Archive for the ‘other fitness’ Category

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My Hips Don’t Lie, They Are Just Misaligned

April 12, 2012

I feel you, Shakira [Also: almost 87 million views. Impressive.]. My hips don’t lie. My physical therapist saw right through their roundabout story. The story about how my hip hurts, my lower back hurts, and sometimes my heel is a little tingly.

The PT didn’t directly negate my primary care doc’s diagnosis of tendinitis, but early into her exam, she pointed out that my pelvis is misaligned. I’d had a hard time describing what was going on lately. Usually my descriptions involved something like: it feel like there’s lead in my right leg; my right ass cheek feels inflamed; when I drive, sometimes my right foot is tingly…that’s safe, right?

When I sit down or lay down, the right side of my pelvis seems to grind into the surface, and when I stand, my right heel seems to grind into the ground.

The PT did ultrasound treatment and massage on my SI joint, which was pretty painful. She thinks that’s where this is all stemming from. Then she adjusted my pelvis and the pain was magically gone. Sitting, laying, and standing all felt normal. It was amazing.

While it lasted.

This is going to take some work, but I’ve got a core and hip flexor strengthening regimen along with some stretches to ease tightness. I’ll go back in about two weeks, since I’m on vacation (all I ever wanted) next week. Not long after my appointment, it felt like my pelvis was out of alignment again. The strength exercises will help build stability so that I can correct the misalignment and feel like a normal person again.

The PT is optimistic that I’ll run again, although we didn’t venture into the realm of time frames yet. I’m glad that I went, and especially glad that the first thing out of her mouth wasn’t, “Let’s just shoot you up with steroids!”

Whew!

This is my fun new stretch. It feels so damn good. You know, after the tears.

IT Band stretch from Running Times.

The PT and I also discussed my running shoes. I knew I needed new ones, but our chat and examination was…revealing? Embarrassing? I’m going to go with embarrassing. I should have been paying better attention.

So here are my older pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires. They were my first pair of running store-fitted shoes, and I loved the hell out of them. They were retired to casual walks around the neighborhood. As you can see, I wore them down fairly evenly.

Love.

I loved those so much, I bought them again in another color. I loved the hell out of these, too, but I wasn’t very good at paying attention to the fact that I wasn’t wearing them evenly. And I was really good at ignoring some of the pain in my right hip, and thinking that if I foam rolled enough, I’d be OK. Wrong.

I hope it’s clear enough in the picture, but the left shoe was worn down more on the outside than the right. It actually tilts outward instead of sitting straight like the right shoe. My old pair didn’t do that…and it’s worth noting that I experienced no pain when I was running in that pair. The PT said it was clear that my left side was overcompensating for my right.

No love.

No love for these shoes any longer. I knew I needed new ones anyway, but they are officially the Shoes of Death now. I put them on for the PT appointment, and the pain got worse as I walked around in them. I have no idea how much of that was psychological, but any more pain or discomfort than I have anyway is too much. So…to the shoe graveyard they go.

Shoes of Death.

The good news from physical therapy? The PT doesn’t think I’ll have any problem moving from PT to the other PT. She also did a strength test of my legs, suspecting that my legs were weak. But ha! They are not! She told me that my legs are actually pretty strong.

It’s just the Jello Jiggler that sits on top of my legs that needs some work.

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That’s Therapy, Not Training

April 11, 2012

I told my mom that I was going to PT today, and, since we were a military family, she said, “PT? I thought you were injured.”

Exactly.

That’s Physical Therapy, not Training, ma.

After my hip X-ray revealed no bone issues, my doctor recommended PT and today is my initial evaluation. Because I’m ridiculous and a bit of a perfectionist (OK, a lot of a perfectionist), I’m nervous! Is that normal? Whenever I have to describe intensity or location of pain, I worry that I’m not providing an accurate or helpful picture. Or that I might not pass the test or something.

Or, really, that they’re going to say, “Oh? It hurts there? That can’t be right.”

Or, “Well, there’s not really anything wrong.”

Or, “There? Hmmm, that’s freaky.”

Or, “Oh, really? Well, you’ll probably be in PT for the next 8 years.”

