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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Well hello there. It’s been awhile. Almost an entire month of silence. And while a lot has happened, in some ways it seems as though everything has remained the same. Since there’s no real great way to jump into blogging after an extended absence (besides providing you with a list of everything I’ve been doing for the past several weeks – which no one wants to read and I certainly don’t want to write), I now present to you a brief recap in terms of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good

Somewhere during the time I stepped away from Health on the Run, this little blog of mine turned 2! I can’t believe I’ve been writing this site for two whole years already. You’d think I’d know what I’m doing by this point. …or at least have a book deal.

I just got back from a trip to the beach where we celebrated my Mom and the youngest {ontherun} sister’s birthdays. To celebrate the occasion, we baked the most beautiful cake, via a recipe found on Pinterest.

Birthday cakeNailed it!

And you wonder why I’m not a food blogger…

During the time while I was away, my poor fiance packed up my entire apartment and moved out all of my crap valuable possessions on his own. I’m not sure many other people would have been okay with doing that while their significant other lies on a beach. So I think we can safely say that he wins fiance of the year.

engagement 1

More importantly, I am no longer a Rhode Island resident!

If you’ve never lived in RI, you may not understand the significance of this break-away. But for such a tiny state, it has an incredible power of drawing people in and never allowing them to leave. I came to Providence for grad school back in 2007, determined that this would only be a 2 year living situation. 5 years and a couple of jobs later, I’ve finally gotten out. Little Rhodey has a lot of charm and I loved my time living there, but I am ready for some new and exciting changes.

I am now living under the same roof as EC for the very first time in our long history together. I should probably mention that we are also sharing a residence with his parents and younger brother. Not exactly the way I had originally pictured our first go at cohabitation. However – I am incredibly grateful to my future in-laws for their willingness to take myself and my crazy pup in for a little while.

IMG 0405

Which brings me to my next, most exciting thing! We found a house! (Not to buy, but who’s counting.) And we love it. It’s in a new state, and will be a HUGE change from our normal lifestyle. But we’re both so incredibly excited about it. More details on this to come soon.

The Bad

Not everything that has happened has been exciting. Unfortunately, the stress and sense of being overwhelmed that I thought would magically disappear once April rolled around has not. (Surprise!) In fact, it’s still here, just as intense as ever.

That being said, I’ve recently just accepted that this level of stress is going to be standard in my life for the next couple of months. I had some awful days/weeks where I acted like a big baby about it all, but no more. From this point forward, I’m resolving to focus on the good, exciting things instead of wallowing in the crap (friends – hold me to this!).

However – that doesn’t mean I’m not incredibly sad to report that recently, running has become pretty much nonexistent in my life. Remember how I was struggling with an arch/ankle injury? Well, due to some pretty stupid training decisions on my part, that little ache is now the least of my problems. I recently developed intense knee pain that has kept me from running for almost 3 weeks now.

Which brings me to….

The Ugly

I may not be running the Boston Marathon.

I can’t even tell you how much it pains me to type that. …and how many emotional breakdowns I’ve had up until this point.

After living in denial about the state of my injury for awhile, I finally got myself into a sports medicine clinic on Tuesday, and the results were not awful…but not terribly encouraging either. After a brief examination and x-ray, he told me what I already knew – I have Patellofemoral Syndrome, aka Runner’s Knee. And at this point, it’s too late to do any sort of physical therapy to get me ready for Boston.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that I can’t run. I am now armed with a heavy dosage of anti-inflammatory drugs and specific instructions to ice, focus on stretching my quads and IT band, and run “when I feel up to it” (whatever that means). Last night, after the first day on my new wonder drugs, I went out for 22 minutes of (almost) pain-free running. It was pure bliss.

But 22 minutes of (almost) pain-free running doesn’t exactly make me marathon ready. I’ll talk more about my injury and what I think led to it in a future post, but for now I’ll just say that the first few days after injuring it, I couldn’t do anything. Even walking or sitting with my knees bent caused major pain. It has gradually gotten better to the point where I could do the elliptical in the gym without hurting it (which apparently, according to the doctor, is bad for my knee. Oops), but over the past 3 weeks, the amount of cardio exercise I’ve done has been minimal.

