Wednesday, May 4, 2016

you don't appreciate what you can do until you can't do...

What a year this has been.  Please sense the sarcasm!

Almost a year ago to this date I messed up (aggravated) my knee on a Mother's Day hike.  I guess it was punishment for asking for that as my gift from my anti-hiking husband. Took time off for PT and struggled getting back into running shape.  I struggled mentally and physically on the road back then developed that damn plantar fasciitis which made the road back even harder.

I found crossfit and a family of athletes that made me feel welcome and I enjoyed every grueling workout. I had gotten so out of shape not being able to run that it was nice to channel that drive into something healthy and benefitting ME.  I used crossfit to train for my fall half marathon without running much at all because of my knee being angry when I ran.  I was able to run that entire half without walking and was so happy to finish!  It may have been a slow half marathon for me but it was a mental roadblock I got past.

I hurt my back this winter moving a laundry basket (it was heavy I swear) and that slowed down my progress at crossfit, 2 steps forward, 3 steps back, and it slowed down my running even more.  I reaggravated it in mid March and then ended up in the ER with the worst pain of my life (not exaggerating!) I haven't felt my left leg or foot since March 20th! VERY FRUSTRATING!  I have now spent 8 weeks doing nothing! NOTHING! NOTHING AT ALL!  In case you missed that NOTHING!  I have iced, heated, taken Naproxen and pain killers and now 2 weeks ago had Steroid injections in my SI joint and L5.  I am finally beginning to feel like me! Feeling most of my leg and foot and not in constant pain.  YAY! And now there is a plan set forth to get back into exercise.

This week I had permission to start jogging slowly (like there was another option besides turtle pace!) with my Girls on the Run team I coach! I did 2/3 of a mile and it was HARD! Holy crap! I don't  remember starting running being this hard and I was 50 pounds heavier than now!  
  I am looking forward to bringing you on this journey.  As uncomfortable as this journey will be.  I have a new appreciation for being able to move without pain.  You don't appreciate what you can do  until you can't do it.  Trying to remember that will be the goal!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Plantar Fasciitis in a nutshell SUCKS

I've been struggling this summer with Plantar Fasciitis.  It sucks!  So I've been doing a lot of research and trying everything I read to heal this and get back to an actual running schedule.  Mama lives and breathes with Google calendar and needs her running scheduled again! So here is some info I learned in hopes that maybe I could help some of you as well!

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue on the sole of the foot. It is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia or arch tendon of the foot. The two ends of the tendon attach at the bottom of the toes and at the front of the heel bone by means of fascia, a strong fibrous membrane. The plantar tendon keeps the arch of the foot from flattening completely when the foot carries weight, providing cushioning and shock absorption when you’re walking, running or standing. This tendon also allows you to point your toes. 

plantar-fasciitis-blog-pic    ,

So what causes the plantar fascias to do that?  Walking or running up or down hills, climbing stairs, walking or running on your toes which also includes wearing high heels, or dorsiflexing (pointing your toes up as your heel comes down with each stride) all pull the plantar tendon.  Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by heel striking, tight calves and an inflexible Achilles tendon can also pull the plantar tendon and weaken the attachment of the fascia to the bone. If the plantar tendon is stretched beyond what the fascia is capable of holding, the fascia forms micro-tears and begins to pull away from the bone, causing inflammation. That inflammation hurts like you wouldn't believe by
the way!  Other causes of PF are wearing worn-out running shoes or ones that lack arch support( also
my beloved flip flops),and overpronation (when your feet roll inward too much.)

When the plantar tendon is constantly over-stretched, the body begins to add calcium which becomes
scar tissue after time  where the attachment between the tendon and the heel bone takes place. Over
time, enough calcium is added to build more bone mass in that particular spot, creating a heel spur
that can be even more painful than plantar fasciitis.

In a nutshell imagine waking up in the morning and having a chunk of glass stabbing you in the heal when you try to step down.  Welcome to Plantar Fasciitis! 


