Monday, April 30, 2012

Brokenness Update: The Plan

Today was my follow-up with my sports-med doctor to review the MRI results and come up with some semblance of a plan.  The gist - it's just going to take time and a wait & see approach but all of my goals for the year are not lost.

  • Another week or so in the boot and on the scooter with a follow-up again next Wednesday.
  • Start cross training more: swimming and biking (stationary only - no roads yet) if I don't have any pain.  I'm taking this to mean "MORE" pain because it still has a constant, dull ache all the time.
  • I've been cleared to walk my 10k Mud Run with Ali and Erin on 5/20 so long as I skip any potentially dangerous obstacles (like jumps down, too much risk of falling, etc) and agree that this will probably cause a bit of a set back overall and I'll hurt like hell afterwards.  (FYI - I'm OK with this, I figure it can't hurt any worse than after the Knoxville Half.)
  • Disney Wine and Dine in November should be a non-issue and I can plan on doing it.  Might not be any kind of a PR, but I'll finish and get my 2 medals.
  • After my appointment next Wednesday, we'll probably add in some walking or walk/run.  
  • No PT at this point because there really isn't anything they can do for me.  I might need it later if being in the boot causes some ankle weakness or a significant imbalance between my two legs.

I'm very impatient and more of a "doer" so this doesn't sit well with me (I wanted to be out of the boot, getting PT, something other than "wait and see"), but like Kirsten said, "That's really good news, B". Getting my confirmation from River Bank Run when I got home and knowing runner 2344 was getting her first DNS was a slap in the face and a downer after a fairly positive appointment.

So, for today I'm getting a massage to work out some of the kinks caused by the crutches.  Tomorrow I'm planning to swim.  Wednesday I might try biking again.  I was hoping for a bit more progress and much less pain by now, but clearly this is God's way of telling me I need to learn some patience and that He isn't going to give me anything I can't handle.  After everything that's happened over the past few weeks (hello crunched up car from a jerk who hit it in a parking lot last night), I wish He didn't have so much faith in me. Obviously I need to have more faith in Him.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Update On My Brokenness

I finally heard from my sports med doctor this afternoon (actually one of his nurses who just read parts of the report to me but couldn't answer any questions - not really helpful).  According to the MRI, I have a "mild stress reaction" rather than an actual "stress fracture".  So...I really DON'T have a stress fracture?  What the Eff is a "stress reaction"?

All the nurse could tell me is that he wants me to continue with the current plan of care (non-weightbearing NWB on crutches as much as possible, boot on when I'm up and walking around, cross-training you mean carting my 150 pound fat ass around on crutches isn't cross training enough???) and see him again on Monday at 2:00 to generate a "plan".  So, I have to go into the weekend not really knowing anything more than I did on Monday.  I don't know if a "stress reaction" is better than a "stress fracture".

Thankfully my husband is a medical librarian and he found me this from Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Rehabilitation:

"The lesion of MTSS is a result of a hypermetabolic state within cortical bone. Bone is in a phase of chronic remodeling as a result of persistent and increasing strain on porous bone. [1] Bone in athletes participating in running or jumping sports may have difficulty remodeling at a rate fast enough to adapt to the changes from mechanical loading. Ideally osteoblasts fill the tunnels left by osteoclasts, however in pathologic situations the porous bone inadequately accommodates to continued loading and microfissures may result and possibly progress to stress fracture. [1] It is know that the bone-remodeling sequence at the start of an exercise program commences approximately 5 days after stimulation and that the bone is weakened for the first eight weeks. Jones et al graded this stress reaction from normal remodeling (grade 0) to stress fracture (grade 4), with mild, moderate and severe stress reaction in between. [7]

Prognosis:
The recovery time for periostitis or medial tibial stress syndrome is three to four weeks. Patient with stress fractures typically resume unprotected activities in 4-6wks and impact activities in 2-3 months. Adequate healing and the resolution of symptoms determine the rate at which the resumption of activities occurs with the impact activity. [1][10]"


To me, this means that maybe things aren't as grim as I'd originally feared. Or maybe I'm just still in denial.  Whatever, I'll take it.  

Bottom line, I'm still essentially NWB through the weekend (and I actually asked for orders for one of those scooter thingies because the crutches are reducing me to a blubbering mess and fraking up my already messed up shoulder).  I *might* be able to walk the 10k Mud Run on 5/20 but I'm not holding my breath (Please don't hate me Erin and Ali if I can't do it - I'm already disgusted enough with myself).  If I could drop down to the 5k I would feel more comfortable going against doctor's orders and doing it. Not sure if that's an option though.  I *should* be able to start training for Disney Wine and Dine in August and plan to run/walk it.  

