30 weeks of Marathon training.

just a spot to write about the next 30 weeks….of running.

Christmas Eve Eve

Not feeling very Christmassy these days.  8239013869_2d7a9b6ab3_z

I don’t know why exactly.

I was jealous of my sister heading to my parent’s house today.  As I watched the photos of the long drive tick by and saw then more photos of my nephews enjoying the house and my parents, i felt kind of left out.  Luckily when I ran into my friends Cindy and Cindy (yes seriously) at the gym and talked a bit about it, I remembered that last Christmas with the family was AWFUL!  I did not enjoy it.  SO.  that brightened me up a bit.  A quiet holiday – with a day off in the middle of the week is nice.

Dealing with the family, especially my sister, NOT nice.  SO…this is fine.

It’s unseasonably warm here.

XRM07-Santa-Surfing

So that sort of seemed to hit me wrong but to be honest I think it is the elephant in the room and the confusion I am having regarding my injury and possible surgery. I feel it’s out of my control, and really I need to do a few things to get back into control with that.

On the plus side… I was able to swim a little over half mile today with no ill effects.  I treaded some water, but had to do that a bit carefully. If I get going too vigorously I have pain issues.

I saw the coach and he and I were testy with each other.  He knows I’m weepy, and he wants me to suck it up.  I’m very tired of sucking it up.  Plus I am feeling the elephantine question of how this will all play out.  He, on the other hand, has his hands full of new baby.   I could even be a touch jealous of that little bundle of joy, though I don’t feel that…I feel like it’s hard for him to see what I’m going through because he is just so full of joy right now.

Other plus side, I randomly saw my favorite lifeguard today.  He’s the morning lifeguard,and is just a very personable and genuine guy.  I got to meet his wife which was awesome.  He has offered to kayak for me for the 8 mile swim if I can do it, and I especially wanted it not to be weird with his wife, she seems much more normal than other wives, and I liked her immediately. So if I can get strong…10167920_10205399549298511_6266194053212635118_n

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Moving right a long.

Monday.

I woke up with what I think was pretty good sensation in my right foot.

The sensation of rubber bands TOE_exercise_4

stuck around my toes seems to be decreased.  BUT I am also really analyzing each sensation for possible recovery.

My body is still sore from Saturday’s excitement.

In addition, I seem to have a bit of the “Holiday Blues”

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I really didn’t make any plans this year because I was going to be running my marathon on the 28th.  It was kind of a big Christmas gift to me.  As it turned out I also do not have a load of time off because of the lack of PTO days.  So…for whatever reason, I did start to feel a little bit alone this year.  No Family around, my awesome friends are surrounded by their families, No marathon…and I’m injured in kind of an unpredictable way.  It’s super dark of course, and I’m sleepy a lot of the time.

I think it’s the combination of everything.  Ah well. This too shall pass.  I think.

My other VERY BIG
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ELEPHANT in the room type of concern is that I seem to be a ticking time bomb.  I get better, get strong, and get hurt.  In an endless cycle.  Each hurt seems worse than the last.  So hard to know what to do.  It’s kind of in the back of my head all the time and I’m in a debate about how to actually live my life.  I need to run, but…it seems to be really hurting me.

I was able to use the Elliptical today.  Again after 10 minutes on the contraption, I was almost sweating and my HR was up to 130.  Amazing how weak I am now.

I also did 6 strengthening exercises, 3 rounds of each.  I then sat on a block of ice.  It was a good thing. I saw my coach, who gave me a nice thank you note from his wife, but we never really talked. He was headed back to do work, and so I just left.  I wasn’t in the mood to beg for any attention, though I sure do want some guidance.  So I left.  Luckily my friend was working and she had a huge bag of hair products for me as my Christmas gift.  It’s the traditional gift from her.  It did cheer me up a lot.  We also made some plans for movies and such.

I did then get a text from coach showing the adorable little girl wearing the silly sunglasses I purchased for them.  She looks pretty bad-ass for a 2 week old.  🙂

Thank Goodness for small children.

And that’s a wrap!

I have FINALLY finished the Virtual Half Marathon that I started after the injury.

