Posts Tagged With: injury

My Heel Has A (Broken) Heartbeat

Lucky for me, spring break was the week following the marathon. I can honestly say that I’ve never had such a good week “off” than I did this particular week. My recovery went so fast, and I woke up the day after running a hard 26.2 miles with barely any soreness at all. I give a lot of credit to my Base Amino supplement I’ve been taking (I’m going to write a post devoted to Base and how it helped me – please stay tuned), so I took my kids clothes shopping. We were walking around Kohls buying all we could with our 30% off coupon, and the bottom of my right foot started hurting, especially where the arch meets the heel. Yeah, I sense many of you nodding your head, and you know where I’m going with this. We weren’t done shopping, so I continued to walk, and it continued to get worse. What the heck?

By the time we got home, I could barely walk and my foot was throbbing. How could I give myself an injury from one race? And wow, great timing! Thank goodness, really.

I was very careful the rest of the week. I had zero desire to run, which was new, and I felt really good. I had fun with my kids going to the beach, hanging out, sleeping in, getting ice cream, and eating all the food, and I didn’t even go for a walk, just to help the inflammation in my foot.

The following week, on Tuesday, I decided it was time to for a run. It had been over a week, everything felt great, and I had no intentions of running hard, so I figured there would be no harm in that. It was a gorgeous morning full of singing birds, a nice cool breeze, and plenty of sun – perfect.

running homer

Three miles into my easy five mile run, when I was two miles away from the house, the bottom of my foot started REALLY hurting again. Instead of walking home, I continued to run, eventually moving to the yards bordering the road, just to take the pressure off my injured foot.

It acts like plantar and feels like plantar, so it must be plantar. But I still couldn’t understand how this could be. I had NO signs before the race (THANK YOU DEAR JESUS), so I just couldn’t get how something like this can pop up out of virtually nowhere. I iced my foot and looked up some information on it. The pain didn’t subside that day, and that night, my heel had a heartbeat. It. Was. Throbbing.

finger

Oh man, I’ve done it now. I freaking BQ’d my way to plantar. I talked to my coach about how to handle this, since I know plantar is BAD, finicky, and is resistant to treatment. I’m off running. No running for me! Just like the soup Nazi from Seinfeld. I felt like I had to be very proactive about treatment for this and be especially careful NOT to do something stupid, like run. So I can’t run.

soup

Except soup is running. Sigh.

Fortunately, I’m in an off-season time, resting up and doing pretty much whatever I want whenever I want to (within reason of course), so I’ve velcro’d on my biking shoes and slapped on my swim cap to get back to tri training. I was going to take it easy and swim, bike and run until the beginning of June, where I will officially begin IMNC 70.3 training, this time for reals. Well, not to be disrespectful to the distance and my prior race, but this time, I have a time goal.

As for my “broken” heart, besides not being able to run for fun during my favorite time of year to run, this week turned pretty rotten. When I was at the bus stop with my son, a little brown dog came trotting by, looking scared and trailing a leash. That was weird, so I grabbed him, thinking his owner would come running by to get him. After looking for a person looking for a dog, posting a few signs, I took him to the vet to get checked for a microchip. Nope, but we did find that he had kennel cough. Yay. I couldn’t have him around my dog, since she wasn’t vaccinated. If she got it, it could lead into some pretty nasty lung stuff, and with all the vet bills we’ve had and two pets with issues that needed to be addressed the next day, I didn’t want to pay for a vet check and medicine for this dog, then risk my dog’s health. Plus, I didn’t have a place to keep him in my house. I did not have a square to spare. Sorry, another Seinfeld reference.

I made the choice to have animal control come get him. Thankfully, they have a very high adoption rate, especially for sweet little dogs. Ugh, my heart hurt for him and I feel tremendously guilty, but I’m planning to check on him after the five days is up to see if someone claimed him.