  • If you are having pain while running, decrease your distance until the pain subsides, I personally don’t think you need to stop running completely, but don’t try to run your usual as it can make the pain worse. Just lessen the amount of time running. I also had to pretty much change when I run too.  I used to literally fall out of bed throw clothes on and run.  Now the pain is too severe but I'm lucky if I'm not limping around in the evening to get a shorter run in.  Just not as convenient for me. 
  •  Learn to make a mid-foot strike. The body has a natural form of hitting heel first, but that causes more overall problems when running, such as shin splints. Try to train your feet to hit mid-foot, this keeps your Plantar tendon relaxed and reduces the impact to your heels. I wear Newtons so I switched to a mid foot strike several years ago and it actually helped with many other ailments!
  • Having the proper shoes for your foot type is crucial. If you run in shoes that don’t support your foot type (overpronation, underpronation..) it can hurt your performance.  Go to a real running store and get fitted.  Spend the money so you don't live in a Dr. office constantly injured! 
  • Having tight Achilles tendon and calf muscles can cause stress on your plantar fascia.  This may actually be the cause of mine.
  • Stretch, stretch and stretch more!  then Foam roll and get licked by the dog...or 2 dogs 
  • Perform a self-massage by freezing a bottle of water, or anything cold and round you find in your freezer and roll it under the arch of your foot and gently  back and forth from heel to the arch. Repeat for two to five minutes  
  • dorsiflex the affected foot (point your toes toward your knee) as often as you can remember to do so. This stretches your calf and Achilles tendon and will ease foot tenderness. You can do this stretch throughout the day while sitting or all night while you lay in bed wide awake in pain. 
  • You can also stand on a curb or step and hang your feet off it holding on by your toes and stretch really low

I've heard the Graston Technique can help or a trip to a chiropractor.  Next week I'm going in for some Deep tissue work.  Fingers crossed! 
Have you ever suffered from PF?  What healed you? Did it ever flare up again?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hiking for Heroes

Ok totally dropped the blogging ball this summer!
School is going to start in a week and a half and I think my last post was during "crazy June".  Seriously!!
We have been super busy having summer fun though!
We hiked Mount Washington (you know just 5.5 miles up/5.5 miles down) as part of the "Cops on Top" group where police and their families hiked or climbed the highest point in their state to honor those that have lost their lives.  We are blessed in NH to have beautiful mountains for this activity.  I finished knee PT on Wednesday so no better way to test the knee than an easy little hike(?!). My husband kept saying we would take the easy trail.....ummmkay! I tried explaining no matter what trail we take it won't be easy!  He brushed that off and I agreed to do it.  Little did he know the adventure he was about to take!

At the start of our hike

See he is smiling (1/2 mile in)

So beautiful, don't slip

It is NOT STEEP when there is a ladder built in to the rock face  

Just scurried up that (not as graceful as Catwoman though) 

About to climb up and over that 

After I climbed over it 

Some rock was easier to hike than others

The view from almost halfway up 

I used to work there! (The Mount Washington Hotel & Resort )

Almost to the cabin in the clouds (I got a nice hour break here waiting for the guys)
Literally watched the strorm clouds roll through us -it was crazy! 

Reach out and touch some clouds! 

Heading the mile and a half from the cabin to the the summit 

Sign pretty much says don't do this it will suck the rest of the way

Oh look there is the summit!  What a trick to see it the rest of the way and know what hell  that part was about to be!

Glad I packed my PLOWON just what I needed to hit the summit!

Made it to the summit!

And this is how nuts we all were at the end!

So you will notice all the pictures are from up to the summit and not coming down.  A few reasons.
 - My phone wasn't going to make it (battery) down if I took too many coming down
 - Derek pointed out where the car was at one point and it made me sick to my stomach
 - my feet hurt and I wanted to get off the mountain
 - the cliffs we were climbing down were too steep and dangerous to whip out my phone for a cute (disheveled) selfie
-I hike down with my husband and he was not happy about not being able to take the train down so you also would have had grumpy guy pics

This hike was NOT my idea but I LOVED it!  I would hike it again in a heartbeat! We took one trail up which was a 5.5 mile trek and a different trail down that was just over 5.5 miles down.  I can't wait
for my kids to be old enough (and able ) to do this hike with way in hell hubby will agree to it again!
It was a great cause and great weather (that night the pouring rain began and it poured for 24 straight hours)

Do you like to hike?  What has been your favorite hike?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Whole 30 Week 2


I started this week with more groceries and more food than I could fit in my fridge!  First world problems I know.  Then I got to sit down and pick meals for the week again.  Instead of planning ahead I had just snapped a few screenshots that I wanted to try.  Since we bought practically any and every vegetable and our basement freezer is stocked for 6 months with a variety of meat (no joke we order from a company and get it delivered every 6 fresh the way they pack it and wayyyyy better than the grocery store quality) I didn't really need to prepare a menu ahead of time.  Crazy for me.  I usually plan Friday night for the week ahead.

Monday night was a super easy and fast recipe that I had made once before for our church potluck Lenten suppers.  I planned this since I had Physical Therapy until 6:30 and get home at almost 7p.m. to cook.

