A Whinny Update

Hello….

Long time no typing on here.  I’m so freaking tired!

I haven’t done any significant running in the last two weeks.  I’m afraid I’m losing everything I have worked up to. I don’t want to be failing at this but I am, once again!

I finished week 5 really strong and was getting really into the workouts.  Loved my Garmin telling me my stats.  They pushed me to try and work harder!  Then I did the first workout of week 6 and the next day I was hurting.  My hip and foot (which like to go numb during longer running intervals) was giving me trouble during the workout but I ignored it and finished.  The next day I couldn’t really stand up straight.  So I tried stretching and taking it easy for the remainder of that first week.

The next week arrives and I’m feeling like I want to try the whole thing again.  I’m still feeling sore and not too hot and it shows when I go out and try day one of week 6 again.  Everything is hurting and it’s hurting from the get go!  I couldn’t even do the whole 8 minutes of the first interval in one piece and had to take a walk break.  I’m thinking that it was probably just because I haven’t worked out enough over the last week and that I already lost some of my fitness.  Um…ok!  Anyway…I push through the rest of my workout and hobble to my car.

I wake up the next day and I’m pretty sure I have turned into Quasimodo over night.  Quasimodo with a stick up her butt.  I can’t for the life of me stand up straight no matter how hard I try to.  My first thoughts go to running!  “Great…make that progress just to fall behind even more!”  I’m just really upset with myself for not continuing with the chiropractor as he suggested I do.

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That same day I called the chiropractor and made an appointment.  I went last Thursday and again this Tuesday.  Almost immediately after seeing the doctor on Thursday I started to feel better.  I was slowly able to stand straighter and today, I’m feeling almost “great”.  When I went back to see the chiro on that first day, I was surprised it had been a month since I saw him last.  I never did finish the treatment plan he set up for me and I never reached the place I was supposed to be at before I started “ignoring” my appointments.  Since I was feeling better from the few treatments I did, I felt like I didn’t need to go anymore, turns out I was wrong.

It looks like everything kinda resorted back to it’s original problems.  The right side of my back is super tight and it’s pulling everything off center.  Hence the pain in my hip and numb left foot.  I asked the doctor if I should be stretching or anything and he told me to hold off on that.  That was a surprise to me because the PT based his whole plan on stretching.  The chiro wants to train everything to stay were it should be before I do any stretching.  I guess that makes sense.  I don’t know, the chiro is like a God to me so I’m going to do anything he says from now on.

I have an appointment tomorrow and hopefully I’ll be cleared to run again after that!  The sooner I’m cleared the better but whenever I go back to running I’ll probably drop back down in training weeks.  I had planned on doing a Bridge to 10K after finishing the C25K program but I’m thinking I might just try to hang around the 3 mile mark for a while and then slowly build straight into half training.  I’m hoping that adjustment will get me where I want to be which is the finish line of the Surf City Half Marathon!  Stay tuned.

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The Chiropractor

I’m in love!!!

I went to the chiropractor today and I felt instantly at ease.  Every person in that office is friendly and knows what they are talking about.  I got there and filled out a bunch of paperwork, the usual.  Then I was given a tour of the office (never before have I been given an office tour…I usually can’t find my way out of doctors offices let alone know where all the treatment rooms are).  I was then seated in the consultation room and waited a bit for the chiropractor to come in.

When he came in, I instantly fell in love.  Ha!  He asked what was going on, listened to what I had to say, and gave me some possible explanations for all of the pain and discomfort.  He then called the imaging center for my MRI’s so he could see what has been going on.  I didn’t know much more than “I have a slightly bulging disk in my lumbar area”.  The orthopedic didn’t explain much more than that. After the preliminary stuff I did some toe touching and trunk twisting.  The chiropractor told me he could see that my issue was most likely muscle tightness in my back.  My one side is much more flexible than the other.  He also said that the issue with my back was translating into my whole body favoring one side over the other and that was causing me to over compensate.  When I did some “straight standing” exercises it was obvious that my left side hangs lower than the right.  Stuff I could have told you (and have told other doctors) without an expert opinion.  Finally he told me that he thinks that my hip issue is probably an inflamed bursa. With my body overcompensating on one side, it is pulling everything off center.  When my muscles try to glide over my left hip, they are getting hung up on my bursa “cushion” and irritating it.  I didn’t really consider an inflamed bursa but the rest sounds like my exact diagnosis of myself.  Pass me my PhD degree!