The next day, I took my dog and cat to the vet – my dog had been itching her ear for a long time, no medicine was helping, so I had her checked. They cleaned her ear out and she was fine. My overweight cat had been losing weight the past few months and had gotten to the point where I knew something was going on. I thought it was due to a change in food, since we had to put them on special food for my other cat, who had “Kaitlyn Jenner” surgery to prevent him from getting blocked anymore. That was a few thousand dollars, and when a say “a few”, I mean a lot. Honestly, I had put off taking this other cat to the vet because of the other bills and we had a lot going on the past month. He was playing, friendly as always, and we didn’t  notice anything was off except for his weight, which he needed to lose anyway. His worst nightmare is going in a kennel, and it stresses him out so much, he pees himself every time. Poor kitty.

When the vet started examining my cat named Squiffy, he asked if kitty had ever been diagnosed with asthma. Nope, never. By the time, my cat’s stress level was extremely high and he was panting. You know when you hear “the tone” in the vet’s voice and they basically whisk your animal away? Yeah, this was a first time to me. The doc told me, if I can explain it right, is that he was in a crisis and not getting enough oxygen, brought on by his condition plus the extreme situation and his very high level of anxiety. I didn’t know. I simply didn’t pick up on it. I had no idea my cat couldn’t breathe. This was the kitten we bottle fed, gave meds to keep alive, the one my son picked out of the hundred we fostered during this time seven years ago. My son carried this cat everywhere, and this cat claimed my son as his boy. He slept on his bed every night, and when I would peek in, Squiffy would look at me as if to say, “I got it, you may leave.”. Squiffy had not a mean bone in his body, has never been aggressive, and was always the most playful, sweetest thing ever. We moved over a thousand miles, twice, and we would never have left him behind (although I did want to throw him onto the interstate when he wouldn’t stop meowing – HOURS of meowing – as we moved from Iowa to Texas). He was a part of our family. When I left the vet office, I was confident I would come and pick him back up on Monday, although I cried my eyes out on my way home and for an hour after I got home. I didn’t know he was silently suffering. I just. Didn’t. Know.

Squiffy died yesterday. After he stabilized, he crashed, and the vet couldn’t save him. I know he did whatever he could to save him, but Squiffy was just too sick and couldn’t take it anymore.

I can honestly say that I’ve never felt this kind of pain of loss before. I’ve had to put cats down before, I’ve lost my old dog, but I guess it was different because it was expected or they were old or something. This was a sucker punch to the gut. I wasn’t expecting this. I had no idea he was so sick and was basically suffocating. It’s almost a day later, and my heart is broken and I feel like I’m wearing a veil of sadness. My kids basically fell apart when I told them what happened, and I carry a lot of guilt over putting off the vet visit. It may not have changed anything, but I’ll never know now. My sweet kitty, my son’s protector, is gone.

How do you mourn a pet?  I mean, it’s just  a cat, right? Ha yeah, whoever says that never loved a pet before. He was part of our family, part of our daily life, and his presence will be missed, tremendously. When I make my peanut butter sandwiches before long bike rides or early morning track practice, who will I get to cackle at the knife making reflections on the ceiling? Who will drag my son’s toys into the hallway when the kids leave for school?  Who’s purrs will I hear as I talk to my son before bed? Why did it have to be him? Oh, Tiffy, Squiffy, Big Guy, Filsome, Miff, we love you and miss you.

My heel has a heartbeat and my heart is broken. But we will continue to love our remaining animals just as deeply, just as much. If I do know one thing though, is that I will never, EVER, put off a vet visit again.

 

 

Categories: marathon, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

2014: Looking Back Before Looking To 2015

2014 was pretty epic. I accomplished and experienced things that I never thought I would or could. I also failed. More than once. I surprised myself with both the successes and the failures. I had a LOT of fun. I met a LOT of people.  Since this is the time of year that we make our goals for the upcoming year, I felt it was important to FIRST look at what the past year held and remember what I learned from those experiences.

EPIC:

Um, heller….did anyone say, “BOSTON MARATHON”??? The mostest epic-est, awesomer-than-anything and favorite part of my year and running life altogether was being a part of the athlete field in the 2014 Boston Marathon. It took me many years to get there, and to realize that dream was the ultimate epic experience. This got the diamond crown.

I got the medal.

I got the medal.

EPIC BUT NOT AS EPIC AS BOSTON BECAUSE BOSTON IS PRETTY DAMN EPIC ON ITS OWN:

I was able to PR in both the 5k in January (21:13) and the half marathon in February (1:40:15) as a part of marathon training. I was pretty damn happy about those times, too.

