That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Friday, April 29, 2011

hop to it!

Another milestone: I can hop!!

Here's the thing: the unofficial way to diagnose a stress fracture is to try to hop on one foot on the affected side. If it's a stress fracture, it won't happen. I read that online when I was first trying to figure out what was wrong, and of course, immediately hopped on my left foot. Then tried to hop on my right. Didn't happen. It was like someone had severed a nerve ending and the signal from my brain would not reach that leg. It just wouldn't move. That was my "Oh crap" moment.

Periodically, I've tried to hop on that leg, with the same results. If I really really really force it to happen, I can manage a slight shuffly hop, but it takes way too much effort.

Today, I tried again. Hopped on my left leg a few times. Then I balanced on my right leg, and told it to hop. AND I HOPPED. And I did it again. And again. I got in a good dozen hops on my right foot, as effortlessly as I hopped on my left. I hopped in circles around my living room, scaring the cats.

Then it hurt so I stopped. :)

But oh my gosh....I'm so happy about this. Recovery is coming soon!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

a flip and a flop

I had a lightbulb moment the other day. I think I may be somewhat sabotaging my own recovery. Not with my choice of activities, but with my choice of footwear. The snow melting, to me, marks the beginning of my favorite season. Not spring, but....



I love flip-flops. Probably because I hate socks and shoes. Hate them. If I could go barefoot more often without stepping on things that hurt and are unsanitary, I would. (Note: this does not mean that I will jump on the minimalist shoe thing, because I know how crappy my feet/ankles/knees are and how much support they need when I run.)

Every spring/summer/fall/until it snows again, I LIVE in flip-flops. I have a job where I can dress pretty casually, and I have flips to match every outfit.

Without thinking, this spring has been no exception. But I've been fighting the nagging thought that maybe they're not so good for me after all. Then I went a whole day with no pain, and around 4:00 (when the leg starts to twinge), I realized that I didn't hurt. I also realized that I was NOT wearing flip-flops. I was wearing dressier flat sandals, but ones with support. So I googled flip-flops and running injuries.

Eeeeesh. Do you even know how bad those things are for you?? I guess it makes sense. Let's ask a cheapo floppy, straight-as-a-board piece of thin man-made plasticky crap to provide proper support for the entire weight of a human being all day, shall we?

So, despite trying NOT to spend extra money these days (tri gear and medical bills are getting spendy), I decided I really should budget for a quality pair of flip-flop like shoes, but supportive ones.

My new partner in injury fighting, Courtenay, mentioned that she loves her new Old Navy Fit Kicks as a flip-alternative. I tried them and I almost almost bought them - especially since they have sparkly ones - but I fell in love with the C9 ones I found at Target.

(Yes, my toenails are green. I found that color in a clearance bin and thought it would be offbeat and fun. Also, my feet are not as ugly in real life as they look in this picture. They are veiny, though. And finally, the second toe on my right foot is the one that lost the nail - you can kinda tell that the new nail is still pretty short.)

ANYWAY.....the blue material is soft and squishy. It feels like memory foam. It feels like walking on clouds or pillows or marshmallow peeps. These things are so comfy that I was wearing them IN my apartment, which is typically where my shoes get kicked off .000235 seconds after I walk through the door. (Did I mention that I hate shoes??)

I wore them all day and they felt great. I was hurting a little from yesterday's workout, but I could feel a real difference as far as stability, and I could tell my leg didn't get nearly as worn out as it does after a long day.

So, if you run, consider losing the flip-flops for everything but short stints and gym showers. Check out Target and Old Navy for cute and comfy alternatives for a smidge under $17.

Confession time

I have so many potential blog entries swimming around in my head. I'm going to attempt two of them tonight, and I'm going to split them up into separate entries so that it doesn't fall into the category of ridiculous length.

So, I have a confession to make. I made it 6 weeks and three days without running. And then I gave in.

