I had the big injection on Tuesday….and it’s now Saturday.
It’s been a very gradual improvement. And I’ve noted that while I should be responding with gratitude I’m actually responding by forgetting very rapidly how horrible the initial injury was.
When I first noted the injury, simply sitting on the side of the bed was excruciating. I remember being in the ER, where I literally know 98% of the staff and not really caring if my underwear was showing. (I had pulled on a sundress and had been sure to wear underwear, but in trying to get off the bed, I just didn’t care). I also had to use the bathroom before the MRI and ended up sobbing uncontrollably due to the pain of trying to walk from the restroom to the stretcher. It was probably less that 10 feet I was trying to walk. I really was in agony. I cried quite a lot that week, and now looking back I just can not imagine how I actually managed to drive myself to several of those appointments without having a massive accident.
I write the above not to be dramatic but actually to remind myself of where I actually was.
With the large amount of medications from the Neurosurgeon I had been able to go to work for my last week of work, but it was a pretty difficult week. I had a lot of pain and was having massive problems doing things like taking the dog on a “walk” or honestly getting ready for work in the morning.
On Tuesday I had the injection in my Epidural Space. This ranks up there with one of my more unpleasant patient experiences ever, despite being seen by one of the nicest rad techs in the whole world whom I adore, and being very well treated by all the staff and the physicians. So, in other words, that experience was frightening and uncomfortable.
Since the injection I have noted that I am having small but significant improvement in my “condition” And small but also significant droop to my mood.
So… Today I was able to:
- replace the spring rodded curtain that the dog accidentally pulled down last week.
- Walk the dog twice without having to lay down anywhere public.
- Walk 800 feet in the pool.
- change the sheets
- do laundry
- wash some dishes
- lay on the floor at the gym and talk to the gym front desk lady (I did that but probably this was easy) while doing some foot exercises with the yellow thera-band.
So, in general my tolerance for activity has improved dramatically.
Unfortunately..my mood which should be soaring is just….
feeling…flat. I feel injured, all over.
Steroids in general are odd, and directly injected…they are being absorbed as they will be…
and I have no control. So I’m having some mood swings in addition to knowing I’m losing all my fitness bit by bit.
I’m seeing everyone else have great races all over Face Book. Part of it makes me happy, and part of seeing that makes me feel really glum. SO not really sure how to address this. I’ve had friends totally drop out of all running groups on Facebook and stop logging into their Miles trackers….but that feels kind of silly to me. It’s kind of like saying, ok, since I’m no longer playing I don’t care who is…
I do care.
I want to support them. I want them to support me. I think it’s pretty hard though to support me. When I’m in a bad mood, no one wants to talk to me, and it is hard sometime to be the broken but still positive human.
At least Coach skeletor has been there. Like I suppose he always will be. He is still rather stymied as to how this happened. He felt like I was doing enough core work, and my legs were strong so that I should not have had the stress on my back. I just feel like it was one of those things.
It’s going to be a very interesting next few months.
I have to admit…as miserable as I am, I was more miserable. So…moving on…We shall see how this is in the next few weeks.
I have another injection coming up and I am terrified, but at least, I know the scary experience has resulted in some fairly positive results.
Ok so, I keep thinking “Training Day”
Injection day was not near as Epic as the film training day.
I decided against the sedation because of how I needed to pay for this. The Pain guy doesn’t take my insurance and is doing this as a favor to my coach right.
It started out well.
I called to discuss a payment plan and was told what he was going to charge. It seemed ridiculously low.
I was relieved and very happy about that. The price was very affordable.
So admittedly it wasn’t like $50.00 but again I was injected using fluoroscopy, by an anesthesiologist, using expensive medications. So, I was pleasantly surprised at the price.
I got to the pain place with 2 of my friends for “support” They were the best kind of support… One has a 6 months old infant who is very personable, so the entire waiting room actually seemed to relax when he rolled in with his smiles and gurgles.
They must have been backed up today.
