Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day Five

It happened on Thursday.

I became worn down.  I've never felt this way before about running.  I am THISCLOSE to being able to run hard and pick it back up and train for a December 2, 2012 marathon.

But mentally the unknown has worn me down.  The unknown of which days I will feel great, which days I won't be able to run at all.  The unknown of how much I am damaging my body by continuing to run month after month on an imperfect left leg.  The unknown of whether I have a femoral neck stress fracture since apparently my readers know more than my doctor and she should have sent me for an MRI, not an X-ray*.

So I give in, I give up.  I'm officially going off running, for a minimum two weeks, starting last Wednesday.  That makes today, Sunday, my fifth day of no running.  Already almost half-way done! Unless, of course, this two weeks turns into four weeks turns into 8 weeks....

I officially killed the Garmin.  Giving it a 2+ week vacation.
*I followed up with my doctor about getting an MRI after my x-ray results came back normal.  She basically said no, because that requires a referral to an ortho, and the ortho will require that I first try PT and rest.  So I'm trying PT and rest. 

Last Sunday was the San Jose RnR half marathon.  My body hurt.  On Monday, I ran in the evening with the Gentleman and felt mostly good.  Tuesday I ran on the treadmill at the gym, 8.46 miles in one hour.  Wednesday I met with my doctor who gave me an x-ray and suggested I take two weeks off.  I convinced her that the two weeks would happen after I ran the CIM.

Then I changed my mind.  The two weeks starts now.

This will be hard, so hard.  Taking time off running is probably a no-brainer when you CAN'T run, but I can.  In three days, I know I will be sitting on the couch thinking, "what the hell I am doing, I can totally run right now if I wanted to."

This will be a mental battle.  It has been only five days and already I've flip-flopped literally once very 15 minutes.  "I'm taking two weeks off, I will feel so great afterwards, it will be worth it."  cue 15 minutes later: "I can totally run a few miles this evening, just test the body out, it will feel fine.  I've been comfortable enough running for a year with this on-and-off issue, no reason to stop now when I have a marathon I really want to run."

Let it goooooo.  Let CIM gooo.  Let it go.  It's gone.  The CIM goal is gone. 

I'm so nervous.

I'm nervous that I will take two weeks off, and the buttcrease issue will still be exactly the same, and all I will have lost is two weeks of fitness and fun and training.  I doubt that time off is the fix.

I'm nervous that I will get used to sleeping in and being lazy and I will never get back into my groove where running is as obvious as brushing my teeth

I'm nervous that my runner's appetite won't adjust, and I will pick my running back up a few pounds heavier and running will feel that much harder
I''m nervous that I will lose my runner's appetite, and lose all the hard-earned body mass I currently rock.

I'm nervous that I will seriously get depressed after day 7.  I don't think I've ever stopped running for more than maybe 6 or 7 days in years....

I'm nervous that instead of continuing to cross-train with strengthening, swimming, yoga, or whatever, that I will virtually do NONE of it because I really have no interest in those activities.  The thought of swimming for more than 10 minutes makes me want to karate chop the water.  Maybe I'll do karate instead.

I'm nervous that I won't make it two weeks without running, because I am very, very, very stubborn and very, very, very eager to run.

I'm nervous that if/when I start running again, it will be three weeks before CIM, and I will want to run it anyway, and getting a Personal Worst will feel very gross. 

I'm nervous that I'm going to resent every blog I read where y'all are running and racing.

I'm nervous this blog will SUCK when all I can talk about is how I stretched for 10 minutes and then rant about other sucky bloggers

What's the most that can happen in two weeks?  I'm not going to forget how to run, right?

I wonder what other activities I can do.  My doctor mentioned swimming.  I wrote her an email asking for follow-up, and she said to avoid activities that mimic running, like "walking, elliptical, and stair climbing."  Walking and the elliptical have never aggravated the buttcrease, so that is kind of hard to swallow.   But fine.  She recommended swim, bike, yoga.  I will do yoga when I'm dead.

But what about the other options? Jillian Micheal's videos? Jump rope?  Rock climb (I hope!!)? Ribbon dancing? Dancing dancing? Dancing in front of the mirror?  Dancing in front of the mirror naked?