I'll know more after my appointment on Monday.  Just keep thinking good healing thoughts (for both my tibia and my heart).  In the meantime, I'm going to try to channel Dora and "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Taking a Break

I'm not really sure what I want to post this week.  The name of my blog is "Live Laugh RUN Breathe" and right now I'm not doing any of those things very well.  A good friend once told me that if I don't have anything to say, I shouldn't say anything.  Right now? I feel like all I would type here would be negative and I don't want to do that to the readers I have and risk losing any of you.

Today, I'm hobbling around on crutches with a really ugly boot covering my stress fracture while I wait for MRI results.  I hate it (the boot/crutches & waiting), but I'm trying to look on the brightside - I've always wanted really toned arms, I just thought maybe God would come up with a different way for me to get them.

I'll be back when I figure out what this space will be for (feel free to leave me some suggestions - what would YOU like me to write about?).   Please don't go too far away.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fitness Friday: Bling Whore

How ironic is it that this self-proclaimed Bling Whore waited until the week I was diagnosed with a stress fracture to hang up my race medals?

I am in big puffy heart love with my running display from Allied Medal Displays.  The ability to customize it was so fun, it was a breeze to hang (well, for M to hang), and the price wasn't out of this world.  When my girl, Megan, over at Running Toward the Prize got one and did a review, I knew I needed to get one too.  (She even had a discount code on her blog that's good for the entire year, so go visit her - you'll just have to dig to find the post.)

I may be down for the count, but I will definitely be adding more bling in the future!

Are you a "bling whore"?  How do you display your swag?

(FYI-I bought this display with my own cash and the opinions are all mine. Just saying.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Healing

Today I'm giving thanks for the chance to heal. 
  1. I'm thankful for all of you who read and commented on this post yesterday and on twitter over the past few days.  I really love the support and encouragement you have all given me.  Not to mention just letting me cry and bitch when I need that, too.  I definitely know who my friends are.
  2. I'm thankful that I was able to sorta finish Stage 1 of the New Rules of Lifting for Women, even if I couldn't do all the moves at the end because of the risk of making my fracture worse, I could definitely tell how much stronger I became over those 6 weeks.  If you want to see how I did, I recapped it here.
  3. I'm thankful for doctors who take you seriously and are also runners (my "doctor" is a PA who also runs marathons). I have a referral to a sports med specialist on Monday and I will be going to a sports med PT.  Even though I'm not some elite athlete, they recognize that getting back to running IS important to me and so far no one has told me I need to give up running completely.
What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Broken

After a couple months of pain, trying to work it out on my own and with ART from my chiro, and no running for the past 2 1/2 weeks, I decided enough was enough and yesterday I got an x-ray.


See that little vertical line and bump the arrow is pointing to (I know the pic is crappy - I took a pic of the computer screen with my phone)?  That would be a stress fracture in my left tibia (confirmed by radiology this morning).  In all likelihood, I've had this for at least a few weeks to a couple months (probably shortly after running the Tinker Bell Half at the end of January) and running the Knoxville Half Marathon on April 1st was the nail broke the camel's back, or in my case continued to break my left tibia. 

I'm sad.  I spent a lot of time crying yesterday once I got home from the usual business that is my life. (BTW: Standing for a couple hours at a HS track meet in the freezing cold does NOTHING to make a stress fracture feel better.)  I started crying on the drive home from my girl's track meet as I was reading all the supportive tweets from my friends (shut up, I wasn't technically tweeting and driving - well, I was but whatever). I pretty much didn't stop crying until I fell asleep last night.  I'm crying again now.

It's stupid, really.  Why am I so upset about this?  It's not the end of the world.  It's certainly not a death sentence. It's not like I'm ever going to be the type of runner who wins a race or makes money at this.  So why would I be so upset about missing one (or 3 as that's how many I've paid for/registered for in May) races?  Because this is MY THING.  It's the one thing I do for me.  I've been seeing real improvements in my endurance and my speed. I thrive on the race atmosphere and I'm a self-proclaimed Bling Whore. I need it for stress relief. It's become my drug.  I'm absolutely horrified at the thought of continuing to get fatter until I've gained back all the weight I managed to lose.  I'm terrified of losing all the fitness I've gained. It makes me sick to think I'm going to have to start back at square one. I'm scared I will always have pain when I run and it will make me want to quit.  I don't want to be a quitter (as evidenced by the fact that I ran a fucking half marathon on a fucking stress fracture).