The backstory: Sometimes I believe I'm really getting better. Like on Easter, when I was having too much fun chasing my grandma's hyperactive Maltese, and I realized that in the process, I was doing things that I'm not supposed to do. Like quasi-running, jumping, plyometric things. And they didn't hurt, and I wasn't even thinking about them. Then the next day, when I was modeling my new triathlon shorts for my husband (one of my potential blog entries is devoted to tri gear, btw), and I started running in place for a proper butt-jiggle assessment. He said, "Whoa, careful!" and I realized that, yet again, I'm doing something that I'm not supposed to do, without thinking, because it doesn't hurt.

Then sometimes I really don't believe I'm getting better. I start believing I will never run again and if I try to run, my leg will pretty much fall off and I'll be a cripple for life.

Some crazy combination of the two, coupled with the indefinite putting-off of my doctor's appointment (did I mention that? My doc was out last week and rescheduling isn't a super smooth process), has been making me really itchy to just freaking do a test run. I know this. I've been going to the gym to swim and not even taking my running shoes so that I won't be tempted.

So Tuesday morning, I was on my way to the gym, and I saw the "High Water - Detour" sign pointing toward the route I needed to take, which means my 15 minute drive would turn into a half hour at least, granting me minimal time in the pool. Plus, unlike some days, I didn't have to go that way as part of my work day. So I went back home to my options: bike or elliptical. With the threat of rain, I didn't want to be stuck in a storm on my bike. So the clubhouse elliptical it was.

Actually, I've worked out a pretty cool circuit workout - 5 minutes elliptical, 5 minutes of strength-training exercises (whatever pops into my head for a minute at a time; the circuit training class has provided me with a decent arsenal), repeat until you die.

Elliptical was pain-free. And I kept eyeballing the treadmill. And eyeballing it. And I decided it wouldn't do any harm if I got on it and stopped the second that a single cell in my body protested.

I started out at a whopping 4 miles an hour. Yes, I can really run that slowly, and yes, it really is a run. That is what happens when your legs are short. It. Felt. Fantastic. It felt right. My leg felt a bit strange, but not bad strange. Just new sensation strange. I had been warned that trying to run again would be awkward and not fun, but this was not true. I bumped the speed up again and again. I got it up to my previous long run pace, and at a half mile (6:38), I stopped. I hurt a little, but mentally, I felt great. ALIVE. Like I was finally doing what I was supposed to be doing. Like releasing a captive animal back into the wild. Like I was reunited with a friend I never thought I'd see again. All that in a measly half mile.

I promise I will confess to my PT and doctor, and hopefully they can use this as a bit of a gauge of when I can start implementing more running. I will admit that I was hurting a little today, but no more than I have been recently anyway, which isn't nearly as owie as I was. I will not do it again without professional guidance, and I don't recommend doing ANYTHING without professional guidance, but I think I really needed that. I felt more calm, relaxed, and genuinely happy than I have since this ordeal started. I finally felt like maybe I will really be ok.

(Oh yeah, are you wondering what triathlon shorts are? I would be, before I started researching tri gear. They're bicycle shorts but without nearly as much padding, and the padding dries quickly. They're designed for swimming, biking, AND running, to eliminate the need for too much clothes-changing and/or running in a swimsuit - which is what a friend tried to tell me I'd be doing, and I had a near panic attack at the thought of my pasty white jiggly thighs undulating with every step. Yay tri shorts!!)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What the heck is wrong with people....(besides stress fractures)

OK OK OK....I didn't want to create this post because I don't want to overshadow the post that I just please promise me that if anyone reads this, you'll make sure you scroll down to the next one and let THAT one occupy your mind. I just have to do this because I have to vent.

I posted on a running forum that shall remain nameless, asking how long my particular kind of injury usually takes to heal, because frankly my dear, I feel like it's overstayed its welcome and it needs to go away now.

(Random note: I am an absolute grammar nazi. Notice how I correctly used both forms of its/it's.)

Anyway.....I got some good responses....and then I got this one. I understand that this woman (I can tell by the screen name) thinks she is being helpful, and I may be overreacting, but the response nearly gave me a freaking panic attack. I don't understand how some people are so oblivious to how their comments come across and how unhelpful they really are. (You'd think as a therapist I'd be used to this, but no.) Since I can't type something in response on that forum without it coming across like I'm satan in running shoes, I shall vent here.

