Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Physical Therapy: It Begins

I decided to go with KORT for my physical therapy. I like the idea of them being a bigger organization, in case I stump one guy, it should be easy to get transferred to another one without huge problems.

So far, I like what I'm seeing. My PT, Rob, isn't a runner, but he seems to know his stuff. He's also very good at explaining at exactly what is going on with my problems, and the technique he is trying to fix it. I like understanding it, its my body after all! He seemed surprised that I, unlike every other runner, was okay with taking time off. It just took me two months to come to this nightmare-ish realization!

He did some strength tests on my legs, and my left leg is significantly weaker than my right in a lot of areas. Especially when it comes to my abductors and TFLs. Hopefully with some exercises, stretches, and some persistence on my part we can get this part of the puzzle fixed. I'm doubting this is the whole problem, but it is a problem to address.

Also, he's trying a technique called ASTYM. I don't remember what it stands for, except there wasn't a word for the Y. He said I was the first patient to ever ask about that, ha! ASTYM is used to break up scar tissue. I'm not overly enthusiastic about it, because, well, thats what A.R.T. was for too. The main difference is that it is done to the entire leg, not just the problem area.

Man, did that stuff hurt. He put something on my leg, cocoa butter, I think he said it was, and then used these plastic tools to break up the scar tissue in my leg. He mentioned girls don't like to have it done usually, because of how it really bruises up the leg. At first I was thinking "aha! Those silly girls!" but yeah, it really bruised up my leg; no joke! I might take some pictures of my leg later just to get some revenge on Nic for posting the picture of his disgusting toe!

But there is more to the ASTYM system than simply skinning me alive. I also have to drink lots and lots of fluids; but I already have that covered. I don't think I've peed anything with color in it for years. Okay, maybe its not THAT bad! There is a list of 8-10 stretches I need to do 4 times a day, too. I like this, too, because its very specific about what I can do on my own time to help my recovery. Before it was just "well, don't run. Or do. Whatever." Now I have a checklist I can go through. I can be very, very active about my recovery.

I also have a patch on my hip for the next 24 hours or so. Its pumping it full of steroids, hopefully helping it heal up a little bit. The medicine I was on recently was steroidal, and seemed to help. With the patch, though, it stays in this immediate area and is much more focused. Hopefully this change will make it help even more.

For now, I have several days until our next appointment on Tuesday. Until then, just a lot of stretching, hydrating, icing, and dreaming about being back on the roads.

On a completely unrelated note: Marcy, the Google result for "butt massager" was so your fault. The text Google found was from YOUR comment! And yes, when I looked at the search page, there were very, ah, interesting things surrounding my blog. My search was listed as slightly more relevant than vibrators. Thanks Google!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Next Step

Well, I'm making the physical therapy thing official. I haven't decided where I'm going yet, but have it narrowed down to two places. I might consider others if I hear back from some friends fairly soon, but right now the two players are Buffalo Run and KORT. Both seem to have physical therapists with very good resumes.

The former is a smaller group, but one of the therapists has an interest in running. The latter is a very reputable organization that is all over the state. I haven't seen any of their PT's profile's have anything about running, but I assume somewhere in their network is someone with an interest, and I could likely get sent to them if I need to. I'm going to give it a little thought tonight and give one of them a call tomorrow. If you've had any experience with PT's and know what I should be looking for, I would really appreciate any feedback.

When I got to the chiropractor today, they had their dog there. Since I was a few minutes early, I got to have a little fun and play with him while I waited! It was fun, but it reminded me that I want to get a dog still. I told Beth (Mike's wife) my story and she admitted to me she had this dog at an apartment that didn't allow them for a whole year, makes it tempting!

Today Mike pushed running on me a little too hard. He suggested going out for a run tonight or tomorrow to see how my hip reacts. Then he suggested it again. And again. Eventually he gave it up, I wasn't going to budge. I've been here for two months: I get back to feeling 95% recovered, I run, and I'm back to square one. He's the professional, but I've been living with it for the past two months. I can see the pattern. Us computer scientists are good at patterns.

I haven't cut things off though, not yet anyways. A.R.T. is very good for treating the symptoms I have. It will clear up the aches, at the cost of it hurting like hell for the time I'm in his office. Hopefully these aches will go away with some time off from running, and I can call it quits on the A.R.T.

Last night my left leg started tightening up on me. I'm not sure why. I stretched out my glutes and hammies pretty good, but it wasn't perfect. Today its still sort of there, and after A.R.T. my left leg is especially uncomfortable. Walking doesn't hurt necessarily, but it causes some discomfort, especially in my hamstrings.

I'm somewhat relieved that I'm officially on break from running. The highs and lows I have been going through the past two months were not pleasant at all. For now, at least, I'm happy living in the comfortable middle ground. Hopefully adequate rest and physical therapy will be enough to get me back to living the high life. I look forward to it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why I Ran

We all have the reasons we run. It is a common blogging topic, its fun to talk about. However for me it is more in the past tense lately. I can barely call myself a runner anymore, my running has completely collapsed. Maybe I was too relentless. I've decided to become more relenting.

A big reason I've always enjoyed running is because it makes my body work better. I feel healthier. If I'm running late for something, I can run there and not be out of breathe. If its raining and some friends want to run wherever we're going, one of them will turn it into a race, then I'll kick their butts and make it look easy.

But lately, this is not the case. For the past two months I have been babying this hip. I can't run across the street to catch a break in traffic. If I'm running late, then I'm late. I can't hurry, I'll hurt my hip. Running is having the opposite effect of what it used to.

I also love the aspect of running that hard work pays off. You can go out for a run, it might hurt when you're doing it, but you feel like a champ later. I conquered the elements. I beat that side stitch. I tackled that hill. I beat myself from last week. Then the endorphins kick in and I'm on top of the world.

But now theres another stage, that always occurs after I'm on top of the world. My hip starts hurting again. Every time. Without fail. And it never hurts until I'm feeling on top of the world. It waits, patiently, until I'm built up before it brings me crashing down. This, also, is the opposite of what running should be. I feel good during, and bad afterwards. Its like alcohol. You have fun one day, then pay for it the next. It doesn't follow the reasons I enjoy running.

I'm completely frustrated with this cycle of running, feeling optimistic about my hip, then crashing down. I'm done with it for a while. I've proven time and time again a week off is not enough for my hip to heal up. Maybe it needs two weeks, three, four? I don't know. Nobody does.

Right now I feel as if A.R.T. is only treating the effect of some elusive cause. Even when my hip doesn't hurt, it feels off. I can't explain it. If you've ever broken a bone, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It more than hurts. Something just doesn't feel right. After my extremely restful weekend, it still feels off. There isn't really any pain, maybe a little when walking up hills, but thats mostly subsided. Although, I can guarantee you if I go out for a run, it is going to flare up. Something is mechanically wrong.