I have an appointment on Monday with a sports medicine doctor.  He must be good because he's the sports med doc affiliated with several of the huge races around here.  My doctor has also recommended physical therapy but I wouldn't be surprised if that doesn't get scheduled until after my appointment with Dr. K. I want to get this moving. Monday seems so far away.

I really don't know where to go from here.  I spent a lot of time chatting with Kirsten last night (luff you so much, girl) and she knows how I feel (badass ToughMudder on a broken ankle).  I need to dust off NTC and focus on arms and abs.  Bike and swim when I can.  Eat EXTREMELY well.  Not sink into the abyss.  Maintain as much strength and cardio fitness as I can so when I'm given the go-ahead to start running again, I don't fucking die.  

I still have high hopes (probably foolish ones) of being able to at least walk the River Bank Run 5k on 5/12 (since the 25k is most certainly gone for me at this point and running the 10k or 5k isn't likely either). Even more foolish hopes of being able to finish the Down and Dirty Mud Run 10k with Erin and Ali on 5/20 (there are no time limits & you can skip all but the last mud obstacle if need be).  I had goals of a kick-ass Shrinking Jeans 10k on 5/28.  How the fuck am I supposed to run these races if I've been told "no running until 100% pain free?" I'm not.  I just know I have to be healthy for Disney's Wine and Dine in November.  I just hope I can maintain some decent level of fitness in the meantime.

The moral of the story?  If something doesn't feel right - please get it checked out.  If the recommendations from one doctor aren't working - get a second opinion.  Please don't be me.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

LLRB 365: 2012 Week 15

Sunday
4-8-12
A rare sight, K in a dress.


Monday
4-9-12
Prayers for my girl, Christie O


Tuesday
4-10-12
Icing, icing, icing


Wednesday
4-11-12
What the Duck? (She nested in a planter at the entrance to my school.)


Thursday
4-12-12
K's first varsity track meet.


Friday
4-13-12
K's tract team gets quotes before each meet. This is good!


Saturday
4-14-12
I'm not running out of Oberon next winter!!



This week DEFINITELY had its ups & downs. What was an "up" for you this week?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Train Like a Mother (book review)

When Sarah and Dimity from Another Mother Runner contacted me back in March about offering me a copy of their newest book, Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line - and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity to review, I had to admit I was more than a bit stoked.  I've loved following these ladies on twitter (the links are above) and Facebook for quite some time. While I haven't yet read their first book, Run Like a Mother, I was so excited to get my hands on their newest endeavor (note to self: order Run Like a Mother).  I held off reading until our road trip south for spring break, which was a HUGE mistake because I found I couldn't read in the car in all the stop and go traffic and twisty mountain roads.  I should've started reading before we left because I found I didn't want to put it down!
In the style of my typical Thursday posts, I've decided to do a Thursday Three: the top three loves of Train Like a Mother because, seriously, I could have listed hundreds and needed to limit myself. So here we go...

  1. Sarah and Dimity are friends and their writing style is that of a couple girlfriends chatting with you over a beer.  They are down-to-earth and clearly love running.  They are also both quite different in their running pursuits and many of their preferences - but they whole-heartily agree that commando is the way to go!  Train Like a Mother was a fast, fun and easy read.  Plus, they're both pretty damn funny and not afraid to tell it like it is, whether the subject be nutrition (you mean Red Vines aren't a healthy lunch?) or bodily fluids (yep, the rag happens).
  2. I loved the layout of the book.  13.1 chapters.  As a fan of half-marathons, that number cracked me up.  At the end of each of the 13 chapters, ranging from why many of us run, training plans, training questions, dealing with injuries (my current favorite chapter that I'll be re-reading several times over the next few weeks as I try to heal my shin splints and save my spring racing season), nutrition and race goals, there is a .1 mini-chapter.  These mini chapters contained some of the best and funniest goodies in the book.  Putting the "TMI Tuesdays Greatest Hits" at the end of the "Injuries" chapter was pure genius.  "The Running Path" - an homage to The Giving Tree - literally brought tears to my eyes. 
  3. The race plans.  I subscribe to Runners World.  I read a ton of running blogs.  I've been running for a few years now but certainly do NOT profess to know ANYTHING about running or how to create a decent running plan.  Sarah and Dimity worked with Christine Hinton to create not one but TWO training plans for all the major race distances: 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, and full marathon, plus a bonus "bike-to-run" plan for runners returning from injury.  The plans are designed as a "Finish It" plan for beginning runners to that distance and an "Own It" plan for runners with a bit more experience who are looking to kick some serious asphalt.  They are easy to understand and flexible for busy runners (not just mother runners!) to be successful.  Once my body is ready to start running again, I'm hoping to use that Own It half marathon plan to kick some serious ass this fall.  
So there you go - 3 excellent reasons to go out and get yourself a copy of Train Like a Mother.  I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did.  (Make sure you follow Sarah and Dimity on twitter and Facebook, too.  You won't regret it!)

