Back Issues

I’ve been having back issues for the past, oh, probably 6 months. Right down above my tailbone, in the small of my back, it hurts REALLY bad. It doesn’t feel like sciatica (had that when I was 2 1/2 months pregnant). I finally got tired of the pain and finally went to the doctor.

It took a month to get in to the doctor, but she did a physical exam and said that since I didn’t have any trauma to make my back hurt (I woke up one morning and got out of bed and it’s hurt ever since) that she wanted to do an MRI. I had an MRI on April 1st and it came back saying I had a moderately herniated disc between L5 and S1.

L5
See that spongy thing under L5 before you get to the sacrum? That’s the disc that the MRI says is herniated.

So, they said the treatment for that was a cortisone shot/epidural in my back and to do physical therapy. So I went in for the injection. It hurt like a b*tch. They told me it would take 3-4 days for it to kick in and for me to see a difference. I didn’t do physical therapy only because my husband started physical therapy right then for his shoulder so I talked to the P.T. & asked him how necessary P.T. was. He basically told me that one session would be good, but then he’d send me home with stretches and all would be good. Well, I figured since I’m doing the 21 Day Yoga Retreat through Beachbody that would work, so I didn’t do P.T.

3 weeks later and my back is still KILLING me. So, we called the doctor again. They’ve now prescribed me some Prednisone (fun, fun!) and told me to do P.T. This time I am doing P.T. I had my first session this last Monday.

My P.T. is awesome! I’ve been to him before when I broke my leg & ankle about 10 years ago. But, he listens to my story, does kind of a physical exam and starts working with me. Based off of my symptoms, he doesn’t think it’s a herniated disc. He thinks it has something to do with my S.I. Joint (I’m vaguely familiar with that). He did get concerned when at the end of the P.T. session I told him that when I walked in to therapy, my pain level was at a 4, but as I’m leaving it’s at a 7. NOTHING that we did in P.T. helped it and it should have relieved even the slightest bit of pain.

So, I got my P.T. a copy of my MRI and he’s going to take a look at it and see if he happens to see anything different. Yes, I know he’s not a doctor, but he’s got a lot of school and has to be familiar with how the body works to be a P.T.; therefore a second look at the MRI might help. Plus, we’ve decided to get a 2nd opinion on my back. I’ve got an appointment with a different doctor on Monday to see if they see anything different.

I just want my back to stop hurting. I can’t stand for long periods of time. I can’t sit for long periods of time. Yoga ends up being painful. Sitting on a bike hurts like a b*tch. Plus, when I go running, like clock work, at 1 1/2 miles, my left foot goes numb. I think, and so does my P.T., we think that has something to do with my back injury too.

So…I’ll keep you posted on all this crap too. πŸ™‚

Goals

I’m already trying to set goals to keep me motivated to do my workouts.

Back in 2013 I did my first 1/2 IronmanΒ and I LOVED it. My ultimate goal is to do a full Ironman.

I hope I’m not being too optimistic, but I feel like I’m bouncing back to running and biking fairly well, after not doing it for almost a year. So, I’m thinking in 2017 I want to do the St. George 70.3Β and then in 2018 attempt my first Ironman (not sure which one).

I’ve got plenty of time to train for both races. But, it was brought up last night, that it does take A LOT of time to train for a 1/2 and full Ironman. My friend compared it to having a second job for 3-4 months. With currently having a 2 1/2 month old in the house, am I being unrealistic about wanting to do a 1/2 Ironman next year? I’ve held down 2 jobs at once before and our family seems to do ok. Do we like it? No. But it’s what we had to do at the time, so we did it.

I brought this up to my husband last night and he said ok, but I’m not sure he fully understands the time commitment it will take.

What are your thoughts/opinions on all of this? Have you trained for a 70.3 or 140.6 with small children at home?

2014 Miles

I log all of my workouts on Daily Mile. If you are on Daily Mile and we’re not friends yet, you can find me here. I really like posting my workouts there because then you get motivation from other athletes by them posting comments on your workouts or you can help motivate others by commenting on their workouts. It’s alot of fun. I think if you have an iPhone, you can get the DailyMile app. But if you’re like me and you have a Droid, well then, you just have to use the good ole internet on your phone or your computer. Either way, it’s pretty user friendly.

Well, today, I got my yearly stats from Daily Mile. They are a little bit off because I didn’t log ALL of my workouts last year. I took a break from social media for about a month.

Here are my stats:

4,162 miles logged last year
Avg of 80 miles/week
498 workouts logged total
Burned 97 lbs (that’s like the size of a teenager!)

Are you on DailyMile? Do you keep track of how many miles you run/bike/swim every year?

