Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Tag: injuries Page 1 of 2

Selfishly ignoring an unfortunate series of events.

Holy crap, six days people.  This time Sunday, I’ll be racing.  It’s getting real.


We’re going to have to talk about this sub-50 degree bike riding thing.  I may need a bike parka and facemask.  Or to HTFU a little…

First of all, let’s address the unfortunate series of events this weekend.  Zliten + Benadryl + something slippery on the bathroom floor = a fall that definitely injured and maybe hairline fractured a rib.  We have to go with that diagnosis since the doctor at the emergency care clinic yesterday (and the radiologist today) didn’t actually see a crack anywhere on the x-ray, but that doesn’t make it any less painful.  He’s still not completely writing off starting the race, he’ll try just a little run/bike/swim later in the week and see if he can tolerate it, and if so, he’ll start.  But, it’s definitely not the start to race week that we were hoping for.

At this point, I need to get a bit selfish.  Obviously I’m going to take care of Zliten, but I need to get my mind out of the place where I’m moping for him.  He was feeling super fit and was looking primed to have a great race, now he’s playing the DNS/DNF/or just finish game.  I need to remember that *I* did not crack my ribs, I am (so far) just fine.  By the middle of this week, I need my head on straight and psyching myself up to rock this race.

Last week’s training went fairly well.  I hit a little under 6 hours due to a flat on the bike – I planned for just enough time to hit my workout, not to spend 15 minutes changing a tire.  The good news is that I got practice changing my tire, and if the law of averages works out, having one 8 days out means I won’t flat at the race.  Hopefully.  It did shake me up a little, because I am very clumsy with that sort of thing, but I think I may be able to manage it even if SAG doesn’t come help me.

Besides feeling nervous about my new bike, flat tires, and the rough parts of the Austin 70.3 course, I feel pretty calm and powerful about everything else.  I surprised myself with a pretty great race pace OWS last week.  My run fitness seems to be on point.  Overall, I feel pretty fit, sturdy, and rested.  My head is on straight, I think (minus the Zliten rib thing)

Last week:

  • 2250m wetsuit OWS at race pace.
  • Endurance Cycle – lots of little hills (75 mins)
  • 1200m swim with faster bits and BSS recovery ride
  • 5 mile run w/3 at race pace
  • 1 hour 27 minute TT ride with pickups + 5 mile run with pickups 4 mile race pace run


Riding bikes at night all lit up and blinky with the BSS crew.

This week:

The days may be a little out of order but here’s what I’d like to do this week to keep my legs snappy.  The bolded ones are important, the others are totally optional if I’m feeling fidgety.

  • 2250m wetsuit OWS at race pace, if this is later in the week, maybe closer to 1500m race pace.  Hopefully tomorrow though…
  • Little brick – 20 mins on the TT on the trainer, 2 mile race pace run.  This is probably perfect for Zliten to decide whether he can race, so we’ll save this one for Wed/Thurs.
  • 3 mile shakeout run with pickups.
  • Easy trainer with spinups OR a commute.
  • 750m wetsuit swim the morning before the race.

Let’s talk about this though…


Guys… guys… guyyyyyys.  It’s (going to be) the second to last day of October.  We are 2 degrees off the record high of 90 that day.  My race starts at 8:15, so I expect I’ll be starting the run just after noon, in the feels-like upper 80s, and it will just get worse from there.  I’m going to need to remember I trained in this, and while I was hoping for a cool day to make the run faster for me, I’ll just have to brute force it with salt pills, lots of hydration, and force of will.  My best 70.3 run thus far was also on a hot day, so I just need to keep with it.

I’ll probably be back later this week to word-vomit a little more about race prep and squishy feelings and all that, but for now, I’m just going to get with my Monday and try to enact a bubble around myself this week and keep myself as calm as possible.  I can give a shit about things next week.  Not this week.

The Hip Chronicles

Sometime around January 18th, I remember thinking… hmmm, my hip feels a little cranky after today’s run.  I should keep an eye on that.  Today is February 19th, and we’re just starting to see the light.


Which means I’ve had to do more of this than I’d like.

Things I’ve done since then:

Week 1: attempted to ignore it and still continue to run every day, but much lower mileage and easy pace.  It was still very minor and I figured it would go away quickly.

