Saturday, August 1, 2015

Here we go again

I haven't posted must mostly because things were going really well.   I was back to running, biking, hiking, doing pilates and keeping up with my weight training.  I had finally gotten to the point where I had no limitations on activities and the hip was staying (mostly) quiet.

A few months ago, I felt a twinge in my non-surgery hip.  And then another twinge.  Which turned into a deep, awful ache, a sharp pain and a feeling of something "stuck" in my hip.  I pretty much knew what was going on, but finally got the arthrogram/MRI this past week.

I haven't seen the doctor yet, but I am pretty confident that there is a tear.

The red arrow is pointing to the tear (I am not a doctor, I just play one on TV).   The labrum should be a deep triangle on the left hand side of the joint, and the dye cuts across where the labrum should be in tact (it basically should be symmetrical with the black part on the right hand side).

As a comparison, here was my right hip pre-surgery (slightly different angle):

The pain so far is not anywhere near where I was pre-surgery on the last hip, so I am hoping that some activity modification and additional rest will be enough to hold off heading back into the operating room.   I have no real desire to deal with into the 3x/week rehab, limited activity, and all the other unpleasantness of a major surgery.

It's been said that about 20% of the population has FAI in both hips.  I guess that puts me in an exclusive minority!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 in the rear view mirror

I have always enjoyed heading into a new year.  It feels like a new beginning, a new start, a clean slate.   I like looking back at the year coming to a close, thinking about all the memories and accomplishments.

Unlike most years, 2014 felt like I was perpetually in limbo.  Nothing was quite right and I was always working to get out of where I was...  Never quite happy with the way things were.  Before surgery, I was waiting to get fixed.  After surgery, I was anxious to get back to "normal".  And I'm still chasing that "normal" feeling.

My one major running accomplishment for 2014 was successfully running a 5k, after a full year off from racing.  Just saying I ran a 5k, though, seems to leave out how much work it was to get there.  Seriously, not running for 8 months puts you way behind in terms of running fitness!

The 5k wasn't even much of a race worthy of a race recap.  It was my longest continuous run since Feb, so there was no glorious fist pump in meeting my goal at the finish line....other than I made it to the end.

Before the race I told myself to just take it easy.  HA HA HA.  Does anyone ever do that when they say they will?  I ran as hard as my body would let me, which was frustrating because it was &^%$ hard and slower than I felt I should be for the amount of effort.   But I had no hip pain during so that was good.

I was really, really achy afterwards.  I don't think my hip much appreciated the push of speed and pounding.  I won't be signing up for any more races anytime soon.

Since then, I've been running 3-5 miles without that nagging groin pain that plagued all of my runs before surgery, and I am still doing a lot of crosstraining and PT work to maintain hip strength.  My hips like having one rest day, sometimes two, in between runs.  This schedule works because it's very rare to get good weather multiple days in a row in the winter!   And I'm all over running in crap weather for the moment.

I usually set goals for myself for the new year.  I have no real desire to set goals this year, though.  I just want to be happy in the moment, happy for where I am.

Do you usually set new years goals, running or otherwise?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Race Day Eve

It's been a long time since I have raced.  A year exactly, as a matter of fact, as of tomorrow.  I participated in a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, but that was more like a laid back rolling party than a real race environment.  Tomorrow will be the first race post-op and the first in a year.  365 days.  I'd like to say that time has flown but it hasn't.

I'm not planning on really racing it, though - I mean, I just graduated from the run/walk so while I can cover the distance, there's really no point in pushing the speed.  But I'm still working on my pre-race "stuff" tonight, for old time's sake:

-Made sure I ate some good carbs.  Ok, let's be honest, it was more that I wanted an excuse to eat pizza.  It's just a 5k.

-Made an iTunes playlist.  I normally don't race with headphones on but I'm feeling that a little music will help keep me focused on not watching my Garmin the entire time.  Lead song:  Happy by Pharrell, of course.

-Charging the Garmin.  Mostly to record that it actually happened.  Like, for real.

