Weekend Recap, an Injury Update (x 2), and a Plan!!!

And let me just say…what a FABULOUS weekend it was!  It flew by, of course, but, hey, what else is new?  It didn’t start off all that awesome since I had to work Saturday morning, but FOR ONCE the weather cooperated.  It was cloudy and misty and just generally shitty out until right at closing time at 11:00 (we’re only open half-days on Saturdays).  With the click of the lock, the skies cleared and the sun came out in all its glory, and this ol’ girl couldn’t get home and get outside fast enough.  I had an itch that only an outdoors run was going to scratch.  It’s been miserably hot this week–like oppressively, unbearably hot–so I had been avoiding the outdoors every chance I got.  But when the sun came out Saturday, it was a cool 80 degrees with humidity only in the 60% range–a regular old cold front.  I usually prefer it to be cloudy and much, much cooler for a run, but my mood had been in the shitter this week, and the sunshine was just what my soul needed.

Running the country roads.  Just me and the soybeans.
Running the country roads. Just me and the soybeans.

After I finished, I went back in, leashed up the pups and headed back out for a walk with them.  They were hankering for a nice long walk, too.  They don’t like being outside any more than I do when the heat index is 105+, so they were suffering from a pretty severe case of cabin fever.  Judging from Bella’s expression, I’d say they rather enjoyed themselves.

"I'm so happy.  But I'm so tired.  But I'm so happy.  And tired."
“I’m so happy. But I’m so tired. But I’m so happy. And tired.”

D and I had ourselves a little date night Saturday night.  Some people tell me when you don’t have kids EVERY night is date night, but whatever.  Maybe.  Maybe I should be more specific and say we took showers and put on non-flannel, non-tech gear, non-pajama clothes and left the house.  For months, I’ve been counting down the days for Ted 2 to open, so we went to see that.  The show didn’t start till 9:50(!!!  What are we, 18?!), so we went to Jasmine, my favorite (read: the only) local Thai joint to eat and hang out a while.  I was in hog heaven with my vegetarian sushi roll and the Cards/Cubs game on in the bar.  I briefly considered having a drink or five while killing time but then I thought better of it because HELLO!  9:50!!!  I’m usually holding down my side of the bed (read: the middle) by 9:50.  So I stuck to water and somehow managed to stay awake through the entire thing.  It was really funny.  Not as funny as the first one, but still pretty damn funny.  And then I fell asleep on the 30-minute drive home.  I party so hard.

Sunday morning I was awakened by snoring, and just before I kicked D I realized it was coming from the foot of the bed.

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He has just started doing this.  He’s totally called my “no dogs on the bed” bluff.

I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and started the coffee and just enjoyed the quiet morning.  I read, I caught up on some blogs, partook in a little online retail therapy… all while intentionally staying far, far away from the land of Facebook.  Social media largely contributed to my rotten mood the last few days.

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This is really funny, but in all seriousness… ENOUGH ALREADY!

Part of that little online shopping trip included planning a weekend getaway for me and D!  One of our favorite comedians, Jim Jefferies, will be in Atlanta in September, soooo….

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HELLS YEAH!

Once those tickets were procured, I thought to myself, “Hmmmmm……..I wonder if there would happen to be any races nearby that weekend.”  A quick little click to halfmarathons.net  told me that INDEED THERE IS!  The Tortoise and the Hare Half Marathon is in Canton, just outside of Atlanta, that same morning!

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I love the description of the race.  It sounds so fun!  And the scenery!   It’ll be my first trail half, my first race back after my hip/leg injury, and state #9!  I’m just downright giddy over the whole trip. D was skeptical when I told him I’d found a half just a little over two months away, but like I told him, I’m not out to prove anything.  I will wear my Tortoise title proudly that day.  I’m no stranger to running half-marathons half-assed trained.  What’s once more?!

With the excitement of planning that trip fresh on my brain (and the caffeine from my homemade iced coffees fresh in my veins), I threw on some clothes and headed out the front door for a run equally as glorious as yesterday’s.  After finishing that I did a little yard and house cleaning, laid out for a while, then dragged out the dogs’ pool.  Seriously, nothing makes me happier than seeing my furry kids happy.

