Archive for January, 2010

Taking ACTION!


PAIN LOCATION: Left kneecap region.


OTHER SYMPTOMS: Obsessive elliptical use

HURTS WHEN I: ONLY WHEN I RUN.  Nothing else.  Really.  I walk, jump, squat, etc. …and it’s FINE.  I jog for 3 minutes on a treadmill and it hurts.  Go flippin’ figure.

HURTS SORT OF WHEN I: <see above>

DOESN’T HURT WHEN I: <again.  see above.>


1) Ice.  Ice ice ice.  The frostbitten patch on my knee is now hardened and keratinized and all funky-feeling.  It’s kind of cool.

2) Mad Men.

3) Obsessive thesis work.

4) Calling an orthopedist to get this crap taken care of.

4.5) …which necessitated a call to the nice people at United Healthcare.  Shirley explained to me my benefits, because understanding and seeking health care is one of those “adult” things I’m not yet able to do, along with doing taxes, going on a date with a man who doesn’t just annoy the sheer hell out of me, and going a full day at work without saying something mildly inappropriate but ridiculously funny, which is how I justify it when a word like “boobies” comes flying out of my mouth in professional company.

5) Education.  I showed you all a helpful diagram yesterday, but The Bear sent me a more comprehensive knee illustration to better show me how to treat my condition:


We are awed, The Bear.

…so I need to put ice on the boner, so it doesn’t keep grinding on the boner, which is also going to cause some pain, naturally, to the boner when it bends against the boner.  I get it now!

Seriously, this is all really depressing.  I think I’m taking a few days off from even thinking about it.

Signing off for a few,


Cautious Optimism

So.  I missed a day of posting.  I blame an ice-, Stairmaster-, endorphin-withdrawal-, and yoga-induced stupor.   But we HAVE gotten to a point where the pain is COMPLETELY gone!  POW!  The only issue is still a slight “click” when I bend and straighten it beyond a certain angle.  Can I still run on this?  No pain but weird noises?  <uncomfortable fidgeting>

Runner's knee is worse if your kneecap is blue, you know.


….YES.  Yes.

At left is a scientific diagram of the body of a runner’s-knee-afflicted individual.  This visual aid is to assist you, so that you can more easily and educated-ly give me medical advice.

Well, here’s hoping it’s all good.  Tomorrow I plan to do a measly half an hour on the treadmill, just to reinforce to myself that it’s allll fixed.  My workout today consisted of running around the house as much as possible, as well as lots of hops on my left foot, all of it “just to make sure.”  I’m probably annoying the bejeezus outof ol’ Smoky McIncense downstairs, but then again, he’s probably like waaaay too mellow to get up and bitch about it.

Seriously, though, I’ve been feeling bazonkers for these past 8 days of convalescence.  Not to get too drama-queen, but I’ve been experiencing a sort of minor identity crisis, forced to consider what on earth I would do if I didn’t have running to do for exercise/stress-relief.  Stairmasters don’t go anywhere, lifting isn’t sweat-intensive enough, and the instructor on last night’s Netflix yoga video told me “not to open your flower’s petals before it blossoms!”

Somehow I suddenly — in the room alone, mind you — had the urge to cover my vag.

“You’ll break the petals!” he said.

“PERVERT!” I yelled at the MacBook.

I guess the issue here is that I never realized how much I really really love/depend on running.  I mean, I’m not engrossed enough in my job or school to let those things take over my life, and I don’t have a husband or child to eat away at my time (not that I’m complaining).  Running has really been it for such a long time.  And there is only ONE EPISODE OF 30 ROCK PER WEEK to watch on Hulu!  Not enough to sustain me, kids.  I also have found myself, in my withdrawal-crazed internet browsing sessions, considering the possibility of a 50-miler.  Really.  Because that’s not at all insane.


So.  Dear readers.  Pray/do a forbidden dance/meditate/send some vibes my way so that I can have my goddamn life back.

…and there was much rejoicing.

20 hops!  On the left foot!  Which is the foot just below the (formerly?) injured knee!  And no pain!  Success, dear readers!  Let’s go get BLASTED!

We GOT this…


PAIN LOCATION: Left kneecap region.


OTHER SYMPTOMS: Waxing and waning senses of hope, a general “fat” feelingthatIhatetoadmitbutit’strue from not running for a week.  I speak truth, people.  It’s my blog, after all.

HURTS WHEN I: …actually doesn’t hurt a lot!  POW!