It took a long time to get me back to the room.
Once back there, I discovered that my Radiology tech friend from the hospital has taken a job working over there. We were always good friends so seeing him brightened my day. Some.
Then they led me into the treatment area. I started to get kind of freaked out. I wished I had opted for sedation…
My hands actually began to get super sweaty…and I noted my breathing was a tiny bit more rapid.
The MD injected some numbing medication and I felt an immense amount of pressure in my back area.
He then proceeded to try a second injection during which time I felt the need to Not move, but SCREAM a loud “ouch”
The Doctor Jumped. I actually sensed it. Oops.
Apparently it was a scream heard all the way to the recovery room.
Doctor admitted, “Well, I admit you actually surprised me so much you made me jump”
I don’t think the MD is really used to having awake patients because he actually made several comments like,
“I don’t like the way that looks at all…” which you know patients don’t like to hear.
I was actually uncharacteristically silent when he said these things. The Tech did some side shots and I continued to concentrate on breathing…
I assumed I’d feel him pull the large cannula out and replace it. But after a few moments, he said, Oh I like it now…and even said, “Funny I didn’t move it but looking at this time round, it looks better”
Again…kind of an unusual statement, but I just lay there. He then injected all sorts of medicine. I continued with my horrible sweaty hands and funky deep breathing. I said “Ouch” quietly a few more times. The MD and the Tech agreed that I was like most typical nurses…bad patients.
Even though I said ouch one thing reassured me…I could actually feel the medication irritating the nerve from my buttock to my foot, so I was about 200% sure he was in the right spot.
The MD I think felt a little bad after because he kind of tried to rub my shoulders…as I apologized, for my untoward scream…He is a nice man and I know he was surprised…as was I.
I felt pretty good right after…due to all the lidocaine, a numbing agent. But I was forewarned that the lidocaine would wear off. It did as I attempted to walk the dog. I actually was a bit frustrated because that was not easier.
BUt one hopeful sign…I just noted that my foot…which has been miserably cold for weeks is now feeling decidedly HOT…. increased bloodflow? One can only hope. I can definitely more more freely now…but my favorite position remains flat on the back…tomorrow I will attend Orientation which will require some standing and a lot of sitting.
We will see in the next few days.
South lake Pain Institute. On my Christmas Cookie list. Even if the injection doesn’t quite work as promised…
They tried and were pleasant about it.
Of being this person…
I don’t want to be the comeback kid with the great attitude in the face of misery.
Mostly I just want:
I have had such a tough weekend.
Firstly. I am BORED.
Lots of well meaning people have told me to “explore all those things you were wanting to do but never had time for”
I don’t think they get that I can not walk more than like 50-100 feet without excruciating pain taking over my body.
Even if I wanted to Explore something like Knitting….cross stitch….painting, etc.. I can’t physically go to get the supplies needed for those things. I don’t particularly want to do that anyway so it’s kind of a moot point.
I have a few unread books, and I see why they were unread, they looked promising, but not well written, so I am struggling through Istanbul Passage by Kanon It frankly SUCKS, I can’t believe it got a halfway good review from the times. I hate reading it, but I am reading it.
So bored. It’s race season and my Facebook feed is full of people posting about their races. That doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I just find that the whiney ones…well I just want to scream at them, remind them that I can not even walk…why are they complaining, “the race was short” “The race was long” “It rained” “It was too hot” “It was too cold”
I can not do any kind of exercise. At least after my hip surgery the very next day I had to get on a stationary bike…
This is different. I do some small and limited exercises, but as my coach said, they are just to preserve function of the leg…nothing else. Best conversation :
MG: So ok you want me to do these 20 reps each time?
Coach: yes, and let me know how you do with them.
MG: These are gonna keep me in shape?
Coach: Eyebrows raised….NO. No they will not, MG, you are about to loose almost all your fitness. It will just happen.
UGH, it’s not that fun to build up again. Though I suspect this time round I will find more ways to make it more fun and enjoy it more.
