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So I really wasn’t feeling like going for a run yesterday. I had already procrastinated about it for a day so I pulled on the runners and headed out. Felt awful and totally without energy but at least holier than thou about actually getting out there.

And though I felt awful and unenthused it was a pretty nice morning for it. I noticed a young guy on the actual road itself practicing exercises with a soccer ball. So I waited until I drew up almost level with him to display my incredible ineptitude by catching my toe on a raised bit of concrete and falling spectacularly to the ground. Splat.

My first impulse when sprawled on the ground was to see if I could right myself casually so that it would appear to anyone happening to see this spectacle that *I meant it* and that I had fully intended to fall over in that way. Amazingly enough the guy with soccer ball didn’t seem to notice (or was embarrassed enough to pretend not to have noticed), so I think I got away with it.

Needless to say, with a bleeding leg and sore hands from breaking my fall, I decided that karma had decreed that the run should finish. So I limped pitifully back home to drown my sorrows in the shower. The leg is fine, with just some brusing, cuts and gravel rash, but hurts enough for me to feel sorry for myself and vaguely sheepish for managing to be so unco.

Loser. I don’t know why I am allowed out of the house without full crash gear and all the trimmings.

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So finally got around to being run on the treadmill for someone else’s petty amusement. My competitive streak came to the fore and once again, I really wanted to do well. The first lot of testing was all okay and I could actually see the screen. I figured I really ought to have googled more so that I could do an Em and diagnose myself from the screens. Just looked like pulsating alien people to me.

They set me going on the treadmill and told me all I would be doing was a powerwalk. The treadmill got faster and steeper every three minutes, and the aim was to take me to my theoretical maximum heart rate. By the time I got there it felt like I was going just about straight up hill.

Then it was the coordination check. I wasn’t actually getting graded on this bit, but it seemed like a big ask. I had to get off the treadmill, conquer the wobbly legs transition to solid ground, scoot over to the table and lie in position on my side so that they could get the ultrasound readings within 1 minute of me finishing, and all while at or around maximum heart rate. I was so proud – I didn’t fall over or anything.

Anyway the verdict from the earnest cardiologist is that my heart does all the things it is supposed to do and the cute little blollop in the beat is nothing to worry about. Then the technician ripped the electrodes off the top of a few little spots where my bra strap had chafed yesterday. OUCH. Which means no run for me tonight.

You know the coolest thing about this whole process is how much every doctor or technician I have seen keeps talking about how fit I am and how great it is that I do so much exercise – man you can run 15K!! My GP was ridiculously impressed as well. Kind of makes me wonder what kind of barely alive people they see if I become the poster child for fit people.

When I was growing up I had this suspicion when worried about bad things happening to me or my family. I decided that given that it’s never the things that you worry about that end up going wrong, the best way to avert disaster was to think about everything possible that could go wrong. I would construct outlandish scenarios in my head so that I could tick off that they wouldn’t happen. Okay, now that I have thought about it, my parents aren’t going to plummet to their death in a bizarre elevator mishap. Stuff still went wrong of course, fate just had to become more imaginative.

Of course, it still works. So when I imagined getting a bad mark on my tests, it was with the usual suspects that you might expect from someone that spent the best part of ten years sitting on her butt not paying too much attention to the food being shovelled into her mouth – high cholesterol, anemia, that sort of thing. But no, all of those things were great. Blood tests ace. And it turns out I should have flaunted my pee after all because my doctor said “your urine is perfect”.

However, from someone with virtually zero family history of heart issues, it turns out that all of my squiggly bits on the ECG weren’t where they should be. The blood tests have eliminated most of the things that would otherwise indicate this is a concern, and the fact that I have acquired a recent habit of running long distances suggests that this is just one of the peculiarities about deege which makes me loveable and no cause for concern. HOWEVER, in the unlikely event that it is not just a deege specific selling point much like a fine profile or nice hair, then I may just be in danger of keeling over on the spot. Particularly if I want to, oh, indulge in vigorous exercise or something. My doctor said “I really really think it will all be nothing to worry about it, but I do need to tell you that until we sort this out, if you experience chest pain you should get to a hospital straight away”. Thanks for THAT vote of confidence.

