Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009-The Agony, The Pain Pills and The Follow Up

My plan for the holiday weekend was as follows:
• Avoid work Wed-Sun
• Make a couple pies for Thanksgiving Dinner with my parents
• Volunteer at the 5K
• See a movie as a family, see a movie with my wife
• Paint the basement
• Relax and enjoy the weekend

Here's the recap. Wednesday my son and I got the pie dough made and in the refrigerator. My wife had some books to get from the library and we picked up a few dvds also. Things were looking pretty good. While we were out we picked up the race packets for the 5K. The shirt is a sweatshirt and since we ran last year we opted out of the shirt. When I went to pick up the packets, they had upgraded the sweatshirts this year to a hoodie...bummer.

Thursday morning I woke a little sore and achey. It felt like the muscles all around my thigh/grown/back area were all just stiff and sore. I stretched out a little, took some ibuprofen and took my kids to the 5K. Since I was volunteering, I directed the runners where mile 1 1/2 and 3.0 cross. It was fun to see my son running and having a good time. We hung out at the race until they had given out most of the prizes and done the raffles. There were about 400 runners this year and the winner of the race ran with a sport stroller (he passed it on to his wife at about mile 2.5) in a 16 minute finish....WITH A STROLLER!

My achey side didn't improve and instead decided to get worse. I stretched and tugged and grimaced and nothing worked. I headed back to the van thinking maybe if I reclined the seat it would relax...nothing. The kids arrived back at the van to see their dad debating whether he should just drive home or just drive to the ER. I opted for the first, the wife jumped in, I moved over and she drove with fury to the ER. I've been to the ER a few times in my life and I have to say that I found the perfect window of opportunity for the ER. We arrived, I was writhing in pain, there was one person already being evaluated and the nurse quickly went and got someone to attend to the man who looked like he was in labor (that would be me). They took me to the back of the ER got me on the bed, took some information, blood pressure, etc. and then pulled out the pain meds. It was nice to hear the nurse tell me that if the pain didn't subside in the next 3 or 4 minutes to hit the button... 2 buttons later and things were much, much better.

The diagnosis...kidney stones. WHAT?! I'm too young for this stuff. Kidney stones are supposed to happen to overweight men in their mid-50s who drink way too much soda and have no sense of exercise. I'm the water poster child, my soda consumption is minimal and up until a month ago I was a pretty active in the exercise arena. They verified with a CT scan, doped me up, gave me some more meds and wished me well. They also mentioned that a lot of people passing Kidney stones end up back not too long after the first visit. I went home and slept until 8 pm, woke up, ate a little turkey dinner that my parents sent, sat down and started watching a movie with my wife...10:30 pm and I was paying the ER a visit. I have broken a bone, had a herniated disc, suffered from seizures, but this topped the charts.

After being re-drugged and pumped full of fluids I returned home and slept until Friday afternoon. We finished the movie Friday night that we started on Thursday.

Saturday we bought paint for the basement and went to a sis-in-laws birthday party. The holiday weekend was a blur.

Today was my weekly doctor appointment for my leg. I told him that I was finished with this whole "no running plan" and asked how soon I could begin to get back on the road. After he poked and prodded, he told me I could start on some slow smooth surface running for a few weeks. He put me on the treadmill and worked with me on some of my gait and stride positions to show me what I get to change. It looks like part of the problem has been that my stride has been too long and combined with heel striking it is actually putting a lot of strain on my hips and thighs. The good news is that I can actually run again. I'll hit the gym tomorrow. I get to take it really easy and do 1 day run, 1 day complete rest, 1 day bike or cross train and then repeat. After 2 weeks if things are still well then I can increase the tempo. I am so excited to go run tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Trot 5K

As I sat in the doctor's office on Monday going over my recovery progress I mentioned this little 5K that I signed up for this Thursday. The doctor gave me two options. Option 1: I run the race and try to keep it easy, but tack on another 3-4 weeks in my recovery or bow out and be back to running in 2. Despite the blow to my ego, I am going to sit this race out. I anticipated blowing my last 5K PR out of the water, but that will have to wait.

On Monday I was able to do some easy running on the treadmill for the doctor and get some advice on why this occurred. According to the doc, my running form was causing all the strain to be on my hamstrings and abductor muscles rather than it being balanced. The good news is that this is off season. It's my opportunity to build my core, work on some speed and be more efficient for the spring.

Instead of running in the race, I will be volunteering and cheering on my son and father.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adversity to Working After Lunch

