Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"I can see clearly now the rain has gone.....Gonna be a bright, bright sun shiny day!"

Spring has sprung and I am back on track with full training again! Monday I had an appointment with the Sports Medicine Clinic in Seattle and had an absolutely fantastic appointment with Dr. Rothmier who served as a team physician for the Kirkland half marathon. He was referred to me by my wonderful primary care physician and supporter Dr. Sam Taagen at NW Hospital in north Seattle.

As you may recall, I have been dealing with some injuries nearly the whole month of March. I had a nagging hip pain begin after a 10 mile run on March 7th which became exacerbated when I ran 5 miles the next day. As a result, I took 6 days completely off of running entirely before running another 10. Even with the long rest and a cut back in training days, the pain kept coming back and I had to seek pain medication during the last week of March as the pain was becoming so intense it affected my ability to walk and use the stairs in the house.

Dr. Taagen prescribed me piroxicam which were worked great (it is a generic form of celebrex) and suggested I see Dr. Rothmier if the pain continued. With a month left before the marathon, I decided it best to get checked out now instead of later when it may be too late and the problem causes me to miss my event.

Based on my history of chemotherapy for cancer, prolonged steroid use due to NF2, my imbalance, and the number of falls that I have taken over the past few years, Dr. Rothmier wanted to see me right away which I had no objections to. Apparently, the chemotherapy and steroids can cause early hip disease as well as bone density loss (I bone density test back in 2005 or 2007 and fortunately I am in good shape!). We also wanted to check and ensure I did not have a stress fracture which concerned me as it is can be likely with the falls and running into things that I have experienced.

We took xrays and fortunately it is all good! The problem is most likely caused by the tendon which connects the gluteus maximus muscle to the hip joint. It is called the IT band and it is common for it to become inflamed among runners. Further, running down hill can aggravate this area and the day it happened, I was indeed covering a hill going up continuously for 2 miles and back down for another 2.

So the good news is that I am okay and can continue running and see my event through which is pretty important to me. I am happy that it is nothing serious. The last thing I need is to have a hip replacement surgery in my 30s to add to everything else I have been through and continue to deal with!

I have cut back on the pain medication too and only take it as needed or after long runs (10-12 miles).

On my last 3 runs, I finally ran in the sun for a change! It got up to 68 degrees yesterday and I was overheating in a running skort and sports tank! As a result of the warmer weather, my feet also got hot and my beginner's luck ran out in my new shoes as the front balls of my feet, the outside of my big toes, and the tip of my second biggest toes all became blistered under the hard calluses that have developed. The blisters are gone today and just hard callused skin remains (this is my day off from running). Tomorrow I am shooting for my 12 mile run as we will be traveling out of town over the weekend.

So 2 more runs for the week (12 tomorrow and 4 friday morning) and it will be time to taper back in my training schedule as the marathon is growing nearer. Last week was the first full training schedule of runs I have completed since the first week of March. I ran between 24-26 miles and did pretty well (new shoes, rain, and recovering hip pain). We will see how my feet fair tomorrow. It is supposed to be cooler again with showers.

I have lots more to update you on (showshoeing, tower climb, photos, and propolis) but right now I need to prepare for the weekend and get everything ready. So if I do not have a chance to write again, have a wonderful holiday weekend and happy spring too!

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