Anyway, in order to prove that the little ticker is actually getting enough blood around the body, I have to go and have a stress test. That’s right, I have to jump on a treadmill and link myself up to a bunch of wires and be pushed beyond my optimal heart rate for exercise. Reassuringly I understand that a real live cardiologist will be in attendance at all times in case I, like, die or something (actually I assume the cardiologist is to prevent me from dying).

I am a little concerned about the test. Not about my heart as I feel like I am the kind of person to have a non-threatening idiosyncratic heart beat. I think that’s kind of jaunty. But I am concerned about having to run on a treadmill. The last time I did this, they sacked me from the test for being too slow. Me and the dreadmill don’t mix much. And with my fierce competitive streak and compulsive need to do well on tests, I am going to be a basket case before I even get there.

Today had to go off for a complete barrage of tests as got my doctor to give me a general physical go-over to assess where I am. Kind of frustrating to have a test that you can’t study for. In my head I know that the tests are just going to show the existing situation, but part of me has wanted to be “extra good” the last couple of days (I don’t even know what this means when you are having blood tests for iron levels etc) so that they show my to my best benefit.

So bit the bullet and was first in the line this morning to present myself and being the square that I am I couldn’t help myself peeking to try and assess how I was doing. Blood is red. That’s a good sign isn’t it? Then I was attached to wires to check my heart function and stole a peek at the readout. Somehow I was worried that the little reading thing was going to be all disjointed and asymmetrical, but no it just went up and down like the machines you see on House, as if it were listening to a real heart. PS does anyone know why they put little read out things on my ankles?

But without doubt the most mortifying bit was doing a pee sample (is this too much information?). I knew that I had to have one so I had drunk oodles of water on the way to the clinic, worried that stage fright would be awkward all around. So by the time I got in there I was busting to go. And of course, all of the other tests were done first. If there are any irregularities with the heart thingumy, I can just explain that I was fit to explode at the time.

The pathologist hands me the expected cup and other stuff, and a paper towel. About the paper towel she says “this is to conceal the cup when you return from the bathroom”. I looked at her for a bit but she was dead serious. I opened the door and looked at the other chick waiting in the foyer. I thought that after walking past her with all the bits and bobs including a key to the bathroom, leaving the office and coming back with a suspicious paper towel wrapped package, the only thing “concealing” the fact I was giving a pee sample would be our mutual middle class embarrassment and refusal to meet each other’s gaze.

Then I realised that maybe I needed to conceal the pot because I might feel embarrassed that you could actually see pee in the cup. Which led me to ponder in the bathroom whether or not I should be self-conscious about my pee. I mean, I am self-conscious about every other bloody thing in my life so why not? But on the other hand, if I had really exemplary pee, then wouldn’t I want to flaunt it? I sheepishly admit that I took a moment to assess my pee with as much of an objective view as I could muster. Seemed fine to me, but I erred on the conservative side and made a nice little paper towel parcel anyway.

On reflection this was definitely too much information.

So the paranoia phase of the lead up to a significant race has set in. The last couple of days I rested instead of running because I was experiencing some lower leg pain that took me back to when I began running. Strange that overtraining injuries let you know how much you have been content to just coast with training.

Yesterday headed out for an easy 5K to test the legs, got 2K in and couldn’t get the knots in behind my shins to loosen. So I decided not to risk more serious injury and ended up walking another 2K home again to make a pretty crappy contribution to the training diary. Today I wanted to have another go and see how I would cope, but I realised I was just being stubborn.

I read this article recently that suggested one important thing to remember in a marathon taper is to be paranoid, in that case talking about keeping away from people who are ill. But I figure it is also true of training stuff. I think it is better for me to be paranoid about potential injuries then wind up hating myself on the day. Or more to the point, if I end up hating myself on the day it won’t be because of poor injury management.

So while my stubbornness was yelling “Wimp!! Get out there and run 11K you pansy” I decided to use the exercise bike as well, working on my fitness by doing a good hundred minutes on the bike at reasonable intensity and hopefully thinking that the change in leg movement might help loosen up some of the niggles. And I feel glad that I did, because the only thing that is sore now is my arse. Bring on that flipping train.