End of week 1: race a half marathon and be completely and totally exhausted after… hip was a little cranky to start the race but felt ok during and after… til the next morning.

Week 2: Took the week COMPLETELY off running, just 5 hours of biking and swimming (clocking my longest swim evar with 7300-ish meters, woo!).  Saw the chiropractor and she affirmed my decision to give it a rest for this week.  I felt good about being conservative with my hip and by Sunday, it felt pretty healed.

Week 3: Decided to move to the 3-day per week training run program.  Hip slightly cranky to start each run but feels alright during and after – I complete an easy 4 miler, a life-affirming 4 mile tempo with 1 mile warmup/cooldown, and a darn decent 18 miler, as well as some cross training.  Felt like things were getting back to normal.

Week 4: Hip doesn’t feel great to start this week.  I made it through the run on Monday and still by Thursday my hip hates me.  I see the chiropractor and she pokes and prods it again and says nothing serious is wrong, it’s core instability and this is the weird way it’s manifesting.  At first I find it hard to believe, but then I realize a) how many times I’ve put “do the dozen” on my weekly list and failed and b) biking outdoors and swimming both help core and I’ve not done much of either since October.

The prognosis is: no more than 5 miles at a time every other day, and core work every other day for 10 days before I try a long run.

This week, week 5, it’s Friday.  I’m now 4 weeks and 5 days from the first twinge and I STILL had to cut a run short yesterday morning. The good news is that I’m re-evaluating everything in my life and sorting it into two categories – is it good for the hip or bad for the hip?  I’m making changes to the way I sit at work, at home, sleep, and I’m being thorough about warmup, icing, stretching, and rolling.  Totally things I should be doing anyway but it being at the forefront of my mind will hopefully help me not slack on this stuff again.  Just finally today I’m feeling the fruits of my labor here.

The bad news is that in the last 4 weeks I’ve had miserably low running miles and things have gone from meh to bad to ok to worse to hopefully improving but not great yet.  To be fair, until about a week ago, we were just playing the wait and hope it will go away game, but it’s definitely not encouraging to have babied it this much and still be having issues.  I’ve ran 7 times in the last month.  That’s not much for marathon training season.


My big run this block, and the last time I was really, like, *smiles*

So, I’m kind of irrationally terrified and my brain goes stupid places when that happens.

Terrified that since a medical professional said nothing is really wrong, that I shouldn’t just be pushing through this and training normally.  If it might not be healed by the marathon, I might as well be better trained, right?

Terrified that maybe something is really wrong and even running a few times a week is doing bad things.  I really want to do this marathon, but not at the cost of being laid up for months.

Terrified that on so little training, even if I am feeling healthy March 5th, it’s a bad idea to run this race.

Terrified that somehow I subconsciously wanted to get injured so this race has an asterisk (excuse for not doing well).  “Well, I didn’t PR but I’m just happy I was able to run with my hip.”  That kind of shit.

Terrified that being physically weak will make me mentally weak during the race.

It just boils down to being terrified I’ve done the wrong things and am going to do the wrong things.

I can’t change anything about what I’ve done.  Maybe if I would have cut the streak a week early and stayed off of it the week before the half marathon?  Maybe if I wouldn’t have raced so hard?  Maybe if I would have made strength work a priority?  Maybe if I hadn’t gained weight?  Can’t do a damn thing about any of those things now.

What I can do is wake up every morning and decide to make the best decisions I can with the information I have.  Yesterday’s workout call was to run easy and short and bike and stretch and roll instead of a 5 mile tempo.  So far, that call seems to be a good one considering how things are feeling today.

Today’s work call was to take a lot of walks and try not to stay at my desk for too long without a break and for the love of all that’s dear and fluffy, sit like a normal human being in a chair.  Today’s sleeping call is to try to do whatever the heck I did for the last two nights, because I woke up without pain (legs curled up instead of one sprawled, I think).

Also, while I still can be terrified, I’m trying to keep in my head advice I gave to someone else yesterday: the body doesn’t forget that easily.  I’m not laid up flat on my back.  I’m still running some miles, and running them pretty fast.  Over the last 4 months I’ve put together some nice weeks of training.  I just have to take this one home a bit more conservatively than I would like.

