Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy healthy new year

Happy New Year's Eve readers!  I hope the end of 2012 has left you happy, healthy, and ready for the new year ahead.  If 2012 hasn't quite been your year, I hope you're ready to own 2013!

I am happy and ready to take on 2013 with some fantastic things in the near future... not so much on the healthy.  We made the drive to the mountains yesterday afternoon for our annual New Year's trip.  We had a fantastic amount of fresh snow and great friends.  Unfortunately, the loving hubs drove me home mere hours later when I was doubled over with an awful stomach bug.  The hubs is awesome, awesome, awesome for repacking the car, leaving our friends, and driving the 90 minutes home at midnight.

But that means no sled riding, excessive eating, or dance partying for us this year.  It's nothing but crackers, ginger ale, and a 'House Hunters' marathon on HGTV.

Less excitement, but much more time to reflect on everything I am so blessed to have experienced in 2012 and making exciting plans for 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

SnOw Lazy

The plan for this morning was shopping, gym (I haven't ran in over a week still!), clean, and pack for our annual New Year's getaway.  That plan didn't happen.

Instead, this happened while I was sleeping, and it's still going.

I've made no attempt to even set foot out the door yet.  Yoga pants, my couch, and Christmas cookies have won for now.  Perhaps I'll even try reverting to productivity later today... I do need to buy a sled before we head to the mountains!

Is it snowing where you are today?  Does it ever snow there?

Fun New Year's plans?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pain in the... foot

In true Zesty Nerd fashion, I've been stopped in my tracks by another injury.  I was playing soccer last week when I went for the ball and suddenly found myself rolling on the turf in pain, pain that shot from toes to hip.  I cried... a lot, and since I was subbing in on another team I was also surrounded by strangers.  Thankfully I have no shame.

I was weary to even take my shoe off, but when I did I was left with a quickly swelling right foot that I couldn't move.  Well, I could move it, but it hurt too much to do so willingly.  With convenient timing, I haven't had to work or do much of anything since then, and Christmas festivities made it easy to skip the gym for a few days.

The swelling subsided a bit while bruising set in.  I have been able to walk pain-free since Friday, but there is shooting pain if my foot is bumped or hit... or God-forbid the hubs kicks it while sleeping.  Stomping to get the snow off my shoes?  Ouch.  And if I gently tap the top of my 2nd met there is a tingling sensation through the 1st and 2nd toes.
I probably would have just played it safe on my own for another week, but I am supposed to start my marathon training cycle next week.  The last thing I wanted was to start running again on a fracture and start that downward spiral.  So I made an ortho appointment.

The good news is that the xrays were clear for a fracture, meaning that I probably don't have one.  The xrays were also negative for significant Lisfranc injury, which is what the ortho had initially suspected.  We discussed the option of an MRI, but I declined in true physical therapist fashion, and my ortho thought it was a reasonable choice.  He probably would have sent me off with a PT script, but he trusted I could handle the necessary stretching and strengthening on my own.

So what am I dealing with and where do I go from here?
- Overall LE strengthening and stretching.  After a week my hip flexors are already weaker and toe extensors tighter.
- Resume activities, including running, as I see fit as long as it doesn't cause pain.
- Loosen up my laces or re-lace my shoes, especially running shoes, to decrease pressure on my 2nd met.
- Monitor my nerve symptoms.  I'll need to head back to the ortho and start talking EMG if that doesn't resolve in 6 weeks.

Overall, I am feeling pretty hopeful that things aren't nearly as bad as they first appeared.  Soccer will be on hold for a bit, but  I have higher hopes for running and can't wait to test it out!

Also Half Crazy

Oops! Guess I forgot to hit 'publish' on this one awhile ago!

After tackling my first full marathon earlier this year, I figured it was time to backtrack a bit and run my first half marathon.  I chose the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon mostly because it was the only half that didn't conflict with our Fall parade of weddings.  It also happened to be close to home, mostly on a trail, and perfectly timed for crisp Autumn weather (October 20).  It was also small, capped at 1000 runners, compared to my Pittsburgh Marathon experience.  A nice change of pace.

Packet pickup was on race morning at Lernerville Speedway, which is also where parking was.  The hubs dropped me off here and picked me up at the finish line, but parking was easy, plentiful, and free if you needed it.  Check in started 7, with the last shuttle at 8:30.  We arrived at 7:15 to no lines, so I hopped back in the car to warm up a bit before shuttling to the start.

