A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

You guys are the BEST!

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Thank you, thank you, a million thank yous for all the comments on my post on Sunday. I am getting a second opinion, as pretty much all of you suggested. 

I am seeing a doctor who specializes in shoulders/knees/sports medicine at the Bone & Joint Institute in Hershey. Time to go for the big guns, right!? My appointment is not until July 14th, but what's another two weeks in the grand scheme of life? 

I appreciate everyone's comments- they really validated all my feelings of anger, frustration, confusion, and exhaustion. I hate calling doctors offices. I hate going to appointments. I feel like I am bothering people. I know, that is dumb. But that's how I feel. And I can tell many of you know what I am talking about as far as the pain in the ass of going to different doctors and getting a second opinion.

As if I didn't need another reason to be pissed off at OIP (the place I went in Camp Hill- aka, my "first opinion"), when I called to get my medical records transferred to my new place in Hershey, I was transferred to a recorded message that said they do NOT accept verbal requests for patient records. You have to have a doctor's office fax a cover letter explaining why they need your records. If you would like the records for yourself, well, you have to leave a message and they will talk to you directly about obtaining those.

I understand the confidentiality thing, but HOLY MOLLY it's as if they don't want you going somewhere else with your medical records!!!!!!

Maybe I am just jaded at this point. (Haha- MAYBE!?)

Anyway, thanks again for all of your comments and moral support. I promise I won't talk about my knee until after my appointment in July.

One more question though- I guess I should wait to schedule physical therapy until after I get my second opinion, right?

Hope you are all having a great week!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up! (It's good to be home!!!!)

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It sure has been awhile since I did a Weekend Wrap Up! In summer, sometimes all the days run together, so the weekends don't always feel like "weekends". Ah, the life of a teacher. But because we did a lot, this weekend did feel weekend-y! Here's what we were up to...

On Friday morning, I was treated to a yummy breakfast of blueberry pancakes and coffee with my friend Bree and her lovely daughter, Alice. Then we went for a walk to the park. 

On the way, we saw two beetles having sex on the sidewalk!!!!

Alice was shocked!

"Come on guys, right in the middle of the sidewalk!? Where do you think you are- Vegas!?"

Bree and I hung out so long that by the time I got home, marriage equality was legal in all 50 states!
WHAT A DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday was fun because Paul and I went on a Planet Fitness date. The last time we went to the gym together was... ummm.... 2 years ago!? I did chest/shoulders/core and he did a little bit of everything.

Later that night, Randy and Michael came over for game night and so did my brother, Tyler. We had a blast!

The rest of the night BLEW. It was one of those nights I couldn't sleep. I was still awake when Paul's alarm went off at 6:00am. At some point I finally managed to fall asleep....

... and didn't wake up until 1:18pm on Sunday afternoon. Insomnia sucks. It really depresses me. However, I did get up and take on the day. Well, what was left of it.

I went for a 5 miler around my neighborhood. My knee felt great the whole time and continued to feel good the rest of the day. It is really the days I don't run or I am in the car for awhile that it hurts. So weird.

Then we went to visit Paul's family who was visiting from Delaware. He got in some quality "nephew time".

That evening, we hung out with our friends Geoff and Bree... but I forgot to take pictures, which means it DIDN'T HAPPEN! (Just kidding, it totally happened and we had so much fun hanging out with them!)
Did you do anything fun this weekend?
I hope you had a good run!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

More knee stuff.

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If you have been following my saga, you will remember that I saw my surgeon a couple days before I left for vay-cay. You can read all the gory details about that here.

My MRI was scheduled for 6pm the night before we left for our trip. UGH! It sucked. I hate MRIs. And I hate that this was my THIRD ONE. They give me severe anxiety. But I made it through fine.

While I was on vacation, my surgeon's secretary called to tell me the MRI looked fine. There were no tears, but he recommends PT to strengthen my knee. I asked his secretary if he mentioned anything about the arthritis. He was supposed to compare my MRI from last year to this one to see if the arthritis was about the same or got worse. The secretary said he didn't mention that. WHAT THE FUCK!? THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF ME GETTING THE MRI, REMEMBER!? I told her that I would like her to ask him about the arthritis and call me back.

