Sunday, January 26, 2014

1 month down...

Well, I hate to admit that the time has flown by, but 4 weeks without running hasn't been quite as bad as expected.  For one, the weather plain old stinks!   Record lows, wind, wind chill, snow….yuck!  If you know me at all, I absolutely HATE the winter.  I would take 100deg temps all year round rather then wear a coat, gloves, etc etc.   So with that said, I'm totally not missing running in this …..looking at the positive side?

I've had time to focus on swimming, biking, strength, aqua jogging.  Over the last week, I've added the elliptical.  Not bad eh?

The picture you may ask….Arizona!!!!  I leave Tuesday for the annual Linsey Corbin Camp.   Looking forward to reconnecting with some great friends, incredible weather, delicious food and hard riding.  Got the ok from doc thankfully and booked my ticket!

More from AZ to come…


Thursday, January 9, 2014

1 Week Down/ Conquering the Dreaded Aqua Jog

I'm proud to admit I've completed 7 whole days on crutches at the advise of my orthopedic surgeon (see previous post for explanation of hip injury).  I begrudgingly agreed after a long discussion about what actually constitutes "pain with weight bearing".  The first few days took a bit to get used to i.e. sore armpits, wrist pain, remembering how to stuff crutches into the passenger seat of my car, how to carry things in two fingers etc but it came back slowly.

Luckily work was great at accommodating my needs and I was able to sit in the office doing desk work instead of seeing patients.  I've never been one to sit behind a desk on the computer (my attention span is way too low and I applaud those who can do this) but I welcomed the change of pace and chance to heal properly.

After three days on crutches the pain in my right hip diminished significantly.  Its funny how perspective changes the minute you aren't constantly nagged by discomfort.  My mood elevated almost immediately, no longer did it feel like doomsday and I could come up with a plan for moving forward.  It's easy to talk about rehab and "ok, I can bike, swim blah blah" but when you are in pain you truly don't feel motivated to do it.  As soon as I felt good it was like a light switch…."ok, what's next, what's the plan".

I'm swimming 5 days this week and probably for the next couple of weeks.  My masters program is amazing and I feel so lucky to have this group.  Group is about 15 or so mixture of fitness enthusiasts, ex college swimmers, triathletes and those entering the sport later in life.  We are coached by Coast Guard Blue Dolphins Swim Team head coach, Steve Hennessy who is one of the best coaches I've had.  Not only has he coached olympic trials level swimmers but he has a unique way of understanding the needs of each swimmer and their needs.  We are blessed to have his expertise on deck.  We talked about me joining the high school group on saturdays yikes ;)  I'll definitely update a post on getting my *ss handed to me!

An update on aqua jogging:  success!  I've managed to turn red in the pool, anaerobic and exhausted.  Whoa! Coach Steve (as mentioned above) wrote a specific workout for me today as follows:  For those injured, this is a must save:

400 warm up as 100s, 200 kick/drill, 100 swim
800 skps (swim kick pull swim)

3x ( 100- 25drill/50swim build/25kick
     ( 100 descend

5min of aqua jogging w/ belt as 30sec sprint/ 30 easy

200 swim

3 sets of x   (3x   (40sec sprint aqua jog w/ belt/ 20 easy))

200 swim

10x 25 sprint aqua jog w/o belt on 1:00

200 swim easy

It was hard, cheeks were red.  I learned it is important to focus on high knees, toes up and working the core.  It also helps to have a coach on deck yelling out the intervals and screaming (encouraging) me to move faster!!

I'll keep the updates coming in case there is someone out there with a similar problem that may find this advice helpful!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Not so great 2014 news

Well, I've delayed posting an update.  Not because I didn't want to admit I'm injured again, but because I didn't see my doctor until Thursday and wanted to wait to hear the "verdict" before I got carried away with worry doubt and fear.

I have a "stress reaction" in my right hip (femoral neck), which is the distant, but not very distant cousin of the stress fracture.  Ouch, sounds bad, yes it's painful but not as painful as I recall my knee injury was 2 years ago.  It all started about 3-4 weeks ago,  a hard treadmill session of intervals and the sense later that day that I had pulled a hip flexor.  The weeks went by, pain would wax and wane.  Eventually pain was present at the beginning of the run, would disappear (enough to run 10miles) then reappear after.  I was limping, I was trying to stretch, foam roll, be religious about taking vitamin D……but in the back of my mind I knew this could be something worse….

Given my history of stress fractures I contacted my orthopedist…pulled some strings to get an apt ASAP and had an MRI on New Years eve (happy new year to me right?).  My doc called that night and gave me the news.  Crutches for 10 days -2 weeks or until I have no pain with weight bearing.  No running for 6-8 weeks.  DANG.

When you are injured, and I am more frequently than healthy, you go through stages.  Denial…."this is just a pulled muscle", "it's not that bad", to anger/frustration- "what the heck, I'm only running 25miles/week".  "if I didn't have this darn full time job on my feet, I could recover like a normal athlete", to sadness " I can't do this again".  to acceptance- "ok, maybe 2 weeks on crutches, not bad" and "I've not run for almost 2 years and I got it back, I can wait 8 weeks, no big deal".

I've done crutches before and it SUCKS.   Let's just get to the bottom line.  Imagine holding two rigid sticks under your arm pits, contracting your triceps all day.  Not being able to:  make your own food, stand in the shower, put your clothes on standing, carry any bag or plate, cup, getting around a store, cleaning your own house (ok, well crutches might be good for this one example).  But the list goes on and on… are pretty much useless and helpless.  I don't find that fun.   When your life is about planning how to cram 3 workouts in and a full time job, time is of the essence …..when it takes you 4x as long to do anything with crutches the formula falls apart.  

Well, I'm forced to slow down…..I've rehashed some things with my coach.  I was running 98%of my runs on trail and when daylight was dwindling, sunset at 5p and parks were closed after work I transitioned all my runs to pavement - leaving that small detail out to my coach.  80% of my runs became pavement.  My knee felt great and that was all I was concerned about.  Of course it doesn't help do do a hard treadmill session with intervals then racing to work (standing) in the Operating Room for 12-14 hours.  Doesn't leave much time for recovery.

I'm not blaming any one thing, it was probably a combination of speed, pavement and lack of recovery but all I can do is learn and move forward.  Focus on the positive….I can bike (indoors), I can swim YAY.  I can do upper body strengthening.  In a few weeks I can hit the elliptical.  I can aqua jog (does anyone else hate this….so boring).

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.  If anyone knows how to come back from injury I surely can write a book.  I've done it before and I'll do it again……Pick up the crutches and carry on….stay calm.

My coach said something that really stuck with me.  When you get to the elite level you are trying to find ways to push an athlete to be the best, you try a recipe that might work and sometimes you take a big risk, it doesn't always initially work, you get injured.  You try again….