Since my running has bit the dust for now (cross my fingers for a Saturday or Monday run), I'd like to discuss a few things that have made me wonder. Since bullets seem to be the new trend and I don't want to be left behind, I'll add mine.
  • Combo Meals. One of my favorite burger places sells the homemade type fries. The ones where you can see the skin of the fry (or it is a really good fake). I hate cold fries. I hate cold hamburgers. If I get back to my desk, I have to go for the fries first. By the time I finish the fries, the burger is either cold or luke warm. Someone should really invent a way of keeping everything warm while I finish my fries. 
  • My Productivity Levels. It seems that my productivity levels are high between 8:30 am and 1:00 p.m. From 1:01p.m. (about the time I am having lunch) until the end of the day, my levels drop about as fast as my burger gets cold.
  • Running Points. With all the talk and hype about the health-care plan that is moving through the government right now, why isn't there a running amendment to the plan. It's a simple solution. Everyone signs up for the plan and buys the government approved GPS watch that records their mileage. Points are accumulated for the distance run and add up. I then can log on to a website and renew my subscription to Runners World, get some new shoes, order pizza, etc. It's a win/win for the everyone. Those who start running, get healthier, they see the doctors less, end up taking less medications thus saving the cost of health care. 
  • Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/LinkedIn. Back in the day, there was this thing called networking. You got involved with a group, went to some meetings, handed out your business card with the expectation that eventually you'd be able to get something financially rewarding out of it. Where did that go? I am signed up on everything but MySpace and I'm still waiting to see the benefits. A friend got me hooked on LinkedIn and told me if I joined this one group that I could download like 5000 names and everyone who was on the list would agree to be in my group. I did that. I've yet to get anything from it. I went back to the friend and he said for me now to start calling them and getting referred to other friends. On Facebook, I've been hit by so many pillows, been kidnapped, been sent joyful enlightened messages and been asked to join at least 20 farms. I have yet to see the value. I joined Twitter (horizon_design) as my company to see if it will yield other results. If this doesn't work, I'm going to go find a meeting and start handing out my business card.
  • Home Improvements. Want to know what i've been doing since my running injury? My family room remodel. Before the injury, we tore apart the family room because the previous owners were smoking something and thought that only having one plug in the whole room and a hardwired light connection (with no switch) was a good idea. I ripped it out, re-wired it with plugs all over, put in 12 recessed lights and added insulation to every wall. I started the sheetrock, then got hurt so I hired out the hanging and mudding. Who ever said home ownership was cheaper than renting? I am now seeing the value of retirement communities.
There you go...end of my deep pondering. Once I finish the family room (we're going carpet shopping this weekend because Costco hasn't called us back) I'll post pictures.

Have a great weekend, I hope to be back on the road this weekend or first of next week. I am signed up for the Thanksgiving 5K and I am defending my age group title.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I bought this book called Caffeine for the Creative Mind. It has 250 different exercises to "wake up the brain." Today's exercise was all about creating my own tombstone message. The only catch was that it had to be relatively short and rhyme. I took it a step further and put it on an actual tombstone.

I'm also in less pain today. Sleeping last night was easier than it had been in 2 weeks so maybe I am on the mend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Letting Go and Picking Up

It's been a frustrating past week with my running. The fact that I haven't been able to get out and do any running (even a light jogging hurts) has made me a bit down and grouchy. I think of all the things I am supposed to be doing with my training. My goal is to build my base miles and get my body used to running longer distances without fatigue. I came across this post by Ryan Hall. Even the elite's have bad days and I just get to keep it in perspective.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Construction and recovery

A little over a week ago I started developing some calf and thigh pain. It wasn't anything I considered out of the ordinary. I have been working on slowly increasing my weekly mileage. The goal was six days a week with 10 miles average each day. To accomplish this, I have been slowly working up to that. I started at 4 miles/ 6 days a week for two weeks and then add a mile, etc.

Last week was my first week of 7 miles/day. I made it through Monday, but Monday night I started in with some really bad pain in my upper thigh area. I rolled it and took some ibuprofen and opted to do a Tuesday evening run instead of a Tuesday morning. I made it through about 3/4 mile on the track before I couldn't move. After some research, it looks to be the back upper thigh muscle that connects to the hip. The only solution is to stop running and let it heal. This was not in the cards and i'm a bit pissed about it. I missed a Saturday group run and the weather has been perfect and unusually warm for November. I'm giving it two more days before I schedule an appointment to have it checked out.

The good news is that my downstairs is getting completed. We finished a room in the spring and then we gutted the other room that the previous owners had thrown together. I re-framed much of the room, re-wired the whole thing and insulated every single wall in the room. I started the sheetrocking myself until my little injury put a stop to it. I had two options...wait for the leg to heal or hire someone. I went with the hiring someone plan. As I type, the melodious sounds of sheetrock being put up, screw being put in and the satisfaction that by the end of this week, I should be able to paint. That's one room down, one bathroom and one laundry room/pseudo-office to go. The office area just needs the sheetrock (after we take everything and put it in storage).

Ideally, I'll be back on the road by the end of the week.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween 2009

Another Halloween has passed and now the seasonal sugar high has begun. I was looking forward to some deeply discounted Halloween candy at WalMart, but no such luck. They had it listed for the same prices as before, but they just stuck them in carts with the words clearance on them. Sneaky!

The events of the day started with a sort of Halloween party at a clients office (I used to be employed by them so I am still invited to their events). Several weeks before the plan was that everyone would dress up and we'd have a pot luck lunch. By Friday it had turned into a "everyone do their own thing and dress up as you'd like". I dressed up and another person at the office did and that was it. Cafe Rio was the pot luck location. I'm glad they start taking orders early because by 10:30 am I was starving.

The kids went to school in costume. The e-mail sent by the school saying "no makeup" initially ruined the kids costume ideas, but upon clarification it was "no gory makeup" (amazing what a comma will do). I did enjoy the looks I received as I was driving around town and picking up the kids.

This year, the kids all went their separate ways so Friday night the wife and I hit the local Hollywood Video for our Halloween hits. She wanted to watch "Fire in the Sky" even though I warned her it was a freaky show. She agreed with me after that it was freaky. We then proceeded through "My Life in Ruins" starring some of the people from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (a favorite of ours) and ending with "The Matrix".

Overall it was a successful Halloween.

Billy Mays showed up to give us an OxiClean demonstration (Thanks Jo for the contest info...we'll know Thursday if he won)

Our local Nascar driver showed up. She recently got in a severe crash and had the wounds to prove it. Don't let the barrette fool you. She'll kick your butt and tell you that she "she likes your shoes".

Running can be hazardous especially in a race. If you're not careful you may just get run over and have some severe road rash.

Alice being a vampire and all didn't show up in the photo we took, so you'll just have to imagine the surprise at the school when she showed up.

One thing to note. Liquid latex is awesome, but it also pulls out hair. I have two sections of my arm that have no hair...a small price to pay.

Oh and Saturday morning I got in a nice easy 5 miles with the Saturday group.