Running Advice Please! Plus, Sweet Potato & Chicken Mexican Lasagna

Hello and happy Friday! First things first – if you missed my post about the Online Food Blogger Summit & the Harvest Your Health E-Book sale, check it out! The blogger summit pricing goes up after this weekend and the e-book sale ends on the 14th. Don’t miss out! :)

On the running front, I took the past week off of running to try to let my foot get better; as I wrote about in my post earlier this week, I’ve been having some mild pain in my outer right foot, just below my little toe. That meant this week was all about the cross training! On Monday morning, I got in a 40 minute swim. I’ve been really enjoying swimming while marathon training and have been incorporating it the day after long runs as a recovery workout; this time, my legs were nice and fresh so it was fun to go a little faster.


On Tuesday, I hit up a lunchtime power hour class at Edge Yoga, my favorite Arlington studio. On Wednesday, as I already wrote about, I did an hour and 15 minute hot vinyasa flow class that totally rocked my world at The Studio DC. Yesterday morning it was back to the pool for another 40 minute speedier-than-normal swim.

I’ve also been doing a lot of calf foam rolling and icing my foot.


This morning, I decided it was time to test out my foot because I needed to figure out what to tell my training buddy for tomorrow. It’s weird because my foot doesn’t hurt at all just standing or walking barefoot; it’s only when I have shoes on (any kind of shoe besides flip flops) that it bugs me. A few of you guys recommended wearing a different pair of running shoes just to mix things up while my foot is bothering me, so I tried on basically all the even remotely workout-related shoes in my closet. Randomly, the only pair that didn’t bug my foot was this pair of old Reebok running shoes (the Zignano Fly II) that I received a year and a half ago while visiting their offices up in MA.


I have always found these shoes to be really comfortable but only wore them for boot camps and the like up until this point, but I decided if they felt decent, I’d go for it.

I ended up doing a 20 minute run (in the rain – still better than the dreadmill!) and in the first few minutes of the run, my foot was bugging me, so I started to turn back towards home. But then it randomly felt fine so I kept going for awhile longer. So weird. I can’t figure out what’s going on with my foot! It felt fine after the run, too.


So now I’m left trying to figure out what to do for tomorrow. I’m supposed to do a 20 mile training run. I’m pretty sure that’s not a good idea, but maybe I should do a shorter (but still long-ish) training run? Something like 10 to 15 miles, depending how I feel, and then do some pool running too? As I said, my foot felt fine in these shoes once I got warmed up, but they aren’t super supportive like the shoes I’m used to running in so I’d be a little nervous going really far in them.


In other news, I made one of me and Matt’s very favorite recipes earlier this week: a variation of my Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas, but made in the style of my Mexican Lasagna!


Basically, I didn’t want to deal with rolling all the tortillas up with the filling, so I decided to just do a layered approach instead. Tastes the same and is half the effort. Win! It was super easy to make.

I started with some small corn tortillas lining the base of the pan. (I drizzled a little enchilada sauce in the pan before putting them in.)


Then added some mashed cooked sweet potato…


Then a container of Whole Foods guac (the best!)…


Then some spinach with chopped peppers (sautéed in a pan with a little oil and some cumin):


Then some chicken (you could use black beans instead – I just had some cooked chicken on hand and had a salad with a ton of beans at lunch):


Next up was a jar of salsa and some fresh cilantro:


And then finally another layer of corn tortillas, the rest of the green enchilada sauce, some grated cheese and a little more fresh cilantro.


Baked for 20 minutes with some foil covering it et voila! Dinner is served.


Matt deemed it “awesome” and “good enough to serve in a restaurant.” Sweet! Give it a try yourself and get creative. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. 1

    Try running part of it on land, and then finish it out on the elliptical, or pool running. Getting in the long aerobic work is critical!

    • 2

      I’d be inclined to follow V’s advice…and maybe as a 5 mile loop that you can swing back to your house and switch shoes if necessary and then head out for 5 more, depending on how it feels. Keep moving for the same amount of time you’d be running 20 (~3 hours, I’d say, based on your pace) but don’t overdo it if it hurts.

