Run All The Miles…Without Any Pain!

Or at least start with a couple.  Especially since you’re only 66 days out.

Oh dear....

Oh dear….

I figured it was time for an update.  One that I’ve been putting off.  If for no other reason than I didn’t want to admit – to myself or anyone else – that I’ve been suffering.  A LOT.  Even this post was pretty much scratching the surface of how scared I’ve been.  Scared that I felt like I was in more pain than even BEFORE #KneeGate2015, and it wasn’t going to get any better.  Scared that it would get so bad that Wine and Dine was going to end being a pipe-dream-I’m-gonna-have-to-pull-the-deferral-card kind of terror.  Most of all, scared that my damn #brokeknee either wasn’t fixed or worse, that I had #brokekneed it AGAIN.

scared Jerry

Nooooooo!!!!!!

Alas, it was all for naught.

That’s right.

Naught.

Nada.

Zippo.

Zero.

Zilch.

NOTHING.

Thanks in no small part to…well…a small part.

Hello beautiful.

No, this is NOT my knee. It’s a stunt knee.

Let me give you a quick rundown as to what this little strappy thing is all about.  On a training run after what I believe was me pushing it too hard at PT one day, I started suffering some majoroso underknee pain.  Celebrex, ice, EMS, my old giant knee brace, nothing worked.  Not.A.Damn.Frigging.Thing.  So what came next?  What usually seems to.  Lots of tears and lots of anger, accented by my usual litany of colorful language.

Then, in a last-ditch effort before picking up the phone and racking up yet ANOTHER doctor visit bill, I hit up the ever so trusty Team #runDisney Facebook page.  And therein I found the Moose Tracks to soothe my angst.

Ahhhhhhh......

Ahhhhhhh……

One of my fellow TrD’ers suggested I try this. The main complaint for runners who use this is a nifty little pain in the dupa – or in this case, under the kneecap – known as patellar tendinitis.  Being a gold star member of the Amazon Prime Is My Crack club, I went online, read the reviews, and decided what the heck.  If it doesn’t work, I’m only out $15 bucks and no worse off than I already was.

Having only gotten one run in this past weekend after battling a case of the plague, I wasn’t expecting too much.  Then…

I started to run.

And had hardly.any.pain.

Angels were singing.

(And Bon Jovi.)

It was heavenly.

HallelujahSquirrel

Now.  I’m trying to stay level-headed about all this.  After all, it WAS only one run.  And breathing was quite an adventure. (Remember? Post-plague.)  And apparently it was lead leg day.  However, instead of a pain level of 9 to start, it was more like a 3.  And I’ll take a 3 over a 9 ANY.DAMN.DAY.

So this is the plan for the remaining, ever-so-quickly dwindling available training days until November 7th.  Keep it to mainly 2 running days a week, with a few 3-a-week thrown in there to make up for lost time. (Don’t forget, I still have to deal with #KneeGate2015 Part II after W&D).  Keep up with lots of ice time, EMS time, foam rolling, and PT exercises.  I HATE the possible side effects of Celebrex, but may start taking them daily the week before race day, just to build it up in my system, but that’s still up for debate.  After all that, guess we’ll just see how it goes.  I’m hopeful and cautiously optimistic.  And hoping for a big fat dose of pain-killing pixie dust.  All wrapped up in a pretty little strap.  Maybe I’ll even add some sparkles….

Do your thing girl.

Do your thing girl.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever had the simplest piece of equipment cure your pain, or at the very least minimize it?  Do you believe that most of your pain can be controlled by your brain?  Does the pain threshold of pro athletes shock the hell out of you?  Jealous?

Stubborn Has Its Place

I swear sometimes the gods are out to get me.  Not out of some bizarre sense of paranoia, or some weird case of the planets not aligning properly, and a moon being the wrong house, (or some such astrological oddity), I just really think something is doing it’s best to try my non-existent sense of patience.  And I’m OVER IT.

over it

#KneeGate2015 aside, it seems lately as though this great big beautiful – often pain in my dupa – thing called life, seems to occasionally thrive on upsetting the apple cart.  Over and over and over again.  And over.  Like Groundhog Day over.  Let’s review the recent past shall we?  Then you can tell me if I’m just being paranoid.  Or whiney.  Okay, that part is true.  Humor me.

