Bad, Bad Day

Thursday, 29 November 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Whenever my 3-year-old daughter enters the car with me, this our dialogue:

Nia: “I need music, Mama.”
Me: “What song do you like?”
Nia: “Bad bad day. Number 18.”
Me: “Okay, You Had a Bad Day it is!”

Nia loves You Had a Bad Day by Daniel Powter.  My husband thinks the song is too negative, especially for a little girl to listen to on her way to preschool.  I like the melody so I never put much thought into it.  Until today…

Yup, I had a bad day indeed.

First, it took me two terribly long hours this morning to travel roughly a kilometer outside our village headed for my son’s school.  By that time, my son missed his school presentation and I was too pooped to complain.

Second, it’s been raining all day.  We have a trip planned for Subic tomorrow.  Will the weather have mercy on us and let the sun shine through?  Please.  Pretty please!

Last and definitely not the least, my knee is a bit sore again.  ARGH!  This time I am pissed.  In the beginning I was in panic.  Shortly after I was scared.  Now, I am just fuming.  (This bull is mad.)

Why am I not healed yet?!  I’ve been icing the injury thrice a day plus I got a massage last night.  I only ran an easy 5km all week.  (That’s a major sacrifice for me, you know?!)  I’ve been taking additional supplements that I’m hoping will help, but probably won’t make a difference such as calcium and vitamin B complex.  And, I’ve been religiously falling on my knees praying to the Saint-Who-Heals-All-Running-Injuries for a miracle.  Still, the meniscus irritablus knee problemus keeps on coming back like a nasty fly trying to land on your first post-race meal after a marathon.

So, next Tuesday, I have a date with my doctor to have this knee checked.  I’ll ask him if it’s actually feasible for me to run the marathon in February without asking for a wheelchair in the last 6 miles.  Pray for me, will ya?

For now, I shall continue to drown myself in my woes.  I shall continue to curse this wicked knee most especially for not allowing me to enjoy what would have been a beautiful long, slow run along the roads of Subic.  Sob sob.

Sore No More—Really!

Saturday, 24 November 2007  |  Running + Triathlon, Therapy + Injury

This time it’s for real… I am back! My 7-day forced abstinence from running is officially over. I am healed!

with Annie 112407

– Annie and I after our run. We look so poised! You wouldn’t believe that we were laughing like noisy high school girls before this shot. It was a happy happy day. –

I ran 7.7 km at Ayala Alabang today at a conservative 6.22 pace and there was absolutely no pain. None whatsoever! Not even a hint of a tiny popping sound from the smallest cartilage of my left knee.  Woohoo!

Good riddance knee injury! Don’t you dare come back!

Spoke Too Soon

Friday, 23 November 2007  |  Therapy + Injury

I made it to the Mizuno Run Club last night. But, disappointingly, I wasn’t there to run.

Shortly after I published the previous post yesterday, I headed for SM to run errands. As I swept through the department store purchasing everything on my list in haste, I noticed my knee popping again. And again. And again.

Damn it. The meniscus irritablus annoyus problemus was back. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run in Mizuno.

Desperate to get as close to running as I could get, I asked the kids after dinner: “Who wants to go to Krispy Kreme?!” To my delight, both kids answered a resounding “Yes!” (In case you’re wondering, the hubby has been out all week on a business trip.) So, with the kids in tow, I headed over to Bonifacio High Street eager to get a whiff of—no, not donuts—but some running energy.

As we entered High Street, I spotted one runner, then two, then the entire group running along our usual route. Aaaw, I wish I was one of them, I thought. Then, I got all sentimental, anxious, envious, and frustrated. When can I run again? How long will this injury last? Do I have to start cross training to maintain my fitness level? I was on the brink of craziness and depression.  (Hey, you would be too after six days of no running!)

I passed by Mizuno to quickly chat with Chanda, one of the club organizers, Ige, the coach, and exchange a few words with other faithful attendees like Totoy, Pablo, Renz, Gelo and Mandy. Drenched in sweat, they were obviously done with their laps. I so wanted to be sticky and sweaty and tired like them, but nope, all I could do was watch and pray that in two weeks I would be able to join the run again.

As promised, I took the kids to Krispy Kreme and Starbucks. As we gobbled our treats in the car on the way home while singing to High School Musical 2 out loud, I realized that things weren’t so bad. Despite the evil injury, I had a great life. My family is great; I have good and healthy kids and a loving hubby who I’ll be seeing soon. I work from home—a set up that is perfect for a hands-on mommy and addicted runner like me. And, I’m alive! It’s just a matter of time before I can run again.

