It’s Official, My Legs Hate Me

Sometimes, as much as the outcome sucks, it is good to know a decision was made based on correct intuition.  When I pulled out of Rutgers, it was not a difficult decision.  I just knew something wasn’t right.  Remember when I said a gut feeling is not just a euphemism?  This is a perfect example.  I knew what I was feeling wasn’t in my head.  Although, I wish it had been.

Turns out, what I was feeling at Rutgers, was not in my head.  I saw the doctor on Thursday when the pain was only getting worse in my foot/ankle.  I was terrified of a stress fracture. 

The goods news is, nothing is broken in my foot!  And seriously, that is some great news!

The bad news is I have a pretty significant case of Peroneal Tendonitis. 

Peroneal Tendonitis refers to painful inflammation of the peroneal tendons located on the outer side of the foot, a little behind the ankle bump. 

There are two peroneal muscles on the outer side of the lower leg. One long one, called the peroneal longus runs from the knee to the ankle, and one short one, called the peroneal brevis muscle runs from below the knee to the ankle. Both these muscles when they approach the ankle, convert into tendons, which are thick bands of fibers that connect muscle to bone. Both these tendons run side-by-side and curve behind the outer bump of the ankle, then run below the foot where they insert into the bones of the foot.

As the muscle contracts, these tendons pull the lower surfaces of these bones, pulling/bending the foot downward (plantarflexion) and outward (eversion).

Once we had a diagnosis, it was time to treat.  Out of waitressing for 10 days and lots of RICE method.  Additionally in an effort to keep my leg stabilized and because “I can’t be trusted to stay off my feet,” I was also put in the CAM walker for the weekend.  Thank God that was only for a few days.  If I never have to see that boot again, it will be too soon.

And I’ll be rocking this again for a weeks to keep my ankle stable:

2013-04-29_08-34-02_385I know, I know…desperate for a pedicure!

I was also supposed to do this weird thing…I think normal people call it relaxing?  Yeah, I am not so good at that but didn’t have a choice.  I spent Thursday night, Friday night and all day Saturday on my couch with my foot up and ice on and off.  Sunday, I mowed the lawn in my boot- that was a new experience…!   Other than a few errands, my friends housewarming Saturday night and mowing the lawn Sunday, my weekend mostly looked like this:

 wine2Relaxing is better with wine.

As much as relaxing isn’t my thing, I’ll admit it was a nice break.  I run on empty most of the time, so to be able to have a reason to do nothing was a good and much needed chance of pace.  It is hard to stay off my feet at my day job as well but I am trying.  And since I am not working  nights this week, and I cannot afford to do anything because I am not working night this week, the above is pretty much my game plan for the rest of the weekFor now, running is completely out of the question and I have to wait until I am pain free to get back to ballet/barre but I am hoping next weekend to get a work out in, even if it is just slow on the elliptical and some lifting.  I’ll take anything!

It may seem as though my spirits are up; that is mostly due to the fact that I am so happy I don’t have a fracture.  But the truth is, I am really bummed out.  I did everything right training for Rutgers.  I felt so ready.  And for things to just fall apart and me to be back off running is a huge blow.  I am frustrated.  Actually, I am beyond frustrated.  I feel like I am always injured.  While it seems everyone I know is getting better and faster, I am regressing.  My running has never been the same since I broke my foot and I am worried that it never will be.  The other day a friend of mine said she really felt like a runner now that she was fast.  I said she was always a runner because if you run you are a runner.  She replied that before she felt like an imposter.  I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  Is she saying that slow runners are imposters?  Am I one?  I mean, I don’t think so…but when I am struggling, this is the exact thing that gets in my head.  The exact thing that makes me just want to throw in the towel.  I don’t even know if that is what she meant or if I am just hyper sensitive because I am feeling so low.  I have been fighting injuries for so long…I am not getting any better.  How long do I keep doing this to myself?  I don’t know.  I have to see how this PT goes and in the meantime, I’ll be sticking with barre and ballet and lifting and trying to get strong.   Both physically and mentally.

In other news, to end on a good note…this came in the mail over the weekend:

bosontshirtBest mail I have gotten in a while!

Advertisements

Rutgers 7.8 Race Report

7.8 what huh?  I thought it was a 13.1?

Yeah…so about that…

My training leading up to the race went pretty well.  My 10 miler was a beast but I chalked it up to a bad day.  My taper runs went off without a hitch and I saw my sports PT three days before the race and everything checked out.  Then, Friday after work my ankle and shin were bothering me.  It was a long shift so I just iced and stayed off it most of Saturday.  Sunday, I could feel it but wasn’t too concerned.  My friend Lisa and I drove up to the race together and while I debated dropping to the 8K, I thought it was all in my head so I headed to the half-marathon start line.

