Friday, August 22, 2008

Long Slow Week

Not really much going on since the 5k last Sunday:

Monday - had some back issues so avoided the gym and running.

Tuesday - still having back issues, but walked about 3 miles before work.

Wednesday - worked out with Steve (my trainer) and focused A LOT on legs (still feeling it some, two days later!).

Thursday - had intentions on running. Was supposed to meet up with Steve, but his knee was acting up, so headed out alone to the park we run at but only one car was at the park and i just didn't have a good feeling -- had a minor incident running there before that had freaked me out a little but I hadn't been alone that time -- so anyhow, i turned the car around and headed to the gym and focused on stretching and then did lots of abs!, followed by more stretching and some walking.

Friday - feeling Wednesday's workout more than I did on Friday, and woke up with a head ache so opted out of running again plus had no one to run with so back to the gym for a repeat of my Thursday workout focusing on stretching and abs.

AND, since my back issues weren't as sever after the 5k I am really wanting to do another one next month, just have to find one now.... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I also go for my second spinal block on Monday morning, not looking forward to that again but am looking forward to seeing what the doc has to say and how the pictures compare from the first one (wish me luck).

Happy Friday to all and here's hoping for Awesome weekends for everyone!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Run, Jane, Run

Didn't really do much most of the week after having the spinal block on Monday. Wednesday, I had my morning session with Steve. Needless to say I was REALLY apprehensive to do much of anything, I was just really worried about my back. Steve took it easy with me and we went slow through the stretches and the workout and it felt great to get in a workout and work up a bit of a sweat!

On Friday (My Birthday), I had my 2nd weekly session with Steve. He had me do a ton of stretching and then informed me we were going out for a short run and that he'd cancelled his 6am appointment. So off we went to this nice little 1/2 mile course, it was a little cool and the sun hadn't come up yet. We walked the course once, did some stretching and then off we went... I took it really easy and kept going over my checklist in my head: back, feels good; feet, feel good; shins, feel good ; back, still feels good; overall legs, feel strong; breathing, a little heavy need to calm down; back, still feels great. I must have repeated this checklist 20 times during the 1/2 mile run. Steve knew I was tense and nervous about running so every now and then he'd ask how i felt and then remind me to checkout the sunrise over Lake Erie. Before I knew it we were done with the 1/2 mile run and we walked the course once more. I was thrilled, everything felt great and I had done it! Yes, it's just a half mile...but it was MY half mile and I wasn't in pain, and my back felt fine! What a GREAT way to start my birthday off! Saw my chiro and told him about my little jaunt and he thought that was great and told me to just play it by ear on Sunday. Was supposed to call my pain mgmt doc to give him an update of how I felt and see if he gave me the go ahead to run on Sunday, thought about it at 8:30am (office not open yet) and then remembered again at 4:45pm (oops, a little to late).

Saturday involved lots of recovery from my birthday celebration on Friday night. As I laid in bed I thought about how a nice little run would feel great and would be a good way to get the blood flowing, but as I rolled over I felt it, my back had tightened up. Obviously not going for a run so I took it easy for the day and eventually my back felt better but there were moments throughout the day that there was the slightest twinge of something.

This morning was the day I've been waiting for, the Run, Jane, Run 5k/10k down at Edgewater Park to benefit Women's Center of Greater Cleveland. Rolled out of bed around 6:30am to try and be ready by the time my Mom showed up at 7:00am. Headed to Edgewater around 7:30am and still wasn't sure what I was going to do. Finally by 8:15am I decided I was going to run (ok, guess I really knew all along that I was going to run...not sure why I put myself through the agony of even toying with the idea of just walking the course). I ran the first mile in 10:03 and that took me to the base of the hill (obviously not a great time, but actually about my normal speed). Decided to try running as much of hill as possible since it was after the hill last time that my back gave out. I made it not quite half way, but I did turn it on strong at the base and passed about 6 folks along the way...suppose if I'd just maintained a steady pace I might have made it up the whole thing. Once to the top I ran until the water station, walked through that and walked while sipping my water before dumping the rest of it around my neck and down my back. Felt great and kept a good speed going down the hill until a side stitch kicked in and I found myself walking yet again, about this time my back knotted up a little so I stepped off to the side and stretched out for a few minutes and was given some great motivational "almost there's" by a few of the other runners so decided to get back to it! Stopped two more times to walk (argh) and then decided to just push myself through to the end since it wasn't my back causing me to stop, just overall fatigue from not having been out running for a couple of weeks. Teamed up with another gal who'd been walking some also and we both agreed we weren't fond of the finishing part that was in the grass. Asked her if she had any kick left in her, she said yes and off we went but she then decided she didn't have the sprint in her and finished off jogging in. Two other girls who were running must of heard my heavy breathing as I was sprinting and they moved off to the side a little (thanks girls!) and I sprinted my way through the gate...that felt great too! The first place 10k guy had just finished before me and was there to say thanks for all my cheering out on the course (yeah considering I saw the guy three different times during the course - LOL), he congratulated me on a strong finish which I found funny, but appreciated it all the same! Not certain of my final time I think it was around 35 or 36 minutes. My back is a little sore, but am resting it up and going to hit it with some ice. But I did it! I finished! And more importantly I remember how much I love the atmosphere of running a race -- even if I am not at the front of the pack or even the middle of the pack, I am still competing and I am still out there giving it my ALL; and there is no greater feeling than that!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Here's the latest...

