Tuesday, August 24, 2010
And on the 27th day, she ran
I caved. Peer pressure? No. Feeling left out? Somewhat, but that wasn't it. Sick of my body getting weaker and flabbier? Definitely, but that wasn't really why either.
27 days after my last run in SF, I ran 2 miles. It wasn't intentional, it just happened. You know, like when you've downed an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's in a matter of microseconds and when you're done, you can't even remember how that pint got in your grocery cart let alone how you consumed all 80 billion calories in one sitting - it just happened.
Saturday, I went to my Athletic Training class. Remember that class where Nazi Drill Sergeant likes to call out wicked torture exercises to us poor out-of-shape individuals, who somehow think this one class is going to magically change their bodies overnight and turn us into stellar athletes? Not that this is what I think mind you, but you know, for the others that are in this class that may think so. Nevertheless, yep, that's the class I was at.
Have I ever mentioned we run in that class? We do all sorts of speedwork drills, agility ladders and may favorite of all: run-as-fast-as-you-can-for-50-yards-til-you-wanna-puke-then-go-lift-those-way-too-heavy-pile-of-rocks-over-your-head-10-times-but-first-do-20-burpees-with-a-pushup. So yeah, before I even knew what I was doing, I was running. Opps.
But day 27 of no running and I'm at AT class and as I was doing these drills I was thinking of my heel the entire time. It didn't hurt and it wasn't "annoying" me. It usually never does until many miles into the run but it wasn't even bothering me. Sometimes it bothers me if I'm just standing there doing nothing. Or if I get out of bed and step on the floor. Or if it's a full moon. Or if there's an earthquake in China. Or....if I'm on the elliptical trainer, trying to be a good girl and not run on it. The pain is so random, I can't ever tell you when it's going to occur....except one thing I do know is if I have my running shoes on for any length of time - that's a sure fire way for it to start misbehaving. I can be standing there doing absolutely nothing and if I'm doing that nothing while wearing my running shoes for any prolonged period of time, the heel lets me know it ain't all too happy.
So after class, the one I almost died in, I guess I felt I hadn't endured enough abuse to the body as I didn't seen any miraculous changes to it (not that that is what I think, of course) so I went upstairs to try and get some cardio on that monotonous as all get out elliptical trainer. I actually have nothing against this machine, but we will never be besties, best I can tell. I can set that puppy to a resistance Hercules wouldn't even like and I just can't get my HR up on it. But whatever, I need me some cardio cuz that's what I'm lacking dearly in the past month. Weight training, no problem - I haul myself to all these weight training classes 3 times a week. Funny, a year ago I went kicking and screaming to do my weight training....now I eagerly wait for this BA weight lifting class I've been going to, which pretty much kicks my butt. I actually love it. But get me more than 2 days of any cardio over a half hour and it's like sheer torture. Hello?? There's something so wrong with this!!
Walking up the stairs, I spot "it" in all her glory - my beloved treadmill. I just walked over to it and before I knew it, I was running.
2 whole miles!
At a 10:20 pace (gasp!!!).
Whatever the pace, whatever the distance - holy crap, I was running one long, continuous run (long being relative here). My body felt like green jello all grossed out and out of place, not really sure it knew what to do. 27 days down. 27 is a lot of days. I think that's the most I've ever not run in about a billion years. My legs were stiff, my left hamstring was tight and my annoying glute pain was screaming (nothing's changed there. Glad to know my persistent aches and pains and tight muscle parts never went away!) but I just kept going - if you call 2 miles "going". After about a mile, things were starting to loosen up, as they usually do and by mile 2, I was feeling right at home. Ahhhhhh.
But I didn't want to tempt fate so I stopped at the grandiose mileage and got off. 2 miles. At a 10:20 pace. Sunday I woke up and puttered around the house way too long and missed my weight lifting class.... so what the hell, I put on my running shoes and I ran to the track by my house (.65 miles) and spewed out 5 laps around the track at a 8:22 pace and ran the .65 miles home, bringing my grand total for the month of August to 4.45.
Monday, my legs were sore. Sad, huh? I cannot believe how quickly you can lose your "stuff", which is what's been eating at me the most the past week....I visually started to notice how much muscle mass I'm losing and how grossly out of shape I'm becoming - despite the massive weight lifting (Ben and Jerry's will do that to you, apparently, no matter how much weight lifting you do). So Monday I popped on my basement treadmill and cranked out 2 more whopping miles to shake the stiffness out. It was slow, but oh how I've missed my treadmill!! August running log: 6.45. Whooaaaa, start the presses and alert the media!
Here's the scoop, however twisted it may be: I spend 27 days off my feet running, trying to get this dumb heel to cooperate and heal up. Nothing happened, best I can tell. I still had pain, intermittently, at the most sporadic moments, for no apparent reason at all. I'd be standing there watching the girls come in at the race last week and OUCH. Or I'd be on the elliptical trainer and nothing one day and screaming the next. So last week, before I went to the AT class which later drew me to the treadmill, I was speaking with the cross country coach at school and we both came to the conclusion that I did what I was suppose to do with zero progress whatsoever - whatever is wrong with the heel is not being mended by time off from running.
Which brings me to a small (haha, grab your coffee, this will be awhile) vent about insurance in this great country of ours. If you think there is nothing wrong with the health care in our country, I am here to tell you that you are dead wrong. I am a 47 year old female who has run the vast majority my life; eat protein smoothies with spinach and Chia Seeds daily; total exercise freak, even ran the Boston Marathon twice .... and I have been "denied" by what was to be my new insurance company on August 2nd. The denial is due to some stupid "female" procedure I had two years ago, which basically was done only because my doctor was a little freakoid about something that wasn't even bothering me ... and in the end it turned out to be nothing. Nothing!!! Now the insurance company isn't very happy about this little procedure and until I can go back and have another procedure to verify all is ok, then they will not insure me. And since I have no insurance, this little procedure (how many times are you allowed the word "procedure" in one paragraph??) is going to cost me several hundreds of dollars out of my own pocket. And even then, there's no guarantee they will insure me because honestly, all these claims people know is how to check "denied" if they see one thing that may possibly be off kilter . So I have 6 (SIX) calls to my doctor about the situation and I have yet to receive one phone call back from them. Tomorrow will be one week of endless phone calls with no progress whatsoever. Be grateful you are insured. I truly mean that!
Therefore, no, I have not have my heel looked at professionally cuz I've been denied by the government of this wonderful country. You may be 500 lbs and sit on your butt all day watching endless television, smoke a pack of cigarettes and eat an entire box of Ding Dongs for dinner and be insured. I cannot.
So I will run. A little. I will run until my heel screams not to and then I'll stop. I have no plans, I have no visions, I have no big races on the horizon. I'll just run and try to get back into decent shape (80 months???) and just do what I can do until somewhere, somehow, some way, I can become a real person in this society and have this heel officially diagnosed. I have totally given up trying to self-diagnose what it is - I have an excellent webMD degree but I have such contradicting symptoms that I can no longer even guess at what it is.
So this is the plan and I'm sticking with it: Continue my cross training; go to weight lifting class 3x/week; do Jamoosh's Hard Core Club 3x/week. And I will run. I did what I was suppose to do - I took some time off and nothing happened, so now I'm going to do what I know how to do better than most anything else in this entire screwed up health care system universe: run.
It may not be the smartest plan I've ever come up with, but I don't give a crap anymore. You gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane in this crazy world and this is what I feel I must do right now.
Game on. Let's run!!