  1. Approximately two weeks after getting the all clear to get back to running, and having a couple of the most glorious short runs I’ve had in years, after a particularly tough run on the dreadmill at PT, the pain-free gloriousness came to a screeching halt.
  2. The stress level in my job has shot through the roof.  Big company takes over little company because little company was damn good at what it did, and did it EFFICIENTLY.  Now THERE’S a word unheard of in said big company.  Hence, Burj Khalifa roof-sized stress.
  3. Go to Key West, meet up with professional body builder/personal trainer/BFF since kindergarten, gain some badly needed inspiration, return home ready to hit the gym/pavement with a renewed sense of purpose, and CATCH A DUPA-KICKING COLD.

See what I’m saying?

unbelievable

All right.  Enough of THAT crap.

Now that I’ve got all the whiny bitching out of my system, time for one of my favorite mantras…..MOVING ON.  I’m on the upside of my once-a-year case of the plague, the knees are feeling much less achy, and work is….well…..work.  I hate it, but it does keep a roof over my head, food in the Wonder Mutt’s bowl, and Disney addictions paid for, so I can’t really complain TOO much.

heavy sighReally, all of this is just built up aggravation – and a good-sized chunk of worry – that Wine and Dine is only (gulp!) 76 days away.  Even though I’m not worried about time this time around, I AM worried about hitting the mileage with training time to spare.  So far, I’ve only hit 5k, and it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out I don’t have a whole lotta time to get those miles chewed up and spit out.  Am I having a bit of a freak out?  Oh yeah.  Will I pull my head out of my ass and get over it?  Probably.  Do I have a choice but to do just that?  Nope.

nope grumpy cat

Deal with it stupid human.

So this is how it’s gonna go.  This whiny chica is going to pull on her big girl panties, (now there’s an image you won’t be able to get out of your head, sorrynotsorry), take another dose of vitamin C and echinacea, smack a Ronda Rousey attitude into her head, and get this show on the road.  The gods may be trying to test me and test me good, but there’s enough stubbornness, determination, and just plain bull-headedness to get past all this crap.  Just ask the hubby.  He doesn’t call me concrete-head just because he loves me.

I love you. Really. I do. Really.

I love you. Really. I do. Really.

Enjoy the ride.

How do you handle all the crap life throws at you?  Do you have a stubborn streak or do you tend to just let things bounce off of you?  Any sage words of advise for an impatient, mule-headed, obstinate runner?

What To Do, What To Do

Well, after a two-week running hiatus – AGAIN – I hit the road this weekend.  And it SUCKED.  Like somebody please just shoot me and put me out of misery sucked.

I am NOT happy.

I am NOT happy.

Let me bore you with the deets.  Rewind back a couple of weeks to one of my last physical therapy visits.  I hit their dinosaur of a treadmill and hit it hard (here).  After that, the knee was feeling a bit wonky, so I laid off for a couple of weeks.  I was still working out my legs on the machines, getting my miles done on the stationary and recumbent bikes, and even dusted off my trusty bike trainer.

Hello beautiful.

Hello beautiful.

Should I have laid off the lower body work altogether?  I don’t know.  But when the hubby and I headed out for an easy two miles, I thought Ronda Rousey was still fighting and landing karate chops to my the top of my #brokeknee.  It was actually a little worse than right after the first time this popped up post-PT dreadmill day, but I also knew it would eventually calm down once I had warmed up.  Not completely go away, but at least get tolerable.  Fast forward to about a mile and half, and without even really thinking about it, I picked up the pace a little bit and finished up relatively strong.  Then back home, on ice, stim, and good old Tylenol.  Not that it does a thing to alleviate the pain.

ouch flynn

Herein lies my conundrum.  Both PT Pam and the surgeon said I can’t screw up what he fixed, so that makes me feel a little better about my current state of affairs.  The first two runs back before the PT dreadmill incident felt GREAT.  So great I was hitting paces I hadn’t seen since high school.  Now, it’s worse – at the run’s start – then it was when all this #brokeknee crap started.  Is this just residual whatever left over from the dreaded dreadmill incident?  Have I messed up something ELSE now?  Is this just my knee’s way of saying, “I’ll let you get back to it, but not before I remind you who’s REALLY running this running show?”  I guess the only way to figure this out is to keep running and see what happens over the next couple of weeks.  If it doesn’t back off, then I just may try a few laser therapy visits.  AGAIN.  I am just SO sick of APPOINTMENTS.

nope grumpy cat

No more damn appointments. Unless Moose Tracks is involved.