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7-21-2013 - Harley shaking off

I wrapped up my day with an awesome shopping trip to Kroger ($0.99 organic kale and $0.50 organic red grapefruit–score!) and a terrible movie.  The Boy Next Door–UGH.  I had a feeling it would be horrible, and it exceeded my expectations.  I only got it because everything I wanted to see was gone from the Redbox at Kroger and I had a code for a free rental, so I took a chance on it.

Now just a little bit of an injury update…When I last posted I was miserable with some sort of issue with my abs a week after a killer core workout during CrossFit.  Now, three days later, things have gotten SO much better!  But not before they got worse.  The swelling peaked the next day but then has gradually been going down.  I’m almost back to normal now as far as the swelling goes.  They’re still awfully weak though.  I went from being able to hold almost a 3-minute plank a couple of weeks ago to not even being able to support myself to do a single pushup when I tried today.  I jacked something up real good, but whatever it was seems to be on the mend, so I’m holding off on calling in any professionals.  And as for the more chronic issue, I think it’s finally safe to say that the iliopsoas injury is behind me.  HALLELUJAH!!!   I’m continuing to do the things my physical therapist taught me, and I’ll go back to see her at the first twinge or hint of recurrence to stay on top of things, but for now, ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO, BITCHES!!!!

Join the Weekend Update link-up here!

Mah Belleh

Something is not right with my belly, y’all.  I went to CrossFit last week and positively shredded my abs.  I was soooo sore afterwards.  Not like just “hard workout” sore.  I mean I was damn near debilitated for three days.  It hurt to BREATHE.  And God forbid I had to cough or sneeze.  The pain began subsiding over the weekend, but that’s when the swelling started.  My flat, toned stomach (admittedly my favorite part of me!) is soft, smooshy, and jiggly.  I feel like Fat Bastard.

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What the hell did I do???  Obviously the jiggly part is water retention because you don’t just gain 3 pounds of fat in a couple of days.  Now here I am eight days after the initial workout and most of the soreness is gone (most, not all–I still can’t do anything that uses them) but I’m still just as swollen as I was on Monday.  I talked to my oldest friend, who is a weightlifter, and he said it was the same thing as straining an ankle–that swells and retains fluid too till it’s healed.  I ran this all by my BFF (WHO WILL BE HERE IN A WEEK, BTW!!!!!!) who is a nurse at a sports ortho clinic, and she suggested I call my doctor.  I love her and value her opinion to no end, but I’m kind of sick of doctors at this point after all my hip bullshit.  And I’d kinda feel like a moron if he was like, “You’ve strained your abs, Dumbass.”  So no gym for me for a little while.  I can still run, THANK GOD.  I’d hate to lose that again just as I’m getting it back!  I think the wait-and-see approach sounds like the best bet for now.

Have you ever done anything this stupid?  And painful?  And painfully stupid?  Ever injured your abs?

Thinking Out Loud: The Summer Time Warp and Playing Catch-Up

How is it that in the summer the days get simultaneously longer and shorter?  In the winter, I’m usually in bed by 9.  In the summer, I’m lucky to be eating dinner by 9.  There’s just always so much more to do and so much more fun to be had in the summer!  Take yesterday, for example.  I worked till 4:30, went for a short run (short because HELLO SUMMER with your stupid feels-like 96 degrees) went to the 5:30 CrossFit class, came home and walked the dogs, took a shower, fixed a quick dinner, and sat down to eat at 8:40.  Who has time for blogging when every day is like that?!  It’s so much easier to throw a quick post on Instagram or Facebook.  I’m only able to spare a few minutes today because I took a vacation day.  Anyway, I’m using the Thursday Thinking Out Loud trend to catch up on the things I haven’t had time to blog about, so this is gonna be all over the place.

