Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Water In Motion

I  know you all are tired of my Debbie Downer, Negative Nelly, Eeyore persona as of late...soooo, drum-roll, please...

it's time for a little sunshine now...

Guess what I did?! - put my chunk in a swim suit and started my water therapy :) 

Yellow is a new color on my Garmin calendar! I still haven't removed my training runs from my calendar (the purple), but I guess I should. 
Going home with a bag of wet stuff is something new for me.
oh, and I only have one swim suit, so I may need to remedy that. 

I discovered this will take a little more coordinating and packing, which is a challenge for me, but I want to keep weight training with my sweetie, so I have to go from the gym to the pool. 
I didn't have clean socks to wear home (duh), but that's life. 

I loved  aquatic class, having an instructor to make me stay on it for an hour, is exactly what I need. I could feel the fatigue in my shoulders using the water weights...woop!  I did some aquatic running and swam a few laps after class. I am not sure how long I could run in the pool on my own without music, I missed it! 

I wore my very basic Polar heart rate monitor - I got in a pretty good workout 75 minutes total. 

   134 was my average heart rate for my time in the pool

         not to shabby ~ that's usually the max I hit running :) 

It's a long ride to and from the pool and it means very little time at home a few nights a week, but I do believe after trying it, this is the fastest way to heal. I felt great in the water. 

 On the way home I stopped and purchased a bag big enough to hold some necessities, so I can make this easier. 

Look at the deal ") 

In an effort not to completely overwhelm myself, I am setting my water goal for twice a week. 
I would really like three sessions if I can swing it.  

Have you ever tried a water in motion class, or pool running? or done water therapy? 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Where Do I Begin

These are some of my real images from the scan - the dark spot is the fracture. It's in a low, vulnerable spot on my bone. 

Each day the reality sinks in a little more...

This is how I am to hobble around for the next three weeks. I can take the boot off to cycle at the gym, but I have to put it back on to do weights; it's clunky but I am getting used to it.

Each time my hub and I have worked out the "what feels okay" list has been shrinking. I can't do the leg press, or calf machines I love, I can not do my sit ups on the incline bench - goodbye progress, hello belly flab, and I can't plank. Trying to put weight on my foot caused a sharp pain in my shin, so no planks. I haven't tried push ups, but I think it's safe to cross them off...it pains me to see my progress fade away.

Sunday, I did the awesome cycle with the big screen and all the different courses,

then I tried a stationary one for a half hour. My leg, which hasn't really hurt much in a few weeks (unless I put my weight on it just right) has been pulsing. I am beginning to wonder if the cycle is detrimental to my healing, or if my leg is still adjusting the weight of the boot. The first few days in the boot, both my knees were very sore and  tender. 

Void ~

Since May 2013 - I have run at least 70 miles every month, a few months were higher, but never less. 
How do you fill that void? 

January 2013 - I started trying to run a few times a week and slowly increased my miles, by July 2013, I actually had lost four pounds. Running was the only thing that finally started nudging my scale down, and helped me to shed some inches. 

History ~
After a few surgeries and several years of trying different hormone therapies, I was feeling awful because no matter what the doctor tried my blood pressure (with medication) stayed
in the danger zone. I had swelling in my joints, my exercise was constantly disrupted due to pain, and I went through a year long period where my shoulder was frozen; I couldn't even latch my own bra. I felt pretty depressed.  Ultimately, I decided to get off all the meds, let my body level out, and let it land where it may and work from there. I just wanted to feel better. 

After stopping all medicine and beginning to exercising regularly (because the pain and swelling got better when I stopped the medicine), I gained almost 30lbs. over a four month period. Initially I began to panic, since I have a history of eating very disordered, it had been about 20 years since I had dealt with any purging behaviors, but the weight gain had me worried. 
2010, I was at the height of my misery with my weight, I started dieting and ramping up the exercise with minimal results. I was doing a lot of walk/running, I would run for periods of 30 seconds to a minute and maintain about a 13  - 13 half minute mile. In 2011, I started seeing an endocrinologist and was diagnosed with my slowing thyroid, but with my history of medication issues, she encouraged me to try to manage it with more weight training, increase my walk/run min. a mile speed, and a very low calorie diet. I have struggled staying on the diet long term. 

All that leads to why I had very little confidence I would ever be able to run non-stop, but eventually it happened...and I felt .•´ ♥ ☆ ♥ `•.¸.•´ ♥  amazing! 
I never wanted to stop having that feeling and now it's come to a crashing halt. 

Running has been my hormone replacement, my anti-depressant, my weight control, my motivation, my companion, and sanity every week. 

