Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The post about feet, athletic therapy and a camera guy

Getting your feet stripped after acupuncture is no joke yo...

  • I'm not gonna lie. Acupuncture grosses me out. It doesn't hurt. Just the thought of it makes me feel icky though. What does hurt? After the needles are taken out and Dr. Nicole strips my feet. Basically she breaks down the neuromas by hand. My running gal Monica sees Dr. Nicole at The Health Centre Integrative Therapies in Dundas as well. She actually referred me. She happened to be there when I was last getting stripped and sat in on the appointment. Hence the non-selfie photography. All I can say is it's 15 minutes of excruciating pain and I hate it. But more than running The Bay this Sunday? Nope. I'm so excited/anxious/eager/nervous to see what happens with my feet. Fingers crossed I get my first pain-free long  run ever!
  • It felt so strange not doing a long run this past weekend. I'm tapering now in prep for my 30K on Sunday. I have planned my week so I'm active everyday leading up to Sunday. Monday I ran, yesterday morning Pilates, Wednesday to Friday running and Saturday I think I'm gonna ride my permitting. I will run in any kind of weather, but biking? Not so brave...
  • I had private Pilates instruction through my work benefits. I said goodbye to my Pilates instructor yesterday and decided instead to use the benefit on a Certified Athletic Therapist who specializes in running gait analysis and therapeutic mechanical correction and conditioning. I did Pilates to become a more efficient runner. It has helped strengthen my core 100%, but my running form is deplorable. Like I need professional intervention deplorable. If you don't believe me, watch me run by you. Horrible. Although I said goodbye to Cathy at Absolute Pilates in Ancaster, I have not said goodbye to Pilates. There are mat classes offered at my gym. I will be doing that in addition to yoga. I need a longer day...

My Transformation Tuesday pic from yesterday. 

  • Last week when I was at my dad's house I grabbed a bunch of boxes of pictures and took them to my foster sister's house and we went through them. I found a ton of "before" pictures of myself. Moments I forgot all about. But I'm smiling and appear to be happy. The pic on the left was taken at Black Creek Pioneer Village. The cute little ginger dude is my nephew (can you tell I was adopted?). He's 24 now. Don't even about the vest. It was a fashion faux pax then, it's still wrong today. I thought the vertical stripes were slimming.When I see the comparison, I have to give myself props. I don't recall looking like the picture on the left. As time goes on, the memories of being that size are slowly fading away. 
  • Getting used to a new body is a long and exhausting process. I know I've said this before, but self esteem issues after weight loss is a real struggle. I'm actively working on dealing with this now. I got myself back into therapy and I'm focusing on lifting myself and others up. I can find beauty in almost anyone. And I've no problem telling others how amazing they are. I need to work on self affirmations. I'm always humbled that people find me inspiring. That's an important role to play in someone's life. I need to practice what I preach because self love is a huge factor in weight loss. Not just loving yourself at goal, but loving yourself before too. More on this in a later post.

Tuesday at my house. What the? A CTV etalk SUV?

  • I've got a couple exciting things in the works. Yesterday CTV showed up at my house. I can't reveal all just yet, but what an awesome afternoon. Fun was had by all, but mainly me. Funny story. The guy in the bottom left photo was my cameraman. He was in my house for a full hour before I realized he went to high school with one of my oldest girlfriends. I took that selfie and texted it to her. She recognized him right away! He hasn't aged at all. Even though high school was 22 years ago. Boy I'm old...
  • Today I got to go to CTV studios in Toronto and have a wardrobe fitting. So much fun playing dress-up. And I got to see the tail end of some daytime shows being recorded. Very cool. Although I'm not saying too much right now, all will be revealed on April 1st. And no this is not an April Fool's joke:-).
  • That's all I got for right now. Just looking forward to running The Bay this Sunday. As soon as that's done, I head right into training for the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon which is the 1st weekend in June. Awesome event to run. Did I mention that they have the best swag bags and porta-potties? With flowers and pink stuff in them. Nice touch. Enjoy the rest of the week. We're half way done!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The post about missing in action, my feet, and training...of course

Regardless of my run, the medal is awesome!

  • Yep. Re-surfacing after another lengthy hiatus. Just had so much crazy going on in my head, I couldn't even write here. But I can see clearly now and I need to start writing the crazy down. This could take a few posts. Best therapy ever. Well running is the best therapy ever, but blogging is right up there with actual therapy. Since I last wrote here, lots has been happening. I made a list so I'll start with item number one...
  • I ran the Chilly Half Marathon a few weeks ago. The distance actually worked in well with my training for the Bay (30K Road Race next weekend). I figured I might as well get a medal out of it. Olympian Reid Coolsaet ran the same race. I wrote on Instagram that running is a sport that does not discriminate. I will never get to run for Team Canada, but I get to run in races with those who do. It was an out and back x2 so he ran by me twice. So awe inspiring to watch him run. He won with a time of 1:03:36. That's 3 minute kilometers yo! 
  • My race was not as epic. Well it was, but for different reasons. It was my second worst half (time wise) and my worst half (pain wise). My feet (Morton's Neuroma) did not fair well at all. And it left me questioning how I was gonna manage 9 more kilometers by the end of the month. It was a touch soul crushing to say the least and I debated if I should be running anything over 10 miles (16K). But then fate intervened and my hope has been restored yet again. 

