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It is what it is.

I might not be able to run the Boston Marathon. Key word being ‘might’.  I’m trying to be optimistic here…

health  responsibility

 

I wrote in a previous post about my battle with Plantar Fasciitis.  All in all, I thought it was only plantar fasciitis.  Well for those of you who have had PF before, you know it’s a big pain in the you know what kind of injury. Since my symptoms weren’t going away with rehabilitation exercises, icing, massage, etc,  my doctor suggested that I get an MRI.

Well it is what it is. On Monday I got the MRI report and it isn’t pretty. While I thought it was just PF, well, it isn’t.  The results actually showed a few other things that are going on in my foot. While being read the report, I did ‘black out’ a bit … the only thing I heard was ‘six weeks no running.’  That’s ALL I heard, and that’s ALL I cared about.

dissapointment

After getting over the initial shock, I took a step back and read the report findings myself: Moderate Plantar Fasciitis (which I knew), mild Achilles peritendinitis, stress reaction of the base of the 5th metatarsal (my pinky toe), and an increase in ankle and subtalar joint fluid.  While all of these findings aren’t causing symptoms that I’m having with the PF (stabbing pain in my heel), they are all reasons to take a step back from running and make sure I don’t get a stress fracture.  The ‘good news’ is that they caught the ‘stress reaction’ before it became a ‘stress fracture’. The bad news is, I can’t run for at least 6 weeks (or at least I shouldn’t, and trust me, I’m not planning on it).

So… now what?  I will follow a running injury protocol, given to me by my triathlon coach, coupled with PT exercises to strengthen my ankle and foot.  For every scheduled run, I will take half the run time and will run in the pool (with an aqua-jogger) and the other half will be spent on my bike.  I will still be able to do all of my bike and swim workouts as scheduled.  I just cannot do anything that makes me pound down aggressively on my ankle/foot area i.e. box jumps at crossfit or running. I just have to focus on the here and now, and not think about April 21st at this point.  I will cross the ‘Boston’ bridge, when it gets closer.

finish

While I am devastated, I know that as an athlete, I have overcome injuries before and come out even stronger!  I know that I will be physically and mentally able to run the Boston Marathon, but is it a good idea?  Only time will tell.  After all, I do have an Ironman in August, and I will be running a Marathon then… after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike. It is what it is. I just have to be patient and trust the rehab protocol… all while looking on the bright side.

sunshine

 

product reviews, Uncategorized

ENERGYbits Review & Giveaway!

I first found out about ENERGYbits while on Twitter one day.  I was contacted by ENERGYbits, when they asked how my training was going.  I appreciated the reach out and started to inquire about the bits!  Well come to find out, the company is actually based in Boston, close to where I live.  I got in touch with their Brand Manager and they offered to send me a sample.  Prior to trying the bits, I had seen quite a few athletes whom I follow, posting how they are “powered by bits”… I was curious and looked forward to trying them out for myself.

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Here is a little information on ENERGYbits:

ENERGYbits is a new Boston based sports nutrition company. Our “bits” are rapidly becoming the fuel of choice for athletes and people looking to lead active lifestyles. ENERGYbits have the highest concentration of protein in the world and deliver a steady stream of energy, all naturally and all without sugar, caffeine, chemicals or stomach distress. Even better, ENERGYbits are the only protein in the world that also contain natural antioxidants and Omega 3 which reduce muscle inflammation, iron which prevents fatigue, chlorophyll which builds the immune system and electrolytes which replenish mineral imbalances, all for just one calorie per tab. No other protein offers all this.  

ENERGYbits are 100% spirulina algae and are 100% non GMO. Algae is FOOD, it is NOT a pill or a supplement.

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When I received the bits in the mail, I will be honest; at first I was hesitant to try them.  I had read a lot about spirulina, in general, but had never really tried it before, except in a smoothie. The directions said in order to get the optimal result from the bits, I needed to swallow 30-40 bits (not recommended to chew them due to taste) 15-20 minutes before my workout.  30 bits?!?  Seemed like a lot to me, but I was willing to try! The day I tried the bits was a perfect trial session.  I had gone for a long run in the morning, and knew I needed to ride my bike and go for another short run in the afternoon (i.e. a brick workout).  It was the afternoon and I was feeling tired from my morning run… I was debating what to eat for my afternoon training session…then I remembered that I had my ENERGYbits!  It was perfect because I didn’t feel like eating a big meal or snack, but needed extra energy. I eat so many bars, gels, etc.. .it was nice to try something different for a change!

