Status report…

Numbness: Still present
Pain: Comes and goes
Depression: Mild
Frustration: Still present
Stress at work: Still present
Paris post: Still unwritten
Knitting project: Unfinished
Hair: 6″-8″ shorter

photo 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Siberian Huskies: Crazy and shedding
Running: Going Ok (Over slept this morning :-/ )
Swimming: Ok, need to work on breathing
Feelings about stepping down off of Gabapentin which might cause more numbness: Not looking forward to it
Feelings about finding something that might work: Hopeful
Current overall feelings: Maybe I need another vacation or even just time off…

Self prescription to maybe forget it all for a night: Turn the music up as loud as I can and dance it out.

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My Ode To Numbness

Numbness…I never asked you to stay
Yet here you are day after day
You started in the leg, then the arm and now the face
I really want you to get the hell out of this place
I really wish you would leave so I felt better
I would even promise to write you a letter
It would even be great if you just let me run
I know most don’t believe me but it can be quite fun
I don’t mean to be rude but I really wouldn’t miss you a bit
Actually…if no one was looking I would probably give you a punch and a hit
So I really would like if you thought it over, the part about you leaving you see
Because you really aren’t nice to live with, but that could be just me

Demons And Steroids…

Well, needless to say I have been pretty quiet lately. I am kicking myself for still not posting about my trip yet but I think I have been fighting some inner demons since the end of November which in turn has given me some writers block. (Funny since I am really just retelling my life, I am not trying to write a short story for English class or something.) I am sure the clinical diagnosis would be something like mild depression but I have been referring to it as inner demons. In December my running decreased to try to “repair” my hips, stress at work increased and numbness/pain on the left side increased. Obviously not a good combination to try to fight your demons.

Two weeks ago life got even more difficult. Since I had been struggling with the numbness and pain on the left side for a few weeks my neurologist decided to prescribe me the fun five days of steroids. The last few times I had steroids it was only a three-day round however the last time I did have a five-day dose I don’t remember having the difficulties I had this last week. Every night I average 5-6 hours of sleep (I am use to getting at least 8 hours). I am not sure if the stress of work added to the lack of sleep but the mix of taking the steroids and lack of sleep really messed with me during the day. It ended up pushing me to my limits and I had to call my Mom to come over to help me take care of my three crazy huskies one night. I just had zero energy and I felt like I couldn’t even take care of myself. Just going to the next room felt like someone asked me to run a marathon. I did end up making it through the work week and caught up on sleep that weekend.

The beginning of this week I felt like I was starting to feel normal again except that I was still having the numbness and pain on the left side. I was making it through the week with the sleeping fairly well  but still feeling worn down. Wednesday I started feeling some pretty bad sinus pressure on the left side of my head and I thought it was just due to our lovely Ohio weather. It continued into Thursday and it started to feel a little more intense in the early afternoon. At this time I started to feel numbness in my cheek and occasionally in my month and tongue. This freaked me out a little as I had never had my tongue go numb. I called my neurologist office and left a message that I wanted to speak to someone about this. I wasn’t sure what was going on but thought I probably had some sinus issues and it was just putting pressure on a nerve that has already been damaged by…well, me (or I guess really my body attacking my nerves because for some reason it doesn’t like them).  Well, after talking to someone at my neurologist office it turns out I am having another relapse but one that is focused more on the left side of my head. We came to this conclusion because of my symptoms and that I wasn’t having any drainage or cold-like symptoms so we basically eliminated the actual sinus issues.

I was a little upset after hearing it was probably another relapse. I was also upset to hear that they strongly suggested that I take it easy this weekend if possible. I tried to take it easy but it is hard for me to sit still especially when there are things to do, which there always are in my house. Plus I really wanted to get back to running this weekend. Well, tomorrow is the start of a new work week and hopefully can I focus on getting more sleep this week. And maybe finally posingt about my trip to Europe! New Post: Paris!

First night in Paris (And oddly enough me on only one hour of sleep and feeling pretty good. It was probably the Paris high or something.)

First night in Paris (And oddly enough me on only one hour of sleep and feeling pretty good. It was probably the Paris high or something.)

