Monday, March 29, 2010

Riding the Pine...

I submitted my request to be put on IR to our Miles Game team captain on Runners World Online. I've run 4K in three months. I didn't think it was fair to keep posting zeros when the team could use a player in my spot to actually post miles. There has been a shortage of players for the Miles Game recently, but I hope the team can get a new player in my place.

I think I'll be going back to the doctor as soon as I can get an appointment. I've read up on my pain and what my symptoms are and I get so totally overwhelmed. Should I see a chiropractor? I'm not a fan of them, but if it'll help, maybe I should see one. Should I see a different sports medicine doctor? Do I need cortisone shots? Do I need surgery? What about a physiatrist? So far I've just booked to massage therapy appointments for my back, at my physiotherapist's request. In other news, the exercises are coming along. The pain isn't really improving or going away. The dry needling appointments are pure torture... I try my best to do as much as I can.

In the meantime, I've started cooking. I made quiche on Saturday from a recipe from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry. It was a pretty good recipe, using brown rice as the crust, and with a head of broccoli, roasted red peppers and swiss cheese. Yum!

On Sunday I roasted a chicken, following another ESBM recipe, the Roastess with the Mostess. I have a hard time doing roast chicken properly. It never cooks through, despite following the directions and using a meat thermometer. I think our chicken was still frozen on the inside, despite the fact it sat in the fridge for two days. The marinade was really tasty - lots of lemon and thyme flavour that carried through the meat.

I decided to stop wasting chicken carcasses, so I promptly cut off the leftover meat and tossed the chicken into water, along with some herbs, onions and carrots. I left the stock to simmer for 4 hours. I'm hoping to transform it into chicken soup tonight!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Same old, same old.

Not much is new with me. I'm not running yet. I'm still going to physio, though not much has changed. The pain is no longer in my foot, but in my back, pelvis and hips. She added in ultrasound to dull the back pain, which I absolutely love. Last week she buttered me up with the ultrasound and then did some dry needling... that was a bit of a shock to say the least!

I've been good about doing my McKenzie method exercises, which she calls cobras. It's a set of 10 yoga-like stretches for my lower back that I do lying on the floor. I even brought my yoga mat to work so I can do them in my office. But, I need to get better at doing the other exercises.
So I'm bribing myself: if I do the exercises every day for a week, I can buy myself the stainless steel waterbottle I want at Lululemon!

During my layoff from running I'm working on getting our house in order. I've started shredding old documents and organizing my filing. It's almost a spring cleaning mission! We bought a new cabinet for over the toilet, which has added some much needed storage to our bathroom. I'm looking forward to painting the bathroom in the near future, too! I really hate the colour in there... it kind of looks like pablum. I'm also trying to finish off some projects that I started and never completed... like lining all the shelves in our cupboards.

At this point I'm trying not to think about running.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I had a mini-meltdown last week. There, I said it.

I'd researched my injury (injuries?) and was starting to panic. What if I have something more serious wrong with my back? I saw all kinds of terms such as slipped discs, herniated discs, nerve entrapment. Lots of medical terms that would cause a state of panic in the most seasoned runner.

After almost 3 months on the IR, I'm starting to feel frustrated with my lack of progress. I feel hopeless, like I'll never run again. Sadly my husband doesn't understand how I feel. I can put it into words and he tries to understand, but he doesn't. It doesn't help that the pain keeps coming back. I do the exercises almost religiously. I go through the torture of ART and dry needling twice a week but the pain isn't going away.

Running is my stress management technique. It keeps me sane. It's part of who I am and how I define myself. So, naturally I feel lost without it. Now I'm doubting all my race plans and I feel like a failure as a runner. I know I shouldn't, but I do. It wasn't so bad when the weather was awful, but now that it's sunny and warm, I feel like I've been left out of the running party.

It also doesn't help that some people feel the need to offer their opinion on my injury. When they ask how I'm doing and I tell them, they want details. Then when I give details, I invariably get "How can you back cause your foot to hurt?" - what they don't know is that I've previously injured my back twice, once when I was 18, the other when I was 26. Overall, what I'm going through is just not something that's easy to explain, nor to understand. Which leads to more soapboxing by friends and family.

But I trust my physiotherapist's diagnosis more than I trust random people with no medical qualifications. My parents keep telling me I need to find a new physiotherapist for a second opinion. The thing is, I trust her completely. I know she's a diamond in the rough. She's well-educated, up-to-date on all the latest treatments and techniques. She's not milking me, as so many often do.

