Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Physical Therapy Ch. 4 and Eating Check-In

Today when I arrived at work around lunchtime (Tuesdays are my night shift), I discovered my awesome co-worker Lisa had left a handmade heating pillow for my back on my desk. I took it straight to the microwave and then sat with it for several minutes while catching up on email ahead of my 1 p.m. physical therapy appointment. Big THANK-YOU to Lisa!

Physical Therapy Ch. 4

Cathy went on vacation last week, so today I had my first of three visits with Sue, another therapist at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Cathy and Sue were the two therapists my doctor recommended back when I first went about my back, and after just a few minutes with Sue I felt I was in good hands.

Once again, when she checked it, she found my sacro-iliac joint had stayed in place. She also had me lie on my back and tested the strength of both sides by having me resist as she pushed each leg toward the table. The left is still weak, but things are improving (though, as I told her, I still can't get either leg off the ground during those knee lifts on the Swiss ball that Cathy prescribed last week). Then it was time for needling. Sue ranged a little higher in my back than Cathy had, and I can tell I will be a bit sore, which is good.

The only new thing she wants me to do is a dynamic hamstring stretch. Somehow my hamstrings are still really tight despite three weeks of no running. My main focus remains on strengthening the abs and the glutes with the exercises Cathy had given me. I will see Sue again in two weeks and am hoping to show her some real progress the next time we meet.

There were a couple of pieces of really good news. The first is that Sue said I can start to lengthen my aerobic sessions on the recumbent bike provided my pain doesn't worsen. She still wants me doing it only every other day ("I want the joint to get some real rest for now"), but on the ON days I can hammer a little harder and go longer.

The second good piece of news is that she thinks I can still plan on doing the Detroit Marathon in October. She offered no guarantees, but she said she is optimistic right now. Being superstitious, I'm still not going to add the "In Training" badge to this blog. But I'll admit....I'm feeling better about the fall.

Eating Check-In

Things are going well on the eating front. I weighed in this morning at 127.2, and none of my recent weigh-ins have been over 130. I've gone back to fewer-than-daily weigh-ins. The daily thing was driving me crazy. It swung wildly in a five-pound range (Corey had warned me about this--you were right, Corey), which on the "high" days made me feel bad all day. Silly, I know. But sometimes ignorance is bliss. And since the average looks good after three weeks of no running, I figure I'm doing OK enough to not police myself so rigorously.

My Lenten no-sugar-except-on-Sundays thing has also been successful. I credit it with the good weight maintenance so far. But I've not completely lost the craving for sugar. I took Will and Ruthie to a birthday party on Saturday last weekend, and, boy, did that Harry Potter themed vanilla cake look tasty. When Sunday's sweets-OK day arrived, I dove into a Dairy Queen dip cone (I had forgotten how good those things taste) AND a bag of pretzel M&Ms.

With two weeks to go until Easter, after which the spiritual imperative to self-sacrifice won't be there anymore but the physical need to restrain myself still will be, I think it's time I tried something else to get the cravings in line. So yesterday I began a "cleanse" that, as far as somewhat restricted eating goes, will last four days (I'm on day two) and as far as taking supplements goes will last two weeks (also on day two of that).

Now we're still talking about me, hater of diets, skeptic of plans that eliminate whole food groups (unless there's a case of true allergies), so "restricted eating" in my case means only that I'm trying to eat clean whole foods: no packages, heavy on the fruits and vegetables. It also means restricting my eating to set meal and snack times. It does NOT mean fasting, calorie counting, vegan or vegetarian, no-carb, no-fat, no-dairy or no-anything except refined sugar and fake stuff. I am trying to avoid white flours and cut back a bit on my pasta and bread consumption (I love these foods and easily eat too much of them, which I think does contribute to my sugar addiction), but I don't plan to do that forever.

The supplements I'm taking were recommended by Moutain Kait, from the brand Renew Life (I chose the "First Cleanse" product). I'm still not sure I believe all the claims about these supplements, but I'm willing to try them out for two weeks and see how I feel at the end.

How do I feel so far? Not bad! I noticed I didn't immediately want my morning green tea as soon as I woke up like I usually do, and I'm less gassy. I did get a huge headache last night right before bed, my stomach was actively growling around the same time. And today every time I stand up I get head rushes. But I have only two more hard-for-me days and I can up the consumption a little again (hopefully minus sugar cravings; I'd like to skip the Sunday treat this weekend).

