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Monday, August 18, 2014

Treatment for Achilles Heel pain

VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED!! 
This post contains a video of a medical procedure. If that kind of thing bothers you, you can read the post until the video, which is at the end. 


I have been training for my first marathon. It's no surprise that a lot of runners get aches and pains along with their training. I normally complain either about my right knee, or my right ankle, but with the increase in mileage, I developed some new pain in my Achilles tendon, in one of the spots where it attaches to the  calcaneous (heel bone). 

I went and had an xray done, and lo and behold, there are calcifications (calcium deposits) in the tendon area. Needless to say, that area gets really inflamed when I am running, especially long distances. This is the image of the xray. If you look where the arrow is, you will see the little pieces of calcium. Those little babies are what is causing the issue. 


I saw a friend of mine who is a Podiatrist,  Dr Dennis Claire DPM. He ordered the xrays and then we discussed the results. He mentioned a procedure called Prolotherapy. Of course I came home and sat right down at the MAC to do some googling. Basically the procedure entails injecting something into the tendon area, to hopefully get the body to start healing itself naturally. The body sees the liquid as something foreign that it wants to be rid of and the healing process starts. There are different solutions that can be injected, all the way from a simple saline solution, to stem cells. 

Since my pain is increasing with my mileage, and theres another month till the marathon, (Oct 5th) I opted for the procedure. There is no guarantee that it will even work, but it is worth a try. I made my appt and went in this afternoon. There is no prepping ahead of time, the dr just needs to be able to get at your heel. 

Dr Claire first sprayed the skin with a numbing spray that really did the job. Boy wouldnt it be nice to have some of that every time something hurt when running! ;)  Then he went with some lidocaine for numbing inside, and just plain saline.  Basically then, it involves poking holes in the tendon and around the tendon area while injecting the solution. 




Did it hurt? Honestly, just the first poke. After that I was hanging on to the chair for dear life, and didnt feel a thing. I kept waiting for it to REALLY hurt... but was totally surprised when he said he was done. I had my daughter come with me to drive, in case I wasn't feeling well afterwards. She took the video for me. :) 



VIDEO AND PICTURES BELOW: 
(don't look if you don't like needles!)

















video


I have an appt in 3 weeks to go for another treatment. 
I will post and let everyone know if these were successful. 


Friday, August 15, 2014

Product Review doTerra Essential Oils


Today’s review is about Essential Oils from doTerra.  I was sent a sample pack of oils to try out and give my opinion on.  I will say that I was skeptical at first, but figured I would give it a shot and try to have an open mind about it.

My sample pack included Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon and Wild Orange. According to their website, each of these oils has many purposes that you can use them for. 




From the doTerra website:


Essential oils are non-water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile aromatic compounds. Although they are fat soluble, they do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils. Essential oils are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue.


In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Modern scientific study and trends toward more holistic approaches to wellness are driving a revival and new discovery of essential oil health applications.

I had heard a lot about putting lemon in drinking water. I know many people do that at restaurants, and before being given some Lemon Oil, I didn’t really care for the taste of lemon flavored water. I decided that since I drink a huge jug of water every day at work, I would put some of the lemon in my water an give it a try. At first, I really liked it. I had to put 3-4 drops because of the amount of water in my water bottle. The taste was good, and it felt refreshing. After a couple of weeks though, I tired of the taste and found myself not using it any more.  



I am a runner, and struggle with my sports bra chafing my chest and back on my long runs. It basically rubs the skin raw and you can imagine how much that hurts when showering after my run. I found that if I wait until the next day so that it’s started to heal up a bit, and then put a mixture of the Lavender with some coconut oil on the wounds, they heal much faster! I put just a little bit of olive oil to dilute the Lavender a bit, as it is very strong. I use this all the time now for my long runs on the weekends. 

I have a small bump skin mole on my arm. It isn’t a colored one, just a growth of skin that is raised. I have had other ones removed via surgery but I got to thinking that maybe the citrus might help that. So… I started using the Wild Orange on the mole, and it is shrinking down. I just put a finger drop full strength on it, and rub it in and I have seen it dry up the top layers of skin. It gets flaky enough that I can scrub it off in the shower, and thus it has decreased in size a lot and is hardly noticeable now. I am totally in love with this! I have another one on my leg, which I will start working on too. Saves me from having surgery to get these removed. They are benign, but unsightly and I am self-conscious of them.



