Want To Run A Marathon In Germany? I Do!

Last night I put in my application to be considered to represent Columbus, Ohio in an athlete exchange program being put on by The Columbus Marathon and The Dresden Marathon in Germany. If I would be chosen I would run The Dresden Marathon on October 21st instead of the Columbus Marathon. When I heard about it I thought it would be an awesome opportunity that I just couldn’t let slip by so I applied. I won’t know anything for probably a month so trying not to get excited about it but just think it would be such a great experience. Keeping the fingers crossed.

Great News Before The Marathon

I wasn’t planning on writing anything until after the marathon but ended up receiving some great news today. (Other then I am feeling back to normal now) I found out a few weeks ago that my insurance wasn’t going to cover the Rituxan so I applied for assistance through Genentech Access Solutions. I found out this afternoon that they will be covering the entire cost of the Rituxan! I will still have to cover the infusion clinic costs which the insurance will help cover but that was such a relief to hear! Just great news to receive two days before my marathon!

Just 5 More Days!

Wow, I can’t believe I am finally just 5 days away from the marathon! It feels like it has been such a long journey since I wasn’t able to do any full marathons last year.  The mixture of my MS issues and running injuries just kicked my butt in 2011. Pretty excited for Saturday. I will admit there is a small part of me that is saying “And why did I want to run 26.2 miles again?”. I do remember some pain from the first marathon but overall I really enjoyed the experience.

Speaking of that pain…I never got to tell the story of my first marathon last year since I was saving it for the next time I ran a full marathon. Well, the first marathon I ran was the 2010 Columbus Marathon which was on a Sunday in mid October. I had trained throughout the summer and was pumped for the marathon. Then came Friday morning just two days before the marathon. I wasn’t feeling well as I was getting ready for work and all of a sudden threw up in a trash can. I was a little worried at this point but thought it was probably just food poisoning. I stayed home from work in the morning and just tried eating the basic things like crackers, toast, and chicken soup. Was feeling a little better so headed to work in the afternoon and then had a basic dinner Friday night.

I woke up the day before the marathon and now things were going right through me. Not really helpful when you need to build up nutrients for your 26.2 mile run the next morning. I was pretty upset this time and called my Mom to discuss things since they were planning to drive me the next morning. We decided to go to the store to get some Pediasure (suggested by a running friend) and few other things packed full of nutrients that we thought I would be able to handle. So my lunch before my big marathon was Pediasure and I believe I also drank some juices in the afternoon. By dinner time I was feeling a little more normal and attempted some pasta which seemed to do just fine. Looks like I was back in the race!

The morning of the race came and I didn’t really get much sleep (not uncommon for most people) but I was ready to go. I had my cereal and yogurt and felt great.  We live about a hour away from Columbus so we had to get up pretty early and made it to the starting line a little later then I had planned but we made it. The first 13 miles were a little frustrating because there were just so many people but then when the half marathon turned off and the full route kept going straight you all a sudden felt very lonely. I felt pretty good until about the 19thmile where I stopped and stretched for a few minutes. I was starting to hit that infamous “wall”. It was hard but I was able to push myself through the remaining seven miles and finish in a time of 4:23:43. I was really hoping to take no longer then 4:30 and I made it with little over six minutes to spare!

Relaxing after the race in my sweats trying to warm up.

Right now it looks like I shouldn’t have any issues this week but who knew I would be sick with food poisoning or something just two days before my first marathon! Just hoping that I don’t have any issues leading up to the marathon and definitely hoping to beat my time of 4:23:43!

Swimming Pool 3, Me 0

Ok, so I think I mentioned before that I started up the swimming classes again. I really find them helpful and keep me practicing my swimming. I am currently in the middle of week three of classes and have noticed that I am little more clumsy this time.

First week did great during the first class, felt like I didn’t even take off the few months from the last set of classes. During the second class I pulled a muscle on the bottom of my left foot while I was pushing off the wall. Wasn’t anything terrible but I wasn’t able to do a few things during the rest of class.

Second week we did a lot of back stroke work. During one exercise I was trying to go fast and ran my head into the wall. Didn’t learn from this and shortly after hit my forearm on the edge of the pool. So I might have been trying to go to quickly and not slowing down when I should have.

This week I actually have bruising and pain that didn’t go away a hour or so after class. Last night we were working on IMs (all four strokes) and I was determined to try to do the Fly for the entire length of the pool. (Before I would have the rhythm down but lose it about half way) I started really good and seemed to be keeping the rhythm this time. When i had about a third of the lap done the women in front of me were coming back down the left side doing the back stroke. I didn’t want to hit them so I was “hugging” the rope more and smacked my hand into the plastic about three or four times.

Knuckle bruising from hitting lane rope

Needless to say it didn’t feel very good. I did better the next few times doing the fly but ended up hitting the rope a few more times. Then later I also noticed bruising on my wrist. Don’t remember when I did that but it showed up around the same time.

