Archive for February, 2010

Hope!


WEATHER: Mid-30s, rainy and gross.

MILES: Not since high school have 3 measly miles felt so good and non-measly.

WHERE TO: Logan Circle and surrounding area

MOOD: Cautiously optimistic, once again.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

The hole lets the happy in.

God bless the good people at Ace bandages.   My God, I feel fab.  Not fully rehabilitated, mind you, but at least somewhat human.

Random Internet Strangers are the BEST.


WEATHER: Over 40!  Sunny!

MILES: YOU GUYS!  2.5 MILES!  YOU GUYS!

WHERE TO: A magical land of KICKASS!

MOOD: OMG!  You guys!  Guess what!  You guys!

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

YOU GUYS.  Today I ran 2.5 miles.  Without pain!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….

Why did I decide to run?  Runner’s World forums, that’s why.  I went on and asked the good fellow-injured runners about whether my doctor was a dumbass or not for telling me to run on a clicking knee.  As it turns out, other people have gotten this advice before.

Upon reflection, maybe I’m the dumbass.  Seasoned medical advice?  No, thank you.  Advice from a bunch of other yahoos who are probably also 50 kinds of pervy?  Helllls yes!  So.  I tied on my running shoes and out the door I went.

Now, let’s not freak the hell out with joy yet, because I came home and iced and — graawwwrrr — there was indeed some hurt.  But LESS, kids!  And — strangely — it has migrated from the outer corner of my kneecap to the inner edge.

Huh.

I’m just gonna take this as a sign of progress (right?  RIGHT???).  I think I have to, because I’m starting to lose touch with reality in a very small but very real way.  My brain has been living in my left knee for the last month; every time I sit or stand or go down stairs or go up stairs, all I can do is tune every sense to this one stupid joint and think, “Is it popping?  Yes?  No?  Whoa!  Wait!  Stop!  Did we feel something there?  No?”

People wouldn’t know it to look at me, but at any given moment, I’m internally either celebrating a successful stand-up or mourning the teeniest imagined twinge from hopping off of a curb.  So today I tried a new experiment — I spent an hour today running errands and imagining that my right knee was the hurt one, and just focused on that.  And suddenly I realized that I could totally mentally fabricate these little aches and stings — IS MY RIGHT KNEE POPPING OUT?  HOLY FUCK!  SIT DOWN!

Which is encouraging — maybe I’m more healed than I thought! — or upsetting — maybe I’m a running-injury-hypochondriac! — depending on how you look at it.

Anyhow, at least we know that recovery is possible, but it will be slow.  <sigh>

In other news, I ran into S. at Starbuck’s the other day.  He was little help.

“My knee does that too!  I run on it!  Don’t worry about it!  Let’s go for an 18-miler!”

Needless to say, I walked home drinking a Grande Pike’s Place Roast seasoned with bitter tears.  Screw you, S.  You’ve been running all of what — 2 years?  Bah.  You’ll get yours.  <sniffle>  You really <choke, sob> will.  OH GOD COME OVER TO MY HOUSE AND MASSAGE MY LEG YOU STUPID HANDSOME EDUCATED SOMEWHAT FUNNY LAWYER-Y PERSON. <tantrum on floor>

It strikes me now that I end up crying in like half of these posts.  So here is a picture to up today’s happy quotient by like a BAZILLION.  Hoo-wah!

He's totally defeating Gannon. WITHOUT Game Genie.

You might want to sit down. Repeatedly.


Hey, readers.

Are you ready for awesome?

<stands up>

Did you hear that?

<sits down, stands up>

No, you did not.

<sits down, stands up>

<sits down, stands up>

<sits down, stands->

Wait.  Dammit.  There it was.

But still.  We’re batting about 0.500 for being able to stand/sit without clickage.  Let’s get blasted!

Let’s Play Doctor.


"My GOD. Her x-rays are BREATHTAKING!"

Apparently Mother Nature had some bad shellfish or just one too many espresso-and-grapefruit breakfasts (don’t know what I’m talking about?  Try it sometime!), because as you might have heard, this past week she dropped trou and let loose a massive dooshing of snow, plus a spatter-painting of slush, onto Washington, DC.

But when your knee is clicking and you are going to yoga EVERY DAY out of cabin fever/boredom and the instructors are wondering why this hopeless case with the all-spandex wardrobe is there all the time, especially when she’ll never be able to do full lotus pose or even the half-tiger or double-earthworm, well, then it’s time to get shit taken care of.

So on Monday I traipsed down to Foggy Bottom (2.5 miles away, kids…no buses and spotty Metro service, of course) and saw Dr. Fine.  Really.  This is his name.

