Saturday, June 15, 2013

SI Joint Issues

So I went to the Chiropractor this week about the pain in my hip and back.  The issue is on the right side and I would say that I'm experiencing my first injury.  I've been EXTREMELY fortunate through the years.  Fortunate, but I've also been cautious and worked hard to prevent injuries.  (weights focused on injury prevention and run strength, yoga, ice, hard days/easy days, rotating & replacing shoes often, etc)

In Nov. 2009, I fell down on some concrete that I thought was dry, but it was slippery wet.  I did a seat-drop.  It was a hard fall, but the next day, I thought I was ok.  I continued with my training.  A couple of weeks later, I had a half marathon.  I raced for,  and achieved a PR that day, but as soon as I stopped running that day,  I could barely walk.  Oh, and by the way, this was the same year I BQ'ed the first time, so the goal became to proceed cautiously and make it to the start-line at Boston.   I went to the chiropractor a few times, iced, iced, iced and proceeded with much caution.    I did make it to the start line of Boston 2010 and ended up running a good race.   After Boston 2010, I took a month off to be SURE the hip nag was totally healed.    I haven't had any more issues with my hip until 10 days ago.

I'm not sure what has caused the hip issue this time.   I've been on low mileage and low intensity since Boston 2013 earlier this spring.  I've been slowly building my mileage back leading up to the start of my training for the Huntsville, UT marathon, Sept 2013.    Leading up to the injury, I had Tues. off, Wed was an hour long bike ride, and Thurs was a 12 mile run (had worked up from 6, 8, 10, several weeks prior).   At this point, I have no idea if it was the biking, the shoes, or what?????  I decided to go to the chiropractor because that seemed to help when I had the hip nag in 2010.

This time,  the pain is different than 2009/2010, but it is the same hip.  The chiropractor thinks I have a SI joint issue going on.  Through the years,  I've heard about ALL types of run injuries that friends have endured, but I've never heard of the SI joint injury.   Of course I google SI joint injury as soon as I make it home.   I was surprised when Meggan's blog came up in my search.   I've followed Meggan's blog for a couple of years, and have read about her ongoing hip issue, but I missed the blogs specifically about the SI joint.   You can read some great info about it here.  ( If you enjoy following hard working, highly talented,  and passionate runners,  be sure to check out her blog.)

This week the hip has not improved, in fact, it's worse than initially.  The last 2 days, I've had pain when walking.  I'm not sure my path going forward,  other than REST, which is the common recommendation from my quick SI Joint research.  I'm not sure if I should continue with  chiropractor care because I'm not sure if the SI joint issue is something that a chiropractor commonly deals with. ??? (Meggan also mentions chiropractic care has not helped her SI issue when she tried it in the past)    I'm on a limited budget so unfortunately, doctors, MRIs, physical therapists, massages, etc.  will not be my first plan of action.    So, rest and Ibuprofen will be my immediate plan of action.  This plan may change at any time with additional input, thought, time, etc.

In the mean time, I've been surprisingly relaxed with this issue.  Looking back, I know I did everything possible to avoid injuries, and there is comfort in knowing I didn't do something careless to cause this issue.  Looking forward,  I'm staying positive and taking the hip issue day by day.  I've been doing what I can with arm weights and core work, but even those things are somewhat limited in trying to make sure I'm not adding additional stress to my hip.  Currently, walking, running, elliptical, and biking are all off the table.  Next I will try rowing, but I'm not sure if that will work either.  I went to the gym yesterday, but I had taken Ibuprofen, so I didn't try the rowing.  I'm extra cautious when taking Ibuprofen because of the numbing effect of the drug.  I do not want to do further damage to the hip/back issue.  I will try the rowing on Monday and I will skip the Ibuprofen before going to the gym.  Water running may be another avenue, but again, I'm on a limited budget so that's not my first choice.  As time goes on, I will be more willing to look at the expensive options, but for now I'm opting for time and rest.  On the positive side, I went to my regular yoga class this week and I didn't feel the hip or back at all, so for now, yoga is a yes. 

Running has been such a HUGE part of my life.  You probably thought, as did I, that I would be crushed if running was taken out of my life?  I'm shocked and amazed that I've quickly realized that I will be FINE.  No matter what my new path holds, I'm ready for it !  Yes, I will have emotional ups and downs as I move through this issue, but I realize, I'm STRONG, and I will be ok,  no matter what.  That's a comforting feeling !   In the mean time, I will continue to read your blogs about your run adventures.   Happy Running !      

