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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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SI joint injury

2014 Recap

Hard to believe I’m already in my 4th year of blogging.  A recap of 2014. (Click the links to see a recap of 2011,  2012 and 2013)
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
  •  Hurt my back
  • Competed in my first sprint (or any, for that matter) triathlon
  • Swam for longer than it takes to get from one end of the pool to the other
  • Got Invisalign
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

2014

  • Run 6 half marathons (pending this most recent butt/back injury) – Nope, it took longer than I hoped to recover so I only ran 2
  • PR a race – YES – thought it was a “post baby” PR, I still haven’t gotten as fast as pre baby
  • Make it to a year of breastfeeding YES – though technically a few days shy, I still count it
  • Read 25 books NOPE – I’m honestly not sure how many I read, but no more than 10-15
  • Spend less time glued to my phone NOPE

2015

  • Run a post baby marathon
  • Finish an Olympic Distance Triathlon
  • Come up with and follow a financial plan
  • Do a “pay it forward” once a month
  • Earn 2.0 CEU’s to go towards an ACE award in 2016
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
  • Too many to count
4. Did anyone close to you die?
  • Thankfully, no
5. What countries did you visit?
  • Um, that would be zero. A big fat zero. (again)
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
  • a vacation! A nice one! Because we didn’t take one in 2014 either.
7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
  • March 1 – babies first 5kWe win!
  • May 14 – Twins first birthday and party

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  • July 27 – my first sprint triathlon!
Other than the fact that I don't look like I'm wearing shorts (I am), I love how this pic turned out
Other than the fact that I don’t look like I’m wearing shorts (I am), I love how this pic turned out
  • August 19 – my 32nd birthday and another attempt at a pic with the twins gone wrong
Sorry  mom, we aren't looking
Sorry mom, we aren’t looking
  • September 17 – I finished my tattoo
A pink and blue foot for each of my little ones :)
A pink and blue foot for each of my little ones 🙂
  • October 20 – my first post injury half marathon and mini vacation
Official finish time 1:55:42 or 8:45 pace
Official finish time 1:55:42 or 8:45 pace
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  • Surviving with semblance of my sanity and fitness intact
9. What was your biggest failure?
  • Wasting time with worry and stress continues to be my biggest issue (again)
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
  • Injured SI joint
11. What was the best thing you bought?
  • Triathlon bike!
ready to kick ass and take names this season!
ready to kick ass and take names this season!
12. Where did most of your money go?
  • Bills – isn’t it always bills?
  • My ridiculous fitness habit
13. What did you get really excited about?

  • Triathlons, surprisingly
  • Watching the twins grow up
14. What song will always remind you of 2014?
  • Rude by MAGIC! No idea why.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • – happier or sadder? happier!
  • – thinner or fatter?  about the same
  • – richer or poorer? definitely poorer
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
  • be present with my family
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
  • stress about money
  • worry about things out of my control
18. How did you spend Christmas?
  • My parents, sister and brother in law spent the day at our house
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
19. What was your favorite TV program?
  • Modern Family
  • Sister Wives (yes, I know)
  • Ink Master
20. What were your favorite books of the year?

  • Jodi Picoult – The Storyteller
  • The Divergent series
21. What was your favorite music from this year?

  • Love Runs Out – One Republic
  • Desire – Meg Myers
  • Rude – MAGIC!
  • Dark Horse – Katy Perry
  • When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
  • The Hunger Games – didn’t watch many movies this year either.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
  • I turned 32. We spent the day shopping, getting new running shoes and had dinner with a few friends/family. Bryan had planned a surprise party for me, but it had to be canceled after both the twins got sick :(.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
  • I don’t think anything would have brought satisfaction that I’d consider immeasurable.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

  • I so don’t care. I just buy what I think is cute. And on sale. Bonus if its both. (This totally hasn’t changed)
26. What kept you sane?

  • My husband
  • My friends
  • Running
  • Blogging
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
  • Nothing worth doing is easy

Marathon Training Recap – Week 11

You’d think by the 3rd go round I’d remember that trying to train for a marathon during the holidays is exhausting, but perhaps I’m driven by visions of all the cookies, chocolate and fudge I can eat guilt free. It wouldn’t be the first time chocolate has driven my motivation.

Monday – I broke my no running back to back rule this week because i knew that in order to get 6 miles on Tuesday I’d have to get up at 515am and run it on the treadmill. No, thank you. 3 easy miles today because my back felt tight. Ugh. I had a FABULOUS massage later, though, and the chiropractor gave me a complimentary adjustment. Win.

Tuesday – 3 treadmill miles. I ran without  my orthotics today, and didn’t notice any tinging in my leg.

