Boo-Boos Are Bad News

OJ|MHWL BooBoos Are Bad News 1:9:2013

As many of you know, I have been training for two half marathons coming up very, very soon for the past 6 months.  The first is just over a week away!  I’m flying to LA next week to participate in the Disyneyland Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  At the end of February Don & I will be heading back to Orlando for my second time running in the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  I decided to commit to these races just 5 weeks apart in celebration of my upcoming 30th birthday (January 28).   Aside from being super excited, I am a wee bit nervous mainly due to the fact that I haven’t been able to put in the training I was hoping for these past couple of weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, I planned for this back-t0-back race deal well in advance and am working off of a great running base and months of dedicated training.  It’s just that I’m at the end of the training period now and it’s hard to have to slow down before I feel ready.

It all started out when my shins started getting really tender in mid-December.  This was at about the same point in my training last year for the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Disney World when I experienced a similar problem and had to majorly slow down.  I ended up being able to run the race, albeit a bit slower than I had expected, but was pleased to have avoided injury (a plight I am all too familiar with in my running history, particularly concerning my shins).  I figured since I was running mini-marathons around my house for the holiday season between decorating, cookie baking and hostessing duties, that a little time off wouldn’t hurt and that I would pick up my training for the last big push while we were in Utah at the family abode on vacation over the holidays.  Training in Utah is great, because our house there is at an altitude of just about 6,000 feet and there is a slight incline, giving me a push in the cardiovascular sense.  This means I can run less mileage there yet work even harder while doing so.  Sounds perfect for someone at the end of training while babying some tender shins, right?

Of course, as with most things in life, it didn’t quite work out as I had intended.  I was feeling strong and ready to take on my last bit of training.  On my first morning in Utah I set out for a quick and easy run to get adjusted to the altitude.  There had been some snowfall the night before and I was up before the plows came through.  I had packed my Salamon Women’s XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX Trail Running Shoes (purchased in the fall of 2011), which I more generally refer to as my “snow running shoes,” because they’re made out of Gore-Tex (as in waterproof & warm) with huge treads for gripping purposes (as in not sliding about out there on slippery roads).  I’ve only worn them a handful of times thanks to seasonably warm & unsnowy weather lately.  I was delighted with how well they worked for me on my first snowy run in Utah.  I decided to wear them the next morning as well even though the roads were much clearer.  That was my big mistake.  I know I should always wear my ever reliable Asics GT-2170‘s whenever possible as both my feet and legs prefer them.  The Salalmon’s are just for wintery conditions.

Long story short, I ended up shredding a small patch on my right foot during that second run.  It seemed just like a small surface wound, nothing much to worry about.  I took a day off and then embarked on what I hoped would be an 8-miler, slapping a bandaid over my boo-boo and not giving it a second thought.  I cruised through the first 4 miles before it started to sting, then burn, then throb.  By mile 6 I could barely carry on.  I literally dragged myself through to mile 7 then coasted home for a last half mile on pure adrenaline (thinking all the way, “Must Get Home Now!”).  As soon as I took off my shoe I knew I was in trouble.  A bloody sock is never a good sign, but especially to a runner just a few short weeks before a big race.  Turns out my “surface wound” was a bigger deal than I originally thought, being located on a bony protrusion of my foot that cannot help but rub against any shoe or even soft fuzzy slipper I wear.  I had shredded through several more layers of skin now and there was no denying that I had a genuine hole in my foot.

I took 4 days off running and nurtured my poor foot as best I could with lots of Neosporin, bandages, and time away from footwear.  After 4 days I decided to give it another go and set out for a quick and easy 3 mile loop around the block, confident that 4 days was absolutely enough time for a wound just one square centimeter in size to heal.  Wrong again.  Did more damage.  Silly, stubborn me!  That was about a week ago now and this boo-boo is still not getting in any running shoes.  I wake up every morning hoping that today’s the day I can sneak in a few more training runs and (*fingers crossed*) one last big one only to find that just wearing socks still makes me cringe.

