Accupuncture

I need a more snazzy title, but this is what it is!

I have to admit, the injury to my hip, after my bout with Rhabdo...really  had me feeling kind of low….tumblr_mtv72jkiXl1qc4uvwo1_500

I was really struggling.  Logically I knew I had just hit a set back or two, and life goes on, but so many in a row were really starting to wear on me.  I tried everything I knew to get myself back on track, but to be frank, just nothing worked.  The only person who really understood this was my coach, and he was really preoccupied with some very unfortunate things that really trumped my slump in mood.  On top of this, the hip pain was not just affecting my running.  It had become difficult to walk, and I was putting off things like basic shopping because I just could not bear the idea of walking around a store.  Any kind of movement without planning it super carefully in my mind was fraught with surprise pain.

So, I made an appointment with a local acupuncturist.

I did not know what to expect, and I was kind of worried.  I had tried everything else and this was starting to look like a last resort. I wanted a Miracle.  Generally…this is not a good thing to expect.

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Come monday I made many motions to get through work.  I managed to do the work that needed to get done, but I admit, I had a difficult time starting anything new.  PLUS, we upgraded to Windows 7 this week.  So it’s like having everything there but you have a maze to go through to find it.

So at the earliest possible moment, I made it down the road to my appointment.

Now…I’m a former Emergency Nurse.  I am entirely a skeptic.  As soon as I went in to the office…I noted quite a bit of things that set my alarm bells ringing… Products for sale…lots of “chinese” items.

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The Naturopath, was not entirely on time for my appointment which annoyed me totally.  But when he came in, he was thankfully NOT a reflection of the decor etc.  He looked like a regular Western physician.  He asked a bunch of questions.  Initially tried to convince me that if I gave up all milk products I would not need Singulair anymore…etc.  I kind of responded by talking about the pain in my hip.

Eventually I was placed on a table and about 12-16 needles were placed into my right hip, and one in my knee area…It was a definite sensation, though not painful at all.  I did not much like the one stuck in my knee area… He then stuck a warm lamp on that area, turned down the lights and said he’d be back in 10 minutes.

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I didn’t have my phone on or anything and I have to admit, I was kind of tense, waiting for a feeling of relief to rush over me.

Yeah.  That didn’t happen.  I did actually feel many different things, some pleasant some not so great, but it was all quite tolerable.

Once he removed the needles, I felt a bit sore and pricked all over, but I found I could walk a bit better.  I admit the jury was quite OUT on if this worked or not.  He told me that it might not create instant relief.  So I left.  I went initially to see my coach and pay him.  He was no where to be seen.  So I went on home.  and slept fitfully…  Since I am not training, I am not sleeping too well, not very tired, kinda sad.  Last night I relied on benadryl to get me to sleep.  When I awoke, I gingerly tested out the whole hip thing.  Well…

WOW.

Where I had been limping and mincing along the day before, I noted that I was able to walk the dog with very little pain.

I was totally surprised.  I did after about 6 hours at work start to feel achy, so I took a normal dose of motrin and ALL my pain went away.

Amazing.

Got cleared to try to run 3 miles from the coach.

And am going back to have my adductor looked at tomorrow.

Amazing how much better one’s outlook is improved when constant pain is removed.

wahoo.

 

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Great News!

So this week  I received an email…  See a little while ago, before my coach and I had decided on our racing schedule, I entered a contest for a free entry into Space Coast Marathon (and Half Marathon).  I then forgot about it and assumed I didn’t win.  Space Coast introduced a big fancy medal series this year.

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So, Space Coast sold out.  I was a little disappointed, because In addition to the Medal…Space Coast has some really good basic Schwag.  A T shirt of course, the medal of course, but also a lovely Beach towel, and a variety of other goodies.  It’s a fun Space themed race close to the Space Center here in Florida.  In addition the course is very flat and has been called fast.  But at any rate.  It was off the table for me.  Until Wednesday…when I got this email.