I learned how to train my ass off.  During Boston training, I never missed a workout. Ok, I never missed a running workout. Zero. I missed one swimming workout the entire training cycle. ONE. I learned how to be devoted. I learned to not make excuses. I learned that in order to become the runner you want and know you can be, you have to work and work hard. I learned how to go the extra mile. I did that, and I’m really proud of the work I did. I know I was capable of running an amazing race in April, which is almost as good as actually running that amazing race.

Beach 2 Battleship 70.3 – 6:03      I learned about being a triathlete. I looked fear in the face, cuddled with it for a while, let it whisper sweet nothings into my ear, then kicked it’s ass out. I learned how to swim better than I did before, I learned how to open water swim, I learned how to ride my bike in between swimming and running, and I learned how to run after swimming and biking. It was epic. And I’m going to do it again.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3. It looks like my knees are stuck together.

I had fun.  Running is really awesome. But it can become competitive for me, and the ability to “just run” a race diminished. So that’s why I decided to do an endurance triathlon. Well, I had one on my radar for a number of years, but I needed to do something different and NOT be competitive. It worked, and I had a total blast training for and competing in the 70.3.

Mott’s Channel Swim – I entered and completed an open water swim race. Pretty proud of that, mostly because I would have laughed until I peed myself had you told me two years ago I would do something like that.

After the Mott's Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

After the Mott’s Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

The 10×10 Challenge. Ten continuous miles for ten days in a row.  I learned that it’s definitely doable to complete this challenge in July, but not advisable. I can’t wait to do this challenge again. It was an epic feeling and quite the journey in itself. Try it, you just might learn something about yourself.

Post-Challenge

Post-Challenge

Coaching. I found that I really love coaching. I’m learning a lot about it, and I know that I want to keep doing it. Being at the 5k with those boys made me feel like a momma hen watching her chicks fly for the first time. It’s a really cool mix of pride, excitement, and nerves.

Here’s the video I made for my Stride boys.

FAILURES:

I hate to admit this, but there’s usually something good that comes from failure. I think we all know this, especially as athletes. I’ve had a lot of good things come from the hard work and dedication that I’ve put into my running and triathlon training and races. I’ve also had some pretty big fails. But with a little distance, I can see how the failures have done me good. Dammit.

I’ll start with the little one. I got a pretty big PR (4 minutes) in my half marathon in February. So you’d think it’s all good, right? No, I was pissed. I got a 1:40:15, but I could never see the success in THAT because I was too busy being pissed that I was only 15 seconds from getting a sub-1:40.  I wished I had pushed just a second or two faster, that I had put my head down and gunned it into the harsh wind that met us a mile or two from the finish that totally wiped me out. I wish this and I wish that. What I REALLY wish is that I could’ve forgotten about all that garbage and celebrated the huge success that I DID have. I ran a really good race, and I’m now really happy about it. But my finishing moment was ruined by me wishing I had something better. When you start getting that attitude, that nothing is good enough, it’s time to think about things. And that is what led me to decide for sure to do the triathlon. I KNEW that I wouldn’t be competitive with it. I KNEW I would have fun, that I COULD NOT get all ants-in-my-pants about times and stuff. I knew I needed to step out of the bubble, the one that says you’re never good or fast enough. That was stupid, and that race taught me to not be stupid.

So the next one… it was the epitome of good and bad. The Boston Marathon. Yes, I’ve talked a lot about this, but I think, after this, I’m done talking about part of it. I’ll wipe the bad part out of my memory like wiping the marker board clean.

Running Boston was so awesome, so overwhelming, but I had a big fail. I trained and trained and spent hundreds of dollars on a coach and getting there and all the hubbub that comes with seeing your dream marathon come to fruition. My parents came to see me, my sister and her husband came to see me, my husband and my two kids came to see me. I was ready for the race of my life. Oh, I got the race of my life all right. The race recap I wrote that day describes the race perfectly – It was the Best of Times, It was the Worse of Times. You can read it HERE. It really was the strangest combination of good and bad. The bad was something I didn’t see coming. I thought that it was possible for me to run out of strength because I pushed the race. I was worried about how warm it was too, but when racing, I never felt hot. I wasn’t sweaty. I went for my goal, and I was doing it. I was heading for a sub 3:40 and I only had a 10k to go. Part of my race mantra was “I can do anything for X amount of time”. I was counting down. I was doing it. In freakin’ Boston. That was the best of times.

