Do what you gotta do!

Those of you who have been following along know that I am coming up on my three-year mark of the accident that shattered my knee ( it did more, but that seems to be the longest lasting effect).

I still wear a brace almost every day. I have gathered a plethora; light knits and compressions and hefty ones for the actual running. I may be addicted, as I am always looking for the “perfect” brace that won’t slide and will give excellent support.

Sometimes at home I don’t wear one–but I can always go grab one if needed. I am amazed at how a little piece of compression nylon can make my leg feel so much better. I have tried to not use them at various points in the last couple years, and my leg always informs me the it really does still need them.

And the point of this, you are wondering?

I had a wonderful surgeon who rebuilt my knee, and I am deeply indebted to him.  He was supportive about my future progress, although he really didn’t think I would like running. But he never suggested the knee supports.

That was a light bulb moment for me in the local drug store.  And I am so glad I stopped in front of the brace section that day. I probably wouldn’t  enjoy running without the braces; both the heavier ones for exercising and the lighter ones for every day.

But the point. The point is that sometimes you have to think outside the box, and if you want to try something, do it. Absolutely do whatever your doctor suggests, but feel free to add-on (safely-I would suggest caution when it comes to unusual medications. There was a very low risk factor putting a nylon brace on my leg!). You never know what will help your progress until you try. And if it doesn’t work, try something else!

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My Week of Not Running

I spent most of the week avoiding exercise and being, well, pissy.

I didn’t realize until I was sitting at my desk on Wednesday afternoon just why I felt that way. I had taken Monday off, cuz that is always my day off. I took Tuesday off cuz I was tired and cranky. I didn’t want to get up the next morning and walk on the treadmill.

So I was sitting there at my desk, thinking about how much I DIDN’T want to go home and exercise and how much I needed to after taking two days off.  And the lightbulb went on.

I was pissy because I couldn’t run. After walking the last half mile on my run last Friday, I’d decided my knees needed some serious time off. It seems to be working, walking down stairs isn’t as painful as it was. I still think I need to give them a little more time. Clearly taking six days off last week wasn’t enough.  Therefore, I am resisting temptation.

I have known for some time that my knees had a shelf life–and it probably wasn’t all that long. But I didn’t think they were going to give out just yet. And they most likely haven’t. But I am worried. And while, in theory, I had a plan for when they do give out, I don’t want to do it.  I don’t want to exercise this week because I am pouting. Just took me a few days to realize it.

I went home Wednesday night and walked Daisy–briskly. We did a mile in 15:16. Might have been 15 flat if someone hadn’t gotten all excited about seeing the neighbor’s dog. To be fair, he was barking at us from the lawn, and they hadn’t met yet. And still haven’t, as I scooped her up (she HATES that) and carried her right past. I followed the walk  with weights (for my core) and yoga (for my brain). Then I got up the next morning and did another brisk mile on the treadmill before heading out to work.

And felt the best on Thursday I had felt all week.
(but I still want to run!)

Sunday Trails

 

                       Daisy didn’t get the point of a shadow selfie — to not be in the picture! 
                                                (my fav kind of pic-plus it makes me look tall)

 


      for a  forecasted cloudy day, that was an awful lot of blue sky

 

 

 

                                                                  Sniffing wears a puppy out!

 

Sunday

I did NOT want to run Sunday morning.

I finally got up out of my chair to feed the horses, and decided I might as well get moving. Honestly, I felt better as soon as laced up my sneakers–the decision was made. Not that I wanted to go out there. But I was going.

I decided to do just a couple of miles, and do them slowly, to “enjoy” them. Truth was, I had pushed with every run the past week and my legs were tired. By the second of the seven hills in my route, I decided that hills really suck!

But I made it through, and it even felt pretty good while I was doing it. And then I could go on with my day, feeling relaxed and happy that I had run.

Happy Accidents

I was doing my yoga last week and I had a thrilling moment when I sat down, absently and automatically placing my legs in Lotus.

One of the things I miss most in the two years since the accident shattered my knee is sitting tailor  fashion with my legs crossed. I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but I am, as one friend likes to say, vertically challenged–5’0″ on a good day. So I frequently sat cross-legged when my feet didn’t reach the floor, or when I had to sit on the floor, or any opportunity that it would seem comfortable.

