Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Deep water running

I'm really frustrated with this ankle issue I have going on. For about 90% of the time, my ankle feels completely fine, and it makes me feel like I'm overreacting. When I walk the kids to the bus stop, or I just walk around the house, I think, "I could totally go for a run right now!" But that other 10% of the time, I am very confident that it is, in fact, injured. Yesterday (and today), I took a rest day, and I also tried to come up with a plan for where to go from here.

I am registered for the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half on January 18th. My best friend Sarah and I were going to walk it together (she doesn't run) for our 33rd birthdays. Our birthdays are on the 22nd and 25th, so we decided to celebrate together this year by walking the race. I really don't think it's a good idea to to do the race (walking or running) because I feel like I need to focus on healing my ankle. I'm sure a 5K or 10K would be okay, but I have a feeling that doing a half marathon would really mess it up right now.

This picture is totally irrelevant to this post. But when I was looking for a picture of Sarah and me celebrating a birthday, I came across this one, and I love it. I don't know how old we were here... maybe three?

So, yesterday, I told Sarah that I'm not going to be able to do the race. I offered to cheer her on, but she admitted that she was really unprepared for the race, and so we mutually agreed to be spectators. I'm still going to Phoenix for a few days to visit, I just won't be doing the race there. And since I decided to back out of the goal of a half-marathon per month due to my ankle issue, I don't have another race lined up until March, when I go to Portland.

Because of all of that, I'm going to avoid running until my ankle is better. But I don't want to turn into a couch potato, either, so I started thinking of alternatives. The most popular alternative to running, particularly when one is injured, is deep water running (or pool running). This is basically done in the deep end of a pool, where you can't touch the bottom. You wear a floatation belt to hold you upright and keep you from sinking, and then you basically run--you do the same motion as running outside, but you're not actually touching the ground. This is really great exercise for runners who are injured, because it is a NO impact exercise.

I've read from several blogs of runners who have done it to keep in shape or continue training when injured, and it seems to be really successful. Yesterday, I ordered an "Aqua Jogger" on Amazon (the flotation belt to keep me from sinking):

When that arrives, I'm going to renew my membership at the rec center, and give the pool running a try! I'm sure it's going to be mind-numbingly boring (my "long runs" in the pool of two hours with no entertainment? Yikes!) but if I bring the kids and/or Jerry along, maybe it won't be too bad. I wish my iPod was waterproof.

If all goes well with the pool running, hopefully I will stay in good enough running shape to get back to running on the ground when my ankle is better. I'm praying that I'll be able to run normally again by February!

As I mentioned in my New Year's post, on Tuesdays I'd like to do Taste Test Tuesday again--only instead of tasting a new product, I'll try a new "real foods" recipe. My sister shared a recipe with me yesterday that she said was really good, so I decided to make that. It's called Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole.

I was tempted to swap out brown rice for the quinoa, because I don't love quinoa. I also wanted to use sour cream instead of yogurt, because you know how I feel about yogurt. But to be fair to Taste Test Tuesday, I figured I should probably make it as written in the recipe. When I went shopping to pick up a couple of the ingredients, Kroger was actually out of chicken breasts--strange. I used ground turkey breast instead, so that was the only substitution I made.

It wasn't a very pretty dish, but it turned out really good!

Like I said, I would have preferred rice, but when I tasted this, I couldn't taste the quinoa at all. I like the texture of quinoa (it's just the taste that I don't care for), but the spices of the dish overpowered the flavor of the quinoa. I didn't taste any of the yogurt, either. Everything went really well together, and it was so good! It was on the spicy side, so next time I'll leave out the cayenne because my kids won't eat it when it's this spicy. I'll definitely make it again, though. Jerry and I both loved it.

Tomorrow is Eli's ninth birthday! We asked him what he'd like to do for his birthday dinner, and he said he wants to go to La Pita :) I'm so glad it's La Pita and not Chinese food again! The food at La Pita is pretty healthy, no matter what you order, so I can make it work. My older brother and his wife are coming in from Minnesota, so we're picking them up on the way to the restaurant. My parents and my little brother are going as well. Should be fun! I can't believe my youngest child will be NINE tomorrow. And to think I was carded for buying wine today, haha ;)


  1. There are pouches you can buy to put your phone in, then wear it on a lanyard..

  2. Have you thought about going to a podiatrist or a chiropractor that specializes in athletes and runners? I know the running club I belong to has a podiatrist and chiropractor that both specialize in athletes and particularly runners. Two years ago I was having issues with my ankle, I felt like I had sprained it but it turned out to be the peroneal tendonitis. I also needed orthotics for my shoes - and boy those have made a huge difference in my running and my shoes. And these are not the hard orthotics, these are specifically for runners.

    Good luck with the water running! I've had a few running friends that had to do that as well when they were injured and they said it helped and they liked it as well.

    1. I agree. This has been an ongoing issue for you. It would likely be in your best interest to proactively go to an orthopedist before it gets much worse!