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
I don't usually like cabbage but this is so amazing and literally took a half hour to make!  Savannah loved it too and had 2 plates of it.  I couldn't tell you if Jack liked it because he fell asleep on the couch and then chose to go to bed instead of eating dinner.  Little man had gotten up a couple hours early to play with his best buddy so he was zonked!  Hubby loves loves loves cabbage and had several bowls of it!  And the best score was that there were enough leftovers for us each to have it Tuesday for lunch and 1 more lunch for another day!  Woot woot!

Tuesday I got super creative and found a recipe that looked and sounded amazing!  Thai Turkey Meatballs with a coconut red curry sauce that looked great and I thought they would be perfect paired with Zoodles (zucchini you turn into noodles with that thingy).  The kids had Cheese ravioli with the
sauce and meatballs with Zoodles on the side though since this was an easy way of getting rid of the half bag of raviolis in the freezer.
Looks great right?

As my husband said, "you can't hit a home run every game".  He didn't like the sauce (I loved it!) I hated the meatballs (I'm not a fan of ground turkey meatballs of any kind so I think with beef I would have liked them more).  The kids clearly have something wrong with them because they DEVOURED them!  Guess who gets those leftovers?  Yup not my lunch on Wednesday!

Wednesday was a redo of a dish I made week 1 that I loved so much I could eat it everyday!  Yup you guessed it the Beef and veggies in the coconut curry sauce.

So amazing!

So Thursday was insane and I planned for everyone to do leftovers.  I had an amazing bowl of Butternut Squash soup and some of  the beef and veggies from Monday night.   Hubby made burgers for himself, and the kids had the leftover meatballs that they loved (weirdos!!) 

Friday we had these  Chicken Zucchini burgers that were out of this world!  Seriously so easy and I am loving trying these new meals.  The kids loved them and hubby said to make these again definitely!
The chicken burgers and slaw 
Sweet potato & curry bisque 

I also made this Broccoli slaw with it that came out great.  I was definitely surprised as I basicly threw a bunch of stuff in a dish and crossed my fingers.  The sweet potato & curry bisque was good but super hot for me (that hardly ever happens). Everyone loved it though.  

Saturday the house smelled amazing with dinner in the crockpot!  Also, total awesomeness that I didn't have to cook at dinner time!  Love my crockpot!
Pork Tacos, leftover slaw and home made "fries". They were amazing!

And that brings us to Sunday!  The end of week 2!   Really ?? Already!  The month is flying by!  Ok so dinner Sunday took wayyyyyy more time than I thought it would.  It was good but not great.  I got the recipe from a friend who just started her journey on Whole30.  It was  a Tex-Mex Casserole

The huge casserole! We could have fed an army 

My plate of yumminess

It was good but shredding all those sweet potatoes took an ETERNITY!  My arm got quite the workout.  I think this will be better next time.  I will use less sweet potatoes because the meat & veggie to sweet potato ratio was way off.  I will also change the cooking instructions as well so the top is crispier.  Flavor though was awesome!

Overall, I will say this week was great.  I have felt great and my appetite is way down.  It is amazing how sugar and carbs turn me into a crazy snacking monster and now I hardly snacked at all this week or last!   If I do it is a little fruit and nuts.  My favorite snack this week was fresh pineapple with a little shredded coconut (unsweetened) with a few pecans.  So amazingly satisfying!  I can honestly say this way of eating really isn't hard.  We have actually started saving money on food now.  It was just week 1 that cost more really.  That was to stock up on new items we don't usually have like coconut aminos ($10 for a bottle!!!)   I will admit though the only thing I miss but haven't actually craved is our pizza and ice cream and beer night.  After the 30 days I will be happy to celebrate our success with it!  Watching the kids eat ice cream at Dairy Queen this week was tough!  Not going to lie!

So how many of you started researching Whole 30 after my post on Week 1?  I know several of you messaged me for recipes and I love sharing them!  Please those of you that jump on the journey as well share it with me.  I'd love to hear your experience too!
Until next time!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A bit of a PT update and a race recap (what??)

After a few weeks of Physical Therapy and very slow mileage increases I am up to about 2.5 miles every other day.  That said I may have done an extra quarter mile yesterday but shhhh our secret!

When I run the first 3 miles SUCK.  Not joking I have to literally convince myself to keep going.  If we were running next to each other and you asked me at mile 1 if I wanted to run 4 miles or take this turn and get a 6 miler in I would always always always say 4 but if you asked the same question at 3.2 miles I am game for 6+.  I think this is why 5ks are so tough for me.  That little tidbit is to let you know how horribly difficult this PT approved mileage is!  
Hopefully, he will up this over the 3 mile mark soon so I can run in the mornings with my favorite neighbor.....

