Tag Archives: injuries

The never ending hip saga

19 Oct

journey
Its two weeks out from NY marathon and still I am having investigations to determine the source of the hip pain. Last Friday it was the arthrogram. Next week it’s another ultrasound scan though on a positive note it will be done by Wes Cormick, the best in the business. Normally it takes 6 weeks to get in to see him but I’m a special case :) He’s seeing me next Thursday after a phone call from my doctor.

And why am I having another ultrasound scan? It appears that there is something going on with the labrum, the connective tissue around the rim of the hip socket. It looks like it’s peeling away rather than torn. There are other things showing on the MRI film so that’s why I’m having further ultrasound scans. If something is there Wes will find it. And hopefully I’ll get injections where it’s needed.

The good news is that there is nothing wrong with my hip joint. Something positive!

So stay tuned….

Meanwhile I did another long walk this morning. I started at 6am as I had a 30km walk to do and I estimated that it would take me about 5 hours. This would mean I would finish at 11am. So again I was up with the birds, having porridge at some absurdly early hour and then heading off just before 6am. It was chilly so I wore gloves to keep my hands warm. Sort of worked but they still got very cold and refused to cooperate a bit later when I needed to make a toilet stop. Honestly it takes me forever just to unclip the iPod and get my fuel belt off, let alone anything else.

It was very smoky from the NSW bushfires. The morning sky had a distinct pinkish hue and initially the sun was a glowing red ball.

I actually didn’t count down the kilometres as I walked this morning. It was a case of suck it up and walk. I had a job to do and I wasn’t getting distracted by thoughts of “are we there yet?”

I saw Ruth at about the 14km mark so we had a quick chat before we both went out separate ways again. At the halfway point I had a nut bar. I made a point of bringing something to eat on this walk. Up until now I haven’t bothered but I thought I should at least practice eating something as I will need to do this for 42km. I also a had 2 small bottles of coconut water in my fuel belt – makes a nice change from water or sports drink.

Eventually I did warm up so I had a quick pit stop to take off the long sleeved top and tie around my waist, and put my gloves in the fuel belt pocket. Then I was away again, intent on getting home.

My hip was sore from the 2km mark this morning so wasn’t the best pain-wise. More anti-inflammatories when I got home.

And my post-walk reward was a green smoothie containing coconut water, kiwi fruit, lettuce, baby spinach, fennel, protein powder and chia seeds. Surprisingly sweet and delicious…and green :)

In summary:

Distance – 30km

Time – 4hr 53.41min

Pace – 9.45min/km

Other exercise this week:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday – 45 min intervals on the xtrainer

Tuesday and Thursday – weights sessions

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. :)

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.

A fugly workout

25 Sep

I cannot lie. It was a hard slog on the xtrainer this morning. Wading through mud would have been easier. I can’t believe how tired I felt and my legs just did not want to cooperate. But as per usual, I ignored the plaintive cries, sucked it up and struggled on. To distract myself and to pass the time I read the sub-titles on the television screen at the gym – it helped…marginally.

I made me think of a column Michelle Bridges wrote a couple of weeks ago, and got slammed for by some segments of the media and fitness industry, about how she said that working out is not all fun and smiles. That to hit your target heart rate, or anaerobic threshold, does involve some blood, sweat and tears. And it’s true. Exercise can be fun but it can also be bloody hard work at times. And it’s at those times that I’m not smiling or having a good old chuckle. Instead my heart rate is up, my muscles are screaming to stop and the sweat is pouring off me. But not every workout is like this (thank goodness) nor is the entire workout like this. But when I hit my anaerobic threshold heart rate it ain’t pretty but for fitness gains it’s necessary to do this from time to time.  There are people who I see regularly at the gym, sitting on bikes slowly pedalling and reading at the same time. There is a time and a place for everything but personally if I can read while pedalling then obviously I am not working hard enough and really…what’s the point of being there? There’s far more comfortable places to read.

Rant over. Back to the gym this morning and it was a hard workout, mentally as well as physically. A fugly workout.

This morning’s session was followed by a green smoothie for breakfast again (the recipe I used yesterday served 2). This time I added chia seeds which gave it some more bulk and it did fill me up. But I remain to be convinced that drinking my meal is the way to go.