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Breaking a 12-year streak and "the writing on the wall"

On Tuesday of this week, I decided this would be the day that I ended my 12 year exercise streak.  Yes, 12 years !  For 12 years, I have "moved" my body for 30 minutes each day.  Initially, it was 30 minutes of "exercise" a day, but after many years, and some days,  little desire, I changed it to "30 minutes of movement."  The majority of the days were legit exercise, however, some days were just a slow walk, picking up pine cones in the yard, doing chores around the house with non-stop movement, or even site-seeing on vacation.

Early this spring,  I contemplated letting the streak go.  I decided to make it to the 12 year mark and then decide.  I made it to the anniversary date, and beyond, but on Tues., for no particular reason, I decided I would not do the 30 minutes that day.   

Through the years, I've exercised at CRAZY hours to "get it done."  One time while in Gulf Shores with my Mom and sister, we had just settled into bed.  As soon as I started to relax, I sat straight up in bed and said "we didn't exercise!"   Through the years, my sister (Linde) has been so supportive and willing to join me anytime we were together.   Her only requirement was that we walk or bike, no running for her, and that was always fine with me.  Even this night, the 11:20 PM hour, she climbed out of bed and we headed out for a walk.  Other times, we went walking before early, early fishing trips.  Uh,  the 3:30 - 4:00AM alarm to go walk for 30 minutes before heading out to fish all day, YES, WACKY,  but I did it! 

Many times over the years I didn't want to, but I did it anyway (a good life lesson). Obviously, over 12 years, I walked while being sick - not "exercise", but 30 minutes of "movement".  When sick, it was a slow stroll down the road, or on the treadmill, or even from end to end of my house.  I called it "front to back", anything to get it done, and keep the streak alive. 

Tuesday I deliberated over the day, wondering if I would really let the streak go.  Surprised,   I was with little emotion about it.  Later that evening, for a brief moment, I did think, I still have plenty of time to get it done.  My mind went back to the 11:30PM start in Gulf Shores many years ago.  I laugh and say no, I'm going to let it go.

Tuesday came and went and I was FINE with ending the streak.  Wed. I biked for 14-15 miles, went to the gym for a quick weight workout, and made it to my regular yoga class.  On Thurs., I had a 12 mile run with friends (Terri and Kelly).  I was excited to run.  Tues. was no exercise at all, REMEMBER the first day totally off in 12 years.  On Thurs.,  in the later miles, my back started hurting,  and continued through the final miles.  When we finished the run, I stretched my back and legs for a couple of minutes, and then drove home.  By the time I made it home, I could barely walk.  It was weird - as I finished the run is was my back, but by the time I made it home, it was my right hip hurting.  I took an ice bath, and iced the hip and back later in the day.  

It's Sat now!  I'm taking it easy,  and HOPING this is just a nag, and not an injury.  I'm being extra cautious.  It's bazarre that through 12 years, I never had an injury that came close to sidelining me from at least walking, and then I miss 1 day, ONE DAY of exercise and my body falls apart, lol.   Yesterday, I felt it more in the hip, today, I feel very little in the hip and more in the lower back again.  WEIRD !    I know i've been very fortunate through the years to run, and be so healthy.   Just this spring, before Boston, I hit a new record weekly mileage high of 80 miles - no injuries, no problems....... After Boston, I took 3 weeks off of running.  I've been slowing adding some miles back, but I'm still at low mileage,  for me.   Even this week, I ran 8 miles on Monday, remember Tues. was OFF, and Wed. I biked. Training wise, I've done everything right.  I even do runner focused exercises at the gym.  I lift weights.   I follow the 10% rule in building mileage.  I do yoga.  I follow hard days, with easy days.  etc. 

so what gives?    It's either "the shoes" or "the bike"?  At this point i'm not sure which.   I'm just a recreational biker.  I get on the bike when my run mileage is low.  I enjoy the variety that the biking offers when my run mileage allows time for biking.  I've never been injured on the bike.  

