100 Days of Running

Reflections on 100 days of running.

My run streak reached 100 days last Wednesday (and is still going strong—day 108 today)! If you had told me 100+ days ago that I’d run 100 days in a row, I’m not sure I would have believed you.

I’ve accomplished so much over the past 100 days. I’ve run two 5ks (and PR’d in the second!). My pace has improved. I’ve pushed my limits on speed and distance. I’ve learned when it’s time to take it easy.

Most importantly, I’ve learned my body is capable of far more than I give it credit for. This run streak started because of my shoulder injury, which was keeping me from doing yoga and lifting weights. In fact, I had stopped exercising regularly altogether after my shoulder injury.

My run streak added much-needed regular exercise back into my life. It reminded me to be grateful for what I am capable of rather than dwelling on all the things I can’t do.

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The face of someone who spent the last 100 days running!

I have no idea if I’ve lost weight. (My clothes aren’t fitting much looser, so probably not.) But the weight loss (or lack of) doesn’t matter. I feel better. My mind is clearer. My body hurts the way it should after exercise.

Running every day has made me want to improve other aspects of my life, too. I’m trying to make my way back to eating mostly paleo (and I’m planning to do the January Whole30!). I’m trying to make my sleep a priority so I’m rested enough to run every day. And I’m making more time in my days for quiet reflection and journaling.

These 100 days haven’t been easy (I’ve been harassed twice now), but they’ve been 100% worth it. I don’t have any specific run streak goals. I just want to keep the streak alive for as long as possible. I do have plans to run a 10k and half marathon in 2018, though. Stay tuned for my posts reflecting on 2017 and all my goals for 2018!

Have you ever tried a running streak? (Or any other type of streak?) How did it go and how long did it last? Let me know in the comments!

Race to the Shrine 5K Recap & Other Updates

Find out if I PR’d in my most recent race and what I found out about my shoulder.

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Another race, another medal.

I ran my first race of the year on Saturday! The weather was perfect and the course was hilly.

After 60+ days of running, I expected to do a little better than I did. I was disappointed in my pace and overall time. My official race time was 36:57 with a pace of 11:54.

Despite being disappointed in my time/pace, I was proud that I only stopped to walk twice, and that was at two of the water stations. Aside from that, I kept on running—something I don’t think I’ve ever done before.

Although I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, I know why. I haven’t been pushing myself lately. Part of that is from pure exhaustion (4:30 a.m. wakeup calls from a 5-month-old puppy are ruff rough). But it’s also because I’ve been kinda lazy. I haven’t wanted to put in the work.

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Penny, Copper, & Me. They suck at selfies.

I haven’t pushed myself much to improve my speed. And I haven’t been taking the time on weekends to run longer distances. Finding the time to get enough sleep and run more than a mile has been really difficult lately.

That’s all changing as we speak, though. You see, I quit my job yesterday (for reasons I won’t discuss here). So until I find another job, I’m back to freelancing, which is definitely not the worst thing.

Basically, now I get to make my own schedule again. So if I want to go run a 5K in the middle of the week instead of on the weekend, I can. While this certainly isn’t how I wanted things to happen, I’m going to make the best of it.

It will give me the opportunity to find the perfect job, while also prioritizing my health and my goals.

Speaking of health, I got the results back from my MRI on my shoulder. Fortunately (I think), there was nothing visibly wrong with it. My doctor said it’s possible there’s a microscopic tear the MRI didn’t pick up, but the only way to find out is through surgery.

She recommended I continue taking anti-inflammatory meds and doing strengthening exercises and that we only consider surgery if it continues to not improve, or gets worse.

Obviously, something like surgery is out of the question anyway since I quit my job, but I wasn’t really considering surgery to begin with. I’m frustrated that I have no real solution for my pain, but I’m also relieved it doesn’t require surgery (at least not yet).

So there you have it. No race PR (unless you count not stopping to walk as a PR), no job, and no solutions for my shoulder.

It all sounds rather negative. And just a few short months ago, all this probably would have been devastating to me. Right now, though, I feel like I’m in a really good place. I’m only looking at the positives of all this.

Not getting a PR means I can improve before my next race (Turkey Trot). Quitting my job means I’m creating space in my life for a much better opportunity, whatever that may be. And having a negative MRI means I can heal my shoulder on my own, without painful and expensive surgery.

What’s going on in your world this week? Any recent PRs? How do you handle negative issues and tough situations?

 

Shoulder Woes

A non-update/rant about my injured shoulder.

I thought I’d have semi-good news to report, but I don’t. In fact, I almost deleted this post altogether, assuming I’d have some news. So far, I don’t know anything new.

To recap, my shoulder has been hurting since February. I suspect it at least started as an overuse injury.

I went into the New Year at full speed, doing both strength training and yoga every day. By February, I couldn’t do basic yoga poses without feeling some pain in my right shoulder.

The pain has has never been excruciating—more like an annoyance on most days—so I kept putting off going to the doctor thinking it would eventually go away. It didn’t, so I finally went to my primary care doctor.

To start, they did a basic exam and then put me on anti-inflammatory meds. I had terrible insurance at the time, so I put off getting x-rays. Eventually, after getting new insurance through my current job and still having pain, I went for x-rays.

My doctor said I had a bone spur and wanted me to do physical therapy. Well, after about 5 sessions of that, my shoulder was feeling the same, if not worse. So they sent me to an orthopedist.

The orthopedist did more x-rays. After looking at the x-rays, discussing my symptoms, and looking at my range of motion, she said it’s likely that I tore something. But since I’m only 28 and otherwise healthy and active, she wanted to take a more conservative treatment approach.

So she gave me a cortisone shot in the office (and holy hell was I in pain the rest of the day) and told me she wanted me to try another 4-6 weeks of physical therapy now that we had a better idea of what’s wrong.

A couple hours after I scheduled my first PT session, they called me back to let me know my insurance wouldn’t cover more sessions since I haven’t met my deductible. This meant it would cost me $130 per visit. That’s a whole lot of money in just a month’s time.

I canceled the appointment and called my doctor’s office to see if there was another option. Instead of PT, she decided to go straight for an MRI (an arthrogram—meaning they use contrast dye—to be specific) to determine exactly what’s torn and where.

My MRI was originally scheduled for today after work. They called me yesterday to confirm the appointment, and then called back a couple hours later saying they needed to reschedule. Apparently when they made the first appointment, they didn’t pay attention to the fact that my doctor wanted an arthrogram.

I could have rescheduled for Thursday, but I’m flying to Georgia that day, so I had to push it to the week after I get back. So my appointment is a week from today. A week more of pain and a week more of wondering whether or not I’ll need surgery to fix whatever’s wrong.

Really, I’m just bummed. I’ve been dealing with this since February, which is frustrating. I’ve spent more than half the year injured and in pain. Sure, part of that is my fault for not getting it checked out sooner, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

How do you stay positive when injuries or other ailments are causing you pain and keeping you from being as active as you’d like?