“Miniature Disasters”

Song of the Post: “Miniature Disasters” by KT Tunstall

I have had a little bit of step back today. I decided to finally do a little more research on the heel pain I have been experiencing the past few days, or I guess almost a week now, and what I found wasn’t what I was hoping for. It looks like the general consensus is I need to rest and do very little exercise. I am going to try to take only a few days off to just ice, take anti-inflammatories, and stretch. Hopefully it helps. I know I need to transition into my next set of shoes which hopefully will help once they are broken in and I am considering getting sport inserts to help cushion around my heel so it hopefully doesn’t happen again. I am really pretty upset about this but there isn’t much I can do. At this point I still feel I could probably get back into training so I could at least finish the marathon in September but now doubting a little bit that I could make it under four hours.  I guess I will see what the next few days bring and I all I can do is just hope I can run my long distance run on Sunday.

On the MS side of things I have been struggling with numbness on my left side the past few weeks however luckily it has mainly just been an annoyance rather then a hindrance. It really hasn’t bugged me too much but just a reminder that I have MS. I have also noticed lately that when I have a more stressful day that I feel the numbness in my left side a lot more. Makes me wonder at times if this numbness is here to stay and will only be kept under control with my Neurontin. And to top off my bad heel news my right arm and the right side of my face started going numb this afternoon. Luckily it appears to be going away now but it is always interesting when part of the face goes numb because it usually feels like you just got a shot at the dentist and that your face is sagging or drooping on one side. However everything is fine and I look normal, makes one feel a little self conscience.

Well, hopefully I will have some better news report in the next few days. Off to icing and more icing. (And maybe to playing some Just Dance 2 on the Wii to keep me somewhat in shape ;-))

Song of the post lyrics:

“I don’t want to be second best
Don’t want to stand in line
Don’t want to fall behind
Don’t want to get caught out
Don’t want to do without
And the lesson I must learn
Is that I’ve got to wait my turn

Looks like I got to be hot and cold
I got to be taught and told
Got to be good as gold
But perfectly honest
I think it would be good for me
Coz it’s a hindrance to my health
I’m a stranger to myself

Miniature disasters and minor catastrophoes
Bring me to my knees
Well I must be my own master
Or a miniature disaster will be
It will be the death of me

I don’t have to raise my voice
Don’t have to be underhand
Just got to understand
That it’s gonna be up and down
It’s gonna be lost and found
And I can’t take to the sky
Before I like it on the ground

And i need to be patient
And i need to be brave
Need to discover
How i need to behave
And I’ll find out the answers
When i know what to ask
But i speak a different language
And everybody’s speaking too fast

Miniature disasters and minor catastrophoes
Bring me to my knees

Well I must be my own master
I’ve got to run a little faster
I need to know I’ll last if a little
Miniature disaster hits me
It could be the death of me”


…And There Will Be Downs

Song of the Post: “Somewhere A Clock is Ticking” by Snow Patrol

Since this is completely a different subject then my post on Thursday, I figured I would break it off into another post.

I guess the second downer this week came on Monday morning. I had a checkup with the NP at my doctors office about my Tysabri treatments.  For those of you who know little about Tysabri the major (and most discussed) possible side effect of the treatment is getting a brain infection usually referred to as PML. There is no cure for this brain infection and it has caused deaths in about 20% of those who got PML while on Tysabri. During the appointment she did inform me that the number of people who are on Tysabri and have gotten this brain infection has increased which means my chances of getting PML after a year or two of exposure has increased as well.

Well, before we get to ahead of ourselves let’s go back a little further to October 2010. On Sunday, October 17th I finished my first marathon. Approximately a week and half later I had my third relapse in a year. I had been taking Copaxone for about 13 months at that point so obviously my doctor was not happy to see my MRI’s or to hear about another relapse when I had a checkup with him at the beginning of November. He informed me at that point that he was going to take me off of Copaxone as it appeared I was one of the unlucky few that it did not work for. Since my MS was still progressing too much he wanted to put me on either Tysabri or the brand new drug Gilenya. It was obvious by the way he and the NP talked that they wanted me to go on Tysabri and not Gilenya but the big side effect of possibly dying does make one take a pause. I first took the rest of the day off. I was suppose to go into work after my morning appointment but figured the almost non-stop crying and just staring off into space would not help me or others be productive at work.

I went over my options for the next few weeks and of course when I made a decision to go on Tysabri I found out that I had the JC virus which increases your chance of getting PML. They recently came out with a blood test to help determine if you have the JC virus and I came up positive. Of course that pushed off my final decision another week but I still ended up deciding to take Tysabri as Gilenya had only been on the market for about a month. It was not an easy decision for me to make, eventually all I could go with is that Tysabri has been around longer and even though it can cause PML they knew a lot more about it. There isn’t many surprises with Tysabri and who knows if Gilenya could be as deadly or have other complications after few years of exposure. The test trials only lasted two years.

In about two weeks I will be going to the infusion clinic for my 7th infusion of Tysabri. Yeah, it is nice not having to give myself a painful shot once a day but driving a hour one way every four weeks and having to sit still for two hours and missing a half day of work isn’t the greatest feeling either. When I made the decision to go on Tysabri in December I agreed to only go on it for a year. The past few months I had started to waiver on that as I was not sure I would want to go on Gilenya. Now after Monday’s appointment I feel I’m back between a rock and a hard place. I am definitely leaning back towards not wanting to stay on Tysabri for more than a year after hearing the new statistics for people getting PML while on Tysabri. However, on the plus side I have heard I may have some more options when I hit my year anniversary with Tysabri as there are many new drugs up for FDA approval. I plan on doing everything I can to stop or at least decrease the progression of my MS but how far do you take it before the risk outweighs the reward?

