Setbacks: A Study in Patience

Of which I have none.

impatient

So here’s the dealio.  Just as I’m about to break up with PT Pam, #brokeknee decides to act up.  BIG time.  I’d been pushing my speed for short bursts during my last few runs.  If for no other reason than I haven’t been able to do any speed work for years.  Yes, you read that right.  YEARS.  Soooo, last Monday at my PT session, PT Pam puts me on the treadmill.  Where, once again, I say to myself, “Self?  Let’s see what you can do on this horrible thing, shall we?”  Now, knowing the speed on the dreadmill is WAY off in comparison to the pretty little numbers I’ve been seeing on my trusty GPS, I kept hitting the speed plus button.  And hitting it.  And hitting it again.  All the way to that lovely point I lovingly call the death pace.  You know the one.  The speed where lead legs kick in, stitches stick in your side, and breathing is a long-lost, fond memory.

C'mon Bridge, we got this.

C’mon Bridge, we got this.”

I had that blasted machine going faster than what it was telling me, and I started to suspect I hadn’t moved my dupa that fast since I was about 12.  But, I managed to keep it going at breakneck speed for a couple of minutes.  As I kicked it back for a cooldown, I started feeling a bit of discomfort in the spot.  You know. The SPOT.  The one started all this aggravation many, many, many moons ago.

Later that night and into the next day, that old familiar ache was back.  And I was PISSED.  When I went back to PT Pam a couple of days later – for what was SUPPOSED to be our big breakup – I was still pissed.  She figured I’d aggravated my….wait for it…..IT BAND.  (Cue dramatic music here).  You know what I’m talking about.  The same no-good IT band I thought was the source of all this crap for the past few years.  Yeah….THAT one.  I swear sometimes I’m cursed.

Angry bird's got nothing on me.

Angry bird’s got nothing on me.

All that bitchin’ aside, I’m happy to report the ache has subsided quite a bit, but my first run back beachside wasn’t nearly as pleasant as I would have liked.  Thank goodness the hubby ran with me.  (I don’t think he realizes how much he pushes me just by being next to me.  And that is a very good thing.  Just don’t tell him, I wouldn’t want it to go to his head.:)

I’m trying to take all of this in stride – no pun intended – and stop all the crazy thoughts of here we go friggin’ again – from racing around in my already overloaded, game-show-dollar-machine brain.  I’m yelling “plot twist!” and changing up the game for a couple of weeks.  I’m headed to the Keys in a few weeks and there’s no way I’m NOT running in that tropical paradise.  In order to get me there, the game plan will be all about biking, swimming, and walking.  I’m still going to breakup with PT Pam tomorrow, but I feel good about it.  Especially since I can do all the exercises on my own, and have pulled out and dusted off my trusty little muscle stim machine and foam roller.  Oh, and did I mention hitting the leg weights?  HARD?  If there’s one thing this runner chick has learned, it’s to embrace the sweat, pain, and tears of the cross-train.

leg day toilet

Any words of encouragement would come in pretty handy right now, so feel free to share any interesting, inspiring, little ditties of wisdom.  Or you can just yell at me to quit my whining and get my ass back in gear.  You wouldn’t be the first.  If you happened to be peeking in my bedroom window yesterday you would’ve seen me doing the same thing in the mirror.  BEFORE I called the cops about some creep peeking in my window.  But thanks for the good intentions.  Creep.

Enjoy the ride.

What inspiring words of wisdom do you have for a friend in need?  Are you the arm-around-the-shoulders type of or more the Jillian-Michaels-scream-your-head-off type?  What do you respond to more?  Are you a fountain of patience or ready to ram your head through the door after a minor setback in training?

New Year’s Resolutions? Who Me?

Yeah…..not so much.

2015-logo

How many of you get sucked into the annual whirling vortex of all things New Year’s promises, just to find yourself back on the couch stuffing your yap with leftover Christmas cookies and Moose Tracks? You?  You?  You too?  You there, the one with the hideous Christmas sweater?  No, the one next to you.  Yup.  I feel ya.  Why do we insist on this annual rite of passage just to find ourselves back at square one a few months later?

fat cat

It’s just a little holiday weight.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for starting over and hopefully getting things right.  Unlike retail stores who make their profits starting on Black Friday, I think fitness centers absolutely LOVE January as their sales go up exponentially.  And each month after that, the numbers slowly but surely start to decrease, but the money has already been deposited.  Kudos to strategically timed membership sales.

