Category: Fighting the Limp

Progress: Week 3

Well, my new hip is three weeks old. It’s been interesting getting to know it. Sometimes, I swear I can feel the exact spot where the metal in the hip enters my bone and where it stops. I know this is my imagination. Mostly because I have this thought while laying in bed unable to sleep.
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The next phase…

Well, it happened. I finally took the ultimate step in the fight against the limp: hip replacement surgery. It took years for me to get here – to get to the point where the pain and inconvenience was enough to get me over the fear of the operation. The final straw? The day I couldn’t get out of the tub. I wasn’t sitting in the tub; I was standing in it. I couldn’t get my foot up high enough to get over the edge. After spending what felt like an eternity trying everything I could think of, I finally found the right combination of leaning and positioning to allow myself to de-tub. I called the surgeon’s office the next day.

I had the surgery a week and a day ago. Here’s a few things I’ve learned since then: Read More

3rd Half

San Antonio Half Marathon

For some reason, I found myself reading through some old blog entries here. I got to the ones about my first half marathon (aka, the unhappy one) and then my second (aka, the happy one). I figured I should keep things going and write something about my third half-marathon (aka, the unhappiest one of them all).

On November 17th, I walked in the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll marathon. I didn’t end up feeling very Rock-n-Roll, though. For one thing, I’m about 40 pounds up from my last half (in February – and that was already 10+ pounds up from my lowest weight). Secondly, I hadn’t been training like I should. Next, you have to add in the weather: humid with temps starting at 73 and then climbing to 85 (in NOVEMBER). Finally, I was walking this one by myself since everyone in my walking group walks at a much faster pace than I do.

I started out doing pretty well and was walking fast (for me) and strong. But, perhaps, it was too fast and the heat, pounds and lack of training really started to catch up with me…hard. I started getting dizzy. I started feeling sick to my stomach. I went from getting two cups of water at every water stop to getting three. I started slowing down more and more. Then, I was so dizzy I almost fell over. Luckily, I was standing next to a pole. I grabbed on until the world stopped spinning and then slowly made my way to the medical tent that was nearby. They made me lay down and put salt under my tongue while they put ice bags under my armpits, on my forehead, under my neck, and started icing my legs. I felt like an idiot. I kept waiting for them to tell me to get into the “sag” van – the lovely named van for those who are going too slow to make the cut off time. They didn’t.

After a bit, I got up, took an ice towel that they offered me, and started walking again. The sag van kept hovering. I kept hoping they would make me get in. They did not. I was too stubborn to ask to get in. So, I kept walking…slowly. All I was concentrating on was putting one foot in front of another. Whenever the route went into a slightly shady area, my pace would pick up. I wasn’t trying to pick it up, I just did. As soon as we were back out in the sun, I’d slow down. Finally, four hours and twenty five minutes after I started, I limped across the finish line.

You are supposed to finish the half within four hours. I did not. They still gave me a medal though. Even though, from most perspectives, it represents failure (weight gain, lack of prep/discipline, etc), I think it actually means more to me than the one I got for finishing the happy half. I could have stopped. I didn’t. Now I need to remember that and work on getting my ass in gear more frequently so that the next half I do (will I?) won’t feel like such a failure.

Things that bring joy

It’s been forever since I’ve written about my fight with the limp. There’s some reasons for that. I’ve been losing the fight on an almost daily basis – my binge eating has escalated; my walking/exercising has dropped inversely; my weight has gone way up. One of the books on binge eating I read said that to help battle the urge to do oneself damage by overeating, one should do something that brings joy once a day. That made me stop and think – what brings me joy? That’s such a strong word and a strong emotion. I seem to prefer keeping my emotions on a more even keel; I’m fearful of the repercussions that feeling and expressing strong emotions often bring. Since that’s not natural, it’s probably why I’m often so cranky, impatient and quick tempered (at least it’s part of it). Negative emotions come more natural to me. This leaves me, of course. failing at yet another thing. And it still leaves me at the question: what brings me joy? Pure, unmitigated joy? I don’t know. Until I do, maybe I can start with things that at least make me smile…

