Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy Feet Courtesy Saucony!

Just a quick shout out to Saucony for providing me with some new kicks! 2 x Kinvara, 1 x Fastwitch 4 and 1 x Pro Grid Ride 3 (sent by error). These will keep my feet healthy and fresh for the next few months. Much appreciated!

Up next... stay tuned for a race report!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Quest to Seek Answers!

Last Friday, I was up at 5:30am and on the 6:30 ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver. I had worked until 11:15pm the night before, so I had very little sleep. Luckily I did catch up on some sleep grabbing about an hour on the ferry. 

I arrived in Vancouver to find it pouring with rain (yipee). I bussed it from Horseshoe Bay (where the ferry arrives) to downtown, switched buses and headed out towards the University of British Columbia. One more transfer until I finally arrived at about 9:40am. 

I found the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic right away, went in and filled out the required paperwork before the lovely secretary said she would hold my things while I completed an hour run before my 11am appointment. 

It poured the entire run. Of course just before I left the house, I opted NOT to take my visor. I regretted that as the water ran in my eyes throughout the run. I ran along side Pacific Spirit Park for part of it. I saw the trails go into it, but being by myself and not knowing exactly where those trails went, I opted to keep in view of the road. 

I arrived back to the clinic about 10 minutes prior to my appointment, literally dripping wet. A quick change of clothes (yeah I forgot a towel too, so had to use my already wet shirt) and shoes and I was in the waiting room for my appointment. 

I went in pretty much right on time. It was a tiny exam room, nothing at all fancy. Dr. Tom Green then entered (no not THAT Tom Green) and began questioning me and doing tests. In the end, I really do not have a lot of answers to tell you. I am pretty much in the same boat as before, left wondering. 

Dr. Green tested my hip and said the movement seemed fine. He looked at the Xrays I had taken at Pure Chiropractic and saw no stress fractures and decided that although my hips are misaligned, they aren't as bad as the xrays showed as the xrays appeared to be taken on a slight angel. 

His conclusion? My hip pain that comes and goes and can move all over from the back of the hip to the hip flexors, groin and down the hamstring and quad are due to a weak core. He figures that since I have been unable to do much core strengthening since the initial problem began in December 2009, my core has become weak. This in turn has caused my hips to act up as they are taking more load than they should. Makes total sense. 

As for the main reason for the appointment (the abdominal/groin pain) it is still a mystery so Dr Green is sending me for an MRI. He wants to look for a sports hernia. The symptoms fit the description and he couldn't find any other reason for the pain to continue this long. So now I wait.......... again. An MRI could take months unless I want to pay big $$$$ to get it done privately. I have no idea how long it will take. 

In the meantime, he has suggested I get some core shorts and begin working in as much core as I can tolerate. This will be a challenge as core has hurt for over a year now. I will have to start very basic and hope I can improve from there. 

I spent just over an hour at the clinic and then headed back out to the bus stop for my trip home. I took the same buses in reverse and arrived back to Horseshoe Bay about an hour before the 3pm ferry home. I grabbed some Subway and Starbucks, took some photos and then waited for the ferry. I ended up arriving home just after 5pm. 

The track next to the Clinic


Horseshoe Bay Park


My ferry

 Waiting to leave the Berth

A friend swimming in the bay just as we were leaving (can you spot him/her?)


Soaking wet shoes on the Right, New comfy dry shoes on the Left plus Starbucks Chai Tea Latte 

 Coming home. Want to buy an island just off the coast of Nanaimo

Departure Bay (arriving in Nanaimo)

So you might ask, what does this all mean? I have no idea if it is in fact a sports hernia; however, I do know something is wrong, whether its a sports hernia or some kind of other tear. I rarely every finish a run without some kind of pain and I haven't been able to sit up from lying down without pain since December 2009. Sure I have been training and racing through it, but honestly, I do feel as though it is affecting me and holding me back a bit. 

This week, I have had different pain. The abdominal is still sore yes, but the pain I have been getting is in my glute and upper hamstring. I received some ART from Abe today and he states that it likely is a nerve getting irritated which is why it feels like a strong pinch and a slight weakness. It then affects my stride where I have to shorten it on the one side. Definitely not comfortable. 

What the......?

