Sunday, April 29, 2012

100 Yards

That's how far -roughly -I ran today. A far cry from the 13.1 miles I was supposed to cover in the St.Lukes Half Marathon but perhaps more significant. I couldn't run the race today but with so many friends and family in the race (both 5k and half marthon) I was there to cheer them on. My friend Naomi was completing her first half marathon. She was very concerned about finishing the race and many of us waited for her to do so. As she and her training and race buddy Mike came around the final turn of the stadium finish I took there picture and then decided I wanted another photo at the finish. So I started running toward the finish. About halfway there I realized what I was doing. I was running....and it didn't hurt. I shifted my focus to my leg/hip. There was ring of tightness around the top of my thigh and my gait was awkward but I was running. WOO-HOO!

I stopped to get my friends' photo and walked with them back to what was left of the food stations. Shortly after I headed bck to my car (walking) to drive home. I still felt the ring of tightness but no pain. On the ride home I felt some irritation on the outside of the hip and it was gone by the time I arrived home. I'm looking forward to the doctor appointment tomorrow. I will begin by asking him not to pop a hole in my happy bubble. :) I still have a ways to go but I feel much more confident of recovery now.
So let me fill you in on some other thoughts and plans. After recovering from my disappointment at the test on Tuesday, I decided that this week I would begin a couch to 5k. I think I mentioned in this blog earlier that my new immediate goal was 30 minutes of continuous running (hopefully pain free) by July 1 so that I can begin training for the PDR in September. I'm pretty sure I can do it in 12 weeks. Coach to 5k will allow me to slowly build up to the running minutes. Having a plan to follow will keep me from doing too much too soon.So I dug up a 9 week 5k program that I had written for our winter group at the end of 2010. I'm excited to have a plan!

So back to the half marathon this weekend (sort of). At the expo there were seminars during the day. I attended three of them. The last was on goal setting. It was very informative. Later at Lunch with Maggi, Russ, Julius and Mark I commented that the one thing the speaker didn't say was what is a realistic improvement goal. Specifically,I was wondering if my 2:15 half by the of the year was reasonable. After listening to Maggi's thoughts on that I decided that I should train to finish the PDR and based on that performance decide if 2:15 in November is realistic. Maggi pointed out that a lot depends on how I recover from the injury butmthe fact that I have done 2:17 before - if I do recover well - I probalby should be able to get to 2:15. It's just a matter of when. It's awesome to have friends to help me think these things through.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Testing

Today I decided to test my hip with some jogging. Ok those of you that know me know I didnt just decide it today I've been working up to this (obsessing) for at least a week. :) I've been walking and last week I got up to 5 miles without pain or limp. So this week I wanted to test it jogging. The PT asked me if I had yet so I took that as an ok to try.
I was weirdly (as only a dork can be) excited all day at the prospect of trying to run today. Even for just the short bit I had planned. I did my stretches and excercises this morning with a renewed sense of purpose. I walked to my morning meeting (about a mile away) with all my attention focused on how the hip felt while walking. It was fine. I came home from work and did the stretches again. I decided to wear my "Running means Independence" shirt from the Philly half as inspiration. I was ready to go.

My long range goal I have decided is to be able to run pain free for 30 minutes by July 1. If I get there sooner all the better but as long as I get there by July 1st I'll have 12 weeks to get ready for the PDR on September 16th. It would be nicer to start when Phillyfit starts (May 12th) because then my vacation Aug 12-22 will be less of a factor. I'm not sure if that's realistic.

My plan tonight was to walk for 25 minutes and very lightly jog for 5 and see what happens. Funny thing, I haven't run in so long I drew a blank on how to reset the timer on my watch. LOL. Anyway off I went. I felt fine walking. I finished a mile in 16 minutes and kept going. At 25 minutes I began my jog.

Instant groin pain. On the first left footfall. *sigh*. In the same spot where this whole thing began. I kept moving slowly as I tried to figure out what to do. I decided to keep going and see what would happen. In the past the pain would go away after about a 1/4 mile. However, back then I wasn't stretching or warming up first. For now I concentrated on posture, keeping it slow and keeping my hips aligned. No shuffling or dragging either leg but especially the left. I think I did ok on all counts but the pain remained. It didn't get worse but it didn't get better. I stopped after 5 minutes (30 minutes total on my feet) and walked the remaining short distance home. Once I stopped jogging the pain went away but my hip/groin/upper thigh felt tight. Not a painful tight more like a numbing pressure. :( Once inside I did all the stretches again. After that the tightness (or whatever) went away and I feel mostly fine now. The spot where the pain was feels a little irritated.

Maybe I should have started earlier than 5 minutes and run short intervals instead. Tomorrow it's back to PT. Unless he says to stop I'll try again on Thursday. I go back to the doctor on Monday. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Quick Thank you

Thank you to all who have posted support (here and elsewhere). I do appreciate it. I have to remember that the injury didn't happen overnight and it won't heal overnight either.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Inspiration

Jamie Moyer is a hero of mine. I don't know him personally but all information points to him being genuine and an all around good person. I've always thought him a good role model for younger athletes. When he was let go by the Phillies two yeas ago, people wondered if he'd pitch again. He's not only still pitching, he earned a spot in the starting rotation for the Colorado Rockies this season. Earlier this week he became the oldest pitcher to log a win in the majors. ABC News just did a feature on getting older and they highlighted his staying power. The focus was on the fact that he is doing what he loves to do and he works hard. Being older he has to start work outs earlier than the rest of the team. He pitches slower than most pitchers but his placement is so accurate he gets strikes. So I might have to work harder, but I really enjoy running so that's that. It's a fact of life. Now if the doctor would just clear me to start running again....:). And to the people who are going to remind me that I'm three years OLDER than Jamie .... PPPppppppppfffffffffftttttttttttt.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Good Place to be Cranky

