Monday, February 28, 2011

Looking for an Update?!

That is how I have felt while waiting for word on my MRI. My extended health company informed me they do not cover private MRI's. Boo... I will have to wait for the public system to work. 

Anyways, time to get down to business. I may have worded my last blog post incorrectly. Some have had the assumption that my injury isn't that bad after all and may just be a twisted/misaligned pelvis. This actually hasn't been confirmed. I have seen at least 7 different people (physios, chiro's, doctors) and I have received multiple opinions as to what each one things is wrong. 

1. Initially, my GP said it was a strained abdominal muscle. 
2. A physio said it was all due to a tight psoas. 
3. Another physio said it might be the psoas, adductor and also my back. 
4. The fourth person was a chiro who said it was my misaligned pelvis. 
5. The fifth person, yet another physio said it was likely a sports hernia. 
6. The sixth person, a sports doctor agreed that it might be a sports hernia. 
7. A seventh person, my regular chiro said the sports hernia is possible, but it also might be a labral tear. 
8. Finally, my GP who initially said strained abdominal, changed his theory to all being due to a misaligned pelvis.

Do I have a diagnosis? No. Are there tons of theories? Yes. Do I know what I am really dealing with? No. 

After nearly 3 weeks off of running, other than a few short unsuccessful test runs, I finally made it back to see my latest physio. He did some more tests and then decided it could be sports hernia or possibly labral related. He suggested that I not only get a MRI, but to get an MRI anthrogram where they inject a contrast liquid. I e-mailed my doctor in Vancouver with the update and asked him to contact my physio. I also informed him that my GP took new xrays and was sending me for a bone scan. 

My Sports Doc got in touch with my physio and they spoke about how they were going to proceed. So up next, I have the bone scan that was scheduled by my GP this Wednesday. I go in at 9:15am and get the tracer injected into me and then I leave and come back for my scan at 12:15pm which will take 30-60 minutes according to the info they sent me. 

I will get a copy of those results sent to my Sports Doc and then he will decide where to go from there. In the meantime, I contacted the UBC radiation department and found out that my MRI has been booked for March 25th. I am not holding my breath for this though, because depending on the results from my bone scan, the MRI might be changed to the MRI anthrogram. If it is changed, that MRI date no longer holds as it was for a regular MRI. An MRI anthrogram takes longer so they will have to reschedule. I am hoping a rush can be put on it if that is the case, at least so it is not any longer than March 25th, which ends up being a 2 month wait from the initial referral. Not bad considering normal Vancouver wait times are 4 months and Nanaimo wait time are 9-12 months apparently. 

So that is where things stand now. I did a few short test runs last week that went well, but today's test run wasn't quite as good. Pain isn't as bad in the hip as it was, but the abdominal pain is still there. I still hit the elliptical for the majority of all my workouts. I even had a 90' elliptical run on Saturday. Thankfully I had "The Fighter" on my ipod which kept me amused. It was still a long haul though. 

In the meantime, I want to say a special thanks to Marilyn for all her support. I think we have both been trying to keep each other sane during our injury ordeal. Marilyn's come back was unfortunately stalled at pretty much the same time I stopped running. Neither of us have an official diagnosis as to what our actually injuries are either. Coach Matt has his hands full with the two of us, so thanks to him for also sticking by with some of our whining.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

X-Ray Results

Last week I had an x-ray of my pelvic area by my local doctor here in town. I basically went in asking for one and he agreed stating that he figures it would be fine and that a bone scan might be necessary. I received a call back from the doctors office on Monday asking me to come in, so an appointment was booked for Tuesday. 

I went in figuring the next step was a bone scan. First off the doctor informed me that there was some sclerosis around my pubic symphysis and asked whether I had been injured there before. I told him that not that I knew of. Apparently from what I have been told, that is very common in runners and is comment when something is off balance which causes the shearing and then the healing results in thicker bone. Or something like that anyways. 

Then he goes on to tell me that my pelvis is so twisted and that he thinks this is the reason for all my pain. That is what Dr. J told me earlier from the Chiropractic assessment he gave me, except I was told by Dr Green that the x-rays were taken off center. I wanted these x-rays as I knew that the person taking them at the dr's office was trained for it and would do it right. So my Doctor here swears that my MRI will come out clean with no issues whenever I do get it and that all my issues are caused by this misalignment pulling and tugging on everything. He says I could manage with it for so long, but that the wear and tear finally broke down. 

