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.

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A Day in the Life

True to form, I’m a few days late to the party for this one.  This threesome of D.C. bloggers hosts a link-up every Friday with a predetermined topic.  Last Friday’s topic was “a day in the life.”  Well, I didn’t know about this until Friday afternoon, so it was a little late for me to get in on the fun, so here I am today, taking you through a typical Tuesday..

My Tuesday started this morning about 4:15 with an elbow to the ribs and a “Your dog is whining.”  A puppy bladder just can’t quite make it till the alarm clock yet.  Actually, 4:15 is the second latest she’s ever let me sleep.  It’s usually around 3:30.  So I got up, threw on a robe, and took the dogs out.  Once they are awake, there’s no going back to bed.  When we came back inside I turned the lights back out and they all laid back down, but I know from experience that when they do that if I get up to try to go back to bed they pop right up to see where I’m going.  So I just reclined in my spot on the couch, reset my alarm from 5:30 to 6:00 (after I convinced myself that I didn’t really need to wash my hair this morning.  haha), and dozed back off.  My eyes had barely closed when the alarm went off.  It’s really only thanks to the time change last weekend that I got to sleep that late.  My cat has an impeccable sense of time.  She starts demanding breakfast at 5:30 every morning, but she hasn’t caught onto the new time yet, so for now I’m getting that few extra minutes.

But at 6:00 it was up and at ’em.  Cat fed, litter box scooped, dogs fed, work clothes thrown on, teeth brushed, and face washed and painted.  C.C. supervised, as she does every morning.

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At 7:00, I grabbed my breakfast of champions and was out the door to work.

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My 18-minute drive to work is fueled by loud hard rock, complements of Sirius Octane.

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The first few minutes of my day are spent checking emails and running a few reports while sucking down very mediocre convenience store coffee.

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That’s really all I can tell you about work.  But if I had a blood pressure cuff, I would have taken a picture of that because I’m sure it would have been through the freakin’ roof within the first 5 minutes of my work day.  Yep, that place is gonna kill me.

Since I get an hour and a half for lunch and live a reasonable distance from the office, I come home for lunch every day.  Mainly to let the dogs out, but just getting out of the office for a drive mid-day is what has saved my sanity on many, MANY occasions.

It was YET ANOTHER beautiful day today, so the dogs and I just hung out in the back yard for most of the hour that I was home.  I fixed a Tofurky wrap and ate lunch on the back deck for the first time this year.

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Harley kept giving me the side eye hoping I’d drop something.

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Meanwhile, the girls were busy doing this.  I love how Bella lets the puppy take her down.  So stinking cute.

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Before I left to go back to work, I checked in on C.C. because I hadn’t seen her since I’d come home.  Yep, just as I suspected.

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Then it was back to work for a few more hours, but at 4:30…

My favorite part of the day... QUITTIN' TIME!
My favorite part of the day… QUITTIN’ TIME!

I made a quick trip into town before going home to get my tan on.

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Then it was back home and back outside to enjoy the rest of the daylight.  I took Penny out first by herself since she’s still learning the whole leash thing.  She’s really catching on to it quickly.  But she isn’t a fan of wearing a collar at all.  She keeps sitting down and scratching at it.

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After Penny, it was Bella and Harley’s turn.  There’s just something so therapeutic about walking a dog.  Until they catch wind of something and try to pull you toward it suddenly and you put all your weight on your bum hip and twist.  Then it sucks.  But for the most part, therapeutic.

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I checked the mail on my way in and YAY, the shirt I ordered through a fundraiser for Penny’s rescue came in today!  I love it.

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It was already almost 6:30 by the time we all came inside and I even started thinking about supper, so I opted for something quick and easy.  I fell back on a new favorite–chickpea based pimento “cheese” and tomato soup.  So fast, so easy, and so filling.

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After supper is when I typically take care of any house things that need done before I start my “unwind” time.  I cleaned up the kitchen, ran the vacuum in the living room (that’s an EVERY day thing with bermuda grass in the winter time), and folded a couple of loads of laundry, then finally washed up and changed into my weeknight uniform of yoga pants and t-shirt and started stretching foam rolling.  You know what’s more fun than foam rolling?  Foam rolling with a puppy.

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And with that, my day is a wrap.  I’m now just finishing up this post at a little after 10pm while snuggled under my blanket on the couch with the dogs beside me and watching Modern Family reruns.  Is my life exciting or what?!  haha

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.

A Soul Rejuvenating Weekend

Not Saturday.  Saturday blew.  It rained all damn day, something went wrong at work so I had to go in for a couple of hours, and an employee gave notice while I was there.  So I’m not talking about Saturday.  Saturday was part of the reason I needed a soul rejuvenation on Sunday!  haha

I slept later Sunday than I have in a loooooong time.  I was up about three times through the night thanks to various animals, but for once I didn’t have trouble going back to sleep.  The first thing I noticed when I woke up was the light streaming in.  Sunlight.  Sweet, glorious sunshine! We haven’t seen the sun around here much lately.  I know it’s been at least two weeks, and this ol’ girl’s mood was definitely suffering.

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I’ve never been so happy to need sunglasses in my life!

D and I lounged around the house for a while and then we each left because we had stuff to do.  First thing on my list was to TAN!  I usually start tanning around the first of February, but it’s been so cold that I just couldn’t bear the thought of taking my clothes off. haha  I stayed a whopping five minutes because I’ve gotten pasty white this winter, y’all.

My next planned stop was Walmart, but when I drove past the car wash I whipped in on impulse–along with a large percentage of the town’s population.  I had to wait forever to get a stall, but MAN it looks so much better without all that salt and winter road grime on it.