I've tried to keep a good attitude about this injury. I've tried to focus on the silver linings; I can watch friends and family cross the finish line at LV Half (something I would have missed if I was running since I am a slow runner), I'm getting a sense of perspective for those who have or will go through injuries with Phillyfit, I'm learning more about proper stretching (from PT and DOC) that I likely wouldn't have learned on my own, I am getting a lot of stuff done at a time of year (pre Phillyfit season) when there is a lot to do... and so on.
But some days - and today is one of them - I really just want to let out a huge and very loud *sigh*. I'm bordering on snitty right now. So I came here to let it out. I think this is yet another good reason to have blog. Besides sparing friends and family the mundance details of my training (if they are reading this it's on them I didn't make them) I can also keep them out of the way of my frustration.

The thing is that as I get older - of course who am I kidding when I started seriously running I was already old - but as I get older and things hurt or slow down I usually go for a run and feel better. Part of it is the adrenaline rush that comes from physical activity and part of it is just being able to say "Take that. I can't be THAT old if I can still do that." But right now I can't run. :(

Part of my current funk is the PT telling me last night that he didn't see a lot of improvement in the flexibility of my hamstrings after almost 10 days of excercises. :( He said the good news was at least the tightness that is still there is equal on both sides. Ok, whatever. I should have asked but I kind of got the feeling he was expecting more. I've done all the excercises completely and thoroughly every twice a day except one when I was just too tired to get up early enough before work.

So I can walk without pain or limp, I'm finding it easier to move from a sitting position to walking with hardly any stumbling or wobble that I had for years. But my return to running is likely still a ways off. I knew it would be a slow process but I can't help wondering what if I'm done. What if I really am too old anymore.

*SIGH*

Ok I'm finished. A good night's sleep is a good substitute for a run. Right? 



Sunday, April 15, 2012

4 Mile Walk

Day 2 of PT went well Friday. Jamie was pleased that my pelvis stayed in alignment from Monday to Friday. I've been doing the exercises diligently every morning and afternoon. I can walk without pain or limp. Intersting thing that I suspectis due to the regular stretching is I can actually walk without wobbling when I get out of bed in the morning. Today was the Phillyfit Sunday Stroll for April. We walked the Leiper Smedley trail. It was a total of 4+ miles. My groin was twinging slightly when I arrived back home. I did my stretches and it was better. :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Relax and Focus

So Monday was my first visit to the PT. After some talk he put me through a bunch of exercises and manipulations and concurs with Dr. Huang that my hamstrings are to tight. In fact, his reaction to that test was almost word for word with the same intonation as Dr. Huang that I laughed out loud when he said it. Mike, the PT, also says my glutes are too weak (not what a girl wants to hear,really) and my pelvis isn't rotating properly. Ok whatevr, as long as it can all be fixed. Mike showed me a series of excercises to stretch muscles and strengthen my core and recommended that I do them twice a day. So now I'm up at 5:15 doing these and then again when I get home from work. I'm determined to get back running and I'm pretty much convinced that I'll run better if I get through all this. I'm using my gymboss to keep track of the timing on the excercises sominstead of having to watch a clock or count I'm trying to focus my mind on what I'm doing. It's actually kind of relaxing. I can't say I look forward to getting up early or heading to do them right after getting home from work but once I'm started I'm good. I go on Friday to check in learn the next set of excercises.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Injury Update

I've resisted writing anymore until I could get some clearer answers. Here's where I am.

Last Tuesday I went to see my GP; well actually one of the doctors in the practice. Dr. Montgomery was not one I had seen before. However, she was the best one so far. If I am ever sick again I will wait to get an apppointment with her. She was kind and thorough. She recommended a specialist in the practice, Dr.Huang who was equally thorough. I saw him today. Dr.Montgomery's initial diagnosis was likely a muscle imbalance. But she deferred any xrays until Dr.Huang could have a look.

In advance of the appointment I had to fill out a 4 page questionnaire asking me everything imaginable about the part that hurt but also every other joint and muscle in my body. Dr.Huang spent almost an hour going over the form, asking more questions and doing some work with both legs. I won't go into the details here but I was impressed (and I didn't have to take off anything but my shoes!). Dr. Huang says my hamstrings are the primary cause; they are too tight. I do not have as much flexibility as I could. In turn that has affected my hip flexors and hence the pain. He recommended physical therapy for a few weeks then come back to see him after. I have an appointment for that next Monday although they said they'd try to get me in sooner if something opened up.

Dr. Huang also recommended an xray to be sure nothing is torn. Although likely not given the amount of movement I do have wihtout pain and that the pain has lessened with time. He also said the xray will likely show arthritis in the hip which would explain the weakness. He suggested my next car be an automatic. :)

So the Lehigh Valley Half is out but I with patience and following the PT and DR advice I will run again. :) In the meantime, if it hurts don't do it but otherwise keep moving and keep smiling. :)

I'm disappointed about the race but the upside is I will get to see Emma cross the finish line instead of coming in much later after her. :)