I really miss our 6 mile morning chat everyday.  Buuuuuut anyways I did tease you  with a race recap.  More of a quick overview really.  My daughter and I ran the Girls on the Run 5k Celebration on Sunday after our 10 weeks of practices.  I can't say it enough, I really love coaching these girls and seeing them complete the 5k at the end of the season.  To see the smiles and looks of accomplishment on their faces is so amazing.
Girls on the Run NH really puts on an amazing event!  It is so organized.  Each team has a banner for the team to meet up at

They have music blasting, face painting, tattoos, crazy cool selfie stations and of course food and merchandise for sale,  also each team gets hair spray to spray the girls (and a few fun parents!). This season there were only a couple of our team's coaches that could be there due to a huge dance recital in town so I didn't get to go do the tattoos and face painting with Savannah like I did in the fall.  But she got an amazing tattoo!

I had warned Savannah before the race that with the knee injury slowing me down and making my cardio fitness level really crappy I wouldn't be able to keep up with her so I paired her with my running buddy (and fellow coach) and her daughter.

I started the race with them (we were in the first wave) and ran about the first third of a mile with them then my plan was to jump in casually with other girls on our team.  It was fun for me not to be running for time (didn't even wear my naked!) and to just be running with the girls and their running buddies.  I got to know a few parents I didn't know before the race and got to enjoy the race through several girls eyes.  I even grabbed this cutie pie about a half mile from the finish to run to the finish with
He loved his ribbon

I was soooo beyond proud of all our girls that ran their little hearts out!  They all walked away with new dreams and goals that I know they will achieve!  Savannah wants to get up to 4 miles this summer so I know she will be running with me!  She also had me sign us up for another race in about a month.  We will run together but not for time just for fun and it's a great cause.
Our amazing team!

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Whole 30 Program Week 1

Since I've been running less due to the pesky knee I've felt like junk.  So blah kind of how I felt much of the winter while running less.  During my boring sitting not running time I came across an article about the Whole 30 Program.  Have you heard of it?  Well if you haven't here is a quick explanation.  Certain food groups like sugar, fake sugars, grains, legumes, and dairy could have a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it.  Inconsistent and nonexistent energy levels may have these food groups to blame!  WHAT? Not my ICE CREAM! NOOOOOOOOO!  Also, inflammation, aches and pains, digestive issues, allergies, and skin issues can be linked to these food groups!  Essentially on this program you eat meat, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds, fruit (only 2 servings a day though), oils and veggies lots of veggies, did I mention veggies?  A lot of those!
The creation of this eating program comes from a husband and wife duo, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.  You can read all about it and how they came to create it at (the whole program is on there FREE) or you can check your library for their book It Starts With Food.

So after reading the article I got curious, who wouldn't right?  So I mentioned to my husband, who drinks about 2 - 16oz glasses of milk at dinner every night plus other dairy like GREEK yogurt, coffee cream and my beloved ice cream what I read about dairy affecting seasonal allergies.  He has always had this annoying throat clearing thing (it is subconsciencely done so he can't stop it) he knows it's annoying so it's ok I say it.  Well!  He stopped drinking milk, eating the yogurt and having cream in his coffee and within days noticed no annoying throat clearing and his allergies were wayyyyyy better, then we got ice cream and sure enough that night sitting watching tv it reappeared!  Coincidence I think not.  Hmmmm should we try this for 30 days and see how we feel?  We decided  it was worth a shot.  So we decided June would be the Whole 30 Program.  

I read the book in a Friday evening and Saturday morning (you know when I should have been 
running a long run but can't) and then hit the grocery store
Purchases made!

Milk was for the kids!
Prep done!

I made Mayonaise, super easy took like 3 mins by hand.  Then a few salad dressings to use as dips and spreads for things and cut fruits and veggies to have ready for quick grabs.  If you want any recipes just ask me I researched and jumped in.  For breakfast all week I had these 

Oops I guess I was already eating that!

They are just a basic Paleo mini quiche essentially.  I made a few varieties so not to get bored.  Some were all veggie and some had hot sausage in them with the veggies.  I paired these with a fruit each morning and coffee.  Very filling and satisfying.  I made a few days worth at a time so it was a quick grab breakfast.

Lunch everyday was leftovers from the night before.  I made some amazing dishes and none of which took long at all!  We have crazy busy nights between coaching 2 afternoons until dinner time and Physical Therapy at dinner time, dinner needs to be quick and easy!

