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How strong are your feet?

Who knew my first post in 2020 would be about the work I'm doing on my feet. Not just any work, but the work required to make them strong enough to propel me to faster running paces, the work to make them durable enough to heal up some old injuries and prevent new ones from taking hold. Jay Dicharry, a Physical Therapist and researcher in Bend, OR, says that almost all ankle, foot, and lower leg injuries can be attributed to faulty foot mechanics and a weak foot core. 
I listened to him speak on a podcast called Trail Runner Nation today, and all the advice he provided me during my two personal visits with him last year rushed back in a torrent of memory. It seems fitting that his reminders would hit me like a hammer over my head when I consider the nagging foot pain that has cropped up again over the past couple of weeks. I'm going back to my toe yoga, short foot exercises, and working hard to build up the strength in my foot intrinsic muscles. Meanwhile, here's a blog pos…
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What do a bruised ego, hormones, and sleep have in common?

It would not feel like the end of a season if a post reflecting upon the good and bad of the previous year did not conclude it. My coach asked me to write down a few of my positive thoughts regarding my racing experience as a newly minted professional (supposedly). I have to admit, there exists far too few of them to really devote more than a paragraph of attention to them. However, I can think of at least one aspect of this year to dwell on, one precedant for which I am most happy.
Though I did not feel ready to jump into competition this year, I did it anyway. I am willing to bet that many thought I should have waited at least another year, too. If I learned anything, though, I learned that I don't have to quantify my success by my race results. For me, success looked like putting my ego aside, taking two steps backward, and attending to a few more pressing issues first. 
One of those most demanding issues involved my knee, which likely originated from my cycling, which definit…

Noosa Triathlon - The Grand Finale

I looked out into the surf and watched the waves churn and roll, crash, then churn and roll again. Supposedly, I signed up for this, along with the 7000 other athletes who stood on the shore with me, questioning their own sanity. These Aussies grew up swimming in this insanity on the daily, and their numbers far exceeded that of my fellow Americans. Nevertheless, I puckered up my American ass and tried to stand tall and confident to the waves. I watched Natalie Van Coevorden scheme and plan her strategy, pointing out toward the buoys. Not until the gun went off did I realize that plan involved running at least 100 meters down the shoreline before we jumped into the water.

Interesting. I never would have thought to do that, considering my open water swimming experience in ocean rip and waves is virtually non-existent. When confronted with a situation such as this, I have learned to fake it. Pretend I know what I'm doing. I can do it. I can swim with the best of them.

Then I jumped i…