Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Salty Running

You may be wondering where I've been the last few days after a flurry of posts earlier this month. I was warming up my writing chops for that secret project I've been telling you about. I'm finally ready to share it with you.

Behold: Salty Running.

It's my blog-site dedicated to all things competitive women's running. It's something I've had in mind for three years now and I am so excited to finally have it up and running.  Up until now I have not publicized it all other than to share it with a few friend.  At this stage, I am looking for feedback before I do a hard-launch sometime later in the spring.

So please take a look and let me know what you think. Don't be afraid to be honest! I need to know both the good and bad to make it the best it can be.

Thanks so much!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Dentist

We pulled into the pediatric dentist's parking lot. Peanut was whimpering, "I don't want to go anywhere!" He was crying and on the verge of full on stage 5 meltdown.

"Peanut," I said, "I know you're scared. I am also scared of going to the dentist. I know how scary it seems. But when I go to the dentist and I'm scared I think about how proud I will be of myself when I am done. I go in and let the dentist look at my teeth (and stick me with gigundous needles and power drills--I did not include this part) and then when I am done I call daddy and he's proud of me too. So let's go in to see Dr. Fred and let him look at your teeth. And when you're done I will tell you how proud I am of you and you can tell daddy and your blankie how great you did."

He stopped crying and I saw the beginnings of a smile. "There are trucks to play with in there, right Mommy?"

"Yes, honey. Are you ready to go now."

"Otay," he said just a tiny bit hesitatingly.

I unpacked the kids and in we went. Peanut got out the trucks and played. Then we were called in. I had peanut go first--I figured he didn't need any more time to flip out! He was a ball of tension, but not freaking out. I held him on my lap and then we leaned him back so his head was on the dentist's lap. Now he was crying, but he was following all directions and not fighting it! And then magically after a couple of minutes he seemed to realize it wasn't so bad and stopped crying with his little mouth wide open and Dr. Fred poking him with his instrument.

When the exam was over peanut looked at me and said, "I did it!" His cheeks were so round and rosy with pride. Then it was #2's turn and as she was whimpering during her exam peanut reassured her, "it's ok, babe! You can do it!" And then when we got home I heard him talking to his blankie as I took #2's coat and boots off, "I did it, Blankie!" And peanut responded to himself in the voice of blankie, "I'm so proud of you, Peanut!"

On Friday I have that ol' orthopedist appointment. I am scared. Not so much about the appointment itself, but what the doctor will find and even worse what he will say I need to do to get better. I am trying to be brave.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I made a decision and it's a good one. I am going to cancel my appointments for any kind of treatment and wait until I have a definitive diagnosis. If we're dealing with hard tissue like my spine (ICK! Just thinking about my spine being injured gives me the heeby-jeebies!), I want to know what exactly is wrong and make an educated decision about a course of treatment. I love Dr. TK, but I am not sure chiropractics are the right treatment method for me once we're out of the soft-tissue arena. Since the crazy spine treatment thing I had on Thursday, my leg feels a lot better but my back feels more screwed up than ever.

In other news, I made the terrible mistake of googling herniated disc treatments and did not like what I found. Spinal surgery or MONTHS of physical therapy and rest from running. Basically everything I found indicated I won't be training for a while. While I'm eager to know what is going on so I can make the necessary mental adjustments to cope, I don't want to start freaking out until I know exactly what I'm dealing with. I don't even know if it's my spine or something else. After weeks of thinking I was simply dealing with this or that soft-tissue injury I am not assuming I have anything until I get an mri or an x-ray. At the same time I'm speculating on my possible near future working on the other two triathlon disciplines. Anyone have a trainer they want to lend me?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Saga Continues

So I had this week's appointment with Dr. TK today. I wasn't sure what to expect. Since I started running again, if I'm being perfectly honest, I've felt like nothing had changed. It took a little longer before my leg hurt, but it hurt just as bad as ever by the end of my runs. Ugh. I was feeling really depressed about it. I walked into his office and almost broke down describing how I felt. I mentioned that my foot is tingly by the end of my runs and a(nother) lightbulb went off.

Before I get into that, every time I see TK I have to sit in a waiting area overlooking the spine patients. The spine patients are all laying on these weird torture table looking things watching televisions. It's kind of creepy and I always find myself staring at them and wondering what unfortunate circumstances led them to the rack.

TK says, "do you have some time?"

"Um, why?" I inquired.

"I would like for you to go on the table for about half an hour."

"Um, why?" I inquired, this time semi-petrified.

"I want to use it as a diagnostic tool. If it helps you I would bet you have a slightly bulging disc."

"Oh crap! How long is this going to take to recover from and if it's not that what the hell is it and WHEN CAN I FREAKING START TRAINING?!!!!!?"

Ok. I didn't respond that way, but that's about where my head was. He went over all the offending muscles and everything felt good. And then I walked over to the table.

"Pa, set her at 50," TK told the physician's assistant.

The PA questioned, "but she's so tiny. I think it should be 35, 40 max."

"Oh no. She's strong. She can handle 50. Put it at 50," TK responded.

"You're the boss," PA said.