      • 3

        Yes – having a good bail out option is critical. If you are planning on pool running for the last hour or so, just do 4 mile loops around the pool.

        • 4

          Any recommendation for a good pool running pool? I normally swim at W&L but they are only lap lanes and I feel like I’d get yelled at…

          • 5

            Lots of people pool run at W&L in the diving well. Yorktown is also an option for pool running. Call to ask for best times to go.

            Wilson has a dedicated pool running lane, but there is a meet there this Saturday. Sunday it should be open.

            • 6

              Awesome tips – thank you!

              • 7

                I have poolrun at WL frequently in the morning (starting in late August) as I rehab an injury and go back to running more miles. Many folks do – rehabbing runners, crosstraining runners, triathletes, nonrunners. You’d be welcome (I’m there a number of days a week, in a blue cap, usually leaving the pool by 630-7, say hi!).

                Two things one runner/triathlete told me I’ve found true: when possible, go in circles/squares instead of back and forth, and if you can, listen to music/podcasts especially if there’s no one to talk to (if there is, time can fly) or you’re going to be there for hours. (I’ve done 2.5hours a couple times). I use the X-1 waterproof ipod shuffle case/headphones and love it but I know people take other approaches.

                WL Tips: Saturday there is a water aerobics class that takes over the diving well starting just before 830. IMHO, they don’t share well, and I try not to be there when they are. The 810 weekday water aerobics class stays in the shallow end, but the school needs the diving well at 830. Mon-Sat they open at 530, but if you want a Sunday early morning, need to go to Wakefield (new pool! I haven’t used the new one) which opens at 730. The water is a bit chilly when you are running (and the women’s locker room is pretty cold). All the Arlington pools have float belts you can use and welcome poolrunners, you can just ask at the desk (or call as I did) where they prefer you run. Usually it’s the diving well, but we are the low rung on the food chain so to speak, so can get moved to events. Important to make sure you’re not where feet touch the bottom.

                To keep up fitness, intervals rather than steady state is important. I’ve been a little lazy about that but need to get back to it.

                Here’s a post from someone more expert than I am on the local poolrunning scene (she’s been superhelpful, I’ve met her)

                A few other pool running resources

                for some inspiration – the founder of this is superhelpful and has a great story!

                Be careful with that foot – I know I pushed too far and have paid for it (tendon issue).

                Wishing you all the best!

  2. 8

    Is the pain running along the nerves/ligaments between your toe and foot? Then radiates down the side and underneath? It really sounds like Morton’s Neuroma seriously google it because it’s so hard to explain. I had some physio sessions and now have custom orthotics which I’m trying to wear in. It’s caused by increasing distance/pace and having tight calf muscles.

    • 9

      No, it’s not. It’s just in one spot and doesn’t radiate at all. It’s just on the outside edge of my foot, right on the bump that’s below the little toe.

      • 10

        It still kind of sounds like it…some people only get the pain between or on their toes which is re-leaved when you remove footwear. It may feel like you’re standing on a pebble and most commonly it’s between the fourth and third or fourth and fifth (baby) toes..

        • 11

          It’s not on my toe though or between them. And it doesn’t feel like I’m standing on a peddle. I don’t stand on the spot that hurts – it’s more on the side of my foot and I just barely land on it when I run.

          • 12

            I’d go see a physio to check it out just to make sure you don’t do any severe damage. Such a pain in the ass but I’m sure you’ll be back to normal in no time.

            • 13

              Good call :)

              • 14

                I had a Morton’s Neuroma surgically removed earlier this year after two years of pain and mine did not present in the typical ways. Just food for thought. To me, it sounds like perhaps a bone spur or maybe you are developing a Taylor’s Bunion. Either way, a good podiatrist is worth their weight in gold in my opinion after all I’ve dealt with in terms of my feet these past few years. Check out He is Bay Area based but often does free advice phone calls and might have a referall for the DC area.

  3. 16

    I would not run 20 miles in shoes that are not broken in for long runs. This close to the race, I’d do a shorter run and think about seeing a doc / PT if the pain continues / returns. Self diagnosing can sometimes do more harm than good. Best wishes for no pain!

