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October 30, 2008

that's how I escaped my certain fate

why not start with Monday...

M: 10mi mtb, kind of hungover. PM: appt w/sports med orthopedist; x rays show healing stress fracture, he says ok to begin gradual return to running, just need to watch for pain lasting > 1hr after exercise. Bone density test shows osteopenia of spine; I am not surprised.

T: AM 3x[w2min, r8min], ok. PM: 1hr elliptical. long workday.

W: AM 75min elliptical, ok. Woke to relapse of the cold I had over the weekend. Long workday + chores.

R: AM r10min, w2min, r10min, w2min, r10min, ok. Worked only half a day; found someone to fill in for me so I could go home and nurse my cold. Felt like a long workday anyway.

Leg? Why yes, I have two, both the same. At least they feel the same. Oh, wait...

other than that: no time really even to breathe (not that I can breathe with this cold anyway). My contact with people has been limited to terse email or facebook exchanges; discussion and assessment of physical ailments (95% theirs, 5% mine); and meany moderation duties at this barely-running-related message board where I am heartily despised and and reviled. But tomorrow, I got nothing on the agenda, nothing on the list of things to do. Tomorrow is mine.

Posted by joe positive at 6:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2008

stuck, unstuck

Yesterday I started the return-to-running plan, but it was not the pain-free gallop I hoped for, so I am rethinking things.

What doesn't hurt at all: elliptical trainer, stairmaster, walking around in the walking boot, running to the kitchen to get the espresso pff the stove before it boils over, just about all ADL stuff

What sometimes gives a nonreproducible twinge: bike if the pedals aren't level, crossing my bad ankle over the good knee, walking on uneven pavement

What sometimes feels tight: running, walking when I am going to start running shortly

What sometimes hurts, with no warning: doing nothing, sitting around, lying down

Are the muscles weak? Certainly. Are they disused? Yup. Are they pulling on the bone? Of course. Is this all that's going on now? I don't know.

In other news, the mouse that's been creeping around our kitchen has died.

Posted by joe positive at 5:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Ever since I was a child, I've had times where I felt that something big, soft, and heavy was pinning me down and forcing me to take only slow, shallow breaths. I have never been able to identify the big soft heavy Something but it's like plastic wrap, only with some shape to it, and heavy. When I was young, this sensation would often wake me from fever dreams. A rare occurrence, this evening: something's wrong; something is not right. I lie in bed trying to sleep, not sleeping. There's so much that has suddenly gone wrong, or revealed itself as having been wrong all this time, so much that needs fixing or some kind of action that I want to do something, punch the bed or scream or something, but I won't even tense my muscles to throw the first punch, because I may never be able to let go. And the big soft heavy thing makes me lie still and take only slow, shallow breaths.

Posted by joe positive at 12:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 19, 2008

but anyway

although I am in a foul mood, complete with headache from grinding my teeth, Let It Be Known That

Mindi just rocked the Columbus Marathon, with a 3:34 and a negative split!

Which makes this day a whole lot better.

Posted by joe positive at 11:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

right on cue

I'm at the tail end of 4 weeks in the walking boot. This past week has been good, and there have been times when I've forgotten which leg was the injured one, since neither one hurt. I spent quite a bit of time yesterday discussing recovery and return to running with a friend. It was more a cross-examination than a discussion, and it left me discouraged. Among the points raised by my friend, the devil's advocate:

1) Although I am pain-free, the fact that I entertain any possibility that there might be any bit of pain when I first start to run is a sign that I need to to take more time off.

2) Although I am pain-free and can walk an hour just fine, I should take some more time off as a show of strength, just because I can.

3) Although the average recovery time for serious weightbearing stress fractures (like tibia, femoral neck, metatarsals) is up to 3 months, I should admit to the possibility that my (pain-free, nonweightbearing) stress fracture of the fibula might take longer than average, because after all average is just that, an average, and we must consider the upper mathematical limit of that average. So I should take some more time off.

4) I should listen to my body and not rely 100% on any return-to-running plan, unless my body happens to be telling me that it's ok to try the return-to-running plan. In which case I should follow the return-to-running plan, which states that the average healing time for serious weightbearing stress fractures is 90 days, and by the way, go back to item (3) above.

5) Although I am pain-free, the absence of pain might actually be a form of painless healing, so I should take more time off.

6) Although the first run of the return-to-running plan calls for 3 5-minute chunks of running, why not opt for 0 minutes instead? After all, there's no a lot of difference between 5 minutes and 0 minutes.