I'm strongly considering finding someone new to look at my hip. Nothing against Mike, but I want someone else to wrap their brain around it. Maybe a new perspective on it is just what is needed.

If anybody has suggestions, I'm open to them. As long as they don't involve running. I'm officially on break.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Restful Weekend

I'm not going to lie. I have really rested this weekend. And by really rested, I mean I've been an absolute bum. It has been everything I had imagined it would be when I was working my tail off the past several weeks!

I've been doing a lot to try and fix up this hip. I'm hitting it with all I got. My legs are getting foam rollered (hey, thats a word whether you believe it or not, spell checker!) quite a bit, along with my back. As a result, my legs are feeling pretty good! Also, this roller is just the key thing I've been needing to pop a part of my upper back that really needed it!

Ice and heat has been a key component of my weekend too. I'm really hammering away at this hip, and its feeling good. It felt especially good after I slept for 11 solid hours Friday night. Yesterday I started up on the Medrol again, which helped it big time a month or so ago. Hopefully with a combination of adequate rest, ice, A.R.T., foam rollering, massage, Medrol, and low, easy mileage, we can finally get this injury to get on out of here!

Right now it feels pretty good. I haven't felt pain in it for a few days, although every now and then it feels 'off' and I'm not quite sure how to explain it. Maybe its in my head. I don't know. We'll find out in the end, hopefully.

Other than taking care of this hip, I've spent too much time playing video games and a little time practicing the juggling; its surprisingly addictive, and I'm starting to get kind of good at it.

Productivity wise, I got a lot of grading done today. After grading the lab tests and programs, I swore I had a big stack of quizzes to grade -- nope! It was all in my head. Nice surprise to end the day!

After this low key weekend, I'm feeling rested and ready to tackle whatever the world throws at me. I'm no longer in the zombie-like state of last week, which is a nice treat!

Right now my game plan is to run tomorrow evening, then I have A.R.T. after class on Tuesday. I've had five days completely off from running and biking, so hopefully it will be enough for it not to get too aggravated over a couple easy miles.

Update: Not running tomorrow. Mike is just going to have to deal with that.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Recovery

This week has had a lot of focus on getting me back on the roads, but I'm not rushing the actual act of running. Not this week. I'm taking Nic's advice to take it easy for a little while longer.

Wednesday Mike really kicked my ass with some A.R.T. to break up the new spot that flared up in my hip. This time its a little further down the leg, closer to the bottom of the joint where my femur and pelvis meet. It doesn't hurt too much mechanically, but its very sore to the touch.

My run yesterday didn't happen. I simply didn't have time, and it wasn't a good idea anyways! I was working on homework until about 3am the past two nights, so squeezing in a run was only going to cut in on my minimal amount of precious sleep.

I did, however, make it in to get a massage to work out some kinks in my lower back and several spots in my legs. That massage worked wonders. Not just physically, but mentally. Beforehand I was just about as stressed as ever. If someone decided to yell at me like they did to Jess, I probably would have tackled them and punted their dog; it was that bad.

Afterwards, though, I felt completely in control. I had stuff to do, and I had time. I didn't feel exhausted, and could easily be productive. Sometimes simply feeling in control is all it takes to regain the focus I need to get my stuff done. In a sense I took Marcy's advice to get a butt massage, except I had to pay $60 to get it!

Today, another round of A.R.T. went pretty well. He took it fairly easy on me since I'm still sore from the last round. The one thing he really hammered on was my IT bands; now that smarted! To give me any idea of how tight my IT bands were, he pushed on my arm as hard as he was on my IT bands. The pressure was almost nothing, on my arm it felt like he was just poking me in the arm to get my attention.

Although he's encouraging me to get out and run this weekend, I really feel taking it easy until Sunday or Monday will really be best for my hip. I want all these sore spots to disappear before I even think about giving it another go. Until then, I'm taking it easy. This injury has been going on way too long, and a lot of it could be attributed to me constantly jumping the gun and trying to run too early. I'm done with that.

I got a foam roller finally, too. Right now I'm just using it on my back, quads, and hamstrings. The real reason I want it is to roll out my IT bands, but they're pretty sore from my treatment today, and really need to heal up before I hit them with the roller.

This has been one insane week. I'm not sure I've ever been that busy in my life, except maybe finals week once or twice. I'm glad its over. This weekend is completely devoted to resting up, because I need it more than anything!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

At least there wasn't a line...

The roller coaster that is my life continues, but, as the title says, at least there isn't a line!

I woke up this morning with a little kink in my hip again. Nothing huge, but it was noticeable. Then on the way to class, my left IT band really started tightening up -- thats one I haven't had happen yet in this round of injury. At least its mixing things up and making it interesting?

I got the test I "rocked" back this morning too. I sort of, um, didn't rock it. Nobody did. High score: 127/200, average score 77/200. I fell somewhere between those two numbers, but at least I was above average, I guess? This morning left me in a pretty sour mood.

During my appointment today we got the kink worked out, at least. Mike said he could feel a really small knot in the muscles around my hip, about the size of a pea, but that sucker sure hurt like hell! Afterwards I feel good, nothing has hurt much since. One spot is sore to the touch, but movement doesn't hurt it at all.

The game plan right now is to go for a short run in the morning, a one hour massage in the evening, and another round with Mike on Friday. I might take the weekend off running, but I'm indecisive about it at the moment; we'll see how I feel after the next two days.

One of these days I'm going to go out looking for a foam roller to help out these legs of mine. I looked for one at Walmart the other day, but couldn't find them. Where can I find them at?

Theres been a few comments about joggling, too, after my last post. Um, no! Or as Marcy would say: ROFLMAOLOLHAHAHA, no!

Lets hope tomorrow is an up day on this roller coaster ride!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

27 minutes (Plus three!)

A few weeks ago Amy had a wonderful post about how 27 minutes made everything seem right in the world. After weeks and weeks of the doubt, worry, and frustration that accompany an injury, its wonderful to finally have a run that goes just right! That was today. That was me.

Once again, it rained! Not a torrential downpour by any means, just a light steady rain that was enough to really make me enjoy being out there. I ran a nice easy 3.67 miles, which took me exactly 30 minutes. I've finally got my engine to cool off enough to run a little slower, even on short runs. I've convinced myself that, no, I don't have to be dead at the end of every run. And I shouldn't be when I'm coming off an injury!

My splits today were:

5:29 (8:10 pace, for 0.67 miles)

See, I can slow down! Who woulda thunk it?!

I have to admit, though, I didn't plan on running that far. I mapped out a 3 mile run and headed out with a game plan, and somehow, I got lost on a 3 mile run! It didn't take me long to get my barrings straight, but it turned out I actually was on the right street at one point, I just thought I had to go further south! I blame it on me losing track of time, and on none of the streets in this town being at right angles to one another! Also, maybe my legs were playing hitting me with some of their trickery; since they couldn't run fast, they at least had to run a little longer.

