treatment options out there besides rolling around on one of these.
I recently got an email from the Graston people who eagerly, in the mist of the Olympic hoopla, wanted to share that Michael Phelps had talked about having Graston done to him and tauted it's benefits. So if Phelps uses it, you can to. Don't be afraid of the tools. They sometimes get a bad rap because they allow for deep penetration (insert joke here) into the soft tissue (and another one here) and can sometimes lead to this... 



This is my leg and yes I did that to myself. I am not a sadist, I haven't read 50 Shades of Grey, there just isn't a lot of soft tissue between the skin and the ITB and the one place on the body that gets bruised with Graston is this area. It didn't hurt but man it was ugly. 

Currently, I am working with a nice young lady  who is plagued by ITB problems and I am happy to say after about 6 treatments she is doing much better and is starting to run again. Me on the other hand,  it's getting better, slowly. But, my ITB problems aren't because of any restriction, they are because of my horrible heal strike. You can read about that here. But hopefully with a little revamping of my running style I will be able to get back to running painfree sooner rather than later! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CUTONIUM!?!?!



If you are parent or have countless hours on your hands to watch TV,  then at some point you probably have seen Phineas and Ferb.  My kids LOVE that show. Ok, I LOVE that show. It's funny and whitty and it doesn't bore me to death like some other kids shows like Dora. I am actually a big fan of Perry. Who wouldn't want a pet platypus that's a secret agent?

So why am I talking about Phineas and Ferb and what is cutonium? There is one episode that stars Meap, a cute little space alien that only says 'meap' unless wearing a translation mustache. Well the story goes that Meap's planet Meap is in trouble because an evil Meap named Mitch is after cutonium and if he gets it and drinks it no one will be able to say no to him because he is so CUTE!

Meap with one of his translation mustaches, so cute!
Well I think that my boys drank cutonium and I can't stand it. I know, I know, everyone thinks their kid is the cutest and it's true, they are. My little one has me wrapped around his little finger. He even uses a translation mustache. I'm in trouble, big, big trouble.

 Must.resist.the.cuteness!




Monday, August 13, 2012

The Great Cupcake Race Virtual 5k/10k

I just want to plug blogger and  fellow MRTTer Run Find Your Happy Pace's virtual race.....




 Run Find Your Happy Pace together with Running Insanity is hosting a virtual 5k to support TNT. There are three options to participate and all the proceeds go to Team in Training. Please consider running (or walking) this. This wonderful event will take place on September 8th. If  RFYHP gets 100 people to register she will run it in costume, dressed as a cupcake.



 I really want to see this.



So go over to her blog and sign up!! There is BLING, if you are into that sort of thing (who isn't). And the proceeds go to help people with cancer. It's a win-win, now go!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Military Challenge 2012

It has taken me a while to get this recap up, I guess I am still recovering from the course or just super busy and not really feeling the whole social media thing. But that feeling has gone and I am ready to give you the run down on (use a deep echo voice when reading the next title)....

The MC 2012.



This is the third year I have run this particular obstacle course/5k. I have been there since the beginning and have seen this race grow into a nice little (inexpensive) obstacle run. This time around I ran it with some of my girls from MRTT.



Yes we are big dorks!


The course was particularly dangerous this year, not only did it rain all week leading up to the race, providing a wet and muddy experience,  there were wild animals on the loose!


This one was very scary...




I love mud runs, obstacle runs, whatever you want to call them.
I them.


ITB pain or not I was running this race. I had set a goal earlier this year to win my age group and cough cough, that didn't happen. Oh well, but what did happen was memorable. The course conditions were perfect. The heat had finally calmed down after being in the 100's for most of the month and the course itself was nice and muddy winding through a wooded area behing the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.


This was the bubble pit last year
There are drainage ditches, which were rain swollen and about up to my waist with God knows what running through them. There were walls to hurdle yourself over; mud pits to crawl through; a cargo net to climb up; and to finish it off a bubble bath leading into a slip n' slide  so you were all clean when you crossed the finish line. 




See how nice and clean I am?

How clean we all were...


We all had a great time at the after party!


And then we found out that we WON the team division!! I guess third times the charm!
Congrats Ladies!


I can't wait for next year!!









Friday, August 3, 2012


It's almost 3 weeks since I got a steroid injection into my left knee. This was suppose to take care of my ITB problems. It' didn't. In fact for a week after I felt worse. My entire knee hurt. It wasn't the relief I was looking for, so I finally conceded and stopped running (for the most part). I did the elliptical a couple of times and ran on the weekend. I just crossed my fingers and hoped that I would be ready for my race (recap coming soon). I actually did kind of well. My knee was fine but my lungs were screaming!! But only two days later I couldn't even go two miles without it acting up. Ugh!

 
So I made another appointment to see my PT, Dave. He suggested that maybe changing my running gait would alleviate the repetitive rubbing of my distal IT Band against my lateral femoral condyle. Here is a quick anatomy/biomechanics lesson...The IT Band crosses over the lateral femoral condyle at about 30* of knee flexion. As a heel striker I am repetitively rubbing that ITB back and forth against the bone as my knee flexes and extends. Think match stick and sand paper. At a cadence of 170 foot strikes (or in my case heel strikes) per minute, multiplied by the 111 minutes it took me to run a half marathon, that equals, well a lot of FRICTION! Eventually there is going to be a flare up!


The thought is to get me to be more of a forefoot striker and get my point of contact more under me, instead of way out in front. By bringing my feet under me and landing on the ball of my foot with a slightly flexed knee, this will eliminate the amount time my IT Band spends rubbing back and forth across the bone, thus relieving the friction and my pain.


I know this is crazy, but I never fancied myself as a heel striker. I dont' know why, every picture I have from races including, my profile pic have me heel striking. See how far out in front of me my foot is. My ankle is flexed, my knee is fully extended (past that 30* point) and I am about to land on my heel. OUCH!






It's amazing I have lasted this long with out getting a stress fracture.


Who knew running had to be so complicated. You would think that it should just be natural and something that everyone can do, like breathing. Apparently that is incorrect thinking. I don't live entirely under a rock. I have read Born to Run. I understand the thought process behind the whole minimalist running movement. Heck, I even have a pair of NB Minumus'. But I didn't get how horrible my gate was until it was broken down for me.

The picture on the left is me in April when all this nonsense was just beginning. And the girl in blue with a slightly better tan and way better running form is me today. My PT put me through some drills and I ended up looking like this....


Can you see the difference?



On the left my knee is much straighter then on the right and I am getting ready to land on my heel. Bad, very bad.

On the right I am actually in the air, my foot is plantarflexed and I am getting ready to hit the ground with flexed knee and on the ball of my foot.

It felt great. I wasn't running for long, but I could tell the difference anyway! I am so excited to implement this into my routine.  Wish me luck!