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The one thing I had a difficult time with at first, but swallowing 30 total bits.  I started with one at a time.. then would swallow two at a time… it was also a lot of water to take them down, and for a moment I felt bloated.  Once I got all 30 bits down, I felt fine after a few minutes.  It wasn’t bad at all!  It was time to get on my bike and see if these actually worked. After a few minutes on the bike, I am happy to report that I did notice that I had an increase in energy and awareness.  I rode my bike for an hour, and then went outside for a 30 minute run.  I felt that the bits gave me the energy for both the bike and the run.  Once I finished everything, I didn’t even feel depleted, instead I felt really good!

bits 1

 

In summary, I would try bits again.  I really like the concept and would like to incorporate them into my everyday workouts.  As someone who has a sensitive stomach, and doesn’t always do well with food right before working out,  ENERGYbits are the perfect alternative for me.  ENERGYbits have an insane amount of benefits, see chart below.

GIVEAWAY PRIZE!

If you are interested in trying bits, the first person to respond to this post will get a free sample of bits!  Let me know and I can hook you up! 🙂

Nutritional Comparison Chart

* Disclaimer –ENERGYbits provided me with a free sample in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

product reviews, Uncategorized

Week Recap and my Favorites on a Friday

This week has been jam packed and I’m excited for the weekend.

Here’s a sneak peak at my training this past week:

Monday: Swim 3100 yards with Masters
Tuesday: Bike 1.5 hours with intervals, run 3 miles
Wednesday: Crossfit (my arms are still sore), bike 1 hour
Thursday: Run 8.25 miles including (7) hill repeats, bike 1 hour
Friday: Swim 3000 yards with Masters

When I write it all out like that, no wonder I’m tired!  On tap for this weekend is more biking and running (while spending time outside).

So, I had an MRI on my foot yesterday. As far as I know, I have either plantar fasciitis, a giant heel spur, or fat pad syndrome.  My Chiropractor, who does my ART and Graston work, recommended an MRI so we can rule out a stress fracture.  I should find out the results today or Monday.  The pain in my foot does not show up when I’m running, it’s really weird.  Being the ‘typical’ runner that I am, this make me justify in my head that I can run (because running does not hurt!) But I should know, from past experience, that this doesn’t mean there isn’t something wrong.I am just very frustrated at this point.

Onto happier things.. it’s FRIDAY! Here are some of my (random) favorite things :

 

CWX Running tights

cwx

Living in the Boston area and training for the Boston Marathon, these are a must have.  Most of my runs are done outside the the freezing cold, so the CWX insulator tights are my favorites.  They seriously make me feel like I can go faster.  The compression makes everything feel better and keeps the blood flowing in my legs!

 

Skratch Labs

I started using Skratch Labs last summer, when I was looking for a sports electrolyte drink for biking, that didn’t have fake sugar!  I am a huge proponent of eating and drinking real food… I much rather have real sugar in my sports drink versus fake sugar.  Skratch Labs does it right.  Their drink powder is great for training, racing and recovery. My favorite flavor is the Orange.

skratch

 

 

Sweet Potatoes

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I eat sweet potatoes every day, sometimes at two meals a day.  I once read, that if you could eat one food your entire life, it should be the sweet potato.  You can read about the many health benefits of sweet potatoes here. I eat sweet potatoes for breakfast every morning (which is perfect for a post workout breakfast, by the way).  I make them into a sweet potato hash, mixed with onion and garlic powder, yummy!  Add a few eggs and you have the perfect breakfast.

 

Lululemon Cool Racerback Tanks

lulu

These tanks are seriously my favorite thing in my wardrobe.  I used to work at lululemon, and that was the beginning of my addiction with their products.  Although I feel the clothing has changed a bit over the years (I really don’t think the quality is there like it used to be), I am still a huge fan of the Cool Racerback tank.  I wear one of these tanks almost every day, whether it’s running, hiking, hanging out around the house, or doing errands.

 

Dry Shampoo

Whoever invented this stuff is pure genius.  I could not live without my dry shampoo.  I am not partial to a particular brand, but lately I have been loving ‘Not Your Mothers’ dry shampoo. For days that I need to hop on the treadmill during my lunch at work, this stuff saves me some serious time.  This should be in every athlete’s gym bag.

mothers

I hope you have a great weekend!

Kristin

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First hike of 2014 and #32 4,000 footer!