I saw the weirdest thing on the way home from work tonight. About 3 minutes from home, I drove past a teenage (I think) kid standing on the side of the road wearing goggles and some sort of towel/cape waving his cape around in the air. I wonder what bet that kid lost getting stuck out there at 11:30pm. Definitely very strange so I thought I would share! What's the weirdest thing you have seen? 

PS. Post coming tomorrow re my appointment on Friday. In the meantime, I am off to bed!

Monday, January 24, 2011


If you are curious as to what happened with my appointment, stay tuned and I will let you know. I have been busy and have been unable to sit down and upload photos/write up the details. Hang in there and it will come later this week!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Last Monday I broke my Yak Trax, a week later (today) I received my new pair courtesy of the company! They also sent a few other gifts along with the Trax. Thanks again Yak Trax! I appreciate the support!

While I have my new Yak Trax, I am happy to announce that the snow from last week is all gone, well almost. Just a few piles of snow here and there. 

It was a getting dark when I took this (sorry)

The temperatures raised and became mild. Sunday was 15 C mid day. That is warm for mid January! I will enjoy it while I can because I don't expect it to stay mild the rest of winter! At least I am prepared if it snows again! Speaking of which, I just checked and it says snow/rain mix tomorrow. =( Ahh well. 
Also some progression regarding my chronic hip flexor/lower abdominal pain. I finally heard back from the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic over in Vancouver. I have an appointment booked for this Friday so I will make a day trip over to the mainland. A long way to go (and a long day) but if I finally get some answers it will be worth it! Part of me is afraid I will get some bad news that will mean taking time off, which will come at a bad time as I'd rather take time off in a few months instead; however, no sense in worrying until I speak to the doctors. I will keep you posted on how that goes!

In other news (cat news I mean), I bought Steve a new toy today as he ended up pulling all the feathers out of the last one. We'll see how long this one lasts. So far he loves it and even growls at Socket whenever he comes hear. 

And Socket found the empty cat nip container, so that became his toy for the next 15 minutes or so.


Till next time..... run hard, have fun!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Some of that "white stuff"

Has it really almost been a week already? This last week has been very interesting. Training has continued to go well with little aches in my lower abdominal/hip flexor. That was until today. I had a speed session today and my body was pretty unhappy afterward. Also the foot pain is still there, but appears to be getting better. 

So last Saturday night we were hit with a snow storm. By morning we ended up with about 4-5" of snow. Unfortunately unlike most snow storms on the West Coast, this storm was followed by sunshine and freezing temperatures rather than the usual rain to wash everything away. That means the snow hung around. 

Sunday Morning (my neighbour back there with the red truck comes to plow our driveway whenever it snows, so nice)


Monday morning, I woke up to no water. Great I thought, hoping that it would be running by mid afternoon so I could have a shower after my run and before work. Luckily it was up and running. A house near by had a huge non frozen puddle in their driveway and then flood/fire restoration trucks there later in the day, so I have a feeling that house had something to do with no water at my place! 

The side roads in my area were all packed down with snow and ice, so unfortunately the hard ground paired with the coil breaking through the rubber of my Yak Trax Pro meant RIP Yak Trax; however, after an e-mail to the company I should be expecting a new pair in the mail at some point! Thank you Stephanie at Yak Trax. I will be able to continue training when and if the snow returns. Yak Trax has pledged to keep me up and training whenever I have an issue! If you have not tried out Yak Trax yet, I would suggest to give them a try. They work wonders in the snow!

The snow wasn't done with yet, on Tuesday night around 6:30pm the snow started to fall fast and hard. With a snow warning as well. By the time I left work the roads were all covered and it was a slippery drive home. Gotta love that my front tires are somewhat bald too, but my lovely Tempo got me home! By the next morning we had over a foot of snow on the ground. Thank goodness my workout was Tuesday before the storm! 

Tuesday night when I got home from work (I have no photos of the daytime Wed as it had rained a lot by the time I woke up. Apparently Nanaimo had anywhere from 25-40cm of snow depending on location)

I brought some snow in for Socket, he loves to eat snow

Even more so when you put it in a bowl

I have completed all runs outside in the snow. I have had to run on the main road which has meant fighting with cars as there is snow on the sidewalks. You see they plow the roads, but they plow the roads onto the sidewalk. I end up running on the white line and cars don't like to move over. Thankfully the roads weren't too busy on Wednesday so that I could get around quiet easily. I only had one "jerk" in a truck who was driving down the road with snow all over his windshield try and run me off the road. As I jumped into the knee high snow on the side of the road, I might have flipped him a nice gesture ;) Thankfully he didn't come back. I thought afterward that maybe it wasn't a smart idea. Oh well. 

