Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Epic Healing Week--1st Installation!

So, since my training is minimal, I figured I have time to write in my blog, and cook, ignore the laundry, catch up on some trashy tv, and finish my book.

On Monday, I went to my normal sports chiro, and we decided on a really focused strategy for my recovery. It is called the "Throw darts and see what sticks" strategy. I think that is an official medical diagnosis. I filled him in on all of my appointments for the week, and we decided to move forward.

Dart 1: Emory

Oh man I was excited. Going to the big dogs and getting some answers. They are going to just KNOW what is wrong with me and how to fix it.

And....well....Guess what? They don't. Regular doctors are a serious disappointment (sorry doctors). The answer: "You have contusions on your knee (really, bruises? You think? I fell like 15 times....I know that!), and you have inflamed tendons." So now I know.....exactly what I already knew. Awesome. I mostly felt bad that I had gotten a substitute teacher and my kids weren't getting a good lesson so I could be told what I already knew. The RX? Physical Therapy, advil, and call in 6 weeks. Great. Really thought long and hard over my treatment didn't ya?

Back to less traditional stuff, since I am clearly not a big fan of the traditional treatments (who would be?).

Dart #2 Sports Chiro who focuses on Active Release Therapy

This was such a different experience than emory. I was really nervous about going. I love my regular sports chiro guy, and I was only going to try out some of his different techniques. He spent a long time with me, and I move in every possible way. He then did a lot of nerve work and a ton of ART.

He asked me what my pain was on the pain charts. Now, really I have a hard time with these.

I don't really get it. He kept on making me walk down stairs to see if the treatment was loosening anything up.

He said, "what was your initial pain level going down the stairs."

I said, "Well, I am reading this book called Unbroken. It is all about Louie Zamparini, who was one of the hopes to break the 4 minute mile. But then, he had to go to war in WWII. His plane crased, and he had to survive in a tiny raft for months in the open ocean fighting sharks and starvation. Then he was captured as a POW and had a really sadistic guard who beat him unconsious daily. I feel like HE gets a pain chart. Really, I am just whiny cause I can't run, so I don't even think I am on it."

Dr., "um....I guess I have to clarify that this is YOUR pain chart, and not HIS pain chart."

Me, " well I guess maybe a 3. I mean, I don't want to walk down any more stairs, or I could turn around and go backwards."

Dr., "well, if something hurts enough that you want to stop immediately, that is more than a three."

Ok, well, this book is really good. Even if I it makes you seem like a jerk in the Dr.'s office, you should read it! It'll change your pain scale!

Oh right....back to the dr. So, he kept working on me, and I kept going down the stairs, and this went on for a while. It was cool stuff, but I was still hurting going down the stairs. The LAST trip down the stairs though, was awesome. I felt about 90% better.

In his words, "We're on the right track." Fantastic. This was one of the first times I have started to feel better! I made 6 more appointments, and I will be back on Thursday. (I don't do things halfway very well).

Dart #3 a.
Phyical therapy that my awesome teammate Andree told me about. I will be headed there tomorrow after I see the Dart #2 Doctor again.

Dart #3b.
Physical therapy. I have a second PT appointment at a place I have been before on Friday. Figure I will just keep it and make a decision later on who I will continue to work with. I have plenty of darts people.

Dart #4
I am considering acupuncture. I have done dry needling, and that might become Dart#5, but not acupuncture. Figure it might be worth a shot. I talked to a guy my coach recommended. I am going to keep thinking about it!

In the meantime, I am doing a lot of swimming. My coach made me take today off because maybe I had been swimming too much..... ;-) OH, which reminds me that I am REALLY excited that SBR sports is going to be sponsoring Team Trakkers! That means that very soon, I will not have to smell like chlorine ALL the time, because I am going to to get some tri swim! I will tell you about it later!!

Any more dart suggestions?

Anyone tried acupuncture?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Mind is the Athlete

To be perfectly honest, this has been a pretty tough week. I knew it would be. This was my last week to see if my knee would finish up this whole healing process and I could move on with life OR I was calling in a team of help.