Thirdly- regular functions are so limited…that things like house cleaning is severely limited. CLothing is strewn around, dishes left haphazardly in the sink. I manage to wash a few each day so it’s not terrible, but..
Fourthly, the condition is very unpredictable.
I can be “fine” for hours, and then decide to do something, and Bam I am not fine.
So… I am really just sick and tired of trying to be brave and soldier through. I see others who have been running for years with NO injuries at all. ANd in Truth, I also know at least one very speedy runner who has had horrendous year long injuries like I have had. Guess it is time to
So One of my Favorite Races is in about 20 days.
I love this race.
I really really love it.
It is FLAT. It is along the shore line.
It has a fun Space Theme.
It has the best schwag. Nice long sleeve t shirt that always fits me…whoopie pies, a beach towel at the finish, and an enormous medal.
My Medal goes to Medals for Mettle, but I do have it for a few days and I like it.
I ran this race last year…Injured so I essentially ran walked it at a 2:33.
Beyond the “Stuff” the other thing great about Space Coast is that EVERYONE I know does it.
So last year as I was chugging along I had a string of High Fives along the course. It was amazing to see everyone I regularly see on the local trails, as well running friends I rarely see, and even some people I only previously knew from FaceBook run groups. I often choose not local races, so this was just wonderful to smile and high five and socialize with you know 500 of my closest pals after with a hug pancake breakfast as well as pizza and Natalies Organic Juice.
People wear costumes
Number 113 is my good friend Janice!
Most dress as “runners” though, but the costumes are so fun to see, and enjoy!
I was really looking forward to SC this year and had hopes for an actual PR. My Coach thought I could do it too. THen this injury happened.
I kind of thought well, lets get the back healed and at least I can “walk” the race. I have 7 hours…I can definitely walk 13.1 miles in 7 hours.
Now it’s been about 2 weeks. I have a good understanding of the injury and the limits it’s put on me.
I can not walk the race course. Twice now I would have lost consciousness except that I sat or lay down immediately when I felt the Buzzing sensation in my ears and the room began to get darkish. Beyond that I’ve also had several bold shopping attempts that went sour due to a complete inability to continue walking due to pain. My Coach tells me that these spinal injuries are a bit tricky, and that he felt I should not push anything.
So… I can’t walk the course. I thought to volunteer, but really as a volunteer…at this point, I’d be a hindrance, the only position that really works for me is to lay flat.
Now I am getting that pain injection on Tuesday it is supposed to make all the pain when walking go away, but…not so sure that just because I’m pain free, I should either attempt to walk 13 miles or volunteer for hours on end.
It’s a grieving and letting go process, and I had no idea how rough it could be.
I want to figure out some way to be involved, but as of yet I haven’t. :(
TO see Neurosurgeon Number one.
Trying to get the back fixed is kind of a career in itself.
Yesterday my Coach/Physical Therapist did a small eval on me and gave me a set of ten very mild exercises to prevent foot drop and further weakening of the foot and leg.
I have been working really hard on just accepting reality and not moaning about it or anything.
So I was a bit surprised as I worked on picking up marbles with my toes…
When he actually said sort of quietly, “Gee, I never thought I’d be giving you these exercises.”
I could hear a bit of his despair there.
We moved on. I learned about ten very basic exercises.
I told him I thought the injury would make me a fantastic marathoner, and he looked at me and said, well why.
I explained that the pain I was feeling now was way worse than the typical pain one encounters towards the end of a race….and since I’m learning to deal with it now, the end of race pain will feel like nothing.
He grinned a little and went back to looking at my reflexes.
We worked together for a while and then said good bye.
I had connected via a Triathlete FB page with a man who had a similar surgery last year. He met me at the gym and we talked for a while. I found it hard to focus but one of the things he told me was how hard he found it to focus or function when he had had his injury, so I actually feel better about that.
He has successfully completed an Iron man since his surgery- thats a 2.4 mile swim, a long 100 plus mile bike ride and then a Marathon as the cherry on top. This is impressive to me. He said he was SLOW, but WHO CARES.