I realize this is a long, dramatic story about a very small thing, but it carries a significant lesson to me.  Sometimes even the smallest boo-boos are the biggest inhibitors.  It is important to pay very close attention to your body.  It will tell you things about your wellbeing, both physical and emotional, that you might not be able to access any other way.  I was pushing myself past my physical limits, risking further injury and jeopardizing my ability to compete in an important event altogether, and for what?  To squeeze in a few more miles?  These races have never been about my times or my ability to do well.  They’re about rising to a challenge and learning how to succeed through patience, understanding, and compassion for myself.  I can be all those things for others, so why is it so hard to be them for me?  I know I am not alone in experiencing this.  It’s something I constantly have to work on and one of the main reasons why taking on this back-to-back birthday running plan was so appealing to me.  In order to succeed, all I have to do is make it to these races and be able to compete.  There’s no need to break any records.  If I can run in both of these races it means I am healthy enough emotionally to take care of myself physically.

It may be a two steps forward and one step back kind of approach, but I’m doing it.  I’m making it.  If I don’t get in these last few training runs it’s not the end of the world.  So long as I am crossing that finish line next Sunday, I will have won.  And I know I will cross that finish line.

Being 30 is going to rock!




68 thoughts on “Boo-Boos Are Bad News”

  1. Oh my goodness! Maybe go to one of those urgent care places and see if they can give you some additional creams to help it heal faster! That sounds awful. 🙁

    Best of luck in your upcoming races!!! Safe travels. 🙂

  2. Jen, I am so glad you share every part of your 1/2 marathon journey with us. I too have a birthday related goal (I want to run the Princess 1/2 by the time I am 40, less than 4 years and hopefully sooner) that I am trying to get into shape for. Reading your posts and seeing your videos show me that it’s possible to acheive your goals and learn something about yourself along the way! Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see your Coast To Coast medal!

  3. I don’t know if I would ever have the energy to run a marathon, the will power or be able to handle such a crowd. I admire you for being able to overcome and get out there. I am quite sure a lot of your readers/watchers are proud of you, understand your boo boo’s & your lessons and can not only sympathize with you but cheer you on as well. I for one appreciate that you share with us the good and the bad of running and how it isn’t all easy, it takes hard work and I know a lot of us are putting in the effort to try baby steps. We learn a lot from you. We learn that it is okay to slow down, to take a step back and it is okay to treat ourselves and give of ourselves. As busy women it is quite difficult to develop new relationships and to reach out. Our lives are all encompassing and yet we can join together here, on your twitter and your videos and share with you which in turn will help us grow as happy and healthier women. You’ve got and done a great thing here Jen, whether you know the scope of it or not, it is a good thing… Thank you for sharing.

  4. You’re almost there! I also suffered a stress fracture before running my first half marathon and had to postpone until a later race (which turned out to be incredible!). Happy early birthday! Your birthday is my half birthday! I’ve just got 6 months on you (turned 30 7/28) but it’s been a FANTASTIC year so far! 😀 Good luck in your final days of training and can’t wait to see race footage!

  5. You can do it Jen! it’s so great that you have the determination to succeed and you are such an inspiration! Take things easy, and give yourself some time to fully recover. X

  6. The fact that you are trying is what is really important. Not winning but putting your best effort in and your hard work and pain will pay off. Maybe not with a trophy or ribbon but with the self satisfaction that you are trying to put your best out. There is always going to be another marathon. You just try again. Proud of you and keep up the effort it will pay off. I had a back injury and was paralyzed for five months. With much encouragement from my lovely daughter, patient nurses and physio therapist and much healing from my God I can walk again. NEVER give up. You will surprise yourself.