This last prompted me to suggest never ever running again, so that I might be good and healed by the time I die, but my friend the devil's advocate would not go so far as to agree with that. However, my husband thought the whole exchange was very cute and did an in absentia impression of my friend the devil's advocate (whom, btw, neither of us has ever met), gesturing a lot with his hands and speaking with a horrible accent that owed more to our Dutch friend Albert than to any Romance language. He was trying to make me smile, but at the same time he was trying to further the case of my friend the devil's advocate.

I didn't think it was very funny. In fact, I spent the rest of the evening stewing over these paternalistic guys who think they know what's best for me, what the hell do they know, they're not the boss of me anyway, they just want to be right all the time like paternalistic guys everywhere, grrrr. And as I stewed, I began to notice that my leg felt a very tiny bit tight. And as I drank my coffee (and continued to stew) this beautiful chilly 60F morning, my leg was still tight. And very intermittently as I walked for an hour, I felt the slightest bit of tightness in my leg. And when the hour was up I jogged half a block just to see what it would feel like, and it was the slightest bit tight.


Posted by joe positive at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 18, 2008

thursday and friday

Thursday: spin class in the morning, long-ass day at work, pass out on the couch before 9pm, inbed for real by 11, sleep 8 hours, wow.

Friday: frustrating 50min mtb around the neighborhood in the morning. Stopped 3x to adjust bike (still not right); garbage trucks and recycling trucks and city jobber trucks all having a convention on our narrow little streets; paltry 12.25mi. Midday: 2 clients. PM: 45min stationary bike at a reasonable heart rate (11.25mi), errands, walk 50min. My leg felt completely normal, just like the uninjured one. Scary.

Posted by joe positive at 7:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 15, 2008

tuesday and wednesday

Tuesday AM: walk 30min. PM, after work: 1hr "tempo" ride at the gym, 30min ET. No pain, even at work.

Wednesday AM: walk 40min. Fine for 20min, then, wait, what's this? Weird feeling in my leg. Pain? Well, maybe. Feels weird is all. Comes and goes, feels sort of like I need a little stretch. Not pain exactly, but definitely doesn't feel like the other leg.

so...I took a(nother) impromptu day off any other exercise, including the 90min ride I'd planned. I did have to see a client, but otherwise I iced the leg twice, stayed seated most of the day, wore the #&%#(*&% boot when not seated.

And now it feels fine.

Posted by joe positive at 5:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 13, 2008

monday, the ides of october

AM: 75min cycle at the Y. 10min warmup, then 4min hard/1min easy, 5min hard/1min easy until I hit 1:10, then 5min cooldown. Today "hard" meant hr>140, but still around 90 rpm.

I'd planned a half-hour on the elliptical after the ride. But I was too sweaty to want to expose my dripping shorts to the Y population (many of whom were wearing street clothes), so I stayed on the mezzanine where the bike was, and where a stairmaster was, and I did the stairmaster for 20min.

No pain at all during all of this, but I managed to lose my glasses somehow. Shit.

Later I walked around the neighborhood for a half-hour.

So far today I've felt a very brief, very tiny bit of something that is not quite pain.

Fingers crossed.

Posted by joe positive at 6:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 12, 2008

scratch that last

Two beers and two fingers of bourbon last night, and today I have a hangover I hardly deserve. On the bright side, my leg doesn't hurt at all.

The last thing I wanted to do this noon was go spinning at the Y, so I walked briskly (bootless) around the neighborhood for a half hour, then fifteen minutes more. Right at the very end I felt a little twinge, but it was right at the end, so no harm done. After icing my leg, it feels fine. I'm still hungover, though.

Posted by joe positive at 1:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

ugh, ugh, ugh

Sometimes I think I'm just too old for this kind of thing.

Our band played this evening at a bar downtown. We are brand-spankin' new, and we opened for some friends of ours who don't play all that often, so fan base for both bands consisted of ourselves and our spouses. There were about 4 other very popular shows in the area tonight, plus a hockey game, plus the damn Devil Rays playing the Red Sox in the ALCS. As far as drawing a crowd went, we were absolutely doomed.

Our drummer couldn't make it, so we played as a duo. We played electric instruments as loudly as we felt was appropriate, but without a drummer we looked like 2 very fit 40-something women playing electric instruments without a drummer. Every TV in the place was tuned to the Devil Rays game, and every pair of eyes in the place was fixed on a TV. We started playing during the 5th inning and finished before the bottom of the 6th. At some point the hockey game let out and people streamed up the sidewalk in front of the bar, which I could see from my vantage point at the back wall because the bar was so empty. Oh, you hockey-goers! You took up so many parking spaces that our few friends with no other plans declined to come out because they felt they'd never find a place to park; the very least you could do is come in and have a beer and provide some organic material for our noise to bounce up against. But no; you zombied up the street to get in your cars and drive to some other bar. Damn you.