I am very excited to get my medal in the mail. Though I am a bit concerned as I see some folks have gotten theirs already.

When I started the virtual half, my first session was for a tenth of a mile. It took me 35 minutes.

Today, I did a mile in 56 minutes or so.

I totalled it up because I was curious.  about 20 hours spent walking/jogging in the pool.  Not that fun.

Pool-Heater-Repair-Company

it was cold.  and often dark.

There were some odd benefits.  I got to know some lifeguards.  I learned patience, kind of.  I got tougher in dealing with the cold.  I also got faster and possibly this pool walking healed up my injury some.

Oh but I am so glad it is over.  I am not so sure I want to be doing a lot more pool walking.  I think I will stick to warmer pursuits.  Biking, maybe some actual swimming.

My toes are the last holdouts in the injury.  Today the sensation of rubber bands around my toes seems to be lessened, but…we will see. I am always curious to see how it will feel after a work day and work out, so we’ll test that out tomorrow.

I am feeling pretty optimistic about 2015, but…I felt that way about 2014 as well, so best to just relax a bit and see what 2015 brings.  My only big desires are to complete some long endurance type swims and to do some running. No need for PR’s just running in general.  We’ll see.  I apparently have that rare hypermobile form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome so it will be learning about that too.

Fatigue

Whew.  I have been experiencing some fatigue.

I think it is related to the DARK dark, and the added workouts.

lunar_phase_26I feel a lot better, more balanced, and put together.  In other words, I’m able now to THINK about the fact that my house is a bit of a wreck, I should wear more makeup and update my wardrobe a bit.  Getting to it, is a struggle.

I fall asleep right at 9 pm every single night which is ridiculous.  with 60 extra minutes of “doing stuff” I could get a lot done, and still have plenty of sleep.  Right.  Except that by Thursday morning this week, I dragged myself out of bed entirely exhausted.  I slept in a bit today.

And hit the gym.  I was insane and actually got on the treadmill and “jogged” for a few minutes.  Total time on the treadmill 11 minutes.  Total time jogging…unsure. I went a total of 0.60 miles and 0.35 of that was the incredibly slow jogging.  tortoise_treadmill

The first 10th of a mile, I was kind of holding my breath because it seemed like a foolish thing to do. After a 10th, I walked a bit. My Heart rate after then one 10th, was a whopping 160.  No Joke.  This was tough.  The second, I felt more secure with the belt movement and such and noted the weakness in my right hip…incredible weakness, just like the left was after surgery.  Wow.  I was going to stop it, but then just decided on a whim to do a 3rd round.  It was then that I felt all that running joy bubble up in me.  I was SLOW and not really running, but darn it all, I was very very happy.

Bubbles1-300x211I didn’t care that my pace was super slow, I didn’t care that it wasn’t a race.  I just really enjoyed that movement…all the while hoping no one would notice it was me trudging on the TM and say….”I don’t think you’re supposed to be doing that”

My foot may have gotten marginally more numb, but I am several hours over the workout now and it seems the same as it was before, so…I might be a little sore tomorrow but I don’t think that I can really make the injury worse than it was.

After I did 6 strength exercises 3 sets of each.  And then…

I swam 12 whole little laps.  9 minutes of swimming.  It wasn’t great.

Tomorrow I am going to look at the elliptical seriously. It’s probably a better option.  That and the stationary.

We’ll see if my tolerance for exercises increases.  We are on the turning point of dark and moving into the light again, so…that’s not an issue.  I’m sure getting used to my job and getting into a routine could also help.

I do think though I had a few holiday party invited for tonight, gonna skip them entirely. One I’d have to drive all the way to another city about an hour and a half away for a mediocre dinner (chain restaurant) the other, I just don’t know that I want to hang out with them, it’s run club and I really have not had good runs this year.

 

 

improvement…

So…

I’m continuing to improve.  Actually I have not noted much improvement since the weekend, but I am not getting worse.  I’m at a bit of a standstill.

When I take Motrin, I really feel pretty pain free.  At some point, I always forget that I took motrin, and think..Ooooh, I can run again.  Then I remember.

Once it wears off

back-pain3

There is  pain that just sits on my right glue low back area.  It’s not the greatest.  Not the worst though.