My 2nd to last day in NYC, I roamed around in Brooklyn taking pictures. I ended up mainly going places I’d been to before and mainly taking pictures of the standard tourist items. I was frustrated with myself for sticking to such a tried and true path. On the way back to my friend’s apartment, I took a wrong turn. Instead of turning back to my usual road, I just went with it. I passed a garage with one of those “help you see the street as you are pulling out” kind of big mirrors outside it. I thought it looked interesting. But I was worried about time (I needed to get a late lunch/early dinner and then make it to the tennis in Queens on time), so I kept walking. After a few steps, however I stopped, and went back. Stared at the mirror and door and took a picture that made me smile when I reviewed it on the screen. It made me smile more when I got home and looked at it on my computer.

Garage reflected

I’m not sure I got “the” shot of it…but I got a shot and one that somewhat satisfies me. (That may not sound like much, but it is.)

Walking from Eze-Ville to Eze-Sur-Mer

Walking down a cliff

This was a very steep path called the Nietzsche Path. I never, ever would have been able to do this a few years ago. Heck, it was touch and go a few times now.

Walking from La Turbie to Eze-Ville

Walking from La Turbie to Eze-Ville

Thoroughly enjoyed walking between these two towns. Even though it was just 4km, it was something I never would have thought to attempt a few years ago.

The Binge Questionaire 2

Yeah. Again.

1. Am I angry or upset?
I’m beyond fucking pissed…and sad. I spent the day feeling pretty good about not having binged in two days and having exercised each day. There was a bit of a spring in my step. My pants felt just kinda tight instead of “oh my god, these are obscene.” Then, I had to go to Walgreens to pick up a prescription. I should have gone through the drive-thru instead of going into the temptation, but I thought, “if I can’t handle it today, when will I be able to?” Well, I guess the answer is never.

Even worse, I didn’t buy as much as I have been. If I’d stuck to just what I got at the store, it wouldn’t have been a total disaster. But no, once I finished the goodies from the store, I wanted more. So I started finding stuff in the house to eat. Now I have a hella tummy ache.

Why was I able to control these urges for almost two years and can now barely mange for two days? This makes no fucking sense to me at all. *sigh* I’ll try and do it all over again tomorrow. I’ll have to go back to Walgreens since they couldn’t fill everything today (getting ready for my vacation). I’m going drive-thru this time.

2. Am I or do I feel like crying?
No. I want to kick myself in the ass. Sadly, I’m not flexible enough.

3. What does my body feel like?
Same as last time: horrible, bloated, stretched, lethargic, flabby….BAD.

4. What do I want to do now?
Punish myself…which often means more food. Trying not to.

5. Do I want to do this again?
Same answer as last time: Hell no. Didn’t the last elevently thousand times either.

The Binge Questionaire

Binge

I have an assignment to do from my therapist whenever I binge eat. So tonight, I decided to do it in public. I’m to answer the following questions immediately after I eat:

1. Am I angry or upset?
I wasn’t before I ate. Now I’m ticked off at myself. Wondering why I continue to do this: eat stuff when I’m not hungry, spend money on food I don’t need to spend, sabotage my hard work. It’s so damn frustrating and I get very, very pissed off at myself. I’d had an okay day. Nothing majorly stressful and was in a good mood after having a mani/pedi. Why did I need to drive some place and buy enough candy that eating in one sitting should put me in a coma? Where’s the fucking logic or reason in that?