 

We are excited to have you run for Natalie’s! Please fill out the attached entry form, and scan it back in to me. Also, since you are a sponsored athlete for this race we will be providing you with a Natalie’s running shirt you will need to wear for the race. If you could let me know your shirt size, men or women’s cut, along with an address to send the shirt to I would appreciate it.

I won a sponsorship from Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company.    What is neat is that this is a company that I like, the juice they create is GREAT!  They are nice people, and we see them often at running events..The juice is available in lots of states, so check them out.  my favorite is the Honey Tangerine.  (No honey involved, but tastes like it was.)!

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This was so exciting to me.  I of course, being a total Geek got very thrilled when I saw the “SPONSORED ATHLETE”  statement.  I took a moment and reeled myself in from the feeling of reading this.  I am after all, a Registered Nurse.  I’m not an athlete.  And I’m still struggling a bit with my training for the marathon.  This statement did not make me any faster, or more qualified, or anything, I was just super lucky to win this entry.  Right before I got this email I had had a very nice exchange with my coach…about skipping my weights workout.  He was very supportive.  So of course after the elation wore off..

I was in a bind.  My coach.  our plan.

14836701-worried-face-holding-his-head-with-hands Several of my friends surprisingly suggested that I just “don’t tell him”  I admit I considered this, but then, decided that I’m not all about being dishonest.  I can always do what I want, but we have been working together for some time now.  He gives good advice and when I follow it, I tend to have good results.  It would have been entirely disrespectful of me to just not tell him.

So I headed to the gym and foam rolled like a maniac.  I was hoping to discuss it with him in person.  I never saw him.  He may have been at work, but..I didn’t see him.  Usually I see him on Thursday mornings, in passing after my speed workout.  But on Thursday morning, he wasn’t present either.  Bummer!  So I bit the bullet.  I sent off an email about my speed work times, and then explained my situation.  Spent the entire day feeling very tired from the speed effort and concerned as he didn’t reply to that email.  I returned to the gym for more foam rolling.  (My hip is bothering me.)  I saw him there, but he was working with lots of people. I could see him moving from one person to the next and they all seemed to need something from him.  I’m getting better about not bothering him at work, so I finished off the rolling, and waved very vigorously at him poor thing.  (He gave me a one hand wave back….I just for some reason needed to connect with him!).  Still no reply to the email. Later that evening I did hear back.

race. go for it.

And that was all.  Friday I got done with work early.  Did my Monster swim of 3200 yards.

lock-ness-monster-and-unicorn-swimming-buddies_originalI then went and did the arms/abs weights on the schedule.  Typically my Friday afternoon gym session is kind of lonely.  Everyone runs out of that place!  I was, however, a bit earlier than normal.  I did some weights, yawned a lot, and saw that my coach was super duper busy with patients.  He tends to scan the environment, so I know he knew I was doing my workout, but he was really SO busy, I avoided even waving at him.  I would feel better about this if we had been able to have a conversation in person, but it clearly wasn’t meant to be.  We usually have a more in depth email on Sundays, so hopefully he will have a bit more to say.  It was such a surprise.  It’s so rare that someone like me gets free race entries and such that I do want to take advantage of it…but at the same time….I never want to screw up the plan.  Still.. I just don’t see how one 13 miler will screw it up, but I do know racing too much can totally ruin a schedule with an A race.  So we’ll see!

 

Wow, shall I give some folks an update?

I think maintaining 2 blogs is a bit much for me!  I am fairly faithful to the other one.. But this one which is a hodge podge is a little bit more difficult to maintain.

So Life’s updates:

I did do my Marathon.  It really did not go well.  One reason I have failed to post much is that I experienced a phenomena called “Overtraining”  I was SO tired.  The thing about Overtraining, when you are in it…you can’t see it.  Others around you can, but it can be so subtle that it seems sometimes like one is just having an off training day.  Because I take my heart rate daily in the morning, it was recognized at one point and I had an easy week.  By the end of the week, HR back to 58, training resumed…I really wasn’t recovered.  As far as I was concerned I was just not tough enough…so I continued through it.