Last night I headed out to Walmart to pick up some food, and decided to get some tennis balls to help massage out this kink in my glutes. I had been just using my hands, but this works worlds better! Also, as soon as I got back and got out a tennis ball, I remembered something from years ago: I like to juggle. There went all hope of productivity last night! Oh well, I needed the break!

I'm not getting too excited about the run yet, but I am feeling very optimistic again. I've told myself I'm not going to think the phrase "I'm back!" until I can run steady for one week. Maybe that week started today. We'll find out in the next few days!

Monday, October 22, 2007

On Top of the World

Today is my day. Everything has gone my way. I even rhyme, no matter what I say. Sorry, I'm a dork, okay?

I studied like crazy all weekend for a test that scared the crap out of me. So what did I do? Thats right, I rocked it! Then I got an assignment back that I spent 10-15 hours on, swore I bombed it, but nope! Rocked that one too!

Then I met up with Mike "The Man" Sullivan for a little work on my hip. I told him the whole story of my weekend with regards to my hip and what not, and he tried a few things today to set things straight. He had my lay face down, and lift each leg up in turn as high as I could. One leg went up about 7 inches higher than the other. Woah, somethings out of whack! So he worked some magic and suddenly they were both the same!

I mentioned the strange popping I'm having, and he had a hard time tracking down exactly where it was coming from. I had to reproduce the pop about 10 times before he gave up on finding exactly where it was. Regardless of finding it, he adjusted my lower back a little bit, and its pretty much gone now! I tried to reproduce it again afterwards, and it happened maybe once out of 20 tries, as opposed to the 10 for 10 beforehand.

My glutes are definitely loosening up too, since I've been good about giving myself butt massages. No, Marcy, I still can't find a lovely lady to do it for me. I've been asking every one I see but they all give me a weird look and walk away (joke!). Hopefully that'll be all cleared up after I stick with it for a few more days.

Mike is making it sound like I'm almost better. He's even talking like I should be able to resume training as usual this weekend! Oh man, here come the exclamation points! Right now he's suggesting meeting again this week, then once more next week, and then its over!

Also on the forecast: Rain! And lots of it! We're supposed to get an inch tonight, and another half inch tomorrow. Sounds like I'm going to be sloshing around tomorrow, getting all kinds of "what is WRONG with you?!" looks from people who melt when they get wet!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One Mile

Yep. I did it. I ran one mile. One mile at an easy pace. One mile in 8:04.

And I'm thoroughly convinced it was the most pointless thing I've done this year. I didn't break a sweat. I wasn't even close to breathing hard. When I finished I just folded my running clothes back up and put them in the drawer, because they really didn't need to get washed. The run was entirely a tease.

My hip felt mostly okay during the run. Theres a little pain in my TFL, but I think thats because it still feels bruised from my last ART treatment. Afterwards it feels exactly the same as before, because, as I said, it was rather pointless to run for one mile.

One thing that has changed, is that since I did my stretches yesterday something feels a little off. It doesn't hurt, but something keeps popping anytime my left hip goes from bent to straight. Since that started happening, my hip generally feels uncomfortable, and I'm not sure how else to describe it.

On a completely unrelated note (these seem to happen very frequently), I woke up this morning with an idea I can't get out of my head: I want a dog. Maybe I can blame Jess for this one. I've had one my whole life since I was 10 years old, and dogs are awesome!

Although, for now theres nothing I can do about it. My apartment complex doesn't allow any pets, whatsoever. They don't even want us to have fish. On the plus side, this gives me about 9 months to think about if I really want one, if I have the time, money, etc. Also, I have more than enough time to find a new apartment complex for next year.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Executing the Plan, With Gusto!

Yesterday I stated my game plan to speed along my recovery this weekend. So far, I'm sticking with it to the T.

After my A.R.T. session really set in yesterday, my hip started feeling really, really good! As in, normal good. I've had periods where it hasn't hurt, but yesterday was the first time it really felt like a normal, functional hip! I can't really explain it, but it just felt a little off these past several weeks. Apparently hitting my glutes was the right course of action to take, because that was the main difference between what he did last time, and the times before.

But man am I sore today. Mike "The Man" Sullivan (thats what I'm going to call him, since he's bringing running back to me!) told me he was really going to town on my TFL and glutes yesterday, since I would have about 80 hours to heal up between visits. Although my hip is feeling good, my muscles feel pretty bruised up, as expected! Its good, though, because it is really encouraging me to stick with the massage, ice, heat, and icy-hot wanna be.

I jumped on the exercise bike again today for 40 minutes and really hammered away, but I'm not going to say how far because I might make Marcy jealous! It felt pretty good to get everything in motion since I took yesterday off. Stretched out really good before and after, too, as prescribed.

All I need to do now is keep at it, and go for my prescribed one mile run tomorrow. Just think, most of the population would complain like crazy if their doctor told them they were required to run a mile, and here I am wanting more! Maybe we really are crazy.

On an unrelated note, I've really started to get a kick out of the referring URL's I get from Google. Some of the most entertaining ones I've seen are:
  • runner ice cream
  • runner disease
  • dirty little cheaters
  • caught off guard photo (yikes! who's looking at this blog?!)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Round Three with A. R. T.

Well, theres good news and bad news. Lets start with the bad so I can finish on a good note!

The bad news is that my hip wasn't feeling all that great when I woke up. Not horrible, but not good. Maybe the 4 1/2 miles yesterday was too much (too fast) too soon? It felt good yesterday, even hours later. I thought getting out there really helped loosen everything up, but that all fell apart when I walked to class this morning.

The good news? Another problem area was found, and fixing it could help stabilize my hips a little more when I run, which will prevent more damage from being done. Basically, my glutes are two big knots right now. They don't hurt to walk with, but I think when I'm running my body is avoiding using them, which is straining everything else. He started working on them today, and they were more tender than the TFL in my left hip! I was told to stretch 2-3 times a day this weekend, then go for a one mile run to loosen things up and see how it does.

Also, my deductible is eaten up now, so return visits for more A.R.T. treatment are going to be cheap for me! $12 bucks a pop from here on out; hey, I'll take it!

Even though I was a little sore when I woke up today, I think progress is still being made. I felt worlds better this morning than I did a few weeks ago the morning after running. The problems are identified and just need to be fixed. I also know what I need to do to fix them, now all that is left is to execute the plan!

Game plan:
  • Keep alternating heat and cold on my hip
  • Stretch 2-3 times a day
  • Go for an easy one mile run to loosen things up
  • 30-40 minutes on the exercise bike
  • Self massage for my glutes to try and get the knots out
  • Put Biofreeze (Icy-hot off shot?) sample on my hip a few times
  • More A.R.T. on Monday
  • Massage on Tuesday or Thursday
Here's to a weekend of homework, stretching, homework, ice, homework, heat, homework, homework, homework, and rest.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Let It Rain!

