Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm almost sorry I asked..... last night after work I went to my PT from last year....we'll call her "C".

C rocks...plain and simple. Her bedside manner is amazing. Her personality is rockin' awesome. And she knows her stuff. Plus, she's a repeat Olympic marathon trials runner. Running is kinda her thing. :-)

I went in and talked to her about what was going on. She'd already talked to the other PT I'm seeing this year (in the same office), "A". I told her I didn't want A to think I was going behind her back....and C laughed. She said A was excited I talked to her.....that two heads are better than one.

Basically that means they don't know WHAT the heck to do with me. (giggle)

C poked and prodded around on my legs a little....and then we talked for a good amount of time. I told her exactly what I'd felt running the night before....but also rehashed what I'd be feeling over the last year. Basically, this year and last year are identical. Same pain, same location......but Tuesday night was the worst it had ever been.

While we talked she used the "phono" device (ultrasound therapy) to hopefully reduce some of the swelling I had going on. She then put Kinesio tape on my lower legs "to calm them the heck down."

Then we talked some more.

The more we talked, the more the look on her face turned serious. You could tell she had thought of I asked her what was on her mind.

I've been to multiple physical therapists.....and multiple doctors....and they've all mentioned what she was thinking....but they all ruled it out (including her last year). She wants to talk to my doctor and see what he thinks.

If anything, there's a test they can do to either confirm or rule out her suspicion.

Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome

I refrained from looking it up last night online. But I knew I couldn't spend an entire day here at my work computer without looking it up. It would bug me, and nag at me, until I did.

I can't say as that I'm thrilled with the possibility of it being CECS. The testing sounds like nothing short of torture (think really big needles and a treadmill), and the fix is surgery.

On the brighter side, if it comes to that, I'd be back to full performance 6-12 weeks (in most patients) after.

Nothing is for sure, it's not an actual's just an idea she has. I'll know more once she talks to my doc, and they decide if they want to test for it, or if he rules it out....again.

If they do that, it's back to the drawing board....again.

I think...for now, I'm ruling out the full marathon in October. I'll see if I can run the half instead (most races allow registration changes from the full to the half, but not the other way around).

2012 I'll run my first full. Period.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You gotta know when to hold 'em....know when to fold 'em....know when to walk away...know when to run.

I've heard running called an addiction. There was a time in my life when I'd laugh out loud at the idea.

I'm not laughing now.

I really enjoy doing it....I've gotten myself healthier than I've been in years.....lost upwards of 40-50 lbs doing it. I've gone down a million dress sizes.....I actually traded out my kayak for a smaller one.

At first I was only able to run inside, on a treadmill. But eventually, with the help of medical professionals, I was cleared to finally run outside. Complete half marathons, 10k's, 5K's, Duathlons......

I have more energy during the day. I went on a week long backpacking trip and kept up with the boys I was hiking with.

And now, I can't run.

I had a spark of hope yesterday, after running in my orthotics. Sure, the same pain was there in my legs, but it wasn't any worse. There was still hope.

I went out to run a mile or two again in them last night.

At .75 miles I turned around...limping. With .25 miles left to home I took my shoes and socks off. I was three blocks from home and had my cell phone out to call my husband to come and get me.

I went through a shoulder reconstruction surgery and only cried from frustration. Last night, I was crying in pain. It was everything I could do, to not just sit down on the sidewalk, right there in front of everyone, and start bawling.

I fought through it, barefoot, and broke down the minute I got into the house.

The muscle...the stupid muscle...that runs along the inside of my lower legs, was on fire. From ankle to nearly my knee. And, not only was there a hot metal poker, but it was an electrified electrified poker. It burned, it twitched, it cramped.

By the time I'd gotten home, my calf muscles had joined the pain party. Maybe they felt left out???

I went immediately to our bedroom.....pushed my face into the mattress, and cried harder than I've cried in a long time.

Yes, I was frustrated.....but my legs hurt so d*mn bad.

And once my brain turned to the negative, I couldn't stop the floodgates.

1) I'd spent money on these stupid crappy custom orthotics, that only seemed to make things worse, not better.
2) I'd spent money on new shoes to hopefully help...and that didn't work either.
3) I've spent money to enter a full marathon in October. I can't train for it with 1-2 miles at a time....once or twice a week. Pretty sure that's not going to work.
4) I love doing it.....and it just seems that everything is telling me I shouldn't be.

I can't get my head around what has changed from last year. I trained from May through October for my first half....with little to no pain what-so-ever.

The only thing that was different, was the physical therapist I started used. Last year was "C"...this year it's "A".

