2017 sure has been a roller coaster for me. The highs and lows of injury…..Sigh!

First off, I think I’m going to have to accept that the posting frequency on this blog will have to be what it is for the time being. Every 10 days or so is about all I have time for. So thank you to my small circle of loyal readers who come back to read and don’t forget about me.

So here’s the funny, not funny story…

Last Monday I woke up with some general back/hip aching. I assumed it was because of how I slept combined with PMS. I always get low back pain around that time. I had also had a string of workouts including 2 bike rides the Friday and Sunday before.

Friday ride...high!

Friday ride…high!

Sunday ride with Mr. SOTSS-double high!

Sunday ride with Mr. SOTSS-double high!

The discomfort was mild and I just assumed it’d be gone by the next day. Later on in the evening I went to yoga. Had a great class, held crow for long time, managed a few wheels. Did some awesome hip opening pigeon pose stretches an left there feeling good. Next up was grocery shopping. I live in a 3 level townhouse and refuse to take multiple trips with my grocery bags up to the kitchen on the second floor so I grab them all and do the transport in one trip.

Random photo because I have no pics of yoga or the grocery bags.... I baked some brown butter cookie bars last weekend :)

Random photo because I have no pics of yoga or the grocery bags…. I baked some brown butter cookie bars last weekend :)

Tuesday morning I went to physical therapy for my last toe PT session with the same mild back/hip ache but still not thinking any big deal. My PT told me he thought I was ready for some more weight bearing exercises so he had me do some toe raises, lunges and press off from this machine that reminds me of a space shuttle. And then we did 3 sets of 10 jumps. Still, I felt fine. I actually was giddy at the progression to the final step before returning to running. I was instructed to do the lunges and jumps every other day and if after a week I still felt good I could start running again. Well, Wednesday morning I woke up feeling worse. My back was really hurting. Walking seemed to be the only thing that took the pressure/pain down so I went on my hike figuring the workout would keep the muscles warm and help me recover. Thursday I felt even worse and by the afternoon my back was full on in spasm mode. Tears started. Sleeping each night got worse and worse and by Friday morning I texted Mr. SOTSS with a desperate cry for help.

Well, one of us doesn't have any discomfort while trying to sleep

Well, one of us doesn’t have any discomfort while trying to sleep

I could barely walk down my stairs. He came over and took me to urgent care where I saw a wonderful doctor who helped a ton. He agreed it wasn’t one specific thing but the months of my lack of impact exercise and my compromised walking gait from the toe injury most definitely contributed. So maybe I overstretched in yoga or maybe those lunges or jumps in PT set me off but the weakness was brewing for some time. He prescribed 800mg of Ibuprofen along with a muscle relaxer to take for 10 days. He diagnosed me with back spasms with sacroiliac joint involvement. I spent the rest of Friday with the essentials, remote, coffee, heating pad, pb&j and meds…

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The spasms in my lower middle back have gone away but the sacroiliac hip pain is still there although after 5 full days of meds it’s definitely improving.

My back managed to hold it together barely going over the potholes in Brooklyn for a ride to Brooklyn Bridge Park on date night with Mr. SOTSS

My back managed to hold it together barely going over the potholes in Brooklyn for a ride to Brooklyn Bridge Park on date night with Mr. SOTSS

A tree really does grow in Brooklyn

A tree really does grow in Brooklyn

I went to what should have been my last PT appointment for my toe today and instead we jumped right into PT for my back. The usual, ultrasound, massage, electro-stim and some gentle stretches. If I’m feeling 100 percent by the weekend I’ll return to yoga on Saturday and then take it from there.IMG_2766

I can only laugh and hope that next year I’ll reminisce about that time I was just about to return to running when I got injured AGAIN!

I’m starting to realize that my desire to be active and “Sweat Out the Small Stuff” needs to sync up better to what my body is capable of. I’m almost 44 years old and all the years of running “stupidly” without cross training and strength training has caught up to me.

I’m optimistic about this back/hip thing not lasting so long. We’ll see. In the meantime at least the dogs are feeling just fine…

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“So long as your backache doesn’t interfere with my walks…”

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Have you ever had a second injury on the heels of recovering from the first?

Do you have a funny, not funny story to share?