  • I’ve started doing CrossFit again.  I’ve been twice.  Last night was the first time I’ve ever thrown in the towel and “no-scored” a workout.  I went for a run before class, and during class I could NOT get my heart rate to drop below an explosive level.  I’ve never felt like that before.  I don’t know exactly what was going on, but my heart rate was sky high, my hearing was muffled, and I got a sudden pounding headache in my forehead.  It honestly kind of scared me a bit, so I stopped in the third of four rounds.  It wasn’t even a super hard WOD.  Four rounds of 15 kettlebell swings/15 burpees,/15 GHD situps.  I’ve done much harder, so I dunno.  I’m sure dehydration played at least a small part of it.

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  • Things are really going well at our business.  We’ve hired someone full-time to run the front office and clean the building and stuff.  Taking some of that busy work off D has saved him so much time and lets him spend more time on the things that make money and grow the business.  Insurance jobs are slow right now (not a point of concern–that’s an industry standard for this time of year), so he’s spending that time on his project cars instead.  He just finished this one up!  Isn’t she beautiful???  She’ll be for sale as soon as we get the title work back from the state, so hit me up.  haha  But till then I’m enjoying the shit out of driving it.  I had one of my own a few years ago, and this makes me miss it!
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BEFORE
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AFTER
  • The dogs are enjoying keeping cool this summer.

  • I sincerely hope I’m not jinxing myself by saying this, but the healing of the running injury is coming along nicely since changing physical therapists.  I’m kind of pissed about all the time and money I lost with the other place, but I’m trying to just focus on the now and be glad that I’m finally getting better.  Still the most I’ve run is 3.5 miles, but I’m hindered now only by loss of fitness and the heat, not by pain.  It’s damn hard, y’all, to start from scratch and build any kind of base in a Tennessee summer.
  • We’ve been in our house for eight years, and I guess eight years is kind of the time when everything starts to go to shit.  Sheetrock nails are coming out of the ceiling, walls need sheetrock repair and repainted, carpet needs replaced, boards on our deck are warping and coming up, and our air conditioning unit just had to have a pretty costly repair.  One thing at a time… The deck is at the top of my priority list because that’s kind of my summer oasis!

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I have several potted plants on my deck, but my Gerber daisies are gorgeous this year! And my hibiscus has buds all over it that are about to explode!
  • I’m super excited because the bestie Michele is coming in from Virginia in two weeks!  I’ve reserved her for a day.  haha  Two weeks from today we have a bestie date planned.  Gym, mani-pedis, drinks by the pool, YES!

Is summer keeping you hopping this year?  

Three Things Thursday – The Return to Running Edition

Yes, I’m still alive.  I didn’t get lost or abducted in NYC.  I’m alive and well but just sooooooooo behiiiiiiiiiind!!!!!!!  I’ve got a full post about NYC coming as soon as I can find a few spare minutes to sit down and get it done.  So in the meantime–BULLETS!  Just so you don’t forget I’m here.

  • As the title suggested, I’m FIIIIIINALLY on the road to recovery.  It’s still very, very short runs for now, but I’m slowly adding mileage back in, a quarter-mile at a time.  One of the highlights of my NYC trip was a 3-mile pain-free in Central Park!

5-14-2015 - Pam after comeback run in Central Park

  • I’ve been carrying around a $50 gift card to Dick’s ever since Christmas, but when a girl ain’t running, a sporting goods store is a pretty depressing place to be.  haha  I took care of that last weekend.

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  • And what makes a comeback more official than a race registration?!?!?!

st jude

Weekend Recap + An Injury Update

TL;DR version:  Foster puppy adopted.  Ran two miles.  Hip/leg still hurts but not as bad.  Not ready to commit self to psych ward just yet.

As I briefly mentioned last week, my little foster pup Penny was adopted.  After having her for three months, she finally had a wonderful adoption application.  (Many, many thanks to Kara for that!)  Friday morning started off bright and early for Penny and I as her adopter lives clear on the other end of Tennessee–a 6-hour drive from here.

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Snoozing in the passenger’s seat just a few minutes from our destination, clueless that her life was about to change forever!