Miles 1-4 were okay.  I really did not expect the hills.  The race is described as flat but it was entirely full of rolling hills.  My calf muscles weren’t happy- I mean, I train in SOUTH JERSEY!- but I was getting by.  It was at about mile 5 that my race started going downhill.  My pace was still fine but my calves were cramping and my shins were on fire.  There was a certain level of “push through it” and a certain level of “don’t hurt yourself” going through my head at the same time.  I was walking a whole lot more than I like and no amount of stretching was helping.  The last thing I wanted to do was give up but I was getting increasingly frustrated.  I would stop, stretch and then less than a quarter mile I would have to stop again.  By mile 7, I had pretty much had it with the race.  The cramps in my calves were getting worse and every time I saw a hill, I wanted to cry.  At this point, I wasn’t running at all and still had over six miles to go.  I really did not think it was wise for me, mentally or physically, to keep going.   So for the first time ever in a road race, I stopped.  At mile 7.8, I pulled myself from the race, walked over to an aid station and had them radio me a ride to the start where I was able to catch a shuttle to the finish line.

I kept waiting for the tears.  To feel the failure in the pit of my stomach.  It never came.  Because I didn’t fail.  I made a decision.  And truthfully, it wasn’t even a difficult one.  I have spent much of the last 3 years injured.  It isn’t worth it.  I have no idea why my legs failed me- obviously, I need more hill work, but it has to be more than that.  Today, I will meet with my sports chiropractor and see what he thinks.  We have already talked about the next marathon (another post for another time) and today we will talk about the path for this year.  I don’t have any more races planned until July, so for now, I am just going to work on getting these legs back in working order.

After the race, I met up with my friends and we had lunch at a local brewery.  The day went on as normal.

Here is a photo from the day-

Belmar Tri- My First DNF

The day wasn’t right from the minute I woke up, which by the way was 15 minutes late.  I had stayed at R2’s house and we both missed our alarms.  Thankfully his internal “fuckwearelate” alarm went off and I didn’t miss the race.  Of course, if I could have foreseen the day, I may have pulled the covers over my head and just said screw it anyway.  But you know what is hard…pulling covers over your head in T2 when you slump over and your body decides it hates your guts. 

Let’s back up though, because the race wasn’t a total bust and I really should notate the highlights before I go on about my DNF.

Got to the beach with about an hour before race time.  AnI just wasn’t feeling it.  I was kind of out of it and R2 even commented at one point that I seemed aloof and not myself.  I couldn’t pinpoint what was up, but something was up.  Most race mornings I am a bundle of nerves and at least once I say “I don’t really want to do this” so when I said that everyone was like “eh, you’re fine” because of course they are used to it.  And I agreed that once I got started I would be fine.  Nothing was innately wrong, something just wasn’t right.

Eventually it was 7am and I was standing on the beach ready to dive into the ocean.  And I killed the swim.  Even better than NJ State.  5th in my AG and 19th in my wave.  I really felt good and as I passed R2, I gave the thumbs up.  I headed into the transition area, made really good time and was off on the bike.  I actually felt pretty comfortable on the bike and passed a few people.  I finished up and headed into T2.  And then everything stopped…

…literally.  I was half through T2 and suddenly I was seeing black and white, spots, colors, starts…random horrible feeling in my chest.  Everything just stopped.  R2 was on the sidelines of the transition area cheering for and telling me how great I was doing and all I could think about was “rack your bike” at which point he noticed something was up.  I racked my bike, walked over to him and said “I don’t think I can run.”  He tried to encourage me to keep going but he could tell something was up.  And then my heart rate skyrocketed, I was shaking and I felt faint.  I sat down and just as R2 went to get someone, someone from the race personnel came over to help.  And another racer came over with a wet rag- I have no idea who you are, but thank you!  I was really concerned with how fast my heart was racing and how tight my chest felt but that turned to complete embarassment when the EMT’s came over.  Of course, I was also thankful.  They got me some fluids and took my BP which was crazy low.  They think I simply sweated too much out on the race- which has never happened before.  I hydrated super well but I just sweated way too much.  Fortunately, I began feeling better and didn’t have to go to the hospital or anything.  But I did have to go turn in my chip and accept the fact that I had my first DNF.

Ugh- these damn hard decisions!!!

