Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hips, Thighs, and Coolio

I started Physical Therapy yesterday upon the recommendation of my Sports Doctor. And I have some good news...and some bad news.

The good news: I am not lying. There are definitely issues which contributed to my injury.

The bad news: There are definite issues which contributed to my injury.

The very lovely woman who did my PT explained how I have weak hips and weak quadriceps (which cause my knees to not properly support my feet and ankles optimally), pronation (which causes my feet to turn in when I run), weak arches (which makes me prone to plantar flacitis issues), and incredibly tight muscles (which cause me to be...tight).

Oh, just that?

PT will consist of a few things: stretching, massage, and strengthening. The stretching and massage was kind of amazing. Strengthening kicked my ass. And thighs. And hips.

You'd think it would be awkward to exercise your hips. Well, you would be absolutely correct. One of the activities I was asked to do was affectionately nicknamed the "flirt." While standing on a step with one foot you have to pop the opposite hip up without bending either knee. So I stand there hip popping like an awkward street-hooker (or Broadway parody of a street-hooker). Three sets of 10. On each side. By my calculations, that's about two solid minutes of pure hilariousness. You're definitely missing out.

Also, at Physical Therapy, they had me stand on something that I can only describe as a bounce-less Pogo Ball from the 80s. Remember those?

So you stand on it and try to not fall over and that improves your strength and balance. But all I could remember is how I was never really able to bounce on them effectively as a child. I tore up the Skip-It, but the Pogo Ball was always elusive. PT Pogo Ball eluded me still. Damn you, balance toys! I can never win!

While this was all happening, we were listening to the most amazing radio station on the planet which played nothin' but the nineties. I don't think you've ever properly physical therapized without doing it to Gangsta's Paradise. Icing is never the same until you've jammed it out to I Want It That Way. And Mambo Number 5 will always inspire a good vibe for deep tissue massage.

What's goin' ON in the kitchen? But I don't know what's cookin.'

I'm going back next week and am looking forward to doing more things to simultaneously make me feel better whilest also causing a chuckle.

In other news, check this space for some potential news this week. I was "selected" to be an ING Marathon Social Media reporter because people somehow find this blog somewhat amusing. I'm not sure what it means to be a Social Media reporter, but I'm hoping free food is involved.

Friday, October 14, 2011

No Jinx!

Big news.

I ran this week. Three times. And I feel good. Great, actually. In fact, I feel a-freaking-mazing.

I write this post with bit of trepidation, as I am worried of jinxing my good fortune to be healing well. Like, you don't put the Red Sox on the cover of Sports likewise do not blog about running. Or something like that. But I'm too excited not to share with you, my loyal blog followers (which, I believe, is directly correlated to "friends of mine that are particularly bored at work." I'm good with it.).

So I went for the first run in the hotel gym of the glorious Homewood Suites in Ashburn, VA where I found myself last Sunday for the bris of my new cousin Sydney. While my mom looked on from her elliptical with mixed emotions (a cross between glee and horror), I ran an easy 3 miles on the treadmill. It was a start.

The next day back in New York, I worked from home while I waited for my new kitten [DAMNIT I couldn't even go three full paragraphs without mentioning Archie. Crap. Ah, well, so be it.] During my lunch break, on a sunny day in unseasonably warm high 70s, I went for a five-mile run. Don't tell my Sports Doctor, I told her it was three. Shhh.

It was seriously a phenomenal feeling. Not just because I was running in the mid-day on the Upper East Side (ohhhh so this is what it's like to be married into underrated). Mostly I was happy to just be outside with my own thoughts, doing what I wanted to be doing. I wasn't training for anything. I wasn't recovering from anything. I was just working out. Just running. It was the stuff Nike commercials are made of.

And then my cat came. And he is the coolest.

Hi. I am awesome despite making my owner into an unbearable cat lady.

After another easy treadmill run (because it's so dark now in the mornings before work! Boo! Hiss!) I visited the sports medicine doctor yesterday for my follow-up, and waited for her to tell me that I needed to get back into the boot or use a cane or get braces again or some other form of torture. But instead she said that despite some continued aching and pain, I am healing nicely.

She says I could use more Vitamin D (who knew?) and that I could also benefit from physical therapy on my outer thighs and hips. My hips! Like an old fragile lady! It's weird, but I guess it makes sense as they're all connected. Who knows. This doctor could totally be messing with me and I would blindly accept anything she said as reality. I guess that's one of the benefits to being called "Doctor." You could totally screw with people if you really wanted to. I guess what I'm saying is that due to the way my mind works, it's probably best that MBAs are not able to give medical advice.


I also need to get my gait re-analyzed by a physcical therapist to evaluate if Jack Rabbit actually diagnosed me with the correct running shoes. I mean, I didn't think it was unreasonable until just now that I had let a random woman at a retail outlet determine the equipment for a major sports activity that very few people in the world do that would in turn potentially cause major medical issues. But I guess in retrospect professional analysis on this isn't so unfounded. Hmm.

So that's the game plan. You are now up-to-date.

Weirdly, the doctor also asked me if I was still planning on running the marathon. When I seemed shocked, she told me that a lot of people (lunatics) still run after these things. As tempted as I was, my deferral for 2012 is final. And also I'm not completely out of my mind. I haven't run in 7 weeks! How could I do a Marathon in 3?

