Metatarsal Update and New Goals

Hello there! Long time no blog, huh? What can I say other than life gets busy, and really, who wants to hear me whinge more about my dodgy metatarsals and how I’ve been wasting away on the couch? Not me, anyway!

So then, what’s been going on?

Metatarsal Drama

My last visit to the ortho was last week, and it saw my metatarsal coming along quite nicely. It hasn’t been hurting me at all with regular activity, and only hurts a bit when the ortho pokes it at. Even then, it hurts much less than it did when he first poked at it, so clearly things are improving!

I also got the OK from him to gently try using an elliptical and turning up the resistance ever so slightly on the bike. If I can handle those without pain, then I have his blessing to start running again in another week or so. Woo hoo!!

Gym Adventures

As soon as I got the word that it was OK to try the elliptical, I wanted to run straight to the gym to give it a try. Figures that week was incredibly busy, and so I had no time to do just that. Boo.

This week, however, was a different story. Drew and I were good little citizens and voted in our local election on Tuesday, then went straight to the gym. Of course, rather than try out the bike and go easy, I went right to the elliptical machines and dove in metatarsal first!

I ended up doing about 35 minutes on the machine, going a little over 2 miles. I didn’t push myself at all, even when the intense dude next to me was clearly trying to elliptical-race me. I didn’t let him harsh my mellow, though… I set the screen to a nice canyon hike and cruised along at a nice, slow pace, but quick enough to get my heart rate up.

Terrible, blurry shot of what I was looking at as I tried to ignore the intense dude racing me to my right (not pictured)

Terrible, blurry shot of what I was looking at as I tried to ignore the intense dude racing me to my right (not pictured)

Speaking of heart rate – boy, am I out of shape! The last time I was at the gym, not long after walking miles and miles in Europe, I had to haul serious buns on the bike to feel even a little like I was working out. It’s amazing how quickly you lose your fitness when you’re not doing much of anything! (Remember how I vowed not to be lazy in my last post? Yeah… remember who’s writing here! 😉 It certainly didn’t help that I was grumpy about my foot, and super busy…)

Anyway, my metatarsal felt fine both during and after my little canyon hike, and I was so pumped about being back active again (I felt great! I had so much energy all of a sudden!) that I decided to go to the gym again on Wednesday, this time for a turn on the Expresso bikes.

I started off easy with a warm-up mile on the virtual track (during which the super intense lady next to me was Expresso racing me. Seriously? Why did everyone want to race me this week?!) before tackling two courses with gentle hills. I did a total of 5 miles, and the foot again felt fine both during and after. Huzzah!

Knee Rehab

Remember my dodgy knee? Remember how I was going to be so awesome about doing my PT exercises so I could put the “runner” back in “runner’s knee”? Yep. I’ve been failing at that pretty hard. But guess what? November is apparently my time to turn over a new leaf!

In addition to hitting the gym twice in one week, I’ve also started (re-started?) rehabbing my knee, which I may have tweaked a tiny bit during my elliptical fandango. I’ve been doing clamshells, leg raises, hip extensions… basically, everything I can do without putting weight on my dodgy foot. Plus, foam rolling. Plus, a month-long push-up challenge with knee push-ups! Who am I?!

Ages ago I posted about how I was going to use a calendar and stickers and prizes to motivate myself, but then I traveled for work, and then I traveled for fun, and I kind of lost the plot. BUT I’m back now, and I’m well on my way to earning a Dangling Carrot of Motivation (DCM)! More on this later…

New Goals

So. Since my gym adventures were successful, it’s looking like I’ll get the OK to ease into running very soon. Yay! The ortho suggested starting C25K over from the beginning, which seems sensible, especially given my serious lack of fitness after so long being a grumpy lump. To motivate myself, I have a few goals:

  1. The Shammies do an informal run every year on Thanksgiving morning, and I am dead set on taking part this year! They’ll be doing 4-5 miles, and I’m expecting to be doing an early-stage workout of C25K, likely on my own. That’s okay. I will either be the first one back to the post-run drinks (at, like, 8am?!) or I will be getting back to HQ at the same time as our speedsters, so that’s alright with me. I just want to run with the Shammies again!

    I miss these peeps.

    I miss these peeps.

  2. I want to do a reprise of the 5K I did in LA two years ago. I was more in shape then, obviously, but was taken ridiculously aback by the insane hills on the course. I’m interested to see how my race would compare now, knowing what I’d be getting myself into! I won’t be gunning to beat my time, but it’s a fun race with great scenery, and it’s got Christmas bling. That would be cool.
    I want to conquer those hills again!

    I want to conquer those hills again!

    (Note: After DNSing an insane number of races this year, I’ve learned my lesson. I did not sign up for this 5K already, even though the race director offered past runners a discount. I don’t want to sign up and then not be able to run and have to DNS yet another one! I can register the morning of, so I’m cooling my jets and playing it by ear. Aren’t you proud of me?)

  3. A co-worker who is also a runner – and who I’ve been living vicariously through these past few months as she’s run all kinds of half marathons and marathons and generally kicked butt – told me about a new(to me) running club that sounds like my cup of tea. The group (Runfellow – read their story here) meets on Tuesday nights, encourages runners of all speeds to join them (there is always a caboose so that no one gets left behind!), then ends each run with high fives and a trip to a bar. Um, yes please!As much as I adore the Shammies, I am their slowest runner. I’m either the one all by myself bringing up the rear, or I’m the one holding some kind soul back from their workout because they feel bad that they’re leaving me behind. I still want to be part of the Shamrocks, and running with faster runners will only make me faster (eventually), but I love that this other club has a caboose. And their motto is “I like your pace.” And they look like they have so much fun! High fives everywhere!

    So, I want to be healthy enough to run with this new club. I want to run with encouraging people who like my pace, even when my pace is slow! And I want to buy some swag, which brings me to…

  4. As I mentioned above, I’m finally utilizing the whole Dangling Carrot of Motivation plan. And, I’ve finally found my carrot to dangle – a fun, bright headband from Runfellow that says “I like your pace.” Yes! It will be mine!
I quite like the shirt, too... a carrot to dangle in the future, perhaps?

I quite like the shirt, too… a carrot to dangle in the future, perhaps? (Photo from the Runfellow shop)

Unfortunately, my track record with motivation hasn’t been great… but a) I want to run on Thanksgiving, b) I want to run in the hills above Dodger Stadium, c) I want to run with the Runfellows, d) I want that dang headband, and to achieve all these, I need to keep at it. Wish me luck!

Do you ever use Dangling Carrots of Motivation – material or not – to push yourself? How has it worked?

Do the people next to you at the gym always want to compete with you, or am I just a magnet for all the intense people?!

How have you been? How’s your running going? Any fun races on the horizon?


4 thoughts on “Metatarsal Update and New Goals

  1. I used to motivate myself with something tangible, lately it all leads to food. 🙂 It would probably be better if I went back to buying material things. So glad to hear your foot is doing better and you can start to run again. I think I would have turned into a giant couch potato. But I would be caught up on my tv shows then. 🙂

    • Eh, I can see pros and cons of each approach 😉 I definitely became a couch potato, but didn’t really watch any good shows or read any good books. I don’t even know what I was doing. It’s sad. But now, fingers crossed, I’m on the ups! 🙂

  2. I really should try more DCM type things to keep me motivated. I do love new gear! I’m glad to hear that your rehab is moving on apace, and I will keep my fingers and toes crossed that you’re able to hit all of your goals for the rest of the year!

    • Being a gearhead gives me a nearly endless supply of DCMs 😉 Thanks for the finger and toe crossing… I’m doing the same, and I appreciate it!

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