I’ve been MIA recently

Image Credit: https://www.betterlisten.com/blogs/news/just-keep-moving#.WRUhhevyuM8

     I don’t quite know where to go with this blog or running lately, and I fear that I will have to call this blog “Jenn Keeps Moving” or something of the like. At the beginning of the year, I started working out with a trainer at YouFit near my apartment. All good stuff, I wanted to increase my strength and add muscle in order to make me a stronger runner, and I chose this because I didn’t want to injure myself by working out alone, lifting something too heavy and causing permanent damage.Well, that is exactly what I did. One Monday while on a 2:1 training session with a stranger and my trainer, I think I did a deadlift improperly.

Who knows, because on the next day I was in debilitating lower back pain. It came on so suddenly and so sharp, and not even the next morning. I taught all morning and it didn’t start until after 2 pm. I came back to my office to finish grading essays and planning for the next week, and as I got up to go to my second job outside of town, my back started to throb. It hurt so much to even walk, sit, stand, you name it. I didn’t pay attention, thinking this was just a sprain, etc, and I needed to get to my tutoring student in Gwinnett County. I got out there and sat down at the cafe I usually go to wait until he’s finished with work and the pain did nothing but get worse. I took some Advil and this did not help. I’ve never had a kidney stone before, but those that have described it to me have said it’s worse than death and I thought for a brief moment that I had one of those.  I called my student and canceled our session and almost crashed my car driving home in traffic. I got a ticket for driving in the Peach Pass lane that day and I didn’t even care. I would eventually give up my second jobs because of the ongoing pain.

     Image credit: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nike-Men-039-s-Dri-Fit-Not-Running-Sucks-Running-T-Shirt-White-/141520167576

     And not to mention, I haven’t run in over three months. It sucks. Not running sucks. But running with lower back pain that radiates downward with each step of pavement pounding sucks worse. I eventually went to the ER that night — because I don’t have insurance and a high deductible thanks to an MA degree in a field where I am virtually unemployable in this country now. I’m paying a bill I can’t afford, and I had to beg the county physician to see me even though my financial aid had expired. I’ll comment more about my ER experience in another post because that requires a whole other set of details that I don’t care to get into right now. When I did eventually get scheduled for an X-ray (because my insurance won’t cover an MRI) they found the following:

Procedure: XR LUMBAR SPINE AP AND LATERAL

Clinical Indication: Pain Following Trauma

Comparison: None.

Findings: AP, lateral and spot lateral radiographs of the lumbar spine show slight disc disease with endplate osteophytes at L2-L3 and L3-L4. Vertebral body height, alignment, and disc spaces are preserved. There is no significant facet overgrowth. SI
joints and psoas margins are distinct.

Impression

Impression: Slight L2-L3 and L3-L4 disc disease with endplate osteophytes.

Let it be noted that when I made this public, everyone’s reaction included some variant of “but you’re way too young to be dealing with this.” So I have that going for me. The bottom line is, my body is falling apart. I’m still in pain currently as I type this and I have an appointment with a chiropractor on Monday, May 15th. I’m skeptical of chiropractors, but I will do anything at this point. I’m already stretching and Yoga-ing at home daily.And I make sure to get 8K-10K steps in daily. I’m a pretty active person. And my back feels better when I’m active, just not running.

I will walk the Peachtree Road Race this year, and I will do it with pride. I signed up with in-training long before I hurt my back and it sucks to walk in the back of the pack with them, so most Saturdays I really just don’t go. Plus my car died so Saturdays I’ve been dealing with the unwanted process of finding a new/used one. That sucks too.

I, fortunately, have my job at GSU in the Intensive English Program (which I LOVE) but I have no idea how much longer that will last since our numbers are so low this summer.

All I can say is this too, shall pass and move on to survive another day. Hope you are reaching your fitness dreams this month. Someone has to. How do you cope with a stressful situation? What is new in your world? Share some love.

Image credit: http://www.lovethispic.com/image/132744/i-will-survive

Ultimately, these are first-world, very white wines (whines) and I will get over them. But for now, I will mostly just have to vent and move on.

Thanks for listening (reading)!

Jenn

One step forward

take-first-step

I finally have a day off and my foot felt slightly better so I thought I’d give running a try with a couple loops around my apartment complex this afternoon. After one loop–roughly a half mile, the pain started again so I thought I’d drop into my apartment’s gym to finish off the workout. I did that and got on the elliptical thinking that this would be a better option since it’s lower impact, and finished 30 min on the elliptical no problem — I know I could have put the intensity up a bit because I left a little still in the tank. I guess I have to start back slow — I finished 2.5 miles and did some upper body (chest, lat pull down, biceps and triceps weights) and my foot hurts worse now, so racing on Thursday is probably out of the question. I really do want to have a good 2017 running season now that this MA stuff is almost behind me.