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Even Walmart was a positive experience today!  I found this in the $7.88 bluray bin!  It’s one of my favorites.  Seen it a million times.

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AND I found THIS!

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When I saw it on the shelf, I was like, “Okay, this is either gonna be REALLY good or REALLY bad.”  Thankfully it turned out to be the former.  It’s SO GOOD!  And such a change from what I’ve been drinking lately.  All fall and winter I’ve been drinking dark beers and stouts, and this was just so light and refreshing.

After I got home, I took all the dogs out for a walk.  Not at the same time.  I took Bella and Harley out first for a couple of miles.  God, it was glorious.  And we found evidence that spring is most definitely on the horizon!

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Then I took the puppy out.  We didn’t go far.  Today was more about learning how to walk on a leash for her.  It was her first leash walk!  She only got her last set of shots a week and a half ago giving her full immunity against all those nasty doggy diseases, and since then it’s been totally shitty outside, so we haven’t been able to celebrate the fact that now that she’s done with her immunizations she no longer has to be confined to our house and fenced in yard!  It was so cute seeing her experience things for the first time…walking on a leash, walking on gravel and concrete, seeing and hearing loud motorcycles and an ambulance with its siren blaring (I was afraid those things would spook her, but they didn’t!)… She was too busy taking in all the new smells and rolling in the grass.

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“You can’t see me. I’m camo’d”

After the dogs were sufficiently exercised, it was time to get my sweat on.  I tried to run a few steps while walking them, and knew within just a few seconds that it was a very bad idea, so I didn’t try again.  I just turned on Scandal and hopped on the spin bike.  It ain’t running, but hey, it burns calories.

I know it doesn’t sound like anything exciting on paper, and when I say it’s the best day I’ve had in a long time, it really makes me realize how pathetic my life is!  haha  But ya know what?  Nothing bad happened and I didn’t get pissed off about anything even once, so from where I’m sitting, that’s a GOOD DAY!

Life Beyond Running

Even though all I’ve talked about for the past month around here is my hip and not running, there has been plenty of other stuff going on too, so let’s catch up over Saturday morning coffee, shall we?

  • We still have our foster, Penny.  I can’t believe she hasn’t been adopted yet.  She’s about 15 weeks old now.  It’s so fun to watch her learn and watch her little personality develop.  The bully breeds will always be my favorite and I will most likely not ever adopt anything else for my own, but I love this little coonhound baby to pieces.  I mean, really.  How can you NOT love a dog that steps on its own ears?

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  • We’ve had a very atypical winter here in Tennessee.  Since the middle of February, we’ve had three winter storms come through–two the week before the Mercedes Half and one the first week of March.  The first ones were MISERABLE.  They were more sleet and ice than snow, and since it didn’t get above freezing for nearly two weeks, it hung around FOREVER.  There was still stuff on the ground in shady places when the next one came through on March 5th, eighteen days after the first one.  But this last one was more fun since it was mostly just snow!  Look how pretty!

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  • We have booked a couple of pretty exciting trips!  Between now and Memorial Day, we’ll be going to Colorado Springs and New York City, each for a week.  I don’t know which one I’m more excited about.  They’re on totally opposite ends of the spectrum, so we’ll get a wide variety of activities in this spring!  I’ve been doing some reading and planning for both places, but if you’ve ever been to either and have any recommendations, please share them!!!

nyc

cos

  • I kind of have a new obsession lately:  Scandal.  I don’t watch a lot of TV really.  There’s maybe 5 shows that I DVR and watch every episode of.  I usually just hear about them and then watch all nine seasons in three days on Netflix years later.  haha  My most recent discovery is Scandal.  I’ve had several people tell me I needed to watch it.  I did and I’m hooked.  I’m almost done with the second season.

KERRY WASHINGTON

Do you have any fun getaways planned for this spring or summer?

What are you obsessively watching right now?

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.

Food For Thought XII

Things have been pretty repetitive in the ol’ kitchen lately.  I’ve been on a “clean out the pantry” kick, so there’s been a lot of repeats and unexciting meals being thrown together.  But there have been a few new and exciting things definitely worth sharing.

We went to a small party on Superbowl Sunday last month.  I knew in advance there would be a couple of plant-based-friendly options, but I made and brought a couple more.  The meatballs were just Trader Joe’s meatballs that I threw into a crock pot with grape jelly and barbecue sauce.  They were good, but y’all, these cauliflower wings from Sexy Vegan were CRAZY good!  I will be making these for any and every tailgating/finger food event I ever attend ever again forever.  Yes, forever.

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I had also flagged this recipe for LA-Style Chimichurri Tacos in my Chloe’s Kitchen cookbook when I first got it for Christmas and made it recently too.  I guess the way I assembled it I can’t really call it a taco, but whatever.  It was still freaking delicious, so let’s roll with it.  (After I snapped this pic, I rolled it up like a burrito.)

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Bianca at The Friendly Fig totally showed out on this Crockpot Ginger & Cauliflower Curry recipe.  This was perfection.  Chop some stuff up and throw it in a pot?  Yep, I’m a fan already.  It was absolutely delicious.  But I atleast quadrupled the curry in it because I’m super adventurous like that.

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And finally, I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon this recipe for Black Bean and Cilantro Lime Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, but I’m damn glad I did!  I froze half of the stuffing when I first made these, and I’ve got the other half thawing out for tonight.  Good stuff, I say… good stuff.

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Have you tried any good new-to-you recipes lately?  Share!

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!!!