So all in all, I have to say I am very satisfied with my experience with doTerra Oils. I have already purchased some more through a friend of mine who sells them. I am glad to have someone nearby that can get me a bottle when needed.

If you do decide to try them, read directions carefully and dilute them when needed. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what something natural can do for you!  



Saturday, August 9, 2014

The effects of Marathon training on my body



Here it is week 10 of my marathon training.. that means my race is just 8 weeks away, which is fairly close on the horizon now. If anyone would have asked me a year ago if I would be training to run 26.2 miles, I would have wavered a bit in my answer. But after some careful thought, and lots of excellent training with Coach Caleb Masland, I knew it was within my reach. What I didn't expect, were all the ways my body would react to the training itself, both good and bad.

CoachCaleb.Com

Training basically encompasses a lot of different types of runs, some core workouts, and for me, cycling. Many people swim also, but I don't care for that one. Week by week Caleb sends me my workout which will have the three types I mentioned above, and these vary from week to week. Speed workouts, hill workouts, easy runs, and long runs... all are part of the plan. Upper body work, lower body, and core workouts are a big part of the overall picture. To be an effective runner, you need to have a strong core to be able to hold yourself erect after the long miles take their toll on the body. If you are slumped over and dragging, it makes it so much harder. I can feel that the core work that I have done, has helped tremendously in helping me run with better posture. The one thing I still fight with constantly is to keep my chin up when running. I tend to look at the ground and that is harder on my neck, and closes my airway down a bit and makes my breathing more labored. Any of you that have run with me will know that I am a very loud breather, and I am very self conscious about it. After a couple of miles, I  tend to get into my zone and then it comes a lot easier and I don't have to struggle any more. 



I have tried to vary where I run. It's so easy to just get into the same rut, week after week. I have 4 areas where I tend to go, and I try to make sure I take advantage of them all. The only one I haven't done yet this year, are the city trails. Since I run on the main roads, the traffic can be a real issue, especially when the nearby college is in session. So many times I have seen people talking on cell phones, texting or just not paying attention and they come a little too close to me on the road. I am always aware of their eyes, and hands. If I see someone who hasn't seen me.. I am ready at any moment to jump over a guardrail. I haven't had to yet, but have come close a couple of times. I always run facing traffic for that reason.




Ok, now to talk about the effects of this strenuous marathon training. It's no surprise that I am 52, and overweight. My weight varies between 210 and 220lbs. Depending on my training for the week, sometimes it's up and other-times it's down. Since I started running, my blood pressure has been very well controlled. I recently gave up my diuretic (water pill) because I found that it was making me too dehydrated. Dehydration in a runner can be very serious or deadly if not treated immediately. I sweat a lot, and lose a lot of salt. I have a special mixture that I put into my water for my runs, which has the salt and electrolytes I need to replenish. This fantastic tasting powder is called "TailWind". Coach Caleb recommended this to me, and I've never looked back. It comes in a couple of different flavors and there is even a caffeinated version!



Physically I have had some challenges a long the way. The first one has been that I had surgery on my right ankle in 2010. I had to have a piece of a tendon removed, and a graft put in its place. This has caused me to have a fair amount of pain and swelling every now and then, depending on the shoes and environment for that day. My old blog DreamingFullCircle is all about the journey from the injury through the surgery and recovery. 

I started having knee pain months ago, and found out that I have the start of arthritis and a degenerative meniscus tear in my right knee. Once I got that taken care of, it settled down and hasnt really bothered me since. I have to just be careful about shoe choices and the camber (slanting) of the road, which sometimes sets it off. When I had knee xrays done, we discovered an abnormal growth of bone in my Tibia (lower leg bone). More xrays done, and turns out that I probably had stress fractures from shin splints, that were never treated and the bone reacted by doubling it's outer layer. I was prone to shin splints a lot when I started my longer runs over 4 miles. Took a long time for the pain to go away.. and I guess I know now, why that was. So the moral on that one is, if you have shin splints that last more than a day or two, get it checked out by a doctor! My orthopedic doc will check my lower leg every 4 months or so for a while to make sure there isnt something else going on in there, and I am ok with that. 