They did a fabulous job getting my knee back together, but the muscles are very tight and I still can’t bend my knee enough to sit on my heels. At least, not without some hysterical screaming from the pain. I try to avoid that.

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t really been trying to increase the bend. I can ride, and run, and work around most yoga moves, so I figured it is what it is. When I stretch out, I push the leg to bend as much as possible, but I wasn’t doing any special PT to make it bend more.

I still have to wear a light brace everyday to give it support.  I use a pull-on neoprene for most daily use, and a bit heavier one for actual exercise. I have tried twice to give it up, once last March (my leg didn’t like it at all), and once last August (my leg was fine the first week but quite unhappy the second). I will probably try again this summer, but if I have to wear a brace on my leg for the rest of my life in order to be active, I can live with that.

But I am gleeful beyond description that an ability I figured lost to me forever has returned. It’s not perfect, my right leg is three or four inches in front of the left one if the left one is tucked in properly. But it IS a cross-legged position 🙂 and-

-I can sit in Lotus at the end of my practice, breathing deeply and happily.

Me vs Tech, #1

I didn’t forget my Weekly Rundown post this week.  I lost internet. It is unbelievable how much we rely on that now. How odd that I grew up without internet and now can’t live without it.   I just felt lost.

My husband and I don’t have a lot of data on our phones, as we have internet at home (usually) and at both our workplaces. So we hopped on email or Facebook for a quick moment, then got right back off.

And, I admit, texting is great, but I prefer a real keyboard for lengthy  writing. Also, since I am on open wi-fi 40 hours a week at work, I don’t have anything important on my phone. Wanna hack my email? Dang. You got into my Facebook? Ah well. But I don’t have any bill or finance info on my phone. That sucked over the weekend,  I couldn’t do anything.

When I called my company the first time on Saturday, they said Wednesday. I said that was really unacceptable, and the tech agreed. He told me dispatch would call in an hour to see if they could do sooner.  Two hours later I called back. And then again several hours after that I called again, when I found out that the following Sunday was the soonest I could be home when they could get here.

A whole week of no internet? What, were we in the 80s? I couldn’t take it.

Fortunately,it occurred to me–no help from my internet company–that I could exchange the modem (which we all believed was the  problem) at my local cable office.

And lo, we got internet back last night. Much rejoicing was had. But no typing was done…..ooops!

 

Exercise Plan?

I am having an unusual week, as I am flying by the seat of my pants this week. I normally sit down Sunday  and figure out my plan for the week. I admit to being a bit OCD/controlling when it comes to, well, just about everything. Except housecleaning.  I will cheerfully let dust gather.

I find that once I write down what I plan on doing each day, I DO it. Otherwise I tend to just float and I find I took more days than I should have on off at the end of the week.  Or that I didn’t work hard enough on the days I did exercise.

I am kinda enjoying this week, tho. I took Monday off, so I know I have to exercise for the rest of the week. In the back of my mind I know I want to run as much as possible, and I should do yoga to stretch out a couple of times. But I can mostly do whatever I want each day.  Freedom! 

So my question is, do you plan your exercise week?  Why or why not?

Hard Lesson Learned

A couple of weeks ago we got about 8 inches of heavy wet snow. We had to clean the vehicles off, and plow the driveway so we could leave for work.
One of the better things that came out of my accident was my new car.

Now, its only new to me, not actually new. But it is a Subaru Tribeca and it KICKS ASS  in the snow. I have gone to work almost every snowstorm this winter and I had not even a slip in all my travels. It was the same on this particular morning, we plowed around it and it just dug itself the rest of the way out. Love it.

However, I learned the hard way that just ’cause you can do something, that doesn’t mean you should do something.

When I got to work, the employee parking lot was full as always. We have a huge lot out back. I never mind walking, but some days……

Except, wait, there was a space, only  four  spots deep in the very first section!

The spot was clearly left by the night crew, as the snow was flat and even and had no tire marks as yet. Remembering how easily my Tribeca dug itself out that morning, I said, “hey, I can do that!,”  while mocking all the wussies whose car wouldn’t drive in the heavy snow and had bypassed the prime parking space.

Now, it did take me three tries, mostly I was worried about going too fast and nailing the car in the front parking space.  I locked it up smugly and went into work.