Thank you SO MUCH, Dimity and Sarah, for sending me such a funny, informative, and entertaining book to read.  I can't wait to read Run Like a Mother next!

Mumbo-jumbo: I was provided with a copy of Train Like a Mother by Dimity and Sarah. I wasn't compensated for this review and the opinions are all my own.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Check-In: Heavy Heart

Just a quick post before my first student shows up this morning.  My heart is heavy as a couple friends are going through some of the toughest shit ever and my dad is having surgery this morning.  I'm not physically present for any of them but my head and my heart are - to the point that work is going to be very difficult today and I'm a bundle of anxiety.  If you have a second, send up some good thoughts or prayers or whatever you have for Christie, Mel, Lee, and anyone in your life who is struggling with their health. And then say a prayer of thanks that you are healthy and strong.

Thank you.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

LLRB 365: 2012 Weeks 13 & 14

Since we were on vacation this week and I didn't get last week's photo post done, I'm combining these 2 weeks.  Enjoy :)
Sunday
3-25-12
Happy 70's birthday to M's mom!

Monday
3-26-12
Went to an Oberon release party - this was taken at midnight Monday morning :)

Tuesday
3-27-12
Sometimes a little Sbux for lunch just makes the day better.

Wednesday
3-28-12
Beautiful sky on the way home from running kids around.

Thursday
3-29-12
Gotta love slave labor :)

Friday
3-30-12
Our drive to TN got interesting when the Garmin took us down a single lane road in podunk, OH.  We were pretty sure we weren't on I-75.  The goats were of no help, either.

Saturday
3-31-12
Three runners at the Knoxville Marathon Expo!

Monday
4-1-12
My girl finishing her first official 5k! (My half marathon pictures weren't nearly as cute - but I finished.)

Monday
4-2-12
We spent the day exploring Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Tuesday
4-3-12
Made it down to Asheville, NC and lunch was some yummy NC BBQ.

Wednesday
4-4-12
Beautiful waterfall on the Biltmore Estate.

Thursday
4-5-12
Driving from Asheville to Louisville, KY we found the Woodford Reserve Distillery (official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby).

Friday
4-6-12
Before driving home, we hit up the Louisville Slugger factory.

Saturday
4-7-12
Back to reality with meal planning while icing my shins.

Since the past week was our spring break, and we managed to cram in a visit to Brooke, a race, horseback riding and hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, a visit to Jaime, multiple Asheville brewery stops, Biltmore Estate and wine tasting, a distillery, underground ziplining (a must-do if you are ever in Louisville), the Louisville Slugger factory and museum, and dinner with Ali on the way home, choosing just one picture a day was very difficult.  Each of those events could have been it's own blog post :)

Did you take any spring break trips this year?  If not, what was your favorite spring break memory?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fitness Friday: What's next?

I posted some of these thoughts on my other blog, but decided to include them here, too. I'm feeling discouraged & blue about running lately. Because of the shin splints (or whatever the fuck they are) running HURTS. Shit, even walking hurts now.

I jogged & sucked wind through my half marathon on Sunday, finishing only 10 min slower than my 1/2 PR. I should be happy about that, but I'm pissed that my body really didn't cooperate - and hasn't cooperated for about 2 months now. Race Report
I'm really struggling with what to do about my River Bank 25k in 6 weeks. I really don't want to run it if I won't have a chance at doing well. (Read PR.) But it's also the 35th anniversary of the race & the bling will be very cool (there are no medals for the 5k or 10k, plus I already paid for the upgraded 25k shirt). I have the mud run with Erin & Ali 2 weeks after that. I'd much rather be healthy for the mud run than finish a stupid 15.5 mile race with a shitty time but the more I think about it, the more I still want that 25k medal (I believe I can drop down to the 5k or 10k but might need to pay a penalty.) Also, I'm on the 25k team for my school but my time won't matter anyway.
I have to keep training distance for fall since I've already paid for Disney's Wine & Dine and I'd like to  run the GR Marathon half in October.
I really don't know what to do. Today I got a message through facebook inviting me to a 3-5 mile run on Tuesday. I can't even walk across the hotel lobby without pain so the thought of not being able to run even 3 miles makes me tear up. I've thought about taking a good 3-4 weeks off from running but I'm a week off already with minimal improvement. Plus, there's no way I could build back up to 15.5 miles 2-3 weeks after that. (I think I actually have 10 or 12 on the schedule tomorrow if I was still following my plan.)
Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: On Vacation

I am in the middle of spring break week & I know I'm behind on blogging. I'll catch up on my photo posts when I get home. You can read about this past Sunday's half marathon Here
We've visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Knoxville, TN.






