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Fifty Shades of Graston’s


Monday (6/25):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 34:50, 6:58 Pace)

Tuesday (6/26):


Wednesday (6/27):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 38:39, 7:44 Pace)

Thursday (6/28): Graston’s Treatment


I had a Tuesday session of Graston’s scheduled, but had an eye doctor appointment that resulted in dialated eyes and no way to get to my session in time. I would have to wait until Thursday for an assessment. I’ve been feeling 100% back, but I needed those devilish implements to really tell the tale. The prodding would bring any remaining injury scar tissue singing.

My physical therapist jokes that the tools look like they are right out of the Fifty Shades of Grey series. She felt bad about having to cause pain, but it’s kind of the point of Graston’s. If you are reading the books, please NO spoilers!! I’m still on the second book and let’s not ruin it for anyone else either. If you haven’t read the series, it’s very intense and not for everyone. I questioned my ability to finish the first book, but I’m glad that I stuck with it. There is a part of the writing style (the inner goddess stuff) that I find unnecessary, but overall an intense and captivating series.

I got the green light from this session to go back to my training, while carefully increasing my mileage. I can return for the next 30 days for a tune up if anything comes up along the way. I’m so excited to get back to it!!! šŸ˜€

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This Has Gotta Change

I was doing long overdue blog updates: updating race plans, the about and the races/awards sections when I noticed on my dashboard some metrics that show what topics I’ve been posting about most.

So I definitely need some changes on this blog. I would like to have injury, recovery, and physical therapy to not be in my top 10. Although sometimes recovery is just coming off of a big race without actually being related to an injury and is just the maintenance mode. Ā In the future I will categorize the Recovery for those related to Injury vs. Race Recovery, to be more specific.

Still, while we are on the topic (and it’s what I’m dealing with right now) I wanted to give an update as how my Graston’s treatments are going, especially because it’s going great!

I’ve completed five of seven Graston’s treatments. After my assessment they set up sessions for 2-3 weeks that are 48-72 hours apart (72 hours is the standard length to allow healing, but can be shortened to 48 hours by the PT if healing is sufficient). After each session I have to let the area heal and I don’t work out during that time. I could only do yoga and upper body weights until I got the green light to try some running, once the area was healing. Here is what my workouts/recovery looked like for this time around.

NOTE: This is MY experience with MY injury and is not comparable to anyone else’s injury/recovery and is only for informational purposes only.

Wednesday (6/6): Doctor Assessment


Thursday (6/7): Graston’s Treatment

Upper Body Weights

Friday (6/8):

Upper Body Weights

Saturday (6/9):Ā 


Sunday (6/10):

Yoga – 45 Mins

Monday (6/11):

P90X – Ab Ripper

Tuesday (6/12): Graston’s Treatment


Wednesday (6/13):Ā 

Yoga – 45 Mins

Thursday (6/14): Graston’s Treatment


Friday (6/15):

2.09 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 18:28, 8:51 Pace)

Yoga – 25 Mins

Saturday (6/16):

2.05 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 18:22, 8:58 Pace)

Sunday (6/17):


Monday (6/18):

2 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 16:29, 8:15 Pace)

P90X – Ab Ripper

Tuesday (6/19): Grastons Treatment

1 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 8:23) – before Graston’s

Wednesday (6/20):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 29:35, 7:24 Pace)

Thursday (6/21):

4 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 31:46, 7:57 Pace)

Friday (6/22): Graston’s Treatment

1 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 7:15) – before Graston’s

And after Friday’s treatment I was cleared to do more running! I can’t wait! Especially because I got my new kicks!!

adidas adios, I love the pink with a hint of purple!

adidas Boston 3

This weekend the basement project continues, plus I’m painting a couple of our bedrooms and working on cleaning and staining our fence. Can’t wait to get to running and everything else!


Staying Sane While Injured

I figured this topic at one time or another is something all of us runners, or athletes in general for that matter, face. How to stay sane while not being able to do the activities you are normally used to. I thought I would share based on this injury and recovery how I’m managing through the extra time, less exercise, and feelings that go along with it all.

