Category Archives: injury

FAI: I didn’t know

“I didn’t know you were in pain.”

 I did not know either. 

I know that seems like an improbable statement but it’s true. 

First of all, I’ve been this way for so long that I didn’t know that it wasn’t normal.  I have it in my head that because my FAI is in both hips that there must be a genetic influence. It’s not like one day I went skiing and blew out my hip as I failed to performed a radical trick. I cannot pinpoint a day zero as to when the pain started.  So, either I grew up this way or the condition came on so gradual that the change from day to day was undetectable.  As you might recall from my last post, my original treatment goal had been to recover from chronic achillies tendonitis not to find out why I don’t like to sit down. 

Second, I would describe most of my pain as more like an ache than a pain. I rarely take anything for pain management. I’m almost always just uncomfortable.  I assume it’s similar to how most people feel  feel after a very long car trip, only I feel that way immediately when I sit down. 

I feel pretty lucky.  Many of the FAI blogs and members of FAI groups are in terrible pain and need prescriptions to alleviate their pain.  Because I’m not in that state, there are many days when I question if I really need this surgery. I am often told, however, that the labrum cannot repair itself. If I don’t have it fixed now, I’ll have full hip joint replacement down the road when I can’t take any more pain. That doesn’t sound like a very good option to me.  

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Filed under Arthroscopic surgery, FAI, Femoroacetabular Impingement, Hip Impingement, injury, Uncategorized

5K Reality

It would be dishonest to continue writing about running without admitting that my sub 30 5K finish in New Orleans was a bit of a disappointment in my whole scheme of running. I knew I wasn’t going to do well because of the prescribed rest time but I had “previously won or placed” pride to contend with. I masqueraded that disappointment with the joy of recovering my ability to run again. I was happy to run again but not very happy that I didn’t just pick up where I left off. I wanted it to be like a movie.

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Reality Bites and it isn’t just a movie from my college years. Like the movie, I grew up, accepted myself and found a hobby, running, that made me happy. I won’t deny that placing in races was a major confidence booster for me. When you find out your better at doing something than you ever thought you would be, you develop some high expectations. These days, I need to adjust my expectations to the Mid-life Reality Bites.

I’m on the edge of exiting my current age bracket. Age brackets make the competition fair. It compares apples to apples. No matter how vernal I may look, there is nothing that will prevent the calendar’s nudge into that next age bracket. No matter how vernal I want to stay, I confess that I can no longer compare my current abilities to the abilities I had 5 years ago. Not to mention the lengthened time needed to heal from injuries now. I used require just two weeks of rest or a few nights of ice. Yes, that age bracket stares me down and tells me to be realistic. It’s a pill to swallow but that’s reality.

With this fresh dose of medicine, I reset my bar for 5k races at 29 minutes and some seconds from my finish at Papercon’s Runnability 5K in New Orleans. I view this as a suitable starting point for my not so vernal state. But, I have no intention for this bar to cemented I to place.

In fact, this past weekend, I ran in the Pause for Patriotism 5K. It was two loops around a hill. It started with 3/4 of a mile down hill then had a 3/4 of a mile climb back up that hill. Then repeated. I finished 2nd for my age bracket with 28 minutes and 35 seconds!

The reality is that I’m not as fast as I was but I can be faster than I recently was.

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Filed under injury, minimalist shoes, running

For The Health Or Fun Of It.

Last Sunday was the Run For The Health of It race in Kalamazoo. I wanted to run it but I couldn’t because of conflicts with the kids.

So, I ran at home. I ran as far as I could. Well, almost, I ran as far as I could till I decided that I could run farther but shouldn’t. I haven’t run vary many miles in 2012 because of the stress reaction. I certainly didn’t think I should go run the half marathon as much as I wanted to do it.

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I ran five miles… barefoot. (Disclaimer- I put on my shoes for a half mile in the middle then decided my shoes were too heavy) Not one of those miles was a junk mile. (even the mile with shoes was good)

Do you know how I felt about that run?

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I felt smiley! I pledge not to run any junk miles in 2012.

Happy running, folks!

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Filed under Barefoot, injury, minimalist shoes, running

Recovery Run

I spent all night trying to remind myself that this was just an opportunity to test my feet. I have placed in one of the top three spots in this race since I began running the Papercon Runability 5K four years ago. (let me clarify that there is usually only about 10 women running this race so you usually end up in first or last without much difference in effort) But, knowing that the New Orleans title would go to another runner was a hard pill to swallow. I had to be smart, right?