Let's talk swimming.

Wednesday, off.  Thursday, off.  Friday, life is starting to really suck without endorphins, so I give swimming a try.  Even though....I don't have a one-piece swim suit.  I don't have a swim cap.  I don't have goggles.  And I don't know how to swim laps.  I mean, I know how to swim, but really don't know form and etiquette etc.

I used a guest pass at a gym near my work that has swimming pools.  Plural, because this place is bigger than a Costco, which makes it 3,000 times bigger than the gym by my apartment.  No exaggeration.

Derrr.  Fucking self-pictures in mirrors.  Always comes off as a dirty politician tweeting a 17 year old his bod.

I swam for thirty minutes, and looked at the clock 30 times.  I can't believe how long 30 minutes of swimming felt.

My eyes were stinging.  My left shoulder hurt near the end (still hurts today).  And the friendly old man in the lane near mine kept stopping me to talk about swimming and form (guess he noticed mine sucks).  When you're at the gym on a bike, treadmill, elliptical, you can talk to the friendly chatters without it breaking into your workout.  In the pool, not so much.  I had to stop and wait for him to stop talking to swim again.  STOP talking to me people.

The Gentleman's dad, who is a high-school water polo coach, is hopefully hooking me up with a swim suit, swim cap, and goggles so the next few trips shouldn't be so brutal.

Saturday I rode the bike at my normal hot-fart gym for one hour.  Much more tolerable, the time went by quicker, and now my whole crotch area feels bruised.

Today I did a Jillian Michaels video, since my arm is too sore to swim, my crotch is too sore to bike, my whole body is banned from running, etc.  I kind of half-assed it because I didn't want my arms to be crazy sore, in the hopes I could swim on Monday.

What activities have helped you get through a running "rest"? 

49 comments:

  1. Hang in there...seriously it will benefit you in the long run. HA! run isn't that ironic...I am so glad you are no were near me to bitch smack me in the face right now...and please don't retaliate by writing that I am one of the sucky bloggers...words hurt you know!

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    1. Being a sucky blogger hurts more than words

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  2. hehehheehehe, nice pic! guess you need to come to AZ to make up for THAT RACE! Ok, maybe not....but I hope you feel better buddy.

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  3. Awww sorry to hear this! I hope it helps! Good news - the crotch bruising thing goes away quickly. Swimming is incredibly boring but it does get easier/better. I find doing interval workouts rather than just timed portions makes it go by SO much faster. This website has good ones, some are confusing so I just use the stuff I understand.

    http://ntcmastersswim.blogspot.com/

    Also you may not want an extra expense if you don't plan on swimming long term but my friend trained with waterproof headphones for our half ironman and loved life so much more than me, swimming next to her in silence. Good luck!

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    1. Bookmarking that site, thank you!! My crotch DOES feel better! phew :)

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  4. OK, swimming. Buy goggles. They are not expensive and your eyes will thank you 1000 times. Swim cap is optional, but you're a girl after all, you might care how your hair looks afterward. You don't have to have a one piece suit to swim laps, as long as the two piece fits and isn't about to fall off.

    That friendly old man? He's being a JERK! Telling someone else how to improve their form is very bad swim manners. If you ask, I'll help you, but till then you can thrash away to your heart's content. Just stay out of the way of the faster swimmers. In the pool, the faster swimmers have the right of way. Figure out what pattern people are swimming, and join in. Preferably in a lane where they are swimming about the same speed you actually do swim. (As opposed to the Phelps Phantasies that all too many swimmers have.) If they have to change from splitting a lane to swimming in circles because you are joining them, ask them both and wait for them to change. 30 minutes swimming is a long time for the first time in a while. Oddly enough, I've never, ever been bored swimming. Not once, not even during any number of pool swims longer than an hour. Think about your form. Have someone video you swimming, which will horrify you, but then give you lots of stuff to fix.

    I'm going to go all guy on you for a second. Give up on CIM. For real. That flip flopping will kill you and bore us. For this year. A two week break is NOTHING!!! Just think of how long you have to live with butt crease pain if it lasts the rest of your life because you don't get your head wrapped around it and deal with it. You will not forget to run. Deal with the problem, even if it means going all medieval on your medical providers. There, done the guy solution rant where all your girlfriends will wave incense at you and validate your feelings.