  7. This is important and to come to the ultimate resolution that your body comes first is the best thing you can imagine. You only get one body and listening to it is your greatest accomplishment in taking care of it. Honestly, if you don’t listen then you can get lifelong injuries that only get harder and more painful as you age. I was a long distance runner for many years and the saying, “No Pain, No Gain” is not the way to run your best. Always listen to your body. Runs will always be there and so will races, but a weakened or wounded body never wins anything. I really hope you heal quickly and feel better Jen. It looks like you’ve already won to me but I’ll be rooting for you to feel your best in this upcoming race. You can do it! Hugs!

  8. Hi Jen!
    Sleepless in Seattl….. no, but in Sweden. Over here it´s 5.30 a.m. and this blog post came as a little mini to-do blessing since my puppy has kept me awake almost the whole night. Luckily his forgivingly adorable (he´s so cute that in a heartbeat I forgive him for anything) and fortunately I don´t have to go anywhere special tomorrow. No, but really, I´m so tired right now that I´m starting to feel sick. I dare to say that having a puppy definately is as demanding as having a baby.

    “a two steps forward and one step back kind of approach, but I´m doing it”

    Tonight you became my “Midnight Caller”. Have you ever watched that show? It´s a classic from the late eighties and I used to love it back then.

    Sleep tight! /V

  9. So sorry to hear about your foot…. I pray the Lord you have a speedy recovery and are totally healed by the time you do your first marathon. Wishing all the best.

  10. Jen your 30th will rock! I wish I had been as desciplined and healthy when I turned 30. I turned 41 today (actually yesterday) and I am taking better care of myself now than I did then thanks to you in part. You will do great in both races. You are determined and have never been a quitter. I thnk those runners in front of you won’t know what coming up from behind them. lol

  11. Hi Jen,
    Oh dear. I don’t know if there is the same cream in America like here in Germany but the very best cream for those wounds and bloody things is a cream called “Nebacitin”. It’s a clear consistence that never burned and make a good job in a few days. Your bandage will not sticky on your wound because the cream hold it up. There is a little bit “Kortison” in it so the damage will get well very fast. I always use this cream when I cut my finger or habe a wound from gardening or a Boo-boo like you. And it rocks!!! A cuple days and it get well. So if there is a medicine-center ask for it. They sell them here in a tube.

  12. I am really glad you will celebrating your bday doing something you love my birthday is a day before yours but im turning 24 I always think of you on my birthday best early wishes

  13. Have you ever tried WrightSocks? I get them from a specialty running store in my area. They have two layers. The outer layer moves separately from the inner layer, which cuts down on rubbing. I never run without them because I am prone to blisters when I don’t.

  14. You are amazing Jennifer, you have pulled me out of a massive low point in my life, and this year I’m stepping out! I’m out of my comfort zone, attempting to blog and vlog every day this year. Thanks to you! I’ve also applied (and have been accepted) to Uni. You are my inspiration, and if I ever feel I’m slipping, I just rewatch your videos.
    Thank you.
    You are going to be great in the half marathons, wish I could be there to cheer you on in person.

  15. I’m dealing with some boo boos, too. I feel you! I wasn’t sure if I was going to take today off from running, but I think I will. Good luck, Jen!

  16. Jen I just wanted to say you are such an inspiration with your running!!! I just want to encourage you with these to runs and that you will do GREAT!

  17. Jen,
    I have been blogging “privately” on the site Xanga for YEARS. I even upload video blogs onto my blog from time to time. However, watching you in action has really inspired me in so many ways. Although I don’t consider myself “shy”, the idea of ANYONE having access to my blogs makes me nervous. You have really truly motivated me!!! I’ve seen some of the ignorant and nasty comments on some of your YouTube videos, and let me tell you…KEEP DOING YOU! I personnally adore your vlogs and seeing how you live.
    I think some women have lost touch with some old school traditions (such as being a house wife). I commend you for making a decision and being in the position to make a choice to be a house wife. You go girl! Keep up what you do and stay encouraged.


  18. You’re definitely the most positive person that I know! Good job on everything!

    (I wanted to put in a request..if possible, a great topic for a housewife confessional would be your college years. It would be interesting to hear your story (I believe you said you transferred schools) and also how you and Don managed to date while living in different states. Just a request..)

