Sunday, March 30, 2014

at it again!

i lost my job last week friday (3/21) so i've been sitting around eating bon bons and watching tons of reality television.  um, ok... not really.  i have, however, had a lot of time to apply for more jobs than you can shake a stick at and to work up the nerve to lace up my running shoes and get on the road.

on monday and wednesday i had appointments with venske (if you need a chiropractor and you live in lake country THIS IS THE GUY!) and he basically told me to shit or get off the pot.  he made a very good point that i have to run sometime and my fear isn't going to help me any because without running i have no way of knowing if anything is better or not.  so... friday i ran.  it went surprisingly and pleasingly well!  unfortunately, my shin splint reared it's ugly little angry head but otherwise the run was short but a huge success!  so successful, in fact, i decided to repeat it

first, i taped my shin based on some information i found on the internets which proved to be most helpful.  no pain in the shin at all when running which was amazing and quite surprising if i do say so myself.  so surprising that i made a little video telling y'all what i did so that you too can see if you can run pain free by trying this taping method.  one problem solved.

 unfortunately, my calf wasn't so cooperative.  it felt weird from the start.  not exactly painful but not good either.  sort of wonky and icky but not hurty.  about 1/2 a mile in part of my foot went numb but it went away pretty quickly.  i'm hoping that whatever is "stuck" in my body will loosen up and go back to normal.  i may have to invest in the chiropractor long term and without insurance that's going to be a bear.  someone else mentioned that i may want to look into different shoes.  i'm not sure that's necessary considering this issue is very new and i've been running in these shoes for years.  i think this issue with my sciatic nerve is a symptom of something else entirely.  what that something else is though... i have no idea.  the good news is that i'm running again so there's that.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

all the bad news at once

last friday i was let go from my job.  to compound that on monday when i went to register for beat the bleach it was SOLD OUT!  2000 spots sold out in 30 minutes!  it is shocking really.  what's worse is that i was sitting on the computer at 8:57am and registration opened at 9am.  i decided to leave for the ymca and register when i came home.  i can't believe what an idiot i was!  i thought there'd be no way that it would fill up that fast.  i'm so sad and pissed...  ball officially dropped.

if you read my last post you know that i am a planner and i already did 2 of 3 very important things for this race:

1.  i already bought non-refundable plane tickets to seattle
2.  i booked a place to stay which (while refundable) we're keeping since we have to fly there anyway

sadly number 3 would have been to register for the race.  what a freaking bummer.  i did write a little e-mail to the race director asking if i could be fit in since it IS ON MY BIRTHDAY and i am coming from out of town and *all the tears*... what i got in return was a form e-mail telling me to sign up for the waiting list.  so much for personal touches and such.  *sigh*

so as it stands i will still be going to seattle for my birthday but i will not be getting to run in the most awesome race there... ON MY BIRTHDAY no less.  so disappointing.

of course, i guess the more important issue here is that i am no longer gainfully employed.  i've applied for 19 jobs in the past 5 days so something is bound to come through or at least i'm bound to get an interview or two.  keep your fingers crossed.

in the interim you can find me at the ymca getting my squat on.  i intend to have the nicest ass i've ever had this summer.  if i can't run i will work out at the gym... april first is my goal beginning for starting back up the running.  i'm really actually quite afraid.  i'm afraid that the numbness will still be an issue.  i've been going to the chiropractor and he thinks he can help me.  i guess we will see.

in even more bad news... my insurance ends at the end of the month so thursday is my last visit with him and hopefully something is getting worked out in there.

when it rains it pours...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

beat the blerch

so what does a girl do when she hasn't run in over 3 weeks due to persistent injury?  she books a flight to seattle for a race (as yet undetermined length) with no place to stay that falls on HER BIRTHDAY!  yay me. 

gotta remember to sign up on monday.

so last night i was perusing the book of face and a friend of mine who lives in seattle posted a post about this race that is being directed by this guy who writes this awesome comic called the oatmeal... maybe you've heard of it?  if not... GO THERE NOW AND SPEND SOME TIME.  it's pretty awesome.