Wednesday – I had planned to do yoga but honestly was exhausted, so I took a rest day.

Thursday – 7.5 miles The first few miles felt awesome, and then the characteristic tingling happened again around mile 5. ARG. The last two were uneventful, thankfully. I should note that I was running in my orthotics this time. By the time I was at the end of the day at work, I felt what I can only describe as pressure in my lower back. After the twins went to bed I hung on the inversion table for a few minutes and used the massager on my hamstring and pyriformis muscles. Huge help

Friday – rest day

Saturday – This weeks long run ended up split into an interesting combination. As I mentioned last week, Bryan is now teaching on Saturdays. I signed up for a 5k a few weeks ago and my sister so nicely offered to watch the twins since they were calling for rain (I had originally planned to push them). So my run was split like this:

1.7 mile warm up before race (honestly I was just trying to log as much as possible) at 8:44/mile

3.1 mile 5k race at 7:27/mile (I almost threw up at the end, for real)

.75 mile cool down at 8:55/mile

Pick up twins from my sisters, take them home and feed them lunch. Put them down for a nap.

8 torturous miles on the treadmill at 9:22/mile. Took a water and inversion break at 4 miles. Streamed Gilmore Girls on netflix to kill the hamster wheel boredom.

4.5 miles outside when Bryan got home (luckily right after I finished the 8 miles) at 8:50/mile

And NO leg tingling!! (and no orthotics….hmmm)

I mean, you do what you gotta do, right?

Sunday – I worked at a nursing home this morning and quite frankly, am still exhausted. I had planned to do some yoga today but may just end up doing some stretching and take another rest day. I am seriously pooped. Other than some muscle soreness though my back feels great! yay!

Total miles: 31.5

Mishmash

Well, I certainly never intended to go over a week without a blog. After the twins got over their fevers over the weekend, I got sick. I’d had congestion on and off that I attributed to allergies or a cold, but it turned into a sinus infection. I called in sick to work last Wednesday when I woke up with a fever. I had planned to blog since I was home but felt too cruddy. I spent the day on the couch watching Gilmore Girls, which, other than being sick was really enjoyable.

Instead of my usual half day Thursday I worked a full day. My parents were down for a visit from Thursday night to Monday night, so it was a very busy weekend. I do have some cute pictures, though.

cruising the mall
cruising the mall
naps on grandpa
naps on grandpa
stroller footsie
stroller footsie

Running wise, I’m still scheduled for my first half marathon this year a week from Sunday. Frustratingly, I’ve been having issues with my SI joint/pyriformis the last week or so. During my 11 mile run I had to stop and stretch and my chiropractor said during my last visit that my pelvis is beginning to turn again. This is particularly aggravating not only because of my two halves I have scheduled, but the full marathon I’d hoped to complete next spring, and because I honestly started to believe that periodic chiropractic visits and stretching would be enough. I doubt its a coincidence that its been acting up as I’ve increased my mileage, though all my muscles ended up REALLY tight from being sick. Forward bends and downward dogs actually hurt when I did my yoga last Sunday.

Still, I’ve been considering either an orthopedic specialist or sports medicine doc visit – if anyone has any experience in my particular injury or an idea as to which doc would be more worth my time, please let me know. I’d appreciate any advice!

We also did our first stroller run over the weekend as it was finally cool enough to run with the twins. Um, they are a little heavier this year. Pushing almost 50lbs of toddler is no joke!

one and done
one and done

I officially failed at my 30 day challenge attempt. After the twins got sick and I got sick it fell off the calendar. I do have plans to complete it still, but nowhere near within 30 days at this point 🙂

I still plan to finish my invisalign “review”, have a guest post to write this weekend, and of course, the monthly twin update is coming up soon. (woo!)

This also fell by the wayside lately, but don’t forget I am always looking for guest posts! The only requirement is honesty. Brutal honesty, if necessary.

You know you want to write a guest post!

A Milestone of Sorts

I’ve been a little frustrated lately. I didn’t go into detail, but did mention that after my last 5k, I had some issues with my joint again. I’d been able to decrease chiropractic visits to twice a month but have been “stuck” there since (the goal is to continue to decrease). In fact, the last couple visits he has mentioned that my range of motion actually seems worse. Given that I’m doing my stretches and have increased cross training, I started to feel at a loss. For several weeks after I’d notice slight tightness in my pyriformis after every run. It was something  I could stretch out afterwards but still kept me nervous enough to keep my milage fairly low.

