January 04, 2015

Injury update and current eats

I hope you all enjoyed the Q&A post with Golden! I've learned a ton of great info from him, and it's been very useful, especially over the past month with the peroneal tendinosis I've been dealing with. I've always called it tendonitis, and when Golden was doing his presentation in Bethlehem, I thought he was just mistakenly saying "tendinosis" and "plantar fasciosis"... but he explained the difference between the "itis" and "osis", and I learned that what I've been dealing with is actually tendinosis, which is a long-term injury.

In fact, I can remember when it started, way back in summer of 2013! It was never anything alarming, which is why I didn't pay much attention to it. I just noticed that when I was doing certain strength exercises or trying to sit on my heels that there was some ankle pain (basically, anything that caused me to point my toes). Tendinosis comes on very gradually and lasts a very long time.

During the Turkey Trot 5K, I stepped on a large jingle bell that was lying on the ground, and rolled my ankle. It hurt for a day or two, but I was fine. I ran several times after that without pain, so I assumed nothing had happened. But then when I ran on that slanted road, the pain was terrible, and that's when I finally realized there was an injury. I don't know for sure that all this is related, but from what I've read, it seems to make sense.

This info, along with the runs I've done this week (I'll explain that later), caused me to really think about and reevaluate my running goals. I have two "goal races" for 2015: 1) the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon, where I want to run sub-2:00; and 2) the Detroit Free Press Marathon, where I'd like to run a PR. My secondary running goal for the year was to run a half-marathon every month.

In order to do well at my goal races, I obviously need my ankle in top shape. I'm still having a little bit of pain with it, and I've been feeling stressed about trying to get in my long runs so that I can be prepared for a half-marathon every month. After the past few weeks, I feel like I can't really have both--I should choose either my goal races or the half-marathon-per-month goal. And I choose my goal races.

I think the Run Less Run Faster training was a little too tough as well. This week, I haven't had any good runs. On Thursday, I was supposed to run 3 miles at 8:36 pace, and I only managed a half-mile at that pace before slowing to easy pace. Friday, I ran 4 miles at an easy pace, but I really had a hard time with it. And today, I was supposed to run 8 miles at 9:29-9:39/mile. Last week, I ran 7 miles at 9:27, so I thought today would be no problem.

The weather was great for a run this morning, so I headed out and ended up running the first mile a little too fast, but was still doing okay. By mile three, I thought, "There is no way I can do this pace! This is killing me..." and I decided to just slow it down and run a comfortable pace to get in the miles. My ankle was starting to bother me a little during the fifth mile, so I made the decision to stop after mile five. But the last few miles felt SO hard for some reason, even though that shouldn't have been a hard pace for me.

When I got home, I noticed my calorie burn was sky-high (590 for a 5-mile run), and then I saw why: my average heart rate was 172, and my max had hit 199. For reference, I usually feel my best and run easiest when my heart rate is in the 140's; and during a race, it'll usually end up being in the mid-160's. (The Turkey Trot 10K was the last race I ran hard, and my average HR was 164; max was 179.) So today, for my average to be 172, I was obviously working much harder than normal, but it just wasn't reflected in my pace. I have no idea what's going on with that, but I'm going to start paying more attention to it while I'm running.

I still felt a little guilty for not finishing out the 8-miler, but while I was showering, I started reevaluating my priorities. My top priority right now is getting in shape for a sub-2:00 in Indy. So I am going to focus on that and that alone (first, healing my ankle, and then half-specific training). I feel like a loser for dropping my one-half-marathon-per-month goal just four days into January, but I know it's the right decision. Maybe I'll do that next year, and and make it my top priority.

So that's what's been going on with running. My ankle is 90% better than it was after the Santa Hustle Half, so I'm just going to keep working on making it better (strength exercises, rest, taking it easy when needed, etc.). I don't have to start training specifically for Indy until mid-February, so from now until then, it's all about healing my ankle.

My eating, on the other hand, has been fantastic! I started with the "real foods" goal on December 31st, and I've been doing really well with it. My favorite breakfast right now is a smoothie of milk, a banana, natural peanut butter (peanuts is the only ingredient), and chia seeds. For lunch, I've been having a salad every day--mixed greens, dried cranberries, avocado, sunflower seeds, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, feta cheese, and chicken. I've said many times that I'm not a salad fan, and I'm still not, really--but sometimes I just go through salad phases, and right now, I really want to like them. This one has actually been really good!

Dinner has been different each day, but my favorite so far was a taco bowl. Instead of using prepared taco seasoning, I made my own, and added it to extra lean ground turkey breast. Then I made a bowl of brown rice, the taco meat, lettuce, salsa, natural sour cream, cheese, and avocado.

The hardest thing to come up with has been snacks. I've had Triscuits with homemade olive tapenade, carrots with peanut butter, and almonds. But I need some more carbs, and it's hard to get carbs from snacks that aren't processed. I think part of the reason my runs have felt so hard is because I'm not getting as many carbs as I used to. When my bananas are ripe enough, I'm going to bake some whole wheat banana bread, and have that for a dessert/snack.

It's actually been kind of difficult to get in more than 30 PointsPlus per day. I feel my best when I eat around 40 PP per day, so I'm still working on adding some here and there. I used to spend 5 PP on a glass of wine, and 2 PP on a WW brownie, but since I haven't had those things, I have a lot of room to add other things to my meals. (For the record, I am not giving up wine! I just decided to try and save it for social situations or special occasions, rather than just a nightly routine.)

