Monday, February 27, 2012

Triple Threat

I received my MRI results last week and apparently I have a trio of issues.  (Irony again, since I love to do TRIathlons!)  I only had a chance to speak to the doc over the phone, but I am scheduling a time to go into his office and have him walk me through the MRI.  I may also have an Orthopedic take a look and get a 2nd opition (the doc actually recommended this).  So, here's the down low:

Issue #1
I have a stress reaction on my right proximal femur.

In plain English – A stress reaction is often the precursor to a stress fracture. I am thankful that I did not stupidly attempt to tough it out at the Houston Marathon and run 26.2 miles!  The femur is the bone in the upper part of your leg.  Proximal means the part of a structure that is closest to the trunk of the body.

Keep in mind, I am not a Dr...nor do I play one on TV.  However, based on my discussion with the doc, my stress reaction is somewhere in the green circle at the top of the femur near where it connects to the pelvis.

Issue #2
I have a low-grade strain/tear on my iliopsoas tendon at its trochanteric insertion.

In plain English - Apparently, this is something found in long distance runners (hello, marathon?). I found this study to be pretty interesting. It talks about how this type of tear and stress reactions often occur together. It also mentions that there is reduced shielding of the bone due to muscle fatigue, which leads to more load transmission to the bone, exposing the femoral neck to injury during running. I also read an article mentioning that working on the core can cause the psoas to shorten, which can lead to injury.  Darn that Ab Ripper X! Moral of the story here – if you’re working on your six-pack, you’ve gotta stretch that psoas, too!

This lovely group of muscles is the iliopsoas.  It is formed by a combination of 3 muscles - the psoas major, psoas minor and the iliacus.  Again, the green circle shows where I have issues.
Issue #3
I have a partial articular surface tear on my anterior labrum (i.e. a labral tear).

In plain English - First of all, the labrum is a type of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the hip (and it’s in your shoulder, too). The labrum forms a ring about the edge of the bony socket of the joint and helps provide stability to the joint and holds the femur (leg bone) in place. Overuse and structural issues often lead to a labral tear.

Meet the Labrum...I never knew I had this, much less that it could tear!

What does this mean for training?
Fortunately, none of these issues are serious enough to require surgery.  But, these areas need rest.  The doc recommends absolutely no running, aqua jogging, elliptical, swimming, biking, spinning, etc. for 6 - 8 weeks. He said that he realizes that I will probably want to do something during this time (duh!), so I can work on upper body and core. However, I have to be careful not to do anything that causes me to flex the hip. So yes, this means that all those strengthening exercises and stretches that were originally prescribed (that I did for 6 weeks!) were probably not helping (and may have been hindering the healing process or hurting the area more).  Thank God Dr. Chiro (#2) told me to stop them!

As soon as I can begin working out the lower half of my body, I will need to work on strengthening my glutes…apparently, this helps support the hip area and my glutes aren’t nearly as strong as they need to be. And, I need to have a gait analysis to be sure that I am not running in a way that puts more pressure on my hips than it should. I may be able to attempt some aqua walking in 2-3 weeks. At 6 weeks, I may be able to aqua jog. The doc said that when I do begin running again, that I should take it very slowly when building up the mileage and that I might be able to also add in some biking.

So that’s it folks – I am soooo happy that I didn’t sign-up for this weekend’s ½ marathon. I signed up for the 5k a few weeks ago thinking that I’d be well enough to at least do that. But, even walking it would probably not be wise. I may volunteer at the race instead, as long as I can see the Hubs finish his ½!

On one hand, I am so happy to finally know WHY my hip was still hurting. After nine weeks, a missed marathon (and upcoming 1/2 marathon and 70.3), 3 guessing doctors, several painful massages, a x-ray and an MRI...and a partridge in a pear tree...I was extremely frustrated.  But, I am thrilled to know that I do not need surgery.  I am also happy that I can now stop trying to squeeze in doctors appointments during my busy work week.  Not to mention that it was getting expensive - I was quickly depleting my HSA (thank God my company gives us money for it, plus what I've added), the gas driving to work (instead of taking the bus), paying for tolls and paying for parking ($7 when I leave for the appt and another $11 when I leave work at the end of the day)!  Not to mention lost time, since I was leaving work for an extra long lunch break, then staying later/coming in earlier to keep everything caught up!

