Friday, November 30, 2012

It's Coming Back!

Today I decided to try my favorite 4 mile route here. It has some challenges to it and I just wanted to see how I would do on it.

The first few steps resulted in pain on the outside of my right knee. More than any other time since the October 14th inflammation/injury. I told myself to just try until it affected my gait and hoped like crazy it was just my IT Band flaring up and not the lateral meniscus!!!

At a quarter mile it was easing up. At half a mile, my knee was a non-issue and I was off! At .62 mile I was warmed up and rolling up my rain jacket's sleeves. And off I went!

I took the pedestrian bridge up over the 205 Freeway just like old days. It is the second most steep incline that I use for hill and it wasn't as bad as I expected. I didn't need to stop at the top to catch my breath. I turned around and headed back.

It never felt like I was going fast. There was not one, but TWO times that I had a runner's high moment. I was there in my day-glow clothing, running in the rain giggling and smiling. At one point I was fist pumping and quickly learned the importance of insuring your fist isn't any where near the earbud cord. OUCH! LOL!

When I got home and downloaded my stats I found that I beat ALL my prior workouts (over several months worth) on that exact 4 mile route. WOW!!! I checked the GPS data to insure it didn't add miles (with elevation spikes or weirdness) and it didn't. That was a clean tracking on the map.


Those hills didn't slow me down today and hours later, I still feel great.

This appears to be one of those freak runs that make it all so worth while. I'll take it. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It Takes Courage to Lose

I have only been back to running a short time, after that four week post-injury hiatus. My longest distance since the Half Marathon was a little over 5 miles and it wasn't pretty. Tomorrow is a race that I signed up for long before my injuries.

Yesterday, I ran 3 miles and my running brace tore the top layer of skin off in two places of my upper leg and left a ring of bruises on the lower leg.

The distance tomorrow is 7.5 miles.

I seriously considered dropping the 12K for the 5K, but my friend Shelly convinced me last weekend to give the 12K a try and to just do what I can.

It won't be a 'race' for me. I saw the finish times women in my age group did last year. I will be going into this run fully expecting to be last in my age division. If I do, it will be a first for me to be in last place as I usually finish in the upper 33-40%. It is kind of sad. A part of me doesn't want to go. It doesn't want to LOSE!!! After all, online race results are forever to anyone searching your name.

BUT!!!! A runner at Dailymile named Jill said this - "It's not where you've been but where you're headed."

I need to quit lamenting what fitness I don't have this week, and celebrate every mile I am making that brings me closer to where I was before the injuries. Even if coming in last place occurs. Even if I end up walking the last miles across the finish line.

I am going out there tomorrow to get fit. Not to win against others....but to beat the weakness out of my body that set in during my 4 weeks 'off' the road.

Just do it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

1st Run in 29 Days

I was told by the doctor to wait until I was fitted with a knee brace before running. Well, it has been taking a LONG time and today was the appointment. I woke up so excited! But, the woman I had the appointment with cancelled just 2 hours before we were to meet, stating she forgot it was a holiday today and she can't make it.

This made for a lot of frustration. If she reschedules for tomorrow (it is 5pm and she STILL hasn't called back) I wouldn't be able to run tomorrow night - it is my 2 yr wedding anniversary.

It HAD to be TODAY.

So, I put on a cheap blue neoprene knee brace I got at Walgreens.

I put on my Nike running pants, my beloved Saucony's, and my wonderful Brooks dayglow vest with the pockets. I put on my matching dayglow Nike cap, Garmin and grabbed my headphones and iPhone.

I could feel the adrenaline in me even as I stood in my court waiting for my GPS to catch the satellites.

The skies were gray, the ground wet, and a heavy mist (not quite a rain) was coming down.

I turned on the iPhone to my 'faves' playlist and off I went.

The only goal I had was to move until moving hurt, or 2 miles. Whichever came first. So, I went nice and slow on streets slick with fallen leaves and just enjoyed and reveled in the moment. The breeze on my face, my legs stretching themselves, my heart rate settling in at a nice low 160 bpm. Okay, low for ME. ;)

The course I chose was the flattest anywhere near my home. It is mostly just staying on the top of our hill, and going to the little neighborhood park that has a nice loopy asphalt quartermile track. The track has some changes in elevation as it wraps up and down and around the children's play areas. There was a young man throwing tennis balls to his black lab, and another young man shooting hoops in the mist. I did 4 laps at the park.

My cardio fitness has suffered from the 29 days without running.

My legs remembered how to move, but they didn't feel as strong as they used to by the 2 mile mark. In fact, my left quad was trying to convince me the couch was a better place to be. HA! I told my legs to suck it up and get me home so they did....another half mile.

My knee is a little cranky right now but it didn't hurt running. It will get over it.

It felt SO wonderful running again!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heart broken and STRESSING

I haven't ran since the Half Marathon. I want to run. I need to run. I feel like I am wound tighter than a cat suspended over a raging river. I feel like I am ready to blow at clients, coworkers, pets and family.

I didn't realize just how much running helped me in combating day to day stress.

It isn't just the ability to eat more.

It isn't the escapism.

It is the doing for myself. It is being selfish in a world with a million eyes and hands reaching out for me to fix their lives, their cases, their dinner or their errands. It is filling the tank so there is more of me to give.

And I have run dry.

That pain I felt August 23rd? That made me cry and hobble home? That same pain I felt on occasion after and that tore me up from mile 5 on in the Half Marathon? That pain led me to the REAL sports doctor. I drove far away to see him. He then had me get an MRI.

First, let me tell you MRI's for a knee are NOT an ideal way of spending your early evening. It was 45 minutes long and for someone who likes to spread out, that confined space had me stressed. My mission was to breath deep. Relax. Get lost in the music in the headphones. The music helped. It still wasn't pleasant.

My doctor called me yesterday to say he didn't have the images yet, but he did get the report. He sounded sad. I had never heard him sound sad. That scared me.

He said that his suspicions were confirmed. I had a small tear on my lateral meniscus. He said that would explain the hammer-to-the-knee pain when stepping down, or making left to right motions with my knee. It might be best if I opt for the surgery.

He said there was a few other surprises, too. By then, I was crying. I was at work and at my desk. I was trying hard not to sob uncontrollably and it took a lot of effort not to. I regret I didn't catch, understand or hear all he said. There was something about 'fissuring' and 'small tears' in a cartilage behind the knee cap. Something about my IT band. Something 'dysfunction' and something scary sounding. And a lot of medical sounding words.

Doctor said he would be getting the images soon and will call me when he does to confirm our plan of action. He suggested I might want to find a surgeon.

I came home and cried to my husband. Then I called my physical therapist, Bryce as he had asked me to tell him as soon as I heard anything. I felt like an idiot saying I didn't catch or understand much other than TEAR and FISSURING. I asked if HE could ask the doctor the next time they spoke so we would know what PT steps to take. He was very kind and didn't mock me for not understanding it all. He reassured me we will get through this. I will run again. Then he said, "You're still young!" hahaha

I do know the doctor was going to have a Brace representative call me to go over knee braces. Supposedly these aren't the ones you find at the market. They are very very expensive but my insurance should cover it.

My weight is already increasing and it is SO INCREDIBLY HARD to stop eating the amount of food I had been the last year. It is awful. I failed again today in staying under 1600 calories. It sucks,

I walked two miles and rode the recumbent bike for 3.5 miles. A total of 500 calories. that is NOTHING. And no cardio.

I am depressed.