Monthly Archives: December 2012

Injury report #1: damn you feet

Is my body really just 34 years old? Really? Because sometimes (a lot of the time) it feels as though it’s more like 90 years old!

I’ve had multiple hip issues, my knees have failed me, my ankles, my feet, my shoulder, etc., etc., etc.. But this time I thought I was doing everything right. I waited three months before I started running again; I strengthened my hips; I started in on my core. It was all part of the ‘Keep Me Injury Free’ plan, and it was a good plan, but unfortunately, it was a plan that couldn’t beat my stupidly frail limbs!

Just two weeks into my running reunion and I was once again sidelined by injury. Oh freaking joy 😦

It all started back on that fateful first night with my new sneakers. Those flashy Asics, it turned out, were not the proper shoes for my picky feet. They rubbed against my poppy foot veins causing a nasty internal bruise and were instantly thrown in the closet never to resurface again. I didn’t want to stop running though, so I pulled out a pair of old Mizunos and laced those up for my next couple of runs before I could find a worthy replacement. Big mistake!

By my second week running, my left ankle was so stiff and unstable, I was wobbling all over the bloody place. Off to Dear Physio I went.

He assured me the ailment was not overly bad and that he had actually suspected I would suffer some form of setback early on because my post-pregnancy body is still working out the kinks and remoulding itself, but because I waited a solid three months before starting to run again, the setback was not fatal. It could be fixed, he said.

It turns out my foot and hip were both misaligned, and every time my foot hit the pavement, it was the mid foot area (lateral cuneiform) that took on the brunt of the compression. There was no shock absorption to be shared by the whole foot and leg, which apparently is what’s supposed to happen.

footankle bony anat

And so Dear Physio worked his magic, did some yanking of the hip and tugging and tapping of the foot, and voila, I was cured… or so I thought.

I was reluctant (read: scared)  to get back out running right away so I told myself I’d wait until after the holidays. I’d keep up my strength training, and go for aqua jog sessions and walks, but no running. I wanted to give it ample time to heal. However, just a couple days after Dear Physio, that achy stiffness was back in the front of my ankle. Every time I tried to flex it back, it was as though it would get stuck half way through the movement. I couldn’t do walking lunges, squats, or ankle raises without feeling the pain. I thought it would go away. It didn’t go away.

So finally I fired an email off to Dear Physio yesterday morning explaining the symptoms. In his response, he suspected an inflamed anterior talus and amongst other things, he stated “absolutely no running ’til you see me!”

footankle bony anat-1

This is NOT how I wanted to start back on this journey 😦

Still dreaming…

Three years later I’m still dreaming… not of a white Christmas, but of a gorgeous pair of red-soled, heeled Louboutins. One day, my friends, one day.

Merry day before Christmas Eve; I hope you all have a wonderful holiday 🙂

The Grinch, er, Coach

In the spirit of Christmas, and because I do so love caroling (much to Big Ring’s chagrin), and because, following my first aqua jogging session in nearly a year, I was inspired, I’ve decided to treat you all with a carol of my own.

Here’s to you Coach NZ 😉

121219GrinchCoach

You’re an evil one, Mrs. Coach.
You really are a boss,
While your accent is cuddly as a bear, charming as a debonair,
It doesn’t fool me, because I know
You’re just a sweat-loving Kiwi with a stinky brown peel!

You’re a monster, Mrs. Coach,
Your heart’s an empty gear,
Your brain is full of speed intervals,
You’ve got killer pushups and nasty tricep dips in your soul,
Mrs. Coach,
I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty nine and a half foot pole!

You’re a vile one, Mrs. Coach.
You have pace bunnies in your smile.
You have all the New Zealand tenderness of a seasick crocodile,
Mrs. Coach,
Given a choice between the two of you, I’d take the crocodile!

You’re a foul one, Mrs. Coach.
You’re a nasty, wasty drill sergeant
Your heart is full of unwashed cycling socks
Your soul is full of chlorinated gunk.
Mrs. Coach.

The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote:
121219stinky

Oh wait, that was me, following that AJ session.

My gawd, the woman nearly killed me. I did mention this was my first time back in the pool since that fateful evening back in March when I announced to my dear coach I was preggers (in the deep end no less.. k, maybe I got a bit of evilness in me too ;)) and I was super nervous as hell. I mean what if I couldn’t do it, what if I needed a “gulp” floating device, what if I got through one set and passed out from sheer exhaustion? What if…

But Coach NZ, she wasn’t paying any mind to those nerves. Oh no. First thing she says to me when she walks into the change room: “I’m gonna make you work tonight,” all sweet sounding with that New Zealand accent of hers, but I could see the evilness glinting from her eyes!

