A little run

I honestly did mean to post this week, but work has been all manner of WTF lately. One would think it would have been a great week because it was short due to the holiday, but in manufacturing it turns into, “HOLY SHIT WE ONLY HAVE FOUR DAYS TO GET X AMOUNT OF PRODUCT OUT!” On top of that, half of my day Thursday was spent taking a photographer from our marketing company around the whole building to do new company/website shots. So that entire afternoon was shot for me and I nearly cried when I looked at my email just before I left for the day.

I have a ton of things to talk about and to show, but I’ll have to break it all down into separate posts because I don’t want to make this one post The Longest Post Ever and I don’t have that kind of attention span to make it all that interesting.

Last Friday I left work midday so Z and I could head out on our mini vaca. We booked a house in the woods with a lake view almost 3 hours north of here. That area of PA has lots of waterfalls and lakes. We were the only car without a kayak and/or canoe on our vehicle driving up on the highway. The area was very pretty (and buggy) and we had a great long weekend getaway. I took a ton of photos of the waterfalls and hiking trails we went on. This post will just be photos for this week.

Friday night we ate dinner at a restaurant called the Waterwheel Cafe. It’s a cafe/ bar and the food was phenomenal. Because the mill itself is a historic site, there’s a self-guided tour people can take of the building.

Friday Mill

I bought some coffee from the cafe after dinner. I didn’t have any for the rental house. This photo was taken on the second floor of the mill tour. Z and I had the whole mill to ourselves because all other guests were in the bar watching the live band play.

last friday

This is technically what I wore to work that Friday and only changed into the sleeveless shirt (above) after we got to our rental. This is the back deck of the rental and behind me is the lake between the trees. I was probably swatting away bugs in this photo.

Saturday

Saturday: This photo is post waterfall hiking tour and post swim in freshwater lake. I wore my bikini top instead of a bra because I knew I’d be sweating a lot from the hike and I knew we’d most likely go swimming later in the day.

Monday

Tuesday – Back to work.

tuesday

Wednesday: Rainy and dark all day. I was banging my head against the wall with work stuff and managers not paying attention/ doing their jobs. The blue band on the table is my PT workout band the therapist gave me. PT this week was also insane. I was really sore after Tuesday’s session.

thursday

I technically had on my company pullover shirt all day but I didn’t want it photographed and I was being lazy. I wore my black sleeveless on underneath it all day and only took it off when I went to PT, which was brutal again and had me sweating up a storm.

friday

Friday: My custom Rosen linen shirt arrived in the mail (along with a Yohji Yamamoto 3-piece suit I bought a few days after buying the shirt *ahem*). Both items fit wonderfully and confused the hell out of Z. Even my boss said Friday, “What is going on with that shirt? It’s got two collars!” Apparently my boss gets very confused when I wear jeans. I found out it’s because he’s used to seeing me wear weird clothes so when I wear something “normal” like jeans he’s thrown off. I’d like to say I don’t quite get it but I just laughed it off.

Anyway, the shirt is amazing and comfortable. I love the color, which is gray, but with a slight beigey-mauve tone to it. It’s very lightweight, but has the perfect weight to it for warmth in an air conditioned office. I am very glad I got this custom sized. I had the shoulders, sleeves, and general width brought in, but it’s still nicely loose on me. This might be my perfect summer office shirt. And truth be told, I’m wearing it again right now.

I wore my Nisolo Oliver oxfords this week (Wednesday) and realized I really should have bought them in a size 8.5 instead of 8. I am regularly a size 8, but I guess the fit of these shoes is best for wearing them without socks, which I don’t like. I also think the style isn’t overly flattering on me because the only time I have skinny looking ankles is when I’m laying down. My legs always swell when I’m sitting/standing and I get the slight cankle look no matter what. The style of the oxfords would look better on someone who has tiny ankles. Plus, whenever I wear them, the lump comes back on the back of my tendon. It’s because the backs dig in a little and even though it doesn’t bother my right leg, I am annoyed at how it does affect my left. I’m not sure if I should try taking them to a cobbler to have them stretched out or if I should just sell them. Any thoughts, friends?

Friday I wore my trusty old Frye oxfords. They have much higher of a heel but they are very comfortable. I’ve had them for several years and they are nicely broken in. I should take them to a cobbler as well for cleaning and to be fixed up a bit. I want them to last. Even though these raise my leg and shorten the tendon, which does causes my foot to be more plantar flexion (pointing down), I did not get a lump at all wearing them.

And now to the title of this post: I actually went for a run today. For me, that’s freaking BIG ASS AMAZING, OMG, SERIOUSLY, WHAT- I CAN DO THIS AGAIN, AMAZING news. I started out by going for a walk, thinking I’d just take the long route like I used to and haven’t done in two years. Halfway through, where the land evens out for a long section (our neighborhood is slightly hilly) I decided to run just a little and probably ended up running 3/4 of a mile. Zero calf/ tendon pain. The only discomfort I had was in front of my ankle. I forget if it’s a tendon or muscle (I think it’s muscle) but basically it near atrophied while I was in the boot for so long and so stretching it out has been a huge focus during PT. I have several stretches I need to do multiple times a day for it and while it is very gradually getting better, it’s going to take a long time before it’s back to normal. That area did cause me some trouble during the run but not flat out pain. I simply need to keep up with the strengthening/ stretching exercises.

My run was super hot because it’s insanely humid out today. I was drenched in sweat when I got home – something else I also miss about running – and Z immediately gave me the stink eye, “You went running, didn’t you! You need to be careful! Ask your PT therapist if you should be running first!” Yes, dear.