2. Am I or do I feel like crying?
Not until I typed my answer to question #1.

3. What does my body feel like?
Horrible, bloated, stretched, lethargic, flabby….BAD.

4. What do I want to do now?
Sleep. Always sleep.

5. Do I want to do this again?
Hell no. Didn’t the last elevently thousand times either.

The 2nd Half

13.1 Mile Club

This weekend, I did my second half-marathon. I was very worried about this one since I’d had problems on my first one – one that was on a very flat course. The Livestrong route is hilly. It goes up a long slow hill from the river to Ben White and then, in mile eleven, there’s a rather large hill on Enfield. What kind of sadist designs a 13.1 mile course with its largest hill in the 11th mile? Even meaner, there were more hills after that! Including two small ones in the last 600 meters. So not fair.

This was the event that was my original end-goal when I signed up for AustinFit with Corina and Lyndee. I remember thinking that the idea of walking 13.1 miles in one day was insane and that there was no way I’d ever be able to do it. Well, I have. Twice. And the really cool thing? I actually enjoyed the Livestrong race! I don’t know why it left me wanting to do more half-marathons when the Sugar Land one didn’t. Was it because Corina and Lyndee are such fun people? (Seriously, could not imagine people more different than me – they lapped up the cheers from the people along the sidelines and cheered back at them. Me? I always ducked my head and felt self-conscious.) Was it that the scenery along the route was more interesting? The fun crowds of people who came out to cheer friends and total strangers? I don’t know. But I felt strong during the race. I even felt strong going up that damn hill. (Well, strong and slightly on the edge of death, but a strong death.) Was it just where my head was at that day? I have no idea. It’s not because my hip wasn’t hurting, because it was. But I admit…I’ve already Googled and looked at dates for other half-marathons in the area.

Given the hills, and my close to four hour time in the flat Sugar Land event, I was paranoid about not being able to finish in the four hour limit and, thus, not get my medal. I wanted my darn medal! To finish in four hours, you need to have a pace of at least 18 minutes a mile. Worried about the late hills, I decided to try for 17 minutes per mile to leave a bit of a buffer. So, as we crossed each mile marker, I would look at my watch and add 17 to the time it showed. I kept getting a surprise and moral boost by beating that new goal at each mile…even the one with the big hill.

Thanks to AustinFit for getting me up to 13.1 miles. Thanks to Lyndee and Corina for being great race walking partners. (And sorry for abandoning you around mile 10…I just needed to go at the pace my body wanted me to.) Thanks to Brian for being around mile 7 and taking our no longer needed jackets and long-sleeved shirts. Thanks to all the people cheering along the way – I might have ducked my head and looked embarrassed, but I appreciated you.

My official Race results:
Division Place: 379/396
Overall: 9168/9326
Gender Place: 5225/5351

5K 50:22 min
5M 1:22:10 min
10M 2:45:11 min
12M 12.0 mi
Finish 13.1 mi 3:37:08 min
Pace 16:35/M/Mile

Endomondo’s version of the walk:

Bubble bath victory lap

Bubble bath

Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with bubble baths. This got started when some of my longer walks left me feeling gimpy. I’d pour a bunch of Epsom salt into a tub full of steaming hot water, soak, and later joke about needing to take an old-lady bath in order to be able to move. It was just a joke, though, because old-lady Epsom salts and achy body aside, the bath always feels like a victory lap to me. Why? It’s simple: I fit in the tub. It used to be, my body completely filled the tub from side-to-side; I created a damn around which no water could flow. I could take a bath and end up with my back being totally dry. Also, it was very difficult for me to get up out of the tub. It’s still difficult to do that, but only because I never want to get out of the tub.

I did get a little tired of watching my extra flappy skin/loose fat float around in the water, though. So, in addition to Epsom salt, I now make sure I have ooodles and oooodles of bubbles. Bubbles are fun. Bubbles are happy. You can sculpt things in bubbles. You can blow them around. Every life should have more bubbles in it.

The most recent theories on good muscle recovery include avoiding heat and icing ones muscles instead. To that, I say: “ppppfffft!” I’ll continue with my bubble bath victory laps, thank you very much.

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