Monday, May 23, 2016

In Limbo - Weekly Wrap

What. A. Week.  Can someone please stop this emotional roller coaster?  I'd really like to get off thankyouverymuch.

If you've been reading along you would have read this post on Friday.  About an hour after I published that post, I had a call with my chiropractor for an update.  The conversation didn't go the way I had hoped.  He told me he wanted me to take a week off.    That sent me into a complete tailspin.  I hung up the phone and started crying and I stayed in a funk all day.  I already feel like I'm behind the eight ball.  This has been going on for FIVE weeks.  My training has been haphazard to say the least.   I've given up on my top five goal and I feel like I'm dangerously close to having to give up on the idea of even starting the race.  I still can't run and my cycling is falling behind big time.  I have lost a lot of fitness.

This weekend was going to be the test.  If I could ride for 2.5 to 3 hours pain free, then I would have known that I could get in a couple more long rides and be good to go for Tremblant, even if I had to walk the half.  But that didn't happen and now I'm left wondering if I'll even make it to the start line.

What's bothering me the most is that no one can figure out exactly what's wrong.  It's been 5 weeks of treating various symptoms.   Granted I had a BUNCH of different things that were bothering me and with each treatment, various things have gotten better.  The one thing that remains is my hamstring issue.  I haven't had any imaging done and I think that needs to happen in order to eliminate any more guess work and come up with a clear plan of action.

G has been trying to cheer me up and he's been very supportive but I can't seem to get out of this funk.  He even bought me this amazing cycling kit.

It doesn't help matters that the weather has been nothing short of spectacular this weekend - FINALLY.  With all my spare time, I finally dealt with the garden in the back and did some planting.  It's nice to see some flowers in there vs the bits of weeds that were there last summer, ha ha.

I didn't get up to much this week but I'm still going to link up (a day late) with Holly and Tricia for their weekly wrap.

Monday:  OFF

Tuesday: OFF.  I was still really sore from my ART / Acupuncture treatment and I worked a long day.

Wednesday:  1600m swim

Thursday:  31km ride outside

Friday:  4.2km run - not good + 2000m swim

Saturday:  OFF.  Did some gardening.   That has to count for something?

Sunday:  OFF.  I even skipped my swim as per my chiro's orders.  I don't get why he wants me to not swim.  I'm going to see if I take my legs out of the equation (i.e use a pull buoy) if he'll let me in the pool.

Total time 2h 49 minutes.

I really hope that this week is better.

How was your week?  If you're in Canada, how did you celebrate the long weekend? 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Re-Evaluating Goals

Happy Friday!  It's especially happy for me as I am off.  I still have some work to do but I get to do it from the comfort of my own home.  WOOHOO!

I wish I was able to report some good news on the injury front but things are still the same as they were last week.   I was hopeful that my ART and acupuncture appointment on Monday would have sorted things out once and for all but it did not.  I'm able to ride my bike so that's at least a positive but I am still having a hard time running.  I went out this morning and managed 3x5 minutes but it was not pain free.  I'm still experiencing nerve pain in my upper hamstring area.   I feel it through the entire gait cycle, which makes me think it's coming from my glut.

I am beyond frustrated.   This has proven to be a bit of a puzzle for my physio and my chiro.  I've tried to remain positive about everything but I think it's time for me to re-evaluate my original goal.  My goal this year was to crack the top 5 in my age group at Tremblant.  I honestly felt like I was on track to do that before this happened.   Everything was coming together and I felt really strong.  Now I can't even run 5km.  Suffice to say, I've thrown in the towel on that goal.  Even if I miraculously get better in the next week, I don't have enough time to get the work I need to do in.  And really, I'm in no condition to push myself either.

I'm really bummed right now.  I almost feel like giving up completely - like if I'm not going to be able to chase my original goal, then I don't want to even bother.  But I know that's silly.  I've paid for a race and if I'm able, I want to do it, regardless of how fast or slow it may be.   I have a bunch of friends racing and G will also be racing so from that perspective I know it will be a fun day.  It's really hard for me to race with no expectations when my entire mindset from the beginning of the year was focused solely on working towards this goal.  Shifting gears isn't something I'm very good at.  It takes me a little while to adjust.

I haven't signed up for any other races this summer.  I think if I make it through Tremblant, that will probably be it for me until I can figure out what is causing all of this.  There are obviously biomechnical and strength issues at play, I just have to figure out what they are.

On the plus side, I managed to ride my bike yesterday.  Yes, I felt like I hadn't ridden in a week (it was almost a week) but, it was amazing to be outside watching the sun come up.