I can’t remember the exact feelings, but around mile 20-21, I knew something was wrong. I knew I had to stop, regroup, and slow down. I knew my PR was shot, but I was having fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Then the bobble head feeling started. And the nausea. It all went downhill from there. I barely remember the last part of the race. I knew I had to stop several times so I wouldn’t throw up. And I didn’t truly understand what happened until I became the internet doctor later that night.

761540_1257_0011

Can you see the sarcasm on my face?

Where’s the lesson in this? How can my slowest marathon of seven teach me something? First of all, I’ve never tried harder to finish a race. I could NOT DNF. No. Hell no. So I put on my big girl tights and pulled out every bit of anything I had to finish that race. And it took me almost 5 hours to do it, 75 minutes extra minutes in just the last 5 miles. I had to put one foot in front of the other carefully and consciously. To sum it all up, I had salt depletion dehydration. How did I turn that frown upside down? I acquainted myself with Endurolytes. I thought that taking in salt was just an endurance triathlon thing. Honestly. But I talked to a lot of people, tried them myself, and learned that Endurolytes are pretty damn awesome. I used them throughout the summer, especially during the 10×10 Challenge. I used them during my triathlon. I used them with long runs. And if I learned one thing from the Boston Marathon, it was what salt depletion was and how serious it can be. Oh, and how to help prevent it. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to learn so many lessons, especially the hard way.

WRAPPING IT UP

You can always learn something when you look back at your experiences. Whether you learn them right then or have some “delayed learning” like I did, chances are, some piece of information can be available to you at almost any given moment. It’s just up to you to grab it.  Where does this leave me as I look back over 2014?

I’m very proud of the work I did. I’m proud of the chances I took. I’m proud of the fact that I let myself learn things along the way. Sure, I have a tiny baby scar from feeling so horrible during one of the best races of my life, but I’ll go back. I’ll do it again, and I’ll get my moment of glory. Some day. I’ll be patient. I know I have things to work on too. Facing fears and not letting them take over. NOT taking the easy road (swimming only on calm days). Balancing life and athletics.

As I took towards 2015, I know that I’ve got a beast mode full of grit and determination that I have not fully used before. I also have a lot more patience than I used to. What EXACTLY does that mean for me in 2015? You’ll just have to wait and see! Plans post to be coming soon. 😉

Do you look back before you look forward?

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, coaching, half iron distance, learning from failure, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Time To Rock ‘N’ Roll!!

For eighteen weeks, my husband, Andy, has been training for his first marathon using the Hal Higdon intermediate training plan. I think training has gone very well for him, minus a little calf glitch in there a few weeks ago that seems to be fine now. I’ve been able to see training from the flipside, and it’s been fun for me. Not as in a “haha, it’s funny watching you sweat” kind of fun, it’s just been fun to see him do something that I truly love to do. He “gets” things more than he did before, like how tired you can be, how hungry you can be, what taper madness is, what pre-race nerves are like, all the aches and pains, chafing, carb loading, and wow, about a billion more things. He’s met running friends, he’s not slept in on a weekend (except for this past Sunday) for months, and I think he’s had a lot of fun. You’ll have to check HIS blog out that he started during this adventure, called Salt Life & Clemson. He talks about life, being a dad, husband to a crazy wife, a Clemson fan, a Red Sox fan, and of course, running. Check it out!

Savannah, here we come!

Savannah, here we come!

So on Thursday, we are going to pack up the Ford and head south. His race is Saturday and honestly, I’m nervous!!! I’ve never been a Sherpa for anyone, and because he is the BEST Sherpa in the continental US and probably the entire world, I don’t want to fail him.  I’ll have two mini-Sherpas with me, which always adds an element of, um, entertainment, but it is extremely important to us all that they see their dad cross that finish line. The hay is in the barn for hubby, so getting packed and carb loaded is all we can do now. Wish him luck!! All I can say is that I’m so proud of him for all the hard work he’s put into this!