Sunday the 3rd. With finally hitting 3 miles again, somewhat comfortably even though there was still some walking I decided to take my run outside to get used to the pavement and temperatures again. So I headed down to Edgewater Park for a nice 3 mile run to see how it'd feel to not only be outside but to attempt that awful hill that I've been seeing in my sleep. I figured I'd hit this run on Sunday the 3rd, Thursday the 7th, Sunday 10th, Thursday the 14th and then be ready for the 5k there on Sunday the 17th -- pretty good plan, right? HA. So I ran the race route and even managed to make it halfway up the hill, then finished the hill walking. Once at the top I resumed running but felt a twang in my back. Now with most of my back issues I've been able to keep up the running and then the back issues just sort of work themselves out. Not this time though, I ran about 3 minutes before I had to stop and walk and stretch out my back some. Things felt a little better so I resumed the run again but suddenly found myself alternating running and walking for about three minutes each. I finished the 5k course in under 38 minutes -- which considering my goal is to finish in under 40 wasn't so terrible after all even with all the walking. Little did I know that this slight bit of running joy would be my last for a while... As I headed home I noticed my back twang had turned into more of back spasms and by the time I got home I was unable to move my left leg to get it out of the car --- hmmm, well this can't be good can it? --- so between deep relaxing breathes and what was becoming a slow steady stream of tears I sat in my car for close to 20 minutes before I was able to get out. So into the house I went and got myself to the sofa where I pretty much stayed unable to move for close to 2 hours. Slowly the spasms calmed and I was able to crawl my way upstairs and gingerly get into a HOT shower and then onto my bed for about another half hour. Then once I started moving things felt a little better.

Monday the 4th, was grueling and between my back pains and a funeral to attend (Aunt Adele you were always the sweetest, you will be missed), I decided to not venture into work and sleep and rest and watch movies as much as possible. Went to the chiro and he took x-rays and suggested I visit a pain management specialist who specializes in spinal issues.

Tuesday the 5th, was a little less painful, actually it felt as though someone had spent a few hours kicking me in my back non-stop, I ventured into usual 7 minute walk from my parking lot to the office took me almost 20 minutes! After much self-debate and encouragement from G, I called and made an appointment with the pain mgmt doc for Friday. Cancelled my personal training session for Wednesday morning.

Wednesday the 6th, was weird, after a difficult nights sleep due to my back I woke up feeling great and almost wishing I hadn't cancelled my session but figured a day's rest might be good. Went into see the chiro and get results from the x-rays. He suggested I keep my appointment for Friday and to be prepared to be told I wouldn't be able to run my 5k -- but really, my back was feeling great...ok, yes I know what makes sense but most of what I do in life doesn't make sense.

Thursday the 7th, even less back pain then Wednesday and hit the gym for a training session. We took it easy so as to not irritate or do much rotation with the spine. Then Steve and I headed out for iced coffees and a trip to a little park with a pier to watch some of the sunrise and to just talk about life... In spite of the pains and such it was a beautiful way to start a morning -- I am working on keeping positive, but let me tell you something about stopping your day and your life for a moment to watch the sun rise is an AWESOME reminder of how great it is to be alive!

Friday the 8th, made it to my doc appointment and was told that an MRI wouldn't be scheduled for right away and that a spinal block should be able to help point him in the direction of where my treatment needs to take me. So, I scheduled the spinal block for Monday the 11th.

A spinal block...I have never had this done before but let me tell you the thoughts of needles in my spine, just couldn't imagine it being much of a good time.

Saturday the 9th, another easy workout at the gym with Steve. Then off to spend the day with my Mom we hit a farmer's market and then Trader Joe's and lunch at Herb's in Rocky River then back to my house to catch some Olympics updates. Was a very nice day.

