The One Where I Finally See A PT

I did not go to yoga last night.

My yoga buddy is on a jury right now, and they go into deliberation today, so she had to pack just in case they can`t come to a conclusion today and they have to stay over tonight.  I was not horribly upset by the forced rest day (although I really, really wanted to go for a run) and so I ended up doing this instead:

Yum, groceries! Ok maybe not yum for the dishwasher soap

I love being able to shop for clothes where I also buy groceries.  Cute yellow racer back tank for $8 somehow slipped into my cart.  Oops.

Earlier in the day yesterday I had my first physio appointment.  I wasn`t sure what to expect since I had never had one before.  After filling out the usual medical forms and taken back to the curtained off area, my PT asked me a bunch of questions about pain, when it started, etc, and had me do a bunch of movements while she watched.  It`s quite difficult to do a one leg squat while standing on a stool, let me tell you that now.

After all of my squatting and standing she had me lay down and assessed both my knees as well as my hips.  It was nice to have someone actually feel my knee, as the last few times I`ve been to my doctor she hasn`t even touched it.

I think I need a tan

The PT came to the same conclusion that I kinda of did (with the help of Dr Google – yeah yeah I know I shouldn`t do that) – that I have super tight IT bands on both sides, and that on my right knee the band is pulling my knee cap more laterally than it should be.  This pulling can`t be countered by my inner knee muscles because they are weak, and so my knee cap is rubbing on the wrong part of the joint and thus causing inflammation in the cartilage.  Super awesome.

So the plan right now is to relax the IT band and eliminate my knee pain and then to work on exercises to strengthen both my knee and my hips which are weak, too.  Just a mess my lower body seems to be.

So I`m in a better frame of mind, even with my DNS coming up this weekend.  I at least have an answer and a plan of attack and that is just so much better than being in the dark, in pain.

CrossFit at lunch today – 10-1 of kettlebell swings and pull ups.  Looking forward to it.  Now time to foam roll my IT band and try not to cry the entire time.  That business HURTS.

While you`re at it, check out Amber`s post for the Canadian Blogger Series over at The Balance Project.  Today she`s writing about British Columbia`s interior.

Happy Tuesday!

Bonding Over Burpees – CrossFit Open 12.1

I had my first physio appointment today and FINALLY got some answers and I feel like we have a plan, and I’m on track to get back to running again soon.  More on that in the next post, though!

This weekend most of the members of my gym’s CrossFit Open team came out to try their hand at the 7 minute burpee WOD.  I gave it a go on Saturday and was a little disappointed with my score – 55 in 7 minutes.  I felt I could have done better with some encouragement, but hey it’s not a horrible score right?

After catching our breaths and assuring each other that no, we weren’t going to pass out anymore, a few of us stuck around to watch the late comers tackle the burpees.  The atmosphere was electric – yeah we all wanted to do our best and get a great score, but more than anything we wanted our friends and fellow gym members to do well too, and to bump up the team score.  I’m clearly never going to win the Open, or go onto Regionals, so as long as I can help my team I’m happy.

So many burpees! Photo taken by Angelo, a fellow gym member

I think watching and cheering was definitely more fun than doing the burpees (ok, don’t think, I KNOW).  It was pretty awesome to yell encouragement at someone when they paused and to know that they started moving again because of your words.  Doing the burpees you really get into a zone of not stopping – when you do stop it’s so much harder to get going again, and anything or anyone that can force you to jump a little higher or push a little faster will help lead you to a higher score.

I was really proud of all the gym members this weekend, both on Saturday and Sunday.  Some didn’t even come to workout but came by to encourage and watch their fellow CrossFitters, and everyone tried their hardest when they were participating in the WOD.  This is a huge reason why I love my gym – you don’t get that sense of support at most globo-gyms unless you are really, really lucky.

Open WOD 12.2 comes out Wednesday evening – and I cannot wait to tackle it!


7 Minutes of Burpee Hell – Musical Motivation

Hello and good morning!

While I may not be running right now, I’m still challenging myself.  As I mentioned previously, I was peer pressured into joining my gym’s team for the CrossFit Open.  I think there might be 18 or 20 of us signed up now! This is great, because with a team you have more of a chance of moving on to regionals than most of us would on our own (my chance on my own would be a big fat zero).

