Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Beautiful Day

Sunday was a beautiful day!

I went out to breakfast wearing a pair of jeans that I haven't been able to fit into for quite a while. I got them zipped for the first time in months! I couldn't breathe in them, but whatever.

Then I went to a bridal shower wearing a skirt that has been hanging in my closet for months, but I haven't been able to wear since I bought it. I love to buy clothes when I'm at a lower weight, so I go a little nuts. Then I sometimes gain weight back before I can even get around to wearing all the clothes I bought. Stupid habit, but what can I say. So, it was great to wear my "new" skirt for the first time.

This losing weight thing is turning out ok. I seem to have hit a plateau the past few days, but I'd be thrilled to stay where I'm at through the holiday weekend.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a much needed escape to Michigan's upper peninsula for the holiday. It should be fun, but the Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream will probably be calling my name loud and clear the entire time I'm up there. Not to mention the smores, peanut butter fudge, and pasties.


I'll do my best to resist the temptations.

I've decided that I am walking the Mackinac Bridge on Monday, ankle be damned. I'll crawl across if I have to. It's just such an amazing experience that I don't want to pass it up.

Here's a picture of the bridge from last year.

So, my friends and fellow bloggers, enjoy your holiday weekend and run a mile for me!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Change of Focus

I have turned into the most horrible blogger! I'm not running, so I feel like I don't have anything very exciting to share and haven't been posting.

Since I can't run, I have changed my focus to losing weight, and who wants to hear the boring details of my daily caloric intake?

I am ashamed to admit that I had been using my training as an excuse to eat everything in sight for the past 9 months. Dairy Queen? Sure, I ran 8 miles today. Pizza Hut? Why not? I ran 9 miles - two days ago. Chinese Buffet? Sure, I'm training for a marathon. I deserve it.

So, I have stupidly gained about 15 lbs since January. That added to the 5 lbs or so that I had already gained from the holidays, and now over half of the clothes in my closet no longer fit!!

Here are the stats, as frightening as they are:

Height: 5'7"
Starting Weight: 152 lbs (Yikes!)
Current Weight: 144 lbs (Yeah! Much Better!)
Goal Weight: Whatever will allow me to fit back into ALL of my clothes!

I'm feeling a little bit better these days, and can actually breathe in the clothes that I can still get zipped, but so far I haven't gained back any of my wardrobe. But, I'll keep working on it!!

As far as my ankle goes, it's getting better. It is still a little swollen, which worries me, but it hasn't been hurting for the walking. I haven't tried to run in a while so I have no news to report about that.

I didn't end up getting my hair cut short. I'm in a wedding at the end of September and decided to keep it long so I can get in put up for that. I'm still pondering going short once October gets here.

I think that's all the news from this runnergirl. I feel like I am so detached these days. I haven't been reading everyone's blogs or keeping up on my own. It's just too depressing! Every time I read about everyone's runs it just makes me miss my own. So, I apologize for going MIA, but I'll be back! Don't worry.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Walk

Before I get started on today's post, I just wanted to say thanks for all of the support I've been getting in regard to my injury. It's been great........so THANKS!!

Last night I went to group training and did some walking to test out my ankle. I am happy to report that I walked about 2 1/2 miles without any major pain or discomfort. I could feel a mild tightness toward the end, but it went away as soon as I stopped walking. Plus, my ankle felt fine last night and this morning. Yeah!

So, it looks like it might be ok for walking. The only thing that concerns me now is how I'll do on an incline since the first 2.5 miles of the bridge are up hill. I'm going to get on my treadmill and try some walking at an incline to see how my ankle handles it.

For the training session, we went to a new park that I had never been to and it was awesome. It had a mile long paved loop that we used. There were a lot of people out running, walking, riding, etc. I normally run by myself around home, so I rarely have other people to interact with or inspire me. So, it was great seeing everyone out there getting some exercise. There was a girl out roller blading and it made me think that maybe that is something I could do that wouldn't hurt my ankle. So, I'm thinking about blowing the dust off my rollerblades and taking them out for a spin here soon.

The park was about 30 minutes from my house, so not very practical for me to be using all the time. It's hard enough to fit in the training sessions without adding an hour drive on. But it did get me thinking that I should be seeking out some new places near home now that I have all this down time that I'm not using for training. I know that there is a park about 15 minutes from my house that I keep intending to check out, but haven't. I have heard that there are a lot of trails there but not a lot of paved paths, but I've never gone out to see for sure. So that is in the plan, as well.

I'm off to get my hair cut in a few hours, and I am thinking about chopping it all off again. Someone stop me! Quick!!

I hate my hair. It's the one thing I'd change about myself if I could. So, I go back and forth between growing it out and chopping it off. When it is long, it's thin and stringy and ugly looking, but oh so easy to manage! A scrunchie, and I'm out the door. When it is short, it looks SO SO much better, but it is harder to do. Add gel, blow dry, flat iron, spray. Ugh! Not to mention that I have to run with 20 bobby pins holding all the layers off of my forehead because I can't stand when the sweat makes it stick to my skin. But on the other hand, when it is long it is always hanging in my face at work so my hair style consists of it tucked behind my ears.