Another fun fact:  Last night I was stretching and doing some child’s pose and all that because I didn’t want to get too sore after my wog.  After I was done, I started having this really dull pain in my left shoulder joint.  When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t raise my arm above my head.  WTF!!!  I swear…after I turned 30 everything just started going to hell.  How could stretching even cause all of that?  I don’t know.  Any way, I mentioned it to the chiropractor and he added treatment for the sore shoulder even though I was just there for my back/hip.  I love him!

While we waited for my MRI results to be faxed over I got started on cold laser therapy for my shoulder.  It literally took less than five minutes and now, 3 hours later, the pain in my shoulder is almost completely gone.  I need one of those lasers for my house.  I’d be lasering myself non stop.  😉  After the cold laser I was put on electrical muscle stimulation for my back and hip.  I had that before during PT but hey, why not try again?  After those treatments I was put in an exam room and waited for the MRI results to get there.

As soon as the results came in the chiropractor discussed them with me more thoroughly than the orthopedic surgeon ever did.  He told me that my hip joint was healthy but that the MRI did not rule out a possible labrum tear (something ortho was checking for) and that another test was recommended.  I was never told to go for an additional test to rule out additional injury.  Hmmmm….I guess the shooting pain in my hip/groin is just supposed to be fun?  I guess the pop I heard in my nether regions when I stepped off the parking lot curb was proly just my imagination? I imagine if I do have a tear in my labrum (funny word) that it would also be related to the whole “off to one side compensating” thing. Makes sense to me!!

We also discussed the bulging disk in my back.  He told me that at the time of the MRI the disk was not pinching anything but that the report said it wouldn’t rule out pinched nerves during activity or in a standing position.  The chiro said that I could be agitating the existing issue when I run or do extended walking.  Would explain the pain after a full day of being on my feet.

Mini Rant:  Thanks ortho!  You did an awesome job of telling me nothing!  Just send me for cortisone shots….that should do it.  I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be informed about my health issues a little more in detail.  Don’t write me off as dumb or that I wouldn’t be able to grasp what you are trying to explain.  I want to know what my issues are!

After finally being given the low down of what the MRI report revealed, I was even more glad that I chose to visit with this particular chiropractor.  He seems knowledgeable and thorough.  I loved how he explained every little detail to me and I felt comfortable being there.  I was always led to believe that chiropractic care wasn’t REAL medical care.  At this point I really don’t give a shit.  If this is going to help with my pain and other issues I’m going to do it regardless if it’s considered REAL or not.

In the end I kept wondering when I was going to have an “adjustment” and apparently that is the final step in the whole thing.  Since the main issue seems to be my lower back, I was told to lay on the table on my side.  I was then folded into an Aunty Anne pretzel configuration (and even told the chiro that I felt like a pretzel) right before he cracked my back.  I actually yelled when he pushed down and my vertebrae snapped, crackle, popped like some Rice Crispies.  I heard the whole thing and felt it too.  It was funny and embarrassing at the same time.  Hey..I didn’t mean to yell but I didn’t have any warning and it threw me off for a second.  I got up from that table feeling like a million dollars.  I was asked when my next wog was scheduled and I told him that it was on Wednesday. He told me to go ahead and do the workout if I felt good and that he would like to see me later in the day on Wednesday for additional treatment.  You can bet I’ll be there Doc!  😉

Gratitude Journal:  Women’s intuition.  I had a feeling all along that cortisone shots would not be a final repair for my issues.  I knew that they were just a band aid for an underlying problem.  I am not healed in any way, shape or form but I do have a more clear picture and logical information as to what is going on.  I’m glad I didn’t take the first suggestion as an answer!

Things That Make Me Nervous About Running

Part of my April goals include starting C25K again with the ultimate goal of getting prepared to start a half marathon training plan. I was running fairly regularly about 6 months ago when I got hurt.  The last time I was running I pushed myself so hard without listening to my own common sense, let alone to the experts in various magazines and books.  I read an article that talked about running at the pace you are at, not at the pace where you want to be.  Guess what?  That advice didn’t seem to phase me at all and even though my pace was more at a 15-16 minute mile (or even slower) I kept pushing to hit 12 minute miles or less.  I was a newbie, I had no business thinking that a 12 minute mile was doable.  I thought pushing that hard was a good idea and that it would get me to my goals faster.  Always in a hurry…until I got hurt and was sidelined!!

So now that I’m getting back into a running habit I’m definitely nervous about doing things the wrong way.  I’m worried that I will re-aggravate an injury that isn’t even completely healed and still causes me pain from time to time.  For my own peace of mind I had to do some research and figure out what I was going to do to head off any possible problems.  I may still get hurt or things might not go my way but in the end I will know that I did everything I needed to do to stay safe.

