Posts Tagged With: physical therapy

Making Another Pitcher of Lemonade

At the risk of sounding like a big, whiny baby, I am taking a moment to complain about something. Injuries. As if I wasn’t injured long enough last year, I’m injured again. From running too fast at track practice. The unfortunate part is that I can’t blame anyone or anything but myself for it happening. Again. And I knew better. Because it’s happened before. So here I am, in the middle of marathon training, and I can’t run. I mean, I could, but it would just cause a lot of bad running that looks like Elaine from Seinfeld when she went to a party and danced. See the clip HERE if you haven’t seen it, or if you want a chuckle. THAT would be me if I tried. And I tried last weekend, because my determination to get in a long run usurped the reality that it wouldn’t do any good, PHYSICALLY, and could actually set me back.  I also had some left over nerve pain medication from when I had shingles and when you mix that and a long run, things get funky.


Me trying to run on Saturday.

I’m not going to sit here and gripe all day about not running when I am fully aware that all I need to do is let my body heal, which shouldn’t take too long if I don’t pull crazy Elaine dancing stunts. I’m also quite aware that I’m extremely lucky to be able to do these kind of things to myself, so there’s that too.

Because I like lists and I need to vent while also keep things light, I decided to make a list of things that are good about being injured. My lemonade might still be a tad sour, but at least you can drink it.

  • Being injured makes me think about and sharpen up on physiology because lately I’ve wondered, “Do I REALLY need my hamstring to run or am I just being overly dependent on it?”. Last Saturday, I literally tried to run without really extending my lower leg past my knee joint, so it wouldn’t pull on my hammy. It just made me look like the weird bug guy from Men In Black. Turns out hamstrings are necessary in running and the kinetic chain, not a sign of unhealthy co-dependence. And when you don’t use them properly, other funky stuff starts to happen.
  • You know how when you’re in the middle of that really hard workout, and you wonder when it will be over and you’re bordering the threshold of throwing up? When you’re injured, you won’t get that feeling. I mean, who wants to feel like that or actually vomit because of a race that you won’t win? Not me, oh, not me. I won’t miss that. <<Sorry, huge eye roll and maybe a small sigh, but I’m TRYING here. I thrive on that feeling. Sigh.>>
  • Who’s getting up early to go on a long run Saturday morning? NOT me, suckas! I’ll be sleeping well past 6 am this weekend.
  • Because I’m not putting miles on my shoes, they will last longer. So there’s that.
  • Speaking of saving money, I’m not burning the calories that I normally do when I’m marathon training, even though I’m still training, so I’m saving a lot of grocery money. Sign me up for that coupon!
  • If someone asks me to help them move or mow the yard or do yard work, I won’t be able to because I’m injured.
  • Unless someone asks me to move or do heavy yard work or something like that, I’ll be working on my pain tolerance. That’s not me yelling “OW!” when doing my physical therapy or tweaking the injury in the moment of amnesia when I bound up the stairs or try and play basketball with my son, heck no. That’s me yelling, “NOW!”. As in, “I feel great, NOW!”.
  • I get to reacquaint myself with the pool! And anyone who knows me, knows how much I LOOOOOOOVE to swim! Yay, me!
  • Planning. My brain can work like a drop of mercury after meeting the floor, especially when I have a little more mental energy, so I’m already scheming for my next big thing. Besides the trifecta I have planned for the fall (I hope to announce the three events come March), I’m already planning a big huge LL Cool J comeback for 2020. I’m not sure my husband will appreciate all my “ideas”, but like the Clemson Tigers, I am “All In”.

There’s probably a few million more positive things I can find (aka make up) about being injured, but I think I’m ready to move on. I can feel progress already, and I know this will be a minor setback, albeit a significant one. I’ll be back to running, I’ll be running in Boston, and I’ll be happy, no matter what. And that, my friends, is the most important part.


Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, marathon training, running, swimming, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Going To PT To Fix My Leg But Coming Out With A Fixed Back

Today was hopefully my last day of physical therapy. I never truly was treated for my shin splint issues, just given several stretching exercises to do to help the tightness in my calf and foot. Besides what I was already doing, anyway. Honestly, shin splints are devilish things and it’s not simple to find an exact cause, so is very difficult to find a fix.  Mine are extremely high and medial, so a little more atypical than others. But they suck.

