Caught a Fall Cold. It Sucks.

I have been hit by a fall cold.  When I woke up yesterday morning, it was with a very sore throat and I was super dizzy, but pretty much only when I was lying down.  I honestly can not remember a time in the past when I experienced dizziness like this.  It was sort of like when you consume a couple of bottles of wine on your own and then lie down and try to steady the world by putting your foot on the floor…not that I have ever done that *shifts her eyes guiltily.*  Anyway, Sudafed is getting me through the day and keeps the dizziness at bay.

I figured since, with medication, I felt good enough to go to work I could go see my physio.  I was sure to wash my hands thoroughly so as to minimize any transmission to the outside world, and I also warned him that I was sick.  Let’s hope this doesn’t get passed on.  My kids and husband are so far fine, so let’s hope that keeps up.

So, the physio visit went well, with no acupuncture/dry-needling involved today, because apparently my hips are the most level they’ve been since I’ve been seeing him.  Apparently all the stretching is paying off.  Now I get to move on to strengthening exercises, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but considering that during the past several months I have been limited to foam rolling, stretching, and pretending I’m a pin cushion (aka acupuncture), I feel like it’s a big step forward.

My workouts have been few and far between, but I have started working with a dietitian and have started losing weight.  I’ve also been drinking lots of water, so my skin’s looking pretty good.  I’m drinking 2L of water per day (about 8 cups), plus whatever other beverages I happen to drink, so I’ve been fully hydrated for the first time in a long time.  When I started working with this new dietitian, I had to track everything I was eating and drinking for a few days.  There were a couple of days where I consumed 2 cups of water!  No wonder I was so parched at the end of the day.

Off to yell at my kids to go to bed, and I’ll probably crawl in soon, too, even though it’s only 9pm.  I am totally wiped.

How are you celebrating the arrival of fall?  I’m hoping it’s not with a cold like me…

I Have Lost Count

It’s 9pm.  I’m bagged, but really wanted to blog tonight, so I’m typing this up then stationary biking for a bit before I call it a night a crawl into bed.  Generally, though, the past week was busier than usual, so my workouts sort of slacked off and have been very light.

Also, I’m too lazy to figure where I am in the 28 days of working out.  I’ll count where I’m at another night.

Now that that’s out of the way, I thought I’d sum up the past few days and let you know how I’ve been doing activity-wise.

Last Thursday, got up early for a 7 am appointment with a new physiotherapist.  LOVE HIM. SO MUCH. After I recounted my injury history – it took a while – he did some basic testing, and then moved on to some functional testing that I’ve never done before (I have seen 3 other physios regarding this injury…).  After that, he got me onto the treadmill and analyzed my running gait.  Being that I haven’t really been running much since the end of August, I was totally sucking wind at even an easy pace. *sigh*  He then tested a couple more things and then gave me his theory on why my IT band has been bothering me.

I’m no physio, but what I got from it is that my thoracic spine (upper back) is very tight when I run (and at all other times, of course), which forces my lumbar spine and hips to compensate for the lack of mobility above.  As a result, I don’t really use my abs when I run.  I basically have a breakdown in my running biomechanics.  So, my IT band injury is not a “true” injury, in that it isn’t there at the beginning of my run; rather, it appears only after 15-20 mins of running, when my form has broken down.  His thinking is that if we can work on my flexibility and then do some other exercises and drills to get the proper muscles firing when I run, my form should improve and my IT band should stop causing me pain.  Made sense to me.

So, he showed me how to stretch my spine and then tested my hip strength again.  After just a simple stretch, my strength improved dramatically.  Huzzah!  I now have strong hope that we’ll be able to sort this out and I will actually be able to run a half marathon rather than just train for one.  I also have the go ahead to walk/run, keeping my sessions in the 15-20 min range.

Other than the physio session/tiny bit of treadmill running, I got about 10 minutes of walking in, but that was about it Thursday.

Friday night, my husband and I went out and actually did some dancing.  A group of moms from our area put on a dance called “The Monster of All Parent Parties.”  The band was fantastic and played lots of 80’s and 90’s music – even a country version of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”, if you can believe it – and it was an open bar (hello, Bombay and Tanqueray).  We visited with neighbours and friends and ran into a few people we knew from kids’ activities.  I love hanging with my classmates, but there is something to be said about hanging with people your own age, not the least of which is that you all know the words to the same songs, which makes for a very lively dance floor.

After Friday’s late night (and gin consumption), I was a little slow on Saturday.  I had a massage in the morning and then ran my son to hockey practice in the afternoon.  It was a very entertaining practice because my 7 year old got to strap on the goalie pads and try out his goalsaving skills.  He’s one of the 2 smallest kids on the team, so the pads practically came up to his waist!  He did his best, though, and practiced falling down and getting up, skating around, and making some saves.  The team then had a scrimmage with the other team that was sharing the ice, so he got to see what it was like in a game-like situation.  A couple of times he fell over and had a hard time getting up quickly.  I remember thinking that he looked sort of like a turtle or a beetle on its back, legs in the air.  When I went into the dressing room after practice to help him out of this gear, he was drenched in sweat, but had a whole lot of fun.