HURTS SORT OF WHEN I: walk down stairs.


TREATMENT: ice, stairmaster, stationary biking, watching “Inglourious Basterds,” writing half-assed blog entries.

Deep breathing exercises.


PAIN LOCATION: Left kneecap region, but starting to bleed into my very soul.


OTHER SYMPTOMS: Quitting.  Just quitting.


HURTS SORT OF WHEN I: contemplate a life that less closely resembles hell.


TREATMENT: …best website ever.


Writing in the usual template depresses me.  And we need a new one for my current situation anyway.


PAIN LOCATION: Left kneecap region

PAIN ON A SCALE OF 1-10: 3, but nagging.

OTHER SYMPTOMS: Slight clicking when I bend and straighten it, though maybe that was always there.  Also ennui, anger, remorse, shame, nausea.

HURTS WHEN I: Walk down stairs, sit with it bent for long periods of time, run, jog to campus in my high heels to jam one of said heels into the eye of a certain grad school advisor, think about how much I miss running <whimper, sob> and probably brought this on myself.

HURTS SORT OF WHEN I: Elliptical, stationary bike.

DOESN’T HURT WHEN I: Walk, sit with it straightened, jam a high heel into a professor’s eye, bake cookies.

TREATMENT: Osteo Bi-Flex, ice, complaining, crying.  Possible yoga tomorrow morning, but…come on.  I believe it was Kierkegaard who put it best.  “Yoga???  I mean, I guess, but…ugh.  Yoga.”

And now, a puppy parable…

I sort of do. Also, a tranquilizer.

WEATHER: Beautiful.  Just <sniffle> so…effing <voice quavers>…beautiful…

MILES: <sob>



WHERE TO: The depths of Hell.

MOOD: Just guess, assface.


Once upon a time, there was a little puppy who was happy and all was well in his world.  His name was Slappy, and he jumped and played and ran and laughed ahahaha all day long because he was able to jump and play and run and laugh and nothing bad (in the grand scheme of things) happened to him, aside from the occasional bureaucratic snafu at his graduate school, but that was all OK, because do you know how Slappy dealt with these minor life frustrations?  He would jump and run and play and laugh and not at all feel like stabbing something.

And then Slappy got an overuse injury in his cute little left puppy knee because he was just too damn happy with all his frolicking and too damn good at it, really…

…and suddenly the darkness overcame him.  He did not jump and run and play and laugh, because to do so hurt his puppy soul, not to mention his puppy cartilage.  So Slappy began riding the flippin’ exercise bike at the gym, which only put him in a worse mood because it DOESN’T GO ANYWHERE and DIDN’T ALLOW HIM TO FEEL THE BEAUTIFUL SPRING BREEZE ON HIS FURRY LITTLE PUPPY FACE and soon he collapsed in a fit of puppy tears.

Slappy began hanging with the wrong crowd.  He spent all his money on puppy booze and puppy hookers and furthermore developed a $50-per-week Osteo Bi-Flex habit.

And then one day it seemed that Slappy was going to hit bottom and that all the praying and barking and yapping and kicking and swearing were never going to work and that he ought to just end it all with some laced Alpo, but then he decided he had a CHOICE, dammit!

And so, high as a kite on painkillers and glucosamine and some sort of holistic powder from the hunchbacked warty lady from that smelly store down in Georgetown, he traveled to the Underworld, paddled across the River of Patellofemoral Pain, and thrust his sword into the heart of the Necromancer.

Which did no good, so Slappy went home and after a few weeks everything got better, with the help of him icing the living bejeezus out of his knee while getting his belly scratched by gorgeous men.

Wait.  Did I just make Slappy gay?  I suppose I did.  But in the sense that we’re conflating him with me here (if you were an English major you’d get this subtlety), maybe s/he’s not.  It involves a lot of math.  I’ll explain it to you when you’re older.


WEATHER: Over 50!

MILES: HOW MANY?  11 on the elliptical.  Which I equate to…oh, 8 miles running, as calculated by the “because-I-flippin’-say-so” calculator.



WHERE TO: The gym at work.  A little 2-foot by 3-foot space therein.

MOOD: Hopeful


I’ve been icing the knee so much that I have a couple spots of mild frostbite popping up.  I know, I know, the ice pack says “do not apply directly to skin,” but it just won’t WORK AS WELL, DAMMIT, if I do it the WUSSY way.  Plus, this gives me an added feel-all-better benefit…you know that old joke where the guy goes to the doctor…

GUY: Doctor, my finger is broken.