And work we did. It was 45 minutes of speed repeats, two sets of 15 pushups at the end of the pool, a bijillion calf raises, and a set of 15 tricep dips on the pool stairs. There were lunges, and hops, and deep end repeats, and yes, a whole helluva lot of huffing and puffing, gasping for air, silently pleading for the pool to somehow decrease in size, all while trying my best not to take in the germ-infested waters. (Note: to the annoying girl who shouted out for all to hear she had lost her nail, I nearly lost my lunch all over you!)

And all the while Coach NZ, making it look as easy as 1-2-3, was running along side me making sure my form was perfect, making sure my legs were cycling, not flipping, making sure I didn’t give up.

Yes, she’s an evil one alright, but she’s the kind of evil I need. And you know what that means: Aqua jogging is back in the princess mix 🙂

In for the fight

Are you freaking kidding me? First the government wants to mess with my Air Miles and now the B.C. College of Pharmacists wants to too? Well hear me now pharmacists, I will fight, oh yes, I will, and I’m hoping all my readers will as well.

Early last week I received a comment on a post I had written more than a year ago about how the Canadian government was stomping on one of the few perks we in the medically challenged field have by limiting the number of Air Miles we can get with our pharmaceutical purchases. It was a comment that left me puzzled at first  (I read it at 3 am; doesn’t take much to confuse me at that hour) but became quite clear after an email I received later in the week notifying me of a proposed bylaw change by the B.C. College of Pharmacists that would wipe out ALL Air Miles and any other reward system for prescriptions.

And I repeat: Are you freaking kidding me???

Apparently the issue at hand is that some pharmacies are getting jealous of all the traffic going into other pharmacies. They believe programs like Air Miles, Save-on-More points, Shoppers Rewards, etc. are driving potential customers away from their shops. And maybe they are. But wouldn’t it be wise for those pharmacies to figure out their own incentives, design a program, slash prices, or at the very least lower their dispensing fees, which in some cases can be outrageous – I’m looking at you Shoppers!

I’m not going to lie, the reason I started going to Safeway in the first place was for the Air Miles. With the amount of prescriptions I get, it’s a gravy train in our household (Europe 2010, that was all Air Miles; Little Ring’s Peg Perego car seat, Airmiles; Europe 2013, that too will be Air Miles). Why shouldn’t I be granted a perk? I spend thousands of dollars on this disease every year, I’ve grown up with needles, pin pricks, life restrictions, don’t I deserve something in return? I sure as heck think so.

121217airmiles
Three boxes of test strips = $164.97 (on sale) = 8 base Air Miles = 58 (7xs pharmacy) Air Miles = gravy train.

And don’t think for one second that if you take my Air Miles away, I am going to suddenly flock to your pharmacy. If anything, I am going to be more pissed off NOT to go to your damn pharmacy. I trust my pharmacists, I like my pharmacists, I have built relationships with my pharmacists (one even personally called me a couple months ago to let me know that she had taken a job elsewhere and wouldn’t be at my pharmacy when I returned from mat leave… she didn’t want me thinking she had ditched me!) What have these other pharmacies done for me? Oh right, tried taking my perk away. Not cool, not cool at all!

What’s next? You’re gonna try telling Costco they can’t sell meds at their extremely discounted prices? At this rate, it wouldn’t surprise me.

So, if you don’t want your perks taken away – this affects ALL loyalty programs – speak up. The proposed bylaw change is open for public comment up until Dec. 28, 2012, where it will then be reviewed by the College of Pharmacists and the government before a decision is made.

Comments can be sent by email to the College of Pharmacists at HPA@bcpharmacists.org and the Health Minister at proregadmin@gov.bc.ca.

War of images

Have you ever felt like you were being pulled every which way and no matter what you did, you were not doing the right thing? That’s kind of how I’ve felt on this new adventure with Little Ring – image wise. Seriously, the journey towards him and the journey with him has been an honest to goodness war of images.

You see, all throughout my pregnancy I was given a hard time by doctors, nurses, acquaintances, and complete strangers for the amount of weight I was gaining (39 pounds in total and I delivered 3 weeks early. I’m not gonna lie, I looked like I had a giant yoga ball strapped to the front of me… but being called Tubs by a co-worker, not cool.) And then, shortly after Little Ring arrived, I started getting the complete opposite kind of comments on how great I looked for just having a baby; what was my secret; I must not be eating any sweet treats at all; my gawd, your baby is not even three months and you look like that… a little bitterness sprinkled throughout each of them. And at first I felt guilty, like I should still be huge, but then I thought, screw that, my metabolism rocks – that is most definitely something to celebrate!

Oh, but wait. Apparently it doesn’t rock quite as much as I thought it did…

Earlier this week I had my annual appointment with my diabetic doctor (who, by the way, I’ve had a major crush on since I was a teenager… he wears bow ties; it’s dorky cute ;)) and like clockwork he told me how great my Hga1C numbers were again, and how “off their rockers” the pregnancy doctors I dealt with were for persistently giving me a hard time about my weight gain. “How many other patients could they possibly have that were bringing back consistent 5.6, 5.9, 5.5 numbers?”