What I got in response to my question (and a subsequent discussion with a fellow injured runner about what kind of cross-training we're doing):

I always get sad when I read about stress fracture posts!  I've had WAY too many of them.  *If it were me*, I would strictly stick to anything in the pool.  Skip biking.  Be diligent about PT exercises.  The tendons have a chance of becoming weak and will hurt when you start to come exercises will keep them strong.

With your calcium intake make sure you don't drink soda.  It will inhibit the calcium intake.  Take calcium consistently through out the day, not all at once.

I was out for 12 months if that makes you feel any better!  Get better soon!

OK. It seems well-intentioned.....but there is SO MUCH of this that is WTF-worthy!

I always get sad when I read about stress fracture posts! (I had stress REACTION in the title. Then I clarified in the body that I do NOT have a fracture. But that's the least of the WTFness.)

I've had WAY too many of them. (Which makes me super eager to take any advice you may have to give...)

*If it were me*, I would strictly stick to anything in the pool. (I am not you. Nor did I ask. And honestly, sticking strictly to the pool would be a severe enough downfall to my mental-well being that it's not worth it. Not even if I'm prolonging the healing process, which I really don't think that I am, considering I don't do anything that appears to cause pain, nor am I doing anything against professional advice, which I did clarify.)

But the absolute freaking kicker:

I was out for 12 months if that makes you feel any better!

In what universe would this make me feel remotely better?? In the bizarro world where I've decided that I never want to run again??? I think I get what the weirdo is trying to say....I think she's trying to say that I should be grateful and happy that I've only been out for 6 weeks.....but no, I can't even make that much sense out of it.

Seriously, if any of you out there have had an injury similar to mine and you've taken forever and a day to heal, maybe you should just not tell me. And if you DO tell me (because to be fair, I did ask), DON'T for some weirdo WTF-worthy reason think that I should feel better after hearing it!! Don't even think that I would be feeling anything at all other than the deepest depths of despair upon anticipating an entire year of resting an injury.

I thank you all for indulging me in this vent. I do feel better now. I'm not responding to crazy stress fracture woman, nor am I ever going to revisit that forum discussion again, if I have the willpower. I am also putting THAT out of my mind now, and replacing it with a host of new mantras: I will do this. I will get back in there. I will recover. I will recover very, very soon.

A pre-pig shout out

One week left until the Flying Pig. Exciting times here in the 'nati. Weather forecast for Pig day says high of 67 (yay) and showers (no yay)...but that will probably change. I rode my bike to my course monitor spot last week, so I can indeed get there on two wheels. (pretty easily, minus the difficult but doable Wooster hill) Wish they'd let me bike the Pig course. I'd love that.

Anyway, enough about me. I wanted to give a shout out to none other than my running buddy! Through two months of pig training, a painful 10k, and a few of the longest runs of my life, she kept me company. And since I've been injured, she's STILL motivated me and encouraged me through the hours of biking and swimming that I would've rather spent running. (Especially the swimming!) I attribute a lot of the increase in my own speed and endurance to the fact that I was sticking with her. (And, ok, I get a little competitive - in a good, friendly sort of way!) In addition to working full-time and being a wife and a mom to a toddler, RB has trained her butt off and she's going to kick some Piggie Ass next week!

(And then in June, she's going to be part of my Warrior Dash group!! HECK YES!!!!)

And also....what is really awesome is that RB, like me, decided to put her first marathon to work for a good cause and is running for charity. What's seriously admirable about that is that she saw the need in someone close to home, and created her own charity. Check that out here! I don't know if anyone here had considered supporting my Girls on the Run fundraising effort - and I WILL revisit that when I start marathon training again - but please consider supporting Team Rachel this time around. :)

In a week, you'll have a curly-tailed medal around your neck....go, Running Buddy, go!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Official Pig Decision/I Am the Warrior!

The Flying Pig Marathon will still be there for me next year....for a mere $10 processing fee. I'm glad, because to a cheap frugal person like me, losing an entry fee could be enough to make me seriously consider running one of the races. And if I do, even if I just run the 5k, at best I'd be likely to run a pretty crappy race. At worse, I'd make the existing injury worse, which is pretty much the last thing I need.

