Sunday, 10 December 2017

Taking a Closer Look with a 3D Gait Analysis by Nova Physiotherapy!

Hey everyone!

I'm so glad you could stop by for a closer look at what's going on with these running legs of mine. I've piled on the miles for the past eight years and I've pulled off some pretty strong races and runs but there comes a time when your body says, "Stop, I've had enough." 

Yes, sadly this happened to me a little over a month ago and I was honestly devastated. There were at least two ugly cries with full on mascara running down my face walks home when my outer left knee area just plain refused to let me run. 

Upon immediate return home I looked to Jeff for help! 
I was having pain in a couple of areas that would begin at the top of the calf, go to the back of the knee and then the stabbing outer side of the knee. Trust me when I say this was NOT something I could have or should have run through.
Shamelessly I sent Jeff photos of the areas in crisis. 

He was quick to respond! We did needles, cups, ultrasound, and a whole bunch of other techniques that would offer relief. 

There was inflammation and "crunchy tissue," my stomach just cringed reading that. We definitely needed to find out what was going on.

Enter the 3D Gait Analysis that Nova Physiotherapy offers!

I was very nervous. For years I have felt like my running form was far from perfect but almost like I was getting away with it, you know what I mean?
When I arrived and met Robbie, Alex and Erin we did a series of strength tests and a detailed discussion of running/strengthening routine, past injuries, distances, etc.

Then I was methodically hooked up with a ton of receptors that have different receptor points in the room and would then project my cartoon on the screen showing angles, foot strike, etc. It was pretty amazing. To be honest, I was completely enthralled with the movement of the skeleton legs on the screen!

I ran for several minutes at slower speeds and then at faster speeds. We also measured standing foot stance and immediately the hyper extension of my left knee was evident...oops. Bad habits are not good, especially when you spend so much time on your feet. I definitely wasn't perfect and I was eager to see the details.

Aaaaaannnd, the printout...when I would finally see all the things I would need to work on. It was like waiting for the doctor to give you some life changing results or something. Yes, slightly dramatic, but the crew was awesome to make me feel positive about all the good things I was already doing with a little bit of homework added in.

A lot of the lingo was foreign to me but Robbie was excellent and very patient to explain it to me in regular runner language. 

Drum roll..............

Basically the closer the dots the better for balanced effort on both sides is what I took from it. I was excited about the check marks I got, haha. Not so excited about Peak Hip/Knee Rotation. There's my issue. The left side is doing things quicker than the right.

My cadence is also much lower at slower paces and I was showing better efficiency when I was running faster. My left toe also turns inward and I have to work on slightly toeing out at least to neutral.

A week later I went back for a discussion of the analysis. I got a packaged synopsis of my mechanics and things to work on.

As well as some reading material....
So in the meantime, I do the homework and try to run...keeping some things in mind, and I head back for a follow up at the end of December! Wish me luck!!!

I cannot thank Nova Physiotherapy enough for digging deeper into the running mechanics of Girl Goes Running! I would highly suggest this analysis to anyone who wants to keep running those miles. Don't ignore the little me. I'm eager to move forward doing everything I have to do to stay healthy and on the roads!

Happy Running,

Sunday, 3 December 2017

GGR Holiday Gift Guide!!!

Happy Sunday RUNday!

I've been sitting here post-run and it dawned on me that I hadn't posted my GGR Holiday Gift Guide! (Insert Home Alone face here). I've chosen my favourites but click the links and have a look for yourself. You just might find something you didn't even know you were looking for---which is how most of my shopping tends to go, lol.

So here we go:

I'm so in love with this sweat shirt from On Your Marq!!!!!! Maybe Santa will bring it for me???? ;)

Speaking of cool shirts, this "Life's short, run fast," shirt is totally awesome! It also comes in different styles!

Recently I've stumbled on some of the cutest running jewelry from Endure Jewelry!!!! They also sell apparel by the way. Their stuff was so cool that I even treated myself to a T-Rex necklace!

I love these bracelets!!!!
 My little T-Rex:

I think this Tracer 360 LED vest from Nox Gear is one of the best investments I've made in running accessories! It keeps you safe AND it's fun to run in! They also sell vests for dogs!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, "I LOVE THESE SEAWALL STIPES SOCKS," from tiux!!! You can even get my discount at the checkout by using THIS CODE!!!! 

Even if we don't want to admit it the colder temps are moving in and this Static Softshell Breath Thermo Mizuno Jacket is awesome to keep me warm! It has pockets and thumb holes! The silver parts are also reflective!!! They also have a lot of excellent winter accessories...check them out here!

I also think it's very important that every runner has the opportunity for a leg massage! Giving them a gift certificate would make an awesome gift! 