As for me, I’ve had a roller coaster of a week. On Monday, I felt like I could conquer the world in a single bound. Today, I feel like I couldn’t finish a 5k if my life depended on it. What’s up with that?? Maybe it’s coming off a big race. Maybe it’s because I didn’t sleep much last night. I am worried that my shin splints have migrated into my calf, so at this point, I don’t even know if I will be able to train for my marathon in January. It’s all I’ve been thinking about since Boston, so it’s been emotional to try and think about an injury and the possibility I may have to pull the plug on my big race. I don’t understand what is going on, but after my run tomorrow, if my gait feels “off”, I’m going to make an appointment with a physical therapist who can assess my stride and see if there’s something firing wrong in there somewhere. I think I’m ok with whatever happens, there’s local marathons, but I already spent the money on a plane ticket to Houston and don’t want to go all that way to run a half marathon or not at all. How will this all play out? I’m guessing I’ll have some sort of answer by the end of next week. Can’t I just skip the pages and get there already???!!!!  Ahh, I remember now, it’s all about the journey! In the meantime, I’m going to have a BLAST with my family in Savannah and watch my husband finish his marathon.

What about YOU? Have you any Sherpa tips for me? Been to Savannah to run?

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, boston red sox, half iron distance, marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Back To the Doc

The week before Christmas (and all through the house….oh wait, wrong story!) I started feeling an old ache start up in my knee.  I knew the holi-weeks were going to be pretty full with staying up late/sleeping in, taking care of the kids while not in school, doing my workouts, and hanging out with my family, so I waited until last week to make an appointment with my chiropractor/leg fixer-upper doctor.

I went in today with the diagnosis from my last chiro/leg fixer-upper from when I lived in Texas, so I could explain it better than “well, it’s the three bandy things that go across the inside of your knee and….. it’s a little achy”.  I felt pretty special when I could say that I had “pes anserine bursitis”, although I would have rather said that I was fine and the appointment was a mistake and was just there to share my Christmas candy.

Anyway, the appointment went as expected, me learning the proper way to do squats and deadlifts, and then having my leg myofacially released as I planned my mental grocery list to keep from yelling, “STOP THAT IT EFFING HURTS” “OUCH!” and kicking said doctor in face as I politely explained it was just a “reflex”.  I expect that my knee will recover quickly and that my hamstrings will be hugely buff in the coming months from my strength work to prevent the bursitis from returning…. again.

One thing I learned and would like to pass along to other runners is to NOT ignore those aches and pains that are out of the norm.  Sure, we all get them from time to time, a twinge here and a stab there, but those should go away with a little time.  If something persists, GO SEE A DOCTOR or at least, stop running.  I’m guessing that my husband would take a second job to pay for any medical costs to fix me so he wouldn’t have to put up with me in my “I’m injured so I can’t run so I’m going to make everyone around me miserable because I am miserable because I can’t run” mode, so really, not running isn’t a good option for many of us. I also understand that the previous sentence was probably grammatically INcorrect, and I am sorry about that.

I had to made some choices because I do understand treatment is not cheap.  I went through weeks just this fall when I was logging in about TWO whole miles per week, so I totally get the anxiety, the frustration, and I really get when you just have to stop. I honestly believed that if I ignored my shin splints, they would 1) go away 2) make me stronger 3) disappear.  So I ignored them into a pretty bad injury and then into having to defer a marathon I was planning to do (one that keeps boasting on Facebook “oh, only two weeks more” as I quickly scroll past thinking that they’re real bastards for leaving me out), one that probably could have been run had I just taken care of my shin splints before they turned into torture.  But it’s still a little their fault, right, all that boasting… and giving people time lines…. and, well, I’m just blaming them for all the pressure they made me put on myself.  Just kidding, it was totally my fault.

Lesson learned.  Take care of yourself because 1) believing an injury will suddenly heal itself is completely whack and 2) you probably won’t have to take as much time off running if you take care of it.  Simple, isn’t it?