It really wasn’t until just a few weeks before the Marathon that I realized how exhausted I was.  I failed a long run 2 days in a row…apparently I was starting to look a little bit pale.  My coach at that point really took over and reworked everything in hopes for me to just finish the race.

I did finish the race.  I was so angry though because it was a beautiful race, a great fabulous day and such a nice course, and I totally could not do it justice.  

Now,  I’ve been home, had a week to fool around and a week of easy training. Physically I feel pretty good!  Mentally I’m still kind of slow but…I’m getting there.

My Coach has been pretty quiet since we had 2 long long talks after the race, but he has steadily remained super supportive of me, and I think we now have the time to train along the plan he actually envisioned for me in the first place. We will see.

Work has been super difficult and weird.  Not bad, but just well, a lot of work.  All the new Federal Regulations have me in a tail spin…and I have so many concerns about things I’m missing.  My Job encompasses so many different things, and it seems everyone wants a piece of me… WHich is good, and bad.  Good because they are paying close attention to things, and Bad because I seem to be attending tons of useless meetings.

Between all of this the one things that I did realize was how much of a community I have built up here in Florida.  When I arrived home, I was really exhausted and disappointed, humbled and just drained.  Arrived at work the next morning and immediately my buddies in the Intensive Care Unit were surrounding me with support and good wishes.  Got to the gym, and the front desk lady was right there to sit and chat with, one of the Exercise Physiologists sat down with me for a bit and was so comforting…then my Coach and Mrs. Coach were both pillars of support.  My Surgeon was thrilled to find out I had been able to complete the race, despite my difficulties.  This week I ran into the manager of Physical Therapy, and she told me how excited and proud she was of me as well.  So you know there is always something good coming out of everything.

Reblogging from my training blog….

I had a great day today!  It didn’t start out too good though.

After Thursday, I realize that Bayshore is no longer my “A” race, but..it is still a race I am doing.  I still want to do well.  For me well is going to be about 4:45-4:50.  I’m not looking for miracles.

Anyway.  I decided last night that I might be sick.  Lots of people have colds.  So, off to bed I went, and slept pretty heavily.

When I woke in the morning, the last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed early.

6378964295_c8ae08d065_zI persisted a bit…I was a little unsure of what I was going to do.

I had decided to ditch the cycle and do a “Lucky’s Lake” swim instead.

See…this really cool Dermatologist, Dr Meisenheimer, opens up his home and lake for swimmers daily here in Orlando.

Really?  you say?  Really.  6:30 weekdays and 7:45 on weekends.

http://growingbolder.com/media/sports/water-sports/luckys-lake-swim-202905.html

It’s loads of fun, and occasionally, Dr. Lucky and his wonderful wife decide to open up his entire home to anyone…

http://growingbolder.com/media/sports/water-sports/luckys-jaws-swim-376674.html

I’ve actually wanted to do this for a few years now.  It was one of my goals when I  had my hip surgery.  But at that time, I didn’t have too many swimming pals.  While it is open to all, most people tend to be brought by a friend.

The swim itself was a little wimpy….only 1000 meters or 1 km.  My bigger fear was oh the Open water.  I mean, it’s Florida.  Things live in open water.

As we started we were blessed with the sight of a HUGE Osprey with a big fish coming over head, it was so close one could almost reach out and touch it.

I got out in the water and was a little nervous. I peeked under water and saw…

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Yep, total darkness.  I could see my hands in front of me, but nothing else.  Initially this kind of made me not want to look into the water, but I got over it in a few minutes.  I found it too difficult to swim otherwise.

So we swam from Lucky’s home:

10149_2171257683492_565448146_nYes he opens it to anyone who comes and it is very nice.

Across Lake Cane:

541254_2171257443486_1110327220_nand back again.

It was great.

559046_2171256563464_1903872083_nAfter the swim there was loads of hoopla.

Lucky has a wall where everyone signs after their “first time”

538664_2171272483862_1417429398_nHere I am signing away…on the spots left on the ceiling….

482203_2171272243856_597810613_n and here I am with the “I survived sign”  It was a really fun morning.  I hope it continues to re-energize me for tomorrow’s long run experience!!!!

