Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My first drop out + solving knee pain

Last week I briefly mentioned in my July recap that I had to drop out of Hood to Coast due to some knee pain. I'm not one to back out of a relay (or any race I've booked travel to) so its actually a big deal for me to say no. I wish this was the first time addressing wonky knee issues, but sadly there were 2 other incidents while #racing50states, so I had an idea of what was going on.

 3 years ago it was  a bad case of ITBS that lasted months and 2 years ago an even more debilitating plica inflammation.  (not to be confused with PICA which Kim misunderstood me when I first blogged about it-- pica  is an eating disorder where you have an appetite for chalk, dirt, clay, sand etc.)--- yes its an actual disorder and there was even an episode about this on My Strange Addiction- is that show even still on?

Aside from all that, this time it was different. The previous two incidents it only hurt when I did high impact repetitive activities such as running, jumping, and of course going down stairs, whereas now it hurts all the time. My knee pain triggers when I'm walking, when I do squats, even when I lie down at night to go to bed and I sleep on my side. The most frustrating part is that this came out of NO WHERE. ITBS onset was in the middle of Tybee 1/2 marathon, I heard a pop, fell to ground then knee pain- boom. Plica inflammation I was in the middle of my 21 miler training for Air Force Marathon and at mile 18 my knee gave weigh. This time, I went to bed and woke one day and the pain was just there #worstinjuryever. 

Last Monday I did my normal run group and was in pain within 1 mile but somehow managed to squeak out 3. Luckily there were massage therapists ready for the runners on this particular night so I took advantage of being one of the first to finish and had a very painful and tear-felt 10 min deep tissue IT Band and quad torture session. My masseuse specializes in sports massage and since she knows my old roommie, Leah, she suggested I see her to get a better idea of what is going on since it appeared to be more than ITBS. 

Luckily in TN you don't need a Dr. referral to have insurance cover physical therapy, so I made an appointment with Leah for later in the week and after a few tests she found that I have both infrapatellar fat pad irritation and patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).

My first goal is to just get the irritation down which will remove the pain, so she spent quite a bit of time performing Astym therapy - the before and after not only on my ROM, but also the decrease in pain was pretty significant. She also noticed that my knee cap was pretty "free floating"?? To help immobilize and support my knee, she did some fancy restrictive taping to last for 48 hours. Aside from changing how I walk and making it extremely difficult to bend knee (especially when first getting in the car to drive), I loved how it completely removed all the pain I was experiencing... even walking downstairs!!

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As far as icing goes, I was given dixie cups to freeze and then peel around to ice my knee until the majority of the cup has melted- obviously messy, but quite effective and cuts down on amount of time spent icing as it typically lasts 10 min. 
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Notice the difference in swelling after a few days?
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Lastly as far as what caused this issue, along with injuries from previous years, all stem from poor hip strength and an asymmetrical pelvis. For everyday running this doesn't impact me, but when I make changes, over time, that is why I get injured. This go round the cause was taking so much time off + inconsistency when I did run.  My monthly mileage for the most part was around 50 miles which broke out  to 0-2x a week running. and if I did get in 3 runs it was because I added in a long run here and there. Mentally 10-12 miles doesn't seem like a lot based on what I was used to, but my body felt otherwise and my ligaments / tendons hadn't been properly "re-introduced" to those longer distances. 

Aside from making love to my roller every day, I also have to do the follow exercises to increase the strength in hips...I assume strong hips equates to great child bearing hips so I can get a twofer out of this??

Side-lying Hip abductor raise... or as I like to call, the Jane Fonda 

Did you know there are different levels of the trusty clam shell exercise?? I can't decide if the fact that I have to do level 2 and level 4 means that I'm awesome to skip 1 and 3, or I'm terribly weak and need the advanced moves to make a difference?

