what… me?

I have been M.I.A the past week or so (in virtual life, work life, and social life) due to my injury. But after a weekend filled with muscle relaxers, sleep, and Dan catering to my every need, I popped in quickly to notice I got nominated for the Bouquet of Three Award. Thanks y’all (as a true southerner would say, which I am feeling today).There are rules tied to the award, and mostly it is (I think) to help keep us connected to one another, and promote those who we enjoy, as much as they enjoy our blogs.

1. Display your award picture, on a blog post. ā€“ Check!

bestmomentawardversatilebloggerawardsunshine-blog-award

2. Thank the person who nominated you, link them back in your post.

Thank you followyourheartandlifewillfollow and wannabehappycamper (btw I always love everyone’s names… I think I picked mine in a drunken moment by comparison)

3. Pass the nomination on to 15 Bloggers you have recently discovered.

This is kind of the hard part- because I think the “newer” I follow may have already been nominated (also I slack on the following part of blogging… and other stuff I’m sure), but here are a few that I enjoy. (Maybe you will too)

AshRuns100s

supergenericgirl

SarahsDoodles

seethisgirlrun

mindful fitness movement

4. Contact the Bloggers, to tell them that you have nominated them ā€“ as soon as this is published!Ā 

I will likely forget this part… Whoops! Blame it on my ab spasm/ medication-induced trance šŸ˜‰

5. Finally, share 7 things about yourself

1. I live in the same town I grew up in.

Yes, yuck! I always pictured living somewhere else, and even did for six years, but I came back in ’09 for the job opportunities, and now love Raleigh, North Carolina.

2. I have my MA in psychology

And I am a huge stats/research/numbers nerd. I live in databases every day, giving numbers meaning through statistical analyses. Somehow, I still love working with people/clients as well.

3. I have officially paid off my student loans (Woo!)

(But am still in debt about $10K because I have a new, well 1-year old, car)

4. My old car (’99 For Escort ZX2, aka Essy) had a bumper sticker ‘Friends don’t let friends drink starbucks. Support your local coffee shop’

So I would park away from the Starbucks when I did frequent it, because I didn’t want to look like a hypocrite. Though, I’ve also been known to drive 5 or 10 minutes out of the way to drink not Starbucks coffee. Sorry (not sorry, at all).

5. I have a fat cat.

My old roomie/ gay best friend calls him “Titties”… He thinks it’s hilarious… And if my cat didn’t lie around in such suggestive poses, I would feel bad for him.

Rub me. Love me. Feed me.
(slut)

#awkwardpetphotosHe loves the holidays…

6. I have had four accidents in my life, and five speeding tickets.

Yet, I swear I am a good driver.

7. I do not have a twitter account.

Not sure I will ever get one. Call me old-school. I used facebook in college (still do), and am on instagram and pinterest, even linkedin, but see no need for twitter…

(I apologize for the typos and spelling errors. I tried to run today, rediscovered my pain, and came home to immediately take a muscle relaxer… Apparently after exercising, it hits really quick and really strong! :-D)

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road to recovery, paved with doubt and detours

Thursday was rough.

[I have a muscle spasm in my abdomen- on my stabilizing ab muscle (transverse abdominus)- which doing anything but lying down aggravates the muscle]

So, Thursday- I started writing this long woe is me, my life sucks, I’m in pain, etc. post. But, I figured I’d wait til I saw the doctor Friday to post anything…

Flash forward to the doctor visit– She consulted with the head doctor regarding my injury. I always get these rare injuries, which are hard to diagnose. Like my hip- in 2011- it wasn’t a muscle tear, or a fractured femoral neck, or even ITBS (IlioTibial Band Syndrome). Nope, my hip was tilted out of line. Who gets that? I do!

So my doctor consulted with the head physician, who advised her to think of horses, not zebras. Any time you have abdominal pain, they have to check for everything… Like EVERY-FREAKING-thing. She decided it was likely musculoskeletal, since the muscle relaxers seem to be helping. But she also mentioned that if it didn’t go away, to call her; they would test my liver function and my spleen, as those organs are in the area which I describe the pain.

She told me to continue to take my muscle relaxers as I have been, and to take the ibuprofen (I stopped taking it on Monday- it messes up your stomach lining unless you take it DURING a meal, and I kept forgetting while I was eating). She also told me to run.

Say what, miss thang?!

I know, that was my reaction too!

You want me to do the one thing guaranteed to make it hurt? I don’t know…

She must have picked up on my hesitation, because she then went from “Maybe a long run?” to “a long walk with some running as a test”… I could agree to that, knowing I had plenty of the trusty muscle relaxers if that sharp, shooting pain came back

So, yesterday I ran. I won’t lie. I was not looking forward to it. I was really afraid my muscle will act up, and I would end up doubled over in pain all weekend long. But, I think her logic is that I’m not going to stop running completely. If we believe it happens during a run, then I need to test that hypothesis.

So I walked 0.5 miles to my gym, and then ran a mile on the treadmill. I started out slow- 9:41 pace, as I was nervous. I got settled into that pace and started hitting the front of the treadmill, so I kicked it up a little. Until I was at 8:49, which felt comfortable. With 0.3 miles left, I wanted to push it and see how it felt. I got up to a 7:00 pace (8.5 mph). And then dropped to a walk. That mile was 9:17 which is my steady easy pace, so that was encouraging.

After walking for 5 minutes, I decide to run an additional 0.5 miles (at a 8:00 pace). I started to feel sore in my stomach, so I hopped off, calling it successful and walked back to my apartment.

