Thursday, May 8, 2014

Post Op

I was going to write a witty post about going into surgery but I am still a bit stupid.

But here is the short version:
  • I had my surgery on Tuesday afternoon.
  • My ankle is ugly but seems to feel pretty good
  • I think it went well but my doctor hasn't called me back yet...(more on that later)
  • I don't really like being on pain pills because they make me loopy 
  • Ice cream makes everything better
When I can put full sentences together I will write more about it...but here is a picture of me looking great before I went in the operating to get fixed. To get my ankle fixed you sickos.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On Inspiration, over shooting, and cutting deep

So the last two week were long. There was Passover in LA with the family, the drive there and back, the scheduled ankle surgery, the postponed ankle surgery, the ED trip, the trip back to the ED to find out what was causing the gastric distress and diagnosis of acute colitis, and then MEB WON THE BOSTON MARATHON AND THAT WAS SUPER COOL.

Now for more color. I was getting ready for what my doctor said was a simple ankle surgery on Friday morning. It was going to take about 30 minutes and I would be off crutches within a few days. It would take care of the chronic inflammation that goes away after a few weeks of rest and comes back after a week of running. Very simple he said, does them all the time he said. So I said let's do it.

On Thursday night I started my mandated fast but started feeling my stomach bubbling up.  I figured it was nerves. I didn't sleep very well, again chalking it up to nerves. But when I got to the surgery center the cramps and nausea didn't subside, and in fact got worse. I tired to power through but the pain in my gut just didn't stop. Finally I choose to go home and get some rest and liquids in my stomach.

I thought I was going to be fine and was pissed about not sucking it up; then the cramps just wouldn't stop. They were incredibly strong and were getting worse. So off to the hospital we went. The doctor thought I was a wimp and said it was most likely nerves. Now, I trust doctors most of the time and I tend to think ED folks see a lot of the same stuff so they probably would know what was up. But this wasn't nerves and I am not a wimp (an idiot sure, but not a wimp).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I blame Vegas and Meb

Weigh-in Wednesday: April 9, 2014 -- 214.2lbs

So this past week wasn't the best. As you may have noticed, I didn't do a full week in review and I gained weight. I was pissy, I wanted to get the hell out of Dodge, and I didn't want fall into a funk. I did start the week well but then I couldn't get past the end of the block while running on Thursday. It wasn't good.

But then we went to Vegas and it was great fun. My lovely wife and I met my parents for a weekend of eating, drinking, and throwing money away. As is tradition we ate copious amounts of food. The only exercise I took part in included doing arm curls with my drink or walking from one eating establishment to another.

Surprisingly this didn't fit into my get back into shape plans...but hey it was part of the getting mentally back into shape. So suck it.

Last night, it got late, we needed dinner fast, and I have been wanting to go to this Eritrean restaurant in our hood. It was great! Assab was everything I wanted and more. Honestly, I figured I would wake up put on my Sketchers and run a one hour half marathon. But I couldn't. I was really full and there was a ton salt in that delicious Eastern African food.
I finished the same race (one year, two hours, 51 minutes later)
So it wasn't the best week. But tomorrow I will talk to the doctor to discuss next steps and have "run" 10 boring miles thus far on an elliptical machine. On ward and upward. Hopefully I will be running by next week and not prepping for surgery.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week in Review 4-6-14

This week wasn't great. My ankle hurt a bunch. I was on schedule through Thursday, however when I got dressed to hit the road it wasn't happening. There was direct joint pain and some grinding in the ankle cavity and that isn't fun.  So instead of complaining about it (or seeing the doctor) the wife and I went to Las Vegas for the weekend with my parents on a last minute crazy trip.  A much better choice.

Anyway, I did one Pilates mat class, my weekly spin class, and ran six very comfortable miles on Tuesday. I also did some cardio work before and after my Pilates work out.  All in all a pretty good week considering I wasn't able to run more than two hundredths of a mile without limping.

I am calling the doctor tomorrow to see about options and I will report back.

Maybe I will have something to write about with some thought involved.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I can tell a lot about you by what Law & Order you like

I prefer the Goren versions of Criminal Intent. But really it is all about the procedural aspects of the show. Bad guys do stuff, Goren figures it out, he confronts them by speaking within the bubble of personal space and then the show is over. And if you are watching re-runs on ION TV you get to watch the next one within seconds.

I am a sucker for a predictable sequence
of events.

Yesterday was my first weigh in Wednesday. It wasn't a great number for the calorie burn over the week but I took it.  The truth is I forgot it was Wednesday when I woke up so I weighed myself at about 1pm.  This was after a crazy spin class but I thought it would be alright. Yesterday's post was also really lame, but I wanted to stay faithful to my self-inflicted disclosure doctrine.

