Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ironman Texas!!!

WOW.  All I can say about volunteering at IMTX is WOW.  That, and if you ever have the opportunity to volunteer, DO IT!!!

First of all, we saw a lot of cute signs at several local businesses around town.  I am sure they enjoyed the extra revenue that all of our out of town guests brought to the local community!

One of many IMTX-related signs around town!

On Friday, the Hubs and I decided to head over to the IMTX expo to check out all the vendors and to see Chrissie Wellington.  We had a great time checking out all the Ironman logo gear...seeing all this cute stuff is great motivation.

Some of the sights at the Expo...See that top left?  That's my new my dreams! :-)

On Saturday, we arrived at North Shore Park at 4:15 am.  (Yes, this did require us to be up at 3-something, which is way earlier than stupid-thirty!)  We met our volunteer coordinator, Tina, and were given instructions for body marking.  For awhile we were growing concerned, because we only had 3 markers.  Fortunately, someone showed up with tons of markers and we were all good.  Before I even had a chance to mark anyone, me and the Hubs were asked to man the water station near the swim start.  We poured a table full of Ironman Perform for the athletes, but were a bit surprised to find that we did not actually have any water to hand out. Trust me, the athletes were surprised, too!

At the start...(from top left) Me and Kelly, the logo for this year's IMTX stuff (top), the swim start, the ice cold Ironman Perform, our handiwork with the cups, me and Coach Karen ready to cheer, me and running pal Erica (who was volunteering in her kayak) and me and the Hubs waiting for the athletes to arrive!

I took a break in order to find some of my peeps, especially tri BFF Kelly!  She looked great and so ready to go.  I headed back to my water IM Perform station and before we knew it, those swimming without a wetsuit were starting to head toward the start.  So exciting!  I saw Kelly again, gave her a hug and wished her luck.  She was wearing a wetsuit and would be starting 10 minutes after the official start.

Me and Kelly hanging out at the start

Once all the swimmers were in the water, we cleaned up our table and headed over to the swim exit.  We were totally excited that we had a special parking pass especially for finish line volunteers.  Unfortunately, the rest of the world seemed to have one, too!  We knew we'd be walking a lot, so we sucked it up and parked where we could and walked to the swim exit.  As we were walking, we passed the first turn after coming out of the bike exit.  Right as we passed, we heard someone fall on their bike.  Yikes!  Luckily, the woman who fell got up, checked her bike out and starting riding again.  Wow, what a way to start your 112 mile journey!

Some of the sights around the swim start, exit and T1

So back to the swim...I loved watching the age groupers come in, and we were not far from Mike Reilly.  We cheered and cheered, and we got to see Kelly and a lot of other peeps from our tri group exit the water.  The most humbling moment of the day - watching the first person finish the swim right after the cut off. She struggled through that last little part of her swim with people in kayaks and at the finish cheering - it was heartbreaking!  There were two others who came in after her.

Kelly giving us her thumbs up...she looked strong and had an awesome swim time!

The first athlete to exit the water after the cut-off...Mitzi, you are a bad ass regardless!

Once the swim was over, we decided to head home to let the puppy out for a bit.  We made it back in plenty of time for me to head to my next volunteer shift on the run course.  The hubs had over a hour before he had to be at the finish for awards.  Let me tell you - it was pretty damn hot out there!  I've heard people say it wasn't as hot as last year.  It certainly wasn't as humid, but there was no cloud cover at all this year.  I was melting just standing there handing out ice and water!  While I was standing out there, I received this text from the Hubs...

The Hubs and Chrissie...I heard they were BFFs handing out the awards!

I'll admit, I was a bit jealous.  I was pretty sure Chrissie wouldn't be there when I finally started my shift there in 3 hours. :-(  It was all good, though, because we were having a blast at our aid station!

We did see the a lot of people affected by the heat.  One man layed down on the grass next to the path, while volunteers gave him water and cold sponges to help cool him down.  I was happy to see him eventually get back up and start going again, but later saw him walking slowly in the opposite direction...I'm assuming he stopped and DNFed.  Other runners seemed a bit dazed and confused from the heat, while others looked as if the heat didn't bother them at all.  I was asked to pour ice down the pants of at least 3 men, and poured ice down many shirts as well.