Boy, those Christmas peppermint brownies from Starbucks sure can turn a bad day into a good one.

Sore No More

Thursday, 22 November 2007  |  Running + Triathlon, Therapy + Injury

By the power vested in me by the Holy Spirit, I command you evil injury to depart from this poor woman’s knee!” Nope, my attempts at exorcising the soreness out of my knee proved to be futile. So, over the past few days—FOUR long non-running days to be exact—I resorted to more sane alternatives such as ice, ice, ice, more ice, and rest.

During the first couple of days, there was still slight soreness in my knee whenever I walked. By Wednesday morning (yesterday), the pain was gone so I cleared my schedule for the grandest event of the week: my first easy 5km on the treadmill that afternoon (pathetic, I know!) As luck would have it, clients emailed in a heapload of work that left me glued to my laptop saying “This is unfair!” in the same exact tone as my 6-year-old would say it when I ask him to finish his dinner before dessert.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, my 2nd dying toenail decides to “go towards the light” which, in his case, is any place as long as he is no longer attached to my toe. So, now my right foot is a gruesome sight with two nail-less toes. (Excuse me while I vomit.) I look forward to the day when, just like Rick, I will look down at my calloused and bruised feet and love them unconditionally. For now, I continue to flinch my eyes in utter disgust. Hopefully, strangers don’t do the same when they see me in my havaianas.

Thankfully, today is the complete opposite of yesterday; it is an awesome day to run. No pain in my knee. Work has been finalized and delivered. And, it is a Mizuno Run Club night. So, tonight, I shall make my way to Bonifacio High Street with two prayer requests in mind: 1) Holy Spirit, please protect me from that devil of an injury and 2) Lord God, please don’t let it rain!

Missed Milo—Again!

Sunday, 18 November 2007  |  Bullish Insights, Therapy + Injury

Race bib…CHECK
Brand spanking new mizuno outfit…CHECK
Fully charged garmin…CHECK
Packed bag with extra clothing…CHECK
Gatorade and banana…CHECK

Milo Nationals

As early as friday evening, I was all set to run 10k at the Milo race that was held this sunday morning. To say that I was excited about this race would be an understatement. I had missed the Milo Metro Manila eliminations last July due to a fainting spell, so this was my chance to finally experience one of the biggest races in the country. Surprise surprise, I failed to make it…AGAIN!

The reason: sheer stupidity and stubborness. (I don’t call myself THE BULL-headed RUNNER for nothing.)

I heard about the importance of tapering a hundred times over from Coach B to Higdon and Galloway’s books. But, due to my obstinateness, over-enthusiasm, and plain addiction to running, I couldn’t quite resist the urge to run the day before the race. I’m almost embarassed to admit it: 10km close to race pace on the eve of race day. Yes, that’s what I did. Yes, you may slap me on the head. Yes, I know I will suffer the dire consequences of breaking the golden rule of tapering.

Soon after that training run (or more like midway through it), I felt a pinch in the most vulnerable part of my body: my left knee which suffers from discoid lateral meniscus. This knee tells me when I’m overtraining. When it starts aching, it practically commands me to rest the next couple of days and gradually ease back into my training or else…or else…I don’t even want to go there. So, when I felt that slight discomfort around 5km into the run, my first thought was “No, it can’t be” (denial), then “No no no, I can’t miss Milo!” (panic) and within the next few minutes, “I shouldn’t have run! I’m so stupid.” (guilt).

By that evening, after a mid-afternoon massage that I hoped would magically heal my meniscus problem, I was in agony over the decision I had to make. Every inch of my body wanted to run. Weeks of LSDs and speedwork prepared me for this race. (In hindsight, I’m thinking the past few weeks’ training may have slowly built up this injury as well.) But, rationally, I knew I had to bite the bullet; I had to sacrifice the Milo race if I wanted to make it to my first marathon in February next year. Sob sob, goodbye Milo.

This coming week will be all about rest and recovery for me. I’m hoping against all hope that Santa comes down our chimney tonight delivering an advanced Christmas gift for me: instant mending of my broken knee. But, since that is most unlikely (they say Santa doesn’t exist, plus we don’t have a chimney), I’ll just try to be a good girl and patiently wait for this knee to heal.

To all those who joined the race, especially the finalists, congratulations! I hope to see you next year…barring any unforeseen circumstances that may strike a third time from keeping me from Milo races.