I size up the competition at every race. It’s silly, of course, because I am far from the stereo-typical runner’s physique so I know you can’t judge a runner by the technical shirt she’s wearing. I do it anyway. I justify my actions by thinking they are doing the same thing to me and dismissing me because I look the way I do. I’m 40 lbs over weight. I wear black cotton Bermuda-yoga shorts, and an XL T-shirt with Kalamazoo printed across the front. I run barefoot but they don’t know that yet because I am wearing my Merrells until I know what the course is like.

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The starting point at 6 am

While I am lined up at the starting line, I make a truthful, smart-aleck comment that since this course is flat and fast I’ll be blazing a 30 minute time. Inside, I’m lecturing myself that I can not try to race today. A 30 minute time is probably a bit much to be asking for. I need to keep an easy pace. After all, I can’t remember the last time I ran 3 consecutive miles. Actually, I can’t even remember when I ran more than 1 mile. I know it’s been at least 4 weeks. I could be in some real hurting if I am not careful.

I’d be lying to you if I didn’t admit that after the gun went off I spent the first mile trying to pace with The Stomper and kept Turquiose Shirt in my sites as my third mile passing target. I said it’d be hard for me to not try to defend the title. At that point, the three of us were running at about 3,4,5 places. See, as hard as I was at trying not to make this competitive, I knew what place I was in the whole race. If I could just hang on to them, I could pull ahead at the end to place.

I started losing my competitive edge at the end of mile 1 when I closed my eyes and realized not a thing on my body hurt. My foot, fine. Hips, fine. Achilles tendon (thanks, new dress shoes), fine. I was out running without any problems. A smile lit my face and the Turquoise Shirt started to pull away. I was happy and didn’t really care. You’d expect that I would have pushed myself to go faster when I acknowledged that I was pain-free. Secretly, I’d been afraid I wasn’t even able to run anymore.

With one mile to go, I had fallen back to about 9th place. I couldn’t see the Turquiose Shirt nor The Stomper any longer. I let new targets pass me and drop me. Since I knew that I wasn’t going to win or even place, it was time to pull over and pull off the Merrells. I didn’t expect to finish the rest of it barefoot but I did. My first official barefoot race. Only one of the officials noticed my barefoot state and commented on it. Not that it really mattered. I was there running. Running barefoot. I hadn’t even been curious if an ambulance would be at the finish line.

Can you believe it? 29:40 thanks to the lady who tried to pass me at the last half mile. 10th place but not last.

Right now, I’m icing my feet (as a precaution) in the hotel bathtub. I’m contemplating the race and rejoicing that I’ve recovered my ability to run.

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Filed under Barefoot, injury, minimalist shoes, running

Darkness vs. Lightness

I’m the social sort. I’m always chatting with scouting families or commiserating with the soccer parents. I habitually check Facebook, email, Twitter, and Tumbler at five minute intervals. Yet, I’ve always been one to run solo.

Except that running alone in the dark scares the crap out of me.

Fortunately, a friend of mine, R, expressed a desire to walk early in the morning but also confessed to being fearful of going alone before the sun rise. Resolutely, we allied ourselves against the unending darkness.

My problem isn’t just fearing lightlessness. I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly difficult to peel myself away from the bed covers at 5 am … unless I know that R is braving the nocturnal hours to meet me. I would collapse under intense guilt if I knew she was solitarily wandering in the shadows because I had been slothful. I admit the conversation is as alluring as the protection from the darkness. Yes, this arrangement suits me. I haven’t been this consistent with exercise at 5 am in…ever.

This morning, I bolted out of bed at 5:09 am to a snoozed alarm. Stumbling rapidly through the kitchen, I hit every light along my way. I searched for my phone to text R to let her know I was awake late and almost awake, I mean, almost ready. But, R had texted me 15 minutes earlier.

I’m going to have to cancel. My daughter was up all night. I’m too tired

After a brief moment of relief that the Boogy monster wasn’t going to get R, I decided that I would proceed with the scheduled morning walk. Albeit, not until daylight began to press back the darkness. This would require some time as the sunlight was trapped behind a contiguous cloud coverage. While I waited, I occupied myself by going back to sleep. Don’t you remember that sleep is my super power?

Anxious for action, I arose the second time (actually, the third because I used the snooze button at 5 am causing the rushed awakening at 5:09 am. ) before the alarm wailed again. Seated on the edge of the couch, I primed my muscles for prevention of Planter Fasciitis and healing in my psoas, tensor fasciae and piriformis (a.k.a hips). I followed the warm up with a steady 10 minute walk in my Merrell Pacers…

What? No shoe!?

Yea! No medical shoe.

After two continuous weeks wearing THE SHOE, and an even longer ban on running, my foot shows little to no improvement. I will not resort to immobilizing my foot again until I establish if my chronic hip issues generated my foot pain.

