Monday, June 30, 2008
It's not just physical. I'm having senior moments, too. I lost my wedding ring a couple of weeks ago. I lost my car key. I lost my debit card (and then found it after having a new one sent priority mail).
I have a bike to try and can't find time to try it. It's been raining forever. And I don't have time to ride (since I can't ride at lunch at work) and I'm not ready to ride to work (I don't know what I was thinking!). I stopped exercising for about a week, felt no pain in my leg, then rode the exercise bike at the gym today and have had twinges in my leg ever since.
And to top it all off, I'm turning 40 in a month.
There. I feel a little better. Thanks for listening.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I stopped running since my last long run June 7. I knew then that I had done something to my leg, and when it still hurt to go down stairs three days later, I knew it was worse than usual. I'm to abstain from running or long distance walking for 4 more weeks, and then check in again with the doctor. I'm really not supposed to do any fitness activity until the pain subsides; at that point I can ride a bike or swim.
Because I have suffered with shin splints for so long, and now have a stress fracture, the doctor recommended that I stop training for any races this year and look towards a spring marathon next year. He thinks I should start from scratch and build my base slowly and gradually. I agree with this approach as much as it pains me to say it.
I told him I assumed this is what I would have to do and I'm ok with it. But then I blurted out how I'm not really an athlete, but I loved to run, and I'm a really slow runner (jogger, if you will) and just wanted to progress and look where it got me. Ugh.
My neighbor let me borrow her mountain bike for a few weeks. I rode it a little tonight to give it a try and it was fun. She uses it to commute to work and it's decked out pretty nicely. She's looking to upgrade to a "hybrid" bike and keep the mountain bike in reserve for the winter. She's a serious biker, so I really appreciate the opportunity to give her bike a try. I just might break down and get a good one of my own.
Not only will it be fun to ride with my sons casually, but I seriously could commute. Columbus is getting to be more bike-friendly (not on the roads but at least with trails). There is a bike trail a few blocks from my house all the way to downtown so you don't have to ride in traffic. Our office building has a place inside to store bikes. Our bus system has bike racks where you can stow your bike if you want a ride, and we have a bus stop very close to my house. It looks like it is only about 10 miles to work but I could be reading the map wrong. If it is, then heck, I could run that far! Riding should be a piece of cake!
Speaking of cake, I guess I will have to lay off all the good stuff I was able to eat when I was training. That will be HARD. I am going to get fat, I know it. As soon as I stop exercising my body goes into full gear storing up the fat.
This has been a hard lesson to learn, but I think I got the message: you really do have to take it slow and listen to your body, no matter how much you think you should be going longer or faster. I feel like such a dork (but I think at work people think I'm an athlete or something), but it won't be the first time. I'll survive and come back fighting strong. Just a little slower!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
And I feel so incredibly lucky to have what I have.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
But I said it was worse and different from before and that made him decide to take an X-ray to see if I had a stress fracture.
It looks like it's easy to get a stress fracture, especially if you haven't trained enough or if you have changed your training significantly. I changed from the treadmill to outdoor trails, and I was trying to increase my mileage, and my speed. But maybe my bones couldn't take all the pressure!
The doctor had an X-ray machine in his office so they were able to X-ray my legs and view them right on the computer. There didn't appear to be any fractures visible, but there was some very slight build up on the inside of each tibia, right where my pain has been. The bone has a slight curved area to it, which could suggest a recent fracture that has healed. Apparently it is not easy to detect a stress fracture, especially with an x-ray. So I am now going to get a bone scan which sounds like an ordeal in and of itself.
I explained to my boys last night I might have "broken" my bone in my leg. My two year old said I broke my toe and had to go to the hospital. I asked him where he had heard about going to the hospital, and he said proudly, "Caillou!" (the PBS cartoon). I explained I wasn't going to the hospital. But now, for the bone scan, I do have to go to the hospital. I told my two year old he was right after all. Now he wants to go with me.
I was slightly disappointed the x-ray didn't show anything because this has been so frustrating for me. At least if I knew what the problem was I could do something about it, even if it is to drop out of the marathon training (I would still see if I could do the half....). If the bone scan doesn't show anything, I'm looking at an MRI, possibly.
