10 Tips From Karla for Dealing With Injuries

I’ve had a lot of running injuries. I mean, I have had A LOT of running injuries. Don’t believe me? Check out this photo of the various running rehab items I have used over the past 12+ years.

Karla Injuries


In fact, there are but a few running injuries I have not had, as evidenced by my listing: shin splints, medial tibial stress syndrome (yes, that is a real thing), bursitis of the knee, illiotibial band syndrome (ITBS), bursitis of the hip, a pulled groin (he he, I said groin), Achilles tendonitis, and the worst of the worst (cue Darth Vader music): plantar fasciitis (PF). I have stupidly run through some injuries, only to make them worse and have taken months off (and refrained from wearing heels) only to have my injury (PF) not really improve. I have had cortisone shots in my FOOT (yes, that killed). I have been through physical therapy twice (three times if you count the time I was hit by a truck and fractured my collarbone, but that was not related to running) and, when I listened, it actually worked. Some may wonder why I still run. But, if you have read any of the previous posts, you know. I want to keep running and I NEED to keep running. It is just part of who I am. Thus, explaining the small fortune I have spent on the cache of rehab paraphernalia.


Now, I am not a medical doctor – I have a JD, not an MD – and I am, in no way, giving you any advice on how to treat your individual injury (that’s my lawyerly disclaimer). If you have had a persistent injury, go see a medical professional, preferably a sports medicine doctor – someone who specializes in dealing with people like us. People who want to be fixed so that we can get back out on the road or trail.


Short of going to a sports medicine doctor (which I have had to do twice), I have figured out a few things that have worked for me. Of course, I am not even going to pretend that I follow my own tips or listen to my body at every turn. Nope, not even a chance. I’m stubborn and I don’t like to give up. If I set out for a goal, I want to reach it, even if my leg falls off in the process. But, that is not really all that sensible (I originally had sensical here, but my husband (aka Mr. Fancy Pants PhD candidate) informed me that sensical is not, in fact, a word) if I want to actually keep running long term. So, instead, I try to do a few of these things:


  1. Increase mileage gradually – 10 to 20 % per week or 1 mile per week for long runs. Same for speed and speedwork.
  2. Listen to the body. If something hurts, slow down (no speed work), rest it, and ice it. When it starts to improve, gradually increase mileage to previous levels.
  3. The foam roller is a miracle worker. Whenever my IT band starts to act up, I roll it out on the foam roller. It is a “hurt so good” type of feeling, but definitely worth it.
  4. The golf ball is to plantar fasciitis as the foam roller is to ITBS. Same deal – whenever my PF it starts to act up, I massage it out with the golf ball.
  5. I have no idea how Rock Tape or Kinesio tape works, but it does (I am partial to Rock Tape, but both work well). I wrap it around my arch or put a strip under my knee when I feel little kinks. I have also put a strip on my IT band, starting from my hip when that feels owie (I don’t care if that’s not a real word – it is in our house and probably most of yours).
  6. Yoga, yoga, and more yoga. For me, I have found that when I do yoga regularly, I am much less likely to become injured. Even if it is only 20 minutes a week, it helps.
  7. And in that same vein, do something other than running. Cross-train, cycling, weights, whatever. Just do something on the off-running days.
  8. Running three to four times per week is what works for me. It leaves time for yoga and cross training and gives my body a break from the repetition of running.
  9. Keep the core (including hips) and feet strong. I don’t have a lot of extra time, so I do my physical therapy exercises (leg lifts, hip exercises, etc.) during my cross-training workouts. I stretch whenever I can and need to, wherever I might be. Frequently, this is while drying my hair in the mornings (quite the visual, eh?). For my feet (also while drying my hair), I balance on one foot for as long as I can. I close my eyes to make it tougher. This works those little muscles in my feet to keep them strong(ish) and to hopefully stave off the dreaded PF (is that Darth Vader music again?).
  10. Massage. Oh, the miracles that a good massage therapist can work. I started seeing a massage therapist regularly when my husband was deployed (I had just a tad bit of stress going on) and have continued to go when I can. She can feel and sometimes see the tension in certain areas and knows how to remedy it. In my experience, I have found that massage therapists associated with physical therapists or (a good) chiropractic office have more experience with sports massages than those at a spa or chain massage establishment.