 

For my efforts, I received a bumper sticker to spread the word and also this patch.

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Kind of a fun day…sort of a “cult swimming event” Never in my life thought those three words would go together!

 

 

It’s Wednesday! the good news, and the bad news!

Well, I never did figure out what my issue was….  on Monday.  New Crisis appeared over the weekend.  Funny thing was that it wasn’t a crisis, but people chose to act as if it were.  So that was kind of relaxing, but it took about 2 days to put out the supposed fire.  Each time I attempted to douse the flames, someone else jumped on the flaming bandwagon.

The good news…I FINALLY found a decent framework for the big project that had me kind of freaked out.  I got started on it yesterday and found it was not that difficult, and was actually interesting and will help us approach challenges differently and more effectively I hope.plan-b-happiness-project308

So that felt great.  I have been dreading this project, and as is often the case, I think the “anticipation”  dread was far worse than the project itself.  I also lowered my standards a bit, thus making it easier to complete.  The report that I do will still be more complete than it has been in a long time, but it won’t be quite as detailed as I would like.  I am learning that the powers that be don’t really want all the details that I find interesting, they just want the basics.  We can work with that.

Toughest job I have ever had in my life, this one.  I gotta say, I got a lot of community admiration when I said, “Oh yes I work in the Emergency Department” and now when I tell people I do infection prevention, I get the bland look, or, “Oh that’s a nice job”  They have no idea.  I do kind of regret my choice, but at the same time, it was a choice I made…and now I get to learn and live with it.

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It’s not that uncomfortable of a choice, it is just different.  Having this type of job has definitely lead me to different friendships, a greater understanding of some things, and a lot of frustration.  I am not sure I’d choose it again, but at the same time, I’m not entirely desperate to go back to my old job.  I feel like I can take it or leave it, which actually makes things easier, since I’m not entirely attached to anything.

So there’s the good news.

Other good news.

Training is going fine.  I slept in yesterday and have a weights workout to make up.

THe Bad news is that my right hip is starting to have the same symptoms that my left one did before surgery.  It’s hard to tell if it is actually a torn labrum or just like a sore spot on my leg.  I’m running fine, Swimming fine, and cycling fine.  No real pain.  Only discomfort when I am sitting…My massage therapist refused to touch that area…which is a bad bad bad sign.  I’m afraid to tell the coach for fear he will sic the pool on me, and I am afraid to go to the MD, because I don’t really want to go through the MRI etc.  It’s also only been a problem for about a week or two, so I am wondering if it might “go away”  I’m very irritated as I am training well.  I’m definitely going to do my two races this year no matter what.  But then we will have to see after that.  I just do not think I can bear another recovery period like the last one.  Admittedly, this time would be easier, as I have a job I could do post surgery which would get me out of the house sooner than 3 months.  Secondly I am physically stronger and in better shape so the recovery would theoretically be faster, but…

Arrrugh.  I think I should make the MD appointment.

New Year…again!

As I age, time moves so quickly.  Once year seems to race into the next.

2011 was a really difficult year with my hip surgery, and recovery.

2012 was a good one for me, with a return to running, a new coach, a new job, and lots of new friends.   Possibly because of that, I also feel ready for a new adventure!

I wonder what I will be thinking doing by the end of next year. I have a lot of goals, but we shall see how they all work out.

So what’s on your list????

Mine?

RUN!

406565_10150255712954999_95106362_nI have some time goals this year.

I want to run a half in under two hours:  I have two golden opportunities.  The first is in April, the second in July.  The April course is the one I want to do it on, because it’s merely flat.  The July course has about 8 miles downhill So a PR there will be nice, but it might feel like cheating.  A PR at both would be the ultimate.

I want to run a Decent Marathon: I have ONE opportunity only, but it’s glittery golden, in that this fantastic, wonderful, funny, and talented person is willing to pace me in. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.  I’m thinking it would be nice to run somewhere in the 4 hr 20 min range, but…I would not cry if I ran a 4:40 either, or a 4 hr flat.  Bit nervous about being paced, since I’m just not sure how I will be at the tail end of a Marathon, the last one I did, I was AWFUL, but that was because I knew I was SO off my time goal, and I was angry at myself.  So, who knows.