But today I got on the scale and the numbers were better.

One week into my concerted effort to blog and run and such, and I am feeling pretty good. Not Goren good, but solid.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday - 4-2-14

The first week was a good one.

I ran a bunch. I went to the gym. I ate too much but hey it is a start.

Weight: 213.4

Not much of a change. I will take it.

On to the rest of the week.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Week in Review - March 23-30

Considering I don't have much witty or insightful to say right now, I will present my first Week in Review post. These will come on Sunday. Weigh in Wednesdays will clearly be on Wednesday and then I will try to read something and share something at least a few more times a week. Like with my running, if I have a plan I like to stick with there is my plan for the blog.

Mileage: 20 miles
If I was being honest, which is sort of the point, the runs this week were tough. I didn't particularly enjoy any of these runs. I believe it had a bit to do with the high pollen level (in addition to being out of shape).  I got four miles in the rain on Tuesday along a boring local route. It was a moderate effort with a decent pace. Thursday took me to Golden Gate Park and the Panhandle which was exactly at 9 minute miles (which felt pretty quick) and then slowed way down on the up hill sections of Masonic. I slowed, a lot.

On Saturday, I got eight with the club which I talked about yesterday and this morning after taking the lovely wife to the airport at 5:30am, I knocked out four nice miles with my chum Stephen.

Goal for Next Week: Keep the mileage and increase the week day pace for a completely even four to five mile run. 

Classes: Two out of Three
The spin class I took on Wednesday with Liz Bradley at the JCCSF was insanely difficult. As anyone who has taken a spin class knows, you check the clock at some point during the class. I checked 10 minutes was that bad. But I my goal is to back to Liz this coming week. Because I am crazy like that

I also got a Hard Core class with Tara Widmer under my belt, who is a great teacher except when she is mad. Her bracket got really messed up, so we paid for it in crunches and leg extensions. I am still in pain.

Goal for Next Week: All three classes and don't feel like death after Tara's class. 

Strength: One out Two
I did some strength work at home on Friday that included ankle work, back, and some arms. It was weak sauce but it wasn't nothing, so I am counting it.

Goal for Next Week: Hit the weights at the gym.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

No Watch Saturday

My watch with stuff I have long lost.
For the past two weeks I forgot to bring my trusty GPS watch to my long distance slow run with the fantastic San Francisco Road Runners Club. It was liberating.

So here is another new rule for my pre-plan plan: I will not run with a pacing device on Saturdays.

This forces me to focus on my actual pace on that day. It will mean that I might run with 9 min/mile crew or perhaps the 10:30 min/mile depending on how I feel. It will mean that I will push myself based on my internal such and such and not according to that task-master known as Garmin. It is a nice mental break from the fear of not being able to make it back to the start line.

So today's run broke the 100 mile mark for the year. I was proud of it. That said, I know I get caught up in the pace and the net mileage and the Stats that I inflate for personal reasons. And I won't stop that. However, once a week, I think it will be a healthy departure to just run for the sake of running as opposed to doing it every once in a while when my watch dies or when I "need a break" or whatever else. Intention is important.

On the STATS: I will update every Wednesday for Weigh-in Wednesday.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I got a pre-plan plan

I am back. My ankle is at a solid 85% nearly 95% of the time. The other five is either much better or not but at this point I see it as healing and on my way to the New York City Marathon.
I bet that guy to the right gave up.
But I am way out of shape. And not just running shape. But cardio, speed, strength, and perhaps most importantly, mental shape. I am way out of it.

So here it is, my perennial promise to keep this blog updated with my progress and engage in a number of Pintrest-like work outs where I look like an emaciated model doing lunges with script inspirational quotes floating above my poorly lit face, but perfectly sculpted ass.

But seriously I am promising to run about 20-25 miles a week based on pain, stretch and foam roll daily, one take a spin class and two core classes per week, and do two days of strength training until we reach the NYC Training Start Date (TSD). I will keep my goal weight of approximately 200lbs prior to the TSD and get below it for race day. I will blog. I will read. I will get in shape physically and mentally for the hard race that the New York City Marathon will be for me, both physically and mentally.

Weight: 213.2lbs
Week's Mileage: 8
Week's Classes: 50 min Spin
Week's Strength Training: Nothing Yet 

Monday, September 16, 2013

An alphabet of woe

Who among is righteous enough to say: ‘I have not sinned?’ We are arrogant, brutal, careless, destructive, egocentric, false, greedy, heartless, insolent, and joyless. Our sins are an alphabet of woe.