First off, it sucks. Plain and simple. That said, I actually took the news from my doctor about shutting down all activity better than I expected. Probably because this isn’t my first time with this injury or treatment. I know I will likely get back to a normal routine in 2-3 weeks. In the scale of potential injuries it’s not like I’m dealing with something major. The doctor is optimistic that I will be able to heal and will be able to get my fitness back to train for the Chicago Marathon.

The difference with the assessment this time around was upon examination they noticed my psoas was inflamed which resulted in taking a strong anti-inflamatory, which means no alcohol while on medication. With no running for a while, no alcohol helps keep calories down, but I do miss a glass of wine. I’ve been a bit grouchy about this from time to time.

I’m three graston treatments in with four scheduled depending now how responsive my hamstring, piriformis area responds. Things are improving with each session so that keeps me sane as well. I would definitely have more of a hopeless feeling if I wasn’t getting that sense of progress.

When it comes to all of this free time and lack of exercise options, I’ve spent time at the gym and home doing upper body strengthening, which I needed anyways. It’s funny how just a little workout helps. It makes it seem like I’m getting ready for my next training cycle and it’s right around the corner. After a couple of days I introduced some gentle yoga with DVDs at home. Coco got into it as well. She took any chance for a spot on my mat when I was in a pose that allowed her to bring her bone and settle in.

After a couple of days of gentle yoga I’ve kicked it up a notch and have moved to my more advanced yoga DVD sessions, keeping in mind to modify or avoid anything that affects my injury. I have a good collection of yoga DVDs going and have taken a few types of classes, so I may need to do a post just around yoga soon.

After a week and half of recovery I’ve ventured out for a couple of times for some light running. I did 2 miles each time slowly. My range of motion is improving, but I’m definitely still injured so I’m not pushing the pace or distance. Really these runs were just to test the waters and report back to my physical therapist.

As far a filling all of the free time, I’ve been able to stay busy thanks to our house projects. We are working on power washing our fence and staining it. And then there is finishing the basement. While Rob has to do all of the major tasks, it’s been a good distraction to help him and shop for finishes.

To keep my spirits up I’ve also signed us up for future races, which are listed in the race plans section of the blog. Knowing the degree of my injury and projected recovery, I feel comfortable getting things on the books for the future. It’s nice to look forward to our next race adventures.

Another part keeping my sanity while I recover is to not read a lot of running materials or blogs. It may sound funny, but that just makes me more antsy to run. I have to take time off from hearing about races, ways to improve, so I go off the running grid for awhile. I have to stay focused on what I can do (yoga, house projects, etc.) and less on what I’m missing out on. It’s an approach that works for me.

The real test of keeping it all in perspective? Watching the race that I was training for and had to give up. More on that in my next post…..

You ever been injured and it affected your routine? How did you cope through the down time?

Any tips to share about how you keep/kept focus on the bigger picture?


Doctor’s Orders

I went for my physical therapy consultation today and dun dun dun…..complete shut down of working out for at least 2 weeks.

As expected my right piriformis is bad again, but my left is also needing attention. I will have Grastons therapy sessions, the first one is scheduled for tomorrow.

As they did the evaluaton which includes bending my leg in many different directions to locate pain and also to figure out muscle imbalances they also checked my psoas. After pressing down on it I realized new pain and how tight the area was. I was perscribed a treatment of a type of anti-inflamatory for it and will have to go on complete rest to see if we can get it to calm down. If it doesn’t then I may need a procedure that involves an injection that the doctor said wouldn’t be too pleasant.

I’m allowed to do upper body strengthening so I will do that to keep my mind busy and I will take walks. I won’t be going back to Team Steam or running Steamboat 15K this year. My hope is to get healthy in time to begin Chicago Marathon training.

Since there won’t be any running because of this, or flying (because we are starting our next build project), I may need to change the name of the blog….hmm…..”Walky Talky” perhaps?

Anyone deal with psoas trouble? Did you have to get this dreaded shot they were describing? Did it work??

I’m at least sure what I’m in for with Grastons for the piriformis and know it should do wonders.


