Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stretching, stretching, stretching, abs

I was really pleased with the people who work at the orthopedic office where I am receiving physical therapy.  All seemed very knowledgeable, understanding, and just easy to talk with.  I was unsure of how it would be, since all of the therapy I have received in the past was from the athletic trainers at my school who knew me and my history very well.

The majority of my therapy is stretching, for now.  I am so happy to have the 'ok' on stretching, since I was told to put it on hold by my doctor about a month ago.  The good news is that I didn't lose much flexibility, and now I can work on it even more.   I am also able to do some very simple ab workouts (no leg lifts and other movements that would strain my pelvis).  My goal is to strengthen the region around the pubic symphysis and start to gain some stability.

I am going to continue my therapy on my own for about three weeks and then I will check in with my orthopedic and physical therapist.  I'm glad that I am able to start doing something.

Honestly, it just feels good to put on running clothes again.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Three miles for which to be thankful

I am a planner. I always have been, and the trait has served me well. As much as a planner I can be, I have my times to be spontaneous. Over thinking art and the artistic process process has never worked well for me. Usually, I have better results if I jump right in, experiment with the materials, and see where it takes me. My approach to distance running is remarkably similar, which may be why art, running, and nature are so closely related in my mind.

Despite being told to 'limit my weight bearing activities' by my orthopedic, I still decided to go for a walk at J. B. Starkey Wilderness Park when home this Thanksgiving holiday.  I cannot resist watching a good sunrise on the west coast.  The problem that surfaced when I was waiting at the gate for the park to open was where?  I am used to being able to meander across acres upon acres in just one outing, and then do it all again the next.  This was my one shot. 

Where would I make the most of my one morning here?  The large field?  Western horse trails?  The big scrub?  The 1.9mi loop?  I went through all of my favorite shorter routes, but as soon as I stepped out my car and my feet touched the damp crushed shell lot, all planning disappeared. 

I was drawn to the dark, more enclosed path with the thin rays of light just beginning to peak above the horizon.  As if the forest knew I was coming, the morning was cool and clear, and a thin layer of fog nestled low amongst the lakes.  This is my favorite kind of morning. 

Just as I decided to take the short path to the edge of one of the many lakes, I stumbled upon a new trail.  This path did not exist a few months ago, and somehow I found it on this one morning.  The fairly wide trail meandered along the edge of the lake, and ended at a recent campsite.  There was a small opening in the clearing.  It was like a window made to watch the sunrise, so I did.

With just a three mile or so walk, I was thankful I could do what I love.  Although I limited the distance, I was able to explore.  I had my own adventure.  It felt good.  It was exactly what I needed.  I had missed the freedom of running.  Perhaps that is why when I am not running, I paint landscapes incessantly.  I have a need for spontaneity.  I cannot wait until I am once again able to fill that need with my brush and my feet.

Physical therapy begins tomorrow!  Let's see what I am able to do...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Walk Along the Florida Trail

About a week ago, I gave into the temptation of  the Osceola National Forest.  The vast, stunning landscape sits just a few miles from where I live, and it has been unbelievably difficult to restrain from long walks and runs.  I knew the pain would be too great if I visited as often as I would like. 

I started at the trailhead down by the Oulstee Battlefield.  I took to the Florida trail, where the single track route meanders through the seemingly endless acres of pines.  The sun was starting to lower in the sky, casting beautiful shadows over the landscape.  After about a mile and a quarter, I turned around to head home.  I knew that a longer adventure would leave me in pain for longer than the weekend.  Just two miles and change was my final total, but it was enough.  The light, the smells, the breeze.  I missed it all.


I am fortunate that I was able to get in my short walk, because a few days later after my appointment with my orthopedic, I was told to teach, go home, and do nothing.  Well, I was told to 'limit my weight bearing activities,' to which I responded "which would be?"  I'm honestly doing nothing and it's going to drive me crazy. 

Surgery causes many more problems then it would help, so I must continue to wait.  I've been waiting for six months, but my body needs more time.  I will start physical therapy in a little over a week, although I do not know what I will be able to accomplish.  All I know is that it likely will not be as exhausting and fulfilling as a few good LT (lactate threshold) miles on the asphalt or a solid twelve miles in the woods. 

Soon.  Hopefully.  I know I will be able to run again, I just pray that that day is not over a year away.  North Florida is stunning, and I can't wait to get back out there.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Town, New Doctor, Old Injury

Now that I am settled in my new old little town, I have found a new orthopedic.  Yes, I know that I am twenty-two years old, and one of the most upsetting parts about moving from home was leaving my orthopedic.  
I recently had new x-rays which, again, confirmed my previous diagnosis of osteitis pubis or inflammation of the pubic symphysis.  This inflammation first appeared two years ago when I had an MRI for my hip injury, however, I did not experience pain until the end of track season this year.  After five months of not running, no improvement was visible.  I am essentially waiting for bone reabsorbtion and my body to heal itself.

But, I like my doctor here, maybe even more than my previous doctor.  He has done his research on my "difficult" problem, asking for advice from doctors throughout the state who are known for their abilities to solve a good challenge.  Hopefully the next step in this process will give me some relief. 
The good news is that I can walk, I can go to the grocery store, and, on most days, I can teach without pain.  Months ago I was worried about how I was going to live on my own since I could not manage to walk the length of Publix.  Although I can do some normal activities, I cannot lift, even a gallon of iced tea, without pain.  Turning over in bed and getting out of bed still bothers me.  I can't bike, row, swim, walk long distances, or do sit-ups.  Who knew such a small joint could cause so much pain?  But enough with what I cannot do right now.

I'll keep dreaming of running.  The parks are calling me.