The Power of the Schwartz – Knee Surgery #6 Status Report

One year ago today was knee surgery #6 (all on the same knee). It is always a struggle to get back to pre-surgery shape with that leg and this post-op experience was no different. The biggest pain in the ass is strengthening my quad since I lost 3″ in it right after the surgery. It happens within the first 24-28 hours and it is a huge obstacle to overcome every time. Please google quad atrophy after knee surgery and read up on why this happens so drastically and quickly. There are a lot of big words that explain it and ain’t nobody got time for that in a post.

Here is a bad ass picture of the issue with my knee last year. I thought it was my tibia chipping off in that area, but it was only a meniscus tear.


This is where it gets fun
. My femur had tiny cracks in it when I first injured it at 15 years old and it was smoothed out and essentially as good as new. Then it started to chip during marathon #1 in 2012 and it was smoothed out again. It needed to be smoothed out yet again one year ago today. It is normal wear and tear for a knee like mine and will essentially continue to be normal for me.
I think these pictures are amazing and I love to see the issues that are fixed. Maybe it comes from a family with a strong medical background? Maybe it comes from a fascination with the inside of my knee? Who knows.

One year later I am still running and lifting. I am building my quad muscle and have gained around 1.5″ back, which isn’t too shabby I thnk. I have work to do, but I always will.

I will continue to need maintenance surgeries over the years to come, eventually leading to a total/partial knee. I am putting that off as long as possible of course.

Sometimes Things are Both Physically & Mentally Painful

I tend to eat better and exercise more often/with more intensity when I have an end goal. Sure, being healthy is a great end goal but blah blah blah. I need a ‘tangible’ end goal. When I trained for my bodybuilding competition in 2014, I had an end goal, one that put me up in front of a lot of people in a tiny competition suit. That was all the motivation I needed. I don’t have an end goal right now and my mind doesn’t kick into beast mode without one. I am running the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon in just over two months, but I am confident that I’ll be fine for the race. I am struggling with my weight and with the injuries that are taking their toll on my body. I need an end goal. I need motivation. Most of all, I need my body to cooperate with me.

In 2016 I battled a sixth knee surgery and with my heart condition. I slowly made a return to running over the fall and as of November I felt ready to take on a full running program to train for a half. Then it happened. I was sleeping and woke up with back spasms from the disc I slipped in early 2014. The best part is how I initially slipped the disc…by losing 40 pounds. Yeah, losing weight hurt my back. The short story, my back was used to being ‘hugged’ by my excess weight and when I lost it, my spine wasn’t ready for it.


Three weeks later and I’m still sidelined with this back injury. I ran twice and both times I could feel my disc, but didn’t feel pain from it. I lifted once with light weights and it strained my back as well. I am relatively in shape (but overweight for my height and body type) and I try to take care of myself, but I can’t get around the injuries that are never going away. My knee will always have issues. My heart will always have issues. My back is stupid and will have issues (unless I have surgery). I am not comfortable in my body when I look like this or feel like this. Changes are on the horizon.

I feel like I’m being cheated out of the fun parts of my spare time. Instead of run with my running family or spend time at the gym, I couch. My couch and I are pretty good friends now, but I need this friendship to take a break. I am antsy and I am feeling angry about these constant setbacks. Mentally, I am defeated and I won’t feel much better until I can run and lift again. I feel broken and none of this is fair. But, life isn’t fair so I can’t complain much.


Yes, I can get through this.
Yes, I can overcome anything.
Yes, I am strong-willed.
Yes, I know this will all pass and I’ll be even stronger after it ends.
Even though I stumble, I will not fall, but these damn setbacks are KILLING me.

Registered & Ready to PR

Turns out that I was certain that I registered for the Owens Corning Half Marathon, but after looking into it, I hadn’t registered at all! I had to remedy that right away naturally. Now I am officially running the half on April 23 and pretty damn excited about it.HalfMarathonRegistrationMy race training has hit a few speed bumps this month, but I still have plenty of time to get into PR shape for the Owens Corning Half Marathon. If I hit my goal time then it will be around a 20 minute PR.

Register before the end of the day on February 15 before the next price increase!
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Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Training Fail

Training?
What is this word…training?

Someone needs to give me the definition because my body isn’t cooperating with what I think training consists of.
Small things have kept me from training for the Owens Corning Half Marathon in the way that I should be. 14222187_10157363894880335_2494141829670239866_nI have had to miss some of my favorite parts of race training so far and I just hate it. The race is still three months away so I don’t feel like I’ve fallen behind, but it is still hard falling behind the group. The Dave’s Running Shop Marathon In Training group provides a fantastic program to train for the half marathon or the marathon. I have a fun group of people to train with and I don’t want to be left behind in a sense because my body is stupid af.

