April 3, 2012

Touring a cookie factory makes me not want to eat cookies

Today's workout: Bodyflow class (yoga/pilates), 7 mile run at 8:09 pace. The pace was easy up until the last mile when I had to kick it into high gear because my kids were reaching the childcare time limit.

My leg injury (from double speed work days -- never do that!) is still lingering, and I'm thinking about going in to get an x-ray to make sure that it isn't something more serious. It hurts about halfway up on the side/front of my left leg. I hardly ever get left-leg injuries because I'm very strongly right-footed. Usually if something messes up, it's in my strong, leader leg, but this time, it's the other guy. It usually starts to gradually hurt about a mile into my runs. At some point during this morning's run, I couldn't feel it anymore (around mile 4 or 5), but later when I was not running, I felt it again, and more intensely than while running. It feels like a bone pain, so I want to make sure nothing is about to snap that I'm not aware of. Now that it's nighttime and it's had time to rest, I don't feel any pain at this point. Any thoughts from the e-friends and webmd experts?

This morning, the twins and I also toured a local cookie factory, Bud's Best Cookies. It is interesting touring a cookie factory while not eating desserts and really not wanting your kids to be interested in eating them. Good luck with that last one, self. We hardly ever had sweets in my growing-up house, and now look at me. I'm a full-fledged sweet-oholic.


For the tour, you hop on a cute little train and ride around the factory, looking at the cookie process from the dough to the ovens to the packaging to the shipping. Seeing all the bags and bags of cocoa, dextrose monohydrate (to sweeten), and flour made me feel slightly nauseated, and while the machines were really cool to watch operate, I couldn't help but think how gross it would be to see the millions of faces cramming in little cream cookies and vanilla wafers. Pounds and pounds of sugar, e-people. It loses its appeal when you see it in such massive portions.


The tour guide also talked about how the business is family owned and about how many people it employs, from the factory worker to the farmers to the truck drivers (shout out to Lucky Chuck), so it's not all bad. Right? I just can't get past the thousands of boxes of cookies that are feeding someone's sugar addiction right at this moment. And probably will be feeding mine in a few weeks because I'm saving that free bag of animal crackers we got at the end of the tour. It's all mine when my no-dessert goal is finished, unless a little person gets to it first, which is likely. We frequently wake up to the refrigerator contents emptied onto the kitchen floor, and the twins are guaranteed to go for the sweetest thing in the kitchen. They never sneak carrots, dang it!


The good news is that I already told my older kids that we could tour the factory with them during the summer. I guess the interesting factory mechanics and free cookie part won out over the grossed-out-by-sugar-face-stuffing part. If nothing else, it can prove to them that moms and grandmas can make cookies with more love and chocolate chips than factory robots. But if I am desperate for sweets at a Pilot truck stop, I'll buy Bud's Best. Support your local economy! And I'd much rather buy cookies from a factory I've toured and of which I've verified the cleanliness with my own eyeballs. That will basically never happen for me with another cookie brand/factory ever again. Not because I don't want to. But because how often do you live near a cookie factory? It could actually be a lot. I did zero research.


And while we're talking about local businesses, I just saw a commercial for a local barber shop that used "tired of getting those whack and not-so-tight haircuts" as their hook. At this point, pretty much nothing can stop me from going there.




You know what else is whack? When your child puts on a perfectly good pajama shirt that has been passed down through two older siblings (and maybe more friends before that) and it comes out of a toddler wrestling match all ripped up like the Incredible Hulk had something to do with it. How exactly did that happen? The quality of clothes is really deplorable these days. They don't even last ten (million) years.


And last, thanks so much to Running with Spatulas for hosting the virtual 10K and setting up awesome prizes of which I won a Handful bra. I'm so excited to try them out! After nursing four babies, I need all of the help I can get. 

11 comments:

  1. Congrats on winning the prize in the virtual 10K! That's fun! I know what you mean about touring the cookie factory leading to conflict. I haven't done that, so I don't know if it would work for me, but I might have to give that a whirl someday. The closest I have come is a Jelly Belly tour, which was kind of boring, to be honest. (It was more a tour of their warehouse, then an actual factory.) The free samples were GREAT, though! (And I still like their product.) :/

    A long time ago, I did put a moratorium on cookie eating in our house....Cookies had to be homemade by me, (mostly because no one ever bakes cookies for us), and we stick to that pretty well. Girl Scout Cookies are the exception. It's a racket, but a clever one that I feel compelled to support.

    Bummer regarding the leg! Pain in the area you are talking sounds like shin splints. Pain that crescendos as you run is a sign of a stress fracture, as is pain after a run. (The pain can also be masked by endorphins, so that may be why it subsides as you run, too) Is it tender when you touch it? Also, a stress fracture would feel better in the morning after the bone has had time to rest. Ok, so take all this with a 5 lb. bag of salt. I am not a doctor, PT, or anything else remotely related to the healthcare industry. I am, however, an injury-prone runner who has read a lot. All this to say, get it checked out. In all likelihood, it is nothing (maybe just shin splints), but it would bring peace of mind. Just know that x-rays typically cannot pick up stress fractures until they have started healing, so if an x-ray proves negative and self-care isn't helping - the pain persists - you might want to follow up again. (By the way, make sure you go see a doctor who runs themselves or treats athletes, otherwise, you're guaranteed to get someone who just says "don't run.")

