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Yesterday, Thursday, was my first day of physical therapy.  I was nervous.  I was nervous because I want my hip to heal first and foremost, I want to be able to run the half on Sept. 1st, and I was also nervous because I wanted the physical therapist to be a runner.  I’m sure that sounds terrible, but I felt like if the person is a runner, he or she will understand my love for it and the want to get back going where I was.  The first thing she said to me was…”I’m a runner too, so I completely understand where you are at.”  Yay!!

She talked to me, examined my hip, and showed me my first set of stretches that also double as strengthening exercises.  We worked on those for a while and I go back again on Monday.  She told me that I didn’t have to stop running at this point, but agreed with the doctor that I should for sure cut everything in half.  She also went on to say that if we can get this stretched out and the inflammation down, it is possible to still run the half on Sept. 1st.  Yay!!

So here it is, Friday, and I really wanted to work out.  She also said that I need to do more cross training, which isn’t my favorite thing to do anyway, but I am going to follow directions.  I decided that I would do one circuit on weight machines with cardio in between each machine.  This took me 10 minutes.  I was nice and warmed up, really sweaty, and I decided that I would stop and go through all of the stretches she showed me…nice and slowly.  Everything so far felt good.  Yay!!

I then headed to the treadmill.  I walked for a couple of minutes and then started a slow jog.  I was nervous because those first few steps have been painful lately.  Nothing!  It felt really good at the beginning.  I kept on going, slowly increasing the speed and everything was going great.  I had NO PAIN whatsoever and not even any tightness!  Everything….legs, hip, breathing…everything felt so good.  I ran 2 miles and wanted so much to go further, but I didn’t.  Even though everything was so good and there was NO PAIN, I didn’t want to push too far.  I have to be smart about this, go slowly, and proceed with care.  But, I was so happy that my hip felt as good as it did!  Yay!!

After the run, I went through all the stretches again, slowly.  I went home and iced it, per doctors orders, and it still feels really good.  Yay!!

We’ll see how the rest of the day goes, and I know it’s only ONE DAY, but….this one day is a very good and encouraging day.  I am not naive enough to think that I won’t have bad days, sore days, days with pain etc., but I feel very good about today.  Yay!!

I have loved this runner’s prayer for years, and want to share it here. 


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Mind and Heart

Well….first of all I would like to thank everybody who sent me messages, comments, texts regarding my hip issue.  I really appreciate your support, words of kindness and encouragement.  Means the world to me.

I didn’t run Saturday or Sunday.  The doctor said that I should feel the effects of the shots within 48 hours after receiving them, and I sure did.  My hip felt all around better just walking around…not much soreness, pain, tightness.  He said that would mean the shots were working on bringing down the inflammation.  Check.

Monday came and so did some pain.  I have no idea why, but judging on where the pain was, I’m guessing that it was the mild arthritis, not the IT band.  The doctor described and showed me where the differences were in pain and what was hurting.  He did say that I could run lightly on Monday, but I chose not to run at all and just rested.

Now it’s today, Tuesday and I really wanted to run lightly because I missed it and because I wanted to see how it was going to feel.  I decided to go on the treadmill because if it was going badly, I would be able to just stop and not have to worry about getting home.  He told me not to stretch before I start, so I started out walking.  I could tell right away that it was sore and it hurt, but not as badly as it hurt last week, which was a good start.

I walked about a half a mile and then decided to jog lightly.  Wow….it hurt.  But again, not as bad as it did last week.  I immediately thought about what I should do…keep going or stop.  I kept going, lightly.  It started to loosen up after a little bit and I felt good about that.  At one mile, I stopped and got off the treadmill and stretched, which felt good.  I got back on and walked a little bit, then jogged lightly until I reached 1.5 miles.  And then I had a decision to make.  I was very sore.  It was hurting…not horrible pain, but enough that I knew that I should stop.  So I did, stretched a lot, and now icing like the doctor told me.

So my thoughts…..lots going through my head.  It didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would, which is good.  I stopped when I should have and didn’t push through, which is good.  Stopping was the smart thing to do, but not the easiest thing to do.