Last night I was looking at the forecast, and it was looking like rain all day today. I woke up, anxiously looked outside, and it was sunny! What!? Oh well, I guess the rain clouds knew I was looking forward to a rainy run today.

My hip was feeling really good, so I laced up, threw my shorts on, and out the door I went! I tried out a new course today, which mostly avoids busy roads, although they can't be avoided completely in town.

About two or three miles into my run, it happened. It started to rain, oh yeah! It only lasted about 5 minutes or so, but it really felt good while it lasted. I'll take what I can get!

I admittedly didn't run as slow today as I was planning to. I wanted to hold it at 7:30 per mile. I started about this pace, and was pretty pleased with it, so I stopped paying attention to my pace. Oops! My legs just naturally fall into the marathon pace I had been teaching them all summer. My splits were: 7:25, 7:15, 7:09, 6:52. Still way too fast, I know. I gotta calm down the engine a little bit the next week or so.

Afterwards my hip is feeling pretty okay. It doesn't hurt when I walk forward, but if I side step around something or turn sharply it gets a little pain in it. This is much better than a few weeks ago. Normally it would be hurting by now, even if I was drugged up on Aleve, which I haven't taken for about a week now!

I have another A.R.T. treatment tomorrow, which might be my last one. I'm thinking I might do one more on Monday just in case, but I'll decide that based on how my hip feels in the morning.

I'm not letting myself get too excited, not until I'm able to run comfortably for a week. Even so, I'm very optimistic right now! I can really feel the progress my hip is making! If I run again on Saturday I'll have my highest weekly mileage in six weeks (not counting the marathon), rock on!

Happy running,


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Round Two with Active Release Technique

Today was my second treatment with A. R. T., and it went well. I'm feeling a lot better from the treatment on Monday, but there were still some sore spots that are sticking around. Today he dealt mostly with those, and I'm feeling really good now!

We started with applying heat to my hip, to make it all more pliable. Then did more A.R.T. stuff, where he would apply pressure and have me do very specific movements with my leg to break up the scar tissue. He makes it sound like he can really feel the scar tissue when we do this, which helps me visualize it more than "it hurts when I do this."

After this he did some things to stretch out my lower back. I'm not sure how much it helped, but it felt pretty good.

Then he busted out the ultra sound. This is supposed to help both with reducing inflammation and breaking up scar tissue. I can't really say how well the ultra sound worked, but all in all what he did seems to have helped, its feeling even better now than before!

I scheduled another appointment for Friday, which will hopefully be my last one. It sounds as though my insurance is going to cover nearly all of the expenses, too, which is a nice treat!

Tomorrow is another run. I'm thinking 4-5 miles at an easy pace. Yes. An easy pace. You hear that Legs?! Yes, I know its going to rain tomorrow, but the slower I go, the longer I get to enjoy it, right?

Also, this morning was more time on the exercise bike. I sat on it for 30 minutes and really hammered away. I think I averaged about 23 mph or so. My hip felt better after biking, too, maybe it helped get blood to my hip? I don't know. I just know it seemed to help!

I'm going to be back before you know it!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Conversation with my legs

I woke up today, a day I'm supposed to run, and it was raining! Hallelujah! It was meant to be! I love running in the rain, but it always stops when I put my shoes on. Not today. My rain repellent finally wore off!

Once running, my brain and legs had a little conversation:

Brain: Okay, Legs, today is nice and easy. None of that fast stuff, don't even think about it.
Legs: Roger that, captain!
Legs: Not even a little bit? It's raining. You know how you love running in the rain.
Brain: Nope, nice and easy! None of your tricks today!
Legs: Okay okay.. but we're feeling so rested... you remember how good it feels, don't you?
Brain: I have a slight recollection, yes.
*Legs speed up for a few strides*
Brain: Ohhh...... thats the spot.... Ahem! No, no fast running today!
Legs: Are you suuure?
*Legs speed up for a few strides again*
Brain: .... .... .... okay, fine, but just for a little while!
Legs: Yesss!
*Legs speed up again*
One mile later:
Brain: Alright, thats enough. Lets slow it down a little bit.
Legs: ...
Brain: Hey! You listening?
Brain: Ease off it!
Brain: .... *gives up*
Legs: LEGS 2, BRAIN 0!

Well, thats enough personification of my body parts for the year. At least I didn't give them actual names!

I ended up running 2.3 miles, according to my trusty Garmin. Mostly around campus, getting weird looks from people huddled under umbrellas up on the way to class. I love those weird looks, and I'm not sure I can really explain why! Afterwards my hip is still feeling good. The only real discomfort is a bruised feeling the chiropractor told me to expect. Worst case scenario: a spot he didn't get to starts hurting, I take note of where it is, and have him work it out tomorrow! I feel like the road to recovery is coming to an end!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Exams, Evaluations, & the Chiropractor

Sounds like a scary day, huh? Yeah, for wusses! Today was perfect!

This morning I found out my supervisor for the lab I teach was going to be evaluating me today. I was a little nervous, because she's basically a grouchy lady who nit picks about every little detail. I just knew she was going to tear me apart on one thing or another. Well, she didn't find anything. A more perfect evaluation doesn't exist. She gave a few minor pointers, but I like some feedback anyways. Doug 1, world 0!

Next up was my first. graduate. school. test. ever! I studied for it all weekend, and narrowed it down to just a few questions he could ask that I wouldn't know. I must have prayed to all the right deities, because none of those questions showed up! Yeah. I rocked it. First person done, and I'm going to punch myself in the face if I didn't get an A. I'm that confident! Doug 2, world 0!

After class I got an email from the director of graduate studies, that was sent out to all graduate students and faculty. They caught 8 cheaters in graduate level classes and are going to town on them. I suspect 7 of them are in my graphics class, because the prof. is starting to catch on to what has been going on. Maybe because I tipped him off after that one student asked to copy my homework? I like to think so. Doug 3, world 0!

Now the big news: my trip to the chiropractor today! Everything went exactly as I thought it would. We sat down and talked about my injury's history, what I've tried to fix it, and how I eventually ended up in his office. He thought A.R.T. was definitely the right approach for fixing this up, good call Nic!

He had me go through some different motions to check what was working right, and what was wrong. Pretty much everything looked fine, except one thing. He had me sit down with my back and butt flat up against the back of the chair. Sitting this way, my left knee didn't come out as far as my right knee. My pelvis is tilted slightly, and this is what has likely been causing my injury.

After finding this, we went through a lot of A.R.T. motions, where he would really dig into the sore spot while I moved my leg in very specific motions. Some of them really hit the tender spot in my hip good. He even commented a few times "that was a good one!" before I even said anything, so apparently he's doing something right!

I also had him pop a spot in my lower back that had been hurting a little bit. It might have been in my head, but ever since Nic suggested I might have something wrong with my SI joint, it started to hurt. Whether it was in my head or not, getting it popped felt real good!