On the other hand, after already not being able to run for the past 9 weeks (unless prescribed by the doc), I am sad to learn that I will need even MORE time off.  At the earliest, I can begin running again in late April/early May.  It's odd to think that before Christmas, I ran 18 miles...less than a month ago, I rode a spin bike for almost 2 1/2 hours (which now I know I should NOT have done)....just a little over a week ago, I swam 3,000 yds (without kicking)!  And, in a couple of months I will be starting over with no endurance in any of these.


But hopefully, after 6-8 weeks, this will be the end of these hip issues.  I will be a good girl and do what the doctor says - rest, rest and more rest.  I will be very careful when I can finally run again.  I will work on those glutes.  I will work on my gait.  I will do whatever it takes to get back to where I was!

Oh, and just in case you have future injuries...if you suspect that you have more than just a muscle strain or tendinitis, ASK FOR A MRI!!!  I kept reading stories about how people wasted 2+ months stretching or going to PT, only to finally get a MRI and find out they had a stress fracture or a tear.  I SWORE in December that I would NOT be one of those people, but yet here I am.  I suspected it was more, but I guess I refused to believe it.  My condition had improved so much since December, I guess I was hoping the Dr was right.  I might have been halfway healed by now if I had demanded a MRI in January.  It's your body and you have the right to ask for tests that may give more definitive answers.  I've certainly learned my lesson! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hip Update

Today marks 1 week of complete rest for me...well, almost complete - I am doing some arms and core work.  I am not very good at doing nothing, so working out the upper body makes me feel like I am doing something.

Yesterday I went in for a MRI and x-rays.  Let's just say that was an interesting, in a trendy hospital gown, laying in a huge tube, with earplugs, for 30 minutes.  I thought, "Oh goody, I can take a little power nap!".  That might have been possible if not for the crazy noises this thing makes! 

I'm thinking this kind of tube would have been more fun...

Dr Chiro has only done a preliminary look at my scans, but so far he has only noticed "some inflammation within the capsular region of the hip and an ill-defined labrum."  Yeah, whatever the hell that means.  He is waiting on the report from the radiologist and will take a more thorough look at everything today.

Keep your fingers crossed that the scans give us some answers.  I'd be happy if we could just figure out what's going on with my hip and come up with a plan to fix whatever is!  Right now, it's a big guessing game of  it could be this, so let's try this...or, it could be that, let's try that...ugh!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh the Irony!

Since I was planning to train for the Texas 70.3 in Galveston, a large majority of my Christmas and birthday gifts were running or triathlon related. Little did I know, I would not be training at all and just hoping (and praying) that I would be able to do any races at all in 2012.

How ironic.  (queue in the Alanis Morissette song here)

Here is just a run-down of my recent purchases and gifts that I am hoping to use sometime in the very near future…

1. The hubby bought me these awesome toe covers for my bike shoes…I did get to use them once before deciding to rest and they were awesome!

2. The hubby also bought me some aerobars for my road bike. There wasn't really room in the budget for a new tri-bike at the moment, so I decided I would do the best I could do on my trusty road bike - I thought being more aero would be good.

3. Gift cards…I am holding onto these with the intention of using them for a new bike saddle and professional bike fit!

4. Another gift from the Hubs - my cute, pink Road ID…'cause I have a reflective ID tag for my running shoes and needed something to wear while biking!

5. My cool blinkie arm band thingy…’cause I usually run at dark stupid thirty.

6. The 2 cute tech shirts and awesome arm warmers I bought at the Houston Marathon Expo…yes, that’s right, those arm warmers say, “One Bad Mother Runner”. I *heart * them. Unfortunately, by the time I am able to run, it will be too warm to wear them.  :-(  And, even though I didn’t get to run the Houston Marathon, I am still proudly using my 40th anniversary coffee mug - it’s huge-mongous and I love it!

