Thursday, July 31, 2008

Time to re-evaluate

This post fits really well with this Thursday's Take It and Run topic about looking at where we've been this year and where we want to go with our running and for me life in general. (Be forewarned, this puppy is loooong.)

I mentioned a few posts back that I was going to write about my new plan for the rest of the year in light of my knee issue and a few other things that have been on my mind lately.

The past two weeks I've been a pretty miserable person. There's a lot of different things contributing to it, stress at work, stress with friends from all over the place, feeling like I'm being pulled in way too many directions by way too many people and general frustration about not being able to run.

Normally, I can have all those things be issues and I use my runs to keep myself sane. Without those runs, I've just kind of been in a lousy mood.

Not being able to run actually made me sit down and think about a lot of things and what's making me happy and what's not and what I'm going to do about it. (Because let's be honest, I'm way better at being happy than being not happy.)

Basically what I've decided is that I need to learn my own limits and not keep saying yes to every single thing that is asked of me. Now that doesn't mean I should turn into a giant slacker at life, but I just need to work in some time for me. Before that was my running, but when I couldn't do that, I kind of lost my me thing for two months so I was just going along with everyone else's things.

Turns out that was making me pretty unhappy.

I have to credit one of my friends from Maryland for making me realize it. We were hanging out one night getting ready to go to the movies and I guess I was just giving off the sense that something was wrong even though I didn't realize it. My friend kept asking me what was wrong and after brushing it off as nothing, I just started rambling about things that were on my mind.

It put a lot in perspective for me.

The general conclusion that I've come to is I'm going to do things that make me happy. I've never been a big drinker (in fact, I really don't like the taste of alcohol) and it seems like that's all anyone wants to do whenever we go out. Not that there's anything wrong with going to the bars from time to time. I usually have a good time, but I just need a change of scenery.

I've also evaluated a bunch of friendships that have done nothing but stress me out and I've come up with some ways make that better.

As far as running goes things seem to be improving. I just got back from a 3.5 mile run. It was crappy and hard and bad, but it felt good to be out there. (I think my legs were dead from PT. They upped my weights a bunch and added some agility drills. Plus it was like 90% humidity out there.)

As far as the rest of my running for the year. I've done some serious re-evaluating. My original plan had been to run three half marathons and a handful of other select distances this fall.

I've come to terms with the fact that it isn't going to happen.

My new plan looks something like this and will kick in once I officially get released from PT.

Three days per week I will lift at the gym (I'm thinking MWF) to maintain the strength I've built in therapy and help prevent future injury.

Two to three days per week I will do runs between two and four miles, trying to keep myself close to three for the most part. If I only run two days, I will use the third day for cross training or rest depending how I feel.

One day per week I will do a longer run between five and eight miles.

I plan to stick with this plan at least until the end of September (although this may change depending when I get released from therapy.)

As far as races go, I don't think I will race at all in August. From there I will play it by ear and see how I'm feeling. I want to have a solid base before I enter a race.

I'm going to focus mainly on 5Ks and 10Ks when I do get back to racing.

I'll re-evaluate later, but for now it's a plan I'm happy with.

Sorry for the length of this one. Just had a lot I needed to get out.

3.5 miles, 38:57

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pictures from the wedding

I don't have too much to say about the wedding this weekend other than it was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was tons of fun. (And that dancing for four hours straight is probably one of the best workouts I've had in a long time.)

Here's some pictures.

All of us in the church before the wedding.

Chris walking down the aisle with the maid of honor.

Jenn looking beautiful.

Brendan and Jenn exchanging vows.

Their first dance.

Cutting the cake. (And yes, the groom's cake has the Oriole O.)

Me and Sarah at our table.

Girls dancing.

Roommate shot.

All the College Park girls with Brendan.

All the College Park girls with Jenn.

Crew boys at the reception.

Girls at our table.

Friday, July 25, 2008

3.3 miles

I figured the only way I was going to get in that three to five miler I wanted to do before Monday was to do it last night.

So I went out for a nice easy run. My goal was to shoot for three miles and depending on the amount of daylight I had left and how I was feeling I would go from there.