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    1. Thank you for the swimming tips, and for getting Guy on me. I do give up on CIM. But I still hope, with all my incense might, that this only lasts two weeks and I will be able to run CIM "for fun" (this won't last two weeks. I know it. Still hoping).

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  5. I understand everything you are feeling! This summer was so frustrating. Taking multiple several-week breaks from running was difficult and frustrating. I forgot how darn EASY running is. Getting all your crap together and getting to the gym? Hard. Tying your shoes and running out your door? I can do that on the busiest day ever. It's tough to take time off and it's tough to come up with alternative exercise.
    For me, here is the biggest piece of the recovery puzzle I missed: Get strong. What caused my injury in the first place was weak muscles (ok, not really, it was scoliosis, but I needed stronger muscles to correct the bone anomalies that make my pelvis uneven). When I stopped running, all I did was get even weaker. Yeah, I was doing some PT, but it wasn't nearly enough and didn't focus on the supporting muscles enough. When I realized I was just growing more weak, I got out my old anatomy and physiology textbook and made up my own PT. I focused on long (hour long) PT sessions of only exercises that did not hurt the injury and did strengthen the area. Then I gradually reintroduced running, too, to make sure I was hitting the right spots. I am still recovering, but I'm back to 60 mpw and no longer feel acute pain.
    I think the biggest problem with PT is that it is not often aggressive enough, so it takes too darn long. Plus since it is usually accompanied by a command to rest, it's a little counterproductive as you weaken.
    I did do some workout dvds while injured - one Jillian, one Bob Harper. I have to say Bob's was much harder and better. But be careful with either as some of the jumping sort of moves can be tough on the joints.
    So as to races this winter - you'll be back, and fast, soon. I won't lie, I lost a lot of fitness being out as long as I was. I came back slow and a little fat. But yesterday I did an 18 miler with no prob, so the endurance is returning; I do still need a lot of work on speed. I wouldn't worry if I were you, though. You are naturally gifted and a very hard worker, so it will be a quick return to speed for you. Good luck, I'm really sorry for this tough spot you're in, will be thinking about you.

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    1. Schlepping to the gym is not easy! true! Thanks for the reminder to stick with strength training while resting. I'm afraid of Bob Harper's videos if they are harder...I find her videos pretty tough, at first, but once my muscles adjust they get pretty easy.

      You'll get back to your pre-break speed and then some!

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  6. I know you are having a hard time as well. I really hope with two weeks your body clears whatever the hell is going on. I'm personally going into my 6th week of no running and it sucks major ass. Also point blank, that is ridiculous about not being able to an MRI. You hurt and that is not normal...I had a stress fracture in my foot that didn't show up until last week but they got an MRI 4 weeks ago because I could not walk. My doctor would have cleared my to run and it could have lead to a year long process of healing with a Jones Fracture.

    My coach is very adminet about water running...I hate that more then I hate yoga...maybe as much hatred as zumba. Anyways sending you healthy vibes.

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    1. If I can figure out how water running really works, I might give it a try....

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  7. Ugh...taking serious time off from running just sucks so much. However, I look forward to the following in these next 9 days:

    -More bikini self shots
    -An increase in your karate skills
    -More time to write awesome blog posts

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  8. I spent three months swimming 2x/week before it started to feel great. Now, I really look forward to my swim workouts. I'm not sure what changed, but I think I kind of got into the zen of it. The more time you spend thinking about your form, the better. Swimming is like a workout and meditation all in one, because you have no other choice.

    But, yes, get proper swim attire. Running would suck too if you were wearing old-school sweats and no shoes, right?

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    1. I already look forward to it :) the proper attire definitely helped

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  9. Fuck cross training. Drink lots of beer and eat fried pickles. It's awesome. So much more awesome than running.

    And now you know why i am fat and out of shape.

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    1. You got it!! bring me some fried pickles to the starting line of CIM!