7. New shoes! This may sound dumb, but I bought a new pair of my trusty Saucony Grid Stabil shoes…you know, just in case the other pair was jinxed.  I know I always complain that my stability shoes are ugly and don't come in cute colors, but I'd be willing to wear ugly shoes again if it meant I could go for a pain-free run!

8. These cute, pink CEP compression sleeves. I’ll admit, I hadn’t jumped on the compression gear bandwagon and finally decided to give these a try….oh, if I only had the need for compression right now!

9. And, finally – my Hammer Gel! The Hubs bought me about 10 of these for my stocking in Montana Huckleberry and Raspberry flavors. Glad they have a relatively long shelf life!

I am trying to look on the bright side and just be happy all of these things will be at home waiting for me when I can finally swim, bike, run again...but, this is tough. I am typically a pretty positive person, but I have my days when I see the glass half empty instead of half full. I am working on this. I am also not very patient. I have given up on working on this. Okay, not really – I am trying.  It's just tough to remain positive...especially when doctors don't seem to have a clue.  But, I have to remember that while I may NOT be able to control how quickly my hip will heal (other than taking time off), I CAN control how I deal with it.  I CAN control my attitude.  I just have to choose how I will react from now on...

I choose to be happy. 
I choose to be positive. 
I choose to be thankful.


Okay, have you used any of these products???? What'd you think of them? Reviews please!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekly Re-Cap

Monday – 2/13 – 3000 yds, rest
Worked late, then it seemed to take forever to make it home. Ugh, traffic! This became an unscheduled rest day.

Yes, those are breaklights as far as the eye can see...grrrr!

Tuesday – 2/14 – 2800 yds, rest
I went into work late, because I had a dentist appointment in the morning.  This resulted in working late again and I ended up in more traffic! WTH? Looks like another unscheduled rest day...but I did get to take my Valentines out for breakfast before my appointment!

My silly Valentines...celebrating over breakfast!

At least I came home to gorgeous flowers after fighting all that traffic!  Thank you Hubby, my Sweetie!

Wednesday, 2/15 – 2 miles & 3000 yd swim
This was the 2-mile “test run”. I also managed to get in that 3000 yds from Monday (finally), even though I really didn’t want to. This is my longest swim ever, so I am pretty darn proud! And, my times were consistent the entire time, so that’s just more to celebrate.  Yippee!

Thursday, 2/16 – P90X, Shoulders and Arms
After the achiness from the run the day before, Coach and I decided to let the hip rest indefinitely. :-) Instead of trying to swim, bike or run, I did P90X.  This workout incorporates weights to work out the shoulders, triceps and biceps…this is my favorite P90X workout.

Friday, 2/17 – Rest
I had a hair appointment after work, which meant I ended up getting home late and did not work out.  But, I did get to hang out with the family!

Saturday, 2/18 – NOTHING 
I had every intention of doing P90X early in the morning before the kids were awake, but I woke up at 2 am for some unknown reason and couldn’t go back to sleep. Then, just as I was finally drifting off to sleep, I woke to the sounds of some scared kids thanks to the rain, thunder and lightening. It took another hour to get everyone settled down and back to sleep.  Then, around 6 am, the Hubby was called into work. Let's just say that the workout ended up getting pushed way down on the priority list!  This was definitely a Mommy/Kids day - I carted the kids to Walmart, then to McDonalds's for lunch (I know, I know - the 2nd time in one week...this does NOT happen often!) and then the grocery store.  By the time we made it home, it was almost 4 pm.  The weather was still crappy, so we built a huge tent out of old sheets in the living room....the kids enjoyed it so much that they slept there on Saturday night!

Sunday, 2/19 – P90X, Chest and Back, plus core
More pull ups and push ups! And, I added in some ab and core work that I didn’t think would bother the hip. I would normally do Ab Ripper X, but I was worried that some of the exercises would bother the hip (i.e. In & Outs, Crunchy Frogs, bicycles, etc.)…so I improvised and I think I managed to get a great workout!