Jingle All The Way

Today was the local Jingle Bell 5K run for arthritis. I’m in no condition to race, but I can’t say I’m heartbroken since we are under a wind advisory with 45 mph gusts. There is no way the strong wind pushing with or against me running would help my injury. So instead I took the role of helping with the Often Running store set up at the event.

Before everyone arrived, getting things organized.

I started working at 9am and we were busy from race registration at 10 am until race start at 1pm. Time passed quickly and I got to sell some great shoes and accessories, plus catch up with people and meet some new customers. In spite of the weather we had a great turn out for the race, including our Often Running Racing Team. Everyone knew to play it conservative out there. Better to be safe in such crazy windy conditions.

I forced Mitch to take a picture with me. Doesn’t he look thrilled? šŸ˜‰ We are sporting the adidas ORRT sweatshirt, which is one of my faves.

Congrats to all those that raced in the crazy conditions! I’m sure it was a great strength workout as well as increased mental toughness.

I went home to get in my recovery workout of walking, stretching and P90X Ab Ripper.




After the 10K it was no denying that my hamstring just isn’t improving with my efforts at home and I would need to get some help with rehabilitation. So this week I headed to Sport’s Enhancement CenterĀ for an assessment. After going through many movements to pinpoint the source of my pain, I was told my piriformis and hamstring would need addressing with Graston’s Technique Therapy and some specific stretches.

The worst part was hearing that I couldn’t run. They want me to stop running to let the area rest fully and then gradually introduce running back once I’ve received some of the treatments. Other than wishing I had done this weeks ago, my other thoughts were trying to bargain with the doctor to see what other type of exercises I could do in the meantime.




“Would rather you didn’t, you could over stretch the area we are treating.”

“Okay, how about jump rope, small hops, nothing crazy.”

“No, too much on your glutes, none of that.”

Friday I had my first meeting with the physical therapist Annie, who was super nice. She did an examination to determine my range of motion and then we began an initial Graston’sĀ session to see how my body responds. Graston’s is shown in the followingĀ youtubeĀ video.

After warming up the area with the long bent rod type tool she then tried a couple of theĀ instrumentsĀ to determine which hit the injured area the best. The sessions was 8 minutes and is not a comfortable procedure. However, it was kind of that good type of pain, where you know the area is getting worked out properly. She sent me to work with a bag of ice for the area and some stretches that I will need to do at home twice a day.

My next session is Tuesday and I can’t wait!

Emily @ sweatonceaday has the best injury goals post ever! She is so inspiring and her post makes me look at my recovery with a new perspective.

I’m trying to use my rest time effectively by doing the following:

Throw Rob a happy hour party for his promotion at work to IT Architect. We had everyone out at a local bar. I wanted to make sure that it was casual, but special. So we had two kinds of amazing cupcakes from a local baker (peanut butter and pumpkin spice), grilled club sandwiches, potato cheese jalapeno bites, fried mushrooms, buckets of bottled domestic beer and two signature drinks. One called “California Rob” that was a hurricane style and the “Architect” that was a margaritas.

Me and Rob.

JuLee and me.

Me and Lisa.

Lots of house chores. I have a slew of chores waiting for me, so I’ve kept busy doing all the odds and ends I haven’t had time for….cleaning light fixtures, staining deck chairs, and organizing rooms. At least I can work on getting the house ready for the holidays.

Strengthening workoutsĀ like P90X Ab Ripper, upper body weights, push up challenge. And some walking, just a couple of miles at a time on the treadmill.

Here’s hoping that I will be back running in a couple of weeks.


Halloween Weekend

It’s been a crazy busy Halloween weekend. Friday after work we got supplies for Halloween and got ready to run the Screaming Pumpkin Marathon. This course is hilly 6.55 mile loop through a cemetery that has rocky, broken up path. The course opened at 6pm and you could start the course anytime and try to finish as close to midnight as possible.

Rob and I arrived at 8pm, figuring an easy pace will bring a 4 hour-ish marathon with some time cushion for the grinding hills on my recovering hamstring.