When I cut it back in February, I loved the look of it and it was great at work, but I swore I was never cutting it again because of not being able to pull it back for running. Now, that I'm not running I'm getting the itch to go shorter again. But I'm afraid that I will regret it if I do and it'll take another 6 months to grow it back out. Maybe I should just shave my head. Of course, then I'd be complaining I was cold in the winter. Guess I just can't win!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Trial Run Results

Do you have songs that remind you of certain times in your life? As soon as you hear those first few words, they transport you back to the junior high school roller rink or that college bar. They take you back to your first love or first heart break.

Or maybe remind you of those 5:00 AM long runs?

I have listened to the same radio station at work for the past 3 years. This morning, for the first time ever, they played one of my all time favorite songs to run to: We Will Rock You by Queen.

So, it must have been destiny for me to test out my ankle tonight.

I came home from work this evening, ate dinner and fell asleep on the couch. I'm turning into a lazy slob now that I'm no longer training!

I woke up from my nap feeling like a total slug and decided I better get moving before it got too dark outside. So, I dug out my mp3 player and my Garmin and laced up my shoes.

I was standing in my driveway waiting for my Garmin to get it's signal, and I actually felt cool. It felt so good I wanted to cry. Cry because of the relief from the heat felt so amazing and cry because I have been missing out on the enjoyment of running in these cooler temps of the past week.

The plan was simple: run as far as I could until my ankle starting hurting.

The result was that I made it to 1.60 miles before my ankle started talking to me. I went a little further to see what would happen, and it really didn't change much so I stopped at 1.75 miles. I walked the .25 mile home and my ankle didn't feel perfect, but it didn't hurt as much as I was expecting. Sitting here I can feel a twinge of discomfort, but I expect by morning it will feel fine again.

So, the final verdict is that I will not be running the Chicago Marathon. I have missed almost 4 weeks of training, and there is just no way I could ever make that up. Not to mention that running 1.75 miles pain free is a long way from what would be needed to pick up where I left off in my training.

I am disappointed, but not devastated. I have come to terms with this over the past few weeks and realize that there will be other races in my future. So, once my ankle is back to normal I'll pick a new race and start training again.

In the mean time, my current goal is to try to get out and do a few small runs a couple times a week, along with some cross training.

I'm hoping to loose a few pounds now that I'm not concerned about proper fuel for running. In the past I've had some success with South Beach, so I have decided to go back on that since low carbs aren't a concern at the moment. Plus, it makes me eat my vegetables that I often otherwise neglect in lieu of other more enticing carb options.

And I'm really really hoping that my ankle will feel good enough to walk across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day. The walk ends up being about 6 miles by the time you park your car, walk to the start, walk the bridge, walk to the buses to ride back over the bridge, and walk back to your car.

For anyone not familiar, the Mackinac Bridge is a 5 mile bridge that connects the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan.

Tomorrow evening is a team in training group training run, so I intend on going to it and walking as far as I possibly can to give my ankle the walking test. That way I will be able to better judge if I think I can do the Labor Day walk or not.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Catching Up

I've been a bad blogger! A whole week without a post is just so unlike me.

I haven't been running and I'm in the middle of a big project for work that is taking up all of my time, so I haven't had much of anything to share.

I did go swimming for the first time on Sunday. My boyfriend and I went on one of his friend's boats to a nearby lake. We dropped the anchor and I swam in circles around the boat for a half hour or so.

I kept changing up the strokes I was doing with each lap....trying to remember all the things I had been taught as a child. I still couldn't bring myself to do the "proper" swimming technique with my head in the water and breathing to the side. The few times I tried it, all I kept doing was inhaling water and then stopping to cough. I was surprised how out of breath I kept getting. I didn't remember swimming being that taxing in my younger years. But I was probably just in better shape back then!

It was a good reminder of how much I do enjoy being in the water, so at least now maybe I will be more likely to seek out swimming as an alternate activity. But, I think I may need some coaching if I am going to actually have any success at swimming as cross training. Otherwise my "swimming" will consist of frolicking in the water and doing the back stroke!

The most important thing was that the swimming didn't hurt my ankle! Yeah!

I have actually been pain free while walking for the past 5 days in a row! Woo Hoo! So, I'm very happy about that. My plan is to start doing some walking as cross training now that I am able to do so without limping.

I've been thinking that I'd go out in the next few days and do a little test run. Just see how far I can get before my ankle tells me to stop. I'll run the 1/2 mile loop around my house, so worst case scenario would be my ankle starts hurting at the farthest out point and I'd have to walk 1/4 mile home. I'll post about how it goes.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

This Just Plain Sucks!

I went to my doctor's appointment this morning and received some depressing news. I saw a different doctor and instead of confirming the diagnosis of bursitis, he is convinced it is something else.

He thinks that I pulled my posterior talotibial ligament. He said it is an unusual injury for a runner, but due to the location of my pain and swelling he is pretty sure that is what has happened.