I  know 7 minutes might not seem like a lot of anything, but burpees are HORRIBLE and 7 minutes definitely equals a horrific workout.  I’m just hoping to keep moving and to not puke on the gym floor during or after the workout.

Anyway, this week I have been psyching myself up by listening to some kick ass songs that I hope will push me to my limit and help me get a great number of reps in that 7 minutes.

First up: “Get Thru This” by Art of Dying

Best lyrics – If I can get thru this, I can get thru anything

Next: “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson

Best lyrics – What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter

And finally: “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor

Best lyrics - This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name

Have a great weekend!

Review – Topical Pain Relievers

Over the last 3 weeks of my knee disaster problem I’ve tried various pain and inflammation relief remedies.  Advil, oral Arnica, topical Arnica, ice, etc and I think I’ve *finally* found the right combination. Here’s what I’ve tried, topically:

Rub A535

I started using Rub A535 Dual Action as that’s what I had at home (and I like the weird sensation when it goes from cold to hot – I dunno, I’m not normal).  I don’t know that it actually did anything but I felt that it did, probably because it just felt like it was doing something, based on the weird tingling sensation.  The smell was really strong though.

The next topical I tried using was also made by Rub A535 but it contained Arnica.

“Arnica montana, known commonly as leopard’s banewolf’s banemountain tobacco and mountain arnica,[1] is a European flowering plant with large yellow capitula. Arnica has been used in herbal medicine and, according to double-blind studies, has demonstrated pain relieving attributes in osteoarthritis patients.”


This one didn’t smell as strong but I really didn’t experience any difference at all in the pain in my knees.

Topical #3 was Traumeel, which had been recommended to me by numerous people.  I actually experienced a fair amount of pain reduction using the product, but I ran out of the free sample I had and it is really expensive to purchase. Which brings me to yesterday.

My doctor had recommended me using Voltaren Emulgel for joint pain in my hands (more on that next week when I get some blood results back) but I just never got around to using it.  After a painful night at work on Wednesday night, and a sale on Voltaren at the grocery store on Thursday I decided to bite the bullet and try it.  I applied it to my knees 3 times yesterday (instructions are 3-4 times a day as needed) and let me tell you, I woke up this morning and was able to walk without pain for the first time in about a week.  IT IS A FREAKING MIRACLE.

I’m not healed, this stuff isn’t a miracle worker and hasn’t magically fixed the damage in my knees.  However, the chance to walk without pain and to not limp is going to greatly improve my ability to heal.

Maybe running isn’t as far in the future as I had originally thought!

Confessions & Thankful Things Thursday

I feel like starting this post with “Dear Diary.”

But I won’t.

I never kept a diary as a kid, mostly because I thought it was weird to write down everything I thought and felt when I already knew what I thought and felt.  As I’ve gotten older, it makes more sense to me, for in order to write it down I have to sort it out, first.

I last wrote that I was in a bit of a funk.  I think that it has gone a little past that, and I am devastated, depressed, angry and sad that my knee(s) still hurt(s). Oh yes, it’s both knees now, and in different places. I ran twice last week – the first time, I got a mile before my right knee started to ache, so I stopped.  The second time, I got to 2 miles, but both knees hurt.  I haven’t run since.

I have gone to my doctor, but her wise words of advice were to just keep doing what I was doing – RICE, basically.  But I’ve gone beyond that now, it’s not helping or getting better, and it’s frustrating to be in pain all the time and to NOT KNOW WHY.

And it’s not just interfering with running, or standing, or walking, but even CrossFit.  I can’t jump rope, lift weights, do box jumps, even air squats I’m afraid to do for fear of hurting my knees.  And this is a problem, since I’m registered for the CrossFit Open (I thought it was a good idea at the time).

