Friday, September 24, 2010

Letter to the authors of Run Like A Mother

Hi Dimity and Sarah,
Loved, loved, loved the book! As a fellow writer, runner and mother, I both applaud and envy what you have done!
On to why I am writing: Of course, I'd love to join the tribe of running mothers but I also need HELP!
I am a triathlete who started out as a runner; running was my first love. Now, it is my achilles heel! (Pun intended!) I ran my first half marathon in May 2008 and my second in Oct of that year; I was truly bitten as never before. I started training for a metric marathon and, wham!, I'm hit with a major case of plantar fasciitis in both feet. Had to drop my running races in 2009 and spent months in physical therapy and orthotics, even stopped running altogether (the horror of it all! It was like someone had taken away my oxygen supply!) for four months and still no improvement.
So, I tried accupuncture, researched foot problems and running shoes, and eventually bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers and switched to barefoot-style running. Spent first few months strengthening my feet and ankles and battled peroneal tendonitis. Started over from zero; literally! My new program began with marching and running in place for weeks before graduating to .25-mile increments on the track. Ugh.
But, after three months, I was up and running again (thanks be to sweetness!) and I finished 2nd in my division in my first triathlon of the 2010 season, thanks in part to a PR run time. However, come to find out, not only did I walk (limp) away from that race with a 2nd-place trophy, but also with a metatarsal stress fracture. Benched again! For almost eight weeks this time.
I just competed in 2/3 of my first Half Iron Man. After the stress fracture, I had to downgrade to the Aquavelo division. I still enjoyed the race but my heart is aching that I didn't get to run; it's like I left part of my soul somewhere on the bike course.
So, this is where I need help! I am clear to run again but I think I've forgotten how! I've lost my running mojo and don't even know where to start! Shoes or no shoes? I got plantar fasciits while wearing shoes, but I got a stress fracture while wearing VFFs. My stride is a mess; I transitioned from a shod heal-striker, to a barefoot-style forefoot stride. I came home from the Half Iron Man, bought a pair of Saucony Kenvaras, a lightweight trainer that is a compromise between the two, and ran two miles three days in a row. Already my arches are feeling sore and stretched. I also tried a pair of "neutral, lightly cushioned/supported" Nikes and I hate them! They feel so heavy and awkward and my knees hurt when I wear them. I no longer know how to run in shoes; to try feels like a visit to a foreign country or, at best, an imitation of Elaine's famous dance moves on Seinfeld. I've taken to walking in my VFFs to keep my feet "strong" but after just one week I'm already left with sore feet; achy, tender heels and strained arches.
Any advice you or your readers can provide would be soooo welcome and appreciated!
To answer the rest of your questions: My name is Sherri. I am the mother of three young girls. I am currently trying my hand at two blogs, but I have not kept them up to date. It is my goal to do better this year now that my youngest started Kindergarten! Iron Mom is a more technical site that aims to detail workouts, injuries and other challenges related to being a runner and a triathlete on a quest to the Iron Man. Triathlon Mom is more personal; I hope to detail my journey to the Iron Man, complete with life's obstacles and challenges including finding time to train while raising a family.
I've detailed a bit of my recent running experience above but, on a lighter note: Running is my escape, my air, my passion. I am a triathlete; but I cannot be a triathlete if I cannot stay healthy as a runner. I am an all-weather girl; I'd rather run outside in the dark, in sleet, rain and snow, before I will get on the dreadmill. The only time I gave in to the monotony of the dreaded mill was right after my third daughter was born. I rented the entire Sex in the City series and only allowed myself to watch it while on the mill; melting away the baby fat while my daughter napped. The first organized run I ever ran in was the Bay Bridge 10K in the late '90s, and I was hooked! I felt like I could have run forever surrounded by the gorgeous views of the Chesapeake Bay and the gentle salty breeze. Heaven!
I've attached a .jpg of me crossing the finish line at the Savageman Triathlon in 2009; I was still trying to recover from plantar fasciitis and this was the last time I ran in shoes, and my last run before my self-imposed four-month hiatus from running to heal. I finished 3rd in my division that year; the run was bittersweet :)
I really hope to hear from you and your readers.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sherri---

    Wow: you've had quite the journey, no? Sorry to hear about all your injuries. If I were you--and I am, to a degree, as I battle with injuries all the time--I'd start with the basics. Your form. Although the shoes matter, how you run, how you land, how many steps you take, how you push off or lift your foot matters way more. A great place to start is the book Chi Running, which I'm going to talk about at some point on in the next two weeks. I'm just coming off a stress fracture myself, and plan on brushing up on it again before I head out.
    Hope that helps a bit (and cruise over to our facebook page, as there's lots of support and advice to be given out there.)

    Take care and Namaste right back to you--
    Dimity :)