Well didn’t get to run on Monday which was a pain because bastard hip still a bit niggly. At the moment I feel like everything is falling apart on this runner’s body. Yesterday out of the blue my heel started killing me (but has now stopped), this morning on the way to work my knee started acting up, and my toes have been achy painy all week. It is coming up to TOM which normally means an increase in muscle soreness but this time around it seems to be joints and bendy bits.

Hope that is all it is, restricting myself to low impact exercise is pretty annoying. I am determined to baby myself so that I am not injured for R4TK, even if I am severely underdone. Even managing niggles, the bike seems to be pretty low impact so have been doing some decent 60min plus bike rides if only so that I know that I am comfortable exercising that long (always a concern for us unfit ones). I have just found out that Hub will be away for the R4TK which means that I will be a bachelorette and well up for some “relaxation” after what I predict will be a fun day but not much of a exhilerating run.

Oh well, this year is all about getting startlingly large PBs for a lot of distances so that I can break them next year by a lot and pretend I am tigerboy.

After a soak in the hot tub and some deep heat as well as a bit of a massage from Hub (Celeste, he offered this without my even suggesting it – must have wanted to stop my whingeing), woke up this morning and bastard hip feels a lot better. Still a bit sore as the day has worn on but desperately resisting the urge to declare myself cured and go out to run up and down hills.

Aiming for a long gentle walk with the puppies this afternoon followed by more stretching and another hot tub soak. More a knot than inflammation so using heat instead of cold for treatment and seems to be helping so far. If I pull up okay tomorrow probably an hour or so on the exercise bike tomorrow with no running until at least Monday. I am hardly the model of self control and I am totally pissed off because I had my runs for the weekend all planned out in my head and I actually had time to do them all. Bastard hip.

Thanks for all the good wishes. Man, I was grumpy last night. We stopped at coles on the way back home and I noticed that they had some GUs and other gels, so picked up a range to try out for runs over 90mins. When Hub saw the price they scanned in at, he commented “They’d want to be good”. And the check out chick said “I’ll say!! You’d want to be running a marathon.” She’s lucky that my patented flesh disintegrating death stare doesn’t actually have a physical effect on people (yet).

Was really looking forward to my run tonight, despite my long held conviction that I don’t exercise on Friday nights. It was great though. Went down the foreshore and walked for a warm up with one of the dogs while Hub took the other one for a walk in the other direction. As soon as nudge found himself, was ready to start a nice easy short jog.

Was great.

For about 200m until something in my fricken hip decided to alert me to its presence. OWOWOWOWOWOW. Didn’t feel like I had torn anything or had any strange movements that might have caused injury. So I had a bit of a test to see whether it felt like it would loosen up. Nup. Tried to do a gentle hip stretch and could barely cross my leg in front of the other one. Bugger.

Still feels like a cramp or twinge rather than anything serious, but that might be wishful thinking. Have been hobbling around being a major grump. We are at the weekender and Hub just asked “What do you want to do tomorrow” and I was like “go for a RUN!!!” I think he is appreciating how much I am a nicer person when I am able to get my exercise.

Bastard hip. I wanted to do Coolangatta Gold training tomorrow as well. Buggity bugger.

Was off work yesterday after I was so nauseated that I couldn’t stomach the idea of boarding the train. Took a very unusual sick-day and spent the day asleep while trying to manage my more unavoidable work over the phone. Back at work today but still feel decidedly green. Don’t know what is going on, but I see that a couple of others have had a few green moments as well, so I hope it is not a real bug going around or anything.

Everything seems to be bearable if I sit in one spot, but I popped across the road a moment ago and came back feeling quite under the weather. Blergh.

Earlier this week I was talking about how I was feeling all achey painey. Back in June, I felt about a hundred. In May, I was really struggling with sore legs, particularly during the cold nights. Anyone noticing a pattern? Given that all of these bouts of muscle stiffness and soreness have occurred in the week before that particular time of the month is due to start, I might have to consider whether there is a hormonal element to this extra muscular soreness.

I went for a brisk walk last night in lieu of a run and confirmed that I do in fact run faster than I am able to do a brisk walk. At least that is something. Hopefully up for a short run tonight.