I hate feeling so helpless.  So I’ve decided to not be helpless anymore.  I’ve booked a physio appointment for Monday and I’m going to take my health into my control.  I’m GOING to run again.  I probably  will not be running the Chilly Half next weekend, and while just typing that makes me break down in tears I know it’s for the best.  I still have GoodLife in May to look forward to, and if not then Soctiabank in the fall.  I’m going to get a road bike.  I’m going to start swimming.  I’m going to do WHATEVER it takes to get better, to get running again even if it’s just for short distances, and I’m going to do it MY WAY.  I’m a fucking athlete now, it’s time I started acting like one.

WHEW. Ok. Anger and venting aside….that felt good to write.  Any advice on how to proceed with the healing process MENTALLY will be greatly appreciated. I refuse to give in to the depression that is stalking me with this injury, but I need a little help to get my sparkle back.

Onto the Thankful Things part of the post:

Today I am thankful for my dogs.  They always know how to make me feel better, they always know when I am sad and when I need a hug.  They pretty much rock.

I am thankful for my husband. Shawn puts up with a lot from me (I’m not exactly low maintenance) but he has been supportive through this transformation and injury and I’m going to drag him to bike shops and the bike show in the next few weeks and I just KNOW he’s looking forward to it.  He’s also awesome because he agreed for us to go to the cottage next weekend so I’m far, far away from here when I’m missing the half marathon. I’m hoping there will be wine. And rye.

I’m thankful for friends who have followed my whining rants on Facebook, who have provided advice and support and even just “likes” or a “good job”.  It all helps.

I’m thankful Bubba got a new home and it’s the most absolutely perfect home for him.  He is just around the corner, has a new big brother, and a mom who loves and adores him.  I miss him, but this is the most fantastic situation for me.  Makes my heart smile.

Bubba likes his new couch in his new home!

I’m thankful I’m off work till Tuesday!

I’m thankful for lattes, for Pinterest recipes, for gluten free chocolate Chex cereal, and for Camino’s dark chocolate with raspberries.

I need to remember everything I have to be thankful for, and focus on that, instead of everything that has gone wrong lately.  Life’s too short to dwell on the negatives.

Happy Thursday everyone :)

What are you thankful for today?

The Self Pity Post

Hello again everyone!

Another week has come and gone, and while I would normally have some awesome workout in review post for you, the sad state is this:

Yes that’s right, Daily Mile put it out on Twitter for all to see – I only got down and sweaty once last week.  While it was a CrossFit workout and nothing to sneeze at, it was still only. one. workout. And no running – yes, I do have a half marathon in less than 3 weeks.

Remember that knee thing I mentioned last week? And how I was going to take a few days off to let it settle? Well, truthfully, I’m terrified to try running right now.  I worked at the barn this weekend (yay ponies) and the combination of heavy winter boots, snow, and lots of time on my feet really set my knee back.  Saturday I was in a lot of pain, so I stocked up on some essentials – Advil, Arnica, lots of ice and a knee sleeve from the drugstore.  So far this combination has really helped and I’m nearly (yes, only nearly) pain free.

I am going to get on the treadmill tomorrow to test it out and see how things go.  Fingers crossed that I’m able to push out at least 5K pain free. Any and all good knee thoughts would be greatly appreciated.   I really don’t want to have to DNS my first half marathon – the very idea of not being able to race has me in and out of a funk, and I don’t like being in a funk.  So I’m trying to put a smile on and think happy rainbow and unicorn thoughts, considering that I have so many other things to be happy and thankful for, and there’s far worse things that could happen to me than a DNS, but I want to run. And I want to run this race.

All that moping aside, I do plan on going to yoga tonight or if not then I will go to CrossFit. And I bought a new cool racerback tank from Lululemon today – although I was disappointed they didn’t have the Run: Stay On Course skirt in my size.  AND I still have today and tomorrow off work – so really, lots of good things, right?

(But I still want to run)

I hope you all had a great weekend and have lots of sweaty workouts planned for this week!

Any and all positive thoughts are appreciated! How do you deal with injuries when you can’t run? 

11 Random Things & The Answers to Some Questions

I’m happy to have been tagged by Robyn in the latest blogger theme going around the internet! Here are 11 Random Things About Me and my answers to the questions she posted for me on her blog.  Enjoy!

