Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Dealing with Injuries

Just when things start going well and your ex-injury boyfriend (my heel spur Wolverine) appears to be gone for almost good, what happens?  My best friend and adventure buddy gets injured. Yup, Kobi is injured.

Dealing with Injuries

Kobi enjoying an off-leash moment

This started back in January, but I did what I do with my personal injuries, I deny them and try to “run” them off.  That worked about as well for Kobi as it has for me.  I gave her two weeks rest, but rest meant no long runs.  She was still running off-leash on our morning, afternoon and evening walks which added up to almost 5km a day.  That isn’t really rest is it?

Dealing with Injuies

Me explaining to Kobi she can’t run yet

The limp went away and I tested her out by taking her for a short fat bike ride.  The thing with Kobi is that when she sees the bike or me in running gear, she has to run like she stole something regardless of how slow I’m going.  Of course the limp came back.

Dealing with Injuries

Fat biking with Kobi.

I took her south to see her doctor 4 hours away and spent on x-rays what could have bought me a lot of new gear, like an awful lot of new gear (don’t get me wrong,  I’d spend ten times that on her if I had to).

The good news is there was no evidence of arthritis or joint issues.  The bad news is they don’t have a CT scan so we have to assume it’s some sort of soft tissue injury.  The vet said I had to get serious about resting Kobi. She went so far as saying kennel her, limit the stairs, and no walking off-leash – even to poop!  If Kobi could talk or had a middle finger she would’ve expressed what she thought of that plan.  So we compromised, we go for short walks on a leash down the driveway, she gets to poop off leash, and we try to limit the number of trips up and down the stairs.

Dealing with Injuries

Kobi doesn’t get the leash thing

We’re at day 22 now and I haven’t seen a limp for a while.  This is good.  The plan is to limit her walks for another week and a half and then re-introduce short running stints with a few days off in between.  I’m optimistic this will work and she’ll be right as rain again.

Dealing with Injuries

Kobi hugging her sloth. The sloth is a metaphor.

I feel so much guilt that I haven’t skied or biked or snowshoed since the visit to Kobi’s doctor.  I run at lunch from work so she doesn’t see me leave without her.  On my weekend long runs she does see me and shoots hot, sad daggers of “how could you cheat on me like this” into my heart.  The rest of the time I run on the treadmill or ride my bike trainer while she rests on her princess bed.  I don’t feel as much guilt on those days.

Dealing with Injuries

Play time before I hit the treadmill

I need to name Kobi’s injury.  Any suggestions?  Ever had to deal with a running buddy who gets injured?  Coping suggestions?

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Is it 2017 Already?

I had intended to write a post sooner, but I was protesting the lack of snow.  I know silly, as only you suffered the loss, but apparently it worked because it started dumping snow on December 31 and we now have a decent amount to play in.

So here is my “2016 year in review” post with somewhat related cool photos of me and Kobi.

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Snowshoe fun in the tundra

To summarize 2016:  basically it sucked.

Those of you who follow my sporadic posts will recall my tumultuous relationship with Wolverine the Adamantium heel spur.  He showed up back in June of 2015 and the relationship was pretty much over as of January 2016, but I was stupid and did what an overly-excited runner recovering from a frustrating injury does – run too much.  By mid February I could barely walk.  Wolverine was back and we were in a serious relationship.

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Running across a frozen lake

Then I did another smart thing, I took up another sport, but not in moderation, I went totally overboard in the indoor climbing gym and by April I had what is affectionately called “climber’s elbow” (or Medial Epicondylitis).  I couldn’t even lift a cup of tea without cringing in pain.  That injury hung out with me until October.

I was running again by June and I’m still running, not great mileage, but at least I’m out there.  As far as Wolverine and I go, we’re tied up in an ugly divorce now.  I don’t hear from him for days even weeks and then out of the blue, there he is.  He doesn’t stick around long though, just long enough.

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Kisses mid-ski

The icing on the cake was a swimming related injury before Christmas.  I did a fancy flip turn at 700m into my swim (I had actually done about 14 of them prior to this one) and something in my neck went terribly wrong.  I tried to swim it off, but that made it worse.  I could barely lift my arms to get my goggles off let alone get out of the pool the pain was so bad.  Two weeks later and 100’s of dollars spent on chiropractic and massage therapy, I could once again turn my head and braid my hair without crying!