I felt hopeful seeing how fit he is and how he is functioning.
Seeing surgeon number one in about an hour, I will see what he says and probably decide on the surgeon.
The crazy thing about this, and I recall it from my last surgery, is how when one is injured, EVERYTHING…I mean everything exhausts. I did the foot and ankle exercises and then talked with that man for about 30 minutes came home and could not even make it off the couch, woke up with lap top still on lap.
Into each life is a season, and here is mine!
Today I saw the Second Opinion Neurosurgeon.
It was a fairly pleasant experience except for one thing.
I had an extremely long long day at a conference, and by the time I got to the appointment, I was entirely in pain and very tired.
The Surgeon spent more time with me than the other surgeon, but I have to be honest, last week I was having a lot of trouble comprehending information, and I had no coherent questions. I had been placed on a lot of medications and my head was totally fuzzy.
By now, I’ve had some time to think, I’ve adjusted to the medication and so I had some questions that made sense.
The Surgeon did an exam and looked over at my films. I laid flat on a table mostly.
He was entirely surprised to find that I was still working.
His findings agreed with everyone else’s that there is weakness in my left leg.
He explained that the epidural injection will not shrink the disc as I had hoped, but that it would reduce the inflammation of the nerves and also dull the pain some. So it should help me, but not in the way I would have expected.
He then did the most thorough exam I’ve had so far. After that he told me that he did believe I’d be able to run after surgery (at some point). His big caveat was that I can not have any increase in the weakness in my leg. He felt I could have the epidural and delay surgery as long as I keep the foot and ankle strong.
One thing I liked about him is that he seemed to share my opinions on Pain Management (as a specialty) and such. he did not like that I had been placed on Neurontin, he said, “It makes people feel funny” I agreed but frankly, it’s not narcotic, and has helped.
At any rate, I felt good that I kind of have a plan in place now that may provide some pain relief, and return me to some form of function.
Friday I see the other Neurosurgeon again.
I’ve accepted that I will eventually need this surgery. I have seen that it does have a 95% success rate, which is high and gives me hope.
Now, I just have to figure out WHO does it and WHEN.
Hard to choose a surgeon when both are really qualified. Yes the second doc spent more time, but with surgeons, one really doesn’t care much about bedside manner, one cares about results.
So we’ll see. I fired off an email to my coach asking if he could do the strengthening exercises with me. No response yet. So we’ll see.
I am definitely sidelined.
It is amazing to me how fast one’s life can change. One day I’m thinking about how to manage training and my new job and the upcoming Marathon….the next I am deciding how I can manage walking through a store to obtain only essentials and strategically planning my dog walks so that there are benches I can stretch out on ni case I don’t make it the whole way through the walk. (Short walk).
I am improving.
But it’s very very slow going and not really anything major.
I am now able to sit for a few minutes without agony. I can stand up for a few minutes similarly.
Walking is difficult and driving remains a challenge. I went through a drive through yesterday and terrified the lady because i just had to get out of the car and stand. I told her, “I pulled up too far from the window”
I still have peripheral neuropathy (numbness) in my left foot, and the left leg shows weakness when tested.
This weekend we got a cold cold front, so I decided not to go float in the pool. The pool is really really cold, and since I can’t kick or anything I would have gotten really cold really fast.
So… I am feeling a bit “sorry” for myself, but knowing that this may really get better in a week or two is helping.
I am now on the dose of Neurotin that they wanted, a very high dose, that is supposed to “protect” my nerves I have no idea how. I continue to take Motrin for the anti-inflammatory purposes. I stopped using any narcotics or muscle relaxers over the weekend, they were not helping- just making me feel kind of loopy.
Today… My first attempt to work. We will see if I get through an 8 hour day. I think I actually can. My actual back is feeling very sore, like I overdid a workout, but my left hip and leg are tingling…we’ll see. I can be the little engine….I can I can I can.