He is still sending me for a bone scan though, which will take place at the local hospital. I asked him if he could get me the MRI faster, to which he laughed and said money money money. The referral was sent today for the bone scan, which apparently shouldn't take too long. I asked him how I should proceed and he told me to see a good sports physio. I laughed at that and asked who I should see as I haven't really seen any results from anyone here in town. He told me he would call a local sports doctor and ask his opinion, but he thinks that I just need to be adjusted and then work on muscular imbalances to hold my pelvis in the proper place. 

I have yet to hear about that advice. If he is right, that sounds good to me. No major problem and it would be something I could fix. I'll have to wait and see what he says. Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spin by "Candlelight" anyone?

Okay maybe it was technically a spin by flashlight, but here is the full story:

The weather has been quite weird lately. On Saturday, it poured with rain with high winds. Sunday it calmed and we saw the sun. Monday the pouring rain and high winds were back. I live on the outskirts of Nanaimo and quite often we lose power when this happens. 

I spent the day completing my elliptical workout, which Matt has now introduced "speed" sessions into it. The workout was 7 x 5' with 90" rest. It was TOUGH. My quads were burning on the darn machine and I was literally sweating up a storm. I swear the people around me thought I was nuts! The entire time I was a the gym, it poured with rain and for once, I was kind of glad to be inside. Sure I like to run in the rain, but it was nasty and windy. I am not a fan of the wind. Not to mention, doing an actual workout made time go a bit faster. 

The drive home from the gym was through floods. Roads were flooded everywhere, which is real great considering the passenger side of my hot rod Tempo leaks so the flooding roads means a nice puddle on the floor. 

I spent the afternoon relaxing and then at about 5:40pm, as I was flipping channels between the hockey game and other shows, the power went out. Ahh fudge I thought. Then it flicked half on and back off. That is when I knew it would be off for a bit. So dinner turned into fast food from Wendy's. *** side note: if you are wondering, we don't really do Valentine's Day in this house, not by my choice of course so we had no plans anyways** I called the BC Hydro number for power outages and it estimated the on time at 8:30pm so I began to read a book to pass the time.

Just before 8pm, with Jason asleep on the couch, I went downstairs and set up shop to do my short 30' shake out spin for the night. It actually wasn't that bad. I set up an LED flashlight which gave me enough light. Then my laptop had enough power to last me through 1.5 episodes of Modern Family to take me the full 30'.

 After I got off the bike, it was after 8:30, still no power, so I called again. New estimated time, 10:30. I read some more and then started to get ready to go to bed. At 10pm the lights flicked on briefly and then went out again. I knew that was the end at that point. New estimated time, 11:30. I went to bed only to be woken up at 1:20am when the power came back on and the tv and lights came on downstairs. What caused the outage? A tree on the power line of course. Sure people used to live in the past off candlelight, but these days, its just not possible (not for a long time anyways). I am thankful to have my power back! 

PS it poured with rain again today off and on. The wind picked up, but not as bad as yesterday.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Test Run Fail

I am still in cross training mode. My routine has basically been a 60' elliptical run in the morning followed by a 30' spin on the bike to shake out the legs later in the evening. On Wednesday I attempted a test run, foregoing the 30' spin for a 30' easy treadmill run. It was not successful. The run itself felt okay, slight pain here and there, but not as bad as it was. Afterward though, I couldn't lift my right leg comfortably for the rest of the night. 

That was a bit disappointing, though I was happy that my leg felt better on Thursday. That day I changed the spin to a 15' spin/15' run. This run was better than the day before, but again not pain free. The only difference was that I didn't have any after effects. Friday I tried the same routine as Thursday. Still not pain free. 