On Monday, I saw Josh, my amazing Sports chiropractor. My knee felt like it was in the entirely wrong place, and he took care of it. It was sore, but it felt better. He told me to "swim my heart out."
Now, to be perfectly honest, I have been swimming short 1000yd swims on my schedule. So on Tuesday, I swam 4000yd. That's normal, right? Well, I got in some trouble for being overzelous.

Stomach bug wednesday.

Thursday, I decided to be reasonable and swim 2000. But I was so upset. I need to be TRAINING. NOW. Seriously. IM St. George is right around the corner. Everyone else was at the trainer sessions getting ready to rock the bike, and I am stuck swimming a lame short swim. I ended the stupid swim with tears in my goggles. Seriously. That defeats the point of having goggles. They are supposed to keep the water out.

Friday--this week is going well, right? I bent down, my knee popped, and it started REALLY hurting again. Awesome. Friday, I had a meeting with Coach, Laura and Mark. All three of us are doing St. George, so we were have a meeting/pep rally. Well, coach starts talking about his plan, and counting the weeks backwards with the big workouts, and I start crying like a baby in the starbucks. How embarassing. At least no one saw me in my goggles! Here I am crying in front of the people I have ridden up mountains with and gone on crazy runs and are coaching me to these epic races. Ugh.

Fortunately, they are really really supportive, and all of them have had wicked injuries at some point, and for some crazy reason they all seem to sincerely believe in me and my recovery.

Ok, enough negativity. Time to jump out from all of these bad thoughts, tears, and stressing.

Here's the gameplan:

Yesterday, I talked with Laura's sports chiro. I love my sports chriropractor, but this guy specializes in Active Release therapy. Here's how the conversation went.

Dr.: Describe what happened..
Me: Explained the race and falling on my knee.
Dr.: Did something happen to your left calf?
Me: Seems unrelated, but not really.....oh wait, I remember--it balled up into a giant knot and I punched it really hard. Does that count.
Dr.: *Laughs* yes, yes that counts. I can help with this. I know what's going on. I think I can fix it. You need to come in as soon as you can get yourself here. Your calf keeps pulling Josh's ajustments out of line, and I can fix it.
Me: Are you busy right now?????????????????????????
Dr.: *cute kids in the backround* Ummm...yes, we open on Monday.

So, first off, that is PROMISING! I am cautiously optimistic

Second--I have another appt with Josh on monday.

Third--I have an appt with a sports specialist at Emory on Tuesday.

Fourth--I have a Physical Therapy appt on Friday.

I am going to fix this. I HAVE to fix this.

My friend Kelly sent me an email asking if I could talk about what inspires me to train. What makes me want to get out there when I don't feel like it. (Kelly is in the middle of this picture!).

This is clearly the best AND the worst time to talk about it, so here goes.

Endurance sports seem to fit my personality. I deeply understand and enjoy setting a goal, working hard, and reaching the goal. I have always been this type of personality. It is important to me that the goal be difficult enough that I have the capability of reaching it, but it is going to be a struggle.

Now, this leads to a LOT of frustration when something stands in my way (injury, time, exhaustion, etc). But it also means that they payoff of reaching that goal is huge. It is huge for my personal belief in myself, my gratitude for those that helped me, and my confidence.

I will say that every time I have gotten back into training from an injury, I have trained with such a sense of gratitude. Thankful that I feel better, thankful that I CAN train, thankful for those around me who support me, thankful that I lead a life that allows me this kind of joy, thankful for every step I can take, and thankful for my health.

That doesn't mean I WANT to do every run, ride, or swim. It doesn't mean I don't have days where I drag myself into a lame workout. But the payoff of dedicating myself to a goal is SO huge for me.

This was rambling, I know, but that is where my mind is right now. I am trying to get my mind right because until it is, my body will not be ready to go with it. My coach reminded me that "the mind IS the athlete."

Kelly, I promise I will write more about inspiration as I train for my next goal--on the hard days and weeks. I am sure that as my physical and mental state change, my inspiration and ideas about it change too.

What inspires you? Why do you train? Why keep going?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Disney Weekend (Extended due to Snowmageden) In Pictures

Thanks to TyTy, I can post up pictures of our weekend.