So, even if by some miracle the pain dissipates enough over the next week so that I can run for longer than 22 minutes without it hurting, there is a much bigger question: At this point, can I even MAKE it to 26.2 miles?

I honestly don’t know. I’m going to give it a few more days before I make up my mind, but either way, it won’t be pretty.

For someone who just wrote that she’s resolving to focus on the positive from here on out, I realize that I’m not doing such a great job with this post. But what can I say? I’m a work in progress.

More to come soon! At the very least, I’m happy to be back blogging.

28 Responses to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  1. I literally lol’ed at your “nailed it!” comment haha. Congrats on moving in with your man (albeit, with his family. I’ve done it before so I know where you’re coming from) and on finding a house! And leaving RI! All very exciting things for you :)

    I’m so happy you’re back to blogging, you have definitely been missed! Sorry to hear about your knee, and potential non-running of Boston :( Is that entry something you can defer until next year? I’m not sure if that works the same as other races. I’m sure eventually the miracle drugs will pave the way for your grandiose return to running. Will be keeping my fingers crossed for a speedy recovery and 22+ minutes of pain-free running in your near future!
    Melissa´s last post ..Nuun Hood to Coast Relay Application 2012

    • Thanks for your comment! Unfortunately you can’t defer. Boston used to allow it, but they’ve gotten a lot stricter in recent years. It sucks…but it is what it is.

  2. Lauren – First of all, I’m sooo EXCITED for this post. (its been too long)

    SECOND, I am so happy for you and your new life adventure – and I can’t wait to hear more! While it definitely sounds stressful, try to enjoy it as much as possible! In 20 years, you will probably laugh at how stressed you felt (at least I tell myself that sometimes :) )

    THIRD, I am so sorry about Boston. I know you were really excited about racing it. Looking at the positive side, at least you know what the injury is and how to fix it. Remember that you will DEFINITELY be RACING Boston again, so the dream is not over.

    Hope you feel better soon! …Aaaand I pretty much just wrote a novel of a comment…NBD.

  3. Welcome back! Congrats on all of the exciting changes. I’m very sorry to hear about your injury though. I wish I could say something more profound, but all I can think of is I wish you a very quick recovery!
    Carrie´s last post ..Long Run Recap

  4. Oh my Lauren… welcome back to blog land. I’ve missed you!!! First, EC is quite the saint, you hear that Evan… that’s impressive husband material… moving your soon-to-be-wifey out of her apartment and her crazy dog while she sits on a beach, I’m impressed!!!

    Second, you and Pauly D both left RI! RI will never be the same.

    Third, I’m so excited to visit you when you move for good. Cheese tours! (with baby, is that okay?)

    Forth, your cake is gorgeous. I bet it tasted awesome!

    Fifth, whatever you decide for Boston will be the right decision for you. I’m here for you if you decide to run. My house is open for you! You know that (as long as I don’t go into labor before that : ) But if you decide not to run, we can all be cheerleaders together. There will be other marathons, I promise you that.
    LIZZY´s last post ..My Baby Shower!!!

  5. Lauren! sorry to hear that :( Remember EVERYTHING happens for a reason!

  6. So sad you’re not in RI anymore but you and E are going to have an incredible future
    Evan Thomas´s last post ..Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

  7. Lauren, I am so, so sorry to hear you’re having a rough time! I owe you an email to catch-up (b/c I’m sure you have time to answer my nosy questions). I really hope you can run Boston, but if not, I know you’ll definitely run it again. Hang in there. The best things in life never come easily <3
    Jen´s last post ..On goal- setting

  8. Sable@SquatLikeALady

    =( I am so sorry to hear/read this! =( I’m glad you’re living with EC – probably best not to be alone; I know injuries can be seriously depressing.