I need to remember that trust. I kind of lost it at physio on Thursday. She saw me at my darkest time, when I was doubting everything: myself, her, my future as a runner. My PT tells me that the fact that the pain has moved from my foot into my back is a good thing. I can't say that I agree... but I'll take her word for it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Weightloss: One Month Down!

I vowed to lose weight after I returned from Hawaii. I've been fairly good at counting my points on WeightWatchers and am seeing results. So far I've dropped almost 7 pounds! I need to be better on the weekends, that's for sure. But I also won't see big weightloss numbers as I already went through the weightloss exercise once. I actually want to see smaller numbers so that I'm not losing muscle tone.

I've been making most of the meals - we've only ordered in twice since I started. And even then, I've made healthier choices. Like, St-Hubert Quarter Chicken Dinner with white meat instead of a meatlovers pizza. We had pizza last two weekends ago at a friend's place and I wasn't enjoying it. So I didn't eat the second piece. Talk about victory! And I've been good about bringing my lunch to work instead, so I don't succumb to temptation in the food court.

I do need to make more meal plans though. I've done a good job of picking out a couple of recipes each week, but I need to plan more. I tend to get in a rut where I make the same recipes, over and over again. DH tends to get sick of certain meals this way. Gee, I wonder why!

We loaded up on chicken breasts and ground turkey at Costco last night, so more healthy meals are on the way. Fajitas are on deck tonight.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hello Spring! RunPorn

We've been basking in some serious springtime weather this week. Temperatures are well above freezing and the sun is shining! It's wonderful. Here are a couple runporn pics to celebrate the awesome weather. I can't wait to throw open the windows this weekend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Core Strength & Running

This blog post from Joe Friel provides convincing evidence on why it's important to have a strong core. The photos he posted of two people running on a treadmill shows the direct effects of a strong core vs. a weak core. Definitely worth a read.

Strengthening your core is something that all semi-serious runners know they have to do, but end up avoiding it for one reason or another. My experience is a pretty good example of why having a strong core is so important. If I'd taken the time to strengthen the muscles through my torso, I likely wouldn't be faced with the problems in my foot. All the wrong muscles were doing the work and the good muscles were paralyzed. Heck, even my diaphragm is doing the work of supporting my back instead of you know, breathing and stuff.

In other news, I went for my run last night. I set my Garmin pace alarm so I wouldn't go under 7 min/k. Boy, it was tough to run slow. I couldn't finish the 5K and had to walk once, but had no pain while running.

But, my foot is really hurting today. I'm pretty discouraged by the level of pain I have in my foot. I've unleashed the ice pack and am quietly working away on my exercises here at my desk.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Really now

Who schedules meetings at 4 o'clock? That's downright mean. I suppose it could be worse, as it could be a 4 o'clock meeting on a Friday. But really now, don't they know that I have things to do and places to be?

I would really like my first run back to be in the awesome sunshine and warm weather we're having right now.

Yes, that's right, I'm going for a run tonight. I'm so excited! I get to do 5K at a 7 minute/km pace. My physiotherapist wants to see how my body handles it. It's been almost exactly 2 months since my last run and it's been far too long.

I'll be sure to report back. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The best laid plans...

Life and work have been hectic lately, so I haven't had much time to think about posting here. I hope everyone's well!

Physio is chugging along. The last few sessions have been pretty intense. I'll admit that I dropped a few f-bombs during needling. See, my physiotherapist doesn't just stick needles in and leave you on the bed to pass out... she actively moves them in and out of muscles. It hurts, but it works. It's a good thing I like her, or else I don't think I'd ever want to see her again! haha.

I have two more weeks of multiple sessions per week, then I move to one session a week and I get to start running again! Yippee! Just in time for awesome spring-time running.

The thought of running again led me to seriously look at my racing plans for 2010. I sat down and looked at my schedule and timing for the half marathon on May 30. I realized that it's going to be tough to fit in a 10-week training plan starting from scratch. I haven't run in 2 months.

My husband and I were talking it over last night and I think that dropping out of the HM to run the 10K is a much more sane idea. I really don't want to try to train for the HM only to end up injured, again. The safer approach is to work my back up to the 10K for Ottawa Race Weekend, and then focus on a fall Half Marathon. The extra few months will give me enough time to safely rebuild my base mileage, to continue to build my core, and to properly train for the half marathon distance of 13.1 miles.

I'm lucky in that Ottawa has tons of races of all distances year round, so there's lots to choose from later in the racing season. My favourite race of the racing season, Emilie's Run 5K, is in mid-June and I don't want to miss it. It's a flat course with a fast field, so the race is a good bet for a new personal record in the 5K.

This whole adventure has been a tough pill to swallow, but I know that I'm going to be a stronger and faster runner by the end.