-Picking out the outfit.  It's going to be in the 20s and windy at race time.  Somehow I need to figure out how to wear my InkNBurn holiday long sleeve and layer enough under it to stay warm.  The struggle is real, people.

-Foam roller everything.

Game on.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

The autoimmune protocol diet went off the rails a little this week.  I tried eggs over the weekend and felt horrible, so I know those are a potential issue.   I wanted to try a few other things, but instead of doing it one at a time like you are supposed to, it sort of went like this:

Um, yeah.

Needless to say, I don't feel so hot.  And the ache in my hip is way worse this week than it has been in a while - this is really interesting to me, because it was the reason why I really wanted to try this elimination diet in the first place.    I was just thinking the other day how I no longer was getting any groin pain or achy feeling... and then it reappeared, the same week my diet went off the rails.  Coincidence? Related?  Hmmm.

Because I was a dumb-dumb and failed to do the reintroduction right, I'm not really sure what might be making me feel like crap, but needless to say, it could be the fact that I ate everything.

In other news, I met with my trainer and we tweaked and adjusted a few things on my list of exercises.  Here is my current list.  I call it my Glutes of Steel plan.

Bridges - 3 variations: double leg, single leg, and single leg with rotation
Clam Shells
Cable Exercises
Side planks or leg raises (I was getting too much TFL activation with the side plank variation so we're backing down to side leg raises)
Monster walks side-to-side and back at a 45 degree angle

Single leg squats
Side lunges
Bird dip with band pull
Walking lunges with medicine ball rotation:

Hop to Balance - side to side and rotation (this is basically what it sounds like - hop side to side or with a 90 degree rotation and balance on the one-legged landing)
Single leg static hip rotation
Static lunges with weight

And....then waddle out of the gym to go sit on the couch and lament how your legs no longer function properly.

In other news, this happened.  Based on my Garmin data, I estimate I walked about 1-1.5miles, and ran the rest.  WHOO!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Week two of the AIP and Continuing Rehab

The second full week of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet is behind me!  This week, I made similar breakfasts/snacks/lunches as I did last week, but I did try a few new recipes, including:  Homemade Gummiescarob brownies and sweet potato/leek soup.  All were great!  For dinners, I made chicken piccata (minus the flour), grilled chicken, and burgers.  I also navigated going out to eat twice successfully!  Grilled salmon and steamed veggies for one and a burger and sweet potato fries for the other.

I am definitely feeling more energetic and my tummy hasn't had that "ugh, I ate something that disagreed with me" yucky feeling.  However, I really miss eggs as a quick and easy meal.  And spices!  Like cumin and pepper.  Oh, and chocolate.

My surgeon cleared me for all activities at my six month check-in.  He thinks my hip flexors are my main issue, and that time will help.  Because I am not patient and don't want to just "wait", I hired a trainer to work with me.  He specializes in injury prevention and rehabbing post-injury (perfect, right!).   We met and discussed my situation and he made some observations on my remaining weaknesses and compensations.  He gave me a two week plan to follow and then we'll meet again and assess my progress.

Here is the list of exercises, to be done three times/week:
PT-type exercises
Bridges (3 versions- regular, alt leg raises, leg raise with rotation)
Clam shells
Cable exercises
Side planks
Seated hip rotation with band/chair
Monster walks to the side and back at a 45 degree angle

Strength exercises
Single leg static hip rotation; 2 sets of 10-12 each leg
Hops to balance- side to side and rotation; 2 sets of 12-15 hops each way on each leg
Side lunge- 2 sets of 12-15 each way
Bird dip with band pull; 2 sets of 15 reps with max glute squeeze
Walking lunges forward; 1 set weightless of 12-15 reps on each leg
Static lunges forward with weight; 1-2 sets of 4-8 to build muscle or 12-15 to build endurance
Squats- 2 sets of at least 10 reps

I'm looking forward to seeing if a) I can get through all of these exercises three times a week and b) if it helps!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

First real week of the AIP and 6 months post-op

So, OK, this first week of the Autoimmune Diet isn't exactly over, but I'm giving you a report on this week anyway. :)

Overall, I'm still not finding sticking to the diet to be very difficult.  Though trying to do this diet through the Halloween Candy Season was tough, in the end, I was able to avoid all candy and not die of deprivation (someone brought in SNICKERS to work!).   Planning enough food so you are never starving and making hungry choices is really important.

