Not so much about writing as about Michelle getting old…

Yesterday I lied. I said I had two more Emblazon titles to share with you, but that was before I changed the posts around to accomodate Susan Kaye Quinn’s blog tour several weeks ago. Stephanie’s Princess Kandake series was actually the last review I have written up. So before I schedule another block of posts, I thought I’d take this opportunity (seeing as I’m about to turn 41 Friday) to bemoan old age.

This whole bemoaning thing started with the spring track season and the setting of my butt upon hard, freezing cold, metal bleachers for hours upon hours, resulting in my hardly being able to walk out of the stadium at the end of each meet. Now, most of you know that I was a distance runner and still enjoy trotting out a few miles each day in spring-through-fall. But this spring I’ve been unable to run at all because of hip pain. I’ve dealt with it off and on for 3 years and have assumed arthritis. (Yes, assumed. I have a very high pain tolerance and aversion to doctors, so much so that I’ve been in deep doo-doo a few times for letting things go too long.) When the bleacher thing exacerbated it so much, In a weak moment, I actually considered scheduling a date with my physician. But just in the nick of time, I opted to go online and do some self-diagnosis first. I should have done it three years ago!

photo 1
Buy a little new equipment now and again and people think you know what youre doing. 🙂

I found I don’t match up with hip arthritis symptoms at all, but I’m a dead ringer for tendonitis of the upper hamstring–an ailment primarily associated with distance runners. (Hmmm…) I would have leaped for joy if my tendons could have handled it. Tendonitis is not the death-knell to my running habit that arthritis would have been. I can so recover from this! I spent a hour or two looking up exercises, physical therapy, things to avoid, and such.

Here’s where a slender link to literature–the theme of this blog, after all–makes an appearance. I found out that all the hours I spend reading and writing probably contributed significantly to the problem. I’d never had a lick of trouble before getting my laptop–three years ago. But when I moved away from my old desktop, I developed a new favorite position for computer use–slouched against pillows on my bed. This, I’ve read several times now, puts strain on the hamstring tendons. Combined with mileage, I was a tendonitis patient waiting to happen.

Now that I’m convinced I’ve pinpointed the problem along with the cause, what am I doing? Unfortunately, I have to limit my writing time for six weeks or so. All sitting seems to bother the injury. The pain is right smack on the “sit bone”. When I resume, I’ll have to find an ergonomically correct position. (Darn it. Those pillows are so comfy!) Also, I’m faithfully doing the lowest level strength exercises with plans to up the power as I heal and to continue this long term.

Most important, however, I’ve given up running for this summer. I’ll cross train instead. The articles all recommend swimming and biking, which put no strain on the hamstring. I really suck at swimming. I can do it, but I don’t enjoy it. It just so happens, however, that I love mountain biking. My last bike had been dying a slow and painful death over the last several years. Last fall, I finally laid it to rest. (I take comfort in the fact that it lives on in the several replacement parts given to friends and family.) I purchased a new bike just a week before bleacher pain finally drove me to the internet. So, I may not be able to run this summer, but I plan to do a LOT of biking!

As for writing? Well, I probably won’t meet my original deadlines. But I think I’ve mentioned a time or two how great my boss is. She really nice, understanding, generous, and very lenient with timeframes. Smart and beautiful, too. 🙂 I’m sure she won’t mind if I have to bump them back a bit. In the meantime, the sun is shining, it’s actually above 50 degrees here in Michigan, and I’m hearing fart apps coming from the homeschool table in the kitchen, which usually signify completed assignments (though not always). I think I’ll blow up some bike tires and take a couple boys out for a spin.

***Back from my ride. I’ve decided to set a goal to ride 1,000 miles before October. That’s 200 miles a month or 50 miles a week. Very attainable. Anyone want to take up the challenge (or set your own goal)? I’ve created a Facebook page to support anyone who wants to give it a try. How about joining me?
https://www.facebook.com/groups/198569193660174/

5 thoughts on “Not so much about writing as about Michelle getting old…

  1. Hmm… Maybe you can get a nice chair (say an easy-chair) to write in – it’d be comfy and good for you! 🙂 Good luck on your goal – I know you can do it! Maybe you can get Bailey a dog bike?? 😉

  2. I took her for a two mile bike ride/dog run today. We live about a quarter mile from an old railway line that’s now a dirt road to service gas lines. It’s one mile between roads–a perfect there and back distance for Bailey. The easy chair sounds perfect!

  3. I had put this post aside to read later and finally got to it. Yikes–your favorite writing position w/ laptop is mine too–exactly. I’m lounging on pillows at THIS VERY MOMENT. However, my issue seems to be not tendons, but an old, old muscle pull way down deep. Apparently when I had my first baby nearly 24 years ago, I came back to running too soon, while my pelvis was still a bit rotated. Result: pulled pyriformis (sp?). And probably scar tissue, which gets re-pulled if I try to do speed-work (anything that involves lengthening my stride and running up on my toes). That’s why I gave up racing.
    Reading about the tendonitis-sitting connection did give me a jolt. But I’ve been writing this way for many, many years, and have switched from pure running to cross-training (biking, walking, stair machine), so I’m guessing tendonitis isn’t my issue. Good to be aware of, though!

    Meanwhile…you sound like you’re about the age I was when I had to step away from competition. Good for you for being so sensible about it and not beating your head against that but-I’m-an-ATHLETE!!! wall. Your bike challenge should give you plenty to work with, and you will come out with killer quads at the end.

    I may have mentioned that my husband is my inspiration in the aging-athlete department. He had to get his hip replaced 13 years ago, giving up MAJOR running mileage to become a pretty happy biker/indoor biker/weights guy. His body looks even better than it did when he was “just” a distance runner. I know he misses running deep down in his bones, but the compensations of his current bod do help a good deal.

    Keep on truckin!!

  4. It is hard to deal face the fact that we’re beyond prime, isn’t it? But there are so many ways to stay active. Good for your husband!That’s awesome. And good for you, too, Gretchen. Gosh, sometimes I wish we lived closer so we could play! 🙂

    While I am healing up SLOWLY, I can see some improvement. And I’ve found if I sit up straight in my comfy cushioned rocker with my legs on the floor or out STRAIGHT on a footstool (not bend knees up), it doesn’t seem to strain those tendons. I can get a good hour in without sitting pain. Good news for this writing addict!

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