He also suggested I get out for a run tomorrow, to see how the hip holds up. Maybe I'll get my 27 minutes, just like Amy! I could sure use them!

The exclamation points have come back. Watch out world!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Spreading the Disease...

Yeah, its spreading. Everyone is catching it; its all my fault! And I couldn't be happier about it!

You all know my favorite "hobby" is running. I put it in quotes because, well, its more than a hobby. Its a life style. A close runner-up to running, is getting other people hooked on it! I absolutely love seeing someone else getting into the same addiction and lifestyle. Its done wonders for me, and I know it will do wonders for them!

Whenever someone gets me started on my running, the conversation almost always leads to them proclaiming "I don't know how you do it, I could never run a marathon!" Every time I hear this, I do my best to convince them otherwise. Maybe I'll plant a seed, and in a few years they'll go at it? Maybe I'll never even know about it. But its definitely a chance to transform someones life for the better.

My sister went to watch my first marathon about a year ago. Right after the race she told me she decided she wanted to join in on the fun, and my friend Susan said she wanted to do another one too! They both lived up to their word, for the most part. My sister finished Chicago, and Susan made it 14 miles. She really lost her drive to train, and her longest run was 11 miles. Regardless, making it 14 miles, especially in those conditions, really says something! I'm proud of both of them and feel slightly responsible for getting my sister hooked!

Now, what brings this up, you ask? Hearing more of the same after running Chicago this year! My dad ran part of the end of race with my sister last Sunday, and I think having all those people cheering for him on really made him catch the bug. A few days later he admitted to me he's thinking of giving it a shot if his joints and hamstrings hold up! He's been a runner for about the last 15-20 years, but has never really pushed it beyond a half marathon. He bikes like crazy, going out for 3-4 hours several times a week, so he definitely has the stamina for it if his joints hold up. Here's to a healthy family, two down, one to go!

The other person who caught the bug really caught me off guard; it's my friend Lewis. Looking at him, you'd never call him a runner. He's a pretty athletic guy and was the mascot for EIU the last several years. Since he lives up in Chicago I asked if I could steal a spot on his couch Friday night after my plane got in, little did he know what it was going to be the start of.

Being the good friend he is, he came to the expo with me on Saturday so I wouldn't have to wander the city alone. What got him was seeing the vast variety of people who can run a marathon. It wasn't all young, short, skinny guys that did it. Runners came from all over and were big and small, tall and short, young and old. After experiencing the energy on Sunday, and seeing me in a state of pleasant exhaustion after the race, he caught the bug good!

At first I was a little skeptical; I figured race weekend would be over and with it would go the bug that he caught. But I was wrong. He started running almost immediately. By Tuesday, he had already started to go for 2 mile walk/runs. He's enjoying it, too. He's hooked.

Do you get the same thrill out of spreading the addiction of running? How many people have you gotten hooked on our life style? What if every runner got just two more people into the sport, and they in turn did the same?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Up In the Air

Right now it seems like so much is up in the air. I'm doing what I can to control the different variables, but theres only so much I can do.

First, my running is up in the air. Right now it seems like everything is relying on what my chiropractor tells me on Monday. Maybe it will be a quick fix and I'll be running again Tuesday morning. Maybe I'll need to take another week off. Maybe a month. Who knows? And yes, if he tells me to, I will take a month off. Its a price I'm willing to pay to get back to enjoying running worry free. I haven't been able to do that for well over a month; even when I am running, I'm constantly worrying about this hip! It can really drain the fun out of it all.

I'm doing what I can to take care of my hip this weekend. Staying off of it, icing, heating, and massaging. I stopped taking Aleve because I think my body needs a break of trying to filter all the medicine out. I started taking an Omega-3 supplement too, which Runner's World swears up and down helps joints, especially for those who don't eat much seafood.

My grades feel like they're up in the air too. I know I shouldn't be too worried about them, but a little bit is healthy. Right now I have A's across the board, no worries, right? Yeah, well, midterms are this week. I know from the outsider's view its simple "study and you'll do fine, stop worrying about it!" In fact, I frequently tell my sister the same thing! I am studying, and I know I probably have absolutely nothing to worry about. I know how to study, and I'm good at taking tests. Here's the catch:

I've been telling people for the past couple months that I'm going to decide whether I'm going the Masters or PhD route when? Yeah, you guessed it. After midterms. Its only the biggest decision I've ever had to make in my life. I keep going back and forth with it. One part of me wants to just get on with my life: get a job, start making real money, stop being a poor college student. However, I do enjoy school; most of the time. I'm pretty sure I'm at the top of two of my three classes, both of which are related to my research area. Yesterday morning I was leaning towards the Masters route, but last night and today I'm leaning the other way. Ugh!

Sorry for going way off topic, but getting all of it out there helps get my thoughts in an organized manner; I'll take input too. I know a few of my readers either have or are going for their PhD; did you go through this same struggle when making the decision?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Getting Fixed Up!

I finally caved in and decided to get some professional help with this busted hip of mine. Sure, its not horribly painful, but it just won't go away. Nagging problems are the worst, I wish it would just hurt like hell for a couple days then get outta here! Thanks to Nic, who suggested a good chiropractor in my area. It turns out its a guy I run with, small world eh? (I think the Canadians I met in Chicago rubbed off on me eh?)

My appointment is for 4 o'clock on Monday, and I decided I'm not going to run until after the appointment. My only worry with doing this is that the spot is going to go away again and I won't be able to tell him precisely where its hurting, without going out and doing some damage to it!

The ol' legs are feeling pretty much back to normal today. A little tightness in my calves, but its practically gone. I jumped on the exercise bike today since I'm not running; gotta do something to stay sane! Just 40 minutes, I went 14 miles. No big thing.

Time to stop killing time and get to work on all the stuff I have to do, my lazy day yesterday definitely destroyed my weekend!


Thursday, October 11, 2007


No, don't worry. I don't have a secret that you don't know about. I'm talking about Post Marathon Syndrome, as Tom eluded to in his post today.

I'm not depressed, no worries there. I just can't concentrate on anything today, and I really don't feel like concentrating on anything! Maybe this is how most people (non runners?) feel all the time, but I'm here right now and I don't like it.

Originally I planned to start studying for midterms next week, but that simply isn't happening. I gave it a shot after lunch today, but ended up taking a nap for an hour instead.

Now for dinner, I didn't feel like going through the trouble to make pasta. You know, the second easiest meal in the world to make? I went with the easiest meal in the world, and made some peanut butter and jelly.

My recovery is going fairly well. The massage yesterday apparently cleared up all problems in my quads and hamstrings, but it was abruptly replaced with some real tightness in my calves. I'm guessing yesterday I was running different since my legs were hurting, and it put some strain on my calves.