Injury update

I saw the sports doc this afternoon. We went through the scans and report, he did some more diagnostic tests and it was agreed that a MRI was required, to determine whether it’s an adductor injury causing me grief, or a labral tear injury. The original injury, the hammy tear, is still there but not causing me any problems currently as I’m not running. So, I have to make an appointment for an MRI with contrast dye and local anaesthetic to be injected into my hip joint.

Stay tuned…

Persistence

It’s not easy being green

24 Sep

20130924-200752.jpgSo sang Kermit many years ago.

I was thinking of this song as I made my green…very green…breakfast smoothie this morning.

If you hadn’t noticed, green smoothies are the new black, so to speak. Everyone is drinking green smoothies these days – these smoothies are apparently brimming with anti-oxidants, good fats, lots of vitamins and minerals and guaranteed to have you glowing with great health.

So I wanted in on this new craze, just to see what it was like and whether it was worth the effort. I have to admit that I’m not usually a smoothie person, particularly when it comes to meals. I like some substance, crunch, snap, crackle and pop for my brekkie, not a beverage. To me, drinking my meal rather than eating it doesn’t feel as satisfying.

So there I was after my gym session (weights day today) tossing in to my blender the following ingredients – coconut water, avocado, mint leaves, baby spinach leaves, lime juice, SuperGreens powder, eye of newt, dash of mandrake…ok I did make up the last 2 ingredients!

My smoothie was looking very, very green.

As I switched off the blender and took off the lid the mixture was still bubbling, similar to what I imagine a swamp affected by blue-green algae would look like. Hardly conducive to drinking you might think.

And thank goodness Mr CJ wasn’t around to see it – I can just imagine the sort of comments I would’ve got from him. Put it this way, they wouldn’t have been very complimentary.

But actually my green smoothie was tasty and filling…for a while. Well until around 10ish in the morning when the hunger pangs started and I had to have something to eat.

So I’ve tried the latest craze. I will have it again, or variations on a theme. But the green smoothie won’t replace my usual brekkie food. I still prefer to eat my meals, rather than drink them.

Injury update
This evening I received a phone call from my physio. Seems he’s been talking to my sports doctor today about my ultrasound scan and problems with my hip and he (sports doc) wants to see me tomorrow afternoon. So fingers crossed… :)

The thingamy is attached to the whatsit which is attached to….

6 Sep

Today was D Day aka doctor day. Actually it was Super Doctor day given he is a specialist sports doctor who knows a thing or two about bodies and how they function. And more importantly what’s gone wrong and how to fix it. A perennial problem of mine.

It’s been about 2 years since I last saw him. Back then it was my right hammy which was causing me grief. Now it’s my left…or so I thought…

After some poking and prodding (he has this knack of finding the painful points), and having to lie this way and that, he informed me that he thought I may have a tear of the adductor magnus and possibly the semitendinosis. Sounds impressive?!

The adductors are the inner thigh muscles and the adductor magnus is particularly prone to injury especially in sports involving sudden acceleration. Oh this is all sounding so very familiar!

The latest problem which is preventing me from walking comfortably is secondary gluteal tightness and probable inflammation of the upper rectus femoris/TFL and/or sartorius. What is happening is that due to the primary injury other muscles have had to take up the slack and obviously they’re not coping.

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So…I’m having an ultrasound scan, and injection if required, on 18/9. Fingers crossed not too much damage has happened to my adductor magnus etc. I have a couple of stretches to do in the meantime, as well as apply voltaren gel to various spots. And until I can walk any distance comfortably again I can use the xtrainer.

He’s confident that I’ll be walking NY marathon, just not quite at the pace I had planned. At this rate I’ll just be happy, and relieved, to make the start line.

This morning I did 45min on the xtrainer which apparently equated to 7.4km. It’s more a psychological issue for me – staying in the one spot drives me insane but I’ve gotta do what I gotta do.

Tomorrow it’s more of the same before I leave for Manly and a Very Important Date: Nikki and Dave’s wedding :)

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Hello Friday!

Dear Universe…

5 Sep

It has occurred to me that you and I need to talk. Admittedly you have been sending messages of late that obviously I’m not heeding. However I think you need to be a bit more to the point about what you are trying to tell me instead of sending messages that only serve to frustrate rather than inform me.

So rather than beating around the bush, let’s just cut to the chase here. What exactly are you trying to tell me? In fact, what exactly is your problem? All I’m trying to do is get fit, stay fit and do what I enjoy doing – run. Yet, for some obscure reason that I’m yet to understand you have managed to set obstacles in my way. First the hammy injury back in May, a week out from the half marathon. I guess I should be grateful that you managed to let me run Canberra marathon the month before without any problems. So what was your issue with the half marathon?

