Marcaine magic

11 Oct

MRI

Today was MRA day.

Be there at 9.45am I was told.

So I was.

And I sat and waited…and waited…and waited.

Then was escorted across to another waiting room…and waited…and waited.

Finally I heard my name called, followed the guy to a change room where I changed out of my top and into a sexy paper gown before entering another room where I was instructed to lie down on the bed. Once I had manoeuvred into the appropriate position it was again a case of waiting…waiting…waiting. This time for the doctor to come and do the arthrogram meaning injecting a contrast and an anaesthetic (Marcaine) into the hip joint before having the MRI. It’s hard to explain what it feels like after these have been injected into the hip joint – the hip felt bloated and uncomfortable for a while.

The Marcaine was being used as a diagnostic tool. I have to monitor how my hip feels for the next 24 hours and whether the pain goes away. If the pain does go away then it points to something going on in the joint, which you think would also be picked up in the imaging.

After the injections I then changed back into my jeans, returned to the waiting room and waited…waited…waited to have the MRI.

Eventually the technician did come for me and once again I changed into a paper gown before being shown into the room with the MRI machine. Imagine a long metal cylinder. Lucky I’m not claustrophobic. I was instructed to get up on the bed, had some foam contraption strapped to my abdomen, sandbags placed on my legs to stop them moving, given a buzzer in case I got a case of the yips and needed to come out of the tunnel, headphones to block out the noise (fortunately there was music to listen to) and finally a blanket to cover me, because it was very chilly.

And then for the next 20 minutes I lay entombed in this metal tunnel listening to what sounded like a jack hammer at times, trying not to move. I think my right leg involuntarily twitched a couple of times! You try lying perfectly still for 20 minutes!

And finally that was it. I was there for 2 1/2 hours.

So now I wait for the specialist to get in touch.

The Marcaine has worked its magic. Currently I have no hip discomfort. Tomorrow’s 27km walk will be a good test. :)

Aaaargh!

9 Oct

WordPress keeps crashing tonight. This is, hopefully, third time lucky.

My first entry was an eloquent piece on whether plodders have a place in a marathon? I had recently read a New York Times article addressing this question. Well you will have to take my word for it as the application crashed and I lost the lot.

Anyway I wasn’t sure whether to feel offended, amused, angry or a mix of all these emotions after reading this article.

Apparently walkers, and slow runners, are ruining the marathon’s mystique and disrespecting the distance.

“It’s a joke to run a marathon by walking every other mile or by finishing in six, seven, eight hours,” said Adrienne Wald, 54, the women’s cross-country coach at the College of New Rochelle, who ran her first marathon in 1984. “It used to be that running a marathon was worth something — there used to be a pride saying that you ran a marathon, but not anymore. Now it’s, ‘How low is the bar?’”

Arrogant? Elitist? Has a point?

“…more than half of the people at a marathon are just overweight and “trying to get a shirt and medal … looking to one day tell a story about the saga and the suffering of their 11 minute pace ‘race.’”

And this in the comments section: “The marathon has become a circus, no doubt about it. I have no problem with people plodding their way through a course in 6 or 7 hours. Of course, they shouldn’t be given the same medals and acknowledgment as someone who busted their buns for months in training and completed it in four hours.”

I’m sorry? I’ve not busted my buns in training for months? Those bruised toenails, the shin splints, the endless hours on weekends spent walking…if that’s not training then I don’t know what is. I have trained as hard for this event as I would’ve if I’d been running. Of course I’d rather be running but that’s not going to happen. And be damned if I’m going to travel all that way to watch on the sidelines. No siree. I will be out there plodding for 7 hours. And bloody well proud of it.

Today I spent 45 mins on my favourite machine, the xtrainer. It’s always hard backing up after legs day at the gym. And tomorrow is more leg work, along with arms and shoulders. Followed by the xtrainer again on Friday. And then a 27km walk on Saturday. Fun times :)

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A bit of a breeze…

6 Oct

It was a tad windy on my 10km walk this afternoon. Strong gusty winds blew part way through my walk (at the furthest point from home naturally). I was being hit by lots of tiny twigs from surrounding trees though fortunately nothing larger. There were times when I had to brace and lean into the wind to keep going forward. Certainly made for good resistance training.

The left hip/adductor/torn semitendinosis attachment held up well after yesterday’s long walk though some discomfort was starting after about 5km. Nothing some anti-inflammatories can’t fix.

It’s 4 weeks today to NY marathon so I have a lot of walking to do between now and then. Every weekend will see me do a long walk on the Saturday ie next weekend I’ll do 27km; the week after it will be 30km and the week after that, 34km. Then the week after that it will be 42.2km, or 26.2miles. :)

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The things you see…

5 Oct

Well I’m officially back into walking training after completing a 23km walk this morning. Yes there is some discomfort but its manageable.

It was an early start as I needed to get the walk done before my scheduled massage later in the morning. So I was up at 5am (on a long weekend no less!) and out the door at 5.45am. 3hr 50min later I was finally back home again, ravenous, thirsty and tired. I’m still surprised how tiring walking can be.

As I was passing the Belconnen Arts Centre down by the lake, I came across a very strange sight. Not something one sees every day. Imagine a huge hot air balloon sporting large breasts and a head that resembles a turtle.

It’s a skywhale!

No? Never heard of it?!

Hindenboob?! Oh never mind, here’s a picture…

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Certainly eye catching, wouldn’t you say? A conversation starter…

This was my first experience of seeing the skywhale up close and personal.

According to the blurb on the Canberra Centenary website:

“The Centenary of Canberra has unveiled its largest commission – a sculpture by internationally renowned artist and former Canberran Patricia Piccinini that is a 34m long, 23m high hot-air balloon called The Skywhale. The Skywhale is at least twice as big as a standard hot-air balloon, weighs half a tonne and used more than 3.5km of fabric. It took 16 people seven months and more than 3.3million stitches to design and make.”