After our set, we agreed that our last couple of practices trumped our set by, um, 75% or more. We were so ready to knock peoples' socks off, and we ended up playing in the dark, to our husbands, through borrowed equipment (thanks) that didn't sound right (sorry). I wore my glasses at first, but in the gloom my eyes couldn't adjust between 2" and 2', and I couldn't see any of the dots on either the neck or the fingerboard of my bass, oops. We screwed up some arrangements in a major way. The borrowed amp made garbage sounds out of my distortion pedal. During one song, the Devil Rays did something good, drawing cheers from people undistracted by our noise.

I am convinced that the guitar player has written some great songs, and I'm sure that the world would agree if they would only listen, but tonight was not the night.

Now it's 1:30 in the morning and I'm home and the Devil Rays have finally won the damn game and I'm trying to drink enough water to counteract the 2 beers I drank at the bar to pass the time while my friends were playing. I can't remember the last time I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning.

Posted by joe positive at 12:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 11, 2008

think small

It's definitely getting better.

I got through long Thursday with no major mishaps, though by the end of the day (7pm) I was right tired, probably from not being able to move around the way I'm used to. My plans to hit the gym after work were trashed by my boss. She's a very nice woman, but can she ever talk. Her monologue ran to 8pm, when I gathered up my junk and sidled slowly toward the door. By then I was really tired and hungry too, so I took an unprecedented second rest day (in a single week)! Yikes!

Friday my leg felt pretty good all day. I got on the elliptical for 30 minutes, which was fine, then did a spin class, which was a lot of fun. The music was much more tolerable. I decided to try standing in the pedals when everyone else did, promising myself I'd sit down if it hurt. It never did. Well, the fracture never did; my quads are another story. Walking to my car after class my legs felt like logs, but it was really cool to feel tired from a workout (as opposed to in pain from one).

Today my leg's felt fine all day. I went to the Y and rode an hour and a half pretty easy, and that's all I'm gonna do since my band's playing tonight and I'll be on my feet until late. I'm going to wear the boot at the show, though I'm not crazy about the idea.

Yeah, my leg's much better; it doesn't wake me up at night, and I hardly feel it (if at all) during the day, and most of the soreness over the fracture site is gone. Betcha think I'm going to rationalize starting to run again, like tomorrow, right? Wrong. Against my natural inclinations I'm going to stay in the boot another week, and if all goes well I will start this extremely conservative back-to-it program week after next.

Posted by joe positive at 4:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 9, 2008

just let me get through today

Monday my leg hurt intermittently all day despite the fact that I did nothing but sit on my ever-expanding butt the whole day.

Monday evening the pain got so annoying I was on the verge of taking some (gasp) advil, when it mysteriously stopped.

Tuesday was great. My leg didn't hurt; I was able to work my whole shift (wearing the walking boot, natch) without pain; afterward, I rode the stationary bike for an hour and got on the elliptical trainer for a big 20 minutes, just fine thank you.

Yesterday I rode gymbikes for 90 minutes, then saw private clients the rest of the day. I only had 3 appointments but there was a bit of driving and hauling and carrying involved. By 3pm my leg was a tiny bit sore. By 5pm it was a little more sore. By 7pm, the end of the workday, it was still a bit sore.

I had no night pain, but my leg was sore when I woke up this morning. There's a bit of point tenderness too. Today I work - on my feet - from 9am to 7pm, so I took some advil about 10 minutes ago. The soreness is already fading. This is the last long day of the week, and I just want to get through it, hopefully with no damage done.

Posted by joe positive at 8:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 6, 2008

there's something about Chris Knox' voice

I don't know what it is, but it gives me the feeling that everything's gonna be ok. I want to make damn sure I'm listening to Tall Dwarfs (or solo Chris Knox) at the very very end of my life.

Posted by joe positive at 1:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

shoot me now

So last night I took Mindi's advice and had a drink. A small one. And another, and another. By "small drink" I mean a single ice cube in a glass, then pour bourbon up to the top of the cube. I slept pretty well and dreamed I visited an orthopedist to check on the stress fracture, and I started telling him about some mouth pain when I realized he was not my dentist, though he looked a little like my dentist. He was very polite and didn't say "you idiot, it's not my job to worry about your mouth" although he would have been well within his rights to do so. Then I realized that the UV light he was using to examine my leg (?) also revealed some embarrassing razor stubble.

