Archive | September, 2013

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 best laid plans…

23 Sep

stress

Well…it’s been a stressful couple of weeks.  But now I think I can take a breath, sit back and contemplate how things have radically changed from just two weeks ago.

Injury-wise, it’s not great news. I do have a hamstring attachment tear (semitendinosus) identified in an ultrasound scan but as they couldn’t determine the extent of the tear, decided against a cortisone injection without an MRI. However I also seem to have some sort of hip issue going on as well – it feels like a cartilage tear (I have had one of these before). So at the moment I can’t walk long distances comfortably, let alone run. My cardio at the moment is confined to 45 minutes on the xtrainer, about 4 times a week. I did do a slow 10km walk yesterday but I’m feeling sore today. However I haven’t given up yet – not while there is still breath in my body!

Holiday-wise, this has been turned upside down and inside out. Two weeks ago I thought I was spending a month in the States – New York, Vegas, San Fran, LA and Hawaii. Flights and most of our accommodation had been booked and paid for. However, for reasons I won’t go into, now I am spending a week in NY then meeting up with son #3 and spending a week each in Paris, Barcelona and Rome. But to get from there (US holiday) to here (US/Europe holiday) has involved what I refer to as the week from hell, followed by another week of frantically sorting things out. Yes, there has been money lost on some flights and credits used for new flights plus extra paid for new flights (with the amount I’ve spent on flights I could’ve flown business class). However, I was able to cancel US accommodation and get all my money back within 2 days (sometimes miracles do happen – thank you Hotels.com). I have now booked apartments in Paris, Barcelona and Rome so fingers crossed these work out. I have also booked flights between these cities.

So a lot can change in a week or two. There has been a lot of stress (yes, I do admit to having have a mini meltdown), lots of angst and loss of sleep. But I do believe we have the makings of a grand adventure, even if it is radically different to what I had originally envisaged.

Now the only thing to do is get the injury under control, or at least get a cortisone injection!

postscript: I have just finished a 60 minute xtrainer session at the gym. I thought the treadmill was bad enough, but try staying on a xtrainer for any length of time and not lose your mind. Or is it just me?!

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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Spring has sprung

2 Sep

springToday is the second day of spring. As far as I could see it was a lovely day. I was indoors for most of it, busy at my desk with no view of the outdoors. The view from my window is a grim, grey and very boring brick and cement wall.

Yesterday, the first day of spring, I did a 23km walk. Now I can vouch for the fact that yesterday was a lovely day given that I spent 3.5 hours of it, in the afternoon, walking, walking, walking. Thank goodness I had arranged to meet Ruth for the Lake Ginninderra portion of the walk. Its so nice having company sometimes.

Actually, I didn’t realise how much I get in the zone, so to speak, when I’m doing one of my training walks. A couple of friends were out on their bikes yesterday, saw me from a distance and were calling out to me. But because they were behind me, I had my earphones in, and I was focussed on walking I never heard them. It wasn’t until I felt a bike slow down very close to me did I look up and see who it was!

The walk went ok. It was only the last 4km when Ruth and I went our separate ways, that I was finding it hard. I had slowed down because I was tired and the soreness was starting to settle in. It always feels harder when you’re on your own.

So 3.5hrs later I was home – actually it was probably closer to 4hrs later as we did stop for a cold drink and a sit down near the end. All I felt like doing once I got home was put my feet up and not move again. However, I had to have a shower and get ready as we were going out to dinner that night. At least I had walked up an appetite!

Dinner was with friends, Ruth & Mr B, and the Hares (who I had seen earlier when they out on their bikes!) at the Copa Brazilian Churrasco in Dickson. Due to a booking stuff up at SubUrban/Belluccis, we decided to try this restaurant and it proved to be a great choice. It was a lot of fun trying all the different barbecued meats on offer – from seafood to chicken to lamb to pork and to beef. Not a place for vegetarians! Mr CJ and I had been to a similar restaurant, Carnivore, in Singapore a few years ago.

Today was a rest day. Which is a good thing because I am really tired. I can’t believe walking can take that much out of me. I’m running walking on empty
Running-on-Empty