I think I sucked it up in the evening and got a 15 minute stationary bike ride in, but I honestly can’t remember if I did for sure or not.  I think I did, but my memory is sure not what it used to be.  I’m blaming that on having kids.

I definitely got a 30 min bike in last night, because I rode while I watched The Walking Dead.  I also did some core and stretching.

Off to get a quick workout in now.

A Short Run, A Sick Kid, and Pumpkin Muffins

  • Sorry, no pics from the formal yet!  I forgot my camera, but a friend of mine got tons of snaps and said he would send some my way.  For the record, the formal was fun.  I had a piece too many of dessert, enjoyed some G&T’s, and danced with my friends.  What more could you ask for?
  • Got in a few workouts last week: core, upper body, and a run.  Nothing hard core.  Just trying to get moving again.
  • I stayed home with my daughter today.  She has a cold, was feeling okay in the morning, but was coughing a lot during the night, so we kept her home.  Built a foam “haunted mansion,” watched Drake and Josh and cuddled on the couch, and bought some Thanksgiving themed cupcake liners – see below.
  • Made some really delicious pumpkin muffins with the kids tonight. Definitely not a healthy recipe, but I wanted to see how the original recipe was before I tweaked it.  Check out the recipe here. (I definitely did NOT use the fresh pumpkin that the recipe called for.)
  • My school is starting to settle down, so I think I can fit in 4 workouts this week.  I’ve put them into my calendar…
  • The weather has been AMAZING lately.  Hot, sunny, and dry.  Why can’t September be like this every year?  I am now dreading the cold winter we will likely receive in return for the beautiful summer we just enjoyed.
  • My run on Saturday didn’t go that well.  I decided to run to the drugstore and back.  The run there was fine.  Heart rate was through the roof, pace was ridiculously slow, and lungs were burning.  This was balanced out by the fact that the weather was perfect, I had a new playlist on my iPod, and I was actually running.  My left hip felt a little tight, but okay, and it was only a 15 minute run.  On the way back, though, my knee started to hurt with the familiar IT band pain, so I just walked home.  Still a good day for a walk, but of course, pain-free running would have been better.  I’m a couple of weeks away from seeing my new physio, so I’ll be keeping any runs I do fairly short.
What’s your favourite fall recipe?  Pumpkin muffins are delicious, of course, but I also start to make things in my slow cooker, like chili, beef stew, and pulled pork.

 

School’s In, Summer’s Out: Why My Bed Time is Earlier Than My Kids’

It’s 8:45pm and I am honestly, seriously thinking about going to bed soon.  It’s been a long day, with a crazy long wait to take x-rays + a patient with a “challenging” personality in the clinic this morning (school started last week, but clinics started this week, so today’s patient was my first for the school year) and a long afternoon of calling patients to try and book them in.  I was unable to get a patient for this afternoon and still haven’t found one for tomorrow afternoon.  One of my least favourite parts of dental school is having to line up almost all of my own patients.  And really, there are a lot of crappy things about dental school, so that’s saying a lot.

Some bad news about my running today: I think I’m going to have to pull the plug on my half, for real.  I got the okay from my physio to try running this week, and after less than 1k, my IT band started to ache by  my knee.  Bummer.  I have to admit that as I walked home, I sort of wanted to cry (I didn’t).  And then I was just sad for awhile.  I’m okay now, and I’m trying to keep in mind that I want to be a runner, not a former runner.

My eating has been pretty ugly the past couple of days.  Hello, chocolate, thanks for coming by to comfort me.  Yes, I’ve been doing a little emotional eating over the weekend, as it’s just hit me how long my to-do list is these days.  Yikes!   Part of the issue is that I haven’t been eating enough earlier in the day and then end up being a ravenous beast once I get home.  Must get on top of packing a good lunch and snacks (along with the 2 million other things I should be doing – haha!).

I’m supposed to be studying right now, but I think I’m going to go wash my face, brush and floss, and crawl into bed.  I am officially pooped.

By the way, I’m hitting the hay, but my kids are still up because while I have school tomorrow, they don’t start until next week.  How lame is that?

What do you prioritize when work/school starts getting busy?  Are you one of those virtuous folks who manages to fit in her workouts, do you hit the hay nice and early, or do you just hang on and do your best?

 

A Girl’s Gotta Do What a Girl’s Gotta Do: Adventures in Stationary Biking

My left IT band is still unhappy, so I’ve been riding my stationary bike, which is sort of like watching paint dry.  However, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right?  Since running’s out right now, I’ve been parking myself in front of my TV on my ancient Precor bike every couple of days.  I haven’t biked for quite a while, though (didn’t have easy access to a bike this summer), so I’m having a heck of a time getting my heart rate up before my quads are screaming at me.  The legs just can’t keep up with my lungs, which is rather opposite of what goes on when I run.