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  10. Ugh. I feel your pain. But this seems necessary to get healthy again (and/or get an MRI?). What can I say: CIM will be there next year? Hmm, not so helpful. Um, I had a baby (one year, 9 hours and 8 minutes ago to be precise) so I didn't run from August 2011 to January 2012 and here I am 10 months later running close to my pre-baby PR's? Also not helpful...cause I remember EXACTLY how much it sucked not to run for five months while everyone else was running their fall marathons and setting PR's. But dude, if you want to talk about getting flabby, 2 weeks is nothing!

    Blah blah blah. Here is one fact: Your running base is AMAZING. Aren't you running like 90 miles a week or something? You will not lose fitness in 2 weeks and if you keep doing a little something each day, swim or bike or whatever, you don't have to worry too much about the appetite/weight gain thing.

    Oh one more thing - yeah swimming is boring as hell, but if you can take a few lessons, not only do they make a great workout and make the time pass faster, but swimming by yourself gets a whole lot easier and more fun when you have a clue! I took lessons while pregnant and it was totally worth it.

    Ok stopping now.

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    1. I think I'm gonna take a lesson. There is a beginning swim class at this gym. 2 weeks isn't so bad next to 6+ months I guess...

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  11. I've done it all. Swimming, Elliptical, Aqua jogging, etc. It's tough because nothing is as good as running when you are a runner. I cross trained like crazy when I was injured and in the end took 4 weeks off of running and that's what healed me. If I could go back I would have skipped the cross training and just rested. Some people believe in active recovery but I just don't know. I feel like it extends whatever issue is going on and your body might be screaming for rest. You're an over achiever...you will not become lazy if you sleep in for two weeks instead of slogging it to the pool. I know this is not what you wanted to hear and feel free to blatantly ignore me, I just didn't want you to fall into the trap that I did of working out because I was afraid.

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    1. How about strength training? Yay or nay while "resting"? I thought Gracie's advice (above) about not getting weaker made sense

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  12. Understand what you are feeling. When I took that month off of running I'm pretty sure I was the most unpleasant person to be around. I would see people running and thoughts of hitting them with my car crossed my mind a time or two ;)

    Your fitness is not going to just magically go away during this off time. Read this http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444032404578006274010745406.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet
    He does absolutely nothing for 5 weeks and comes back strong as hell. Your body is going to thank you for this mini break-up.

    Swimming is a whole hell of a lot more enjoyable when you are doing planned 'workouts,' instead of just swimming back and forth. I can email you some ideas if you want or www.swimsmooth.com has some ideas as well. Goggles are a MUST though... you did that 30 minutes without them???? Hello chlorine burning eyeballs!

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  13. I'm fighting off runner's knee and have MIA from running for over a month now. Knee feels much better. I've been lifting weights and on the stationary bike once a week. I have a bad habit of heel striking which might explain the runner's knee. So I need to figure out how to improve my form. Any suggestions on books, sites, or instructional blogs?

    Thanks! I hope you feel better to get back out and running!

    Chris
    amplifytoday.com

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    1. Fuck, I have no suggestions. Sorry. I can privately email you some of my favorite blogs of smart runners though! A lot of them are in this comment thread if that helps....

      Same to you, hope your running break is nearing it's end

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    2. Chris I had runners knee and got rid of it by (1)strength exercises for the VMO (inner medial quad that opposes the outer quad and controls the gliding of your knee cap) in addition to exercises for your hip adductor muscles (inner thighs). These areas are notoriously weak. Google clam shells and leg extensions. (2) I examined my gait a little and found that the leg that I had runners knee on would land with my foot in a diagonal position rather than straight, which conflicted with my knee going in the opposite direction. Joints going in different directions is not good! I concentrated on straightening my foot and it had an almost immediate affect on my knee.
      (3) MOST OF ALL: I shorted my stride. Elites take around 180 steps per minute regardless of pace. I have so many fewer injuries from doing that because it so significantly lessens the impact on everything from your hips down. It forces you to land underneath your hip/butt and (will also likely give you more of a mid-foot strike, though I dont think heel striking is really that big of a deal on its own).

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    3. There you go! Thanks Penny. I could also benefit from the shortened stride. Definitely need to work on that one.