  9. so excited to see a post from you! i have my fingers crossed for you for boston! i would love to see you there :)

    i know it’s so stressful right now but it is also such an incredibly exciting time! take it one day at a time.
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad´s last post ..Thursday Confessions

  10. So happy you’re back, Lauren!!

    I’m sorry to hear about Boston… I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    Brittany´s last post ..The Worst Part of the Day

  11. Oh man, so many people are injured for Boston!! I hurt my hip pretty bad on March 11th and have run a whopping total of 30 miles since then!! Got a cortisone shot and that helped a lot, so I’m pain-free now but very undertrained. My sub-3:20 goal is out the window, now I’m just hoping I can make it through the whole race!! I really hope you can too, I know how horribly disappointing it is to think you can’t make it to Boston! It’s my first time going and I shed quite a few tears when I didn’t think I could. But like everyone kept telling me, Boston will still be there next year. Good luck!!!

    Melissa- Unfortunately you can’t defer anymore, I checked!!

  12. Um, I did NOT realize you made the cake. I thought you found that photo online somewhere. You know how you shake your head at me and roll your eyes all the time? I’M DOING THAT AT YOU NOW.

    Sucks sucks sucks about Boston. There’s a Mini 10K in NYC on June 9 you could register for if you want. I don’t know if you have plans that day.

    I love you. It’ll get better. High fives for Evan. Cheese for all.
    Ali´s last post ..Making A Bad Day A Good Day (Plus A Very Sweaty Giveaway!)

  13. I am sorry to hear about your bad news, Lauren, but I am glad that other parts of your life are coming together.

    I know I am just a reader of yours, but please know that if you need anything ever, I am happy to help. You’re a positive and awesome role model and I’ll always be a fan!!
    Krissy @ Shiawase Life´s last post ..#runnerproblems

  14. I’m glad so many good things are happening for you, chaotic though it may be. I’m going to give you my personal opinion as a Masters running still trying to get even close to a BQ (not that you asked, and you’ll do what’s right for you). Don’t run Boston. I can’t imagine how disappointing it would be to qualify and then get injured and choose to DNS. (but DNFing isn’t great either, and you risk more) But I CAN tell you that I started having PTT (tendon) problems training for a marathon, but I gutted my way through it, and I gutted my way through the race even though I wound up walking most of the last 6.2. That was 2004. I could barely stand to put weight on my foot at all for a while. I’m very fortunate and have been able to get back to half-marys in the last couple years (with hefty shoes, orthotics, chiro, PT and patience/frustration) but I’m still working my way back to full, and working on both distance and speed. As I sit here, a month out from my next half, my leg hurts, PTT still not all gone. (need trigger point and fresh shoes) I’m fortunate in that my injury wasn’t as bad as yours, but if I’d stopped training and taken care of it, I might not have lost so much training time in the last years (aside from the pain, expense, emotional ick, etc.) and might be closer to a BQ. It may be Boston, but it’s only this year’s Boston. If you qualified before, you can again once you’re healthy. You want to be able to run (and walk! and do other things!) without pain or damage for the length of your life. Think longer term, get the problem and causes addressed, train smart and focus on the rest of what’s going on in your life for a while instead of pushing this one last piece right now….I wish you all the best.

  15. So sorry to hear about the injury! But it sounds like you have alot of other exciting life things going on that are so super important too! great to see you back!!
    Corey´s last post ..My Nuun Hood to Coast Relay Application

  16. I’m sorry to hear about your knee….I too, got injured last month and had to tearfully back out of this year’s Boston Marathon. I hope you get better soon, and I’m glad you are back to blogging!
    Karen´s last post ..Staying Positive

  17. Sorry to hear about Boston! What state are you moving to? I hope Georgia, although that might be a little far-fetched to think!
    Lee´s last post ..Switching it Up

  18. Lauren! Sounds like you’ve had quite the busy month! EC moving for you = dream boat. I despise moving.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your knee! Trust me, I’ve been there with untimely injuries. Since you’ve run Boston before, maybe sitting out will help it heal faster rather than trudging through 26.2 miles with a bum leg (like someone I know, not sure who that may be). Plus, you have plenty of other things to do I assume – WEDDING PLANNING!!!!!