Issue #1 – Heat

I live in an area where the summer temperatures get up to around 115 degrees.  It’s basically too hot to go from your house to your car to your destination and back.  Air conditioning is your best friend in the summer.  My training is going to be mostly outdoors this time around.  Treadmill running not only becomes boring but it’s not really indicative of outdoor race running.

Solution:

I’m going to plan on doing my runs as early in the day as possible or in the evenings when the sun is going down.  I’m also going to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  I need to look into Nuun.  I also hope that starting my training plan earlier in the year than I originally planned will help.  I’m getting going about a month early with C25k so that should make things better.  I do have access to a work gym at city hall should the weather be unbearable.

Issue #2 – Being too Slow

Ok, so this is just a “problem” in my own head.  I feel like I should go out there and sprint my workouts and I just need to get over that notion.

Solution:

Remind myself that this is my journey and no one else’s.  I will go at my own pace and work up to the pace where I want to be.  The fear of injury should keep me from pushing too hard…hopefully.  I’m also going to set my workout app to beep at me if my pace becomes too fast.  I’d love to get a Garmin to help me with that but for now I’ll use Map My Run (I’m boycotting Nike…hehehe).

Issue #3 – Places to Run

I’m at a loss for finding places to run.  I live smack dab in the middle of my city.  We do have the wine country close and there are tons of parks but I’d love to walk out of my front door and just go.  This is probably not going to be the best option for me though. Many running areas are further from my house.

Solution:

I’m planning on meeting up with a local running group.  Freakin’ scary as hell!!  I’m so self conscious about meeting up with others that already run and appearing inadequate (see problem #2).  Again, this is all in my own head and no one else probably cares so I’m just going to have to get over it.  There is a group on FB that has beginner group that start every few months.  I’m going to join up with one of those.  I’m also going to check Map My Run to see if I can find running routes others around here use.

Issue #4 – Planes, trains and automobiles (and possible gropers)

Since I’ll be running outside I’m nervous about getting hit by a car or random skateboarder.  I’ve also heard some stories recently about joggers being physically assaulted right by my house.  I live in a very safe area, mind you, but there are assholes everywhere. I’m a little nervous for my safety.

Solution:

Always make sure someone knows where I’ll be and when I plan on being back.  Try to run with others (running group) as often as possible and when alone stay on well traveled paths.  Try to run during the daylight hours when possible and stay aware of my surroundings.  I also need to curb the headphone usage so I can hear things around me.

Issue #5 – Passing Out, Needing a Toilet or Getting Injured Too Far from Home

This one is really freaky and I have issues!  What if I pass out or roll my ankle and can’t get home?  Also, what if I get runners trots?! I have a friend that I worked with who passed out on her run.  She hit the pavement and had a complete black out.  She doesn’t even know how long she was actually out.  I’m hoping this is like the adage “lighting doesn’t strike twice in the same place”! Since I already know someone that passed out on a run it should never happen to me, right?  PS: I’m pretty sure she did NOT have runner’s trots at the same time of her black out so there’s that silver lining.

Solution:

Keep identification and emergency contacts on me at all times.  Keep my phone with me so that I can call for help/someone to pick me up.  If I’m feeling less than stellar on a run, I’ll walk or have a seat to regain my bearings.  I should probably avoid fiber, coffee and other triggers before my long runs too.  Do out and back runs so I’m not too far from home at any given time on shorter runs.

Issue #6 – Being Injured

I do not want to get into a rhythm and then deal with an injury.  This gives me the most anxiety out of all the issues listed.

Solution:

Slow and steady!  I’m going to move through each of my training programs day by day, week by week.  I’m not going to skip days or weeks because I think I’m ahead of the schedule.  I’m going to move slower than I think I should.  I’m also going to incorporate cross training.  I didn’t do any of that previously.  I just ran!  Strength training, stretching, foam rolling and taking care of myself in general are a must and I will do what I need to do to stay healthy.  I’m also going to listen when my body says it’s had enough and I’m not going to “work through the pain”.

Do you run?  What are your safety tips?

Gratitude Journal:  I’m grateful that I’ve never had an on the run injury or mishap that I couldn’t recover from.  I’ve always been able to make it back to my starting point, probably because most of my previous running was treadmill running.  Any who, getting hurt on a run or crapping your pants is scary as hell and could also be embarrassing.  Yikes!