And there you have it. That’s pretty much all I can think of for know. Plus, I’m tired and still need to proof read this thing. Keep running, listen to your body, and have fun!

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn – Week 42

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?


  • M: 2 mi run
  • T: rest
  • W: 3 mi run
  • Th: rest
  • F: rest
  • S: 2 mi run
My rose was fitting anything in this week. We are in the middle of major house renovations.
My Thorn was moving out of the house for plumbing work and trying to fit it some workouts this week. And next week will likely be the same!  Make it work.


  • Sunday – Rest
  • Monday – Strength training with Joey, walked 5k+
  • Tuesday – Walked 5k+
  • Wednesday – HIIT
  • Thursday –  Walked 5k+
  • Friday –  Strength training with Joey
  • Saturday – Rest

My thorn this week was no running.

My rose is that Molly and I just signed up to run a 5K at Disney when we go in February.  She is such a good friend, that kid.


  •  S:  Rest
  • M:  Snorkeling at Molokini Crater, Hawaii!
  • T:  Yoga near the ocean; hiking
  • W:  Swimming in the ocean and pool
  • R:  Rest (long travel day)
  • F:  Rest and recover
  • S:  8 mile run
Rose:  All the super awesome fun stuff in Hawaii, but my favorite was playing in the ocean with Whittaker, my 7-year-old.
Thorn:  Knees are kind of achey after my 8 mile run.  Need more glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate!

Snapshots of Some Favorite Runs

In this week’s motivation post, we are each sharing a photo of a favorite run.  Ever enjoyed a run so much in a beautiful spot that you forget about the effort (for a moment or two, anyway)?


Serenity Now

The Spring after my mom passed away in 2007, a very kind uncle and aunt of mine decided to take my brother and his family and I for a much needed R&R getaway.  They chose Carmel, CA.  We rented a little house on the coast and all hung out for a few days, sharing good memories of my mom and making new some new ones together.

This beach and coastline was literally steps from where we stayed.  Each day I would get out for a run.   After about a mile along this breathtaking coast, my mind would be transported away from the pain of loss, I would breathe in the salty air, and my steps would become effortless.  I would focus on being grateful.


Aloha, runner!

Aloha, runner!

This photo was taken just a few days ago during a run in Makena, Hawaii, on the island of Maui. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. It is tough to tell in this photo, but the water starts out a translucent blue and then changes to a deep cobalt that is truly stunning. This has been a much anticipated trip. I planned it during my husband’s deployment as a dream to come. And it has definitely lived up to our expectations. I snuck out for this run at 6 am, just as my little ones were waking up. The air was so moist and warm that I wasn’t sure I could complete my intended 4 miles, but as I ran past the shore, the palm trees, the historic church, and stunning villas, I decided I could keep going. Because when you are running in paradise, everything just feels a little sweeter.


That looked a lot worse from the bottom.

This is the hill I hit in the middle of my favorite run when I am home.  It took me three months of running before I had the courage to run it.  It still worries me a little bit.

The road winds up a mountain right next to what we locals call “The Falls”.  I took this shot last Autumn, which is my favorite time to run it.  I never, ever tire of this view even when I am tired of running!

I love the water and the tourists that usually hang out beside it.  I love the mountains.  I love the forest and its critters..  I mostly love to see how it changes each time I run it.  It takes my mind off running and reminds me that I can change too.

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn – Week 41

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?


S: rest
M: 2 mile run
T: rest
W: yoga
T: 3 mile run
F: rest
S: 2.5 mile run

My thorn this week was not really getting in a long run.  We are undertaking some major plumbing and house work and I have been swamped with all that entails.  My rose was enjoying time with more family visiting!


  • Sunday – rest
  • Monday – rest
  • Tuesday – Tibetans, 5k
  • Wednesday – rest
  • Thursday –  Tibetans, 2 miles
  • Friday –  rest
  • Saturday – rest

My thorn this week was not too much exercise.

