Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Watermelon Classic 5k Run/Walk on 4th of July. This race I was actually excited about even though I was walking. Why? Because I had been timing my practices and knew that if I could just shave a bit off on race day it might be enough to place. Yes, I know I have a problem with being competitive. It's one thing to compete against my own times. It's a whole 'nother story when I can actually compete for medals! When I run, it's me and the clock because there are a dozen women that smoke my time at every race. Except that freezing 10k in Feb when I got 3rd because they didn't show up, but I take credit for it all the same. Three months ago, 04/05 was my last run and I have been struggling to recover mentally since then. The first two months were bad, but the last month has been much better as I have settled into a new routine of acceptance and patience. Of course it's easier for me to say that now that I have a diagnosis that makes complete sense and has alleviated much of my frustration. Now I get it. And my attitude is much better for that. Instead of begrudgingly walking the 10k when I had trained for the half marathon on 04/30, this time I intentionally registered for the 5k as a walker. And recruited a beginner friend to register, too. Bless her heart, she's slow as Christmas, but she's been bit by the race bug and set out to shop for new shoes today.
This time I hung out on the side with the walkers as the runners lined up at the start and I wasn't angry that I couldn't be with them. I was waiting for my start. As a walker. My adrenaline was pumping. The runners took off and we rushed forward to the line. I had told my friend to stay about 2/3 back. I didn't want her to feel defeated by everyone passing her. I was behind a small group of seniors that I knew would beat me to the finish and they did, but I did beat some of them. That's right, the walking race is ruled by senior citizen speed demons. It's crazy. Anyway, 10 minutes later, off we went and I set my eye on the lady in the red tank with the crazy leopard print shoes because I had seen her before and knew she was fast. She wasn't going to get out of my sight. At one point I was at the top of a rise and they were going down so I could count there were maybe 20 in front of me. I had no idea how many behind.
As I passed mile 2 (and a number of runners-no-longer-running), a man caught up to me and we paced the remainder of the race to average 11:48. I think he knew everyone in the city because they were all honking and waving. He was probably 70. We shook hands after crossing the finish together at 37:30 and I thanked him for keeping me energized to the end. He said he would see me at the next race. I grabbed a water and doubled back to a shade tree to wait for my friend to walk her in to the finish. I waited a long time, LOL. Finally she appeared and I could tell she was really glad to see me standing there. Her time 53:54. She was elated to have finished and started asking me about the next race. We grabbed our watermelon slices and found some shade to wait for the awards ceremony.
There's nothing like hearing your name called when they are handing out the race bling. I finished 2nd in age group. Fan-freakin'-tastic! Not too shabby for a walker with a tibial stress fracture. But I still can't wait to run.
2 of 38 women age 40-49
17 of 182 overall
3.18 miles according to my trusty sidekick, Garmin.
I think the caffeine must have kicked my heart rate up because I averaged about the same as a running race when usually I stay under 155 walking.
Saturday, July 02, 2011
I think I have had every possible diagnosis considered, but the one I first asked about is what it turned out to be... stress fracture. The day after the injury, I went to my GP. I said "I know I have ITBS, but this area is very sore and swollen. Could I have a stress fracture?" He scoffed and said "I guess you read that on the internet? No, you don't have a stress fracture. (with a smirk) If you had one it would be lower on your leg, not under your knee". The next day I went to the chiropractor for treatment on my IT band. After a couple weeks and 4 visits, I asked if there was a tendon in that area that would cause the swelling. He said no but it is right next to where it attaches and since that is strained that is probably what is causing the swelling. I asked if I could have a stress fracture there. He said the same thing -no, it would be toward the ankle where the bone is thinner. So I dropped that idea. Well ladies, I found out yesterday that they are wrong. I have a significant stress fracture 5cm below the tibial condyle (the round end of the bone).
Dr Andy (my new favorite!) asked me about the pain, the various tendon and ligament issues I've had and the constant swelling for the last 3 months.
He said "hmm, let's look at the xray. So... when was the last time you ran?"
"Last week I did 2x 1/4 mi intervals during a walk."
"And how did that work out?"