It’s difficult to be in this position.   I hurt and I am not going to push it, but it’s difficult.  My heart tells me one thing, and my brain tells me another.

If somebody told me they were in a similar situation, I would feel for them, but I would say to take care of the only body they have and be smart.   Don’t push it.  It’s not worth screwing up your body for the rest of your life over one race, event, or whatever the case is.   But it’s hard to tell myself that. Isn’t that always the case?!

Again…..time will tell.   Until next time, everybody take care!

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I don’t really know how to start this blog entry.  I’m at a loss for words, which to those of you who really know me, that doesn’t usually happen to me.  

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you will know I’ve been struggling with motivation to run and have been in a rut.  I have talked about how I really don’t know why I’ve been struggling.  You also know that I’ve had a sore hip, but that it was sort of coming and going….or so I thought.

My hubby and I were talking about a week or so ago while out on a run together and he commented on how I haven’t seemed as dedicated in my marathon training this time as I was last time.  This I knew!  I really started to think about why.  Then I went back and thought about another comment he made shortly after that about how it always seems like my hip hurts.  He said that he had noticed that I rarely come back from a run without it hurting and how when we run together, I’m grunting with nearly every step.  It was almost as though somebody took off a blindfold from my eyes and it was clear.  

I’ve had a two-fold problem and both problems were compounding the other.  I’ve had soreness in my hip since December of 2011.  I mentioned it to my doctor at a routine physical and we talked about more stretching, which I started to do faithfully.  Things got better.  Until about March.  At the Get Lucky Half, I was telling Trish how my hip has been hurting, just sort of in passing as we didn’t talk at length about it, and how I was trying to keep stretching it.  But it was after the half when it changed…now that I look back.  The soreness would get better once I started running and almost feel like it would losen up, but after the Get Luck Half and into April, the soreness changed to pain when I was running.  This definitely changed my performance for myself, which made me feel bad about how I was doing, and therefore, I didn’t really care if I went out for a run.  I never put the connection together, until now, that there was a part of me that was afraid to go out and run because it hurt.  In addition, there were times when my hip didn’t hurt as badly as it did the last time so I thought that it was getting better, so why worry about it?  Or why even admit there is a problem?

Last weekend we were out of town.  I had a run on a crappy hotel treadmill and then the next morning, hubby and I went outside and ran together before going to a wedding.  Both runs, my hip hurt.  The one outside especially hurt that morning…with nearly every step.  Again, I pushed it out of my mind.  It will get better, I thought and kept telling myself.  This week, I had two runs.  My first run of 4 miles on Wednesday went so great. My pace for the first two miles was under 10 minute miles which I’ve never done before.  My 2nd two miles were still great for me on pace.  My hip was sore, but it wasn’t too bad.  Thursday I had 6 miles on my schedule and it still went well for pace, but I grunted and grimaced with every step.  It hurt A LOT.  I pushed through the pain, which I knew at the time was STUPID because a person should really never to that when feeling what I was feeling, but I wanted to see if it would losen up and then I wanted to see how it felt the rest of the day.  I got through it, got home and had my coffee, breakfast, and then laid back down in bed for a little bit.  When I got back up, I could hardly take a step on that side.  I knew it was time to do something.

I sent a text to Trish, who is an orthopedic hand surgeon, and asked her when/if I should go to the doctor. My training schedule for the marathon is going to get really serious now at this point, meaning the miles are going to increase quite a bit.  I don’t have time to rest if I want to do the full marathon.  But I don’t want to injure myself further if it could be something serious.  Her response, GO IN.  So I called and made an appointment for the next day.

Which brings me to yesterday, Friday.  I saw an orthopedic hip doctor.  He took xrays and then had my consultation.  There are three issues with my right hip, the one that has been hurting and no issues with my left hip.  First issue, I have mild arthritis.  I’m not surprised and neither was the doctor as I do have a family history of arthritis.  He did say there is nothing I could have done or can do about developing arthritis and it is mild at this point.  But that would explain only some of the pain I’m feeling.