My nerve function has improved.  When I first had the injury flexing my foot up and down at the ankle was difficult, the foot was weak.  My reflexes were not always present.  The lack of reflexes kind of freaked me out a bit, and at the same time I was amazed at how much could be deduced without the MRI.  My right big toe would not raise up off the floor at all.  One Monday I tried it again and bammo, I could lift all those toes up.  Like a total DORK, I rushed out to show the coach.  He looked a little worried when I asked him to look at my feet, but he did.  Big smile, and he looked up and said, Now, THERE’s some nerve function.  Good moment.

Work has become easier.  I’m able to focus and I’m a bit better at reading situations.  It’s still an adjustment, but I just keep working at it, and hoping that it gets easier.

As far as working out, I am able to cycle a little more, and do the strength workouts. No running.

Not really sure what i will do about the surgery.

I have an appointment with a good Doctor Friend the day after Christmas.  I am hoping he helps me to decide.

It’s hard to tell if the stable nerve compromise would actually be repaired by surgery  or if it is already healing, nerves take forever to heal….forever.

So waiting and watchful.  My life changed so fast and so definitively, I find it quite hard to imagine ever being able to train regularly again…

 

 

Saturday….

Saturday…

Despite the Drama of Friday…Saturday was a pretty good day.

I continued my taper of the Neurontin.  I’m at about half the dose, I can tell because my foot and calf are somewhat tingly and that’s unpleasant, but it does tell me that there is still a problem, which is important.

I took the dog on a nice walk and did a bit of dishes and putting away the laundry.  Still not up for a complete cleaning of the house, but if I didn’t go to the gym maybe I would be.  I cleaned the stop top a bit too.

I got to the gym around 11 am.  On a whim, I decided to try the stationary.

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I didn’t do any jumps or climbs or anything. I spun the wheels around at level 0 as I had been advised a few weeks ago.  I could only get my heart rate to go from 80 to 90 that way and I noted I was pulling 25-27 watts.  Normally on the bike I pull 100-110 and sometimes higher.  Ah well.  It was great just to do it.

I moved on to do my modified strength workout.  This is embarrassing.  Initially people can not tell that I have an injury, they tend to think I’m out of shape. They do look at one differently. (I’ve been both out of shape and injured, and people look at your differently).  I am severely deconditioned. So I guess I’m injured AND out of shape. Anyway…I got the workout done. I was pretty pleased with it.

Then I hit the pool for an hour of pool walk/jogging.  I felt better after this.  I have not found my happy place, but I’m lots closer.

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On the negative side.  My right foot is still numb and feels strange and I can still feel an increase in symptoms when I stand up and walk around, so probably i can still benefit from surgery, but what a relief to be doing some working out.  I noted that today even though my low back hurts, I feel more strong and also more capable of handling things.  Who knows…. several more days/weeks before the actual surgery stuff occurs. I just wonder about the nerve thing, I mean it’s damaged nerve.  Wondering how much is damage at this point and how much is acute and will disappear with surgery.  These are the things no one knows…

Freaky Friday

Oh man.  I feel like Job.  I really can not catch a break.

On Friday I just for whatever reason did not want to go to work, even though I was to be at a different hospital, with one of my Co-workers who I adore.

So I got a late start and I was anxious about that.  Getting to an exit traffic had slowed, and when I got started again, I  rear ended the car in front of me.

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Luckily, I was not going too fast.  Obviously…faster than the man in front of me.  I just sat in the car after we both pulled off the road, shaking.  Even though it wasn’t that fast, there was still a horrible feeling.

Also good was that the driver seems to be a very nice man.  He came out and assured me he was alright (I asked him right away because well, when someones back bumper is scratched up and your front bumper is also scratched up, what kind of debate about who’s fault it is can come up?) He then asked for my insurance card and wrote down all the info.  I was still shaking.  He was very neutral, and calm and kept saying, “It isn’t terrible, it’s really just paint damage.”  Then his companion took a few photos and they sped off.