But, he said, that thyroid of yours is working overtime.

Apparently the dose for my under-active thyroid, which I’ve been battling for 17 years, has been a bit on the high side, which, he said, can cause rapid weight loss. Hmm…

Funny, when I was at my GPs office the other day I noticed a poster on the wall about how hypothyroidism (which is what I have) is a common post-pregnancy side effect that’s often mistaken for postnatal depression. And here I am going the complete opposite way! Did I actually get a good side effect of pregnancy? Did pregnancy cure my thyroid issues? Will I finally be able to rid myself of those dang pills I sometimes forget to take?

No. In addition to rapid weight loss, an overactive thyroid can also cause breast milk to dry up, which thankfully it hasn’t done for me, and night sweats, which, yes, I have disgustingly endured. And so now, because my dose is not the right dose, I will be starting down a new trial and error path of blood work and pills to find the perfect dose for me and my temporarily sporty thyroid gland.

121212thyroid
The blue pill is no longer a good pill.

But really, who’s complaining here? With 3.5 pounds to go before hitting my pre-pregnancy weight, and with all my super fancy jeans and super cute skirts fitting me comfortably – certainly not me! Hehe 🙂

Basic my butt!

Well hello legs, meet jello.

So you know that plan I told you about, about how I was gonna build some strength and abdominals into my running regime? Well, my dear, sweet, totally not evil, Coach NZ told me it was just “basic” stuff she was starting me on, nothing too strenuous, nothing huge, just a beginner’s session is all, strength-training for dummies really. Well, let me just say, she was either lying her pants off, or my body is completely out of shape. I’m going with the former 😉

My gawd, I kid you not, mere seconds after my first strength-training session, my legs were heavy and jello-like, even shaking to the point I nearly thumped all the way down the stairs on my butt. Totally not exaggerating, 100 per cent serious! And the next day, my calves felt as though they had a belt cinched around them, my inner thighs had a burn every time I crouched down, even my butt was feeling the tightness.

Apparently all thanks to the calf raises, walking lunges and squats. And then, add on top of those, three circuits of pushups, straight planks, side planks, airplanes/Supermans, oysters and leg lifts – it’s no wonder I was feeling a full-body firey burn!

It’s a good burn,” she says.

A good burn indeed, but basic my butt!

PainButt
Okay, so it’s not my butt, but it did make me giggle 😀

The plan

“Remember it’s supposed to be challenging.”

Those were the words I got in an email my first day of strength training, and my gawd, was it ever – it was freaking grueling! I was huffing and puffing through the lunges, holding my breath for the planks (so sure that would make them go faster), and cursing anything and everything around me while fighting gravity through pushups.

For those of you who’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know I’m not about core or strength. Every time I’ve embarked on an abdominal regime, I’ve quit practically seconds in; I absolutely hate the gym, pretty much refuse to go; and sure I did pilates twice a week for more than a year, but I grumbled throughout the entire experience. But, as I mentioned in my last post, this time (with regards to my running) is different.

Meet Coach NZ (formerly known as favourite ironchickie):

121201CoachNZ
Photos sourced from Coach NZ’s website at www.revolutionzcoaching.com

Coach NZ, the mastermind behind Revolutionz Coaching, has over 10 years of triathlon racing experience from sprints to ironmans, and she was the one, no doubt in my mind, who brought me back from near running death. She was the one who convinced me, after I was diagnosed with stress fractures in both ankles – three months before my second marathon!!! – to put aside my fears of the pool (drowning and germs) and embrace aqua running. Instead of training on pavement, Coach NZ convinced me to train in the water. And I’ll tell you, when I was finally given the go ahead to get back out there, I was a 5,000 times better runner (read: faster) than I was pre-aqua running.

So yeah, I’m all about putting my faith in this chick, which is why she was the one I reached out to when trying to figure out how to start back running post pregnancy.

Coach NZ’s plan for me: No injuries!

It’s going to be a slow go, she said. No 10ks, half marathons, or marathons right off the hop here, oh no, it’s more like learning to run all over again. And you must incorporate strength and core into your program, she said. Ugh. When I heard those words, I scrunched up my face, I grumbled at the notion of running just 4 minutes on, 1 minute off times 3, and I complained to high heaven about having to do squats and planks three times a week.

And yet, because I trust this chick, I am running those extremely short distances (no need for a Garmin here) and I am taking on the walking lunges, side planks, single-leg calf raises… cursing all the way 😉

121203strength
Heck, even Little Ring’s getting in on the action, timing me through my planks 🙂

If this means a life of running with no injuries, I’m in.