The family that she went to has another hound that they had rescued just a few months ago, two rescue cats, and three kiddos (the oldest is four!), so lonely is something this little girl will never be!  Of course I teared up when I left (and then ugly cried in the truck lol I’ve become so attached to this one), but seeing how happy she is in the pictures her new mom has posted to FB and texted me, I know she is right where she is supposed to be!

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Once I cleared away the snot and tears, I realized how famished I was.  It was after 4pm and I hadn’t had anything but a Larabar all day.  I used the Happy Cow app to find a veg-friendly place.  The closest one was a place called Cootie Brown’s.  The name cracked me up, and it was 2 miles away, so I drove straight there and had a delicious grilled veggie sandwich.

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I also used my dining-alone time to find a hotel.  I had told the rescue and the adopters that I would spend the night just in case anything went wrong and Penny needed to come back with me–plus I have a friend in Bristol that I haven’t seen in years, so that was a HUGE bonus and incentive to stay the night!  But I was on my own for that evening because Rebecca couldn’t meet me till the next day.  I had noticed road signs on my drive there that said “Asheville” so I knew I was only about an hour away.  I have always wanted to see the Biltmore Estates, so I came VERY close to driving on to Asheville to get a hotel so I could get up and go tour the Estates the next morning, but I ended up talking myself out of it.  It was supposed to rain the next morning, and the web site said that one should allow 6-8 hours to tour the entire grounds.  I was supposed to meet Beck at noon, so I nixed those plans (which turned out to be a good thing because it rained its ASS off the next morning).

The most reasonable hotel I found was a Red Roof Inn just a couple of miles from where I was sitting eating my dinner.  It was only $60 but it had mixed reviews.  I figured I’d give it a drive-by and check it out before I booked.  The grounds and lobby were super well-kept and the front desk dude was super polite (and spoke English!) so I took it.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the room!  And I didn’t know that Red Roof Inns were pet friendly, so I’ll definitely keep them in mind from now on when I need to travel with pups in tow.

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Small but squeaky clean with a comfortable bed and pillows.  For $60.  Can’t beat that.  And the location was great.  It was within walking distance to a little strip mall with a Target, Books A Million, Pier 1, and TJ Maxx.  A little retail therapy was just what the doctor ordered after my emotional day.  haha

I came back to the room, called the hubs, turned on the tube, and was out like a light before 9:00.  I slept longer and harder than I can remember sleeping in a looooong time.  Funny how you can do that when you don’t have a snoring/tossing/turning husband sharing your space or a cat pawing at your head or demanding breakfast.  I slept until 6:30 and only woke up then because I was having a horrible dream about one of my dogs.  Leftover feels from the previous day, I’m sure.  I lounged around for a little while then got up and headed to my friendly neighborhood Starbucks.

Helllooooo cinnamon chai soy latte!
Helllooooo cinnamon chai soy latte!

As fate would have it, the Starbucks was directly across the street from a mall, so wiih still a couple of hours to kill before meeting Beck I headed to the mall for a little continued retail therapy.  The universe must have known I needed to do a little shopping before our NYC trip coming up!  I came away from the whole trip with three super cute outfits, a cardigan that I can wear over two of them if it’s cool, and a pair of sandals on the cheap.

I totally ate my words and bought a shorts romper suit.  It's acceptable for 35-year-olds to shop at Forever 21, yes?
I totally ate my words and bought a shorts romper suit. It’s acceptable for 35-year-olds to shop at Forever 21, yes?

Then it was time to meet Beck!  And like a terrible blogger, we didn’t take a single picture.  But we enjoyed a fabulous couple of hours over a delicious meal and fell right back into place where we left off the last time we saw each other about 12 years ago.  Yes, we’ve sort of kept in touch through FB, but there’s just nothing like face-to-face girl time.  We ended our visit with hugs and promises not to let it be another decade before we see each other, and I began the long drove home.

