Slow Progress….but Progress

Hi, all…I haven’t posted for awhile but I’ve been keeping busy. I’ve been doing my physical therapy the last several weeks, had my most recent session today. My physical therapist, Mindy told me today I was getting better she could tell I was improving! YAY! Great news! I still have good ways to go but hearing that I’m now making progress was fabulous. She said my alignment and mobility is better, my strength is improving too. Although I still some work to do she was excited by my progress, so was I. I’m not in nearly as much pain as I was it’s mostly uncomfortable and my heating pad helps with that, I can stand for longer periods time without pain. I thought I was getting better before today’s appointment but there’s nothing like confirmation from the professional.

I was supposed to have my injections this week but my doctor had an accident while cycling, he’s an ultra athlete, he was hurt pretty good so the injections had to be rescheduled for next month. So it’s physical therapy exclusively until then, although she did say I could do some walking, working my way up to 30-second intervals. She said I would be starting with the couch to 5k program. I was like I have to start at the beginning again?! Mindy said not exactly just doing the 30-second intervals to work my way back, “take it slow” she said 😆 I have some glute work to do; if I want to get back to running I have to strengthen the good ole bottom! I tell you I was weak all over! So now I have exercises added for that area. I was thinking the other day about possibly getting a Total Gym. It looks like a good way to get the strength training I need without going to an overcrowded gym waiting for a machine or trainers who don’t seem all that invested. That’s been my experience at my local Planet Fitness. Does anyone have one or ever used the Total Gym?

Other than my physical therapy I’ve been busy working on my dissertation that has been more of a daunting task than a thought it was going to be, taking care of things for my grandmother, who had a short stint in the hospital but she’s home now and doing well. Her new lift/recliner chair is being delivered tomorrow she’s looking forward to that. I also decided with the encouragement of my friend Barbara to register for the Greenbrier Half-Marathon next year on May 12, 2018. That gives me both something to work toward and look forward to doing. My name on my bib will be ComeBckKid. I had registered for this years half-marathon but due to all of this stuff, I was unable to participate. So it would be fitting to get back out there with this race.

I’m going to go on a short walk sometime this weekend and see how it goes. 🏃🏾‍♀️

 

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Mindy, my physical therapist, and me after our session today.

 

 

Two Year Running Anniversary

Today is the Firecracker 5k here in Charleston (WV) two years ago that was my very first 5k; my first official race. It’s been two years since I started the sport of running. As most of you who have been reading this blog know, the last time I ran was December 17, 2016, which was the Jingle Bell 5k. Its been a long day today my grandmother was in the ER all night (she’s fine) but during the long wait, I remembered the Firecracker 5k was today. I thought that was my very first race; here is the post about that day (Race Day). It was a rainy day and I was one of those people that swore I would never run “in the elements” but not only was our last practice run in the rain but race day itself was in the rain. Never say never right. There are two things that stand out the most to me about that day, well, three, the first is being really nervous the day of the race. I had no idea how I would do, it was raining, and I didn’t want to finish last. The second thing I remember is during the turn around the rain stopped, the sun came out and the way it parted the sky it seemed like it was a sign that I could finish that race. I had about a mile and a half to go and I kept telling myself if I can get to the end of this block I’ll be okay, that was my mantra for the rest of that race. The third thing I remember about the race is just as I crossed the finish line I had no idea they would call my name as I crossed, that was cool, but the moment I crossed I remember a feeling that was almost indescribable. I couldn’t stop smiling, I was also impressed with my time 48 minutes, in the rain!

I felt so high, in that moment, I knew I was going to be okay. You see I started the running program for several reasons one of which was to regain my self-confidence. I had been through a difficult experience and doing this running program was part of helping me work through it. I learned through the program it wasn’t about just the running it was more than that; it was about who I was as a person. I think that is why I miss it so much now. I get/got a lot from running. It was after that race I decided to start working on my doctorate degree, another goal 😊, Of course, a year after this 5k I thought I would see if could complete a half-marathon. Never in my life would I think I could do 13.1miles; this became a big challenge with an injury. But I did it and that milestone became one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.

On my two year running anniversary I have “a long way to go” as my physical therapist said to me before I can be back out there again (hopefully next spring) I wish you all great running, great races, and never give up on your goals. 😊

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Sitting Is Bad For You…Pass It On

I’ve been going to physical therapy a few weeks now my last session was yesterday. My physical therapist is pretty cool, Mindy is my regular one she was on vacation yesterday so I was with someone else yesterday, another woman, and I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember her name.  Both women are fabulous and strong or my body is truly weak 🤣They do several things to test the strength in my legs and my back. It looks like my hip and my pelvis are also not cooperating either. My pelvis was uneven but after a few adjustments and exercises, it was a little evener. I have found out the key is my core. It all lies in the core. Pulling in with my bellybutton can correct a myriad of things, including posture. When I asked why my hips and pelvis were not in their proper placement she said well when we sit whether it is in our cars or for me at a desk all day we sometimes tend to lean either right or left. In the car on the console or either direction of the computer on our desk. Apparently, even though a 5k was the most okay for me to run, longer distances my body may not have been totally ready handle, in part due to the fact that I sit for a living.

