Friday, March 11, 2011

Ragnars, Half Ironmen, and hamstrings

In the winter, I get lazy.

It's cold. And I'm wussy.

I used to be tough. I spent 8 winters of my life in Massachusetts, and boy, they don't mess around with winter up there. When the sun comes up at 9am in January and it's dark by 4:30, you know you're in a place where winter commands some respect.

But I've been gone from New England for 8 years now, and what can I say, I'm a soft southern girl. And so running at 6am in 20 degree weather? I'd rather be fat.

Also, I tweaked my hamstring somehow. It's been bugging me since October, but I figured once I finished my half marathon in November, and backed off a little bit, it would heal. The same thing happened last year--I injured my knee and it bothered me for a long time, but after a period of rest and easing back into running with some walking thrown in there, my knee was as good as new.

I haven't had the same luck. I picked things up again last week, but nothing serious. I did a fast 2 mile run at the Y, followed by an easy 400meters in the pool, a total 45 minute workout at best just to ease me back into things. My hamstring was fine until I cooled down, and it's been a beast ever since. I was okay this morning, so I took my dog for a quick 25 minute walk (and she's as fat as they come, so we weren't exactly sprinting) and the pain is back again. Dang it. I've broken down and called a doctor, and will be seeing him on Monday.

The thing is, winter is over. It's moving on, which means it's time to get moving myself. I'm putting together a team for a half Ironman this fall, a team where I do the swim leg of the race, a 1.2 mile endeavor. Also, my running partner, who had the audacity to MOVE (stupid job), is trying to put together a Ragnar Relay team. The Ragnar Relay is this crazy 200 mile overnight ultramarathon, where you and 11 of your closest running buddies run 3 legs each over a 24 hour period. Punch drunk, sleep deprived, and possibly dehydrated, people say it's great fun. If we can pull off a fun team (and really, it's all about peeing yourself laughing with friends in the van), it could be an awesome thrill.

But HOW am I supposed to do all these things with a bum hamstring?

Stupid hamstring.

And if I needed a reminder to stay in shape, it came in spades last month after weeks of not working out. Yup, kidney pain.

Stupid cysts.

I saw Dr. Steinman last month for my check-up in the study, and he said that maybe after all of the double-blind stuff is done, he wants to go back and do a sub-study (that's what he called it, at least) to determine if muscle tone helps decrease pain. He wants to compare pain surveys with the back MRIs and see if muscle strength and thickness have any correlation with decreased pain.

I'd like to think I personally inspired this study. After all, I AM the one who told him that exercise helps with my pain. I wonder if he'll give me credit on the paper? I don't need to be first author or anything---I'd take 4th author, or even a footnote. With asterisks. And lots of happy face emoticons. I'm not greedy, or anything.

I'm planning on running on Monday before my doctor's appointment, mostly to make sure I'm still hurting so as not to embarrass myself or waste my doctor's time. I mean, how much would it suck to get to the office and have everything feel fine? You know how that happens. It's like your body decides, "Holy CRAP you're taking me to a doctor? No way, sister, I'm not letting that guy NEAR me!" and then pulls off some miracle healing so by the time you actually GET to the doctor, you look like a perfectly healthy idiot.

But if it's cold, I might just stay in bed and risk the embarrassment.

Stupid winter.


3KidsMomLGJ said...

Great to read about an active person living with 4 year old was recently diagnose and I am hoping for a future of normal days for her. You give me hope of that...and I am also a runner (trying to be..just started) so I feel for you that that hamstring is acting up. Good luck and hope it heals quickly. Great to read your blog..look forward to the next one!

Heather O. said...

Thanks for reading, 3kidsmom! And keep up the running--it's hard at first, but before you know it, you'll be hooked!

Anonymous said...

Hey Heather and 3kids Mom :) I am 34 year old chick and living with PKD as well - very normally so far :)
I stumbled across this blog accidentally on one of these insomniac nights spent bumming around on the net :) LOVE this blog as I love Heather's humour and attitude and a lot of this resonates with me :) Just like this post for example - it cracked me up :) Heather - you actually make me smile and chuckle - even while reading about PKD-related stuff.
I went from my world really crumbling apart when finding out about this to now something like a stoic acceptance. It's rough sometimes - but I really count my blessings and life is still good :) Just try to look at all the good stuff around me - the people that I love, nature, animals ... all that.
Heather - I have also noticed a tiredness that comes and goes - I somehow have the feeling that it wasn't like that before. Sometimes I have days where I feel as if I had taken Melatonin or something like that - where staying in bed is tempting to me in a way it never has been before - I used to be somebody who really jumped out of bed in the morning - maybe it's just general aging though :)
Anyway ... I ramble :) Great Blog! Sparky