As a requirement for entry in my 1,000 mile giveaway, you needed to ask me a question. Any question. And I promised to answer them over a series of posts. Here are questions 11-15 ...
Michel asked, "Have you ever had to wear a cast for an overuse injury?"
Yes and no. Last November, I had a severe case of stenosing tenosynovitis in my ankle. Basically, it's the progressive restriction of the sheath surrounding a tendon, causing inflammation. I was bad. I could barely walk. And despite the fact that it did not require a cast, I had my doctor put me in one, so that I couldn't ignore my body and run on it. So, I didn't HAVE TO wear a cast. I CHOSE TO wear a cast.
But it was really hard (mentally and physically). It itched like crazy and made my everyday life rather challenging (you can't exactly drive with a cast on your right foot). And although I asked for it, I am a horrible patient and cut it off early. However, I do not recommend this irresponsible behavior. Although it turned out fine, I would have probably been better served by leaving it on.
The good news is that I made a full comeback from that injury. I built my mileage slowly and gradually added in speed. And now, 9 months later, I am running 45 miles a week and have set new PRs in nearly every distance.
Alma F. asked, "How do you handle non-running friends/family who do not understand your dedication to running and/or do not understand why you blog and are unknowingly discouraging?"
It's unfortunate, but I have had some people like that in my life. And as harsh as it may seem, I have pretty much cut those people out of my life. I figure that if someone is going to be judgemental of my choices, then I don't want them around. I tend to be a person who sees things in black and white. Thus, I don't waste my time with people who don't fully respect me or my passions.
However, the vast majority of my friend and family are supportive of both my running and my blog. The non-runners (and even some of the runners) may not understand my obsession, but they respect it. And that is all I ask for. Sure, they tell me I am crazy and usually I agree with them. I know that most people don't want to run half as much as I do, but I love it. It's my passion and they get that.
And when it comes to my blog, no one is forced to read it. Some of my friends and family do, and that is great. But at the end of the day, I write it for me and my children. It is a daily record of our lives. It's not a running blog. Or a mommy blog. It is an accurate representation of our lives and the things that shape our experiences. And one day, I hope my kids can look back on it and have a better understanding of their childhood and their mother. Because, in the end, that is all that is important to me.
Kingston's Mom asked, "What is the best meal to eat the night before a long run? And do you eat anything the morning of, before the run?"
Scientifically speaking, carbohydrate loading is most effective in the 24-48 hours prior to endurance events. So, it's probably best to eat a carbohydrate dense diet in the two days before your long run and/or race. But what the actual meal(s) consist of is really more a matter of personal preference.
I am a fortunate individual. I am usually not affected negatively by the meals that I eat prior to a run. I do not have a sensitive stomach and as long as my last large meal is 8-12 hours before my long run, I can eat pretty much anything. Because of that, I do not have a set "night before the long run" meal. I just try to as healthy as I can (within reason) all the time.
As for my meal immediately prior to a run, I usually have either a Fiber One bar or a Clif Bar. They are both loaded with carbohydrates and give me the energy to make it through feeling strong. Then when I finish, I usually have a Chobani yogurt and some fruit.
I think that as long as you look at food as fuel, you will be fine. You just need to find the combination that works for you and stick with it.
Tara asked, "What is your favorite running song?"
It changes all the time, but right now, I love "I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas and "If we Ever Meet Again," by Timbaland and Katy Perry.
Trish asked, "How do you keep your fitness and motivation up when dealing with an injury?"
Fortunately, I have only ever had one serious injury (the one I mentioned above). I had pain for about two months, the last three weeks of which I was in a cast. It was very hard for me to take time off. (I couldn't do anything with the cast). But I tried to keep in mind that when I went back, I wasn't going to be at square one and that was reassuring. I also tried to remember that taking care of the injury correctly the first time could save me from a lot of trouble in the future.
I know that it is easier said than done, but I try to remind my clients who are dealing with injuries that you need to address them immediately and not ignore the signs. The faster you take action, the quicker you will recover. And most importantly, you should NOT train through an injury. It is always better to take time off now and run for years to come, than to break yourself and cut your career short.