Also, since theres less pain around it now, I'm starting to feel a slight pain in my busted left hip again. Its not bad, about the same as it was a week or so ago, but its present. At least I can afford to take time of now; although if this 'blah' feeling is from not running, maybe running would be worth the little bit of damage it'll do to my hip? I think I'll hit the exercise bike tomorrow to at least get a little endorphin shot.

Time to get back to thinking about grading or studying!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Forward Motion

Today has been a good day. Life after a marathon can be like being a kid again, you learn how to do so many things all over, such as:
  • Walking without a limp
  • Picking things up off the floor
  • Going down stairs
  • Standing up without making foul noises
All of these were firsts for me today, and I feel like I'm making some serious progress!

I got a massage today, too, which was absolutely amazing. That lady worked some serious magic on my quads and hamstrings! So much magic, in fact, that I made it out for a run!

I headed out to a local running path at the Arboretum, which has a rather secluded 2 mile path with quite a bit of shade. I met Steph out there, to give her a chance to kick my butt, after I kicked hers last week. After getting moving, my legs felt pretty good. The downhills make my quads hurt like no other, but its manageable; they don't hurt nearly as badly as they did during the race, thats for sure. My legs feel worlds better after getting out there and shaking them loose.

As good as it felt, I'm definitely taking tomorrow off to let the healing continue. I might run Friday, and am definitely going to get out there on Saturday so I can share war stories with the group I did all my long runs with! I can't wait to here 'em!

I'm starting to try and plan out my upcoming races; you might have noticed I took that section down completely! Reason being Boston is a no go, and I realized I'm going home the weekend of the other one I had scheduled, blah!

The option of trying for another Boston Qualifier isn't completely out of the question, but its still a remote possibility. If I don't schedule one, I'm going to start focusing on speed for a little while. I'll put a few 5k's on the agenda this fall/winter, then really hammer on them early next year before my marathon training kicks off for a spring marathon; which is definitely happening, one way or another!

The one thing which everything depends on is this hip. If it heals up just fine, the odds of me trying to BQ this fall/winter increase drastically. Do I want it that bad? Yeah. I do want it that bad. But I'm going to keep you guys informed as to what I decide, so you can yell at me for being stupid if I am!

I hope everybody else's training/recovery is going well!

Happy running,


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Battle Wounds: Two Days After

Recovery from a marathon is always a fun process. Its painful, but every ache and pain reminds me of the race; which is a good thing.

The most notable ache is my quads and hamstrings, which is exactly what forced me into my survivor's shuffle on Sunday. My quads have this really strange sensation where they hurt to use or press on, but on the surface they feel numb. I made an attempt at jogging across my apartment, just to see if it worked. Oh, believe you me, it didn't! I looked very much like a 400lb man in a hurry to get to the bathroom!

I have a whole list of other issues, but thought I'd save you all the details; don't want to scare away any future marathoners!

Right now the plan is to eat as much protein as I can to help these muscles repair themselves. I also want to keep moving as much as possible to help loosen things up; I'm planning a recovery jog tomorrow after my massage. A friend also suggested filling dixie cups with water, freezing them, and using them for an ice/massage combo -- slowly tearing away the cup as the ice melts.

The strange thing is even when I'm in pain after such a rough race, I'm already trying to plan the next one. I'm looking at different options to try and get a Boston qualifier in so I can still run it in 2008. I'm trying to open a lot of doors, though, because recovery could go quick or slow and I really don't want to push it too hard and bring out more injuries!

Heres to ice, Aleve, self-massage, stretching, protein, and an attempt to keep moving!


Monday, October 8, 2007

Chicago Marathon -- Race Report

You have all heard of the horrible conditions which occurred during the Chicago Marathon this year. The last numbers I have heard is 302 were hospitalized, and one man died. I feel horrible for these people and their families, but am very relieved all my family and friends are safe. Also, I cannot even begin to imagine how frustrated those of you must be who were not given the chance to finish.

We all have our stories from this memorable race. Here is mine.

Before the race, everything went very well. Everything on race morning went exactly as planned, and I got to the front of my starting corral with hopes of catching my pace group. The temperature was comfortable at the starting line. When we weren't running and the sun wasn't on us yet. This made me a little nervous.

Me & my sis before the race

Once the gun went off, everything felt great -- for a little while. I saw my parents on Randolf Street Bridge (thanks for the suggestion, Tom!), and they even saw me too! Shortly after, I heard my track and cross country coach from highschool. Yes. Heard. Over everybody! Coach Lane has a voice that really carries!

During the entire race, I would hear my name every 100 yards or so. Especially at the beginning! I highly recommend getting a neon shirt and putting your name on it, everybody makes you feel like number one! At one point another runner yelled out "Who the hell is Doug?! My name is Doug!" Good times before the race got serious!

High five!

And man did they get serious after the half. This is right where I started to fall apart. My half marathon split was 1:31:00, a bit behind my 3 hours goal, but not much. After the half, though, I lost the shade of downtown Chicago, and the sun started beating down hard. My pace slipped slowly from 6:52/mile to 7:30's between the half and 20 mile mark. I knew I was slowing down, but couldn't help it. I had to, or else I wouldn't be able to finish. The heat was simply too much.

During this part of the race I was constantly calculating and recalculating how fast I had to run to still qualify for Boston. It was still within reach, but was slipping every mile. Around mile 22 or 23, the 3:10 pace group (Boston qualifying time) passed me by, and I made a strong effort to stay with them. This lasted about 400 meters, then slowly they ran away from me; which triggered my mental funk. It was like a dream running away from me.

I stuck with it for a few miles after this, but then completely fell apart. Miles 24 and 25 were absolutely horrible. At one point I made the horrible decision to try and stretch out my quads which were falling apart. The result was my right hamstring turning into a knot, but I walked it out after a little while. I was reduced to a survivor's shuffle, taking about 10-12 minutes per mile. I would walk through the entire aid station, drink two gatorades and a water, then dump a water on my head. Although, the end of each one was really, really motivating! I would start looking like I was about to give running another shot, and a big group would start cheering me on to get me going. Sometimes it felt like I couldn't have made it without them.

Finally with about half a mile left, I broke my mental and physical funk. It was go time again. My legs were feeling okay, and the crowds were 4-5 deep as I shot up the last hill. I saw my friend Lewis halfway up the hill too! Right after the hill, I hauled down the final straight away and finished with some pep in my step. The last half mile averaged 7 minute pace!

My finishing time was 3:21:22. I have heard my official finishing place was 721st, because a friend of mine checked it right after I finished. Since then, they have taken down the places since it was a "fun run" and "fun runs" apparently don't have an order that the runners finished. If I count the race as having the 45,000 that signed up, this means I finished in the top 2%! Oh yeah!
Me and Lewis after the race

It wasn't until after the race I even realized how bad everybody was suffering out there. I got my cell phone and checked the times all my friends were running, everybody was slow. Then they canceled the marathon?! What?! I guess this is serious business! It wasn't until afterwards I started to hear all the stories of the "war zone" in the back.