I want to run some trail races:  My coach is sort of pushing the trail on me, or so he thinks.  I’ve been DREAMING of spending some time on trail, but I have been hesitant because really a person has to be in much better shape to run a good trail race..compared to a road race.  The trail events are always more fun, more beautiful and less full of the Matchy matchy set that I dislike…

Diva 5K Run 2011 001And, yep I stole this from another blog  http://mytrainingadventures.blogspot.com/2011/03/diva-5k-run.html  I like the blog a lot actually, But I’m not real fond of the whole matchy phenomenon. Though if you do go to this nice person’s blog you’ll find it was for a Mom/Daughter thing which makes it totally 100% acceptable.  I’ve been known to show up at races wearing a purple cap, blue skirt and a red shirt.with two separate style socks, I probably should give more care.  But the coach feels I’d like the “trail scene” (Whatever that is)  better than the road race scene.  We’ll see.  I have some road racing in me I am sure.

I want to trust the process more: 522391_461892440516135_110047995_n

I’ve been working with my coach since September.  It’s been wildly successful for my results.  I respect him greatly, and admire him, but I still tend to question a lot unnecessarily.      At our last meeting in mid December,  we seemed to have come to a further understanding of each other, and our communication seems to have improved to the point where both of us seem more comfortable with each other.  For whatever reason it can be awkward at times, but I am starting to see that fade away and communication from him is more easily understood, and probably on his end, I am telling him things that make more sense than before too.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Sometimes I get all emotional and think about how he saved my running…kind of true, kind of an exaggeration, as I was running before he started helping me, but…TRUE that I am now having loads of fun and really enjoying the running so much more.  So…who knows.  Good to be grateful.  I’ll be working on eliminating some of the Stubborn-ness. We’ll see how that goes.  I know I am not a total joy to work with, but…he seems to have my number and find 90% of my fussiness amusing…it’s the 10% that is irritating that I need to eliminate.

Job:  I changed jobs in April.  It has been a very difficult transition.  I almost quit entirely a few weeks ago.  In my old position, I worked 3 twelve hour shifts weekly, and did not have any “take home work”.  New Position:  8 hr days 5 days a week.  Lots of take home reading, and a lot of people looking for answers and results.  It really is a lot more pressure, and stress.  My vacation at home made things much better.  I do think by next year at this time, I will either be feeling fairly comfortable, or be back at my old job.

So goal for this year is to get through it and be ready to take the Certification Exam in Infection Prevention.  Having the Certification will make me Mobile, so if for whatever reason, I need to, decide to, want to move out of Florida, I can very easily.  I can still most likely obtain a job in an Emergency Department, but…I love having options.  Heck I might just learn to be a Dialysis Nurse, just to see what that’s like.  So goal may be to LEARN TO LIVE WITH IT.

Home:  SIlly goal.  I want to keep my home SPARKLING CLEAN.

72620612711926573_ZSEIffLt_bBy nature I am a but sloppy.  I find though when my home is organized and clean I function much better.  It’s also easier to keep clean when one cleans regularly, instead of going on a rampage right before guests come.  I started this in 2012 with Moderate success.  2013- I hope will be a rousing success!!!  I’ve found a ton of interesting tips on repelling Dog hair on Pinterest, so I am going to give them a try on the baseboards.

Personal:  Zip it!  I’ve lived here a long time  now and so many of my acquaintances and friends are starting to overlap.  I have a lot of opinions about things and people.  Many are unfounded.  If someone found that I felt a certain way, or said something, they would not be thrilled.  So…for 2013, Zipping it.  entirely.  No opinions on anyone’s love life, running life, swimming ability, job choices.  I have not gotten into trouble with this yet, but…I keep feeling like, “Wow…if so and so knew you really felt like XYZ” she would never talk to you again….SOOOO….Zipping it.  Most of these opinions I think are usually just to make ME feel better about ME and the choices I make.