For those of you who weren't really hungry this weekend, let me fill you in. This line is from the Reform Jewish Movement's Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) liturgy. On Yom Kippur Jews confess their sins collectively so not to embarrass those who actually are heartless or insolent. The traditional Hebrew prayer, Ashamnu, is also an alphabetical acrostic.

This year, as always, I was not righteous enough to say, I have not sinned. This year, it was clear that I had committed just a few of these alphabetical sins, most obviously arrogance, carelessness, and destructive behavior.

And that was very clear as I stood for long periods during the communal confessions of these sins.

While the actual pain isn't the point, the time to sit and think about your short comings is exactly the point. My ankle hurt a lot during these extended standing prayers. So when we were sitting there and doing our thing, I had the time to contemplate my arrogance and carelessness.

I believe that after dealing with this injury, or rather not dealing with it, I won't commit these sins again. And it is also part of the liturgy that to truly atone, one must not only be sorry, but not do it again.

Happy New Year Jews and here is to not being an arrogant asshat in 5774. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Doctor and Everyone's Second Opinion

Yesterday's post elicited a number of emails and comments from running friends.  Nearly everyone of them started with "boy I am sorry about the news" and finished with "you should find another doctor."

While I thank everyone for their support, I don't think my doctor is wrong. Nor do I think I honestly represented what she told me.

Now here is what she actually said.

"I have been thinking about you and your dedication to running...let me put it this way, you never would have been allowed in the army during WWII." She went on to say that the mechanics of my feet (which are flat as a board) are not conducive to distance running. Additionally all those fancy pictures say that the other issues listed after the cyst on yesterday's post are most likely not directly due to my acute ankle sprain but rather thanks to the over 4,000 miles I have run in the past three years.

In other words, I have been beating up my feet and it really isn't a fair fight. 

This is not news to me. Since I was a kid, running wasn't easy for me. I was slow and big. I was always one of the last to finish the mile in gym class and I was in the bottom third of the football players during sprints and other such torture. My ankles always hurt when playing football and when I would push myself to work out when I was in college. But ever since I got better at running back in 2010, these problems weren't really a problem.

I ran uninjured until I hit 45 miles per week. That was too much. In addition to the flat feet, I was born stubborn. When combined with my flat feet and running, it became a dangerous.  I kept running through pain which lead to this situation.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Explitives but not only explitives

A ganglion cyst in my sinus tarsi. Stress reaction in under my sinus tarsi. Mild Achilles peritonitis and enthesitis. Mild peroneal tenosynovial inflammation and reactive edema in the subjacent portions of the calcaneus. Old injuries and scarring of the mortise joint ligament stabilizers. Mild posterior tibial tenosynovial inflammation and pes planus.
You can see the inflammation

Well that is what I got.

What I don't have: A stress fracture or a tear in my tendons. While this isn't great it isn't horrible. The real issue at hand is fixing the ganglion cyst in my sinus tarsi.  There are a number of things to do to fix it and I will start doing those things in the coming week or so. I will document that as well.

The bad news is the doctor says I shouldn't be running. Like not just not now, but not ever. That clearly won't do. I am trying figure out what I am going to do to get rid of this ganglion cyst in my sinus tarsi and other inflamed things in my left foot (I can't believe I haven't made more "My Left Foot" jokes) as I wrap my head around potentially never running another marathon.

A longer, and perhaps a more profound, post on this issue tomorrow. For now I am going to watch Sports Center and sulk. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Running Myself Aground

My MRIs and XRays will be read tomorrow. I will hopefully find out what kind of damage has been done and what I will need to do to fix it.

I am getting nervous. Ok, I am just willing to admit that I am nervous. I have been nervous since not being able to run more than five miles without serious pain back in June.

And until this morning I was channeling this energy into less-than-healthy pursuits of eating lots of food and drinking lots of beer. And since I (less-than-) humbly bragged about my weight loss on this platform during my running days, I will humbly note that I am just about five pounds off my move-to-California weight. This is bad.

Recently I went to the doctor for a physical and received a very clean bill of health with cholesterol levels well above and below the right numbers, liver and kidneys found to be in good order, and everything else is working-as-intended. As he was leaving the room, the doctor said, "You are a healthy guy. (pause) You could do something about the weight, but otherwise you are very healthy." Yeah. Thanks Doc.

In the best case scenario, I will not be able to run for about six weeks. This means I need to figure out what the hell I am going to do to loss some of this nervous weight I have put back on due to my inability to run and feeling sorry for myself.