The latest issue in the saga of bodily aches and pains is that I have developed calcifications in my Achilles tendon, on the same foot as my prior surgery. I tend to have very tight calf muscles, and the extra pulling on the achilles has caused the bone to react down in one area on my heel where the achilles attaches. Here is the xray done yesterday, that shows the build up of calcium. This is very painful to touch, and it hurts when running. I have been putting up with this for over a month now, and yesterday I finally found out what was causing the pain. Now the plan is to get lower leg massages once a week, use my foam roller to get the kinks out of my calves, and use heat to try and keep the blood flowing in that area. There isnt a lot of blood flow there, so the body can have a hard time to repair itself.. thus anything I can do to boost the recovery is good.



Ok.. so even though I have had these little issues, I am still doing fantastic, and my training is moving right along. Tomorrow I will do 18 miles with a friend.. this will be the first time that I have run a long distance with someone. I am used to doing it alone, and I hope that he will have the patience to put up with me not talking! ;) I have to focus and concentrate when I run, so chatting will not be easy. 

Will I ever do another marathon? That remains to be seen. If this race, the Maine Marathon, goes well, then I am thinking about doing the Sugarloaf Marathon in the spring. The hard part about that is training on a treadmill in the winter. The Maine roads are a mess the majority of the time around here, and there isnt a lot of room for runners and cars. I have to be very selective about when I go out during that time. The excitement of doing another race is definitely there, and I am sure I will want to do another one. I equate this to childbirth.. when youre going through it, the last thing you want to do is think about having another child! But afterwards, when you see that beautiful little baby in your arms, that disappears and you want another.  I'm sure that after I have that medal hung around my neck, I will want to feel that amazing accomplishment again! 




For those of you that have actually read all of this, and have run a marathon or Ultra's, please feel free to leave me some pointers below. I read everyone's messages that are left and will respond if you leave me a way to contact you. 

Happy Running!


Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 Beach to Beacon recap



This past Saturday I had a second opportunity to run the Premier event for Maine, the Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth. This race was founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson. This is her home town and the roads she is used to running and is one of Maine's most beautiful towns along the coast where a good amount of Maine's wealthy folks live. This 10K is normally shown to have elite runners that are invited by Joanie and her staff.  This year some of them were, Meb Keflezighi, Mika Kogo, Shalane Flanagan, Gemma Steele, ... you get the picture?   More than 6,000 recreational runners followed the front-of-the-pack athletes along the scenic TD Beach to Beacon course, cheered on by thousands of spectators who line the coastal route to support this now classic American summer road race that celebrates health, fitness and giving back. 

If you do decide to run this race, I will warn you that it sold out in under 4 mins time for 6000 slots! The best bet is to get your name on the email list so you know when the day comes for registration, then you just have to be fast! 



Since this was my second year in a row running this race, I do have to say that it is my most favorite race of all. There isnt a spot within that whole 6.2 miles that there isnt spectators yelling, clapping, singing, playing music or offering food or drink for us runners. The enthusiasm is phenomenal! If you are having a bad race you cant help but have your spirits lifted by the crowd. They really enjoy the runners coming through town and are happy to tell you so! I can't remember how many times I heard, "Go Louise!" "You got this Louise!"  It was soooo much fun!

Because they shut down almost all the roads in town for the race, you have to arrive early to find parking. They have shuttle buses available at the High School, that you can take to the start line, and back after the race. This year I was lucky enough that my husband was on the media team so we got to park at the finish line which was handy afterwards. 

How was my race? Good for the most part. It was humid, which did make running a little tougher. The good thing is that there were plenty of distractions to take the mind off the heat. Gotta love those people who sprayed their hoses in the street for us! That was the best!  I managed a 2 min 6 sec PR from last year. I will say that made my day!  


Here are a few pictures from the day:

My Team Singlet:



The starting line. Meb K is all the way to the left.



Before the start, I was able to find my friend Keisha! We met this year at the 15K race at Sugarloaf. 


Then I found Jen, Jill and Stacy! 


Then, I managed to find a long lost friend from 28 or so years ago.. he was my boss at my first xray job in Fort Kent Maine. Dennis and I just recently reconnected on facebook and I was so stoked when he told me he was running B2B! Was so great to see him again and share his first road race with him!




And last.. my results:

_____________________

And a few pictures of me from the race:

( This one is my fave.. and it was taken by my hubby ) 



I do have to mention that since I am favored by Skechers Performance, I wanted to make sure that hubby got some good pictures of Meb as he was coming in to finish. He promised me he would. After the race, when I finally caught up to hubster in the car, the first thing I asked was, "Did you get the Meb pics"... He pulls out the camera and shows me this.  Ummmmm......?????? #%@^%$@


Enough said on that subject! ;0) 





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