anyhoo... this guy wrote this awesome comic about running and ever since then he's been near and dear to my heart.

now... to be fair this trip isn't only for the race.  my husband's birthday is the 19th and mine is the 21st so it seemed kismet for me to run this race.  i've never been to seattle and i've always wanted to go so what perfect cosmic predestination!  dare i say... fate?

the last thing to do is figure out where to stay and sign up for the race.  i'm leaning towards the 1/2 marathon distance since that's pretty easy and seems worthy of flying across the country for.  since i've had to give up the trailbreaker as well as the ice age 50K that leaves lakefront as my first marathon.  i sort of want to keep that as my first marathon now. 

seems the perfect one for my first... hometown and all that jazz.  beautiful course plus boston qualifying.  what more could i ask for?

i'm pretty excited and i really hope that the trouble with my leg sorts itself out.  the doc appointment went as i thought it would.  i love that guy.  he did send me to get a mammogram (which he's done every year for the past 3 years and which i've promptly not gone and gotten for the past 3 years)... my appointment is on friday.  this time i'm going.  i also was supposed to set something up with a sports medicine doctor but they aren't working out of the office near me and i'm not interested in driving 30 minutes so i'm not making that appointment.  *sigh*  such a bummer...

in worse news... my insurance changes april 1st (thanks obama) and not for the better.  i am gainfully employed and we are getting so screwed by this new healthcare.  my premium went up considerably, our deductible went up, and the structure of the plan changed in a way that i will now have to pay for everything (prescriptions, office visits, etc...) everything up front until the deductible ($5,500) is met.  then and only then does the co-pay and coverage kick in.  its bullshit.  right now the plan we have covers everything.  we pay a heavy premium, $30 co-pays, and our deductible is $3,300 or something but then everything is covered.  april 1st and all that changes... what a mess.  i'm pretty sure i won't be going to the doctors anymore after the 1st.  sad but true.  i hope it helps the unemployed and truly destitute because it isn't helping my family.

Monday, March 17, 2014

scrambling and hearbroken

so i've been scrambling and contacting the various race directors of some upcoming races i have to see if i can defer my entries to next year considering that i can't run.  i see my traditional doc today for my yearly check up where i plan to talk to him about the sciatica and the torn shin muscle.  i'm pretty sure he will shake his head at me as he's done hundreds of times before (first with roller derby, then with rock climbing, and now with running) because i go hard and have such a high threshold for pain that i ignore things that i probably shouldn't ignore.  *sigh*

story of my life.

i'm so sad and relieved to report (although this is a good thing) that i've managed to defer my upcoming saturday race to a race in next year's series.  the race director was gracious enough to allow me to do this and i am so thankful!  there is no way that i could successfully run a race this coming saturday without setting my healing back weeks and weeks!  i'm still having pain after running only a mile! 

since my second acupuncture appointment i don't have any idea how the numbness is since i won't do a test run to find out.  i really shouldn't be running at all and since i want to be able to run when we go to florida next month... i need all the healing i can get.

this marks 3 races i've dropped out of because of this injury.  i know that it's for the best and that it is paramount to my healing but it doesn't make me feel any better about missing them.  i was so looking forward to my training and my racing this summer.  i felt really great about how my training was going this winter... slow and steady and then THIS happens. 

i hope my doc has good news for me.  my friend kellie keeps telling me that the sciatica is a symptom and not the problem... so i hope that she's right and we can figure out what the problem is and remedy it so i can go back to running sooner than later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

the worst 1 mile of my entire life

the first time i ran a mile i thought it was the worst mile of my entire life.  i couldn't breathe.  i had a side stitch.  my legs hurt and it was really really hard.  so hard that i didn't do it again for a very long time.  it was not the worst mile of my entire life.

turns out that the worst mile of my life (so far) was on saturday when i gave it a go after not having run for exactly 2 weeks to the day pending injuries including but not limited to a torn calf muscle and sciatic nerve issues.