Here is a peak at our dinners

Steak bomb minus the bread and cheese with veggies and a homemade dip

OMG beef coconut curry with peapods, carrots, onions, peppers and broccoli.
Hands down best thing I have eaten in like forever! 

Mexican beef taco in Boston Bib lettuce with homemade Dreamy Avocado dressing 

Buffalo style chicken burgers that I made a bit too spicy for most of the family (oops!) in the Boston Lettuce again instead of a bun with the dreamy avocado dressing to cool it off a tad,  garlic asparagus and butternut squash cut into sticks and roasted-so yummy! 

Sort of a sweet potato shepherds pie.  To be honest Friday is almost always beer and pizza night because I'm spent.  The week is long between up and working by 6 most days and just finishing the day up at 5 to head to PT then cook I'm toast!  I usually look forward to Friday.  This meat stared at me all day in the fridge.  I threw this together while mentally beating that part of my brain that was screaming for pizza. Not craving mind you because surprisingly I craved nothing all week! 

Buffalo Chicken sausages for me hubby had steak but I was kind of sick of beef.  I also heated all the leftover veggies up and had a variety of those.  I needed to make room in the fridge for more fruits and veggies. 
Coconut chicken tenders, homemade mango salsa, butternut squash things again and the leftover green beans.

I learned many things this week and so did my husband.  I feel a billion times better except in the afternoon I have a low blood sugar foggy haze moment where I eat a piece of fruit and a couple nuts then I'm fine.  My stomach went from looking 5 months pregnant to almost flat.  All the Nasty  bloat was gone.  My husband had to tighten his gun belt (kind of a big deal!) 
Grocery shopping got a little more expensive but I think that was mostly because I had  to buy a few things we don't normally cook with like Coconut aminos, coconut flour (I'm allergic to almond flour) and unsweetened coconut.  Stocked up on a variety of nuts too which cost an arm and a leg.  
I think it was actually spending less overall though because we didn't eat out at all.  

I did lack energy on some of my PT approved runs but not sure how much is from this and how much was just from losing cardio fitness over the injury.  We'll have to see how Week 2 goes running and working out.

So, have you ever tried Whole 30 or would you?  It is definitely eye opening!  I would love to hear your results and thoughts!  
I'm not a doctor. 
Everything written in this post  are my own views so consult a doctor.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Physical Therapy

Anyone that runs or works out regularly will have nagging aches and pains along the way BUT they tend to hit a point that those nags get more serious.  After landing in Florida super excited to run the Pinellas Country Trail again (& this time with my super excited daughter) I found that I had so much fluid on my knee I was limping and popping Ibuprofen for the first 5 days.  That meant no running the Trail because after the swelling went down we were headed to Disney World and we all know that would be some major walking!  I came home from 10 wonderful days in Florida without a single run but my knee felt fine so the rest had done it good (or so I thought).  After tapering back up I was having no issues until Mother's Day.  My family went on a beautiful (over 3 mile) hike around the Lake at the Audubon Society.  About a mile and a half into the hike there was a popping and super sharp pains in my knee.
As we headed out

 All smiles

Could they be cuter looking for trolls?

That night I Started getting fluid on my knee again and knew it was time to call the Dr.😢 .  I have such big plans in the next 8 months that I need this fixed so I can move forward!  So a trip to the Dr. then


Then the start of Physical Therapy (PT)

A little post muscle beating tape job

So as it turns out we can't work on the strengthening issue of a pesky Quad area until we deal with how horribly tight my Glute (can't remember which one but it's the outside near the hip bone), hamstring, abductor and calf.  I stretch regularly.  That I think is what I find most aggravating here.  Some people don't stretch at all and they have no issues.  Me?  Stretch and do what you are "supposed" to do and BAM injury!  My knee was feeling even better though after about 45 minutes of such deep muscle work that a normal person would have tapped out.  Not me though.  Picture that finish line and I can take anything!  Bring on the "good" pain!  I even got ok'd to start tapering back up.  That's right this girl got to run a whole .25 mile (and then walk the .75) so every other day those numbers will change a bit so long as we can get the knee cap pain under control.

Go ahead be jealous😜

Hopefully by taking you on my journey you can learn a bit about listening to your body and that taking care of it really is the smart thing to do.  No one knows your body like you do so remember that.  Don't listen to friends that think they know more.  Listen to what your brain is telling you.  That finish line will be so much sweeter in the end!  I know mine will!  What an adventure this 8 months is going to be!
Have you done PT?  For what if you have and did it help?