Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What? Another state?

OK. So here's the thing. I've accepted that I'm injured. And we all know that I'm a little stubborn. I was told to be in the boot for 2 weeks before my follow up, and I admit, I was only half in compliance.

I work a couple of part time jobs, but for the most part not only do I work them from home, but I also have the full time job of finishing my doctoral dissertation (also from home). And I couldn't justify waking up, putting the boot on to walk 10 feet to my office and sitting for a couple of hours, then walking the distance to the fridge and back, then sitting for some more hours... etc. Because short distances didn't hurt. But the evening would eventually roll around and my foot would hurt again. And stupid me, I was unwilling to accept that it wasn't getting better because when I was at home in my house I was not entirely in compliance.

I went for the followup, and he joked that after hearing that, he couldn't understand why I wasn't getting better either. So he ordered another 2 weeks in the boot. I felt like I was getting better until Saturday when I went to a concert and some drunk girl both tripped over my foot, then kicked it out of the way when she couldn't figure out what she had tripped over. And of course, I am seriously hurting now. But I have hope. The followup is just under 2 weeks from now, and I am not taking that dang boot off until then. I should be better exponentially by then.

But here's the thing. I'm going stir crazy. I have found that one of the only ways that I can alleviate stress is through running. Sorry folks, the gym just doesn't cut it. And obviously I can't do zumba right now. So the stress builds... and trust me, right now I have a TON of stress (to be measured in metric F-tons).

I'm in another kind of race these days. I'm in the race to meet deadlines with my dissertation. If I can get my first draft completed by September, I could be defended by the end of the calendar year, which means I could have my ph.d. conferred as early as January or February. I need to meet this timeline so that I don't have to pay more tuition. And I really don't want to pay any more tuition. So there you have it. I'm brain fried and content overloaded. I'm working all day, and up half the night pondering my research questions and the shape that my final document will take. I'm overloaded by the hot political mess that is going on in Israel and Palestine as this tangentially affects the topic of my expertise. I'm needing to reduce stress in meaningful ways.

And of course that brings me back to the foot problem. So I thought about a mini-break to visit my good friend Sarah in Utah. Sarah and I have been working together to keep motivated through our ph.d. journeys, and we are both aiming for the same timeline to finish. Plus we are both peace workers, so we share a lot of the same emotional hardships. Did I mention that she is also a runner? And wouldn't you know it, she will be running her 3rd and qualifying race for half fanatics while I am visiting her. Coincidence? I think not.

I plead my fifth amendment rights as to the logistics of how this happened, but Sarah registered me for the race with her. I admit to no blame in the registration for this race, because registering for a race when I am not sure I will fully be healed wouldn't be very compliant of me, now would it? I think I'll be healed at that point, but even if, I can wear a brace to help alleviate the pressure. It will be fun. And hey, not only do I get to relieve stress by seeing one of my closest friends in a place that I've never been before, but I will also be able to share this amazing opportunity with her.

Porter's Half Marathon, here I come!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Seriously? Injured again?

Seriously, This is not how I envisioned starting out my summer.
now I have a matching set

At this point last year I was in excruciating pain my right foot. I was nursing a horrible injury and refusing to admit there was a problem. I finally brought myself to the doctor some time in August, and wound up in my first round of treatments and boots. The treatments lasted until March of this year.

I was looking forward to having a little recovery time in May and June. And after that recovery period, I felt strong. I kept focusing my attention on the strengthening of my right foot and how the pain seemed to disappear more and more each day.

Which I guess is why when I started to get a little nagging feeling in the center of my left foot, I brushed it off. It didn't hurt too bad. It was just a strange nagging sensation. It didn't hurt when I ran, for the most part, it only hurt when I flexed my foot just so, all in all, I could overlook it.

But then last week I tried to ramp up my mileage. I wound up succeeding in upping my mileage, though I barely made it halfway to my goal mileage before my back started to cause problems.