I can be ok with this turn of events. While it sucks to have to defer a big exciting goal, good things are coming out of it. The Warrior Run is putting together a group of volunteers to work at the Pig. In exchange for a group of 30, the Pig will donate money to the Warrior Run, a local 5k. I ran it last year, and it was a beautiful, fun, FLAT race with great crowd support. Plus, proceeds go to a teen suicide prevention program, a cause that's near and dear to my heart.

So, I signed up, and as it turns out - I'm their 30th person. Was it meant to be that way, or what??

So now I will be a course monitor on Bramble Road, which is between mile 14 and 15 of the Pig. No, I'm not 100% sure what I'll officially be doing (I'm guessing making sure people stay on the right path and aren't dying - my husband asked if I keep the course from going anywhere), but I know it'll give me an up close and personal glimpse of the marathon; I'll be able to cheer on people at what may be a tough point in the race - middles for me are ALWAYS tough, regardless of distance - and about two hours in, I'll start scanning the crowd for my running buddy!

Plus, that part of the course is only 5-6 miles from my house, which means I'm going to attempt to get up early and ride my bike there. In order to do that, I still need to test how well my bike does on the hill on Wooster Pike, but I have a feeling it'll make it. :)

One more note in the world of Warriors - the Ohio Warrior Dash, which was sold out, has opened a ton of new available time slots!!! The Warrior DASH is a crazy 3 mile-ish obstacle course that I have wanted to do since I heard of it. It's at the beginning of June, by which point I should definitely be running again. I'm so stoked for it!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Less than two weeks left until the flying pig....

....and I'm still not running yet. At all. Heck, a too-long walk around the mall will leave me feeling like a mule kicked me in the shin.

So, it's looking like this will not be a year that I'll be doing any of the pig races. It sucks, but it's almost a relief. At least I know, and I don't have to worry about trying to force myself to recover enough to race and doing more damage. I sent an email asking if I can defer my entry until next year. I'm pretty frugal, especially considering how much money one can spend on running (who knew?? I always thought you bought some tennis shoes and took off!) and eating the entry fee is a little bit of adding insult to injury. Literally.

I asked my PT about doing a half on 5/21. He asked me to please drop the half marathon idea for now. :) I asked him about a sprint tri on 5/28. That one he could go along with. So, some tris and 5ks and 10ks this summer, and a fall marathon. Maybe I can find a half in fall, too, as I need to set a new half PR.

I'm still bummed, not gonna lie. I've only been working for this for a year now. I'm dealing better with the not running thing - actually, I'm scaring myself a little. I'm forgetting what it feels like to run. I've had the fleeting thought of what if I return to running and I absolutely hate it? Or maybe my mind has gone into "I don't miss running" mode to protect myself from dealing with it. I don't know....I just hope I still enjoy running and that I haven't lost so much fitness that I'm struggling to run and decide I can't deal with it anymore.

On the upside, I'm loving the biking. I rode 14 miles tonight (went to the gym for yoga, but went the long way and added the 5 mile airport loop) and had a great time, and worked every bit as hard as I work when I'm running. I passed tons of runners on the trail and didn't even feel remotely jealous of them. Actually, all I could think was, "Ha ha. Look how slow you are. I'm passing you!!" Yes, I realize that being on wheels is an unfair advantage....but still. I like to go fast. This is why I like biking, this is why I like running (not that I'm all that fast....but ya know)....and this is why I merely tolerate swimming. :)

I walked into PT this morning feeling quite frustrated, though, with the pain. It's not nearly as bad as it was, but at the end of a long day, I still hurt. How freaking long is this going to take to heal, anyway? At this point, returning to running is secondary. I just want to be able to walk wherever I want to walk without hurting. The good news is that there is progress. I have to look at it in a different way.....but I can balance much better. I'm asking the PT to add weights to the leg exercises. OK, so I'm a showoff with weights - but I ask them to legitimately, because the current weight is too easy and I can comfortably do more. And when he squeezes my shins to gauge how much pain I'm in (I'm serious, the man leaves bruises), I can shrug it off now rather than flinching. First time the doctor tried that on me, I yelped.

Speaking of, I see the doctor on Wednesday. My goal is to get through a visit with him without crying. Since I've pretty much accepted that there will be no Pig, unless he tells me I'm never running again, I should be good.