"Yeah, I bet it did. You're not run ready. You have a stress fracture big as day (pointing to it)."
So my GP and chiro dismissed it and the radiologist missed it entirely. I go back next month to check the progress as there isn't anything to aid healing -just do whatever doesn't hurt. I asked about the osteoarthritis diagnosis and he said I have normal wear and tear for my age, but I still have really good joint space so that won't cause me any problems anytime soon. But for long term, marathons are not the best idea. No surprise there, LOL. He said I would be able to run LD, but should limit the number and consider shorter runs for the health of my knees or better yet switch to TRI or cycling.
I'll have another x-ray in a month and he will compare the progress. He said three months isn't unusually long for the extent of the fracture, but if it isn't improving as it should then he wants to do bloodwork to check for vitamin D or calcium deficiency and a bone density test. Most likely it was entirely caused by overtraining. Too many miles of pounding pavement.
Aside from my elation with a diagnosis that doesn't require surgery or prohibit future running... the other fantastic thing that happened...
I asked what I needed to know to protect myself from future stress fractures.
Dr Andy said "Maintain your weight. You're not overweight so just stay where you are and keep strength training so your muscles will take the pressure off the bones for support."
I blurted out "Oh no I'm still overweight."
He looked me up and down, glanced at my chart. Frowned.
I said "Yeah, I was obese and I just made it to overweight 5 pounds ago. I have 24# to go just to hit healthy".
He said "Yeah well BMI's don't apply to athletes. How much have you lost?"
"Wow, that's awesome. (high fived me) Don't sweat the BMI. You're a healthy athlete. I'm a doctor. I know these things."
Did I mention I love Dr Andy?!!
In other news... I lost a pound this week. Woot! I am swimming over a mile now. Woot! In my shopping yesterday I scored another tankini top at half price, a cute straw hat and a sexy maxi dress, but still haven't found a pair of heels to swoon over. We go on a cruise next month and I need some hooker heels because I plan on looking hot on the dance floor. Hey, you only live once. Might as well get your sexy out every now and then. Especially in international waters amongst people that don't know you and you'll never see again. Except for my children who will pretend they don't know me and my husband who will pretend I'm his fantasy mistress. Athlete by day, hot chick by night. You won't find me on the shuffleboard court!
**edited to add that Dr Andy is the Sports Med Orthopedic Surgeon that the chiro, Dr Paul referred me to. My General Practitioner is the one that is getting replaced. He's Dr Complacent. Should have at least done an x-ray and I should have been put on crutches for a min of 2 weeks. That would have been the best practice for healing a stress fracture rather than continuing to be on it.**
Thursday, June 23, 2011
The knee has been going along fairly well with no pain, no grinding/popping and varying degrees of swelling. I've been giving it a good stressing with all that I have been doing lately and finding what bothers it and how. Zumba & step aerobics, not so good with soreness and swelling. Spinning & elliptical is ok with just a little tightness in the ligaments that dissapates overnight and minimal swelling. Walking and swimming don't seem to cause any problems other than the ever-present swelling. That's all good. Except the swelling part. Even on Sunday after a full 2 days of rest -still visible swelling. I have been on bi-monthly visits to the chiro for awhile with an appointment today. So on my Tuesday 3.75 mile walk I decided to make a trial run to see where things stand. I did 2x 1/4 mile at 10 min pace. I didn't have any pain. None of the bumping I felt a month ago, but it just wasn't right. Something is still wrong in there somewhere. The swelling noticeably increased and everything tightened up. I can still do the ankle over opposite knee (without hands) but it's tight.
Last night was the Margarita 5k I was to run (virtually) with JICASMOM and PINKBEANBOO. I walked instead. But I did get a PR with my avg pace 13:34. And that's not even handicapping for the crazy dog factor. I should get bonus time for dealing with my dog. I'm walking a July 4th 5k and hoping (without my dog) I may be able to place in my age group. By the last two years' times I need to be under 13:30. Anyway, my virtual 5k was not nearly as fun as Janelle's. I wasn't handed a taco plate dinner and margarita at the end. I had to make my own dinner and mix up my own faux 'rita without salted rim and tequila. Thumbs up to Crystal Light Margarita flavor!