On a normal day I would have simply gone home.  But no, I’m on some kind of “make your own orientation” at work.  So I proceeded to the other work site.  I would have really preferred to speak with my insurance agent and kind of calm down, but instead I was at the work site doing what is called an EOC walk.  It is an Environment of Care walk.  As a team we each go to specific units, walk with the manager or person in charge and check for things like expired supplies that made their way to the units, fire safety, under sink storage.  We also interact with the staff and have them answer Joint Commission style questions related to safety.  “What steps do you take if there were a fire, a medical gas (oxygen) failure etc”  I actually really enjoy doing these things, and I was very happy my back held up for the whole thing.  I of course was utterly distracted, remembering the car accident.

I should have hopped out of my car (kind of dangerous as traffic was zipping by us rapidly.) and also taken photos, but I just was paralyzed with fear and really was so tired.  I’m now worried I’ll pay for it later.  Again, the man seemed very “Ok” with it.  He even made a comment that “This happens to everyone”  But you just never know. He could call on Monday, and say that they had horrible damage, back neck and back pain etc.  I think it is unlikely as he said not to bother calling the Police for this, he just advised that I call the agent and he would call next week.  All in all, he was a very nice person at that moment.  No yelling no screaming, no “why didn’t you stop sooner”.  Believe me I wish I had.

So what would have been a delightful work day was kind of difficult, since I already felt horrible, was late, had car worries…it just goes on and on. On a positive note, I re-met one of the big wigs from that hospital.  She had done a short welcome talk at my orientation.  Nothing major but she had made a specific plea that we try to not pull out our cell phones at every possible moment, and that we be aware of our environment as we go to and from the parking areas.  I’m a iPhone addict.

iphone-addict

I actually started putting my phone in my purse as I walk to and from my car.  I have to admit, she was/is correct. I’ve been more aware of my surroundings.  I greet almost everyone I meet, and I am able to help visitors occasionally, and also maybe more importantly, just make them a little more comfortable. I know they are often in pain, coming for follow up appointments, and in general, worried.  So I’ve really been trying to smile and it really has made me feel more connected to things. I stopped taking it into the gym with me as well.  My Coach was totally like, hey you forgot your phone.  When I said, ahh, I left it in the car…he was like, WHAT? I can’t believe it. He usually pries it out of my hands… Anyway. I had been thinking to write her a note. but that seemed kind of extreme and also a bit “Sucking up”.  She dropped by my friends office and I was able to share it with her.  She smiled, laughed and sincerely said, “Wow, someone is listening and open to change, you made my whole day”.  Considering how miserable my day had been, I was really pleased that I could genuinely make someone else smile and know that they had made a difference.

My back felt pretty horrible after that work day. So, I got into the pool…yeah.  I forgot to add, it’s been in the 40’s in Fl, so it’s pretty cold.  The pool water is warm but I was cold. I walked a bit.  Then I got on the hot packs for PT and went home.  I was so so worried that my back would be horrendous this morning, but actually…I was able to take the dog on a much longer walk this morning, so I am still under the impression that this is healing somewhat. Still with decreased sensation to the right leg and problems bending over, but of course this little bump up could have spelled major set back. I’m starting to reduce the Neurontin, a medicine for neuropathy.  I figure I want to stop all medications and see how I feel prior to canceling surgery.  I also want to see what the repeat MRI shows.  I probably still need it, because I do still have neurological symptoms.  I was not a fan of the neurontin as I felt it made my already disorganized state even more so.  Hoping to get off of it entirely.  I’d stop it but there is apparently a risk of seizure if you just stop without a taper.

For now…I am actually moving a bit better, I’ve started to “jog” in the pool and am continuing with a few strength exercises that I can do.

I’ve gained a lot of weight.

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I can see it in my face, but also feeling it in some of my clothing.  So I’ve embarked on a bit more of a healthy eating regime.

It’s going OK…not great.  I want to lose slowly, so I’m not too concerned.  I have not been active at all, so I think as I increase activity, some will disappear.

I Miss Running.  Really a lot.

 

Thursday fun

Well.

To jazz up this post I’d love to post a photo of the new beautiful daughter of my Coach. She is PERFECT. I am not biased. All that said, it’s not really the thing to do, she’s not my kid after all.  She is making me smile a lot though.