Me and Lacy with our Mustaches on, me and Egin ready to hand out some water and ice!

After my shift on the run course, I had a little time to grab a bite to eat and call to check on the kiddos.  It was about that time that I realized that I was super thirsty!  I had barely had any water in the 5 hours I had been out there!  I grabbed a water from the volunteer support tent and sat down for a few minutes to relax.  I also realized that Kelly should be coming in from the bike, so I headed toward the bike in to wait.  I kind of forgot about eating, but remembered that I had an apple and some almonds in my backpack...thank goodness!  I saw Kelly coming, so I jumped up and down screaming.  She looked great! All smiles and looking strong.

Finally, I made it to my final volunteer shift - the finish line awards!  I have to admit, I was a bit bummed because I was placed on t-shirt/hat duty.  This role, while it is an important one, is a bit removed from the excitement of the finish line and doesn't have much interaction with the athletes.  I did get to see Coach cross the finish line looking strong and was able to run up to her and give her a quick hug.  The Hubs was now working as a catcher, so he was in the middle of all the excitement.  The best part was that another tri buddy, Merry, was also volunteering here, so I had someone to talk to.  Who am I kidding, I was talking to anyone who would listen...but, I met a lot of awesome people!  And, I also had the chance to meet blogger, Amy!!!

From top left - the shirts and hats, the hat up close, the awesome mdot bat signal and the Hubs with an armful of medals (thanks for the pic Amy!!!)
Me and Amy (That Pink Girl) was so awesome to finally meet!

When I had about 1 1/2 hours of my shift to go, Marilyn Reilly came up and said that she would be moving one of us up to the finish line. I raised my hand quickly and told her I'd be happy to help.  A few minutes later, I was up front with an armful of medals!  I handed out a couple, but then to my surprise, Chrissie Wellington walked up to beging handing out medals!  Apparently she had been there for several hours earlier in the day and had just been taking a break!

The 1st pic is my "OMG it's Chrissie Wellington!!!!" face.  Finally, I had my own pic with Chrissie!!!

Can I just say that Chrissie is the sweetest, most down to earth woman?  She chit chatted with the volunteers, danced and sang the entire time.  And, it was amazing to see the look on the athlete's face as they crossed the finish line - they looked exhausted at first, but when they realized who was giving them their medal the look of exhaustion turned into a huge, beaming smile!  That was so much fun to watch.  And she often told athletes, "I waited for you!" and gave them a hug as they walked by.

Finally, my shift was over.  As much as I wanted to stay and hang with my new BFF, I was tired and I knew Kelly would be finishing soon.  I met up with my other running/triathlon BFFs and cheered for those finishing up.  Before we knew it, Kelly had made it!  I have to say that she looked absolutely amazing as she came through the chute.  The best part was when she crossed the finish line - galloping with some fist pumping going on.  So cool!  It was an awesome end to a perfectly amazing day!

Kelly is an IRONMAN!  Me, Kell, Katie and Erica after the race!

Witnessing an IM race up close is an amazing thing!  It inspires you to work harder and challenge yourself more.  And yes, it also inspires you to want to train for an Ironman distance race.  Last year, I left IMTX thinking, "Wow that's cool, but I am not crazy enough to try that!  Lemme start with an Oly or 70.3 first."  This year I left the race thinking, "Hell yeah, I am doing a freaking Ironman!"  The Hubs has already claimed 2013 as his year to become an Ironman, so that gives me time to heal up the hip and come up with a game plan for how in the hell I can accomplish this may have to wait until the kids are older, hell I may be retired before it happens...but it will happen!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running and Weekend Plans (IMTX!!!!)

I am happy to report that I walked/ran again this morning and had no issues with the hip whatsoever!

I stuck to the same method - 5 minutes walking, 1 minute running...well, sort of.  I did run a little more than a minute on my last two runs.  Only because 1) it felt so great to run and 2) I was almost at the end of a block and figured I should at least run until I make it all the way to the end.  Hoping to do this again on Sunday and then increase the running a bit next week if all goes well.

In other news, I am sooooo stinking excited to be volunteering at Ironman Texas this weekend!  I volunteered last year with tri-BFF, Kelly, and we had a blast. This year, I will be cheering for Kelly as she completes her 1st ever IM distance race!

Me and Kel last year...this year she will be an IRONMAN!!!

