Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Shoe Whisperer

Why hello there, my beloved running shoes...it's been a while. Remember me? We logged some lovely miles last year; you both carried me through the miles of training I needed to train for a marathon, and then we crossed the finish line in Las Vegas together, as a team. It's good to have you back on my feet and on the road. The 3 miler we did today was a little tough but we made it. I know, my legs complained a little and we felt a little awkward and clumsy but there's really nothing new about that-you both knew the first day I laced you up and went for a run that you hadn't been sold to an elite runner.

So here we are, together again, a little sooner than the dr. suggested; but what does he know? He's not a runner. And I am.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thank You, my Online Running Buddies!

Today was a tough non-running day. It was overcast and cool; perfect for a run. We did some shopping in the big city and I saw several people out doing what I wanted to do and it made me want to cry a little. I started fantasizing that maybe the break from running was actually a really good thing and I would actually feel stronger when I finally start to run again.

Thank you Sarah, Bruce and Wendy for your support and kind words. I know you guys get it; I know you've all been there too! I did get something good in the mail yesterday-a race application for the mighty Bull Canyon Run. It's my favorite 10k and if I follow the ban on running to the first of March, then start running in earnest, I should be just about ready for a May race.

The problem with running and ear surgery is balance and dizziness, both of which I don't have. I'm doing a lot of walking on the treadmill to try and keep at least some level of fitness and I discovered a neat feature on my mill that I've never used before-it has a hill program that varies the incline and speed by quite a bit. Since I'm on the dang thing for about 90 minutes of walking it helps break up the monotony.

I'm thinking of sneaking out tomorrow for a really, really short easy run-like just a bit around the block to prove I can still run. You know, like just 2 slow miles. Maybe 3...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Still No Running...

I've been put on the Do Not Run List-again. The Dr. extended my running ban from 2 weeks post surgery to 1 month which will be my next little visit with him. He wants me to wait just to be on the safe side after my emergency run down to see him last week. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be on the safe side of, but being the compliant patient that I am and valuing my hearing means I will follow his advice. Sadly, he's not a runner (I always ask!) so he doesn't understand just what he's asking of me. I can feel the running mojo draining from my body even as I type this. There's a whole pool of it right now under my desk and I'm wondering if I can scoop it up and save it for later. Does running mojo freeze well? Would I need to drink it when I'm ready to return to running, or rub it on my lazy, soft leg muscles?

The Dr was so unconcerned when he told me not to run-like, well, you can just take it up after our next office visit; no big deal. Sure-no big deal for him. After a month of not running I'm pretty sure I'll be back to square one. He should have been more concerned, more kind and gentle, more Dr. Welby-ish. He should have patted my hand gently, and told me he understood what a huge blow this was, but it was for the best and he wouldn't ask me to do this if it weren't in my best interests.

So here I sit in a big pool of running mojo getting fatter by the minute. I have to remind myself it's all good, I can hear properly, the tv volume is half of what it used to be, and I constantly have to remind Hubby to please use his inside voice....

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Olympics!

My bionic ear is now working brilliantly. We made a bonzai run to the really really big city on Friday because my ear stopped working-as in oh my God, I've gone completely deaf; a quick call to the dr led to a trip south to find out everything is normal-it's all part of the healing process. I just wish I had a little warning before the surgery that this might happen. fortunately, my hearing returned to normal-no, wait, it's better than normal. Hearing is a very good thing!

I love the Olympics, both the summer and winter versions. My only complaint is that the networks usually don't air the more esotoric sports, sticking to the more popular figure skating, snowboarding and skiing events. I was pleasantly surprised when Hubby and I caught the biathlon-definitely a favorite sport to watch, being a target shooter and all...

I have a very nice little 22 target rifle that's an older version of the Russian biathlon gun. If you watched the sport on tv, you saw that the guns have a toggle rather than a bolt for jacking a new round into the chamber; thus, the shooter taps the bolt, squeezes the trigger, and shoots. You may have noticed that the athlete didn't look up as he did this, keeping his eye on his targets. I have yet to master this skill. I'm not nearly as smooth as these world class shooters, even on my best day under perfect conditions. I've tried toggling a round into the chamber without moving the gun or looking up and I just can't do it. This is why these people are Olympic athletes. You have to be a shooter to understand just how difficult this skill is to attain. And then, lets add a little high cardio cross country skiing into the mix-now, not only do you need to be a rock steady, robot accurate shooter, you have to be a fast skier. You have to control your heart rate and bring yourself back to the zen of accurate shooting a split second after a heart pumping ski trek. I noticed that a lot of the competitors missed their first shot, and this didn't surprise me. I'm convinced that no amount of training will teach the body to drop from a fast heartrate to a slow calm demeanor that quickly. I am absolutely in awe of the competitors in this particular sport, because in my own very small way, being a shooter and a runner, I can understand the difficulty in what they do.

The last few times that Hubby and I have gone shooting, we've mostly played with new black powder toys and I haven't fired my target rifle in a while. Watching the Olympics has inspired me to take the gun out and see how many holes I can poke in a paper target. I want to try, yet again, to fire 5 rounds without having to look away from the scope. Hmmm...we don't have anything going on this afternoon....

Friday, February 5, 2010

No Running for Me!

So, we just got back today from the really, really big city (Los Angeles) and the bad news is I won't be allowed to run for 2 weeks. This is because I had surgery at a very big fancy schmancy hospital that will restore my ability to hear in my right ear. I've been pretty much deaf on the right side for years. I always thought there was nothing that could be done about it and that someday when it got really bad I would just get a hearing aid and be done with it. I realized that time had come because lately I'm missing a lot of conversations. I've developed some good coping skills to handle the inability to hear but lately it just hasn't been working and I knew my hearing was much worse.

So I finally mentioned it to my doctor and asked him to recommend an audiologist so I could get a hearing aid. Being the thorough guy that he is, he wondered what kind of hearing loss I had and whether there wasn't something else that could be done for me; this resulted in a visit with an ent (ear, nose throat specialist) and a really, really in depth assessment of my hearing. So the bottom line is my hearing loss can be corrected with surgery which I had done this week. Now for the bad part-no running for 2 weeks; no weight training or exercising of any kind-for 2 weeks. The only thing I'm allowed to do is walking.

So, you may ask-why wouldn't I be allowed to run, since the surgery was on my ear and that's a long way away from my legs? The reason is because the surgeon took out a very tiny bone in my middle ear that stopped working and replaced it with a high tech doohickey that will replace the bone and actually work. I can't do anything that might dislodge or move the doohickey-so, no running, exercising, sneezing, coughing, burping, or anything that might cause pressure in my ear.

And-the surgeon prefers that I run on the deadmill since I may have dizziness (I don't.). Don't get me wrong-I'm very grateful for the ability to hear. I knew the surgery worked immediately when I could hear the nurses and doctors talking and I wondered why they were talking so loudly. Modern medicine is amazing-I'm truly blown away with the idea that after a one hour surgery I'll be able to hear again. I just wish it didn't cut in to my running...