It was really pleasant out last night. Not too much humidity and a decent temperature after the sun went down.

I kept my pace under control. I wasn't trying to break any records here and I ended up getting in 3.3 miles in 34:28. Not too shabby for just coming back off two months of no running.

My right knee felt a little sore during the run (that'd be my not injured knee) but I'm thinking that was just the shock of having not run in so long. Otherwise, everything felt good.

If I have time to get another run in this weekend I will, but truth be told, I'm not packing running stuff for my trip to Maryland this weekend.

My really good friend is getting married and my main goal of this weekend is to go have fun with my friends, enjoy the wedding, dance at the reception and come home Sunday feeling tired, but happy.

If I have time/energy Sunday when I get home, then maybe I will try another run.

Not sure when I'll have another post up, but it definitely won't be until Sunday at the very earliest. Hope you all have a great weekend while I'm busy busting a move at the wedding reception!

3.3 miles, 34:28

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Steps in the right direction

Sorry I dropped off the face of the Earth for a few days there. I've been busy, busy with work and life in general. And I have to apologize for a falling a little behind on my blog reading. I've been trying to play catch up. The other day Google Reader told me I was 80 posts behinds. Yikes!

Physical therapy went well this week. I haven't had my knee taped all week and I've been able to get through everything they've been giving me. Today they upped my time on the treadmill to seven minutes and I ran all seven at 6 mph with no tape.

My knee doesn't feel weak anymore, which is good. I had my 30 day evaluation today and they asked me how far I think I've progressed since I started. I said about 95%. I don't think I'm back completely yet, but I'm getting there.

They also told me that I could start slowing adding distance to my runs. I'm really going to try to get something between three and five miles in sometime before therapy on Monday. I'm going to be gone this weekend for my friend's wedding though, so I have no idea when I'm going to try to fit it in.

(P.S. I've been doing a lot of thinking about things lately and after the wedding I will have a longer post explaining my new goals for the rest of the year in light of the injury and everything.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

A bit more detail

Yesterday's post was so super short mainly because I wanted to get up the numbers before I forgot them. I had lots of things to say, but not a lot of time to say them so that's what I'm going to do now.

Where to start, where to start.

Well the run yesterday was a spur of the moment thing. It had been hot and nasty all day Sunday until we got a bit of a storm to calm the humidity. So I sped home from my friend's place after we finished watching the Bourne Ultimatum (good movie), probably broke some record for changing from normal clothes into running clothes and was out the door by 9 p.m.

It was light when I left my friend's house, still do-able when I got home, but by the time I got changed and got outside, just about all traces of daylight were gone.

My neighbors have a lot of lights at the end of their driveways though so some of the roads were decently lit.

But the darkness and the sudden onset of even more humidity (and my knee of course) were the main reasons this run was so short. I didn't even push to finish the whole two miles because it was quite dark by that time. The last thing I needed to do was step awkwardly and twist an ankle or something.

The main highlight from this run was that I was able to do it without any pain. YESSSS! And when I took the tape off this morning my knee still didn't bother me (like it did last week.) Strangely enough though, my right hip bothered me, which wasn't a new thing. I'd be having problems with a sore hip for a bit after some of my runs.

I'm going to mention the hip thing at PT tonight. Maybe there's some connection between the hip and the knee.

In other news, my weekend was lots of fun.

Friday night was my friend Jenn's bachelorette party at Howl at the Moon in Baltimore. It was definitely the most fun night I've had in a while. We had a great time requesting songs for the pianists to play and singing along and dancing like crazy. My roommate requested this country song and told them it was my favorite (haha it wasn't at all) so they called me up and had me dance to it on the stage in front of everyone. It was hilarious.

Saturday I went to see the Dark Knight. What an awesome movie. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet. Afterwards I met up with people from work at one of the bars downtown.

Sunday afternoon I went to Border's to wander around and picked up the newest Runner's World. Oh and I watched the ESPY's. I love the ESPY's. Did anyone else watch? I was tearing up when they gave the Jimmy V award to Kevin Everett. Man, what a great story that was. I missed Josh Hamilton getting his award though for Greatest Comeback. He's got a great story too. Anyway, here's the full list of winners.