Oh yeah.....the other day, I was bumming pretty hard about not racing at all that weekend. It was the first time it hit me that we're really too close for me to get back to running and effectively train for anything. A good friend sent me a very sweet text encouraging me to keep my head up....and then "Time of Your Life" by Green Day came on the radio. I'm pretty much not a fan of that song, since it came out the year I graduated from high school and everyone turned into a sappy mess over it, but one line hit me. "So make the best of this test and don't ask why/It's not a question but a lesson learned in time."

Meet my new motto. I'm making the best of swimming, biking, and yoga, and tempting as it is, trying NOT to ask my leg why it hurts.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm in love!!!

No, this post is not about my husband....although I could say many things about how awesome he is. (Although as an aside, I'm proud of him - he's trying to get back on the running wagon and did two 5 mile runs in the past 3 days. :))

Meet my new sweetheart.....

I did some pricing online and at local stores, figured out what things I must have and what I could skimp on for now, and this bike was the most cost-effective option (because I can't afford a bike that's worth more than my car!!) And it's adorable....but that honestly is a bonus, not a priority. I PROMISE I didn't buy it because it's pink. :)

Then I took her out for a ride in the beautiful 80 degree weather (YAY!) HOLY CRAP was that fun. On my little department store boys' mountain bike, I could barely go over 11 miles an hour. I was FLYING on this bike with even less effort. I looked down and I was going over 17. SWEET. I covered 25 miles in 1:35, but that's a little off because there are a handful of stop signs on the bike trail, and I forgot to pause the Garmin at one especially long stop light.

I WAS PASSING PEOPLE!! I'm usually hearing "on your left" over and over, and *I* got to say "on your left"! I enjoyed this ride to no end. By the end of the 25 miles, yeah, I was tired, but for most of the ride, I felt like I could ride forever. It's amazing what a difference having a decent bike makes!!

(And also a little unfair, I can't help but think. The bike part of the tri seems to be a little unbalanced as far as the difference that spending money on equipment can make. But oh I HAVE some decent equipment!)

That was sooooo worth every penny. I'm thinking I could actually do pretty well at a triathlon debut, once I get the swimming part down a bit better. And once I'm actually allowed to run, of course.

Oh yeah - that ride totally didn't hurt a bit.

Honestly, I may even love cycling as much as I love running. I haven't felt so awesome after a workout since the 15 mile run. Like I did that day, I feel like I could take on the whole entire world right now.

One final thing...I bought myself a pair of real padded cycling shorts. I'm so glad I did, because now I know it's going to be a challenge to run in them in a tri situation. They feel seriously diaper-like. My butt should be thankful though - it hurts now, and I'm only imagining how it would feel after 25 miles without the extra padding.

Next weekend, if it's nice, I'm going to ride to the place in Loveland (mentioned in a previous post, when I was training for the thanksgiving 10k) that has the awesome frozen bananas. I totally can't wait.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

another post for my own reference

5/28 - Tri for Joe (bonus: swim is in a pool)
6/5 - Southern Indiana Triathlon
7/10 - Ceasar Creek Triathlon
7/24 - Cincinnati Triathlon
9/11 - Hueston Woods Triathlon (bonus 1: 4 ft deep swim) (bonus 2: it's pretty!)

(No, I'm not planning on doing ALL of these! Just ideas so that maybe I can do a sprint AND an Olympic tri this season.)

(Note: if you can't tell, I'm a little nervous about the idea of an open water swim!)

Tri, tri again

I'm better today. I got a good nights' sleep and started my day with yoga and 30 minutes in the pool. It was a little bit of a tough emotional day - today is the official longest run of the Flying Pig training group, and on my way to the gym, I saw part of the group (in addition to several other random runners - it's a beautiful morning). I assume I saw some of the faster people. (Hey, Running Buddy - did my eyes deceive me or was Coach Joe F carrying pink balloons??) I was sad for me, but happy for them. I mean, they were running up the Watterson hill and smiling about it. Good for them. My time to shine in the Pig will come.

