Training Update – Week 11

Week 11: Getting into Double Digit Runs…and Learning to Slow Down

Plus a Special Pennsylvania Dutch Recipe

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This week was the roughest week yet for us! Saturday was our first double digit run, clocking in at 10 miles! I felt great during the run for the most part and completed it at a great pace (1:34:36; ~9:30 min/mi pace). However, the rest of the day wasn’t as good. After our weekly brunch pilgrimage to Ziggy’s, I noticed that my ankle began to swell up…a lot! So, we did what we know is best for swelling, RICE! Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (+ anti-inflammatory). Little did I know this would be just the beginning of painful week…

Ten miles, at once? If you would have told me 6 months ago that I would be able to consistently run a full 10 miles without stopping for walking breaks, I’d call you nuts. Well, that’s just what I accomplished this week, 10 miles, no walking breaks, only stopping for water at water stops. I felt a great sense of accomplishment after the run, but my left ankle didn’t feel the same way…

During the run it wasn’t bothering me, but after the run, the inside of my left ankle began to swell up. It ended up swelling up to the point where I couldn’t see the bone anymore. We immediately began me on an ibuprofen/ice/elevation regimen where I began taking 800 mg of ibuprofen 3x a day, ice on 20 min, off for anywhere between 20-90 min (longer times as time went on), and kept it elevated (when reasonable, above my heart).

I woke up Sunday to my ankle being quite stiff and cranky (which of course made me cranky) and made me realize that I definitely had to take a few days off training. Monday I was feeling a bit better, even better enough to go to my lunchtime yoga class at work! However, I was encouraged to make an appointment with one of the trainers at work to look at it and see if there was any muscle tightness that was causing my pain.

On Tuesday, I was able to get in with the trainer who said that my calf muscles were quite tight and that was likely causing my inner ankle pain. He also said that the muscle definition in my feet was very poor, likely a result of wearing custom made orthotics, and wanted me to focus on strengthening my feet. We rolled out and stretched my calves, plus set up an appointment to start targeting weight training for my lower body. He also told me to take it easy on my jog that evening. I took it very easy on a quick 20 minute jog that evening. It was bad idea, really bad idea, like I shouldn’t be out there bad idea! I managed to run 1.5 mi in about 18 minutes, about 3 min/mi off of my normal training pace and it wasn’t without a lot of pain and walk breaks.

Wednesday I decided that it was high time that I saw a doctor about my ankle. It was getting to the point where I needed an expert opinion. My worst fear was tendonitis, but with proper care, I was hopeful it could get straightened out expediently. I emailed my boss and told him I was taking a sick day to get my ankle straightened out. I couldn’t even drive my own vehicle, as I drive a standard transmission and my left ankle was being bothered greatly by using the clutch as to make driving dangerous. I then called my primary care doctor, who I find out is out until early November, but got an appointment with another doctor in the practice for later that morning. I also did a lot of searching for sports medicine doctors that specialize in ankles. Harder than it seems! Everyone seems to injure their knees, not ankles, so most sports medicine doctors specialize in knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, but not ankles. Very frustrating…

So, I met with the general practitioner and told her what was going on. She looked at it, poked around some and did a basic joint strength test with me. She concurred, it was my tendon, but said she couldn’t offer more advice than what I was already doing and refer me to a podiatrist that is a runner himself (who was relatively easy to get into). I asked her what she meant exactly by “easy to get into” and she said, normally within a week. A week?!? I didn’t have a week to wait for a diagnosis…but, she said she’d see what she could do.

A glimmer of hope! She came in saying that he could see me then, but it would probably be a few minutes wait in the office. We had time, so we walked over to his office and waited for less than 15 minutes before I was x-rayed and seen. He confirmed my fear…tendonitis…

What was strange, was the tendon in which I developed tendonitis, the posterior tibial tendon. This tendon basically helps create the arch in your foot and connects to the calf muscle. It is an extremely rare tendon to strain during running, especially with custom made orthotics. Also, it’s most commonly found in obese women over the age of 40, not an active woman in her late 20’s.