Anyway, that's all I've got for now. Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend. From the reports I've read so far it sounds like you all kicked some major booty!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A little less than two

This is just a real quick post. I was able to get in a little less than two tonight. Pain free. It was humid, but I went at 9 p.m. so there was no sun.

1.8 miles, 18:07

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm learning

I'm learning there are good days and there are bad days when it comes to PT. After the excitement of Monday's run, I was pretty disappointed when PT on Monday and Tuesday didn't go well.

There was a lot of pain in my knee and I couldn't run on the treadmill for the five minutes either day.

On Tuesday one of the therapists watched my form from the back and said part of my problem may be that my hips collapse in when I run, which puts additional strain on my knees.

Now we've added a bunch of hip strengthening exercises to the regime.

This morning's session went better. I was able to run for the five minutes at 7 mph.

The downside was I found out I'm probably going to need another three or four weeks of therapy. My doc had originally told me I'd only need four, but I guess after three weeks, there's still a lot more work to do.

It's frustrating news, but I'm trying to keep my chin up about it. I have homework to try to run again this weekend. Again I have another crazy crazy weekend that starts tomorrow.

I'll be down in the D.C./Baltimore area for my friend's bachelorette party and then Saturday I'm supposed to grab lunch with a friend back here before heading back to Baltimore with another set of friends for Artscape. And maybe somewhere in there a friend from home is supposed to come visit. Oh and I totally want to see The Dark Knight. Batman was my favorite super hero as a little kid! Yikes! I'm going to need a weekend to relax from my weekend!

Old school Batman and Robin totally rocked my socks! Needless to say I'm so excited for the new movie coming out this weekend! Robin was my first crush when I was a little girl LOL!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Two miles in the morning

You may have assumed from the title of this post that I was able to get some running in this weekend. And you would be right.

I ran two miles this morning before work. It's been the first time I've been able to run for real since my injury and I pretty much wanted to do a dance when I got home. (Except I was too exhausted because I ran those two miles in 19:23 or something like that....which is faster than I normally run and way way faster than I should be coming off a month and a half running hiatus.)

Now I have more energy, and I'm doing a little dance in my chair.

Holy humidity though Batman. This morning's run was uncomfortable. (Not that I'm complaining, I was just happy to be out running.)

My knee was still taped up good and the tape really seemed to help. I felt a really really dull ache in my knee around 2:44, but after that everything seemed fine.

After my shower when I took the tape off (after four days and a few showers it was getting kind of gross) my knee was screaming in pain when I tried to walk. It's not so bad now, it just feels a little weak (? not sure if that's the right word...) without the tape to support it.

I have PT tonight so I have plenty to report back to them.

In other news, this weekend was a ton of fun. Friday night I hung out with a really good friend from high school who I haven't seen in a long time. So we spent a bunch of time catching up and watching Kill Bill (we both thought it was a little out there...)

Saturday was the wedding shower and the graduation party. I'll try to remember to post some pictures from the shower when I get them downloaded to my computer.

And Sunday was awesome because my mom and I went shopping at the brand new Under Armour outlet they built about 45 minutes from my parent's house. Whooo hooo more UA gear. I got a new pair of shorts, a tank top and a sports bra. They are super awesome! (I was going to post pics of my new stuff but I can't find it on the UA Web site.)

ORN: (I haven't been able to post one of these in ages!)
2.04 miles, 19:23

P.S. I definitely accidentally posted this in the Blogland Book Club blog because I clicked the wrong link. I think I got it deleted out of there, but sorry if it pops up twice in anyone's readers.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Busy weekend ahead

I've got a busy weekend coming up. After work today, I'm heading home to Allentown for the weekend because there is tons of family/friends of the family stuff going on.

Saturday is my cousin's wedding shower. It's a surprise, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't read my blog, so I'm not too worried about having just ruined it. I'm excited, it will be great to see some of the extended fam again. I haven't seen a lot of them in a while.

