Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Friday, May 23, 2014

To run is human, to rest is feeling bovine

Hello All!

I'm still twiddling my thumbs over here, waiting to get the okay to run again. I got cleared to do light impact exercise, like the bike. I hopped on an exercise bike, and quickly got bored due to the lack of intensity I could offer the machine due to my cranky knee. Although I pressed on with the "effort" just to get some sort of calorie burn. Director's Commentary: I couldn't even get my heart rate up and my body sweating! At least I don't look gross and sweaty right?

One more complaint about my sprained MCL and I'll move on! Getting my leg muscles working and walking around for 10-15 minutes helps the blood flow, reduces swelling, and eventually, I don't have to put much thought into having a normal gait. Great right? Well, working a desk job, or sitting for more than 10-15 minutes does the reverse of walking. Freezes up my knee and makes walking an uncomfortable chore. So if you see me walking weird:

The treatment for my sprained MCL (and my ankles) at physical therapy has easily been my most painful physical therapy bout to date! My therapist, Rachel (same one I had last year), has been using the Graston Technique on both my legs, my right knee, and my ankles.  I'm sure many of you have experienced the glory yourself of the metal tools of torture breaking all that holy scar tissue in your legs. The pain is fun enough, but when they redo areas that were nicely bruised the last session, holy crap. I'm pretty sure I was having an out of body pain experience!

And when my therapist asks if I'm okay, knowing it'll help me in the long run I say:

Still no estimated return time to running. Could be next week, could be in a few weeks! The first week or two running will have hard caps on time running as well (I'm sure I'll complain about that too!).

Okay, I'm getting off my waaambulance. How about some links?

I have linked this a few times before, but come check out my subreddit!
The community is over 600 people strong now and I brought on board a few active members to help get more events going on, like track night!

Ever want to see the public running clubs in Chicago (proper) mapped out? Well I did, so I made the map! I only used groups that have normal runs, open to the public, and some static meeting point.:
Map here!  Let me know if I missed any groups!

I found this running video funny:

I really enjoyed this interview with Steve Jones, "I Never Wore A Watch": Running Lessons From A Record-Breaking Everyman". Gave me some inspiration in this dull rehab times.

That's enough text for today! Kudo's if you know the source of some of the gifs!

I hope you have a great long weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hold my beer while I finally update my blog

This quote has as much literal meaning as it does motivational to me.:

Over the last few months, I feel like I have been cast to be in this famous story with regards to my ability to run:

My initial injury was a sprain of my left ankle in early March, when I fell down some icy stairs.

I didn't realize I had sprained it (I thought the pain and stiffness was just a bruise). I went to see a doctor a couple weeks later, and he diagnosed it. He told me I could run, just use pain as my guidance. I removed long distance and speed runs from the next week, and felt like I was improving slowly. Then I got a stomach flu and missed the next 10 days. I took this as a blessing in disguise, 10 days rest will be great for my ankle!

We are now at the week of the Shamrock shuffle. I knew I had to try to shake off dust and get at least one sustained speed test in that week. After 4 days of easy runs, I had to test my ankle and fitness. Both were not there. Race didn't happen. I ended up taking my daughter to the zoo (with the jogging stroller), thinking I could enjoy an easy pace and split up the run.

I didn't think the run through enough. Running into the wind with a jogging stroller put a lot of pressure on my ankle and set me in pain. Now we start the horrible next month or so of rebound running.  I would rest 5-10ish days, make sure all the pain was gone, pass the hop test, get all sorts of excited, thinking this would be my return.. and 1 or 2 short runs later, I was in pain again.

Finally, my left ankle stopped hurting (it was a little tight, but improving), but now my right ankle gave me pain after 35-40 minutes of running, and set me limping for a few days after (right side was overcompensating). Rebound running again.

Mentally, I'm getting pissed, frustrated, and defeated. I know I can't complain, I'm not unique in the matter, everyone gets hurt. I just hate it being such a blurry injury that teases me into thinking I'm healthy.  I take another week off, see the doctor and accept a physical therapy recommendation. I go ahead and try to run again just because I had no symptoms, and suffer the same consequences.

Now with the weather turning. the city has been filled with runners . I have to avert my eyes, my frustration builds. Remembering how just as I got injured, I was getting into some new area of sustained running speed that I didn't have last year. I wanted that back, and I want to improve so far beyond that.

As the blog post started, you fall to learn to pick yourself back up. Apparently, I wasn't done falling...Literally.

My physical therapist (same one I had last year during my Chicago Marathon training) put me on rest while she bruised my legs and ankles with Graston tools and works on getting my fibularis longus back into place. I didn't mind the pain, as it validated my complaints stemmed from an injury and were not imagined, and that they can be improved upon.

What could happen during this rest right?

Well apparently, I can sprain my MCL on my right knee! I went out to the Zombie Pub Crawl and fell of a stage while doing a dance that has you hop 90 degrees every verse to repeat the dance. (Note: There was a curtain behind the stage, which I thought was just covering a wall.. not space for me to fall) My right leg stage on the stage and get bent a bad way.

Pre fallen zombie
I went to see the doctor again, he diagnosed it easily. Thankfully he wasn't worried, as all the major injuries were avoided. I'll have to deal with the pain and limp (my knee is wrapped up) for about a week and have my physical therapist work on that as well. Hopefully I can get some estimated time for when I can start running again soon...Or maybe I should just start with walk without a limp again?

To sum this up, I'm obviously Batdad. And as soon as I get out of this injury dungeon (thanks Bane), there will be hell to pay on my running shoes.