Washington Trip - Half of the Story

What a great trip!  I packed so much into the week I was out there that I'll have to recap the trip in two separate posts.

Anyone from MN will appreciate how beautiful these look!


After the marathon Nate and I were able to spend a relaxing evening in our hotel room.  There wasn't a lot to do in Oak Harbor (military town, and didn't help that there wasn't much within walking distance) so we just relaxed, ate a nice meal, and rented a movie from the front desk (nice perk of staying at the Candlewood Suites - free movies and popcorn, how cool!).

My ankle swelled up significantly that evening.  I wish I would have taken a picture, but then again, it wouldn't have been pretty.  Instead,  I took a picture of the ice bucket I used at the hotel.  There wasn't an ice machine in our hotel, but there was one at the adjacent one, so Nate was nice enough to make trips for me :).  Creativity, gotta use what you can!

Looks fun, eh? :)


Monday morning Nate took the shuttle/ferry back to Seattle to head back to work.  I always hate leaving him, even if I have something fun to look forward to or it's for a short time.  Yeah, I'm a softy.  I blame my dad.

Jane then picked me up and brought me to her house to stay for a day.  I'm so glad to have been able to visit her!  We worked at Lockheed Martin together 5 years ago (?) and it's fun to laugh at some of the memories we have.

My ankle was now bruised on both sides and very swollen, almost like I had rolled it (I didn't).  So odd.  It definitely wasn't run-able since flexing it going up or down steps hurt.  Jane looked at me quizzically when I asked for a bucket to ice with.  She didn't really have anything, so lent me a big cooking pot.  HA!  That pot will forever be known as my "foot pot" (beautifully named, eh?).  Good thing I don't have any weird fungus growing on my feet... but still... hopefully it'll clean up well and she'll soon forget that a foot was plunged in their multiple times.

I started to get a little depressed by that evening.  What is wrong with my soleus and ankle?  It was just the soleus that was tight as a rock before the marathon. Why would both sides of my ankle be bruised?  I'm particularly nervouse because this is the achilles I strained right before the Trials.  That was just an ordeal and so devastating that I will always be extra careful when it looks like I could damage it now.  Achilles injuries are awful and take FOREVER to heal. 
Some research online told me that the cause was likely poor flexibility of my foot (dorsiflexion and plantarflexion) and too much recent hill running.  That totally makes sense.  My massage therapist had mentioned ankle flexibility the last time I was in (she is great! Check her out if you're in Northfield.  It's nice to have someone else looking at where you're tight, how things change between visits, etc), but I didn't think much of it since I have poor flexibility everywhere and know that ankle mobility is particularly poor.  I also didn't give much of a thought to running Ron Daws and the impact it would have on me.  Yeah, hilly course, right?  You don't think about what impact it might have on your body and training.

Take this time to think: do you know of anything little that you've been ignoring or something that you know you should be doing (i.e. stretching, icing) that you're not?  Go do it, now!!

But, I know that after something has happened there's nothing you can do but try to heal as quickly as possible.  For me that meant icing a ton, ibuprofen (even though more recent studies have shown it isn't as effective as an anti-inflammatory as once believed), and gentle movements throughout the day to get the blood flowing and a little bit of mobility in the joint.  I also know that I can be a beast on the elliptical if need be.

Enough injury talk.  After a short day with her, it was off to the shuttle/ferry to head to Seattle on Tuesday to shadow and watch a practice with Seattle University

On the ferry back to Seattle

They are a D1 program that has grown in strength over the last 7 years under Tricia Stiedl's leadership.  I specifically targeted shadowing her and her program for a day because she is one of just a few women at the D1 level that coach a men's and women's team.  It was a GREAT experience and she was super open to all of my questions.  I also got to watch the team's workout, their interactions with the coach (i.e. I'm injured, here is the scoop on what the trainers and doctors said... and her to-the-point responses), etc.  This was a really valuable opportunity for me.
Seattle University - so pretty!


From there, I walked a half mile to my best friend from high school's apartment.  How is it that all of my best friends happen to live in the Seattle area? Clearly, they're all seeing something I'm not!

By that evening the swelling was down a little bit and the discoloration was starting to fade.  Yeah!  I took the day off and hoped that by Wednesday I'd be able to get out for a run. After all, part of my rationale for staying an extra week was to be able to train in great weather - and instead, I'm doing less outdoors than ever before!

Until the next post... I'll see you at the gym lifting and stretching or at the drinking fountain getting an extra glass of water because we all know you're not drinking as much as you could, right? :)

























Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

2 comments:

  1. My husband and I just had a long layover in Seattle on Sunday, and I SO wish I could live there. I would love to have no snow during the winter to deal with!

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  2. Very beautiful flower. I like this kind of life.

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