OK, OK, I seriously doubt the last one, but I do get nervous that I’m not describing what’s going on thoroughly or accurately enough, and that that will somehow impact the treatment prescribed.

And that I’ll have a bum hip. Forevs.

Off to work for a bit and then PT. Fingers crossed that PT gets me swiftly back into PT, the other kind. And that I get an A. I’d take a B, I guess. I hate failing exams.

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When Yoga is Your PITA

March 26, 2012

So, I have a pain in the ass. My doctor approved yoga, with the warning that if the poses were hurting me, I’d take child’s pose and proceed from there. She agreed that yoga stretching could help, and I looked forward to my regular Monday night vinyasa class.

Until my regular Monday night vinyasa class WAS the pain in my ass. Vinyasa (flow yoga) is awesome…and in my class, you never know what you’re going to get. If the instructor told me that I’d be in utkatasana for the better part of an hour, I would have stayed at home in child’s pose in my PJs. Instead I tried half of the class and then…left. I felt a little bad about leaving, but I was just getting frustrated, and didn’t feel like I could focus on the class.

Ohhhh...it's an IMAGINARY chair. Still a pain in the ass.

I was pretty jittery, too; I am hoping that was just a side effect of the prednisone (and not a sure sign of impending crazy). The doctor warned me about that as a side effect, and, true to form for me when I take medicine, I was a crazy, shaky, hyper girl before class. Not exactly calming at 8:30 on a Monday night…

Two more days of prednisone. Walking feels great, but sitting at my desk chair for much of the day feels counter-productive. It seems like the tightness/pain is alleviated more quickly once I stop doing things that aggravate it, so…progress?

Big thumbs up for sleeping. No pain there.

Downward-facing cat likes home practice. And naps.

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Such a PITA!

March 24, 2012

Experiencing a total PITA (that’s Pain in the Ass) these days. Quite literally.

I went to a doctor yesterday (new-to-me doc since I moved recently) about the hip/knee/pelvic pain/inflammation/tightness/whathaveyou I’ve experienced lately.

Diagnosis? Tendinitis.

Treatment: 5-7 days off of running (walking, swimming, yoga are A-OK); 5 days of prednisone

I’m happy she looked at it, and absolutely willing to try the treatment, but what happens if the prednisone/rest doesn’t fix me remains to be seen. She was really all about more of a drug-heavy treatment, and I’m…well, not. I’ll take ’em when I really need ’em, but a lot of drugs make me nauseous…including prednisone! (Unrelated side: if prednisone makes you queasy, I highly recommend NOT seeing The Hunger Games in the theater until your treatment is over. So. much. camera. movement. But a great movie. And a totally different kind of Peeta that is not at all a PITA.)

No sense of relief in my leg/hip/pelvis/ass yet, but I’m trying to be patient. And do walking or laying around activities versus sitting activities. (Please do not send me one of those seat donuts just yet…actually, pretty sure that wouldn’t help at all, physically. And definitely not mentally.)

I’ve never had tendinitis or taken prednisone or been waylaid like this, and I’m trying to keep the long view. A little concerned about the race I have in four weeks. Equally concerned about eating everything in sight. It’s amazing to me that a little 10mg pill can make me so hungry. Better get to walking/swimming/namaste-ing lest the scale and I get into a fight because of ravenous hunger. If you’re not at work or offended by choice language, check out what Jack Black has to say about that

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Three Things Thursday: Billy Goat

March 22, 2012

High on a hill is a lonely…Billy Goat Trail. Well, not as lonely as I thought. I had the day off from work, and since there’s more to fitness that running, I went for a hike on one of the best trails in the DC area. Even midday on a spring Thursday, there were plenty of folks out there. Some reviews of this trail indicate that it’s good for beginners…I disagree. Section A has a lot of climbing and hopping on rocks high on a cliff above the Potomac. And today I had the shit scared out of me good fortune of seeing 9 snakes! And hearing the rustling in the grass of at least 3 more, but I didn’t hang around long enough to find out!

So today’s Three Things are some pictures from the hike. If you’re in the DC area and you’ve not been, get out there. You won’t believe you’re mere miles from the Beltway and downtown. Well, except for the weekend crowds…be prepared.