The other awesome thing is that I care.  I’m pissed I’m not running.  In November, I may have just been tempted to just say fuck it and walk away.  I do actually want to start this race.  I would like my 6th shot at a marathon PR.  I care about getting to that finish line and getting my stupid medal and t-shirt and all that jazz.  That’s something.







Timing Is Everything

So today, the throat is more tickly than sore, but I definitely have some chest congestion now.  I forced myself to sleep 10 hours (completely countering my whole “get up early to get used to a 7am start time” initiative this week).  Yay, t-minus 5 days before the race and I’ve got some sort of bug.  At this point, I’m going to throw all my energy into preventing it from getting any worse and hopefully I’ll feel right as rain by Sunday.  If I’m being honest with myself, I feel about 80% (and 100% being like my best most awesome ready to get up and bounce around the block day).

The worst thing about it now (besides the chest congestion, which if it’s not cleared up by Sunday, I have worse problems like preventing death), is even with all the rest I’ve had, my body is kinda achey.  Monday night my left glute was a little sore (so yes, the THIRD time this training period with the sore butt muscle – and the third time I realized I was slacking a little bit on the yoga/stretching…) and now my lower back is all tense.  I usually manifest a little bit of my sickness in my muscle, which normally makes me happy, as it’s not all cold symptoms, and sore muscles I can deal with, but this time – this week is supposed to be able resting them and keeping them loose.  I am very much not loose right now.

I’m trying to control the drama in my head, all the “woe is me” thoughts, and realize that this is not the end of the world.  I could be DEAD, not sick.  I could be in the hospital, and not able to race.  The race could be canceled due to a freak alien invasion in which we are to become servants to the little green men or some other natural disaster.  I could be injured.  There are many, many worse things than a mild sickness early in the week-I’ve got time to rebound.

I am going to be testing the theory that you don’t lose much cardio fitness within a week.  I did my baby sprints on Monday, skipped my cross training yesterday, and considering laying off everything but yoga unless I feel 100% until the race.  I’m debating on just doing some mild cardio today (walking, arc trainer on a very mild setting) just to try and stay loose, but I know that’s generally not a good idea.  But I *feel* fine, and it almost feels like it would help me somehow, so I might try and hop off at the first sign of fatigue/uncomfortableness. EDIT: Did 20 mins really EZ on the arc trainer, feel better after, exhausted now, will let you know tomorrow if I did good or bad.

I am also continuing to allow myself to eat until satiety and fullness.  I am not questioning anything nutritious – if I want to eat a whole head of broccoli or some cheese or pistachios or meat, then I’m letting myself.  If I start getting pre-occupied with snack food, then I’ll be doing a head check.  For example, last night I wanted some chips/popcorn/pretzels/etc.  I realized I hadn’t had too many carbs so I let myself graze a little.  Then, after dinner, I was craving ice cream.  I dug into that and figured out I just wanted something to soothe my throat, so I went for a all-fruit pop that’s 25 calories instead of 170 for the ice cream.

I’ve also been looking into other holistic type remedies and here’s what they suggest:

*Staying very hydrated (check)

*Hot tea/water/soup (check)

*Neti pot (tonight – I don’t have a head cold yet but maybe preventative medicine perhaps?)

*Hot water (aka shower) – tonight, I plan on a niiiiice long one.

*Massage – might see if our temp roomie massage therapist might know some good stuff to do for alleviating cold/chest buggies.

*Hot and Spicy Foods – this is no trouble for me *grin*.  I’ll just make sure everything is hot like I like.

*Chanting.  Ummm, I dunno about this one but I’ll try anything.  Zliten already thinks I’m off my rocker.

*Yoga – I searched this because I noticed this morning that my chest really opening up during certain poses, and figure that I might as well add some different poses to my every-day this week program to help get me better!

Rclining Bound Angle Position

Reclining Bound Angle Position

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

Childs Pose

Child's Pose

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend

Legs-up-the-Wall Pose

Legs-up-the-Wall Pose



Now I ask the audience… what do you do to get over minor illnesses?  Have you ever run a race doped up on cold medicine or otherwise ill?  Any tips for me to be back to myself by Sunday?  Any suggestions if I’m still a little under the weather?