So, if you follow this blog (all 4 of you!) I had an OK race last weekend. If you are going to read this, Invite you to get a cup of coffee, shot of tequila or something because it’s a little long.
I was fairly active all day Sunday. We all hoped that by staying hydrated and active we’d be less sore.
By the time we made it home on Sunday afternoon, all I really wanted to do was lay on the couch. So I did.
I sent an email to my coach.
“So my back is really hurting now. I did climb up the light house in Ponce Inlet and back down Oow!”
I took an Ice Bath. I rested, then about 6 hours later, I took a steaming hot epsom bath.
Went to bed.
Got up, had a pretty hard time getting up, my back and hip hurt quite a bit…I hit the pool as the workout plan instructed. Just walking out there, the swim coach raised his eye brows and said, wow…you are limping.
I did feel better after the swim. Went to work.
At work, I discovered that I could barely sit. Essentially I would sit for 15-20 mins and have what I assumed was a spasm of my piriformis. So I’d stand up…move about a bit and it would cease. I texted my massage guy and he was able to reschedule my tuesday massage for Monday.
Had the massage and did feel slightly better. Went home, I now had the dog back from boarding, and I took another hot bath and went off to bed.
Tuesday. Woke up and found I could really not walk. I literally was crawling on the floor. My left foot was numb. After weighing the odds of this going away any time soon, I went to the Emergency Department.
Was this an Emergency? Well. Hard to tell. I chose it though because I wanted an MRI. Getting an outpatient MRI takes forever. Normally they don’t really do them in the Emergency Department either, but I work at the hospital, and the MD knows that my insurance is about to run out, SO, he ordered it.
The staff were great and got me in and out. MRI is a funny thing, I am claustrophobic, in that in general I couldn’t function in a tight space, but the key with MRI is to just shut your eyes and not allow yourself to open them. You can’t tell you are in an enclosed space at all. As far as I could tell with my eyes shut…It could have been…
When the MD came back in, he wasn’t smiling at all. I knew though that something was terribly wrong, I mean, I couldn’t really walk, couldn’t sit and the only comfortable position was laying flat. I had an extrusion of my L5/S1. Seems a common area to have an injury.
They started me on the steroids to reduce the swelling and gave me all sort of pain meds- valium…you name it.
I called in sick, and went home and started my aggressive recovery policy. I investigated really quickly who was the best neurosurgeon spine guy in the area. Then I started making phone calls. I did get an appointment for the next day at the office recommended. After that I started to feel a bit better…. The Magic of steroids.
I showed the report to my coach who read it and didn’t really get it. He said, oh this is fine, rest and we’ll strengthen you. He set me up on some hot packs and told me It would be ok. Later he felt sorrier and tried the tens unit on my glute area which I thought was spasming. TENS unit does not work too well for nerve pain, I don’t think because after about 10-20 minutes, I started to have worse pain. He chatted with his friend the pain management MD and arranged for me to have an appointment there even though they do not take my insurance. I was not feeling the most positive ever.
Oddly though I was very relaxed. For the first time in MONTHS, I did not have to be at work, answer work questions or deal with work. So that is a good indicator that I need a new job, when laying about in fairly strong pain, with a numb foot still feels more relaxing than work.
Wednesday I went to the Neuro physician. Tough office. I had to drive 30 minutes to get there. Sitting in general is awful, but I have found now if I sit for a certain time in a position, it eventually evens out and the pain becomes bearable. So I got there, and they hand me the 900 pages of forms to fill out. This drives me nuts. They asked all the same questions on the phone the day before, so…I filled out the forms and I thought I was doing ok standing up. All of a sudden, my head got that buzzing sensation and I knew that I was close to fainting. I sat. The pain was awful, but I was not about to faint or lay on the floor in the office. I am not for Drama.