Level 2 clam shell is just like traditional clam shell, only you separate your feet instead of keeping them together... burns that much more quickly 

Level 4 clamshell- this one is no joke. Top leg gets extended backwards until your top thigh is in line with torso. keep the knee still and raise your foot toward ceiling then back down.  I'm supposed to 25 of each of these exercises, but so far I can only manage 20 of these before the burning wears me out. 

Lastly no running for at least 2 weeks. Sunday I tried the elliptical yesterday to see how it felt. Thankfully I met Leah at the gym and we talked the whole 40 min. My knee felt fine but seriously I shouldn't be able to carry on a conversation the whole time, let alone the machine tell me I only did 3 miles and burned 200 calories--- no wonder some of these ladies are on these machines forever #aintnobodygottimeforthat.

Yesterday I went to kettlebell and modified my squats and skipped the lunges- still feel great! 1 week running free and my body is slowly coming around that I really do think I'll attempt a short run next Monday. 

It's amazing my mentality today vs. a few years back. During then I HAD to run races regardless of pain, thus 13 of my states were run / walk / shuffle with knee pain. I had TERRIBLE calf pain last summer / early fall which accounted for 6 more states- 5 of them being back to back every weekend. Needless to say I've asked a lot of my body and its time to finally treat her right.  I have 2 relays coming up in October (Bourbon Chase & Ragnar TN)- ideally I think I'll be better by then, but if not, I have no shame in putting me first and adding 2 more drop outs to my roster. 

Here's to the start of an injury free / strong rest of 2014!!

Do you experience the same injury over time?

When do you push through it and when do you call it quits?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

July Re-wind

July is my favorite month of the year. Perhaps it was because growing up its the only full month you're not in school?? Could it be I just love 'Merica that much and 4th of July is my favorite holiday? Nope its my birthday month and this year was THE BIRTHDAY--- aka leave my partying 20s and enter into my mature 30s.... or something like that.

Total Mileage:  Oh you know, just under 60. I haven't seen a triple digit in over a year so 60 these days is high for me.

Highest Mileage week: 16- and that was only because I met up with a running group and did 12 miles. Everything felt great until mile 10 hit and then the wheels came off--- apparently my watch paused so my real time was 1:46ish,  thus slower pace than listed below.

Races Planned / Completed: 0/1

A few weeks ago my market came into town for our yearly meeting. We always try to lead fitness classes and since Kim was going to be in town and needed a track workout one of the mornings, I put out the word I'd be at the track if anyone wanted to join. One of my co-workers who likes to talk crap said he wanted to come out and race me, so racing is what we did... for 100 meters. I won, but I'm pretty sure he let me win, so we are going to have a re-match that is a full 400 meters next time he's in town.

New to Me: (Because you should always be trying something new) 

Entering a new decade and being welcomed to the 30 Club is big enough new thing to last me awhile. Best "happy birthday" message I received was from a guy friend who said that there is something sophisticated yet sexy about the age 30... I'll be riding on that for rest of year :) 

From age 1
Photo: 29 years ago..Lisa Jameson celebrated her 1st birthday.  Today she celebrates her 30th!!!  The years have passed so quickly!!  With each passing year, my heart grows with more love and pride for this beautiful young lady...my daughter.........xoxo

To 30...

Other fun ventures in July:
  • Surprise visit back home to celebrate my parent's anniversary - apparently I didn't take any photos
  • Finally getting to see downtown fireworks (voted some of the top in the nation)

  • And of course seeing Coolio and Vanilla Ice in concert- such entertaining fans showed up, half the amusement was just watching them
Current Excitements/ Obsessions:
  • If I had been a little more prompt in writing this recap, I would have shared all about how excited I was to run Hood To Coast next weekend since I've never been and it is deemed "the mecca of overnight relays". Unfortunately due to injury I had to bow out yesterday- more to come on that later.  
  • Finally today has arrived where my new roomie, Kristin, moves in- excited for the start of what appears to be a beautiful friendship!