I got to the start a little after 8 for a 9:00 start, and took advantage of no lines at the porta-potties.  There was space to wait inside at the VFD; probably not enough for everyone but it didn't seem to be an issue despite it being a bit frigid.  I stretched a bit, ate a Clif bar about 45minutes before the start, and headed back to the porta-potties around 8:30.  Lines were long and cold, but I still had time to warm up inside before heading out to the gun start.  I chose a spot about 75% back.

My goals for the half were pretty simple.  The plan was to settle into whatever pace felt comfortable in the first mile or two and then hold onto that pace as long as I could.  I wouldn't be disappointed finishing under 2:30, really wanted to finish under 2:24, and would be thrilled to finish under 2:15.  I quickly settled into a 10:15 pace, and....

I held that pace for the entire 13.1 miles!  I even had a little kick left at the end.  I walked through 4 water stations but only long enough to sip a little, and I then I quickly jumped back into my pace.  I started to feel that dreaded hip tightening in the later miles, but it was nothing like what hit me in the full.  I finished feeling... amazing.  In hindsight, I now know that body was capable of faster and it has me itching for another half-marathon!

The course was an overall decrease in elevation, but there was a short climb near the end that was a killer after so much down, down, down.  There was also a relatively steep downhill just before the finish that I thought was certainly going to launch me into a tumble down the road.

No stumbles though, and I very happily crossed the line in just over 2:16.  I thought I was on pace to finish under 2:15 with my kick at the finish, but my GPS or the course were off... and I'm guessing it was my GPS.  It recorded 13.4+ miles.   Oh well- I was going to be happy regardless.

I did do bag check at the start (toss your bag in a van), and it was very quick and organized to retrieve at the finish.  I also grabbed bagel pieces, pizza, fig newtowns, a banana, and multiple helpings of hot apple cider.  Yes, HOT apple cider.  Cider has never, ever tasted even close to that good!

The finish line area was far from crowded and after chowing down I started to walk a few blocks back to wear the hubs had planted himself with the camera.  And then it was off to chow down (again!).

And now, looking for an early-Spring half!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gold Star kind of day

Tomorrow is pajama day at work.  Yep, pajama day.  Unfortunately, I bought new too-small pj pants the other day, and I was convinced buying a new pair was a legitimate reason to not go to the gym today.

And I started to drive toward the mall.  I had a last second change of heart though, and I turned right instead.  I ended up pounding out a run on the treadmill, sweating my butt off, and running what is probably my fastest 5 miles ever.  It felt great.  Going to the gym is rarely the wrong choice... and when I say rarely I mean only when I'm knock-me-down sick or running on no sleep.

I just need to keep repeating the recently overused mantra...

I regret that workout.
                                       - Said no one ever

Question of the Day:
I gave myself an imaginary gold star today for not screaming profanities in pain when one of my students smashed by finger at work.  What accomplishment big or small earned you an imaginary gold star today?

Lamest excuse you've made to not do something you should?   ... like shopping for pjs instead of going to the gym.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Girls with guns

I've made a second home at the YMCA.  When I can manage to make exercising a habit, I do it right, and I've been heading to the Y after work every single day... even when I'd rather go home and nap after devouring a plate of Christmas cookies.  It's really tempting this time of year.
Oreo Truffle Heaven
I've settled into a nice varied routine, and I'm even seeing gains.  It feels so good.  The big challenge is going to be making it through the holidays without 2 weeks of sitting on my couch with leftover cookies.  Yep, I have off of work for two weeks... because working at a school is pretty much cooler than any other PT job out there.  <--- my biased opinion

While I make a point to not really chat at the gym, I made a small exception this week, and I didn't mind it too much.  I was in the weight room, the only female in a room of grunting men attempting to lift weights much too heavy for them, when another woman came in and tapped me on the shoulder.  She said "thank you for being in here!"  We went on to chat for a bit, and I learned she had recently lost 50lbs before tearing her rotator cuff.  She was working to rehab it following surgery but still felt uncomfortable as the only woman in the weight room.

It's disappointing and a little sad that women don't always feel comfortable in every area of a gym when the benefits of strength training for anyone, women and men alike, are countless.  Come pump some iron with me ladies!
4 months ago... I like to think I've made a bit of progress since... and I've chosen a paint color and painted the walls!