This year the Hubby is volunteering with me!  This time last year, he had not done a triathlon yet.  For whatever reason, while I was out volunteering for IMTX, he decided on that day that he was going to do a sprint distance triathlon 3 months later.  Fast forward to today - the Hubs is actually contemplating registering and training for IMTX 2013!

The family with the Hubs after his 2nd triathlon last summer

I will be working registration tomorrow morning (hooray for PTO days!).  After that, I want to check out the expo for a little while.  Tomorrow afternoon, Chrissie Wellington will be speaking and signing her book (CAN'T WAIT)! 

Can't wait to see Chrissie in person! (source)

On Saturday, the Hubs and I will need to be at the race start a 4:15 am for body marking duty.  (Thank God we live only minutes from the start!)  I am so excited to be the 1st person athletes will encounter at the race and wishing them the best of luck!  Later in the day, I am going to be working at an aide station on the run course while the Hubs hands out awards to all the super-speedy people.  And finally, I get to hand out awards in the early evening while the Hubby is a "catcher" (this should be interesting!).  Once our shifts are done, we'll have a couple of hours to just hang out and cheer.  My favorite part of the race last year was watching the final finishers cross the finish line.

Ahhh, the finish! 

I hope to have tons of pictures to post next week!  Hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

What are your plans this weekend? Any good workouts or races on tap?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Easy Does It!

Over the weekend, I went out for what has become my new normal – a 2-mile walk. This time, I added an additional 10 minutes of walking. I also decided to try adding a bit of jogging 3 different times during my walk. Not much jogging, just 50 or so steps. Adding in the jogging didn’t seem to hurt my hip, so I made the decision right there and then – I am going to slowly add in jogging to these walks.

Today, I set out on my usual course…but, this time I strapped my Garmin on my wrist and had it set for 5/1 intervals. And no, I’m not talking about running 5 minutes, walking 1 minute. I’m talking about walking 5 minutes and running 1 minute.

I told you I was going to take this really, really slow! 

So, I did the run/walk for 30 minutes. The hip felt fine, and it felt awesome to run! Hooray for getting my heart rate up, even if it was for just one minute! Each time my watch beeped and my 1 minute of running was over, I really wanted to keep running. Really. But, all I have to do is think back to that excruciating pain, the limping and all those doctors appointments to keep myself in check. I do not want to go through any of that again if I can avoid it. I will be good, I will take teensy little baby steps.

My goal is to do this a few times this week and see how the hip feels. If all is well, I will either add 5 minutes more or I might switch the intervals to 4/1. I haven’t decided yet.

I also rode my bike over the weekend. Only 40 minutes and I didn’t push the pace (about 14 mph). The hip felt pretty good…until we took the kids to the neighborhood pool and I decided to give each one a ride on my back. I caught myself doing breast stroke, complete with the kicking. Dumb idea. The hip was achy that evening. Needless to say, I won’t be doing that again!

All in due time.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Revise the Bucket List?

Do you have a bucket list? For life? For races?

I do.

I have two – one for life in general. It includes things like ride in a hot air balloon, travel to Giza, travel to a wildlife preserve in Kenya, see the Taj Mahal, go to a game at Fenway, etc. The second is for races / athletic events. Here’s what that one looks like:
  1. Big-Five Marathon
  2. Marine Corps Marathon (preferably with the Hubby)
  3. Disney Goofy Challenge (this one is for fun, not time)
  4. Nike Women’s Marathon (or ½)
  5. Avenue of the Giants Marathon
  6. Big Sur Marathon
  7. Possibly as many of the 5 big ones – I’ve done Chicago and NYC, I’d like to do Berlin and London. Unless I race for a charity, I will probably never do Boston...but, I'd like to at least spectate (and get in that game at Fenway!)
  8. A 70.3 distance race, preferably Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston.
  9. The RTC 2012 Viva Bike Vegas Gran Fondo
  10. A 50K and 50 miler (maybe a local race, like Rocky Racoon
On Saturday, I met up for breakfast with running peeps, Pam and Julie. I ran with both of these ladies and Runner C last year while training for the NYC Marathon. Julie also ran with me at Stupid Thirty on Wednesdays. I have really missed this crew! I miss our conversations during our runs (usually about everything except running) and our chit chat over coffee after our runs (usually about running). Little did I know back in November after NYC, that I would not be running with them again for over 5 months!