My rose is that my kids were in camp, one in computer camp, one in circus camp, and one at “mommy camp” (he’s two) with me every day at the zoo.  We all had a great time!


S: 20 min elliptical; 30 min yoga
M: 3 mile run
T: 2.5 mile run (partially while passing the soccer ball with Whit)
W: Rest
R: Rest
F: Rest
S: 4 mile run in paradise

Rose: Everything since we arrived in Hawaii. Even on my “rest days,” we swam and played.

No thorn this week.


It’s Jess and I’m Starting a Girls on the Run Chapter

GOTR Addition Tee

Hello again! It’s Jessica.

One thing this challenge has given me is an opportunity to run with my 7-year-old daughter.  I know.  I go on and on about it.  Really, though, it is the thing that has given me the most joy in this experience.

My birthday is in September (and I should be over 40k by then) so the challenge will be over for me.  Because I don’t want the fun to end – - and because this challenge has also reminded me of the complicated relationships we females tend to have with our bodies – -  I decided to start a chapter of Girls on the Run in my town.

Girls on the Run is an international physical fitness program that focuses on empowering young girls to live healthily and confidently and on their own terms.

Starting in September, a friend of mine and I will meet twice a week for a couple hours with a group of 3rd – 5th grade girls.  Using the curriculum from Girls on the Run  we’ll talk about things like working together, conflict resolution, healthy habits, nutrition, self-confidence and body image.

Obviously, physical fitness is also a major part of the 10-week course, with the ultimate goal that each girl completes a 5K.

I am really looking forward to it, not only for the chance to run with a larger group of girls, but because it is never too early to start building your tool box for life!

If you are interested in joining Girls on the Run in your state or starting your own chapter, find out more here.

Are you already a part of Girls on the Run?  Any tips or advice?  As newbies, we can certainly use it!

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn – Week 40!

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?


  • S:  3 mi run
  • M:  rest
  • T:  rest
  • W:  40 min walk
  • Th:  rest
  • F:  3 mi run
  • S: rest
My thorn was not getting much exercise in this week, but my rose was spending lots of great time with my family who was visiting for my daughter’s birthday!



  • Sunday – Tibetans, 4.5+ mile run
  • Monday – Tibetans, 1 mile run
  • Tuesday – Tibetans, 5k
  • Wednesday – Tibetans, 4.5+ mile run
  • Thursday –  Tibetans, 4.5+ walk
  • Friday –  4.5+ mile run
  • Saturday – rest

My thorn this week is that the vacation ended.  No more running on the boardwalk and beach!!

My rose is that I got out on the boardwalk and beach EVERY DAY this week.  There is no place I’d rather run.


  • S:  Rest
  • M:  3 mile run
  • T:  Core, strength, and PT exercises (including 50 fo-real push-ups)
  • W:  3 mile run (at 6 am — ugh)
  • R:  Power Yoga
  • F: 7 mile run
  • S:  Rest
Rose:  Tie between my Tuesday workout and my long run.  Once upon a time (pre-kids) when I was still in the Army reserves, I could do 45 push-ups in 2 minutes.  Yes, 45 REAL push-ups in 2 minutes.  On Tuesday, I did 50 push-ups (in sets of 5 and 10 with lots of breaks in between) and, although it wasn’t in two minutes, it’s the most I have been able to do in a long time.  My long run also felt really good.


Thorn:  That darn 6 am run.  Ugh.  I used to run first thing in the morning all the time (again, mostly pre-kids) and now I can’t stand it.  I felt horrible the entire way through and not great after.  My long run was also a morning run, but I had time to ease into the morning, hydrate, get a little something to eat and some coffee (ahh, coffee) first.  That clearly makes a huge difference for me.


Karla’s Wednesday Motivation

photo1The mom runner in me loves the message in this sticker (which is on the back of my car). The ten-year-old boy in me loves the inappropriate humor of it.

