1. I spent so much money at the expo, you guys. It was ridiculous. I think I spent more this year than I ever had.
Where did that money go, you ask? Well, in addition to my traditional Christmas ornament and Nike running hat, this year I also bought a Nike hoodie that I’ve already worn more times than I care to admit. It’s so COZY! They had similar style hoodies at the expo last year (“funnel neck,” is what they’re called), and even though I wasn’t all that in love with the design last year, I regretted not buying one because I loved the neckline so much when I saw it on other people. Well, this year I did like the design, so here we are.
Fleet Feet was also having some great sales at the expo, including $20 off SuperFeet sandals, which I’ve been eyeing as a pair of flip flops I can wear without worrying that I’m murdering my feet while also looking vaguely stylish, and 10% of Nathan products. I really needed a new handheld and actually asked for one for my birthday, but my specifications stressed my mom out, so she and my dad gave me money and told me to go buy one myself instead haha. And that’s exactly what I did at the expo! My new one is 18 oz., had a pocket that easily fit my iPhone, AND is insulated, which makes me super excited.
2. I have mixed feelings on this year’s shirt. I don’t mind the design at all, but the color….
I have nothing against neon, but I also have a hard time taking neon seriously, which just might be the most ridiculous phrase I’ve ever written on this blog. I don’t know…I guess since the Chicago Marathon has always had colors I find more “serious” (blue, grey, red) on its shirts since I’ve run, seeing highlighter yellow was a bit jarring and didn’t seem to fit the race’s brand. Not that that means I won’t wear it, obviously. I even wear the 2014 shirt, and I HATED that shirt.
3. Favorite signs along the course this year included, “If Trump can run, so can you,” “Run like there’s a clown behind you,” and of course, the always classic, “This is a lot of work for a free banana.”
4. I cannot believe race registration for NEXT YEAR starts later this month. CARA had better get its act together, because I’m banking on a 5+2 entry for the 2017 race, and HEAVEN HELP ME if I drug myself out to Oak Park on a freezing cold morning and to Soldier Field on a swampy morning to make sure I ran five CARA Circuit races for nothing. I don’t quite understand why registration needs to open so early–just because next year is the 40th anniversay of the race doesn’t mean you need to sign up for it almost an entire year in advance. Unless they’re waiting to see how many entrants they get into the lottery and increase the field size for next year for the anniversary? That’s a nice thought. They keep hyping this anniversary stuff to high heaven, and I really hope they plan to pull out all the stops to celebrate. A stop I’m particularly hoping they’ll pull out: a new race course. I don’t have anything particularly against the course as it stands, but I just think it’d be really, really cool if we could do something different next year. I’d also be SUPER down to run the course backwards. Can you imagine if the last three miles of the course wound through downtown instead of up Michigan Ave.? MAN that’d be cool. You’d still have a hill at the end to keep you honest, since you’d have to run up Columbus from Grand, but then you’d get to ride the downhill after Columbus comes out from under Wacker straight to the finish (current start) line. And you could actually appreciate the LaSalle Street Canyon, which I think is my favorite part of all of downtown, which right now you don’t even notice because you run out of it, not into it. Who can put me in touch with Carey Pinkowski? I’m clearly full of all sorts of great ideas for this race.
5. I didn’t feel super great when I finished running on Sunday, so after I got my gear check bag, I sat down in the grass to collect myself. Once I felt better, I stood up (or rather, got onto my knees and than manuevered myself into a standing position in a downward-dog/inchworm-like fashion) and started walking to the post-race party. As soon as I started walking, I noticed discomfort in my right ankle that I had never felt before, including over the course of the past 26.2 miles I had just run. I chalked this up to your standard post-race soreness and continued hobbling along.