Every once in awhile I need a good long run. I know it sounds crazy, but there is something almost refreshing and cleansing about it. I’ve worked through countless numbers of issues on runs: personal ones, marriage related, professionally, mentally, you name it. That isn’t to say I haven’t relieved some frustrations on my bike.  If you’re a runner though, you’ll get it. There is just something about a good long run.

My chiropractor has suggested swim workouts several times and so I finally gave it a whirl. I did my very first swim Thursday and found it to be more enjoyable than I expected. Friday was a full day at work followed by a wedding that evening and I remember cursing myself for not waking up early enough to workout because I knew we’d be out late. 6am runs are the only way to (kinda) beat the humidity  and that alarm would go off all too soon.

Unexpectedly I woke up on my own Saturday morning at 615 and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I did what any crazy runner would do – I laced up my shoes and took off. I had no expectations for this run, honestly. With less than 6 hours of sleep and a couple glasses of wine the night before, I figured I’d just run with it (pun intended).

Maybe it was the swim the couple days before, maybe it was the sheer lack of expectation, maybe it was just luck but I felt great. So great in fact that I pushed another mile past my current longest distance and completed 7 miles (with a few walk breaks) without any muscle tightness.

And it was just what I needed.

 

Like a Fish Out of Water

One of the first things (as I’ve mentioned before) that my chiropractor recommended once my joint seemed better and I was permitted to exercise and run again was that I would need to incorporate more cross training. Since then I’ve cut runs down from 4-5 days a week to between 2-4 days (depending on the week) and easily incorporated biking, rollerblading and yoga. Unfortunately for me, the best exercise for my particular issue is not biking. It’s not rollerblading. It’s not yoga – its swimming.

I suck at swimming. So I avoided it.

After the most recent 5k – the one where I started off too fast and spent the whole run trying not to vomit – I’ve had some issues with my back and/or butt feeling tight. Per my chiropractor my range of motion has actually gotten worse. And yet again he talked about how good swimming would be for my joint.

Sigh.

Our neighborhood pool has been open for nearly a month, but I’m sissy and I hate cold water. Today, though, I finally decided to take the plunge (pun intended).

Here is what I learned:

  • I still suck at swimming – a sprint triathlon swim distance (1/2 mile) took me nearly 40 minutes including rest breaks. I feel like I kinda swim like a fish out of water
  • My most effective swim style is the “made up side stroke”
  • Bikini’s are not the best bathing suit choice for lap swimming
  • Bikini’s with worn elastic are REALLY not the best bathing suit choice for lap swimming

Still, I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would and am interested to see how I can improve.

 

On Becoming Flexible

I can be a fairly inflexible person, both literally and figuratively. I like to have a plan, and once I make said plan I want to follow said plan (as a matter of fact, I just ordered a planner). If someone or something puts a dent in my plan I don’t always cope well. My muscles it seems are much like my plans – fairly inflexible. It takes some time to work the kinks out. Motherhood has helped some since infants tend to not give two sh*ts about plans, but that doesn’t mean I still haven’t attempted to dictate feeding and nap times down to the minute.

After I injured my back/hip a few months ago one of the first things the chiropractor told me was that I was going to have to start incorporating more cross training into my exercise routine. I took a weekly yoga class in college that I really enjoyed but fell out of the habit once I graduated. The last thing I want to do is risk re-injury so about a month ago I re-introduced weekly yoga practice.

Power Yoga has always been my class of choice. I enjoy and benefit from the stretching and breathing but if I’m going to exercise prefer to participate in something that is going to increase my heart rate. (Plus its the class I took in college so its more what I’m used to.) After brushing the dust bunnies and dog hair off of the yoga mat that’s been sitting in my downstairs closet for years (and coughing and sneezing a few times), I rolled it out and scrolled through my You Tube video options.

My first attempt was…..interesting. While my imagination had me mastering the crow (or crane) pose the reality was after two chaturanga’s my arms were shaking like leaves. The good news was I found I enjoyed it as much if not more than before. The bad news is it showed me just how stiff and weak much of my body really is. Because not only did I have to hang out in childs pose during several plank to chaturanga transitions, for the next two days? I was SORE. In fact, when I returned to the chiropractor two days later with that report, he laughed at me (obviously the man has never done yoga).

Two weeks ago, Bryan lost his job. My first reaction was, like usual, to panic. Walking around in a ball of anxiety I worried about our finances. To worry and prepare some makes sense but the reality is we are not likely to go broke during this temporary bout of unemployment. Money is something I tend fret about, often unnecessarily.