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Moving On From Living On Edge

After nearly 2 1/2 years of living on edge, which is not to be mistaken with living on THE edge, I can finally breathe.  I’ve felt like the rug was going to be pulled out from under me for so long, and I’ve been preparing, planning, moving, buying, selling, bartering, and doing things accordingly so we would be ok if that did happen.  Basically, I’ve been living on adrenaline for a very long time, and I’m tired.  The rug did get pulled in a matter of sorts, more than once, and lookee lookee, I’m still here, and we are all ok.  After living in my house for three months, I feel like I can finally relax, I can breathe, and I can start truly living like I’ve wanted to for so long.

I don’t want to bore anyone with all the little details of what has taken place over the last few years, but it includes my husband facing a layoff but being lucky enough to find a job prior to that, then him having a job he grew to hate and then had to drive 3 hours a day to go and do, moving over 1,000 miles, twice, with two kids and four cats, the changing schools, us all leaving friends we dearly loved TWICE….. you get the picture.  It was just very stressful.  Would I change it?  Absolutely not.  We learned a lot about ourselves, more than what we could have had we not gone through these difficulties, trials and tribulations, and just life in general.

So here’s a list of 10 things we learned in just the last few years.

1)  I like lists.  Lists are good.

2)  Running is my damn castle.  It holds me up, it protects me, it gives me strength.  Running is the one thing that is purely MINE.  It’s me NOT being a “homemaker”, a term I literally hate, it’s me NOT being a mother, NOT being a wife, NOT being anything but just me and what I want and what I need.  It brings me peace, it makes me happy.  I don’t have to listen to the stupid fucking statements, “What do you do all day?”  “You don’t even work part-time?” “I couldn’t do what you do all day” “You’re so lucky you don’t have to work”.  I would love to spout off in response to these statements, but I know that it’s pointless.  I just run, and think, and think while I run.  Sometimes I come up with my best ideas when I run, sometimes I think about the leaves and ocean.  I realized how much running was a part of me just a few months ago when I had shin splints so bad I had to stop running and defer the marathon I was COUNTING ON running, which is something I’ve never had to do.  I turned into a freaking nut case, grasping at straws, trying to make the injury go away by ignoring it.  This was the time I needed running more than ever, and I couldn’t have it.  I’m finally at peace with everything, the deferment, the chance to just run for another month or so before gearing up for training for Boston, the cross-training I’ve done because of it.  I can look at it with a healthy sense of, “Sigh” and “It is what it is” instead of “WHATAMIGOINGTODOWHATHEHELLSHIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTT”.  Which leads me to:

3)  I like to swear.  Go through this bullshit and see how much swearing you do.  I swore before, but now I’m a little less filtered.  Some people say that if you swear, you are suffering from a sort of ignorance because you can’t come up with anything besides a swear word.  Well, they can suck it.  I swear.  Big freaking deal.  Swearing isn’t important in the grand scheme of things.  I honestly don’t give a shit what they think either.

Heehee

Heehee

4)  I give less of a shit  about stupid stuff than I did before.  Neighborhood drama ran fast and frequent where we lived in Texas.  So did materialism, big time.  What really truly matters to me is my family.  It doesn’t matter if we live in a tent as long as we are happy and together.  The rest of it is just bonus.  I’m also putting us first.  I don’t feel the need to do things out of obligation the way I used to.  My kids and husband and our needs/wants are first.

5)  I live with a daily sense of gratefulness.  All along this journey, I whined and complained, but I also knew it could have been or could be so much worse.  There is not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for everything in my life, because no matter how difficult it may seem at the time, at least I am alive.

6)  My family freaking rocks.  My two kids, husband, and I, plus our four cats, lived with my parents two years ago, just before we moved to Texas, and then my sister and her husband when we got to North Carolina in late June, while we looked for and waited to close on our house. AND WE ALL STILL GET ALONG.  There’s nothing I can do aside from buying them a freaking month-long European vacation to repay them, so the only thing I’ve been able to do is just say thank you.  So thank you Mom and Dad, Randee and Chip, including cats Sammie, Jack, and old Tom.  YOU ALL are our rock just as much as running has been for just me.  You made a really difficult situation into something fun and enjoyable.  And that’s a huge understatement.  Thank you.