Random question: What are your favorite crunchy snacks? I need some new options. Getting sick of baby carrots and potato chips. :)

I’m sure I’ve used “Thursday Things” before as a blog post title so I’ll give myself an F for creativity. I’m ok with that.

So the Subaru is now fixed! Turns out the computer needed to be “reflashed”….aka software update.

subaruIt freaks me out that a car relies on the computer to tell it what to do with everything. Oh, and I was so busy worrying about the car not running well that I didn’t realize that the inspection expired at the end of July. I just brought it in today so now I’m good for another year. Speaking of the Subaru….I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since I said goodbye to my Jeep and hello to my Subaru.

Duncan’s eye still isn’t healed. It’s better than it was a week ago but the cyst is still there. And we’re on the last day of the meds so I’ll be calling the vet to see what to do next.

This is our 7am

This is our 7am

And my workload is balancing out. Whew! I’ve got lots of work coming down the pike over the next few weeks but I think everything is doable.

And I’m back in action with my exercise. I was able to bike for 11.5 miles on Sunday.

Channeling my inner Kermit the Frog

Channeling my inner Kermit the Frog

I also hit a distance record in the pool yesterday….30 laps!

Happy to be able to benchmark little improvements in the exercise category

Happy to be able to benchmark little improvements in the exercise category

I have also been to yoga twice this week!

I even did a little yoga "pre-gaming" by foam rolling a bit first

I even did a little yoga “pre-gaming” by foam rolling a bit first

Today I’ll be taking a rest day. The arch of my good foot started to hurt a bit this week so I want to give it a chance to calm down. And my calves are feeling tight too. Maybe I overstretched on the ProStretch at PT?

physical-therapy

Speaking of physical therapy, this week they manipulated my entire foot to loosen up my fascia and it was so painful. She said i’d be sore for a few days and I have been. But hopefully I’ll feel the benefits in another day or two. I also was given a new exercise to do to strengthen my foot. Towel scrunch pickup.towel-scrunch-pickup-exercise

Every day I get pissy about the fact that my toe/foot is just not healing fast enough. But every day I manage to push through the pissy and find something to be happy about. I’m thrilled that I can now swim 30 laps in the pool and not feel as winded as I did when I first began this doggie paddle endeavor a few weeks ago. I even decided to be an adult and cook for myself this week. Say hello to my little boneless pork chops and sauteed spinachporkchops

So while I feel like the rest of the world is training for their fall races, I’m going to keep on keeping on with all that I can do and visualize myself healthy and running all the miles in 2018 :)

Got any Thursday Things to share?

So this week I “swam” twice! 30 minutes each session.IMG_1665

Tuesday I squeezed out 20 laps (25 yards per lap=500 yards) and yesterday was 22 laps in the same time (550 yards).IMG_1694

I put “swam” in quotes because I don’t officially know how to swim so I just do the doggie paddle mostly. Like the time I swam in the ocean for the Jersey Girl triathalon almost 3 years ago to the day. (August 3rd, 2014). I was thinking about that triathalon yesterday and how totally out of my comfort zone I was. I’m really proud of that accomplishment.

Me and Jane, the girl who convinced me to do the triathalon. :)

Me and Jane, the girl who convinced me to do the triathalon. :)

It might mean more to me than my 7 marathon finishes. But if I can doggie paddle my way into the Guinness World Records someday…..well that might be the biggest accomplishment yet! :)

I also got on the bike for 9-10 miles on Monday of this week as well and practiced yoga on Monday (right after my ride) and Wednesday and I’m headed there in a few minutes for my 3rd class this week.

Monday miles

Monday miles

hydrating like a champ it's been so hot

hydrating like a champ it’s been so hot

I’ve been on a roll with all this cross-training. I am feeling optimistic and I think I actually feel a small improvement in my toe. (I go for my 6th PT session on Tuesday)

Oh and I got a new audiobook this week. Alan Alda wrote a book called If I Understood You Would I Be Making This Face?: Relating to and Communicating with Others, from the Boardroom to the BedroomIMG_1690

I’m really enjoying it.

That’s all for now.

Any fun weekend plans?

Do you have a skill that could land you a spot in the Guinness World Records?