i know that this was the worst mile of my life because i know what i am missing when i can't run this mile.  i know the thrill of the first few steps when the anticipation of the run is so fresh.  i know the catch in my throat as my body settles in and my breath evens out.  i know the joy in the cadence of my footfalls as my stride finds itself.  i know the comfort i find in the sights and sounds fading away as i focus on my body and the work it's doing.  i know the beauty as the world falls away and all that's left is me and the run.  i know that this was the worst mile of my life because i experienced none of these euphoric things.  what made this mile the worst mile of my life and worse than that first mile i ever ran (and believed to be the worst of my life) is that while i was running it i knew exactly what i was missing while i was running it.

this mile was an anxious and challenging mile.  shortly upon starting saturday's mile my leg began to go numb but i ran anyway.  it was a slow mile that took more effort than usual.  it was hard to run and there was no joy in it.  my leg continued to go numb.  i finished saturday's mile with a leg that was numb from the back of the knee down to my entire foot.  i was sad and defeated.  i felt overwhelmed with disappointment and the worry that i would never run again without numbness and/or pain.

worst mile of my life.

yesterday i went to 8 branches chinese medicine and met with my friend sheri.  she reached out to me after i posted a post on the book of face lamenting my sorrows.  all the dramas... i know.  she thought she could help me with acupuncture and so i went.  to be honest i had no expectations.  i am game for anything that might help and am all for alternative medicines.  traditional medicines have their place and can work to a point and i'm not opposed to trying and utilizing whatever works.  so i went.  the appointment was weird.  allowing someone to stick more than a dozen needles in your body is a weird concept.  there really was nothing significant to speak of... at first.  the needles went in and then i couldn't feel them anymore.  one in the top of my left foot was intensely painful immediately upon insertion and so she moved it and i couldn't feel it anymore.  a little later i had a similar painful sensation in my right hand but not where the needle was inserted.  a bit later a similar sensation in my right foot.  for each of these instances she simply moved my appendage around a bit and the pain was gone.  there was some manual manipulation of my muscles surrounding some of the needles as well as some heat application on my ankles and lower back.  i would say about 10-15 minutes into the treatment i felt what can only be described as a buzzing or humming throughout my body... not a noise but an energy coursing through my body.  it felt like a buzzing or humming is what i mean.  i can only assume that it was energy moving through me.  there was no huge crazy feelings of change that i noticed.  no big epiphany.  no magical ah-ha moment.  just some needles, some massage, and i fell asleep for about 15 minutes when sheri left me alone to relax.

today i went to the gym with the intent to run another mile.  i had no expectations.  well... that's a little lie.  i expected a repeat of saturday.  i expected my leg to go numb, to shed all the tears, and to dramatically plan my non-running future as i swore off alternative medicine for life.

i started my garmin so that i could track my laps this time for accurate calculations.  we all know how i like to be accurate... and i started running.  i felt a little sore in the calf as well as on the front inside shin where i injured it those 2 saturdays ago.  beyond that... so far so good.  i settled in and waited for the numbness.  as i clocked laps 2,3,4,5... no numbness.  still the soreness but nothing was getting worse or more painful and a smile spread across my face!  lap 6 and still no numbness and the slight pain holding steady but not getting worse... could this be possible?!?  what the hell!  amazing!  lap 7!  picking up the pace now just a bit... still NOTHING!  no numbness... laps 8 and 9... ok... here we go.  there's a little something.  just a twinge of something.  two laps to go and finally some numbness!  10 and 11 - mile finished and the assessment is this:  no numbness in the leg at all.  only numbness in the outside of the foot encompassing the pinkie toe to the middle toe and maybe the second toe too but the big toe is fine.  no numbness there and no numbness on the inside of the foot or in the heel!  this is amazing!  what an improvement.