The gal called me back to the room and I could see my films up. 3 people were looking and pointing and making exclamation point type statements. I could not help myself…right before I went in the room I looked over and said, “I know those are my films you are looking at” The physician came in and introduced herself. She asked how on earth I did this. I explained that I had run a race. She tried to show me the herniation but I really couldn’t deal with it because of the pain. So she let me lay down and gave me a shot. I assumed it was toradol. She then set me up with the Neurosurgeon for the next day. Of course by then I was crying, because I have the new job, Surgery seemed so crazy, and frankly, I was in a large amount of pain. I received MORE prescriptions for narcotics and also Gabapentin.
So on the way home I filled them and then stopped by the Physical Therapy office. I spoke with the Manager of PT, rather than my coach. Then placed myself on the hot packs for a while. Eventually my coach came and sat with me. He apologized for not getting the seriousness of the situation, and looked at the films, finally saying, well…I don’t read films but wow, I can see the problem right there…it looks so different than the others.
He prayed over me for a long time, and I just cried. Such an element of WHY me. I also was reminded that in this life…as a follower of Christ…All of us are promised trials… emphasis on the “S” not just one trial, but many. I reminded my coach of this and he kind of looked surprised. I said, well, I know if I’m having a trial, Jesus hasn’t left me.
The Next day I saw the Neuro Surgeon. He said I looked a lot better than expected. I totally acknowledged the prayer. While I do credit prayer, I discovered also that the injection she had given me was Depo-Medrol. A very powerful steroid. SO that is probably what caused the remarkable improvement. He decided that I might be able to resolve this on my own, and made an appointment for next week to see me again. He was super pleasant and informative and respectful of my pain. The office staff were also very nice, saying, “We saw how bad your film is and want to help you in any way.” I had been listening through all the thin office walls to lots of patients demanding narcotics and other controlled drugs.
Friday…I see the Pain Management Specialist. WOW, what an adventure in Narcotics. Everyone coming in has to give a urine sample. I looked at the lady and said…i do not want any more narcotics or prescriptions. She looked shocked and said, don’t bother with the sample. I noted that they did pull in Rx history as well. In Florida, practitioners can pull up I believe a 90-120 day list of all prescriptions you have filed. When we did it in the ER I worked in, I was always a bit amazed at the amounts of drugs people were getting from different prescribers and Emergency rooms/urgent cares. My list was short, less than a page, but indeed, it was starting to look a little like overkill. As I sat in the room, I could hear again, another person telling the Doctor he needed Valium or percocet or roxicet. He didn’t want the Gabapentin. He only wanted the narcotics. I can not imagine how anyone works in that environment all day.
Dr. P. came in and said, “Hey you are from the training center, I see you there all the time” I smiled a little. We talked about my coach and he said, Yeah..I’d do anything for him, lets get you set up. He looked at the interpretation and said, “OH you have got something legit and serious there.” He proposed some steroid injections to shrink the disc back into place. I asked about running. He said, “There’s a reason we are all triathletes” The he said, running will be tricky.
I said OK. I mean, I can’t really walk regularly. my leg is numb. I need to work.
My current plan is to have the large steroid injection…get back on my feet, get established in the new job. Possibly have a second steroid injection, and if I can not get back to running with all that, then I will have the surgery.
This is a new pain, and WOW. It is quite intense and difficult to manage well. Already twice when giving Teulu the wonder dog a small walk… I’ve become so incapacitated I had to lay down on a bench. NOW. both times the sky has been beautiful to look at, but… I can not function this way at all. This morning I woke to tingling in my right arm as well, so this is not a good sign. I have one week till I get the injection. I must be present at work. I must also show up and be functional at a pre-employment appointment at employee health for my new job. In addition, I have to give a presentation and also somehow start work and get time off on my second day to GET the Injection.
I know everything happens for a reason, but this one is really odd. Whats funny is that I know this has probably been brewing since last year, so WHY NOW?
Well praying that Jesus the Great Physician will “Pass me Not” And Thanks to Eddie Ruth Bradford who uses her amazing bluesy voice to reflect how I feel!