The upside to it all, is that once I felt better, I really felt better.  I was back to normal within the hour and able to hang out post-race with my friends.  We spent most of the day at Bar A having breakfast, drinking and playing in the sand and water.  It ended up being a really good day.  And since I have an amazingly supportive boyfriend who is proud of me no matter what and teammates who love me regardless, I was able to have a little pity party and get over it.  DNF’ing sucks…and I wouldn’t want to do it again.  But it happens. And it happened to me.

A Hospital Visit & Parvin Tri Report

(FYI- I am all about TMI’s and hold little back.  If you aren’t interested in my hospital stay, move on and down to the race report.  That is your warning!)

On the day before the last day of school, I found myself in a serious amount of pain that presented like a kidney stone.  I hadn’t felt myself all day and had some cramps, but just figured maybe my period was coming early.  I am not the most regular when it comes to my period (try as I might to regulate, it never seems to work for me) so I brushed it off.  Additionally, I hadn’t really slept much and I have been under enormous stress at work.  I just figured it would go away.  Until about 2:30 when the pain intensified.  Big time.  And within the hour, I was in the nurse’s bathroom hardly able to move.  I called my mom and we decided I would go to the hospital.  My co-worker drove me home and my mom met us there.  The hospital we went to is brand new.  Advice- NEVER go to a brand new hospital.  Best analogy I heard in reference to being at a new facility: its like a new car.  You have to learn where everything is and how it works.  It all added up to a lot of waiting.  Pretty much right away they were talking about bladder infections, UTI’s and had pretty much ruled out a kidney stone.  Here’s the thing, I got the impression they didn’t believe how much pain I was in because when I am in pain I am quiet.  I internalize and I am not one of those screaming annoying patients.  This worked to my disadvantage because they quickly assumed it was nothing.  I waited on a bed in a hallway- peed in a cup…and later a hat looking thing.  I’ll tell you what it wasn’t…a bladder infection or a UTI.  At least I could go back to just peeing in the damn toilet!  So then there was an Ultrasound.  Good news- not pregnant!  Although, my mom did mention that if I was, we were totally calling that “I didn’t know I was pregnant show” and getting me some 15 minutes of fame.  Anyway…ultrasound turned up nothing.  So it was more waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  And finally…THREE HOURS into my wait, they gave me pain meds.  Heavy dose of Motrin.  Basically, it did not take the pain away but it subsided a great deal.  I was having so much pressure within my belly and as the night progressed my stomach was becoming more and more distended.  To the point where my mom was really concerned.  Her and R2 both confirmed to the nurses that I have a normal flat stomach and abs and this is not normal.  Still, they pretty much just kept me waiting.  I had an X-ray and FINALLY the doctor came in.  His name was Nick Nolte.  This Nick Nolte was much better looking!  He determined we would do a CAT scan.  Talked about a blockage…tubes in my nose…possible surgery.  Now the meds were wearing off, I was in pain and had all kinds of crazy anxiety!  And the CAT scan was a slow process- I had to drink some stuff that would require a TWO HOUR wait before the test.  More friggen waiting.  And then I had a meltdown. Well, for me it was…and I got me some reallllly good pain meds.   My mom was right, I should have had that meltdown a lot earlier.  Note this folks- freaking out is a one way ticket to medication land. And medication land is a nice, nice place!!  And according to my mom and R2, I was also hysterically funny.  I barely remember, unfortunately, what was the only nice part of the night.  Being drugged that is!  After what seemed like a million more hours they finally came and got me for my CAT scan.  It wasn’t long after that, that the doctor came back in with the results.  I had a viral infection in my intestines.  Awesome.  And the best part of all…it’s viral, so it just had to run its course.  There was basically nothing that could be done about it.  But in the end, that was WAY better than having to have surgery for what they thought might have been a blockage.  It was a long  night and the next day wasn’t all that pleasant for me either.  In fact, it took about 3 full days before I felt remotely back to normal and a good week before I felt like myself again.

So given all that above, what does a girl do?  She tri’s of course!