Family picture!
After being finished for a while I began to wonder: "Where's Sister?" I got the text she finished, but she wasn't showing up at the meeting area. Now, I had a decision to make; albeit an easy one. There was time for one of two things: catch my plane, or find my sister. Eventually she called us on someone else's cell phone, and we found her. The first thing she said was "Why the HELL would you do that twice?!" but since then I think she's starting to see why!

I missed my flight to Kentucky, but ended up spending a relaxing evening with family instead -- much better than being rushed while hobbling through an airport. I caught another one today, not a big deal.

All in all, I'm very happy with how I did. This was a very memorable weekend, and 20 years from now I have a feeling this race will be remembered.

"Do you remember the year Chicago was canceled?"


Update: For those interested, here is the Garmin data from the marathon. The signal was bad around the buildings, which made the miles longer. I added an extra lap to try and sync it up with the mile markers, but it kept getting out of sync.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


This isn't a race report. Expect one tomorrow. I need to do this whole weekend justice because its been quite a trip and isn't over yet. I'm not even back in Kentucky yet, so I'll go into those details when I get back!

I didn't go under three. I didn't BQ. But I did PR. And what a race to PR at, this is a race which will be remember by runners for years to come! "Do you remember the year Chicago was canceled?" It was a real tragedy, but I'm sure you have all heard the details elsewhere.

The details some people might like to here are that I finished in 3:21:22. My unofficial place was 721 out of 44,000 starters.

Thanks to everyone who was cheering me on from the sidelines, and great job to everybody who ran today! I really look forward to reading your race reports!


Friday, October 5, 2007

Good Luck!

Best of luck to everybody running the Chicago Marathon this weekend!

I know Nic, Jess, and Tom are running it; but best of luck to everybody who will be out there! Don't forget to enjoy yourselves, remember: this is a 26.2 mile CELEBRATION!

Race Weekend

Alright people, its time.

Grading is done. Homework is done (until Friday after next, I think!). Plans are made. My bag is packed. My legs are (really) rested. My friends and family are all behind me, and I don't plan on letting anybody down. Lets do this thing!

Last night I was talking to my dad, and he surprised me by asking where do get materials to make signs for the race. This caught me completely off guard; my dad is mostly the type to stand by and clap and offer some words of encouragement, so this is huge! I think he's getting pretty excited about the race too! Which in turn does the very, very dangerous thing of feeding MY excitement!

This past week or so I've been swinging through excitement, fear, confidence, nervousness, pride (of my sister, she's come a long ways!), happiness, doubt; you name it, I've been there! The past few days I've been mastering the negative thoughts, and nothing but positive thoughts are going through my head; mentally, I'm ready to rock!

My hip is feeling perfect today, even walking up hills, and running across the street. Nothing is bothering it at all! And let me tell you, when I'm darting across the street -- I feel like I'm floating. My legs just do their thing and I go. Its the exact feeling I'm looking for during the first part of the race on Sunday; effortlessly floating along at 6:50 pace. I'm being realistic, though, and the effortless part is not going to last the whole race, but if it lasts the first half I'll be plenty happy! Physically, I'm ready to rock!

The last few days I've been really strict on my diet. Everything that goes into my body is fuel for the race, and thats the way I have to look at it. I think the only processed food that has gone into me since Tuesday has been the chocolate syrup in my chocolate milk. I've been having rice, pasta, cottage cheese, chocolate milk, OJ, fruit smoothies, clif bars, bananas, grapes, and apples. I guess the peanut butter and jelly I have for breakfast is probably the least healthy part of my diet this week, which isn't doing too bad! Dietarily (Shh, I can make up words if I want to), I'm ready to rock!

As I've said before, this has been one crazy year of training. I've fought with problems from my ankles up to my hip, ran through wind chills of -20 and heat indexes of 100. There have been runs with friends, runs against some pretty tough competition. In the process, I've set 3-4 PR's in the 5k, and one in the 15k! I think I even set a half marathon PR in training, but I don't count it if its not a race! In a few days, all my hard miles pay off even more than they already have.

Thanks again for all the support, you guys and gals are the best! Be ready for a race report in a couple of days!

Its go time!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ready for Take-off

I'm ready for the weekend; everything is in line. Remember that list yesterday? Its all ready except for my sunglasses, which I plan to wear. Plans are set for Friday evening and Saturday. I've gone over the race day plans with my family; thanks to Tom for some extra spectator tips!

All I have left to do until the race is take care of myself: eat good, don't get hit by a car, and don't piss off anybody who is bigger than me.

I decided against a run today. My hip is feeling good, but I'm not feeling as antsy as yesterday so I decided to take the day off -- don't want to do any unneeded damage this close to the big day! A few miles isn't going to benefit me at all right now.

As you might be able to tell, I'm mellowing out a little bit. The overwhelming excitement is temporarily taking a backseat; its still there, I can feel it, but I beat it back for the evening so I can get a little grading done.

Believe you me, it will be back in full swing tomorrow! I have class at 8, then several hours to get everything together, office hours from 1-2, class 2-3, then I leave for the airport! This weekend is going to be great, getting to see family (including my Uncle Bill, who I haven't seen for ages), friends, runners from the blogging community, and runners from Nike+. Even if I wasn't running the race, this would be a great weekend; but its because of the race everything is coming together; I love it! (Okay, so maybe I'm not mellowing out, I went crazy with the exclamation points there! (crap, again))

Thanks to everyone who has helped with encouraging words and advice, I really appreciate it! The support really helps out, especially when suffering through injury. You guys rock!

Expect one last post tomorrow before I head out, then you'll get a break from me for a few days!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Revved! Up!

The story of my week. Massive amounts of pent up energy and nothing to do with it; and I shouldn't be doing anything with it! I had a pretty restless night last night because of it, trying to figure out little details and how it will all work out. I can sleep in tomorrow as late as I want, though, so no harm done!

I ran today. I ran good. My hip ran good too. It hasn't hurt all day, and it felt great during my run. As per usual, we'll wait for the run to 'set in' tonight to see if I should actually be excited. But I'm excited enough that it recovered with just one day off, rather than the six it took last week. Progress!

My confidence is through the roof right now. Being the smart guy that I am, I set up the pace alert on my Garmin to yell at me to slow down whenever I ran too quick. It went off a lot. I would get into the run, then get beeped at and slow down, then get into it.. beep, slow down. But all in all it did keep me from running too fast during my run; Garmin saves the day! Every time I space out, my speed would go right to the low 6:50's. Thats race pace. And it feels good. Oh so good.