How was your weekend?  Did you get in some good workouts, or get rained out?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I ran. It sucked. (sort of)

I had another appointment with Dr. Chiro (#2) this week. To be honest, my hip felt weird and achy all weekend. He looked a little perplexed when I told him this. He proceeded with the torture ART treatment and stretched out my legs, piriformis, glutes, etc. really well. Then, he told me the best news ever – I could attempt a 2-mile run the next day! Yippee, skippy!

This is how I felt when Dr. Chiro told me to run!

Okay folks, I knew deep down that with the achiness over the weekend, I might not be ready for this. But still, I set out early the next morning for a jog around the 2-mile loop in my neighborhood. I walked to the corner and then started jogging. 

I was right. The hip ached. Not at all like before the Houston Marathon – that was excruciating, sharp pain. This was an ache – first in the glutes and later in the front of the hip. I’ll admit, I was pissed. I thought to myself, “It’s been 8 weeks, why in the hell am I still having pain?”.

This is how I felt when I noticed the hip pain was still there.

But then my thoughts shifted:

“Hmmm, maybe I should turn around. The hip hurts. I shouldn’t make it worse”

“Hell to the no, you are not turning around! Dr Chiro said you could run 2 miles and dammit, you’re doing it!”

“Effing hip…WTF? Seriously, why are you being such a stubborn pain in the ass?”

“Maybe I pissed off the big Man upstairs…maybe this is His way of telling me to take time to chill out.”

“I am RUNNING! Thank you God, I may not do this again soon, but I am RUNNING now!”

“Okay then, enjoy this…if it hurts, then Dr. Chiro is probably going to tell you not to run again for who knows how long! E-N-J-O-Y T-H-I-S!!!!!”

“Ahhhhhhhh, it feels awesome to run again…even if it hurts. OMG, I miss this. Like REALLY miss this!”

“I didn’t get to run for Sherry on Saturday (stupid hip!). I thought about Sherry a lot on Saturday…this 2-miler is for Sherry Arnold!”

"Damn, I'm already back home...hmmmm, how about I go a little further.  If rhe Dr is going to tell me not to run, then maybe I should just run a few more minutes...."

So that was a collection of what went through my head during that painful, lousy 2-miler. I miss my early morning runs - just me, the stars, a couple of other crazy early risers and the newspaper dude.  I tried my best to make the most of it, enjoy it, dedicate it and live in the moment. It sucked, but I loved it anyway.

How I felt after my run...not happy, but anger gone.

I was scheduled to go back to Dr. Chiro again the following day, but rescheduled due to work conflicts. The next available appointment is Tuesday of next week. After talking to the Hubby and Coach, I’ve decided that I will go ahead and do this final ART treatment (I paid for 4 sessions). More than likely, one more visit to Dr. Chiro is probably not going to make a huge difference. If that’s the case, I am shutting it down.


I am going to do absolutely nothing (okay, maybe upper body) for the next 2-3 weeks and see what happens.

I will still blog…You're not getting rid of me that easy!  I am sure I will be going crazy over this time period, so I will need to share that with someone. Besides, I’m sure the Hubby is getting tired of me going on and on (and on and on) about my hip issues.

On the other hand, if a miracle happens and that final ART treatment does some magic, you will certainly hear about that!  Here's to hoping for a miracle!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekly Re-Cap

Okay, okay, I know I am posting this late!  Here are the deets...

Workouts last week…

Monday, 2/6 – Swim, 2600 yds
The craziest part of this workout was the 15x100…luckily, my pacing was pretty even. My times are getting better, but they are still slow. I think my best 100 was 1:57. And, my entire swim was done with a pull buoy…not a total body workout, but oh well!

Tuesday, 2/7 – 1:30 spin/ride
I know this sounds dumb, but I had a dr’s appointment with the new Dr Chiro the next day. I was determined to do this workout completely, because I had a feeling Dr. Chiro would tell me to take it easy after his ART treatment. And, I was right! So glad to get this workout in...the spin instructors at my gym have been awesome!  Great music, fun it!