Either/Or

I got this survey idea from this girl and I’m always looking for new/fun things to post on my blog, so here goes. πŸ™‚

1. Would you rather run in a thunderstorm or a snowstorm? A thunderstorm. Running in snow, you can slip & fall.

2. Would you rather breathe through your nose or breathe through your mouth? I’ve broken my nose twice in the same place, so I naturally breathe through my mouth.

3. Would you rather do 100 squats or 100 crunches? [Now take a break and go do them. ;)] Either one would be fine with me. Can’t do them right now…I’m at work.

4. Would you rather have a baked good for dessert or an extra serving of your favorite entree? Depends on what the dessert is. Hell, no it doesn’t. I’m all about dessert!!!

5. Would you rather run on a treadmill for an hour or run around the same street block for an hour? Hmmm…I could do either. Probably street block just because if I run on a treadmill too much, my shins start to hurt.

6. Would you rather have a headache during a run or a side stitch? I’ll go with headache, only because usually when I’m running, my headache goes away.

7. Would you rather have a rest day on a work day or a day off? I don’t like rest days, so neither. Lol.

8. Would you rather be a race director or a race volunteer? Volunteer. Too much responsibility being a race director.

9. Would you rather spend your money on running gadgets [HRM, GPS watch, Headphones] or running shoes? Gadgets. Only because I need a new heart rate monitor/GPS watch bad.

10. Would you rather run in a relay or do the run portion of a distance triathlon? I’ve done both & I thoroughly enjoy both of them.

I Am Stronger Than This Challenge…

This morning started out pretty good. I got to work & was wearing my bright pink argyle compression socks. My shins were feeling pretty good, and I was thinking I’d probably be able to run the 5k at the local elementary school tomorrow. Something happened this afternoon though that changed my mind and everything seemed to go downhill.

I rubbed my shoe/leg up against the left leg (the one having shin problems) and it hurt pretty bad. Even when I’m not wearing my compression socks & sometimes when I am, all of a sudden, I’ll get a sharp pain in my leg, but it’ll go away as fast as it came. This afternoon when I felt that pain, I immediately took my compression socks off. After I took my compression socks off, it felt a little better, but sometimes I still get brief surges of pain in my calf/side shin and sometimes it feels like I am being pricked by a bunch of pins and needles too. I’m thinking that’s no good.

I don’t think it’s shin splints any more. Something just tells me it’s not. I’ve had my share of shin splints and they haven’t felt like this. So, I don’t know if it’s weird shin splints, or if it’s compartment syndrome, or if it’s some other random something or other. I was just reading more about this on WebMD & it says “Symptoms of chronic compartment syndrome (exertional compartment syndrome) include aching or cramping in the affected muscle (buttock, thigh, or lower leg) within a half-hour of starting exercise. Symptoms usually go away with rest, and muscle function remains normal. Exertional compartment syndrome can feel like shin splints and be confused with that condition. “ Interesting.

I’ve put a call in to my orthopedic surgeon for an appointment. The bad thing is, it’s a $35 co-pay plus any other procedures seeing I haven’t met my deductible yet. This ought to make for an interesting bill I can’t afford.

In the meantime, I have to take a DNF on the 5k at my nieces & nephew’s elementary school tomorrow and possibly a DNF on the Purple Day 5k the next Saturday. As of today I haven’t run in 10 days, so hopefully if I can get to the doctor this week I won’t have to rest too much longer.

In the meantime, this doesn’t do much for my anxiety. Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, when I can’t run, my anxiety goes through the roof & my mind automatically goes to worst case scenario. What is my worst case scenario? I can’t do the 1/2 marathon I paid $80 for next month. I can’t do the sprint triathlon I paid $45 for next month and I can’t do the 1/2 Ironman that I’ve sunk ALOT of money in to that is in June.

While I was swimming tonight though, I kept thinking of my tattoo:

This is when my tattoo was brand new.
This is when my tattoo was brand new.

I just had to keep repeating this to myself. I have whatever injury I have for a reason. I don’t have it on purpose. I am going to learn something from this. Whether it be patience or some other hidden reason, I’m going to learn something from it.

In the meantime, while I was swimming tonight, my mind tends to wander (could be why I lost track of laps at one point & ended up swimming a total of 4,000 yds). So, I decided to use the time while I was swimming to try to convince myself that I’m going to be ok with this injury. I came up with a plan too. Wanna hear it? Too bad if you don’t. Lol.

