Tuesday, September 18, 2012
This is the story of my journey for Hood to Coast, 2012. But it starts back a ways. Letís go to where my journey started. My friends on Sparkpeople had not one, but two teams who ran HTC in 2011. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a ďghost runnerĒ for Z that year. But since it was so close post-op to my surgery I was only able to run two of the three legs. But I gave it my all for those legs. Jim (my husband) was supportive and drew a little ghostie that is still taped to my treadmill at home today. My first leg was at approximately 10:30 at night. I chickened out with running on the road in the dark. My second leg was early the next morning which I did on Rocky Point Road. Loved it and the experience.
Shortly after that race I emailed Z to see if she was going to put another team together for 2012. Initially she said she wasnít sure and then a few short weeks later she let me know that she had decided to put another team together and I was on it. I was soooo happy. I sent off my money for registration and we waited. And waited. Oh, the anticipation. See, not everyone who wants to run this race gets to run it. Oh no, itís far too popular of a race so entries have to go in on a very specific day, must be mailed, canít be postmarked a day early or a day late, and then you wait to see if your team gets picked. Obviously, somewhere along the lines we got word that our team was select to participate. I was soooo happy once again.
And then disaster struck. I was going along just fine, still progressing after my July, 2011 surgery when things turned. My back started hurting one day. I remember the day exactly, it was the morning after a Celebration of Life. We had spent the evening before standing around a bonfire. I didnít think much of it. The next morning my back hurt but I chalked it up to sleeping wrong and standing too long the day before. But each day that went by it didnít get better. By the time we went to Idaho for Christmas I was hurting in a real bad way. I was miserable. I remember not enjoying myself much at all. I couldnít do much of anything. After we got home and were unloading the truck I jumped off the bed of the truck onto the ground. Now, mind you, weíre talking less than two feet drop. I fell to my knees and wanted to cry it hurt so bad. So I scheduled a doctorís appointment. Great news! I only had to wait 8 WEEKS to see the doctor. February 14th. It is currently the end of December. For the love! So wait I did. And it got progressively worse. By the beginning of January I had pain shooting down one leg, couldnít sit in certain chairs, some days I had to have Jim put my shoes and socks on for me. I was a mess.
Then, tada! Of course, two days before my doctorís appointment, something changed. Suddenly I wasnít in nearly as much pain. I went to the doctor anyway. Thankfully (only because I was certain I was losing my mind) he was able to, without a doubt, determine that I had herniated a disc in my back. The definitive prognosis was found in my big toe Ė the place where the lasting effects of that pinched nerve were. Turns out, that nerve, furthest away from my central body, was the last place to heal. The doctor sent me on my way with some stretches to do, warned me to be patient as this was going to take a long time to heal, and strong words to walk as much as possible. No running for at least six weeks.
Hmph. Who has six weeks to wait to recover when you have a race in the distance that you havenít trained one tiny bit for? Not me! After nearly four weeks I began running. Oh, those first runs were slow. Each step was meticulously planted. I didnít dare step on a crack or twist in the slightest because if I did, I felt it clear to my toes. My back was still VERY tender and I knew that one little misstep and it would be no HTC for me. So I plodded along. Carefully, oh so carefully. Eventually I was able to run as I had before. As a matter of fact, I was now running faster than ever before. I have no idea where that speed came from, but I was going to take it!
So I kept on running. I was nervous as could be about the hills for the race though. Seemed every leg was uphill. And I donít do up hills. I ran up the mountain from our house but it was slow going. No way was I going to keep the required pace. And this thing was starting to hurt. In my butt. It was the weirdest thing. Not a pain like in my back but it was clearly right across my butt. And it hurt. Bending over was tricky. It was deep inside the muscle so pushing on it didnít really do anything. I did some research and self-diagnosed myself with piriformis syndrome. The cause: over training or a herniated disc in the back which inflames the muscle thus compressing the sciatic nerve. I gave it two weeks and no relief. Tough! I had a race to train for. Fortunately, running was still ok once I got warmed up. I bought myself a new bottle of ibuprofen (the big one from Costco) and kept running.
What a relief when Z sent our leg assignments. Not only did I have the shortest distance to run of all the legs, not only did I have the easiest of all the legs, but I also had no up hills. Thank you Z!!!!! I switched my training around and started training to run downhill as my first leg was 5.64 miles and 2,000 feet of elevation loss. Now, trying to convince my husband that running that kind of downhill was a joke. He believed anything downhill would be a piece of pie.
Then we watched the HTC documentary together. At one point in this documentary, they talk about leg one (the leg I have) Ė quite possibly the most difficult leg of the entire race. I just keep watching the movie, slight palpations begin in my chest. He goes on to talk about how hard this first leg is on your muscles, how difficult it is on your body, how tired your body is going to be by the third leg of your race. I just keep looking straight ahead at the tv. I see Jim looking at me from the corner of my eye. I finally turn to look at him and neither of us say anything. Finally I tell him, ďsee, I told you downhill was going to be hard. What have I gotten myself into?Ē Iím a nervous wreck. But, the race must go on. And the training. I continued to train, having Jim drive me up the mountain so I could run back down it. I'll never forget during that last week, Jim thought I should be running down that hill every night up to the day I left for the race. No recovery time in his mind. I did, however, train carefully and did allow myself some rest time before the race.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
After my dh confessed that he had a hot dog for lunch yesterday (after packing a healthy meal) and having not one but two TALL beers and a short beer and a burgers and fries for dinner, I was not in the mood to root him out of bed this morning. Lucky for him he got up on his own will when I started getting ready.
First round today was shoulders and arms. Not bad. We didn't count reps or keep track of weight as we should have. This was our first real ST day and I wasn't really prepared. I will be next time though. Aside from those tricep pushups from lying on your side, most of the exercises were very do-able. I'm still struggling with tennis elbow so I did have to modify one exercise. Note to self; find new doctor for this issue, seven months or whatever it's been should be long enough for an elbow to heal, right?
Ab Ripper X tonight. I will Bring It! I will be hurting though. :)
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
"Don't encourage him." Those were the words from my husband as we began the wo this am. I think I was saying something to the effect of "we've got this!"
I almost backed out of today's wo. I was so sore this morning, slept terribly last night, waking up every time I tried to move and feeling all those muscles. I reset the alarm and was heading back to sleep but within two minutes decided I was not going to start that business on day 2. Up and at 'em we went, flipping on lights to get dh out of bed.
And, of course, I'm glad we didn't skip it. Once the body started moving and the blood started flowing I felt pretty good. I'm going to regret this comment I'm sure, but this wo wasn't as bad as I expected. I'll let you know if I feel the same way come 8:00 tonight. :)
Tomorrow, shoulders & arms, abs. Eeek.
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