Wednesday, 2/8 – Flex Day REST
Well, I was supposed to do 1 hour of something that would not hurt the hip (i.e. swimming with a pull buoy). However, per the doctor I was supposed to rest until my next appt on Friday.

Thursday, 2/9 – 1:30 spin/ride REST
Following Dr’s orders

Friday, 2/10 – Swim, 2800 yds depressed & angry LAZY
Saw the Dr Chiro again. He asked me to run a bit, but as I mentioned, that didn’t go as well as he hoped. The Dr did say that I could continue to swim (with the pull buoy), but nothing else...especially no 3-hour bike ride!   After work, I decided to do something that would cheer me up…I was going to skip my swim and hang out with the Hubby and Kiddos for the evening – MOVIE NIGHT! We watched Real Steel…it was cute and the kids enjoyed it!

Saturday, 2/11 – Ride, 3 hours P90X Chest and Back
So, the Hubby needed to go for a bike ride and I had a girl’s brunch, so I woke up around 6 am to get this workout done before the kids were awake and screaming asking for breakfast. Lots of pull-up and push-ups here. I did a lot of girlie-style push ups, because I was afraid that doing the plank-position for the real ones might aggravate the hip. Good thing I did..I’ve obviously lost some upper body strength since my hiatus from P90X! Ugh!

Sunday, 2/12 – Swim, 2800 yds
So remember that swim from Friday? I made it up on Sunday. Nothing new to report…just a swim. With the pull buoy.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

'Ritas and Randomness

Ah yes, it's Saturday night and I lead such an exciting life.  The Hubby and I just finished watching Midnight in Paris.  (Cute movie, but definitely not "Best Picture")  He has a 12-mile run tomorrow. And me?  Well, I have nothing tomorrow.  No run, no bike, nothing. Okay, well, I am going to go to the pool to do my swim from Wednesday, but I don't have to wake up early for that.  In fact, the gym doesn't open until 8 am and the Hubs won't be home until around 9:30, I am actually up past 11 pm watching TV.  This is rare for me!  Oh, and I am having some leftovers from my birthday party....

Hello Margarita's....Yummy, yum, yum!

Speaking of birthday party, I don't think I've posted this pic...

Me and the Hubs at the big event
So, let me update you on what's happened in the past week...

The Hip
As you've seen, I've been increasing the volume with my workouts over the past 3 weeks.  Not necessarily increasing the intensity, but definitely increasing the amount of time.  My bike has gone from 30 minutes to 2 1/2 hours.  I've added swimming back into my workouts, as well as some aqua jogging.  The result? A sore hip. Not horrible like it was just a few weeks ago, but uncomfortable. As in - just walking is uncomfortable.  This, my friends, is not a good sign.

You're Fired
I decided to ditch my previous Dr. Chiro and visit with Dr. Chiro #2.  Dr Chiro #2 specializes in Active Release Technology (ART).  I've been noticing people on mentioning ART over and over again, and I have a friend who highly recommends it and referred me to her, I thought why not? I had my 1st visit on Wednesday.  Dr. Chiro #2 put me through some major torture! And, he worked on a completely different area than the original Dr. Chiro.  Oh, and he told me to stop the stretches/exercises that I've been doing.  Apparently, if it's the area he thinks it is (the rectus femoris), the stretches/exercises may be aggravating the area.  Also, I have been asked to stop the elliptical, spin, aqua jogging, biking, etc., as that may also be aggravating the hip.  Lovely.  I went back on Friday for another torture treatment session. The Dr also wanted to get me to attempt to run.  It didn't go as well as he (or I)  hoped...there is still some pain.  The good news - it's not as bad as it was before the Houston Marathon...but, it still hurts more than it should after 7 weeks.  He commented that most people could recover from SURGERY in less time.  Duh!

On the Wong-Baker scale, the pain was an 8 before Houston. Now, it's around a 5.  Better, but not great.

I go back again 2x next week.  I am hoping that he gets me back to running!  If not, I've decided that I will  take 4-6 weeks off from everything except swimming (with a pull buoy) and some strength training just to let the damn hip heal!