Met with a physio yesterday and while he didn’t totally rule out my half marathon on September 4th, it’s not looking good.  I’m super disappointed (hello, repeat of 2010), but really, I just want to get this injury under control.  It seems just as it starts to get better, I push too hard for my body (note: I increase my workouts upon the advice of people with training in exercise and fitness, who obviously are giving me the best advice they can, but it hasn’t worked out so far…) and end up tweaking the ITB.  I think time plus continuing with my foam rolling, strengthening, and physiotherapy will eventually sort things out, but it’s been frustrating to take keep having to step back from my training every time I make some gains.  Ah well, I’m trying to think long-term.

While we’re on the topic of physiotherapy, I’ve got a bit of a dilemma.  I saw a new physical therapist yesterday and he seemed very good.  He did an assessment and treatment and seems to have a lot of knowledge and experience.  Now, here comes the “but.”  I had originally wanted to see another physio at the clinic who sort of specializes in running injuries, has a background in running and triathlon (competitive), and extensive experience coaching runners.  Unfortunately, he was on vacation, so I went with this other guy.  The running guy was recommended to me by my personal trainer, and I just discovered that he was the running coach for a guy I know, who had mentioned his coach in glowing terms.  I’m really tempted to switch over to the guy who specializes in running injuries, but I sort of feel bad about it.  I mean, it seems sort of ridiculous, because I’ve only seen the new physio once, but I somehow have a sense of guilt for wanting to change when I had absolutely no issue with the guy I saw.

Opinions on this?  I know in my gut that I should just switch, and that’s probably what I’ll do, but I’d love to hear what you have to say.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, school is okay so far, but our class unexpectedly found out that there’s been a change of instructors for one of our classes, and it’s someone I thought I would not have to deal with this year.  I’m actually surprised I’m not more stressed out about it, because the situation caused me a whole lot of anxiety last year, but so far, I’ve remained fairly calm about the whole thing.  We’ll see, I guess, how things play out.

 

Home Sweet Home, Back to School, and My Best Year Yet!

Well, my summer job has ended. On Friday, I slept in my own bed for the first time in weeks, and it was absolutely fabulous.

However, the end of my summer job is the precursor to something a little less pleasant: the start of my school year.  I am, of course, happy to be seeing my classmates, since I haven’t seen any of them since the end of last year, but I’m definitely dreading getting back to the books.  Thankfully, it is my last year, so the end is really in sight now.  Yippee!

Thinking back to last year, though, I can’t help but think that I could do better. I would like this year to go as smoothly as possible, so today, I spent several hours going through Your Best Year Yet!  by Jinny S. Ditzler, setting my goals for the next 12 months.  It was a pretty good experience, since I tend to be planner and goal-setter anyway.  The book really simplified the process for me, helping me figure out what my priorities are and what I want to focus on in the upcoming months.  I’m hoping that this will help me spend time on those things that really matter to me (my kids, my husband, school, health and fitness) and less time on the extraneous stuff (online gossip websites, scrambling to get stuff ready for the kids last minute, finding random items that have disappeared in the office, etc.).

Speaking of goals, my IT band is still bothering me.  I biked this week instead of running, and I’ll be seeing a physio this week, but I’m really nervous that I won’t be able to run this half marathon.  This feeling totally sucks, but definitely makes me feel motivated to keep up with my strength training and running over the winter.  I really want to kick this injury and be able to finally finish a half marathon!

Off to fold laundry and watch a little True Blood.

 

It’s Ba-ack: Another IT Band Flare-Up

I tweaked my left IT band on Sunday during my long run, around the 8.5k mark.  I feel like it’s a repeat of last summer.  It’s almost more frustrating this year, though, because I started training earlier, with less volume, thinking that by easing back into running I would head off injury.  Not so much.

My IT band had been feeling quite a bit better lately, though, since I switched physios, but I recently started running more often based on the training plan a friend of mine (with the appropriate qualifications) put together.  Clearly my body wasn’t liking it, so it’s back to less running for now.

I’ve been icing, taking Advil, foam rolling, and continuing with my hip strengthening exercises.  Instead of running tonight, I hit the local Y and rode a stationary bike and I’m seeing my physio later this week.

As you can imagine, I’m not feeling good about my race at all.  As I mentioned in my last post, I feel unprepared, what with the delays in my training due to my IT band injury and my training inconsistency this summer.  Topping it off now is this injury flare-up.  Gah!

Moving on to the rest of my life, I’m almost done work for the summer.  3 days left and then I get to move back home!  I am SO looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.  There’s nothing like the feel of crawling under the covers of your own bad and cozying in for the night.  Can’t wait.

On an unrelated note, our babysitter, who had 4 days left of part-time work for us, quit today.  It was quite the mad scramble this morning, but the kids made it where they needed to, but it definitely was a bad start to the day for sure.

On the other hand, I had the opportunity to have lunch with my husband due to one of my patient’s cancelling.  I had an amazing Garden Tuna Niscoise [their spelling] Salad, which has the following description:

It was light and delicious.  The tuna was perfect.

Well, I’m off to ice, foam-roll, and do some hip exercises, then to bed.  Hope you had a great day!