Friday, March 26, 2010

Short lived

Cortisone shot worked for about 3 days. Oh well. All I can do now is wait it out. Frustrating, especially at school, but if I dwell on it, well, that won't help. So I can't. Must...look...forward...

My 500m swim time improved from 11:34 to 10:30. Still slow but not the slowest in the group, and one of the best overall improvements. I think from here on out the pool at the Y is open for lap swimming until 4:15 at least 3 days a week, so I can add that into the mix of bike and elliptical and weights more easily. I've taken it easy this week (kind of a bad cold and cough, plus just mentally dealing with ankle) but will have to get my spring plan in swing soon. I keep looking at local triathlons, and maybe I will plan to do an olympic and DNF. What the's obviously not a triathlon, but the worst part about not running/racing is that I have no gauge of my fitness/effort and hence no real motivation other than just "exercising." It doesn't help that I've been eating too much crap but also losing a little weight (yet, the body fat scale creeps up, so it's clearly not fat I'm losing). If I have a race to do, I can then have the fun of seeing where I fit in with others in the swim and bike portion.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cortisone shot and beach pictures

Got my cortisone shot Friday. It certainly has helped. When I stand up now and take that first step, I can just WALK. It had been very painful to do that, though a few steps later it wasn't so bad, though I was always limping. I still can't run. The bones continue to click and rub against each other and generally feel loose. Sometimes when it cracks, it hurts. I think it's like an earthquake, the pressure builds and when it finally gives, it cracks and hurts. I can't really balance on just my left leg, because all those little corrections you do to keep your balance cause cracking of the joint. But the painful inflammation is gone, at least for now. And I don't think I am noticeably limping anymore, though my gait isn't quite normal. The ankle is still stiff, and I still am AWARE of it. Hard to explain, but normally when you walk, you just walk, you don't have to think about it. I am hoping that when my orthotics come back (again) next week, that will also help, though I don't think I have a prayer to run for a while. I am not even playing that game where you wonder if your "injury" (not an injury in my case, but a good enough analogy) is real or if you're just being a wimp. I am not being a wimp. There is just no point in my running "through" this. Hopefully the joint will stabilize, maybe fuse itself (so I don't have to consider surgery in a few years), but at least get to the point where it's not so loose. If it stays at least as good as it is now, walks are an option again. Maybe not fast walks that could count as a workout, but at least a way to get outside, especially if Andra needs to go to the park or take an extra nap.

A few pictures from the beach last week. Schools in my town were closed all week, though the town I teach in went back Thursday after power was restored late Wednesday night. My friend Jessica and her daughter Kate are moving back to Chicago tomorrow, which I am REALLY sad about, but we did get to spend a couple days hanging out in the beautiful weather.

Monday, March 15, 2010


We were lucky and never even lost power, but the nor'easter that blew through this weekend has shut area schools (including mine) today and tomorrow, at least. Crazy! A huge tree fell across our road a few houses down, but didn't hit power lines, houses, or even a car. Fred's brother and his wife and new baby are without power til Thursday probably. I still took Andra to daycare today and went to the gym, then did a few errands and then cleaned half the house. I'll take her tomorrow too and get more cleaning and some organizing done.

We're halfway to our fundraising goal! Not bad for a month into it.

Also, since I am without my orthotics for a few weeks as they get readjusted, I put into my shoes the Dr. Scholl's arch supports I bought during my pregnancy. Amazingly, they worked much better than the orthotics! Less pain, though still the crunching. Which might be taken care of with the shot on Friday. Hopefully the orthotics will come back like that...or else I guess I make them redo them? I like the podiatrist and he said he was "a perfectionist," so...

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I went back to the podiatrist yesterday for an orthotics check, which was good because I felt like they were doing absolutely nothing. He seemed surprised, and decided to get xrays of my feet while standing, with and without the orthotics. I am glad he did. Since my last xrays (I think back in September) apparently things have progressed significantly. That Sept xray report said no damage, the first orthopedic said no damage (and no to the cortisone shot), and the new guy said there clearly WAS damage, though I couldn't tell when he showed me. This time, it was crystal clear even to me. Upside: it's real so I don't have to feel like a wuss for not running (or walking) these last few months. Downside: he doesn't think the orthotics will help much, though he did take them back to have the arch raised more just in case it will help. He also said he'd guess I'll need the joint fused at some point, but that yeah, I could still run after that since no motion = no pain. I go for a cortisone shot next Friday.

I keep trying to compare this ankle pain to my wrists. I didn't think it was exactly the same...but now that I know it really is RA in the ankle, I guess it is, it's just that the joints function differently. My wrists used to hurt if they stayed in the same position too long (sleeping, say, or on the bike). The ankle is always worst when I first stand up. I would have real weakness in my wrists...not being able to pick up heavy books, or open doors. With the ankle, you do'nt use your toes the way you do your fingers so that strength loss isn't the same. Still, the swelling, stiffness and pain are the same. So, now I have some faith that the cortisone shot will actually help. I wish I had realized this earlier, say in September, and maybe some of this damage could have been prevented. the same time, despite all my wrists have been through and the times I probably thought I would never lift a dumbbell again, they are functionally 95% normal and pain free now. SO...lesson is, relax, I will run again. Or hell, at least WALK again.

At swimming last night we did a mini indoor triathlon. Swim 1000 yards (I was second to last, not last!), spin 20 min, run (or elliptical in my case) 20 min. I make a pathetic exit from the pool at 4:18 on this video (ankle, can you tell it hurts?), though I look much stronger spinning in the middle of the video, and despite my warnings I even made an elliptical appearance at 7:30.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Guess who's a real swimmer?

Guess who that is on the left??? Looks like a real swimmer, huh? (Don't disillusion me, if I made it onto the poster, I can't be that bad.)

At Masters tonight, Amanda in my lane told me my picture was on the poster advertising the next session, and apparently the same images were also in an email we got. I feel so cool! And to make things better, a fast woman from 2 lanes over told me in the locker room that I have gotten a lot better and look much smoother and faster. It FEELS better, too, much more natural. Well, except for this breathing stuff we did tonight. I did OK taking only 4 breaths per length for the 200, 300 and 500 sets. The 3 breaths per length for the next 300 was pushing it, and the 1 breath per length for the 200 ended up being more like 8 25s (with loooong rests in between). But I do have faith that all this misery is paying off. We retest the 500 on the last session in 2 weeks. I only really hope for under 10:30, though 9:5x would be very nice. At least now, I feel like I can cruise for long sets and feel comfortable, even if I am not good at pushing the pace. Comfort was all I wanted. If I do this again, I can work on speed.