i have to say i'm a believer.  i ran that mile in 8:05.  i have a second appointment tomorrow and before i ran today i was on the fence about keeping the appointment.  i'm actually sort of shocked by the improvement.  i honestly believed i'd have to quit running.  i guess that's that for now.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

ice age 50K deferral, 10K, and my first marathon

so i deferred my entry for the ice age 50K that i was supposed to run in may until 2015.  there's no way i can run this race with the lack of training i've been experiencing with my leg how it is.  it is so heartbreaking.  i don't even want to talk to my friends about it anymore.  i feel like such a whiner.  i'm on the verge of tears all day today and have been planning my non-running life.  its quite ridiculous.

i've been trying to figure out what i'm going to do if i can never run again.  i'm so angry.  it's worse because there's no way to make it better.  no plan to make it better.  no wait it out and it gets better.  no rhyme or reason to the crap... it just goes numb and then it hurts and there's nothing i can do to make it not happen.

it is frustrating and makes me so angry and then i want to cry because it isn't fair.  it isn't fair because i need to run.  i need this in my life.  i have plans for christ's sake!  i have goals!  i have things i want to do and i was on a path to those goals and things were going really well until this crap happened and i DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TO CAUSE THIS!  it just happened!  and now i can't get it to go away!  i'm so angry!

i've been doing all the necessary stretching all the time.  all day long over and over and for what?  nothing because it isn't helping.  i stopped running for 2 weeks for what?  nothing because it isn't helping.  so i'm basically screwed because nothing is helping.

ok... pity party is over.  moral of the story is that i have a 10K in a couple of weeks that i have to decide if i want to risk running or not and then my first marathon scheduled after that... to run or not to run... that is the million dollar question.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

one mile and my leg went numb


i am getting really frustrated and discouraged.  i haven't run in exactly 2 weeks so today i decided to test it out at the Y.  i ran (i think) about a mile on the indoor track.  my left leg from the knee down went entirely numb.  this is bullshit.  i am so angry and frustrated.  i don't know what to do about it.  i've gotten all sorts of advice about stretches (see youtube) many that i already do on a regular basis as i was a gymnast, i've always stretched after running, and i practice yoga so it makes no sense if i'm already doing these stretches regularly why my sciatic nerve would be squished.

i'm so pissed.  i am in excellent health and perfect physical condition so what the fuck!?!

makes me want to just run through it.  admittedly i'm afraid to do that.  what if i make it worse?  how did this happen in the first place?  why can't anyone tell me how to fix it?  as i said... this is bullshit!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

it's been a WHOLE week and i didn't DIE!

it's been a whole week since i last ran and look at that... i'm not dead.

we did sign back up for the Y.M.C.A. since i can't run.  i won't be able to lift my arms tomorrow and i probably won't be able to bend over or stand up or walk up or down stairs.  i might not be able to move really but it is totally worth it!  i LOVE the squat machine!  i love any machine that makes it easy for me to work out in a shorter amount of time... that means i need weights.

3 sets of 15 reps on everything and i'm golden.

i will have the best ass in town in a couple of weeks and abs for days.  we'll see tho'... i'm going to be ripped!  mostly tho' i just want to have my body be strong so that i don't keep getting injured when i'm running.

i'm thinking i'm looking at another week of no running.

next week i'm going to try a short run and if it's pain free i'll start up again.  i've got the "luck of the irish" 10K  in just under 3 weeks.  i'm running it so i just hope i'm pain free by then.  i'm running it either way.  to compound my stubborn issues... i've got my very first marathon ever just 2 weeks after that 10K.  i feel like i should be more nervous that i am.  i don't usually get nervous about races.  i attribute this to the fact that i'm generally racing against my self... against my last time.  i don't really care (too much) about what other people are doing in the race so i don't really get all that worked up about it.  i mean... of course i want to do well and i want to do better than others thereby placing high in my age group but so far i am doing well in my age group so i feel pretty confident when going into races.  i haven't had any reason to feel nervous yet.  even when injured i've still placed high in my age group.  i feel confident that i can continue to attain my goals which are to get faster and finish in faster times than i've previously finished in.

i think that in order to do this i need to get stronger.  so there is a compound goal.  get stronger.  get faster. win.

easy peasey lemon squeezy.

now i just have to be able to run...