So, today I called and made an appointment with "C". She's in the same office I'm already going once a week...but I still feel as though I'm cheating on "A". "A"'s good, she's doing the same things my PT from last year did, but I'm going to talk to "C" none the less.

I'm kinda at the end of my rope. I mean, compared to now, the pain I was feeling at the beginning of the year is peanuts. Is all of this monkeying around just making things worse? Seems like it.

I'm excited for my appointment with "C" tonight. Can't wait to hear what she has to say.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

06/20/11: New Shoes and conquering my fear

I bought new running shoes this weekend.

My old ones were getting up there in miles.....they were starting to look their age....and new running shoes always cheer me up.

Wow....a sentence I'd never thought I'd hear myself say.

Running shoes make me happy......

(now I have that John Denver song stuck in my head...argh!!)

Anyway.....not only was getting new running shoes "news" in my world...but they aren't Mizunos. I'd never run in anything but, until now.

You see, Mizunos (from my observations) are much more firm. Much less cushion. I went into the store and told the salesperson what I was looking for. A shoe that was still neutral....that wasn't over cushy....but did have a little more cushion than my current Mizunos.

I ended up with a pair of Brooks Glycerin 9's.

Why more cushion???? Well, I still hadn't worked up the courage to run with my new custom orthotics.

Walking two miles in them a month ago nearly hobbled me for a it's no wonder the idea of running in them terrified me.

Those things are stiff, hard and unforgiving....and I was about to run with them?? I was walking gingerly when going down stairs...let alone running. But if I were to get a shoe with SOME cushion, maybe it would help soften the foot to orthotic impact???

My PT told me to only run maybe a mile the first time around. So that's what I set out to do this morning.

1 mile.

I walked about 6 blocks before I finally found the courage to try it out.

And now I wonder what the heck I was waiting for?? I didn't even notice them when running. I knew they were there....but just barely. Running and walking are so completely different, I shouldn't have been surprised. But I was none the less.

Oh well...lesson learned.

On the flip side...the pain in my legs was there. No more, no less, than before. Still hanging around being consistently painful and annoying.

I told my PT about it at my appointment today. She wants me to run in them consistently now for 2 weeks....and if I'm not seeing any improvement they want to try something else.

Mental note: Google "Graston Technique"

Papillion Days Duathlon, June 19, 2011

My sister, Inny, is a cyclist who has started running as cross training. I'm a runner who should start using cycling (more often) as cross training. We're both pretty focused on particular events coming up in our sports.

I've got a full marathon in October that I'm sadly not even close to ready for yet....and she has the 2011 RAGBRAI ride in July.

So, we decided to pool our resources and enter a duathlon as a team.

I can't remember if I've mentioned it before....but our family has a team name. It started last year when we were all talking about riding in RAGBRAI. My sister didn't have a bike she asked if she could go along and ride on my handlebars.

In RAGBRAI, quite a few riders are a part of different teams. So, from them on, we have been Team Handlebar.

We've been researching options for getting team shirts ready for the ride. Inny and I decided to not only represent Team Handlebar in the Papillion Days Duathlon, but to start coming up with and testing shirt ideas. On Saturday we bought shirts, transfers.....and went to work.

With help from my bother in law (Inny's hubby, Doug), we ended up with these prototypes.

"Team Handlebar"

“Share the Road Ride”

(Oh, instead of going by Nej for this event on my shirt...I went by the nickname I had (between us sisters) as kids. One day Cindy was sick, and she was calling my name. She couldn't say came out Enny through her stuffy nose. From then on, I've been Enny, and she's been Inny.)

There was one major flaw in the construction process of our ironing board. Without an ironing board, we were left to use a Sorry! board and a towel. The surface was very uneven and parts of the transfers didn't stick as evenly, or as well, as we'd liked.

But, the darn things were pretty cool. We got quite a few comments, and we now know what we need to do differently next time. :-)

Anyway.....we decided to meet at the venue about an hour before the race got underway. It was slightly muggy outside.

It might have been a little more than slightly muggy.

68 degrees, 68 degree dew point.

100% humidity baby.


The race was being held at Walnut Creek Recreation Area just outside of Omaha.

Before the starting gun went off...Inny and I walked part of the bike route, and enjoyed the lake a little.

The view of the transition area from the cyclist exit.

At 8:00 the mayor gave a quick speech, then we were off.

By then the sun had come out....and it was hotter than hell.

Add that to the 100% humidity, and it was downright miserable.

My first run went pretty well. I took more small walk breaks here and there than I'd like....but ended the first two miles with a 9:44 mile average pace.