I’m still going through Job transition Hell.  It’s so hard to be new and especially hard for someone who is a bit of a “Sheldon”.  Usually once people get to know me they like me.  But they have to get to know me.  Funny how everyone loves Sheldon for 30 mins on TV, in real life we Sheldons have a difficult time.

Went today for what I believed was going to be my third Epidural Space Injection.

Noooooo.

It was a “Meet and Greet your Doctor” no procedure, I pay to talk to the man.  😦

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He seemed to think this should have cured me. It *HAS* improved my quality of life greatly.  I am now able to walk longer, bend over some, stand up, sit without agony.  But cured…

Well, here are some things I can not do:

  • cough
  • sneeze
  • RUN
  • SWIM
  • ride an exercise bike
  • walk for long distances
  • sit for periods of time over one hour without severe discomfort
  • Look down without severe pain in the low back.
  • stop taking Neurotin (Nerve medication.)

There are more.

So  he offered me MORE Medicine.  Lyrica.  It’s used for Chronic Pain sufferers, and for nerve pain, and, well. I kind of started to feel like he was just throwing medication at me.

I need the problem FIXED then I can strengthen and make sure it doesn’t happen again. If it isn’t fixed of course any odd twist will aggravate this, no matter how strong everything is.

 

Fingers Crossed

I am unsure but…I believe I am seeing some improvement in my symptoms for real.

I am noting that gradually over the weekend and yesterday and this morning that I am moving a little bit more intuitively and naturally.

I still have a lot of Nerve symptoms.  My right calf burns rather all the time.

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And lately the sole of my foot has had a really unfortunate sensation….kind of like someone taking a cheese grater to it.

But…despite that, I am actually noting some improvement.

I was all about the email the coach, then I took a deep breath.  I didn’t really want to get anyone’s hopes up. Plus I kind of want him and his new little family to have a few days without discussing my back.  I gotta say….little EJS really brought out the communicator in him the other day.  I didn’t realize how invested in my running he is…  he shared with me that he himself was pretty disappointed about the marathon because apparently  he had been looking forward it as much as I was.  We really had not been communicating well, because I wasn’t sure he wanted to work with me anymore…and I actually thought he was deeply disappointed in me…

It’s still surgical.  But I do feel improved.  I really hope that the disc isn’t healed and I’m left with this horrific pain.

So we’ll see.  It’s up to God. There’s a reason why this happened….I kind of think it was to get our attention so Coach and I can understand the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and continue to live an active life.  I’ve been on an EDS forum and it’s filled with people who are obsessed with pain and body functions, no one does anything.  I’ve connected with another EDS person who does Marathon swims…so it’s quite possible.   Cause…when Jesus says yes….Best song I’ve heard recently. Makes me want to dance.

I would like Jesus to say yes to me being able to move without pain.  I would indeed.

Fingers crossed…. Breath held….

Monday

Monday was pretty good.

It is now 56 days until my surgery.  When I write it like that it seems like a very long time.  But you know, life throws really hard curve balls sometimes.  Not only did I get hurt, but I have a new job and can’t get unhurt til later.  I need a pre-surgery advent calendar.

On the positive side…surprisingly, when I got up today, my leg/glute etc was feeling slightly better than it has before.

I did find that my left sided back is feeling a bit of strain on the muscles.  Yuck.  But…that will heal, there’s no chance I’m going to make it worse by lifting a ton of weights or something.  (Because I’m not doing those things).

But I think some of the new exercises I am trying may be stretching some things out and reducing some of my symptoms.

So  Fantasy here:

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I start thinking…Maybe I can Heal this leg before surgery date, right?

That isn’t going to happen.

I will have to apply for medical leave. essentially 2 weeks unpaid because I just won’t have enough PTO or emergency leave accrued.  Luckily…I’m a saver and this is not a big deal at all.

The application for leave though is like an entire other job.  😦  Pisses me off, that I have to APPLY to have a herniated disc fixed, but oh well…it’s life.

Work is starting to even out more and I feel more confident and a bit better as well.

And today…was awesome as well because Coach sent me several photos of EJS.  I was so so so excited…he kept sending them every hour or so.  That is one adorable baby though, a few of the photos he sent were not the most flattering.