Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Unrelated picture... me stuck in traffic the other day. But
yeah, keep adding houses without more roads Beaverton.
Okay, first of all, holy shit, physical therapy is expensive. My insurance plan doesn't cover anything until I hit my deductible ($1250) and let's just say we were almost halfway there after two visits. All told, even when my "insurance" kicks in, this whole thing is going to cost like $2,000. So yeah, that blows. However, it is necessary. My problems had gotten to the point where it wasn't just affecting me when I ran, I was having issues from simple things like kicking a soccer ball or going on a hike.

So I'm continuing my exercises at home and then going into the office once a week for the PT to evaluate me and add/remove exercises. I can definitely feel my ass and hips getting stronger along with my core. I still have way too much flab on my stomach for it to be outwardly visible, but I can feel my abs getting much more "defined," I assume from all the planking. I cannot believe how hard it is. It looks so simple! However, planking for 50 seconds spikes my heart rate well into the 130s  (I'm guessing, I don't have a HR monitor).  A couple times I have also noticed an increased "firmness" in my ass as well. So those are all good signs that the exercises themselves are working.

How am I feeling? Better, I guess? The physical therapy exercises I'm doing at home are making my knees hurt though, pretty much almost like I am running. It hasn't flared to the limping point yet, but I am still dealing with the generally knees. Hopefully those symptoms will subside as the other parts of my body get stronger. I'm worried that something else is still wrong, but the PT is monitoring all that so hopefully things will get better with time.

I did do a "test" this weekend that I'm sure the PT wouldn't like (shhhh!). I had Brandon on Sunday so we went and played soccer. Now, I played soccer twice before PT and each time it kicked my ass. Since PT we went to the field twice but I basically rolled the ball back to him while he practiced shooting and walked to get errant balls. This last weekend I actually kicked the ball back and gently jogged to get a few balls. Overall it was pretty light soccer "playing" (spare smashing a couple penalties... still got it). Normally, after playing soccer, I'd be limping on Tuesday. I'm happy to report today I feel no different than I did on Saturday before playing soccer. My knees are still slightly sore from the PT exercises, but they feel the same as on Saturday. So progress? Maybe?

So that's the update. Just continuing on with the exercises. My hips, glutes, and core are definitely getting stronger... but my knees still feel like they did when I was running. Oh, and I still owe you guys a Rum Run recap. One of these days.

Monday, June 06, 2016


Wow! Look at the size of his... hands. There is no problem
there, I assure you. No problem.
So, I went to the physical therapist last Friday. She was very nice and appreciated all the Beaver gear I had on since she graduated from Oregon State herself. Basically it was an hour long appointment to diagnose what was going on and then teach me some exercises that will hopefully rectify the problem.

First, I verbally discussed what was going on. What makes my case so hard is that the symptoms change a lot. It's not a simple case of "I have pain in X when I move Y" or something like that. Sometimes my knees get swollen. Sometimes it feels like my calves where beaten with a hammer. Sometimes my hamstrings seize up. Generally though it tends to manifest itself in the "kneeular" area and keeps getting worse, to the point now that one physical activity will leave me limping.

So after thoroughly confusing her with my symptoms, she preformed some tests on me, basically testing my flexibility and strength in a variety of ways. Generally I suck in all areas. One test really stood out though. She was doing various strength tests, having me push/pull against her to resist her trying to push/pull that part. When it came to my hips, I literally had nothing. It was embarrassing. After "trying" to stop her from pushing or pulling or whatever she was doing, she was like "Okay, let's do that again, but really try this time." In my brain I was trying to find the muscle to really try but literally nothing was there. Anyways that was an eye opener.

Once she was done with all of that stuff, she basically diagnosed me with weak hip and glute muscles. In addition to strengthening those, I'm also going to strengthen my core. She did watch me run and it was good to hear I was in the right shoes (support) due to my running style. So she was pleased with that. Basically, when I am running my hips are just kind of flailing about from side to side with each step instead of being strong and keeping my body more rigid. Think of it as a sea-saw going back and forth with each step instead of staying more level with each step (good article here). This sea-saw action is jerking my knees around with each step and likely causing my issues.

It makes sense. My "injury" is not really an injury, like a torn muscle or whatever. As suspected, it really comes down to a muscle imbalance. So hopefully what she diagnosed is correct. If I can bulk up my hips, ass, and core, I'll be able to run "in balance" again. I'm actually excited at the prospect. So much of the last year has been running around trying to avoid flaring this condition up and it's been frustrating. I'd like to get to the point where I can just really go outside and attack it again. I miss the feeling of a nice, hard six mile run without the prospect of limping around for the next week.

My life now.
Towards the end of the therapy session the therapist gave me some workouts to do at home to help fix some of my problems. So I've been doing those. Some squats, some side to side squatting while sliding with a resistance bad, and planking. Holy shit, planking. I am only doing 45 seconds at a time but shaking like an boozehound in the morning. I'm also stretching because, as we all know, I'm not very flexible. Once I build up some strength, we'll slowly introduce running again. Maybe a half mile three times in a week. If that goes off well, then increase it to one mile. And so on and so forth.

Eventually, I should hopefully be back to running without issue. It's going to be a multiple month process though. I'm thinking marathoning might be out this fall. That's okay. I definitely want to get back there, but I want to get back there healthy. So I need to get back up and running and then hopefully do some cross training and strength workouts to prevent this from happening again! I'm not sure when I'll attempt another small run, but probably not for a couple weeks I'm guessing.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016


I also got a tetanus booster & big boy bandaid.
Just thought I would post an update since I had some news. This recent knee trouble prompted me to schedule a physical with the doctor for the first time since, oh, about 2008. Oops. I knew for physical therapy I'd probably need a referral for the insurance bastards, so I scheduled a routine physical with the goal of bringing up my leg pain and getting referred.

Let's just say I accomplished my goal and it feels amazing. Just kidding. The doctor did the standard physical on me, which was good. I'm no longer a spring chicken. I'm going to get some blood work done and hopefully that all comes back good, but in general, aside from my knees, I appear to be in good health. Imagine that. I also got a chance to experience someone grabbing my balls and coughing for the first time. So that was fun. For some reason none of my doctor's visits until now involved this? Should I be disappointed?

When I brought up my knee pain, the doctor poked around, asked some questions, and then basically agreed with me that there is likely some sort of muscular imbalance that is fucking things up. So he wrote me a prescription for PT and referred me to a local therapist. My first appointment is this Friday after work. So that's good news! I was able to get into the doctor within a few days and then get into the PT within a few days. So hopefully I can resolve this by the time summer is over? Maybe? My knees are pretty sore from playing soccer this weekend and I almost want to run tomorrow so they are super fucked up for the therapist on Friday.

Anyways, that's the update. Nothing too exciting except that I am hernia free. I'll post a recap of the Rum Run at some point... basically I did a 9:00/mile, had fun, but it was harder than it should have been and left me a bit gimpy (imagine that).