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Another snowshoeing in the tundra shot

There is one highlight of 2016, I bought a fat bike and love it! It’s fricken hard work, but a great alternative to running, climbing and swimming, should I get injured in one of those sports.  Plus I get to wear a cool helmet and goggles – they’re purple.  I’m all about the gear, purple gear preferably.

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Nice helmet and goggles hey?  Safety first.

My little rock star Kobi is fabulous of course.  She’s been very patient with my running issues.

I’m convinced 2017 is going to be a good year.

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Kobi says hi

Hope your 2017 is going well!  Ever pull something bad in your neck?  How much snow do you have?  Isn’t Kobi the cutest?  Chiropractic or massage?  Have you fat-biked?  Need any advice about plantar fasciitis or climber’s elbow – just ask!


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Sore Feet

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Howdy everyone.  I know, it’s been a while.  I have tried several times to write a post and I either get 2 sentences or 2 paragraphs in and then just hit delete.  Truth is I’m still bummed and struggling with my return to running and I doubt you want to read a post about what books I’m reading or the toque (that’s winter hat for you all south of the 49th parallel) I’m knitting.  If you do, comment below and I’ll provide some book reviews and knitting patterns.

Turns out, I have stuff to say now, so here goes.  First off, Kobi hurt herself, poor girl.  She was staying at her Godmommas house while I was out of town.  They  went for a walk and Kobi stepped on glass and sliced her toe up pretty good.  I blame the #%@hole who smashed his beer bottle in the woods – I’m sending bad juju to you jerk.

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Injured Kobi face

It was a bad enough cut that she couldn’t walk on it, but because we don’t have a vet in town and I wasn’t home until 2 days later she never went to a vet.  It wouldn’t have been stitchable by then  anyway.  I did talk to my nurse and doctor friend and we agreed that gluing it would be the best option so we glued it.  Kobi also wore a little red santa sock for extra protection, but proceeded to lose the little red santa sock and just the other day she re-found the little red santa sock!  She’s so smart.  She wanted it lost until she didn’t need it anymore then she wanted it found.  My dog is a freakin’ genius.  She is healing up well.  She’ll have a scar, but she’s putting all her weight on it and she should be back running like normal very soon.

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See her santa sock?

Okay, now onto my running woes.  I have been running a teensy bit and hiking a teensy bit.  My foot hurts a lot when I do these things as it seems Wolverine really likes hanging out with me (go here if that made absolutely no sense).  Can’t blame him, I am cool and interesting (and can knit).

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Nice view hey?  One of our teensy hikes.

In my desperation, I went to see a sports doctor in the big city just last week and she said it sounds like it is just plantar fasciitis because of the heel spur  Wolverine.  She didn’t rule out Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome though (recall this post – I am a freakin’ genius).  Anyhoo, she suggested some alternate therapy so I went for it.  Ever heard of prolotherapy?  That’s fancy for dextrose and lidocaine injected where the pain is.  I will say it hurts to have a large needle stabbed into your heel and a bunch of fluid injected into it, but at this stage of the game, it you told me rubbing chipmunk pee on my heel would help, I’d go for it.

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This isn’t prolotherapy, its electrical acupuncture, something else I tried.

I shall provide updates as to whether the prolotherapy seems to help or not.  I did run 2.7km on the treadmill (while Kobi rested on her princess bed) 3 days ago and didn’t suffer excruciating pain afterwards, but my 4km run outside yesterday did cause near excruciating pain.

One final bit of news is that this coming Sunday is my local mountain race.  I’m a bit bummed that I can’t actually run my guts out.  My plan is to hobble up to the top, hang out and take photos of all the other awesome runners and hikers and then either hobble back down or catch a ride with the park ranger.  Kobi will be there and will help with crowd control.  I will for sure post about this amazingly epic event (PS  I’m making handmade medals again).

 

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Kobi is checking out the race route.