    • 17

      Yeah, 20 miles in non-broken in shoes is for sure a bad idea. I just can’t decide if 10 miles in non-broken in shoes is a bad idea, too…

      • 18

        I think the above advice on making your 10 miler circle back past a bailout point is a great idea – that way you can easily stop / change shoes if needed.

  4. 19

    Sorry that your foot isn’t 100% yet. I would definitely take it easy – I like Krissy’s idea of doing a shorter loop so you can swing back to your house or keep going. You definitely don’t want to do more damage so I would take it easy — also I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow too :(.

    Otherwise – that Mexican Enchilada Lasagna looks great! I also frequently feel too lazy to roll up tortillas and typically just serve taco or bowl style. I’ll have to give the “lasagna” a try!

  5. 20

    I hope you get to feeling 100% better soon! I’ve been having similar issues with my left foot and I’ve been taking ibuprofen (not something I’d normally do) and icing, things have gotten a little better this way.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

  6. 21

    Let me start this post by saying I am in no way shape or form a medical expert, but this sounds very similar to the pain I was experiencing this time last year when I was running a lot. I finally went to the doctor and it turned out that the little bone where I was experiencing pain was flattening out (yes, you could actually see it in the x-ray – kinda cool minus the whole pain part). Apparently blonde hair, blue eyed females are prone to this! The doctor told me the only true cure was rest and although I absolutely hated not running, I took 2 weeks off. When I went back, he said I should do PT, which in full disclosure I didn’t do, but with rest + new running shoes + switching up from running on concrete to dirt for a good month, the pain went away. I know this probably isn’t the news you want to hear, but if the pain keeps up, maybe it’s time to see a doc? Hopefully this isn’t the case and it goes away by itself!

  7. 22

    Hi Anne,

    I’m a long-time reader, and I think this is my first comment, but I had to chime in :)

    I was experiencing foot issues when I trained for a half last year, and I had a similar experience (didn’t hurt unless I had running shoes on). I ended up taking a few months off after the half because I was in so much pain after the race. But, I decided to take a different approach and bought some “minimalist” running shoes to try out. According to lots of running information I read online, the book “Born to Run,” we don’t use our muscles properly or connect with the ground fully with the bulky running shoes we wear. The provide a lot of support, but also hinder us in ways. I have been using Merrell Pace Gloves for several months now and I love them! My foot pain has gone away and I feel like a stronger runner in general. I recommend trying out a pair of something minimal and also recommend the book “Born to Run” if you haven’t already read it! Hope this helps!! :)

    • 23

      Interesting – I’m glad to hear your pain has gone away! I actually had the Merrell Pace Gloves a few years ago and loved them, but mostly used them for hiking/walking.

  8. 24

    I would skip the run. You still have one more long (20+) run scheduled, right? And definitely see a doctor! Better to address it now that closer to the marathon.

  9. 25

    Hmm maybe you should get your foot checked out? Maybe take it easy and do a short run followed by a swim workout.

  10. 30

    Hey Anne,

    I’m sorry to hear about your foot…

    1. Have you recently changed your stride? Increasing or decreasing cadence?
    2. I had outer foot problems under my right pinky-toe. I pulled out the insole and replaced with arch support insole. It not only resolved a little PF I was feeling, but the toe problem too.

    I suspect stress or stride related…

    • 31

      Look at you, you started your blog!! Excited to check it out. :) Anyway – I haven’t changed my stride at all that I know of. Interesting about the insole… I used to use inserts but stopped a year and a half ago. Maybe I should give them another go…

  11. 32

    I second all the ideas about having a bail out option, and finishing on the elliptical or the pool! But sadly, I also agree a professional opinion is a good idea … if only for peace of mind!

  12. 33

    One word: Acupuncture. It’s the best, especially if you are using it to treat injury in the early stages. I’ve had a lot of success with it in the past.

  13. 34

    Yum! Your mex lasagna looks great. I really like your idea of layering corn tortillas. How did you cook the sweet potato?