Second issue, bursitis.  Basically, this is on a different part of my hip and the bursa sac contains a small amount of fluid that helps to lubricate the and acts as a sort of cushion between the soft tissues of the hip and the hip bone.  It helps to reduce the friction between the two.  My bursa (hopefully I’m stating that correctly) is very inflammed and not producing the fluid and not cushioning the large tendon and muscles on the bone on that hip.    Each time that tendon has to move over the bone, whether walking or running (especially running right now) it’s very painful.  

Third, my Iliotibial Band, or IT band, is extremely tight and also very inflammed.  The IT band is a thick band is tissue that connects up on the hip and runs down the outside of the thigh and connects again at the top part of the tibia or shin bone.  There is also friction with the IT band during activity and if that inflammed and not treated, it can cause a great deal of pain.  

BINGO.  He gave me two shots in that part of my hip….ouch….to help with reducing the inflammation.  I’m also on anti-inflammatory meds twice a day for 10 days to help as well.

So what’s the prognosis?  Well….first of all, no Women Rock MN Full Marathon on September 1st.  I still may be able to run the half, but that is up in the air as well.  (Feelings later in post, but I’m very sad about that)

No running this weekend, but I can run Monday.  However, I have to cut everything in half.  If I’m supposed to run 4 miles, only run 2.  You get the picture.

Physical therapy 3 times a week for 3 weeks to stretch out the IT band.  The doctor said it is so tight and that it shouldn’t be, but no surprise there considering.  If I don’t work on getting it stretched out and the inflammation down, this will keep happening. 

After the 3 weeks of physical therapy, we can decide on the half marathon on September 1st.  If it’s stretched out better and the pain is better, go for it.  Maybe.  He then added…..”You may have to just take up biking instead.”

Devastation right there.  And I just stared at him.

I was already feeling bad about the whole thing.  Then to have an uncertain future about running….very sad.  I wanted to run that marathon.  I want to be able to work hard and run the half.  I feel so bad and also worried about it all.  

On the flip side, I hopefully have a lot of life left.  Do I want to spend it in pain?  Or not just that because I can help get this fixed, but have a risk of this coming back and coming back and coming back?  I do believe that it sure can be helped and “fixed”, but what’s more important?  Do I just forget about the half on September 1st, take it easy and try again next summer?  That’s what Trish suggested I do.  That’s probably the right thing to do, says my head.  But my heart….that’s another story.

My doctor didn’t tell me yet that I have to give up running.  In fact, he did say that motion is good, but that a person has to decide just how much motion.  I may have some decisions to make about how much I run, what, if any, races I register for, and all that jazz.  

Some of you reading are shaking your heads and thinking that this is a no-brainer.  Back off…it’s not worth it…are you nuts?  Yes, maybe I am.  But running is something that I have come to love.  Think of it this way, imagine an activity that you love and think about if you possibly couldn’t do it anymore.  How would you feel?  

So…I’m left with no full marathon, possibly being able to still do the half marathon, and some unanswered questions.  Here’s my plan to move forward.  I can still do upper body workouts and ab workouts.  I can of course still walk, and I can run lightly on Monday. I’m not going to push running so hard, but still get out there like he said I could do…cut my runs in half.    I’m going to work hard at physical therapy on my exercises to help my IT band.  And then…just go from there. 

I’m going to dry up my tears.  The bottom line is that things could be much, much worse.  This is not a life-threatening illness.  It’s just a huge bummer.  And, the bottom line is, that if all the running I have been doing needs to be backed down for the rest of my life and that running half marathons and full marathons are not in my best interest, then so be it.  It’s not worth living my life in pain and/or hurting myself in a worse way by pushing though pain just to be in a race like that.  Even though I have a love of running, there is more to life.  I have to be smart and I will be.  If it turns out that things went well and the doctor says the half is good to go, then great.  If I can’t run the half, I will be disappointed, but I’m not going to put myself at any further risk.  

So for now, I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other…..just in a different way.