    Glad to hear you’re alive and pretty well, minus the knee. Stay well!
    Meggie´s last post ..I Am a Child

  19. First of all, let me know if you need someone to make your wedding cake…hahaha.

    Yay for leaving Rhode Island? And thank you for being my excuse to go there once, even if it was to drop off a pillow. Checked it off the list…

    And last but not least by any means…Boston, ugh. I’m so sorry. Maybe it is going to rain on Marathon Monday and someone is just telling us this isn’t our time to go for it. Or something. (Or maybe it’ll be a beautiful day since we’ll be on the sidelines cheering?) I do hope that your body shapes up so you can run it if you want to, but otherwise know that you’re in good company on the sidelines. You’ve had a lot going on and the stress probably isn’t helping the matter. Things will calm down eventually, bodies will cooperate, and we’ll be back at it soon enough. I hope…
    Susan´s last post ..i’m not running boston

  20. Welcome back! I am sorry that injury is keeping you from running. I hope you heal soon. Thinking of you.
    How exciting though! I am very happy you are moving out of RI and found a new home as you enter the next chapter of your life!!

  21. Oh man!! So much to comment on here. I will start with congrats on the happy things and changes going on in your life. I wish you the best with your upcoming wedding!

    The cake picture was too funny. I love how the laptop in the background shows the picture of what it was actually supposed to look like.

    As far as Boston… I was EXACTLY in your place last year. I planned on running it in ’10 right after I qualified in ’09 but it was already full. Then I got in for ’11 but I found out ONE WEEK BEFORE that I had a stress fracture on my pelvic bone from my mileage increasing too quickly. Anyway, I was DEVASTATED. It was hard to miss the biggest race of my life but it made me want to come back stronger (once I was healthy). Even if I had not got the stress fracture I know it would have been a very mediocre race. Basically it would have been just to say I did it. I’m glad that wasn’t my first Boston experience. I took 2 months off to rest and enjoy my new baby (this is why I had increased my mileage too quickly trying to get in marathon shape) and it was very refreshing. When I came back I was stronger, smarter and more focused. I have since qualified again but it will be next April before I can actually run the race I’ve been waiting on for the past 4 years! I know you are in a tough situation. I hope you are able to run it but if not- relax, enjoy this new, busy time in your life. Boston is not going anywhere and you can plan to have your best race there next year.
    Tia´s last post ..Capital City Classic 10K Race Report- {Officially} Breaking the 40 minute mark!

  22. I’m so sorry to hear about Boston. But if it’s any consolation, you’re super speedy and will qualify for Boston plenty more times! And think about all the exciting stuff like your upcoming wedding to your best friend!
    Rena @ milehogger.blogspot.com´s last post ..Skunk Cabbage Recap

  23. well, even though the cake might not win any beauty contests, it sure does look delicious! happy belated blog birthday :)

    i’m so sorry to hear about the bum knee and the life stress (i feel you on that). i like my new job, but it’s so different and very demanding time-wise. i’m worried i’ll never have time to run! But alas, i know i’m exaggerating – i think there’s just going to be an adjustment period.

    congrats on finding the house and all of the new and exciting things you’ve got lined up. hope to see you somehow/someway in Beantown. xo
    Megan (The Runner’s Kitchen)´s last post ..Taper Week Sass

  24. Oh runners knee. Ugh runners knee. Side lined me for a good amount of time. I don’t know where you are these days but if you are in boston i can get you in to see my PT. Lizzy and Kim went there too. Anyway, i trust the guy with my life and with my runners knee. he would tape my knee like seriously no one ever could. I could not walk at the point that I saw him and the tape was my life saver. Anyway, he will be able to give u a really good idea on if Monday is a possibility and meets up with a group monday morning (he runs too) and would tape you. Anyway, its not much I guess but that is what I have to offer on the runners knee front. It sucks I know. Hang in there. it will get better.

  25. Ugh so sorry to hear about your runner’s knee. But I do think that you are being smart about it and listening to your body. I am dealing with some strain in my hip flexor area and this is really the first time I’ve ever been sidelined from running! It is hard to sit out but I do think it will make me stronger in the long run (no pun intended). I’m just trying to be patient right now about it and use this time to focus on spending more time with friends and family and do more stretching/cross training. Your post is definitely encouraging for me and I am wishing you a speedy recovery!
    Chels R.´s last post ..What’s Been Goin’ On.

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