DOCTOR: <stomps on Guy’s foot, shattering several bones>

GUY: <through tears of anguish> Why did you do that?

DOCTOR: Your finger doesn’t hurt anymore, does it?

Well, I am both the psychopathic doctor and hapless patient in this scenario, in the sense that the frostbite rubbing against my pants all day makes me wonder if it’s actually the joint that hurts or if it’s just the skin.  Which is strangely comforting, because if I can’t tell, the injury couldn’t be that bad.

Anyway, the knee feels strangely not-that-bad right now and didn’t even twinge on the walk home from work, even when I jogged across a couple of streets to avoid homicidal DC drivers.  Hoowah!  Hope!

Oh, and UPDATE!: The Bear ran her half-marathon on Sunday in 3:12, after which, I understand, she ate many bagels and then screamed, crumbs of bread spewing from her mouth, “RAAAWWWWR!  I AM A GOLDEN GOD!  I AM A BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL!”

Good job, The Bear.


WEATHER: 35-ish, rainy, miserable.

MILES: HOW MANY?  Zero.  That’s how flippin’ many.



WHERE TO: <growl>

MOOD: Hateful


“Dooooooosh!” was the noise I heard this morning as a truck plowed through a mud puddle and coated me in whatever nastiness lurks in DC potholes.  Getting-splashed-by-a-passing-car is one of those iconic “girl-in-the-big-city” images that is much less madcap and carefree and comedic than it appears on TV sitcom credits and much more homicide-inspiring, really.

Of course, my kickass knee injury didn’t help the situation, and I continued wandering to church, now in a coat heavy with chock-full-of-TB-and-scabies puddle water in addition to the dull ache in my left knee.  The mere fact that I went and sat through an hour-and-a-half church service even while wet and dirty and tired and hurt I think entitles me to one free healing-zap from Jesus’ magic finger.  Please direct it at my left patella, yo.

But I did go buy some ibuprofen, a knee elastic compression thingy, and super-ultimate-feel-better-juice (a.k.a. Diet Coke) after church and call the-most-comforting-person-ever (a.k.a. Mom), who pointed out that at least this is happening now and not in March or April.  True enough.  And I can probably withstand training on an elliptical machine for a few days.  Also true.  So.  The old Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation-Thesis-work-Cry rotation might be what I’m up to for a few days.  <grrrr.>

(Also in that Midwestern-it-could-always-be-worse vein, and also in an I-hope-this-doesn’t-sound-too-sanctimonious vein, my housemate (who is a do-gooder and knows a lot about these things) says that these people are awesome.  Donate money to Haiti.  OK.)

Flying Solo

WEATHER: 40!  Beautiful!  I wore shorts!




WHERE TO: Allllll over the place…Georgetown, Glover Park, some neighborhood apparently called “Palisades,” lost in Maryland for a while…and then back.

MOOD: Beautiful!  I wore shorts!


Today’s long run was done without the accompaniment of S.  Sometimes you just gotta fly solo.

And though it went fantastically, we have a definite injury situation on our hands here.  The left knee — which flares up about once a year with some sort of tendinitis — is definitely in a bit of pain.

No runner likes injuries, of course, and I have always had a particular way of dealing with mine — doing every possible thing to fix them except for stopping running.  I will sleep with the afflicted limb elevated on a stack of pillows, wearing special fix-it socks and several ice packs (thus waking up the next morning with a clammy lukewarm icepack and a toppled tower of pillows between me and <whichever sleeping companion>).  It used to be that if I just came home and iced the shit out of any given injury every waking moment for a few days, plus maybe held it up as high as I could at all times, it got better in a jiffy.  Meanwhile, I’d still be logging my usual weekly mileage.

Somehow I just don’t think that’s going to cut it this time, judging by the pain.  Ergh.

I fear that this is one of those “you’re getting old” signs.  There are other signs — touching my toes?  DIFFICULT.  And I used to be like freakish-bendy, sliding my hands beneath my feet as I stretched down and like bending my knees backwards and then doing the splits in midair and all other manner of contortionist shit.  And then there are the gout and the liver spots and the incessant urge to loudly maneuver my throat phlegm.

I actually read (somewhere…) that female distance runners peak at 27.  Well, I am 27 and one-and-a-half months.  THE DECLINE BEGINS!  <sob>  <fashions noose from shoelaces>

Wow.  The mood from beginning to end of this post went from like 50 bazillion to -9.  Time to go bake something.