Sunday… I have no idea where Sunday went.  It started out normal.  I got up, made my coffee, and had some breakfast before 8.  I sat around and caught up on blogs, paid bills, etc., till D left to go to work sometime around 9:30ish.  Then I decided I wanted to start “unfucking my habitat.”  haha  I started with my closet.  Somehow it was around 10 when I went into my closet and much, much later when I came out, but the whole “unfucking” deserves its own post.

I grabbed Bella and Harley and took them to the park for a walk…which took forever.  There were SO. MANY. SMELLS.  haha

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Then when we got home I decided it was time to try out my leg.  It’s been almost a month since I’ve tried to run, at which time I was able to run 800 x 3 with walking and stretching in between, and by the end of the last one I was limping.  Since then I’ve had fairly marked improvement (although still not as much as I or my orthopedist would like).  I’ve changed physical therapists at his recommendation, to see what someone else can offer.  My pain level without anti-inflammatories is now where it was with them just a few weeks ago, but OMG can I just get healed already?!?!  It’s been over two months!!!  Anyway, I set out at a very slow pace with no plans other than stopping when it hurt too badly.  I was actually fairly pleased.  I ran one mile, walked a quarter-mile, stretched, ran another mile, and walked the quarter-mile home.  It was hard to get started again at the start of that second mile, but then it loosened up a bit and I was able to continue.  It was very uncomfortable by the end, but not anywhere near the level of pain I had at the end of my last attempted run.  I stretched and rolled the ever-loving shit out of it, but as I went about my evening I felt it getting more painful.  I popped my first anti-inflammatory in several days, and as I sit here now, the pain is almost back to where it was pre-run.  So although the improvement is not coming as swiftly as I’d like it to come… it’s coming.  Thank God.  Just in time, too.  I’ve been inching closer and closer toward a dark place with every day I don’t run.  Today, even though it wasn’t pain-free, I felt more like myself than I have in quite some time.

Baby steps.

I RAN!

Don’t get excited.  It was only for one mile.  And it didn’t end well.

Saturday I woke up with the least amount of discomfort I’ve had in my hip since before my last race on February 22, so I thought maybe… just MAYBE… things had improved.  Just to be on the safe side, though, I didn’t want to bust out with a 3-, 4-, or 5-mile run, so I set the treadmill to a very slow pace and jogged for a mile.  I did have some discomfort during the run, but I wouldn’t call it pain, really.  When I finished, I stretched and foam-rolled for longer than it took me to run the mile.  And I felt okay!  Until I didn’t.

After a few hours everything was right back to where it was a couple of weeks ago.  *insert frustrated tears here*

I didn’t take any anti-inflammatories Sunday because I knew I had my first PT appointment today and I didn’t want to mask anything.  The Duexis really does a good job of dulling the pain, and I wanted her to get a clear picture of what hurt during her exam.

She did all the same “does this hurt?” stuff the chiropractor, the M.D., and the orthopedist did, and my answers were exactly the same for her as they have been for everyone else.  She really feels like I’m on the right track but offered a couple of other suggestions.  She told me to stretch (already doing it) and foam-roll (already doing that) and alternate ice and heat.  I’ve used one or the other at various stages of the injury, but I haven’t tried alternating.  She also recommended deep-tissue ultrasound therapy, which we started today.  I can’t tell a difference after the one treatment, but I wouldn’t expect to.  And her final recommendation… ACUPUNCTURE!  This both excites and intimidates me a little bit.  I haaaaaaaaaaaate needles, remember?  But everyone says you can’t really feel the needles, so maybe it won’t be so bad as long as I don’t look at them.  I have always been fascinated by the concept behind acupuncture, and honest to God, I’m willing to try just about anything at this point, so why the hell not?  Let’s do this shit.

After talking with the therapist, I feel like her optimism kind of rubbed off.  I’m feeling a little more hopeful now than I have in a while.  DEFINITELY better than I felt Saturday night.  I was seriously contemplating taking down my medal rack and hanging a picture in its place Saturday.

