HUMP DAY HAPPENINGS

I realize I’ve been bombarding you guys with a lot of words lately, and very few of them have been very positive. So here are a bunch of things that are making me happy this week, in picture form.

I got these flowers delivered to work from my parents for making it into the marathon. It was pretty cute.

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And some funky flowers from S that came on the same day.It was pretty embarrassing they both showed up within about an hour of each other.

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I’ve been living in this Nike hoodie for about a week now. It’s a new fave.

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We’re leaving for Colorado to visit my parents (they live in Estes Park) on Friday and I’m already super duper excited. I’ve created a “to-pack” list. And while I’m bummed I won’t be able to run and hike there like I normally do, I’m still packing clothes for all of it, because comfy living is embraced in Colorado and it’s the best.

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Lastly, I loved this post from Oiselle earlier this week. It’s so important to surround ourselves with good people.

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Hope you’re surviving this week. Only 2 more full days to go!

THE HEARTACHE

This morning while I was walking to work I saw 5 runners out and about. That’s no more than I normally see, but for some reason today I was extremely aware of them. And I felt so damn jealous. One girl in particular was absolutely cruising, with perfect form, and she looked so happy it made my heart hurt. Between getting accepted into the Boston Marathon, the perfect autumn weather, and some emotional stress the past week, I’ve been absolutely aching to go for a run. I actually day dream about the day when I can wake up before the sun, lazily drag my butt out of bed, lace up and head out the door. I’m craving that feeling of being so physically exhausted (the type of exhaustion you can only get after a long, hard run) that thought of getting off the couch just to go to bed is unbearable. I can’t wait until my legs feel constantly tight and touching my toes is no longer a possibility. I want to run so badly I’m convinced that dying of a broken heart has to be a real thing and I’m at risk.

When I got into work this morning, with an especially heavy heart, I started looking at all of my photos from the Providence Marathon, my Boston qualifier. This one is my favorite.

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It was taken by my old roomie (who surprised me that morning at the hotel I was staying in in Providence) probably about a half mile away from the finish line. S hopped in to run with me (for the 3rd time during that race) and the first thing I said to him was “I think I’m going to vomit” followed by “I’m going to make it. I’m going to qualify.”

I remember feeling so terrible for the last 6 miles of that race—I hit the wall so, so hard. I was convinced at mile 23 I wasn’t going to make it. By mile 24 I looked at the time and realized that I could. That realization comes through quite clear in my Garmin stats too. I went from an 8:31 pace, to a 7:51 pace, and my 26th mile was done in 7:36. The last .2 was at a 6:53 pace. And even though I distinctly remember wanting to lie down and die somewhere around mile 25, I would do just about anything to feel that way again. Because I knew at that time I had given it absolutely everything that I could. And I hope, that come April 18th, I can again.

BABY STEPS

So, mostly due to my emotional instability last week I didn’t really tell you guys much else about my visit to the pressure point dude. While I told you some interesting things, I wanted to give you guys some more insight on what my next few weeks are going to look like. First, as I told you I’m wearing this brace for the next 4-6 weeks (I died a little inside when I found out it’d be that long)

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I also think it looks like a home arrest mechanism, which makes me feel pret-ty badass. But instead of alerting the police of my whereabouts, this gorgeous piece of eye candy is designed to help re-train my muscles to work the way they’re supposed to in my left leg. After the injury, my body basically responded to the pain and designed a new “normal” way to walk which minimized the pain and strain on my muscles. Of course now that the pain is gone I’m walking inefficiently and poorly, and my muscles need to learn how to function properly again. As a little bonus, before I put this on every morning I have to sit down and squeeze my fibula and tibula into place. To do this I start at my knee, and grip my kneecap where those bones connect and pulse 3x. Then I move down my leg and do it on my calf, and lastly on my ankle. After I do this, I check for pain in my calf, and if it’s still there I repeat this until it’s gone. Then I put the brace on. While the exercise itself is so simple it actually feels like it does nothing, it does minimize the tenderness in my left calf so I feel like it has to work to a certain extent.

