Wednesday, April 30, 2008

walkin' to the beat

In the past, when I've been recovering from an injury - I've followed the instructions in my favorite book (Complete Guide to Running for Women) and have done a structured run/walk program. I've gotten back into running shape by running specific amounts of time and walking specific amounts of time. It was always on the treadmill.

This time I'm doing something different. I'm kind of not interested in structure. I certainly don't want to be on a treadmill if I can be outside in the park on a beautiful evening. So, this time, I walk to the light at the end of my street, stretch while waiting for the light to change, and then start my run as I cross the street into the park. I run for the legnth of a song, then walk for the legnth of a song, then run for a song, then walk etc. Its amazing how quickly a run goes by this way. Park of me is tempted to keep doing this even once my leg stops bothering me. My runs never hurt, and I'm still running each mile in about 13-14 minutes.

Maybe its the weather, maybe its the month of no running, and maybe its actually just that I'm in the mood for some non-stress running right now. I know I'm not training for anything - partially cause the heat kills me and partially cause I need to properly heal before I training again. It could be that I'm just running for the joy of running again.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back on track

Last week I ran Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I did the whole run/walk thing. I felt great on Monday and Wednesday, but Friday, well - not so much. I still have pain in my right leg tonight. So, more rest is in order, I guess.

As instructed, I iced my legs after every one of the runs. I streched after a walking warmup. I didn't push myself (all three runs less than four miles each). I've taken my aleve about an hour before running - not much else to do.

Still, I think I'll be able to run again tomorrow (if I don't have any pain). Also, I'm actually paying attention to the eating again - the biggest change being eating less often in the building cafeteria and drinking less alcohol. I don't want to gain more - and I really don't want to buy new clothes.

I'll get back in the swing of things. Give me a couple weeks.

Friday, April 25, 2008

when the future's

I've been on a airline ticket purchasing binge the past two days - spent close to $1500 that I don't have for fun trips in the future (and dang it its gonna be worth it). After months of deliberation and slight sadness over the fact that I have no friends who have the money or time to take two weeks off in August to travel around Europe with me, I finally took the plunge.


I bought round trip tickets to Venice (cheapest tickets I could find - save enough to pay for a train pass). Now I get to spend the next few months planning my trip. Do I want to go to Capri or the Amalfi coast? How much time do I want to spend in Rome or Florence? And most importantly, where should I eat? I'm excited and nervous - its a trip I've always wanted to take. Still, I'd love company. If you have some free time at the end of August/beginning of September (and I know you) and you want to bum around Italy for a couple weeks, let me know. Otherwise, I'm going to have this adventure all by myself, and I'm okay with that too.

The other ticket was slightly less exciting but still very fun.


Seriously - yay weddings and seeing college friends and eating snow-to-go and seeing historic sites and driving down the colonial parkway and sitting by the beach/James river and going to the cheese shop and everything.

Who needs to worry about work when you have vacations to look forward to.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And my doubts just got bigger

Last night, I learned that one of my 2 good friends in Chicago is probably moving. Again, I felt my stomach drop, and I suddenly wondered, "what have I done?" I not normally one for regrets, but this doesn't seem like my normal situation to me. Have I made a big mistake?

Friday, April 18, 2008


So, I woke up at about 4:30 this morning to a vibrating bed. I quickly realized it wasn't just the bed that was vibrating - the whole building was shaking and rattling. It really freaked me out.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

the wait is over

And the winner is...Shin Splints (or tibial periostitis if you are medically inclined).

Mere minutes after writing that last post, my doctor called. The good news is its not a stress fracture and whatever the heck is wrong with my connective tissue is not in danger of "rupture," whatever that means. The bad news is, its actually in both legs...yippy! And apparently, the right leg is just worse. So - the treatment is: warm up with walking before running, stretch, go back to running slowly using a walk/run pattern, ice after every run (whether my legs hurt or not), and take naproxin (as I can't take Celebrex - yeah Sulfa drug allergy). Also, the doc recommended that I bike or swim instead of running for a while - till the inflammation goes down a bit more. We'll see about that one. I mean, its been 3 weeks of no running at this point, and its slowly sucking my will.

still waiting

so, yeah...Still waiting on the test results. GRRRRR!

The good news is that the bone scan tech said she didn't see anything extraordinary.

Waiting sucks...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I saw the doctor today. Now, I know exactly the same as much as I guessed when I went in. I either have shin splints or a stress fracture. The good news is I don't have any weird anatomical defect that is causing the problem: my hips and ankles are normal;, my knees are normal; my feet are normal (well, the left one is super flat, but since that's not the bad leg, we are ignoring it - plus I already knew that). I also learned that I was correctly treating myself - and that my decision not to run until diagnosed was a good one. I also learned that since I'm allergic to sulfa drugs, celebrex (a NSAID that has some sulphuric something or other) is not for me.

You can't normally see a stress fracture from x-rays so on Friday I get the pleasure of returning to the hospital for a bone scan. Its not exactly the quickest process (inject dye a couple hours before the actual scan). I have to be at the hospital at 10:30, get my injection at 11, get the bone scan at 1. The hospital is about 45 minutes from my work, so I'm guessing no work for me.