Hear my humble cry (hear my cry)
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by (pass me by)
(Pass me not)
Don’t pass me, O gentle Savior
Please hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by
Repeat Chorus (with stepouts)
Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief
Living Lord I’m kneeling there in deep contrition
Help my unbelief
‘Cause we’re singing Savior…
Repeat Chorus (with stepouts)
Trusting only in Thy merit
Would I seek Thy face
Heal my wounded, broken spirit
Save me by Thy grace
Repeat Chorus (with stepouts)
Thou the Spring of all my comfort
More than life to me
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in heaven but Thee?
Repeat Chorus (with stepouts)
Don’t leave me, Lord, no, no, no (Do not pass me by)
I need you by my side so please don’t pass me by (Do not pass, don’t pass me by)
Do not, do not walk on by and leave me Lord, I need You (Do not pass, please don’t pass me Savior)
Do not pass me by
“He said, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, my Lord, do not pass your servant by.’” Genesis 18:3
Anyone have any experience with these pesky Discs? Any encouragement, advice, Prayers….appreciated.
So on Sunday October 26th, I ran the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon.
This was one of those odd little B races. I wanted to do it because I had missed it last year due to injury. It is a pretty fast course with a smaller field. I love lighthouses. If you look back though, my history with races with Lighthouse in the name well…I probably shouldn’t love them so much.
Anyway, work has been a bear as of late and I was only kind of looking forward to the girl’s weekend and the race. I’d not been liking my times, even during taper, and mostly I kind of just wanted to sleep. I did not during the very last week that my energy level was picking up…I was wanting to walk the dog more, do more cleaning etc.
So on Saturday we drove over to Ponce Inlet. The drive was really fun. We all chatted and enjoyed each other. I felt a little nervous because the two other ladies know each other better than I do.
All of a sudden we were driving over a bridge. In Florida, most of the elevation in races comes from bridges. One of the ladies said, OH this is the bridge on the course.
As we drove over it the three of us got really silly and you could hear noises like “Grooooaaaaan, O.M.G., ugggh” then we all started giggling. We are from the Hilliest part of Florida. One bridge…nothing to it.
We picked up our packets. Little light on the goodies, but such is the way of race packets and for a race that I paid 35 bucks for…it was pretty nice. The only sadness is that I picked the wrong T shirt size. They went with a new vendor this year and again the ladies had the options of shirts that would fit 4 yr olds. I grabbed a medium since I am usually a small. I should have grabbed a large. I gave the medium to my friend who grabbed a small..she has young girls so one will wear the small. I do have loads of shirts.
We had dinner at a great little local Italian place – Genovese’s
Not the most impressive of buildings. The menu at first seemed slightly limited, but I find that limited menus often mean really GOOD food.
And it was. All of us ordered something different and we really enjoyed.
After we went and hung out at the hotel. We chatted and got ready and discussed things, nothing major. It was a very relaxed time.
The next morning we all of us fooled around and MISSED the ONLY SHUTTLE to the race!!!!!
I was annoyed, because I’m usually more organized. I had not slept well, and I felt like this race was going to be just one long trial.
The weather was awesome. My friend drove us down there and we had no problem with parking, though we did have to walk about a mile to the race start. :(
I shedded my jacket (Giving it to my cold pal) and went and stood behind the 2:20 pacer. I was not going for any records. I started to get a little freaked out. Have not run a race in a long time. The National Anthem was sung, and then…after some announcements we were off. The Pacer – like everyone else, took the first two miles really fast. I clocked about a 10:30-10:20 pace (too face for 2:20). I wanted to walk so badly. I decided to just try to hold on. I found the pacer useful, as I could look at her and know that I just needed to hang near her.
At mile 4 she and I spoke briefly, she was nice. I told her I wasn’t sure I could hang with her the whole time. She gave some great advice on breathing better and then I shut up.
The miles started ticking by and I was starting to feel OK. At mile 6.5 the Lighthouse came into view.
