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.

Tubing

I don’t even know where to begin.
Last week was Homecoming at work and that means 75+ hours of busy af and running around like crazy.
It is absolutely worth it when it comes to the day of Homecoming, but the week before can be rough sometimes.

To add to the busy schedule, I had a minor surgery on Monday. Nothing big, I had an ear tube in my left ear. No, I am not seven years old. No, I don’t have constant ear infections.
Why get one?
I had a double ear infection, for the first time in 10 or more years, and while doing something extremely sexy like blowing my nose, I ruptured my ear drum. I felt it pop and then I got extremely dizzy. It was awesome.

My ear, nose and throat doc (ENT) let me know that if it didn’t heal on its own, that it would need something done to help it heal. Hence, the tube. Nine months later and it hadn’t improved in any way. I am feeling pretty well now, three days after surgery, but still not best. My ear is even more muffled and full of pressure than it was before, but this is normal I was told. So, until I heal more, I won’t be hearing as well for a bit.
This meaning, if you plan on sneaking up on me, do so on the left side as I can’t hear as well from that ear.

Other than recovering from surgery and Homecoming week, I’m just trying to get back into the swing of things. Especially with bodybuilding and running. I need to get back to the dedication I had before the crazy began. I’m cutting, which as any bodybuilding understands, isn’t the most fun thing ever invented. Carbs are life and giving some of them up is rough af!

I do have a new inspiration to my life regarding…well, everything…and that has made all the difference. Finding someone who makes you want to be a better person is life changing and I’ve never experienced that before.
Life is happy again in a way it wasn’t ever before.

When I Lose the Battle, But Not the War

It’s no secret that running has been a struggle for me ever since my most recent knee surgery. No, not because of my knee, but because of my heart. My small heart issue makes cardio difficult. When I condition my heart to get used to cardio again I won’t have as many heart issues because it will be ready for cardio at any time. As of right now, it tires easily. Taking a few months off to recover from surgery really did me in. I just have to fight my way back, as always.

With my lack of cardio has come a few things…
1. Huge gains in the gym
2. Huge gains on the scale

And before I hear that it could be a lot of muscle weight…it’s not. It’s just stupid weight gain.
I don’t like how I look right now. I know I look better than I did by far, but I also know that I’m not giving this my all. I’ve done this to myself. I overate during Mercy Health Glass City Marathon training, I had knee surgery #6 and then I’ve just been eating everything in sight since then. Okay, I haven’t been that bad at all, but there are days where it feels like it.2016-08-14 00.17.27
I haven’t been amazing with my diet and I’m trying my best to not get into the cycle where I’m sad about my diet so I eat a bunch of shit to make me feel better, making me feel worse. My workouts have been on point in the gym and only so so with running (due to the heart), but it’s the eating that is crippling any progress I have. I eat like a champ during the day because I take my food to work with me. I eat like I’ve never seen food before at night because that’s where all of the food lives! One issue is that since I live alone, if I buy something I am the only one there to eat it. And then I do. When you exercise a lot you can NOT eat whatever the hell you want and look fabulous. Okay, certain freaks of nature who are lucky af can do this, but not me. With being only 5′, every single pound shows. A lot.2016-08-14 00.07.51

I read this from my friend and Mercy Health Glass City Marathon race Ambassador, Dean at Running in the Fat Lane, and it completely hit home for me. I am obsessing about all of the bad things and not noticing many of the good ones.
I need to remember I am lucky I can run after 6 knee surgeries.
I need to remember that I am lucky I am run with this stupid heart ish.
I need to remember that I am lifting heavier than ever and making gains all over the place.
I need to remember where I started (150 pounds).
I need to remember my ultimate goal – where I was just under a year ago (110 pounds).
I need to remember that where I am right now isn’t the end of the world (120 pounds).
Hear that Amanda – NOT the end of the world.
I am not lean anymore, I have my trusty protective coating for my new gains and since I’m feeling bad about that, I’m eating more. I need to take it easy on myself. I need to get back on track.
I need to do this for me and my mental health, just as much as my physical health.

2016-08-14 00.19.03

Monday’s Motivation

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New Gym Shoes FTW

mizun782269_411962_jb1Oh yeah, new gym shoes are on their way! My current gym shoes are my Mizuno Wave Sayonara’s that I can’t wear to run because they are a low profile shoe and my knee needs way more stability. Since I couldn’t run in them they became my gym shoes. Well, they are starting to fall apart and there are little holes where my toes hit.
I really like a low profile running shoe as my gym shoe. They are comfortable and I do love me some Mizuno!
My new ones are the Mizuno Wave Sayonara 3. The third generation of my current gym shoes seems like a good idea.
They’ll be here on Thursday and I can’t wait to try them out! Plus, I got a bomb deal on them for only $45, and I can’t pass that up!

What kind of shoes do you lift in?

Monday’s Motivation

c7056061bceee70709093e9f1702383aThe only motivation I need is the drive to be better than I was yesterday.
Run the Boy Scout Half Marathon in only eight weeks? Just watch me.
Run the Churchill’s Half Marathon in November? Just watch me.
Kick the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon‘s ass on April 23, 2017? Just watch me.
Continue to lift heavy and hopefully get cut af sometime? Just watch me.