  19. You’re so inspiring, Jen! Your approach to life, not just to running is inspiring me to make some changes in my life. I hope your foot heals well, good luck for the half marathons and happy early birthday! Your birthday is a week before mine 🙂


  20. Wow, Jen, you have come so far, and you should be proud of yourself, one to commit to running two races back to back and the other for knowing when you have to give your body a rest. I have tendency to not listen to my body when it’s trying to tell me “stop it” you can’t do anymore. I ignore it of course and pay the price later. You are already a winner. You have all the support from your followers and your family. Good luck to you next Sunday.

  21. Girl, I’m so impressed with your determination. It may not mean much given the fact that you were looking forward to getting in more training but the fact that you kept trying is a very admirable feat. Hang in there!

  22. You have a great attitude and you’ve worked really hard. There’s no doubt you will be crossing the finish line in BOTH of your upcoming races! What a great birthday gift to give yourself!

  23. Jen, just wanted to wish you good luck in your upcoming races from chilly San Diego. Hopefully it will warm up in SoCal before you arrive! I really appreciated your blog especially about listening to your body. I’m a firm believer that sometimes we get sent the message to SLOW DOWN but ignore it until we are forced to by some injury/illness (note Im writing this as Im laying in bed recovering from a nasty cold!). Anyhow, there’s no doubt that you are prepared for your race and your experience for both of them will be exactly as it should be. The universe never lets us down in delivering whatever messages we need at any given moment. Happy Birthday to you too!

  24. Oh Jen, I read this and my heart started pumping fast. Please take care of your foot! Have you seen a doctor yet? I went on a 10 hiking trip and had the same issue with my foot.I cut holes in my thick socks so the fabric would not rub and I used silicone patches to have the wound heal faster. Good luck to you. Best advice I can give is,’ Treat your well, just as well as you treat Winnie, Don and your family! Take care dear one!

  25. That is so sad Jen! I can’t even imagine how much that must be hurting you right now. Are you using anything special for your foot while you run the races? Such as special band aids or creams? What day are you leaving for the race? The things you have been talking about on your recent Vlogs and late Vlogidays, is starting to confuse me. So, you are going with 4 people? You, Don, Your Mother In Law, and you sister in law? And you are all going at different times during the time you are there? Now that I wrote that down, I am confusing myself even more! All I can say is good luck and I KNOW you are going to do great! Can’t wait for the Vlogs!!
    Bella 🙂 ((HUGS))
    P.S. I got your Christmas card in the mail today! Love it!!!!! 🙂

    1. Don’t worry, I’m healing nicely! I finally got it through my thick head to stop doing so much with shoes on & now it’s getting better.

      We’re all traveling at different times for LA. I’m flying in with my MIL & SIL on Tuesday & Don’s coming in on Thursday. Should be a fun trip@

  26. I hope it heals quickly! I know despite the ability to train these last few days, you will do well! I committed to running my first half marathon this April along with my hubby and started my training this week. I was worried that I would do horribly since it has been almost 5 months since I last trained for various races but I actually was super surprised and excited to see that I am still doing fantastically on the cardiovascular fitness side. My legs have been a bit unhappy but they will be fine! I knocked out 8 miles this week and I plan to fit in alot more next week. I just wanted to send you words of support and encouragement. Enjoy your duel race challenge and take pride in your journey! Its no easy commitment to make but it surely does bring out the best in ourselves as we overcome physical constraints on sometimes just sheer will alone! My birthday is one day before yours. I’ll be 33. Just to let you know, so far, being in the 30’s has been amazing! I do believe that we women become much better with age as we gain wisdom, confidence, and self love! Good luck!

  27. There is no doubt you already have the endurance to complete both marathons. Nobody knows how quickly your body heals better than you do. My advice would be to rest up and let your body completely heal. Ten days is not a lot of time. You’re probably more prepared than most for this. I would not risk another setback by trying to get in just one more training run. Save it for race day. You are so ready for this! You will be awesome! God Bless!