Here are the rules:

1.       Post these rules (check!)
2.       You must post 11 random things about yourself
3.       Answer the questions set for you by the person who tagged you
4.       Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5.       Select 11 peeps and tag them on twitter, facebook, or on their blog

11 Random Things About Me
1. I never wear high heels – I find they hurt my feet, although I love the way they make my calves look!
2.  I wear a nightguard to sleep since I grind my teeth.  I’m also at the dentist a lot, they know me very well there.
3.  While I love my iPhone, when I can upgrade again I will probably be going to Android.  Unless, that is, the iPhone 5 exists at that time and blows me away.
4.  I cannot and will not watch The Big Bang Theory.  I’ve tried, and I just don’t get it.
5.  My favourite numbers have always been 4 and 13
6.  I love baseball.  Die hard Jays fan!
7.  I started riding horses when I was 11.  It was supposed to be for a month but somehow has turned into 19 years.
8.  I didn’t move out until the summer I turned 26.
9.  I have done 7 years of post secondary education – one year of fine arts, one year of physics and astronomy, 3 years (and a degree) in psychology, then a 2 year college diploma to become a vet tech.
10.  I haven’t written fiction since I was 19 years old and my university teacher told me I couldn’t write.  I hope to start writing again, some day.  The ideas are there but my inner critic refuses to let them out.
11.  My first car was a burgundy Sunfire, and I didn’t get it until I was 25.
Now for the questions from Robyn!
1. Favourite New TV Show? Modern Family – just discovered it in the last couple of months
2. Best Book You’ve Read In The Past Year? The Hunger Games Trilogy (ok that’s 3 books but c’mon – they are all amazing)
3. What Period Of History Fascinates You? Ancient Greek/Roman and Ancient Egypt for sure
4. What “$h*t ______ Say” Video on YouTube Do You Like The Best? I’ve only watched one and it was the CrossFit one. So funny because it’s true!
5. Who Is Your Fitness Inspiration? Well (and I’m not just saying this because I know she’ll read this) my mom for one – she’s always been active and trying to stay in shape and I guess I caught that from her! Also the people at my gym, and the bloggers I follow.
6. Best Movie You Saw In The Past Year? I’m not sure – I will say one of my favourites was Friends with Benefits though.  Very funny.
7. Favourite Group Exercise Class? When I did them it was definitely RPM and BodyPump at Goodlife!
8. Favourite Colour To Wear To Workout? I own a lot of black but I like pink
9. What Is Your Dream Job?  To write for a living, while operating a successful dog and cat rescue.  Or to retire.
10. What Is Your Favourite (we Canadians spell it right!) Quote?  “Finding Beauty in the Dissonance” is a line from a song by Tool.  I plan to get it tattooed on me eventually.
11. What Is One Thing You Would Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail? Fitness wise, an Ironman.  Life wise I’m not sure…write an amazing young adult fiction series? That’s a tough question!
I’m going to be a wet blanket and not come up with any questions or tag anyone to com – most bloggers I know have already been tagged by someone else.  I’m just happy I got to be included! Thanks again Robyn, it was a lot of fun!

Workout Recap and a Recipe!


Happy Monday everyone! I hope the weekend treated you well, and that you have big and exciting things planned for the week ahead. Here’s a little recap of my workouts from last week:

Monday – Power Hour Yoga

Another excellent yoga class – focused on hip openers which I always need. I love starting my week off with yoga; it really sets the mood for the rest of the week.

Tuesday – Intervals on the treadmill – 6km

This run went well – my knees didn’t hurt, and I managed to run some fairly fast 200 and 400 m repeats. And yes, they were fast – like 7:40/mile! (but that was only for about 200m)

Wednesday – CrossFit

So I was a bad CrossFitter this week and only made it to one WOD but I’m STILL hurting from this one. The “pre workout” was 150 push ups for time. I did them from my knees in 13:05. Then the actual WOD was “Annie“:

50-40-30-20-10 of sit ups and double unders

Apparently I have had a revelation when it comes to double unders and can actually do at least one if not two in a row. I did the first three rounds with 3x singles though (so 150, 120, 90) and then did double unders for the last two rounds. I have never felt so sore in my chest, triceps, biceps or abs before. It’s crazy!