All so I can jog slowly for a few miles like a crazy person. It's what I love to do. After family and work, it's all I have. If you are a runner, you'll understand....
Monday, June 9, 2008
It didn't last long once I was at work, because for what I do, I'm faced with stories of people who are not faring well in these economic times. While politicians refuse to declare a recession, real people are not able to fill their gas tanks, or their stomachs, because of the high cost of everything and the lack of jobs.
My job is to develop policy for welfare programs. These programs were once considered the way to move people from welfare to work. But without jobs, there is no moving to self-sufficiency. Now people who believed that only people who deserved welfare should get it are finding out what we are supposed to do to determine if someone is "deserving" enough.
Unless you have a trust fund that pays your way in this world, many of us are one or two paychecks away from needing help. Every day I read about layoffs, plant closings, lack of food in food pantries, the increasing cost of groceries, the decreasing value of food stamps (they really only last 2 weeks), and the increasing cost of gas, and I worry. I worry about all the people we are supposed to be helping. I worry about the people who are about to need help, and I worry about my own family.
There's no easy answer, except that people need money, and the only way to be able to get enough money to survive is to get a decent paying job. The only way to get a decent paying job is to have a decent education, and have decent paying jobs available where you live. Decent paying jobs need decent health coverage, which costs money. I could go on and on.
The only way I ease my worries is to believe that what I do helps a little bit. It's not the answer, but it's there for people who need help. It's just that there are a LOT of people who need help right now.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I can't help it my legs are not built for running. If it weren't for my frickin' shin splints I'd be at a slow run!
I know that I should embrace my inner penguin but it's hard. I like these quotes:
According to running guru Dr. George Sheehan: "the difference between a runner and a jogger is an entry form."
This one is even better - by John Bingham:
- I AM A RUNNER because my runs have names. I do tempo runs and threshold runs and fartlek runs. I do long, slow runs and track workouts. My runs are defined, even if my abs are not.
- I AM A RUNNER because my shoes are training equipment, not a fashion statement. The best shoe for me is the one that makes me a better runner. I choose the shoe that goes with my running mechanics, not my running outfit.
- I AM A RUNNER because I don't have running outfits. I have technical shirts and shorts and socks. I have apparel that enhances the experience of running by allowing me to run comfortably. I can say "Coolmax" and "Gore-Tex" in the same sentence and know which does what.
- I AM A RUNNER because I know what effort feels like, and I embrace it. I know when I'm pushing the limits of my comfort and why I'm doing it. I know that heavy breathing and an accelerated heart rate--things I once avoided--are necessary if I want to be a better runner.
- I AM A RUNNER because I value and respect my body. It will whisper to me when I've done too much. And if I choose to listen to that whisper, my body won't have to scream in pain later on.
- I AM A RUNNER because I am willing to lay it all on the line. I know that every finish line has the potential to lift my spirits to new highs or devastate me, yet I line up anyway.
- I AM A RUNNER because I know that despite my best efforts, I will always want more from myself. I will always want to know my limits so that I can exceed them.
- I AM A RUNNER because I run. Not because I run fast. Not because I run far.
- I AM A RUNNER because I say I am. And no one can tell me I'm not.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The Ice-Up really works well. I took it to work and I've used it twice there, and then took it home. Not only does the ice stay put, I can hold it without my hand freezing, too. If you have to do ice massage a lot, I highly recommend it.
During today's run I pondered whether I should just stop running altogether. I'm really getting tired of the pain and worrying about the latest thing that might cause me pain. I can't run more than once a week and more than 3 frickin' miles without pain. It is really frickin' frustrating.
Note - "frickin'" is my new word. Apparently it's pretty old - from the Urban Dictionary:
...from Andrew Carnegie's partner Henry Clay Frick, whose name became a "dirty word" in southwest Pennsylvania in 1892 after Pinkerton goons, whom Frick had hired, assaulted and murdered striking steel workers in the town of Homestead.
It's also a term used in its short form - "frick!" by Elliot Reid in Scrubs.
I'll just use this form of the word after my most painful runs - "Frick! Frick! Frick!"