This conversation did not ease my mind. TK went back to his next ART appointment and the PA strapped me into what looked to be a harness Sandy Duncan as Peter Pan might have donned. And then she strapped it to a contraption at the end of the table as I laid on my back. And then she turned it on and every 10-15 seconds 50 lbs of force pulled my pelvis down towards my toes and then released for 10-15 seconds. This went on for 30 minutes. It really didn't feel like it did much. It was weird and my foot tingled, but otherwise I was certain this was yet another dead end.

When my treatment was finished, PA put an ice pack under my lumbar area and I laid there for a few more minutes. Then with no fanfare I got up, made a couple of follow-up appointments and left.

As I drove to my in-laws to pick up the kiddos I called mrp. I bawled the whole ride home on the phone with him and then I bawled some more when my m-i-l asked me how it went. I have put on a brave face through this whole ordeal and I finally reached my limit. I called coach on my way home from the in-laws and he recommended an orthopedist for a new perspective on things. I came home and made yet another appointment for next week. My back felt kind of weird.

I cried a lot more the rest of the afternoon. So frustrated. But by about 4:00 I realized that I could sit without pain. Then I noticed I could extend my right leg without that awful pulling I've felt in my butt for months. I haven't run today. That will be the real test tomorrow, but right now it feels the best it's felt in months. Could this be it?

Monday, February 06, 2012

Have a Refreshment

Monday morning. The sun was brilliant. The sky was as blue as my new running shoes. I walked out into the crisp morning and began to trot. It felt good! My psoas was definitely sore. But that's new. It wasn't typically sore before unless I was doing ab exercises or coughing. This is good. This is the first time I've run since my psoas has been unknotted in over a year so the soreness is an indication it's working! The butt muscles feel worlds better. Still something going on in there, but much less pinchy and tight. I also noticed my right foot did not hit my left calf as it often used to on easy runs. This is big time progress. I have a lot of work to do and I can't say I am 100% confident I am out of the woods, but I do have a good feeling that this is the start of my return. I will continue to build up my mileage, do my pt exercises religiously, have the psoas and ancillary muscles treated weekly and be patient. If I can have a quick comeback, this is certainly the recipe for it. On to tomorrow and another run!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Sunday Morning

Enjoying my last Sunday morning without a long run for a while, hopefully!

Friday, February 03, 2012


The fact is, I am a much leaner machine when I'm training then when I'm not.  Before I started running regularly in 2005, I only weighed about 10-15 lbs more than I do now in the midst of a hard training cycle, but I wore clothes 2-3 sizes bigger back then. Basically, the point is you take running away from me and the pounds creep back. This has been a tough 5 weeks for me. Not training and periods of no running at all are hard enough just because it's a loss of doing something I like to do. The less time with friends, the lack of the stress relief and endorphins release are hard, sure. But the thing I am struggling with the most is the fact that I've gained 4 pounds. It sounds absurd just typing it.

In theory, I realize it's not possible to stay my leanest at all times of the years. In fact, it's probably not even healthy.  Yet, I find it so hard to accept my body with a couple of extra pounds of chub. I hate the way my jeans feel. I hate feeling like I need to pull and tug my sweaters so they don't cling to the bit of flab I feel is there. I know in reality, no one other than those really close to me could possibly tell I weigh more and no one would look at me and think I was fat. If I flew out of my body and looked at me across the room I'd probably laugh at myself for feeling this way. Yet, I do.

I take so much pride in my strong lean trained body and no matter how much I tell myself that this state is temporary, that I will soon be the chick (semi)comfortably rocking the boy-shorts and sports bra, I have a hard time accepting my body this way. I want to tell everyone I see--"hey, this is me not training! I normally am leaner! I swear! I do not accept this level of flabitude for myself!" It's like I'm me, just with an asterisk.  I want everyone to know that average is not acceptable. Above average is not acceptable. Right now I might still be above average, but if I'm really being honest, deep down that is not good enough for me. I certainly don't judge others against my standards. Why then do I hold myself to these (impossibly?) high standards?

I struggle with whether to view my attitude about my body as an unhealthy body image or just my personal preference for myself. I am sure I'm not the only female runner or athlete out there who feels this way. At least I have the recent experience of losing 50 lbs twice in the last 3 years to give me a little perspective.  I suppose compared to post-pregnancy, these four pounds I'm sporting are really no big deal other than making those jeans a bit uncomfortable.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Can't Wait for Monday!

"I can't wait for Monday!" No, that's not a quote (that I know of) from Sh*t People Don't Say. That's what I'm really thinking. Dr. TK says I need to give all the offending lower crossed muscles a little more recovery time. Everything is improving according to plan, but just to be on the safe side there's no harm in waiting a few more days. Plus, I'd really like to test it all out on a day I don't have it treated, just because the treatment itself can irritate everything. I want this right leg to feel the best it's felt in months when I hit the road (er, treadmill) again. So, Monday is the day.  This weekend will be filled with ellipticals, pt exercises and stretching. Oh and good weather. Since Murphy's Law revolves around me and my running winter will surely arrive the first day I am able to run outside. You can thank me for the mild January next time you see me.