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  14. I hope the next 9 days go by fast for you. There will be other marathons in your future. I hope your leg heals completely. Imagine running without that nagging butt crease pain all of the time. It shouldn't be something you just put up with...
    I sort of kinda feel your pain. I'm 6 months pregnant and this is the 2nd baby in two years. I daydream about training for a marathon and I'm living vicariously through running bloggers like you. I love being a mommy but, I'm already looking forward to when I sneak out of the house while everyone is asleep still so I can go run 8 miles before work. I’m lucky if I get to waddle for 2-3 miles at a time right now. Like you I’m addicted to the endorphins that I get from running. Nothing else seems to provide that buzz you feel after you run.

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    1. 2-3 miles of waddling is impressive at 6 months! At least you know from experience that you can snap back into your running self. Thanks for the reminder that 2 weeks isn't so bad..:)

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  15. I'd give a try at the rock climbing (indoor if you don't have outdoor options around you). I used to rock climb years ago (when I was running not as much as now) and it's a totally different exercise from running, swimming, etc. You have to keep your mind focused all the time, and maybe it's just what you need, not thinking all the time about running. For sure it'll be easier for you than for many, you already are lean and muscular. And then who knows, maybe you'll fall in love with it. Good luck

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    1. I'm in love with the idea of it...rock climbing is so badass

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  16. First off, unbelievable that you were able to swim 30 minutes without goggles and your eyes didn't burn like no other at the end, lol. Goggles are a must, that is the main swimming supply that is required. Everything else is optional, though swim cap may be useful since your hair takes a beating from the chlorine. If your goggles fog up when you swim, you may want to invest in anti-fog spray - pretty cheap online ($8 or so). Also, when I go to the pool I bring one of those reusable grocery bags for my towel and supplies.

    Real bummer about having to take time off running, I have no idea what injury you have, but an MRI is probably the only way you'll know for sure. X-rays don't provide enough detail. Though MRI's are pricey - I paid like $700 for mine last year on my knee, and I had insurance - so they are expensive.

    I've been battling injuries on and off for 1.5 years now (I'd say I've finally been getting better over the last 3 months), and I wrote at least 3 woe is me posts about injuries. Maybe these will help with how you are feeling. The fact that you can run so fast even with an injury maybe means your injury is something minor. Though who knows. Hope you are back on the roads soon. Injuries suck, and nothing anyone can say can make it better except for being back on the roads.
    http://nellyontherun.blogspot.com/2011/10/injury-realizations.html
    http://nellyontherun.blogspot.com/2011/07/physical-therapy-and-run-less-run.html
    http://nellyontherun.blogspot.com/2011/06/national-running-day.html

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    1. I only opened my eyes occasionally....;) Thank you for the injury sympathy, I have to go commiserate with your posts and learn how you pushed through it

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  17. And yea, I have horrible swim form, and that is one reason that I think I disliked swimming - because I would always be going slower than anyone else, and swimming seems to be very clique-ish if you don't look the part or something. I always dreaded going to the pool, so it took a lot of courage to go there and swim anyways despite what other people might be thinking, or my dislike for it.

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  18. Can you do pool running or is that off limits? It is not much funner than swimming, but I've read that it is good for maintaining conditioning when you can't run. What about weight training? I find that is the best thing for me to help me feel strong. It also helps control my weight even more than running. Good luck!

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    1. Weights, definitely. It keeps me so sore that I can't run if I wanted to, so that's good.

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  19. I learned to like swimming but it took a WHILE. Knowing how to find/read/do a workout helped, as someone mentioned above, because at least then I had something to focus on other than back-and-forth, back-and-forth. (I also got waterproof headphones. They work well enough to be a nice distraction.) I like biking on an actual bike but I find stationary bikes really uncomfortable (I'm short, and I usually can't find a setting where I can reach the pedals and not have my back feel shitty) so I can't ever make myself do that for very long. I actually sort of enjoy pool-running, which probably has everything to do with a) the waterproof headphones and b) finding a chatty pool-running buddy, but it may be worth a shot if you have a deep end available to you. Also: yay, rock climbing! I always drop it when I'm running more and then miss it like crazy.

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  20. This post describes my situation exactly. I am depressed and I don't want to do anything else but run. I hope 2 weeks does it for you, I'll be on 4 weeks tomorrow. I've decided that I'm running tomorrow whether my knee issue presents itself or not and if it doesn't hurt, I'm running my 13.5M trail run this Saturday and continuing my marathon training unless I can't walk after a run. I've been responsible and if it hasn't healed by now, then it's not a healing issue. I would suggest doing SOMETHING because it will help with the depression, a mistake I made by doing nothing.