I Made It Back In One Piece…

My trip to Europe (well Paris, Dresden, Berlin and London) was awesome! I think at times I still can’t believe all the things I saw and experienced. I am not even going to try to fit it all in one post so I am going to try to break it up over the next few posts for you guys (also means more pictures 🙂 ). Here is the abridged version of the trip itinerary so you have an idea of what lies ahead in future posts:

Friday, October 12th – Leave for Paris

Saturday, October 13th – Arrive in Paris at 9:45am (3:45am EST – my normal time)

Thursday, October 18th – Train ride from Paris to Dresden

Sunday, October 21st – Dresden Marathon

Tuesday, October 23rd – Train ride from Dresden to Berlin

Thursday, October 25th – Flight from Berlin to London

Monday, October 29th – Head home – Arrive in Montreal, Canada but last two flights canceled, have to spend the night in Montreal. :-/

Tuesday, October 30th – Finally Home 🙂

As you can see it was a fairly long and crazy trip especially for my first trip to Europe. Not sure what I was thinking with this one but my sister seemed to be ok with this craziness. My sister, Sara (an experienced traveler), helped guide me through my first, and hopefully not last, trip to Europe with her guide books and travel knowhow. I guess for some reason I didn’t put together what her Bachelors in History and her over ten years of work experience in history museums would really mean for me in Europe: a lot of museums. The girl is crazy about museums but we did see some other things too. I also believe she passed the love for international travel on to me too since before we even got back home we were having discussions on where I would run my next international marathon. 🙂

Well, I think with this post I will leave the crowd wanting more…mainly because I think if I keep typing I will start talking too much about the trip and not know where to stop but also the hips are not happy from the 5k I ran on Sunday so i need to stop to do some stretching and icing before bed. Next post, Paris. 🙂

Eiffel Tower

#3…not the greatest

Little over a week late but still wanted to write a quick post on what I decided to do last Saturday (September 15th). Since I was struggling with the injured hips off and on and still had not been as consistent in my training as I would have liked I had told myself I would not run the Air Force Marathon even though I already paid for it. Well, after I finally ran 18 miles the weekend before the marathon I started throwing around the idea of still running the marathon. The week leading up to the marathon I really wanted to run it but was still nervous I hadn’t trained enough and that I might hurt my hips even more for The Dresden Marathon. Well, once I went to go pick up my bib and tech shirt two days before I think that sealed the deal, I was definitely going to run it.

I probably slept about 8 hours Friday night which was the most I have ever slept the night before a marathon. I felt relaxed and just in a good mood. Well, parking took a little longer then it had in past years so by the time I got to the start line I had enough time to quickly go the bathroom then run to the start area with just a few minutes to spare.  (Which meant I didn’t stretch at all before this marathon, luckily I had spent a good amount of time the night before stretching). I realized after the cannon (yes, they started us off with a cannon this year) that I had forgotten my watch to keep track of my pace.  (Insert minor freak out moment, and probably some cursing under my breath) I quickly brought up the stopwatch feature on my iPhone to at least keep track of my time and decided to try to run with the 4:10 pace group just to have a better idea how I was pacing.

We started out on the course and about a mile into the race (as we are starting up our first hill) I did think to myself “Why did I think this was a good idea again?”. Luckily I stopped those thoughts very quickly and just started to focus on the climb ahead. The first 10-12 miles felt pretty good and the pace felt great. I stayed with the pace team until about 17 miles when my right hip started acting up. I slowed down to try to maintain my right hip without stopping or walking but eventually the slow jog wasn’t working anymore. For most people (including myself) walking or stopping to stretch can be one of the worst things because it is hard to get the body going again. Eventually i gave in and started to walked off and on, it was the only way to decrease the pain. However I didn’t dare to stop completely and stretch, knowing my body would tighten up. I was doing ok with running for a while then walking for a little bit if needed for the hips as I passed the 20 mile marker.