But, the situation is what it is. The funny thing I realized is that I kept thinking I'd like to try a triathlon one of these days, but I couldn't pull myself away from running long enough to work on the other two. And so my body did it for me. So I'm really focusing on swimming, and I'm finding that it feels good. It's still boring - and I'm waiting for the company in China to send me replacement waterproof earbuds, since the ones I got arrived half dead and then fully died after one round in the pool - but in a weird way, it feels good. It feels challenging yet relaxing, kind of like a long run on a good day. Afterward, I feel good - not as good as after a run, but I feel content and relaxed and like I've done something good for myself. Plus, whenever something hurts (like today), swimming loosens everything up without that pesky gravity thing being hard on me.

I also think I'm going to do some bike shopping this weekend. I can kind of afford a bike. :) At any rate, even if I decide that triathlons aren't for me, I do want a nicer bike. The guy who teaches circuit training at my gym is a cyclist and he gave me some pointers, and told me I could do all right with $400ish.

What else....oh, I bought a real actual swim cap instead of having to constantly re-do my ponytail mid-swim. And I put Total Immersion on hold at the library. And my 400m time is right about at 11:00. I'd be ok with it being 10ish for the tri. I also think I'm losing time on the turns because I don't do a flip turn, and I'm not sure I care much about learning. I wouldn't use it in an open-water race, and I'm a little wary of smacking my head.

I also think I'm going to include a lot more cross-training in the future, even when I am back to running again. I tried running and running and running and it got me I'm going to run and bike and run and swim, and I don't think it'll interfere with me reaching my full running potential (like I was deathly afraid of before.)

I also realized something.....a stress fracture, from what I understand of my recent education on the subject, starts from the inside. The bones themselves actually get inflamed, inflammatory fluid shows up in the marrow, and they eventually get so inflamed that they crack. Mine weren't cracking yet, but they were close. Meaning I basically had enough pressure on my bones that they could crack. Doesn't it take a TON of pressure to crack a bone? Especially a tibia. So yeah, wow, NO WONDER I was hurting. I feel validated in a weird way.

Anyway, as far as the tri thing goes, I have a new goal. It's a bit of a crazy one, but....provided I do a sprint tri this summer and it goes all right and I enjoy it....I want to do an Ironman! Not any time soon, but maybe in a couple of years. Maybe I could work toward a half Ironman next summer. I don't care about doing it fast, I just want to finish it. I think I could do it. And for many people have finished an Ironman??? That would just be awesomesauce. Even better would be the ability to brag about it at my 15th (HOLY CRAP) high school reunion. That's in 2014.

Off to have a lazy Saturday, now that I've earned it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

why bother, Pooh....

I'm slightly gloomified today. Part of that is probably because I worked overtime this week; Wednesday and Thursday were both over 10 hour days, and I'm tired. But there are a couple of things that bummed me out today......

(1) I went for a walk with a client yesterday, because kids generally will open up a lot more if you're walking with them. I don't know why, but it's true, and it was a beautiful day, and the client was saying she felt cooped up, so I suggested a walk. Right after I did, I remembered I'm not supposed to do extra walking, but I've been feeling better, so I shrugged it off. By the end of the day, I was almost limping again. Not quite, but I was in some pain, and I was in some pain when I woke up this morning.

(2) I asked the PT if I was crazy for wanting to run a half in three weeks. He said yes. I asked if I'll be running at that point. He said maybe walk/jogging. I asked if I could walk/jog a half marathon. He said maybe. But I don't know that I want to walk/jog a race, and furthermore, I don't know if my stubborn competitive (with myself) brain would let me.

(3) They have this pump and run event before the Pig, either (a) for people to be able to deduct time off their race time for every successful rep (not officially, just for the purposes of the contest) or (b) for injured people or non-runners. I checked it out online and thought that maybe I could do one of the non-running events, if nothing else - the pump/run/row, or the gauntlet (which adds on incline situps with an 8 lb medicine ball, jump rope, and step-ups - the latter two, of course, I can't practice). However, today I tried to see if I could bench/curl the weight I would have to do for the "pump" part. Not. Even. Close. Well, the curl is maybe close. Not the bench. I know it's more for the weightlifting types, and I do high rep/low weight strength training, but still. Something else I can't do.

Just call me Eeyore now.