My ankle started to feel worse and worse as the day went on, and eventually the outside of my foot began to hurt as well. I got food with friends after the race, and when we left the bar, I couldn’t even walk without limping. I iced it twice when I got home, but that didn’t really make much of a difference. I then took to my favorite self-diagnosing tool, Google Images, to find myself a diagram of foot and ankle anatomy. Right away, I knew the pain I felt must be coming from my peroneal brevis tendon, since, according to the diagram, that tendon happened to run along the exact path that I felt pain. I diagnosed myself with tendinitis and called it a night.
The following morning, my ankle and foot were still killing me. I hadn’t taken the day off of work, so I managed to drag myself to the office. I was tired and sore and all-around pathetic looking, so in my team’s weekly Monday morning meeting, my boss told me if I wanted to leave early I could: “Like, noon early, if you want.” Didn’t have to tell me twice. I blew through my tasks for the day and then limped out of the office to find myself lunch before going home.
While eating, I started Googling peroneal tendinitis, as one does, and as I was reading about it, decided that my time could be much better spent by getting myself professional medical help rather than Internet medical help. I called my physical therapist’s office and booked an injury screen for 30 minutes later. My physical therapist apparently no longer works at the clinic I’ve gone to ever since I started needing PT, so I saw someone else for my injury screen, but that was fine. She pushed around my foot a bit and told me I had peroneal tendinitis, which confirmed for me, once and for all, that I AM a good Internet diagnoser! Hahaha 😛
For those curious, my peroneal tendonitis likely stems from the fact that I’m an overpronater: something I’ve known about myself since I started running in 2011. I tried stability shoes once, and they caused me so much back pain that I was sidelined for months, so I run in neutral shoes instead. That’s never been an issue for me, at least from a peroneal tendon standpoint, until now, and I would bet my next Chicago Marathon race entry on this being an issue because I ran two marathons in three weeks, when normally I wouldn’t run at all for three-four weeks after a marathon. I also probably was not particularly trained to run two marathons in three weeks, which I’m guessing also contributed to this situation.
My instructions were to not exercise in any capacity for 7-10 days, schedule a doctor’s appointment for next week in case it didn’t get better so I could get a PT referral, ice the area regularly, take ibuprofen, foam roll, and walk as little as possible. Since the injury happened all of 24 hours earlier, the PT told me there really wasn’t anything they could do at that point anyway until the inflammation goes down.
So now we wait. As of Tuesday (when I’m writing this), I’m still in a world of pain. I can’t walk – I can only limp. My foot and ankle only don’t hurt when I’m not moving. Ice numbs the pain momentarily, but it comes back as soon as I finish icing, and ibuprofen, even at high doses, hasn’t touched it. The pain hasn’t gotten worse, so I suppose that’s good, but it also hasn’t gotten better at all, which is discouraging, to say the least (though to be fair it has been awhile since I was actually injured, and injuries, unlike soreness, usually don’t clear up in two days, so maybe I’m getting discouraged for nothing). I wasn’t planning to do much exercise this week, so being sidelined entirely for 7-10 days isn’t the end of the world, though that does mean I have to miss dance, and possibly graduation next week, which sucks. And even though I planned to not exercise this week and not run again until next Wednesday from the get-go, I did plan to, you know, move. Not being able to do that in any capacity, including walking, makes me uncomfortable, to say the least. All of this is compounded by the fact that I’m registered to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las vegas Half Marathon exactly one month from today. I planned to ride my marathon fitness into that race and put in the bare minimum amount of “training” (really maitenance more than training) between now and then, shooting for no more than 15 miles/week and maxing out at a 10 mile long run. That plan had me taking most of this week off, with two days of easy yoga at the end of the week, then resuming a training schedule of two days of strength, two days of running, one day of dance, and one day of yoga starting next Monday. I don’t know if any of that is realistic at this point, and obviously throwing some potential PT in there won’t make it any more attainable. I joined my gym almost a year ago for a couple of reasons, but one of those reasons was because it had a pool, and I wanted to have access to a pool “just in case.” I haven’t been in the pool once during my membership, but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if that changed sooner rather than later.