This resulted in a change of plans for this weekend and I went back to foregoing the running and sticking with the elliptical and bike. Marilyn has been very kind in giving me some lessons on how to use the elliptical properly (if only we lived in the same city so we could be elliptical buddies to make the time go by faster). There are days when the time drags more than other days, but for the most part I am dealing quite well with using a machine rather than being out on the roads or trails. I simply cover the display and avoid looking at the clock on the wall. It helps that the gym I have attended for the past week has individual tv's attached right to their machine, so I have watched things such as hockey, Ellen, Big Bang Theory etc to keep me occupied. I will survive and I will pull through this better than ever. 

On a side note, someone asked me in my last blog why I don't try pool running. I would rather be in a gym stuck to a machine than pool run. I am not a water baby and never have been. The idea of getting in a pool and running sounds like torture to me. So while I hate to be stuck inside on an elliptical, I would rather than then a pool. 

This past Friday I saw my local doctor and requested an x-ray. Since my last x-rays were taken on an angle, I wanted new ones. He figured nothing would show on the x-ray but ordered it anyways. I think he also mentioned something about a bone scan to rule out a stress fracture too. I am pretty sure I don't have that, but I am okay with whatever tests I can get that will rule out issues and get me closer to what exactly is wrong. 

In the meantime, I am finding the cross training a nice change from the regular pounding and will continue with that until I am hopefully pain free. Oh and while I am doing that I will continue to wait for the MRI too, still no word or idea when that will take place.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Injury 1- Me 0

Before we get to the injury update, I want to say thanks to Benji @ Saucony for a nice apparel package to get me through the rest of the winter. Though the weather has been quite deceiving latley getting up to some mild spring temperatures and considering it is only the beginning of February, I expect to need winter clothes for a bit longer. 


As for the injury, I have not run since last Wednesday. Well that isn't entirely true, I did do a quick 10 minute test run on the treadmill on Saturday. I decided to listen to my body (and to everyone who finger wagged at me) and take a break. It isn't a full break though. Instead of being outside pounding the pavement and trails, I am now stuck inside being a cardio gym rat. The elliptical has become my new best friend. While I am disappointed that I cannot run, at least I can do the elliptical without pain and it keeps me feeling as though I am doing something. 

I took Thursday completely off after my hip hurt all day on Wednesday. It felt better on Thursday. Friday I spent hours baking tons of cookies for the Cedar 12km that happened yesterday. In the process of making dozens upon dozens of cookies (I have to leave some cookies at home) I acquired a nasty burn on my finger. Who gets a burn while wearing an oven mitt and taking a cookie tray out of the oven? Yep, this girl here. Take a look, it's a nasty blister. I guess its time to get new mitts. 



Friday night I hit the bike trainer for a 60' spin. BORING. How do you triathletes/ironman etc do it? I watched a movie but time just crawled. Saturday I went to the Nanaimo Aquatic Center (NAC) to use the gym and spent 45' on the elliptical (split into 28 minutes on one similar machine and 17 minutes on the actual true elliptical) and then a 20' bike spin with a 10' test run. Slight pain very briefly at the end of the 10' when I shut it down. 

Sunday I was up early and at the gym just after 7:30 for 45' on the elliptical (15' on the similar machine and 30' on the real one) and a 20' spin. I then raced home, got changed, grabbed the cookies and my camera and headed over to the Cedar 12km which is a few blocks from my house. I spent a few hours helping set up, then standing outside taking photos followed by handing out awards and draw prizes. I helped clean up briefly and then took off just before 2pm as I had to run off to work for 3pm. It was a long day by the time I got home at 11:30 and in bed by 12:30. 

So I am letting my injury take the upper hand briefly, but I regain control eventually. 

Although I did not race, anyone looking for the Cedar 12km race results can find them here

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Steveston Ice Breaker 8km Race Report

2 years ago I ran this same race. It was lousy conditions, pouring rain/wet snow and cold. It was where I set my PB for 30:40. I completed one 8km since then, a very hilly race that didn't come close to my best. 

Bring us to 2011 where it was discussed that I would attempt this race once again and treat it like a workout. That meant training through the race with no real taper. This past week I had many many doubts that I should race. I have not been able to complete one run without some kind of pain for the last few weeks. Not to mention the pain increased in the days prior to the race, where not only did it show up, it didn't disappear a few minutes later like before and instead would hang around for longer periods of time. I wasn't sure I should race, but thought I would attempt it and see what happened. 