He actually told me that it would have been better if I had broken my ankle.

Apparently this stubborn little ligament doesn't like to heal!

The typical recovery time for an injury to this ligament is 3 to 6 months. Yikes!

The doctor didn't tell me not to run, but he told me to allow the pain to dictate my activities. If something hurts my ankle at all, then don't do it.

We discussed PT, cortisone shots, referral to an orthopedic doc, and all other options, but it sounds like there really isn't much to do except wait it out. It sounded like the chances of a cortisone shot helping were slim to none, and he didn't think I had done serious enough damage to need surgery.

We discussed my running Chicago. What he said was, "Let's just wait and see what happens." I'm willing to bet that what he was thinking was, "There is no way in hell that this girl is running a marathon is less than 3 months!" But he didn't want to burst all my bubbles at once, since he already told me that the 30K I was going to run on September 2 is out.

So, I suppose I am going to become the cross training queen. Maybe this injury will turn me into a triathlete.

hmm...that means I'd have to learn to like to swim and bike.

Ok, then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

OK, OK! I Hear You!

All I am hearing over and over is don't quit, don't give up.

The comment section and my email inbox is full of advise and encouragement, which is entirely appreciated, but making me feel guilty at the same time. Like I am just tossing in the towel without any thought or effort to resolve things.

And maybe I am.

I am at an all time high in my frustration level. I just spent 3 months dealing with a knee injury. Hours of time, and hundreds of dollars, later and the physical therapy for it has left it better, but not great. It still hurts a little when I run. I still have to be careful to stretch and ice it. It still worries me a lot.

And now my ankle on my opposite leg is hurting. And honestly it's not the pain per se, as my pain tolerance is very high. It's that it is limiting my function.

Because I literally cannot walk.

I am limping around like an old crippled person and it is affecting my work. All day long my patients are asking me what's wrong with my leg. I have a job where I am standing on my feet all day, and one day last week I couldn't put any weight on my ankle. So I had to ask my staff to bring the patients back and forth to me. It slowed everything way down and we ended up getting behind schedule.

I was at a concert on Saturday night and stood up to try to dance and as soon as I started moving I had pain shooting through my ankle. Luckily we were still in the isle in front of the seats so my swaying back and forth without moving my feet wasn't too noticeable, but it would have been obvious something was wrong if I was on a dance floor.

I've been working on my landscaping, and both my knee and ankle have been hurting while I've been kneeling down digging in the dirt to plant new bushes or while using the shovel to dig out the holes for the plants.

But mostly I'm scared.

These limitations scare me. It's one thing to run through some pain, but another to have it affect the rest of my life so drastically. If my knee and ankle start acting up at the same time, I won't have a leg to stand on!

And, I am trying to be realistic about what is going on. I'm trying to at least have a positive attitude to the effect that there will be other races and the world won't come to an end if I can't run Chicago.

So here is where things stand.....

I made another doctor's appointment for Thursday. I am going to take my x-rays along and see what a different doc has to say. I'm going to ask about a cortisone shot, even though I dread the thought of that for many reasons. Mostly because of my osteopenia. Bone loss and steroids don't exactly mix. But, I don't think one more will kill me. I am going to discuss a referral to an orthopedic specialist, and possibly more physical therapy. Ugh.

I'm going to go dig my bike out of my parent's garage, where I left it last summer after the one and only time I rode it, and see how my ankle feels while riding.

And, I just might consider dragging my butt to the gym and hitting the pool, but don't anyone hold their breath waiting for that one. I really hate swimming.

Don't get me wrong, I love to be in the water. And I actually do kinda know how to swim. My mom is a little afraid of the water, and since I grew up on a lake, she wanted to make sure I could swim. So, I took lessons at the YMCA for years, and years.

And years.

Get my drift? I think maybe all the lessons turned me off, because...

swimming? Hate it!

I hate putting my face in the water and trying to breath out the side as I turn my head. I never quite got the hang of that. I just ended up inhaling water and choking. Plus, with my bum shoulder, I have a limited range of motion and really can't get my right arm behind me. So, I'm not sure how well I'd do, but I actually have never tried it since then either.

I'll leave you with this.....

On Sunday, when I had my break down over my ankle, my poor boyfriend just happened to be here to witness it.

I pity him.

During later discussion on the matter he asked me, "Why don't you just run Chicago and see how far you can go? Just stop when you can't go any more."

I pretty much snapped his head off with my response, "That's just stupid! Why would I start a marathon knowing that I haven't trained enough to finish it? Knowing that I am going to quit part way through? How dumb! I'd rather just not start at all!"

But after I calmed down, I've been thinking about his suggestion, and maybe it's not such a bad one. I've already been wishing that Chicago was a race that had a half marathon option, because I'm pretty confident that I could miss a few training weeks and still do a half.

I've already spent the entry fee money and I can't get it back. Plus, I've already taken the days off of work for the race.

Not to mention that, I want to meet the RBF members that are running Chicago!

So what do you guys think? Is it stupid to run Chicago, knowing that I probably won't finish because of missing too much training for this ankle injury?