Oh, and it snowed the other day – okay that was the final final bit of news.  Happy Global Running Day everyone!

Ever had prolotherapy?  What about electrical acupuncture?  What are your thoughts on these “alternative” treatments?  Wouldn’t you love to run in my mountains?  Your thoughts on snow in May?

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It really snowed on May 28th!

 


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My Foot, Some Biking, and a Surprise Gift

Spring has sprung, meaning we have mud, snow, ice and dust.

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Running is still on hold.  Wolverine (recall my heel spur’s name) is still cranky and because misery loves company, he found a little friend to share his crankiness with.  I’ve had some medial ankle pain for a while and was originally convinced it was nothing until it hurt so bad I could hardly walk.  Thanks to Google, I was convinced I had Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome, which is a compressed nerve which can be very bad and if you Google the surgery, it’s really really bad.

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Just a cool shot of Kobi with her besty Zola.  I walked, they ran.

Because Kobi was due for her vaccines I decided to hit the road and head south (400km) to get ourselves all fixed up, or at least properly diagnosed.  Turns out I don’t have Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome, I have tendonitis.  I think at some level I was wanting to diagnose myself with something horrible in order to be wrong so that a less bad diagnosis would be better.  Does that make any sense?

I have some exercises and hopefully in a few more weeks I can attempt to run again.  Kobi is also all vaccinated up and good to go.  That’s what we call a win win.

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April weather has been typical:  melting snow, mud, then more snow, then more melting snow and more mud.  April likes to embrace all the seasons.  I did manage to squeeze in some biking with Kobi so she could get some decent mileage in.

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She also gets covered in mud, but we’ve got this nifty little travel shower from Kurgo that I can use to rinse her off outside and make her all sparkly clean again.  I just love this product.

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Just attach it to a pop bottle and voila!  Clean dog.  Thank you Kurgo!!

On a really cool note, I received some delicious goodies that came all the way from New York!  The totally cool runner, traveller, blogger A Fasted Paced Life sent me a box full of Pipcorn.  Thank you so much!!  You can read about it here.  It is so good!!  I’ve already polished off a bag – by myself.  If you can get your hands on this stuff by all means buy some!

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Kobi approves!

I hope you’re all having a lovely April and perhaps one day I’ll run again as I’m sure you’re all getting a bit bored with my walking adventures and totally random blog posts.

Standby for the first bear and mosquito sightings!

 


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Spring (ish)

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I thought I should get a post out before April came along so here goes…

My heel spur, now named Wolverine, is very angry.  To refresh your memory, in my last post here, I decided to name my heel spur and landed on Wolverine as that reminds me of Hugh Jackman, and I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Hugh.

Anyhoo, that bony little hook must be made of Adamantium, just like Wolverine’s claws, as it feels pretty indestructible and sort of like a hot, searing, sharp spike trying to cut through the flesh of my heel.  Yes folks, it really feels like that.  Not the most useful spot to have a steel spike even if you are a superhero.

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Kobi reassuring me that everything will be okay

While I’m on the whiny wagon, I may as well continue feeling sorry for myself as this little Adamantium claw in my heel means I will not be running my first planned half marathon on May 1.  There’s  80 bucks I wont be getting back, but I will be saving hundreds of dollars on hotel and flight expenses, I  guess there’s always an upside.

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How I typically deal with injuries, pretend I can’t see them

Because of Wolverine’s angry return, the bike trainer has been seeing a significant increase in use which means I get to watch a bit more television than usual – that could also be considered an upside.  Kobi sometimes sleeps while I ride, but more often she just barks to go outside and then barks to come back inside about every 3 minutes.  It’s her way of getting back at me for not being able to take her for a nice long 1.5 hour jaunt through the woods.

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How our lives used to look

In other news, I am at least able to walk Kobi and she is tolerating my slower speed, but not so much the reduced distance.  I can also cross-country ski.  We had a little warm snap which turned the ski trails to ice, but then it snowed again so the ice is now covered by a deceptive little layer of snow that has hidden the danger beneath, but ignorance is bliss.  Did I mention that I am not keen on breaking a hip?  It’s one of my many fears, you know, along with my irrational fear of vampires, dinosaurs, and yeti.

