Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bye Bye Running

My last post was very positive about how running was really improving my leg. I was incredibly stressed out due to work and needed some positive outlet to deal with it. I therefore started to go to the gym every morning before work. I started to push myself a lot which is great but I began to compete with other runners at the gym and many times pushed myself too far. My leg was getting more swollen and pretty painful. I definitely did not want to stop going to the gym because my entire outlook on life changed and I felt much happier during the day and better able to deal with any stressor in my professional or personal life. So I ended up going back to the elliptical and/or walking. I started knocking out 5 miles almost every morning with that combo and felt much, much less pain. I do sometimes wonder if the benefits aren't as dramatic as running so I need to be better about adding in weights to my workouts. I just find it so boring! I also need to try yoga and other modes of exercise. I just find cardio so enjoyable like I am in my own little world. Couple of points I would like to make with this post. 1) Competition is great at the gym because it pushes us but unfortunately, we are not like most people at the gym and keeping up with a person who does not have Lymphedema may just not be good for us! Compete to a level of pushing yourself but always take notice of how your leg reacts and modify your workouts accordingly. If it's painful, slow down. 2) Each person has a workout that is appropriate for them. If you're not bothered by the running then continue! If you're in pain or your're swelling is worsening, find a minimal impact exercise. 3)Remind me to not be lazy about the weight lifting because I have read that building muscle in our leg is one of the best things to do.

7 comments:

ama12 said...

I found your blog because I googled "running with lymphedema". I do hope that you've found balance (yet again!) between running and lymph. management.

As a midwestern-runner who is trying to cope with lymphedema (which docs. only begrudgingly acknowledge and largely seem baffled by), I am super excited to have found your blog. Please keep writing!

-Angela

Kimber26 said...

Lindsay- I am so excited to have found your blog. I, too, live in Chicago and am struggling with lymphedema. I was diagnosed this summer after numerous doctor visists. It was so frustrating to visit these renowned specialists, only to leave them scratching their heads in confusion about my 'fat leg.' Finally, after an 'all clear' CT scan my vascular doctor kind of shrugged her shoulders & explained to me what little she knew about lymphedema. I'm still working on being positive about my diagnosis. Some days its trickier than others. I just received my first compression stocking yesterday. It fits well & has given me back at least an hour in my day (no more wrapping, woohoo!). But I'm worried because my ankle & lower calf have begun swelling again. I was measured when at 1% so I know the stocking is snug but it just doesn't seem like it's going to work as well as wrapping. Any words of wisdom?

As for the weights, jump on it!! I love to excercise (currently trying to get back in the swing of it. The initial diagnosis in June kind of pulled me down) I have found weight lifting to be the best way to see the results of my healthy eating & regular exercise. Just like cardio, weight lifting will pump your endorphines. You can definitely get into your own world too. Find some fun tunes & stick to a 3-5 move routine (complete sets of 30 with each move) Eventually you'll crave more. And if you get tired after a few moves, lay down and do a little ab work. I don't have loads of proof yet, but I think my leg looks better after I do some weight lifting. My guess is that those deep lymph nodes around the internal organs are being activated.

Wow, sorry for the novel. This is YOUR blog :) Guess I'm just so happy to have discovered someone my age, in my area with this crazy condition. It sure can feel isolating at times. Hope we can share & vent. Happy (almost)Friday!! Air & Water show this weekend. Close the windows ;)

runnermom said...

Lindsay, come back to blogging!!! Please?

Kimberlyk said...

Yes, you need to keep writing and running!!! I typed in running with lymphedema and finally found you. I was diagnosed in 2008 with stage 2 in my left leg. It had swollen to up to 4 inches larger than my other leg about a year and a half after a groin injury and was hard as a rock and PAINFUL.

Before that I was a competitive runner and fitness competition girl. Fitness and athletics were a huge part of my life.

I quit running and lifting weights for a year after being diagnosed because the doctor kept saying it would only make things worse.

IT GOT WORSE ANYWAY!!!!

So I thought damned if I do and damned if I don't. I started lifting and slow short jogging intervals and gradually starting a reduction on the leg. Running seemed to help. Lifting seemed to help. Both physically and psychologically.

I've had many emotional setbacks along the way as I've struggled to find a balance with what helps and what aggravates. But I've come to realize that I have to continue being "me". I'm learning not to get so caught up with competing against myself or someone else. I've learned that I cannot compare what I am capable of accomplishiing now with my lifting and running with what I had acheived in the past before this disease. But I wil keep runnning and lifting. My legs are now 1 centimeter difference in measurement. hoohoo :)

Anyway. Finding someone like you, someone like me finally!!!! Keep writing. Would love to connect with you more.

Kimberlyk

Anonymous said...

Hi Lindsay!

I was so glad to find this blog. I have been doing intense searches and found this. My 16 year old daughter was luckier than most. She had swelling went to her regular doctor then a sports medicine doctor. Muliple MRIs revealed no answers so she started PT in hopes of getting the swelling down. After just 2 PT sessions her PT thought she might benefit from MLT and a miricle! The wrapping and MLT worked. She nows wears a stocking and we are scheduled to meet with a specialist in Februray.

Please keep writing! You reach so many people.

Sandy

Sunshine said...

Hi All!
So happy to find you.. I thought I was the only one with questions like this. I'm young and very active. Got my lympedema due to trauma, and suffer from not exercising because I always thought it would make it worse. Is there someone from Southern California here? I would like to make new friends or just to be able to talk about it.
Hope you all doing great and stay positive!!

Unknown said...

Lindsay-thank you for your honesty in your posts! It took almost a year for my diagnosis and that was only after I had a huge leg crisis-doctors take it seriously when your leg is so swollen you can't bend your knee! I dealt with periodic swelling but couldn't figure out what was causing it. I ramped up my circuit training and running and that seemed to help but then somedays it would get worse. Now I know that exercise is really good for it, along with the circuit training but at the same time I have to keep my leg cool. Heat is the biggest instigator of my LE. My PT told me to try water aerobics. I am lucky that my gym already has water aerobic classes. The water pressure helps the surface lymph move and the exercising in the water helps move all the muscles and deep lymph. Plus it is a total body workout so it is reducing my weight all over. My leg has reduced as much as 1.5 cm after just one class!!

I am hoping to get back to running outside now that it is cooler here in Northern California. Hopefully my leg will tolerate it better.
Keep up your writing!!