After the wedding shower is a graduation party for a really close friend of the family. (So close in fact that for a few years our family, her family and one other family vacationed together in Myrtle Beach.)

Tonight and tomorrow night, I have random reunions with some friends from high school that I haven't seen in a few months, and then Sunday I head back here.

Also very high on the agenda is fitting in a run outside. I'm really nervous about this because I'm afraid I'll go five minutes and then it will hurt again. I'm trying to keep my expectations pretty low so that I don't put myself in a bad mood when I'm not 100% yet. (Usually I'm a high expectations kind of person, but my running ego is very fragile right now and probably can't sustain too many more crushing blows.)

Anywho, I guess that's really all I've got for right now, not much of an update today.

Good luck to everyone who is racing this weekend! Kick some boootay!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

PT week two summary

Before I get into how PT has been going, I need to give a big fat thank you to all of you guys for your comments on Tuesday. I was seriously bumming about my knee. Couple that with a less than stellar day at work and you have the makings of an absolutely foul attitude.

Your little bits of motivation were super helpful though and by Wed. I was in much better spirits about everything.

This morning's PT went well. I was able to crank the treadmill up to 7 mph for the last two minutes of my five minute run and there wasn't any pain! Whoooo to the hooo!

I think this weekend I'm going to try running outside. My PT Jackie asked me if I had tried running at all and I said no, I didn't realize I was supposed to. She said it was kind of up to me. So if I have time this weekend, I'm going to give it a whirl. (I've got a wedding shower and a graduation party and driving to and from Allentown this weekend though, so I'll just have to see what the schedule allows for.)

And guys I have some sad news about HMT...turns out he's got a girlfriend. Major bummer LOL! No big deal really, it just means I'll probably have fewer hilarious updates for you.

Honestly though, is it weird to want to be best friends with your entire physical therapy group? There are like five or six of them who are all my age and all super cool and let's be honest my co-worker and I talk about how we need some friends outside of the newspaper all the time. So then what's the best way to ask a whole bunch of my physical therapists to hang out with us sometime?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Not the best of days

Update: My friend from school requested a picture of my leg propped on my two waste cans. So here you have it. Haha.

I've been through five physical therapy sessions so far since this injury happened more than a month ago. I've rested, I've iced, I've done my PT homework and last night we were going to try taping my knee cap in place and running.

She taped me up good. So good that it felt weird to walk, but once I loosened it up and got the hang of it I was ready to tackle the treadmill. She wanted me to try five minutes. It was good going in the beginning. Then the tape slipped and it was hello pain.

They re-taped me at the end of the session last night and sent me on my way.

Well peeps, this whole taping the knee cap into place thing sucks. Getting in and out of my car is awful. It hurts to bend my knee because of the tape. Last night, a few of us from work got together to watch D-3 (Who doesn't love the Mighty Ducks?) and I could barely sit still. I had to keep shifting positions.

And then when we were leaving one of the guys asked me if I had a comeback race planned.

Oh boy, that must have hit a nerve more than I realized because I'm driving home and next thing I know I'm crying about how much I miss running and how much this whole thing sucks and how frustrated I am.

I'm trying to tell myself that I need to pull it together. I don't think I've ever really cried about an injury, but this one is really getting to me. I called up my friend Josh because he's a runner and who the heck else is going to understand this? (You may remember Josh from previous posts. He's my friend from school who is also laid up with an injury. He broke his leg and had to have surgery and he's going through PT now too.)

He was able to calm me down. We chatted about how much this whole PT thing and not being able to run sucks. And then I tried to go to sleep, but my stupid taped knee wasn't really helping.

Whooo this post is getting long I'll keep the last bits brief.

This morning's PT went better. The tape stayed in place and my five minutes on the treadmill didn't bother me.

I'm quite a sight at work now though. Knee taped. Hobbling around the office. Leg propped up on my recycling bin which is balancing on top of my garbage can under my desk.

Unfortunately I don't have much of an HMT update for today. Last night and this morning he was super busy with people. I mean he came over and chatted with me a little bit last night about how my weekend was and made the occasional snarky comment or two, but that was about it.