So lesson learned…try to avoid rope/plastic lane dividers as much as possible. I had hit them before but never had it hurt more than a few minutes. Hoping I won’t be so accident prone for my remaining seven classes! Off to ice and take more ibuprofen!.

PS – Yes, I have always been the girl who is proud of her interesting bruises, scrapes and scars. Always had to show off my soccer ball imprints on my legs, my bruised sprained ankles, and large scrapes from slide tackling during the soccer season. Drove my mom nuts. 🙂

18 Miles And A 20° Temperature Change

Yesterday was my day to run 18 miles. The day started a little earlier then planned again thanks to my two male huskies. It always seems like it is one of the males that wakes me up, may be my female, Zoe, understands a girl needs her beauty sleep. Anyways, was planning on getting up at 5:30am so I could get the 18 miles in by 10am so I had a little down time before our family get together in the afternoon. Well Chico, the oldest male, moved around and did something to shake the bed and woke me up a little after 4:30am. I decided just to turn over and go back to sleep but Phoenix was right there with his nose in my face, staring at me. Oh, the joys of having dogs.

Well, decided to just go with getting up early and headed out on the run around 6:30am when it was about 28° outside. I really don’t like getting up early but I do enjoy having the streets mainly to myself when I run. Just when I hit the four mile mark I head into a local park where I run about 5 miles of my run. As the sun was starting to rise quite a bit I came along one of the ponds in the park where the ducks mainly stay the most. There was a mist over the water and the sun was coming up over the trees. I tried to get a few pictures with my iPhone but they didn’t really do it justice. Here is one so you at least get the idea.

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful (which is usually good).  When I finished it was about 50°. Quite a temperature change! Had my smoothie, 45 minute nap, walked my dogs then off to Cincinnati to celebrate Easter with my family. It was a long day! I was knocked out last night. Less than three weeks away until the Derby Festival Marathon! Overall pretty excited with an occasional thought of why am I running 26.2 miles again?

The Sidewalk Is Not My Friend…

Overall my running has still been going well…however the past two long runs haven’t been my best. Last week I decided to skip my long run on Saturday because it was cold and quite windy. It wasn’t as cold as when I ran ten miles and came home with ice on my ponytail and my water bottles frozen but I believe it was a lot windier and Sunday was going to be warmer and sunny so decided to wait a day. I felt pretty good starting out Sunday morning but my left leg was a little tight so I decided to stop and get on the sidewalk to stretch at about 4 miles into the 12 mile run. (I run in the street except during a few parts of my run.) I stretched for a minute or two then decided to take off so I didn’t start getting tight from the cold. If I get on the sidewalk to stretch or something I usually just run on the sidewalk until a driveway and run back down to the street. I started doing my usual thing but I guess I missed that the sidewalk was fairly uneven and caught my left foot and went down. I ended up bruising both knees, scraping my right knee pretty well and jamming my shoulder a bit. If I was in one of my races I would have kept going and just ran through the pain but it had been a bad week (which I will discuss in my next post) and I was just mentally defeated. I decided to call it and day and just get a ride home from my mom. The rest of the day I felt kind of like I had been beaten up so I was wasn’t in the greatest mood. Luckily my shoulder felt fine the next day and just have been dealing with the bruised and scrapped up knees since. They don’t hurt while running but man if you hit them on something it is not a fun feeling.

Since I didn’t finish my 12 miles last weekend I felt more of a push to fit in 12 or 13 miles today. The run went well even though the GPS in my phone was messed up again.  I know my route well enough that I could estimate pretty well how far I needed to go but I still missed the GPS to help with my pace. I had worn my Ironman watch to help me get use to tracking time that way for my races so was able to go off of that to help figure out my pace. The run went well until about 10.5 miles when I started to feel “blister pain” on my right arch. I stopped to tighten my shoe and that did help some but it started to come back. I decided to call it a day so if it was a blister it didn’t get any worse so ended up only getting in just under 12 miles. I got home and sure enough a small blister had started forming. Hopefully it will go away soon and won’t be an issue. I switched to Asics from New Balance shoes about two months ago and now I am considering I might need to go back. It was Asics shoes that gave me my arch blisters about two years ago so might need to go back to New Balance.

Hoping the this coming week’s runs will be better and I will post again soon about some of the MS stuff I have been going through lately. Just too much to go in one post. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

You Know It’s Cold When…

So when it comes to some things I can be pretty crazy (or stubborn, however you want to put it). I have found that running and my training is one of these things and I think I proved this point fairly well today. I got in my ten miles today however it was fairly cold…it was around 12° I believe with a wind chill of -6°. Yes, that is a negative wind chill. Needless to say I was pretty cold most of the time. There were a few times that I was running toward the sun and the wind was at my side so I felt fairly warm then but would have to turn down another street and was cold again.

