Recalibrate…or else

I’m broken. Not broke, although that’s pretty much always the case. But I really DO mean broken. As in, I can’t run. Worse yet, I can’t walk. Well, I can walk, with crutches but not very well first thing in the morning. I see stars first thing in the morning when I get up to walk and I’m not in the film biz anymore.

I ran a bunch in January, and then again in February. In fact, February ended with two days of trail running that were awesome (Sat was better than Sun only because we took a wrong turn and didn’t end up on the trail we wanted).  

Sat, Sat, Sun and bottom from Sunday, too
 

Seriously, some of the happiest running of the year so far!

And then…. disaster struck. Since I can’t really pinpoint exactly when it happened, it has to be one of the following that has ruined my life (yes, I’m being dramatic, I’m broken, damnit!):

  • Watched the Academy Awards (worst ever)
  • Sunday was burpee challenge day 59, so I got them done
  • Monday clipped my toenails
  • Laundry into the wash
  • Worked from home on the computer
  • Fed the dog
  • Fed the cat

Nothing on that list was even remotely out of the ordinary other than the annual Academy Awards, therefore that is what’s going to take the blame. By Monday night, I was hobbling around and no amount of Child’s Pose or foam rolling was getting the kink out of my lower back.

Tuesday, the laundry basket turned into my walker and was my only avenue to the bathroom. That’s as far as I got. I didn’t have COFFEE until Thursday! On that glorious day, my amazing guy of 15 years made me coffee for the very first time. Best coffee ever, too. 

Clearly, things are messed up. I talked to my favorite chiropractor Thursday am as she was in the security line at the airport and she confirmed via phone that everything I was describing was indeed the apocalypse and it was time to call the kids and say goodbye. Or maybe a massage would help, but that it sounded like a disc injury and I needed to be cautious. 

I sent an emergency text to Trevor, the greatest masseuse ever, but he couldn’t get me in until Monday. Well shit. Patience.

First ever DNS
Red was coming home from school so we could snag new PR’s at the Hot Chocolate 15k on Sunday. We had a slumber party with Trish who ran as well and that was fun. You know, like sticking a fork in your eye when everyone else gets to go run in the cold pouring rain and you have to stay in a warm cozy bed for an extra 45 mins. Yeah, isn’t wasn’t really too bad. Whoops. And then the tracking texts came in and I realized they really WERE going to PR and I needed to get moving if I was going to see them! (I barely snagged photos as Red & Trish went whizzing by – I got the the curb, pulled out my phone, opened the camera app, looked up and there was Red. One chance for a photo. Trish was right behind her. Phew!)

She’s flyin’!
  
Love running with these 3, even though I only got to watch this time.

Red got a 10 min course PR! I got a sweatshirt, because I paid for it. 

And, I got to see my Pip Running teammates which was awesome. 

My Running Framily during the only 5 mins without rain!
Wahoo – massage the next day! And BAM, BOOM, Urgent Care.

I have had 3 kids via c-section, and the middle one was touch and go with some major complications, yet I have n e v e r experienced pain like I did Monday morning. My guy called an audible, I canceled the massage, and almost 2 hours later we made it to Urgent Care.

The ASSHAT-MFer “doctor” that saw me didn’t even have me take off the back brace holding me together when he diagnosed me with “Routine Chronic Back Pain”. He made inappropriate comments about menopause (“Men on Pause”), and used Mob Families to explain the different drug strengths (I probably saw The Godfather once, maybe). Yeah…right. I’m an athlete, I may sit at a desk during the day, but I am active almost every evening and some mornings. He saw “50, desk job, 20lbs extra weight” and made assumptions.  

By Wednesday, I got back to work because quite frankly, I needed to get out of the house before I lost my mind. Moving helps, even though transitions from down to upright are rough.

And finally, yesterday I got into PT for my first assessment appointment. He’d like me to get an MRI. The injury is pinching a nerve which affects the left hip all the way down to the ankle. Our medical insurance starts April 1, due to some paperwork not being completed on time (at work – do not get me started), a month late. Literally. Will have to think long and hard on that expense. I could buy a LOT of Maker’s Mark with that and possibly not care about the pain (though all joking aside, it would take a lot more than a cocktail or two). 

 

I have been drinking Nuun everyday, so I cal feel like I’m still a runner, and to keep the muscle spasms to a minimum. 

Dreams of a PR at Horse Butte 10 Miler have been crushed, though I think my brother is (not so) secretly relieved that he’s off the hook since his training hasn’t gone well (he’s run 3x, dork). So thankful that Dave from Superfit Productions that puts on that awesome event will let me defer. I LOVE running in Bend even though the altitude kicks my ass. 

Horse Butte 10 Miler course 2015
So here goes a new training season. Training myself to be patient.  Training my back to get its shit together and do its job. Training myself not to eat like I’m running 75-80 miles a month. 

Because clearly, I’m not running. 

Green = Run Day
Ever been sidelined from anything due to injury? My back was acting up last summer, but running didn’t hurt. New shoes made a world of difference.

Ever taken someone else’s pain meds? Thankfully we had some Vicodin just hanging out…it was awesome. It might be awesome again. 