So, no running at least till I get the results of the bone scan. I guess its a good thing I got that gym membership.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I'm a spaz

Yesterday I blogged about my hike. I left out the funniest part.

I locked myself in a bathroom.

That's right, I locked myself in a state park bathroom. I went in, turned the deadbolt, and went about my business. After I washed my hands, I went to unlock the deadbolt. It turned, sort of, but not enough. The door wouldn't open. I became more aware of the bugs and the heat and the fact that there weren't any windows that I could reach. I began to panic. I turned off my ipod, pulled out my bottle of water, put my hair in a ponytail, and reminded myself, that I would be alright. I had a bottle of water (not to mention a sink and flushing toilet); I had entertainment in the form of both a book and my ipod; I had my cell phone. I continued to futz with the lock and the door, and pulled out the cell phone and dialed the only "adult" I knew would know where I was and could help me out - my roommate's mom. She was surprised by my predicament, offered to drive out to see if she could help me (I was about 25 minutes away from her), and then gladly got out her phone book to look up the state park's office to call them to let me out. I continued to twist and bang on the door, hoping it would yield. She had just dialed that parks office, when the deadbolt gave just a little bit more and suddenly I was free. I didn't need the park rangers to come rescue me, I had managed to free myself from a rusty old bathroom deadbolt. Lesson learned: be careful of the locks you lock behind yourself.

Second spaz attack: I fell down the stairs outside my apartment. I was attempting to walk down the stairs in brand new flip flops and talk on the phone at the same time. Clearly, I am not adequately skilled for this endeavor - and suddenly I found myself lying on the ground saying "Fuck!" I'm bruised on my lower back and just above my right elbow (I KNOW). The elbow is the bad one, but at least when I stood up I knew I was fine cause I thought to myself, well that doesn't feel like a break. Lesson learned: new flip flops are slippery.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

wet feet and bruised butt

This weekend was the perfect spring weekend. The sun was shining, the trees were in bloom, and the temperature was in the mid sixties. Perfect. Its the kind of weather that almost makes up for the months of rain we've been having around here. It was the kind of weather that forces you to just go outside and play. And play I did.

Yesterday, for the first time since the accident, I got on my bike. Like me, the bike was not fully recovered, but it doesn't seem that much worse for the wear. After putting the chain back on and fighting with a bike rack, three of us headed out. I wanted to start nice and easy, and around here, easy means the Katy trail. We rode out to Creve Coeur Park, biked across the Missouri (even though the flooding hasn't been on the Missouri yet, parts of the flood plain were definitely getting hit). We then rambled along till we got to downtown St.Charles, where they happened to be having a highland festival or something (well, my friends "rambled," I more accurately, pedaled as hard as I could to keep up - I'm sooo out of biking shape!). Imagine three girls weaving their bikes through throngs of people, some of whom were fully decked out in their ren. faire gear! We ended up stopping and listening to a bit of the "concert" and grabbing a beer. Somehow I managed to get beer in my helmet - don't ask - before we headed back to the car. 20 miles and fighting back my fear.

Since I'm off running at least till Wednesday when I see the doctor,I decided to go hiking today. I drove out to Castlewood state park, south and west of here - on the Meramec. Now, I hadn't been out to the Meramec since the flooding,and its still pretty bad out there. About half the park is closed (including parts of the prettiest trail). It was odd to see the trees submerged up to their midpoints. I parked by one path, and then had to cross a creek (normally a dry creek bed, but not right now). I hate wet shoes, but it was worth it. Going up high into the river bluffs - staring at the valley below me. Catching sight of the boys bouldering on the side of the cliff (which they were NOT supposed to be doing). Stepping off the path so bikers could get by on the singletrack (its a multi-use path). Being amazed at the trail runners pumping up a very steep hill. My running shoes don't look so new, they look like they've had some fun.

One thing can ruin a perfect spot like that - smoking. I just don't get it. Why would you climb a river bluff so you could smoke your foul smelling cigarettes and drink a 40. How is that a good idea. The beer is fine, but the cigarette...ICK!

Friday, April 04, 2008

40 years later

I'd never read the entirety this before, but I think its worth reading, especially today.

I See the Promised Land

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I actually sucked it up and joined a gym so that I could start this swimming nonsense. I'm not much of a swimmer. The last time I spent any serious time in a pool swimming was on swim team in 7th grade (now that I think about it, I looked pretty good by the end of that summer). What I've done in the pool since then can more accurately be described as "floating." Most of my pool time has involved a large inflatable raft with cup holders and lots of spf 15. It has not involved things like goggles and swim caps and lane dividers. It hasn't involved kick boards or paddles.

I'm very unused to exercising without the distraction of my ipod. I think that's the thing that is taking me longest to get used to with swimming. There's nothing but me and my thoughts and the slight ache in my shoulders (doubling up with swimming and rock climbing should give me pretty nice arms for sleeveless shirts come summer). Most of my thoughts involve this line of thinking: "stroke stroke stroke breathe stroke stroke stroke breathe..." Sometimes they involve, "wait what's that dude doing in the bleachers..." or "man, water aerobics is funny to watch..." or "I really hope that guy's speedo doesn't fall off..." So, yeah, very productive thinking time.

On a different note, must learn to do a flip turn without getting water up my nose.