Monday, March 25, 2013

Foot Care Tips by: Dr. Emily Splichal

I recently asked Podiatrist, Dr Emily Splichal to write some tips for the site and hope you find them beneficial.
*note: no money was exchanged and this article is simply for triathlete education. 

Self Foot Massage Tips
Daily foot massage if an integral part of optimal foot function. Like all muscles, the small muscles of the foot create adhesions, trigger points and knots that need to be massaged or released. One of the best self foot massage techniques I recommend to my patients is standing on golf balls. To properly release the plantar foot muscles, place one golf ball under each foot. Stand on the golf balls with body weight evenly distributed between the feet. Try to relax into the golf balls as opposed to stiffen the plantar fascia and muscles. Hold in the same spot for at least one minute before shifting the golf ball to a new spot. I recommend this golf massage every morning and in the evening. 

When to seek a Podiatrist’s help?
Although most causes of foot pain in the athlete can be associated with overuse or excessive training – there are the occasional situations in which an athlete should seek a Podiatrist’s help. When initially feeling pain in the foot, I always advise athletes to initiate the class RICE treatment – this would include Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. Pulling back on the training is important to allow the tissue injury or inflammation to resolve. Ice is a great to reduce inflammation and swelling. In addition, I do advise starting anti-inflammatory medication – whether it is oral or topical. I have many patients who do not like to take medication and fight me on taking the anti-inflammatory medication – but it can make a significant difference especially in the first couple days of injury. I always explain that the pain the athlete is experiencing is closely related ot the degree of inflammation – so if we can bring the inflammation down, their pain will follow. If the pain persists for more than a week, there is any history of acute trauma, there is any associated tingling or numbness, you cannot bear any weight on your foot or there is any associated infection– I would seek medical attention. 

What should I be concerned about in a bike shoe fit?
What makes cycling shoes unique from say running shoes is the stiff-sole and toe box.  This means that an improper fit can place excess pressure on the digits and sides of the foot. Excess pressure or friction can lead to callous, corn and blister formation – as well as uneccessary pain. For any athlete with digit contractures or a longer second toe, in addition to proper shoe fit, padding and/or mole skin can be used to protect areas of excess pressure. 

Foot Recovery Exercises
Some of my favorite recovery exercises revolve around maintaining adequate foot mobility and foot stability. For proper foot mobility, an athlete wants to focus on both the small and larger muscles of the foot and ankle. To mobilize the small plantar muscles of the foot, I recommend the golf ball massage (described above). To maintain mobility of the larger muscles, I recommend myofascial or trigger point release. When compared to stretching, myofascial release techniques more effectively increase the viscosity of fascial tissue and release any knots or adhesions that may be restricting muscle fiber mobility.

To maintain foot stability one of my favorite exercises is called the short foot. Short foot exercise strengthens the small muscles of the foot that maintain the arch and help absorb ground reaction forces. In addition to short foot, integrating balance exercises barefoot are a great way to strengthen both the hip and ankle stabilizers. I recommend 20 minutes of barefoot balance exercises three times a week for maintaining proper foot strength. 

Dr. Emily Splichal is a Podiatrist, Human Movement Specialist and 
national fitness expert recognized by stiletto-lovers as "Dr. Legs" from her
posture and balance fitness workouts Catwalk Confidence® and Stiletto
Recovery®. Dr. Emily Splichal attended undergraduate school at Hamline
University in St. Paul, MN and graduate school at A.T. Still University earning
a Master’s in Human Movement. She went on to graduate with a DPM
from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Her post-graduate
training included podiatric medicine and surgical training at Beth Israel
Medical Center in Manhattan as well as Mt Vernon Hospital and Sound
Shore Medical Center in Westchester County, NY.
Dr. Emily Splichal is extensively trained in lower extremity biomechanics,
sports medicine and movement dysfunction. With over 11 years in the
fitness industry, Dr. Emily Splichal has dedicated her medical career
towards studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to
foot posture and foot strength. Dr Emily Splichal has appeared as a
stiletto foot expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, The Doctors, Dr.
Steve Show, CW11 and has been featured in Glamour, Seventeen,
Women's Day, and Elle Magazine. Dr. Emily Splichal has demonstrated
how barefoot balance training works to improve posture and enables the
ability to walk with strength and confidence. Dr. Emily Splichals workout
Catwalk Confidence® was voted by TimeOut NY as Best Workout in 2010.