Due to the above mentioned issues, Galveston is not happening for me.  So this is just not going to be my year for Galveston.  I thought the same thing last year, because my work schedule was crazy.  This year, it's the hip...I can deal with the crazy work schedule.  Yes, I am pissed angry.  Yes, I am annoyed.  But, I am accepting this.  I do have some options - I can select a race later in the year (Austin 70.3), or I can wait until next year (so I can do a fall marathon). 

What's Next?
Well, I have decided that if the hip is not better after ART...meaning, I can't run, elliptical, spin, bike or aqua jog for several weeks, I am going to focus what I can do.  I will swim.  I will do strength training.  My lower half and endurance may go to shit, but I will have a rocking upper body.

So yes, my 40th year is not going quite the way I had hoped so far.  F*ck it...I will make the most of it.  Things may not be starting out well, but I will kick this year's ass before it's over!

And, since I had 3 hours of my life back today (since I'm not able to do my scheduled 3 hour ride), I was able to meet up with some friends from grad school for brunch and hang out with the kids all afternoon...

The Munchkin running a "time trial"...he was trying to beat the Kiddo's time to the next driveway and back.

The kiddo running her fastest!

And, we picked out a new member of the family.  He will be joining our family in just a few weeks!

Am I cute, or what? And, I need a name!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Have you had to change your race plans due to an injury?  How did you handle the disappointment?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Checking In

Hello! I am alive and well. It’s just that I had a busy weekend, followed by lots of craziness at work. Add in the workouts and family time, and there just hasn’t been time for much of anything else.

Life Happens.

Here are my workouts for last week…I usually post this on Monday, but didn’t get a chance to do it:

Monday, 1/30 – Aqua Jog – 30 minutes
Nothing exciting to report here…it is what it is – BORING

Tuesday, 1/31 – Spin/Ride – 1:30
I was hoping to get to the gym in time for at least part of the 5:30 spin class and then stick around for the 6:45 class. Who am I kidding? I typically work until 5 pm (or later), I ride the commuter bus to and from work, the commute to my car is 45 minutes and then it takes another 15 minutes of fighting traffic to get to the gym. Needless to say, I did not make it in time for any of the 5:30 pm class. This meant that I stayed on that spin bike after the 6:45 pm class. Not fun, but I got it done.

Wednesday, 2/1 – Swim – 2400 yds
Nothing exciting about this workout..except that my laps are getting a bit faster. Not fast enough, but it’s progress!

Thursday, 2/2 – Endurance (Bike, Elliptical or Aqua Jog) – 1 hour
Thursdays suck, because there is an AquaFit class at the gym from 6 – 7 pm. That means that if I want to AquaJog, I have to wait until 7 pm and will barely make it home in time to help tuck the kids into bed. The goal was to leave work on time and hit the Elliptical no later than 6 pm. That didn’t happen, so by the time I made it to the gym it was 6:45…by the time I changed clothes, it was almost 7 pm and I decided to aqua jog instead of elliptical.

Friday, 2/3 – Swim – 2500 yds REST
Okay, so for 4 days in a row I had barely seen the kids…I skipped my swim, so that I could hang with the kids and have a movie night. Fun times! (There are other reasons I decided to say “screw it” with this swim…I will save that for another post.)

Saturday, 2/4 – Bike – 2:30
When I woke up on Saturday, we had some crazy storms going on – wind, rain, thunder and lightening. The Hubby had a 10K and wasn’t sure if he should go, but it was an hour away and the satellites showed less rain there. I knew I wouldn’t have time for a 2 ½ hour bike ride on Sunday (hello??? SuperBowl!!!), so off to the gym I went! Thank God that my Mom was nice enough to come over and babysit. I arrived about 45 minutes before the class started and stayed a little late. This instructor was AWESOME and said that beginning next week, she was going to start offering 1 ½ and 2 hour classes. Cool!