I am getting awfully sick of running the same route though. I was glad that this latest storm ended with rain so a lot of the snow is washing away. Not gone yet, but hopefully with a few more days of rain, things will go back to the way they are supposed to be on the "wetcoast."
As a bonus here are a few photos from the New Years Day Dip and Run with Bastion Running Club

Start of the run


Phil and I enjoying some hot chocolate/coffee/chili and desserts post run

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Update

The hardest part about blogging is thinking up the darn title. I am not exactly creative today as you can see. ;) 

The rest of the training week went well. My hip flexor/lower abdominal have been co-operating for the most part. I know the issue is still there as I am reminded every so often, but for the most part we have been getting along. I got through my hill workout on Thursday with little issues. I am beginning to become friends with hills. Sure they can be a bugger, but they definitely make me feel stronger afterward. Legs burning, lungs burning as you hit the top, then relief as you go back down to do it all over again! I pick a side road that sees very little cars, but the cars that do drive by likely think that I am absolutely nuts. It's great! 

As I sit here and write this, I currently have a pack of ice on my left foot. I am not sure what I have done, but it feels as though I have bruised my foot near my 2nd smallest toe. I think it looks a bit swollen but its not so painful that I cannot run. I feel it more so when I walk around with no shoes on. I'll keep an eye on it of course, but I am sure it will be okay. The life of a distance runner I suppose. Always taking a beating!

No word from the Allan McGavin sports clinic yet, but I am not surprised. As I said, I have no idea when I will hear from them. I just trust that the doctor I saw actually forwarded my referral as he said. I will update whenever I hear from them. 

In the meantime.... how about those Canucks? ;) Molly and I had a little rivalry going on last Monday when the Canucks visited the Shark tank. It was a good game which ended with the Canucks winning 4-3. There is always next time Molly!? :P

Then there was the Canada vs Russia Gold Medal Junior Hockey game. Not much to say about that. I was at work trying to follow along. I didn't really see any goals, but I kept up with the score. How disappointing. I had to laugh today when I saw TSN airing a replay of the game. Now who in their right mind in Canada would want to watch that game again? Only Russians living in Canada is my guess! Arg. 

Alright, enough rambling for me tonight. Happy training and racing everyone! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Referral completed

I finally made it to a doctor in town to request a referral to see a sports medicine doctor. I am sick of the average GP's who don't know a thing about sports and generally say "if it hurts, don't run." They don't understand what it is like to be an athlete. I was able to get a referral to the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic in Vancouver as I requested, based on a suggestion from my new physio. I have no idea when I will hear from them; however, I hope it is sooner rather than later. After over a year of this darn pain on and off, never really ever going away, I am sick of it. I want to know what it is like to run without pain. 

For instance, my run yesterday was with aches and pains. Nothing too serious, but the pain was there. Then today, I ran my tempo almost completely pain free (except a few twinges here and there); however, hours after I am walking like a granny. This makes me not look forward to tomorrow!  I hope the aches go away throughout the night. 

I go to the physio and try and describe my symptoms and its hard. Nothing seems consistent. How do you explain something that isn't consistent, hurts one day, but not the next. Lasts for so long one day and half the time the another day. My physio did find some strength deficiencies in my right hip and my glutes( surprise surprise, I knew that one). Go figure with the weaker side being the right, that is where all my issues are. 

So from here I continue to train and wait to see someone who can hopefully help me get to the bottom of this. Keep your fingers crossed that I get in soon!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Thank you Saucony!

Some people figured this out last month after some blog design changes, but for those who didn't, here is the "big" announcement. I am proud to announce that for the 2011 season I will be running for Team Saucony. Yep that is right, I have been granted sponsorship by Saucony for 2011. I have been in love with Saucony shoes and apparel for the past few years, ever since I first tried their Fastwitch racing flats. From there, I loved the A3's (which are now the A4's)and then now the Kinvara's. I also love their apparel finding it stylish and comfortable. I cannot be any happier and prouder to run for Saucony this year. I join an already talented team of athletes and plan to work hard to earn my place on the team. Thank you Saucony for selection this year! Let 2011 begin!