Friday, March 22, 2013

New features & Changes

New Features
  • Added a blogroll on the right side of the main page.  This allows you to scope out who has posted recently vs. clicking on people blogs only to realize they haven't posted since May 2012 and this is the third time you have clicked to see that same post. {Personally, this feature was one the main motivations I started this blog}  Let me know if you don't see your blog coming up.... (disclaimer: sometimes Blogger has issues with adding non-blogspot)
  • Once a month, I am hoping to feature a short article from a USAT coach. Gives coaches a good opportunity to feature themselves and share tips to triathletes.   If you are interested, shoot me an email. 
  • I have changed the name of the site however, not to feel like a total sell out, i have kept specific Chicago Links so those only interested in Chicago people can go straight to that Tab. (This way, the site can still serve its original purpose for those that only want that)
  • I have changed the name so you can either enter the site from: 

Changes in the works
  • A blog button is in the works
  • Another giveaway soon b/c one of the winners email was defunct
  • I plan to clean up the links to the blogs and make them easier on the eyes, give me a week
  • (not right away) But I also hope to create some sort of blog registry where people can search for others blogs with hit words.. not quite sure how to do this but will try sooner than later
  • (not right away) But hoping, if we get say 50+ blogs on the site, we can do blog awards through voting?!
I am still really excited about the site.  I really feel like there isn't a good central point for triathlete bloggers but sooo many forums for running bloggers.  I know the two are very much alike but different at the same time.  I hope you have enjoyed this process as much as I have.  My husband is scheduled to finish school in the fall so I want to work to get the site going till then as this gives me a variety of things to do in the evenings after my son goes to sleep and I am waiting for him to come home. (And yes, many of those nights I am on my trainer, but am always looking for a good excuse)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tri-Friends! Mike McHale

First installment of "Tri-Friends"  As this site is about the readers, wanted to highlight a triathlete two times a month.  Contact me if you are interested in being highlighted! 

Meet Mike McHale 
He is lucky #1 and training for his first IM;  IM Lake Placid 2013

Mike and his favorite non-living friend
Where did you grow up?
Ha...most people are still waiting for me to grow up!  I was born in San Diego, CA but grew up primarily in Western PA, cheering on the Steelers and making fun of bad drivers.  I moved to Illinois in 1988, when I was in 8th grade.

Where you live now?  
Small town of Byron, IL...of nuclear power plant fame.  We make clouds.

What got you into triathlon?  
All of the women...chicks dig skinny little white guys running around in spandex...right?  I signed up for my first triathlon in 2003, shortly after my first marathon.  I'm not sure how I survived the swim...and of course, I rocked the mt. bike.  I loved the challenge that triathlon presented.  The variety of training, the gadgets, the camaraderie, and the big leg muscles you get from biking.  Actually, I'm still waiting for those.
Distances completed?  
Up through HIM (3 times)...IM to come this summer.
Favorite Leg and why?  
Run is my bread and butter.  No one passes me on the run.  Of course, it helps when their all already ahead of you already.  However, I've really come to enjoy (and embrace) the bike leg over the past two years.  It's been a long lonely winter in my garage (AKA: Pain Cave)...but I'm really excited to see what the summer holds for me...especially in terms of bike gains!  I've been working on "On Your Left!"
Favorite Race? 
Favorite tri would probably be Steelhead 70.3 (when they don't cancel the swim!).  Last time I did it, they cancelled the swim and added a run...which meant I dropped my worst leg for my that was pretty much the greatest thing thing ever.  Boston was a great race, just for atmosphere alone.  Soooo looking forward to Ironman Lake Placid this year!