I don't even know what questions to ask this post, I just want to thank you all for your very kind words, encouragement, support, and virtual hugs!!!
I deeply appreciate each and every comment  more than you can imagine. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Bone Scan

♪ Welcome to the new age, to the new age 
  Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive...

So you get shot up with the dye and have to wait three hours for it to adequately spread before your scan. Luckily, I live about 17 minutes from the hospital where my test was being done, so I came home to hang out. I kept waiting for my superpowers to kick in, but I vacuumed at normal speed...boring.

I returned and had my test, which confirmed my Tibia is fractured. 
This is not my x-ray just a sample picture
I have a disk with my pictures, but no disk reader on my laptop

The inside part of the bone has a distinctive snap right about where the red x is. The bone narrows and it's vulnerable to stress fractures, according to the tech that did my scan.

The technician can not tell a patient if something is wrong, but he did show me how different my right leg looked from my left. I could see the problem as soon as the pictures popped on the screen.

Hubby and I went to eat after the test, and Wally the tech came to tell me the doctor confirmed it was a fracture as soon as he sent the images to him.

I haven't even spoke to the doctor yet, so I guess I will know more after tomorrow.

The hospital cafeteria food was healthy, very reasonable $, and we had a nice view - who knew! 
I actually ate a piece of tilapia and liked it. 

Seven weeks will be the stopping point in my marathon training. I will not be able to run.

I will not be part of the population that completes a marathon, my old body gave out on me, and it's time to listen to the limits my body is demanding.

I need to heal up and be ready for Disney February 22nd. (Princess Half Marathon)

I guess for now my Garmin log will record my longest run at 15.5 miles on 1-10-15

I have a long list of worries I am sure I will share in a future post, but for now I am out...and a little down.

Any ideas, other than drowning my sorrow in dark chocolate? What's the longest break from running you've been forced to take?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Marathon Training Week Seven

Calling this marathon training doesn't seem like the right title this week, since I am just hovering in limbo, but hopefully by the weekend I will have answers and some real direction. My bone scan appointment is Wednesday and I hope it won't take long to get the results. 

Week seven, I cycled 21 miles, spent 30 minutes on the elliptical, four sessions of weight training, which included some core work, and 12 miles of running. 

I rested from running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...etc. and it felt like a realllllly long week. I think I ate my weight in dark chocolate not running all week. Saturday rolled around and my shin felt fine all week, and I am very nervous about losing everything I have been working toward, so I went out with run buddy for a twelve miler, which was my planned drop back week distance. 

12 miles in 2:08 - it was cold, but the sun was shining, we took our time, chatted, and I clicked the miles off without a hint a pain in my leg. I was so glad to be out. The only thing that ached - my feet, I think my shoes are about shot already, even with new inserts my feet felt a little achy. 

I got these early Sept. I can't believe I need to replace them already. 

Sunday I got back on the bike at the gym. 

Thankfully, since hubby is working out with me, we hit it hard a few times this week, because alone I would have flaked out. 

How many pairs of shoes do you buy a year? 
Have you ever had a bone scan, how long did it take to get the results, if so? 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's a Wrap

I am home having a snow day! 
Technically it's an ice day...
see the lovely sheet covering everything.

I didn't get to race much last year, but I did run 1,058 miles and set a few new PR's. I can spend 2015 making myself crazy trying to match or beat them now. 

My running schedule for 2014: 
Jan. 19th - 15K 
Feb. 9th - 8K
March 29th - 10K
April 6th - 5K  Team Soup Run (Campbell's run) 
April 12th - 15K 
May 10th - Glow Run-canceled due to weather
Nov. 15th - Richmond Half 

yep, that was all it...

2014 started off with the Frostbite 15K 
 a 15K, I am sad I am not running it this year. 

February - The sweetheart 8K 


Monument Ave 10K - rained the whole race 
I was smiling when I got home, but I got very sick that night

My PR 10K finish - I had run it faster in training, but I was happy with my finish, it was humid and raining the whole race

Team Soup 5K - it was very cool this day, I felt like I was flying lol 
My PR 5K - but the course was short :/

The weekend after my 5K I ran another 15K

I was about 40 seconds slower than in January, but I didn't care I had fun


In May, run buddy and I were supposed to run a fun event together, but a storm blew in and damaged a bunch of equipment so...
we put on our own glow gear and ran our own race 

June and July - I had a few great hiking days 

I never plan races in summer

Over the summer I cheered for run buddy running in the heat...

and did cross training at the shooting range 

was entertained by my cats - see Junior's hiding spot lol genius...

had a fun beach - biking getaway weekend with my love :) 

and finally November rolled around...

November - 25th anniversary 

November - the Richmond Half 

It seems impossible, but my 2015 race schedule may be even skimpier, but as long as I can keep running it will be a good year. 