On the way home I stopped for gas, went around the front end, and, damn! I had popped the (admittedly) plastic pins that held my front fender on the passenger side, and it was all out of whack. There seems to be a tray under my engine, about 6″ x 10″ on either side, and that was also hanging on the passenger side, bent back from being dragged on the road. It was quite heavy snow I had plowed through.

So I fit into the snow spot just fine–but some damage was done to my car.  My husband was able to repair it (although I still need some pins for the fender) when I got home, but it was a hard lesson learned.

I had a similar experience with my leg. I recently got this new treadmill that goes up to 10 MPH! The one I had previously was my mother’s, and primarily made for walking, so only went up to 6 MPH. I hadn’t really run faster than that, but I was anxious to start.

So I decided I was going to run a mile  a couple of times one week, and of course I wanted to see how fast I could go.  I made it up to 6.7, producing my first sub 10 minute mile since before the accident. I felt great.

So I did it again later in the week.

And by the end of the week I was sitting in my chair with ice on my knee for the first time in months.

Again, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something!

I have a new running plan, and it includes patience. Although, I still want to push it to just see how far I can go. But I don’t, because I want to run again and again, not fast one day and limp the next.

It helps if I keep telling myself that.

 

Reflections on Procrastination

So I have been slacking. Not so much with the exercise, but with the writing about said exercise and other related subjects. Do I have a good excuse?

Nope. My personal life, like everyone else in the world, is busy and complicated. But no more so than when I started my blog. I just let more stuff get in the way.

I always make time to exercise. Now I need to make that time for writing too.  I have a half-dozen partially written posts from the last few months. So my goal is to finish them. And write the rest of them that I have planned.

How do I accomplish that goal? I need to write everyday, just like I exercise. It won’t always be for this blog, I still have my other blog on writing as well. But hopefully, there will be much more new fresh stuff  to read here @ RunnerWithABlog.

Musings of an Elavator Snob

This week marks one year since my accident. February 6th, to be exact. Or so I am told. I don’t have too many memories of the week.

If you weren’t reading my blog at the time, I was hit by another car on the way to work. After three broken ribs, one broken knee, a lacerated live, a punctured lung, three fractures in my pelvic girdle and a Life Flight ride, I woke up two days later.

Oddly, the broken knee was the most lingering of all my injuries. Over the past year I have worked hard at trying to make it bend again.   And last Thursday I had the last reminder of my accident removed: the plate that held my knee together while it healed.

Talking with my husband, it occurred to me that I had come back from the incident like an athlete. That is not something I would have called myself. Definitely not graceful, and not terribly good at team sports. But I knew what I had been able to do before the accident, and I was determined to be able to do it again. The shape I had been in definitely helped me as I tried to get better. I definitely had the focus of an athlete.

I learned at an early age that anything worth having doesn’t come easy. My parents were prime examples of this, they worked hard and they didn’t let pain or sickness get in their way. In my 20s I didn’t have much of their drive, but I have come into my own in the last  10 years.  So after the accident I have worked really hard to regain my fitness.

My husband constantly accused me of pushing it too much. And of course I was. But how would I get better if I didn’t? It’s a fine line. Pushing enough to improve, but not enough to hurt oneself.  It needed to hurt a little, just not too much.

Stairs in particular presented a challenge. My job at the hospital required a lot walking to the patient rooms, on all the floors. When I went back to work, I had to use the elevators. I was able to walk up  stairs before I was able to walk back down them, since my knee didn’t bend and the muscle above it wasn’t strong enough to hold as I stepped down. Even after physical therapy, my knee seemed stuck at a 90 degree bend and tripping sent  uncomfortable reverberations up my leg.

But I kept at it, and eventually (about a month ago) I could walk down the stairs fairly comfortably without holding onto the railing. Not that I just started using them, I have been two-stepping down the stairs since mid summer. Which leads me to my title.

I have become an elevator snob.

I know sometimes they are quicker (although it seems  not to be while you are waiting for them), and in our hospital it is hard to take a direct route from the basement level to the third floor, however, as I trot up the stairs with metal in my leg and sheer determination to not fall on my face, I do have a tendency to look down on the people waiting for the elevator. Especially when I meet them coming out of the elevator on the first floor!