Head Shoulder Knees and Toes—Mamavation Monday Week 3!

I have injuries. Nothing too serious, I think. I’m on week 3 of the Couch-to-5K program and having the inner knee pain I always have when starting to run again. I’ve looked up what I can do to avoid this and have found the following things:

  1. Land more on the balls of your toes and less on your heels.
  2. Do exercises that strengthen the muscles around the knee.

It’s interesting to try and run on your toes, and it definitely does keep the inner knee from hurting. Not sure how cool it looks.  Makes me think of those new foot-shaped “shoes” for running. They are all the rage among runners. I’m curious how they work for people like me with giant arches that cause my feet to over-pronate.

I do know a couple of people who tried them and never went back to the cushiony running shoes everyone wears now. Vibram Five Fingers is the brand I’m seeing everywhere now. Would love to try a pair. They seem to kind of force you to land on the front of your foot as opposed to the back.

Next injury, shoulder. I’m not sure why, but I have weak shoulders. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Like I can’t handle any responsibility or like I take too much on? Last year, I was diagnosed with one tendonitis-laden (tendonitic?) shoulder for which physical therapy was prescribed. They gave me a sheet of exercises to do and sent me on my way. Didn’t follow up (lack of responsibility – see above)  but the shoulder seems to have healed well. Much larger range of motion and doesn’t hurt to sleep with it under my head.

Went to the doctor again yesterday and was diagnosed with something to do with my rotator cuff on the other shoulder. Physical therapy to commence. This one hurts WAY more and might be an obstacle to playing soccer again. Must get it fixed.

Trying to live with the injuries and do what’s in my power to remedy them, and don’t want them to be an excuse not to move my body.

Seems such good timing that on Monday evening on Mamavation TV, Katy Bowman will be the special guest. According to the Mamavation site, she’s…wait for it…”She is a Biomechanical scientist who specializes in helping people move their body correctly so they avoid injury” (!!!!!!) I will have some questions for her for sure! Especially ones that regard these crazy shoulders. Will I ever be able to compete in a triathlon? Should I not play soccer in the near future? Etc Looking forward to seeing her Aligned and Well DVDs! Hoping she has one for rotator cuffs! She does! Also some others of interest (there are 80 ailments in total) are asthma, post-C-section and menstrual cramps.

Interested as well in finding out what Carla Binberg, a.k.a. @Mizfitonline has to say about training for a long-distance run!

This week otherwise has been a little up and down. I seem to be down a total of 14 or so pounds despite the fact that I ate way too much Indian food last night. Trying to keep up with the training and eyes on the prize even with vacation coming up. Plan to rent a bike while there as well as doing running plan. 7 pounds until the 130s are gone!!


  1. Water water water!
  2. Don’t pig out on vacation!
  3. Exercise 4 of 6 days on vacation!
  4. No more chemical-laden diet soda! Period!

Head and Toes
Well, technically I don’t have any injuries on/in these right now, but I like the song.

Congrats also to Sista of the week @lovelyritaann!

Question: What injury, handicap, limitations have you overcome in order to be able to exercise?

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49 Responses to Head Shoulder Knees and Toes—Mamavation Monday Week 3!

  1. Kristine says:

    I have bad knees as well. A surgery on one knee. The feet shoes look interesting. First time I’m seeing them. I have a flat arch so I bet they’d hurt! And, guess what, also have a shoulder injury from a car accident a few years ago. We’re injury sistas!

    • Greta says:

      Kristine – what was your knee surgery for? I have really high arches, so I’m not sure if these would work for me, but maybe they would. They look like they don’t have very much arch support. Sorry about your car accident!!

  2. I have wondered about those shoes. I too have horrible knees and am prone to tendonitis!

    Have a great week

    • Greta says:

      Scarlett – I saw them in a window today. I’m tempted, but I’m going to do more research. They are kind of silly looking too.

  3. TONS! I’ve had two stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, piriformis syndrome and tight IT bands. Nothing will keep this girl down! I’ve found that family Dr’s are VERY limited in their orthopaedic knowledge – which is why I visit my Dr, and get referred to my physical therapist (who I went to Athletic Therapy school with). She and I usually can determine the cause of my injury and work together to correct it. Truthfully, the actual injury doesn’t matter, but treating the cause does. Got tendonitis? Why is the tendon inflamed? Why is it rubbing? Are the swimming stroke mechanics wrong? Are the muscles imbalanced? You need to treat the whole picture.

    I’ve never tried vibrams – I think they may be helpful in teaching you to run with better mechanics, but I couldn’t imagine running in them in a long run where your mechanics start falling apart with fatigue. At that point then you have nothing to protect you anymore.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Greta says:

      Janice – I think I must have one tight IT band on my right side. My entire right side is pretty tight actually. I was told a month ago that I was out of alignment, one of the sides of my back near my spine is apparently higher than the other side. Fun times. I’m curious about trying a chiro.