Getting ready for the half at the expo!

Dave inspiring his wife to have a stellar race. Or being a dragon.

Pre-race cuban food. I mean really pre race. We had to get up at 3, so this dinner was practically breakfast!

Trying to get this sucker to behave.

3 AM Pre Race Cuteness! Go TyTy!!! First Half Marathon!!!

George killing it! Did you see his time in the last post. Yeah, my husband is fast :-) This is his "in his 30's" PR. And his racing flats have dragons on them!!

George Darden

Last bit of our "off season," which means we are enjoying the heck out of some ice cream. Fortunately, lactose intolerant Dave decided to "man up" (those were George's words, seems strange way to describe ice cream) and join us.

Mamma Spark decided to make everyone an AWESOME italian dinner on Saturday night. I am still dreaming about that lasagna!

Team Poison Apple. We are really really tough. Can't you tell?

Preparing for our big day cheering by playing in the arcade!

Good thing we had shirts made for this race. It was WAY too cold to wear them!! Making signs to prepare to cheer.

Sometimes the signs only make sense to us. Ok, some of them don't even make sense to us, but it sounds good to call them inside jokes, right? Clearly, we were all really tired.... except Dave!

First Time Marathon Finishers!!!!! I am super proud of them!!!

SOOO incredibly proud of Sparkles! She is amazing! She just started running and here she is finishing a marathon!!!!

Post marathon.....look, you can see a little bit of our shirts we made on George!

Enjoying an irish pub that night.

Making secret have to build a fort on the table for that.

Animal Kingdom on Monday! We can't take a serious picture!

Seriously, has anyone in this group ever taken a normal picture?

Due to snowmageden, we were FORCED to go to Harry Potter World. Forced!!

A serious moment with the Lorax. Sparkles actually read the Lorax at our wedding ceremony.

Here we are at the castle before drinking the butterbeer in Harry Potter World. See how happy we seem?

Yeah, that did not really last. Though tasty, we were all sick pretty soon from the overload of sugary-sweet-ness. George still feels sick thinking about it.

My dream. If ONLY Jurassic Park were real. I would SO be there.

There you have it. Great races, great friends, and great fun.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Disney Race Report

So this weekend did not exactly go as planned.

The short version:
1. I was registered for the Goofy....
2. I ran the half marathon with no official time....
3. I had a fantastic weekend that turned into a week with my friends due to the snowmageden in atlanta!

On Friday morning, George, TyTy, Dave, and I drove down to Disney World. We stayed at the All Start Sports Resort on Disney Property to make everything easy!

It had these hilarious oversized sports equipment, but you know, we were ready for a game with giant football players if it came up.

We headed over to the expo. I think the toughest moment was walking up and taking my registration for the Goofy knowing I was not going to race it. I have skipped a race before due to injury, but never had to face the registration table knowing you are not really doing what you signed up to do.

Oh well.

The four of us headed to Downtown Disney, and had dinner together at Bongos. Good Cuban food, but it was SO hard not to devour those fried plantains only hours before a race!! Must go back to eat more plantains!

I had decided that this would not be my longest or my fastest race, so it had to be my cutest race!!! So, before the race, I HAD to buy sparkly minnie ears :-)

We got up at 3AM (seriously), and hopped on a bus to the start by 4. Got up in my Corral after wishing George, TyTy, and Dave luck. George was preparing for a great race, Dave and TyTy were doing their first.

I spent the first five miles or so COMPLETELY stressed out. Does my knee hurt? No. How about now? Not really. Should I quit? This is stupid. I am not going to be able to run at St. George. I hate this hobby. Ok, maybe it hurts a little. Well. Maybe not.
Pretty much I was going nuts.

Then we got into the Magic Kingdom, and it was SO much fun!!! I have done the marathon before, but the castle is just a blast, and I love seeing all of the characters. At this point, I had taken off my polka dotted jacked, and I had my Ironman Louisville shirt on. From miles 7-about 10 I had a group of men asking me about racing that distance and training. Hilarious. I had a crew and my chatting just made the miles tick away like it was nothing. Then I realized I had gotten excited and I was running a little too fast. So I slowed down, said goodbye, and focused on my form.