In my opinion, you can never go wrong with coffee gift cards or a gift card to a local running store either!

Don't forget to check out my other recommendations here, here, here and here!

Thanks for stopping by the GGR blog space and I hope this has given you some ideas!

Happy Running and Shopping,
Heather :)

Sunday, 26 November 2017

GGR Update and Hey There!

Girl Goes Running to Physiotherapy for Injury...  <---What do you think of my new blog title?

Yes, I'm trying to make light of the situation that is currently my IT Band. Let me fill you in a bit on what's been going on with GGR since the Chicago Marathon:

So, after the marathon I had very little aches and pains. I took a solid week off with pure rest and then I went back to running and everything was just fiiiiine. On my birthday, November 4th, I went for a short trail run with the BLT Runners followed by coffee and breakfast at delicious! 
I am 99.9% sure that this one short trail run did not cause this issue...just so we are clear. I'm certain this was something that was a long time coming.

The next day (Nov. 5) I headed out for a short long run. Does that make sense to you? Well just over 5 miles away from my house I got this weird tooth-achy pain in my knee that felt like it was radiating down the side of my leg and on the back of my calf. I stopped and did a bunch of stretching in uncertainty of what was actually happening and then I run-hobbled home.

I immediately took photos of my leg where the pain was and messaged Jeff my PT for help!

Clearly my summer tan is gone!

Jeff was very eager to help....maybe a little too eager, lol. Just kidding!

Apparently my tissue is "Scrunchy," and that's not good!

So, with some intense recovery going on including a lot of hip/glute exercises I've been able to run a few times up to 5k. I know I know, I'm working on the distance part but safely!
Shorts in November!

So send along all of your IT Band advice and of course your speedy recovery vibes please! <3

Post to follow about my 3D Gait Analysis with Nova Physiotherapy!!!!! 

Thanks for stopping by the GGR blog....I promise I will get better!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon!!!!! 2017 Version

All marathoners need to run the Chicago Marathon.

Each year that Matt and I have run it we have had amazing experiences! We love the food, the course, the atmosphere, the smooth organization and the proximity of the start/finish area to the downtown section where many hotels and restaurants are. It is a must-run in my opinion. :)

Here's a bit of how this amazing race went:

Hello Chicago!!!!

We had a super early morning flight to Toronto and then connected to Chicago from there. Check in at Chicago was smooth and the Nike store once again had free shuttles taking us to the expo. The Nike store is across the street from our hotel which is super convenient!
On our way to the expo!
 We picked up our bibs and had our traditional slice of Connie's pizza....this stuff is so good!

Ready to roll!

Same day, different pizza lol.


It was suggested that runners arrive at their gate at 5:30 a.m. but we headed down around 5:45 or so. There were many runners heading in that direction with us. As we approached the gates it was very crowded and Matt and I headed to our different entrances. Later we saw each other again near the corrals unexpectedly!

This is inside Corral C where I had to start. Very sparse in this photo and moments later was quite snug and cozy with thousands of runners! 45 000 in all corrals total to be exact!

It was 13 degrees Celsius at the start and I was shivering! I knew it would be a good temperature for running but I shivered as I waited. The marathon organizers had issued a yellow alert with the advice of slowing down and drinking at each station and then I worried a bit about how hot it would eventually get. And it would get very hot and humid!

At 7:30 the gun went off and six minutes later I finally got to cross the chip mat. ;)

I wasn't sure what type of shape I was in and I was battling some broncho spasms....super annoying! Since I got sick last winter my lungs are very reactive to cold air so my doctor suggested I run with my puffer AGAIN! It was a little easier to accept this time around than my first experience with it at Boston. During the Chicago marathon the warm and humid air actually felt good on my lungs for that reason, but that was the only part of my body that was reacting positively from the increasing heat!

When I started running I felt really good and really strong! This surprised me.

GPS---> Epic fail once again. Okay, so right from the get go several beeps and vibrations on my wrist reminded me that this race would not be dictated by my watch. It was body listening and pace bunny hunting all the way! For instance I KNOW that I did NOT run my first mile in 5:52 or my 14th mile in 2 minutes 40 seconds! LOL!!!!!! Oh! And after the halfway point my Garmin became possessed and played the most evil trick on me: At 13.1 miles I checked my splits and it was showing 1:38 because of my 2 minute bathroom break and then like 2 strides later it beeped again showing me 14 miles?!?!? So each time I checked my Garmin it was showing me that I was 1.3 miles ahead of where I was ACTUALLY was. In a marathon that's just cruel. We are still not on speaking terms.