I have always said people who work in fast food restaurants, waitress, nurses, etc, are in good shape and now I really know they are probably better prepared to run long distances than I  am because their bodies are in constant motion; all they would need to is learn form, pacing, etc. However, I now have to learn how to walk properly, that will help strengthen my core and correct my posture. It’s the basic stuff we hear it all the time. Pull in your belly button and when I started doing it before I left PT yesterday, initially I felt like I was stiff as if I was holding my breath it was uncomfortable.  Until I relaxed a little, it was better and I could tell my posture was better too. I know now this is also how I should have been running.  I have to consciously practice doing this, not crossing my legs, to keep my alignment correct so I don’t curve my spine any further, (yep found that out too), but with a couple of adjustments she was able to make improvements there as well. Just as an added something to all of this I started riding the stationary bike for 20 minutes to help strengthen my left leg as well.

When I finished my session yesterday she told me I have a lot of work to do to get better actually what she said was, “you have a long way to go”. I have mixed feelings about that statement. One that I got to this point in the first place but on the other hand I’m on the road to recovery, quite the mixed bag. My injections are scheduled for July 18th and she said that will help a lot.

The moral of the story if you sit get up and walk a few times a day it’s much better for you than sitting all day…

Have a good one..and keep on movin’ 😊

Salvage Title–My Car

I saw this post on The Loop, the Runner’s World Blog. The original writer (Brian92) asked the question what kind of car you would be if runners were cars? He called it “The Loop Salvage Game” So I thought I would post mine here as well. I went to classiccars.com as per the rules (see below) and the very first car that I saw I knew it was me! It was a 1968 Triumph TR250.

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The name of this car completely describes my running journey. Even though in my last post I wrote about my first “race” being in 2004; I officially started running in 2015. But even that 2004 race was about being triumphant. Since I’ve been running it has been about getting through one challenge after another. Finishing the Genesis running program towards my first 5k, then working on a 5k PR, next taking on the challenge of my first half-marathon and overcoming self-doubt and injuries. That was one my biggest triumphant moments in my life completing that half-marathon. This car doesn’t only represent my running journey but my life journey as well. I think it is the best description of me as a runner if cars were runners.

So what’s your car?

  1. Go to Classiccars.com
  2. The car has to have been produced the year you were born.
  3. You have to have a reason this car is like you as a runner.
 

If You’re Not First You’re Last

Since I started back to school reading for leisure is not something I get to do very often. So while I was on my flight to MN last week I was able to get caught up on a few of my back issues of Runner’s World. One of the articles I read was titled Dead Freakin Last…and Proud of It! This was a great article about those who are the very last to finish races. In the Genesis Running Program, I did they always have a Sweeper to be sure no one in the program is last in the race which is a really cool thing to do. But as I read this article I remembered I had actually run a race many years ago in 2004. I totally forgot all about it!

I was working in an Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse Program at a local hospital, at that time was just playing around with the idea of running a 5k. I was not in shape at all, I barely walked let alone ran anywhere and I was a little overweight. I was playing around with trying to eat better but no real commitment (my how things have changed). Anyway, one of my colleagues was a runner and we had talked about her running and me getting into running but nothing really came of it; until she had me talked into running a 10k, yes you read that right a 10k! Looking back on it now I had no idea what I was thinking, I didn’t even know what a 10k was at the time, the complete lack of knowledge I had about the sport of running and running in general, geeze! What made this idea even worse was where this race was taking place at Kanawha State Forest one of the State Parks in WV.  It’s a hilly beast, so this made it even more of a bonehead moment for me. I knew nothing about form, proper shoes, clothes, I looked like I was from the Island of Misfit Runners. My colleague for all her good intentions and having confidence in my ability to do this race but she didn’t help me to prepare for it all. No practice runs, nothing. I don’t remember much about the complete race; more so just the end. I remember being really exhausted and fighting to finish it, and people passing me. I thought I was going to die, my legs hurt so bad and I felt heavy. I was a hot sweaty mess. My colleague, her name was Robin, was with me the whole time. But I did finish this race and I was absolutely Dead Freakin Last!! I remember being a little embarrassed but I honestly was too tired to care. However, when I finally crossed the finish line folks clapped for me as I crossed. I don’t know if they were happy for me that I finished or if they could finally get on with the awards 😂 But here’s the funny part….I won my division! Haaaaa! The caveat is I was the only one in my division but I didn’t care I got my prize like I beat a million people! I hobbled right up there accepted it. The next day and next several days, I was never so glad to have a bathroom on the first floor. My legs hurt so bad I could barely stand let alone walk. 🤕