I headed over to Vancouver on the 3pm ferry Saturday afternoon. My sister picked me up (thanks sis) and took me back to her place. We went out to a local pub/restaurant for dinner (yummy burgers) and then relaxed and watched a movie. I attempted to get to sleep around 11pm and had the worst sleep I have had in a long time. I have no idea why, but I literally woke up at least 5-6 times throughout the night. It seemed like I was awake every hour. Not ideal before a race. 

I woke up before my alarm, which didn't surprise me at all considering the night I had. 

Pre-Race at my sisters


I left her place around 7:15 and headed up the road to wait for my ride. Ideally, I prefer to get to a race about an hour before the start so I can pick up my number and relax, then slowly get ready for the race with my warm up. This time, it was out of my control and I was thrown into a bit of a panic. 

Why? Well we arrived at the race at about 8am. By the time I had registered and dropped my stuff off, it was 8:10. I had yet to even start my warm up and the race started in 20 minutes. I saw Shauna completing her drills and looking pretty ready to run fast and here I was rushing off for some sort of a warm up. I did a quick 10 min jog with minimal pain, a very small portion of rushed drills and then I was on the start line. 

It was packed. Everyone was crammed to the front. I had someones hair in my face in front of me and if I moved the guy behind me hit me with the brim of his hat. I literally couldn't move my feet. I almost knew that a disaster was going to happen. They did a "test start" to show us the siren and then instead of a count down after 15 seconds they just said, get ready and sounded the horn. A bit different for me as I am used to a 5 second count down at least. 

The race started fast. Next thing I knew, I heard some yelling and you could hear someone falling. I grabbed onto the girl beside me briefly and said "careful" as I had no idea where it was, but it was near by. I briefly looked behind and saw 1 guy hit the ground a few steps behind and to the right of me, then another guy topple to the ground over him. I have no idea if anyone else fell, but I hope whoever was involved is okay. 

I kept behind Shauna and felt pretty good for the first 2km. Slight pain in my right hip at about 1km, but then it went away. We hit an icy portion of a paved trail at the 1-1.5km mark maybe and some of the corners were slow. I found myself losing speed on the sharp corners and then having to pick the pace back up afterward. 

At about 3km (I think) Anne-Marie passed me and Shauna, Amy and Sabrina were ahead of me but still within reach. At this point, they all seemed as though they took off. I kept plodding along pushing and trying to stay within reach. I noticed Amy fall off pace ever so slightly, so I tried to stay with her. We reached the turn around and headed back. I love the way back. For some reason it always seems shorter than the way out. 

Not far from the turn around, Amy said "are you Erin" I said "yep" and she said "Amy" and after I confirmed her last name, we went on our way. She pulled away from me again and I thought I was a goner, but tried to pick it up myself. At 6km I pulled even with her and then passed her. I kept pressing on (or at least it felt like it) and was hoping I would hang on. Some guy went blazing past me around the final km but was going too fast for me to keep up. We passed the final icy portion of paved trail again, which was still icy (not to mention some icy patches/puddles earlier in the route) and headed towards the finish.

I had no idea what my time was as I had not looked at any splits until I saw the clock at the end. I kicked it in and finished in 29:30. A good effort considering training through it and not a whole heck of a lot of speed work lately. It was a 1:10 PB and I finished 4th female (3rd in the 25-29 age group). Anne-Marie blazed the way back and caught Shauna and Sabrina near the end. Anne-Marie won in 28:40, then Sabrina in 28:41 and Sauna in 28:45. I would have liked to have seen that finish. Amy finished 5 seconds back from me at 29:35 and then I think Rachel Ruus was 5 seconds back from Amy in 29:40. (The results were rounded up for all of us as I was 29:30.72 and in the results I along with all the ladies mentioned above were rounded up compared to the results posted on the wall post race)

As soon as I stopped, my hip began to hurt. My cool down was cut in half and it hurt! Ugh. But I survived the race and am happy with the result. Steveston is a flat course, but is deceiving as it has lots of corners, a 180 turn around plus today the icy conditions in some spots weren't ideal. Still a good day and beautiful sunny weather! Flat courses are nice for a change, but I miss the undulating hills in a course. Little hills and some downhills that you can use to your advantage. 

Results can be found here.