Then it was Inny's turn to tear it up in the bike portion!!

(There she goes!!)

While waiting for her, I stood and talked to some of the other team members waiting for their cyclist partners.

I noticed that quite a few people made it a Father's Day event. Lots of father/daughter teams...and lots of fathers and daughters both competing...but not on teams.

Inny got back from her second loop...and I was off again. My time wasn't as good this time around. I was really dehydrated by then (even though I was drinking fluids constantly). My pace ended up averaging 10:28 min/mile for the second two miles.

A pace very very closer to my half marathon pace than I would have liked...but that's OK. Our only goal was to finish and have fun. :-)

I crossed the finish line.....and ended our time at 1:21:30. (only about 19 minutes off of the #1 all female team) 137th out of 166th. Not stelar...but not too shabby for two people who only train for distances...not short events requiring speed.

Just as I was done.....they handed me a bottle of water, and our two medals.

"Medals?!?!?! Sweet!!!"

The event volunteer must have thought I was nuts.

I didn't stop moving after that though....I kept walking. I could see a patch of shade on the other side of the transition area...and it had my name written all over it!!!

We cooled down a little...then packed our stuff up and left.

Great day!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

06/15/11: Hills, Hills, and more Hills

Set out today to run the 6 miles on my training schedule.

(I'm having a hard time calling it a training schedule, when I only really run one or two of the runs each week. Anybody have any great motivational ideas??? I'm in need!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Legs hurt.

They hurt pretty good....or pretty bad....well, you know what I mean. But you know legs always hurt these I'm going to stop mentioning it.


OK, I'm going to stop mentioning it as much.


My next run will only be 1 mile.

Yep...1 full mile.

5,280 feet.

63,360 inches.

160934.4 centimeters.

So, you're all saying....1 mile. What's the big deal??

I'm going to do it with my custom orthotics in my shoes. I can fit an apple under the arches of these puppies, and the last time I walked in them....WALKED....for 1 mile, I was limping for a week.

But as I ran today, I could literally feel my arches hitting the soles of my shoes. I kept imagining the bones in my foot snapping as they were bent backwards.

Over dramatic?

Well.....yeah. :-)

But whether I know the impossibility of it or not, the thought was in my head while I was running, and it was giving me a case of the willies.

I'm also in need of some advice. The PT I saw last spring got me running. In fact, I didn't have any pain after training all summer for a half marathon. Now that the pain is back, I'm seeing a different PT in the same office. She's great and all....but we've gotten no where. Do I realize that these orthotics might be the golden ticket.....or do I talk to her about seeing the first PT? I don't want her to think I've lost's just that someone else has already proven they can help.

Granted, the pain came it wasn't long term help.

But still.....from May to the beginning of 2011....7 months, running without pain.



And, on a side note.....last year I was an early morning runner. This year, I'm really starting to enjoy running in the evening. I know that running in the evening has it's issues. Issues like things always coming up, and me not being able to get out there. But running through the neighborhoods today, waving at people doing yard work, petting dogs on nightly walks with their humans, not knowing where I was, or how to get home....but not being worried about it.

All of these are good things too. I don't know. I guess I'll see what this year brings me. Variety is the spice of life and all.

Oh, and on another side note...they announced the route for the St. Louis RnR. I haven't seen it yet....but my aunt, who lives there, says it's going to be great!!!!!

Now do you see why I need a good dose of motivation? I'm signed up to run a full marathon in October.

26.2 miles.

13,833 feet.

1,660,032 inches.

4,216,481.28 centimeters.


Good night folks!!!!!

5.5 miles, 12:16 overall average pace (trying out the "run 1-2 min/mile slower than race pace thing"....we'll see how it goes), 80 degrees (with heat index) when I got home.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Mot's birthday is today.

I can always remember what day Flag Day is because of him.


As I'm picking up flotsam and jetsam from the coffee table this morning, I find this.

"To my amazing wife. I love you! Just thought you should know. Your hubby, Mot"

Happy birthday babe!!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

06/07/11: Abnormal strikes again.

You know how they say you should do your long runs at a slower pace than your other runs? That you're not out there for speed, but rather to get your body used to the extended periods of time running?

Yeah, apparently my body works backwards from that.

Me? Abnormal?

No! Say it ain't so.

My 7 mile run on Sunday was at a 10:42 pace.....if it hadn't been for the heat and humidity, I could have pushed it more. My legs felt great, no pain at all. My lungs were the ones getting the workout.

