It’s Been Rough…

Hello, remember me? It’s been a while so wasn’t so sure you would remember me. The past few months have definitely been a roller coster which is mainly due to my lovely frenemy, MS. This winter was pretty rough. It seemed like I basically crashed after my Europe trip and struggled to recover for a very long time. I even had a day with the family at the Air Force Museum and I spent the entire day in a wheelchair due to issues walking. It was a fun day but a hard day for me emotionally. I actually cried shortly after I sat down in the wheelchair for the first time that day.

There were a lot of times I thought “I need to sit down and write about this” but I think the depression and exhaustion won over. Now I feel there is so much I could have written about and now I forget most of it. I guess in a way you could look at that as a good thing, but you always want to remember what you have survived so you know in the future what you can conquer.

This spring I was finally able to pull myself out of the depression, get my MS back on track and start running again. Running does wonders for my state of mind but right now I am struggling with what it has done to me physically. I was originally planning on running the Capital City Quarter Marathon on May 4th, a leg of the Flying Pig Marathon Relay on May 5th, and Grandma’s Marathon on June 22nd. Well, the first two happened but I will have to pull out of Grandma’s Marathon this year because I developed a knee injury the last mile or so of my leg at the marathon relay. Not what I wanted to have happen on my come back from one of the worst winters of my life but that’s life. My knee isn’t horrible, I can still run shorter distances however my knee is not happy with me afterwards. I am going to take about a month to work on this injury and hopefully come back strong for the Air Force Half Marathon and possibly the Columbus Marathon in the fall.

Europe…that has been a hard looming subject of things I need to write about. This winter I was in a fairly dark place so I decided I wanted to write about that when I felt more like myself and could have fun with it. I felt if I wrote about it in the winter I would just want to rush it because I was in pain or I wanted to go to sleep…not what I wanted to do on something big like that. I hope in the next month or so I will be able to write about my trip to Europe in my normal voice.

Well, that is enough typing on the back porch for once evening. I think even my three huskies are starting to get a little bored. Guess there isn’t much going on in backyard here tonight.

My Flying Pig Marathon Relay team below. (As you can see I am rocking the ice on my knee already. 🙂 )

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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

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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.

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

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!

A Short Break

The past few weeks have been fun, stressful and exhausting. The little amount of sleep and stress finally got to me this past weekend and that is why you haven’t heard from me on here or even on FB and Twitter for a few days. I still don’t even feel like I have recovered now but work has calmed down some so life is somewhat better.

I still have electricity if that is what everyone is assuming is one of the issues since it is all over the news how many people are still without it. I did loose electricity on Friday, however it was only for four hours, I was one of the lucky ones I guess. I did however have some flooding in my basement on Sunday night which caused some water damage to a few things that were stored down there but nothing I was really upset about. It was just stressful trying to save a few things.

Now on to the bigger issue at hand. On Sunday morning I went out for my 13 mile run and only made it about 1.5 miles before I was having quite a bit of pain in my right hip that I could not stretch out and didn’t seem like it would get better if I pushed on. I decided to call it quits there and just swim later in the day at the gym. I didn’t really feel any pain when I was walking just when I was running and occasionally when I was sitting. I iced my hip on Sunday and took some ibuprofen but still decided to take off Monday just to give it some more time to hopefully heal. I was still feeling some discomfort on Tuesday morning so I decided to try cycling instead which went very well however it still didn’t overly feel like it was healing. Since I have two big races in the fall (Air Force Marathon and Dresden (Germany) Marathon) I called my doctor’s office shortly after they opened because I wanted to hopefully figure this out quickly so it would heal quickly.  They ended up having a cancellation yesterday so they were able to fit me in which was wonderful. I discussed a few different symptoms I have had over the past few weeks to my doctor and he diagnosed me with trochanteric bursitis. Basically one of the sacs that protects my muscles, tendons, etc from being damaged by my hip joint is inflamed probably due to either my change in workout or change in my stride/cadence due to my numbness in my left leg. He gave me a shot of steroids right into my hip and told me to rest for three days which is a little rough to take but hopefully this will help and I will be back training this weekend.  I hope!