Additionally, I discovered that my hip and ankle are both grossly weak and my hip is actually out of alignment. The therapist did what he could to help my hip and pelvis during the session, but I also have to do a series of exercises to help with that every day as well. Same with my ankle. Both of them are just tiny pulses with very controlled movement and a lot of repetitions, but they’re surprisingly time consuming and a little difficult (which I suppose is the point).

I’m seeing him again on Thursday to see how I’ve progressed in a week. I’m feeling a lot better so hopefully that shows during the appointment. Either way I’ll keep you guys posted.

The lesson I’ve learned through this whole thing? If you’re not getting the answers you want from the first or second doctor you see. Find a third, or a fourth, or however many it takes to get answers. It’s worth it.

Anyway, this whole post is been a little boring so look at this adorable puppy that I ran into on Friday.

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A MUCH NEEDED WEEKEND

So after a very emotional week—finding out I GOT INTO BOSTON 2016 to finding out I won’t be running anytime in the super near future, I am definitely eager for weekend (so much so that I took a vacation day today). A bunch of us girls are going up to Maine for a weekend and I could not be more excited about it. One of the girls and I are making food all day today, and jeans/any pants without an elastic waistband have been banned for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to the distraction.  I don’t have much else to say, I’m still processing everything I found out yesterday, but hopefully I will have a fresh and more positive outlook for you on Monday. In the meantime, check out the Hungry Runner Girl for some much needed strength and positivity. I could definitely take some notes from her.

Have a good weekend.

WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN

I find this especially true in the kinds of days one tends to have (one, especially being me). Yesterday I was the happiest I’ve been in weeks. I was basically high as a kite all day. Today, my butt hit the ground again after seeing a pressure point therapist about my foot. See, S had heard about this guy at Reach the Beach this year, from one of the other runners in his van. He thought it was a good idea for both of us to go and get checked out (S has had a recurring problem with his foot for almost a year now). Since I was (and still am) pretty desperate, I immediately agreed. And after reading the Yelp reviews about this dude, I was pret-ty convinced he was a sorcerer and I was going to be able to run miles and miles by Sunday. That is most definitely not the case. The thing is, the news today wasn’t especially bad. There were just no miracles.

See, as it turns out, my biggest problem these days isn’t the soft tissue damage that was done to my foot back in July, but a minor ankle sprain I also suffered from, but no one identified until now. His reasoning was that the sprain was so minor (nothing even got inflamed) that it went entirely unnoticed, by every doctor I saw before him. I think this is for a couple of reasons. 1) The pain in my foot was so bad before that I couldn’t walk normally when I saw either doctor, so it’d be impossible to tell what was causing the problem—my foot or my ankle. And 2) I frankly just don’t think they gave a damn. But now, since the pain in my foot has subsided and I’m walking “normally” it’s easy to see how much my ankle is shooting out with every step. So what does this all mean? Ultimately, that I will not be running until my ankle has resumed its strength and my body is back in alignment. In the meantime, I will be doing a series of exercises to regain strength in my ankle, while also wearing a brace just below the knee that is designed to keep my fibula and tibula in place, and keep my ankle stable when I walk. This whole realization caused a lot more tears than were probably appropriate. The doctor also said though that both S and I might be feeling emotional as a result of the pressure point therapy he did on us today. While it’s not totally abnormal for me to cry for no reason at all, it made me feel a little bit better about the amount of tears that were shed this afternoon. SEE, THERE’S A SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION FOR MY CRAZY, OK?

Despite the outcome, today was super interesting. It was insane to see how connected the body is from this guy. See, S had a pain in his neck (it wasn’t me), that was very tender to the touch. This dude worked on his foot aggressively, for about 10 minutes, and somehow the pressure in his neck completely released. It was insane to see. There really is something magical about pressure point therapy. The other thing I learned today that was interesting was how much emotions come into play. The guy tried to remind me to stay calm because if I’m tense and upset my body isn’t going to heal as quickly. He really emphasized how much emotions can come into play with the functionality of the body.

Have any of you ever seen a pressure point therapist? Did it help? I’m due for another appointment next week, so he can see how the brace and the exercises are helping. I’ll let you guys know before then if I think he’s full of you-kn0w-what.

In the meantime, let me show you a glimpse into our afternoon:

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