I am going to ride tomorrow as well and see how that goes.   I need to remind myself that the bike is the most important part right now.  If I can't do that, then I really need to think about not racing at all and I'm not ready to do that just yet.  So.  I'll work on the cycling and see how that goes.  It's going to be a spectacular weekend so I plan on getting out and enjoying every minute of it.

Have you ever given up on a goal due to injury?  How did you deal with it?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

#OperationTop5 - Week 19: Hanging on by a Thread

What a week.  I thought I was off the emotional roller coaster but apparently not.  I'm in a much better head space than I was last week but I still think I have a ways to go.   This week started off ok then went downhill but quickly got better.

The body really is an amazing thing.  This time last week I was still uncertain as to whether or not I'd be able to do anything other than swim.  Even early this week I wasn't sure how things were going to go.   I saw my chiro / ART guy on Tuesday morning and did ART on my left IT band and my glut med as well as my hamstring and adductor magnus.   That seemed to help and I felt a lot better.  I managed a 40 minute ride on Wednesday morning, totally pain free.  Thursday was the day I was waiting for though.  That was the day I was scheduled to go back to see Lauren.  I was hoping I'd get the ok to start running again.  Thursday morning I felt so good that I actually went outside and rode.   I saw Lauren that morning and she did a bunch of tests and did some work on my left hip flexor as it was tight and then she gave me the green light to ease back into running.  So that night I laced up my shoes and hit the trails.  It was awful.  Absolutely awful.  The nerve pain I had been feeling was still there.  I had somewhat limited range of motion as well which of course compromised my gait.  I ran / walked 4.2km and even though I was smiling for the first bit of the run, by the time I got home, I was in tears.  I was ready to throw in the towel.  As soon as I got in I called my Chiro's office and managed to get his last opening for the next day.  I emailed him that night to give him an update and suggested that perhaps it might be time to do some acupuncture.

I swam on Friday morning and that seemed to loosen up my legs but I still didn't feel great.  I went in to see Peter and he brought out the big guns.  He did some more ART but moved my leg differently than previous times.  He then did some acupuncture, which was quite uncomfortable.  You know things are tight when just the needles going in hurt, never mind when the stim is added.  Holy moly.  My hip and hamstring were throbbing and I was so achey afterwards.   I think that, combined with everything from this past week took a toll on me because I was in bed asleep before 9:00 pm on Friday night.  I slept almost straight through until 7:00 am  Yup.  I was spent.  But I clearly needed it.  I got up Saturday morning feeling like a new woman.  The tightness in my hip was GONE and my hamstring and adductor felt a lot better.  

Saturday I had opted to join the folks at Watts Up for an inside ride.  I couldn't face sitting upstairs on the computrainer in the bedroom, watching a TV that I couldn't really hear.  No thank you.  Instead I hung out with some friends I haven't seen in a while, had a few laughs and worked up a really good sweat.  A pain free sweat I might add.  I set myself a goal of 2 hours.  I told myself if I had any pain or discomfort (other than muscle fatigue) I would get off the bike.  Amazingly I made it through the ride.  I actually felt really good.  I was pretty sure my legs would feel it later in the day.   But I left feeling much better about my chances of getting to the start line in 6 weeks.  I'm not sure I'll be able to run, but we'll see.  The main goal is to be able to ride my bike.  If I can't ride, I can't race so I'm crossing my fingers that I'm on the up and up in that regards.

This weekend was a busy one.   We had orders from our contractor to pick our bathroom tiles, paint and toilet for the bathroom as well as a lighting fixture.  So there was a LOT of car time.   But, we've picked out and purchased everything now.  I don't think we'll need to make another trip or another decision.  I hope, ha ha.  I can't wait to see how it all comes together.  I love everything we've chosen.

Progress!  The walls are up!

Our flooring kinda looks like driftwood!  Big rectangular white tiles for the shower & a dark grey floor.

We were told this would take 6 weeks but I think it's going to be done sooner than that.  Which is great because I can't take the mess in the house, ha ha.  I'm dying to get things back into the basement.

Looking back on this week, I can't be upset with the way things went, other than my run on Thursday.  I am getting a little impatient but I really did a number on myself so it's going to take a while for me to get back to 100%.  I know I don't really have a lot of time but I can't worry about that.  My coach isn't worried.  She says that all I really need is 3-4 weeks of really focused hard work and I'll be totally fine.  Which is great, because I only have 6 weeks left, 2 of which will be taper weeks.  So, here's hoping I can make good use of the 4 weeks I have left.