Then, she asked me where I would like to go for PT. I told her that my doctor told me that he would fine a PT that specialized in sports medicine- particularly runners and weigh lifters. I explained that while I am not a professional, running is very important to me, and I have had horrible PTs in the past. My doctor promised me he would find me the best person who would be dedicated to helping me out. It seems he did not make any recommendation at this point, so again I had to ask the secretary ask about that.

Needless to say, I was PISSED. The two things I wanted info on- that my doctor PROMISED me- was not communicated to me through his secretary. I swear, these orthopedic doctors are only interested in you if you need surgery.

I got a call three days later from the secretary. The doctor reviewed the MRI again and said the arthritis is VERY minimal and did not change from last year. Now I am thinking... WTF? If this "VERY minimal" arthritis is causing me the same pain as I had last year before my surgery... why did I need surgery? Wouldn't it have been the arthritis last year too? But then again, if this arthritis is "VERY minimal", why does it hurt to simply drive and walk!?

I AM SO CONFUSED AND ANNOYED. You think when you go to a doctor you will get answers, but you won't. Well, that is my experience with this whole knee situation.

As far as physical therapy, at the time of this posting, no one has contacted me about physical therapy. I don't know where they were sending the order to or who my doctor is recommending for me (if he has even gotten around to looking into that) but no one at all has contacted me.

I was talking with my friend and she said I should ask for both MRIs and reports and get a second opinion somewhere else. Sounds like a good plan. I am just so tired of all of this.

Thanks for listening to me complain.

Do you think I should get a second opinion?
I am lost, what should I do!? I need someone with a clear mind to give me advice.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Vacation Workouts!

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Vacation is an excellent opportunity to workout in a totally different environment! I had a few "scheduled" things I wanted to do, but one thing I learned is to never underestimate the amount of WALKING that is done on a Megan/Paul vacation. I walked more on vacation than I ever do at home... and I'm a teacher! Here is what I was up to...

Thursday- REST! (Travel day)

Friday- An attempted run at Green Mountain Open Space, but due to several factors, including THIS SIGN,

I ran across the street a a community park. There was still a gorgeous view! The altitude didn't bother me during the downhills and the flats, but running uphill made me want to PUKE!

Saturday- I ran the FAMOUS Manitou Springs INCLINE! More about that grand adventure in this post!

Sunday- Rest. (Travel day)

Monday- My itinerary told me to get up early and walk to a nearby gym to lift. But you know what? It was freaking VACATION and I didn't want to be in a gym! Turns out, that was a good idea, because we did a 4 mile hike at Kasha-Katewe Tent Rocks. WOW, just WOW. It was so beautiful.

Tuesday- Just some walking during our adventures. I also did 5 sets of 10 push ups later that night. Just so I wouldn't lose my pump. ;)

Wednesday- 3 mile walk at the Grand Canyon.

Thursday- 4 mile run on the Rim Trail at the Grand Canyon plus a 1 mile warm up and 1.5 mile cool down. Then lots of walking in Vegas- ugh! Any health benefits of that walk was erased by the amount of secondhand smoke I was forced to inhale!

Friday- Lifting at the hotel fitness center in Vegas. The only people up at 6am to workout were me and a lady in a pink shirt walking uphill on the treadmill.

Saturday- We were at the San Diego Zoo for 4.5 hours... and we walked the entire time. It was exhausting!

Sunday- Disc golf/running date in Balboa Park and surrounding neighborhoods.

Monday- REST. Traveling home!

As far as my eating habits, I did not stress at all over what I put into my body. We had a cooler and picked up a lot of snacks and sandwich stuff (I probably are 12 turkey sandwiches on vaycay) to save money, but it was also an excellent way to make sure we were eating semi healthy for breakfast and lunch.

Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things now that I am at home! I only lifted ONCE in the twelve days I was gone. My body is ready to get PUMPED!
Do you plan workouts on vacation or just go with the flow?

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Incline

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Let me start off by saying running The Incline was the hardest physical thing I have ever done. Paul says, "Harder than PR'ing in the mile?" Answer: Yes. Because the mile only really sucked for maybe the last 2 minutes. The Incline sucked for.... ummm... anything after .33 miles!

Not sure what the incline is? Never fear! I will copy paste some info for you from Wikipedia!