Confused? Check out The Maple Grove Barefoot Guy for his take on causes of foot pain.

After all, the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone, the knee… My apologies, the dogs in the neighborhood just started howling so I’d better stop singing and conclude my story.

Where was I?… Oh, yes, after walking for a bit, I slipped off my Merrells to jog a spell. The road was cool and damp. The sidewalks were dry but stone covered. My steps were easy and pain-free (minus stepping on the stones). I didn’t travel barefoot as far as I had hoped but, at least, I did not use R’s sleep deprivation to justify lackadaisical behavior. I put the darkness to good use and felt as light as ever running barefoot.

Here I am going south than north about 30 feet from the railroad tracks.

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Filed under Barefoot, injury, minimalist shoes, running

Let’s Go Fly A Kite

We’ve been under siege from blustery winds for the last several days. Fortunately, we didn’t fall under tornado like other unfortunate towns. I am thankful for that.

Saturday, I planned to take the Cub Scouts (and willing family members) for a 7 mile bike hike along the Wauponsee Glacial Trail where we would end at the Kankakee River to be picked up by non-riding family members. I once ran a half marathon on this trail. I was very excited about taking the scouts on the trail, but I fretted over the weather for 10 days. When 1 PM rolled around, the winds picked up and the gusts started to blow the boys around. The problem was that these blustery winds were coming from the exact direction we were headed into.

Scratch that plan. The scouts wouldn’t have made it a half mile against that wind let alone 7 miles. We shortened the trip to 5 miles, put the wind at our backs, and headed north on the trail instead. Those kids pedal led their little hearts out. What a great time but all were happy to see the finish line.

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Ironically, a month ago, a scout leader planned to fly kites on our regular meeting night this week. Now, we were worried the winds would carry the boys off with the kites. All day the winds were 24 mph with gusts as high as 36 mph. The wind advisory was scheduled to end a half hour before the meeting.

More ironically, as soon as the advisory was over, the wind was so dead it could barely be considered a breeze. We had to run the whole length of the field to get the kites to fly at all.

“Hey, are you supposed to be running in that boot?” I was asked.
“No, but the doc didn’t say anything about flying kites,” I called back.

We sprinted up and down that field for an hour having a complete blast. Two hours earlier, I had to scream at the soccer team just to get them to jog. Now, I was looking at a field full of boys begging for me to untangle their lines so they could run some more. The kites soaring higher and, really, not high at all.

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Need a little variety in your runs? Need to do speed intervals. Try flying kites on a zero breeze day. Put play into your run because it’s a super smiley way to run.

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Filed under cycling, injury, running

An Apple For My Foot?

I must start eating apples again. After all, what is the old saying? An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

The podiatrist called me yesterday to discuss my MRI. I have to give her credit for taking the initiative to call me instead of waiting for me to make an appointment.

The diagnosis: NOT a stress fracture. Instead, it is a stress reaction which is (insert Charlie Brown’s teacher talking noises). Internet running board forums say its like a bone bruise. Some state that it is a condition you have right before getting a stress fracture.

It’s interesting how adaptable we become to the chronic aches and pains of our body especially as we grow older. Looking back on last year, I can remember trying to sit with pretzel legs on the living room floor while watching American Idol with the kids. I wasn’t able to sit in that position because the weight of my leg squeezed my metatarsal bones together triggering pain in the stressed area. Recently, I realized that for many months, when I sleep on my side, I intertwine my feet so that I don’t put any pressure on the side of my foot.

Yes, I’ve had this pain for a long time and I’ve adapted several coping mechanisms. Yet, despite how much it irks me, I am going to follow the doctor’s advice and WEAR THE BOOT (mine is more like a shoe) for two weeks. Why give in? Because, when I was in to see with the podiatrist originally, the nurse indicated that bending your foot slows down the healing process. I guess I’ll find out.

While there are many poised to point their fingers at my barefoot running, I am not quite so certain of that cause. A friend of my sister’s once told me a story about her knee pain and all the things she did to try to solve it. As it turned out, the pain was being caused by her using one foot to kick off the shoe on the other foot. Who’d have thought? My point is that I recently read a post by The Maple Grove Barefoot Guy about how weak hips and rear can cause barefoot injuries.

BLING!!. (that’s the light bulb going off)

I have had chronic hip issues since about 2007 or 2006 which if anyone is counting was long before I started the barefoot run. So, in addition to resting the soft tissues of my foot, I will also be working on some deep tissue issues and massive strengthening of my buns.

I have a 5 k race in 3 weeks. What do you think my chances are? By the way, hand me an apple, I want to run, not see a podiatrist again.

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Filed under Barefoot, injury