Once again I'm linking up with Holly at HoHoRuns and Tricia at Mississippi Piddlin for their weekly wrap.

Monday:  OFF

Tuesday:  OFF - Chiro appointment and VERY long day at work

Wednesday:  40 minute ride followed by a 2500m swim

Thursday:  25km ride outside in the early a.m..  I was so excited,  I wore my inappropriate socks - they summed up how I was feeling.  Pardon the language, and the drywall dust that is all over my floor!  

P.M.  I tried to go for a run.  Like I said, it sucked.  But I was happy to be out so of course I was smiling.

Friday:  2400m swim

Saturday:  2 hour indoor ride on the Mont Tremblant Course, followed by ALL THE SHOPPING.

Sunday:  3100m swim, followed by another test run.  Lauren told me to run / walk so I did a 5 minute warm up walk and then ran 5 minutes, walked 1 minute x 3.  I covered just over 4km.  I am happy to report that my range of motion was much better.  There is still some stubborn tightness hanging around my hamstring insertion point but I think with a few more acupuncture treatments, I hope I'm good to go!

Total time:  7h 30 minutes.  Not too shabby!

I'm looking forward to a 4 day work week this week - it's going to be busy but it will make it go by that much faster.   Maybe I'll even finish one of my many drafted blog posts!  Ha.

Hope everyone had a wonderful week!  Don't forget to check out the Weekly Wrap Link Up!  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

#OperationTop5 Week 18: The Roller Coaster Ride

It's amazing what a difference a week can make.   On Monday I was thinking that my season was over and that I wouldn't be able to do anything except swim for the next few months.  I left my appointment with Lauren in tears because I was so uncertain.  She reassured me that I would be fine but I went down that dark hole of self pity.  By Wednesday I was starting to feel better about things, especially after my Osteopath appointment.  My back had stopped bothering me and the sciatic pain I was experiencing was gone.  I was still having some weird hamstring pain but after I visited my chiro on Friday, he did a full assessment of me, tested me for any disc issues (there were none) did some ART on my cranky hamstring and adductor and told me I would be fine.  Those words were music to my ears.  Especially because I was actually starting to FEEL fine.

Since I had so much free time on my hands this past week,  I took the time to take care of myself.  Lauren said it was important to bring my stress levels down so every night I'd have a nice hot bubble bath with some lavender epsom salts and I'd read.  Needless to say I slept like a baby every night this week.  I really needed that.  I also started using the Headspace app.  I've wanted to try meditation for a while and I had heard a lot of great things about Headspace so when I heard they were conducting a month long experiment in exchange for a years free subscription, I thought, why not, let's give it a go.  I've only been using it for a few days now so I can't really report back on anything just yet, but I will post a review in about a months time.

I also went and had coffee with a  friend of mine who had some serious back issues.  I had reached out to her earlier in the week to pick her brain about what worked for her and we made plans to get together.  I hadn't seen her in ages so it was really nice to sit down and catch up.  No Saturday long ride also meant I had time to do some shopping.   I hit up Sherway Gardens bright and early before it got busy and went to Lush to get more bath goodies.  I wanted to get out of the house because our contractor had arrived at 7:00 am to start working in the basement.  He's at our place 7 days a week working away in the basement.   Which is awesome but it makes for a very noisy home.  Thankfully he'd given us a few tasks to deal with this weekend.  We had to go and pick out flooring for the basement as well as a vanity and mirror for the bathroom so that got us out of the house and away from the noise.  He's made pretty amazing progress in a week though!

Sunday I was able to get on the bike to test things out.  While I didn't feel 100% - my back was still a bit tight, I didn't have any hamstring pain so that was good.  I managed 45 minutes on the trainer and probably could have ridden longer but I had to get ready for swimming.  Sunday was a pretty low key day.  We did some grocery shopping and then I did some meal prep in the afternoon in between dealing with our contractors.   All in all a nice relaxed Sunday, other than the banging around in the basement.

So, I do feel much better about things now than I did this time last week, however, I don't know that I'm out of the woods just yet.  I'm still very tight through my back, gluts and hips and I don't feel like I'm in alignment.  I feel like my pelvis is slightly twisted which could explain the tightness and slight tingling I've been feeling on and off.  I did a fair bit of mobility work after my swim on Sunday and that seemed to provide some relief.   So here's hoping things are moving in the right direction.