    If you can pick up a cheap bike from CL, biking is a very enjoyable sport and it'll get you outdoors. Or if you want to kick your ass and keep your cardio up, I suggest finding a spin class at your gym although that may be overdoing it for your buttcrease...

    Thanks for posting your thoughts though, it definitely helps me to hear that I'm not alone in what I'm feeling.

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    1. Fingers crossed for you on your run tomorrow! Please let it be true that resting works!

      I Do want to take a spin class, although I'm kind of intimidated...

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    2. 3 mile run went well but there is too much pain afterwards; looks like I'm not running for the forseable future. Goodbye 2012 CIM... Thanks for the crossed fingers...

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    3. awwww :( Sadness. You still have 6 weeks to give it another try. Not ideal, but if it is feeling better, you can run CIM as a "fun run" like me!

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  21. Drives me nuts how doctors/insurance companies play the guessing game and take the wait and see approach with rest and PT. Why not order the MRI for the pain you have and then prescribe a course of treatment instead of not knowing what's wrong in there but hey, let's of some PT exercises and see what happens weeks and months down the road. Certain injuries require certain PT exercises. If they don't know what's going on in there through diagnostic imaging (MRI) how the hell do they know what exercises to prescribe you? It could actually make the situation worse. We are fortunate to have the medical access we do in this country yet at times it's so back asswards!!!!!! All I can say is, if any PT they give you hurts, don't do it. They are basically treating you with blindfolds on.

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    1. oooooo, you've got me all fired up now. It IS nuts. As a matter of fact, this one hamstring strengthening move I've been assigned ("golf pick-ups") aggravates my buttcrease pain quite a lot. Deep pinching pain when I do them. Wasting my flipping time....maybe I can email her and tell her it has been two weeks and I am ready for my MRI.

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  22. The Jillian videos always aggravated my hip :( I was glad to be able to finally do the elliptical. I'm surprised that your doc isn't more adventurous...you could ask if you can elliptical BACKWARDS like XLMIC because it is the OPPOSITE of running ;-)

    I wish they'd give you the MRI. That is why I don't care to get the x-ray...it'll be normal and everyone will think that I made up 10+ years of hobbling in my slippers. I would just keep saying that any and all PT exercises hurt. Be dramatic. Get what you want.

    I miss you! I would ride bikes with you!

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    1. Yeah my doctor doesn't care about me at all. I'll elliptical backwards with you on day 15. Miss you toooooo

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  23. **Contrarian Alert**
    Let's be real here. People don't continue to do the workouts you have been writing about with a femoral neck stress fracture. The odds of that being the problem are vanishingly small. It is actually unlikely that a hip MRI would clearly discern what is going on so why not try the rest approach first and see how you respond? Sounds pretty rational to me. You are no doubt familiar with the old Einstein quote about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. Albert knew a thing or two.

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    1. I like your femoral neck stress fracture diagnosis! I think the definition of insanity is going to 10 different doctors, and all of them telling me something different. And until now, most of them telling me I can continue to run while incorporating PT. I'm thinking listening to doctors is insanity...

      I'm committed to my rest, two weeks, three weeks, whatever. It's day 6 though, I can do my "buttcrease pain test" of swinging my left leg up, and it is still clearly there.

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  24. Dang. As far as running-substitute type activities, I am a staunch supporter of yoga. It kept me sane through the bar exam and was really really helpful in getting rid of a lot of the nagging aches and pains I felt because of running. Plus, headstands are fun.

    Also, I'll be reading regardless of whether or not you're running.

    Also, please trade abs with me. That is all.

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  25. Arrrrghhh! This has got to be so tough for you! I know what it feels like when you want to do something so bad but you are being held back from doing it for a stupid reason. I am so sorry.

    But I have to say, and don't hate me, but the 2 week rest does sound like a good idea... Sometimes rest is the only thing that will help an injury or pain that is not going away. I hope it helps, and in the meantime just enjoy your seriously hot swimmers bod.

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