I’ve been thinking about something someone once said to me a lot lately.  It was back several years ago when I was having IT band problems that I was afraid were going to stop me from reaching the start line of my first marathon that I was training for at the time.  I thought was very assholish at the time.  But now those words are giving me comfort (which was probably the guy’s intended sentiment anyway).  “Worse things have happened to better athletes.”  Damnit, he was right.  If Olympians can come back from broken bones and multiple stress fractures and torn important parts, then surely to shit I can calm down a bitchy hip and get back to my comfortable level of mediocrity.

And the Verdict Is…

I’m normal.

My MRI showed a perfectly normal healthy hip.

There is no tear.  There is no fracture.  There is no impingement.  There is no arthritis.  There is no dysplasia.  And that’s all good news.  I guess.  Except if nothing is broken, how the hell do you fix it?

I start physical therapy next Monday.  He prescribed three times a week for four weeks, so we’ll see where that gets me.

*SIGH*

22 days and counting.

MR Arthrogram: It’s not as much fun as it sounds.

I went to the hospital yesterday for my MRI with arthrogram for my bitchy hip.  I’ve had an MRI before, several years ago on my knee, so I didn’t bat an eye when my sports ortho told me last week that he wanted me to get one.  But when he explained what the “arthrogram” part was, I got a little queasy.  That was last Monday, so I had a solid week and a half to google horror stories and worry about the procedure.  By the time I left the house to drive to the hospital yesterday, it was taking all I had to stave off a full-blown panic attack.  To say that I don’t like needles is WILDLY understated.  Unfortunately for me, needles play a large part of an arthrogram.

Here’s how my day went down…

The appointment was at 1:00, but I was told to come to outpatient admissions at 12:30.  That part was a breeze.  I filled out my paperwork and was in the office with the admissions specialist by 12:35.  After she finished doing her thing with my insurance and taking my co-pay and stuff, she sent me back out to the waiting room.  About 1:30, they called my name, but only to move me to waiting room #2 in the imaging area, where I camped out until right at 2:00.  I was already getting miffed.  But then I met my BFFTD (best friend for the day)–the nurse or radiologist or x-ray tech or whatever she was.  I don’t even remember her name, but she catered to my phobia like a freaking champ.  She’s the one that got me on the table and sterilized and prepped for the procedure.  We talked about our dogs, her cruise last week, our crazy work schedules (and the fact that neither of our jobs will let us hide tequila under our desks!  haha)… anything we could talk about to try to keep my mind off of what was about to happen.  Then the doctor came in.  He tried to tell me again what the procedure was, but I was like, “I’m good, I don’t need to hear it again, let’s get this shit over with!”

So how the arthrogram works is that they lay you on a table and pull an x-ray machine thingie directly over you parallel to the table you’re laying on.  The image displays on a screen so that the doctor can see exactly where his needle and the dye are going.  The first thing they do is give you a series of lidocaine shots, each one deeper than the last.  As part of their whole “appease the chickenshit needle-phobic crybaby” act, they were just like, “Okay, now this part is gonna sting like a bee.”  Well the first one did, just like any other shot.  Then he went deeper and it hurt more.  And then even deeper and it hurt even more.  And by the fourth or fifth one, I was coming up off the table.  My BFFTD was yelling “STINGS LIKE A BEE!  STINGS LIKE A BEE!” between her laughs.  I just remember yelling, “THAT IS ONE BAD-ASS BEE!!!!” and both of them laughing.  Then the doctor told me that part was over and that I’d survived the worst of it.  The next part, while DEFINITELY not enjoyable, wasn’t quite as bad.  When he inserted the needle into the joint, I was definitely aware of it although the pain wasn’t as sharp or as intense as the original numbing shots.  The whole time he was prodding around in there (I remember him saying something abut needing to reposition, to which I quickly responded telling him to stop narrating because I didn’t need to know that) I felt a very strong pressure sensation as the contrast fluid was entering the joint.  It was definitely uncomfortable, but not nearly as excruciating as the first series of shots (although I can’t imagine being as hard core as some people and opting not to get the lidocaine and just letting them go straight into the joint capsule with the dye with no numbness!)  That part, even with him having to pull out and reposition (hahahahahaha) only lasted a couple of minutes  Afterward, everything ached and felt swollen from my butt cheek down to my mid thigh.  It took me a while to get up because every time I tried I started to pass out.  BFFTD went to get me a Coke and that helped tremendously.  I was burning up and had fierce cotton mouth, so that sweet, cold, carcinogenic beverage was just what I needed.  haha  And then I got up and followed her down the hall to waiting room #3.