  3. I have a waterfi waterproof iPod shuffle and it makes a huge difference to my pool workouts. I swim laps which get pretty boring pretty darn fast but when I've got the music going it really changes the whole experience!

  4. Have you tried rowing? It's a great, low impact way to get you heart rate racing!

  5. That picture of you and Sarah is priceless! Such adorable kids. :)

  6. I have/had tendinosis in my big toe. It was a long chronic process (partly because I didn't take enough rest when the injury came on), but things turned around after I went to physiotherapy. Carefully targeted balance and strength exercises really helped. Also, I got orthopedics that removed pressure from the hurt area, which also seemed to really help recovery. Doing aquaworkouts seems like a great idea, because it is also not very good for recovery to stop moving at all.

  7. Do you know this blog Katie? http://www.skinnytaste.com/ Some of the recipes are pretty simple, and the points are already calculated for you. Everything looks delicious.

  8. I'm sorry about your ankle, but I'm glad Portland will be your return to running. Portland is a great town for runners. It's where I ran my first marathon.

  9. Happy Birthday Eli!!!

    I am sorry about the ankle. I am not sure if you want to hear this or if it even applies but in April I was walking down my road and I tripped over nothing....I rolled my ankle out and boy did it hurt. It has never been the same. I have gone to the Dr. and he said once you hurt an ankle it is never the same again. He suggests strengthening exercises for it but I never do them. Like you 90% of the time it is fine but after I am on my feet for awhile or I roll it out or sit strange it hurts for awhile. Another thing that makes it hurt if running on uneven surfaces and roads with a large pitch. Like after the Vegas 5k/half and all the walking I was in BAAAD shape for a few days. R.I.C.E and a brace for a couple of days and I am good.

    Good luck!!!

  10. I'm sorry you are not running the Phoenix race but I'm glad you'll still get to be part of it. I will be running it for the first time. Perhaps I'll see you since I know you are an enthusiastic spectator. I hope your ankle gets better soon. At least with aquajogging you don't have to worry about the weather. My running and weight loss journey has been very slow but your posts keep me motivated. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  11. Love the best friend picture!

    Just a heads up for the pool running, I follow a blog where she trained in a pool for a marathon then ran, pretty much with just the pool running. She was fine EXCEPT for the blisters on her feet because all of her callouses and stuff on her feet had gone away with all the pool running. Keep that in mind once you are out of the pool!

  12. I think that you met Beth from Shut Up and Run? She trained for Boston in the pool. I'm not sure if her blog is searchable but you could try and check out her posts (I have to admit, she's out of my league for running but she's freakin' hilarious!).

  13. Happy birthday to Eli and hope the ankle gets better soon

  14. So sorry to hear about your ankle, Katie! I also recommend seeing a doctor and/ or going to physical therapy. I did 3 months of PT early last year for shin/calf pain and ran my first half in over a decade in November with no pain at all!

    I also wanted to tell you that if you try toasting the quinoa before steaming it, it loses the saponin on the outer shell of the seeds, getting rid of the "green" taste. It's much better!

    Last, your notes about your speed at lower weights have inspired me to try dropping my 20 or so extra pounds this first half of 2015--I'm going to use Racing Weight and see what happens as I change my body fat percentage. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. I had a similar injury in my ankle. I would be fine and then all of a sudden I would step and feel a shot of pain and weakness in my ankle. I finally felt better after I did a Whole30. The theory is that when you eat a lot of junk (especially sugar) your body spends all it's time protecting your gut from what you eat that it doesn't have time or energy to fix injuries as fast as it should. Once I cut out the junk, I was able to start running again.

    Regarding the pool and how boring it is, I love to swim laps, but wow, so boring. But check out this waterproof armband and water proof headphones: http://www.amazon.com/X-1-Audio-XB1-BK-X-Waterproof-Smartphones/dp/B00AHQFEB2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420647511&sr=8-1&keywords=amphibix


    I use similar ones when I swim and it's so nice to have music in the pool. Heck you can even have fun with it and do a water themed playlist (Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid is a must.)

  16. I'm not a big quinoa fan either, but the below recipe is one I make often, and all my kids, ages 16-10 love it to. Bonus, it's for the crock pot, and I love dinners I don't have to think about:

    Quinoa and Chicken Chile
    2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into
    bite-sized pieces
    28 oz can diced tomatoes
    15 oz can chicken broth
    15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
    15 oz can chili beans
    15 oz can corn, drained
    10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
    1 cup quinoa, rinsed
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    2 teaspoons onion powder

    Combine chicken, tomatoes, broth, beans, corn, diced tomatoes, quinoa, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder in a 4- to 6- quart slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or until chicken is done and quinoa is tender. Serve with any toppings you enjoy! I love broken up tortilla chips in mine!

  17. Another option: If your ipod has bluetooth, you can get waterproof bluetooth earbuds and leave your ipod on the side of the pool.

  18. You are very inspiring. After finding your blog yesterday I decided to start using Spark People and even did workout DVD last night. I look forward to reading how the pool running goes for you. We just built a pool in the backyard and i'm looking forward to laps and other pool exercises.


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