Sunday, 2/5 – Swim – 2500 yds
This was supposed to be an elliptical/aqua jog day. I made up my Friday swim instead. More details on this later.

Hope you're having a great week!

How do you balance family, work and training when things get crazy?  What did you think of the SuperBowl?

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Joy of Aqua Jogging

Seeing as how this is my 2nd week of Aqua Jogging and the doctor is advising me to keep doing this torture workout for 2-3 more weeks, I thought I'd share some interesting  information about Aqua Jogging.

Tidbit #1 - Fashion
I am doing the deep water version of Aqua Jogging, because there is no impact at all due to the fact that your feet do not touch the bottom of the pool.  Because of this, I get to wear some really awesome gear - foam shoes and a foam belt! The shoes fit in my bag, but the belt is huge and does not. Imagine the looks I get as I walk through the gym with this thing!

My awesomely trendy aquajogging belt and shoes!

Tidbit #2 - The Technique
At first, aqua jogging feels a bit funny.  The first time I tried using the shoes and belt, it took me a few minutes to get  everything just right.  And then, it took me several minutes to get what felt like a real running gait and rhythm.  I found several videos on-line that were helpful, including this one:

Tidbit #3 - The Boredom
In case you're wondering - yes, aqua jogging is boring.  Last night, I remember looking down at my watch and thinking, "JESUS, IT'S ONLY BEEN 3 MINUTES????"  At least on the treadmill or bike trainer, you can station yourself directly in front of a TV.  At the pool I use, you can see the parking lot through one window...not much exciting action happens out there.  There's another window where you can look into the gym at the lobby where everyone enters and leaves, some of the weight machines and you can even see into one of the exercise classrooms.  Last night I watched bits and pieces of a Zumba class. Exciting.  To help with the boredom, I have been putting my iPod Shuffle in a Ziploc bag and tucking the bag under one of my swimsuit shoulder strap.  Ingenious, huh?

iPod + Ziploc bag = a much more enjoyable workout (even if it looks kinda dumb)

I also tried wearing a visor (like in the video) and clipping the shuffle onto it, but I hate the way I look in a visor and I feel silly wearing a visor in an indoor pool.  I also tried wearing one of my cute running headbands and clipping the shuffle to that, but it looked really stupid.  Heck, all of these options look silly, so maybe I should get one of these...

The H2O Audio waterproof iPod case is awesome! But, for $99, I may stick to my ziploc bags!
Tidbit #4 - The Looks and Stares
Let's face it, I am wearing a big foam belt and foam shoes.  I have a ziploc bag shoved under my swimsuit strap.  I am at the deepest end of the pool jogging back and forth, back and forth, over and over. 
My head may or may not be bobbing up and down to Kanye's "Stronger".  Yes, that's correct - I look like a doofus!  People, especially some of those hard core swimmers and dudes with massive muscles walking in and out of the gym, will give me funny looks.  It bugs me at first...but then I find my rhythm, bob my head to the music and get into my "zone".  Who cares what anyone thinks, I'm working my ass off and in the long run it's gonna help!  That's the story I'm sticking to anyway.

Tidbit #5 - Determination
Let's face it, when you are as addicted to running and triathlon as we are, you do what you have to do to keep moving and meet your goals.  That means if I have to wear silly shoes and look ridiculous, I will do it (within reason).  One of my running/tri friends sent this to me to show me that yes, sh*t happens and that yes, we do what we gotta do to overcome. 

I figure if this woman can overcome cancer and then train for an Ironman, overcoming her achilles issues (and me getting over this hip issue) is just a teeny, small little roadblock in the grand scheme of things.

Peace out & have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Those Crazy Kids!

Since I am sure you're tired of hearing me whine about my stupid hip, I thought I'd post something kinda funny.  On Sunday, I heard my 7-year old giggling with my cell phone in her hands.  I thought she was just playing Angry Birds.  Nope, she was snapping pictures....this is just a sampling of her handiwork, there are more.  Lots and lots more.

The Self-Portrait

Our living room and TV

The little brother...and his belly.  Oh, and the floor.

