Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dog Drama

Today is the one year anniversary of meeting Buddy. I remember being so upset because Steve wanted a black lab, and the one he chose at the Humane Society was crazy. He wouldn't listen at all, pulling so hard on the leash that I went flying, hitting the ground hard. Steve kept insisting, "See, he's alright" while being towed across the yard. There was no way I was bringing that one home, especially when I wanted to be able to run WITH my dog - not dragged behind. Steve finally agreed, and we decided to go back and see Buddy.

On our first walk through, he had been the only dog to stand up and greet us in a non-maniacal way. He'd tilt his head in that inquisitive way, and just look at us. No barking, no jumping, just curiosity. When they brought him outside for us to meet, he danced around so happily and then settled into my lap. He won my heart instantly. Unfortunately, we couldn't move into our newly bought home for two weeks and could not have dogs at our condo. The lovely ladies at the Humane Society were kind enough to board him for that time. I'd visit him every day for a couple hours while we waited impatiently to bring him home. Yes, we went through a difficult transition while Buddy adapted to his new life. After years of abuse and neglect, he was afraid of everything. He was also extremely anxious and hated when we would leave him alone. We spent a lot of money repairing damages done to our home, but it was well worth it.

Now, it's been one year. Buddy no longer destroys things. He can be left alone in the house while I'm at work with no problems. He watches from our big picture window and waits until the car pulls into the drive, when he knows I'm home and we'll go on another adventure. Buddy has learned to run next to me and not to pull on the leash. He watches over me when Steve is gone, and just brings a lot of love to our family.

This morning, looking forward to a long weekend and some hiking in the rain, we drove to one of our favorite trailheads. There was a light rain and snowflakes and absolutely no wind. As usual, I let him off leash once down the trail. Buddy trotted along, sniffing everything and marking his territory. He'd watch the squirrels and rabbits, but stayed close. That is, until out of nowhere, three deer stood up from where they'd been snuggling in the grass. Buddy took off after them, which he does from time to time. I kept on hiking, knowing he'd come back after 5-10 minutes.

Time went on with no Buddy. After 20 minutes, I started to worry. After 40 minutes, I was in a panic. Calling for him, whistling for him, I hiked the same trail several times. Every once in awhile, I'd hear a bark that I thought was Buddy. That made me panic even more, because Buddy ALWAYS comes back to find me. I was worried that he was hurt or trapped and I couldn't get to him. The terrain was impossible to search off trail because it was so steep and I didn't want to get lost as well. It was 35 degrees out and still raining. I hiked back to the car, drove home to see if he found his way there. No sign of Buddy. Driving back, I was a mess. Our one year anniversary, and I'd lost my dog. Every possible bad scenario went through my head. How was I going to tell Steve?

Parking at the trailhead, I collected my things so I could do a long search if necessary. And there, on the trail, stood Buddy. I called for him, and he seemed so uncertain. Finally, he came running, and I noticed there were large branches stuck to his backside. Buddy launched himself at me, shivering uncontrollably, obviously scared and cold. He was limping a bit, but I couldn't see any blood. There was so much debris stuck in his fur and tail that he couldn't really sit down. I tried to get some of it out, but it was impossible. We drove home, and I dried him off. It took a pair of scissors and lots of patience to cut out every last bit of debris. He also had dried debris in and around his mouth. I can only guess that he must have gotten stuck somewhere and had to pull and chew is way out. After the ordeal, he his sticking like glue and we are both really tired. We had one lucky anniversary.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another update

Still not running much. I've tried A.R.T. with little results and now started physical therapy. My last go around with PT was a joke, but I was impressed with the person I saw this week. Lots of assessments, measurements, gait analysis, etc. One thing we know right off is that my lower abs and glutes are very weak. Regardless of the cause of this injury, at least I've got something to work on. My gait seems ok too and I've got good strength and flexibility overall. No major pronation issues.

I've got some SI joint problems, and that is one area that is really tight. We still can't tell for sure where the pain in my hip crease is coming from. It's worse when pulling my knee up to my chest and during the "through" movement of my gait. Next week, I'll go in for an diagnostic ultrasound to see if there's an impingement. This could either be from inflammation or something within the joint such as cartilage. I'm REALLY hoping this is not the case, but deep down fear that it is. After years of ballet wear and tear, I wouldn't at all be surprised if there's loose cartilage in there. If so, surgery will probably be on the schedule. Hoping not.

On a more cheerful running related note, I got a package from Zombie runner today! After weighing all the pros and cons, I got the Nathan Trail Mix waist pack. It's got two 10 oz bottles, one for me and one for Bud. It does have a buckle instead of velcro closure, but because the belt is elastic and wide, it stays in place really well. The pocket is really big and will fit quite a bit. I'll post pictures and further review once I really get to use it.

Hope you all are getting to run!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Once again, not running. Ever since the ankle sprain of January 2009, I've been plagued with annoyance injuries. I finally could not run due to the pain and took the week off. I increased my stretching, also adding ballet and strengthening exercises (yes, I know - should have been done a long time ago). The pain has since subsided, and I can walk the dog again. However, the area is still inflamed and tense, so I went to see the orthopedic doc, primarily to rule out a fracture before continuing with a secret plan of action. All the x-rays looked great. The recommendation was physical therapy, but no luck getting in within the month. I wasn't too sad about that as I HATE paying money to lay on a hot blanket with electrodes hooked to me. Plan B (or A in my head) was a local chiropractor who does Active Release. I'm a huge believer in A.R.T. since it's helped my piriformis and achilles in the past. Plus, I got in right away.

OMG, sweet heaven and hell combined. So absolutely painful, but what a difference! He had me walk and jog on the treadmill first to check my gait. As I already knew, there was a whole lot of awkward stiffness on my right side. I've got some major quad issues going on that's also impacting my hip and lower back. After an hour of treatment, I had much more mobility. I'm going back Wednesday and Friday in the hopes that progress will continue. I've also got an arsenal of new exercises to add several times per week. Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Waist pack opinions?

I'm looking for a waist pack that has two 10 - 12 oz. bottles for shorter runs. I like to drink Nuun, but Buddy won't touch it, so I need another bottle for plain water. Some of the choices I'm considering are the Fuel Belt H20 model, the Amphipod Run Lite Trail Runner (scroll down page to see it) and the Nathan Speed 2. It would be nice if the pack had a small pocket or pouch for keys and cell phone. If you've had experience with any of these, please leave a comment regarding fit, if the bottles leak, if you can add bottles if needed, pros/cons, etc. Thanks!