Sexy huh? You're welcome...

  • I was having dinner out with my running friends just after the Chilly Half. After my very painful run, I decided to look at alternative forms of treatment for Morton's Neuroma. I've exhausted medical options because I've already been told that surgery and cortisone shots were not recommended for me. The neuromas return 50% of the time after surgery and the cortisone will eat away at the fat on the soles of my feet and I need that to run. So I mention that I'm gonna give acupuncture a shot. One of my girls tells me she works for an acupuncturist/chiropractor. So I ask if she has ever treated Morton's Neuroma. She texts her boss who replies that yes she has treated MN successfully in the past and I should make an appointment ASAP because I can get this treated while I'm training for the Bay. I called right away and got into to see her within a couple days.
  • Nobody has ever explained MN to me like Dr. Nicole did. I thought it was hereditary, but she told me that I developed the neuromas (which is actually scar tissue) from carrying so much extra weight my whole life. When I run, it causes my 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones to rub together which inflames the neuroma that has formed there over the years from my weight causing the bones to rub. Makes perfect sense. 
  • So how does acupuncture work? I get 4 needles in each foot to stimulate the nerves. They don't hurt, except for the one's going into the soles of my feet. I lay there for about 15 minutes in the dark, listening to a babbling brook and having to go to the bathroom, even if I go right before hand! The needles cause my feet to itch. Then Dr. Nicole comes back, takes the needles out and basically strips my feet. That means she does deep tissue massage which hurts like hell. That's basically to break the scar tissue up. I've had five treatments and on top of her treatments, I have to ice and roll my feet on a small hard ball several times a day. I ran one long run 2 treatments in. I still cramped but it was a different sensation. Not as intensely painful as I'm used to. I have no more long runs till the Bay and I won't know how well this has worked till next weekend. But I am very optimistic.
  • Dr. Nicole has treated many, many cases of MN with almost 100% success. Only 1 person required surgery but she told me that case was waaaaaay worse than mine. I told her that I would never run a marathon and she says I will. This is the most hopeful I have ever been. And she says she can feel lots of improvement in the size of my neuromas. She actually feels them in my feet. Anyway, that is my very long winded explanation about my feet!

Throwback to my 2nd half, the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon.

  • Next weekend I run the Bay. Then I continue training for the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon at the beginning of June. Such an awesome event. And one of my faves because I ran it with my running mentor Carol. And Katherine Switzer is there. She's a running icon. The first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Love Niagara Falls. The course is beautiful and you get to run past the falls twice. You also get an awesome swag bag that includes makeup and VQA wine! I also love the technical Brooks t-shirt. Lots of fun for a weekend away with the girls. When I last ran it (a couple years ago), there were about 100 men who ran. They don't discriminate but it's really geared towards the girls. Great destination race!!!
  • Training for the Bay is almost done. I ran my last long run last weekend and now I scale back. It was disappointing to hear that the final hill on Valley Inn Road would not be part of the race this year. CN Rail is adding more tracks for the Pan Am Games this summer and construction will not be done. That hill is also called Heartbreak Hill and it's a challenge. But I love a challenge. Still lots of rolling hills on the course to love.
  • I'm still getting Intramuscular Stimulation Therapy. It's to treat the chronic hamstring issue I've had. This is acupuncture needles in my back, glutes and upper thigh. The needles are done one at a time and when it's inserted, it's manipulated to stimulate the muscle. It's highly unpleasant. I do not like the sensation at all. But I will say this. My hamstring does not ache nearly as much as it used to when I sit for long periods of time. I've had a few treatments, I've a few more to go. Between this and the acupuncture for the MN, it would be awesome to run pain free one day.
  • I got a couple questions from my last post I will address. Yes I am still married. And I was also asked about maintaining energy during longer runs while on a low carb eating plan. Depending on the time of day you run, make sure you get enough protein into you leading up to your run. I'm a morning runner and I run on an empty stomach. So I ensure that I eat and drink enough the day before my run. When I used to run in the evening, I'd eat and drink well all day long, but finish my eating 3 hours before my run. As soon as I finish running, I eat protein to help restore my muscles. Protein was key for me and still is since I'm still grain free. Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting everyone run or do any kind of physical exercise grain free, and I'm not promoting my lifestyle. It's not for everyone, it's just what works for me.
  • I've reactivated my personal Facebook page. But I don't think I'll be publishing my Poonapalooza page on Facebook again anytime soon. Since I've been off Facebook, I've no idea what my family and friends are up to. I will be updating my blog roll. Let me know if you'd like an add or if anything has changed. I still have much to say but this is a much longer post than I anticipated. It will have to be continued...