To say that I was inflexible would be a huge understatement. I’m sure this has something, if not a huge part of what has been going on. As part of his exam and “the body is all tied together” theory, he checked my back during one of the early visits. I won’t ever forget his response to my “cobra” pose, which should more accurately be called the “I can’t do a cobra” or a “stiff as a board” pose. He muttered, with wide eyes I may add, “Ohhhhh, yeah. We gotta fix that.”  I was shocked because, in my head, I was as flexible as the Nutcracker ballerinas. Nice way to crush a dream, doc. Sniff.  All in all, he said he wasn’t certain if my leg issue was related to my back issue, but it could definitely be a factor. That being said, my back really needed fixed, no matter what. Maybe that’s why my back hurt any time I swam, especially when sighting in open water and using the kick board. Maybe that’s why it is a total mess after I do yard work. Yeah, let’s get this back thing fixed.

Fast forward six weeks and my calves are a lot less inflexible (note I didn’t say flexible, but I’m working on that daily!).  I let him fold me in half BACKWARDS, and now I have a gorge cobra pose.  I can cobra pose like the pros. I’m a pose pro. Ok, not really, but it’s crazy what you can make your body do after practicing for several weeks. Being more flexible less inflexible takes a lot of work.

By the way, I can’t believe it’s Thursday, I haven’t written in a week, and I haven’t commented on so many of the blogs I read. For some reason, I’m feeling like the TV of old, when there was no station or after all the programs were done for the night, and it would go to black and white, the old “cowboys and Indians” as we used to say. That’s my brain. I need an antenna. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent HOURS doing Christmas cards. Maybe it’s because I’m shopping for the family. Maybe it’s because I’m working on a video for my Stride boys. Maybe it’s because I turned the TV to the Hallmark Channel and I CAN’T STOP WATCHING. I don’t know. I don’t really care, honestly, because I LOVE this time of year. I love the silly movies. I love the shopping. I love the candy I shall be making and eating in large quantities. I love that my parents are going to visit. I love that I’ll have a few unstructured weeks. So I’ll take the “fuzzy TV” feeling, it will pass, as will the decorations, sugary food, and lack of structure.

Wook at her cute lil' face. Extra cuddle and play time!

Wook at her cute lil’ face. Extra cuddle and play time!

So where am I with running? I think the last time I wrote (I would look but I’m too lazy), I said I was taking two weeks off running. I made it nine days. I ran yesterday, and I ran again today. A lot of it was for mental health. It was sunny. Running and cloudless skies make me happy. I needed a mood lifter, that’s for sure. And, as prescribed, my run cleared my head, put a smile on my face, and didn’t hurt. I’m healing. It’s not there yet. I can’t even consider training for another week, but I know I’m healing and am not dealing with a stress fracture or related issue.

I renewed my membership to the YWCA so I can use the pool any time they have open lanes. I have gone three times already, so that’s good for me since I can be in my swim suit, towel and car keys in hand, and talk myself out of going. I made HUGE progress last week too, so that’s a bonus. Maybe not in the fashion category though….


Bowchickawowwow. I couldn't keep the guys away with THAT outfit.

Bowchickawowwow. I had to beat of my suiters with a kickboard!

As for the progress in the pool, my back doesn’t hurt for one. That’s huge progress. Hint: if you’re back hurts, that just might be a sign you have a problem with your back. And last week, I decided I needed to teach myself how to breathe on left side. A few laps later, boom. I was doing it. I have to very conscientiously pay attention to what I’m doing. So I went slow, very slow, even slower than my normal snail pace, but I did it, and it felt natural. It was a good rhythm to have and a much better breathing pattern for success in triathlons. I felt it kept me at a better balance too. So yeah for swimming (you won’t hearing me cheer about swimming very often), and for pushing yourself into doing things out of your comfort zone.

Besides the pool work, I’ve been working hard on the bike. Some rides have a purpose, some are to get the seat time, but I’ve realized that Netflix is a good thing with indoor biking and the boredom that can result. I’m base building, strength building in my legs for running, for more triathlons.

This weekend is the Stride 5k that all my protégés will be participating in. I’m so freaking excited for them, and I’m making them a video that will hopefully instill in them a desire to keep running or at least realizing that running is the BEST EVAH. We’re having a pizza party next week and I’m making them individual certificates for their personal achievements. For example, my son will get the Guy Smiley Award because he’s always talking and will never find him without a smile on his face. Except for the day they had the Spanish class market and he ate more than a pro football player does before a big game. Urp. Yeah, the boys certainly learned how much NOT to eat before running.