And I'll need the calories for those longer recumbent sessions, right?


  1. Yes! I imagine the daily weigh-ins must have been driving you crazy. I am right there with you on the 5 pound range. My body does that too based on where I am in my marathon training cycle. I would drive myself nuts weighing myself every day and seeing the fluctuation. Grrrrr!

  2. Great progress on the SI joint! And the news about the marathon is good, too. I don't think I could do the cleansing--I'd die of hunger. You have strong willpower!

  3. Yea!!  Great news all the way around.  I feeling very optimistic for your Detroit Marathon as well.  

  4. Hang in there with the back rehab.  I hope to send you an email before too long discussing back issues.  I wish I could diet as well as you are describing, but I'm not doing too bad at the moment.

  5. I like the whole food eating plan-- I think that is definitely the healthiest way to go... the March vegan challenge has made it hard to avoid snacky foods (crackers, pretzels, etc) because it's not off limits.  Great job on the sugar! I've had a few slip-ups (and then they turn into a huge sugar fest!) but on the whole, it's been going well, and definitely important to remind myself I do have the will power to resist if I choose to!

  6. Good job starting the cleanse and not weighing in every day-that will drive you crazy. Thanks for the shout out!

  7. Good luck! There is nothing that frustrates me more than soreness despite not running. I don't understand it. Keep up the good work!

  8. Those darn SI joints!  I've had issues with my left SI joint for years (not kidding), though at times it's worse than at others.  My problem (or, rather, one of them) is that it tends to get jammed up and doesn't move, which of course affects the entire hip joint.

    Glad to hear there's progress on the PT front!  Once I finish my finals on April 11th, I'm totally going back to my physio to work on my left hip/IT band issues, because I want to run pain-free this summer!

  9. Oh, so happy you can spend longer on the bike! It's not running, or even spinning, but I know you need to be moving. :) 

    I'm about to start weighing myself regularly.  I think I'm ready to commit to really cracking down on the eating.  Hopefully it sticks.

  10. BostonboundbrunetteMarch 27, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Glad to hear that things are continuing to improve and hopefully you will be able to run your marathon in October!!

  11. I would love to know a little more about the cleanse you are doing...if I read right, are you just eating whole foods and supplementing with vitamins? I haven't done much research on cleanses, but would like to find a healthy one where I am not too hungry. I would love another update after you finish the full four days/two weeks to see if you think it "worked" and how it made you feel! 

  12. Yea for all the encouraging and good news from PT!!!! I think it's going to be a good fall for you! :)

    Ahhh sugar...one of my huge downfalls.....why oh why does it have to taste so good?

  13. ignorance is totally bliss. I haven't weighed in a year, I think. I prefer to go by my waistband on my pants!

  14. I can't wait for the post when you visit the PT and they say you can run again!  But a longer duration on the bike is heading the right direction.   good job on maintaining the weight!   And exciting that the Detroit Marathon is a good possibility.    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  15. Better you than me on the cleanse thing!

    I'm super excited that you can go longer on the bike and may still be able to race in the fall!  That's excellent news!

  16. I agree with Miss Zippy - I couldn't do it!!!!  Kudos to you though!

    Fingers crossed for Detroit! 

  17. You have such strong willpower.  My stomach starts gurgling and the headaches come and I start raiding the fridge.  I hate the headaches from being hungry (probably why my weight won't budge, huh?  :)).  I'm excited to hear how the cleanse goes.  I think I'm going to pull up some old training plans from my old trainer; they were chucked full of eating plans to fuel endurance runners....maybe I can stick with that. 

    I am happy that you are making progress.  And what a huge sigh of relief that you get to keep Detroit on the plate for now.  I am soooo happy for you!!  :)

  18. You'll run Detroit - I absolutely know it!
    Great job maintaining!!! This just paves the path better when you get back out there!
    I was thinking about a cleanse either during my taper or after Big Sur - you're my Beta tester - let me know if I should do it or just run away screaming!

  19. I think that you don't have to worry about the weight just now because you need the calories for the marathon training and .... because you now must focus to solve the back problems.