I started to see just how cold it was right as I hit seven miles when I noticed my ponytail was not moving like it usually does while I run. I reached back expecting to pull it out of my head band or something else it may have been caught in and realized it felt a little weird. I pulled it around to look at it and noticed that the end of my ponytail was indeed frozen.

My ponytail after I finished 10 miles in the cold.

Around this time is when I also started to notice I wasn’t able to get as much water out of my water bottles as I usually do. I shook them a little and realized they were also starting to freeze. For about the last two miles I wasn’t able to get any water out of the water bottles. There was still some water in them so I could have opened them up to take a drink but figured if I did that it would end up all over me so I just stuck it out. Luckily I wasn’t too dehydrated at this point. I knew there was a chance the water could freeze during the run but figured it would be moving quite a bit and be close enough to my body that it wouldn’t be an issue. Guess I was wrong on that one.

Well, I survived and learned a few things for running in the extreme cold for the future. Now I plan to enjoy the rest of my weekend being lazy and warm. 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your day! Stay warm!

Can Red Huskies Predict The Weather?

Some of you know that I have three huskies: Chico, Zoe and Phoenix. (Yes, I know I am crazy)

Phoenix, Zoe and Chico

 Well, this morning the youngest, Phoenix, decided to wake me up at 5:30am. I was hoping to sleep until around 7am then head out for my 9 mile run around 8am but guess he thought I needed to be up. After I let out the dogs and had my breakfast I looked at the radar and saw that rain was coming and I probably needed to head out as soon as possible to get all 9 miles in before the rain came. I don’t mind running in the rain when it like 75 degrees out but not a fan of running in the rain when it’s in the mid 30s.

So I headed out around 7am for my run and it seemed like Mother Nature was determined to toy with me. Around the 2 mile mark it started to sprinkle. It was very light so of course I kept going but started thinking I might not get all 9 miles in before I am soaked and freezing. Around the 4 mile mark the rain picked up but it was more of  little pieces of hail than rain which helped me stay dry but stung a little when it hit my face. Around mile 7 it started turning over to normal rain but I was determined that I had only two miles left so I would run it cold and wet if I needed to. Then it let up and the last mile or two was dry. It felt great and I actually felt like I could have ran a half marathon the run went so well but definitely didn’t want to over do it.

And of course if I had started running around 8am I wouldn’t have probably ended up soaked because it started raining more I think around 9am. So my annoyance with a little red husky for waking me up early has now turned to thankfulness. (Well, kind of) So the question is can Phoenix predict the weather…or did he just really need to go the bathroom? I am thinking its the latter but would be quite handy for my running if he could.

A Change Would Do You Good…

Song Of The Post: “A Change Would Do You Good” By Sheryl Crow

Another crazy few weeks! January is just flying by! Just bust, busy, busy!  I thought I would write a quick post just to let everyone know I have officially decided to go off of Tysabri and go on Gilenya. I have discussed this quite a bit in some of my posts so no real big surprise here. However, I didn’t realize how much was involved to go on Gilenya. Switching to Gilenya comes with more blood work, EKG, and several doctor’s visits with different specialist. I have the blood work, EKG and one doctor visit down, just two more doctor visits to go! Hopefully I will be starting on Gilenya sometime in February and feel pretty good about it. The only thing I am concerned about it is that it seems that most people have more headaches during the first month or two but think it will be worth it for having the piece of mind of not being on Tysabri anymore. However, despite me not liking Tysabri, my MRIs showed that I didn’t have any progression while I was on Tysabri so that is great news. Hopefully it will stay that way on Gilenya.

I did receive some bad news during my visit with my neurologist, the numbness on my left side is going to be considered part of my baseline now since it has been constant for the past year. All I can do is stay on my Gabapentin and Carbamazepine and try to keep it in check. I had pretty much come to this conclusion myself but it’s still is never easy to hear it said out loud.

I have started up marathon training again in hopes of running the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon on April 28 in Louisville, KY. I went to Louisville to go ziplining in the MegaCaverns (which was AWESOME) so looking forward to going back and maybe spending a little more time in Louisville. The training has been going pretty good except some pain in the knees and my right foot that I need to keep an eye on. I believe the pain is mainly due to how I sit at my desk at work so need to pay more attention what I do with my legs and feet.

Well, hopefully things will calm down some so I can actually write about some things I have been meaning to write about for quite a while now. Try to stay warm out there!

Got To Get Ready For 2012

Song of the Post: “Crazy Chick” By Charlotte Church

What did I just spend my last Friday night in 2011 doing? Looking online at all of the websites for the major races I hope to do this year and write out the deadlines and costs for each race. Do you think four marathons would be too much? 🙂

Yes, I know I am crazy. Especially since I just remembered as I write this that I plan to do a few triathlons this year as well! I am not planning on attempting an Ironman or anything, just maybe some sprint triathlons. Sprint triathlons typically are a 1/4 to 1/2 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. Guess I just need to hope this is a mild winter so I can do a lot of training outside! (And hope it will be an injury free year too!)