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Where In The World Is Runnergal22?

I don’t know where she is.  She’s somewhere between finishing up a school year, working part time at her summer job, keeping up with family, and training for a marathon.  The latter isn’t going so well.

I have still had trouble with motivation.  I really thought, at the beginning of the whole lack-of-motivation-thing, that it wouldn’t last long.  WRONG.  I have not all that motivated to get out the door.

I can’t say that I’ve had all bad runs.  On the contrary.  I’ve had some great runs.  I’ve had some great cross training workouts.  But neither has really flipped the switch for me where I simply can’t wait to get out the door.

I’m not trying to be Miss Negative.  I’m just being honest.  And realistic.  Just like I’m not the only person who loves running, I’m not the only person who blogs, I’m not the only person who blogs about RUNNING,  I’m not the only person who does races…..I’m not the only person who has struggled with the lack of motivation.

I keep looking back to a year ago when I completed the Minneapolis Marathon and how that training went.  I said this in an earlier blog….it’s a lot easier to train when you have the motivation…when you have that “can’t wait to get out the door” feeling, and when things are going well.  It’s very difficult to train when you could care less whether you run or not.  Trust me….I’ve been in both places.  Last year I wanted to run every day…all day.  Lately…I could care less.

HOWEVER….I am still getting out there.  I sometimes think I’m not working as hard as last year, but then again, sometimes I think I’m working harder simply because it’s harder for me to get out there.  And many times the challenge in life is that point in which we all have to push ourselves to do something that we don’t want to do.

And then… happened.

I worked this morning at our local golf course.  I had four miles on the schedule for today, which I had planned to do after work.  I hadn’t decided which “route” I was going to run….our local trail, a gravel road route I take sometimes, or the treadmill.  I was sort of thinking treadmill because I thought it was going to rain, but I opted for the trail.

I have recently gotten a new iPhone and downloaded many things, but two of them are Pandora and this running app.  The running app I really love because it has a GPS, pace tracker etc. and she gives me updates every once in a while.  I downloaded lots of 80s music on Pandora, so I was set to go.  My right hip has been bothering me for the last couple of weeks, but today, it didn’t feel sore at all so I was super happy about that!

I got going and things felt really good….hip felt good, quads felt good, breathing was good.  I was so glad I had opted for the trail.  The smells were wonderful and I was actually glad it was overcast because I knew I wouldn’t get too hot.

I was listening to my 80s cardio mix and the running app lady (I haven’t named her yet) came on for my update.  I had run one mile and my pace was 9:44 per mile.  WHAT?   ME???  I have never run that fast before.  I have never been UNDER a 10 minute mile…not even really that close to a 10 minute mile. EV-ER.  Wow…that felt good.  So I kept on going and knew that I would turn around at the two mile point and head back to make four total.  She came back on at 2 miles and my second mile pace was 9:48….REALLY?  I was still holding that pace?  Yes I was.

I turned around feeling really good about this AND I didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard…that was the best part.  At a little past the 2 mile mark wow….there was a HUGE GUST OF WIND that nearly knocked me over.  From that point until the end, my pace slowed down.  It was so windy and my pace was 10:25 for the 3rd mile and 10:47 for the last mile.  During that last mile, I slowed down and stretched my hip which was still feeling good, but just needed a quick stretch.

My final time….4 miles in 40:47…average pace 10:12.  I can’t say how good that feels.  It’s not something I have ever done before…ESPECIALLY the first two miles at under a 10 minute mile pace.

I was in that rut for a long time.  From March 19th  and today is June 13th, I have pretty much cared less.  That’s a long time to be in a rut.  BUT…I kept getting out there.  Maybe that time of mostly bad runs helped me to improve.  It must have.

So…to those of you who have wondered how I’ve been doing….thank you.  To those of you who want me to post more on my Runnergal22 Facebook page about daily runs and to keep writing my blog more faithfully …thank you and I will.

And to myself…I still vow to keep on getting out the door and keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And for tonight….I’m going to relish in this wonderful run and hopefully has brought me out of a long rut!

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