Do you run a lot of the same events year after year? 
Would you get bored with running if you could't race a lot? 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Waiting is the Worst

Monday morning I went in to the Orthopedic specialist to get my left leg checked. The off again, on again pain, needed to be checked.
We talked about the ever-changing symptoms, how much I improved while I was sick, and then he started squeezing my shin and calf. My calf was good, he couldn't make it hurt :)
However, one very tiny spot on the inside of left leg was very tender to the squeeze.
Apparently, I have a posterior shin splint - that's the exact spot that hurts

After he took and read the x-ray, he said he needed a bone scan to determine if I had a stress fracture causing my shin splint.

Doctor to Karen: "You need to take a full week off this week."
Karen, trying to hide a surge of overwhelming panic and sweating, ...okay, maybe I am exaggerating, but not much, "Why would I do that?! If doesn't even hurt that bad."
Doctor: "No matter what it is, rest will make it better."
Doctor: "You can pool run."
Karen: "I don't have access to a pool."
"You don't understand, I don't even want to take my drop back week." Followed by more panic...

We had a conversation about my plans for the next few months. I was not a good patient and wouldn't fully commit to rest this week. It's hard to make a decision like that with no concrete information. I need to know if it's truly a fracture, or just some pesky tissue inflammation, I hope I can get the scan scheduled soon, so I can move forward.

I will take my anti-inflammatory everyday, begrudgingly skip my daily runs this week, and see how I feel by Saturday, so I can decide if I am going to skip my long run.

I was cruising along so happily with this training, and I expected some aches and pains along the way, but the one thing I really don't want to do is hurt myself, and be out long term...ever.
I say this all the time...however, every fiber of my being stood on edge, ready to wadge a war with the doctor when he said chill out this week...

So how am I handling this? Like any rational person, I ate a bunch of chocolate and wrote this.

It's going to be a long week. Seriously...waiting is the worst.
I promise to return with something more cheery my next post, just needed to get this off my chest.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Marathon Training Week Six

Just nine weeks to go, these will be the most crucial for sure. It's make or break time.

Week six - 32.5 miles of running, three sessions of upper body, two short sessions of core work, and two full rest days. 

 Long run Saturday was pretty brisk

Run buddy and I decided to wait until 9 a.m. so at least the sun would be shining.
Kasey had 10 miles to run, training for Disney in February
I had 15 miles to check off - I am so glad I had some company

I decided I needed a break from the training team this week. I just wanted to do a long run without getting lost, and stopping a million times waiting to cross streets. 
Run buddy and I had a great run, chatting away the miles. I was sad when she turned about mile 8 to head head home, and I had to keep going. 
I sailed along pretty easily alone, maintaining a 10:40 pace until mile thirteen. I was feeling pretty good, the sun was shining, and then during mile fourteen things shifted a bit. 
My feet started feeling pretty achy. I slowed up a bit, and tried to consciously be a little lighter on my feet, but it didn't really help, they just ached. 
The last mile and half felt very long. Usually I would walk about a mile after a run, but it was so cold I ran till I was about three minutes from home. 
I carried 40 oz. of water, with two Nuun (thanks EB!!) tablets dissolved in it, and I consumed every drop. 

15.5 miles @ 10:45 avg pace 

When I got in the house I stretched in my living room. I felt extremely nauseous for a few minutes, but it passed as soon as I got in the shower. I showered until the hot water ran out.  

Sunday afternoon I thought I was feeling pretty good, so I went to the gym with my hubby. I ran a easy paced (10:45) mile to loosen up, then ran the next mile a little speedier. When I started to lift, I started feeling funky almost right away. My normal warm up weight was a challenge.  A few sets in, the nausea really started. I tried to push through it, but after a few more sets I felt rough, so we called it quits and headed home. 
I guess I found my limit, apparently I needed a rest day after my long run. 

Week six had some high points - a great 8 mile run on Monday  
my PB distance of 15.5 miles
two good upper body sessions with my hub at the gym

Week six had some low points - my right foot was really aching after my run Saturday
I really felt like I was pushing my body's comfort threshold
I felt really rough on Sunday when I tried to work out

Next week is supposed to be a drop back week. Part of me welcomes it...part of me thinks it's a little crazy that 12 miles will be my "short run". Part of me is tempted to push on next week and do 16 miles, and take the drop back after sixteen. I am still very worried I may not make it through the training cycle. I may not be tough enough for those 18 and 20 milers, the anxiety about those runs is growing.
Could this hurry up and happen already?!

Do you ever run the shower out of hot water? Do you think it's normal to need a rest day after a long run at this mileage? Do you enjoy drop back weeks during training?