I’m no different.  From November until now, my visits to gymworld have been, well, less than stellar – noticeable in both my pants and the scale.  Hello Black Dog Blob, how you doin’?

blob-cartoon

Every year I tell myself I will resolve to NOT make any resolutions, and I usually do a pretty good job at sticking at it. HA! Who am I kidding?  I may not necessarily SAY I’m making any resolutions, but you can damn well bet your dupa I still do, at least in my own game-show-dollar-machine-whirling brain.  Resolutions that usually include me swearing I’m going to end the year looking something like this.

Oh Abby, how do you do it?

Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Inevitably though, reality eventually sets in, (somewhere around the 4th gallon of Moose Tracks), the F5 tornado of my brain calms down, and I get back into normal operating mode: eat as healthy as I can, (Moose Tracks and cheese aside of course), chase the elusive sleep elf most nights, hit up the gym, (but only to the point where I don’t feel the need to choke the ever-living crap out of someone), and pray that the running gods look favorably on my knees.  And swear that THIS will be the year I bust out of Introvertland and PR in SOMETHING.  Even if it is in new-found patience.

patience-3

I invite you to come along with me on my journey to Challenge and Acceptance Land.  It should be a roller coaster ride of epic proportions, with momentary pit stops for occasional food and wine indulgences, backed up with chocolate and margarita side trips.  Sound good to you?  Well then, let’s not waste another moment of valuable time.  Please secure all personal items below your seat.  Make sure your mutt’s seat belt is securely fastened, and hang on the hell on.  Because I’m sure the ride is going to get very bumpy at times.  But the adrenaline rush will make it OH SO WORTH IT.

Whooooohooooooo!!!!

Whooooohooooooo!!!!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Do you fall into the New Year’s resolution pit every year?  Ever stick with them?  Is wine or ice cream an integral part of them?

Progress. I Think.

Ten months in the gym and I haven’t smacked anyone yet.  Now that’s what I call progress!Gym Bitch

Okay well, there IS that.  But other than annoying non-weight rackers, the weird-distracting-arm-circles-while-on-the-bike-guy, stinky chic, and the insufferable WHY CAN’T YOU JUST WIPE OFF THE FREAKIN’ MACHINE WHEN YOU’RE DONE SWEATING ALL OVER KINGDOM COME people, my return to gymdom has actually been pretty enjoyable.  Now that’s not to say I haven’t had some downer moments, especially lately, but I’m doing my best to keep a good attitude.  After all, at least I still CAN work out.  Just like this guy.

funny-puppy-gym-weights

Yes, fuzzy butt. I do.

Ever notice how much time you spend bending your knees, especially when you can’t?  Per doctor’s orders, no bending the patellas more than 90 degrees, and especially, no more than 30 degrees when doing leg extensions.  Talk about actually having to pay attention to what you’re doing.  And if you know me at all, then you know my attention span doesn’t exactly fall in the spectacular department.  But as long as I can still work up a sweat and feel like I’m accomplishing SOMETHING, then I’m happy with that.  Accomplish that something without actually dropping a weight on an irritating, self-absorbed gym rat? Now that’s what I call a WIN.

Victory-is-mine-294x300

And really.  Who can be irritated when after more than FOUR YEARS, the hubby has been able to consistently run WITHOUT FOOT PAIN?  Yes, that’s right, NO FOOT PAIN.  Let me say it again in case you didn’t get it the first ten times – NO FOOT PAIN!  Seriously peoples, you have no idea how big a marvelous, stupendous, spectacular deal that is.  Even the achy legs he has after running outside yesterday is worth every bit of lactic acid buildup.  (Between you and me, I think it may have had something to do with the fancy new shoes he got on sale at Shoebuy for $75.)

Ed's Brooks

Ooooooooh, pretty.