Then not long after seeing the Skywhale in all it’s glory I saw Ruth who was obviously warming up for parkrun. We had a very brief chat before parting ways – Ruth to the parkrun and me continuing on my never-ending walk (well it felt like that).

However eventually I did make it home, and after a rushed breakfast (I was close to inhaling the contents of the fridge I was that hungry) headed off for my much-needed massage.

I’d like to say it was heavenly bliss but I’d be lying! There were quite a few tight knots and spots that needed working out. But I felt so good by the end of it. I have another massage scheduled for 3 weeks time, just before leaving for New York.

Caught up for a coffee with Mr B in the afternoon to discuss New York accommodation and hear all about his recent overseas trip.

And I got to see Lorna Jane in the flesh. She was signing books at her store in the mall. :)

Tonight I had an Epsom salts bath. I think it will be an early night. That 23km walk has knocked the stuffing out of me. Who would’ve thought?!

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The object of my attention

2 Oct

This morning, while on the xtrainer for 45 minutes, I spent an inordinate amount of time focussing on a pair of calves in front of me, and not of the bovine variety.

And strictly speaking, while I appeared to be focused on this pair of calves, I wasn’t actually ‘focussed’ on them, if you get my drift. I was looking but not ‘looking’.

I find when I am engaged in a monotonous activity, ie 45 minutes on a xtrainer, I might look like I’m staring at something ahead of me but actually I am zoning out. So it’s not that something in my line of sight has captured my attention, it’s usually because I’m a million miles away, lost in my thoughts, or immersed in the temporary discomfort of 30 second intervals, always a fun activity, says no-one ever.

So there I was, slogging away on the xtrainer focussing on the pair of calves in front of me – belonging to a guy on the xtrainer in the row in front of me. Nicely muscled and not too hairy now that I come to think of it…not that I was paying any attention. Really. Truly.

It just made me realise the things we inadvertently do when we’re focusing on something else. Normally I wouldn’t be so fixated on someone’s calves!

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By hook or by crook

1 Oct

I know I can

This long weekend just gone I managed 2 x 10km walks back to back ie one on Sunday and the other yesterday. I haven’t been able to do that for a few weeks now so that is progress of sorts. So I’m ramping up the walking again over the next few weekends (I’m rapidly running out of weekends I might add). Combined with several sessions a week on the xtrainer plus weekly 2 weights sessions I’m hoping beyond hope that this will be enough to get me through New York marathon barring anything else going wrong (oops, shouldn’t have let that thought out).

I have to say that if it wasn’t for NY marathon and that I’d paid an obscene amount of money for the privilege of doing this event I probably would have thrown in the towel long ago, in fact not long after tearing my hammie attachment back in May. That’s been my usual course of action after an injury that has seen my stop running for any amount of time.

But this time I couldn’t.

NY marathon wasn’t going away and 3 November was going to come around anyway. And how awesome to be taking part in one of the biggest marathons in the world.

Even if I won’t be running.

So it has meant that I have had to train around my injury just to maintain fitness. I had a goal and by hook or by crook I was damn well going to meet it head on. Some people call me stubborn, some people call me mad.

Me? I’m just doing what I love doing – staying fit.

And yes, I am very goal oriented.

Don’t get me wrong. Yes, I love the feeling of being fit.

But really, who loves getting up at 5.30am to go to the gym for a 45 minute xtrainer or weights session?

Not me!

Who loves spending 3 to 4 to 5 hours on a Saturday afternoon doing walking training?

Not me!

Actually let me just clarify that. The thought of getting up early to get to the gym or the thought of spending hours doing walking training doesn’t exactly set my world on fire but once I’m up and out the door I do enjoy it.

And the feeling once I’ve finished, feeling hot, sweaty and tired?

Priceless!

In a holding pattern

26 Sep

patience
Right now I really do feel like I’m in a holding pattern…waiting…waiting…waiting. Seeing if anything can be done for my injury before I leave.

This morning was spent making an appointment for an MRI plus arthrogram. This involved time spent on hold, faxing referrals, more time on hold, and then calling the doctor’s surgery to notify them of the appointment date.

Suddenly everything seems so last minute which is unnerving me no end.

The MRI is now booked for Friday 11 October – 19 days out from departure. Talk about cutting things fine. Just add it to my ever-growing list of things to do before I go.

Which is probably why I’ve been awake since 3am this morning – my brain won’t switch off. Yes, I do have a list, several in fact. At the moment I am the queen of lists. But it still doesn’t make me feel any better.

But back to the gym this morning – the xtrainer was calling my name. We have an awfully close relationship these days – the xtrainer and me. For the first 15 minutes of the 45 minute workout there was no television to distract me – staff hadn’t got around to turning them on. So it was just me, the xtrainer and my music. Without the distraction of television I do tend to watch the clock and it was ticking over ever so slowly. However on the positive side I was not feeling as tired as I was yesterday (well, not until later in the day when the 3am wake up finally caught up with me…oh about…3pm) but I was still very happy when the 45 minutes finally clocked on and I could press STOP.

Hallelujah! Another workout done and dusted.

What I wouldn’t give to be able walk or run outdoors rather than being confined to the xtrainer. You don’t realise how much you miss doing these things until you can’t do it, and then you’d give anything to be able to do it. Ironic really.

As a result of my very early wake up and lack of success in getting back to sleep I really struggled through the afternoon. My head was practically hitting the desk around 3pm and it was only the assistance of several cups of coffee that kept me going until I could finally leave for the day. Here’s hoping I have a better sleep tonight.

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