I had the sweet potato, apple and pancetta hash for breakfast this week.  Better than the smoothies in terms of staying full, but not by a ton.  It's really tasty though!

Lunch was a mix of turkey deli meat rolled up with bacon, a big ass salad or fried bananas and ham.  Yep, fried bananas with ham!  It's something my dad used to make for us when we were little and is a great combination of salty and sweet.  He used to dip the bananas in egg and breadcrumbs before frying, but in my case, I just let them fry up nekkid.  Even if you don't like the ham part, fried bananas are super yum.

I made grilled salmon with roasted veggies,  thai basil stir fry, and a roast chicken and vegetables.  A few were enough to have leftovers, too, which is always nice... but doesn't happen very often when you live with a marathoner.

My snacks are mostly fruit and sometimes leftover vegetables.  Not terribly exciting.  I made plantain and apple fritters once and devoured the entire thing...yum.  And I splurged and bought a box of Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato chips (fried in coconut oil!).  They are way too good and probably should not have bought 6 bags all at once.

Six month Hipaversary
Next week is my 6-month check in with the surgeon.  He'll also be taking a look at the other hip as well.  I imagine he'll finally send me for an MRA on that hip and while I want answers as to what's going on there, part of me wants to just pretend that it's nothing and ignore it entirely.

I am not exactly where I thought I would be 6 months out, but I am not entirely disappointed either.  My hip is 100% better than it was before surgery and I am about 80% of where I was before I was injured at all (oh so long ago!).

Here's what I did this week:
Sunday: Run/walk (3:1) 30 minutes, spin bike 30 minutes
Monday: Squats/lunges followed up with aqua power aerobics class
Tuesday: Upper body lifting and core work
Wednesday: Run/walk (3:1) 30 minutes
Thursday: Pilates

Tomorrow will be a rest day, Saturday another run/walk and then Sunday either a spin bike workout or maybe a hike if the weather is nice!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trial week: Autoimmune Diet

I used this week to test out some new foods for the Autoimmune Protocol diet and not worry about being strictly compliant.  Overall, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be, likely because I am already gluten and dairy-free.

Breakfast is the hardest piece to figure out, with no eggs and no grains.  Ugh, what to eat??   This week I tried a smoothie:  coconut milk, berries or a banana, collagen protein powder, and glutamine.   Most days I was hungry within the hour.  :(  I tried to supplement with some roasted veggies and that was ok but I do think I need something different for breakfast that's more substantial.   Next week, I will be trying this recipe:  Sweet potato, apple and pancetta hash.

The easiest thing was to have fruits and veggies on hand to eat.  Carrots, apples, bananas, roasted veggies, and so on.  A few times I was craving something salty/crunchy and so I had plantain chips on hand and some seaweed snacks.   Sweet was a little harder and I tried to keep my mind off of the chocolate bar I wanted to devour by having some peppermint or ginger tea.

I had a salad with grilled chicken for lunch with balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing and cucumbers, avocado, beets, bacon.  (because, bacon!)

On Sunday I made pot roast and we had leftovers for a few nights.   We grilled salmon another night with roasted broccoli and acorn quash.  Last night was pork tenderloins with cherry sauce.

My husband might have bought me a cupcake for no reason and I might have eaten it.  I'm not proud.  But it was tasty.

This week really wasn't too bad.  The biggest successful strategy was to plan.  If I didn't know what I was going to eat at a certain time, I was stuck pretty much trying to convince myself to not run to the vending machine... which was way hard to ignore.  When I'm hungry, I want food, like four minutes ago.   As long as I had something reasonable ready to go, I was fine.    Weekends will be the biggest hurdle as we always go out for brunch at least one of the days.  It's our weekend "thing" and I'll need to avoid the temptation to fall into our usual habits. :)