Ever had nerve pain? Ya know that phrase “you’re getting on my last nerve”? Yeah, I can’t even begin to describe the pain associated with this nerve thing. Not a fan. It’s beyond anything I could have dreamt up.

Cheers,

h

 

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Happy Trails to you 

Happy trails to you and me. That’s pretty much how they make me feel, even when they are technical, steep, covered in snow, wide and smooth, muddy, dry, tree-lined or with beautiful mountain views. Trails are my happy place.

January 1st I did my first 5k with a Polar Bear Plunge (into Lake Washington – which was warmer than the mid-30° air temps that day) and it was a lot of fun! Not sure I HAVE to do it again, but I would if friends were doing it. The race was in Magnuson Park. I have to say, the ONLY reason I did it was for the plunge. I’m pretty tired of the route there since it’s almost always the same. This time was slightly different, but not enough to make me want to go back anytime soon.  

 

A sunny 34° to start the year!
  
Out of the water – repping FitFam!
 
(I also ran the Yukon Do It Half the end of December with a last minute bib acquisition. It snowed most of the second half and was great but we were sooooo cold because it was thick, wet snow.)

The next day I fretted. My amazing massage guy Trevor (Traveling Hands in Issaquah) got me to say yes to trying the (unofficial, group of people running the same trail, the same day, same direction) Fat Ass 25k on Tiger Mtn on Jan 2nd, oh, 6ish months ago. I figured I was safe and that he’d forget all about it. He didn’t, and a couple weeks beforehand sent me the info on where/when to meet. He is a REAL trail runner. He recently finished the Cascade Crest Classic 100 MILE race. Yeah, no decimal point. 100 miles. I laid stuff out the night before and then slept like crap. I woke up several times thinking Search and Rescue was trying to find me. I’ve run at Tiger Mtn before. There are lots of trails and some of them are obviously marked, others… Well, I was worried (and I did buy the topo map from REI a few days earlier, just in case!). I woke up, thought it over and sent him a quick msg that I was a chicken and to have fun. No big deal. Until he responded back: 

 
The next messages were all about what I needed to bring (seriously, snow, pshaw…can’t be much, whatever), etc and I got my ass moving and out the door. Poor guy, we were runners 89 & 90 (I think) to check in (you put down your name, time, how far you’re going – some did 2 loops, then check back in with your time when you are done. No one is left behind. Awesome!). Did I mention he finished in the top 10 for the Mt Si 50k last year? Okay. I can do this, he’ll make sure I get headed on the right trail.

Well, he either took pity on me or really is just that great of a guy, and he stuck with me the ENTIRE time. 5-1/2 hrs. 3,759′ elevation gain, more than half the time we were in over a foot of snow.  

  

Charity Miles included my picture in a recent collage!
  
More uphill, in the snow, 25°
  
Finally to the top!
  
Looking West toward the Olympic Mtns from the top of W Tiger #3
 
From here (around 11 miles), it’s finally mostly downhill. Sounds great, I’m ready! We went about .25mi and there was a guy bundled up, battery operated Christmas lights strewn about, playing “Dashing Through The Snow” on a ukulele! BEST ENTERTAINMENT EVER! We stopped and chatted then he dove into “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as we left. So much fun. Until the ice.

Snow is awesome, love it. I grew up at the beach so I’m still like a little kid and love snow. Ice. Well, I prefer that in a glass with whiskey. I did not have YakTraks or MICROspikes, but I did have my very cushy Altra Olympus Trail Shoes…. which have zero traction on ice. I fell three times. One of those times I was thankful I had my hydration pack on because it was just enough to keep my head from hitting the ground. Another time I came down on my elbow, which is still a little wonky a month later. I have YakTraks now (my coach grabbed me a Costco pair – thanks)! Once we were off the ice, it was smooth sailing. I have to say I was tired, but after miles and miles of hills and snow, I felt pretty happy that I was running the last 1.5miles at a decent pace. 

Trevor kept me going. He talked when I couldn’t catch my breath climbing those hills. He entertained, he gave pointers on form and techniques for handling the terrain. He led or stayed back, depending on what he thought I needed. We stopped and chatted with other runners (our moving time was actually 5:17) along the way. He made sure I saw the subtle trail markers so if we DID end up separated, I’d be okay. I was. In fact, better than okay. It was AMAZING!  

 
This weekend I have trail run on the schedule for both days. Our running group buddy, Katey, is coming up from sunny & warm AZ to run so today we will go try out a new to us trail for fun and tomorrow our training group heads to Carnation for trails for a long run.

I’m working hard on hills for the next couple of months. Red (my daughter) & I are running the Hot Chocolate 15k for the third year (with a bunch of Pip Runners) and my brother and I (and hopefully my SIL) are gearing up for the Horse Butte 10 Miler again! SUPER excited for a few days with family in Bend and a beautiful race location.

What’s up next for you? Frost Eagle 5 mile next weekend.

Trails or road? Trails, at least until the bees reappear.

Snowy mountains or sandy beaches? I cannot choose between, both make my heart smile!

Cheers – h