Prime example.  Lots of people around me love to race.  They sign up for a bunch during the season.  I never do this.  It is too stressful, expensive, and in the end usually produces some sort of injury.  I have been kind of snotty about it.  saying, “The medals aren’t for me…I don’t want to race that much, blah blah blah”  All that is true. I am not a huge fan of the medal, and I actually prefer just running to races.  But behind it was me also saying, “I don’t need a medal to run, (SNOOTY), and I’m “above” finisher medals.  Realizing that I was being bitchy…brought me to a realization that while it’s ok that I don’t care about medals buttons bows etc…lots of people love them, and it sure doesn’t make them lesser runners…just different ones…So Zipping it. ZIpping it.  This one may be the hardest for me to keep…I have a few friends I like to chatter with, and I’m going to stop it.  Here’s to an opinion free New Year.

 

Main thing I hope to achieve in 2013 is Balance, between work and working out, play and learning, etc…. we’ll see how it goes.  January one has not been too bad so far…

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Here I am after our Central Florida 5K Klub run fooling around…

and here I am looking vaguely normal… Or as normal as I get.  Never have been one for photos in the car, but we forgot to take one as a group….IMG_0162

On the Taper….

Well,  I’ve been on a Taper now for about 2 weeks.  It’s unique for me to taper this long, and in fact, kind of unique in the running world….Most people talk about a taper week….  When I saw the schedule back in November, I was totally not thrilled.  I had sent my Coach an email asking if I could just avoid the taper altogether, as I am not ideally trained for this race anyway, and had been considering dropping it.  He sent me one back, telling me to drink Kool Aide.  Specifically, “the” Kool Aide.

I’d like to say we argued, but in reality I kind of made some feeble protests, and he kind of shut me down.   As yukky as the 2 week taper thing is…he has teased out several rather fine results from my broken down body….so I gotta just do what is on the paper.  I’m really lucky to have him, I think.

I do feel kind of cranky and weird. My legs have started to feel super blocky and not very light.  And Of course, I feel kind of impatient with the world.  All that extra energy that I would normally put into the Pool, Trail, or the weight room is just swirling about.  While I feel sluggish, I am also noting a kind of Twitchiness….

So what to do on a taper?

1. Do not have any serious conversations.  You may regret them later.  This is generally not the time to make life decisions, like about Job Changes, Relationship Changes, or Financial Changes.  Odd thing is that, you are going to have a lot of time to think about these things- so you might be tempted to make some changes.  Don’t do it.  Think about it. Maybe talk to someone who understands the Taper moment, but Don’t jump the Gun…

2. Don’t add in “little workouts”.  We have all been tempted to add in a little more here and there.  After all it won’t hurt, it will feel good, and our body needs some activity…right?   Do whats on the plan…that’s why you started with it in the first place, right?

3. Do find some things to do that you had not had time for.  Go to the Movies, go to an Art exhibit, Go paint plates at the Pottery painting place…It’s a great time to make up for things you may have missed due to your training schedule.

4. Don’t substitute other activity for the lack of workouts.  I Struggle with this and admit that during this taper week, I am guilty of both Deep Cleaning the Home, and taking the dog out for a wonderful Glorious hike through the woods… Neither sounds particularly stressful, but the scrubbing of floors worked up quite a sweat and the dog walk also included lots of navigation of roots/rocks and such.  It really wasn’t Rest.  Nothing wrong with getting some Cleaning and Doggie time in, but I could have used the swiffer, and probably the dog would have been just as happy with a 2 hour Fetch festival where I say in a chair, rather than chased up and down the hills at our local state park.

5. Do Plan an activity or two for Taper week.  For me this coming week, I will be preparing the Christmas Cards. I do love to do this, and I have not really had a lot of time.  So I am looking forward to an evening of popcorn, coffee or cocoa, The Grinch, and Resting.

I can’t say this has been the most fun 2 weeks I’ve ever had.  It’s been kind of stressful.  I have not painted any ceramics YET. But I’ve made a handy dandy list over on my training blog….