Waiting room #3 was specifically for the MRI department.  I had to wait there for another half-hour or so.  By that time, my phone was dead from all the Facebook surfing and blog reading I’d done in waiting rooms 1 and 2, so I was forced to watch The View (*GAG*).  When they finally came to get me to start the MRI, I was so relieved to be starting the last part of my day–at 3:45.  The actual MRI only took about 25 minutes, and I slept through most of it.  If you’ve ever had an MRI, you now how much racket the machine makes, so that tells you how exhausted I was.  What can I say?  Trauma makes me sleepy.

The orthopedist’s PA told me that I’d want to get someone to drive me to this appointment because I’d be incredibly stiff and sore from the dye injection, but I didn’t have anyone to drive me, so I was kind of in a hurry to get on the road before the numbness from the lidocaine wore off.  But not in too big of a hurry to not stop at Starbucks for my I-let-a-doctor-jab-a-railroad-spike-into-my-hip-and-I-didn’t-even-throat-punch-him reward.  About halfway home I could feel that aching and tightness setting in.  I had to start operating the brake and gas pedals with my left foot because lifting my right foot caused a sharp pain in my hip.  (Of significance, most of my pain from the onset of this injury has been in the front of my hip in the hip flexor area, and that was the exact point of entry for all those injections I’d just endured).  It got stiffer and more painful as the night went on and when I got up this morning I could barely walk.  I stayed home from work this morning and went in after lunch  It was rough at first, but the more I moved around the more it loosened up.  It no longer aches when just being still.  Now it just hurts to move it or walk, which is improvement.

I was hoping to have some cool MRI images to show you because I was supposed to bring the disc home with me to take back to the orthopedist on Monday when I meet back up with him for the results.  But the disc burner in MRI department wasn’t working, so they couldn’t send a disc home with me.  Rather, I have to swing back by the hospital Monday morning before my appointment to pick it up.

I never thought that I would miss running SO MUCH that I would willingly put myself through this shit.  You know, I’ve always been hesitant to refer to myself as a runner… because I don’t run enough or I’m not fast enough or whatever…but I think this injury has proved otherwise.  I AM a runner.  To the core.

At least I’m consistent.

Since I’m sidelined right now and can’t run, that gives me lots of time to THINK about running.  On February 22nd, I ran my 15th half marathon.  You’d think I’d be getting pretty good at it by now, right?  Well you’d be wrong.  haha  Let’s review, shall we?  I’ll leave out the handful that were outliers due to being run just for fun or in terrible conditions.

November 2009, my very first one, after only four months of running – 2:42:33
April 2010 – 2:29:15
October 2010 – 2:21:15
April 2011 – 2:15:28

So far, so good, right?

March 2012 – 2:14:21
March 2012 – 2:13:20
October 2012 – 2:07:24 (PR)

Yep.  Nailing it.  Consistent improvement.

And then…

March 2014 – 2:14:18
October 2014 – 2:21:35  (I knew I wasn’t in shape to be racing this one though)
December 2014 – 2:17:29
January 2015 – 2:13:19
February 2015 – 2:14:41

We won’t even count those first two because that was when I was really still new to this whole running thing.  But look at that.  2:13 – 2:17 is apparently my happy place.  So I guess that saying is true.  You know, the one about, “if you train like you’ve always trained, you’ll perform like you’ve always performed,” or some shit like that.  I obviously need to do something different because what I’m doing now isn’t making me any faster.  I really shouldn’t be surprised.  My training plan basically consists of “run fast sometimes, run slow sometimes, run for a long time sometimes.”  When I really stop to think about it, my races really do reflect my training.  At two of my last three half-marathons, I’ve bonked right around the 7-mile mark.  Well guess what.  My “fast” runs are usually at that pace and are always around 5 or 6 miles.  Seems like a no-brainer now that I realize what I’m doing.  If I’m not accustomed to ever running any faster than that, and never for more than 6 miles, OF COURSE I can’t carry it for 7 more miles.  But I know I can’t run 10-mile race-pace training runs either, so… I guess I really need to do some studying on where to go from here.  Obviously I need to run my fast runs faster, but what else?

