Thursday, November 25, 2010


This is my first Thanksgiving since I became vegan and I'm excited about what I will be having for dinner. In an untraditional Thanksgiving Day meal, I'm having vegan enchiladas from Whole Foods with vegan mashed potatoes and apple cranberry quinoa salad. I also have a kale salad with tomatoes, cranberries, and pine nuts. I even got a vegan pumpkin pie.

I'm thankful for my family and friends, as well as the positive changes I have made in my life to stay healthy and happy. Thanks everyone for reading the blog. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving Day for everyone here in the US and a great day for everyone around the world!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sometimes it's the shoes

Somehow over the last several weeks, I have gone from having a lot of foot pain to being pain free. I even went to an orthopedic urgent care because my left foot hurt so much. The doctor diagnosed plantar faciitis and said to stretch and keep running (I wasn't going to hurt anything). I do the stretches, when I remember, but I also bought new running shoes (Asics Gel-Nimbus). They seem to have helped do the trick. I don't have pain in either foot. I have lost enough weight (almost 50 lbs.) that the shoes I had been in (Brooks Adrenaline) seemed to be too much shoe for me. I noticed a difference almost immediately with the Asics. Yesterday, I bought two other pairs similar to the Asics (New Balance 1064s and Nike Vomeros) to have a variety of shoes to keep my feet from getting used to one style of shoe. I ran six miles of hill work in the Nikes this morning and my feet felt just fine. I never thought something like changing my shoes would make such a big difference.

6 weeks to Goofy

It's been a strange month for my training, work, and my personal life. Nothing bad has happened, but I've had one of those months where events collide to keep me slightly off balance. I've had a couple of weeks of great running bookending a couple week of not-great to almost-dangerous running, If you've read this blog for at least a year, you know I do not like running in the snow or after a snowfall that hasn't yet been plowed or cleared. I think this is because my first year of training for the WDW Marathon was practically snow-free with decent temperatures every time I went out.

Since then, I've run in what is the typical or normal Minnesota winter weather. I don't mind cold, dressed correctly it's not a big deal (although gels and whatever you're carrying for drink tends to freeze). I've run long runs over ten miles in wind chills between 10 and 20 degrees below zero. I do mind snow - a lot. I still get out and run, but I go slower, I worry about slipping, and I have to watch much more carefully for cars (as do all runners in this kind of weather). I find it hard to focus on the run, which doesn't help get my mind prepped for racing. I use colorful language when stepping in slush puddles, it's just not fun.

That was my long run two weeks ago - I ran twelve miles in a winter storm, which got worse as I ran. It was snowing about an inch an hour, I was out for about two hours and I started the run with about three to four inches on the ground. Saturdays are not priority days to plow residential streets (snow emergency routes were cleared, but not the side streets). It snowed hard enough that on my way back (I did an out and back for the first eight miles), my tracks going out were basically covered. The temperature was around 30 degrees, which meant the snow was heavy and wet. Great snowman weather, but not great running weather. Yes, I know I'm complaining, but with a slight smile - I'm out running, not sitting at home on my butt watching TV. It's a little funny getting covered in snow or frost running in the winter, coming with with my gloves and hat frozen.

Speaking of frozen, last week I had two runs end early due to injuries. My Friday run ended early because my right hip hurt. It felt like the ball and socket weren't fully moving freely. Ouch. Then Saturday, I was in the first few miles of a sixteen mile run when I noticed the fingers of my left hand were tingly and getting numb. It's happened before and gone away, so I thought I'd gut it out. My fingers felt worse as I got about six miles in, basically having gone numb. I was worried I may be getting frostbite, which would be bad on several levels. My main concern was that if I had frostbite, I'd have a heightened sensitivity to cold, not a good thing for a runner in Minnesota. I ended up calling my wife to get me. Between her not finding me and me continuing my run to get home, she never picked me up. I got home as she called, frantically looking for me, I told her where I was and she came home. I finished the run downstairs on our elliptical. My fingers ended up being okay, which is good, of course, but I was having an awesome run when I stopped at home. I was really down all weekend. I did get new running gloves, which I've worn twice now and they have kept my fingers warm and toasty.