A transformation pic I posted a week ago. Really helps me realize how far I've come.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The post about training, extreme cold and IMS

  • My weekly blog update has turned into a bi-weekly update. Read on if you want to hear nothing but a lot of bitching and moaning. You have been warned...
  • Lets start off with the bad to get it out of the way. Training for the Around the Bay 30K. Not going as well as it did last year. I definitely trained harder last year. I learned yesterday the the last hill on Valley Inn Road is not going to happen. Also dubbed "Heartbreak Hill" it's the reason I do hill repeats while training. It's a real bastard and I refuse to walk it. When you get to the top, you only have 3K left to run to the finish but it's the longest 3K ever. So funny thing is, this year I did not do hill repeats. I do hills while I run, but not repeats like I should for training. No excuse really except for the snow and cold. Which isn't a viable reason. We had snow and extreme cold last year too. So did I score? Not really. The last hill is a challenge and I love a challenge. It won't feel like the same race without the hill.
  • Training for the Bay is the hardest race to train for. You have to train seriously and you have to do it in the dead of winter. We've had lots of extreme cold alerts. I'm likely going to exaggerate here, but it seems like they happen for a couple days weekly and have since the New Year. Last weekend, this past Thursday and Friday, all extreme cold days due to an arctic air mass. It's warmed up again, and the projected forecast doesn't look too bad. The worst day looks like Monday with a low of -24C. That I can handle. When it's -30C and colder, I can't run. My lungs hurt and I lose feeling in my lower body. That's when I'm likely to get frostbite. And frostbite is no joke. I lost 2 toenails to frostbite last winter. 
  • Last Sunday I had to very grudgingly drag my ass to the gym and run on the DREADMILL. Only the 2nd time I've done this and I hated every minute of it. Truly. I listen to talk radio when I run and I can't get reception in my gym. The TV's don't interest me and I spent the entire time watching myself in the mirror. Which only confirmed what I already know. I look incredibly awkward when I run and I need to work on my form.
  • Now for something positive. I went for a Pilates re-assessment at physio. I definitely have a stronger core. My assessor, Laura, could see some real improvement from when I first started back in November. This makes me happy. Pilates is also no joke. I get such a good full body workout during the hour I do it. I don't like going, but I never regret it once I'm done. And it's just one of those things I make myself do. Pilates is hard work and I'm always sore the next day.
  • Something we discussed was my chronic hamstring issue. I injured it while training for my first half marathon 2 winters ago and although it's not always present, it bugs me from time to time. Especially when I up my mileage (now), or sit for a long time. Laura suggested I try IMS (IntraMuscular Stimulation). It's not fun physio. It's actually acupuncture and the needles would go into the backs of my upper thighs and buttocks. Definitely not as sexy as it sounds. I figure I'll give it a go. I've nothing to lose. I have an assessment booked for next week. 
  • Yoga is still something I enjoy immensely. Due to a holiday this past week and having to run on Wednesday morning because I had to switch run days due to the cold, I haven't been since last Sunday and I'm missing it. Tomorrow I run 20K and I'm hoping to do it early enough so I can make the 10am class, but it's unlikely. I can't do the 12pm class because it's Julien's reconciliation and we have to be at church for 1:30pm. And Monday night I have plans to meet up with some awesome women I haven't seen in ages. I'm going through yoga withdrawal and I'm really jonesing. Can't wait for Wednesday morning. I'm gonna practice yoga like it's my job!

Yeah, I had wine...while training. Don't judge me...

  • Let's touch on my eating now shall we? So I'm not eating enough. Counterproductive really. I need to a) remember to eat and b) eat more frequently. Never in a million years did I ever think food would be so unimportant to me. True story. Still following my grain-free lifestyle. That will likely not change anytime soon. It's how I feel most in control. Control is very important for a former binge eater. My mileage has increased over the past month so I really need to be mindful of getting enough quality calories into me.
  • Wine has crept it's way back into my life. Not 4x a week which was my non-training wine schedule, but once a week. Had wine last weekend and again yesterday. Not the quality calories I should be ingesting right now, but it is what it is. I'm just a lying liar who does nothing but lies. And I'm over it...
  • I've not weighed myself in a couple months and I'm fine with that. My body feels normal, if not a touch leaner. I'll tell you where I'm leaner, my torso/abdomen area. My legs have gotten more muscly. That is from running in the snow and working out on the Pilates reformer. My calves and inner thighs especially. And I don't mind at all. Bring on the leg muscle. I'm a runner! I've also got more defined shoulder muscles. That's just from yoga and Pilates. I'll take it!
  • That's pretty much it. A dull and boring existence I lead. I think today I will be getting my hair trimmed and my bangs cut again. Exciting times. My forehead is massive. Really more of a fivehead to be honest. And this time of year is best for bangs. They don't stick to your head in a hot sweaty mess. Hoping you keep warm or cool. Depending on where in the world you are!

On Family Day this past Monday Julien and I met his cousins at the
Ontario Science Center. Fun times! Top right photo we're in the Imax theater.