Julie happens to be an anesthesiologist and knows Orthopedic #2 from working with him in the OR. She speaks very highly of him and his knowledge, so I feel like I am in good hands with him and his medical advice. She also gave me a “Get that damn injection already!” speech. She is very good at putting things into perspective and could also explain all the hoopla surrounding the cortisone injection - the anasthesia, the OR, the recovery, etc.  Let’s face it folks, this week marks the 5 month anniversary of when the hip pain began. Seriously, people have recovered from hip surgery faster than I have recovered from whatever this is! It’s frustrating.

Julie and I also talked about our racing bucket lists. She has been running and doing triathlons for several years, but the Houston Marathon in January was her 1st ever marathon. She was selected in the lotto for the NYC Marathon this November and is excited about going. However, she is also experiencing hip pain. It’s different from mine, but her hope is that she can continue training, finish NYC and then worry about the hip pain. Fingers crossed!

After sharing stories of our stubborn injuries, she finally said, “Hey, you may just have to revise your bucket list.” If I truly have arthritis, there’s not a hell of a lot I can do about it. Yes, there are meds, but they only help mask the pain. They don’t heal.

I am typically a “don’t you dare tell me what I can’t do, cause I’ll prove you wrong!” kind of person. But, maybe Julie is right. Maybe I will have to re-evaluate. What if I can’t run farther than a ½ marathon without experiencing pain again? Will I have to stick to sprint distance triathlons? What if I have to just accept that I won’t get faster, because getting faster is too demanding for my stupid hip?

I am not quite ready to throw in the towel. Not yet. I am trying the homeopathic options and if that doesn’t help, I will have the injection. If that doesn’t work, then yes, maybe I will have to revise the bucket list. Sigh. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want. Sometimes life gives you lemons and you have make lemonade. And hey, there are half-marathons in some cool locations.

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” 
~ Dolly Parton 

It's not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.
~ Zig Ziglar

What's on your life's bucket list?  Your running/racing bucket list?  Have you had to adjust the sails?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Facts Friday

This, my blogger friends, is called filler.  Also known as fluff.  When your blog is all about running and triathlon, but you are injured and cannot train for either...well, the subject matter for said blog can be a bit scarce.  I could tell you all about my 2-mile walks or more about my P90X upper body workouts, but I think that's already a bit old.  I could whine a little more about being injured, but I know you're tired of that!

Today, I decided to start "Random Facts Friday".  Kind of like "Wordless Wednesday", it can serve as a fill in for lack of other material.  Okay?
  1. My music tastes vary. A lot. – one minute I’m listening to Contemporary Christian like Mercy Me, the next I am jamming out to Paramore, the next I’m listening to Drake or FLoRida, then old school Ice Cube, then punk rock like Social D. The only thing I don’t really care for is country music. Ironic since I was born and raised in Texas, right? I do like old school country like Hank Williams and Patsy Cline, though.

  2. One of my favorites...I want to be Gwen Stefani when I grow up!
  3. I wanted to be an astronaut as a kid. I tried majoring in engineering until I realized that no matter hard I tried, I will always suck at math. I changed my major to business, because it seemed practical. I also suck at Accounting and Finance (the math thing again)...this is why I work in Human Resources.  Ironically, I spend a lot of my time working on spreadsheets with numbers.

  4. I had this pic on my wall in 7th grade...yeah, I was cool like that.
  5. Speaking of practical, I am very practical…especially when it comes to spending money. Whether it’s buying a house, a car or even a pair of shoes, I tend to make sure that the purchase makes sense and I am getting the most bang for my buck. One day, I will not hold back and I will buy what I really want…that is, after the we’ve paid for the kid’s college tuition and our mortgage. Yeah, it’s gonna be awhile! 

  6. Dave - my financial hero!
  7. I love to read! I always have. However, I stopped all recreational reading during grad school and it took me awhile to start reading again. Now that I am working in a location that allows me to take the bus, I have been reading like crazy again. I love Stephen King, but have been trying to read some other authors as well. I have also been reading a lot of books about running….I need to post reviews of some of these! Ummm, my latest choice in books is not so educational or intellectual. Two words about that - Laters Baby!