Last weekend I had wanted to hike, but got sick… this weekend I was determined to make up for it!

mountains

It has been so darn cold here in Massachusetts (and the majority of the country), that we have been spending a lot of time indoors.  I am such a ‘fresh air’ person, that spending a lot of time inside really gets to me.

The plan for Saturday was to go for a hike that wasn’t too exposed to the elements. Since we are working on our (48), the goal was to choose a peak we haven’t done yet.  Mt Hale ended up being the perfect selection for the cold, windy weather we would face on Saturday.

winter quotes

Mount Hale is a 4,055 foot mountain in the Twin Range, New Hampshire, in the White Mountains. It was a cloudy, windy day and we knew the views would be obstructed, it was the perfect day for Hale.  We took the long abandoned  FireWarden’s Trail to the summit.  Joining us were three other people plus another four legged friend, Dusty. The two dogs, Oliver and Dusty got along great. It was so cute to see not just one small dog, but two dogs climb this peak in the winter!  Winter hiking is not always easy for Oliver.  He’s a Westie and is low to the ground (short little legs).  He does really well in the summer, but we have to be careful about it being too strenuous for his legs in the winter.  Lucky for us, we knew this trail would be packed down and we did not even need snowshoes or microspikes the entire time… the dogs did great!  Oliver wore his new Ruff Wear Cloud Chaser jacket for the first time and it kept him very warm.  What I love about this jacket is it’s waterproof, windproof, insulating, covers his belly and has sleeves for his front legs.  I like to think he enjoyed wearing it!

The hike took us about 5 hours round trip and was 9.4 miles from where we parked our cars.  Although there were no views to see, just breathing the mountain air was all I needed.  I have included some of my favorite photos from the day!  Winter hiking, in my opinion beats summer hiking…. There are no crowds and the trees and mountains look so pretty in the winter covered in snow!

 

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The brook covered in blue ice and icicles that looked the Christmas ornaments

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view from the trail, our friend had a go-pro camera, cool shot!

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At the giant cairn on the Hale Summit

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Back down we go… Oliver sporting his new jacket!

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Dusty and Oliver!

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I should have listened.

I have an injury.  And it sucks.

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Sometimes it’s really hard to listen to your body.   It’s also really hard when you’re stubborn, like me. I ignored something for months, and now it’s coming back to bite me at the worst possible time.

Over the summer, while wearing sandals and flats around the office, I started to get a pain in my left heel.  Not thinking much about it, I just put some padding in my shoes and went on my way.  I got more supportive sandals, thinking the flats I was wearing must have been causing the problem. During triathlons in the summer, I was feeling a little something in my heel, sharp pain on occasion, but again, ignored it.  Then came the Chicago Marathon in October, it was bothering me while walking and standing, but not while running (so I assumed everything was fine).  After the marathon, the pain set in and I just knew something wasn’t right.  Now it’s January and there’s still stabbing pain on the edge of my heel.  I have since seen a podiatrist, who diagnosed me with Plantar Fasciitis , however, I am not so sure.  The plan is to get an MRI next week to rule out a stress fracture or heel fat pad syndrome.  Either way, no matter what it is, I know in my gut that I should be staying off my foot- I just don’t want to.  I am training for the Boston Marathon, less than 3 months away… how can they expect me not to run?!?

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As athletes, we are often faced with training through the pain.  Runners especially, have a high pain tolerance and are known to just run through whatever is bothering them.  I honestly think my brain has been trained after 17 years of running, to just ignore the pain and run through it. Sadly, I’ve become quite good at it (Maybe this will help me during child birth one day? Ha!).  However, this time, I think the ignoring gotten me into trouble.

Best case scenario: No stress fracture, and I need new sneakers and padding in my running shoes.  I am currently running in New Balance 890 v4’s which I love.  I ran Boston and Chicago in New Balance 890’s, and didn’t have an issue, or so I thought.  I am a heel striker and it could be that I need to go back to a 12 mm drop shoe, something with more heel support.  The 890’s have a 8 mm drop (less heel support). Another great scenario would be that I just need orthotics.  Worst case scenario is obviously that I need to stop running because it’s something serious and then resort to pool running and biking to keep up my endurance.  This will make me down right mis-er-able. Whatever it may be, there is no way I am not running Boston (there I am being stubborn again)… but seriously, after last year and my excitement for this year, I can’t not run.  Stay tuned for the MRI report… fingers crossed!

Readers: How do you mentally deal with injury?