Because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get hurt during a big race. Yup, I have the wee beginnings of a stress fracture on the outside of my left foot a la the half marathon. One week after my glorious domination, I was still feeling pretty darn sore, but only in one foot, and that had me worried. I immediately thought it was one of two things: a stress fracture or the pin in my foot from a previous surgery many years ago had become damaged. Either way, things were not looking good. Once my paranoia peaked, I decided it was time to make an appointment to get it checked out.
To make a long story short, they didn’t see anything on the x-rays, which is pretty standard when it comes to a stress fracture. Still, given the fact that I was feeling pain, that I already have a “weakening” in the bone due to it being held together with a pin, and that I had just run 13 miles for the first time in my life at a fairly speedy pace, all signs were pointing towards fracture. There was some hope, however, that it would heal quickly. The amount of pain I was feeling had already diminished quite a bit (I literally couldn’t walk the week prior). The doctor told me I was smart to have stayed off of it, but then of course he brought the hammer down: no running until I’m completely pain-free. Poop.
I was of course disappointed, and he saw it on my face. “Can I still bike and swim and lift?” I asked. “You can do whatever you want so long as it doesn’t cause you pain, but no running. I can tell you’re a crazy workout person,” he commented. “You can see it in my eyes, huh?” I asked, laughing. “Yes,” he replied, not laughing. Sigh.
The good news is that I don’t have to wear one of those heinous boots. The doctor and his PA gave me the option since they thought I was already well on the road to recovery, and so I opted not to take it. I had heard stories from my students who have had to wear the boots about how the damn things forced them to limp, throwing off their hips. There was no way I was going to mess with my hips, especially given my history. So, it’s hard-soled Brooks running shoes and my riding boots for the next few weeks. Meh, at least I’ll be comfortable, and wearing jeans and running tights to work has been pretty damn awesome.
It has been two weeks since that appointment, and I would say that I am feeling better, though yesterday I may have set myself back a bit overdoing it with the squats (yeah, probably shouldn’t be doing those at all) and then standing all night in flats at my husband’s company holiday party. I’m taking it easy today, and will continue to do so the next few weeks, especially since my holiday vacation is only five days away. So, what am I taking away from all of this? Well, now I really don’t ever plan on doing another half. I think 10 miles is pretty much my limit, and I’m ok with that. But I’m also not going to let this get me down like the last time I was significantly injured. I trained hard, raced hard, and now I’m experiencing a minor set back. It happens. I’m lucky to be healing quickly and to be able to do other types of workouts to keep me in shape while I recover. I miss running, but it won’t be long before I’m back at it.
The Paleo yumminess trend continues as I tried out some recipes from my new book as well as put together a few of my own creations. From The Best Paleo Recipes of 2014, I made Jessi Heggan’s (of the blog Jessi’s Kitchen) Ancho chile Butternut Squash Soup. Heinens’s was out of ancho chiles, so I used hatch chiles instead, but the result was still delicious. The soup is thick and creamy. The coconut milk cooled the spiciness a bit, so I added a little hot sauce to bring it back up. The recipe calls for a garnish of friend plantains and bacon, but I just rolled with the bacon since I didn’t want to overdo it with the fried foods. I divvied the soup into five servings for a week’s worth of lunches. A warm lunch really does make a difference in getting me through my day.
For breakfast, I made the egg muffins from my Racing Weight Cookbook, only this time I went with all egg whites and I added some peppers and onions to the mushroom-only recipe. I topped the mini frittatas with a few slices of avocado and a couple of dashes of Cholula sauce. A side of Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey made the perfect Paleo compliment.
For dinner earlier this week, I had a hankering for lettuce wraps. I have never made these before, but I figured it couldn’t be that challenging. I picked up some chicken tenders, Boston and bib lettuce, and some peanut satay sauce. I swung by the salad bar to get some julienne carrots and bean sprouts rather than buying a bag of each and having the rest go to waste, especially since bean sprouts turn so quickly. I sautéed the chicken in a screaming hot wok and right before it was finished, added a dollop of the satay sauce. I placed a tender in each lettuce cup, added the carrots and sprouts, and sprinkled on a few black sesame seeds. Of course I had to top them off with some Sriracha because, well, you don’t need a reason. It’s Sriracha. It was an easy, filling, and tasty meal that is now a definite part of my dinner rotation.
Lastly, for dessert, I decided to try a Paleo pumpkin chocolate chip (w/walnuts) cookie recipe I found on Pinterest. The cookies came out great, but I would recommend cooking them longer than the recipe calls for. They also got a little mushy as the days wore on, which I’m sure was due to the high moisture content from pumpkin puree. Still, they were yummy and hit the spot for my sweet tooth.