Injuries – Then and Now

Today is brought to you by the I-word.  Yeah, injuries.  No, thank my lucky stars, I don’t have another one.  I’m actually feeling pretty great, thanks, minus a little fatigue from walking 6 miles yesterday which should hopefully subside as I sit on my ass all day at the office.  If it were a normal week, I’d be taking today off, running Tu/Thu/Sat, but life got in the way.  I’ve got a dentist appt and an industry meetup tomorrow, and lunch with the ‘rents Wednesday, so if I don’t run today I will have to get up WAY WAY too early to squeeze it in, so that makes the decision a done deal for me.

Now the reason that I’ve got injuries on the brain is THIS POST.  Mizfit captures my awe for 1) being so type B to my type A that she can just go run when she feels like it without a specific goal/race/program/etc and 2) she says she has never been injured.  Holy crap, woman, that is an accomplishment!

I’ve spent most of my life being a walking injury.  Only NOW am I realizing how abnormal that is and should be.  My excuse for everything used to be my weak ankles (if it wasn’t my size, heh).  This guy is pretty abnormal too.

When I was a wee thing I fell in love with gymnastics.  I loved the flipping, twisting, adrenaline rush associated with running full bore into something springy and propelling myself up into the air.  But as we all know, what comes up must come down.  And it doesn’t always come down quite as planned when you’re doing this over and over 5-6 times per week for 4-7 hours per day.

It’s worth mentioning that I was a fairly large gymnast, both height and mass-wise – even with all that training I was 5’3″ (I must mention that I grew 2 inches at age 16 when I quit – within probably 3 months…) and 115-125, so a fairly average weight/BMI.  I don’t look scary skinny in those pictures, I look like a normal human.  This is great for not being picked on in school, but rough on the joints.  Oh, I got pretty far because I was determined/stubborn, and I was pretty fearless, but it got to the point where to advance, the cost just seemed too high.

You see, for about the year before I quit, I had a routine.  Every day when I was getting ready, I would pop 2-4 advil, completely tape up both ankles, pull braces over the taped ankles, put on special slippers that provided a little more stability/support, and off I went.  I mean, any sane person would realize that it was time to take a break and let myself recover, right?  Well, not me, because I was a stubborn ASS and I had 2 years left before recruiters would be looking at me and I needed to get better so I could get a scholarship or life would fall apart and and and… yeah.

And my coaches never helped much – I remember the day before I came down with chicken pox I was fevery and shaky and I was almost in tears because I felt SO AWFUL but it was two days before a big meet so I was trying to push through but kinda failing.  I was yelled at, called a baby, so I got up, did what I had to do, then went and pretty much passed out on the floor while stretching.  Same with injuries – if it wasn’t in a cast, they didn’t believe it hurt enough to stay off it.

But ya know, I found a sick satisfaction in working through injuries.  That I was tougher because of it.   That I was going to overcome.

Now I know how stooooooooopid that is.  Not that I don’t have the urges, but now I have science and logic backing me up. Y’know, the knowledge that pushing through workouts when you’re sick actually makes you LOSE fitness and not resting an injury makes that body part WEAKER, not stronger.  And the only coach I have calling me a baby is the one in my head – and I’ve got some good control over her.  I just say “SCIENCE” and she shuts the hell up.

Pic unrelated, but cute!  Anyhoo, I also train much smarter now.  I don’t RELISH the strength training, but after the AMAZING gains I saw in my running post 30-Day-Shred, I am a believer.  I wish I remembered where I saw the quote, but you have to earn your right to run by strengthening and maintaining your body. In gymnastics/diving, it was just the icky I had to look like I was doing so my coaches didn’t yell at me.  For some reason, I never put two and two together that if I really ROCKED the conditioning, then I might get better.

I make sure my running has periods of ebb (running 5k distance 2 times per week and lots of cross training) and flow (last week’s mileage? 30.5 miles).  Also, I’m very in tune with my body and try to listen when it whispers so I don’t get knocked the fuck out when it shouts at me.  I know that I’ll never be immune to acute injuries like tripping and spraining my ankle, but adequate warmups and cooldowns, rest, stretching, and incremental increases in mileage/pace instead of leaps will keep me from those evil chronic overuse injuries.   It’s odd to say that I hurt myself less at 30 than I did at 13, but it’s true.