I also feel like I'd have missed out on so much of the "process." Aside from being completely irresponsible regarding the proper training and nutrition needed to run a marathon, I like the idea of training with my group and dealing with the daily aches and pains and trials and tribulations that training brings. You have to sacrifice when you train. It's not easy, and it takes a full life shift. Not only would I probably die if I tried to do it now, but I'd also feel like I had cheated myself out of part of that experience. But mostly I would die. I definitely wouldn't finish. And -- as you know -- I'm in it to win it.

So that's where we stand, folks. I'm going to start slow and hopefully do some halves in the spring. Training for the marathon will officially start for me after Memorial Day 2012. Go team.

In the meantime, I'll be at the bar.

Or playing with my cat.

Or...running. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nude Ankles > Boot Ankles > Canckles

Last Saturday I went to Central Park to cheer on friends that were racing in a half marathon I was supposed to have used as one of my final training runs before the "Big Day". It was a relatively therapeutic experience, actually, and not nearly as traumatic as I had initially feared it might be. It was kind of like when Charlotte threw a baby shower for Miranda. Except without the unwanted pregnancy.

I attribute my relative calm of late to several things. First and foremost, I have been bootless for two full weeks now. Taking that bad boy off was such a relief because as much as I enjoyed the attention of people staring at my on the subway or having people ask me every five feet, "what did you do to your leg!?" it actually started hurting my back from walking around with it. Because you're not supposed to walk around with it. Kind of the point. Oh, well. C'est la vie.

So now, my ankle is NUDE for the world to see. It's a little achy still some days and I still haven't really been able to comfortably wear heels, but I seem to be progressing nicely. According to my doctor I can try to jog this week. Look for more on that in the next post (fingers crossed that it goes well!)

Which brings me to point number two on why I'm staying relatively calm: Alternatives. As you remember, I am still running in the water. And you are probably still laughing at me. Well, laugh away, good sir, because it's the best freaking workout ever. No impact, but very impactFUL (see how I did that?) It absolutely gives you cardio and muscle toning in a way I really haven't found before with other workouts. [I sound like a damn info-mercial, but it's true!] I've also added in one day a week lap swimming and have started more regularly going to my Total Body Conditioning classes.

The one class in particular that I love is at 6:30 in the morning. It's popular, so you really need to arrive by 6:15. Meaning I need to leave by 6:05ish. Meaning I have to get up at 5:45. Vom. It.

But once you're goodness, is it awesome. This bi-yatch is good. She's having us jump jacks (or side-step as the ankle may have it), plank, lift weights, do crunches, and over-all just get our tushies absolutely KICKED for a straight hour. And she means business. She knows me now because I've been going for several months and stand near the front. And she kind of murders me every class. I actually thought today that I might throw up in front of everyone, and the scary thing is that I bet she'd freaking love that.

All in all, though, it's worth it. Because I am calm. And on my way to this:

That's right. Bonafide Stud-Muffin.

The third point, though, is all-encompassing and perhaps the most important and it is regarding routine. I think it's always hard in any aspect of one's life to majorly shift normalcy and change up an established routine, and that's exactly what I had to do with this whole ankle bone nonsense.

A marathoner gets into a crazy routine that involves not only the actual mileage, but also eating, sleeping, and pretty much every other bodily function (use your imagination). An injured marathoner goes on an alcohol and ice cream binge. I'm not sure if it's universal, but 100% of the person in my sample size acted in this manner. Then I calmed down a little bit and got into my new exercise regimen. Went grocery shopping. Laid off the sauce (the chocolate sauce that is...I'm still drinking pretty heavily). I'm enjoying having my Friday nights and my Saturday mornings, and mostly I'm trying to stay focused on what I have to do to DESTROY the 2012 Marathon. Absolutely embarass it with my awesomeness.

But I'm about to shake things up. Might as well announce my big news here in my world-famous blog. Still no unwanted pregnancies since the beginning of this entry (so don't get all excited), but I will have a new addition to my life next week.

Let me introduce you to....

It's gonna be legend....

Wait for it...


Name still TBD (suggestions welcome...) but isn't he the CUTEST?! Seriously. Look into his eyes and tell me you don't see unicorns and apple pie and happiness. TELL ME YOU DON'T! Exactly. You do.

I promise not to become a Crazy Cat Lady. Or at least I'll strive for that. We'll make it a long term goal, how about that? I do swear that this formerlly upstanding blog isn't going to be come "Cat, MeriG, Cat." I'm just super excited to get him.

Although he'll be mixing up my new, normal, calm routine...I think we all need a little change up once in a while. Add a new piece of furniture. An endtable or new bookshelf. Or a litter box, perhaps. Whatever floats your boat.

If I had been marathoning, I never would have jumped at the chance to adopt this lil' fella from a friend who is fostering him. So maybe everything happens for a reason, right? Or maybe I'm just about to get the absolute sh*t scratched out of all my stuff. Either way, it will definitely be another (needed?) change from routine. Until next time... I leave you with a scene from HIMYM:

Little girl: Do you have a fiancée?
Lily: Marshall was here yesterday, they just learned the word fiancée.
Robin: Oh no, I don’t have a fiancée.
Little girl: Then who do you live with?
Robin: Well, actually, I’ve got five dogs.
Little girl: Don’t you get lonely?
Robin: No, I’ve got five dogs.
Little girl: My grandma has five cats and she gets lonely.
Robin: Well, yeah, that’s cats, I’m not some pathetic cat lady, not that your grandmother is some pathetic cat lady – does anybody else have questions?
Little boy: Are you a lesbian?
Robin: NO, ARE YOU? Jeez. [mumbles] Every woman that lives alone is not a lesbian.