The setback

So the setback specifically is in regard to my toe (shocker!). I thought I was being smart with my return to running but apparently there was a delayed response in tendon overload. I ran fine at the Spring Lake 5 miler on May 27th. I didn’t run again until almost an entire week later for just 3.5 easy miles. Again, no issues. Two days later I ran another 5 miles and I think that was probably where the overload came in because the next day I felt a smidge more achy than usual and literally each day this past week it got progressively worse until I found myself limping by the end of the week. So sneaky that toe! Needless to say I’m back on running hiatus. But I learned something here and I’ll use this setback as a reminder that even if I feel good one day after a run or even two I need to wait it out a little longer.

The progress

While the toe has had a setback, I’m happy to report that I’ve been making progress in a few areas.

1. Yoga Poses: I am getting better at crow! And, last night I realized that about 15 minutes into class I could touch my fingers to the floor during forward fold which I don’t think I’ve been able to do before (hello tight hamstrings!). I had a really awful time this weekend when my toe hurt so bad I was struggling to walk and I was at the Jersey Shore with Mr. SOTSS and his daughter. I didn’t want his daughter to see me cry but I was in such pain. I really just wanted to curl up with Mr. SOTSS and cry my eyes out and have him comfort me but obviously it wasn’t appropriate at the time. And I didn’t want to ruin a fun night since she doesn’t get to see her dad that much.

A fake smile as I limped along the beach with Mr. SOTSS and his daughter and a full moon.

A fake smile as I limped along the beach with Mr. SOTSS and his daughter and a full moon.

So the progress in yoga was a well-needed lift to my spirits. It’s empowering to try new things, stick with them and then see small improvements and progress. (I wish I could say the same for biking but we all know I never found my groove there). And now this brings me to #2 but first watch my shaky crow:

 

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Enjoying the last of the sunset from the window of the yoga studio

2. Mental Strength: Ok so this one was a huge aha moment for me last night at yoga. I’m gonna get a little deep here so bare with me. We were laying in Shavasana at the end of yoga class tonight and listening to the song “Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons. I felt so calm, so happy, so clear. This really sounds silly but I truly felt like I found a new way to soothe myself. A small choice to give yoga a shot in the midst of my toe injury depression has turned into 6 weeks of attending 2x a week and leaving class each and every time feeling not just good but great! My toe feels much better in the few hours after class, my core is getting attention after being ignored for so long. But most importantly my heart and my mind are getting a workout during practice that have their own “afterburn” effect.

Yay me!

Yay me!

I know you’re thinking “Um what’s the big deal? People do this every day.” Before my husband died (like a few weeks before he died….probably in March of 1999) I remember crying to my close friend when I thought about the inevitable funeral. Who would comfort me that day, because frankly the only person I wanted to comfort me would be him, but if he were laying in a casket that wouldn’t be an option now would it?! (side note: I read the book Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg recently and loved it because I could totally relate to so many things she said). Well, I survived not only the funeral but 15 years of widowhood (dating on and off but pretty much on my own) before meeting Mr. SOTSS. I learned how to comfort myself and pick myself up after every setback. I didn’t have a choice. It became something I was so proud of. And of course meeting friends like Lisa and beginning my journey into the running world only helped my mental game. A coworker once nicknamed me “the rock” because he was so impressed with how I kept moving forward. But something happened when I met Mr. SOTSS. Not right away because I still had my protective shell….but over the years I’ve started to rely on him more and more to help me with my moments of depression or anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to have a significant other who loves me and wants to comfort me in times of sadness but the more I rely on him and not myself the more I’m losing what I worked so hard to gain. Not to mention it really puts too much pressure on him because emotional support is not necessarily his strong suit…..he’s a dude and dudes are from Mars not Venus right? :) (Hi honey! Love you! ;)) Life is best lived in balance and I think 2017 is the year I’m learning this just a bit more. I’m learning to diversify! LOL! …adding yoga and hiking to my exercise passions. Adding a standing desk so I can balance the time I spend sitting while working. And now I can focus more on getting my own self through the tough times again like I used to.

However I don’t think I’ll ever be able to balance the amount of Duncan pictures I take. He’ll always be my muse and my biggest addiction :)IMG_0589

Question 1: When you are overwhelmed, depressed or anxious do you tend to reach out to others to help you keep moving forward or do you like to find your own path?

Question 2: Have you been dealing with a recent setback or discovering progress in something in your life?