I don’t know how long I’m going to be off from running. There’s a chance I won’t be able to run the 1/2 marathon next month. There’s not much I can do about that. But…in regards to the Boise 1/2 Ironman (the race I’m most worried about & the race I’ve spent the most $$$ on)…even if I can’t fully train for the run of that race…I’m still going to do the race, except the run part. I’ll do the swim and the bike and then take a DNF & not do the run. I want to at least get some of my monies worth out of the race. So…if this is the scenario that takes place, then I will do whatever I can to find the money to sign up for the 70.3 distance of the Bear Lake Brawl. No, it’s not under the Ironman name (which makes me sad), but it’s the same distance.

Bear Lake is gorgeous & their famous for their raspberries too!
Bear Lake is gorgeous & their famous for their raspberries too!

I would ideally like to do a 1/2 Ironman that is under the Ironman name, but I don’t know of anybody that lives in Michigan, Colorado, New Hampshire, Georgia, Florida or Austin that would let me stay with them (to save money) so I could do an Ironman there.

But…this is the plan that is keeping me going…and my tattoo…and my awesome coach. I knew there was a reason why I got that tattoo. Now…to just find out what exactly is wrong with my leg and how long until I can RUN!!!

Me, my coach his wife Chrystel.
Me, my coach his wife Chrystel.

Working Out While Sick

Last Monday afternoon, my nose started to get really stuffy. I immediately started taking cold meds, but when I woke up on Tuesday morning I was in full-blown head cold mode. I was sent home from work early on Tuesday because I wasn’t feeling well and I immediately went to bed. The only time I woke up was to take cold meds.

When I get sick I am very diligent at taking cold meds. I usually take some kind of decongestant every 4 hours and then I take Zicam every 3 hours. In the past, Zicam has seemed to really help lessen the time of my cold.

I use the tablets.
I use the tablets.

So, I haven’t worked out in almost a week and I’m going absolutely NUTS!!! Working out is my mode of letting out anxieties, frustrations, etc. I thought I was feeling well Friday night, so I hopped on the bike trainer, and I only lasted 30 minutes (almost 9 miles). My chest was on fire!!

My cold has now moved down in to my chest. I’ve got tightness in my chest and my nose is still a little stuffy. So, I’ve still been taking decongestants, and now I’ve added Mucinex and cough syrup to the mix too. Ugh. Speaking of cough syrup…why do they say it is cherry flavored? It doesn’t taste like any cherries I’ve ever eaten. Lol. If the cough syrup and Mucinex doesn’t help, I’ll have to start making me some hot totties. Those always seem to help.

I’m feeling a little better today, but not enough to be able to go for a run or swim. I’m following the advice of “In the head, go ahead. In the chest, take a rest.”. I just hope this passes quickly. My sanity and my self control for food has been thrown out the window!!!

Do you workout when you’re sick? What is your best remedy for a chest cold?

Protein Supplements

Because I’m a bigger girl, when I workout, I burn A LOT of calories, therefore it’s very hard for me to replenish all of the calories that I’ve burned.

I’ve known for a while that I just need to break down and buy a protein supplement to help me recover from my workouts and to help with the additional calories I need to eat every day.

For a while, I was buying the Luna Bar Peanut Butter & Chocolate protein bars that had 180 calories per bar in them. They were delicious. I would eat one a day as a snack and I’d usually eat one right after a workout as well. I don’t know why, but I stopped buying them.

Well, this weekend, I was at the grocery store, and I finally just broke down and bought some protein powder. I bought EAS Soy Protein Powder. Why did I pick this powder? Because it was the smallest container. I didn’t want to buy one of the HUGE containers in case I didn’t like the powder. So, I bought a smaller container and it was chocolate flavored.

Today, after my 6 mile run, I decided to try out the protein powder. All I had to do was mix one scoop of the powder with 8 oz of milk. The only thing I’m not a fan of is mixing it with milk. I don’t like milk. I don’t like chocolate milk, nothing. I just don’t like the flavor of it or anything. Otherwise, I was very pleasantly surprised with this protein powder. I thought it might be a little gritty and not mix well, but it did. It tasted like chocolate milk. It’s a good thing if you like milk. πŸ™‚

On the instructions it says you can mix the powder with any liquid. I think it might taste kind of gross mixing it with water, but I did have an ingenious idea of mixing it with my morning coffee! I would use it in place of my creamer, so I would basically have chocolate coffee. I’m going to try that in the morning. I had one friend suggest that I mix it with yogurt. Now that would be good. Get a big container of plain yogurt and then mix a scoop of powder with like a cup of yogurt, then I’d have chocolate yogurt. That would be very yummy. πŸ™‚

Overall though, I was very pleased with the protein powder. I will definitely continue to buy it. Next time I will buy the bigger container.

Do you use any protein supplements? What do you mix your protein powder with?