Guy Smiley

Guy Smiley

So I’m keeping myself in a relative holding pattern as far as running, but I know I’ll try again Monday, and must remind myself to GO SLOW, both in pace and progress. Practice. I must get to the pool twice a week to just re-familiarize myself with the water and become stronger while seamlessly gliding through it. Or at least work on that. Practice. My trainer probably will remain behind the tree, reminding me to get on my bike and practice. And stretching. I have lots of that to do. I don’t want my physical therapy graduation certificate to get revoked, that’s for sure! So I will practice that too. That’s the most important part, stretching, exercising, training to train. Until the next time, as I will be indulging on too much Michael W. Smith and chocolate covered cherries.

Has anyone else gone to someone for treatment for one thing and realized you needed treatment on something else?



Categories: coaching, marathon, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Being a Patient Patient


First of all, you are now reading the ramblings of a USATF Level I Certified Coach. I took the 200 question test on Monday, and 7 hours later, I pushed the “submit” button and received a 98% passing grade. I didn’t realize it was going to take so long and I wasn’t planning to take it until Tuesday, but I decided to just start on Monday. I figured I’d put a few hours in and go back to it the next day. Hour turned into hours, and honestly, I was afraid all my answers would have been erased had I logged out and that my computer would decide to reset itself and delete everything that night, so I just finished the darned thing. My head almost exploded all over the table.

I want to pole vault now.

I want to pole vault.

I learned A LOT, got A LOT of ideas, and am now crafting a plan to approach the USATF decision makers to see if what I want to do in my son’s middle school will be considered enough to be able to take Level II. You see, the requirements state that you have to have three years/seasons coaching experience for track and field and/or cross country. What my plan is, is to turn the current Stride program into a pre-high school track/cross country program since there is no middle school running program AT ALL. Eye roll and fists balled up.  I’m not sure if this fits their criteria, but I’m chomping at the bit to take Level II. I mean, I’ll seriously do whatever I need to do to get that experience so I can take Level II concentrating in Endurance.

Anyway, how was y’alls Thanksgiving? Besides being cold for three days in a row (me, not the outside temperatures) and having an….. uncomfortable “bed” to sleep on (if that’s what you want to call it, but raking up some leaves and sleeping on them would have been comparable), it was nice to catch up on my sleep, hang out with the family, watch the kids play with their cousins, and eat.

No running that morning.

No running that morning.

When we got up and until we left town on Wednesday, it was raining, so when we got to Charlotte, both my husband and I wanted to go run. Run? “Gee, Kelli, I thought you were not running right now because of your leg issues…” Well, I didn’t have any other option, and I can’t just NOT do anything, so I ran. And that run was perfect. If I could have canned that run and sold it, I would make millions. It was perfect. I felt like Flo Jo. I would have run a marathon that night and I probably would have qualified for the Olympic Trials. Ok, maybe not so much, but it was one of “those” runs.  Then the next day happened. Flip. Oh, it hurt. My leg hurt on impact. I got three miles in, and I had to call it quits. The best way I can describe my thoughts is WTF. And *($%#@. I wasn’t expecting to just be magically healed all of a sudden, but I wasn’t expecting THAT. So I was worried. And took the next day off.

Back at it on Saturday to burn off the mashed potatoes and mint oreos. Pain wasn’t too bad. Form felt better. Strides seemed more even than they had for several weeks before. Could my PT be working? Six miles Saturday, six miles Sunday. I could tell on Sunday that I had run Saturday, so I knew I had to just knock it off. We were heading home where I have alternative exercise options, so I decided to take TWO weeks off running. It’s literally like torture. All of a sudden, my house is on the Wilmington Road Runners Raceway. EVERYONE is running. Except me. And I hate all of them. Not really, I’m just jealous.


So what is a runner to do when she can’t run? She bikes. She bikes hard. I have several good workouts from tri training that I pulled out, one a 90 minute heart rate workout and one a 60 minute cadence workout. My legs feel good, strong, and really, they feel like I did my running workouts, which is exactly what I wanted.  Today, I’m off to the pool to reacquaint myself with the water. Once I do that, I’ll start working on drills and improvement, probably next week. I really do hate swimming. I mean I love the concept of it, but I hate actually doing it. I hate swallowing water when I try to breathe from the left side. I hate looking like a fish out of water. But I’m determined to work on it to meet my 2015 goals and to allow my leg to fully heal. I’m REALLY trying to be patient. REALLY. And it’s hard.