Your "A" Race this year? 
Ironman Lake Placid
Worst/Funniest Race Moment?  
That awkard moment when you realize that you're about to urinate on your $3,000 bike.  I can't think of any particular funny moments (not related to near death experiences during the swim)...perhaps I should race more. 

What do you do when you aren't doing triathlons?
Hang out with my favorite three people in the world (wife and two daughters) and teach HS physics and math.  I'm a rock God on the weekends (check out Mike and Adam w/Dry White Toast...well, ok...perhaps "God" is a little over the top) and enjoy drinking a good moscato with my wife in cool places such as; Maine, California, Banff, or wherever life takes us.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Race Reports

Would like to get the Race Reports going..  Feel free to email me or comment on the Race Report if you have good race reports you would like me to add.  And if you don't blog, you still can participate.  Email me the race report and I will put it on the page somehow! 

... next up. 
First installment of "meet the blogger" 
If you are interested in being featured, email me!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Blog Roll USA

Well, at the request of some visitors, I have created a "Blogs Across the Country" Tab.  Chicago people are still special and will get their own list but I will also create a country wide 'roll call' for anyone to add their blog to.  Click on the Tab for more info! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Well, the first giveaway has concluded! 

Congrats to:
Karen Langer who won the Massage Envy GC and Lizzie Allen who won the $25 GC.  Thanks to everyone who participated.  Winners, please email me your address!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dreams of Kona

Sometimes I turn on IM World Champs and watch the special while on my trainer.  Sometimes I watch the old school ones where Natascha dominated and Normann killed it on the bike or when Chrissie continued to kick butt while all smiles any i started my love affair with Crowie and Macca (yes, i love both)... or the newer ones where the producer really loves slow motion...

However, when i am watching, I daydream of riding on the Queen K and being really fast...  and then i snap out of it and realize I am riding in place.... in my living room... in cold Chicagoland.  A girl can dream, right?  A more realistic goal is to be able to witness and volunteer at IMKona.  Just to be able to pass water out to amazing pro and AG athletes would be dream enough.  I know there are some of you that have been to Kona as an athlete or striving to qualify there...
what are you hoping for 2013?   

My goal for 2013:  PR my half iron time.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

ChiTriBloggers on Instagram


Add us for all things Swim.Bike.Run and we would also love to follow you!

p.s.  For some reason my hastags are not showing up when i look to see all the pics with the same hashtag.  I have a personal account and those hashtags are showing up fine.  Anyone else have similar problems?  I have uninstalled and reinstalled and no luck?  

Anyone that follows Chitribloggers and comments they were referred from blog also receives an entry to the giveaway! Good Luck!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

First ChiTri Bloggers Giveaway!

Well, as a thank you to everyone who has visited the site, we will be doing our first Chi-Tri Giveaway!
I hope it is the first of many!  (Just an FYI- I am self sponsoring the give away)

First Winner: $50 Gift Card to Massage Envy

Second Winner:  $25 AMEX Gift Card

Here are the details:
You can have unlimited entries!  Drawing will take place next Friday night. 
(My son will be the official person to pick the prize winner.  Don't worry, I will have him sign a Disclosure of Conflict of Interest to avoid any of you trying to bribe him.  I am well aware how easily an 8year old can be swayed)

Gain 1 entry for adding your blog (or other form of social media) to the blogroll 
    *Bloggers already on the roll get an extra entry as a thank you!
Gain 1 entry for subscribing to the blog  (we have had over 1,200 unique visitors by the way)
    *You can subscribe even if you don't have a blog but want to following ChiTri-ers!
    Simply click on Followers button the right and will ask you how to want to follow. 
Cheers and Good Luck!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Evergreen Lake Triathlon Coupon Code

The awesome RD of Evergreen Tri gave me a $10 OFF Coupon Code to pass along to readers of ChiTriBloggers.