As mom runners, we are a different breed from non-runner moms and from non-mom runners.  We don’t have the luxury of being able to run wherever and whenever we want.  Instead, we run whenever and wherever we can — home from our kids’ tennis lessons, at 6 am, at lunch time, around the field at soccer practice, on the way to school to pick up the kids, Saturday mornings when everyone else is lying around, on the fly when our kids are napping (whether we are hydrated or not — go, go, go, now), or with our budding runners (“I want to run with you, Mommy!).  We have done it all, because we have no other choice. We juggle our love of us and running and being fit and staying sane with being a mom and all the beautiful insanity that goes along with it.  But, we are better for it and so are our kids.
So, get out there and “Run Like a Mother.”
P. S. It’s okay to giggle — I do every time I read it.

Sunday’s Rose and Thorn – Week 39

We’re a day late this week because we have all been so busy.  It reminds me of how hard it is to fit exercise in to a busy life.

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?


  • S: rest
  • M:  3 mile run
  • T:  yoga
  • W:  rest
  • Th:  2.5 mile run
  • F:  rest
  • Sat:  4 mile run

Thorn:  my knee is still tweaking a bit.  Trying to keep up with stretching and rest days.  Rose:  Otherwise I’m feeling good on my runs!


  • Sunday – Tibetans, 4.5 mile run
  • Monday – Tibetans
  • Tuesday – Tibetans, D2S Phase 2 Timed Metabolic
  • Wednesday – Tibetans, D2S Phase 2 Strength 2
  • Thursday –  Tibetans, D2S Phase 3 Strength 1
  • Friday –  Tibetans, D2S Phase 2 Timed Metabolic
  • Saturday – Tibetans

My thorn this week is that we weren’t able to go to the last week of a running series that we’ve attended.  It would have been nice to get in a last run with Molly before it was over.

My rose is that we are on  vacation this week, where I can run the boards and the beach every day!!


  • S:  2.5 mile hike to the beach
  • M:  3 mile run
  • T:  Yoga (Jillian Michaels’ DVD – seems like an oxymoron but it’s a good workout)
  • W:  Runner’s World core workout
  • R:  3.25 mile run
  • F:  Runner’s World core yoga workout
  • S: 6 mile run
Rose:  Getting moving every day this week!  And I actually felt really good on the 6 miler.  Why is it that long run sometimes feel so much better than those short 3 mile runs?
Thorn:  A few little links and twinges popping up.  Nothing serious but definitely something to be mindful of to keep in check.

Monday Motivation: How about some yummy healthy fuel for those runner’s legs?

Today I am going to share a favorite recipe from our house for you all to try.  Food always inspires me and I truly love to cook.  I spend a lot of time in the kitchen each and every week.  I often joke that I should have gone to culinary school instead of law school.  But, alas, I did not.  So now I am just a passionate home cook for my little family and any visitors that swing through our sunny SoCal home.  So in just a minute, I will get to passing along a recipe that I have tweaked, that my family finds to be super yummy, and I find to be easy to prepare as well!  I hope you will give it a try.  But first, a little background as to why I am sharing a fully plant based dinner recipe on the blog.

Years ago, I used to run (at least in part) so that I could indulge in foods that I knew were not good for me but not pack on the pounds.  I have always had to watch what I eat or exercise vigorously to stay trim, especially as I got older.  Then, almost four years ago now, for several health reasons (including high blood pressure that seems to run on both sides of my family), I drastically changed my diet.  It all started with a 21 day “kick-start cleanse” from this inspirational woman’s book that I picked up at the local bookstore.  After three weeks I noticed such a difference in the way I felt that I decided I wasn’t going to go back to my former dietary habits.  I took baby steps, and it wasn’t immediate, but weeks and months went by, and soon I was eating an entirely plant based diet.  No animal meat, no dairy products, lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans and some nuts.  Sound drastic?  I guess it is, to many people.  Sound impossible?  Well, it IS very contrary to our standard American diet and the way most of us are raised to eat, but give yourself a little credit!  I did.  And over time my tastes actually changed (for what I learned were very real physiological reasons) and it became second nature to me. I felt better and was eating healthier and in much more variety than I ever had before.  I craved a spinach or kale salad instead of a burger.  Oh, and I got off all of my blood pressure medications.