Dressed and ready to roll. I went with adidas Bostons for more support, capris, long sleeved shirt, Boston jacket, gloves, hat, head lamp, glow stick, glow stick necklace, and headlamp. It was in the 40s when we started, but I get cold easily so I opted to over dress. This turned out to be a good idea because around 11pm the temps dropped into the 30s, a light drizzle and light breeze started.

This race is mostly folks doing a relay so there was a lot of bonfires and tailgating as people waiting for their runner to return. Rob and I got started and immediately noticed that glow stick necklaces and running don’t mix. After they bounced around and hit us in the chin repeatedly we had them off within .25 miles.

The course is unlit and very dark. The direction is marked by glow sticks lining the way, keep the glow sticks on your right and you are heading the correct way. I have to say that running in the pitch black with only glow sticks light the way was a very cool look. Since the course is very hilly you would see handfuls of runner lights bouncing up and down the cemetery at different points in the distance. Such a cool thing to see.

We had no timing devices, but we are familiar with this course from the half marathon and there are some parts of the road spray painted with mile markers. So it was amazing to see how the miles seemed to quickly pass by.

The road was very uneven and rock in parts, which is hard to manage in the dark. They had marked as much of the course as they could with red glow sticks to note places to avoid, but Rob and I found some locations they missed. We each tripped a handful of times pretty hard, luckily neither of us falling to the ground. The bad part was the tripping would cause my leg to pull back funny, upsetting my hamstrings but at least I never face planted.

We were back to the chip mat at 6.55 Miles and time felt like it was flying by because we were so entertained by the course. We were running very easy and were able to just pass the time chatting. On our way back into the cemetery and up to the first hill the coolest/scariest thing was a very large deer passed right in front of us. It was freaky cool to see this large dark mass pass right in front of us because it was scary at first to try and figure out what it was in that split second.

This would be a good time to mention that our headlamps may be decent enough for our street lit neighborhood, they were not match for the complete darkness of this run. The light was just soaked up in the darkness and the headlamps were really more for identifying us to other runners than lighting our path, which made tripping all the more likely. I had no idea that our headlamps weren’t the best until we saw examples of other runners who had heavy duty lights. IF there is ever a true night race that we run again, we will need better headlamps and perhaps little flashlights.

Into the next set of hills around mile 8-ish Rob had a very bad trip that rolled his ankle and made a popping sound. He was stopped instantly and assessed the situation. We walked a bit and it was hurting badly. He wanted to continue, but now his Ā ankle would be in pain the rest of the way. We slowed our pace and stopped anytime the pain was too much. My hamstrings weren’t loving all of the hills either so taking it easy was fine by me. The second loop, even with the injury stop somehow felt like time went by faster.

Into the third loop of the course and the temperatures drop. Rob feels like his ankle is swelling and he is tolerating the tightness and pain. We are only around mile 15, so much more to go. We start to question if it’s worth it since we were out just for the fun. The fun was quickly fading.

Back for our final lap, time passing slowly since we are taking it super easy. 19.55 miles and back out we go. However Rob’s ankle is hurting even on the flat portion of the course. Around mile 20 or 21-ish and we start weighing if it’s worth tackling the hills again. His ankle is so sore that we could get into the deepest part of the course realize he can’t go on and not make it back in time, are we willing to take that risk. Rob would do it for me, but it just wasn’t worth it. We decided to bag it and walked the mile back to turn in our chips. We made the right call. As we were walking back Rob’s ankle began hurting worse that walking was a challenge, there was no way more hills would have helped.

We are happy that we did get to have a hilly long run at night. However it wasn’t worth Rob’s ankle injury or the risk of falling multiple times. I think we will stick to this course in the daylight. If we ever do another really dark race we will make sure that we have better lights and that the path is more paved than rock.

We headed home to finally have dinner and weren’t in bed until after 2am, what a long day!

Saturday was a lot of Rob icing his ankle and then we joined ORRT to help with a local 5K. Me faux running through the finish chute. Yeah I’m easily distracted from my duties.

The kids run was an obstacle course and we got to pass out candy and prizes. Then for the 5K we managed the finish chute and announced awards. Afterward we headed home so Rob could get back to icing his ankle. The swelling has reduced so I hope a few more days of rest and ice will get him back to new again.