  14. 36

    Honestly, I had very similar pain when I was marathon training and I ran through it. It would go away after a mile or so. I’m not sure that its good advice, but at least some hope that you will recover! I would do a 8- 10 mile run in your normal shoes- I wouldn’t ever switch up shoes so close to the race for any distance (I severely overpronate and am sensitive). Stretch and ice!

  15. 37

    Have you thought about going to physio to see if they can figure out what’s wrong?

  16. 39

    Probably best to shell out for some actual medical advice sooner rather than later

  17. 41

    Do a small running loop around your house so if your foot bothers you it isn’t hard to head home. If it doesn’t bother you, just keep doing the loop!

  18. 42

    I’m sorry about your foot. It is extremely disappointing to put so much hard work, effort, and training into running and get injured. This happened to me last year, but with my hamstring, not foot. I definitely think you need to see a doc. I’m trying to think back to your posts, have you tried some anti-inflamm (temporarily)? I think your cross training and foam rolling is great and key. Maybe throw in some calf/ankle/foot strengthening? Anne, I hope all gets better.

  19. 43

    I strongly suggest that you minimize weight-bearing on your right foot as much as possible, until you can see a professional. Whatever the problem is, the pain is telling you to STOP. Rest, Elevation and Ice are probably the best things to do, until you get an evaluation. Whatever you do, DON’T RUN, until then. Best Wishes.

  20. 44

    Sounds like you have some inflammation/synovitis/tendonitis in that area. There is a tendon called the peroneus brevis that attaches to the base of your 5th metatarsal (toe) right where you are describing the pain. That spot is prone to getting irritated with overuse. I would take an NSAID (ibuprofen) regularly for a couple weeks. Good news is it’s probably not a stress fracture if it doesn’t also hurt with walking. Seeing a professional (not a podiatrist!) that can examine your foot & get x-rays is a good idea though. I’m a PA that works for a orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot&ankle conditions.

  21. 45

    The lasagna dish looks delish. I won’t be near a computer tomorrow so I would like to say HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY, ANNE AND MATT. Boy did this year go by fast.

  22. 47
    Roadrunner says

    My advice is simple: stay with the pair of shoes you wore today! Don’t change or experiment. And take ibuprofin…

  23. 48

    If it hurts on impact, maybe worth trying out an alter G treadmill. They’re really cool and you can adjust how much of your body weight you’re running on down to about 20% I think. They are kind of pricey to use, but could be worth it if you could get a longer run in on it. I’m sure there are more around here, but the one I’ve used was out at Fast Track Physical Therapy in Falls Church – Good luck!

  24. 49

    Sorry to hear about your foot that is not good at all. I would recommend seeing a physiotherapist so they can properly assess it for you and tell you if you should even be running on it at all at the moment.

    Love that lasagna idea it looks delicious!!

  25. 50

    I know I’m a bit late on this but figured I’d pipe in-I’ve had this issue many times. I have a really big first metatarsal and it’s tough to find shoes that don’t rub/irritate it. Even too tight shoelaces for one run can cause this-especially when you’re doing distance.

    You need to loosen your laces up for a few runs. What I did was buy moleskin (look it up, not the notebook, it’s a kind of bandage :) ) at Walgreens, and for every run for a few weeks, I covered the tender spot with moleskin and then put my socks and shoes on. It sounds like it’s just a tender area-I wouldn’t worry too much but I’d try to wear the moleskin and loosen the shoes up a bit.

  26. 51

    I noticed that the reeboks u were using had a jagged sole as opposed to a smooth sole that probably your other shoes have. That may explain the intermittent pain that you have while running. One simple thing you might want to try is buy a plain insole and cut out an area of the insole that corresponds to your area of pain. You can put it in your old training shoes and run for a short distance to see if it helps. You can also use same insole for work so you can get used to it. Keep taking ibuprofen if your stomach allows. I’m rooting for you!

  27. 52

    Hubs and I made this recipe meatless last night – delish and definitely a new favorite. Love the sweetness of the sweet potato contrasted with salsa and spicy guacamole. Also – I will never roll another enchilada again when laying them out flat is easier and it all tastes the same.


  1. […] you to all of you for the helpful advice! After reading all the comments, I decided that if my foot still hurt when I got up on Saturday I […]

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