  28. Jen,

    You’re such an inspiration! I’ve always wanted to take up running, but was always afraid because I’m a rather terrible runner! So, that is something I’ve wanted to overcome, and your videos have inspired me so much! Take care of your foot and have a wonderful time with your races. Good luck, and thank you for your encouragement!!

    P.S. Happy Birthdayy 🙂

  29. Hey Jen im really cheering for you …. your such an inspiration to people !!!! i love watching your videos and love watching you become so so so confident since your first video back in the day 🙂 Ive been following since the beginning and cant wait for the disney vlogs 🙂

  30. Ouch, sounds very painful (so glad you didn’t include photos of it though!!). I remember my 30th birthday, then I must have blinked, because I’m 39 next month x

    Good luck for your run!

    Kathryn x

  31. I know you will do good in that race, Jen. You’re a very inspiring person and you have a strong will. Just take care of yourself, sweetie and don’t get yourself hurt again! And Happy 30th birthday late this month:) You must have great plans with Don on how to celebrate it, so don’t cut us out 🙂

  32. You just have the best attitude! You are so right though – it’s about showing up and just doing it. Not stressing or worrying about times and such. You are an inspiration!! And what an amazing way to ring in your 30th! And coming from two girls (who may act way more youthful that what is listed on our driver’s license) your 30’s will in fact ROCK! And a little secret…things just seem to get better in your 30’s! 🙂 We wish you the best in LA and we will be following along and sending our support. 🙂 Happy Friday to you (and Don and the sweet Winnie of course!)

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  33. Jen, you are such an inspiration! You accomplish everything you set out to do with flying colours! You are going to do great in both the races….cant wait to hear/see all about them!!!

    30 is a great year 😉 I know my 30th was amazing! You have the same birthday as my sister (she will be 29 this year)!

  34. Please reply…. Good luck! I was wondering, I know you run in races, occasionally, but do you also run while at home, like for exercise purposes? If so, how long and how many days (everyday, two days a week??) I’m just curious. Thanks. 🙂

    From a daily OLJ/MHWL/Winnie the Zhu viewer (love Winnie. She is adorable!),


  35. Your 30’s are definately going to rock 🙂 Hope your “Boo-Boo” heals quickly!!!!! What wonderful Birthday plans too. I love, love, love Disneyland, never been to Disneyworld, but I have been to Disneyland a dozen times. Have a wonderful evening.

  36. Jen! I hope you are feeling better next week. I am turning 20 on the 17th and fee the same about the next stage in my life. It is going to rock!! I am so excited. Though, I wish I had done something like you are so I could start the decade with a feeling of accomplishment. Good luck with the races! I will be cheering you on!!

  37. New skin is great and leave it open to the air as much as possible. Avoid any further shoe contact as much as possible. Break out the clogs, I am so sorry this has happened. Blister pads have healing medicine too. keep the pressure entirely off the sensitive spot.

  38. Hi Jen,
    It’ll be a total RUSH finishing your 1/2 marathon!! I made that my goal in 2009. Though, I self-trained myself, I did my best and it was the ultimate high! For me, it was not about time nor how I looked good DO rest your body and pay attention to what it needs…I promise, once you pass that 10 mile mark, they say you have now passed the “threshold” and you’re officially a “runner”, I was just happy I finally made it to the double digit!! Goodluck sweetie! btw, speed drills and sprints helped me.

  39. Yes Jen, 30 IS going to rock!!! I turned 30 last year, and I find myself coming into my own as a person more than ever! Embrace it, and each day forward! Hope your foot gets better, but either way, you’ll push through and do the best you can! That’s all you can do in life, and we should each learn that our “best” should be celebrated no matter what that is! <3

  40. Hi Jen!
    Off topic question but, can you do a updated packing series for Disney World? Like packing and Carry on? I love Disney and really get good ideas from you for what to bring! Thanks!!!
    Bella 🙂 ((HUGS))

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