Frustrations and Successes

I was fortunate enough to have a three day weekend this weekend after working almost 50 hours in 4 days in the beginning of the week.  It was certainly a tough but fun and exciting experience (I am not allowed to talk about it…sorry!  Wildlife can be confidential!), so I was glad for some down time, but then I got bored and frustrated.  I will explain.

I haven’t talked much about running or working out on the blog lately because in reality…there hasn’t been much.  In the midst of losing my love and drive to run or participate in races since the San Diego Marathon in June I have been having some problems with my legs when it comes to running.

I must admit, I am the stubborn runner that likes to run through the pain and believe that with a day or two of rest that I’ll be all better and back to my normal running self.  This has been the case since August when I started to really have an injury kick me in the butt, quite literally.

Since the Wine and Food Festival I went to this summer, I had taken some pain that radiates from deep in the tissue of my left butt to my hip and down a bit with a train of salt.  I figured I might have trained a bit too much or something so I took a few days to rest.  It was no biggy, until the past few months when it keeps coming back, NO MATTER WHAT.

In the midst of going to the doctors to find out what is wrong with my digestive tract (which might be getting better with the help of digestive enzymes, but I don’t want to jinx myself [[knock on wood]]) I also asked about my hip, since my doctor is also the hip doctor in town.  After poking and prodding and some physical tests he concluded that I might have Piriformis Syndrome.  What is it exactly?

Piriformis syndrome

So basically the red muscle in the picture, is tight and irritating my sciatic nerve.  Although I do not have an insane amount of numbness in my leg (which is common with sciatic nerve problems and herniated discs) I do have pain in my hip.  More often than not I can start a run and not have problems, but after about three miles I can feel this odd feeling in my left butt, which hurts every time I come out of stride.  I can also feel it when I walk on stairs, and if I’m standing and lean on that leg only, but that pain comes and goes.  Every once in a while while I’m sitting I will get pings in that area too.

(Icing my butt…not an easy thing to do; really)

So, as you can tell, running is out of the books.  I’ve been doing some shorter runs, around 3 miles, just to keep me sane because running has always been my way to relieve stress and anxiety.  I have a 10k Turkey Trot I’m supposed to do but it is up in the air until the night before the race because I don’t want to be running and bam, something snaps!  That would be even worse…now wouldn’t it.

With this diagnosis and help from my doctor, I have decided that DECEMBER is going to be my NO RUNNING MONTH.  I am trying my hardest to stay positive but it’s hard; I absolutely love running.  In an effort to keep my body in shape through the holiday season (we all know how worrisome that can be with all the good food around!) I am going to take part in a Holiday Shred that one of my great blog friends, Bobbi, is putting on!  I’m hoping that by doing something like this I will stay motivated and well, not go crazy!  I have also always wanted to work more on my strength training so I figured this would be a good opportunity also.

(Bobbi and I at Foodbuzz after a run and at the gym)

But besides that frustration, I had a good weekend on the wardrobe front.  I have written several times about how I am basically ashamed of the way I dress.  I have great friends though, who remind me that what I might think is raggedy, not nice enough or I have no fashion sense, is simply a part of who I am: a relaxed person who spends more time outside that in an office or room where I need to be wearing suits and dresses.

So in an attempt to give myself a bit of a nicer wardrobe for occasions where I might need to wear something other than jeans and a t-shirt, I hit up a few stores this weekend (and last) to grab some new clothes.  It’s hard for me, but I put on the mentality that if I look at it on the hanger and think, “This could never work” I would snatch it up and try it on anyhow.  How would I ever know if it looks good on me if I don’t try it on, since hangers only give it so much representation?

I found a few things at Express the other weekend including the following:

(My top is more of a see-through shimmery silver color)


My initial reaction to everything except the jeans were, “I cannot pull that off” but with that attitude I tried it on, and with the assistance and nice words from Whit and the sales clerk at the store, I came to like them and how they looked, fit and felt.  I may have broken the bank a bit, but it was worth it.

I decided to try it again this week with all the specials going on before Thanksgiving and hit up a store I’ve always been scared of: Banana Republic.  This store, and Ann Taylor Loft, have always intimidated me for some reason.  But with the crowds of the mall frustrating me, I stepped into the quieter store and browsed throughout the clearance racks.  I was unsure about a few things an asked for some guidance by sending this picture off to a few friends and family:



I came home with the pants and top, and then got another one, the white one, that I’m trying to figure out what to wear it with (it’s a tad see-through; suggestions?).

What do you guys think of purchases?  I’m pretty excited since I own well…nothing like any of the above! :)

Ok, Monday is an office day but I still have plenty to do!  What did you do this weekend…because I’d rather read about that than make figures and tables. LOL.