This way of eating has certainly been interesting. Not easy at all, but not super difficult, either. It's mostly just refreshing to look at a food label not to see the calories, but to read the ingredients list. The taco seasoning, for example, that I threw together in 30 seconds from spices I already had actually tasted much better than the seasoning packet you normally buy at the store. I never realized there were so many additives in something as simple as taco seasoning!

I think it's going to be fun to come up with alternatives to some of the processed things I usually buy. I'm looking forward to it, actually!

By the way, tomorrow is Motivational Monday, and I hope that some of you will consider contributing. Last week, there weren't any submissions, and I know a lot of you enjoy the weekly post; so to keep it going, I need you to share your victories! (Here is the info on submitting)

Also, I'm still looking for people who have lost 100+ pounds and want to share a photo and short bio for the 100th MM post. I've gotten a few, so thank you for those! They can be sent to the same email address, just use the subject "100" instead.


  1. Not sure if you like sweet potatoes, but I love having those as a snack. I bake a bunch in the crockpot and have them throughout the week, sprinkled with a little cinnamon and a tsp of butter. I also like eating avocado on whole wheat toast with a sprinkle of salt. Those would both be good options for extra carbs.

    1. I do love sweet potatoes! I never really thought to have them for a snack, but that actually sounds really great :)

  2. Unsolicited advice, ignore at your will: please, do not get hung up on what you 'should' be doing. I cannot tell you the damage I've done to myself getting caught up on the 'this is my program and I must stick with it no matter what'. There's a fine line between self-discipline and self-destruction - and for those of us with weight issues, and not exercising at all issues, it can feel as though making adjustments is the same as giving up, giving in, betraying ourselves. But you have an injury and if you don't deal with it properly you will end up totally ruined. Please, please -- trust yourself. Instead of running from the outside in, run from the inside out. Trust that you value yourself so highly that you will do the best thing for your body, and that sometimes that really does mean less is more. You have an injury. Right now it's a chronic condition, you've ignored it for a long time, so you need to back right off and nurture yourself so that you can heal once and for all. If you don't, you only inflict more damage. This is not nurturing. Cross train to give your ankle a break, and if you can, get some good physio from a practitioner with running/athletic experience. I speak as someone who has had to learn this lesson the hard, hard, hard way. Good luck! (Karen in Sydney - who ordered some cool leggings, thank you!)

    1. I never ignore advice given with kindness :) I agree with you! It's hard NOT to get hung up on skipping out on runs and having to rearrange things, but my top priority right now is to heal my ankle. I've been looking into pool running, so that may be my next adventure for a while! Thank you for caring.

  3. Listen to the previous post, Katie! I haven't been able to run since September because I tried to keep going despite some nagging pain in my hip.

    1. I totally understand, Elaine. I ran through knee injuries in 2012, and I don't want to have to go through all that again. My top priority right now is to heal my ankle!

  4. Katie,
    I don't write an advice column but I feel it coming!! Perhaps you should be seen by a physical therapist for your ankle/foot issues. I ignored mine and am now having cortisone shots quarterly to keep the pain at bay. I don't recommend this. Had I gone to PT once I realized the problem wasn't going away, I might be in a different place right now.
    Your salad looks delicious.
    Have you shared the taco mix recipe? I would prefer to blend my own but don't know what is in it. Thanks,

    1. I am going to look into seeing someone for the ankle--I've just been dreading going down that road, because the last time I saw a sports med doctor, he told me, "Well, just quit running" (permanently). Not helpful! But a PT might be a better person to talk with.
      Here is the taco seasoning: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/
      I left out the chili flakes and I cut the salt in half, but otherwise stuck to the recipe. It was FANTASTIC.

  5. I'm really glad you've reevaluated your running goals. I've always heard that you should focus on 1 thing with running- so for you, this year, it sounded like getting up speed to PR was the priority. Trying to add on 1/2s every month would have been a lot to do on top of that! I think in the end you'll be a lot happier with this plan and you'll achieve your awesome goals. I've also heard the Run Less/Faster plan is REALLY demanding, which is why I'm going to use Hal Higdon's for my marathon. There's all sorts of great stuff out there, but you know yourself best and what you can and won't stick with. Speaking of carbs...do you eat much in the way of potatoes? Just a small one can pack a big punch. I've recently decided to incorporate them more into my diet (as I move to start whole30).

    1. I was just reading (yet another) running book, and the main point of the book was to focus on one goal at a time. That definitely made me feel better about the decision. I think I could do the Run Less Run Faster plan, but with my ankle injury, I'm not even going to consider it right now. First step is to heal my ankle!
      I do love potatoes, and I eat them with breakfast a lot (usually mixed with scrambled eggs... yum!)

  6. Hi Katie

    I second the mighty sweet potato idea! I add, based on my whim: Honey, butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, chopped nuts .... pick what you like. You can come up with lots of combinations. Cheap and easy to make a few ahead of time for the week : )

    1. Mmm, I bet adding maple syrup and nuts would be delicious. I think I'll buy some next time I'm at the store!

  7. Sweet potato is good, but good ole white spud, steamed then cooled in fridge overnight and reheated as hash or whatever is an even better bet. Very high in resistant starch, which is great for your guts. Helps with weight control too.

    Pool running/walking makes you feel like an utter tosser, but is very beneficial. And how are you with swimming? Great for lung conditioning and upper body strengthening!

    Good luck with it all. (Karen in Sydney)

  8. Maybe you should see someone about your injuries. I see a sports chiroparctor and a sport massage therapist pretty regularly depending on my training. Seeing someone would probably be helpful. Some injuries stay reoccurring because they are never treated properly. Find a doctor that is an athlete and then you won't have a doctor that tells you to stop running. ;)


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