Despite yesterday's 15-minute walk, the night pain did not return. But the minute my dog came into the room to wake me up, there it was. And it's still here a few hours later. Just a little, just an annoyance, but it's still there. And it paralyzes me: I should ride; in fact, since I don't work today, I should ride long. But where? At the Y? On my bike outside? But my leg is sore, so maybe I shouldn't ride at all; maybe I should just sit here with ice on it. Maybe it will feel better tomorrow. But what can I do today? A little riding won't hurt. Oh, yes it will. One day completely off won't hurt. Oh, yes it will. Sitting around won't help anything. Well, maybe it will. But it won't do a damn thing for my mood. I need to feel like I am doing something, that I'm in control, that I'm working toward something. This is one of the few uncluttered days I have this week, so I really ought to make good use of it, yes? But my leg is sore. Fuck.

Posted by joe positive at 8:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 5, 2008

two dozen lousy hours

I've been pretty damn good about not whining for the past 2 weeks, but this afternoon I find my choices limited to 1) whining or 2) start drinking early, so I choose door number 1.

My leg hurts a little, after almost 2 weeks in this walking boot. 24 hours ago it was fine.

My other hamstring is sore for no reason I can think of.

I have to go back to work this week, and I'm worried what that will do to my leg.

There was lots of good racing this weekend, which I did not get to do any of. Locally there was this big race for the cure thing, and I noticed that a few of the women I know have really improved. As in, really improved, as in they used to be slower than I was and now they're faster than I will ever be. And the realization that this bugs me is the worst thing of all, and the main reason for my whining. I may start drinking early anyway.

Posted by joe positive at 3:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


I was really looking forward to today, because I'd decided to try a short bootless walk.

I walked 15 minutes, just under a mile, brisk and bootless, and it felt fine. Toward the end, if I concentrated really hard, I could feel a tiny little sensation at the fracture site.

After the walk I biked 50min at the slow end of easy pace, with good cadence as the goal.

About an hour after that, I noticed my leg was a tiny bit sore, so I iced it.

About an hour after that, I noticed that a bit of point tenderness had returned at the fracture site.

Can one 15-minute walk have undone two weeks' healing?

Posted by joe positive at 11:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 4, 2008

don't do anything

Thursday: AM 45min mtb, 11mi. PM 45min spin class, interval workout including some standing-up stuff which I did not do, no idea of mileage, guessing 11 just for symmetry's sake

Friday: 1hr mtb, very leisurely, exploring different neighborhoods. I found a great lonely place to do half-mile repeats, but it was garbage day and I didn't fancy following the truck so I quit early. Lots of busy roads, slowing/stopping for traffic, construction, etc. Finally just gave up and called it a recovery day, 12.9 miles.

Today I rode 75min at the Y, including a very baby tempo-interval workout. The various cardio computers said 19.66 miles.

The night pain continues to stay away, knock wood. But the best thing of all is that the point tenderness seems to be gone! I can actually rest my bad leg on the opposite knee! I did this today and it didn't hurt, and I was so excited I called my husband at work just to tell him. "Great," he said (very sincerely) "but don't do anything." And I won't, at least not today.

For the past 2 weeks or so I've worn the walking boot whenever I've been on my feet more than about 90 seconds. I've also been able to stay mostly off my feet because I've taken significant time off work. This (or something) really seems to have helped. I'm going back to work this week, but I'm staying in the boot a while longer. Four years ago the MD made me wear it four weeks and that worked, so I might as well do it this time too.

Posted by joe positive at 4:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 2, 2008

mission accomplished!

or rather, Milestone 1 has been met: 3 nights in a row with no night pain! And I haven't taken any advil since Tuesday, and I only took that as a hedge because I had to work that day. This is just huge.

I'm still wearing the walking boot anytime I need to be on my feet more than a minute or so.

The next milestone: 3 days without pain just going around doing ADL-type things.

Posted by joe positive at 12:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 1, 2008

yesterday and today


17 miles (approximately) bike at the Y - 30min spinbike w/no instrumentation, 30min on stationary bike shooting for appropriate rpm/hr combo.

another 4.6 miles on the mtb around the neighborhood. Slow, spinny, made sure I never had to stop quickly and come down hard on my leg.

no night pain last night, yay!


17 or so miles stationary bike at the Y. Forgot to write down the particulars.

Toward the end of today's ride I felt a twinge in my left hip. The walking boot causes my hip to rotate laterally, which really cranks on the piriformis. I need to watch it.

Posted by joe positive at 1:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack