Sunday, April 29, 2012

Why not?

A few weeks ago my husband sent me this article on Title IX, which is celebrating it's 40th birthday this spring. Side note: regularly sending me links to articles I may find interesting is just one those cute endearing things I've come to love about him.  When I opened the link, my first thought was, oh, another boring article on Title IX.  I started to skim it anyway and what I found was quite the opposite.   This article, focusing on the change and meaning, for some reason really forced me to reassess the role sport has had in my life and think about how different things would have been for me without this tiny little piece of legislation.

As a former college athlete and professional collegiate athletics administrator, I am very familiar with Title IX and am proud to be one of the millions whose life was forever changed as a daughter of this educational and athletic revolution.   I consider myself so fortunate to have never known a time where I felt like I couldn't express my competitive side by kicking someone's butt (in a organized and civilized fashion, of course).

This article made me think back to what it was like growing up with two brothers and wanting to do everything they could do, better. I remember a specific spring/summer that my father coached my older brother's t-ball team, the A's.  The little league organization had a separate softball league, providing opportunities for girls, but I knew a few female classmates who were playing t-ball on the "boys" teams and tried every angle to get my dad to let me play.  At a critical point in the season, the A's were short a player and I found myself almost in tears begging my dad to let me play.  Of course he said no, and I was crushed when another boy's younger brother who happened to be my age/in my class was asked to join the team and fill the spot.  Damn you Chris Kebler!! If there's ever a way to motivate me, tell me I can't do something...

I was definitely a "tomboy" (how did that word even originate?) running around the neighborhood with messy hair and legs covered with cuts and bruises from climbing trees, rolling down hills and playing countless hours of tag.  But thinking back on my earliest competitive opportunities (apart from not being able to play T-ball) the only restriction I felt was my own skill, ability or willingness to push myself to be the best.  It wasn't whether or not I was allowed and for that I feel fortunate.  I was able to be recruited by a Division I program, be on scholarship and have a college experience which forever changed me and the course of my life.  Athletics for me has always been a main outlet for self expression.

So, in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, a special thank you to the women whose determination helped pave the path for so many of us who have been forever changed by sport.  We still have a lot of work to do, but we wouldn't be where we are without the women who asked and continue to ask, "why not?".

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Lottery, a Game of Chance!

The message I was waiting for, I think.. 

Dear Runner:
Congratulations! Your registration was selected in the lottery and you are now registered for the 33rd annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run on May 6, 2012.

Looks like I better start training!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Be still my heart

I took a quick break from work today to venture over to the new REI in soho to inquire about returning a pair of winter boots which unfortunately made my feet very unhappy.  (Side note: REI has a fantastic return policy for members. I recommend signing up!) Anyway, I was trying on a few different pair of boots and from across the shoe wall a pair of gorgeous Brooks running shoes caught my eye.  I originally thought they were racing flats, but as I examined them they seemed to have way more stability than a racing flat and are marketed for training. Now, I've been out of the running gear loop for a while, but I'm well aware of the bare foot running craze and the tragic aftermath of everyone showing off their ten toes.  The shoes were the Brooks pureflow and they not only made my heart skip a beat but made my feet feel absolutely AMAZING (esp. considering #myworkshoesareunkind).

Brooks New PureProject - PureFlow
Here's how they are described on the Brooks site, "Experience a joy ride for the senses when lightweight design meets killer comfort in the PureFlow. For runners who love the feel of free feet but count on cushion to go the distance, this shoe strikes the perfect balance. Breathable on top, flexible underneath, and altogether awesome looking." I don't know enough about the pureflow to judge how they would hold up over the long haul, but yes, they do look awesome.  I like where Brooks is going with the whole PureProject.  I'm definitely looking into this more, and I would love to hear from anyone who is training in them, I would love to know what they think.

Run Happy, my friends!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Did you ever feel broken? Like an aged, run down, lesser version of your old unstoppable self? I've never been one to buy into the idea of feeling sorry for yourself. I mean, where does it get you? But feeling like your options are limited, your resources are restricted and you basically just can't fix yourself is such a horrible feeling. I don't want to be filed away with the quitters or sent to the mysterious island of misfit toys, but finding yourself in this type of predicament and working to redefine yourself is so incredibly challenging. It use to be so easy being me. ;)

Having recently given birth to my first child, part of me thinks that I should be elated with joy over the new role of motherhood. And that this joy should trump any disappointment, fears other ("selfish") short comings. I mean, who needs to work to redefine themselves when they relentlessly keep trying to get their infant son to respond to, "mama"? Don't get me wrong, my son is the most important thing in my life right now and that does bring me great joy. But I can't help but long for, at the very least, the time I thought I didn't have prior to being a parent. I would do so much with this minimal time. Hindsight is.. well, need I say it? Being a parent doesn't directly relate back to being "broken" but in many ways has created a huge obstacle in my redefining efforts. Having a child just threw another 5mth/20lb/26inch (and growing fast!) element into the mix.

You may be wondering, where is she going with all of this? Patience! I'm getting there.

Transitions are tough, yet each and every one of us has to go through them. They keep us on our toes and challenge us to redefine how we perceive ourselves, our environments -- our lives. Through most of my transitions, I have always looked for what I would best describe as "angels". I'm not an overly religious person, but I do very much believe in human kindness and
following rainbows (in the figurative sense ;) ). Overall, I would say I've been rather lucky in life and have been fortunate to be surrounded by fantastic friends, been offered wonderful opportunities, found love, found love again and experienced great adventures. I also now have a son who is so beautiful that I often find myself wondering how (again) I got to be this lucky. I could never have done it alone. I have met many "angels".

Through the ups and downs of life, though all of my life transitions to date, I can't say that I always had a clear sense of purpose. Most of the time, I don't. I try my best to take the good with the bad. After all, as my mama told me, "that's just life: it's both good and bad". When things are tough, I break down but ultimately remind myself, tomorrow is a new day. But there's just this one hurdle that I can't seem to surmount, one transition that has me feeling stuck, one predicament for which I can't find the right "angel". And that is the issue of the physical pain that has been plaguing me for the past four years and has stopped me from training/racing. FOUR YEARS! Has it honestly been that long? I have to fight tears thinking about it.

The positive outcomes of this crap situation is that I have become a stronger swimmer, I really enjoy cycling and power yoga rocked my pre-parenthood world. But now, five months postpartum (and five pounds lighter than I before I got knocked up - go me!), I want nothing more than to take my 45mins of me time and hit the pavement. However I find myself in more pain now than I was right before getting preggo. More pain that I was when I was carrying around 30 lbs of extra weight. The pain has tightened up my entire left side of my body, from my left sesamoid to left neck. I want it to disappear. I want to get back out there. I want to not feel (physically) broken.

As a competitive athlete and fire sign, I pride myself on my passion. My college coach once sat me down and told me I would never be as talented as some of the "stars" on our team, but that I had a lot of HEART. Some people would have taken offense to this "Rudy" type of pep-talk, but I take pride in the fact that I put my heart in to what I do. And the best way to fire me up is to tell me that I can't do something or that I'll never be the star. I PR-ed in most of my events that year.

But I'm losing hope that I'll get through this transition and come out better for it. I want to push through, but is my passion and persistence enough to go on? Will another "angel" come meet me and point me in the right/life altering direction? Am I looking to hard or not looking enough? I haven't by any means completely given up, but I just can't help feeling a little broken, restricted and directionless in this department.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I will run for food!

Let's just say I was inspired..

The Hungry Man Marathon may not be NYC's premiere running event of the season, but will it will cause a few runners to salivate none-the-less. This event is taking place later today in the city. Runners in the form of five-person teams will scour the city to hunt down 26 participating restaurants and 2 taco stands in search of a souvenir/proof of their find. The bonus comes after each team crosses the finish line which is when the 60+ participants will get to sample food from most if not all of the participating restaurants. A fellow runner friend of mine helping the West Side YMCA to run/organize this event, which is in it's first year of existence. I'm sure it's going to be a huge success!
You're lying if you can't agree with me that one of the best parts of being a runner is getting to do some extra "fueling".. even better when it's post race!
Best of luck to the Hungry Man participants. Run fast and eat up!

- TRC :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Dear Runner (LT) Chick"- Response (original msg in post below)

Here's my response to a fellow runner chick from Austin, TX (see original message in post below)...

Hi Leslie,

I often think about my abandoned blog and it makes me so sad, like i left my baby in a dumpster or something...sigh... (sorry, inappropriate reference). Sorry that I haven't posted any updates on my recovery in what seems like ages. I guess you could say that I've pretty down about things. Running is our lifeblood and it gets tricky sometimes without that regular outlet... very tricky.

So, here I am 5 months post op, wondering if the tear in my labrum was actually really the cause of my pain. I'm back to full strength and am getting around town just as well as I did prior to surgery, but as for running, I haven't really been making the progress I'd like to. For instance I ran outside for 20mins last night and it was like the highlight of my week. My chest was burning since I'm royally out of running shape at the moment, but every step gives me hope of getting back to where I once was.

It sounds as though, like me, you have quite a few different things going on. Without looking back to see what I wrote on my blog, I can tell you that I've come to find out (after surgery) that I have some pretty serious hamstring tendinitis. The whole idea with going in the direction of surgery was to fix my labral tear in order to then properly treat the tendinitis (with PT). However, we're still in a touch and go phase and I still haven't found anyone who will talk to me in more than generalities. SO FRUSTRATING! But for the most part, my PT and physician (who are working together on this) have remained positive, but seemed stumped on the day to day - up & down of my progress. One day, I feel fantastic (meaning, I can walk and sit comfortably with no pain or tightness) and then I push a little further with running or some other form of exercise and then the next thing I know the throbbing, achy pain is back. I've come to terms with fact that there are quite a few things going on in there... and unfortunately, I didn't get the right help/treatment five or six years ago when the first signs of this started. I did have a labral tear, but I also have hamstring tendinitis and I think there's some piriformis (nerve) stuff going on in there too. So, I know it's still a long road of treatment and patience ahead.

So, (much like my doctor) I don't have a clear answer for you, but definitely go for an MRI and skip the regular MRI and go for the MRI arthrogram where they inject you with dye. This will better show what's going on in there (my tear didn't show on a regular MRI). As I mentioned before in my blog, some people have labral tears and are completely asymptomatic. So, definitely do your research and find someone who is well studied in this injury. I found the Runners World Discussion Board on Injuries and specifically the LONG thread on Labral tears to be very helpful. You'll also probably see me on there if you go through this past year's posts. You'll come to see that there are many of us out there with similar symptoms. It's a very poorly diagnosed injury and there are many people out there grasping at straws to find out what is going on.

Hit me up when ever you want to vent or trade symptoms. I could talk about this for hours (while I'm not out running).

But don't get me wrong, I still have hope and WILL get back out there... hopefully soon!
Take care and best of luck to you!!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Dear Runner (Labral Tear) Chick

A message I received @ about five months post op...

Hey there!

I found your blog googling for "labral tears and runners" or something like that.

First, how is your recovery from surgery going?

Second, thank you SO much for your blog. I cried and cried while reading it. I am still in the diagnosis phase of my injury, but I started having issues in September 2008. I'm also a long distance runner, and was training for my 7th marathon and hoping to (finally) BQ, which didn't happen since I couldn't do my race. I had some hip clicking before that, but I could still run, no problem. Then I was doing speed work one night, and all of a sudden I couldn't raise my left leg up like I wanted to. It just felt impossible. From there, I have been to (so far) two doctors, one physician's assistant, a chiropractor and a PT. I have had an MRI of my hip, pelvis and back (all came back completely clean). I was on steroids for a week (nothing). Currently I'm taking Lyrica which is meant to help with my neural pathways because one doctor thinks I have meralgia paresthetica. I've tried running, not running, yoga, core work, tons of PT, etc.

Then last week my chiropractor said, I think you may have a torn labrum. I hadn't seen the chiro since January, so he was taking a fresh look at things (i.e., he had said completely different things in the past). I went to my PT, and he was like nope, that's not it. He wanted me to do a nerve test b/c they think something's affecting my femoral nerve. Then I went back to the chiro today, and he said the same thing about the labrum.

So I went back to work and started my googling. When I found your blog, it was like the biggest "aha!" The first post I read was after you had already had your surgery, so I went backwards to see how you were diagnosed. It all sounded SO familiar. All of the appointments, all of the treatment, all the different diagnoses. All of the frustration. With all the different diagnoses I've received, I've always thought, "That might just very well be what I have." When I read your blog I was like, that's me! That's exactly what I have. My pain does not present in my hamstring like yours (it's more directly in the hip and will radiate down my quad).

So now I've written this incredibly long email to a stranger, but I just wanted to tell you thank you so very much for your blog. I am more convinced than ever that this is what I'm dealing with, and now I feel like I can be more insistent on getting to the bottom of this. And as much as I hate to know that anyone has gone through what I've been through (and yes I agree with you, things can be worse), it's so reassuring to hear from someone else who really knows what this whole thing is like. At times, I think people have even questioned if anything is wrong with me at all.

Please let me know how you are doing. Recovering from the surgery makes me nervous. And I, like you, already feel like I've had to sit a fair amount of time out. I missed my marathon in December and was hoping to do some trail runs this summer, but if I require surgery then that will probably be out. I'm curious to know what all you can do, when you can't run. I've been doing yoga (since earlier this year when my mileage became too pathetic to feel like I was still a runner). It sounded like you've done yoga too, so I'm hoping I can at least get back to that somewhat quickly.

Anyhow, if you've read this much, you're amazing. If I do hear back from you, once I get my diagnosis for certain, I will let you know. There's a pessimistic side of me (from all of this) that still worries maybe this isn't it, but my mind is probably 99% made up, and that's saying a lot at this point.

Thanks again,
Leslie (Austin, TX)