Doing it anyway …

Yesterday I got into a discussion about running and working out. Particularly about the numerous times I’ve been asked if I’ll ever stop.

That’s always such a strange question to me. 

I’ve been working out since I was 12 years old. It’s part of who I am and who I’ve always been. I don’t know anything different. Even the two years post back injury I did anything and everything my doctors would let me do (which wasn’t much, but I did it anyway).

I get hurt A LOT. I have A TON of setbacks. But I’d like to believe it’s because I’ve never stopped pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I love learning about the body God has gifted me with. I like figuring out what it’s capable of. This body of mine never ceases to amaze me. Seriously, WHOA! It’s also about chasing down dreams. I have a lot of them. Still.

Some days come easier but overall, it is NEVER easy to keep up this lifestyle. Trust me, it’s nicer to sleep in. What I do and how I do it is a choice I have to make every day. I choose to keep trying, fighting and living. This is how I am … and despite the pain, blood, fractures, sprains and tears it’s always been worth it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you do it anyway!!!

Hell on wheels …

I have really kicked up my pace on the recumbent bike … and not for all the reasons one would hope. I am pretty sure that this type of training is what Satan does for enjoyment. Ugh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t experience HELL ON WHEELS!!!

The comeback kid (AGAIN) …

With all the things I’ve experienced physically you would think that it would make be scale back on the things I do physically. Nope. Well, OK maybe initially until I get my bearings again. But then I feel like it’s GO TIME. It currently sucks not to be able to run or do yoga but it also forces me to change things up. Which is always good for me. Being uncomfortable isn’t a bad thing. At least I don’t think so. It forces me out of my comfort zone and requires me to get creative. And those things ALWAYS lead me to great moments in the future. Maybe the reason I have so many setbacks and failures is because I have learned to LOVE the changes it forces me to make. Hmmmm.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel like the comeback kid (AGAIN)!!!

Happily and gratefully sitting this one out …

I’ve been quiet about this but here goes. About 10 days ago I got sciatica on my left side (now about 95% resolved). It threw my walking off onto my “bad” foot. The one I broke twice and sprained more times than I can count. Did I mention the arthritis? Oh yeah, that too. Anyway, it worried me because I’ve been warned that that foot can easily break again, even if compromised just a little.

Unfortunately, as a result of the uneven walking I had some pain in that foot by my 5th metatarsal along the outside of my foot. I also had traveling pain that occurred next to the arthritis in my 1st metatarsal and in the ball of my foot. I described it as a lava lamp of pain. It was never constant or in the same place. Well, early Monday morning I woke up with what felt like the beginning of a foot cramp. I jerked my foot up and then felt a horrible pain shoot through my second and third toes and up the 3rd metatarsal (where my old break was). I immediately thought the worst. I broke my foot. AGAIN.

With my race less than a week away I went in for x-rays. When the first image of my foot went up on the screen, I said, “There it is!” Like a beacon of light, I could see the problem staring back at me. A break. The tech couldn’t confirm the break but asked how long I had had pain there. I told her since 3 am that morning.

I didn’t receive the official results until the next day and spoke with my ortho. I was confused because my results stated “no acute fracture” but a new stress fracture was also clearly noted. The medical social worker in me likes all these details answered. It comforts me. But what I was told shocked me beyond belief … and then gave me a clarity, I never knew I needed.

My ortho said that the reason my results stated “no acute fracture” was because I didn’t break my foot Monday. In his estimate, I broke it 2-3 months ago.

SAY WHAT?!?!

I was utterly baffled and so was he. Up until the sciatica I had only some pain in my feet on my long run days. By the next morning I was fine. I’ve told my family and friends repeatedly that this has been my least painful marathon training EVER. I definitely did not push myself nearly as hard has I normally do. Don’t get me wrong. Anytime you run 18 and 20 miles, you are pushing yourself, HA! But trust me, I let a lot go this training. I was just happy and thankful to be healthy enough to run distance again.

I’ve had some doozies in my life. Many things I cannot explain. Experiences I like to call GOD MOMENTS. This is one of them.

After the getting meningitis in October and the terrible drug reaction that followed I knew that I needed this training. And not just to help me get stronger physically. I needed it to heal me mentally. I was scared I’d never feel like myself again. I was scared of getting meningitis a third time! And what would it rob me of then?!?! I wanted my kids to have their mom back. Their healthy, happy, active mom. Heck, I WANTED HER BACK! And the only way I knew how to find her again was to literally run back to her. So after clearing it with all my doctors, I did. I began marathon training in late January.

Almost every training day I was forced to face my fears and I had to fight through a brutal fatigue. There were days when I straight up questioned my judgment. And sanity. There were days when I wondered if I was doing more harm than good. But I ran anyway. I honestly couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my family and friends. I finished a training that I never thought I could finish and was able to put my demons to rest. And God was with me the whole time. I truly believe that He protected me from the pain of the initial break to give me exactly what I needed to fight the thoughts in my head. I believe He revealed the break to me now to show me that He’s been healing and protecting me more than I ever knew. That He is capable of more than I can ever understand in my humanness. He humbles me with these gifts. And I am so thankful.

So the big question that now remains is, “Will I run my ninth marathon on Sunday?” The answer is, “Probably NOT”. Despite there being no medical reason I cannot run Sunday I think I want to pass on this one. My foot still hurts, in my opinion, too much to run a full marathon. And after everything that has been revealed to me over the past 24 hours I think that I discovered that the race itself was never the real lesson. God was all about teaching me and growing me through the journey. That’s just how He rolls.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you happily and gratefully sit this one out!!!

A runner’s paranoia …

I’m sure that most people who don’t run don’t have a clear understanding of the Marathon Training Taper. If you aren’t in a personal relationship (of any kind) with a runner during this time period, consider yourself lucky. If you are, know that I think you are one brave soul.

I’ve mentioned before that the actual taper involves a significant decrease in running miles so that legs have time to repair and get stronger. Again, there is a science to all of it. I don’t completely get it, but I believe in it.

There is a whole other aspect to tapering that is also coinciding with your muscles healing and getting stronger. To put it bluntly. Some of us runners lose our ever lovin’ minds.

It’s a time when the runner fear meter goes off the chart. Every ache and pain is a fracture. Every sniffle and sneeze is a life threatening illness. You are convinced that Mother Nature and her wicked weather patterns are clearly out to get you. You are sure alarm clocks won’t work, cars won’t start, Garmins will die and shoelaces will break. And you know that food poisoning is just one swallow away.

Yup. That pretty much sums it up. At least, for me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t paranoid!!!

Bored … 

I’ve decided to get my miles done on the stationary bike to give my legs and back some extra rest during my taper. I am so thankful for the stationary bike. You have to triple the miles to mimic running miles but it allows you to keep training your legs without all the pounding. Cycling on the stationary bike got me through marathon training in the past … when I had a broken foot! It works and it’s a godsend. But I forgot one unpleasant thing about these indoor, not going anywhere miles. Yup, one.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t bored to tears!!!