“Lie back, DJ.”  <grabs my left leg>  “Now, let it go looooose….”  <bends it this way and that>

As it turns out, his name is disturbingly apropos:

“Mmmm…yeah, OK.  Your leg is fine.”

“…really?”

“Does it hurt?”

“…no…”

He puts his hands on his hips.  “It just clicks?”

“…yes…”

“…well, just don’t become a CIA agent then!”

<blank stare from me>

“You know…….it’s tough to sneak around…..when you’re clicking.”

“Oh.  Ha.”

So after my appointment with Dr. Comedic Genius, I trudged home over piles of solidified slush and streets (unplowed, natch) coated with 8″ of packed snirt.  Aside from the single-lane-traffic sidewalks, fruitless (literally) grocery store run on the way home, angry motorists, angry pedestrians, angry God, and steadily moistening socks, I was also tormented by persistent questions I SHOULD have asked Dr. Genius and that he neglected to even address.  I mean, really non-pertinent stuff here — like, oh, I don’t know…”When will this be better?” or “Are you sure I’m OK?” or “CAN’T YOU FEEL THAT?  CAN’T YOU?  AM I ON CRAZY PILLS?”  By the time I got home and put my meager food purchases away, I was sniffling and reaching for the cell phone, ready for “I’m-losing-my-flipping-mind-phone-call-to-Mom” number 8 of the week.

This post has taken me forever to write and I’m not staying on track, so perhaps I should just get to the simple main points:

1) Dr. CG said I should elliptical for 2 weeks (1 of which is about up now), then try running again, a mile at a time.

2) Dr. CG said he would give me a referral to a physical therapist.  “<scoff> If you really want one.  I mean, if you think that’s NECESSARY.”

3) Dr. CG gave me exercises to do as well — exercises he treated with the same flap-of-the-hand, “Do them as you will, dahling” attitude with which he seemed to treat the rest of my well-being, Goddammit.  I have been doing said exercises with a level of commitment I can only wish I brought to studying, religion, or any relationship ever.  I do them while watching TV.  I do them while studying.  I do them on the bus.  I do them in the bathroom stall at work.  I have even done them during every single time I have had intercourse over the last week.

Ahahaha.  A little circumstantial-celibacy humor for you all there.  Go ahead and laugh.  It chases the sad away, and if you do it hard enough, it almost reminds you of what an orgasm feels like.

Wait.  No it doesn’t.  Does it?  Doesn’t it?  Holy freaking jeez, do I remember?  OH GOD I’M GOING TO DIE ALONE WITH A LEAN CUISINE SEASONED WITH TEARS SITTING IN MY LAP <sound of “Legends of the Fall” being inserted into DVD drive>

—-

In “keeping-myself-sane” news, yoga continues to at least somewhat fill running’s place, if only in the way that a teaspoon of skim vanilla ice milk can take the place of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food with a can of Reddi Whip on the side.  <sigh>

However, all is not lost, as I had a class today led by The Most Gorgeous Man in The World (TMGMTW).  TMGMTW is a tall man with fantastically dark skin and long beautiful dreads and these shoulders.  These SHOULDERS.  Hohhhhh these shoulders <falls off chair, writhes on ground delighting in the knowledge that there is such beauty in the world>.

Anyway.  TMGMTW actually didn’t teach that spectacular of a class, though perhaps it’s not my place to judge.  I have all the balance of a drunk Holstein, so naturally TMGMTW incorporated every one-legged pose EVER into today’s class, and also threw in a few that I suspect he made up on the spot, just to mess with my wobbly ass as he strode up and down the rows, giving feedback.

ME: <grunt, moan, wobble>

TMGMTW:<in a tone one would use toward a puppy trying to do organic chemistry> Good job!  Keep trying!

ME: <face-plant>

I’ma go ice my nose, y’all.  Bye.

Welcome to Crazytown. Population: me.


Feelin' fine, everybody. Just flippin' fine.

The knee is still not better, and Boston is looking less and less likely by the day.  Pain = gone, clicking = still there, probably exacerbated by over-vigorous elliptical-ing.  So.  No more gym for a while.

In a way, it’s a little bit of a relief to be giving the gym the middle finger for the next couple of weeks.  The elliptical machines had been provoking what I would call a mild homicidal rage in recent weeks.  Though this was worsened by middle-aged fellow who saw me wearing a race shirt and had thus started striking up conversations about how “the elliptical is so much better for you than running, you know.”  Oh, really?  How so? I thought.  But instead I just palmed his face and calmly continued with my lat pull-downs.