    In the meantime, how are you calves? Tight? Do you stretch them well? You might try rolling them using a foam roller or tennis ball or softball. A lot of shin injuries start at the calves. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks so much for your advice! My instinct tells me that it is bone related, so a stress fracture would make sense, though I hope not. Do you have to get an MRI for it to show up? I decided to give it a few more rest days -- well, without-running days. There is no rest for us moms. My calves feel pretty good. I like to stretch a lot after runs and do yoga a little bit, though in general I am not a limber person.

      I need to do some more doctor research for my area. The last time I went to the sports-oriented orthopedic doctor, I was not impressed -- mainly because he was not attentive and kind of blew me off. Maybe I'll try a different one in that practice because their PTs were extremely good (and I liked that they had both in one practice).

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    2. Well, if your gut is telling you bone, that is not good. :) Seriously, though, I know with shin splints, too, they take a while to resolve. I often hear from friends that just when you think you need to see someone, they go away. Are you icing the area? If not, freeze some dixie cups of water. Then take a cup out, peel off the top half of the cup and rub the offending spot for about five minutes or as long as you can stand (don't give yourself frostbite!). Do this three times a day. Rest the leg - maybe do elliptical or water running if you feel you have to do something. Try rolling the calves. You might be surprised by what you find. Again, I am NOT a doctor or PT. I feel compelled to reiterate this since I seem to be handing out medical advice like the Easter Bunny hands out jelly beans on Easter.

      As to a doctor, do you belong to a running club where you are at? How about running stores you trust? Get the word out to your local running peeps. See if there are any recommendations. That can be worth a lot! Good luck again!

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    3. Oops, realized I didn't answer your one question... My understanding is that x-rays will show a stress fracture after they start healing - so at about four weeks after the fact. Before that, you would need an MRI or a bone scan to confirm the SF.

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  2. I think I need to go to the Swedish Fish factory and Hot Tamales factory so the massive quantities of not so good for you stuff will deter me from stuffing them in my face. Sorry about the leg pain. I have had similar sounding pain and it was stemming from a weak hip/butt on my left side (I am right leg dominant too)which along with my flat foot on the left side was throwing off my stride and putting strain on my lower leg (a few years ago I had the same problem and it resulted in a stress fracture in my left leg. Apparently I don't learn to continue strengthening don't just stop when it feels better. I started doing more lunges, and hip strengthening exercises with those toning straps (side lunges, leg lifts etc) and lots of stretching and it seemed to help. Hope your leg feels better soon!

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    1. Yes, tour them! You will seriously feel sick.

      Thanks for the exercise tips! I've been doing some bodypump, but they focus on the major muscle groups. I should probably be doing more for the stabilizers. Did you have to stop running with your stress fracture? If so, how long? I have three more races this month, and I'm trying to justify doing all of them.

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    2. Hey, sorry about butting in, but Bean has a good point. Just because you are feeling pain on the one side doesn't mean that is where the issue is stemming from....It could be a compensation injury. An alternative to a doctor would be to self-refer - if you can - to a PT. It sounded like you had some you liked. They might be able to give you a more objective opinion on what is happening. Beyond that, do you have a tuning fork? According to my PT, if you get a tuning fork vibrating and then set the stem end (not the fork end) against the sore spot, if it is a stress fracture, there is a good possibility that the ensuing pain will send you through the roof. Ok, so how was that for useful advice? How many people have a tuning fork available? (Btw, she also said while reasonably reliable, it wasn't full-proof.) :)

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    3. Wow, I want a tuning fork! Where do you find them? Google, please help me now. Thanks for all of your advice, Shannon. I honestly thought the problem was temporary and would leave soon, but with all of my races coming up, I'm starting to get nervous that I might not up for competing and that it might be a larger problem than I originally thought. It really helps to hash it out!

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  3. I have seen Tracy Ray at St. Vincent's for stress fractures in my foot. A poster above is right, it might take an MRI to show the fracture before an x-ray will.
    Greg Carr at Brookwood operated on my wrist when I broke it a few years back. He played pro-football before he became a dr. so, he knows athletes.
    I have friends who have used others if you want me to tell you about them.

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    1. Yes, you can put them here or email them. Any names would be great!

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  4. I have never toured a cookie factory - I feel like any factory that makes food would make me sick, although I'm currently cravign Oreos - mmmmmmmmmm

    I know that crappy clothing quality you speak of! and it seems like prices keep going up while materials are synthetic and quality goes down (?) sucks

    Thanks for the shout out! I emailed Handful today!

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