I do realize how much better I feel — physically, emotionally, mentally, and just generally more me-ish when I’m active, even if only for 30 minutes a day. I also have to cut myself some slack — my life is different now, and I’m not always going to be able to run 8 miles a day. No, I haven’t been distance training, but it’s OK because I can do SOMETHING. I have such an all or nothing mentality sometimes. Just do some pushups or situps at home if I don’t have time. It’s about accountability — but I find myself doing these mind games with myself and psyching myself out. I’m back though — and that’s what the blog is about.

Exercise, water, good food, sleep, repeat. Let’s see how long this lasts.

A little late to the party, but here’s my latest race

you-got-this

Metaphor for running and for life.

October 23, I did run the Atlanta 10 Miler — and I didn’t worry about time. Time in running tends to make me anxious, and since I run to alleviate anxiety it seems counter intuitive. So if you really want to see my time, I trust that you will look it up on the ATC website, but spoiler alert, it wasn’t as fast as last year and you will just have to deal with that.

bling

I haven’t been distance training, so much of this race was taken with the approach of I’m going take it easy and enjoy the scenery and get some fit bit steps in. I did intervals but I can’t tell you how I did them. Mostly walked up steep hills and ran down them.

you-got-this

I do this entirely for the bling. Right? What else is there?

I took lots of pictures, and you can see them here:

https://goo.gl/photos/tToQTU81rUk9UsaXA

I’m upset now because I did something to my foot not running, and now I can’t run for a few weeks. Which means I’ll miss my favorite Thanksgiving Day race, but I wasn’t planning on doing the half anyway. I had downgraded to the 5K because I haven’t been distance training and something is better than nothing. Now I can’t even run the 5K if I want my foot to be OK for a good 2017 running season. So like the country, I’m going to write off this 2016 as a sort of crappy running year and hope for good things in 2017.

But I love when I see things like this at the end of the day.

fit-bit

In other non running news, my MA paper was accepted by my first reader this week and I have a presentation date of December 2 at 1pm. Shit is gettin’ real — which is probably why I haven’t been running as much. You have to make sacrifices, right?

I’ll come back with a goal post for the start of 2017 when I have them. Aside from the MA and my amazing IEP students, I’m ready to write of 2016 as a shit year and start fresh.

And a running (or lack there of) update…the one where I talk about that big 60K person race in Atlanta

I know it’s time for an update, both on here and the blog, and there will be one soon — promise.

I’ve been trying to pump myself back up onto the running bandwagon as of late, and maybe I need encouragement or maybe I just need to kick myself in the ass and stop making excuses.

In the process of trying to do so, I always find it helpful to look at past performances and find reasonable goals to achieve. In the past, this has worked. I’m finding this harder and harder to do as I continue down the path to my MA. Everything is telling me to sit my ass in the chair and WRITE MY MA PAPER but after a day of teaching all I want to do is SLEEP. I used to see running as something to do in my spare time, but I realized that lately, I haven’t had spare time to deal with.

Such is life.peachtree-logo

 

Image credit: http://www.ajc.com/s/peachtree/#running-news

I’ve been finding myself going back to old races, looking at old times lately — trying to see if I can be anywhere near that for this year’s PTRR, and I don’t think it’s doable. I just really haven’t been training hard enough.

But I do think data is good – and record keeping is something I just don’t do enough of for one reason or another. AND I FIND IT SO FUN WHEN I GET INTO IT.

So here goes: Jenn by the Numbers.
I finished Last year’s PTRR (2015) in 1:15:17 and the year before that (2014) in 1:18: 54. This year’s Singleton 10K in April of 2016 I did in 1:13: 19 (11:48 min/mile). This was done with minimal training. (Running three days a week, no strength, some light stretching on rest days and yoga once a week.) These numbers tell me that although slow, I am making progress. I do have to remind myself that progress is slow, but I just started running seriously again in 2013 and three years is not a lot of time. I don’t have crazy amounts of time to put into this hobby/sport, but the little time I do is worth it. Baby steps.

Goal for Peachtree 2016: Beat last year’s time or come close to it. And don’t beat myself up if I don’t do it. HAVE FUN and BE ACTIVE.

I may have to walk some of it — and that’s OK.

More to come later. Off to tutor linguistic stuffs. 🙂

Some of my art

Over the holidays, I got crazy and creative and really practiced my crochet and paint-mixing skills. I am an absolute beginner painter, so I’m really just getting used to mixing acrylic paint and feeling how it feels with different brushes on the canvas. My grandmother was really creative and talented when it came to painting, so I figure some of that talent has to be in me somewhere. Crocheting is just something I do to relax while watching TV and it keeps my hands busy. I usually make an afghan with my squares, but enjoy the repetitive nature of making squares. I am really proud of how even my stitches are in these pieces.

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Cameron (BF) got me a desk easel and new paint for Christmas and my birthday. I like using it.

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More crochet!


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