I mean, we’ll survive.  We’re just setting our sights on a new race.  A 50-mile race.  Because as they always say — when life hands you lemons and runner’s knee, take a big sour chomp and plan a 50-miler.  Because that makes sense.

The bottom line here: a few of you wonderful readers have been asking, “Where are the new posts?  Where are you?”

Now you have your answer: Crazytown.

Never been to Crazytown?  Allow me to tell you what life is like here:

We shuffle around the house all weekend in our orange Jagermeister beater, oversized Clippers shorts, and bright-coral-and-turquoise-striped knee socks, clutching a Costco-king-sized bag of raisins in one hand and a 2-liter Diet Coke in the other.

“How’s the knee?” says well-intentioned roommate.

In Crazytown, we react to this by bursting into tears and burying our face in the raisin feedbag.

Why raisins?, you ask?  Well, why not, you little turd?

Perhaps the most prominent feature of residency in Crazytown is severe emotional volatility.  This can pop up at any time, and is often alleviated by a tearful call to Mom and Dad (a.k.a. The Nicest People Ever), who have no idea how to react, because they’ve gone cheerfully without running for 3 decades, whereas less than 3 weeks without running turns their daughter into a freaking wackjob.

But the emotional volatility probably most often manifests itself at school-or-work-related open-bar receptions, where after a few lemontinis, Casual Acquaintance’s Girlfriend (CAG) asks you the same damn question she asks you every damn time she sees you: “So are you seeing anyone?”

“No, CAG.”

“How long have you lived in DC?”

“A year and a half, CAG.”

She looks thoughtful.  And after a few minutes — the amount of time it apparently takes for this bombshell information to sink in: “…have you dated ANYONE since you’ve moved to DC?”

…at which point other tipsy acquaintances decide it’s time to turn the still-single freakshow girl into a case study.  “Yes!  What ARE your standards, anyway?”  “Too busy for a boyfriend?  PLEASE.”  “Well, where have you been going to meet people?”  “You do know that militant feminism is terribly unsexy, right?”

They all said other things, but I didn’t hear, as I was busy clutching my knees to my chest underneath the table, rocking, and suckling down sweet, comforting Sweet ‘n’ Low packets from the bar, dreamily imagining an alternate reality in which I administer a simultaneous face-palm and flying-scissor-kick-to-the-hoo-hah to CAG.

But let us ask ourselves: did she even “mean it that way”?  Well, perhaps not.  Perhaps I’m being unfair.  But like I said, kids: EMOTIONAL VOLATILITY.

At which point Enthusiastic-Acquaintance-Lady (EAL) asked, “HaveyoubeenrunninglatelyDJ?”

<rock, rock> “nnnooooo….” <rock, aspartame-induced twitch>

“Ohyou’reinjuredthat’srightwellIhavebeenrunningalotsoIthoughtIwouldaskandIjustloverunningdon’tyou,” said EAL, who under normal circumstances would be greeted by cheerful agreement from me.  But instead…

<rock, sob, quiet singing of happy-go-lucky showtunes> “Iiii haaave confidence in” <choke, sob, sniffle> “sunshine….”

What does this have to do with running?  Well, under normal circumstances, I’d shrug and mentally pump my fist in the air in response to CAG and EAL, thinking, “Fuck yeah!  At least I still have my bad-ass gams that allow me to run LAPS around allllll of life’s problems!”  Then I would quietly plan the next morning’s 5:30 AM 10-Mile Anger Run.

But no.  Instead, I quietly lowered my shoulders down and back, releasing all tension, and thought about how my next morning’s Heated Flow Yoga 1-2 Hatha-Inspired Happytime Meditative Restorative Silent Contemplation class would release all this tension.  I closed my eyes and let go of it all, squeeeeeeezing my fists tightly for a count of 1…..2……3……

<SCREAMS OF PAIN>

“DJ, why are you squeezing the bejeezus out of skeezy waiter’s testicles?”

“Oh!  Oh.  Oh, dear.  I let my chi take over, and it just…you know...felt right.”

“Oh.  Carry on!”

That’s it.  I’m starting an Anger Yoga class.  We can all <inhale> gaaaaather up our energy and put it behind our left-fist chakra, <exhale> propelllllllling it forcefully and purposefully forward into the face of anyone who ever mentions master’s theses, dating, or running ever again to us.

Seriously, everyone.  It’s all gonna be fine.  We have a doctor’s appointment on Monday, assuming DC can de-paralyze itself from Snow-Flipout 2010.  Until then, send good vibes.  Send hugs.  Send money.  Send a feather boa and a machete.  Send a nudy poster of Jason Alexander on the hood of a 1987 Buick Skylark.  Because in Crazytown, that’s just how we do things.  Booyah.

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