Current Songs

Someone asked me recently what I considered to be one of the greatest songs of all time--- hands down Stairway to Heaven and I've been listening to it on repeat around the house the last several weeks. Don't think I could tire of it. 

Current Treat
I've been constantly seeing Quest Nutrition bars on blogs and instagram and I FINALLY found them in the store (Whole Foods and Publix) 

At 20 grams of protein and the only additive being splenda, I don't feel bad about this treat. My favorite thus far is front and center- 'Coconut Cashew'... I love all things coconut. 

It's also the last of the peach season. The Peach Truck from GA is by far the BEST peaches you can buy in our area. I'm assuming they just supply to the south since they are so juicy? I'm talking juice all over your face type of good. I remember last summer they were handing them out after one of the local half marathons I did and I had 4 #notashamed. Took my parents to a festival this past weekend and bought 2 bags worth of peaches! Be on the look out for this sign for future seasons

Current Goal (s):  
  • Nail down what has triggered my debilitating knee pain - first physical therapy appointment is today
  • Consistently cross train while unable to run- so far I've been consistent with kettlebell class 2 days / week but I need to introduce yoga back in to help stretch out. 
July's takeaway: 
Honestly the month for me was more transitional in my mentality more than anything else. Since 30 is a new decade, but more importantly a societal bench mark for officially "being an adult" if you hadn't already considered yourself one, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my behavior, dress, goals, company I keep etc. It's crazy how time has flown and although I have no regrets on how I've lived my life to this point, I do have that nagging feeling of entering the next chapter in my life, starting a family, but for the time being I keep reminding myself I"m not getting any younger and to enjoy it while it lasts

Anything noteworthy about your July?
For those who hit an important birthday year, any advice on how to cope?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday

Over the last week.... 
1. Is it sad that I'm actually excited by how many miles I ran in July? Clearly you can see how I've had less than stellar miles over the last year, but I'm finally starting to feel slightly more comfortable getting into a groove. I'm no where near the stamina or speed I was in the fall, but I'll get there. 

2. Are you familiar with the TimeHop app? If not you SHOULD be.
It basically sends you an update everyday on what you were doing on this day (if you made a post on facebook). The furthest its gone back is 7 years... still waiting to see a college post come in there from 2005-2006 when I first got facebook. Anyway, I was reminded that 1 year ago this week I was in ALASKA with mama J crossing off state # 42

and checking out nature, wildlife, and of course, GLACIERS!!!  Alaska is such a cool state and I was double reminded this week when Elizabeth finally posted her experience from last last month when she ran in Achorage! If you ever have the opportunity to go- 1 week is definitely not enough! 

3. Last week I was able to tap into my inner early 90s self and head out to a (free to me) concert with Coolio and Vanilla ice---- Yes you heard that right.  I wish I could have taken photos of all the characters that came out, but instead you get the 2 songs I was most excited about. 

Vanilla Ice- Ice Ice Baby

Coolio- Gangsta's Paradise

And after Coolio was done he walked into the crowd... he's definitely aged
Photo: Close encounters with Coolio #oldschool #gangstaparadise

4. Now that I've been running more (compared to previous months), I've noticed a dull ache in my left knee that just won't go away. It hurts to squat, go downstairs, jump, and of course run.  I'm not sure how to distinguish if its actual knee pain, or if its a result of a tight IT band. Regardless, its extremely frustrating because we've had AMAZING non humid weather for a whole week and I've had to sit a lot of days out to 'rest' despite only running 4-5 miles the day prior. 
Does anyone know how you can tell which type of pain it is?

5. My roommate Kristin is finally moving in at some point next week. Although the solitude has been nice, its also been lonely. Last night we met up for the last week of the free concert series "Dancin in the District" which is along the riverfront downtown Nashville- so much free music in the summer! 

It's nice to have a gal pal that will be around to talk about my day with again. We even finally got our first photo together- front flashes on cameras are never that great! Here's hoping to the start of a beautiful friendship! 

How was your week? Anything exciting? What do you do for persistent knee pain?