Coincidentally (or maybe not), I found myself able to let go of some of these over the top worries each week while on my mat. I even found myself saying “well isn’t that what savings is for?”. As someone who wants to put money into savings and NEVER EVER TOUCH IT, this was a big forward step. In addition to that, I found myself become stronger and more flexible physically even with only a months worth of weekly yoga “classes”. Last week I was able to hold the crow pose for a few seconds and do several plank to chaturanga transitions without fatiguing. It takes less and less time to warm up and I’m able to bend and twist further into poses.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to change my thought processes to be more flexible quite as quickly, but I try when I start fretting to bring myself back to reality, or to put it off until the next time I pull out the (now non dust covered) mat. The injury that frustrated me to no end at first is working its way into something positive. Without it, my mat would likely continue to be a home for spiders (ew).

(On a somewhat related note, I’m tweaking my New Years Resolutions. Since running 6 half marathons this year is likely not possible, my new goal is to be able to enter, exit and hold a forearm balance in a controlled manner. Stay tuned for updates on this :))

A Trial Run

It’s funny how an injury can quickly turn a goal of running 6 half marathons in a year to hoping for a 5k in a couple of weeks and maybe the half marathon I’d been eyeing in April, originally planned half number 3 of the year.

So far in 2014 I’ve run 5 miles, and not even all at once.

Let me back up a bit. In my last update I’d just gotten the results and recommendations of the chiropractor and started showing diligently 3x a week for adjustments and time on the spinal decompression table in addition to stretches at home, waiting for the ok to do pretty much any kind of exercise that would raise my heart rate (walks, to me, don’t count). Finally, 4 weeks after that fateful run, I was given the ok to bike, walk (oops), and rollerblade (yes, I own and use rollerblades) with a promise that a run would come “soon”.

Last weekend was my first trial run. As excited as I was to have the ok I was a little nervous. This SI injury has caused way more  pain and discomfort than my broken toe and the fear of re-injuring it is probably going to be ingrained in the back of my mind.  Still, I laced up my shoes in preparation for 1.5 miles, with a promise to really focus on my body and form. It wasn’t long and it wasn’t fast, but it just felt nice to run again.

I still have to take it easy. I’ve run one treadmill mile and 2 outside today and while I don’t feel pain or discomfort, I can still tell that things aren’t back to normal yet, if that makes any sense. The chiropractor says my lower back is adjusting very well and even made mention of spacing out visits soon. Frankly, I’m just happy to feel almost back to normal again.

To be continued, and until then, one mile at a time.

 

** I want to add that while I haven’t acknowledged it yet, I have been nominated for a couple of blog awards that I very much appreciate and plan to post about soon! That, and a new toy/language post, once I can decide on a toy 😉

Doing Some Adjusting (an injury update)

Man. If you’d told me this butt issue was going to turn into this big thing, I wouldn’t haven’t have believed you.

Well, maybe I would have, because that just seems to be the way it goes.

If I remember correctly, I left off after I visited the doc, who told me I suffered from a case of pyriformis (butt) overuse, stretch, take a week of and start back running slowly. If I didn’t tell you that part, well there you go. The problem was that three days after that not only did I not feel even the tiniest bit better, but I was also feeling more pain in my lower back. There is no way I could even think about running as I was still limping around walking. My super nice PT friend agreed to come over Thursday. After my explanation and some butt touching she agreed, gave me some specific stretches and said if It didn’t feel better by Monday to call and set up an appointment with the chiropractors office.

Monday rolled around and things were feeling better. I even had about half the day where it didn’t hurt at all. Then came Tuesday and in my rush to get out of the house couldn’t remember if I had locked the door. I jogged from my car to my front door to check and in that 50 feet my back started hurting again.

At this point it had been over a week since the run and after a couple of days of feeling better this was just frustrating.

6 days later I’m in the chiropractors office and I’m hoping to finally to make some headway. Essentially, my pelvis (on the right side) is tilted and twisted, which is causing twisting further up in my spine. The pain is in my SI joint. It’s difficult to see in the picture of a picture but you can at least see that although I’m standing up straight, it appears as though I’m leaning to the right.

not pretty
not pretty

He’s recommended visits 3x/week for a total 24 visits, with daily stretches and exercises that will increase in type and difficulty as we progress. He also told me I will have to keep up with some exercises (that have not yet been specified) even after things are “fixed” in order to avoid this happening again. Finally, I’m going to have to incorporate more cross training – swimming, rollerblading and biking are supposedly best for SI joint.

In his words, I should be able to get back to exercising “pretty quickly”. It’s the running part  I’m not really sure of. At this point I feel both relieved and frustrated as I just want to get back to being active and of course, running. At this rate I’ll be out  just as long or longer as when I broke my toe a few months ago, only then at least I was able to exercise in other ways after a couple weeks. Three weeks into this injury and I’m still sidelined from all exercise.

Arg.

 

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