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Making Adjustments


Wednesday (10/20):


Thursday (10/21):

6 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 49:50, 8:19 Pace)

Friday (10/22):

4 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 32:09, 8:03 Pace)

4 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 35:57, 9:00 Pace)

My right hamstring was starting to feel better this week, that is until Friday’s run. It was supposed to be 8 miles easy with pick ups afterwards. The first two miles my hamstring was only slightly tight and felt improved, but two more miles and the range of motion was shortened and more painful. I went home to foam roll and then try again the last four miles at an even easier pace. The pain was still there and my stride is shortened. I’m definitely not in race-mode, I’m forced into a recovery-mode. It’s so frustrating to have my left side feel so free and ready to race and my right side to be barely able to hold an easy run.

Luckily I don’t have bruising so I may not have a severe pull, which takes longer to heal. I am icing often, but will need to make adjustments to my upcoming race plans. This includes determining if I could even run Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon this Sunday at all.

On another note, Coco had a bad reaction to new allergy medicine and is not feeling well. She’s been very sick and back to the vets office. We were able to get her on the mend and keep our plans to travel to St. Louis.Ā Rob would get to race and my race would be a last-minute assessment by how I felt race morning.


Catch Up

Time for a little blogging catch up! Here’s what’s been going on…

Thursday was 7 Miles General Aerobic on the Treadmill followed by a movie with Rob. šŸ™‚

7 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 52:53, 7:34 Pace)

Friday was 5 Miles Easy in the neighborhood with Rob, followed by spa time and dinner with Mary.

5 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 39:02, 7:49 Pace)

Saturday we were set to fly to Michigan for lunch, but the plane appears to need some tweaking so we ended up turning around. Better safe than sorry!Ā  I then did 8 Miles General Aerobic W/8 X 100 M Strides on the treadmill.

8 Miles General Aerobic W/8 X 100M Strides (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 59:44, 7:28 Pace)

Sunday Rob and I set out for our 11 Miles at 8am and it was very hot, 83 degrees and it felt baking. My time fell off on the last three miles, it was brutal. We spent the rest of the day boating with our friends Drew and Carrie, which felt great after a melting long run.

Rob and Me.

Me and Carrie.

11 Miles Med-Long (‘Hood,Ā  1:30:42, 8:15 Pace)

Total Weekly Miles: 36.2

So my mileage for recovery from the IL Marathon is back on track! I’m having no knee pain!! It feels so good to be running regularly again!!


Race Dreaming

My knee is healing nicely! Each day the scab gets smaller and I have more range of motion. I’ve also been able to run pain-free!!

Each day I’ve added a little bit of mileage and intensity back. Recovering from the physical injury is rough, but there is a mental recovery that has to occur as well. Seeing progress each day in my running is a huge help, but the part that was a struggle lately was I had no race dreams. I couldn’t look forward to anything because I could only focus on what I can do at the day at hand. I wasn’t sure when I would be ready to race again so day dreaming about races while running was not possible for me…until today. šŸ˜€

Today I did 6 Miles General AerobicĀ followed byĀ 2 Sets, 15 Reps, Push Ups.

I wanted to test out the bend in my knee and see how things were feeling. My knee felt great, but the biggest surprise was I started day dreaming about upcoming races! We have a 4 Mile race planned for Memorial Day and a very challenging 15K in June and I could picture myself racing again. Finally the mental part of running is recovering!

Here is how the week ended up:

M: 3.5 Miles Walk (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 42:33), Upper Body and Ab Strengthening

T: 2.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 23:09, 9:16 Pace), Jump Rope 33 Minutes

W: 3 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 26:58, 9:00 Pace), Ab Strengthening, Jump Rope 34 Minutes

R: 4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 34:25, 8:37 Pace), Push Ups

F: 4.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 37:17, 8:18 Pace)

Sa: 5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 39:52, 7:59 Pace)

Su: 6 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 45:25, 7:35 Pace), Push Ups

Total: 25 Miles!!!

So what’s up next is to continue to work with the range of motion my knee will allow, get out on the road again, and get back into my mileage as long as everything is feeling good.