And then there was the tendonitis of the hip flexor a couple of months later which meant I couldn’t do any lower body weights at the gym. So not content with bringing my running to a halt, you decided that it would be a great idea to mess with my head and reduce my exercise options even further?

And what precisely is your message this week, now that I am having problems with my hip and can’t even walk comfortably? If the message is to slow down, well what is your problem with walking? If I slow down much more I’ll be using a Zimmerman frame.

Seriously, don’t you have anything better to do with your time than make my life miserable? Surely the environment or world peace or even god forbid, the election, would be of a higher priority than little ol’ me who is only trying to prepare herself for New York marathon. What exactly have I done to you that you feel the need to do this to me?

So apologies for missing the point of your messages but what exactly are you trying to tell me?

Yours in frustration
A venting, stroppy, totally fed up CJ

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Good morning Thursday!

Stuck

4 Sep

Today I’m stuck.

First of all I was stuck for a blog entry title. If I don’t have a title how do I know what to write about? A heading is like a signpost – it gives me an idea of which direction to go.

But then, what do I write about? Do I write just for the sake of writing? What have I done today, or yesterday, that’s worth writing about?

See? I’m stuck. Stuck for words. Stuck for ideas, inspiration. Stuck.

This morning I did go for my early morning walk with random 30sec jogs thrown in. For the first kilometre I walk. My hammy does not like or appreciate any jogging in the first kilometre. It needs to warm up first. Then for the next couple of kilometres I managed 2 x 30sec jogs with no problems. So then I tried for 3 x 30sec jogs from the third kilometre onwards. This seemed to work well, as long as I stayed on the flat. Any flat parts of the cycle path became an open invitation to break into a very slow, very gentle jog. I have lost a lot of strength in the left leg due the injury so it tires relatively quickly. I could not manage any more than 30 sec jogs at the moment. But at least I can manage to do at least a couple of jogs per kilometre. That must be some sort of progress.

However…and there’s always a ‘however’…or a ‘but’ when things seem to be moving along in a positive way. I have somehow managed to aggravate my hip when I was back home, well after my walk/jog. I’m not sure if I sat awkwardly or got up too quickly but its bloody sore around the hip area (on the same leg as the injured hammy). The only upside I can think of is that I am seeing the specialist this Friday. It looks like he might have a couple of things to treat. At the moment I am walking quite gingerly – bringing my left leg forward is painful. Ok I’m limping. Not good.

So I’m well and truly stuck at the moment. :(

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Feels like a Friday

9 Aug

I’ve had a few rest days this week for a variety of reasons but this morning it was time to bite the bullet, so to speak, and get out there and do my walk training. Of course it was another frosty morning (I know how to pick them) but I was warmly dressed and only the tips of my fingers got cold. It was a 7km walk this morning and I managed a sub 9 min/km pace for the walk so I’m happy with that.

I also had my regular physio visit on Wednesday but there’s nothing to report. I think he was hoping I had managed at least one of the couch to 5km run sessions but sadly I had to inform him that I couldn’t even run a couple of steps. So it’s a case of wait and see what the specialist says. I see him in a month’s time. In the meantime, the physio wants me to attempt another run in a week or so. Fingers crossed I can do better than I did last weekend.

I went for another brisk walk at lunchtime over to the Canberra Centre where I sampled a vanilla flavoured espresso at Nespresso, perused the yarns at Lincraft as I have more baby clothes to knit, and then browsed the shelves at Dymocks – I love a proper book store and I hope they don’t eventually all disappear. While it’s handy to be able to download books on to my ipad to read, I still love going into a bookstore, picking up a real book and turning the pages.

And what is planned for my weekend? Well, now that you ask…I have a 10km walk tomorrow, bright and early, before brekkie with son #2 at Black Pepper café, followed by my regular monthly massage a bit later in the morning. Cooking-wise, it’s currently Matt Preston Saturdays which means I cook up a couple of his recipes for dinner Saturday night. On the menu this week is Death Dish Risotto with Braised Mushrooms & Hazelnuts followed by Angelic cheat’s cake with devilish chilli lime syrup. Will let you know how that goes. On Sunday I have a 16km walk to do, probably in the afternoon as I have my regular weekly Sunday sleep in! And somewhere among all that I hope to do some knitting. I will never die from boredom!

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