Thursday – 5km run outside

So this was kind of a bust. I started out quickly and wanted to maintain a faster pace for the whole run, but my right knee started hurting, my left hip started hurting, and I mentally shut down. I still finished in about 33 min which isn’t horrific for me but there was a lot of walking involved. I also skipped my Oly lifting class in order to give my knees a break.

I didn’t run the rest of the week or weekend – I worked nights all weekend and my days were devoted to sleeping, and I figured my body could use the rest. 8 straight days of running/CrossFit and yoga really took a toll on me.

I think my knee issues stem from trying to run in my orthotics – ironic that the very thing that is supposed to help me is the thing that is most likely hurting me. I plan on seeing how things go Monday afternoon and will also be booking an appointment with my doctor ASAP – only a month till the race, and I need to get better and get my long runs in!

And now for the recipe!

When Shawn and I got married, our good friend Jenn bought us a crock pot as a wedding present, and in the 4.5 years since I think we used it once. This past week I have rediscovered my love of the slow cooker and we’ve made a few different things in it, but I wanted to share the applesauce recipe I made this past Saturday. It takes like apple pie and would be amazing with some homemade granola.

Crock Pot Apple Sauce
( from Skinnytaste – original recipe found here)

9 apples (I used a combination of Gala and Golden Delicious)
1 strip of lemon peel – (next time I would omit this)
juice from half a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
5 tsp light brown sugar (unpacked)

Peel and cut apples and place into crock pot. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel. Cover and set on low for 5-6 hours. Blend or mash the apples if you like a smoother apple sauce or leave if you like it a bit more chunky. Tastes and smells just like apple pie.

Next time I will omit the lemon peel, but might add more lemon juice or even some freshly squeezed orange juice, and might either omit the sugar all together or reduce the amount.

Sorry for the lack of photos for the recipe, I made this after working a 13 hour overnight shift and I was just too tired to take pictures. Next time, I promise. If you do make this recipe please let me know how you like it! I know I’ll be making this many more times.

How do you deal with knee pain so close to a race? What’s your favourite crock pot recipe?

The Great Speed Debate

Callie over at The Wannabe Athlete wrote a great post about 10min+/mile runners last week, and it got me thinking.  Thanks for inspiring this post and for writing such a great blog! :)

Look at me run (in the pink) - I'm so fast I'm blurry

One thing I am not good at is running fast (and there is great debate over whether I run well at all, anyway, I’m sure).

Oh sure, I try, but my “speed” tends to be around 10:00/mile (or 6:00/km) while on longer runs.  I can hold a fairly decent pace while on the treadmill doing  shorter repeats but I cannot sustain it for any length of time.

I’m usually more comfortable around a 10:30/mile pace but that’s comfort – I seem to be unable to push myself, unless it’s just for a short period of time.  My brain tends to wimp out way before my body does.

Regardless, I have improved tremendously since I started running in April.  My first 5K race, I crossed the finish line at 39:16 (with minimal training).  My next 5k, 2 months later, I ended with a time of 34:48, and during my 10k a few months later I managed a 31min 5k.  So clearly I’m getting faster.

But when will I be “fast”? Is there some sort of unwritten (or written, I don’t know) rule that once a runner hits a certain pace they qualify as a “fast” runner? I know I’ll never go sub 20min in the 5k, nor will I ever hit a 45 min 10k.  I’m short and muscular and still have extra weight hanging on which makes me the runner’s body antithesis.  But how fast can I go?

I know that everyone has their own opinion on what fast is, and that it varies based on their experience and own abilities.  However, it really beats me down when I see faster runners complaining about their “slow” splits when in reality I will never be able to run that fast.  Their fast is my unfathomable, while my fast isn’t even in their running repertoire anymore, and probably never was.  This is my own mental game and I know it, but I admire some of these runners a lot and their opinion matters to me, even if none of them know me.

So probably I should just suck it up and get over myself and my insecurities, or get faster, or just give up running altogether.  Clearly the last thing isn’t going to happen yet, and the second thing is debatable, so I really should just give up and be proud of the fact that I am out there running anyway.  Being fast shouldn’t be the only thing I strive for, right?


What, in your opinion, makes a runner “fast”? Can a slow runner get faster?