VMA, injured state and more miscellany

I think I have a case of VMA: Vicarious Marathon Anxiety. My two best friend bloggers, Amy and Rachel, are running their first marathons in the next few weeks; I’ve also recently started following Hyedi and Shantarella‘s blogs, and they’re running marathons soon too! My inbox has been inundated with a marathon of marathon posts (get it?) for the last few months. In a way, I have huge admiration for these ladies to be able to train for, stick to and endure these long runs, and to run a marathon is monumental. I think it’s fantastic what they’re doing, but in no way does it inspire me to do the same. I cheekily thought I should name this post “I’m running a marathon!!!!!” then begin it with ‘Just kidding!’ but thought that was too far. Part of the reason I won’t even entertain the possibility of entering a marathon is due to my current injured state, and the other is because as much as I love running, I don’t want to commit that much time to it. So instead, I read Amy’s, Rachel’s, and now Hyedi’s and Shanterella’s blogs to see what it feels like, to worry with them, and to send out positive vibes leading up to race day.

How I feel about wearing winter running clothes in June, but also, about running a marathon

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On the injured front: perhaps you’ll remember how I mentioned a while ago that it was suspected I had the beginnings of plantar fasciitis? Burning heel pain, the first few steps in the morning were painful, etc.. Well, I tried my exercises and icing, but alas, nothing worked and the pain was still there, EXCEPT when I ran. I remember my physio had also said that any issues in your lumbar spine can also manifest themself as pain in the heel and to keep that in mind. Well it turns out, that rather than the dreaded plantar fasciitis, I indeed have issues in my lumbar spine. L5 to be exact. The heel pain persisted through prescribed stretching, exercises and icing, and I finally went back to the physio for a new prognosis. After a few quick assessments, it was discovered that my lumbar lordosis (remember, curved back like a pregnant woman), puts stress on my L5 vertebrae where it meets my sacrum, and as a result, my sciatic nerve goes wild! Hence the pain in my heel (which is burning like crazy as I write!) and also a new pain that manifested itself in July, which I thought was ITB issues. 
Previously, the only time I wasn’t in pain was when I ran, so for me it was difficult to go back into the physio for a new prognosis. That changed in July/August, when I did a lot of hill running with my in-law’s dogs, and started to get a stretching-feeling pain in my hips and glutes during a run. It got so bad that I couldn’t run more than 2 miles without hurting! My physio prescribed these knee-to-chest stretches for both sides:
source
I also have to perform them in a kind of PNF stretch, where you push against your arms for 10 seconds, release, stretch a bit further and repeat, (ironically, I got the image above from a website about the three worst back stretches to do, and this was one of them!). I also have to do some exercises to continue to strengthen my transverse abs and stretch my sciatic nerve, which when I do it, just feels like normal stretching. 
After about two days of stretching, I woke up with a heel free of pain for the first time in months. It was amazing! I’ve been doing stretches and exercises twice a day, every day, and have noticed big results. Until, that is, I go for a run, and it’s like two steps forward, one step back: although there is no pain during my runs anymore, there is afterwards, which my physio said is to be expected. There is also pain the day after, and I can’t run until the pain goes away, which is usually a day and a half (which means no back-to-back runs). Although I’ve been running really fast lately, it’s turned into a lot of stiffness afterwards. But I’ll deal with it and keep stretching and exercising.
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A few more miscellaneous bits that I want to share with you all:
– Have you seen the film Midnight in Paris? We recently watched it as one of our Lovefilm picks that apparently I put on our list (even though I forgot). Initially, my husband and I were both dubious about it as it’s a Woody Allen film, but we both absolutely loved it. It can be summed up as magical and like someone’s dream come true. Here’s the trailer:
– Speaking of Paris, in basically a week, I will be flying through it on my way home to Winnipeg, Canada! I’ll be home for Thanksgiving for the first time in seven years, I can’t wait! I don’t have enough time to get off and see the city again, so it will just have to wait for a city break holiday another time.
– Finally, if you’re in need of a good laugh today, please watch this video of two dogs eating in a restaurant; it made my husband and I laugh hysterically, and takes the term anthropomorphic to a new level:
 
Off to do some stretching. Have a great weekend everyone!
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