Running? Really?

I run with the Sisterhood

Okay, so I don’t run yet….at least not for very long…but it is not out of the realm of possibility.

Ironically, I decided to toy around with C25k about a week ago, before The Sisterhood announced their virtual 5k on January 8. They chose that date to cheer on a number of the Sisters who are running half or whole marathons in the Disney Marathon the next day (including my good friend Kirsten who is totally rocking her marathon training!).

Sadly my toying around with C25k has been derailed after only 2 sessions because of heel pain. This problem actually started a few months ago, when my biking training was ramping up, and it was helped greatly by proper biking shoes and rolling a tennis ball under my foot in the morning. I can’t say it was completely healed, but enough that it only bothered me every once in a while. Unfortunately, after two days of C25k, with not the greatest shoes (not the worst, but certainly not designed for running), I am now limping nearly full-time.

My first order of business is to get this heel healed (say that three times really fast!). I had already suspected that it was Plantar fasciitis, but had gotten a bit complacent, since the pain wasn’t as bad any more. Now I’m going to be a bit more vigilant about getting rid of the pain – Kirsten suggested freezing a water bottle and rolling the icy bottle under my foot, so I’ve started trying that. I think for this week I’m going to stay off my feet as much as possible, stretch w/the tennis ball and water bottle, and ice my foot. Any other suggestions out there would be welcome.

Even in my current condition, though, I know that I could walk a 5k…er…limp a 5k, I suppose. So I’m signing up to support my fellow sisters.

My main challenge, I think, will be the weather – January is not exactly the best time to be doing things outside in the DC area, and I don’t have access to a treadmill, so I’ll just have to make it work somehow.

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My biggest challenge

First a little background. I get migraines. I’ve had them for years and have identified three triggers that can explain about 90% of them. Those triggers are:

  1. Skipping lunch, or getting a late lunch. For some reason if I haven’t had lunch by about 2 or 2:30, my body decides that I need a migraine as punishment.
  2. The end of a stressful event. Fortunately, I don’t get punished with a migraine during my stress, but a day or two after the stress is gone, I get one. This can be good stress (like my wedding) or bad stress (like my PhD thesis defense).
  3. Rapid changes in the barometric pressure. Spring and fall are particularly bad times for this type of migraine.

Clearly, there’s not much I can do about #3, so I just ride those out. And, there isn’t much to do about #2, except be aware that I shouldn’t make any big plans for the day or two after a stressful event. But #1 is easily preventable – I now carry a protein bar with me all the time for the occasions when I’m not going to be able to get a full lunch by 2PM.

However, because of #1, I now associate headaches with hunger. This might not be a problem….except, I now have a headache every day. I clench my jaws and grind my teeth at night. Every night. One morning in December 2002 I woke up with a headache, and I have had a headache every day since.

I’m not looking for sympathy. I’ve been to the doctor (many doctors) and have learned to deal with this and manage it as best I can. From my research, there is no cure for this. There is a drug that will help to stop the clenching, but the body develops tolerance after a short time, and the grinding returns. I don’t want to go that route. Basically I’m stuck with this.

So, I’ve got a headache every day. Most days I don’t really notice unless I think about it. I only take over-the-counter drugs (Excedrin is my drug of choice), and I only take those when it gets bad. In fact, I’ll only take drugs once every week or two – I don’t want to become desensitized to it, nor do I want to develop rebound headaches.

This is my challenge. Remember #1 above? I associate headaches with hunger. And I have a headache every day. All day, every day. I have had to retrain myself not to eat every time I have a headache, but I still think I’m hungry when my head hurts. Days where my headache is particularly bad (today is one of those days), I just want to eat all day, because I’m just sure that food will help lessen my pain.

That is my biggest challenge in shedding pounds. What’s yours?

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