  8. My all-time favorite Stephen King book!
  9. I learned to swim when I was 37. I took swimming lessons as a kid, but never truly learned to swim the correct way. I did learn how to not drown, though. I credit my best friend from 2nd grade, Sandy, with teaching me the side stroke. Sandy, if it weren’t for you, I may have never done a triathlon! Side stroke has been (and forever will be) my “back-up stroke”. If I have a panicky moment in the water, I know I can side stroke until I’ve regained my composure.
    How I really feel about getting in the water!

    Hope you have an amazing weekend!  We have more birthday parties to take the kids to and are going to begin painting the Munchkin's times!

What are your plans for the weekend?  Any big workouts or races???

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Apples to Oranges

Ahhhh fruit. How I love thee!

When I mentioned to someone that I was trying to limit my sugar intake and as a result, was eating less fruit and more veggies, they gasped. “What do you mean, you’re eating less fruit? I thought fruit was good for you!”.

This is where everything gets really confusing to me. Fruit is good for you, but it seems not all fruits are created equal.

Fruit is an area that I was very reluctant to learn about.  I love my fruit and used to have 4-5 servings of fruit per day and maybe, just maybe one serving of veggies.  I was reluctant to learn more about fruit, because I was afraid I'd learn that I really should give up some of my beloved fruit snacks in exchange for carrot sticks and broccoli!

The more I read, the more confusing fruit became...It seems that fruit is where a lot of the low-carb diets disagree. Some diets, like South Beach or The Zone, consider the glycemic index of fruit. Other diets, like Adkins, tend to look more total carbs. Some of these don’t even allow fruit at all in the initial phase!

And then there’s the whole uncertainty about sugar in general…does your body know the difference between high-fructose corn syrup, natural sugar and artificial sweeteners? I know in the “clean eating” arena, natural sugars such as honey and agave nectar are seen as acceptable and HFCS and artificial sweeteners are not. And, is there a difference between artificial sweeteners like sucrose versus say, Stevia? And what about sugar alcohol? I digress..this topic could be the topic for an entire post by itself.

See what I mean about confusing?

Back to fruit…

I found a nifty list showing your best bet for fruits if you are trying to watch your sugar intake. Here’s what I found:

Berries – Berries are typically the fruits lowest in sugar – strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, etc. They are also known for having lots of antioxidants and fiber! (Lemons, lime and rhubarb are also low in sugar, but they are not berries!)

Summer Fruits – Summer fruits are fruits like melons, peaches, nectarines and apricots.  These are low to medium in sugar.

Winter Fruits – Fruits that fall into this category are pineapple, pomegranates, mangos, bananas and fresh figs and are high in sugar.  Papaya and guava also fall into this category, but have less sugar than the others.

Others higher in sugar – Plums, oranges, kiwi, pears, cherries and grapes...I wasn't sure where these fit in.

Dried Fruit - Dates, raisins, died apricots and prunes are some of the highest in sugar.  Did you know that a date is a dried plum? I had no idea!

For a girl who has always eaten a banana daily and loves dried cranberries in her oatmeal, I decided to make a few adjustments!  (I made even more adjustments after my injury when I couldn't work out as intensely as before.)

But also keep in mind, some of the fruits highest in sugar have other great qualities, so you may not want to eliminate them from your diet completely. For example, bananas may be higher in sugar, but they are an excellent source of potassium. Melons are refreshing and can help keep you hydrated on a hot summer day. A kiwi fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and has almost as much potassium as a banana. And, dates and other dried fruits are an excellent source of dietary fiber!

It all goes back to that “everything in moderation” thing, I guess.

Another thing I’ve begun to consider with my fruit is whether or not to buy organic. When researching fruit and all of it's sugary goodness, I found an article listing both the fruits and veggies found in the “dirty dozen.”  The "dirty dozen" are the 12 fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides. The more I read about these, the more I want to buy organic!

The Dirty Dozen
1.  Apples
2.  Celery
3.  Strawberries
4.  Peaches
5.  Spinach
6.  Nectarines
7.  Imported grapes (domestic grapes didn’t make the list)
8.  Sweet bell peppers
9.  Potatoes (don’t eat’em often anyway!)
10. Domestic Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/Collard Greens

According to this article, “Picking five servings of fruits and vegetables from the 12 most contaminated would cause you to consume an average of 14 different pesticides a day."