*SIGH*

I’m probably wasting my time, or at the very least getting way ahead of myself, even thinking about all this.  I haven’t run a step since 2/22 and I can’t see myself starting up again any time soon.  But I can tell you that when I do, things are going to be different.  I don’t know exactly how yet.  I may even enlist the help of a coach if I can find one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg after I get a solid base built back up.  Like I said, I know I’m way ahead of myself, but a jacked up hip can’t stop a girl from dreaming.

Injured Runner’s Log: Day 13

It’s funny how when a pain or injury is still relatively new that you can have brief periods where you forget about it.  That happened to me this morning.  It’s my first Saturday off in quite a while.  When the noise of a dog stirring woke me up this morning, I opened my eyes and the first thing I saw was sunshine.  For just a split second I thought, “Beautiful day for a run!”  And then I remembered.  I won’t be running today, just like I haven’t run the last 12 days.

The steroid taper that my M.D. gave me was completely useless.  I may as well have taken Tic Tacs.  They afforded me no relief whatsoever.  I didn’t even have any of the side effects that everyone told me would come with steroids either though, so I thought it wasn’t a high enough dose.  So on day 4 of the 6-day taper, I called my M.D. back and asked him for a stronger one or something different, and of course the money-hungry bastard said not without seeing him again.  Fuck that.  I told him thanks but no thanks.  If I was going to have to go back to see someone, i was taking it to the next step.  I called the sports orthopedist that I saw back in 2010 when I had such severe IT band and associated knee issues.  As luck would have it, when I called at 10:30 last Monday morning, they had just had a cancellation for a 4:15 appointment that afternoon.  I snatched it up and made arrangements to leave work early enough to make the almost-two-hour drive from my office to the sports clinic.

The first thing they did was take x-rays before I even saw the PA or the doc.  Almost as soon as I stood up from the x-ray table, I met the PA and he began the history and physical.  He put me through a VERY thorough exam.  There was a whole lot of “Do this.  Does that hurt?  What about when I do this?  Now you do it.  Does that hurt?  What can you do that does make it hurt?”  Again he agreed that it was soft tissue.  Shortly afterward, the main dude, Dr. Nord, came in after looking at my x-rays.  He did some of the same things his PA had already done.  Another vote for soft tissue.  The only thing the x-ray showed was some calcification on the labrum.  So that means that it has been torn at some point.  Is it still torn?  Is the calcification what’s causing my pain now?  Is there something else?  To get answers to these questions, I’m scheduled for an MRA with contrast on Wednesday afternoon with a follow-up appointment with Dr. Nord for the results the next Monday.

In the meantime, I’m continuing with the anti-inflammatories.  He gave me one called Duexis, which is basically just 800 mg of ibuprofen but with a built-in tummy protector.  It’s good for a band-aid.  It gets me through my day relatively pain free.  As long as I don’t try to run, that is.  That still hurts to even try even when my resting pain level is at its lowest.  My spin bike and I have spent a lot of quality time together.  Shit, I even went to a yoga class this morning.  (More on that later.  Spoiler:  I was not impressed.)

So for now, I’ll just keep doing what I can to preserve some level of fitness and not get fat, (Also funny is how your relationship with food changes when you know you can’t burn off the calories.  haha), but I can feel my positive attitude slipping away.  I’ve been telling myself, “This is just temporary… you’ll be back at it in no time…”  But I’m having more and more trouble selling that to myself now.  I’ve pretty much convinced myself (and I’ve had some help) that this is something that’s gonna take a long time to make right.  So if any of you have any positive healing vibes to spare, please send them my way!!!