May 28, 2007

stream of consciousness ...

most of my writing is just this. a total stream of consciousness, a glimpse inside my head.
its a little crazy in there & i thank the people who keep coming back!

and now ... onto my banal whining about my injury/recovery madness:

i have done an inordinate amount of googling lately.
more than anyone should google. really.
it's gotta be bad for me.

there should be some sort of warning when one is trying to self-diagnose - some red signs that come up and say:
for the love of god woman, get off your laptop & tend to your three children.

here's what i've googled: hip caspule, foam rollers, core stregthening exercises, quadratus lumborum (those muscles in my back that when my massage girl is holding one of the rope like things in her hand & choking the life out of it i just want someone to shoot me & put me out of my misery), tennis ball massage, adhesive hip capsulitis, piriformis, sciatica, hammer gel, bike races (if i can't really run, i may as well look for a ONE HUNDRED MILE or, a metric century bike race i can do with my husband -- i never said i was sane).

here's the nutshell report: (i am so not good at things in a nutshell - but here goes):
  • have not been able to run over 4.6 yet. sure - in theory, i could run more. but then i would be back at square one. and i am trying so hard to be a grownup.
  • still running on grass.
  • have lifts in shoe.
  • have consulted with a shoe guru. my shoes are good.
  • i bought a balance board for core exercises.
  • a tennis ball is my new best friend. (very good for lying on top of & massaging the life out of my lower back/upper ass). -- this is much thanks to a reader & commenter - vicki ... thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!
  • the seat on my bike has been raised (this brought about a miraculous change - rode 25 miles yesterday with my seat adjusted & had my first entirely pain free workout in 2 weeks. it then occured to me that the bike was contributing to my problems - wouldn't be the first time i hosed myself.)
and so, in conclusion: reality has set in. i don't think i can wait for someone or something to "fix" this. i need to take a more active part in my recovery. (am sure you are wondering what the hell took me so long to come to this conclusion - i am new at this. the last time i was injured, it did in fact, just get "fixed" ... its a bit different this time). i am beginning to think this is not the sort of thing that will just miraculously disappear; whereby suddenly, i run pain free -- after the magic massage, the magic pain free bike ride etc ... i think i may need to just manage this. do you see how i have prefaced all these statements with "i think"? am just covering my ass ... you know, for the stupidity that is sure to be uncovered in a few more posts.

i think i need to manage it with core strength work, stretching, ice baths, daily tennis ball massage, the considerably more spendy & thus far more infrequent deep tissue massage and physical therapy.

although i must say - i am getting tired of my injury/recovery musings. i almost can't stand to read it myself. almost didn't write anything today ... in looking over this post, that probably would have been better way to go. this has got to be last post regarding the injury that isn't healing as i think it should.

May 23, 2007

angry girl

i don't know if there are stages of recovery ... am sure if i googled it, there would be.
right now - i'm in the pissed off stage.
is there one of those?
frustration & impatience have moved in ... they aren't going anywhere & i don't really feel like asking them to leave. i'm too pissed. there's room for all of us.

i've been really good. i didn't run for 12 whole &*%^^&* days ... and when i was given the go ahead to try, i did exactly what she said - no more, no less. and then, the next day - i didn't even run again. i didn't even bike - i thought, lets do one full day of rest, just for good measure.

back on the mill at pt today - 2 miles ... wonder if the little old lady next to me heard me muttering fuckfuckfuck (i muttered it way more than a mere 3x, but will spare you) under my breath when i realized that the pain in my way lower back/upper ass was there again.

not whispering. not screaming either, but i heard it loud & clear.

back to the table for a workover. i got stretched, pretzeled, twisted, yanked. i had to jump up down on left leg. OW. on both legs. not a problem. back bends ... a bunch of em ... leg manipulation stuff ... ooh, ouch - hurts right there. hip capsule? what the hell is that? she stretched it. i must google it.

she thinks that perhaps all the leg/hip pain is referred pain from something going on in my back. since that's where the pain originates when running. oy vey. will this end? i so wanted to have a nice clean diagnosis: "oh, you have injured your thingymajingy ... this is how i fix it & get you back on the road again in no time".

this is not so much the case. she seems perplexed. and now i'm pissed.

i can run on grass. flat grass (i.e. no trail running). slowly. for no more than 6 miles or when it starts to hurt - whichever comes first. i left pt & stubbornly went to the park to run. on grass. slowly. 2.4 miles is what came first. i stopped.

there's a clock over there that is ticking. ticking. ticking.
there's a girl here who is dying to run.
my demeanor shows it. my husband could quite possibly have to put me in that rubber room soon.