Thoughts, comments, advice on how to proceed from here are always appreciated LOL!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Reasons I'm a dork

I'm a dork because I have PT tonight and I specifically planned out an outfit to wear. Yes that's right I have a serious problem. You may all remember from my previous post that HMT went to one of my rival high schools. Well we just so happened to play them in football in our homecoming game during my sophomore year. For every homecoming game student council printed spirit t-shirts with some sort of catchy, but usually not so funny, "our team will beat your team" slogan.

I'm wearing it tonight. It's kelly green and rather bright. With black shorts.

Yes, I'm a huge dork. But if nothing else it will be a conversation starter.

In other news, my 4th of July was excellent. I went to Washington, D.C. to watch the concert and fireworks from the West Lawn of the Capitol building. It poured a lot and we got very, very wet, but we had a great time, and it wasn't so bad that they had to cancel the fireworks.

Really there's no better place to be on the 4th than D.C.

Also went to see Wall-E this weekend. Check here for my thoughts and to see the trailer. (Don't worry no spoilers).

Thursday, July 03, 2008

PT day three

I had PT again this morning and it wasn't nearly as painful when Jackie rub out my IT Band! Whoo!

The foam roller still hurt though. They keep telling me it will stop after a while. I'm not 100% sure I believe them.

They had me doing a couple of new exercises today. Nothing too crazy. It was mostly stuff on machines you'd find in any normal gym.

The one funky thing was this thing called the Fitter. You basically slide back and worth across to build strength for lateral movements. (The guy in the picture kinda looks like a creeper.)

HMT said it was, "like skiing, without the skis and the poles and the snow."

So really, not so much like skiing at all. But it was kind of a fun toy to play on.

Jackie said we're going to try out running next week. I'm really nervous about it. I want to get back to it so bad, but I'm so afraid I'm going to be disappointed when I try it out. I guess we'll see what happens.

Here's my quick HMT update: Turns out he's from the same hometown as I am. He went to a high school not too far from mine and graduated two years before me. He knows some of the same people I know from high school. Uncanny.

Today we chatted about all kinds of sports stuff. Mostly football. Mostly him making fun of Notre Dame football and both of us talking about the couple excellent pro's Maryland has turned out lately.

This is about as personal as I've ever gotten on the blog...I feel like I might be crossing into that emo kid crap. Warn me if I am.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

PT days one and two

Just call this the most evil muscle in the body...

Well homies, I've had two (that's right two) physical therapy sessions since I last blogged. Monday night and then again this morning.

Monday's PT wasn't too bad. My physical therapist is this really nice girl named Jackie. I'm thinking she can't be that much older than me. Monday she basically tested my leg strength and flexibility and went over a few very basic strengthening exercises that would be my homework. Nothing too complicated. Mostly stuff I was familiar with from teaching my various classes.

This morning....well peeps that was another story all together. I warmed up on the elliptical for five minutes. Then did the basic leg strengthening exercises. No problem there.

And then they brought out the dreaded foam roller. You may have remember reading Akshaye's post about this not too long ago. Holy crap did that hurt.

Hottie McHottster Therapist (HMT) who was there saw my girl pull it out and then saw me eying it nervously and he was like, "Yea that's for you."

So I rolled very slowly and very painfully over it for a few minutes. But then I got to stop and do some leg presses and calf stuff while chatting with HMT.

Once I finished that and was waiting for my girl to stretch me out (more on that in a bit) I started chatting with HMT and one of other therapists who told me she is training for her first half marathon. Turns out it's the Va. Beach half...the one I'm trying to do if my knee rehabs in time. So we chatted about that and HMT was impressed by my story about how I ran it last year with strep throat.

Then Jackie came to stretch me out, which included a rub down of the IT band. OH MY GOD PAIN. PAIN. PAIN. PAIN. Holy crap I can't even put into words how much it hurt. It was not fun. At all. Even a little bit. But I survived and get to go back for more on Thursday morning. At least I've got some eye candy that I get to scope out haha.