There Will Be Ups…

Sunrise shot from my hill workout this morning. A Benefit of the early morning run!

Song of the Post: “American Pie” By Don McLean

Training has been going well the past few weeks.  I am starting to notice an increase in my endurance and starting to really get in to the groove with my routine. My “short” distance days are now usually five or six miles and I feel great afterwards. I almost feel like I have only ran two or three miles. Last week was my first run when I was suppose to actually pace at the MP (marathon pace) of 9:09 minutes per mile and it went well. Only had to keep that pace for three out of the five miles that morning but still felt good. (I actually paced probably 8:50-8:55 those three miles but I am hoping to be well under a 4 hour marathon so that is a good start.)

I ran a lot of races in May and June…most of them were 5ks and I just felt like I wasn’t doing well. Most of the 5ks I ran around 26 minutes or worse, which wasn’t even close to my PR 24:52 from last year.  However, I broke out of my little funk on Saturday and finished the Run for Sight 5k with a new time of 24:18. (A new PR!). Obviously I was pretty pumped about this even though I had some lightheadedness right after I finished the race.  The lightheadedness luckily only hung around for about a minute then I was back to feeling normal. Then I was surprised later at the awards that I came in second in the women’s age group 20-29 and received an apple pie (kind of an usual award for a run but I wasn’t going to complain).

Well, when there are ups there are eventually some downs.  During my first few miles of my long distance day on Sunday I started noticing some pain in my left shin and calf. I knew from my high school days in track that I was developing shin splints.  I went back and forth on what would be the best option at this point and decided to stop my run to try to prevent a worse injury.  I really wished it happened on a shorter day workout but happened on my 16 mile day :-/. Well, I headed home and decided to give some cycling a go so maybe I wouldn’t be too upset about having to pull out of the training run so early. I mainly stayed to my running route which did involve some hills but was able to pull out ten miles in a little under 55 minutes (on a mountain bike no less). Felt good that I actually got a decent workout in even though I had to cut the run short but still didn’t feel like the full workout I was use to on Sundays. Oh well, still glad I jumped on the bike so Sunday wasn’t completely useless.

Well, with a lot of icing, stretching and two days of rest thanks to a morning thunderstorm on Tuesday, I am back running with little pain in the shins. We will have to see what this weekend brings with the long run. Really hope it goes well and I am able to finish it!

The Next Hurdle…Running In The Heat

Song of the Post: “Hot Hot Hot” by Buster Poindexter

Hope everyone had a good 4th of July! Hopefully you enjoyed some good food and were able to see some fireworks.  July is officially here which usually means that there is now a constant humid, heat. (Well, at least here in Ohio.) Air conditioners and fans are on full force and the only good reason to be out in the middle of day is if you are at the pool.

Back in my high school soccer days the heat really did not bug me. There was a soccer tournament we played every July that you would have two or even three games a day. (Not quiet sure how my mother sat through all those games in one day but she was a trooper, especially during those rough tournaments when we didn’t win very often). However, in the past few years I have started to notice that the heat is no longer my ally, it has started to turn into an enemy. I now start to shut down if it is too hot and humid and have even experienced being lightheaded a few times. Makes it a little difficult to run especially when the mileage is really starting to increase.

My past two long runs have not ended very well. A little over a week ago I finished all ten miles however crashed very hard. I was completely exhausted and didn’t want to drink or eat anything. Luckily I fell asleep after about two and half hours of being pretty miserable and woke up feeling much better (Pretty much think I had a bit of heat exhaustion from my symptoms even though it was in the mid 70s and cloudy). My long run on this past Sunday had to be cut short little after ten miles (was suppose to run 13) because I was starting to feel nauseous and eventually lightheaded.  I walked the rest of the way home and quickly jumped in my car to get a smoothie. I have found that when I get to that point that a smoothie is the best thing for me.  For some reason once I hit that point I no longer want water no matter how cold it is and I cannot eat anything. The smoothie I guess helps rehydrate me and provides a few things to help me bounce back better. I have tried a few home smoothies but haven’t found a good replacement that I actually like. Hopefully I will figure something out soon so I don’t have to always run out to get something.

Obviously now I really need to focus on how to complete my entire weekly long run without pushing myself to heat exhaustion or worse. I am on the Runner’s World email list and get their regular newsletter/email about different articles. I originally posted this link on my Facebook page when it was first posted by Runner’s World about two weeks ago but after my past two long runs, felt it was definitely worth a second look: Running in Heat.  I know I am going to try starting my long runs at least one or two hours earlier then I have been recently and putting more ice in my water bottles I use during the run. I may also look into making a few adjustments to my running clothes and accessories to try to stay cooler as well.  I think just starting a few hours earlier will be the most helpful but guess we will see.

Be careful out there this summer my fellow runners and athletes. Read up on ways to beat the heat and pay attention to how your body is feeling and don’t over do it. Not over doing it has been a hard lesson for me to learn but I am glad I have. I don’t want to feel any worse then I did a week and half ago. If you have found any methods or tips that help you leave a comment or contact me and I will post it so it can possibly help others fighting the heat.