I hope everyone had a great weekend, and congrats to everyone that ran a race this weekend too!!!  I’m so proud of you, and so jealous all at the same time…hehe!

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29 Responses to Frustrations and Successes

  1. Sana says:

    I know a lot about what you are dealing with with it comes to nerve pain :( I have a spine fracture (which they thought was a slipped disc) not fun. running is pretty much out of the question unless I want to feel like I broke my booty. However, it gets better with lots of rest!!!

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks for the support Sana! I have read about your injury and you have stayed so strong through all of it! What kind of workouts do you do to stay in shape since you can’t run? I can’t bike either, so that’s out of the question…

      • Sana says:

        I have a hard time staying in shape. Before I got injured I worked out because it was fun.I ate whatever I wanted to. And now, non cardio workouts are boring. I try and walk, but it’s not as exciting :( Biking hurts because of the position you have to sit in :( And I am worried about falling off.

  2. Hi Melissa! I am so so sorry you are dealing with this pain. It must be incredibly obnoxious and frustrating to have something like this just continue to plague you! No fun at all :( However, I believe you have a great attitude here and going to come out of December healed and ready to run even more :D

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Tessa. It’s going to be hard on me mentally, and fighting my ED, but I will get through December and healed! Thanks for the support!

  3. Hope things feel better soon! And I’m glad you had luck in finding some cute new clothes. They look really cute and cute on you! I have tended to avoid similar stores because they were pricey but also didn’t seem very “me.” But I realized that they do carry cute stuff and it’s a much more pleasant shopping experience than, say, Forever 21, which can be way too overwhelming.

    • Melissa says:

      OMG I don’t even go near Forever 21 or places like Aeropostale and Charlotte Rouse because it is so overwhelming and all those young girls…something about it makes me super nervous! Haha. I swear I need to come up to your place again to go shopping; I always love the way you dress and accessorize! I remember a necklace you wore one day during the festival…I loved it!

  4. Maggie says:

    Ooo…I’m sorry to hear that your hip is still acting up! And I know how frustrating it can be when pain prevents you from doing simple things like walking around or going on a quick run or hike. I think taking such a chunk of time off running is a good idea so you can help prevent anything more serious/long-term happening.

    I like the new clothes-I bet they look really nice on you! For the white top that’s a bit see-through, you could either wear a tank top under it that matches the spots (they look red to me) or wear it under a buttoned cardigan or a V-necked sweater to still show off the shirt collar, but yet keep it modest. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Mags! I’m hoping that getting involved with some Christmas bird counts will get me out and walking, distract myself from not running.

      Have a good Thanksgiving!

  5. look at you miss fashionista! looks amazing!!
    and good luck with no running – i totally want to do a month or so of some non-running related goals. Maybe a yoga challenge?

  6. I’m so sorry your injury is still bugging you, but I’m willing to bet that Bobbi’s bootcamp and time off running will help drastically!
    I LOVE the purchases!! I’m so proud! :)

  7. Sarah says:

    I have a chronic hip problem, so I feel your pain, and I think it’s a great idea that you’re committed to letting your body rest and heel. It will be tough at times, but just remind yourself that a few weeks or more off now means running for a lifetime. And surely that is more important, right?

    I love that red top on you! I personally spend a ton of time outdoors, but still wear dresses every chance I get. I think you can be a tree-hugging environmentalist and girly at the same time :-) In spite of that, I – like you – am intimidated by shopping…the stores, the crowds, the trying things on, etc. I find that going by myself is the best bet because if I freak out no one is there to see!! Plus I can try things on without feeling obligated to show anyone if it looks terrible. Anyway, once you get into a fashion ‘groove’, you will probably find that you can order things online because you’ll start to be able to tell how things will look on you just by seeing a picture. That is, unless you fall in love with shopping! Ha!

    I would just wear a black tank underneath the see-through shirt, most likely. I love clothes, but I am by no means fashionable so that might be completely ‘wrong’! I wear tank tops under everything.

    • Melissa says:

      You are totally right; it’s better to take time off now than injure myself further. I want to have running for a lifetime, not just on and off and maybe no more if I really hurt myself!

      And I wish it weren’t so cold so I could wear dresses more often! I have a bunch of summer ones that I wore all the time when I went to Kauai this summer…so comfy! And I hear you about being intimidated about shopping…esp the crowds; it totally rattles my nerves! But as much as I like going shopping by myself sometimes I need that second opinion because my eyes/mentality has become so distorted over the years…it’s reassuring when people tell me it looks great!

  8. Ouch! Sorry to hear about your injury. :( Get plenty of rest and recover properly, and you’ll be back to running regularly in no time.