Can we say ICK???

Although the article also states, “"The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure."  So, even eating non-organic fruits and veggies is better than not eating fruits and veggies at all.  While I knew of pesticides and was already buying some organic produce, reading some of this was very interesting (and scary). 

So what to do now?  I am still eating fruit, though not as much as before.  And, I am trying to eat the less sugary fruit.  I am also buying more and more's pricier, but hopefully worth it in the long run!

Are you concerned with the sugar content of fruit?  Do you buy organic?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Mini Hip Update

I know I've mentioned this before, but when it comes to personal decisions, I am the worst!  I go back and forth so many times, I could make a figure skater's head spin! 

Yeah, I could even make this girl dizzy!  (source)

Well, I finally made a decision about the Kenalog injection...I am postponing it for a few weeks.  After e-mailing Coach for her take on it, I decided to try some of the homeopathic remedies first.  You see, Coach was a competitive tennis player at one time.  She had serious knee issues and had suffered through 5 surgeries (and a cortisone injection).  One doctor told her she would be walking with a cane after her surgery. And, a very well known Orthopedic here in Houston told her that she could never expect to do more than a sprint race per year. At age 29, she was told that she would need a knee replacement!  Luckily, she didn't let the doctor's comments get to her.  After trying supplements and doing lots of strength training, she has fully recovered (and become a triathlon bad ass!).  She has raced 3 Ironman races and going for her 4th at IMTX...all in the past 18 months!  She suggested going the homeopathic route and I tend to agree.


Why try this route first?  Well, here are some things that bother me about the injection....
  1. The doctor was super quick to recommend this during my 1st visit, even though he really had no idea what was wrong.  Really? Is this type of injection a "cure-all"?  What about PT?  What about getting to the root of the problem?  What about preventing it in the future?  Although I will say, when researching the injections, it seems that people have the mentality, "Hey, something hurts?  Go get an injection!"  No biggie!
  2. The doctor made it seem as if there would be no pain after the procedure.  Everyone I spoke to who had a similar injection said that I would be very achy afterwards.  Hmmm, you'd think the doctor would mention that.  Then again, this wasn't mentioned before the MRI either.
  3. When I asked about the negative side effects of the injection, the doctor only told me that since the hip would no longer hurt, I might be tempted to overdo it.  He also said that he had trouble sleeping the day of the injection.  I asked if it was because of the pain.  He said no, there was no pain.  Instead, it was because of the feeling of euphoria after using Kenalog.  He just did not feel tired and it was difficult for him to be still long enough to sleep. He also mentioned the minute risk of infection.  He never mentioned things like avascular necrosis, issues with the menstrual cycle (sorry guys!), atrophy at the injection site, etc.  I am sure these side effects are rare, but jeeze, it surely makes you re-think messing with this stuff!
  4. The feedback I've received from friends who have had similar injections is about 50/50.  The injections seem to work on some, but not on others.  In fact, a few people felt worse after the injection.
Going the homeopathic route just seems to make more sense to me....especially now that I know there is nothing seriously wrong.  No tears, no stress reaction or fracture, etc. 

I mentioned earlier that I had started taking Glucosamine, so today is the 6th day of taking that.  Thanks to June's recommendation, I have also started taking fish oil.  Next, I am going to try some gentle stretching and some strengthening exercises for my glutes.  After the 1st MRI, Chiro #1 mentioned that my glutes were, well, pretty weak.  Yeah, I kinda figured that.  Just looking in the mirror while wearing a swimsuit could tell me that.  Strengthening the glutes will help give my hips more support which will hopefully help me get back to doing the activities that I love.

If this does not seem to help?  Well, then I will reconsider the injection.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Week in Pictures

It was a birthday week for the Munchkin!  His birthday was on Wednesday and his party was on Saturday, so we celebrated 2x.  Of course with birthdays, we had cake in the house.  Uh oh!

Actually, let me rewind...I was careful with my eating all week.  Even when the Munchkin insisted on McDonalds for his birthday dinner, I had a salad (and a pretty yummy one, too!).  And, I only bought one of those jumbo-sized cupcakes for the Munckin and Kiddo to share, so that there would not be leftovers.  By Friday, I was still doing great! 