Weights and tears

When I started this blog, I was wearing a boot on my left foot for Achilles Tendinitis. It was the second time this year I’d worn the boot.

Last summer I was running a lot and then noticed – I don’t remember exactly when – a pain in my ankle. Like all stubborn runners I thought: I’ll just run through it and take it easy tomorrow. I did this for the following 3 months, realizing that no matter how much “down time” I gave myself  my ankle wasn’t getting better. Some days I could run just fine and not have any issues. Some days it would start out hurting, but then I’d push through it and be fine at the end of my run. Some days I’d have an excellent pain-free start of the run only to have to stop short due to the pain deciding to stab my leg and threaten to cripple me. So I stopped running around Thanksgiving. I “took it easy” and only did my usual weight training every other day.

In January of this year I went on a couple long walks to test the water with my ankle. I’d looked it up and thought: yep, I have tendinitis, but I’m mostly ok. I don’t hurt too much and if I don’t walk much it’s no biggie. Plus, I don’t get too much pain at all with weight training. I could tell after one walk my ankle still wasn’t happy. I finally went to a specialist around March and he said: yep, you have tendinitis, but it’s actually healing since you’ve been off it a bit. He gave me a script for steroids to help with the inflammation (there was a noticeable, small bump on the back of my ankle) and then another script for the boot. He said to wear it for three weeks, wean off it on 4th and I’d be totally fine. Why, he himself had had the exact same thing happen to him! I had a total of 3 visits to him over the course of treatment and the last one he said I was ok. Only walk 1 mile for a bit and no weights for another couple weeks.

One month later I attempted to run, which I was allowed to do – on a flat surface – and only managed a half mile before my ankle fell apart again. Bump back, ALL the pain back.

I didn’t put the boot back on until June after a trip to Scotland. I didn’t want to be hobbling about doing touristy stuff. I didn’t go back to the doctor because I thought he was full of shit, but also maybe I did something wrong with the rehab as well. I wore the boot for 6 solid weeks and very slowly weaned off it this time.  It felt great. There was no bump. I started taking little walks in the neighborhood. Nothing long and not at a fast pace. No pain. I was so incredibly happy and hopeful. I missed talking my long walks, but what I longed for the most was my runs. I’d gotten up to 7 miles before stopping last Thanksgiving.

Then this past Saturday I went to a friend’s house for a BBQ and we all walked into town for a car show. We walked very slowly among the crowds, but it was a lot of walking. Sunday morning I felt fine, but then crossing my legs while sitting at the dining room table I felt a stab of pain. By midday I had a bump again on my ankle. I iced my leg twice that day, but the bump didn’t go away. It was still there Monday and all the old pains started coming back. I’d read enough about Achilles Tendinitis to know that in some cases, it can turn into a chronic condition. I may not have a tear bad enough for surgery, but the usual lighter treatments like what I’d been doing may not ever entirely work. There is the option of surgery in case there’s lots of scar tissue or if bursitis sets in….. I did the worst thing possible by reading so much about it online and collapsed into a blob of angry tears on Monday.

I love running. I ran cross-country in high school as a means of getting out of the house when I was younger. I took it for granted then. Years later I picked it up again and realized it was the only “sport” of sorts that I like  – competing against myself and trying to get better. I love having runner highs. It’s addicting, but in a good way. Running also helps me sleep and regulates my mood swings by relieving stress. I zone out when I run – sometimes to the extent of not even remembering the run itself when I’m done. It’s my way of meditating. It also helped me lose 20 pounds when I made more of an effort to get into shape. I weight lift also, which has greatly helped me and I love feeling stronger and don’t mind the sort of muscle pains one feels when lifting. They’re growing pains – growing to be stronger. But no matter how much I lift, I always look forward to my runs.

Now, due to my own stubborn stupidity I may not be able to run again. I might’ve given myself this chronic condition due to how long I refused to accept it for what it was last autumn and should’ve stopped much sooner. That realization made me so utterly miserable I couldn’t do much of anything other than hold back tears all day Monday until I got home. My husband let me cry on him and said I should take it easy and not despair just yet. We did a lot of walking on Saturday so maybe my ankle was being cranky about it and I just needed to rest again. I was comforted by his kindness in being optimistic for me, but part of me knew I may need to face the reality of not being able to run again – let alone taking my long 4-5 mile walks in the neighborhood, or hikes in my favorite parks.

The bump went down a lot on Tuesday and Wednesday and today it’s sorta back, but that might be due to the shoes I’m wearing, which are new and the heel is digging a bit into my ankle, but it’s looking like that on both ankles. My calf has felt tight, so I did some stretching yesterday and did some light weight training (body weight mostly) because I can’t give up all exercise. Even when I had the boot on I was still doing exercising – mostly upper body and core – but hardly doing anything at all for legs.

I’ll hold my breath for now about it and give it some time. I don’t want to call it a chronic condition just yet. More like – I’m afraid to accept it right now.

workout
Reflection in mirror hanging on the back of the basement door to the workout room. I use to to check my posture for dead lifts and squats.
weights (1)
Husband had a shit winter/spring too health-wise and he’s gradually getting his weights back up. 
dumbbells
Rusty old dumbbell set from the in-laws. 
barbell
We have two barbells, a few dumbbells, a weight bench, a rowing machine, a treadmill, and lots of mismatched weights from relatives and Craigslist finds.