Today, 2 miles, 2 measly stinkin' miles. 11:24 pace. And it hurt. My legs are killing me. I'm limping around like I just came from a car accident. If it hadn't been for my legs, I'd have been able to push it more.

(granted, without legs, I'd be crawling down the street - a site for the neighbors I'm sure)

I laid in bed this morning...hitting snooze after snooze after snooze...until I finally got disgusted with myself and got up.

Motivating myself to get out there, to stick with my training schedule, is becoming impossible when I know it's going to hurt 50% of the time. I'm not a gambler. Those aren't odds I enjoy thinking about every time I lace up my shoes.

My physical therapist was stumped today when I told her. 7 miles, no pain.....2 miles, hello Dolly!

Oh well....we'll get it figured out eventually. :-) It was a beautiful morning to be out...pain or not. It was nice and humid, but a cool breeze made it very enjoyable. Before I started running, I hated being sweaty. Now I love it. If anything, it reminds me of the work that I'm doing. The good I'm doing. Can't complain about that!!! :-)

2 miles, 11:24 overall average pace

Sunday, June 5, 2011

06/05/11: Lake "Stinky" Zorinsky, ORC

I haven't ran since Tuesday....but I have a really good excuse. Well....the reason isn't good...but it's a really good excuse for not running.

Let me explain.

My hometown (where I lived until 2nd grade) and my second hometown (where I lived until 4 years ago) are going to be under water. Modale (the 1st hometown) is predicted to be under 4 foot of water...and that water could be there until December.

We found out for sure on Wednesday, and I've been there helping pack grandma up ever since. Everything is out of her house, it's 100% empty now.....she's moved in with my sister, safe and sound. We can all relax. Yes, her stuff is safe and dry....but HER being safe and dry was my ultimate worry.

No one is really saying how soon they could be seeing the water. It could be could be Wednesday...but it's coming.

Getting trucks loaded and ready for the first trip to storage.

Making the best of an unfortunate experience.

"Open Til Doomsday"

When we drove by later, the sign was down. Someone must have complained???

People were trying everything they could think of. Piling dirt around their homes...wrapping their homes is plastic. You name it, they were trying it.

"Closed until further notice." This is the sign that did me in. I couldn't keep the tears back. :-(

So, there you have it, the reason I haven't run since Tuesday.

But I've gotten PLENTY of exercise. There's no doubt about that. Packing, lifting, moving, stairs, trailers, truck beds, heat, humidity, mosquitoes.....everything is moved and stored. Now we just have to wait and see what happens.

Hopefully, the water stays away, and all we did was provide grandma a blank slate for redecorating. :-) :-) :-)

So anyway....back to today's run. I met up with the Omaha Running Club for their weekly long run. This week, the venue was Lake Stinky...I mean, Lake Zorinsky. They've drained the lake, hoping to control the population of zebra muscles. (My wetland biology major hubby seems to think the efforts are futile.)

There are actually two lakes, kinda. The larger side has a trail that goes 4 miles around...and the smaller side has a 3 mile trail. I ran both, getting in my 7 miles for the day.

Because of my legs, and now the flood waters, my running schedule has been thrown out of whack. The schedule from the ORC "coach" had me running 8.....the modified "I've been in physical therapy for two months now" schedule I drew up had me running 6. I think running 7, splitting the difference, will be just fine. :-)

I started off in a group of about 7 other people.....but after six minutes I put my pride aside and started into my 2 min run/1 min walk intervals. I spent 5 miles playing leap frog with a group of 4. They would just catch up to me, and my Garmin would beep, alerting me to start running again. I think they thought I was just wanting to stay ahead of them.....but that wasn't the case at all. It would just happen that they'd come up behind me, and my Garmin would beep. Surely they heard that?????

Anyway.....right about then another runner in the group joined me on one of my walk intervals. When she found out what I was doing....she joined in and finished the run with me. It turns out that she used to run intervals as well. So now there are three of us in the group (that I know of) running intervals. It's fun to see that I'm not alone, and funny to think that we're starting a sort of revolution within our group.

"You're really pushing me....did you realize you run with an 8:15 - 8:30 pace when you're running?"

I've tried slowing my pace like I'm supposed to on longer runs....but my music background makes it hard. I pick a rhythm and stick with it. I adjust my heart rate, my breathing, and my pace by speeding up or slowing down while I walk....or by adding longer walk breaks. It's gotten me to where I am. I've lost weight, I've gotten PR's in my half marathons, and I'm still out there running and enjoying why change? :-)

So the run felt great, the humidity didn't totally kill me. Win/win. :-)

7.04 miles, 10:42 overall average pace