"The Manitou Springs Incline, also known as the Manitou Incline or simply the Incline, is a popular hiking trail rising above Manitou Springs, Colorado, near Colorado Springs. The trail is the remains of a former 3 ft narrow gauge funicular railway whose tracks washed out during a rock slide in 1990. The Incline is famous for its sweeping views and steep grade, as steep as 68% in places, making it a fitness challenge for locals in the Colorado Springs area. The incline gains over 2,000 feet of elevation in less than one mile."

I was extremely excited to do this run. I left my hotel in Manitou Springs around 7:30 and headed toward The Incline. I wasn't quite sure where I was going or where to park, but I finally figured it out and ended up parking about a mile away. (Parking is very limited. However, it did provide me with a good 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down.) After I put money in the meter, I realized I FORGOT MY HYDRATION PACK!!! All I had with me was a 12 oz bottle of water! That was never going to get me to the top of The Incline and back down! Luckily, for a mere $3.59, I could buy a huge bottle of water at The Incline Base Camp. Sure, I would have to carry the water in my hands, but that was better than dying of thirst! (I didn't have time to drive back to the hotel because we had Cog Railway tickets for noon, so I was on a time crunch!!!)

The incline is NOT for the faint of heart. Yet there were all different kinds of people on the trail- kids, teenagers, old, young, dogs, dads carrying babies...I started out at my normal "fast" walking pace, but it was definitely not something I would keep up for the long haul. My goal was to make it to 1/4 mile before taking a break and a drink of water, but I only made it to .2.  I took another break at .33 miles.... and this was probably the least steep part of The Incline!

Still looking relatively fresh.

At the 1/2 mile mark (oh boy did it wake me a lot of energy to get there!!!!) I took a pretty long break to snap some pics and take a lot of drinks. I simply could not breathe! It was a combination of the altitude and the fact that it is freaking hard to walk up stair steps for a 1/2 mile!) I wondered if people actually RAN up this thing... I didn't understand how it would be possible to run. No one on The Incline was running the entire time I was on it.

I had to keep turning around to look at the view- it was AMAZING.

Starting to really feel it...

From the 1/2 mile point, I took a break every .05 miles. I know that sounds like NOTHING, but it was all I could do to make it .05 miles without another break. It was starting to get REALLY steep, and the freaking false summit (even though I was aware of it) was messing with my mind!)

While the beginning part was not super steep, at this part, there were areas I literally had to CLIMB up to the next step. I was a little dizzy... MY KNEE FELT AWESOME THOUGH! I think it was because I wore my brace, like my doctor recommended.

For the last .15 miles, I trucked along without stopping. I met a girl who had just done The Incline last week and she was really motivating! We talked for maybe 3 minutes- in between huffs and puffs.

I wanted to puke due to the elevation and due to the BO!!!! THE GUYS STANK. I think some of the guys on the incline that day decided "To hell with deodorant!" So I got to smell the lovely smell of onion subs the whole way up. BLECH! (Because I am sure I smelled like sunshine and rainbows!)


 When I finally made it to the top, I felt so accomplished. I DID IT! Most people took a break at the top. I snapped some pictures, soaked in the experience, and then headed down the Barr Trail. 

Crowds at the top

I did it!!!!

If you continue up the Barr Trail, it takes you to the summit of Pikes Peak. It is actually the route the Pikes Peak Marathon/Half Marathon takes. But if you take the Barr Trail down, it is a series of switchbacks that takes you back down the mountain. It would be too dangerous to go down the incline due to the steep grade.

The Barr trail was BEAUTIFUL. There were so many times I would round a corner, get a new view, and just go, "WOW!" right out loud! The Barr Trail was even cooler than The Incline!

Running selfie!!!

I really felt like I was running faster than a 13 minute mile. Hell, I was going DOWNHILL.
I guess I wasn't...

Since I wore my knee brace and my knee felt STRONG the entire time and the rest of the day. My hip was tight after, even though I stretched and used my rogue ball. Paul rubbed my back later that night, so that felt good!

The grand total (according to my Garmin) was .88 up The Incline and 2.59 down the Barr Trail.... plus 2 miles total for warming up and cooling down. Definitely the most taxing thing my body has done in quite awhile!

I am so glad I did this. It was wonderful and it sucked all at the same time. I saw such beauty! And I felt so accomplished at the end. If you ever make the trip to the Denver area, I highly recommend doing The Incline!

Have you ever run The Incline?
What is the hardest physical thing you have ever done?
Where is the most beautiful place you have ever run?