There are a few sizable hills at the end of the race so I decided that I would try to walk/slowly run up these hills to try to save my hips for Dresden. (For some reason it really decreased the pain in the hips when I walked up the hills rather than ran.) Well, when I hit around 22.5-23 miles I got a cramp just to the right of my belly button. I started walking but it just wasn’t going away. I tried “speed” walking but even that was too painful to deal with for very long. Even though it killed my pride I ended up walking the rest of the marathon except about the last half mile. I wasn’t going to finish walking so I slowly jogged to finish.  It was a little painful but there was the pride thing and also I just wanted to finish the race already. It was great getting my marathon medal (guess it always is) and getting something to eat. The cramp started going away fairly quickly after I finished and was gone by the time I started walking back to the car. And luckily for me my hips felt back to normal within a day or two.

Quick photo opt after The Air Force Marathon

Well, I finished and that is what my goal was for the day since I definitely wasn’t fully back from being injured to run a marathon yet. It obviously ended up being my worst time out of the three marathons I have ran but I am still glad I did it. I learned that I might be walking some in the Dresden Marathon due to the hips but that is ok. The Dresden Marathon is all for the experience, I cannot wait!

Silence

Ok, so did not even realize it had been over two months since my last post! Wow. Guess I have really been laying down on the job. Hopefully I will be able to catch everyone who doesn’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook up to speed.

Well, for those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I ended up having bursitis in my both hips. Something in my stride was definitely off and even after a shot in each hip I was still having some pain so my doctor referred me to a specialist. (The doctor he was planning on referring me to actually couldn’t get me in for four weeks so I said to hell with that and called the Sports Medicine department at OSU and they got me in two days later.) The doctor at OSU told me I could run but just no hills for a while. He also recommended that I go to physical therapy because my hip muscles were weak and that is why I was having all of these issues. I guess weak hips is pretty common with runners.

I went to physical therapy for about five to six weeks starting at the end of July. It seemed like it did help however I was absolutely exhausted during that time, especially during the week. I would feel like I finally felt better by Sunday then be exhausted by Tuesday or Wednesday again. It was rough and I was very thankful when they finally discharged me at the end of August. My hips are still sore at times and still hurt off and on during runs but seem to slowly be improving. After the Dresden Marathon I am definitely taking some time off and maybe just doing some minor workouts. My body definitely needs to heal.

Obviously as I said it has been over two months since I the last time I posted on here but sometimes I have taken a while between posts on Facebook/Twitter as well. It seems like the hip injuries have messed with me mentally a little more than I would like. Sometimes I would think of writing an update and just wouldn’t write it. I don’t know if it is the pain, frustration or exhaustion that really does it or if I have just been feeling the pressure of the Dresden Marathon and going to Europe. I have had a few issues here and there during my training the past month but it didn’t seem like that was really the problem. It has been a little odd at times and I don’t feel completely back to normal yet but hopefully I will get back on the bandwagon again soon.

Hope everyone has been doing well! Hope everyone’s training and races have been going well!

OWS

I just had to become friends with some triathletes….couldn’t just stay with the runners on the other side of the playground. See, when you become friends with triathletes they convince you to go cycling, go do laps in the pool and go out for open water swims. Yes, that is correct. Open water swims. Have you ever been at the beach and see a group of swimmers with bright swim caps and they are actually swimming out by the buoys. Yes, that was me last night. Decided to go out for my first open water swim (OWS) last night after I did about 4.5 miles of hill work in the morning and walked about 3 miles throughout the day. Wasn’t my brightest moment but ended up not going too bad.

Not us, just an example. 🙂

The first 200-300 meters were a little rough until my teammates from STAR (Springfield Triathletes and Area Racers) suggested I just try going in closer to the beach where I could touch and rest for a little bit. After that it seemed like I got a second wind and was on my way. (I did actually say I was just going to turn around at this point but got the competitiveness in me when they mentioned that I at least made it further than a lot of first timers, I wanted to do better than the typical first timer) I did struggle occasionally with my spotting (or direction) because my goggles kept fogging. It’s a little hard to know where you are going when you can’t see anything in the water so you have to use landmarks to help keep you going in the right direction. I guess I did zig zag a little but ended up getting in almost 1000 meters.

I think overall my first OWS went pretty well with guidance and little humor from my teammates. Think almost half the time was spent talking even when we were in the water. Definitely plan on going every available Wednesday night to our STAR OWS. Have my first sprint triathlon to train for in August. 🙂