Saturday, the birthday boy's party was at the dreaded Chuck E. Cheese's.  I knew I'd probably have 1 slice of pizza there, so I was careful to eat a healthy omelet for breakfast and had some watermelon and string cheese mid-day.  I also rode my bike for 30-minutes that morning...I figured if there's nothing really terribly wrong with my hip, then why not?  I did ride slowly, because I did not want to be limping around Chuck E. Cheese's later that day.

Yes, where a kid can be a kid...and a parent can get a migraine!

The Munchkin with his birthday crown

Yep, he's his momma's boy....loving the bling, just like me!

Checking out his birthday suprise from Grandma and Grandpa...he's telling his sister to hurry up and get in!

Big Sis giving some driving tips
So, I had my slice of pizza at the birthday party and the kids all had a great time.  I was also planning to go to a Girl's Night Out that night, so I was careful to snack with healthy goodies the rest of the day. 

Dinner was a blast - it was a also chance to wish our friend, Kelly, good luck at the upcoming IMTX!  At dinner, I shared a bottle of Pinot Noir with  running BFF, Katie.  It was quite yummy!  I stuck to my strategy of having a salad with chicken for dinner and yes, I ordered dessert.
Some of the best running BFFs a girl could ask for!  We started running together in 2009 and have been friends since!  Kelly, on the far left, will be doing IMTX in less than 2 weeks!  The rest of us will be cheering for her!

More running BFFs!

My yummy wine (what was left of it)!

Yes, the dessert...much, much better than birthday cake!

Sunday, it was time to get back on track!  The problem?  There was junk food everywhere!  As I mentioned before, my Mother-in-Law tends to bring us treats when she comes to visit.  Not only did we have leftover birthday cake, but we also had cheese puffs, Ruffles, chocolate chip cookies, a german chocolate cake, cupcakes (because we were also celebrating my nephew's 21st birthday), icing and a huge bowl of banana pudding.  It's a bit much, don't you think?  In her defense, she also brought a huge watermelon and lots of blueberries and strawberries.  But still....

I did not do as well as planned on Sunday.  I was supposed to get right back on track and instead I had my own personal triathlon of cupcake, eggs, ruffles.  My brother-in-law had brought over the most awesome green salsa dip and for some reason, I found myself standing at the counter in front of the chips and dip...and I was shoveling it in!!!  I remember stopping and thinking, "who is this person?" and then "I don't do this!".  Really, I do not stand there eating chip after chip.  That is just not me.  I put the bag of chips and the salsa away. 

Earth to Runner Mom, Come in Runner Mom!

Time to get back to reality!

Good thing I don't really like these....I let the Hubby and kids keep them (for a few days anyway)

This is what happens when you try to squeeze birthday cake into a small tupperware Mother-in-Law was trying to be helpful.  She actually was, because I ended up throwing this away!

 So, at the end of the day on Sunday, I performed a huge clean up!  Yes, that's right, I threw the crap away!  Here's a little re-cap...
  • Chocolate chip cookies - In the trash!  The hubby wasn't around, or otherwise I don't think I would have been able to throw these away! I know myself and I would have eaten one (or twenty).
  • Banana pudding - Honestly, none of us really like it, but the MIL insists on making it every time she comes over.  The Hubs finally confessed to her that we don't eat it.  Actually, I will eat it if I am bored and want something sweet (which is dumb, because I really don't like it that much!).  Into the trash it went!  And hopefully, we will not have this in our fridge again.
  • German Chocolate Cake - It went home with the in-laws.  Buh-bye!
  • Cheese puffs - okay, so I don't like these and the Hubs and kids do...these stayed.  But, whatever is left by the weekend is going into the trash.
  • Ruffles - between the Hubby's family on Sat and me on Sunday, these are pretty much gone. (Bad!)
  • Cupcakes - the Hubby pretty much finished these off

Buh Bye cookes!

Buh bye nanner pudding and icing!!!

The MIL wanted to make enchiladas for us before she went home, but we insisted that we had enough food! 

Fortunately, we were able to have lots of time outdoors for the rest of the day.  The Hubs and I went to the pool to swim laps - his swim has improved so much, but mine definitely looks like I've been out of the water for awhile (sigh).  Later, we took the kids to the pool for some fun playtime.  Then, we spent the rest of the day riding bikes with the kids - the Kiddo is working on getting up the courage to ditch the training wheels and the Munchkin is just working on learning to pedal his "big boy bike"!  Fun times!