My most recent ailment is an oldie but a goodie. When I lost 40# a few years ago, my spine was used to being ‘hugged’ by the excess weight. When I lost it, my back wasn’t strong enough and I slipped a disc in my lower back. I have worked HARD to strengthen my back and avoid the movements that easily slip my disc again. I have made great strides, but sometimes the smallest things set it off. What made my disc angry this time? I was rolling over in my sleep. I would love to pretend that it was my side job as a ninja, but I’m a badass and haven’t ever been hurt as a ninja.

I have had two good nights and three good days with my back and I’m going to get back to race training tonight. Just think lovely thoughts (name that movie) for me that running won’t hurt! I have a lofty PR goal for this half Marathon and I need to keep my head in the game.
I am excited to get back in the gym, but I know that I need to wait a few more days for that. Holding any additional weight would surely anger my back at this moment and I’ve been spasm-free and I want to keep it that way.

If I’m thinking as an adult, I know that I need to let my body heal fully so I can keep doing the things that I want to do and the things I need to do.
Fingers crossed.

My 2017 Race Calendar

As most runners do, I like to plan all of my races far in advance.
Here are a few of the more obvious reasons:
1. Race entry fees can be expensive and I like to budget for the year
2. So I have races to look forward to and give me motivation
3. Training takes a lot of planning because you have to work that into your daily life
4. Running kicks ass and I get too excited to not plan my races in advance
5. I have a new running partner in crime that I want to keep motivated

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So far I have the following mapped out for 2017:
*1.1 – Hangover Classic 5k
*1.7 – Kiwanis Adventure Run 5k (Florida)
*2.4 – Blizzard Breakfast 7-Miler
*3.18 – Blarney Shamrockin’ Shuffle 3-Miler
*4.23 – Mercy Health Glass City Marathon
*5.27 – WTOL River Run 10k
*6.17 – Muddy Mini 1/2 Marathon & 1/4 Marathon
*7.13 – Ohio Michigan 8k
*8.19 – Shades of Grey 5k
*9.2 – Boy Scout Half Marathon
*10.8 – MacQueen’s Run For Your Life 10k
*11.23 – Dave’s Turkey Chase 5k
*12.3 – Miracle on Main Street 5k

Looks like it is essentially one race a month. I like to start off ambitious and then see how it goes from there I guess. lol

I’m not going over the half marathon distance this year. I need to ease back into distance for whenever I decide to take my third stab at a successful full.

I am running my first out of state race the first weekend in January and I’m intrigued to see how well run it is and I’ll be judging it accordingly. The main thing that threw me off was that you don’t select a shirt size when you register online, you get to select one when you check in. I actually emailed the race director to see if I had missed the area to pick a shirt size when I registered. The great thing about this race? It’s at Honeymoon Island State Park, where I visit every time I am in town. Check me out, killing two birds with one stone like a boss.

What do you have on your race calendar for 2017?

Self Made

This is something that holds true for SO many things in life…not only things that have to do with fitness.
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Where I Register for all the Fall Races

Today I signed up for two of my fall races. The MacQueen’s Run for Your Life 10k, 5k & Kids Run and also the Dave’s Turkey Chase 5k run/walk.

I ran the MacQueen’s Run for Your Life 10k in 2014, its Inaugural year, and for the second running in 2015.
2014 – 1:15:12 – 12:07 pace
2015 – 1:06:45 – 10:52 pace
I had a PR of 8:27 in 2015 from my 2014 time and my eyes just about bugged out of my damn head when I saw that. The pace I ran at that race is slower than the pace I have been running all of 2016 so I have high hopes of a 2:45 PR this year.
10k I love a good Thanksgiving morning race!
I call Thanksgiving the cook’s holiday. If you love to cook like I do, then this holiday is always so much fun.
Having a great run in the morning doesn’t make me feel better about rushing home to consume all of the food ever, but it is a great way to get your workout in with over 2,500 running friends in downtown Toledo!
2015 was the inaugural year for Dave’s Turkey Chase 5k run/walk and I ran with a friend of mine and tried to get her a PR in the 5k, but it was a no-go.
So, this year’s race will be a PR for this race and I’d like to PR my 5k time and I know that I can do it!turkeydayWhat fall races do you have planned?