Only four days after my hospital stay, still feeling on the mend, I did the Parvin Sprint Tri.  I had no desire to bike, so I did it as a two-person relay with my teammate Kurt.  I swam and ran and he biked.  The swim was not fun- one of my worst; even though my time was still a respectable 9 minutes and I still placed 101 out of 253, I wasn’t happy with the performance.  I should have been in the low 8-minutes.  But I reminded myself that only a few nights before I could barely walk with all my stomach pain, so I sucked it up and got over myself.  Kurt had a great bike- really good, placing 76 out of the 253.  He tagged me and off I went on the run.  My legs felt great and I loved the trail.  My Garmin punked out on me as soon as I hit the woods so I had no idea how I was doing the entire run, but that is a good thing because I need to work on my pacing.  My goal was to run it just a bit faster than my training runs have been but not run at race pace.  Not running at race pace is very hard for me; I want to push myself but at the same time this was meant as a training run.  And I wanted to focus on running smooth and ending feeling good.  The end result was perfect- I ran a very solid 31:20 for the 5K and finished feeling great!   Kurt was right at the finish line waiting and cheering, as were many of my teammates and R2.  I quickly got some water and joined my friends to cheer on the rest of our teammates.  Overall, we placed 139 out of 253 and we were 4th relay.  I felt really good all things considered. 

And of course…what would a race report be without photos:

Getting ready to swim

Happy that’s over!!!

Coming in from the run feeling great!

With Kurt, post-race!

TT kids ♥

It Was Bound To Happen

Today I slept through my alarm.  I set it properly and it went off correctly.  I slept through it completely.  The music that typically wakes me up within five minutes or less, played for a FULL 45 minutes before I woke up!  How does that even happen? 

Okay…this is how it could have happened:

Yesterday’s schedule:  5am wake-up call –> run at the gym –> work 8-4 at job #1 –> home and changed for job #2 –>  work 5:30-11:30 at job #2 –> finally home at 11:45 –> in bed and asleep somewhere around 12:30am.  19.5 hours total.

The thing is, that is a fairly typical day for me, with the exception of job #2 which I am usually home from by like 10pm.  Last night I had to close which is the WORST, but happens infrequent enough that I deal with it when I do get scheduled for it. 

So I slept through my alarm…so it happens, right?  Well, of course I know that.  And if I were reading a post of yours I would tell you not to worry about it.  I would say it happens. I would say there would be other days. No big deal.  It’s okay.  Don’t stress out.  Move on.  Fit it in somewhere else.  Or don’t.  Either way, I would tell you that it was okay.

But this is me, not you.  And I am a perfectionist.  Maybe a little anal.  Or completely. 

Of course I know it is okay to miss a workout- especially when it is a swim; I can recover from a missed swim with no problem.  I know it is okay that I cannot make it up this week, there is just too much to do.  I know in the end it is no big deal.  I know it happens.

But here’s the thing…now I can’t highlight the swim on my workout schedule.  (Hey- I said I was anal!)

I am only three weeks into my schedule…yes, it was bound to happen, but so soon?  I think I need more hours in the day!  Anyone have some they would like to donate???

Oh Yeah, It’s Mardi Gras

My body has NOT handled coming back from Florida well!  Or maybe I have just worn myself out.  Either way, I have been struggling with sinus issues and the cold from hell since early Saturday morning.  I finally gave in today and decided to stay home from work.  Plans include laying in bed, watching movies and catching up on blogs.  I am officially over 300 posts behind. WTF!  Oh, and maybe I will unpack from Florida finally too!

It always figures that when I get into a good groove with my working out, I get sick.  But honestly, I am happy to be getting it out of the way before the big time training hits.  Plus, if I had to be sick over any weekend, this past one was okay with me.  I didn’t have too much planned which is odd for me, and maybe it was for the best that I stayed in and rested.  I have a hard time with resting.  I never seem to be able to just do nothing.  The thing about resting is….resting means not working out.  Not working out makes me antsy.  I feel like I am losing everything I have worked so hard for in the last eight weeks.  After taking the end of 2010 off, I came back with a vengeance.  I am finally getting to a point where I look at myself and think “Damn…the work is paying off” and I am so afraid I will lose all of that.  I haven’t been able to do a workout since Saturday!  I am grappling with the idea that I will have to start over!  And I feel like the past two years have been a series of starting overs!  Even today, after my benedryl coma was over this morning, I got up and did laundry.  And since writing that first paragraph, three hours ago, I did finally unpack from Florida.  And I won’t lie…I had planned to run…but the simple of act of getting ready to run wore me out and I ended up sleeping for an hour!  Yeah, I know….rest rest rest!  Heard!

I had hoped to write a little more, but I have been struggling to even write this much.  Looks like this cold is going to win this fight too.  And I think I need to get back in bed!  I know my blog hasn’t exactly been quality lately, but hopefully once I am into my training and racing that will change.  Thanks to you all who have stuck through this bit of dry spell with me.  Love you all!

Do you have a hard time resting when you are sick?  Or resting in general?