Let's get back to the bathroom break: When Matt and I were in the corrals we both got in the line up for the port-a-potties. I went twice but I continued see where this is going? Well the corrals close at 7:20 and if you are not in there, too bad so sad. You must start at the back of your wave! No thank you! So even when I thought maybe I needed to pee a little, I couldn't leave.  I held it for 5.1 miles and saw the huge sign saying, "Toilets <---" so I took a fast turn left off course and up a grassy field. Two officers were standing there with MACHINE GUNS  and I was like "whoa, can I go in there?" Neither smiled or said anything so I just ran in. Security was high priority! In the past my competitive self would have gotten down or defeated by stopping ON COURSE but I actually grinned at the fact that this was happening again! LOL. My Garmin paused here but let's face it, we were definitely not on the same page so I just ignored it basically for most of the race.

Back on course I stayed mostly to the left. I do that at Boston also and I don't know why but I did notice that when I ran on the right side at one point it was much harder for me to grab my hydration cups. Weird since I'm right-handed??? I drank at every hydration station a water and a gatorade because once the race got going early on I could feel the heat rising. Thankfully for at least half of the marathon there was plenty of shade from the tall buildings. That however did not last.

Once the sun got high enough and the course moved to the more open areas staying on pace (or what I was estimating was a good pace) became tough. I was becoming increasingly more cautious with each person I was seeing being escorted off course from heat exhaustion! That is just scary and no race is worth that to me so I'm always aware of my body.

So many spectators!!! I'm always smiling during this marathon. There were so many amazing groups out cheering on the runners again this year! We ran through twenty something neighbourhoods and there was music, signs, food, oranges, hoses, bananas, confetti, gummies and beer! It was absolutely amazing and so fun!

And I got virtual cheers!!!!!!!!!! I REALLY wish I saw them during the race. :( Thanks guys! <3

I took a Gu at each 5 mile mark and I was thankful for the awesome signage from the Marathon. They had km markings and mile markers with huge digital clocks so you could see your time. That was my only idea to know roughly how fast and far I had been running. No big deal. I was enjoying it so much I started not to care about the time and then my belly was getting nauseous. :( I know that's not a good sign on the run so I had a rough patch between 35-40k ish. I slowed to a crawl, but did not stop. "Keep moving forward," became my mantra.
30 something kms and fighting to get to the finish.
For much of the marathon I had Tom Petty on. I heard "Runnin' Down a Dream," and that song really got me back in the mode late in the game. I loved when he said, "there's something good waiting down this road. I'm picking up whatever is mine." It was just what I needed to hear.

Chicago notifies you when you are 800m away from the finish, 500m 300m, and on and There is that one teeny tiny hill as you hit the last couple hundred metres and it feels like Mount Everest!!!! But the finish is so glorious!!!!!!
I was soaked when I finished. I ran under as many misting stations as possible and the sweat was just everywhere. Goose Island gave free beer to the runners again and it was so refreshing! 

I saw Matt in our designated meeting area and he was getting attacked by hornets!!!! I think his sub 3 marathon made him feel better. ;) 2:59:39!!!
Happy Finishers! 

Some of the stat stuff:
It's easy to see where the heat got to me and clearly I had no idea I ran my first 5k so fast...oops!
I have to show you my crazy strava stats!

overall place: 3887
gender place: 635
division place: 136
That afternoon was spent refuelling. :D
 With ice cream........

And Pizza!
We waited a whole year for this!

So I have to say with the eventful marathon I had I am very pleased with my run! I had big doubts, as I typically do when my training concludes. But I worked hard and I finished!

Thank you to all my amazing supporters and a HUGE THANK YOU to Mizuno and TIUX!

Happy running,
Heather :)

Friday, 6 October 2017

Chicago Bound!!!!

I have just finished adding the last of "must pack" necessities into my suitcase and we are headed to the airport bound for Chicago!

This will be our third time running the Chicago Marathon and each year has presented a new adventure. I vividly remember the 2015 marathon where I had to pee for the first 16 miles and the 2016 race where I was heavily medicated for a sinus infection! Both events have still been amazing and I'm excited to head back to the windy city to see what 2017 has in store.

I only ran a couple of times this week and I took an extra rest day because I was super tired from a busy week at work. I figure that at this point not a lot I do will enhance my performance, but any extra miles I squeeze in might make me more rest it is!

Don't forget to download the chimarathon app to track us!!!! My bib is 6766 and Matt has 1121!

This is the race shirt!!! 

And here's the bling!!!!!!

I am such a baby and I was super sad to leave Lola. :( I am forever grateful to Monique for taking care of our princess!

Also!!!!!! My LED vest from Nox Gear came!!!!!!!! I can't wait to try it out!

Lastly, check out my new winter swag from Mizuno!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, this is awesome!

So PLEASE wish us luck and Good Luck to all my local friends running the Valley this weekend!!!!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!!!!!!!!

Happy Running,
Heather :)