This morning I was off to see Dr Paul. I was nervous that he would scold me for running, but instead we were on the same page. He said what I have been thinking. The radiologist missed something in the MRI. He still thinks I have a small meniscus tear and arthritis isn't a factor. I don't know what is actually wrong, but I think I got a rubber stamp diagnosis of arthritis because I'm an overweight, middle-aged woman. I told him what I thought and he said maybe so. He says my symptoms don't match arthritis at all and he didn't see it in the MRI, but he's not a radiologist so he can't say that I don't have it. He has referred me to a Sports Med Ortho. I asked if there was one in town and he said "No, just 2 old school orthopaedic surgeons that I will not send you to because their only solution will be surgery. You have full function other than running. We need someone that will look at what is going on, not just schedule an arthroscopy and call it a day. It may just be the Patellafemoral Pain Syndrome, but you shouldn't have continuous swelling with that so I want an expert to check it out and review the MRI films because I think something was missed." So next Friday I will see the Ortho.
Now for the pageant part... my son's girlfriend is in the Miss Louisiana pageant. She was 3rd runner-up last year and is currently Miss Monroe. The finals are Saturday night and I'll be attending my first pageant. I can't decide what to wear!! I'll have my own fashion show at home to decide. My DH loves my fashion shows although he isn't much help. "Yes that one looks good." "That looks good, too." "Yeah I like that." "Well which one looks the best?" "I dunno. They all look good. Maybe you should try on something see-through now. Or topless. I think I would like that the best." No help whatsoever.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Ok y'all know I'm a gadget freak. My Garmin is like my blankey that goes with me everywhere. Although I am sad that it only serves to track my pool time since it is not waterproof. It leaves me less gratified by the workout because, unlike running, it doesn't show me a cool map of where I have been, the hills conquered and speed achieved. Ok in reality, I'm not so speedy in the pool and there are no hills. But it sure would be nice if I didn't have to count laps to know the distance! Oh well, at least my little buddy can keep track of my time and set splits. Because I HAVE to review my times. Running made me a time freak like that. Must. Have. Improvement.
So I went looking for new toys to enhance my swimming experience since it has become my second love in exercise life. I found www.swimoutlet.com and it was like the clouds parted and the sun shined through. It's like the swimming equivalent of www.roadrunnersports.com . It probably wouldn't be as exciting if I had local resources so for those that live in a real city, please don't laugh at my excitement over a specialty store. Oh and the same for those that last week suggested I try a different Zumba class. There's only 1. Same with spinning -good thing I love her. Yoga, not so much. My BL (Bob, swoon) Weight Loss Yoga DVD is better.
Here are my new pool toys.
Kickboard for giving those legs and butt a workout. No, the gym does not have any. I'm glad they have a pool even though it is not even 25 yds long, but they call it an "olympic pool". Guess no one is supposed to know that means 50 meters.
Jog belt. This holds you at shoulder deep (in deep water) for a completely non-impact jog. It's a little weird at first because you have to really control your form so you aren't just flailing your legs around. It is a decent workout and I did get a sweat for 20 minutes. Muscles are engaged different from running because you have more resistance and no impact. More quad, less calf. No inflaming the patellar tendinitis. Yay!
I also bought a couple of goggles to try out and a few silicone caps. If you're looking for goggles go with the Sporti S2. The Peripherals leaked no matter how much adjusting I did (even though they are more cushy comfortable). This is my favorite new gadget...
A waterproof armband and waterproof headphones for my MP3! This made today's swim awesome!! The sound quality was surprisingly excellent and I was not fighting off boredom at 30 min. Swimming laps is worse than running long distance on a 1/4 mile track. There is absolutely nothing to look at except that black line on the bottom of the pool and random gross things that haven't made it to the filter yet.
Ok so moving right along... that's all the fun stuff for today kiddies. My next swimming gadget will be a (waterproof) Polar HRM. Since this has become a big chunk of my weekly workouts I need to get a better handle on my heart rate, staying in the aerobic zone and calorie burn. I'm looking to pick up a used model on Ebay since it's just for swimming. Anyone have an FT40? That's what I'm thinking about.
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