      I also had plantar fasciitis!! Have orthotics now, second pair! Looking forward to the PT in a weird way. I’m tired of being in pain, but like you said, it’s not going to keep me down!!!!

  4. CJ @CJinKY says:

    I have knee AND shoulder problems too. Honestly just starting to work out has made my knee better. Yes it hurts when I run, but I don’t notice as much day to day pain.

  5. Daenel says:

    I have never seen those shoes before! Those are so crazy looking they just might work. I’m sorry about your injuries, I hope talking to Katy Bowman tonight provides you with some tips for moving your body and lessening injury. And have fun on your vacation.

  6. kia says:

    Take it easy with your body and figure out what works for you. Good luck. I know a lot of jocks that swear by their vibram five-fingers. For me my back was tweaked really bad a couple of years ago in an accident, I had to work to get it in order (15 months of rehab). I am grateful everyday I can walk again. I am still amazed at myself that I can do more than walk these days.

    • Greta says:

      Kia – yes, I do need to take it easy! I am not 20 anymore!! It’s amazing what the human body can do, isn’t it? How our cells heal, how we can learn basic things again.

      I won the runner’s DVDs last night, so I’m really hoping I can tweak my running gait or whatever and make it a more gentle exercise for myself. I love it.

  7. MrsFatass says:

    I recently became one of Those People who exercises on vacation. It was a big change for me! Started every morning with a run on the beach. I’m not quite sure who that person was!

    Knock wood I haven’t had to overcome an injury or physical limitation yet. Just my mind, which prefers to have me sit on the couch watching whatever just arrived from Netflix. And injury might actually be easier to deal with!

    Have a good week.

    • Greta says:

      Ha ha. Yeah, it’s awesome to be one of THOSE PEOPLE isn’t it? I remember when we went on a cruise a few years ago and we’d be in the gym and people would giggle about how we were working out on a cruise ship. I didn’t gain a pound though! I’m bringing my running shoes and my bike gear! Cant’ wait to see California that way!

  8. Julie M says:

    I too suffer from knee issues. My PT told me that my extra weight and having 3 kiddos has loosened my joints and opened my knees up to pains and creaks that I didn’t have before. I am happy she gave me a list of exercises to do that do help. I hope Katy can help me learn to run effectively because right now I feel like I run very heavy and feel like an elephant running. I hope to be a cheetah soon, lol.

  9. I’m looking forward to showing my family just how much fun I can have on vaca and not gain wait! 🙂

    Those shoes are awesome! I’m not sure I could do the between the toes things!! HAHA! But yeah, those are really neat! 🙂

    Make sure you’re stretching really well too!


    • Greta says:

      Thanks for the reminder! I’m lazy with stretching, but my body REALLY needs it. My stepfather is a personal trainer and once in a while he’ll stretch me. It is very intense but it feels SOOOO good after!

      Thanks! You too!

  10. Karla Bond says:

    Sorry to hear of your injuries. I too have knee injury, torn ACL, but I hope that once I lose the weight it will feel better. People go on with torn ACL all the time. Hope you feel better soon and PT helps.

    • Greta says:

      Hey Karla – I think that there is some kind of brace or ring or something you can wear for that? Yeah, it’s kind of like do you want to do the thing that causes pain badly enough to endure it maybe. OMG if PT doesn’t help my shoulder I might have to do heroin or something. It hurts!

  11. jennydecki says:

    Oh wow! Those shoes look pretty cool. When I went to the running shoe store on Saturday the guy asked me how I ran and I told him “on the balls of my feet” He looked at me like I’d grown horns LOL Then he went back into polite/knowledgeable salesman mode so I’m not sure if he was amazed a fat girl could run on the balls of her feet or if he just thought it was weird. In running shoes, though, he told me I have to run heel to foot but stay within the box of my body…so…yah..working on that.

    I don’t have any injuries. I mean other than being big and that making me slower than someone smaller than I am.

    I do have VERY low arches. So I’m a pronater 🙂 LOL I thought those barefoot shoes looked great – like they wouldn’t have this huge BUMP at the arch my foot can’t quite adjust around. Had a heck of a time with that when I was a kid. Stupid pre-arched shoes, like everyone has one arch (one arch to rule them all…)

    • Greta says:

      Do you feel pain after you run at all? If not, keep doing whatever you’re doing. Some people are lucky and just don’t get injuries. My friend is training for a triathlon and she’s doing distances running right off the bat that if I did would cripple me. She even has a tri trainer! So cool.

      I over pronate too. We should get those shoes!!!

  12. Amanda ODair says:

    Good luck on your vacation I know you will be able to eat right, and stay on taht path you want to be one! Just remember that we all get hurt trust me, but by being able to stay up and keep going makes you someone speical!

  13. Paige says:

    OK, I was totally going to say when I started reading your post, that you need to be at Mamavation Monday for Katy! How perfect. Those shoes look uber cool. I wonder how much they are?