May 21, 2007

coming back

did my test run today ... i think it went ok.
it wasn't a miserable failure that ended in tears (i had fully prepared myself for this possibility)... but i'm not sure that it was a swimming success either. a swimming success would have been i ran & felt NOTHING.

i did feel something ... but instead of a screaming, if-you-run-one-more-step-you'll-never-run-again pain; it was more of a i'm-still-here-and-if-you-aren'-t-nice-to-me-i'll-mess-with-your-mojo-again whisper.

i'll take a whisper over screaming pain any day.

whisper aside, i felt amazing - crazy strong, like i could have run all day ... i was fairly surprised at this - would have expected to feel more sluggish after 10 days of no running. i don't know if it was the rest, or the bike, but i felt great.


May 20, 2007


i am so tired that i just feel as if i could crumble into a puddle of tears at any given moment, for no particular reason other than i am just wiped out from a crazy week.

i was going to do my test run today, but went on a ride instead (am loving that whopping week cycling grand total!!) ... decided it may behoove me to wait one more day.

there's a weensy part of me that is nervous as hell to run tomorrow. what if it doesn't go so well?

May 19, 2007

pleasant surprises

the nice thing about always expecting the worst (which i am very good at) -- is the fact that it almost never happens ... and what you are left with instead is a pleasant surprise.

i thought a week of no running would result in my behaving like a stark raving mad bitch ending with my husband locking me in a rubber room -- but instead, i rode my bike almost every day -and with every mile (all 90+! of them) i became a little more confident, i had a little more control over the bike, the cars didn't scare me so much, the turns didn't scare me - i'm learning how to transition my gears on hills & descents and i can really put the pedal to the metal when my husband says "catch that guy/girl" ... its all a very good feeling.

so - my muscles didn't atrophy & i didn't shrivel up & die ... i am not in a rubber room (yet) ... and i think i am ready for my test run tomorrow - 2 miles on grass.

May 18, 2007

injury update

so i googled the worst case scenario i was given on monday & of course, it didn't look good. mostly, it was the recovery that scared the shit out of me: 2-5 months ... NO RUNNING. OMG! Needless to say, i was in a major panic ... cursing myself for having googled in the first place. must say this though; in googling "pelvic stress fracture" everything that comes up leads with some variation of the words "female long distance runner ... marathoners" . never in a million years would i have ever thought those words would apply to me. but they do. and i like it. and so while googling my injury nightmare, i was strangely happy to be in that category.

so now - an update ... since monday i have been to PT 3x and had a deep tissue massage once. i have been plugged in to electrical things, had stickers that looked like a big deformed battery put on my leg, i have been stretched on the proverbial rack, twisted like a pretzel & kneaded like dough.

the sticker worked like a charm ... the tender pain in that place where the sun don't shine is gone. was gone the next day. that sticker was magic mojo. it was dex-somethingoranother.

i am a prime candidate for someone who needs to bring a more level headed person with them to every sort of physician appointment ... cause i listen, but half of it goes in one ear & out the other - i'm almost so consumed with trying to remember every thing that is being said so i can go home & google it to panic in the peace & safety of my own home, that i forget everything they say by the time i get home.

i digress. today's PT appointment was the big test: run on the treadmill. this didn't go as swimingly as i had hoped. almost immediately my ass started to hurt (more specifically, in case you care to know - those bones. sacrum? sciatic? i don't know - see what i mean? so i just use a grand sweeping term to describe where the pain was - my ass) .. and then of course, my leg started to hurt too. shit.

i was reluctantly given the go ahead to run on grass this weekend - 2 miles. if it hurts a little, its ok ... if the pain increases as i run or gets really bad, i am meant to stop. if any non-runners are reading this, you may think - duh, if it hurts -stop. this is something i need to be told though ... for myself, i run through most pain. it has to be EXCRUTIATING for me to stop. i think many runners are conditioned to run through pain ... not sure. swear i read that somewhere. anyhow - try running on grass. see how it goes.

my left leg is most definitely shorter ... its not a case of my hip getting all torqued which results in left leg "getting" shorter .. its' a case of i was born with a shorter leg. which in turn makes my hips get wiggy, which in turn just messes with my mojo all around.

PT therapist & massage therapist both told me i need to work on my core strength ... this will help stabilize my hips ... so hopefully, working on getting 6 pack abs & getting some custom insert thingys for shoe to help leg discrepancy will put me back on track to start my marathon training.