There is good news, which I'm trying to keep in mind. I can elliptical now. I hate the elliptical, but it means I can squeeze in a workout when I'm pressed for time, since I don't have to go to the gym - the apartment complex has an elliptical. I actually made up a 30-minute circuit training workout - 5 minutes of elliptical, 5 one-minute reps of various strength training exercises, repeat - holy mother of god, that kicked my butt. The other good news is I can bike. I tried the stationary bike at the gym and it didn't hurt. This weekend the weather will be awesome, and if I can't run, I can probably bike as long as it doesn't start bothering anything.

The other good news is that I can balance on my bad leg now, something I haven't been able to do because it previously felt like it would snap under me. And the PT let me do the leg press machine, one of my favorites. I couldn't load it up with weights and show off (because that's probably my best weight machine, go team thunder thighs), but it's one more thing that's not verboten now. (Well, ok. As the PT made it clear, I can do it UNDER THEIR SUPERVISION. And there is no showing off in PT land.)

Oh, one more piece of good news - I have a great PT. He's funny and motivating and self-depricating about the fact that he's the same height as I am (and btw, I'm not very tall!) So at least I like going to see him, and I feel like he's really helping. Not a damn thing in the world can make this injury heal faster, but they're helping everything else get stronger.

I'll be happy when the Pig is over, one way or another, because it's HUGE around here and it's a bit stressful to think about. Right now, all I can do is retain my cardio fitness and sanity every way I can.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I do what my running buddy says to.

My running buddy started this: the 30-day song challenge that's going around facebook....except that you get a whole week, instead of posting a song every day, which is much more doable and less annoying.

Week 1: Your Favorite Song.

I didn't even have to think about this for longer than 2 seconds. I have a long-standing favorite, from one of my favorite bands, whom I love like only an '80's child could. Quite apropos for this blog and my running career...even now. ESPECIALLY now. Couldn't find the original video, so just enjoy the music.

DISCLAIMER: I loved this song looooooong before anyone ever thought of Glee. So there.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Well, I'm the slow kid, and not moving is about as slow as you can get....

I was thinking last night that I should really update this blog.

Then I realized that I feel a little silly having a running blog that, for the time being, is all about NOT running.

I'll have to come up with some ideas.

In the meantime, April 1 brought some good times - I woke up. I walked through my morning routine - bathroom, coffee pot, checking facebook, shower....and somewhere in there I had an amazing realization. THIS DOES NOT HURT.

For the first time in probably a month, I could walk and it didn't hurt.

The rest of my day was absolutely fabulous. I haven't been so happy in a while. This doesn't mean I can run anytime soon (soon enough for me, anyway), but it does mean that there is an end in sight. I'm not going to hurt forever. I WILL run again and I will do more races and I will run my marathon! Then I proceeded to have a great swim workout. I had some issues with the new mp3 player (got an email on its way to china about that) and it got boring at times, but by the end of it, I pretty much felt like I could stay in the pool forever. I mixed it up with some kickboard stuff, including working my arms by holding the kickboard between my knees. (Yeah, you wanna talk about some slow swimming....eesh!) It felt really good. It wore out every muscle I could imagine.

And I'm making more of an effort to enjoy the things in life that are not running related. That's not to say that every reminder of running doesn't still make me a little pouty and jealous, but for the most part, I'm getting good at distracting myself. I made risotto for dinner for the first time, and it was Hell's Kitchen-worthy (and not in the "It's not good enough, ya donkey!" kinda way.) I'm enjoying sleeping in on Saturdays and hanging out with the husband instead of getting up to go for a long run. (Actually...I miss the running itself but NOT meeting up at 7am to do it!) Right now I'm waiting for some friends to come over right now so we can go watch the Reds go 3-0. Running does not need to be my whole life, and I think I'm going to come out of this injury a whole lot more balanced about it. I'm definitely going to cross-train more, and right now I think more about my first triathlon than my first marathon.

The pain-free walking isn't 100%....after a while the leg goes back to reminding me that everything isn't cool yet, but ANY amount of being able to walk and it doesn't hurt is an improvement. Oh, and the PT got harder. I was almost giddy when they let me on some weight machines. I'm sick, I know!