  9. Amy says:

    I lost so much motivation after the half marathon in July and I am still struggling to really ‘get back into the groove’ too. I am sorry to hear about your hip pain, hopefully a month of alternative activity will help it heal (a little Christmas magic couldn’t hurt either :) ).
    I love that red top, you look really great in the whole outfit and that sweater with the cowl neck is a divine colour – it looks nice and snuggly (a definite requirement for sweaters I feel). I would just wear a white tank under the slightly see through top, that’s what I tend to do.
    Just remember, you are beautiful no matter what your clothes look like – style is in the soul :)

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks for the encouraging words! I’m hoping the workout boot camp I’m going to do will help me keep my mind off the no-running policy I’ve applied and that the new year will bring some pain free runs and races!

  10. M says:

    That red looks great with your skin tone. I would wear that white shirt with a camisole underneath- “flesh” colored to be demure or in a bright color for fun (red or turquoise). Personally, I always wear flesh not white under see through white because otherwise it looks superwhite. But I am weird…
    Hope your hip feels better- yoga might help?

    • Melissa says:

      I definitely think the flesh color would be better than white; I see what you mean by making things super white when you don’t want it to be.

      And I plan on doing yoga to help out my hip. I need to start off super slow and beginner style because I have absolutely no flexibility!

  11. Krista says:

    Sorry to hear abou this hip injury, Melissa! Must be so frustrating. Sounds like you’ve got some fun alternatives planned, though.

    All the clothes are gorge…esp the red top! :)

  12. you found some adorable stuff and i am super proud of you for going in with a positive mindset!

    i’ve had some pain in my piriformis lately too…so annoying and i’m trying to be good and rest as needed…it definitely feels better when i stretch it tons. i hope you feel better soon and i think you’ll be survived at how fit you’ll stay without running! i was injured last oct through december and managed to keep up my fitness and discover a love for strength training!

    • Melissa says:

      Mind if I ask what kind of stretching your doing? I do some of the hip flexor stretches and such, and the one where you lay on your back, cross one leg over the other, put your hands around the other and pull (I know that doesn’t make any sense but I’m sure you get it) and they hurt like mad when I do them, but I’m hoping with more of it done slowly and massaging with a tennis ball it’ll get better over time. Still hurts though!

      • I do the stretch you’re talking about…as well as lots of hip flexor stretches. I also do the pigeon and hold for a long time. Additionally, I foam roll a ton (on the side/IT band and the front of my quad) and just try to keep my legs as loose as possible. I notice a big difference between when I am committed to stretching daily and when I am not. I wish I had more time in the day to stretch! I’ve found that the looser my legs are in general, the less pain/tightness there is in my piriformis. Also, on days I have time, I do moves like donkey kicks and fire hydrant with a kick to try and strengthen that area.

        I hope you feel better soon!

  13. You did great! Lots of cute stuff. Come to Portland and we can go shopping! I’m a pro at ATL & BR :) Plus, NO TAX!

  14. Zuzana says:

    So sorry to hear you joined the ‘piriformis syndrome’ team. I’ve been dealing with one since April ( a marathon followed by a week-long study session : two extremes that killed my hip). I took similar approach like you by continuing running until it got to a point when I couldn’t even sleep on my side. With the help of icing, stretching and massaging I am able to run, but I must admit I do feel intermittent pain while resting. I went to an osteopath who suggested EMS-muscle realignment exercises and referred me to a specialized center, but I haven’t had my appointment yet. I’ll definitely talk more about it once I find out if and how it works. Good luck to you with everything, I really hope you’ll be able to enjoy your runs and eats fully soon!

  15. HONESTLY i dress like a hobo/outdoors woman…think eddie bauer. comfort>fashion to me…although I do have some dresses for THOSE occassions. You look beautiful no matter what! Sorry about your injury. I think it’s great that you are allowing yourself to HEAL !

  16. selina says:

    Hi Melissa-

    There are so many things I want to comment re. this post. First of all, I love your purchases. It’s scary to get out of our comfort zone, but once we get used to it, it’s so fun and freeING! :) I also have what I called “pain-in-the-butt” syndrome which mostly developed during the time when I was training for Big Sur. It hurt to run, walk, stand, sit, and lay down, so I totally understand your pain. What I found that works for me is to use trigger-point. I sit on a little tennis-ball-like thing (a bit firmer) while I am at work all day.

    It sounds like you are on your way to better health and overall happiness. :)

    Happy Thankgiving!

  17. Cute clothes, stay happy, and yay for taking care of yourself! I’m hosting NaNeFoMo (National New Food Month) this December and would love it if you’d participate! Re-introducing fear foods counts and I think it’s a fun way to challenge yourself. :) You can grab the button from my sidebar and details about NaNeFoMo can be found here:

    I hope you join me!

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