I’m just going to hang in there and see what happens.  To be completely honest though, I am a bit S-C-A-R-E-D, but I’m trying to fight that off and not have a total freakout over it.  Any clouds of healing pixie dust you may have just hanging around, please feel free to throw it to any Florida-bound winds.  It would be very much appreciated.

Please?  Thank you!

Please? Thank you!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this four months post-surgery?  Any advice for a mildly freaked out runner girl?  Am I just overthinking this or do I just need to calm the heck down?

What A Difference A (Few) Days Make

Remember how I was trying not to get too freaked out about this?  Well, a few days of rest, and a few days at the gym, and I think I’m back to where I should be.

Yes! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!!

Yes! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!!

I’m still giving it another week before I run again, but in the meantime, I’ve been hitting the weights.  HARD.  Like post leg day penguin waddle hard.

leg day waddle

Yep. That’s me.

I even busted out my dinosaur of an indoor bike trainer and cranked out a few miles in my sauna of a garage, while watching the final stage of the Tour de France.  I like to be inspired by all the muscley legs and overpriced fancy wheels.  Unlike this bargain basement beast.

She may be ugly, but I love her.

She may be ugly, but I love her.

I’ve even busted out that byatch of a foam roller at PT Pam’s advice, and as always, ice is my constant companion.  Isn’t it amazing how much better a mindset you can have with just a little bit of reduction in pain?  Even if you’re scaring your mutt with words coming out of your yap that would make a sailor blush in the process?

Excuse me, WHAT did you just say???

Excuse me. WHAT did you just say???

The plan for the next few weeks is to keep working the beejesus out of my legs, get back on the road again, and start building up that mileage.  S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I’ve got 102 days until Wine and Dine so I can’t go TOO slowly, but I’m not going to risk injuring #brokeknee part II before I can get it fixed, hopefully a few days after Wine and Dine.  Maybe by then, I’ll have actually paid off #brokeknee part I.  A girl CAN dream after all….

debt

If I haven’t already bored you to tears with the snail’s pace of my post-surgery shenanigans, hang in there.  I promise to litter my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds with all kinds of silly, feather-brained, muddle-headed miles.  (I have no idea what muddle-headed even means, but it sounded good.)  And who knows?  Somewhere along the way, I may even find that running doesn’t have to hurt quite so much as it has in the past.  Not really sure what to make of that.  Hmmmm….

hmm

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever found that a little rest and NOT running actually HELPED your running?  How long before you felt truly comfortable back on the road again?  Have you ever cursed so much you made your critters blush?

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?

Oh Happy, Happy Day!

Who would’ve ever thunk running a mere mile and half could make me smile like this?

Whooo hooo!!

Whooo hooo!!

Wanna know the cause for all this silliness?  Huh?  Huh? Wanna? Wanna? Wannawannawannawannawanna?????

Okay.

If I must.

(Like I can keep it in any longer.)

boom

PT Pam gave a thumbs up to start adding about a half mile to my mileage every week for the next month – which conveniently will bring me right about to where I start officially training for Wine and Dine.  MY plan, which I kinda sorta maybe quite accidentally fell in to, has me pushing my pace at the shorter distances.  I figure if I can give a little donkey kick to the conditioning now – you know, in the UNGODLY SOUTH FLORIDA HEAT AND HUMIDITY – it’ll make things just a tad bit easier down the road.  HA!  Get it?  “Down the road”?  Gawd I crack myself up!

Wha? Huh? Wha's so funny?

Wha? Huh? Wha’s so funny?

I’ve been finding it takes me about a half mile to get everything loosey-goosey and past the initial “what the eff are you doing lady?” phase I think most of us go through at the start of a run.  It used to take me a bit longer to settle in, but I’m finding by doing more dynamic stretching pre-run – front, side, back kicks, hip circles, and twists – that I settle in a little faster.  So much so that about a half mile in, I can begin to kick up the pace a bit.  And the UH-MAZE-ING part?  I’ve been able to kick up the pace to one that……wait for it……I HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE (well, at least since high school anyway, many, many, MANY moons ago).  Now, keeping things in perspective, I can only maintain that pace for about a minute to a minute and a half, but to my previously slower-than-molasses bones, it’s a start.  A HUGE start.  And one that I’m hoping I can continue to build on.