May 14, 2007


when someone gives you the worst case scenario --
DON'T google it.

worst case scenario

is that i have a pelvic stress fracture.
but that's the worst case scenario.
best case is that its' the same old hip flexor pain from last year, or an adductor strain.
in the meantime, i've been benched.
for a week.
no running for a week.
i just wanted to cry.

spent almost an hour at physical therapy today ...
i had the massage, i got wrenched into a pretzel to try & snap hip back into place ... apparently, i'm not a "popper" - she never gets to hear that satisfying pop that lets her know all is where it should be. she does a visual measuring thing ... lines my legs up & looks at ankles ... i was way off - a whole thumb. whatever that means. to me - it just means OUCH.

after the pretzel twisting comes the yanking part ... i lie on my back, hold on to the top of the table, take a deep breath in (all the while she's swinging my leg back & forth) - let it out & YANK. i guess its the modern version of being stretched on a rack. then another visual measure of ankle bones & hip bones ... and it worked!

its all straight. but we've been here before -- the trick is keeping it all straight.

all of these issues are due to the fact that my left hip rotates back, thus bringing my left leg up; making it shorter than my right leg. the pain that ensues is this: it hurts to pick my left leg up & move it forward, then my thigh hurts when it hits the ground. think about that. its' basically every move a leg has to do to go forward. hurts.

there is a spot that is particularly tender ... (and now we are getting entirley too personal, so i'll just leave it there) ... and when i say particulary tender - i mean, if you touch it - nay, breathe on it - i could jump through the roof it hurts so much. hip flexor strain would have been further up - and when she actually touched my hip flexor - it was fine ... she asked if it hurt while at rest & sadly, as of last night (when i was lying in bed - thinking f*#k - why is this hurting when i am not even moving?) - the answer was yes. That coupled with the fact that it hurts on impact to the ground and my mid thigh - (that would be my screaming quads) has her now thinking that there's a chance it could be a pelvic stress fracture.

so ... i have a lift thingy in the heel of my shoe. i am wearing some sort of crazy patch with a + and - sign on it. is it a battery? a magnet? i don't know ... just better make me better.

i am going back on wednesday. and likely friday. if it is not better - i.e. pain free by friday, i am looking at xrays & bone scans. oy vey. this can't be good. i really really really want to run a marathon in 159 days. but now is the time to be really smart & take care of myself ... i have got to get this fixed. will do everything i need to do. including not run.

but i can bike, swim & do yoga. thank god for that. we have a crazy week ahead with all kinds of school activities & lunch rides are going to be tough to squeeze in. but, serendipitously, we have houseguests all week & so i have already warned my husband that he'll be rising with me at 4:30 am to be out the door on our bikes at 5 ... we can get a nice 2 hour ride in before we've got to get kids on bus.

this is already day 4 of no running. 4 more loom ahead. there's an opportunity here, right? ... a chance to build on my biking skills ... i never want to give up a run to work on something else - but now that i have no choice ... i'll go with it.

... in the meantime, i'll be practicing the art of patience.

May 12, 2007


as in - i am in one.

i had an hour on the bike on my schedule today ... an hour that i was pretty excited to get in -- would give my legs a workout, but give my quads a break from the pounding ... and as much as i hate to admit this - i don't think i can run right now - so a bike day was perfect.

last fall, when i was training for the marathon, i spent a lot of time on the bike trainer - it was a neccessary evil to coax my hip flexors into cooperating on the run ahead. but lately, i've been totally spoiled ... my husband has his own company & so he can be very flexible ... if i want to go for a ride - i call him, he comes home for lunch & we ride ... my trainer has been gathering dust in my office ... tucked far back behind my couch. so now - i try to avoid the trainer at all costs ... like the treadmill, i find it excrutiatingly boring.

so today - a saturday ... i was hoping to pawn my kids off on someone so my husband & i could go out. of course, i could just go out on my own - but i am WAY too much of a wuss to go out solo on the bike right now ... i need my traffic looker-outers.

i need to know someone is there to scrape me and the bike off pavement should i decide to see what road rash feels like.

i called a sitter, i called a friend ...
i kept hoping the ride fairy would make my ride possible. no joy.

i'm getting a taste of the summer months' ahead when my husband & i won't be able to pop out for a ride whenever we want cause the kids are in school ...

and so now - i look at my bike, hanging on the hook in my office ...
and i am trying to decide between sucking it up & getting on the trainer.
or having a beer.

it's not looking so good for the trainer.

May 10, 2007

a dream

i'm lying in bed last night ... in that place between sleep & awake ...
and i'm dreaming.
of running.


i slip on the ice
and am jolted out of my dreamy zen run dream.