So, internet-ians, what do you think?  What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?   Have you ever just tried to “rub some dirt in it” (or slap some tape on it in my case) and just keep going?  How bad do things have to get before you cancel your workouts and just rest?

p.s.  I don’t usually do this, but Chocolate Covered Katie is a very cool chick, a runner girl, and actually makes vegan eating look awesome.  She is also giving away a vita-mix, so please never ever visit her site because I want to win it.  Okie? 🙂

Second Half Marathon Training, Week 7

Epic.  Fail.  I think that’s about all I can say here.

I was psyched up to do some pivital runs this week (my 8 mile tempo and 9 mile long).  I had rocked the hell outta my sprints Monday.  I was feeling great and then Tuesday morning before my workout, I sat down on the couch and OUCH, something just popped out and my left butt cheek hurt like hell and I could barely walk.  For three days.  I got better JUST in time to enjoy New Years Eve not in complete pain and only returned to a DDR cardio only workout yesterday.  I’m finally feeling up for a run today, but I also don’t wanna go into next week wiped out, so I think I am going to do something yoga-ish or DDR-ish or strength-ish later.  Or just enjoy my last day of vacation on my not-in-pain hiney and resume normalcy tomorrow.  Still haven’t decided.

I have been battling the head-demons a bit, but mostly succeeding.  They’ve been trying to hit me with little ditties such as “missing two runs in the middle of training is going to set you back” and “what if you just lost your momentum and you can’t keep up your paces” and the classic “you are a failure for not pushing through the pain/making up the runs/etc etc”.  What I’ve been telling them is such: “Tomorrow, I’m gonna rock some sprints.  Mid-week, I’m going to bust up my self-doubt a tempo run.  Saturday, I’m going to run 10 miles and it’s going to be the fastest 10 miles I’ve ever run in my life.”  I don’t see a reason WHY a minor injury that is pretty much all better now is going to do anything to my pace.  Or missing 2 runs.  That’s just excuses.

The only little nagging voice that is actually affecting me is the one whispering, “oh yeah, well why has this happened twice in less than two months…hmm?”  Right now I’m combating this with “being lazy about stretching, duhhh”, but I am actually really quite lucky and have a massage therapist friend who is coming to stay with us in January who I might be able to convince to work on my poor naughty knotty back.  I just really really really gotta be vigilant about a quick stretch every time I work out, and keeping up with the yoga.

So there.  This week, I ran sprints as planned Monday (4×800 @ 8:10 pace), took off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday unexpectedly and took off Friday expectedly (Jan 1st is official hangover day, y’know).  Yesterday I did 30 mins DDR, and today, as explained before, is up in the air.

Next week, the goal is to hit each and every workout as planned.  To keep my confidence up.  To keep my fitness up.

Monday: 6×400 sprints @ 1:58 pace (with the requisite 1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down, and 400 recovery in the middle)

Tuesday: DDR circuits

Wednesday: 6 mile tempo (tempted to make up the 8 mile tempo but I think I’ll refrain)

Thursday: DDR circuits

Friday: off

Saturday: 10 mile run

Sunday: off

The mid-week might change a little as I might have an event to go to one night after work, but the book ends are non-negotiable.  By Saturday afternoon, I will log my 5th ever double digit run.   Wish me luck!

Nutrition/Other Stuffs:

I won’t be talking about losing weight very often anymore due to my resolution #1, but I am going to hop on the scale tomorrow as the first weigh in of 2010 and it will start the new modus operandi around here.  If it is under 155, no action is needed.  If it is over 155, I have one week to get it down.  If at the next weigh in it’s not under 155, I start tracking calories (attempting to average 1500 per day) until the next weigh in where I am under 155.  The only exception is right before a race – in which case the calorie restriction will start after.

My prediction is that I will be over 155 this week, but not next week.  I did indulge a bit more than normal but I didn’t go crazy all the time.  I am actually REALLY, REALLY looking forward to getting back into my normal eating habits.  I don’t quite feel right not having my normal regiment of protein bar mornings, fruit afternoon snacks, pistachio and jerky refreshers, and healthy home cooked meals most days.

As begrudgingly as I am returning to work and the daily grind, I’m finding that two weeks off without traveling was enough vacation to want a little normalcy back.

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