My stomach was a little sore when I woke up this morning, but my doctor encouraged me to keep ‘moving’ when I could. So I went for a 2 mile walk. And am now laid up on my couch again.

It may take a while to get back up in the mileage, but I can run again (a mile is better than 0), which means I’m officially on my road to recovery.

Yay! Tiny celebration for a tiny step šŸ™‚

rest period. (or rest, period)

There are so many great reasons to keep a running log. Injuries are easy to track with a log. Miles on shoes are also easy to track. You are also able to reward yourself, by comparing month-month analyses of mileage/speed, etc.

I have kept a running log since 2008.

Yes that is a little obsessive. Yes, I am aware of the CRAZY factor. However, when I was injured in 2011, it was a lifesaver- I could say exactly when the problem occurred and what I had been doing the weeks before that lead up to it (a hilly 16-miler, two 10-milers back to back, hill repeats (4-5 miles), and trail running). I actually had kept a running log from 2007-2009, but when I switched computers, I forgot to transfer the file before my ex, who took my old computer, wiped it clean. I am not a hoarder of real things, but I am a digital hoarder. At work, I keep old versions of things and put them in a folder marked “old ____” because I am afraid I might decide I need the older version. Crazy? Yes, I know. But I digress…

My excel file tracks:

Daily Tab- date, miles ran, total time, average split time
Weekly Tab- week dates, miles per week, average split times of runs
Monthly Tab- last date ran, total number of runs, total miles per month, and any goals. This tab also includes a chart of month-to-month progress (miles per month)
The weekly tab has room for “notes” about each run. Generally this is blank, but if I was dehydrated (and could feel it), if I experienced any pain, went particularly fast, had a race, etc, I note it.

In looking back over my log, I noticed my abdominal “cramp” started in early March. Approximately a week after being sick (and still running, while sick. Remember this? Well, the verdict is in: it’sĀ  stupid).

So it took 6 weeks of a progressively more and more painful feeling to decide there was something wrong with me. I’d like to add the pain would only happen occasionally at first; then it was every run between mile 2-3 and would go away during the run; then it was every 1-2 miles during every run.

Last Tuesday was the worst pain yet. I was running with Dave and Sarah, and I was trying to fight through the pain to finish our simple 4 miles. We were probably 2.5-3 miles into the run, so I kept thinking I can make it to 4 miles. Sarah finally told me to stop running, as she could see the pain on my face. I stopped, defeated, and keeled over, grabbing my stomach in pain. We walked a bit, then I convinced myself the pain had subsided and I picked up to an easy jog. The pain was still there, but I wanted to get back to our end quicker.

This time, when I stopped running, the pain didn’t go away. It was a dull pain, but still a 5-6 on the pain scale (1-10). I went back home, showered, and it still hurt. I could barely get through two slices of pizza. I hardly slept because every position was slightly painful. I rolled onto my stomach at one point and it hurt a lot. I thought it felt swollen, but also thought that might have been just my hypochondria kicking in… šŸ™‚ I made an appointment for the first available time- Saturday morning. It still hurt Saturday morning, though the pain was getting more and more dull.

And the diagnosis was pretty simple- that pain is an abdominal spasm, most likely due to a pulled/strained tranverse abdominus muscle (it’s a muscle below your “6-pack” abs that kind of cushions your organs) or part of my diaphragm, such that heavy breathing causes the muscle to spasm (as I would experience when running). It is more common for people get these in their back than their abdomen.

The doctor sent me on my way, with a prescription for muscle relaxants and 800mg ibuprofen. Exciting right? I scheduled to follow up with her this Friday, and she will do an ultrasound, xray, and general follow-up to ensure there is no hernia or anything internally wrong with my stomach/diaphragm/ribs that could be restricting my airways.

I decided for myself that I am not doing any physical activity for 2 weeks after the pain is gone. The doctor agreed that is a good idea. So, for the first time in 5 years, I am going to take 2+ weeks off. It might put me behind in my training for Richmond, but I am waiting til July to see how off I am from where I’d like to be.

My body wants rest. It needs rest. So, I am taking a rest, period.

April look-back

This spring has been odd. I am not training for anything in particular, which has been sometimes motivating. I can do speedwork whenever I want, blow off long runs, blow off a run for yoga, etc., and not feel guilty about it.

But, there have also been times I’ve felt uninspired when I look at my “training” log. Truthfully, there has not been a lot of running going on.

I’ve had this ongoing abdominal pain for the past month. I finally (after an excruciatingly sharp pain on Tuesday night’s group run) decided to get it to the doctor. No more ChandiMedicine. I am thinking I pulled an abdominal muscle or something equally non-threatening, but with internal issues; it’s always a little scary to think of the possibilities.

I have gotten faster and stronger this spring by doing “my own thing” but haven’t wanted to publicly admit how little I’ve done.

So here it is:

April miles: 80.8

I completed the Palmetto200 relay legs with good times. I am convinced I can do a sub-2 half marathon. If I wanted to. But, registering, traveling, scheduling “training runs”, that just doesn’t sound fun. Another thing I do is compare one month to the prior year- April 2012, I was in a training program for a half marathon, and ran 89 miles, spread over 15 runs. This April, I ran 81 miles, spread over 18 runs. Which isn’t half bad. And I wasn’t training for anything. I no longer need that motivation (and added anxiety) of a race šŸ™‚

My goal for the spring was to enjoy running again, and aside from this strange abdominal abnormality, I’ve succeeded.

April Showers

Isn’t health the key anyway?

(random thoughts, by yours truly)

I am hoping the doctor won’t say “two months rest” or something similar.