Sunday the 10th, knowing my spinal block was only a day away and the fact that my back wasn't really bothering me I so wanted to go for a run...but alas, maybe my better judgement or the haunting words from friends drifting in and out of my every thought kept me from running. Headed off to spend another day with my Mom and we headed out to Valley City for their annual Frog Jumping Event and then onto Medina for a craft even they had going on in the square and followed that up with a very nice lunch at Miss Molly's Tea Room.

Monday the 11th. Spinal Block day. For those of you who have not had the "pleasure" of going through this experience and wonder if it hurts. Yes. Yes it hurts. Ok, well actually the first two injections were just that, they felt like getting a shot with a long needle. Then came the third injection -- ouuuuuuuch. Ok, we were done with the right side, not so bad (but mind you the majority of my pain IS NOT on the right side). Onto the left side. First needle, think I may have actually yelped a little...and the conversation went something like this: the doc, "did that hurt?... me, "um, Yeah I Felt IT"...doc, "You know why that hurt?"... me, "Yes, because you just stuck a needle in my spine!"... doc, "That is where your problem is"... me quietly to myself, "NO SHIT". Second shot, not so bad. Third shot, I felt my reflexes kick into my left leg and think my entire body jolted up off the table: the doc, "did that hurt?", "YES, THAT HURT". The doc's preliminary diagnosis, "arthritis and no running... me, "oh, ok I can't run the 5k on Sunday, ok well I can just walk it then"... the doc, "no more running".... me, "WHAT?, you mean never? But (long pause) what???"... the doc, "why do you want to run, it bad for knees", "because I like to, it makes me feel better"... at this point both the tech and the doc stop what they are doing and just stared at, "ok, well other than this current back thing it makes me feel better". At this point the doc sent me out of the room into a recovery room and I just sat there completely dazed. After a few moments he came over and asked me about running and I told him I need to run, I may not be fast or run for long but I need to run. After some hesitation on his part he told me to call him Friday and let him know how I am doing and he'll decide if I can give it a try on Sunday, but if not he will come up with a plan for me to run....eventually.

I go back in two weeks on the 25th for my 2nd set of shots and then depending on how things go, possibly a 3rd set two weeks after that.

There is so much going through my mind right now...damn a run would feel great about now, just help sort some of it that somewhat ironic or what...anyhow all I can say is --- Ugh... and try to remain positive.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Trying My Hardest to Staying Positive and Motivated

It's August 1st. I mean it is August. Already?! What happened to my summer, how is it that August is here already? Wasn't it just May or June...and July how did thirty-one days get past me so quickly? Does time really go by quicker as we get older? And speaking of older, my birthday is in just two-weeks! I've had a rough time with my birthdays the last couple (2, 3, 6, 10) years but, as of today, I'm not totally freaking out about it...

So I have been working on this whole "The Secret" concept and trying to clear my thinking and focusing on happy thoughts. I've always described myself as a optimistic pessimist (lol), so the whole happy thought concept is really a lot for me to embrace and I may be reading the book for the second time in less than two weeks but I am trying really really hard to make this change in my life. I actually think this is the first time in my 40 years that I've actually embraced making a change like this. I have had a few ups and downs in the last couple of weeks, but it really is amazing how I can relate it all back to what I was focusing on.

On the running/workout front I have also had some ups and downs, but focusing on the happy thoughts I will only report on the Had my measurements taken on July 26th, which marks 2 months with my trainer Steve. My numbers all decreased (yeah), the pounds not quite as much as I had really hoped (actually the weight didn't go down hardly anything - 4 lbs) but I lost inches and I can notice it in my clothes and that is what I am going to focus on! My body fat is also down by another 4.75%, which is huge for me. I also got in 3 miles on Monday and Tuesday of this week (July 28th and 29th), which is Awesome, especially since my 5k is just over 2 weeks away (August 17th - yikes). Had a sore knee after my training session on Wednesday so skipped any workout on Thursday and then slept in on Friday morning and didn't make it to the gym again. BUT, tomorrow I am back on my game, I am not going to beat myself up over missing, I will just have to work my ass-off to make up for the couple of missed days. I am going to start running outside for a couple of days next week to get used to it again in preparation for the 17th.

Chiropractor update - still in love! Go see a chiropractor, it is awesome!! Am actually done with my sessions but asked the doc if we could schedule a few more appts to just check on stuff after I start running on pavement next week. My back feels GREAT.

Other miscellaneous stuff -- still working on letting go and in-line with the positive thinking and happy thoughts concept, I am working on just enjoying life and the people that have come into it and those that have come back into it as well. Still trying to figure out about second-chances....that one gets confusing to me still. Is it possible that Love lasts forever?