“Frankenfoot” and Halloween carbo-loading

I went to the podiatrist today.

The diagnosis: No visible stress fracture based on X-rays, but the doc still “gave me the boot.”

Meet “Frankenfoot,” my new friend!

“Frankenfoot” and I will be spending the next week together. That’s how long the doc wants me to wear Frankenfoot (a foot splint) to help my recovery. That’s my bad news.

The good news: I’ve been doing everything right to heal my foot (at least, according to the doc). It’s simply taking its time, and he still thinks it’s metatarsal joint inflammation. I can continue to walk (using Frankenfoot), and pool run, swim and stationary bicycle.


As if not being able to run it wasn’t scary enough — BOO!!

It’s Halloween!! Have you ever eaten too much candy (or anything else?!) and ended feeling like this?!

I have.

When I was a kid, my parents didn’t limit how much sweets we could eat on Halloween night and I can remember some of stomach aches that were doozies.

Halloween is still one of my favorite ways to “carbo-loading.” I love chocolate but try not to keep too much around the house — it’s too much temptation, especially when I work at my computer on days like today. And now that I’m older and wiser, I also believe in moderation.

Some runners work out so they can enjoy certain kinds of foods guilt-free. I’m definitely one of them — a run-to-eat, kind of runner. I don’t think I’m alone.

On the dailymile.com, for example, the site has a statistic where it shows you how many donuts you’ve burned in the course of workouts. In my case I wish it could change it to “number of “Reese Peanut Butter Cups burned.” Those are my favorite treats at Halloween.

What’s your favorite candy or Halloween treat?

Have you burned off a few Reese cups yourself today?

I’m off with “Frankenfoot” and my dog, Brownie, to limp out a few calories right now … I gotta get ready for tonight and those trick-or-treaters.

Happy Halloween!!

Some musical fun in honor of “Frankenfoot” … “When you get to my door … tell them, ‘Boris sent you!’ ”


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Brownie Points Today: 2: Mileage for 2012: 1,159.


Bear Chase 50K Race Report

What a difference a decade makes!

Here’s what I was doing for the first time in the fall of 2002 …

Yes, that’s my lovely, first born, way back when.

Here’s what I was doing for the first time in the fall of 2012 …

Yes, that’s me finishing my first ultra, the Bear Chase 50K, with my sweet girl  by my side, two weeks ago.

This decade I gave birth to a new part of myself … a resilient part I didn’t existed until I tapped into it.  

Motherhood and marathons share many parallels.
Once you become a parent, you remain a parent until the day you die. It doesn’t matter if your kids are grown and gone; you are forever changed; your children are a part of your soul.

Likewise, endurance running changes you forever, and if you’re lucky you get to do it until the day you die, too.

That’s what I’m shooting for.

Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon wearing a bib number in 1967, once wrote that marathons are a secret weapon in your mental arsenal. 

If that trues, I’d argue that ultra are like imploding a nuclear bomb. Few things can stop you once you’ve set one off in yourself.

When I began 2012, I made a pledge to myself to let go of “my Cinderella complex.”

Although it still challenges me, I fulfilled that promise to myself at Bear Chase.

Somewhere between miles 19 and 23, when I most wanted to quit but choose not to, I tossed out my glass slippers.

I traded up for trail running shoes. I am so grateful.

“Karma” is probably the best word to describe my race at Bear Chase; specifically, a tsunami of good karma that hit me.

It’s been a goal of mine since I ran the Boston Marathon in 2011 to qualify for Marathon Maniacs. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s a crazy online club for people who run consecutive marathons. I had never heard of it until a friend of mine did two marathons, two weeks apart and “got into the Insane Asylum.”

Marathon Maniacs was my reason for running two marathon (or marathon-plus) distances this season. And Marathon Maniacs was also my reason for doing it despite an injury I’ve been battling.

A few weeks before the Fox Valley Marathon (Sept. 16) I saw a podiatrist and was diagnosed with metatarsalgia. I talked to my doctor about whether or not I should run my races. He told me that I’d probably get through it and not cause worse damage to my foot but it would be very painful.

And it was.

At the time I saw the doc, I wanted to drop out of both races to heal the injury, and attempted to reverse course. I wrote the Fox Valley race director and requested to change races. He wrote back, stating they had a no-change policy unless you bought a “Weather Flex” policy at the time of registration.

I didn’t so I faced a tough choice. Gut out 26.2 miles or switch races unofficially and take a DNF.

At the time it seemed like a crummy break. Now I see it differently. He did me a favor (good karma). The stubborn part of me went for it, and if I hadn’t I would not have qualified for Marathon Maniacs (my new #5918). I also would have dropped back to half marathon distance at Bear Chase, too. (That race, too, offered multiples distances, and unlike Fox Valley, race officials at Bear Chase were more flexible on changing races.)

My second stroke of good karma at Bear Chase was my friend Paula, who, at the last minute, signed up for the 50K. She and I ended up running together. Paula was my guardian trail angel. Without her, my old Cinderella self might have messed with my head. But because of Paula’s friendship, company and strength, “Cindy” didn’t stand a chance.

Thank you, Paula!!!

The two things I will do better in the future when I do my next 50K (Yes, I want to go back):

1) Run more back-to-back on the weekends to prepare my tired legs more. (I admit, I was a bit under-trained.) AND
2) Practice better fueling, specifically for ultras and that distance.

Bear Chase is a great course — lots of rolling meadows, a few steep climbs, three stream crossings, and a stretch that open and exposed but still beautiful.

The 50K was set up in three segments — a fairly flat 10K in a meadow-like area; and then two loops where you go through meadows and rolling hills; hug the curve of the lake and dam; up Mt. Carbon and then down; through three, knee-high stream crossings; adjacent to the golf course nearby; back on trails and up more hills; and through exposed, open stretches.

The 50K people did that loop (12.5 miles) twice; people running the 50-mile did it four times. It had great race support with stations every 3 miles, and clearly it was a race for runners put on by runners. (Volunteers would grab the packs off your backs; refill them; and help you anyway they could. Big kudos!)

I finished in 7:01, and I’ve already made up my mind. I am going back. I know I can do better and run it faster and stronger.

My injury — elephant foot — was worse after Fox Valley. It was starting to heal about the time I did Bear Chase. It’s still jacked up now but more of Dumbo foot. It’s healing slowly but surely. Yes, I am finally babying it — no more crazy races or distances until it’s completely healed. I am resting and water running for a few weeks to heal it.

It’s time for me have some fun writing and finishing the women’s Boston or Botox profiles, plus add more good things to this blog.

Who knows what the next decade will bring?! I can hardly wait.


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage for 2012: 1,121

Addendum: I wanted to add just a few more details about how the race technically. The first 10K Paula and I kept a decent pace and even into the next section (first lap of 12.5 miles) I felt strong.

Once we started the second 12.5 lap I started to struggle at the beginning of it. I switched shoes and socks just before we started lap 2 to help my injured foot.  Around Mile 20, Paula turned to me and said, “I will only say this once. Do you want to turn back?”

That’s when I decide to go on, no matter what and I did. I still felt pretty bad, though, through Miles 23 and 24. At the next couple of aid stations, I drank flat Coke, and ate peanut M&Ms and pretzels. As we kept going, the food kicked in and I felt better. (That is how I determined, when I run a 50K again, I will need to practice on tired leg more and fueling more appropriately.)

Crossing that finish was one of the best feelings I’ve had in a long time — woohoo!!