Oddly we did not really loop it like I thought we would. She slowed the group so they could get gels and water. I had all my nutrition in my hand so I kept running. I made this grand assumption that the group would easily catch me. I forgot that I do also get a “second wind” at mile 8-9. So I kept running. I glanced at my watch which was ticking off miles at paces that were very 2:20 like. 10:36, 10:39, 10:45. I started to kind of look for the pacer. I mean it seemed she should have caught me by then.
All of a sudden at mile 11, the pacer and one girl BLEW by me. I mean at a pace much faster than a 10:38. I tried to then keep up with them because I foolishly assumed…that they were running that pace. I just could not keep up. After about 6 minutes, I never saw the pacer again.
I just continued to use my watch at that point, though I had to admit, i was starting to doubt the watch because the pacer was so far in front…So I started to worry that I was actually running a 2:30-2:40 race without knowing it. My Garmin’s been a bit wonky lately. This really did nothing to help my race performance as you might imagine.
Finally I hit the bridge. I was like…oh no. It was actually fine. It looked steep but it was no steeper than many of the hills we run all the time in town. I did not enjoy it much, but…there it was, I plowed up it and because I was still not sure about the time, I did allow a small walk break in it which I regret now. I then plowed down the hill…but not very quickly.
Then I finally finished. Lighthouse loop has something I really dislike, a hidden finish. When I finished the hill I was at about 12.8 miles, couldn’t visualize the finish. at mile 13, I actually still could not see the finish. It dog legs. I really like to be able to put my head down and see the finish, but no, I was running along with that wonderment of “Where is the finish”
2:20:40 on the dot. Did I see the Pacer? NOOOO. She apparently stank at pacing and ran a 2:18. Which I wonder about because my friend who ran a 2:16 said she never saw any pace sign come in. Weird.
My friend who beat me by about 20 seconds came and was QUITE happy (about beating me). I saw herin front of me and knew she would beat me but I was running my own race. She was a little gloating and knew it so she left quickly.
My friends that I had travelled with headed back to the hotel, we showered, and got cleaned up and had a fantastic lunch!
Softshell crab BLT. Yeah, thats what I’m talking about.
Our race bib got us in free to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and the Marine Science Center, so we took advantage of both. I climbed the 206 steps and discovered I really do not like heights. Ah well! I LOVED the marine science center, I got to pet stingrays, and see a Moray Eel up close and personal.
So, all in all, a pretty good weekend.
The aftermath of the weekend has been HORRIBLE. But I’ll write about that next.
This taper week is amusing.
I got an email stating…
“This week is a little different”
When I looked at it, I had the usual reaction to taper. A little bit of GLEE, and a bit of confusion…thinking, Gee, why is this so little, does he not think I can do it?
I realized it’s getting kind of close to Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon. I thought, OH…this could be the start of a TAPER.
So on Monday I did the workout. simple little 1500 swim.
Of course, it was the cold front. Pool is outdoors. It was 55 degrees. Pool is heated, but not in October (too hot), Pool also not covered overnight.
Goosebumps! Whee! It was a cold cold swim, but it got done.
Tuesday I had a 3 mile tempo and some weights. I had a massive day at work, so the 3 miler was done in the morning and the weights in the PM. I also indulged in the super heated physical therapy hot pack. Talked for a while with my coach. I finally plucked up the courage to ask very quietly, “am I actually on a taper?” He paused for a second, and then said, Yes, you are. We discussed the odd emotions brought up by taper.
While I always think my tapers with him are too long, I’m taking this one. I have horrible employment challenges right now with changing jobs in the middle of our Ebola panic. So I need to work on that.
I’m also waiting for speed to return.
I now seem to have very fine endurance…I did 5 easy miles today. No problem on all the graded hills. But I could not get my legs to pick up to the speed I would have expected. I’ve been off on speed since my minor injury in July. I am delighted that my endurance has really improved, but the lack of the speed has me mystified.
Let’s hope I find some before the race…otherwise, it will be an odd one.