Until I read this article I had completely forgotten about this race. I searched through some things and found the medal (my very first) from that day. I didn’t realize the significance of this medal until now. Finishing DFL isn’t the worst thing that can happen, Had it not been for that race my first 5k and half-marathon may not have been possible. It is because of that first race and finishing DFL I learned how strong I was, I’m a fighter and if I set a goal I’m going to meet it.

Fishing Dead Freakin Last may not be a bad thing 😉

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My Trip to Paisley Park

This week I’m in Minnesota for Residency for school as part of my doctoral program. Well, I’m here at least yesterday through the rest of the weekend. Anyway, I knew I had to make this trip and when I realized it was the day after my favorite artists’ Prince’s, birthday I thought I’m going to Paisley Park! So I immediately got online and started doing some research. I found the website and looked up the tickets. There were a lot that was sold out but it just so happened on Thursday, June 8th at 1:40 pm there were tickets available. Which was perfect because my flight got in really early and I didn’t have to register until 6 that evening. It was meant for me to go! And by the way, if was going on this tour…I was going VIP baby! Yes, I bought the VIP tickets! I was all in for this one. So I purchased my tickets about a month and a half before I went; you can’t buy tickets at the door in case you plan to go.

I arrive in MN totally exhausted because I had to get up at 4 for my 6:15 am flight. But I didn’t take a nap when I got to the hotel I was a little excited about going to Paisley Park. I googled it before I got here and found out it was only 20 minutes from the hotel; can you believe it 20 minutes! How could I have not gone?! Anyway, you can arrive 20 minutes prior to your tour time. I wasn’t sure about the traffic here so I got an Uber about 12:15 and we arrived too early. They are serious about that 20 minutes. You are not allowed on the property until 20 minutes prior to your tour time. They were not kidding. So I had to hang out in the gift shop area until my time. Which was fine I got to scope out some things to buy and talk with some people who had already been on the tour. I met a woman who had to be in her late 60’s or early 70’s she had a shirt she had made with Prince and some other things on it. I thought she bought it was a nice shirt; when I asked her where she got it she said she had it made for herself. She was from Atlanta and saw him at his last performance there prior to his passing. She asked me to take some pictures of her with some of the posters in the tent. She was sweet but so cool. She had the Holiday Inn shuttle van bring her there and was waiting for them to come and pick her up. Is that not the best?!

My tour time came so I went to the front entrance. I had my ticket, as you walk in there is a sign stating there is no food, or drink, no photos allowed and to please wipe your feet before you enter. These folks are serious about preserving the integrity of the building and respecting its owner. The security guards, who I think also worked for Prince, were dressed in black suits with earpieces, the first one meets you at the door to check your ticket and to get you in the correct line, either General Admission or VIP. The carpets are read with the paisley park symbol on them. Once you get to the desk the attendants check your tickets, VIP’s are given a red band around their wrists. They ask if you have a cell phone, if so they ask you to power it off, they take it and place in a green case and lock it. They give it back to you until the end of the tour. If you have a smart watch you are asked to take those off as well. They are serious.

The house is pretty much the same as when Prince lived there with a few modifications for the sake of the museum and to preserve items. Like his awards are now behind plexiglass to protect them. Some rooms have been changed as well and we were told which rooms on the tour. As we entered there is a mural of Prince looking over the entry way that he had done it was awesome. There are gold and platinum albums on the wall he had put up. On the left on the wall is the letter President and First Lady Obama had written expressing their condolences to the family.

Now as we walk into the first room there is a white marble floor with Prince’s famous symbol in black in the middle of it. Oh, the furniture is still there, were not allowed to sit on it to preserve it. Anyway, this room is full of light due to the skylight he had installed. As such it was a favorite room. Because it was one of his favorite rooms the family decided to….wait for it……place his ashes in this room…We did not see that one coming! You could hear our whole group gasp! The tour guide said we can now take some time to pay our respects if you like they had tissues there because just about everyone started to cry, including me. I was not expecting that..it was surreal. It was too much to take in. I hope I didn’t spoil it for anyone who may go. The woman I met in the gift shop..never said a word about it.