And ate yummy BBQ & visited some breweries in Asheville, NC.





This morning we're headed to the Biltmore Estate & then more brewpubs.
I hope you are enjoying your week!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 2, 2012

Knoxville Half Marathon Race Report

I debated whether I wanted to write an official report for this race. I don't have my computer with me but if I was going to write a report I didn't want to wait a week until we made it home from vacation. I know Brooke's husband got some pics & so did Kay, but they'll need to wait. (So proud of Kay for running her first official 5k - official time was 34:58 I think.) This report is coming straight from my phone and will still have a few pictures. I'll add a picture post later after J & K get me their shots.
We started by meeting up inside the Knoxville Convention Center for last minute bathroom stops & to strip off our jackets because it was already really warm. Jaime & I headed toward the back of the full/half corrals but then realized we were behind a barricade (where walkers started) so we hopped some bushes & moved up. Brooke headed to the 4:45 pace group & Kay asked for last minute 5k instructions & went to wait for her race to start. Within a minute or two, the gun sounded & Jaime & I made our way to the start. We had discussed our strategy to walk at the top of every mile, through aide stations & on any hill we felt we could walk faster than run. Or just walk when we needed.


Miles 1-4
The course started near Worlds Fair Park on an immediate uphill. (I'd commented to Brooke about being worried about that hill. She asked if I wanted to drive the course but I said "no" since it would have freaked me more. She knew that hill was NOTHING compared to what was coming and was a bit worried about me.) The course took a few turns in town, up some other small hills & along the Tennessee River. The river was quite beautiful but hard to see though the thick fog. I wish I'd taken a picture of the river, but here's some proof of the fog. The river is on our left :) (splits 11:11, 10:39, 10:59, 12:29)


Miles 5-8
The course then turned into one of the most beautiful neighborhoods ever (think tons of million-dollar homes & amazing landscaping). People were parked at the bases of their driveways giving high fives & cheering. There were lots of twists & turns & the longest hill on the course. It went up a ways & flattened just long enough for us to realize it wasn't done. Jaime & I walked some but also ran some of that hill. Even backwards.


At the top of the hill we had a little jaunt through town (I felt bad for anyone attempting to drive but kuddos to all the police keeping us safe) and then headed into the Third Creek Greenway. (splits 11:39, 11:22, 11:57,12:46)
Miles 9-11
This section was all on a pretty trail but it was narrow, hilly & slippery. As we turned onto the greenway, I could really tell the heat & humidity were getting to me. Somewhere in here I took another hit off my inhaler, but it didn't really help. (Found out later we were under a yellow flag warning because of the air quality - might have explained why I felt like I couldn't breathe.) All of the little up/down hills (they were steep & short) were doing a number on my legs. Not only were my calves/shins hurting, but my hip/ass were feeling the pain. We walked a bit more in here but no shame. It was tough. I really started to hit a wall somewhere around mile 10-11. My legs kept cramping up & I couldn't will them to move anymore. (splits 11:24, 12:32, 13:18)
Miles 12-13.1
Mile 12 took us past the children's hospital & through frat row. I was really hoping for some frat boys with beer but they all must have still been sleeping. There were more hills & more need to walk. I was so ready to be done. It was hot & sunny. Jaime & I both commented how we hoped Brooke was going to be ok with the heat. Seeing the girl directing us away from the full course was a welcome site. I have this rule about not walking in the last mile of a race, but we walked a bit of mile 13 and then turned it on for the last .1 into Neyland stadium and across the 50 yard line. (splits 14:02, 12:20, 10:04)






We finished & found our families in the stands & then went on a search for fuel. This was probably my one complaint - we had to walk a long way to get to the post-race party area & when we got there, the lines were so long that we didn't wait. Only water at the finish line was a fail in my opinion. There should have been at least some bagel pieces & fruit in the stadium.
This was, by far, one of the toughest races I've ever run. Much harder physically than my 25k last year & harder mentally in some spots than my full. I'm feeling the effects on my shins/calves today & can barely walk. (This has me very discouraged for the 25k coming up in 6 weeks. As in, should I switch to the 10k or skip it completely. It's already paid for which sucks even more.) I'm proud of finishing this half though, even though my time wasn't what I was hoping for. I basically ran it injured with minimal training. I still had fun & got to spend a ton of time running & chatting with Jaime, which made it all worth it. The bling is pretty awesome, too.


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