I was supposed to be building up miles to the Houston Marathon. Instead, I cancelled my flight and deferred entry. I was supposed to be going for a sub-21 minute 5k next weekend, a PR I’ve been wanting since last winter. Instead, I’m going to have to sit by the sidelines with my camera so I don’t blow all the progress I hope I’ll make by then.

I’m going to be patient. It’s hard, I’m frustrated, very frustrated, but I’m going to be patient.  Meeting my goal will be worth it. I’ll look back and be glad that I had the patience to do the right thing at the right time. Maybe me saying the word “patient” over and over will allow it to absorb into my body and mind? Hey, whatever works, so patient patient patience.

In any case, assuming things get healed up, my goal marathon is the Wrightsville Beach Marathon in March. No travel and I’m already signed up, so this will be my last chance to BQ for the 2016 race. I’ll be busy doing other things next summer and fall to marathon train. More on that in my 2014 wrap-up in a few weeks.

I know I’ve written a lot about PATIENCE and the “woe is me” from having to give up this marathon AGAIN this year, but honestly, I am truly thankful. I’ve never lost sight on what I’ve been able to do, the fact that I’m healthy, strong, and loved. And as annoying as it is to NOT be able to do what I want to do, I know that I WILL some day. I’m good with that.

Categories: coaching, half iron distance, marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Why I LOVE Mammograms!

On Wednesday, September 25th, 2013, I had a physical therapy appointment in the morning. I was dealing with shin splints (how ironic that I’ve sidelined myself for the exact same thing a year later) and was desperately trying to fix them so I could carry on training for the Houston Marathon. I knew I was to be notified that day about whether or not I got in to the Boston Marathon. I was a mess, a total basket case, and I probably needed a little psycho therapy (not the wine kind). I’d crunched all the numbers and I was right on the edge of being able to run that race that I spent years trying to qualify for.

After my PT appointment, I had some lunch and went to my next appointment, my lovely mammogram.  I was turning 40 a few weeks later, so they were to become part of my annual health screening for the rest of my life. Yea.

My appointment was on time and for some reason, I always get a little nervous about these things. I guess being half naked in front of a stranger will do that to you, but really, the ladies who do these are normally just wonderful. It was short and sweet and twenty minutes later, I was on my way. I was OBSESSIVELY checking my email for any sign of a notification from the BAA on my acceptance, or lack thereof, and I was beginning to feel like I wasn’t going to get the news that I wanted to get. I quickly ran into the Food Lion that was right down the street, got some wine and a few other things that we always need. I started on my way home. Now I don’t normally do this and have vowed to my kids that I WON’T do this again, but at a stop light, I checked my email again. Bing. It was there. I read it and found this:


THE Email

THE Email (that I will never delete)

Yes, I got in to the amazing Boston Marathon. I freaked out.  To read the whole story of how close I was and what I did (does not include driving into a ditch or another car), click HERE.  Really, it’s a good story. Do it.

For weeks, as I drove by that stop light where I read THE email, I got the warm and fuzzies. I was still in disbelief, but I was just so happy about it. I needed it.  A lot.

And as much as I dislike having my boob touched by a stranger then squished and photographed, since that day, I’ve had a fondness for my mammogram appointment. I always remember it as a good experience, a happy day, and I want to go back. I’m going to tell them that I love mammograms because I found out that I got into the Boston Marathon on my way home from getting one. The power of association, right?!

The other reason why I love mammograms is that my mom’s breast cancer was caught extremely early because of one. The cancer was removed with surgery and she had a few months of radiation after that.  It wasn’t a piece of cake for her at all, but it could have been so much worse. I LOVE mammograms because I have my mom and if we didn’t have mammograms, I may not have my mom.

So to anyone and everyone, if you’re a woman, get your boobies squished and photographed. Maybe you’ll get some good news when you get home. Maybe it will save your life. But just do it.  Men, urge the women in your life get theirs photographed too. Go turn and cough for your doctor. Just do it. It could save a life.




Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, running, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

My New Pet

I have terrible shin splints so I’m not able to run.  It’s been several weeks since I’ve been able to run.  Oh wait, that’s only how it feels…. Actually, it’s been one full day.  It feels like twelve years.  An eon.  And I hate it.