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At least we can cover more ground on skis

Well, enough about me.  Hope you’re all having a lovely spring.

What’s your go-to exercise when you can’t run?  Favorite television show that you hardly get to watch?  What’s scarier, vampires or a yeti?  


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Rambling into March

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Snow seal

Well, somehow I missed February.  Likely something to do with it being a shorter than usual month, although this year was the leap year or leap day as Kobi and I affectionately call it.

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Happy Leap Day

 

All was going quite well for me running-wise until I forgot how to check my weekly mileage and unknowingly jumped from 32km a week to 42km then to 50km.  The week of 50k was where things went spiralling downhill.  I actually started spiraling at 42, but I didn’t want to acknowledge the pain so I opted to wait until the pain was not going to let itself go unnoticed.

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This is all thanks to that bony hook in my heel.  I think I’m going to name my heel spur.  Maybe we can develop a more cordial relationship if we’re on a first name basis.  “It” was tolerating runs over 10km, but I think “It” prefers 2 days in a row off every 2nd run.  Now I know.  Hopefully this doesn’t take longer than a week to settle down because us runners are an impatient lot.

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One of our rest days

 

Kobi and I did have some great runs through February and were enjoying the balmier temperatures.  I have to admit the snow conditions have been tough, as in very sand-like.  March is only going to be worse as March is that month where all the seasons fight for territory.

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Kobi likes to eat and run

In closing, here are some highlights since I last dropped in:  I had a bone graft and dental implant – now that was a whole new definition of fun, a few sleep-overs with one of Kobi’s besties – Zola the Rhodesian Ridgeback with an overbite featured above and below, and I got my CGI Level 1!  That’s short for Climbing Gym Instructor.  Yup!  That means I can teach y’all to climb at an indoor climbing wall now!   Run-on and climb-on folks!

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Kobi and the amazing Zola

 

How was your February?  Did you leap on leap day?  Help me pick a name for my heel spur, vote on one of these or suggest a new one, choices are:  Captain Hook, Sid, or Wolverine.  That’s all I got.

 

 


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Is it Really October Already?

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Autumn is already done for us

It’s been a while!  Seems I start all my posts like that lately.

I think I’ve been negligent in posting anything because I haven’t really been running much.  Turns out I have a heel spur and because I prefer to live in denial and often believe that you can run off most injuries, I kept running.  Apparently that doesn’t help heel spurs.  Who knew??

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Random photo – Dog on a log

I finally dealt with reality and was able to make the 4 hour trek south to see my physiotherapist.  He’s awesome because he gets us runner types and always tells me how we’re the worst group when it comes to dealing with injuries.  It also helps that he’s a runner.  I take his advice mostly because of that.  He told me about 8 times that I would need at least 4-6 weeks off running and jumping.  He also shoved 4 really long needles into my heel and attached an electrical current to them two days in a row.  If that doesn’t make you listen, I don’t know much else that will.

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Needles and electrical current. What fun!!

He’s getting me some carbon fibre shoe inserts that will provide a little indent for the sharp bony hook growing out of the centre of my heel.  Just the fact that they’re carbon fibre means I will be faster and stronger right?  I won’t mention how much they cost, but they are carbon fibre!!

In other news I’ve been having many walking adventures with Kobi, she runs, I walk or sometimes ride my bike.  If you follow me on Instagram (which everyone should – outdoorrunning) you will have seen that #flatkobi came along on a trek to the coast of BC with me.  She had fun.  It was so hard being in an absolutely epic place to run without my wing girl and not being able to run.  That was absolute torture.

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Flat Kobi at the beach. The beach I could not run.

I’m currently in week 5 of recovery and will likely take one more week off before I attempt to run again.

Injuries really suck as you all can relate to I’m sure.  Anyhoo, maybe next week I’ll be running and posting again??

Know anyone else with a sharp bony hook growing out of their heel bone?  If you do and they have had a positive outcome, please tell me.  If they had to give up running and life as they knew it, please don’t tell me, just lie.  Thanks!!  Happy Halloween!!!