That meant the last three were less fun again....but then it was over in about 2 hours! And I didn't feel worse then when I started. YES! Still don't feel great, but not feeling worse....

George killed it. We are calling it his "30's half marathon pr." He had a great race, and it was a blast. When he walked into the tent for the D's to pick up his bag, he was the first one, and everyone cheered for him!! Awesome! I am super incredibly insanely proud of him. He is really tough and works really hard.

Dave had a great first half! He didn't tell any of us he was registered for it until we got to Disney! Sneaky!

Ty Ty came in right behind him for her first half too! Way to go you two!!!

Waiting to see my results? Weeeeeelllllll, I realized later that I had put the directions on my shoe instead of a timing chip. They look alike. Awesome, right? No results, no pictures, and I stressed out my coach who thought something had happened to me all morning when I had no time checks!!! Oh well. I was somewhere around 2 hours. Not too slow and not too fast.

After the race, the four of us met Sparkles, Chris, Sara, and Kendra at the Polynesian for lunch. We were pretty hungry by the time we got to eat, but we looked adorable!

It was a character breakfast where they walk around. George had been waiting for months for Pluto to make him an omelette. Dreams really do come true...kindof :-)

After watching these characters for a while....and eating a lot of mickey waffles
Ok, here's the waffles:

So, after those, I decided that I could be a character. Kacie the triathlete. I would be really good. Open smiles--slow pats on the head--gentle hugs--over the top movements. I got this.

Strange they didn't offer me a job while I was there!

That night, we all headed to Sparkles mom's house (known as Mama Spark). She made us all an AWESOME vegetarian pasta dinner. We all sported our shirts (and I'll post pics of that once I get them!). We also enjoyed Pez of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves. I was Bashful. Of course ;-)

The next morning, we were up at 3 again to cheer for Sparkles and Chris. It was really really really cold....and we started cheering at mile one. It didn't take long until we were wearing the clothes that people were tossing off. We have no pride. None.

We cheered 4 times until they blocked off the roads. Then we went to breakfast :-) We headed to the finish line to cheer them on for their last marathon finish. Awesome!!! So incredibly exciting to be a part of it. Sparkles thanked me for the inspiration, and I teared up. Don't tell her that. Ok, maybe she's reading this. Ummmm...I mean, I didn't cry, not at all :-) Seriously, though I was SOOOO proud of her. She just started running late 2010! First half marathon in October!!! Incredible.

That night, we enjoyed an evening in an irish pub in Downtown Disney.

The next morning, we were off to Animal Kingdom.

Then, they city of Atlanta got pummeled with ice and it the interstates were shut down, so Monday, I was FORCED to go to Universal Studios to see Harry Potter World!

So, that was tough......

Then, it was still iffy in Atlanta, so I HAD to spend a day relaxing with my wonderful grandparents and going out to a nice dinner and generally having a great time with them.

And then it was ok enough to drive home, so we made it home...and our heater was broken (see, I knew you would feel bad for me eventually!).

It was a great weekend/long weekend/week, and I am glad to be home. I will post more fun pictures as I get them!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Preparing for the Race....race?

Ok, finally made a decision. I will be running the half at Disney. That's all. On my own.

Granted, my knee is sore today. Great.

Trying to be upbeat--can't you tell?

I know, I know. Big picture. Early in the season. Ironman in 4 months. I get it, just doesn't mean I like it!


In better news, I ordered a pair of these shoes thanks to Team Trakkers! I am SUPER excited.

Wicked fast looking, right? Well, when my knee works totally, I will be able live up to to them and their coolness. Seriously can't wait. They are soooo pretty....I just keep looking at them.....pretty......

Oh, and they are light too. Which means I will be fast, too! YES!

I mean, how awesome are these puppies going to look on me?

Really really awesome. Right answer.


AND--I am super super super excited to cheer everyone on at Disney. They are going to kill it.

I am meeting with Kelly to get our "Team Poison Apple" shirts we had made. I am going to post up a picture tonight, and they are going to be impressive!