I’ve been getting physical therapy for several weeks now, and I feel like we’re just now making progress. When I went to therapy last Wednesday, he centered in on the problem and I REALLY got up close and personal with myofascial release therapy. Oh boy did I. So when I went in today, I still had left over bruises from last week, so he was “easy on me”.  I was sort of looking forward to it because I know that it works and I know that I want to run.  Like now. Like yesterday.  I’m ready to go. But when he starts to put his needly fingers into my shin bone, I kinda want to kick him in the face. Accidentally of course.

I have to say that it was a little worse than last week, probably because it was slightly sore from last week, but it (the pain portion of the session) didn’t take as long. New bruises quickly emerged so I decided to give myself the Rorschach Test (you know, the Ink Blot Test) to see what I came up with.  Would it be a Boston “B”?  Would it be a race medal design? No.  It wasn’t.  Now we have a new cat in our house named BC Jones. What does BC Jones mean? It’s the name my son came up with, because BC = Bruise Cat and Jones is because Jones is cool.  **

Meet "Cat"

Meet “BC Jones”


I kind of like BC Jones. He won’t leave hair all over the place like my other cats do.  He won’t try and trip me when he can see the bottom of his food dish like my other cats do. He doesn’t require a litter box or vet visits.  He will slowly disappear and I will be able to run again.  Welcome to our house, BC Jones, but you are NOT welcome to stay!


** I wondered whether or not I should post a picture of a bruise. I mean, gross.  Then I thought about runners and I decided to hell with it. How many times have we whipped off our sock and said, “Hey, look at my missing toe nail!  Cool, huh?!”  or shown someone our swollen Achilles or puked at the end of a race or blown a snot rocket during a run? Yeah, bruises don’t matter.

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, training for marathon, triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Sweat in Under One Millisecond

I’ve been reluctantly dealing with a sore leg the past two weeks. It came on suddenly after a great tempo workout and the next day, I was in pain. Luckily, I’m surrounded by tons of runner people and have a great coach, so when I mentioned hurting during a run, I heard what I needed to hear. “Listen to your body.” “Take care of it now before it turns into something worse.” “Don’t run.” This wasn’t what I WANTED to hear, mind you, because the mind has a really good way of burying the reality of a bad situation and puts shiny glittery things in front of the facts you should really acknowledge.

I took a hill workout off, a long run off, and another in between, and my calf/shin was still in pain and getting worse. Because I’m very early into training for what I consider to be an extremely important race (even more now that I see how many people have registered for Boston so far), I decided it was best to bite the bullet and go see a physical therapist.  I crawled out of the Denial Closet and made the call.  I’ve done this before for Achilles tendonitis and another condition that affected my knee, so I was familiar with myofascial release, which is what many physical therapists use to help heal athletes.  When I went in for my appointment, I told the entire story of my one leg that has had a laundry list of problems over the years, did some calf raises and other strength work so the doc could see my leg in movement, and then he got to work.  Because the pain was in the center of my calf and shin, I thought he would work on that area. Oh, no, the source of the problem is often not where it hurts now, but in another place that is not working right and victimizes a different muscle.  So the perp in this instance was the nerve/muscle just below my knee on the inside. As soon as he felt that the area was tight, he took out a vice grip and razor blade and cut my leg off. Oh wait, that’s just how it felt. Now I’ve had few therapy sessions that made me hold my breath and grit my teeth, but this was a new level that I wasn’t familiar with. My second visit was even more surprising.  I have NEVER started to sweat faster when that searing pain started, except for maybe when I got the tattoo on my foot. I couldn’t even think swear words either.  Sweat was rolling down my back, sweat was on my arms, legs, feet, neck.  Wow. My poor leg was telling my brain to get the hell out of there and to not let that monster touch it again. My brain kept telling my leg to shut up and deal because it’s either this or pain with every step while running and there’s about a trillion steps to go. My brain won this time.

I will probably have to go a few times a week for the next two weeks, which isn’t pleasant for my leg nor my pocketbook, but I’m committed to doing what I need to heal the injury and learn how to prevent it from coming back.  In the meantime, I’ll be doing my stretches, which is way more than my normal stretching, which is way more than I ever did for the first 38 years of my life. I guess that’s what it takes to make a dream come true.


Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, open water swimming, training for marathon, triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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