    • Greta says:

      OMG Paige. I won!! YIPPEE!!!!!!
      Here’s the Vibram site: http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/

      Here’s their schpiel:

      The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised.

      That’s why we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, play, and for fun. Stimulating the muscles in your feet and lower legs will not only make you stronger and healthier, it improves your balance, agility and proprioception.

      Looks like they are about $85 bucks. Cheaper than my running shoes!

  14. What a great post! Im sorry about your injuries but you do have a ton of great info about them and how to overcome! Love the shoes!

    • Greta says:

      Thanks, Lori! I wish they could send me a pair to try out, but I might buy some! Gotta check out the whole giant arch thing though.

  15. TLEstrogen says:

    I’ve seen those shoes too. I remember Hubby and I chuckling over them when we saw them. I’d love knowing how they work though…Good luck!

  16. Roxy says:

    I have a male friend that uses the Vibrams and he loves them. He recommended them highly. Have a wonderful vacation and congrats on losing those 14 lbs!!

    • Greta says:

      Roxy – we have a friend who said he’s never going back to running shoes. I’ll have to talk to him more about it.

  17. Carrie Symes says:

    Wow, those shoes look crazy! Congrats on loosing the 14 lbs!!! I can’t wait till I’m that close to 130’s!

  18. Hi there. Ouch on the knee and shoulder pain! I have had both when running! I just do alot of stretches. I actually had to go through physical therapy for my knee in highschool – due to (can’t remember the name) but my bone rubbing against my bone (little cartilage). I did a few exercises and it seemed to ‘fix’ it. If you are interested in those knee strengthening moves, let me know! 🙂 I might vLog it for you! 🙂 Have a great week!

    • Greta says:

      Rachel – I’d love those exercises. Definitely need them!! I think stretching is a key for me too. I’m so lazy with it. Thank you!!!

  19. Thanks for the Congrats! I’ve never had a serious injury that limited me from doing the exercises I should be doing. 🙂 I’m pretty sure all my bodily issues are from my lack of activity – which is really not good! Have a great vacation and your goals sound great!

    • Greta says:

      Rita – I’ve definitely had issues when not exercising too. I had other knee problems that were just solved once I started regularly exercising. Amazing really.

  20. mommy-momo says:

    awesome goals!!! I’ve been seeing those shoes too. I’m not sure about them yet?

    • Greta says:

      Ha ha. I’m not sure either. They are a bit trendy, but people have been doing it for years, so maybe I’ll go try some on!

  21. lorrie says:

    feel better soon and good luck on your weight loss , those shoes look kinda funny

  22. I think those shoes are so cute. I would love to have a pair to begin for my C25K journey! I hope your ailments get well soon! I have a lot of problems with my knees, and during walks my feet cramp up or my toes start getting numb. I have never been fitted for a custom pair of walking or running shoes, I just bought whatever was on sale and cute. But from now on I will definitely be watching for more support. Especially if I am going to RUN a 5k by Dec. 5th!!

  23. colleen says:

    Congrats on winning the dvds hope they really help with some of your injuries! have a great vacation!

  24. Angela says:

    Good luck. Injuries suck. My worst was a severe ankle injury. That’s actually when I gained the weight that “broke the camel’s back” so to speak. I had 2nd degree tearing on ligaments and tendons on BOTH of the joints in one ankle at the same time. It was awful, but the physical therapy paid off and I weigh less now than I did when I hurt my ankle in the first place. Stay on top of your PT and I know you will come through feeling better than you did before your injury as well.

  25. I still haven’t tried those shoes. lol…thanks for sharing.

  26. Hey!

    Just stopped by from Mamavation to read your post! I love your goals for the week… they seem to be very similar to the ones I just blogged about! Ha!… More water, Less Soda…. well, no soda for this entire week was my goal… which is a tough one, especially when I am Exhausted like I am this morning!! Diet Mt. Dew is like crack cocaine… I had the WORST headache yesterday… from withdrawl I am almost certian!

    Anyways, good luck this week! Hope you stick to your goals while on vacay!
    Laura @SeeLauraRun

  27. GaFlygirl says:

    wow, those are some nifty looking shoes! I have the shoes with the padding at the arches.. a sports shoe.. it is an odd shaped shoe underneath. I have really huge arches too. I always blamed it on my being in ballet as a child but I really wasn’t in ballet very long.
    My FIL recently had surgery done on his rotator cuff in one of his shoulder’s.. hopefully you won’t need to have that done. Pretty painful recovery I hear. Good luck on completing your goals… obstacles in the way never make it easy, but I believe in you. you can do it! Keep your chin up and keep smiling!

  28. MyGreenMouth says:

    I kinda’ want those shoes. I’d feel a little like a yetti, but I’m up for it! Also, let me know if you go to BlogHer. Maybe we can go together!

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