This is my personal favorite...Eye see you!!!!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Humpday Haiku and a Hip Update

Oh yes I do hate my hip
Please cooperate
I really want to run soon

Hip update…
Compared to where I was 2 weeks ago (or even 1 week ago), I am definitely getting better. Things that were extremely painful then, only cause an ache now. For example, if I stepped off the curb funny or shifted my weight suddenly (because I almost stepped on a Hot Wheels car), it was painful and would even sometimes continue to hurt for the rest of the day. The exercises and stretches prescribed by Dr. Chiro hurt less and less. I want to attempt to run again, but I am scared to push the hip too much, too soon.  I am afraid of doing a tailspin back in the other direction – the direction where I could hardly walk up our stairs, the direction where I couldn’t even lift my leg to put on my pants. I attempted a little fast walk/jog on Monday to catch the bus….it hurt.  After my 1st full week back to a real training plan, the hip was achy yesterday before my spin class and it felt a little wonky this morning...not pain, but I think it's my hip's way of telling me to not forget to take it easy.  Luckily I am swimming tonight and can use a pull buoy to give the hip a break.

I am happy that I am making progress. I am not happy that it is taking FOREVER.

Yesterday was 7 weeks from the day I first noticed the pain. 7 weeks people!

To say I am a little worried about this upcoming 70.3 would be an understatement. Let’s see….
  • Bike - I am up to 2 hours. Slowest pace ever, but I can ride for 2 hours. I'm scheduled to ride 2 1/2 hours this weekend.
  • Swim – I can swim 2,800 in the pool pretty easily. With a pull buoy. Kicking too much makes the hip ache.
  • Run – 0 miles. Z-E-R-O. But hey, I just aqua jogged for 45 minutes straight!

Sigh.  I do realize that this is progress.  Just a few weeks ago biking and aqua jogging would have caused my hip to ache for the rest of the day and I'd be limping around the house.  So yes, progress is good.

However, there are 61 days until the 70.3. SIXTY ONE DAYS!  That's two months for anyone out there who is mathematically impaired.  I wanted to go into this 70.3 feeling well-trained and strong. I wanted to be mentally and physically ready.  In fact, that is why I decided to work with Coach – to make sure I was doing the right amount of training at the right time. What I didn’t anticipate - a 7-week setback in the form of a hip injury. So now I am not sure if I can pull this off. Let’s face it, a 70.3 isn’t an Ironman, but it is tough – even for a well-trained athlete. I don’t want to struggle through the entire race because I am under trained.  And, you can't exactly just "wing it".  Well, maybe some people can, but I'm not really good at winging it!

I plan to discuss this with Coach and get her thoughts. I can wait and see how my training goes over the next few weeks and then make the call. I can choose another race - New Orleans will give me 20 more days of training…not that 20 days is going to make a significant difference. There’s Austin and Oilman in the Fall, but to be honest, I had no intention of training for triathlons past July or August. I have more running goals to check off my list in the Fall (maybe Marine Corp, maybe Nike…we’ll see) or in January (Disney/Goofy).

So that's where I'm at when it comes to this race - physically under trained and mentally freaked out.

On a happier note, I have enjoyed my extra time with the Hubby and kids.  This weekend we spent quite a bit of time outside letting the kids play with their scooters and bikes.  The Kiddo and I made cakes in her Easy Bake Oven and we worked on a project for the 100th day of school - a t-shirt with 100 items glued on.  And we finally had a chance to get the kid's holiday pictures taken...yes, yes, I know it's February!  Here are a few pics of the weekend activities...

Trying to get a 7 year old and a 3 year old to smile and look at the camera at the same time is impossible!  And, not sure why the photographer actually thought I would like this background...and this was one of the better pictures.

The Kiddo and her Easy Bake Oven...they really haven't improved these since I was a kid.

The finished product - a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles!  Yeah, they really haven't improved these either.

Scootering...yes, the kids are playing in the street!

The 100th day t-shirt...cute, huh?  Very blingy!

So, have you ever gone into a race undertrained?  Or would you rather postpone the race until you could give it all you've got?