Then there were several rooms named after his early albums we could into, as well as his office that has been untouched. I’m telling you it was too much to take in. The VIP tour was an hour and a half. It included additional rooms, studios he recorded in, they took a picture of us in one of the studios and we got to record a track of one of his songs in the studio as well. Most of sang Raspberry Beret, we could choose from that one Creme or You Got The Look. It was so much fun! Prince liked to play ping-pong and the ping-pong table he played on was up and we were allowed to play ping-pong while they were taking out pictures and people were recording. And we could take as many pictures as we wanted, they put the pictures and the recording on a USB. One room that had been modified was the room where he had done choreography. The big mirror was still up but it was now the Purple Rain Room. It had one of the three bikes from the movie, the purple outfit he wore when he sang Let’s go Crazy, his Script from the movie, the small keyboard he danced on, you can see the scuff marks on it. I’m surprised he didn’t fall off that thing it was small!. Also, the Oscar for the best soundtrack was in this room. The movie was playing on the wall. It was AMAZING. There was so many words can’t explain it. There were a group of women from Kentucky who were just as stoked as I was; in fact, my whole tour group was crazy excited. They are my new BFF’s 😁 one guy from Texas had been there seven times! A few of them when Prince was there.

The tour ended in a room just outside the kitchen which is still in operation with the chefs who worked for Prince. Pancakes were his favorite food so just outside the merchandise are you can order a stack of pancakes to eat. There is also screen playing Prince’s SuperBowl Half-Time Show (best half-time show ever!). They also had a portion of the fence where people had left mementos when he passed. The rest of all of that is being archived to be preserved. There was another security guard who we gave our phones to and he unlocked them took the case and gave us our phones. After the tour, I bought a crazy amount of stuff, because when am I going to get to do this again?

It was a long tour and I had to do a lot of walking. Even though my physical therapist said I could do some walking, that hour and a half was a bit much. I was hurting a good bit by the end of the tour. So after my purchases, I sat down for a bit while I waited on my Uber to come and get me. I had the best time ever; I’m so glad I went some folks in my tour group were surprised I was there by myself. I told them a few years ago I wanted to go see Prince in Pittsburgh for my birthday and no one would go with me. I won’t make that mistake again.

I won’t be able to purify myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, it’s an hour and a half away 😢 and my class schedule really tight the rest of the time I’m here. But I had a blast on this tour and met some great people. So I’m good.

Carpe Diem!

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Paisley Park

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Let The Healing Begin

Today was my first day of physical therapy. I went to the Center for Pain Relief and Physical Therapy.

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The staff here, unlike the staff at the main office, were very friendly from the front office staff to everyone in the back. It makes a big difference. The interesting thing is I used to work in this building with the psychiatrist upstairs. When they set up this appointment and giving me directions, (it’s not the easiest place to find), I was like Oh! I used to work there! No problem! I know exactly where it is.

Anyway, my physical therapist’s name is Mindy. She was FABULOUS! She did a very thorough assessment and history. She listened to what I had to say and gave me feedback. She was just great. I have a great deal of weakness primarily on the left side as those of you who have been reading this blog already know.. After some testing, she told me there was also a weakness with my adductors (I had no idea about that until she demonstrated it…wow)…and there is just a little weakness on my right leg even though the right leg was stronger overall. My core needs work too. It’s amazing how quickly what you can lose in 6 months, but she told me it may not be too bad I would probably have muscle memory (I think that was the phrase). She could also notice my hips shift when I walked, I thought something like that was going on, it felt as if my gait was off like I was walking uneven or something.

Mindy “worked on” several different points on my hip and piriformis to loosen it up or release the tension. I had been hurting today, it wasn’t one of my better days. Then she had me do a few exercises like a press up. Me pushing up on my hands while laying on my stomach when I start to hurt. I’m to do that at least three times a day. Another is to lay on my back pulling my belly button to the floor working on my core, doing the kegel exercise for stabilization. Also doing this same exercise throughout the day when I’m sitting which helps to correct my posture. Amazing, I didn’t know how much I slouched until she showed me how to sit correctly by doing this exercise. I can do it anywhere, anytime. She also gave me a Lumber Roll for my chair which helps my posture and to do this exercise. I used it in the car on the way home I couldn’t believe the change in my posture. She also had me to squeeze a ball between my legs while doing that last exercise which also helps to strengthen my core as well my adductors, you should have seen my knees shaking trying to keep that ball in place. I can’t believe how weak my legs have gotten.

It’s going to take some time but at least I now know what needs to be done. She also said I could do some walking, no running, but I could walk as long as I wasn’t in pain and it was flat. That was cool. So I’m going to be seeing her weekly, hopefully, twice a week, my work schedule is causing some issues. I also have to be out of town the end of next week for school. But at least I have the exercises to do in between sessions. I’m feeling pretty good about this she was reassuring, it’s just going to take time and patience. When I left today the pain I was in going into the appointment was alleviated little. That was a hopeful sign.