Which is strange in itself. I didn't even feel much pain in my back. I was just always short of breath when I stood up or I moved the wrong way. I was exhausted all the time and found that laying motionless helped. I actually thought it was asthma at first. Then I realized that the shortness of breath wasn't responding to medication, and it was only happening if I moved certain ways or if I was sitting up for long periods of time.  I have a back problem, and have for a long time. I have a high thresh-hold for pain in my back, I guess it just took me a little while to realize what was going on.

And once I did, I chalked it up to repetitive impact from running on sidewalks (instead of on the paved streets like I prefer). I mean, that's plausible, right? But then I realized that the shortness of breath was only coming when I was trying to stand up straight or put weight on my right foot. Well that didn't make any sense. I thought that maybe my muscles were spasming so much on my lower left side that it was just making it difficult to stand straight.

I NEVER once thought there might be something else going on.

Until I realized that the nagging sensation in my foot had gotten worse. It was throbbing all the time and felt like there was some crepitation seeping in. I couldn't hear anything, but it certainly felt like a whole bunch of crackling.

So I made an appt with the foot dr again. I knew even before the appt was made what the solution was going to be, although I didn't know what the diagnosis was. I thought it might be extensor tendonitis, but there was no swelling whatsoever. Trust me, after over a year of dealing with problems with my left foot, I am highly attuned to swelling, and there was none.

So I go to the appt, do some xrays. Nothing is broken, but he did find evidence of an acute sprain deep inside the center of my left foot. How the heck?

Wearing another boot for at least 2 more weeks was not how I envisioned this summer starting off. The temporary solution is to stay off of it completely until at least the followup and let it heal.

But now I am starting to be filled with the not-good-enoughs. Man, I didn't realize that even writing that last sentence would bring tears to my eyes. But its time that I finally admit it, maybe I'm just not good enough for this running thing. Maybe I'm not strong enough to run, I'm not fit enough, I'm too heavy, I'm too slow, I'm just not enough.

But I love to do it. I don't know where this leaves me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hey Amy, how did that challenge go?

Last week, I excitedly wrote about a 1 week challenge where I allowed my friends on facebook to like my post and the total number of likes would determine my weekly mileage.

It was foolish, I know. But at the same time, I was excited to have a challenge to really push for, a reason to go out there and push my limits and really do something that would remind me of how far I've come and how strong I have gotten over the past 2 years.

I don't want to say that I wasn't entirely freaked out by the idea of logging 64 miles, but I made a commitment to go out there and give it the old college try. For me that included the senior year, the 4 years of undergraduate, the 2 years of graduate, and the almost 3 years (so far) of ph.d. work. That's a lot of college try. And that's what I wanted to put into this challenge.

But I came up short. Really, really ridiculously short.

I managed 6.77 miles on day 1 but then had to call it quits due to a severe electrical storm that came through.

On day 2, I broke it up and put in 6.5 miles in the morning. Then in the evening I did another 5.11 miles.

And that's where it all kind of fell apart. About 3 miles into the second workout on day 2, I started having the most horrid back spasms that I have had in about 10 years. These were leaving me barely able to catch my breath, and unable to stand up straight.

I took the next day off, and on day 4, I managed another 7.38 miles. I kept feeling like I was winded and out of breath. I blamed it on the heat and humidity, I soldiered on, but I couldn't keep going. The following day, the spasms were back in full force.

It was the 4th of July and I couldn't get out of bed. I spent the entire 3 day weekend either on the bed or the couch, alternating between barely able to catch my breath, staving off dizzy spells, and melting into a sobbing mess from tweaks here and there in my back.

And before I knew it, the 7 day challenge was done. I spent most of the week in pain and laid up. I managed to get in 25.76 miles, and I should feel proud of that. Unfortunately I'm still trying to convince myself that 25.76 miles in a week is nothing to turn my nose up at. Instead of being proud of what I accomplished, I keep thinking about the 38.24 miles that I didn't manage to log during the week.

It leaves me feeling like a failure.

What is wrong with me?