Celebrate the Pain

Oh, summer. It was a simpler time. I remember dealing with blisters and tight calves and I would gladly trade in my current injuries for those injuries inconveniences! On the other hand, per usual, I’m not where I want to be, but I’m glad I’m not where I used to be! It’s a catch-22. But it seems to always be something.

Jesse and I headed to Forest Park on Sunday (not yesterday, but the Sunday before). He opted for Wildwood, while I thought I should stick to Leif Erickson Drive. I was feeling okay – hip pain coming and going and ended up doing a slow 6 miles. I was sore afterwards and stretching was painful. Even more painful was our subsequent REI trip where I was in agony and limping around quite pathetically. Monday I was practically hobbled and was finally offered some relief on Tuesday morning. Until….midnight. I woke up with shooting nerve pain through my ass, hips, and thighs. Tossing and turning to no avail, I finally had to seek some help/advice from trusty ol’ Google. After a few hours of research, Jesse and I [unofficially] concluded that I have Piriformis Syndrome/sciatica. Several Youtube videos later (this one, strangely enough, has been the most helpful) and endless stretching that indeed proves that I’m not very bendy, I was feeling defeated and decided more yoga is exactly what I should be doing. I began looking at various yoga studios, scheduled an appointment with a new PT, and began dramatically thinking my running “career” was over (over the top, I know, but I blame WebMD).

As much as I was enjoying my new life with constant nerve pain, I was still reading all I could about how to proceed with training for, well, anything or just exercising in general. Some websites said to stop running immediately; others said it’s really important to continue being active. I thought swimming might be good, but was told it wouldn’t make difference, as it works the same muscles. I figured, though, that only I know what my body is telling me and decided to just run anyways.

And so I did. Thursday night I did a few miles after work downtown and was pain-free. Saturday morning I met L in Forest Park for 8 pain-free miles and on Sunday, went mountain biking for the first time with Jesse and some friends and was pain-free for those miles as well. Not sure what happened there – was the injury not what I thought it was? Could all this stretching really make it better in just a few days? Likely too soon to tell but in any case, I am grateful!

The weekend ended with a trip to the symphony, which I always enjoy, and I am looking forward to being in Colorado this week for my birthday!

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ORRC Y2K14 – 1/4/14

Last Saturday was my running buddy’s first 10K! We hadn’t been running together for a while and I was so grateful for her company and support again – I’ve missed her! She picked me up Saturday morning and we ventured to Forest Grove for the Oregon Road Runner’s Club Y2K14 Run.

It was such a beautiful morning…a little brisk and everything beyond Hillsboro was frosty a crisp. We were pressed for time upon our arrival and, naturally, both had to pee and get our packets and down some GU and stash our swag and just. Yeah. But it all worked out! I will say this, though. I was not super enamored with this race organization. Once again, they offered no pre-race day packet pickup and our “swag” was a shitty fleece hat that didn’t even say what the event was and miiiiight fit my 4 year old niece. I wanted to buy L a shirt for her first 10K and the only ones available to purchase were the series ones. This was an example of wanting to save money on registration fees and I guess I get that, but was still disappointed.

Anyways, it all ended up being fine. I shoved the hat(s) in my pocket for some uncomfortable (and unflattering) running bulges and the race began. It was a 100% road race, but again, it was such a gorgeous morning for running and, let’s be honest. Forest Grove is extremely rural, so it’s not as if it had urban running inconveniences such as stoplights, trains, etc. It was a flat course, but we were quickly “exhausted” by the vehicle fumes we had to endure along the highway stretch (see what I did there!? 😉

My hip, true to form, started aching around mile 2.5. We stopped for wardrobe adjustments around mile 4 and I did some stretching, which may or may not have helped. By the end of the race, L and I were both pretty quiet, trying to keep our respective complaints to a minimum. Our goal by mile 5 was to finish before “tall girl with striped socks”. Mission accomplished!

We both finished strong, had a good 15 minute stretch session, decided to skip the pancake feast, and we headed back to PDX. It was a great first run of the year and I think it was a good event for L’s first 10K, though we are both missing our summer-y trail runs.

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Also – new Brooks running jacket = love.

In other news, I saw a PT on Monday and have to say…I expected more. For $150 I was told to do more yoga and was sent home. He couldn’t answer why I was hurting to begin with, yet told me I could still run and should just stretch it out mid-run if it bothers me. So I cancelled my follow up appointment, spoke to a few acquaintances who are PTs, and concluded that……I am more confused than ever.

Trail and Error

Happy New Year!

Before diving into physical therapy and starting that process, I wanted to make sure my sore hip wasn’t just some sort of fluke. So over the weekend I talked Jesse into going with me on a super casual run on Leif Erickson from Germantown (he doesn’t care for this trail, hence the talking him into it…).

Now, I’ve not made mention of him much before because, well, he’s not a super great running partner. But we have a dog, Riley, and he’s just as sweet as can be…at home. But in public, he’s the dog equivalent of a hungry and pissed off t-rex. His leash aggression and anxiety make public outings extremely stressful. Sadly, then, I rarely take him when we run in Forest Park because everyone else has well-behaved dogs who get to run off-leash and it becomes such a nightmare for everyone and I become instantly mortified and want to scrap the whole thing.

This time was no exception.

There didn’t seem to be a ton of people/dogs on the trail, but enough to make the run miserable and eventually turn into a slow walk/training session. One guy had some sort of wolf-dog hybrid (who was actually really cute and sweet and his name was Atlas and I wanted to flop his ears and bury my face in his fluffy orange fur…but I digress) but the poor thing was lacking any sort of leadership from his owner and Riley went absolutely bonkers. We were basically held hostage on the trail while Atlas ran about, unwilling to be caught, while Riley was restrained, all the while snarling and whining and trying to be good but was just really really bad. So all in all, nothing came from that “adventure” (except this cute picture I snapped when he was actually being good) and me finally being prompted to call a behaviorist. We have a 2-hour training scheduled in a week. Stay tuned!

Riley - 12/28/13

On Sunday, leaving poor Bear at home, we planned a short loop on Wildwood. It had clearly been a while since I’d done any sort of rolling hill running and I was feeling the burn. In the best possible way, though. ; ]

About 3 miles in, the elevation gain was taking its toll and I had to turn back, making my run about 2 miles shorter than I wanted. On the bright side, I was not sore at all that night or the next day. Hoping to get in another short one before deciding how to move forward with training/recovery. I was sick yesterday so didn’t bring in the new year with a run, but today…things are lookin’ up.