But, I wondered, how would this work with running?  Would I be able to fuel myself on plants?  Well, it turns out it works pretty great.  Although we’ve been told over and over again how we need animal protein and dairy products to build muscles and bones, that is suspect.  A plant based diet can actually fuel your body with tons of necessary nutrients, anti-inflammatory chemicals and plenty of protein to thrive.  There is a growing group of incredible athletes that have proven just that for many years now:  Scott Jurek (ultra-marathon and endurance run champion), Rich Roll (ultra-endurance athlete) and Brendan Brazier (Iron Man and ultra-marathon champion) to name just a few.  And it isn’t just elite runners, but boxers and NFL players and even UFC fighters that have made the change to plant power and are performing better than ever.

Then I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives.  Um, woah.  It turns out that a plant based diet is good for all sorts of health reasons.  Check it out on Netflix if you haven’t seen it.  There are many doctors doing amazing work healing bodies from chronic health issues on a plant based diet.  (Did I mention that I got off blood pressure medication?)

That is just some food for thought (pun intended).  I know not everyone is willing to be as crazy as I was and give a fully plant based diet a try.  But, maybe consider just a few veg dinners a week, and see what you think.  Maybe?!?

And now here is the RECIPE!  It’s summery and fresh, it is animal product free, full of protein (thanks to the edamame) and in the words of my two year old is quite “TASTY!”  Bonus: the sauce freezes well for future busy mom-can’t-quite-make-dinner-from-scratch kind of nights!  I hope you enjoy.


Edamame Basil-fredo Pasta (serves 2-3, double for a big family batch)


1 Cup fresh Basil Leaves
2 Cups Shelled Edamame, steamed
1/4 Cup Cashews, soaked for several hours in hot water until soft OR 2 Tbsp Sesame Tahini Paste
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp Mild Yellow or White Miso Paste
2-3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
A pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional for heat)
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
Salt and Pepper to Taste
8 oz of pasta of choice (whole wheat or brown rice are whole grain options), cooked in salted water but still very al dente


Place all ingredients except the vegetable broth in a blender or food processor, then add the broth as you blend until the mixture is smooth and has reached your desired creamy pesto texture. Heat in a sauce pan and toss with the al dente pasta to warm. Top with fresh ground pepper and fresh basil and a little more crushed red pepper, if you like the spice!  For an added plant power boost, try throwing in a handful of fresh spinach or kale before blending.


Sunday’s Rose and Thorn – Week 38

If you’re doing a challenge along with us we’d love to know your rose and thorn as well.  Leave it in the comments or zip us an email.  We love the company!

Answer 3 questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What was your rose (the best thing about your week)?
  3. What was your thorn (what was the worst part of your week)?


  • Sun – rest
  • Mon – 2 mile run
  • Tues – yoga
  • Wed – 2 mile run
  • Thurs – rest
  • Fri – rest
  • Sat – 3 mile run

Thorn this week was my knee started bothering me a bit, assuming from several weekends of longer runs building toward my hope to do a half in August.  So, I took it easy this week.  We will see.  My rose has been enjoying my daughter approaching her 2nd birthday!

Jessica (see this post for a description of and links to D2S and Tibetans)

  • Sunday – 3.5 mile run
  • Monday – Tibetans
  • Tuesday – D2S Phase 2 Timed Metabolic, Tibetans
  • Wednesday – D2S Phase 2 Strength 2, Tibetans
  • Thursday –  Tibetans, 2.5 mile run
  • Friday –  D2S Phase 2 Timed Metabolic, Tibetans
  • Saturday – Tibetans

No thorns this week.

My rose is that the weather has been so perfect that we’ve been out for hours each day and on Saturday we welcomed Summer with a really fun party.


  • S:  Rest
  • M:  3 mile run (with those darn killer hills at the end)
  • T:  PT exercises, weights, abs, and Tabata
  • W:  3 mile fast (for me) run
  • R:  3 mile run (with sprints as I played soccer with Whittaker at the park)
  • F:  Foam roller yoga — the end is my favorite part.  Hurts so good!
  • S:  5 mile run
Rose:  getting moving 6 of the 7 days this week and having fun with each of my runs.

No thorn this week!