Besides actually running, I've been working on a list of what to pack today. Its a lot longer than I first anticipated, and I need to go to walmart to get some smaller containers so I can actually shower after the race. I think the other passengers on the plane would greatly appreciate it! I'm going to share my list of stuff to pack for two reasons: you guys can remind me of anything I'm forgetting, and anybody racing this weekend can see if they're forgetting anything important that I listed! Here it is:

Running Shorts
Running Shirt
Running Shoes
Running Socks
Gu x5 (1 before, 3-4 during)
Clothes for Saturday
Clothes for Sunday after the race
Something to sleep in
Stuff to grade (blarg)
iPod for the plane ride there
Throw-away hoody just in case its chilly (unlikely!)
Clif bars + fruit (so I don't eat like crap on Friday)
Bathroom stuff (in < 3oz containers)
Safety Pin (attach Gu's to shorts pocket)
Cell Phone
Cell Phone Charger
Garmin Charger
Confirmation Ticket for Expo
Flight confirmation
Map to Louisville Airport

I know I have to be forgetting something, regardless of the list being so long!

Tomorrow I may run 2-3 miles at an extremely easy pace, if my hip is feeling rock solid. It will help me build up more confidence; as if I need it!

My flight leaves in 48 hours. I'm more excited than ever! Its time to rock, people. We have a 26.2 mile celebration to attend!

Airport Reminder!

For those of you traveling to races this weekend via airplane, don't forget the fairly new rules concerning liquids and gels!

Check the exact airport you're going through, but the general rule for carry ons is any one container of liquid/gel can be no bigger than 3oz, and all of your liquids/gels must fit inside a 1 quart zip lock bag! Don't get stuck forking over your energy gels, shampoo, deodorant (please!), etc on race weekend.

I thought I'd remind everybody traveling, since I just remembered myself.

I'll post something more after my run. The hip is feeling greaaattt!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007


The weekend is getting closer, and my plans are falling into place. Homework is almost wrapped up, my last assignment is due tomorrow. The majority of my grading is done and out of the way. I have very little stress right now, which is great!

My hip is actually feeling really, really good today. I took some advice my dad gave me: to stop stretching my hip so much. For a while I was stretching it a lot, because it gave it temporary relief. However he thinks it might have been like licking your lips when they're chapped; feels good now, but ultimately makes it worse. I started alternating heat in with my icing too, which is providing a lot of relief as well.

I jumped on the old exercise bike today for 30 minutes too. Nothing notable, just enough to burn off some nervous energy!

The game plan is to run tomorrow with Stephanie, who I've been trying to schedule a run with since I moved to Kentucky two months ago, but somehow our schedules never match up. She'll force me to run a little slower, too. Although I'm not saying she's out of shape; from what I understand she's one heck of a rock climber -- she's gotten a few pro deals before; wow!

Tomorrow is going to be one last test run for my gear before Sunday. I'm wearing shorts I haven't worn since I started using Gu's, and I want to make sure it doesn't cause any rubbing on my leg with them in my pocket. I'm switching because these are shorts with a compression liner in them, which I've heard can help tame certain hip problems; think of it as damage control.

(Warning: This paragraph is very much a rant) On a non-running note, I continue to be really unimpressed by the foreign students here at UK. I finished a project last Friday, which is due three days from today. The professor wanted us to give a demo of it next week, but since I'm quite certain my legs won't be working next week; I wanted to ask him about doing the demonstration early. Well, I had to wait behind a crowd of FIFTEEN students, who were all begging for an extension. I swear, I'm not some genius; I even misspelled genius and the spell checker corrected me. I really think these people either aren't qualified for grad school, or they simply wouldn't know hard work if it bit them in the face (end rant).

To end on a positive note, my energy level is still rising! Watch out! My plane leaves in three days, then I get to hang out with friends and family Saturday, before kicking off the 26.2 mile celebration on Sunday!

Also, the vote for quotes is pretty even. The first and last one are out, the other three are tied at two votes each. In case you're being meticulous and counting, I have people voting at another site too. I'm going to throw my own vote into the fray and pick "Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true." VOTING CLOSED!

And finally, to answer the question that Nancy asked when I was half way through writing this blog: my bib number is........ 2435! If you want to track my progress, there ya go! I have no clue how I got such a low number, but I'll take it!


Monday, October 1, 2007

Getting Antsy

You know the way little kids start jumping around when they are in the vicinity of candy? Yeah. Thats me. Except instead of candy, you have a marathon. And instead of jumping around... no, you still have jumping around. But nobody has caught me -- yet.

I woke up today and my hip was feeling pretty okay. It wasn't perfect, but the usual pain wasn't there. It shifted a little bit and felt like it was in the muscles, so I stretched and it mostly went away. I walked to class, and when class let out it felt wonderful. I took the elevator upstairs to make some copies of stuff and was bouncing up and down with energy. I couldn't help it. I just have to act like a civilized human being that isn't running a marathon in SIX DAYS when people are around.

I'll admit to running today, too. I went out for an easy couple miles after class. I couldn't help it -- full of energy, hip feeling good, and it was raining on my walk back. It was the rain that forced me to go out and run. But, my streak continues. Whenever it looks like it might possibly rain, or IS raining, it will stop when I put on my running shoes. Maybe Chicago will be different; there is a chance of rain in the forecast. If it doesn't, though, the other 45,000 normal runners who hate rain can thank me.

So, how is my hip feeling you ask? Well, pretty good. It feels about how it felt yesterday. I'm keeping it stretched and that makes it feel pretty good. The discomfort that is there is still feeling more in the muscles than right on the hip joint -- much more tolerable! I noticed today too that I have a really tender spot on my waist about 3 inches above the hip joint (where it usually hurts). I'm starting to massage it, hoping the two are related.

The rest of me felt amazing during this run. Absolutely perfect -- as it should since I'm completely healed up right now. I didn't watch my Garmin too much during this run, I just ran how I felt and tried to "keep it slow." I didn't do a very good job at keeping it slow. I won't go into the details, but I might have, sorta, accidentally, ticked off a mile at race pace when trying to keep it slow. It only builds my confidence. Watch out!

As long as my hip keeps feeling good this evening, its just going to keep going through the roof. I'm getting more pumped up every day, and its getting to dangerous levels!

I also want to mention that my friend Lewis rocks. I asked him to take me in Friday night so I had somewhere to sleep, and he's offering to help out in every possible way on Saturday! Also, he's a great guy to have on the side lines as one of my cheerleaders, since he was the school mascot where I got my undergrad. He's one high energy guy!

Everything is falling into place. I'm ready to rock.

But for now, I have to proctor an exam. Its in a huge auditorium, and if I catch any of these kids trying to cheat, maybe God will show a little mercy -- but thats the only place they're going to find any!

Update: After pacing around up and down stairs proctoring the exam, my hip is feeling a little off. Time for the usual prescription of ice and taking it easy! I'm planning to run again on Wednesday, then taking it easy until race day. I also have a go ahead to start taking the medicine again that knocked my hip into line a week or so ago, starting Thursday.