Those nice Carolina blue blazes mark the trail...much of which goes over big rocks like these.

You can park across MacArthur Blvd. from Angler's Inn for free (although they are doing construction there...hopefully that doesn't mean the free parking is going away), or head down to Great Falls Tavern Visitors Center (NPS). You can access the C&O Towpath and Billy Goat Trail from either, but if you go to the NPS visitors center, you walk past these gorgeous falls to get to the northern Billy Goat trailhead.

Sometimes your feet just want to break free of the confines of running shoes. Although I wouldn't necessarily recommend Chacos on the Billy Goat...too many snakes way too close to my feet, and I felt a little less stable on some of the rocks than I typically do when I go out in hiking boots. But totally worth it to get started on my Z tan.

I hope that, wherever you are, you’re getting to enjoy some sunshine this fine spring.

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Preparing for March Madness

February 29, 2012

Confession: I may or may not have (in many years) taken off days of work to watch the Thursday/Friday March Madness games. But that’s not the only March Madness that I’m referring to.

It took me a really long time to figure out that weight loss, eating better, and exercising needed a plan. When I decided to build a headboard, map out a job hunting strategy, and develop research in graduate school, I always started with a plan. Why I thought losing weight or getting into better shape would be any different is…madness, I tell you.

I didn't know how to build a piece of furniture, so I followed a plan. Such is being healthy!

Now I have, more or less, evolving plans. I’m sticking with Weight Watchers and upcoming races are helping to keep me exercising, but with a new month knocking on the door, it’s time to set some additional goals to work toward. So here’s the plan – my attempt to control some of the “madness.”

1. Keep running. First half of the month: keep up the miles, try not to get injured. Mid-month: run first half marathon! End of the month: keep up with post-race recovery miles and begin training for the next race.

2. Put together some kind of quick routine for a few mornings each week that I don’t go for a morning run. Still figuring out what this might look like, but it would include some dynamic stretching and a little cardio to get me going.

3. Tackle my diet soda addiction. Step one: make a note of each instance that I grab a diet soda. Step two: limit to no more than four 12-ounce servings each week, with a goal of eventually making diet sodas a rarity.

4. Kick out any remaining HFCS from my kitchen. I’m pretty good about avoiding this, but I just noticed that my favorite stir fry sauce has it, so March is for finding alternatives.

5. Make some camping or backpacking plans. I’ve been using my weekends for long runs, but a trip out to Harpers Ferry for some hiking this weekend reminded me that I need to reserve time for those ventures, too. I used to backpack 1-2 times a year, and it’s time to add that back into the rotation o’ fun. March is the month of planning for later spring adventures…and whetting my appetite with more hikes.

Nothing like a beautiful day and a great hike above town.

Correction: nothing like a beautiful day, a gorgeous hike, AND post-hike recovery red!

Here’s to a great March!

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Weekend Update: Does a Shakeout Hike Count as a Shakeout Run? Edition

February 27, 2012

Here’s my weekly wrap-up for February 20-26.

Training Mode: Still in the game! This was week 9 of half marathon training, although my schedule is modified from the original based on my injury-induced rest.

Days until the race: 19 (wow!)

Feelings about the race: Still feeling pretty good. Wish I was running with someone, but I hope to look for the pacing folks. I need to figure out what I’m going to wear. 🙂

You can run and tell that: 18.25; long run: 8.4

Busted more moves: One Body Pump class, one yoga class, one 5-6 mile hike the day after my long run. Can I call that a “shakeout hike?”

Busted body: A little tenderness in my left shin and right knee. Right knee feels better with some dynamic stretching.

Ear candy o’ the week: I felt solidly “Back on the Train” this week. [A motivational running playlist with Nicki Minaj, Pitbull, Johnny Cash, and Phish isn’t weird, right?]

The takeaway: I might need to switch the day I do Body Pump or the day I do my long run. My legs still feel a little tired from Thursday night Body Pump if I go for a Saturday morning long run. And: loved the combo of a run/hike for the agenda this weekend. I’m a happy Outdoorsy Racy Stacie.

Things to work on: purchasing a fuel belt of some kind. See below.

Yep, this gets a little annoying for 8.4 miles.