The shoes......
Yes, I'm still in a shoe crisis.  Currently, I'm experimenting with  the Mizuno Wave Riders.  Over the past 6-7 weeks, I've SLOWLY introduced these to my shoe rotation.  I started with short runs - 3-4 miles.  Eventually, I worked up to an 8 and a 10 miler,  with no issues.   After the successful 10 miler, I started thinking MAYBE i've found a shoe to replace the Adidas Cushion Response shoes.   I've been nervous because I'm running out of mileage on the Adidas shoes that I have left,  and I only have 1 more pair still in the box.  So I've been on an EXPENSIVE search to find "my new shoe".  I have several brands that are good for 6-8 miles, but I can't seem to find a distance show that I like.  one is too soft/ spongy and unstructured (nike pegasus), one gave me shin splints (Nimbus), 2 pair are just too hard and not enough cushion (Brooks and an older Mizuno).  etc. 

Is this a sign?  Maybe all of this means when I run out Adidas mileage , maybe it's time to retire?  I have enough mileage, and the last new pair that will get me through the Huntsville marathon in Sept.  
Maybe that means at marathon number 26, with no good shoe options,  
maybe it's time to retire from the marathon?   
After all, 26 is a good number, right? 
maybe "the writing on the wall" is saying.....
 "Retire Ginny!" - 
ya think? 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Huntsville, Utah 26.2 it is !

Huntsville, Utah 26.2 it is !  
Today,  we celebrate 23 years of wedded bliss - married to my best friend for 23 amazing years.  

I'm registered,  and I'm happy to have my fall marathon selected.   I still have to make some training plans, but at this point I'm leaning toward trying the 9 day rotation schedule that I created before St. George in 2009.  It's set up to have a hard day, followed by 2 easy days.  

Basically, I will have a track day or hill repeats, followed by 2 easy days
A tempo day, followed by 2 easy days
A long run, followed by 2 easy days.  
Each specific workout will come up every 9 days with this plan.  I think this is very valuable for me.  I like high mileage and high intensity.  I'm also becoming an aging runner.  The 2 easy days gives me the recovery that my body needs, and the rotation gives me a long run every 9 days which I believe is valuable too.  In addition, with this plan, I'm anxious and ready to complete the next hard workout.  

I'm deciding if I will use McMillan again to set up the exact plan.  In many ways, that's just easier for me.  In addition, while I'm somewhat familiar, I'm not 100% confident in adding in the training phases into my 9 day rotation, so I may decide to let the professionals handle that.  

Currently, I'm upping my mileage, and I have 2 quality runs per wk.  I want my official marathon plan to be a 12 week marathon plan.   With my marathon history, 12 weeks will give me plenty of time to get ready to battle in Utah.  

Today I ran a hot and humid 5k in South Louisiana.  My time was predictably slow.  I wanted to race a 5k before my marathon training begins to see where I'm at.  Ok, I'm slow !  24:01 - but I'm not supposed to be in shape now, and I'm in the toughest part of the year for my personal running - the spring heat/humidity acclimation season.  It's brutal !  It takes me about a month, after the final cold front moves through,  to get fully accustomed to the humidity.  I'm not there yet, but I'm feeling pretty good considering. 
This was a small 5k in Thibodaux, LA.  I won 2nd place overall female - I told you it was small - maybe 75-100 entries?????  The first place spot went to a 19 year old female.  This 45 year old is OK with that!  :)
With the "real feel" temp. predicted to be 90 degrees at the finish of the race, and the time of the year, 
I feel good about where I'm at today.  

So, I've decided on a 12 wk, 9-day rotation plan.  
In addition, I've decided on the following:
**I've been biking some since the weather has been above 70 degrees (I have a 70 degree biking rule).
My plan is to continue as much as possible with the increasing run mileage.

**My plan is to run on grass, 1 x per wk, for at least 30 minutes

**My plan is to add Supreme90day back into my mix, but only 1 time per wk.   I've found this to be a great way to strengthen some of the typical "runner weaknesses". 

**My plan is to continue yoga 1 time per wk - (a staple of all of my plans for MANY years - I believe it's what keeps me injury free, so it's a MUST for me)

**My plan is to continue going to the gym 1 time per wk - I like the atmosphere that the gym offers,  and sometimes I pick up new or fresh "core work" ideas from others.

**My plan is to continue towards getting back to "my race weight" - the biggest challenge for me.  
Although, I would say I'm a relatively healthy with my eating, I'm also a "volume eater" which keeps me in trouble.  nothing new here ! 

So today, I'm happy to have the summer/fall plan,  and I'm READY to GO !