$10 off for either Sprint or Oly.
Coupon Code:  ETChicago2013  
They also offer discounts for No Shirt and/or Collegiate Athletes as well!  

I have done two races down in Central Illinois from this group (evergreen and tri-shark) and loved both. Only a 2ish hour from downtown and there are lots of hotels that you can priceline/hotwire in that area. The races are priced very reasonably and nice change of pace from Big Chicago Events.  The year I did it, they had the best pulled pork sandwiches after the race... so much better than half cut day old bagels like so many other races! The water is very calm (so no worries about current/cancelled swims) and normally warm.

*Elite Wave
*Prize Money for Oly
*Race has been deemed "Parafriendly by USAT" and the race welcomes all para-triathletes!

Much thanks to Evergreen!  Happy racing!

**Here is my race review  for 2011 of Evergreen!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Social Event Notice

I recently heard about an event through FB that i wanted to share.  Crush Multisport is a group that is trying to connect all Chicago Triathletes! (which is exactly why i created this blog during a boring episode of The Office)  

Their goal is to break the boundaries of only staying within your tri-club and allow you to have variety in work-outs through affiliate clubs through their membership.  

My personal analogy:  You have miles through United but your friend has miles through American... you never want to fly together b/c of 'your miles'.  But if you buy an inexpensive second membership (i.e. CRUSH), you can now use your United miles at American with no strings attached.... if airlines were only that easy.  

Anyways... here is a blurb from their press release:

Crush Multisport, a Team RWB and MORE Than Sport partner, is launching the cities first open-affiliate Endurance Sports Social Club.  Come join and meet the 2013 Crush Elite Team, USAT Officials, Board Members, Race Directors from our Partner Events Race Points System, and Affiliate Partner Representatives from the premiere clubs around Chicago. It doesn't matter who you race for, fast or slow, come race with us!  

The launch event will be held Saturday, 3/9/2013 from 6-9pm at Mox Multisport738 W. Randolph St at Halsted St and is free to attend.   
RSVP via Facebook.  Registration for annual membership, to pre-order your race kit, or join our mailing list is currently open via the Crush website.  Racing Leon's Triathlon?  Buy a race kit and receive a free basic membership.  Team RWB Veterans receive a $25 discount off of membership. For more information, please contact

**From Crush's FB Page:  Whether you just want to have more training options, be a part of something special and fun, or your goal is to earn enough points to qualify for the 2014 Elite Team and represent Crush Multisport at the flagship event debut of the Charity World Championships, Crush Crown Point, we have something for you.

It seems like there is something for everyone at this club and who doesn't love a free tri specific event!!!  Come check it out.  I plan to be there with some girlfriends so please say hello!  I am the short asian that needs a haircut. 


What an amazing response I have gotten in the past 48 hours!  The Blog Roll is gaining momentum and I hope for it to continue.  Please keep spreading the love! Also, I took the liberty of putting some of your twitter bios next to those that tweet.  Let me know if you want to change anything.

Some feedback I have received and my thoughts:
  • To consider letting Southern Wisconsin/ NW Indiana Triathletes be added.  -->Fair enough, considering many of us travel up north to ride/race and we participate in many of the same races... we can play nice as long as they don't mention the Packers
  • People with other social media accounts that are Triathlon based should be included  --> Done! But please make sure your account is mostly triathlon/fitness focused... no accounts that mention one triathlon followed by 500 cat pictures 
  • People seem to like highlighting fellow triathletes so we will start that soon!
  • Coupon codes are good!
This site is for the reader so I hope to include everyone's ideas.  I also will clean up the blog roll page when we get twice as many people!

So speak up, let me know what you want to see... all you People that are good at exercising!

.... if you didn't get that reference, you haven't met Kenny Powers. Click HERE for the youtube clip.   If you didn't at least crack a smile, than you are beyond hardcore.