7)  My husband and kids are rock stars.  My husband and I have grown closer over all the shit that we’ve had to do the past few years.  We’ve listed (that’s an entire list of ten things right there because listing and showing a house is NOT for pansies), sold, searched for, negotiated on, and purchased houses, bought cars, sold cars, researched schools, sports clubs, and everything in between all while dealing with the detailed logistics of getting our entire family and moving truck full of shit to our destination on a specific day with the least amount of damage done.  Twice.  Apart, we are pretty good at it, but together, we fucking rock.

I packed the entire house, Hubs loaded the entire house.

I packed the entire house, Hubs loaded the entire house on a day that felt like the surface of the sun.  We honestly did not know when or where we would get to unload the truck.

8)  I’ve learned the painful truth that you lose friends when you move.  You find out who your friends are and who your friends are not.  I’m the kind of person who has a few REALLY close friends, and that’s just the way my personality works.  But my true friends are ones I can count on.  We can go a few months without talking, but when we do talk, it’s like no time has elapsed.  I’m very lucky for them, especially since I haven’t always been a good friend back, but they’re still there for me.  If you’ve ever moved as an adult, you realize who is there for you after the dust settles.  And who isn’t.

9)  I worry.  A lot.  About everything.    I’m guessing this is very common, but the one thing I do know now is that I don’t have to worry as much as what I used to think was necessary.  (See, I’m already worried that I’m offending some non-swearing person and then he/she will not read my blog anymore because I have a lot of swear words in it.  But I’m not worried enough to actually change it – progress.)  Things really do have a way of turning out the way they’re supposed to, and worrying doesn’t make a difference.  Don’t borrow worry from tomorrow…….

10)  I’m a damn athlete and a good one at that.  It’s taken me 40 years to actually call myself an athlete.  I always had a perception that athletes could only be the ones with less than 10% body fat, were the winners of races, and were the gazelles among the field ponies like me.  I don’t know what shifted in me… maybe my 40th birthday, maybe it was because I don’t give a shit about labels, maybe because I’m tired of reducing my accomplishments to less then what they are.  We runners are athletes, no matter what.  And I can also give myself credit for the damn good times I bring in when I run.  No, I am not the fastest, but again, that doesn’t diminish who I am as an athlete.  I qualified for Boston, and yet I find myself thinking I’m not good enough or fast enough to be considered a true athlete. I crossed the finish line in front of 83% of all of the other finishers in the Houston Marathon, and even beat 78% of all the men finishers.  I AM an athlete, and I am a GOOD one too.

After my BQ run at the Houston Marathon

After my BQ run at the Houston Marathon

SO what exactly does this all mean?  I’ve learned that I can go with the flow, that my extended family is awesome, I have amazing friends, and that I have to put my husband and kids first.  I’ve also learned that I need to give myself a little more credit for my accomplishments.  In doing that, I feel a little more inspired to keep going, to try harder, to inspire others to follow their dreams, to give these next goals my absolute all.  I want to PR in the Boston Marathon.  I want to finish a 1/2 iron distance next October.  But if I don’t, I’m sure not going to worry about it.

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Shin Splints are A-Holes

In the last few posts, I’ve made reference to my “achy leg”, or my “leg that hurts”, or my “stupid shin splints” (that’s the technical term, you know).  Because hindsight is always 20/20, or at least 20/30 in my case, I really should have taken time off when I started to get THAT feeling.  I’ve had them before, but never this early in training and never this, well, for a lack of better words, painful.  I know that at the time,  I was so worried and paranoid about being able to get into Boston, it didn’t matter and I was going to work through any pain so I could run my best race in January in Houston so I could re-qualify for Boston at an even faster pace so then I wouldn’t have to worry about actually getting in to run Boston.  It’s a very bad spiral of crazy, my friends.

Besides putting all that pressure on myself about Houston and re-qualifying and all this other crap, I also committed to running the third leg of the Beach 2 Battleship 1/2 Iron Distance Relay Race with my sister and a friend.  Oh, I wasn’t just going to run it, I was going to PR, which puts me at a sub-8 minute mile. For me, that’s booking it.  On top of that, in August, we moved (with our two kids and FOUR cats) 1200 miles from our last home in Texas to North Carolina. Nothing like a bunch of changes and upheaval to start off training, right?