May 7, 2007


when will i learn?
i felt really great yesterday.
really great.
and went out too hard, too fast.
now my legs hate me.

i've done this before. clearly, i forget about how you shouldn't do this.
its' like i broke a cardinal rule of race recovery.

it was gorgeous out. i had a marathon date. i felt great & i had new tunes on the playlist.
tunes that my coach figured would be a much better replacement to the dance house electronica stuff i had been listening to. they were headbanging, angry tunes ...
i thought - no way. i need happy music. happy, dancy music.

i was only too happy to admit defeat on this one ... cause those headbanging angry tunes somehow made the perfect iamrunnerwomanhearmeroar soundtrack.
maybe it was too good of a soundtrack, cause my legs really, really hate me.

i could blame it on the soundtrack, or i could just blame it on me.
i'm a dork.

May 6, 2007

boston 2008?

i have a date.
a marathon date to be exact.
october 21.

hopefully, this will be the magic day in which i knock the 21 minutes off my previous marathon time needed to get me to boston 2008.

-- wish me luck & stay tuned!!!

May 3, 2007

another kind of race report ....

the 'run for the roaches' to be exact.

unbelievable as it is, i have a life beyond running. i have 3 children & i go to their school to volunteer for various activities ... this one in particular, i couldn't miss. and it seemed fairly blog-worthy ... since technically, there were stopwatches involved & there was running. i figured it qualifies.

a flyer came home yesterday announcing the need for adult timers for the "run for the roaches" ... a little play on "run for the roses" ... all things derby are taken very seriously around here with WEEKS of festivities leading up to the most exciting two minutes in sports.

but i digress. back to the run for the roaches. the gym is lined up with about 20 teams of 5 kids each. each team of "trainers" has a cockroach & a box maze ... the head trainer gets the lucky job of holding the small beast. this is serious stuff .. some boxes have little christmas light strewn all over the top ... some kids are shining a flashlight on their roaches (that whole thing about roaches scurrying when you put the lights on? -clearly, the kids are using this as some sort of performance enhancing drug).

there are all kinds of announcements & chaos in getting organized ... we couldn't time our own childs' team (clearly, a conflict of interest), and if a child nudged their cockroach or left their box to look at another race, their roach would be scratched. "it's heartbreaking, but it happens" - the librarians exact words.

and then - and i am dead serious - this is the next announcement: "children, now we will face our state flag, put our hands on our hearts & sing 'my old kentucky home'" ... proper derby etiquette - even with roaches. the parents & teachers are getitng a huge kick out of this, the kids are VERY serious.

the boombox starts & we sing ... "the sun shines bright on my old kentucky home ..." now - at the derby - the real derby - this is where i get all verklempt. but i was just hoping all roaches were safe in someones' hand & their was no chance of any one getting loose.

then - the roaches take their places - i guess this was the equivalent of getting into the gate - librarian blares the 'call to post' tune ... AND THEY'RE OFF!!!! only thing missing was that quintessential race announcer ... but there was all kinds of screaming & even other classes sitting in the stands watching ... it was all very official - they had categories for win, place or show ... the team i timed got second place. 21 seconds. they had a stellar course. really. smart kids.

in case you were wondering, (even if you weren't - i'm gonna tell ya) yes - the winning roach did indeed get a garland of roses.
i kid you not. tiny bits of rose petals strung onto thread ...
the principal had the honor of tying it on. her squished up horrified face was absolutley priceless.

there. just a little tidbit of what i do when i'm not the one running.
i go to watch huge, madagascar hissing cockroaches run.

off the back

way the hell off the back.
it's 5 days after a half marathon ... thought i might get a reprieve from the big dog run ... not so much. it's my own damn fault, really.
i got a text from my coach last night: am i picking you up tomorrow?
i wonder: is this a test? what's my answer? i don't think i've actually ever been given the choice of going ...
am i supposed to say no? because i should be "recovering" -- in other words, not going out to run another "race" (big dog runs may as well be a race) 5 days later?
but if i say no - then does that mean i've come down with a serious case of wussitis?
so before i could analyze anymore - i text back: yes.

this morning, i felt like i was still sleeping during the first mile ... then, after the first hill. i regretted my "yes" response.
i fell so far off the back it was just silly.
thankfully, so did someone else & the two of us ran together to the halfway water stop.

my legs were jello.
they had a 20 mile bike ride in them from yesterday.
oh - and that little half marathon from a few days ago. oy.

i wanted to stop so badly. that, or cry. with about 2 miles to go - my coach & another fellow stopped to wait for me & we finished the run together. these thursday runs are shit ass hard. good to run with people that are way faster -- i push myself harder.

that said, though ... i do need to realize i am not invincible ... it is ok to take a break & bask in the glory of my huge accomplishment. that being TWENTY SIX minutes knocked off my PR. it's just hard to take a break ... i get a little wiggy when i'm not running 30 miles a week.