Fish #1 - taking a little break from all the swimming

Fish #2 - so happy that the pool is open for the summer!

So, now that the weekend of celebrations is behind us, I've managed to get back on track with the eating.  Thank God we don't have these kind of weekends too often!

Monday, May 07, 2012

(Another) Hip Update

I used my lunch break on Friday to head back to the Medical Center to see Ortho #2. Time to get my MRI results!

This is my mode of transportation when I go to the doctor - the rail.  I feel less like a suburbanite when I ride it. (source)

Downtown in the Spring - it's actually kind of nice!

The Good

As usual, I had about 5 minutes with the doctor. He looked at the radiologist’s report from MRI, told me he had reviewed the images and that he didn’t see anything.

I get to spend more time looking at this stuff than I do actually seeing the doc!

No stress reaction. No labral tear. No iliopsoas tear.

Yeah, I was as baffled as you probably are. Apparently, I have “joint pain” and possibly….wait for it..ARTHRITIS.

Yes my friends, he used the “A” word.

He said that I probably never had a labral tear. It seems that labral tears don’t just heal – you either have surgery to fix it or strengthen the area around it so that you can run without pain. He wasn’t 100% sure on the iliopsoas issue and stress reaction, though. They may have never really been there, or they may have healed in the 2 ½ months since the 1st MRI. And for those of us not familiar with arthritis, per the doc, it can feel like a ligament / muscle strain.

So basically, there’s nothing terrible that’s really wrong. That’s the good news.

The Bad

While I should be thrilled that there’s nothing seriously wrong, I am annoyed that I’ve spent all this time (and money) chasing down a diagnosis, only to be told that I have arthritis. I missed the Houston Marathon for this? I missed my 70.3 for this?


Well let me tell you, arthritis effing hurts!!! While I am not in a huge amount of pain now, the pain was so severe when this all started, that I could not get in and out of bed or in and out of my car without pain. I could not lift my leg to put on my pants or socks without pain. I could not walk without pain. And stairs? Forget about it! If that was arthritis, I do not look forward to getting older.

The next step?

The doctor is recommending a Kenalog injection. Apparently, Kenalog is a type of cortisone / corticosteroid that should reduce any inflammation to help with any healing that needs to happen. It should also help with the pain. I have read both good and bad about Kenalog and cortisone injections in general, so I am really on the fence here. The process includes a mild sedative administered via IV, then the rest of the procedure should take a total of about 10 minutes. Nothing major, although the thought of an IV does not sound fun.

I’ll be honest, if I were your average couch potato; I would probably just live with my achy hip. The pain is there, but it’s bearable (for the most part). If I push the hip too much, it hurts. But, I am not a couch potato and I have no desire to be. I want to run again! I want to tri again! I want to do Insanity again! I want to try Cross Fit. And Pilates. I want to help the kids get ready for their upcoming kid's race!  And I want to do all this pain-free. Because of that, I will probably have the injection. The only problem is when…the doc can do it on Thursday, but it’s not the best time to take a day off from work. But, who know when the timing will be better? Ack, decisions, decisions!  In the meantime, I bought some triple strength glucosamine...I figure that it can't hurt!

After the injection, I will need to continue the low impact workouts I have been doing for 2-3 more weeks. After that, the doctor feels that I should be able to begin slowly adding in running. He warned me that since I should not be in pain, so that I have to be careful not to get carried away. His exact words were, “I don’t want you to go and run 10 miles your first time out”. His suggestion – run a block, walk a block. No worries there doc, I plan to take things really, really slow!

The Ugly

In the off chance that the injection doesn’t work, the doc said that the next step would be to scope the hip. I didn’t think this was that big of a deal. I know lots of people who have had their knee scoped without any really problems. Apparently, the hip scope is more complicated – instead of going a ½ inch into your leg like with your knee, the hip joint is buried deep within all kinds of muscles and ligaments. He basically said that if we get to that point, I need to decide if it’s really worth it. Sigh. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

So that’s it - the good, the bad and the ugly.

Have you had a similar injection?  Did it help?  What would you do in this situation?