So last week, after my 15k race, I decided to take 10 days off running and concentrate on cross-training so I could let my leg heal. I have been getting physical therapy, which seemed to work….. until yesterday.

Let me describe shin splints: they’re like a crazy ex-girlfriend. One descriptive word I stole from Wayne’s World back in the day and still use now is “psycho hose beast”.  They make you insane. They start off as a tight muscle. Maybe a cramp.  Then when you start running, you’re like “What the hell??! Why does that hurt?”.  Then while you’re running, they want to show you they still love you so they stop hurting.  Then as soon as you’re done, BAM, like a bat on your shin, it hurts like hell. Then you stretch, foam roll, maybe ice it and don’t think about it as the pain (or as I now call it because I’m actually tired of hearing myself say it, discomfort) has gone away. Maybe you have a few more days of good running, and then you’re back at the pain discomfort again. It comes and goes, but then the times when it dissipates dissipates, and then you’re just left with that terrible feeling that nags and nags at you. Should I run, should I not, what should I do?  The physical therapist squeezes your bone and muscle with a vice-grip (that’s what it feels like – I really don’t know what they actually do as I’m sweating and gritting my teeth and trying not to cry at the time).

I felt very optimistic about recovering quickly. The discomfort was going away, I was doing my cross-training pain-free, and then.  It. Happened. The crampy feeling came back Monday, and I hadn’t had a run in over a week.  Was it the yard work? It remained Tuesday.  Tuesday was the day I was to return to running.  Should I? Should I not? I have a 1/2 marathon in just over two weeks.  Will this ruin it? Does it matter? Do I have time to still train for Houston? Is it too late?  The run was good, wonderful, long strong strides, fast, everything I needed it to be. But it hurt. And it hurt for the rest of the day.

I finally did something yesterday that I never wanted to do nor imagined that I would have to do. I realized that I need to quit training for my marathon. No, I didn’t quit training, as there’s always muscles to be strengthened, skills to be learned, miles to be swam, a bike to be ridden. I realized that I need to see the big picture. I DID get in to Boston. I WILL run in Boston in just a few months. I cannot and will not ruin that because I have a fantasy about beating my marathon PR in Houston in January. It’s simply not worth it. But why is it bothering me so much? Why did take so long for me to just STOP and realize that I’m doing no good to my body by pushing it through pain that simply isn’t going away?  (It’s funny to think about this particular question because, duh, we’re marathon runners and we just don’t give up easily, plain and simple!!)  Why am I torturing myself with making this decision?  Why is this so hard???  Then I realized the truth.

In all the chaos and drama of life, running is the constant in my life.

It’s the thing I rely on to calm my soul, to make me feel free, to bring me a sense of joy that nothing else can bring.

This is not to diminish what my husband means to me either. He is my one PERSON, the other constant in my life.  But there’s a big difference for what he can do for me and what running does for me.  So what do you do with a relationship that is hurting, an injury?  You nurture it.  You don’t keep beating it down until it becomes nothing but what the past was and what the future could be.  So I’m going to take time off running for now, which pains me to say, but I’m still doing the 1/2 marathon on October 26th.  After that, I’m just stopping. I cannot make this worse. I have to be smart about it and do the right thing. Will it work? Will I recover? Honestly, I don’t know for sure. But I’ll do whatever I need to do to make that happen.

It makes me sad to think of not running. But I know I have to let it go. I’ve had to do a lot of things these past few years that I did not want to do, so it’s just plain annoying to face yet another one. But that’s life, right? Just deal with it and move on. It doesn’t do anyone any good to whine and mope about it.

I’m lucky to have a support system in my husband, my sister, my coach Kristen.  She has been doing my training plan since August and has had to make so many adjustments, starting with my first “achy leg” comment several weeks ago. Kristen has been very supportive and has let me make my own decisions about what running I should do or not do, while giving me her honest opinion about those decisions.  My sister is teaching me how to swim well. I thank all of you for being there for me. I don’t know if you really understand why this is so difficult for me, but chances are, you do.

So instead of feeling sorry for myself, I feel very lucky. I get to run in Boston in April 2014. I can still train. Running will be there for me, but we’re just going to take a break from each other. Hopefully, we’ll come back even stronger. No fear.

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, swimming, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.