October 17, 2015: When you feel a pain in your arch…

I’m lucky, extremely lucky, that my running injuries have been minor, treatable injuries that really needed no more than rest, ice and patience. I try to pay attention to every twinge early on – I refer to it as my “systems check” – and address issues right away.

I’ve never (knocking hard on wood) had an issue with Plantar Fasciitis – sometimes my arches are sore and I immediately roll them, massage them, etc. Luckily I’ve never been hit with PF and, after training to run 4 marathons over the last year and a half (three of them BQ times), I was surprised to not have more than some minor shin splints.

Since Santa Rosa almost 2 months ago, I haven’t put in high mileage weeks. I did beat myself up pretty good at Ragnar Vail Lake, and during my recovery from that adventure I noticed a horrible, painful ‘tearing’ on my right arch, right at the ball of my right foot. It wasn’t happening when I was running, but whenever I stretched my foot I’d feel this tear. It was more than just an ache – it was a “ripping” sensation, and sharp.

As if reading my mind, one of my friends on posted this video on Facebook Mob:ility Mastery: Learn the ONE Stretch That Relieves Plantar Fasciitis, Shin Splints, Achilles Pain, Heel Pain and Compartment Syndrome. And can I tell you something? While this stretch is one of most painful things I’ve ever done on my foam roller, after trying this just once, the tearing disappeared. Seriously. Gone.

I’ve been doing this once a day for the past week and my calves feel amazing, my shin splints are fading. It’s just way too amazing not to share it. I highly, highly, highly recommend checking this video out (disclaimer: I am in no way, shape or form a doctor or any type of medical practitioner, I just know what worked for me).

January 1, 2015: Everyday I am a runner

I am a runner. I’m not a professional runner. I’m not a competitive runner. But I am a runner.

I am also a mother. There are many mothers who identify themselves as ‘mother runners.’ I used to, but it never quite felt right. I realized that the reason the phrase didn’t resonate with me is because the phrase ‘mother runner’ implies (to me) that being a mother shapes the type of runner I am. But for me the opposite is more accurate. Being a runner has shaped the kind of mother I’ve become. Being a runner has shaped the kind of wife I am, the kind of worker I am, the kind of friend I am. Because in each of those roles, I am always thinking through life as a runner. Everyday, I’m a runner.

I wanted to document my journey as a runner over the course of one year. So that’s what I’ll be writing here. There probably won’t be many (any) product recommendations (I’m a horrible sales person anyways). It won’t always be bright and shiny. I’ll be honest about my ups and downs.

How did running shape my life today? It got me out of bed earlier than I wanted to on New Year’s Day to run in a 5k with my husband and our two boys. My older son is a runner; although he’ll graduate from high school soon and with that, leave his cross country life behind him, he has already begun to set his sights on longer distances. In my heart I think he is a marathoner, he just doesn’t know it yet.

My younger son is not a runner – at least not yet. But his enthusiasm for trying to be a runner cannot be denied. Today’s 5k was a challenge – he thought he was more prepared than he was. We have a 10k in two short weeks and I worry that he isn’t ready. But tonight at dinner, he looked across the table at me with a fierce determination in his eyes; he assured me he will be ready. I love him for believing. I believe in him too.

Tonight as I wrapped up the first day of the year I found out from a friend that a marathon I’ve been procrastinating registering for had less than 200 spots left. Grudgingly, I registered. Booked the hotel room. Registered my husband for the half marathon. And in five minutes I turned a thought into action. I will try to BQ again. I will try to take a minute off of my marathon time. Less than five months from now. The thought is daunting; I ran my marathon PR of 3:54 (enough for a BQ for 2016) just five short weeks ago, but the pain of that experience is still pretty fresh in my mind. I’d hoped to have more time to emotionally recover from the experience before registering for another. But it’s done now. Talk has been put into action.