After a bit of discussion about my goals and what I want to accomplish with treatment, the podiatrist sent me with a prescription for a steroid pack and orders to keep off training for 1-2 weeks. Any training that uses/stretches my calves specifically should be avoided, so that takes out yoga as well. He gave me a stern warning that if I test it too soon while on the steroids, that there is a high possibility of rupturing the tendon (which of course is a death sentence to training). That pretty much leaves upper body workouts (hand bicycle?) for the time being until I get full clearance to begin my training again. I have my next appointment to see him a week from Wednesday, by which time I should have a short easy run under my belt to discuss the results.

Thursday I began taking the steroids and had some strange side effects, such as extreme thirst, and just a general fuzzy feeling all day. I was just plain out of it…so much so that I was in bed at 8pm!

Friday was my day off and I was still struggling with how to keep my sanity during the healing process. This Friday provided the best weather all season, sunny, not a cloud in the sky 75F with a light breeze! Where was I? Stuck inside, without cable or internet (U-verse went out Thursday evening to a bunch of people on our block) listening to the radio and in too much pain to cook or bake or stand for longer than a few minutes. Friday evening I can broke the cycle of boredom by going to a free Silent Movie at one of the parks in town (which I only made it half way through before my muscles decided they weren’t happy with me).

I’m really hoping things get better soon…I was really getting into training with Team and it would break my heart to have to give it up this season…

I did manage to have my Monday Bake Sale this week, baking super-yummy Pumpkin Muffins! I don’t have a picture, but I’ll be sure to bake them again soon and post the recipe. However, as I’m feeling blue, I’ll leave you with a dish that always seems to make me feel better when I’m homesick…Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup!

Chicken Corn Soup is a very common item to find at the fall fairs in Central Pennsylvania. A few weeks ago, I was feeling homesick and decided to get my mom’s recipe for her Chicken Corn Soup.

This is what she gave me (paraphrased, don’t have the actual email on me currently):

Boil a couple of skin-on/bone-in chicken breasts with some onion and celery, until the chicken is falling off the bone. When chicken is done, take it out and cut it up into pieces. Add bouillon to the chicken stock and depending on how much you want to make, a couple cans of creamed corn (critical to flavor, do not substitute), and some frozen corn (a cup or so). If you want to be particularly “Dutchy” add in chopped hard boiled eggs. Bring to a simmer and add noodles if desired.

Ok…so this is my interpretation of my Mom’s recipe…

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup

Ingredients:

  • Split Chicken Breast, Bone-in, skin-on
  • Water to Boil Chicken
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, diced
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper (to taste, I added this from my Mom’s original recipe)
  • Low Sodium Chicken Broth (did this instead of bouillon, about 1 cup)
  • 2 cans creamed corn (low-sodium or no-salt added preferred)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, diced (I wanted to be “Dutchy”)
  • 1 bag of No-Yolks Egg Noodles

So, this is a pretty easy recipe…

Dice onion and celery and add to large stock pot with chicken and water to cover. Add in fresh ground black pepper, to taste (I actually kept on tasting throughout the cooking process to assess for pepper addition). Boil chicken until falling off of bone.

When chicken is done, take out of stock, peel off skin and take off of bones. Roughly chop the chicken and return to stock pot with additional chicken stock (or water + bouillon), creamed corn, and frozen corn. Bring soup to a simmer and assess again for any needed pepper to suit your taste.

Hard boil eggs and roughly chop them for addition before serving.

Before serving, bring soup up to a low boil and add the hard boiled egg and egg noodles. Lightly boil until egg noodles are done (using manufacturer’s suggestion).

This made a great dinner (served with whole wheat biscuits) and a week of lunches for us! A little taste of my childhood brought to Texas…

Nutrition (made ~12 servings for us, less for bigger eaters):

  • 226 cal
  • 4 g fat
  • 32 g carb
  • 4 g fiber
  • 13 g protein
  • A taste of Lancaster County Fall that can’t be beat