So in addition to using my trusty MyFitnessPal app again, I started swimming seriously last week complete with a training program for geared toward developing endurance. I love me a training program. It starts with a 50-100-150 pyramid warm-up, then the main workout is 400s broken out into odds and evens, with odds being a 100IM and 300 Free at a moderate to strong pace and evens being a 400 Free at a moderate pace.  I do a just-barely-not-drowning Breast stroke for the proscribed 200 cool down of "non-Free." Today I did three reps (odd, even, odd) of the main workout, total time in the water was about 50 minutes.

JCCSF: Where I swim with the yentas.

Swimming is fun and I am getting better at it as I continue to swim (shocking I know).  But it isn't running and I am not good. Also, even at my best, I look more like the old dudes doing aqua-floaty-aerobics than the Ironman bros doing mad laps in the fast lanes. Not that I care that much about how I look walking around the pool, but I actually care a lot about how I look walking around the pool. It is quite literally a slippery* slope regarding how I feel about how I look and what I can do about it at this point of my injury.

There will be no running for a while. So into the pool with the hopes of knocking out flip turns without having a gallon of water rush up my nose. Who knows, the doctor my proscribe me a floatation belt and I will get to know some of the older folks yacking it up in the deep end.

The update tomorrow may or may not be comprised solely of profanities. Fair warning.

*I made a "don't run on the deck" joke and it was very bad. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Well, [Expletive]

I went back to the doctor today. Unlike my last appointment, I don't plan on running a marathon next week.  In fact, I am not sure I would be able to do so even if I was in shape for it.

Due to this change in circumstance it appears the doctor was more interested in finding the cause of my ankle pain and not simply patching me up enough to get on the road.*

After ignoring the pain for months and other stupid things like running when it hurt and being an idiot, I am off to get some radiation that isn't coming from the ocean.

I suppose injuries are part of running. But I would rather they weren't.  I also suppose that is part of the reason I ran through the pain.

My new doctor said today that I was "a tough guy" and it really has to hurt before "tough guys" come in to get checked out. The time line of my pain also supports her hypothesis. I hope that my imaging doesn't show some sort of long-term or permanent damage but you never know.  I trained really hard on a semi-nasty, long-nagging injury. It was stupid and I knew it was stupid, but I needed to get that tempo run in, you know?

There are many of us "tough guys" out there who train through pain and then are sidelined.  We know better.  We know we should stretch more.  We know we should strengthen our gluts and core. We know we should take the rest days seriously.  We know we should take the ice bath.  But do we do it? Many of us don't do enough or anything at all.

So while the insurance approves the MRIs and XRays I will have time to contemplate the fact that it is no long self-effacing humor to say I was stupid. I might actually simply be stupid. 

*In retrospect it was probably not right of the doctor who I saw in April to say I could run the race in that condition without taking some sort of diagnostic imaging to back up her opinion. If the doctor said don't run, I wouldn't have run. I would have been pissed, but I also would most likely no longer be in pain.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An open letter to shoe companies

Dear Running Shoe Companies,

Every few months, I provide you with between $100 and $150. Most of the time I will purchase one kind of shoe for a year until you either change it drastically or I hurt myself and I need to try something new to support my newly found injury.  Dearest Running Shoe Companies, you may have noticed that I haven't been keeping up on this running blog over the last few months...and that is because I have been dealing with (or-not-dealing-with-whatever-leave-me-alone-I-am-going-to-the-doctor-tomorrow-shut-up) a hurt ankle.

So after working my last pair of shoes into the ground as part of my non-impact, non-running, very-boring work outs at the gym, I needed a new pair of running shoes. I decided a pair with significantly more support, perhaps even motion control, would be a good idea to protect my ankle from pronation thanks to my super flat feet.

I went off to Sports Basement to get a new pair of shoes and committed to the support. But to my dismay all of those options were ugly and monochromatic.  I am sure you know, Running Shoe Companies, I like to wear crazy shoes and wacked out running gear. But why you got to be like that with the supportive shoes?

Not all of us are grandmothers trying to get in a few laps with our mall walking group.  Some of your most dedicated runners are slightly larger with flat feet and flair for the dramatic running outfit. Ok that is just me, but really what gives?

Brooks, one of my favorite running companies has BRIGHT shoes and gear but BORING motion control kicks. Nike seems to have some fun stuff for the support-deficient crowd, but nothing like their insanely fun to look at Free Series or fly knit woven shoes.  Asics, makers of those neat-o painted shoes, make gray and blue shoes for people like me.

Step up your support shoe decorations folks. I like to look fly when I am running and it seems if I ever can get back to really covering great distances, I would like more choices than topee and light green stripes.

And yes, it feels good to be back even it if is only for five or six miles.

Send my best to your family,