It was a quiet week workout wise but I still got my swims in and a lovely morning walk so I'm linking up with the lovely Holly at Hoho Runs and Tricia and Mississippi Piddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

Monday:  OFF

Tuesday:  OFF

Wednesday:  2300m swim.  I got moved up to a faster lane and I just about died.

Thursday:  4.5km walk.  I decided it was time to stop moping and start moving.

Friday:  2600m swim

Saturday:  OFF

Sunday:  45 minute bike ride + 3500m swim

Total time:  4h 5 minutes

I feel like I've kind of been on a taper.  I guess that's not a bad way to look at it but it's not like I'm going to be jumping back into crazy workouts either.  My coach said she only wants me doing easy zone 1-2 bike workouts and I can't run until I get the a-ok from Lauren.  So hopefully this week I can focus on cycling and then next week I can get back into running.  I've got 7 weeks left until race day.  And really only about 5 weeks of solid training time before I have to start to taper.  Here's hoping I make it through that in one piece.  At this point, I just want to get to the start line healthy.  That's my number one goal.

How was your week?  How do you keep yourself from going down that "woe is me" path when you're injured?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

#OperationTop5 Week 17: Redefining My Limits

Well, this week wasn't what I had hoped for.   I had hoped that I would be toeing the line of another race with my friends but that didn't happen.  Instead, I was a spectator.  Which was fun in itself but definitely left me with a huge case of FOMO (fear of missing out).   However, I finally got to meet one of my out of town athletes who came to Toronto to run the Goodlife Marathon.   A bunch of us went out for a very early dinner on Saturday night.  It was great to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones!  
photo courtesy of Carmy Do
I had other athletes racing both Goodlife and Mississauga so I was checking Sports Stats regularly all morning.  All of my athletes that raced here had P.R's.  And a good friend of mine qualified for Boston.   So it was definitely a good weekend from that perspective.

Oh and we started our basement renovations so that was exciting.   And messy.  Our house looks like a bomb went off in it.  Everything that was in the basement has been moved to other areas of the house.  Needless to say I think I'm going to need to purge things after the reno is done.

After my appointment with Lauren last week, I had high hopes that I was getting better.  I actually felt really good after I saw her and then I felt even better after my massage that evening.  I thought for sure, I'd feel great by the time the weekend rolled around.  But alas, I did not.  And of course that has triggered an "It's the end of the world" mentality.  I have shed several tears this weekend.  Tears of frustration and worry.  I always go to the worst case scenario and in my mind that is, "I'm not going to be able to race in 8 weeks" because of this disc issue.  Health practitioners always say don't look at Dr. Google but most of us can't help ourselves.  Some of the things I've read have freaked me out and made me worry even more.   So I've promised myself to stop googling my symptoms.   Lauren said that nerves get irritated very easily and they have to be calmed down so that is what I'm going to focus on right now.  

I can swim without pain and I usually feel ok after a swim so that's a good thing.  Cycling is somewhat questionable.  I rode outside on Saturday and that might have been too much.  I think staying on the trainer might be a bit better so I'm not dealing with wind, hills, bumpy roads etc.  Running is completely out of the question.  I ran for 2 minutes today towards the finish line at Mississauga and I'm pretty sure that's probably why I'm having pins and needles all the way down my leg now.  So, no more running until I am cleared to do so.  And honestly I'm not terribly worried about missing out on my running, other than the fact that I love doing it.  I know that my speed is still there and it will come back.  I am worried about not being able to ride but I don't want to jump to any conclusions there just yet.

Moving forward, I really have to watch my training load.  I can't do hard workouts without adequate rest.  I can't strength train on hard days either.  My training now will have to be very finely balanced.  If this disc / nerve issue get sorted out fairly quickly, I'm going to have to be very diligent about taking rest when I need it, and looking after my body.  I'm going to have to learn to ignore my 25 year old brain that still thinks I can do anything.  I think that will be the hardest part of all this, ha ha.

Anyway, despite this setback, I still did get some workouts in this week.  So I'm linking up with the lovely Holly at HohoRuns and Tricia at Mississippi Piddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

Monday:  OFF

Tuesday:  25 minute run.  Leg still wasn't good.

Wednesday:  2650m swim

Thursday:  45 minute ride + a run around the block to test the leg.  Still not great.

Friday:  2650m swim

Saturday:  35km ride

Sunday:  2300m swim

Total time:  5h 31 minutes.  Better than nothing I say!

The goal this week will be about focusing on what I can do vs. what I cannot.   Easier said than done but I'm going to do my best.

Hope everyone had a great week!  Who raced this weekend?