Did I mention I spent half an hour on the phone the other day with The Man’s nurse?  Let me tell ya, that woman is a plethora of all things knee knowledge.  She spent all that time explaining to me why we’re traversing the road of conservatism with my knees.  In a nutshell, I need to alleviate the inflammation.  Then – and stick with me here a minute – I need to actually INFLAME them all over again, but at a more “manageable” level.  Remember I told you the back of my patellas were all chewed up and ripping up the cartilage behind them?  Well, I actually need to let them do that.  Why in the name of all that is ibuprofen, do you need to DO that Black Dog, you may ask?  Because.  If I let my body “plane out” the cartilage/patella naturally – instead of surgically – then it will do that to the specific angles that it needs, whereas a surgeon might not be able to do so.  Basically, surgery would be a best guess scenario versus Mother Nature knows what she’s doing kind of deal.

Yeah I got this.  And this lynx too.

Yeah I got this. And this lynx too.

Patience is called for in this scenario.  E-GADS.  I’m more of an immediate gratification kind of gal.  (That’s why I can almost get on board with Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping.  Almost.)  I need these knees to be fixed YESTERDAY.  Hear that, Mama of All Things Wise and Furry?  YES-TER-DAY.  I promise not to over-water the plants, under-water the flowers, or stomp out any bugs.  Except the roaches.  All bets are off with those nasty, nuclear-holocaust-surviving-creepers-of-ick.  Just get these suckers better.  Fast.  And feel free to take out a few of these ick monsters along the way.

Not a chance scumhead.

Not a chance scumhead.

So if patience is what I need to have, then patient I will be.  I almost sound like I mean that, don’t I?  In the meantime, please feel free to keep me distracted/entertained/pinned down and beaten until the parts have decided to forgive me for years of punishment.  After all, what does one do once one has healed but start the beat-down all over again?  Hmmm, sounds curiously like the definition of runner…

 

Enjoy the ride.

Ever find being patient more difficult than long runs or speed work?  Are you a killer of all things green?  When is the last time you felt the urge to throw a dumb bell at someone?

Getting My Zen On

I’m embarrassed to admit I have NO idea the last time I paid a visit to my little friend.

Hello my friend.

Hello little friend.

Carving out the time to – dare I say it? – actively RELAX – just wasn’t on my calendar.  However, now that I have all this free time on my legs, with constant urging from Sandee The World’s Greatest Yoga Instructor

The not so furry one.

The not so furry one.  No, the other one.

…and the fact that the hubby was kind of enough to offer to pay for my classes, I suddenly found myself walking back into my long lost place of all things zenlike.  It was like coming home again.  Except with a ceramic elephant.  And shoes all over the place.  And bare feet everywhere.  Gross.

Having not participated in what the hubs likes to call bendy-bend, I had no idea how absolutely comedic this was going to turn out.  Comedic simply because I have an issue with gravity.  Or maybe better put, it has an issue with me.  Actually, I think it loves me.  A LOT.  Too much methinks.

Yup.  That's me.

Yup. That’s me.

Gravitational issues aside, I rolled out my mat, grabbed a cushion for my busted up knees, and hoped for the best.  Sandee thankfully took into account said busted patellas, and kept the class as knee-friendly as possible.  After the first few minutes of ujjayi breathing, cat/cows, forward bends, and chattyRhonda thingies (NOT how that’s spelled), it all started to come back to me.  I could literally feel my blood pressure dropping and the stress melting out of my overloaded amygdala.  (Not really but it sounded pretty cool, didn’t it?)

amygdalaAfter completely losing track of time – which I think is what’s SUPPOSED to happen in yoga class, isn’t it?- it was time for good ol’ savasana.  Ohhhhh savasana, how do I love thee?  Let me count the zzz’s.

Zzzzz, zzzzz,zzzzz

Zzzzz, zzzzz,zzzzz

You really do appreciate how much you miss doing something when you’ve been away from it, and this was no different.  I may be out of the running game for a while, but with a little bit of patience, a LOT of balance practice, and Sandee putting up with me making up some pretty funny poses of my own, I think my time spent on the mat will be well worth it.  Who knows?  Maybe all this warm and fuzzy zen-ness will even turn me into a more patient patient.  Doubt it.  But you never know.  Namaste.

Patience

 

 

Enjoy the ride.

Do you find yoga makes you feel better about yourself?  Has it improved your running?  Have you ever fallen asleep in yoga class?  And started to snore?