“Let’s get that four-minute mile one up here, shall we.”
“Who are you kidding?!?”

It’s going to be tough to practice what I preach about building mileage slowly – especially with what my GPS has been telling me.  BUT, knowing how rough I felt at the end of the run will help keep me in check.  Can you say “holy hell I feel like a cow kicked me under my new and improved bionic knee cap”?  Thankfully after about an hour and a bit of ice therapy, everything was right as Moose Tracks again.  And that makes this Black Dog very, very happy.

This is my happy face.

This is my happy face.

This will be my 1.5 mile week and I hope that my knees – and times – continue to hold up as well as can be expected.  I’m also breaking up with PT Pam this week as I think we’ve pretty much gotten me to where I need to be, and also looking down the road to #KneeGate2015 Part II, I need to save some PT visits on my insurance.  I can honestly say that I cannot wait until early next year when hopefully all of this knee nonsense can finally become a thing of the past, and I can really start work on dropping those numbers on the clock.  And then……who knows?

WDW Marathon

Stranger things have happened.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever taken a break from running and upon returning, found your strength – and spirit – renewed?  Did it last or did the newness of it all fade quickly?  Were you impatient to do too much too soon, to see how your body would react?  How did it end up working out?

I’m SO Excited!!!!!

surpirsed-baby

YYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

That’s it.

Really.

Thought there was more coming, didn’t ya?

Nope.

HA HA HA, GOT YA!!!!!!

That ain't right Black Dog.

That ain’t right Black Dog.

Hee hee hee…..

For realz though, I AM awesomely excited for my return to the pavement.  I’m still currently limited to about a mile and quarter, but I’m okay with that.  For the moment.  PT Pam and I are breaking up – albeit temporarily – next week, but I shall continue to take it easy and ease myself back into the mileage.  As I still have that pesky other knee to keep happy, I still can’t go all stir crazy and go signing up for any marathons or anything, (no worries ladies, 2018 WDW is still a long way off).  In the meantime, I have to keep #KneeGate 2015 Part II happy until after Wine and Dine.  Then a quick bing-bang-boom and then BOTH knees should FINALLY be content to let me once again, beat the crap out of them.  This time though, training will involve alot more cross-training, therapy exercises, and a little less running.  Yep, two days a week this time around, plus I want to try and get a few runs of higher mileage – 15 to 17 miles – prior to Wine and Dine.  Let there be no mistake, Wine and Dine will be about nothing other than Team Can-Am Shenanigans, I just want to know that I can do the miles before I go under the happy juice again.

Oooooooooh, pwetty cowors.......

Oooooooooh, pwetty colors…….

So from here on out, it’s about slowly building mileage, cross-training, and not pushing it.  Well, not exactly pushing it.  Girlfriend just may have accidentally hit an 8:25 pace on her Independence Day run on Saturday, (never mind it was only for as long as it takes the signal to get to the satellite and back.  Still counts. So THERE.)

bbbbblllllhhhhhh

bbbbblllllhhhhhh

The next few weeks should be a good mix of sweat, pain, blood, and probably a few tears.  Just a typical training cycle right?  All good things.  All good things.

Olaf (1)

I like ice wraps!

Here’s my plan. With help from you dear faithful followers, I’m going to come up with a pretty conservative training plan that will start in two weeks, starting with a slow buildup of mileage and a little dab of speed work come September.  You know, just to see what the knees can handle.  I’d love it if you’d all throw out some suggestions as to how I should build this plan, including some weight work, therapy exercises, hopefully some spinning, and of course, moderate amounts of Moose Tracks and margaritas.

Did you really think I wouldn’t find some way to work those in there?  You know me so well…..

Hydration.  Black Dog style.

Hydration. Black Dog style.  With salt.  Of course.

Enjoy the ride.

Tell me a story.  You know, the one about the time you made a triumphant return to the pavement, kicked everyone’s dupa, and drank all the margaritas on the way to a PR.  Or, if the memory is a little fuzzy on the details, (damn tequila), then tell me the one about the talking snowman and the reindeer with an addiction to carrots.  I’m good either way. Thanks.